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more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

Non-OPEC oil supply to fall further, faster


Opec stares into the abyss

 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

DTM

Thanks for posting these, especially the last one an the relationhship of Carbon and the Economy.  If the Canadians think Kyoto targets are "impossible" that doesn't bode well.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

Heres a chart of US oil consumption by transportation

http://www.secureenergy.org/site/page.php?node=366&id=29&topic=8

Cars and light trucks consume 8 million barrels a day. If we could make all these vehicles run on electric then that easily cuts US consumption of oil down by 45%. The electricity can be generated in the deserts of the world, such as the mojave which is super dry, has a lack of dust storms, and has radiant sunshine all year long. Peak oil is a problem but i dont like how the doom and gloomers think that it will bring disaster upon the world economy. Humans can adapt when they are put to the task. By replacing oil with solar power, that will leave the US with at least 12 million barrels to consume for aviation, heavy truck, and industrial purposes.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

Damnthematrix,

 I know you have a penchant for verbosity but could you possibly come up with an abridged version of your posts.  Not all of us have as much time on our hands as you may believe.

 

Your friend Gadfly. 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

I'd like to echo David Lachman's sentiments while respectfully disagreeing with Gadfly. I think these articles are both vital and fascinating, while, most importantly, acting as a permanent resource that can be accessed by users of this website for some time to come. Lastly, on a technical note, DTM is not guilty of verbosity with regard to this particular post since he simply reproduced a number of articles and actually wrote nothing himself, aside from the fact that verbosity means unnecessarily lengthy as opposed to simply lengthy.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

Oil

Oil Falls From Six-Month High After Fed Warning on U.S. Economy

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Recovery in oil prices ignores the fundamentals

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Are we moving towards a new oil crisis?

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IHS CERA: Canada has world's second largest recoverable reserves

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Brazil Turns to China to Help Finance Oil Projects

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U.S. Reliance on Oil an 'Urgent Threat'

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Nigeria’s Oil Output Drops to Less Than Half Capacity

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Tide of opinion turns against Shell

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter
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ODAC Newsletter - 12 June 2009

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.

Oil demand will fall less in 2009 than previously forecast according to reports by both the IEA and EIA this week. This, along with news of a further reduction in US oil stocks, and a weak dollar saw prices soar above $70/barrel for the first time this year. The price is now close to the $75/barrel which oil producers have been saying is required for investment, at the same time however the increase threatens to dampen the fragile economic recovery.

Last year’s oil data came under the spotlight this week with Wednesday’s release of the BP Annual Statistical Review. In 2008 global proved oil reserves fell by 3bn barrels, global oil consumption fell for the first time since 1992, the year also marked the first time that oil consumption in the developing nations outstripped that of the OECD. CEO Tony Hayward acknowledged a “year of truly unprecedented developments”, before summarising optimistically that reserves were enough for decades to come and that challenges to supply growth are above ground and human rather than geological.

These human and above ground challenges are however exactly the problem. Tony Hayward is correct in saying that large amounts of oil reserves still exist (albeit that new discoveries are drying up), the problem is that the remaining reserves are no longer those which are easy to exploit. For insightful analysis on the report and its release see ODAC Trustee Richard Miller’s Guest Commentary.

In the UK it has been a torrid week for the government with cabinet resignations and disastrous local and European election results for Labour. There was one piece of good news for Gordon Brown this week as the National Institute for Economic and Social Research asserted on Wednesday that the UK economy is actually growing. Brown’s one shot at success now is a quick economic recovery; such a short-term political focus however threatens to stack up problems for the future. As Vince Cable of the UK Liberal Party wrote this week “Long-term thinking is difficult in the current political crisis, when most politicians are obsessed by tomorrow's headlines,...but our future as a country depends much more on our ability to plan ahead for the next oil shock and the post-oil world.”

Join us! Become a member of the ODAC Newsgathering Network. Can you regularly commit to checking a news source for stories related to peak oil, energy depletion, their implications and responses to the issues? If you are checking either a daily or weekly news source and would have time to add articles to our database, please contact us for more details.

Oil

IEA raises 2009 oil demand forecast

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Oil Climbs Above $72 as China Imports Rise, U.S. Supplies Drop

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BP's Tony Hayward warns of dwindling demand for oil

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Global Oil Reserves Fell in 2008 on Russia, Norway, Says BP

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Oil demand falls at fastest rate since 1982, says BP

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Price of crude ‘right’ in $60-$90 range

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Shell CEO warns next oil spike 'may already be in the making'

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Brazil readies oil reserves law

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Iraq unveils foreign oil contract shortlist

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Senate Panel OKs Expanded Oil and Gas Leasing in Eastern Gulf

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Coal

U.S. Foresees a Thinner Cushion of Coal

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Renewables

China makes renewable power play to be world's first green superpower

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BP's grim warning over growing cost of North Sea oil

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Heat capture technology could save UK 10m tonnes of carbon a year, says study

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Kitchen bin war: tackling the food waste mountain

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Politics

Oil - the next shock waiting in the pipeline

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ODAC Newsletter - 26 June 2009

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.

Further attacks on oil pipelines by Nigerian militants along with a fall in US inventories helped reverse oil price declines from earlier in the week and bring prices back to over $70/barrel by Thursday. According to European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs speaking at a Tuesday meeting between the EU and OPEC, the current price does not impede economic recovery. So far however the price doesn’t appear to be enough to restore energy investment either. Fatih Birol told Reuters that investment may have fallen even further than the 21% or $100-billion cited in the IEA’s May report. Speaking in New York, Nabuo Tanaka of the IEA warned that a resumption of world economic growth in 2010/11 to around 5% could cause a supply crunch by 2014.

José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission this week warned vulnerable countries to create contingency plans against the real possibility of further gas disruption due to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. With the Ukrainian Presidential election now announced for mid January the political games around the disagreement are only likely to intensify.

Next week will see the release of a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research on UK gas security. Allegedly the report calls for an urgent increase in storage capacity to reduce vulnerability and calls for public money to be invested. With UK public debt at what Mervyn King this week called “truly extraordinary” levels, money may be hard to find.

Gordon Brown’s attention currently appears to be on oil rather than gas. This week he apparently demanded an emergency plan to stop a rising oil price from wrecking economic recovery, and is pushing for an international agreement to monitor prices - as if that will make any difference. It's only the latest in a series of futile interventions by the PM, such as the 'oil stability' summit he held in London last December, since when the price has more than doubled. What Mr Brown fails to grasp, it seems, is that oil is becoming more energy intensive and costly to extract while demand is likely to increase inexorably - if and when the economy starts to grow again. The only real protection is to reduce our reliance on crude before the going gets really tough. But in a week when Mr Brown was forced to perform multiple hand-brake turns on the Iraq inquiry, it is clear his government does not have the political strength to deliver such a policy - even if it wanted to.

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Oil

IEA says potential for oil supply crunch by 2014

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

Here's a short list of what's made with oil.....

Adhesives, air-conditioners, ammonia, anti-histamines, antiseptics, asphalt, aspirin, balloons, bandages, boats, bottles, bras, bubblegum, butane, cameras, candles, car batteries, car bodies, carpet, cassette tapes, caulking, CD/DVDs, computers, chewing gum, combs/brushes, condoms, contact lenses, cortizone, crayons, cream denture adhesives, deodorant, detergents, dice, dishwashing liquid, dryers, electric blankets, electrician’s tape, non-natural fabrics, fertilizers, fishing lures, fishing rods, floor wax, footballs, glycerin, golf balls, guitar strings, hair coloring, hearing aids, heart valves, heating oil, house paint, ice chests, ink, insect repellent, insulation, jet fuel, life jackets, linoleum, lip balm, lipstick, loudspeakers, mascara, medicines, mops, motor oil, motorcycle helmets, movie film, nail polish, oil filters, paddles, paint brushes, paints, parachutes, paraffin, pens, perfumes, petroleum jelly, plastic furniture, plastic wrap, plastics, refrigerators, roller-skate wheels, roofing paper, rubber bands, rubber boots, rubber cement, running shoes, saccharine, seals, shampoo,shoe polish, shoes, shower curtains, solar panels, solvents, spectacles, stereos, sweaters, table tennis balls, tape recorders, telephones, tennis rackets, thermos, toilet paper, tyres, TV cabinets, umbrellas, upholstery, vaporizers, vitamin capsules, volley balls, water pipes, water skis, wax, wax paper, etc. etc.etc. etc. etc.etc. etc. etc.etc.

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ODAC Newsletter - 7 August 2009

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.

In an interview with the Independent this week Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the IEA bemoaned the ignorance of the governments he serves: "Many governments now are more and more aware that at least the day of cheap and easy oil is over... [however] I'm not very optimistic about governments being aware of the difficulties we may face in the oil supply". As if to prove his point, Britain published ‘The Wicks Report’ on energy security, from former Minister of State for Energy Malcolm Wicks.

Mr Wicks scarcely acknowledges the very real global risks to oil supply, despite forecasts of a renewed supply crunch early in the next decade from the IEA and many others, instead presenting Britain’s ever-deepening import dependency as simply another chapter in a long history of changing fuel mixes. Peak oil is dismissed in a couple of paragraphs rich in ignorance, untruth and irrelevance. Non-OPEC peak is conceded but played down on the basis that there’s lots left in OPEC and the Canadian tar sands, blithely ignoring the well-founded doubts that either can make good the deficit.

Mr Wicks seems to imagine high oil prices will save the day. But the fact is there is no correlation between the oil price and discovery of oil. Even if there were, we are now in an era of intense oil price volatility, which will do as much to discourage as encourage investment: 2 million barrels of daily production capacity has been deferred or cancelled since the collapse from last year’s peak of $147 per barrel. Worse, the marginal barrel is now the Canadian oil sands, and these are never likely to make good the fast-depleting “easy oil”. One gushes, the other must be wrung out of sand, demanding massive application of capital, energy and water, all of which are constrained.

Since the oil supply is evidently not an issue, Mr Wicks concentrates on gas and power generation, and proceeds to recommend the government carry on with its current policies. His widely reported conclusion that markets cannot deliver energy security is banal, and only echoes what Ed Miliband said shortly after becoming Climate and Energy Secretary.

His demand for more gas storage is – as the Tories correctly pointed out – a massive admission of failure. Mr Wicks was himself Energy Minister in 2006 when the Russians first cut off the Ukraine, and Britain’s vulnerability was made plain.

His “aspiration” to increase the share of nuclear power to 35-40% of electricity generating capacity by 2030 – alongside increased efficiency, coal with carbon capture, and renewables – is meaningless without any hint as to how this might be achieved.

The report received a fairly dismal reception in the energy industry, which criticised its failure to acknowledge threats to the oil supply, or the inadequacy of the current carbon price.

The Wicks Report rightly contends that energy security should be a ‘national priority’, but the document displays astonishing ignorance and complacency. With echoes of Jim Callaghan and the Winter of Discontent, Wicks declares “There is no crisis”. A more egregious case of famous last words would be hard to find.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

I've had years to not only get used to the idea of Peak Oil, but also all its ramifications. So if you are new to the idea, I can understand your jumping to the conclusion that switching to 'electric' will solve the problems of transport. Unfortunately.... it ain't that simple!

Peak Oil puts two major constraints on society: rising cost, while at the same time less energy is available. This is the complete opposite to the past... we built EVERYTHING around you with ever MORE oil, which was, until recently, getting comparatively cheaper.

Now, we need to replace the ENTIRE oil infrastructure (which was built one brick at a time, as and when it was needed) in no time flat (we have VERY LITTLE time left to deal with this - in fact, should have dealt with this THIRTY years ago!!).

So, we need a new fleet of cars..... all done with oil.
We need new power stations, which regardless of whether they are nukes/solar/wind ALL need oil to build.
We need more distribution lines as well..... the current one is getting old too, and much of it needs replacing. All made with oil.
All the roads need maintaining.... all done with oil. The roads are MADE of oil!

Now putting that aside..... where's the money to do all this coming from? Your office copier?

And I haven't even touched the food supply......

The solutions abound mind you..... relocalise, and Transition Towns. That's a good start at least.

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ODAC Newsletter - 22 January 2010

ODAC Newsletter - 22 January 2010

 

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.

Oil prices dropped this week on rising US inventories, a strengthening dollar, and news of a further crackdown on credit in China. Speaking from the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week, Richard Jones, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA predicted that there would be little price volatility in 2010 as existing supplies and stock build ups would balance demand. This sunny outlook is clearly vulnerable to the risks described in last week's newsletter.

Speaking in London Jeffrey Currie of Goldman Sachs warned that more serious oil shortages will return in 2011 as supply fails to keep up with demand. Currie blamed the shortfall on the credit crunch which has “interrupted the investment phase”.  Such a prediction assumes a global economic recovery and the continuation of high growth in the developing economies, neither of which is assured.

The growing supply challenge is born out in the announcement this week that both Conoco and Total are to expand their operations in the Alberta tar sands despite the heavy costs involved both in environmental damage and investment. In an interesting twist a group of Shell shareholders led by FairPensions has issued a resolution requiring the company to give a review of the risks in its tar sands policy at its upcoming annual general meeting. FairPensions cited carbon costs and potential damage to Shell’s reputation from environmental degradation as some of the risks.

In the UK this week a report by the Royal Society of Engineers caught the attention of the press, not really for its content, but for a nice soundbite quote from its author labelling roof-mounted wind turbines and solar panels as “eco-bling”. The report itself focuses on the need to create efficient buildings to reduce emissions and energy requirements in the face of resource constraints. Its primary recommendations are around the lack of expertise in the construction industry to achieve this and the training required to fill this gap. The report even includes a peak oil chart – but none of this makes a sexy headline. “Eco-bling”, on the other hand, now that’s something a headline writer can work with.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 19 February 2010

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.

The mood amongst oil company executives meeting in London this week for the Petroleum Week conference was largely bullish, with global oil demand expected to recover this year as the world economy crawls out of recession. But the production side of the equation is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.

It is also becoming clear, as ODAC has long argued, that energy security concerns are undermining the environmental agenda. In the US, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) lobby group, tried to overturn California state legislation that effectively rules out the use of oil from the tar sands. At the same time, President Obama’s attempts to get cap and trade legislation through Congress took a blow as Conoco Phillips and BP withdrew from the US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a business lobby group supporting the legislation. BP meanwhile is pushing ahead with its oil sands programme despite recent investor protest, indeed the company is rumoured to be about to buy a further stake in the region. In the UK it emerged that RWE and EoN have been holding private talks with the Conservative Party aimed at extending deadlines on some of the coal and oil plants which are set to close under EU pollution directives.

The climate is not the only thing to suffer from our thirst for energy. A report by the non-profit agency ActionAid Meals per gallon - The impact of industrial biofuels on people and global hunger, claims that current EU 10% renewable targets for transport are already causing competition for agricultural land, and stoking food inflation and hunger. In 2009, 25% of the US grain harvest was used for biofuel, and the proportion is set to rise further, perhaps sparking a repeat of the food riots of 2008. The report also claims that jatropha, a crop which had been hailed as an answer to the land conflict as it could be grown on marginal land, has so far failed proved a failure.

The political challenge around energy was summed up well this week by Dave Pollard of the UK Association of Electricity Producers when he said “They are concerned about power cuts. You will lose a lot more votes if the lights go out than if you are not quite as green as you said you were going to be.” This attitude however hides the truth that a short-term approach to replacing oil and other fossil fuels now will undoubtedly store up huge crises for the not too distant future.

Join us! Become a member of the ODAC Newsgathering Network. Can you regularly commit to checking a news source for stories related to peak oil, energy depletion, their implications and responses to the issues? If you are checking either a daily or weekly news source and would have time to add articles to our database, please contact us for more details.

Oil
Oil industry more upbeat, but challenges remain
Barrels in Reserve but Harder to Get
Oil groups mount legal challenge to Schwarzenegger's tar sands ban
BP pushing ahead with Canada oil sands project despite investor and environmentalist anger
Canada looks to China to exploit oil sands rejected by US
BP pulls out of emissions reduction coalition
Black gold may be there, but bringing it to market is another matter
Drilling Bans to Cost U.S. $2.36 Trillion, Industry Study Says
Crude Oil Falls as Dollar Gains on Fed’s Discount Rate Increase
Saudi Arabia Says Peak Demand for Oil Is an ‘Alarm’
Gas
Trouble on the Russian front as BP offshoot faces loss of big gasfield
Gas drillers find a welcome mat in New York state
Q+A-Environmental fears over U.S. shale gas drilling
Nuclear
Obama in nuclear energy push
EDF warned of ‘massive’ reactor bill
Sellafield is like BP's Texas City before the fire, says NDA's boss
Biofuels
Seeds of discontent: the 'miracle' crop that has failed to deliver
Controversy mounts in EU over fall-out from biofuel
British Airways to fly jets on green fuel made from London's rubbish by 2014
UK
Energy giants turn up the heat for dirty power
New £600m gas storage caverns will handle just five days' demand
Old salt caverns could be used for gas
Geopolitics
Kazakhstan threatens contracts in tax move
Argentina imposes shipping rules in Falklands oil row
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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 12 March 2010

 

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.

What do you do if you're an energy consultancy that finds itself on the wrong side of the peak oil argument just as much of the oil industry and the rest of the world embraces the idea? The solution devised by eternal optimists IHS CERA, hosting a conference in Houston this week, is to sidestep this embarrassing development by simply rebranding the problem: 'peak demand'. However, as analyst and journalist Chris Nelder explains this week, that peak demand actually looks remarkably similar to peak supply. Demand and supply are always in lock-step, and peak demand won't be the cause, it will be the effect of a permanently high-cost, dwindling supply.

At first glance, IHS CERA's views on the US shale gas revolution - outlined in a report published this week - look better considered. They discuss not only the unexpected size of the resource, but also some of the practical and environmental risks.  But they appear to miss some major drawbacks.

One issue is how much of the resource can actually be produced, and at what rate. This is a relatively new technology which has achieved dramatic increases in gas production in a short time, but well decline rates are high, so it is unclear how long such growth can be maintained. The jury is also currently out on whether the success with the technology in the US can be replicated in more densely populated areas like Europe.

More fundamentally, it is unlikely the world can afford to burn much if any of its unconventional oil and gas resource and hit climate targets. Modelling by Jim Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute, and Pushker Kharecha of Columbia University, shows that if we burn all the world's conventional oil and gas – which must be overwhelmingly likely – we could still hold atmospheric CO2 to 400-450 parts per million and temperature rise to less than 1°C above the present – rather than pre-industrial – levels, provided we progressively eliminate coal emissions by 2030 and avoid emissions from non-conventional oil and gas altogether.  If we burn the unconventionals, we can kiss all that goodbye.

For shale gas to benefit the climate, even in the short term, it would have to displace more polluting forms of generation like coal. But in the absence of tough policy, this seems unlikely, and shale gas consumption will turn out to be additional, and so raise overall emissions rather than cut them. CCS is in its infancy, unlikely to be installed to all coal fired stations, and in any case can never be 100% efficient – it's physically impossible – so there will always be emissions from CCS plants. All in all it's hard to see a boom in shale gas being compatible with achieving climate targets.

In other news this week, while the political fencing match between Washington and Tehran over the latter's nuclear programme continues, the prospect of sanctions looked more likely as Shell joined Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore in ceasing petrol supplies to Iran. Iran is still looking to China for protection against potentially more damaging UN sanctions. It remains to be seen where Beijing feels its interests lie.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 26 March 2010

 

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.

The UK government took a step closer to acknowledging peak oil this week. A summit of invited participants, which took place at the Energy Institute in London on Monday, discussed with members of DECC and the Department of Transport not "whether Peak Oil would occur but rather how soon and in what form." This is a huge swing from the government's April 2009 position that "With sufficient investment, the government does not believe that global oil production will peak between now and 2020, and consequently we do not have any contingency plans specific to a peak in oil production." and reflects the growing consensus around an issue that was, when ODAC was founded in 2001, considered 'fringe'. For more detail on the summit see commentary from participants Chris Skrebowski, ODAC trustee, and Rob Hopkins of Transition Network.

While debate begins on what to do about peak oil in the UK, another report was released this week highlighting the severity of the issue. The report The status of conventional world oil reserves—Hype or cause for concern? from Oxford University claims that current global oil reserves have been exaggerated by a third, largely due to the "open secret" that OPEC reserves are inflated (OPEC production quotas are based on reserve figures). The report concludes that supply constraints could come as early as 2014 - which concurs with the recent ITPOES report and even warnings from the IEA of an oil crunch once the global economy returns to growth.

Warnings of such an imminent crisis, along with the additional pressures for the UK of declining tax revenue from oil production and rising import costs, put the friendly meeting at the Energy Institute this week into perspective. We are finally seeing the stirrings of political change with regard to energy both from Labour, and from the Conservatives whose green paper on energy released last week moves away from the free market approach and gives a nod to peak oil in its section on transport. This change however still lacks the urgency and depth of approach required for a crisis which is both so close, and potentially so far reaching. We only need to remember back two years to see that high oil prices do more than put up the price of petrol. Remember headlines about food price inflation, rising raw material costs, stretched budgets for service providers, fuel related crime, economic contraction? Time for an even more significant policy shift!

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter
bearmarkettrader wrote:

...Humans can adapt when they are put to the task. By replacing oil with solar power, that will leave the US with at least 12 million barrels to consume for aviation, heavy truck, and industrial purposes.

I hear this a lot when I advise others on the risks of peak oil - that human inginuity or spirit will overcome, or similar words - to which I say YES that is true, we'll adapt one way or another, but then I ask them what they themselves doing then?  I'm doing my part by trying to spread awareness, but who else is putting themselves to the task?  I don't see anything from our government leaders.  Where's the national energy plan?  By the time we start to feel the pain will it be too late to avoid a painful transition?  The first step to mitigating a problem is to recognize the problem, and we haven't even done that yet as a nation.

Show me a feasible plan using alternative energy or technology that will supply at the same rate we use energy now and I'll review it gladly.  How much oil, how much materials, how much time, and how much money will it take to build a solar or other alternative infrastructure?  I hope it can be done, but I'm not willing to risk assuming it can be until I see numbers that work. 

Tom   

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

 

 More signs of Peak oil quietly slipping into the mainstream in the UK.. 

 George Monbiot commenting on a "Green issues" debate hosted by the Guardian  -

 - - - - - - -

 Thanks for raising this. It did come up - David Straughan was in the audience and asked the three a question about it.

Miliband said that arguments about climate change "have bypassed the argument about peak oil." Whenever the peak is, he said, we need to get off it (ie oil) and we need to make the transition.

Clark said that the issue hasn't been centre-stage enough. We need to be concerned about this. We need a transition strategy away from oil. Our green paper Rebuilding Security has a chapter on this.

Hughes said that the flaw in political thinking is looking at the output not the whole product. If you buy into the peak oil argument, it will drive you towards unconventionals. Interestingly he went on to say that he thought oil supplies will peak "in the second half of this decade."

This is the first time I have heard any of these three discuss the issue. So some progress to report at least.  - George Monbiot.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/apr/22/climate-debate-miliband-clark-hughes

 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter
Woodman wrote:
bearmarkettrader wrote:

...Humans can adapt when they are put to the task. By replacing oil with solar power, that will leave the US with at least 12 million barrels to consume for aviation, heavy truck, and industrial purposes.

I hear this a lot when I advise others on the risks of peak oil - that human inginuity or spirit will overcome, or similar words - to which I say YES that is true, we'll adapt one way or another, but then I ask them what they themselves doing then?  I'm doing my part by trying to spread awareness, but who else is putting themselves to the task?  I don't see anything from our government leaders.  Where's the national energy plan?  By the time we start to feel the pain will it be too late to avoid a painful transition?  The first step to mitigating a problem is to recognize the problem, and we haven't even done that yet as a nation.

Show me a feasible plan using alternative energy or technology that will supply at the same rate we use energy now and I'll review it gladly.  How much oil, how much materials, how much time, and how much money will it take to build a solar or other alternative infrastructure?  I hope it can be done, but I'm not willing to risk assuming it can be until I see numbers that work. 

Tom   

Time, Scale, Cost....YES!!  Well done!

The thing that concerns me, more than a little, is how few people at any level seem to grasp the extent to which the  economy, as we've come to know and love it, is utterly dependent on increasing flows of high-quality energy.

Sure, we'll still have an economy on reduced energy flows, but most people simply won't recognise it.  My view is that the future is already here.  If you want to know what a future of slightly declining energy will feel like, just to talk to a graduating college senior and ask them about their job search.  They are already experiencing what evaporating prospects mean in the real world.

 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 30 April 2010

 

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.

As oil companies reported sharply increased profits this week, an estimated 5000 barrels of oil a day was spewing into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. This ecological disaster comes just a month after President Obama gave the green light to expand drilling off the US coast, and while the timing of the disaster could hardly be worse for big oil's PR, it is unlikely that policy will change as a result: the oil depletion stakes are just too high. As the remaining resources become ever harder to produce, the likelihood of this kind of accident can only increase. Obama said yesterday the US military may have to join the cleanup effort, and he would be sending BP the bill.

Threats to the oil supply were reinforced this week by a statement from Khalid al-Falih, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, which said Saudi Arabia's domestic demand for energy is set to rise by 250% to 8.3 million barrels a day of oil equivalent by 2028. This follows report data from the IEA earlier in the month showing that Saudi Arabia is now the second largest source of demand growth after China. While some commentators point out that a perception of a coming supply constraint which supports a strong oil price is in the kingdom's interests, Saudi Arabia's role as the only swing producer with significant spare capacity means that the warning should be taken seriously.

In the UK this week, election fever continued against the backdrop of the worsening European debt crisis. Energy policy continues to play a back row seat, though news that the UK attained one gigawatt of installed offshore wind capacity was welcomed by all parties. Pushing through an energy transition while reigning in the vast public debt is going to be a tough sell for whoever wins — leadership will therefore be essential. On the basis of the Guardian energy hustings we reported last week, there seems little hope of that.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 14 May 2010

 

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.

There was much to welcome in the new coalition’s energy policy. In particular, ODAC supports the commitment to a “huge increase” in anaerobic digestion; raise renewables targets; the “full establishment” of feed-in-tariffs while maintaining the existing banded ROCs to ensure continuity for big renewables investors; a shift of aviation duty from people to planes; scrap Heathrow’s third runway and block new ones at Stanstead and Gatwick.

Some policies are little different to the previous government’s (smart meter roll-out, green investment bank, no new coal without CCS), and some lack detail so far (provision of home improvement paid from savings in energy bills, measure to encourage marine energy etc). The Tories got their way on nuclear - yes, but without public subsidy - and Lib Dem Chris Huhne landed the ticklish job of fronting this policy as the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

In his first TV interview in post, Mr Huhne toed the party line, but maintained that no new nuclear stations had been built without subsidy for decades, clearly hoping the industry would walk away, whereas early reaction from power company bosses suggests the contrary. But the coalition has also committed to establishing a floor under the carbon price in Britain – which ODAC supports – and this may well be the territory on which the nuclear issue is fought out by proxy.

The UK carbon floor is Tory policy, and the Lib Dems oppose the idea precisely because they fear it will make nuclear economically viable, despite the fact it would also help renewables. The argument will probably by thrashed out in private, but if you encounter the curious spectacle of the Tories arguing for a higher carbon price – making their friends in business bleat – and the ‘radical’ Lib Dems arguing for lower, what they’re really fighting about is nuclear.

In the US this week attempts to build a coalition on climate change policy continue to struggle. Senators Kerry and Lieberman unveiled their cap and trade climate bill this week, but despite significant compromises it looks unlikely to receive any Republican support.

The bill was hastily rewritten this week to reflect the changing attitudes to off-shore drilling as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster worsens. The Obama administration is applying more weight to the ‘boot on BP’s neck’ with plans to raise its liability cap from $75m to $10bn retrospectively, and to levy an industry-wide tax to help recoup clean up costs. But unless the President is willing to confront Americans’ fossil fuel addiction, he will have to live with deepwater drilling. Only time will tell whether the incident becomes a watershed in American public opinion. But if it does, Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson has a plan to move to 100% renewables.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 25 June 2010

 

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.

The IEA's latest medium term report on oil and gas presents a rosier outlook than before. The supply-demand balance will be easier than previously forecast, the Agency now says, as continuing economic weakness dampens demand growth, and stronger oil prices encourage more investment in production capacity. But the report hedges its optimism, warning that potential geopolitical eruptions, and ripple effects from the Deepwater Horizon disaster on offshore drilling remain as risks. A report from Barclays Capital this week takes a distinctly different view, predicting that oil demand will hit a new record high this year.

It now looks increasingly likely the Gulf of Mexico disaster will have a significant impact on the wider oil and gas industry. The effects range from the US drilling moratorium to increased exploration and production costs due to stricter safety rules and higher insurance premiums. It also looks as if the disaster will have a knock on effect on public perceptions of the dangers of other forms of fossil fuel extraction.

Until now most of the press around shale gas in the US, has been focussed on its purportedly "game changing" impact. This week however saw a highly publicised documentary on the industry Gaslands aired on HBO. The programme reported on pollution issues allegedly caused by 'fracking', which interviewees say has poisoned water sources, caused gas to leak from domestic water taps, and made people ill — although the programme's allegations have been strongly refuted by the industry. The issue was also taken up in a high profile article in Vanity Fair magazine accompanied by an online video. Growing distrust in energy companies precipitated by Deepwater Horizon, could strengthen the hand of environmental campaigners calling for stronger regulations around the industry.

Europe had its own gas scare this week. This one was geopolitical in nature as a row over unpaid bills flared between Gazprom and Belarus. Russia cut gas supplies to Belarus by 60% on Wednesday, sparking fears of a knock-on effect in Europe, as seen during similar disputes with the Ukraine. In the end Belarus paid up, but the threat remains clear.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 30 July 2010 - draft

 

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.

Another week on and there has been no further leak from the BP Macondo well. Officials are now “optimistic” about preparations for a new attempt at a permanent seal, with the initial step of pumping mud into the top of the well likely to begin as soon as Sunday. With the leak apparently under control, BP chose this week to announce the inevitable departure of its CEO Tony Hayward, whose replacement by the American Bob Dudley was vital for the company’s damage limitation efforts in the US.

Hayward’s departure was announced on Wednesday along with BP’s second quarter results which showed a loss of $17bn, the biggest quarterly loss in British Corporate history. BP set aside $32.2bn to cover losses associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, based on the company’s claim that it was not grossly negligent. But that question will be decided in the American courts, and if BP is wrong, it may need to set aside another $10 billion for higher fines.

Second quarter results from other oil majors showed increased profits reflecting higher oil prices. Peter Voser Chief Executive of Shell, announcing their results on Thursday, stressed the importance of deepwater drilling to future oil production – underlining our increasing dependence on risky, carbon intensive and expensive resources.  The Obama administration’s attempt to pass landmark legislation on greenhouse gas emissions was abandoned this week, and replaced which a much more limited energy bill focussing on measures around oil spills and energy efficiency.

In Britain, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne delivered the first of the coalition government’s new Annual Energy Statements this week, along with a call for evidence on future energy scenarios to achieve an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 Pathways Analysis report specifically includes a re-examination of the oil outlook over the next 40 years, and an ODAC trustee has been invited to take part - a welcome sign the new government is open to a wider range of views than the last. We hope the coalition also distinguishes itself from New Labour by avoiding the trap of endless consultation becoming a substitute urgent reform of energy policy.

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 12 November 2010

 

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.

“The energy world faces unprecedented uncertainty”, so begins the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, released on Tuesday. The annual report from the energy watchdog guides the energy policies of OECD member countries including Britain. The 2010 report serves up three comparative energy scenarios, serious warnings on the cost of inaction on climate change, exhortations to remove fossil fuel subsidies and a section addressing energy poverty.

One surprising line from the IEA this year is that “Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d, by 2020, but never regains its all-time peak of 70mb/d reached in 2006.” So, in one statement peak conventional oil is acknowledged and consigned to history. The section then goes on to assert that increasing unconventional and natural gas to liquids (NGL) production along with a raft of supply side measures – the so called New Policies Scenario - will mean that there will be sufficient oil to meet demand until 2035. This allows the IEA to acknowledge that it is no longer possible to argue about conventional peak oil, while still avoiding the political ugliness of a limit to growth.

However the supply growth estimates which underpin this are full of optimistic assumptions about the rates at which future conventional fields will be exploited, and about demand growth being met by unconventionals and NGLs. A day after the IEA launch, European Energy Chief Guenther Oettinger took a different view when he warned “The amount of oil available globally, I think, has already peaked".

The challenge of replacing oil production was brought home after a report from the Institute for European Environmental Policy showed EU plans to source 10 per cent of transport from biofuels would raise emissions not cut them. Meeting the targets could lead to as much as an extra 56 million tonnes of CO2 per year, said the report, and would require a land area the size of Belgium. UK ministers are urging the European Commission to rethink the plans. At last.

In the UK this week the government announced that the next round of carbon capture and storage demonstration programme will be open to gas fired as well as coal fired power plants. The move comes as reliance on gas looks set to increase. The IEA anticipates a gas glut until 2020 due to shale gas and growing LNG capacity, but warns that this is likely to impede investment in renewables and nuclear in the short-term. If those investments aren’t made, then what the IEA calls “the golden age of gas” could quickly become the last missed opportunity to avert disaster.

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How to read today's big report on the future of energy

Steve LeVine, Foreign Policy, 09 Nov 2010

The International Energy Agency -- the autonomous Paris-based research group funded by an array of mostly European and Asian governments -- has released its annual energy outlook (English language executive summary here), one of the most eagerly awaited big-picture prognostications in the business. The takeaway from this year's report, which was leaked to the Financial Times last week, is that governments matter: What they do, or don't do, about climate and energy policy in the next decade will determine what we pay for oil, and how much of it we have...

Guest Commentary: ODAC Trustees Chris Skrebowksi and Richard Miller

Chris Skrebowski

The IEA are doing their usual, giving themselves lots of wiggle room by using three scenarios. So world primary oil demand in 2035 is 107.4mn b/d on 'Current policies scenario', 99mn b/d on 'New policies scenario' and 81mn b/d on '450 scenario'. The first is obvious, no policy change of moment, the second assumes a number of (probably unpopular) policy changes, the final one is a fantasy where radical policy options are taken and vigorously applied to minimise CO2 emissions.

When they look at supply the only scenario that adds up is the 'New policies scenario' . So it appears that what they are really saying is 'business as usual' is not possible on shortfalls in likely supply. Keeping global warming (as predicted under current scientific understanding) to 2ºC or less is effectively impossible because the policy options and demand restrictions are so drastic. What they're actually saying is there will have to be a number of new policies to allow demand to match available (somewhat restricted) supply. At one level this is unsurprising but I suspect still shocking to virtually all politicians and most businesses.

Richard Miller

The growth in natural gas liquids is not really germane if your problem is filling the car, as these are gases by most definitions.

Obviously there will be growth in Canadian oil sand output, but not huge amounts. Past analyses suggested that production of syncrude and bitumen might reach 6 million b/d by 2030, and this ceiling is probably still realistic. Although current projects and those in the planning stage could theoretically reach 8 million b/d by 2020, the sheer amount of investment and resources required makes this a highly stretched target.

On the subject of stretch targets, Iraq production would, if all the promises of the new operators were kept, reach over 12 million b/d by 2020 - but they will be competing for the same investment as Canada so that will not happen. And Brazil is in the same hole with its sub-salt fields, hugely expensive to develop, competing for the same investment, and doubtless priced accordingly.

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International Energy Agency says 'peak oil' has hit. Crisis averted?

Stephen Kurczy, Christian Science Monitor, 11 Nov 2010

It was a looming doomsday scenario: "Peak oil" would someday hit, potentially sending food prices soaring, stock markets reeling, and countries to war to seize and protect remaining oil reserves.

Instead, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday, peak crude oil already came and went unnoticed in 2006...

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Oil demand to rise for 25 years despite green push: IEA

Richard Lein, AFP, 09 Nov 2010

Oil demand and price are set to grow strongly over the next 25 years despite environmental policies, essentially dooming climate-change goals, the International Energy Agency forecast on Tuesday.

Slightly more than a third of the new demand would come from China's appetite for energy...

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End $300 billion subsidies for fossil fuels, says energy watchdog

Tom Levitt, The Ecologist, 09 Nov 2010

ubsidies for oil, coal and gas sectors were six times higher than those for renewable energy in 2009, the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) assessment has revealed

Ending government subsidies for fossil-fuels is the best way of cutting demand and stopping rising carbon emissions from the energy sector, says the Paris-based IEA, which urged the money to be switched to supporting the renewable sector...

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Oil Trades Near Two-Year High as Dollar Heads for Weekly Decline

James Paton and Yee Kai Pin, Bloomberg, 05 Nov 2010

Oil traded near its highest level in two years in New York as the dollar headed for a weekly decline against most major counterparts after the Federal Reserve’s decision to purchase more debt to boost the U.S. economy.

Crude climbed for a fifth day, the longest rising streak in seven months. The dollar has depreciated versus all but one of its 16 most-traded peers this week. The Fed said Nov. 3 it will buy about $75 billion of Treasuries every month through June. Oil gained even as a U.S. government report Nov. 3 showed stockpiles rose last week to the highest level since May 2009...

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Global oil availability has peaked - EU energy chief

Reuters, arabianbusiness.com, 11 Nov 2010

The availability of oil worldwide has already peaked, the European Union's energy chief Guenther Oettinger said on Wednesday.

"My fear is that the global consumption of oil is going to increase, but European oil consumption has already reached its peak. The amount of oil available globally, I think, has already peaked," Oettinger told a news briefing in Brussels.

He was presenting a new EU energy strategy for investing 1 trillion euros over the next decade in a common EU energy network, to curb the bloc's dependence on fossil fuel imports.

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Oil Will Be 'Substantially Higher' by 2012 as Supplies Drop, Goldman Says

Yee Kai Pin, Bloomberg.com, 10 Nov 2010

Oil prices will be “substantially higher” by 2012 as the global stockpile surplus shrinks and excess production capacity drops, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable bank in Wall Street history.

Global economic growth will drive oil demand and reduce inventories, which are still “exceptionally high” in developed countries including the U.S., the world’s biggest user of crude, Goldman said in a report dated yesterday. Spare capacity held by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will decline as the 12-member group, which pumps 40 percent of the world’s oil, boosts supply to meet demand, the bank said...

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Arctic oil spill clean-up plans are 'thoroughly inadequate', industry warned

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 11 Nov 2010

The next big offshore oil disaster could take place in the remote Arctic seas where hurricane-force winds, 30ft seas, sub-zero temperatures and winter darkness would overwhelm any clean-up attempts, a new report warns.

With the ban on offshore drilling lifted in the Gulf of Mexico, big oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell are pressing hard for the Obama administration to grant final approval to Arctic drilling. Shell has invested more than $2bn to drill off Alaska's north coast, and is campaigning to begin next summer...

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‘Bad calls’ preceded Gulf of Mexico blast

Ed Crooks in New York, Financial Times, 10 Nov 2010

BP, Transocean and Halliburton, the three companies involved in the disastrous Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, made “egregiously bad decisions” and are in need of “top to bottom” reform, said one of the heads of the US presidential commission investigating the accident...

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China's October Crude Oil Imports Decline From Record Reached in September

Bloomberg News, Bloomberg.com, 10 Nov 2010

China, the world’s biggest energy user, cut net crude oil imports to the lowest level in 18 months as refiners drew on inventories because of higher global prices.

Net purchases reached 16.1 million metric tons last month, or 3.8 million barrels a day, according to customs data released in Beijing today. That’s the lowest since May 2009 and down from the all-time high of 22.9 million tons in September...

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Norway's Oil Production Drops 7% in October to 1.87 Million Barrels a Day

Marianne Stigset, Bloomberg.com, 09 Nov 2010

Norway, the second-biggest exporter of natural gas, said output rose 13 percent in October from a year earlier, while crude oil production slipped 7 percent.

Oil production dropped to 1.868 million barrels a day from 2.009 million and gas output rose to 9.3 billion cubic meters from 8.2 billion, according to preliminary figures today from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Norway pumped 365,000 barrels a day of condensate and natural-gas liquids...

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 26 November 2010

 

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.

Economic recovery may look anaemic, especially against the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis, but measured in CO2 the downturn is over. After falling by 1.3% in 2009, global emissions are set to bounce 3% this year. Worse, the emissions cuts pledged at Copenhagen last year fall 40% short of what’s needed to limit warming to 2 degrees and avoid runaway climate change, according to a report called The Emissions Gap, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Few hold much hope of a major improvement at next week’s talks in Cancun.

If that isn’t frightening enough it should be remembered that the Copenhagen pledges aren’t binding and that many scientists, including NASA’s James Hansen, now believe that the atmospheric concentration of 455ppm targeted by the climate talks is far too high. In their view we need to get back to 350ppm - fast.

And what of the UK? According to WWFs Climate Policy Tracker for the European Union, Britain trails behind Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden in its efforts to cut emissions, and Europe as a whole is doing only a third of what’s needed to deliver an 80-95% reduction by 2050. Worse, reports suggest the government may be about to relax the terms of its promised "emissions performance standard" (EPS) for coal plants. If so it would be awful news for the climate.

It may also be economically foolish, in light of an article by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley published in Nature magazine. They argue the days of cheap coal are numbered due to a combination of overstated global reserves data, and ballooning demand. The piece coincided with reports that China’s coal imports in November will hit a record high, and that the country is considering capping domestic coal output to avoid running reserves down too rapidly.

Meanwhile James Fallow, writing in The Atlantic, argues that the only way to mitigate the climate impact of coal demand in the developing world is through carbon capture or clean coal, and that Chinese and US cooperation could develop this technology. He points out however that clean-up comes at a cost of 30% of power output. But if coal prices rise, will the political will be there to pay this price?

Confirmation of growing demand for fossil fuel energy came this week from BP Chief Economist Christof Ruehl, who forecasts that floating storage inventories of oil will be used up by Q2 of 2011; and from Paddy Padmanathan , Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Company ACWA Power, who anticipates that the kingdom will need to double its domestic oil use by 2023 to meet rising electricity demand. 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 17 December 2010

 

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.

“...we don't know when exactly the oil is going to start peaking and production is going to start running down, but...we don't as a nation want to be putting ourselves in hock...to these sorts of markets...” So said UK Energy Minister Chris Huhne speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme on Thursday. ODAC believes that this is the first time a UK energy minister has actually acknowledged peak oil as a factor driving policy. While the statement remains vague on timing, this is nonetheless a very welcome shift.

The comments came as the government announced a slew of measures aimed to produce a decisive shift towards low carbon electricity. The measures include support for reserve capacity to handle intermittency in renewable generation, a floor under the carbon price, and feed-in-tariffs to replace the Renewables Obligation. The government means to avoid another ‘dash to gas’ which would this time rely largely on imported fuel. Critics claim the policies will be unnecessarily costly, while Huhne argues that the volatility and insecurity of oil and gas supplies mean the coalition’s approach will be cheaper in the end. The devil will be in the detail, but to ODAC this looks a major improvement in energy policy, including measures we have supported for some time.

The rising costs of oil production were brought into focus again this week as the US government filed charges against BP, its partners, and insurers Lloyds of London over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP’s share price dropped as a result, and Wikileak revelations about a similar near-miss at a BP platform in Azerbaijan 18 months before the Macondo blowout will do nothing to reassure investors.

2010 may be remembered as the year of oil leaks and Wikileaks, but was also the year in which the International Energy Agency declared that peak conventional oil has already happened, and in the UK both the outgoing Labour and the new Conservative/Lib Dem governments seemed tentatively to acknowledge that peak oil may just be a reality.

This is the last ODAC newsletter of 2010 - we will be back on January 7th, 2011. If you have found our newsletter useful this year, please consider supporting ODAC by donating whatever you can afford to help us continue our work. We very much appreciate your support. Click here to donate. All at ODAC wish you a Happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

 

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Re: more Peak Oil news - ODAC Newsletter

ODAC Newsletter - 11 February 2011

 

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.

Saudi Arabia’s recoverable oil reserves may have been overstated by 40%. That was the warning sent to Washington from its embassy in Riyadh in 2007, according to a cable released by Wikileaks this week. The source was Sadad al-Husseini, former head of E&P at Saudi Aramco, who allegedly told US diplomats in Riyadh that Saudi’s claimed reserves of some 700bn bbls were overinflated by 300 billion barrels of ‘speculative resources’, and that output would peak once the kingdom had produced half of its original proven reserves of 360bn barrels. With 116bn produced so far, the diplomats concluded that on this basis Saudi’s peak could come in the early 2020s.

Al-Husseini has distanced himself from the report, according to the Wall Street Journal, although a close reading shows his backtracking did not extend to the imminence of the Saudi peak. The denial is made less credible by the fact that Mr al-Husseini has maintained the world’s reserves are overstated by 300bn barrels for several years now, although without specifying in which countries the inflation has taken place. All of which simply reinforces the conclusion that Saudi is powerless to stave off the global peak or even calm the oil price in the medium term.

Both the IEA and OPEC raised their 2011 oil demand forecasts this week. In its January monthly oil report the IEA warns that at a $90/barrel average price, the oil burden on the economy would rise to 4.7%, not far off the 5% the agency estimates would be likely to cause a recession.

BG Group reported a rise in profits this week on the back of high oil prices. Interestingly however CEO Frank Chapman used the occasion to call into question the prevailing wisdom that the world would enjoy a glut of gas for the next 10 years, and pour cold water on the hype around shale gas.

Shale fever was also doused by a couple of other developments this week. Chesapeake’s sale of its Fayetteville Shale assets, as well as its equity investments in Frac Tech Holdings LLC and Chaparral Energy Inc., highlighted the difficult economics around shale gas in the US. And a recent report by Lazard Capital Markets stated that “We believe 2011 will be the breaking point, where producers run out of assets to sell to fund growth that is driven by spending 80 per cent more than discretionary cash flow. Natural gas E&Ps are living on borrowed time.”

In the UK this week the government threw renewed uncertainty into the renewables market by bringing forward the review of the feed-in tariff. The coalition is concerned that too much of the money is being taken up by investors in large scale solar farms rather than domestic installations. It is of course possible that solar farms could be more effective in generating energy than individual roofs with varying aspects to the sun. The government has promised that there will be no retrospective changes.

One of our readers asks why ODAC hasn’t pointed out the link between oil depletion and the current unrest in Egypt, and goes on to suggest that Mexico could be next in line. While the situation is complex, clearly high oil and food prices are having a significant effect. Surprisingly Hilary Clinton recently said of the region that “with water shortages and oil running out, governments may be able to hold back the tide of change for a short while but not for long.”

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ODAC Newsletter - 1 April 2011

ODAC Newsletter - 1 April 2011

 

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.

The oil price firmed to around $117 this week as evidence emerged of the impact of the Libyan crisis on global oil supply. Bloomberg reported that OPEC oil output dropped in March as Saudi Arabia failed to make up the loss in production from Libya. Reuters reported that Saudi has unexpectedly called on oil companies to expand its drill count by 30%. It is not clear whether this is in an attempt to add further spare capacity, or whether the kingdom is struggling to raise production. Either way it looks as if Goldman Sachs’ suggestion three weeks ago that global spare capacity has shrunk to 2mb/d was on the money, with clear implications for the future oil price.

With no early resolution of the Libyan civil war in sight, it was disappointing that President Obama’s much heralded speech on energy focussed more on cutting US oil imports rather than cutting its consumption.  The short term thrust was for increased domestic oil production and a shift to domestic natural gas in transport (the Pickens’ Plan), rather than immediate moves to reduce oil dependency altogether. Although Obama ridiculed the Republicans’ ‘drill-baby-drill’ credo, in the short term his message is not much different. The industry welcomed his “new commitment to fossil fuels”.

The nuclear debate heated up again this week as conditions at the Fukishima reactor in Japan continued to deteriorate. In Germany Angela Merkel’s party took a huge hit in local elections,  partly because of voters’ dismay at  the government’s decision to extend the life of Germany’s nuclear fleet, which an 11th hour moratorium failed to assuage.

In the UK, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg entered the fray by suggesting that planned new nuclear stations may now not go ahead because costs would rise following the disaster. Meanwhile in the pro nuclear corner former chief scientist Sir David King argued that nuclear is a vital low carbon energy source with a safe record. King went on to point out that so far no one has been killed due to the Fukishima leak, while coal mining has claimed 30 lives this week alone. While that judgement may be premature, especially since the effects of a nuclear accident play out over a longer period, it is certainly true that the political landscape has just become far more hostile to nuclear, and this may encourage a greater push towards renewables.

The Pew Environment Group released a report this week looking at the state of private investment in clean energy (which includes energy efficiency and CCS as well as renewable) in the G20 countries. The good news was that investment in the sector reached record levels of $243 billion in 2010. For the UK however there was the sobering news that it experienced the largest decline among the G-20 nations, falling from fifth to 13th. This performance was put down to the uncertainty surrounding clean energy policies which can only have been exacerbated by last week’s announcement of cuts to the feed in tariffs.

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plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Peak oil for dummies.

 

 Peak oil for dummies.

 Nice collection of bite-size (*)quotes.

 http://www.peakoilfordummies.com/domino.html

 

 

 *warning do not feed to ostriches - may cause cognitive indigestion.

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
ODAC Newsletter - 7 October 2011

ODAC Newsletter - 7 October 2011

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.

Deepening political anxiety about the economic crisis went public this week as Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England declared that “this is the most serious financial crisis at least since the 1930s, if not ever.” and David Cameron in his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference admitted that “the threat to the world economy – and to Britain – is as serious today as it was in 2008 when world recession loomed.” The gloomy outlook led to a fall in the price of commodities with Brent oil briefly dipping under $100/barrel on Tuesday – it had however rallied by Thursday to $104/barrel.

So why-given the severity of the economic news-isn’t the oil price falling faster? Goldman Sachs’ latest research note sums up the situation simply – “The world crude oil market remains exceptionally tight.” The loss of Libyan production means that the world is more reliant on non-OPEC oil – this oil is increasingly expensive to produce with the marginal barrel now around $90/barrel.

There has also been a reversal of the ‘contango’ in oil price futures contracts that has prevailed over the last few years. Until recently the price of oil for future delivery was higher than that of oil for immediate delivery – the logic being that tomorrow would bring a brighter economic future and tighter supplies. Now the market sentiment has reversed making today’s oil more expensive and resulting in a drawdown of stocks which (outside the US) are now at a 9 year low. The market is now essentially between a rock and a hard place – sudden economic optimism would result in tight supply and higher prices; economic decline will make the marginal barrel unaffordable. Goldmans warn that any uptick in economic activity would leave the market unable to meet supply, leading to another another price spike – and presumably another recession.

So, just when it should surely be becoming ever more obvious that the only rational policy for the future needs to be about a reduction in our oil dependence, the Conservative Party conference appeared to show that they just aren’t getting it. So we now have a Chancellor who wants to back-peddle on carbon reduction commitments, a Transport Secretary who wants to increase the motorway speed limit and build new roads while allowing record increases in train fares, and an energy department which is struggling to roll out a coherent strategy to encourage renewables and carbon capture. In short it looks like the government’s green credentials have got a severe case of the blues.

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