Category Archives: AUSTRALIA – OCEANIA

Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Australia

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.

Source

Saudi Arabia’s “Oil-Weapon” Hits Europe

10/12/2014 17:02
by Tyler Durden

We first exposed the “secret” US-Saudi deal in September which led to the inevitable bombing of Syria. We then progressed to explain the quid pro quo of the deal in lower oil prices (benefiting US consumers into an election and crushing Russian revenues). In today’s Wall Street Journal we get the final piece of the puzzle as it is clear that what Saudi Arabia loses in ‘price’ it will make up in ‘volume’ as The Kingdon is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude. Simply put, “they are threatening [European] buyers” to discontinue sales if they don’t agree with the full fixed deliveries. The ‘oil weapon’ grows stronger…

As The Wall Street Journal explains,

Days after slashing prices in Asia, Saudi Arabia is now making an aggressive push in the European oil market, traders say.

The kingdom is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude.

“The Saudi push is not just in Asia. It’s a global phenomenon,” one oil trader said. “They are using very aggressive tactics” in Europe too, the trader added.

This month, state-owned Saudi Aramco stunned the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by slashing its November prices to defend its market share in Asia’s growing market. The move, setting a price war in the oil-production group, was combined with a boost in the kingdom’s output in September.

But Riyadh is also moving to protect its sales to Europe, a declining market where it is facing rivalry from returning Libyan production.

After cutting its November prices there, Saudi Aramco is also asking refiners to commit to full, fixed deliveries in talks to renew contracts for next year, the traders say. They say the Saudi oil company had previously offered a formula allowing flexibility of more or less 10% of contracted volumes, the most commonly used in the industry.

“They are threatening buyers” to discontinue sales if they don’t agree with the fixed deliveries, another trader said.

*  *  *

Of course, the more pressure the US (prxied by Saudi Arabia) puts on Russia (and Iran) and implicitly Europe now (as they are forced to buy ‘more’ oil than needed, albeit at lower prices – but leaving their budgets bursting still further), the more the rest of the world is forced to consider alternatives to US hegemony and side with those that, for now, have not reached peak totalitarianism.

Source

There Is Just Too Much Oil Sloshing Around The World Right Now

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By EconMatters

EIA Report
The weekly EIA report came out today and one of the noteworthy data points was the Cushing, Oklahoma storage numbers. Already at a record, Cushing added another 1.8 million barrels to storage sending total Cushing stocks to 51.9 million barrels of oil in storage facilities at the energy hub.
There has been 6.3 million barrels of oil added to Cushing during the last 6 weeks. To put these build numbers into perspective, Cushing oil inventories stood at 28.3 million barrels for this time a year ago, which is a build of 23.6 million barrels in a year.

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Seaway Pipeline Expansion

The Seaway pipeline was recently expanded to 400,000 barrels per day from 100,000 barrels per day, and many analysts have predicted that this would solve the Cushing oil glut. But it is looking more and more that what the Seaway pipeline offers is a cheaper mode of delivery out of Cushing, and the real benefit is one of logistical optionality for transportation.
Further Reading – Keystone XL Pipeline: Economics, Idealism and Politics

However, it is shaping up due to the sheer size of these build in inventories at Cushing that the Seaway pipeline is not a magic solution for the supply and demand fundamentals at play in the oil industry in the United States, there is just more US production, than there is US infrastructure in place to deal with the trending upturn in this production.

Oil is Fungible
In short, the US and global oil model isn`t set up for the United States to be producing more than 7 million barrels of oil per day. Even if the Seaway pipeline could send 4 million barrels of oil out of Cushing, it wouldn`t make a difference because Oil is fungible, so without major cuts somewhere else in the global supply chain, then you’re going to have supply andstorage builds somewhere in the supply chain.

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Saudi Arabia can only cut back production so much
The Saudi`s have already cut back production to fifteen month lows, how long is that going to continue as they need oil revenue just like everyone else? So Cushing is just a reflection and end point for the delivery of increasing US production, which ultimately is building more than there is demand from refiners for producing products, even with an increase in exporting of gasoline and other petroleum products.

Cushing never was landlocked
This should have been apparent to analysts as rail has been delivering Oil to refiners during this domestic boom, and so are barges taking oil out of Cushing, so large amounts of oil are getting to refiners. Some of it before it even gets to Cushing, and some after with the Seaway pipeline, and barges out of Cushing; and with the spread in 2012 of as much as 25 dollars, there were major incentives to get US oil to refiners in a myriad of ways.

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Cushing builds reflective of bigger problem
Yet we have almost doubled Cushing`s inventories in a year. This points to a much bigger problem with analysts missing entirely, thinking this was just a Cushing log jam problem. This is seeing the trees, and missing the overall forest, Cushing is just a reflection of the bigger problem, there is just too damn much oil sloshing around the world right now with nowhere to go.

Further Reading – Cushion 50 Million, Boom & Bust Cycles, U.S. Debt & Recession
You see this in stories about Nigerian crude for February delivery being unsold and stuck on cargo ships because there are no buyers with the increase in US domestic production. Iraq is producing more oil, and they need the revenue so expect more oil coming out of Iraq for the next decade with each year producing more than the previous.

The world is producing more oil than is consumed each day
The world global supply chain is producing more oil than the world needs every day, and this means storage has to build somewhere, and whether it is Cushing, or Nigeria, or China it has to be stored somewhere.

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In the US, Cushing has expanded storage facilities the past couple of years, and has been a default place to send the extra oil. But even Cushing is rapidly reaching capacity limits, and even if on the margin the Seaway pipeline takes out more oil, refiners can only handle so much more before they become the bottleneck in the equation.
Further Reading – Oil and Gas Markets End 2012 With Swollen Inventory Levels

US Refineries not easy to build
Remember, refiners are not easy to build, and the US has only relatively recently ramped up domestic production, so even with substantial increases in fuel exports, there just are not enough US refineries to handle the increase in US oil production. In short, the oil model of the last decade was not set up with the US being a major producer. The US production increases is throwing the global supply models a major curve ball.

Therefore, the only way that Cushing inventories are going to go down substantially is if more US refineries are built, and that could take three to four years, if they are built at all given the regulatory and financial hurdles that have prevented progress in this area over the last decade.

Unintended Consequences
The bottom line is that the Seaway pipeline is no cure for what ails Cushing inventory builds. For what ails Cushing is the fact that nobody thought about the unintended consequences of a boom in US oil production due to high prices for the past decade.

The global economy has slowed down from the peak in 2007, but prices have remained high, this resulted in increased production projects globally, and the rise in US production just sent the supply levels over the edge.

Furthermore, nobody ever planned or expected that the US would start producing with these numbers ever again. This has thrown the whole supply chain on its back, Cushing is just a reflection of this fact, there is more oil than the world needs right now, and the world definitely didn`t need an increase in US production.

Cushing builds still a problem
As a result you get Cushing, the manifestation of what happens when the unexpected happens before the oil models know what to do with the extra supply. You do not get the kind of builds at Cushing, with a new pipeline in existence for six months, a hefty spread, and rails transporting oil at unheard of levels, unless there is a much bigger problem than just increasing the Seaway pipeline by 300,000 barrels per day.

The Seaway Pipeline just steals business from Railroads & Barges
So Seaway doesn`t solve the Cushing problem as many have hoped. All Seaway does is maybe take some business from barges and railroads in the transportation of the product.

But the problem was much bigger than these people ever realized, because Cushing never represented a landlocked, logistics equation.

Cushing builds represents the fact that right now there is just too damn much oil that is being produced versus consumption needs for that oil. So it has to be stored somewhere, and Cushing is one of the places.

Too many chefs in the kitchen
The real problem is that nobody ever planned for the US to be producing 7 million barrels of oil every day and rising, there is just not enough demand in the world for this extra oil, so it has to be stored because everyone needs the money these days. And until prices drop substantially, no one is going to cut back producing this black gold.

Source

Investors hit the brakes on resources projects

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Adam Creighton
From: The Australian
November 29, 2012 12:00AM

RESOURCES investors are increasingly scrapping tentative investment plans and cost blowouts are artificially inflating Australia’s resource pipeline, a new report reveals.

Although the total value of committed resource projects rose a little to $268 billion in October, the number of committed projects fell to 87 from 98 six months earlier, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said yesterday in its six-monthly update of Australia’s investment pipeline.

“The increase is primarily a result of the approval of a second train for the Australia Pacific LNG project and cost increases to projects that were already under way,” the bureau said.

Eleven “mega projects”, costing more than $5bn each — mainly liquefied natural gas facilities such as the Gorgon, Ichthys and Wheatsone projects — account for three-quarters of all committed investments.

Only 10 projects worth $13.2bn progressed to the “committed stage” of development, compared with 21 projects worth $45bn in the six months to April.

“Even on the most conservative estimate provided by the bureau, the total potential investment in the resource sector sits at a mammoth $650bn,” Wayne Swan said, pointing out the OECD’s remarks earlier this week that mining in Australia should “continue to expand vigorously” next year, based on current plans.

The bureau said the total committed expenditure on Australia’s oil and gas projects was “comparable to the total cost of the Apollo moon program in 2012 prices”.

But concerns about the longevity of Australia’s resource boom, which intensified earlier this year after BHP’s decision to shelve its multi-billion-dollar Olympic Dam project in South Australia, and Fortescue Metals Group’s decision to retrench 1000 workers in Western Australia, are still worrying investors, who cancelled 18 projects in the very preliminary stages of development in the six months to October.

“The decrease in the number of projects is attributable to the removal of projects that have not progressed as scheduled and because information could not be sourced that confirmed a clear intention to progress to development,” the bureau said.

Nevertheless, more than 170 projects worth about $290bn — mainly coal and gas projects slated for Queensland — remain in the “feasibility stage”, having passed commercial viability tests.

“Due to restrictions on exploration and production, there have been few uranium projects progressing along the investment pipeline,” the bureau added, although it pointed to regulatory changes that should improve their prospects.

Separate data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the value of construction completed over the three months to September rose 1.7 per cent to $51.3bn, and increase underpinned almost entirely by engineering construction work.

Source

Oil and gas exploration opens off North coast

Mike Dinsdale
Friday, November 9, 2012 9:27

The sea off Northland‘s entire west coast has been opened up for oil and gas exploration, something the Government says could pour up to $2 billion a year into the economy and create thousands of jobs in the region.

Energy and Resources Minister and Whangarei MP Phil Heatley yesterday welcomed the Government’s starting the process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits in seven onshore and three offshore blocks around the country. The offshore areas include the Northland/Reinga Basins, which stretch from the entrance to the Manukau Harbour, up Northland’s west coast to above Cape Reinga in the Tasman Sea.

A survey by Crown Research Institute GNS Science found the Reinga Basin could hold the most promising oil and gas fields in New Zealand.

Mr Heatley said the potential benefits could be game changers for Northland: “Down in Taranaki oil and gas industry provides over 5000 jobs and puts $2billion a year into the economy. Taranaki provides a great model of how safe and responsible oil and gas exploration can happily work side by side with primary industry and tourism.

“Oil and gas finds in Northland could be worth even more, and provide just as many jobs as those in the Taranaki because the Reinga Basin has been tagged as one of the most promising fields in New Zealand. But Northlanders will never know for sure until experienced companies are allowed to explore. If they find something, locals can then have an informed debate about whether we allow them to go after it.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had started consulting iwi and councils, and he encouraged iwi and councils to participate. “Their feedback ensures that areas of sensitivity are carefully considered before the areas to be tendered are finalised,” Mr Heatley said. No schedule-four conservation or World Heritage sites would be included in the areas for exploration.

But Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi said his iwi was not happy with the proposal and felt any consultation would be a “facade”.

“There’s nothing from the exploration regime that will benefit iwi, other than possibly some jobs in the extraction process. The Government is going ahead without first dealing with the big issue, the customary interest iwi have in this resource,” he said.

“We have a legal opinion saying iwi do have a customary interests in oil and petroleum resources. The Waitangi Tribunal issued a report that recognised that Taranaki iwi have an interest in their petroleum resource, but that has been rejected by the Government.

“So we say we legally have a customary interest there, but the Government is trampling on those interests by ignoring them. It will be a facade consultation.”

He said regardless of what iwi thought, the Government would ignore their concerns if they interfered with its plans. “But we will raise our objections.”

Northland Chamber of Commerce head Tony Collins welcomed the move, saying the region needed the jobs and opportunities exploration could provide. “If you look at Taranaki it’s been a positive thing there and it should be positive for Northland.

“There’s always a balance between risk and reward, but if they use best practice for extraction the chances of anything going wrong are very, very minor,” Mr Collins said.

“This could actually create a lot of opportunities for iwi. They could become involved and use it to help lift the aspirations of their people.”

Worldwide Field Development News Oct 20 – Oct 26, 2012

ENSCO 8501

 

This week the SubseaIQ team added 2 new projects and updated 15 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.

N. America – US GOM

Noble Anticipates Second Gunflint Appraisal

Oct 26, 2012 – Noble Energy expects the Ensco 8501 (UDW semisub) to be available to drill the second Gunflint appraisal well in early 2013 after it finishes exploratory drilling at the Big Bend prospect in the US Gulf of Mexico. Gunflint, situated in Mississippi Canyon Block 948, was appraised and confirmed commercial earlier in the year and represents the company’s largest Gulf of Mexico discovery to-date. The discovery well intersected several reservoirs netting more than 550 feet of high-quality pay. Gunflint is believed to hold up to 500 Mmboe.

Project Details: Gunflint (Freedom)

Australia

Boreas-1 Tests Well

Oct 24, 2012 – Karoon Gas Australia believes the Boreas discovery in permit WA-315-P could be commercial based on well test results. The company feels that future production wells drilled adjacent to Boreas-1 could flow in excess of 100 MMscf/d. Results from the well will be combined with data gathered from Kronos-1, the Poseidon wells and Poseidon 3D seismic to further characterize the size and structure of the Greater Poseidon Trend. The company’s assessment of contingent resources will be independently assessed upon completion of the drilling program.

Project Details: Poseidon

Europe – North Sea

Lundin Receives Boyla PDO Approval

Oct 26, 2012 – The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted approval to Lundin Petroleum for the Plan of Development and Operation of the Boyla field in PL 340 offshore Norway. Estimated gross reserves are roughly 21Mmboe with gross peak production of 19,000 Boepd. Boyla will be developed via a subsea tie-back to the Alvheim FPSO. Technip was awarded the field development contract and will handle construction and installation of the subsea equipment.

Project Details: Alvheim

Partners Strike Oil at Garantiana

Oct 26, 2012 – Well 34/6-2S on the Garantiana prospect offshore Norway has been drilled to a total depth of 13,287 feet by the Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub). The well, located in Production License 554, penetrated good quality oil-bearing reservoir rock in the Cook formation. Further analysis is needed for an accurate resource estimate but initial flow rates of 4,000 barrels per day were achieved through a 28/24-inch choke. Pending available contracted rig days, the partners in the Total-operated license may elect to drill a sidetrack well to define the oil-water contact.

Project Details: Garantiana

Shell Takes Hess’ Spot at Beryl

Oct 25, 2012 – Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corporation have reached an agreement whereby Shell will buy Hess’ stake in the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation Pipeline and the fields that comprise the Beryl Area. Beryl is operated by Apache and is made up of 12 producing fields on the UK continental shelf northeast of Aberdeen. Hess’ net daily production from the area through the first three quarters of 2012 was about 14,000 boepd. Shell plans to extend the production life of its new assets potentially by 20 years. The $525 million deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013, pending regulatory approval.

Wintershall Spuds Asha/Noor Exploration

Oct 25, 2012 – Exploration of the Wintershall-operated Asha/Noor prospect in the Norwegian North Sea has commenced on board the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub). Well 16/1-16 is being drilled in 370 feet of water on the western edge of the Utsira High area and is targeting four reservoirs assumed to be Upper Jurassic sandstones. In addition, the well has the potential to appraise the neighboring Ivar Aasen and Apollo discoveries. If the reservoirs are deemed commercially viable the prospect could be developed via the Grane Field processing facilities.

Project Details: Noor

Nexen Spuds Polecat Appraisal

Oct 24, 2012 – Atlantic Petroleum announced the commencement of appraisal drilling at the Polecat prospect in UK license P1100. Well 20/4a-11 is being drilled in 370 feet of water by the Transocean GSF Arctic III (mid-water semisub) in the vicinity of the Ettrick and Blackbird fields. The well is targeting Upper Jurassic reservoirs and is expected to take 50 days to reach total depth. Nexen and Atlantic Petroleum hold 80% and 20% stakes respectively while Nexen maintains operatorship of the license.

Initial Contender Results Look Promising

Oct 23, 2012 – JV partner Antrim Energy announced positive initial results from the Contender well 211/21-N94 in the UK North Sea. Drilling took place on the TAQA Bratani-operated North Cormorant platform and reached a total depth of 16,903 feet. Preliminary results suggest a net oil pay in excess of 60 feet was encountered in the Tarbert member of the Jurassic Brent sandstones. Ongoing testing has revealed greater than expected porosity and hydrocarbon saturation. If Contender is determined to be commercial, it will be developed from North Cormorant under the name Cormorant East.

Project Details: Falcon

Shell Gets Go-Ahead for UK Fram

Oct 23, 2012 – Shell received consent from the UK government to proceed with the development of the Fram field in the UK sector of the North Sea. The development, one of the largest to be approved in five years, is expected to contribute 35,000 Boepd to the country’s production with a field life of 20 to 30 years. Although Shell is the operator, JV partner Esso Exploration & Production UK is the major equity holder with a 68% interest. Fram was discovered in 1969 and is unrelated to the Norwegian field of the same name. The gas condensate field is located in blocks 29/3a and 29/8c in roughly 300 feet of water.

Project Details: Fram

More Delays for Breagh

Oct 22, 2012 – Sterling Resources announced a delay in production start-up at the Breagh field in the UK North Sea. Late design completion, rework of certain systems and late material deliveries combined to cause construction delays which have pushed the anticipated start-up date to the end of 1Q 2013. Breagh Phase 1 development costs have risen to $825 million which is 1.4 percent above initial estimates. Development drilling at the field has not been hampered by the construction delays. The first three wells will be flow-tested before the end of the year. A fourth well is expected to come on stream once field production is established.

Project Details: Breagh

Mediterranean

Sara Disappoints

Oct 23, 2012 – GeoGlobal Resources received disappointing results from the Sara-1 well offshore Israel. Approximately 321 feet of high quality reservoir sands were encountered but proved to be wet without commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Logging runs provided evidence that gas had once migrated through the system. The Noble Homer Ferrington (DW semisub) drilled the well to a total vertical depth of 12,887 feet and is in the process of plugging and abandoning the well before being released. Data collected during the operation will be used to refine the geologic model of the area and to further evaluate other possible targets within the license.

Leviathan Licensees Seeking Additional Partner

Oct 23, 2012 – The partners in the Leviathan gas field offshore Israel are taking bids to add an international partner to the group to help distribute field development costs. Being offered is up to a 30% stake in the field. Sources indicate Australia’s Woodside Petroleum and Russia’s Gazprom are likely finalists in the bidding round. Leviathan holds an estimated 17 trillion cubic feet of gas and is expected to be brought into production in 2017. The bidding round is due to end in the coming month.

Project Details: Leviathan

Samuel Resource Report Released

Oct 22, 2012 – NSAI released an independent resource report covering the Adira Energy-owned Samuel License offshore Israel. The report indicates P50 estimates of 65.8 MMbbl of oil and 65.8 Bcf of gas in four structures within the license. “The initial well will target the Cretaceous section which is estimated to contain almost 38 million barrels of prospective oil equivalent,” CEO Jeffrey Walter said. Samuel comprises an area of 223 square miles in waters up to 330 feet deep.

Project Details: Samuel

Asia – SouthEast

New Bualuang Facility Ready for Installation

Oct 25, 2012 – Salamander Energy’s Bualuang Bravo Platform construction project is on track to finish on time and within budget. The platform’s jacket has been fabricated and is en route to the Bualuang field where it will be positioned. Topside installation will begin shortly thereafter. Thai Nippon Steel was awarded the construction contract for the 16-slot platform in 1Q 2011. Through the Bravo platform, Salamander plans to double the amount of horizontal production wells currently in use and feels that production will increase from the current level of 11,500 bopd to 15,000 bopd in 2013. The Atwood Mako (400′ ILC) is scheduled to begin development drilling from the platform at the end of November.

Project Details: Bualuang

ROC Announces Successful Balai Cluster Appraisal

Oct 24, 2012 – Appraisal drilling activities at the Bentara-2 well in the Balai Cluster SFRSC have come to a stop upon reaching a total vertical depth of 9,038 feet. BC Petroleum was incorporated to manage the Balai Cluster Small Field Risk Service Contract and is comprised of ROC (48%), Dialog Group (32%) and Petronas (20%). Early results indicated and estimated net hydrocarbon pay in excess of 328 feet across a total interval of 2,132 feet. The well will now be cased and completed in preparation for well testing. Appraisal drilling is the first phase in pre-development of the license and is scheduled to take 18 months to execute. If pre-development is completed successfully the partners in BC Petroleum will submit a field development plan and work towards bringing the Balai Cluster into production.

S. America – Brazil

Statoil Wins at Peregrino South

Oct 24, 2012 – Statoil, together with partner Sinochem, has completed drilling an appraisal well at the Peregrino South prospect offshore Brazil. Well 3-STAT-8-RJS intersected approximately 278 feet of high-quality oil-saturated sandstone reservoir in the Carapebus formation. Goals of the operation were to validate previous volume estimates and establish an optimal development plan. The joint venture will use the positive results from the appraisal to guide the Peregrino Phase II development.

Project Details: Peregrino

Total Selects AGR’s RMR for Exploration Offshore Australia

TOTAL E&P Australia (Total) has signed up to use AGR’s Riserless Mud Recovery (RMR®) system.  The contract is for two exploration wells to be drilled over the next year in the Browse Basin off North West Australia.

Bernt Eikemo, AGR’s Vice President of the Enhanced Drilling Solutions (EDS) division (Asia Pacific), said: “AGR is delighted to be part of Total’s drilling team during the forthcoming exploration campaign. We hope that this is the start of a long, successful relationship with Total E&P Australia.”

He added: “Our previous experiences with several operators in the Browse Basin and the North West Shelf have shown that unconsolidated sand formations become much more benign when drilled with RMR® using a proper mud system.”

RMR® has been used by Total on several other projects internationally but this is the first time that the operator has used the system in Australia.

The main reason for using RMR® on these wells is to be able to drill through the unconsolidated sands of the Grebe Formation. It is renowned for stuck-pipe problems when drilling riserless using seawater and sweeps.

RMR® (system example attached) enables the use of weighted, engineered mud in the top-hole section. All mud and cuttings are returned to the rig with no discharge to the seabed. The top-hole section can be drilled more safely, quickly and with less impact on the environment.

RMR®, together with its sister technology the Cutting Transportation System (CTS™), has been deployed on more than 500 wells worldwide to date.

Source

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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