Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.
With the global financial system still in panic mode pending today’s vote in Congress on the revised rescue package, fears of a prolonged recession have been pushing commodity prices down. Oil is once again below $100/barrel and forecasts for where the price could go are many and varied. The Wall Street Journal presents an argument that Chinese demand and Saudi supply will be paramount; however this omits the influence of US demand and the dollar.
Manufacturing figures in both the US and UK this week reflected the impact of the high oil prices and tight credit of 2008. The motor industry in particular is suffering. In the US this led to what is effectively a bail out, with the Presidential approval this week of a $25bn programme of loans to help the industry transition to more fuel efficient vehicles. This after decades of industry lobbying against fuel efficiency measures when petrol was cheap, in order to maintain competitive advantage through the sale of gas-guzzling domestic cars and SUVs. A good example of how the market alone will always be too slow to prepare for the challenges of peak oil.
In the UK there appears to be a growing consensus that the country faces a looming energy shortage. Following John Hutton’s comments last week, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Alan Duncan declared at the Conservative Party Conference that “One of our main tasks is to address the looming energy gap and the severe dangers that might threaten our energy security. Too few people have grasped the severity of the threat we face.”. With warnings this week from Energywatch & McKinnon & Clarke, but denied by the National Grid, that power shortages could emerge as soon as November, the issue is increasingly moving into the public consciousness. This is an important time to engage in a new relationship with energy and to plan for constraints.
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Oil Falls More Than $3 as Dollar Climbs, U.S. Fuel Demand Drops
Beijing, Riyadh Buttress Oil Prices
Oil prices to ease – IEA chief
Russia may boost OPEC clout, raise oil risk premium
Chavez Says U.S. Slump Hits Like ‘Hundred Hurricanes’
Russia, Venezuela to Form Oil Venture, Spend Billions
U.S. Approves 900,000-Barrel Oil Reserve Release
Nigeria’s Chanomi Creek Oil Pipeline Is Ruptured, Punch Reports
Record Russian gas price before Ukraine talks
Back to the Dark Ages: National Grid raises the spectre of blackouts this winter
Wholesale price of electricity surges amid fear of supply shortfall
BE investor declines to sell to EdF amid growing concerns
UK accused of ‘sabotaging’ Europe’s green energy plans
UK’s renewable energy efforts ‘ineffective’
We Need to Grasp Severity of Looming Energy Gap, Says Duncan ; TORIES
Million more suffer fuel poverty
Hit us with a tax and the public will pay for it, energy chiefs say
Record Dip In UK Manufacturing
Unemployment rising, car sales falling