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.
The economic boat continued to sink alarmingly this week, prompting yet more desperate bailing out by policymakers around the world. In the UK Alastair Darling tried to keep Father Christmas in business by dropping the rate of VAT, while in the US another $800bn rescue package was released just in time for Thanksgiving.
Despite a brief rally early in the week, the slumping economy kept oil prices down. With OPEC due to meet at the weekend, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said his country will coordinate with OPEC to protect its interests. As energy companies struggle to finance investment and the oil economies lose revenue, this week made unlikely bedfellows of Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total and Hugo Chavez: both said oil prices need to be in the region of $80/barrel.
The threats to the global energy supply were highlighted this week in a new report Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, by the US Intelligence Council . The report argued that “Unprecedented global economic growth—positive in so many other regards—will continue to put pressure on a number of highly strategic resources, including energy, food, and water, and demand is projected to outstrip easily available supplies over the next decade or so.” That analysis was brutally reinforced by the news that the S.Korean company Daewoo Logistics is close to a deal with Madagascar, in which it would take a 99 year lease on 50% of the country’s agricultural land, largely to grow maize & biofuels.
The impending UK energy crunch was highlighted in separate speeches this week by both Jeroen van der Veer of Shell & Alistair Buchanan, CEO of Ofgem. It is apparently becoming more widely accepted that energy supply and demand will have to be radically transformed if we are to face up to the challenges ahead. It is not at all clear that this will actually happen.
The ODAC newsletter will return to its regular Friday timeslot next week.
Fall in oil price getting “dangerous” -Total CEO
Financial crisis? That’s nothing
Blowing away certainties
Norway Slips On Scarcer Oil
Russia May Coordinate Oil Production Cut With OPEC
Russia May Agree Oil Accord With China By Year-End
From the Kremlin to Caracas, how oil collapse changes everything
Dialogue key to stabilising oil prices, says Miliband
Gulf’s woes bode ill for the oil and gas we need
Pirate Attacks Fail to Revive Tanker Rates as Oil Demand Slows
PetroChina Doubles LNG Purchases in Accord With Shell
Gas prices could be “very, very frightening” in future, MPs told
Russia Gazprom: no gas for Ukraine without contract
Obama’s green start
‘Go greener’ call to schools, jails and hospitals
Aims for wind energy faulted by peers
Power in the desert: solar towers will harness sunshine of southern Spain
Wind farms becalmed by turmoil
South Korean company takes over part of Madagascar to grow biofuels
MoT energy check for homes proposed
Boris Johnson to insulate Londoners’ lofts
Coal’s return raises pollution threat
National Express job cuts strike note of fear for transport sector
Financial crisis sinks mining mega-merger