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ODAC Newsletter - July 2

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.

Hurricane Alex, the first hurricane of the season, hampered the Macondo oil well disaster clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and resulted in the precautionary closure of 25% of crude oil production in the area. Reports indicate however that it didn't cause any delay to the drilling of relief wells on which so much hope rests.

With investigations into the causes of the disaster continuing, the potential financial impact on the oil industry and on BP were looking increasingly grave this week as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to eliminate the liability cap of $75 million which is currently in place. Should the bill become law it could be retroactively applied to BP, and leave oil companies operating in US waters facing unlimited liability. In another move this week the US Justice Department wrote to the 5 companies associated with the spill demanding that the US government be given notice of any asset depletion which could jeopardise future payments in the event of judgements being made against them. President Obama clearly intends to make good on his promise that the American people will not pay to clean up the damage, he will however undoubtedly face considerable opposition from both political and industry groups.

The announcement of a new oil field discovery in the North Sea this week was greeted by The Times with the eye-catching headline — North Sea oil strike holds out the prospect of Seventies-style riches. While the Catcher field is anticipated to be the largest find in a decade, it is, at approx 300 million barrels in place (150 million recoverable), not remotely close in size to the real revenue generators of the seventies like Forties (approx 5 billion barrels) and Brent. The find, while significant for the region, is still unlikely to forestall the growing energy deficit of the UK.

Oil

First Hurricane of Season Closes Offshore Rigs, Port

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Senate panel votes to end oil spill liability cap

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BP, Transocean Asked to Notify U.S. Before Depleting Assets

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BP in move to raise more funds

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BP to consider relief wells at new sites

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BP 'staked future on expanding offshore drilling'

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The Peak Oil Crisis: The Real Gulf Crisis

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Crude Oil Tumbles as Economic Reports Spur Concern Over U.S., China Growth

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Nigerians angry at oil pollution double standards

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'Norway crude will see rapid decline'

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UK backing loans for 'risky' offshore oil drilling in Brazil

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North Sea oil strike holds out the prospect of Seventies-style riches

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Biofuels

U.S. Allocates Up to $24 Million for Algae Biofuels Projects

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UK

New UK Energy Minister and the Continuing Decline in Energy Production

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Planning body's closure angers industry

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Britain needs £1 trillion to turn the country's infrastructure green

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Spending cuts pose threat to green future

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Climate

No consensus as Obama, senators discuss energy bill

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Economy

Scrap dollar as sole reserve currency: U.N. report

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G20 summit agrees on deficit cuts by 2013

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China targets miners of rare-earth metals

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Transport

Carmakers on the attack over electric subsidy

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Air passenger traffic bounces back

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Solar Impulse plane postpones record night flight bid

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Blimps could replace aircraft in freight transport, say scientists

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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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