Archived Dec 5 2008
ODAC Newsletter - Dec 5
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 have hit another low this week of less than $45/barrel in the wake of OPEC’s meeting last weekend. News that the US economy has been in recession since December 2007, combined with an increasing scepticism that OPEC can organize to do anything to control prices, has kept up the downward pressure. According to a Reuters survey, OPEC has so far only achieved 66% of the cuts it announced in October. Secretary General of the organization, Abdalla El Badri has stated that further cuts will be announced at the meeting scheduled for December 17th. It remains to be seen whether these can be implemented.
There were further signs this week that oil and gas producers are hurting at the current price level and that projects are being delayed or cancelled. Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz speaking at the weekend suggested that a price of $75/barrel is needed to support necessary investment, while Qatar Energy Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah warned of a crude supply shock if prices remain under $70. With the UK facing a future of increased reliance on imports, it seems that the only investment with a longterm and sustainable payback for the country is in renewables.
Bernard Dupraz, senior executive vice-president for power generation at EDF suggested last week that the coming UK power gap should be plugged by building gas-fired power stations. But will the gas needed for these power stations be affordable when they are ready – or even available? Also, if we are to have a genuine energy revolution, is the solution really to invest heavily in centralized power generation? Should the money not be deployed now to modernize the infrastructure to allow for variable inputs and micropower as well as increasingly robust efficiency measures?
The Petroleum Intelligence Weekly list of top oil companies released this week showed a changing global picture. The power of the major oil companies is waning in a world where Europe and the US have already passed their own peak oil. The UK government is giving out money left right and centre to prop up a crippled financial system. Isn’t it time to stop trying to cling onto yesterday and start investing in tomorrow?
OPEC to cut output by 'good amount'
Qatar warns of crude supply shock
Oilpatch spending plans soften
The crude crunch is coming
Petroleum Intelligence Weekly Ranks World’s Top 50 Oil Companies
Moscow office moves to cut jobs at TNK-BP
UK energy shortfall to be filled by gas-fired stations as nuclear reactors are built, says EDF chief
Nasdaq to launch UK power market
Scheme to help homes save energy
Giant wind farm gets the go-ahead
Europe's biggest wind farm switches on
The 10 big energy myths
Greenpeace welcomes EU energy-saving plan
From the dump to the pump
Grand plans for global energy are under threat - but from unexpected sources
Russia claims victory in Nato’s Georgia climbdown
Medvedev and Castro meet to rebuild Russia-Cuba relations
Caspian energy export deal
Output in China hit by global weakness
US entered recession a year ago, says NBER
UK manufacturing 'falls off a cliff'
Text & commentary at original