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ODAC Newsletter - Jan 22

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 dropped this week on rising US inventories, a strengthening dollar, and news of a further crackdown on credit in China. Speaking from the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week, Richard Jones, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA predicted that there would be little price volatility in 2010 as existing supplies and stock build ups would balance demand. This sunny outlook is clearly vulnerable to the risks described in last week's newsletter.

Speaking in London Jeffrey Currie of Goldman Sachs warned that more serious oil shortages will return in 2011 as supply fails to keep up with demand. Currie blamed the shortfall on the credit crunch which has “interrupted the investment phase”. Such a prediction assumes a global economic recovery and the continuation of high growth in the developing economies, neither of which is assured.

The growing supply challenge is born out in the announcement this week that both Conoco and Total are to expand their operations in the Alberta tar sands despite the heavy costs involved both in environmental damage and investment. In an interesting twist a group of Shell shareholders led by FairPensions has issued a resolution requiring the company to give a review of the risks in its tar sands policy at its upcoming annual general meeting. FairPensions cited carbon costs and potential damage to Shell’s reputation from environmental degradation as some of the risks.

In the UK this week a report by the Royal Society of Engineers caught the attention of the press, not really for its content, but for a nice soundbite quote from its author labelling roof-mounted wind turbines and solar panels as “eco-bling”. The report itself focuses on the need to create efficient buildings to reduce emissions and energy requirements in the face of resource constraints. Its primary recommendations are around the lack of expertise in the construction industry to achieve this and the training required to fill this gap. The report even includes a peak oil chart – but none of this makes a sexy headline. “Eco-bling”, on the other hand, now that’s something a headline writer can work with.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Oil Trades Near $76; Refiners Slash Processing on Weak Demand

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IEA sees fine balance in oil demand and supply

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Oil Shortages to Reappear in 2011, Goldman Sachs Says

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Shell faces shareholder revolt over Canadian tar sands project

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Conoco, Total to expand oil sands project

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Oil and gas sector forecast for 12% growth in 2010

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India to tackle pollution with energy cuts

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OPEC Compliance With Cuts Fell to 58% in December, IEA Reports

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Gas

BP and Sinopec join forces in shale gas talks

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Nuclear

Britain finally waves farewell to radioactive waste from abroad

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Bitter row throws French nuclear industry into turmoil

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Renewables

Germany, France cut support for solar power

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U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid

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Offshore wind power : Oil rigs to whirligigs

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UK

Buildings threaten UK emission targets, report says

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Security fears threaten smart meter plan

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Climate

UN drops deadline for countries to state climate change targets

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Murkowski to call on Congress to block federal greenhouse gas regulation

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Economy

China's economic growth soars by 10.7 per cent

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Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars

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UK economy faces decade of 'painful readjustment'

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