Saturday, December 28, 2013

▶ David Suzuki on Exponential Growth - YouTube

▶ David Suzuki on Exponential Growth - YouTube


  1. EXPONENTIAL GROWTH................

    Before reading the article from The Australian (posted below) "How shale's reshaping US industrial muscle" it might be worthwhile reading about ""pre-salt" fields" and what "massive multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (MMHF)" really mean.



    "Pre-salt layer

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Pre-Salt layer is a geological formation on the continental shelves. It is the geological layers that were laid down before a salt layer accumulated above them during the Gondwana breakup.

    Some of the petroleum that was formed in the pre-salt layer has not leaked upward to the post-salt layers above.[1] This is especially common off the coast of Africa and Brazil.

    The amount of oil is not well known but is thought to be a significant fraction of world oil reserves.[2][3]

    According to Petrobras, the oil and natural gas lie below an approximately 2000 m deep layer of salt, itself below an approximately 2000 m deep layer of rock under 2000-3000 m of the Atlantic.

    Drilling through the rock and salt to extract the pre-salt oil and gas is very expensive."



    "The Technology

    Implementation of massive multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (MMHF) in long horizontal wells has
    changed the natural gas industry worldwide. Vast gas resources in low permeability strata –“shale” – are being unlocked in North America by installing large-drainage-volume wells in plays such as the Marcellus Shale, PA, the Barnett Shale, TX, the Horn River Shale in British Colombia,
    and so on.

    MMHF will also impact the oil industry in rocks such as the Monterey Formation (“shale” oil in California), the Eagle Ford shale (South Texas), the Wolfcamp shale oil (Permian Basin), and many tight oil reservoirs such as the non-fractured part of the dolomitic heavy oil carbonate Issaran field in Egypt which contains over 2.5 billion barrels of oil (e.g. [1, 2, 3]).

    MMHF is intended to maximize drainage volume around a well. To this end, large volume hydraulic fracturing is usually executed at many perforated locations along a cased horizontal well, usually drilled parallel to σhmin to maximize fracture length extension normal to the well axis (Figure 1).

    Apparently, MMHF is something that we cannot yet simulate realistically from a rock mechanics perspective.

    We will try to explain the difficulties and point to some things we can do, some we
    can’t, and where we might go."

  2. How shale's reshaping US industrial muscle

    The Australian |
    December 27, 2013

    NORTH, South and Central America will be a major focus for oil and gas exploration next year as the US shale boom continues to build momentum and regulatory changes in Mexico and Brazil open the doors wider to international oil majors.

    The US Energy Information Administration, issuing its outlook last week, said the growing output of US oil and gas was reshaping the energy economy and industrial base, with higher production supporting increasing exports of pipeline gas and, in the future, LNG.

    In Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto has been able to get federal and state legislators to agree to open the state-controlled oil industry to outside investors. Foreign oil companies were expelled from Mexico in 1938, meaning that for 75 years national oil company Pemex has had a monopoly.

    But with output slipping from some of its biggest fields, and new technology and money needed to exploit offshore reserves, the Mexican government saw the need to modernise and bring in international partners.

    Under legislation passed this month, private companies will be able to share profits and production with Pemex.

    In Brazil, the focus is on getting more expertise, capital and infrastructure to make the most of its hydrocarbon assets, which primarily lie in South Atlantic deepwater "pre-salt" fields such as Libra and Lula.

    Under regulations brought in by President Dilma Rousseff, an international consortium of Royal Dutch Shell, Total, PetroChina and China National Offshore Oil Corp won the right in October to join state-run Petrobas in developing the Libra field, which could produce up to one million barrels a day.

    Last month, the International Energy Agency forecast Brazil would triple oil production by 2035 to six million barrels a day. But it warned its forecast was dependent on "highly complex and capital-intensive deepwater developments" that would require levels of upstream development beyond those of either the Middle East or Russia. Local content rules, which require many goods and services to be sourced from Brazil, would also add tension.

    State-run Petrobas has estimated it needs more than $US230 billion ($259bn) over the next five years to develop the pre-salt fields, which lie hundreds of kilometres offshore in some of the deepest water tackled by the industry.

  3. How shale's reshaping US industrial muscle

    In Venezuela, Petroleos de Venezuela SA has won much-needed backing from Russia and China to exploit heavy crude reserves in its Orinoco Belt and Western region.

    Global interest in Latin America extends to some of the smaller nations; Ecuador, for example, is a target for large-scale Chinese investment in its $US13bn Pacific refinery project.

    China National Petroleum Corp this year agreed to take a one-third stake in the project, partnering with PetroEcuador and PDVSA. Last month, CNPC also agreed to buy the oil assets of Petrobas in Peru for $US2.6bn, including a block producing 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. CNPC also has an exploration and production deal with Colombia's Ecopetrol, the fourth largest oil and gas producer in Latin America.

    For the immediate future, though, North America -- in particular the big US shale states such as Texas, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, West Virginia and New York -- will be front and centre of the biggest oil and gas production developments.

    Last month, the Energy Information Administration said it expected production at the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana would surpass a million barrels a day of oil this month, making North Dakota the second biggest oil producing state after Texas.

    The biggest leaseholder in the Bakken formation, Continental Resources, has been working in the area for more than a decade under its billionaire founder and veteran oilman Harold Hamm.

    In an earnings call last month, Mr Hamm said the Bakken field could yield two million barrels a day, and the various operators working there were about 75 per cent on the way to "fully optimising" the field. "I have said many times, there's only one Bakken," Mr Hamm said, calling it "the most important oil discovery in the past 50 years" and "one of the largest pure oil resource plays in the world".

    "It's onshore American, it's 85 per cent oil, and it has one of the most consistent, high quality crudes anywhere in the world. And it's just getting started. Bakken will soon surpass one million barrels of oil equivalent per day of production, and I expect that to double again within 10 years," he said.

    The EIA cites "ongoing improvements in advanced technologies" -- primarily multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and advanced rig layouts -- as the reason Bakken and other shale plays are continuing to lift domestic oil and gas supply and "reshape" the US energy economy.

    It said it expected US crude oil production to grow annually by 800,000 barrels a day and reach 9.5 million barrels a day by 2016. It was expected to level off and then slowly decline after 2020.

    But natural gas would grow steadily, with a 56 per cent increase to 2040, when production was expected to reach 1.05 trillion cubic metres.

    1. Exponential growth :

      1.05 trillion cubic metres =

      37.080 trillion cubic feet =

      2 Browse Basins per year !



    .............The current record appears to be 45 separate fracturing stages along a well, each being a highrate
    treatment to create a region of propped fractures - the “sand-zone” (Figure 2), which is hopefully surrounded by a much larger region - the “dilated zone” (Figure 2) – where natural
    fractures have been opened permanently by wedging and block rotation, or propped by shear displacements."

    "Since the rocks being subjected to MMHF have extremely low permeability, elevated pore
    pressures travel far beyond the propped1 zone (Figure 6), facilitating shear and promoting
    growth of a stimulated zone that includes fractures that are wedged open, self-propped because of slip, and opened because of rigid block rotations.

    The final bit of physics to note is that aggressive hydraulic fracturing (large volumes, high rates,
    or both) leads to local stress changes that interact with local fabric, leading to an array of
    induced fractures, some packed with proppant, others not, depending on factors such as leakoff
    rate, fluid viscosity, injection rate, and so on. The proppant bridges off [7] in narrow
    secondary fractures, but the carrier fluid goes out much farther than the proppant. This fluid
    pressurizes a large volume, induces slippage on existing or existing features (and extensional
    opening) AND RESULTS IN DETECTABLE MICROSEISMIC ACTIVITY. However, as noted above in Figures 2
    and 5, it is not necessary for sand (the proppant) to be everywhere to achieve a large
    stimulated volume; opening, wedging and shear will take care of that. It is important to get a
    high fluid pressure as far out as possible, and in such low permeability strata, that is likely best
    achieved with injecting high water2 volumes for long periods of time."

    "There are also socio-economic drivers, such as the price of natural gas and environmental restrictions that warrant in-depth geomechanical evaluations of these injection programs. We expect that improved answers to these questions will be found with a combination of better analysis, field monitoring, and compilation of post-treatment well performance histories.

    “Is it better to maximize injection rate, use proppant and pump continuously for several hours, or is it best to inject more slowly - for many days - without proppant, or is some hybrid combination desirable?”

    “Should we try for short fat fractures near the wellbore or long, extended fractures of greater volume and larger surface area?” “Can we predict when secondary fractures are induced (as in Figure 5)?”

    “Is slick water (water with friction reducer) adequate for getting a large volume, highly pressurized fracture network so as to maximize shearing in surrounding block interfaces?”

    “Does early proppant settling in slick water jeopardize stimulation?”

    “Should we inject specially treated water aggressively for many hours before introducing sand?”

    “Can we reliably characterize the dilated zone and calibrate it to the volume of water and/or sand injected?” “Is conductivity to the outer reaches of the stimulated zone maintained after treatment and during production?”

    “Commonly only 10 to 20 percent of the injected fluid is recovered during production. Often the best producing gas wells have a smaller return of injected fluid.

    Why does this occur in low permeability rock? “In staged fracturing, do the stress changes arising from previous stages significantly affect the success of the current hydraulic fracturing activity?’"

    1. Colin Barnett "fracking is making tiny little cracks in the rock so the gas can get out."

      Barnett = Exponential lies.


    2. SIMOPS

      Operators first deploying SIMOPs find managing
      drilling, completions, flow back, and sometimes
      production and construction crews on a single
      pad at the same time challenging. All of these
      operations occurring concurrently naturally
      results in more people, more trucks and more
      equipment — increasing complexity. In order
      to best manage these risks, operators develop
      pad site controls and new roles, such as traffic
      control and SIMOPs coordinator.

      Lastly, SIMOPs requires robust well planning
      and scheduling processes. With all of these
      concurrent activities, it is important to reduce
      variability as much as possible. This requires
      having crews, permits and equipment in the right
      place at the right time. Teams need clear line of
      sight to current performance and transparency
      into the priorities of well planning and scheduling.

      Factory-Style Drilling
      Drives Long-Term Success in
      Unconventional Resource Plays

      Most North American E&P operators have
      found that speed and efficiency in large-scale
      drilling programs are critical to success in today’s
      unconventional resource plays. Factory-style
      drilling and completion operations, including
      SIMOPs, are proving to be the optimal operating
      model in all major unconventional resource
      plays including the Marcellus, Haynesville,
      Bakken, Barnett and Eagle Ford. Many operators,
      including EnCana, Talisman, Chesapeake, Devon
      and Hess, have successfully deployed 6, 8, 16,
      and even 32-well pads, while simultaneously
      managing uninterrupted drilling, completion,
      production and gathering operations in a safe
      and cost-efficient manner. In doing so, these
      operators have realized a 30-40 percent
      reduction in total drilling and completion cost. As
      companies continue to ramp up unconventional
      operations, they will continue to seek new
      methods for cost reduction and efficiency gains.

      To achieve these benefits, E&P operators must
      do more than drill multiple wells in batches from
      a single pad. They must also create continuous
      flow, which entails standardizing pad designs,
      standardizing facilities and equipment designs,
      conducting simultaneous operations, and
      implementing cross-functional value stream
      performance metrics.

      Creating continuous flow through SIMOPs
      entails tackling certain challenges, including
      managing a new set of safety risks, lease expiry
      issues, larger pad construction projects, and
      implementing robust planning and scheduling

      In doing so, operators will be able to drill more
      wells with fewer rigs through faster spud-tospud
      times and fewer rig moves. They will realize
      benefits faster and propagate best practices
      quicker through shorter spud-to-first production
      cycle times. Shorter spud-to-first production
      cycle times will also yield lower working capital
      requirements. Lastly, they will realize drilling and
      completions cost reduction through standard
      pad and equipment designs, as well as shared
      facilities and equipment.

      Google : advanced rig layouts for hydraulic fracturing multi-well pads


      *****Multi-well pads by nature require large footprints,
      sometimes in excess of 20 acres, and can cost
      upwards of $400,000 to construct


      247.105 acres per square kilometre.

    3. SIMOPS

      Multi-well pads by nature require large footprints,
      sometimes in excess of 20 acres, and can cost
      upwards of $400,000 to construct. As a result,construction crews must manage much larger
      and more complex projects than they are typically
      used to. More importantly, due to their large
      footprint, it can be challenging to locate multiwell
      pads, while avoiding surface constraints
      such as wetlands, grasslands and contentious
      landowners. Therefore, it is important for teams
      to clearly identify pad design constraints, as well
      as the surface constraints of its acreage position
      upfront and manage this information throughout
      field development.

      Operators first deploying SIMOPs find managing
      drilling, completions, flow back, and sometimes
      production and construction crews on a single
      pad at the same time challenging. All of these
      operations occurring concurrently naturally
      results in more people, more trucks and more
      equipment — increasing complexity. In order
      to best manage these risks, operators develop
      pad site controls and new roles, such as traffic
      control and SIMOPs coordinator.

      Lastly, SIMOPs requires robust well planning
      and scheduling processes. With all of these
      concurrent activities, it is important to reduce
      variability as much as possible. This requires
      having crews, permits and equipment in the right
      place at the right time. Teams need clear line of
      sight to current performance and transparency
      into the priorities of well planning and scheduling.



    With the drilling expertise of Steve Akerman and the solid manufacturing capabilities of American Augers the two joined forces in 2006. Steve wanted to take his drilling methodology to a forefront never seen in the oil and gas industry. The design is state of the art, compact, fast, and cost effective. Steve's goal was simple and to the point "I want to build the most advanced and productive horizontal drilling rig in the world."

    The first rig design made its debut in June 2007. Horizontal Well Drillers set out to do ten test wells in Indiana. The area already had wells drilled vertical on site many years ago. The new drill was set up to go the same depth as the existing wells then go horizontal. The very first well was drilled and completed in 16 days. The lateral was 5,000' long. The remaining wells were drilled out and completed with laterals up to 5,000' in 14 days. We are setting surface pipe, intermediate casing, and cutting the lateral while maintaining a high ROP. The wells that have been drilled out ranged from 400' to 700' deep with horizontal ranges from 4,000 ft to 5400 ft' in less time established with the AFE and has increased the pay zone exposure by as much as 108 times.

    Since that first well was drilled in June of 2007 the design of the rig has gone through two stages of change. We are now on our 3rd generation design and have had complete satisfaction in what the rig can do in the field. Our top drive has the best in class performance than any other drilling rig in the world. The top drive produces a massive 38,000 ft-lbs. of torque. With this new drill rig we have created the ability to drill oil & gas wells ranging from 500' to 13,000' in vertical depth, with a proven horizontal capability of up to 7,000' (longer laterals are in the near future). The rating on this new drill rig is 13,000' true vertical depth, or a combination of both vertical and horizontal.

    Below are key features that separate the VR-330 from other drill rigs.
    Major Increase In Pay Zone
    Long Horizontal Laterals At Shallow Depths (500')
    Laterals Have Been Successfully Drilled Out To 7,000' (New record for PA)
    ROP (Rate of Penetration) Remains Constant (80% at 7,000')
    Pushes And Pulls 330,000lbs.
    Top Drive - Best In Class Performance - Massive 38,000 ft-lbs. Of Torque
    Wiggle Stear Technology - Allows Curves & Laterals To Be Drilled Faster
    Drill Pipe Can Range From As Large As 6 5/8 Down To 2 3/8
    Lateral Hole 44% Larger Than Normal Conventional
    Drilling Laterals At Depths Conventional Rigs Can Not.
    Fully Self Contained Drilling System
    Very Mobile - One Day Rig Up - One Day Rig Down
    Low Moving Cost
    Casing Can Be Run With Or Without Casing Crews
    No Lay Down Machines Needed
    We Can Rotate & Circulate The Hole While Running Casing
    Tool Joints Are Less Likely To Be Caught In Keyseats Downhole Do To The Ability To Rotate Drill Pipe While Tripping
    Safety - Minimized Roughneck Assistance. 99% Self Automated. When Tripping Pipe Or Making A Connection No Roughnecks On Floor.
    AFE Savings ( Authority of Expenditures) - A Reduction In Most Proposed AFE
    Enclosed Mud Cleaning System
    One Rig From Start To Completion

    Here at HWD we have set our expectations very high. Look for more rig designs and advanced features that will allow us to go even further in our quest to build the most advanced rigs in the world.

    High Performance Top Drive

    1. Exponential developments.

    2. 2 new stories on fracking the Kimberley - posted under "More Buru Bullshit" (the Yawuru fracking enquiry submission) - from Andrew Burrell from The Australian.

      "Gas fracking wars to open up on a new front"


      "Buru boss backs fracking 'only if locals approve' "

    3. Ban Fracking on Federal Lands! Fracked: Utah’s Wastewater Ponds - See more at:



      Big lagoons could hold Ohio fracking waste

      Fracking wastewater lagoons the size of football fields could dot eastern Ohio as state officials draft rules for the storage sites.

      Oil and gas drillers use the lagoons to store millions of gallons of water contaminated with fracking chemicals, toxic metals and radium that come up from shale wells. Companies clean the water of pollutants so it can be recycled to frack new wells.

      “We are putting in a process to outline their standards of construction and their length of use,” said Mark Bruce, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

      A provision in the most-recent state budget requires Natural Resources officials to create rules and permits for them. Similar lagoons are common in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

      Environmental advocates called the lagoons a threat to groundwater and streams.

      “At the very least, it’s an environmental health concern,” said Trent Dougherty, an Ohio Environmental Council attorney.

      ...............A West Virginia University study of 15 waste and freshwater lagoons in that state found several problems. Eight were built to contain more water than permitted or had structural problems that threatened leaks.

      The largest of the West Virginia lagoons can hold 18.2 million gallons — enough to fill 29 Olympic-size swimming pools.

      Dougherty said he is particularly interested in how long wastewater can stay in the Ohio lagoons.

      “There is a point in time when temporary storage can become long-term storage,” he said.


      Fracking's Aftermath: Wastewater Disposal Methods Threaten Our Health & Environment

      A new report released by NRDC today shows that contaminated fracking wastewater is threatening people’s health and the environment, and none of the methods currently used to treat or dispose of that wastewater are safe enough.

      The process used to extract natural gas from underground shale formations, called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” creates potentially hazardous wastewater byproducts. These byproducts include the fracking fluid that returns to the surface of the natural gas well, along with water that’s released from inside the shale formation.

      This wastewater contains things like salts, oil and grease, metals, radioactive material, and manmade fracking chemicals. These pollutants can be dangerous if they’re released into the environment or if people are exposed to them. They can be toxic to humans and aquatic life, radioactive, or corrosive. They can damage ecosystem health or interact with disinfectants at drinking water plants to form cancer-causing chemicals.

      Yet, disturbingly, we’ve dumped this wastewater into our rivers and drinking water sources without removing harmful contaminants. We’ve spread it on icy roads, where it runs off into nearby waterways or seeps into groundwater. In fact, our report shows that none of the most common ways of dealing with this waste are currently safe for public health or the environment.

      .....................Disposal or storage in open pits - Some wastewater is stored in open pits (aka “impoundments”). Storage in open pits creates a risk of spills or leakage of wastewater into the ground, potentially contaminating soil, surface water, or groundwater. Additionally, impoundments cause large land disturbances and generate hazardous air pollution as the waste evaporates. As a result, impoundments should be banned.



      The Obama administration has fined an ExxonMobil subsidiary $100,000 and ordered the company to spend $20 million to improve its hydraulic fracturing wastewater management system in the wake of a 2010 leak that contaminated a tributary of the Susquehanna River.

      This photo taken from a plane above Hickory, PA, shows pits containing fracking wastewater. Photo credit: Marcellus Protest via Flickr.

      The U.S Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handed the fine down to XTO Energy, which Exxon bought out in 2010, based on an alleged violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

      According to a statement released by the EPA last week, the fine given to XTO Energy wasn’t so much a fine as it was an agreement, as the company accepted the $100,000 figure and complied with recommendations that it improve its wastewater facilities to prevent similar spills in the future.

      “Today’s settlement holds XTO accountable for a previous violation of the Clean Water Act and requires operational changes and improved management practices to help ensure the safe and responsible handling of wastewater produced during natural gas exploration and production activities,” stated the EPA.

      At issue is a spill in 2010 in Pennsylvania’s Penn Township, where state inspectors came across a leak stemming from an open valve at an XTO frack water recycling plant. Inspectors noted that the open valve was connected to a series of tanks that held wastewater from fracking wells throughout the state.

      When a well is fracked, a mixture of water, chemicals and silica sand is pumped deep into the Earth to break up rock formations where oil is hidden. When the oil is extracted, that combination of chemicals, silica sand and water is also extracted. After the oil is separated, oil companies are left with a mixture of silica-laced water that contains naturally radioactive organic materials not suitable for above-ground disposal.

      That contaminated water that found its way into a Penn Township river. An EPA investigation conducted with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection discovered that the pollutants found in the tributary of the Susquehanna River basin—including chlorides, strontium and barium—were the same chemicals detected in the XTO Energy wastewater storage tanks.

      Alan Jeffers, a spokesperson for XTO Energy, told Reuters the fine was fair and that the company was already working on improvements to its wastewater facility. He also indicated the company has determined there is “no lasting environmental impact.”

      XTO Energy operates throughout the country, including Texas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

      While XTO Energy was singled out by the federal government for its 2010 spill, Pennsylvania residents are waiting for a crackdown on fracking spills throughout the state.

      In May, a malfunction at a fracking well sent 9,000 gallons of fracking fluid onto nearby residents’ land, including a farm site. It was the second spill in two months for Carrizo Oil and Gas. In March, a malfunction at another Pennsylvania fracking site spilled more than 227,000 gallons of fracking fluid, causing the evacuation of several homes. The EPA has not issued penalties against Carrizo for the spill.

      In June, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources noted Harch Environmental Resources had been blatantly dumping fracking wastewater into a private pond. The company temporarily ceased operations and was ordered to clean up the contaminated pond.

      Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING WASTEWATER page for more related news on this topic.

  6. GRAFITI seen on the wall to the RHS of Bedford Park gates "Pat Dodson where is our country"

    Not sure exactly what this refers too but........

    Some time back a few of the KLC "TO's" ,very keen on the JPP country stealing exercise, were complaining because having previously been involved with the Yawuru Native Title claim had asked Pat and Peter for a cash splash but were of course told "no".

    "They don't care for their countymen no more"

    These same mob were Bergman's TO's for the JPP fiasco.

    So did Xmas come around,and no $millions from the gas plant,so back they went to Yawuru,(no money at Jabirr Jabirr),and requested another cash splash only to be told "no" again?

    I guess all that bull about "I've got my $20 million for the gas plant,have you put in for yours" really was a crock of sh*t.

    I blame it all on the Gadyer myself - but when will people learn not to listen to their lies?

    After all the lies are designed to break up the community and make sure the old colonial wheels roll on well oiled as usual.

    I don't blame people for being greedy,God knows Europeans have destroyed the planet,but surely there comes a time even the most greedy must be a wake up to the old old game?

    It's always the same old same old, look at how Barnett and Abbott got elected!

    You would think everyone was born yesterday.

    Where is all the graffiti :





    Well all I can say is a bit of local knowledge goes a long way.
    That goes for going fishing or building gas plants.
    All they had to do was ask and listen.


    One other story doing the rounds is some of the people heavily involved in the wining and dining bribes "the Woodside table" fare,are now suffering weight problems and several have reportedly lost their teeth!

    TOO much time at the sweets table eh?

    Oh well! Happy New Year to all - older and wiser next year .......................hopefully.


    CALL JENNY (Craig NOT Bloom) on 13 JENNY.


  7. Native title boss on payroll of miner

    The Australian |
    January 01, 2014

    BURU Energy's controversial plan to "frack" a series of shale gas wells in the Kimberley within months has received a sudden boost after one of its employees became the chairman of the key native title body that has previously led opposition to the petroleum company's activities.

    Neil McKenzie, who has been employed as Buru's traditional owner liaison manager for the past two years, has taken over from indigenous leader Patrick Dodson as head of the Yawuru native title organisation, which holds 500,000ha in and around Broome.

    Mr Dodson stood down as chairman of the native title group just before Christmas, but he remains the head of Yawuru's business arm.

    Mr McKenzie told The Australian yesterday that he supported fracking, which he described as "advanced technology", but he would not take part in any discussions at Yawuru board level about Buru Energy due to a conflict of interest.

    He said opponents of fracking had "lost touch with reality" and many were "jumping on board" only after the campaign to stop Woodside Petroleum building a $40 billion gas plant at James Price Point ended last year (2013).

    "Traditional owners are being misled by these people," he said.

    Perth-based Buru Energy - which has a market value of more than $500 million - is the most advanced of the companies working in the onshore Canning Basin, which has been identified as the most prospective region for unconventional gas in the world outside the US.

    Buru, which is working in a joint venture with Japanese corporate giant Mitsubishi, is planning to launch 32 fracking treatments in four wells in the Kimberley - two near Broome and another two about 200km further east.

    Buru managing director Keiran Wulff yesterday congratulated Mr McKenzie on his appointment to the Yawuru chairmanship.

    "Buru Energy is committed to developing a long-term strong relationship with the broader Kimberley community based on clear information, active engagement and transparency," he said.

    In a submission to a West Australian parliamentary inquiry into fracking, the Yawuru native title group said it has "critical concerns" about fracking and would remain opposed to the practice on its land until scientific evidence proved "beyond doubt" that its water supplies would be safe.

    "The implications of potential water contamination through fracking would be devastating for Yawuru," the group said in a submission written in September.

    "More information is necessary to ensure that fracking does not cause irreversible harm to human health, the natural environment and indigenous people's enjoyment of and connection to country."

    It is believed the submission was written by Mr Dodson and another Yawuru director, Peter Yu.

    Mr McKenzie said he did not personally support the views contained in the submission.

  8. Native title boss on payroll of miner

    The revelations about Mr McKenzie's new role at Yawuru come after a series of reports in The Australian this week revealed that the Kimberley is poised to become the next battleground for oil and gas companies seeking to use fracking in the hunt for unconventional gas.

    WA has potential onshore shale gas resources of 267 trillion cubic feet, a figure that dwarfs the state's current consumption of 0.5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year.

    The oil and gas industry says fracking has been conducted for decades without incident and the development of the state's unconventional gas resources will create jobs, boost the economy and lower greenhouse emissions.

    Fracking involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals is injected to free gas from rocks deep underground.


    Anti - Frackers "Deliberately frighten people" says Bloom.

    Broome shire councillor Jenny Bloom says anti-gas fracking activists are spreading misinformation to frighten people.

    “The activist element is picking up on the coal-seam gas issues in Queensland and other parts of the world and they’re associating coal-seam gas with shale gas,” she told The Australian. - See more at: http://www.kimberleypage.


    Buru boss backs fracking 'only if locals approve'

    ..............Mr Streitberg said yesterday that Buru's task in convincing locals of the merits of an unconventional gas industry was being made more difficult by misinformation that had emanated from the debate over coal-seam gas on the east coast.

    "The issue for most of us is that the science is quite clear -- there are no major environmental issues with it," he told The Australian. "We've just got to be able to demonstrate that. Two or three years ago nobody had ever heard of fracking. Now there is great controversy raging around it on the basis of very few facts."

    Fracking involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals is injected to free gas from rocks deep underground. But some claim there is a risk that the chemicals can leak into aquifers and pollute the groundwater.

    Mr Streitberg said although Buru had announced plans for fracking in 2014, the explorer was focused on consultation with communities in the Kimberley.

    "We've submitted environmental management plans for a series of fracks and we'll do them once all the consultation process is finished and everybody is comfortable with what we're doing," he said.

    Mr Streitberg, a former chairman of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, said he believed opposition to fracking was from a "very narrow sector" of the community.

    But he understood why traditional owners wanted more information before they were comfortable with fracking on their lands.

    "They want to see an independent review of the science and the facts, basically, and we'll go through that process with them," Mr Streitberg said.

    "It's quite reasonable that they want to be reassured that there's not going to be any significant or long-term impact on their country."

  9. Fracking worry to nature reserve

    A Perth company's plan to search for gas in a Mid West nature reserve has sparked protests over danger to the area's fragile cave formations.

    Norwest Energy wants to conduct seismic surveys near Leeman, about 250km north of Perth, in a move that could lead to hydraulic fracturing - fracking - there.

    Fracking involves drilling wells vertically and often horizontally thousands of metres before using water, sand and chemicals to release "unconventional" gas resources such as tight gas and shale gas.

    In documents lodged with WA's environmental watchdog, consultants for Norwest said part of the proposal would involve surveying Beekeepers Nature Reserve.

    Though consultants Strategen said the plan would affect only vegetation and potentially some native animals, environmentalists warned the implications could be much worse.

    The Conservation Council of WA said the area was full of little-known but spectacular caves that could be damaged if fracking was allowed.

    In a submission to the Environmental Protection Authority, council director Piers Verstegen said the plan also posed threats to the nature reserve's biodiversity and should not be allowed.

    "The area is … situated above extremely rare and fragile Karst systems and an extensive network of underground caves, many of which have not been mapped and are unknown to the Department of Parks and Wildlife," Mr Verstegen said.

    "These areas are highly sensitive to ground disturbance."

    Strategen said Norwest was not proposing to drill wells but only wanted to map the area seismically - a process involving clearing up to 250ha of native vegetation.

    It said the proposal would expand on a nearby existing shale gas exploration well, known as Arrowsmith 2.

    "One of the key objectives of the survey is to define the location and form of the Beagle Fault, which is located near the eastern boundary of Beekeepers Nature Reserve," Strategen's report said.

    "There is no intention to conduct drilling within the nature reserve.

    "The survey will assist Norwest in ensuring future wells are drilled in locations that minimise the risk of intersecting this fault system."

  10. Wolf's victims turn on Scorsese

    IN a world still recovering from the financial crisis, the latest Leonardo DiCaprio film was supposed to portray the intoxicating brew of greed and hedonism that led some moneymen and brokers to swindle their countrymen.

    Yet in recasting that spectacle as alluring, brimming as the movie is with beautiful prostitutes and naked marching bands, it appears that DiCaprio and his director, Martin Scorsese, may have become rather intoxicated themselves.

    So say a growing number of critics of their film, The Wolf of Wall Street, which is released in Australia this month.


    ..............Now that Belfort is his neighbour on Manhattan Beach, he sees him playing tennis at a local country club. "He's a cocky little short guy and it does annoy me to see him strutting around like a peacock, living the high life," Mr Shearin said.

    Others have directed their ire at the film-makers.

    Christina McDowell, a writer also based in Los Angeles, whose father was a former business associate of Belfort, wrote an open letter to Scorsese and DiCaprio, accusing them of "a reckless attempt to continue to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining". She wrote that after her father was imprisoned, her family were destitute and she was left saddled with "$US100,000 worth of debt".

    She added: "This kind of behaviour brought America to its knees, and you're glorifying it."

    David Denby, a film critic for The New Yorker, was even more strident. "It's meant to be an expose of disgusting, immoral, corrupt, obscene behaviour," he wrote. "But it's made in such an exultant style that it becomes an example of disgusting, obscene film-making," he said.


    Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

    By Matt Taibbi

    If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.


    The banks' laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC's Mexican branches and "deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."

    This bears repeating: in order to more efficiently move as much illegal money as possible into the "legitimate" banking institution HSBC, drug dealers specifically designed boxes to fit through the bank's teller windows. Tony Montana's henchmen marching dufflebags of cash into the fictional "American City Bank" in Miami was actually more subtle than what the cartels were doing when they washed their cash through one of Britain's most storied financial institutions.

    Though this was not stated explicitly, the government's rationale in not pursuing criminal prosecutions against the bank was apparently rooted in concerns that putting executives from a "systemically important institution" in jail for drug laundering would threaten the stability of the financial system. The New York Times put it this way:

    Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system.

    Read more:

  11. Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

    The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

    Matt Taibbi

    Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

    You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments.

    ...............Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess.


    But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

    "A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

    "Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

    All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

    If true, that would leave us living in an era of undisguised, real-world conspiracy, in which the prices of currencies, commodities like gold and silver, even interest rates and the value of money itself, can be and may already have been dictated from above. And those who are doing it can get away with it. Forget the Illuminati – this is the real thing, and it's no secret. You can stare right at it, anytime you want.


    Translation: When prices are set by companies that can profit by manipulating them, we're fucked.

    "You name it," says Frenk. "Any of these benchmarks is a possibility for corruption."

    The only reason this problem has not received the attention it deserves is because the scale of it is so enormous that ordinary people simply cannot see it. It's not just stealing by reaching a hand into your pocket and taking out money, but stealing in which banks can hit a few keystrokes and magically make whatever's in your pocket worth less. This is corruption at the molecular level of the economy, Space Age stealing – and it's only just coming into view.

    Read more:

  12. Things seem to be rolling on 'bout the same as last year - perhaps worse !


    SA, Qld begin new year with scorching heatwave

    Parts of Australia have started the new year in sweltering conditions, with temperatures near 50 degrees Celsius in regional South Australia, and a heatwave predicted for Queensland.

    According to the weather bureau, the mercury at Tarcoola in central SA hit 48.9C on Wednesday afternoon, while Oodnadatta reached 47.7C and Coober Pedy posted 47.4C.

    The fire danger rating in South Australia reached catastrophic level on Wednesday, with gale force winds from former Tropical Cyclone Christine creating challenging conditions.

    Winds and dust storms are moving from the state's north across the Nullarbor Plain and will be passing near northern Spencer Gulf by early Friday.

    Temperatures are forecast to hit 48C in Oodnadatta on Thursday before dropping down to the mid-30s for the rest of the week.

    Similarly, Coober Pedy is expected to reach 45C and Tarcoola 40C before dropping later on.

    The hot and windy conditions in SA's north do not translate down to Adelaide, where temperatures are forecast to be about 23C all week.

    The Northern Territory is also experiencing a similar heatwave.

    Top temperatures at Alice Springs have not strayed below 43C since the start of the week.

    Week-long Queensland heatwave

    Queensland's north-west has also seen a hot and sticky start to 2014.

    Urandangi topped the state on Wednesday with 46.5C, while Mount Isa posted 44.6C and further south Birdsville hit 44.5C.

    The sizzling temperatures will not abate in parts of Queensland for at least a full week.

    The south-western Queensland town of Birdsville it is expected to be the hottest spot in the state today, with the mercury set to peak at 48C.

    Mount Isa is forecast to remain above 40C until next Wednesday when temperatures drop to a relatively cool 37C.

    Similar conditions are faced at Longreach, Winton and Barcaldine.

    Brisbane is expected to reach a high of close to 40C on Saturday.

    1. Australia’s hottest year recorded in 2013

      Bureau of Meteorology highlights influence of carbon emissions on warming trend as temperatures rise 1.2C above average

      Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed, with temperatures 1.2C above the long-term average.

      The bureau said the new high, which breaks the record set in 2005 by 0.17C, “continues the trend” of steadily rising temperatures in Australia, which has seen the country warm by about 1C since 1950.

      The year saw a number of individual records fall, including: The warmest summer and spring seasons ever recorded.

      •7 January was the hottest summer day ever recorded, at a national average maximum of 40.3C.

      •January’s heatwave set records for the hottest day, week and month on record, as well as a new record for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C – seven days between 2 and 8 January.

      •The highest temperature recorded in 2013 was in Moomba in South Australia, where the mercury rose to 49.6C – the highest in Australia since 1998.

      •31 August was the warmest-ever winter day at 29.9C.

      •South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory all broke their annual average temperature records, while all other states ranked in their top four years.

      •Overall, 2013 was 1.2C above the long-term average of 21.8C set between 1961 and 1990. The 10-year mean temperature for 2004 to 2013 was 0.5C above this average, with just one year in the past decade, 2011, cooler than average.

      In its annual climate statement report, the bureau highlighted the influence of carbon emissions upon the warming trend, stating: “The Australian region warming is very similar to that seen at the global scale and the past year emphasises that the warming trend continues.

      “As summarised in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, recent warming trends have been dominated by the influence of increasing greenhouse gases and the enhanced greenhouse effect.”

      The bureau said sea surface temperatures were “unusually warm” in 2013, with preliminary data placing the year at 0.51C above the long-term average. Warming oceans pose a serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef, with coral bleaching contributing to the ecosystem losing half of its coral cover in the past 30 years.

      Nationally, rainfall was 37mm below the long-term average in 2013, ranking it as the 52nd driest year on record. Rainfall was below average in Queensland, Victoria and parts of NSW and South Australia. Sydney and parts of Western Australia experienced higher rainfall than average.


      Dr David Jones, the manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the bureau, told Guardian Australia that the warming trend in Australia “is very clear”.

      “We have had warm excursions before but if you look at the warm and cool anomalies, we’re now on a higher trend with higher benchmarks,” he said.

      “We are now seeing temperatures unprecedented in our records. It was the warmest-ever year last year by some degree.”


    2. Australian heatwave: bushfires rage as temperatures hit 54C – video

      Fire crews battle bushfires on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. Electricity has been cut to the island and more than 900 people have been evacuated. In Oodnadatta, South Australia, temperatures reach 54 degrees Celsius

  13. Mango madness Vs. Reefer madness........


    Kimberley mango farmers endure mysteriously bad season

    Mangoes are a popular summer fruit and often a lucrative crop for Australian farmers. But in Western Australia's Kimberley, growers say they've had a mysteriously horrible season. The crop is down 90 per cent and no one knows why.


    Marijuana retailers in Colorado open doors after drug is legalised for recreational use

    Legal sales of marijuana for recreational use have begun in the US state of Colorado.

    Dozens of people lined up at some stores in Denver on January 1 to buy up to 28 grams (1 ounce) of marijuana legally for the first time.

    Colorado legalised the drug for recreational use in November, 2012, in a ballot that coincided with the US presidential election and put it in the vanguard of the push for nationwide legalisation.

    "It just makes it an item of commerce, like going into a liquor store," 61-year-old Charles Pierce said at the Denver Kush Club, where pot fans lined in the wind and sleet for the 8:00 am opening.

    Colorado is expected to earn $US67 million in tax revenue this year from legal sales of the drug.

    It has already approved 348 marijuana business licenses state-wide, but local government areas can block approval of the shops if they choose.

    While it is now legal to buy the drug, consumption in open and public places is outlawed.

    Marijuana for health purposes is legal and regulated in 19 US states.


    ................."By legalising marijuana, Colorado has stopped the needless and racially-biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws," Ezekiel Edwards, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Criminal Law Reform Project, said.


    WELL AT LEAST Barnett is protecting us from the evils of Mary - Jane ................

    ............but it seems not much else !

  14. Coal crackdown urged as air pollution breaches rise by 50% in Hunter Valley

    Environment centre wants all coal wagons and stockpiles covered, and plans for Newcastle coal terminal to be rejected

    The New South Wales government has been urged to ensure all coal wagons and stockpiles are covered, and to reject plans for a new coal terminal in Newcastle, after figures showed a rise in air pollution in parts of the state.

    The Hunter Community Environment Centre said its analysis of the Environment Protection Authority’s 2013 data showed a 50% increase in air pollution breaches throughout the year in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle, compared with 2012.

    The group, which has campaigned against the mining industry on health grounds, said the national standard for a particle called PM10 was breached 171 times last year.

    Significant quantities of PM10 can cause respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

    The breaches showed the NSW government should block a fourth terminal at Newcastle that would export an additional 70m tonnes a year, the environment group said.

    The group is also campaigning for the mining industry to cover coal wagons on trains, which it blames for spreading harmful coal dust. A Senate inquiry last year called for better monitoring of potentially harmful effects, although submissions from the mining industry said covering wagons would be too expensive.


    Tony Abbott's obsession with building more roads is dangerously misguided

    The blame game is on again as Abbott and his team are feverishly laying the groundwork to conceal their absurd refusal to invest in urban public transport. Australians deserve better

    Anthony Albanese

    ................Now, so soon after being elected, Abbott and his team are feverishly laying the groundwork for a new round in order to conceal their absurd refusal to invest in urban public transport. As one of the most urbanised nations on earth, Australia has an economic interest in ensuring our cities have 21st century urban rail transport to reduce traffic congestion. Less cars on the road means productivity and jobs growth, as it allows for the more efficient movement of goods and services and encourages greater urban population density.

    But Abbott, in an extraordinary abdication of responsibility, says public transport is the concern of state governments while the Commonwealth should “stick to its knitting’’ and build more roads.

    .................The WA government went so far as to shelve $898m in infrastructure spending, including delaying for three years work on the $464 million MAX Light rail project. In Brisbane, the Liberal National party Queensland government has dumped the proposed Cross River Railway in favour of a B-grade substitute to be delivered without commonwealth support.

    In Melbourne, the Napthine government will not build the metro rail tunnel. Instead, it will accept Commonwealth funding to build the $8bn east west road – a project that has not even produced a full business case for approval by the independent Infrastructure Australia. Earlier this month, The Age reported that the Victorian government’s own secret analysis had found the east west road would not solve traffic congestion, but simply move it from one area to another. In Sydney, Abbott will fund the WestConnex project, which also has not produced a full business case, despite Abbott’s claim that any big project he funds will be the subject of a cost-benefit analysis.

    Putting all of this together, it is clear states either cannot or will not invest in public transport without partnership contributions from the Commonwealth. And since we know that Abbott won’t invest in anything except roads, the prospects for advancement of a public transport agenda are dim at best.

    What a tragedy.