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 remained fairly stable this week circulating around $65/barrel. The recession is continuing to suppress demand in key consumer nations leaving a sufficient supply cushion to accommodate the gradual increase in demand from developing nations. A Platts press release this week claims that increased oil demand figures in China for the past few months demonstrate that “China appears to have decoupled itself from the world’s economic malaise for now”. Should China and other developing nations indeed succeed in reversing the downturn while Western economies remain in recession, Europe and the US could be faced with the alarming prospect of rising oil and commodity prices on top of tight credit and low business and consumer confidence levels.

Arguably one of the most important trends of the global economic crisis is a shift in economic power between the US and China. While less politically dramatic than the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the shift is potentially even more significant. The economic conditions have already allowed cash rich China to secure natural resource supplies in Africa, South America and Central Asia. This week Chinese premier Wen Jiabao was quoted as officially instructing Chinese diplomats to “hasten the implementation of our ‘going out’ strategy and combine the utilisation of foreign exchange reserves with the ‘going out’ of our enterprises,”. According to the Financial Times report Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC interprets this as part of a strategy to reduce Chinese dependence on the US dollar.

In the UK this week the government has followed up last week’s Low Carbon Transition Plan by approving the electrification of 300 miles of rail network including the Great Western line between Cardiff and London. Creating a resilient public transport network must surely be a key priority in preparing for peak oil so this is a positive step. Ensuring that the public transport system is also affordable and competitive compared to the private car must also be overcome in order to drive real change.


Crude Oil Rises, Set for Second Weekly Gain, as Equities Gain

China oil demand rises again in June, establishing new growth phase

Calif Could Expand Oil Drilling Under Budget Agreement

Attacks cut 1.6 mln bpd of Nigeria oil output-govt

BP Says North Sea Oil, Gas Production Will Drop 9% This Year


How to end America’s deadly coal addiction


Nuclear Decommissioning Authority shows deficit of £2.7bn


Severn tidal power scheme should not go ahead, warns Environment Agency

Sit-in workers at Vestas factory ‘being starved out’


Price put on Copenhagen success

India leads demands for £120bn climate change fund paid for by the West


China to deploy foreign reserves

Japan’s Oil, LNG Imports Fall on Fuel, Power Demand

World commodities demand shows signs of rebalancing

UK economy will only make full recovery in 2014, thinktank warns

Trade down 20% on prime container route


Great Western train line to be electrified

Are Airline Bankruptcies Going To Land This Fall?

Planes ‘should fly on biofuels’

Recession brings sharp fall in UK road deaths