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.
Amid the deepening economic gloom, two important remarks about oil almost slipped under the radar this week. First, the government’s former Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King, admitted Iraq was all about oil, and went on to say it would probably be the first in a series of resource wars. Second, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total, predicted that global oil production will peak at 89 million barrels per day in 2015, barely 3 mb/d higher than 2008 production. Spot the connection, anyone?
Oil prices made a brief and minor rally early in the week as the IEA’s Nabuo Tanaka warned of a possible crunch as early as 2010 if investment in new production was not forthcoming. But bleak economic news and reports of high US inventories soon pushed prices lower again.
In Britain the Department of Energy and Climate Change is still struggling to develop a coherent strategy around replacement of electricity generating capacity. The current policy fails to promote renewables effectively or penalise the high environmental cost of coal. At the same time lack of planning around the country’s transition from net gas exporter to net importer status is putting supplies at risk.
As the government and the Bank of England consider increasingly drastic measures to revive the economy it looks ever more obvious that the political imperatives have moved on. But basing policy on an economic growth agenda with sustainability measures bolted on is not a credible plan for a resource constrained future. What we need is a completely new paradigm. As Sir David King said during his lecture this week, “Consumerism has been a wonderful model for growing up economies in the 20th century. Is that model fit for purpose in the 21st century, when resource shortage is our biggest challenge?”
Total says oil output is near its peak
IEA warns of oil ‘supply crunch’
Oil industry investments take hit during crisis – survey
China to lend Petrobras $10 bln for oil – report
Russian and China sign $25bn deal
Threat of gas price rise as reserves run dry
UK’s shortage of gas storage will cost users dear, analysts say
EU is losing its grip on Caspian gas corridor
US production growth to be cut off
Windmills flap helplessly as coal remains king
Coal at centre of fierce new climate battle
UK’s ex-science chief predicts century of ‘resource’ wars
UK tax-take to reveal depth of crisis
UK inflation more entrenched than expected
Britain has most expensive train fares in Europe
Is government cash waiting in the sidings for train operators?
Petrol prices rise 5 percent
Pay packaging recycling costs, stores told
David Cameron hails Tony Benn in decentralisation plan
Green energy package unveiled