Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Woodside applies to build LNG plant north of Broome - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Woodside applies to build LNG plant north of Broome - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Woodside has now put its application before the Environmental Protection Authority.

The authority's chairman Paul Vogel says the EPA will consider whether what Woodside proposes to do inside the precinct fits with what has recently been approved by the Minister.

"The decision making that the Minister made on the strategic proposal sets up the process whereby the foundation proponent can come in and put in a referral," he said.

"Then the EPA has to make a decision about whether that proposal fits with the strategic proposal decision and, if it does, the EPA can declare it to be derived."

Dr Vogel says it is unlikely there will be any new or significant information that would require further assessment of the project.

The EPA will accept public comment on the application for seven days.

Dr Vogel said he encouraged the public to provide comment during the seven day period.

“This is an opportunity for the public to outline whether this proposal should or should not be declared a derived proposal and their reasons to support their view,” Dr Vogel said.

The referral can be found at

Public comment closes December 4, 2012.

In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986, there is no appeal on the determination set by the Chairman.

The final environmental decision on the Precinct will be made by the Commonwealth Environment Minister.


  1. Seriously - he's gone mad!

    Barnett's Browse ultimatum

    From:The Australian
    November 29, 201212:00AM

    COLIN Barnett has warned Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman and Shell Australia chairwoman Ann Pickard that he will insist the massive Browse gas project be developed onshore at James Price Point even if the $40 billion plan proves to be uneconomic.

    Amid escalating tensions over the controversial project, the West Australian Premier shared the stage with the two corporate leaders at a Perth business lunch yesterday and took the opportunity to deliver them a blunt message in front of almost 900 guests.


    "even if the $40 billion plan proves to be uneconomic"



      BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers has queried the insistence of government that the Browse liquefied natural gas project be built at James Price Point, pointing out the value of having more options.

  2. “This is an opportunity for the public to outline whether this proposal should or should not be declared a derived proposal and their reasons to support their view,” Dr Vogel said.

    Who does he think he's kidding?

    The Dictator,and only the Dictator will decide,so whats the point?

  3. Just a thought - what would happen if a Labour Premier carried on like this?

    Bet your shirt we could all hear the Libs screaming about "Reds under the beds" from the dark side of the moon.

    Easy to imagine the rest."Free market forces","rights of companies","gov must keep its nose out" etc.

    But I think the companies themselves would be far more strident.


    Anyway here we go again,Barnett said,"only a world recession would stop JPP,and I cant see that happening."

    Four years on, the economy is failing once more

    By ABC's Alan Kohler
    Updated Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:03am AEDT

    Photo: The political challenges in Australia and around the world are truly enormous. (Reuters)

    In 2008, the threat of a global economic catastrophe spurred politicians on to take preventive action. But this time around, the will just doesn't seem to be there, writes Alan Kohler.

    The OECD said yesterday that the world economy is slipping back towards recession and made it clear where the blame lies: politicians.

    It's perhaps more a lack of will than a lack of agreement. As Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg and Eurogroup president, explained recently: "We all know what to do; we just don't how to get re-elected after we do it."

    The political challenges in Australia and around the world are truly enormous: governments have to reduce horrendous levels of debt and large budget deficits while dealing with the social disruption caused by widening inequality, as well as the problem of climate change.

    In 2008, the threat of a global economic catastrophe produced a remarkable global response of coordinated fiscal and monetary action.

    It worked incredibly well, but while economic growth resumed and private debt was reduced, the increased public sector debt offset the reduction and four years later the resulting pressures on governments, and the fact that they either don't know what to do or simply can't bring themselves to do it, are such that the global economy is failing once more.

    1. It's worth mentioning as a footnote that the US is on track to record its warmest winter ever.If this happens the price of natural gas will crash.

      Barnett,of course,is in denial over climate change,so he wont see this.

      Re the Antartic,the extra sea ice turned out to be due to changes in wind patterns.Our south west has just had an unusual "winter storm" - possible link?

  4. Gas row leaves Coleman afloat in the middle


    Rio Tinto cuts billions in spending


    Australia's coal costs 'are America's gain'


    An art installation and concert planned by the Wilderness Society at Cottesloe Beach, purportedly to protest Woodside’s planned James Point gas hub, has been recommended for refusal partly over fears the event may spiral out of control.

    The officials say the gathering would likely affect other beach users, and be “exceptionally difficult to control” if it were to stray from conditions set by the council.

    Consequently, the event – slated for four hours on Saturday, December 8 – has been recommend for refusal.

    Her application states that children’s activities would include fashioning their favourite marine creatures out of sand, and finding buried “dinosaur prints”.

    Fossils of dinosaur footprints have been found near the intended gas hub site. The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended that where fossils are found the gas hub project should avoid disturbance wherever possible.

    However, Mr Morgan echoed the officials’ concerns that the event could affect beach-goers.

    “It would appear that the fact that they don’t know who’s speaking and about what and they don’t know what the installations [are] going to be and the type of people they’re seeking to attract …,” he said.

  5. The latest research, published on Wednesday in Environmental Research Letters, found global sea-levels rising at a rate of 3.2mm a year, compared to the best estimates by the IPCC of 2mm a year, or 60% faster.

    Researchers used satellite data to measure sea-level rise from 1993-2011. Satellites are much more accurate than tide gauges, the study said.

    The scientists said they had ruled out other non-climatic causes for the rise in water levels – and that their study demonstrated that researchers had under-estimated the effects of climate change.

    Scientists previously had expected a global sea-level rise of 1m by the end of the century. "But I would say that if you took a poll among the real experts these days probably they would say that a more realistic figure would be more than that," Foster said.

    In New York, each additional foot of water puts up to 100,000 additional people at risk, according to a map published with the study.

    But tens of millions of people are potentially at risk across the country. The same report noted that more than half of the population, in some 285 US cities and towns, lived less than 1m above the high tide mark.

    "In some places it takes only a few inches of sea-level rise to convert a once in a century storm to a once in a decade storm," said Ben Strauss, who directs the sea-level rise programme at Climate Central.


    Saudi Arabia announced this year that it is to become the latest Gulf state to adopt a wide-ranging solar strategy, outlining plans to invest $109bn over the next 20 years in order to take advantage of its excellent solar resources and diversify its energy mix. Its stance echoes that of several countries in the region, including Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, all of which have recently unveiled new plans for accelerating investment in renewable energy.

    The latest update came as Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power International reportedly signed a $1bn deal to supply the Moroccan government with electricity from a 160MW solar thermal plant the company has built with Spain's Aries Ingenieria & Sistemas SA and TSK Electronica & Electricidad SA.

    Under the 25 year power purchase agreement, the Moroccan government has agreed to take the power from the facility in Ouarzazate when it comes online in 2015.

    Separately, the Saudi Press Agency reported the country was also moving forward with plans for up to 17 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years, at an estimated cost of $100bn.


      WASHINGTON -- An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.
      The study found variations in the pace of ice sheet change in Antarctica and Greenland.

      "Both ice sheets appear to be losing more ice now than 20 years ago, but the pace of ice loss from Greenland is extraordinary, with nearly a five-fold increase since the mid-1990s," Ivins said. "In contrast, the overall loss of ice in Antarctica has remained fairly constant with the data suggesting a 50-percent increase in Antarctic ice loss during the last decade."


      OTTAWA — In what’s billed as a landmark study, an international team of experts — including a researcher from the University of Ottawa — has produced the most accurate assessment of ice sheet losses in Antarctica and Greenland to date.

      Their findings, to be published Friday in the journal Science, confirm that Antarctica and Greenland are both losing ice. The melting has generated a 11.1-millimetre increase in global sea levels since 1992 — one-fifth of the total sea level rise over that period.

      Moreover, the rate of sea level rise is accelerating, rising by nearly one millimetre per year now compared with 0.27 millimetres per year in the 1990s, the researchers say.

      Melting ice sheets now account for about one-third of the annual rise in sea levels. Melting mountain glaciers and the thermal expansion of the ocean account for the rest.

      According to the study, the change has been particularly acute in Greenland, where the rate of ice loss has increased almost five-fold since the mid-1990s. Overall, Greenland and Antarctica are now losing more than three times as much ice as they were in the 1990s, the study found.
      The researchers estimate that between 1992 and 2011, the Greenland ice sheet lost 2,940 gigatonnes of ice and ice sheets in Antarctica lost 1,320 gigatonnes. (One gigatonne equals one billion tonnes.)

      Milne said the ice losses are significant because of their impact on sea levels. “When you talk about millimetres per year, people don’t really understand how much ice that actually is,” he said. About 360 gigatonnes of ice must melt to raise worldwide sea levels by one millimetre, he said.

      The geological record indicates that ice sheet losses generated annual sea level rises in excess of 10 millimetres a year during past periods of climatic change, the study says.

      “The prospect of such changes in the future are of greatest concern. Even the modest rises in ocean temperatures that are predicted over the coming century could trigger significant ice sheet mass loss through enhanced melting of ice shelves and outlet glaciers.”

      According to the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, 200 million people live in coastal flood plains and assets worth $1 trillion lie within a metre of the current sea level.


      “We don’t fully understand or appreciate yet the physics involved in storm surges. When you have 11 millimeters of increase in sea level, it’s still a lot of mass,” says Dr. Ivins. “Small changes in sea levels in certain places mean very big changes in the kind of protection of infrastructure that you need to have in place.”

  6. Barnett has had to sack the boss of the WA planning commission for rorting his expenses.

    Chevron barge still aground and being battered.


    BHP Billiton has signalled it will not back new floating LNG technology as a near-term development option for the controversial Browse LNG project, despite the company's opposition to building a new onshore LNG plant near Broome to process the project's gas.

    Speaking at BHP's annual general meeting in Sydney yesterday, BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers said that because floating LNG technology was still untested, despite advances in recent years, he was not ready to talk about its suitability for Browse.



    Premier Colin Barnett has issued a blunt warning to Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman and Shell Australia chair Ann Pickard that he expects the $40 billion Browse gas project to be built onshore at James Price Point.

    The development north of Broome looms as the defining project of WA's next decade and, not surprisingly, took centre stage at yesterday's 10th anniversary of _WestBusiness' _ Leadership Matters series.

    Five of the State's most powerful leaders were grilled on topics as diverse as the future of fly-in, fly-out jobs to broadening WA's economy beyond mining and into fields such as education.

    With Ms Pickard using the event to restate her belief that floating offshore processing of the vast oil and gas reserves in the area offers salvation from WA's soaring development costs, Mr Barnett said Chevron was proving, via its Gorgon and Wheatstone ventures, that it was possible to bring costly gas projects ashore.

    However he gave ground, suggesting the Browse partners might be given more time to begin their development beyond June's retention lease deadline to overcome the current squeeze in construction costs.

    "There is a bit of flexibility here," Mr Barnett said. "I don't think WA at one time will be building three LNG projects at peak construction. I think there has to be a bit of sense about how they dovetail. But it is just so important to our economic future that that gas comes onshore."


    You don't get much reaction time when your problems grow exponentially. My favorite story to illustrate that point is an old French riddle.

    Suppose you own a pond on which a water lily is growing. The lily doubles in size each day. If the lily were allowed to grow unchecked, it would completely cover the pond in 30 days, choking off other forms of life in the water. For a long time the plant is almost invisible, and so you decide not to worry about cutting it back until it covers half the pond. On what day will that be?

    On the twenty-ninth day.

    We are emitting carbon dioxide and several other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exponentially. We are clearing tropical forest at an exponential rate. The human population is growing exponentially. Human energy use, human production of synthetic chemicals, deserts, and trash are growing exponentially. Our economy is growing exponentially, and we cheer it on, although an economic growth rate of, say, 3.5 percent per year means another whole industrial world plopped down on top of this one in just two decades.

    We can't keep it up. If we understood the consequences of exponential growth, we wouldn't even want to try.


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  9. Kloppers on FLNG

    “I’m sure we’re going to see floating investment in Australia in other projects over the course of time as that technology matures,” he said. “But today it’s difficult for me to comment on something that does not exist yet.”

    However, he did say that BHP was happy to have “options” on the table regarding the development, a sign that BHP may be lukewarm on the idea of processing gas though a LNG precinct at James Price Point near Broome.

    It is thought BHP’s preferred option is to pipe the gas south to the North West Shelf project as backfill.

    Kloppers also said he was concerned about the cost inflation which had hit LNG projects in WA, especially in the face of the pricing uncertainty that exports from the US would have on the international market.


    White knuckles at Chevron.

    Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations, Watson said “the project remains very economic”, without being drawn into just how much the cost blowout could be, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

    Watson acknowledged that the costs of the project would blow out due to the strength of the Australian dollar against the greenback, the impact of tropical cyclones on operations, and the struggle to find skilled labour.

    Chevron plans to disclose the cost blowout early next month, according to a spokesperson.

    Speaking about the threat of a $19 billion lawsuit by a group of Ecuadorians regarding alleged environmental damage by Chevron in the 1970s, Watson said the action was “frivolous”.

    He also defended his company’s lack of investment in renewable technology compared with investment in hydrocarbons.

    “We have to make sure we stay a rich country,” Watson said.

    “The priority has to be on developing our economy and not imposing additional costs on our country.”

    ...How do they sleep at night?


    The dreams of responsible people are still being smashed.

    AS THE latest round of climate change talks get underway in Doha, there is increasing uncertainty whether China’s new leadership will deliver on previous energy-efficiency and conservation goals

    1. BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Chevron Corp.'s Argentina subsidiary ran full-page ads in the nation's leading newspapers Thursday saying that its operations have been complicated by a court order freezing its earnings.

      A judge in Buenos Aires embargoed Chevron's Argentina earnings, acting on behalf of plaintiffs in Ecuador who are trying to collect a $19 billion judgment they won over oil spills in the Amazon. Both Chevron and the Ecuadorean plaintiffs have accused each other of committing fraud in the case.

      The environmental judgment is only the latest trouble Chevron is facing in Argentina, where it has become a leading partner of the state-controlled YPF SA oil company since President Cristina Fernandez expropriated it from Grupo Repsol in Spain.

      Repsol has sued in Madrid accusing Chevron and YPF of unfair competition, for drilling for shale oil and gas in the "Vaca Muerta" basin that was discovered when Repsol ran the company.

      Repsol also is suing Argentina at the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, seeking $10 billion in compensation for the controlling stake in YPF that Fernandez seized, and said it would sue any other international oil company that tries to partner with YPF.

      "I don't see the future of Chevron in Argentina as very auspicious under these conditions. They can turn it around, but it's difficult," said Emilio Apud, a former Argentine energy secretary who now works as a consultant. "The numbers just won't add up, and if they had a hope of future profits in Argentina from Vaca Muerta, that too is in doubt."


      TORONTO (AP) — An attempt by Ecuadorian villagers to have a Canadian court enforce a $19 billion judgment awarded in their country against multinational oil giant Chevron Corp. faced a judge's skepticism Thursday.

      Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown heard arguments on Chevron's motions to challenge jurisdiction but wondered whether he could issue a ruling since an appeal is pending in Ecuador's constitutional court. He also said the case should be heard in the U.S., not Canada.

      The award to the villagers was made in Ecuador for black sludge contamination of a rainforest between 1972 and 1990 by Texaco, which Chevron Corp. bought in 2001. U.S.-based Chevron Corp. maintains it won't pay because it says Texaco dealt with the problem before it was bought.

      The villagers want the judgment enforced in Canada, arguing that Chevron Canada has billions of dollars' worth of assets.

      After filing suit in Canada in May, the villagers launched similar legal actions in Argentina and Brazil. Earlier this month, a judge in Argentina froze Chevron's assets there until the $19 billion is collected.



    2. But wait...there's more...

      More than 4,800 more residents, workers, and visitors have joined the state court litigation evolving from the August 6, explosion and fire at Chevron's Richmond, Calif. refinery, The Buzbee Law Firm and co-counsel John L. Burris announced.

      According to a release, this new complaint coincides with the filing of the amended complaint made by the original six plaintiffs represented by the Buzbee and Burris firms.

      The lawsuits allege the refinery with a history of at least 19 fires, spills and explosions since 1989 forced thousands of people to seek hospital treatment for respiratory problems after a toxic plume from the refinery endangered public health. Chevron also is accused of delaying public health warnings around the refinery after the explosion.

      The plaintiffs, who range from infants to the elderly, report a range of health symptoms, including serious respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms since the explosion and fire, according to the lawsuit. To date, a total of 4,872 area residents are suing Chevron.


      And just in...another explosion and fire.

      Firefighters and Chevron crews have brought a large fire burning in a Chevron Facility in Lost Hills under control and it has been confirmed that there were no injuries.

      The fire broke out after a large explosion at the Chevron facility southwest of Lost Hills about 2 p.m.

      The explosion blew the lid of the tank 150 feet, the Kern County Fire Department reported.

      Crews shut down lines to the tank and cut off the fuel as water and foam were poured on the fire.

      The incident damaged a Chevron shipping facility and knocked out power, sources said.

      The cause of the blast has not been reported.

    3. And of course they are down one barge + cargo at Barrow!

      Never rains but it pours.

  10. DOHA, Qatar (AP) — An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the U.N. weather agency, which said the dramatic decline illustrates that climate change is happening "before our eyes."

    In a report released at U.N. climate talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, the World Meteorological Organization said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012. Droughts devastated nearly two-thirds of the United States as well western Russia and southern Europe. Floods swamped west Africa and heat waves left much of the Northern Hemisphere sweltering.

    But it was the ice melt that seemed to dominate the annual climate report, with the U.N. concluding ice cover had reached "a new record low" in the area around the North Pole and that the loss from March to September was a staggering 11.83 million square kilometers (4.57 million square miles) — an area bigger than the United States.

    "The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth's oceans and biosphere," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said. "Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records."

    The dire climate news — following on the heels of a report Tuesday that found melting permafrost could significantly amplify global warming — comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled for a third day to lay the groundwork for a deal that would cut emissions in an attempt to ensure that temperatures don't rise more than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) over what they were in preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen about 0.8 degrees C (1.4 degrees F), according to the latest report by the IPCC.

    Discord between rich and poor countries on who should do what has kept the two-decade-old U.N. talks from delivering on that goal, and global emissions are still going up.


    Perhaps they should look at the spectacular Saturn vortex and think - Earth Storms coming soon.;_

    1. Big ice melt.

      Australia is 7,617,930 sq.klms.

      W.A. is 2,529,875 sq.klms.

      This years
      ice melt 11,830,000 sq.klms.

      All of Australia plus an extra W.A. is only

      10,147,805 sq.klms.

      4 x W.A. is only 10,119,500 sq.klms.

      So this years ice melt was nearly the equivelent of 5 W.A.'s.

      That is a hell of a vast area to lose.

    2. That is well over one and a half times the area of Australia!

  11. VICTORIA - The B.C. government says it will host Canada's first international conference on liquefied natural gas in February.

    Energy Minister Rich Coleman says the conference will represent a major milestone in his government's effort to have three LNG plants operating by 2020, taking gas from northeast B.C. and shipping it to oversees markets.

    The conference will include government officials, companies planning to build LNG plants, investors, consumers, First Nations leaders and academics.


    Shell is one of a handful of companies exploring in Arctic waters and began drilling off Alaska this year

    Environmentalists oppose drilling on the grounds a spill would devastate the environment.

    “There’s no sugar-coating this, I imagine there would be spills, and no spill is OK,” Pete Slaiby, vice-president of Shell in Alaska, told the BBC.