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ODAC Newsletter - Aug 12

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.

This week saw riots on Britain's streets and in world markets. The IEA monthly oil report referred to the oil market as a 'big dipper ride' as Brent oil dropped below $100 for the first time since early February, before regaining some of the losses later in the week.

Pundits compared the turmoil with 2008, but in some ways it looks far worse. Three years ago the collapse of the oil price to below $40 provided some temporary relief, but that's unlikely to happen this time. True, both the IEA and OPEC have revised down their global demand forecasts, but both organizations still predict demand growth, in a market which is already tight and has not yet fully replaced Libya's shut in production. While the west teeters on the brink of a double dip, surging demand in the developing world will mean higher, not lower, oil prices, according to analysts at Barclays Capital: "The growth in demand is rather rapidly likely to press against the limits of global supply, with most of the work needed to be done by prices in order to balance the market."

Although the Arab spring has been pushed out of the news in recent weeks, it is another crucial factor in the oil price balance. The violence in Libya and Syria is a daily reminder to the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of what could happen in their countries at any time. The cost of maintaining their thrones is rising with increased military and social spending, and this raises the oil price at which state budgets break even. Barclays Capital says this supports a floor price of $100 per barrel.

The UK government found itself caught off guard this week as riots and violence spread across the country. The causes of the trouble will be much discussed and fought over in the coming weeks, but it was a clear illustration of just how quickly things can turn lawless and very nasty. It is an unsettling backdrop for the apparently impending recession - or George Osborne's "long hard recovery" if you prefer — which will be the worse for the government's failure to tackle our oil dependency, and with stubbornly high oil prices beyond our control.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Oil is riding a 'big dipper', says energy watchdog IEA

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Oil swings strike parallels with 2008 crisis

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OPEC cuts oil demand amid economic gloom

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Saudis pump most oil in 30 years to replace lost supply

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Kuwait hopes oil price rebounds in few weeks: minister

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Falling Oil Prices to Squeeze Canada's Oil-Sands Growth

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Crude Heads for Third Weekly Drop on Concern Volatility Threatens Recovery

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Gas

Gas Fracking Poses Serious Environmental Risks, U.S. Panel Finds

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Natural gas: Cleaner, not cooler

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China Closes In on European Gas

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Dutch court suspends major gas storage project

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Poland hopes to tap big reserves of shale gas

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Nuclear

Nuclear Shift to Weigh on E.ON and RWE

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Tepco suffers $7.4bn quarterly loss

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Renewables

Germany enjoys surge in offshore wind investment

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US cleantech investment plunges 44 per cent

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Offshore wind farms are good for wildlife, say researchers

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How UK newspaper coverage is skewed against renewables

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Biofuels

Report: Algae as fuel presents problems

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UK

Rural transport cuts put essential services out of reach

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Utility bill rise is biggest consumer concern

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Facility to convert energy from landfill waste may not go ahead

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Climate

Report: Canadian emissions to rise on back of tar sands boom

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Economy

Grim outlook from Bank of England: rates static till 2013

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Cheaper oil may be last best stimulus

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What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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