Friday, June 7, 2013

Wide ramifications for EPA decisions from trial - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wide ramifications for EPA decisions from trial - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Goolarabooloo people Richard Hunter brought their case against the project at the end of 2012, when a Woodside-led gas hub at James Price Point north of Broome was still a live option.
They're contesting the Environmental Protection Authority's (EPA's) approval on specific points which fall under three broad areas.
1) The EPA should have considered options aside from James Price Point,
2) The conflicted members of the EPA Board should have been excluded from the assessment processes long before they finally were, and non-conflicted experts empanelled to assess the proposal when the conflicts were first identified, and
3) The EPA Chairman, Doctor Paul Vogel should not have made the final decision as a 'board of one'.

Conflicts of interest

What actually happened was unprecedented.
The uncontested facts are that four members of the EPA Board had conflicts of interest.
One dropped out before the Browse assessment, as she'd worked for the proponent, the WA Department of State Development.
The three others were not excluded until relatively late in the day.
Denis Glennon and Doctor Chris Whitaker had shares in Woodside through self-managed super funds, and Rod Lukatelich was an employee of joint venture partner BP.
The Chairman told the Environment Minister in March, 2012 ,that he'd decided to exclude other board members from consideration of the proposal.
No evidence or suggestion has arisen that any of the excluded board members used their positions on the board to bring themselves financial advantage.
Nevertheless, the final report and recommendations fell to Doctor Paul Vogel.
His consideration of the proposal lasted for a total of four months out of four years.
The other EPA Board members had taken part in discussions for the first 44 months.


  1. Some interesting shale fracking facts.


    Turnaround in the pipeline with LNG

    ....The easy-to-reach gas has been all but exhausted and, for the past decade, production capacity had been largely in decline - until now.


    Three huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects worth $60 billion are being built on the east coast of Queensland to feed the surging energy needs of Asia.

    It means Santos, the largest producer in the Cooper Basin and the operator of the $18.5 billion Gladstone LNG plant, needs all the gas it can get.

    ''But for those new investments [in Gladstone], Moomba would have shut down within five years,'' James Baulderstone, the head of Santos' Eastern Australia operations, says.

    Instead, Santos' Moomba operations are aggressively ramping up drilling and exploration, targeting production increases of up to 15 per cent a year for each of the next three years.

    Drilling methods previously deemed too expensive or speculative, including shale gas exploration, are now being undertaken in earnest.


    Yet for all the fanfare last October when Santos unveiled the first shale gas well to achieve a commercial flow rate, the Moomba-191 well, operated in a joint venture with Beach Energy and Origin Energy, it remains the only one so far.

    But it can still be exploited and piped for export at a tidy profit.

    The general manager for Santos Eastern Australia, Nick Lagonik, told BusinessDay seven new shale wells would be drilled this year, and between 10 to 12 next year.

    He explained each conventional gas well would require on average three to seven ''fracks'' and would cost between $6 million and $7 million. A shale gas well required more extensive and pricier horizontal drilling, as well as between 15 and 20 fracks, costing about twice as much.

    But the rush by Australian gas giants to access enough gas to meet their long-term export contracts has drawn heavy criticism from others.

    Prominent representatives of the manufacturing lobby, including Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemicals and Paul Howes of the Australian Workers' Union, say the country's gas reserves should be prioritised for domestic use to ensure gas prices remain low.


    Environmentalists and farmers, particularly in NSW, vehemently oppose the use of their land for coal seam and shale gas exploration, worried about its environmental impact on water and farmland.

    ''People's minds on this are not going to change,'' says David Quince, a farmer and Gunnedah shire councillor.

    ''Santos espouses to be an Australian company, I think it's horrendous.''


  2. Britain has said sorry to the Mau Mau. The rest of the empire is still waiting

    British colonial violence was brutal, and systematic. If there is any justice, the Mau Mau's stunning legal victory should be the first of many


    On Thursday nearly 200 elderly Kikuyu people travelled from their rural homesteads and sat before the British high commissioner in Nairobi. Over half a century had passed since many were last in front of a British official. It was a different era then in Kenya. The Mau Mau war was raging, and Britain was implementing coercive policies that left indelible scars on the bodies and minds of countless men and women suspected of subversive activities.

    In the 1950s they experienced events in colonial detention camps that few imagined possible. Yesterday they gathered to witness another once unimaginable thing: the much-delayed colonial gesture at reconciliation. The high commissioner read extracts from William Hague's earlier statement in parliament. Hague acknowledged for the first time that the elderly Kikuyu and other Kenyans had been subjected to torture and other horrific abuses at the hands of the colonial administration during the Mau Mau emergency. On behalf of the British government he expressed "sincere regret" that these abuses had taken place, announced payments of £2,600 to each of 5,200 vetted claimants, and urged that the process of healing for both nations begin.

    The faces of the elderly camp survivors betrayed the day's historical significance. Tears rolled down faces lined from years of internalised pain and bitterness. Many sat motionless as the high commissioner read the statement. Others let out audible gasps, and cries of joy. Some burst into song.


    Britain's acknowledgement of colonial era torture has opened as many doors at it has closed. Kenya was scarcely an exception. British colonial repression was systematised and honed in the years following the second world war. First in Palestine, and then Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden, Northern Ireland and elsewhere, British coercive counter-insurgency tactics evolved, as did brutal interrogation techniques. The Mau Mau detention camps were but one site in a broader policy of end-of-empire incarceration, torture and cover-up.

    In the wake of its announcement, Britain now faces potential claims from across its former empire. From a historical perspective, the government has every reason to be concerned about its legacy. There is unequivocal evidence of colonial brutalities in end-of-empire Malaya, Cyprus and elsewhere. Whether there is enough for successful legal claims is another matter altogether, however.


    Ultimately, the Mau Mau case is as symbolic as it is instructive. Regardless of future claims, Britons can no longer hide behind the rhetoric of unequivocal imperial success. Instead, British liberalism in the empire – with its alleged spread of civilisation, progress, liberty and rule of law justifying any coercive actions – has been irreversibly exposed.

    Instead of being one-offs, Britain's colonial violence was as systematised as its efforts at cover-up. The British validation of the Mau Mau claims – and its first form of an apology for modern empire – offers its citizens an opportunity to understand more fully the unholy relationship between liberalism and imperialism, and the impacts not only on the elderly Kikuyu, but on themselves.


  3. Australians 'will be troubled' by Google, Facebook and Apple surveillance by US

    Malcolm Turnbull says he is seeking clarification from the US government about National Security Agency revelations


    Australians will be “very troubled” by revelations that the US National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the data of non-US users of Google, Facebook, Apple and other internet giants, the opposition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, has said.

    Turnbull said he was “seeking clarification” from the US government about the revelations in the Guardian.

    “Australians will be very troubled by the allegation in the Guardian and other publications that the US National Security Agency is engaged in large-scale, covert surveillance of private data belonging to non-US citizens held by American companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Youtube,” Turnbull said.

    The total number of internet users in Australia was estimated to be around 79% of the population according to figures released by the World Bank in 2012. Facebook has 11.8 million Australian users, which is more than half of the population (although there will be multiple accounts and inactive users). Google does not release country-specific user figures, but it put global Gmail user numbers at 425 million in 2012. Apple is also rather opaque in terms of Australian users, but there are believed to be more than 4m iPhones in the country.

    The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law, renewed by Barack Obama in December 2012. It allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

    The Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam is demanding the government tell Australians whether it believes it is appropriate that US intelligence agencies “appear to be engaged in warrantless real-time surveillance of the entire online population”.

    Ludlam also wants to know whether the Australian intelligence community has access to the material gathered and whether this could be linked to the push by the attorney general’s department for Australian internet service providers to keep metadata for two years.

    “This is not just a US matter. Pretty much every Australian uses these services. I can’t wait to see what the Australian government has to say,” he told Guardian Australia.


    Turnbull said that if the revelations were correct, it could also undermine the commercial strategies of US companies pushing cloud storage services for data.

    “These reports have potentially very significant commercial implications. There is a massive global trend to cloud services. The vast majority of the cloud service providers are US companies. These companies have, with US government support and endorsement, been promoting their services globally, and have sought to allay concerns that data hosted by them would have less privacy protection than it would in Australia. Today's reports elevate those concerns to an even higher level especially since it has been alleged that foreign-owned data hosted by US internet companies has lesser protection than data belonging to US citizens,” Turnbull said.

    Figures released last year showed Australian government agencies, including law enforcement agencies, accessed private telecommunications data and internet logs more than 300,000 times in 2011-12, during criminal and revenue investigations.


  4. Woodside Browse cost $90 - $100 billion...
    Woodside lifts lid on Browse blowout

    THE Woodside Petroleum-led Browse liquefied natural gas project off the coast of Western Australia has revealed for the first time the capital cost of the controversial development at James Price Point in a formal declaration to the state and federal governments.

    The five Browse partners have also requested that their retention lease on the big offshore gas fields in the Browse Basin be varied from a version pushed by former Woodside chief Don Voelte that committed them to studying onshore development at James Price Point, which is 60km north of Broome.

    Neither Woodside nor the governments would comment on the details of a commercial viability report submitted by the Browse partners on Friday.

    But speculation of a capital cost as high as $90bn to $100bn has been widespread, although it is unclear if this includes more than up-front costs. This is double the previous estimates for the project.

    The estimate is believed to have been based on extrapolating known and expected cost blowouts at the $53bn Gorgon LNG project and the cost of building four big underwater gas compression stations, which would be required to move the gas through pipelines to shore.

    If floating LNG plants are used, these compressors will not be required.

    In April, Woodside announced that it believed a development at James Price Point would not be economic, but this is the first time its partners -- Shell, BP, Mitsubishi/Mitsui and PetroChina -- have formally agreed to jettison the concept.

    "The commercial evaluation of the James Price Point development concept concluded that the economics of the development were not commercially viable," a spokeswoman said.

    "The economic conclusions of the commercial viability evaluation are supported by each of the Browse joint venture participants."

    Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman last month said the partners were close to agreeing that they would pursue a floating LNG plant development of Browse.

    Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray yesterday said his government strongly supported development of the gas resources in the Browse Basin and cited floating LNG plants being considered by BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil for Scarborough and one at Crux by Nexus and Shell.

    "We are very optimistic there will be a substantial development of gas resources from the Browse Basin," Mr Gray said.

    Woodside's shares closed down 35c on Friday at $34.90, retracing significant gains in the past two months when the stock was trading above $38.50.

  5. Nicaragua close to deal for canal

    NICARAGUA is moving closer to granting a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build and operate a canal linking the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    Construction of the waterway would take 10 years and cost $US40 billion ($A42.03 billion).

    Bills opening the way for the project were submitted on Friday to a legislative committee, which began looking at the proposal's viability before debate in the full Congress.

    The bills would give China's HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Limited, which is based in Hong Kong, a 50-year concession that would be renewable for another 50 years.

    President Daniel Ortega has asked Congress to fast-track debate on the legislation, which the opposition is against.

    Debate on the bills could start as early as Thursday, Sandinista Congresswoman Jenny Martinez, head of the Infrastructure Committee, said on Sunday.

    Construction of the canal, which would be wider than the Panama Canal, would boost Nicaragua's gross domestic product by up to 10.8 per cent in 2014 and by as much as 15 per cent in 2015, Public Policy Secretary Paul Oquist said.

    Nicaragua's economy could double, turning it into one of the world's fastest-growing nations between 2014 and 2018 due to the $US40 billion ($A42.03 billion) construction project, Oquist said.

    The project could boost the formal labour force from the current 623,458 to 1.9 million, the government said.

    Nicaragua would grant the Chinese firm a 100-year concession for $US100 million ($A105.08 million) payable over 10 years, Oquist said.

    The Great Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal would have a waterway, railway lines, pipelines, ports and airstrips on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides.

    Nicaragua is looking at four possible routes for the canal, with all of them passing through Lake Cocibolca.

  6. Hospital delay to hit taxpayer

    The Barnett Government may be forced to renegotiate the State's biggest contract - the $4.3 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital services deal with multinational Serco - because of WA Health's failure to get the flagship hospital up and running before the contract kicks in fully on April 1 next year.

    The West Australian has been told failures in information technology, patient administration systems and workforce and transition planning will push back the full commissioning of the hospital beyond its original April opening date, potentially well into 2015.

    But ahead of highly sensitive and potentially embarrassing negotiations, the Government has refused to detail how late the hospital is running or how much taxpayers' money will be required to fix the extensive problems.

    It is understood Cabinet will soon be forced to consider what to do about the contract in a bid to minimise losses to taxpayers.

    Health Minister Kim Hames has refused to say when the hospital will accept its first patients or when the full suite of clinical services will be available.

    In November 2010, hospital executive director Brad Sebbes said delaying its opening beyond April next year would cost between $250,000 and $400,000 a day.

    A veil of secrecy surrounds the commissioning of the $1.7 billion, 783-bed tertiary hospital.


    Shadow health minister Roger Cook said the failures around commissioning were entirely of the Government's making.
    "The hospital will be an empty building because they won't have the staff or the systems to provide services to patients," he said.


    Lower wages call to tackle youth 'jobs scandal'

    With youth unemployment in Europe and Australia at twice the overall jobless rate, and above 50 per cent in Greece and Spain, Adecco chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire said countries had to rethink how they constructed their economies or ''lose a generation for whom we are not creating a future''.

    ''What can we do to create an economy where there is a future for everybody?'' Mr De Maeseneire, who heads one of the world's biggest recruitment firms, said during a visit to Australia.


    In Australia, the unemployment rate for teenagers between 15 and 19 was at 15.8 per cent in April. It was 11.7 per cent for those aged between 15 and 24. The overall jobless rate in April was 5.5 per cent.

    In Europe, the jobless for those under 25 was 23.5 per cent in March. It passed 59 per cent in Greece and 55 per cent in Spain.

    The high rate has set off alarm bells and is set to top the agenda of European Union leaders when they meet in late June.

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the youth jobless rate was a ''catastrophe'', and Italy's Labour Minister Enrico Giovannini said it was ''not acceptable'' the best-educated generation was being placed ''on hold''.


    Mr De Maeseneire said countries such as Australia also needed to maintain industrial and manufacturing jobs to keep unskilled youth involved in the economy.

    ''You cannot have a service economy without an underlying industrial economy,'' he said. ''You dig that stuff out of the ground, ship it in big tankers and have it transformed in China into final products - or you could do that yourself and create a lot of added value for the country.''


    ''This is not a plea for low salaries; it is about investing in productivity, in differentiation and innovation,'' he said. Australia's manufacturing wages were still within a competitive range, unlike Europe's, and should be kept at that level for several years.

  7. June Oscar honoured for championing restrictions on grog in WA's Fitzroy Valley

    ABORIGINAL woman June Oscar has been appointed an officer in the Order of Australia for leading the campaign to successfully introduce restrictions on the sale of full strength take-away alcohol in Western Australia's Fitzroy valley.

    Ms Oscar had seen 13 people commit suicide in 13 months and took a stand against what she knew to be the root of the problem.

    Her groundbreaking efforts, along with Emily Carter, in 2007 contributed significantly to lowering the rates of alcohol-related violence and injuries in the region.

    Ms Oscar, a Bunuba woman, is the chief executive of the Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing and a member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures governing committee.

    The take-away liquor restrictions were just the start.

    She continues her struggle to fight the effects of alcohol on people in her community as chief investigator of the Liliwan project researching the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the Fitzroy Valley.

    She has also been instrumental in pushing for increased capabilities to diagnose and provide better services and support for people with FASD, where children suffer from varying degrees of brain damage when their mother drinks during pregnancy.

    Ms Oscar has been recognised "for distinguished service to the indigenous community of Western Australia, particularly through health and social welfare programs".


  8. A short essay I wrote about fracking in the Canning Basin.
    And just like JPP - "IT'S NOT A DONE DEAL!"


    Some interesting shale fracking facts.


    Turnaround in the pipeline with LNG

    ....The easy-to-reach gas has been all but exhausted and, for the past decade, production capacity had been largely in decline - until now.
    The general manager for Santos Eastern Australia, Nick Lagonik, told BusinessDay seven new shale wells would be drilled this year, and between 10 to 12 next year.

    He explained each conventional gas well would require on average three to seven ''fracks'' and would cost between $6 million and $7 million. A shale gas well required more extensive and pricier horizontal drilling, as well as between 15 and 20 fracks, costing about twice as much.


    Unfortunately, shales tend to have different characteristics and even in the US the industry is in the infancy of understanding how they work. This means Santos expects to need 15 or 20 wells in one shale fields to have confidence it can be a big producer.

    In the US, where there is a lot more infrastructure and drilling crews, it typically takes three to five years to move a shale field to commercial production.

    According to Citi analysts, US drilling contractor Halliburton is hoping to push that timetable to about five years in Australia

    Comparison to coal seam gas
    There are potential parallels with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry but there are also important differences as well. However, much of the work developed for the Bioregional Assessment process for the assessing the impact of CSG by the Office of Water Science may also be applicable for shale gas.
    Some important differences include the fact that unlike CSG in Australia, where about 10-40% of wells are hydraulically fractured or “fracked”, virtually 100% of shale gas wells will be need to be fracked. In addition, shale gas wells tend to be deeper than CSG wells with average depth ranging from 1000-3000 metres. Also, because shales tend to act as aquitards, shale gas wells produce much smaller volumes of produced water, although it may be very saline (greater than three times seawater) and the water may contain a range of harmful chemicals, which will limit treatment and reuse possibilities.


    All this makes a mockery of Eric & Tom Streitbergs spin : "However, Mr Streitberg says Buru will not rule out fracking for gas at its other basin sites."
    "Streitberg says "We do not propose and we do not endorse the industrialisation of the Kimberley."
    Streitberg said "Many common chemicals can be harmful in concentrated form, but that is not the case during the fracking process. Potatoes contain toxic glycoalkaloids, but that doesn't stop them being widely eaten!"

    CCWA Climate and Energy program manager Jamie Hanson said “No environmental assessment of gas fracking in the Kimberley has been conducted.”

    Without the assessments there is a risk that the Kimberley could be “turned into a polluted gas field.”

    “We urge the State Government to follow due process, including at a minimum conducting detailed assessment of the environmental impacts of gas fracking in the Kimberley.”

    A spokesperson for the Western Australian EPA has said that.

    “‘Proof of concept’ are exploratory proposals or trials, not full scale production projects.”

    The EPA advised that “the proposals were not so significant as to warrant formal assessment and that the management of the risks associated with the proposal can be managed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum”.

    Attempts to contact Buru Energy who hold permits to mine the Canning Basin were made but no reply was received.


  9. cont...

    "A shale gas well required more extensive and pricier horizontal drilling, as well as between 15 and 20 fracks, costing about twice as much."

    Buru Energy hasn't used hydraulic fracturing in the Kimberley since 2010 when they fracked their Yulleroo2 Well near the Great Northern Highway between Broome and Derby. The process involved pumping two million litres of water, with about 12,000 litres of chemicals and 45 tonnes of particles at high pressure into the rocks three kilometres under the ground.


    20 x 2 million = 40,000,000 ltrs of water.

    20 x 12,000 = 240,000 ltrs of chemicals.

    20 x 45 tonnes = 900 tonnes of particles (or proppants).

    x's How many thousands of wells?


    ..."...although it may be very saline (greater than three times seawater) and the water may contain a range of harmful chemicals, which will limit treatment and reuse possibilities."

    And radioactive material.


    An Olympic size swimming pool holds 2,500,000 ltrs of water.
    So about 16 Olympic pools per well @ 20 fracks.
    It would take 3 Triple road trains (9 tankers) to haul 240,000 ltrs of chemicals.
    It would take 12 triple road trains (36 trailers) to haul 900 tonnes of particles (proppants).


    At that rate every 10,000 wells would need :
    400,000,000,000 (400 billion) ltrs of water.
    2,400,000,000 (2.4 billion) ltrs of chemicals.
    9,000,000 (9 million) tonnes of particles (proppants)

    BACK in the old days Perth dams would expect to get 300 or 400 billion litres a year from rainfall.
    NOWDAYS Perth only gets less than 100 billion ltrs from rainfall.

    Perth on track for driest July on record
    The average for July is 169.6 millimetres.

    The previous low was when recording first began in 1876 and the city received 61.5 millimetres.

    As a result of the low rainfall, just 5.2 billion litres has trickled into the state's dams so far this year.

    The Water Minister Bill Marmion says that is well below average.

    "Historically, you'd get 300 or 400 billion litres a year that would fill our dams but now we're down to, on average, about 100, but two years ago we only got 13," he said.


  10. cont...

    THE CATCH here is the Buru frack at Yulleroo 2 was for a VERTICLE not HORIZONTAL well and was a "trial frack".
    Shale gas wells in the US use 10,000,000 ltrs of water so all the above figures should be multiplied by x 5.

    Shale Gas and Water Management

    Shale gas production represents a very large potential economic opportunity

    The use of water for hydraulic fracturing is a necessary step to complete shale gas wells and initiate gas production

    Up to 4 million gallons of water are used to “frac” a horizontal well

    Sand and chemicals are added to the water that is pumped downholefor the fracjob

    Emerging from the completed well is a flowbackwater stream millions of gallons of water containing salts and constituents that must be managed in an environmentally responsible manner

    Management of Flowback Water

    Flowback of the fracturing fluid occurs over a few days to a few weeks following hydraulic fracturing, depending on the geology and geomechanics of the formation. The highest rate of flowback occurs on the first day, and the rate diminishes over time; the typical initial rate may be as high as 1000 m3/d (GWPC and ALL Consulting 2009). The composition of the flowback water changes as a function of the time the water flowing out of the shale formation was in contact with the formation.

    Minerals and organic constituents present in the formation dissolve into the fracturing water, creating a brine solution that includes high concentrations of salts, metals, oils, greases, and soluble organic compounds, both volatile and semivolatile (Tab 2). The flowback water is typically impounded at the surface for subsequent disposal, treatment, or reuse. Due to the large water volume, the high concentration of dissolved solids, and the complex physicochemical composition of the flowback water, there is growing public concern about management of this water because of the potential for human health and environmental impacts associated with an accidental release of flowback water into the environment (Kargbo et al. 2010).

    SO on those figures 10,000 wells would need 2 TRILLION ltrs of water or Perths average rain water into dams for 20 years.


  11. cont...

    BUT just as with the JPP gas plant Buru and co. have to battle costs and market forces and still turn a profit.
    SO if a horizontal shale well in the relatively well connected and serviced Cooper Basin costs around $15 million to drill and frack HOW much will it cost in the remote and isolated Canning Basin?
    The shale is deep and of a different geology to other shales it may prove difficult and there will be wells that miss out and wells that do not produce at commercial quantities.
    The rig needs to drill down vertically and then along horizontally for a total length of about 4 to 5 klms.
    SO to make it easy $20 million.
    X's 10,000 = $200,000,000,000 - $200 billion.
    A gigajoule is nearly 1000 cu feet of gas.(947.817)
    DOMESTIC gas prices are about $7 - $8 a gig
    SO let's say $10 per 1000 cu ft.

    JUST to cover costs and not making a profit a company would need to sell 20,000,000,000 gigs.
    THAT is 20,000,000,000,000 cu ft.
    OR 20 trillion cu ft.
    Woodside Browse has about 15 trillion cu ft of gas.
    (I have left out the cost of building roads and connecting pipelines for simplicity)

    NOW a few years ago I copped some flack for betting the gas plant at JPP would cost $70 billion plus ongoing costs for dredging and pipeline maintenance etc. - a figure that looks ok now - and predicted the project would collapse under it's own weight which it has.
    I also got into hot water for saying the true amount of dredging for a multi user port at JPP would be closer to 100 million cu mtrs. and still stick by that.
    THE above figures may only be approximate but I think they illustrate quite well the challenges in the Canning will be similar to those at JPP.
    SO I will make a bet again - The Canning Basin gas will not make a profit UNLESS they build a pipeline to the NT pipe and join the NT pipe to the Eastern states pipeline network AND build the pipeline to the Karratha pipeline.
    ALSO there will be no money to build a brand new gas plant to export this and the gas will be exported through existing facilities.

    THE Canning Basin is said to hold between 220 - 280 trillion cu feet of gas and will need over a 100,000 wells to produce - SO the 10,000 is about a 1/10th and the 20 trillion cu feet of gas is also about a 1/10th.

    JUST wondering how Pat Dodson and Wayne Bergman are going on compensation for drilling and fracking their country?

    "He who haggles more get's more" - especially when it comes to oil and gas companies.(never give a sucker an even break)
    Good luck with that one!

    OF course the whole damn shooting match could collapse under it's own weight - right?


    1. Not a bad guess this from the West...

      WA mines boss sees big shale potential

      ..."...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.

      So far in the Canning Basin there is only one drilling rig capable of drilling to the required depths for shale and tight gas.

      Each well costs about $15 to $20 million to drill and then around $10 million to do hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is called.

  12. Talk about between a rock and a hard place.


    China's environmental problems are grim, admits ministry report

    Report by China's Environment Ministry highlights decreasing standards in the country's water and air quality

    China's environmental situation has been described as "grim" in an annual update on the country's environment released this week.

    The update by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said that overall pollution problems were serious last year and reporting on the update, the state-controlled newspaper China Daily said there has been a "marked deterioration in China's air, water and land quality".

    The 2012 Environmental Conditions Report addressed water and air pollution, the two types of pollution that have received the most attention over recent months. The report found that 57.3% of the groundwater in 198 cities in 2012 was "bad" or "extremely bad", while more than 30% of the country's major rivers were "polluted" or "seriously polluted".

    According to the ministry's report, the air in only 27 out of 113 key cities reached air quality standards last year. China Daily said that at the beginning on last year, more than 1 million square kilometres were covered in heavy smog, affecting hundreds of millions of people.

    The problem went on to get worse earlier this year as air pollution reached what is thought to have been record levels. Zhou Rong, Greenpeace East-Asia Climate and Energy campaigner based in Beijing said that air pollution was particularly bad in January of this year and that it has gotten a lot of attention. "Air quality is seen by everyone so I think it is is the most open topic, everyone can talk about it," she said.


    It wasn't just China's cities that suffered from bad pollution last year. Rural areas don't fare that well either and the report states that rural environmental problems have become increasingly apparent. It states that industrial pollution is putting pressure on the environment in rural areas. It cited industrialisation, urbanisation and agricultural modernisation as key causes of environmental problems.

    China's leaders are very aware of the need to improve the country's pollution problems. This week Chinese Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection, Li Ganjie said that the government will set higher anti-pollution standards. Li said that these include promoting clean energy and warning systems to monitor smog.


    Zhou said there is little doubt the government are trying to take action. "The Ministry of Environmental Protection is aware that air pollution is mainly from coal burning and that coal consumption growth is threatening the air quality, so they are trying to influence the energy policy to get guarantees to improve air quality as soon as possible," she said.

    But she added that coal targets "would have some conflict with economic growth" and that there may have been objections on the targets which is why some of the main industrial regions don't yet have clear coal targets.

    In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country won't sacrifice the environment to ensure short-term economic growth. However, with concerns about a slow-down in the Chinese economy and the impact that would have globally, this may be difficult to achieve.

    "We need further action," said Zhou. "Now most people are not satisfied with the timeline for air quality improvement." She said that the authorities initially proposed that after 2030 there would be an improvement. But she added that "now there is a very high political will to talk about air quality. They want a quicker action plan. By the year 2017 they want to see a change in air quality."

  13. Rock and a hard place.

    Peak soil: industrial civilisation is on the verge of eating itself

    New research on land, oil, bees and climate change points to imminent global food crisis without urgent action

    A new report says that the world will need to more than double food production over the next 40 years to feed an expanding global population. But as the world's food needs are rapidly increasing, the planet's capacity to produce food confronts increasing constraints from overlapping crises that, if left unchecked, could lead to billions facing hunger.

    The UN projects that global population will grow from today's 7 billion to 9.3 billion by mid-century. According to the report released last week by the World Resources Institute (WRI), "available worldwide food calories will need to increase by about 60 percent from 2006 levels" to ensure an adequate diet for this larger population. At current rates of food loss and waste, by 2050 the gap between average daily dietary requirements and available food would approximate "more than 900 calories (kcal) per person per day."

    The report identifies a complex, interconnected web of environmental factors at the root of this challenge - many of them generated by industrial agriculture itself. About 24% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, encompassing methane from livestock, nitrous oxide from fertilisers, carbon dioxide from onsite machinery and fertiliser production, and land use change.

    Industrial agriculture, the report finds, is a major contributor to climate change which, in turn is triggering more intense "heat waves, flooding and shifting precipitation patterns", with "adverse consequences for global crop yields."

    Indeed, global agriculture is heavily water intensive, accounting for 70 per cent of all freshwater use. The nutrient run off from farm fields can create "dead zones" and "degrade coastal waters around the world", and as climate change contributes to increased water stress in crop-growing regions, food production will suffer further.

    Other related factors will also kick in, warns the report: deforestation from regional drying and warming, the effect of rising sea levels on cropland productivity in coastal regions, and growing water demand from larger populations.

    Yet the report points out that a fundamental problem is the impact of human activities on the land itself, estimating that:

    "... land degradation affects approximately 20% of the world's cultivated areas".

    Over the past 40 years, about 2 billion hectares of soil - equivalent to 15% of the Earth's land area (an area larger than the United States and Mexico combined) - have been degraded through human activities, and about 30% of the world's cropland have become unproductive. But it takes on average a whole century just to generate a single millimetre of topsoil lost to erosion.

    Soil is therefore, effectively, a non-renewable but rapidly depleting resource.

  14. Peak soil cont...

    We are running out of time. Within just 12 years, the report says, conservative estimates suggest that high water stress will afflict all the main food basket regions in North and South America, west and east Africa, central Europe and Russia, as well as the Middle East, south and south-east Asia.

    Unfortunately, though, the report overlooks another critical factor - the inextricable link between oil and food. Over the last decade, food and fuel prices have been heavily correlated. This is no accident.

    Last week, a new World Bank report examining five different food commodities - corn, wheat, rice, soybean, and palm oil - confirmed that oil prices are the biggest contributor to rising food prices. The report, based on a logarithm designed to determine the impact of any given factor through regression analysis, concluded that oil prices were even more significant than the ratio of available world food stocks relative to consumption levels, or commodity speculation. The Bank thus recommends controlling oil price movements as a key to tempering food price inflation.

    The oil-food price link comes as no surprise. A University of Michigan study points out that every major point in the industrial food system - chemical fertilisers, pesticides, farm machinery, food processing, packaging and transportation - is dependent on high oil and gas inputs. Indeed, 19% of the fossil fuels that prop up the American economy go to the food system, second only to cars.

    Back in 1940, for every calorie of fossil fuel energy used, 2.3 calories of food energy were produced. Now, the situation has reversed: it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce just one calorie of food energy. As food writer and campaigner Michael Pollan remarked in the New York Times:

    "Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases."

    But high oil prices are here to stay - and according to a UK Ministry of Defence assessment this year, could rise as high as $500 per barrel over the next 30 years.

    All this points to a rapidly approaching convergence point between an increasingly self-defeating industrial food system, and an inexorably expanding global population.


    In short, the global food predicament faces a perfect storm of intimately related crises that are already hitting us now, and will worsen over coming years without urgent action.


    So far, however, governments have largely ignored such warnings even as new evidence has emerged that Beddington's timeline is too optimistic. A recent University of Leeds-led study found that severe climate-driven droughts in Asia - especially in China, India, Pakistan and Turkey - within the next 10 years would dramatically undermine maize and wheat production, triggering a global food crisis.

    When we factor into this picture soil erosion, land degradation, oil prices, bee colony collapse, and population growth, the implications are stark: industrial civilisation is on the verge of eating itself - if we don't change course, this decade will go down in history as the beginning of the global food apocalypse.