Category Archives: Malaysia

TPP :: The treaty from hell

Obama’s Secret Treaty Would Be The Most Important Step Toward A One World Economic System

By Michael Snyder, on November 12th, 2014

Barack Obama is secretly negotiating the largest international trade agreement in history, and the mainstream media in the United States is almost completely ignoring it.  If this treaty is adopted, it will be the most important step toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen.  The name of this treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and the text of the treaty is so closely guarded that not even members of Congress know what is in it.  Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy.  And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well.  This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country.

Even though Congress is not being allowed to see what is in the treaty, Barack Obama wants Congress to give him fast track negotiating authority.  What that means is that Congress would essentially trust Obama to negotiate a good treaty for us.  Congress could vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend or filibuster it.

Of course now the Republicans control both houses of Congress.  If they are foolish enough to blindly give Barack Obama so much power, they should all immediately resign.

And it is critical that people understand that this is not just an economic treaty.  It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress.  Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty.  If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Internet activists so much when SOPA was being debated, it would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it would force even more domestic manufacturing offshore.

In other words, it is the treaty from hell.

In addition to imposing Obama’s vision for the world on 40 percent of the global population, it is also being described as a “Christmas wish-list for major corporations”.  Of the 29 chapters in the treaty, only five of them actually deal with economic issues.  The rest of the treaty deals with a whole host of other issues of great importance to the global elite.

The following list of issues addressed by this treaty is from a Malaysian news source

• domestic court decisions and international legal standards (e.g., overriding domestic laws on both trade and nontrade matters, foreign investors’ right to sue governments in international tribunals that would overrule the national sovereignty)

• environmental regulations (e.g., nuclear energy, pollution, sustainability)

• financial deregulation (e.g., more power and privileges to the bankers and financiers)

• food safety (e.g., lowering food self-sufficiency, prohibition of mandatory labeling of genetically modified products, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease)

• Government procurement (e.g., no more buy locally produced/grown)

• Internet freedom (e.g., monitoring and policing user activity)

• labour (e.g., welfare regulation, workplace safety, relocating domestic jobs abroad)

• patent protection, copyrights (e.g., decrease access to affordable medicine)

• public access to essential services may be restricted due to investment rules (e.g., water, electricity, and gas)

Why can’t we get this type of reporting in the United States?

And if this treaty is ultimately approved by Congress, we will essentially be stuck with it forever.

This treaty is written in such a way that the United States will be permanently bound by all of the provisions and will never be able to alter them unless all of the other countries agree.

Are you starting to understand why this treaty is so dangerous?

This treaty is the key to Obama’s “legacy”.  He wants to impose his will upon 40 percent of the global population in a way that will never be able to be overturned.

Of course Obama is touting this treaty as the path to economic recovery.  He promises that it will greatly increase global trade, decrease tariffs and create more jobs for American workers.

But instead, it would be a major step toward destroying what is left of the U.S. economy.

Over the past several decades, every time a major trade agreement has been signed we have seen even more good jobs leave the United States.

And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this is happening.  If corporations can move jobs to the other side of the planet to nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, they will make larger profits.

Just think about it.  If you were running a corporation and you had the choice of paying workers ten dollars an hour or one dollar an hour, which would you choose?

Plus there are so many other costs, taxes and paperwork hassles when you deal with American workers.  For example, big corporations will not have to provide Obamacare for their foreign workers.  That alone will represent a huge savings.

Any basic course in economics will teach you that labor flows from markets where labor costs are high to markets where labor costs are lower.  And at this point it costs less to make almost everything overseas.  As a result, we have already lost millions upon millions of good jobs, and countless small and mid-size U.S. companies have been forced to shut down because they cannot compete with foreign manufacturers.

Later this month, consumers will flock to retail stores for “Black Friday” deals.  But if you look carefully at those products, you will find that almost all of them are made overseas.  We buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us, and that is a recipe for national economic suicide.

We consume far more wealth that we produce, and anyone with half a brain can see that is not sustainable in the long run.  The only way that we have been able to maintain our high standard of living is by going into insane amounts of debt.  We are currently living in the largest debt bubble in the history of the planet, and at some point the party is going to end.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  We need to inform people about what Obama is trying to do.

If Obama is successful in ramming this secret treaty through, it is going to do incalculable damage to what is left of the once great U.S. economy.

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Malaysia Aims to Become LNG Trading Hub through New $1.3B Terminal

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by  Quintella Koh
Rigzone Staff
Friday, September 14, 2012

Malaysia is aiming to become Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading hub by 2020 with the establishment of a $1.3 billion LNG terminal in the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement Thursday.

The LNG terminal – also known as the Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal (PIDPT) – will be developed by the Johor state government, Netherland’s Royal Vopak and Malaysia’s Dialog Group.

PIDPT – which will be constructed over two phases – is designed to have a total storage capacity of five million cubic meters. The terminal will be used for storage, loading and regasification of LNG, both for trading and domestic use. The first construction phase of PIDPT has already started, and is scheduled for completion by 1Q 2014.

“This will be the first independent LNG trading terminal in Asia, allowing multiple LNG users to store and trade the product. It will spur the growth of the [petroleum] industry, and help establish Malaysia as Asia’s LNG trading hub,” Razak said.

PIPC will also house Petronas’ new $20 billion refinery and petrochemical integrated project. The project – scheduled to be commissioned by 2016 – will be able to produce 300,000 barrels per day of refined products.

Malaysia’s PIPC has been touted as a potential strong competitor to Singapore’s Jurong Island – an artificial island located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore, off Jurong Industrial Estate. Singapore is, at present, the Asian price discovery center and trading hub for oil products due to its significant oil storage and trading infrastructure in Jurong Island. The island which is home to oil and gas companies – such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, BASF, Celanese, Mitsui Chemicals – sees up to 1.3 million barrels of crude processed each day.

Singapore is also aggressively developing its oil and gas storage infrastructure. The island-city, through the development of the Jurong Rock Cavern (JRC) project, will create an additional 1.47 million cubic meters of oil storage space by 2013. JRC is the first underground rock cavern for oil storage in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Construction work on JRC started in February 2007.

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McDermott Wins Siakap North – Petai Subsea Contract in Malaysia

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McDermott International, Inc. announced that its Malaysian affiliate Berlian McDermott Sdn. Bhd. was recently awarded a significant subsea contract for executing a deepwater engineering, procurement, construction, transportation, installation and commissioning project offshore Malaysia. The value of this contract is included in McDermott’s first quarter 2012 backlog.

The award is for the subsea infrastructure of the Siakap North – Petai (“SNP”) Development Project operated by Murphy Sabah Oil Co., Ltd. (“Murphy”), comprising rigid flowlines, flexible risers, an umbilical and subsea hardware and controls. The SNP field is located nearby the existing Kikeh field, northwest of Labuan Island, Malaysia, in waters 3,900 – 4,900 feet deep.

“Our subsea engineering expertise, fabrication track record at our Batam Island facility, state-of-the-art subsea construction vessels and understanding of the Malaysian market, contributed to this successful award,” said Stephen M. Johnson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott. “We look forward to delivering the facilities for this important field development for Malaysia.”

The SNP field architecture consists of two rigid, insulated, pipe-in-pipe production flowlines, one rigid water injection flowline and one main umbilical system connecting eight new manifolds and subsea distribution units to existing riser slots on the Kikeh FPSO. The development calls for five water injection and eight production wells, drilled from the manifolds at each of the four drill center locations.

Detailed engineering and procurement for the project are underway, and fabrication of PLETs, jumpers and other installation aids is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012. Following the infrastructure installation, McDermott will undertake a comprehensive System Integration Test of the subsea units and provide commissioning assistance. The project scope is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.

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Aker Solutions to Build Umbilical Plant in Malaysia

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Aker Solutions will build a new state-of-of-the-art umbilical manufacturing plant in Pekan, Malaysia, to meet the anticipated growth and the needs of their Asia Pacific customers. The total investment of USD 60 million will expand Aker Solutions’ manufacturing capacity and strengthen their position as a leading producer of steel tube umbilicals.

The new manufacturing facility close to Kuantan, on the east coast of Malaysia, will complement the existing umbilicals manufacturing plants located in Moss, Norway, and Mobile, Alabama, US.

“I am very excited about the opportunities that will be created by our new manufacturing plant in Malaysia and the added capabilities it ensures. This new plant increases Aker Solutions’ footprint in Asia and our capability to serve customers in the Asia Pacific region,” says Tove Roskaft, head of Aker Solutions’ umbilical business.

She adds: “The umbilical market has robust fundamentals and this strong growth is expected to continue. This investment gives us a strategic advantage in the already booming oil and gas market in the region. As a technology and market leader, we are now ready to take on the opportunity of having umbilical manufacturing hubs in three major oil and gas regions of the world.”

Over the past few years, Aker Solutions has invested heavily in Malaysia, which is the company’s hub for the Asia Pacific region. This includes their first-class manufacturing centre for subsea production technologies and drilling risers in Port Klang, close to Kuala Lumpur. The company also has a 600-strong front-end, design and engineering hub in Kuala Lumpur.

Subsea umbilicals are deployed on the seabed to supply necessary controls and chemicals to subsea oil and gas wells, subsea manifolds and any subsea system requiring a remote control. Over the past 15 years, Aker Solutions has delivered more than 400 umbilicals to some of the world’s most challenging fields, from harsh environment to ultra-deep, high-pressure water conditions.

Aker Solutions has already opened its regional head office for umbilicals in downtown Kuala Lumpur managed by Mr. Crawford Tennant who is an industry veteran and former head of the Aker Solutions facility in Port Klang. The Pekan facility is scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Murphy Oil Malaysia Completes Rigless Intervention Campaign Using Welltec Services

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Murphy Oil Malaysia recently completed a highly successful, rigless intervention campaign using Welltec services. Not only did the operation allow immediate production from a “lost” well, but it also saved the time and cost of a rig based sidetrack. The end result is expected to add 20 MMscf/d into the production portfolio.

In the first well, the drift run hung up at 945 ft MD when trying to perforate the well. Based on previous experience, the cause was suspected to be part of a cement wiper plug. This was pushed down to a nipple profile at 4,314 ft MD, leaving it still 1,690 ft above the perforation depth. After only minutes of milling, the Well Miller made it through the plug, which allowed the Well Tractor® to push it down to 6,398 ft MD, approximately 380 ft below the target perforation interval. Thereafter the well was perforated and put on production.

In the second well, a poor cement job had made the primary target zone inaccessible and left an obstruction inside the tubing. With pressing rig commitments there was insufficient time to fix the problem, leaving the well temporarily abandoned and a candidate for future sidetracking. Based on the success of the first well, the Well Tractor and Well Miller were used to push the obstruction from 400 ft to 2,132 ft MD , meeting the objective to prepare the well for sidetracking.

However, it was decided to attempt to push the obstruction as far as possible. Using the Well Tractor and Well Miller the well was cleared well beyond the sidetrack target depth to an eventual Hold Up Depth of 8,743 ft MD. Getting this far down the production string allowed access to two of the three reservoirs in this well, which could now be completed for production rather than scheduled for a sidetrack workover.

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Songa Eclipse Getting Ready for Contract with Total in Angola

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Songa Offshore​, Cyprus-based offshore drilling company, today provided a fleet update for October 2011.

Songa Venus remained on location for Petronas Carigali, Malaysia through-out the period. The rig was shut down during the majority of the period and completed earlier announced repairs and testing of re-worked BOP components on December 19. The unit achieved 100% operating efficiency for the remainder of the period after re-commencing operations.

Songa Mercur completed its de-mobilization and load off from Sakhalin, Russia to Labuan Malaysia end of October and the rig has undergone extensive contractual acceptance testing and installation of third party equipment through November and December. The rig is now fully accepted and scheduled to depart for commencement of its two well program in Malaysia with Petronas Carigali.

Songa Dee continued its program for Statoil at the Gulfaks field, and the rig achieved an average operating efficiency of 99% during the period.

Songa Delta completed its scheduled SPS and rig upgrade yard stay at CCB base outside Bergen, Norway during the period. The yard stay was extended from an original 40 days to 56 days mainly due to extended work scopes and additional work related to the BOP system. The rig was then further delayed by weather and remained in sheltered waters until 6th January and is currently in process of anchoring up at location in order to re-commence the contract with Wintershall / Det Norske Oljeselskap.

Songa Trym achieved an operating efficiency of 99% during the period. The rig continues to operate for Statoil in Norway.

Songa Eclipse completed its mobilization to Angola during the period, and the rig is currently undergoing final rig contractual acceptance testing which is expected to be completed during second half of January. The rig will thereafter commence its one well plus 18 month contract with Total E&P Angola

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The Coalition Against Chinese Hegemony

To resist Beijing’s maritime claims, Asean members will have to compromise and form a common front.

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By PHILIP BOWRING

Manila

Ownership of the islands, seabed resources and navigation rights in the South China Sea is now very much on the international agenda. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is more united on this issue than it has been for about a decade, and the U.S. is turning more attention diplomatically and militarily to the Pacific. Nevertheless, sustaining the coalition of interests disputing China’s claimed hegemony over the sea will not be easy.

In fact, the wonder is that the Chinese leadership managed to get itself into this predicament by so clumsily arousing neighboring countries’ fears. Having suffered constant Chinese provocations over the preceding few years, Hanoi used its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2010 to first bring the issue of Chinese aggression to the table. Vietnam and the Philippines encouraged the U.S. to make clear its own interest in freedom of navigation and settlement of territorial disputes according to international principles.

At that point Beijing could have backed off and allowed the subject to fade from view. Instead, the People’s Liberation Army tried to punish Vietnam and the Philippines by harassing their exploration ships. Under the confident new administration of President Benigno Aquino, Manila responded with unprecedented vigor, carrying on exploration and offering new blocks for drilling.

Even this has not given China’s nationalists second thoughts. Recently the Global Times newspaper, owned by the People’s Daily, warned those who dispute Chinese claims to be “mentally prepared for the sound of cannons,” a threat that was noted around the world.

There is a sense that China’s provocations have been driven by the military, probably against the advice of its diplomats. If wiser heads among Beijing’s civilian leadership can reassert control, they will re-adopt Deng Xiaoping‘s maxim about keeping a low profile. If so, China will tone down its rhetoric and offer economic benefits on a larger scale to increase its neighbors’ dependence. It will likely quietly offer bilateral exploration deals which would divide the Asean claimants who are just starting to work together.

China has tried this before and nearly succeeded with Manila. Although the Philippines has relatively little reliance on China trade, its need for investment and pervasive corruption are vulnerabilities. The preoccupation of its armed forces—who are anyway poorly equipped—with insurgencies at home limits its ability to police the seas and protect exploration.

However, democracy can be a powerful force when it comes to protecting national interests. The Philippine public’s determination to stand up to bullying can be stronger than that of elites with business deals with China or autocracies reliant on good relations.

Vietnam’s nationalistic instincts are sure enough but Vietnam is still a relatively small and weak nation quite dependent on trade with China and likely to become more so. Good ties with India, Japan and Russia and emerging ones with the U.S. are an offset but China’s threats have already deterred some exploration on the continental shelf.

China’s efforts to divide the littoral states by pressing for bilateral negotiations have so far not met with success. But they could do so if Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei do not resolve their own differences. Significantly, China has refrained from overt threats against Malaysia even though oil and gas wells off Borneo are within its claimed territory. Malaysia in return has urged caution and cooperation with China. If Vietnam and the wider Malay world do not hang together they will surely be hung separately.

The difficulty lies in sacrificing some overlapping claims to form a united front. Vietnam claims all the Spratlys, the Philippines most but not all of them, Malaysia just a few, and Brunei only a couple of banks. Many of the islets, rocks and reefs lie outside their 200-mile exclusive economic zones and none qualifies for its own EEZ as none is capable of independently supporting permanent habitation.

Vietnam’s claim is as successor to its French colonial rulers as well as Vietnamese imperial assertions and the legacy of the Cham trading kingdom which flourished in central Vietnam until about 1500. The U.S. never claimed the Spratlys but an independent Philippines did so on the basis of proximity and as part of the Philippine archipelago. Malaysia and Brunei make claims based on rights to the continental shelf off Borneo.

Compromise among these four countries, who together own two-thirds of the coastline, is essential to prevent China from establishing hegemony over Southeast Asia. If the Asean nations cannot agree among themselves they could ask the International Court of Justice for a ruling, as did Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in previous island disputes. The court could also be asked to adjudicate the EEZ boundaries. China would object, but that would only underline its unwillingness to agree to arbitration based on the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention.

In the end, only leadership from Indonesia, the largest Malay state and the cornerstone of Asean, can resolve this conflict. It can do more to refute China’s history-based claims, which ignore centuries of Malay trading across the sea a thousand years before the Chinese. And Jakarta can be the honest broker in finding a compromise to share resources that lie outside the EEZs of the claimants.

Vietnam, the Philippines and the other smaller states are never going to be able to remove China from the Spratly Islands that it now occupies, let alone the Paracels that it seized from Vietnam in 1974. But if they can maintain a common front with backing from Indonesia, they should be able to defend their interests in the South China Sea and their future sovereignty.

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Burma’s oil and natural gas sectors eyed by Malaysia

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Transocean International’s semi-submersible drilling rig the Actinia. Last autumn, the Actinia was contracted to drill in Burmese waters.

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Malaysian companies are preparing to invest more in Burma’s inland oil and natural gas blocks.

Nineteen Malaysian companies and Burmese businessmen will discuss investment opportunities on Tuesday at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) office in Rangoon.

In mid-July, foreign energy companies were invited to bid for permits for exploratory rights for oil and natural gas on 18 inland blocks along the Irrawaddy River. A total of 52 companies including the 19 Malaysian companies applied for permits through their embassies.

Some of the blocks are offshore blocks. The ministry did not disclose the exact number. Half of the companies’ proposals were rejected, the ministry said.

“Tomorrow local businessmen will explain the investments, the laws and other things the companies want to know. If they decide to invest in these blocks, local businessmen will agree to partnership with them,” said Sein Win Hlaing, a central executive UMFCCI committee member.

On November 2, during former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Burma, Malaysia signed four memorandum of understanding including investments in palm oil and tourism, another UMFCCI official said. The former Malaysian Prime Minister was invited by UMFCCI.

There are 47 oil and natural gas production blocks in inland Burma. China, which is extracting oil and gas in 23 of the 47 inland blocks, is the largest investor; Malaysia is the second largest.
If a company finds a productive field, it must then apply for a production permit granted by the ministry to extract oil and natural gas.

“After the agreement, in a case where the companies find productive fields, the government and the companies will need to negotiate to determine how much in profits must be given to the government and the amount of a cash award,” said another UMFCCI official.

The Ministry of Energy said that to promote the oil and natural gas sectors, it cooperates with companies from Russia, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea on oil and natural gas projects.
There is only one Burmese oil company, Myanmar Petroleum Resources Limited, which is owned by Michael Moe Myint. The Htoo Company owned by Tay Za and Nay Aung, who is the son of former Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, are shareholders in foreign oil and gas companies, according to sources close to the Ministry of Energy.

Currently, Burma’s inland blocks are producing more than 9,300 crude oil barrels a day and more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. Meanwhile, the Yadana and Yetagun offshore natural gas blocks are producing more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

According statements by the Ministry of Energy, there are a total of 0.46 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the inland area in Burma and 17 trillion cubic feet in offshore blocks.

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