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 of financial mayhem, bank bailouts and sinking stock markets has seen the oil price continue to fall. The IMF six monthly report reduced its global growth forecast for 2009 from 3.9% to 3.0% with much sharper cuts in the US and Europe. This was reflected in a reduced oil demand forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The slide has prompted OPEC to consider an early meeting to attempt to prop up prices.
While there is currently some price relief both in the oil and natural gas markets, longer term forecasts point to increasing demand putting pressure on supply beyond 2009. This could be exacerbated by a lack of investment in infrastructure due to the credit squeeze and new projects being unprofitable at lower prices.
In the UK this week, as part of a wider cabinet reshuffle, Gordon Brown took the decision to create a new Department of Energy & Climate Change. The move is in response to the UK’s increasing energy dependency and in recognition of the relationship between energy policy and climate change responses. The new minister, Ed Miliband, was immediately greeted by a report from the Climate Change Committee calling for a phase out of fossil fuels in 20 years. It is to be hoped that the new ministry moves to develop policy which recognizes energy depletion issues alongside climate change threats, as outlined in ODAC's recent report Preparing for Peak Oil, and rises to the challenge. The last few weeks have seen a shift away from laissez faire market economics to major government intervention in the national interest. A last minute bail out on energy isn’t going to work, so seizing the initiative now to make real change in the national interest is imperative.
Call on OPEC crude to exceed OPEC output unless demand drops: EIA
Oil rises slightly as OPEC weighs a cut in output
World '09 oil demand growth cut by 140,000 bpd - EIA
Oil drop may hit supply growth, keep boom and bust
US oil production at lowest level since 1946-gov't
Scottish councils urged to get into peak oil practice
Iraq plans second bidding for oil contracts in Dec
Gas glut will provide respite in volatile market
A more liquid market
IEA: Long-term gas supply security a threat as demand rises
Coal-fired power generators face new threat from EU carbon emissions curb
Europe backs carbon capture with €10bn
National Grid in £17.5bn upgrade
EU needs stable energy policy, EDF warns
Greenpeace's grid plan: North Sea grid could bring wind power to 70m homes
Canal plan to power 45,000 homes
Rubbish to be used to make electricity
Dutch city kept warm by hot-water mines
Power industry welcomes creation of super-ministry
End use of fossil fuels in 20 years, UK warned
Ministers close to approving 75,000 more Stansted flights
Living up to oil depletion - conference