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ODAC Newsletter - Feb 6

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 paradoxical state of the oil industry was brought into focus this week with the release of earnings reports from BP and Exxon. The results show that despite record profits last year, the major oil companies have been unable to increase oil production. Merrill Lynch released a report this week stating that that non-OPEC crude production may already have peaked, while some commentators conclude that global peak oil occurred last year. The overall economic situation however remains so dire that even steep cuts in production from OPEC have failed to raise prices.

In the UK this week, it was the weather that grabbed most of the headlines. The cold provided a backdrop for industry leaders to issue reminders about the precarious position of the nation’s power generation system. The National Grid released an interesting report this week which explores the potential for adding biogas from waste to supplement natural gas. For more on this see ODACs Reports and Resources page.

Britain’s weather problems look trivial compared to the extreme climatic conditions bringing drought to parts of Australia and China. The implications for global food production in the light of climate change and resource depletion including peak oil is the subject of the Chatham House report Food Futures also released this week. The connection between oil and the food system was highlighted as prices shot up last year. The future of UK and global farming is likely to be a battleground in coming years as the imperative to devise a sustainable food system sees corporate interests clash with advocates of organic and local models.

Oil
Big Oil cut down by lower oil prices, credit crisis
Oil output could fall by 30m bpd by 2015 - Merrill
Oil falls to $40 as crude stocks jump to 18-month high
Majority of offshore oil companies expect fall in North Sea activity
BP at the crossroads
Morgan Stanley Sees 2009 Oil Averaging $35 a Barrel
Petrobras in talks over $174bn development
Oil prices prompt search for fuel alternatives

Renewables
China puts £60bn into energy
Wind power becomes Europe's fastest growing energy source
Tide on the rise for wave generation

Biofuels
Biofuels more harmful to humans than petrol and diesel, warn scientists
Japan Airlines trial biofuels on 747 flights

Food
U.K. Food Crisis Is ‘Not Unthinkable,’ Chatham House Says

Climate
Parched: Australia faces collapse as climate change kicks in
China declares state of emergency over drought
Obama's energy secretary outlines dire climate change scenario

UK
Fears for gas supply in the big freeze
Industry chiefs warn on UK energy shortage
Sewage could be used to heat half the homes in Britain
Ofgem issues guidelines for green energy claims
British Prime Minister in "depression" gaffe
Oil workers end strike after job offer

Editorial Notes: text & commentary at original

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