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ODAC Newsletter - 23 Jan

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.

Following a number of false starts, Russia and Ukraine at last resolved their immediate differences this week and began restoring supplies of gas to Europe. Commenting on European gas dependence Gérard Mestrallet, boss of French utilities giant GDF Suez, stated that “Our societies are shifting from oil-addict to gas-addict because it is clean and easy to use. It is inevitable.” This competition for gas is likely to prove expensive for the UK where gas dependency is high, and North Sea output plunging.

As the credit crunch continues to exert downward pressure on energy prices the signs are that the industry is preparing for a shake up. Many smaller companies are already struggling for capital and large companies like Chevron and BHP announced lay-offs this week. The link between the oil price, stated reserves and company valuations means that many companies face large write downs in the next round of results, which will probably further impact investment and future supply.

In the UK this week even a second bail out failed stem collapsing confidence in the banks and a near run on the pound – with the skids lubricated by a damning indictment of the country’s prospects from veteran investor Jim Rodgers. As the financial sector seizes up and North Sea production declines, and with little manufacturing left, apparently we now have “nothing to sell”.

In October Gordon Brown may have briefly claimed credit for “saving” the world economy, but at this point it is the man across the Atlantic who appears to have grasped the moment. As President Obama took office in the US on Tuesday he heralded the beginning of a new ‘age of responsibility’. Fine words which it is to be hoped will translate into the construction of a new economy and energy infrastructure fit for a resource constrained world.

Oil
Mergers in pipeline as oil industry's fairytale era ends
Oil patch braces for layoffs and spending cuts
Kazakhs May Cut 2009 Oil Output by 3 Million Tonnes
Forget "peak oil", West's demand growth peaking
Sharp drop in US demand for petrol
Iran looks to $40 oil price in defiance of OPEC

Gas
Gérard Mestrallet, world kingpin of energy
Turkey links pipeline to EU membership talks
Gas flows as Russia-Ukraine gas dispute thaws

Nuclear
Pressure on to hasten nuclear reactor construction

Renewables
Abu Dhabi has second thoughts about London Array and wind power
Britain under fire for failing to join renewable energy league
Oil price fall hits green energy

Economy
Economies in the eurozone 'will shrink by 1.9 per cent'
China's economic growth slows
Mining sector shocks threat mineral discoveries
Jim Rogers: ‘UK has nothing to sell’
President Obama hails new 'Age of Responsibility'

UK
British Gas to cut gas prices by 10 per cent
The heat is on
Rail services under threat after passenger growth hits buffers
Gas storage under threat as industry loses taste for salt
We can have hundreds of extra flights a day and still be green - ministers

Editorial Notes: text and commentary at original

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