Monthly Archives: February 2013

Gulf of Mexico: Chevron Announces Successful Production Well Test on St. Malo PS003 well

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).

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Obama’s Assassination Drones

by Jacob G. Hornberger

(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.

The Future of Freedom Foundation

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USA: Magnolia LNG Wins DOE Approval for FTA Exports

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.”

USA: Magnolia LNG Wins DOE Approval for FTA Exports LNG World News.

InterMoor Completes IRIS Installation and Recovery for Apache in Gulf of Mexico, USA

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.”

Subsea World News – InterMoor Completes IRIS Installation and Recovery for Apache in Gulf of Mexico, USA.

20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead

Trouble In The Months AheadIs 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 Economic Collapse.

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