Friday, August 30, 2013

WA Supreme Court James Price Point ruling- A Wrap - YouTube

WA Supreme Court James Price Point ruling- A Wrap - YouTube

On Aug 19, 2013, the WA Supreme Court ruled all James Price Point environmental approvals invalid. This video explains in a nutshell the clear outcomes and what it means to the plantiffs (the victors) Goolarabooloo Law Boss Richard Hunter, The Wilderness Society staff and a solicitor from the Environmental Defenders Office. Costs were awarded to the platiffs. Thanks to John Butler for the music 'Revolution'. This truly is a revolutionary outcome and is likey to change government processes into the future...


  1. WOW oh yeah what a win!

    Proud to be part of such a strong community.

    Have you been feeling cooler clearer happier & more like your old self lately?


    Split Estate

    About this episode

    Imagine discovering that you don't own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas 200ft from your front door. Then you discover you have no power to protect your home from such development. This award-winning doco tells the story of the citizens in the path of a drilling boom in America's Rocky Mountain West. Natural gas drilling - known as fracking - has left this idyllic landscape and its rural communities pockmarked with abandoned homes and polluted waters. Split Estate cracks the sugar-coating on an industry that assures everyone it's a good neighbour.

    Genre:Documentary, Environment Subjects:Mining, Fracking


    All you TV freaks enjoy!


  3. Several new species found around remote WA coast

    Scientists believe they have discovered several new species of creatures around Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast.

    The CSIRO-led team spent 11 days mapping the King George River region near the state's northern tip.

    Dr John Keesing said the team gathered around 3,500 specimens as part of the most comprehensive survey undertaken in the Kimberley.

    "We surveyed from the freshwater habitat, right up at the base of the King George River falls, right out through the estuary and to Lesueur Island," he said.

    WA Museum curator Andrew Hosie and his colleagues have spent the last few weeks studying their bounty, analysing what is new to science.

    "At the moment it's early days with ... working out exactly which ones they are," Mr Hosie said.

    "But certainly in the crabs and the shrimp there are going to be a few new species."

    Scientists say this knowledge is crucial, with large parts of the area set to become a marine park and the region being home to vast natural gas reserves.

    "You can't plan for multiple uses of the marine environment unless you know what habitats are there and what diversity exists in the region," Dr Keesing said.

    1. 'Walking' Bamboo Shark Discovered In Eastern Indonesia (VIDEO)

      A new species of shark that "walks" along the seabed using its fins as tiny legs has been discovered in eastern Indonesia, an environmental group said Friday.

      The brown and white bamboo shark pushes itself along the ocean floor as it forages for small fish and crustaceans at night, said Conservation International, whose scientists were involved in its discovery.

      The shark, which grows to a maximum length of just 80 centimetres (30 inches) and is harmless to humans, was discovered off Halmahera, one of the Maluku Islands that lie west of New Guinea.

      Bamboo sharks, also known as longtail carpet sharks, are relatively small compared to their larger cousins, with the largest adult reaching only about 120 centimetres (47 inches) in length.

      They have unusually long tails that are bigger than the rest of their bodies and are found in tropical waters around Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

      Conservation International said the discovery of the shark, which was first disclosed in the International Journal of Ichthyology, "should help draw diver interest to this mega-diverse but largely undiscovered region".

      Ketut Sarjana Putra, Indonesia country director for the group, said the Hemiscyllium halmahera shark could "serve as an excellent ambassador to call public attention to the fact that most sharks are harmless to humans and are worthy of our conservation attention".

      Conservation International, whose scientists discovered the shark along with colleagues from the Western Australian Museum, added it came at a time when Indonesia was increasing its efforts to protect shark and ray species.

  4. Coalition's reef policy to include long-term planning

    A NEW structure for long-term planning to protect the Great Barrier Reef and increased funding to combat crown of thorns starfish will form the core of the Coalition's reef policy to be announced today.

    The opposition has already outlined a series of measures under its Reef 2050 plan, including $5 million to protect turtles and dugongs.

    But the Coalition is understood to have stopped short of banning the dumping of dredge spoils from port expansions or committing to UNESCO demands to limit industrial development along the Queensland coast.

    Australians for Animals spokeswoman Sue Arnold welcomed the Coalition's recognition of the threat posed by marine pests as a result of increased shipping, an issue she said had been overlooked by the federal government's scientific panel looking into Gladstone Harbour, but she said too little attention had been paid to noise pollution from shipping and port developments.

    "The bottom line is there has not been one mention of the impact of underwater noise by either party and while I think the Coalition is coming out with some really good things for the protection of turtles and dugongs, there are other issues that need attention," Ms Arnold said.

    "Protection of the Great Barrier Reef really is the Liberal Party heritage and the best thing they could do is call a royal commission into port development at Gladstone and learn from those mistakes."

    The Liberal policy launch is likely to mirror the priorities already set out by Labor, which last week outlined $137.3m worth of spending focused on tackling farm nutrient run-off and crown of thorns eradication. It will also include "a long-term structure for a more strategic protection plan", a Coalition spokesman said.

    Coalition environment spokesman Greg Hunt has been holding discussions with the Queensland government about strategic planning for port development and reef protection.

    The Queensland Resource Council has estimated it would cost the Australian government an additional $8m a year to get on top of the latest crown of thorns starfish infestation on the reef.

    "Experts from James Cook University have said if five dive boats could be dedicated to starfish eradication, there would be a serious chance of getting on top of the current infestation," QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.

    "At the moment, there is one boat with committed funding of $2m a year over the next two years."

    Last year, the Australian Institute of Marine Science found that the Great Barrier Reef had lost half its coral cover over the past 27 years, with crowns of thorns starfish responsible for 42 per cent, cyclones and storms 48 per cent and coral bleaching 10 per cent.

  5. Lethal radiation near Japan nuclear storage tanks

    A crisis over contaminated water at Japan's stricken nuclear plant worsened when the plant's operator said it detected high radiation levels near storage tanks, a finding that raised the possibility of additional leaks.

    The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Saturday it found the high levels of radiation at four separate spots on the ground near some of the hundreds of tanks used to store toxic water produced by makeshift efforts to cool the Fukushima Daiichi plant's three damaged reactors. The highest reading was 1800 millisieverts an hour, or enough to give a lethal dose in about four hours, TEPCO said.

    The contaminated spots were found as TEPCO employees checked the integrity of the tanks following a leak two weeks ago that released 300 tonnes of toxic water into the Pacific. The spill, which sparked fears the toxic water may have seeped into the nearby ocean, was categorised as a level 3 event, making it the single most serious incident since three reactors went into meltdown after being swamped by a 2011 earthquake-sparked tsunami.

    It prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to announce that the government would step in to help get the plant under control, amid rising public fears of a second environmental disaster at the plant crippled two years ago by a huge earthquake and tsunami.


    Saturday's discoveries suggested there may have been other leaks from the tanks, many of which appear to have been shoddily built as TEPCO has scrambled to find enough storage space for the contaminated water being produced by the plant. However, TEPCO said that it had found no evidence of fallen water levels in nearby tanks, making it unclear how much water, if any, may have leaked out, and whether any reached the Pacific, about 460 metres away.

    About 430,000 tonnes of contaminated water, or enough to fill 170 Olympic-size pools, are stored in rows of tanks at the plant, which appears to be running out of open space to put them all. The contaminated water increases by 400 tonnes every day as groundwater flows into the basements of the damaged buildings housing the three ruined reactors, which melted down in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

    TEPCO must draw off that water to prevent it from overwhelming jury-rigged cooling systems that keep the reactors' melted cores from reheating and melting into the ground in a phenomenon known as a China syndrome. TEPCO has struggled to safely handle and store all the water.

    1. Fukushima's Radioactive Plume Could Reach U.S. Waters By 2014

      A radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, which was crippled in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will likely reach U.S. coastal waters starting in 2014, according to a new study. The long journey of the radioactive particles could help researchers better understand how the ocean’s currents circulate around the world.

      Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016. Luckily, two ocean currents off the eastern coast of Japan — the Kuroshio Current and the Kuroshio Extension — would have diluted the radioactive material so that its concentration fell well below the World Health Organization’s safety levels within four months of the Fukushima incident. But it could have been a different story if nuclear disaster struck on the other side of Japan.

      “The environmental impact could have been worse if the contaminated water would have been released in another oceanic environment in which the circulation was less energetic and turbulent,” said Vincent Rossi, an oceanographer and postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Spain.

      Fukushima’s radioactive water release has taken its time journeying across the Pacific. By comparison, atmospheric radiation from the Fukushima plant began reaching the U.S. West Coast within just days of the disaster back in 2011.

      Tracking radioactivity’s path

      The radioactive plume has three different sources: radioactive particles falling out from the atmosphere into the ocean, contaminated water directly released from the plant, and water that became contaminated by leaching radioactive particles from tainted soil.


      ...“One advantage of this tracer is its long half-life and our ability to measure it quite accurately, so that it can be used in the future to test our models of ocean circulation and see how well they represent reality over time,” Rossi told LiveScience. “In 20 years' time, we could go out, grab measurements everywhere in the Pacific and compare them to our model.”

      Journey across the Pacific Rim

      The team focused on predicting the path of the radioactivity until it reached the continental shelf waters stretching from the U.S. coastline to about 180 miles (300 kilometers) offshore. About 10 to 30 becquerels (units of radioactivity representing decay per second) per cubic meter of cesium-137 could reach U.S. and Canadian coastal waters north of Oregon between 2014 and 2020. (Such levels are far below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limits for drinking water.)

      By comparison, California’s coast may receive just 10 to 20 becquerels per cubic meter from 2016 to 2025. That slower, lesser impact comes from Pacific currents taking part of the radioactive plume down below the ocean surface on a slower journey toward the Californian coast, Rossi explained.

      A large proportion of the radioactive plume from the initial Fukushima release won't even reach U.S. coastal waters anytime soon. Instead, the majority of the cesium-137 will remain in the North Pacific gyre — a region of ocean that circulates slowly clockwise and has trapped debris in its center to form the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” — and continue to be diluted for approximately a decade following the initial Fukushima release in 2011. (The water from the current power plant leak would be expected to take a similar long-term path to the initial plume released, Rossi said.)

      But the plume will eventually begin to escape the North Pacific gyre in an even more diluted form. About 25 percent of the radioactivity initially released will travel to the Indian Ocean and South Pacific over two to three decades after the Fukushima disaster, the model showed.

  6. Timor-Leste 'offers pipe cash' for Sunrise

    Timor-Leste is reported to be offering to bankroll construction of a new pipeline to export gas from the Timor Sea in a renewed effort to kick-start Woodside Petroleum’s stalled Greater Sunrise project.

    The scheme remains in limbo as Woodside is seeking to exploit the field using floating liquefaction, which it considers most economical, while the tiny nation remains opposed to any development concept that does not include feeding an onshore liquefied natural gas plant on its southern coast.

    Secretary of State for Natural Resources Alfredo Pires said Dili is prepared to invest $800 million in a pipeline to help move things forward, using funds from its $14 billion Petroleum Fund, according to Reuters.

    "It's an indication of our willingness to take on some of the risks of the project," Pires said, adding it would be a commercial investment and could return around 7%, above the 2% to 3% the fund is currently seeing.

    Soaring costs and the prospect of competition from US shale gas to supply Asia customers have already threatened the future of a number of LNG projects around Australia.

    Woodside has previously estimated that an onshore plant in Timor-Leste would add as much as $5 billion to analysts' $12 billion cost forecast to develop the fields using floating LNG.

    East Timor says a project using an onshore plant would cost $12 billion to $13 billion and that floating LNG faces a greater risk of cost blowouts because it is a new technology.

    The Greater Sunrise fields were discovered in the mid-1970s and contain estimated contingent reserves of 5.13 trillion cubic feet of dry gas and 226 million barrels of condensate.

    Woodside declined to comment on Pires' offer to invest in a pipeline, pointing to an earlier statement from the Australian independent that it remained committed to developing Greater Sunrise.

    "We value our relationships with the Timor-Leste and Australian governments, and seek tripartite alignment to allow the timely development of this resource for the benefit of all stakeholders,” it stated.

    The latest gambit by the tiny nation is though unlikely to lead to a breakthrough in the project, partly because of its recently launched legal action challenging the validity of the Timor Sea treaty, according to industry insiders.

    Timor-Leste claims Australia engaged in espionage during 2006 talks on the treaty’s Certain Maritime Arrangements that sets out the fiscal framework for development of such schemes.

    The pending litigation throws a further spanner in the works as it requires arbitration between both governments that could lead to a renegotiation of the treaty terms and further delay a decision on the project.

  7. Clayton Utz Insights

    23 May 2013

    East Timor commences proceedings in respect of Greater Sunrise revenue sharing treaty with Australia

    By John King and Brett Cohen.

    Key Points:

    East Timor has initiated arbitration proceedings in respect of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea with Australia which, among other things, governs the distribution of revenue derived from the Greater Sunrise field.

    On 23 April 2013, East Timor (now officially referred to as Timor-Leste) commenced arbitration proceedings against Australia in respect of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS), which deals with the rights to petroleum and gas deposits in the Timor Gap. East Timor disputes the validity of the CMATS on the basis of allegations that Australia did not conduct the 2004 CMATS negotiations in good faith, because it engaged in espionage.

    Australia denies the allegations of espionage and accordingly asserts that the CMATS remains valid in full force and effect.

    Purpose of the CMATS

    The CMATS became effective on 23 February 2007 and, subject to earlier termination, expires in 2057. In conjunction with the International Unitisation Agreement for Greater Sunrise (SunriseIUA), it establishes a framework for the joint exploitation of the Greater Sunrise field by East Timor and Australia.

    Joint exploitation was not possible under the Timor Sea Treaty (the principal treaty between Australia and East Timor in respect of petroleum production in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA), since only 20% of the Greater Sunrise field lies in the area covered by that treaty. The remaining 80% of the field is located to the east of the JPDA in waters regulated by Australia.

    Of particular importance, the CMATS:
    establishes a tax sharing mechanism in respect of upstream revenues derived from the Greater Sunrise field (50/50 between Australia and East Timor); and
    places a moratorium on maritime boundary claims in respect of the area comprising the Greater Sunrise field (Australia and East Timor will not "assert, pursue or further by any means in relation to the other party" its claims to sovereign rights, jurisdiction and maritime boundaries for the period the CMATS remains in force.

    Termination of CMATS

    Under the terms of the CMATS, if a development plan for the Greater Sunrise field has not been jointly approved by February 2013, either party may terminate the treaty on giving three months' notice.


    Possible outcome of arbitration proceedings

    If the CMATS were to be held invalid, the position in respect of the Greater Sunrise field would revert to the position under the Timor Sea Treaty. Under the Timor Sea Treaty, Australia and East Timor agreed to distribute production from the Greater Sunrise field on the basis that 20% of the reserves are attributed to the JPDA (which in turn would entitle East Timor to a 90% share of those reserves under the Timor Sea Treaty) and 80% are attributed to Australia.

    However, the invalidation of the CMATS would also extinguish the moratorium in respect of maritime boundary claims referred to above. This would entitle either country to initiate a dispute as to the jurisdiction over the Greater Sunrise field.

    The decision to initiate the current arbitration proceedings may well be intended as a point of leverage to renegotiate the tax sharing mechanism under the CMATS. To this end, there is a view that the equal distribution of revenue agreed under the CMATS is unfair to the East Timorese. The arbitration appears to be a high-risk strategy for the East Timorese since, if unsuccessful, the decision will be final and binding on the parties. In that case, the revenue sharing mechanism and the moratorium on maritime boundary claims will more than likely be the regulatory backdrop against which the Greater Sunrise field is developed.

  8. East Timor makes new pitch on stalled Woodside gas project

    .....At its results briefing last week, Woodside put Sunrise at the end of a list of around 10 developments, with initial design work for the project beginning of 2016. In the last year, Woodside has cast a wide net for new projects, committing to buying a 30 percent stake in Israel's Leviathan gas development, joining an exploration venture with South Korea's Daewoo International Corp in Myanmar, and buying into a project in Ireland. Woodside has already invested several hundreds of millions of dollars in drilling exploration at Sunrise but some analysts doubt it will spend more. 'Woodside's not going to spend another dollar on it,' said Peter Strachan, an analyst with Stock Analysis in Perth.

    East Timor's insistence on bringing gas to shore has bewildered some industry watchers who say that the benefits of an onshore site would be marginal for fields estimated to contain more than 5 trillion cubic feet of gas. 'From a strictly financial point of view, it's hard for us to understand why the government is so determined to bring the pipeline here,' Charles Scheiner, a researcher with La'o Hamutuk, an independent Dili-based research firm.

    But an onshore plant has become a unifying cause in Asia's youngest nation, with consensus across political parties. In past years, East Timor has threatened to pursue other development partners, such as Malaysia's state oil firm Petronas, and Pires says that there remains plenty of interest. 'We'll have no shortage of interest if anyone wants to leave. There will be others who will jump in,' Pires said.

    Greater Sunrise fields

    According to information on the Woodside web site, the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields, collectively known as the Greater Sunrise fields, are located approx. 150 km south-east of Timor-Leste and 450 km north-west of Darwin, Northern Territory. The fields were discovered in 1974 and hold a total contingent resource of 5.13 Tcf of dry gas and 225.9 million barrels of condensate. These volumes were independently certified in 2010 and, once developed, will add significantly to Woodside’s reserves.


  9. East Timor Offers $800m for Gas Pipeline

    Perth. East Timor is offering to invest $800 million to build a pipeline to take gas from the Timor Sea to the tiny nation as it makes a new pitch to resolve a dispute with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum over how to develop huge fields in the area.

    East Timor has insisted for a decade that a liquefied natural gas plant to process gas from the Greater Sunrise fields should be built on its shores, bringing with it much-needed development. Woodside says the plan is uneconomical and wants to use a floating LNG plant.

    Industry insiders say the chance of a near-term breakthrough remains slim, despite the new gambit. That is partly because East Timor also wants to unpick a revenue-sharing agreement after accusing Australia of engaging in espionage when the treaty was struck.

    Australia will not confirm or deny the allegations, but has said the accusation is not new.

    East Timor has filed for arbitration and if it overturns the treaty, it could open up discussions on a disputed maritime border, risking further delays to the project.

    East Timor Secretary of State for Natural Resources Alfredo Pires said Dili is prepared to invest $800 million in a pipeline to help move things forward, using funds from its $14 billion Petroleum Fund.

    “It’s an indication of our willingness to take on some of the risks of the project,” Pires said by phone, adding that it would be a commercial investment and could return around 7 percent, above the 2 percent to 3 percent the fund is currently seeing.

    Soaring costs and the prospect of competition from US shale gas to supply Asia customers have already threatened the future of a number of LNG projects around Australia.

    Woodside has previously estimated that an onshore plant in East Timor would add as much as $5 billion to analysts’ $12 billion cost forecast to develop the fields using floating LNG.

    East Timor says a project using an onshore plant would cost $12 billion to $13 billion and that floating LNG faces a greater risk of cost blowouts because it is a new technology.

    Woodside declined to comment on Pires’s offer...

    Closing window

    ....In the last year, Woodside has cast a wide net for new projects, committing to buying a 30 percent stake in Israel’s Leviathan gas development, joining an exploration venture with South Korea’s Daewoo International in Myanmar and buying into a project in Ireland.

    Woodside has already invested several hundreds of millions of dollars in drilling exploration at Sunrise but some analysts doubt it will spend more.

    “Woodside’s not going to spend another dollar on it,” said Peter Strachan, an analyst with Stock Analysis in Perth.

    A lternatives

    East Timor’s insistence on bringing gas to shore has bewildered some industry watchers who say that the benefits of an onshore site would be marginal for fields estimated to contain more than 5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

    “From a strictly financial point of view, it’s hard for us to understand why the government is so determined to bring the pipeline here,” Charles Scheiner, a researcher with La’o Hamutuk, an independent Dili-based research firm.

    But an onshore plant has become a unifying cause in Asia’s youngest nation, with consensus across political parties.

    In past years, East Timor has threatened to pursue other development partners, such as Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas, and Pires said there remains plenty of interest.

    “We’ll have no shortage of interest if anyone wants to leave. There will be others who will jump in,” Pires said.

  10. More gas found off PNG - last week Clive Palmer said after one of his his companies had a new big find that PNG will become as big a deal as the NW Shelf.


    Oil Search Finds Gas at Kidukidu 1 Prospect in Papua New Guinea

    Australia-listed Oil Search reported that as at 06:00 hours Papua New Guinea (PNG) time Aug. 29, the Kidukidu 1 well, which is located in Petroleum Prospecting License (PPL) 385 in the Gulf of Papua off PNG, was at a total depth of 8,848 feet (2,697 meters) and preparations were underway to pull out of the hole and run wireline logs.

    During the week, 9.625 inch casing was set and 1,565 feet (477 meters) of 8.5 inch hole was drilled. Minor gas shows were encountered within two sand intervals, of 167 feet (51 meters) and 65.6 feet (20 meters) gross thickness respectively, which will be evaluated further with the logging program.

    The Kidukidu prospect, which lies 166.5 miles (268 kilometers) west-northwest of Port Moresby, is in a water depth of 321.5 feet (98 meters). The primary objective is a submarine, basin-slope fan sandstone of Pleistocene age. Kidukidu 1 is the third and final well to be drilled in the current Oil Search offshore Gulf of Papua campaign.

    The participants in Kidukidu 1 are:
    •Oil Search (PNG) Limited : 100 percent
    •Total : 100 percent


    Browse Basin :

    Australia: Karoon Gas Updates on Proteus‐1 Drilling

    At 06:00 WST on the 30th of August wireline logging of the Proteus‐1ST2 borehole was ongoing.

    Since the last update the 4‐1/8” hole section was drilled from the 5” liner shoe at 4920metres below rotary table to a total depth of 5250 mRT. Final Total Depth of 5250 mRT was reached at 12:00 WST on 26th August. Wireline logging operations commenced on the 28th of August 2013 and are ongoing.

    The presence of movable hydrocarbons in good quality Jurassic reservoir units is supported by petrophysical log interpretation, formation pressure gradients and gas samples recovered to the surface.

    The logging program is near completion and the Joint Venture will be conducting a production test ove rthe coming weeks.

    Success in the Proteus‐1 well builds on significant gas discoveries in the Boreas‐1, Kronos‐1 and Zephryos‐1 wells drilled earlier in the current drilling campaign.

    ConocoPhillips is the operator of the WA‐314‐P, WA‐315‐P and WA‐398‐P Browse Basin permits containing the previously announced Greater Poseidon gas discoveries. Karoon Gas Australia Ltd holds a 40% equity interest in permit WA‐315‐P and WA‐398‐P, and a 90% interest in permit WA‐ 314‐P.

    Proteus‐1 is the third well in the exploration program. Proteus‐1 is located in permit WA‐398‐P on a large tilted fault block approximately 14 kilometres south south east of the Poseidon‐1 discovery well.

    The Transocean Legend semi‐submersible rig is drilling the exploration well, which is operated by ConocoPhillips.

    UpcomingWell Program

    The exploration program, operated by ConocoPhillips, plans to utilize the Transocean Legend semi‐ submersible rig for the entire campaign and is expected to continue through 2013.

    A minimum of six wells will be drilled during the second phase Browse drilling campaign. The principal objective of the exploration program is to better define the size and quality of the hydrocarbon accumulations within the exploration permits which contain the greater Poseidon trend.

  11. Santos: Diana Hoff Speaks at Developing Unconventional Gas Australia Conference

    Santos’ Vice President Technical & Engineering, Diana Hoff, addressed the Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) Australia conference in Brisbane, where she spoke about the role of technology, innovation and expertise in unlocking Australia’s significant unconventional gas potential.

    The DUG Australia conference has brought together gas industry leaders from around the world to discuss how Australia can go about successfully developing its vast natural gas resources.

    Ms Hoff drew on her 25 years of experience in the industry – primarily in the US – to outline how the Australian gas sector can learn from the operational experiences of North America.

    “Australia – and in particular Santos – is well positioned to develop its large unconventional resource base, because of the increasing demand for gas both domestically and in the Asia Pacific region,” Ms Hoff said.

    “In addition to demand, key factors to us developing these resources are the use of advanced technology and techniques, and increasing the efficiency of our operational processes. For this, Australia is looking to North America – we can learn a lot from the experience and expertise that exists there.

    “Santos is seeing promising early signs in improving our operational efficiency, for example in our Cooper Basin and Queensland CSG fields. The benefits of greater efficiency extend to savings in time and cost and reduced environmental footprint.

    “Another key challenge is access to infrastructure, such as pipelines. Santos is well positioned in this regard, as the success of our Moomba 191 shale well showed – proximity to the existing network was a key factor in the commercialisation of that well.”

    1. Why are SANTOS sponsoring Shinju?

    2. So they are...why indeed?

      Woodside have just announced the JV partners have approved FLNG to develop Browse.

      THAT was quick!

      From April scrapping the JPP plans to now - just over 4 months to decide on 3 FLNG vessels and for the JV Partners to all agree.

      How fishy is that?

  12. Chevron Will Bring Real Dollars to Argentina to Invest in Shale

    Chevron Corp. (CVX), the world’s second-largest energy company by market value, will invest in Argentine shale oil and natural gas fields by bringing dollars into the country and exchanging them at the country’s official rate, said state-run energy company YPF SA.

    In a presentation of the $1.24 billion shale partnership with Chevron yesterday, YPF Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio said the San Ramon, California-based company won’t use pesos held in Argentina to fund the investment.

    “It is a myth Chevron will use pesos,” Galuccio said. “Chevron will bring real dollars and will sell those dollars in the official market.” In Argentina’s illegal street market the U.S. dollar costs about 9.55 pesos, compared with the official rate of 5.66.

    Chevron’s initial $300 million payment to YPF for wells drilled will arrive “sooner than people can imagine,” Ali Moshiri, the head of Latin America, Middle East and Africa for Chevron, said at the same presentation. The remainder is expected to arrive during the next 10 to 12 months in accordance with the pace of the shale operations, he said.

    Since taking office in 2007, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tightened control of the foreign exchange market by limiting exports, forcing companies to repatriate money held abroad and banning most purchases of foreign currency.

    Investment Recovery

    The YPF-Chevron accord doesn’t contain any price guarantees or secret clauses and will be governed by U.S. and Argentina laws and any disputes would go to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris for arbitration, YPF said in the presentation. Chevron would recover the shale investments around the ninth year of the concession, according to the presentation.

    The next step for YPF will be to hammer out a shale gas joint venture, Galuccio said. Companies in line to sign similar accords include Dow Chemical Co. (DOW), Bridas Corp., which is a joint venture between the billionaire Bulgheroni brothers and China’s CNOOC Ltd. (883) and Argentine billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian’s Corporacion America. Galuccio said that a shale deal to produce in Vaca Muerta’s El Orejano area may be sealed this year. He also said the memorandum of understanding signed with Bridas has expired.

    Shale Production

    Yesterday, the Chevron-YPF venture received final approval from Argentina’s southwestern province of Neuquen to develop the Vaca Muerta formation, which holds the world’s second-largest deposit of recoverable shale gas.

    YPF’s plan submitted to Neuquen’s legislature, to which Bloomberg had direct access, specifies the venture will drill 115 wells expecting output of 11 million barrels of oil in the first year. After the first stage ends, Chevron will have an option to continue the accord, which encompasses as much as $16 billion in spending, until 2048.

    From the second to 35th year, the venture would drill 1,562 wells to produce 782 million barrels at a rate of 23.7 million of barrels a year on an investment of $15.4 billion, according to YPF’s plan.


      US Water Lessons Applicable to Argentina Shale Development

      Securing adequate water resources will be critical for exploration and production companies seeking to tap Argentina’s shale resources, an expert with consulting firm Accenture told Rigzone.

      Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner last month signed a decree establishing new incentives to boost shale exploration activity in Argentina. The new decree was released a day before U.S.-based Chevron Corp. and YPF S.A. announced plans to invest $1.5 billion to develop shale resources in Argentina’s Neuquen province. YPF expects its next shale oil and gas partnership to be with a group that includes China’s CNOOC Ltd., Bloomberg reported Aug. 21.


      Regional Water Stress Seen in Argentina’s Neuquen Basin

      Adequate water supplies exist per person in the Neuquen Basin, but regional water stress is observed due to large consumption by agriculture, said Melissa Stark, executive director of clean energy in Accenture’s Energy Group and lead author of the 2012 report “Water and Shale Gas Development: Leveraging the U.S. Experience in New Shale Developments”. The report highlighted areas that operators of new shale developments should consider, including Argentina, China, Poland and South Africa.

      Stark defines the Neuquen Basin’s local climate as arid, semi-arid and sub-humid, with a population of 551,000 and population density of as low as 2.3 square miles (5.9 square kilometers). The basin has access to surface water, including the Neuquen River, Limay River and Lake Nahuel-Huapi. Although the average water availability per person is adequate for provinces like the Neuquen and Mendoza within the basin, regional water stress is still observed, Stark told Rigzone.

      Water consumption by local agriculture irrigation reaches over 7,000 cubic meters per hectare, which is equivalent to the water demand per hectare of an urban area with a density of 6,000 inhabitants per square kilometer.

      “With 5 million gallons of water consumption per well, each fracking operation roughly is equal to the irrigation water demand of one to two hectares of crop per year,” Stark noted. “Large-scale development of shale gas would unavoidably cause conflicts between the industry and major water users in the agriculture sector.”

      Under ground water resources have been widely used in many regions of Argentina for the purpose of agriculture irrigation.

      “Historically, pollution of underground aquifers due to incorrect borehole closures and surface contamination was an issue for water users and can even contribute to soil salinization,” Stark commented.

      “Flowback water from shale gas wells contains high levels of salt and, if disposed of inappropriately, would risk increasing soil and surface water contamination. Therefore, shale gas operators in the region need to carefully handle wastewater discharge and develop adequate wastewater treatment capacity.”

      The type of water treatment that should be utilized depends on what’s in the water and the qualities required for the water’s use. The composition is determined by what is in the fracturing fluid, as well as what is in the shale formation – this varies dramatically across basins in the United States.

      “We expect that it will also vary significantly across basins in Argentina,” Stark noted.

    2. US Water Lessons Applicable to Argentina Shale Development....cont....

      The Neuquen Basin encompasses the subsoil of four provinces: Neuquen, Mendoza, La Pampa and Rio Negro. Surface water bodies like the Colorado River and Limay River are provincial borders between Nequen and neighboring Mendoza and Rio Negro provinces.

      “Due to the province-based governance structures of water-related affairs, including cross-provincial water sourcing and movements, actively engaging multi-stakeholders in different provinces has to be considered when developing logistic solutions.”

      A key solution to reduce the logistics requirement for wastewater discharge is to develop onsite water treatment capacity. The treated water can be either reused by the shale gas industry or by local agriculture for irrigation. In the city of Mendoza, wastewater treated by a municipal waste plant is used for irrigation and part of its cost can be covered by farmers. Similar practices can be adopted by shale gas operators in other areas of the Neuquen Basin.

      Concerns by environmental groups and the U.S. public over hydraulic fracturing’s impact on local water resources, including the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing operations and the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, has the U.S. oil and gas industry seeking ways to reduce its impact on U.S. water supplies. Of the four markets surveyed by Accenture, Argentina is the most similar to the United States.

      “Like many U.S. basins, the Neuquen Basin has a history of oil and gas development, so there is infrastructure, an existing oil and gas sector and regulation that can be leveraged,” Stark commented.

      The shale in the Neuquen Basin is also of similar depth and quality, with adequate water resources. This means that many of the lessons learned in the U.S. are relevant for Argentina.

      Stark noted that regulation in various Argentina basins will need to take into account the geology, water situation and local characteristics. Water tracking requirements will increase, and the increased data requirements on material flows, particularly water, throughout the shale gas life cycle, makes it vital for operators to upscale their data management capabilities.

      Reuse of flowback water is becoming common practice, but produced water reuse continues to be more challenging.

      “Water treatment and waste water disposal is the bigger issue, particularly in areas where underground injection wells are not an option and where there is concern regarding contamination because of disposal to surface waters,” Stark noted.

      Accenture also sees increased emphasis in reducing water movements through logistics optimization, construction of pipelines and onsite water treatment and reuse as a key lesson learned in the United States that also is important to Argentina. Additionally, basin-level collaboration between operators could provide the opportunity for structural cost reduction of the basin.

      “We expect increased investment and research and development in closed loop systems of water treatment and reuse, water treatment and technologies, development of regional water treatment facilities and use of alternatives to potable water in hydraulic fracturing,” Stark concluded.

  13. Iran Stresses Need for Gas Cooperation Expansion with India

    Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has stressed the need for broader energy cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi.

    “There are good grounds for development of relations in the oil and gas sector between Iran and India,” Zanganeh said in a meeting with Indian Ambassador to Tehran Shri D.P. Srivastava on Sunday.

    The Indian ambassador also called for further energy cooperation between the two countries, Iran’s SHANA news agency reported.

    Zanganeh said the two countries need to prepare the grounds for further cooperation at the international level.

    India’s foreign minister said recently that Iran plays a vital role in energy supply to India.

    India has shown willingness to join a pipeline under construction to carry natural gas from Iran to Pakistan.

    India has been boycotting formal talks on the project since 2007 due to security concerns. Iran and Pakistan have already signed pacts to implement the long-talked project on bilateral basis.

  14. Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern

    Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines


    .....In May 2007, a presidential finding revealed that Bush had authorised CIA operations against Iran. Anti-Syria operations were also in full swing around this time as part of this covert programme....

    According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: "I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business", he told French television:

    "I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria."

    The 2011 uprisings, it would seem - triggered by a confluence of domestic energy shortages and climate-induced droughts which led to massive food price hikes - came at an opportune moment that was quickly exploited. Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm STRATFOR including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting "collapse" of Assad's regime "from within."

    So what was this unfolding strategy to undermine Syria and Iran all about? According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to "attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years", starting with Iraq and moving on to "Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran." In a subsequent interview, Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region's vast oil and gas resources.

    Much of the strategy currently at play was candidly described in a 2008 US Army-funded RAND report, Unfolding the Future of the Long War (pdf). The report noted that "the economies of the industrialized states will continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically important resource." As most oil will be produced in the Middle East, the US has "motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with Middle Eastern states":

    "The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. ... The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war."

    In this context, the report identified several potential trajectories for regional policy focused on protecting access to Gulf oil supplies, among which the following are most salient:

    "Divide and Rule focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts. This strategy relies heavily on covert action, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces... the United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists in the eyes of the local populace... US leaders could also choose to capitalize on the 'Sustained Shia-Sunni Conflict' trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.... possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran."


  15. Woodside confirms floating option for Browse

    UPDATE 2.30pm: Woodside Petroleum’s partners in the Browse LNG project, including Japan’s MIMI and PetroChina, have agreed to a floating processing development for the vast gas fields off the Kimberley coast.

    Woodside, the joint venture’s operator and biggest shareholder, said today the five partners had agreed to pursue FLNG as the development concept, and basis of design work would now kick off.

    Today’s news comes two weeks since Woodside told investors it would urge its joint venture partners to adopt FLNG as the only way to quickly and cost-effectively develop the gas fields.

    The basis of design deliberations will help the joint venture establish the parameters for the upcoming front end engineering and design (FEED) work, which Woodside said should start next year.

    Woodside has previously said it was hopeful the joint venture could make a final investment decision on the Browse project’s development by mid-2015.

    The joint venture comprises Woodside, PetroChina, the Mitsubishi and Mitsui partnership known as MIMI, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which is providing its FLNG technology to be applied to the Browse development.

    It is expected at the joint venture will use two to three so-called floaters — the processing vessels that will be moored above the gas fields and process and store the hydrocarbons — to tap the project’s overall resource of 15.9 trillion cubic feet of gas and 436 million barrels of condensate.

    The FLNG decision was widely expected and comes after Woodside and its partners agreed that the cost of a land-based LNG processing plant at James Price Point, north of Broome, was prohibitively expensive.

    Although Woodside is yet to spell out the likely budget for an FLNG development, it is expected to be up to half the James Price Point estimate (some had tipped James Price Point to cost as much as $80 billion) while development would also be staggered by bringing into production one floater at a time.

    The Federal Government has given its support to the Woodside joint venture’s FLNG proposal, and agreed to vary retention leases covering the Browse gas fields.

    However, Premier Colin Barnett remains opposed to the FLNG idea because he wants WA to benefit from the construction boom associated with a land-based processing option.

    WA controls two of the seven Browse Basin retention leases.
    Woodside shares closed up 36 cents at $38.54.

  16. Western Japan records hottest summer ever

    TOKYO (AFP) - The west of Japan had its hottest ever summer this year, official figures showed Monday after a season in which heatstroke killed dozens and hospitalised tens of thousands nationwide.

    The average temperature from June to August was 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average, with the mercury hitting a record 41 degrees C (105.8 Fahrenheit) in western Kochi on August 12, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

    That broke the old high of 40.9 degrees Celsius in August 2007 registered in two central Japanese cities.

    One week in August saw temperatures of 40 degrees or more for three straight days in parts of Japan.

    Of the nearly 54,000 taken to hospital suffering from heatstroke over the three months from late May, 87 people died, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

    Japan's west covers the business hub of Osaka and the ancient city of Kyoto as well as Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan's third- and fourth-largest islands.

    Eastern Japan also had a hot summer, with average temperatures 1.1 degrees C higher than normal, making it the third hottest on record, the weather agency said.

    The hot summer followed an early end to the rainy season, sparking fears over dwindling water supplies that saw scientists resort to cloud seeding to top up reservoirs that serve the 35 million people of greater Tokyo.

    However, in western Japan a number of days of very heavy rainfall caused problems, with landslides and flooding in places.
    Yamaguchi prefecture in the west of Honshu recorded 14.3 centimetres (5.6 inches) of rain in an hour on one occasion in July.

    1. Sydney,ACT,South Australia,Tasmania - all record the hottest start to spring ever.


      Mercury hits 28.3C in Adelaide's hottest start to spring on record

      "... this is a very warm start to September, which followed a very warm winter."


      Hottest ever start to spring: Canberra's warm weather continues breaking records

      Canberra has had its hottest ever start to spring off the back of its warmest winter on record, and there’s still another week of warm temperatures to come.


      Humans behind record Australian heat, research shows

      It's official, the past 12 months have been the hottest in Australia for more than a hundred years.

      Temperatures averaged across Australia between September 2012 and August 2013 were hotter than any year since good records began in 1910. The previous record was held by the 12-month period from February 2005 to January 2006.

      The new record follows a suite of broken records following last year's “angry summer”, including the hottest summer since records began.


      Australian interior raging hot
      Ben McBurney, Saturday August 31, 2013 - 16:59 EST

      Australia's interior is sizzling in near-record winter temperatures at the moment as the mercury soars into the mid to high 30s.

      A persistent region of high pressure has allowed heat to build over the interior much earlier than usual, with the region seeing temperatures more typical of mid-to-late spring than late winter.

      Yesterday, Alice Springs rose to 35.1 degrees, just 0.1 of a degree shy of its all time winter record set in August 2009 and its second hottest winter day on record.

      Temperatures today have been just as hot, with Birdsville reaching a scorching 37.5 degrees, the second hottest winter temperature in over 100 years of records.



      Sydney has just enjoyed its warmest winter on record, with rainfall also coming in above average after a very wet June. There never really was a winter in Sydney, with the three months of June, July and August combined having an average maximum of 19.6 degrees and an average minimum of 10.4 degrees, more typical of late autumn or early spring. The maximum and minimum combined averaged a touch below 15 degrees, smashing the previous record set in 1988. The warmth wasn't just confined to the city either with the growing influence of the urban heat island, with many others suburbs also seeing their warmest winter on record.


      The Red Centre

      Australia's interior has been frying in record early season heat as temperatures soar into the mid 30s.

      For Alice Springs, it is the hottest on record for this time of year in 72 years of records, with the last three days exceeding 34 degrees. This included 36.5 degrees yesterday, the hottest start to spring on record, as well as the hottest it has ever been this early in the warming season.

      Meanwhile, Yulara (Ayers Rock) has averaged a touch above 34 degrees the last three days, its hottest transition from winter to spring on record.

      It reached a sizzling 35.4 degrees yesterday, the hottest it has been this early in the warming season on record. The town is expected to hit 36 degrees today and is forecast to reach 33 degrees until at least Thursday.

  17. High radiation spreads at ruined Fukushima plant, Japan vows aid

    Tokyo: High radiation levels are spreading at the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said on Monday, and the Japanese government prepared to offer more funding and oversight to try to contain the crisis.

    Japanese authorities were seeking to address criticism that Tokyo Electric Power Co has bungled the response to the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

    Japanese officials fear the Fukushima crisis could threaten Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics

    "Tokyo Electric has been playing a game of whack-a-mole with problems at the site," Trade and Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in a televised interview.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to "step forward and implement all necessary policies" to deal with the flood of radioactive waste building up at Fukushima since the March 2011 reactor meltdown at Fukushima.


    The government will present a package of measures as soon as Tuesday to a task force dealing with the contaminated water problem, officials said. The steps will include using existing budgetary funds to help with the clean-up.


    Japan shuts down one of two operating reactors

    TOKYO (AFP) - One of Japan's two remaining working nuclear reactors was taken offline Tuesday, with the other to be shut down later this month and no restarts in sight amid public hostility to nuclear power.

    Kansai Electric Power started reducing generating power at its Unit No. 3 at the Oi plant, Fukui prefecture, western Japan, on Monday afternoon and was fully shut down early on Tuesday, a company official said.

    The shutdown was aimed at allowing the operator to be ready for inspections legally mandated within 13 months of the start of commercial operation.

    The reactor is one of the only two still generating power in Japan. The other one, Unit No. 4 at Oi, is to be switched off on September 15.

    It is not known when they will resume operations because they will be assessed under a set of guidelines recently drawn up by the nuclear watchdog, according to Kansai Electric.

    The two reactors were restarted -- despite public opposition -- in July last year after passing safety tests, ending a brief period in which no atomic power was generated in Japan.

    They were the only units to be brought back online after undergoing such tests in the aftermath of the disaster in March 2011 at Fukushima.

    There, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami it caused crippled reactor cooling systems, sparking meltdowns and spewing radioactive materials in the world's worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
    Japan has turned to pricey fossil-fuel alternatives to fill the gap left by the shutdown of atomic plants, which had supplied about one-third of resource-poor Japan's electricity before the disaster.

  18. The mother of all screw ups - "we wanted to build on Barrow to save the $1 billion it would have cost to pipe to the mainland..."


    Fourth Gorgon train on ice

    Chevron and its partners in the Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island are expected to postpone work on detailed design and engineering of a fourth processing line at the mega project until at least next year as they battle to contain the soaring cost of the foundation development.

    As reported by _WestBusiness _at the weekend, Chevron's latest internal cost review is understood to have placed a final cost on Gorgon's three-train venture of up to $US59 billion ($65.6 billion), or 13 per cent above the last confirmed budget revision of $US52 billion.

    Chevron is refusing to discuss the status of the cost review and is understood to have told its Gorgon team to "value engineer" in the hope of substantially reducing the latest overrun on a project that was originally supposed to cost $US37 billion to complete.

    Just a month ago, Chevron vice-chairman George Kirkland told investors there were no "major disconnects" with Gorgon's revised $US52 billion budget, and highlighted a weakening Australian dollar as finally easing some of the headwinds facing the project.

    However, it is understood ongoing logistical issues, principally because of the complexities of operating on the nature reserve, have failed to stem the budget blowout and are again threatening the first-LNG timetable of early 2015, with a one-year delay likely.

    Gorgon's construction of the 15.6 million tonne a year LNG operation is 70 per cent complete.

    But the ongoing problems are thought to have prompted deep division among Gorgon's key partners - operator and 47.3 per cent owner Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, which each have a 25 per cent stake - about the timing of the fourth-train expansion.

    Gorgon's gas resource is big enough to accommodate a fourth train.

    But there is speculation that adding another processing line could cost as much as $US20 billion because of the substantial subsurface work in terms of pipelines and compression.
    WA's high-cost construction environment, coupled with the challenges Chevron has faced as a first-time developer of a mega-LNG operation, has scared off many industry players who have instead pinned their hopes on floating processing technology to solve the issue of uneconomic land-based plants.



    "“In every sense, the biggest game in town is the development of mega projects for the export of
    LNG. These projects, both existing and proposed, dwarf any other industrial projects in Australia.”
    (Ref: Premier Barnett, 13 April 2010, oil conference, Houston, Texas)"

    "“Chevron Australia has proven
    it is possible for conservation
    and development to
    successfully coexist.”
    Roy Krzywosinski
    Chevron Australia Managing Director"

    Department of State Development : "On 14 September 2009 the Gorgon Joint Venture... made a final investment decision on its $43 billion gas processing project on Barrow Island, the Gorgon Project. Following this decision, the Premier of Western Australia, COLIN BARNETT, granted the final development approvals required...


    September 2013 : "Just a month ago, Chevron vice-chairman George Kirkland told investors there were no "major disconnects" with Gorgon's revised $US52 billion budget...

    However, it is understood ongoing logistical issues, principally because of the COMPLEXITIES OF OPERATING ON THE NATURE RESERVE, have failed to stem the budget blowout and are again threatening the first-LNG timetable of early 2015, with a ONE YEAR DELAY LIKELY.

    "Chevron's latest internal cost review is understood to have placed a final cost on Gorgon's three-train venture of up to $US59 BILLION ($65.6 billion), or 13 PER CENT above the last confirmed budget revision of $US52 BILLION."


    There are a couple of things we are waiting for yet and that is the Domgas part of the deal AND how much the cost will be to WA gas users.

    The DSD website says "Domestic Gas

    The project ...(UNLESS COMMERCIALLY UNVIABLE) a project on Barrow Island capable of delivering at least 300 terajoules per day of gas to the local market."

    The other is how and if the Gorgon CO2 Injection Project will work AND will it leak back out - if it fails the WA taxpayer is liable NOT Chevron.

    The 96 klm. domgas pipeline has been layed to the mainland but I'm not sure of the progress on the domgas plant itself.

    "WA government to pay more for Gorgon gas"

    "WA Greens MP Robin Chapple says he's been told the state government will pay a lot more for Gorgon gas than for supply from the Woodside-led North West Shelf.

    While the details are confidential, Energy Minister Mike Nahan told ABC radio the wholesale price rise could be "100 per cent and over", however, it would not lead to a doubling in electricity prices."

    Chevron have a very big drilling rig on Barrow now drilling the CO2 injection wells but this is all new stuff and may not work out to plan.

    "In August 2009 the Commonwealth Government and the State Government committed to work together to enable the provision of an indemnity to the GJV on closure of the injection project.

    The indemnity will be for common law liability arising from independent third party claims for loss or damage, suffered after site closure, as a result of the GJV’s long term storage of reservoir CO2 beneath the island.


    There is a precedent nationally for the provision of post-closure liabilities for CO2 injection projects.


    "Chevron and its partners in the Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island are expected to postpone work on detailed design and engineering of a fourth processing line at the mega project until at least next year as they battle to contain the soaring cost of the foundation development.

    ....But there is speculation that adding another processing line could cost as much as $US20 billion because of the substantial subsurface work in terms of pipelines and compression."

    SO what would Barnett say to Chevron when they tell him..."sorry but the only way we can afford a 4th train is to park a FLNG over the gas fields..."

    Barnett's Hitler rant..."you cowards traitors I should have the lot of you shot!!!"


    1. It should also be pointed out that since work began on the Gorgon project thousands of animals have been run over and killed,hundreds of turtles have died (Chevron have been covering up the true number of deaths) all on a class a nature reserve.

  20. Macfarlane - "I'll be removing red tape, green tape, carbon tax, mining tax and it will be worth nothing if companies sit on leases and say we will think about that next time around."

    'Use or lose' offshore gas leases

    by: Sarah-Jane Tasker
    From: The Australian

    AN Abbott government would push the development of NSW's coal-seam gas industry and force oil and gas companies to "use it or lose it" to retain offshore leases, under its wide-ranging resources and energy policy, which was revealed yesterday.

    Opposition resources spokesman Ian Macfarlane said yesterday the domestic gas issue in NSW would be one of his top three priorities if the Coalition was elected.

    Mr Macfarlane said the situation was so urgent it was "beyond belief", adding that while it was probably already three months too late to start addressing the crisis, he wanted it sorted by no later than Christmas.

    "It's a massive problem and it's going to cost jobs from Newcastle to Wollongong if we don't get it sorted," he said.

    "The only solution short-term is to get the CSG industry going well enough to supply the domestic demand, which is going to start to exceed supply in 2015 and 2016 when they start turning on the LNG trains in Gladstone."

    Releasing the Liberal Party's policy for the resources sector yesterday, Mr Macfarlane also highlighted that in the first month of government, he would meet with the major resources companies to ask them to verify a legitimate need to retain their leases on offshore oil or gas fields.

    "If the resource has been discovered and is not planned to supply a set of gas trains 10 or 20 years out, then we will want to know why the lease shouldn't be handed back in and someone else be given the opportunity to develop it," he said.

    "I won't name the leases because I don't want to start the hares running but the companies that have them will know."

    He said he had anecdotal evidence that some companies were sitting on leases without development plans and he would ask his department to present a report on retention licences due for review over the next three years.

    Mr Macfarlane said if it became clear there were no plans to develop the assets, the licence would not be renewed. "I want to see every project that can be developed be developed," he said.

    "I'll be removing red tape, green tape, carbon tax, mining tax and it will be worth nothing if companies sit on leases and say we will think about that next time around."

    In a win for the junior end of the resources sector, he also announced that a Coalition government would introduce an exploration development incentive.

    Under the Coalition's scheme, the Australian Taxation Office will determine a proportion of expenses that can be claimed as tax credits by investors. The scheme, to start on July 1, 2014, will target small exploration companies by limiting eligibility to companies with no taxable income and will be capped at $100 million over the forward estimates.

    A spokesman from the Minerals Council of Australia said the Coalition had acknowledged the importance of exploration as the nursery of the mining sector.

    "The MCA has regularly highlighted the tax asymmetry in the treatment of exploration expenses for companies with no taxable income."

  21. WA voters lose faith in political process

    Colin Barnett's hardline State Budget has hit WA voters and shoppers with consumer confidence sliding in its wake.

    The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Curtin University measure of consumer sentiment, to be released today, found almost one in every two shoppers believes the political environment is now weighing on them.

    While there has been continuing concern about how the Federal election would play out on consumers, the chamber's survey is the first to show an impact from the State political landscape.

    Since handing down the Budget last month the Barnett Government has faced pressure, including its reversal on the solar panel feed-in tariff and planned cuts to the education sector.

    Towards the end of last year the political environment was rated by about a third of those surveyed as a major concern of consumers.

    But now almost half ranked politics as a major concern.

    That has translated into just 10 per cent of consumers expecting the economy to strengthen over the coming three months. A third expect it to weaken. Over the coming year, 39 per cent of those quizzed believe the economy will deteriorate compared with a quarter who think it will lift.

    Chamber chief economist John Nicolaou said it was clear the political environment of recent months was playing on the minds of the State's consumers.

    "The State Budget and a raft of policy and legislative changes in the lead-up to the Federal election campaign, have all contributed to the uncertain political environment this quarter," he said.

    "This has seen consumers become progressively more pessimistic about the future."

    WA consumer confidence has now sunk well below that in other States where Federal electoral issues loom just as large.

  22. PetroChina is Asia's top oil and gas producer and one of the world's most valuable listed energy companies.


    PetroChina supplier Wison 'assisting probe'

    The chairman of a Chinese oil engineering firm is helping the authorities with an unspecified investigation, the company said yesterday, amid a widening corruption probe into PetroChina, one of its major customers.

    Hong Kong-listed Wison Engineering Services said chairman and controlling shareholder Hua Bangsong "is assisting relevant authorities" who were conducting an investigation after sharp falls in Wison's share price.

    Wison did not elaborate on its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, which it said was issued after Chinese media reports about its business ties with PetroChina. Hua could not be reached for comment.

    PetroChina is Asia's top oil and gas producer and one of the world's most valuable listed energy companies.


    The government said on Sunday it was investigating Jiang Jiemin, a former chairman of PetroChina and also parent company China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), for "serious discipline violations", shorthand generally used to describe graft.

    Similar investigations were announced into four other executives last week, three from PetroChina and one from CNPC.

    Wison's share price has fallen nearly 30 per cent since those investigations were announced. Its stock was suspended on Monday, although the company said it was operating normally.

    Jiang had since been sacked as head of China's state assets regulator, state media said.

    He rose to prominence with the support of Zhou Yongkang, who stepped down last year from the elite Politburo Standing Committee, where he was China's domestic security chief.

    On Friday, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper said China's leaders had agreed to open a corruption probe into Zhou. The government has not commented on the report.

    Tigers, not just flies

    President Xi Jinping has made fighting pervasive corruption a central theme of his new administration, vowing to go after "tigers", or senior officials, as well as more lowly "flies".

    The official China News Service said on Tuesday that Zhang Shuguang, a former senior official with the Railways Ministry, had been charged with accepting more than 47 million yuan ($8.5 million) in bribes over 11 years.

    It said Zhang was a close associate of former railways minister Liu Zhijun, who was given a suspended death sentence in July for corruption.

    The investigations into PetroChina and CNPC were announced shortly after the close of the trial of Bo Xilai, once a rising political star who is now awaiting a verdict on charges of graft, bribery and abuse of power.

    All the investigations were spooking executives in the state-owned sector and even at big privately held Chinese companies, people familiar with the situation said.

    "Everybody's nervous," a source with ties to China's financial sector told Reuters. "They're going after tigers, and not just flies."

    Wison provided engineering, procurement and construction services to PetroChina and other domestic and foreign companies in China in the past few years.

    Its website shows many members of its board and senior management team are Chinese oil industry veterans, including former officials at CNPC.

    The PetroChina projects included refining and petrochemical complexes in the south western province of Sichuan and northwestern region of Xinjiang, and a refining project in the northeastern city of Dalian, according to information posted on Wison's website.

    Its revenue from contracts with PetroChina and its subsidiaries in the first half of 2013 was insignificant, Wison said. PetroChina was one of its biggest customers in prior years, according to the filings.

  23. A few from the archives for Petro China :


    BHP finalises $US1.63bn Browse stake sale to PetroChina

    PetroChina has bought BHP's 20 per cent share of the west Browse joint venture and its 8.33 per cent stake in the east Browse joint venture.


    Shell, PetroChina Australia JV eyes Origin's LNG site

    PetroChina said it would "push forward resource upgrade of overseas unconventional projects, including Australia's Arrow, and shale gas and oil sands projects in Canada."


    PetroChina Ups Bet On Second Aussie LNG Project

    With the timing of its multibillion dollar joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell slipping, China’s biggest listed oil company is pushing ahead with a smaller adjacent project that has the added bonus of testing its ability to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on its own.

    ...But in a sign that PetroChina is actively committed to the project, the Chinese oil giant has bought gas-developer Molopo’s properities in Queensland’s Bowen Basin for 43.4 million Australian dollars ($45.5 million). LNG Ltd. later confirmed that PetroChina intends to process the Molopo gas through Fisherman’s Landing, slated to produce up to 3 million tons of LNG a year.


    ConocoPhillips Announces Three Agreements with PetroChina

    HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced that it has entered into a set of agreements with PetroChina Company Ltd. (PetroChina) whereby PetroChina will acquire an interest in two Western Australia exploration assets and establish a Joint Study Agreement (JSA) for unconventional resource development in Sichuan Basin in China.

    Under these agreements, which still require government and partner approvals, PetroChina will acquire a working interest in the Poseidon offshore discovery in the Browse Basin, and in the Goldwyer Shale in the onshore Canning Basin. In addition, ConocoPhillips will enter into a Joint Study Agreement to identify unconventional resource reserves in the Neijiang-Dazu Block in China’s Sichuan Basin.

    ...Under the terms of the agreement with ConocoPhillips, PetroChina will acquire working interest in the two Australian projects; specifically 20 percent of Poseidon in the Browse Basin and 29 percent of Goldwyer in the Canning Basin.

    Under the JSA, ConocoPhillips and PetroChina will study the potential for unconventional resource development in the approximately 500,000 acre Neijiang-Dazu Shale Block in the Sichuan Basin.


    Top dollar paid for Poseidon stake

    CHINESE state-owned oil and gas giant PetroChina has revealed it paid just over $US371 million ($410m) for its stake in Karoon Gas Australia's Poseidon discovery, with the price tag well ahead of market valuations for the project.

    In documents filed in Hong Kong last Friday by PetroChina's publicly listed arm, the company revealed that it had paid US energy major ConocoPhillips $US400.7m earlier this year for a 20 per cent stake in Poseidon and a 29 per cent interest in an early-stage shale gas project in Western Australia's Canning Basin. The total value of the two transactions had previously not been disclosed.

    However, when the deals were first announced in February, Australian-listed company New Standard Energy -- which holds a 25 per cent stake in the Canning Basin project -- said the terms of shale gas deal valued the entire project at $US100m.


  24. Petro China

    Chemical spill[edit source]

    Petrochina had a chemical spill in November, 2005. One of its chemical plants exploded in Jilin, China, resulting in 100 tons of benzene, which is a carcinogen and toxic, pouring into the Songhua River.

    There was a slick of chemicals that spanned 80 kilometres.[17] Harbin, which is another city along the Songhua River, had to cut the water supply from almost 4 million people, for 5 days.

    More than 60 people were injured, five died, and one person was missing due to the incident.[18] The spill prompted China’s environmental agency to fine the company one million yuan (approximately $125,000, £64,000) for its pollution, which was the maximum fine that can be handed out in China for breaking an environmental law.[19]

    However, this disaster sparked controversy about this law. People claimed the law was too soft.[20]

    The spill even crept into Khabarovsk, Russia, where residents stocked up on bottled water. The city tried filtering its water of toxic substances, but officials were still unsure if the water was 100% safe for drinking.[21]

    The Chinese government said it will take more than one billion dollars to clean up the aftermath.[17] Li Zhaoxing, Chinese Foreign Minister at the time, issued a public apology to Russia due to the incident.[

    1. 100 tonnes of Benzene did all that - and Barnett's gas plant plans for JPP would have released 1700 tonnes of Benzene every year for 100 years!

      That would have been over 141 tonnes every month year in year out for 100 years.

      No wonder the people in Derby were worried.

      Generations way into the future would have suffered terribly for that.

      When told about this years ago and the effect on kids with many different types of leukemia the KLC's answer was "we'll look into it" - and chucked it in the rubbish bin!

      Barnett's fridge - "'s very clean..."


    2. China finds 100,000kg of poisoned dead fish in river

      Environmental officials say animals killed by ammonia from nearby chemical plant amid worsening pollution problem

      Chinese authorities have scooped up about 100,000kg (220,000lb) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.

      The Hubei province environmental protection department, which was notified of the discovery in the Fuhe river on Monday, pointed the finger at local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co.

      Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company has refused to comment.

      Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers – have added to concerns about the safety of drinking water.

      The latest incident has affected the nearby village of Huanghualao, where 1,600 residents make a living from fishing, said the village's Communist party secretary, Wang Sanqing.

      "The dead fish covered the entire river and looked like snowflakes," he said. He said the village had 150 fishing boats and could lose up to 70,000 yuan (£59,000) a day.

      The environmental department warned the public not to eat the dead fish but said drinking water had not been affected. It ordered the company to suspend operations and fix the pollution problem.

      The official Xinhua news agency said about 100,000kg of dead fish had been cleared from 25 miles of the river but did not cite a figure for the number of fish. The environmental department confirmed "a great number of fish" had been recovered.


      Tests conducted by environmental protection officials from Xiaogan City revealed ammonia concentrations in the river waters downstream from the plant were as high as 196 milligrams per litre. The World Health Organisation notes that naturally occurring ammonia concentrations in surface water are about 12 mg/l, while the guideline for drinking water is that it contains about 0.02 mg/l.


      The plant produces sodium carbonate, used in making glass, and ammonium chloride for fertiliser, according to local media reports. It has been cited for environmental violations four times since 2008, said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Chinese nongovernmental organisation that tracks air and water pollution.

      "Each time it was ordered to be corrected, but this demonstrates that enforcement is way too weak and the cost of violations way too low," Mr Ma said.


      Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of breakneck economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only deaths attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers after die-offs at farms – have added to public disgust and suspicions about the safety of drinking water.


      ...industrial spills, farm runoff and untreated sewage all factors in degrading water quality. As of last year nearly a third of the sections of major rivers it monitored were so degraded that the water was unfit for human contact.


      The Fu River flows into the Yangtze, China's longest river and the source of drinking water for millions.

      ..."Even though it has a large volume of water, with 40 per cent of China's wastewater dumped into this watershed we are concerned about the health of this river and the quality of its water,"


  25. Can Australian LNG projects stay competitive?

    Submitted by Vivek Chandra on Sun, 21/07/2013 - 10:51pm

    Business and Law
    Australian economy
    Liquefied Natural Gas
    natural gas


    In less than a year, the Australian LNG landscape has gone from a feeling of euphoria to one of increasing negativity and pessimism. There is no doubt that the pendulum of sentiment tends to overshoot both extremes – the scale of the exuberance of 2010-2012 was, in hindsight, unjustified and unprecedented in the global LNG arena. Similarly, the pervasive pessimism today may be self-destructive if left unchecked. However, I will argue that some degree of caution is the prudent strategy when facing increasing uncertainty, and may be better for the long term competitiveness of the Australian LNG industry.

    Let’s rewind the clock to the heady days between 2010-2012…during this period, it seemed that LNG projects dominated the news. Regular headlines predicted high and continued LNG prices, insatiable demand, and new projects – with larger and increasing numbers of trains being proposed regularly. Previously held metrics, such as the requirement to certify 1P reserves at least 125% of required volumes, low feed-in gas prices (I have used a metric of $2/MMBtu but those days seem over), controlling labor and capital constraints by promoting joint infrastructure (as demonstrated by Qatar), project development to be managed by experienced companies, and stepwise expansion of projects, were dismissed as no longer justified. Arguments such as ‘this time things are different’ were used - a situation very much similar to the dot-com boom a decade earlier.

    What was surprising was that this feeling of euphoria was being stoked all stakeholders – buyers, sellers, media, government, and the financial community – with very little dissension. Any questioning of reserve volumes, capital / labour resource limitations, and increasingly higher breakeven costs were dismissed. Speed to market was king – and as we saw for the Pluto project, may have led to some increasing costs – since there was a limited window of opportunity that everyone was chasing. At the 2012 APPEA conference, the industry ‘high water mark’ in my opinion, the air of invincibility promoted by some project sponsors as they dismissed any competitive threat from North American or East African projects was reminiscent of many dot-coms before their fall from grace. Limited attempts to question this view, by myself (see my blogs from the past few years on this subject) and others, was regarded as overly pessimistic.

    Today, the situation has dramatically reversed. Instead of new projects being proposed, we see cancellations / postponements (Browse LNG, Arrow LNG), massive cost increases (Gorgon, GLNG, and I am sure others as well), project sponsors proposing to sell all/portion of their stakes (Browse LNG, GLNG, BG), sustained community opposition to gas development (Queensland, NSW, Onshore WA), and the very real competitive threat from North America and East Africa.


  26. Can Australian LNG projects stay competitive?


    Instead of the prospect of having too much unconventional gas, Queensland LNG projects are being forced to contract conventional gas at double domestic prices to feed their future plants. CSG reserves are proving harder to add than original expectations with increasingly complex and expensive wells likely to be required. Community opposition has made land access difficult and, in the case of New South Wales, effectively off-limits in the near-term. Future shale gas reserves are looking quite expensive and are many years away from making an impact on the domestic gas balance. For the Queensland projects, analysts are no longer predicting expansion projects and some sponsor companies, such as BG, Shell and Kogas, are sounding increasingly cautious – and all three of these companies have become very active in North American LNG and East Africa LNG (not withstanding Shell’s bid for Cove Energy in Mozambique). Lower cost US and East African LNG projects are becoming increasingly real and, as I have always maintained, the oil-price link to LNG prices is not going to be as predictable in the future as many of these projects will adopt different pricing schemes, much to the chagrin of Australian project sponsors that are loathe to entertain any shift from the pricing status quo.

    It may be too early to extrapolate lessons from this experience. However, some key points can be concluded. Firstly, a resource project has to be driven by the underlying resource – not the market or the wishes of the shareholders. If the reserves are not proven – or too expensive to extract, companies and senior management should have the ‘cajones’ to rethink their ambitions. Hope is not an acceptable strategy when projects cost billions of dollars. Secondly, prepare for the unexpected – and do not forget that the commodities business is cyclic. Australian LNG cannot justify a premium in the market – political risk in Australia is really not that much better than other countries – just see how the government debates resource tax policy continuously. Thirdly, a project has to be able to compete in the marketplace – if you cannot, you will be relying on contractual terms to bind your customers who will increasingly resent this relationship. In the past, when the LNG market was smaller and the supply options limited, security of supply was paramount. Today, with many more supply options and a plethora of trading companies willing to sell spot cargoes, I question the sanctity of contract can be maintained if the price is higher than the prevailing supply options. The 2011 Japan quake proved that the world’s LNG supply system is robust and can respond quickly to massive shifts in demand without supply disruptions. Do the LNG buyers really want to read interviews by senior Australian executives justifying their project economics by the fact that customers are ‘stuck’ and price review clauses are not going to make a big difference instead of the strength of the project itself? It is hard to have a 20 year supply agreement when its premise is not mutual benefit but the fact that the other party has no choice but to accept the contract terms...sounds like a bad marriage – and bad marriages do not last, usually ending in tears for all . The final lesson is that the Australian government has to shoulder part of the blame. Instead of playing the role of the regulator, it became the loudest cheerleader. Instead of using its position to encourage companies to share resources and work together (the lack of coordination in Gladstone is a perfect example), it cozied up to the companies who promised them jobs and taxes. Should the government had played a more active role in regulating the projects and their schedules do avoid the overheated demand for labor and capital (much like the government of Qatar did during its own massive expansion and the Government of Norway does today ? Isn’t the US effectively doing the same thing via its permitting process?)

  27. Can Australian LNG projects stay competitive?


    So, where do we go from here? There is no doubt the committed FID projects will get built. In the case of the Queensland projects, will there be enough proved reserves when the export plants are ready? If not, we will see more diversion from conventional resources to the LNG plants. Local gas prices will rise, and the consumers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be justified in asking whether their higher electricity and gas prices are not, somehow, subsidizing LNG exports to China and Japan. A political hot-potato!

    Whether exported LNG can be competitive remains unknown – all new Australian projects, whether in Queensland, NT, or WA, will be at the high end of the cost curve. If marginal Asian prices fall to US export levels as I expect they will, expect Australian projects to first force their long-term buyers to stand by their binding contracts but when this position gets difficult (especially with buyers that are companies that were planning to resell their contracted LNG volumes such as Petronas, Shell, and others), expect sales at marginal prices and companies taking massive capex write-downs.

    Or we can just pray that Asian LNG prices will stay high, US projects do not get their export permits, Australian consumers will happily see their energy prices double without complaint, and all the past sins are swept under the table – and everyone looks like a hero…


    LNG mogul reveals grim futureWednesday, 4 September 2013
    Bianca Bartucciotto

    WHAT do you get when you cross a voracious entrepreneur with an LNG expert and add a dash of spunk? You get Vivek Chandra.


  28. The Unintelligent Report.


    In contrast to the grim article above other companies in other countries are having a dream run.


    First PNG LNG Delivery on Track for H2 of 2014

    Esso Highlands Limited (EHL), operator of the PNG LNG project, said on Monday the project is more than 90 percent complete and is on schedule for first delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the second half of 2014.

    “With more than 19,000 people currently working across the project, including more than 7,500 Papua New Guineans, we are making significant progress,” said Decie Autin, PNG LNG project executive.

    “Antonov cargo aircraft operations into Komo airfield were completed on 13 August 2013, and installation of equipment delivered from Komo to the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant is currently under way.

    “We have started the commissioning phase at the LNG plant in preparation for the first LNG production in 2014. This includes sending gas from Oil Search’s Kutubu Central Processing Facility to the LNG plant to provide power and enable testing and commissioning of key facilities and equipment.

    “Drilling at Wellpad B is complete, and the drilling rig is being moved to the next wellpad to support further drilling activity,” Ms Autin said.

    As forecasted last year, the estimated cost of the project remains at US$19 billion (excluding Port Moresby administration facilities and shipping ), reflecting disciplined project management in a unique and challenging working environment.

    “ExxonMobil successfully develops projects around the world under a broad range of technical, operational and financial conditions,” Ms Autin said.

    “The project has been able to maintain its schedule in PNG under unique and challenging circumstances. Our focus on disciplined project execution has allowed us to meet our scheduling commitments without further cost increases.”


    Gazprom profits from shift of LNG deliveries to the higher-priced Asia-Pacific markets

    Tuesday, 03 September 2013

    Gazprom, the LNG producer, developer and world's largest natural gas producer, said first-quarter net profits rose by 5.7 percent to 381 billion roubles ($11 billion) from 360Bl roubles in the same three months last year amid strong demand for the Russian pipeline gas in Europe amid a slump in more expensive LNG deliveries.


    Italian energy company Eni makes new find of up to 7 Tcf for Mozambique LNG project

    Tuesday, 03 September 2013

    Italian energy company Eni has posted a new high-impact exploration success in Mozambique where a liquefaction project is planned involving a dozen companies and up to 50 million tonnes per annum of LNG.


  29. The Unintelligent Report.



    Eni Steps Up The Gas in Mozambique

    MILAN, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Eni said on Tuesday it had made a new gas discovery at its giant Mozambique field, opening up new acreage at what is the Italian oil and gas group's biggest ever gas discovery.

    State-controlled Eni owns a majority stake of Area 4 in Mozambique's Rovuma basin, one of the planet's biggest untapped gas resources.

    In April Eni said gas discoveries at its Mozambique fields contained around 80 trillion cubic feet.

    "The discovery opens a new exploration area in the southern part of Area 4, where Eni plans to drill three new wells in 2014," the company said in a statement.

    Preliminary tests showed it contained between five to seven trillion cubic feet of gas, it said.

    "A very initial valuation for this gas resource... implies a gross value of $1.36 billion euros," Santander oil analyst Jason Kenney said.

    But Kenney said Eni shares might suffer since investors had hoped the find would be a more valuable oil discovery to compliment the massive gas resources.

    At 1132 GMT Eni shares were down 0.3 percent.

    Earlier this year Eni sold a 20 percent stake in its Mozambique offshore gas project to Chinese oil company CNPC in a $4.21 billion deal.

    Some analysts believe Eni could sell down its 50 percent stake further to help fund investments in the area Estimated at around $50 billion.

    Eni, which has already agreed to jointly develop Area 4 with Anadarko's neighbouring Area 1 field, will decide on liquefied natural gas projects in 2014 with first cargoes due in 2018.

    Mozambique is now a key prospect for the export of liquefied natural gas because of the size of recent discoveries, its location en route to Asia and its appeal to buyers trying to diversify away from big suppliers Qatar and Australia.


    Eni Strikes More Gas Off Mozambique

    Agulha well, which led to the discovery, is the tenth well drilled back to back in Area 4, where exploration has achieved a 100% RATE OF SUCCESS. Agulha was drilled in 2,492 meters of water and reached a total depth of 6,203 meters.


  30. The Unintelligent Report.



    U.S. Could Approve Further LNG Exports Each Year, Bernstein Says

    U.S. approval each year of 1.5 billion to 2 billion cubic feet a day of liquefied natural gas export capacity would be “palatable” for consumers, according to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

    “We believe this level represents an amount of shale gas production growth that can be achieved with a reasonable, but not too high, price signal,” analysts including Bob Brackett said in a report published today. “If prices rise too fast or too severely, we believe U.S. energy policy makers will quickly hit the brakes and stall further capacity expansions.”

    Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG), Sempra Energy (SRE) and Dominion Resources Inc. (D) are among companies seeking to build gas liquefaction plants so they can export the fuel to places such as Asia, where LNG costs are more than four times higher than U.S. gas prices. Their efforts are opposed by some U.S. lawmakers and businesses that have benefited from a 55 percent plunge in prices since 2008 amid increased production from shale rock.

    The exports will raise gas prices as much as $1.02 per 1,000 standard cubic feet from 2010 levels, Bernstein said, citing estimates in a U.S. Energy Department-commissioned study.

    Approving no more than 2 billion cubic feet a day each year would mean 5 billion to 8 billion cubic feet a day of liquefaction capacity would be under construction at one time, according to Bernstein. This would “allow the government to monitor price impacts as exports layer-in,” the analysts said.


    U.S. LNG export capacity will total 6 billion to 7 billion cubic feet a day, or 50 million metric tons a year, by 2020, Bernstein said.
    The U.S. Energy Department has given full approval to three projects including Sabine Pass LNG, Freeport LNG and Lake Charles Export LLC. A total of 20 projects “have been identified” in the U.S. and Canada with more than 200 million tons a year of LNG capacity, Bernstein said. That compares with current world-wide demand of 250 million tons a year.


    1. British Columbia minister Coleman visits sites of six Canadian LNG export plants

      Friday, 06 September 2013

      The Minister of Natural Gas Development for the Canadian province of British Columbia, Rich Coleman, completed a three-day tour of the sites of six planned LNG liquefaction plants in the region that will soon be a major cargo exporter to Asia-Pacific countries.


      Panama Canal expansion reaches important milestones

      News - July 26, 2013

      The Panama Canal expansion programme is moving forward to achieve its goal of enhancing the waterway's capacity in order to provide a better service to customers. To date, the programme is approximately 60 per cent complete.

      "The Panama Canal expansion will enhance the value of the Panama route," Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L Quijano said. "We are focused con the Third Set of Locks project, which is one of the key projects of the expansion programme."

      The expansion program has achieved many important milestones. Both entrances of the Panama Canal are ready for bigger ships, since the deepening and widening of the Atlantic and Pacific access channels have been completed.

      The dredging of Gatun Lake is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Pacific Access Channel has reached the design depth and the dam that will divide the new channel from Miraflores Lake is under construction.

      The Third Set of Locks project is approximately 50 per cent complete. The new lock complexes in the Pacific and Atlantic sides will feature three chambers, three water-saving basins per chamber, a lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates.

      The first four new lock gates will be arriving in the country in August. Each one of the 16 gates required will weigh an average of 3,300 tonnes. Constructed in Italy by subcontractor Cimolai SpA, the giant gates will be unloaded on the Atlantic side of the Canal and rolled off the ship to a specially-constructed reception dock. Unlike the current Canal, which uses miter gates, the expanded Canal will have steel rolling gates.

      The expansion also involves the construction of a third lane of traffic, which will double canal's capacity and have an important impact in world maritime trade.

  31. The Unintelligent Report.



    Gazprom, Itochu Talk on Vladivostok LNG Project

    Gazprom’s Chairman Alexey Miller and Eizo Kobayashi, Chairman of Itochu Corporation, met in Gazprom’s headquarters in Moscow where they discussed the prospects for bilateral cooperation in the energy sector.

    Particularly, the meeting focused on the Vladivostok LNG project, including LNG marketing in Japan, Gazprom said in a statement.

    In addition, the parties considered a possibility of cooperation under the South Stream project as well as issues related to the creation of gas chemical capacities in Bashkiria, the company added.


    ( one on the oil front )

    energy-pedia development and production
    Iraq flag Iraq Middle East / Africa >>> Iraq
    Iraq awards $348 million of drilling deals for Maysan oil fields

    04 Sep 2013
    Iraq has awarded $347.8 million worth of drilling contracts for the Maysan oil fields in the south of the country, a government statement said on Tuesday. Iraq awarded the contracts to three international oil service companies to drill 39 production wells in the 2.5-billion-barrel Maysan complex being developed by China's CNOOC and state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).

    U.S. oilfield services company Weatherford was awarded two drilling contracts worth $94.98 million and $82.39 million respectively. China's Bohai Drilling Engineering Company won a $96.66 million contract, the statement said. COSL, a specialised oil services unit of CNOOC, was awarded a $73.82 million drilling deal. It was not clear from the statement how many wells each company would drill.

    Iraq signed a deal in 2010 with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and TPAO to develop Maysan, comprising several small oilfields, aiming to reach a production target of 450,000 barrels per day by 2016. In desperate need of cash to rebuild its battered economy after years of war and sanctions, Iraq has struck a series of development contracts with global oil majors that could signal a bonanza for international oil service companies.

    In the same statement, Iraq said it had decided to extend an oil export agreement to supply Jordan with crude for one year, without giving more details. Jordan's Information Minister Mohammed al-Momani told the state-run Petra news agency on Tuesday that Iraq's cabinet had approved an offer to supply $25 million worth of crude to help meet its energy needs.

    Jordan, which imports almost all of its energy and commodity needs, has suffered economically from Arab Spring uprisings in the region, which have hit tourism receipts, remittances from Jordanian workers abroad and investment inflows.


  32. The Unintelligent Report.




    S.Africa Says Shale Gas Fracking Needs Water License

    PRETORIA, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Companies seeking shale gas exploration permits in South Africa will need to apply for a water usage licence, the country's water and environmental affairs minister said on Tuesday.

    South Africa last year lifted a moratorium on shale gas exploration in its Karoo region, where the extraction technique known as fracking might tap what is believed to be some of the world's biggest reserves of the energy source.

    That decision aroused criticism from environmentalists who say water supplies could be polluted by fracking, in which pressurised water, chemicals and sand are pumped underground to release gas trapped in shale formations. Water is also a scarce commodity in the vast, semi-arid Karoo region.

    "I have taken the decision to issue a notice of intention to declare fracking a controlled activity in terms of the National Water Act ... What this means is that fracking becomes a water use, thus requiring a water use licence," water minister Edna Molewa told journalists.

    The regulatory process around fracking in South Africa has been slow and no exploration permits have been issued yet.

    Companies that have expressed an interest in exploring South Africa's shale gas potential include Royal Dutch Shell.

    Developing just a 10th of South Africa's estimated resources could boost the economy by 200 billion rand ($19.56 billion) a year and create 700,000 jobs, a study, commissioned by Shell and carried out by research firm Econometrix, said last year.

    But environmentalists have raised the alarm about fracking in the country, which has a large network of conservation groups and a history of green activism.

    The sparsely populated Karoo is renowned for its rugged scenery and is home to rare animal species such as the mountain zebra and riverine rabbit, putting it on the radar screen of conservationists.


    South Africa Reviews Water Rules Amid Resistance to Shale Gas

    The government declared shale gas extraction a so-called controlled activity needing a water license that’s only issued once the effect on ground water is taken into account.

    The water review will also include policies such as whether the state’s allocation of 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of free water a person each day is adequate. The country is also considering stripping parties of allocated water rights if they aren’t used within a specified period, Molewa said.


  33. The Unintelligent Report.




    Lithuania grants Chevron right to explore for shale gas

    U.S. energy major Chevron has won a tender to explore for shale gas in western Lithuania, the government said on its Twitter feed on Tuesday, as the Baltic state tries to wean itself from its dependence on Russian gas. Chevron was the only bidder to explore for unconventional hydrocarbons in the 1,800 sq km Silute-Taurage Prospect, which Lithuanian experts estimate might hold up to 80 billion cubic metres (bcm) of technically recoverable shale gas.


    The Baltic state gets all its gas from neighbouring Russia and has said Gazprom overcharges Lithuania. The European Commission (EC) has started an investigation into Gazprom's pricing policy in Eastern Europe. The latest gas market report from the EC showed Lithuania paying the highest wholesale gas price in the European Union (EU).

    The Lithuanian government plans to formalize Chevron's win later in September, and to sign the exploration contract by the end of this year, officials said. Chevron will be required to agree to invest at least 80 million litas ($30.56 million) in exploration in exchange for a seven-year permit. 'If they act quickly, they can start drilling in half a year after the licence is granted,' said Environment Minister Valentinas Mazuronis.

    The government had previously postponed the decision after public protests by local communities, who fear the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing could pollute underground waters. Similar public protests in Bulgaria led to the country's government cancelling Chevron's exploration permit for unconventional resources.

    Meanwhile, Lithuania's southern neighbour Poland has already issued more than 100 shale gas exploration licences to local and international firms which have drilled 48 wells to date. While none of them has produced commercial flows so far, a recent test in northern Poland has buoyed shale gas hopes.

    The Baltic Basin in northern Poland, which also extends to western Lithuania, is the most prospective region in Europe, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in June. The EIA estimates the Lithuanian extension to hold 0.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil and 11.3 bcm of associated shale gas, less than estimated by local experts.



    IT WOULD SEEM that things have just gotten worse for those that sought to destroy the Kimberley - in fact it would be fair to say they are likely to end up even further under the pump yet.

    The grave situation in the west at Gorgon with further cost blowouts to take the project soaring past $60 billion and delays to slip further out passing the 12 months just announced.

    On the east coast the situation at Gladstone could be an absolute disaster with gas shortages not only for the 3 plants under construction BUT also a very damaging domgas shortage as well.

    Prices for the export LNG under severe downward pressure and domgas under severe upward pressure.

    Gas users on both the east and west coast will wind up paying through the nose for any gas they need.

    Abbott looks like getting in as our next PM and wants to be an infrastructure man - maybe he will look at a national gas pipeline grid?

    All the one stop shops on the planet are unlikely to improve the Australian dilemma.

    See above : Macfarlane - "I'll be removing red tape, green tape, carbon tax, mining tax and it will be worth nothing if companies sit on leases and say we will think about that next time around."

    'Use or lose' offshore gas leases

    by: Sarah-Jane Tasker
    From: The Australian


    Awaiting updates on the NT front.


    1. The above dollars are in US dollars - the cost in Aussie dollars has hit $66 billion.

    2. Chevron asks Qube for help

      Chevron has moved to ease crippling bottlenecks with its Gorgon supply chain by using Fremantle port for the first time to ship goods to the liquefied natural gas project.

      Gorgon has suffered from cost overruns and delays as contractors struggle to move materials and equipment from the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson to Barrow Island in the Pilbara in a timely manner.

      Chevron has responded by contracting Qube Holdings to handle freight that can be loaded in containers at the Port of Fremantle multi-user terminal. Industry sources estimate about 10 per cent of Gorgon's supplies will go through the port.

      Qube said its ports and bulk division was expected to start the Chevron work in the last week of this month. The contract was expected to contribute to earnings this financial year and beyond.

      An internal study commissioned by Chevron has estimated Gorgon's budget has blown out to $US59 billion ($64.5 billion), forcing the project operator to seek ways to slash costs. The budget was increased to $US52 billion last December, from $US37 billion when construction began in 2009.

      Chevron and partners Shell and ExxonMobil are expected to postpone preliminary work on a fourth processing line until next year. There are also doubts about Gorgon achieving its revised target of first gas in early 2015.

      Gorgon-contracted logistics provider Patrick has encountered productivity problems at Henderson as well as industrial relations flare-ups with the Maritime Union of Australia.

      An insider last week said there were 130 boats in the Gorgon supply chain, a flotilla that has been putting strain on capacity at Henderson, south of Fremantle, and Barrow Island.

      Chevron has rejected MUA claims that the non-unionised island was less productive in handling cargo than Henderson. "When the impacts of weather and swell conditions are taken into account, the Barrow Island port is at least twice as efficient as the AMC," a spokesman said.

      Qube also has an MUA-represented workforce. The company chaired by former Patrick managing director Chris Corrigan claims to have no outstanding disputes with the union in WA.

      However, Qube clashed with the MUA in Victoria as recently as July in a dispute which held up millions of dollars in freight between Melbourne and Tasmania.
      Qube expects to spend $23 million developing its facilities at Fremantle port.

  34. Vivek Chandra

    "Instead of the prospect of having too much unconventional gas, Queensland LNG projects are being forced to contract conventional gas at double domestic prices to feed their future plants. CSG reserves are proving harder to add than original expectations with increasingly complex and expensive wells likely to be required. Community opposition has made land access difficult and, in the case of New South Wales, effectively off-limits in the near-term. Future shale gas reserves are looking quite expensive and are many years away from making an impact on the domestic gas balance."


    "In the case of the Queensland projects, will there be enough proved reserves when the export plants are ready? If not, we will see more diversion from conventional resources to the LNG plants. Local gas prices will rise, and the consumers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be justified in asking whether their higher electricity and gas prices are not, somehow, subsidizing LNG exports to China and Japan. A political hot-potato!"


    Does not look good - much pain for more pain.

    Get Down With The Frackdown!


    1. Cameron's claim fracking will lower gas prices is baseless, says Lord Stern

      Blasting shale rock may cause earthquakes and pollute water, but won't bring down energy bills in the UK as PM claims

      Lord Nicholas Stern says it is 'odd' for David Cameron to say fracking will bring down gas prices in the UK. Photograph: AP

      The claim by prime minister David Cameron that fracking in the UK can drive down domestic gas prices is "baseless", according to the world's foremost climate change economist.

      Lord Nicholas Stern, who led a landmark review on the economics of global warming, told the Independent: "It's a bit odd to say you know that it will bring the price of gas down. That doesn't look like sound economics to me. It's baseless economics." On 12 August, as the protests against fracking company Cuadrilla escalated at Balcombe in West Sussex, Cameron wrote: "If we don't back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills ... Fracking has real potential to drive energy bills down."

      The intervention from Lord Stern, a cross-bench peer and professor at the London School of Economics, is significant as the economist very rarely makes direct attacks on politicians. He said that because UK gas was traded internationally any shale gas boom in the UK would be unlikely to have an impact on the gas price. In the US, where fracking has lowered gas prices significantly, gas is rarely exported because other markets are too far away. Previously, expert commentators from the International Energy Agency to Deutsche Bank have said different geological, legal and regulatory conditions make it unlikely the US shale gas boom would be repeated in the UK.

      Lord Stern also criticised the government for encouraging a rush into fracking without a thorough analysis of all its potential ramifications, such as water pollution and earthquakes. "There are major questions around fracking and those questions ought to be explored. We've not had a proper discussion on these serious issues," he said, noting particular concern about whether some areas of the UK have enough water for fracking which uses large volumes of water and chemical to blast apart underground rocks and release trapped gas.

      The government has failed to adopt a key recommendation by the UK's science academy, the Royal Society, to develop new regulations specific to fracking, instead relying on a patchwork of existing regulation.

      Lord Stern told the Independent he welcomed the increased use of gas if it meant less coal was used, because that would reduce the carbon emissions driving climate change. But he said it would be "very worrying" if the gas was used instead of renewable energy.

      New protests began in Lancashire against shale gas exploration on Wednesday, as Cuadrilla said it would soon announce plans to resume fracking in the area. Lord Stern said he believes such protests are an important part of a functioning democracy.

  35. Lawyers warn parties not to give environmental powers to states

    Labor and Coalition urged not to allow under-resourced states to take control of environment decisions

    A group of 28 lawyers have sent an open letter to Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott urging them not to water down environmental laws by devolving federal oversight of development to the states.

    The lawyers, from groups such as the Environmental Defenders Office, Melbourne Law School and the University of Queensland, say they are "deeply dismayed" at plans to let the states handle environment assessments. They also warn that extending the controversial Regional Forest Agreements will increase conflict and lead to the loss of endangered wildlife.

    "Our iconic wildlife and environment are under greater pressure and face more threats than ever before," the letter says. "We need to strengthen rather than weaken environmental protection laws.

    "There is no evidence to support the view that the states can be entrusted to thoroughly apply national environmental protection measures. However, there is, unfortunately, much evidence to the contrary."

    The lawyers cite the plans to dam the Franklin River in Tasmania and introduce cattle to alpine national parks in Victoria as examples of federal intervention heading off harmful environmental impacts.

    The Coalition, which appears certain to win Saturday's election, has pledged to introduce state-run "one-stop shops" for environmental assessments, claiming that they will reduce bureaucracy and provide certainty for businesses.

    Labor has said it would retain federal oversight after contemplating the idea of devolvement when Julia Gillard was prime minister.

    Opponents of the idea say under-resourced states have repeatedly put short-term commercial interests ahead of rigorous environmental protection.

    Lauren Caulfield, vice-president of Lawyers for Forests, told Guardian Australia: "The experience around the country has been more one stop chop or one stop bulldoze than one stop shop, such as the unlawful approval of the gas hub in Western Australia.

    "The states make short-sighted decisions that prioritise big business. We are being contacted by more and more legal organisations concerned about this. I think it's likely we'll see further legal ramifications."

    Activists have been protesting in the days before the election, with members from Friends of the Earth and the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi aiming stop logging activity on Thursday through direct action in an area of the central highlands of Victoria thought to be prime habitat for the endangered Leadbeater's possum.

    Meanwhile, new electoral "scorecards" released by environmental NGOs have heavily marked down the Coalition. The Australian Conservation Foundation favours the Greens and Labor on topics such as climate change, clean energy and cutting pollution, while WWF gives the Greens top marks across a range of areas, including protection for the Great Barrier Reef.

  36. Shell to negotiate compensation for 2008 Nigeria oil spill

    As legal team prepares for talks, gulf between what company and impoverished villagers claim happened remains vast

    Five years after a Shell pipeline burst twice, massively polluting fishing grounds in the Niger delta, the company will finally sit down on Monday with affected villagers to negotiate compensation and possibly start to clean up what some experts say was one of the largest spills in one of the world's poorest regions.

    But as Shell's top legal team prepared to fly to Nigeria for talks in a Port Harcourt hotel, the gulf between what the $175bn (£112bn) a year company and the impoverished villagers of Bodo claim happened in 2008 remains vast. Shell admits liability for the spills and, using figures from an official inspection group, says that about 4,000 barrels of oil flooded into the mangrove swamps and creeks when its pipeline burst.

    But independent analysis by US oil spill expert Richard Steiner suggests it was nearer 500,000 barrels. Equally, the oil company argues that relatively few people had their livelihood destroyed while the villagers say the spills affected up to 11,000 people. The company is thought to be offering about $20m compensation, but the villagers are holding out for $200m.

    On Thursday, both sides squared up to each other in London. "Until the two 2008 spills, Bodo was a relatively prosperous fishing town. The spills have destroyed the fishing industry. Shell's response has not been to try and speedily recompense the people of the community but to delay and prevaricate. Shell … have provided one-off relief materials in June 2009 amounting to 100 bags of rice, beans, sugar, 100 cartons of milk, tea, tomatoes and oil in June 2009 which was entirely inadequate for a community of 31,000 people," said Martyn Day, senior partner with London law firm Leigh Day, which is representing the Bodo community.


    But Shell responded that the number of people claiming compensation, the damage done and the amount of money they were seeking were hugely inflated. "Hopefully we will do a deal. We have always admitted responsibility for the two operational spills in 2008 and we regret the incidents. We always clean up after any spill from our operational area and we compensate the people affected, but inevitably there are people on the bandwagon. We want to pay people who have genuinely suffered but the compensation has to be fair and correct and not at any price," said Richard Hill, Shell's associate general counsel for global litigation.

    "We take issue with a number of the assertions made by the claimants' UK lawyers, but our goal now is resolution, not recrimination. We are pleased that representatives of the Bodo community will attend the negotiations, since they, like us, have an interest in sensible and fair compensation being paid quickly to those who have been genuinely impacted by these highly regrettable spills."

    What neither side doubts is that Bodo and the wider region of Ogoniland is desperately poor and polluted after more than 50 years' oil exploitation by Shell and the Nigerian government. The creeks, swamps and farmland are criss-crosssed by rusty pipelines, and, said the UN in a major report in 2011, it may need up to $1bn and 30 years to clean up the spills.

    The UN's three-year investigation found massive contamination of land and underground water courses, drinking water with dangerous concentrations of benzene and other pollutants and soil contamination more than five metres deep in many areas.

    Shell maintains that it would start the clean up of the swamps around Bodo as soon as the communities allowed its contractors' access and agreed on what was needed. "It depends on us being given the freedom to go in," said a spokesman.

  37. Fears policy will destroy Japanese markets

    TONY Abbott is under intense pressure from the timber industry to reverse the Coalition's Tasmanian forest policy urgently, with fears it will destroy vital Japanese markets and cause hundreds of job losses.


    Leighton's CSG deal bolsters mining sentiment

    LEIGHTON Holdings subsidiary Thiess has signed a $1.8 billion contract for coal-seam gas works in Queensland in another sign there is still life in the resources boom.

    Thiess managing director Bruce Munro said securing the contract for QGC's Queensland Curtis LNG project sent a positive message to the market.


    Seas may be rising faster than predicted: scientists

    The melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is accelerating and may trigger faster sea level rise than predicted, according to leaked details of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

    Greenland's ice added six times more to sea levels in the decade through 2011 than in the prior 10 years, according to details of a draft 2200-page study by the UN agency, obtained by Bloomberg.

    The Antarctic experienced a five-fold increase, prompting the UN to raise its forecast for how much the two ice sheets would add to Earth's oceans by 2100.

    The leak comes just weeks before the IPCC gathers on September 23 in Stockholm, with the Fifth Assessment Report scheduled to be released four days later. National delegates are expected to wade through 1800 comments to achieve consensus on the important Summary for Policymakers during the event.


    The report's assessment of ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica will be closely watched. The previous IPCC report, released in 2007, drew criticism from some scientists for underplaying the potential contribution from the two regions.

    "Greenland is losing mass and the rate of loss from Greenland has increased," said Ian Allison, a Hobart-based honorary research professor and lead author of the IPCC report's chapter on the cryosphere. "Antarctica is also losing mass but the signal is not so strong whether it's accelerating."

    Sea levels are now forecast to rise by as much as 80 centimetres by the end of the century and are expected to continue to rise after that.

    According to the leaked report, Greenland's contribution to rising sea levels "very likely" rose to an average of 0.59 millimetres a year from 2002 to 2011, from 0.09 millimetres a year in the prior decade. Global sea levels have been rising at the rate of more than 3 millimetres a year. Together, Greenland and Antarctica contain enough ice to raise global sea levels by almost 66 metres.

    The IPCC leaks come as Australia is likely to register a poor snow season. Temperatures often favoured rain rather than snow, with the early arrival of warm spring weather likely to continue a trend towards shorter snow seasons.

    "The world is defrosting," Professor Neville Nicholls, a climate expert at Monash University, said in a recent interview. "We're losing snowfields, we're losing glaciers and we're starting to get melting of the big ice blocks on Greenland, even on Antarctica over the last decade or so."

    "It's just more and more evidence that the whole world is warming."

  38. Move Over CO2, Soot Was Causing Climate Change In The 1860s

    In the zeal to promote carbon dioxide emissions as a magic bullet to stave off climate change, a lot of other factors were minimized. Soot was a big one, but a new study in PNAS suggests that the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps in the 1860s was due to absorption of sunlight in snow by soot. A rapidly industrializing Europe still gets the blame, but for a different reason.

    Their results also show that 'human influence' on glaciers reaches back to well before industrial temperature increases and the work may help to resolve a longstanding scientific debate over when the "Little Ice Age" actually ended and why the Alps' glaciers retreated decades before global temperatures started increasing again. The Little Ice Age was a cooling period roughly between the 16th and 19th centuries, though scientists do not agree on when it specifically began and ended.

    "Before now, most scientists have believed the end of the Little Ice Age in the 1800s was due to a natural climatic shift, distinct and well before emissions of carbon dioxide reached levels that could start to influence climate and glaciers in the 20th century,” said lead author Thomas Painter, a snow and ice scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

    Glacier records in the European Alps date back to the 1500s, while records of weather conditions date back to the late 1700s. Between 1860 and 1930, large valley glaciers in the Alps abruptly retreated an average of nearly 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) while temperatures in Europe dropped nearly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). Glaciologists and climatologists have been challenged in reconciling this apparent conflict between the climate and glacier records.


    Concentrations of black carbon are highest at lower altitudes, meaning that more will settle on the lower portions of mountain glaciers, in their so-called “ablation zone,” where temperatures are higher and melting occurs.

    To figure out how much black carbon was in the atmosphere and the snow when the Alps glaciers began to retreat, the researchers turned to ice cores drilled from high up on several European mountain glaciers. Using levels of carbon particles trapped in the ice core layers, and taking into consideration modern observations of how pollutants are distributed in the Alps, they were able to estimate how much black carbon would have deposited on the glaciers’ lower melting surfaces.


    "We’ve accepted the idea that humans have been modifying the atmosphere in terms of carbon dioxide, but the effect of soot has not been very well dealt with in terms of its long-term effect.”

    Citation: Thomas H. Painter, Mark G. Flanner, Georg Kaser, Ben Marzeion, Richard A. VanCuren, and Waleed Abdalati, 'End of the Little Ice Age in the Alps forced by industrial black carbon
    PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print September 3, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1302570110

    1. Greenland’s ice sheets are disappearing faster than anyone predicted. Climatologist Jason Box has a radical theory why – and even more radical ideas about upending the global-warming science establishment.
      By Jeff Goodell

      Read more:


      few weeks ago, on a blue-sky day on the west coast of Greenland, our helicopter swooped along the calving front of the Jakobshavn glacier, flying dangerously close to a 400-foot-high wall of ancient melting ice that stretches for about six miles across Disko Bay. Jakobshavn is the fastest-moving glacier in the world, and it is sliding into the sea at a top speed of 170 feet a day. How quickly this giant slab of ice and snow – and hundreds like it across the North and South Poles – disappears is the biggest uncertainty in the world of climate science. The faster these glaciers melt, the faster seas will rise, inundating cities throughout the world, and the more unpredictable the world’s weather system is likely to become. Our future is written in ice.


      It was all a tad melodramatic, perhaps. But Box doesn’t shy away from bold strokes. As he sees it, the general public has been betrayed by the reluctance of climate researchers to speak about the dangers of climate change with sufficient urgency. For Box, this has never been a problem. In 2009, he announced the Petermann glacier, one of the largest in Greenland, would break up that summer – a potent sign of how fast the Arctic was warming. Most glaciologists thought he was nuts – especially after the summer passed and nothing happened. In 2010, however, Petermann began to calve; two years later, it was shedding icebergs twice the size of Manhattan. Another example: In early 2012, Box predicted there would be surface melting across the entirety of Greenland within a decade. Again, many scientists dismissed this as alarmist claptrap. If anything, Box was too conservative – it happened a few months later. He also believes that the climate community is underestimating how much sea levels could rise in the coming ­decades. When I ask him if he thinks the high-end projections of six feet are too low, he doesn’t hesitate: “Shit, yeah.”


      Though Box had predicted the severity of last summer’s melt, he struggled to understand why so much ice disappeared so quickly. Some climate modelers pointed to changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that pushed up temperatures across the Arctic. Others attributed it to the heat-trapping properties of low clouds. But Box decided to return to Greenland this summer – his 24th trip here in the past 20 years – to test a more startling hypothesis, part of what he calls “a unified theory” of glaciology: that tundra fires in Canada, massive wildfires in Colorado and pollution from coal-fired power plants in Europe and China had sent an unexpectedly thick layer of soot over the Arctic region last summer, which settled onto Greenland’s vast frozen interior, increasing the amount of sunlight the snow and ice absorbed, which in turn accelerated the melting. It was a powerful connection – but was it true? Savvy packager that he is, Box hasn’t just put forth this theory in scientific journals and grant proposals. He’s also branded it: The expedition, called the Dark Snow Project, is the first crowd-sourced scientific research trip to Greenland. “The old ways of doing things aren’t working,” Box tells me one evening. “I want to pursue big ideas, but I also want to communicate them in ways that the public understands. Scientists need to do everything they can to wake people up. It is our job, our moral responsibility.”