Daily Archives: April 24, 2012

New drilling, production in Eagle Ford surges

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Drilling in the Eagle Ford shale has dramatically increased in 2012, as producers have frantically turned away from cheap natural gas to production from regions that yield higher priced oils and other liquids.

The number of new wells drilled in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale more than doubled during the first three months of 2012, compared with the same period a year ago, according to Bentek Energy.

Operators started 856 new wells in the first quarter of 2012, compared with 407 in the same period a year ago, the energy market analysis firm reported.

There was also a record high number of 217 rigs active in the Eagle Ford during this month.

The increase in activity ratcheted up production of oil and other liquids, from 182,000-barrels-a-day in April 2011 to more than 500,000-barrels-a-day this month, according to Bentek’s analysis, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration highlighted on its website.

The Eagle Ford currently produces about 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

According to Bentek, Eagle Ford crude oil and liquids production was approaching the levels of the booming Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and eastern Montana during March 2012.

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"If I wanted America to fail" (video)

Published on Apr 20, 2012 by FreeMarketAmerica

The environmental agenda has been infected by extremism—it’s become an economic suicide pact. And we’re here to challenge it. On Earth Day, visit www.freemarketamerica.org.

USA: Subsea 7 to Exhibit at Offshore Technology Conference

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Subsea 7, a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services to the offshore energy industry, will be exhibiting the wealth of its expertise and some of its new groundbreaking technology at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, USA, from 30 April to 3 May.

Subsea 7 will deliver seven conference papers and, among the range of new technology the company will be exhibiting at its booth 1641, will be its new flagship pipelay / heavylift vessel, the Seven Borealis, its pioneering Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV), and its award winning Mechanically Lined Pipe technology. Also high on Subsea 7’s agenda at OTC 2012 will be the recruitment of talented engineers, project managers and support function personnel for its expanding work programme following the successful award of a number contracts.

Steve Wisely, Subsea 7’s Executive Vice-President – Commercial, said: “We will have a bigger presence than ever at OTC this year. This reflects the successful year we have had, the great strides that we have made in technology solutions and our service offering to clients. Subsea projects are getting more complex and challenging, in deeper waters and more harsh environments. We want to show clients the full range of our capabilities, including a large and modern fleet, our expertise and our ability to deliver their projects. And for people looking for new employment challenges with a rewarding company, we have a number of opportunities available.”

Subsea 7 has been investing in renewing its fleet in the last year, including its new flagship vessel, the Seven Borealis, which is due to go on its first project later this year. With its combined S-lay and J-lay pipelay and 5,000t heavylift capabilities, the Seven Borealis is one of the most versatile subsea construction vessels in the industry, ideally suited to meet the exacting requirements of ultra-deep and deepwater projects.

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In the area of Life-of-Field support, Subsea 7 will showcase its revolutionary AIV, which is now commercially available. A differentiating element of the AIV is its ability to recognise and respond to its surroundings, being able to correct its trajectory in real time, based on information it gathers from its onboard sensors. The AIV, which can operate directly from a host facility, such as an FPSO or Platform, or from infield support vessels or mobile rigs, will transform Life-of-Field projects. It can provide cost-effective, low-risk inspection to aid field survey and integrity management and intervention activities.

The full range of Subsea 7’s capabilities in riser technology, pipe-in-pipe and pipeline welding will be on show at OTC. The company’s technological expertise was recently recognised by the industry’s prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild giving Subsea 7 the Subsea Pipeline Technology Award for the installation of Mechanically Lined Pipe by reel–lay, which will be on display at the show. The technology, independently qualified by DNV, has demonstrated its market potential and been adopted for the first major pre-salt project, Guará-Lula NE, in Brazil by Petrobras.

Seven technical papers will be delivered by Subsea 7 at this year’s OTC, showcasing its experience and capabilities to deliver innovative solutions for clients’ projects. These are:

• Accounting for Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) in wake induced motion of risers in tandem at high reynolds number

• A giant step and innovative subsea project – Pazflor

• Innovation in ROV/AUV technology – Autonomous Inspection Vehicle: A new dimension in Life-of-Field operations

• Design consideration and equipment details of the 5,000t mast crane of the deepwater pipelay and heavylift vessel Seven Borealis

• Improved pile driving prediction in carbonate soil and rock

• Mechanically Lined Bubi® Pipe – installation by reel-lay

• GIS support for field development project: A contractor experience and perspective.

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It Looks Like The Newest Country In The World Is Officially At War

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by Adam Taylor

The situation between South Sudan and Sudan over disputed oil fields has been on the verge of blowing up into a full scale war for weeks.

Today AP is reporting that South Sudan’s president has said that Sudan has now declared war on his country.

This could be a big deal, with other African nations and even Sudan’s Chinese allies at risk of getting involved.

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Read more: BI

Enagas: Musel LNG Terminal to be Mothballed After Completion, Spain

Even though the construction of 7 billion cubic meter/year terminal at Musel is nearing its completion and should be running until the end of the year, it will not be put into operation immediately due to insufficient gas demand.

Following a governmental decree, issued in March, the terminal will be put into “hibernation period” thus saving up to Eur67 million ($88 million) in regulated costs on annual basis.

According to, Antonio Llarden, the CEO of gas infrastructure operator Enagas, which has been contracted for construction of the terminal “it will not be brought online until demand justifies it,” Platts informed.

Namely, analysts predict a rise in gas demand in 2012 of up to 2.5%, followed by a surging demand for LNG having in mind the ongoing interest for pollutant free energy sources. Based on the fact that Enagas recorded a 30% increase in international LNG sale in 2011, the company forecasts a rise in LNG demand in the upcoming period which could pave the way for operationalization of the terminal.

The facility of 300,000 m3 LNG storage space, featured in two tanks of 150,000 m3 capacity and 800,000 m3/h emission capacity will be piping gas between Musel and Llanera, where it will be connected to the already operating gas pipelines in Galicia, León and Cantabria. The design of the facility allows extension of both its storage capacity and emission totaling to 1,200,000 m3/h.

As Llarden pointed out, the Spanish Government plans to construct another LNG terminal on the Canary Islands, which should be included in a new infrastructure plan, covering the period 2012-2020 and Enagas already has its eye on the potential construction.

Enagas: Musel LNG Terminal to be Mothballed After Completion, Spain>> LNG World News.

NGO crackdown: Gagging democracy or national self-defense?

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Egypt has denied licenses to eight US-based non-profit groups, saying they violated the country’s sovereignty. Many states are concerned that foreign government-backed NGOs are really agents for their sponsors, rather than independent action groups.

­Among the organizations banned from continuing their work in Egypt are the Carter Center for Human Rights, set up by former US President Jimmy Carter, Christian group The Coptic Orphans, Seeds of Peace and other groups.

Egyptian authorities warned that if the NGOs try to work without a license, Cairo would “take relevant measures”.

Local media speculate that the rejection may be temporary, and licenses could be granted later, after the presidential election due on May 23 and 24.

Monday’s move revives a crackdown by the Egyptian authorities on foreign-funded NGOs, which recently provoked a serious diplomatic row with long-term ally US. In late December 2011, security forces raided offices of a number of groups suspected of receiving money in violation of Egyptian legislation.

In February, prosecutors charged 43 people with instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies following last year’s mass protests, which resulted in the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. Among them were citizens of the US, Germany, Serbia, Norway and Jordan.

In March, an Egyptian court revoked the travel ban for 17 indicted Americans following Washington’s threat to withdraw $1.3 billion annual military aid to Cairo. The decision provoked a wave criticism of the ruling military council in Egypt. Many activists accused them of betraying national interests under American pressure.

But shortly after the suspected Americans left the country, Cairo’s prosecutors decided to target more people allegedly involved in the case, who were not in Egypt when the charges against their colleagues were made. Egypt asked Interpol to issue “red notices” for 15 NGO workers, including 12 Americans, two Lebanese and a Jordanian.

On Monday, Interpol’s French headquarters announced that the Egyptian request had been turned down, because it contradicted rules that strictly forbid the organization “to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

Not so non-government

There may be a good reason why national governments in troubled countries mistrust US-funded NGOs. For instance, NATO’s intervention in Libya was partially justified by exaggerated reports of human rights organizations alleging that Muammar Gaddafi’s forces committed crimes against humanity and breached international law in other ways, reports RT’s Maria Portnaya. After the war some of them admitted to giving ungrounded reports.

Powerful NGOs like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International are supposed to be objective monitors and not take sides, but in reality they “enter into an excessively cozy relationship with for example the United States government, but also other powerful Western allies, over Libya and over other issues,” John Laughland from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation told RT.

This is what happened in Libya and is now happening in Syria, he added.

“The equivalent, if you like, of the Libyan League of Human Rights, which is called the Damascus Centre for Human Rights, has played exactly the same role. They’ve alleged crimes against humanity. They’ve called for safe havens, and armed intervention in that country. And they are quite clear political lobbyists, who are trying to secure a military intervention against Syria along the lines of the one approved last year against Libya,”
Laughland explained.

Another example is the group behind the Kony 2012 initiative. The California-based NGO Invisible Children is calling to stop the use of child soldiers and is promoting peace in the Ugandan civil war. But the same organization provided Uganda’s authorities with intelligence that led to the arrest of several regime opponents, as a US embassy cable published by WikiLeaks revealed.

“I’m willing to believe that was not the one time that Invisible Children provided information to the Ugandan authorities. What else do we not know, in terms of their relations with the Ugandan Government?” asks Milton Allimadi, Editor-in-chief of the Black Star News.

The viral video calling on a campaign to stop Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army appeared just months after President Obama decided to send 100 US military advisors to the region to help local governments remove Kony “from the battlefield”. Some human rights organizations criticized the move, saying among those receiving American aid is South Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army, which is known to exploit child soldiers just like Kony does.

NGOs are not currently held accountable for the information they publish, no matter how much collateral damage false facts may cause. Critics say some of those organizations actually pave the way for conflict rather than advocating peaceful solutions.

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