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ODAC Newsletter - Apr 27

Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre at nef dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

In a week in which the Leveson inquiry shone a light on the overlap between big business and politics, news that Shell made £2m an hour in Q1 demonstrated only too well why creating the political will to move away from oil appears to be such an uphill battle. Exxon Mobil profits, while still huge, took a hit as a result of plunging US gas prices and falling oil production. Goldman Sachs anticipates that US gas prices will pick up later in the year as companies cut back on production to minimise losses caused by a supply glut.

Shell too has invested heavily in gas, but luckily for them not in the US. The company is now "taking a look at" the potential for UK shale gas. Simon Henry, Chief Financial Officer said that the biggest issue was likely to be that the "fracking" process, would have a "significant impact" on nearby communities and is controversial. A study released this week in Marine and Petroleum Geology journal recommended that regulators set a minimum depth of 600 metres between aquifers and hydraulic fracturing in order to protect water supplies. Meanwhile in the shale rich area of Wyoming, US, 60 people were evacuated from their homes as Chesapeke lost control of a gas well it was drilling there.

In the UK this week the international Clean Energy Ministerial gathering took place in London hosted by Energy Secretary Ed Davey. Davey's speech hinted at the stand-off within the cabinet on energy and climate policy. "In some quarters the green agenda is painted as an unbearable burden," he said, but "the low carbon shift promises insulation from volatile fossil fuel prices, and protection from the worse economic impacts of climate change."

The 'power' struggle that is energy policy was underlined by a last minute downgrade of Prime Minister David Cameron's address from a keynote speech and major intervention, to a few minutes of opening remarks. The Prime Minister delivered warm words about his passion for renewables, but also underlined the importance of "nuclear energy, cleaner coal, oil and gas...including shale gas and carbon capture and storage".

Policy on nuclear energy looked to have shifted earlier in the week as a government submission to the European Commission made clear that nuclear will qualify for subsidies alongside renewables despite previous assurances to the contrary. Cameron reiterated his claim that his was "the greenest government ever" but with pressure from the right wing of his party to favour shale gas over renewables it is not just the ground in Blackpool that is looking shaky.

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Shell makes £2m an hour as oil prices soar

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Shell profits jump to $7.7bn on higher oil prices

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Exxon Mobil profits hit by lower oil production

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Crude Oil Futures Fall as Spain Cut Renews Demand Concern

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Mexico Oil Opening First Time Since 1938 Shows Revival: Energy

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Oil spilled in Russian Arctic

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Russia blames TNK-BP for massive oil leaks

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Rethinking peak oil

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Restrict shale gas fracking to 600m from water supplies, says study

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Natural Gas to Climb as Goldman Sees Output Cuts: Energy

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Wyoming neighbors of Chesapeake well leak evacuate

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UK and US ink floating wind turbine alliance

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Poll: Nine out of 10 people want more renewables

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Are climate change policies a burden? Ed Davey Vs George Osborne

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David Cameron: this is the greenest government ever

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Government aims to ignite biomass industry with new strategy

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Household bills will help subsidise nuclear plants

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How solar power came to a Brixton council estate

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U.K. Oil Product Demand Fell to Lowest in 10 Years

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Governments failing to avert catastrophic climate change, IEA warns

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Mexico Senate approves historic climate change bill

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China's Arctic ambitions spark concerns

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Iran Says It May Halt Nuclear Program Over Sanctions

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Oil pours from Sudan's damaged pipeline

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