Monthly Archives: February 2013
Chevron Corporation today announced that it had conducted a successful production test on the St. Malo PS003 well in the prolific Lower Tertiary trend in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Oil flow rates, though limited by testing equipment constraints, exceeded 13,000 barrels of oil per day.
The test, in Walker Ridge Block 678, targeted Lower Tertiary sands more than 20,000 feet (6,096 m) under the sea floor and was conducted during August and September 2012. This is the first development well in the St. Malo field, which is being jointly developed with the Jack field.
“The well test is a further demonstration of the potential of the Lower Tertiary and highlights our leadership in developing deepwater resources globally,” said Chevron Vice Chairman George Kirkland.
“The results of this production test further confirm the significance of the St. Malo field,” said Gary Luquette, president, Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. “The jointly developed Jack and St. Malo fields are expected to provide a major step-up in Chevron’s production from 2014 and produce domestic energy for decades to come.”
The Jack and St. Malo fields are located within 25 miles (40 km) of each other and are being jointly developed with a host floating production unit located between the two fields in 7,000 feet (2,134 m) of water, approximately 280 miles (450 km) south of New Orleans, Louisiana. The facility is planned to have a design capacity of 177,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day to accommodate production from the Jack/St. Malo development, which is estimated at a maximum total daily rate of 94,000 barrels of oil-equivalent, plus production from third-party tiebacks. Total project costs for the initial phase of the development are estimated at $7.5 billion.
Chevron has a working interest of 51 percent in the St. Malo field. Other owners of the St. Malo field are Petrobras (25 percent), Statoil (21.5 percent), ExxonMobil (1.25 percent) and ENI (1.25 percent).
- Gulf of Mexico will be strongest offshore market, analysts say (fuelfix.com)
- Chevron Makes Big Discovery In Louisana – And It’s Not Even Done Drilling Yet (forbes.com)
- Heading for Ingleside,TX: Largest Heavy Transport Vessel for Largest Offshore Platform Hull (mb50.wordpress.com)
- InterMoor Completes IRIS Installation and Recovery for Apache in Gulf of Mexico, USA (mb50.wordpress.com)
(FFF) – The Power to Assassinate a Compliant and Submissive People
President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan is being held up over Brennan’s refusal to state whether the president’s power to assassinate Americans (and others) extends to American soil. The controversy is summed up in a great article by Glenn Greenwald.
The fact that Brennan could not bring himself to immediately say that the president doesn’t have the power to assassinate Americans (and others) right here within the United States is revealing. He undoubtedly knows that the president does claim to wield such power and that the president just doesn’t want to alarm Americans by informing them that he now wields the power to assassinate anyone he wants, including Americans here in the United States.
I can’t see how there’s any room for doubt here. Ever since President Bush claimed extraordinary powers after the 9/11 attacks, we here at The Future of Freedom Foundation have been pointing out that the powers were not limited to foreigners or to foreign lands. When U.S. forces, both military and CIA, were kidnapping people, torturing them, and incarcerating them without trial, we kept emphasizing that such powers were not limited to foreigners. By following the logic employed by Bush and his associates, it was clear that those extraordinary powers extended to Americans as well, both abroad and here at home.
But all too many Americans comforted themselves by thinking that those extraordinary powers applied only to foreigners and that the powers were necessary to keep them “safe.” Therefore, they endorsed what was going on with much enthusiasm, simply blocking out of their minds that they were also endorsing the most revolutionary change in the relationship between the federal government and the American citizenry in U.S. history.
Then came the case of Jose Padilla. He was an American who was accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism. Rather than have him indicted and then prosecute him in federal court, the feds whisked him away to a military dungeon, where the Pentagon tortured him and threatened to keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life as an “enemy combatant” in the “war on terrorism.” We took a leading role in opposing that extraordinary exercise of military supremacy over the American citizenry. We continually pointed out that what they did to Padilla, if upheld, they could then do to all other Americans. But because Padilla was not the most sympathetic character in the world, all too many Americans were happy over what the feds were doing to him, blocking out of their minds that the feds could now do the same thing to all other Americans.
And sure enough, the federal courts, in the fear-ridden environment of post-9/11, upheld what the president and the Pentagon did to Padilla, which means that they can now do the same to every American — and some 12 years after the 9/11 attacks! And now we have the president’s assassination program, in which the president, along with his military and CIA, now wield the power to assassinate anyone they want, no questions asked. They’ve already killed countless foreigners as well as at least three Americans, including a 16-year-old boy. They do it all in secret and are not required to answer any questions as to who they have assassinated or why. Their power to kill people is omnipotent.
Do they claim the power to assassinate Americans right here at home? How can there be any doubt about it? From the very beginning, they simply converted a standard federal crime — terrorism — into an act of war. They called it “the war on terrorism,” and said that this war was just like World Wars I and II. They said that in war, they have the right to take captives, torture them, and execute illegal enemy combatants, and also to assassinate the enemy. They also said that this war would go on forever or for at least the lifetimes of everyone living today, given that there were so many terrorists in the world. As part of that war, the president, the military, and the CIA would have to assume extraordinary powers, they said, ones that were inherent to the most extreme dictatorships in history.
Significantly, they repeatedly emphasized that in this war, the battlefield wasn’t limited to the Middle East or surrounding regions. Instead, in this war the entire world constituted the battlefield. That, of course, included the United States. Thus, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to draw the logical conclusion — whatever extraordinary powers were being exercised against foreign “enemy combatants” in the “war on terrorism” could be applied against people right here on American soil, including Americans. Of course, as we have also been pointing out since 9/11, the entire matter is just one great big sham and fraud.
They took a federal criminal offense — terrorism — and used it a ruse to claim that America was now “at war” and then claimed extreme dictatorial powers in the process. It would be no different if the president used another federal war — the “war on drugs” — as a ruse to assume extraordinary dictatorial powers, such as the power to kidnap, torture, execute, and assassinate suspected drug users and dealers. Our American ancestors tried their best to prevent this dictatorial nonsense. That’s why they used the Constitution to bring into existence a government of limited, enumerated powers. Notice that the dictatorial powers claimed by Bush and Obama are not among those enumerated powers.
To make sure that federal officials got the point, our ancestors demanded the enactment of four separate amendments to the Constitution — the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments. Those amendments stated that with respect to federal crimes, people would be guaranteed the protections of criminal indictments, due process of law, trial by jury, freedom from cruel and unusual punishments, and other protections. And there is another important thing to note about those four amendments. Notice that the protections and guarantees apply to people in general, not just to Americans. That’s because our ancestors understood that justice requires that the rules apply to everyone equally, not one set of rules for foreigners and another set of rules for Americans.
Thus, under our system of justice, President Obama has no right to be assassinating anyone or torturing anyone or incarcerating anyone without due process of law and trial by jury. And it must be emphasized: terrorism is, in fact, a federal crime. That’s why they ultimately made Padilla a criminal defendant. That’s why terrorism is listed in the U.S. Code as a criminal offense. That’s why they have terrorism cases in federal court all the time.
The truth is that there is no real war and there has never been one, any more than there has been a real war in the “war on drugs.” After all, how is the enemy supposed to surrender in this “war”? Where are the transport ships bringing invading troops to America? Where are the supply lines? And let’s not forget something else of equal importance — the only reason that people are killing U.S. troops over there is because they’re over there interfering with the affairs of other countries.
That’s what the killing is all about on both sides —not because people are trying to conquer America and enslave Americans but simply because they want the U.S. government, especially the U.S. military and CIA, out of their countries. And the more the Pentagon and the CIA continue to kill people in the process, the more they generate an endless supply of terrorists, which they then use to perpetuate their dictatorial powers. As I have long pointed out, the U.S. government is the greatest terrorist-producing machine in history.
It’s all been a sham, a fraud, and a ruse to enable the U.S. national-security state to adopt the same powers of dictatorship that it has long supported and trained, such as Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, the military dictatorships in Guatemala, the Shah’s dictatorship in Iran, Mubarak’s dictatorship in Egypt, and many more.
But Brennan shouldn’t been concerned about alarming Americans about Obama’s power to assassinate them on American soil. As we have learned since 9/11, the American people are among the most compliant, cooperative, and submissive people on the planet.
All the feds have to do is say that they are doing it to keep them safe, and except for libertarians and (a few liberals and conservatives), unfortunately all too many Americans continue to fall for anything and agree to anything the government wants to do to them.
- Drones, Assassinations, and the Drug War (fff.org)
- Obama Officials Refuse to Say if Assassination Power Extends to US Soil (thelibertybeacon.com)
- Brennan Refuses to Rule Out Drone Assassinations Within the US (globalresearch.ca)
- US silenced ex-White House official on terror drone program (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
Liquefied Natural Gas Limited said that the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE), United States, has granted authorisation for Magnolia LNG to export up to 4 mpta of LNG, from its proposed LNG project site at the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The DOE authorisation is valid for LNG sales to commence within 10 years and is then for a period of 25 years from first LNG sales; which sales are permitted to all existing, and any future, countries that have, or enter into, a Free Trade Agreement with the Government of the United States.
The Magnolia LNG Project comprises the proposed development of an 8 mtpa LNG project on a 90 acres site, in an established LNG shipping channel in the La ke Charles District. The project is based on two 4 mtpa development phases, each phase comprising 2 x 2 mtpa LNG production trains, and will use the Company’s wholly owned OSMR ® LNG process technology.
The DOE authorisation, follows the Company’s recent si gning of a Site Option to Lease Term Sheet, with the Lake Charles Harbour & Terminal District (Port Authority. The Company is now:
- Negotiating a definitive and binding Real Estate Le ase Option Agreement with the Port Authority, together with the agreed form of Lease to be executed on Magnolia LNG, LLC exercising the site Lease Option;
- In discussion with a number of parties who have expr essed interest to enter in to a Tolling Agreement, under which the Tolling Party will be responsible for arranging gas suppl y to the Magnolia LNG Project and the LNG buyers and ships. The Magnolia LNG Project will treat and liquefy the gas, store the produced LNG and load the LNG onto the LNG buyer’s ships, in consideration of a Capacity Fee and Processing Fee; and
- Progressing work on the Magnolia LNG Project’s Pre File Application, which is required to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Co mmittee and represents the commencement of the project’s required permits and approvals process.
Managing Director Maurice Brand said “We are very pleased that the DOE authorisation had been received in accordance with the Company’s developmen t schedule. Our ability to meet key milestones will be a critical factor in discussions with potential Tolling Parties.”
InterMoor, an Acteon company, has completed an installation and recovery project for Apache Deepwater LLC (Apache) in Mississippi Canyon Block 148, Well 5 in the Gulf of Mexico.
The work scope included the overboard, wet transfer, deployment and recovery of a 30-ton interchangeable riserless intervention system (IRIS) owned by Blue Ocean Technologies. InterMoor undertook the work in water approximately 168 meters deep from Cal Dive’s Uncle John semisubmersible vessel.
InterMoor delivered the project using its compensated anchor handler subsea installation system (CASIM) which reduces heave motions relative to vessel motions. CASIM units are pre-charged at the surface to deliver the needed heave compensation for the load at depth. InterMoor’s proprietary CASIM method requires less deck space and demands fewer deck operations than the traditional buoy-based heave-compensated landing system. The company also provided the associated rigging equipment and a technician to help facilitate the subsea compensation.
“Apache selected InterMoor for this project on the basis of our service record, the fact that we had the necessary equipment available and because of our experience in subsea operations of this kind,” said InterMoor project manager Jacob Heikes. “Although we have used CASIM to deploy and recover many types of subsea equipment, this is the first time that we have used CASIM for IRIS deployment and recovery, and the project’s success shows that this proven installation method is suitable for a wide range of subsea equipment.”
Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn? Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now. Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like. Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now. In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened. Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality. When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly. Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008. Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever. As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed. In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness. (Read More….)
The Dockwise Vanguard, the world’s largest semisubmersible Heavy Transport Vessel (HTV) to date, safely completed its first ever float-on operation earlier this week.
The vessel, loaded with the World’s largest semisubmersible offshore platform hull, the Jack/St. Malo, is now on her maiden voyage carrying the near 56,000 metric ton hull on her deck.
The Dockwise Vanguard successfully executed the float-on exercise of the Jack/St. Malo platform hull at the Silli-Do deep hole near the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Geoje, South Korea. “The float-on operation was precisely and safely executed as planned. It took no more than 4 hours before the cargo stood firm on her cribbing,” states Ronald Goetheer, Project Manager at Dockwise. After almost two days of sea fastening, the Dockwise Vanguard departed at sunrise on the 12th of February, and will navigate around Cape of Good Hope heading towards the Kiewit yard in Ingleside, Texas, USA, where it is expected to arrive mid-April.
The Dockwise Vanguard is an innovative semisubmersible HTV that is redefining the limits of exceptional heavy marine transport. The vessel has been designed to enable operators and contractors consider opportunities for mega offshore units which were until now considered unthinkable. With the loading capacity of up to 110,000 tons, the vessel is designed to serve the top end market focusing on next generation offshore
Companies in the Oil & Gas industry can now specify much larger and heavier offshore structures, and these can be integrated at a single fabrication site. These mega structures can then be transported onboard the vessel to remote offshore locations, even in harsh climates where no commissioning facilities are available. This feature can help reduce costs and optimize the overall project. In essence, the new vessel will play an important role in the field development philosophy of Oil companies, since it will be capable of transporting fully integrated mega offshore units.
The vessel’s design is also expected to help operators and developers create value. With its capabilities, timely and risky phases of offshore projects can be managed prior to hookup and commissioning. Interface optimization, higher degree of risk mitigation, lower insurance premiums, improved schedule flexibility, and reduced time-to-production – as well as reduced offshore man-hours – are a few examples of opportunities. In addition, the vessel’s advanced technical capabilities enable it to offer a completely new service: offshore dry-docking.
Increasingly, FPSOs are being located in remote areas that lack support infrastructure. In this circumstance, an offshore dry-docking service can be specially valuable. The Dockwise Vanguard’s FPSO dry-docking capacity offers inspection, maintenance, and repair opportunities (amongst others) at different conditional modes. The FPSO could remain connected to its mooring and turret system while keeping the riser systems intact, with the possibility of continuing limited production. In this scenario, the FPSO will still be able to freely weathervane around the turret mooring, with controlled heading made possible by the vessel’s propulsion system. The vessels capabilities completely avoid or significantly reduce downtime.
The vessel is specifically designed to exceed the Oil & Gas industry’s expectations. “From the drawing board, we decided to engineer a truly exceptional vessel unlike others in the market,” states Michel Seij, Manager Engineering at Dockwise.
The Dockwise Vanguard is engineered to surpass current heavy marine transport limitations. The vessel’s deck covers a surface of 275 m x 70 m (902 ft x 230 ft) and is equipped with movable casings. In addition, the accommodation block and navigation bridge are located on the extreme starboard side. The vessel has no bow, and this, along with other design features, gives the vessel a unique appearance.
In addition, the vessel has a dedicated design for ultra-heavy units weighing up to 110,000 metric tons. Optimized deck strength and extreme wide-load capabilities are at the heart of the design philosophy; as are the vessel’s stability characteristics. It is equipped with a 27 MW redundant propulsion system consisting of two fixed propellers at the aft and two retractable azimuth thrusters at the bow. These can reach a maximum transit speed of 14 knots, which translates to average service speeds of 11-13 knots with cargo. In addition, the vessel allows for 16 m (53 ft) water above deck, accommodating cargoes with a higher draft.
With fuel savings between $1.50 and $2.00 per diesel gallon equivalent (dge), LNG-fueled trucks are being used by fleets for their most demanding routes: heavy haul, double-shift operations where truckers can consume 200 gallons per day, the World LNG Fuels conference concluded in January.
By using domestic LNG, operators can save as much as $75,000 annually in fuel costs, enough to pay for the cost of LNG equipment in 18 months.
Hindering this, however, is the higher weight of the LNG-fueled trucks, which weigh between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds (820 and 910 kg) more than their diesel counterparts. By law, most tractor-trailer combinations are limited to 80,000 pounds. Once the weight of the truck and trailer are deducted, payload capacity can be as little as 35,000 pounds. Thus, an increase in truck weight of 1,800 to 2,000 pounds can wipe away profits.
Truckers like Hoopes Transport President Preston Hoopes would like the U.S. DOT to consider waivers for the extra weight, given the benefits of the cleaner, domestic fuel.
“We need the government to allow extra weight. If the government wants us to use domestic LNG and CNG, they’ve got to give us weight help on our trucks,” Hoopes told World LNG Fuels 2013, held in Houston.
“We’re trying to get another trucking company in Pennsylvania to use LNG. They said ‘we can’t afford the extra weight, 2,000 extra pounds, which over a year’s time costs $20,000 in lost revenue,’” he said.
Hoopes operates some 50 trucks, 16 of which are LNG fueled, for a variety of cargos. In recent months, management has assigned their LNG units to their most fuel-intensive routes. They would like to move into the LNG-fuel supply business if the issue of weight can be resolved.
DOF Subsea USA has entered into a long-term charter agreement with Harvey Gulf International Marine for the new build DP II Multipurpose Construction Vessel, the Harvey Deep-Sea. The four year charter agreement will commence upon delivery of the vessel from Easter Shipyard, Florida in June 2013.
The vessel is the only new build Jones Act compliant construction vessel available to the market until the latter part of 2015.
Since 2010, DOF Subsea North America has experienced strong growth in capability and market recognition, delivering to the DOF Subsea Group important and challenging projects using the existing Atlantic fleet. This charter is an integral part of DOF Subsea’s planned expansion strategy as a global service provider for the deep-water offshore Survey, IMR and Construction market.