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.
Oil prices rallied this week on the back of the US stimulus package, a surprise increase in US gasoline demand – up 1.7% year on year despite the recession – and the potential for further OPEC cuts. Downward pressure began again on Friday as investor attention returned to weak economic news.
The latest economic data confirmed the extent to which even mighty China is being affected by the downturn: energy demand growth in the People’s Republic has slowed from 9.6% in 2006 to just 4% last year – the lowest growth since 2003. Yet China’s influence on the global energy supply continues to increase as it exploits its vast foreign currency reserves to corner future supply.
The UK’s energy security and climate change policy was under the microscope again this week, as a report from Ernst & Young concluded that Britain will need to double investment in energy infrastructure to meet emissions and renewables targets, and replace ageing infrastructure. Meanwhile the debate about what forms of generation will be needed to achieve those emissions cuts took an unexpected turn when four leading green thinkers came out in favour of nuclear power.
One highlight this week was an excellent documentary on peak oil and agriculture, part of the BBC’s Natural World series called A Farm for the Future. For UK based readers the programme is still available to view on iPlayer, or you can read Chris Vernon’s review of the programme on theoildrum.com. Natural World isn’t prime time TV, but it is a start.
Crude Oil Falls, Snapping Three-Day Gain, as Recession Deepens
N Sea Oil Operations Unsustainable At Current Price,Cost-BP
Gazprom may slash capital spending – paper
China Changes Calculus for Petro-Rulers
Co-op to fund oil sands fight
Shell puts cost of crude oil theft in Nigeria at as £1.1bn a year
Dash for gas ‘holds UK to ransom’
More gas storage vital for UK security
British Gas profits tumble as it shields customers from high prices
Call for energy investment to double
Heat is on for suppliers to cut gas prices
Total to back Trans-Sahara gas pipeline
Nuclear power? Yes please…
A kneejerk rejection of nuclear power is not an option
Pressure mounts on Centrica to drop British Energy deal as investors protest
Weak oil and imports turn EU biofuel boom to gloom
UK’s public debt surges towards £1,200bn
Miliband denies clash over ‘clean coal’
Drop in passenger numbers delays Stansted expansion by two years
Councils face £6bn income drop
China’s 2008 Energy Consumption Rises at Slowest Pace
Japan hit by worst slump in exports for 50 years
Data show deepening of slump in Europe