" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.



ODAC Newsletter - Feb 26

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.

The world is heading for a renewed oil crunch as soon as 2013 due to shrinking production capacity and growing demand in the emerging markets, according to reports from two investment banks. Both BofA Merril Lynch and Barclays Capital conclude non OPEC production is close to peak, meaning a shift back to reliance on OPEC for new capacity. They predict volatile oil prices with peaks in the same range as the highs of 2008 – and we all know what that did to the economy.

The annual survey from UK Oil and Gas, the industry association, illustrated the law of diminishing returns of post peak oil production. While ‘probable’ and ‘possible’ reserves are up by 60% on 2008, the volume of reserves in production or being developed is falling, as companies find new ventures uneconomic – despite an oil price of $75-$80 per barrel. UKOAG claims – in our view optimistically - that the region could still produce 1.5 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent or 50% of UK demand by 2020, and calls for further government support and tax relief in order to maximise recovery of the remaining reserves. However, since £25bn is required simply to upgrade North Sea infrastructure in the next five years, and since output has fallen 7.5% per year for most of this century, it’s hard to see their target being achieved. For excellent background commentary on the UK North Sea peak oil story from ODAC trustee Chris Skrebowski see p14 of the The Oil Crunch – Securing the UKs energy future.

The government’s plans to green the UK economy had mixed fortunes this week. On the upside, Mitsubishi and the Spanish company Gamesa are to set up wind turbine research and manufacturing facilities in Britain. On the downside, the Renewable Energy Association criticised the government’s incentives for energy derived from organic waste, claiming that they would make many projects commercially unviable. Worse, Drax announced it is cancelling plans to switch one of its plants from coal to biomass, claiming it would be cheaper to buy permits and keep burning coal. This demonstrates once again the urgent need for a carbon tax or least a floor under the carbon price.

Finally, spare a thought for the latest casualty of the peak oil age - the Hummer, the 4x4-on-steroids whose sales have been hammered by the oil price in recent years. Production is set to wind down after a deal to flog the brand to the Chinese – who says the Americans don’t do irony? – fell through. In the words of Klaus Paur, North Asia director for market research company TNS "The brand proposition of Hummer itself goes against the strategic outline of the Chinese government, which is mainly that they want to produce energy-efficient vehicles". SUV RIP.

View our Reports and Resources page


Barclays and Bank of America see looming oil crunch

Back to top

Non-Opec output decline restricts spare capacity

Back to top

Companies 'can't afford' to drill for North Sea oil and gas

Back to top

BP, Shell Cost Cuts May Falter on Drilling Inflation

Back to top

Oil Set for Biggest Monthly Rise Since October on OPEC, Dollar

Back to top

Escalating Falklands oil dispute goes to UN

Back to top

Refinery protests are just delaying the inevitable

Back to top


Pressure grows on energy suppliers to pass on price cuts

Back to top

British Gas profits surge on low gas prices

Back to top


Putin threatens energy-sector oligarchs

Back to top

Bloom Energy unveils 'power plant in a box'

Back to top


Mitsubishi to invest £100 million in UK wind turbine centre

Back to top

Turbine company in talks to open UK factory

Back to top

Turbine design breathes new life into hopes for UK's renewable targets

Back to top

U.S. wind capacity has more than tripled: report

Back to top


Drax suspends plan to replace coal with greener fuel

Back to top

Biofuel power plant plan refused

Back to top

Waste not... Britain is lagging behind other countries in renewable sources

Back to top


Electric car prices will be reduced by grants worth thousands

Back to top

MPs say £37bn 'smart' power grid unlikely without state aid

Back to top


Hummer's demise a sign of the times

Back to top

Case for third runway at Heathrow is deeply flawed, say opponents

Back to top

World’s fastest container ships mothballed

Back to top

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Make connections via our GROUPS 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 Great Game in the Holy Land

Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in …

North Dakota Considers Weakening Standards on Radioactive Drilling Waste as Oil Prices Collapse

As the collapse of oil prices threatens North Dakota's shale drilling rush, …

Peak Oil Notes - Feb 26

A mid-week update. Oil prices fell on Monday and Tuesday this week on …

Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand?

The evidence suggests the United States is playing energy poker with a pair …

Are We In The Midst Of An Epic Battle Between Interest Rates And The Oil Price?

What follows are the continuance of my research, discussions, observations …

Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Agency Finds

A report from the Dutch Safety Board has accused the oil and gas industry …

Peak Oil Review - Feb 23

A weekly review including Oil and the Global Economy, The Middle East & …