Monday, February 17, 2014

Lateline - 29/07/2013: Climate change could cost 60 trillion dollars

Lateline - 29/07/2013: Climate change could cost 60 trillion dollars

New research published in the journal 'Nature' warns that the release of huge reserves of methane from permafrost could increase the mean global temperature by more than two degress which could wipe 60-trillion dollars off the global economy.





    Buru Energy shares yesterday slumped 19 per cent to their lowest level in two months amid concern the company's flagship Ungani oil field in the Kimberley may not be as big as expected.

    The trigger for the 37� share price fall to $1.60, wiping $110 million off Buru's market capitalisation, was an update on the progress of the Ungani-3 well.

    The well was spudded a month ago, 1km from the Ungani-1 and Ungani-2 wells that discovered the field in late 2011. Ungani-3 was drilled to test the reservoir.

    Buru said yesterday Ungani-3 had indicated "anomalously poor" porosity when compared with the earlier wells. It said Ungani-3's impact on field reserves was yet to be determined, and would depend on data analysis.

    Buru had tipped a potential recoverable gross resource of 10 million barrels, with potential upside of 20 million barrels.

    Ungani's discovery propelled Buru into the S&P-ASX 200. It should produce sizeable cash flow, based on daily output of 1500 barrels rising to 5000bpd by the end of this year, to help fund Buru's Canning Basin shale plans.

    1. wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall when Neilo and Jenny are discussing their "dry hole" problem.....

    2. Some quotes from share market sites..........


      Buru Energy was the worst-performing stock, dumping 18.8 per cent to $1.60, after delivering a disappointing drilling update on its key Ungani-3 oil well.


      Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) plunged after the oil and gas explorer posted a disappointing drilling update at its Ungani 3 well east of Broome in Western Australia.


      The worst was oil and gas explorer Buru Energy, which crashed 19 per cent off the back of an underwhelming update on drilling at one of its wells.


      Buru Energy provided an update on drilling operations at the Ungani 3 well as at 06:00hrs, 17 February 2014 (AWST). Since the last report the well has been drilled ahead in 216 mm (8.5 inch) hole to a total depth of 2,383m in the Nullara Formation. The current operation is pulling out of the hole prior to running a full suite of wireline logs over the 8.5" hole section. The Ungani 3 well is interpreted to have penetrated the top of the Ungani Dolomite at a measured depth of 2,137m, which is currently interpreted to be some 77m above the oil/water contact identified in the Ungani 1 and 2 wells in the central part of the Field. The interpretation needs to be confirmed by the wireline logging program which will be conducted over the next 4 to 5 days.


      Oil and gas explorer Buru Energy has been pummelled on the market after releasing a drilling result from its Ungani oil field in Western Australia’s Kimberley region that casts doubt both on production targets at the Canning Basin field and on the potential of lookalike prospects nearby.


    3. Buru Energy Limited provides update on Ungani 3 well
      Monday, February 17, 2014

      Buru Energy Limited provides the following update on drilling operations at the Ungani 3 well as at 06:00hrs, 17th February 2014 (AWST).

      Since the last report the well has been drilled ahead in 216 mm (8 ½ inch) hole to a total depth of 2,383m in the Nullara Formation. The current operation is pulling out of the hole prior to running a full suite of wireline logs over the 8 ½" hole section.

      The Ungani 3 well is interpreted to have penetrated the top of the Ungani Dolomite at a measured depth of 2,137 metres, which is currently interpreted to be some 77 metres above the oil/water contact identified in the Ungani 1 and 2 wells in the central part of the Field.

      Mud log and mud gas shows and sample descriptions at the top of the section were similar to those seen in the previous Ungani wells, however, sample descriptions, drilling parameters, and mud log and mud gas shows over the main part of the reservoir section indicate that porosity development is anomalously poor at the Ungani 3 location relative to the central Ungani Field area around the Ungani 1 and 2 wells. This interpretation needs to be confirmed by the wireline logging program which will be conducted over the next 4 to 5 days.

      The current 2014 production forecasts from the central field area are not affected by this result, and further wells are planned once the results of this well are integrated into the geological and reservoir models.

      The Ungani 3 well is located some 1,000 metres to the east of the central Ungani Field area on what is interpreted from the 3D seismic data to be a separate structure. The effect of this well result on the estimates of reserves in the Field will not be able to be quantified until all of the data from the well are obtained and analysed, and the pressure and production data from the current ongoing production phase from the central field area is integrated into the previous production results, the 3D mapping, and the Ungani 3 well results.



    Gas prices in New South Wales set to rise more than 20% this year

    AGL has applied to raise prices by 20.3% for Sydney customers, blaming increased demand from export markets

    Households and businesses in New South Wales face gas price increases of more than 20% later this year.

    Energy giant AGL has applied to increase prices by 20.3% for customers in the greater Sydney region and inland NSW, blaming international demand for Australia’s new wave of gas supply for pushing up the cost.

    ActewAGL is proposing an 18.6% increase for the NSW/ACT border areas, while Origin Energy is proposing 20.1% for the south-western regions of NSW.

    In its submission to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) on Monday, AGL said: “The commitment of large LNG projects in Queensland has driven intense competition for available gas between domestic customers and LNG projects.

    “These facilities will redirect substantial quantities of gas previously used for domestic supply to export markets, thereby reducing the availability of gas for domestic use.”

    The company, which is the biggest supplier in NSW with 683,000 customers, added: “This reduction in available supply is leading to supply scarcity and consequently increasing the price at which domestic gas retailers are able to source gas.”

    Consumers in Asian countries such as Japan pay twice as much for gas as Australian users but that is set to change as the markets converge.

    “Australia’s east-coast gas market is now linked to Asian markets through its LNG export projects,” Chris Graham, a Perth-based analyst at Wood Mackenzie told Bloomberg last month.

    Gas prices for customers who have not signed market contracts, representing 30% of household and small business gas users, are currently being reviewed by IPART.

    “These proposals are for significant increases and we will assess them against what gas prices need to be to recover the efficient costs of supply, facilitate competition and support the long-term interest of customers,” the IPART chairman, Peter Boxall, said.

    Last year IPART’s preliminary estimate of the average NSW regulated price rise for electricity in 2014/15 was 1.8% – less than the rate of inflation. IPART will release draft reports on gas prices for public comment in April before any price changes occur on 1 July.

    1. Am I missing something here?

      We can't have a "job killing" Carbon Tax because it makes electricity bills too high..............

      BUT we have to pay the same price for our gas as the Japanese...............

      So how much does it cost to land a tanker of LNG into Tokyo Bay?

      And what is the difference to land some gas into Mrs Browns stove in Gladstone?

      WTF !

  3. Paladin reports uranium spill

    Just 10 days after announcing it would place its loss-making Kayelekera mine on care and maintenance, Paladin Energy yesterday revealed a truck carting a container of uranium oxide concentrate from the Malawi operation had crashed and spilt some of its load.

    Paladin said a small quantity of U{-3}O{-8} had been spilt after one of five trucks carrying containers of the concentrate toppled on its side about 8km from the mine. The container buckled when the truck toppled and was holed by a tree trump which triggered the spill.

    Kayelekera's spill response team recovered the container as well as a "small quantity of concentrate from the scene and also removed soil which had come into contact with the product for disposal at Kayelekera's tailing storage facility".

    "The accident site and surrounding area was subsequently subjected to a radiological check to ensure that it was thoroughly cleaned," Paladin said.

    The Perth company added that Malawi's Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority had signed off on Paladin's clean-up efforts.

    Paladin said it was the first such incident at Kayelekera, where mining is being suspended and final ore processed ahead of the operation being placed on care and maintenance because of a persistently weak uranium price.

    Although the Kayelekera incident is not the industry's first uranium spill, the focus is usually on tailings dams that overflow or start leaking.


    Another WA miner in trouble with wages, debt unpaid

    THE casualty toll in Australia's mining industry appears set to rise amid revelations that Perth-based Atlantic has failed to pay wages to its 200 employees and scores of creditors are demanding at least $25 million from the embattled vanadium producer.

    Atlantic admitted yesterday that it had missed a $5m debt repayment to its bondholders -- who are collectively owed more than $300m --and that it would take about nine months to rebuild a fire-damaged plant at its Windimurra project about 500km north of Perth.

    1. Aluminium producer Alcoa confirms decision to close Point Henry smelter, rolling mills

      Aluminium producer Alcoa has announced that it will close its Point Henry smelter and two rolling mills in Australia putting almost 1,000 people out of work.

      The decision was made at a meeting of the Alcoa Australia board this morning.

      The chairman and managing director of Alcoa, Alan Cransberg, has briefed employees.

      Alcoa employs 500 workers at the Geelong smelter and about 480 at the rolling mills at Geelong and at Yennora, New South Wales.

      The smelter will be closed in August and the rolling mills will wrap up operations at the end of 2014.

      The company says a comprehensive review of the 50-year-old smelter has no prospect of becoming financially viable.

      The company is closing the rolling mills because of excess capacity.


    2. Betchel warns 2,000 gas plant jobs to go by year's end

      The company building three major gas plants near Gladstone in central Queensland says it is expecting to cut 2,000 jobs by the end of the year.

      Construction firm Bechtel is building liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plants for Santos, QGC and APLNG on Curtis Island near Gladstone.

      The company employs about 11,000 workers for the construction phase of the projects but is expecting to cut about 2,000 of those jobs in the second half of the year.

      Bechtel says there have been a small number of redundancies so far this year but most of the jobs will go when the plants start producing coal seam gas into LNG for export.

      QGC expects to start exports by the end of the year, while shipments from the Santos and APLNG plants are due to start in 2015.


      "We expect to maintain our peak workforce of about 11,000 employees through to the second half of the year," he said.

      "Our employee numbers will gradually decrease after this time across the projects and eventually, the construction workforce will fully demobilise as the sites transition to operations."


  4. Inquiry told fracking wells could be drilled through drinking water aquifers

    A WA parliamentary inquiry has been told that wells for fracking to release natural gas could be drilled through public drinking water aquifers.

    The Department of Mines and Petroleum's Jeff Haworth told the inquiry he would prefer energy companies to drill away from public water sources.

    However, he said drilling may be approved by the regulator, the DMP, if companies met safety requirements on well design.

    The department says it believes there has been no drilling for oil and gas in a public drinking water area although there has been drilling in water catchment areas like the Swan River and Whicher Range in south-west WA.

    The Water Department can advise against fracking below public water supplies but it has no veto over the practice.

    The Health Department says it is concerned about the impact of shale gas fracking on the environment and public health.

    Chief health officer Tarun Weeramanthri told the parliamentary inquiry he was worried about the possible contamination of water supplies from chemicals used in fracking and air pollution.

    But Mr Weeramanthri said he is happy so far with new regulations to control fracking in WA particularly on the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking fluid.

    He said the department had limited regulatory power over fracking but said he was comfortable with how discussions were going with the DMP.

    Mr Weeramanthri is working on a memorandum of understanding with the DMP so the health department can review chemicals used in the fracking process.

    The chemicals used will have to be disclosed publicly under the new regulations.

    The DMP is looking at increasing penalties for breaches of mining and petroleum laws.

    The maximum penalty under the new petroleum regulations is currently $10,000 per breach, a level that committee members at the inquiry said was too low.

    The inquiry is looking into the implications of hydraulic fracturing, where high pressure drills are used to fracture hard rock thousands of metres below the earth's surface to release natural gas.

    WA energy company, Buru Energy, plans to begin the state's first commercial shale gas fracking in April.

  5. Heatwave frequency 'surpasses levels previously predicted for 2030'

    Abbott government urged to better articulate dangers of climate change as Climate Council highlights rising number of hot days

    The government has been urged to better articulate the dangers of climate change after a report that shows the frequency of heatwaves in parts of Australia has already surpassed levels previously predicted for 2030.

    The Climate Council report highlights that Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra all experienced a higher average number of hot days between 2000 and 2009 than was expected to occur by 2030.

    Research by the CSIRO forecast that Melbourne would experience an average of 12 days over 35C each year from 2030, but the average over the past decade was 12.6 days.

    Adelaide experienced an average of 25.1 days a year over 35C in this time, while Canberra surpassed this mark an average of 9.4 days.

    The annual number of record hot days across Australia has more than doubled since 1950, according to the Climate Council report, with the south-east of the country at particular risk from more frequent heatwaves, drought and bushfires.

    Last month’s heatwave, which enveloped much of Victoria and South Australia, caused 203 heat-related deaths in Victoria alone, according to the report.

    Tim Flannery, of the Climate Council, told Guardian Australia that heatwaves were the “most dangerous natural hazards in Australia”.

    “They kill hundreds of people and the fact they are accelerating beyond the predicted trends is a concern,” he said. “Heatwaves are coming earlier, they are lasting longer and they are hotter. They build up for days and before you know it, elderly people, infants and the homeless are in danger.”

    On Monday, Tony Abbott dismissed talk of a link between climate change and drought, saying there “have always been tough times and lush times”. Last year he played down the connection between climate change and bushfire.

    Flannery said there was “clear evidence” of these links and said the government had yet to articulate the dangers of climate change and how it would combat it.

    “We’re not looking at these things in a linked-up way, we don’t seem to recognise the relationship between the number and intensity of heatwaves on bushfires, and the impact on droughts,” he said. “It’s an inconvenient truth and people don’t want to face the truth.

    “Aspects of drought conditions are clearly linked to heatwaves. I’ve spoken to farmers in NSW and they say they’ve never seen anything like the evaporation rates from dams before, due to the number of very hot days.”

    Flannery added: “Governments have a responsibility to keep Australians safe from dangers such as climate change. You need to be explicit about that threat. We have yet to see that policy yet. I mean, who knows what Direct Action is?”

    Flannery said he had a “long friendship” with Greg Hunt, the environment minister, who is regularly depicted by Labor as being sidelined within cabinet by Coalition climate sceptics.

    “Like any minister he has moments of frustration,” Flannery said. “There are clearly others in the party who are outright sceptics. The government certainly doesn’t seem to be leading the discussion on climate change.”

    “We don’t comment directly on policy issues, but it’s clear to see that we had peak emissions in Australia in 2008 and, since then, we’ve reduced emissions by one third of 1%. In the US, they had their peak in 2008 and have reduced emissions by 10.9%.

    “China has made incredible gains in renewable energy and reducing emissions intensity. We should be keeping up but we are in danger of losing sight of the frontrunners.”

  6. Climate sceptic to lead review of Australia's renewable energy target

    Industrialist Dick Warburton will head review whose terms of reference focus heavily on impact of RET on power prices

    The Abbott government has appointed a self-professed climate sceptic to head an “extensive” review of the renewable energy target.

    Dick Warburton, a veteran industrialist and current chairman of the Westfield Retail Trust, described his views on climate science in a 2011 interview on ABC.

    “Well I am a sceptic. I’ve never moved away from that. I’ve always believed sceptical,’’ he said. “But a sceptic is a different person than a denier. I say the science is not settled. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’ve never said it’s wrong, but I don’t believe it’s settled.”

    Among those joining Warburton on the long-promised review is Dr Brian Fisher, former head of the agricultural research bureau ABARES and a leading climate change modeller who repeatedly warned about the potential economic impacts of the carbon tax before it was legislated.

    As flagged by the prime minister, Tony Abbott, the review’s terms of reference focus heavily on the impact of the RET on power prices, but also include the need for investment certainty for the renewables industry.


    Tony Abbott leaves climate change out of his drought relief calculations

    Surely climate change means rainfall patterns are changing and that also means changes in what can be farmed, and where

    It seems obvious, but apparently it isn’t. If you remove the reality of climate change from government decision-making you risk making the wrong decisions.

    Obviously the drought is causing extreme hardship for farmers in parts of New South Wales and Queensland and the government is about to announce a package of short-term measures to assist them.

    But surely long-term drought policy needs to take into account the evidence that climate change means rainfall patterns are changing and that also means changes in what can be farmed, and where.

    Asked about this on Monday, prime minister Tony Abbott appeared to suggest it did not.

    He said records going back 150 years showed there had always been “good times and bad times”, that there had been “droughts since the beginning of settlement”.

    In other words, just as the government refused to accept climate change might lead to an increased frequency of bushfire weather, it also appears to reject the idea that climate change might have a bearing on the frequency or location of drought, or on the long-term farming conditions of particular farming areas.

    President Barack Obama sees the link between US weather patterns, farming and climate change. Meeting drought-stricken farmers in California on Friday he foreshadowed a $1bn “climate resilience fund”.

    And before the Abbott government abolished it, the independent climate commission in its Critical Decade report suggested Australia was facing similar pressures.

    It said that “changing rainfall patterns, the increasing risk of extreme heat and bushfire weather present challenges for Australian agriculture. Production of temperature and water sensitive broad acre crops, fruit, vegetables and wine grapes need to adapt to these changing growing conditions or move to locations where growing conditions are more amenable to their production.”

  7. John Kerry to make clarion call for more action on climate change

    US secretary of state will make the case for ‘undeniable’ evidence that world faces a ‘tipping point’ for the environment

    US secretary of state John Kerry will on Sunday issue a clarion call for the world to do to more to combat climate change, warning the planet is being pushed to “a tipping point of no return”.

    In his keynote speech the top US diplomat will highlight the fact that Asian nations, many of them low-lying, are particularly under threat from rising sea levels.

    “Kerry will call on the global community, not just countries but individual citizens around the world, to do more now because addressing the threat of climate change will require a global solution,” a senior state department official said.

    Kerry, who has long been a passionate advocate of the need to protect the environment, arrived in Indonesia late Saturday for bilateral meetings.

    On Sunday he toured a mosque to pay tribute to the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.

    Later he was to deliver his speech before Indonesian students and professors at a US-run centre in Jakarta. It will be beamed live to other hubs on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

    Kerry will make “the compelling and undeniable scientific case of this growing challenge that is pushing the planet towards a tipping point of no return”, the State Department official said, asking not to be named.

    Global warming was threatening not just the environment, but also “the economy and our way of life”, the official said.

    He will also “underscore the ways in which Asia is particularly impacted”, she added.

    Along with the United States, Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands, is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters - in Jakarta’s case because of rampant deforestation.

    Kerry announced on Saturday in Beijing that China and the United States had agreed to share information on their efforts to combat climate change ahead of 2015 UN-led efforts to set emission reduction goals for after 2020.

    Together the United States and China account for some 40 percent of total emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

  8. "The payment was estimated to be worth $600m to News Corp but the final figure grew to $882m after interest charges.

    It was one of the the biggest single factors in the multi-billion dollar federal budget blowout announced by Australian treasurer Joe Hockey in December."


    Rupert Murdoch's empire receives $882m tax rebate from Australia

    Payment revealed by News Corp in US likely to reignite debate over how much tax is paid by international corporations

    .................The Australian Tax Office wanted to challenge the claim but was overruled by the Federal Court of Appeal in July last year, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.

    The refund amounted to one of the largest ever faced by the ATO but a decision over whether to appeal against the ruling came amid the build-up to the federal election with News Corp’s Australian titles launching a series of attacks on the then Labor government.

    The ATO decided not to appeal the case after consideration by “senior officers and after seeking legal opinion”.

    “All decisions on whether to appeal a court decision are made by senior technical officers. Careful consideration is given to a range of factors, including the costs to all parties of proceeding and the importance of the particular case to clarifying the law for the benefit of the wider community,” an ATO spokesman said.

    “The ATO seeks external legal counsel opinion on the prospects of success for an appeal before making a decision.


    ...................the paper loss on the currency transactions involved the Australian businesses and dated back to 1989, the tax refund was paid to Murdoch’s newly created entertainment business 21st Century Fox under the terms of the split of the empire last year, the accounts said.

    The Australian Treasury was forced to include the sum in its December budget update which forecast a deficit for this fiscal year of $47bn – a $17bn increase on earlier forecasts.

    This led the AFR to calculate that the News Corp payment was the “single biggest factor in the budget deterioration” in the four months between August and December.

    Announcing the blowout, Hockey warned Australians to expect spending cuts. The deficit was “not sustainable” and that “doing nothing is not an option for Australia”.

    News Corp declined to comment.