Saturday, October 2, 2010

ODAC Newsletter - Oct 1

The United States military must entirely get off oil by 2040 if it wants to reduce operational vulnerabilities, reduce costs, stop new security risks caused by climate change and avoid the coming peak oil supply crunch. That's the word from the Center For a New American Security, whose Fueling the Future Force report details the hows and whys of the situation.

Petroleum is 77% of Military Energy Supply
Report authors Christine Parthemore and Dr. John Nagl say, "Reducing dependency on petroleum will help ensure the long-term ability of the military to carry out its assigned missions. Moving beyond petroleum will allow DoD to lead in the development of innovative technologies that can benefit the nation more broadly, while signaling to the world that the United States has an innovative and adaptable force."...

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Crude Oil Rises to Seven-Week High on U.S., China Economic Data Ben Sharples and Yee Kai Pin, Bloomberg, 01 Oct 2010View original article

Oil rose for a third day, headed for its biggest weekly gain since May, after economic data from the U.S. and China bolstered optimism that demand is growing in the world's two biggest consumers of the fuel.

Futures reached their highest level in more than seven weeks after the U.S. government yesterday reported economic growth and a decline in jobless claims that exceeded forecasts. China's purchasing managers' index rose in September at the fastest pace in four months, a report today showed...

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Questions about what's next as offshore drilling ban expiresJuliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post, 30 Sep 2010View original article

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is getting ready to take his finger off what he has called the "pause" button on deepwater oil drilling, with environmentalists and oil industry executives alike worried about what comes next.

Thursday, Salazar will receive recommendations from Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, based on information gathered at public forums and private meetings in the wake of the BP oil spill. Salazar could act on the BOEMRE report well before the drilling ban's expiration date, Nov. 30...

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BP ousts exploration chief, vows to boost safetyTom Bergin, Reuters, 30 Sep 2010View original article

BP Plc's incoming Chief Executive Bob Dudley has ousted the oil group's exploration and production chief following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and promised to restructure the company to boost safety.

Echoing a move BP made after the Texas City blast in 2005, Dudley also said on Wednesday he was appointing a new safety guru, Mark Bly, who would ensure safe practices across the organization...

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Oil firms reap benefit of Iran's build-up of crude stocksRobert Booth, The Guardian, 27 Sep 2010View original article

In March Barack Obama's argument for tougher international trade sanctions against Iran and its lucrative oil industry was brutally simple. "The long-term consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran are unacceptable," he said.

The UN, EU and US Congress seemed to agree, passing into law fresh restrictions in June and July aimed at frustrating Iran's economic development and inhibiting its crude oil exports of 2.2bn barrels-a-day, representing 80% of all its trade abroad...

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Oil: Can Ecuador see past the black stuff?John Vidal, The Guardian, 28 Sep 2010View original article

One of the most extraordinary people I have met in 10 days of travelling around Peru and Ecuador has been Alberto Acosta. He's head of Ecuador's leading research group now, but until 2007 was the second most powerful man in the country after the president, Rafael Correa. He was not only charged with masterminding the new constitution but was head of the assembly, or parliament, a founder of the ruling political party and minister of energy of the country that depends on oil.

But Acosta will go down in history as the world's only serving oil minister to have ever proposed leaving a country's black stuff in the ground. That's like Dracula renouncing blood, or a sports minister saying it's better to play hide and seek than football. It just does not happen...

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OPEC crude oil production fell to 8 month lowBloomberg,, 30 Sep 2010View original article

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' crude oil output fell to an eight month low in September, led by Iraq, where a pipeline disruption curtailed shipments, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Production slipped 145,000 barrels, or 0.5 percent, to an average 29.055 million barrels a day, the lowest level since January, according to the survey...

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Iraq to announce big rise in oil reserves MondayReuters, 30 Sep 2010View original article

Iraq will announce on Monday a "big increase" in its oil reserves, currently 115 billion barrels, a spokesman for the oil ministry said on Thursday.

Iraq's crude reserves are the world's third largest but its production lags. The government has signed a series of deals with oil majors to ramp up output capacity to about 12 million barrels per day from around 2.5 million bpd now...

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Shell plans rapid North American growthEd Crooks in New York, Financial Times, 29 Sep 2010View original article

Royal Dutch Shell is planning a rapid expansion of its North American business to raise production by 40 per cent to 1m barrels equivalent per day in 2014, including gas, Canadian oil sands and deepwater oil.

The strategy, announced in Canada on Tuesday, is part of Europe's largest oil company's plan to meet its "aspiration" of producing 3.7m barrels per day in 2014, compared with 3.15m last year...

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Obama says energy policy a top priority next yearJeff Mason, Reuters, 28 Sep 2010View original article

President Barack Obama said revamping U.S. energy policy would be a top priority next year and may have to be done "in chunks" rather than through one piece of legislation, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

In an interview published on Tuesday, Obama lamented that more progress to fight climate change had not been made since he took office, and blamed the economy for that failure...

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Greenpeace banned from intercepting oil-drilling shipSeverin Carrell, Scotland correspondent, The Guardian, 29 Sep 2010View original article

Greenpeace has been banned from intercepting a deep sea oil-drilling ship after the protest group sent "wave after wave" of swimmers into the north Atlantic to stop the vessel from reaching its drilling site.

The US oil giant Chevron was granted a wide-ranging interdict, or injunction, by judges in Edinburgh today, ordering Greenpeace to stop any further direct action preventing the Stena Carron from reaching its destination or impeding its "lawful business"...

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Eni, Mitsubishi Among Companies Bidding to Develop Iraq Natural-Gas FieldsNayla Razzouk and Robert Tuttle,, 27 Sep 2010View original article

Eni SpA is among international companies interested in bidding to develop natural-gas fields in Iraq, while China National Petroleum Corp. and others reported progress producing oil there, officials and executives said.

Italy's Eni and Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan are two of 13 companies to have registered to bid on gas contracts that Iraq is preparing to auction next month, Abdul Hadi al-Hassani, vice chairman of the oil and gas committee of the country's parliament, said today. Together with a dozen oilfield contracts awarded last year, the bidding round for gas rights planned for Oct. 20 marks a step forward in Iraq's campaign to boost the output of its most valuable commodities...

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House passes shale gas production taxTom Barnes, Post-Gazette, 30 Sep 2010View original article

Democrats and environmentalists praised it, while Republicans and gas industry officials pilloried it. But in the end, a bill to create Pennsylvania's first Marcellus Shale gas severance tax took a step forward Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1155, after being totally rewritten by House Democrats, would slap a hefty levy of 39 cents per thousand cubic feet (MCF) of gas extracted from underground shale throughout Pennsylvania...

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EU to allow Spain coal plan to 2014Foo Yun Chee, Reuters, 27 Sep 2010View original article

Spain will win EU approval this week for a plan that would benefit domestic coal producers over importers until the end of 2014, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Under a decree passed by the Spanish government, power utilities would be required burn domestic coal instead of imports, which are usually cheaper. The executive European Commission has been examining the scheme to check whether it complies with the European Union's state aid rules...

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Germany to wean itself off fossil fuelsGerrit Wiesmann in Berlin, Financial Times, 29 Sep 2010View original article

The German government has signalled its ambition to wean one of the world's largest economies off fossil fuels by pledging to generate enough renewable energy to meet 60 per cent of the country's energy needs by 2050.

Norbert Röttgen, environment minister, said it was "the most ambitious energy programme ever seen, not only in Germany"...

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Denmark eyes up fossil fuel-free futureBusiness Green, 29 Sep 2010View original article

Danish climate commission report predicts the country could switch to renewables by the middle of the century

The falling cost of renewable energy and rising cost of oil and gas will allow Denmark to develop an energy network entirely free of fossil fuels by 2050, according to a report published by the government's climate commission tomorrow...

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Britain's offshore windpower costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricityRichard Alleyne, Telegraph, 28 Sep 2010View original article

Off shore wind farms cost twice as much to produce electricity as gas and coal powered stations and will need subsidies for at least 20 years, a major report warns.

Britain's so-called "dash for wind" means that it is now the biggest off shore generator – producing as much as the rest of the world put together...

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Mining and Minerals

UN environment chief urges recycling of rare metalsAFP, 29 Sep 2010View original article

The UN's environment chief on Wednesday called for a global drive to recycle rare metals that have hit the headlines in a spat between Japan and China, warning that they are crucial for green technologies.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said that demand for "rare earth metals" such as lithium and neodymium -- used in batteries for hybrid cars or components in wind and solar power -- was accelerating fast...

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Japan May Spend on Rare Earths After China's Cut, Ohata SaysGo Onomitsu and Jae Hur, Business Week, 30 Sep 2010View original article

Japan may budget measures to secure supplies of rare earths after China curtailed exports of the minerals, said Japan's Trade Minister Akihiro Ohata.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry "hopes" to ask for a supplementary budget to secure stable rare earth supplies, Ohata told Jiji Press today. The comments were confirmed by a ministry spokesman, who didn't want to be identified...

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‘Rare earths' fears spur US reviewDaniel Dombey in Washington, Financial Times, 27 Sep 2010View original article

The US is trying to resume production of raw materials vital for defence equipment and green technology in response to rising fears about Chinese dominance of the sector...

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We can't use it — so why the heck are we prospecting for new oil?George Monbiot, The Guardian, 27 Sep 2010View original article

Forget, for a moment, the fragility of the Arctic environment and the likely consequences of a spill there. Forget the dangers of deepwater drilling in a strait plagued by storms and icebergs, and the difficulties — greater than in the Gulf of Mexico — of capping a leaking well there. There's an even bigger question raised by a British company's discovery of oil off the coast of Greenland. It's the same question that is invoked by the decision the British government is expected to make tomorrow: to allow exploration wells to be drilled in deep waters to the west of Shetland. Why the heck are we prospecting for new oil anyway?..

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Climate change crisis 'can be solved by oil companies'Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor in Lyon, The Independent, 27 Sep 2010View original article

Climate change can be solved in a snap by making oil, gas and coal companies take responsibility for burying all the carbon dioxide emitted by the fossil fuel products they sell, one of Britain's leading young climate scientists said yesterday.

Government attempts to try to get millions of people to change their behaviour through taxes and incentives were doomed to fail, said Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University Oxford, and an increasingly influential voice in the climate debate...

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China seeks binding climate treaty late 2011-reportChris Buckley, Reuters, 24 Sep 2010View original article

China wants the world to seal a binding climate change treaty by late 2011, a Chinese negotiator said in a newspaper on Friday, blaming U.S. politics for impeding talks and making a deal on global warming impossible this year.

Li Gao, a senior Chinese negotiator on climate change, said his government would remain unyielding on issues of "principle" in the talks aimed at forging a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The first period of that key treaty on fighting global warming expires at the end of 2012...

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Gulf spill won’t dampen U.S. appetite for oilODAC Newsletter - June 11

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