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ODAC Newsletter - 19 Aug

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.

Markets plunged again on Thursday as warnings of a double dip recession grow louder. Morgan Stanley described the eurozone and the US as "dangerously close to a recession". Yet oil prices have softened only slightly, and Brent crude remains above $105/barrel.

The impact of persistently high oil prices on the economy, while largely squeezed out of headlines by the debt crisis, is acknowledged by analysts. Merrill Lynch for example warned earlier in the month that "...the last two times that energy as a share of global GDP neared 9%, basically the current level, the world economy experienced severe crises: the double dip recession of the 1980s and the Great Recession of 2008."

To read the latest issue of Foreign Policy Journal, you would be excused for thinking that all of this is yesterday's news, and that the all-conquering-all-American oil and gas industry is about to ride over the hill and save the day. But the article is shot through with important omissions: it fails to mention the inconvenient fact that global decline rates are so steep that much of this new oil will only replace lost production; and it avoids discussing the cost of wringing oil out of rock or from under miles of ocean as compared to the onshore oil fields on which the oil age was built.

The environmental cost of off-shore drilling was in the news again this week as a leak at Shell's Gannet oil field caused the worst North Sea spill this decade. The leak comes on the heels of Shell's admission of liability this month for Niger Delta oil spills, and a year after the UK Health and Safety Executive warned of a marked rise in the type of incidents which could be "potential precursors to a major incident" (see Sharp increase reported in UK oil leaks). An increasingly desperate search for hydrocarbons against the backdrop of economic decline bodes ill for the environment, which is - lest we forget - where we live.


Crude Oil Heads for Fourth Weekly Drop as Brent Premium Widens to Record

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The Americas, Not the Middle East, Will Be the World Capital of Energy

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Saudi oil exports rise in June to highest level since 2008

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Shell says lots of oil still in leaking pipeline

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China pushes ConocoPhillips to contain oil spill by end of Aug

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As Oil Spiked, Many Traded

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Judge Strikes Down U.S. Drilling Policy

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BP says it cannot find skilled workers

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New York Subpoenas Energy Firms

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Energy Companies Cope With Decline in Natural-Gas Imports

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Iraq, Shell Eye Gas Windfall

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Coal Hits a Tough Vein as Costs Rise

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The explosive truth behind Fukushima's meltdown

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Japan reopens first nuclear reactor since tsunami

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Barack Obama bets on next generation of biofuels industry

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GM corn being developed for fuel instead of food

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Electricity bills could rise by £13 a year to fund infrastructure expansion

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Vestas: new wind turbine factory will create 2,000 UK jobs

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Smaller rivals turn up the heat on energy's 'Big Six'

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US and eurozone 'dangerously close to a recession'

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Oil not Wall Street is top US threat

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How much of our economic woes are caused by oil?

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Historic canal reborn as low-carbon cargo route

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The end of the road for motormania

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Solar Power For Trains Dawns In Rainy Belgium

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