Sunday, September 29, 2013

Climate change? Try catastrophic climate breakdown | Environment | The Guardian

Climate change? Try catastrophic climate breakdown | Environment | The Guardian

There are no radical departures in this report from the previous assessment, published in 2007; just more evidence demonstrating the extent of global temperature rises, the melting of ice sheets and sea ice, the retreat of the glaciers, the rising and acidification of the oceans and the changes in weather patterns. The message is familiar and shattering: "It's as bad as we thought it was."
What the report describes, in its dry, meticulous language, is the collapse of the benign climate in which humans evolved and have prospered, and the loss of the conditions upon which many other lifeforms depend. Climate change and global warming are inadequate terms for what it reveals. The story it tells is of climate breakdown.
This is a catastrophe we are capable of foreseeing but incapable of imagining. It's a catastrophe we are singularly ill-equipped to prevent.


  1. First Prelude FLNG Turret Module Sails Away to South Korea

    Drydocks World announced that Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group attended the ‘sail away’ ceremony to mark the commencement of delivery of the pioneering Prelude FLNG Turret Modules to the owner Shell.

    The first Module, the bogie support structure, standing 22 metres high, with a diameter of 30 metres and weighing 1300 tonnes will be transported to Korea to integrate with the Prelude FLNG vessel. Other modules will soon follow.

    The Prelude FLNG unit will be 488-metres long and when fully loaded will weigh more than 600,000 tonnes. It will be the largest structure ever sent to sea displacing as much water as a fleet of six aircraft carriers. The vessel is to work at the Prelude offshore field 200 kms from the Australian coast.

    The turret for Prelude FLNG is the biggest turret ever built and over 800 workers are engaged in its construction. The turret is being built in five modules which when put together will weigh in at 10,500 tons. The first steel cutting took place on May 5, 2012. The nearly 100-metre mooring turret is a vital element of the vessel and along with four groups of mooring chains and suction pile anchors will constitute the largest system in the world and help the vessel to remain stable in high velocity tropical cyclone territory.

    Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World said, “It is our proud privilege to welcome HH Sheikh Ahmed on this prestigious occasion. We are extremely excited to be part of a new era in offshore gas liquefaction which will lead the way for many new and challenging projects in the years to come. The turret is essentially the heart of the mooring system and is an engineering challenge which needed to be executed with great technical precision. It is a testimony to our enduring engineering capabilities and project management skills that we have achieved this on time and by adhering to the highest possible standards in safety, quality and environment. The project involved meticulous planning and technical finesse in implementation and we have succeeded in raising the bar in Operational Excellence through this project.”

    “Such projects help us to take forward a process of changing mind sets and provide new challenges for the future. It helps us exemplify the driving thought behind the undying “Can Do” spirit of Dubai-“Don’t think past-Think future, Think opportunities”, which has formed the basis for our business and strategic outlook ” he added.

    Drydocks World has extensive experience in building turret structures having built the internal turret for SBM Frade project, two external turrets for Saipem (installed on board FRSU Toscana and FPSO Firenze) and a smaller internal turret for BW Offshore.

  2. Is this the top of the Australian "LNG mountain"?


    Japan moves to reopen largest nuclear plant as LNG demand nears its peak

    Friday, 27 September 2013

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., the largest Japanese LNG importer, and owner of the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, has applied to reopen the biggest nuclear power station in the world, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility.


    THIS WEEK: Argentina must pay highest LNG prices until it can milk a Dead Cow

    Friday, 27 September 2013

    With Argentine LNG cargo requirements continuing to rise to one a week the country is pinning its hope of energy salvation on a Dead Cow, better known as the Vaca Muerta shale-gas field holding the second-largest shale reserves in the world.


    YPF, Dow Agree on $188 Million Joint Venture for Shale Gas

    YPF SA, Argentina’s largest company, and Dow Chemical Co.’s Argentine unit signed a final accord to invest $188 million to jointly develop shale gas at the country’s Vaca Muerta formation.

    Dow will provide $120 million over a year while YPF, nationalized in April 2012, will invest $68 million to develop 16 shale gas wells, the Buenos Aires-based company said in a statement today. Dow, the largest U.S. chemical producer by sales, is YPF’s second shale partner after Chevron Corp.

    Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government seized a 51 percent stake in YPF from Spain’s Repsol SA (REP) in April 2012 to stem fuel imports that generated an energy deficit of $5.4 billion this year through Aug. 31, according to figures released yesterday by Argentina’s National Statistics Institute. YPF said Sept. 20 it is planning its first overseas bond offering since the nationalization as it seeks to raise financing for a $37 billion five-year investment plan to develop Vaca Muerta.

    “This agreement confirms the path we decided to take when we presented our strategic plan,” YPF Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio said in the statement. “We said we needed to develop a shale gas pilot and today we are materializing it.”

    Dow Chemical Executive Vice President Jim Fitterling signed the agreement that will drill wells at the El Orejano block in Neuquen province, which has the potential to produce 3 million cubic meters of gas a day, YPF said in the statement.

    YPF and Chevron, the second-biggest U.S. oil company, formed a $1.24 billion shale partnership in July to tap the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit and fourth-largest shale oil reservoir at Vaca Muerta in southwestern Argentina.

  3. No cash but $100 firm gets green light on gas

    THE NSW government extended for six years vast coal-seam gas exploration licences held by a $100 company despite being told it had little equity, had failed to lodge accounts on time and had almost no industry experience. It can also be revealed NSW CSG operators are permitted to "self declare" their financial position, with some being granted massive licences without providing balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements, or even details of their corporate structure.In June last year, the NSW government extended by six years three exploration licences held by Leichhardt Resources, a $100 company run by a Brisbane lawyer in his spare time. The licences cover more than 5500sq km.In a detailed submission to the NSW government, the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group raised concerns about Leichhardt, its financial position, and the financial position of Planet Gas, which had been contracted to conduct all drilling. The action group, mostly comprised of farmers, noted that Leichhardt had failed to lodge its first two annual reports on time. It also alleged Leichhardt or its representatives had misinformed some landholders as to its rights regarding "seismic surveying"."We had the NSW Labor government giving away these licences like crazy and now we have the O'Farrell government giving massive extensions. It's just crazy," said SHCAG convenor Peter Martin.Leichhardt's sole director Simon Tolhurst, who is separately a lawyer with HWL Ebsworth in Brisbane, has repeatedly declined to comment.The NSW Greens yesterday called for an inquiry into the issuing of CSG licences after The Australian revealed companies with very limited experience and financial backing were being granted vast exploration licences.It was also revealed Travers Duncan and Brian Flannery - who appeared before a recent corruption inquiry into former ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid - had moved into the sector."There are a large number of unanswered questions about the original issuing of petroleum exploration licences in NSW. . . as well as questions over recent renewals of many of the licences by the O'Farrell government," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham."It's concerning that $2 companies with (limited) expertise or financial backing have been granted licences which give them the power to force their way on to a property to drill for coal-seam gas." - See more at:

  4. Beware the coal dust!


    Calls to cover coal train wagons in Queensland

    Coal train dust could be contributing to a dramatic reduction in lung function in Brisbane children, a paediatrician has warned.

    Up to 10 trains a day carry coal through Brisbane without any form of cover to prevent dust from flying into the air.

    Dr Merryn Redenbach, a public health doctor formerly of Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, said extensive US research had revealed children living in polluted environments had up to a 20 per cent reduction in lung function at 18 when compared to unexposed children.

    In Brisbane on Monday, Dr Redenbach said dust from coal wagons alone was unlikely to cause such dramatic health effects but for those living near freight lines, the risks grew when combined with other pollutants.


    "One of the issues is ... there's coal dust but also pollution from motor vehicle emissions, pollution from the wear and tear of tyres, diesel emissions from trains and trucks and all of these things are adding together," she said.

    "All of these things increase the level of particulate matter we know is dangerous to health."

    No long-term studies have been done into the effects of coal dust on the respiratory health of both children and adults but Dr Redenbach, who now works for Doctors for the Environment Australia, said there was already enough evidence of ill-health effects to warrant coal wagons being covered.

    "We do think there is a need for studies that look at the long-term impact on communities. The issue is those studies take a long time and we already have enough evidence to show that people's health is harmed by increasing levels of particulate matter," she said.

    "It doesn't look like there's any safe level, which means we really should be trying to minimise people's exposure and we don't need to wait for long term studies to tell us what we already know, that this is causing harm to people.

    "The evidence exists we should be covering coal wagons."


    Dr Redenbach said veneering was a cheaper option than covering coal wagons and did not deal with the issue of coal trains returning from port, which was also a significant pollution issue.

    "Some of the developments in Western Australia at the moment are covering wagons to and from the port and that is what should be expected all over Australia," she said.

    "This is a developed country, we should be expecting the highest level of management.

    "All parents have a right to know the air their children breathe is safe."

  5. Gas Wars


    Rio pressed on refinery

    New Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane has heaped pressure on Rio Tinto to keep the loss-making Gove Alumina Refinery open for another 20 years after touring the nearby town of Nhulunbuy on Monday.

    Federal and Northern Territory authorities have been urging Rio to keep the refinery open, because it is largely responsible for sustaining the Nhulunbuy economy.

    Most of the discussions have focused on supplying gas to Gove to reduce operating costs and Mr Macfarlane reportedly said on Monday that 300 petajoules of gas was available to Gove.

    ABC radio reported Mr Macfarlane saying Rio should promise to keep Gove open for 20 years if the government promised to underwrite a pipeline to supply the gas.


    Rio is still considering its options and is understood to still be a long way from reaching any sort of gas supply deal with third parties.

    In a memo to staff on Friday, Rio said it was considering five options, ranging from keeping the refinery open under present terms to closing it.

    Martin Ferguson, who quit as resources minister in March, has joined Kerry Stokes' Seven Group and will serve as an executive in charge of natural resources.


    Stokes now has Voelte AND Ferguson ???

    IT's a strange world -

    Voelte is in charge of "Dancing with the Stars"

    Ferguson is in charge of the bulldozers!


    Stokes lures Ferguson to Seven

    Martin Ferguson has become the first senior member of the former Labor government to take a plum job in the private sector after accepting a position with Kerry Stokes' Seven Group.

    The former resources and energy minister will start next week as group executive, natural resources. It is a newly created role which will focus on Seven's mining equipment supplier, WesTrac.

    Mr Ferguson quit politics ahead of last month's Federal election, having resigned in March as minister over his support for Kevin Rudd against then prime minister Julia Gillard.

    While Mr Stokes had offered him the job, his ties with Seven Group managing director and former Woodside boss Don Voelte had driven the appointment.

    "I had a close working relationship with Don over the years, both in government and opposition," Mr Ferguson said. "This presents another opportunity for us to work together.

    "I'll be part of Don Voelte's team and also talking to Kerry Stokes as required."

    While Seven Group is based in Sydney and WesTrac Australia headquartered in Perth, Mr Ferguson will be based in his home town of Melbourne.

    He said he would play a role in workforce training, strategy and keeping abreast of industry developments. He expected, by the end of the year, to have visited China, where WesTrac has a Caterpillar dealership in the country's north.

    Mr Ferguson said he would also be working closely with the successor to WesTrac chief executive Jim Walker, potentially spending as much time in Perth as when he was a minister.

    He said he hoped to continue the positive relationship he had with Premier Colin Barnett.

    The resources industry was no longer in a growth period, Mr Ferguson conceded.

    "It's a different phase to three or four years ago," he said. "The focus has got to be on consolidation and stripping out costs."

    He said doing that last year had "saved" Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group.

    "This time last year we were all very worried about FMG," he said. "I'm pleased to see that Andrew's got through the challenges in the same way that BHP and Rio and smaller companies such as Atlas really are focused on their cost base at the moment."
    I'll be part of Don Voelte's team and also talking to Kerry Stokes as required. " Martin Ferguson