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ODAC Newsletter - July 8

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.

Oil prices surged again this week on news of tightening US crude stocks. Prices are remaining bullish despite concerns about the Eurozone, and Chinese manufacturing figures being at their lowest for two years, as the authorities there move to calm inflation.

The UK government this week gave ground on North Sea taxes following pressure from the oil industry. There will now be an increase in the Ring-Fence Expenditure Supplement (RFES) up from 6 to 10 per cent. Oil companies have been lobbying hard since the Chancellor announced an increase in industry taxes earlier in the year to fund a fuel rate cut for motorists. A statement for Statoil — which had stopped work on a project in protest at the tax hike — said that "The negative impact from the tax increase proposed in March has been neutralised". Overall it looks like a good deal for the government, the tax increase was estimated to generate £2bn, the adjustment is expected to cost around £50million.

In other UK energy news, the government's position on nuclear power took a knock as documents showed the extent to which officials colluded with the nuclear industry to ensure that negative press over the Fukushima accident in Japan would not derail UK plans for new nuclear. Despite this the government easily pushed through legislation on Tuesday for a carbon floor price, which is widely criticised for providing a windfall profit to existing nuclear power stations

What may prove more challenging for UK nuclear ambition are rumours that German energy giants RWE and EoN may be abandoning plans to build new UK nuclear plants following Germany's decision to phase out nuclear.

As Germany prepares for its 'Energiewende', or Energy Switch, there was news from the UN this week that green energy investment hit a record high in 2010, increasing by 32%. The cost per megawatt also came down, with the cost of solar down 60% from 2008. With so much more to do, this is at least some good news.

Oil

Oil Heads for Second Week of Gains on Economy, Stockpile Decline

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Oil and gas spills in North Sea every week, papers reveal

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US and Russia stir up political tensions over Arctic

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Argentina Hopes for a Big Payoff in Its Shale Oil Field Discovery

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North America

New oil spill, familiar worries in wake of Exxon's Yellowstone pipeline breach

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Obama Seeks Steep Increase in New Auto Mileage

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Gas Discounts Help Retailers Keep Parking Lots Full

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Electricity

Utilities await reform white paper

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British Gas Business fined £1m for underestimating renewable energy sales

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Nuclear

Japan PM contender says ditch nuclear

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Japan nuclear 'stress test' plans criticised

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EDF and RWE raise fresh doubts over UK nuclear plans

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Renewables

Energy: Betting the wind farm

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Green energy investment hits record global high

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Diamond Light Source study hails efficiency of "cling film" solar cells

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Mining and Minerals

Paper says China has legal, moral right to curb rare earth exports

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UK

North Sea oil companies get tax boost from Government

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Statoil to resume North Sea development

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Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima

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Marine energy budget slashed despite PM's pledge of support

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Whitehall smashes through 10 per cent carbon target

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Solar parks launched as developers dash to beat feed-in tariff deadline

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