Daily Archives: January 22, 2012

China urges restraint in Sudan dispute

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China, the biggest investor in oilfields in the new nation of South Sudan, called for “calm and restraint” as a transit fee dispute threatened to cut off crude exports from the African producer.

News wires  23 January 2012 01:24 GMT

South Sudan said on Friday it planned to halt oil production within two weeks after its northern neighbour Sudan started seizing southern crude to compensate for what Khartoum called unpaid transit fees, Reuters reported.

“The Chinese side hopes that the two governments will fulfil their commitment to protecting the legal rights of Chinese enterprises and those of other partners,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said in comments posted on the ministry’s website on Saturday.

Sudan and South Sudan together made up 5% of China’s crude oil imports in 2011, or about 13 million barrels, ranking seventh among China’s oil suppliers.

Chinese customs data does not differentiate imports from South Sudan, which seceded in July, taking with it about two-thirds of the formerly united country’s oil output.

“Oil is the economic lifeline shared by Sudan and South Sudan,” Liu said.

“We urge the two sides to remain calm and restrained, avoid taking any extreme action and continue working together with mediation by the African Union and other parties to resolve their dispute through negotiation at an early date and to benefit the two countries and their peoples,” he said.

China’s foreign ministry used nearly the identical wording when the transit fee dispute first surfaced in November, Reuters reported.

It has sought to maintain good relations with Khartoum, a long-time ally, and South Sudan, home to investment by state-owned Chinese oil giants China National Petroleum Corporation and Sinopec.

China’s oil imports from Sudan grew by 3% in 2011, but average monthly volumes dropped to 998,000 tonnes from August onwards, compared with 1.14 million tonnes per months in the first seven months of the year.

Published: 23 January 2012 01:24 GMT  | Last updated: 20 minutes ago

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Brazil Stiffs Obama on Oil Deal, Exposing President’s Incompetence

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By Mark Whittington
Yahoo! Contributor Network – Sat, Jan 21, 2012

COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama has suffered the second embarrassment over oil imports within the space of a week. Brazil, whose offshore deposits of oil were sought by the Obama administration, has signed contracts with China for the product.

According to the Washington Times, Brazilian offshore crude may number about 38 billion barrels. Obama went to Brazil last month to put in a bid for the oil, offering loans and other support to develop the oil in an “environmentally responsible matter,” The Hill reported at the time. Republicans criticized that initiative, pointing out Obama has placed roadblocks in the way of domestic development of oil and gas reserves.

Brazil’s decision comes on the heels of Obama’s refusal to permit the building of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to Texas oil refineries, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision was criticized by Republicans as well as union officials who point out that 20,000 jobs the pipeline would bring would therefore not be created.

Obama’s policy in regard to oil and gas has been a study in incompetence driven by an ideological mania against hydrocarbon fuel in favor of more politically correct forms of energy production. This has not only led to what amounts to a campaign against oil and gas production in the U.S., but embarrassing scandals such as Solyndra, brought on by unwise federal loan guarantees to dubious green energy companies.

This is occurring at a time when Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz through which much of the world’s oil passes from Persian Gulf fields. The very threat has led to a spike in the price of oil and of gasoline.

Unfortunately, Obama shows no sign of learning from his mistakes. A responsible president would move quickly to exploit more accessible sources of oil, lifting restrictions on domestic production and quickly signing off on the pipeline deal with Canada, an American ally. Obama, however, is doing neither of these things.

A new energy crisis this summer, brought on by turmoil in the Middle East, is not outside the realm of possibility. The bad news is Americans will suffer, just as they did in 1973 and 1979. The good news is Americans are likely to make their ire known at the polls in the fall. But it months of turmoil and agony lay ahead until then.

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Obama in Fantasy Land

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Derek Hunter

This Tuesday, when President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address, we can count on it to be filled with the same platitudes, anecdotes, false promises, cooked stats and tenuous connection with reality we find in everything the man does. It will be a laundry list of progressive fantasy, couched in populist rhetoric and designed to make middle-class Americans think he has something more than the zero connection and concern for them he has.

President Obama doesn’t give a damn about the middle class, jobs, the economy or much of anything that distracts from his progressive agenda. But what do you expect from someone who shows such contempt for the nation’s pastime as to wear “mom jeans” when throwing out the first pitch at the All-Star game?

I’m kidding about “mom jeans,” of course, though only mostly. But about the contempt…not at all.

Last week President Obama went to Disney World – returning to his home country of Fantasy Land to deliver a speech about the need to boost tourism. Tourism is hurting, there’s no doubt about that. But taking a vacation is hardly a priority when you’re unemployed, and for the unemployed, Mr. Obama smacked them across the face with a dead fish.

The administration announced he would block the Keystone XL pipeline, a plan to move oil from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The green left hates it because…well, it’s real energy rather than the “green” energy racket they love to milk for government subsidies. If it’s good for humans, you can count on these people to oppose it unless they’re lining their pockets with tax dollars or preparing to profit from forced customer base through regulation.

The pipeline would have meant jobs, good jobs, lots of them … but it seems, as Vice-President Joe Biden so artfully put it, that three-letter word that is President Obama’s No.1 priority – J-O-B-S – isn’t as much a priority as pleasing the cronies he desperately needs for his reelection.

How many jobs? Conservatives say a lot; progressives say not so many. I’m no engineer, but trenches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico don’t dig themselves, and that pipe won’t magically appear once it’s dug – nor will it maintain itself. So, more than 100 but less than the millions who have lost jobs since President Obama took office. But creating some jobs beats creating no jobs, which is what President Obama chose when he took the side of his “green” elite friends against normal American workers.

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