Saturday, May 31, 2014

The corporate mindset

Australian Filmmaker John Nikolakopoulos was trying to tap “directly into the corporate mindset” when he made this parody promotional video for a fake coal company’s new climate change public relations strategy. If you don’t like f-bombs, head for cover now.


  1. High rents in Port Hedland driven by mining boom 'forcing residents into homelessness'

    They sleep rough on the edge of town, living in the shadow of Port Hedland's multi-billion-dollar mining industry, with nowhere to go or any place to call home.

    Hedland may have become home to the world's largest iron ore industry, but its people, at the very heart of the boom, have been left behind in the rush to churn out the region's mineral wealth.

    "The locals have been missing out for all these years, for the last six, seven years, " says local Indigenous woman Patricia Franklin.

    Ms Franklin has been without a home of her own since 2010 and she has been told she still has three years to wait on the public housing list.

    And while she has a part-time job, it does not pay enough for her to rent privately.

    The kids are sick of it, they just say 'Mum, why can't we have our own house?'

    High rents from mining boom 'force people onto streets'

    Her case has resonated across the community.

    "The mining was here for years but not like how it is now," says Bob Neville, head of South Hedland non-government organisation the Bloodwood Tree Association.

    "People had houses, people could afford things, people could afford rent, even in private rental but now, it's just too high."

    Mr Neville has worked with the town's most disadvantaged for 25 years, helping them give up alcohol, find a job and get a house.

    "You've got houses which are overcrowded, you've got three or four families living in one house which means you've got nine, 12, 15 kids living in one house," he said.

    "In that house you can see a lot of alcohol, a lot of drugs, a lot of family violence, a lot of anti-social behaviour."

    Mr Neville says the gap between the rich and poor is getting worse.

    "I've got a whole thick wad of papers here, I've now got 23, 24, 25 people advocating for housing, that's the most we've ever had in one hit."

    Housing shortage surfaced as mining boom ramped up

    The housing shortage issue first reared its head in 2005 when thousands of people poured into town to work on major mining projects.

    The sudden influx pushed rents to unsustainable highs and anyone not on mining wages were priced out of the private market.

    Mr Neville says the state government was not paying attention.

    "Back in 2005, the community did commission a report on affordable housing in Port Hedland," he said.

    "It made some very good recommendations about Landcorp leasing some land to a community housing association to fund the building of housing.

    "That was totally ignored by state government."

    Mr Neville blames the State Government for refurbishing and selling off dozens of its public houses under the New Living Program.

    When there's a huge disparity between the rent you pay in social housing, one of our houses in the market, everyone wants a social house because the rents could only be a $120 a week versus $1,000 a week.

    "They started pulling housing out of the system and therefore the list was getting longer and longer and longer," he said.

    "The wait list used to be two or three years, which isn't too bad, it's now out to seven or eight years."


    "All governments, whether it's local, state or federal, are good at building things," he said.

    "What we're not good at is building a community, so we can build roads, we can build bridges, we can build stadiums, but we can't build communities."

  2. WA risk-takers under threat: Mine boss

    The "disproportionate" influence of vocal minority groups is eroding rewards on offer for West Australians who take risks, according to newly crowned West Australian of the Year David Flanagan.

    In an opinion piece written for The Weekend West, the Atlas Iron chairman said this WA Day the State's residents should remember that the benefits of risk, hard work and innovation that many of them enjoyed stemmed from a willingness to embrace risk in pursuit of a reward.

    Mr Flanagan, who received the State's top honour last night, said WA was one of the best examples in the world of a relationship between risk and reward.

    But he said there was a worrying trend in WA of minority groups, including some politicians, vested-interest lobbying outfits and anti-development "brigades", seeing the rewards for those who took risks as ripe for the picking.

    "There is no disputing that we must all share the spoils of success to some degree," Mr Flanagan said. "No one who has the State or the country's long-term interests at heart could argue otherwise.

    "But I fear that the balance is tipping in such a way that we are gradually reducing the incentive to invest money, time and reputation in the sorts of ventures with the potential to deliver the rewards we need to sustain our lifestyles and beat the challenges we face."



    Bid to bypass visa dispute

    The Abbott Government will attempt to clear the way for companies to employ foreigners in some roles around major projects in WA's booming oil and gas industry in a move that is likely to infuriate unions.

    Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash will concede today the coalition may not be able to repeal a Bill pushed through in the dying days of the Labor government that demanded employers on offshore pipe-laying vessels seek to employ Australian workers first.

    The Government will instead try to change regulations to allow pipe construction vessels to use workers on maritime crew visas - so companies will not need to staff a ship with Australians.

    "I want to see visa service delivery that meets the needs of employers without overburdening them with red tape, while ensuring that migration delivers social and economic strength, prosperity and unity," Senator Cash will tell a resources conference in Perth.


    This week, WA Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan claimed any change to laws would cut Australians out of well-paid jobs on floating LNG production platforms such as Royal Dutch Shell's Prelude project.


    Wasn't Barnett worried about Australian jobs ?

  3. Karoon Gas Updates on Pharos‐1 Well

    Posted on May 30th, 2014

    Karoon gas provided an update for the Pharos‐1, the sixth and final well in the Browse Basin Phase 2 exploration drilling campaign.

    As at 0600 WST on 30 May 2014 the cement shoe at the bottom of the 13-3/8″ casing has been drilled out and preparations are being made to drill ahead in the 12-1/4″ hole section.

    Since the last update, the 17-1/2″ hole section was drilled 1,614 metres to a depth of 2,330 mRT before running the 13-3/8″ casing to 2,316 mRT where it was cemented in place. BOP and riser installation was then completed in preparation for drilling ahead in the 12-l/4″hole section.

    Pharos-1 is located approximately 9 kilometres north east of Proteus-1 and will be a further test of the Proteus-Crown trend. Pharos-1 is targeting an extension of the discovery made at Proteus-1 which established excellent reservoir quality and condensate bearing gas in the Montara formation.

    The exploration campaign, operated by ConocoPhillips, is using the Transocean Legend semi-submersible rig for the final well.

    ConocoPhillips is the operator of the WA-315-P Browse Basin permit in which Karoon Gas Australia Ltd currently holds 40%.

    Press Release, May 30, 2014

    1. Origin pays $US800m for Browse gas stake

      Origin Energy will pay $US800 million ($A865.57 million) for a stake in two gas exploration permits in Western Australia's Browse Basin.

      It has entered into a conditional agreement to buy from Karoon Gas a 40 per cent interest in the permits, which contain large and prospective gas fields including the highly regarded Poseidon discovery.

      Origin shares were down 36 cents at $14.73 at 1012 AEST, while Karoon Gas shares were up $1.40, or 57 per cent, at $3.86.

      US energy giant ConocoPhillips is the project operator of the gas fields, and PetroChina also holds major stakes in the permits.

      Origin has agreed to pay $US600 million in cash upfront for the stake, with additional payments to be made when a final investment decision is made, and at first production.

      Origin managing director Grant King said the acquisition would give the company a strategic position in one of Australia's largest recent offshore gas discoveries.

      ConocoPhillips is a partner in Origin's major Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas project (APLNG) in Queensland, due to begin production in 2015.

      Origin expects the APLNG project to provide a significant boost to its long-term cash flow and earnings, and Mr King said the company needed to invest now for its continued development.

      The Browse purchase will be funded by debt, and Origin plans to conduct a $1 billion equity offer later in the year to help refinance that debt.



      Karoon must need money for South America and overseas projects.

    2. Energy crisis warning for WA

      The North West Shelf is WA's biggest domestic gas producer, supplying about half the market, including much of State-owned electricity provider Synergy's needs.

      But there are fears among big gas users that the NWS project's partners will direct remaining reserves to the lucrative Asian liquefied natural gas market rather than locally when their domestic obligations are fulfilled.

      If the NWS was to stop supplying the domestic market after 2020, domestic gas prices would soar and thousands of jobs could be at stake.

      Aluminium giant Alcoa, which takes massive amounts of gas from the NWS, is uncontracted beyond 2020 and there are serious concerns about whether it will be able to secure enough gas to continue operating if the NWS leaves the local market.

      Alcoa has three alumina refineries in the South West at Kwinana, Wagerup and Pinjarra, and operates two bauxite mines at Huntly, near Dwellingup, and Willowdale, near Waroona.

      Alan Cransberg, Alcoa's Australian operations boss, warned the company's viability could be threatened if the NWS walked away from domestic users.

      "It is amazing that, despite this State having Australia's largest gas reserves, WA domestic gas users are staring down the barrel of a substantial gas shortage in a matter of a few years, regardless of price," Mr Cransberg said.

      "Without the North West Shelf, the WA domestic market will be short of gas within the next five to six years.

      "This shortfall poses a significant threat to the viability of value-add facilities in WA, including Alcoa."

      Dr Nahan said the possible departure of the NWS from the domestic gas market was one of the biggest issues facing WA.

      He said even though extra supplies were coming on stream from the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects, they would not be enough to fill the gap.

      "North West Shelf is not entering the market for replacement sales so our largest supplier of gas - 60-odd per cent of our gas - is dropping out of the market by the end of this decade," he said.

      "It's clear from what I see that North West Shelf does not want to be on the market for domestic gas when their contracts run out.

      "The feedback I get, overwhelmingly, from all players in the market is that our dominant gas supply evaporates at the end of the decade.

      "It's one of our big development challenges.

      "We have a major industry - the bauxite processing industry - that employs thousands of people, that came here based on low-priced gas from the North West Shelf, that has worked well now for 30-plus years but which has to find replacement gas.

      "And it's not just quantity, it's also price.

      "What Alcoa and the alumina industry do is a major issue for this State."

      The Independent Market Operator noted recently that for the NWS to keep supplying the local market it would have to invest in developing remaining untapped reserves and refurbish the 30-year-old Karratha gas plant.

  4. "Saving the planet would be remarkably cheap."


    Cutting Back on Carbon

    MAY 29, 2014

    Paul Krugman

    Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy.

    Just ask the United States Chamber of Commerce.

    O.K., that’s not the message the Chamber of Commerce was trying to deliver in the report it put out Wednesday. It clearly meant to convey the impression that the E.P.A.’s new rules would wreak havoc. But if you focus on the report’s content rather than its rhetoric, you discover that despite the chamber’s best efforts to spin things — as I’ll explain later, the report almost surely overstates the real cost of climate protection — the numbers are remarkably small.

    Specifically, the report considers a carbon-reduction program that’s probably considerably more ambitious than we’re actually going to see, and it concludes that between now and 2030 the program would cost $50.2 billion in constant dollars per year. That’s supposed to sound like a big deal. Instead, if you know anything about the U.S. economy, it sounds like Dr. Evil intoning “one million dollars.” These days, it’s just not a lot of money.

    Remember, we have a $17 trillion economy right now, and it’s going to grow over time. So what the Chamber of Commerce is actually saying is that we can take dramatic steps on climate — steps that would transform international negotiations, setting the stage for global action — while reducing our incomes by only one-fifth of 1 percent. That’s cheap!

    Alternatively, consider the chamber’s estimate of costs per household: $200 per year. Since the average American household has an income of more than $70,000 a year, and that’s going to rise over time, we’re again looking at costs that amount to no more than a small fraction of 1 percent.

    One more useful comparison: The Pentagon has warned that global warming and its consequences pose a significant threat to national security. (Republicans in the House responded with a legislative amendment that would forbid the military from even thinking about the issue.) Currently, we’re spending $600 billion a year on defense. Is it really extravagant to spend another 8 percent of that budget to reduce a serious threat?

    And all of this is based on anti-environmentalists’ own numbers. The real costs would almost surely be smaller, for three reasons.

    First, the Chamber of Commerce study assumes that economic growth, and the associated growth in emissions, will be at its historic norm of 2.5 percent a year. But we should expect slower growth in the future as baby boomers retire, making emissions targets easier to hit.

  5. Cutting Back on Carbon

    Second, in the chamber’s analysis, the bulk of the reduction in emissions comes from replacing coal with natural gas. This neglects the dramatic technological progress taking place in renewables, especially solar power, which should make cutting back on carbon even easier.

    Third, the U.S. economy is still depressed — and in a depressed economy many of the supposed costs of compliance with energy regulations aren’t costs at all. In particular, building new, low-emission power plants would employ both workers and capital that would otherwise be sitting idle, and would, if anything, give the U.S. economy a boost.

    Continue reading the main story

    Continue reading the main story

    You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party.

    Finally, let me take on the anti-environmentalists’ last line of defense — the claim that whatever we do won’t matter, because other countries, China in particular, will just keep on burning ever more coal. This gets things exactly wrong. Yes, we need an international agreement to reduce emissions, including sanctions on countries that don’t sign on. But U.S. unwillingness to act has been the biggest obstacle to such an agreement. If we start taking serious steps against global warming, the stage will be set for Europe and Japan to follow suit, and for concerted pressure on the rest of the world as well.

    Now, we haven’t yet seen the details of the new climate action proposal, and a full analysis — both economic and environmental — will have to wait. We can be reasonably sure, however, that the economic costs of the proposal will be small, because that’s what the research — even research paid for by anti-environmentalists, who clearly wanted to find the opposite — tells us. Saving the planet would be remarkably cheap.

  6. Drug testing moved FIFO workers (and sports stars etc) off gunga and onto ice -

    Now the Feds want the same for the unemployed.


    Drug test plan considered for those on dole, as Coalition reviews welfare

    The Australian |
    June 01, 2014

    THE Abbott government is considering drug testing for the unemployed as part of a major overhaul of welfare.

    The suspension of payments to people with outstanding arrest warrants is another option being debated, News Corp Australia newspapers report.

    The Coalition says it is looking closely at New Zealand’s welfare system, which includes a tough approach to drug use.

    The New Zealand model strips welfare recipients of half their payments if they fail a job-required drug test or refuse to submit to one.

    They are then given 30 days to get clean. Those still using drugs or refusing to take a job that requires testing are required to pay back their welfare payments.

    Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said: “We won’t rule this in or out.’’

    Critics in New Zealand say the policy is a waste of money, with low rates of positive results.

    The Coalition is examining a preliminary report from a welfare review led by former Mission Australia chief executive Patrick McClure.

    WELFARE: New wave of reform

    The Abbott government is seeking to simplify the system and is canvassing further ways to cancel or reduce payments, amid frustration over the number of benefits.


    Tony Abbott recalls how to deny cuts to pensions but effect will echo down ages

    The PM has remembered how to differentiate cuts and lower increases but that won't quell anger down the line

    ...............But when it comes to aged, disability and carer pensions the same indexation arrangement it says is unsustainable, and must be changed to deliver a structural saving.

    According to the Australian Council of Social Service, the new pension indexation rates will mean the pension is worth $4,000 a year less in real terms in 10 years’ time.

    And according to the Council on the Ageing (Cota) that is definitely unfair. “From September 2017 the value of the pension will decrease every six months. The CPI does not reflect the spending patterns of low-income people, including pensioners. It does not keep pace with the standard of living. The government says that the pension is an income replacement payment. We agree, and that is why it must be linked to wages,” COTA’s chief executive, Ian Yates, said.

    “The pension is not supposed to be some kind of subsistence payment,” he said.


    Scott Ludlam tells NZ Greens of 'toxic' Australian Coalition policies

    Greens senator gives a grim account of life in his country under Tony Abbott's government

    Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam has given the New Zealand Green Party's annual conference a grim account of life in his country under Tony Abbott's government.

    "I didn't come here for sympathy, but things are in a pretty bad way," Ludlam said.

    "Unfortunately, what you're hearing about Australia in the media is true."

    The West Australian Greens senator was guest speaker at the conference on Saturday, and was introduced as a hero.

    He told 160 delegates that the Australian government had cancelled funding for public transport projects, gutted funding for Aboriginal services and abandoned all the progress that had been made to achieve a clean energy economy.

    "Immigration policy is toxic," he said.

    "There are huge housing problems in Australia, and the government's answer to that is to blame families from Sri Lanka."

    Ludlam said the Australian Labor party was floundering and divided, and he had some advice for his New Zealand brethren: "Try to pick a coalition partner that isn't entirely dysfunctional."


      Science going back to dark ages

      The Climate Commission has gone. The carbon tax is to be rescinded. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is to be abolished. The promise of a "Million Solar Roofs" is broken. And in what can only be described as an ideological move, the Abbott government introduced bills to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, despite it making a profit last year. The Prime Minister has declared war on the Australian renewable energy industry, the environment and science itself.

      The overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming is based on evidence, whether Tony Abbott chooses to act on it or not. A sceptic is someone who doubts accepted opinion; a denier is someone who refuses to accept fact. Scepticism is healthy, denial is dangerous, and intentionally dismantling the entire renewable energy industry of a country that is not only wealthy, sun blessed and windswept but also has the highest per capita CO2 emissions in the OECD is criminally reckless. Furthermore, it will cripple our future economic growth.

      The global economy has embraced the renewable energy industry. Last year wind power grew by 25 per cent worldwide and solar power by 30 per cent. On May 11, Germany met 74 per cent of its electricity demand with renewable energy.

      Germany, the strongest and largest economy in Europe, has only half the average solar resource of Australia yet has 10 times the capacity of solar PV panels. The Chinese economy is four times the size of ours yet they have 30 times as much wind power installed.

      While we quibble about the intermittency of renewables, industries in Spain and the US have invested billions in solar thermal plants, many of which store heat and produce electricity long after sunset. Given our abundant renewable resources, we should be leading the world in research and investment, instead Abbott would have us squander our competitive advantage and destroy massive economic potential.

      This budget has been decried as heartless; unfortunately, it is also brainless. The sun provides the Earth with enough energy in one hour to power civilisation for a year. There are already 19 markets worldwide where solar PV panels match or undercut fossil fuel electricity prices, without subsidy. The sun’s rays will soon dominate and underpin the entire global economy. This government’s denial of both sun and science can only be described as pre-Copernican.

      The attacks on renewable energy have been performed without mandate, justified by falsehoods and are economically counterproductive. While Treasurer Joe Hockey finds wind turbines "disgusting", the ideological overtones of the budget suggest a darker, Randian philosophy behind this offensive. I have invested my career in solar power; I am trying to build the motor that drives the world. However, Abbott is shutting that motor down. While he may talk of direct action, his only actions to date have been to direct renewable energy investment and industry overseas.

      Read more:

    2. Tony Abbott is gutting science just when we need it most

      Read more:

      Australia has an enviable reputation for scientific research, extending long before the heyday of the CSIRO in the 1950s under the visionary leadership of Sir Robert Menzies and Sir Ian Clunies-Ross. On the hottest and driest continent on Earth, our prosperity would be non-existent had it not been for the enlightened application of science. So it has been of mounting concern over recent years to see governments of all persuasions adopt increasingly anti-science agendas.

      The federal government is taking anti-science to new heights. Its scorched earth approach discards virtually everything not in line with narrow, free-market ideology, centred on sustaining Australia’s 20th century dig-it-up and ship-it-out economic growth model.

      Prime Minister Tony Abbott's supposedly visionary address to the World Economic Forum in Davos last January, outlined this agenda. Free-markets create prosperity, but their full costs have only become apparent in recent years. Over the past two decades, those costs have negated the benefits – we are actually getting poorer not wealthier. The PM’s "vision" ignored such costs, along with the disastrous outcomes that the short-termism, inequity and corruption of free-markets delivers, witness the 2008 global financial crisis, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption closer to home. Markets are important but they must operate within sensible rules and continual vested-interest lobbying has got rid of those rules.

      Official orthodoxy decrees that conventional economic growth take precedence over all else, without understanding that such growth is no longer possible. In 1945, we had a relatively empty world of 2 billion people; we now have 7 billion. Exponential increases in both population and consumption, have delivered a "full" world, such that humanity today needs the biophysical capacity of 1.5 planets to survive, which is clearly not sustainable.

      As a result, we are in the midst of a global discontinuity, where conventional growth has ground to a halt, notwithstanding futile efforts to reboot the system by printing money at will. We will emerge either with fundamentally different concepts of growth, or the system as we know it will collapse.

      Excessive consumption has created global limits never previously experienced. Cheap fossil-fuel energy, which delivered our supposed prosperity, has dried up. Its carbon emissions have triggered global warming which is happening far more rapidly and extensively than expected. The remaining fossil-fuel reserves cannot be used if catastrophic climate outcomes are to be avoided. Water and food security are already badly affected, as witnessed by growing social instability and conflict around the world.

      Yet our political and corporate incumbency refuse to join the dots, oblivious that global warming is already having a major negative impact on this country, that our high-carbon exports are a significant contributor, in the process destroying our manufacturing and agricultural industries.

      They cannot grasp that we have enormous opportunities to prosper in the 21st century, built around the rapid development of a low-carbon economy. We have the best low-carbon assets in the world, but to realise their potential, we need a new vision grounded, as never before, in science. On that score, we are in big trouble.

  7. Everyone must have figured out what is going on here by now.

    Let's face it the people who were raping these kids - regardless of who was pimping them the Salvos or whoever - are very well connected and powerful.

    Skid Row winos and their mates DO NOT get police and government cover ups.

    And let's face it if Rolf was Alistair then his problems would have been sorted out long ago by the macabre "James Bond" types that take care of this business for highly connected paedophiles.

    The same will happen here as has happened elsewhere - ( Belgium, UK, Ireland, US, Channel Islands etc. ) -
    and the highly connected and very powerful people who committed these crimes will be protected and never have to face justice for their crimes.


    Whistleblower's child sex abuse claims: call for royal commission to investigate

    Flaws in the treatment of Detective Inspector Peter Fox's evidence to NSW inquiry, Greens and supporters claim

    Evidence by a whistleblower, Peter Fox, about the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church’s Maitland-Newcastle diocese should be investigated by the federal royal commission, the NSW Greens and survivor advocates say.

    The NSW special commission of inquiry found that Detective Inspector Fox, who made allegations of a cover-up, was an unsatisfactory witness.

    A small band of Fox's supporters, who are challenging the inquiry’s findings, including abuse survivors’ families, rallied outside NSW Parliament House on Saturday.

    The four-volume report, delivered on Friday, uncovered no evidence to show that senior police officers had tried to block investigations into child abuse.

    It found that Fox was not a credible witness and it was appropriate for police to instruct him to cease his own investigations.

    An advocate for survivors of child abuse, Carol Clarke, said there were flaws in the way Fox’s evidence had been treated, and the royal commission needed to examine that.

    A fellow advocate, Nicky Davis, echoed the call for the royal commission to get to the bottom of what had gone on in the diocese.

    “We believe Mr Fox's reputation will be restored when the full truth is known,” she said at the rally. “The narrow terms of reference of the commission of inquiry really didn’t allow the full truth to be known.”

    A NSW Greens MP, David Shoebridge, who attended the rally, said Fox had been prevented from presenting large parts of the evidence he wanted to give to the inquiry.

    “The federal Royal Commission [into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse] is really the only avenue to get that full, that balanced, understanding of the actions of the police and the church,” Shoebridge told ABC Radio.

    The special commission of inquiry was announced by the then NSW premier, Barry O'Farrell, in November 2012, following explosive allegations made by Fox to the media.

    He alleged the Catholic church had covered up evidence about paedophile priests in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in the Hunter region of NSW.

    1. At least 500 children abused by Jimmy Savile, new research claims

      NSPCC study highlights extent of the disgraced presenter's offending, making him one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders

      ...............The report said the scale of Savile's offending inside Broadmoor is higher than previously thought and found the most common age group for Savile's victims was 13 to 15 – with the youngest alleged victim being just two-years-old.

      Peter Watt, the NSPCC's director of child protection, said: "There's no doubt that Savile is one of the most, if not the most, prolific sex offender that we at the NSPCC have ever come across. What you have is somebody who at his most prolific lost no opportunity to identify vulnerable victims and abuse them."


      The joint BBC investigation between Panorama and The World At One, which airs on Monday on BBC One and BBC Radio 4, asks ***how the DJ got so close to the heart of Britain's establishment and why in 1972 the BBC failed to take effective action that might have saved young people from abuse.***

      ******************** (the answer right there)

      It comes ahead of the publication of BBC's own review to be carried out by Dame Janet Smith. That report, whose publication has been repeatedly delayed, is expected to uncover up to a thousand victims and reveal a culture of ignorance which protected Savile......................

  8. Liam Jurrah sits out the AFL indigenous round in the Alice Springs jail.
    Fair to say if the Alice Springs cops would have stayed out of it in the first place things would have been sorted long ago.


    Football's confronting indigenous questions

    To see Liam Jurrah in prison is confronting, but not in the way you'd imagine.

    Sitting opposite me behind the barbed wire was an intelligent man with a better command of the English language, his second tongue, than a few journalists I've known, let alone most footballers. He was thoughtful and polite and made interesting, frank observations about his own position, his old club and the game, without a skerrick of self-pity.

    Here was a smart and affable guy, with excellent language skills, who was also a gifted athlete, and had played the most popular spectator sport in country at the highest level with exceptional flair.

    He had - and has - so much in his favour. Yet, here he was, in an Alice Springs jail for the second time, sharing a room with his father, with his mother, cousins and the odd in-law in the same correctional facility.

    The most striking impression wasn't the prison cliche of a man struggling to survive, isolated in his bleak, brutal surrounds. It was that this environment had been normalised. He had a routine - which he likened to football's daily rigors, such as training - and he obviously did not want for company.

    To be incarcerated didn't seem to be a big deal to him. ''I'm fine,'' he said, at least twice.

    The confronting part was to reflect on Jurrah afterwards, and wonder about what role football might have played - if any - to avoid bringing him to this position. How this outcome could have been avoided? The game brought him to national attention, and focused the AFL lens, however briefly, on the different universe of remote indigenous communities. But it didn't change the reality of a man caught between tribal factions, who had issues with alcohol and who would subsequently be imprisoned for domestic violence.

    The game couldn't touch the very complex series of circumstances that contributed to his position. Jurrah didn't think the Melbourne Football Club in any way responsible for his sad exit from the elite level of the game. ''It was all Yuendumu,'' he said.

    It was also troubling to guess how many other young indigenous men were incarcerated in similar, or worse, circumstances that the wider, white world would never know or care about. Yes, they're in jail for a reason, but the reason isn't simply whatever crime was committed.

    This leads to the question of what football - the indigenous code that is so embraced and celebrated by Aboriginal Australia - can and can't do about indigenous disadvantage. To spend time in Alice Springs, as I have these past four days, forces the comfortable, urban Australian to consider Aboriginal suffering in a less abstract way. In football parlance, the issue is front and centre here.

    The AFL's indigenous round, timed to coincide with national reconciliation week, was introduced by the AFL to ''celebrate'' indigenous football and the contribution to the locally invented game of our first people.

    The Dreamtime game has established as the round's marquee game, for which both Essendon and Richmond should ultimately be thankful to two people: Michael Long and Kevin Sheedy. That pair and Adam Goodes have done more to foster the Aboriginal cause, within the AFL, than anyone in the public arena.

  9. Football's confronting indigenous questions

    But if the indigenous round was supposed to be a feel-good few days, with some ceremony, ritual and photo opps, it has become something less innocent, yet more substantial. Last year, the celebrations were overpowered by the racial slur on Adam Goodes by a 13-year-old girl and the ensuing media brouhaha. Depressing as it was, the Goodes episode - and the mixed public reaction - acted as a timely reality check for those who thought the game had banished racist attitudes.

    This year, Goodes was booed (by a minority of Essendon fans, who may have had varying motives) and then subjected to unambiguous online abuse in the weekend before indigenous round. Then, consider Jurrah's situation, where the Demons were either too busy, or unwilling, to visit one of their former players in jail.

    Melbourne couldn't or wouldn't see Jurrah, while Nicky Winmar couldn't or wouldn't make the plane trip across from Perth to officiate at the St Kilda-Collingwood game. The Saints, who had booked Winmar on a Wednesday morning flight, had him lined up for club speaking gigs, for which he is contracted to be paid by the AFL.

    Winmar's pointed gesture at Victoria Park in 1993 remains the most seminal moment for the football coming to terms with racism, football's answer to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat in Alabama in 1955.

    The AFL's new boss Gillon McLachlan recently consulted with indigenous leaders. Part of McLachlan's mission was to discover where the AFL's boundaries lay. The league is certain that it should combat racism with public awareness, and it is backing the campaign for constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians.

    But what, if anything, should the game do for the likes of Jurrah? The term ''duty of care'' is ubiquitious in footy, and it's arguable that the clubs, or the AFL, should extend a duty of care to players who have been brought into the AFL system from remote communities. Others will see that obligation as excessive.

    Watching the Demons against Port Adelaide in Alice Springs, the AFL's first female commissioner, Sam Mostyn, offered this appraisal of what football can - and cannot - attempt to achieve for indigenous Australia.

    ''Football isn't government and it isn't football's role to solve all social matters and we need to acknowledge that,'' Mostyn said. ''But football plays such an important role in the lives of indigenous people across the country and it has done for a very long time ... we can touch so many people and bring a story to many more Australians.''

    Mostyn said the ''recognise logo'' placement at centre bounces meant it would be seen by 5 million Australians. ''Not many organisations, other than football, could do that.'' But she added: ''We just have to be very cautious about the extent to which we can help with the broader issues. Step quietly and carefully and do a lot of listening and understand where football can play its role and where it can't.''

    Mostyn agreed that the unsavoury incidents, such as the vilification of Goodes, had a silver lining. ''They are important. Adam himself has said, only last week, that he believes that the racism issue will get worse before it gets better in football because there's now permission granted to our fans, to our members, to our players to actually call out racism where they see it. And they will. Historically that's not been the case. So we may see a lot more complaints.''

    Confronting the various forms of indigenous disadvantage - from Jurrah in jail, to the treatment of Goodes - isn't a choice for the game. The question is how.

  10. AFL supports indigenous Recognise program

    The AFL is supporting the Recognise campaign, which focuses on the push to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s constitution and to ensure there’s no place for racial discrimination in it.

    The R symbol will be painted in the middle of each AFL venue during the Toyota AFL Indigenous round, with Sydney Swans co-captain Adam Goodes and former Swans champion Michael O’Loughlin among the AFL people supporting the Recognise campaign.

    “The long presence of Aboriginal people in this land is part of Australia’s history. I think every fair-minded Australian can understand why recognition will help us to heal old wounds,” O’Loughlin said.

    Among others supporting Recognise are Prime Minister Tony Abbott, opposition leader Bill Shorten, National Party deputy leader Barnaby Joyce, Greens leader Christine Milne, singer and songwriter Archie Roach, Recognise spokesperson Tanya Hosch, Yawuru man, Patrick Dodson, 1967 referendum campaigner Shirley Peisley, Chairman of the Cape York Group, Noel Pearson and actor Jack Thompson.

    To show your support head to

  11. Weighing into the Woodside-Oil Search question

    Monday, 2 June 2014

    OFFICIALLY, there is said to be no credibility in reports that Woodside Petroleum is planning a deal with Australia’s newest LNG exporter, Oil Search. Unofficially, Slugcatcher suspects he has just seen a lot of money wagered on a belief that something is brewing.


    PNG LNG projects survive political unrest

    Brian Gomez |
    The Australian |
    May 08, 2012

    ....................News on the success of P'nyang South-1 and speculation about early approval for a third LNG train, led to Oil Search stock rising to an all-time high of $7.52 on April 26, before easing back.

    The evolving P'nyang and Hides story seems just the tip of an iceberg that is forcing global energy players to take note of PNG after the virtual collapse of hydrocarbon exploration activity in the previous 10 to 15 years.

    Still on the sidelines is New York-listed InterOil, which for more than five years had been suggesting it may enter export markets even before ExxonMobil's PNG LNG Project.

    It obtained PNG government development approval in 2009 at about the same time as ExxonMobil, but kept changing its goalposts, irking PNG's Petroleum & Energy Minister William Duma.

    InterOil anticipates that a final investment decision could come by the year end.

    The market was nevertheless taken by surprise when InterOil announced a few days ago that it had farmed out a 10 per cent stake in Petroleum Prospecting Licence 237 and its planned Triceratops well for staged cash payments of $US116 million and extra project and resource payments with a combined value of $US345m.

    The newcomer in this deal is Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales Energy, which has crude oil production in Colombia of more than 250,000 barrels a day.

    The potential of PPL237 is not known, but InterOil boasts 8.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 128.9 million barrels of condensate at its nearby Elk and Antelope fields, the subject of government approval.

    Mr Duma has been reported to favour the entry of Shell and has insisted InterOil partners a reputable global producer, a process that is under way.

    "This sale (to Pacific Rubiales) is not associated with the planned sale of an interest in the Elk and Antelope fields and related LNG equity partnering process targeted for the second quarter of 2012," InterOil chief executive Phil Mulacek said.

    Canada's Talisman Energy was a reluctant starter in PNG's LNG stakes about three years ago, when it tried to sell off its interest in the offshore Pandora gas field.

    It changed tack after pathetic responses and embarked on a gas aggregation strategy in the then neglected Western Province.

    In the next couple of years it will begin condensate exports to prove up enough gas for a 3 million tonnes a year LNG operation.

    These prospects received a major fillip in late February when Japan's Mitsubishi invested $US280m for a 20 per cent stake in nine leases that Talisman held with a number of Australian-listed oil juniors, including New Guinea Energy, Kina Petroleum and Horizon Oil.

    Despite a difficult story when it first listed at 20c on December 19, Kina has since enjoyed a Cindarella performance with its shares hitting a record 40c last Tuesday, a 100 per cent rise in a little more than four months.

    Meanwhile, Oil Search, historically the single biggest player with a PNG history dating back to 1929, is stepping up plans to discover enough reserves in the Gulf of Papua for a separate stand-alone LNG operation.

    Brian Gomez, a former resources editor with The Australian, has spent the past decade working in Papua New Guinea

  12. Oil Search

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) is the largest oil and gas exploration and development company incorporated in Papua New Guinea, which operates all of Papua New Guinea's oilfields. Founded in 1929, it is now one of Papua New Guinea's largest companies, and in 2006 was responsible for 13% of Papua New Guinea's Gross Domestic Product.[1] It is publicly listed on the Port Moresby and Australian Stock Exchanges,[1] and is included in the S&P/ASX 50. It has a market capitalization of around US$3 billion. A 17.6% interest in the company is held by the government of Papua New Guinea,[1] and for 2006 gave the state PGK24 million (US$8 million) as its dividend.[2] The company also operates areas in Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq.[1]


    The PNG LNG Project is an integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities in the Southern Highlands, Hela, Western, Gulf and Central provinces of Papua New Guinea. More than 700 kilometres of pipeline connect the facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant in Hides, and liquefaction and storage facilities near Port Moresby with project capacity of 6.9 million tonnes of LNG per year.

    The Project is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over the estimated 30 years of operations.


    The PNG LNG Project is operated by ExxonMobil PNG Limited in co-venture with Oil Search Limited, National Petroleum Company of PNG, Santos Limited, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, Mineral Resources Development Company (representing landowners) and Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.


    Cott Oil and Gas confirms commercial feasibility of Pandora LNG Project
    Monday, June 02, 2014 by Proactive Investors

    Cott Oil and Gas (ASX:CMT) has received a concept study demonstrating that a liquefied natural gas development for its Pandora Gas Field offshore Papua New Guinea is technically and commercially feasible.

    The study by Wison Offshore and Marine identified two feasible LNG concepts for Pandora, which Cott holds a 40% interest.

    The Pandora Gas Field has a Best Estimate (2C) Contingent Resource of circa 800 billion cubic feet of gas, with project partners including Talisman Energy, Kina Petroleum (ASX:KPL) and Santos (ASX:STO).

    The concepts are based on a lean gas composition and consist:

    - A 1 million tonne per annum offshore Floating Liquefied Natural Gas vessel incorporating gas clean up, liquefaction and storage for 170,000 square metres of LNG; and
    - A Near Shore LNG vessel with 170,000m3 of storage and with sufficient topside space to accommodate up to 2.5Mtpa of liquefaction capacity.

    Wison is currently constructing a 0.5 mtpa FLNG vessel for Exmar which will be completed in the second half of 2014 and commences operations off the coast of Colombia in early 2015.

    Exmar is a diversified shipping group that operates a fleet of over 40 gas carriers and offers turnkey FLNG solutions in association with Wison and Black & Veatch.

    On completion, Exmar will provide toll liquefaction and storage services for the gas field owner, Pacific Rubiales (TSE:PRE).

    The Pandora Gas Field

    The Pandora gas fields were discovered in 1988 and are located approximately 200 kilometres west of Port Moresby in the Gulf of Papua. The gas field comprises two discoveries in water depth of approximately 120 metres.


    Next Steps

    Cott’s next steps will be to discuss the Concept Study with the PRL38 JV and with the PNG Department of Petroleum and Energy.

    Cott is also holding discussions with potential BOO parties that have the necessary industry experience and track record in the LNG sector.

    1. Just put that there as it draws attention away from JPP and back to Darwin.

      Darwin is right in the centre of the action.

      Browse is not the only gas field off northern WA.

  13. Indian Ocean research push

    Monday, 2 June 2014

    CONSTRUCTION has started for the petroleum industry-relevant $62 million Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia’s Crawley campus.


    The Canadian O&G ‘retirement tsunami’

    Monday, 2 June 2014

    CANADA’S oil and gas scene is facing a retirement tsunami, according to an executive of human resources consultancy Mercer.


    (well that's good as we will have plenty out of work soon)

  14. Melissa Price on offshore visa law

    Local member Melissa Price welcomes legislation that would repeal a Gillard government offshore petroleum worker’s visa requirement.

    “This is not a move by Government to take jobs away from Australian workers, but a means to ensure our resources industry continues to have the skilled workers they require when/if an Australian tradesman or woman does not have the required expertise,” Ms Price said.

    You can read her media release here:

    Price welcomes new visa arrangements to strengthen the offshore resources industry 2 June 2014

    Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has welcomed new visa arrangements for offshore resources workers that will ensure minimal regulatory impact is felt by industry.

    Ms Price said the Abbott Government was actively pursuing the repeal of the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Act 2013 (or the “ORA Act”), which was rushed through Parliament under the former Government.

    The Repeal Bill is currently before a Senate Committee Inquiry, which is due to report on 6 June 2014. Ms Price said, with the ORA Act set to automatically commence on 29 June, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash asked the Department to develop visa options for those foreign workers affected by this legislation, if the Senate does not pass the Repeal Bill before this date.

    “The Abbott Government has ensured the new visa arrangements have been strategically designed to ensure minimal regulatory impact is felt by industry,” Ms Price said.

    “This is not a move by Government to take jobs away from Australian workers, but a means to ensure our resources industry continues to have the skilled workers they require when/if an Australian tradesman or woman does not have the required expertise.

    “I took the opportunity to stand up for the interests of Australia’s offshore resources companies in Parliament last week, by commending the Government’s repeal of an Act which was formulated by the former government to service an industrial relations agenda rather than a skills, health and safety or environmental agenda.

    “The ORA Act’s regulatory impact has been widely criticised by industry and government departments alike for having no palpable benefit and for potentially causing signifcant strain to Australia’s investment standing and international competitiveness.

    “I welcome this Government’s move to not only repeal the ORA Act, but to implement an arrangement where existing visas, which the offshore oil and gas industry is already familiar with, are used rather than creating a new visa product.”

    - See more at:

  15. Industry wants local gas quota axed

    The oil and gas industry has called for WA's domestic gas reservation policy to be axed, claiming it is deterring investment needed to avert a looming energy crisis.

    The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association described the policy as a disincentive for companies that wanted to develop gas projects for the local market.

    Under the policy, brought in by the former State Labor government and upheld by the Barnett Government, 15 per cent of a gas project's reserves must be set aside for domestic supply.

    A key caveat of the policy allows oil and gas companies to avoid selling the gas unless it is commercially viable.

    Stedman Ellis, APPEA's WA boss, said the policy was a "barrier" for producers because forcing projects to set gas aside for the domestic market deflated the price they could get for it.

    Mr Ellis said this made producers less inclined to sell locally and would make it harder for them to develop less economical projects.

    The comments came after Energy Minister Mike Nahan warned that WA was heading towards an energy crisis within six years amid fears the State's biggest gas supplier will leave the market by 2020.

    Dr Nahan said the North West Shelf joint venture partners "clearly" did not want to supply local gas users when the last of their long-term contracts expired at the end of the decade.

    The NWS is WA's biggest domestic gas producer and supplies major industrial users including electricity provider Synergy and aluminium giant Alcoa.

    *****Dr Nahan said even though other projects such as Macedon and Gorgon were coming onstream, if the NWS left it was "hard to see where the gas is coming from, particularly for Alcoa".*****

    "One of the great ironies is that WA will be the first or second largest exporter (of liquefied natural gas) within seven or eight years and at the same time running out of gas for domestic use," Dr Nahan told 6PR.

    "It is not an acceptable position."


    ***** What no "Buru to the rescue" this time ?


  16. One for the stuck up Pommy colonists.

    ".....Abbott was born in England."

    No wonder Australia feels more like Pommy Land these days !

    The colonists over at the Australian love it.

    - BUT obviously they haven't been paying attention to the Royal Commission into child abuse -

    - OR to the white mans "aboriginal industry"

    - e.g. ".....The minister admitted over $700 million had been spent BUT not one house had been repaired or built yet...."

    "He did not inquire why some children are brutalised and not taken into care.

    He did not ­acknowledge that in 99 deaths in custody not one showed police at fault.

    He did not acknowledge that the leading case in the Stolen Generation’s cause failed."


    Pilger’s Utopia feeds an industry going in circles

    Gary Johns |
    The Australian |
    June 03, 2014

    NATIONAL Reconciliation Week finishes today. The Aboriginal industry can put away its ideological bunting for another year. Only those paid to do so, and the ideologically committed, will continue the dreary business of, among other things, reading out a welcome to country message.

    ‘’I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we are meeting and pay my respects to their elders past and present.’’

    Why do otherwise intelligent people do this? No one believes it, it does no good, and it perpetuates the myth that land is everything. Land is a platform for the brilliance of humans to perform upon. Without skills and willpower, it comes to nought. Unless, and until, the Aboriginal industry learns this, the blighted lives of the smallest part of Aboriginal Australia, those sitting in the dumps of Aboriginal settlements such as, Utopia, in the Northern Territory, will never change.

    Right on time for Reconciliation Week, the broadcast of John Pilger’s latest excoriation of Australians, Utopia, proves the point. Not a single, sensible, answer to the plight of Aborigines at Utopia was evinced in two insufferable hours of bile. The one bright ­moment was the interview with Warren Snowdon, for 23 years a Labor federal member from the Northern Territory. ‘’Why haven’t you fixed it’’, Pilger berates. “What a puerile question,’’ Snowdon responds.

    Puerile indeed, because Pilger and Snowdon share a cause: Aboriginal self-determination. Snowdon has been a foot soldier in the cause his entire career. He has spent more of your money, and mine, on the failed experiment than any 1970s activist thought possible.

    Puerile, because Snowdon should have informed Pilger that most Aborigines live in the city and are doing well. They are making a contribution on their land. Land that they have purchased as freehold. They are secure, healthy, moderately wealthy and wise beyond John Pilger’s, and any trad­itional Aborigine’s, imagination.

    Snowdon should have informed Pilger that Australians give more than $25 billion per year to Aborigines — $45,000 per head, compared with $20,000 for other Australians.

    Aborigines have three times the amount spent on their schooling, and five times the amount spent on health services and housing, as non-Aborigines.

  17. Pilger’s Utopia feeds an industry going in circles

    Pilger would not have cared for such facts, because the film is not about Utopia the place. It is about an imagined society in the mind of John Pilger.

    Despite 40 years of evidence that self-determination kills its own, Pilger persists.

    Other than professional Aboriginal leaders, Pilger did not interview any successful Aborigines. He did not seek to understand the pathways by which Aborigines become successful. He did not inform viewers about scholarships, or about removing children from harm. He did not inquire why some children are brutalised and not taken into care. He did not ­acknowledge that in 99 deaths in custody not one showed police at fault. He did not acknowledge that the leading case in the Stolen Generation’s cause failed.

    Pilger’s utopia of the mind is a “genuine’’ treaty between black and white. The object is to “share resources’’. Aborigines can be landlords and the white man can toil and produce wealth, build the skyscrapers and the beach houses that, in the film, Pilger disdains, but in logic tolerates, so long as the Aboriginal overlord gets a cut.

    John Pilger’s mind seems to grasp economics in other contexts. He had to raise funds for his film. His backers, unless philanthropists, expected a return for their investment. Presumably he sold the rights to screen the film to SBS. It sold advertising time to Telstra, Optus, Origin, Officeworks, Energex, Eclipse Mints, Galaxy 5, Medibank and K Mart.

    For these companies, a commercial decision is based on an estimate of the audience numbers, incomes and spending habits of viewers. Or, at least, I hope that was the basis of the calculation.

    I sincerely hope that no executive bought advertising as its contribution to reconciliation. Because, dear executive, John Pilger, and most of the characters he interviewed, are the problem.

    These are architects of a machine designed to screw money from the likes of you on the basis of guilt.

    These are architects that deny the lessons of their own lives: how they came to be educated and earning.

    They did so without a treaty or mention in the constitution.

    They broke free from foul circumstances, or were taken, to be given a second chance.

    Some made it.

  18. Iron ore producers plan cuts

    Iron ore producers are expected to cut or push back non-essential spending until they have clarity about the bottom of the current price fall, mining executives have warned.

    *****Grange Resources managing director Wayne Bould said discretionary spending such as training programs, external consulting and equipment upgrades should all be deferred.*****

    Mr Bould's comments came as the iron ore prices slide continued down to $US91.80 per tonne over the weekend.

    ''When we see the numbers take a dive as they have and you don't see any clear bottom then a prudent CEO would implement a pretty straightforward plan to curtail any optimistic activity and lock down,'' he said.

    ''When it levels out and you understand where the bottom is and what that means in terms of costs of production, then we can re-evaluate.

    ''The trick for us is to protect our free cash flow and the value of our asset, so we are pretty good at belting the cost down on a short-term basis, it's not sustainable long term, but you can operate pretty cheap for a while.''

    A $US10 movement in the iron price translates to a $US2.1 billion difference to Rio Tinto's bottom line, and $US1.2 billion for BHP Billiton, which is roughly half as exposed as its rival, according to Credit Suisse figures for the 2015 year. When applied to earnings, the Credit Suisse figures show a $US10 price movement had a 20 per cent impact on Rio and 9 per cent on BHP.

    Diversified miners are ramping up iron ore production, while single-metal miners continue to add to supply, ultimately leading to oversupply and a further slump in the iron ore price.

    Rio breaks even at about $US44 per tonne, while BHP comes in at $US55 per tonne. Mount Gibson's cash costs are much higher, at $US84 per tonne and Atlas's sit at $US80 per tonne. Fortescue Metals Group breaks even at around $US70 a tonne.

    Read more:


    *****Training programs - now who would that be ?


  19. Barack Obama's climate change moves put heat on Tony Abbott

    DateJune 3, 2014

    A dramatic acceleration of America's response to climate change, including strong caps on coal-fired pollution threatens to expose Australia's humble 5 per cent emissions reduction target by 2020 as too low and out of step with the rest of the world.

    The US move may overshadow the first bilateral talks between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Barack Obama to take place in Washington next week.

    Those talks will cover trade, economic and strategic issues but with climate change again dominating the US political cycle, the environmental challenge is likely to arise.

    And that may see Mr Abbott under direct presidential pressure to re-include climate change as a key economic issue on the agenda of the G20 when Australia hosts the premier international economic forum later this year.

    In a significant change of direction, Mr Obama has revealed the world's largest economy is to economically "pivot" to a cleaner energy future, via strict limits on carbon emissions from power generators and through cap-and-trade schemes that will place a commercial price on carbon permits. The US move comes late in Mr Obama's second term, fuelling criticism it is the kind of bold "gesture" out-going presidents engage in.

    Both the US and the European Union have previously expressed disappointment at the exclusion of climate policy on the G20 agenda.

    Labor's climate change spokesman Mark Butler said the fact the rest of the world was now moving decisively showed up the failure of Australia's policy response.


    Abbott the butt of US TV show joke

    .................Did US viewers see the infamous Winkgate moment? Yes.

    A school kid describing how his mum calls the prime minister "Tony Dumb Dumb"? Yes.

    Abbott's comment that he'd probably "feel a bit threatened" by gays? Yes.

    His "s*** happens" comment while discussing a Queensland soldier killed in Afghanistan? Yes.

    His "housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing" remark? Yes.

    Viewers even saw a shirtless Abbott on the beach in his budgie smugglers.

    Abbott was described on the show as a "hard-line right wing prime minister" who "rose to power promising to be pro-business and religiously anti-immigration".

    The show then noted Abbott was born in England.

    "What is it about Tony Dumb Dumb that has led to his current approval rating of 30 per cent?" the show asked its viewers.

    "Could it be that he has personally insulted everyone else in the country from women, to gays, to anyone remotely Irish, to elderly cancer-ridden phone sex workers?"

    The segment comes as Abbott embarks on a tour to Europe, Canada and the US, with a stop at the White House to meet Obama.


    THEY missed "Climate change is crap"

    EXCEPT to people whose insurance companies have tripled their premiums because of the increase in "severe weather events due to climate change"

  20. HERE WE GO AGAIN...............

    Barnett's DOOMED PLAN FOR JPP..............

    More bad news for the Emperor.............

    IF this plan was a coffin it would have more nails in it than a pin cushion has pricks !


    Aust LNG forecasts are ‘crazy': report

    Staff Reporter |
    June 03, 2014

    Fereidun Fesharaki, a former energy adviser to Iran with strong links to liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers, believes expectations for gas prices based on Asian demand are too high, potentially forcing new local projects to the sideline, according to The Australian Financial Review.

    Dr Fesharaki said that projects already in the pipeline with locked in sales contracts were not at risk, but new projects will need to lower their costs or will be wise to “wait until the market changes”.

    “The customer that everybody assumes is there based on these crazy demand forecasts is just not there,” he told the AFR.

    The report suggested Dr Fesharaki’s assertion that new projects will need to supply LNG at $US13 PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET OF GAS could put great pressure on Woodside Petroleum’s planned Browse floating LNG project as well as Santos’ Bonaparte joint venture in the Timor Sea and an expansion of the mammoth Gorgon development in WA.


    Australian LNG priced-out

    Posted by Houses and Holes in Australian LNG

    at 12:03am on June 3, 2014 | 4 comments

    The AFR is carrying some sobering analysis abou Australian LNG today:

    …according to LNG expert Fereidun Fesharaki…who has close links with LNG buyers, the flexibility Asian buyers have to use other energy sources such as coal was being ignored in the “crazy” forecasts for LNG consumption espoused by some producers and analysts. “The customer that everybody assumes is there based on these crazy demand forecasts is just not there,” he said.

    Dr Fesharaki said any new LNG project worldwide needed to be able to supply LNG at just $US13 per thousand cubic feet of gas to win customers.

    That compares with an average price of Australian LNG into Japan of about $US15.80 in March.

    Credit Suisse, a client of Dr Fesharaki’s FACTS Global Energy consultancy, said that a $US13 price would make it very difficult for new LNG plants around Australia to go ahead.

    “It means Australian projects are probably almost automatically locked out,” said David Hewitt, Credit Suisse’s global head of energy research.

    Correct. It also means existing projects projects are going to weigh very heavily on returns on equity for producers from 2018 and that Australia’s terms of trade falls will re-accelerate around then as well.

    It’s an action replay of coal and iron ore, though is probably a lot worse because the magnificently expensive seven LNG projects are going to be the swing producers at the wrong end of the cost curve.

    Truly, the decision by our economic mandarins to restructure the Australian economy based upon notions of limitless Chinese demand is going to be seen by historians as a monumental blunder.


    A... M O N U M E N T A L ..... B L U N D E R......................





      If the Russia / China one sent a shiver through the industry the Japanese one will freeze their balls off !

    2. Now that the situation is beyond doubt - what chance anyone will throw away $2.5 Billion on a supply base at JPP ?

      What about an LNG plant ?

      Hope the 3 idiots doing the environmental study are making the most of the weather 'cos they are totally wasting their time.

      Did someone say Conoco / Origin ?

  21. BARNETT must be in tears.


    Australia's Origin buys licence stake to join ConocoPhillips in new FLNG project area

    Monday, 02 June 2014

    Australia's Origin Energy said it had agreed to buy 40 percent of two natural gas exploration permits in the prolific Browse Basin that could lead to a standalone Floating LNG project with existing coal-seam-gas-to-LNG venture partner, ConocoPhillips.


    South Koreans and Indonesians plan joint ventures in LNG production and CSG

    Monday, 02 June 2014

    South Korea and Indonesia have agreed to work together on an onshore liquefaction facility, a floating LNG terminal and coal-seam gas projects.


    Markets, not politics dictate US gas exports
    Tuesday, 3 June 2014

    EVEN as the US Department of Energy tweaks the rules on issuing permits to companies wanting to export LNG to non-free trade agreement countries, industry experts note it is Asian demand that will dictate energy trade and not policy measures to shore up supplies. By Gomati Jagadeesan


    Benthic Scores Browse FLNG Gig from Woodside

    Benthic said it has been awarded a contract by Woodside Energy to undertake an offshore geotechnical site investigation for the proposed Browse floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development off the North West coast of Western Australia.

    The survey will assist with further understanding details of the seabed features of the Browse gas fields.

    Operating from the vessel Nor Captain, Benthic’s PROD (Portable Remotely Operated Drill) will complete in-situ testing and sampling, with penetration depths up to 100 meters below the mudline, in water depths of 700 meters. PROD has successfully executed 3 previous projects in adjacent sectors of the Browse Fields providing Woodside with real time experience and knowledge of the fields’ seabed conditions.

    The 2 month geotechnical investigation is expected to commence mid-June.

    Press Release, June 2, 2014; Image: Solstad




    Origin joins ConocoPhillips, PetroChina in Browse project


    SYDNEY, Australia (Bloomberg) -- Origin Energy Ltd. agreed to buy Karoon Gas Australia Ltd.' s stake in a natural gas development project off Western Australia for about $800 million to tap exports to Asia.

    Origin will acquire a 40% stake in two exploration permits in the Browse basin that contain the Poseidon discovery, the Sydney-based company said today, June 2, in a statement. U.S. energy company ConocoPhillips owns 40% and is the operator, while PetroChina holds the balance.

    Origin is already partners with ConocoPhillips in the Australia Pacific LNG venture in Queensland state, one of seven export developments going ahead in the country. Origin, whose stock fell as much as 2.9%, also plans to sell about $1 bn in shares to refinance the acquisition.

    “This is a step in the right direction for Origin as it needed to diversify its gas output outside Queensland,” Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG said by phone from Singapore. “Its also a huge relief for Karoon who had been working on this sell down for months.”

    Karoon shares jumped as much as 64% to $3.76 and traded $3.37 in Sydney trading, heading for the biggest one day gain in almost ten years. The stock has been suspended since April. Origin shares fell 2.7% to $13.64.

    Chevron and BG Group are among those investing about $180 billion in the seven projects. LNG market tightness will start to ease from 2015 with new supply, according to the International Energy Agency, after spot prices rose to a record in February.


    *****Options for development of the Poseidon field may include transporting natural gas to LNG production facilities in DARWIN or through a standalone FLOATING LNG facility, Origin said.*****


    The purchase gives Origin entry into one of the largest offshore gas discoveries at a “competitive entry price when compared to recent transactions in the Browse Bonaparte region,” MD Grant King said in the statement. It also follows recent investments into the Cooper and Beetaloo basins, he said.

    PetroChina agreed in December 2012 to pay BHP Billiton $1.63 billion for its holding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.' s proposed Browse LNG project in Western Australia. Woodside last year ditched plans to build an onshore processing plant to exploit its Browse gas resources, estimating it would have cost more than A$80 billion ($74 billion).

    Origin will pay $600 million and additional payments of $75 million upon a final investment decision and on first production, the company said. A further $50 million will be paid if certain thresholds are reached.

    Karoon agreed May 16 to farm out 50% of a Carnarvon basin exploration permit to Apache Corp.



    "PetroChina, Woodside

    PetroChina, Asia’s biggest oil producer, agreed in December 2012 to pay BHP Billiton Ltd. $1.63 billion for its holding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s Browse LNG venture in Western Australia.***** Woodside last year ditched plans to build an onshore plant to exploit its Browse resources, estimating it would have cost more than A$80 billion ($74 billion).*****

    “This is a step in the right direction for Origin as it needed to diversify its gas output outside Queensland,” IG’s Lucas said. “It may also put more pressure on Woodside to clarify its intentions for its gas fields.”

    Origin’s investment is favorable compared with other deals, William Allott, a Sydney-based analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said today in a note. While it implies a multiple of $3.57 per barrel of oil equivalent, compared with $5.17 per barrel in the BHP and PetroChina agreement, there’s significant risk in proving the size of the reserves, he said.

    Karoon is also negotiating with potential partners in South America and planning to attract $200 million to $300 million to fund its exploration plans in Brazil and Peru, Executive Chairman Robert Hosking said today by phone. Karoon is seeking to reach an agreement in Brazil “shortly,” while discussions in Peru may extend into next year, he said.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Foley in Melbourne at

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at; Andrew Hobbs at Keith Gosman, Peter Langan "



    A total waster just like Proctor / Bloom and Campbell !

    Time for the lot of them to go.


    What a mob of tossers !


  24. So what now for BURU ?

    It would seem everything could come crashing down around them.

    Another bunch of tossers.

    The only way they could hope to make money is if the price of domestic gas went so high it was higher than Japan.

    And then WA would go broke.

    HA what a joke this all is.


  25. New Standard Postpones Western Australian Exploration Program

    Posted on Jun 4th, 2014

    New Standard Energy said that the Southern Canning Joint Venture has agreed to delay drilling of the Brooke North-1 well until late 2015. In line with this the company plans to defer all of its Canning and Carnarvon Basin drilling activity until 2015.

    Unfortunately delays in receiving various stakeholder approvals required for the drilling of the Brooke North-1 well have made it impossible to drill the well prior to this year’s wet season. As a result New Standard, with the support of its SCJV partners (ConocoPhillips and PetroChina), has been in discussions with the State Government and the Department of Mines & Petroleum (DMP) to ensure that the delay does not jeopardise the tenure of the SCJV permits.

    New Standard is also finalizing the renegotiation of the Drilling Services Agreement with Enerdrill to re-program the drilling of its Western Australian wells until 2015. Both companies remain committed to the intended drilling program and have sought to renegotiate timelines rather than terminate the drilling contract, an outcome which is beneficial to both parties. The company is also focused on progressing native title and heritage clearances with Traditional Owners.

    New Standard Energy Managing Director Phil Thick said the support received from the DMP and the SCJV partners was very positive.
    “We are now in a position where we will expect to have extra time to plan and implement our WA drilling program, whilst retaining the upside of our considerable acreage and the support of our global partners. We all remain committed to the huge prospectivity of the Canning Basin,” he said.

    “Our recent transactions to secure the Eagle Ford Shale and Cooper Basin acreage was driven by the need to diversify our risk and opportunity. We will continue our new focus on these projects, which we believe will drive shareholder value, whilst we retain our significant positions and the potential upside in the Canning and Carnarvon Basins.”

    Press Release, June 4, 2014

  26. Queen's speech: fracking to get boost from trespass law changes

    Shale gas industry welcomes move to end requirement to notify homeowners of drilling under their properties

    Allowing fracking companies to drill under peoples' homes without their permission and watered-down standards for zero-carbon homes are expected to be the key green measures in the Queen's speech on Wednesday.

    The proposals in the speech, which sets out the legislative programme for the year and is the last before the 2015 general election, marks a further hardening of the Conservative party's attitude against environmental measures.

    Their coalition partners, the Lib Dems, see the survival of any zero-carbon home policy as a victory but failed to get other green proposals into the speech.

    Current laws of trespass require land- and home-owners to give permission for shale gas and oil drilling under their land, but the government intends to end this requirement in order to speed up fracking. Drilling can extend up to 3km horizontally underground from a central well pad.

    Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “Not only does this bill defy public opinion, it denies people a voice. To allow fracking companies to drill under people’s homes and land without their permission is to ignore public interest in pursuit of the vested interests of a few.”

    Tory ministers argue that fracking can deliver improved energy security for the UK but opponents warn of safety concerns and the need to cut carbon emissions to tackle climate change. The former Conservative energy minister Lord Howell has also warned fracking will cost the Tories thousands of votes in crucial rural constituencies.

    The shale gas industry welcomed as “very timely” the change in the trespass law, which is considered a major obstacle to exploration. It argues the changes update the law and will give fracking companies the same drilling rights already held by utility companies.

    Marcus Pepperell, spokesman for Shale Gas Europe, said: “We are only able to consider shale gas as a commercially viable energy source because of important advances in modern technology [including] horizontal drilling. Shale gas drilling will be deep underground and far less intrusive than many other energy sources. Utility facilities are far closer to the surface and their facilities can be much larger.”

  27. Scientists warn against China's plan to flatten over 700 mountains

    Environmental consequences of removing hills to create more land for cities not considered, academics say in Nature paper

    Scientists have criticised China's bulldozing of hundreds of mountains to provide more building land for cities.

    In a paper published in journal Nature this week, three Chinese academics say plan to remove over 700 mountains and shovel debris into valleys to create 250 sq km of flat land has not been sufficiently considered “environmentally, technically or economically.”

    Li Peiyue, Qian Hui and Wu Jianhua, all from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Chang’an University, China, write: “There has been too little modelling of the costs and benefits of land creation. Inexperience and technical problems delay projects and add costs, and the environment impacts are not being thoroughly considered.”

    One of the largest projects began in April 2012 in Yan'an in the Shaanxi province, where the aim was to double the city's area by creating an additional 78.5 sq km of land.

    Local officials expect the project to generate billions of yuan from the sale or lease of the new land and spare agriculture land elsewhere in the country, which otherwise may have been used for development.

    Soil erosion increases the sediment content of local water sources. In Shiyan, Hubein province, pounding hills into valleys caused landslides, flooding and altered water courses. This had serious implication for the city as it lies close to the headwaters of the South-North Water Transfer project, an endeavour to divert river waters along channels to Beijing.

    In Langzhou, Gansu province, work was temporarily halted because of air pollution levels caused by dirt from the excavation. No one had thought to damp the soil to stop it flying in the wind.

    Mountain top removal has been performed before, especially in the strip mines of the eastern United States, but nothing has been performed on the scale of the Chinese earthworks.

    The authors conclude that full environmental impact reports are needed along with economic assessments of the cost and benefits of the proposed works. They write: “Where there is no profit, governments should be dissuaded from going ahead.”


    ( too many people ? are we there yet ? )

  28. FLNG-for-hire vessels coming
    Thursday, 5 June 2014
    David Upton

    AUSTRALIAN explorers with fields as small as 500 billion cubic feet of gas could soon have access to Asian gas markets thanks to the next wave of the floating LNG revolution.

  29. Kakadu uranium mine given green light after radioactive spill

    Industry minister allows Energy Resources Australia to restart after controversial leak led to six-month shutdown


    Five Queensland mega ports win approval, including Abbot Point

    Expansions will be allowed at other ports near Great Barrier Reef, including Gladstone, Hay Point, Mackay and Townsville


    Great Barrier Reef authority approves dredge spoil dumping from Hay Point

    Decision to give permit to coalport south of Mackay displays 'astounding level of arrogance', conservation group says
    The government body that protects the Great Barrier Reef has approved the dumping of more than 370,000 cubic metres of dredge spoil in the marine park.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has issued a permit to allow a port authority to dump the spoil as part of a dredging project at Hay Point coalport south of Mackay.

    The decision has angered conservation groups, and comes only months after the authority gave the green light for 3m tonnes of spoil to be dumped as part of a project to expand the Abbot Point coalport 200km to the north.

    "It is an astounding level of arrogance," said a North Queensland Conservation Council spokeswoman, Wendy Tubman. "The government claims it is protecting the reef while allowing it to be subjected to such damage from out-of-control sea dumping."

    She also says the federal and Queensland governments are taking Unesco "for a ride".

  30. Global mining in a 'crisis of confidence' as debt soars, profits plunge

    Analysis of the 40 top global mining companies has found profit levels plunged more than 70 per cent to $20 billion for 2013.

    Business consultant PriceWaterhouseCoopers says the industry is suffering a crisis of confidence, although the asset base of these companies grew 7 per cent last year.

    The market value of the top 40 dropped 23 per cent, equal to $280 billion, with iron ore miner FMG one of only four four companies to see an increase, to $958.

    Gold miners led the retreat, shedding $110 billion in market value, which is 40 per cent of the total value drop.

    It's the second year in a row the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report into the top 40 global miners has made for grim reading.


    BHP sheds 100 iron ore jobs in Perth

    Mining giant BHP Billiton has cut about 100 staff from its iron ore division headquarters in Perth.

    Some workers affected were involved in projects that have wound down and the company has also been reducing costs as part of a focus on improved productivity.

    That focus has been brought on by falling commodity prices and high capital costs.

    BHP is the world's largest diversified resources company and third-largest iron ore producer for export.

    It operates seven mines in Western Australia's Pilbara and two port facilities at Port Hedland.

    A spokeswoman said BHP regularly reviews its iron ore business to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible.

    "This includes reviewing the size and structure of our workforce to ensure it supports the delivery of our productivity agenda," she said.

    "We have been open with our employees about the work being done to improve productivity."

    BHP would assist those who have lost their jobs, and would seek to find them positions elsewhere in the business where possible, the spokeswoman said.

  31. Indigenous pastoral stations join forces, look to China to revive industry

    In northern Australia, Aboriginal landowners are looking to China to help revive their pastoral industry.

    Ten of Australia's largest Aboriginal pastoral stations are joining forces in the hope of winning foreign investment and creating jobs.

    "We do have a vision and it's the same vision of running a profitable cattle station and we just need that support towards getting it to that stage," said Anthony Watson, a senior Aboriginal elder.

    "Having a partnership to come in will help us see our dream come true."

    The Aboriginal Pastoral Co-op aims to pool resources between stations to produce better cattle and employ more Indigenous workers, and it is looking to China to fund its expansion plans

    Wayne Bergmann, the chief executive officer of the Indigenous development trust KRED, has been the driving force behind the project.

    "As we went through and assessed the viability of collectively working together, a block of Kimberley pastoral stations, it occurred to us that this could actually work," he said.

    Uniting of stations 'a game-changer'

    On the banks of the Fitzroy River, a legal decision 18 years in the making last week gave Aboriginal leaders further hope.
    John Gilmour
    Photo: Federal Court Justice John Gilmour is surrounded by Nyikina Mangala dancers celebrating a native title decision, at Lanji Lanji on the Fitzroy River, 2014. (ABC: Ben Collins)

    A native title claim over 26,000 square kilometres, between Derby and Broome and including the lower Fitzroy River, was handed down in favour of the Nyikina Mangala people.

    One station, Mount Anderson, is at the centre of the claim. Already owned outright by an Aboriginal corporation, and with no debt, it has been struggling to survive.

    "It's the game-changer in how you connect all these pastoral stations together," Mr Bergmann said.

    "Having exclusive possession on it, also gives us a level of control about where the main players who can determine how that land is going to be utilised for the best interest of our group."

    When Mr Bergman went looking for backers, he went beyond Australian shores to what he believes are the continent's newest explorers.

    "They are doing business here in exploring for minerals, oil and gas in this region. Why not reinforce the relationship in a business venture with traditional owners, Aboriginal people in this region?" he said.

    Our principle is, as traditional owners we cant lose the land. So it is absolutely fundamental we create a model where the land is not at stake.

    Wayne Bergmann

    Early negotiations made clear that ownership of land and employment of Aboriginal people were non-negotiable matters.

    "Our principle is, as traditional owners we cant lose the land," Mr Bergmann said.

    "So it is absolutely fundamental we create a model where the land is not at stake."

    Area 'already very famous' with Chinese investors

  32. Barnett insists on Browse

    Peter Klinger The West Australian

    June 6, 2014, 7:19 am

    Colin Barnett has paved the way for *** WA's first re-gasification plant, off the coast of Perth or the South West *** , to satisfy the State's demands for the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse consortium to supply the domestic gas market.

    The Premier said yesterday he expected gas from the consortium's three fields - Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance - to make its way into the domestic market despite having already accepted the Woodside Browse project would be developed as an offshore, floating LNG venture.

    There had been an expectation Mr Barnett, who remains unhappy at the FLNG option because of his preference for gas to be processed at James Price Point, north of Broome, would be amenable to a gas swap deal.

    That way Woodside would be able to offer up gas volumes from other land-based LNG projects such as the North West Shelf or Pluto to satisfy the Premier's Browse domestic demands and not be forced into building a pipeline or constructing a re-gasification terminal, which comes with a $300 million-plus price tag.

    Responding yesterday to a question on whether a gas swap was acceptable, the Premier told a live chat on "We will insist on molecules from the Browse project.

    "A pipeline or a ship transport are the two options for delivering those molecules."

    Mr Barnett's insistence is a step-up from answers he gave during a parliamentary estimates committee hearing last month when he said he expected Woodside to satisfy the venture's domestic obligations with gas from "the Browse fields but if the proponents bring up some alternative, we will consider it on its merits".

    Mr Barnett said in the case of a "ship transport" solution, it would deliver the gas "into the southern part of the State.

    "We would either have an onshore re-gasification plant or we may have a floating re-gasification plant," he added.

    Domestic gas and a supply base are the key sticking points that Woodside needs to resolve before receiving Mr Barnett's support.


    Woodside wants to expand Broome's port but that may not prove enough for Mr Barnett. Woodside's domestic gas plans also run foul of the Premier.


    Woodside yesterday remained tight-lipped. "The Browse (partners) are investigating the feasibility of making gas available for the domestic market and are committed to working with the State to deliver a successful and timely FLNG development," it said.


    (as predicted BUT has BURU figured out yet that when the import plant is up and running it will be cheaper to get LNG from East Africa to Perth than from the Canning Basin ?)



  33. Weighing into the Woodside-Oil Search question

    Monday, 2 June 2014

    OFFICIALLY, there is said to be no credibility in reports that Woodside Petroleum is planning a deal with Australia’s newest LNG exporter, Oil Search. Unofficially, Slugcatcher suspects he has just seen a lot of money wagered on a belief that something is brewing.

    Two significant events last week support the argument that people are talking, even if it is all talk, and no action – which would be par for the course with Woodside.

    The first event that tweaked imaginations might also be described as a remarkable coincidence because it involved Woodside and Oil Search hitting 12-month share price highs at almost the same time.

    During trading on the Australian stock market last Wednesday, Woodside rose to a peak price of $42.24, and Oil Search rose to $9.56.

    The second event was the moment when Oil Search sailed past Santos to claim the title of second biggest oil company on the ASX.

    At the close of trading last week, Oil Search had a market capitalisation of $14.3 billion. Santos sat at $14.1 billion, while Woodside remained the clear leader at $34.7 billion.

    Stock market values are not proof of anything, but they are a guide to what investors are thinking and the clear message from last week’s share trading is that Australia’s oil and gas sector is heating up as several big LNG projects either start production, or get close to it.

    What deals might be developing is open to an infinite range of possibilities, with stock market activity just one of the pointers to a period of change ahead.

    The first fact to consider is a 15% rise in the share price of Oil Search since the start of the year. This might be explained by the finalisation of construction and the first shipment of LNG from Papua New Guinea’s biggest resource project, the PNG LNG project operated by ExxonMobil.

    Secondly, is the rise of Woodside, which could be reflecting a cash flood being generated by the Pluto LNG project, which is finding its way to investors as a generous stream of dividends.

    However, there is the lack of performance (so far) by Santos which is being treated as the poor relation in this awakening LNG sector.

    And therein can be found the critical question. Why is Santos slipping behind the two LNG favourites?

    Stock market activity seems to support the belief that something is brewing at Oil Search with share-trading volumes up substantially last week, along with the share price.

  34. Weighing into the Woodside-Oil Search question

    The cause of the buying could be investors discovering the appeal of LNG but if that is the case then Santos ought to be moving up as well because it too has heavy exposure to the investment world’s favoured fuel, including:

    •an 11.5% stake in the Bayu Undan project in Darwin

    •a 13.5% stake in the same PNG LNG project, which is said to be the prime cause of Oil Search hitting a 12-month high

    •a 30% stake in the Gladstone LNG project that is 80% complete and scheduled to start exports next year.

    In theory, and The Slug is not in the business of giving investment advice, Santos ought to be heading for the same 15% price boost that Oil Search has just enjoyed when GLNG starts production because of another interesting set of numbers.

    Oil Search owns 29% of the PNG project, which has been designed to produce 6.9 million tonnes of LNG a year.

    Santos owns 30% of the Gladstone plant which is targeting 7 million tonnes of LNG a year.

    It is likely the PNG project will generate higher profits thanks to its conventional source of gas while the Gladstone project might struggle to earn high returns because it is sucking up methane through a thousand straws tapping thin strands of coal seam gas.

    However, even if there is a profitability difference between the PNG project and the Gladstone project it is unlikely to be sufficient to justify last week’s overtaking event, which saw Oil Search displace Santos for the title of Australia’s second biggest oil company.

    A more credible explanation for the changeover is some form of corporate activity that has boosted interest in Oil Search. While Woodside might not be a player in that game that is not stopping speculation that someone is paying a high price to accumulate a big parcel of Oil Search shares.

    Game on?


  35. New report blames blowout preventer for Gulf oil spill disaster

    A new federal report on the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill blames a blowout preventer on BP's well for exacerbating the disaster.

    The draft report from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill says the well’s drill pipe probably buckled shortly after the initial April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers.

    The blowout preventer probably did activate that night, as it should have, but its sharp blades punctured the buckled pipe near the sea floor and caused oil and gas to spew for nearly three months.
    The CSB concluded that the offshore oil industry still does not completely understand what happened.

    “Although both regulators and the industry itself have made significant progress since the 2010 calamity, more must be done to ensure the correct functioning of blowout preventers and other safety-critical elements that protect workers and the environment from major offshore accidents,” Rafael Moure-Eraso, CSB chairman, said in a statement. “The two-volume report we are releasing today makes clear why the current offshore safety framework needs to be further strengthened.”

    The CSB said its report is the most comprehensive analysis of how the blowout preventer worked.

    “The pipe buckling — unlikely to be detected by the drilling crew — could render the BOP inoperable in an emergency,” Mary Beth Mulcahy, the CSB investigator who led the analysis effort, said in the statement. “This hazard could impact even the best offshore companies, those who are maintaining their blowout preventers and other equipment to a high standard.”

    Instead of recommending specific changes to the design of blowout preventers, the safety board wants federal regulators and the oil drilling industry to more aggressively investigate the shortcomings of blowout preventers. The CSB also faults BP and Transocean, the rig’s owner, for failing to notice wiring problems with the blowout preventer.


    Key Device In BP Oil Spill Faulted By Safety Board; Still Poses Risk For Active Drilling Rigs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The key last-ditch safety device that failed to prevent the 2010 BP oil spill remains a potentially catastrophic problem today for some offshore drilling, according to a federal safety board investigation.

    The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board details the multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown. They found faulty wiring, a dead battery and a bent pipe in the hulking device.

    "The problems with this blowout preventer were worse than we understood," safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz said in an interview. "And there are still hazards out there that need to be improved if we are to prevent this from happening again."

    The safety board, like the National Transportation Safety Board, can investigate but has no regulatory power. It recommended new safety standards and regulations in its report.

    If the offshore oil drilling industry doesn't adopt them and regulators don't tighten up oversight of these devices, it "opens the possibility of another catastrophic accident," lead investigator Cheryl MacKenzie said at a news conference Thursday.

    But investigators also noted that the industry is working on new designs that could fix many of the problems the safety board outlined. And the American Petroleum Institute issued a statement saying the report "ignores the tremendous strides made to enhance the safety of offshore operations."


    In such emergencies, the device uses multiple mechanisms — including clamps and quick-release blades — to try to choke off the oil flowing up from a pipe and disconnect the rig from the well. It can operate automatically when pressure or electricity is cut off or manually.

    The one that failed was 9 years old, nearly 57 feet tall and weighed about 400 tons. After it broke down, an estimated 172 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf for 87 days.

    Robert Bea, a professor of engineering and expert in oil pipelines at the University of California Berkeley, praised the report and said blowout preventers are like cruise ship lifeboats, used only in last resort but crucial. In this case, and potentially in some others still out there, a blowout preventer may be "deeply flawed" or full of holes, said Bea, who was not involved in the new study.

    Various investigations have found that the cause of the initial explosion involved multiple screw-ups with cement, drilling mud, fluid pressure, botched tests, management problems and poor decisions. The blowout preventer sealed the well temporarily, but then it failed and that caused the massive spill, the new 166-page report found.

    The report faulted well owner BP and rig operator Transocean. The problem, said safety board investigator Mary Beth Mulcahy, was that they didn't test the blowout preventer's individual safety systems but the device as a whole. It turned out there were two sets of faulty wiring that caused problems and a dead battery.

    Mulcahy said the companies were following a testing standard set by the industry, not the individual testing suggested by the manufacturer.

    The safety board also found that the drill pipe in the mechanism bent far earlier in the accident and from a different cause than determined by a presidential oil spill commission. It is the type of bending that could happen even if operators are doing everything right, Mulcahy said.

    The board said the same device design is being used on at least 30 rigs worldwide and some general problems with operations and testing could affect other types of preventers.

  37. From Shell to Sea

    Shell pays out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

    The oil giant Shell has agreed to pay $15.5m (£9.6m) in settlement of a legal action in which it was accused of having ­collaborated in the execution of the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders of the Ogoni tribe of southern Nigeria.

    The settlement, reached on the eve of the trial in a federal court in New York, was one of the largest payouts agreed by a ­multinational corporation charged with human rights violations.

    The scale of the payment was being seen by experts in human rights law as a step towards international businesses being made accountable for their environmental and social actions.

    Jennie Green, a lawyer with the Centre for Constitutional Rights who initiated the lawsuit in 1996, said: "This was one of the first cases to charge a multinational corporation with human rights violations, and this settlement confirms that multinational corporations can no longer act with the impunity they once enjoyed."

    The deal follows three weeks of ­intensive negotiation between the 10 plaintiffs, mainly drawn from relatives of the executed Ogoni nine, and Shell. The oil giant, and its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company, continue to dismiss all the claims made against them, saying they played no part in the violence that swept southern Nigeria in the 1990s.

    The company said it was making the payment in recognition of the tragic turn of events in Ogoni land. "While we were prepared to go to court to clear our name, we believe the right way forward is to focus on the future for Ogoni people," Malcolm Brinded, a Shell director, said.

    The settlement marks the end of a 14-year personal journey for Ken Wiwa Jr, son of the executed leader.

    Among the other plaintiffs was Karalolo Kogbara, who lost an arm after she was shot by Nigerian troops when she protested against the bulldozing of her village in 1993 to make way for a Shell pipeline.

    Out of the $15.5m settlement, $5m will be used to set up a trust called Kiisi – meaning "progress" in the Ogoni Gokana language – to support educational and other initiatives in the Niger delta.

    In the lawsuit, the families of the Ogoni nine alleged Shell conspired with the military government to capture and hang the men. Shell was also accused of a series of other alleged human rights violations, including working with the army to bring about killings and torture of Ogoni ­protesters.

    The company was alleged to have provided the Nigerian army with vehicles, patrol boats and ammunition, and to have helped plan raids and terror campaigns against villages.

    Supporters of the legal action said the fact that Shell had walked away from the trial suggested the company had been anxious about the evidence that would have been presented had it gone ahead. Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, said Shell "knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial".


  38. Little degradation in forest heritage clawback zone

    The Australian |
    June 07, 2014

    THE Abbott government’s key justification for stripping away World Heritage protection for 74,000ha of Tasmania’s forests has been undermined by its own expert assessment.

    While the government has justified the attempt to delist the forests by claiming they are “degraded” by logging, an analysis by the federal Environment Department concludes that only 8.6 per cent shows any sign of having been disturbed.

    The revelation risks further harming the government’s attempts to persuade the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Doha tomorrow week, to approve the removal of the forests from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

    An “analysis of the extent and distribution of disturbance” by the Environment Department in January found only 6392ha of the 74,039ha of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area targeted for delisting shows signs of human disturbance.

    Disturbance typically includes logging, replanting and gravel road building.

    Of 117 “patches” of disturbed forest identified in a visual assessment of the forests using satellite and other imagery, only 20 had “significant” disturbance, and most showed “low” or “modest” disturbance. “The department’s assessment of visual disturbance from available satellite imagery shows … the majority (of disturbed areas) having low levels of disturbance,” the advice concludes.

    One 748ha area, at Dove River, near Cradle Mountain, is put forward for delisting even though the department’s assessment found the degree of disturbance in these forests to be “none”.

    The advice was withheld from the World Heritage Committee when the government asked it in January to rescind heritage listing for the entire 74,000ha, which was part of a larger 170,000ha area listed under the previous Labor government.

    The advice has not been ­released publicly, while senior ministers, including Tony Abbott, have claimed all or most of the 74,000ha is unworthy of protection and largely degraded by past logging.

    Mr Abbott told a timber industry function in Canberra on March 4: “One of the first acts of the ­incoming government was to begin the process to try to get out of World Heritage listing 74,000ha of country in Tasmania, because that 74,000ha is not pristine forest. It’s forest which has been logged, it’s forest which has been degraded. In some cases, it’s plantation timber that was actually planted to be logged.”

    However, the claim has been rejected by world heritage experts and last month the UNESCO World Heritage Centre recommended to the World Heritage Committee that it not accept the government’s request to rescind the 74,000ha.

    The issue will be decided at the Doha meeting and the government has been lobbying committee members to ignore the centre’s initial advice.

    Environment Minister Greg Hunt last night defended the government’s position.

    “The government has been clear that in removing areas that have been disturbed by logging, undisturbed patches surrounding them would also be removed in order to achieve a coherent and practical boundary,” a spokesman for Mr Hunt said.

    He denied the government had misled the World Heritage committee and the public about the scale and severity of disturbance of the forests. “The data … was part of the government’s deliberative process,” he said.

  39. US shale boom is over, energy revolution needed to avert blackouts

    Global energy watchdog confirms 'the party's over' - lowers US production projections, demands urgent investment

    I hate to say I told you so, but...

    In 2012, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast that the US would outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production thanks to the shale boom by 2020, becoming a net exporter by 2030. The forecast was seen by many as decisive evidence of the renewal of the oil age, while informed detractors were at best ignored, at worst ridiculed.

    Among my many reports exposing the geological and economic fallacies behind the shale boom narrative are this, this, this and this.

    Even here on the Guardian, one headline declared the IEA report shows that "peak oil idea has gone up in flames."

    But the IEA's latest assessment has proved the detractors right all along. The agency's World Energy Investment Outlook released this week says that US tight oil production - which draws largely from the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas - will peak around 2020 before declining.

    The new analysis puts an end to the '100 year supply' myth widely promulgated by industry, and moves closer to the more sceptical assessment of a US tight oil peak within this decade.

    The IEA report says:

    "... output from North America plateaus [from around 2020] and then falls back from the mid-2020s onwards."

    The shortfall will make the US, and countries in Europe looking to import from America, increasingly dependent on Middle East supplies:

    "Yet there is a risk that Middle East investment fails to pick up in time to avert a shortfall in supply, because of an uncertain investment climate in some countries and the priority often given to spending in other areas."

    The IEA pointed out that in the wake of the Arab spring, Middle East oil states are feeling the pressure to divert massive oil subsidies which maintain production into more social spending to alleviate instability. If they don't, they could topple.

    These countries already pour $800 billion in annual oil revenue into energy subsidies - and if they fail to cover the predicted shortfall due to the post-peak fall in US output, by 2025 the average cost of a barrel of oil could climb up by $15.

    This March, when I broached them about the danger of an imminent oil shock, I was told confidently by a spokesperson at the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change that there was no risk of the lights going out - UK energy policy had it sorted.

    Now IEA chief economist Fatih Birol says:

    "In Europe we are facing the risk of the lights going off. This is not a joke."

    We need $48 trillion of new investment to keep the lights on - and it's far from clear that investing in increasingly expensive unconventional oil and gas is going to cut it, without serious impacts on the global economy.

    Currently, already, the IEA report reveals that over 80% of oil company investment is going into making up for exhausted fields where production is in decline. The agency also calls to ramp up investments in renewables and increasing efficiency, along with regulatory reform to incentivise investments, as part of the package.

    While the fossil fuel empire is crumbling, the renewable energy sector has received 60% of total investment in power plants from 2000 to 2012.

    Those who keep banking on fossil fuels to solve our energy and economic woes should take stock - they ain't the answer. The time to ween well off was yesterday.

    Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic

  40. BHP Billiton ranked 20th largest global carbon polluter

    Australian mining giant among 81 major carbon emitters being called on to compensate victims of global warming

    Australian mining giant BHP Billiton accounts for more than half of 1% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, a report has found.

    The Heinrich Böll Foundation, a German thinktank, ranks BHP No 20 on its list of 81 major carbon emitters in its annual Carbon Majors Funding, Loss and Damage report.

    The report calls on fossil fuel companies to take their share of the burden and pay into a fund for the victims of global warming.

    BHP accounts for 0.52% of emissions, which is far behind No 1 emitter Chevron Texaco at 3.51%.

    "The big oil and gas companies can no longer dodge their legal and moral responsibility to pay for climate change loss and damage their products have caused," Heinrich Böll Foundation president Barbara Unmuessig said.

    "Top international companies, such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, BP, Gazprom and Shell have made huge profits with fossil fuels while the victims of climate change, often in the poorest regions of the world, are faced with ruin."

    Report co-authors Julie-Anne Richards and Keely Boom of the Climate Justice Programme propose a levy on fossil fuel extraction.

    "It could start at approximately $2 per tonne of CO2, which would raise $50bn per year initially," Richards said.

    The levy would be calculated against a company's historic emissions and projected future extractions of coal, oil and gas.

    Over time, it could be increased by 5% to 10% each year, the report says.

    The money raised would be allocated to the world's poorest communities and to those who have experienced the greatest effects of climate change.

    The foundation's report comes as Australian prime minister Tony Abbott faces criticism from the US and Europe for not including climate change on the G20 leader's agenda at November's meeting in Brisbane.

    Abbott aims to repeal Labor's carbon tax in July and replace it with a taxpayer-funded "direct action" policy.

    Earlier in the week, the annual Lowy Institute poll showed public concern over climate change has risen to 45% of the population, after five years of steady decline.

    Comment was being sought from BHP Billiton.

  41. Tory self-destruction is so painfully enjoyable

    DateJune 6, 2014

    You can smell the doubt in Tory ranks, see the fear in Tory eyes. It’s not yet panic, although in this febrile political climate it wouldn’t take much to start one. But they are worried, deeply worried, that Tony Abbott might just have lost the plot.

    This swine of a budget has been a disaster, both in its construction and its political execution. Stunned by the public protest, Abbott and his ministers have been furiously daubing the pig with lipstick, but it’s not working. The polls have the Coalition trailing badly on the primary vote and Bill Shorten is streets ahead as preferred prime minister, even though he has done little but keep his bum pointed to the ground.

    So the usual Tory toadies of the media are stampeding to the aid of the party. For more than a week they have been exhorting Abbott to stand firm, to take arms against a sea of troubles, blah blah. Always a sure sign the faecal matter has hit the fan.


    An even more certain sign is when they start fighting each other. Treachery! The shrill denunciation of Malcolm Turnbull by Melbourne’s village idiot, Andrew Bolt – amplified on Thursday by Sydney’s village idiot, Alan Jones – sent the needles on the right-wing paranoia scale trembling off the dial. Hilariously, the Parrot dictated a pledge of loyalty for Turnbull to repeat on radio, a wheeze not seen in any modern democracy since the demise of the infamous American Senator Joe McCarthy.

    To his credit, Turnbull stiffed the two nongs right back, branding them ‘‘bomb throwers’’ doing Labor’s work. He’ll not be forgiven. It’s been hugely enjoyable.

    The polls tell you more and more people are realising Abbott has not so much lost the plot as that he never had one. In opposition he was the wrecker, brutally effective against a divided and demoralised Labor Party, promising to lead an adult government faithful to its election commitments. But in power he and his ministers trudge through the smoking ruins of their policy flip-flops and broken promises, haplessly blaming their predecessors for the mess. This scaled new heights of idiocy on Wednesday when Defence Minister David Johnston proclaimed that it was Labor’s fault Abbott’s RAAF VIP jet had been late leaving for Indonesia.


    In truth, we are saddled with a gang of punishers and straighteners, of cutters and slashers, run by the sort of bossy former private school prefects who enjoy enforcing dress codes at golf clubs. To borrow from that American wit, the late H.L.Mencken, these Abbott Tories are racked by the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might not be working hard enough.

    So the government has changed. But despite the dogged efforts of Peta Credlin and her platoons of highly-trained spin doctors, it is ever more obvious that Abbott himself has not. Beneath those crisp white shirts and pale blue ties there still beats the heart of the campus bully. And Australians know it.

  42. Blackout on green projects if target for renewables is axed

    .......................In the interview, with Sydney radio presenter Alan Jones, Hockey added that, in the case of existing wind farms, ''We can't knock those ones off because they're into locked-in schemes and there is a certain contractual obligation I'm told associated with those things.''

    It was a comment that alarmed Miles George, the managing director of Infigen Energy - the Australian Securities Exchange-listed company that operates the Keatley farm turbines and hundreds more across Australia.

    ''What federal treasurer of a country says he would like to stop the investment of Australian public companies?'' Mr George said. ''I still can't believe he said that.''

    This week saw US President Barack Obama unveil the most ambitious policy in US history to cut greenhouse gas emissions - a requirement for 1600 power plants to cut emissions 30 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 - and news that China was also working on a cap for its greenhouse gas emissions.

    Last week, South Korea announced plans to cap carbon emissions as part of a carbon trading scheme kicking off at the start of next year.

    In Australia, however, the clean energy sector - which by its own count employs 24,000 people and has generated $20 billion in investment - feels under siege, amid government plans to dismantle climate agencies and uncertainty about the future of the nation's Renewable Energy Target.

    The price of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGC) has plummeted, to the point where new renewable energy developments will not be viable and will struggle to get finance, according to industry figures.

    Electricity retailers must buy these certificates - which are generated by renewable energy projects like wind farms - to meet their requirements under the Renewable Energy Target, creating a constant demand for the certificates.

    Scrapping the target, or reducing it, means less demand for the certificates and less demand for renewable energy projects - and a reduced willingness for investment in the sector.

    Since the start of the year, shares in renewable-focused companies have dived as the wider market has rallied.

    Read more:

  43. NSW Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane 'startled' by Pilliga coal seam gas deal

    DateJune 7, 2014

    ......................A Memorandum of Understanding between the state government and Santos, announced in February, ensures a swift path through the planning process for the Narrabri Gas Project, which would be the state's largest coal seam gas venture.

    In an apparent attempt to allay environmental concerns, the deal stated Ms O'Kane would work with Santos to provide baseline monitoring of water quality - a highly unusual role for a chief scientist.

    The agreement set a deadline of next January for a decision on the project, which environmentalists and farmers say poses a threat to land and water supplies. Emails show that three days after the announcement Ms O'Kane wrote to Kylie Hargreaves, deputy secretary of NSW Trade and Investment's resources and energy division, saying she was "startled" to learn of her proposed role.

    "I wish someone had thought to consult me before this was finalised as it puts me in a very compromising position," she said.

    Ms O'Kane is conducting an independent review of the NSW coal seam gas industry, due later this year, and "can't be seen to be blessing an individual project", she said. A spokesman for Ms O'Kane said it was "inappropriate" for her to take a role that had "the potential of benefiting one commercial interest over another".

    The deal to fast-track the Santos project, near Narrabri, came two days after the company was fined for polluting an aquifer with uranium 20 times the safe drinking level. Santos says the water was not used for household or livestock.

    Mr Buckingham said the government had tried to exploit Ms O'Kane's role "to prop up coal seam gas projects it favours".

  44. Fighter planes from the US.............

    Submarines from Japan.................

    Now this ? The budget emergency continues............

    Navy vessels to be built offshore, with Australian shipbuilders not able to bid

    Unions condemn government decision as an ‘insidious move that undercuts the works of Australian shipbuilders’

    New navy refuelling ships will be built offshore, with the Abbott government giving first preference to Spain and South Korea.

    Defence minister David Johnston has announced the tender process for the urgently needed replacements of replenishment vessels HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius – but Australian shipbuilders won't be able to bid.

    Instead, the battle will be between Spain's Navantia and South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

    Johnston says the low productivity of domestic shipbuilders in the troubled air warfare destroyers program means the government has to look elsewhere to get value for money.

    And the ships may not be the only projects to go overseas, with the government warning that if local shipbuilders don't lift their game, eight new future frigates may go offshore as well.

    The future frigates will replace the navy's existing Australian-made Anzac frigates next decade, and the government has pledged $78.2m for preliminary work.

    But at the same time, the government will review Australia's shipbuilding capabilities.

    "No responsible government could consider providing further work to an industry that is performing so poorly," Johnston said on Friday. "This is not a blank cheque."

    Johnston said decisions about replacing navy ships should have been made by Labor years ago, in order to avoid the domestic industry "valley of death" – the gap between current and future projects when workers are laid off.

    Unions were quick to condemn the refuelling vessel decision, accusing the government of showing a lack of vision.

    Denying Australian shipbuilders the chance to tender for work stifles the shipbuilding sector at a time when preference should be given to Australian manufacturers, they say.

    "Offshoring is an insidious move that undercuts the works of Australian shipbuilders," Manufacturing Industry Workers Union national assistant secretary Glenn Thompson said in statement.

    However, he was pleased to see that 20 new patrol boats would be built on home soil, which would lift the confidence in shipyards.

    "If the government is aiming to create a shipbuilding industry that's up to international benchmark standard, ensuring there is work is a good first step," he said.

  45. Ministers response to Broome Port appeal.'S_APPEAL_DETERMINATION.PDF

    Time to put heat on Broome Shire.