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ODAC Newsletter Nov 23

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

A week of brutal bombing and rocket fire between Israel and Hamas pushed oil prices back to around $110/barrel this week. A fragile ceasefire is now in place, but there is much concern that it will be short-lived. Oil market news may all be about US production, but it is primarily the politics and geopolitics of the Middle East that is still driving global oil prices.

The idea of the US as the new Saudi Arabia, much reported in the press following the release of the IEA's World Energy Outlook last week, was still in the news this week. At FT Alphaville Kate MacKenzie quoted Bernstein Research, which anticipates both a lower and shorter peak to the US oil production renaissance. Neil Beveridge of Bernstein comments that "shale liquids plays are far rarer than their related shale gas plays and already we are seeing decline in some of the core areas of the Bakken oil field highlighting the early onset of maturity in some of these plays", they anticipate US production of 10.5million b/d in 2015 but then back down to 9 million b/d by 2020, while the IEA predicts 11.1 million b/d in 2020.

To really get a picture of the scale of the investment and activity needed to replace conventional oil production with shale you need only to look at the following chart compiled by ODAC newsletter reader and Deputy Director at the Cambridge University Programme for Sustainability Leadership, Gary Kendall. The red line is US consumption, the green line is production and the blue line shows the rig count. It starkly illustrates the extraordinary effort required to achieve the recent increase in output , and casts doubt on how long it can be maintained. Drill baby drill.

 

 

 

Late breaking news as ODAC goes to press: the Chancellor has agreed £7.6 billion support for low carbon energy until 2020 funded from increased bills, and the Energy Bill will include powers to set a target for electricity decarbonisation by 2030, although the target itself will not be set until 2016 — after the next election. Energy and Climate Select Committee chairman Tim Yeo told Radio 4 that DECC had 'won on points', but BBC Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin declared George Osborne the winner. More details next week after the Bill has been published in full.

Correction to November 16, 2012 newsletter: The final bullet point in last week's newsletter has been amended to read 'North America will be a net oil exporter by 2030, with the US producing 11.1 million b/d in 2020 and 10.2 mb/d in 2030. Note that current US demand is 18.8 mb/d'. This reflects the fact that the IEA predicts that North America rather than the US becoming a net exporter by 2030.

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Oil

Oil Pares Weekly Gain as Middle East Tension Eases on Cease-Fire

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China stops filling strategic oil reserve

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Oil nations asked to consider carbon tax on exports

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Exxon warning adds to Nigeria oil output problems

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US shale oil abundance: Bernstein vs the IEA

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Canadian energy: The sands of grime

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Gas

Shale gas needs regulation, not a ban -European Parliament

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Methane leaks suggest fracking benefits exaggerated

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Shell CEO throws weight behind Government's 'dash for gas'

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Coal

More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show

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Electricity

CCS could be cost-competitive with nuclear by 2020s

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UK

Government delays setting carbon target until 2016

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Ed Davey: households to get cheaper energy bills after paying too much

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Prince Charles flicks switch on UK's 'first' biogas to grid plant

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Good Energy launches 'first' community wind farm tariff

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MP Peter Lilley has received more than $400,000 in oil company share options

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Climate

World Bank: Governments must tackle climate change 'more aggressively'

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Greenhouse gases reach record levels in 2011

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Study: Carbon pricing can help Europe cut deficits

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Influential investors call for action on 'serious climate danger'

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