Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Exxon killed JPP - Slugcatcher

SHELL has been blamed for upsetting Woodside Petroleum’s 
plans for an onshore processing component at the Browse 
LNG project in  Western Australia but from what  
Slugcatcher saw last week the killer blow came 
from outside the Browse joint venture and was
delivered by ExxonMobil.

Without fanfare and through the simple lodging of a 79-page 
document with the Australian government’s environment
department, the Australian arm of ExxonMobil set the clock 
ticking on the country’s second floating LNG barge.
Today, LNG is becoming a free market and that means the producers have to become far more cost conscious.

That, in turn, means gold-plated LNG projects, such as the $50 billion monster that is the Gorgon development and the proposed $40 billion Browse project, are effectively LNG dinosaurs even before they are operational.

FLNG is not only a cheaper option – it will be more profitable, flexible and far from the problems of trying to do business in the high-cost Australian domestic market, which also comes wrapped in union militancy.

For Woodside chief executive officer Peter Coleman there is the frustration of being seen to favour the onshore Browse LNG option while his old firm, ExxonMobil, signs up for a Prelude-like floater.

Coleman’s options are narrowing as the LNG market evolves and rivals invest in cheaper options than what he currently has.

That is unless he can steer the Browse partners and the WA government towards an even more profitable option than FLNG for Browse – a long pipeline to the Burrup processing centre.

While not favoured by the government, that pipeline option, according to a study last year by investment bank Goldman Sachs, claimed delivering gas to an expanded Burrup would produce a return of 19.5% on capital invested.
By contrast, onshore Browse LNG delivered just 12.6% and Browse as an FLNG delivered 14.8%.

By tossing its hat into the FLNG ring for the Scarborough project ExxonMobil has turned the spotlight on the critical question of costs and profits, just as Japan moves to make LNG a freely traded commodity.


  1. So much has happened since this plan was dreamt up and all of it has conspired against it, surely they now know it is dead on arrival.
    Is it only ego and reputation creating the illusion it is still alive while we all suffer?


    You would want to keep your eye on the ball operating there,JPP would create a possibly fatal distraction.

    China has to make major adjustments to its plans.
    Japan is in a world threatening debt crisis and high oil priced LNG imports are killing them,they must get cheaper gas.
    The US is in stagnation mode even with LNG exports.
    Europe is a basket case.
    Fracking has shown the world everyone has gas and oil.
    Blind Freddy can see the climate has changed permanently.


    Barnett has borrowed and spent up big on a huge mining expansion plan based mainly on China and Japan having very deep pockets,he has ignored other sectors.


    "WA's peak farming bodies have hit back at criticism from Premier Colin Barnett, accusing him of taking cheap shots and talking rubbish to cover up the State Government's inaction on key agricultural issues."


    "CHINA will today celebrate one of its most successful mining investments in Australia in recent years, with the official opening of Gindalbie Metals' Karara iron ore mine.

    But outgoing chairman George Jones has warned China's enthusiasm for the nation's resources has diminished.

    "The enthusiasm from China has diminished, opportunities have been lost and wasted and while they will still do things here, there is going to be a lot of competition from other things they will be looking at," he said.


    The damage to the world environment Chinas boom has caused.


    THE protected status of a central Queensland nature reserve within Clive Palmer's proposed $6.5 billion Galilee Coal Project would probably be revoked because the coalmine-and-rail project would destroy much of the habitat.

    But the company behind the controversial project has warned the enterprise may not be economically viable if it is unable to mine the easy-to-access, high-quality coal reserves below the environmentally significant region.

    A supplementary environmental impact statement released yesterday revealed more than 4000ha of the Bimblebox Nature Reserve would be directly cleared to create the open-cut coalmine and supporting infrastructure for the major China First export project, if approved.

    Proponent Waratah Coal, whose executive chairman Mr Palmer is Queensland's richest man, said an additional 3000ha of the semi-arid woodland would be subject to subsidence from underground coalmining activities.

    "As a result of this impact, the Nature Refuge status of the property is likely to be removed," the report said.


    Woodside have bought into the worlds riskiest address at a time when it is set to boil over again.


    Lebanon in danger of being torn apart by the war next door in Syria

    SYRIA'S civil war, two years in the making, has come to neighbouring Lebanon.

    Assassinations, firefights and skirmishes are pulling rival Sunni and Shia factions here into a confrontation that threatens to tear Lebanon apart.

    Divided along sectarian lines that support and oppose Syria's regime, Lebanon has become a logistical support base for the civil war next door. Fighters and weapons for both warring sides in Syria pass through the country.

    The flames are being fanned by the Hezbollah, backed by Iran, and the Sunni-led March 14 faction, backed by Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah supports government forces in Syria while many Lebanese Sunnis are aiding the rebels.

    The Syrian conflict has changed Lebanon in profound ways. Nearly one million Syrians have come into Lebanon as refugees or new residents.

    1. "You would want to keep your eye on the ball operating there,JPP would create a possibly fatal distraction."

      **this should have been right at the end re Syria not at the beginning.

  2. Once again we get shown the way instead of us leading.


    Building the Solar Capital ‘of the Universe’

    Two years ago, the mayor, a Republican, decided to leverage the incessant Antelope Valley sun so that Lancaster could become the solar capital “of the world,” he said. Then he reconsidered. “Of the universe,” he said, the brio in his tone indicating that it would be parsimonious to confine his ambition to any one planet.

    “We want to be the first city that produces more electricity from solar energy than we consume on a daily basis,” he said. This means Lancaster’s rooftops, alfalfa fields and parking lots must be covered with solar panels to generate a total of 126 megawatts of solar power above the 39 megawatts already being generated and the 50 megawatts under construction.

    To that end, Lancaster just did what former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to do in 2006: require that almost all new homes either come equipped with solar panels or be in subdivisions that produce one kilowatt of solar energy per house. He also was able to recruit the home building giant KB Home to proselytize for his vision, despite the industry’s overall resistance to solar power.

    “Lancaster is breaking new ground,” said Michelle Kinman, a clean energy advocate at Environment California, a research and lobbying group. Ms. Kinman, who tracks the growth of solar energy in the state, calculates that the city tripled the number of residential installations in the past 18 months.

    The city’s pursuit of solar self-sufficiency may exceed that of other municipalities, but California has long outpaced the country in its embrace of that technology. Cities like San Diego, near the Mexican border, and counties like Sonoma, in Northern California’s wine country, have been aggressive in converting sunshine into electricity.

    The lifetime costs of a large solar facility are expected to be about 15 percent more than electricity bought from the state’s grid. Those projected costs are now roughly half of what they were five years ago, state figures show.

    “We want to make Lancaster the center” of renewable technology, he added. Entrepreneurs should know “that if they come and have an idea to create energy without a carbon footprint,” the local government “will move mountains for them.” Getting a permit for a solar installation, he said, takes 15 minutes.

    Mr. Parris is aggressively pro-business. He has been hatching plans to create and store more energy locally with SolarCity, a major installer and financier of home systems, and BYD, the Chinese panel-, battery- and electric-vehicle maker.

    His solar push began about three years ago; City Hall, the performing arts center and the stadium together now generate 1.5 megawatts. Solar arrays on churches, a big medical office, a developer’s office and a Toyota dealership provide 4 more.

    The biggest power payoff came with the school system. After the Lancaster school board rejected an offer from SolarCity, saying it was unaffordable, the city created a municipal utility. It bought 32,094 panels, had them installed on 25 schools, generated 7.5 megawatts of power and sold the enterprise to the school district for 35 percent less than it was paying for electricity at the time. Another 8 megawatts now come from systems operating at the local high school and Antelope Valley College.

    Not surprisingly, the private companies in Lancaster’s collection of public-private partnerships praise him. “It’s so business friendly here, it’s not even funny,” said Jim Cahill, a regional vice president at SolarCity.

    “A lot of what we’re doing appears to be public relations,” the mayor conceded. “It has that taint to it. But what we’re doing is scalable and portable.” Lancaster is already marketing its power to other municipalities.

    Global warming, the mayor said, will eventually persuade others to realize that locally generated renewable energy may provide a safety net as the cost of cooling desert homes goes up.

    Is global warming indeed a threat? Absolutely, he said. “I may be a Republican. I’m not an idiot.”

  3. Australia blamed for helping whale protest

    Japan has rounded on Australia and promised to step up a legal attack on hardline conservationists as it rallies behind its whalers.

    The whalers' managing government agency, the Institute of Cetacean Research, says the federal government shows a willingness to tolerate sabotage by providing a safe haven to Sea Shepherd activists.

    In pursuit of the group, the institute says it will mount a case for contempt in the US, claiming ''vicious, inhumane and extremely dangerous'' abuse of a court order not to interfere with the whaling fleet in the Antarctic.

    The whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru and two of its harpoon vessels returned to port in Shimonoseki on Sunday to a brass band fanfare, speeches, and whale food giveaways.

    Bowls of whale soup were handed around, and canned whale meat was on sale by the dock as the crews gathered in a large tent for official speeches.

    The hull of Nisshin Maru had dents after clashes with Sea Shepherd vessels in a February refuelling blockade near Australia's Davis station, off the Antarctic coast.

    Under pressure in a shortened season the whalers took 103 minkes, their lowest tally ever, in what Sea Shepherd said was a financial disaster.

    Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said the tally was ''103 whales too many. That's why we are taking Japan to the International Court of Justice to stop this practice forever.''

    Japan's Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told the whalers in Shimonoseki that Sea Shepherd's activities ''amounted to piracy''. He claimed that the International Whaling Commission recognised the legitimacy of Japan's whaling research.

    Statements posted on the Japanese language website of the Institute of Cetacean Research detailed the sabotage claims. It blamed Australia and the Netherlands, as flag states for the Sea Shepherd ships, for not halting the violence.

    ''The Australian government … has come up with a willingness to tolerate the act, such as providing harbour (for) Sea Shepherd,'' the institute said.