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ODAC Newsletter - Aug 13

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 back out of the $80/barrel range this week on weak economic news, and stockpile gains. There is growing anticipation that the US Federal Reserve is about to embark on a new round of quantitative easing following Tuesday's downgrade of the recovery outlook. In China, July figures showed a slowdown in industrial production and retail sales which added to market nervousness.

In its monthly oil report the IEA raised its forecast for 2011 demand by 50,000 barrels/day to 86.6 million b/d, but with a significant downward risk due to the economy. The agency, which painted what ODAC considers to be an extremely optimistic supply/demand picture in its recent Medium Term Oil Market Report, also issued a stark warning against tighter regulation and permit delays for deepwater drilling following the BP Macondo oil disaster. To quote, it warns that "Macondo places the ability of the industry to access important new reserves on a knife edge," and further that "Some 30 per cent of existing global oil, and nearly 50 per cent of new supplies by 2015, needs to be sourced from offshore, much of it from deep water." The figures underline the perilous state of new oil production which now relies heavily on risky and expensive resources like the Brazilian pre-salt discoveries, the Arctic, and the tar sands.

BP's final kill of the Macondo well via the relief well was delayed this week due to a tropical storm. In the meantime the focus is now moving to the legal proceedings. The chances of BP being banned from operations in the US looked much less likely this week as it emerged that the company is negotiating to use revenue from its US oil and gas production activities as collateral to back up the $20bn damages fund agreed with the Obama administration. Such a deal would mean that a ban could present a conflict of interest for the US administration. BP did suffer a minor blow this week however as a judicial panel determined that 77 damage suits relating to the disaster will be heard in New Orleans – the company's legal team had been hoping to have them heard in Texas where it was hoped that strong oil industry links might result in a more sympathetic jury. Meanwhile scientific opinion on the extent of the damage caused by the oil spill remains divided despite last week's report by NOAA. Greenpeace has announced the launch of a 3 month investigation of the effects by "independent scientists".

Finally, ODAC wishes to pay its respects to Matthew Simmons who died of a heart attack on Sunday. Simmons did much to advocate a more analysis driven approach to global oil reserves based on auditing rather than on government numbers which often have a strong political element. He is likely to best remembered for his book Twilight in the Desert.

Oil

Crude Oil Rebounds From One-Month Low After Falling Below $76

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IEA warns of Gulf spill effect on new oil supplies

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Oil spill: BP nears deal to continue drilling in Gulf of Mexico

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BP risks Obama row by hinting it may return to stricken oil well

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Experts split over level of BP spill damage

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Greenpeace to launch expedition to probe BP oil spill impact

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Oil sands toxins growing rapidly

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Oil euphoria puts Lula's legacy at risk

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Texas sues BP over air pollution from refinery

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Matthew Simmons, Peak-Oil Advocate and Simmons & Co. Founder, Dies at 67

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Nuclear

Berlin May Extend Reactor Lifetimes by 14 Years

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Russians fear worst as fires reach Chernobyl fallout zone

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Biofuels

Waste 'could meet gas demands'

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Bristol City Council objections to £70m biofuel plant are invalid, says inspector

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China

China orders 2,000 factory closures over energy use

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UK

Councils to sell electricity to the national grid in green initiative

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All new homes to run on green power by 2016

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Energy efficiency ratings to be compulsory for home sales

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The Government has seriously miscalculated the cost of green homes

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Be wary of 'solar for free' offers, householders told

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Petrol prices to hit £1.20 by bank holiday

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Low-carbon investment at risk, warn employers

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Economy

Markets dive as depression fears grow

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Event

ASPO-USA 2010 Peak Oil Conference

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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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