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ODAC Newsletter - June 24

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 oil market was plunged into turmoil as the IEA announced it will tap its strategic reserve for only the third time ever. The agency had hinted in the past months that it might be prepared to release stocks to offset the shortfall in production from the Libyan crisis, to calm prices and avoid a "hard landing" for the global economy. But it was widely expected that Saudi Arabia was to be given time to make up the difference. Instead the IEA will release 60 million barrels over the next 3 months in order to "bridge the gap" until new OPEC or Saudi supplies are available.

Prices dropped sharply — as intended — and Brent ended Thursday at $107/barrel. Whether the action can balance the markets in the longer term however is surely in doubt. There is no end to the Libyan conflict in sight, and so far oil prices have remained stubbornly high even in the face of weak economic data including the Greek debt crisis stalking the Eurozone. Everything rests on Saudi Arabia being able to deliver the extra capacity — although many doubt it can, at least not in time. Their announcement suggests even the IEA agrees.

In the UK this week the government published a clutch of National Policy Statements making the case for new energy infrastructure — fossil plants, renewable and gas and electric grids - and a list of eight sites proposed for new nuclear stations. The papers are intended to guide planning authorities about the national interest when considering new energy infrastructure projects. There is much to be welcomed in the documents, but it remains to be seen if they will clear local resistance to energy infrastructure. As part of its localism agenda, the coalition intends to abolish the last government's Infrastructure Planning Commission, which was meant to take major energy decisions out of the local planning system. So there remains the risk that strategic decisions on new energy investment could get bogged down in local issues and NIMBYism — although the final decision now rests with the Secretary of State.

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Oil

Oil Rises on Concern IEA Emergency Crude Release May Limit Future Supplies

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Markets dive on growth fears, shock drop in oil prices

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Ahmadinejad loses fight over oil portfolio: parliament

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Transocean blames BP for 2010 gulf oil spill

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Head of IEA pleads with Russia: join us to help solve energy price crisis

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In Rebuilding Iraq's Oil Industry, U.S. Subcontractors Hold Sway

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Gas

'Fracking' Disclosure to Rise

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Gazprom Chases China Pipe Dream

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Shell floats plan to harvest stranded gas

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Nuclear

Saudi Thirst for Oil Fuels Nuclear Plans

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The timebomb of ageing US nuclear reactors revealed

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German energy plan seen as 'viable'

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After Inspections, China Moves Ahead With Nuclear Plans

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Tepco Suspends Water Treatment Operation

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Renewables

Chile court blocks giant Patagonia dam project

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UK urges Ireland to build windfarms on west coast

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Price of solar panels to drop to $1 by 2013, report forecasts

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Mining and Minerals

Rare earth prices soar as China stocks up

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Biofuels

KLM plans to fly planes on reused cooking oil

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Honeywell Demo Flight Seeks to Generate Momentum For Aviation Biofuels

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UK

Nuclear power plant site plans released by government

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Welsh Government restrictions on wind farms rebuffed

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Green houses: Lowering your carbon footprint starts at home

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CO2 pipeline proposals bring Scottish CCS closer to reality

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Climate

UK says Poland blocked EU deal on CO2 emissions

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