Posted by Jim Hoft
But that didn’t divert President Obama from his mission of appeasement.
President Obama signaled Congress this week that he is prepared to share U.S. missile defense secrets with Russia.
In the president’s signing statement issued Saturday in passing into law the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill, Mr. Obama said restrictions aimed at protecting top-secret technical data on U.S. Standard Missile-3 velocity burnout parameters might impinge on his constitutional foreign policy authority.
As first disclosed in this space several weeks ago, U.S. officials are planning to provide Moscow with the SM-3 data, despite reservations from security officials who say that doing so could compromise the effectiveness of the system by allowing Russian weapons technicians to counter the missile. The weapons are considered some of the most effective high-speed interceptors in the U.S. missile defense arsenal.
Hat Tip Maria
For the record… Obama met secretly with Gorbachev in March 2009 where they discussed ways of reducing their countries’ respective nuclear arsenals.
Hat Tip Chris
- TREASON, anyone? Barack Obama signaled Congress this week that he is prepared to share U.S. missile defense secrets with Russia. (barenakedislam.wordpress.com)
- The Obama presidency, it just gets worse, and worse, and………….. (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Obama works to destroy America’s military – Tea Party Nation (gds44.wordpress.com)
- Is Obama a Traitor? (loopyloo305.com)
- Russia may target U.S. missile defense sites (marketwatch.com)
- Obama’s Signature Hypocrisy (thedailybeast.com)
- Iranian Missile Test Kills 20-plus Iranians; Russia Rattles Its Nuclear Saber WRT U.S. Missile Defense (nationalspacestudiescenter.wordpress.com)
MOSCOW | Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:37am EST
(Reuters) – An oil drilling rig with 67 crew on board capsized and sank off the Russian Far East island of Sakhalin when it ran into a storm while being towed, and 51 of the crew were unaccounted for, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday.
Fourteen crew members were rescued alive from the ‘Kolskaya’ jack-up rig, operated by Russian exploration company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, two bodies were recovered and the rest of the crew were missing.
“According to reports from the scene of the rescue operation, the Kolskaya platform has sunk completely,” the local head of the Emergencies Ministry, Taimuraz Kasayev, told a news briefing in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Agencies quoted officials as saying the rig capsized at about 0200 GMT on Sunday around 200 km (125 miles) off the coast of Sakhalin as it was being towed from the eastern peninsula of Kamchatka.
It appeared that the vessel had not been doing drilling work, so no oil spill was likely. The rig’s destination was not immediately clear.
While less serious that BP’s Macondo disaster, when a blowout caused oil to spew for months into the Gulf of Mexico, the fatal accident will deal a blow to Russia‘s efforts to step up offshore oil and gas exploration.
Russia has two major offshore projects that are already producing oil off Sakhalin – Sakhalin-1, operated by Exxonmobil and Sakhalin-2, in which state-controlled gas export monopoly Gazprom has a controlling stake.
State-controlled Rosneft this year reached a major deal with Exxon to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic Kara Sea.
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Tim Pearce)
- Russian drilling rig sinks off Sakhalin, 51 missing – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Russian Oil-Drilling Rig Sinks: Two Dead, 51 Missing (ibtimes.com)
- Oil-drilling rig with 76 aboard overturns in Russia’s Far East (worldnews.msnbc.msn.com)
- Russia oil rig capsizes under tow (bbc.co.uk)
- You: Four killed in Russian oil rig collapse (guardian.co.uk)
- India seeks stake in Sakhalin-3 (thehindu.com)
Dec. 6, 2011, 10:44 AM by Joe Weisenthal
Today’s geopolitical hotspot?
- Russian election: Thousands call for an end to Putin’s rule in wake of vote (news.nationalpost.com)
- CHART OF THE DAY: The Russian Market Is Getting Reduced To Rubble Today (businessinsider.com)
- Russian opposition members arrested as troops police Moscow after protest over vote ‘rigging’ (news.nationalpost.com)
- Russia deploys troops after anti-Putin rally (windsorstar.com)
- Putin’s party maintains majority, but election marred by allegations of vote manipulation (news.nationalpost.com)
- Thousands protests against Putin after Russia vote (trust.org)
- Russia’s Putin: Less party support inevitable (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
UAE based company specializing in high-end towed streamer data acquisition, Polarcus Limited, has signed a Letter of Intent with an undisclosed client for a 3D seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.
The project, to be acquired by ULSTEIN SX124 design vessel, Polarcus Nadia, will start this month and is expected to run for approximately 30 days.
Delivered in 2009 Polarcus Nadia is an ultra-modern 12 streamer 3D/4D seismic vessel. Built to the ULSTEIN SX124 design and incorporating the innovative ULSTEIN X-BOW® hull, this vessel combines the latest developments in maritime systems with the most advanced seismic technology commercially available. The vessel is also amongst the most environmentally sound seismic vessels in the market with diesel-electric propulsion, high specification catalytic convertors, double hull, and advanced bilge water cleaning system. This vessel complies with the stringent DNV CLEAN DESIGN notation.
- Polarcus Alima: First Seismic Vessel to Pass along Northern Sea Route (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Russia: Putin Becomes Guardian of Seismic Vessel Vyacheslav Tikhonov (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ukraine: Zaliv Launches Ulstein Design PSV Hull (mb50.wordpress.com)
- The Netherlands: Norwind Installer and Ulstein Join Forces on New Offshore Wind Foundation Installation Vessel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Bourbon Offshore Takes Delivery of Ulstein PX105 Design PSV (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ukraine: JSC Shipyard Zaliv Completes SX 134 Shipbuilding Project for Ulstein (mb50.wordpress.com)
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov
No official confirmation or denial of the report was immediately available. The report quotes the source as saying Russia had supplied to Syria Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, as part of Bastion mobile coastal missile systems.
The report does not say when the deliveries took place or how many missiles have been delivered, but says the contract was worth around $300 million.
It says Russia believes the weapons will allow Syria to protect its entire coast from a potential seaborne attack.
The report quotes Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying in February that Moscow intended to fulfill the contract, despite opposition to the deal from Israel and its ally the United States.
The United Nations says that more than 4,000 people have been killed since protests against Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad erupted in mid-March, and that the conflict has now evolved into a “civil war.”
Russia, a traditional ally of the Syrian regime, has helped block moves for UN sanctions targeting Syria over the bloodshed.
compiled from agency reports
Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the nations that border the Caspian Sea – namely Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan – have quarreled over how to properly divide its waters. With as much as 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 200 billion barrels of potential reserves and 9.2 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas, at stake, tensions have risen over recent moves by Russia to develop its offshore resources.
A Geo-Political Storm Could Be Brewing Over The Caspian Sea’s Energy Resources
Photo Credit: mwanasimba
On 16 November in Astrakhan Lukoil president, Vagit Alekperov told journalists that his company will spend over $16 billion over the next decade to develop the country’s Caspian offshore Korchagin and Filanovskii oil and natural gas fields in the Caspian, at the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Astrakhan Region.
An equitable division of the Caspian’s offshore resources have bedeviled the region since the December 1991 implosion of the USSR, putting the Soviet Union’s previous cozy arrangements with the Shah’s Iran “into the dustbin of history,” to quote Leon Trotsky.
Related: Russia Oil and Gas Industry
Related: Iran Oil and Gas Industry
Before the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Union and Iran effectively divided the inland sea amongst themselves, according to the terms of the 1940 Soviet-Iranian treaty, which replaced the 1921 Treaty of Friendship between the two countries, which awarded each signatory an “exclusive right of fishing in its coastal waters up to a limit of 10 nautical miles.” The treaty further declared that the “parties hold the Caspian to belong to Iran and to the Soviet Union.”
Since 1991 three new nations have arisen in the Caspian basin to contest this bilateral arrangement – Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. For the past two decades the five nations have wrangled about how to divide the Caspian offshore waters, and little has been achieved.
Amidst the disagreements Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have tentatively moved cautiously to develop their offshore reserves in sectors that they believe would be indisputably within their future assignations under an eventual five-state agreement.
Even within these cautious offshore margins, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have increased their output in the last 15 years by 70 percent.
Related: Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Industry
Related: Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Industry
But at issue are the diametrically opposed positions of Iran and the Russian Federation about how to develop an international Caspian consensus beyond the now moribund 1921 and 1940 treaties. Iran insists that all Caspian nations should receive an equitable 20 percent of the Caspian, while the Russia Federation has consistently maintained that the five Caspian riverine nations should receive their portion based on the length of their coastline. Under the Russian formula, Iran’s sector would consist of 12 percent to 14 percent of the Caspian’s waters and seabed.
The stakes are high – in 2009 the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration estimated that the Caspian could contain as much as 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil along with an additional 200 billion barrels of potential reserves, in addition to up to 9.2 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas.
Accordingly, all five Caspian nations have been delicately developing their offshore Caspian reserves in areas that will undoubtedly remain theirs whatever eventual agreement is hammered out between Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. The Russian Federation and Iran are the last two nations to move “offshore.”
Alekperov said, “Five hundred billion rubles ($16 billion) will be invested in development. This huge amount will provide an opportunity for sustainable development in the region.”
Astrakhan Region Governor Aleksandr Zhilkin waxed lyrical on the importance of the agreement for the long-term development of Astrakhan’s shipbuilding industry, situated on the lower Volga, the Russian Federation’s major river emptying into the Caspian.
Zhilkin commented, “All shipyards in Astrakhan Region will have work for the next ten years. Vagit Yusufovich (Alekperov) mentioned that Lukoil is investing more than 500 billion rubles ($16 billion) over the decade.
Zhilkin’s remarks to reporters are hardly an idle boast, as he stated that Lukoil had paid more than $16.1 million in taxes last year to Astrakhan’s regional budget.
So, the Russian Federation, like its four Caspian neighbors, is now beginning to tiptoe into its offshore waters, all the while insisting that its vision of divvying the inland sea prevails.
Related: The New “Great Game” in Central Asia
The last two decades have seen an apparent pragmatism slowly evolve over the Caspian offshore resources, first in Baku, followed by Astana, Ashgabat and more recently and reluctantly, Tehran and Moscow. While the issue of a final disposition of the Caspian’s offshore waters remains significant if for no other reason than the various proposed undersea pipelines such as Turkmenistan-Baku, which could be an influential element in the European Union’s projected $15 billion Nabucco natural gas pipeline reverie, all five nations seem to be moving cautiously towards planting their offshore flags in areas unlikely to arouse their neighbours.
It will be interesting to see if they meet in the middle.
By John C.K. Daly, OilPrice.com
- Auditor: Turkmenistan has second-largest gas field (sfgate.com)
- Petronas draws first gas at Turkmenistan field (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Turkmens slam Russian bid to hinder gas pipeline (seattlepi.com)
Steve Marshall & News reports 28 November 2011 09:19 GMT
Rosneft has had its applications for three licences covering the Severny, Papaninsky and Mezhdusharsky Vostochny structures rejected by Russia’s mineral extraction agency Rosnedra after objections were raised by the Ministry of Defence, a Rosnedra source, quoted in Russian media, was reported as saying by the Barents Observer.
The three tracts, located south-west of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, are prospective for oil and gas, with Severny reported to hold 26.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, while Mezhdusharsky and Papaninsky are believed to contain 2 billion boe and 559 million boe respectively.
Rosneft also had its bid to explore the Severo-Barentsevoye field turned down due to ongoing state mapping of the area.
Conflicting interests among Russian state bodies have historically stalled decisions on exploration and development of Barents acreage, with fields discovered in the 1970s still undeveloped.
The Russian military sees the Barents as a strategically important area because it provides ice-free access to the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The might Northern Fleet, based on the Kola Peninsula, has its bases on the Barents coast.
- Russia: Rosneft Gets Clearance to Buy More Offshore Assets in the Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
- “arctic oil” Norway mobilises for oil push into Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
Soc Gen analyst Thierry Bros said in a report Tuesday that, with US Gulf Coast LNG expected to materialize in 2016, China will likely first look into a potential US LNG deal before signing a gas supply agreement with Gazprom.
The bank estimates the minimum breakeven cost for US Gulf Coast LNG delivered into China, taking shipping into account, would work out at around $11.6/MMBtu. This allows plenty of room for negotiations between companies selling US LNG and the Chinese from $13.50/MMBtu — which would allow a minimum of 15% return on investment — and $22/MMBtu — which takes into account full oil indexation — Societe Generale added.
“The $13.5 to $22/MMBtu negotiation range translates into a price of oil between $77/b and $133/b, or an oil-indexation formula with a slope between 0.10 and 0.17. This is large enough to match a Russian pipe-gas oil-index price,” Bros said.
As a result, Societe Generale believes China will prefer to look further into US LNG rather than rely on securing an agreement with Gazprom, which could further delay negotiations between Russia and China.
“Judging by the seeming lack of any progress in the gas pricing issue during [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin’s recent visit to China, it seems Beijing is in no particular hurry to sign the contract,” Bros said.
In 2006, Moscow and Beijing signed an initial agreement on gas supplies, when they agreed to construct two pipelines to transport a total of 68 billion cubic meters/year of gas from Russia to China over 30 years. Gazprom and China’s state-owned CNPC in 2010 subsequently signed a legally binding agreement on the supply of up to 30 Bcm/year.
Negotiations since then have not gone as smoothly and have been bogged down by pricing disagreements. Putin’s recent visit to Beijing in October didn’t resolve any of those issues although he said the parties were “on their way to the final stage of negotiations.”
The report published by Societe Generale comes in response to the latest agreement between Cheniere Energy Partners’ Sabine Pass Liquefaction unit in the US and Gas Natural Fenosa announced on Monday.
Under the LNG-sale-and purchase agreement, Gas Natural Fenosa would buy as much as 3.5 million mt/year of LNG. The deal is expected to help facilitate the construction of the first two liquefaction trains at the site, which would produce 9 million mt/year of LNG in the first phase. Construction of the two trains at Sabine Pass is estimated to begin in 2012.
- USA: Societe Generale Says Cheniere Can Make Sabine Pass Export Decision After Fenosa Deal (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Gas Natural Fenosa Deals with Cheniere Energy to Buy US Shale Gas Sourced LNG (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Cheniere, BG Ink LNG Sale and Purchase Deal (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Cheniere Energy up on LNG export deal (marketwatch.com)
- USA: Cheniere Enters into Contract with Bechtel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Total Close to Sign Sabine Pass LNG Deal (mb50.wordpress.com)