Thursday, December 6, 2012

Woodside to tap US shale gas boom as CEO Coleman pushes to build Perth as hub | The Australian

Woodside to tap US shale gas boom as CEO Coleman pushes to build Perth as hub | The Australian: WOODSIDE Petroleum is eyeing a "number of opportunities" in the US as it looks to tap the shale gas boom there, exploiting the company's expertise in designing and operating gas processing facilities.

Chief executive Peter Coleman is also pushing to develop Perth as a technological centre for the international LNG industry, building on the concentration of expertise in the city given Western Australia's long history of involvement in LNG production.


  1. HOUSTON — In a victory for the oil and gas industry, a federal Energy Department study released Wednesday concluded that the national economic benefits of significant natural gas exports far outweighed the potential for higher consumer energy prices.

    The new report, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting for the government, concluded that domestic gas prices would not rise sharply as a result of exports and that expanded export revenue would generally help most Americans.

    Noting that gas exports could produce up to $47 billion in new economic activity in 2020, when many new terminals would be up and running, the report said, “welfare improvement is highest under the high export volume scenarios because U.S. consumers benefit from an increase in wealth transfer and export revenues.”

    The objective of the report was to give the government guidance in determining whether export licenses for proposed projects are in the public interest. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must also determine that projects meet environmental and safety standards.

    More than a dozen companies have already applied for permits to export gas to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States, but the administration has so far granted only one permit, to Houston-based Cheniere Energy to refit its recently built Sabine Pass, La., import terminal for export. Most of the big potential importers, like China, have not entered such trade agreements with Washington.

    Cheniere’s plant, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2016, will have a capacity to export 2.6 billion cubic feet a day, equivalent to only about 4 percent of current domestic demand. Energy experts say there is so much potential gas production that the one plant would have little or no impact on domestic prices.

    But four other projects with a combined export capacity triple that of Cheniere’s terminal are scheduled to receive federal regulatory decisions in 2013. All told, the 15 proposed terminals would have an export capacity of 26.5 billion cubic feet a day, more than a third of what is currently consumed in the United States.

    More than a dozen projects have already received export licenses to countries with free trade agreements with the United States.

    Export terminals are hugely time-consuming and expensive to permit and build. The liquefaction equipment that deep freezes the gas for export on giant gas tankers can cost $5 billion alone for a medium-size terminal, but docks and pipelines are also needed. The tankers can cost $200 million apiece.

  2. Has Woodside been sucked in by the Wall and the Iron Dome?

    The reason that majorities and minorities co-existed relatively harmoniously for some 400 years when the Arab world was ruled by the Turkish Ottomans from Istanbul was because the Sunni Ottomans, with their Iron Empire, monopolized politics.

    When Britain and France carved up the Ottoman Empire in the Arab East, they forged the various Ottoman provinces into states — with names like Iraq, Jordan and Syria — that did not correspond to the ethnographic map. So Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Druze, Turkmen, Kurds and Jews found themselves trapped together inside national boundaries that were drawn to suit the interests of the British and French.

    Finally, in the late 1960s and 1970s, we saw the emergence of a class of Arab dictators and monarchs who perfected Iron Fists (and multiple intelligence agencies) to decisively seize power for their sect or tribe — and they ruled over all the other communities by force.

    In Syria, under the Assad family’s iron fist, the Alawite minority came to rule over a Sunni majority, and in Iraq, under Saddam’s iron fist, a Sunni minority came to rule over a Shiite majority. But these countries never tried to build real “citizens” who could share and peacefully rotate in power. So what you are seeing today in the Arab awakening countries — Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen — is what happens when there is no Iron Empire and the people rise up against the iron-fisted dictators. You are seeing ongoing contests for power — until and unless someone can forge a social contract for how communities can share power.

    Israelis have responded to the collapse of Arab iron fists around them — including the rise of militias with missiles in Lebanon and Gaza — with a third model. It is the wall Israel built around itself to seal off the West Bank coupled with its Iron Dome antimissile system. The two have been phenomenally successful — but at a price. The wall plus the dome are enabling Israel’s leaders to abdicate their responsibility for thinking creatively about a resolution of its own majority-minority problem with the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    The far-right group running Israel today is so arrogant, and so indifferent to U.S. concerns, that it announced plans to build a huge block of settlements in the heart of the West Bank — in retaliation for the U.N. vote giving Palestinians observer status — even though the U.S. did everything possible to block that vote and the settlements would sever any possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state.

    Meanwhile, with a few exceptions, the dome and wall have so insulated the Israeli left and center from the effects of the Israeli occupation that their main candidates for the Jan. 22 elections — including those from Yitzhak Rabin’s old Labor Party — are not even offering peace ideas but simply conceding the right’s dominance on that issue and focusing on bringing down housing prices and school class sizes. One settler leader told me the biggest problem in the West Bank today is “traffic jams.”

    I am glad that the wall and the Iron Dome are sheltering Israelis from enemies who wish to do them ill, but I fear the wall and the Iron Dome are also blinding them from truths they still badly need to face.

  3. Had to laugh at last nights news. Roadline involved in the big drug bust.
    There was a bulldozer with the Roadline name on it and police crawling all over their yard.
    Funny 'cos one of the things many people objected to were the increase in "speed" around the town with the gas plant workers.
    Haven't heard anything of Bergman being involved - yet.