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ODAC Newsletter - Oct 15

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 US administration ended its moratorium on deepwater drilling this week seven weeks ahead of schedule. The lifting of the ban — put in place in the wake of the BP Macondo oil well explosion — was greeted with muted enthusiasm from the oil industry, which is concerned that tough new rules will make new drilling costly and result in lengthy delays for permits. The move is however expected to play well politically where the risk of job losses in the oil industry is for many taking precedence over environmental concerns now that the oil is no longer spilling.

In Europe a move to implement a drilling ban in response to the Gulf of Mexico spill was rejected this week in favour of tightening regulations. The proposed new safety rules are likely to be forcefully resisted by the UK oil and gas industry which opposes increased European regulation.

OPEC ministers agreed on Thursday to keep oil production quotas unchanged, while calling on members to improve compliance. Members see the current market as well balanced with prices around $80/barrel. Both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) increased their global demand forecasts for 2010 and 2011 this week — the IEA added 300,000 barrels/day. The forecast, along with news of record Chinese imports in September of 5.52 million barrels/day, is currently keeping prices high.

With global oil demand predicted to increase, much hope for future oil production rests on Iraq where onshore resources remain largely undeveloped. Last week Iraqi oil minister, Hussein al-Shahristani announced an upward revision to the country's known oil reserves of 24% to 143.1 billion barrels. Despite this news however the extremely ambitious production projections declared recently by Iraq — to increase capacity from 2.4 million barrels per day to 12 million bpd in seven years — were called into question by oil executives meeting at the Oil & Money conference in London this week. Optimistic estimates are for half the amount and these rely on the assumption of political stability and security.

France could be facing fuel shortages next week as industrial disputes over a pensions bill have resulted in widespread industrial protest including the closure of oil refineries around the country. Some panic buying of fuel has already been reported although the government claims to have sufficient supplies for a month. With UK government cuts due to be announced next week might this be a sign of things to come closer to home?

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U.S. ends deepwater drilling ban, sets new rules

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Analysts unimpressed by early lifting of deepwater drilling ban

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European bid to freeze deepwater drilling collapses

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North Sea oil companies angry at new EU rules

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OPEC Maintains Oil Production Quotas, Urges Adherence

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Iraq increases oil reserves by 24%

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Iraqi oil output plans overambitious - executives

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Disruptions At French Oil Refineries Continue, May Extend

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Dwindling oil supplies threaten economies [REPORT]

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Pentagon going green, because it has to

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World oil consumption forecast raised by watchdog

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North America's risky race to exploit oil sands and shales

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Shell offers spill system in Alaska

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Outlook for Shale Gas in Europe Is Uncertain

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US to take on rivals in natural gas

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UK to need more shipped gas in winter

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Wind could provide 20 pct of world power by 2030: study

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Floating turbines promise to deliver reliable wind, says report

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10,000 Birmingham council homes to get solar panels

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Ofgem: Every household faces £60 bill to rewire Britain

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Human waste turned into renewable gas to power homes

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Fuel poverty doubles in five years

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UK backs EU plan for controversial 'beyond A' energy labels

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