The 3 Week Diet System

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oil prices rebound on bargain hunting in Asian trade

August 15:

Oil prices rise on easing concerns about the Ukraine crisis
Oil prices rise on easing concerns about the Ukraine crisis
Oil prices rebounded in Asia on bargain hunting following sharp falls on the back of downbeat global economic data and easing concerns about the Ukraine crisis.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery rose three cents to $95.61 while Brent crude for October was up 54 cents to $102.61 on its first day of trading. 
WTI sank $2.01 in New York trade last night while the Brent contract for September delivery fell $2.27 to expire at $102.01, its lowest closing level since late June 2013. 
The sharp falls in oil prices yesterday coincided with the release of data showing growth in the euro zone area stalled in the second quarter. 
Germany, Europe's largest economy, shrank by 0.2%, and France, the second-largest, had zero growth for the second consecutive quarter. Prices were also under pressure after the release of a string of disappointing Chinese data earlier this week. 
Analysts said that risk premiums associated with the armed insurgency in Ukraine, a key conduit for Russian energy exports to Europe, were continuing to unwind. 
In a speech yesterday, Putin said Russia would not "fence itself off from the outside world" despite a plunge in East-West relations over the pro-Kremlin insurgency in Ukraine. 
He said Moscow would not break ties with the US and Europe but "should also not let them treat us with disdain".  
Russia is the world's second-largest oil producer. There are fears that tough Western sanctions against Russia for its seizure of Crimea in March and support for separatists in east Ukraine could affect its gas exports to Europe. 
Source: www.rte.ie/news/business/2014/0815/637244-oil-prices/?

BP's Azeri oil output down in H1 y/y

August 15:

Aug 15 (Reuters) - Output from Azerbaijan's Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields fell to an average 656,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2014 from 672,000 bpd in the same period last year, BP-Azerbaijan said in a statement.
A drop in production at the ACG fields, which account for most of Azerbaijan's output, has raised concern in the former Soviet republic, which depends heavily on them for revenue. Last year President Ilham Aliyev accused operator BP of making "false promises".
BP said earlier this year that oil production at the ACG fields might be slightly lower than in 2013 as the company planned maintenance work at the Central Azeri and West Azeri platforms, halting operations for a couple of weeks.
Still, production in the first half was higher than the average 645,800 bpd produced in the first three months of the year.

Natural gas output at Shah Deniz stood at 4.75 billion cubic metres (bcm), in line with the 4.8 bcm in the first half of 2013. Shah Deniz is being developed by partners BP, Statoil , SOCAR and others.
Source: uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/15/azerbaijan-bp-production-idUKL6N0QL09V20140815?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=companyResultsNews&rpc=401

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Niger: In Niger, Gas Project to Support Refugees and Save Trees

August 13:

Abala Refugee Camp — A UN refugee agency project in Niger is empowering refugees and protecting the local environment by improving access to domestic energy, thanks to a key partnership with one local business. As a result, households in the area who had previously struggled to secure firewood, can now look forward to four months of gas.
A groundbreaking contract saw the Niger firm install storage centres in remote refugee sites, where physical and financial access is limited, for distribution and bottling. In return, UNHCR procured bottles, stoves and refills to meet the needs of more than 2,600 refugee households in Abala.
For women like Alkaounatou, a Malian refugee and a single mother with three children, the gas project is invaluable. Previously, she had less than US$1 a day to spend on firewood.
Like thousands stranded in Niger and Mali, it took her three hours to find wood and she sometimes skipped meals in order to afford the day's supply. Schemes to fight malnutrition were being reduced to ashes for a few pieces of firewood. Women were also at risk while out foraging.
Today, Alkaounatou earns more than US$2 through her business. "Before the gas reached us, I was forced to sell part of our food ration to buy firewood," she recalls. "But with the gas project, I could save some money, buy merchandise and open my own business. Now I do not depend only on assistance to feed my children."
Maimouna, another single refugee mother with four children, is now similarly self-sufficient. "Gas has very much relieved me," she says. "At one time I used to fetch wood and I was not able to undertake any other activity. Today, I get up, prepare my noodles and roast my pancakes with gas and I sell them."
The project is the first of its kind in Niger and now UNHCR hopes to mobilize its partners, such as France and the European Commission, to help extend the use of gas to other camps. And as Akiyou, chairman of refugees in Abala, noted, it is not only the displaced and local populations that reap the benefits. "The gas came to the rescue of the trees. When there is no tree, there is no life on earth."
Source:  allafrica.com/stories/201408140321.html?

Islamic State seizes control of Iraq's oil, wheat

August 13:

August 13:



Militants are in control of government silos in five of Iraq's most fertile provinces. (AFP/File)
Militants are in control of government silos in five of Iraq's most fertile provinces. (AFP/File)

ISIS terrorists are currently in control of seven oil fields in Iraq and large amounts of the country’s wheat supplies.
Iraqi officials said on Wednesday that the militants were holding government silos in five of Iraq's most fertile provinces, where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says 40 percent of the country’s wheat is grown.
The output capacity of the ISIS-held oil fields amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a monthly oil market report on Tuesday.
The ISIS, which already held the Najma, Qayara, Himreen, Ajeel and Balad fields, managed to capture the Ain Zalah and Batma fields in Nineveh province earlier this month.
According to the IEA, the militants are currently about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from Bai Hassan, the country’s fourth-biggest field, situated near Kirkuk.
The potential oil flow from Iraq’s ISIS-held deposits is commensurate to about $8.4 million a day on international markets.
Iraq, which has the world’s fifth-biggest crude reserves, came under a massive blitz by the ISIS militants in June.
Apart from oil, the militants have also grabbed large supplies of grain in government silos and the country’s biggest dam.
"Now is the worst time for food insecurity," said Fadel al-Zubi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative for Iraq.
According to the Iraqi Trade Ministry, the government bought 1.1 million tons of wheat from Iraqi farmers this harvest season, which yet remain in silos in the provinces where they are operating. The amount equals nearly 20 percent of the annual consumption in Iraq.
Hassan Ibrahim, the director general of the Grain Board of Iraq, said the militants had embarked on selling the stolen wheat back to the government in an attempt to make money for their ongoing assaults.
More than a million people have been displaced by the ISIS-led violence in Iraq so far this year, according to the UN.
Soldiers of the Iraqi army have been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and 
have so far been able to push them back in several areas.
Source: www.albawaba.com/news/iraq-oil-islamic-state-596542?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Oil slips below $105 as Iraq pumps crude despite conflict

August 11:

Brent crude oil slipped below $105 a barrel on Monday as US intervention in Iraq eased concerns over the risk of disruption to supply from OPEC's second-largest producer.
Prices jumped sharply at the end of last week as Islamic State fighters made rapid gains in parts of north Iraq, threatening Iraqi Kurdistan and coming within striking distance of some more oilfields. But US air strikes on the Sunni insurgency calmed market worries over the risk to oil output, helping pull prices lower again.
Oil exports from southern Iraq are near record levels and the Kurdistan Regional Government's
oil pipeline via Turkey is operating normally and pumping 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Iraqi Kurdistan said on Friday its oil output remained unaffected.
Brent was down 17 cents at $104.85 a barrel as of 0843 GMT. The contract jumped over $1 to hit a weekly high of $106.85 on Friday before settling 42 cents lower. US crude was up 11 cents to $97.76 a barrel.
"The market is not as wor-ried now about what is happening in Iraq," said Carsten Fritsch, oil and commodities analyst at Commerzbank. "The market has become complacent about supply again. But complacency is dangerous. Given the geopolitical tensions, a spike in prices cannot and should not be ruled out."
Oil markets are well supplied in most parts of the world, and North Sea crude oil for immediate delivery is trading at a discount of $1 to $2 below the Brent futures front month.
Source: www.financialexpress.com/news/oil-slips-below-105-as-iraq-pumps-crude-despite-conflict/1278543?

O&G to get competitive

August 11:





The global oil and gas industry is being driven by greed for control over resources, according to a newly released report.
Source: www.upstreamonline.com/subscribe/order/

Refinery issues cause Oklahoma gasoline prices to rise

August 11:


Gasoline prices in Oklahoma spiked a bit last week as problems struck several refineries in the region.
The average price of gasoline is up 3.2 cents over the past four days, AAA Oklahoma said Monday, after they briefly dipped below $3 in some areas.
Source: newsok.com/refinery-issues-cause-oklahoma-gasoline-prices-to-rise/article/5158627?custom_click=rss

Human rights group faults Diezani on oil theft

August 11:

The recent claim by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, that crude oil theft through illegal bunkering and vandalisation of oil pipelines, was the major factor reducing the oil output of Africa’s largest producer, Nigeria, has been faulted.
Diezani’s position was made during this year’s International Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Lagos last week.
Reacting to the statement, Dr. Isaac Osuoke, of the Social Development Integrated Centre, said the country was losing more on deliberate oil theft than pipeline vandalism.
Represented by Mr. Emmanuel Bekee of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Osuoke said crude oil theft from pipeline vandalism was the most prominent challenge negatively impacting Nigeria’s oil Industry.
“Theft-related vandalism has metamorphosed to the current trend and scale, from community agitation for resource control, pipeline sabotage to attract contracts for remediation, to militant activism and theft of condensate and refined products,” Bekee said.
But Osuoke maintained that “although the ugly syndrome of oil bunkering through illegal pipeline vandalism poses a daunting challenge to the Nigerian economy, it constitutes a small proportion of the problem, when compared with the colossal level of crude oil theft and the theft of crude oil revenue perpetrated by some key players in the petroleum industry.
“On very many occasions, the Federal Government of Nigeria has recurrently attributed the shortage in oil production to illegal oil bunkering through pipeline hacking.
“But no emphasis is placed on the barrels of crude oil fraudulently converted by some stakeholders in the sector, as well as the huge sums of oil revenue stolen and unaccounted for,” he alleged.
He said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday that available reports have shown that the massive looting of crude oil revenue through fraudulent subsidy payments and the conversion of the public-owned oil into the private hands of some influential operators in the oil sector, far outweigh the oil revenue lost to pipeline vandalism.
Osuoke stated other forms of crude oil theft allegedly perpetrated by the key stakeholders in the Industry to include the illegal oil theft at export terminals under the guise of topping, the siphoning of oil from the wellhead and trade mispricing.
“Statistics indicates that the failure of the federal, state and local governments to ensure transparency and accountability in the equitable utilisation of the substantial revenue from crude oil resources, has led to years of acute wastage in the Petroleum Sector.
“The recommendations made in these reports to combat the corruption in the sector, have not been fully implemented, but the Nigerian government would rather focus on pipeline vandalism, as though it were the most prominent form of oil theft, which is not true,” he said.
The activist said “as a result of the weak and inadequate democratic institutions in Nigeria, there has been poor accountability in the management of revenues accruing from the exploitation of natural resources in the country.
“The oil corporations and the government have jointly engaged in opaque transactions, devoid of transparency, and the bulk of the oil revenue has been stolen, while the poorly enforced regulations on crude oil exploitation have exposed host communities to very significant violations to their livelihoods and their environment, without access to ready remedies or redress”.

Source:  dailyindependentnig.com/2014/08/human-rights-group-faults-diezani-oil-theft/?

MARKET EYE -Indian shares seen higher as Asian markets extend gains

August 11:

* Indian shares may open stronger on Tuesday as Asian markets
extend bounce, oil pinned near lows. 
* NSE index futures traded on the Singapore Exchange up
0.54 percent.
* The MSCI-Asia Pacific excluding Japan index 
gains 0.4 percent. 
* Tata Motors' shares likely to surge after
June-quarter profit tripled on strong Jaguar, Land Rover sales.
 
* The Indian automaker's U.S.-listed shares ended 7.5
percent higher.
* Key earnings on Tuesday: Coal India, Bharat
Petroleum Corp, Indian Oil Corp, Sun
Pharmaceutical Industries, and Tata Power 
* However, overseas investors sold shares worth 1.63 billion
rupees ($26.69 million) on Monday, provisional exchange data
shows. 
(1 US dollar = 61.0800 Indian rupee)

 (abhishek.vishnoi@thomsonreuters.com /
abhishek.vishnoi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

Source: in.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/idINL4N0QI14P20140812?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=401

Mexican President Signs Landmark Energy Reform into Law

August 11:



Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday signed a package of laws that will serve as a rule book for comprehensive energy reform designed to lure billions of dollars in investment to the country's ailing oil, gas and electricity sectors.
Pena Nieto has made the energy overhaul the top economic priority of his administration, which aims to boost slumping growth in the world's 15th biggest economy.
He said at a ceremony at the national palace that the energy ministry will announce two next steps in the reform later this week. A so-called Round Zero allocation of oil and gas fields that Pemex will keep is to be unveiled on Wednesday.
The energy ministry will also announce which fields will be put up for grabs for foreign and private oil companies in the first round of public tenders, expected to take place next year.
The reform ends the decades-long monopoly enjoyed by Mexico's two state-owned energy behemoths, national oil company Pemex and electricity utility CFE. It opens up new opportunities for investment across the industry.
International oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil have been monitoring the legislative process and are widely expected to compete for newly established development contracts and licenses as early as next year.
“Mexico has created a solid framework to make the energy sector more competitive and attractive to private investment,” said Shell Mexico President Alberto De La Fuente in an emailed response to 
questions.
“We will review strategic opportunities in Mexico that could generate value for both our company and the country,” he added.
Patrick McGinn, a spokesman for ExxonMobil's upstream division, said the company welcomes the reform but emphasized that future projects in Mexico will have to compete.
“We will pursue potential investment opportunities in Mexico that are competitive with other opportunities around the world,” he said.
Credit Suisse said in a report issued Monday that the accelerated timeline announced by Pena Nieto “should bring more [investment] interest” to the sector.
The bank's research unit added that oil companies will “be able to choose from a wide array of options and analyze them with enough lead time, increasing the likelihood that the formal biddings are carried out in a timely manner.” 
Source: www.voanews.com/content/reu-mexican-president-nieto-signs-landmark-energy-reform-into-law/2410406.html?

Bahrain set to host key energy industry forum

August 11:

MANAMA: Bapco is among the leaders in a wave of change sweeping the management ethos across Middle East energy operators in order to avoid costly incidents and remain competitive.
Utilising the experiences of Chevron, Bapco has developed and implemented an operational excellence management system and is officially supporting the upcoming Operational Excellence Middle East Forum.
To be held at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Manama, the forum is scheduled for September 28 to 30.
Organised by The Energy Exchange and World Refining Association the event will be held under the patronage of the National Oil and Gas Authority.
"The commitment of Bahrain to operational excellence is in line with its standing in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom Report which highlighted the country's competitive and efficient regulatory environment, and which is also reflected through the country's petroleum sector which accounts for 60 per cent of export receipts and 70pc of government revenue," The Energy Exchange conference director Maxwell Thompson said.
"A number of projects within this sector such as the new crude oil pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the modernisation of the Sitra Refinery and the offshore LNG import terminal are part of the revitalisation of Bahrain's hydrocarbon industry and make Bahrain a dynamic and logical choice for the second edition of Operational Excellence Middle East," he added.
The first day of the main conference will be opened with an official address by Finance Minister and Minister in charge of Oil and Gas Affairs Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
A key focus of the programme on day one will be mapping how the region's operators are implementing operational excellence today and what they have learned from the experiences of their international counterparts.
With industry representatives from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as India, Canada and the US, the programme will also address the future of pperational excellence and how it is evolving to ensure continuous improvement.
The second day will examine the three key principles of operational excellence: leadership, management of people and change before moving on to address a major concern for operators within the region - asset integrity, reliability and maintenance.
Preceding the main conference, former lean master technical authority with Shell and now oil and gas lead for Secora, Gary Downs, will deliver a master class addressing the practical approaches to increasing productivity, while reducing waste.
Using interactive exercises alongside multiple case studies Mr Downs will demonstrate successful approaches that have been employed and that deliver sustainable benefits.
Keynote speakers sharing their insight and experience at Operational Excellence Middle East include: Bapco refining division general manager Hafedh Al Qassab, GPIC head of environment, health and safety Jassim Darwish and Bapco operational excellence head Mark Hodgkinson.
International technology providers including Honeywell, Dupont and Petro IT will also be providing insight on leveraging technology to maximise operational excellence initiatives further highlighting the aim of the conference to provide a comprehensive programme for those already involved in operational excellence as well as those about to begin the journey.
Source: www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=383732

Locke in move for Murco petrol stations

August 11:

OIL services tycoon Alasdair Locke has teamed up with the Patron Capital private equity business to buy the giant Murco petrol station chain in a deal thought to be worth around £200million.
Mr Locke, who made around £120m when the Aberdeen-based Abbot drilling operation he built was sold, and Patron have signed an agreement to buy the retail assets of Murco from America's Murphy Oil Corporation.
The acquisition will allow the partners to add 228 Murco-owned petrol stations to the 60-strong portfolio of outlets they operate through the Motor Fuel Group. They will acquire rights to supply fuel to 200 Murco-branded outlets owned by others.
The portfolio of Murco-branded stations includes 10 outlets in Scotland, where MFG has seven forecourts.
Stephen Green, senior partner at Patron Capital, said: "We are delighted with this exciting transaction. The signing of this agreement supports our stated objective to grow Motor Fuel Group into a significant force in the UK forecourt sector."
Mr Locke and Patron bought Motor Fuel Group for a reported £40m in 2012.
Motor Fuel Group said the Murco transaction is scheduled to close no later than 30 September 2014.
In July Murphy Oil agreed to sell the Milford Haven refinery in Wales to US entrepreneur Gary Klesch.
Aldershot-born Mr Locke started his career as an investment banker focused on oil and gas.
He founded Abbot in 1992 and sold it to private equity group First Reserve for £906m in 2007.
Patron Capital led a £210m buyout of Cala, the Edinburgh-based housebuilder, in March last year.
Source: www.heraldscotland.com/business/people/locke-in-move-for-murco-petrol-stations.25018400?

Jereh Group Starts Sichuan LNG Project

August 11:

Source: CIPPE
Source: CIPPE
Shandong based Jereh Group announced last week its LNG plant project in Yibin city in China’s Sichuan has started with production capacity of 2.47 MMSCFD.
First LNG is expected to be produced by end of this year. By now water workd, electricity and land leveling services have been completed.
In June, the Group signed an agreement with Sichuan Sentai Energy Investment Corporation to promote local shale gas liquefaction and commercialisation.
“Backed by the rich reserves and government favorable policies for Sichuan shale gas exploitation, the expected high gas production will bring lower price advantage and larger economic benefits.” Sentai Energy Corp said at the time of signing of the agreement.
In early July, Jereh signed a strategic agreement with Sichuan Sentai Energy Investment Corp. to provide integrated shale gas solutions, not only for the LNG plant itself, but also for the services covering gas compression, transportation, and terminal fuelling, which Jereh will oversee.
Jereh expanded its business in natural gas engineering segment in 2004 and now has a full business chain from R&D, manufacturing to engineering services of gas transportation, processing, treatment and LNG and CNG fueling.
Source: www.naturalgasasia.com/jereh-group-starts-sichuan-lng-project-13223?

LEVANT Law and disorder

August 11:

Line 9 protest

Trish Mills pleaded guilty. Along with other professional protesters, she broke into an oil pipeline pumping station in Westover, Ontario, as an environmentalist stunt. She wouldn’t leave for days. When police finally came to take her away, she used a bicycle lock to lock her neck to the premises. Police had to carefully cut it off.

Despite her abusive conduct towards police and the court itself, Mills was given the lightest slap on the wrist possible. She pleaded guilty, but if she agreed to remain of good behaviour, and keep away from the property of the pipeline company for a year, her criminal record would be wiped.

The judge gave her a second chance in life.

That Mills threw in his face.

Mills returned to an anti-Line 9 protest again this summer.

And then again on the weekend – where she was arrested, again.
Source:  www.torontosun.com/2014/08/11/law-and-disorder?

Mexican President Peña Nieto signs bills ending nationalization of country’s oil industry

August 11:

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a package of landmark energy reform bills, ending the 76-year-old state monopoly on oil drilling and reopening the sector to foreign companies.
“This represents a historic change that will accelerate the economic growth and development of Mexico in the coming years,” the president told hundreds of guests at a ceremony in the capital.
The signing comes five days after the Mexican Senate gave final approval to the laws, the centrist leader’s most ambitious political
Source: mobile.rawstory.com/all/2014-08-11-mexican-president-pena-nieto-signs-bills-ending-nationalization-of-countrys-oil-industry?size=large&olcts=1407809052710&width=1024&height=684&redirectCount=2

BP contractor agreement contributes to rise in Grand Isle ambulance service revenues, audit finds

August 11:

Grand Isle's ambulance service saw a $267,426 increase in revenues last year in part, due to a contract with a private entity, according to its annual audit. A BP contractor hired the department for "stand-by'' medical services, paying the agency $250,403, according to the 2013 financial review conducted by certified public accountant Paul Rivera.
The department also received $342,600 from property taxes, a $30,600 or 10 percent increase over 2012, the audit found. Jefferson Parish levies 9.74 mills for ambulance service, according to the audit.
Also contributing to higher revenues was a fundraiser to help with the purchase of a new ambulance. That brought in $37,522, the report said.
Last year, expenses for the ambulance service totaled $705,248, while revenues came $713,898, the audit said. Personnel costs were up over last year, with the department paying $136,151 for details to fulfill the agreement with the BP contractor. The agency also spent $80,000 for a new ambulance.
Three findings were reported in the audit. The report raised concerns about an "inadequate segregation of duties'' and said the agency failed to keep track of fixed assets. While noting the department is small and the secretary-bookkeeper handles most of the financial duties, the audit said the agency has other controls in place to mitigate the finding. 
The department also said it would consider using software to assist with record keeping of fixed assets next fiscal year.
The audit on Grand Isle Volunteer Emergency Services also known as Jefferson Parish Ambulance District No. 2 was released Monday (Aug. 11) by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office.

Source: www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/08/grand_isle_ambulance_service_r.html?

Penn-led expert panel calls for public health research on natural gas drilling

August 11:

PHILADELPHIA – Groundwater and air quality testing before, during, and after natural gas drilling – which includes hydraulic fracturing -- should be key components of efforts to ensure the safety of communities near these sites, according to an expert panel convened to weigh in on public health research needs associated with unconventional natural gas drilling operations (UNGDO). The panel also urges that any research conducted should use "community-based participatory research principles" so that the concerns of the many stakeholders involved in these activities can be addressed.
A group of environmental health researchers, led by Trevor Penning, PhD, director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, published their findings this month in Environmental Health Perspectives.
UNGDO, which includes hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, supplies an energy source which is potentially cleaner than liquid or solid fossil fuels and may provide a route to energy independence for the U.S, say proponents. However, significant concerns have arisen due to the lack of research on the public health impact of this type of energy extraction.
"The working group was convened following presentations on the potential of natural gas drilling to adversely affect public health at the 2012 Annual Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers [EHSCC] meeting at Harvard School of Public Health," states Penning.
Sixteen of the twenty EHSCCs funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) joined the working group to review the literature on the potential public health impact of UNGDO and to make recommendations for research.
The Inter-EHSCC Working Group concluded that a potential for water and air pollution exists that might endanger public health and that the social fabric of communities could be affected by the rapid emergence of drilling operations. The working group recommends research to inform how potential risks could be mitigated.
Some of the key suggestions are:

  • Baseline ground water quality data should be taken before drilling begins and be monitored over the lifetime and abandonment of the gas-producing well.
  • Ambient and occupational air quality should be measured at active drilling sites and be compared with baseline measurements in adjacent areas without drilling operations.
  • An environmental epidemiological study should be performed to determine whether an association exists between health outcomes data and water quality in private drinking wells in communities with and without hydraulic fracturing.
  • An environmental epidemiological study should be performed to determine whether air pollution associated with UNGDO increases the incidence of respiratory illness and cardiovascular disease.
  • Community-based participatory research principles should be embraced in designing and conducting studies on environmental and health impacts of UNGDO so that a range of community perspectives are addressed. All stakeholders (individual/community/industry/advocacy groups/decision makers) should be engaged early to foster multi-directional communication and accountability.


###

Coauthors are Marilyn Howarth, Penn CEET; Patrick N. Breysee, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD; Kathleen Gray, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC; and Beizhan Ya, Lamont Doherty, Earth Observatory of Columbia University, NY.
The working group is supported by grants from the NIEHS: P30¬ES013508 (Penn); P30-ES010126 (UNC); P30-ES003819 (Johns Hopkins); P30-ES009089 (Columbia University); P30-ES000002 (Harvard); P30-ES000210 (Oregon State); P30-ES000260 (NYU); P30-ES005022 (Rutgers); P30-ES006096 (University of Cincinnati); P30-ES005605 (University of Iowa); P30-ES001247 (University of Rochester), P30-ES007048 (USC); P30-ES006676 (UT-Medical Branch); P30-ES007033 (University of Washington) and P30 ES004184 (University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee).
Editor's Note: Penning has given expert testimony in methyl¬tert-butyl-ether products liability litigation. The other authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented 
medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the 
National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

Source: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-08/uops-pep081114.php?

Rig turnover continues at CCA fields in Caspian Sea

August 11:

A second jackup, Neptune, is drilling the Dzheitune (Lam) C/191 development well. It will remain available to Dragon for nine months and will then be released. In its place, the company expects to take delivery of the Mercury jackup, due to arrive in the Caspian Sea this fall. Mercury will operate under a lease and management contract for an initial duration of five years, optionally extendable by up to two more years.
Land Rig 1 is preparing to spud the Dzheitune (Lam) 22/193 and then complete two more wells on the Dzheitune (Lam) 22 platform, including Lam 22/193, prior to its release.
Soon the platform-based rig Land Rig 2 is expected to spud the Dzhygalybeg (Zhdanov) A platform Dzhygalybeg (Zhdanov) A/102 well from the Dzhygalybeg (Zhdanov) A platform.
In February, Dragon awarded a contract for the construction and installation of the wellhead and production platform Dzheitune (Lam) E and associated pipelines, and design and detailed engineering work is under way. The platform, expected to be ready in 1H 2016, will have eight fitted well slots (suitable for use by a jackup), with space for another four slots to be added later.
Work continues to relocate the Dzhygalybeg (Zhdanov) B platform to the Dzheitune (Lam) field, location Lam F. Modifications and subsequent installation should be completed during the fall.
The company adds that structural strengthening is being performed at numerous platforms in the Dzheitune (Lam) field, to allow more slots to be added for drilling from these platforms. 
The company has invited tenders for construction of another 30-in. subsea trunkline from the Dzheitune (Lam) field to the central processing facility. Construction is expected to start two years after contract award.
Elsewhere, Dragon has started preparations in Cairo for operations on block 19 East Zeit Bay, in the Gulf of Suez offshore Egypt, after signing a contract in May with the Petroleum Ministry.
Off Tunisia, the company, in partnership with operator Cooper Energy and Jacka Resources, is looking to obtain a rig to drill side track-2 of the Hammamet West-3 well in 2015 at a cost around $35 million.
Source:  www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2014/08/rig-turnover-continues-at-cca-fields-in-caspian-sea.html?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nigeria: Shell Records Massive Oil Spill On Its Nembe Creek

August 10:

A major oil spill has occurred at a Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, (SPDC), oil pipeline between the Santa-Barbara and Tego Rivers in Owuanga-Toru of Kula Kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained as at press time but the company is pushing for investigation and mitigation exercise.
Shell has confirmed the spill, which members of the affected communities described as "massive."
"On August 6, 2014, the SPDC JV observed a leak on a section of the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) at Owangia community, Akuku-Toru LGA in Rivers State.
"The impacted section has been shut down, preparatory to investigation into the cause of the leak and repairs. Some tools suspected to have been used for crude theft activities were recovered in the area," Shell Nigeria spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobor said.
Community secretary of Owuanga-Toru Community, Alabo Fiola, who first confirmed the development said, "the oil spills suspected to have come from SPDC facilities in the area, has affected fishing and the other uses of the river."
He attributed the spillage to the activities of vandals, while appealing for relief materials for the affected communities.
Some members of the affected communities described the spill as massive, but, Shell said the volume of oil involved is yet to be ascertained.
Okolobor said a Joint Investigative Visit would be conducted to the area to establish the extent of damage to the pipeline.
Source: allafrica.com/stories/201408100012.html?

Arctic 30 welcome Greenpeace protest ship back to Amsterdam

August 10:


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Amsterdam - Greenpeace's protest vessel, the ice-breaker Arctic Sunrise, docked in Amsterdam, Holland, Saturday, almost a year after Russian authorities seized the ship and arrested its crew during Greenpeace protests against Arctic oil drilling.
Following Russia authorizing release of the vessel last June, Arctic Sunrise left the Russian Arctic port of Murmansk on the Barents Sea coast, Aug. 1, heading to Amsterdam.
It took some weeks for Greenpeace to make the ship seaworthy. A representative of the environmental campaigning group told Deutsche Welle that much of the equipment on board Arctic Sunrise, including navigation and communication aids had "disappeared or had been severely damaged."
Arctic Sunrise was in Russian custody for 300 days having been boarded and seized by Russian security agents on September 19th 2013. 30 Greenpeace activists, dubbed the Arctic 30, on board the ship arrested at the same time after two of them attempted to scale a Russian offshore 

At the time of the seizure and arrests, Greenpeace was engaged in what it termed was “peaceful direct action” against Russia’s state owned oil and gas company, Gazprom, as the company embarked on drilling the world’s first oil well in Arctic waters.
As Arctic Sunrise berthed at Beverwijk, near Amsterdam, Saturday, a number of the Arctic 30 were on hand to welcome her back and went on board. In a statement released on the Greenpeace website, Dutch climate and energy campaigner Faiza Oulahsen, who was held in custody for two months in a Russian prison last year facing charges, later dropped, of piracy and hooliganism, said,“This is a joyous day for me, for my friends and for the millions of people around the world who campaigned for the release of the Arctic 30 and the Arctic Sunrise.”
“The companies and governments who seek to exploit this vulnerable region for profit have tried to silence the growing call to protect the Arctic for future generations. But they have not succeeded. And they will not. The Arctic Sunrise will sail again. By now more than 5 million people worldwide have spoken out for Arctic protection,”added Oulahsen.
Arctic Sunrise is unlikely to be absent from Arctic waters for long as drilling for oil and gas in the region gathers pace. Coinciding with Arctic Sunrise’s return to a safe haven this weekend, another Russian oil giant, Rosneft, embarked on a joint drilling project with ExxonMobil in the Kara Sea, a vast expanse of Arctic waters east of the island of island ofNovaya Zemlya.
As Karen Graham reported on Digital Journal today, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched Rosneft and ExxonMobil’s start of drilling in the Arctic during a teleconference with the two companies’ CEOs, Saturday.
Initially, Greenpeace will move Arctic Sunrise to a shipyard in Amsterdam to undergo repairs. Greenpeace expects to have a comprehensive assessment of necessary repairs within a fortnight. The environmental group haven't released details of the ship’s likely movements once repairs are complete, but veteran Greenpeace captain Pete Willcox, who was in command of Greenpeace's "Rainbow Warrior" when it was sunk by French agents in 1985, said he expected the ship to be "back out campaigning in about a month, maybe six weeks."
A return to Arctic waters for Arctic Sunrise, and possible further clashes with the Russian authorities, certainly cannot be ruled out.
Russian authorities freed Arctic Sunrise after the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Nov. 22, 2013, ordered Russia to 'immediately' release the vessel upon the posting of a €3.6 million bond by the Netherlands. The bond was posted by Dec. 2, 2013.
In March 2014, the Arctic 30 commenced legal proceedings against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The Greenpeace activists previously held in Russia are seeking "just compensation" from the Russian Federation and a statement from ECHR that the 30’s arrest in international waters by Russian agents and their subsequent detention were unlawful.
Greenpeace opposes moves to extend offshore gas and oil exploitation into the Arctic, arguing that drilling operations are a threat to one of the world’s few remaining untouched wildernesses with its unique ecology. Greenpeace set out its case against energy companies encroaching into the Arctic in the campaign group’s policy document “Arctic Sanctuary” published June 2014.

Source: 
www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/arctic-30-welcome-greenpeace-protest-ship-back-to-amsterdam/article/396051?

Premier Oil PLC Rating Reiterated by Sanford C. Bernstein (PMO)

August 10:

Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating restated by equities researchers at Sanford C. Bernstein in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a GBX 460 ($7.74) price target on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 46.61% from the stock’s previous close.
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on PMO. Analysts at Deutsche Bankreiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Premier Oil PLC in a research note on Friday. They now have a GBX 495 ($8.33) price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Societe Generale reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Premier Oil PLC in a research note on Friday, August 1st. They now have a GBX 350 ($5.89) price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Premier Oil PLC in a research note on Monday, July 28th. They now have a GBX 370 ($6.23) price target on the stock. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company. Premier Oil PLC presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of GBX 355.23 ($5.98).
Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) opened at 313.75 on Friday. Premier Oil PLC has a one year low of GBX 267.50 and a one year high of GBX 374.10. The stock has a 50-day moving average of GBX 327.8 and a 200-day moving average of GBX 318.2. The company’s market cap is £1.651 billion.
Premier Oil plc (LON:PMO) is an independent exploration and production company with oil and gas interests in the North Sea, South East Asia and in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan regions.
Source: tickerreport.com/banking-finance/273367/premier-oil-plc-rating-reiterated-by-sanford-c-bernstein-pmo/?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Inpex, BP projects await assessment approval

August 09:

Two gas development and expansion projects in the eastern half of the country, which are expected to boost production capacity, will soon receive approval from the government, pending assessment.

One of the projects, the development of a deepwater facility at the Abadi field in the Masela block in the Arafura Sea, which is being carried out by Inpex Masela Ltd., is still awaiting assessment from the government. 

The other project, BP Indonesia’s proposed expansion of the Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Bintuni Bay, West Papua, is awaiting approval of its environmental study.

Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Susilo Siswoutomo said his office was evaluating a contract extension request for the Masela block, which would determine the continuation of the deepwater development project in the block.

“We are evaluating it [the contract extension request]. The Masela project must go ahead,” Susilo said on Tuesday.

Under a plan of development (POD) approved in 2011, Inpex is planning to build a floating LNG facility with capacity for 2.5 million tons of gas per year. The company is currently working on a front end engineering design (FEED), according to its website. 

The development of the Abadi field at the Masela block is one of biggest deepwater projects in the country with investment estimated to be around US$5 billion. The Abadi field is estimated to have 6.05 trillion cubic feet of gas in proven resources.

Inpex is trying to secure some certainty for its business from the government. According to the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force’s (SKKMigas) deputy planning head, Aussie Gautama, the company had sought a contract extension for the Masela block through 2048.

The current contract for the Masela block is due to expire in 2028. Inpex, according to Aussie, argued that if Masela’s Abadi gas delivery began, as planned, in 2018, the company would not be able to make the most of the gas resources, as production would only last 10 years.

The government, on the other hand, cannot easily grant contract extensions because under the law, a request for a contract extension can only be made, at the earliest, 10 years before it expires. Therefore, in the case of the Masela block, the request should be submitted no earlier that 2018.

Meanwhile, regarding the Tangguh LNG expansion plan, BP Indonesia head Dharmawan Samsu said a hearing on the project’s environmental study had been completed. The company was expecting to obtain approval in April or May, he added.

“We are also expecting to announce the winner of the FEED tender for the Tangguh expansion soon. Moreover, we are in the final stages of a discussion with [state-owned electricity firm] PT PLN about an electricity sale and purchase agreement,” Dharmawan said on Monday.

He added that the final investment decision for the Tangguh expansion should be obtained in 2015 to allow work to be completed, according to its schedule, in 2019.


Source:  m.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/05/inpex-bp-projects-await-assessment-approval.html?