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NSA spying on Petrobras, if proven, is industrial espionage -Rousseff

By Anthony Boadle

(Reuters) – Reports that the United States spied on Brazilian oil company Petrobras, if proven, would be tantamount to industrial espionage and have no security justification, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said on Monday.

Brazil’s Globo television network reported on Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency hacked into the computer networks of Petrobras and other companies, including Google Inc. , citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The report came as Brazil is preparing to auction rights to tap some of the largest oil finds in the world in recent decades, deposits trapped under a salt layer off its Atlantic coast. State-run Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company and a source of national pride, made the discoveries in recent years and will be a mandatory partner in developing all of the new deep-sea fields.

The Globo report added tension to relations between Washington and Brasilia already strained by previous disclosures of NSA spying on internet communications in Brazil, including email messages and phone calls of Rousseff herself.

An angry Rousseff has repeatedly demanded an explanation. At stake is a state visit by Rousseff to the White House on Oct. 23 to meet President Barack Obama and discuss a possible $4 billion jet fighter deal, cooperation on oil and biofuels technology, as well as other commercial agreements.

“If the facts reported by the press are confirmed, it will be evident that the motive for the spying attempts is not security or the war on terrorism but strategic economic interests,” Rousseff said in a statement.

The U.S. government has said the secret internet surveillance programs disclosed by Snowden in June are aimed at monitoring suspected terrorist activity and do look at the content of private messages or phone calls.

PETROBAS NOT A SECURITY THREAT

“Clearly, Petrobras is not a threat to the security of any country,” Rousseff said, adding that the company is one of the world’s largest oil assets and belongs to the Brazilian people.

Brazil will take steps to protect itself, its government and its companies, Rousseff said, without elaborating. She said such espionage and interception of data were illegal and had no place in the relations between two democratic nations.

On Friday, Obama met with Rousseff during a summit of leaders of the world’s largest economies in St. Petersburg, Russia, and pledged to look into the reports that the NSA had snooped on her personal communications and those of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was still a candidate.

She said Obama had promised her a reply by Wednesday.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo is scheduled to meet in Washington on the same day with Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, Brazilian officials said.

Globo did not say when the alleged spying took place, what data might have been gathered or what exactly the NSA may have been seeking. The television report showed slides from an NSA presentation, dated May 2012, that it said was used to show new agents how to spy on private computer networks.

In addition to Google and Petrobras the presentation suggested the NSA had tapped into systems operated by France’s foreign ministry and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an international bank cooperative known as Swift through which many cross-border financial transactions take place.

Brazilian officials said the spying report would not affect the upcoming auction of rights to extract oil from the giant Libra oil field, which will go ahead as scheduled on Oct. 21.

Some Brazilian politicians have suggested that U.S. companies should be excluded from the bidding, but experts said that is legally impossible according to the terms of the auction.

Libra has estimated reserves of between 8 and 12 billion barrels of oil, according to Brazilian oil regulator ANP.

Brazil is counting on the new oil production to consolidate its emergence as a world economic power and take the country’s development to a new level. Rousseff signed a law on Monday that designates the royalties from the new oil production contracts for health and education programs.

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Worldwide Field Development News Aug 17 – Aug 23, 2013

This week the SubseaIQ team added 13 new projects and updated 30 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.

Europe – North Sea
Statoil Makes Find at Smorbukk North
Aug 22, 2013 – Statoil announced a gas and condensate discovery at its Smorbukk North prospect in the Haltenbanken area of the Norwegian Sea. Well 6506/9-3 was drilled to a depth of 15,393 feet by the Transocean Leader (mid-water semisub). A 130-foot gas and condensate column was encountered in a down-to situation in the middle Jurassic Garn formation. Additionally, a thin gas and condensate section was proven in the deeper Ile formation. Initial studies indicate recoverable volumes of 25 to 47 MMboe. Smorbukk North is located directly north of the Asgard field and could potentially be developed quickly through a tie-in to existing infrastructure, extending the production life of the Asgard facilities.
Project Details: Asgard
Lundin Comes Up Dry with Biotitt Wildcat
Aug 22, 2013 – Lundin Petroleum’s Biotitt wildcat was drilled to total depth without any sign of hydrocarbons. Well 16/4-7 was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) to 8,530 feet measured depth and is being plugged and abandoned as a dry hole. Over 300 feet of excellent quality Jurassic and Triassic sandstone was drilled but was found to be water bearing. Biotitt was the first well to be drilled in PL544 which was awarded in 2009. Lundin Petroleum (40%) serves as operator on behalf of partners Bayerngas (30%) and Explora Petroleum (30%).
Project Details: Biotitt
S. America – Brazil
Petrobras Reports Light Oil from Muriu Appraisal
Aug 22, 2013 – Light oil was encountered while drilling an appraisal well in the Sergipe Basin off the coast of Brazil. Well 3-SES-175D was drilled by the Petrobras 10000 (UDW drillship) to appraise the 2012 Muriu discovery in blocks SEAL-M-347 and SEAL-M-424. The well was drilled to a depth of 18,461 feet and discovered almost 80 feet of reservoir with good porosity. Petrobras, 100% owner of the blocks, plans to conduct a formation test to verify the productive characteristics of the reservoir. A Discovery Evaluation Plan has been submitted for approval by Brazil’s Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP).
S. America – Other & Carib.
Noble Energy Ready to Spud Nicaraguan Prospect
Aug 22, 2013 – Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Saratoga (mid-water semisub) is on location and preparing to spud the PS1 exploration well at the Paraiso Sur prospect in the Tyra Concession off Nicaragua. Noble Energy, operator of the concession, has allotted 90 days to drill the well. If successful, a second well will be drilled to determine the commerciality of the discovery. Paraiso Sur is estimated to hold P25 gross unrisked resources of 1,220 MMboe.
Project Details: Paraiso
Asia – SouthEast
Anao Phase 4 Compression Project Complete
Aug 23, 2013 – Work on the Anoa Phase 4 project is complete and production from the field has resumed. Phase 4 was implemented to enhance gas compression capacity to handle the increase of associated gas production and offset the decline of oil production at the field. The extra capacity allows for an additional 200 Bcf of undeveloped reserves being delivered from the field.
Project Details: Anoa
Premier Updates Progress at Pelikan and Naga Fields
Aug 23, 2013 – Progress continues on the Pelikan and Naga gas projects in Natuna Sea Block A offshore Indonesia. Construction of the Pelikan and Naga wellhead platforms (WHP) is almost complete. Load-out and installation of the units will take place in 3Q 2013. Planning of the development drilling program is in the final stages and a suitable rig has been secured. Drilling will commence at the end of the monsoon season in 1Q 2014 from the Pelikan and then Naga. Production startup at both platforms is expected to take place in the second half of 2014.
Project Details: Naga – Pelikan
Santos Acquires Interest in Northwest Natuna PSC
Aug 22, 2013 – Santos announced its acquisition of a 50% interest in the Northwest Natuna Production Sharing Contract (PSC) from operator AWE. The PSC is located off Indonesia and contains the undeveloped Ande Ande Lumut oil field which has been independently assessed to contain gross 2P oil reserves of roughly 100 million barrels. Currently, the proposed development concept consists of the installation of a wellhead platform and a permanently moored FPSO with oil take-off via shuttle tankers. A final investment decision is expected in 2014. Execution of the acquisition requires Indonesian regulatory approval.
Project Details: Ande Ande Lumut
Otto Expects Galoc Gas in November 2013
Aug 22, 2013 – Otto Energy made the decision to call total depth while drilling the 6-H well in the Galoc field off the Philippines. An 853-foot section of high quality reservoir was intersected and a 5 ??” completion liner was run over the interval. The well is being suspended prior to running a completion assembly. Wells 6-H and 5-H are being drilled by the Ocean Patriot (mid-water semisub). The rig will now re-enter the 5-H well to drill through the reservoir section and run the completion. Once drilling and testing operations are complete, the Skandia Hercules construction vessel will be brought in to install the subsea equipment and hook up both wells to the Rubicon Intrepid FPSO. Otto anticipates production start-up in November 2013.
Project Details: Galoc
G11/48 Partners Reach Nong Yao Investment Decision
Aug 22, 2013 – Mubadala Petroleum and its partner KrisEnergy have come to an agreement on the final investment decision for the development of the Nong Yao oil field in the G11/48 contract area in the Gulf of Thailand. The field was discovered in 2009 when the Emerald Driller (350′ ILC) drilled the Nong Yao-1 wildcat. Initial development of the field will involve drilling 23 wells, installation of two wellhead platforms and a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel. The facilities will have the capacity to produce 15,000 bopd along with 30,000 bopd of produced fluids. First oil is anticipated in 1H 2015.
Project Details: Nong Yao
N. America – US GOM
Ardennes Well Fails to Deliver
Aug 22, 2013 – No hydrocarbons were encountered while drilling the Ardennes-1 exploratory well in Green Canyon Block 896. The Cobalt-operated well was drilled by the Ensco 8503 (UDW semisub) to 36,552-feet total depth. Both the Miocene and Inboard Lower Tertiary reservoirs were encountered but neither contained commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Ardennes-1, which is the deepest well drilled to date in the US Gulf of Mexico, will be plugged and abandoned and the rig will mobilize to Cobalt’s Aegean prospect in Keathley Canyon Block 163. Cobalt owns a 42% working interest in Ardennes with partners ConocoPhillips (30%) and Total (28%).
Project Details: Ardennes
Asia – Far East
Roc Oil Completes Beibu Gulf Drilling Program
Aug 22, 2013 – Roc Oil announced the completion of a 5-well development drilling campaign at the WZ 12-8 field in the Beibu Gulf. Conclusion of the program marks the completion of the final stage of development drilling in Block 22/21. In all, 15 wells were drilled within the block to improve existing production and to tap into additional reserves discovered during the 2012 exploration effort. All 15 wells are expected to be on-stream in 3Q 2013 at a rate of approximately 15,000 bopd. The COSL HYSY 931 (300′ ILC) carried out the drilling program and has now been released.
Project Details: Beibu Gulf
Africa – West
Total Reveals Gabon Deepwater Pre-Salt Discovery
Aug 22, 2013 – Total Gabon, operator of the first deepwater pre-salt well in Gabon, announced the discovery of between 160 and 180 feet of net gas and condensate pay while drilling the Diaman-1B well in the Diaba block. The well was drilled by the Ocean Rig Olympia (UDW drillship) to a depth of 18,323 feet and confirmed the existence of a working petroleum system. Diaman-1B is a sidetrack to the Diaman-1 well which spud in April 2013 and is over 60 miles away from the nearest commercial pre-salt discovery. Total (42.5%) serves as operator of the block with partners Marathon (21.25%), Cobalt (21%) and Gabon Oil (15.25%).
Project Details: Diaman
MidEast – Persian Gulf
Barzan Development Drilling Phase Complete
Aug 22, 2013 – RasGas completed its 30-well development drilling campaign for the $10.3 billion Barzan Gas Project. The drilling program required the use of three jackups that combined for a total of 4,740 working days. Technologies such as Pressurized Mud Cap Drilling were utilized to safely drill the wells in the challenging formation. Completion of the drilling phase clears the way for installation of subsea pipelines to carry gas to the Barzan onshore facilities that are 50% complete.
Project Details: Barzan
Australia
Woodside Proposes FLNG for Browse
Aug 22, 2013 – Woodside recommended floating LNG (FLNG) technology to the Browse joint venture partners as the best option for the Browse LNG Development off Western Australia. In April 2013, the decision to not proceed with onshore development was determined after the concept did not meet commercial requirements for a positive final investment decision. If approved, the joint venture will rely on Shell’s FLNG knowledge and Woodside’s offshore development expertise. The project comprises the development of the Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields with combined contingent gas volumes of 15.9 Tcf and 436 million barrels of condensate.
Project Details: Browse LNG
MEO Announces the Presence of Ramble On
Aug 22, 2013 – MEO Australia, the 100% participant in permits AC/P50 and 51, completed its initial assessment of the permit area. Prospects were identified using reprocessed data from the 2012 Zeppelin 3D seismic survey and the older Onnia 3D survey. A likely drilling candidate is the Ramble On prospect in the southern portion of the block. MEO estimates the prospect to contain unrisked prospective resources of 56 MMstb (mean, recoverable). A successful well could significantly upgrade several other prospects within the area including Stairway and Kashmir. Ramble On is located in AC/P51 in close proximity to the Montara and Talbot fields. AC/P51 is currently in its 5th permit year. The 6th permit year begins in April 21, 2014 and requires the drilling of one exploration well.
Project Details: Ramble On

Worldwide Field Development News May 4 – May 10, 2013

This week the SubseaIQ team added 7 new projects and updated 29 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.

S. America – Brazil

BP to Sell Polvo Interest to HRT

May 9, 2013 – BP announced its intention to sell its 60% operated interest in the Polvo field to HRT Oil & Gas for $135 million in cash. Polvo is located in the southern part of the Campos Basin in block BM-C-8. Oil from the field is produced through a fixed drilling and production platform tied to an FPSO. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, but BP expects the deal to close in the second half of 2013. If approved, HRT will make the transition from a pure exploration company to a small oil producer. Currently, the field is producing at a rate of 13,000 bopd.

Project Details: Polvo

Petronas Gains Brazilian Interests Through OGX Agreement

May 8, 2013 – Brazilian exploration and production company OGX reached an agreement to sell 40% of its interest in Campos Basin blocks BM-C-39 and BM-C-40 to Petronas for a reported $850 million with an effective date of May 1. Based on the agreement, Petronas will acquire an interest in the Tubarao Martelo oil field with its 285 million barrels of recoverable resources along with the Inga and Pero prospects which are all located within the two blocks. Production from Tubarao Martelo is expected to begin by the end of the year. The transaction is subject to approval by Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency and the Brazilian Council for Economic Defense.

Project Details: Tubarao Martelo (Waikiki)

Karoon Discovers Oil in Bilby Prospect

May 7, 2013 – Karoon announced its second oil discovery of the current 3-well exploration program in the Santos Basin. The company announced a 656-foot gross oil pay made up of interbedded sand and shale intervals encountered while drilling the Bilby-1 well in block S-M-1166. Wireline testing of the pay zone is currently underway. Once complete, drilling will continue to the planned depth of 15,003 feet where Karoon hopes to find hydrocarbon-bearing Santonian aged reserovoirs. Completion of the Bilby well will mark the end of the exploration program.

Project Details: Bilby

Asia – SouthEast

Nido and PNOC Prepare for Baragatan Wildcat

May 8, 2013 – Nido Petroleum and its partner, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), have approved a work plan and budget to spud a wildcat on the Baragatan prospect in SC 63 offshore Palawan Island. Nido will serve as technical operator while drilling operations are underway. The well will be drilled when a suitable jackup becomes available and all regulatory approvals are secured. Bragatan is estimated to hold mean risked recoverable oil volumes of 115 million barrels with an upside of 166 million barrels.

Project Details: Baragatan

Ensco Jackup to Drill Cua Lo Prospect off Vietnam

May 7, 2013 – The Ensco 107 (400′ ILC) is expected to drill an exploration well targeting the Cua Lo prospect in Block 105 off Vietnam in June 2013. Participants in the block include Eni (50%) serving as operator, Neon Energy (25%) and KrisEnergy (25%). Interpretation of 3D seismic over the area is ongoing and the joint venture is attempting to finalize the drilling location to maximize the exposure of multiple potential pay zones. A Prospective Resource Assessment of the block has confirmed best estimate gross unrisked prospective recoverable resources of 3.9 Tcf.

Project Details: Cua Lo

Bentara Appraisal Continues in Balai Cluster

May 6, 2013 – ROC Oil advised that drilling of the Bentara-3 well in the Balai Cluster RSC has commenced. The well is the fifth and final well in the Balia Cluster pre-development/appraisal drilling program. Once the well is complete the joint venture partners will review the data and determine the economic viability of the fields. If the decision is made to move forward, a formal field development plan will be submitted.

Project Details: Balai Cluster

N. America – US GOM

W&T Continues Main Pass 108 Development

May 10, 2013 – Total depth has been reached in the B-1 well in Main Pass 108 block in the US Gulf of Mexico. The well, drilled by the Hercules 202 (200′ MC), was designed to target a potential 1.8 MMboe in the Tex W-6 Sand. It is possible that B-1 will be completed and on production by July. At that point, the Hercules 202 will skid over and spud the B-2 well which is targeting similar reserves. If successful, the B-2 well could be on line by 4Q 2013.

Project Details: Main Pass 108

ExxonMobil and Statoil to Proceed with Julia Deepwater Development

May 8, 2013 – ExxonMobil and its partner, Statoil, have agreed to proceed with development of the Julia oil field in the US Gulf of Mexico. Julia was discovered in 2007 and is estimated to hold almost 6 BBbbls of oil. The $4 billion project is expected to start producing in 2016. Phase 1 of the development will be designed to produce 34,000 bopd from 6 subsea wells tied back to the Jack/St. Malo production facility. A development drilling program is planned to be kicked-off in 2014 in waters ranging from 4,000 to 8,700 feet. ExxonMobil, the field operator, and Statoil each hold a 50% stake in the field.

Project Details: Jack/St. Malo

Shell Makes Stones Investment Decision

May 8, 2013 – Royal Dutch Shell made its final investment decision on the Stones ultra-deepwater oil and gas development project in the US Gulf of Mexico. At 9,500 feet deep, Stones is expected to host the world’s deepest production facility. Announcement of the decision sets in motion the construction of a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel along with all of the associated subsea infrastructure. Initially, two developments well will be tied back to the FPSO with six additional wells to follow at a later date. Peak production for the first phase is expected to peak at 50,000 boed. The Stones reservoir is estimated to hold more than 2 BBboe.

Project Details: Stones

Marathon Development Continues off Louisiana Coast

May 6, 2013 – A fifth development well has been spud on the Apache-operated Marathon gas and condensate field in the Atchafalaya Bay off the coast of Louisiana. Marathon-4 is being drilled by the Parker 76-B (inland barge) in 8 feet of water and is targeting the Marathon formation at roughly 18,700 feet total depth. It is estimated to take 4-months to drill, complete and tie-in the well to existing production facilities. The Marathon field is operated by Apache who maintains a 48.75% interest. Petsec Energy holds 8% while private investors make up the remaining 43.25%.

N. America – Canadian Atlantic

Tecnhip Wins South White Rose Extension Contracts

May 8, 2013 – Husky Energy, operator of the White Rose field in Canada’s Jeanne d’Arc Basin, awarded a pair of development contracts associated with the South White Rose Extension project to Technip. The first contract is set to be carried out in 2013 and includes the supply and installation of gas injection flowlines, umbilicals and various subsea structures. Execution of the second contract will commence in 2014 and will involve the supply and installation of flowlines and subsea structures to support oil production and water injection. Husky has started a development drilling program and anticipates production start-up in 2014.

Project Details: White Rose

Europe – North Sea

Cairn Farms Into Spanish Point and Burren

May 8, 2013 – Cairn Energy announced it will farm-in to licenses FEL 2/04, FEL 4/08 and six adjacent licensing option blocks in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Included in FEL 2/04 are the Spanish Point gas condensate discovery and the Burren oil discovery. The farm-in is subject to regulatory and partner approval. If approved, Cairn becomes the operator and acquires a 38% working interest by paying a pro-rated share of back costs for a consideration of $4.1 million and 63.33% of exploration and appraisal costs up to two wells, subject to a cap. An appraisal of Spanish Point is expected to be drilled in 2Q 2014.

Project Details: Spanish Point

Additional Production Well to be Drilled at Ettrick

May 7, 2013 – The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) approved an addendum to the Ettrick Field Development Plan (FPD) that was submitted in November 2012. Partners in the field include operator Nexen Petroleum (79.73%), Dana Petroleum (12%) and Atlantic Petroleum (8.27%). Ettrick was discovered in 1981 and began producing in 2009. Approval of the addendum will allow an infill production well to be drilled near the crest of the field. The well should be tied into the Aoka Mizu FPSO near the end of 3Q 2013.

Project Details: Ettrick

Johan Sverdrup Appraisals Continue

May 7, 2013 – Appraisal well 16/2-21 has been spud by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) in the Johan Sverdrup discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf. The central part of the discovery is being tested in an effort to establish the depth, quality and thickness of the Jurassic reservoir sequences. Information obtained from this well will aid in developing a drainage and development strategy which is expected to be announced at the end of the year. Well 16/2-21 is the first in a three-well appraisal campaign that will be carried out through 2013.

Project Details: Johan Sverdrup

Luno II Tests at 2K BOPD

May 7, 2013 – Lundin Petroleum reports the previously announced production test of the Luno II discovery well is complete. Well 16/4-6S was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) and encountered 131 gross feet of oil pay. A flow rate of more than 2,000 bopd was achieved through a 48/64 inch choke with a gas to oil ration of 1,100 scf/bbl. Lundin estimates the Luno II structure to contain gross contingent resources of 25 to 120 MMboe along with 10 to 40 MMboe of prospective resources for he Luno II North segment.

Project Details: Luno II

S. America – Other & Carib.

Shell Spuds Third Well off French Guiana

May 8, 2013 – Shell’s exploration campaign off the coast of French Guiana continues with the recent spudding of well GM-ES-4 on the Cebus prospect in the Guyane Maritime Permit. Cebus is the third well in the four-well program. The well will test the hydrocarbon potential of a different fan system than that of the two previous wells that failed to find pay.

New Ultra-Deepwater Drillship Laguna Star Arrives in Brazil

The Laguna Star, QGOG Constellation’s new ultra-deepwater drillship, arrived, Nov. 7,  in Brazil. Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard, located in South Korea, built the Laguna Star as well as the Amaralina Star drillship, which is currently in operation by QGOG.

The unit will be operated by its subsidiary, Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG), in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and well depths of up to 40,000 feet. It is equipped to operate in ultra-deepwater including the Brazilian pre-salt area.

The Laguna Star is the second drillship to be operated by QGOG, after Amaralina Star, which arrived in Brazil in August, 2012. The unit contributes to expanding and diversifying QGOG’s portfolio in ultra-deepwater drilling.

The arrival of Laguna Star is another key milestone for the QGOG Constellation’s ultra-deepwater operations and, together with Amaralina Star, reinforces our operational track record,” said QGOG Constellation CEO Leduvy Gouvea.

These two drillships are chartered to Petrobras under six-year contracts, with options to renew for six additional years. Drilling services will be provided by QGOG.

Shipbuilding Tribune – New Ultra-Deepwater Drillship Laguna Star Arrives in Brazil.

Wrecking a Nation: Oil, Dependency, and Redistribution

Monday, 28 March 2011 01:00
Written by  Ralph R. Reiland

Here’s how the economic and political system of a nation is destroyed.

Every price increase of just a dime per gallon of gasoline at the pump extracts approximately $5 billion from the pockets of U.S. consumers over the course of a year.

On top of killing family budgets, with a dollar per gallon jump at the pumps picking our pockets of $50 billion per year, there is on the macro level an inverse relationship between the price of oil and the overall health of the economy — oil price hikes deliver less job growth, less demand for labor, more unemployment, more poverty, more inequality, more inflation, lower real income increases, and smaller advances in the standard of living.

Additionally, higher oil prices directly cause greater amounts of U.S. capital to be exported, both to pay the higher prices and to pay for the growing levels of imported oil.

In 1985, the U.S. imported 25 percent of its oil usage. Today, it’s 61 percent. And still we are placing restrictions on increases in domestic production, both for oil and other sources of energy.

A few days back, President Obama, rather than sticking around a couple hours to explain to the American people or to the U.S. Congress why we were going to war in Libya, flew off to Brazil to hand out a permit to allow deep sea oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras. Capitalist companies in America need not apply.

This particular foreign deal was an especially snug and nostalgic fit for Obama. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is somewhat of a Latin form of Obama’s old Weather Underground chum Bernardine Dohrn.

In earlier days, Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla, was charged with running with a gang of redistributionists who accumulated revolutionary capital by way of kidnapping foreign diplomats for ransom.

A top priority for Rousseff today mirrors the “spread the wealth around” objective that Obama stated to Joe the plumber.

Dohrn, just home from a trip to Cuba in 1969 where she hoped to pick up some pointers on how to impose a “classless” society on the United States, displayed her true psychopathic colors in a speech she made to the Weathermen’s “War Council.” Speaking elatedly of the murders by the Charlie Manson gang of actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three other people, Dohrn proclaimed, “First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the victims’ stomachs! Wild!”

That’s the fully hateful Bernardine on public display, seeing herself as a new George Washington, a revolutionary fighter for a new nation. It’s the same role, except this founding mother was in serious need of a super-sized bottle of antipsychotic drugs and a super-tight straight-jacket.

Of all the places for candidate Obama to kick off his political career in 1995 in his first run for the Illinois State Senate, he picked the living room of Bernardine Dohrn and husband Bill Ayers, co-founder of the Weather Underground and, more recently, the national vice president for curriculum studies at the American Educational Research Association.

I’d have kept up my guard when Bernardine sashayed out of the kitchen and began circulating around with the hor dourves and metal forks.

In any case, it’s no surprise that things are coming apart, especially on energy. “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can,” pronounced Obama during the presidential campaign. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

What’s the end game?  “Suicide Mission Accomplished”?

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

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