Sunday, March 17, 2013

Goolarabooloo calls for protection of cultural sites | The Stringer

Goolarabooloo calls for protection of cultural sites | The Stringer:
Mr Roe said the West Australian EPA and Environment Minister Bill Marmion recently gave Woodside and its joint venture partners approval to clear 110 hectares of the most important patch of monsoon vine thickets for developing gas refineries and an industrial port at James Price Point, 50km north of Broome.
Monsson Vine Thicket along the Lurujarri Heritage Trail, Photo -Jan Van Der Kam

Monsson Vine Thicket along the Lurujarri Heritage Trail, Photo -Jan Van Der Kam

Woodside is poised to resume work this year in areas of monsoon vine thickets which are part of the sacred Songcycle and contain middens, heritage sites and burial grounds. Mr Roe said this is despite the fact that the WA EPA recommended the area be protected from disturbance in 1991 and the WA Museum’s Department of Aboriginal sites recommending the area be protected because of its cultural significance in 1989.

“Woodside, Shell and BP will be responsible for destroying our environment, our heritage and burial grounds if they start drilling and digging for their exploratory works in the monsoon vine thickets,” said Phillip Roe.


  1. Looking at the latest musings on the topic the most likely scenario for JPP is 2015 - 16.Simply because all the major Queensland plants will be completed,Gorgon as well,and Wheatstone in 2016.The Territory would be close as well.

    This will also give them the time to re do all the bits Burke knocks back and have an Abbott government minister OK the project.Barnett could then go out with a bang in 2017.

    This will be a must for Abbott who will be under pressure to find new mega projects to fill the construction gap created by so many mega projects coming on line.

    NO - WAY will this be knocked back.

    The other reason will be the other companies who having finished their drilling programs will be looking for a place to build their plants which will bring the cost way down for all of them.

    In the meantime Woodside must finish what they have started.Barnett will want to crush any protests that delay them doing so.

    Most likely then 12 months of tieing up loose ends,build the first camp middle of next year,have the main camp ready for major construction start up late 2015 early 2016.

    Then that's it the floodgates will be open and no one will be able to stop it.The Kimberley as it is now will be gone.

    ONLY a big drop in the price of LNG could change this,and the same companies building the overseas plants are the same companies who have to make a profit from their overpriced Australian investments.They will do everything in their power to have a strong oil price and keep LNG linked to it.

    The other two scenarios where it is cancelled outright or given an immediate go ahead at the FID are looking less likely.

    This it seems is their wish for now.

  2. The danger of high contracts in a falling prices world

    Monday, 18 March 2013

    SUGAR and iron ore do not have much to do with oil and gas, but the closer Slugcatcher looks at the LNG market the more he sees interesting parallels with unpleasant events in the past when Asian commodity buyers try to wriggle out of high-priced contracts.

    1. Exxon’s crystal ball gazing throws up interesting surprise
      Tuesday, 19 March 2013

      THE latest outlook from US energy super major ExxonMobil largely reaffirms the conventional thinking on the state of global energy. But it also throws up interesting questions on the demand side, especially from China, and is ominously silent on energy prices.

  3. Fracking for oil in California and how the oil companies make the resource look bigger and cleaner than it really is.

    10 reasons why fracking for dirty oil in California is a stupid idea

    ......The Monterey Shale hasn’t been fracked much, at least not with horizontal drilling, but oil companies have got their beady little eyes on it. The typical news report, like this one in The New York Times, pegs the oil resource in the Monterey Shale at just over 15 billion barrels of oil, more than four times the tight oil in the storied Bakken Shale in North Dakota and more than two-thirds of all the tight oil in the country.

    (Vocab note: “shale oil” or “tight oil” refers to oil stuck in shale rock formations; “oil shale,” a kind of rock containing kerogen, which can be refined into oil, is a whole different thing — a grosser, even less economic thing.)

    ......The California Air Resources Board (CARB) studies the characteristics of each source of oil — extraction and transportation — and assigns it a score, the higher being worse for the climate. California oil scores badly:

    Most oil sources worldwide have scores between 5 and 13, under the system used by California Air Resources Board.

    [California's] Midway-Sunset oil scores 21.18. Crude from nearby Coalinga scores 25.36. The San Ardo field, whose bobbing pump jacks push up against Highway 101 between King City and San Luis Obispo, scores 28.82.

    And the [Canadian] tar sands?

    One synthetic oil from the tar sands — Albian Heavy Synthetic — scores 21.02. Another, Suncor Synthetic A, rates 24.49. Syncrude Sweet comes in at 21.87.

    California’s oil is as dirty as Canadian tar sands! And with fracking comes increased energy intensity and hundreds more wells. So yeah, this stuff is unambiguously bad from a climate perspective...

    .....The amount of technically recoverable oil is determined by multiplying the total amount of oil that USGS estimates is under the Monterey Shale by the “recovery factor,” which is the percentage of the oil that can be recovered with today’s technology. The USGS estimate is based on mathematical models, not data, and is extremely speculative... Long story short, 15 billion barrels is probably a) wrong and b) high.

    .....despite the optimistic numbers above, the Monterey Shale has thus far proved something of a disappointment... The Energy Information Administration estimated that Monterey would produce 550 barrels per well, but “operators today are reporting typical flowrates averaging only around 350 to 400″ barrels per day. At 400 barrels a day, it would take a well 3,767 years to hit 550 million barrels. Perhaps the EIA was a bit optimistic?

    (there is quite a bit here on drilling on fault lines)


    .....Meanwhile, four of California’s top 10 agricultural counties are in frack-targeted areas, which is why agricultural groups are starting to ally with greens against it. Then there are the threatened wells in the Baldwin Hills oil field near Culver City, where oil drilling has already had devastating effects on (largely poor) residents. The local impacts from these wells are no joke, and there are going to be a lot of them.

    ......So in the case of Monterey, 500 billion barrels times 2.8 percent equals 14 billion barrels. That’s the estimate of technically recoverable oil. (The EIA pegs EUR at 15.4 billion barrels, which is what gets used in all the news stories. Not sure why this data set and the EIA differ by a bit — probably a different OOIP or RF estimate — but it’s not that important.)

    That’s two speculative numbers multiplied. What if the RF turns out to be 1.4 percent, like in the Niobrara Shale? Well then there’s half as much recoverable oil in Monterey: 7 billion barrels. Fifteen billion barrels would satisfy U.S. oil demand for just over two years; 7 billion would satisfy it for a year or so.


  4. The US,unlike the Kimberley,has many big sewage treatment plants and this shows they cannot clean frack water.Not even close!

    Sewage Plants Struggle To Treat Wastewater Produced By Fracking Operations

    Currently, companies deal with this leftover water by reusing it, injecting it into deep storage wells, or sending it through sewage treatment plants.

    However, in May, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection asked that the state’s treatment plants voluntarily stop processing fracking wastewater. The request came in response to public concern over elevated bromide levels in the Pennsylvania Monongahela River watershed—an area with facilities that treat water from natural gas production. Scientists hadn’t definitively pinpointed fracking waste as the source of this pollution. In general, researchers haven’t studied how fracking wastewater affects the quality of water leaving sewage plants.

    To learn more, Kyle J. Ferrar, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, and his colleagues analyzed water from treatment facilities that initially processed fracking water and then later complied with the state’s recommendation. They took water samples from one private and two public facilities in Pennsylvania that treated water from the nearby Marcellus Shale region, the largest shale basin in the U.S. They collected samples both before and after the department’s request.

    Using a variety of spectroscopic techniques, the team measured levels of chemicals found in gas production waste but aren’t typically present in other industrial wastewaters. Although levels of these chemicals varied widely among the three treatment plants, in general, concentrations dropped significantly after the plants stopped taking the fracking waste, Ferrar says. For example, at a municipal plant in Greene County, average barium concentrations fell from 5.99 to 0.14 mg/L.

    But when the plants still handled the waste, levels of several of the chemicals exceeded drinking water standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the Greene County plant, the levels of barium and strontium, two toxic metals found in fracking wastewater, were on average 5.99 and 48.3 mg/L, respectively. EPA drinking water standards for these metals are 2 and 4 mg/L, respectively...........

    1. Health Hazards Associated with Elevated Levels of Indoor Radon -- Pennsylvania

      "The elevated radon levels near the eastern border of Pennsylvania are associated with natural uranium deposits that extend into northern New Jersey and southern New York. Since similar geologic deposits are found throughout the country, the elevated radon levels in Pennsylvania may indicate a much broader national problem. Radon enters a building through cracks, such as those in a basement floor, and through openings around pipes and wiring. Once inside, the radon builds up in the air, particularly in poorly ventilated houses. As radon daughters are formed, they attach to airborne particulates. When inhaled, these particulates can deliver a substantial dose of radiation to the bronchial epithelium.

      Exposure to radon daughters increases a person's lifetime risk of lung cancer. The risk rises in direct relationship with the length of exposure and with radon daughter levels."

      ....Each year, approximately 5,000-30,000 deaths may be attributed to background levels of indoor radon. The health threat from radon can be addressed by identifying geographic areas that could produce elevated levels of indoor radon, developing strategies to reduce exposure, conducting research on effective remedial measures to be taken in buildings, and providing educational programs for health officials and the public. Changes in usage patterns of high-radon areas in a home, such as the basement, and the control of future construction in geographic areas high in uranium deposits can reduce exposure.


      United States Geological Survey Circular 350

      The Mount Pisgah uranium deposit, exposed in cliffs along the highway between Mauch Chunk and Nesquehoning, is in the basal sandstone and conglomerate member of the Pottsville formation.

      The uraninm occurs as yellow and yellowish green minerals coating fracture surfaces and slickenside surfaces and as incrustations on loosely cemented quartz pebbles in coarse conglomerate.

      Secondary uranium minerals were observed on surfaces of rock which had been broken only a few months previously, indicating that uranium is present in tightly cemented rock in a form that is unstable under present conditions of weatherinq. The absence of secondary uranium minerals in uraniferous rock in drill cores, excect where they cut fractures and bedding-plane surfaces, indicates that the massive parts of the rock have not been deeply weathered.

      Carnotite, tyuyamunite, liebigite, uranophane, and beta-uranophane have been identified in the Mount Pisgah deposit.



      The uranium mineral autunite was reported in 1874 near the town of Mauch Chunk (present-day Jim Thorpe) in Carbon County, eastern Pennsylvania.[42] A small amount of test mining was done in 1953 at the Mount Pisgah deposit near Jim Thorpe. The uranium at the Mount Pisgah deposit is primarily in an unidentified black mineral in pods and rolls in the basal conglomerate of the Mauch Chunk Formation (Mississippian). Also present are the secondary uranium and uranium-vanadium minerals carnotite, tyuyamunite, liebigite, uranophane, and betauranophane.[43]


      Although once eagerly sought in the United States, uranium deposits in Pennsylvania are currently not being mined. There is more environmental concern for uranium's detrimental effects than desire for its commercial value. Deposits of uranium and thorium have been found in various parts of the state including the Reading Prong area. Uranium and Thorium analyses from this area of Pennsylvania are available. The samples were collected during a detailed study of the Reading Prong, which was completed in 1980.


      Note.Much of the Uranium imported by the US comes from Australia.Australian Uranium ore is of a higher grade which is more economical to mine than most US deposits.


    2. Uranium from Rare Earths Deposits

      Nolans Bore, Northern Territory, Australia
      This is a deposit of light REE with 5100 tonnes uranium content at 0.02% in 850,000 t REO grading 2.8%, about 135 kilometres north of Alice Springs, NT. It also contains over 80,000 tonnes of thorium. Arafura Resources intends to develop it as a REE mine and plans to process its concentrate at Whyalla, South Australia to produce 20,000 t/yr REO, 130 t/Uyr, plus phosphoric acid and gypsum co-products. The thorium will be separated as an iron-thorium precipitate and transported back to the Nolans Bore mine site in NT for long-term storage as a possible future energy source.

      Cummins Range, Kimberley region, Western Australia
      This is a deposit of light REE with uranium content of 0.01 to 0.03% depending on REO cut-off (0.0145% for inferred resource), and 10-12% P2O5. REO is 1.0 to 2.8% depending on cut-off. Subject to proving further resources, Navigator Resources Ltd spun off Kimberley Rare Earths Ltd which intends to develop it as a REE mine with uranium by-product. It is similar geologically to Mount Weld, but with ten times the uranium content. It has 120,000 t REO inferred resources at 0.5% cut-off.

      Dubbo Zirconium Project, New South Wales, Australia
      Alkane Resources' DZP has REE as potential by-product of zirconium production. These are 18% heavy REE (20% if including europium and gadolinium). No uranium content is reported, though this may be because until 2012 it was illegal to explore for uranium in the state.

      Olympic Dam, South Australia
      BHP Billiton’s large Olympic Dam mining operation accesses a huge orebody, with the world’s largest resources of uranium, though this is only a by-product of copper (along with gold and silver by-products). The orebody also contains some 53 million tonnes of REO (predominantly lanthanum and cerium), though these are sub-economic and there are no plans to extract them even as by-product at present. They remain in the tailings.


      There are now approximately 140 companies with uranium interests in WA, there are three proposed mines which are engaged in the State EPA approvals process followed closely by another two proposals which are advancing their exploration programs followed by about 80 + other uranium explorations.


      At the three operating uranium mines in Australia there are examples of both excessive water consumption and ground water contamination. Uranium mining is thirsty, and radioactive tailings are a complex management issue that has often involved the leaching of radioactive materials into groundwater or purposefully pumped into aquifers.

      BHP’s Olympic Dam uranium mine in SA currently uses 35+ million litres of water a day taken from the Great Artesian Basin, which it pays nothing for under legal privileges in the Roxby Downs Indenture Act.


      Rio Tinto's (aka Energy Resources Australia) Ranger uranium mine in NT has had over 150 spills, leaks and license breaches, one of which involved workers being exposed to contaminated drinking water and shower water.

      Heathgate Resource’s (subsidiary of General Atomics) Beverley Uranium mine as part of its mining method pumps heavy metals, acid and radionuclide’s into the aquifer and has no obligation to rehabilitate the aquifer.


    3. CCWA - Mining the Kimberley

      Extensive coal and uranium tenements are being explored by Australia's Rey Resources in the West Kimberley. These proposed coal and uranium mines are on the traditional lands of the Nyikina-Mangala people adjacent to the Fitzroy River. The river is sacred and culturally significant to a number of traditional owners groups.

      Rey Resources plans to establish large-scale coal mining operations in the area and in May 2009 announced their intention to commence pre-feasibility studies for development of the estimated 500 million tonne (Mt) Duchess- Paradise coal reserves in the Canning basin (see map).

      Recently Rey Resources also entered into a joint venture partnership with Uranium Exploration Australia to confirm the extent of uranium resources at their Myroodah tenements which straddle the Fitzroy river.
      Rey Resources propose to export 2 Mt per annum of thermal coal to India through the existing port in Derby. However a proposed coal terminal at Point Torment would enable exports to rise to 6 Mtpa in the medium term and 10Mtpa in the longer term. Rey Resources propose to mine the coal using both open cut surface mining and high wall mining. If allowed to proceed this mine would displace hundreds of millions of tonnes of soil and waste rock.

      Even if the company backfills the open cut pits with waste rock, the potential for landscape collapse and alteration to groundwater flow patterns will still exist. Water extraction from the Fitzroy river is likely to skyrocket because coal mines are a massive user of water. Add to this the increase in dust, pollution, noise, and traffic along the Great Western highway, and the impact will be felt across the Kimberley region.

      Uranium Mining

      if that wasn’t concerning enough, the Rey Resources Joint venture propose to use the risky ‘acid leaching’ in situ mining process at their proposed uranium mine in Myroodah. The risk of groundwater contamination from the use of an acid leaching process is considerable and extremely worrying.


      So with all this and the 150,000 fracking wells what will be left ?


      The poisoned Fitzroy River will carry all this in to King Sound which will then settle in the mangroves forever.

      And we need all this so Aboriginees can have some jobs?

      And whitefellas can ride out a few dips in the tourist trade?

  5. Japan weighs up price of US LNG imports and nation’s energy future

    After the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Japan increased LNG imports to an unprecedented level. Against the backdrop of rapidly expanding demand in Japan, the world’s largest LNG consumer, Asian LNG prices also surged.

    (there will be changes to the LNG price and sooner rather than later,despite the resistance from Australia)


    More Mozambique LNG stakes for sale and 10 nations seek cargoes

    Monday, 18 March 2013

    More deals are set to follow Italian energy company Eni’s agreement in Mozambique to sell PetroChina a 20 percent stake in its offshore gas field.Eni said that will form the basis for the huge LNG project with Anadarko Petroleum of the US.


    They said it would never happen,but here it is in black and white.

    Saudi Arabia to Drill for Shale Gas This Year

    Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude oil, will push ahead this year with exploratory drilling of shale and other unconventional gas reserves which could be twice the size of its conventional gas reserves, which total 286 trillion cubic feet, Minister of Oil Ali al-Naimi said.

    "This year alone we are going to test seven wells for shale. We have rough estimates of 600 trillion cubic feet of unconventional shale gas. The potential is very huge and we plan to exploit it," he said during a Credit Suisse conference.

    Aramco Chief Executive Khalid al-Falih said in December that the company plans to drill seven natural gas exploration wells in deep and shallow water in the Red Sea, off the coast of the northwestern city of Tabuk.

    On Monday, Mr. al-Naimi said that prospects for global production of shale gas and oil--including in China, Ukraine, Poland and Saudi Arabia--were so promising that the kingdom might not need to continue with its decades-long policy of maintaining an oil-output cushion for use in case of global supply disruptions.

    "It is not a question whether Saudi Arabia has spare [oil] capacity. It is a question of whether we need to spend billions maintaining it at all," Mr. al-Naimi said.


    Statoil, Exxon find gas offshore Tanzania

    STAVANGER, Norway, March 18 (UPI) -- Offshore Tanzania may hold as much as 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas considering recent discoveries there, said Norwegian major Statoil.

    Statoil announced with joint venture partner Exxon Mobil that it discovered at least 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore in the Tangawizi-1 well. That brings the total reserve estimate to as high as 17 trillion cubic feet, the company said.

    "The Tanzania government is pleased to learn about additional gas resources ... and remains optimistic on future developments," Tanzanian Minister for Energy and Minerals Sospeter Muhongo said.

    Statoil Exploration Vice President Tom Dodson said Statoil has completed five wells in Tanzania in the last 15 months. More are planned for this year.


    Power from the desert sun,not here of course,Abu Dhabi.

    The world's largest concentrated solar power plant

    The world's largest concentrated solar power plant, Shams 1, launched on Sunday, representing a major milestone in the development of renewable energy in the Middle East. Taking three years to build, the $600m plant is located in Abu Dhabi's western region, the heart of the UAE's hydrocarbon industry. At full capacity, the 100 megawatt Masdar, Total and Abengoa joint-project will power thousands of homes in the United Arab Emirates and displace 175,000 tons of CO2 a year


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