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ODAC Newsletter - June 17

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 collapse of the Greek government amidst a wave of popular protest and riots sent markets reeling this week. The Greeks reject the austerity measures attached to their bailout by the Eurozone, and there is serious concern that other countries will follow. The Euro troubles had a bearish effect on oil prices, however prices were buoyed by better than expected US jobless figures, and an increased oil demand forecast from the IEA.

In its Medium Term Oil Market Report the IEA base case anticipates an annual oil demand increase of 1.2 million barrels/day in the next 5 years resulting in what it describes as "a fairly thin supply cushion" of around 4m/d. The current high oil price is described as "in large part...justified by supply and demand fundamentals". Meanwhile the agency's monthly report calls for an increase in OPEC production for this year of 400,000 barrels/day.

The UK government's position on peak oil was called into question again this week, after DECC was forced to publish an internal paper from 2009 entitled Report on the risks and impacts of a potential future decline in oil production. The department had appealed against the ruling but lost, and quietly published the document along with the responses to its recent call for evidence on the same subject.

The report shows how different the previous government's public and private positions were on peak oil. The internal report — a summary of work conducted in 2007/8 — concluded that while it was impossible to predict the exact timing, the impacts of an early peak could include social unrest and negative impacts on GDP. In public, the Wicks Report on Energy Security, published in 2009, the same year the internal one was written, dismissed the idea out of hand on the usual bogus arguments - see ODAC's demolition at the time.

What they both share, however, is a deadening bureaucratic complacency. Having reviewed the potential impacts of peak oil, the newly revealed report concludes: "...there are no obvious additional policies the UK government should pursue to minimise the likelihood of a 'peak oil' scenario and to be prepared to mitigate its impacts in addition to those already in place" (their emphasis).

Since those words were written the geopolitics of the Middle East have shifted significantly, oil prices have surged again to $120/barrel and are expected to rise further this year. Coalition, take note.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

IEA piles pressure on OPEC to pump more oil

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$120 oil risks economic double dip, says IEA

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UK ministers ignored 'peak oil' warnings, report shows

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Crude Oil Edges Higher in New York as Fewer Americans File Jobless Claims

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Saudi, US mulled secret oil reserve swap

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Kuwait ruler warns against unrest, security threats

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Oil-giant Venezuela tries to limit energy use

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Drought Threatens Texas Oil Boom

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North America

Voters put $10 limit on green energy cost

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Senate Rejects Effort to Cut Ethanol Subsidy

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E.P.A. Delays Rule on Power Plant Emissions

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Gas

Labour urges government to stop fracking around with shale gas

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European Natural Gas Pipelines Plagued by Uncertainties

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Shale gas doesn't make Poland the new Norway yet

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Nuclear

China's nuclear power plants pass safety inspections

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Berlusconi's nuclear power plans crushed

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Renewables

Renewables could provide 35 per cent of UK generating capacity by 2030

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UK boasts just one wind turbine per 100 square kilometres

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Chevron Bets on Power From $30 Billion Volcanoes in Indonesian Rainforest

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Mining and Minerals

'Urban Mining' Could Reduce Reliance on Metal Imports

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UK

Chris Huhne urges energy customers to switch suppliers

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UK faces job losses as businesses threaten to flee abroad to escape green energy levies

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Red tape cut for smaller power suppliers

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Harrabin's Notes: Waste not?

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Report: Waste is more effective than wind energy

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Economy

Europe's 'Lehman Moment' Looms as Greek Debt Unravels Markets: Euro Credit

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