Daily Archives: October 26, 2011

New Plot To Overthrow Museveni Leaks

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26 October 2011
By Nicholas Mwesigwa

President Yoweri Museveni on Monday morning ordered security organs to investigate reports that Civil Society organisations in Uganda intend to bring down his government.

The President directed ISO and police to coordinate the investigation with the view of assessing the ‘motives and implications of a stepped up political activity of civil organisations during and after oil debate in Parliament.’

The spy chiefs will probe reports that civil organisations are colluding with opposition figures to bring government to disrepute in the eyes of the international community and isolate it.

“Find out their agenda. What do they want and why?” Museveni ordered before directing that suspected civil society members should be arrested and prosecuted.

Blacklisted civil society organisations include the Open Society Initiative for East Africa. It’s funded by American billionaire George Soros who reportedly has interests in Uganda’s oil. He is believed to have pressed US leader Barack Obama to send 100 troops to Uganda.

He also funds International Crisis Group, an organisation which prepared an alarming dossier of Joseph Kony’s atrocities in CAR and DRC. It urged Obama to send troops to Uganda to stabilise the region.

Another group backed by Soros here is from Publish What You Pay(PWYP), an organisation claiming to fight for transparency in the oil sector. It’s led by Dickens Kamugisha.

Democracy Deepening Programme is also being scrutinised for supporting FDC activities which have ended up violent.

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USA: Cheniere, BG Ink LNG Sale and Purchase Deal

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Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. announced today that its subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, has entered into its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC (BG), a subsidiary of BG Group plc, under which BG has agreed to purchase 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

Sabine Liquefaction is planning to develop the ability to produce 9 mtpa of LNG in the first phase of its project at the Sabine Pass Terminal owned by Cheniere Partners. On May 20, 2011, Sabine Liquefaction received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to export up to 16 mtpa of LNG destined to all countries with which trade is permissible.

Under the agreement, BG will pay Sabine Liquefaction a fixed sales charge for the full annual contract quantity and will also pay a contract sales price for LNG purchases based on the applicable Henry Hub index traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. LNG will be loaded onto BG’s vessels. The SPA has a term of twenty years commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery, and an extension option of up to ten years. LNG exports are expected to commence as early as 2015. The SPA is subject to certain conditions precedent, including but not limited to Sabine Liquefaction’s receiving regulatory approvals, securing necessary financing arrangements and making a final investment decision to construct the liquefaction facilities.

BG is one of the largest participants in the global LNG markets and will be a strong foundation customer for our Sabine Pass liquefaction project,” said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO. “Entering into this agreement is a significant milestone for our project and we look forward to finalizing additional commercial agreements and proceeding with the development of the first two trains.

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Southern Union Company Statement on Lake Charles LNG Facility

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HOUSTON, Oct 26, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Southern Union Company SUG +0.14% today issued the following statement with respect to Lake Charles Exports, LLC, a jointly-owned subsidiary of the company and BG Group plc:

“As was just announced, we are pleased that BG Group plc has again affirmed its commitment to pursuing our joint export application to develop and install liquefaction facilities at the Lake Charles terminal to export LNG. Even as we move forward with the announced sale of the Company, we continue to work hard with BG, our longstanding partner, to ensure that Lake Charles will become the premier U.S. exporting site.”

About Southern Union Company

Southern Union Company, headquartered in Houston, is one of the nation’s leading diversified natural gas companies, engaged primarily in the transportation, storage, gathering, processing and distribution of natural gas. The company owns and operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline systems with more than 20,000 miles of gathering and transportation pipelines and one of North America’s largest liquefied natural gas import terminals, along with serving more than half a million natural gas end-user customers in Missouri and Massachusetts. For further information, visit http://www.sug.com .

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may include certain statements concerning expectations for the future, including statements regarding the proposal described above, that are forward-looking statements as defined by federal law. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the management team of SUG. An extensive list of factors that can affect future results are discussed in the reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by SUG. SUG undertakes no obligations to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect new information or events.

SOURCE: Southern Union Company

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Mexico: Cal Dive to Install Subsea Pipeline in Abkatun Offshore Field

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Cal Dive International, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Pemex Exploración y Producción for the installation of an 8 inch subsea pipeline located in the Abkatun Field in 47 meters of water. The contract will generate total revenue of approximately $27 million and will utilize two of the Company’s key assets. The offshore construction is expected to commence in April 2012.

Quinn Hébert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cal Dive, stated, “We are pleased to announce our first contract win in Mexico for 2012. We expect 2012 to be a very active year in Mexico as the capital spending by Pemex is expected to be at a higher level than in recent years.”

Cal Dive International, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a marine contractor that provides an integrated offshore construction solution to its customers, including manned diving, pipelay and pipe burial, platform installation and platform salvage services to the offshore oil and natural gas industry on the Gulf of Mexico OCS, Northeastern U.S., Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, the Middle East, India and the Mediterranean, with a fleet of 29 vessels, including 19 surface and saturation diving support vessels and 10 construction barges.

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China: Sinopacific Group Delivers Ulstein Design OSV to Neptune Offshore

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In the afternoon of October 26, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, China’s leading shipbuilding enterprise held the ship naming and delivery ceremony at its Zhejiang shipyard for SX130, the global first fabricated model of Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) built for Neptune Offshore AS.

Gracing this occasion were Ningbo Feng Hua Municipal Party Secretary Rong Xuehai, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Chairman and CEO Simon Liang, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Executive Manager Lin Bo, and representatives from other government departments, the bank, the shipowner, and the ship inspection department.

Together, they witnessed the official naming of the SX130 sister pair as “Neptune Despina” and “Neptune Larissa”. This year alone, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group has successfully delivered three global first fabricated high-end OSVs, such as GPA 696 in April and PX105 in September. With advanced construction capabilities that are rare among global OSV manufacturers, this reflects the group’s ability to manufacture deep-water OSVs and reinforces its position as a leading manufacturer of top-quality OSVs.

SX130 is a classic representative among high-end OSVs as a PSV / IMR vessel used for the inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore facilities to ensure normal and safe working condition. It can meet operational demands with efficient solution for satisfying the general demands of the offshore industry as well. The SX130 was designed by the world-renowned Norwegian design firm Ulstein Design AS, incorporating its exclusive Ulstein X-BowTM. This design guarantees steady navigation and operations in adverse offshore environments, proving higher safety levels. Furthermore, the reduction in sailing resistance effectively reduces fuel consumption and supports the goal of energy conservation. The construction and configuration of the SX130 follows the strict European standards, thereby allowing inspections, repairs and installations to be completed at depths of 3,000 meters and even in dire environments of the North Sea where environmental protection requirements are more demanding.

While the design and construction of high-end OSV was previously concentrated in Europe and North America, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group has “emerged from the competition” based on a forward-looking strategy of differentiated products. Building on a unique strategic positioning of “Leadership in Niche Markets”, the group ultimately won the trust of and OSV orders from European and North American companies based on its merits of excellent project management and technical capabilities, world-class OSV construction facilities and the integrated capabilities of world-class designers and suppliers.

“OSV is akin to the commercial ship in the field of offshore engineering. Its broad application means that all offshore oil and gas exploration projects need it. So I am confident about the future prospects of the OSV market. Although we are taking mostly international OSV orders at present, the local high-end OSV market demand is growing and possesses tremendous market potential.” said Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Chairman and CEO Simon Liang, “Opportunity only favours those who are prepared. We will continue to be strategically-driven, leveraging on a business model of innovative and advanced technologies to maintain our lead in the niche shipbuilding markets.”

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GDF Suez Sees Strong China LNG Demand

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China’s demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to surge five-fold to 44 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2020, while the emergence of 10 new importing countries in Asia could add another 27 million tonnes of new demand each year, an executive from GDF Suez SA told an industry conference on Wednesday.

Booming Asian demand, combined with uncertainty over the pace of new supplies, could create lasting opportunities for supplies as far afield as the United States to flow into the Pacific, said Nicholas Zanen, vice-president of trading at U.S. energy company Cheniere Energy Inc .

Philip Olivier, president of GDF Suez’s LNG unit, said LNG demand in Asia and the Middle East was expected to grow by 95 million tonnes per year from 2010-2020 and although there was enough flexible supply in the medium term to sate Asian demand, new plants urgently needed to be build to meet long-term growth.

We cannot underestimate LNG demand in China and India, and there is little additional volume available from the Atlantic Basin,” Olivier said.

GDF’s bullish forecast on China was in line with forecasts by state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp, which estimated the country’s 2015 imports at 30 mtpa, driven by a surge in LNG-fuelled vehicles and development of LNG storage facilities.

China imported 9.4 million tonnes of LNG in 2010.

To ride on Asia’s growth, Olivier told Reuters that the company was focused on building a supply base in Australia via its proposed Bonaparte floating LNG project.

Australia is our No.1 priority at the moment because of its stability and proximity to Asian markets,” he said.

Although Australia’s gas exports are set to triple by 2017 to overtake Qatar as the world’s top LNG exporter, Olivier said the supply growth would not be enough to take away the premium in Asian prices.

(reuters)

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North Falkland Basin: Rockhopper Spuds 8th Well on Sea Lion, (Offshore Falklands)

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Rockhopper Exploration plc , the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-9 well (the “Well”) was spudded at 10.45 hrs BST on 25 October 2011.

The Well, situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper, is the eighth well to be drilled on the Sea Lion feature. It is located approximately 5.9 km to the south west of the 14/10-2 discovery well and is designed to investigate reservoir presence and hydrocarbon charge within the Sea Lion Main Complex towards the southern edge of the Company’s acreage and is also an exploration well on the Eastern side of the Casper prospect.

Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 33 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

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Chesapeake: Report Finds No Major Influence from Gas Well Drilling on Drinking Water (USA)

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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania on Tuesday released the findings of a study it conducted on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on drinking water supplies.

The research was sponsored by a grant from the center, which is a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly, its website indicates.

According to the report, this research studied the water quality in private water wells in rural Pennsylvania before and after the drilling of nearby Marcellus Shale gas wells. It also documented “both the enforcement of existing regulations and the use of voluntary measures by homeowners to protect water supplies.”

In its introduction, the authors said they evaluated water sampled from 233 water wells near Marcellus gas wells in rural regions of Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2011.

Among these were treatment sites (water wells sampled before and after gas well drilling nearby) and control sites (water wells sampled though no well drilling occurred nearby),” the study indicated. “Phase 1 of the research focused on 48 private water wells located within about 2,500 feet of a nearby Marcellus well pad, and Phase 2 focused on an additional 185 private water wells located within about 5,000 feet of a Marcellus well pad.”

During that phase, the researchers collected both pre- and post-drilling water well samples and analyzed them for water quality at various analytical labs. During Phase 2, the researchers or homeowners collected only post-drilling water well samples, which were then analyzed.

The post-drilling analyses were compared with existing records of pre-drilling water quality, which had been previously analyzed at state-accredited labs, from these wells.

According to the study results, approximately 40 percent of the water wells failed at least one Safe Drinking Water Act water quality standard, most frequently for coliform bacteria, turbidity and manganese, before gas well drilling occurred,” the report indicated. “This existing pollution rate and the general characteristics of the water wells, such as depth and construction, in this study were similar to past studies of private water wells in Pennsylvania.”

The study’s pre-drilling results for dissolved methane showed its occurrence in about 20 percent of water wells—although levels were generally far below any advisory levels.

Despite an abundance of water testing, many private water well owners had difficulty identifying pre-existing water quality problems in their water supply,” the report indicted. “The lack of awareness of pre-drilling water quality problems suggests that water well owners would benefit from unbiased and consistent educational programs that explain and answer questions related to complex water test reports.”

In this study, statistical analyses of post-drilling versus pre-drilling water “did not suggest major influences from gas well drilling or hydrofracturing (fracking) on nearby water wells, when considering changes in potential pollutants that are most prominent in drilling waste fluids.”

When comparing dissolved methane concentrations in the 48 water wells that were sampled both before and after drilling, the research found no statistically significant increases in methane levels after drilling—and no significant correlation to distance from drilling.

However, the researchers suggest that more intensive research on the occurrence and sources of methane in water wells is needed,” the report indicated.

The report then cited the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act of 1984, which indicates that gas well operators are “presumed responsible” for pollution of water supplies within 1,000 feet of their gas well for six months after drilling is completed if no pre-drilling water samples were collected from the private water supply.

This has resulted in extensive industry-sponsored pre-drilling testing of most water supplies within 1,000 feet of Marcellus drilling operations,” the report states. “However, the research found a rapid drop-off in testing beyond this distance, which is driven by both the lack of presumed responsibility of the industry and also the cost of testing for homeowners.”

The authors of the study said their research suggests that a standardized list of minimum required testing parameters should be required across all pre-drilling surveys to eliminate confusion among between water supply owners and water professionals.

The study indicates that this standardized list should include bromide. The research found that bromide levels in some water wells increased after drilling and/or fracking. These increases may suggest more subtle impacts to groundwater and the need for more research.

Bromide increases appeared to be mostly related to the drilling process,” the study indicated.

Additionally, “a small number of water wells also appeared to be affected by disturbances due to drilling as evidenced by sediment and/or metals increases that were noticeable to the water supply owner and confirmed by water testing results.”

Increased bromide and sediment concentrations in water wells were observed within 3,000 feet of Marcellus gas well sites in this study, suggesting “that a 3,000 foot distance between the location of gas wells and nearby private water wells is a more reasonable distance for both presumed responsibility and certified mail notification related to Marcellus gas well drilling than the 1,000 feet that is currently required.”

On the regulatory side, “the research found that regulations requiring certified mail notification of water supply owners, chain-of-custody water sampling protocols, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s investigation of water supply complaints were generally followed, with a few exceptions.

The study also concluded that “since voluntary stipulations were not frequently implemented by private water well owners” that more educational and financial resources should be made available to facilitate testing.

The authors were clear: “This research was limited to the study of relatively short-term changes that might occur in water wells near Marcellus gas well sites. Additional monitoring at these sites or other longer-term studies will be needed to provide a more thorough examination of potential water quality problems related to Marcellus gas well drilling.”

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