The 3 Week Diet System

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 13:



Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon attend the completion ceremony of first-phase project of the Dushanbe No.2 power plant and the groundbreaking ceremony of second-phase project of the Dushanbe No.2 power plant in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, Sept. 13, 2014.(Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

DUSHANBE, Sept.13 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon on Saturday attended the construction commencement ceremony of the Tajikistan section of Line-D of the China-Central Asia Gas Pipelines.
The 1000-km-long Line-D, one of China's major energy cooperation projects in Central Asia, will run from Turkmenistan across Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to China, with an expected delivery capacity of 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas every year once construction is completed in 2016.
Among all countries the pipeline travels through, Tajikistan has the longest section of about 410 km.
At the commencement ceremony, Xi called the China-Central Asia Gas Pipelines a strategic cooperation project that involves and benefits multiple parties, saying it is very important for regional economic development.
The fact that Line-D will run through the lofty and steepy Pamirs and its long distance will make the construction a very tough task, said Xi.
However, he said, "I believe that this energy aorta, a symbol of China-Tajikistan friendship, will be built on time with joint efforts and close cooperation between our two countries."
With thriving cooperation between China and Central Asian nations in recent years, the old Silk Road which links them has been undergoing a revival, Xi said.
"We should carry on the ancient Silk Road spirit, pass on our friendship, deepen cooperation and jointly build a brighter future for the relations of our two nations, " said Xi.
For his part, Rahmon said Line-D embodies reciprocal and win-win cooperation of the two nations, adding that it will create more than 3,000 jobs in Tajikistan.
Tajikistan is ready to work with China to achieve common development, and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity, he said.


Earlier in the day, the two presidents also attended a ceremony in Dushanbe that marked the completion of the first-phase construction of a thermal power plant and commencement of the second phase.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-09/14/c_126983079.htm

U.S. in pursuit of ISIL oil cash

September 13:



– The Obama administration is struggling to cut off the millions of dollars in oil revenue that has made the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) one of the wealthiest terror groups in history, but so far has been unable to persuade Turkey, the NATO ally where much of the oil is traded on the black market, to crack down on an extensive sales network.
Western intelligence officials say they can track the ISIL oil shipments as they move across Iraq and into Turkey’s southern border regions. Despite extensive discussions inside the Pentagon, U.S. forces have so far not attacked the tanker trucks, though a senior administration official said “that remains an option.”
In public, the administration has been unwilling to criticize Turkey, which insists it has little control over the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria across its borders, or the flow of oil back out. One senior official, calling President Obama’s recent conversations with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “sensitive,” said the decisions about what the country will do to counter ISIL “will be theirs to make.”
But behind the scenes, the conversations about the Sunni extremist group’s ability to gather vast sums to finance its operations have become increasingly tense.
Access to cash critical
Turkey’s failure thus far to help choke off the oil trade symbolizes the magnitude of the challenge facing the administration in starving its lifeblood. ISIL’s access to cash is critical to its ability to recruit members, meet its growing payroll of fighters, expand its reach and operate across the territory of two countries.
“Turkey in many ways is a wild card in this coalition equation,” said Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and author of “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.”
“It’s a great disappointment: There is a real danger that the effort to degrade and destroy [ISIL] is at risk,” Zarate said. “You have a major NATO ally, and it is not clear they are willing and able to cut off flows of funds, fighters and support to [ISIL].”
Turkey declined to sign a communiqué on Thursday in Saudi Arabia that committed Persian Gulf states to counter ISIL, even limited to the extent each nation considered “appropriate.” Turkish officials told their U.S. counterparts that with 49 Turkish diplomats being held as hostages in Iraq, they could not risk taking a public stance.

Still, administration officials say they believe Turkey could substantially disrupt the cash flow to ISIL if it tried.
“Like any sort of black market smuggling operation, if you devote the resources and the effort to attack it, you are unlikely to eradicate it, but you are likely to put a very significant dent in it,” a senior administration official said Saturday.
A second senior official said that Obama’s national security team had spoken several times with Erdogan and other top Turkish officials in the past two weeks about what they can do to help counter ISIL, and that the ISIL’s financing was part of those discussions.
“Stopping the flow of foreign fighters, border security and dismantling ISIL funding networks are also key aspects of our strategy, and we will continue to work closely with Turkey and our other partners in the region on these efforts in the days ahead,” the official said.
Source: http://www.startribune.com/world/275023191.html

UK approves giant £100m Welsh wind farm

September 11:

Copyright: Thinkstock
Plans to build a giant new wind farm in North Wales has been granted permission by the UK Government.
The 32-turbine Clocaenog Forest facility will have an installed capacity of up to 96MW, equivalent to powering more than 40,000 homes.
Developer RWE also expects the £100 million project to support nearly 240 jobs and bring benefits worth £40 million for Wales.
Martin Cole, Clocaenog Project Developer said: “This is a tremendous project, which can deliver significant benefits for the local communities, businesses and the environment and is an important contributor to the UK energy mix and energy security.”
Source: http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/09/14/uk-approves-giant-100m-welsh-wind-farm/?

On casualisation and contract jobs in the Nigerian oil and gas sector

September 13:

Recently, Swift Worldwide Resources, a global staffing company, released its latest report which placed Nigeria third and fourth among the ten highest paid contract jobs worldwide in the oil and gas industry, which Australia led in both distinct categories. The list according to the report was produced by analyzing Swift’s 250 contract positions in the oil and gas industry in 30 locations worldwide, for a total of 7,500 jobs. 
Commenting on the report the company stated: “Both Iraq and Nigeria have seen unprecedented growth in industry activity, and workers there are compensated for the risks that come with working in the more dangerous areas, accounting for the increase in salary ranges”. The report added Salaries in the US are climbing, but salaries in these emerging markets are climbing faster “. It did not however, indicate whether those earning the high wages for the highly skilled technical jobs were expatriates or Nigerians, but we do know that the former, who are usually of the joint venture partners, often earn the most remuneration. 
While the Swift Report has been celebrated in some quarters as a progressive and healthy development for the nation’s oil and gas industry, this Newspaper believes that such euphoria is misplaced, given the penchant of multinational and indigenous oil and gas companies operating in the country to indulge in the obnoxious and exploitative practice of employing Nigerians on contract and casual terms in contravention of the country’s Labour Laws. The oil companies engage in casualisation, contract employment or outsourcing mainly for selfish reasons. They want to cut costs by all means and maximize their profit at the detriment of their local employees who are paid pittance without job security, compared to their compensation had they been employed as permanent staff with good conditions of service. We totally condemn this practice, because it is a flagrant violation of a provision of the Labour Law which states that a worker should not be employed as a casual or contract staff for more than three months after which such should be staffed or regularised. There are reported cases of Nigerians employed as contract staff for 30 years! To circumvent the law, the companies allegedly continue to engage workers on three months contract only to terminate them after the period and re-engage them repeatedly. Sadly, companies in the oil and gas sector are only observing the Labour Laws in the breach because the Ministry of Labour and Productivity whose duty it is to ensure that all companies operating in the country obey the law or are appropriately sanctioned have failed in their duty.
Before the 1970s, and 80s, the issue of casualisation and contract employment was mostly alien to the nation’s oil industry. But from the mid 80s till date the practice crept in and has been on the rise despite the local content policy of the federal government. We have the major industrial unions in the sector, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) to thank, because through their advocacy, for tackling the excesses of employers in the oil and gas sector over casualisation and contract employment.  But there is a limit to what these trade unions can achieve against entrenched and powerful companies in the oil and gas sector who are bent on using their connections in government to exploit and short-change Nigerians in their own country.
Few years ago, following agitations by unions in the oil and gas sector,  the Federal Ministry of Labour set up a technical committee to issue guide lines on outsourcing and casualisation issues in the oil and gas industry. Why is it that companies in the sector are not complying with the guidelines or Whatever happened to the labour inspectors from the Ministry of Labour who in years past went from one company to another inspecting and monitoring compliance with Labour Laws and guidelines and thereby detecting and punishing erring organisations? Such must be restored forthwith.
We urge the Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu to ensure that extant Labour Laws against casualisation and contract employment are henceforth enforced, not only in the oil industry but nationwide. He should approach the national Assembly to strengthen existing laws where necessary to ensure that unfair labour practices are not only outlawed but the organisations in the breach are appropriately sanctioned. As a matter of expediency, we also call on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) without further delay to enhance the operations of the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Source: Recently, Swift Worldwide Resources, a global staffing company, released its latest report which placed Nigeria third and fourth among the ten highest paid contract jobs worldwide in the oil and gas industry, which Australia led in both distinct categories. The list according to the report was produced by analyzing Swift’s 250 contract positions in the oil and gas industry in 30 locations worldwide, for a total of 7,500 jobs. 
Commenting on the report the company stated: “Both Iraq and Nigeria have seen unprecedented growth in industry activity, and workers there are compensated for the risks that come with working in the more dangerous areas, accounting for the increase in salary ranges”. The report added Salaries in the US are climbing, but salaries in these emerging markets are climbing faster “. It did not however, indicate whether those earning the high wages for the highly skilled technical jobs were expatriates or Nigerians, but we do know that the former, who are usually of the joint venture partners, often earn the most remuneration. 
While the Swift Report has been celebrated in some quarters as a progressive and healthy development for the nation’s oil and gas industry, this Newspaper believes that such euphoria is misplaced, given the penchant of multinational and indigenous oil and gas companies operating in the country to indulge in the obnoxious and exploitative practice of employing Nigerians on contract and casual terms in contravention of the country’s Labour Laws. The oil companies engage in casualisation, contract employment or outsourcing mainly for selfish reasons. They want to cut costs by all means and maximize their profit at the detriment of their local employees who are paid pittance without job security, compared to their compensation had they been employed as permanent staff with good conditions of service. We totally condemn this practice, because it is a flagrant violation of a provision of the Labour Law which states that a worker should not be employed as a casual or contract staff for more than three months after which such should be staffed or regularised. There are reported cases of Nigerians employed as contract staff for 30 years! To circumvent the law, the companies allegedly continue to engage workers on three months contract only to terminate them after the period and re-engage them repeatedly. Sadly, companies in the oil and gas sector are only observing the Labour Laws in the breach because the Ministry of Labour and Productivity whose duty it is to ensure that all companies operating in the country obey the law or are appropriately sanctioned have failed in their duty.
Before the 1970s, and 80s, the issue of casualisation and contract employment was mostly alien to the nation’s oil industry. But from the mid 80s till date the practice crept in and has been on the rise despite the local content policy of the federal government. We have the major industrial unions in the sector, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) to thank, because through their advocacy, for tackling the excesses of employers in the oil and gas sector over casualisation and contract employment.  But there is a limit to what these trade unions can achieve against entrenched and powerful companies in the oil and gas sector who are bent on using their connections in government to exploit and short-change Nigerians in their own country.
Few years ago, following agitations by unions in the oil and gas sector,  the Federal Ministry of Labour set up a technical committee to issue guide lines on outsourcing and casualisation issues in the oil and gas industry. Why is it that companies in the sector are not complying with the guidelines or Whatever happened to the labour inspectors from the Ministry of Labour who in years past went from one company to another inspecting and monitoring compliance with Labour Laws and guidelines and thereby detecting and punishing erring organisations? Such must be restored forthwith.
We urge the Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu to ensure that extant Labour Laws against casualisation and contract employment are henceforth enforced, not only in the oil industry but nationwide. He should approach the national Assembly to strengthen existing laws where necessary to ensure that unfair labour practices are not only outlawed but the organisations in the breach are appropriately sanctioned. As a matter of expediency, we also call on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) without further delay to enhance the operations of the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Brazil’s First Solar Powered Football Pitch

September 13:



ShellMdaMMatchonPitchPost-Build1
What better location to test out a solar powered football pitch than Brazil?
Well, there are but Brazil’s first player-powered football pitch was inaugurated on Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro’s slum, which basically exploits the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide lighting at night.
The project, which was sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, involves 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen under a layer of AstroTurf. Combined with solar panels installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.
Each tile costs about $500, but the price is expected to fall as the firm works towards a cost effective manufacturing process.
Pavegen had installed similar tiles in Europe and Australia but a football pitch was a first for the firm.
“We’ve effectively turned this community into a real-life science experiment,” head of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook was quoted as saying. “I believe this technology can be one of the future ways we illuminate our cities.”
Brazilian legend Pele was in the house at the Morro da Mineira slum, to observe the science put into action, first hand. And he was impressed. In fact to a point, where he got emotional over the project, hoping that this field would help trigger the local kids’ interest not only in football but in science as well.
Source: http://www.footynions.com/2014/09/13/brazils-first-solar-powered-football-pitch/?

South Africa/Botswana: Sasol Banyana Banyana Thump Botswana Again in a Friendly Match

September 13:

Sasol Banyana Banyana walloped the Botswana women's national team 10-0 in an international friendly match played at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, on Saturday afternoon, 13 September.
Veteran striker Portia Modise, who plies her trade for Gauteng Sasol league team Croesus Ladies, scored five goals in the match and her 97th for the South African national team.
Mamello Makhabane got a brace, Refiloe Jane, Sanah Mollo and Silindile Ngubane also registered their names on the score sheet.
Banyana Banyana dominated most of the first half, forcing Botswana to play in their own half for most parts of the stanza.
Makhabane opened the scoring for Vera Pauw's charges just before the half hour mark with a shot from outside the box.
Minutes later Mollo made up for an earlier miss when she doubled the score for Sasol Banyana Banyana with a tap in past the Botswana keeper.
Jane extended the lead in the 44th minute before Modise made the score 4-0 with minutes left before the half time break.
Sasol Banyana Banyana took-off from where they left off in the second half with substitute Ngubane slotting in the fifth goal minutes into the second half.
The Sasol sponsored women's national team continued with their rampage over Botswana with Modise scoring three goals all minutes apart.
Modise continued with her good form when she scored her 97th goal in the green and gold strip and fifth of the match.
Makhabane sealed a great win for Pauw ending the match 10-0 for Sasol Banyana Banyana.
Banyana Banyana's preparations to the African Women's Championship will continue over the next three weeks before departing for Namibia.
Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201409130280.html?

Can Big Oil Save Mexico's Dying Energy Industry?

September 13:

For 75 years, Mexico's state-controlled Petróleos Mexicanos held a monopoly on oil drilling in the country. Although governments do some things better than the private sector, drilling for oil isn't one of them. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, projected that maintaining the monopoly would lead production to fall from 3 billion barrels a day in 2010 to 1.8 billion by 2025. No wonder Mexico is opening up its oil market to foreigners.
What a difference a day makesFor Mexico, ending 75 years of complete control wasn't a small feat. It required a change to the Mexican constitution and the signature of Mexico's president on August 11. However, that little bit of ink changed a great deal for Mexican oil production. Now, instead of Mexico's 3 billion barrels a day in 2010 being the high water mark, production is finally expected to increase.
Source: EIA
In the near term, production will still be lower than 2010's level, but by 2025 the EIA expects production to surpass 3 billion barrels a day. By 2040, production is projected to be 3.7 billion barrels a day. The change? Allowing foreign companies to lend a hand, using their expertise to improve Petróleos Mexicanos' results. And, of course, share in some of the riches.
Going forward, foreign companies can participate in one of three ways: profit sharing, production sharing, or licensing. Profit sharing allows companies to receive a percentage of the profits resulting from energy sales. Production sharing will give companies title to a percentage of the oil and gas produced. And licensing would effectively pay foreigners for their efforts in oil or natural gas instead of cash.
Good timingAnd this couldn't have come at a better time. It's becoming increasingly difficult for international oil giants to find new sources of oil and gas. So much so that they have been forced into increasingly inhospitable locals. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  is a poster child for such exploration.
For example, during the company's second quarter conference call David Rosenthal, head of investor relations, highlighted Exxon's efforts off of Russia's Sakhalin Island. A new platform there "set a world record for installation of the heaviest integrated topside structure, weighing over 42,000 tons and using the world's largest ocean-going barge to carry and then set the structure." The platform, the Berkut, "is now the largest offshore oil and gas production platform in Russia." This is a clear display of ExxonMobil's technological capabilities, but also an example of the lengths needed to find new oil.
And then there's the recently announced drilling taking place in the Kara Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, above Siberia. This particular effort involved Exxon being dragged on stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and being called an "old and reliable partner." 
(Source: Apuldram, via Wikimedia Commons)
Why is drilling in Russia such a big deal? First, because both of these projects are in difficult-to-drill locations. Second, because Russia is a difficult nation to do business with. It is, for example, currently facing the Western world's ire over its moves in Ukraine -- 
including energy industry sanctions. So not only is Exxon working in difficult waters, it's also swimming with the sharks.
Mexico, a friendly neighborThat's why the opportunity for energy industry giants like Exxon and BP to lend a helping hand to Mexico is such a great opportunity. Everyone ends up a winner. Mexico gets to reverse the downward trend in its oil production -- a really big deal since revenues from Petróleos Mexicanos accounted for nearly a third of the Mexican government's revenues last year.
Oil giants, meanwhile, are gaining access to valuable reserves from which they were once barred. And they get to work in a well-known region with a reliable partner that is close to good customers like the United States. Keep an eye on the oil deals that come out of Mexico. They will be big news for the country and could be even bigger news for the oil companies that sign them.
Source: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/13/can-big-oil-save-mexicos-dying-energy-industry.aspx?

Russia Testing Poland’s Resolve with Gas Cuts

September 13:



Poland continues to claim it is receiving delivery og less than normal supplies of natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom.
Speaking on Saturday, Polish Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski said that the disruptions in supply were an attempt to test Polish resolve.
"I think that the temporary disruptions of the recent days were in fact an attempt from the eastern supplier to test Poland's reaction," Piechocinski commented.
Earlier this week, Polish gas importer PGNiG asserted that the gas supplies from Russia, which accounted for 54% of its sales in 2013, had dropped 45 percent compared to the planned volumes.
The reduction in supply required Poland to suspend gas flows to Ukraine for two days earlier this week after gas importer PGNiG said it had not been receiving the volumes of gas requested from Gazprom since Monday.
Gazprom denied any reduction stating on Wednesday that  “gas volumes currently delivered to Poland remain the same—23 million cubic meters per day.”
However in a statement today, Gazprom said it was not able to supply Poland with the volumes of natural gas it was requesting and could only deliver levels closer to daily minimum allowed under the contract.
Questioned by Reuters, a Gazprom spokesman commented “they are requesting the maximum, and we are only able to supply closer to the daily minimum."
Source: http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/poland-russia-gas-cuts?