Daily Archives: January 24, 2012
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2012 08:36 –0500
Just when one thinks American crony capitalism couldn’t hit new lows, here comes Warren Buffett and his personal puppet, the president, proving everyone wrong once more. Because if one thinks there is no (s)quid pro quo for all that “sage” advice that Buffett has been giving to Obama on extracting as much wealth as possible from future wealthy Americans (before they decide they have had enough with this crony shit and leave the country for good), one would be fatally wrong. As it turns out, it is not just natural resources and aquifer purity that Obama had in mind when sealing the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. No – it appears there were far more relevant numerial metrics that determined Obama’s decisions. Such as the bottom line number of Buffett’s Burlington Northern, which according to Bloomberg, is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit. ‘“Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul,” Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said in an interview. If Keystone XL “doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul.” And quite delighted to reap the windfalls of unfounded populist fears she forgot to add. Because while the whole “carbon-credit” multi-trillion top line expansion scheme for Goldman under the pretense of actually caring for the environment may have collapsed, it is not preventing others from trying and succeeding where even Goldman has failed.
Rail car production is already at a three-year high as manufacturers such as Greenbrier Cos Inc. (GBX) and American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARII) expand to meet demand for sand used in oil and gas exploration, according to Steve Barger, an analyst at Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. in Cleveland, citing Railway Supply Institute statistics.
Rail-car suppliers can add capacity, Hatch said.
“Railroads are not just a stopgap while we wait for a pipeline,” Hatch said in an interview. “They are potentially part of the long-term solution.”
Railroads are being used in North Dakota (STOND1), where oil producers have spurred a fivefold increase in output by using intensive drilling practices in the Bakken, a geologic formation that stretches from southern Alberta to the northern U.S. Great Plains. During 2011, rail capacity in the region tripled to almost 300,000 barrels a day as higher production exceeded what pipelines handle, according to the State Department report on Keystone XL.
Burlington Northern carries about 25 percent of the oil from the Bakken, said Krista York-Wooley, the railroad spokeswoman. The company can carry higher volumes from North Dakota or Alberta, she said.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP)’s shipments from North Dakota climbed to more than 13,000 carloads last year from about 500 in 2009, Ed Greenberg, a spokesman, said in an e-mail. The Calgary- based company has a similar plan in western Canada.
“With an extensive rail network and proven expertise in moving energy, CP offers a flexible option for transporting crude oil and other energy-related products to and from key locations in North America,” Vice President Tracy Robinson said in an e-mail. “Rail is scalable, allowing CP to effectively keep pace with the shipping needs of producers.”
So those wondering how it is that AAR railroad statistics continue to be so very strong, it is not because the economy actually justifies it: it is because crony interests such as those of the Octogenarian of Omaha demand it as “payment” for their crony collegiality with the biggest dunce president since Carter.
In other news, it is truly amazing how with every new development, America is now becoming like one giant conspiracy theory, only this time it is actually not a theory as with every passing day we see it enacted in practice.
- Investopedia: The Keystone XL Pipeline Explained (wire.kapitall.com)
- Demise of Keystone XL Means More Bakken Shale Gas Flaring (desmogblog.com)
- State Department to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline Reroute (inquisitr.com)
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Former fellow of George Soros’ Open Society and current Stanford University scholar Evgeny Morozov has called on Google and other search engines to become thought crime enforcers, by providing warnings about websites that contain “conspiracy theories” such as the belief, held by a majority of Americans, that global warming is not primarily man-made.
Morozov, whose biography confirms him as a well-connected insider, decries in a Slate piece how the Internet is a useful tool for “People who deny global warming” as well as “the anti-vaccination movement,” calling on Google to provide a “socially responsible curated treatment” that would marginalize such beliefs by amending search results.
His solution is to, “Nudge search engines to take more responsibility for their index and exercise a heavier curatorial control in presenting search results for issues like “global warming” or “vaccination.” Google already has a list of search queries that send most traffic to sites that trade in pseudoscience and conspiracy theories; why not treat them differently than normal queries? Thus, whenever users are presented with search results that are likely to send them to sites run by pseudoscientists or conspiracy theorists, Google may simply display a huge red banner asking users to exercise caution and check a previously generated list of authoritative resources before making up their minds.”
Morozov describes the potential that such a move will be judged as Google “shilling for Big Pharma or for Al Gore” as “a risk worth taking”.
This represents a similar argument to Cass Sunstein’s “cognitive infiltration,” an effort by Obama’s information czar to slap government warnings on controversial websites (including those claiming that exposure to sunlight is healthy). In a widely derided white paper, Sunstein called for political blogs to be forced to include pop ups that show “a quick argument for a competing view”. He also demanded that taxes be levied on dissenting opinions and even suggested that outright bans on certain thoughts should be enforced.
Giving companies like Google, which has grown to virtually become the gatekeeper of the entire Internet itself and is already engaging in SOPA-like acts of censorship, the power to denote which political and scientific positions are acceptable and which are fringe “conspiracy theories” is an insult to free thinking and smacks of Chinese-style thought control.
Morozov’s argument is also completely undermined by the fact that the two so-called fringe “conspiracy theories” he forwards as being in need of Google’s thought crime control, skepticism about global warming and the dangers of vaccines, are views held by millions of Americans and are not “fringe” at all.
In addition, polls show that a quarter of Americans, some 75 million of them, believe that vaccines are unsafe and can cause autism. To characterize this as a minority conspiracy belief is like labeling Catholicism as a doctrine of a tiny fringe.
At best, views about global warming and the safety of vaccines can be described as being split, but to claim that skepticism over man-made climate change and the dangers of inoculations are “kooky” fringe conspiracy beliefs, as Morozov does in his article, is brazenly inaccurate and exposes the agenda-driven bias of his rhetoric.
This is further illustrated by the reader comments, which almost universally deride Morozov and attack his argument as being a thinly veiled demand for Internet censorship.
“The day Google starts doing things like this is the day I find a new search engine,” writes one.
“So, you are a supporter of internet censorship? Only of information that you disagree with, of course. So I assume Slate and NAF did not support the recent action regarding SOPA?” adds another.
Morozov’s rhetoric is merely one aspect of the wider move to turn the Internet into an echo chamber of establishment propaganda, drowning out alternative voices to the benefit of large pharmaceutical companies who make billions from selling risky vaccines and scientific bodies whose very survival depends upon the global warming myth being upheld.
It represents another effort to win an information war the establishment is currently losing, as Hillary Clinton herself admitted, by not just creating a new Orwellian Internet Ministry of Truth, as Bill Clinton demanded, but by ascribing this role to the very gatekeeper of the Internet itself – Google.
- Prison Planet.com ” Soros Mouthpiece Calls On Google To Police “Conspiracy Theories” (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- | Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories! (truthaholics.wordpress.com)
- Regulatory Czar wants to use copyright protection mechanisms to shut down rumors and conspiracy theories (wattsupwiththat.com)
George Soros is no stranger to Blaze readers. The billionaire currency speculator and philanthropist has long been in the news, especially since the fateful day in 1992 when he helped crash England’s economy. In fact, since that day, he has been commonly referred to as “the man who broke the bank of England.”
Soros is shrewd, he has a keen eye for investments, and he knows how to play the markets. Therefore, when he makes a prediction, it might be safe to say it’s worth a listen. After all, his predictions (among other things) have made him the multi-billionaire he is today.
So you might want to pay attention to a recent story from The Daily Beast that claims George Soros is nervous about the future of the global economy and that he warns of dark things to come.
“At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” Soros said.
As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil,” writes the Beasts’ John Arlidge. “Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America [Soros] predicts riots in the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties [emphases added]. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.”
And to add a little color, Aldridge notes Soros says it all while “peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead.”
“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros told Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”
As mentioned in the above, and as The Daily Beast points out, Soros’ warning is probably based on his natural market instincts as well as personal experience.
“I did survive a personally much more threatening situation, so it is emotional, as well as rational,” Soros said in reference to his personal experiences with both Nazi and Communist occupations.
“The collapse of the Soviet system was a pretty extraordinary event, and we are currently experiencing something similar in the developed world, without fully realizing what’s happening,” Soros said.
“Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret,” Soros said. “The tragedy of our current situation is the unintended consequence of imperfect understanding. A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.”
Wait a minute. Soros believes that the economic meltdown was the result of not just poor investments but honest-to-God “evil”?
“That’s correct,” Soros affirmed.
Soros continued in this vein, each prediction getting darker and grimmer than the last.
He believes that the EU must be held together because “if you have a disorderly collapse of the euro, you have the danger of a revival of the political conflicts that have torn Europe apart over the centuries—an extreme form of nationalism, which manifests itself in xenophobia, the exclusion of foreigners and ethnic groups.”
“In Hitler’s time, that was focused on the Jews,” Soros said. “Today, you have that with the Gypsies, the Roma, which is a small minority, and also, of course, Muslim immigrants.”
It is “now more likely than not” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Soros said. For this, he blames the EUs’ leadership and believes that eurozone leaders only know how to “do enough to calm the situation, not to solve the problem.”
Soros then went on to talk about how the Occupy Wall Street movement has added to the ever-changing dynamics in the world economy. Debt, Wall Street and capitalism have been put under intense scrutiny and people are becoming increasingly angry.
As this anger intensifies, will the inevitable result be a spontaneous eruption of violence and riots?
“Yes, yes, yes,” Soros says, almost “gleefully.”
However, according to Soros, worse than the riots and violence will be the government reaction.
“It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States,” Soros said.
Perhaps because he sees such a dark future for the West, Soros has staked his “hopes” for the global economy in Middle East and the “democracies” that are springing up over there.
“While the developed world is in a deep crisis, the future for the developing world is very positive,” Soros said. “The aspiration of people for an open society is very inspiring. You have people in Africa lining up for many hours when they are given an opportunity to vote. Dictators have been overthrown. It is very encouraging for freedom and growth.”
Soros insists the key to avoiding cataclysm in 2012 is not to let the crises of 2011 go to waste, writes John Arlidge.
“In the crisis period, the impossible becomes possible,” Soros said. “The European Union could regain its luster. I’m hopeful that the United States, as a political entity, will pass a very severe test and actually strengthen the institution.”
- Obama-Soros Promote “Open Government” (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Soros Plots Museveni’s Coup (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Why U.S. military in Uganda? Soros fingerprints all over it (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Uganda Gambit to serve Soros (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Prison Planet.com ” Soros Mouthpiece Calls On Google To Police “Conspiracy Theories” (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Soros says euro split would be catastrophe: report (marketwatch.com)
- Soros: Euro Crisis More Serious than the Crash of 2008 (wallstreetpit.com)
CTC Marine Projects, Ltd. (“CTC” or the Company), part of DeepOcean Group Holding AS, has announced the completion of its trenching work for the Kipper Tuna Turrum Project in the KTT Field located 45 kilometres offshore Victoria, Australia.
The work was undertaken on contract for McDermott Industries (Aust) Pty Ltd. The Company performed trenching of the recently installed hydraulic and electrical umbilicals located in 100 metres of water.
Prior to going offshore in late December 2011, CTC pre-assembled the A-Frame and CMR3 remotely operated trenching vehicle in Bell Bay, Tasmania, following its transportation from the UK. The trenching spread, which when transported weighed 112 tonnes over 10 units, was then mobilised onboard the client-operated vessel DSV Emerald Sea.
Following the completion of this project, the spread has been demobilised and is ready to commence further work in the APAC region.
“This project was another well planned and executed trenching job by CTC”, says Pierre Boyde, Commercial and Business Development Director. “We currently have another trenching spread, the world’s premier ROV trencher UT-1 on our Volantis subsea construction vessel working in South Korea, and we expect to remain active in this important APAC region.”
The $4 billion project will develop cleaner-burning natural gas supplies to help secure Victoria’s energy future, and holds enough energy to power a city of a million people for 35 years. Over 3000 people will be involved in the project, including engineering, project management, and fabrication and offshore construction teams. The Kipper facility construction is expected to be complete in 2012, while Turrum is expected to be completed in 2013.
- Australia: Pipe Laying Works Underway on Kipper Tuna Turrum Project
- Australia: BHP Billiton Approves Revised Costs For Kipper, Turrum Offshore Projects
- The Netherlands: Dockwise Announces $33 Million in Heavy Marine Transport Awards
- Norway: Farstad Secures Several Charter Deals for its PSV, AHTS Vessels
- Island Offshore Provides Update on Deepwater Seabed Excavation Project, Offshore Norway
- Australia: Saipem Lands Ichthys LNG Work (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Gulf of Mexico Records Largest Demand for Specialised Offshore Vessels (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Oceaneering Bags Angola Gig from BP (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: Clough Completes Sale of Marine Construction Business (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Island Offshore Charters Two Vessels to Schlumberger (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Keppel to Turn Ocean Voyager into Ocean Onyx (mb50.wordpress.com)
The two identical templates are being delivered on budget and on time, in line with Statoil’s standardization objectives to reduce cost levels as well as risk and time in execution of the project. The third and final template is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter.
The two templates are destined for the Fossekall field, which together with the Dompap field is the Skuld development. Skuld is located north of the Norne field, approximately 200 kilometres west of Sandessjøen, Norway, in 360 metres water depth.
- Aker Solutions Wins Contract From Statoil to Supply Control Umbilicals to Norne Field (Norway)
- Aker Solutions Wins LOI From Statoil for Subsea Production System (Norway)
- Norway: Statoil Receives Consent for Extended Use of Facilities on Norne Field
- Norway: Statoil Submits Plan for Development and Operation of Skuld Field
- Norway: Statoil Gets Green Light for Skuld PDO
- Norway: Aker Solutions to Supply Production Equipment for Brynhild Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Aker Solutions to Open Hi-Tech Drilling Equipment Simulator in – Houston (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Aker Solutions Plans to Strengthen its Footprint in Northern Norway (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions to Supply Production Equipment for Brynhild Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Aker Solutions to Provide Umbilicals for Anadarko’s Lucius Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Technip Participates in Statoil’s Vilje and Visund Developments (mb50.wordpress.com)
- UK: Aker Solutions to Supply Subsea Modules for Western Isles Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: DOF Subsea to Provide Offshore Survey & Construction Services to Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production (mb50.wordpress.com)
In its newest Annual Energy Outlook EIA said it expects U.S. crude oil production to reach 6.7 million barrels per day in 2020, the highest level since 1994.
Shale gas production is expected to be the driving force behind increased natural gas production, increasing from 5.0 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to 13.6 trillion cubic feet in 2035, accounting for nearly half of all domestic natural gas production.
- Chesapeake Makes Progress on Debt Reduction Plan (USA)
- CLNG: EIA Gas Export Study Reveals Only Part of Economic Picture (USA)
- Australia: Clough Lowers Earnings Guidance
- USA: EIA Expects 26 Percent Decline in LNG Imports This Year
- Pakistan Eyes Qatari LNG
- CLNG: EIA Gas Export Study Reveals Only Part of Economic Picture (USA) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Natural gas production in the US will triple by 2035, Energy Information Administration says (pennlive.com)
- USA: Sempra Wins DOE Approval for Cameron LNG Export (mb50.wordpress.com)
- An emerging player (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Macquarie Vies To Sell U.S. LNG To India (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: TCEQ Says Grants Available for Gas Fueling Station (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Gas Exports Ignite a Feud (mb50.wordpress.com)
Mediterranean bottom currents and the sediment deposits they leave behind offer new insights into global climate change, the opening and closing of ocean circulation gateways and locations where hydrocarbon deposits may lie buried under the sea.
A team of 35 scientists from 14 countries recently returned from an expedition off the southwest coast of Iberia and the nearby Gulf of Cadiz. There the geologists collected core samples of sediments that contain a detailed record of the Mediterranean’s history. The scientists retrieved the samples by drilling into the ocean floor during an eight-week scientific expedition onboard the ship JOIDES Resolution.
The group–researchers participating in Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 339: Mediterranean Outflow–is the first to retrieve sediment samples from deep below the seafloor in this region.
Much of the sediment in the cores is known as “contourite” because the currents that deposit it closely follow the contours of the ocean basin.
“The recovery of nearly four kilometers of contourite sediments deposited from deep underwater currents presents a superb opportunity to understand water flow from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean,” says Jamie Allan, program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which co-funds IODP.
“Knowledge of this water flow is important for understanding Earth’s climate history in the last five million years.”
“We now have a much greater insight into the distinctive character of contourites, and have validated beyond doubt the existing paradigm for this type of sedimentation,” says Dorrik Stow of Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom and co-chief scientist for Expedition 339.
The world’s oceans are far from static. Large currents flow at various depths beneath the surface. These currents form a global conveyor belt that transfers heat energy and helps buffer Earth’s climate.
Critical gateways in the oceans affect circulation of these major currents.
The Strait of Gibraltar is one such gateway. It re-opened less than six million years ago.
Today, deep below the surface, there is a powerful cascade of Mediterranean water spilling out through the strait into the Atlantic Ocean.
Because this water is saltier than the Atlantic–and therefore heavier–it plunges more than 1,000 meters downslope, scouring the rocky seafloor, carving deep-sea canyons and building up mountains of mud on a little-known submarine landscape.
The sediments hold a record of climate change and tectonic activity that spans much of the past 5.3 million years.
The team found evidence for a “tectonic pulse” at the junction between the African and European tectonic plates, which is responsible for the rising and falling of key structures in and around the gateway.
This event also led to strong earthquakes and tsunamis that dumped large flows of debris and sand into the deep sea.
At four of the seven drill sites, there was also a major chunk of the geologic record missing from the sediment cores–evidence of a strong current that scoured the seafloor.
“We set out to understand how the Strait of Gibraltar acted first as a barrier and then a gateway over the past six million years,” says Javier Hernandez-Molina of the University of Vigo in Spain and co-chief scientist for Expedition 339. “We now have that understanding and a record of a deep, powerful Mediterranean outflow through the Gibraltar gateway.”
The first drill site, located on the west Portuguese margin, provided the most complete marine sediment record of climate change over the past 1.5 million years of Earth history.
The sediment cores cover at least four major ice ages and contain a new marine archive to compare against ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica, among other land-based records.
The team was surprised to find exactly the same climate signal in the mountains of contourite mud they drilled in the Gulf of Cádiz.
Because these muds were deposited much faster than the sediments at the Portuguese margin site, the record from these cores could prove to yield even richer, more detailed climate information.
“Cracking the climate code will be more difficult for contourites because they receive a mixed assortment of sediment from varying sources,” Hernandez-Molina says.
“But the potential story that unfolds may be even more significant. The oceans and climate are inextricably linked. It seems there is an irrepressible signal of this nexus in contourite sediments.”
The team also found more sand among the contourite sediments than expected.
The scientists found this sand filling the contourite channels, deposited as thick layers within mountains of mud, and in a single, vast sand sheet that spreads out nearly 100 kilometers from the Gibraltar gateway.
All testify to the strength, velocity and duration of the Mediterranean bottom currents. The finding could affect future oil and gas exploration, the researchers believe.
“The thickness, extent and properties of these sands make them an ideal target in places where they are buried deeply enough to allow for the trapping of hydrocarbons,” Stow explains.
The sands are deposited in a different manner in channels and terraces cut by bottom currents; in contrast, typical reservoirs form in sediments deposited by downslope “turbidity” currents.
“The sand is especially clean and well-sorted, and therefore very porous and permeable,” says Stow. “Our findings could herald a significant shift in future exploration targets.”
IODP is an international research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring, and monitoring the subseafloor.
IODP is supported by two lead agencies: the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Additional program support comes from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, the Australia-New Zealand IODP Consortium, India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, the People’s Republic of China (Ministry of Science and Technology), and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.
The JOIDES Resolution is a scientific research vessel managed by the U.S. Implementing Organization of IODP (USIO). Texas A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership comprise the USIO.
- Jamstec Announces Cancelation of Ocean Drilling Expedition 337 in Japan
- Dr. Kate Moran New Director of NEPTUNE Canada
- East Coast Gliders Clear View of Influence That Ocean Eddies Have on Marine Life (Australia)
- IFM-GEOMAR Scientists Examine Causes of Earthquakes and Tsunamis Off Italy
- Researchers Explore ‘Dragon Vent’ in Indian Ocean
Other Related articles
- Scientists look to microbes to unlock Earth’s deep secrets (eurekalert.org)
- International Ocean Drilling to Follow Simpler Structure (news.sciencemag.org)
- Expedition Looks for Life Beneath Earth’s Crust (livescience.com)
- Drilling ship to probe Japanese quake zone (nature.com)
- Seafloor mud cores and the seismic record (earth-pages.co.uk)
- Fukushima Ocean Radiation Was 50 Million Times Above Normal, But No Threat: Scientists (forbes.com)
- Hyperdynamics Halts Drilling Offshore Guinea (mb50.wordpress.com)