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ODAC Newsletter - Dec 3

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 Obama administration announced this week that it has reversed its decision to open up new leases in areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast. The intention to lift the moratorium which had been in place since 2006 was made weeks before the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. See the recent UKITPOES paper for more on the likely impact of the Gulf of Mexico disaster on oil production. Energy Secretary Ken Salazar also announced - though it received less attention - that the Cook Inlet, and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic will still be considered for leasing before 2017. So, the Arctic may be opened to drilling despite the even greater environmental risks inherent involved in handling a spill there.

Safety concerns around shale gas drilling led to a 6 month moratorium on drilling permits being approved this week by the New York State Assembly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is undertaking a study of the issues, but is not due to release its findings till late 2012. Meanwhile, Mr Salazar is considering compelling companies to reveal details of the chemicals used in the drilling process known as 'fracking' — something that the industry has resisted. The safety issues around fracking should be of considerable interest on this side of the Atlantic as companies look to repeat the successes of the US industry in Britain, where drilling has already started in Lancashire, and Europe.

In the UK this week gas use soared as outside temperatures plummeted and thermostats were turned up. Though the country's largest gas storage facility, Rough off the coast of Yorkshire, is reported to already be a fifth depleted at this early stage in the winter, the National Grid is currently confident that supplies, including increased capacity for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, will be sufficient.

And lastly, ODAC wishes to pay tribute to Dr. David Fleming who died unexpectedly this week. David was an inspiration to many working on the issues of resource depletion and climate change. He was a founder member of the Green Party in the 1970s and more recently devised the concept of Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs). ODAC trustee David Strahan attributes the idea for his book The Last Oil Shock to a letter which David Fleming wrote to The Times in 2000. For an eloquent and personal tribute to David see Rob Hopkin's blog post.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Obama backtracks on plan to open more Gulf waters to offshore drilling

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Arctic waters open for "cautious" leasing after 2012

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Brazil's Congress Makes Petrobras Sole Pre-Salt Operator in Revised Laws

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Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Increase in a Month on U.S. Economy

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Shell and Gazprom sign 'global co-operation' pact

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OPEC November Oil Output Fell 0.3%, Led by African Producers, Survey Shows

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BP pushes ahead with Canadian oil sands project

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Gas

Moratorium on gas drilling passes New York legislature

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Natural gas drillers feeling pressure

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Europe's scramble for gas sees controversial hydraulic fracturing cross the Atlantic

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Russia and Ukraine settle dispute over gas

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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Seek Gas to Supplant Use of Oil for Power

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Nuclear

Special Report - Nuclear's lost generation

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China's reactor plans power up uranium

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UK

Fears over record gas bills in cold weather

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Carbon-price boost for green energy

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Green restrictions on power stations 'could make bills unaffordable'

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Government redefines zero as it abandons green homes commitment

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UK economic recovery 'poses threat to environment'

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Climate

Japan derails climate talks by refusing to renew Kyoto treaty

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Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world

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Economy

US deficit panel calls for deep cuts and tax rises

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Global financial markets rise amid bail-out rumours

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Don't rely on oil profits for pensions

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Transport

Lufthansa unveils plan to test biofuels on regular domestic flights

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Events

The Energy Institute: Oil supply and energy security — getting on with the job

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