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ODAC Newsletter - May 8

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 rose above $57/barrel this week to reach their highest 2009 level to date. Markets interpreted lower than forecast increases in US stockpiles as further evidence of the beginnings of economic recovery. The stronger prices further reduce the likelihood of another OPEC production cut in May.

One OPEC country excluded from quota cuts is Iraq. Here, while US troops begin their timeline for withdrawal, it appears that the oil companies are preparing to move in. The war for oil will have succeeded in giving international companies access to Iraq’s huge reserves 40 years after they were expelled. The future though remains extremely uncertain with the security situation precarious, continued failure to pass an oil law, and unresolved disputes between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government. The prediction that June’s bidding round will be heavily subscribed highlights both the size of the prize and the desperation of the major oil companies for access to new reserves as other global opportunities shrink.

In the UK this week rail operators wait with interest to see whether the government will bail out National Express on its East Coast line franchise. Falling commuter numbers are affecting rail company profits as deals, based on projections made in more favourable economic times, no longer add up. Addressing the vulnerability of the public transport system to economic contraction will be essential to reducing peak oil impacts and meeting climate change goals. Public transport might not get the same buzz as electric cars, but it is the most vital component of an energy efficient transport system.

Oil
Crude Oil Rises Above $57 as Refineries Signal Stronger Demand
Rising reserves of unused oil put strain on storage
Distillate glut may cut U.S. refinery summer runs
Chavez Moves to Take Over Oil Service Companies in Venezuela
China Oil-Product Demand to Grow at 0.6-0.7 of GDP
Russia to build floating Arctic nuclear stations

Iraq
Oil groups set to end 40-year exile from Iraq
Heritage Oil strikes big in Kurdish Iraq
Oil minister: Iraq needs soft loans

Gas
U.S. Gas Fields Go From Bust to Boom
indexed gas contracts under fire

Electricity
Web providers must limit internet's carbon footprint, say experts

Renewables
Surge in renewable power fuels fears of energy crisis
Flushed with enthusiasm, Severn Trent sees light at the end of the tunnel for its new revenue plan
US wind sector impatient for stimulus funds

UK
National Express wants taxpayers’ cash to keep running East Coast trains
Action on peak oil essential for business survival, say UK transport chiefs
Cooking oil to fuel Bristol bus The Chipper
UK power capacity 'sufficient for electric cars'

Editorial Notes: Text & commentary at original

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