Drumbeat: July 14, 2012
Posted by Leanan on July 14, 2012 - 11:30am
“A new cycle of Shiite protests against the Saudi regime and its policing tactics is developing in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,” Crispin Hawes, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group in London, wrote in an e- mailed note yesterday. “The immediate implications for state stability and crude oil production are limited, but the repercussions for the stability of the province in the longer- term are potentially significant.”
Oil pipelines run near the village to Ras Tanura, the country’s largest refinery, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. Awwamiya is close to the al-Qatif oil field, which produces as much as 500,000 barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter.
Oil rose for a third day, the longest winning streak in a month, as slowing growth in China fueled stimulus speculation and U.S. equities advanced.
...“Increasingly there is a feel that we’ll see some stimulus plans from places like China and you’ll see stronger economic growth in the second half and stronger oil demand,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “We are back on a bullish trend along with equities.”
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has reduced the price of fuel at the pump by a big margin after prices of crude oil fell in global markets, the country's energy regulator said on Saturday, signaling that recent drops in the rate of inflation would accelerate.
The report, cited by Oman News Agency, said total exported crude oil in June amounted to 23.3m barrels, an average of 777,483 barrels per day (bpd), up from 22m barrels or 711,779 bpd.
The Asian markets received the bulk share of the Omani crude oil exports with China topping the list in June followed by Japan.
MOSCOW: The head of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom yesterday pushed back the choice of foreign partners on its massive northern Shtokman field project until September at the earliest.
Alexei Miller said that Gazprom was holding “final consultations about the configuration” of the project to develop a Barents Sea field it believes holds enough natural gas to supply the world for a year.
Argentina’s Chubut province is reviewing the operating license of BP Plc (BP/)’s main oil field in the country and may revoke it, the provincial oil minister said.
The review started after operations were interrupted last month during a workers’ protest, Minister Ezequiel Cufre said in an interview in Buenos Aires. BP owns the Cerro Dragon concession in southern Argentina through its 60 percent stake in Pan American Energy LLC.
The United States is posting rapid growth in the waste of natural gas in new oil fields where the fuel is either burned or vented into the atmosphere. Experts say the process damages the environment and fails to maximize the return to investors.
Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, made a pragmatic statement with his choice of a first foreign trip, visiting Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich monarchy, observes former CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran could prevent even "a single drop of oil" passing through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened, a naval chief said on Saturday, as tensions simmer over Tehran's nuclear programme.
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Oil Minister says his office has drawn up plans to make newly tightened sanctions against the Islamic Republic ineffective.
Rostam Qasemi says his ministry is at the forefront of an economic battle with the West. His remarks carried by ministry website shana.ir on Saturday did not elaborate on the plans.
The National Iranian South Oilfields Company's (NISOC) managing director, Hormoz Qalavand, said Iran will soon produce oil drilling parts that only the United States has manufactured until now.
The 5, 10 and 15 millimeter rings used for drilling deep oil wells will be available for export too, Qalavand said, the Young Journalists' Club website reported.
Iranian National Gas Export Company (NGEC) has been liquidated by a decision of the Iranian Oil Ministry, MEHR news agency reported on Saturday.
According to the decision, the functions on gas export via pipelines are transferred to state companies, on commercial gas sales and export of liquefied gas - to international department of the oil company.
This decision is due to a decrease in sales volumes of Iranian gas to the world markets.
Iran is finalizing the deals to export natural gas to two Persian Gulf states and a European country, the Fars News Agency reported on Saturday.
The European gas deal aims to export 20-25 million cubic meters of gas.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Friday unsealed the indictment of two men — one Chinese and the other Iranian — charged with conspiring to violate the embargo against Iran by trying to smuggle restricted equipment and materials suitable for gas centrifuges for enriching uranium into that country. The items to be smuggled had been made in the United States.
The United States intercepted several streams of signals intelligence about a week ago suggesting that elements within the Syrian regime transferred some amount of chemical agents, possibly including sarin nerve gas, to the Homs region, a senior U.S. defense source told Fox News.
There is no evidence that these chemical agents have been weaponized or employed, but the latest intelligence suggests there was movement of a portion of Syria's vast chemical stockpile.
BEIRUT: Lebanon signed Friday a $360 million three-year contract to lease electricity-generating ships from Turkish firm Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, with the first barges due to arrive in 120 days. The two ships are expected to generate 270 megawatts of electricity, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said.
Housing as expensive as New York City’s has become the norm in Midland, amid an oil boom that is rapidly reshaping the area. With oil prices hovering above $80 a barrel, more than double their level of early 2009, workers have flocked here from elsewhere in Texas and the nation, lured by jobs working on rigs or driving trucks. But the resulting housing shortages, traffic and strain on schools has some residents shaking their heads.
Shell says its rig Discoverer cannot meet the emissions requirements of an air permit granted by the E.P.A. in January.
A presentation by energy firm Enbridge Inc. at a private conference included a drawing of a scowling cartoon gas pump that labelled Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Persian Gulf countries as unethical oil sources.
However, the company says it wasn't singling out those countries for allegedly producing less ethical oil than the Alberta oilsands.
If they haven’t already, executives at Enbridge may want to commence action on Plan B – if there is one.
The company’s dreams of building a pipeline from the oil sands of Alberta to the Pacific are fading fast. Public support for the project in British Columbia is diminishing by the day. And the company can’t find many who want to champion its cause outside of Alberta.
(Reuters) - BP Plc faces substantial civil and potentially criminal liability stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which killed 11 rig workers and caused America's biggest offshore oil spill. A rough calculation of those costs, based on estimates from analysts and some previously paid items, could put the total bill at more than $69 billion. That would assume a judge finds BP to be grossly negligent, a contention BP strongly disputes. BP has taken a $37.2 billion charge against its earnings for the spill.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Gulf Coast states have a higher stake in the amount of money the U.S. government can wring out of BP Plc for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill due to a new law that would divert billions of dollars in potential BP fines to them.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has become the first major insurance company to say it won't cover damage related to a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company's personal and commercial policies "were not designed to cover" risk from the drilling process, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Nationwide spokeswoman Nancy Smeltzer said Thursday.
HARRISBURG – The General Assembly has approved legislation that places a drilling moratorium on any oil or gas operations in the South Newark Basin which lies under much of Bucks County.
A report released last week by the Diet's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission backs what many members of the public have long believed: The fiasco at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was "a profoundly man-made disaster — that could have and should have been foreseen and prevented."
TOKYO — The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has advised Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster response bases, known as offsite centers, should be moved outside of a 5-km exclusion zone.
The allure of atomic power endures in California 55 years after the nation’s first civilian, commercial reactor came online to power a small city in Ventura County.
Today, California’s growing push to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions and smog are keeping the long-term prospects for nuclear power plants alive despite a moratorium on new reactors.
A mini-documentary series makes the case for shielding public lands from uranium and coal mining and natural gas drilling, saying that such activity only benefits industry.
The agency's survey of more than 12,000 residences representing every geographic region and climate in the country showed that the average U.S. household had $2,024 in energy expenditures, up 11.8 percent from $1,810 in 2005.
Oddly enough, the agency says that energy consumption has remained relatively stable for many years as increased efficiency has offset growth in the number and average size of housing units and the increased use of electronics.
MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Coral reefs might be undergoing a total collapse that could last thousands of years, a situation made worse by man-made greenhouse gases, according to a Florida Tech study published in Science.
The most ambitious market-based effort to control carbon emissions is being undermined by a glut of permits, amid allegations that European Union ideas to tackle the surplus are being leaked prematurely.
Schendler’s summation of the science pointing to dangerous human-driven climate change is pretty overheated. But I really like how he describes the sometimes uncomfortable need to fracture old alliances and cross longstanding battle lines if you’re serious about finding ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions that can work in the real world.
Over the 60 years Sir David has been a broadcaster, he has seen the planet change at a staggering rate. Wildlife paradises he visited in his early career have been decimated and he views the future with pessimism. "I'm not optimistic," he says. "The climate, the economic situation, rising birth rates; none of these things give me a lot of hope or reason to be optimistic."
The one ray of hope and possible solution Sir David does offer is a global slowdown in birth rate. At 86, he has become an unlikely poster boy for the population control movement.