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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

the return to $80 oil. Sergei Kupriyanov, Gazprom’s official spokesman, hopes Gazprom will sell to British residential sector one day. "Yes, definitely. The British market offers ample opportunities of developing downstream operations – we appreciate the fact that it's a liberalised market and all of the infrastructure is in place." UK reserves near depletion in less than eight years at current extraction rates.37

Demand for oil is increasing at such a rate in Saudi Arabia that exports are likely to be constrained, analysts fear.  Domestic consumption jumped 16.4 per cent year on year in August because of an unprecedented surge in the burning of crude. Inefficient power plants and shortage of gas led the reasons. As a result, the IEA has revised up its forecasts for Saudi domestic oil consumption to 2.8m barrels a day in 2010. Last year’s production was a record 12.5m barrels a day. The government has postponed some energy-intensive projects. Oil is sold for $5 a barrel in the Kingdom. “Even Saudis complain that subsidised fuel and cheap cars encourage wasteful use of energy, especially by young people who have little means of entertainment in the conservative kingdom except driving or participating in unofficial drag races.”38

UK wind farms produced “practically no electricity” during the cold snap. Low pressures cut the wind out so that only 0.2pc of a possible 5pc of the UK's energy was generated by wind turbines in the last few days.39

12.1.10. Geoengineering conference convened in March in wake of Copenhagen’s failure. Says Mike McCracken of the US Climate Institute, convenor of the California event: “Most of the talk about these geoengineering techniques says they should be saved until we get to an emergency situation. Well the people of the Arctic might say they are in an emergency situation now.”40

Coal stockpiles fall to low levels in China’s cold spell. Supplies for 11 percent of power plants connected to China State Grid’s network have fallen to less than three days’ worth and could be shut “any time,” Xinhua news agency says.41

Investors are putting trillions at risk by ignoring climate change, Ceres report says. A survey of leading asset managers shows the vast majority are not factoring climate-related trends into their short- and long-term investment decision-making.42

EIA expects US gas output this year to be down 3% due to steep new-well production declines. In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA forecast consumption averaging about 62.44 bcf per day, versus 2009 demand of 62.45 bcf daily. Growth in residential, commercial and industrial use is offset by declining demand from the electric power sector.43

13.1.10. Ofgem sees a “cliff edge” in UK gas supplies in 2015-16. Alistair Buchanan, head of Ofgem, tells the FT he sees a risk that new Russian and the Caspian gas supplies might not be available in time to meet UK demand as domestic gas production falls. UK gas production is down 40% since 2000. Buchanan questions whether the ultra-competitive UK market is structured in the right way to guarantee security of supply.44

Russian gas bailed the UK out as Norwegian supplies faltered in the cold snap, the Major Energy Users' Council says. Eddie Proffitt, chairman of the council's gas group: “The [British] gas industry has coped very well but we have been lucky. It would have been desperate if we had seen the kind of disputes between Russia and Ukraine that have reduced gas flows on the continent in the past two or three Januaries.”45

Recession hit North Sea 2009 oil and gas production. An average of 600m barrels of new reserves were brought on stream each year between 2004 and 2008. Wood Mackenzie reports only eight oil and gas fields – expected to produce a combined lifetime total of 140m barrels of oil equivalent – began production in 2009. Investment in exploration and appraisal drilling in the UK North Sea fell by 37 per cent in 2009, and the oil price drop delayed projects as well. 43 companies were working in the UK North Sea in 2008. 24 are today. Tax revenues from the North Sea were £6.9bn in 2009, down from £12.9bn in 2008.46

Russia seeks bilateral role in Indian solar expansion. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launches the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, aiming for 20 GW of solar energy for India by 2022, alongside Sergei Seredin, Russia's first deputy director general of economics and finance, who led a delegation from Moscow in the inaugural ceremonies. He says Moscow was interested in playing a role in New Delhi's strategy to construct solar power stations and manufacturing facilities.47

American consumerism threatens the planet, says the Worldwatch Institute. The average American consumes more than his or her weight in products each day. This culture of of greed and excess  and the exporting of it is emerging as the biggest threat to the planet, according to the annual report of the Worldwatch Institute. It could wipe out any gains from government action on climate change or a shift to a clean energy economy. In the Noughties consumption of goods and services rose 28% to $30.5tn (£18.8bn).48

Wall Street bosses apologise for mistakes but still defend bonuses. Leading Wall Street bankers tell the US government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that they underestimated the severity of the crisis and apologise for making mistakes and needing to be bailed out with $360bn. Commissioner: “If you knew then what you do now, what would you have done differently?” JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon: a crucial blunder was “how we just missed that housing prices don't go up forever.”49

14.1.09. China Daily reports oil imports “hit alarming levels” in 2009. 52% came from abroad. “Analysts believe that by 2020, nearly 65 percent of the oil consumed in China will have to be imported. China's oil dependency reached 45 percent in 2006 and grew at two percent every year after that.” The country first became a net importer of crude oil in 1993.50

US climate envoy US will not cede control to the UN. The UN process is too ponderous, and main emitters need to negotiate as a group, Todd Stern says. The big test for the Accord comes on 31st January, when countries have to table their formal commitments. Copenhagen was a hair’s breadth from collapse, he says, in his first public appearance since the summit.51 Stern’s deputy Jonathon Persching says the UN should be sidelined. Fewer than 30 of 192 countries have signed the Accord.52

Arctic permafrost leaking methane at record levels. New figures published in Science magazine show emissions rising by almost a third in just 5 years, by around 1m tonnes of extra methane each year between 2003-2007, driven by rising temperatures. The study also shows just 2% of global emissions are from the Arctic, but that is the fastest growing region. There is a clear positive feedback, says Paul Palmer of Edinburgh University, one of the researchers.

Targeting of US weather reporters on climate-change denial has been brutally effective and may have been the most successful targeted campaign ever. Sea Kidney: “have a look at a story just published in the

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