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ODAC Newsletter - May 6

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.

According to The Times, Iraq's oil ministry is to reset its oil production target for 2017 reducing it down from 12 million barrels per day to between 6.6-7 mb/d. The news is of no surprise to anyone (with the possible exception of Donald Trump), the IEA for example estimated in its World Energy Outlook 2010 that Iraq would catch up with Iran (currently at 3.66 mb/d) by around 2015, with production rising to 7mb/d by 2035. The IEA global oil production scenario used in the report does however rest precariously on the assumption that OPEC production will rise continually out to 2035, with most of the new production coming from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Always optimistic, the scenario looks even more insecure in the light of the ongoing political shifts and upheavals in the region. As recently as February this year Fatih Birol of the IEA said that "Global oil markets cannot afford not to see a significant increase in Iraqi oil production in the medium term."

It appeared this week that the reality of peak oil might be starting to hit home at least with the European Commission's Director-General for Transport and Mobility Policy, Marjeta Jager. She said in a speech that "If action is delayed, in the not-too-distant future we may be forced to drastically reduce all our mobility and import technological solutions from other parts of the world". Not sure what the technological solutions are—maybe more bikes—but it demonstrates a real challenge for a department which in its 2011 white paper on transport stated that "Curbing mobility is not an option". The speech was at a European Parliament meeting following on from the 2011 ASPO conference in Brussels. Presentations from the conference are available online.

In the UK this week the stand-off over tax hikes continued between the North Sea oil and gas industry and the government. The industry claims that the changes would seriously damage the investment environment, and that the Department of Energy and Climate Change wasn't consulted by the Treasury before the changes were made. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne defended the tax increases at a meeting on Wednesday with MPs and the oil and gas industry. So far the government is standing by the change, which was introduced to fund a cut in fuel duty, but it is possible they might make a concession on gas where the risk of rig closures is greater.

Better news for UK energy companies came this week in a report from the Carbon Trust on the economic potential of Marine Renewables. According to the report the global industry could be worth £460 billion by 2050, with the U.K. pulling in a sixth of the market.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Iraq halves oil output as reality replaces ambition

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Libya faces fuel crisis as oil supplies dwindle

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Act now on peak oil or curtail mobility, says Commission

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Oil Advances After Biggest Decline in Two Years; Down 12 Percent This Week

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Shell sued over oil spill in Niger Delta

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Shell Tries to Calm Fears on Drilling in Alaska

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BP pays out $25m to settle Alaska spills claims

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Canada faces fight over oil sands

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Analysis: 100 years after boom, shale makes Texas oil hot again

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Energy Information Agency Feels Budget Axe

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Oil Price Controls Are Advocated by UN in Proposal for G-20, OPEC Accord

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Gas

Chevron Expands in Marcellus Shale

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Ukraine Looks to Texas for an Energy Path

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Nuclear

Nuclear Tests Draw Scrutiny in EU

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Despite Bipartisan Support, Nuclear Reactor Projects Falter

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Renewables

Global Marine Power Industry May Be Worth $760 Billion by 2050, U.K. Says

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Total Buys Stake in Solar Firm

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Biofuels

European biofuel dispute splits the industry

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UK

Huhne clashes with MPs over tax rise

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North Sea oil and gas confidence slumps (but it's still positive)

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Fresh North Sea oil fears for safety of offshore workers

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North Sea oil leak cap 'may fail' in deep waters

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Scotland toasts new whisky-powered bioenergy plant

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Surge in solar panel installations on UK household roofs

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Tax hike may mean Centrica gas field stays shut

Climate

Connie Hedegaard seeks renewable energy targets for 2030

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