September 3, 2013 By Joseph R. Carducci
This does not probably come as a big surprise to most of our regular readers, but there have been some stories reported in the Egyptian media that claim our very own Commander in Chief is indeed a card carrying member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The source of all this might, however, be a bit of a surprise. Al Jazeera recently claimed that an Egyptian newspaper says they have actual proof of Obama being an actual member of the Muslim Brotherhood. No, we are not talking about a supporter or even someone who is just sympathetic to the cause. After all, everyone already knows that at the very least Obama is sympathetic to their cause. At the VERY least! Nope, this paper claims they have hard, physical evidence of Obama being an actual, card-carrying member of this terrorist group.
A Qatar-owned international news outlet also recently posted a short story that made this same claim. They stated basically the same thing: that at least one, and perhaps several, Egyptian newspaper sources are claiming Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Also, the director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, Shadi Hamid tweeted about these claims: “If you missed it, ‘liberal’ Egyptian newspaper has front page headline claiming Obama as a full-on member of Muslim Brotherhood International.” He also stated in another tweet that the son of Muslim Brotherhood leader actually threatened Obama with release of ‘papers’ revealing his membership status.
Still another source confirms these events. Turkey’s news agency, Anatolia, recently reported an interview with Saad Al-Shater. This man is the son of the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater. The report indicated that the son actually had some incriminating evidence against Obama, proving he is ‘very’ involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.
These are certainly interesting claims, even if they have yet to be proven. Perhaps they are aimed at given Obama some signals for direction as to his Middle East policy? You will probably also find it curious that no actual evidence was released. So, it is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it is difficult to believe anything that is said by outlets like Al Jazeera. But more moderate news agencies such as Anatolia should make people start to sit up and take notice. This is not run by a bunch of Muslims intent on imposing Sharia law, but rather one of the most secular and forward thinking administrations in this part of the world.
It is the inclusion of Anatolia in this reporting mix that has me quite interested. Personally, having thought that at the very least Obama was ‘very’ involved in this group, all of this seems to make a lot of sense. After all, just take a look at all of the things Obama has done over the last two years. How he has handled the situations in Egypt and Syria so poorly. I mean, he has done almost everything wrong and committed almost every mistake possible. The only plausible way to explain all of these clearly wrong-headed decisions and policies would be if there were some Muslim Brotherhood advisors helping to make and change policy in the Obama Regime itself.
Well, perhaps there is indeed a very critical member, the leader himself. Would it really be that surprising or difficult to believe that our wonderful POTUS is indeed just such a member? Honestly, we would love to know if this is something that would actually surprise you…and if yes, what exactly were you hoping to find in Obama?
- “Egyptian media says Obama is a Muslim Brotherhood member” (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Egyptian Paper Says They Have Proof That Obama Is A Member Of The Muslim Brotherhood (lynleahz.com)
Helix Energy Solutions Group’s newbuild charter ROV support vessel, Grand Canyon, recently completed sea trials and is ready to begin operations in the North Sea. During the sea trials the vessel’s propulsion system, dynamic positioning system and all her cranes were tested.
The vessel recently completed its outfitting in Norway after the initial hull construction was completed in Turkey. Grand Canyon is capable of launching five ROVs at once and will be operated by Helix ESG’s robotics subsidiary, Canyon Offshore.
The vessel will be the new home for another recently completed asset, the T1200 trenching unit. Used primarily to bury large diameter power cables leading from offshore windfarms, the T1200 is also capable of working on oil and gas projects to bury production pipelines.
The Grand Canyon was designed to provide a high capacity, stable working platform for lay, burial and general offshore construction work while still retaining a shallow draft, which is crucial when operating close to the coastline, and common in the renewable energy sector.Grand Canyon’s DP3 capability allows her to operate in any sector, providing offshore support in a wide variety of roles.
The vessel’s deck structure is specifically designed to accept trenching and flexible pipe or cable lay systems for safe and efficient mobilizations. A key focus throughout the design and build of Grand Canyon was to optimize the vessel and equipment design to facilitate efficient mobilizations.
- ROV Support Vessel Grand Canyon Completes Sea Trials (Norway) (worldmaritimenews.com)
- North Sea Rig Rates May Push Higher as Midwater Market Heats Up (gcaptain.com)
- UK: Helix Well Ops Charters Skandi Constructor from DOF Subsea (mb50.wordpress.com)
The change of hear is most likely due to the fact that the US and its NATO allies are choosing to escalate the crisis in despite the Syria’s agreement to a UN and Arab League backed peace plan and ceasefire.
The escalation have come in through a variety of diplomatic, covert and military means.
Turkey just yesterday cited of the article 5 of the NATO treaty in calling for NATO to launch a military intervention after skirmishes broke out along the Turkey border where Turkey is providing the Syria terrorist rebel army with military bases to launch attacks across the border.
This comes as accusations fly that Turkey is being forced into ganging up against Syria.
There has been a military building of NATO navy vessels near Syria and a massive evacuation of NATO diplomatic officials.
Obama has just announced the US will supply “non-lethal” aid to the terrorist rebels to the Syria rebels which has sparked strong criticism that the US is purposefully working against the UN peace plan.
While the US supplies non-lethal aid, Al Jazeera is supplying the communication equipment, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supplying the lethal aid and the CIA is training the rebels, and US mercenaries are fighting on the ground.
Operated by ExxonMobil, the Domino-1 well is the first deep water exploration well offshore Romania and has a total depth of more than 3,000 meters below sea level. The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water approximately 930 meters deep.
The exploration well encountered 70.7 meters of net gas pay, resulting in a preliminary estimate for the accumulation ranging from 1.5 to 3 trillion cubic feet (42 to 84 billion cubic meters). Drilling operations started at year-end 2011 and are in the process to be finalized. ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom plan new 3D seismic acquisition during 2012. The evaluation of the Domino-1 well results and the new seismic will determine next steps.
Petrom’s report says that it is too early in the data evaluation and exploration process to determine whether the Neptun block will ultimately prove to be commercially developable or not. However, should further work confirm the technical and commercial feasibility of deep water gas production from the Neptun block, further investment during both the exploration and development phases could reach several billion USD with the potential for first production towards the end of the decade at the earliest.
The drilling of Romania’s first deepwater well began last month. The well is being drilled by the world-class, sixth generation drillship, Deepwater Champion, which recently transited to Romanian waters after completing its drilling program offshore Turkey.
- ExxonMobil, Petrom Strike Gas in Black Sea (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Domino-1: Romania’s First Deepwater Exploration Well (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Statoil, ExxonMobil Strike Gas Off Tanzania (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Exxon Shale Failure in Poland May Lengthen Gazprom’s Shadow (mb50.wordpress.com)
Tersan Shipyard launched Multipurpose Offshore Construction Vessel, Grand Canyon with the honorable presences of Norway Prime Minister Mr. Jens Stoltenberg and Turkey Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Mr. Binali Yıldırım.
Grand Canyon is a cooperation of Tersan Shipyard with Bergen Fosen in order to build a very high standard Offshore Construction Vessel for the Owner, Volstad Maritime. Grand Canyon is a 125m long, 25 m width, electric propulsion offshore vessel with Helicopter deck, DP III notation, 6 pcs of Side Maneuvering Thrusters and accommodation for 108 persons.
During the ceremony, Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that it was no coincidence that the launch was on his itinerary during his visit to Turkey.
“Norway and Turkey have a long tradition of business cooperation in the maritime sector. Tersan shipyard alone now has a total of eight ships on order for Norwegian interests, worth a total of almost NOK 2 billion,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
Mr Stoltenberg was also able to see the M/S Høydal, a Norwegian ship which is being built at the yard on behalf of the company NSK Shipping, based in North Norway. The M/S Høydal is a specially designed cargo ship that will be assigned to the fish feed manufacturer BioMar in Norway. This will be the world’s first LNG-powered coaster, and the vessel should be ready to load her first cargo in Norway in May 2012. The M/S Høydal will have a cargo capacity of 2200 tonnes of fish feed, making her the world’s largest operational fish feed cargo vessel. Natural gas (LNG) propulsion will make the vessel environmentally friendly and reduce emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides) by over 90 %.
Mr. Binali pointed out the increased capacities of Turkish Shipyards, highlighted that he had attended to another launching ceremony in Tersan Shipyard just 4 months ago, this represents Tersan Shipyards and Turkey’s achieved high level of Ship production as well as quality; “When I was the General Manager of IDO, Turkey used to import ships from Norway just 10 years ago now we are exporting vessel to Norway” said Mr. Yildirim.
- Ukraine: Zaliv Launches Ulstein Design PSV Hull (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Ulstein Launches New Platform Supply Vessel for Blue Ship Invest (mb50.wordpress.com)
The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1,000 meters deep and will be drilled using state-of-the-art industry technology. The well is being drilled by the world-class, sixth generation drillship, Deepwater Champion, which recently transited to Romanian waters after completing its drilling program offshore Turkey. Drilling operations are expected to take about 90 days.
The drillship is owned by the world’s largest drilling contractor, Transocean.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with Petrom in this project – a collaboration built upon ExxonMobil’s experience as a leader in deepwater exploration and Petrom’s vast experience in Romania. We highly value the efforts of the Romanian authorities for supporting the progress of the deepwater Black Sea exploration program,” said Ian A. Fischer, Managing Director of EEPRL.
Exploration drilling, especially in such frontier, unexplored areas as the deepwater Black Sea, may or may not result in a discovery. If commercial discoveries are made, the development of the Neptun Block would yield significant positive industrial, social and economic benefits for Romania.
“Together with our partner ExxonMobil, we are developing a unique project for Romania. Deepwater exploration carries high investment risks and requires investments of several hundred million U.S. dollars, yet a potential success would fundamentally change the perspective of the Romanian energy sector,” said Johann Pleininger, Petrom’s Executive Board Member responsible for Exploration & Production.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 10, 2012; Image: Transocean
- Lukoil Wins Tender For Exploration And Development Of Two Offshore Blocks In Romania
- Lukoil, Vanco Sign Agreements for Exploration and Development of 2 Blocks Offshore Romania
- Sterling and Romania Officially Resolve Dispute
- Melrose Wins Two Exploration Licences Offshore Romania
- Sterling Files Notice of Dispute with Romania
Year of the pipeline: Time magazine’s Person of the Year is the protester, and that is probably valid, but we think that the editors missed an important also-ran — the pipeline. Few care to stop and notice the elegance in unsung lengths of steel cylinders stirring fierce passions such as nationalism, greed and tear-inducing anger. We are talking the 24- and 36-inch steel cylinders that carry oil and gas across continents, under bodies of water and over mountains to the 7 billion people of the Earth. Who for instance considered nominating the Keystone Pipeline as political instrument of the year for how it threatened to shut down the whole of the U.S. government, and may yet in the coming couple of months? Then there is Nabucco, a proposed natural gas line that has much of Europe, Russia along with the U.S. tied up in sanctimonious knots over who will exercise geopolitical and economic leverage in Europe. This week Russia notched up the temperature by securing crucial support from Turkey for its repost to Nabucco, a pipeline that it calls South Stream. That battle also will carry over into the new year. And who can forget the proposed trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline, known by the acronym TAPI? A powerful and high-kicking chorus is backing TAPI, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA director David Petraeus, who embraced the line when he was running the ground game as a general in Afghanistan. Observers, including this blog, have cast doubt on TAPI’s feasibility given Afghanistan’s chaos. Yet we celebrate it as a worthy addition to this improbable pantheon — inanimate objects that somehow transmogrify into organic, breathing beings capable of arousing high-stakes emotion in humans.
- Putin pushes forward gas pipeline (bbc.co.uk)
- Turkey deal boosts Russias pipeline project (theglobeandmail.com)
- Gas pipeline gets Turkey go ahead (bbc.co.uk)
- Keystone XL Pipeline is Shut Down (rtv2100blog.wordpress.com)
- Putin urges acceleration of South Stream (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Turkey Approves Construction of South Stream Gas Pipeline (ibtimes.com)
- As Talks With Ukraine Fail, Putin Pushs Ahead With South Stream (businessinsider.com)
- There’s no stopping South Stream (rt.com)
By Michael J. Economides
Posted on Oct. 11, 2011
The January 2011 announced discovery of some of the largest offshore natural gas reservoirs in the world, 90 kilometers west of Haifa and not much further than that from Cyprus has created some understandable excitement among Cypriots. The potential for large hydrocarbon accumulations in the same Messinian geologic formation, underlain Cypriot economic zone waters, should now be considered as high possibility. Seismic evidence makes the Cypriot block, named Aphrodite, currently being drilled by Houston’s Noble Energy, to be at least as good and perhaps as much as 50% better than Israel’s Leviathan field. The latter has been confirmed as holding at least 17 Tcf of natural gas.
It is a dream of so many countries to find oil and gas deposits: easy riches the notion goes, a chance to even the field versus big and powerful nations. However, in spite of the occasional jubilation in some parts of the Cypriot and Greek press and thinly disguised wishful thinking by government officials and politicians a dose of reality is in order.
First, this is undeniably good news. The discovery in Israeli-controlled waters is a clear and positive sign. But what are often missed in the debate are two other important elements that turn the good news into not so good and even bad if countries are unprepared or inexperienced.
There is a big disparity between oil and gas in place in a geological structure and having those resources labeled as recoverable reserves. The latter implies technical and economic attractiveness. Hydrocarbons buried under 2,000 meters of water and then another 5,000 meter beneath the bottom of the sea are far more attractive when the price of oil approaches $150 per barrel as it was in July 2008.
Natural gas is even more cumbersome because it cannot be handled readily as oil can and, therefore, its exploitation is even more tenuous. To understand this issue one needs to realize that in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and of more recently emerging offshore Brazil, while oil production has been prolific, virtually no natural gas deposits have been targeted. Gas associated with oil has been produced but in most cases it is used for re-injection to augment oil production and not for sales.
The second issue and one that is likely to prove challenging is that a pipeline from the area of discovery to e.g., Europe is highly unlikely because of the water depth and the underwater terrain. This means that the transportation of gas will have to employ conversion into liquid natural gas (LNG) and, in early time, perhaps compressed natural gas (CNG) transportation.
There is almost a sadistic irony that natural gas of the size being contemplated can be so close and yet so far if the right decisions and the right knowledge are not evident. The size of the resource would require tens of billions of euros. The cost will involve the field development with very expensive wells and facilities and, especially, if LNG will be deployed. In all cases it will take huge companies to do it. Nobody should have the fantasy that the state should or could do it.
There are also plenty of examples from afar to the neighborhood of the difficulty to match local resources with local needs. Trinidad in the Caribbean is a major source of LNG for the US but huge parts of the island have no access to gas. Egypt, a major new player in LNG is faced with increasing local discontent. Cairo and its almost 30 million inhabitants have no gas. If Cyprus wants to use natural gas for its electricity a very viable option would be to buy relatively cheap CNG from Israel.
Greece now gearing up for its own exploration program should take an intense interest in the Cypriot experience and learn from it. For Cyprus the tantalizing and difficult dilemma will emerge after all that gas is proven. The geopolitical re-alignment in Eastern Mediterranean will be a yet another issue and the subject of a forthcoming editorial
- Cyprus to Press Ahead with Offshore Drilling Despite Turkish Objection (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Turkey And Cyprus – Continued Scuffle Over Mediterranean Oil Rights (gcaptain.com)
- Turkish Ship Explores Off Southern Cyprus (online.wsj.com)