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ODAC Newsletter - June 22

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

Brent oil prices plunged to less than $89/barrel this week, an eighteen-month low, amid deepening economic gloom. Suddenly everyone is in the business of predicting just how far the oil price might fall — Credit Suisse has forecast $50/barrel — and for how long. One particularly interested and anxious observer is likely to be Vladimir Putin. With around 50% of Russia's revenue coming from oil and gas the Kremlin is worried about the potential for a budget shortfall.

A more positive piece of news this week for Mr Putin was an announcement by Exxon that it is pulling out of shale gas exploration in Poland. As the country with the biggest shale potential in Europe, Poland hopes a shale gas boom will slash its dependence on Russian imports. Exxon's failure to find gas will be a significant blow, coming after the government's huge downward revision of the estimated shale resource earlier this year. There are some reports that Exxon's move is less about Polish gas, and more related to plans for a closer alliance with Rosneft to develop shale oil in Siberia.

In the UK this week Tim Yeo, Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, urged the government to clarify its position on emissions from gas fired power stations, or risk a serious shortfall in investment to decarbonise the energy sector. Against a background of delays to new nuclear, strident calls from Tory backbenchers to cut wind targets and subsidies, and much hopeful noise about a British shale gas boom, the stage looks set for another dash to gas that could be the death knell for our climate targets.

For those who think developing shale gas would at least improve Britain's energy security, there was a salutary warning from industry consultant Arthur Berman at ASPO 2012. "Shale plays are not a renaissance or a revolution", he told the conference, "this is a retirement party"

Oil

Oil Futures Drop Below $80 For First Time In Eight Months

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BP Wins Oil Leases in U.S. Gulf of Mexico Near Spill Site

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Russia May Change How It Calculates Oil Price: Minister

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Russia: oil gloom over St Petersburg

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Why oil prices are keeping Putin up at night

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Gas

Europe shale push shaken by Exxon's Poland pullout

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Electricity

Earthquake risk for carbon capture and storage schemes

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Nuclear

Explosives found at Sweden nuclear site in Ringhals

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Japan approves two reactor restarts, more seen ahead

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Renewables

Japan approves renewable subsidies in shift from nuclear power

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Renewable energy in the EU: which countries are set to reach their targets?

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EU commits to "no regrets" 2030 energy policy

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Floating turbine and energy-saving vessels lead offshore wind cost-cutting plans

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UK

Energy bill must vow to 'decarbonise' sector or face losing investment

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New UK nuclear plants a step nearer as EDF awards £2bn contract

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EDF edges forward with plans for Hinkley Point nuclear plant

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Climate

Eurozone crisis and US presidential race 'damaged Rio+20 prospects'

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