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ODAC Newsletter - April 9

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.

Improved job creation data in the US along with strong Asian demand led to a run on oil prices this week taking the price of a barrel beyond $87 and out of the 'goldilocks' $70-$80 territory of recent months. Forecasts for the rest of the year are all over the board, with some analysts predicting a $100+ barrel, while others point to the lack of support for even the current price with economic activity in the developed world still sluggish.

Reuters published an article this week stating that the global recession has changed Colin Campbell's opinion on how peak oil will play out in terms of oil price. Rather than the relentless upward price curve he had previously anticipated, he now sees that a price point is reached which triggers a demand peak and a subsequent price collapse. In Campbell's view the maximum price possible at the present time is $100/barrel, at which point demand (and consequently the price) would fall again. Since such a sudden demand drop is only achieved by economic contraction we effectively already have a situation where the oil price is acting as a limit to growth on global economies.

While oil prices are back on the rise natural gas prices have remained low. This is as a result of slumping demand due to the recession, and growing supplies from new non-conventional tight gas production in the US and increased LNG capacity in the Middle East. With oil increasingly challenging and expensive to produce, there is currently a global 'dash for gas' as energy companies look to secure reserves. In Europe the new frontier for unconventional gas is Poland which is thought to have enormous potential reserves and a willing government.

Some observers however argue that the actual production potential of the huge reserves of tight gas is being over estimated — that decline rates are very high, and that US output is being over reported. It was therefore interesting to note this week that the EIA announced that it will be changing its reporting methodology to correct a problem it has discovered in the way that output data is gathered. Gary Long, who led the review, has stated that the change will lead to a "significant" downward revision in some areas. Whether the adjustment will be sufficiently alarming to dampen bullish predictions of growth in gas production remains to be seen.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Crude Oil Falls After U.S. Supplies Increase More Than Forecast

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Peak oil man shifts focus to peak price, demand

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EIA changes monthly report oil stocks methodology

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Shareholders at loggerheads over vote on BP's tar sands development

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Female minister directs Nigeria oil overhaul

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Kazakh threat to expel expat oil workers

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Hard task to offload North Sea assets

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Gas

Dash for Poland's gas could end Russian stranglehold

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Natural-Gas Data Overstated

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BP fights to limit controls on shale gas drilling

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US EIA natgas report confuses energy traders

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Renewables

Renewable energy coalition releases manifesto

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Radar deal clears the sky for £7bn offshore wind farm expansion

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UK

UK household savings lowest in 40 years say ONS

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Cost of driving has jumped 9% in six months

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Car sales up 26.6% in last month of scrappage

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Britain poised to outpace European rivals on a rocky road to recovery

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Climate

South African coal-fired power station to be built after UK abstains on vote

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Carbon trading survives key tests

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U.S. Carbon Emissions to Rise 2.1% in 2010, EIA Says

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Geopolitics

US Treasury delays China currency report

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White House 'troubled' by President Karzai's accusations of fraud

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Editorial Notes: The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) is an independent, UK-registered educational charity working to raise international public awareness and promote better understanding of the world's oil-depletion problem.

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