Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yawuru People - Making a stand against fracking reaching thousands of people as they make their way to the races in Broome today.

The Mining Company Buru - lead this risky environmental venture which could be just another failed attempt by a Company to run roughshod over communities in NW Australia. Woodside’s withdrawal from James Price Point in 2013 and more recently French nuclear power giant Areva has abandoned a Kimberley uranium project. With Buru’s falling share price, No Social Licence, delays and low cash flow the writing seems to be on the wall. Buru are also refusing to release information to the community regarding the chemicals they plan to use.

In short - Fracking is the process of drilling then injecting fluid, much of it toxic, into the ground at high pressure, to fracture gas-bearing rocks to release natural gas.

During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals can leak from wells and contaminate nearby groundwater. Broome draws its drinking water from the ground. Buru Energy have plans to frack the Kimberley. The US, there have been more than 1000 documented cases of water contamination near areas of gas drilling.

Some of the countries that have banned fracking are France, Bulgaria and Northern Ireland. The Australian state of Victoria currently has a moratorium on fracking.

Here in WA the state Government fully supports fracking. 
Damian Kelly


  1. Anyone who read the Broome Advertiser yesterday would have read Colemans final words on JPP - only Broome and Derby will be considered for the Premiers supply base.
    JPP will not be considered in any way shape or form.

    The writing is firmly on the wall for Buru.
    The US could be exporting up to 80 mtpa in a few years and things are looking so rosy for conventional gas off East Africa I'm just waiting for someone to put together a consortium to build an import plant in WA to get cheaper LNG from there.

    Onshore USA drilling and fracking costs are below $4 million a well compared to the $20+ million for Buru - and Canning wells will need many more fracs to free up any fossil fuels.

    So yes it's plain to see Buru could be on the last few rolls of the dice if they get a few more bad or poor results.

    Those with "skin in the game" will of course talk up prospects until the cows come home in the hope of salvaging some capital from the doomed venture.

    (Wait for all the blame to be dumped on activists)


    Chevron fails to seal 20-year sales contract for Gorgon LNG

    Tuesday, 26 August 2014

    As cheap US shale gas risks to flood global LNG markets, Asian buyers are hesitant to enter long-term offtake agreements from Chevron's Gorgon LNG export terminal in Australia – one of the world's most expensive projects.


    1. Future role of LNG in Europe shrouded in uncertainty

      Demand for natural gas in Europe has fallen dramatically, which has led to a severe drop in imports of LNG.

      Today, there is considerable uncertainty over the future role of LNG in Europe’s gas supply. This has prompted Wood Mackenzie, a leader in commercial intelligence for the energy, metals and mining industries, to organise a round-table on this theme at this year’s European Autumn Gas Conference. In this interview with Alex Forbes, Associate Editor of Gastech News, two of the company’s energy specialists – Massimo Di-Odoardo, Principal Analyst for European Gas Research, and Peter Mackey, Head of Gas & Power Consulting for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and the Caspian region – outline the key issues that the round-table will address.

      Can you explain why LNG into Europe is such an important topic for this year’s European Autumn Gas Conference?

      Peter Mackey: With more than 150 Bcm of LNG under construction globally, there is a general consensus that LNG will become an increasingly important part of the European supply story. However, there are some key elements where the outlook for LNG into Europe becomes less clear and we see diverging opinions in the market. Some of the key questions that we need to be asking ourselves are:
      ◾When will LNG come back to Europe?
      ◾What role will US LNG supply play in European gas?
      ◾What impact will LNG will have on European gas prices, and how will European prices impact the ability of new supply projects to proceed?

      Taking each of those points in turn, let’s explore them further, starting with: when is LNG likely to come back to Europe?

      Massimo Di-Odoardo: Over the last couple of years the trend on global LNG has been pretty clear. Global LNG has been chasing high prices in Asia and Latin America, and LNG imports in Europe have declined. But this summer something seems to have changed. Spot prices in Asia are trading just above US$10/MMBtu and LNG tankers from Qatar are queuing up at UK LNG terminals.

      So has the time arrived for LNG to come back into Europe? Well, much will depend upon elements that have characterised the debate so far, including the pace of growth of LNG demand in emerging markets, and China in particular, the return of nuclear in Japan, and the potential for delays on Australian LNG projects.


      Peter Mackey: There is no doubt that the shale gas revolution in the US has fundamentally transformed the gas industry globally. As a result, the US LNG supply story has dominated the narrative of late.


      With more than 30 US LNG export projects proposed, totalling in excess of 300 MTPA OF LNG, the question really becomes one of how much US LNG supply will actually proceed and by when. These questions represent a key uncertainty not just for the European gas market but for the global LNG market. Here at Wood Mackenzie we now forecast 80 MTPA OF US Lower 48 LNG exports by 2025, which is equivalent to about 110 Bcm/year.


      What are the implications of all this for natural gas pricing in Europe?

      Massimo Di-Odoardo: The extent and timing of LNG coming back into Europe will be of primary importance for pricing formation – particularly because this might just happen at a time when new production from the UK, from Norway, and from Azerbaijan will hit the market. And, arguably, the perspective for gas demand growth at that time does not look promising.


    2. Japanese government says spot LNG prices fell in August for a second month

      Tuesday, 09 September 2014

      Japanese spot LNG prices fell for a second straight month, with delivered cargoes in August costing $12.50 per million British thermal units compared with $13.80 per MMBtu the previous month, according to official government figures.


      Prince Rupert floating export venture takes Canadian LNG project count to 26 mark

      Monday, 08 September 2014

      With three new LNG export projects added to the Canadian Energy Board licensing roster, the number of Canadian ventures now in place numbers 26, mostly aimed at Asia but also for the domestic fuel market.


      Japan to receive priority Alaska LNG project updates as venture enters FERC process

      Tuesday, 09 September 2014

      The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange information on potential LNG exports from the Alaska LNG project as the venure entered the US regulatory process.


      Australian firm owned by Shell-PetroChina may just supply CSG to other LNG projects

      Monday, 08 September 2014

      Arrow Energy, the Australian coal-seam gas company jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina and with plans for a CSG-to-LNG project in Queensland, said it was proceeding with the front-end engineering design phase for its proposed Bowen Gas project.


  2. HEY HEY




  3. Was having a quick read of the LA Times and thought 'it must be the same all over".

    A relation of mine who was homeless in Broome a few years ago was in and out of hospital for treatment when the surgeon insisted she have a major operation.

    I couldn't believe it when she told me and I phoned the hospital and told them she could not recuperate on the sand dunes.

    "Oh she will be kept in for 24 hours".

    She never had the op and seems quite well today.

    Then there was the poor nutrition.

    And the "fracking is good for you". And the drought.


    Editorial - Fines alone won't fix 'patient dumping' of homeless

    Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer announced on Wednesday that his office had reached an agreement with Glendale Adventist Medical Center over allegations that the respected hospital had improperly discharged a homeless patient to the streets of skid row.
    Although the hospital staunchly denied any wrongdoing, it agreed to pay $700,000 in civil fines — $100,000 of that as a donation to a homeless services provider — and adopt new protocols for discharging homeless patients.

    This is the third hospital in less than a year that Feuer has settled with over charges of so-called patient dumping on skid row.
    His office has assessed a total of more than $1.5 million in fines..


    Great Read - South L.A. women changed their lives, and it started with food

    Every Wednesday evening, the women sit in a circle of folding chairs in a bungalow at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in South L.A. There's always a box of tissues in the center; it rarely goes unused..

    They come to talk about food.

    They talk about how to make brown rice or cut back on salt. They talk about neighborhoods filled with fried chicken, barbecue, pizza and burger places.

    And they talk about how hard it has been, working the overnight shift at Target, to dig yourself and six boys out of homelessness..........

    The program provides each participant family $100 a week on a Food 4 Less gift card for six months. Each family also receives a high-end blender for juicing. The group watches films, gets handouts about nutrition and learns to cook several dozen healthful dishes.

    Helen Langley, easily the most loquacious member of the group, says, sure, she judged: "Who are these white people coming to South-Central? What do they want if they're not the police or a social worker? We had to feel them out."

    It was Langley, however, who also helped change the tenor in the room when, on the third night, she told the circle that it was the first time in 20 years that someone had asked her how she was doing.

    "I took a breath and opened up," she says. "I don't have a safe place. ... We made this a safe place."

    Langley wasn't much interested when she heard about Groceryships.

    "It didn't really appeal to me. ... I was tired of doing change," the 54-year-old says. She had just cared for her mother until her death from cancer, which came not long after her father's death. But the kids — she's raising six nieces and nephews because their parents, she says, are troubled — "kept harping on me to do it."

    So she filled out the form, and at her interview she became intrigued. "I got these kids, and I got to live long," she says.


    The federal government will resume oil and gas leasing in California following a report released Thursday that found little scientific evidence that fracking and similar extraction techniques are dangerous..


    With California zeroing in on a thousand days of drought, people here shifted their gaze this week with a sense of dreadful certainty, from the cracked soil and parched tinderbox at their feet toward a plume of smoke rising from the woods somewhere off Quail Drive..


    FROM ENB :

    Fraccing water worries

    Wednesday, 3 September 2014

    A REPORT conducted by the World Resources Institute has found that 38% of the world’s shale resources could soon face “water stress”.


    1. Natural gas pipeline for Woodfibre LNG raises questions

      Concerns have been raised that the proposed natural gas pipeline to service the Woodfibre LNG would endanger the local watersheds.

      Pipeline’s pathway goes through the major water source of the municipality, reports Squamish Chief, and concerned councilor Patricia Heintzman said that no municipality would allow any activity around local watersheds.

      Calls for detailed scrutiny of the pipeline have been raised, even though natural gas is non-toxic and non-soluble in water.

      Fortis BC spokesperson has said that the pipeline will not go ahead if it doesn’t get the approval.

      LNG World News Staff, August 29, 2014; Image: Woodfibre LNG

  4. 20-year native title battle ends with economic triumph

    The Australian |
    September 03, 2014 12:00AM

    IT has been 20 long years since the Yawuru people formally began their battle to regain the rights to their traditional lands in the Broome region.

    Yesterday, at a ceremony ­attended by 300 people, that ­battle ended in an economic triumph, with the unveiling of an agreement between the Yawuru and the Indigenous Land Corporation to transfer to Yawuru ownership land title to more than 276,000ha, comprising Roebuck Plains Station, the Roebuck ­Export Depot special lease and freehold title to the OTC Dampier block. The land package is collectively valued at more than $15 million.

    The ILC purchased Roebuck Plains Station in 1999 for the benefit of the Yawuru traditional owners. Situated on rich marine floodplain and supporting a herd of 20,000 cattle, the station is highly profitable and strategically located for the export market.


    I CAN"T stop thinking of how happy the Yindjibarndi were when the 100'000's of square klms were returned to them -

    ONLY to have Twiggy come along the next day and claim he had the right to dig it all up for the next 100 years -

    AND they would only get a pittance because only the overseas investers were allowed to sit on their butts in the Bahamas or the South of France -

    Twiggy didn't like Blackfellas sitting down even in their own country.

    HIS heritage is of course priceless.


    SO DO the Yawuru have any more rights than the Yindjibarndi ?

    NO there are only bodies between BURU and Yawuru country.


    APPEA: gas industry and agriculture go side-by-side

    An independent report released by the NSW Government today into land access arbitration sets out a positive reform agenda that provides certainty for both natural gas explorers and landholders.

    APPEA’s submission to the ‘Land Access Arbitration Review’ headed by Bret Walker called for a fair and enduring arbitration system – one that clarifies timeframes for arbitration while not imposing unreasonable costs on explorers.


    “Agriculture and gas production are working side-by-side despite misinformation put forward by professional protesters intent on stopping resource production and the growth of jobs and additional income streams for farmers.”

    Press Release, August 29, 2014; Image: APPEA


    Is shale a blessing or a curse?

    Monday, 1 September 2014

    THE oil industry prefers easy answers to black and white problems, which is why Slugcatcher suspects there is a tendency to avoid tricky questions such as whether the shale revolution really is a game changer or a bubble waiting to pop.


  5. SO IS shale a bubble waiting to pop ?

    Depends where you are and how much money is being thrown at it - that's it right now anyway.


    Shale gas revolution is igniting BHP’s US fortunes

    Business Spectator |
    September 03, 2014 12:19PM

    BHP Billiton might be committed to rationing capital across its portfolio but it seems that commitment doesn’t extend to its US onshore gas business.

    Even with the more frugal mindset established by Andrew Mackenzie, BHP continues to plough $US4 billion a year into the US shale gas business established, at a cost of about $US20bn, by former chief executive Marius Kloppers three years ago.


    BHP’s petroleum and potash president Tim Cutt gave a presentation in New York overnight in which he was very upbeat about the performance and prospects of the US gas business.

    That business is centred on the Eagle Ford formation in Texas, regarded as the best shale gas region in the US. Cutt said 75 per cent of BHP’s onshore US drilling and development expenditure in the year to June was focused on Eagle Ford.

    Within BHP’s operations in southern Texas, the drilling was further concentrated on its liquids-rich Black Hawk acreage, which Cutt said generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margins of more than 75 per cent at current prices.

    Black Hawk is, he said, expected to be the single largest producer in the group’s entire petroleum portfolio this financial year. In the June quarter it was operating 284 producing wells with an average net production of 82,400 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

    In the Permian basin in West Texas, BHP increased its position by 25 per cent last financial year. It says it remains on track to build a 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day business by 2017-18. Between Eagle Ford and the Permian basin, BHP expects to be producing about 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2016-17.

    This year the entire petroleum division is expected to increase production by five per cent to 255 million barrels of oil equivalent. Within that, onshore US liquids production is expected to rise 50 per cent, or by 17 MMboe. Higher-margin liquids are expected to account for 40 per cent of US onshore production and 65 per cent of revenue. The US business has become the division’s growth engine.

    The mainly dry gas at Fayetteville — BHP’s entry point to the US shale gas sector, which that was written down by $US2.8bn in 2012 — is being left largely alone for the time being as the group focuses on the higher-margin liquids-rich acreage. ..


    This year Cutt says BHP expects the US gas business to be strongly positive at the earnings before interest and tax level and free cashflow positive next financial year, generating about $US3bn a year of free cash by the end of this decade. Even in BHP’s context, that’s a very sizeable business.

    Cutt’s presentation explains why the capital-conscious Mackenzie is prepared to continue signing off on the $US4bn a year capex bill in the business. It’s a business that conforms to his productivity agenda.

    Cutt said the repetitive, manufacturing-style nature of shale gas developments were “ideally suited” to the BHP agenda. It had achieved a 21 per cent improvement in drilling times at Black Hawk last financial year, reduced the variability in drilling performance and cut drilling costs by 29 per cent between the first quarter of 2012-13 and the last quarter of 2013-14.

    BHP claims to be the best-in-class in recovered reserves and believes it can replicate its productivity successes across the rest of its onshore business.

    The US shale gas business therefore fits neatly into a group that, with the announced demerger of assets that don’t fit Mackenzie’s criteria of tier-one basin assets, will contain only high-quality, large-scale and high-margin assets.


    The plunge into the sector was controversial. The original Fayetteville cost Kloppers and the then head of petroleum, Mike Yeager, their bonuses. But the business is now close to more than justifying the investment in it.


  6. IT REQUIRES a hell of a lot of focus and hard work..........


    Apache exiting Wheatstone and Kitimat LNG projects

    Houston-based Apache said on Thursday that it intends to completely exit Australia’s Wheatstone and Canada’s Kitimat LNG projects ***** to focus on drilling onshore in North America. *****

    “Consistent with the company’s ongoing repositioning for profitable and repeatable North American onshore growth, Apache intends to completely exit the Wheatstone and Kitimat LNG projects.

    “In addition, Apache is evaluating its international assets and exploring multiple opportunities, including the potential separation of some or all of these assets through the capital markets,” Apache said in its second quarter report.

    Apache has a 65 percent interest in the Julimar and Brunello fields, which will provide feed-gas for the Chevron-operated Wheatstone project, and a 13-percent equity interest in phase one of the project.

    As per the Kitimat project, Apache operates the upstream development of 644,000 acres in British Columbia’s giant Horn River and Liard shale gas discoveries in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Chevron is responsible for marketing the LNG, and will operate the LNG plant and pipeline assets.

    LNG World News Staff, July 31, 2014; Image: Chevron


    BHP's US shale business set to move into the black

    BHP Billiton has underlined its capital-intensive US shale business is making progress toward turning a profit for the company, but has played down any near-term opportunities for development of its LNG prospects off Western Australia.

    The US onshore business should be "strongly" earnings before interest and tax positive this financial year, while free cash flow should be positive by 2015-16, petroleum and potash president Tim Cutt said at a conference in New York.

    Mr Cutt said the business, which is swallowing up $US4 billion in investment a year, should be throwing off towards $US3 billion ($3.2 billion) a year in cash by the end of the decade.


    Mr Cutt said BHP would prioritise the highest-return opportunities in petroleum, with a near-term focus on deep-water in the Americas, and the shale liquids business. However its "greenfield LNG" business, which includes the undeveloped Scarborough gas field with ExxonMobil off Western Australia, IS LOWER PRIORITY.


    WHICH IS WHY SO MUCH is being made over red/green tape and costs.

    PALMERS deal over the mining tax suits HIM to a "T".

    WHY shouldn't this deal do exactly the same ?


    Palmer United party to block ‘one-stop-shop’ environmental approvals

    Senators will vote against Coalition’s plan to hand the states decision-making powers over development projects

    The government’s plan to hand environmental approvals to the states for projects such as coal mines and ports is set to be blocked in the Senate by the Palmer United party.

    Clive Palmer has confirmed that his senators will vote against amending the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to create “one stop shops” to assess developments.

    The Coalition has already signed agreements with several states that would see them take on the assessment and then approval of developments that have a major impact upon the development.

    But the PUP will stymie this handover by voting against the move. The government’s devolution of powers is also opposed by Labor and the Greens.

    Greg Hunt, the environment minister, has said the handover of powers would boost business certainty and streamline a process that causes undue delays. Hunt has claimed that high environmental standards would remain, with states accredited to federal standards.

    Business groups are also supportive, with the Business Council of Australia stating that the devolvement will “begin the process of securing Australia’s massive investment pipeline without lowering environmental standards”.






    "Australia is continuing to lose its competitive edge in the global economy, strangled by government red tape.

    Australia dropped one place in the latest World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index to 22nd, continuing a downward trend since 2009/10 when it was ranked 15th.

    The most telling result was the burden of government regulation, which had now tumbled to 124th from 60th in 2010/11, he said.

    The report reinforces calls from the business community for greater urgency to be injected into building domestic productivity and competitiveness.

    That was particularly the case with industrial relations with restrictive labour regulations identified as the most significant impediment to doing business in Australia, Mr Willox said."


    "Iron ore is flirting with a five-year low as a global supply glut and a slowdown in China's property sector threaten to push the metal even lower.

    Overnight, iron ore fell to a fresh low of $US86.70 a tonne overnight, the price it reached in early September 2012. Should it fall below that price, it will hit its lowest since October 2009. The metal has fallen more than 35 per cent this year.

    The fundamentals of the iron ore market are weak at the moment and China's housing sector still has further to fall before it recovers, ANZ head of commodities Mark Pervan said.


    Australia's big miners such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are flooding the iron ore market with high quality product. This not only affects the supply-demand ratio, but also widens the discount that other iron ore miners, with lower quality ore, have to take.

    "These guys aren't taking their foot off the pedal," Mr Pervan said.


    Persistently strong supply from Australia will continue for the next two to three years, so any price recovery will not be substantial, Mr Pervan said.

    It will drop to $US75 a tonne in the second half of next year as rising low-cost supplies from Australia and Brazil worsen a global glut and the slowdown in China's property market curbs demand growth, CLSA analyst Ian Roper said.

    The commodity used to make steel will average $US80 a tonne in 2015, down from an earlier full-year estimate of $US85, and $US75 a tonne in 2016 and 2017, down from estimates of $US80 for both years, Mr Roper said. ."


    Tasmanian government rips up 'job-destroying' forestry peace deal

    400,000 hectares of protected native forest to be opened to logging in move Liberals say will enhance job creation

    "Environmentalists argue that the state’s native forests are far more valuable left standing, to be used for carbon storage and also for tourism. Tasmania’s tourism industry employs around 15% of the state’s workforce, compared to around 1% of people employed in the forestry sector.

    Jenny Weber, campaigner at the Bob Brown Foundation, said, “Tasmania’s government has issued a licence for native forest annihilation in an era when native forest logging should cease, for climate mitigation and ecosystem benefits.

    “At the helm over the unique forests in Tasmania is a government that has legislated for the ongoing logging of wildlife habitat of quolls, wedge-tailed eagles, Tasmanian devils and swift parrots.”

    Warrick Jordan, spokesman for the Wilderness Society, said logging in previously protected forest will risk the timber industry’s FSC forestry certification."



  8. WINNING and LOSING...............

    Abbot Point port developers to ditch Great Barrier Reef seabed dumping plan

    Developers are set to submit a new proposal in which dredged sediment is disposed of on land rather than at sea


    We must kill dirty coal before it kills us

    Over the years, mounting evidence has accumulated against coal. Research has shown the severe, and often unaccounted for, human health impacts from coal emissions on miners, workers and local communities. Health risks from coal include lung cancer, bronchitis, heart disease and other health conditions. In the US, 50,000 deaths each year have been attributed to air pollution from coal-fired power generation. Globally, air pollution from coal combustion is accountable for more than 200,000 deaths per year. Over the history of environmental epidemiology there has generally been a poor response by industry to the well-described harmful health effects of exposure – not just coal, but asbestos, gold mining and other dusty environments. This amounts to an appalling lack of care for workers and their families. We are calling on this to change for Australian coal exposure.


    In May 2010, the New South Wales government released a report on child health, which showed that nearly 40 per cent of nine-to-15-year-olds in the Hunter Valley and the New England region had suffered at some stage from asthma. That is significantly above the national average of 10 per cent. Other areas that have expressed concerns are the Hunter Valley and Lithgow in the Blue Mountains, which has a coalmine, a newly extended coal-fired power station and an asthma rate 80 per cent higher than the New South Wales average.


    Ross Garnaut estimated that China's use of coal could peak by as early as next year.

    Despite global momentum shifting away from highly polluting coal, Australia remains heavily reliant on ageing and inefficient coal-fired power. And, alarmingly, there is no consistent air, water, soil quality monitoring at and around every coal mine and power station in Australia.


    A doomed Earth of science fiction may well become a reality

    Our climate altering activities are hurtling us towards the fictional future of a hot, melting world


    New satellite maps show polar ice caps melting at 'unprecedented rate'

    Scientists reveal Greenland and Antarctica losing 500 cubic kms of ice annually, reports Climate News Network


  9. Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse

    Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon

    The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

    It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

    Limits to Growth was commissioned by a think tank called the Club of Rome. Researchers working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer model to track the world’s economy and environment. Called World3, this computer model was cutting edge.

    The task was very ambitious. The team tracked industrialisation, population, food, use of resources, and pollution. They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. If that didn’t happen, the model predicted “overshoot and collapse” – in the economy, environment and population – before 2070. This was called the “business-as-usual” scenario.

    The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.

    So were they right? We decided to check in with those scenarios after 40 years. Dr Graham Turner gathered data from the UN (its department of economic and social affairs, Unesco, the food and agriculture organisation, and the UN statistics yearbook). He also checked in with the US national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the BP statistical review, and elsewhere. That data was plotted alongside the Limits to Growth scenarios.

    The results show that the world is tracking pretty closely to the Limits to Growth “business-as-usual” scenario. The data doesn’t match up with other scenarios.


    According to the book, to feed the continued growth in industrial output there must be ever-increasing use of resources. But resources become more expensive to obtain as they are used up. As more and more capital goes towards resource extraction, industrial output per capita starts to fall – in the book, from about 2015.

    As pollution mounts and industrial input into agriculture falls, food production per capita falls. Health and education services are cut back, and that combines to bring about a rise in the death rate from about 2020. Global population begins to fall from about 2030, by about half a billion people per decade. Living conditions fall to levels similar to the early 1900s.


    Our research does not indicate that collapse of the world economy, environment and population is a certainty. Nor do we claim the future will unfold exactly as the MIT researchers predicted back in 1972. Wars could break out; so could genuine global environmental leadership. Either could dramatically affect the trajectory.

    But our findings should sound an alarm bell. It seems unlikely that the quest for ever-increasing growth can continue unchecked to 2100 without causing serious negative effects – and those effects might come sooner than we think.

    As Limits to Growth concluded in 1972:

    If the present growth trends in world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.

    So far, there’s little to indicate they got that wrong.





    PacWest: Considerable Growth Expected for US Shale Formations

    "The number of wells drilled in 2014 is expected to increase by 6 percent over 2013 levels, while the number of horizontally fracked wells is expected to increase by 9 percent. Horizontally fracked stages are expected to increase by almost 20 percent. The number of horizontally fracked states in the Bakken is expected to increase by 10,000 over 2013 figures.


    Kemp: Why The Shale Revolution Is Not About To End

    "But there are plenty of reasons to think the focus on decline rates is misplaced and is unlikely to constrain North American oil and gas output in the next decade.

    First, oil and gas producers have learned to drill and fracture wells much faster, using mass production techniques borrowed from manufacturing, so the same number of rigs and crews can drill many more wells than before.

    Second, the sceptics focus too much on the decline rate rather than the total amount of oil and gas recovered from a well over its lifetime, which is more relevant to the sustainability of the shale revolution.

    The relationship between initial production (IP), the decline rate (DR), and the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) is subject to tremendous uncertainty.

    It varies significantly from play to play, county to county and even well to well. But in general, producers want oil and gas wells with a large EUR and high IP, because that means they receive more revenue overall, and more of it in the first few months after the well is completed rather than having to wait for years.

    Wells cost millions of dollars to drill and fracture, and all the costs must be paid up front, either by the producer using their own funds or with borrowed money.

    The faster the oil and gas are produced, the faster the costs are covered and the more profitable the well will be."


    "Estimates of future production based on the first few months of initial production can differ significantly from later estimates for the same well," according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


    In general, however, it is possible to make a reasonably stable and accurate forecast of EUR after about three years, when almost all wells will have produced more than half their eventual output, according to the EIA .

    But across the United States there is a clear trend of rising average EUR from shale wells.

    Productivity improvements can be traced to several factors.

    Shale producers are drilling and fracking longer laterals, increasing the amount of shale accessed by each well.

    Through a combination of trial-and-error and better seismic work, drillers are increasingly able to target the highest-yielding parts of shale plays, improving average recovery factors and minimising the cost of drilling subpar wells.

    Other productivity improvements are in the pipeline. ..........

    The most advanced drillers are experimenting with wells that have several laterals at different depths to produce from different formations all from the same surface hole.

    Well-spacing is another area where improvements are being tried. Minimum spacing is set to ensure two wells do not communicate with one another underground (drain the same part of the formation).

    But the minimum gap between wells is being reduced to cover the whole shale formation more completely as producers learn more about how big an area each well drains.

    ...there are good reasons to think that the shale revolution is still in its infancy, with scope for further efficiency as current best practice is applied more widely.


    For all these reasons, the shale boom is not about to bust any time soon. As long as the oil is needed, and prices remain fairly high, shale production is set to grow.


    "Russia to build water pipeline into China as cost of water soars past cost of gas"


    Drilling Furiously: Chinese Energy Giants Turn Upbeat On Shale Gas

    by Reuters

    Charlie Zhu
    Friday, August 29, 2014

    HONG KONG, Aug 29 (Reuters) - China's energy heavyweights Sinopec Corp and PetroChina have upgraded their outlook on the country's shale gas industry, citing steadily declining costs, but stopped short of predicting a near-term boom.

    China, estimated to hold the world's largest technically recoverable shale resources, is hoping to replicate the shale boom that has transformed the energy landscape of the United States. Industry experts caution that it would be much more difficult for China to monetise its shale gas reserves than the U.S. as it faces serious challenges from WATER SHORTAGES to complicated geological structure and a lack of infrastructure.

    But top executives at China's two biggest energy companies conveyed a bullish assessment of the country's shale gas potential this week, citing rapidly falling drilling costs and rising domestic gas prices.

    ... The cost of shale gas drilling at Sinopec's Fuling field in southwestern China - the country's largest shale gas project - has been falling steadily to about 60 million yuan ($9.8 million) per well, Fu said.

    That is still double the average shale gas drilling cost in the U.S. but represented a significant fall from 100 million yuan in China just several years ago, analysts say.

    Fu said he expected costs to decline to 50 million yuan per well within three to five years. "It is dropping fast. Because of better expertise and experience, there is a lot of room for further cost decreases," he said.

    But some shale gas experts say the Fuling success is hard to repeat due to its unique geological structure.


    New Optimism Fu's optimism was echoed by PetroChina's Vice Chairman and President Wang Dongjin, who told reporters on Thursday that China's dominant oil and gas producer had decided to kick off shale gas development this year with a 7 billion yuan budget.

    PetroChina is keeping its drilling cost at 55 million yuan per well and will strive to keep it under 50 million yuan, he said.

    He said the average time PetroChina spends on shale gas drilling - a process known as hydraulic fracturing - had fallen to 45 days per well from over 80 days.

    But Fu and Wang ruled out the possibility of a shale gas boom in the near future, saying costs must come down much more and gas prices must rise further to justify a substantial step-up in investment.

    Indeed, China early this month halved its 2020 shale gas production target after early exploration efforts to unlock the unconventional fuel proved challenging, according to an industry website and a government source.

    Citing Wu Xinxiong, the head of China's National Energy Administration, industry website www.cpnn.com.cn reported that China aims to pump 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of shale gas by 2020, versus an earlier goal of 60-80 bcm mapped out in 2012.


    At Fuling, where Sinopec is building the first phase of the project, the company aims to put in annual production capacity of 5 bcm by end-2015, Fu said.

    By end-2017, Sinopec will double it to 10 bcm. PetroChina's Wang said his company will have annual shale capacity of 2.6 bcm by end-2015 and overtake Sinopec in terms of shale gas output in the next few years.

    "We are confident we will have a breakthrough in shale gas development in China," he said.

  12. Dear Redhand,

    I must complain most strongly about the misrepresentation of our hype ( which we spend a great deal of time and money on ) as mindless unintelligent pap and drivel.

    You are sailing a dangerous course here and our lawyers are looking at your blog as we speak.

    We at BUFU insist this stop immediately,

    Yours Sincerely,

    Sir Eric Shiteburger,

    President of BUFU oil and gas.

  13. Dredge spill moves from Great Barrier Reef to Abbot Point port

    The Australian |
    September 06, 2014 12:00AM

    ...............Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney confirmed yesterday that he would put the plan to state cabinet ­for approval on Monday before seeking an urgent meeting with federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to green-light the “land-based solution’’.

    Mr Seeney said Mr Hunt needed to approve the plan quickly so the dredging work could meet its start date in March, and not delay the massive coalmine projects of GVK Hancock and the Adani Group in the Galilee Basin that will export from the port.

    “We believe dumping at sea is environmentally the worst ­option,’’ Mr Seeney told The Weekend Australian yesterday.

    “We have a solution to put to the federal government that can be approved in time for the beginning of the dredging that has been planned.

    “There are currently permits that legally allow the dredge and dumping to begin in March.

    “We have the engineering and state approvals done, and now the pressure is on the federal government to approve our alternate proposal before they start.’’

    A spokesman for Mr Hunt said last night: “We are confident that a proposal can be looked at without causing any significant delay.’’

    Mr Hunt gave the green light in December to the dumping of the dredge into the sea after it was ­approved by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

    The Australian reported in March that the authority had repeatedly warned the federal Envir­onment Department that the dredging plan risked irreparable damage to the reef and should be rejected. But internal documents, obtained by ABC’s Four Corners program, showed last month that the authority appointed a career ­bureaucrat, with no background in marine science, who ­approved the plan over the expert advice.

    Mr Seeney said the Newman state government had been working on a solution to avoid dumping the material at sea since soon after it won office in March 2012..................

  14. Abbot Point dredging approval under heavy fire

    When the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority was setting up its own aquarium in Townsville back in 1987, it refused to grant itself permits to source the sand to line the floors of the tanks. "It did reflect the attitude of the authority back then," said Charlie Veron, a former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), who is credited with classifying a quarter of the world's corals. "They proceeded in everything they did with a great deal of care."

    Scientists, including Veron, draw a contrast with the actions of the present day authority, which in January this year approved the dumping in the world famous marine park of dredge spoil bigger in volume than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    Indeed, a tussle of almost pharaonic proportions has raged ever since between environmentalists and scientists opposed to the expansion of the north Queensland port of Abbot Point – the source of three million cubic metres of sand, gravel and mud spoil - versus the proponents and the governments that approved it.

    This week, a Senate inquiry into the management of the Great Barrier Reef called for a halt to further approvals to dump spoil in the park's World Heritage Area, until research now under way by the authority and AIMS is complete. Among 29 recommendations, the inquiry report also called on Greg Hunt, the Minister for the Environment "to examine whether a cap or a ban should be introduced" on future dumping.

    The inquiry's thunder, as it happens, might have been stolen by some agile manoeuvring on the part of the developers facing opposition from a $6 billion annual tourism industry that couldn't fathom the point of risking off-shore spoil dumps.

    Officially, the developers - Indian miners GVK and Adani and state-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports - say they have approval to dump spoil 15-25 kilometres away from the coast - the cheapest option available when they submitted their plans. But a hint of ambiguity is creeping in.

    "We've long said that disposal options will adhere to the best practice and the best science, based on advice from technical experts and approving authorities" an Adani spokesman said.

    It's no secret that those experts are now considering a dump site near Abbot Point itself, after BHP ditched plans for a coal export terminal.

    An onshore site for the Giza-sized spoil would also defuse the issue that the developers had yet to decide where in the sanctuary it planned to park the sludge.

    An abandonment of off-shore options would allow Hunt to draw his "line in the sand" – the end of dumping spoil at sea – earlier than expected.

    "We're doing what Labor should have done but never did," a spokesman for Hunt said. "There is now a very clear message that we have drawn a line in the sand and that no capital dredging can be disposed of in the Marine Park. All projects must look for onshore options."

  15. Abbot Point dredging approval under heavy fire

    "Conservation of the ecology of the reef was the major criterion," says Kelleher, who ran the authority from 1979-1994, and enforced the strict controls on the Townsville aquarium.

    Kelleher notes the switch to an onshore dumping option came from the developers, "not from the people charged with protecting the reef".

    He recounts the time during the Hawke government years, when then environment minister Graham Richardson sought to force the authority to approve dumping of biodegradable rubbish into the park.

    "I had to fight like hell to get that rejected," says Kelleher, now 81. "I'd rather have died than accept that – and I almost did."


    "We discovered in the inquiry hearings that it was a bureaucrat [Bruce Elliot] who made the final decision to tick off on the onshore dumping," Senator Waters said. "He didn't have any scientific training."

    An authority spokeswoman rejected "any assertion regarding political influence".


    Elliot, the authority's general manager for biodiversity, conservation and sustainable use, has expertise in risk assessments and analysis, "essential skills for a position that requires consideration of complex permit applications", the spokeswoman says.

    Elliot's resume includes 27 years as a commonwealth civil servant, mostly in taxation and also defence. He joined the authority six years ago.


    For Kelleher and Veron, the fact approved port projects from Cairns to Gladstone may require 100 million cubic metres or more of dredging is worry enough wherever the spoil ends up, given the reef's deteriorating health.

    Near-term culprits include pesticides and fertilisers washed off farms, while the impact of climate change is already evident as waters warm and become more acidic.

    And that's before the Galilee coal basin gets opened up – the reason for the Abbot Point's expansion. Greenpeace estimates at full tilt, the nine mega-mines could produce 330 million tonnes of coal a year. When burnt, the coal's emissions would top 700 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide, dwarfing Australia's current total and would alone count as the 7th largest emitter in the world.

    Veron knows well the dire changes. Corals such as branching montipora that were once among the most common onshore species have all but vanished.

    Mostly gone too are spectacular corals, such as catalaphyllia and Galaxea. "Corals that I'd expect to pick up in a day I haven't seen in many years," he says.

  16. Adani's Galilee Basin project 'not commercially viable'

    There is some regrettable news afoot for the governments of Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman: the financial statements of Adani.

    This very news, however, will be relished by the enemies of progress: the tree huggers, basket-weavers and the dreaded Great Barrier Reef protectionists.

    Adani is the prime player in the biggest thermal coal project in Australian history, Galilee Basin. The Galilee coal is to be shipped to India from terminals at Abbot Point where, controversially, the plan is to dredge the port and dump the spoil out to sea.

    Without putting too fine a point on it, this is shaping up as the whitest of white elephants. No, more than this, this is an elephant which does not merely lack financial viability but which is also a calamity for the environment.

    If balance-sheety stuff is not your thing, skip to the next item. Otherwise, get a load of this from the accounts of Adani Mining Pty Ltd for the year to March:

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/adanis-galilee-basin-project-not-commercially-viable-20140905-10cyc3.html#ixzz3CUSayNAm


    $15 billion question

    So what do we have here? A company with $1 billion in debt, negative shareholders funds, zero revenue and high cash burn – albeit whose accounts are signed by Ernst & Young – with $15 billion still to spend.

    The cost of developing the project is slated at $18 billion all up. Adani has spent $2 billion buying Terminal 1 and $1 billion in Adani Mining. Terminal 0 is the big one. Where does Adani get a cool $15 billion?

    The banks perchance? Unlikely. Thermal coal at a four-year low of $70 a tonne, cost of production $50 a tonne, quality of coal, to put it delicately, not the best. Cash cost of production roughly equals revenue. Then there is the small matter of finding $1 billion a year to fund the interest on the debt.

    Tim Buckley, director at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, puts it bluntly: "This project is not commercially viable". Apart from the financial deficiencies of the main participants, he says thermal coal is in structural rather than cyclical decline.

    If the banks are loathe to part with that $15 billion, how about equity funding? Not much of that in evidence – no equity at all in Adani Mining. Might the parent, Adani Enterprises, tip in? Unlikely – it has debts of $US12 billion on an external market cap of $US12 billion.

    Adani, alas, is not the only obstacle to Galilee. The other crucial Indian company GVK has spent $800 million so far on its $10.4 billion project. The rub is that it is due to pay Gina Rinehart $US560 million next week but it has no cash and its market cap is only $US412 million in toto.

    This is a white elephant with purple polka dots.

    Amid the project viability and majestic funding schism, the worst eventuality is that Adani and GVK dredge up the Barrier Reef before they themselves blow up and ho-tail it back to India.

    Campbell and his 2IC, Jeff Seeney, would not have much luck chasing Adani to Ahmedabad for a stoush in the local courts, especially as founder Gautam Adani is a close mate of India's Prime Minister.

    In case another red flag were in order, Linc Energy accepted $155 million from Adani last week for its option in the project. It is worth asking why Linc boss Peter Bond would sell a royalty of $2 billion over 20 years – perhaps worth $600 million today – for just $155 million.

  17. Concerns at Barrier Reef contractor's humanitarian, environment record

    The billionaire Indian magnate planning to ship millions of tonnes of coal through the Great Barrier Reef is facing accusations of massive exploitation of his Indian workforce - including underpayments and exposing them to cholera.

    Gautam Adani has won federal approval for what will be Australia's largest coal mine and a major port expansion in Queensland despite concerns over his company's environmental record.

    Mr Adani, who is a close friend of India's new leader Narendra Modi, was scheduled to be seated next to Mr Abbott at a luncheon for business leaders in Mumbai on Thursday but withdrew at the last minute, leaving an empty chair next to the Australian Prime Minister.

    But a Fairfax Media investigation into the treatment of 6000 construction labourers at a luxury housing project in Gujarat owned by the Adani family has uncovered lax safety standards, underage workers and regular cholera outbreaks from contaminated drinking water.

    It comes after Mr Adani's company was found in February to have failed to gain proper environmental approval for construction around India's largest private port, also in Gujarat - destroying mangroves and displacing local villagers


    Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart - who has separate plans with another Indian company for another mine in the Galilee - joined Mr Adani's company to lodge a joint assessment of the proposed expansion of the port.

    Waratah, a company owned by Clive Palmer, also has a separate stake in the Galilee.


    few - if any - of the workers at Shantigram are protected in accordance with state and federal laws; many are paid well below the minimum wage of $4 a day, and some not at all.

    Many of the labourers working to build the dozens of apartment towers that will house up to 30,000 people, complain they are effectively being held in a form of bonded labour.

    "We have not been paid since we started work at the beginning of May," said 32-year-old tiler Bhavesh Meena, who works 10 to 12-hour days, six days a week. "All we have been given is food expenses of 500 rupees a week [about $9]."

    Like most of the workers at Shantigram, Mr Meena came to Gujurat from another state, leaving his wife and two children behind while he pursued work.

    "Because I have not been paid, I cannot leave until I am paid, I am trapped here," said Mr Meena, who represents a group of 45 workers in the same situation. "We are arguing and fighting to be paid, but they keep saying they dispute what they owe us, and they never pay us except to buy food."

    Another construction worker, Rajukumar Mangal Dindor, 26, who represents 20 construction workers, told Fairfax Media that he was in a similar position.

    "I have been here 10 months, and sometimes we are paid at the end of the month, but sometimes we are not. I know of many workers who are not paid at all."

    One 12-year-old boy from the state of Bihar, who did not want to give his name, said he was paid 150 rupees a day, about $2.60, to carry drinking water to the workers. He said he worked 12 hours a day, and had only Sundays off.

    A 40-year-old man from west Bengal said he earned $3.50 a day to dig trenches for drainage and sewage pipes for 10 hours a day.

    In a June study of the wages and working conditions of construction workers at Shantigram conducted by the Prayas Centre for Labor Research and Action in Ahmedabad, by outsourcing labour to multiple contractors, the Adani Group has been able to avoid complying with state and federal laws.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/concerns-at-barrier-reef-contractors-humanitarian-environment-record-20140904-10cgxk.html#ixzz3CUUOaOLe

  18. Concerns at Barrier Reef contractor's humanitarian, environment record

    "Because there are no toilets, everyone must practice open defecation, so the ground water that is used for drinking water is being polluted and infected, and that is why we have seen so many cholera outbreaks," Dr Jagani said.

    Most of the workers are forced to live in makeshift houses made of corrugated tin, with dirt floors and no running water.

    Officials from Majur Adhikar Manch - a registered workers union - have been repeatedly barred from entering the worksite. On one occasion in July a local newspaper photographed teams of local police officers preventing the union from holding an offsite meeting of workers demanding better wages.

    "Adani is close to [Prime Minister] Modi, and this is Modi's home state, so Adani can do whatever he wants," said one union official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Prior to becoming Prime Minister in May, Mr Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat for 12 years.


    Adani Group last week said it was seeking expressions of interest for up to 5000 construction jobs in Queensland.


    Australia to power India's energy market as Tony Abbott settles terms for uranium trade

    ..............."India has a strong nuclear energy program, Australia has very large reserves on uranium.

    "I do want Australia to be an energy superpower in the years ahead. We have large reserves of uranium. We have massive reserves of coal. We have extensive reserves of gas. We are the world's second largest thermal coal exporter."

    Mr Abbott nominated the proposed Adani mine which, if it proceeds, would be Australia's largest coal mine.

    "That will power the lives of 100 million Indians. It's one of the minor miracles of our time: that Australian coal could improve the lives of 100 million Indians, and it just goes to show what good that freer trade can do for the whole world."

    Gautam Adani, the Indian mining magnate who has won federal approval for the mine that would ship millions of tonnes of coal through the Great Barrier Reef is facing accusations of massive exploitation of his Indian workforce and poor environmental practices at his developments in India.......................


    But critics say the Australian supply of uranium to a non-signatory country to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is dangerous and irresponsible, with the risk of Australian fissile material finding its way into nuclear weapons, or freeing up other fissile material for that purpose.

    Mr Abbott said he was satisfied that neither would occur.

    "It's not our job to try to tell India how to conduct its internal affairs," he said.




    Browse decision stands: Jacob

    Wednesday, 10 September 2014

    THE West Australian government has moved to quash any speculation that new legislation to validate Environmental Protection Agency decisions would in turn validate the Browse LNG precinct proposal, which is currently being reassessed by an independent panel.



    WA projects at risk on faulty EPA approval

    AAP •
    September 10, 2014 1:50PM

    UP to 25 projects worth billions of dollars in Western Australia could be at risk due to a "technical error" in their environmental approval.

    THE projects, mainly large mining ventures, were approved between 2002 to 2012 by several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) board members who had a conflict of interest.

    The WA government will introduce legislation on Wednesday to validate the projects' environmental approval.

    But environment minister Albert Jacob admitted there was potential for significant market uncertainty until the assessments were validated.

    Mr Jacob, who refused to name the 25 projects before tabling them in parliament, said he was incredibly disappointed the mistake had happened but was working to fix the problem.


    The EPA's oversight was revealed following the WA Supreme Court's decision in August last year to rule the environmental approval process for the Woodside-led Browse gas project unlawful.


    EPA chairman Paul Vogel said he refused to fall on his sword over the regrettable error of judgment and no one had intended to corrupt the process.

    Mr Vogel said the environment was not at risk and the EPA's governance procedure had undergone a complete health check to ensure it met legislative requirements.

    "In no way do these conflicts (alter) the science of evidence that sits behind every environmental assessment process that we conduct," Mr Vogel said.

    "My judgment at the time was based on Section 13. That was found to be flawed - I accept that.

    "I genuinely believed at the time I was managing those conflicts appropriately."

    The legislation will not validate the Browse proposal, which is currently being reassessed by an independent panel, Mr Jacob said.

    Fortescue Metals Group said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that its Solomon iron ore project was one of the 25, but the company did not foresee any risk to its operation "at this time".

    "Having identified the issue, we are assured that the state is taking all appropriate steps to remove any risk so as to provide investment certainty for Western Australian projects which might be affected," chief executive Nev Power said.

    "We applaud the state for taking this decisive action to provide certainty and confidence to significant Western Australian projects."



  20. http://www.watoday.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/wa-resource-projects-at-risk-of-invalid-epa-approvals-20140910-10evfi.html

    WA resource projects at risk of invalid EPA approvals

    Date September 10, 2014 - 11:09AM

    Twenty-five projects, including "significant resource projects" which were given environmental approval in the past may be found invalid if challenged, the West Australian government has revealed.

    On Wednesday, Environment Minister Albert Jacob, alongside Environment Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel, announced that legislation would be introduced to ensure the projects cannot be challenged on conflict of interest grounds.

    A Supreme Court decision in 2013 which found the EPA approval of the Browse LNG precinct invalid because of procedural conduct in the decision, was the catalyst to a review of approvals made between 2002 and 2012.

    Mr Jacob said the 25 projects in question would not be re-assessed and the introduction of the legislation would give "community and business confidence".

    The projects were found to pose "potential risk that state environmental approvals could be determined invalid" because of decision-making procedures.

    "This doesn't mean the projects pose risks to the environment, and there is nothing to indicate that the EPA did anything other than assess the environmental factors relating to proposals on their merits," Mr Jacob said.


    The 25 projects affected are expected to be revealed in Parliament later on Wednesday.


    Mr Jacob said the projects were "by and large in production or in construction".

    He said the companies involved were informed on Tuesday.

    Mr Jacob said the Browse project was not included in the 25 to be announced: "we've accepted the ruling on the Browse project and we'll be conducting a full separate assessment".

    He said the EPA had now fully updated their code of conduct.

    Mr Vogel said he had no plans of resigning following the revelation and he had no concerns about the environmental credibility of approvals.

    "I'd rather help the minister solve this problem we've created" he said.

    "There was clearly an error of judgment made by myself and the EPA in handling conflicts of interest.

    "In no way have these conflicts of interest altered the science and evidence that sits behind every environmental impact assessment that we conduct," he said.

    More to come...

    1. WA projects approved by a compromised EPA


      * BHP Billiton

      Jimblebar iron ore project

      Jinidi iron ore mine

      Macedon gas development

      Yandi life-of-mine proposal

      Orebody 24/25 upgrade proposal

      Port Hedland outer harbour development

      Railway deviation through Chichester Ranges

      Wheelarra iron ore mine extension and modification


      * Rio Tinto Iron Ore

      Brockman iron ore mine extension phase 2b

      Cape Lambert to Emu Siding rail duplication

      Cape Lambert Port B development

      Hamersley agriculture project

      Hope Downs iron ore mine statement 584

      Marandoo mine phase 2

      Nammuldi Silvergrass expansion project

      Cape Lambert Port B review of conditions

      Turee Syncline iron ore project

      Yandicoogina Junction South West and Onslow iron ore project


      * Woodside Energy

      Pluto LNG proposal review of conditions


      * Fortescue Metals Group
      Solomon iron ore project


      * CSBP Ltd (Wesfarmers)

      Ammonium nitrate production expansion project phase 2


      * Main Roads WA

      Roe Highway Stage 8 extension


      * James Point Pty Ltd

      James Point stage 2 port development


      * University of Western Australia

      Residential subdivision Underwood Avenue


  21. Tasmania's anti-protest laws would have chilling effect on freedom, says UN

    Proposed laws that would imprison protesters who disrupt businesses are probably in breach of human rights, say experts

    A team of United Nations experts has expressed concern to the Australian government over tough new anti-protest laws in Tasmania that it says would have a “chilling effect” on freedoms.

    The Tasmanian legislation, which is being considered by the state’s upper house, would impose mandatory fines and prison terms on protesters who are deemed to interfere with the operations of a business.

    Protesters could face a three-month jail term for a second offence.

    A group of experts appointed by the UN’s Human Rights Council has told the federal government the laws would probably breach Australia’s international human rights obligations.

    David Kaye, the special rapporteur to the UN on freedom of expression and opinion, told Guardian Australia the laws were so broad that protesters would find it hard to know when they were breaking the law.

    “There are also very harsh penalties that criminalise expression,” he said. “Ultimately it will chill expression and people speaking out. In a democratic society like Australia you want to encourage expression and peaceful protest.

    “On the face of it, the law has problems that really raise concerns over the obligations that Australia has had to uphold for many years. I’m not sure how the government intends to use this power, but even without a crackdown it is likely to chill behaviour.”

    Kaye said the Australian government had yet to respond to the concerns raised by the human rights experts.

    Last month, a coalition of 13 legal, Indigenous and environmental groups wrote to the UN to express their dismay at the anti-protest laws, which are seen to be largely aimed at anti-logging activists.


  22. David Attenborough returns to the Great Barrier Reef for a new BBC series

    Veteran wildlife presenter to film three hour-long nature documentaries for BBC1 to be broadcast next year

    ................The landmark BBC1 series, to be called David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef, is being made by the team behind the award-winning First Life and is expected to be screened late next year.

    They will use techniques such as satellite scanning to examine the 1,429-mile reef as well as macro lenses on the cameras that will enable viewers to close in on tiny and normally unseen creatures.

    Attenborough first filmed on the reef for the series Zoo Quest in 1957, and has retained his passion for the location.

    He said: “People say to me, ‘what was the most magical thing you ever saw in your life?’, and I always say without a word of exaggeration ‘the first time I was lucky enough to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef’.

    “As I entered the water I remember suddenly seeing these amazing multi-coloured species living in communities – just astounding and unforgettable beauty. So I’m very excited to be returning to the reef with all the latest technology and science to see one of the most important places on the planet in a whole new way”.....................


    Rising carbon dioxide emissions push greenhouse gases to record high

    CO2 concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere increasing at their fastest rate for 30 years, meteorologists warn

    ........................The annual greenhouse gas bulletin from the WMO showed that in 2013 concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were 142% of what they were before the Industrial Revolution.

    Other potent greenhouse gases have also risen significantly, with concentrations of methane now 253% and nitrous oxide 121% of pre-industrial levels.

    Between 1990 and 2013 the warming effect on the planet known as “radiative forcing” due to greenhouse gases such as CO2 rose by more than a third (34%).

    The bulletin reveals concentrations of gases in the atmosphere, not emissions – around quarter of which are absorbed by the oceans and a further quarter by ecosystems.

    Oceans cushion the increases in carbon dioxide that would otherwise be seen in the atmosphere – but at a cost, with the world’s seas becoming more acidic at a rate not seen for at least 300m years, the WMO said.

    WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud said: “We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

    “The greenhouse gas bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years............................





    N Ireland children shipped to Australia painted black 'for entertainment'

    Victim tells historical institutional abuse inquiry it was done as entertainment for paying passengers

    Children abused in Northern Ireland's children's homes and orphanages who were shipped to Australia were painted black in order to entertain passengers on their voyages, a victim told an inquiry on Tuesday.

    A former child migrant who was transported from a care home in Derry to western Australia revealed at the historical institutional abuse inquiry that "our faces were painted black to make us look like [Indigenous Australians]" as part of on board "entertainment" for paying passengers.

    The man is now in his 70s and asked for anonymity when he gave evidence to the inquiry at Banbridge courthouse in County Down. He had to wipe away tears as he described the humiliation on board the ship and later the abuse he suffered in an Australian care home. After being abused in the Termonbacca care home run by the Catholic church in Derry he was sent to Australia in 1953.

    Describing the impact of the abuse both in the Derry home and later in Australia, he said: "I had no idea how to parent my children, or even how to cuddle and love them. I really don't know what love is."

    Another witness to the long-running tribunal into decades of abuse in the region's care homes and orphanages told the courthouse that the abuse he had endured in the Bindoon home in Australia was even worse than what he had suffered in Termonbacca. The ex-Australian Air Force recruit said: "After Bindoon, Termonbacca turned out to be a holiday camp."

    This part of the largest public investigation into the abuse of children in state- and church-run homes is focusing on the treatment of 130 orphans and young people in care who were sent to Australia between 1946 and 1956.

    Sixty-six former residents of these institutions have given evidence of how they were transported across the world without their consent. Many of those who have come forward will give evidence via video link over what happened to them under the scheme.





  24. Agonising wait for answers, one year on from Kalgoorlie custody death

    More than twelve months after the death of an Aboriginal man in custody at Kalgoorlie police station, the inquest cannot be scheduled because internal investigators are still awaiting a pathology report on the cause of death.

    Mr Phillips, whose first name cannot be published for cultural reasons, died on January 8, 2011 after he collapsed and could not be revived at the Kalgoorlie police station.

    Marc Newhouse, who is chairman of the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, says the delays in the investigation are "outrageous".

    "The anguish and trauma that causes to family members is unacceptable."

    "I regularly get calls from Adele Phillips [Mr Phillips' sister] who has had very little communication from the police and from the coroner's court in Kalgoorlie."

    "They want answers; they want closure, particularly to prevent someone else dying in custody under similar circumstances at Kalgoorlie police station. It's extremely important for them."

    The Kalgoorlie court has told the ABC that the inquest cannot be scheduled until the police report to the coroner is received.

    Internal investigators say they cannot complete their report until they receive the pathologist's report into the cause of death.


    *Aboriginal woman’s death in custody sparks call for inquiry

    CALLS have intensified for a public inquiry into the case of a 22-year-old Aboriginal woman who died in agony after being incarcerated for unpaid fines of $1000.

    West Australian Greens MP Robin Chapple said the state government should do everything in its power to find out why Julieka Dhu died on August 4 “and why similar tragedies continue to happen across our state’’.

    Ms Dhu died in Port Hedland hospital after vomiting and experiencing paralysis in her body and face while in custody in South Hedland Police Station. Over a three-day period, she was taken twice for medical attention but ­declared fit to return to her prison cell. She was declared dead after being taken to hospital by police for a third time.

    Deaths in Custody Watch Committee and WA’s Aboriginal Legal Service have joined calls for an inquiry. The legal service’s ­director of legal service, Peter Collins, said the circumstances of Ms Dhu’s detention at the lockup and her medical treatment “raise serious concerns about the quality of custodial and medical care provided’’.

    “Locking Aboriginal people up for not paying their fines is not only inhumane, it is grossly inappropriate and if what occurred here is anything to go by, life-threatening,’’ Mr Collins said.

    A parliamentary inquiry into police lockups last November found that detainees were “often unable to access timely medical services as required by law’’.

    It also found that many lockups in regional WA “fell way short of what is safe and fully functional’’.

    Mr Chapple said the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, triggered by 16-year-old John Pat’s death, had made 339 recommendations to prevent custodial deaths, but 80 per cent had not been acted upon. The heat death in 2008 of “Mr Ward’’ in the back of a prison van in Kalgoorlie had shown that problems persisted in WA prisoner treatment.

    He said a public inquiry into Ms Dhu’s death was the first step in addressing longstanding and deepening mistrust between ­Aboriginal communities and state services. “Now more than ever, we need to make sure that this sort of thing never happens again,’’ Mr Collins said.

  25. Aboriginal man’s death in custody triggers call to review ‘draconian’ law

    THE death in custody of an Aboriginal man jailed for driving while disqualified has triggered new calls to change the system that imprisons people for licence offences.

    Stanley Allan Lord Jr, 39, died last year in a Sydney hospital of suspected cardiac arrest after falling ill while jailed for two offences of driving while disqualified.

    His father has questioned why his son, who was in fragile health following a heart attack and suffered chronic alcohol-abuse problems, was not offered rehabili-tation instead of a 28-month term, reduced on appeal to 18 months.

    INTERACTIVE: Incarceration for traffic offences

    “It’s so pointless,” said Stanley Lord Sr. “I’m never going to see him again. He should have been given a chance.”

    An inquest today into Lord’s death follows the death of 22-year-old Julieka Dhu, who died in police custody in Western Australia in August while held for unpaid fines.

    NSW’s “draconian” driver licensing regime, contributing to the mass jailing of Aborigines, needs urgent reform, says Felicity Graham, the principal legal officer of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT who will represent the Lord family at the inquest.


    Death prompts call to end jail terms over minor offences

    ...............Residents in regional Australia 'at risk' of offending

    Lord initially became disqualified for driving without a licence.

    Ms Graham said he was not a chronic drink driver or dangerous driver. He had one prior conviction for mid-range drink driving and driving recklessly.

    She said the driving while disqualified offences did not involve erratic or dangerous driving or any attempt to speed away from police.

    She said people living in regional and remote parts of Australia were more likely to run the risk of driving while disqualified because public transport was limited or non-existent.

    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 783 people were jailed for traffic and vehicle regulatory offences in 2013. Of that number, 270 or 30 per cent were Indigenous.

    Source: ABC News online


    Aboriginal woman who died in WA jail was there for an unpaid fine

    ................Julieka Dhu who was 22-years-old at the time of her death earlier this month, was in jail for four days for failing to pay a $1000 fine.

    It's emerged that not only was Ms Dhu released from hospital multiple times after complaining she felt unwell but she was locked up as part of the WA government's policy of paying down outstanding fines through prison time.

    After complaining to police about severe pain, vomiting and partial paralysis she was twice taken to a local hospital but on both occasions declared well enough to be sent back to prison depsite reportedly not being seen by a doctor reported he Australian newspaper.

    Her family is now demanding answers from the WA government.

    Her uncle Shaun Harris questioned how someone who was dying could be sent back twice to prison with an all clear from the hospital.

    “How on earth did the WA health system, the Hedland Health Campus, apparently miss such an obvious health problem on more than one occasion, such as toxic poisoning and officially declare Julieka fit to be held in police custody?" Mr Harris told The Australian.

    “And why did the police refuse her proper medical treatment by unjustifiably dismissing Julieka’s begging and multiple cries for ­urgent medical attention?’’


    WA attorney general Michael Mischin is standing by the policy.

  26. Man dies in 50 degree heat during 'inhumane' treatment

    DateJune 13, 2009

    ....................The coroner found the father of four, from the Goldfields town of Warburton, died of heatstroke when he succumbed to temperatures of 50 degrees celsius inside the van on a searing day.

    The court was told that after being picked up for drink-driving the day before, Mr Ward was transported in a van whose prisoner's compartment had no air-conditioning and little air flow.

    Mr Hope said Ms Stokoe and Mr Powell, who provided Mr Ward with only a 600ml bottle of water and did not check on him throughout the journey, had breached their duty of care.

    He said Mr Ward had no proper method of communicating with the guards, who had colluded on their evidence before being interviewed by police about the death.

    The hearing was told that when Mr Ward eventually arrived unconscious at Kalgoorlie hospital, his body was so hot that staff had been unable to cool him down.

    Even after an ice bath he had a body temperature of 41.7 degrees.

    He had a laceration to his head from falling in the vehicle and a 9cm third degree burn to his stomach from lying on its hot metal floor.

    Mr Hope said the department had failed to provide GSL with proper means of transport and that the vehicle was ``not fit for humans''.

    The prison van did not have a spare tyre, indicating GSL's ``reckless approach'' towards the transport of prisoners, he said.

    ``In my view, it is a disgrace that a prisoner in the 21st Century, particularly a prisoner who has not been convicted of any crime, was transported for a long distance in high temperatures in this pod,'' Mr Hope said.........................


  27. JOHN PAT – a death in custody – “We’ll get you, you black cunt.”

    Gerry Georgatos "We have to get rid of racist cops. I don't want to dwell on the past but I have grown up bitter," said Nyungar Elder Ben Taylor. Mr Taylor is on the mark when he says, "They have been killing our people for two hundred years."

    On 28 September 1983 a young life came to an end that sent a community into tears before it became rage and outrage dulled into anguish and sorrow by the passing of time. The tears of 28 September 1983 filled Roebourne, breaking the hearts of its Yindjibarndi peoples. A mother lost her eldest son, 16 years young. John Pat's death contributed to the call for an inquiry into Aboriginal deaths. Some things have changed however not enough has changed. His mother Mavis remembers him every hour of every day and not just on September 28 - there is a hole in her heart that nothing can mend, such is a mother's pain.

    Mother Mavis's pain is shattering, often bringing her to her knees, her head buried in her arms or in her lap, and her cries often heard. Her son did not die in an accident, her son did not die of illness, he did not die by some means that in the least could make some sense - her son was stolen from life by the rapacious prejudices of racism - her son was a 'black cunt' bashed to death. The colour of his skin, his very identity, historical and contemporary, cultural and political were the liabilities that the ugliness of prejudice caught in its net. Mother Mavis and her two remaining children, John's younger sister and brother, live day in day out, slipping into every sleep with the rush of thoughts that their brother died not because of who he was in his mind's slopes or in his heart's valleys but rather for who he wasn't – he was not born ‘white’ or at least non-Aboriginal. He was someone the Saturnalian brimstone of racism, the taunting simmer of hate made inferior and where others considered themselves superior generally believed he should not walk alongside them.

    To remember the life lost, of young John Pat, with less passion and with fermented rationales is to misunderstand and misrepresent racism and the hate that it obliges - it is to allow for racism to steady a foothold. His death must be remembered with the same despair that the Roebourne community greeted the shocking news - when four off-duty police officers and an off-duty police aide, inebriated by the effects of alcohol and by the bitter tasting wash of their prejudices, and by generations of cruel and nescient stereotypes shoved down their throats, vilified the life out of this boy.


  28. John Pat's death in police custody in 1983 sparked the demand for a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.




    by Dr Jeannine Purdy


    "..........an individual Aborigine in Western Australia was not only twenty-seven times more likely to ultimately die in prison than a non-Aboriginal Western Australian, but was also three times more likely to die in prison than a Black South African...."

    ".........'Aboriginal people would suffer and die from the same discrimination and brutality as they had experienced during life', the Commissioners did not find that even one of the 99 deaths investigated was 'the product of deliberate brutality or violence by police or prison officers' (NR 1.1.3; 1.2.2). One might wonder what it was that made these officers in whose custody Aboriginal people were dying seemingly unique amongst those who interacted with Aboriginal people. I will be arguing that what makes these officers different is not that they do not resort to violence and brutality, but that they are authorised to do so by law......."

    "................Four white officers and an Aboriginal police aide were eventually charged in February 1984 with the manslaughter of John Pat (PR p. 12). If you were an Aborigine in Roebourne you would know that they were all acquitted by an all white jury (PR p. 273; Edmunds: 1989, p. l55), and that John's step-father died shortly after that verdict was handed down (PR p. 33). Medical science said he died of pneumonia; Aborigines say that Mick Lee died of a broken heart.

    Almost seven years after the death of John Pat, and after a number of court proceedings involving the events of the night of 28 September 1983, the Royal Commission came to Roebourne. By 1990, not one member of the police force had been successfully prosecuted or even disciplined in relation to the incidents of that night. This was in spite of the belief by the officer in charge of internal police discipline that assaults had been committed by one or more of the officers; and the opinion of the Crown Prosecutor that there was ample evidence for internal police action (PR pp. 248, 249). Indeed the only disciplinary action initiated was against an officer who had no involvement in either the fight or the unloading of the vans [3]. And, according to the police, as all copies of the file and complaint had been lost, even this action was never finalised (PR p. 219). In fact, apart from one officer who had retired and the police aide, all of the officers involved in the fight and the unloading of the vans that night - and their police investigators - have been promoted. Indeed, the officer in charge of internal police discipline at that time was to become the Commissioner of Police in Western Australia, Mr Brian Bull (PR p. 248)......."

  29. John Pat

    by Jack Davis (from the book John Pat and Other poems, published 1988)

    " Write of life
    the pious said
    forget the past
    the past is dead.
    But all I see
    in front of me
    is a concrete floor
    a cell door
    and John Pat

    Agh! tear out the page
    forget his age
    thin skull they cried
    that's why he died!
    But I can't forget
    the silhouette
    of a concrete floor
    a cell door and John Pat

    The end product
    of Guddia law
    is a viaduct
    for fang and claw,
    and a place to dwell
    like Roebourne's hell
    of a concrete floor
    a cell door
    and John Pat

    He's there- where?
    there in their minds now
    deep within,
    there to prance
    a sidelong glance
    a silly grin
    to remind them all
    of a Guddia wall
    a cell door
    and John Pat

    Jack Davis's poem has been put into song by Archie Roach and Mark Bin Bakar

    Guddia is a Kimberley term for the white man term



    Recession-hit Broome struggles to get a handle on the way ahead

    The Australian |
    September 13, 2014

    DREAM destination ­Broome is going through ­recession times, ­although its natural beauty still stuns German backpackers Anna-Maria Danzeisen, 23, and her partner Sando Krause, 25.

    The Kimberley town is suffering from sluggish tourist trade, poor retail sales and a lack of job-­creating industries. And 16 months after Woodside pulled the pin on its proposed $80 billion LNG processing plant, on red-cliffed coastal land at James Price Point, the economy has stalled.

    This week, more than 100 tour operators, caravan and hotel owners met at Cable Beach Resort to discuss “rebranding Broome” in a bid to overcome the crisis.

    But the local committee that tried to get an international air carrier to fly direct to Broome has now been disbanded. Broome shire says it is working on its own recovery strategy.

    And in two weeks a new economic blueprint for the entire Kimberley ­region will be unveiled by the Kimberley Development Commission.

    But it too will highlight the ­importance of Broome’s good health, since the regional-hub town, with a mere 16,000 residents, generates 34 per cent of the region’s economic output. “There are a lot of people saying ‘What are we going to do?’,” says shire president Graeme Campbell. “I now get locals saying to me, ‘I wasn’t against James Price Point, I just didn’t understand it’.”

    Campbell’s own caravan-park income has dropped by 5 per cent. But he worries more that ­Broome’s pearling business, plagued by an oyster virus, has contracted sharply in six years, from generating $200 million of income to $60m-$70m. On the upside, he says, Kimberley pastoral activity is on the rise; oil and gas offshore rigs also generate business for nearly 60 service boats at Broome port and for a fleet of helicopters at the airport.

    Indigenous leader Wayne Bergmann, who strongly backed Woodside’s LNG plant because of the income and work it would have offered, says not enough jobs are being created for indigenous youngsters. “The real hard question is, with 4000 unemployed people here, where will that many jobs be created?’’ he says. “The James Price Point non-believers talked all about tourism and sustainable ­industries. But where are they? How many tourists would you need to bring up here to cover their wages?”

    Bergmann says even some of the “non-believers” have gone broke and left town. “You hear that for every person who comes to live in Broome, six people leave,’’ he says. “On the internet, 400 houses are listed for sale and one of the big construction companies has gone under. Broome is experiencing its own recession.

    “I think the opportunity to ­create the greatest input into our future by local people — indigenous and non-indigenous — was at James Price Point, and that was shot down in flames.”

    Environs Kimberley, which led the anti-gas campaign, maintains that sustainable tourism is the key to Broome’s salvation. “There are 580 people on the Dampier Peninsula (north of Broome) who are employed in tourism,” says EK ­director Martin Pritchard. “Some businesses tell me they can’t keep up with demand.’’

    He says huge potential lies in a tourist trail between the Kimberley’s indigenous art centres and new fixtures such as the Broome dinosaur museum.

    The German backpackers could point to some easy solutions, if anyone asked them. The couple struggled to get to Gauntheaume Point, a major tourist ­attraction, at sunset to search for exposed dinosaur footprints at low tide. “There’s no bus to get here at the right time, and no bus to get back into town,” says Ms Danzeisen. “This is a lovely place with beautiful nature, but your public transport is terrible.”

  31. REDHAND :

    "A hollow discussion

    "It's not an either or situation," Mr Coleman said yesterday. "It's not a situation of choosing James Price Point versus floating.

    "We 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." "



    Thanks for this great comment and would just like to remind Proctor/Bloom that if Woodside had gone ahead they would have sunk their corporation and Broome would have gone down with them."

    "Woodside chief Peter Coleman said "We invested about 4.5 million man hours and had hundreds of Woodsiders who dedicated years trying to come up with a way to make this land-based development commercially viable," Woodside vice-president Roger Martin wrote in an opinion piece in The West Australian newspaper. "When the final number came in at more than $80 billion, it was obvious these efforts were in vain. " Martin said that modelling showed Woodside’s share of developing the project was estimated at $25 billion, almost as much as the whole market value of the company. "Effectively, we would have spent almost the entire value of our company on an uneconomic project," he wrote."




  32. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/08/lng-price-slump-signals-warning-for-future/


    LNG price slump signals warning for future

    at 9:32am on August 21, 2014

    From LNGworldnews:

    Prices of spot liquefied natural gas for September delivery to Asia plummeted 33.1% year over year to an average $10.702 per million British thermal units (/MMBtu), the latest Platts Japan/Korea Marker (Platts JKM) for month-ahead delivery showed.

    The drop came as increased supply in the region continued to outweigh lackluster demand.

    On a month-over-month basis, the September JKM was down 5.8% from August. The data reflects the daily Platts JKM for September assessed between July 16 and August 15, and expressed as a monthly average.

    “The results of Australia’s North West Shelf LNG tender for cargoes loading in September, October and November showed a steep contango building into the traditionally high-demand winter season,” said Stephanie Wilson, managing editor of Asia LNG at Platts. “This prompted some buyers in Japan to purchase cargoes for October at prices significantly above those seen in September.”

    At $10.702/MMBtu, the average Platts JKM for September was the lowest monthly average on record since April 2011, and reflected the largest year-over-year decrease in 2014.

    Despite the year-over-year plunge for average September-delivery prices, the month-over-month decline was the narrowest since March, when prices began their rapid descent.

    After beginning the assessment period at $10.775/MMBtu July 16, spot prices bottomed at $10.525/MMBtu August 1 as a slew of supply tenders in the Asia-Pacific basin hit the market. It was the lowest daily spot price seen since Friday, March 11, 2011, when the JKM was $9.90/MMBtu. The spot JKM had spiked to $10.95/MMBtu on March 15, 2011, in the wake of the Great Eastern Earthquake and resulting Fukushima crisis in Japan.

    The Platts JKM began its rebound on August 8, gaining a total of 40 cents before ending the assessment period at $11.025/MMBtu August 15. This brought a close to five consecutive months of declines and reversed the downtrend in spot prices.

    “The removal of deferment clauses on cargoes loading from train 1 of the new ExxonMobil-led Papua New Guinea integrated LNG project also fuelled the more bullish sentiment, as traders and sellers can now compete for these cargoes too,”Wilson explained. “On the other hand, end-user inventories remained high despite higher temperatures in Japan and South Korea in recent weeks, giving buyers flexibility in their delivery schedules. Numerous projects in Asia also continued to offer additional supply to the spot market, which could suggest a cap to potential price increases.”

    Like so many vital Australian commodities these prices are very tightly held so I have to rely on doctored charts. Here’s my best effort to give you an idea of how unusual this is:

    ( CHART )

    If one new project of 7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in PNG is enough to trigger this kind of price rout (in conjunction with a mild summer) then what is the 44 million tonnes coming on stream from Australia and Sabine Pass in the next year going to do, I ask ya?




  33. "One very obvious question we might ask is: if it’s all going so swimmingly then why is there a need for restructuring? It’s not just labour inefficiency, it’s massive capital inefficiency as well and that does not bode well for more investment. Then there is this from the US about Gorgon where Shell is a large stakeholder:

    The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission to scrutinise recent apparent misrepresentations made by Chevron regarding the company’s largest upstream development, the Gorgon gas project in northwest Australia.

    The ITF argues that Chevron has not provided adequate disclosure about the risks, timing and cost of the Gorgon project. At present Chevron continues to project a mid-2015 completion date for the Gorgon project, which represents the single largest component of the company’s total capital expenditure and exploratory budget.

    However, other project owners and customers have signalled they are planning further delay. Chevron is the lead partner on the Gorgon project with a 47.3 percent interest, Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell each hold 25 percent each and Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric have 1.25, 1 and 0.417 percent respectively.

    The ITF’s concern follows a long history of sudden and suspicious delay announcements by Chevron relating both to Gorgon and other projects.

    Not just a war of words?"


    LNG price plunges to three-year low

    Eric Yep |
    Dow Jones |
    July 10, 2014

    THE price of liquefied natural gas in Asia has plunged by nearly half over the past five months — to the lowest level in more than three years — as Japan and South Korea have bought less and supplies have increased.

    Dealers say the drop has forced some to sell shipments at a loss. Analysts say that if the price stays at current levels, Asian buyers may be less willing to commit to buying gas from planned billion-dollar export projects in the US, Canada and Australia.

    South Korea and Japan are the world’s two biggest buyers of LNG, natural gas that is super-chilled into liquid form for shipping and storage, but both countries have slowed buying.

    South Korea has been building up stockpiles of gas since last winter, when its nuclear power plants went offline after a safety scandal. Now those plants are restarting, reducing the country’s need for gas.

    In Japan, which became the world’s biggest LNG buyer after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut down a third of the country’s electricity generation, summer demand, for power for air conditioning, hasn’t been as strong as usual because the weather has been milder than normal.

    The price of LNG cargoes on the Asian spot market, based on recent purchases by Japan, has fallen to less than $US11 per million British thermal units, almost half of the $US20 price in February, traders say.

    Yesterday, the Platts Japan/Korea Marker, a market benchmark, was at $US10.925 per mBtu, the lowest since March 2011.

    An unusually steady supply from producers in Qatar, Australia and Southeast Asia, where production outages have been less common than usual, has also weighed on prices. Papua New Guinea, too, has been adding to supplies after a new plant started production there in May, ahead of schedule.




    Chevron's Gorgon the latest LNG mega-project hit by US-fuelled gas boom

    DateAugust 27, 2014

    US oil major Chevron is struggling to lock-in 20-year sales contracts for its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Australia, the world's most expensive, as buyers spoiled for choice from new suppliers hold out for cheaper deals.

    The high level of unsold LNG shows how the US shale gas boom has played havoc with major investments now coming to fruition in Australia, and threatens to undermine the industry's traditional sales model where projects tie up forward sales in long-term contracts.

    Nearly $US200 billion worth of gas projects are nearing completion in Australia, with seven LNG projects due to start exporting gas between late 2014 and 2017, making the country the world's largest producer of the fuel.

    As well as Gorgon, other projects include BG Group's Curtis Island, Conoco and Origin's Australia Pacific, Inpex's Ichthys, Shell's Prelude and Santos' Gladstone.

    But with LNG exports from the United States due to begin next year, buyers are more cautious about locking in 20-25 year contracts. For the Australian mega-projects, already stung by soaring costs, this means more uncertainty.

    "Buyers are being very cautious about firming up long-term import deals, especially since U.S. prices are undercutting Australian projects coming onstream around the same time," said a source at a large Asian LNG seller, who asked not to be named.

    "There's a lot of confusion about which are the best deals given there are so many pricing options on offer from different regions," he added.

    With a price-tag of $US54 billion, Chevron's Gorgon project is expected to start up in mid-2015 but has so far locked in sales for just 65 percent of its share of capacity,

    *****which leaves it HIGHLY EXPOSED TO THE FALLS IN THE SPOT PRICE.*****

    Chevron intends to trade its unsold long-term output on the spot market................................


    International Energy Agency says sudden drop in the global demand for oil 'nothing short of remarkable'

    A sudden drop in the global demand for oil is "nothing short of remarkable" according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    The Paris-based IEA says its global demand forecast has been "revised down sharply" in the past month as oil prices on futures markets continue to tumble.

    "A pronounced slowdown in demand growth in the second quarter of 2014 and a weaker outlook for Europe and China underpin the downward revisions," the IEA found in its highly influential monthly Oil Market Report.

    "Eurozone economic growth is petering out, while US petrochemical usage fell alongside pronounced declines in Japanese power sector demand."



    Price drop signals the end of the iron ore age

    DateSeptember 13, 2014

    But China's seemingly endless appetite for iron ore has been finally been shown to have limits, and the iron ore price has been driven lower by the ever-increasing volumes of iron ore leaving Australia and Brazil.

    Only now, as the price for Australia's top export commodity slumps at a five-year low, does there appear to be a consensus that iron ore, and mining generally, was helping to prop up government revenues and sections of the economy far away from the rocky gorges of the Pilbara.

    The recent corporate reporting season was littered with companies that named weakness in the mining sector as a factor in their own underperformance.

    The trend went far beyond the traditional mining services crowd and was seen in airlines, media publishers and even clothing manufacturers who have noticed demand for their workwear products to be lower than in the past.

    No longer a debating point, the lived experience in Australia suggests life is harder beyond the peak of the iron ore boom.

    Not even the boldest iron ore bull would deny the recent slump in the iron ore price slump is serious.

    In a consistent slide since December 4, 2013, the benchmark iron ore price has fallen 41 per cent to reach the point where several of Australia's junior exporters are barely break-even propositions.

    Two microcaps trying to export from the gulf region of the Northern Territory, an off-broadway location in the world of iron ore, have already gone bust, while others like Gindalbie appear to be approaching something like a death spiral.

    A huge increase in iron ore supply from the major exporters – Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Brazil's Vale and Fortescue Metals Group - has correctly been named as a major factor driving prices lower, but ANZ commodity analyst Mark Pervan said weakness in the Chinese real estate and steel sectors had also conspired to create a "perfect storm" of factors in 2014.


    The WA government had expected iron ore prices to average $US122.70 this financial year, and will lose $49 million for every $US1 decrease in the average price below that target.

    The state is now using debt to fund its high public-sector wages, its new football stadium and its riverfront redevelopment, and despite being at the epicentre of the decade-long commodities supercycle, no longer has a Triple A credit rating.

    Campbell Jaski, a corporate restructuring expert at PPB Advisory, said a weaker Western Australian economy would unavoidably affect other state governments around Australia through the system of sharing GST revenues.

    "The flow-on effect will hit all the other states, because as WA's royalty rates reduce, their share of the GST which they currently give up to the other states will start to pull back," he said.

    "So all of a sudden Victoria, New South Wales, Tassie, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland will have to start paying back more GST revenue to WA as a result of the royalties falling in iron ore."


  36. CEO of Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine not fazed by iron ore price drop

    The chief executive of Gina Rinehart's multi-billion-dollar Roy Hill mine is remaining bullish on the future of iron ore, saying the sliding price does not keep him awake at night.


    Anketell's $7bn port and rail deal signed

    A deal to build a $7 billion port and rail complex in Western Australia's Pilbara, which could become the biggest port in Australia, has been signed off.

    The West Pilbara Iron Ore Project will include a deep-water port at Anketell and a new railway network.

    Australian transport and logistics company Aurizon will have exclusive rights to develop the infrastructure, with the first exports planned for 2017.


    The multi-user, multi-commodity deepwater port has the potential to be the biggest port in Australia.

    The State Government had proposed it be built on greenfields land about 30 kilometres east of Karratha, and it was expected to boast an eventual export capacity of more than 350 million tonnes a year.

    It would be more than double the total exports through the nearby Dampier Port and 20 per cent larger than shipments at Port Hedland, which is Australia's biggest export facility.

    Access to port space has long been an issue for companies in the Pilbara, particularly smaller iron ore miners.

    The development planned to provide services for multiple users and will include an industrial area near Karratha.


    1. AND THIS ????????


      New hope for Oakajee port

      EXCLUSIVE Gareth Parker State Political Editor The West Australian

      April 15, 2014

      Colin Barnett believes new life will be breathed into his dream of a deepwater port at Oakajee, north of Geraldton, by Chinese state-owned giant CITIC Group after talks with the $430 billion conglomerate's chairman in China on Saturday.

      The $6 billion Oakajee project - which Mr Barnett has been trying to develop since he was resources minister in the 1990s - has languished and seemed dead since the previous proponent, Japan's Mitsubishi, withdrew from the project last June.


  37. RUMBLINGS CONTINUE........................


    EPA pair had interest in WA miners

    The Australian |
    September 13, 2014

    Andrew Burrell

    Senior Business Reporter


    TWO members of Western ­Australia’s independent environmental watchdog had financial interests in five of the state’s biggest resources companies, raising questions about potential bias in the agency’s approval of scores of mining projects.

    According to documents seen by The Weekend Australian, the two former board members — Chris Whitaker and Denis ­Glennon — had interests, including significant shareholdings, in Woodside Petroleum, Fortescue Metals Group, Wesfarmers, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

    The five resources companies have been responsible for tens of billions of dollars worth of investments in WA in the past decade and are frequent applicants to the Environmental Protection Authority seeking approvals.

    The extent of the conflicts of interest — which in most cases did not disqualify Dr Whitaker or Mr Glennon from assessing projects — has sparked scrutiny over the way successive governments have chosen candidates for the EPA.

    Dr Whitaker declared a conflict of interest in 35 separate projects between his appointment in 2007 and 2012, according to a ­letter written­ by then WA environment minister Bill Marmion to Greens MP Robin Chapple in ­September 2012.

    Mr Glennon declared 20 conflicts of interest between 2002 and 2012, according to the document.

    EPA chairman Paul Vogel this week admitted he was wrong to have allowed Dr Whitaker and Mr Glennon to be involved in ­assessing 25 of projects in which they were conflicted.

    But he insisted the board members would not have been influenced by their shareholdings. “Because I know the people ­involved and I’ve worked with them for a long time,” Dr Vogel said. “I don’t think the people involved in assessing these projects would compromise their principles and integrity for the possibility of some small financial gain.”

    Dr Whitaker and Mr Glennon accrued significant shareholdings in Perth-based Woodside around the time they were assessing two proposals by the company.

    Dr Whitaker, the deputy chairman of the EPA until he stood down in 2012, held shares in Woodside both individually and through his super fund. His wife, daughter and son also held shares.

    The Woodside shareholdings of both men were described as “not insignificant” in a judgment by WA Supreme Court Chief ­Justice Wayne Martin last year.

    Dr Whitaker said yesterday he had declared an interest in all of the companies in which he held shares. Despite being named in government documents as having an interest in Fortescue, he said he could not recall ever owning shares in the company.

    WA Environment Minister ­Albert Jacob introduced emergency laws this week to retrospectively validate the projects that were made potentially invalid by the EPA bungle.

    Mr Chapple said yesterday that governments needed to ensure appointments were balanced to avoid perception of bias. “If the EPA is to be independent, it has to have people … who can make decisions without fear or favour.”


  38. The situation at Chevron's Gorgon project continues to worsen.
    It looks like Chevron will be investigated for making false claims about the projects progress and start up date.
    If this is the case why wasn't Voelte investigated for doing exactly the same thing with Woodside's Pluto project ?


    Shell casts doubt on Chevron's Gorgon gas field start date

    DateMarch 15, 2014

    Royal Dutch Shell has cast doubt on the start-up schedule for Chevron's $US54 billion ($59.6 billion) Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia, signalling it expects production to begin in 2016, at least six months after Chevron's official start-up date.

    Shell - which has a 25 per cent stake in the huge venture, Australia's largest single resources investment - classified Gorgon in a presentation released overnight as a project starting up in ''2016-2018''. Only this week, Chevron restated its timing of mid-2015.

    It also played down prospects for any early move to expand Gorgon, describing the status of the project to add a fourth production unit at the site on Barrow Island as ''pause''.

    The Gorgon project, also 25 per cent-owned by ExxonMobil, is hugely complex and difficult and has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. The original budget for the first three LNG trains was $US37billion, but it has been twice increased and is now $US17 billion higher, with some doubts still whether that will be the final figure.

    The start-up date was originally the second half of 2014, but then slipped into early 2015, and now to mid-2015, at least under Chevron's official timetable. However, Shell's presentation signals it may be later still.


    Chevron CEO says unions aren't to blame for delays and blowouts on Gorgon

    Thursday 29 May 2014

    The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has welcomed news that Chevron CEO John Watson has distanced himself from claims by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) that the MUA is to blame for delays and blowouts on the Gorgon project.

    Responding to a question from International Transport Workers Federation President and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin at a shareholders' meeting in Texas overnight, Mr Watson said he had, "no intention of blaming organised labour for cost overruns or delays at Gorgon."

    MUA WA State Secretary Christy Cain said Mr Watson's comments had blown a hole in the side of AMMA's campaign to blame workers for problems on the project.

    "Over the last 18 months, we have seen a deliberate and coordinated campaign from AMMA to attribute all of the problems on the Gorgon project on maritime workers and the MUA," Mr Cain said.

    "Their tactics have been to inflate public perceptions of the wages and conditions of our members and create a perception that we are damaging the viability of the sector. Their long-term objective is to win public support for a return to WorkChoices-style industrial relations laws, where industry has all the power and workers have none.

    "We now have BIS Shrapnel and University of Sydney research that concludes that maritime wages make up less than one per cent of the cost of building projects like Gorgon, and that better management practices offer the biggest opportunities for improved productivity.

    "With the CEO of Chevron now saying that unions are not to blame for the problems on Gorgon, we demand that AMMA apologise to the MUA and our members for the dishonest and misleading campaign they have been running."

    The University of Sydney report can be downloaded here.

  39. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has joined forces with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in a global campaign to build awareness over delays and cost overruns on Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project in Australia.


    MUA WA branch secretary Christy Cain said maritime workers were being used as scapegoats by Chevron Australia.

    “Research undertaken by BIS Shrapnel found that the wages of maritime workers make up less than one percent of the USD54 billion cost of building Gorgon,” Mr Cain said.

    “Despite the negligible impact of maritime wages on the total construction cost of Gorgon, the MUA and our members are portrayed by the industry and their henchmen as being responsible for all of the problems facing the Gorgon project and the LNG sector as a whole.

    “This campaign will expose the real reasons for cost blowouts and delays on the Gorgon project to Chevron management and investors worldwide.”

    ITF president Paddy Crumlin said it was time to face up to facts.


    Wages not to blame for Gorgon LNG delays

    "Among the list of identified causes of construction delays and increased costs are several “big ticket” items identified in the press, as well as a number of anecdotal examples of mismanagement at the workfront.

    The big ticket items are as follows:
    •The two-kilometre long Barrow Island jetty was first estimated to cost $800 million, but instead cost $1.85 billion, attributed to difficulties with fabrication and transportation and “weather difficulties”.
    •The vessel Combi-Dock III accidentally struck the navy submarine HMAS Shean, which caused $13 million in damage, $10 million of which was paid by Chevron and insurance, and resulted in the offending vessel being impounded for two months.
    •Sustained delays at sea, sometimes up to five weeks of vessel inactivity, due to lack of space in docks and lay-down yards.

    In addition the report draws on first-hand accounts from workers about gross inefficiencies on site.

    Delays were largely attributed to safety policies were attributed, from the use of safety rules for sacking employees, to the use of tighter safety standards than necessary.

    It was reported that cranes on site were limited by procedure to use in winds up to 10 metres per second, despite faster manufacturer ratings.

    Another story detailed that a worker managed to set their clothes on fire while using an angle grinder to cut steel, which resulted in the banning of cutting discs, and boilermakers, pipefitters and welders were forced to use hacksaws to perform routine tasks like cutting the bullets out of pipe fit-ups.

    Barges were also delayed while being quarantined for cleaning due to having too much bird dropping contamination, in order to protect Barrow Island as a nature reserve."


  40. New round in offshore gas game

    10 September 2014

    Conditions for workers at the offshore Gorgon gas plant will be investigated by the West Australian government, if a push by three big unions is successful.

    Reports say that the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and Australian Workers Union (AWU) have joined forces to further a stoush over Chevron’s Barrow Island Gorgon plant.

    The Barrow Island operation processes gas for export from the Gorgon gas fields on the sea floor off WA.

    The MUA in particular has been running a campaign against operator Chevron for several years on a range of claims, including that the company is not complying with obligations to hire local workers.

    US-based energy giant Chevron is suing the MUA for more than $20 million over a 2012 strike, which the company says caused delays and cost blowouts at the $57 billion gas project.

    Two hundred workers walked off the job at Perth’s Australian Marine Complex over safety complaints, and Chevon claims the union adopted go-slow tactics in loading crucial building ­materials when Fair Work ordered them back to work.

    Now, the unions have delivered a petition to Parliament calling for an investigation into whether Chevron has complied with section 15 of its operating agreement.

    The agreement, struck with a Labor state government back in 2003, requires Chevron to find labour in WA or Australia first, unless it could demonstrate it was not reasonable or economically possible to do so.

    The union claims it has a list of up to 700 able seafarers that would want jobs on the Gorgon project, to show Chevron's sub-contractors favour vessels with foreign crews.


    "The author of the report, Sydney University professor of employment relations Bradon Ellem, said the previous paper by BIS had shown conclusively that wages were an insignificant part of the project cost

    "There's been a lot of quite misleading statements made about just how high those wages are, and about wages growth overall in the sector," he said.

    Professor Ellem said cost blowouts could be attributed to both small and big-ticket items.


    Bigger costs included the impounding of roll-on, roll-off vessel Combi-Dock III for three months by the Federal Government after it hit a submarine, and the $10 million paid out in compensation, delays to international vessels at Barrow Island because of a lack of space costing up to $500,000 per day per vessel, and major delays at sea resulting in vessels remaining stationary with full crews on board.


    "This sometimes comes down to a lack of coordination round the specific phases of the project and often between the contractors," Professor Ellem said.

    Smaller, more routine items included costs due to strict quarantine requirements for all materials brought onto Barrow Island and forcing skilled construction workers to fill in paperwork just to get the correct sized bolts.

    "These small incidents over a number of months and years mount up and do amount to time delays and do amount to cost delays," he said.

    "I think the issue of cost is one that needs to be examined much more closely and carefully than it has been in any research that I'm aware of previously.""


  41. http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?id=2014-09-02.168.1


    Senate debates

    Tuesday, 2 September 2014


    Gorgon Gas Project

    Sue Lines (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source

    I rise tonight to speak about Chevron's Gorgon Project, on Barrow Island in Western Australia. At the time of approval in 2009, the Gorgon joint-venture estimated that the net benefit to Western Australia from the Gorgon Project would be the creation of approximately 3,500 direct construction jobs on Barrow Island and approximately 10,000 direct and indirect jobs at peak construction; the creation of approximately 300 direct jobs on the island during the operational phase; an increase to the state gross product of four per cent; a boost to Australia's gross domestic product of more than $60 billion; and creation of new industries centred on CO2 injection and subsea development.

    These are the sorts of commitments that governments go starry eyed at. And why wouldn't they? There was a fine bunch of promises there made by Chevron. But, of course, these are claims—and just claims—and these claims cannot easily be measured or validated. But, nevertheless, it is claims such as these that make governments go misty eyed.

    Well, I am not hoodwinked, because I have another side to this starry-eyed picture. Let's look at the Gorgon Project. It is currently more than $15 billion over budget. It is 18 months delayed. Some Australian companies that were working on the project have gone bankrupt. Communities surrounding the project that had been promised and had expected infrastructure have been let down. The promised jobs, both the quality of these jobs—the value adding to the Australian and Western Australian workforce—and the number of jobs, have not met Gorgon's promise. Chevron has overpromised and under delivered on Gorgon.

    And what does Chevron do? Well, Chevron likes to blame Australian workers, Australian regulations and our political environment for its own mismanagement, its own errors, its own missteps and its own slip-ups. But the truth lies elsewhere. The International Transport Workers' Federation, of which the MUA is a member, has done its own investigations into Chevron. The federation believes that Chevron has not provided adequate disclosure about the risks, the timing and, indeed, the real cost of the Gorgon Project.

    The Gorgon Project on Barrow Island is the most significant extractive project in Australia. Of course, as the most significant project in Australia it requires substantial and ongoing investment of capital and human resources. When work began with great fanfare in 2009, the project was to be completed in 2014 at a cost of US$37 billion. Cost overruns are now at 40 per cent—more than $15 billion—and the project is now 18 months delayed, with the first gas not now expected until late 2015.

    For Chevron, Gorgon is the single largest part of its capital expenditure and exploratory budget. Yet, in 2009 it decided, for its own political gains to fudge those figures to suggest a cost it could not possibly meet, and a time frame which was absolutely unachievable.

    How is Chevron addressing its own failures? It is not. Rather than looking at its own managerial errors and slip-ups, and make the appropriate corrections, Chevron is advocating that Australia is somehow at fault here and that Australia should re-examine its regulation of the resource sector.

    The Gorgon project, unfortunately, is quickly becoming synonymous with white elephant mega-projects. Some analysts show that it is the most delayed and over-budget LNG project in Australia. Yet Chevron gave its shareholders extremely rosy projections and has only very slowly revised cost and delay estimates. Other Gorgon project owners, who are not as closely associated with the project's management or, should I say, mismanagement—Shell, and the Japanese utilities—have different projections and timetables for completion.

  42. Sue Lines (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source

    Despite extensive negotiations and commitments from Chevron, the company is now reporting that it is having trouble getting commitments from customers for as much as one third of the LNG that will be produced. So it has not even managed to on-sell what it will produce in late 2015. Apache, one of Chevron's co-owners on Wheatstone, is pulling out of the project, seemingly less optimistic about the project's operations and prospects.

    Rather than critically examine how Chevron can operate successfully in Australia—which is what a wise, progressive company would do—they have chosen to label us as an over-regulated, high-cost jurisdiction and sought to extract more benefits from Australian institutions, reneged on commitments and failed to operate according to our norms. Rather than focusing on fixing their own issues, Chevron continues to project that the inaccurate estimates they made at the beginning are somehow someone else's fault.

    This example of Chevron's operations shows that Australia must be prudent in negotiating resource agreements with overseas operators. Yes, we must look at the rose coloured projections about jobs and the bottom line in terms of what Treasury might expect to get out of these projects, but we must also force companies to be realistic. As regulators, that is what we need to do. Chevron and other companies must respect our laws, practices and operating environment. After all, they are extracting resources for profit that belong, in the first instance, to Australians. And that wealth needs to be shared, through proper management of projects, with all Australians.

    So concerned am I about this project in Western Australian—and because I want to get the best for the workforce and the Australian community out of Barrow Island—that I have written to Chevron in the US, expressing my concerns about what I believe are Chevron's over promised and under delivered commitments on the Gorgon project. If the government is asked by Chevron to look at regulations I hope that it does some very sharp analysis of exactly what is going on with Chevron and why it over promised in the first place.

    It is certainly time for Chevron to ensure that in future disclosures the company provides more accurate analysis of the prospects of some of its major projects, particularly those in Western Australia that have an impact on the state's finances, and which have an impact on the workforce. They certainly have an impact on the money returned, quite rightly, to Australians.



    1. Unions protest over jobs lost to foreign workers

      The West Australian

      September 16, 2014

      About 150 workers have rallied outside a city hotel to protest against the loss of jobs to overseas workers.

      The union protest follows a Federal Court decision to throw out a challenge to a move by the Federal Government to make it easier for foreign workers to be employed on offshore oil and gas projects.


      Members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the Maritime Union of Australia are involved in the protest this morning outside the Duxton Hotel, the venue for the Australian Mines and Metals Association skilled migration conference.

      The AMMA yesterday welcomed the Federal Court decision.

      More than 20 police officers are on standby as protesters sit at the foot of the Duxton Hotel entrance.

      The MUA is considering an appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court.

      The MUA and the Australian Maritime Officers Union took the Abbott Government to court claiming it was using a "legislative instrument" to re-open a loophole to allow cheap foreign labour in the offshore.


      In a statmement the MUA said the Abbott Government had undermined Australian participation in offshore oil and gas projects.

      MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the joint maritime unions would not rest until the job security of Australians working in Australian resources projects is protected.

      “The majority of Australian Senators voted to disallow the Abbott Government’s attempts to open the floodgates to foreign workers in the offshore oil and gas sector,” Mr Crumlin said.

      “That’s before the decision was steamrolled by Assistant Minister for Immigration Michaelia Cash.

      “You can rest assured that those Senators were closely watching (the) decision.

      “We look forward to continuing to work with Senators to monitor the offshore oil and gas industry in particular and the protection of job security more generally so that Australian workers’ interests are protected and advanced.

      “It beggars belief that a Government can override a decision by the Senate and we’ll continue to look at all avenues of appeal.

      “The joint unions believe Australian maritime workers should have the right to work in their own country and the ideological warriors in the Abbott Government and Australian Mines and Metals Association are seeking to take out an entire Australian industry."


      So it's not about Australian jobs - it's all about legalising cheap labour !

      Barnett where's your big mouth now ?


  43. Of course it never rains but it pours - Apache have bailed out of Wheatstone and Kitimat.


    Chevron soldiering on with Kitimat LNG as observers ponder its future

    Project challenged by departure of 50 per cent partner Apache Corp.

    By Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun August 1, 2014

    Chevron Corp. said Friday it will continue with gas drilling in British Columbia’s far northeast and advancing design work on the gas liquefaction plant that is part of its Kitimat LNG export proposal even as its 50-per-cent partner exits the stage.

    Houston-based Apache Corp., once Kitimat LNG’s lead proponent, announced Thursday that it is selling off its stake in the $4.5 billion project seemingly under pressure from an activist investor, the U.S. hedge fund Jana Partners LLC.

    “Apache needs to go through its process and we need to get a new partner,” George Kirkland, Chevron’s vice-chairman and executive vice-president for upstream production said during the company’s second-quarter conference call with analysts, following Apache’s statements that it is in negotiations to sell its stake.

    In the meantime, Kirkland said Chevron will continue drilling in the Liard Basin northwest of Fort Nelson to prove up reserves for the Kitimat proposal and keep working on surveying the route for the Pacific Trails pipeline designed to feed the plant.

    Apache’s departure, however, deals the project another challenge and a potential delay as it continues to look for a market for its gas.

    On the conference call, Kirkland also reiterated that Chevron has no interest in increasing its share of ownership in the project, but “we do have some small amount of working interest we would provide to an LNG buyer,” Kirkland said.


    Apache’s departure now pushes Kitimat LNG lower on the list of the plants that may be built, according to Ed Kallio and Cameron Gingrich, directors at Solomon Associates LLC’s Ziff Energy division in Calgary.

    “They were having issues finding markets, unlike Shell and Petronas,” Kallio said.

    Other analysts noted Chevron’s problems with its budget-busting Gorgon LNG project in Australia, where costs soared to $54 billion US from initial estimates of $37 billion in 2009.

  44. Kimberley cultural festival organisers vow to fight sacred site law changes

    By Erin Parke

    Fears that changes to WA's Heritage Act could benefit mining companies to the detriment of sacred sites has dominated one of the state's biggest Aboriginal cultural festivals.

    The Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Festival is held every two years.

    This year, about a thousand people have spent the week camped out at the remote community of Jarlmadangah, about 200km east of Broome.

    Kimberley Land Council chairman Anthony Watson said it had been a productive week, but that there was fresh resolve to fight the State Government's plans to overhaul the act.

    While the Government maintained the amendments would make it simpler and easier to register and protect sacred sites, there was a backlash brewing among Aboriginal communities statewide.

    Kimberley MP Josie Farrer, a Gidja woman from Halls Creek, said the changes would make it quicker and easier for mining companies to expand their operations, no matter what sites were damaged or destroyed in the process.

    "The people who know the country so well are the first people, they understand it better than the Government themselves," she said.

    "I think the Government would be quite silly or foolish to make those changes."

    Ms Farrer took part in the festival meetings to discuss the changes.

    "People feel very strongly about this, and people are saying this change shouldn't take place, because it takes away the rights of us as Indigenous people," she said.

    "Most important to them is to make sure that those sites of significance – burial sites, dreaming sites, all of those – are left with the people."

    At the Jarlmadangah meetings, the decision was made to circulate a petition throughout the regions.

    Some elders pledged to take their protest to Perth if the Government proceeds.

    The next festival is scheduled for 2016.

  45. Most of the rest of the mess is detailed here.


    A decade after ATSIC was axed, Aborigines still have little say

    Nicolas Rothwell |
    The Australian |
    September 27, 2014

    A DECADE ago, after a protracted period of reviews, critical reports and controversies, then-prime minister John Howard announced, with bipartisan support, the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. “The experiment in elected representation for indigenous people has been a failure,” he declared. It was the start of a cascading process of disempowerment that has continued unabated ever since.

    Fresh slogans and watchwords were heard in Canberra back then: there was much talk of combating remote community chaos through “shared responsibility agreements”, of increasing economic opportunity and freeing indigenous people from the passive welfare trap. But at the peak of the federal bureaucracy a new phase was dawning in indigenous affairs: one of increased control and surveillance, of close statistical monitoring and constraint, the better to effect social reform at the scale of an entire population group.

    This deep, persisting mismatch between announced aims and actual methods defines the landscape of indigenous politics to this day. In place of self-determination and reconciliation, the rhetoric of recognition and empowerment now fills the air — but autonomy and institutional power have been withdrawn from Aboriginal groups and communities, step by relentless step.

    A clear blueprint for the next stage in this process was unveiled with the release in late July of the artfully titled report by Andrew Forrest, Creating Parity, which in pursuit of its program of full equality of opportunity recommends blanket welfare income management and intensive oversight of infants and young children in “target” indigenous communities.

    The full sequence of events since the end of ATSIC is instructive, and highlights the dilemmas facing today’s reformer-in-chief, Tony Abbott, the would-be champion of indigenous affairs, in the wake of his well-publicised learning pilgrimage to the settlements of North-East Arnhem Land.



  46. "People should be able to have the real debate in this country about industry contributions without being bullied by lobby groups and their ideological allies in the blogosphere. "The lowest form of human filth" was the line in one recent post about TAI.

    Never mind that that is a ludicrous thing to say about a bloke in Canberra with a spreadsheet; this sort of thing is probably on the rise. As mining profits subside, the debate over industry entitlements and contributions to society is likely to get more strident. Then there's the environment. "


    Minerals Council should try fighting back with facts, not abuse

    The best way to bludgeon your ideological and commercial adversaries in the corporate world is to get your peak body to do it for you.

    This way, you can abuse people with gay abandon, shrug away any responsibility for your actions and leave your marque intact, your brand untarnished, even while financing the entire caper.

    Our favourite peak body, and we confess to an especial fondness for this organisation, is the union which represents the interests of large foreign-controlled mining companies: the Minerals Council of Australia.

    For this peak body, no depth is too low to plumb, no truth too sacred to be stretched. Were you to ask one of its main backers, say BHP Billiton, how much their shareholders are paying to bankroll its activities, or even whether the board and executive stand behind its latest ad hominem spray, you will hear the sounds of silence.

    Conflating royalties with tax is one of the specialties of the Minerals Council for big foreign miners in Australia. Pretending, with the paid collaboration of selected independent experts, that foreign mining companies are entitled to extract minerals from the soils of this country scot-free, without paying a royalty, and ship them overseas, is a ruse for which they display considerable flair.

    The belittling of its critics reached fever point in recent weeks. In June, the NSW Minerals Council – the NSW branch of the big foreign mining companies' union – responded with extraordinary spite to a piece written by left-leaning think tank the Australia Institute (TAI).

    Stopping a smidgen short of Queensland MP George Christiansen – who dubbed green activists "terrorists" this week – they circulated caricatures of TAI economists Richard Denniss and Ben Oquist as puppets of the Greens political party.

    Never mind that there are no formal ties, financial or otherwise, between TAI and any political party. The lobbyists played the man as usual, not the ball.

    TAI had the cheek to ruffle through thousands of pages of state budget papers and tote up the subsidies to the mining industry in Australia. The figure came to $17.6 billion over six years. The mining lobby didn't respond with its own figure; it simply issued abusive press releases claiming "gross deception" and propaganda on behalf of TAI, saying that this think tank was hell bent on destroying the mining industry and ruining the lives of hard-working Australians.

    The $17.6 billion put on subsidies was not so much a matter of interpretation – as the Minerals Council's independent expert framed it – but more one of addition.

    The subsidies are not fabricated. They are real. They can be added up. And there is no doubt that many of the projects subsidised by taxpayers have delivered a worthwhile economic benefit. Some subsidies have been worth it, others not.

    The key points in the report commissioned to respond to TAI were:
    •infrastructure spending for miners by state governments is not "assistance" as it is usually on a commercial basis;
    •the mining sector enjoys no preferential access to infrastructure; and,
    •spending on mining does not come at the expense of social infrastructure......................

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/minerals-council-should-try-fighting-back-with-facts-not-abuse-20140926-10mdr4.html#ixzz3ETSWNcH9

  47. "Another wave of mining contractors is expected to go under as iron ore and coal prices continue to decline and miners cut costs. "


    "Clive Palmer's company Mineralogy has moved to terminate its partnership with the Chinese operator of its $10 billion iron ore mine in Western Australia.

    Mineralogy has given Chinese state-owned Citic Pacific notice that its right to mine iron ore at the Sino Iron Project in Western Australia will be terminated in 21 days."


    BHP has agreed with Exxon Mobil that a FLNG is the best development option for the Scarborough LNG asset

    Date September 27, 2014

    BHP Billiton has fallen into line with Exxon Mobil and accepted that a floating LNG platform is the best way to develop Australia's Scarborough gas project later this decade.

    The companies are 50:50 partners in the big gas field off Australia's western coast, but had been keen to develop it in different ways. BHP was previously confident the field could be connected by pipes to the North West Shelf or one of the other processing facilities on the Pilbara coast.

    Speaking on Friday, BHP's petroleum and potash president, Tim Cutt, said the two camps now agreed that a floating LNG facility was the best option, and were increasingly confident the project would go ahead.

    "We have looked at all the different technologies with Exxon Mobil and we are now fully aligned with Exxon Mobil that FLNG is the direction we are heading," he said.

    "I'm happy to say we have progressed it far enough now where we are confident in the technology and the commerciality so we know it will go forward; it's a good commercial project."

    FLNG facilities are a relatively new technology that allows remote oil and gas fields to be developed by giant vessels that do not require connection to the shore.

    The world's first FLNG facility is expected to be used by Shell on the Prelude field off the Kimberley coast. Its first production is expected within four to five years.

    The energy sector is predicted to spend up to $US60 billion ($68 billion) on FLNG facilities in the next six years.

    Scarborough is 200 kilometres offshore and under about 1000 metres of water, making FLNG a viable option.

    "We are quite excited to learn about the FLNG technology and we are spending a lot of time with our partner on that right now," said Mr Cutt.

    According to federal approvals granted for Scarborough, first production is supposed to take place in 2020, but Mr Cutt stressed that Scarborough would have to fight the rest of BHP's global portfolio for investment.

    "When we finally get it all tuned up, we are going to have look at that against our other opportunities around the world," he said.

    Mr Cutt indicated BHP had little interest in joining BP and Statoil in the race to develop oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight, saying the region would be expensive to develop and carried a high risk.


  48. All things aren't equal in politics

    In the wake of the Peter Slipper case finally being concluded, a reader raises an interesting point that can now be put in the public domain.

    For there was Slipper, the one-time Liberal turncoat-turned-hated speaker of the house at the ALP's behest, chased by the Australian Federal Police and pursued up hill, down dale and through the courts all because of rorting taxpayers about a grand through bodgy cab charges taking him to places that had nothing to do with the business of government.

    When Slipper tried to pay the money back, the Finance Department declined to take it. And yet, back in October last year, when Liberal Don Randall knowingly claimed five grand for a trip to Cairns so he and his wife could purchase an investment property, the result was rather different. This time, when the AFP referred it to the Finance Department, they very kindly allowed Randall to pay it back so he could "alleviate any ambiguity".

    I ask you, seriously, if those positions had been reversed – and it was Randall who had ratted on the Libs, while Slipper had remained one of the boys – do you think they would faced exactly the same legal consequences?

    Tony Abbott himself had to repay a grand he had charged taxpayers for attending the wedding of Sophie Mirabella – no questions asked, with nary a federal policeman in sight.

    Peter Slipper would be near the top of my list of people I would least like to be stuck in a lift with for a long weekend, but in comparison to the treatment of others, it seems to me his end of the pineapple is raw.


    "In America, the past decade has been our hottest on record. Along our eastern coast, the city of Miami now floods at high tide. In our west, wildfire season now stretches most of the year. In our heartland, farms have been parched by the worst drought in generations, and drenched by the wettest spring in our history. A hurricane left parts of [New York City] dark and underwater. And some nations already live with far worse."

    President Barack Obama to the UN Climate Summit. Amazing, isn't it, you denialists, that even he could be sucked into making up all those porkies?


    1. Is Alaska the new Florida? Experts predict where next for America's 'climate refugees'

      Rising temperatures could spark massive population shifts across the United States

      Alaskans, stay in Alaska. People in the midwest and the Pacific north-west, sit tight. Scientists trying to predict the consequences of climate change say that they see few havens from the storms, floods and droughts that are sure to intensify over the coming decades. But some regions in the US, they add, will fare better than others.

      Forget most of California and the south-west (drought, wildfires). Ditto for much of the east coast and south-east (heatwaves, hurricanes, rising sea levels). Washington DC , for example, may well be a flood zone by 2100, according to an estimate released last week.

      Instead, consider Anchorage. Or even, perhaps, Detroit.

      "If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited," said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047.

      "The best place really is Alaska," he added. "Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century."


      Fracking trespass law changes move forward despite huge public opposition

      Ministers reject 40,000 objections to allow fracking below homes without owners’ permission

      Fracking will take place below Britons’ homes without their permission after ministers rejected 40,000 objections to controversial changes to trespass laws.

      The UK government argued that the current ability for people to block shale gas development under their property would lead to significant delays and that the legal process by which companies can force fracking plans through was costly, time-consuming and disproportionate.

      There were a total of 40,647 responses to a consultation on the move to give oil and gas companies underground access without needing to seek landowners’ permission, with 99% opposing the legal changes. Setting aside the 28,821 responses submitted via two NGO campaigns, 92% of the remaining responses objected to the proposals.

      The government response to the consultation, published online on the eve of the parliamentary vote on military strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, concluded: “Having carefully considered the consultation responses, we believe that the proposed policy remains the right approach to underground access and that no issues have been identified that would mean that our overall policy approach is not the best available solution.”

      New laws will now be passed giving automatic access for gas and oil development below 300m and a notification and compensation scheme will be run by the industry on a voluntary basis.

  49. 'Independent inquiry needed' into South Hedland police lockup death

    A family member of an Aboriginal teenager whose death in custody helped spark a royal commission has called for an independent inquiry into how a woman died in a South Hedland police lockup this year.

    John Peter Pat died of massive head injuries in a Roebourne police holding cell in 1983 at the age of just 16.

    Four officers and a police aide were charged with his manslaughter but acquitted at trial.

    Mr Pat's tragic case and the horrific nature of his injuries so shocked the government of the day it helped catalyse Australia's Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, which ran from 1987-1991.

    Now on the 31st anniversary of his death, the state is again trying to understand how another Aboriginal person lost their life in a Pilbara holding cell - this time a young woman held over unpaid parking fines.

    Miss Dhu, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, died on August 4 at the South Hedland Police Station.

    She had been held for four days before her death.

    The 22-year-old woman had complained of being unwell and was taken to hospital twice, but both times discharged and returned to her cell.

    On her third visit to the Hedland Health Campus, she died.


    Deaths in custody committee spokesman Marc Newhouse told the ABC there were some "eerie similarities" between John Pat's death and Ms Dhu's.

    Both were young people from tight-knit communities in the Pilbara.

    "Thirty-one years later, the lessons have obviously not been learnt or acted on, from our point of view," Mr Newhouse said.

    "Really, it's a basic human right that if you're incarcerated you don't die as a result of that, yet we're still seeing that happen, as in the case of John Pat."

    He said a WA parliamentary inquiry into deaths in custody last year revealed there were still massive deficiencies with police holding cells in Western Australia.

    "Many of the recommendations from this more recent enquiry are in line with the Royal Commission ones," Mr Newhouse said.

    "So there's no doubt in our minds that there's ... a lack of political will and commitment to make these changes, many of which, they're not difficult to do, it's a question of the will to do it."

    The Committee has also called for a parliamentary inquiry into Ms Dhu's death.

    A stage play telling John Pat's story, Hip Bone Sticking Out, will run in Perth from Monday to October 4 at the Heath Ledger Theatre.

  50. People in the lock-up saw the police dragging her across the floor by her arms - witness on ABC radio.


    A family asks: why did Miss Dhu die in custody?

    The Australian |
    September 29, 2014

    Paige Taylor & Michael McKenna

    IN the weeks since the young woman Carol Roe raised as her own became the latest Aborigine to die in the custody of West Australian Police, the 65-year-old matriarch has made a ritual of sitting by her grave for hour after hour and asking: “Why did my baby have to die?”

    Ms Roe’s youngest grandchild­ren often make the short walk from their home to join her at the cemetery in Geraldton, 400km north of Perth, where the 22-year-old was buried in a big Catholic funer­al this month.

    “The little ones just want to be near her, they miss their aunty so much,” Ms Roe said yesterday.

    “I don’t want any more kids to die like this.’

    She is deep in grief for the granddaughter who had lived with her since the age of two, a “happy-go-lucky” kid from the state’s harsh north who dreamt of international adventures.

    But Ms Roe is also being strong for the sake of the big Roe and Kelly families that want answers about how the young woman came to die, despite repeatedly begging to be hospitalised. Locked up in the Pilbara town of South Hedland on August 2 for unpaid fines, the woman now known for cultural reasons only as Miss Dhu was, say two witnesses, vomiting day and night, and cried in pain over three days before her death.

    On two occasions when police took her from the lock-up to the emergency department of the South Hedland Health Campus, she was sent back to jail, allegedly without seeing a doctor. When police took her to the hospital for the third time in 48 hours, on ­Aug­ust 4, she was pronounced dead.

    Miss Dhu’s autopsy was inconclusive, but showed old fractures of two ribs, with a “possible refracture’’ of one and bleeding in and around the lungs.

    Forensic pathologist Jodi White also found a head wound and dried vomit in Miss Dhu’s mouth, nose and all over her body.

    Last week, West Australian Attorney-General Michael Mischin revealed that Miss Dhu suffered an apparent heart attack immed­iately before she died.

    Ms Roe wants truth and justice for Miss Dhu, but she also wants change.

  51. A family asks: why did Miss Dhu die in custody?

    Ms Roe broke her silence on the tragedy yesterday as an annual rally in Perth marked the 31st anniversary of the state’s most notorio­us death in custody: that of 16-year-old John Pat. Each year on September 28, the Pat family and its supporters gather to remember the Aboriginal boy who died in a Pilbara lock-up from massive injuries for which nobody has ever been held to account.

    There have been many other black deaths in custody since then, some examined by a royal commission that in 1991 made 339 recommendations, many of which have not been implemented.

    The final report found it was vital to address the reasons why Aboriginal people came into contact with the justice system — including­ issues around employ­ment, housing and health.

    The West Australian Country Health Service, responsible for the hospital in South Hedland, has previously said a preliminary review found Miss Dhu received adequate care, but expectations are growing that the treatment she received will come under heavy scrutiny at an inquest.

    At yesterday’s rally in Fremantle, the two families bound together in grief for Miss Dhu asked that a statement from them be read to the crowd offering deep condolences to the Pat family and all others who have lost a loved one in custody.

    “We want truth and justice for our granddaughter and all others who have died in custody,’’ the statement said.

    “We want the state to be accountable for failing this young woman and in their duty of care.

    “We are overwhelmed with sadness, as this young woman should be with us today.”

    The families connected to Miss Dhu want answers quickly. They have seen the pain for the family of Maureen Mandijarra, who died in the Broome lock-up in November 2012 but for whom there is still no police report. “We want the coronial inquest to be held soon and no holding back like the death in custody in the Broome lock-up,” the families said.

    Speaking from her home in Geraldton, Ms Roe said she would not stop demanding answers until she got the truth. “It’s important, but so is making sure this does not keep happening,” she said. “This doesn’t end for us — my granddaughter was so loved and it’s just so hard without her.

    “Her nieces and nephews called her Mummy, because to them she was such a good aunty she was like a second mummy.”

  52. There's no doubt about it - since Sutherland and the "Gas Plant" the policing at the Broome lock-up has become far more brutal and racist.

    The "Declaration of War" against the community continues with the Indigenous population in the front line.

    As with so many places on this planet the local policing is based on the local land grabs and Australia rates as one of the worst anywhere. It makes no difference if you are in the middle of the Amazon or the Great Sandy Desert.

    Any pretence of fairness by police, judges, or politicians has become a complete waste of time. Their behaviour is so far over the top by any racist measure.

    It has always been colonial genocide policy - but there is no doubt it has shifted up a few gears this last few years with the Gas Plant supporters (Indigenous and otherwise) cheering them on.

    The government funding cuts, both state and federal, have now gone so deep that if all funding was cut tomorrow the only people who would notice would be the thousands of white bureaucrats thrown out of work.
    The Indigenous people wouldn't see any difference at all.

    "The Great Mining Boom" and "The Age of Gas" have seen the worst of greedy racist scum and policies rise to the top in this country and decency and human rights go down the drain.

    Now with the new anti-terrorist laws it will no doubt be illegal to mention any of this without risking being put on the watch list and (once again) having your phone and computer tapped.

    So support your local Indigenous community because what is happening to them today will be happening to you tomorrow.


    1. Evelyn Greenup family told to ‘walk away’ by attorney-general

      THE family of one of three Aboriginal children murdered almost a quarter of a century ago say they were told to “walk away” from the unsolved case by a NSW ­attorney-general, as there was nothing he could do.

      Relatives of the children, who gathered in Bowraville, in northern NSW, at the weekend to mark the 24th anniversary of the disappearance of four-year-old Evelyn Greenup, have refused to walk away.

      A parliamentary inquiry into the killings is due to report in weeks. Evelyn was the second of three children to disappear from the ­town within five months during 1990 and 1991.

      A NSW Police ­Force detective, Gary ­Jubelin, told the inquiry the initial police investigation had been ­under-resourced and affected by the “race and, to a lesser degree, socio-economic factors” of those involved.

      Detective Inspector Jubelin, who led a second investigation, told the inquiry he believed “a ­serial killer” was responsible and “we already have the evidence to convict this person in court”.

  53. "Living On the Front Line" - Eddy Grant

    Yeah, oh yeah
    Mmm, oh yeah
    Mmm, alright

    Oh you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh you got me mama
    Living on the front line

    Oh mama
    You gonna mourn me in the wrong time
    Oh you got me mama
    You gonna mourn me on the front line
    They got me living on top of my existence
    Oh appreciating my resistance

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line

    I said yeah, yeah, oh yeah
    I said yeah, yeah, oh yeah
    Oh what kind of man could I be
    If I can't talk about what I see

    Oh they tell me do beware
    Take your little money and go
    Me, no want no dirty money
    No, me, no want no dirty money

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Born in the wrong time

    Ah yeah, yeah, oh yeah
    Woo woo yeah, yeah, oh yeah

    Do all my brothers in Africa
    All stop shooting your brother
    Do all my brothers in Africa
    All stop shooting your brother

    I need your brother in Africa
    Oh we are born from the same mother
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Born on the front line

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
    Woo-woo-woo, yeah, yeah
    Oh yeah, aah

    Me, no want nobodys money
    There lord they sugar me no want to see
    Me, no want to shoot Palestines
    Oh I have land, oh I have mine

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line

    Stop this brother killing brother
    Over in our land in Africa
    Stop this brother shooting sister
    Over in our land in Africa

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line

    Me no want no bloody money
    Me have a talk about what I see
    I don't want your bribery
    Me have a talk about what I see

    Me no want to go America
    Oh, me no want to be come big Star
    Me no want to take cocaine
    Oh, to block off my brain

    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line
    Oh mama, mama you got me
    Living on the front line

    I said yeah, yeah, oh yeah
    I said yeah, yeah, oh yeah

    Oh mama, mama, oh mama
    You got me living on the front line
    Living on the front line

    They got me living on the front line
    They got me living on the front line
    They got me born in the wrong time

    1. Former Long Bay jail boss Michael Vita to run NT juvenile detention review

      The NT Government has named the former superintendent of Long Bay jail, Michael Vita, to run its review of juvenile detention.

      The move came as the NT's Aboriginal legal service called for urgent changes to the youth justice regime in the NT, pointing out that the territory's juvenile detention rate was six times the national average.

      "We incarcerate young people at rates almost unseen anywhere else in the world," said North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) spokesman Jared Sharpe.


      The NT Bar Association, NAAJA and the Children's Commissioner have argued for an inquiry into the entire juvenile justice system.

      Bar Association president John Lawrence said the inquiry was needed to monitor detention facilities where children were kept to ensure that national and international standards were followed.

      "They all apply to Australian jurisdictions," he said.
      Darwin's Don Dale juvenile detention centre
      Photo: The Territory's juvenile detention rate is six times the national average, according to NAAJA.

      "There are national and international standards that need to be followed by our government."

      Mr Sharpe, from NAAJA, said while Aboriginal people made up 30 per cent of the Territory population they accounted for 98 per cent of people in juvenile detention.


      "NAAJA is concerned about issues like isolation and kids being put in isolation for long periods of time. And lockdowns, kids locked in cells for up to 23 hours per day."


      The commissioner said he had still to be convinced that moving juvenile offenders to the old Berrimah jail was a good idea.

      "It was time to move away from the Don Dale facility," he said.

      "I have reservations about then moving into the older infrastructure that's involved in the Berrimah jail. I do have concerns moving youth into an adult correctional facility.

      "We know we have far more kids in detention per head of population than any other jurisdiction.

      "I think it is critical, everyone of those young people in the youth justice facilities will shortly be back into the community we want to ensure those young people come back into the community inspired and with a look at the future.

      "We don't want them to come back into the community embittered and angry."



      " Detention of asylum seeker children ‘is child abuse’ say paediatricians

      AAP |
      October 06, 2014"



    3. NSW Police Service warned twice that intelligence sharing arrangement with Catholic Church on child abuse claims was illegal, documents show

      Documents obtained by the ABC reveal the NSW Police Service was warned twice by one of its own lawyers that an intelligence sharing arrangement with the Catholic Church on child abuse claims was illegal.

      In explosive evidence expected to emerge at a Police Integrity Commission (PIC) hearing this week, an officer from NSW Police Service's Crime Agencies Legal Support sounded the warnings in 2001 and 2002 about a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the church and NSW Police.

      Under the draft MOU, a police sex crimes squad officer sat on an internal church body, known as the professional standards resource group.


      Under the MOU, the church would only share some of the information with police.


      Greens MP David Shoebridge said it beggared belief the Police Service's own lawyer had advised the arrangement was illegal, yet it continued for years.

      "This is a matter the PIC needs to investigate. Is it just incomprehensible ineptitude by police?" Mr Shoebridge said.

      "Is it part of a concerted arrangement by the church? And why are there so few checks and balances in the police force that allows this to go on for a decade?"

  54. THIS WILL BE VERY INTERESTING..............and will place unbearable pressure on very expensive operations like BURU in much the same way the iron ore price has killed off the more pricey operators there.


    Oil Traders Say OPEC May Be Heading For Price War

    LONDON/DUBAI, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's decision to slash the official selling price for its oil has sparked trader talk of an emerging OPEC price cutting war, as members of the producer group could compete to defend their market share amid ample supplies and tepid demand.

    Industry and trading sources in the Middle East say there was now a risk of a race to the bottom, at a time when many were calling for unity from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as it faces one of the steepest price slides since the financial crisis.

    The group's next meeting in November will be closely-watched to see whether it cuts supply. Benchmark Brent crude prices continued to slide towards $90 a barrel on Thursday, a level that leaves many OPEC members - and other large producers like Russia - with painful budget gaps


    UK-Japan LNG gap narrows

    Oct 2 (LNGJ) - The UK National Balancing Point benchmark natural gas price has hit a six-month high of $9.25 per million British thermal units, making imports of LNG cargoes from countries such as Qatar more economic.That's as the LNG Journal delivered price for Japanese LNG cargoes has hit a 2014 low of $13.85 per MMBtu, based on the Japanese Crude Cocktail oil-linked price that tracks Brent crude.


    Japan Volcanic Eruption Will Not Hamper Nuclear Restarts

    By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | October 2, 2014

    The planned restarts of Japan's 50 nuclear power plants will not in any way be hampered by the volcanic eruption of Mount Ontake. The Sendai nuclear reactor, one of two reactors at a plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co, has been given the restart go signal by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. However, fears surged because the reactor is located 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Sakurajima, another active volcano.


    "No one knows when natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis will strike. The fact that they could not predict the Mount Ontake eruption highlights that," RT News quoted Yoshitaka Mukohara, one of the demonstration organizers who gathered Sunday for a protest rally in Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu.

    He noted Mount Sakurajima has been exhibiting plumes over the weekend.

    Stephen Church, from equity researcher JI Asia, said the Ontake eruption, while unfortunate, will not hamper the planned nuclear power plant restarts. "The Ontake eruption, if it were to become major, may (only) cause a delay in the nuclear reactor restart program."


    1. Oil slides as Saudis flex muscle

      The Australian |
      October 04, 2014

      THE price of oil tumbled on Thursday as Saudi Arabia fired the first shots in a battle for control of Opec.

      Brent crude prices fell by $US2.23 to $US92.04 a barrel, the lowest since June 2012, as the world becomes even more oversupplied.

      The Saudis are determined to remain the world’s largest oil producer for as long as possible and are resisting calls to cut crude production to arrest the slide in prices, for fear of losing market share to Iran and Iraq, their resurgent rivals within Opec, the oil producers cartel.

      Moody’s, the credit rating agency, cut its forecasts for average oil prices by $US5 to $US90 next year and $US95 in 2016.

      It marks a dramatic collapse since June, when prices touched $US115 after the new military offensive by Islamic State triggered fears that Iraqi oil supplies would be disrupted. The latest fall came after Saudi Arabia reduced the price of oil to Asia more sharply than expected.

      Analysts believe the move dimmed the prospects of Saudi Arabia pushing for a big cut in production when Opec meets at the end of next month.

      Opec’s largest producer is thought to be ready to tolerate lower prices and is digging in for what could be a drawn-out price war. Saudi Arabia has historically been known as a swing producer as it is the only country able or willing to adjust output to keep prices stable.

      Malcolm Graham-Wood, an oil industry consultant, said: “If the Saudis were considering cutting back on production, their normal policy would be to raise prices thus discouraging buyers. This action is a solid signal that they are not, at least at the moment, going to be the swing producer.”

      He added: “With the Opec meeting at the end of November this is clearly designed to concentrate some minds and remind the market who is the boss.”

  55. Energy imports push Japan trade deficit to record high

    27 Jan 2014

    Japan’s trade deficit soared to a record £67.9bn (11.47 trillion yen) last year, with the benefits of a cheap yen for exports increasingly eclipsed by hefty post-Fukushima energy bills.

    The nation’s 2013 deficit was the biggest since records began in 1979 and marked a sharp increase compared to the £41bn (6.94 trillion yen) recorded a year earlier, according to official data released by the Ministry of Finance.


    A 16pc increase in the value of crude-oil shipments to Japan and an 18pc rise for liquefied natural-gas imports significantly inflated the nation’s import bill last year, according to the Ministry of Finance.



    Liquefied natural gas imports

    Japan consumed about 37% of global LNG in 2012, as the Fukushima disaster spurred greater demand for LNG in the power sector since 2011. A third of the country's LNG imports are from Southeast Asia, but Japan has a diverse portfolio of supply sources.

    Because of its limited natural gas resources, Japan must rely on imports to meet nearly all of its natural gas needs. Japan, the world's largest LNG importer, accounted for 37% of the global market share of LNG demand in 2012, rising from 33% in 2011. Japan began importing LNG from Alaska in 1969, making it a pioneer in the global LNG trade. Because of environmental concerns, the Japanese government has encouraged natural gas consumption in the country. The government has chosen LNG as its first fuel-of-choice for power generation to substitute for the lost nuclear generation.

    In 2012, Japan consumed 4.6 Tcf of natural gas, rising about 58% from the 2000 level. More than 95% of gas demand is met by LNG imports. As a result of the March 2011 earthquake, Japan's overall LNG imports rose about 25% between 2010 and 2013, from nearly 3.4 Tcf/y to 4.2 Tcf/y. In 2013, LNG import growth slowed for the first time since the Fukushima accident as most of the fuel substitution for the lost nuclear power occurred in 2012. The power sector is the largest consumer of gas, with 64% of the mix, followed by the industrial sector (21%), residential (9%), commercial (4%), and other sectors (2%) in 2012, according to PFC Energy and the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC). Electric generation led to a larger slice of total gas demand following the loss of nuclear power capacity over two years ago when its share constituted about 57% of total gas consumption. LNG consumption by electric utilities rose by 33% from 2 Tcf in 2010 to a record-high of 2.7 Tcf in 2012. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is the largest electric utility and gas importer, holding 24% of the power generation market, according to the FEPC. The company purchased nearly a third of Japan's LNG imports in 2011. Tokyo Gas makes up over a third of the city gas share (industrial, residential, and commercial sectors) and is the country's third largest LNG importer.



    1. Future bleak for nuclear
      Wednesday, 1 October 2014

      WHILE uranium producers will be toasting the recent rise in the spot price hoping the worst is behind them and the re-start of those Japanese reactors is only a few months away, the long-term situation might not bear looking at.

    2. Statoil and Shell awarded licence for huge shale-gas play in Algeria to underpin LNG

      Tuesday, 30 September 2014

      Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell were awarded the Timissit licence in the Illizi-Ghadames Shale Basin onshore Algeria that the companies believe may become an "increasingly important component" of the North African nation's LNG and natural gas exports.

  56. "..........Preliminary interpretations have indicated that it is likely that an invasion of drilling fluids during the testing operation component of Dunnart-2 occurred into the top porous Bookara sandstones and resulted in a mixed recovery of mud filtrate, formation water and oil emulsion during wireline sampling operations..........."


    Key in Talks for More Exploration, Development Work in EP437 in Perth Basin

    by Key Petroleum Ltd.

    Press Release
    Thursday, October 02, 2014

    Key Petroleum Limited reported Thursday that since its last drilling report in respect of Dunnart-2 well, Key, as the Operator of EP437 in Western Australia's Perth Basin, has conducted preliminary interpretations of formation data from Dunnart-2 and secured and tidied the wellsite location.

    Preliminary interpretations have indicated that it is likely that an invasion of drilling fluids during the testing operation component of Dunnart-2 occurred into the top porous Bookara sandstones and resulted in a mixed recovery of mud filtrate, formation water and oil emulsion during wireline sampling operations.





    Goldman’s maturing LNG outlook
    Friday, 3 October 2014
    Blair Price

    GOLDMAN Sachs is not expecting any further cost blowouts on the three advanced Queensland LNG projects while it has become less confident in the expansion potential for the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects in Western Australia.


    LNG projects at risk as US output grows, Goldman says
    PUBLISHED: 02 Oct 2014

    Liquefied natural gas projects in Australia as well as Africa and Canada face delays or even cancellation as global demand growth slows and US output increases, according to Goldman Sachs.

    Worldwide demand for LNG will grow 5 per cent on an annual compound basis by 2020, and 4 per cent by 2025, Goldman Sachs analysts including Mark Wiseman in Sydney said in a report emailed on Thursday. The bank previously forecast growth of 6 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

    Even the US, where Goldman expects final approval for more than 40 million metric tons of new gas production annually over the coming years, will not be spared from the pull-back, Goldman said. Advanced drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing have made the US the world’s largest producer.

    “The window for US LNG is limited,” Goldman said in the report. “Given the substantial contracts that have been signed in the last couple of years with US LNG projects, we believe investors should seek exposure to low-cost LNG export capacity, and be realistic about expectations for further contracts.”

    US supplies will compete with cargoes from Qatar and Australia, two of the biggest exporters, shifting global movements of the super-chilled fuel. Surging US gas production from shale formations including the Marcellus deposit in Appalachia has sent prices tumbling 69 per cent from their peak in 2008.

    Factors that may slow demand for LNG include the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan, China’s success in shale-gas exploration and production, and economic conditions in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

    Uncertain production costs

    Several projects in Canada and Australia will probably face deferrals due to uncertain production costs and price-sensitive buyers, according to Goldman. Papua New Guinea has perhaps the lowest risks as it expands LNG production, the bank said.

    “Outside of the US, we believe Papua New Guinea and East Africa may be the best placed regions to compete on cost competitiveness,” Goldman said. “Given the industry’s renewed focus on capital discipline in recent times, we are observing a number of high-cost LNG projects deprioritized in the investment queue by major companies such as Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group, ExxonMobil.”

    The bank expects strong demand growth in Asia to be led by China and ASEAN nations, with modest growth from India, South Korea and Japan.

    “More than 20 per cent of Japan’s LNG future import prices are driven by Henry Hub gas prices,” Goldman said, referring to the delivery point for US natural gas futures.

    Chinese policy

    China’s government policy is driving increased gas use, especially in residential and industrial consumption, as well as transportation, according to the report. Still, gas-fired power generation capacity is not a high priority in China given the lack of competitively priced supply compared with other feedstock, Goldman said.

    LNG demand in Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam will continue to grow and reach a combined 42 million tonnes per year by 2025, according to Goldman.

    “Traditionally an LNG exporting region from Indonesia Malaysia and Brunei, ASEAN has emerged as a large demand centre due to strong economic growth, urbanization, and declining local gas supplies,” Wiseman said. “In many cases, LNG is reducing fuel costs initially, displacing oil consumption or more expensive pipeline gas.”

  58. August 14, 2013

    Alcoa releases AU$20 million to Buru Energy for gas development

    Alcoa has agreed to release up to AU$20 million to Buru Energy as part of its existing commercial arrangement to develop natural gas supplies from the Canning Basin.

    In 2007, Alcoa and Buru (then Arc Energy) entered into a natural gas sales contract for the delivery of up to 500 petajoules of natural gas to Alcoa during a 15-year period. As part of this arrangement, Alcoa provided a AU$40 million pre-payment to Buru; subsequently AU$20 million was placed into an escrow account.

    In the next phase of this project, Buru will use up to AU$20 million from the escrow account to fund the appraisal program for the Laurel wet gas accumulation.

    Alcoa’s Energy Development Manager Mike Shaw said this was an exciting development which builds on growing confidence that the Canning Basin is Western Australia’s next major source of natural gas supply.

    As well as Buru, Alcoa has also contributed AU$80 million to other natural gas exploration and development opportunities including with Empire Oil and Gas and Latent Petroleum (now Transerv Energy).

    Because Alcoa’s future is reliant on energy security, the company remains committed to continually exploring and developing competitively priced energy sources.

    - Ends -

  59. Pressure grows for controls on domestic gas reserves

    Peter Ryan reported this story on Monday, September 29, 2014

    CHRIS UHLMANN: A national campaign is being launched today demanding greater control over Australia's natural gas exports.


    SCOTT MCDINE: We are currently the only nation in the world which has reserves of natural gas, which does not have some mechanism to reserve that gas for their own domestic purposes. Every developed nation that has the gas actually does this and our ordinary consumers and our manufacturing businesses will be left behind.

    PETER RYAN: What's happening in other nations that we're not doing here?

    SCOTT MCDINE: Well, it's all the other nations. The United States have a similar type policy with regard to gas reservation. You need to make an application for a licence approval to export and things which are taken into consideration prior to that licence being approved in the US is the adequacy of supply to the domestic market.

    Canada has a very similar policy as does Israel and its incredibly important for our businesses and our ordinary consumers that they have access to gas at a domestic price rather than a global price which will see Asia actually gobble up all the gas which is available on the market.


    PETER RYAN: What sort of alarm bells are ringing in terms of the impact on manufacturers and business if something isn't done about domestic gas reservation?

    SCOTT MCDINE: Well, there's the impact on ordinary consumers and on business and the ordinary consumer, the ordinary household is going to see potentially the price of gas go from $3 to $4 a gigajoule up to $9 to $10 a gigajoule and the impact for business is massive, particularly when you've got steel manufacturing businesses and the aluminium sector who are going to have to compete with other developed nations with reserves in natural gas, which are using that gas at a domestic price.

    Now we've already seen the closure in this country of Rio Tinto, the Gove alumina refinery, we've recently seen the closure of the Alcoa Point Henry. The BIS Shrapnel's report actually shows that there's potentially up to 200,000 jobs in manufacturing which will be lost.


    PETER RYAN: Now you've been able to get Alcoa and Australian Paper onside but you don't have any gas producers signed up. Is that purely self-interest about the ability to get higher prices overseas?

    SCOTT MCDINE: Well, it would be and I don't blame the gas producers for that. They're just in it to make a profit but I think it's interesting to note that these same gas producers are the same gas producers who are operating in the other developed nations around the world - in the United States, in Canada, in Malaysia, in Israel. They are the same gas producers operating there and look, I understand for them it's about profit, but it's also about energy security for Australia.

    PETER RYAN: Now Western Australia has a gas reservation policy which mandates the reservation of 15 per cent of the gas produced in WA for domestic use. But no major political party supports a national policy on gas reservations, so how tough a challenge do you have ahead of you?

    SCOTT MCDINE: This isn't a debate about Labor, this isn't a debate about Liberal and this isn't a debate about the Greens. This is a debate about directly engaging with those who can actually play a proactive debate in this.

    Like I've said before, there is no simplistic solution. We can't simply sit and wait until gas prices skyrocket in the middle of next year and into 2016.

    CHRIS UHLMANN: AWU national secretary, Scott McDine with our business editor Peter Ryan.

    And there'll be a longer version of that interview on the AM web site later this morning.

    1. Sometime back it was said aluminium smelters were only viable if gas cost between $4 - $6 a gigajoule.

      If this is the case then Alcoa will not only be shutting down it's W.A. operations but asking Buru for a full refund.

      For Buru to get the gas out the ground then pipe it to south of Perth will cost 3 or 4 times that or maybe more.

      The agreement stated "the gas must be at a commercially viable price".

    2. Sector opens door on RET

      MAJOR renewable energy companies have told the Abbott government they will support a full exemption from the renewable energy target for the aluminium industry if the compromise can clinch a deal between the ­Coalition and Labor on the future of the policy.

      The Clean Energy Council, which represents key players in the wind, solar and hydro-­electricity sector, wrote last week to Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane to pledge support for a full exemption from the RET for the aluminium industry.

      The government’s review of the RET, which was set up to ­ensure 20 per cent of energy is ­derived from renewable resources by 2020, has caused uncertainty in the sector, with competing calls for the target to be kept, scrapped or wound back to reflect falling overall demand for ­electricity.

      As one of the biggest users of electricity in the nation, the ­aluminium industry’s exemption from the purchase of renewable energy certificates could have a significant effect on the price of power for other users.

      Clean Energy Council acting chief executive Kane Thornton said the CEC supported “a proposal to increase exemptions for aluminium smelting if such a proposal also contributes to restoring bipartisan political support for the RET policy’’. “CEC has been in regular discussion with the Australian Aluminium Council and we are both of the view that resolving this issue as soon as possible would bring stability to our respective industries,’’ Mr Thornton said.

      The CEC offer is seen as a ­potential game-changer in the RET debate and could form a basis for negotiations between the ­Coalition and Labor.

      The present renewable energy target mandates the purchase of 41,000GWh of renewable energy from large-scale generators, such as wind farms, by 2020. While this was ­estimated to have reached 20 per cent of electricity consumption by 2020, lower electricity demand means the share will be closer to 26 per cent.

      Critics of the RET have ­attacked it for forcing up electricity prices, with most estim­ates putting its cost to residential consumers at about 4 per cent of power bills.

      Exempting aluminium could push up household electricity prices by up to $4.50 a year because it will reduce the number of entities required to pay for renewable energy unless the target is reduced by a corresponding amount to compensate for the exit of the aluminium ­industry.

      A review of the scheme by a panel headed by businessman Dick Warburton recommended the target be dramatically scaled back to limit its cost.


      Last month, The Australian revealed that the Australian Workers Union also supported a full exemption for the aluminium industry.

      Twenty-five backbench Coal­ition MPs have also written to Mr Hunt and Mr ­Macfarlane calling for relief for aluminium.

      Cabinet is expected to discuss the RET this week and give the ministers a negotiating mandate to seek a deal with Labor.

      An exemption for aluminium will open the debate about whether to cut the current large-scale renewable energy target from its 41,000GWh level to compensate for aluminium no longer being included.

      Aluminium’s liability under the scheme is about 2100GWh. If the scheme were cut by this amount, others in the scheme would not have to pay more.

  60. Reserving gas for domestic users would hurt the renewable energy industry

    The ‘reserve our gas’ campaign may have populist appeal, but if it were successful it would only have a marginal impact on gas prices in Australia

    This week, in response to the opening of the eastern liquefied natural gas (LNG) market to exports, the Australian Workers Union (AWU) has launched a campaign for the government to reserve an amount of LNG for local producers and households. But while such a populist policy may have a marginal impact by lowering gas prices, it would do so by subsidising inefficient industries and reducing incentives for renewable energy.


    But while gas prices in WA for a time rose at similar or lower rates than in the eastern states, since the boom in LNG prices after the GFC, WA’s gas price increases have outstripped that of the eastern states.

    Indeed, WA gas prices are currently higher than those in the eastern states and are forecast to be higher still in 2020, suggesting that the reserve policy has only a limited affect on limiting gas price rises.

    The Grattan Institute’s Getting Gas Right paper argues that reserving gas for domestic production subsidises domestic manufacturers and households in much the same way as tariffs once protected Australian industries. But, it argues, such protectionism only serves to breed inefficient industries and reduce our competiveness.

    The reserve policy also has environmental implications.

    While gas generated electricity produces fewer emissions than black or brown coal, long-term cheaper gas would serve to make renewable energy supply from sources such as wind less competitive. Keeping gas prices low encourages a switch from coal to gas generated electricity, whereas if gas prices were to rise in line with the international market, renewable energy becomes a more attractive alternative.

    Given there is evidence that building new wind farms is already more cost effective than building new gas or coal fired power generators, a reserve policy would in effect subsidise fossil fuel energy at a time when renewable energy technology is driving lower costs.

    It is perhaps not a surprise that a gas reserve policy would have a negative impact on the renewable energy industry given that the AWU has also campaigned for the aluminium industry be made exempt under the Renewable Energy Target.

    Instead of imposing a reserve on gas production, it would be far better for the government to instead put in place better tax arrangements to capture revenue from this boom in production. In 2012, the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax was amended to include coal seam gas and yet due to the design of the tax, most companies expect to pay little extra tax. A reserve policy only provides benefits to households, whereas governments could use the tax revenue for wider community benefit.

    Australians are going to be paying more for gas in the future whether we like it or not. But establishing a gas reserve policy would do little to alter this fact. Even if it keeps gas prices low, it would do so only through the heavy long-term cost of subsidising inefficient industries and supporting fossil-fuels over renewable energy.

  61. Fracking exploration permits over WA groundwater reserves concern Conservation Council

    Conservationists say they are alarmed by the number of onshore gas exploration permits which have been granted over water reserves in Western Australia.

    The Conservation Council has obtained a Water Corporation map which reveals a quarter of WA's water reserves are now covered by exploration permits for unconventional gases.

    Spokeswoman Chantelle Roberts said the Conservation Council was worried fracking could interfere with water supplies.

    "We're concerned that mistakes could be made, a leak could happen, and then the groundwater is polluted," she said.

    Her concern is shared by regional communities, with companies facing strong opposition to fracking across the Mid West and North West.

    Carnarvon shire president Karl Brandenburg said it was not worth risking the local water supply.

    "We're very, very, much based on horticulture in Carnarvon, our main economy is driven around that and to have any risk to the water supply, it's just not worth it," he said.

    But Department of Mines and Petroleum spokesman Jeff Haworth said only exploration titles had been granted, not the right to drill or 'frack'.

    "The exploration title itself only gives the operator a right to apply to explore for petroleum, they still have to go through an approvals process to actually do any work on the ground."

    The Department of Mines and Petroleum said it works with the Department of Water and the Environmental Protection Authority to assess potential dangers to aquifers.

  62. DutchNews.nl

    An earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale was felt in Groningen province on Tuesday – considered a significant quake in the Netherlands.

    Social media channels were buzzing with news from people who felt the quake, some of whom were in Groningen city itself. ‘I have never felt such a strong one,’ local councillor Paul de Rook said on Twitter. There have not yet been any reports of damage, news agency ANP said.

    The quakes are caused by the ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under the province. Gas extraction company NAM has not yet commented on the strength of Tuesday’s quake but the tremors are thought to have been strongest in the villages of Ten Boer and Bedum.

    NAM, a 50:50 joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, is currently assessing claims from hundreds of people who say their homes have been damaged by the quakes.

    The government has sharply reduced gas extraction volumes in the worst affected areas. Earlier this year, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp set aside €1.2bn to compensate people whose homes have been hit by earthquakes.

  63. "The project is likely to end up 12 years behind the original schedule and total outlay will be more than four times the initial estimate of €800m."


    There is more gas in the Corrib gas field off the west coast than originally estimated, new data shows.

    Commercial gas is finally set to come onshore from the field off the Co Mayo coast in the middle of next year after a series of delays.

    The partners in the project, Shell, Statoil and Vermilion are now expected to spend an additional €300m on the project this year to bring the total spend so far to €3.4bn by the end of this year.

    Now, new accounts filed by one of the partners in the Corrib Gas project, Canadian-based firm, Vermilion Energy Ireland Ltd show that the volume of gas at peak production will be 8pc more than originally believed.

    The directors' report reveals that successful subsea operations off the coast of Mayo were conducted during the third quarter of 2013 and as a result, Vermilion state that it is increasing its peak production estimate at Corrib from 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 9,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Vermilion.

    Vermilion has an 18.5pc share in the field and it states that the gas field is expected to constitute 95pc of Ireland's natural gas production and approximately 60pc to 65pc of Ireland's domestic gas consumption.

    The results of the sub-sea survey is welcome news for the partners in the project, which has encountered a succession of delays and consequent budget over-runs since gas was found.

    The project is likely to end up 12 years behind the original schedule and total outlay will be more than four times the initial estimate of €800m.

    Work on a project to lay 72 separate pieces of pipe to create a 5km line to bring gas ashore to Bellanaboy gas processing terminal is ongoing.

    The Irish unit of Vermilion recorded a pre-tax loss last year of €43m. However, a tax credit of €10.96m reduced the firm's losses to €32.1m.

    The firm's accumulated losses totalled €235.6m.Shareholder funds stood at €53.1m.

    Indo Business

  64. 30 years after its removal, Burrup Peninsula rock art home at last

    ONE of the nation’s great cultural embarrassments has finally been rectified, after oil giant Woodside Petroleum oversaw the relocation of 1700 pieces of ancient Aboriginal rock art dumped in a Pilbara compound in the early 1980s.

    The boulders containing the highly significant engravings were put in the fenced compound, known as “the graveyard”, to make way for the massive North West Shelf gas plant, now Aus­tralia’s biggest resources project.

    The artworks were meant to lie there for a short time but it took more than 30 years for an agreement on their relocation to be reached between Woodside, the West Australian government and local traditional owners.

    They have now been moved to a nearby ridge, where they again form part of the world-famous Burrup Peninsula outdoor rock art collection, which contains as many as one million engravings that are up to 30,000 years old.

    Defenders of the Burrup rock art believe it is the nation’s most significant heritage location.

    It is the only Australian site to have been placed on the World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 most endangered places, due to the encroachment of resources projects in the region.

    A report commissioned by Woodside in 2002 found many of the 1700 rocks in the derelict compound were damaged by fire, while others were missing and some of the most significant were lying face down in the dirt. A specialist in the region’s rock art, Ken Mul­vaney, welcomed the end of the project but lamented that it had taken so long for the artworks to be moved out of the compound.

    “Having the rocks sitting there in an artificial way was never ­appropriate,” he said.

    Mr Mulvaney said he estimated that as many as 5000 rocks were destroyed during construction of the North West Shelf, which is owned by a consortium of Woodside, BHP Billiton, Chevron BP, Shell and Japan’s MIMI.


    And the damage Voelte did constructing Pluto ?


  65. COAG puts focus on land rights to get Territory moving on jobs

    ...............Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles called for changes to indigenous land ­administration and land use to enable traditional owners to ­attract private-sector investment and finance for development.

    He said all the operating mines in the Northern Territory had been approved before the current land rights laws were implemented in the 1970s. “The protracted and complicated processes for ­approving development projects on Aboriginal land are prohibiting indigenous Territorians from pulling themselves out of poverty through economic development,” Mr Giles said.

    Mr Abbott said he wanted to ensure that rights were respected.

    “But one of the things that was coming through to me loud and clear from my recent visit to East Arnhem Land is that the vast ­majority of indigenous people, at least in East Arnhem Land, and I would say in Cape York as well ... they want land to be an economic asset as well as a spiritual and cultural and environmental asset,’’ he said.

    “This is something that certainly does need to be addressed as part of the northern Australia process.’’

    COAG also agreed to more regular reporting of school ­attendance and measures to stop truancy, such as penalising parents whose children fail to attend school.


    Nothing else but mining ?


  66. Does Buru need a sniffer dog ?


    WellDog and Shell Collaborate to Commercialize Novel Shale Gas Testing Service


    October 7, 2014 (Laramie, Wyo) – WellDog announced today that it has collaborated with Shell International Exploration & Production, Inc. (‘Shell’) over the past eighteen months to develop a new technical service for locating natural gas and natural gas liquids in shale formations.

    This announcement follows a laboratory and field development program undertaken by the two companies, leveraging WellDog’s patented downhole Raman spectroscopy technology and Shell’s geochemical and petrophysical experience in shale gas evaluation.

    The new service is directed at identifying the locations where natural gas and natural gas liquids occur in shale formations, allowing producers to focus development efforts, reduce drilling costs, optimize production, and reduce the number of hydraulic fracturing stages and associated water usage.

    Shell is now leading beta trials of the technical service that is being developed from the program.


    What Others Are Saying

    Industry Opportunities & Implications

    WellDog’s unique next generation downhole technology directly measures chemicals at specific depths using carefully selected lasers and sophisticated detectors.

    It holds the potential to locate pay zones and generate detailed hydrocarbon distributions, distinguishing oil and condensate versus gas, with such precision that it could help reduce the need for fracking industry-wide by as much as half.

    If perfected and adopted, domestically and internationally WellDog could offer high-value production optimization leading to per barrel cost savings as well as reduced environmental and social impacts.

  67. Mayor backs pipeline

    Oct. 9, 2014, 8 p.m.

    MOUNT Isa mayor Tony McGrady has called on the state government to offer incentives to the developers of a gas transmission pipeline from the Northern Territory to the East Coast.

    Premier Campbell Newman voiced his support of the pipeline coming to Mount Isa, and insisted he wanted Queensland as the preferred choice for the initiative.

    “There’s a long way to go on this project, but if a gas pipeline is to go through to join up with the eastern market, I would like to see it to go through Queensland,” the Premier said last month.

    “Construction of a new gas pipeline in North West Queensland will creates jobs, and that’s what the Queensland government is focused on.”

    There are three options for the pipeline, which will connect Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to the East Coast market, which is expected to head off a potential shortage in NSW in 2017-18.

    The Tennant Creek to Mount Isa option was considered one of the front-runners as it would cost about $900 million, much less than the approximate $1.3-million option to Moomba in South Australia. The other possibility is a 700-kilometre pipeline connecting the Northern Territory to the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline.

    The Northern Territory’s chief minister, Adam Giles, wants the decision process to be ramped up, and while he admitted the Queensland route was feasible, said building a pipeline from Alice Springs to Moomba was the best option, despite it being the longest and most expensive.

    Cr McGrady said the Queensland government should offer enticements, just as it did to secure the filming of the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

    “The Queensland government should offer incentives to bring this important industry into the state,” he said.

    “They should sit down with the proponents to entice their decision to come to Queensland.”

    Cr McGrady supported the minister’s desire for a decision to be made sooner rather than later.

    “Wherever the pipeline goes, it will be a shot in the arm for the region,” he said.

    “If it comes to Mount Isa it will be just the kick along we’ve all been waiting for.”

    Cr McGrady said the Mount Isa option was attractive because the region had the necessary skilled labour and energy to facilitate the construction.


    The federal government may help underwrite the investment risk of a proposed $1.3 billion gas link that could see gas flow from northern Australia to NSW to stave off expected supply shortfalls from 2016.

    Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles says Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has told him that if the approximately 1000 kilometre pipeline, from Moomba in South Australia to Alice Springs doesn’t stack up economically, the federal minister would propose underwriting the plan to the federal cabinet.


    At a cost estimated at $1.2-1.3 billion, a pipeline linking Alice Springs to Moomba, the main gas processing centre in central Australia, would take an estimated 18 months to build, while it would take at least another 18 months to receive all of the required permits.

    On Tuesday The Sydney Morning Herald reported federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane had put his support behind the creation of a national gas market, to help ensure supply stability to NSW.

    “The only solution to the gas supply problem in NSW appears to be interconnection,” he said. “[Gas] could become very expensive. There are people speculating it could cost $10 a gigajoule.”


    1. Moomba pipeline momentum

      Blair Price
      Monday, 13 October 2014

      CENTRAL Petroleum managing director Richard Cottee has welcomed the Council of Australian Governments’ support of the potential gas crisis-averting Alice Springs to Moomba pipeline project.

  68. Gas fuels PNG riches while goliaths circle

    Gretchen Friemann

    It’s been a big year for Papua New Guinea. The Pacific island nation, ranked as one of the world’s most ­lawless, is rocketing into the next phase of economic growth, fuelled by ­accelerating demand for its mineral and petroleum riches.

    But the boom is also sharpening ­tensions among the elite as competition intensifies for its top oil, gas and mining assets.

    For much of this troubled country’s recent history, one company has ­dominated, the Port Moresby-based, ASX-listed Oil Search, headed by Peter Botten.

    Australian investors have poured money into this stock over the past five years, fuelling gains of close to 30 per cent.

    Yet as the political and corporate landscape shifts, Oil Search faces fresh challenges, not least how to tiptoe between two energy goliaths, ExxonMobil and France’s Total.

    Oil Search’s joint venture with Exxon for the US$19 billion ($21 billion) PNG LNG project has been the biggest show in town. By next year PNG’s rate of GDP growth is forecast to more than treble to 21 per cent in 2015, mostly on exports from the project.

    Third train pending

    As The Australian Financial Review flagged earlier this month, the venture has two production trains, but a third one is in the works, drawing on gas from the Hides field.

    Eventually, it could have up to five trains, fed also by the Elk and Antelope fields, which may contain up to 25 billion cubic metres of gas.

    But this brings Oil Search and Exxon into direct confrontation with a joint venture between Total and InterOil, the resurgent Houston-based company that discovered Elk-Antelope. InterOil’s boss and former Woodside executive, Michael Hession, calls the finds among Asia’s largest in two decades.

    As the market awaits further drilling results to shore up these claims, Total has declared it will pursue a second, rival LNG project, raising the prospect of tough negotiations with Exxon over the sharing of infrastructure.

    The government appears to have thrown its weight behind this strategy with Petroleum Minister Nixon Duban telling reporters recently in Singapore that his preference is for a second LNG plant. Others close to the ­government insist the minister was quoted out of context, underlining acute sensitivity over the issue.

    Battle field

    In the meantime, Oil Search and InterOil have been locked in a battle since March when Botten swooped on a 22.83 per cent stake in Elk-Antelope held by minority investor Pac LNG.

    The deal sparked a dispute over ­pre-emptive rights, with a ruling expected in early 2015. Once resolved, PNG’s LNG sector could undergo another upheaval.

    David Hewitt, Credit Suisse’s global head of energy research, stresses the stakes are high, with eye-boggling capex costs but lucrative returns on offer. “LNG commercialisation is like finishing a Rubik’s cube,” he said. “It’s not just a case of finding the gas. We know that there are plentiful supplies. The difficulty is in bringing all the ­different aspects of commercialisation together. There are only a few ­companies that have that skill set.”

    Exxon has the advantage given its track record with PNG LNG. In a rare feat for the industry, the venture started shipments ahead of schedule, in May.

    The venture’s early success has enhanced PNG’s attractiveness for energy majors with speculation ­persisting about interest from Perth-based Woodside Petroleum whose chief executive Peter Coleman ­spearheaded the development of PNG LNG while at Exxon.

    A theory holds sway in some corners about a looming takeover play by Woodside for InterOil, although few believe any move will happen before the arbitration has been resolved.


  69. NY Times : the US deficit.........

    ............All of which demonstrates a truth that has been apparent for a while, if you have been paying close attention: Deficit scolds actually love big budget deficits, and hate it when those deficits get smaller. Why? Because fears of a fiscal crisis — fears that they feed assiduously — are their best hope of getting what they really want: big cuts in social programs. A few years ago they almost managed to bully the nation into cutting Social Security and/or raising the Medicare eligibility age; they even had hopes of turning Medicare into an underfinanced voucher program. Now that window of opportunity is closing fast.


    The Australian budget emergency...............

    "Low-income families in Western Sydney and Melbourne's northern suburbs will suffer the most under new Federal Government budget measures, a study has found.

    Low-to-middle income families could be worse off by more than $3,500 a year, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) study found, while low income families with children could lose more than 6.5 per cent of their disposable income.

    A couple with children in the lowest income quintile will, on average, lose 6.6 per cent of their disposable income by 2017-2018 while a top quintile family will actually gain 0.3 per cent.

    The study modelled 19 separate budget measures and also included some additional elements outside the Coalition's 2014-2015 budget.

    These measures differentiate the trajectory of the previous Labor government and that of the Abbott Government's first budget."


    "But the immensity of the divide between Coalition and Labor seats is astonishing. By 2017-18, when the changes from the budget take full effect but the temporary deficit levy ends, 20 of the 22 seats where families lose the most money are held by the opposition.

    In a politically damaging finding, four of the five electorates that do best are held by senior cabinet members, including the Prime Minister and Treasurer. Of the 22 that suffer the lowest falls in income, only six are represented by the ALP.

    The government's budget repair relied heavily on reducing expenditure – cuts to family payments, pensions and other entitlements. Measures to address the collapse in revenue – the main reason for the budget deterioration – were left to the temporary levy on those earning above $180,000 that last three years and the GP co-payment.

    The option of clawing back tax rorts in the superannuation system or cracking down on business welfare was ignored, and the chance of more evenly spreading the burden of fiscal consolidation across the community forfeited.

    These were deliberate policy decisions by the government, and the consequences well known. The limited release of Treasury documents following a freedom of information request by Fairfax Media showed the government was aware that lower income families, on average, felt the most pain.

    Treasury's analysis, provided as the government prepared the budget, revealed that, while higher income families were hit by $71 a year, lower income households were down by $842. Middle income families were $477 worse off.

  70. China housing bubble 'will burst'

    WA's top Treasury official says China's housing market is a bubble waiting to burst and this could cut demand for iron ore and further hit the State's Budget.

    Acting Under-Treasurer Michael Barnes said yesterday a building frenzy in China during its boom had created an oversupply of about 50 million apartments.

    After visiting several Chinese cities, including Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, Mr Barnes said he was convinced the sector was due for a severe correction.

    In a sobering reminder to the State Government, he said this would have "implications" for steel production in China and in turn iron ore exports from WA.

    Mr Barnes said the remarks were his own views and did not reflect the Government's position.

    "As far as the eye can see there are rows and rows and rows - not just in this city (Hohhot) but every city I went to - of 20, 30-storey empty apartment buildings," Mr Barnes said.

    "It's extraordinary. The official estimate in China is there are 50 million surplus apartments, yet they're still building them.

    "So I came away from that thinking this bubble has got to burst at some stage."


    Chinese investors are pushing into Melbourne and Sydney

    "Because the Chinese capital is huge and the direction to go overseas is quite clear, that means that this will accumulate," Mr Sum says.

    He's not the only one. A new Chinese entrant, Sichuan-based Xiang Xing Group, this week spent $35 million buying a development-ready site in Melbourne's Southbank.

    Another huge state-owned enterprise, Shanghai-based Greenland Holding Group, already has four projects on its books worth $1.4 billion.


    Its signature $600 million tower on the former Sydney Water Board site will become the city's tallest residential building.

    In North Ryde, China's richest woman, 33-year-old heiress Yang Huiyan, is heading up Country Gardens' $500 million project, and Fuxing Huiyu Real Estate has launched apartments worth $550 million in Parramatta.

    Chinese investors are aggressively lifting their Australian residential and commercial real estate investment at a time when the Reserve Bank is warning bubbly property markets could be hit with a price correction.

    Alarmed by the property frenzy in Sydney, Melbourne and parts of Brisbane, the Reserve hit the headlines two weeks ago, putting banks on notice they were being monitored and potentially facing tougher controls, so-called macro-prudential tools or constraints on lending.

  71. Chinese tariff hike costly for Australian coal miners

    Australian coal companies have been rocked by China's shock imposition of import tariffs and analysts warn the sector is ill-placed to absorb the impost.

    China's Ministry of Finance said on Thursday that import tariffs for anthracite coal and coking coal will return to 3 per cent, while non-coking coal will attract a 6 per cent import tariff.

    About 25 per cent of Australia's coal exports go to China, which stacks up to about 100 million tonnes worth $9.3 billion each year, according to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, and Patersons analyst Matthew Trivett said the struggling Australian coal sector would find it difficult to handle the "unexpected" tariff.

    He said between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of producers were estimated to be operating at a loss.

    "This is will have large ramifications in the seaborne market and … is likely to prompt more rationalisation on the supply side.

    "You would expect some more mines in Australia to close as a result of this, or at least reconsider their current cost position."

    Producers are dealing with prices near six-year lows, with the price for thermal coal down 22 per cent this past year to about $65 per tonne. The steep and sustained price decline has forced some mines to close their doors, but many more to take a sharp axe to their workforces in a drive to dramatically cut costs.

    An estimated 12,500 jobs have already been cut from the Australian coal sector over the past two years on the back of depressed prices for both thermal and coking coal.

    Mr Trivett said thermal coal exporters in NSW and Queensland would be hit the hardest by the tariff as they are the most marginal in the current conditions and are being hit with the largest impost.

    "I think what this will mean is that a lot of Australian coal bound for China will be displaced for other countries," he said.

    "If it does go to China, it will take a price hit at the percentage of the tariff. For thermal coal producers [the cost] would be between $3 and $4 per tonne and if you are a marginal producer as it is, this would be a very significant loss."

    HSBC Australia and New Zealand chief economist Paul Bloxham said Beijing's tariff hike would likely wound the profitability of Australian coal miners, considering China was the world's top importer of coal.

    He said it was second piece of bad news to hit Australian coal producers in as many months, after China announced in September it would ban certain types of highly polluting coal from next year, targeting low-grade imports from Indonesia and Australia.

    "This is certainly not a positive story for Australia's coal producers," he said.

    "The coal sector had already been under pressure from falling coal prices and that had been squeezing margins. In some cases the prices have fallen below the cost of production, so this is not a helpful development.

    "I suspect the fall that we have seen in market pricing for these coal miners reflects a genuine likely challenge to their profitability."


    (Dare we say Bush, Blair & Howard without being locked up ?)


    Islamic State: Militants capture Kurd headquarters in Syria's Kobane; UN warns of massacre if Kobane falls

    Thousands of people "will most likely be massacred" if Kobane falls to Islamic State (IS) fighters, a United Nations envoy said as militants reportedly overran the headquarters of Kurdish forces in Kobane and now control 40 per cent of the battleground Syrian border town.

    UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Kobane could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslims were killed by Serbs in 1995, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.


    International attention has focused on Turkey, a NATO member with the biggest army in the region, however Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan has so far refused to join the military coalition against Islamic State or use force to protect Kobane.

    Turkey has absorbed 1.2 million Syrian refugees, including 200,000 from Kobane in the past few weeks.

    The plight of mainly Kurdish Kobane has unleashed the worst street violence in years in Turkey, which has 15 million Kurds of its own.

    Turkish Kurds have risen up since Tuesday against Mr Erdogan's government, which they accuse of allowing their kin to be slaughtered.

    At least 31 people have been killed in three days of riots and street violence across the mainly Kurdish southeast, including two police officers shot dead in an apparent attempt to assassinate a police chief. The police chief was wounded.


    The world has misread the Middle East nightmare and our war without borders

    ................Yet these little bits are parts of a dreadful whole, the complexities and dangers of which seem not to have been grasped around the world. The gifts of weapons from Riyadh and Tehran are just part of a slew of current arms deals in the region, estimated to be worth more than $US50 billion. And while all those weapons, no doubt, will help grow an already huge refugee crisis in the region, a UN appeal for $US1.7 billion to help the refugees, has received pledges for just 36 per cent of that target since it was launched late last year.

    It's all done with such naiveté and Boys' Own enthusiasm, that you wonder if our leaders obsess about military options alone, because to kick butt is easier than all the other stuff that could be done.


    "There is a serious risk that the entire region will blow up," Lakhdar Brahimi warned in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, in which he predicted dire consequences for Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. "The conflict is not going to stay inside Syria. It will spill over into the region. It's already destabilising Lebanon [where there are] 1.5 million refugees – that represents one-third of the population – if it were Germany, it would be the equivalent of 20 million people."


    But with intelligence agencies warning that as many as 6000 volunteers have flocked to IS training camps since the start of the US-led bombing in Iraq in August, other experts predict that if they continue to bomb the forces and facilities of the Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda affiliated but opposed to IS, it would drive many Syrian Sunnis, and probably Iraqis too, to fight against the US and its allies.


    "Al Qaedaism, the ideology, is stronger today than ever, thanks to the failure of the Arab spring and the battlefield has expanded from Mali to Pakistan and beyond to Australia and Europe," he writes.

    "The worst nightmare for me is a terror attack that provokes Indo-Pakistan war; second, is a Mumbai-like attack in a Western city."

  73. Wilson v. Cheney[edit]

    Main article: Wilson v. Cheney

    On July 13, 2006, Joseph and Valerie Wilson filed a civil lawsuit against Rove, Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney, and other unnamed senior White House officials (to whom they later added Richard Armitage)[46] for their alleged role in the public disclosure of Valerie Wilson's classified CIA status.[47] Judge John D. Bates dismissed the Wilsons' lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds on July 19, 2007;[48][49][50][51] the Wilsons appealed. On August 12, 2008, in a 2-1 decision, the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the dismissal.[52][53] Melanie Sloan, of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which represents the Wilsons, "said the group will request the full D.C. Circuit to review the case and appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."[52][54] Agreeing with the Bush administration, the Obama Justice Department argues the Wilsons have no legitimate grounds to sue. On the current justice department position, Sloan stated: "We are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has failed to recognize the grievous harm top Bush White House officials inflicted on Joe and Valerie Wilson. The government’s position cannot be reconciled with President Obama’s oft-stated commitment to once again make government officials accountable for their actions."[55]

    On June 21, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.[56


    Valerie Plame Wilson: the housewife CIA spy who was 'fair game' for Bush

    As the long-awaited film of her life is released, the CIA agent outed for failing to uncover weapons of mass destruction bites back

    In her time as a CIA agent she operated undercover in dangerous territory. At her core she’s conventional, conservative, a patriot. But her entire life had to stay hidden.

    That was, of course, until her identity was leaked to the Washington Post columnist Robert Novak in 2003. It was leaked by Karl Rove, president George W Bush’s mastermind, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, in an attempt to discredit Plame Wilson and her husband Joe. She had been involved in finding intelligence that showed Iraq had no active nuclear weapons programme, contrary to the belief and desires of many of the US government.

    When the Wilsons campaigned that it was treason to expose an agent Bush retorted that she was “fair game”. Thus Fair Game is the title of the film that was inspired by her story. Naomi Watts plays Plame Wilson with an extraordinary resemblance, and Sean Penn plays Joe Wilson.

  74. There's no doubt which way the "money valve" at the top of St. George's Terrace is set...................all the money flows away from us.

    "The Unprecedented Mining Boom"


    Perth hit by 'severe' poverty

    Almost 5 per cent of Perth's population is living in severe income poverty, according to a report on how many Australians are falling through the cracks.

    The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre report, to be released today for Anti-Poverty Week, says more than one million Australians are in severe poverty, with access to less than 30 per cent of national median income.

    More than 310,000 children are also living in households in severe poverty, according to the report.

    Among Australia's capital cities only Sydney had a higher proportion in the severe category, with 6 per cent of the city's population seriously struggling to make ends meet.


    Survey finds 1 in 8 Australians cannot afford to pay electricity bill

    ...........The proportion of customers often or occasionally worried about being able to pay their electricity bill has also remained consistently high at 70 per cent since the same survey last year.

    Earlier this month, the ABC revealed some household bills had gone up as much as $1,000 in the past five years.

    Ernst & Young's Jenny Young said the survey sought to gauge how people are coping with rising energy costs.


    Disability pensioners told to get work

    Thousands of disability pensioners have been told to get a job as part of sweeping changes to the welfare system.


    Andrews defends welfare cuts

    .............St Vincents de Paul chief executive John Falzon says it's impossible to build a strong economy by increasing inequality.

    "You certainly don't help young people into a job by forcing them to live on fresh air and sunshine for six months, which is one of the budget's crazier proposals," Dr Falzon told ABC radio.

    Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has defended the government's budget strategy.

    It was about ensuring there was an adequate safety net in the context of a thriving economy, he said.

    "If the economy is doing well, then more Australians are doing well and that of course reduces poverty," he told ABC radio on Monday.

    ◾Anti-poverty week runs from October 12 to 18.

  75. Premier Colin Barnett's popularity falls to record low, Newspoll shows

    West Australian Premier Colin Barnett's popularity has fallen to a record low, a poll out today shows.

    Only 32 per cent of voters are satisfied with the way the Premier is doing his job, down from 34 per cent.

    The Newspoll, published in The Australian newspaper, revealed Mr Barnett was vying with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman as the nation's most unpopular leader.

    Mr Barnett last week announced widespread public sector cuts, including the loss of 1,500 jobs through voluntary redundancies.

    He also said there would be a further 1 per cent funding cut to government departments as a result of the state's declining economic situation.


    Fracking fears in South West

    The suburban outskirts of Bunbury and some of WA's best agricultural land could be opened up to the controversial gas exploration technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

    Under a process being run by the State Government, resource companies have been asked to bid for the right to explore for oil and gas across an area between Bunbury and Busselton.

    With bids due to close on October 23, green groups have expressed alarm and claimed it could lead to the contamination of groundwater in one of the State's most built-up areas.


    The Conservation Council of WA said the area the department was proposing to release was used for purposes that were incompatible with oil and gas activity.

    Spokeswoman Chantelle Roberts said, apart from housing in many places including the outer parts of Bunbury, the area was home to some of the State's most valuable dairy, cattle and horticultural farmland.

    The farming communities covered by the proposed release included Donnybrook, Capel, and Dardanup.


    Ms Roberts said under current legislation farmers and landowners would not be able to stop oil and gas companies coming on to their properties.


    The department has previously stressed fracking companies will be kept to the world's highest standards in WA, and noted that "onshore" gas in this State is typically far removed from aquifers.

  76. ANOTHER WARNING............

    The curious case of Saudi Arabia

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    POLITICS and oil have always been a deadly combination, as Slugcatcher has explained before, but what happened in the oil market last week was a more than a political exchange, it was the first shot in what could be a world-changing oil war.

    1. NEW YORK/SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia's traditional Gulf ally, is leading the challenge to its bigger neighbour in an increasingly competitive battle for market share, selling oil to buyers in Asia at the widest discount to a comparable Saudi grade in 10 years.


      Kuwait's discount to Arab Medium has doubled from last year after it lost market share to abundant and cheaper supply from Iraq, and as Iran's exports rose after Western sanctions eased, traders said. Asia's top four crude buyers, China, India, Japan and South Korea, imported just over 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of Kuwaiti oil in the first eight months this year, down from close to 1.4 million bpd last year, customs and Reuters data showed. To boost sales, Kuwait concluded in August a new 10-year deal with China's Sinopec Corp to nearly double its supplies by offering to ship oil and sell it on a more competitive cost-and-freight basis. It also locked in 2015 oil sales to Philippine refiner Petron in a separate deal. A well-supplied global market has tipped the balance in favour of Asian buyers, who are switching to cheaper oil from Africa and the Americas as they reduce their reliance on Middle Eastern crudes. The world will require less oil from OPEC next year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday, as it trimmed its forecast of world oil demand growth and made even deeper cuts in its outlook for OPEC production.

  77. IEA: energy efficiency a growing market

    The global energy efficiency market is worth at least USD 310 billion a year and growing, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency that confirms the position of energy efficiency as the world’s “first fuel”.

    The report also finds that energy efficiency finance is becoming an established market segment, with innovative new products and standards helping to overcome risks and bringing stability and confidence to the market.

    “Energy efficiency is the invisible powerhouse in IEA countries and beyond, working behind the scenes to improve our energy security, lower our energy bills and move us closer to reaching our climate goals,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said.

    The annual report, now in its second year, shows that investments in energy efficiency are helping to improve energy productivity – the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP. Among 18 IEA countries evaluated in the report, total final energy consumption was down 5% between 2001 and 2011 primarily as a result of investments in energy efficiency. Cumulative avoided energy consumption over the decade from energy efficiency in IEA countries was 1 732 million tonnes of oil equivalent – larger than the energy demand of the United States and Germany combined in 2012.

    Previous IEA analysis has shown that energy efficiency is not just a hidden fuel but is also the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies. This year’s report shows that energy efficiency investments over the past four decades have avoided more energy consumption than the total final consumption of the European Union in 2011. Efficiency investments and policies are reducing a continent’s worth of energy demand in a time when fast-developing economies are adding energy demand to the global energy system.

  78. Government Approves EIA for the Arrow Bowen Pipeline in Australia

    by Arrow Energy Pty Ltd.

    Press Release
    Wednesday, October 08, 2014

    Arrow Energy Pty Ltd. welcomed Wednesday the Australian Federal Government approval of the Arrow Bowen Pipeline environmental impact assessment. The proposed central Queensland pipeline, expected to be about 310 miles (500 kilometers) in length, will take coal seam gas from Moranbah in the Bowen Basin to Gladstone. Arrow CEO Andrew Faulkner said the environmental approval followed last month’s Queensland Government approval of an environmental impact statement for Arrow’s Bowen Basin gas field development and the company’s announcement of FEED (front-end engineering design) for the development of the Bowen Gas Project. “The proposed pipeline is a key piece of infrastructure in our plans to bring to market our significant gas reserves in the Bowen Basin,” Faulkner said. The buried pipeline will allow coal seam gas to be sent from Arrow’s gas fields in the Bowen Basin to Gladstone. The Queensland Government approved the pipeline EIS in March last year. Faulkner said Arrow had been safely developing CSG from the Bowen Basin since 2000 and supplying it commercially since 2004. He said development options for Arrow’s Surat Basin gas reserves were being progressed, and that collaboration discussions with third parties were continuing to identify the best option for commercialising Arrow’s gas reserves in both the Surat and Bowen basins.



  79. CNPC Gets Nod for China-Russia Gas Pipeline Design

    BEIJING, Oct 9 (Reuters) - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has received government approval for the design of the Chinese section of a giant pipeline that is due to ship $400 billion worth of Russian natural gas to China, the company said on Thursday.

    China and Russia signed in May a gas supply deal, securing the world's top energy user a major source of fuel and opening up a new market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis.

    According to initial design, the pipeline will start from Heihe city in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, running through provinces of Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin Municipality, Shandong, Jiangsu to reach Shanghai, CNPC said on its website (news.cnpc.com.cn).

    Construction of the Chinese section will start in the first half of next year and is slated to complete in 2018, it said.

    ***** Russia will begin delivering gas to China from 2018, building up gradually to 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year. *****

    On Sept. 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw the start of construction of the Russian side of the mega China-Russia pipeline.

    The 4,000 km (2,500 mile) "Power of Siberia" pipeline, being built by state-controlled Gazprom, forms a key part of the Kremlin's energy strategy, symbolising Russia's attempts to wean itself off dependence on European markets that account for most of its exports.

    Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said a further contract on shipment of gas via a second, more westerly route to China could be signed in November.


    ***** 38 BCM = 1.34 TCF *****



  80. The Wilderness Society


    The Chief Scientist of New South Wales, Professor Mary O'Kane, has released her report into coal seam gas (CSG) mining. The report stated there are genuine risks to water supplies and public health from CSG – mirroring concerns raised by communities across NSW.

    The report outlines many risks to our community’s health, water, soil, and air and called for a complete overhaul of CSG mining in New South Wales including far-reaching reforms to the regulation and monitoring of CSG.

    Extraordinarily, in response to the release of the report, the CSG industry has claimed that it provides a 'green light' for the industry in NSW. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and the Chief Scientist herself told Alan Jones on radio that she was 'startled' by the claim.

    A big thank you to Stop CSG Illawarra for the image!

  81. Keep Up with ETAN

    Like, Join, Follow, Support



    Take Action on U.S. Support
    for Mass Violence in Indonesia

    Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to release the records and acknowledge the crimes! Thank you to those who have already signed!

    Although the massacre of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a crucial event in modern Indonesian political history, it remains mostly a footnote for most in the United States and elsewhere. In 2012, the documentary The Act of Killing shocked audiences throughout the world as perpetrators of the mass murder reenacted their violence. The film has fueled a debate within Indonesia and drawn attention internationally to events long kept out of U.S. history books: Events that the U.S. government facilitated and celebrated.

    A companion film, The Look of Silence, is currently showing at film festivals focuses on the victims. It follows the investigation by Adi Rukun into the murder of his older brother who was killed during the violence.

    While these are powerful films, any discussion of the events of 1965-1967 would not be complete without a discussion of the role of Western powers in this violence, including that of the United States. In conjunction, with the release of the film The Look of Silence, the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network continues to call for accountability for those in the West who encouraged and assisted in the mass violence in Indonesia.

    Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:

    1) Declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the mass violence, including the CIA's so-called "job files." These detail its covert operations.

    2) The U.S. should formally acknowledge its role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.

    ETAN has prepared a backgrounder on the events and aftermath of Suharto's brutal seizure of power, where we focus on the U.S. role and responsibility. Read Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence.

    Please Support ETAN. We need your support to continue our work for justice and accountability. Please donate today.

    For more information see http://www.etan.org

  82. UK to allow fracking companies to use 'any substance' under homes

    Proposed amendment in Infrastructure Bill would make mockery of world class shale gas regulation claims, campaigners say

    The UK government plans to allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under people’s homes and property and leave it there, as part of the Infrastructure Bill which will be debated by the House of Lords on Tuesday.

    The legal change makes a “mockery” of ministers’ claims that the UK has the best shale gas regulation in the world, according to green campaigners, who said it is so loosely worded it could also enable the burial of nuclear waste. The government said the changes were “vital to kickstarting shale” gas exploration.

    Changes to trespass law to remove the ability of landowners to block fracking below their property are being pushed through by the government as part of the Infrastructure Bill.

    It now includes an amendment by Baroness Kramer, the Liberal Democrat minister guiding the bill through the Lords, that permits the “passing any substance through, or putting any substance into, deep-level land” and gives “the right to leave deep-level land in a different condition from [that before] including by leaving any infrastructure or substance in the land”.

  83. Mark Carney: most fossil fuel reserves can't be burned

    Bank of England governor lends his support to ‘carbon bubble’ theory that coal, gas and oil assets are at risk, reports BusinessGreen

    The governor of the Bank of England has reiterated his warning that fossil fuel companies cannot burn all of their reserves if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change, and called for investors to consider the long-term impacts of their decisions.

    According to reports, Carney told a World Bank seminar on integrated reporting on Friday that the “vast majority of reserves are unburnable” if global temperature rises are to be limited to below 2C.

    Carney is the latest high profile figure to lend his weight to the “carbon bubble” theory, which warns that fossil fuel assets, such as coal, oil and gas, could be significantly devalued if a global deal to tackle climate change is reached.

    The movement has gained traction in recent weeks, with the World Bank leading an initiative with 73 national governments, 11 regional governments, and more than 1,000 businesses and investors to build support for a global price on carbon emissions during the United Nations climate summit in New York.

    At the same time, the Global Invest-Divest Coalition of more than 160 institutions and local governments, as well as more than 500 individuals, together pledged to divest $50bn from fossil fuel investments within the next three to five years and reinvest in new clean energy sources.

    According to Emerging Markets, Carney encouraged more businesses to include environmental impacts and investments alongside their financial annual reports, arguing the move towards integrated reporting is important to help “influence the allocation of capital and credit today”.

    Carney issued a stark warning over the lack of long-term thinking by governments and businesses, warning that a so-called “tragedy of horizons” could lead to market failure.

  84. Coal is 'good for humanity', says Tony Abbott at mine opening

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia's coal industry has a "big future, as well as a big past" and predicted it will be the world's principal energy source for decades to come.


    "Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world."

    The Prime Minister's comments, which angered the environmental movement, came at the opening of the $US3.4 billion ($3.9 billion) Caval Ridge Mine in Central Queensland, a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi.


    Joe Hockey ridicules suggestion Australia is among top emitters

    Treasurer emphatically rejects comment from interviewer, despite Australia topping OECD per capita rankings

    Joe Hockey has ridiculed a suggestion that Australia is one of highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the OECD, despite the fact that it does top the OECD rankings of greenhouse gases per capita.

    “The comment you just made is absolutely ridiculous,” the treasurer said in an interview with the BBC when it was suggested to him that Australia was among “the dirtiest, most greenhouse gas-emitting countries in the OECD group of developed countries”.


    The latest OECD greenhouse gas emissions index, released in January, ranks Australia as the highest emitter per capita, with Luxembourg second, followed by the US and Canada.


    How big coal is lobbying G20 leaders and trying to capture the global poverty debate

    America’s biggest coal company gave ‘self-serving’ and ‘disingenuous’ presentation to G20 meeting, claims academic

    over the last few years the coal industry has been trying to hijack the issue of energy poverty by telling the world that the only way the poorest nations can pull themselves out of poverty is by purchasing lots of their product.

    The point that those same people will likely be hit earliest and hardest from the impacts of climate change being driven by that same product, is neatly swerved or underplayed.

    In recent months one coal company in particular – Peabody Energy – has been pushing this line harder than most.

    Peabody describes itself as “the world’s largest private sector coal company” that is “fueling the world with energy essential to sustain life”.

    Back in February, Peabody launched a new global public relations campaign called “Advanced Energy for Life” to supposedly raise awareness of the energy poverty issue.

    Australian coal industry leaders have also been dropping the “energy poverty” line into interviews and op-eds at every opportunity.

  85. Sea level rise over past century unmatched in 6,000 years, says study

    Research finds 20cm rise since start of 20th century, caused by global warming and the melting of polar ice, is unprecedented

    The rise in sea levels seen over the past century is unmatched by any period in the past 6,000 years, according to a lengthy analysis of historical sea level trends.

    The reconstruction of 35,000 years of sea level fluctuations finds that there is no evidence that levels changed by more than 20cm in a relatively steady period that lasted between 6,000 years ago and about 150 years ago.

    This makes the past century extremely unusual in the historical record, with about a 20cm rise in global sea levels since the start of the 20th century. Scientists have identified rising temperatures, which have caused polar ice to melt and thermal expansion of the sea, as a primary cause of the sea level increase.

    A two-decade-long collection of about 1,000 ancient sediment samples off Britain, north America, Greenland and the Seychelles formed the basis of the research, led by the Australian National University and published in PNAS.


    Lambeck said the sea level increase of the past 100 years is “beyond dispute”, backed up by separate data from salt flats and also changes to the sea floor caused by the extra weight of water.

    “What we’ve seen is unusual, certainly unprecedented for these interglacial periods,” he said.

    “All the studies show that you can’t just switch off this process. Sea levels will continue to rise for some centuries to come even if we keep carbon emissions at present day levels.

    “What level that will get to, we are less sure about. But it’s clear we can’t just reverse the process overnight.”

  86. How much does it cost Buru to market it's oil ?


    Brent Crude Slides To Lowest Since 2010 On Saudi Output Signal

    by Reuters

    Jessica Resnick-Ault
    Monday, October 13, 2014

    NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Brent oil prices fell on Monday, tumbling more than $2 a barrel intraday to their lowest since 2010, after key Middle East producers signaled they would keep output high even if that meant lower prices.

    Brent oil prices have tanked by nearly 25 percent since June as ample supply coincided with weak demand, raising the possibility that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could cut output.

    But Saudi Arabia has privately told oil market participants it can accept oil prices between $80 and $90 a barrel, sources briefed by OPEC's biggest producer told Reuters.

    Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was unlikely to cut production to support prices. OPEC ministers will meet to discuss output policy Nov. 27.

    ***** "It suggests there's some nervousness in the market that Saudis are seeking to bring pressure on the shale producers in the U.S., ***** " said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy. -


    ***** Kuwait's oil minister, Ali al-Omair, was quoted as saying by state news agency KUNA on Sunday that $76 to $77 a barrel might be the level that would end the oil price slide, since that was the cost of oil production in the United States and Russia. *****


    IEA Chief: Oil Price Slump Yet To Hit US Shale Oil Production

    by Reuters

    Simon Falush
    Monday, October 13, 2014

    .................."Some 98 percent of crude oil and condensates from the United States have a breakeven price of below $80 and 82 percent had a breakeven price of $60 or lower," she told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the Africa Energy Outlook publication.

    Saudi Arabia is quietly telling oil market participants that Riyadh is comfortable with markedly lower oil prices for an extended period, a sharp shift in policy that may be aimed at slowing the expansion of rival producers including those in the U.S. shale patch.

    Some OPEC members are clamouring for urgent output cuts to push global prices back up above $100 a barrel as they rely heavily on oil exports to balance their budgets, but others like the Saudis are thought to be more relaxed.


    1. Never mind the bigger choke - if this keeps up Buru will hit the wall very fast.


      The oil price has fallen 25% this last few months.


      .................But the biggest story is still the United States. Thanks to horizontal drilling to get oil out of tight underground formations, U.S. field production of crude was 2 million barrels/day higher in 2013 than it had been in 2011. And the EIA’s new Short-Term Energy Outlook released this week expects we’ll add another 2 million b/d over the next two years. That’s unquestionably enough to start moving the world price.


      As I’ve noted before there’s a basic limit on how much U.S. production is capable of lowering the world price. The methods that are responsible for the U.S. production boom are quite expensive. Just how low the price can go before some of the frackers start to drop out is subject to some debate. A report in the Wall Street Journal last Thursday provided assessments like these:

      “There could be an immense amount of pain,” said energy economist Phil Verleger. “As prices fall, you will see companies slow down dramatically.”

      Paul Sankey, an energy analyst with Wolfe Research LLC, said the first drillers to react to declining crude prices would be some in the least productive fringes of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. “We’re not quite there yet,” he said, but a further drop of $4 or $5 a barrel will force companies to begin trimming their capital budgets”….

      Some U.S. oil fields, including the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin in Texas, would remain attractive for drillers even at much lower oil prices. An analysis by Robert W. Baird & Co. said prices could drop to $53 a barrel in certain parts of the Eagle Ford and still be profitable to drill.

      And here are some of the estimates reported by Bloomberg:

      Shale oil is expensive to extract by historical standards and only viable at high-enough prices, Ed Morse, Citigroup Inc.’s head of global commodities research in New York, said by phone Sept. 23. Oil from shale formations costs $50 to $100 a barrel to produce, compared with $10 to $25 a barrel for conventional supplies from the Middle East and North Africa, the Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates.

      “There is probably something to the notion that if prices fell suddenly to $60 a barrel, the production growth would turn negative,” he said.

      Brent crude could drop to $80 a barrel before triggering a slowdown in investment from U.S. shale-oil drillers, Fitch Ratings said in a report today.

      If Europe’s woes worsen, U.S. tight oil production continues its phenomenal recent growth, and Libya can continue to increase production, we may soon find out who is right.


  87. Oct 14 (LNGJ) - Woodside Petroleum, the largest Australian LNG plant operator, has continued its expansion into offshore Africa by finalizing an agreement with Noble Energy and Glencore for a 30 percent interest in the Tilapia Production Sharing Contract off the coast of the West African nation of Cameroon. The 3,875 kilometres block is located within the Douala Basin, offshore southwest Cameroon in water depths ranging from the shoreline to 1,100 metres. This agreement follows Woodside's acquisition since July 2014 of new acreage offshore the African countries of Gabon, Tanzania and Morocco.


    Gladstone LNG project feeds first gas into 420km pipeline leading to liquefaction plant

    Tuesday, 14 October 2014

    The Gladstone coal-seam-gas-to-LNG project, led by Australian energy company Santos, has fed the first natural gas into its 420-kilometre transmission pipeline running from southwest Queensland to the liquefaction plant on the coast at Curtis Island.


    Stena Clyde Semisub to Drill Pyderi-1 Well in Browse Basin in Late October

    by IPB Petroleum Ltd.

    Press Release
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    IPB Petroleum disclosed Monday that the WA-424-P Joint Venture (IPB 75 percent, CalEnergy 25 percent and Operator) has received updated advice from its drilling contractor that the estimated commencement date for the Pryderi-1 rig contract is around Oct. 24.

    Subject to completion of current operations at the Puffin field (located approximately 74.5 miles or 120 kilometers north of WA-424-P), and based on the estimated mobilization date, IPB Petroleum estimates that the Stena Clyde (mid-water semisub) will arrive at the Pryderi-1 well location on or around Oct. 25 or 26.

    Pryderi-1 is a relatively shallow well and based on the current schedule IPB estimates that the target reservoir will be intersected during the first week of November.

    The well is to then be logged before being plugged and abandoned.

    The Pryderi Prospect The Pryderi prospect is estimated by IPB to have High, Best and Low Prospective Resources (100 percent) of 78 million barrels, 32 million barrels, and 12 million barrels respectively and lies in 246 feet (75 meters) of water and is located approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) away from the permit’s existing Gwydion oil discovery.

    IPB Petroleum’s Managing Director commented: “The Pryderi-1 oil exploration well is a potentially company transforming well aimed at not only testing a prospect but a play.

    If we have success at Pryderi, the follow up potential across IPB’s three permits of the additional 27 m.Australis leads identified from pre-existing 2D seismic could be very substantial.”

  88. What really worries them over at the ANU............


    ‘Degrees in activism’ put brake on growth

    The Australian |
    October 15, 2014

    AUSTRALIA’S largest resources companies have warned green activists campaigning for an end to fossil fuels are ­destroying jobs and fast becoming one of the greatest challenges to growth.

    Andrew Smith, the chairman of the Australian arm of Anglo-Dutch company Shell, yesterday led the debate against what he ­labelled university students with “degrees in activism”, arguing that they were spreading misinformation and manipulating communities to slow the pace of development.

    “Challenging decisions will face more effective campaigns of public outrage, some of it based on confected outrage whipped up by university graduates armed with degrees in activism,” Mr Smith said. “But we cannot allow these dynamics to halt Australian progress.”

    Activism courses are being taught in legal, politics and ­humanities departments at several universities and are often ­focused on political theory and understanding the role of activism in democracy.

    Aidan Ricketts, a law lecturer at Southern Cross University in Lismore, runs a course named Public Interest Advocacy. Its blurb says it provides “skills for successfully advocating for public interest concerns”.

    Mr Ricketts described it as an “advanced form of citizenship education”. The lecturer, himself an activist against the use of coal-seam gas, said it was “nonsense” to suggest that universities were preparing students to confect outrage and manipulate information.

    “That is a cheap swipe at other people’s opinion’s that Shell don’t agree with,” Mr Ricketts said.


    The Australian National University has come under attack after its recent decision to divest its holdings in seven companies — including Santos, Newcrest Mining and Iluka Resources — because it said the companies had a poor record on environmental responsibility.



    Outrage at ANU divestment shows the power of its idea

    ...............When ANU announced earlier this month that it would divest shareholdings in seven resources companies – Santos, Oil Search, Iluka Resources, Sandfire, Sirius, Newcrest and Independence Group – it initially offered only a sparse explanation. The decision, it said, was the result of a review commissioned as part of the university’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy, with (unpublished) environmental, social and governance ratings provided by the firm CAER.

    Some of the companies responded angrily, claiming that the decision was unfair, protesting that CAER’s assessment was inaccurate, and threatening legal action.

    The outrage has been fanned by a week-long campaign in the pages of the Australian Financial Review (see here, or any other edition of the AFR between October 6 and 11).


    It is not only the strength of the companies’ response and the fieriness of the AFR’s campaign that is remarkable, but also the fact that the government is getting involved in the way it has.

    The Australian government seems to believe that national prosperity is tied to fossil fuels, and that “Team Australia” ought to be backing the sector and its individual companies, no matter their environmental performance.




      Shell calls students with ‘degrees in activism’ a barrier to growth

      The Australian |
      October 14, 2014

      Campaigners against the planned LNG project at James Price Point near Broome. Source: Supplied

      THE head of Shell Australia has accused university students with “degrees in activism” of spreading misinformation and manipulating communities to slow the pace of development in Australia.

      Speaking at a business breakfast in Perth, Shell’s chairman in Australia Andrew Smith said rising activism boosted by digital communication was “fast becoming one of the greatest challenges facing Australian growth”.

      “Challenging decisions will face more effective campaigns of public outrage, some of it based on confected outrage whipped up by university graduates armed with degrees in activism,” Mr Smith said.

      “But we cannot allow these dynamics to halt Australian progress.”

      Shell has faced strong opposition from environmental groups across the country in recent years.

      It was a joint venture partner in plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant at James Price Point north of Broome, which has since been abandoned on economic grounds but which also faced strong opposition from activist groups.


      The company has also been caught up in the opposition to its work in the coal-seam gas sector in Queensland.

      Mr Smith said activists had been able to take advantage of concerns in communities that felt they had lost control of approval processes.

      “Fears within these groups are too often manipulated by interests that fill a void in knowledge, sometimes with misinformation,” Mr Smith said.

      He cited the debate about the impact of Queensland’s growing coal-seam gas sector on water supplies in the region as an example of the misinformation spread by activists.

      “Some farmers were used by anti-CSG activists, who fuelled fears about

      water contamination. All this despite overwhelming scientific evidence, and a strict

      regulatory regime,” Mr Smith said.

      “Years later, the industry is thriving, and these actions did little more than slow projects, add cost and divide communities. In the long term extra costs mean less jobs, less tax revenue and higher gas prices.”

      Shell is developing the world’s first floating LNG project, Prelude, off the northern WA coast and is studying the deployment of the same floating LNG technology at the Browse joint venture. It is continuing to study development options for its Arrow coal seam gas project in Queensland.

    2. "Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith has called on "authenticity in (corporate) leadership" to ensure the next generation of greenfields projects overcome "inevitable waves of protest".

      And he warned that "activism, boosted by digital communication, is fast becoming one of the greatest challenges facing Australian growth".

      Addressing a WestBusiness Leadership Matters breakfast in Perth today, Mr Smith said it was incumbent on corporate leaders to build "coalitions of support" and acknowledge the information age meant they had to engage with communities and "cast egos aside". "


      ""More than ever brave and visionary leadership decisions will face broad scrutiny - this is an inevitable outcome of the information age,” Smith said.

      "Challenging decisions will face more effective campaigns of public outrage, some of it based on confected outrage whipped up by university graduates armed with degrees in activism.

      "But we cannot allow these dynamics to halt Australian progress."

      Smith said he felt "it's not always at the front of people's mind that it is really important that business can succeed, so that society works".


      "Often protest action manifests itself in communities that feel they have lost control of a process. Fears within these groups are too often manipulated by interests that fill a void in knowledge, sometimes with misinformation.”

      Smith said industry needed to better explain its position the community.

      "Frustration is not a productive response," Smith said.

      "The people are the electorate, the resource doesn't belong to the companies, it belongs to the country, so we need to listen to what the community has got to say, and respond. There often is a void of information and we need to be filling that void.

      "So industry has a bigger role here. Frustration is not the right way to respond. Listening and activity engaging with the community is the right way to respond.

      "That doesn't mean you respond necessarily in the way people are trying to incite you to respond but we need to listen, we need to engage." "

  89. ANU investment sell-off decision backed by business, investors

    Dozens of Australian investors and business people have written an open letter in support of the Australian National University's (ANU) decision to end investment in mining companies.

    The Federal Government has criticised the ANU for selling off $16 million worth of shares across seven companies due to what the university said was social responsibility reasons.

    It also flagged a review of the ANU's funding and described the investment decision as "bizarre" and "outrageous behaviour" that could cause financial and reputational damage to the seven companies.

    A group of prominent leaders and business people including former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, former Greens leader Bob Brown, and representatives from superannuation companies and ethical investment firms have taken out a full-page newspaper advertisement to back the university.

    The letter said they supported "the Australian National University's right to invest in, or divest from, any companies on environmental, social or ethical grounds".

    "We are investors and business people who have never been publicly challenged for selling share in a company for reasons of conscience or financial risk management," the letter continued.

    "We support the role of choice in the Australian economy and cannot understand why a government that is committed to deregulating the university sector would question the ability of a university to make investment decisions."

    Former Liberal leader John Hewson, from the ANU's Crawford School, put his name to the letter and accused the Federal Government of using bullying tactics against the ANU.

    "I don't think that they can continue to defend the indefensible," he said.

    "The position they've got themselves in, which is almost to the form of bullying and intimidation and threats, and so on, is a bizarre position for this Government to be in, a Government that's open for business."

    Doctor Hewson said the Abbott Government's criticism was bizarre.

    "The first rule of digging holes is when you get to the bottom is stop digging," he said.

    "I think the first thing they should do is shut up and at some point find a gracious way to back off this sort of bad behaviour."

  90. Greens, Labor critical of Government's science and technology growth centres plan

    ................."The idea of playing to our strengths in principle is a good one, but they've got to be real strengths," Mr Bandt said.

    "Medical technology and advanced manufacturing are areas where we can and will do well in the future, but the Government really hasn't been able to tear its backward-looking gaze away from a 'dig it up, ship it off' economy.

    "There's no focus on renewable energy, tourism, education, aged care, [or] professional services outside of the resources sector."


    Fact check: Journalists face 10 years' jail for exposing security agency bungles

    The claim: Anthony Albanese says the Government's new terror laws mean members of the media face potential penalties of five to 10 years' jail for exposing what might be an error made by security agencies.

    •The verdict: New provisions do impose potential penalties of up to five or 10 years' jail for exposing errors made by security agencies. Mr Albanese's claim checks out.


    If the government gets away with the co-payment and taking welfare away from the unemployed diseases like this will thrive.

    First Australian dies from drug resistant tuberculosis

    ................The 32-year-old Torres Strait Islander woman died on September 29 after being admitted to hospital on September 23.

    She had been a "close connection" of another Torres Strait Islander woman who died from MDR TB at the Cairns Hospital in April 2013.


    Malnutrition, ageing and immune diseases, such as AIDS, can help active tuberculosis to develop.

    It is mostly passed on through close and sustained contact with infected people, and in Queensland about four cases per 100,000 people are diagnosed each year.

    About 80 per cent of TB notifications in Queensland involve people who have spent a significant amount of time in countries where TB is prevalent.

    Queensland Health authorities have procedures in place to track and treat individuals identified as suffering from TB, but it cannot force them to have treatment.

    It is understood one of the doctors suspended pending an independent review of the Cairns Ebola scare and the wider infectious disease control was a thoracic specialist who dealt TB cases detected in the Cairns region.

    The Opposition has labelled the doctor's suspension "senseless".


    Richard Flanagan 'ashamed to be Australian' over environmental policies

    Man Booker prize winner says he is saddened by the Australian government’s environmental policies and prime minister Tony Abbott’s statement that ‘coal is good for humanity’

    .......................Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight program after the award ceremony, the Tasmanian author and committed environmentalist was asked about Abbott’s recent comment that “coal is good for humanity”. The prime minister made the comment while opening a coalmine in Queensland on Monday.

    “I’m very saddened because Australia has the most extraordinary environment and I don’t understand why our government seems committed to destroying what we have that’s unique in the world,” Flanagan said.

    “To be frank, I’m ashamed to be Australian when you bring this up.”

    Flanagan was also asked about the repeal of the Tasmanian forestry peace deal between environmentalists and logging companies last month.

    “I genuinely believe that people of Australia want to see these beautiful places, these sacred places, preserved, [but] the politics of the day is so foolishly going ahead and seeking to destroy them when there isn’t even an economic base to it, when there is no market for the woodchips that would result from the destruction of these forests,” he replied.

    “I think it’s unnecessary and I think it’s just politics being used to divide people that could otherwise be brought together on all that is best and most extraordinary in our country.”

    1. Abbott launches reforms, upstream sector wants more

      Anthony Barich
      Wednesday, 15 October 2014

      THE federal government will establish “growth centres” for oil, gas and energy resources plus mining equipment, technology and related services as part of its industry innovation and competitiveness agenda announced yesterday.

  91. The age of loneliness is killing us

    For the most social of creatures, the mammalian bee, there’s no such thing now as society. This will be our downfall

    What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing and conspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.


    ...............The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – is the religion of our time, justified by a mythology of lone rangers, sole traders, self-starters, self-made men and women, going it alone. For the most social of creatures, who cannot prosper without love, there is no such thing as society, only heroic individualism. What counts is to win. The rest is collateral damage.


    So what’s the point? What do we gain from this war of all against all? Competition drives growth, but growth no longer makes us wealthier. Figures published this week show that, while the income of company directors has risen by more than a fifth, wages for the workforce as a whole have fallen in real terms over the past year. The bosses earn – sorry, I mean take – 120 times more than the average full-time worker. (In 2000, it was 47 times). And even if competition did make us richer, it would make us no happier, as the satisfaction derived from a rise in income would be undermined by the aspirational impacts of competition.

    The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%). One respondent said he wouldn’t get there until he had $1bn in the bank.

    For this, we have ripped the natural world apart, degraded our conditions of life, surrendered our freedoms and prospects of contentment to a compulsive, atomising, joyless hedonism, in which, having consumed all else, we start to prey upon ourselves. For this, we have destroyed the essence of humanity: our connectedness.


    Hobbes’s pre-social condition was a myth. But we are entering a post-social condition our ancestors would have believed impossible. Our lives are becoming nasty, brutish and long.


    Charlie’s Country, Mystery Road and the landscape of loss

    Rolf de Heer’s heartbreaking film returns a veteran actor to the screen and gives us Australia’s outback – from inside

    ....................Charlie’s experiences in the city are typical of many Indigenous Australians, a sad spiral into alcoholism and depression. His story doesn’t end here, however, and there is a beautiful scene towards the end of the film in which Charlie is sitting in silence, tending a small fire. Out of the wilderness and Gulpilil’s cross-legged quietude, De Heer creates an image of perfect compositional symmetry worthy of the painter Piero della Francesca. It is at this moment that we too realise the meaning of the word “belonging” – Charlie is completely at home in the landscape, existing in symbiotic relationship with the earth. There is something about where this scene comes in the narrative that imbues what we are looking at with a profound sense of loss. We are glimpsing briefly what is gone forever – what we ourselves have destroyed – and witnessing it with that knowledge is truly heartbreaking.


    There is, entwined with the sadness, a lovely vein of humour running through the film, particularly concerning the ridiculousness of the “whitefellas” laws, when applied to the Indigenous population.

  92. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/14/-sp-western-model-broken-pankaj-mishra

    world news

    The long read

    The western model is broken

    The west has lost the power to shape the world in its own image – as recent events, from Ukraine to Iraq, make all too clear. So why does it still preach the pernicious myth that every society must evolve along western lines?


    ........................Mainstream Anglo-American writers who vend popular explanations of how the west made the modern world veer between intellectual equivocation and insouciance about the west’s comparative advantage of colonialism, slavery and indentured labour. “We cannot pretend,” Ferguson avers, that the “mobilisation of cheap and probably underemployed Asian labour to grow rubber and dig gold had no economic value.” A recent review in the Economist of a history explaining the compact between capitalism and slavery protests that “almost all the blacks” in the book are “victims”, and “almost all the whites villains”.

    Understandably, history has to be “balanced” for Davos Men, who cannot bear too much reality in their effervescent prognoses of “convergence” between the west and the rest. But obscuring the monstrous costs of the west’s own “progress” destroys any possibility of explaining the proliferation of large-scale violence in the world today, let along finding a way to contain it. Evasions, suppressions and downright falsehoods have resulted, over time, in a massive store of defective knowledge – an ignorance that Herzen correctly feared to be pernicious – about the west and the non-west alike. Simple-minded and misleading ideas and assumptions, drawn from this blinkered history, today shape the speeches of western statesmen, thinktank reports and newspaper editorials, while supplying fuel to countless log-rolling columnists, TV pundits and terrorism experts.


    .....................In any case, the doubters of western-style progress today include more than just marginal communities and some angry environmental activists. No less than the World Bank admitted last month that emerging economies – or the “large part of humanity” that Bayly called the “long-term losers” of history – might have to wait for three centuries in order to catch up with the west. In the Economist’s assessment, which pitilessly annuls the upbeat projections beloved of consultants and investors, the last decade of rapid growth was an “aberration” and “billions of people will be poorer for a lot longer than they might have expected just a few years ago”.

    The implications are sobering: the non-west not only finds itself replicating the west’s violence and trauma on an infinitely larger scale. While helping inflict the profoundest damage yet on the environment – manifest today in rising sea levels, erratic rainfall, drought, declining harvests, and devastating floods – the non-west also has no real prospect of catching up with the west.


    Plainly, Anglo-American elites who are handsomely compensated to live forever in the early 20th century, when the liberal-democratic west crushed its most vicious enemies, will never cease to find more brutes to exterminate. The rest of us, however, have to live in the 21st century, and prevent it from turning into yet another rotten one for the western model. •

  93. ANU fossil fuel divestment decision ‘stupid’, Tony Abbott says

    Future Fund says it must consider ‘changing demand for fossil fuels’ as PM attacks the university’s divestment move

    .....................“Of course they should be free to do what they want, but when they make stupid decisions we should be free to criticise them,” Abbott told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

    Any entity that refuses to invest in energy companies was depriving its members of a good investment, he said.

    “Australia ought to be one of the world’s energy superpowers,” Abbott said.

    Treasurer Joe Hockey, education minister Christopher Pyne and assistant infrastructure minister Jamie Briggs have also attacked the move.


    Australian military role unclear as Iraq minister rejects idea of foreign troops

    Iraqi foreign minister ‘absolutely against’ foreign presence but Tony Abbott remains confident of gaining legal clearance

    .................“The question of sending troops in was discussed several times and we were very frank and stated clearly that we are completely against the deployment of foreign troops on our territory, as it can cause justifiable fears and concerns among the Iraqi population.”

    Abbott rejected suggestions the Iraqi government was wavering about international troop deployments in its country.

    Asked whether the new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, had expressed any reluctance about Australian troops entering Iraq, Abbott said: “I made it very clear to [al-Abadi] in New York a couple of weeks ago that we were very keen to help.”

    1. Islamic State continues advance

      Islamic State fighters are continuing to take ground in Iraq despite claims from Australian military leaders that coalition air strikes have blunted their advance.

      It is understood there is growing concern in the Government about the ability of Iraqi troops to beat back Islamic State forces.

      The West Australian has been told as few as one in five Iraqi soldiers are combat-ready and it could take three to four months before local soldiers could be properly trained by Australia and coalition partners.

      Senior members of the Federal Government are worrying any training effort could come too late.

      At the weekend the US admitted it was forced to use Apache attack helicopters to push Islamic State fighters back from Baghdad airport - a critical asset in the coalition's fight against Sunni insurgents.

      US officials say the airport could come under "indirect" mortar or artillery fire in coming days.

      Australia spent many years and millions of dollars training Iraqi troops in the south of the country before withdrawing the bulk of troops in 2008.

    2. Terrorists close on Baghdad as Barack Obama rallies allies

      The Australian |
      October 16, 2014

      ...............Islamic State’s advance towards Baghdad has been so rapid, fears are growing that Australian commandos might get to Iraq too late to retrain Iraqi troops.


      Islamic State fighters were in almost complete control of Sunni-majority Anbar after the collapse of the province’s biggest military garrison at Hit on Monday allowed Islamic State to encircle the provincial capital of Ramadi, 55km west of Baghdad.


      Mr Jennings, a former senior Defence official who heads the Australian Strategic Policy Instit­ute and the advisory panel for the Abbott government’s defence white paper, said the situation in Baghdad could change rapidly and dramatically for the worse.

      He said Islamic State had infiltrated the town of Abu Ghraib, effect­ively a dormitory suburb northwest of the capital, while capturing much of Anbar province.

      “Things are moving very quickly on the ground in and around Baghdad,” he said. “We are in a very bad situation right now.”

      Over the past week, increased Islamic State pressure, along with ground attacks near Baghdad and bombings inside the city, clearly indicated that the security situation was deteriorating.

      Mr Jennings said Islamic State had taken stock, re-examined its tactics and adapted itself to deal with airstrikes.

      “It may not be possible to train an Iraqi military unit because the Iraqi government may have simply evaporated under us,” he said. “I think that creates an immense strategic problem for the rest of the world and we’re going to have to think about how we handle it.”

  94. OH HAPPY DAYS....................


    Cr Jenny Bloom has resigned from her position on Broome Shire Council.

    She has been a councillor for five years, and had one year left of her term of office.

    You can read a shire media release here:

    16 October 2014 For immediate release

    Resignation of Shire Councillor Shire of Broome

    Chief Executive Officer, Kenn Donohoe, received notice today of the resignation of Broome Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President, Jenny Bloom, in accordance with Section 2.31 of the Local Government Act. Mr Donohoe said Local Government elections were next due to be held in October 2015 and Council would now consider whether to call an extraordinary election to fill the vacant position. Mr Donohoe said he thanked Cr Bloom for her service to the community during her five years as a Broome Shire Councillor. ENDS


    Conoco quits Kimberley hope

    ConocoPhillips has joined the throng of resources giants pulling out of long-dated exploration plays, yesterday ending ambitions to discover oil and gas in Kimberley shales.

    The US giant's decision, with partner PetroChina, to withdraw hands back outright ownership of the shale-prospective Canning Basin acreage to junior New Standard Energy.

    It will also throw the spotlight on Hess and Apache, two other US players with exposure in the onshore area south-east of Broome. Both companies have faced pressure at home about reining in exploration spending and focusing on the core business, often onshore US gas.


  95. BURU must be thinking the same.............


    Australian oil producers downgraded

    The falling oil price has hammered share market listed Australian oil and gas producers, with the bulk of the pain being felt over the past month.

    In the past four weeks, as Brent prices fell 10 per cent, the big Australian oil producers followed it down with their share prices dropping on average around 9 per cent – Woodside was down 7 per cent, while Oil Search and Santos fell 8 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

    The changing market dynamics have also prompted Macquarie analysts to slash their longer term valuations in the sector.

    The Macquarie team has cut its fourth quarter forecast for Brent crude prices by 9 per cent to $US106 per barrel and lowered its forecasts for 2015 and 2016 by another 6 to 7 per cent.

    Right at the moment that is an optimistic 30 per cent above the current Brent crude price.

    Macquarie had estimated that the changes in oil prices will drain $1.2 billion in operating cash flow from the large-cap sector between now and 2016.

    Macquarie argues that is a significant issue for investors as the large oil and gas projects move from the construction to production phases.

    "Local large-cap players [are] fast becoming a free cash flow and dividend story as LNG projects are commissioned, the oil price is becoming an increasingly important consideration," the Macquarie report noted.

    "The change in our long-term assumption has significant implications for large-cap stocks, given their long-dated, oil-linked LNG production profiles."

    On that basis, Macquarie expects profits in the sector to fall by 8 per cent this year and more than 12 per cent in 2015.

    It has also cut its valuations (net asset values or NAVs) for large-cap stocks by 8.7 per cent – or 9.5 per cent when mid-caps are included.

    Woodside suffered the steepest downgrade, with its NAV being reduced by 9.4 per cent from $42.27 per share to $38.29.

    The Macquarie report says despite Woodside moving to the higher Pluto field (LNG) pricing regime – about 75 per cent of capacity is expected to be on the new terms next quarter – it now sees 2014 as the peak year of the company's earnings.

    It predicts that Woodside's profitability will decline by 7.7 per cent on a compound annual basis through to 2020.

    Oil Search fared marginally better with an 8.2 per cent valuation downgrade, with Macquarie noting this was mainly due to the high margin nature of its PNG LNG production.

    The changes in net asset valuations have also dragged down the broker's twelve-month target share prices for the companies, with Santos the hardest hit having its target downgraded by almost 9 per cent.

    Macquarie downgrades to energy stocks

    Woodside $42.27 - $38.29 -9.4% $38.00 - $39.04
    Santos $17.14 - $15.69 -8.5% $15.50 - $12.62
    Oil Search $11.47 - $10.53 -8.2% $10.25 - $8.40

    BURU - BRU - trading at just over 70 cents


  96. Speculators chase Woodside target

    The Australian |
    October 17, 2014

    AS Woodside Petroleum up­wardly revised its full-year production guidance yesterday, there were market rumblings that it is in the throes of preparation for a major acquisition.

    Some are questioning whether the target that has caught the attention of Australia’s $33 billion energy giant could be the London-listed Ophir Energy, given that there was a sense among sources that the group was busy examining a big takeover target offshore.

    Ophir, listed in London and close to investment bank JPMorgan, has a market capitalisation of about £1.1bn ($2bn). It would be attractive to Woodside for its acreage in the region surrounding Tanzania and Mozambique, where there are some of the most lucrative gas opportunities available globally.

    Other analysts have been saying Canadian assets are on the group’s radar. A less likely possibility is Papua New Guinea, familiar ground to InterOil, which has also fuelled previous speculation that the company is among Woodside’s targets.

    There was talk Woodside could buy Apache’s stake in the Kitimat LNG project in Alaska, which would make sense as it has flagged some interest in North American exposure. Woodside, which has previously had Credit Suisse bank in its corner, is certainly under pressure to do something, given it is sitting on a growing pile of cash and does not have any near-term development opportunities.

    It has already been very active in picking up exploration acreage around the world, entering at least eight new countries to date. They have been less expensive acquisitions for the energy giant, but are long-dated and uncertain options.

    Woodside has also been rumoured to be looking at Apache’s interest in Western Australia. Apache is selling its $2.4bn stake in the under-construction Wheatstone LNG project through Macquarie Group and Goldman Sachs, and flyer documents for the sale have been sent to about 10 interested parties, including Woodside, Santos, Origin, the China Investment Corporation, Temasek and Japanese groups Mitsui and Osaka Gas. Apache’s other profitable WA gas assets may also be in Woodside’s sights, given they generate solid cash and could help ease state government concerns about Woodside’s commitment to supplying the WA gas market.


    Oil and gas companies brace for $10b deal wave

    Mergers are set to sweep through Australia's oil and gas sector with close to $10 billion of assets currently on the market as international players head towards the exit and local operators seek out new partners in an effort to stave off mounting cost pressures.


    Another international player, Thai oil and gas giant PTTEP, is trimming its exposure to Australia with JPMorgan appointed to sell its $2 billion Montara gas venture in the Timor Sea and the Cash and Maple gasfields.

    Origin Energy and Santos are understood to have cast an eye over these assets, which have been on the market since March.

    The slow pace of the negotiations has become a feature of the market with smaller scale deals often failing to close.

    Santos has had its Mereenie gasfield in central Australia on the market for over a year, with Morgan Stanley drafted in to run the process, according to sources.

    The Australian oil and gas producer is understood to be also testing interest in its stake Caldita-Barossa gasfield in the Timor Sea, worth around $300 million.

    Santos's partner in its Bonaparte project, GDF Suez, previously attempted to sell down its stake, without success. The pair have since dropped plans for a floating LNG plant at Bonaparte and are seeking to develop a land-based project.

    Origin Energy also sought a partner for its $24.7 billion Australia Pacific LNG project in Queensland in 2012 before shelving that process and retaining its 37.5 per cent interest.

  97. KBR, Daewoo in Mozambique FLNG contention

    Friday, 17 October 2014

    THE KD Consortium joint venture between construction giant KBR and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering has won the front-end engineering and design contract for the Eni-led floating LNG project in Mozambique.


    Wave energy kicks into high gear

    Anthony Barich
    Friday, 17 October 2014

    A PARTNERSHIP between Perth-based Bombora Wave Power and the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime College will advance into the next phase research into the optimal design for ocean wave energy converters.

  98. To put East African and Australian gas into perspective.........

    For the past 3 years not one well drilled off Tanzania has failed to find something - they just can't miss it seems.


    East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of crude oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves were discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique.


    Tanzania, a focus for natural gas exploration, received five bids in May for four of the eight oil and gas blocks it offered in its fourth offshore licensing round.

    In some of the blocks there were joint bids. ExxonMobil, Statoil, Russian gas producer Gazprom and state-run Chinese offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd are among companies that submitted bids.

    Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala and another United Arab Emirates firm, Ras Al Khaimah Gas LLC, also put forward bids.

    Tanzania, which has made big discoveries of natural gas off its southern coast, had offered seven deep-sea offshore blocks and one block in Lake Tanganyika.


    Andilile also said the government had raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas resources to up to 53.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from 46.5 tcf previously following recent major discoveries offshore south of the country.

    "There have been recent big discoveries of natural gas in deep-see blocks by exploration companies, such as Statoil, and this has therefore increased the country's gas reserves," he said.

    Tanzania's energy ministry said it expected the country's gas resources to increase to 200 tcf by next year if new finds in east Africa's second-biggest economy prove productive.

    Tanzania has so far signed at least 25 production sharing agreements (PSAs) with some 17 international energy companies.



    2 September 2014
    The Maritime Executive

    Australian natural gas production has increased sharply over the past decade as a result of new projects. Several recent discoveries and growing regional demand for gas have spurred more investment activity in the country’s reserves.

    Australia’s natural gas reserves vary by industry source and the category of commercial viability.

    According to OGJ, Australia’s proved natural gas reserves were more than 43 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of January 2014. Geoscience Australia estimated total proved plus probable commercial reserves at 132 Tcf (99 Tcf of traditional natural gas and 33 Tcf of coal bed methane-CBM) as of 2012.

    Most of the traditional gas resources (about 92 percent) are located in the North West Shelf (NWS) offshore in the Carnarvon, Browse, and Bonaparte basins.




    Qld coal workforce, royalties grossly overestimated: study

    A new research paper by The Australia Institute, released today, shows that on average Queenslanders believe coal employs 13% of the workforce – 10 times the industry’s actual size. They believe royalties account for 19% of the state budget – five times their real worth.

    “The coal industry employs only 1.2% of the workforce in Queensland and coal royalties make up only 4% of Queensland Government royalties. Despite this meek contribution, the industry’s claims about its importance are a noisy and central part of any public discussion about Queensland economy,” report author Roderick Campbell said.

    For example, Premier Campbell Newman says the state is “in the coal business” and ex-Premier Anna Bligh thought any restrictions on coal “would spell economic and social catastrophe”.

    “More Queenslanders work in the Arts and Recreation sector than in the coal industry. Coal contributes about as much to the state budget as motor vehicle registration – these are simple facts that the public never get to hear,” Mr Campbell said.

    “The public think coal is much more important than it is because the industry’s extremely well funded public relations campaigns focus on repeatedly telling a tale of supposed economic miracles.

    “Lobby groups like the Queensland Resource Council are highly skilled at exaggerating the importance of the coal industry. They commission economic modelling which is designed to hugely overstate the industry’s positive contribution and downplay negative impacts.

    “They communicate these flawed modelling results very effectively – but their effectiveness has more to do with their advertising budget than their accuracy,” he said.

    “Another of these reports is due out this month. It will almost certainly be based on input-output multipliers, a method described as “biased” by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and “abused” by the Productivity Commission.

    “Coal industry economists don’t use these models when they are in court because misleading a judge has serious penalties. Misleading the Queensland public doesn’t seem to concern companies like Adani or New Hope Coal, who use these flawed economic models regularly.

    The Australia Institute’s report also examines the negative impacts of coal on other industries in Queensland. Impacts of the mining boom such as the high exchange rate and competition for land, water, labour and other resources have been hard on industries like tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

  100. Iron ore flood to continue if profitable, says BHP

    BHP Billiton iron ore chief Jimmy Wilson says the majors will keep flooding the over­supplied iron ore market with new supply until the price falls to a level where they do not see decent returns.

    And with China’s state-owned iron ore mines now all expected to keep producing, even at a loss, the view within BHP ­appears to be that the price will fall to a level where Fortescue Metals Group and Brazil’s Vale will face decisions on whether to cut production.

    “We’ll oversupply in the medium term, and how that plays out just depends on how quickly the price gets to an inflection point where you drop below inducement price for the majors,” Mr Wilson said.

    “When you start dropping below that inducement price, capital will no longer be deployed and you’ll get to a ­situation then where demand starts outstripping supply.”

    Mr Wilson would not say what the inducement price was.

    But UBS analysts took a stab this week and as a result cut long-term iron ore price assumptions from $US89 a tonne to $US75.

    “The big three’s (BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale’s) projects have incentive prices of around $US55-$US90 a tonne, with an average of $US75,” the bank said.

    Iron ore prices have slumped faster than the majors expected this year, falling from $US135 a tonne to about $US80 as relentless Australian expansions by BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue have put the market into oversupply for the first time in a ­decade.

    Compounding the over­supply has been the fact high-cost Chinese production has not been withdrawn from the market as quickly as expected.

    Both BHP and Rio have noted in the past fortnight that the 140 million tonnes of state-owned (as opposed to private) annual production is still operating at full speed, and both miners now believe it will not be shut down, even if it is unprofitable.

    All other things being equal, this means more price pain than previously expected.

    It is understood BHP believes that as the price falls, marginal cost production will move from China to Brazil and Australia, and the more expensive majors, not just the high-cost smaller players, will be the marginal ­players.

    UBS estimates Fortescue has a break-even cost of $US70 a tonne, landed in China, while Vale has a break-even cost of $US67.

    BHP and Rio are $US47 and $US43 respectively, illustrating their bigger price fall cushions.

  101. Iron ore flood to continue if profitable, says BHP

    Lower costs may even benefit BHP and Rio in the long run, by keeping out new higher-cost production which, once it is built, will run at anything above break-even ­prices.

    UBS said outside the majors, new projects would require prices of between $US90 and $US100 to go into construction, but once they were up and running they would still make cash and stay open at prices of $US60-$US90.

    Mr Wilson’s Rio counterpart, Andrew Harding, emphasised this point earlier this month when he said if Rio did not continue expanding, there were 32 projects around the world that would go ahead instead.

    “Major miners may want prices below $US90 a tonne,” UBS said.

    “An iron ore price in the $US80-$US90 a tonne range may mean greater longer-term returns than one above that brings over­capacity to the market.”

    Mr Wilson said he was confident the rules and royalties under which BHP operated in WA would not change, despite recent comments from Premier Colin Barnett saying BHP and Rio should remember who their landlord was and should hold back on their expansions, which were pushing down the price.

    “I believe that the government’s very responsible,” he said.

    “We have deployed a huge amount of capital, as have other organisations, over an extended period of time, against a fixed set of rules. It is unlikely that those rules change in the foreseeable future.”

    Mr Wilson would not say how long he thought the iron ore market would be in oversupply.

    But JPMorgan analysts recently reported, after a tour of the operations, that BHP predicted the oversupply would last “through 2016”.

    Mr Wilson said BHP would not curtail its growth and would continue to squeeze as much low-cost iron ore on to the market as it could.

    “We are going to leverage our installed capacity to its maximum,” he said.

    “We’re going to go as hard as we can on driving as much volume through our installed capacity as we physically can.”

  102. Race against time to keep oil spill from reaching Eilat

    Cleanup teams working to minimize damage after crude oil gushed into the Evrona nature reserve, one of Israel's worst-ever environmental disasters.

    A breached pipeline caused millions of liters of crude oil to gush out into the Evrona nature reserve, 20 kilometers north of Eilat, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in Israel’s history. Oil slicks quickly spread over several kilometers and the main road to Eilat was closed intermittently.

    Guy Samet, from the Ministry’s southern district, said Friday that “we are in a race against time in an attempt to extract most of the oil out of the Evrona Nature Reserve before it reaches the Gulf.”

    In a meeting on Friday it was stated that rains could cause flooding which would disperse the oil across larger areas, further damaging flora and fauna in the area. The floods could also sweep some of the oil as far as the Gulf of Eilat.

    “Our concern is that a serious flood going through the reserve would sweep up pollutants and oil that has not been pumped away yet. This has grave ecological implications, including damage to coral reefs in the Gulf. Currently, efforts are being made to remove as much oil and soil as possible to other locations,” added Samet.


    The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority are to step up the pace of cleaning up the soil in the Evrona Nature Reserve that was contaminated in last week’s major oil spill in the region. The hope is to prevent the floods that are being forecast for the region later this week from spreading the damage to additional areas and possibly as far as the Gulf of Eilat.


    Photos :

    Oil Spill in Israel Paints Streaks Across the Desert



  103. Shell pipeline leak spills thousands of barrels into Niger delta

    Wed Dec 3, 2014

    Environmentalists say one of worst spills for years

    * Shell says some 3,800 barrels, blames oil thieves

    * Niger Delta suffers frequent spills

    By Tife Owolabi

    BONNY ISLAND, Nigeria, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Niger Delta fishermen are no strangers to seeing oil spill into their waters from leaky pipelines, but even they were shocked by the scale of the slick stretching for miles from a Shell facility across the swamps and into the ocean.

    Some 3,800 barrels spilled, according to an investigation by Shell and government officials. It ranks as one of the worst in Nigeria for years, local environmental activists said.

    Shell said the spill was caused by a failed crude theft.

    In a boat trip to the affected area, Reuters saw crude washing up in pools in front of beach shacks, coating the roots of palm trees and leaving a trail of dead sea life. In some areas, people scooped it up to fill drums and jerry cans.

    "We saw dead fish, dead crabs ... This spill occurred 7-8 nautical miles from the shore ... (so) the volume runs into thousands of barrels," Alagoa Morris, head of the Niger Delta Resource Centre for Environmental Rights Action, told Reuters.

    Shell shut down its 28 inch pipeline carrying Bonny Light crude on Nov. 22 but the origin of the spill was from the smaller 24 inch pipe, which was shut last year.

    Africa's top oil producer loses tens of thousands of barrels per day to oil theft that often causes spills, although many are also caused by corroded pipelines.


    Nigerian communities reeling from massive Shell oil spill (PHOTOS)

    Fishermen and the environment of Niger Delta continue to suffer the consequences of a massive Shell oil spill in the Niger Delta - one of the worst in years. The oil giant says 1,200 barrels had been recovered as of Tuesday.

    Traveling to the affected areas of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, Reuters witnessed the devastation in the delta which covers 20,000 km² within wetlands of 70,000 km².

    Crude is everywhere, enough in some cases to fill Jerry can with the black gold.

    "We saw dead fish, dead crabs ... This spill occurred 7-8 nautical miles from the shore ... so the volume runs into thousands of barrels," Alagoa Morris, head of the Niger Delta Resource Center for Environmental Rights Action, told Reuters.

    Morris was referring to the Shell oil spill at the site on the Okolo Launch on Bonny Island in late November where an estimated 3,800 barrels of oil have leaked into the data, according to an investigation by Shell and government officials.




  104. Poorest countries 'left behind': climate finance report

    Lima (AFP) - Half of nearly $8 billion in climate finance given to the developing world since 2003 went to just 10 countries, and nations most at risk got the short end of the stick, a report said.

    The top recipients were Morocco, Mexico and Brazil, which each got more than $500 million (406 million euros) of the $7.6 billion total, according to an analysis of spending over the last decade in 135 countries.

    The report of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK think-tank, was released ahead of the second and final week of UN negotiations in Lima for a world pact to curb potentially disastrous global warming.

    "Mexico and Brazil are among the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases, and with Morocco, all have huge renewable energy potential," said a statement.

    However, many of the poorest countries were left behind.

    "Conflict-affected and fragile states such as Ivory Coast and South Sudan, where it is generally difficult to spend finance, received less than $350,000 and $700,000 respectively," said an ODI statement.

    "Several middle income countries that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and have significant clean energy potential, such as Namibia, El Salvador and Guatemala, also received less than $5 million each."

    The aid from rich nations is meant to help poor and vulnerable countries adapt to climate change impacts and curb Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions through a shift away from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.


    Big polluting nations must do most on climate: Australia

    Sydney (AFP) - Nations with the biggest greenhouse gas emissions should be doing the most to fight climate change or the efforts of other countries will be cancelled out, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Monday.

    As the United Nations holds climate talks in Peru, Bishop dismissed China's recent deal with the United States in which they agreed to work together to curb emissions as "business as usual", while rejecting the idea that pollution should be judged on a per capita measure.


  105. Australian scientists announce solar energy breakthrough

    Sydney (AFP) - Australian scientists said Monday they had made a breakthrough in increasing the efficiency of solar panels, which they hope could eventually lead to cheaper sources of renewable energy.

    In what the University of New South Wales described as a world first, the researchers were able to convert more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting the panels into electricity.

    "This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity," UNSW Professor Martin Green said in a statement.

    "We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry."

    While traditional methods use one solar cell, which limits the conversion of sunlight to electricity to about 33 percent, the newer technology splits the sunlight into four different cells, which boosts the conversion levels, Green told AFP.

    The record efficiency level was achieved in tests in Sydney and replicated at the United States government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the university said.

    The prototype technology is set to be harnessed by Australian company RayGen Resources for solar power towers, which use sun-tracking mirrors to focus sunlight on a tall building.

    Green is hopeful the technology can also eventually be used for solar panels mounted on people's roofs, which he said currently had a 15 to 18 percent efficiency rate.

    "The panels that you have on the roof of your home, at the moment they just have a single cell but eventually they'll have several different cells... and they'll be able to improve their efficiency to this kind of level," he told AFP.

    Green said strides in technology made in the solar industry such as the higher conversion levels were helping to drive down the cost of renewable energy.

    He was confident that in a decade solar-generated electricity would be cheaper than that produced by coal.



    Collapsing energy prices show the uncertainty of future riches from LNG

    Falling oil prices are likely to put pressure on the profitability of the LNG projects in development in northern Australia


    Queensland police defend use of vehicles branded with Santos logo

    Coal-seam gas opponents circulate images showing QPS vehicles bearing the energy giant’s name


    Australia named worst-performing industrial country on climate change

    Performance index released at Lima climate talks puts Denmark in the best-performing slot, followed by Sweden and Britain


    Summer dredging will keep the Murray-Darling river system flowing out to sea

    The $4 million dredging program is a symptom of a crippling drought gripping parts of eastern Australia.


    Solar and wind energy backed by huge majority of Australians, poll shows

    Renewables among top three energy choices and a separate review debunks fears of health damage from wind turbines


    Victoria's Indigenous infant mortality rate 'has not improved in a decade'


    Racism claim as SA government suspends traditional landowner board


    Remote area unemployed face punishment for 'passive welfare behaviour'

    Mostly Indigenous people threatened with ‘immediate consequences’ if they fail to comply with full-time work conditions to receive dole


    Indigenous communities: Facebook clean-up group welcomed into Aboriginal community where 'no one else will help'


    By bargaining with children, Morrison's refugee strategy has a kidnapper's logic

    Julian Burnside

    Now that Scott Morrison’s extraordinary refugee amendments have passed, it’s clear that his humanitarian concern for drowned refugees is really a lie


    Hamid Kehazaei case: Seriously ill asylum seeker forced to wait more than 24 hours for medical transfer

    Hamid Kehazaei, whose skin infection had turned into potentially fatal septicaemia, was later taken by air ambulance to hospital at Port Moresby and then on to Brisbane where he was pronounced brain dead and his life support switched off.


    The Stasi-like data retention law affects us all. It should make you furious

    Richard Ackland

    There’s more at stake in new data retention laws than the possibility journalists could go to jail. Voters should be concerned about what happens to their privacy


    Air Warfare Destroyers: Private contractors enlisted to help bring defence shipbuilding contract on schedule

    Australia's most costly defence shipbuilding project is running up to three years late and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.






    Apache Fails to Find Hydrocarbon at Commodore 1 well in Permit EP 390 in WA

    by Buru Energy Ltd.

    Press Release
    Friday, December 05, 2014

    Since the last progress report, 7 inch (178 millimeter) casing has been run and cemented to 475 meters and the well has been drilled ahead in 6.125 inch (156 millimeter) hole to the sectional total depth of 3,773 feet (1,150 meters). No hydrocarbon indications have been observed in cutting samples or mudlogs in the Lower Grant Formation. Acquisition of open-hole wireline logs are acquired, 5 inch (127 millimeter) casing will be run and cemented and coring operations will commence in 3.8 inch (96 millimeter) hole through the deeper Nita Carbonates objective to the planned total depth of 5,085 feet (1,550 meters).


    Very quiet out there ?



    DOWN 1.11% AT $0.445.


    1. Santos shares plunge to 10-year low

      Santos shares were down 63 cents at $7.67 at 1500 AEDT, their lowest level since December 2004.


      Santos suffers savage sell-off on Standard & Poor's ratings downgrade

      Santos has lost a third of its market capitalisation in the past two weeks as the price of oil has crashed and concerns mount about its ability to fund its $20 billion Gladstone LNG project in Queensland.

      Standard & Poor's last night cut Santos's credit rating from BBB+ to BBB, citing the severe decline in oil prices and the "sizeable" capital expenditure still needed to complete the GLNG project.

      The downgrade comes only days after Santos was forced to scrap a large capital raising of hybrid bonds it had planned to market in Europe.

      The ratings agency also warned that another cut was possible, stating that the long term outlook for Santos remains negative.

      "In our view, a successful ramp-up of the GLNG project is key to maintaining the BBB rating," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Craig Parker said.


      BURU : Down 2.22% to $0.440

      Their lowest since 2010.


  108. Noam Chomsky

    .............ETAN successfully worked to shift U.S. policy from provider of a blank check to the brutal Indonesian military to a supporter of East Timor's right to self-determination.

    But trouble continues in West Papua, and ETAN is there to tackle it. As it did so effectively for the East Timorese people, ETAN is working to change U.S. policy to support the rights of West Papuans.

    I consider the shameful crimes committed against the people of West Papua to be a major scandal, one that those in the West have much to answer for. As I told the Jakarta Post last March, "What happened in East Timor was because the U.S. and its allies supported it for 25 years. West Papua is the same. As long as the U.S. … and [other] Western powers support atrocities, they are carried out with impunity, just like their own atrocities are."

    ETAN understands this. Among its advocacy and educational efforts, ETAN:

    · is campaigning for unconditional freedom for West Papuan political prisoners;

    · is advocating to let the sunshine in by opening access to the region to journalists and other international observers;

    · has highlighted the role of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan;

    · regularly responds to the all-too-frequent reports of human rights violations in West Papua;

    · continues to oppose (as it has done from the start) U.S. support for Indonesia's security forces that repress West Papuans; and

    · closely monitors events in West Papua, including publication of the well-regarded monthly West Papua Report with the West Papua Advocacy Team.


    One day I believe I will be free. Visiting ETAN comrades will be my priority.

    — Filep Karma, West Papuan political prisoner


    But ETAN can only continue this hard-hitting advocacy with your support. Please donate today. Much remains to be done.

    ETAN is on the forefront of efforts to hold both Indonesian and U.S. officials accountable for human rights violations.

    Despite some progress, the legacy of U.S.-backed dictator Suharto remains. Indonesia's new defense minister, retired General Ryamizard Ryacudu, has a history of excusing rights violations by his soldiers, threatening human rights critics, and asserting the military's right to meddle in civilian affairs. ETAN's widely-cited criticism of his appointment have put Indonesia’s newly elected President on notice we will be watching what he does, not just what he says on human rights.

    ETAN has launched a campaign calling for the U.S. to declassify and release all it knows about Indonesia's Rwanda-style 1965 massacres in Indonesia—that the CIA itself concluded were "one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century"—and to acknowledge the U.S. role in the crimes. If you haven't yet done so, please sign ETAN's petition demanding the release of the records and acknowledgment of the U.S. role.

    Your support is crucial. Thank you for joining me in giving generously.



    Noam Chomsky

    P.S. Please consider becoming an ETAN Sustainer by making a monthly donation via credit card. Help put ETAN on a firmer financial footing



    Woodside Leads Bids for Apache Assets

    Australia’s Woodside Petroleum is said to have made a multi-billion-dollar offer for Apache Energy’s interest in the Wheatstone LNG project under construction in Western Australia, along with other assets in Western Australia and the proposed Kitimat LNG development in Canada.

    Falling oil prices have seen other bidders pulling out, and The Australian reports sources indicating a decision on the Woodside offer could be made before Christmas. Woodside is believed to have offered about $1.8 billion (A$2.17 billion) for Apache’s 13 per cent stake in Wheatstone.

    Wheatstone, scheduled for production in 2018, was originally budgeted to cost around A$29 billion, and this figure hasn’t been officially revised despite cost blowouts in other Australian projects. Sources close to the negotiations have suggested that Wheatstone capex might have increased by about 15 percent, reports The Australian, and this could affect the current negotiations with Apache.

    Woodside’s offer is believed to have beaten rival bids from Harbour Energy and Singapore’s Pavilion Energy.

    Oil prices have fallen by over 40 percent since June. Woodside, however, has remained strong and appears to be seeking opportunities for growth in the weak market. The company may be looking for alternate assets as the future of Australia’s Browse joint venture is in doubt.

    Apache has been under pressure from shareholders to focus on its North American assets.

  110. The Amazon oil spills overlooked by environmental leaders in Lima

    As global environmental delegates gather in Peru for the UN climate talks, five oil spills in the country’s Amazon jungle are causing a hidden environmental disaster

    It is a disaster hidden from the environmental leaders gathered inside the walls of a military compound in Lima on a mission to fight climate change.

    Over the last few months – as Peru helped guide the United Nations climate negotiations – five separate oil spills along a main oil pipeline through the Amazon have spewed thick black clots of crude across jungle and swamp and carpeted local fishing lagoons with dead fish.

    Inside the climate summit fortress – as in much of the world – the oil spills in the jungle went largely unnoticed.

    But for the indigenous peoples living downstream in clusters of tin-roofed and thatched houses on the banks of the Marañón river, it’s been a season of sickness and fear.

    The first big breach of the pipeline occurred on 30 June, near a village known as Cuninico. “I never knew what crude oil was, and then suddenly we saw it floating down the river,” said Melita Bela Celis, who lives in the village of San Pedro, a Kukama Indian community.



  111. Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem

    Melissa Parke

    The planned closure of 150 remote Indigenous communities will have devastating consequences. The reason behind it is hypocritical in the extreme

    Before last year’s federal election, Tony Abbott promised he would be “a prime minister for Aboriginal affairs. The first I imagine that we have ever had.” The Coalition also promised to “continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities.” Instead, the first budget of the Abbott government cut $500m directly from Indigenous affairs.

    Unfortunately, these cuts are being reflected in cuts to services by the WA state government, including the proposed closure of approximately 150 Aboriginal communities in remote Western Australia. When premier Colin Barnett announced the intention to push Indigenous Western Australians out of their homes and dissolve their communities, it was a shot across the bows of a federal government that intends to withdraw two-thirds of the funding to those communities as it sails away from its traditional responsibilities in a number of areas.

    The announcement will have shocked and frightened thousands of people who live in those communities. Still painfully sharp is the communal memory of the actions taken by the WA state government during the 1950s and 1960s in rounding up Aboriginal people from allegedly dysfunctional communities onto cattle trucks in the middle of the night and dumping them on the outskirts of towns, with entirely foreseeable and terrible consequences.

    By far the worst aspect of the proposal to close 150 remote communities is the abject failure to communicate and consult with Aboriginal people. Mick Gooda, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, noted only last week that the massive upheaval and uncertainty taking place is occurring as a result of changes announced without any meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Noting the absence of consultation with respect to the WA community closures, Wayne Bergmann, former head of the Kimberley Land Council has said, “The only solution is the government has to empower Aboriginal leadership in the local organisations and the local communities.”

    And former federal minister for Aboriginal affairs and this year’s senior Australian of the year, Fred Chaney, has said that proceeding to de-fund and dissolve remote communities will have catastrophic impacts on the lives of Indigenous men, women and children.

    His open letter to the premier and the prime minister states:

    “I see no sign that any government is prepared for the consequences. If governments simply let things rip by withdrawing services and driving people into towns without careful and comprehensive preparation, the outcomes will be shameful. That shame will reflect on you and your governments and on all of us.”

    Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, as citizens of Australia, and not just as some kind of fiscal problem, Chaney said. It’s astounding that in 2014 this statement of common sense even needs to be made.

  112. Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem

    Melissa Parke

    A recent report commissioned by three shires in WA’s northwest has indicated that the quantum of overdue spending on basic facilities and services in remote Aboriginal communities is very substantial, and one can imagine this being proof in some quarters that the situation is not sustainable. Of course what it really shows is that support to those communities has been parlous over an extended period of time – and so we may see here the kind of twisted logic through which neglect justifies further neglect, rather than being a spur to action.

    The Western Australian premier has also wrongly suggested that the health and wellbeing of people in remote communities justify their closure when in fact the resilience and sustainability of Indigenous people living in those circumstances may be better than for many Aboriginal people who live on the fringe of regional towns or cities.

    We have long followed the principle of universality of service in Australia – and though we haven’t always been able or, in some cases, willing to fully deliver on that principle, it has actually been a reasonably consistent feature of government policy and administration.

    That’s why it is hypocritical in the extreme for the cessation of support to Aboriginal communities to be put forward on the basis that the communities in question are small and unsustainable.

    As Guy Rundle has written, universality of service is a, “necessary principle for a vast country, where the economic tides come and go. […] If we didn’t respect that we’d wind up half of rural white Queensland, which costs us far more money than Aboriginal communities do.”

    In Western Australia we have seen the royalties for regions programme provide funding for many important and a few reasonably curious projects; we have seen the state government prepared go to extraordinary lengths to support some questionable residential property developments in the north-west; and we know that the proposed closures, without proper planning let alone consultation, will in fact produce greater costs in addition to the unacceptable and unconscionable social harm involved.

    As a federal member of parliament I recognise that it was the decision by the Abbott government to shirk and shift its responsibility for supporting remote Aboriginal communities that has effectively invited the Barnett government to abdicate its duty of care to some of our most vulnerable citizens.

    The continuous and messy skirmishing between state and Commonwealth governments may be the price we pay for federalism, but it is telling that the Australians who so often bear the brunt of this intergovernmental conflict are generally the most disadvantaged.

    The reason this occurs is that many vulnerable people, including Indigenous Australians, do not have full access to and full participation in our democracy; the defunding of the elected National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples is symptomatic of this. Much work remains if this disabling gap is to be closed. Constitutional recognition will take us one step closer, but there are many more steps, small and large, local and national, that lie ahead.

    Sadly, the WA and federal governments are busy shuffling away in the opposite direction – and not nearly enough is being said about it.

    1. Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem

      Melissa Parke

      The WA government has advanced changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act which will operate to seriously reduce the rights and input of Aboriginal people and the protection of Indigenous heritage. The Abbott government has stripped funding away from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSIL) and taken funds from language translation services. This is despite the fact that the latest Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report shows that the rate of Indigenous incarceration rose 57% between 2000 and 2013.

      I can only hope that the premier of WA and the prime minister, who makes so much of his personal interest in the lives of Indigenous Australians, will come to their senses.

    2. NT dole scheme slammed as slave labour

      The NT government's proposed work-for-the-dole scheme is tantamount to slave labour, Aboriginal traditional owners say.

      The Original Peoples Freedom Movement (OPFM) says the scheme is punitive and exploitative and will make people living in remote areas work five days a week over 52 weeks to receive the dole.

      "This is nothing but an outrageous land grab and obscene discriminatory policy that is being only implemented against one people without even the guise of consultation or negotiation," OPFM founder Tauto Sansbury told AAP.

      "It's a slave labour opportunity."

      He said the remote work-for-the-dole policy was more discriminatory than the urban plan, and didn't outline occupational health and safety, holiday pay, or superannuation.

      "Twenty-five hours a week and you work for what you're already entitled to get," he said.

      Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the scheme would prepare people in remote communities for employment.

      "There are some very capable people in the communities, and we need to make sure they're work ready and working for the dole," he told reporters in Darwin on Monday.

      "We need youth workers, people in aged care, in the education system, in the creches."

      However, he conceded there were fewer jobs available in remote communities and most were held by non-indigenous people.

      He said the government wanted to make the scheme as work-like as possible, and would determine how many days people would get off for cultural, holiday and sick leave.

      OPFM spokesman Paul Spearim Jnr said the policy would force communities to come into already disease-ridden, overcrowded and poverty-riddled townships indigenous people had escaped from over 40 years ago.

  113. http://heraldonlinejournal.com/2014/12/05/barnett-strips-dreaming-of-heritage-status/

    Barnett strips Dreaming of heritage status

    December 5, 2014 · by Your Herald · in News. ·

    THE Swan River faces losing Aboriginal heritage protection under a controversial interpretation of statutes by the Barnett government.

    Over the past two years WA’s Aboriginal affairs department (DAA) has quietly dropped from its heritage register scores of sites across the state.

    When asked why, it told the Herald the sites, ”were not Aboriginal sites as required by Section 5 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972”.


    “For the place to be considered a sacred area it requires that a religious activity had to occur at this place rather than just a belief or the presence of an ancestral being,” Ms Butler told the claimants.


    The Herald understands the advice follows a review of the Act two years ago by senior departmental legal officer Alex Rorrison. Amendments to the Act are currently before state parliament.

    Anthropologists the Herald has spoken to are aghast at the interpretation, saying it’s further evidence the Barnett government is taking Aboriginal heritage back 40 years.

    One consultant, who recently had a site knocked back after recommending its registration, is appalled the department is relying on legislation drafted five years after Aborigines were granted the vote.

    “What do you reckon the thinking about Aborigines was like back then,” said the consultant, who’d speak only on condition of anonymity.


    Prof Dortch also disputes the DAA’s claim it’s removed just 127 registered sites, saying he has evidence thousands have been stripped.

    Every couple of years Prof Dortch downloads the register and he says in the past two years about 1500 sites have changed from being ”registered” to “stored data”, meaning they no longer warrant heritage protection.

    Most of those sites are in mining leaseholds belonging to Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest.




    BURU'S share price is now back where it started it's rise in 2010.
    If it falls a bit more it will be back at it's first listed price from September 1st 2008.

    If you remember Chemco ( Coogee Chemicals Pty Ltd ) bought in at $0.75.

    Even though the final drilling report hasn't been released for Commodore 1 ( 2nd duster in as many weeks ) their share price has dropped again today by 6.82% and is down to $0.410.

    Someone obviously knows something.




    Aussie oil’s post-Christmas misery

    Wednesday, 10 December 2014
    Blair Price

    INDUSTRY-wide capital expenditure and job cuts are expected in January/February with Goldman Sachs

    *****forecasting Woodside to defer the Browse floating LNG project and instead make an acquisition next year.*****


    ( The acquisition being Apache WA assets. )



  116. Abandoned US wells found to be leaking methane

    Wednesday, 10 December 2014
    Andrew Snelling

    A STUDY conducted by researchers from Princeton and Stanford Universities has found that methane may be leaking into the atmosphere from abandoned oil and gas wells across the country.


    Narrabri could be 'pipe dream'

    Anthony Barich
    Wednesday, 10 December 2014

    NEW gas production from Santos’ proposed Narrabri gas project may have little or no influence in driving lower wholesale gas prices in New South Wales, according to an organisation previously commissioned by Greenpeace to debunk the commerciality of a major coal project.


    Argentina’s big shale play

    Tuesday, 9 December 2014

    ARGENTINA’S Neuquen Province has given ExxonMobil and Canadian junior Americas Petrogas four years to evaluate their Los Toldos blocks in an effort to unlock what promises to be a bumper crop of shale reserves that have already attracted interest from some large players.




    Abbot Point dredging haste could ruin Caley valley wetlands, says expert

    The Queensland government plans to have bulldozers ready to roll on the Adani port expansion project on New Year’s Day

    A marine expert has warned that rushing through a scheme to dump dredged material from a coal port on sensitive wetlands could result in disaster, as the Queensland government plans to have bulldozers ready to roll on the project on New Year’s Day.

    The government’s contractors are organising for work to start at the proposed Caley valley dump within days of approval by the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt. But a public consultation on the plans has yet to be completed, and has been criticised for allowing insufficient time for people to give an informed response.

    The dump is intended to take dredge spoil as part of a project led by Indian miner Adani to expand the Abbot Point port to accommodate a projected increase in exports from the Galilee basin coalfields.

    An initial plan to dump the sediment within the Great Barrier Reef’s waters was shelved following an outcry from environmentalists and a formal request by Unesco for an alternative to be found.

    Prof Marcus Sheaves, head of marine biology at James Cook University, said the lack of a considered process around the wetlands plan was “a serious concern”.

    Sheaves joined environmental campaigners and the Greens in calling on Hunt to extend the two-week period for public submissions on the wetlands dumping plan.

    “When you rush big projects in sensitive places, you increase the potential for a disaster – it regularly leads to massive environmental damage and an expensive clean-up that could have been prevented if there had been detailed scientific consideration and community engagement,” Sheaves said.

    “I urge the minister to reconsider his decision and extend the consultation process, fully engaging both the scientific and wider community in a frank and full consideration of the proposals.”

  118. Abbot Point dredging haste could ruin Caley valley wetlands, says expert

    Hunt, who fast-tracked the approval process by waiving the need for new site studies examining the impact of dumping on the wetlands, has provided 10 business days for public submissions.

    That is the minimum legally required period for the public to comment on a report 2,370 pages long.

    Greens senator Larissa Waters said Hunt’s decision was “insulting”. She said just getting through the report to make informed comment meant “reading 237 pages a day, all during the end-of-year period which is very busy for many people”.

    The Queensland government last week appointed BMD Constructions to come up with a proposed design and construction plan for the dumping ponds in Caley Valley.

    It also flagged the opportunity for dredging companies two weeks before its plan was released for public comment before scrutiny by Hunt.

    Hunt has stipulated that dredging can only take place between 1 March and 30 June each year to avoid impacts on coral spawning and seagrass regrowth, adding urgency to Adani’s port expansion plans.

    Sheaves questioned the lack of a plan for “detailed integrated assessment of all components of the proposal and their implications, despite the sensitive nature of location of the proposed dredge-spoil dumping, and the public concern over the proposal”.

    Queensland government documents on the project state that the Caley valley wetlands are an important habitat of national significance for a selection of birds that are collectively described as “superlative natural phenomena”.

    Dredged material will be contained within constructed embankments near new railway lines that will run to the Abbot Point port.

    The dumped sediment would directly wipe out 114.3 hectares of foraging habitat for birds, with a further 16.4 hectares lost due to increased activity and noise. More than 97 hectares of potential seagrass habitat, vital for animals such as turtles and dugongs, will suffer “permanent and irreversible loss” due to the dredging.

    The Queensland government documents state the dumping will have “significant residual impacts” on the Australian painted snipe, which is nationally listed as endangered.

    More than 15 species of migratory shorebirds use the wetland, including the red-necked stint and the sharp-tailed sandpiper, which are both endangered. Vine thickets, a type of endangered vegetation, is also found on the wetlands.

    World Wildlife Fund campaigner Louise Mathieson said the state government “really are fast-tracking the approvals process – I’ve never seen it go so rapidly”.

    Sheaves said coastal wetlands were crucial to the health of the Great Barrier Reef, as they prevented certain sediments and pollutants from flowing onto the coral.

    Wetlands also act as nursery grounds for juvenile fish and prawns. The Caley valley wetlands can host up to 40,000 water birds from 52 species at peak times.

    1. Reading that some phrases really were the same as for JPP...............

      The Queensland government plans to have bulldozers ready to roll on the Adani port expansion project on New Year’s Day

      A marine expert has warned that rushing through a scheme to dump dredged material from a coal port on sensitive wetlands could result in disaster, as the Queensland government plans to have bulldozers ready to roll on the project on New Year’s Day.

      But a public consultation on the plans has yet to be completed, and has been criticised for allowing insufficient time for people to give an informed response.

      “When you rush big projects in sensitive places, you increase the potential for a disaster – it regularly leads to massive environmental damage and an expensive clean-up that could have been prevented if there had been detailed scientific consideration and community engagement,” Sheaves said.

      “I urge the minister to reconsider his decision and extend the consultation process, fully engaging both the scientific and wider community in a frank and full consideration of the proposals.”

      Hunt, who fast-tracked the approval process by waiving the need for new site studies examining the impact of dumping on the wetlands, has provided 10 business days for public submissions.

      That is the minimum legally required period for the public to comment on a report 2,370 pages long.

      Greens senator Larissa Waters said Hunt’s decision was “insulting”. She said just getting through the report to make informed comment meant “reading 237 pages a day, all during the end-of-year period which is very busy for many people”.

      Sheaves questioned the lack of a plan for “detailed integrated assessment of all components of the proposal and their implications, despite the sensitive nature of location of the proposed dredge-spoil dumping, and the public concern over the proposal”.

      Queensland government documents on the project state that the Caley valley wetlands are an important habitat of national significance for a selection of birds that are collectively described as “superlative natural phenomena”.

      The dumped sediment would directly wipe out 114.3 hectares of foraging habitat for birds, with a further 16.4 hectares lost due to increased activity and noise. More than 97 hectares of potential seagrass habitat, vital for animals such as turtles and dugongs, will suffer “permanent and irreversible loss” due to the dredging.

      Vine thickets, a type of endangered vegetation, is also found on the wetlands.

      World Wildlife Fund campaigner Louise Mathieson said the state government “really are fast-tracking the approvals process – I’ve never seen it go so rapidly”.

      Sheaves said coastal wetlands were crucial to the health of the Great Barrier Reef, as they prevented certain sediments and pollutants from flowing onto the coral.

      Wetlands also act as nursery grounds for juvenile fish and prawns. The Caley valley wetlands can host up to 40,000 water birds from 52 species at peak times.



      (the Qld gov are tipping in 100's of millions of $$$'s)


      The Madness of Greg Hunt and the Carmichael Mine

      ...............The coal mine is simply gigantic – the largest Australia has ever seen, and one of the biggest in the world. Consisting of six open cut pits and five underground mines, it will cover an area seven times the size of Sydney Harbour.


      CO2 emissions from the combusted Carmichael mine coal are estimated at a whopping 128 million tonnes per annum, cancelling out any of the gains made under the government’s pathetic Direct Action policy. To put that figure in perspective, that’s equal to four times the amount that New Zealand emits in a year.

      (4 x's JPP)


      .......... All Australians will be left with is a massive hole in the ground, linked to a dying reef by a ghost train. In the mean time, Greg Hunt will twiddle his thumbs, waiting for the years-away clean coal technology to be rolled out.


      Adani coal project at heart of Galilee plans

      .............Queensland Conservation Council spokesman Toby Hutcheon said Indian conservation groups - as well as Australian groups - had raised financial concerns about the project.

      "Broadly speaking, we don't think the project is going to get up," Mr Hutcheon said.

      "We don't believe it is going to get up because financially there are an awful lot of questions particularly about the coal market in India," he said.

      Mr Hutcheon said Indian conservation groups - the Conservation Action Trust - have raised concerns the project is not viable and cannot provide coal to India at a cheaper price than other world sources.

      "They do not believe that Adani has made a financial case and they will not be able to sell the coal at the price that they suggest," he said.


      Adani's Galilee Basin project 'not commercially viable'

      .................There is some regrettable news afoot for the governments of Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman: the financial statements of Adani.

      This very news, however, will be relished by the enemies of progress: the tree huggers, basket-weavers and the dreaded Great Barrier Reef protectionists.


      Without putting too fine a point on it, this is shaping up as the whitest of white elephants. No, more than this, this is an elephant which does not merely lack financial viability but which is also a calamity for the environment.


      Tim Buckley, director at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, puts it bluntly: "This project is not commercially viable". Apart from the financial deficiencies of the main participants, he says thermal coal is in structural rather than cyclical decline.


      This is a white elephant with purple polka dots.

      Amid the project viability and majestic funding schism, the worst eventuality is that Adani and GVK dredge up the Barrier Reef before they themselves blow up and ho-tail it back to India.

      Campbell and his 2IC, Jeff Seeney, would not have much luck chasing Adani to Ahmedabad for a stoush in the local courts, especially as founder Gautam Adani is a close mate of India's Prime Minister.


      Doubts about Galilee Basin

      EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Queensland Government wants to open up what could become one of the world's largest coal regions, the Galilee Basin.

      Tonight there are new questions about the financial viability of one of the big players in the project, Indian coal conglomerate Adani.

      There are two other key investors, a Gina Rinehart joint venture with another Indian giant, GVK, and Waratah, a company owned by Clive Palmer.

      Now a Greenpeace-commissioned investigation has found Adani is carrying $12 billion of debt and needs billions more to develop the project, just as the world coal market is looking grim.


      Doubts Adani can develop Galilee Basin coal mine slammed by industry


  119. Oil plunges 3 percent to new five-year lows after bearish IEA outlook

    ...................It predicted that oil-producing nations outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will add to global supplies. It also expected prices to fall further.

    "That's just more bad news for the oil markets," said Andrew Lipow, president of Houston-based Lipow Oil Associates.

    Brent settled down $1.83, or nearly 3 percent, at $61.85 per barrel. It fell to $61.35 during the session, the lowest since July 2009.

    U.S. crude finished down $2.14, or 3.6 percent, at $57.81. It fell earlier to $57.34, its lowest since May 2009.

    On the week, Brent lost more than $7, or about 11 percent. U.S. crude tumbled over $8, or 12 percent.

    Both markets have lost about 46 percent of their value since their June highs, when Brent stood at above $115 and U.S. crude at around $107.

    The IEA outlook had a greater impact on Friday's market than data from U.S. oil services firm Baker Hughes showing the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States were down by 29 this week, the biggest weekly drop in two years.

    Voluminous crude from U.S. shale projects has been blamed for much of the global oil glut now, and energy traders have been watching rig data to see if prices that have almost halved since June will prompt a cutback in drilling.

    Regulators in North Dakota, one of the largest shale oil producing states in the United States, also said on Friday the state's crude production held steady in October despite strict new rules that aim to prevent wasteful burning of natural gas produced alongside oil.


    " ( Comment from : Oil falls a double edged sword )

    I am wondering what it means for those Qld CSG companies that have spent a kingdom’s fortune in development…

    Expect demands for corporate welfare."


    "Junior miners looking for cost-cutting assistance as falling iron ore prices bite

    ....................It is understood several options are being canvassed with miners such as a reduction or deferral in taxes to lowering port charges, which the industry has long complained are unnecessarily high.

    The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has been involved in some of the discussions which have spanned several government departments and ministries.

    AMEC's Simon Bennison said it was working with the Government to reduce the costs to industry.

    "The industry has implemented a broad range of cost saving and efficiency measures in light of the tough resources climate," he said.

    "AMEC is requesting Government to improve efficiencies and further streamline approvals across all agencies."

    BC Iron, Atlas Iron and Mt Gibson Iron have all slashed jobs and spending in the past couple of weeks to cope with the price slide.


    "There are serious concerns that Government is looking at increasing royalties in 2015 despite the industry arguing its case that it is paying more than its fair share," Mr Bennison said.


    Any tax concessions would come at a short-term cost to the Government and are likely to have an impact on the budget bottom line.

    It could shape up as a double hit for the budget with the Government already under pressure from falling royalty revenue.


    The Government has previously given royalty breaks to magnetite miners in the Mid West, with the Karara project, east of Geraldton, the first to benefit.

    Under legislation, companies can ask for royalty relief if they can show the current tax rate is causing them financial hardship.

    The Government has declined to comment on any negotiations with mining companies.


    ALL THIS WHILE...........

    "Nahan to use razor gang

    ................The State Government is expected to appoint a former senior Commonwealth public servant to spearhead a new razor gang that will have the job of slashing hundreds of millions of dollars - and potentially hundreds of jobs - from eight of the State's biggest spending agencies.


    The agencies are the departments of Culture and the Arts, Agriculture, Fisheries, Parks and Wildlife, Finance, Commerce, the Attorney-General, Training and Workforce Development.


    The Treasurer was satisfied that the departments of Health, Education and Corrective Services were in the middle of reform projects, but once the reviews of the latest eight agencies selected were completed, other agencies would be next in line.

    Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said Dr Nahan's plan proved Mr Wyatt's criticism that the Barnett Government was "hands off" with the management of its finances.

    "Six years of big spending and the Government is now bereft of ideas itself to get its finances under control," Mr Wyatt said."


  121. Narrabri gas 'may go to Qld'

    A controversial coal seam gas project in northern NSW may do nothing to ease gas prices for the state, a new report says.

    The Narrabri gas project, owned by energy company Santos, has been promoted by the NSW government as central to meeting an expected shortfall in supplies from 2015.

    But energy analyst Tim Buckley says in a report the multibillion-dollar project may not reduce gas prices for NSW residents.

    And he says NSW gas may instead end up flowing to Queensland, where giant export facilities are desperately short of gas for overseas sale.

    Santos wants to mine coal seam gas from large reserves in and around the Pilliga Forest.

    The NSW government has called the proposal a Strategic Energy Project that, if approved, will be central to ensuring secure gas supplies for the state.


    Peak Oil and E&P Risks

    Although Exxon has released statements affirming its belief that peak oil won't be a problem anytime soon, the fact remains that oil is not nearly as plentiful a resource as it has been in the past. That Exxon is even considering oil sands projects says something about the state of oil availability today................

    Exxon may develop its technology all it wants to, but the double whammy of more expensive E&P and alt-fuel pressures on gas margins will probably mean a plateau (if not an actual decline) in earnings growth. And as stockholders, we don't need a full-out Exxon earnings loss to lose money--for skittish investors, the slightest faltering in Exxon could mean a mass withdrawal.

    Exxon is still a dirty word with many environmentalists and socially conscious investors, even more than 18 years after Valdez. Environmental risks are always present with oil firms. With all the easy oil already tapped, the company is being forced to more exotic geographies and into relatively unstable countries to find growth opportunities. We think margins will probably get squeezed by higher foreign taxes as access to far-flung resources becomes increasingly precious. Oil is a commodity with volatile and unpredictable prices, and oversupply can greatly sap profits. If OPEC lost its grip and oil prices fell, industrywide returns would suffer. The runup in oil prices over the past few years has emboldened oil-rich countries to demand more control and a greater percentage of the profits from national oil and gas fields. This trend could limit Exxon's investment opportunities, given the firm's high required rate of return.


    Oill spill threatens rare dolphins in Bangladesh's Sundarbans region, officials warn

    Bangladeshi fishermen using sponges and sacks have begun cleaning up a huge oil spill in a protected area that is home to the world's largest mangrove forest.

    Thousands of litres of oil spilled into the protected Sundarbans mangrove area, home to rare Irrawaddy and Ganges dolphins, after a tanker collided with another vessel on Tuesday.

    The government has sent a ship carrying oil dispersants to the area, which is inside one of three sanctuaries set up for the dolphins.

    But environmentalists said the chemicals could harm the delicate ecology of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    The head of the local port authority told reporters that fishermen would use "sponges and sacks" to collect the spilled oil, which has spread over an 80-kilometre area.

    But Amir Hosain, chief forest official of the Sundarbans, admitted authorities were in the dark about what to do.

    "This catastrophe is unprecedented in the Sundarbans and we don't know how to tackle this," he said.


  122. Tony Abbott continues to pussyfoot around Indigenous recognition

    David Marr

    The prime minister knows a referendum that failed would be a national disgrace. But his inability to spell out what ‘recognition’ would entail is almost as embarrassing

    ...............Referendums are easy to wreck. The diehards might be able to destroy one they believe offers too much. But Indigenous Australians and their supporters can wreck a referendum that offers too little.

    Abbott knows mere poetry is not an option. But all he could do in the face of last night’s celebrations was pussyfoot around the issue. So did leader of the opposition Bill Shorten.

    Embarrassment looms all around. A referendum that failed at the ballot box would be a national disgrace. But it’s becoming almost as embarrassing that after all these years of inquiries and consultations and debate about recognition, our leaders can’t even say what they’re talking about.


    Pressure on Australia to slash emissions – but no cost-effective policy to get us there

    Ross Garnaut is usually professorial in his language. But the academic who wrote two voluminous climate policy reports for the former government used front-bar vernacular when asked where Wednesday’s historic climate announcement by China and the US has left Australia. “Up shit creek,” he said.


    Tony Abbott still insists “coal is good for humanity” and its use should go “up and up and up in the years and decades to come” – but then cuts spending on the carbon capture and storage technology that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the only way coal will be able to be used into the future.

    It is, as the US is demonstrating, possible to reduce emissions by means other than a carbon price. Tough regulations or carefully targeted and rigorously assessed government incentives can also do the job.

    But Direct Action, as it stands, is unlikely to be a viable alternative and its costs will certainly become prohibitive as Australia is required to reduce its emissions further – as Malcolm Turnbull kept telling us and has been repeatedly borne out by modelling (done by third parties because the government hasn’t done any, preferring as Abbott said during the election campaign, to just “have a crack”).

    And so we find ourselves under extreme pressure to make much deeper cuts to emissions without any cost-effective policy to get us there. Not just up shit creek, but without a paddle.


    Lima climate talks: tough decisions deferred as UN meeting winds up

    ............The scramble came as the Abbott Government was accused of "creative accounting" in the way it reported emissions from land clearing and forestry in a new study by the Potsdam Institute.

    Underscoring a key issue in these negotiations of transparency, the study found that because of the way in which reference levels were set for these sectors, Australia would actually be able to increase emissions by 26 per cent above 2000 levels in 2020, rather than the cut of five per cent it has promised to meet.

    Australia also came under fire from the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, which said it found Australia's position in the negotiations "perplexing".


    The issue around how countries account for their emissions from the land sector and forestry is notoriously complex and difficult to understand. In the past, Australia has defended its figures as being consistent with the rules under the Kyoto Protocol.

    But Mr Hare said Australia had projected emissions from forestry and land use would increase when in fact they would decrease.

    "Their calculations are deliberately obscure," he said.

    "There are serious doubts about these numbers from Australia."

    Meanwhile, Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum said Australia's neglect of small island states in the negotiations like his own was almost "criminal".



    Andrew Forrest welfare card would create sub-class of millions: community groups

    A subclass of millions of Australians will be created if the government goes ahead with a "demeaning" proposal to restrict how welfare recipients spend their benefits, community sector and indigenous organisations say.

    More than 35 groups, including the St Vincent de Paul Society, Relationships Australia and Mission Australia have signed a joint statement to the Abbott government, demanding that it does not roll out the "Healthy Welfare Card" recommended by businessman Andrew Forrest in his review of indigenous employment and training.

    The groups, which also include the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Legal Services, say the card would be "demeaning, invasive, unworkable" and create "an entire subclass of millions of people in the Australian community".

    In his review, released in August, Mr Forrest called on the government to issue a debit card to all welfare recipients to ensure they do not spend the funds on things like alcohol and gambling. He argued this would direct "spending to purchases that sustain and support a healthy lifestyle ... and to savings for larger expenses".


    The current schemes, which were introduced by Coalition and Labor governments, quarantine at least half of a person's payment for necessary items and prevent spending on things such as alcohol, cigarettes, home brew kits and pornography. At this stage, the various schemes are due to end in mid 2015 and mid 2016 and the government is considering its next move in the area.



    .......................The important point here is that it’s not just the Greeks who are mad as Hellas (their own name for their country) and aren’t going to take it anymore. Look at France, where Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigrant National Front, outpolls mainstream candidates of both right and left. Look at Italy, where about half of voters support radical parties like the Northern League and the Five-Star Movement. Look at Britain, where both anti-immigrant politicians and Scottish separatists are threatening the political order.

    It would be a terrible thing if any of these groups — with the exception, surprisingly, of Syriza, which seems relatively benign — were to come to power. But there’s a reason they’re on the rise.

    This is what happens when an elite claims the right to rule based on its supposed expertise, its understanding of what must be done — then demonstrates both that it does not, in fact, know what it is doing, and that it is too ideologically rigid to learn from its mistakes.

    I have no idea how events in Greece are about to turn out. But there’s a real lesson in its political turmoil that’s much more important than the false lesson too many took from its special fiscal woes.



  124. World Heritage listed river under threat from pollution

    The world-heritage listed Wollangambe River, which runs through spectacular canyons in the Blue Mountains, is under threat from pollution flowing into its upper reaches from a Lithgow coal mine.

    The river is being pumped with waste water discharged from the Clarence Collier coal mine, which is harming the ecology of the waterway.

    Scientists from the University of Western Sydney School of Science and Health, claim licence restrictions placed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on mine pollution are not enough. They want an investigation to identify all the contaminants that are flowing from the mine.

    "The river is beautiful - it really is a scenically amazing place, but the sad reality is that the mine is silently poisoning the place and we have no idea how this is affecting the wildlife," said Dr Ian Wright from UWS.

    An EPA spokeswoman said they are already reviewing the mine licence with the aim of tightening limits on nickel and salinity in discharges as part of a legally binding pollution reduction program. She said the EPA had started its own investigation into the impact of the mine water discharge on the river ecosystem.

    A spokeswoman for Clarence Colliery said: "We have over a decade of research which we use to ensure we comply with the EPA's requirements."

    Dr Wright and student Nakia Belmer have been researching the health of the river for several years and have made a submission to the Environment Protection Authority warning the discharge increases salinity, metals pH and temperature in the river.

    They have tested the water above the mine and reported it to be clean. They found that below the mine, the water is warmer, has elevated salinity, alkaline and has "ecologically hazardous levels of nickel and zinc".

    Mr Belmer documented the "black sludge" which has coated the rocks at the water discharge point from the mine.

    The Clarence Colliery has had 84 non-compliance breaches of its licence in the past 14 years including a caution and a formal warning. The EPA last fined the company $1500 in 2012 for breaching the levels of manganese flowing into the river.

  125. Delhi air impurities far worse than level that won Indian capital 'world's most polluted city' title

    "We have found that daily personal exposure to toxic air is significantly higher than the background ambient air pollution that is monitored by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee," says the centre's director-general, Sunita Narain.

    To assess the content of the air people breathe as they move around the city, Ms Narain and CSE research director Anumita Roychowdhury convinced a group of prominent Delhiites to carry sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment as they conducted their daily routines.

    The pollutions levels they recorded shocked the authors of the study - and the participants - as they discovered they were being exposed to up to 12 times the level of killer particles that is deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

    With the Delhi winter causing severe temperature inversion conditions during the night - where the cold night air acts as a dome trapping in the warmer city air - the study found that real-time pollution levels soared during the night, peaking in the early morning.

    One participant in the study was Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Authority, who lives in the heart of the greenest part of the city known as Lutyens Delhi, where he takes his morning power walk along with the rest of the city's elite in the lush Lodhi Gardens.

    While the WHO recommended daily standard for exposure to small particles is just 60 micrograms per cubic metre, Mr Lal discovered to his horror that the air he was breathing in the Lodhi Gardens on the morning of November 13 had 1195.83 micrograms of small particles per cubic metre.


    Earth faces sixth ‘great extinction’ with 41% of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo

    A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world’s mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of mammal species and 13% of birds are similarly threatened.

    Many species are already critically endangered and close to extinction, including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla. But also in danger of vanishing from the wild, it now appears, are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example.

    In each case, the finger of blame points directly at human activities. The continuing spread of agriculture is destroying millions of hectares of wild habitats every year, leaving animals without homes, while the introduction of invasive species, often helped by humans, is also devastating native populations. At the same time, pollution and overfishing are destroying marine ecosystems.

    “Habitat destruction, pollution or overfishing either kills off wild creatures and plants or leaves them badly weakened,” said Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge. “The trouble is that in coming decades, the additional threat of worsening climate change will become more and more pronounced and could then kill off these survivors.”


    (and Barnett's "cant look aboriginal kids in the eye")


    Karma bus comes around for Joe Hockey

    Michael Pascoe

    Joe Hockey tried to get his spin retaliation in first on Sunday with the budget "shock absorber" line. It didn't change the reality of Monday's mid-year-economic-and-fiscal-outlook-show: an effective admission that he's likely to go down in history as one of the Treasurers who never delivered a surplus.

    Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, depending on reasonable priorities at the time. Still, after all those years of belittling revenue shortfalls, talking down the economy and demonising deficits, the karma bus has come round and whacked him hard.

    The treasurer will be talking airily of scores of billions of dollars here and hundreds of billions there, declining terms of trade and fractional movements in GDP percentages. Meanwhile, down in the dirt of regional Australia, the impact of piecemeal budget policy - "ad Hockery", you might zinger it - is measured in a very few million dollars and people going blind.

    Slipping by with little notice, the government has not renewed funding for the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS), a program that has co-ordinated the goodwill and hard work of ophthalmologists and optometrists to save and improve sight in the bush.

  127. Karma bus comes around for Joe Hockey

    Michael Pascoe

    An initiative of the government and the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists in 2010, the four-year program cost a total of $5 million – about the same as the current renovations at the Lodge.

    While $1.25 million a year would barely keep the Members' Bar in swizzle sticks, the lean IRIS operation has delivered enormously effective outcomes. In a call for lobbying action to save the program, it lists: 12,800 outpatient consultations in the most remote locations across Australia, 2,100 surgical procedures, establishment of 22 regular and ongoing remote eye health services, purchase, placement and servicing of $2 million of diagnostic and surgical equipment for remote Australia and piloting two separate tele-medicine initiatives.

    Part of IRIS' success has been doctors and optometrists viewing it as a way of "giving back". Its lobbying efforts have not been without impact players - the program is chaired by former Wallaby captain, Dr Mark Loane, and another key participant is Dr Bill Glasson – former AMA president and the Liberal Party candidate in the past two elections for Kevin Rudd's former seat of Griffith.

    Dr Glasson told Optometry Australia he had lobbied the government heavily, the government had placed a major focus on indigenous health and he was disappointed that the program had to close.

    "To date we've heard nothing. The silence is deafening," he said.

    "We deliver services. It's an organisation that supports the whole of Australia. It supports those rural and regional areas, particularly our indigenous population, that often lack support and co-ordination.

    "That's what we should be about – actually making a difference to people's lives. Those areas that are currently funded by IRIS aren't going to get that service."

    In theory, IRIS' work is to be taken care of the Rural Health Outreach Fund (RHOF) which is supposed to support the delivery of all medical services in remote areas.

    RHOF appears to have a great deal on its plate - just like the Federal Treasurer.

    Given the cost effectiveness of the services delivered by the IRIS program, it's tempting to suggest that saving a few million dollars by ditching IRIS is economically short-sighted.

    It's a twist on the old warning, the government is stopping it and people will go blind.

  128. Buru at $0.39 cents and Woodside $34.52 after buying Apache assets and delaying Browse FID until mid 2016.


    THIS WEEK: The $60-a-barrel oil question hangs over LNG market and future projects

    Monday, 15 December 2014

    North Sea Brent crude oil at $60 a barrel or lower means oil-linked LNG supplies are heading almost below contracts priced at the US benchmark Henry Hub when liquefaction and shipping costs to Asia are added.


    Woodside buys $4.6 billion Apache gas stakes

    ....................Apache intends to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce debt, buy back shares and pursue other opportunities to "drive profitable production growth," he added. It said net proceeds would be about $US3.7 billion.

    The sale still leaves Apache with oil and gas interests in WA, including its stake in the Harriet gas venture and in several other oil and gas fields, as well as exploration acreage in the Carnarvon, Exmouth and Canning basins. It also retains its 49 per cent stake in fertiliser producer Yara Holdings in WA.


    Woodside pushes back Browse timetable

    ................Browse was to be main supplier of new production though this has now been pushed further back.

    Woodside said this morning that front end engineering and design work on Browse would not start for another six months, while a target final investment decision date for a project expected to cost at least $US30 billion has been pushed back from late next year to mid-2016.


    Woodside buys assets, delays Browse project decision

    Australia's biggest oil and gas company, Woodside, is set to get even bigger after announcing its buying some of the assets of a US-based rival.

    Woodside is paying $US3.75 billion ($4.6 billion) for Apache Corporation's 13 per cent stake in the Australian Wheatstone gas project, and majority stake in the Julimar-Brunello upstream gas development.

    It is also buying Apache's Canadian interests in oil and gas projects, which include 50 per cent of the Kitimat LNG project.

    Investors have been waiting for an announcement like this, after Woodside pulled out of a $2.5 billion investment in the Leviathan gas project in Israel earlier this year, prompting questions about the company's growth strategy.

    The acquisitions come as global energy prices continue to dive, but Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman says now is the right time to move.


  129. Canada: Woodside farms into BP offshore blocks in the Scotian Basin

    18 Dec 2014

    Woodside has advised that it has finalised an agreement with BP to farm in to offshore blocks in the Scotian Basin, located off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. BP accepted Woodside’s offer to acquire a 20% participating interest in exploration licences 2431, 2432, 2433 and 2434. BP will remain Operator. The licences cover 14,000 km2 in water depths ranging from 500-3600m. The future work program is anticipated to include the drilling of exploration wells from 2017.

    Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the farm-in was an opportunity to explore an emerging basin with oil potential in line with the company’s international exploration strategy. 'This acreage was high graded as part of our disciplined study of the Atlantic margins and it will complement our position in Morocco,' Mr Coleman said.

    The transaction is subject to required government and regulatory approvals.

  130. Japanese LNG imports drop 4.7 percent and average price paid was $805 a tonne

    Wednesday, 17 December 2014

    Japanese LNG imports declined in November by 4.7 percent and the average price paid for cargoes was $805 a tonne even as dollar-based, long-term contract prices linked to oil were falling to levels of more than five years ago.


    Platts: Asian January spot LNG prices plummet

    Prices of spot liquefied natural gas for January delivery to Asia plunged 46.9% year over year to average $10.062 per million British thermal units (/MMBtu), according to latest Platts Japan/Korea Marker data for month-ahead delivery.

    The fall is the largest year-over-year reduction since Platts began assessing the JKM in February 2009.

    ““With buyers in northeast Asia still holding high inventories, demand for spot cargoes remained limited,” said Stephanie Wilson, managing editor of Asia LNG at Platts. “Even in India and China, numerous buyers could not take additional volume, despite the lower prices.”

    At $10.062/MMBtu, the monthly average JKM for January delivery had reached levels not seen since the same period in 2011, when the January JKM averaged $9.639/MMBtu. In the years following the Fukushima disaster and the subsequent loss of nuclear power in Japan, January JKM monthly averages had been consistently above $15.00/MMBtu.

    The marker dipped below $10/MMBtu for the first time since the week of the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. The JKM for January delivery bottomed at $9.90/MMBtu on assessment date December 1, before rebounding to end the month at $10.00/MMBtu.

    The January average JKM had lost 19.4% in month-over-month comparisons as a result, as buyers waited on the sidelines for prices to bottom.

  131. Broome business chamber's new board seen as mix of experience and youth

    Updated Mon at 11:43amMon 15 Dec 2014, 11:43am

    Map: Broome 6725

    The Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry's new president says she is excited to have some young and enthusiastic new board members to work with.

    Although he remains a board member, Tony Proctor has stepped down as president and will be replaced by Rhondda Chappell.

    Ms Chappell left the not-for-profit sector in Perth and has been working for Toll Mermaid in Broome for five years.


    They have consistently shown they have no brains, how will they ever figure anything like how water for these conflicts with water and waste from fracking ?


    Kimberley abattoir changes construction plans to increase processing capacity

    A partially built abattoir outside of Broome in Western Australia has extended its building plans so it can process 70,000 head per year.

    The Yeeda abattoir's original building plans would have only allowed the business to process around 50,000 head due to limited chilling and boning facilities.

    However Yeeda Pastoral's Jack Burton says some simple structural changes to the building has significantly increased it's ability to process.


    Broome businesses briefed on plans to expand northern food production

    The director of irrigated agriculture in northern WA says the prospects are good for cropping and horticulture to be expanded in the Kimberley.


    Mr Strickland said recent investments by mining magnates show northern properties had enormous potential.

    "We're also seeing investment in the sector to, so Twiggy Forrest and Gina Rinehart have invested in properties in the region and you'd have to think they see it as a diversification opportunity, and there's also the beginnings of foreign investment," he said.

  132. Christine Milne get's STONED !



    A day off from the Rolling Stones tour at the World Parks Congress

    Chuck Leavell, co-founder of MNN and keyboard player with the Rolling Stones, took a break from his music to discuss global parks and how we can make them better.

    Sometimes my passions for music and the environment come together in strange and wonderful ways. The recent Stones tour of Australia played in Sydney in November. This happened to be the same day that the sixth World Parks Congress opened, with both events in Olympic Park, home of the 2000 Sydney Olympics

    The World Parks Congress only happens once a decade, bringing together thousands of park managers with policymakers and politicians, scientists, landowners, indigenous peoples and many others for a bewildering smorgasbord of workshops, demonstrations, multimedia installations, and general craziness, sprawling across multiple buildings and courtyards across from the arena where the Stones played. The Sydney Congress attracted more than 6,000 people from 170 countries. If you're interested in protected parks and care about sustainably managing the natural heritage of our planet, it's the place to be.


    In 1972, the second World Parks Congress convened at Yellowstone to celebrate the iconic park's centennial. In 1982 — the year I joined the Rolling Stones — the gathering truly went global, meeting in Bali, Indonesia. In 1992, it was held in Caracas, Venezuela, and in 2003, in Durban, South Africa. Over those decades, "America's best idea" has been embraced all over the planet. In 1982, about 5 percent of the planet's land area was designated as a protected area. By 2014, that number has risen to around 17 percent. This is a huge success, although this rapid growth has not been without problems, of course. It also explains why so many people from 170 countries would make the trek to Sydney, and why I wanted to be a part of it.


    Chip Barber of the World Resources Institute (WRI) accompanied me at the Congress. We first met last summer in Rome (also on the Stones tour), when WRI invited me to become a member of a new Global Restoration Council, an initiative to focus attention on the urgent challenge the planet faces in restoring its 2 billion hectares of degraded forest lands to economic and ecological productivity. I accepted the challenge and attended an organizational strategy session for the Council in New York, on the margins of the United Nations climate summit in September. Chip had guided Rose Lane and me through the pomp and craziness of the summit in New York, and he once again did a great job of helping me make sense of things at the World Parks Congress gathering. (Our New York experience was captured in an article in New Yorker magazine.)

  133. Christine Milne get's STONED !



    A day off from the Rolling Stones tour at the World Parks Congress


    Chip and a number of colleagues were launching a coalition to bring more attention to the need to stop the loss of the world's shrinking primary forests — it's called IntAct — and I said a few words of encouragement at that well-attended event. WRI also presented its recently released global map of remaining intact forest landscapes and what has happened to them since 2000. I was pleased to meet Senator Christine Milne at this event. Christine represents Tasmania in the Australian Senate and is also leader of the Australian Greens. Her campaign to save the pristine Tarkine forest of Western Tasmania from mining and logging is another stark reminder that the destruction of Earth's precious last primary forests is not just something that's happening in poorer developing countries.


    Google's hyperwall was equally powerful, drawing on the power of Google Earth to display technological marvels like Global Forest Watch, something that could barely have been imagined the last time the Parks Congress, which convened in 2003. Another striking example is the Atlas of Living Australia, which is organizing and making accessible all information about Australia's amazing biodiversity. (The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies put together a list of 20 key tools for conservation that were featured at the Congress, and that's also worth a look.)

    The incredible ability we now have to monitor and understand changes in our environment gives us all new power to fight for conservation and a livable environment. But these tools also give us new responsibilities, as we can no longer pretend that we don't know or can't see the impacts of our choices as consumers, citizens, companies and governments.


    PHOTO : Leavell with Senator Christine Milne (Tasmania), leader of Australian Greens in Parliament and an advocate to save the Tarkine forest of Western Tasmania from mining and logging.


    South Africa Nelson Mandela said:

    "I have been asked in my address today to reflect on challenges for the 21st century as it affects conservation and protected areas. You may very well be a little curious to hear what an old man without a job, office, power or influence, and with his roots far in the past, is going to say about challenges for the future! The future is, after all, in the hands of the youth."

    It was heartening that among those taking the main stage at the Congress to reaffirm Mandela's vision was his great grandson, Luvuyo Mandela, who vowed that his generation would indeed rise to the challenge.

    We must do everything we can to leave the new generation with a planet that is still worth protecting, and do our best to equip them with the tools they will need to protect it. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act of 1964, he probably summed it up as well as anybody:

    "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."

    MNN co-founder Chuck Leavell co-wrote this story with Dr. Charles "Chip" Barber, who is a senior manager with the Forests Program at the World Resources Institute, and former forest chief at the U.S. Department of State.

  134. UN sends team to clean up Sunderbans oil spill in Bangladesh

    Thick tar clogging 350 sq km of delicate mangrove forest and river delta, home to endangered Bengal tigers and rare dolphins


    2014 will be the hottest year on record

    According to data from NOAA, 2014 is sure to set a new temperature record


    China's largest coal power plant violating air pollution levels every week

    Waigaoqiao plant in Shanghai releasing dangerous nitrogen oxides in excess of national emission standards, study finds


    Pressure on Australia to slash emissions – but no cost-effective policy to get us there


    Lima climate change talks end in agreement - but who won?

    This weekend’s deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions gave everyone at the talks in Peru what they came for - sort of

    .......................Michael Jacobs, who served as climate change adviser to the former British prime minister Gordon Brown, said: “There aren’t two kinds of countries any more and that’s good.” In some ways, however, it’s the small island states that can claim the biggest win – by securing the inclusion of the words “loss and damage”.

    The phrase was introduced into UN discussions two years ago to draw attention to the fate of those island states drowned by rising seas. However, rich countries are uncomfortable with the designation because they fear it will open up a whole new category of financial obligation. In the draft circulated earlier on Saturday, there was no mention of the words at all. “It’s like a slap in the face,” said Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development. In the final text, “loss and damage” was back in, but without any specific commitments from rich countries. Still, the leader of Tuvalu told the negotiations he could live with the deal.

  135. Abolition of Indigenous drug and alcohol panel came without warning, members say

    Co-chairman of committee scrapped in budget update says government is silencing Indigenous voices on health outcomes

    ......................Asked to comment, the office of the Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, said it was a matter for Nash. When Nash’s office was contacted for comment a response came from a spokeswoman for the federal health department.

    She said Nidac had no formal reporting link with government except through the ANCD, on which only one of 18 members was Indigenous. That number would rise to two of 13 on the new advisory council.

    The government also announced that no further funding would be provided for the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (Iris), which has carried out 12,800 outpatient consultations and 2,100 surgical procedures in the most remote locations across Australia, and established 22 remote eye health services in four years.

    A GP who has worked in Aboriginal communities for more than a decade, Tim Senior, said evidence, including some published on the government’s own Close the Gap Clearinghouse website, said initiatives did not work when Indigenous communities were not involved.

    “All of the research and historical evidence shows we’ve been doing this to, rather than with, the Aboriginal community for more than 200 years and that’s what got us into the situation we’re now in,” he said.

    “Governments like to go in and, for example, build a mental health facility, which is a very non-Aboriginal way of doing something and their communities might come up with different solutions based on strong links to land and culture that we can’t even imagine as outsiders.”


    1. What is it with Liberal governments and Aboriginal eye health ?

      Malcolm Fraser SACKED Fred Hollows just because he asked for a pay rise !

      At the time Fred was the only eye doctor for Aboriginals for the North of Australia and so many were going blind from easily treatable cataracts.

      ABBOTT "I will be the PM for Aboriginals"



  136. Oil tumbles after brief rebound; Brent back below $60

    ..................With Brent back below the psychologically-key level of $60 a barrel and U.S. crude under $55, traders braced for more selling in a market that has lost about half its value since June.

    "We're continuing to search for a bottom and might even see another significant drop before the year-end," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut


    Oil companies have, meanwhile, announced cuts in exploration and capital spending.

    Chevron Corp (CVX.N) has put on indefinite hold a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic while Marathon Oil (MRO.N) cut its capital expenditure for next year by about 20 percent.

    Canadian oil producers also deepened cuts in 2015 spending, as Husky Energy (HSE.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Penn West Petroleum (PWT.TO) joined those scaling back capital budgets.



    Obama signs law ending benefits for Nazis

    AAP |
    December 19, 2014 9:41AM

    PRESIDENT Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from collecting US government pension benefits.

    THE president's action caps a swift and forceful response to an Associated Press investigation that revealed dozens of former Nazis received millions of dollars in retirement cheques.
    The No Social Security for Nazis Act sailed through Congress. The House unanimously approved the legislation on December 2.

    The Senate passed it two days later, sending the measure to the president's desk.

    The speed with which the bill moved underscored the outrage AP's findings triggered among Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

    The act terminates benefit payments for individuals stripped of their American citizenships due to their participation in Nazi persecutions during World War II.







    London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder

    Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true

    Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.

    Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties.





    Now in middle age, Nick has given partial names of other children who were abused, the Guardian understands, and has given names of “VIPs” alleged to be involved in the abuse. He is understood to have been scared of reprisals for telling detectives about the things powerful people did to him and other children.

    If the allegations are correct, it represents one of the worst scandals in modern British history and endangers already thin public trust in the politicians who govern the country.

    Police promised on Thursday to investigate “without fear or favour” but declined to say if any of those named by Nick had been interviewed as witnesses or suspects.


    Detectives announced last month that they had launched homicide inquiries and said they were scouring records of missing children from over three decades ago to identify those who may have been killed.



    ( including Jimmy Savllle pimping children for ex British PM Ted Heath and the well connected yachting community )



    British police are asking people to come forward to help with an investigation into a high-level paedophile ring in the 1970s and 80s that may be linked to the murder of three boys.

    One boy suspected of being a victim of the ring was a 15-year-old named Martin Allen, the son of a chauffeur who lived on the grounds of the Australian High Commission in London.

    Allen was 15 when he disappeared in 1979. No trace of him has been found.

    But now his case has been linked to an investigation into a child abuse ring, police believe was operating from a residential complex close to Parliament, called Dolphin Square.






    1. Just ask Graham Power he will tell you how that all works.

      A good man and a fair cop who was not corrupt.

      He got done over like nobody's business.

      And he was the top cop !

      "Graham Power: 'I was suspended by the very government whose institutions were being investigated. You cannot get much more conflicted than that."


      Jersey's 'secrecy culture' led to my suspension, says former police chief

      Graham Power claims he was punished for daring to investigate allegations against some of the island's power players

      Before moving to Jersey to take charge of the island's police in 2000, Graham Power had served in the senior ranks of four other forces in a career spanning more than 30 years. A recipient of the Queen's Medal for distinguished service, he had been vetted by UK authorities to "top secret" level and was so well regarded that he had also been appointed an assessor for the body that selects chief officers for UK constabularies.

      But after eight successful years on Jersey, Power found himself suddenly suspended in what one local politician supporter believes was a "coup d'etat engineered by a small group of powerful people who denied him natural justice".

      The initial suspension, which related to Power's management and supervision of a child abuse inquiry centred around Haut de la Garenne, a children's home on the island, continues to be a hugely controversial topic in Jersey. It's an episode which Jersey's critics see as a prime example of the way the island's elite treats those who dare to challenge their authority.

      Nine months before Power's suspension on 12 November 2008, the historic child abuse investigation made headlines around the globe after Power's deputy, Lenny Harper, told the world's media he thought his team had found human remains buried under Haut de la Garenne. He told hordes of journalists that suspicious forensic material discovered during excavation tallied with accounts given by various abuse victims of hearing children dragged from their beds at night who were then never seen again. .


      By the time Power was suspended, Harper had retired. The very day Power was suspended, the new officer in charge of the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell, said at his first press conference that there had never been compelling evidence to justify the excavation, and much of what was found there did not suggest murder, contrary to initial police reports.

      "There are no credible allegations of murder, there are no suspects for murder and no specific time period for murder," said Gradwell. To this day, Harper vigorously defends the way he carried out the investigation.


      Power, as well as child abuse survivors the Guardian has spoken to on the island, claim that after his suspension, some victims lost faith in the investigation. He said: "After my suspension a police officer working in the incident room approached me in the street and told me that incident room staff were busy dealing with calls from victims who were distressed after hearing that I had been suspended and were saying that 'it would all be covered up again'. I have had similar messages from people close to victims and from individual victims who do not wish to be named."

      David Warcup, Power's replacement, insisted at the end of the investigation that there was "no evidence from which it would be possible to mount any further prosecutions."


    2. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/jun/28/jersey-secrecy-culture

      Jersey's 'secrecy culture' led to my suspension, says former police chief

      As Power sees it, his suspension was a punishment for daring to challenge Jersey's "secrecy culture" by investigating serious allegations made against some of the island's power players. Worse, by allowing Harper to talk freely to the media during the investigation, both men were damaging Jersey's reputation abroad – a nightmare for a small place with an economy so dependent on foreign finance that it as Power claims, had a "heightened sensitivity to reputational damage".

      Or as the Liberal MP John Hemming puts it: "I think he was suspended because he was too ethical. That is very worrying."


      Power is not the only one who feels cast out after asking difficult questions. In 2012, an American author and journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman, found herself banned from the UK and Channel Islands, which she says followed the Jersey establishment discovering she was writing a book about the historic child abuse inquiry focussed on Haut de la Garenne. Both the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and Jersey's customs and immigrations service insist her ban was unrelated to her journalistic investigations. But Goodman believes differently, having been flagged by Jersey customs officials as a potential criminal as soon as they found out what she was doing on the island – information she says she offered voluntarily after requesting a meeting to check that a flat and office she had leased in St Helier conformed to Jersey's strict rules on accommodation for so-called "non-qualified" residents.


      ................"To date, the UK Border Force can do little more than accuse me of intending to possibly commit a future transgression, as it has been forced to admit there has been none. This has been a bit like the film Minority Report, in that I am being pursued for something that hasn't actually taken place. As a former Tier-1 visa holder with a spotless record, I was surprised to be locked up, denied legal representation and banned from a country for which I've always held the highest respect. I have never misled the UK Border Force, nor have I ever intended to. I do realise it is a delicate situation, but I hope I might finish my work."

      Charities have also encountered problems after questioning Jersey's modus operandi. In May, ActionAid and Christian Aid, both of which have been critical of the island for providing shelter to tax avoiders, were two of 20 charities that lost support for their general overseas aid projects from Jersey's Overseas Aid Commission.


      MUCH of this began when Edward Paisnel "The Beast of Jersey" was accidently arrested over a traffic matter many years ago.
      He was sentenced to death for abducting and raping many children over many years.
      He was Father Xmas at the boys home Haut de la Garenne.

      Some writers at the time who were doing research for books on Paisnel had to stop and leave the island because of death threats.

      Their investigations had led them to the very top including the Attorney General and connections to Satan Worship and children being "disappeared' from the childrens home and being used as sacrifices to the Devil where the Elite presided.

      Police discovered a secet room at Paisnel's house filled with Devil worship objects and books.





  138. http://www.sott.net/article/244380-Beyond-the-Dutroux-Affair-The-reality-of-protected-child-abuse-and-snuff-networks-in-a-world-ruled-by-psychopaths


    Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

    Joël van der Reijden
    Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics
    Fri, 25 Jul 1997 16:37 CEST


    Warning: The information in this article is not suited for anyone below the age of 18, as it involves extreme sexual violence against children. A certain amount of normally-illegal visual evidence (it is censored) has been included.


    ..................The power of the Dutroux affair and its X-Dossiers is that it will enable anyone to see how a state can be controlled and undermined by a cabal that is able to place its "members" in crucial positions in any investigation that might lead to its own exposure.


    The question of why the majority of the media is so cooperative is the only aspect that cannot be fully explained in this article, although it can be shown that the media is willingly working with official investigators in manipulating and debunking all aspects of an investigation that are not appreciated by this cabal. ........................


    1. Royal commission finds WA Christian Brothers failed to prevent child sexual abuse

      An inquiry into child sexual abuse at four Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia has found that the organisation was aware of abuse allegations for decades - and the damage it could cause - but did not stop it.

      The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse examined abuse at Christian Brothers institutions in Bindoon, Tardun and Perth between 1947 and 1968 and found management failed to prevent the sexual abuse of children living at the schools.

      Some of the victims were as young as seven when they were sexually and physically abused by brothers and older boys.

      Eleven of the schools' former residents gave evidence at hearings in Perth throughout April and May.

      The men recounted stories of painful abuse and psychological damage they have suffered as a result, which led to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism.

      Sixteen brothers were named as perpetrators of sexual abuse, but only four were ever charged and of those, only one was jailed.


      The royal commission has also found the brothers had an obligation to provide the children with an education but in many cases subjected them to physical labour instead.


  139. Junior miners offered royalty relief as falling commodity prices hits hard

    Royalty relief will be offered to junior iron ore miners struggling with the falling price of the commodity, the Western Australian Government has confirmed.

    The ABC revealed last week the State Government was in discussions with junior miners to help them keep afloat.

    The price of the steel-making commodity fell 50 per cent this year, forcing junior miners to shed hundreds of jobs in a bid to slash spending.

    The Government has now revealed it will make temporary assistance available to juniors on a case by case basis as they restructure operations to deal with the tough market conditions.

    The assistance would give haematite miners the opportunity to apply for a 50 per cent rebate on royalties for up to 12 months, if the price of the commodity remains below $AU90 over that period.

    In a statement, Premier Colin Barnett said the move was essential.

    "This is a responsible and carefully considered move and comes on the back of a 48 per cent fall in iron ore prices since January 1," he said.

    "The iron ore industry plays a hugely important role in the Western Australian economy, accounting for 56 per cent of the state's exports and employing more than 61,000 people in 2013-14."

    The rebate will come into effect from the December quarter, with the first rebates available in February.

    After the 12-month period, miners will have to repay the rebates over the following two years.


    Farmers and unions question scheme which provides drilling funding to mining companies

    Unions and farming groups in Western Australia say it is time to take a hard look at a scheme which provides drilling funding to mining companies.

    Established under the Royalties For Regions program, the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) cost more than $100 million.

    Half of that money went to co-funding exploration drilling.

    Large mining companies with big market capitalisation are among those that benefited including Iluka Resources, Hancock Prospecting, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, Anglo American and Northern Star.


    You have to be pretty hard-headed about this. Are we facilitating a new project or are we just helping a large company make it a bit more profitable?"


    Traditional supporters of Royalties For Regions questioned the outlays.

    Farmers Federation president Dale Park said the funds should only have been provided for projects that would not have occurred without it.

    "You have to go back to look at the origin of Royalties for Regions which really was ... money that's going to go back into the regions, being spent in places where hospitals, exploration, buildings, whatever wasn't going to happen without it," he said.

    "One of the undertakings that was made was that Royalties for Regions wouldn't be spent on areas where central funding would normally have paid for those things.

    "If it would've gone ahead, I think we need to question whether that was money well spent or not."

  140. No-fracking push worries Broome Chamber of Commerce

    The Broome Chamber of Commerce is urging people to oppose a plan to make the Shire of Broome a no-fracking area.

    At last week's annual electors meeting, a motion was put forward proposing the shire oppose the use of hydraulic fracturing, which is being used in the West Kimberley to unlock natural gas deposits.

    Attendees voted in favour of the proposal and shire councillors will consider it at a meeting early next year.

    Chamber president Rhondda Chappell said it was not a good message to be putting out at a time when the local economy needed investment and job opportunities.

    "I don't believe it's the chamber's role to decide what business comes into town," she said.

    "I think that's for the qualified bodies like the EPA and other people to make decisions around what kind of business it is.

    "I think our concern is to make sure that every opportunity for small business in our town in maintained.

    "I think what we're really looking for is to keep Broome open for business, to welcome new business into our town, so it can allow existing businesses to grow and create more opportunities in our community."


    Gina Rinehart's beef interests grow

    Mining magnate Gina Rinehart's foray into the beef industry has expanded with the purchase of a major Wagyu herd in western NSW.

    A company associated with Ms Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting has struck an agreement to buy two grazing properties near Dubbo and about 3,000 head of cattle, including 1,600 Fullblood Wagyu females.

    "This is part of Gina Rinehart's commitment to invest in Australian agriculture and ensure the country is positioned to meet the demands of our northern neighbours," a spokesman for Hancock Prospecting said.

    The deal would likely make Ms Rinehart the second largest Wagyu producer in the country, behind Australian Agricultural Company, which exports the majority of its high quality beef to northern and south east Asia.

    Ms Rinehart is also understood to be close to finalising the acquisition of four more beef cattle stations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, after Hancock Prospecting acquired the Liveringa and Nerrima stations in July.

    Australia's richest person also recently reached agreement with the Queensland Government over a $500 million dairy export deal into the Chinese infant formula market.

    Hope Dairies, majority owned by Hancock Prospecting, will produce pharmaceutical grade infant formula and UHT milk at a Queensland processing plant, and buy 5,000 hectares of south-east Queensland dairy land.

    Ms Rinehart plans to create one of Australia's largest dairy farms, producing an estimated 30,000 tonnes of infant formula for export to China every year.

  141. Major coral bleaching in Pacific may become worst die-off in 20 years, say experts

    Warm sea temperatures are causing massive coral reef die-off across the Northern Pacific in what could be the start of an historic bleaching event around the world

    Scientists warn extreme sea temperatures could cause a “historic” coral reef die-off around the world over the coming months, following a massive coral bleaching already underway in the North Pacific. Experts said the coral die-off could be the worst in nearly two decades.

    Reports of severe bleaching have been accumulating in the inbox of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch programme since July.

    A huge swathe of the Pacific has already been affected, including the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, Kiribati and Florida. Some areas have recorded serious bleaching for the first time.

    “On a global scale it’s a major bleaching event. What it may be is the beginning of a historic event,” said Coral Reef Watch coordinator Dr Mark Eakin.

    In the Marshall Islands, bleaching of unprecedented severity is suspected to have hit most of the country’s 34 atolls and islands. The Guardian witnessed devastated expanses of coral that look like forests covered with snow.

    Warm water will soon begin hitting reefs in the southern Pacific and the Indian Ocean as the seasons and currents shift. Eakin said coral watch modelling predicts bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as early as January.


    1. Coral bleaching threatening reefs in northern Pacific due to global warming, researchers say

      ....................The worst coral bleaching event ever recorded for the Marshall Islands has been occurring since mid-September," Karl Fellenius, a Majuro-based marine scientist with the University of Hawaii said.

      C. Mark Eakin, manager of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch program, said recent observations showed the problem was widespread across the vast waters of the northern Pacific.

      "Major bleaching was seen in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the north-western Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), the Marshall Islands, and Kiribati," he said.

      "Thermal stress levels set new record highs in CNMI and the NWHI and we saw the first widespread bleaching event in the main Hawaiian Islands."


      Mr Fellenius said the last major bleaching event was in 1997, when an exceptionally strong El Nino system affected about a quarter of the world's coral reefs.

      He said indications were that the latest episode had affected up to 75 per cent of smaller corals and 25 per cent of the larger varieties at some sites in the Marshalls.

      He said the bleached coral was becoming covered with algae, hindering its chances of recovery.

      The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) raised the alarm about rising sea temperatures this month on the sidelines of UN climate talks in Lima, saying 2014 was set to be the hottest year on record, consistent with man-made climate change.

      "What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface," WMO chief Michel Jarraud said.

      The Asian Development Bank warned last month that widespread coral bleaching would have a major impact on Pacific island nations, many of which are heavily reliant on tourism.

  142. Aboriginal woman in prison 'made to go without medication for days'

    A Perth Aboriginal woman sent to prison for unpaid fines says she was treated like a dangerous criminal and became very sick when forced to go without her blood pressure medication for three days.


    Pat Dudgeon, a professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Western Australia and a national mental health commissioner, said it was "frightening" Ms Kickett's medical condition had not been addressed.

    She pointed to the case of 22 year old Miss Dhu who died in August after being locked up in the South Hedland police station over unpaid fines.

    I wonder about the system and does it properly look after the health of people when they are incarcerated?

    Pat Dudgeon

    Miss Dhu was taken to the Hedland Health Campus on three occasions.


    MPs' 'gravy plane' from the west coast cost $10,000 each per flight

    Air force-operated flights that transport federal MPs and senators between Western Australia and Canberra are costing taxpayers more than $10,000 per parliamentarian, per flight – five times the price of a business-class ticket on a commercial airline.

    The flights, booked and approved by Defence Minister David Johnston, at times carried just three elected officials, according to the six-monthly register of VIP flights.

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Julie Bishop have joined Mr Johnston on the so-called "gravy plane" from the west for parliamentary sittings weeks and a cabinet meeting.

    The shuttle service costs about $25,000 for a return flight, but that does not include wage costs of RAAF pilots and crew, catering and associated aircraft leasing costs for the government's Boeing 737 business jet.

    Senator Johnston, who famously quipped he would not trust the Australian Submarine Corporation to "build a canoe", remains a loyal and frequent flyer with the RAAF, despite criticism in August that the budget crisis should force WA parliamentarians to use commercial flights, like their interstate colleagues.

    1. THE TROUBLE WITH DECLARING "a budget crisis" is that in a crisis everyone expects "all hands on deck" to deal with it.

      IT IS NO CRISIS if the only people called on deck to deal with it are the elderly, the sick and the poor.

      IT IS CERTAINLY NO CRISIS if meanwhile the POLITITIONS, the elite and the rich are still in their staterooms dining on champagne and caviar and firing up their cigars with $100 notes !





    Great Barrier Reef dredge sludge from Abbott Point has been underestimated by around 33%...........

    Santos tipped to sell it's 80% stake in Narrabri gas project.

    WA record deficit of $1.3 billion caused by ignoring warnings on relying on iron ore price.

    Beady eyed Nazi no. 1 Scott Morrison gets Welfare portfolio in re-shuffle - Abbott gov. to focus on welfare reform next year.

    Johnston get's the boot and the unbearably sanctimonious Kevin Andrews gets Defence.



    Westminster Paedophile Ring Dossier Names 3 MPs And 3 Peers In House Of Lords

    The Huffington Post UK | By Chris York

    Posted: 21/12/2014 14:13 GMT

    A dossier implicating three MPs and a three members of the House of Lords in a Westminster paedophile ring has been handed to Scotland Yard.

    The Sunday Times reports a list of 22 high-profile figures has been compiled by Labour MP John Mann including 13 former ministers.

    A well as claims of sexual abuse dating back to to the 1970s, police are also looking seriously at claims three boys were murdered in a luxury London apartment in Dolphin Square.

    One of those killed is alleged to have been strangled by a Tory MP during a sex game, a claim described by Scotland Yard as "credible and true".

    Mann has said previously: "All those 22 names are worthy of investigation by the police. The evidence against half of them is very compelling.

    "Some of them could definitely be prosecuted and I believe several of them were definitely child abusers.

    "I have been given many other names although at present I do not believe the evidence is sufficiently strong to pass them on the police


    The dossier includes the names of 14 Tory politicians, five Labour MPs and three from other parties.

    The alleged paedophile ring is said to have been run by a "powerful elite" including MPs and ministers with an even larger number of people knew about it and could have stopped it but did nothing.

    Last month Vishambar Mehrotra, a retired magistrate, claimed his son who was murdered 33 years ago was one of the victims.

    The skull and several rib bones of Vishal, 8, were discovered in 1982 by pigeon shooters in remote marshland at Durford Abbey Farm, at Rogate, close to the Hampshire-West Sussex border.

    Vishal, from Putney, south-west London, vanished while shopping with his nanny and sister on July 29 1981 - the same day Lady Diana Spencer and the Prince of Wales were married.

    In June 1982, four months after Vishal's remains were found, police raided the Elm Guest House and it was widely reported at the time that the raids were linked to the boy's disappearance.

    An alleged victim of the Westminster "paedophile ring" told officers he saw a Conservative MP strangle another young boy to death at an orgy in the 1980s.

    “I watched while that happened. I am not sure how I got out of that. Whether I will ever know why I survived, I am not sure," the man, identified only as 'Nick' said.

    He described how he and the victim had been driven to the party together. “I knew we were being taken somewhere to be sexually abused by powerful men. But I had no idea of the true horror of what was about to happen.

    “The MP was particularly nasty, even among the group of people who sexually abused me and others. I still find it difficult to talk about these incidents after all these years.”


  145. Westminster Paedophile Ring Dossier Names 3 MPs And 3 Peers In House Of Lords

    A former detective chief inspector, Jackie Malton , said: "There is clear evidence that something was happening at that guest house. If nothing has been done about it in retrospect, then Mr Mehrotra [the father of one of the boys alleged to have been killed] is right.

    "Either the police disbelieved it, or they covered it up one way or another."

    "I do remember that the officers were highly passionate about the Mehrotra case, but for some reason we never managed to get anywhere."

    "There was also a strong sense of the power of Parliament and of politicians. It was very much a case of 'Do as you are told."

    Former child protection manager Peter McKelvie, said the victims, who were "almost exclusively boys", were abused over "many, many years" and were moved around like "a lump of meat".

    He added: "I would say we are looking at upwards of 20 (people) and a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it."

    "I believe that there is strong evidence, and an awful lot of information that can be converted into evidence if it is investigated properly, that there's been an extremely powerful elite among the highest levels of the political classes for as long as I have been alive - I'm 65 now.

    "There's been sufficient reason to investigate it over and over again, certainly for the last 30 years, and there has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent that happening.

    "For the first time I have got a belief that survivors will come forward and justice will be served for a lot of survivors, but unfortunately it has been left so late that a lot of the abusers are now dead."

    McKelvie added: "We are looking at the Lords, we are looking at the Commons, we are looking at the judiciary, we are looking at all institutions where there will be a small percentage of paedophiles and a slightly larger percentage of people who have known about it but have felt that in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons it's been safer for them to cover it up rather than deal with it."




    1. AS USUAL.....


      "The alleged paedophile ring is said to have been run by a "powerful elite" including MPs and ministers with an even larger number of people knew about it and could have stopped it but did nothing."


      ""Either the police disbelieved it, or they covered it up one way or another."

      "I do remember that the officers were highly passionate about the Mehrotra case, but for some reason we never managed to get anywhere."

      "There was also a strong sense of the power of Parliament and of politicians. It was very much a case of 'Do as you are told.""


      "there's been an extremely powerful elite among the highest levels of the political classes for as long as I have been alive - I'm 65 now.

      "There's been sufficient reason to investigate it over and over again, certainly for the last 30 years, and there has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent that happening.

      "For the first time I have got a belief that survivors will come forward and justice will be served for a lot of survivors, but unfortunately it has been left so late that a lot of the abusers are now dead.""




  146. Report: Texas Could Face 2.7 Trillion Gallon Water Shortfall by 2060

    The state of Texas could face a 2.7 trillion gallon water shortfall by 2060, according to a recent report by Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.

    To address this potential shortfall, the state should offer tax incentives to oil and gas companies to substitute brackish groundwater for fresh water, according to the report “Water Use for Hydraulic Fracturing: A Texas Sized Problem?” The report research was compiled by students with the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy, which is part of The Bush School.


    “Without broad water regulation efforts, the state will continue to suffer from overuse of its most precious resource – water,” the reported concluded.

    Texas received an average grade of “C” in the report, according to the 2012 Report Card for Texas’ Infrastructure by the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The state received a “D minus” in terms of drinking water and dams, and a “C minus” in terms of its wastewater infrastructure.

    According to the report, Texas has estimated drinking water infrastructure needs of $33.9 billion over a 20 year period, and will need $11.5 billion in wastewater infrastructure over the same time period.


    Apache Continues Drilling Operations at Commodore 1 Well in EP 390 in WA

    ....................Since the last progress report, open-hole wireline logs have been acquired and 5 inch (127 millimeter) casing has been run and cemented to 4,101 feet (1,250 meters). The current operation is drilling out cement and casing shoe at 3,897 feet (1,188 meters), prior to coring ahead. The forward operation is to core through the carbonates of the Nita Formation to the planned total depth of 5,085 feet (1,550 meters).


    27 days since spud.
    35 days to completion.
    150 metres to go since last Thu / Fri.

    Must be tough carbonate out there.

    Heard a story once of a rig out in the CB that was changing the drill bit every 6 feet the rock was so hard.



    We saw fraccing fracas coming: WA EPA
    Friday, 19 December 2014
    Anthony Barich

    WESTERN Australia’s environmental regulator expects a production proposal for unconventional gas within the next two years; while its independent EPA boss defied those who say the government was caught off-guard by opposition pushback.


    NT, WA progress green tape reforms

    Anthony Barich
    Monday, 22 December 2014

    THE governments of Western Australia and the Northern Territory on Friday both announced progress on “one-stop shop” reforms sweeping the continent.


    Yawning gap between two views of Woodside-Apache deal

    Monday, 22 December 2014

    THERE are two sides to every story, but Slugcatcher can’t think of another example where the difference is as far apart as how the news media has reported the latest deal by Woodside Petroleum and how financial analysts have reacted.


  147. Halliburton flags further lay-offs in ‘tough’ 2015

    Monday, 22 December 2014

    HALLIBURTON CEO Dave Lesar has acknowledged uncertainty from his workforce as its impending takeover of Baker Hughes looms, flagging restructuring and potential market-driven lay-offs in what he forecasts to be a “tough year” in 2015.

    In a December 17 email to staff filed in regulatory documents, Lesar stressed that the Baker Hughes deal was “not an acquisition to become more profitable through cutting costs – although we will need to eliminate duplications and achieve synergies to be an effective customer-focused organisation”.

    Halliburton confirmed earlier this month that about 1000 employees from its eastern hemisphere operations would be cut, effective immediately, which it said was necessary to “work through this market environment”.

    In his most recent communique, Lesar said on December 17 that the Baker Hughes acquisition would not render the company immune to market conditions and “right now it looks like 2015 is going to be a tough year”.

    “We will have to make reductions to our structure as any prudent business would. But I want to be clear — these reductions are related to market conditions, not the acquisition,” the CEO said.

    “It’s important to remember that distinction as we go forward.”

    Lesar acknowledged workforce uncertainty over the acquisition, but promised them honesty and forthrightness as the future unfolds pre and post-acquisition, as he will lead the new merged entity.

    “I know you have questions about the road ahead,” he said.

    “The integration team and I will give you as much information as promptly as possible,” he said. “We remain committed to providing you with the most open and transparent communication.

    “This acquisition will allow us an even bigger platform that will benefit both sets of employees. Just think for a moment about the career opportunities available in an organisation with over 120,000 employees, including the more than 1000 ex-Baker Hughes employees in our Halliburton family now.”

    He said Halliburton would follow the same business model that successfully brought it to the point where it could acquire Baker Hughes.

    “Our strategies have served us well and I have no intention of changing them,” Lesar said.

    “Our focus on leading in unconventional resource development, outperforming in the deep water complex and rapidly growing our mature field business has worked very well and will continue.

    “Many of our business lines will be significantly strengthened with the addition of the Baker Hughes people, technology and customer relationships.

    “This acquisition will help us grow our revenues, expand our footprint, add high quality resources, spend more on select technologies and compete more effectively in underserved markets around the globe.

    “This is not an acquisition to become more profitable through cutting costs, although we will need to eliminate duplications and achieve synergies to be an effective customer-focused organisation.”

    Lesar said the two companies would continue to operate independently until the Baker Hughes acquisition closes in the second half of 2015.

  148. Bechtel in lay-off spree

    Friday, 19 December 2014

    BECHTEL has confirmed it would lay off tradespeople over the next six months in central Queensland as it nears completion of three LNG plants off Gladstone, but offered hope that other opportunities would arise in Western Australia.

    General manager Kevin Berg told the ABC that the company was demobilising about 25 workers a week as it moved towards commissioning the plants and would recruit “limited numbers” in 2015 for “highly specialised roles”.

    "We'll continue to hire instrument techs, in particular and people who have skill sets around commissioning and start-up, and we will continue to lay off a reasonably large number of people each month," he said.

    "By mid-year we will be down to 7000 to 8000 people."
    Despite the layoffs, Berg said there would be opportunities at other LNG projects on the west coast.

    "We've got Wheatstone over in WA, so we are recruiting people for those projects, offering employment opportunities for people over at that project on Wheatstone," he said.

    "There's also Gorgon and some other LNG projects that are being built by companies other than Bechtel.

    "The construction industry right now is seeing a bit of a slowdown but still is pretty robust."

  149. Saudi Arabia says won't cut oil output

    Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years.

    Referring to countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut."



    The world is forecast to need less OPEC oil in 2015 because of a rising supply of U.S. shale oil and other competing sources, with no significant increase in world demand growth.

    Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair said OPEC did not need to cut production and would not hold an emergency meeting ahead of its next scheduled talks in June.

    "I don't think we need to cut. We gave a chance to others (and) they were not willing to do so," he said, referring to contacts with non-OPEC producers before OPEC's meeting in November in Vienna.

    There, OPEC kept its target output of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) unchanged, leaving the market to balance itself without the group's intervention.


    The market slide has triggered conspiracy theories, ranging from the Saudis seeking to curb the U.S. oil boom, to Riyadh looking to undermine Iran and Russia for their support of Syria.

    Before the Vienna meeting, there were hints that Russia could cut output or exports if OPEC did the same. But the message from Moscow after the meeting was that the world's second largest oil exporter would maintain its output.


    Argentina: ExxonMobil makes new shale oil and gas find in Argentina's Vaca Muerta

    18 Dec 2014
    Argentina: ExxonMobil makes new shale oil and gas find in Argentina's Vaca Muerta

    U.S. energy super-major ExxonMobil said Thursday it has made a new shale oil and gas discovery in the massive Vaca Muerta formation in southwestern Argentina. Exxon said in a statement that it made the find with the La Invernada X-3 well, which was drilled to a depth of 4,686 meters (15,364 feet). The well, operated by ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina and drilled at the La Invernada block in the southwestern Argentine province of Neuquen, produced a flow rate of 448 barrels of oil and 1 million cubic feet of gas per day in an initial test.

    'Analysis of additional information and studies is being conducted to completely evaluate the discovery,' the company said, adding that 'more wells must be drilled before decisions can be made' on commercial viability. After 60 days of output, the well has produced a total of 31,400 barrels of oil equivalent.

    This latest find was made at a spot 20 kms (12 miles) from an earlier Exxon discovery, announced in May, at the Bajo del Choique block. 'This second discovery adds value to our exploration program in Vaca Muerta,' ExxonMobil Exploration Company President Stephen Greenlee said.


  150. Scott Morrison's calculated cruelty is his legacy

    Julian Burnside

    Scott Morrison's performance as immigration minister will be assessed differently, depending on where you stand. For those who think boat people are criminals who should be locked up, his time in the immigration portfolio has been hailed a success. For those who understand the truth of the matter, Morrison's time as immigration minister is a terrible stain on our history.


    ..........................it was Morrison who delivered on the promise of cruelty. This sat oddly with his avowed religious views, and his maiden speech in Parliament, delivered on February 14, 2008.

    Among other things, he said: "I turn now to the most significant influences on my life – my family and my faith. Family is the stuff of life and there is nothing more precious ... For me, faith is personal, but the implications are social – as personal and social responsibility are at the heart of the Christian message ..."

    He drew on the example of William Wilberforce (the great English anti-slavery campaigner). He quoted Desmond Tutu as saying: "we expect Christians ... to be those who stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked" and was inspired to add: "These are my principles."

    It is lucky he identified his principles so clearly, because no one would be able to discover them by watching his behaviour as immigration minister.


    Morrison's conduct as immigration minister is impossible to reconcile with his stated Christian beliefs. He visited the detention centre at Manus Island on September 26, 2013, and delivered a clear message that the transferees would remain at the centre until they went home or resettled in a country other than Australia. This stands awkwardly alongside a passage from Matthew 25:35: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me", a message at the heart of the Christian teaching he claims to embrace.

    All things considered, the immigration portfolio will improve by losing Morrison, who has shown himself to be a hypocrite, willing to harm innocent people for political purposes.

    It will be interesting to see how much damage he can do to pensioners.


    Housing funding axed

    Not-for-profit organisations that help some of the most vulnerable Australians were yesterday told their funding would be axed in a pre-Christmas shock to the housing and homelessness sector.

    On the eve of Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews handing over to Scott Morrison, his department sent scores of letters to reveal the extent of unexpected, deep spending cuts.

    An entire round for homelessness funding has been suspended, putting hundreds of programs nationwide in doubt.

    And organisations including Homelessness Australia, National Shelter and the Community Housing Federation of Australia have also had their federal funding terminated.

    All up, $21 million over four years has been stripped from innovative projects, research, peak bodies and emerging priorities.

    The cuts were hidden in the mid-year budget update released last week.


    In a sign that the Government is looking to move responsibility for homeless to the States, various groups were told in official notifications that longer term arrangements would be considered within the context of the Federation White Paper.

    The white paper is not due for release until late next year with a formal Federal response not expected until early 2016.

    1. Welfare plans an assault on our freedom

      By Chris Berg

      Last Thursday Kevin Andrews, then minister for Social Services, wrote in The Australian that income management - the practice of "quarantining" a portion of social security payments for approved purchases like food and accommodation - is central to the Abbott Government's welfare reforms.

      Four days later he was replaced in the social services ministry by Scott Morrison. This has been seen as somewhat a demotion for Andrews, who now takes Defence.

      But it is in no way a repudiation of Andrews' plans. Far from it. Morrison was lauded at the reshuffle press conference as a minister who gets things done. One of the things to be done, no doubt, is the expansion of income management.

      This is not a good thing. Income management is paternalistic and illiberal. It's counter-productive, too: far from discouraging welfare dependency, it encourages that dependency.

      Yet income management has bipartisan support.

      Income management was first introduced as part of the Northern Territory intervention in 2007. The idea was to prevent the sort of child abuse and neglect that had been described in the Little Children Are Sacred report. The policy was originally imposed on a few dozen specifically nominated vulnerable communities.

      The original idea was to use income management as an emergency measure in a moment of deep social crisis. But policies that are introduced in a crisis tend to stick around. They entrench themselves in the policy landscape as bureaucrats build reputations on their success - and try to hide their failure.

      So the Rudd and Gillard government decided income management ought to be rolled out to at-risk populations across the country. Income management is now being tested in areas like Bankstown in New South Wales, Shepparton in Victoria, and Logan in Queensland.

      Last week the Government released a commissioned report that found that income management had not substantially changed what welfare recipients buy. Nor had income management reduced alcohol purchases or problems like running out of food. (You can read the report here.)

      It's absurd that governments say they want to reduce welfare "dependency", yet at the same time actively encourage such dependency by taking freedom of choice away from welfare recipients.

      And instead of encouraging "financial literacy", income management appears to reduce it - by treating welfare recipients as incapable and incompetent.


      Those placed on work for the dole schemes obviously do not feel more free for being conscripted to do menial tasks below minimum wage for non-profits.

      And would those who would have been subject to the punishing high numbers of job applications proposed in the May budget - 40 applications per month - have felt that they were enjoying any sort of positive liberty? Of course not.

      It is certainly possible to imagine a welfare state not built around paternalistic mutual obligation requirements. But, in Australia at least, it seems that every political incentive is driving our real-world welfare state towards them.


      In 1944 the economist Friedrich Hayek wrote his bestselling book the Road to Serfdom, where he suggested that social democracy's expansion of government control would undermine civil liberties.

      Hayek has been ridiculed for that argument ever since - post-war Britain did not turn into a totalitarian dictatorship.

      But 70 years after Hayek published his book, welfare paternalism is demonstrating that when government is involved, coercion almost always follows.




    Part 5: In the Indonesian capital, sinking land is an even bigger threat than rising seas. Jakarta has no option but to spend tens of billions of dollars on reinforcing its ramshackle defenses.

    JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Ciliwung River flows from a volcano south of the Indonesian capital, through the heart of one of the world’s most densely populated cities and almost into Jakarta Bay. Almost, because for the final mile or so of its course, the river would have to flow uphill to reach the bay.

    The same is true for the rest of the half-dozen sewage-choked rivers that wind though central Jakarta. Unable to defy gravity, they’ve been redirected to canals that drain into the sea.

    The reason these conduits are necessary is that Greater Jakarta, an agglomeration of 28 million people, sits on a swampy plain that has sunk 13 feet (4 meters) over the past three decades.

    “Jakarta is a bowl, and the bowl is sinking,” said Fook Chuan Eng, senior water and sanitation specialist with the World Bank, who oversees a $189 million flood mitigation project for the city.

    The channels of the Ciliwung and other rivers are sinking. The entire sprawl of Jakarta’s north coast – fishing ports, boatyards, markets, warehouses, fish farms, crowded slums and exclusive gated communities – it’s all sinking. Even the 40-year-old seawall that is supposed to keep the Java Sea from inundating the Indonesian capital is sinking."


  152. Nicaragua announces start of China-backed canal to rival Panama

    (Reuters) - Nicaragua on Monday announced the start of work on a $50 billion shipping canal, an infrastructure project backed by China that aims to rival Panama's waterway and revitalize the economy of the second-poorest country in the Americas.

    The groundbreaking was largely symbolic, as work began on a road designed to accommodate machinery needed to build a port for the canal on the Central American country's Pacific coast.

    Nicaragua's government says the proposed 172-mile (278-km) canal, due to be operational by around 2020, would raise annual economic growth to more than 10 percent.

    The canal could also give China a major foothold in Central America, a region long dominated by the United States, which completed the Panama Canal a century ago.

    Construction of the new waterway will be run by Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group), which is controlled by Wang Jing, a little-known Chinese telecom mogul well connected to China's political elite.


  153. Pipe jobs go to foreign labour

    Skilled Group workers involved in laying the billion-dollar 889km subsea pipeline linking the Ichthys gas-condensate field off the Kimberley with Darwin are facing a bleak Christmas amid heightened concerns they will lose their jobs to overseas labour.

    Skilled, which has supplied about 600 workers to Italian contractor Saipem to work on pipelaying vessels, has told the largely Perth-based fly-in, fly-out crew a shift was under way to employ more foreign workers while rosters had also changed, from a three-week on, three-week off routine to four-and-four.

    It is understood about 90 Skilled workers have been told they will not be retained for the second stage of the Ichthys job, to be carried out on the Castorone, a 330m long hi-tech vessel capable of laying pipe in deep waters.

    There had been expectations by the Skilled workers they would be retained for the entire pipeline job. However, Saipem's push for foreign workers and a new roster and productivity target are expected to see at least 200 foreign workers employed.

    Skilled refused to comment.

    A shift to foreign labour is likely to also be a blow for Skilled.

    The labour hire company has sent letters to workers declaring "Saipem has explored the option of bringing international crews to complete the Castorone scope of the work, which would replace Australian crew on the vessel".

    Skilled added that Saipem's push was "legal under current immigration guidelines (but following) constructive dialogue between all parties, a proposed agreement has been reached which would see Australian crew employed in as many roles as possible on board the Castorone".

    Critics claim Skilled's trade-off with Saipem has sparked a family unfriendly new roster and higher productivity targets that are designed to force out local workers.

    Federal Member for Perth Alannah MacTiernan, who has unsuccessfully campaigned against changes to the Commonwealth's 457 visa scheme that removed the need to test the local employment market first, said the Skilled issue validated her long-held concerns. "These workers who are being replaced are highly skilled and are now facing unemployment," she said.

    Inpex, which runs the $US34 billion ($42 billion) Ichthys LNG development, said Castorone staffing was a matter for the contractor and its employees. "Inpex has been working with Saipem to maximise the number of Australian workers employed on this project," a spokeswoman said.

  154. David Cameron and his wife are closely linked to this.

    As was Tony Blair and Maggie Thatcher.

    And of course McAlpine.


    VIP child abuse whistleblowers were 'murdered': MP says men were poised to lift lid on scandal

    •MP says two VIP child abuse whistleblowers may have been 'murdered'
    •John Mann passed detectives information about two suspicious deaths
    •The men were allegedly poised to lift the lid on Westminster sex abuse
    •Breakthrough comes a day after Mr Mann handed dossier to the police
    •Document named 22 politicians suspected of involvement in abuse ring

    ...............The information Mr Mann has given police concerns the suspicious deaths of a Lambeth Council caretaker in 1989 and a social worker in 1993 who allegedly threatened to expose a paedophile ring linked to a future minister in Tony Blair’s government.

    The unnamed caretaker was said to have tapes on ultra-violent ‘sex parties’ when he died in an apparent arson attack.

    A second council employee, social services manager Bulic Forsythe, was found dead by firefighters in his blazing flat in Clapham. His skull had been fractured by a heavy weapon.

    In the months before his murder the 42-year-old had told colleagues at Lambeth Council he was on the verge of exposing child sex abuse and corruption.

    Witnesses have said Mr Forsythe had information about council buildings being used to film child sexual abuse. He died at the time of an internal council probe into alleged sexual abuse in the housing department where he had worked


    One of Nick's abusers was named as the late Sir Peter Hayman, a former diplomat and deputy director of MI6, who was unmasked as a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, a pro-paedophile activist group.


    Last year, it emerged that another dossier naming disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith and other suspected Establishment figures involved in child sex abuse disappeared after it was sent to the then home secretary Leon Brittan.

    A recent Home Office inquiry failed to located the document and discovered that a further 114 files linked to the sex abuse scandal had also gone missing.


    Police are said to be investigating five potential paedophile rings operating over the last three decades in locations including Dolphin Square, Lambeth, North Wales and Rochdale.


    John Mann, a Labour MP for Bassetlaw, has urged Home Secretary Theresa May to address state secrecy shrouding these allegations.

    Mann believes the Official Secrets Act is obstructing ex-Special Branch police officials from stepping forward with vital information relating to sordid allegations regarding a child sex abuse ring affiliated with powerful Westminster elite figures throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

    “There are former police officers, especially Special Branch officers, some of whom have contacted me, who do have significant information, and, if the Official Secrets Act restrictions are lifted on them, [they] will be far more willing to come forward and divulge that information,” he said.


    “I would like to be able to say we are shocked by this but unfortunately we’ve been hearing allegations along these lines for many, many years,” Jon Bird, operations manager at the National Assn. for People Abused in Childhood, said in an interview Tuesday. “I never thought the lid would come off this, I thought they would keep it under wraps forever.”

    Bird said he is hopeful the evidence is too overwhelming for authorities to ignore the alleged crimes, and can finally bring closure to victims. He has taken to inscribing his greeting cards with a simple message: “2015 is going to be the year the truth comes out.”

  155. Jimmy Savile abused children on the Island of Jersey, which is linked to the Dutroux affair in Belgium, which is linked to the top-level child abuse in Portugal, the Netherlands and the USA...



    Scallywag published Articles about Dolphin Square in Pimlico back in the early 90's now after 25 years Exaro news reveals that the Police have finally been forced to investigate child sex exploitation and child trafficking.

    Dophin Square is a hop skip and a jump to where Gareth Williams (Gay spy in a bag) was murdered by the State.

    by: Simon Reagan Scallywags editor

    .....................Dolphin Square - the largest block of flats in Europe, and itself a hot-bed of political machinations - is in the safe Tory enclave of Pimlico, nick-named by politico wags as Pimp-lico for it is here that the rent-a-boy lobby have their headquarters.

    While the City Council's invidious supporter Julian Lewis operates his business from "JRJ Lewis" at 110 Nelson House in Dolphin Square - a stone's throw from his CCO office - none other than our old friend Derek Laud operates his from a private house just round the corner in Winchester Street.

    It was Laud, known as "Golly" who went on holiday with his boyfriend with the Portillos and Lillies. He is a fore runner and front man for Ludgate Communications, which overtly runs a gay lobby group providing evening soirees for like minded politicos. These are almost exclusively both gay and right wing Tories.


    ( LAUD IS CLOSE TO DAVID CAMERON AND HIS WIFE - see Cameron and Ludgate Communications )


    Greer's now scandalous Christmas parties were virtually all-male shindigs to which many of the gay MPs were invited to dance with a whole bevy of handpicked rent boys. But during the rest of the year he would also regularly throw wild and very exclusive gay parties for MPs, either at his elegant Pimlico flat, or at a suit his company hired permanently in Dolphin Square.

    This only came to light when Scallywag and others obtained affidavits from young men who had been recruited from children's homes in North Wales - a sordid, ghastly, paedophile network which, after years of wild rumour and several successful prosecutions, is only just being fully investigated in a year-long judicial probe.

    If the inquiries are allowed to go the whole way, then the path will lead directly to Pimlico where, we alleged, Lord McAlpine among many others, was a regular visitor.
    Apart from his live-in lover, the two of them enjoy the company of a queer butler and two highly active poodles.




    The other "boys for questions" sleaze artist, by coincidence also in residence at another Pimlico flat, was Derek Laud, then standing for parliament against Bernie Grant in North London. (See Portillo files). Laud, who ran the highly successful but deeply controversial Ludgate Communications, also has a live-in lover - but no butler. He prefers instead the affections of his chauffeur. And, of course, the regular friendship of the Defence Minister.


  156. And 20 years later no-one has been arrested.

    The Independant reports that

    Chris Fay, a social worker who worked for a small charity, the National Association for Young People in Care (Naypic), has alleged that a terrified Kasir had shown him about 20 photographs of middle-aged men with young boys, taken at what he said were kings and queens fancy-dress parties, attended by a number of powerful and well-known people. One, Mr Fay alleged, featured a well-known public figure wearing nothing but a French maid's apron alongside a young boy nude apart from a tiara.


    "In a notorious 1989 court case, Sidney Cooke and three other members of a paedophile gang dubbed The Dirty Dozen were convicted of killing 14-year-old Jason Swift, who had been gang-raped."

    Jason was from a children's care home in Islington, apparently linked to the worldwide child abuse network.

    Jason Swift; Islington children's home; hundreds ... / Jersey child abuse link to Islington / Elm guest house; missing boys; leon brittan /


    The retired detectives say that they were ­ordered NOT to investigate the powerful pedophile group involved in the orgies.

    The former Special Branch ­officer has now given a statement to the police in which he says: "There was a significant paedophile group in Parliament who were untouchable."

    The two retired detectives have ­provided information to the police about the identities of members of the paedophile ring.


    Sir Peter Hayman, the former deputy director of MI6, has been linked to the UK Parliament paedophile ring.

    A former government minister, reponsible MI5, has been linked to this pedophile ring.

    The two ­retired detectives have linked Jimmy Savile to this pedophile ring.


    Sir Jimmy Savile was a close friend of the military.

    Sir Jimmy Savile was a close friend of the UK's royal family.

    Sir Jimmy Savile was a close friend of Margaret Thatcher.


    ” In 1997 , the Conservative MP for Meriden, Iain Mills, was found dead in his flat in Dolphin Square, Pimlico.

    Initially there was confusion over the cause of death but Westminster’s creepy coroner Paul Knapman soon recorded a verdict of alcohol poisoning.

    Iain Mills, MP, was apparently found with extreme levels of alcohol in his blood and was surrounded by gin bottles.

    The media blamed his death on the stress of being a parliamentarian and it was assumed he’d had an alcohol problem for many years.

    This was at odds however with members of his local constituency group who insisted he was a teetotaller and only ever drank orange juice during the 20 years they knew him.

    His untimely death was soon forgotten and to this day is rarely mentioned, but that might be about to change.

    Could it be that Iain Mills MP was aware of the high -level paedophile ring operating in Dolphin Square and this knowledge led to his death?


    Could it be possible that MI6 spy Gareth Williams who was found locked inside a bag at his flat in Dolphin Square, Pimlico, south London, on August 23, 2010 was silenced because of what he knew and/or was about to do with regard to the rampant paedophilia and other goings on there?



    The man who shaped MI5 and MI6 after World war II was Margaret Thatcher's security adviser, Lord Victor Rothschild.

    Victor Rothschild was said to be the controller of MI5's Anthony Blunt who reportedly ran a paedophile ring which included a lot of top people.


    Derek Laud is a long standing family friend of Samantha Cameron's family and a personal friend of David Cameron and attended their wedding at Ginge, in Oxfordshire.

    The list of Tory friends with whom he is known to go on holiday and socialise with includes Lord McAlpine, Peter Lilley and Michael Portillo.

    Derek is an acquaintance of Camilla Parker Bowles.

    "He's a friend of royalty, advises Ministers and was the most cultured contestant on Big Brother - but those are the least surprising things about Derek Laud.


  157. Derek Laud became "a leading political fixer and adviser to Margaret Thatcher"


    Derek Laud

    The Curious Case of Nick Clegg, Leon Brittan, William Hague, Derek Laud, Cyril Smith, David Cameron and the VIP Child-Abuse Connection

    MYSTERIOUS DEREK LAUD Laud is a long standing family friend of Samantha Cameron's family and a personal friend of David Cameron and attended their wedding at Ginge, in Oxfordshire.
    The list of Tory friends with whom he is known to go on holiday and socialise with includes Lord McAlpine, Peter Lilley and Michael Portillo. "Scallywag magazine alleged that Laud was a sadist, who was particularly violent and without mercy in his treatment of boys.
    "The magazine alleged that on regular occasions his victims would end up in casualty wards.
    "He was a leading political fixer and adviser to Margaret Thatcher"
    "Derek Laud... ran a Pimlico PR agency called Ludgate Communications for a number of years which supplied young boys for selected parliamentarians from children's homes now being investigated in North Wales.
    "He sometimes did this in cahoots with Ian Greer Associates which has since been scandalised because of the Neil Hamilton Affair and payment for questions on behalf of Al Fayed.
    "Ludgate Communications was at the very hub of our investigation into the 'boys for questions' allegations.
    "At his Pimlico flat, and selected addresses in Dolphin Square nearby, Laud threw paedophile parties and we have one sworn affidavit from a former boy (presently giving evidence in Wales) who claims he was seriously molested (among many others) by Lord M.... who was at the time the Tory party's .....
    "It was alleged by this boy and others that Messrs Portillo and Lilley were also guests of Derek Laud...."





  158. Families urged to look after each other as Kimberley region records seven suicides in seven weeks

    Seven people are believed to have suicided in WA's Kimberley region in the last seven weeks, as communities are urged to look out for each other over the festive season.

    Researchers have identified Christmas as a high-risk time for Aboriginal people considering self-harm.

    Suicide rates spike in the Top End throughout the wet season.

    The most recent suicide occured just two days before Christmas.

    Indigenous mental health commissioner Pat Dudgeon, who is currently researching patterns in Aboriginal suicide rates, said it was important for families to pull together.

    "There's a lot of emotional vulnerability around Christmas for everyone," she said.

    "There is much more stress around the holiday season, the hype around what special foods, decorations, and gifts to buy, which for many are beyond their budget.

    "For many people it can also be an especially lonely period where they no longer have loved ones around."

    Professor Dudgeon is head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention project, which is trying to identify the most effective ways to bring down the extraordinarily high suicide rates in Indigenous Australia.

    Indigenous Australians are six times more likely to commit suicide than other Australians and the Kimberley in particular has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

    Bunuba and Gija woman Adele Cox, who is a researcher on the project, said Christmas could be a bad time for vulnerable people.

    "There are more people partying, you know, having a good time, and there's the issue of alcohol and drug use," she said.

    "We also see the increase in domestic violence call-outs, fighting within families, and that all adds up.

    "It is important that we're all on alert, and provide supports to those people and families who are most vulnerable."

    A bad year for suicides

    There are indications 2014 has been the worst year for some years in terms of Aboriginal deaths in WA.

    Researcher Gerry Georgatos said there had been more than 30 Aboriginal suicides so far this year, including at least 18 in the Kimberley.

    "It's horrific and it hasn't improved," he said.

    "We thought the last three or four years, considering the previous clusters of deaths at Mowanjum, Balgo and Derby, that we would have improved, but there haven't been responses adequate from government to actually address and remedy."

    The suicide prevention project is examining the different programs in place and is due to deliver its recommendations to the Federal Government mid-next year.

    Professor Dudgeon said one of the priorities would be empowering Aboriginal communities themselves to take control of the response.

    "We've never given Aboriginal communities - individuals and organisations - an opportunity to determine what the issues are and how they should resolve them," he said.

    "I'm hoping one of the outcomes of our project is to advise how to change funding of indigenous suicide prevention, so we can empower communities and individuals to take charge of it."


  159. Families urged to look after each other as Kimberley region records seven suicides in seven weeks

    Bishop urges family and friends to reach out

    Catholic Bishop of Broome Christopher Saunders has dealt first-hand with the fall-out from the deaths.

    He said he had buried too many people in 2014, and spent countless nights sitting up late with grieving friends and family.

    "I can remember the days when we didn't have suicides," he said.

    "In my 38 years in the Kimberley, there were 20 years where we didn't have this situation.

    "It's only been in the last 18 years that suicide has raised it's ugly head."

    He urged people to reach out to one another in ways they might not have before.

    "The devastation of suicide can be overcome, but it needs positive efforts and positive thoughts by all of us, not just the service providers, but more intensely in fact, the families and friends," he said.

    Anyone in need of support is urged to contact LifeLine on 13 11 14.


  160. Australia records biggest emissions drop in a decade as carbon tax kicks in

    Greens and conservation group say significant drop in annual emissions shows the carbon price, which was scrapped by the Abbott government, was effective

    Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 1.4% in the second full year of the carbon price – the largest recorded annual decrease in the past decade.

    Data released by the Department of the Environment (pdf) showed that emissions in the June quarter rose 0.4%. However, annual emissions to June 2014 dropped 1.4%.

    This period includes the second 12 months of the carbon pricing system, which was introduced by the previous federal government in 2012. The Coalition fulfilled an election pledge by abolishing carbon pricing in July.

    Emissions reduction accelerated during the two-year span of carbon pricing, with emissions edging down by 0.8% in the first 12 months of the system.

    The latest greenhouse gas inventory showed emissions from the electricity sector, the industry most affected by carbon pricing, fell 4% in the year to June.

    Electricity emissions account for a third of Australia’s emissions output, which stood at 542.6m tonnes in the year to June, down from 550.2m tonnes in the previous 12 months.

    Emissions from transport dropped 0.4% in the year to June, with gases released by the agriculture industry decreasing by 2.6%. Industrial processes emitted 1.3% less greenhouse gas during the year, although fugitive emissions, such as those from mining, rose 5.1%.

    Electricity emissions peaked in 2008 and have steadily decreased ever since, driven by a number of factors such as the winding down of parts of Australia’s manufacturing base and energy efficiency initiatives.


    Direct Action unlikely to meet emissions target, says Climate Change Authority

    Advisory body also finds renewable energy target should remain at existing level but deadline could be pushed back to allow for investment uncertainty

    The government’s climate advisory body has delivered a stark assessment of the Coalition’s policies, stating it was unlikely that its Direct Action policy would meet Australia’s 5% emissions reduction target and calling for the renewable energy target (RET) to remain intact.

    The Climate Change Authority, which the Coalition unsuccessfully attempted to abolish, has conducted two statutory reviews for the government: one on the RET and one on the carbon farming initiative (CFI).

    The existing CFI is being expanded into the $2.55bn Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), which is the centrepiece of the Coalition’s Direct Action climate plan. The fund will provide voluntary grants to businesses that wish to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

    The review by the Climate Change Authority (CCA) said the evidence showed the ERF, in its current form, would “fall well short of achieving the reductions required to meet Australia’s minimum 2020 target”, which is a 5% emissions reduction based on 2000 levels.

    This damning assessment adds to previous independent modelling showing the policy would be insufficient. The government has conducted no modelling of its own on whether the policy would work, but has repeatedly expressed its confidence the target would be reached, partly because emissions from areas such as manufacturing have been declining due to other factors.




    Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

    Warning: The information in this article is not suited for anyone below the age of 18, as it involves extreme sexual violence against children. A certain amount of normally-illegal visual evidence (it is censored) has been included.


    The accused in finance

    A bit of history first. The land which eventually became the state of Belgium has mainly been a battleground between Catholic and Liberal-Protestant interests. Over the centuries and decades, this land subsequently belonged to the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs, Napoleon's France and since 1815, the Netherlands. In 1830, mainly the Catholic middle and upper class living in the southern provinces of the United Netherlands had become so fed up with their lack of self-determination that they staged a revolution. It succeeded and the state of Belgium was born. Families like de Merode and De Ligne were initially offered the throne, but they refused and the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas came in.

    The major bank in Belgium and the central pillar of its industry was Societe Generale des Pays-Bas, established by King William I of Orange in 1822 for the exact purpose of financing the growth of Belgian industry. After the revolution the name changed to Societe Generale de Belgique and some of Belgium's major aristocratic families gained control over it. This control by families as de Merode, de Meeus, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Janssen, Lippens, Boël and Solvay remained throughout the 19th and 20th century, with the Vatican bank also holding a significant stake. William of Orange eventually let go of the bank.

    Societe Generale's influence over the Belgian economy has always been huge, controlling anywhere between 25 and 50 percent of Belgium's manufacturing industry. (181) It was only in 1988 that the unimaginable happened: the French Suez group took over the bank, and with that, a large chunk of Belgium's economy. Viscount Etienne Davignon was made chairman and remained in that position until 2001. Count Maurice Lippens became the bank's vice chairman.

    The other major historical bank/holding firm in Belgium is Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, its history starting around 1830 when a banker named Lazare Richtenberger became an agent of the London Rothschilds. The son-in-law of Richtenberger, Samuel Lambert, took over the business ten years later. The Rothschilds would often come and visit Samuel and his son Leon in Brussels to advise them on social and political events affecting the markets. Especially James de Rothschild made sure that Banque Lambert focused on financing the railroad companies, like the Morgans, Harrimans and Schiffs were doing in the United States. Leon married Zoe Lucie de Rothschild in 1882, fulfilled diplomatic functions and became the most important financial advisor to King Leopold II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. When Leopold II acquired the Congo as his own private slave colony in 1885, Leon took over a large part of the financial matters there. (182) Ironically, the Rothschild-backed Cecil Rhodes was one of Leopold's competitors in Africa.


  162. Warning: The information in this article is not suited for anyone below the age of 18, as it involves extreme sexual violence against children. A certain amount of normally-illegal visual evidence (it is censored) has been included.


    The accused in finance

    The Lamberts appear to have remained close associates of the Rothschilds until this day (183), but their influence in Belgian banking seems to have waned. Banque Bruxelles Lambert has been taken over by the Dutch bank ING in 1998 while the Lamberts only have a honorary mentioning in the list of directors of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). The Belgian Frere and Canadian Desmarais families are the ones in control of GBL these days. These two families also have a large influence on the Suez group, which owns Societe Generale. In other words, Belgium's primary banks are fully or largely owned by Dutch, Canadian or French interests.

    Another important aristocratic Belgian company is the chemical giant Solvay, founded in 1863 by the Solvay family. It went public in 1967, but the Solvay and Boël families were able to keep control over the company through their holding Union Financiere Boël. The Janssens, De Selliers De Moranvilles and Karel van Miert are also major shareholders of Solvay, or today's holding company, Solvac. In 2003, van Miert replaced Etienne Davignon as director of Solvay.

    Below is a table which shows some of the interaction between the premier industrial and banking families of Belgium. Although it was tighter in previous decades, before the nouveau riche and foreign interests mixed in, Belgium's economy is still controlled by a small oligarchy of aristocratic families centered around the royal court.


    Besides the royal family, Viscount Etienne Davignon is probably the most well known of this group internationally. Although he comes from a less influential family than the others that are listed, Davignon might well be the most influential person of mainland Europe in the globalization process, with a particular focus on integrating Europe along the lines of Anglo-Saxon liberal policies. Besides his positions in the companies above, Davignon has held (or still holds) the following positions: • first president of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
    • director of Kissinger Associates and good friend of Henry Kissinger
    • director of Minorco/Anglo-American Corporation
    •vice-president of the European Commission
    •co-founder of the European Round Table of Industrialists with someone who at different times worked for the Rockefellers, Kissinger, Rothschilds and Lazard bank
    •co-founder and president of the Association for the Monetary Union of Europe
    •chairman of CSR Europe (European business network)
    • founder of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation
    •chairman of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue
    •co-founder and president of Friends of Europe
    •director of the European Institute
    •allegedly a former governor of Ditchley
    •chairman of the Royal Institute for International Relations (Belgian version of RIIA)
    •member of the US Council on Foreign Relations
    •member of the Trilateral Commission
    •honorary chairman of Bilderberg

  163. The accused in finance

    One of Davignon's closest sidekicks in business and the globalization process is Count Maurice Lippens, whom he really got to know in the late 1980s when both ran Societe Generale. Together they also ran the Belgian branch of the Dutch-Belgian Fortis Bank and they set up SN Brussels Airlines. Maurice visited Bilderberg in 2000, 2002, and 2006 and has become an annual visitor of the Trilateral Commission in recent years. About these meetings he stated:
    "I have never visited DAVOS and think it's one big carnival. I receive the membership lists and can, if I want to, call up anyone I'm interested in. I like to visit Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. Bilderberg is intense. There one has to work from the early morning to the late evening. The Round Table of Industrialists is interesting, but I'm not a member because I'm not an Industrialist. Talking about the future of the world is a difficult thing by the way. I do like to listen and network in Washington with the Trilateral Commission. You'll hear about interesting trends from first hand." (184)


    Now, why is all this important you ask? Well, for starters because the Lippens family appears all over the X-Dossiers. X1, X2, X4, and two anonymous letters all name Maurice Lippens and his brother Leopold, the long time mayor of Knokke, as vicious child abusers, not only involved in regular rape, but also in the snuff network (185). Additionally, a relative of them, Count Francois Lippens, the honorary consul general of Belgium, appears somewhere deep in the Dutroux dossier:


    "Transmitted to examining magistrate Mr. LANGLOIS in Neufchâteau, his dossier 86/0/96 [April 22, 1998]... Annex 161. A note on the existence of a SNUFF network of which Mr. GLATZ of the CIDE would have had knowledge and in which one would find a certain François LIPPENS, who is close to the mayor of Knokke, whose name is often mentioned in very horrible activities. I conducted no verification or crosscheck." (186)


    Etienne Davignon is another person whose name comes up in the X-Dossier, although he has not been implicated to the extent of the Lippens family. X2, the police officer, apparently was the only one to mention him:
    "Parties with underage girls in the Cromwel hotel in Knokke. Present: Delvoie - Karel - X2 - Lippens - Van Gheluwe - Etienne Davignon. The girls knew where to go and with whom. Lippens hits the little girls. Several meetings between Karel and Davignon in the Memling hotel with the two Lippens." (187)


    X2 speaks of two Karels in her testimony. The first one is a high official in a Brussels court, whose mistress she was. The other one is Dr. Karel van Miert (188), who briefly appeared in the (business families) table above. Karel is a well known Socialist politician from Flanders. His biography includes: • Member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1985 and from 1989 to 1994.
    • Went to Bilderberg in 1993.
    • Vice president of the advisory council of the European Policy Centre, a liberal globalist institution with such extremely influential advisors as Peter Sutherland, Max Kohnstamm and Lord Kerr of Kinlochard.
    • Member of the Brussels Freemasonry lodge Erasmus and a member of the Grand Lodge of Belgium.
    • President of Nyenrode Business University from 2000 to 2003.
    • Formerly an advisor to the Rabobank, one of the largest banks in the Netherlands.
    • Joined the board of Anglo-American Corporation in 2002, and is a member of the Audit and Nomination Committees.
    • Succeeded Etienne Davignon as a director of Solvay in 2003.
    • Member of the Advisory Board of La Maison de l'Europe of Bibliothèque Solvay.
    • Member of the supervisory boards of German utility giant RWE, Philips NV, Munich Re and Vivendi Universal.
    • Member of the advisory boards of Goldman Sachs, Eli Lilly, and Agfa-Gevaert.
    • Director of Carrefour Belgium and Wolters Kluwer (large Dutch publisher).
    • Director of De Persgroep (The Press Group.........