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ODAC Newsletter - Dec 19

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.

Peak oil inched closer to official recognition this week as the International Energy Agency’s chief economist Fatih Birol conceded that conventional oil will peak by 2020. This is somewhat more explicit and pessimistic than the IEA’s recently published World Energy Outlook 2008. With luck his opinion will provoke some free and frank discussion when Britain’s Energy Secretary Ed Miliband hosts a summit with OPEC oil ministers in London today.

On the markets, even news of a record OPEC production cut of 2.2 million barrels per day failed to stop the oil price hitting a 4 year low of $36/barrel, with attention focussed on collapsing demand in the US and China, and with the usual scepticism about the cartel’s ability to make any agreement stick. Such low prices set the market up for another spike as soon as growth returns.

The depth of the economic crisis was underscored as the Fed slashed interest rates almost to zero, meaning it has all but exhausted the conventional ammunition for fighting a slump. After years of aggressive free marketeering, the tide is turning towards ‘New Deal’ style intervention, and with luck this will include massive investment in renewables.

The ODAC newsletter will be taking a break over the holidays and will return on January 9th. Season Greetings and Happy 2009!

Oil
At Last, A Date
Beyond laissez-faire
Big cut in Opec oil production fails to stop prices falling to 4½-year low
U.S. Oil Consumption Flat Through 2030, EIA Predicts
Drop in China's oil demand pressures Opec to cut production
Supertankers store 50m barrels of oil
China National Petroleum May Cut Project Investment
Western economies are flailing on an oil-price rollercoaster

Gas
Slowdown hits energy investment
Centrica aims to buy gas supplies at bargain prices

Renewables
Alarm bells ring over German renewables
Red tape strangles Whitehall's plans to boost green energy

Climate
Changes 'amplify Arctic warming'
EU climate bill ushers in hard year of talks
Obama breaks with Bush oil bosses and puts environment at top of agenda

Economy
Radical action is needed in this economic emergency
Car sales slump across Europe

UK
Harriet Harman says law could force energy price cuts
Third runway would 'drive coach and horses' through mayor's green plans
IT firms line up for deal to run UK 'smart' meters
Manchester says no to congestion charging
Ministers under fresh pressure to save car industry

Editorial Notes: Text and commentary at original

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