" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.



ODAC Newsletter - Jan 29

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.

This week saw the Chairman of one of the world’s major oil companies publicly acknowledge the approaching peak in oil production. During a panel discussion at the annual World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland on Thursday, Thierry Desmarest, Chairman of Total said:

“The problem of peak oil remains. We have always been relatively prudent in our assessment of a peak oil date in Total between, I would say, the International Energy Agency, which was extremely optimistic a few years ago - a bit less today - and some so called experts who were announcing that the peak oil has already taken place. In our opinion it will be very difficult to raise the oil production above 95 million barrels/day, which is something like 10% above today's level - so its not enormous...So I think we must keep in mind that in a few years from now the market may be in a relatively difficult position in, the energy security concerning oil (because I think for gas we have certainly more time), will be a big problem.”

You might think that such an explosive point would provoke a lively debate, but you would be wrong. Panel moderator Daniel Yergin, the founder of CERA and a long-term antagonist of peak oil, moved quickly onto Iraq and the prospects for expanding production. Only Khalid al-Falih, Chief Executive of Saudi Aramco contradicted Desmarest, saying that although “long-term it [oil] is a depletable resource”, it would be possible with the use of technology to exceed 95 or even 100 million barrels/day.

Both Tony Hayward and Peter Voser, Shell’s chief executive, emphasised the growing global demand for energy and insisted hydrocarbons will continue to make up to 80% of the energy mix for the foreseeable future. Despite nods towards environmental responsibility, their focus was on the need for governments to provide the conditions to allow the industry to develop the remaining resources. The organizers seemed to agree and to have made their minds up in advance, since there was little discussion of renewables in a debate billed as a ‘World Energy Outlook’.

Press reports continue to punt the idea that an imminent expansion of oil production capacity in Iraq will soon cause a glut – this despite the massive security, legal and infrastructure challenges. This week however it was Venezuela that was touted as the ‘next Saudi Arabia’. The claims are based on a new US Geological Survey estimate that raises the country’s recoverable reserves numbers. ODAC trustee Dr Richard Miller is sceptical that the development will lead to any significant change in the global supply situation, as he explains in this week’s ODAC commentary.

In the UK this week the government tried to slow the decline of North Sea oil and gas by bowing to pressure to increase tax relief for oil companies. ODAC waits with interest to see if the treasury will give equally generous incentives to renewables in its forthcoming feed-in tariff scheme. According to a YouGov survey conducted for Friends of the Earth, the Renewable Energy Association and the Co-operative Group, the UK public is receptive to the idea. However Alan Simpson MP, the government's special adviser on renewable energy sounded a note of warning: "As things stand, the government could turn a brilliant idea into a pitiful failure. What the public are looking for is real vision and ambition, not a towering lack of it.” You have been warned.


Davos - Global Energy Outlook

Back to top

DAVOS-Saudis say don't worry about peak oil

Back to top

Davos 2010: a new peak in oil production is needed, energy leaders argue

Back to top

Venezuela oil 'may double Saudi Arabia'

Back to top

Shell forced into oil sands U-turn

Back to top

IEA to Meet CFTC, OPEC, Banks on Curbing Speculation

Back to top

BP's Iraq oil deal faces court battle

Back to top

Kazakhstan to force foreign oil firms to pay more tax

Back to top

Tax breaks to lure oil and gas sector

Back to top

Shell faces legal fight over Arctic wells

Back to top

Iraq’s production bonanza may fuel a slide in oil

Back to top


Crown in row over energy supply

Back to top

Cold winter leaves utilities with a warm feeling inside

Back to top


E.ON chief: Preserve coal plants to keep lights on

Back to top


Public supports ambitious scheme for micro-scale renewable energy: poll

Back to top


Barack Obama commits to climate change bill

Back to top

China admits ‘open attitude’ over warming

Back to top


Iranian forces fully withdraw from Iraq oilfield

Back to top

Russia, Belarus sign deal ending oil dispute: official

Back to top


UK economy emerges from recession

Back to top

Sarkozy seeks a new order and throws down gauntlet to China

Back to top

Economic growth 'cannot continue'

Back to top

Iata says airlines suffered 'worst year' in 2009

Back to top

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

The Rise of Community Energy

Around the world, the idea that communities install, own, and enjoy some of …

State of The Transition, November 2016: Steps forward continue to outnumber steps back

The global energy transition remains in a state of net forward momentum as …

World Energy Outlook 2016 – Fatih Birol in Brussels

On 16 November 2016 the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented its …

Waiting for the Climacteric: or, the Return of the Greentard

...I want to broach some wider energy-related issues with the help of two …

Peak Oil Review - Dec 5 2016

A weekly roundup of peak oil news, including: -Quote of the Week -Graphic of …

The Curse of the Modern Office

The information society promises to dematerialise society and make it more …

Howling at the USGS’s Wolfcamp Announcement

The recent USGS announcement about the Wolfcamp play may inspire another …