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ODAC Newsletter Sept 14

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

Energy news was dominated this week by the growing controversy over shale gas in Europe and the UK.

In the UK there is a very visible and growing rift in the government between those looking to focus on renewables, and an increasingly loud lobby pressuring for a change of emphasis towards gas. The gas agenda, supported by George Osborne at the Treasury, is using the potential of domestic shale gas as the premise for a new dash for gas. The recent appointment of the pro gas Owen Patterson as Environment Secretary last week also looks to have strengthened their hand.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey sought to strengthen his position in holding out for a low carbon energy policy as he spoke this week at the CBI. In his speech he commented that he wanted to knock down the myth that a global glut of cheap gas is about to come to the rescue. He also added that "unconventional gas can make a difference, although perhaps not as big a difference as some sections of the press would have me believe". This was followed later in the week by a strongly worded letter to DECC by the new Chairman of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) Lord Deben, which said that "extensive use of unabated gas-fired capacity (i.e. without carbon capture and storage technology (CCS)) in 2030 and beyond would be incompatible with meeting legislated carbon budgets". The draft energy bill currently leaves open the door to new unabated gas — see ODAC newsletter June 1 2012.

In a separate development this week the EU released a report on gas fracking, identifying issues "presenting a high risk for people and the environment", and inadequacies in the current legislative framework around fracking. The UK position to date has been that current regulatory systems are sufficient. This new report will add to the growing controversy about this position. The industry cause was not helped any this week as Cuadrilla, the company drilling in Lancashire, were found to have broken the conditions of their planning permission.

In oil news this week OPEC and Saudi Arabia assured the world that markets are well supplied despite high prices. Prices rose again Thursday as the US announced a new fiscal stimulus plan.

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Oil

Brent crude rises above $117 on Fed stimulus

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Brent-WTI Oil Gap Sliding as North Sea Output Rebounds

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U.S. sees tighter oil market; OPEC disagrees

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Sea ice halts Shell oil drilling in Alaskan Arctic

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High oil price worries Saudi, pledges to meet demand

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Shell criticised for limited testing of Alaska drilling containment equipment

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China Fuel Prices Rise Second Time in Month as Oil Gains

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Gas

Davey takes aim at shale gas lobby with defence of Energy Bill

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EOG Says U.S. Fracking Rule to Cost $1.5 Billion a Year

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EU study sparks regulation debate over 'high-risk' shale gas

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Cuadrilla breached fracking conditions, court told

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UK dash for gas would be illegal, says climate committee

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Electricity

France aims at tiered energy pricing to encourage savings

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Nuclear

Benefits of thorium as alternative nuclear fuel are 'overstated'

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Renewables

Wind energy could surpass global power demand — with huge hurdles

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UK on brink of new wind energy record

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Huff, puff, and wind power

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Biofuels

France seeks biofuels pause in global food strategy

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EU proposal would limit use of crop-based biofuels

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Climate

Global carbon trading system has 'essentially collapsed'

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Can the UK fly more without breaking climate change targets?

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