Drumbeat: July 6, 2013
Posted by Leanan on July 6, 2013 - 11:56am
Oil giants BP and BG Group have pulled about 160 expatriate staff out of Egypt as violent clashes erupt across the country.
BP said it had withdrawn about 60 people, leaving only 40 essential expat workers in the country.
BG Group, which usually has about 150 expat staff and dependents in Egypt, said it had withdrawn about 100 people.
The death toll from a day of street battles across Egypt mounted to 36 as troops deployed in flashpoints, anticipating new violence between opponents of deposed President Mohamed Mursi and his Islamist backers.
The country’s interim president, installed by the military, met today with Defense Minister GeneralAbdelfatah al-Seesiand Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who oversees the police force, following the overnight clashes, the Associated Press reported. In addition to those killed, more than 1,000 people were wounded in the fighting, Mohammad Sultan, deputy head of Egypt’s ambulance authority, said in an e-mailed statement.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's interim president held talks Saturday with the army chief and interior minister following an outburst of violence between supporters and opponents of ousted leader Mohammed Morsi that killed at least 36 people across the country and deepened the battle lines in the divided nation.
Three days after the military pushed out Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, the country appears to be careening toward further conflict and turmoil. Morsi's supporters have vowed to take to the streets until the toppled Islamist leader is reinstated, while his opponents have called for more mass rallies to defend what they call the "gains of June 30," a reference to the start of massive protests to call for the ouster of the president.
Cairo (CNN) -- Three days after a coup that overthrew the nation's first democratically elected president, Egypt is a nation divided over who should lead the country and which government reflects the democratic will of the people.
What is happening or just happened in Egypt could be the first Peak Oil revolution which is sure to replicate many times over in many countries around the world. The root cause of Tahrir I as well as Tahrir II was the economic condition of Egypt which put the middle class and the working classs under severe stress and made life unbearable for them.
Tahrir II was directly caused by the widespread fuel shortages and high energy prices. It is not just the craving for democracy or the opposition to Muslim Brotherhood, that led to these revolutions, but the despeartion of the people.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose to a 14-month high after the U.S. reported adding more jobs than forecast in June, boosting economic optimism, and on concern that unrest in Egypt will escalate.
Futures capped the biggest weekly gain in more than two years as the Labor Department said payrolls advanced by 195,000 workers, exceeding the 165,000 forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo as protests broke out following his ouster by the army. Brent oil in London increased more than WTI on a report that North Sea exports will fall next month.
Gasoline rose, heading for the first three-day rally since June 7, as the U.S. added more jobs in June than forecast and political unrest in Egypt boosted crude.
Futures advanced as the Labor Department reported nonfarm payrolls climbed by 195,000 workers for a second straight month. Crude oil increased to a 14-month high as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called for nationwide protests against the military-appointed government two days after the ouster of Islamist Mohamed Mursi as president.
The number of supertankers bound for Egypt rose to the highest since at least November, prompting speculation more Middle East crude may be flowing to Europe as a result of rising prices for competing Russian grades.
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat - There are a range of international oil companies who have expressed an interest in helping to develop the consortium that will help build the Turkemnistan-Afganistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake said at press-conference in Ashgabat.
The oil off the Irish coast could be the way out of this misery. The oil could be the hope. If the former energy minister Ray Burke hadn’t rewritten the relevant laws as though the oil industry itself held the pen. And if Bertie Ahern hadn’t made an already bad deal for the Irish people even worse.
An explosion occurred in of the military units of the Turkish province of Sanliurfa in the morning, Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced that it discovered 552.5 billion dollars of oil and gas reserves last year, while it spent only 229 million dollars for exploration operations.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 15 people as they left a Shi'ite mosque in the Iraqi capital on Friday and a separate attack on Sunni protesters killed seven, police and medics said.
In Baghdad's northwestern district of Graiaat, witnesses said guards at the exit to the Shi'ite mosque stopped a woman who then blew herself up amidst worshippers leaving after sunset prayers. Suicide bombings are the hallmark of al Qaeda.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered asylum to the fugitive U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, setting up a potential diplomatic showdown between the U.S. and South America’s biggest oil exporter.
“We decided to grant Snowden, this figure of international human rights, protection from persecution from the most powerful empire of the world,” Maduro said yesterday in a speech at a parade commemorating Venezuela’s July 5 independence day.
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase and Co Inc has requested a rehearing of a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it and other power traders benefited from a flaw in the California electricity market.
[LAGOS] Royal Dutch Shell has reopened the Trans Niger Pipeline after repairing a valve point and removing oil theft connections, it said on Friday, but a local environmental NGO said 6,000 barrels of oil had been spilled.
The pipeline (TNP) was closed on June 20 after an explosion and fire at a "crude theft point" deferring 150,000 barrels per day.
PanARMENIAN.Net - Two explosions have shut down Colombia's 80,000 barrel-per-day Cano Limon-Covenas oil pipeline, state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol said on Friday, July 5 with a military source describing them as attacks carried out by leftist rebels, according to Reuters.
A train carrying crude oil derailed overnight in the heart of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec's Eastern Townships, sparking a major fire that has brought firefighters from the town and neighbouring municipalities to the area, and led to the evacuation of 1,000 people from their homes.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Phillips 66 pipeline with a record of prior accidents spilled an estimated 25,000 gallons of gasoline in a remote area outside a small town on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation, but no public health problems were anticipated, federal officials said Friday.
It was the end of his career in the oil industry and for 25 years he never went near a platform again. The demons were too strong.
Then, just a few days ago, the former control-room operator went back on an oil rig for the first time since the destruction of Piper on July 6, 1988. It was not an easy decision for Mr Bollands and, right up until the night before, he was close to changing his mind.
WASHINGTON — The political ground may be shifting under the Keystone XL pipeline.
Muckraking documentaries don’t often spawn sequels, but a lot has happened in the world of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, since Josh Fox released “Gasland” in 2010.
The message of Mr. Fox’s “Gasland Part II” is that while the battles over the investigation and regulation of fracking wax and wane — with the anti-regulatory forces currently on top — thousands of additional wells that use this controversial natural-gas drilling technique are being sunk.
Every morning, along with brushing our teeth, we fight traffic—rush hour has us eating smog, texting at red lights and honking that hallowed horn. We drive because we have to. But do we?
Meet Mackinac, Michigan. This town, located in the center of its namesake islet in Lake Huron, has existed motorcar-free for 115 years and doesn't plan on conforming any time soon.
UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The United States military, an organisation that consumes 90 percent of the country’s federal oil allowance, is trying to become a greener institution.
The U.S. Navy has said that by 2016 it will run one of its 11 carrier strike groups using biofuel. In a test run of the new approach in the Pacific Ocean, a novel mixture of jet fuel, algae and cooking grease powered FA-18 Super Hornets, a type of fighter aircraft.
Within a decade, half of the Air Force and Navy’s fuel needs will be met by alternative energy sources, according to Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writer’s Program at the University of Iowa.
The easiest way of assessing whether the United States would have been better off without its revolution is to look at those English-speaking countries that rejected the American Revolution and retained the monarchy, particularly Canada, which experienced an influx of American refugees after the British defeat. The U.S. performance should also be assessed against the ideals the new country set for itself — namely, advancing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In an experiment to be undertaken with assistance from Tufts University’s Center for Animals and Public Policy, Hastings hopes to become the first suburb in the United States to control deer through immunocontraception, using the animal’s own immune system to prevent it from fertilizing offspring.
BEIJING — In what has become an annual summer scourge, the coastal Chinese city of Qingdao has been hit by a near-record algae bloom that has left its popular beaches fouled with a green, stringy muck.
Marafiq, a water and electricity services operator, has contracted Veolia Water to design, build and operate the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.
With this contract, the French firm will generate $310m in revenue for the plant's design and construction, and $92m in revenue for its operation for 10 years, with an option to extend the contract for a further 20 years, a statement said.
Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- For farmer Tom Sheppard, the transition from weeks of heavy rains in New Jersey to a forecast calling for sun and heat is welcomed news.
"We'd rather have the hot, dry weather. We can put water on where we need it," said Sheppard, who owns a farm in Cedarville, a community in southern New Jersey's Cumberland County.
Last year, Midwest farmers struggled with drought; this year, it's heavy rain and sodden farmlands, which have pushed back the planting season. By contrast, farmers in the South worry about too little rain.
In its third straight year of drought, New Mexico is seeing the warmest, driest conditions on record. Seven wildfires are now burning, and dry storms are yielding lightning strikes but little rain. Relief is unlikely, forecasters say.
The death of 19 firefighters in Arizona this week highlights what has become a fact of life in the West: Every summer, smoke fills the big skies yet people continue to build in the places that burn most. More people live in these areas, and many balk at controls on how and where to build.
“There’s a self-selection factor in there — people who don’t want the government to do things tend to move to places where the government isn’t around to do things,” said Don Elliott, a senior consultant at Clarion Associates, a land-use consulting firm.
With the right kind of technology, Pollan believes that eating meat can actually be good for the planet. That's right: Raising livestock, if done properly, can reduce global warming. That's just one element of a paradigm shift that Pollan and other experts, including Dennis Garrity, the former director general of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hans Herren of the Millennium Institute in Washington, D.C., are promoting. They believe that new agricultural methods wouldn't just reduce the volume of heat-trapping gases – they would also, and more importantly, draw down the total amount of those gases that are already in the atmosphere.
The Obama administration has been pushing to fight global warming and one of the modes is to control the carbon emissions by the coal-fired plants. Oil and gas companies will love this plan because it will add to slumping natural gas demand (amid over supply) at the expense of coal.
Google’s motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” but it is supporting one of the worst deniers of climate science in the world: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). On July 11, Google is hosting a lunchtime $250-$2500 a plate fundraiser for Inhofe with the National Republican Senatorial Committee at its Washington, DC headquarters at 1101 New York Ave NW.
The Washington Post also recently revealed that Google was the biggest single donor to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner on Thursday, June 20, dropping $50,000 in support of this anti-science group. The dinner was headlined by radical global warming denier Sen. Rand Paul. CEI’s other donors include a who’s who of polluters: American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Altria (Phillip Morris), Koch Companies, and Koch’s Americans For Prosperity. CEI is famed for its ad promoting carbon dioxide emissions: “They call it pollution. We call it life.”
Corporate operations, supply chains and markets are at risk. The focus for business leaders should be business continuity, competitiveness and reputation - and taking care of the people who depend upon them.
The "new normal" of climate change has implications for fixed assets, logistics, people, operations, markets and finance. These are captured in a recent Climate Change Business Forum publication titled, appropriately enough, "The New Normal: A Hong Kong Business Primer on Climate Change Adaptation". The report focuses on both international trends and case studies of local companies that are quietly preparing for future climate volatility.
A RELOCATION guideline will soon be launched by the climate change unit to assist line ministries in terms of moving communities away from natural disaster prone areas.
Confirming the new project, head of the climate change unit Esala Nayasi said the project would be used as part of Fiji's efforts to address climate change in the country.
Nickolay Lamm, 24, has produced some worrying illustrations of how California's biggest cities will become lost to the ocean if scientists predictions of the effects of global warming prove correct.
San Francisco, becomes consumed by the very bay it is constructed next to. Venice Beach resembles scenes from Venice, Italy as the Pacific Ocean slowly consumes the trendy Los Angeles neighborhood. And San Diego's position as a naval town is virtually obliterated as the unforgiving sea water rushes the towns docks and promenades.
A study carried out by climate researchers based in Bern shows that the focus on the temperature increase alone is by no means enough to meet the ultimate, overarching objective – to protect the climate system from dangerous anthropogenic interference.
This is because, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 1992, the climate system comprises the "totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and their interactions." The Framework Convention also calls for the sustainability of ecosystems and food production. All of this can scarcely be realised by the two-degree target alone.