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ODAC Newsletter - Feb 25

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.

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's threat to fight to the death rather than cede power set off a rising tide of violence this week which has seen hundreds, maybe thousands killed. The future of the regime and the country still hangs in the balance. The growing chaos has also spread to Libya's oil industry as companies shut down production and foreign workers flee.

Oil prices soared to new heights this week on the growing security concerns. Libya is the first country with meaningful oil exports to be affected by the wave of revolutions, but prices are also being driven by fear that the unrest could spread to Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday King Abdullah demonstrated that such fears are being strongly felt in the ruling House of Saud. On returning to the country from medical treatment abroad he announced a social welfare package of measures worth $36bn aimed at mollifying discontent. Meanwhile demonstrations are continuing in neighbouring Bahrain, Algeria, Yemen and have also been reported in Iran.

The prospect of actual oil supply shortages due to Libyan outages was addressed this week by both the IEA and Saudi Arabia. The IEA's Fatih Birol said that, should it become necessary, stockpiles could be released to cover a physical shortage. Meanwhile on Tuesday Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi assured markets that there is no supply shortage and that the price increase is being driven by fear. Since then senior Saudi sources have claimed that they are willing and able to fill any supply gap which arises with the same quality of crude. Of course, in the circumstances, assurances from Saudi Arabia might not be something to bet the farm on.

Oil

Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Gain Since 2009 on Libya, Economy

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Saudis pledge to make up shortfall as Libyan output plunges

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IEA sees oil price danger, ready to use stockpiles

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Why Saudi Arabia can no longer temper oil prices

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Why Saudi is now in play

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Oil groups draw up plans for swift Libya exit

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Iraq Struggles With High-Flying Oil Goals

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BP puts UK oil and gas field assets up for sale

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Progress Reported on Oil Plugging System

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Judge Tells Government to Resume Permits for Drilling

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China Raises Fuel Prices After Crude Oil Climbs Above $100

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Gulf spill's effects 'may not be seen for a decade'

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Gas

Libyan gas supplies to Italy halted amid turmoil

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European gas pipeline costs double

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A difficult balancing act for head of Gazprom

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British Gas sees profits up 24%

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Nuclear

Uranium forecast to hit new highs

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Renewables

Political unrest casts a shadow over Desertec energy project

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The Scottish 'gold rush' for hydro power

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R&D in Scotland: Green rush

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UK

Drax blames government for hampering biomass co-firing plans

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Clegg seizes reins of green bank project

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Climate

Green economies for growth, urges UN

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Geopolitics

Saudi's $36bn bid to beat unrest

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All eyes on Bahrain as Gulf tremors frighten oil markets

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Transport

Airlines hike fares - again

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