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ODAC Newsletter - Sep 17

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 50th anniversary of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The anniversary finds the organisation in what at first sight looks like a fairly comfortable position as described by Javier Blas in his commentary for the FT. Oil prices are sitting within what many consider to be a goldilocks price range, and the organisation helped secure this with a 2.2 million bpd cut in production quotas which were, at least to begin with, fairly well adhered to.

A counterpoint to this rosy picture is provided in a commentary by Chief Economist at NGP Energy Capital Management, Anas F. Alhajji. With depletion in the non-OPEC world at an advanced state, the IEA and others are forecasting a growing 'call on OPEC' to maintain the supply/demand balance even as global demand is predicted to grow rapidly. Alhajji points out that the growth required to offset depletion and increase production would be unprecedented and is furthermore required at a time when key OPEC countries including Saudi Arabia are experiencing growth in domestic demand for oil and electricity. Just this week Saudi Aramco announced a decision to focus on unconventional gas, and raise oil production via enhanced recovery techniques rather than new projects. Samuel Ciszuk of IHS Global Insight points out that the implications of this strategy are that even in Saudi the days of cheap oil are over.

News of Saudi's unconventional gas reserves emerged at the World Energy Congress which is being held this week in Montreal. The prospects for unconventional gas were a key topic at the conference as energy companies look to replicate the successes of the US shale gas industry globally. Peter Voser of Shell, which is investing heavily in the resource, spoke of how natural gas would "change the world's energy landscape for the better". Others are more circumspect as to whether the US story can repeated. A forthcoming report from Chatham House will look at these issues in relation to Europe - a teaser article for the piece anticipates significant obstacles.

Oil

An Inconvenient Truth about OPEC

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Opec at 50: cartel faces new challenges

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Unconventional Gas and Raised Oil Recovery Are Focus for Saudi Aramco's

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Bracing For Peak Oil Production By Decade's End

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BP cited for North Sea safety failures: report

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BP insists deepwater drilling in North Sea will go ahead

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Obama asks for millions for oil, gas oversight

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Oil spills hit on land, too: Aging pipelines imperil Midwest

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BP well could be 'killed' by Sunday: US spill overseer

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Crude Oil Declines as Enbridge Says Midwest Pipeline Will Start Tomorrow

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Gas

Shell CEO: Nat Gas To Play Prominent Global Energy Role

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Unconventional Gas: Cheap Gas Coming?

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EPA to Widen Drilling Study

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UK to boost gas stash

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Coal

Fears £9bn clean coal programme could be drastically scaled back

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Electricity

A Multi-Trillion-Euro Price Tag for Energy Efficiency

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Renewables

World's largest offshore windfarm set to open off Kent coast

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An ill wind blows for Denmark's green energy revolution

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'Privileged' opposition holding back wind farm development

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Warning on target for green energy

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Biofuels

Biofuels May Replace Half of EU Gasoline by 2020 Using Waste, Study Says

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Biofuels: Alternative fuels fail to live up to the hype

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Plan to generate electricity from waste food in Gwynedd

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Climate

Climate change advisers urge UK to prepare for change

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Transport

A Possible Solution to Europe's Clogged Roadways

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Nottingham named England's least car-dependent city

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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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