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ODAC Newsletter - Jan 14

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 release of the full report by the National Commission into the Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling. Last week's pre-release of Chapter 4 saw blame for the disaster attributed to a culture of complacency around safety both in the industry and its regulators. This week's full report included the commission's recommendations which amongst which are more funding for regulatory enforcement, an unspecified increase in the liability cap for accidents, and a research programme into potential issues raised by drilling in the Arctic. Co-chair of the commission, Bob Graham, writing in the St Petersburg Times, warned "This is a wakeup call to the American people. Why are we drilling in deeper and inherently more risky offshore locations? The United States is consuming about 22 percent of the world's daily extraction of petroleum while it sits on top of less than 1.5 percent of the world's proved reserves."

The price for Brent crude oil rose this week to $98.8, a 27 month high and just shy of the psychologically important barrier of $100/barrel. Coal prices too are on the rise with global prices hitting a 28 month high in the wake of the severe flooding in Queensland, Australia. The rising energy prices are premised on anticipated growth in demand. Oil demand grew 2.3 million barrels/day in 2010 despite the continuing economic crisis. The rising prices, which compound the pressures on food and other commodity prices, present a real challenge to economies already struggling with huge financial deficits.

In the UK, where government cuts are just starting to kick in, high oil prices are clearly a cause for political anxiety — with lorry drivers preparing a return to the petrol protests of 2000. David Cameron this week urged OPEC oil to boost production as fears grow that inflation could derail economic recovery, and promised to revisit the idea of a fuel duty stabiliser. But as Terry Macalister of The Guardian points out, while cutting fuel duty might be politically attractive, what we really need is effective policies to get off oil.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Disregard for safety led to Deepwater Horizon spill

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Gulf of Mexico oil spill commission calls for dramatic overhaul of offshore drilling

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Back through the ceiling?

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Brent Heads to $100 as Cold Boosts Demand; WTI Slips on U.S. Jobless Data

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UK's Cameron urges OPEC to boost crude production

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Gas

Shale Oil Drillers Chesapeake, EOG Strike Rising Costs in Flight From Gas

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BarCap: Global LNG to remain balanced

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Coal

Coal at 28-Month High to Beat Oil, Gas on Australia Floods: Energy Markets

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Commodities daily: Forgotten energy

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Coal's burnout: Have investors moved on to cleaner energy sources?

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Renewables

Analysis: Solar stocks face another tough year in 2011

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Pentagon Must 'Buy American,' Barring Chinese Solar Panels

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Mining and Minerals

China To Control Rare Earth Extraction, Pollution

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UK

Energy costs 'damaging UK recovery

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Now is not the time to keep on trucking

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Refinery agreement unlikely to be the last

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Oil sector's career reputation 'needs to be rebuilt'

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Imports push goods trade deficit to record high

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Gas supplies at five-year low for early January

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Centrica loses competition law battle over gas storage

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Axeing of UK sustainability watchdog leaves gap in scrutiny, MPs warn

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Geopolitics

Oil and peace in Sudan

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Economy

WEF: The world economy can not 'face major new shocks'

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Trade war looming, warns Brazil

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Chile protests turn deadly as Latin America buckles under rising energy prices

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