ODAC Newsletter - 20 January 2012


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.

Global oil consumption fell 300,000 barrels/day in Q4 of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 according to the IEA’s monthly oil report released this week. This was the first such fall since 2009 and reflects renewed economic weakness. The agency responded by reducing its growth projection for 2012 by 200kb/d to 1.1 million barrels – further downward revisions may well follow. The report also shows inventories remaining tight for the time being. With demand weakness being offset by supply risks from Nigeria, Iraq and Iran, prices are described as stable.

As interesting as this short-term assessment is, of more importance are prospects for the longer term as we move beyond the peak of conventional oil production and the window for action on climate change closes. One view came this week by way of the latest BP Energy Outlook to 2030. BP project a world in which energy demand increases 36% by 2030, and consumption of oil, gas and coal all grow despite growth in renewables and increased energy efficiency.  Oil’s overall market share decreases, however liquid fuel supply is still projected to meet a demand of 103mb/d by 2030, thanks largely to a huge rise in output of 12mb/d from OPEC - this assumption implies that OPEC can maintain current output to 2030 as well as grow crude production from Saudi, Iraq and "others" – really?  The report anticipates that emissions will increase 28% over the period – well above the 450ppm advocated to keep warming within 2oC.

There has been a shift in messaging from the major oil companies of late from one of acknowledgement that a gradual shift from fossil fuels was inevitable and necessary (for example BPs ‘Beyond Petroleum’ campaign and Chevron’s ‘Will You Join Us’), to one of - if they want it, we must supply it. The story goes that if governments just got regulation out of the way and allowed open season on drilling, companies would find the technology to meet fossil fuel demand for the foreseeable future, and that in natural gas we have a clean fuel (at least compared to coal). The message is a powerful one with politicians desperate for economic growth right now – see the interest this week in building a new London Thames Estuary airport which has to assume both affordable fuel prices and stable sea levels – but is supporting a false sense of security.

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Disclaimers

Oil

Fossil fuel forecast: a huge role

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Uncertainty troubles Nigeria after fuel subsidy strike is halted

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Oil demand falling, IEA warns

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Saudi Arabia says no big deal to ramp up oil output

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Obama administration rejects Keystone pipeline

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Revealed: Europe's plan to penalise Canada's tar sands goes Dutch

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NZ 'likely Texas of the south'

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Gas

Gazprom Price Retreat Offers EON Hope as Euro Crisis Cuts Demand

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Bulgaria bans shale gas drilling with 'fracking' method

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Unlocking the Secrets Behind Hydraulic Fracturing

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Nuclear

Japan's push to restart nuclear plants sparks public anger

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Renewables

Analysis: New technology focuses the sun to cut solar's cost

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Re-Evaluating Germany's Blind Faith in the Sun

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Five things we've learnt at the World Future Energy Summit 2012

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Biofuels

GM microbe breakthrough paves way for large-scale seaweed farming for biofuels

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UK

Exclusive: Ministers slammed over fracking

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MoD radar breakthrough promises green light to 4GW of wind farms

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Government rejects latest “flawed” report on cost of renewable energy policies

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Green deal suffers setback as loft insulations set to plummet

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E.ON warms to renewable heat revolution

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Boris Island airport: economy trumps environment once again

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Communities urged to apply for green funding competitions

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Threat to oil sector from tough regulations and green policies

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Climate

Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies 'could provide half of global carbon target'

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Growing Doubts in Europe on Future of Carbon Storage

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Disclaimers

The items contained in this newsletter are distributed as submitted and are provided for general information purposes only. ODAC does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in these submissions, nor does it guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information presented.

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