" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.



ODAC Newsletter - Feb 10

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.

'Peak Oil Scare Fades as Shale, Deepwater Wells Gush Crude' was the title of one of the lead articles in Bloomberg's newly launched 'Sustainability' section this week. The report echoes a growing number of press reports announcing the end of the "myth" of peak oil. So what gives?

That conventional oil has peaked and will be in decline over the next decades is no longer controversial — so in that sense peak oil has been and gone, and the economic consequences are evident. On the other hand, the peak-oil-is-dead argument goes that the market has worked just as it should. As oil supplies became tight prices rose making previously uneconomic resources viable — this together with technical advances in extracting those more difficult to produce resources mean that global reserves are now bigger than ever. The poster child of this turnaround is North America where tar sands, shale oil, and deepwater off-shore oil appear to have reversed a decades-long production decline, while shale gas has created a gas glut - though this may be a mirage produced by bad data, according to one recent analysis.

But the important question for the future is, does this mean our problems are behind us and life can get back to normal? Peak oil is about rates of production, so can oil be brought to market in a timely fashion at a price which the economy can bear but which also covers the costs?

On this front there is still a great deal of insecurity — depletion rates demand that new production equivalent to about a third Saudi output must be brought online each year, just to stand still — and of course demand is expected to increase. Replacing this is a big ask — especially with unconventional oil which is both slower and more expensive to produce — and as yet untested as global liquids production has remained essentially static since 2004. Recent analysis from consultants Douglas Westwood suggests demand growth in the developing world — especially China — cannot be met without causing violent oil price spikes, which in turn cause recessions in the developed economies. The recessions are necessary, argue DW, to shift consumption from the old economies of the west to the rising stars of the east. This is another example of the market 'working', but also clear evidence that there is not enough oil to go round.

There is also growing dependence on OPEC, as evidenced in BP's recent Energy Outlook. One commentator, perhaps surprisingly sounding a wary note this week was Saadallah Al Fathi - former head of the Energy Studies Department in Opec Secretariat in Vienna. Al Fathi warned that "Optimism is important for human progress but that does not mean we should ignore what the numbers are telling us" ... he then went on to question both unconventional reserve numbers and more tellingly, those of OPEC.

In other news this week, new Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced the government's plans for revising the FiT scheme. Current rates will be kept until the end of March before being cut by 50%. Rates could be cut further if installation prices continue to fall. The plans got a mixed reaction from industry. Meanwhile, despite being busy with QE3 (a 3rd round of quantitative easing) Mervyn King is to review claims that the fossil fuel industry is an investment risk in the face of carbon reduction targets.


Debate rages on when oil will peak

Back to top

Peak Oil Scare Fades as Shale, Deepwater Wells Gush Crude

Back to top

Oil, Food, Water: Is Everything Past Its Peak?

Back to top

The Real Cost of 'Peak Oil'

Back to top

Oil Falls From Three-Week High as Economic Concern Counters U.S. Outlook

Back to top

China to Increase Domestic Diesel, Gasoline Prices First Time in 10 Months

Back to top

BP raises dividend and defends plans to drill deeper

Back to top

Statoil Net Rises as Reserves Replaced for First Year in Six

Back to top

EIA boosts 2012, 2013 oil demand growth forecast

Back to top


BG cuts back on fracking for shale gas as prices slide

Back to top

Everything you know about shale gas is wrong

Back to top


There's inefficient, and then there's really inefficient

Back to top

Belgian battery can power 1,400 homes

Back to top


Federal Regulators Approve Two Nuclear Reactors in Georgia

Back to top


EU energy chief against higher biofuel target for now

Back to top


Barker tells solar industry to "get real" over feed-in tariff cuts

Back to top

U.K. to Open Biggest Offshore Wind Farm in $52 Billion Expansion

Back to top

Bank of England Says to Evaluate Fossil-Fuel Investment Risk

Back to top

KPMG refuses to release controversial green energy report

Back to top

UK emissions rose 3.1% as economy recovered in 2010

Back to top

Bank of England injects another £50bn into UK economy

Back to top


Airline industry split widens over EU carbon 'tax' row

Back to top

China bans airlines from paying EU carbon charges

Back to top

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Solar Panels have been Benefitting the Climate ‘since 2011’

In 2011, solar power reached a tipping point. This was the year when the …

The Rise of Community Energy

Around the world, the idea that communities install, own, and enjoy some of …

State of The Transition, November 2016: Steps forward continue to outnumber steps back

The global energy transition remains in a state of net forward momentum as …

World Energy Outlook 2016 – Fatih Birol in Brussels

On 16 November 2016 the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented its …

Waiting for the Climacteric: or, the Return of the Greentard

...I want to broach some wider energy-related issues with the help of two …

Peak Oil Review - Dec 5 2016

A weekly roundup of peak oil news, including: -Quote of the Week -Graphic of …

The Curse of the Modern Office

The information society promises to dematerialise society and make it more …