Category Archives: Iraq

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert.

The U.S. Government Funded the Iranian Terrorist Group Which “Found” The Documents Upon Which the Warmongers Are Relying

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Submitted by George Washington on 01/15/2012 15:33 –0500

The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq. See this and this. (They planned both wars at least 20 years ago.)

The IAEA report being trumpted as a casus belli contains no new information, but is based on a re-hashing of old, debunked claims stemming from “laptop documents”.

Wikileaks documents reveal that the new IAEA head was heavily backed by the U.S., based upon his promises of fealty to the U.S.  Indeed, as we’ve seen in the nuclear energy arena, the IAEA is not a neutral, fact-based organization, but a wholly-captured, political agency.

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But where did the documents come from originally?

As Gareth Porter noted in 2008:

The George W. Bush administration has long pushed the “laptop documents” – 1,000 pages of technical documents supposedly from a stolen Iranian laptop – as hard evidence of Iranian intentions to build a nuclear weapon. Now charges based on those documents pose the only remaining obstacles to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declaring that Iran has resolved all unanswered questions about its nuclear programme.

But those documents have long been regarded with great suspicion by U.S. and foreign analysts. German officials have identified the source of the laptop documents in November 2004 as the Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), which along with its political arm, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), is listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organisation.

Interestingly, the Bush Administration – and especially Dick Cheney – helped to fund the MEK (see confirming articles here and here).

And the New York Times, Washington Post and others are reporting that Rudy Giuliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former national security adviser Fran Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey are supporting the MEK as well.

So the terrorist group which “found” the documents is funded by neoconservatives who want to overthrow Iran. What a coincidence!

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And as Gareth Porter notes in the above-linked article, the Mossad may have created the documents in the first place:

There are some indications, moreover, that the MEK obtained the documents not from an Iranian source but from Israel’s Mossad.

One thing is clear: the U.S. and its allies have a long history of using forged documents as an excuse for war.

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Saudi Arabia stops Oil Expansion Plan, Switches to Natural Gas

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Saudi Arabia has stopped $100bn expansion of its oil production capacity after reaching a target of 12m barrels a day and now plans to shift its spending priorities to natural gas, refining and the chemicals business, media reports said.

Expectation that new oil resources like Libya and Irqa will meet rising demand has been cited as the reason behind this decision.

Libya has resumed oil production and Iraq is coming out as the biggest contributor to the global oil supply growth between 2010 and 2035, adding more than 5 million barrels a day.

The kingdom is, therefore, not pushing ahead with an assumed expansion plan to produce 15 million barrels a day by the end of 2020.

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On Energy Production, U.S. Isn’t Keeping up with the Joneses

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America has an abundance of natural resources, yet our policies keep them locked up. We can’t drill in the Gulf. ANWAR is off limits. Mining is nearly impossible due to regulations. “Endangered species” threaten existing supplies.

Meanwhile resource discoveries are being made and developed the world over.

Last week, Repsol announced a new discovery in Argentina—estimated to be more than 900 million barrels of oil. The oil shale find is reported to be Repsol’s largest ever. Argentina’s potential has attracted investment from both majors and independents. Argentina’s rising energy consumption and higher prices make Repsol’s success especially welcome, representing a potential windfall for the country. Argentina is not crying.

On October 20, a “giant” gas discovery was announced off the coast of Mozambique. It is reported that the results of the exploration well “exceed pre-drill expectations and confirm the Rovuma Basin as a world-class natural gas province.” Then, one week later, word came out that the find was 50% greater than originally estimated with up to 22.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. Estimates are expected to increase. Infrastructure, including LNG facilities, will have to be built to support the recent exploration successes with the natural gas expected to be brought to the market in 2018.

The day before the original Mozambique “giant” discovery announcement, it was reported that companies such as ExxonMobil would invest $100 billion to develop and upgrade oil fields in Iraq. The investment is expected to up Iraq’s oil production to at least 6.8 million barrels of oil a day by 2017—making Iraq one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil.

Also, on October 19, reports came out saying that the North Sea Statoil discovery is bigger than originally estimated with a potential of 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent—which would make it the third-largest find ever made on the Norwegian shelf. Production is expected to begin by 2018.

One day earlier, October 18, service provider Odebrecht announced plans to triple its revenues over the next three years. In support of Brazil’s vast deepwater oilfields, the company is spending $5 billion in equipment, from drilling ships and floating oil platforms to pipeline-laying vessels. Odebrecht says: “This year we should [have] revenues of about $500 million and we are going to double that next year, and be at $1.5 billion by 2013.”

This, all in the past couple of weeks.

In late-December 2010, 16 trillion cubic feet of gas was found off the cost of Israel in what is being called the Leviathan Field. The Julia Field was discovered in 2008 in the Gulf of Mexico and is called one of the greatest discoveries of the Gulf with an estimated 1 billion barrels of oil—but the Interior Department is now fighting ExxonMobil over its control.

Clearly there is no energy shortage.

While Europe is not rich in energy resources, they do understand their importance. They know they need energy.

Last week, on November 8, the Nord Stream Pipeline opened and began delivering Russian gas to Germany. With proposed plans to close their nuclear power plants by 2022, Germany needs the resource from Russia—though it does raise the specter of dependence on Russia/Russian energy control. Work is underway to build pipelines from other sources, which will minimize Russian domination.

Two days later, on November 10, President Obama announced a delay of more than a year to the true-shovel-ready XL Pipeline that would have created thousands of industry-funded jobs and reduced America’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The pipeline would have brought both Canadian and northern US oil to refineries in the southern United States. Instead of diversifying our energy supplies and suppliers, we remain reliant on unfriendly countries.

Some might point to the November 8 announcement of a “modest expansion” in offshore leasing to indicate a change in the Obama administration’s attitude—though, in light of his ideological opposition to oil, gas, and coal, the proposed plan is more likely the result of public and industry pressure and the upcoming presidential election. Much like the apparent reverse on the ozone regulations left plenty of onerous, price-elevating regulations in place, this modest expansion still keeps many of America’s most promising energy resources—some the most promising in the world—off limits.

Worldwide, more and more energy resources are being discovered, developed, and delivered. In the United States, not so much. Like public and industry pressure pushed for an increase in offshore leasing and a decrease in the EPA’s economically destructive regulations, we need to keep the pressure on and engage friends, family, and neighbors to do the same. Congress needs to hear from you. We need to be exploring and discovering here.

Marita Noon is the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy. Marita’s twentieth book, Energy Freedom, has just been released.

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Brace Yourselves

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Erik Swarts, Market Anthropology

“Tell me how this ends,” U.S. General David Petraeus asked memorably of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Political leaders and economists in the euro zone are searching frantically for answers to the same question as a bond market rout of European sovereign debt accelerates, putting the future of the single currency in jeopardy.

Until a few weeks ago, the most likely outcome appeared to be that the 17-nation currency area would muddle through. The euro zone would bail out a few highly indebted small peripheral states, patch up its rickety fiscal governance and avoid either a break-up or a major shift toward federal integration.

That was then. Now it seems that without a radical game-changing initiative within weeks, the crisis may no longer be controllable. – Tighter euro zone gains ground as debt crisis exit, Reuters

Here is an update of the SPX Meridian Market Theory chart that I have been following throughout the year. In my last update – I was opportunistic in the mindset that the charts may have been pointing towards an approaching long-term low. And while we found a low a few weeks later, I now find myself reinterpreting (in light of what I have found in the charts and the data from Europe and Asia) what the most recent rejection may mean towards the market going forward.

You may say I am becoming more concerned as the market has double and tripled dipped the same positive news out of Europe.

Near term, in either case – bull or bear, I find the market precariously placed at the top of the range and likely to fall back swiftly over the balance of the month.

Charts & More – The Money Game

Market Anthropology

IEA Sees $150/Bbl If MENA O&G Spending Delayed

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Delaying expected oil and gas investment in the Middle-East and North Africa by just a third would push prices to $150 a barrel, the International Energy Agency warned Wednesday.

The warning lays bare the world’s heightened vulnerability to any hitch in what is still the world’s largest oil patch. The continued reliance on this region comes despite a push for increased independence from oil imports in North America with the extraction of domestic, more expensive hydrocarbons.

In its annual energy outlook, the IEA warns that “if between 2011 and 2015, investment in the MENA region runs one-third lower than the $100 billion a year required, consumers could face a near-term rise in the oil price to $150″ a barrel.

That’s because increased production in the Middle East and North Africa will cover more than 90% of the extra barrels needed worldwide through 2035.

Back in 2008, a spike to an all-time high of $147 a barrel blamed by some economists for exacerbating the global financial crisis.

Yet “it is far from certain that all of this investment [needed from the MENA region] will be forthcoming” to keep oil below that level, said the agency, which represents the world’s largest consumers. It cited increased political instability, conflicts damaging oil infrastructure, international sanctions and resource nationalism as key risks to spending.

This year, the overthrow of three Arab regimes and turmoil elsewhere in the region showed such risks are far from being academic.

In Libya, a civil war interrupted most production and investments for eight months and damaged key oil terminals. The increased emphasis on risk in the region underscores the lasting impact of the Arab uprisings on the oil-rich area.

Iraq will be the largest source of new production additions. Providing investments aren’t delayed, the IEA expects its output to reach 5.4 million barrels a day in 2020 and 7.7 million barrels a day in 2035, compared with about 2.7 million barrels a day today. The numbers are lower, however, than Iraq’s own plans to reach a capacity of 6 million-8 million barrels a day before 2020.

Production from the second contributor, Saudi Arabia, is expected to grow by almost 40% to nearly 14 million barrels a day by 2035, it said.

By contrast, the agency takes a bearish view on Libya’s output. It says could take two years to recover from war damage and won’t grow at all until 2030–in contrast with the view in Tripoli that no more than 15 months are needed to return to normal.

The IEA also predicts production in Iran will be hindered by sanctions and tough investment terms with the Islamic Republic only adding 600,000 barrels a day in production by 2035.

Western consumers are paying more for oil out of fear for their future supply. But at the same time, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries acknowledged Tuesday that its members–the majority in MENA–needed higher oil prices to cover their social spending.

The agency’s main scenario sees oil-import prices still rising to $118 a barrel in real terms in 2020 and $140 a barrel in 2035.

Overall, the IEA, which represents the view of oil consumers, normally has higher oil-demand expectations than producers group OPEC. But under its main scenario, which takes into account new measures to cut energy consumption, the IEA sees global demand for oil at 92.4 million barrels a day in 2020 and 99.4 million barrels a day in 2035.

That’s less than OPEC’s working assumptions released Tuesday, with respectively 97.8 million barrels a day and 109.7 million barrels a day for these dates.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Source – RIGZONE

Italy’s Saipem Inks Multiple Offshore Contracts Worth USD 1.5 Billion

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In Iraq, Saipem has been awarded by South Oil Company the EPIC contract for the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project – Phase 2, within the framework of the expansion of the Basra Oil Terminal, off the Al Faw Peninsula in the Arabian Gulf, approximately 550 kilometres south-east of Baghdad.

The contract encompasses the engineering, procurement, fabrication and installation of a Central Metering and Manifold Platform (CMMP), to be installed in a water depth of 28 metres, along with associated facilities.

Fabrication of the CMMP topsides will be carried out at Saipem’s yard in Karimun (Indonesia), while the jacket and piles will be fabricated at the Saipem Taqa Al-Rushid (STAR) yard in Dammam (Saudi Arabia). Offshore activities will be performed in the third and fourth quarter of 2013.

In Nigeria, Saipem has been awarded the OFON2 – D030 contract by Total E&P Nigeria Limited, for new offshore facilities in the Ofon field, about 50 kilometres off the southern coast of Nigeria.

Saipem will carry out the engineering, procurement, fabrication and installation of the OFP2 Jacket (comprising the 1,970 ton jacket structures and the 4,500 ton piles), as well as the transportation and installation of the complete new OFQ living quarter offshore platform.

The fabrication of the jacket will take place in the Saipem Rumuolumeni Yard in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Offshore activities will be performed mainly by Saipem 3000 vessel, in different phases during 2013.

Furthermore, Saipem has been awarded contracts in the Norwegian and British sectors of the North Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico, mainly based on deployment of the Saipem 7000 vessel, for the transportation and installation of platforms and marine facilities, along with the decommissioning of existing offshore structures.

Offshore activities will be performed in several phases commencing in the fourth quarter of 2011 through to late 2014.

Finally, Saipem has agreed to increase the scopes of its work on a number of existing E&C Offshore contracts.

Saipem is organised into two Business Units: Engineering & Construction and Drilling, with a strong bias towards oil & gas related activities in remote areas and deepwater. Saipem is a leader in the provision of engineering, procurement, project management and construction services with distinctive capabilities in the design and execution of large-scale offshore and onshore projects, and technological competences such as gas monetisation and heavy oil exploitation.

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