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ODAC Newsletter - Dec 12

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 major output cuts expected from the OPEC meeting in Algeria next week, oil steadied around $45/barrel after its recent plunge. Saudi Arabia has already announced its own production cut, and OPEC is widely expected to axe another 1-2 million barrels/day. In a sign of how seriously oil producing nations are being affected by the oil price slump, non-member Russia has announced it will also cut back, co-ordinating its policy with the cartel for the first time ever.

The delicacy of the balancing act that OPEC must perform cannot be overstated. On the one hand, the World Bank has forecast ‘the deepest global recession since the Depression’, and the US energy department predicted global oil demand will slump by 450,000 barrels/day next year. But on the other, existing global oil production capacity is shrinking at anywhere between 2 and 4 million daily barrels per year depending on the forecaster, oil companies are cancelling production projects worldwide, and OPEC members always cheat. Setting the right level for oil production quotas will be harder than ever.

The increasing tension between economic growth, energy security and the environment was played out this week at the EU Climate talks in Poznan, Poland. UK Minister for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Miliband, called for a “popular mobilization” demanding global action to reduce carbon emissions. The climate and oil depletion challenge will also demand joined up thinking in government. With luck the postponement of the decision on a third runway for Heathrow might be a sign of that emerging. But don’t hold your breath.

Russia and Opec prepare to cut oil production
Saudi curbs supply in anticipation of OPEC deal
IEA Says Oil Use to Fall for First Year Since 1983
Global demand for oil to plummet
IEA Cuts 2009 Global Oil Demand on Slowing Economy
China slowdown could see oil at $25 a barrel, bank predicts
Petro-Canada Slashes 2009 Spending on Plunge in Oil
Iraq's oil-rich Basra province in autonomy move

Gazprom dispute with Ukraine grows

Oil Price Must Rise to Justify Coal Fuels, Rand Study Says
As coal comes back into fashion, how serious are we about carbon reduction?
Barack Obama's coal conundrum
Colliery on track for record output shows King Coal is striving to regain crown

Deal on climate and slump hangs in balance
People power vital to climate deal - minister

Ed Miliband seeks more power for State in UK energy industry
UK faces energy blackouts without investment in nuclear and clean coal
Costs exclude thousands from fuel poverty aid
Rolls and Balfour team up with Areva to generate 15,000 nuclear jobs in UK

Airlines 'to lose $5bn in 2008'
Heathrow on hold as plans split cabinet
Israel pilots electric car network

Recession will be longer and deeper than previously thought, says OECD
Auto bailout deal worth $14bn collapses in US Senate
Akpabio Warns: Economy Could Collapse in 6 Months

Editorial Notes: Text & commentary at original

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