Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Greenhouse gas emissions hit highest level ever

Greenhouse gas emissions hit highest level ever


  1. Barnett in State Parliament on November 14 stating that he is in the process of changing the State Agreement with the Goolarabooloo - Jabirr Jabirr to allow for developement of a supply base, as opposed to a gas hub. Note the arrogance!

    Extract from Hansard
    [ASSEMBLY — Thursday, 14 November 2013]

    The point I am making is that at no time did the Premier try to get Inpex to come onshore to James Price Point; yet he was happy to suggest in the media that that was somehow a solution to the problem he had created by forcing the Browse joint venture partners to consider that site. Interestingly, it was well known, because in 2010–11 Shell publicly said that it preferred to pipe the gas to the Burrup. It was well known around the industry because Shell had talked about it publicly and there were rumours, which, of course, we cannot confirm, that both BHP Billiton Ltd and Chevron would have preferred the Burrup site. That site would have secured onshore gas for Western Australia and ensured an onshore LNG processing facility. Instead, the Premier had to do it his way, twice messing up—now we will find out whether he has done it properly the third time—the purchase of the James Price Point precinct.
    Mr C.J. Barnett: We purchased it.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: We do not know. We will see what happens next time it goes to court. Twice the Premier has been to court and both times he has lost—so two out of three—and we will see what happens the third time.
    It was to buy a site that nobody wanted to use. Now the Premier goes to the media and says, “If the floating LNG project proceeds, we could use the James Price Point precinct as a supply base for the offshore floating LNG facilities.” Yet that is not permitted by the state agreement act covering James Price Point that the Premier brought into this chamber and had us pass.
    Mr C.J. Barnett: We can soon change that.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: I am sorry—the Premier can change that?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: That is what we are doing now; we are changing it in the agreement act.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: It can only be changed with the agreement of the other party to the state agreement. You know that yourself, don’t you?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: The state owns the land.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: What discussions has the Premier had with the other parties to the James Price Point agreement?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: Quite a lot.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: What is their position?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: Including the federal minister.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: Do they support your change or not?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: Including the federal minister on two occasions.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: I am not talking about that. I am talking about the state agreement act that the Premier asked us to pass through this Parliament that prevents the use of James Price Point as an offshore base for floating LNG projects.
    Mr C.J. Barnett: So, if we have a proponent for an offshore base, we can bring in an amendment to the agreement, can’t we?
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: No. The agreement is not with the proponent for the offshore proposal. The agreement is with the Indigenous landholders, so what is the Indigenous landholders’ position on this issue?
    Mr C.J. Barnett: For goodness sake! They want to see some development.
    Mr W.J. JOHNSTON: I have asked the Premier a question. Either he can answer it or he cannot.
    Mr C.J. Barnett: I can. Unlike you, we want to see development of the Browse gas fields to the benefit of Western Australia.

    1. I wonder if he is aware that some of the people who went to Perth and signed that paper with him have given him the sack for "telling us nothing but lies and using us up to cause trouble"..........???

  2. Any Jabirr Jabirr who still want to sign with Barnett should be removed from the claim on the solid medical grounds that they are insane.

    The same goes for the Shire and BCC.

  3. Interesting - but cant access the story.

    ENB - "LNG fears follow leaks on Queensland CSG output shortfalls"


    Colorado Fracking Agreement Joins Drillers and Activists

    Colorado will become the first U.S. state to limit methane emissions from the production of natural gas and oil, addressing an issue that climate watchdogs say is a downside of the boom in hydraulic fracturing.

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced an agreement between oil-and-gas producers Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC), Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) and Encana Corp. (ECA) and the Environmental Defense Fund, a watchdog group, to have the industry track and eliminate methane gas leaks from tanks, pipelines and other production equipment.

    “The rules will help Colorado prepare for anticipated growth in energy development, while protecting public health and the environment,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. The joint proposal will be subject to outside comment and a hearing in February 2014 before becoming a formal rule, according to the statement from Hickenlooper’s office.


    Shale Revolution Spreads With Record Wells Outside U.S.: Energy

    The hydraulic fracturing of shale in search of oil and gas has hardly started outside the U.S., but that’s changing.

    A record 400 shale wells may be drilled beyond U.S. borders in 2014, with most in China and Russia, according to energy consultants Wood Mackenzie Ltd. While that’s a fraction of the thousands of shale wells drilled in the U.S., the number of rigs used onshore in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region has increased 10 percent over the past year, data compiled by oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. show. Most of those rigs are meant for shale, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Nov. 18 issue.

    “It’s likely there will be a revolution,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director at the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said in an interview in London. “But not everywhere at the same time. And you just can’t copy the U.S. experience.”

    Fracking in the U.K. will start next year, after the government lifted an 18-month moratorium imposed when a drilling company found it had accidentally caused earthquakes. Two utilities -- Centrica Plc (CNA) of Britain and GDF Suez (GSZ) SA of France - - have bought stakes in the country’s drilling licenses to help bankroll the drillers and win a cut of any profit.

    “History repeats itself, yes, but nothing is ever the same,” said Christof Ruehl, chief economist at BP Plc (BP/) in London. “There’s going to be developments outside the U.S. and North America which will be big and important, no doubt. But it will take some time.”


    The Gods really are crazy!

    What a horror story this is going to be - The Kalahari thrown wide open to frackers.

    The high cost to Africa of America's cheap gas - video

    While South Africa hotly debates gas extraction in the Karoo desert, Botswana has quietly opened up vast areas, including delicate ecosystems, to unchecked development. This clip from new documentary The High Cost of Cheap Gas looks at the latest science from the gas fields of America to the heart of the Kalahari desert. The film uncovers what America's export of fracking and natural gas technology means to Africa and the rest of the world

    • Find out more about The High Cost of Cheap Gas on the film's website and on Facebook and Twitter

    Shale gas and fracking,



  4. British banks among world's biggest lenders to coal industry, report finds

    RBS tops UK list with lending €5bn for coal-mining operations, followed by Barclays and HSBC

    Three UK banks are among the world's biggest lenders to the coal-mining industry, despite trumpeting their environmental credentials, a new report has found.

    Royal Bank of Scotland, which is majority-owned by UK taxpayers, was by far the biggest of the UK banks involved, providing finance of nearly €5bn (£4bn) to the industry in the last eight years. It ranked as the world's eighth biggest lender to coal-mining operations, according to a study from a group of non-governmental organisations.

    Barclays was the next biggest UK bank on the list, with more than Euros3.5bn in lending, and HSBC – which in 2004 boasted of being the first major company in the UK to go "carbon-neutral" – provided about €2.5bn in finance over the same period.

    The report, entitled Banking on Coal: Undermining Our Climate, from organisations including Germany's Urgewald and the Polish Green Network, found that at least €118bn had been lent globally to coal mining between 2005 and 2013. Despite coal's position as the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, lending on coal mining has increased three-fold since 2005, the year the Kyoto protocol came into force.

    Heffa Shuecking, director of Urgewald, said: "It's mind-boggling to see that fewer than two dozen banks from a handful of countries are putting us on a highway to hell when it comes to climate change. Big banks have already showed they can mess up the real economy – now we're seeing that they can push our climate over the brink."

    RBS's group policy states: "RBS Group fully supports the transition to a low-carbon economy. We use our position as a global financial services company to lead and support our stakeholders in addressing this critical global challenge. We are engaged in meaningful and positive actions to develop and implement the immediate and long-term investments required."

    Barclays was one of the banks that helped draw up the Equator Principles, which require companies to take environmental risks into account in their lending practices.

    HSBC has long campaigned on its green credentials, teaming up with WWF, the Climate Group and others in a $100m "climate partnership" project.

    None of the three companies responded to a request for a comment.

    The biggest banks lending to coal-mining operations internationally are Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. All three of these banks also have sustainability policies. The authors of the study found that the US, the UK and China collectively account for about 57% of finance provided to coal mining.

  5. Leave coal in the ground to avoid climate catastrophe, UN tells industry

    Intensity of UN climate chief Christina Figueres's remarks take coal industry leaders and environment groups by surprise

    Most of the world's coal reserves should be left in the ground to avoid catastrophic global warming, the UN's climate chief has told the $3tn global industry.

    In a speech to a gathering of industry executives, Christina Figueres challenged the industry to urgently transform itself, diversify into renewable energy and "radically change … rapidly and dramatically for everyone's sake".

    "By now it should be abundantly clear that further capital expenditures on coal can go ahead only if they are compatible with the 2C limit", she said at the international coal and climate summit in Warsaw, being held at the same time as UN climate talks.

    Figueres said they had "the opportunity to be part of the worldwide climate solution" by switching off old coal power plants, capturing and storing carbon from new plants and leaving most of the world's coal reserves in the ground. She also said coal power could help poorer countries' economic development and poverty reduction, but that the industry "must change".

    "I urge every coal company to honestly assess the financial risks of business as usual; anticipate increasing regulation, growing finance restrictions and diminishing public acceptance," she said.


    Climate change pledges: rich nations face fury over moves to renege

    Typhoon Haiyan raises fear over global warming threat as Philippines leads attack on eve of key talks

    Developing nations have launched an impassioned attack on the failure of the world's richest countries to live up to their climate change pledges in the wake of the disaster in the Philippines.

    With more than 3,600 people now believed to have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan, moves by several major economies to backtrack on commitments over carbon emissions have put the world's poorest and most wealthy states on a collision course, on the eve of crucial high-level talks at a summit of world powers.

    Yeb Sano, the Philippines' lead negotiator at the UN climate change summit being held this weekend in Warsaw, spoke of a major breakdown in relations overshadowing the crucial talks, which are due to pave the way for a 2015 deal to bring down global emissions.

    The diplomat, on the sixth day of a hunger strike in solidarity for those affected by Haiyan, including his own family, told the Observer: "We are very concerned. Public announcements from some countries about lowering targets are not conducive to building trust. We must acknowledge the new climate reality and put forward a new system to help us manage the risks and deal with the losses to which we cannot adjust."

    Munjurul Hannan Khan, representing the world's 47 least affluent countries, said: "They are behaving irrationally and unacceptably. The way they are talking to the most vulnerable countries is not acceptable. Today the poor are suffering from climate change. But tomorrow the rich countries will be. It starts with us but it goes to them."

    Recent decisions by the governments of Australia, Japan and Canada to downgrade their efforts over climate change have caused panic among those states most affected by global warming, who fear others will follow as they rearrange their priorities during the downturn.

    In the last few days, Japan has announced it will backtrack on its pledge to reduce its emission cuts from 25% to 3.8% by 2020 on the basis that it had to close its nuclear reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

  6. Australia slides down to bottom on climate change performance index

    Country's growing greenhouse gas emissions draw criticism of 'anti-climate' influence at UN climate talks in Warsaw

    Australia has become an "anti-climate" influence on international efforts to slow global warming after dropping close to the bottom of a ranking of the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters.

    Australia's ranking on the climate change performance index fell from 51 to 57 out of 61, as the United Kingdom became the second highest ranked country behind Denmark.

    The index, developed by thinktank Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe, was released on Monday at the start of the second week of the United Nations climate change negotiations in Warsaw, Poland.

    The ranking combines five different areas covering the types and levels of emissions, renewable energy supply, trends in energy efficiency and climate policy.

    The UK moved to second highest after emissions fell 15% and improvements were made in energy efficiency. Denmark led the ranking thanks to low levels of emissions and "exceptional" policies to keep emissions down.

    Launching the report, Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe, said: "We have now an Australian government that is more looking at the anti-climate policy development than in furthering the climate policy development of the previous government."

    He cited Australia's attempts to repeal carbon price legislation and the change of government as the reason for its falling status.

    "There are many signs where the Australian government shows it's not very keen on developing climate policy. I think it is evident at these talks. They are not sending any ministers so they're not giving it any importance."

    He said Australia now had "no intention … to be in any way constructive" in Warsaw, and doubted the country would want to sign a new legally binding agreement which it is hoped will be developed in time for a key UN meeting in Paris in 2015.

    Christoph Bals, policy director at Germanwatch, said between 2002 and 2011, the world's largest emitter China had been responsible for 80% of the rise in global annual emissions. But he said growth in renewable energy in China was currently outstripping growth in coal.

    He said there was a possibility that sometime in the next decade, global emissions could plateau, but only if the world's countries could agree a "meaningful outcome" from climate change negotiations.

  7. The high price of the gas boom

    By Alan Kohler

    High gas prices will force Tony Abbott to abandon at least one of his promises around climate change and the political cost may be massive, Alan Kohler writes.

    The liquefied natural gas (LNG) export boom will make it virtually impossible for Australia to meet the Government's carbon emissions reduction target.

    The high price of gas in Australia has made replacing coal-fired power stations with gas uneconomic and "fugitive emissions" from the LNG plants mean that reducing overall emissions within Australia by five per cent by 2020, as Government policy states, will require much bigger cuts in other industries.

    Tony Abbott will have to either drop the promise to cut emissions by five per cent or the promise to repeal the carbon tax - both together will be impossible without massive Government spending under the proposed "direct action" policy of paying companies to reduce emissions.

    Actually previous government policy was for a 15 per cent reduction in emissions if the rest of the developed world also took action on climate change. That's happening, so the 15 per cent would have applied.

    The Coalition said it would match Labor's emissions reduction target, but the figure of 15 per cent doesn't seem to appear in its policy - only five per cent.

    Anyway, not trying to reduce carbon emissions at all would put Australia at odds with the rest of the world, including China and the US, and endanger trade agreements, so the Prime Minister and Treasurer Joe Hockey will be, or at least should be, desperately hoping that the Senate never allows the repeal of the emission trading scheme legislation, so it's not exactly a broken promise - at least they tried.

    Before the Charter of Budget Honesty it used to be routine for incoming governments to declare things were much worse than anyone thought, so that all bets are off on election promises.

    Now, with the introduction of the PEFO (pre-election fiscal outlook) there has to be a Commission of Audit to provide the nasty surprise that allows the breaking of expensive promises.

    In essence, Australia's LNG export boom and high domestic gas prices will make it very difficult for the Coalition to get re-elected if they stick to current policies.

    The cost to the budget of climate change direct action, plus paid parental leave, disability insurance, education funding and rapidly rising health costs would lead to an even greater structural deficit than currently exists ($28.8 billion according to economic consultancy Macroeconomics).

    The emissions trading scheme currently in place would eventually produce revenues to the Government of up to $10 billion a year. It's understood Treasury has estimated the eventual cost of the Coalition's direct action plan at $10 billion.

    That's a $20 billion turnaround and makes climate change a "nuclear bomb" in the Federal budget, as Professor Ross Garnaut says and as he puts in his book "Dog Days" would end up "distracting the government and the polity from the great economic challenges facing Australia".

    Like Australia, the United States has enjoyed a huge boom in gas supplies by exploiting smaller and tighter reservoirs - in their case in shale, in ours coal seams.

    However the US banned LNG exports and is now allowing them on a case-by-case basis, resulting in a collapse in the domestic gas price to about a third of what it was. The result is wholesale replacement of coal-fired power stations - new and existing - with lower carbon emitting gas.

  8. The high price of the gas boom

    In Australia, export pricing has led to a huge increase in the domestic gas price despite the big lift in available supply, with the result that gas is still uneconomic as a replacement electricity fuel for coal.

    Wind and solar are also too expensive to replace coal: gas is, or at least should be, the only viable substitute in the medium term.

    Add to that the fugitive emissions from the gas liquefaction plants and Australia's LNG export industry is likely to be a big net cost to Australia, not a benefit, especially in the early years while the capital cost of building the plants is written off in depreciation against taxable profits.

    All the extra costs to the budget that have been promised - direct action, parental leave, NDIS, education and health - seem to lead inevitably to a budget crisis just beyond the current forward estimates of four years.

    It will be very interesting to see how the Commission of Audit led by Tony Shepherd deals with all of this, and in particular whether they try to properly cost the Coalition's direct action policy.

    That might be awkward, especially if the audit reveals that the Government will have to make big cuts to welfare, health and education spending in order to fund the reduction in carbon emissions.

    Alan Kohler is Editor in Chief of Eureka Report and Business Spectator, as well as host of Inside Business and finance presenter on ABC News.

  9. Iran Invites India, China to Join Gas Pipeline Project

    Iran’s deputy minister for international and commercial affairs Ali Majedi has called on India to join an under-construction pipeline projected to carry natural gas from Iran to Pakistan.

    He said Iran expects India to get over its doubts and join the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, adding that given the initial design of the pipeline, even China can join this project.

    “If India joins the pipeline, the interests of all three countries – Pakistan, India and Iran – will be guaranteed,” he said, Iran’s SHANA news agency reported.

    India has already voiced its interest in the pipeline, but it has been boycotting formal talks on the project since 2007 over cost of gas as well as security of the pipeline.

    Majedi said Iran has met its obligations regarding gas exports to Pakistan, adding: “Iran has heavily invested in this pipeline project and has constructed its own section of the pipeline.”

    “Pakistan is required to construct pipeline to take delivery of gas from Iran,” said Majedi.

  10. Three Hotspots in North America Worth Watching

    The industry remains focused on moving forward with several key projects that will help America's quest to become energy sufficient.

    As the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) witnesses record spending to finalize deepwater projects coupled with today's high price of oil, new projects are coming online at a rate that is expected to see production from deepwater fields make up more than 13 percent of global liquids output by 2040. These economics ring true for other projects that in years past were deemed costly.

    Alaska's LNG project, recently given the OK to move forward, is considered to be in an economically competitive position relative to others, according to a Wood Mackenzie study.

    "From an economic perspective, Alaskan LNG exports would be competitive and could generate between $220 and $419 billion in revenue."

    As for America exporting liquefied natural gas, many in the industry see it as an opportunity to create jobs and economic prosperity. Low energy prices and increased natural gas liquid supplies have enabled the chemical and other industries to invest in new plants in the United States. The American Chemistry Council estimates that increased natural gas liquid supplies will create 412,000 jobs in and related to the chemical industry.

    The three hotspots listed below have gained momentum and will continue to see a flurry of activity in the coming years.


    Projects in the Gulf of Mexico Slated to Come Online

    Since the six-month drilling moratorium was lifted in Oct. 12, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, operators have resumed their daily operations.

    This sector of the energy industry continues to see an uptick and most operators with assets in this area are posed for a healthy return if oil prices stay at $100 a barrel.

    Production in deepwater GOM increased to 1.39 million barrels per day from 1.31 million barrels per day during 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This increase was due to 13 new fields coming online, specifically the restart of the Mad Dog field and production from Tahiti Phase 2 redevelopment in 2012.

    "This area has totally rebounded from the Macondo disaster and companies are marching full speed ahead," commented Ernst & Young Strategic Analyst for Oil & Gas Foster Mellen to Rigzone.

    "The GOM will always be an important play due to the sheer volume of resources that it holds." Several fields are slated to come online in the near future further increasing production levels to new heights in 2014 with an average output of 1.45 million barrels per day expected by this time next year.


    Alaska Interested in Converting its Gas into LNG

    "Alaska is getting very busy and is quite an exciting area right now, so much so that we are looking into opening an office in that area next year," Dane Groeneveld, regional director of North America at NES Global Talent, told Rigzone.

    "This area will be in need of manpower as the project comes further along." "From a conventional oil perspective, Alaska is in a terminal decline," added Mellen. "However, Alaska has a lot of gas and this project is worthwhile. It makes a lot of economic sense to export it."

  11. Three Hotspots in North America Worth Watching


    America Exports LNG

    Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass LNG project, the first liquefied natural gas project in North America given the OK to export, is slated to begin producing in late 2015. The project is on schedule with its first two processing units, the company announced in May 2013.

    Cheniere also made a final investment decision for the development and construction of Trains 3 and 4 of the Sabine Pass Liquefaction project.

    "We have completed all milestones to start construction on the first four liquefaction trains being developed by Sabine Liquefaction. Construction on Trains 1 and 2 commenced last August and is approximately 30 percent complete, and construction on Trains 3 and 4 will start immediately. First LNG is expected to be delivered by late 2015. Additionally, we expect to complete all of the required resource reports to file an application with the FERC by September 2013 for Trains 5 and 6," said Charif Souki, chairman and CEO, in a press release.

    Cheniere was among a handful of companies that built LNG import terminals in the last decade, as the United States was expected to become a major natural-gas importer due to declining production. Once hydraulic fracturing became widespread, unlocking vast amounts of natural gas from shale formations in the United States, Cheniere swiftly turned its Sabine Pass LNG facility from an import terminal into an export facility. To date, the company has signed contracts to sell 16 million metric tons a year from four processing units at Sabine Pass.

    The potential impacts of exporting liquefied natural gas remain to be seen, but average net growth in jobs is projected to range from 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035, reported ICF International in its report “U.S. LNG Exports: Impacts on Energy Markets and the Economy”.

    Manufacturing job gains are estimated to average between 7,800 and 76,800 net jobs for 2016 to 2035, including 1,700-11,400 net job gains in specific manufacturing sectors such as refining, petrochemicals, and chemicals, according to the report.

    "I think we are going to see an increase in hiring, about 200-300 engineering positions in the near future, and then big peaks in the workforce, up to the 3,000-7,000 range as these LNG projects try to come online," said Groeneveld.

    "This is huge and we are seeing a lot of our clients getting quite concerned. There are a number of LNG projects and several downstream projects that are in the works, causing a bottleneck that is less about the Great Crew Change and more about the demand side. It's really heating up in the Gulf Coast region," he added.