Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BIMBLEBOX | A documentary from the front lines of Australia's battle against coal and gas expansion

BIMBLEBOX | A documentary from the front lines of Australia's battle against coal and gas expansion:

At this critical time, when so much coal and coal seam gas expansion is planned in Australia, this film aims to win the hearts and minds of the people, exposing the destructiveness of this industry to our climate, communities and environment.

It tells the stories of the people fighting for their homes and culture. Australia is the worlds largest exporter of coal, providing almost one third of the worlds supply. It is impossible to address climate change without looking at Australia’s role in the planets climate future.


  1. Terrible to see all this going on not just in Australia but everywhere else.Energy greed and paranoia feeding off the exploding world population and an insane lust for money even at the expense of our only home Planet Earth.Madness,the Earth ruled by pshycopaths with gutless spineless slippery worm polititions to do their bidding.A sci fi plot?No for real here today.
    PERTH (Reuters) - France's Total has made its first move into Australian shale gas, announcing on Tuesday that it has signed a farm-in agreement with Central Petroleum for shale gas exploration permits in central Australia.
    There have been numerous adverse impacts to fracking drilling published in recent years, especially as fracking activity increases and more people are affected by it. According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council on a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, properties closest to a fracking well or those depending upon groundwater for its water source are likely to see a drop in value over time, a direct result of that fracking activity.
    Japan eyes gas pipeline from Russia
    (11-05 13:01)

    Japan is considering a US$5.0 billion pipeline stretching from Russia's far east to an industrial hub near Tokyo, as it eyes new energy supplies following the Fukushima crisis, a major utility said Monday.
    The proposed 1,400 kilometre offshore pipeline would start in Russia's Sakhalin island and trace a course south along the Pacific coastline to near Japan's capital, according to a spokesman for Tokyo Gas, AFP reports.
    Gorgon-Jansz LNG project partners clash over Train 4 timing
    Nov 5 (LNGJ) - The LNG Journal East Asian Delivered LNG Indicator has fallen to $14.95 per million British thermal units, its lowest since its inauguration in October 2012. The US New York Mercantile Exchange front-month natural gas price was last at $3.50 per MMBtu and the benchmark UK National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at $10.50 per MMBtu.

    1. By:
      Larry Persily

      Federal Coordinator


      "Tomnay said it's a struggle to find new Australian LNG export projects that can break even at less than $11. Some, he added, need to sell their output at $14. That's about $1 higher than this month's spot market price in Asia."

    2. from article below :

      "LNG prices still need to fall to $9 to $11 per million Btu to spur demand from buyers in China and India, Shigeru Muraki, the chief executive officer of Tokyo Gas Co.’s energy-solutions unit, said at a conference in London on Oct. 8."

    3. So the question is,where would the price have to sit for Coleman to feel comfortable with spending a mountain of cash for 12- 15 million tpa at JPP?

      He has seemed confident buyers would pay more for Woodside gas when the price was around $18 mBtu.

      But then Voelte in one of his "Don" moments (he sounds remarkably like Colon)
      said,"I can't see fraccing ever competing with conventional gas."

      A couple of years later and it's burning a hole right through their profits.

      Woodside have escaped disaster in the past from a high oil price,above $100,this isn't going to help them for much longer.

      Barring some cataclysmic event these prices should stay under increasing downward pressure for some considerable time.

      Certainly way past the FID in the first half of 2013.

    4. China’s Purchase of U.S. Fracking Company will give it Advanced Technology

      Under the terms of the deal, Lanzhou Haimo Technologies Co. will acquire roughly 6,000 acres, or about 210 square miles, of territory located primarily in Colorado’s Weld and Adams counties in as well as associated infrastructure, including oil and gas wells, according to a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Carrizo, which holds approximately 60,000 acres in the Niobrara basin, currently produces 1,850 barrels per day (bpd).

      So, what is Beijing’s covertly cunning policy in making such a purchase?

      To suck the Rockies’ hydrocarbon resources dry and ship them to China?

      Federal law is extremely complex for exports of domestically produced U.S. hydrocarbon foreign sales, and the Niobrara basin, currently produces 1,850 bpd, is hardly likely to make a dent on Chinese energy use, much less the fact that there are currently no Colorado pipelines to the U.S. western coast that could allow its transfer.

      So, why buy Haimo Oil & Gas LLC?

      Can you say “technology transfer?”

      The U.S. is the world leader in producing natural gas and oil from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” an environmentally contentious practice that is acquiring more and more domestic political opposition.

      And China has embraced fracking with a vengeance. According to China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, China is aiming to produce 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas by 2015, as well as investing an estimated $63-98 billion to drill 20,000 shale gas wells by 2020.
      And the U.S.? Fracking is now so rampant that four of the biggest service companies, including Halliburton and Schlumberger Ltd., will see their collective third-quarter operating profit drop by more than $1 billion in North America compared to 2011
      Accordingly, Chinese interest in buying into the U.S. fracking industry must be the answer to many oil patch CEO’s prayers.

      And Beijing’s prayers as well, as the International Energy Agency recently reported that China, which consumed roughly 4.7 million barrels per day a mere decade ago, will end the year by importing about 9.7 million bpd, a major factor in pushing global oil prices from near $30/barrel in 2000 to 2012 prices ranging between $80 and $110.

      China’s oil imports for 2012 are set to reach 500 million tons, a 5 percent increase from 2011, during which, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, domestic production was 204 million tons of crude oil, up only 0.3 percent from 2010.

      So, fracking to the rescue. China has roughly 240 billion tons of accessible oil shale reserves, according to data developed by China's National Energy Administration, and roughly 10 million tons of oil can be produced from these reserves annually.

      Accordingly, despite China-bashing being the political flavor of the month in Washington, expect the Lanzhou Haimo Technologies Co. purchase to sail through with nary a mention.

      After all, to paraphrase President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense, former General Motors president Charles Erwin Wilson, “what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa” – only in this case, its Vice President Dick Cheney’s former firm Halliburton as well as Schlumberger doing “good” for the country, who, looking at their slumping bottom line, will no doubt shortly be seeking to assist China’s Lanzhou Haimo Technologies Co. in its new acquisition.

      By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com

  2. China piped gas imperils US$100B LNG plans

    “If politics allow the U.S. to export more LNG from the shale gas production boom, China and the rest of northern Asia could benefit from much cheaper gas than what they’re paying now.”
    China is importing more natural gas by pipeline than sea for the first time, highlighting the risk to planned LNG projects costing at least US$100-billion as buyers seek cheaper supplies.

    The country, which accounted for almost a quarter of Asia’s gas use last year, increased shipments from Turkmenistan, the provider of almost all its piped supplies, by 55 percent to 9.85 million metric tons in the first eight months of the year, customs data show. Liquefied natural gas purchases from nations including Australia and Qatar advanced 23 percent to 9.08 million tons and cost about 3 percent more than pipeline imports, even before the cost of regasification.

    China’s bill for LNG, gas cooled to a liquid and transported by tanker, has surged in the past four years as it feeds its booming economy and cuts reliance on more-polluting coal for power generation. The growing dependence on cheaper supplies by pipeline is threatening the viability of LNG projects planned by companies from Exxon Mobil Corp. to WOODSIDE Petroleum Ltd. that are waiting for investment approval, according to CLSA Ltd., a Hong Kong-based broker partly owned by France’s Credit Agricole SA.

    “We don’t think LNG will grow to be as big as many people are thinking,” Simon Powell, the head of Asian oil and gas research at CLSA, said by e-mail. “LNG prices are still too high to compete in China. Piped gas imports are way bigger.”

    The country may curb plans to expand its terminals for receiving seaborne LNG and converting it back to gaseous form, while weaker-than-expected demand and “bloated” production capability beyond 2016 mean some LNG projects, particularly in Australia, may get shelved or canceled, according to Powell.

    LNG prices still need to fall to $9 to $11 per million Btu to spur demand from buyers in China and India, Shigeru Muraki, the chief executive officer of Tokyo Gas Co.’s energy-solutions unit, said at a conference in London on Oct. 8.

    Japan and India will begin a joint study on how they can reduce costs for imports of the fuel, Shinichi Kihara, director for international energy strategy office at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told reporters at bilateral energy talks in Tokyo today.

    China is extending its pipeline network to allow the Turkmen gas to be delivered to the more heavily populated provinces in the south and east, with talks under way to increase the imports to 65 billion cubic meters a year, according to the IEA.

    Uzbekistan started exporting an unspecified volume of piped gas to China in August, the Associated Press reported Sept. 13, citing the country’s UzA state news agency. A link from Myanmar with a capacity of 12 billion cubic meters a year under construction by China National Petroleum Corp. may start in 2013. Kazakhstan is building a line that may supply China after 2013. Piped gas from Russia may boost supplies if the nations can resolve a decade-long disagreement on price.

    1. There is a plan to link
      Asian countries with a network of gas pipelines.This includes Indonesia,all countries to the north,then branches to the east and west.
      This is another option for Browse - just run a pipeline a short distance north and connect to Asia.
      No LNG plants required.

  3. Former UN official says climate report will shock nations into action

    THE next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

    Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

    "That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,'' Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. "I'm confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.''
    He said superstorm Sandy may spur more Americans, and people elsewhere, to consider the risks of climate change, but warned: "It's a bit like being shocked into stopping smoking when you've been told you've got terminal cancer."


    Defence, coal stocks up in big bet on Romney


    Questions for planning chairman

    WA Planning Commission chairman Garry Prattley must explain "issues of concern" uncovered in an audit of his travel expenses and credit card use.

    Planning Minister John Day revealed this in response to questions from Opposition Leader Mark McGowan in Parliament yesterday, saying he had advice about the Prattley travel affair from his department and the State Solicitor's office.

    "As a consequence of that advice, I have written to Mr Prattley seeking his response to a number of issues that have been identified in that internal audit," Mr Day said. "Some issues of concern were identified but Mr Prattley does need to have the opportunity to fully and appropriately respond."

    _The West Australian _reported in September that Mr Prattley racked up more than $230,000 in travel costs in three years. His travel and accommodation expenses averaged about $7000 a month and involved 270 days of travel outside of WA after he was appointed chairman in 2009.

    His contract gave Mr Prattley a family reunion benefit enabling him and his wife to go to and from NSW at taxpayers' expense until May 2011.

    But some of his most expensive trips to Asia and the US needed ministerial approval, which prompted Mr McGowan to ask if those decisions were part of the audit for the Public Sector Commissioner.

    "Is there any logic in that," Mr Day responded. "Is there any evidence whatsoever to suggest that my approvals have been in question?

    "The answer is no. To the best of my knowledge, I have not been the subject of any inquiry."

    Two of the credit card queries relate to "catering" of almost $10,000 on December 22 and 23 last year.

    Currently on paid leave pending the investigation, Mr Prattley said last month he was confident all his spending would be accounted for.

    One of the most expensive trips last year involved a four-day planning congress in China.
    Mr Prattley was away for 13 days and it took his travel bill for that year to $90,435.

  4. Report: Oil and gas companies remain focused on fundamentals

    Key findings of the bi-annual Oil & Gas Global Capital Confidence Barometer indicate that only 27% of oil and gas executives feel that the global economy is strongly or modestly improving, down sharply from 55% just six months ago and that the intention to sell assets is down by almost 70%. It is evident that economic recovery is taking longer than expected.

    The global survey of 1,500 senior executives from over 40 countries, which includes 178 oil and gas executives, also finds that uncertainty in the global economy has made oil and gas companies more wary of mergers and acquisitions. Only 28% are expecting to pursue acquisitions over the next 12 months, down marginally from 31% in April and significantly down from 48% a year ago.
    Desire for growth declines
    Companies have remained focused on the fundamentals of business, which has lead to a decline in the prioritization of growth. While the survey reflects this, nearly half of oil and gas companies (49% of oil and gas respondents) are still focusing on growth compared to 56% six months ago. Companies are increasingly turning their attention to lower-risk organic strategies that are within their comfort zone, rather than pursuing ambitious and transformational deals. Since the survey began in 2010, 49% is the lowest figure recorded for growth.

    Confidence declines
    There has been a marked decline in expectations for corporate earnings, with only 36% of oil and gas respondents positive about the outlook in October 2012, compared with 52% in April 2012. In light of the economic challenges, the focus of oil and gas respondents has switched slightly from recruitment to retention with the percentage planning to create jobs decreasing from 43% in April to 34% in October. Meanwhile, the number of respondents planning to keep their current workforce size has increased significantly from 48% to 59%.

    Brogan comments: "The current uncertainty seems to be driving companies to increase their focus on preserving what they have, whether this is their skilled workforce or their capital."

    Access to capital and deleveraging trends
    Seventy-seven percent of oil and gas respondents view credit availability as stable or improving. When reviewing debt-to-capital ratio, there was a shift in sentiment with 79% expecting the ratio to increase or remain constant over the next three months. This is up from 71% in April. More than 80% reported debt-to-capital ratios below 50%, and 53% with ratios below 25%. Oil and gas companies are clearly choosing to retire debt and deploy capital more cautiously. Only 21% were expecting to refinance loans or other debt obligations in the next 12 months, down from 49% in the April survey.

    Brogan concludes, "We expect the governing principle of the next six months to be caution. However, there are likely to be areas such as oil field services or unconventionals where activity remains more buoyant."

  5. Abramovich's private jet was also spotted in Perth.
    Whole lot of fraccing going on?

    Abramovich – worth an estimated $US12.1 billion – had dinner with Linc Energy chief Peter Bond in Brisbane before a tour of its coal gasification facilities at Chinchilla in southwestern Queensland.


    NOT JPP???

    Under the deal, Buru will be required to build a domestic gas project if viable gas resources are discovered by mid-2016. The agreement also provides a framework for the development of a project to deliver gas to an LNG EXPORT FACILITY in the PILBARA.



    Buru Energy is going slower than expected at Ungani North-1 in the Canning Basin.
    It told the market this morning that the 12.25-inch hole had been drilled down to 2491m, with the operation tripping for a new bit.



    WA gov drowning in a sea of lies as the worlds most important Dino trackway goes under the dozer tracks.

    Confusion reigns over the fate of dinosaur footprints believed to be in the path of the proposed gas plant at James Price Point, with ministers unable to agree on whether they would be affected.

    Last week, Environment Minister Bill Marmion told ABC Kimberley that some footprints at the site would "absolutely have to go" and he wasn’t sure if they could be moved or protected.

    But Premier Colin Barnett then told ABC’s Q and A this week that the proposed plant had been moved 900m to the south to avoid dinosaur footprints and they wouldn’t be affected.

    "They stretch for 200km along that coastline … the beachfront, if you like, of this plant, is 1km and it actually will be built around so it won’t even impact on those," he said.

    University of Queensland palaeontologist Steve Salisbury said that statement was "incredibly misleading".

    "The LNG processing facility will be set back off the coast, but the only way the gas can be processed is by bringing it onshore via pipelines that must cut across the Heritage-listed intertidal zone containing the dinosaur footprints," he said.

    "The only way that the gas, once liquefied, can be exported is via a massive marine port, which will result in the destruction of 1.5-2km of the Heritage-listed intertidal zone."

    Scientific studies by international palaeontologists in 2011 found the dinosaur tracksite extended south from James Price Point for about 750m into the proposed precinct as well as around it.

    The scientists, who spent 11 days surveying 58 sites, stressed they had not had enough time for a thorough evaluation.
    Dr Salisbury said the only real difference now was that the northernmost jetty had been realigned slightly to avoid crossing an area with lots of dinosaur tracks.

    He said the EPA had acknowledged that construction of the port, shipping channel, breakwaters, jetties and other marine infrastructure would affect coastal processes and lead to sedimentary change, affecting beaches up to 3km and potentially as far as 7km south.

    Both areas contained highly significant tracksites, Dr Salisbury said, but there appeared to be no recommendations to counteract the effects.

    Removing any prints from the nationally heritage listed site would also greatly diminish the heritage value of the entire area, he said.

    “It is not just footprints that are preserved, but rather an entire Early Cretaceous landscape that is literally frozen in time,” he said.

    Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard said the State had clearly washed its hands of the issue.
    “If the West Australian government and Woodside will allow our national heritage to be destroyed then the only line of defence is obviously the Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke,” he said.

  6. Broome dinosaur footprints detail substrate deformation unique on earth

    Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:00

    TWO recent papers by palaeontologists working north of Broome highlight a new approach to the study of dinosaur footprints.

    A previous, more taxonomic, approach to dinosaur ichnology focused on the collection and study of “museum grade” footprints which were used to identify dinosaur species and some of the individual dinosaur’s physiological characteristics, such as size and mass.

    Studies of the Broome dinosaur track way by palaeontologists McCrea, Lockley et al (2011), and Thulborn (2012), point to an emerging trend, the study of dinosaur interactions.

    “Even poorly preserved prints can be useful for census purposes and for analysing foot/sediment interactions,” says Indiana-Purdue University palaeontologist Prof James O. Farlow in his peer-review of the McCrea paper.

    The Broome trackway was once an early Cretaceous shoreline, frequented by at least 15 dinosaur species that regularly walked in the moist intertidal sands and estuarine mud.

    When conditions were right these solidified into sandstone, preserving footprints for posterity along much of the Dampier Peninsula’s west coast.

    The sandstone would then often be covered by further layers of sand on which dinosaurs, in turn, would leave more tracks.

    As a result the Broome sandstone often comprises several layers of sediment, each containing underprints or “ghost prints”.

    “The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity,” Dr Thulborn says in his paper.

    “The stacks of transmitted reliefs … beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features.

    “Ultimately the sauropod trackmakers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited.

    “Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes.

    “For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world.”

    Queensland University palaeontologist Dr Steve Salisbury says the Broome sandstone is about 200 kilometres long and contains Australia’s most important dinosaur track way, the next most important being at Lark Quarry in Queensland.

    The latter is about the size of a tennis court with tracks of only two or three dinosaur species preserved.

    Dr Salisbury has written a new paper on the Broome Sandstone dinosaur trackway which is currently subject to peer review.



    John Langoulant went to see Barnett last night and told him Mitsubishi were pulling out and the port and rail plan was shelved indefinatly.


    Protesters crash speech by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson

    Two men managed to infiltrate a business lunch where Mr Ferguson was outlining the government's plan to address electricity price rises and Australia's changing resource mix.

    The protest raises serious questions about security at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia event.

    And it comes a week after a speech by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was similarly hijacked in Melbourne.

    Mr Ferguson said it was "good to see our taxpayer dollars'' being spent on educating the men, who may have been university students.

    One wore a mask that had an image of Mr Ferguson's face attached, and sang "thank you, Fergo''.

    At one point, as Mr Ferguson and a staff member tried to get the men to leave, the man put his arm around Mr Ferguson.

    Once the protesters left, Mr Ferguson continued with his speech, in which he said there was ``no quick or easy fix'' to power bill pain.

    He ramped up pressure on state governments to release any grip on retail price-setting, saying a competitive market would be the best way to address rising power prices.
    But Mr Ferguson said the massive recent spikes in households bill increases, caused mainly by the need to replace or upgrade infrastructure, could have "peaked this year''.

    New gas supply options, including controversial coal seam exploration, will be crucial to keeping energy prices low, he says.

    The white paper will show up to 85 per cent of our electricity could come from clean sources such as gas and solar by 2050.

    Mr Ferguson said a changing energy mix brought challenges.

    "Domestically, we are facing pressure to move to cleaner fuel sources at the same time the cost of delivering this energy is increasing,'' he will say.

    "The principal policy aim is to meet Australia's greenhouse gas emissions targets at the least cost while maintaining energy security.''


    The Oakajee port and rail project (OPR) in the State's Mid West has been put on hold, after its Japanese owner Mitsubishi moved to slash costs and staff at the faltering $6 billion venture.

    Volatile iron ore prices, an uncertain global economic outlook and ballooning costs as well as recent diplomatic tensions between China and Japan — which have scuttled efforts to bring Chinese mining companies on board as equity partners — are behind the move.


    UPDATE 1.45pm: Brian Gilbertson's Jupiter Mines has shelved development of its $1.6 billion Mt Ida magnetite project north-west of Menzies, blaming higher than expected capital and operating costs, depressed iron ore prices and the strong Australian dollar.





    Deadline looms for say on gas hub dune drilling

    An assessment is underway into Woodside's application to drill into culturally sensitive sand dunes for the Kimberley gas hub project.

    Nearly six months ago, plans to work in the dunes near James Price Point halted as some traditional owners expressed concern about registered Aboriginal heritage sites in the area.

    Woodside opted to stop work until a section 18 clearance to work was assessed.

    The application is one of a handful around Western Australia which the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMA) will consider this month.

    Anyone who could be affected by the application has until next Wednesday to lodge a written submission to the ACMC before applications go to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.



    The Broome boating facility is facing yet another hurdle, amid revelations the project will almost certainly come in over budget.

    A total of $35 million has been budgeted to establish sheltered ramps and mooring points in Roebuck Bay for the town's 1,600 recreational boats.

    Although the project has faced heritage and other delays, it is pushing ahead, with the tender for the environmental studies recently being awarded.

    However, the latest challenge is the cost of sourcing and transporting rock to build the facility and the Department of Transport is forming a more accurate cost estimate of the blowout.


    This breakwater would be like the proverbial pimple on an elephants bum compared to the JPP plan.

    Sourcing rock of the right tonnage and mpa for a cyclone coast breakwater has always looked like a problem from the start.

    Say you have to get solid rocks of between 10 and 20 tonnes it may be you have to blast a thousand tonnes to get 600 tonnes,and sh*t happens.

    The stone for the runways at Derby RAAF base had to come from near Fitzroy.

    Just saying it could be really costly.

    Any news on future port expansions at JPP.