Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

Obama’s LOST Legacy: A New World Order

By Peter C Glover
Posted on Jun. 11, 2012

So who cares if Obama wants, as part of his legacy, to do what Ronald Reagan refused to do and sign up the United States to LOST, the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty? Well if you are a small government, liberty-loving American, or citizen anywhere in the free world, you should. Here’s why.

US ratification of this Treaty would effectively grant governance of the bulk of the world’s surface area, its navigable waterways and access to what lies beneath – i.e. the world’s deepwater energy riches, not only fishing rights – to an unelected, anti-US, rabidly anti-Jewish, anti-free market, anti-capitalist body; where those in the democratic West can easily be outvoted.

Sound good to you?

For many Lost is a far-flung fictional fantasy about people facing a dangerous new world that poses unique threats. LOST also offers a new world of unique threats – but is an only too real, clear and present danger. It just so happens, when it comes to ambitions for an expanded Law of the Sea Treaty, that what is in the best interests of the United States is also in the best interest of the free world. No matter that the much of the rest of the world may have already attempted to sign away some of their sovereign rights under LOST. Quite simply, without US ratification (and its naval power), LOST remains a largely meaningless document. It is essential that it stays that way.

The problem with transnational governance of any kind is that on an administrative level it ties up sovereign claims in bureaucratic red tape for years. Meanwhile the world’s ‘less’ democratic leaders, like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, will do as they always have, ignore them altogether. Russia has effectively already annexed around 60 percent of the Arctic. We’ve all seen the International Criminal Court of Justice in action. Those hauled up before it are far more likely to die of old age than receive justice. Imagine an international tribunal, with all manner of agendas, demanding governments and successful companies stump up billions of dollars in fines, compensations and ‘reparations’ to be ‘redistributed’ at the whim and collusion of some of the world’s leading dictators.

A little harsh? Then consider the UN’s track record.

LOST, the story so far

With bemusing short-sightedness, the key supporters of LOST or, to give it its alternative title, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are pushing ratification both as a “tool to expand and confirm American sovereignty” and as a “peace tool for the US”. The treaty has been on the books since 1982 garnering wide Western support until Ronald Reagan grounded it perceiving it to be a threat to US sovereign interests. But President Obama, it seems, sees adoption as part of his legacy. In mid-May the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Atlantic Council held a forum at which US politicians, businesses and even national security leaders gave their support to the Treaty. Currently, Senator John Kerry is operating as the administration’s point man. Kerry is holding a series of public hearings to garner further support for the US to ratify LOST. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey (amazingly the US Navy thinks it’s a good idea) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – all avid proponents of adopting the Treaty – have all been called to give evidence.

The thinking runs that the US needs to secure its rights to the vast mineral resources on its extended continental shelf, not least in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The fact is, however, under existing international law and US policy, America already has access to these areas. And it’s hard to see anyone arguing the fact given US naval clout; which brings us full circle to what’s really going on here. And for those who love liberty and freedom, it turns out to be far more than controlling just US wealth and sovereign rights, as the rush for the Arctic’s subsea energy riches exemplifies.

The USGS estimates that the Arctic has around 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered energy resources, with 84 percent of that figure in deepwater. It is clearly a whole new energy frontier. While various claims to Arctic regions, as well as other energy-rich areas of the world, have been lodged with the UNCLOS, tensions between the Arctic’s littoral states, Russia, Canada, Norway Denmark (Greenland), the US and Iceland have been ratcheting up. with the larger states, particularly Russia, militarizing their claimed regions. The argument from the American left is that as the US has not ratified UNCLOS/LOST it does not have a seat at, what they view, as the UN’s prospective arbitration table. Indeed, the US has notably not submitted any claims to UNCLOS. And without US co-operation any decisions currently made by UNCLOS won’t count for much.

In 2010 I attended the inaugural meeting of The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue which has translated into an annual forum on all matters Arctic hosted by the Russian Geographical Society, sponsored by Putin himself. Those attending included members of another key international forum, the Arctic Council, made up of representatives of all the littoral Arctic states. Bottom line: international ‘jaw-jaw’ forum to deal with everything ‘Arctic’ already exist. So why is a new UN convention with global reach necessary? And who, precisely, thinks it’s a good idea? Let’s take the second issue first.

Usual suspects

Washington Times’ Frank Gaffney describes those pushing for the US to sign up to LOST as “usual suspects – the environmentalists, the one-worlder trans-nationalists, the Obama administration” and other “short-sighted special interests”. Yep, leftwing social engineers all. And US ratification of LOST would give the world’s greatest naval power no more than a single vote at a table chaired by the UN. De-superpowered at a bureaucratic stroke and giving the world’s leading talking shop to rake in a huge ‘tax and penalty’ bonanza from the vast deepwater energy resources on continental shelves.

America signing up to LOST would effectively require it to pay tax royalties to the UN’s International Seabed Authority. It would also become subject to UN powers of arbitration over disputed waters. At whim, the UN bureaucracy could level economic penalties for all sorts of alleged infractions. The UN would, at last, have found a potentially bottomless pit of independent income, mostly at US expense. Greenpeace and other lobbies would salivate at the prospect of suing the US and other countries to force them to sign up to that which has thus far eluded them: a legally-binding climate deal. All in all, ratification of LOST would provide the UN – the same organisation that has elected Iran to the Commission on Women’s Rights and recently invited Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe to become a UN Ambassador – with what the Washington Times’ Ed Fuelner rightly describes as “an economic wrecking ball”.

President Obama may or may not be out of office come November but he wants a lasting, globally-impacting, legacy. And ‘internationalist’ legacies don’t come much bigger than being instrumental in handing governance of seventy percent of the earth’s surface to an unelected Star Chamber, supported and dominated by one world nutjobs, enviro-freaks, international despots and self-aggrandizing bureaucrats.

That’s quite a legacy.

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Norway: Expro’s AX-S System Installed on Havyard’s Havila Phoenix Vessel

There are great things happening aboard the vessel “Havila Phoenix” nowadays. During the last two years there have been installations and tests of a whole new system likely to revolutionise the offshore light well intervention market.

The vessel, a Havyard 858 design, is designed and constructed by the ship technology group, Havyard Group AS, and owned by Havila Shipping, both located in Fosnavåg at the west coast of Norway. The offshore construction vessel was delivered from Havyard Ship Technology in Leirvik, Norway in 2009.

The vessel has over the last year-and-a-half been working on a contract for Fugro-Salt Subsea, part of the massive Fugro group, which is a Dutch-based corporation with more than 14.000 employees spread across 60 countries. Fugro-Salt Subsea cooperates with Expro in terms of developing the new “AX-S”-system aboard Havila`s advanced construction vessel.

So far the development of this new system has been running for seven years and cost NOK 1.2 billion in research and investments in ground-breaking new technology. The breakthrough appeared around a month ago when tests in the Norwegian Onarheim fjord proved very successful.

AX-S” is a brand new system for well intervention involving remote-controlled subsea tools. The new system is, according to both the Havila management and the management of Fugro-Salt Subsea, a revolutionary system using solutions so far never utilised in subsea operations from a construction vessel. This involves employing extremely advanced remote-controlled subsea tools during well intervention that can handle up to eight different tools within the same operation, as well as using a light fibre rope instead of heavy steel wires. These are the main elements of the recent innovation. Should the system also win approval in a business sense, it could have a major impact on the offshore light well intervention market.

STABLE HAVYARD VESSEL

In the last year-and-a-half the 110 metre long vessel, a ship now docked in the port of Montrose between Dundee and Aberdeen, Scotland, has looked more like a research station than an offshore vessel. Havila Phoenix has been outfitted with a 35 metre tall tower and several modules on deck with a combined weight of over 500 tonnes. And there is no coincidence that the Scottish group has chosen a Havyard 858 design for this unique project.

– We needed a big, solid and modern vessel, and Havila Phoenix has lived up to all our expectations. If we fully succeed with this project we will likely be looking to acquire vessels of a similar design, but we will then need to be part of the planning straight from the start and get more of the system directly integrated below deck, says Operation Manager Darren Bown of AX-S.

The captain of Havila Phoenix, Leif Magne Lynge from Gursken, Norway, confirms that the vessel still remains impressively stable despite the enormous added weight.

– Yes, things have been working really well and the vessel also performs really well for its purpose. Facilities are also excellent, says Lynge who`s been captain aboard the vessel since the initial delivery. Captain and crew are definitely looking forward to heading out to the North Sea in order to start using this exciting new system.

UNIQUE REMOTE-CONTROLLED TOOLS

Michael Earlam of Fugro-Salt Subsea informs that there are several factors making the AX-S system a world sensation. In addition to the utilization of fibre ropes instead of wires for AX-S deployment, Earlam emphasizes the remote-controlled handling and deployment of the subsea packages with the ability to deploy 8 subsea tools is each time is unique.

– By using traditional well intervention equipment you can only perform one task at a time before the equipment needs to be raised to the surface in order to swap tools and then perform a subsequent operation. The equipment used in the AX-S system manages to handle eight various tools while on the seabed, without having to be raised to the surface to swap over any tools. This makes the operation much more effective and cost-efficient, Michael Earlam informs.

And after seven years of preparation the system is nearing its baptism of fire. In September, Havila Phoenix with 500 tonnes of “subsea factory” on deck will be heading out to work in the British sector of the North Sea.

– Yes, following the successful commissioning of the AX-S system on NUTEC’s “cold well” in Onharheimsfjord, south of Bergen, during April and May be performing operations in the North Sea, the Operations Manager for AX-S, Darren Bown of Expro, confirms.

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Another Gas Discovery for Anadarko Offshore Mozambique

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation today announced the Atum exploration well discovered another significant natural gas accumulation within the Offshore Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin.

The Atum discovery well encountered more than 300 net feet (92 meters) of natural gas pay in two high-quality Oligocene fan systems. Preliminary data indicates this latest discovery is connected to the partnership’s recent Golfinho discovery located approximately 10 miles (16.5 kilometers) to the northwest in the Offshore Area 1.

“The combined success at Atum and Golfinho and apparent connectivity of these Oligocene fan systems, indicate these discoveries represent our partnership’s second major natural gas complex offshore Mozambique,” said Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Exploration Bob Daniels. “We estimate this new complex, which is located entirely within the Offshore Area 1 block, holds 10 to 30-plus trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of incremental recoverable natural gas resources. We plan to immediately commence a four-well appraisal program of this complex, which has the potential to underpin a large LNG development.”

The Atum exploration well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 12,665 feet (3,860 meters), in water depths of approximately 3,285 feet (1,000 meters). Once operations are complete at Atum, the partnership plans to commence appraisal activities that are expected to be followed by a drillstem testing program in the Golfinho and Atum complex.

“With this latest discovery at Atum and a successful upcoming appraisal program, we believe the total estimated recoverable natural gas resource in Mozambique’s Offshore Area 1 is between 30 and 60 Tcf, and the current upside for total gas in place for the discovered reservoirs on the block is approaching 100 Tcf. We still have additional exploration opportunities that could expand the resource potential further,” said Anadarko President and CEO Al Walker. “A recoverable resource base of this scale supports our initial two-train development plans, as well as significant future expansions. Our current activity is focused on achieving reserve certification and a Final Investment Decision in 2013, as the partnership works toward expected first sales of LNG in 2018.”

Anadarko is the operator in the Offshore Area 1 with a 36.5-percent working interest. Co-owners include Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1, Limited (20 percent), BPRL Ventures Mozambique B.V. (10 percent), Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Limited (10 percent) and Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore, Ltd. (8.5 percent). Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, ep’s 15-percent interest is carried through the exploration phase.

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