" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.



ODAC Newsletter - Feb 18

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.

Brent crude surged to $104 this week as anti-government protests spread to Libya and Bahrain, prompting a violent reaction from the authorities in both countries. 24 protesters are reported killed in Libya, and in Bahrain 4 have been killed and hundreds injured. Unlike Libya, Bahrain is not a significant oil producer, but there are fears that instability there could spread to its neighbour Saudi Arabia.

Anyone looking for reassurance of business as usual from the usually ebullient big oil companies was in for sobering news this week. Shell's update to its 2008 Energy Scenarios forecast warns that the world faces an energy supply crunch. Meanwhile Exxon, like all the major oil companies, is struggling to replace its oil reserves: it has managed to replace only 95 of every 100 barrels produced over the last decade, and is increasingly forced to replace oil with gas. Meanwhile, as we reported last week, many analysts predict the North American shale gas bubble will soon burst.

In the face of growing evidence of oil supply constraints we were recently asked by one our readers to explain our position on when peak oil will occur. Why, he asked, since the BP Statistical Review shows oil production was lower in 2009 than 2008, did we not accept his view that the peak has already passed? Here's our position:

Just because output was lower in 2009 than 2008 does not necessarily mean the fall was geologically imposed. We think oil production was lower in 2009 than 2008 because of lower demand caused by the recession, itself caused in part by the spike in the oil price to $147/barrel. That in turn appears to have been the result of an effective plateau from around 2005 to 2008. What's more, output has risen strongly in 2010, rising by 2.8 million b/d in 2010 over 2009, and is forecast to rise by a further 1.5 million b/d this year (IEA - see http://omrpublic.iea.org/). In January this year, IEA figures, which are based on an all-liquids definition similar to the BP Stats, showed production at 88.5 mb/d, against 87.8 mb/d in July 2008. So already we are 700,000 b/d above the previous peak. Chris Skrebowski, ODAC trustee and independent forecaster, suggests the crunch will come in 2012/2013 at 92-94 mb/d. More generally we think that forecasting the precise date is now less important than preparing for the event. Whenever it comes, peak oil is far too close for comfort.

View our Reports and Resources page


Oil Rises in New York as Unrest in Mideast Fuels Supply Concern

Back to top

The coming misery that Big Oil discusses behind closed doors

Back to top

Exxon Struggles To Find New Oil

Back to top

High oil prices 'here to stay' says EU energy commissioner

Back to top

Iraq to auction 12 energy fields in 2011: ministry

Back to top

Chevron's $17 Billion Ecuador Judgment May Be Unenforceable, Analysts Say

Back to top

How much oil does Saudi Arabia actually have?

Back to top

North America

Lawmakers blast Obama's energy budget

Back to top


EU could meet carbon targets more cheaply with gas than renewables, say gas firms

Back to top

Gas Buyers Seek End of Europe's Two-Tier Pricing: Energy Markets

Back to top


China's coal imports set records in month, year

Back to top

Coal's Hidden Costs Top $345 Billion In U.S: Study

Back to top

Powerfuel revives UK clean coal hopes

Back to top


China enters race to develop nuclear energy from thorium

Back to top

Administration to Push for Small 'Modular' Reactors

Back to top

Nuclear industry windfall feared

Back to top


Windfarms to bring communities average £20,000 a year

Back to top

Global solar power growth doubled in 2010: study

Back to top

Solar companies mull legal challenge to Huhne

Back to top


Nobody seems to like the carbon floor price

Back to top

Crematorium To Heat Water For Town's Swimmers

Back to top

Warning of skills threat to green energy aims

Back to top


Mideast Protests Spread to Libya Amid Bahrain Apologies, Clashes in Yemen

Back to top

Bahrain: why it matters to Saudi Arabia

Back to top

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

IEA Oil Market Forecast: Optimistic Assumptions And An Economy Unable To Grow Out Of Its Problems

The International Energy Authority does does its best to paint a rosy …

Energy Crunch: Global debate heats up

News that last month was the world’s hottest June on record provided …

Divest! - Then What?

Divestment is one of the great campaigns of our times.But the question then …

World Oil Production at 3/31/2014-Where are We Headed?

The standard way to make forecasts of almost anything is to look at recent …

Peak oil notes - July 24

A midweek update. New York crude futures have traded in a narrow range …

Onshore Wind Power Is Now Cheapest Form Of New Electricity In Denmark

A new analysis from the government of Denmark found that wind power is by …

Keeping Oil Production From Falling

Production flows from a given oil field naturally decline over time, but we …