Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HERITAGE FIGHT - Ronin Films - Educational DVD Sales

HERITAGE FIGHT - Ronin Films - Educational DVD Sales


Year: 2013
Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG
Runtime: 104 min
Produced In: Australia
Directed By: Eugénie Dumont
Produced By: Eugénie Dumont, Yoon-Seok Nam
Language: English
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There are still some pristine places on earth, untouched by industrialisation and urbanisation. But for how long?

The Kimberley region in Western Australia is the scene of a major struggle by Aboriginal people to protect their land from a huge development planned by the conservative Premier of WA, Colin Barnett, and the oil and gas corporation, Woodside. With government support, Woodside plans to build one of the largest liquified natural gas plants in the world, in the Kimberley wilderness.

This film, by the French filmmaker, Eugenie Dumont, who spent many months in the Kimberleys with the protesters against the plant, is a powerful portrait of the Aboriginal people at the heart of the struggle - the traditional owners of the area, the Goolarabooloo people.

The film questions, listens and quotes scientists, activists, politicians and businessmen, as well as the Goolarabooloo people, to bring a broad perspective to this issue. The role of the citizens of Broome is also depicted: it was a battle in which the Aboriginal people and the towns-people fought hand in hand, and the Goolarabooloo would not have won the battle without their support.

On what the citizens of nearby Broome call “Black Tuesday”, 120 policemen came from Perth to end the protesters’ “blockade”, to allow Woodside to begin exploration work although it hadn’t acquired all legal approvals. History is made in front of the camera, as we observe the clash between protesters and the police, and witness abusive arrests and the use of force.


  1. Re - What they said.

    Standby for the fiascos.

  2. Radio news this morning.....It could be decades before the TO's of JPP see any of the millions of dollars the WA state government owes them.
    Even though Woodside have cancelled their gas plant on the site Barnett is still proceeding to CA the site.
    In the Native Title court today the 2 groups who were claiming will issue a discontinuance notice and pursue separate claims even though they are aware this may hold up any payment for over 20 years.
    Barnett wants to pay $30 million for the site - this will now be frozen until the Native Title issue is resolved.

  3. Conoco warns of possible LNG oversupply

    US oil major and Australian liquefied natural gas operator ConocoPhillips has warned new LNG plants here, in Europe, North America and Africa may outstrip demand, contrasting with recent bullish comments from the industry.

    In a speech to an industry conference in Darwin yesterday, Conoco's head of commercial in Australia, Mike Nazroo, warned that supply tightness might prove short-lived.

    "In the longer term, capacity additions look set to catch up with, and even overtake, demand," Mr Nazroo said. "Much of this supply growth is set to come from the Australian project wave, but there will be competing projects from North America, East Africa, Nigeria and Russia."

    The comments come after BG Group told investors this week that it saw plenty of demand coming on line to take up additional supply.

    It also coincides with a conference in Tokyo where big gas importers such as Japan and India are increasing pressure on their LNG suppliers to lower prices.

    Mr Nazroo referenced McKinsey estimates that if 50 per cent of all non-approved LNG capacity is built, there may be excess production by 2020.

    "Therefore, we need to carefully consider how we invest and develop competitively here in Australia," he said.

    Conoco operates the Darwin LNG plant, the smallest of three operating plants in Australia, and is building the Australia Pacific LNG plant at Gladstone with Origin Energy.

    It has Northern Territory and federal approval to build three LNG production trains at Darwin but has not revealed any firm plans to go beyond its first train, which started exporting in 2006.

    At times this has frustrated Santos, its joint venture partner at Darwin and a potential supplier of gas to projects.

    Mr Nazroo stressed Conoco was already searching for gas to backfill its existing Darwin LNG plant, whose contracts run out in 2023, when gas from the offshore Bayu-Undan field that feeds it starts to run low.

    He said expansion of Darwin LNG and backfill could be an alternative to floating LNG development for fields in the Browse, Timor and Bonaparte basins off the coast of Darwin.

    "Bayu-Undan (the field that feeds Darwin LNG) will not produce gas forever, and the opportunity for other gas resources to use DLNG becomes a real option," he said.

    Mr Nazroo did not say whether backfill would be needed before the end of its supply contracts.

    The company previously has flagged the potential to use its own gas resources in the region to expand or backfill DLNG.

    Santos Northern Territory and Western Australia boss John Anderson also mentioned in his speech that there was the potential for backfill at Darwin LNG.

    The mention of backfill for Darwin in concurrent speeches by two of the partners may indicate it is needed sooner than the 2026 timeframe the size of the Bayu-Undan field suggests.

  4. Some very interesting numbers at the end of this one...


    Santos asks government to remove regulatory duplication

    Just days after the elected change of government Santos will on Wednesday step up calls to eliminate regulatory duplication and lift productivity to avoid losing $145 billion in additional investment in liquefied natural gas production plants to overseas rivals.

    Santos’s vice-president, northern Australia, John Anderson will use a keynote address to a conference in Darwin to urge the new Coalition government to act to remove regulatory duplication and provide a conducive framework for further investment.

    The company is leading the $US18.5 billion ($20 billion) GLNG project under construction in Queensland and has ambitions to develop a floating LNG venture with GDF Suez off the north coast, as well as expand the Darwin LNG plant operated by partner ConocoPhillips.

    “With a new federal government in place, it is important that government works together with industry to provide the stable and correct policy settings for these opportunities to be taken up, and for Australia to leverage our LNG know-how and skills to ensure the next wave of investment becomes a reality,” Mr Anderson says. “By ensuring we are globally competitive, Australia can go on to sanction further LNG projects, whether that’s from brown-field expansion of existing plants, floating LNG or even new greenfield projects.”

    Mr Anderson will suggest that bringing water treatment and monitoring regulations for the coal seam gas industry in line with regulations for the ­mining sector would help reduce costs.

    He will note that Santos has already seen some easing in the cost pressures for Australian projects as LNG investment spending moves past its peak.

    Optimism for expansion of Darwin LNG project

    Santos and GDF Suez are aiming to commit by early 2014 in an investment in early engineering and design work at their Bonaparte LNG project at the Petrel, Tern and Frigate fields about 250 kilometres west of Darwin.

    Mr Anderson says Santos is optimistic about expansion of the Darwin LNG project, especially given surging costs for new onshore plants. He cites estimates from consultancy Wood Mackenzie that Woodside Petroleum’s now-abandoned Browse LNG project at James Price Point would have cost some $US2500 a tonne of capacity, compared with a current global average for green-field LNG of $US1200 a tonne. Floating LNG, in comparison, is about $US1700 a tonne, while brown-field expansion of an existing plant is just $US1000 a tonne.

    Santos has made a number of gas discoveries in the Browse Basin off the far north-west coast that could be suitable for either floating LNG or for processing in an expansion of the existing Darwin LNG project.

    Mr Anderson reiterated that Santos wanted to work collaboratively to develop its Browse discoveries to help cut costs, with potential partners such as France’s Total and Japan’s Inpex – operator of the $US34 billion Ichthys LNG project being built in Darwin.

    “Total, Inpex, Conoco and Chevron are partners of ours in the WA and NT business which I run, and I believe it is through collaboration that Browse gas will be unlocked,” Mr Anderson says.

    “Whether that be through floating LNG or the expansion of existing infrastructure, it’s too hard and too early to be definitive on the path forward, but Santos will explore all commercialisation options to unlock our resources in the region.”

  5. Woodside gas welcome in Darwin says Chief Minister

    The Northern Territory's Chief Minister has made a bold pitch to oil and gas company Woodside, saying it should consider piping its Browse Basin gas to Darwin.

    The Northern Territory has already taken a gas project from Western Australia, with Inpex currently spending $34 billion to pipe Browse gas nearly 900 kilometres to the Territory's capital.

    In front of hundreds of delegates at today's South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference (SEAAOC), Adam Giles says if Woodside is seeking certainty for its project it should consider the Northern Territory.

    "The Northern Territory is the most secure, sovereign jurisdiction in Australia for a potential onshore development (like this)," he said.

    "We've already seen through the Inpex pipeline, the creation of a five kilometre-wide pipeline corridor, and Woodside's potential project is only 40 kilometres down the road if you want to use that sort of language,

    "So we do have land near Darwin (available for such projects)... and we don't have the issues like Western Australia with third-party environmental appeal rights.

    "When you get approval and pass all of your environmental approvals in the Northern Territory you have certainty for your project."

    Hitoshi Okawa from Inpex told SEAAOC delegates that when the Northern Territory's former Chief Minister, Clare Martin, first approached Inpex and asked it to consider piping Browse gas to Darwin, it was looked upon as "an outrageous idea".

    But Mr Okawa said the Territory Government and the people of Darwin gave the project "certainty", and that's why the company chose to bring the gas to the Territory and not Western Australia.

    In August, Woodside said it was planning to use floating LNG technology to process gas in the Browse Basin.

  6. Glencore boss plays the short game

    FEISTY billionaire mining boss Ivan Glasenberg has attacked Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton for an over-reliance on iron ore profits as part of a strategy to try to convince investors that his newly merged Glencore Xstrata should be their preferred diversified resources exposure.

    The attack came as the company confirmed that its $7 billion Wandoan coal project in Queensland -- and a raft of lesser projects -- had fallen victim to the slump in thermal coal prices.


    .....The main contributors to Glencore Xstrata's earnings in the first half were copper (30 per cent), metals trading (22 per cent), energy trading (16 per cent), coal production (14 per cent) and zinc production (13 per cent).

    Mr Glasenberg argued that the group's more diversified earnings base was the key to how it viewed capital allocation, and how the business was run.

    "We do not want to spend money on projects that don't give returns. We're fearful of greenfield projects," he said. "This company has been basically focused on return on equity. We're not here just to grow the company for growth sake. We are here most of us as shareholders of this company, so we're very focused on getting the returns for our shareholders, including ourselves."

    It is a feature of the company that directors and management own close to 25 per cent of the shares. That compares with 0.03 per cent for Rio and BHP and 0.02 per cent for Anglo American.

    Also at the London briefing, Glencore Xstrata confirmed it was slashing spending and shelving projects, with offices, employees and projects brought to the merger by Xstrata the main casualties. Xstrata's previously promoted Wandoan project was the main big-ticket item to be put on ice under Mr Glasenberg's reworking of the company to the Glencore way of doing things.

    Wandoan was one of 10 greenfield projects "deprioritised" by the company at the London investor briefing. Annual production was being planned at a massive 30 million tonnes of thermal coal. The decision to put the project on hold was expected because of the crash in thermal coal prices to less than $US80 a tonne.

    Earlier this year, Glencore Xstrata also abandoned the planned $1bn Balaclava coal project near Gladstone in Queensland.

    The company is the world's biggest thermal coal exporter at 120 million tonnes a year at present, rising to 140 million tonnes by 2015 after the completion of several expansions and new projects in Australia and elsewhere.

    In its briefing to investors, the firm argued current prices for the thermal coal were "unsustainable in the medium term". It estimates that close to 30 per cent of seaborne thermal coal production is currently cash cost-negative.

  7. Cape Leveque Rd revamp sparks fears for bilby

    Environs Kimberley says it is concerned a $20 million proposal to upgrade a West Kimberley road will further threaten endangered species.

    Main Roads has sought federal environment approval to seal 77 kilometres of the 200-kilometre Cape Leveque Road within the next three to four years.

    Main Roads concedes the need to clear 300 hectares of land will likely to lead to "a long-term decrease in the population size of the bilby".

    Management plans include erecting signage, relocating bilbies and putting in underpasses for the endangered species to cross the road.

    Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard says he wants to see better protection strategies and more research.

    "As it is at the moment, cars get wrecked and we can understand the need for bituminising the road," he said.

    "I guess what we need to also look at is the fact that the bilbies are going to be negatively impacted by the road and what can we do about that?"

    In a written statement, Main Roads says it will be negotiating ways to manage the impact of the roadworks on native species.

    It says both the federal environment department and the Environmental Protection Authority will consider the environmental impact, because of the scale of the land clearing involved and the level of public interest.


    Gouldian Finch study begins in the north

    If someone asks you if could identify or if you have seen the iconic Australian bird, the Gouldian Finch, you can be forgiven for saying no.

    There could be as few as 2,500 of the birds in Australia. They're listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act.

    A three-year study into how fire is threatening the finch and its food source of sorghum is being conducted in the far north of Western Australia in Wyndham.

    Sorghum is a species of grass which annually produces seeds in the wet season which the finches rely on during the dry.

    The project is being conducted by Charles Darwin University PhD student Anna Weier.

    Ms Weier says the study is hoping to find out if the fire is destroying the food source, and therefore affecting finch numbers.

    "I'm looking at a species of sorghum, called sorghum stipoideum, which is one of the main species in the north-east Kimberley.

    "This is what the finches solely feed on and feed their chicks on during the breeding season."

    Ms Weier says despite research being conducted on the finches, nothing has covered their relationship with the grass.

    "We are hoping to find out exactly how the finches are using the landscape after fires go through and how they respond to these," she said.

    "At the moment, we think this is due to changes in either seed quality or seed abundance in their breeding areas."

    At the end of the three-year study, Ms Weier says she's hoping there will be some solutions found to help increase the bird's population.

    "Find out what types of fire regimes are going to be most beneficial to the finches, then hopefully, we can put in some sort of plan to protect areas from fire if that's what we need to do."

  8. Liberal candidate Andrew Nguyen says party treated ethnic candidates as 'second-class citizens'

    A Liberal candidate who suffered a humiliating loss to Labor says ethnic candidates in western Sydney were treated as "second-class citizens" by the Liberal Party campaign hierarchy.

    Andrew Nguyen has claimed in an interview with Fairfax Media that Tony Abbott's campaign staff physically escorted him away from an appearance by the then opposition leader in Liverpool during the third week of the campaign.


    "They told me Andrew please go home, you can't be here," Mr Nguyen said.


    "I was given no reason, I was escorted to my car and they made sure I turned right towards my [Cabramatta] office and didn't turn to come back to Westfield shopping centre."

    "We were treated like second-class citizens. Me, [Jaymes Diaz in] Greenway and [Martin Zaiter in] Paramatta.


    "The Liberal Party won't win western Sydney for the next 10 years because of the way they treated the ethnic candidates and the ethnic voters."

    Pictures from Mr Abbott's street walk in Liverpool - parts of which are in the electorate of Fowler - on August 19 show him with Werriwa candidate Kent Johns, whose electorate borders Fowler and Liberal MP Craig Kelly from nearby Hughes.

    Mr Nguyen, 74, is seething at his treatment, having mortgaged his Bankstown home to plough an estimated $300,000 into his campaign.

    Mr Nguyen, who arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1979, said he spent a further $90,000 out of his own pocket on the campaign, maxing out three credit cards to pay for campaign literature translated into Vietnamese, Arabic and Indian.

    He said Tony Abbott had spent a lot of time with Fiona Scott in Lindsay and thought he would expect to see him when he visited Liverpool, inside the Fowler electorate.

    He said he was gagged from speaking to the media, including the local Vietnamese channel of SBS radio and Vietnamese press, or from taking part in any public debates.

    This meant he could not respond to what he calls a smear campaign by the Labor campaign team of Chris Hayes, who eventually won the seat with a thumping 9.4 per cent swing to him. The swing went against the statewide trend of 3 per cent toward the Liberal Party.

    The dirt sheet, "the facts about Andrew Nguyen", claimed Mr Nguyen is a property developer and a migration agent and quoted a letter from state Liberal Charlie Lynn, a political enemy, that Mr Nguyen "isn't fit for public office".

    Mr Nguyen said: "How can I respond to a smear campaign if I can't talk to the media? We were told we would be disendorsed if we spoke to journalists. We were given an instruction not to answer the phone if we didn't recognise the number."

    Mr Nguyen told Fairfax the man who escorted him was called "Justin".

    "I would say Justin removed me. I looked like a criminal and he was a policeman removing me from there."

    A local Liberal Party member active in the campaign confirmed to Fairfax it was Justin De Domenico, who had been assigned by Liberal head office to supervise in Fowler.

    "I saw Justin take him away. It was all part of keeping candidates away from the media who they thought might embarrass them like Diaz," the source said.

  9. U.S. gas via Panama frightens LNG exporters worldwide

    * Backers of non-U.S. projects now hesitating

    * Panama access could mean 10 pct fall in U.S.-Asia LNG shipping cost

    * U.S. projects could mean wider break in oil-price link

    LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The United States is set to grab the first and biggest chunk of unfilled extra Asian demand for shipped gas between now and 2025 with help from a widened Panama Canal and prices that rivals could struggle to match.

    A surge in U.S. natural gas production thanks to the shale revolution means proposed new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Australia, East Africa, Canada and Russia can no longer count on exporting to the United States and will now have to focus more on sales to Asia.

    Now, the distance to ship U.S. LNG from the Gulf of Mexico to Asia is set to be fall to about 9,000 miles from 16,000 after expansion work makes the Panama Canal big enough for LNG tankers.

    That will allow U.S. exporters to compete for that same Asian market, transforming the United States from export destination to growth supplier for Japan, South Korea and eastern China in only a few years.

    The Gulf of Mexico coast has tailor-made ports, storage and pipes it has used for LNG imports. It is part of the world's biggest natural gas market and has specialist local labour available.

    This gives LNG projects there a set of 'brownfield' advantages over 'greenfield' rivals off the undeveloped coasts of Mozambique and Tanzania, in the harsh Russian Arctic, and in remoter parts of Australia and Canada.

    Political risk is also seen as relatively low - at least for the next few years.

    Together, these factors should give the United States about a third of the 150 million tonnes per year (mtpa) of extra LNG demand expected between now and 2025 that is not already accounted for by about 100 mtpa of Australian supply currently under construction, according to analysts' estimates. ()

    "The cost stacks to Asia from the five major supply options end up in a very similar range... but the U.S. brings a unique proposition, and so might be getting a lion's share of that extra demand," said Asish Mohanty, senior analyst on North American LNG for Wood Mackenzie in Houston.

    "We expect around 45 to 50 million tonnes a year of U.S. exports - all starting up before 2020 - with the rest to be shared amongst the others."


    Hesitation by those other LNG producers looks set to play into U.S. hands, too.

    The last big non-U.S. LNG project to get the all-important Final Investment Decision (FID) from its backers was Japanese group Inpex's Ichthys plant in Australia's Northern Territory in early 2012.

    Since then, only U.S. projects, namely Sabine Pass phases 1 and 2 in Louisiana, have won FID.

    LNG exports are politically controversial in the United States because cheap gas has revived the economy, but the government approved a third export permit on Aug 7 in a sign that producers hurt by a glut and weak prices are winning traction in the debate as federal authorities grant permission for exports to countries such as Japan and China.

    Production from shale formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques has sent the Henry Hub U.S. gas benchmark price below $3 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).

    At the same time, Asian buyers have to pay up to $20 on the spot market and up to $17-$18 on long-term contracts linked to the price of crude oil. U.S shippers just have to come in under that, and many in the market believe they can.

    Escalating costs have also slowed development of non-U.S. greenfield projects. The budget for Chevron's half-built 15 mtpa Gorgon project has ballooned by about $15 billion to over $50 billion.

    A third factor has been the sheer number of projects proposed worldwide in recent years - some 631 mtpa worldwide according to analysts at IHS CERA - which is more than four times the predicted need up to 2025.


  10. Panama canal LNG ...cont...

    "It's a bit like being in a restaurant with a big menu," said Washington-based IHS CERA analyst Eliza Notides Young. "This entrance of the U.S... just adds a whole new dynamic to the market.

    "I think a lot of buyers are waiting to see what that might mean for projects in other regions and whether there's room for price negotiations."


    Adding to uncertainty for non-U.S. projects is the widening of the Panama Canal and the cost reduction that will bring for U.S. LNG exporters.

    Only 21 of the existing global fleet of 370 LNG tankers can currently squeeze through the Panama Canal, and none of them try. Yet more than 80 percent will be able to make the passage once widening is complete, according to LNG shipping consultancy Platou.

    Delays have beset the widening project but it is currently expected to be completed by the end of 2015 - just in time for the first scheduled exports from Sabine Pass on the border between Texas and Louisiana.

    IHS CERA estimates the shortened passage to Japan could shave $1.50 per mmBtu off the cost.

    It puts the as-yet unknown canal charge at around 30 cents per mmBtu based on a $1 million round-trip fee for a medium-sized LNG tanker.

    That still leaves a clear $1.20 saving per mmBtu - almost 10 percent of the direct ex-ship (DES) cost based on an estimate by shipper BG Group Plc.

    BG, which is contracted to take 5.5 mtpa from Sabine Pass, puts the DES shipping cost to Asia at $11.20 per mmBtu via Panama.


    There is a pricing game changer happening, too.

    U.S projects can avoid the pricing model that forces buyers into 20-year contracts based on oil prices - so-called take-or-pay funding.

    As was the case with shale production itself, it is the pre-existing infrastructure that has made the United States home to this revolution.

    Greenfield projects like Gorgon in Western Australia are so huge and costly that only the biggest companies - Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell, Exxon Mobil and a few others - attempt them.

    They have to compete for capital with oil projects, so to get FID, they need that take-or-pay funding.

    Building the liquefaction plant absorbs the majority of any LNG project's budget but thanks to its other cost advantages, Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass and others like it can base pricing on cheap U.S. gas instead of costly global oil.

    "That makes the project more likely to happen - and buyers like that," said IHS-CERA's Notides Young. "But it's the gas-linked pricing that really draws them in."

    This is a potential alarm bell for oil multinationals.

    "Can U.S. exports change the pricing game?" asks Johan Schrijver, managing director for Dutch state business of the credit insurer Atradius which deals with LNG financing.

    "Will it reduce, or perhaps put an end to, oil-linked take-or-pay contracts? This is important because the bankability of LNG projects depends very much on the existence of long-term take-or-pay projects with an oil-linked pricing mechanism."


  11. Panama canal LNG ...cont...

    WoodMac's Mohanty also said that after 2020, non-U.S. rival LNG exporters might benefit if U.S. lawmakers grow jittery about domestic gas prices. Buyers looking to ensure diversity of supply will also ensure new export regions find customers.

    And even if U.S. LNG is shipped via Panama, gas from Western Australia will still have less than half the distance to travel to Japan. In addition, most of the greenfield projects own their own gas, while U.S. exporters have to buy on the open market.

    BG, a greenfield developer like Shell and Chevron as well as a U.S gas shipper, is confident the oil price link will stay for as long as supply looks tight.

    "We believe oil indexation will remain a key part of the pricing mix in the LNG market for the foreseeable future and without it, some projects outside of the U.S. may not get developed," said Matt Schatzman, BG group executive vice president for global energy marketing and shipping.

    A U.S. LNG report from analysts at Bernstein this week was titled "Forget Saudi America, What about Qatari America?" - a reference to the current leading LNG exporting country.

    LNG projects have long been vulnerable to fluctuating politics, price, availability of engineering skills and competition from other energy types.

    The Sabine Pass liquefaction export plant is a testament to that volatile history, emerging on the site of a disused regasification import terminal as the cycle turns again.


    Japan and India to push for better LNG pricing

    Posted on September 10, 2013 by Asher Berube September 10, 2013 (Source: UPI)

    — Japan and India said they were planning a liquefied natural gas importers’ group as a way to reduce the Asian price and diversify their import sources. LNG prices in Asia are higher than those in Europe and North America because the cost in Asia is linked to crude oil prices under long-term contracts.

    In their joint statement Monday ahead of the second LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo the next day, Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and M. Veerappa Moily, India’s minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said oil-linked prices for LNG do not “accurately reflect the LNG supply and demand balance” in Asia-Pacific markets, the Financial Post reports.

    Government and private-sector officials from about 50 economies attended the one-day conference. Data from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission indicate Asian LNG importers such as Japan and China paid as much as $15.75 per million British thermal units this month, compared with $2.97 paid by LNG buyers in the U.S. Gulf Coast and $9.79 by British consumers.

    Contracts linked to the Henry Hub price benchmark, however, would revolutionize the Japanese market, even if oil-linked contracts continue to dominate the global LNG market, Platts news service quoted Freeport LNG chief executive Michael Smith as saying on the sidelines of the conference.


  12. USA: DOE Approves Cove Point LNG Exports to Non-FTA Countries

    Dominion welcomed approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for natural gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries from its Dominion Cove Point LNG facility on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland.

    “We agree with the DOE’s decision that exports are expected to bring economic benefits to the country,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO. “It is good news on many fronts, including the thousands of jobs that will be created, the boost in government revenues that will result, and the support it provides to allied nations.


    The DOE previously approved Dominion’s application to export to countries with Free Trade Agreements. Dominion’s proposed facilities are expected to cost $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion. The company filed in March with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of the proposed facilities. Pending receipt of regulatory approval and permits, construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with an in-service date of 2017.

    The capacity of the facility is fully subscribed, with signed 20-year terminal service agreements. Pacific Summit Energy, LLC, a U.S. affiliate of Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp., and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a U.S. affiliate of GAIL (India) Ltd., each have contracted for half of the marketed capacity.


    USA: CLNG Urges Faster Pace on LNG Export Applications

    Following the order from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approving Dominion Cove Point LNG’s non-free trade agreement application to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), Center for Liquefied Natural Gas President Bill Cooper issued the statement below:

    “We welcome the announcement of DOE’s approval order for Dominion Cove Point LNG, which is a further step in the right direction towards realizing the economic benefits expanded LNG exports will bring to the U.S.

    However, we urge DOE to continue the momentum and move forward with the 20 applications that remain pending.

    With a robust regulatory process in place and thorough review conducted, LNG exports will clearly be a win-win for our economy, industries and consumers.”


    Australia: APPEA Opens Darwin Office

    The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) iannounced the establishment of a Darwin office and the appointment of Steven Gerhardy to the new role of APPEA Director – Northern Territory.

    As Chief Minister Adam Giles said at the South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference yesterday, the NT has a proud tradition of gas industry development and a growing level of offshore and onshore activity.

    APPEA’s Darwin office will focus on the overriding priority of maintaining the Territory’s competitiveness for attracting new oil and gas projects and the benefits that this will deliver to the NT economy.

    In this regard, APPEA welcomes the Chief Minister’s announcement of a full review of the portable long service leave scheme for construction workers so as to ensure it is meeting its objectives without imposing an unnecessary cost burden on industry.

    The Darwin office will also work with the NT Government to ensure a robust and efficient regulatory regime for the developing onshore sector and assist its members engage with key community stakeholders.

    Gerhardy has almost 30 years of experience in the resources sector, having worked in government and industry positions in both Canberra and Perth.

    He has worked in APPEA’s Perth office as a strategic policy adviser since 2005 following eight years with Woodside Energy in the position of government affairs manager.


  13. PLATTS FEATURE: Shale boom, new projects boost efforts to de-link Asian LNG price from oil

    Tokyo (Platts)--11Sep2013/302 am EDT/702 GMT

    Hundreds of delegates from countries representing 90% of the global LNG trade returned to Tokyo this year to hash out the debate started years ago by the discovery of new North American and African gas supplies -- whether to move away from oil-linked contracts.

    While Tuesday's discussions were essentially similar to last year's at the 1st LNG Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry maintained buyers and sellers were inching closer to making firm commitments this year.

    Representing the traditionalists at the 2nd LNG Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo this week was Mohammad Bin Saleh al-Sada, the oil minister of Qatar -- the world's biggest LNG producer.


    Responding to growing pressure from Asian LNG term buyers to reflect low global gas prices in their buy contracts -- preferably the US Henry Hub gas prices -- al-Sada said: "LNG producers will find it difficult to take a price list that is associated with remote market indexes, which affects fundamentals and policies that have no relevance whatsoever for the Asian market."

    India's energy minister was on the other end, calling for industry standard oil-indexed contracts to be "shunned."

    "The transition away from oil price indexation is a necessary precondition for a competitive [LNG] market to evolve in the Asia Pacific region," M. Veerappa Moily told the Tokyo conference.

    On Monday, Moily and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi agreed to set up a regional multilateral group of LNG buyers to push for lower prices.

    Their initiative may receive some boost from new North American players at the conference who seemed keen to abandon traditional pricing models. COMPETITION AMONG US SUPPLIERS SHIFTS DEBATE

    Several owners and operators of terminals built on the US Gulf to import LNG, who as a result of the shale gas boom now want to export gas, want to move away from oil-linked prices in their contracts.

    Perhaps the biggest rebel is Michael Smith, CEO of Freeport LNG, if only because he discusses prices -- once a taboo in the LNG world.

    His proposed plant, on Quintana Island in Texas, is relatively close to Henry Hub and already has permits from the US Department of Energy to export LNG from the first two trains to countries without free-trade agreements with the US.

    On Monday, Freeport announced two 20-year tolling agreements to supply Japan's Toshiba and South Korea's SK with LNG from a proposed third train. The project also has deals in place with Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and BP.

    Smith said Freeport LNG would be able to deliver gas to Asia at premiums of $7/MMBtu over Henry Hub prices, making the delivered price considerably lower than the $16-$18/MMBtu Japanese buyers now pay.

    Motegi, Japan's energy minister, put the current delivered price of LNG in the country at $16.30/MMBtu, which he said US supplies could slash by 30%.

    "Companies that can get Henry Hub-linked supply have a great advantage over [those] being stuck with oil-linked LNG," Smith said in an interview.

    But until the Panama Canal widening is completed next year, shipping costs will be a significant part of any deal signed by Asian buyers with terminals on the US Gulf Coast, such as Freeport, Cheniere's Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Lake Charles proposed by BG Group and Southern Union. The three projects have received non-FTA approval from DOE.

    But projects in Alaska and along the west coast of Oregon and British Columbia may have the upper hand on shipping costs even after the widening of the Panama Canal, as the canal could bring in new tolls on tankers.

    Peter Hansen, CEO of Oregon LNG, underlined this advantage, estimating shipping costs to Tokyo at $1.50/MMBtu, about $2-3/MMBtu less than from the Gulf of Mexico.


    Moreover, the project plans to use economically stranded Canadian gas, which is priced off the Alberta AECO benchmark, currently trading at a discount to Henry Hub.

    "The Canadians can produce huge quantities of gas, and yet there is really little market for it," Hansen said.

    Because of this, Hansen met with Japanese companies before the Tokyo conference, seeking equity partners interested in entering the Canadian upstream to supply the planned terminal with gas.

    There is no shortage of upstream players in Alaska, but the state's Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan returned to Tokyo to assure the Japanese government and potential customers that the long-discussed North Slope pipeline and LNG export project are still moving along. Moreover, with indigenous peoples' issues resolved, he said Alaska has some advantages over Canada's British Columbia, where First Nation opposition to more oil and gas development has yet to be addressed.


    Several speakers noted that the slow pace of US export approvals could mean much less US LNG on the market in future than some buyers hoped for or expected.

    Freeport's Smith is getting impatient, as the terminal waits for final construction approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    "FERC is moving very slowly on every single LNG terminal [project], and that's the gating issue holding Freeport back," he said. "We have the customers, we have the money, we have the engineering done, we're ready to go."

    The delays, and political pressure in the US against more gas exports, could mean the impact of US LNG on world markets has been overestimated.

    "The US will not be capable to bridge the demand-supply gap [on its own]," said Chevron's gas CEO Joe Geagea.

    In East Africa, huge new offshore gas finds have led to plans for big export projects, notably in Mozambique. Anadarko, a big stakeholder in the Mozambique discoveries, appeared open to new pricing mechanisms.

    "We want to provide a competitive price when it [the gas] lands, wherever it lands, and there is any number of different ways that pricing formulas can work for that to happen," said Anadarko CEO Al Walker.

    Australia, which led the charge a few years ago to supply Asia with new LNG, was sparsely represented in Tokyo, likely because of last weekend's general election.

    On Tuesday, a key stage for yet another new eastern Australian LNG export scheme -- Arrow's $14 billion Curtis Island project -- was approved by the Queensland government.

    "While Arrow still has some work to do ... it certainly reinforces Curtis Island and Gladstone as the Pacific LNG hub," said Jeff Seeney, Queensland's deputy premier.

    Arrow, which is 50% owned by Shell and 50% by PetroChina, has been struggling to secure enough gas for the proposed plant.

    While to some the second annual LNG Producer-Consumer conference seemed very similar to the first, with buyers and sellers mostly reiterating their positions,

    METI's Shinichi Kihara argued that much had changed between LNG buyers and sellers despite the focus on the Tokyo conference sounding so similar to last year.

    Kihara, director of the energy agency's international affairs division, pointed out the Freeport-Toshiba contract, Kansai's Henry Hub-linked purchase agreement with BP in November and the joint procurement deal agreed by Japan's Chubu Electric and South Korea's Kogas with Italy's ENI in January as examples of the changing interactions.

    "All these things are happening ... the people are the same, but the tone of the discussion is different," he said.


  15. Meanwhile over at Gorgon Chevron has it's finger on the panic button.


    Gas producers alarmed as US approves another new plant

    From: The Australian

    THE US government has given a fourth LNG plant approval to export to Asia's big gas buyers, bringing the level of approved exports from the nation's overflowing gas market to 50 million tonnes a year -- double Australia's current production.

    The fourth approval, of a Maryland plant planned by Dominion Resources, came just a month after the previous go-ahead.

    It has brought approved capacity to nations the US does not have free trade agreements with -- which include the big LNG-buying nations of Japan, India and China -- to the level many LNG players have suggested US exports will be capped at.

    This means any further approvals will signal that the Obama administration is prepared to export more LNG than most had expected, despite vocal calls from the manufacturing industry to keep domestic gas for local use.

    More exports would place further pressure on Australian LNG proponents, who are already facing growing calls from Japan and India to reduce high Asian LNG prices in the face of competition from the US and Africa.


    Despite the approvals, energy major Chevron, which is building $90bn worth of LNG plants in Western Australia, said it did not believe there would be enough new global plants built to meet growing demand.

    The comments were made just before the Dominion Cove approval by Chevron vice-chairman George Kirkland at a New York investor conference.

    "We see a risk that there is not enough investment in LNG to meet the demand forecast that we see for the future," said Mr Kirkland, who runs the company's oil and gas production and exploration unit.

    "We do have a big concern on that."

    Despite potential new supply, Mr Kirkland stressed that big LNG plants take five years to build and before this there was a two-year "front-end engineering and design" phase.

    Chevron has a greater interest in securing high-priced supplies than many who have projects under construction because long-term contracts at the $53bn Gorgon project with Korea fell through, leaving 35 per cent of the massive project's 15.6 million tonnes a year of planned exports without a committed buyer.

    Gorgon's original price tag of $US37bn was increased in January because of a mix of currency moves, local market heat and logistics challenges.

    The overheated market has come as Australia moves to grow its capacity to 80 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade.

    Mr Kirkland said cost increases were one reason supply would struggle to meet demand.


    Methinks there is a bit of wishful thinking going on at know the story - massive capex write downs followed by the sacking of top management who screwed it all up because they allowed a mad rush culture to push them into these insane decisions.

    One thing for sure Woodside will be counting their blessings saying thank god we didn't get tied up at Prices Point.

    It would have been the most incredible mess ever - the panic button would have exploded from the pressure!


    Abbott will soon be finding out the difference between rhetoric and reality - and that will not be a pleasant lesson.He will wind up the meat in the sandwich - squeezed between these big companies and their overpriced projects that can't compete and a rapidly failing eco system.The shame of being labelled the PM who destroyed the Great Barrier Reef for example could result in a rapid greening of right wing politics that hasn't even featured in their worst nightmares yet!

    Abbott whether he knows it or not is in an impossible situation that he just can't win no matter what he does.


    1. Indonesia to reject Abbott boat plan

      .....'We will have a discussion with Abbott prior to the APEC Summit in October,' Mr Natalegawa told a House or Representatives meeting on Wednesday.

      'We will reject his policy on asylum seekers and any other policy that harms the spirit of partnership.'

      The newspaper quoted another Indonesian politician, Tantowi Yahya, who said the plan could potentially harm relations between the neighbouring countries.

      'Our bilateral relations with Australia were good during Kevin Rudd's leadership, but they may not be during Abbott's leadership.'

      Meanwhile, Mr Abbott may also faces diplomatic tension over Indonesia's plans to buy a million hectares of Australian land for cattle breeding.

      While farmers have welcomed the plan, incoming Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has raised concerns, noting that the size of the land is 'quite a substantial chunk of Australia'.


      Asylum seeker boat intercepted

      A boat carrying asylum seekers has been intercepted in Australian waters, the third since the Abbott government was elected.

      Initial reports suggest there are 74 passengers and two crew on board the vessel that was found north of Christmas Island, Customs and Border Protection say in a statement on Thursday.


  16. Bonaparte pushed back

    The French operator of Santos' floating LNG ambitions in the Timor Sea says a final investment decision has been pushed back a year as has the first-production target, to 2019.

    Jean-Francois Letellier, the managing director of the GDF Suez Bonaparte joint venture, told the South-East Asia Australia Offshore conference in Darwin yesterday the project was "moving robustly and positively forward".

    Front end engineering and design is expected to start next year.

    But he told the conference that "rather than being schedule- driven, we have been focused on doing a lot of work up front to make sure we are doing the right project and this has moved our forecast FID date out from 2014 to 2015 and our expected first gas from 2018 to 2019".

    Mr Letellier also revealed Bonaparte FLNG's scope, saying the processing vessel would produce 2.4 million tonnes a year of the liquefied fuel from the Petrel, Tern and Frigate gas fields.
    GDF owns 60 per cent of the Bonaparte venture and Santos 40 per cent. There is an expectation both sides will cut their stakes leading up to FID.

  17. THIS WEEK: Canadians plan Asian LNG offensive with Japan, China and Korea tour

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    The Canadian province of British Columbia is planning an all-out LNG offensive to bring the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans on board the massive liquefaction plant and export development plans set to take off in the province.


    Three more firms apply for US LNG export permits and take Non-FTA list total to 21

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    Three more LNG export applications, one from Alabama and two from Texas, have joined the Department of Energy export permits list for Free Trade Agreement nations and non-FTA countries.


    Jordan Cove LNG Canadian permit

    Sept. 11 (LNGJ) - Veresen Inc., the developer of the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal at Coos Bay in the US state of Oregon, has applied to Canada's National Energy Board for a long-term licence to export pipeline natural gas from Canada to the US where it will be liquefied at the Versen plant and then re-exported to Asia as LNG.


    Australian-run US LNG export project reports progress on finance and permits

    Wednesday, 11 September 2013

    The Magnolia LNG project in Louisiana, the only Australian-run export venture in the US, is on track in the permitting process, the developers LNG Ltd. said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.


  18. Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Waste in Pennsylvania

    the world’s largest energy company, was charged with illegally dumping more than 50,000 gallons (189,000 liters) of wastewater at a shale-gas drilling site in Pennsylvania.

    Exxon unit XTO Energy Inc. discharged the water from waste tanks at the Marquandt well site in Lycoming County in 2010, according to a statement on the website of Pennsylvania’s attorney general. The pollution was found during an unannounced visit by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

    The inspectors discovered a plug removed from a tank, allowing the wastewater to run onto the ground, polluting a nearby stream. XTO was ordered to remove 3,000 tons of soil to clean up the area. Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum, the attorney general’s statement showed.

    “Criminal charges are unwarranted and legally baseless,” the XTO unit said yesterday in a statement posted on its website. “There was no intentional, reckless or negligent misconduct by XTO.”

    Pennsylvania has become one of the biggest gas-producing states in the past five years as explorers drill the Marcellus shale, a rock formation stretching across the northeast U.S. that holds 24 percent of the nation’s shale gas reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. Exxon agreed to buy XTO in 2009 for $34.9 billion.

    XTO was charged with five counts of unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law and three counts under the Solid Waste Management Act.


    Bill To Regulate Fracking Passes California State Assembly

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A hotly contested bill that would impose California's first regulations on fracking and other oil production practices passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, despite opposition from environmentalists and oil companies.

    Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to crack rock formations and free up oil and natural gas. The technology makes it possible for oil companies to unlock California's vast Monterey Shale deposit, which is estimated to hold 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

    Under the bill, passed by a vote of 47-17, companies would be required to obtain permits for fracking as well as acidizing, the use of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals to dissolve shale rock. Oil company executives have previously said acidizing could be even more useful than fracking in getting at the Monterey Shale reserves.

    The bill would also require notification of neighbors, public disclosure of the chemicals used, as well as groundwater and air quality monitoring and an independent scientific study.

    The study would evaluate potential risks such as groundwater and surface water contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollution, seismic impacts, and effects on wildlife, native plants and habitat.

    "There are still many unanswered questions about the use and impacts of fracking and acidizing, and it is in the interest of all Californians to monitor and regulate these practices," said state Senator Fran Pavley, an Aurora Hills Democrat who wrote the bill, SB 4. "Ultimately the oil industry, not the public, should be held accountable for the costs of these activities."

    The bill was opposed by environmental groups that wanted to see an outright ban on fracking in the state.

    They were especially critical of amendments added to the bill late last week that they said would cut some existing requirements for environmental review.

    The new language would also make it more difficult for the governor or regulators to deny a fracking permit until the state finalizes fracking regulations it is currently developing on a separate track. They are not expected to be completed until 2015.

  19. What a waste of time and money.


    Business blasts more spending on Muja

    The State's business lobby and the organisation representing private sector electricity generators have blasted the Barnett Government's decision to finish the refurbishment of the Muja AB coal-fired power station.

    The WA Independent Power Association said it was "very questionable" to risk a further $46 million of taxpayers' money on the botched project at a time of budget restraints.

    And the Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the decision added uncertainty to the industry, with the private sector unclear on the Government's role in the generation market.

    Energy Minister Mike Nahan last week released a pair of consultants' reports into the bungled project, in which Verve Energy was to enter a joint venture with Geelong engineering firm Kempe to refurbish four generating units at the mothballed, 50-year-old 240MW power station.

    But the joint venture collapsed after Kempe was unable to sustain cost overruns and boiler tubes exploded because of corrosion undetected by Verve before the deal to refurbish the plant was inked - both events occurred in 2012-13.

    The refurbishment was to cost $150 million, with the money to come from private finance. It has cost $290 million to date - with only two of the four generating units operating - and will cost a further $46 million to complete.

    Dr Nahan said the Government would complete the project and aim to sell a 50 per cent stake because it was in the best interests of taxpayers.

    A KPMG report released by the Government last week said the project would return $54 million in value over 10 years, assuming the $290 million spent to date was written off.

    Dr Nahan said Verve believed the project could still cover its operating costs over 15 years, but that financial analysis has not been published.

    The West Australian understands Verve believes it will end up only $2 million in front after 15 years - which amounts to a rounding error.

    WA IPA chairman Richard Harris said he doubted the project would ever be profitable.

    He said before the decision by Verve on refurbishment, a number of private companies given the chance to buy the power station had decided it was too risky.
    CCI chief economist John Nicolaou said it was projected that in five years there would be a need for further capacity for electricity generation that would outlive a recommissioned Muja AB.

  20. The Australian at it again - just sloppy journalism - but what a crock!

    We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC


    Most of this is based on articles from that sloppiest of tabloids the Daily Mail.

    Interesting but as it really highlights some of the problems the Greens have with the "Murdochracy"
    and anyone else who dares to doubt the claims of the deniers.


    ""Most of the world does not have a problem with denial of climate change," says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. "It's only an issue in Australia, Canada and, most significantly, the United States." Although the U.S. population as a whole is moving toward accepting the reality of climate change, Congress remains a scientific backwater. One recent analysis by the Center for American Progress found that almost a third of the 535 members of the House and Senate are climate deniers. Not coincidentally, those 161 reps have taken more than $54 million in political contributions from the fossil-fuel industry."


    Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph

    Both UK periodicals focus on short-term noise and ignore the rapid long-term Arctic sea ice death spiral

    When it comes to climate science reporting, the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph are only reliable in the sense that you can rely on them to usually get the science wrong. This weekend's Arctic sea ice articles from David Rose of the Mail and Hayley Dixon at the Telegraph unfortunately fit that pattern.

    Both articles claimed that Arctic sea ice extent grew 60 percent in August 2013 as compared to August 2012. While this factoid may be technically true (though the 60 percent figure appears to be an exaggeration), it's also largely irrelevant. For one thing, the annual Arctic sea ice minimum occurs in September – we're not there yet. And while this year's minimum extent will certainly be higher than last year's, that's not the least bit surprising. As University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins noted last year,

    "Around 80% of the ~100 scientists at the Bjerknes [Arctic climate science] conference thought that there would be MORE Arctic sea-ice in 2013, compared to 2012."


    1. The Daily Mail Is Wrong: The Earth Keeps Warming

      Over the weekend, David Rose at the Daily Mail wrote a high-profile piece on climate change that made several claims about the state of the climate that are at odds with findings of climate scientists and researchers all over the world. The article made the claim that Arctic sea ice is now recovering from its recent melting trend, and goes further to assert that the Earth is now entering a “cooling period.” However, based on the latest climate research, neither of these claims are true.

      Over The Long Term, Arctic Sea Ice Is Shrinking, Not Growing

      Mr. Rose leads his article with this sentence: “A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent.” This sentence reminds me of the old adage that the best way to lie is by telling the truth – just not all of it. Yes, it’s technically true that this summer, there is more ice in the Arctic Ocean than there was last summer. But that’s not the whole story.

      First, in 2012, Arctic sea ice reached a extreme record low – so any extent that wasn’t a record-breaker could be spun as an “increase.” Second, when you’re looking at long term trends in climate, you have to look at just that – the trends. Not the year to year noise. So what happens if we look at the long term trend in Arctic sea ice? We find that 2013 is well below the average Arctic Ice coverage for the years between 1981 and 2010, as this chart from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows:


    2. Shoddy Climate Reporting

      These two articles at the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph continue the unfortunate trend of shoddy climate reporting in the two periodicals, particularly from David Rose. They suffer from cherry picking short-term data while ignoring the long-term human-caused trends, misrepresenting climate research, repeating long-debunked myths, and inventing IPCC meetings despite being told by climate scientists that these claims are pure fiction.

      Based on their history of shoddy reporting, the safest course of action when reading a climate article in the Mail on Sunday or Telegraph is to assume they're misrepresentations or falsehoods until you can verify the facts therein for yourself.


      Climate change is a hoax propagated by greedy academics and greens, better described as "the new reds".

      Clearly this theory is undiluted lunacy, but its adoption by great swathes of the right is the most significant strategic blunder by a political movement in my lifetime. The great debates of the last century – be they over a woman's right to choose or whether the US should have fought on in Vietnam – have never, and likely will never, be entirely resolved. And even if they were, the public was never likely to exact a catastrophic and permanent political price from the losing side.

      But with climate change things are very different, presenting a grave danger to the electoral success of right-wing politics this century. Because man-made climate change is not some abstract political theory but a scientific prediction that will be proven beyond doubt in the years ahead in the form of climate impacts.

      The new decade will likely see record global temperatures, severe – possibly terminal – depletion of Arctic summer sea ice, huge loss of mass from glaciers, and wildfire epidemics. Taken collectively, these climate signals will be among the most important events in human history. In the decade following, any remaining climate deniers will surely lose their tenuous hold on the levers of influence because the public will witness first hand profound changes to our world. We'll want somebody to blame – we always do.

      Just as George Bush was defined by Iraq and Margaret Thatcher by privatisation, the conservative movement outside of the Cameron clique is rapidly becoming defined by climate denial. For example, all the top 10 Tory bloggers in the UK are deniers. By the end of the next decade, this could be politically toxic.

      For Tony Abbott, the new leader of the opposition Liberal party in Australia who assumed his role last week on a platform of climate scepticism – "absolute crap," he said of the science – the reckoning may come too late. But younger Australian politicians and journalists will, in years to come, be seeking the support of a public which will want to know why they wilfully misreported the consensus scientific view while we still stood a realistic chance of preventing climate breakdown. The same will be true of Sarah Palin and young Republican members of the US Congress who proclaim climate change to be a swindle designed to destroy the American way of life.

    3. Climate is a series of complicated systems, which is why when we look at changes in the climate, we have to look at the long term trends. Otherwise, a short-term temperature decline or a short-term increase in sea ice extent can be spun to “prove” that climate change isn’t happening – even though the science says otherwise.

      In a NASA blog post last month about Arctic sea ice measurements, NASA scientist Walt Meier had this to say about the current extent of sea ice: “Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years. The long-term trend is strongly downward.”

      Furthermore, it’s not enough just to look at the surface area of Arctic sea ice. As Phil Plait noted in Slate back in May, it’s equally important to look at sea ice volume. And when we look at volume, we see that the sea ice in the Arctic is a lot thinner than it used to be. Here’s a chart of the volume of Arctic sea ice over the past several decades from the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington.

  21. We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC

    Graham Lloyd, Environment editor |
    The Australian |
    September 16, 2013 12:00AM

    THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest assessment reportedly admits its computer drastically overestimated rising temperatures, and over the past 60 years the world has in fact been warming at half the rate claimed in the previous IPCC report in 2007.

    More importantly, according to reports in British and US media, the draft report appears to suggest global temperatures were less sensitive to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide than was previously thought.

    The 2007 assessment report said the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade, but according to Britain's The Daily Mail the draft update report says the true figure since 1951 has been 0.12C.

    Last week, the IPCC was forced to deny it was locked in crisis talks as reports intensified that scientists were preparing to revise down the speed at which climate change is happening and its likely impact.

    It is believed the IPCC draft report will still conclude there is now greater confidence that climate change is real, humans are having a major impact and that the world will continue to warm catastrophically unless drastic action is taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    The impacts would include big rises in the sea level, floods, droughts and the disappearance of the Arctic icecap.

    But claimed contradictions in the report have led to calls for the IPCC report process to be scrapped.

    Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, told The Daily Mail the leaked summary showed "the science is clearly not settled, and is in a state of flux".

    The Wall Street Journal said the updated report, due out on September 27, would show "the temperature rise we can expect as a result of manmade emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPCC thought in 2007".

    The WSJ report said the change was small but "it is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet".

    After several leaks and reports on how climate scientists would deal with a slowdown in the rate of average global surface temperatures over the past decade, the IPCC was last week forced to deny it had called for crisis talks.

    "Contrary to the articles the IPCC is not holding any crisis meeting," it said in a statement.

    The IPCC said more than 1800 comments had been received on the final draft of the "summary for policymakers" to be considered at a meeting in Stockholm before the release of the final report. It did not comment on the latest report, which said scientists accepted their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures and not taken enough notice of natural variability.

    According to The Daily Mail, the draft report recognised the global warming "pause", with average temperatures not showing any statistically significant increase since 1997.

    Scientists admitted large parts of the world had been as warm as they were now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250, centuries before the Industrial Revolution.


    1. We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC


      And, The Daily Mail said, a forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense had been dropped.

      Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley said the draft report had revised downwards the "equilibrium climate sensitivity", a measure of eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It had also revised down the Transient Climate Response, the actual climate change expected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide about 70 years from now.

      Ridley said most experts believed that warming of less than 2C from pre-industrial levels would result in no net economic and ecological damage. "Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083 the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm," he said.

  22. Global Warming Is Very Real

    Scientists are fighting deniers with irrefutable proof the planet is headed for catastrophe

    Read more:

    By Jeff Goodell

    September 12, 2013 7:00 AM ET

    On September 27th, a group of international scientists associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will gather in an old brick brewery in Stockholm and proclaim with near certainty that human activity is altering the planet in profound ways. The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report offers slam-dunk evidence that burning fossil fuels is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warn that sea levels could rise by almost three feet by the end of the century if we don't change our ways. The report will underscore that the basic facts about climate change are more established than ever, and that the consequences of escalating carbon pollution are likely to mean that, as The New York Times recently argued, "babies being born now could live to see the early stages of a global calamity."


    A leaked draft of the report points out that the link between fossil-fuel burning and climate change is already observable: "It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010. There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century." If you look beyond the tables and charts and graphs that fill the reports, you can see the Arctic vanishing, great cities like Miami and Shanghai drowning, droughts causing famine in Africa, and millions of refugees fleeing climate-related catastrophes. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC, recently told a group of climate scientists that if we want to avoid this fate, governments must act now to cut carbon pollution: "We have five minutes before midnight."

    But, of course, this is nothing new. In 2007, when the IPCC released its Fourth Assessment Report, it was also nearly certain that human activity was heating up the planet, with grave consequences for our future well-being. And six years before that, when the IPCC released its Third Assessment, scientists were pretty certain about it too. But phrases like "high confidence" in warming do not, to the unscientific ear, inspire high confidence in the report's finding, since they imply the existence of doubt, no matter how slight. And in the climate wars, "Doubt is what deniers thrive on and exploit," says Bob Watson, who was head of the IPCC from 1997 to 2002. The final report has not even been released yet, and already prominent bloggers in the denial-sphere, like Anthony Watts, are calling it "stillborn."

    But perhaps the most significant thing about the new IPCC report is not the scientific findings. It's that the release of the report may actually mark the beginning of a new phase of the climate wars – one in which scientists and activists learn to fight back.


  23. Global Warming Is Very Real ...cont....

    The war over the IPCC's fifth assessment officially got under way in August, after a draft report of the "Summary for Policymakers" of the Working Group I report was leaked to the media. Deniers immediately seized on two issues to create controversy and undercut the findings of the report.

    The first has to do with "equilibrium climate sensitivity," which is the amount the climate is likely to warm in response to rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. In a leaked draft of the Fifth Assessment, scientists slightly lowered the range of possible warming from the previous assessment. Some media outlets – including The Economist, which should have known better – seized on this data to suggest that this is "one sign [that] suggests [the new assessment] might be less terrifying than it could have been." In fact, as prominent climate blogger Joe Romm pointed out, these arcane, highly technical numbers are "far less interesting and consequential subject than the fact that we are headed way, way past [emissions targets] or that the real-world slow feedbacks are expected to make a very big contribution to warming this century." To put it another way: In the real world, climate sensitivity means zip.

    But that's how the denier game works: They seize on small errors and inconsequential factual inconsistencies in a piece of climate research and use it to discredit the science and reassure people that climate change is no big deal. In the 2007 Assessment, for instance, the authors and reviewers overlooked a sentence that asserted Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035 – an obvious misstatement, which deniers seized and used to suggest that the entire assessment was bunk. "You didn't have to be a scientist to know that's not true," says Watson. "It was simply an error that slipped through, and deniers tried to use it to invalidate the findings of the entire report." It's like finding a misspelling in the Manhattan phone book and then declaring the whole book useless.


    The second issue that has come up is the question of a "hiatus," or pause in surface-temperature warming. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, winner of a climate-denier award from Texas green groups, recently proclaimed that "there has been no recorded warming since 1998." Not exactly, Ted. According to the IPCC draft report, the rate of warming at the planet's surface is lower over the past 15 years, but warming has not stopped. In fact, since the 1950s, each successive decade has been hotter than the last, and the 2000s were the hottest decade since modern record-keeping began in 1880. Scientists have a variety of explanations for this, including the fact that more heat is being transferred deeper into the ocean and that volcanic eruptions have blocked sunlight. "We never expected warming to be linear," says Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

    Read more:

  24. Global Warming Is Very Real ...cont....

    To former IPCC chair Watson, it is crucial that these criticisms not go unanswered. "The IPCC needs to have an answer for this," he says. "They need to be prepared." But in Santer's view, climate science is rapidly approaching the point where it is immune to these kinds of critiques: "Up until now, the criticism has been that climate science is like a house of cards, and if you pull out one or two sets of data, it all collapses. That narrative has been refuted. The Fifth Assessment shows that warming has a physical and internal consistency – it's warming in the deep ocean, in the intermediate ocean and in the lower atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic sea ice is retreating. The observational evidence for human-caused warming is overwhelming, compelling and irrefutable."


    That may be true, says Oreskes, "but if there is one thing we have learned in recent years, it's that climate change is not just a scientific problem. It is also a political, social and cultural problem." According to Yale's Leiserowitz, it's also a problem that four in 10 people in the world have never heard of. "If you can reach them, you can convince them," says Leiserowitz. But it is going to take more than a few well-written press releases and a spiffy website: "Think about what a company like Coke does when they are launching a new product in the world," says Leiserowitz. "They spend a billion dollars doing market research, crafting ads, targeting their audience. They know that is what it takes to cut through the media clutter today. So far, the climate movement hasn't come close to thinking about how to communicate on that scale."

    For better or worse, this Fifth Assessment may be the last grand climate-science report from the IPCC. "I think these reports have outgrown their usefulness," says David Keith, a Harvard professor who recently resigned as an author of the Fifth Assessment, echoing the view of other top scientists. "If it were gone, scientists might reorganize themselves in a more effective way."

    In a more rational world, of course, we wouldn't need any more IPCC assessments. We would have listened to the scientists, built a global consensus and forged international agreements to reduce carbon pollution and head off the risk of climate catastrophe. But in the 25 years since the IPCC was formed, global carbon pollution is rising faster than ever. Future readers may view IPCC reports not as landmarks of scientific inquiry, but as suicide notes from a lost civilization.

    This story is from the September 26th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

    Read more:


    The article is much longer than the few extracts here - worth a read.

  25. NT declares itself open for business on LNG

    By ABC's Ticky Fullerton
    Posted Fri 13 Sep 2013

    It seems a big game of poker is being played in the Northern Territory at present, with the rights to develop the LNG industry shaping up as the prize, writes Ticky Fullerton.

    There are a lot of blokes in Darwin this week, and not just because the US navy is having a stopover.

    It's all that gas. The annual SEAAC conference, together with the Northern Resources meet, will pull in 900 delegates including the top oil and gas producers, and all the industry that hangs off them: mining services, energy consultants, building contractors.

    And Chief Minister Adam Giles makes it very clear that the Northern Territory is open for business.

    Clearly delighted by the Abbott victory federally, he talks of a "different paradigm in the confidence of investing in Australia", and many in the gas industry would agree.

    The jewel asset for the NT is the Ichthys project, a joint venture between Japanese-owned Inpex and Total.

    For the first time globally, Inpex is the developer of the project, and it's not cheap.

    If on budget, it will cost $34 billion and employ at its peak 5,000 workers. Some will be local, but many will be fly in, fly out and conveniently those just coming off jobs on the big East coast LNG projects like Gladstone and APLNG.

    Inpex's LNG site at Blayden Point, not far out of Darwin, is currently a massive 250 hectare footprint of earth movers and levellers, as the ground is prepared for cooling towers that will hold 650,000 cubic metres of cooled liquid gas, then to be transported by ship to hungry industry.

    Post-Fukashima, Japan's appetite for LNG is growing and Ichthys will supply up to 10 per cent of that requirement.

    There is much talk about the deal struck by the Territory's previous Labor government to coax the deal away from Western Australia.

    Ichthys after all is much closer to Western Australia and a pipeline - 1.2 metre diameter - will run 880 kilometres from the gas field. One factor is that all the gas will be for offshore markets.

    Adam Giles makes it very clear that the NT is not interested in any domestic gas reservation currently operating in WA and strongly advocated by manufacturing peak bodies.

    It's another level of 'certainty' around investment in the Northern Territory for the gas companies who passionately oppose domestic reserves.

    The latest proposal from the Australian industry Group for a national interest test meets with the same opposition.

    "Market intervention is fraught, full stop," explains Santos' John Anderson. "I think any attempt to try and stop the moving forward of projects which are hard enough in their own right but any ability to stop some of those export contracts would be I think a terrible day for Australia. If the price signals are there, there will be ample investment in domestic gas as we have done in Western Australia."


  26. NT declares itself open for business on LNG


    Current levels of investment in Australian LNG are impressive - take Santos alone, John Anderson explains. "We've got one LNG plant online here in Darwin, two being built at the moment which for a company of our size is quite remarkable, and a fourth project offshore Northern Territory, not yet sanctioned, which is Bonaparte LNG".

    The challenge is to keep the investment coming, and part of that is remaining competitive. Costs on some projects, like APLNG owned by ConocoPhillips and Origin among others, have crept up. Chevron has recently been highly critical of Australian productivity levels on projects.

    The next stage for the north according to the ambitious Chief Minister is additional trains for Inpex or ConocoPhillips in Darwin, and then, "Can we entice other companies to come on shore or can we be a supply base for companies into the future? Darwin is already the Shell's offshore supply base for Prelude and it's lobbying hard to be the service hub for Woodside."

    The challenge for WA's premier Barnett is that he can't at present match Darwin as an established hub for the LNG sector.

    It will be interesting to see if any value-add projects like petrochemical plants are built in or around Darwin.

    I understand that gas fields in areas like the Browse Basin are rich in ethane which is a valuable input for petrochemical production. Chief Minister Giles says he would welcome such developments. But that might well be driven by the gas price.

    If you put 10 gas experts in a room and asked them about the future for gas supply and demand, and therefore gas pricing, you'd get more than 10 opinions back.

    This is partly driven by the differing views on export competition for Asian markets that might emerge from US shale gas. This has been recently heavily promoted by the Japanese government which wants to encourage a downwards remodelling of gas contract pricing.

    Indeed, in the past two days, the Wall Street Journal reported, "Japan and India agreed Monday to set up a multilateral group of buyers for liquefied natural gas to push for lower prices for the fuel, and they plan to ask other importers to join them."

    Todd Creeger at ConocoPhillips does not see US exports in overdrive: "The big question is how much LNG will the US Government allow the US to export? I think it will be a modest level but it will compete."

    So Americans, ironically, will have their own domestic reserve policy then: "The US has had a domestic energy policy for a number of years, it requires a special export permit ... only recently with the shale boom have we got to a position where we are energy positive, so I think what the policy has been is no sense in exporting and importing the same product, let's just keep it here in the US."

    Others talk about alternative sources domestically: If we can only get that coal seam gas out of the ground in New South Wales, argues companies like Santos and the gas peak body APPEA, then New South Wales would not be facing a 'gas cliff' in 2016.

    New South Wales imports 95 per cent of its gas and the fall off in contracts beyond about 2017 is indeed real.

    Three days in Darwin has provided me with a couple of interesting insights. The first is that the exploration potential is enormous.


  27. NT declares itself open for business on LNG


    American ConocoPhillips has 11 million acres in the Canning Basin in the Kimberley; Santos dominates the Cooper Basin and is also exploring in the NT's McArthur Basin.

    Some of this gas is easy to access, but much of it is unconventional gas, or shale gas, which would probably require some form of fracking.

    It's very similar to the resource that has driven the shale gas boom in the US, but neither Todd Creeger from ConocoPhillips nor Santos' John Anderson believe that it will be the boon for Australia that America has enjoyed.

    The reason? Infrastructure.

    In the US, operations are often very close to the users. The ConocoPhillips wells in the Kimberley are 900km from the nearest pipeline.

    The decisions to go ahead with development are big decisions, and expensive ones.

    So strong and certain demand is a critical factor in any decision making. Santos decided to supply the WA domestic market because of the industrial demand there that delivered some price tension.

    Demand in the Northern Territory is nothing like as strong. One deal arousing curiosity with local journalists in the NT is the proposed gas supply to Rio Tinto's alumina refinery at Gove.

    The previous Government committed to supply gas, but Adam Giles has since pulled back from the commitment. Santos is on record recently saying it has available gas for the NT that it can't sell because the demand is not there. But the amount the company is believed to have available, 78 petajoules, is less than a third of what Gove requires.

    Adam Giles told me that his Government will commit to 175 petajoules, and interestingly he told me, "All of our gas that's available will be going to riot onto the Gove operations if they continue those operations."

    The other challenge is that a pipeline to Gove is supported by the Abbott Government, but it wants a 20-year guarantee that the Gove alumina will remain open.

    It seems a big game of poker is being played in the NT at present.

    Two workshops were run at the start of the SEAAOC conference around the frontier for LNG development.

    The first was on floating LNG and why Western Australia is so well-placed.

    Shell's Prelude FLNG platform will be a world first, the size of six of the aircraft carriers currently in Darwin harbour put side-by-side.

    Right out on the high seas, FLNG will be built faster and more cheaply than plants like Inpex LNG with no long pipelines, platforms built in shipyards overseas with specialist labour and shipped to site, and no planning issues that dog the industry onshore, according to energy consultants. It also means that smaller areas and less accessible areas from land will be more easily tapped.

    The second area is LNG in transport.

    And while LNG tanks may already be commonplace in Turkish taxis, the market for big trucks and shipping looks very promising.

    It is now possible to buy LNG energy at the pump for about 60 per cent of the cost of diesel.

    For shipping the attraction is both environmental and economic. The world is under pressure to phase out fuel oil - North America and Europe will probably do so by 2015 - so the option is diesel, costing 60 per cent more than fuel oil or LNG at about the same cost.

    This could be transformational for the sector. If all ships switch from fuel oil to LNG that would consume more than the entire world production of LNG. According to Tri-Zen International's Tony Regan, in Darwin for the conference, "This is a completely new market for LNG ... so please can we have 10 more Ichthys projects?"

    Ticky Fullerton is presenter of The Business on ABC1

  28. Karoon - KAR - are in a trading halt pending an update on their Browse Basin leases.

    Details expected tomorrow.