Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kimberley gas hub fight back on as Colin Barnett digs in

Kimberley gas hub fight back on as Colin Barnett digs in


  1. Bergman and his "we're going to steal someone else's country" crew :

    ".........east-coast conservationists have been accused of retreating ''back to their beautiful houses in Sydney'', leaving behind an unresolved mess.

    The offer of $1.5 billion to indigenous communities, one of the most lucrative native title deals ever struck, is now off the table and the old families of Broome are barely talking to each other."

    The only ones who have retreated leaving a mess behind them for everyone else to clean up are Bergman the 3rd rate shyster and his crew of termites.

    The only reason the termites crawled out the woodwork in the first place was when someone mentioned "money".

    Now the money is off the table they've all vanished back from where they came from "leaving behind an unresolved mess".

  2. I've probably driven some of you mad with the many "unintelligent" posts regarding Iran being as the country has been sidelined by sanctions over it's nuclear weapons program.

    But Iran always loomed as the sleeping giant of the oil and gas world and sooner or later it would be freed of it's shackles and become a real player once again.

    Well it looks like that time has arrived.

    And the timing of the sleeping giants awakening could be very well timed for those who want the Canning Basin looking less attractive for all out drilling and fracking.


    So here is a collection of stories that hopefully define Iran's ability to be a real game changer in the fast moving world of energy.


    Isolated Israel denounces Iran deal

    Israel’s condemnation of the Iranian nuclear deal struck in Geneva was swift and absolute, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelling it “an historic mistake” that had made the world “a much more dangerous place”.

    Pushing aside concerns over Israel’s increasing isolation on Iran, Mr Netanyahu declared Israel was not bound by the agreement and reiterated Israel’s “obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat”.

    Two years of sanctions have hurt Iran deeply, halving its oil sales and paralysing its banking sector.

    “I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability," the Prime Minister said at his government’s weekly cabinet meeting.


    Another Middle Eastern country not happy with the deal is Saudi Arabia, whose officials were noticeably quiet following the unexpected announcement in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    "[Saudi officials] don't think this leads to a deal that leads to peace, they think this leads to Iranian domination of the Gulf," Jon Alterman, the director of the Middle East program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, told Foreign Policy.

    The Saud’s stance leaves the Gulf state and Israel as two of the only critics of a thawing in relations with Iran.

    However that does not mean there is any likelihood of a diplomatic alliance forming between the two countries against the Iran deal any time soon, analysts say.

    “It would not be not the first time Israel has worked with the Gulf countries but it hasn’t proven itself to be sustainable in the long run,” Professor Maghen told Fairfax Media.

    There was one Israeli institution that expressed confidence in the Iran deal – Israel stock prices rose to a record high on Sunday, with investors responding favourably to a diplomatic solution as opposed to a military conflict with Iran.


  3. "In October the US achieved another milestone in its reinvention as an energy powerhouse when it produced more oil than it imported – the first time this had been achieved in 18 years."


    "•the migration of industry back from Europe and China to the US in pursuit of cheap energy and cheap money, creating the perfect conditions for faster growth and higher demand for oil and gas which will further accelerate exploration and production."


    "The moral of the story: Don’t bet against the US and don’t bet against the shale gas phenomena in the US, or the potential for shale-cracking technology to eventually take its placed as one of miracles of the modern world alongside the telephone, the jet engine and the internet."


    The real reason behind big oil’s cost-cutting obsession

    Monday, 11 November 2013

    COST cutting is such a big issue for the world’s oil companies that it seems to Slugcatcher that the campaign is being driven less by the pursuit of short-term profits and more by concern that the world is about to make a major oil discovery that might crash the price.

    Or, to widen that thought somewhat, perhaps the world’s oil companies are worried about the discovery of more than one new source of energy, which will crash the price.

    The latest bogey-man to worry big oil is Iran, and the potential for it to be re-admitted as a trustworthy country without nuclear-weapon ambitions and a plan to blow Israel and other perceived enemies, such as Saudi Arabia and the US, off the face of the earth.

    If that sounds somewhat exaggerated take the time to check out some of the threats made over the past few decades by the mad mullahs who run Iran and its once world-class oil and gas sector.

    The return of Iran, which took a few tentative steps forward last week during inconclusive talks in Geneva, is an issue to match the discovery of technologies to squeeze gas and oil out of tightly-packed rock, the so-called shale-gas phenomena.

    Mainly confined to North America, at this stage, the oil-from-shale technologies will spread worldwide despite the doubts sometime raised about the geology of Texas, Dakota and other US states being in some way unique.

    There is nothing special about North American geology, though there is something special about the pipeline system, the refining capacity and the energy hungry market with capacity to pay.

    In time, shale technology will go global and the oil majors not only know that for a fact, they are the leaders of the shale rush.

    If shale technology was the only driving force behind what appears to be an emerging glut of oil and gas then the problem might be more manageable.

    Unfortunately the issue is more complex than that with other factors layering pressure on the oil price. These include the steady rise of alternative and renewable energy sources, the global economic slowdown, which has dimmed demand, and, lately, the prospect of IRAN making a return as a MAJOR OIL SUPPLIER.

    It is uncertain how long it will take for Iran to make a full return. However, the country does have the potential to double its 2.6 million barrels of oil a day, and also has the potential to become a major exporter of gas thanks to reserves classified as the world’s biggest.

    Iran + shale gas + alternative energy sources are part of the pressure piling up on the world’s oil industry, which has been watching with concern as the oil price has struggled to rise significantly over the past few years and, more recently, been in a worrying downtrend.

    The lower-than-expected oil price, especially for believers in Peak Oil theory, is hurting countries as much as companies with Russia nervous about the future of its biggest export item, and Venezuela on the verge of economic collapse.

  4. The real reason behind big oil’s cost-cutting obsession

    Monday, 11 November 2013

    Hard-nosed managers at big oil companies can sense the fundamental change sweeping across the oil patch, and seem to have decided that the days of oil trading at more than $US100 a barrel might soon be a memory, whether measured as Brent or West Texas equivalent quality.

    So, if the price of a commodity is not rising, and does not even look like rising thanks to abundant supply and the potential for expanding supply, there is only one course of action left: cost cutting.

    Australia’s oil and gas sector has been a victim of the costs-out drive with projects such as the onshore Browse LNG replaced by a cheaper floating LNG option, and plans to expand the Gorgon LNG project wrapped in mothballs until the true cost of the first stage are better understood and Australia’s internal costs decline.

    Investors have welcomed the new-found focus on costs because they believe it will add to profits and let oil companies pay increased dividends or undertake expanded share buy-back programs.

    Increased investment returns might be a result of lower costs but The Slug suspects the real issue is that the big oil companies have looked at the future price of their primary products and come to the conclusion that rising competition from new sources of energy is deadening the outlook and the only way to maintain profits in an over-supplied market is to cut costs.


    DID shale gas just save the world from a nuclear war? Before questioning Slugcatcher’s sanity, cast an eye towards New York, where Iran has taken a step towards normalising relations with the western world after 30 years of self-imposed exile.


    Expanding Asian giants can't continue defying gravity

    CHINA and India are at risk of a sudden slowdown, with an influential Harvard study showing there is no precedent for their high growth rates being sustained.

    The study, which casts doubt on forecasts that Asia will supplant the US and Europe as the dominant forces in the world economy, comes as the OECD voices its alarm about the short-term prospects for the emerging countries.The OECD believes there are rising risks of a new world financial crisis sparked by financial weakness in emerging countries, particularly Indonesia and India.

    The Harvard study, by President Barack Obama's former chief economic adviser Larry Summers and his colleague Lant Pritchett, shows the chance of China sustaining a growth rate of 9 per cent for another two decades is less than one in 300.The study, looking at economic growth records for all countries in the world going back to 1953, finds that periods of rapid growth nearly always revert back to long-term average world growth rates, with the end usually coming abruptly.

    The rise of the emerging economies over the past decade has transformed both the world and the Australian economies, slashing the cost of manufactured goods, generating vast demand for resources, and driving rapid growth in world trade.

    Since the global financial crisis, the emerging countries have been responsible for the vast majority of global economic growth, with their advance softening the impact of the downturn in the advanced countries.The OECD's new global economic outlook raises fears that their slowdown will similarly impact upon the advanced countries over the year ahead

    It calculates that a two-percentage-point fall in demand in the emerging world, excluding China, would lower growth in the advanced world by 0.4 per cent.

    Its forecast growth for the developing world of 4.75 per cent this year is two percentage points below the average for the past six years.Since May, the OECD has lowered its estimate for growth of the developing world from 6.2 per cent for next year to 5.3 per cent, but its commentary highlights its concern that the result may be considerably worse.

  5. Expanding Asian giants can't continue defying gravity

    Among the contributing factors to the slowdown are weak external demand, slowing productivity growth, limited progress on structural change, declining investment growth and ageing populations.

    The OECD is concerned that slowing economies could be accompanied by a disruptive exodus of capital, potentially sparked by the US Federal Reserve winding down its monetary policy support. Although financial institutions in the emerging world are better capitalised than they were during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, they are also more tightly bound to the global economy.

    "This raises the risks of a systemic event, with marked adverse effects on OECD financial conditions and growth prospects.

    "The OECD is particularly concerned about India and Indonesia, both of which have large external deficits, while it says Turkey and Poland are sources of vulnerability because of rising debt. Slowing investment growth is of greatest concern in India and Brazil.

    The OECD remains reasonably confident about China, forecasting that its growth next year will lift to 8.2 per cent (only 0.2 percentage points below its May forecast). However, it says excessive investment in housing and infrastructure raises risks of an eventual over-supply and sharp correction.

    The Summers paper says that China's period of rapid growth has already exceeded that of any other country, having now been running at more than 6 per cent for 32 years. South Korea is the only other country to have come close, with 29 years of rapid growth. The median is only nine years.

    While there has been intense effort by economists over the past two decades to unravel the sources of superior GDP growth, the study says nothing has been found that has greater explanatory power than reversion to the average world economic growth rate.

    While OECD country growth rates fluctuate through business cycles close to the average, this has not been the cases for developing countries, for which growth is episodic, with common shifts in medium-term growth rates of four percentage points a year.

    Developed countries grow slowly but steadily. The study finds that a forecast of Denmark's growth made in 1914, which simply extrapolated its previous 25 years of growth, would have got the income per capita in 2010 exactly right. Rich countries enjoy growth in 84 per cent of all years, while periods of recession are only mild.

    However, developing countries oscillate between periods of rapid growth and deep downturns.

    The study argues that policymakers need to be prepared for a much wider range of extended slow-growth scenarios among the Asian giants. "Hitching the cart of the future global economy to the horse of the Asian giants carries substantial risks."

  6. US boom 'threatens gas projects'

    ONE of the world's biggest suppliers of pumping equipment to the mining sector believes the US shale gas boom and the emergence of North America as a gas exporter could have serious consequences for Australia's coal-seam gas and liquefied natural gas industry.

    The chief executive of the Glasgow-based and FTSE-listed Weir Group, Keith Cochrane, also warned there would be "consequences" if Australia allowed the "noise" surrounding the environmental impact of coal-seam and shale gas developments to delay the progress of the industry.

    Weir, which is planning to dramatically ramp up its exposure to Australia's CSG and emerging shale gas industry and is supporting BG Group's Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas project, has spent more than pound stg. 1 billion ($1.77bn) acquiring businesses supplying to the US shale sector.

    It now generates annual revenues of more than pound stg. 500 million from North American oil and gas markets. Mr Cochrane said the unexpected impact on world coal prices of the US finding an alternative energy source in shale gas showed there could be unforseen consequences from the US shale gas revolution.

    "The coal traditionally provided to US coal-fired plants has now found its way across the Pacific to China, to India, and that has had a knock-on impact on coal prices, which has impacted Queensland and Indonesia. We could not have predicted that five years ago," he told The Australian during a visit to Weir's Australian operations.

    "So from an Australian perspective, understanding the potential consequences (of US gas exports) is, to my mind, important. There will be some impact. We can't tell it specifically. But the ramifications of North American developments are to my mind so significant that there will be impacts.

    We can't close our eyes to them."While questions have been raised about the longevity of the US industry, given the fact that shale well production usually peaks early and then declines, big LNG importers such as Korea Gas and Japan's Osaka Gas have signed long-term agreements with US terminals.

    Canadian gas exports are also expected to begin in 2017.At the same time fresh doubts have arisen about the ability of Queensland's coal seams to produce enough gas to feed Gladstone's LNG export plants amid assertions that many wells are not producing as expected and that more gas could be needed.


    Houston-based drilling supplier Superior Energy Services warned recently that more drilling in Queensland and South Australia could be required because of poor well performance.


    Mr Cochrane declined to comment on those claims, but said Australia was uniquely positioned to become self-sufficient in energy by developing "unconventional" energy reserves such as CSG and shale.

    "It is an opportunity for Australia to continue to evolve and develop, and to diversify both its energy needs, its ability to be self-sufficient in energy terms, and create a further opportunity for wealth creation and jobs for the people of Australia in the year ahead," he said. - See more at:

    1. Has the 'Mideast premium' been removed from oil?

      A breakthrough nuclear deal signed between Iran and six other world powers over the weekend has the potential to remove the "Middle East premium" from oil prices, some analysts say.

      Brent crude prices fell over $2 from Friday's open to $108.47 in early trading in Asia on Monday, while U.S. crude also slipped 90 cents to $93.64 a barrel, as investors priced in the prospect of Iran, home to one of the world's largest oil and gas reserves, coming back to market.

      The deal on Sunday does not immediately end the sanctions on Iran, but is seen by many to symbolize a step towards progress further down the line, which could increase global supply and therefore dampen the price of oil.

      "I think we will get a bit of a knee jerk-reaction [to the deal] but I still think that oil will continue to trade lower for some time... the Middle Eastern premium is eroding quite fast," Jonathan Barratt, chief executive officer of Sydney-based commodity research firm Barratt's Bulletin, told CNBC Asia's Squawk Box on Monday.

      And if Iranian crude sales are restored, it could threaten some of the major suppliers worldwide, Barratt added.

      "It has implications for OPEC and probably also for the U.S. as well. Remember they [the U.S.] are going to be one of the largest producing nations for oil outside of Saudi Arabia and Russia so the implications for supply are certainly there. I think you'll see supply continue to increase if economies do not pick up," he added.

      U.S. and E.U. sanctions on Iranian crude sales, which prevent Western energy companies from dealing with Tehran, have been in force since 2006 in an effort to inhibit Iran's nuclear weapons program. Iran's oil output has been dramatically reduced as a result, by around 1.5 million barrels a year, a factor that has helped support strong oil prices in recent years.

      Kevin Book, head of the research team at Washington-based research firm ClearView Energy Partners, said if Iran's oil producing capabilities are eventually returned to normal, it could put substantial downward pressure on crude prices.

      "The deal opens up the possibility of at least 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude returning to world markets by the fourth quarter of 2014, as result Brent crude prices could fall to $90 a barrel in this time," he said.


      Guy Stear, head of research for Asia at Societe Generale, told CNBC the deal could have an impact on prices in the medium term, but added that Saudi Arabia could act to limit too much downside.

      "The reason the market is bullish is because they see this as an option for improvement in the future. Our analysts say it [the deal] could be worth $5 a barrel so it could get the Brent down to $103, but [a move] below there looks quite improbable," said

      "The other thing we tend to think about is how will Saudi Arabia react? If Saudi Arabia thinks more Iranian oil is coming to market, and they think prices are going too low, they may remind the market that they can turn off production as and when they want," he added.

    2. Auto and Shipping Firms Among Potential Iran Deal Winners

      The deal struck yesterday in Geneva among Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. and its European Union partners, will relax restrictions on cars, petrochemicals, aviation parts, gold, and insurance for oil cargoes. In addition, it will let the Persian Gulf state continue exporting oil at current levels instead of forcing further reductions.

      Direct commercial benefits from the agreement will be limited because the primary sanctions on oil and banking remain in place. Its significance may be as the first break in a pattern of ever-tighter sanctions on Iran and a potential first step toward its return to the international economy.

      “Any indication that we could resume doing business with our partners in Iran goes in the right direction,” Peugeot spokesman Jean-Baptiste Thomas said yesterday. “We’ll of course welcome the re-opening of the Iranian market.”

      In exchange for a selective easing of sanctions, the agreement requires Iran to curtail sensitive nuclear activities, reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and agree to increased international inspections of its nuclear facilities.


      Sanctions have cost Iran $120 billion in lost revenue since the U.S. and EU started imposing tough penalties on energy, ports, insurance, shipping, banking and other transactions in 2010, according to U.S. Treasury estimates. The American sanctions penalize other nations that trade with Iran, including U.S. allies.

      Along with the automakers, the accord may crack open the door to trade with Iran for gold traders in Turkey, oil refiners in India and shipping insurers in London.

      The first-step deal won’t loosen the restrictions that affect most Iranian banks and make it almost impossible for Iran to regain access to the global financial system.

      Nor will it provide an immediate boon to multinational oil companies such as Total SA (FP) of France, Eni SpA (ENI) of Italy or Statoil ASA (STL) of Norway because the restrictions on Iran’s energy sector and the EU oil embargo on Iran will remain in place.

      Oil Trade

      Christophe de Margerie, chairman and chief executive officer of Paris-based Total, said on Nov. 10 that he hoped it “won’t take too much time” for France’s energy giant to return to Iran if those sanctions are lifted.

      Iran, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries before oil sanctions took effect in July 2012, has fallen to sixth place.

      While the U.S. sanctions that reduced Iran’s crude exports by 60 percent since last year will continue, the deal eases some rules so buyers of Iranian oil can maintain their purchases at current volumes instead of cutting them further, the White House said in announcing the deal.

      Over the next six months, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his partners from the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia will pursue a final agreement that could yield a far-reaching easing of sanctions.


      The agreement to allow crude exports at current levels benefits China, India, South Korea, Japan, Turkey and Taiwan, the only nations still buying Iran’s oil. Those countries have complained to U.S. officials that the push to reduce Iranian crude imports by an additional 15 percent every six months was straining their economies. Iran had 23 crude oil clients before sanctions in July 2012; now it has six.


      Any future increase in Iranian supplies of oil and gas would trickle down to Europe’s chemical industry, creating a potential game changer for energy-intensive industries, including those making polyvinyl chloride, the plastic known as PVC, said Hodges, a former executive of Imperial Chemical Industries.


      “If sanctions were lifted in the future, and Iran was selling oil again, it would be a serious market for new aircraft, as their fleet has aged considerably and is probably not in good repair,” Johnson said in an interview. “That would take a full-fledged deal, probably involving complete cessation of their enrichment program and dismantling of some plant and equipment.”


    3. Iran to examine shale oil, gas potential along its border with Iraq

      Nov. 4, 2013

      TEHRAN, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The National Iranian Oil Co. will spend more than a year examining the potential for shale oil and gas reserves along Iran's border with Iraq, an official said.
      Hormuz Qalavand, exploration director at NIOC, said the company would use seismic technology in the project.

      NIOC signed a $49.8 million deal with an unnamed private company to conduct the seismic surveys.

      Shana, the Iranian Oil Ministry's official website, reported Sunday it would take about 14 months to complete the work.

      No information about the reserve potential was published by Shana.

      Iran is working to stimulate an oil and natural gas sector handicapped by Western economic sanctions designed to deprive the country of revenue it could use to finance a controversial nuclear sector.


      Natural gas reserves in Iran

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      According to the Iran Petroleum Ministry, the proved natural gas reserves of Iran are about 1,046 trillion cubic feet (29.6 trillion cubic metres) or about 15.8% of world's total reserves, of which 33% are as associated gas and 67% is in non associated gas fields. It has the world's second largest reserves after Russia.[1][2] As it takes approximately 5,850 cubic feet (166 m3) of gas to equal the energy content of 1-barrel (0.16 m3) of oil, Iran's gas reserves represent the equivalent of about 216 billion barrels (3.43×1010 m3) of oil.

      The US Energy Information Administration estimated Iran's proved gas reserves as of the start of 2013 as 1,187 trillion cubic feet (33.6 trillion cubic metres).[3]

      Iran is one of the most hydrocarbon-rich areas in the world. Since the nation's first oil well in 1908, 145 hydrocarbon fields and 297 oil and gas reservoirs have been discovered in Iran, with many fields having multiple pay zones. A total of 102 fields are oil and the remaining 43 are gas, and there are 205 oil reservoirs and 92 natural gas reservoirs. According to Iran Energy Balance Sheet (2009, in Persian), 78 of these fields are currently active, with 62 onshore and 16 offshore, leaving 67 fields inactive at present. Some 23 hydrocarbon fields lie in border areas and are shared between Iran and adjacent countries, including Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.[4]

      The Permo-Triassic successions (the Dehram group in Iran and its lateral equivalent, the Khuff formation), are major gas-producing intervals in these basins. The supergiant North Dome/South Pars field alone is estimated to hold about 19% of the world’s total gas reserves, producing gas and condensate from these intervals.[5]

      Iran still has huge potential for new significant gas discoveries: areas such as Caspian Sea, North East, Central Kavir and especially areas starting from Aghar and Dalan gas fields in Fars province up to the Strait of Hormuz[citation needed] and Central Persian Gulf have considerable potential for undiscovered gas.[6] According to Exploration Directorate of NIOC, there are about 150 unexplored anticlines in Iran.[7]

      In 1998, the US Geological Survey estimated Iran's undiscovered gas resources to be in the range of 226 to 820 trillion cubic feet, with a probability-weighted average of 465 trillion cubic feet (13.2 trillion cubic metres)[8]

      In January 2008, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Gholam-Hossein Nozari said, "NIOC has a target of producing one billion cubic meters of gas per day.[9]


    4. Potential oil and gas field discovered in northeastern Iran

      January 22, 2013

      New"huge" oil and gas reserves have been discovered in northeastern Iran, according to Rostam Qasemi, the country's oil minister. Press TV reported that recent studies indicate reserves near the country's border with Turkmenistan and Iraq could contain a considerable body of gas. Further seismic studies and exploratory wells need to be completed in order to understand the potential of the possible field, Qasemi said.

      Qasemi also said Tehran will hold talks with Iraqi officials to discuss the newly found shared oil and gas reserves, the article stated.

      Mehdi Fakour, managing director for the Central Oilfields Company, said an exploratory study of the field will continue through September this year, Trend reported.

      "Details of the discovery of new natural gas reserves in the region will be announced by the National Iranian Oil Company," Fakour said, according to the article.

      Trend also reported that in the last year, Iran has discovered more than 2 billion barrels of in-situ crude oil reserves across the country.

      More information on natural gas exploration in Iran can be found at PennEnergy's research area.


    5. RasGas Official: GCC Countries May Need to Reduce Hydrocarbon Exports

      According to recent studies, GCC countries could potentially have to reduce hydrocarbon exports by the end of the next decade if they continue at current rates of energy consumption growth. This was a key discussion opener for Brett Doherty, RasGas Company Chief Safety Health, Environment and Quality Officer in the framing lecture addressing the core issue of development of energy efficiency policies at the 2nd Doha Carbon and Energy Forum (DCEF).

      Given the region’s heavy dependence on oil and gas wealth to fund development, countries’ approach to energy efficiency practices today will have far reaching implications for their future. Governments have a big role to play in setting policies that would secure long-term sustainable environmental protection with economic and social development.

      “Energy efficiency measures can be difficult to deploy because of the inability to capture broadly dispersed benefits and uncertainties in quantifying them. When governments develop policies to overcome these difficulties, organisations supporting sustainable development are duty bound and empowered to integrate energy efficiency measures in their practices bringing overall benefits to the country,” Doherty said.

      Providing practical examples from the energy industry in Qatar, Doherty suggested Qatar Petroleum’s Energy Efficiency Programme provides a good model for other sectors such as commercial, residential buildings and transportation to adopt.

      “In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, RasGas welcomes the opportunity to support the government’s push for better use and conservation of the country’s natural resources for the benefit of its long-term sustainable development,” concluded Doherty.

    6. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

      Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, in May 1981. The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Islamic beliefs. Presidency of the council rotates annually.

      Arguably the most important article of the GCC charter is Article 4, which states that the alliance was formed to strengthen relations among its member countries and to promote cooperation among the countries’ citizens.

      The GCC also has a defense planning council that coordinates military cooperation between member countries.

      The highest decision-making entity of the GCC is the Supreme Council, which meets on an annual basis and consists of GCC heads of state. Decisions of the Supreme Council are adopted by unanimous approval. The Ministerial Council, made up of foreign ministers or other government officials, meets every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new policy.

      The administrative arm of the alliance is the office of the Secretariat-General, which monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings. Some of the most important achievements of the GCC include the creation of the Peninsula Shield Force, a joint military venture based in Saudi Arabia, and the signing of an intelligence-sharing pact in 2004.

      At a GCC summit in December 2009, an agreement was reached to launch a single regional currency similar to the euro.

  7. Environment Protection Agency sidelined after warning of high risks at AGL coal seam gas project

    Read the EPA report, the department response and the response from AGL

    The NSW government has sidelined the Environment Protection Authority in pushing ahead with a coal seam gas project despite advice it is high risk, threatening valuable agricultural land.

    In a submission that has been confidential until now, the EPA warned the Department of Trade against approving the disposal of waste water at AGL's Gloucester project as it would lead to dangerously high salt levels and the potential destruction of farmland.

    Fairfax Media has learnt the EPA has been excluded from the approvals process for irrigation trials at Gloucester, after effectively being sidelined by the newly created Office of Coal Seam Gas.

    The EPA was asked by the Department of Trade to undertake a review of AGL's Gloucester coal seam gas project in February last year. It made its submission in April but the report has been confidential since then, even though the irrigation trials have begun.

    In its report, the EPA says the project is high risk and is likely to produce dangerously high salt levels under the present AGL proposal to ''irrigate'', or spray. the water from its mining onto surrounding farmland.

    It also warns of the damaging effects on local wildlife.

    The submission says the government needs to ask for more information from AGL and that it is not possible to evaluate the effects on soil and water unless ''adequate'' information is provided by AGL.

    Should the project continue as planned, 2500 tonnes of salt a year will be sprayed over the surrounding farmland, an outcome that independent geo-technical engineer Professor Philip Pells said could be disastrous for the environment.

    Professor Pells is not anti-CSG. He approves of the AGL operations ***** at Camden but said the geology at Gloucester was more sensitive as the basin structure beneath the project means the underground aquifers are ''intimately connected'' with the surface water.*****

    Further, he said, AGL had no proper procedures for disposal of the saline waste water.

    For its part, AGL has said the disposal of waste water from its CSG mining will have a ''neutral or beneficial effect on water quality''.

    It has also disputed the EPA's findings that the soil was ''strongly sodic'', saying that referred to the natural soil quality at the location, which was no longer relevant as the company had treated the soils.

    ''AGL has added many hundreds of tonnes of compost, lime (calcium carbonate), gypsum (calcium sulphate) and zeolite minerals (which enhances the water retention quality of soils) and therefore the soil characteristics of the upper soils are now very different to the natural soil quality. These amended soils are now much more suitable for irrigation activities.''

    An EPA spokeswoman said the authority was assessing the application from AGL for an environment protection licence for the total Gloucester coal seam gas project, but not the trial.

    ''The EPA will take water and soil impacts and other relevant environmental considerations into account as part of its assessment.''

    EPA chief environmental regulator Mark Gifford said the irrigation trial was approved and was being overseen by the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas.

    ''The EPA is being ignored,'' Professor Pells said. ''No one appears to be in control.

    ''The trials were approved by the Department of Mineral Resources but now the process seems to have been taken over by the Office of Coal Seam Gas.''

  8. Environment Protection Agency sidelined after warning of high risks at AGL coal seam gas project

    ''The EPA is being ignored,'' Professor Pells said. ''No one appears to be in control.

    ''The trials were approved by the Department of Mineral Resources but now the process seems to have been taken over by the Office of Coal Seam Gas.''

    A spokeswoman for the Department of Industry said the water approved for irrigation was ''two to five times less salty than water in the surrounding surface aquifers that also flow into the Avon River''.

    ''It is the responsibility of AGL to conduct the trial within the approved guidelines,'' she said. ''The risks are minimal and the monitoring and reporting is showing that the project is proceeding within the parameters of the approval.''


    The EPA report shows the water in the region is inappropriate for irrigation because of the salt an due to bi- carbonate levels that are four to eight times the limit imposed by the Queensland Government for beneficial re-use of coal seam gas waters. Bi carbonates are damaging to aquatic life.

    Professor Pells also points out that the water also contains a number of metals and other elements that make it dangerous to agriculture and the local rivers.

    For example, the levels of aluminium are 20 times the ANZECC (Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council) guidelines. Aluminium restricts root growth in plants, is toxic to plants and is cumulative, and cannot be ameliorated with any soil conditioners.


    Read the EPA report, the department response and the response from AGL


    Chinese bid to revive Oakajee port

    One of the Mid West's biggest investors has warned that billions of dollars worth of iron ore developments across the region could be "mission impossible" unless key infrastructure projects are built.

    This includes the shelved $6 billion Oakajee port project.

    China group Sinosteel, which has billions of dollars worth of untapped iron ore in the region, will meet with other miners in Sydney this week to discuss the fate of proposed developments being held hostage to the absence of rail and port facilities.

    It is looming as a make-or-break meeting that could determine the long-term future of Oakajee and the local mining sector.

    Sinosteel's mineral resources deputy director, Pan WenLiang, told _The West Australian _that his company's plans for development and the thousands of jobs they would support were under threat.

    "We have to deal with infrastructure . . . otherwise it's a mission impossible," he said.

    The Oakajee project, approved in 2009 in a move Premier Colin Barnett forecast at the time would result in iron ore being shipped from the port in 2013-14, was officially put on hold this year.

    The State and Federal governments had committed $700 million to the project, headed by Japan's Mitsubishi.

    But cost blowouts, early delays and companies with differing plans and financial positions have put the port at risk.

    Sinosteel put on hold its planned $2 billion Weld Range project in 2011 in part because it could not get rail access to a port that was yet to be built.

    Sinosteel board secretary Li Kejie said the port issue was holding back the company's plans for expansion across the Mid West.

    Up for discussion at the Sydney meeting will be the disparate ownership of tenements and proposed infrastructure across the entire region.
    In a sign of the company's thinking, Mr Li said if Sinosteel was the sole proprietor of the rail and port project it could develop "as we wish".



    Ironbar Tuckey still having a crack

    "Charles Wilson Tuckey, the first name is rarely used." With that, ol' Ironbar re-announced himself for a mercifully brief return to public life, a 55-minute tour de force before a WA parliamentary inquiry into floating LNG.

    What the committee thought the 78-year-old retiree could add to the inquiry is a mystery - interested private citizens are usually content with making a written submission. Its reward was a scattergun of strongly held opinions, some even related to the inquiry's terms of reference.

    Woodside, Mr Tuckey said, owed its existence to the State and the company had a "moral obligation" to consider WA's finances when developing Browse.

    If Woodside decided it could not make a commercial go of an onshore project, it should have handed back the retention leases, he said. Instead, he charged, the partners had gone "around the back door" to "the newly appointed five-minute minister" who used to work for Woodside, an apparent reference to former Federal resources minister Gary Gray.


    Mr Tuckey said Shell, which he accused of "amazing arrogance", was simultaneously "scared stiff of half a dozen environmentalists and a few Aboriginal people".

    *****And those Aboriginal people, he said, should have to provide "physical evidence" - he suggested DNA testing, too - of their initiation to the secrets of culture before they could claim any involvement with land at James Price Point.*****




  10. ALL IS NOT WELL in the Murdochracy !

    After all the support he gave the war criminal Blair - how is he repaid?

    The lousy b****** backdoors him and is s******* his bloody missus !

    DAMN it all ! Don't these people have any MORALS ?


    Murdoch reportedly fuming over Blair and Deng 'friendship'

    London: A "terminal" rift has severed relations between Rupert Murdoch and Tony Blair over reports of Mr Blair's friendship with the entrepreneur's ex-wife Wendi Deng, it is claimed.

    Mr Blair has always stated that his relationship with Ms Deng is platonic and there is no suggestion of any impropriety by Mr Blair or Ms Deng.

    Despite efforts by Mr Blair to contact Mr Murdoch, the media mogul has refused to speak to him since he filed for divorce from Ms Deng in June, according to the Mail on Sunday.

    Sources close to Mr Murdoch in London claim that Mr Blair, 60, and Ms Deng, 44, had "multiple encounters" without 82-year-old Murdoch's knowledge.

    They are said to have stayed overnight at Mr Murdoch's £12m ($21.2 million) California home on weekends in October 2012 and April 2013, and spent a weekend at Mr Murdoch's Los Angeles home and meetings in London and New York.

    Mr Murdoch and Ms Deng's divorce was finalised by a US court last week after the couple reached an "amicable" divorce settlement to end their 14-year marriage.

    On Saturday night a feud erupted between allies of Mr Blair and Mr Murdoch, whose stable of newspapers includes The Sun and The Times.

    A close friend of Mr Blair told the Daily Mail: "Rupert Murdoch is putting out ridiculous stories about Wendi and Tony which are not true. It is the ravings of a sad old man."

    A friend of Mr Murdoch told the newspaper: "Rupert Murdoch will have nothing more to do with Tony Blair. Not ever."

    Mr Murdoch and Mr Blair were close allies for many years and Murdoch's support is widely considered to have been a crucial factor in Labour's three consecutive election victories from 1997 onwards.

    Mr Blair and Mr Murdoch were good friends, and Mr Blair even became godfather to the Murdochs' daughter Grace in 2010.

    Allies of Murdoch told the Daily Mail that he is said to have been "shocked" to learn that Wendi had met Mr Blair without his knowledge. He is said to have asked her for an explanation.

    Speculation of an affair between Mr Blair and Ms Deng first emerged in June after a tweet from BBC journalist Robert Peston who said: "Am told that undisclosed reasons for Murdoch divorcing Deng are jaw-dropping and hate myself for wanting to know what they are."

    At the time a spokesperson for Mr Blair denied an affair with Ms Deng.

    Mr Murdoch met Ms Deng, a Yale business school graduate, in 1997 on a business trip to Shanghai when he sought to hire a translator and guide.

    Spokespeople for Mr Blair, Mr Murdoch and Ms Deng did not respond to requests for comment.

    Telegraph, London

  11. WELL at leats it lasted longer than Abbott's honeymoon.


    Labor storms ahead

    Bill Shorten has made the strongest debut of any opposition leader since Kevin Rudd in 2006-07, propelling Labor into the lead over a government weighed down by its secretive asylum-seeker response and an unconvincing commitment to action on global warming.

    The first Fairfax Nielsen poll since the September 7 election has charted a rapid recovery for the ALP, with the opposition shooting to a 52-48 per cent lead over the government on the preferences of respondents - the quickest poll lead achieved by any federal opposition after losing an election.

    It is also the first time Labor has led on the two-party-preferred vote in more than three years.

    The result will be seen as a wake-up call to the Abbott government as it struggles to maintain public confidence in its tough stop-the-boats policy while refusing to reveal the most basic details on the grounds of operational security.

    Labor's primary vote has recovered to 37 per cent, up 4 percentage points since the election, while the Coalition's primary support has fallen by 5 points to 41 per cent.

    The Greens also picked up support, rising from 9 per cent to 11 per cent


    WOULD this explain the madness of Textors "porn star" tweets ?

    " dare these lowly Asians bring my plans unstuck"

    A man who is "no fool" "never wrong" "knows what people are thinking"

    Suddenly the fit hits the shan and the infallible ego cant handle it ?

    His mate Crosby has been called out by Miliband over the coming UK elections and the expected "dirty tricks" campaign he is expected to run.

    Has Crosby / Textor lost their grip ?

  12. Buru Completes 2D Geophysical Survey Over EP457 in Western Australia

    by Rey Resources Ltd.

    Press Release
    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Rey Resources Limited reported Monday that it has been informed by Buru Energy Limited, the firm's partner and operator of the Fitzroy Blocks in the Canning Superbasin in central northern Western Australia, that a 2D geophysical survey has been completed with total of 145 miles (234 line kilometers) acquired over the Ungani Trend in EP457.

    Data quality is reported as good and seismic processing will occur over the remainder of 2013. A regional airborne gravity survey over the area, including the Fitzroy Blocks, is expected to be completed in early December.

    Data from the surveys will inform target selection for conventional oil targets along the Ungani Trend in the Fitzroy Blocks, the first of which is anticipated to be drilled in 2Q 2014. A 2D seismic survey is scheduled for EP 458 in 2014.

    Rey holds a 25 percent interest (including a 10 percent free carried to production) in a joint venture on the Fitzroy Blocks along with Buru (37.5 percent and operator) and Diamond Resources (Fitzroy) (37.5 percent) who are a 100 percent subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation.


    Buru intend to finance their fracking by selling oil.
    Trucking it to Wyndham for 2 years will not be cheap.

    Will this make it a loss maker for BURU ?


    Iran sanctions deal to unleash oil supply

    A global deal to lift sanctions against Iran could unleash a flood of oil onto world markets by next year just as crude output picks up in Libya, Iraq, and North America, triggering a slide in prices and a major shake-up of the energy landscape.

    The prospect of cheaper oil is a welcome relief for the West, but poses a major threat to Russia and string of countries that depend on oil revenues to finance their budgets.

    The first reaction of the market was to sell off oil this morning: Brent for January settlement decreased as much as $US2.55 to $US108.50 a barrel =, while WTI for January delivery fell as much as $US1.20 to $US93.64 a barrel.

    The weekend deal in Geneva between Iran and key world powers opens the way for a gradual end to sanctions, provided the new government of Hassan Rohani delivers on pledges to curb its nuclear program.

    The accord should unlock 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) of global supply by next year in a market of 89 million, rising over time as foreign firms return and the country’s ruined oil industry comes back to life. Export curbs will stay in place for another six months but a planned escalation of curbs will not occur.

    Citigroup said the Geneva deal should cut global oil prices by $US13 over time, enough to depress Brent crude below $US100 and US crude below $US85.

    The bank said falling energy prices could mark the death of the commodity supercycle, already struggling as China shifts to a new phase of “smart urbanisation”.

    Alastair Newton from Nomura said the “geopolitical risk” premium in the oil price should fall but there will be no immediate softening of the oil embargo, adding that talks could still break down over Iran’s heavy water reactor at Arak.

    America’s rapprochement with Tehran is a dramatic upset in the region’s alliance system at a time when Shia Muslims led by Iran are locked in an epic struggle for Mid-East dominance with a Saudi-led bloc of Sunni regimes.

    Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review, said the great unknown is how Saudi Arabia will react to a move deemed treachery in Riyadh, already exposed in a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable exhorting the US to "cut off the head of the snake" in Iran.

    Tehran's diplomatic triumph may embolden Saudi Arabia’s aggrieved Shia minority to press demands, perhaps even threatening the main Saudi oilfields in the Eastern province where they dominate. “The Saudis are very angry. The great question is whether they can live with this deal, or whether it is intolerable,” he said.

    Mr Skrebowski said the Middle East is a tinder box, in the grip of a Sunni-Shia civil war comparable in ideological ferocity to the clash between Catholics and Protestants in early 17th Century Europe. Saudi Arabia has already shown how far it will go to protect its interests, helping to overthrow Egypt’s Musilm Brotherhood.

  14. Iran sanctions deal to unleash oil supply

    The US energy department said North America will add 1.5m b/d of oil supply this year, mostly from shale, and 1.1m b/d next year.

    This new supply is coming just as Iraqi Kurdistan opens a new pipeline to Turkey. Iraq’s output crashed to 2m b/d over the summer as al-Qaeda attacks reached a crescendo, but Baghdad claims output is poised to recover. The International Energy Agency expects Iraq to triple supply to 6m b/d by 2020.

    Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have both warned over recent days that crude prices will slide in 2014, much to the alarm of states that depend on oil to make ends meet. The “fiscal break-even point” needed to balance budgets is near $US120 for Bahrain, Nigeria and Algeria, and $US110 for Venezuela, and Iraq.

    Oil duties furnish half the budget in Russia where the break-even price reached $US117 last year. Moscow is tightening its belt but Fitch warns that it may downgrade the country if there is a prolonged fall in crude prices.

    Even Saudi Arabia is feeling the pinch. It boosted spending by $130bn in 2011 to avert social protest, and its break-even cost has jumped to $US98, though it still has $US700 billion of foreign reserves to be used in extremis. The implicit threat to dump US dollars is unusable at a time when monetary tightening by Washington is likely to drive up the greenback.

    Mr Skrebowski said Riyadh may try to “rap America’s knuckles” by flooding markets with enough oil to puncture the US shale oil revolution. Production costs at the US Bakken shale field are around $US80.

    It is unclear whether the Saudis still have the spare capacity to pull off such a feat, or whether other Gulf OPEC producers would join forces in a replay of the Arab oil embargo of 1973. The Saudis have played a responsible role over recent decades as the swing force in global markets ensuring stability.

    An open rift with Washington might be suicidal at a time when OPEC control over global oil supply is in any case greatly reduced, and the cartel is itself deeply divided. Even the Emirates have cautiously welcomed the Geneva deal, distancing themselves from the Saudis.

    Yet anything can happen once emotions are at fever pitch in a region already torn apart by war.

    The Telegraph, London


      Reengaging Iran
      Tuesday, 26 November 2013

      THE breakthrough deal this weekend with Iran over its nuclear program would have surely earned US President Barack Obama the ire of the US energy industry. However, nowhere would the success of the deal be more despondently received than in Riyadh.



    Mexico's Pemex says compensation deal reached in principle with Repsol, YPF

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Pemex has reached an agreement in principle with Spain's Repsol and Argentina over compensation for last year's expropriation of 51 pct of oil firm YPF, the Mexican state-run oil company said on Monday.

    Pemex said the agreement will fix the amount of compensation due, and the parties will drop legal action over the 2012 expropriation.

    Defusing the spat could open the door for Pemex to develop in part Argentina's vast Vaca Muerta field, which has been at the center of the dispute.


    Argentina says reaches initial deal with Repsol for YPF

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina said on Monday it reached an initial compensation deal with Repsol for YPF's 2012 nationalization.