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 to their highest level in 6 months this week over $62/barrel. The recent upswing has been aided by a weakening dollar but not been supported by increased oil demand. Whilst current fundamentals are week, a higher oil price does better reflect the growing price of oil production. A report from IHS/CERA this week moved Canada ahead of Russia as the second largest holder of recoverable oil reserves. The 173 billion barrels of oil sands which Canada has is a huge resource, however the EROEI (energy retuned on energy invested) on this oil makes it extremely expensive to exploit, even before reckoning in the release of Green House Gases and environmental damage associated with its recovery.
One commentator this week advising a longer term view on oil use was European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. In a piece for his blog he wrote that “It is difficult to forecast when the next oil crisis is going to come. As Nobel Prize Niels Bohr once put it “prediction is very difficult, particularly about the future”. But one thing is certain, one day we are going to run out of oil, and to prepare for that day we may be running out of time.” It appears that Mr Piebalgs view of the situation has altered somewhat since 2006 when he referred to peak oil as “no more than a theory”.
Another report this week which emphasised the long-term nature of scaling up new energy sources to replace oil came from CNA, a think tank of retired US senior military officers. The report warns of US vulnerability due to its huge oil dependence and anticipates that changing this is a 30 year project.
The US President’s mission to reduce US oil dependence moved to the motor industry this week as plans were revealed to increase fuel economy standards to 35.5mph for new vehicles by 2016. Industry opposition has always been strong to such changes, but with Chrysler and GM relying on government bailouts, this time it is Mr Obama who is in the driving seat.
Oil Falls From Six-Month High After Fed Warning on U.S. Economy
Recovery in oil prices ignores the fundamentals
Are we moving towards a new oil crisis?
IHS CERA: Canada has world’s second largest recoverable reserves
Brazil Turns to China to Help Finance Oil Projects
U.S. Reliance on Oil an ‘Urgent Threat’
Nigeria’s Oil Output Drops to Less Than Half Capacity
Tide of opinion turns against Shell
Russia and Italy sign gas supply deal
Old enmities are put aside in fight for gas
Obama to unveil tough fuel rules for cars
From a Theory to a Consensus on Emissions
Asia needs to ditch its growth model
Brain power can meet the energy crisis
Got any rubbish? Price of recyclable waste recovers
Tax rise angers energy groups
Government criticised on funding of green energy
Prepare for ‘multiple failure’ of rail operators, MPs warn
Big rail electrification scheme called for