Daily Archives: February 5, 2012

China paper defends Syria veto, doubts West’s intentions

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BEIJING | Sun Feb 5, 2012 9:07pm EST

(Reuters) – China’s top newspaper on Monday defended Beijing’s rejection of a U.N. resolution pressing Syria‘s President Bashar al-Assad to abandon power, saying Western campaigns in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq showed the error of forced regime change.

The commentary in the People’s Daily, the top newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, was Beijing’s clearest defence of its decision to join Moscow at the weekend in vetoing a draft United Nations resolution that would have backed an Arab plan urging Assad to quit after months of bloodshed.

The commentary suggested that Chinese distrust of Western intervention lay behind the veto, which was described by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a “travesty.”

“The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and numbers of civilian casualties keep rising. Vetoing the draft Security Council resolution does not mean we are giving free rein to letting this heart-rending state of affairs continue,” said the commentary in the paper, which echoes government thinking.

China, not its Western critics, was acting “responsibly” for the sake of the Syrian people, it said. The author used the pen name “Zhong Sheng,” which can mean “voice of China” and is often used to give Beijing’s position on foreign policy.

“Currently, the situation in Syria is extremely complex. Simplistically supporting one side and suppressing the other might seem a helpful way of turning things around, but in fact it would be sowing fresh seeds of disaster,” said the paper.

China’s siding with Russia over Syria could add to irritants with the United States. Vice President Xi Jinping is due to visit there next week, burnishing his credentials as the Communist Party’s likely next top leader.

Beijing and Washington have also sparred over Iran, which faces tightened Western sanctions over its nuclear ambitions.

The commentary also laid bare broader Chinese concerns about Western-backed intervention in the Arab world and beyond.

China is one of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members that hold the power to veto resolutions.

In March, China abstained from a Council vote that authorised Western military intervention in Libya. That resolution became the basis for a NATO air campaign that led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, despite misgivings from Beijing and Moscow about the expanded campaign, which they said went beyond the resolution.

“Libya offers a negative case study. NATO abused the Security Council resolution about establishing a no-fly zone, and directly provided firepower assistance to one side in the Libyan war,” said the People’s Daily Commentary.

It also cited Iraq and Afghanistan in its case against the Syria resolution.

“The calamities of Iraq and Afghanistan should be ample to wipe clear the world’s eyes. Forceful prevention of a humanitarian disaster sounds filled with a sense of justice and responsibility,” said the paper.

“But are not the unstoppable attacks and explosions over a decade after regime change a humanitarian disaster?” it said.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Minister: Sanctions Will Not Affect Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipe Project

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Sanctions imposed against Iran will not affect the IP gas pipeline project and therefore Pakistan will continue to pursue it, Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Asim Hussain said.

He went on to say that, Pakistan is determined to complete the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline despite the sanction imposed against Iran, IRNA reported.

According to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Pakistan needs to meet its energy demands immediately and for this, all options are to be availed.

Based on agreement between the two countries, Iran agreed to export 21.5 million cubic meters of natural gas daily, 7.8 billion cubic meters annually.

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ExxonMobil, Petrom Strike Gas in Black Sea

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ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania and OMV Petrom, said on Friday that natural gas has been encountered in Domino‐1, the first deepwater exploration well in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea.

This is encouraging, but it is too early in the data evaluation and exploration process to speculate on whether it will prove to be commercial or not,” the two companies said in a statement.

The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1000 meters deep.

Drilling operations started at year-end 2011 and are ongoing.

The total depth of the well is expected to be more than 3000 metres below sea level.

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Eventually, Someone Is Going To Profit Off Of This Massive Arbitrage Opportunity

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Joe Weisenthal

This shouldn’t surprise you: Oil prices have held steady, while natural gas prices have gone into total freefall.

Natural gas has been “cheap” for sometime, but the warm winter has really been killing it, and so the relative cost of oil has exploded higher.

Of course, the two aren’t perfect substitutes, and as everyone knows there are major infrastructure challenges associated with using more natural gas in the economy (you can ask T. Boone Pickens about that). But at some point, given the need for cheap energy that doesn’t help fund countries that help fund terrorism, you’d think this might mean revert. Maybe.

Read more: BI

WWCS Bags Decom Gig in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

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Wright’s Well Control Services (WWCS) has been awarded a contract from an operator in the Gulf of Mexico for the surface plug & abandonment of sixteen wells. Work on this project will commence in the first quarter of 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of June 2012.

WWCS will use its proprietary custom-engineered equipment for the project including wireline units, pumps, fluid manifolds, cement blenders, gas separators and tanks. These small-footprint spreads allow for conducting rigless plug & abandonments from a vessel of opportunity. WWCS will also provide planning, permitting and project management services.

“We are seeing an uptick in decommissioning work in the Gulf. The awarding of this contract further demonstrates WWCS’ capability to successfully execute multi-well packages for our clients. Our unique small-footprint equipment and experienced crews help customers stay on budget and schedule,” says David Wright, WWCS president.

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