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ODAC Newsletter - June 1

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

Fears that Spain may be heading for a bailout, weaker than anticipated US growth, and signs that China is not about to embark on any major fiscal stimulus saw oil prices drop again sharply on Wednesday. May has now seen the biggest monthly oil price drop since December 2008. Should the decline continue we will soon be in territory which makes the marginal, more costly to produce barrel uneconomic.

Uneconomic production of shale gas in the US due to oversupply has been forcing companies to cut back operations. Nonetheless a global dash for gas appears to be on the cards as other countries look to create their own energy revolution, and on the back of increasingly successful energy company lobbying to class gas as a low carbon fuel. This week the IEA released what it calls 'Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas'. The rules are focused on "winning public confidence" for the industry "by exemplary performance". The "golden age" would however be very short-lived given that even the regulated scenario gives emissions projected to lead to a global temperature rises of above 2oC. IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said "it is definitely not the optimum path." "The optimum path would be to see more renewables, more efficiency and more low carbon technologies" — yet a push for gas, which fits the existing centralized energy supply model, is likely to pull investment away from all of the above.

In the UK this week Energy Secretary Ed Davey was defending the draft Electricity Market reform bill from criticism by George Monbiot via a letter to The Guardian. The main point of contention was that the bill sets out a power station emissions limit of 450 grams of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour of electricity — a level which is actually higher than modern gas stations produce today. The accusation is then that despite commitments to decarbonise the electricity supply the government has left the barn door open for new unabated gas, and also coal via a loophole in the carbon capture and storage requriements. Davey's defence is that new gas is needed because the transition will take time. Well, it certainly will - if we start building gas fired power stations and declaring they can operate unabated for their full lifespan of forty years.

Disclaimers

Oil

Oil Caps Biggest Monthly Drop in More Than Three Years

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BP plans to sell stake in TNK-BP

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Ottawa considers high-altitude drones for Arctic surveillance

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Iraq Starts First Auction Of Oil, Gas Exploration Rights

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Gas

World to gain from gas glut if regulation right

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Shale gas strategy 'not the optimum path': Fatih Birol

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Using shale gas over coal does not help climate, says big gas investor

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Gas rebranded as green energy by EU

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PetroChina Needs Time On Shale Gas, Looks Abroad: Energy

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Renewables

Germany sets new solar power record, institute says

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Spain Ejects Clean-Power Industry With Europe Precedent: Energy

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UK

Britain's climate change policy is going up in smoke

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The price is right to tackle climate change

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Energy reforms risk becoming 'expensive and inefficient', IEA warns

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Upgrade credit rating of green projects to attract investment, CBI says

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Sustainable development flourishing in Wales's green economy

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UK green economy grew £5.4bn in 2011

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Report: Geothermal could meet a fifth of UK electricity demand

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DECC touts green heat wave with £10m social landlord fund

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Renewable energy investors fear UK dash for gas, says Ernst & Young

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DECC slashes 22GW solar forecast to 11.9GW

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EDF puts planned Somerset nuclear plant on hold

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Transport

Government warns petrol companies over prices

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The Skinny American

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