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ODAC Newsletter - Oct 14

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.

Both the IEA and OPEC cut their oil demand forecasts this week for 2011 and 2012 on the worsening economic outlook. Oil prices however gained as the IEA's monthly report warned of falling stocks (see last week's newsletter), reduced supply due to outages, and a larger call on OPEC supplies in Q4. Geopolitical tension will also continue to be a factor in the price. This week saw the US and Saudi Arabia ratchet up pressure on Iran following an alleged Iranian backed plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Saudi is also blaming Iran for inciting Shiite anti-government protests in Bahrain.

In the UK this week North Sea oil was back on the agenda as the government gave BP the go ahead to a develop a new £4.5bn oil project west of the Shetland Islands. The Prime Minister focused on the jobs which the project would create, and also on energy security saying that "We live in a very dangerous and difficult world, we do not want to be over reliant on energy supplies from difficult parts of the world, from unstable parts of the world."

Meanwhile details of the risks associated with being reliant on energy supplies from ever more difficult to produce resources at ever greater depths in the North Sea surfaced this week as The Independent revealed details of BP contingency plans for its North Uist exploratory well, planned for next year. Documents show that the well, which is described by the company as "stepping out, in terms of depth", will be nearly three times as deep as any current operation in the region. In a worst case scenario BP estimates a leak of 10.5 million barrels of oil — more than double that of Deepwater Horizon. The plan is yet to be approved by Chris Huhne.

This week Huhne's mind was on nuclear. Tuesday saw the release of the final Weightman report on the UK nuclear industry — a review instituted following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The report found no "fundamental safety weaknesses", though it did raise areas of concern to be addressed. The report effectively gives the green light for new nuclear in the UK and Chris Huhne vowed to learn from what he described as the "most expensive failure of postwar British policy-making". The policy however remains controversial not least within his own party which sees the recently introduced carbon floor price as providing an effective subsidy to nuclear.

Oil

IEA Forecasts Less Oil Demand

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Oil Heads for Second Weekly Gain on Outlook

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Saudi oil price hike shows Asia demand strength

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A White-Hot Future for Oil and Gas

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Views Differ on Restoring Libyan Oil Output

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BP, Contractors Face Deepwater Fines

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Uganda: Parliament Votes to Halt New Oil Ventures

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Documents from Russian BP office raid cannot be used in TNK-BP lawsuit, rules court

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China to Extend Oil, Gas Resource Tax Nationwide Next Month

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Keystone XL pipeline becomes a political headache for White House

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Gas

Tymoshenko Prison Sentence Strengthens Russia's Hand in Ukraine Gas Talks

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China eyes shale gas and uranium firms

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Oil Executive Promotes Shale Gas to Europeans

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Russian PM begins China visit, $1 trillion gas deal on agenda

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Nuclear

China Marches on With Nuclear Energy, in Spite of Fukushima

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Divided Japan Starts Energy Policy Debate

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UK

BP unveils Shetland investment programme

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Exclusive: BP to risk worst ever oil spill in Shetlands drilling

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'No safety weaknesses' in UK nuclear power station designs

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UK nuclear safety review finds 38 cases for improvement

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Chris Huhne: UK's nuclear policy is most expensive postwar failure

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Solar heating 'can provide over half of households' hot water'

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Geopolitics

Obama steps up pressure on Iran over 'plot'

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Economy

Global Economy-China trade surplus shrinks as global woes deepen

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Transport

Virgin Atlantic unveils plan to use 'green' fuel

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