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ODAC Newsletter - July 15

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 world could soon be short of oil again, despite the worsening fiscal crisis, says the IEA. Although the turmoil in Europe threatened to engulf Italy — with the world's third largest bond market - and the US budget standoff threatened its AAA credit rating, the Agency raised its 2012 oil demand growth forecast by 270,000 barrels/day. It also hinted that even with a 700,000 barrel hike in Saudi production in June, another emergency stock release may be on the cards to ease the supply crunch created by the war in Libya. The agency described OPECs current production as "well short" of what is required in Q3 to keep markets supplied.

Yet the world still has far more fossil fuels than it can afford to burn, and this could hammer oil company valuations, according to a report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative this week. Unburnable Carbon — Are the world's financial markets carrying a carbon bubble? argues that the fossil fuel industry is vastly overvalued since, according to global pledges to keep global warming to under 2oC, 80% of its assets could be unusable. The report calls for a review of the way in which fossil fuel companies are valued to take carbon budgets into account rather than simply rely on reserves.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne launched his Energy Market Review white paper this week to mixed reviews. Billed as the biggest shakeup in the electricity market since privatisation, it is intended to accelerate decarbonisation while keeping the lights on, and the big winners include offshore wind and nuclear. Existing nuclear operators — largely EDF — are handed a huge windfall, through the carbon floor price, money which surely could have been better spent elsewhere.

The government has also set the emissions performance standard at 450g CO2/kWh, making new gas power stations a feasible option. The government claims this is essential in order to provide a bridge fuel and to balance intermittency — the wrong price signals will however risk strengthening UK dependence on gas, which is increasingly reliant on imports, and risk making emissions reductions unattainable.

Oil

Crude Heads for First Weekly Decline in Three Weeks on U.S. Debt Concern

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Saudis Deliver on More Output

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OPEC sees world oil demand slowing in 2012

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UK oil and gas drilling falls 52% in second quarter

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US solution to oil crisis simulation: drill more

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China halts drilling at leaking oil platforms

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Gas

Rival Claims to Sea Territory Made by Israel and Lebanon

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Drilling Into New York's Fracking Report

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Fracking Water Killed Trees, Study Finds

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Electricity

Energy giant RWE puts brakes on new coal and gas plants

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France aims to rebalance its energy mix

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Nuclear

Japan Premier Wants Shift Away From Nuclear Power

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Germany Could Restart Nuclear Plant to Plug Energy Gap

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Biofuels

US ethanol refiners use more corn than farmers

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Brazil looks to US to kickstart biofuels

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Food

China's Hunger for Corn Turns Market on Ear

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UK

Offshore wind the big winner in government's renewables roadmap

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Green groups fear electricity reforms will spark "dash for gas"

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UK energy reform to generate two-tier victors

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Fuel poverty affects one in five households

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Geopolitics

Will oil bring Muammar Gaddafi down?

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Economy

Moody's to review US triple-A debt rating

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China's economic growth eases

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Why are fossil fuel assets Triple-A rated?

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What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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