Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

‘The new normal’

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Daily Advertiser

Oil and gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico will some day return to pre-BP spill levels, the president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company, Gary Luquette said Thursday.

But the rigorous permitting, safety and verification requirements imposed after the April 2010 BP disaster are here to stay, Gary Luquette said during an interview with The Daily Advertiser before the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, where he was keynote speaker.

“It’s a new normal,” Luquette said.

The industry hasn’t found its stride since the Deepwater Horizon platform operated by BP off the coast of Louisiana exploded and sunk, creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

That disaster, which killed 11 workers, led the federal government to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling that was followed by more stringent permitting and safety regulations.

“I think activity levels can and will return to pre-Macondo (spill) levels,” he said. “The effort and rigor in getting permits approved won’t return.”

Luquette said that’s a good thing for Louisiana and the industry. The BP disaster tainted the entire industry.

Tighter permitting, regulations and oversight will help the industry rebuild public trust, he said.

The “new normal” may be too costly for some of the small independent companies to survive, Luquette said.

“In the end,” he said, “the standards are going up. It’s your responsibility to enact them.”

The Gulf of Mexico is still a major source of oil and natural gas and Chevron maintains a presence there, in deepwater and shallow water, said Luquette, a 1978 civil engineering graduate of UL Lafayette.

More than half of the company’s 2012 budget is allocated to Gulf of Mexico activity. Today, Chevron has 10 rigs operating in shallow water, he said.

Lafayette plays an important role in the industry with numerous supply and service companies operating here.

Chevron alone has 300 workers in its Lafayette office and another 300 or so working offshore out of the Lafayette office, Luquette said.

President Obama said last week in his State of the Union address that he wants to end “subsidies” to the oil and gas industry which makes billions of dollars in profits. Luquette said the energy industry creates jobs and creates wealth for the federal government.

In 2011, the oil and gas industry paid $86 million a day to the federal government in royalties, rents and tax revenue, he said. The industry also employs more than nine million either directly or indirectly.

The industry doesn’t need bailouts and such, just a level-playing field, the same so-called subsidies and breaks the federal government provides other U.S. industries and those from foreign nations, Luquette said.

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Norwegian LNG on Way to U.S.

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The latest LNG cargo to be loaded at Norway’s Hammerfest terminal has been dispatched to United States, according to shipping data.

The 165,500 m3 Maersk Meridian departed Hammerfest yesterday, and is expected to arrive at U.S. Sabinne Pass terminal on February 17.

Statoil said on January 20 that it has resumed production at the Hammerfest LNG plant following a temporary shutdown due to rupture of a firewater line.

The Hammerfest terminal has a capacity to produce 4.3 million mt/year of LNG.

Articles

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These New Developments Could Be Paving The Way For Military Action In Iran

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An Iranian Ghader missile launched at the shore of sea of Oman.

Robert Johnson

There are so many snippets of rhetoric being reported about Iran, Israel and the U.S. that it’s begun to feel like a middle school circle of “he said, she said.”

Piecing together sound bites to form a rough idea of what’s actually going on is about the only option available right now, so when Leon Panetta announced yesterday that he thinks Israel may strike Iran this spring it immediately made the news.

David Ignatius at The Washington Post reported Panetta’s thoughts Thursday when the Secretary of Defense said he believed Israel would launch an attack on Iran in April, May or June.

After that, Israel allegedly believes Tehran will enter a “zone of immunity” where they will have enough enriched uranium, stashed in bunkers deep enough, that only U.S. bombs will be able to penetrate and they will be helpless to act on their own.

Ignatius did not cite a source, but reported the news from Brussels where Panetta was attending a NATO Defense meeting.

It’s a reasonable argument that is bolstered by the fact that Israel cancelled its massive missile defense drill with the U.S., slated for the same period, saying that they couldn’t spare the forces at that time. The drill is said to be back on the books for October.

For its part, Iran is doing nothing to assuage any concerns over its intentions as it launched a satellite into orbit Friday.

Nasser Karimi at the Associated Press reports the launch raises concerns not only for the satellites possible military applications, but because the rocket that delivered it uses the same technology as a ballistic missile would use. Say, an inter-continental ballistic missile fitted with a nuclear warhead.

Israel announced Thursday that Iran is developing technology that will enable it to launch such a missile that will reach the continental United States. This satellite launch only reinforces this possibility.

In an official announcement the Iranian supreme leader warned any action against Iran will have dire effects on the U.S.

CNN reports that Iran’s supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni announced “You see every now and then in this way they say that all options are on the table. That means even the option of war.” During Friday prayers in Tehran, he continued, “This is how they make threats against us.”

“Well, these kinds of threats are detrimental to the U.S.,” he said. “The war itself will be 10 times as detrimental to the U.S.”

The Ayatollah went on to say that Iran pledges its full support to any country or organization that attacks Israel and that the U.S. and Israel will soon face defeats in a coming “great event.”

In a random aside: A South African telecom is being sued for aiding Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for an exclusive cellular license within the country.

Read more: BI

Energy secretary backs natural gas exports

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The low price of natural gas is hurting domestic job growth, and exporting a small amount of the fuel will boost the economy, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a Houston audience Thursday.

Speaking at a town hall at Houston Community College, Chu said a modest increase in the price of natural gas wouldn’t significantly raise its cost to U.S. consumers who use it to heat their homes and manufacturers who need it to make products.

Natural gas futures closed at $2.55, up 17 cents, in trading Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It brings much higher prices in other countries.

“Exporting natural gas means wealth comes into the United States,” Chu said.

The Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy is reviewing several applications to export liquefied natural gas. The exports would relieve the glut of natural gas on the domestic market and raise revenue, but also potentially increase prices for domestic consumers.

Several U.S. energy companies have announced plans to close their natural gas wells and curb spending in natural gas fields, as its price has fallen from more than $13.50 in 2008.

In his State of the Union speech last week, President Barack Obama called for an “all-of-the-above” approach to domestic energy production, including investment in oil, natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Chu said it’s important that the United States be at the forefront of innovations and technologies in renewable energy.

“We have a choice. When all these things become cost-competitive, do you want to buy or do you want to sell?” he asked. “If we are buying, that is wealth out of the country. If we are selling, that’s wealth into the country.”

Before the hour-long session with students at the college, Chu met with oil and gas executives and explored the Texas Medical Center’s energy efficiency upgrade.

At the college, he answered questions about the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, among other topics.

Chu said the administration is open to exploring alternate routes for the pipeline that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

It’s become a touchstone issue for supporters who say it will create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil from hostile nations, and opponents who argue it could threaten water supplies and promote use of an especially dirty form of oil.

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Photo: Melissa Phillip / © 2011 Houston Chronicle

 

Chu said he supports construction of pipelines nationwide, particularly to relieve the glut of oil at the hub in Cushing, Okla., a major price point for domestic oil.

“There is such a shortage of pipelines between Cushing and Houston,” Chu said. “There will be major construction of pipelines in the next decade or so. All the job creation from Cushing to Houston is being done now.”

Chu touted government investment in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, as well. He said he expects the cost of solar power to fall by 50 percent within six to eight years.

Chu also dismissed Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipment channel, in retaliation for international sanctions aimed at the nation’s nuclear program.

“I don’t think they can really shut down the Strait of Hormuz,” Chu said. “We certainly have capabilities to reopen it.”

simone.sebastian@chron.com @SimonesNews

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NMS Girl Of The Day #2 – Chantelle Hammann

It was pointed out to me during the selection of the second NMS Girl Of The Day that yesterday’s inaugural NMS Girl Of The Day was also a Chantel (see Chantel Fouche’s post here). My response was that the spelling is different, the hair colour is different and that they are quite clearly different people.  And that they are both smoking hot entries into the NMS 2012.

I won that argument – and the second girl to win a NMS Girl Of The Day badge is the beautiful Chantelle Hamman.  We’re sure you all agree that it’s the type of hotness that we like to get our weekend off to a flying start.

What you need to do now, though, is VOTE FOR CHANTELLE! That is if you’d like to see her in the Sports Illustrated Swimwear edition.

NMS Girl Of The Day #2 – Chantelle HammannSports Illustrated.

Some content on this page was disabled on September 26, 2017 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Chantelle Hammann. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/

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