Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Carmen Lawrence on the social cost of mining - Sunday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Carmen Lawrence on the social cost of mining - Sunday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Around 60 per cent of Australian mining takes place on or next to Aboriginal land.

That can be a source of economic benefit and employment for Aboriginal people, but mining can also bring calamitous destruction of land and heritage.

We asked Carmen Lawrence how we can balance a resources-led economy with respect for the world's most ancient living culture?

I have the great privilege of chairing the Heritage Council, so I’m learning as I go, but I think it’s clear that we’re often asking Aboriginal people to trade off their heritage for economic benefits and employment, often benefits that they should enjoy without having to destroy their own heritage, and I think that’s what’s happened in the Kimberley around the gas hub.  But, you know, at the base, we really don’t fully understand, I think, the significance.  We should, because Aboriginal people have been telling us for long enough that this really matters to them, that they don’t divide their lives up into little bits and pieces, that these are all interconnected, the language, the law, the place, it’s connected with their traditional owners, their ancestors, but with, you know, contemporary livelihoods and senses of themselves.  And it’s no accident, I think, that people who seek to destroy cultures, destroy heritage first and foremost.  I’m not saying now, that that’s systematically intended, but it certainly was part of the original story of indigenous disposition and the stolen generation, that was an explicit attempt to remove culture from Aboriginal people".



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    Shake-up call on gas pricing threatens LNG

    by: Rick Wallace, Tokyo correspondent
    From:The Australian
    September 20, 201212:00AM

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    JAPAN has revealed it wants to kill off the oil-linked pricing system for natural gas - which has underpinned the viability of Australian liquefied natural gas projects - in a bid to contain its soaring energy bills.


    Conoco to go Ichthys-style

    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    INPEX and Total’s Ichthys LNG development is proving such a smash that ConocoPhillips is wondering aloud about whether or not to produce a sequel.


    News Wrap

    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    IN TODAY’S wrap: Palta-1 could be Australia’s most expensive exploration well ever; US oil hits six-week low; Japan’s rejection of nuclear a golden opportunity for Canadian LNG.



    Cattlemen concerned as fracking approved in NT

    Executive director of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, Luke Bowen, says his members are now calling on a moratorium on fracking until laws are reviewed.

    "It does concern us, and we are calling on a review of the regulations and legislation surrounding it," he said.

    "Mining and petroleum are not bound by the existing Water Act.

    "We certainly need to be sure that here's going to be no detriment to the above and below ground water resources, for the industry more generally and the people in the region."


    'Arctic oil spill could take six months to cap,' says cross-party committee

    Arctic operations lacked the equipment and infrastructure to clear up an oil spill in the polar environment, according to the Environmental Audit Committee. It called on the Prime Minister to bring British companies into line over safety regulations.

    Recent months have witnessed increased exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic. Labour MP Joan Walley, chairman of the committee, said: "If a blow-out occurred just before the dark Arctic winter returned, it may not be possible to cap it until the following summer – potentially leaving oil spewing out under the ice for six months or more with devastating consequences for wildlife."



    Officials of Russia’s Gazprom have indicated they soon will issue a decision to accelerate work on the long-discussed Eastern Gas Program, a system of natural gas developments in Eastern Siberia and pipelines accommodating local consumption and exports to China and elsewhere in Asia.

    ...Gazprom reports gas reserves, including preliminary estimates, at Chayandinskoye field at 1.3 trillion cu m with 79.1 million tonnes of oil and condensate. It projects field production at 25 billion cu m/year, starting with oil in 2014 and gas in 2016, when processing and chemical facilities are in place.

    Gazprom plans to lay a pipeline between Yakutia and a tie-in at Khabarovsk to the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok transmission system (OGJ Online, Aug. 6, 2012).



    Researchers to probe Bali’s appeal

    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    A TEAM of more than 20 researchers is set to investigate why fly-in, fly-out workers are choosing to go to Bali during their down time rather than going home to family and friends.

  6. This is one of those days when it seems this ill conceived project is in it's final death throes,just waiting to be dealt the enevitable coup de grace.

    "JPMorgan said it remained of the view that the Browse gas was most likely to be developed at the North West Shelf. This was largely due to the vehement opposition to the Kimberley plan, which was ``unwavering, increasingly organised and gathering momentum''


    He said a single gas field had so far not been found that could underpin the building of a second train to the facility but that the Browse Basin could alter this.


    ``Potentially the Browse Basin drilling that I talked about earlier that is going on now could underpin a second train, and we will know within a few months whether that is going to be successful,'' Mr Creeger said.

    ``One of the pipeline options would be a pipeline paralleling the Ichthys (field, also in the Browse Basin).

    ``If you look at the Inpex line, we are about another 100 kilometres further (along).''

    The $US34 billion ($A32.67 billion) Ichthys project, run by Japanese company Inpex, involves an 820km gas pipeline from the Browse Basin to Darwin.

    Mr Creeger said another option would be for gas from its operations in the Browse Basin to flow to its Bayu-Undun, 500 kilometres away in the Timor Sea.

    ``Browse could easily flow up into its field at Bayu-Undun. The gas could be processed and then shipped onshore, too,'' Mr Creeger said.



    Meanwhile, opponents of the proposed gas hub are demanding a recent study of the impact of dredging be made public.

    The Department of State Development released almost all of the studies conducted for the strategic assessment of the project once the EPA delivered its recommendations.

    While an early study of the required dredging has appeared on the department's website, a more detailed one, commissioned by Woodside, is being kept under wraps.

    Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard says the public has a right to know the details.

    "We are very concerned at the moment that the Government is hiding information from people," he said.

    "The Premier's own Department of State Development is refusing to provide the report on dredging to us and we know that dredging will create a 50 kilometre dead zone north of Broome."

    In a written statement, a department spokesman has confirmed the dredging report will not be made public because of commercial sensitivity.

    It contains details of design proposals put forward by two companies who could end up vying for a contract to build the James Price Point port.

    The spokesman says the report was considered by the EPA as it decided what conditions needed to be attached to the project to minimise its environmental impact.


    Since then Watson, 61, has refused to disclose his location. Asked in a telephone interview whether he was on land or at sea, he replied: "I don't have a passport, so it's pretty hard to move around."

    Nevertheless, he said Sea Shepherd's funds for its ninth Antarctic campaign had been boosted by "my problems". The US Animal Planet television production firm has signed on for another series of Whale Wars, and crews enlisted to go south.

    The Australian-based vessels Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Brigitte Bardot will be joined by a yet to be seen fast ship, Sam Simon, which Watson said was in an undisclosed location. It was donated to the group by a founding producer of The Simpsons.

    With Sea Shepherd operations likely again to be heavily reliant on Australian port access, Environment Minister Tony Burke reiterated government condemnation of unlawful behaviour on the high seas.

    “Safety at sea is Australia's foremost priority," Mr Burke said. "The government has repeatedly called upon all the masters of all vessels planning to voyage to the Southern Ocean to exercise restraint and ensure that safety is their number one priority

  7. and...It's a Risky Business.

    26 people are dead and as many as 27 more are injured after an explosion and fire at a Pemex gas plant in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The explosion happened Tuesday morning at the facility, located near the city of Reynosa, which is just across the U.S./Mexico border from McAllen, Texas

    The accident is one of the deadliest in recent years for the oil & gas industry. The incident is the worst for Pemex since an offshore accident that killed 22 workers in 2007

  8. Broome Advertiser 20/9/12


    A former director of the DSD's Browse LNG project received gifts from Woodside.

    He was involved in giving advice to Woodside in relation to possible Aboriginal heritage sites at JPP as a deputy director of the department of Indigenous affairs.

    Mr Chapple "The department is not a department for Aboriginal protection it is a department for industrial development."

    and Frances Myles who spent 30 hours on top of a drill rig in a letter to the paper.

    "Woodside has actively sought to suppress information."


    1. BCNGC

      Woodside gifts row – Broome News

      MP makes conflict of interest claim

      A DEPARTMENT of Indigenous Affairs deputy director who was involved in giving advice to Woodside in relation to possible Aboriginal heritage sites at James Price Point was a former director of the Department of State Development's Browse LNG project and received gifts from the oil and gas producer, State Parliament has been tol

      In a parliamentary motion last week, Greens MLC Robin Chapple claimed Duncan Ord was one of three Department of Indigenous Affairs employees who had a significant role to play in the development of the (Browse LNG) proposal while working for the DSD.

      The motion condemned the Government's "failure to ensure that environmental, indigenous and cultural interests were protected".

      Answering questions from Mr Chapple in Parliament, Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier confirmed Mr Ord had accepted football tickets and arts production tickets from Woodside between 2010 and 2012!

      "I hope that Hon. Robin Chapple was not intimating that there was a lack of professionalism in DIA. In particular, the member referred to Mr Duncan Ord," Mr Collier said.

      "It would be very difficult to find anyone in WA, particularly in the Aboriginal community, who does not have anything but absolute confidence and faith in the professional integrity of Mr Ord. I certainly do."

      Mr Chapple told the Broome Advertiser the "blurring of responsibilities" between those formerly in charge of the Browse development, who now headed up heritage-related issues, raised "serious potential for conflicts of interest".

      Mr Chapple said documents which revealed Fortescue Metals Group's damage of sacred sites near a mine in the Pilbara were an example of the way the department dealt with heritage issues.

      "Having received information under Freedom of Information about what happened at Roebourne, where 30 per cent of the sites were destroyed, just compounds the whole issue," he said.

      "The department is not a department for Aboriginal protection; it is a department for industrial development."

      A Woodside spokesman said the company was a major sponsor of the Fremantle Dockers, had partnerships with a number of WA arts organisations and regularly invited people from business, government and the media to attend events involving their partners. A DIA spokesman said Mr Ord was overseas. He said officers adhered to departmental and public sector policies around gifts.

  9. The problem with this report is it overlooks the average cost blowout of Australian LNG projects.
    eg.$45 billion / 20% = $9 billion.
    Refurbishing 3 old trains would be a far more predictable project.
    So they could save $11 billion + by going to the NWS.

    Publication: The Australian, Page 27 (Thu 20 Sep 2012)

    THE cost of building the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse gas project on a greenfields site in the Kimberley has soared to $US45 billion ($43.08bn), but the developers would save only $2bn by piping the gas to the North West Shelf in the Pilbara, according to a major report by JPMorgan.

    At least we have it in writing : It is 100 YEARS NOT 30 YEARS AS BARNETT USED TO LIKE SAYING.

    So the $1.2 billion now looks more realistic = $12 million a year for ALL THE KIMBERLEY.

    Ajusted for inflation,say $8 million a year.

    Less the millions a year they want to administer it of course - Wardi = ZILCH = SNAFU



    For more than a decade, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas producers led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc plotted how to move their US$170-billion industry onto barges at sea to tap remote fields. Now they’re finally doing it.

    Shell will forge the hull of a floating LNG plant in South Korea by year-end that will be the world’s largest vessel, weighing six times the biggest aircraft carrier, a Nimitz-class warship. Some 5,000 workers will build the factory to produce LNG off Australia’s northwest coast in a US$13-billion project that also will shield Shell from escalating costs it would have to pay at the country’s onshore plants.

    Rivals from Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. to GDF Suez SA of France likewise want to compress gas into liquid at sea, where many of the largest finds were made in the last decade. It’s a generational change for a land-based industry that started about 50 years ago in Algeria, where Shell provided technology for Camel, the first commercial LNG plant. Today those facilities typically cost at least US$20-billion to build.

    “We remove the need for the pipeline and use about 50% of the raw materials for an equivalent onshore plant,” said Neil Gilmour, Shell’s FLNG general manager. He’s overseeing construction of the world’s first floating LNG vessel, which will be as long as the Empire State Building, for use by the Prelude venture partners.

    Costs for onshore LNG plants are surging in Australia as the nation moves to challenge Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG exporter. The U.K.’s BG Group Plc and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. have announced budget overruns at their onshore projects in Australia amid rising labor expenses, while Chevron Corp. is reviewing the cost of its US$45-billion Gorgon venture.
    “There is no doubt about cost pressure in the country,” Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in July. “Because that’s being constructed in Korea and therefore we are not exposed to the labor costs actually in Australia.”
    “We’ve had massive cost overruns in conventional projects, and Shell has stuck with the original budget for Prelude, and I think that’s still realistic,” Regan said.

    The oil producer plans to deploy the technology beyond Australia in Europe, Africa and the Americas. The company has been working with Inpex to use FLNG off Indonesia and is negotiating plans off East Timor. Prelude is due to start in about 2017, Shell forecast last year.

  11. cont...Shell may lose its FLNG leadership with competitors catching up. Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas, is moving ahead with plans to build its first floating LNG project due to start in 2015, after Malaysia’s state-owned oil company in June hired contractors to design the plant.

    ConocoPhillips is also joining the race to build a floating plant off Australia, Todd Creeger, the company head in the country, said yesterday. “We aren’t building the first, but we’re watching,” he said.

    Companies such as GDF Suez and PTT Exploration & Production Pcl also plan floating LNG developments. Perth-based Woodside, operator of the proposed Browse LNG venture, may scrap a proposal to build a A$44 billion plant on the coast of Western Australia and pick floating LNG instead, relying on the expertise of one of its partners, Shell, Deutsche Bank said.

    Decision Time

    That’s because the rising expense of onshore projects “improves the cost differential in favor of FLNG,” John Hirjee, a Melbourne-based analyst at the bank, wrote in an August report. Gilmour declined to comment on Browse options.

    Shell’s stake in Browse provides the project with alternatives, said Peter Coleman, Woodside’s CEO. Woodside and the other Browse owners, including BHP Billiton Ltd., are due to decide in the first half of 2013 whether to go ahead with the plan to develop the Browse LNG plant on land.

    “We’re committed to the current process,” Coleman said in August. “If it doesn’t work, then we’ve got options.”

    BHP and Exxon Mobil Corp. are considering floating LNG for their Scarborough field off Western Australia, Mike Yeager, chief executive officer of BHP’s petroleum unit, told reporters in May. The floating platforms would eliminate the costs of building pipelines and jetties, he said.

    “It’s something we must know and we must understand,” Yeager said. “It has to be an option.”

    ‘Catbird Seat’

    Shell’s technology is well-suited for Australia because of the cost pressures and strict environmental regulations for onshore plants, said Noelle Leonard, a FACTS Global Energy consultant in Perth. Few onshore LNG projects may be built in Australia after the seven under construction, she said.

    “Shell is in the catbird seat,” Leonard said. “They’ve positioned themselves very nicely with floating LNG.”

  12. Prelude will produce about 3.6 million metric tons of LNG and 1.3 million tons of gas condensate a year. It will cost between $10.8 billion and $12.6 billion, based on figures Shell provided when it approved the project last year. Shell estimated the cost at about $3 billion to $3.5 billion per million tons of LNG a year.

    By contrast, Inpex Corp.’s Ichthys venture, approved in January, is estimated to cost more than $4 billion per million tons, although it will also produce liquefied petroleum gas and condensate. The $34 billion project, expected to have a capacity of 8.4 million tons annually, is the most expensive in Australia, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

    Gilmour declined to give any cost update, referring to Shell’s announcement last year. The next three vessels will be cheaper because “Shell will relentlessly drive improvement of FLNG projects,” he said.


    And with Japan,India,China,Korea all looking for a better deal,and someone will give it to them,things just get riskier.

    Santos says Japan's drive to cut oil price link will hit gas projects in Australia

    by: Matt Chambers
    From:The Australian
    September 21, 201212:00AM

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    JAPAN'S drive to sever the oil link in the pricing system for liquefied natural gas could slow development of Australia's gas industry, oil and gas company Santos has warned, saying the current pricing system was important to funding new developments.

    The Japanese push for a "paradigm shift" in the pricing model that the $200 billion LNG industry is being built on comes as analysts downgrade Australian energy company valuations because of expected supply-based pressure on LNG prices.