Thursday, March 14, 2013

Minister enters Browse debate - The West Australian

Minister enters Browse debate - The West Australian: "Australia is at a unique intersection in gas processing and also in the context of developing unconventional gas sources," Mr Gray said. "Ten years ago we were having this conversation. The only global gas liquefaction technologies were onshore technologies.

"We now have not only unconventional gas being converted to LNG in Queensland, but we also have development of offshore floating processing through the possibility of Prelude (and other fields).

"That takes Australia to literally the technological cutting edge of the growth export industry on the planet, energy.

"That is a great future to have for our kids, it is a great future to have for our resources."


  1. The technology is changing very fast.Australia getting on first with FLNG is a great idea.
    A quick look around shows what else is going on,including Japans breakthrough with Methane Hydrates. (posted under comments in the previous article).


    Operating in the Arctic

    DNV and Statoil of Norway cooperate to enhance Arctic competence in new LNG zones. DNV and Statoil launching a competence programme that aims to enhance the two organisations' knowledge about particular Arctic challenges head of new energy and LNG projects.

    Due to Arctic-specific risks such as remoteness, darkness, ice and low temperatures, it is utterly important to take a stepwise approach in which we learn and improve from the experience gained, the companies said.

    "Our complementary roles as operator and risk-management expert in challenging environments are the best reason for sharing best practices and enhancing our own expertise," says Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, Chief Operation Officer of DNV Norway, Finland and Russia.

    The growing interest in the commercial use and exploitation of Arctic resources is driven by the high demand for energy, with LNG project in the Bering Sea start up Statoil and other liquefaction ventures planned in Russia.


    Japan to 'Help' With Russian LNG Projects

    TOKYO - Liquefied natural gas was on the agenda when the energy ministers of Russia and Japan met on Tuesday, a senior official at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

    Japan can help with LNG projects at Vladivostok and Yamal, Russia's Alexander Novak said without elaborating according to METI's Oil and Natural Gas Director Ryo Minami who was present.

    Competitive pricing will raise interest from Japanese buyers, Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said according to Mr. Minami. LNG demand in Japan is increasing after the country shifted away from nuclear power.

    Russia is looking to sell to new markets because prices in Europe are relatively low. Two Russian companies in February announced plans to export LNG to Asia.


    Oil Industry Boosts Efforts to Coax More from Shale

    The oil industry is increasing spending on research that it hopes will make it cheaper and easier to coax more crude and natural gas from shale formations and deep-sea oil fields, extending and accelerating the U.S. energy boom.

    The largest oil-field-service firms--Schlumberger Ltd., Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc.--raised their research and development budgets by 24% from 2010 to a combined $2.1 billion in 2012. In recent years, these companies, which provide a range of services for energy exploration, have become the primary R&D engines of the oil industry, surpassing spending by oil-and-gas companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

    The hunt for new sources of fossil fuels has led energy companies into deeper offshore regions and into dense shale formations, both of which are expensive to develop.


  2. Gas proponent reveals water recycling plans

    Arrow Energy says it is planning to convert salty water generated by its proposed Bowen gas project in central Queensland into fresh water that can be used.

    The company released the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the massive coal seam gas (CSG) project for public comment earlier this week.

    It wants to transport nearly 150 petajoules of gas per year from the Bowen Basin to Gladstone, where it will be converted to liquefied natural gas for export.

    Arrow Energy spokesman Tony Knight says the plan is to recycle water.

    "We have a reverse osmosis plant and the water is available for various uses and we're talking to a number of potential customers for that water who want it for industrial uses or other uses," he said.

    "We don't sell it, we're not licensed to sell the water, but we enter an agreement to supply it."

    Mr Knight says excess water will be treated and supplied to nearby industrial sites.

    "It'll produce a lot of water over its life, which is measured in decades, because the wells run for many years and there's lots of wells," he said.

    "It'll produce I think 260 billion litres over a 40-year period.

    "We've got mechanisms in place to handle that water and process where we can convert it from a saline or brine product into a fresh product.

    "That's actually quite in demand in the Bowen Basin."


    New CEO of Idemitsu Kosan said he was going ahead with his Canada LNG project

    Wednesday, 13 March 2013

    New President-elect Takashi Tsukioka of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Japan's third-largest refiner, said he was going ahead with his Canada LNG project plan.


  3. South American bloodbath over water.

    Newmont gold in it up to their armpits.


    South Americans Face Upheaval in Deadly Water Battles

    People streamed into the central square in Celendin, a small city in the Peruvian Andes, the morning of July 3, 2012. They were protesting the government’s support for Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM)’s plan to take control of four lakes to make way for a new gold and copper mine. By midday, there were 3,000.

    Some hurled rocks at police and brandished clubs. Then assailants shot two officers and an Army soldier in the leg.

    Blocks away, construction worker Paulino Garcia left home on foot to buy groceries. As he approached the central square, he encountered chaos. People ran for cover as federal troops fired their weapons, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its March issue.

    One bullet struck Garcia as he watched the mayhem. It ripped open his chest and exited through his back. The 43-year- old father of two fell to the ground and died. Another three people were shot and killed, and more than 20 were wounded.

    It was the deadliest clash in 18 months of protests in Peru’s Cajamarca region, where many residents say Newmont’s $5 billion Conga mine will take water their villages and farms need to survive.

    “He died in a pool of blood,” says Adelaida Tabaco, Garcia’s widow, 38, sobbing inside her half-built adobe house in Celendin. “The only thing the people want is water for families, but the mining companies want to take it. And soldiers will kill if you get in the way.”


    Conflict Victims

    The injured and dead in Celendin, 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Lima, are victims in a continent-wide conflict that pits South American governments and big, often foreign- based companies against people who stand to lose their homes as water is diverted to industrial uses.

    Leaders across the region, elected on promises to fuel economic growth and lift their populations out of poverty, are fast tracking water-use approvals for projects like the Conga mine. Helped by mining and agriculture exports, Brazil’s gross domestic product increased 43 percent from 2002 to 2012, after adjusting for inflation, while Chile’s economy grew 58 percent.

    Peru is on target to expand 6 percent in 2013, the fastest pace in South America, driven by investments in gold, silver and copper mines.

    South America has more water than any other region on earth, with 29 percent of the world’s reserves, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The rub is that the water isn’t always where the best mineral or agricultural resources are located.


    Huge Amounts

    Mines consume huge amounts of water to separate minerals from rock. It takes 28 liters (7.4 gallons) of water to make 0.5 kilogram (1 pound) of copper in Chile. After processing, the water at some mines is so toxic that it can’t be reused. Peru’s biggest mines, such as Conga, are high in the Andes, where there’s almost no rain from May to October.

    In Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, vast deposits of copper, gold and silver lie under the Atacama Desert, which is so dry that rainfall has never been recorded in some places. And higher demand means there’s less water to go around.

    Growing populations have pushed the amount of usable water per person down by more than one-fifth since 1992 in Brazil, Chile and Peru, according to the UN group.


  4. cont....

    Deadly Consequences

    National leaders in Latin America are weighing short-term economic growth against the public’s future needs for water, and the consequences can be deadly. In Chile, the nation’s drinking supply is threatened by past policies of allotting too much water to companies to spur the economy, Public Works Minister Loreto Silva says.

    Water is already running out in places like Copiapo, a city of 158,438 people in the Atacama Desert, 800 kilometers north of Santiago, because of mining and agricultural expansion, she says.

    “In some areas of the country, like Copiapo, we have a reduction or an exhaustion of the resource,” Silva says. “If we don’t make decisions today, we’ll be short of water in about a decade. That forces us to take a long-term, strategic view in terms of water.”

    Peru faces similar long-term needs because water is in short supply in areas where mines are expanding, says Hugo Jara, head of the country’s National Water Authority. The government needs to build $394 million of reservoirs and canals by 2016 for annual water shortages in the dry season in the Andes, he says.

    ‘First Priority’

    “The government has declared water its first priority,” Jara says. “These protests helped to spur our attention.”

    Governments are making the right decision in providing water to industries that benefit the majority of their populations, even if that means displacing some people, says John Briscoe, a Harvard University professor who specializes in water policy.

    “It’s of transcendental importance to the economy,” says Briscoe, a former senior water adviser at the World Bank. “The value of the water in the mining industry is very, very high.”

    Drought is making water even scarcer. In Chile, precipitation was 75 percent below the historical average in 2012 in the mineral-rich Coquimbo region, while rainfall decreased 70 percent in the Atacama Desert, home to the world’s biggest copper mines, according to Chile’s General Water Agency.

    In Peru, the government says rain has been below average for two years in the highland mining regions because of El Nino weather phenomena. Global warming has likely increased and prolonged droughts in some regions of the world, according to a March 2012 study by the 62-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Global Struggle

    The conflicts in South America are part of an intensifying global struggle for water. Two of the mightiest rivers on earth -- the Yellow River in China and the Colorado in the U.S. and Mexico -- have been so depleted by cities, factories and farms that they rarely reach the sea, as they had for eons.

    Increased mining in Chile has already cost families, farms and villages the water they need to survive. Near Caimanes, a town in a semiarid valley 250 kilometers north of Santiago, farmhand Daniel Tapia walks through a stand of withered almond trees, passing a bone-dry irrigation ditch.

    He rests at a rock-strewn stretch of flat ground where the Pupio Creek once flowed. It emptied in 2008, he says, after the nation’s richest family, the Luksics, built a 500-meter-wide (1,640-foot-wide) waste dump, known as a tailings dam, for the Los Pelambres copper mine.

  5. cont...

    Long article but worth a read,a few more extracts.

    “We used that river to irrigate, but nothing is ever going to grow here again,” Tapia says. “There’s no future for us. We’re going to have to leave.”


    The water that fed the creek didn’t disappear; it’s being held behind the tailings dam and pumped back to the mine, Villalobos, 38, says. He and 10 others went on an 81-day hunger strike in 2011 to protest construction of the tailing dam.


    In the valley below, rocks and dust cover irrigation ditches that crisscross what were once fields of alfalfa, corn, wheat and potatoes. In Caimanes, a town of 1,800 people 7 kilometers from the dam, water is rationed.


    Many of the companies -- such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s biggest oil producer; Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the biggest U.S. oil company; and London-based drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) -- have no major operations in Paraguay.

    After registering, these firms just have to buy enough land to drill a well and remove water, says Silvia Spinzi, director of the water resources division of the Paraguayan Environmental Ministry.

    In Peru, the conflict over water has turned deadly. Fifteen people have been killed since 2010 in protests against government decisions allowing mining companies to expand and use more water. Those firms are planning to invest $53 billion in the next decade for mines that will require water.


    To build Conga, Newmont will dig up two lakes to get at gold and copper ore. The other two lakes will be filled with waste from separating valuable metals from ore. Conga will produce 680,000 ounces of gold and 106,000 tons of copper a year, Newmont estimates.


    In Celendin, starting in late May, Sanchez -- who had already been criminally charged with inciting violent protests - - helped organize a month-long round of strikes and street protests. Sanchez, 31, says he’s never done anything violent or illegal. He says he has just exercised his democratic right to protest.


    When Adelaida Tabaco went out looking for her husband, Paulino Garcia, gunshots were still crackling in the afternoon air. She says she heard dozens of shots as she searched, and she saw bullet casings rain from the sky as soldiers blasted from a military helicopter. Troops were shooting at people running away, she says.


    “For this violence to stop, the deadly police actions must be ended,” he says. “The government is wrong if they think that with bullets, torture and beatings, they can repress the justifiable concerns of the people.”


    Across the developing world, governments are choosing to allot water for economic growth -- sometimes making a short-term decision at the expense of future needs.

    “We have to take a long-term view with water,” Chilean Public Works Minister Silva says. “We have growth in this country, and we have growing demand.”

    The decisions countries like Peru and Chile make now on water allocation may eventually help them reach developed-nation status -- although the costs, measured in human dislocation and human blood, could lead some to question whether the path to prosperity will have been worth the price.