Thursday, June 13, 2013

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News -

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News -

Premier Colin Barnett has been increasingly bullish about shale gas after Woodside Petroleum shelved a plan to process Browse Basin gas onshore at James Price Point.
But critics point to a lack of infrastructure in the Canning Basin, remoteness and potentially high costs to remove and market the gas.
While major oil and gas players are looking at the potential of the Canning Basin, commercial production would take at least five to 10 years once successful exploration results had been achieved.
"You wouldn't have (multinationals) Conoco Phillips, you wouldn't have Hess, you wouldn't have Mitsubishi in there if they didn't think there was real potential," Mr Sellers said.
Australian Oil and gas player Santos began exploiting shale gas in the Cooper Basin in South Australia late last year, almost a decade after starting its unconventional gas program.
So far in the Canning Basin there is only one drilling rig capable of drilling to the required depths for shale and tight gas.


  1. European coal pollution causes 22,300 premature deaths a year, study shows

    Air pollution from Europe's 300 largest coal power stations causes 22,300 premature deaths a year and costs companies and governments billions of pounds in disease treatment and lost working days, says a major study of the health impacts of burning coal to generate electricity.

    The research, from Stuttgart University's Institute for energy economics and commissioned by Greenpeace International, suggests that a further 2,700 people can be expected to die prematurely each year if a new generation of 50 planned coal plants are built in Europe. "The coal-fired power plants in Europe cause a considerable amount of health impacts," the researchers concluded.

    Analysis of the emissions shows that air pollution from coal plants is now linked to more deaths than road traffic accidents in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

    The cumulative impact of pollution on health is "shocking", says an accompanying Greenpeace report.


    Top Abbott business adviser wants renewables target scrapped

    Maurice Newman, chairman of Coalition's proposed business advisory council, doubts scientific case for global warming

    The chairman of Tony Abbott’s proposed business advisory council, Maurice Newman, has called for the renewable energy target (RET) to be scrapped because he believes the scientific evidence for global warming and the economic case for renewable energy no longer stack up.

    Last January Newman wrote in the Spectator that windfarms were “grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed – namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions”.

    As well as health and landscape concerns, members of the Crookwell Landscape Guardians at the meeting were concerned that “electro magnetic electricity” could be transferred from windfarms through the air and the ground, possibly causing failures of farm machinery and the danger of electric shocks from farm bores.

    Newman’s property is close to the Crookwell 1 and 2 windfarms proposed by Union Fenosa.


    How indigenous people are turned off their lands

    Hundreds of thousands in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are said to have been displaced


    More than 400,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their lands since 2003, often without compensation, as the nation sells off its territory to sugar and rubber barons and property developers. Villagers who protest have been beaten, imprisoned and murdered – such as the environmental campaigner Chut Wutty, who was killed last year



    The state can take land away from citizens for economic development, national security or defence reasons, or in the public interest. But in recent years the government has grabbed land to make way for eco-parks, resorts and golf courses, much to the anger of the public. Last year, around 3,000 security forces were deployed in the northern Hung Yen province after villagers protested against a 70-hectare land grab to make way for an "eco-urban township".



    The sea gypsies in the southern resort island of Phuket are facing eviction after living on and around the beaches of Rawai for the past 200 years. Thai landowners claim they want the land back to build houses and a "sea gypsy village" in which tourists can buy fish and see how this once nomadic seafaring tribe now lives on land. The sea gypsy communities have so far refused to move, but could be forcibly evicted if no resolution is reached. Sea gypsies in neighbouring areas, such as Khao Lak, have also been forced off their land by resorts and hotels over past decades, while Burmese sea gypsies around the Mergui islands are reportedly being moved out by authorities keen to develop the area for tourism.


  2. Why Greenland's darkening ice has become a hot topic in climate science

    Darkening causes the snow to absorb more sunlight which in turn increases melting

    Last July, a record melting occurred on the Greenland ice sheet. Even in some of the highest and coldest areas, field parties observed rainfall with air temperatures several degrees above the freezing point...
    Box's research then got broader public visibility after climate activist and writer Bill McKibben covered it in Rolling Stone magazine.
    The basic premise of Box's study was that observations reveal a progressive darkening of Greenland ice. Darkening causes the white snow surface to absorb more sunlight which in turn increases melting. Given that this process is likely to continue, the impact on Greenland melt, and subsequent sea level rise, will be profound.

    There are several mechanisms that are known to darken arctic ice, including desert dust, pollen, soot from natural forest fires, and human biomass burning for land clearing and domestic use. Industrial, shipping, and aircraft pollution also play a role.


    The majestic Tarkine region should be protected

    There are dozens of mining applications for exploration in Tasmania's Tarkine region. As controversy grows, now's a good time to visit

    Bob Brown, Tuesday 11 June 2013 11.38 AEST

    I first walked south into the Tarkine wilderness in 1973, searching for the thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger.

    We saw none, but what I did see had me spellbound: 450,000 hectares of cathedral-like rainforest, rushing rivers, wild flowers and ferns, and fungi of every hue. Named after the Tarkiner people who lived along its coastline for thousands of years before European dispossession in the 1830s, the region remains rich in Aboriginal heritage. This includes the sites of huts just above its shore, and stone engravings thought to be 6,000 years old.

    The Tarkine abounds in wildlife. It is a secure habitat for rare and remarkable species like the Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tailed quoll (both are marsupial carnivores), the world's largest freshwater crayfish, as well as platypuses, echidnas and Tasmania's giant wedgetailed eagle. The wedgetails have a wingspan of up to three metres.


    Inland, ancient rainforest cloaks the mountainsides and the banks of the Tarkine's pristine, west-flowing rivers. This forest flourished on Gondwanaland, the great prehistoric continent before Australia, Antarctica, South America and India drifted apart 60 million years ago. Fossils of the tree fern Dixonia antarctica have been discovered under the Antarctic ice. In the modern Tarkine rainforest, these same ferns flourish in every dell. Reputed to grow one metre each century, some Tarkine ferns are 10 metres tall.


    The British landed in Tasmania in 1803. Most of the island's great forests were cleared. In 2004, responding to growing public clamour against the ongoing destruction, prime minister John Howard protected the Tarkine rainforest from logging. In 2013, the Australian Heritage Council advised the government of Julia Gillard to list the Tarkine as Australian National Heritage.

    Gillard's environment minister Tony Burke rejected this advice. He opened 96% of the Tarkine, including its rainforest, to mineral exploration and gave the go-ahead for the first open-cut mine in the Tarkine's “protected area”. This iron ore mine will be more than one kilometre across, and 250 metres deep.

    There are 50 other mining applications for exploration, including in the rainforest heartland. The Tasmanian environment protection agency has also given the go-ahead for a strip mine removing all vegetation from a one thousand hectare site in the Tarkine rainforest.


    As controversy grows about the Tarkine – should it be a mining province or a World Heritage area for wonder, adventure and inspiration? – there will never be a better time to visit.