Thursday, May 1, 2014

The environmental movement is kicking off down under | Red Pepper

The environmental movement is kicking off down under | Red Pepper

On 31 March more than 2,000 people responded to a call to ‘go back to the roots of democracy’ and take direct action to protect their land, water and future from a corrupt government and a reckless company. Last year, people from the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales celebrated a win over Metgasco, when the drilling company withdrew its plans to start fracking in the area. Metgasco came back – but after declaring their region ‘CSG (Coal Seam Gas) Free’, the people were ready this time. With a protectors’ camp now set up and hundreds based there permanently, roads blocked with a tripod and people taking shifts chaining themselves to concrete barrels, the expected drilling machinery still hasn’t shown up. 


  1. BP pares U.S. jobs as it forms new unit for shale business

    ..................Clanton added the cuts are part of sweeping changes expected to make BP's shale business in the contiguous 48 states "a stronger, more competitive and sustainable business that will be a key component of BP's portfolio going forward."

    That onshore operation employs 1,800 contractors and company employees, Clanton said. The total U.S. workforce is 7,600, according to BP's website. Its U.S. headquarters is in West Houston.

    The London-based oil company said in March it would separate its U.S. onshore oil and gas segment into a more nimble Houston-based unit by next year, an attempt to catch up to smaller rivals that have blazed a trail in the domestic shale energy surge.

    Under the plan, a new management team will oversee 7.6 billion barrels of BP's oil and gas resources across 5.5 million acres in South Texas' Eagle Ford and other U.S. shale plays.

    On Tuesday, BP said it wrote down $521 million on some of its U.S. shale acreage after it decided to abandon its plans to develop operations in the Utica Shale in Ohio. BP CEO Bob Dudley told investors during a conference call that day that its stake in the Eagle Ford Shale is producing around 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Thirty-four percent of that is oil.

    "We like our Eagle Ford position, we like the relationship we have with our partner there where they do a lot of the surface operations and we do a lot of the subsurface work," Dudley said.

    When asked if BP might write down more shale assets, its chief financial officer, Brian Gilvary, said it's premature to say.

    "But I think we've made it very clear that we don't intend to proceed with where we are today," he said.


    This follows other oil and gas majors cutting back on US shale after being stung by high costs.

  2. Kimberley seismic survey to start in May

    Wednesday, 30 April 2014

    Between mid to late May, a seismic survey will commence in the Kimberley region’s Canning Basin to obtain much needed data to provide a greater geological understanding of the region.

    Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said understanding the Earth’s basic structure will allow the responsible and informed search for natural resources, including groundwater.

    “It represents one of a series of surveys across Australia as part of the National GeoTransect Program to build a three-dimensional image of the Australian continent, and its evolution,” he said.

    The project, funded by the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), involves a 700km seismic survey along the Great Northern Highway and the Gibb River Road, from 150km north of Port Hedland to 120km east of Derby.

    Although funded by the EIS, the latest seismic survey will link up with the deep crustal surveys conducted by DMP in the Kimberley under the $3m Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy (KSCS).

    GSWA Executive Director Rick Rogerson said understanding the structure of the old pieces of crust that have amalgamated as the Australian continental plate assembled will assist our geological understanding of the region.

    “We’re trying to establish the subsurface geology of the Canning Basin and the extent and nature of its sub-basins and troughs as well as identify any regional faults, folds and other major structural elements," Dr Rogerson said
    “There are a number of major fractures in the Earth’s crust between the crystalline basement rocks of the North (Kimberley) and the crystalline basement of the Pilbara that are of particular interest.”

    He said understanding the basic structure of the Earth allows for more informed exploration for natural resources, including ground water.

    Seismic reflection data are generated by vibrating the ground using a number of large, specialised Vibroseis trucks. The seismic waves which are generated travel down through the Earth and are reflected back from geological strata and fault structures that mark changes in rock type.

    “Geophones spread out along the survey line record the return of the reflected seismic waves; the seismic waves take longer to return from deeper reflectors so the depth of each layer can be determined,” Dr Rogerson said.

    “As the survey progresses an image is built up that is a vertical slice through the crust. Listening for up to 20 seconds at each recording point allows us to image to the base of the crust and possibly even into the Earth’s mantle.”

    Where ever possible, the survey will be conducted along the road verge to minimise disruption to traffic and prevent any possible damage to the road surface.

    While the survey is being conducted there will be signage and possibly some speed restrictions in place for safety reasons over a 25km length of road, and these will change on a daily basis as the survey progresses. The survey is expected to take from six to eight weeks, depending on weather conditions.

    The survey is an important collaborative research project between the Australian Government’s Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Geological Survey of WA (GSWA).

    Further information is available from Ted Bowen, Manager Basins and Energy Geoscience, GSWA, telephone: 08 9222 3124.

    Media contact: DMP Peter Lewis phone 9222 3572

  3. Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Marmion

    Seismic Survey Key To Kimberley Water And Resources Quest

    Victor P Taffa

    A high-tech project to map the deep geology of the West Kimberley is set to reveal the Canning Basin’s 21st century exploration potential.

    “Understanding the Earth’s basic structure will allow the responsible and informed search for natural resources, including groundwater.” Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said.

    “It represents one of a series of surveys across Australia as part of the National GeoTransect Program to build a three-dimensional image of the Australian continent, and its evolution.”

    The project, funded by the State Government, involves a 700km seismic survey along the Great Northern Highway and the Gibb River Road, from 150km north of Port Hedland to 120km east of Derby.

    Seismic reflection waves are generated by vibrating the ground using three large, specialised Vibroseis trucks. The waves travel down through the Earth and are reflected back from geological strata and fault structures that mark changes in rock type. The seismic waves take longer to return from deeper reflectors so the depth of each layer can be determined.

    As the survey progresses, an image is built up showing a vertical slice through the Earth’s crust. Listening for up to 20 seconds at each recording point allows imaging of the base of the crust and possibly even into the Earth’s mantle.

    “Researchers will be trying to establish the extent and nature of the Canning Basin’s sub-basins and troughs as well as identifying any regional faults, folds and other major structural elements.” Mr. Marmion said.

    Where possible, the survey will be conducted on the road verge to minimise disruption to traffic and prevent any damage to the road surface. The survey will take between six and eight weeks, depending on weather conditions. Safety signs and potential speed restrictions may be put in place over 25km sections of road, with daily changes as it progresses.

    Fact File
    ◦The EIS is funded by the Liberal National Government’s Royalties for Regions Program, which provided $100.6Million between 2008-09 and 2013-14
    ◦The survey provides important clues about the Kimberley’s geological evolution
    ◦It is a collaborative research project between the Australian Government’s Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s Geological Survey of WA (GSWA)

  4. Gas-Focused Woodside To Renew Oil Efforts

    PERTH, Australia—Approaching its 60th corporate anniversary in July, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. WPL.AU -0.49% is looking to reconnect with its origins by finding more crude oil.

    Chief Executive Peter Coleman said Wednesday the company wants to "balance" its core business as one of Asia's biggest liquefied-natural-gas suppliers with new global oil opportunities.

    Australia's second-biggest oil-and-gas company by production behind BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP.AU -0.61% , Woodside is also scouting prospects in shale gas, Mr. Coleman told reporters after the company's annual general meeting in Perth.

    "We'd like to balance our exploration portfolio, in particular to get more oil opportunities in that portfolio, so we're looking at parts of the world where we can get access to early oil opportunities," Mr. Coleman said.

    Woodside, a major gas exporter, also produces oil and was founded in the 1950s as an oil explorer in Australia's Bass Strait region.

    Woodside's ambitions in oil, which generally boasts bigger profit margins than selling natural gas, come amid volatility in Asian gas prices as buyers try to assess the impact of looming new supplies from U.S. export projects now under construction.

    The company is also attempting to recharge its growth after delays at several gas-driven projects in recent years prompted a bigger focus on investment returns and dividends.

    For instance, Woodside is seeking to complete the purchase of a minority stake in the big Leviathan gas field off the coast of Israel, where talks with the Israeli government and joint-venture partners have dragged on for more than a year.

    Smaller-scale offshore investments have included exploration leases in Myanmar and Ireland.

    Mr. Coleman declined to be specific about which new oil regions he is targeting, but said they must fit into Woodside's desire to be a "basin master," where the company can secure relatively cheap and early exposure to globally significant prospects.

    However, he said Woodside won't be venturing to any countries where "I'll need a really heavy coat."

    "So you are probably not going to see us in some parts of South America; you're not going to see us in Russia."

    The company is also seeking partnerships in unconventional gas sources, including shale, Mr. Coleman said.

    "Shale gas will clearly come on the list and I think that anybody who ignores the shale-gas revolution that is happening globally does it at their own peril," he said.

  5. Cheniere Posts Quarterly Loss

    Posted on May 2nd, 2014

    Cheniere Energy reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $97.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, compared to a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $117.1 million for the comparable 2013 period.

    The significant items related to LNG terminal development expenses and derivative losses. LNG terminal development expenses were primarily for the liquefaction facilities being developed by the company at Corpus Christi and at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

    Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project

    Through Cheniere Partners the company is developing up to six natural gas liquefaction trains, each with an expected nominal production capacity of approximately 4.5 mtpa at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities.

    The Trains are in various stages of development.


    Why Cheniere Energy's Souki Is Worth His $142 Million A Year

    Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy LNG +1.54%, received total TOT -0.53% compensation of $142 million in 2013. This appears to place him atop the leader board of CEOs of all U.S.-based publicly traded companies.

    According to the company’s proxy filing, released yesterday, Souki’s pay included a base salary of $800,000, a $3.7 million cash bonus and $133 million in stock awards. That’s a big improvement over 2012, when he scored $57.5 million, including $49 million in stock. All told, he owns 6.6 million shares of Cheniere (2.80% of the company) worth $370 million.

    In comparison, Exxon Mobil XOM -0.98% CEO Rex Tillerson made $28 million, while John Watson of Chevron CVX -0.46% did $24 million.

    Cheniere (as I wrote about in this Forbes Magazine feature last year) is the company furthest along in building the multi-billion-dollar plants required to chill natural gas into condensed LNG for export around the globe. Its initial plants at Sabine Pass on the Gulf Coast are more than halfway complete, and first shipments could possibly occur as early as the end of 2015.

    So is Souki’s pay outrageous, or justified?

    Definitely the latter. To understand why, start by looking at how shares in Cheniere, ExxonMobil and Chevron have performed in recent years. Go back to August 2008, the bottom of the market. Since then, shares in Cheniere Energy are up nearly 1,800%. Chevron has advanced 54%. While Exxon is up just 25%.

    By that measure, Souki absolutely deserves his pay — years ago Cheniere’s board created an incentive package and tied most of his stock awards to project completion milestones; if he hadn’t executed, he wouldn’t have gotten paid.


    Souki bet collosally wrong the first time. But he salvaged that bet, becoming first in line to export American gas. By seizing opportunity and executing, he is building what will be an almost unique asset, one with guaranteed cashflow for a generation to come.

    Souki and his small group of executives and dealmakers have made more than $12 billion for shareholders in recent years. Granted, Exxon and Chevron have generated significantly more shareholder value than that in the same time period, but Tillerson and Watson sit atop a much broader base of assets and opportunities and are backed by a much deeper bench of strong players.

    So don’t begrudge the man his payday.

  6. The National Energy Board on Friday approved two applications for 25 year LNG export licences.

    A licence was approved for Aurora LNG to export liquefied natural gas for a maximum term amount of 849.82 109m3. The export point would be in the vicinity of Prince Rupert, British Columbia at the outlet of the loading arm of a proposed liquefaction terminal.

    A licence was also approved for Oregon LNG to export natural gas for a maximum term amount of 375.17 109m3. The export point would be in the vicinity of Kingsgate and Huntingdon, British Columbia via existing natural gas pipelines.


    Shell Canada Energy, PetroChina Corporation, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) and Mitsubishi Corporation have announced, in the presence of Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia and Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing and Deputy Premier, the signing of a joint venture agreement to develop an LNG export project – LNG Canada.

    The new operating entity, LNG Canada Development Inc., is incorporated and registered under the federal laws of Canada. The proposed project, to be located in Kitimat, British Columbia, is subject to regulatory approvals and a Final Investment Decision by the joint venture.


    U.S. FERC has prepared a final environmental impact statement for the Cameron liquefaction project, proposed by Cameron LNG and Cameron Interstate Pipeline.

    The project is proposed in Cameron, Calcasieu, and Beauregard Parishes, Louisiana, and would provide Cameron the capability to export about 12 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year.


    Progress Energy Canada, Pacific NorthWest LNG and Petronas have signed transaction agreements whereby Sinopec, through its affiliates, will acquire a 15 percent interest in Progress Energy’s LNG-destined natural gas reserves in northeast British Columbia and in the proposed PNW LNG export facility on Canada’s West Coast.

    As part of the transaction, Sinopec has agreed to offtake 1.8 million tonnes of LNG per annum, which represents a pro-rata 15 percent of the LNG facility’s production, for a minimum period of 20 years.

    In addition to the transaction, Sinopec, through its affiliates, has also signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Petrones for the purchase of 3 MTPA of LNG for 20 years sourced primarily from the Pacific Northwest LNG project. The 3 MTPA sale and purchase is in addition to the 1.8 MTPA of equity LNG offtake, making Sinopec one of the largest LNG buyers from Petrona’s portfolio. The transaction is subject to approval by the Chinese authority.

    This transaction builds upon the two previously announced transactions in 2013 that saw Japex Montney Ltd. acquire a 10 percent interest, PetroleumBRUNEI acquire a 3 percent interest in the project and the recent announcement on the acquisition of a 10 percent interest by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Following the closing of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Sinopec acquisitions, Petronas will hold 62 percent of the integrated project and will continue to work with potential customers and partners to secure markets for LNG.

    1. East Africa: Global Oil & Gas Export Hub by 2020?

      East Africa could become the world’s next oil and gas export hub by 2020. There are three countries with ambitions to make this a reality; Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

      If even one of these countries achieves its goals, the impact on the global oil and gas industry would be very significant indeed. The landscape of African oil and gas has changed very little in the last 20-plus years.

      Historically, it has been the more economically developed Western and Northern countries that have produced the most oil and gas. Only Angola has stepped out of relative obscurity since 1990.


      Eni Plans FLNG Unit Off Mozambique

      Eni of Italy is reportedly planning to build an FLNG facility to unlock the gas reserves from a field offshore Palma district, Mozambique.

      Bernama reported that Eni recently issued a “Public Announcement for Expression of Interest” for an FLNG facility in the Mozambican media, asking the companies to express their interest by May 5, after which they could potentially get an “Invitation to Tender” package from the Italian company.

      Eni recently announced in the company’s 2014-2017 strategic plan that it expects to order three FLNG units by the end of 2014, which would be located along the Mozambique coast.

      Eni is the operator of the Area 4 in Mozambique with an indirect 50% participating interest, owned by Eni East Africa, which holds 70% of Area 4. The other partners are Galp Energia (10%), KOGAS (10%) and ENH (10%, exploration phase only). CNPC holds an indirect stake of 20% through Eni East Africa in Area 4.

  7. Magnolia LNG has filed an application with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking authorization for the siting, construction, ownership and operation of the proposed Magnolia LNG Project.

    This project is located along the Calcasieu River, near Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States of America.

    The FERC filing follows extensive work performed by the LNGL and Magnolia LNG teams on Front End Engineering Design (FEED), pre‐filing consultation and preparation of 13 draft Resource Reports for FERC. The work, which has been ongoing since early 2013, also has involved consultation with other federal, state and local agencies, such as the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Magnolia LNG anticipates receiving all approvals during 2015. Such approvals will be a key requirement for financial close. Construction will commence shortly thereafter with first LNG exports planned for the second half of 2018.


    Premier Christy Clark announced she will lead her fifth international trade mission. Along with Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman and industry delegates, she will travel to Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong to promote the development of British Columbia’s LNG industry from May 2 to May 9.

    “B.C. is on the right path to bring home the generational opportunity of LNG – an industry that will create 100,000 jobs and enough revenue to eliminate our debt,” said Premier Clark. “To take the last crucial steps towards final investment decisions, we’re meeting with key Asian investors and governments.”

    In addition to expanding trade and investment opportunities between B.C. and these important markets, Premier Clark will reinforce the Province’s commitment to building positive business relationships with companies, government officials, and other industry partners interested in helping to develop B.C.’s LNG potential.

    “Our Province continues to strengthen relationships with international stakeholders to facilitate LNG growth,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development. “By supporting the development of this new export industry, we are creating unprecedented economic opportunities for the people of British Columbia.”

    The Premier and Minister Coleman will meet with key companies moving forward with LNG proposals in B.C.

  8. BP Cleaning Up Oil Spill on Alaska's North Slope

    by Reuters

    JUNEAU, May 1 (Reuters) - Work crews for BP Plc were clearing contaminated snow on Thursday on Alaska's North Slope after a Prudhoe Bay well line ruptured, spraying a 34-acre area with crude oil and natural gas.

    Just how much liquid escaped from the line remains under investigation by BP and Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation.

    It remains unclear whether the leak, detected earlier this week, is connected to a decline in North Slope oil production.

    BP did not return emails seeking comment. Since the spill occurred, daily North Slope production has dropped about 10,000 barrels per day, from 533,000 to 521,000, according to state tracking data. As of Saturday, however, two days before an inspector discovered the problem, production was at 551,000, according to Alaska's Department of Revenue.

    The production figures include five major fields, the largest of which is Prudhoe Bay. The leak comes nearly eight years after BP had to order Prudhoe operations to be partially shut down when a transit line leak discharged about 200,000 gallons of oil.

    And it comes four years after the fatal Macondo well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, in which BP was the operator.

    For the current incident BP has a 40-person crew working during the day and about 20 at night, mainly using shovels and brooms.

    This time of year that area receives nearly 20 hours of daylight.

    BP discovered the leak during a routine investigation on Monday afternoon, according to an Alaska DEC report.

    A few hours after discover the line was depressurized to stop the leak, the state report said.


    Shovels and brooms ???

  9. Two Oil Workers Killed in West Texas Blast were Subcontractors

    by Jon Mainwaring

    Rigzone Staff
    Thursday, May 01, 2014

    The two workers who died in an explosion at an oilfield in West Texas Wednesday morning were working for contractor firms, according to the Sheriff of Loving County.

    Speaking to Rigzone Thursday morning, Sheriff Billy B. Hopper confirmed that two men had died and nine other workers were injured. He said that the workers were employed by two contractor firms, one of which was a testing company, that were carrying out operations on behalf of RKI Exploration and Production – the owner of the oilfield.

    "None of the injured went to the hospital. Of the nine they had a lot of scrapes. Flying debris hit them," Sheriff Hopper said.

    The workers were changing a wellhead when the explosion occurred due to a buildup of pressure.

    "There was actually not any fire involved. It was just an explosion of the gas," Sheriff Hopper said, explaining that health and safety authorities were investigating the incident.

    "The Railroad Commission and OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] were both there yesterday and they will be back tomorrow."

    One of the victims was named Wednesday as Amos Ortega of Artesia, New Mexico. Sheriff Hopper said that his department managed to get in touch with a family member of the second deceased man around 10pm last night local time.

    "It's very unusual for something like this to happen. This is the first person we've had die in the county in about a year," added Sheriff Hopper, who said that oil and gas exploration and drilling activity was common in the county.

  10. Dutch Police Storm Greenpeace Ship Trying To Block Arctic Oil Delivery

    by Reuters

    Thursday, May 01, 2014

    ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, May 1 (Reuters) – Dutch police stormed a Greenpeace ship on Thursday to prevent environmental activists blocking delivery of the first oil from Russia's new Arctic drilling platform reaching port in Rotterdam.

    The Rainbow Warrior was crewed by the activists who were detained last year by Russia in the Arctic, the campaign group said. Greenpeace is opposed to drilling in the Arctic Sea which it says risks causing a catastrophe in a fragile ecosystem.

    Police said the activists had reneged on an agreement they had made with harbour authorities not to interfere physically with the ship during their protest.

    A Reuters photographer said activists had draped banners saying "No Arctic Oil" from the Russian vessel.

    "The Russian ship is very big, about 250 metres long, and there are safety concerns when you try and stop it mooring," Rotterdam police spokesman Roland Ekkers said.

    He said the activists had been detained in a room on the Rainbow Warrior until it docked, when the captain was arrested.

    The oil-tanker Mikhail Ulyanov entered the harbour unhindered, and moored at about 0915 GMT.

    "Arctic oil represents a dangerous new form of dependence on Russia's state-owned energy giants at the very moment when we should be breaking free of their influence," said Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo in a statement.

    Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have prompted many analysts to warn that Europe is over-dependent on Russian gas, with some saying that the continent's reliance on Russia for energy makes it too costly to impose sanctions on the country.

    "Thirty of us went to prison for shining a light on this dangerous Arctic oil," Dutch activist Faiza Oulahsen said in the Greenpeace statement.

    The vessel, which had come from the Russian Arctic port of Murmansk, according to Thomson Reuters data, is carrying some 70,000 tonnes of oil from Gazprom's Prirazlomanaya oil platform in the Arctic Pechora Sea. The platform was briefly occupied by Greenpeace activists last year. They were arrested by Russian military forces and charged with piracy, carrying a potential prison term of decades, but released under an amnesty initiated by President Vladimir Putin.

  11. HAHAHA funniest thing I've ever read.

    In todays Broome Advertiser the dunce Procter whinging about companies leaving town because of the "blow-in hippie rabble of well heeled greenies from Sydney's north shore" have scared them all off by stopping the JPP LNG disaster from happening.

    Hahaha according to Coleman Woodside spent "almost $2 billion to get James Price Point to work. I don't know how people can expect companies to spend any more money than that trying to make a development commercially viable.

    "James Price Point simply didn't work. Period. So talking about local content in the context of a project that won't get built is kind of a hollow discussion."

    SO what's Proctor banging on about?

    Well him and his spouse Bloom set up an "oil and gas consultancy" that promoted the LNG plant and trumpeted it to the high heavens and back.

    Of course there wasn't a well informed analyst anywhere on the planet that believed the plant at JPP would proceed.

    The Shire followed Proctors advice to the tune of $8 million and have zero to show for it.

    SO Proctor is pissed that the "blow-in hippie rabble of well heeled greenies from Sydney's north shore" know more about building LNG plants than him or his partner Bloom.

    How embarrassing!

    And worse - the rabble of greenies gave the Shire all the "good oil" on exactly what would happen to the doomed plant FOR FREE !

    If that wasn't embarrassing enough the Proctor/Bloom grand plan for Chinatown has come unstuck as their mate designed it all in Japanese by mistake.
    This was rumoured to cost $4million.(I'm guessing this one as there seems to be a news blackout on the details and according to the Advertiser some time back that was the plan).

    It was said at the time "why pay some dickhead from bloody Austria or somewhere $4 million to design Chinatown when the Chinese community would have gladly given suggestions for free?"