ODAC Newsletter – 28 March 2008


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

This week the oil price continued to fluctuate. Drops at the beginning of the week, said to be triggered by reduced US demand and recession fears, were followed by increases fuelled by news on US inventories and violence in Iraq. Meanwhile demand for oil in the Dragon economy continues to rise apace. The competition for as yet untapped resources saw the Arctic potentially hotting up, as US based Arctic Oil & Gas laid claim to reserves, while the Russian flag planted last year sits beneath the North Pole.

Despite the high oil price some of the Gulf Nations are feeling the pinch of the weak dollar. Bread queues in Egypt last week were part of growing global unrest over rising food prices. The WFA sent out an appeal for $500M of additional aid to cover the cost of food. Increasing concern around food prices is a key driver of a debate over the future of biofuels. This issue is addressed in one of our Guest Commentaries this week from Lester Brown.

As the oil price keeps energy security high on the agenda, another 'alternative energy source' nuclear power received a lot of press this week. There were deals agreed between Russia and Egypt, and the US and Bahrain, while talks between the US and India continued. Dick Cheney restated allegations about the real ambitions of the Iranian nuclear programme. In the UK John Hutton painted a picture of a bright nuclear future so reigniting debate about the safety, desirability and sustainability of such a strategy.

In economic news the credit crunch continued to dominate with a rise in UK mortgage rates announced despite the Bank of England’s continued liquidity relief. In another of our Guest Commentaries this week Janette Rutterford, Professor of Financial Management, investigates what has gone wrong in the financial markets.

On a lighter note, this week saw the re-emergence of the entente cordiale. Cooperation was promised between the UK and France, on nuclear power among other areas of interest. The razzmatazz of the occasion meanwhile presented the UK press with a chance to fill their pages with the Nicolas and Carla show.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Crude Oil Advances on Supply Concerns

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Bomb attack hit crucial Iraqi pipeline

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Chinese demand for oil up 6.2%

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The strain of $100 oil for Gulf states

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Cheney, Saudi King Abdullah Discuss Energy and Security Issues

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Massive reserves at stake in Arctic oil claim

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Nuclear

Hutton sings nuclear power's praises

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Hutton's nuclear fantasy

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Cheney disputes Iran's nuclear goals

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Nuclear pact

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Russia-Egypt nuclear deal signed

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Nuclear energy must for energy security: PM

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Biofuels

Biofuels: a solution that became part of the problem

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Shell hopes for sweet smell of success

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Buyers drill deep for Shell biofuels group

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Food

Diverting food products to make biofuels is foolish: Indian finance chief

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From rice in Peru to miso in Japan, food prices are rising

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Threat to millions as food aid scheme runs out of money

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USAID reviewing food aid as costs soar

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Nestle head warns biofuels will damage food production

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Climate

U.S. to propose CO2 rules this spring: EPA head

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Antarctic shelf 'hangs by thread'

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Economy

King pledges more cash to help banks' liquidity

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Mortgage rates lifted as lenders feel pain

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CBI Reduces U.K. Economic Growth Forecast for 2008

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Earnings hit as US economy near stalling

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UK

"Entente Formidable" as UK and France move to strengthen ties

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'More help needed' for fuel poor

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Further £100 rise in energy bills looms

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Soaring demand pushes price of diesel to record level

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Business

Moscow denies BP is target

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Disclaimers

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