Monthly Archives: April 2011
Ed Lasky January 11, 2011
America’s huge reserves of natural gas-bearing shale offer lower energy prices, and the hope of increasing our energy independence. George Soros is determined to use his wiles and network of grant recipients to hobble development of America’s energy ace in the hole.
The movie Gasland came out of nowhere to slam the shale gas industry — an industry that has already substantially brought down the price of natural gas throughout the nation, saving consumers and business untold billions of dollars in energy costs. The natural gas boom spawned by technologies such as horizontal drilling and fracking have also enriched citizens and states that have reaped part of the bounty brought to the surface by these technologies. Gasland casts aspersions regarding the safety of these technologies, especially to the water tables.
The film’s charges have been rebutted . State departments that regulate energy development have praised energy companies for their environmentally sensitive practices.
Nevertheless, Gasland has provided fuel for critics of shale gas development. I have speculated, with good reason, that Democrats are trying to stop the tapping of this vast resource and that major Democratic donor George Soros would be a beneficiary if shale gas were stopped in its tracks. His bought and paid for group, MoveOn.Org, has diverted from its typical topics of interest and has thrown itself into the battle over shale gas.
This brings me back to Gasland, a documentary that was run on the HBO network and that also may have prompted a 60 Minutes report on shale gas. Did Gasland really come out of nowhere, or did it benefit from the helping hands of George Soros?
Gasland was shown at the Sundance Film Festival — that was the first step in its journey to make the bigtime (including the HBO screenings). Gasland got a major boost in prominence when it landed a coveted spot at Sundance.
This was quite an accomplishment since most entries are rejected. Yet Gasland survived the winnowing process.
Did it have friends in powerful places who helped?
The Sundance Institute receives funding from George Soros; furthermore, the Sundance Documentary Film Fund was formerly known as the Soros Documentary Fund. Soros and his Open Society Institute have given many millions of dollars to the Sundance Institute. The officials who run Sundance know their donors and their special interests.
According to the Capital Research Institute, Sundance founder Robert Redford “genuflected” before Soros when Open Society gave the Institute 5 million dollars in its latest “gift”:
Sundance Institute has supported documentary storytellers since its beginning. The recognition of that history by George Soros and the Open Society Institute, and the continuation of our relationship over time, speaks to our shared belief that culture-in this case documentary film-is having a profound impact in shaping progressive change.
Soros responded that he is interested in such moves because “documentary films raise awareness and inspire action.”
That presumably includes action that help prevent us freeing ourselves from being dependent for our energy supplies on unfriendly nations. These nations suck hundreds of billions of dollars from our coffers and use some of that to spread hatred of America around the world. Those are the types of actions that Soros likes-and that Sundance helps him accomplish.
By Maggie M. Thornton 04/30/2011 – 9:23 am PDT
Barack Obama’s recent lauding of Brazil’s oil industry and their “technology” while bringing U.S. exploration, research and drilling to a stop, has turned and churned the stomachs of many of us. In this video, Steven Crowded expresses our angst in his own creative way, and say “America has over 163 BILLION barrels in untapped oil reserves, enough to replace our imports from the Persian Gulf for over 50 years.”
According to the CIA World Factbook, Brazil is the second largest CONSUMER of cocaine in the world. The economy of Brazil is the healthiest of all South American countries and expanding rapidly. They are the seventh largest economy by GDP and purchasing power, in the world.
The state-owned Petrobras Oil and Gas is their largest company. In 2009 Obama loaned the company BILLIONS of dollars – but no easing on regulations to stop the exploration and drilling in the U.S. During the Obama family 2011 Spring Break, Obama defended our loan to Brazil, saying:
Brazil is a poor country,” Obama observed. “They need the money more than we do. By letting them get the oil we can become their customers and help them create jobs and build up their economy.
It [Brazil] is also one of the few countries that have successfully managed to reduce economic inequality at a time when everywhere else inequities are deepening. Successive Brazilian governments, of rival political parties, have succeeded in improving education, health and the living standards of millions of impoverished citizens who have now joined a growing middle class. Brazil has an energy policy that has spawned the world’s most vibrant biofuels industry. In 1995, 15 percent of Brazilian school-age children did not go to school. In 2005, this fell to 3 percent, and today Brazil has practically achieved universal basic education.”
OGJ Washington Pulse Blog by Nick Snow
NICK SNOW has covered oil and gas in Washington for more than 30 years. He worked in several capacities for The Oil Daily and was founding editor of Petroleum Finance Week before joining OGJ as its Washington correspondent in September 2005 and becoming its full-time Washington editor in October 2007. He began writing about energy in 1975 at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, where he worked for seven years. He was a Professional Journalism Fellow specializing in energy at Stanford University in 1977, and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Utah in 1971.
Posted on 4/29/2011
US Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has raised questions about the Export-Import Bank of the United States making loans totaling billions of dollars to Brazil and Colombia’s national oil companies while the Obama administration seemingly discourages access to and development of domestic resources.
“Domestic energy policy cannot be based on crippling access, stifling permitting, and increasing taxes on production – as [US President Barack] Obama has recently proposed – while at the same time loaning billions to foreign government-owned entities to produce abroad,” Vitter said on Apr. 30. “These loans may well create numerous jobs domestically for US businesses to sell product overseas. However, there is no doubt that domestic production creates domestic jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.”
Vitter first mentioned this to Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg in a Mar. 17 letter when he referred to an August 2009 letter he wrote Obama about a $2 billion loan to Petrobras which produced a response from the Ex-Im Bank suggesting there would be a significant return on the investment from interest on the loan as well as an increase in the growth of US manufactured products used by Brazil’s offshore industry.
Noting in his Apr. 29 letter to Hochberg that the bank subsequently approved a $1 billion loan to Ecopetrol, Colombia’s national oil company, Vitter said: “I was very specific about the information I requested from Ex-Im more than a month ago. I requested the particulars of the return on investment the American taxpayer can expect from these loans as well as the US businesses intended to benefit from the financing arrangements. Is it safe to assume that Ex-Im does preliminary analysis before issuing loans that evaluates the return on these loans to the US government and US businesses? Is it also safe to assume that Ex-Im should readily be able to provide that information to Congress upon request?”
The senator noted that while the Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency, it also is congressionally authorized and responsible to the US taxpayer. “I would appreciate a full accounting of the return on these ‘investments’ Ex-Im has been making as we develop domestic energy policy in a period when [gasoline] prices are above $4/gal and American families and businesses suffer,” he said. “These loans may well create numerous jobs domestically for US businesses to sell product overseas. However, there is no doubt that domestic production creates domestic jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.”
The Ruche Marin-A well will be drilled in a water depth of 380 feet to test multiple stacked pre-salt targets to a planned total measured depth of approximately 10,100 feet. Drilling is anticipated to require approximately 28 days. In the event of success, additional time will be required to test and evaluate the well.
About Harvest Natural Resources
Harvest Natural Resources, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is an independent energy company with principal operations in Venezuela, producing and exploration assets in the United States, exploration assets in Indonesia, West Africa, China and Oman and business development offices in Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Ulstein Design & Solutions has signed two ship design contracts with the Brazilian Shipyard Alianca S.A for the building of two ULSTEIN PX105 platform supply vessels with the X-BOW® hull line design for the Brazilian shipowner CBO.
The contracts are worth approximately NOK 150 million. The contracts are for the delivery of design, engineering, main equipment and building follow-up for two large platform supply vessels of the ULSTEIN PX105 design type.
“These contracts are of great importance to ULSTEIN. There are major investment activities on the Brazilian continental shelf and there are wide-reaching plans for the area. It is important to position ourselves in this market”, says COO in Design & Solutions, Tore Ulstein, and continues: “We are very happy that a trendsetting company like CBO once again has chosen ULSTEIN and the PX105 design for its fleet development.”
“CBO is the first to build X-BOW® vessels in Brazil, which proves that we are an innovative company constantly looking for new solutions”, says CBO director Alfredo Naslausky. The company currently has four ULSTEIN-designed PSVs under construction at the Alianca yard in Rio de Janeiro. The contracts for two more PX105 vessels bring this number up to six.
With the current trend of oil and gas production taking place ever further from land, the demand for large platform supply vessels (PSVs) is increasing. The P105 and PX105 designs, both large PSVs with a conventional bow and an X-BOW® respectively, have become leading designs since introduced to the market. “The size and versatility of these vessels make them suitable for many markets and operations. This has given ULSTEIN a leading position in the market for this type of vessel”, concludes Tore Ulstein.
“The vessels will go into eight-year contracts, with options for extension, for the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. The vessels will be number five and six built for CBO with the X-BOW® hull line design to be constructed and permanently stationed in Brazil, which is also exciting”, says sales manager for OSV designs at ULSTEIN, Lars Ståle Skoge.