The 3 Week Diet System

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Shell's Arctic oil drilling plans hit by polar bears and walruses

June 30:

Obama administration says animal protection laws prevent Shell from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range


The company logo hangs at a Shell petrol station

The Obama administration has dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil exploration plans, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range, as it had planned.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit which emphasized that under federal wildlife protections issued in 2013, companies must maintain a 15-mile buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously.
The rule is meant to protect populations of animals sensitive to the sounds and activities of drilling. Walruses have been known to plunge off rocks into the sea during drilling, putting their populations at risk. The animals are already at risk from reduced habitat areas due to global warming. Drilling with only one rig at a time could slash the amount of work Shell had hoped to accomplish.
Shell is evaluating the permit and "will continue to pursue" its drilling plan, spokesman Curtis Smith said. "Our goal is to safely accomplish as much work as we can before the end of open water season."
The return of ice in late September ends the drilling season.
In Shell's 2015 Arctic drilling plan, no two of its wells are more than 15 miles apart. Two of the wells it had been planning to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska are about nine miles apart.
The move came the same day that Shell began to send the Noble Discoverer, the second of two drilling rigs up to Alaska from the Seattle area, for drilling from late July until late September. The company is hoping to return to Arctic drilling for the first time since its mishap-plagued 2012 season.
Shell can still drill this summer, if it gets a few more permits required under a conditional plan the administration approved in May, the Interior Department said.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11709768/Shells-Arctic-oil-drilling-plans-hit-by-polar-bears-and-walruses.html

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Comptroller urges government to wait on contentious gas deal

June 30:

Yosef Shapira asks Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to delay vote until after his report is published


Gas rigs in the Tamar field, off the coast of Israel, in June 2014. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Gas rigs in the Tamar field, off the coast of Israel, in June 2014. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira on Tuesday asked Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz to delay a parliamentary vote on a controversial gas deal between the government and a US-Israeli conglomerate that would see it exempt from antitrust laws as it develops Israel’s offshore gas fields over the next several years.
The Israeli Delek Group and US-based Noble Energy that are together developing the Leviathan, Tamar, Tanin and Karish gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea have been accused of being a monopoly and a “cartel” by Israel’s former antitrust commissioner.
On Sunday, the cabinet decided to overrule a call from the country’s regulatory agency calling to limit the dominance of the companies in the industry. But on Monday night, a parliamentary vote was postponed indefinitely after Netanyahu failed to cobble together a Knesset majority to pass the legislation.
Shapira’s request came after Steinitz revealed outline details of the proposed arrangement with the companies.
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, October 29, 2014 (photo credit: Flash90)
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, (photo credit: Flash90)
“It is my intention to give you and other monitors later this week the draft of an updated report on the subject of developing the natural gas infrastructure,” Shapira wrote. “I will thank you if the government decision on the arrangement is made after the report is published.”
Shapira noted that he was working to have the full report published as soon as possible, but did not give a target date. It is expected to take several weeks.
Earlier Tuesday, Steinitz gave a press conference to explain the outline plan for regulating the country’s natural gas resources.
Under the terms of the deal, the two companies would retain control over the Leviathan gas field, the largest of the four, but must sell off part of their ownership in the Tamar, Tanin and Karish fields.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz presenting the guidelines for regulating the country’s offshore natural gas reserves at a press conference in Jerusalem, June 30, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Minister of Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz presenting the guidelines for regulating the country’s offshore natural gas reserves at a press conference in Jerusalem, June 30, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
While the Tamar sale would be completed within six years, the Tanin and Karish sales must be done within 14 months, Steinitz noted.
“The outline is good for the country and good for the citizens,” Steinitz said, emphasizing that the gas companies invested “hundreds of millions of dollars” in developing the fields.
However, MK Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Union), a fierce opponent of the deal, criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the issue and the terms.
“Now it is clear why Netanyahu did everything in his power to hide the outline until the Knesset vote: He negotiated for months, gave the gas companies everything they wanted — without making a single significant achievement. The public has heard a collection of lies and mistakes, the monopoly is stronger than ever, there is no proper control over prices and the companies are being given a list of unjustified and unforgivable benefits,” she said
Sunday’s cabinet decision, unratified as yet by parliament, awarded the Noble-Delek group immunity from the Israeli Antitrust Authority for a period of 15 years and allowed the energy giants to keep their majority holdings in the Leviathan offshore gas reserve until 2030, even if the reserve becomes Israel’s only source of natural gas, the Haaretz daily reported Monday.
Noble and Delek have been selling gas to the Israeli market from the Tamar field, which went online in 2013, and have agreed to sell to neighboring countries as well. The Leviathan field, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, has not yet been developed.
Last year the Noble-Delek partnership was branded a de facto monopoly by Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo, who announced his resignation six weeks ago over the issue.
The future forced sales are aimed at opening the industry to competitors. The deal also sets a price ceiling for future sales to Israeli companies and commits the gas firms to complete the development of the Leviathan gas field by 2019.
But critics say the deal might in fact strengthen the gas monopoly, because the companies will maintain a de facto monopoly over the Tamar field for the next six years before embarking on a similar partnership to develop the Leviathan field.
Environmentalists have also voiced opposition to the plan, saying that increased competition would encourage the industry to use more environmentally friendly resources.


Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/comptroller-urges-government-to-wait-on-contentious-gas-deal/?

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Shale Gas Flows in Morocco

June 30:

In a further expansion  of Morocco’s domestic energy efforts, Ireland’s Circle Oil announced late last week that gas had begun flowing from its first shale well.
According to a UPI report, the company announced that it had reached a stabilized flow rate of 1.9 million cubic feet per day at a well in the Lalla Mimouna onshore permit area.
“We are delighted that our first well on the Lalla Mimouna block has such positive results, flowing gas at significant rates,” Circle Chief Executive Officer Mitch Flegg said, according to UPI. “The productivity of this first well is very encouraging for the expansion of Circle’s portfolio of Morocco gas fields.”
The shale development continues Morocco’s multi-year push towards broadening their energy base. The North African country currently depends on costly imports for virtually all of its oil and gas needs. Over the last five years, Morocco has initiated a series of new energy development projects, including both traditional hydrocarbon development and renewables, which Rabat hopes will someday provide a much larger share of the country’s energy mix.
Late last year, it was reported that after modest interest for much of the last decade, a number of larger oil and gas firms have arrived in Morocco in pursuit of the country’s mainly offshore potential. Joining smaller operators like San Leon Energy and Longreach Oil and Gas, energy majors have begun targeting the country’s potential reserves with more than 10 wells planned over the next year, according to a Bloomberg report – more than twice what the country has seen over the last ten years. Since January, BP, Chevron and Cairn have all announced new projects or buy-ins to existing efforts, despite the country’s lackluster history of viable oil and gas discoveries.
However, as welcome as the shale news may be, the country could face substantial challenges ahead if it plans on building on its shale potential, especially in such an arid country. These obstacles include including significant logistical hurdles, including costly infrastructure, a dearth of local expertise and available water resources. Citing a recent report by the World Resources Institute, Vox recently pointed out that an average shale well can use anywhere from 2 to 7 million gallons of water during its lifetime. Complicating the situation further, water used in shale extraction is chemically treated, making what water that emerges from the well essentially unusable for other purposes.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christophercoats/2015/06/30/shale-gas-flows-in-morocco/?ss=energy

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Vestas seals US orders with SunEd, other customer

June 30:

Vestas has won three orders for 537MW of turbine nameplate capacity in the US, which has emerged as one of its most dynamic growth markets in the past 18 months.
The orders include:
-SunEdison, 47 V112-3.3MW turbines totaling 155MW for a project in Bingham, Maine. The contract includes supply and commissioning, as well as a 10-year Active Output Management (AOM5000) service agreement. Expected commissioning is in second half 2016.
-SunEdison, 83 V117-3.3MW turbines totaling 274MW for a Texas project. The contract includes an AOM 5000 with commissioning in first half 2016.
-Undisclosed customer and location, 54 V110-2.0MW turbines totaling 108MW.Vestas will commission turbines in fourth quarter 2016. The contract includes a five-year "customized" AOM service deal.
The orders for 3.3MW machines are significant, as the 3.0MW segment of the US market has been experiencing solid growth in recent years.
Vestas is the segment leader but faces stiff competition from Siemens with General Electric edging closer with 2.85MW turbines. Acciona is the fourth player.
Larger turbines are increasingly popular in regions where  available land for wind farms is at a premium and those with strong wind resource such as Oklahoma and Texas.
Vestas has emerged as a strong number two to GE in the broader US market. Its 2.0MW platform is among the most popular turbines with independent power producers and has found wide acceptance in Texas, where most of the nation's wind development is taking place.
Vestas says that its four manufacturing facilities - one nacelle, two blade and one tower - in Colorado are operating at high capacity.

Source: http://www.rechargenews.com/wind/1404780/vestas-seals-us-orders-with-suned-other-customer?

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Oil futures rally as Greece seeks fresh bailout before deadline

June 30:

The oil complex strengthened Tuesday after Greece made a last-ditch effort to secure new bailout funds, while Iranian nuclear negotiators extended their midnight deadline by a week.

ICE August Brent settled $1.58 higher at $63.59/b, rebounding from Monday when the front-month contract tested the 100-day moving average of $62/b. NYMEX August crude settled up $1.14 at $59.47/b.

The front-month ICE Brent-WTI spread eclipsed $4.00/b for the first time since June 12, reaching as wide as $4.30/b, compared with a $3-$4/b range seen from June 15 through Monday.

NYMEX refined product futures rallied on expiration. July ULSD settled 5 cents higher at $1.8866/gal. July RBOB settled 5.93 cents higher at $2.0896/gal.

August RBOB settled 4.61 cents higher at $2.0494/gal. That was enough to drive the August gasoline crack to Brent about 36 cents higher to $22.48/b.

One factor supporting RBOB prices Tuesday was Marathon Oil possibly taking offline the fluid catalytic cracker at its 522,000 b/d Garyville, Louisiana, refinery, according to Again Capital partner John Kilduff.

Talk of an FCC being shut at one of the Gulf Coast's largest refineries strengthened gasoline differentials Tuesday on the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast and Midwest, as market sources were concerned about supplies ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

A surprise proposal by the Greek government seeking a two-year bridge loan from the eurozone bailout fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism, came just hours before its current bailout expired and Athens was due to make an IMF repayment worth Eur1.6 billion ($1.8 billion).

"Greece is not going off the rails, and that's helping Brent," Kilduff said.

Eurozone finance ministers gathered in Brussels Tuesday evening to consider Greece's latest proposal.

"A wide range of markets have reversed direction in Tuesday trade, beginning with a 5.5% rally in Shanghai stocks and continuing in European trade on talk that a last minute Greek debt deal may still be possible," Citi Futures and OTC Clearing analyst Tim Evans said in a morning note.

In Vienna, the six world powers and Iran agreed to extend by one week Tuesday's deadline to reach a nuclear deal, a US Department of State official said Tuesday. 

"The P5+1 and Iran have decided to extend the measures under the Joint Plan of Action until July 7 to allow more time for negotiations to reach a long-term solution -- a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- on the Iran nuclear issue," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

An agreement is expected to include the lifting of sanctions on Iran's oil sector, likely causing an increase in Iranian production and exports to the global market.

Source: http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/newyork/oil-futures-rally-as-greece-seeks-fresh-bailout-21714834?

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Obama administration puts Arctic drilling at risk

June 30:

The Obama administration declined Tuesday to waive walrus protection rules for Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean.
The decision could put a damper on Shell’s high-profile, extremely controversial plans to drill up to six exploratory wells as early as the latter half of July, the first drilling activity in the United States’ portion of the Arctic Ocean in years.
In Tuesday letter, the Fish and Wildlife Service authorized Shell to drill in a way that could harm or harass the Pacific walruses living in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska.
But the agency held firm on rules protecting the endangered walrus, which state that no two drilling rigs can be less than 15 miles apart in its habitat.
It planned to drill two wells at a time, all of which would be within less than the minimum radius.
“To avoid significant synergistic or cumulative effects from multiple oil and gas exploration activities on foraging or migrating walruses, operators must maintain a minimum spacing of 24 km (15 mi) between all active seismic source vessels and/or drill rigs during exploration activities,” the wildlife agency’s Alaska office wrote in the letter.
The authorization was one of the remaining permits Shell had to get before it starts to drill.
Environmentalists have tried multiple tactics in various areas to stop the drilling, arguing that it is inherently risky and harmful to wildlife, the environment, the climate and more.
“Shell has proven time and time again that they are incompetent and careless in pursuing drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean,” Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, said in a statement.
“It is good to see that the Fish and Wildlife Service appears to be holding them to the current regulations that are in place to protect these species,” Shogan said.
Earthjustice sent a letter last week to the Interior Department that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) cannot issue its drilling permits to Shell because Shell’s plans violate the wildlife agency’s rules.
The group argued that BSEE cannot even approve a one-rig plan, since it was only asked to approve the plan with two rigs.

Source: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/246571-obama-administration-puts-arctic-drilling-at-risk?

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Japan crude imports from UAE stand at 26.8 million barrel in May

June 30:

TOKYO, 30th June 2015 (WAM) --- Japan's crude oil imports from the UAE in May 2015 stood at 26.8 million barrels, accounting for 26.1 percent of the Japan's total crude imports for the month, said the Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
The government agency said Japan imported a total of 102.46 million barrels of oil in May with 35.95 million barrels coming from Saudi Arabia (35.1 percent), 10.88 million barrels from Kuwait and 6.27 million barrels from Qatar.
In May, Japan imported 102.46 million barrels of crude oil, of which around 80 percent came from Arab countries.
Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown, the shutdown of most of Japan’s nuclear reactors has fuelled a rise in hydrocarbon imports from the Gulf region.

Source: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282704315.html?

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Austin Energy 600MW solar RFP draws record low bids

June 30:


Texas municipal utility Austin Energy received almost 8GW of bids from developers for a planned 600MW of competitive solar contracts, with pricing for 1.295GW of those projects below 4 cents per kWh.

Source: http://www.rechargenews.com/solar/1404767/austin-energy-600mw-solar-rfp-draws-record-low-bids?

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Environment polluted in illegal coal mining: Bulgaria deputy minister

June 30:

Environment polluted in illegal coal mining: Bulgaria deputy minister
Source: Focus Information Agency

Pernik. “Trees are cut down and the environment is polluted in illegal coal mining,” said Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Environments and Water Krasimir Zhivkov, speaking Tuesday before journalists at a check conducted over 2 signals informing of illegal coal mining near district centre Pernik in Western Bulgaria, FOCUS News Agency reported.
The check was jointly performed by the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Environment and Water, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
The signals were submitted by Irena Nikolova, Governor of Pernik District.
Roma people involved in illegal coal mining were established in the previous check. They said they did this to make a living.
Violations were ascertained and statements of offence – issued over illegal activity in 8 places countrywide, 3 of which were in coastal Burgas District, 1 – in Haskovo District, 1 – in Smolyan District, 2 – in Montana District, and 1 – in Gabrovo District.
“We have told our national structures to increase the efficiency of controlling actions. Control is exercised on these illegal activities daily and permanently. This occurs not only here, in Pernik [District], but also in many other places. I think the state has thus proved the institutions are united and work together aided by the local authorities,” Krasimir Zhivkov explained.

Source: http://www.focus-fen.net/news/2015/06/30/376868/environment-polluted-in-illegal-coal-mining-bulgaria-deputy-minister.html?

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PM says petroleum prices won’t change during July

June 30:

Nawaz-sharif
While addressing a ceremony after performing the ground breaking of Rs 21 billion project of upgradation of Islamabad Expressway to a 10-lane highway, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday announced that the prices of petroleum products will remain unchanged during July.
“The government will not increase the prices of petroleum products for the next month,” the premier said after unveiling the plaque of the project at the Shakarparian Parade Ground.
Moreover, PM Sharif said that he has directed the petroleum minister to implement plans for generation of 1,000 MWs of electricity through gas by next year so that people get further relief with respect to electricity load shedding by next summer. He said that 1,400 MWs of electricity would be added from Tarbela-IV project which is to be completed by 2017 while Neelum Jhelum would also provide 960 MWs of electricity.
On the occasion, the prime minister expressed confidence that the electricity crisis would be overcome by 2017. He said apart from generating more electricity, the government was also concentrating on bringing down electricity prices. He recalled that the rate of electricity went down by Rs 5.32 during two years of the present government.
Source: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/06/30/national/pm-says-petroleum-prices-wont-change-during-july/?

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What Trading Halt? Guggenheim Solar ETF Dumps Hanergy in OTC Sale

June 30:

Guggenheim Investments has sold its entire stake in troubled Hanergy Thin Film Power Group (566.Hong Kong), the fast-growing stock that’s remained frozen from trading since the company lost $19 billion in market capitalization on a single day last month.
IMAGINECHINA/CORBIS
Beijing-based Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. makes solar panels in Huzhou, China.
The sale means that owners of the Guggenheim Solar exchange-traded fund (TAN) appear to be finished with a six-week ordeal that’s raised questions about the risks posed by niche ETFs. Two other Guggenheim ETFs that recently held smaller chunks of Hanergy, the Guggenheim China All-Cap ETF (YAO) and Guggenheim China Technology ETF (CQQQ), no longer own the stock either.
Guggenheim was able to sell its shares of Hanergy, which remain halted, via an over-the-counter transaction, a spokesman for Guggenheim confirmed. For the Guggenheim Solar ETF alone, that sale would have been worth about $20 million, based on this blogger’s estimate.
See for yourself in the ETFs holdings, which are disclosed daily: no more Hanergy. As recently as April, Hanergy was the Guggenheim Solar ETF’s top holding, representing about 12% of the portfolio. A Guggenheim’s spokesman explained the motivation behind the transaction to Barron’s, but declined to give additional details:
“We felt it was better to find a price now than try to seek liquidity later, and run the risk of it going all the way to zero.”
Hanergy’s blistering price gains — shares jumped nearly seven-fold over the span of a year — vaulted the company from near obscurity to become the largest solar company in the world by market value. Hanergy’s price gains alone were responsible for half of the solar ETF’s 40% year-to-date gain through early May, according to research firm Markit.
Then, as inexplicably as it rose, Hanergy tumbled 47% in less than an hour on May 20, and trading in the stock was halted. American investors awoke to find the Guggenheim ETF under heavy pressure: It ended the day down 7.8%, the biggest one-day slide since August 2013
The index provider, MAC Global Solar Energy, had originally said it would boot Hanergy on that day that trading resumed. That day hasn’t arrived yet. Guggenheim’s spokesman explains:
“Once the underlying index providers decided that it was in the indexes’ best interest to drop Hanergy, Guggenheim did everything it could to seek liquidity for those shares in the best interest of our ETF shareholders.”
Guggenheim’s Solar ETF is down about 18% since its May high. Why not?  It’s tough to get excited about buying an ETF that is likely to face a stiff decline once Hanergy’s shares resume trading. For now, it appears that Guggenheim found a way for the ETF to dodge a second hay-maker. It even looks like the recent exit means the index-fund ETF was able to benefit from the gains and sell without catastrophic declines.

Source: http://blogs.barrons.com/focusonfunds/2015/06/30/what-trading-halt-guggenheim-solar-etf-dumps-hanergy-in-otc-sale/?mod=BOLBlog

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Smaller E&Ps Gain Ground As Oil Majors Back Off

June 30:

Crude oil’s plunge is leaving drilling rigs idle from Africa to Latin America as the world’s biggest energy companies curtail spending and stall projects. Their smaller rivals are seizing the opportunity to gain ground, Bloomberg said June 30.
Sound Oil Plc, a Mediterranean producer one-500th the size of Eni SpA, will start exploring fields in Morocco and Italy toward the end of 2015 and early 2016, while Cairn Energy Plc and Savannah Petroleum Plc plan wells in West Africa.
“Large companies have dividend and debt burdens to be taken into account when oil prices decline and their response time is slower,” Sound Oil Chief Executive Officer James Parsons said. “Smaller explorers are quick to use the opportunity of declining costs and increasing availability of rigs.”
Drilling fees have dropped by about half in the past year, prompting junior oil companies to lock in contracts before rates rebound. While smaller fields can be profitable for a $100 million producer, they’re of little interest to larger rivals that need a higher rate of return in a lackluster crude market.
Rig costs typically react to oil with a lag of about six months, so today’s contracts reflect prices that sank to almost a seven-year low in January, forcing major producers to defer almost $200 billion of “megaprojects.” By steering clear of costly developments such as oil sands and deep-water deposits, the juniors can profit from current prices at about $60 a barrel.

Source: http://www.oilandgasinvestor.com/smaller-eps-gain-ground-oil-majors-back-805151?

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India Asks Refiners To Prepare $6.5 Billion To Pay Iran For Oil Imports

June 30:

RTR3FSGJ
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (left) laughs as his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid looks on during a lecture titled "Iran's Foreign Policy: Towards Stability in West Asia," organised by the Observer Research Foundation, in New Delhi, Feb. 27, 2014. Reuters/Stringer
India asked refiners to form a balance between the euro and U.S. dollar to avoid placing pressure on the Indian rupee in case Iran finalizes a deal with six world powers. Indian refineries owe around $6.5 billion to Iran for oil imports -- or around 55 percent of the total bill for crude oil purchased since February 2013.
The payment was halted under pressure from European and U.S. sanctions against Iran. India used to pay Iran through Turkey's Halkbank.
Even though India abides by a U.S. request to limit oil imports from Iran, it has expressed a willingness to rebuild business relations with the Islamic republic. India’s oil ministry sent a letter to local refiners June 11 stating that Iran would be expected to ask for the payment if the nuclear agreement was secured.
"The refineries may buy forex in the spot/forward market in an incremental manner so as to build up the required USD/EUR balance," Reuters quoted from the letter, which was sent to HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd. (HMEL), Indian Oil Corp., Essar Oil, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp.
According to currency dealers, the local refiners may have built up hard currency positions after receiving the letter from the Indian oil ministry. The ministry asked refiners to be prepared and ask approvals from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for making the payments.
Two refiners have already approached the State Bank of India (SBI) to open euro and dollar accounts. The SBI has subsequently asked the RBI for approval to make payments to Iran. The instruction said whether the payment should be made in a lump sum or in installments over a number of weeks would depend on the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Meanwhile, Iran now faces a July 7 deadline for securing a nuclear deal with six world powers, after a June 30 deadline was extended. Iran previously indicated that securing a “good deal” would be preferred to meeting the deadline. Iran, nevertheless, denies any military connection with its nuclear program and maintains its stance that the program is entirely peaceful.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/india-asks-refiners-prepare-65-billion-pay-iran-oil-imports-1989907?

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gazprom to start exploration for Turkish gas pipeline

June 29:

ISTANBUL: Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said that the Russian energy titan will soon start investigation of the marine leg of the Turkish gas pipeline development in Turkey’s regional waters.

Medvedev said that the Turkish government gave us permission for exploration work for the gas pipeline route to Turkey and we will soon begin exploration work. In December 2014, the Turkish gas stream pipeline was planned by Russia.

As indicated by Gazprom, the pipeline is required to keep running over the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. The full limit of the pipeline will add up to 63 billion cubic metres.

From the centre, the pipeline is expected to proceed to southern Europe.

Source: http://gulftoday.ae/portal/ad6dbca0-1bb5-4c60-9da2-45b3b7676422.aspx?

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Australian project stuck, Adani to focus on India plans

June 28:

With projects worth Rs 1,28,000-cr, the group hopes to become one of the country's biggest industrial houses

With its $13-billion Australian coal mine project now on the back burner, the Ahmedabad-based, Adani group is now going to turn its focus on executing $20-billion (Rs 1,28,000-crore) of projects in India. With these projects - in the ports, power and infrastructure sectors - the group hopes to become one of India's biggest industrial houses.

The fresh investment the group is planning is in addition to the Rs 50,000 crore it promised on Friday to invest in setting up urea, power and natural gas projects in Jharkhand.

Last week, the group had said it was stopping work at its Australia coal mine project due to delay in approvals from the local government. Though the local government said all approvals were in place, the decline in coal prices and lack of bank funding were seen as some of the reasons for Adani to go slow in Australia.

Analysts say it makes sense for the group to focus on its India projects, considering the number of projects it has announced or taken over since the Narendra Modi-led government took charge at the Centre.

However, they are not sure how Adani plans to fund its massive projects. "The Adani group is financially and operationally leveraged to the expansion of several sectors across the Indian economy. Numerous new projects are underway. Some of those will be viable and proceed, while others might see some regulatory, market and financing changes that could make the proposals non-commercial," said Tim Buckley, director, Energy Finance Studies, Australasia.












At the end of March 2015, the group's three listed companies had a combined debt of Rs 75,000 crore, a group-level debt-to-equity ratio of 2.9. At 5.7 times, the group's gearing ratio (total debt to operating profit) was also on the higher side.



While group companies are comfortably servicing their debt, with operating profit far higher than interest obligation, their capital expenditure is growing faster than internal accruals. This is forcing them to either make fresh borrowings or raise equity. The group's debt in 2014-15 was about Rs 10,000 crore higher than in the previous year. By comparison, the group's equity (or net worth) increased by around Rs 2,000 crore, further worsening its leverage ratio.

The bulk of Adani group's debt is accounted for by Adani Power, which reported a total debt of Rs 41,384 crore at the end of 2014-15. It was a fourth straight year in which the company reported a net loss. The brighter side, however, is that Adani group's port company, Adani Ports & SEZ, is cash-rich and one of its least leveraged companies. This, coupled with its high market-capitalisation-to-debt ratio, gives the Adani group the headroom to further scale up its capital expenditure.

The group plans to raise $1.5 billion from foreign bonds, apart from raising funds from local banks for individual projects. Adani's India investments are huge. The biggest it is going to make is in solar power. The group has signed a joint venture with US-based SunEdison Inc to manufacture solar panels. The joint venture will invest a massive $4 billion (Rs 25,600 crore) in a manufacturing facility that will be set up in Mundra. The group has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to set up solar parks for electricity generation. The investments in these solar parks are going be very big in size - Rajasthan tops the list with Rs 40,000 crore.

Approached by Business Standard, the Adani group refused to comment on its expansion plan. Among its port-sector plans, the group is to invest Rs 10,000 crore in expanding its capacity at Odisha's Dhamra Port to 100 million tonnes per annum by 2020. It will also set up a new port, worth Rs 6,200 crore, in Kerala. Adani Ports is also developing a new Rs 1,270-crore container handling terminal at Tamil Nadu's Ennore Port, with a Rs 7,680-crore capital expenditure plan to expand the capacity to 80 mtpa.

In a report dated June 24, Deutsche Bank said Adani Power's reduced valuation of 1.6 times its 2015-16 estimated earnings still looked high when compared to peers, assuming a steady 5-11 per cent return on equity by 2017-18.

"We retain a 'hold' rating due to the delay in compensatory tariff approval, which is bloating the capital structure. Even under conditions of reasonable volume growth and benefits of compensatory tariffs, the return on equity appears to be in a single digit. That could weigh on valuations," said the report.

"The company has implemented a 5-25 refinancing scheme for Kawai, and expects to complete it for Tiroda. That should lead to improvement in cash flows. The signing of long-term fuel supply contracts/new mine allotment for Kawai and Tiroda-II projects, and a favourable verdict for compensatory tariff cases will be key factors," the bank said in its report.

To raise funds effectively and to increase liquidity in its stocks, holding firm Adani Enterprises Ltd underwent a major restructuring, under which shareholders of Adani Enterprises received shares in Adani Port and Adani Power. The flagship Adani Enterprises was left with businesses like coal trading & mining, city gas distribution, agri logistics, edible oil and agro-commodities trading. The restructuring will help each group company, including the flagship, to chart its own expansion plans in India, say analysts.

As of March 2015, on a revenue of Rs 3,909 crore, Adani Port had a debt of Rs 15,200 crore. This was 18 per cent higher than the previous year. Most of the additional debt was taken in 2014-15 for capital expenditure for Hazira, Mundra container terminal-IV and maintenance. Analysts do not see any increase in the debt of Adani Port after restructuring.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/australian-project-stuck-adani-to-focus-on-india-plans-115062900064_1.html?

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U.S. Marines test solar-powered drones at annual energy expo

June 28:

Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force fill out surveys at the Expeditionary Energy Concepts demonstration at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 23-25, 2015. The expo is an annual event in which companies come out and display energy efficient equipment for potential future combat readiness in the Corps. The Marines are given the opportunity to fill out surveys and give their opinions on the displayed equipment, including a solar- and thermal-powered glider drone known as Tactical Long Endurance UAS, or "TaLEUAS." U.S. Marine Corps photo
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., June 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Marines tested prototypes of solar-powered drones along with other concept technologies at an energy-saving expo in Camp Lejeune, N.C. last week.
The Tactical Long Endurance UAS, or "TaLEUAS," is a solar- and thermal-powered drone glider designed for high-altitude reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence operations. Made by the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., the system utilizes sensors that locates thermals in the atmosphere, according to the Marine Corps Times.
From June 23 to June 25, about 200 East Coast Marines were able to sample the TaLEUAS and other gear prototypes at the annual Expeditionary Energy Concepts demonstration, formerly known as the Experimental Forward Operating Base or ExFOB.
Also displayed was a ballistic body armor plate insert that doubles as a battery for Marine equipment, an electric all-terrain vehicle and a gear system comprising a backpack and knee braces that harvest kinetic energy from a Marine's movements and includes an individual water filtration system.
The expo derives from the 2011 Expeditionary Energy Strategy of Gen. James Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
According to the Marine Corps, "The overall goal for the Expeditionary Energy Office is to help the Marine Corps find new, innovative solutions for energy efficiency in the battlefield and to increase operational reach and combat effectiveness."
Col. James Caley, director of the Expeditionary Energy Office, said the expo was a good deal for the Marines and the Department of Defense.
"We haven't spent a dime," Caley said. "These companies have spent their money to build prototypes for the Corps. We are getting the best ideas from industry with their initial investment."
Attending Marines came from 20 different military occupational specialties and were asked to fill out surveys about the gear they sampled in order for the Corps to determine what would be selected for future testing and development.
"We want the Marines giving their input," Caley said. "It's not as easy as handing them something cool; it has to be useful. We want the Marines to use the solutions we present them."
The finished product of the TaLEUAS is expected for completion in 2016, and developers are planning a concept demonstration of the system later this year.

Source: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2015/06/28/US-Marines-test-solar-powered-drones-at-annual-energy-expo/6911435519387/?spt=sec&or=bn

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