Drumbeat: December 3, 2012
Posted by Leanan on December 3, 2012 - 10:47am
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian navy is prepared to deploy vessels to the South China Sea to protect India's oil interests there, the navy chief said on Monday amid growing international fears over the potential for naval clashes in the disputed region.
India has sparred diplomatically with China in the past over its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of Vietnam. China claims virtually the entire mineral-rich South China Sea and has stepped up its military presence there. Other nations such as Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia have competing claims.
The price of oil edged up above $89 a barrel Monday as investors were encouraged by signs that China's economy may be picking up after a prolonged slowdown.
ABUJA (Reuters) - Cost-cutting has helped restore Nigeria's Excess Crude Account (ECA) to some $9 billion in oil savings, or more than double what it was a year ago, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, wants to reduce the commodity’s contribution to government revenue to 60 percent in the medium term, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.
Oil currently accounts for 70 percent of government revenue in the West African nation, down from 80 percent in recent years, Okonjo-Iweala said today at a conference in Abuja, the capital. Taxes and non-oil exports provide 30 percent, according to the minister.
(CNN) -- Syrian warplanes bombed a town within sight of the Turkish border Monday, sending panicked civilians running to the fence that separates the two countries, witnesses told CNN.
The attack came as NATO ministers considered whether to send missiles to Turkey should the civil war spill across its border.
(ANSA) - Rome - The Italian petrol giant ENI has resumed exploratory drilling in Libya, the company said Monday.
ENI will probe 4.4 km under the earth, at a site in the Sirte basin about 300 km south of Benghazi, marking a major step in the relaunch of ENI's exploration and production activities in Libya, the company said in a note.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African petrochemicals group Sasol said its expectations for a strong year had been boosted by a good quarterly performance at its synthetic fuels unit.
Merchant ships sliding down the slipways in 2020 will emit up to 35 per cent less carbon dioxide than ships today, and up to a third of them will be fitted with exhaust gas recovery systems by 2016, according to a leading ship classification society.
The latest research by the Norwegian-based Det Norske Veritas, its Shipping 2020 Report, is the result of a comprehensive study predicting the developments in the world's merchant fleet over the next eight years, and beyond.
Moscow (Platts) - Russia's gas output fell 4.2% year on year to 57.652 Bcm in November, Russia's Prime news agency said Monday, citing preliminary data by the Central Dispatching Unit, part of the country's energy ministry.
Of the total, Gazprom's production in November decreased 6.3% year on year to 42.54 Bcm, it said.
SYDNEY/JERUSALEM, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Australia's Woodside Petroleum said it would buy a 30 percent stake in Israel's Leviathan natural gas field, dealing a blow to Gazprom's ambitions to cement its position as Europe's dominant supplier and expand in the liquefied natural gas market.
Woodside, Australia's biggest oil and gas firm, will take a 30 percent stake in Leviathan in a deal that could be worth $2.5 billion and adds a major player to the LNG market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Saudi Arabian mining firm Ma'aden signed deals worth 977 million Saudi riyals ($260 million) with US firms Fluor Corp and Bechtel to help develop an industrial city in the country's north, it said.
Saudi Arabia, home to the world's largest oil reserves, is keen to develop its mining industry to diversify the economy away from relying on oil.
Saudi Arabia will need to invest over SAR500bn (US$133bn) over the next ten years to meet rapidly rising power demand, Saudi Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah al-Hussayen said late on Sunday.
The country with the biggest Arab economy and a population that has ballooned to over 27m faces sporadic power cuts in summer when demand for air conditioning surges.
The massive amounts of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded was devastating to marine life, but the dispersant used in the aftermath to try and break down the oil slicks may have been even worse for some species, according to new research done by scientists with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico.
(CNN) -- People like to say history repeats itself, but Southern Co., which is building the first U.S. nuclear reactors approved in decades, is hoping this isn't true.
With last year's tsunami-induced disaster at the Fukushima Daichi plant in Japan, Southern doesn't want its reactors to meet the same fate.
DOHA, (Reuters) - OPEC member Qatar will ask firms to tender for a 1,800 megawatt (MW) solar energy plant in 2014 costing between $10-20 billion as the world's highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter seeks to increase its renewable energy production.
"We need to diversify our energy mix," said Fahad Bin Mohammed al-Attiya, chairman of the Qatari organizers of climate talks in Doha. The United Nations-led summit is being held among almost 200 nations from November 26-December 7.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In China's Hunan Province, using the bathroom often means squatting over a dirty hole in the ground. An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world lack adequate sanitation -- more than a third of the global population -- and 2 million die each year of diarrheal disease.
To David Auerbach, that is both a human-rights crisis and an entrepreneurial gold mine. He and his business partners hatched a plan for profiting on both ends of a messy problem: Sell pay-per-use toilets to local entrepreneurs, then collect the waste and sell that too, after converting it into fertilizer.
Martinez, who escaped the civil war in El Salvador three decades ago, used to pack tomatoes and harvest grapes for long hours and little pay in Central California. Then, one day, she heard an announcement on the radio: She could become a grower herself.
She enrolled in a small farmer education program in Salinas that trains farmworkers to establish and manage organic farms. Today, she grows four acres of organic strawberries in the Salinas Valley and sells them to Whole Foods markets.
From clever chicken tunnels to a campus lawn turned no-dig garden, I've written about countless permaculture projects over the years. Some of them, like this peak oil inspired farming project in Britain, are exploring the realms of commercial agriculture—but it's fair to say that permaculture is still often seen as something more often practiced in backyards and community gardens for sustenance, not financial gain.
Part of the reason for that, I think, is about scale. Diversity may be key to mimicking natural systems and achieving truly symbiotic farming, but it is also extremely hard to deal with such complexity on a commercial farming scale.
The results underscore an ongoing lack of regulation in the nation’s seafood trade — oversight so weak restaurants and suppliers know they will not face punishment for mislabeling fish. Over the past several months, the Globe collected 76 seafood samples from 58 of the restaurants and markets that sold mislabeled fish last year. DNA testing on those samples found 76 percent of them weren’t what was advertised.
“When I was a teenager, anybody could buy a tag down to the hardware store and away you went,” he said. “Now you have to have a degree in wildlife-speak to work your way through all the regulations to be able even to apply.”
It especially bothers him — and other hunters — that those with means can buy public licenses through private outlets, paying thousands of dollars to move to the head of the line. More than any state in the West, Utah has expanded hunting opportunities for the well-to-do and has begun to diminish them for those seeking permits directly from the state.
State wildlife managers recognize this, but they say their motives are grounded in animal — if not social — welfare. Utah has embraced an increasingly free-market model as a way to raise more money for conservation.
A fully loaded LNG tanker has for the first time sailed along the Northern Sea Route from Norway to Japan.
Canada will use its two years as leader of the circumpolar world to promote development and defend its policies, suggest federal politicians and documents.
But Arctic experts and those involved with the Arctic Council worry that's the wrong approach at a time when the diplomatic body is dealing with crucial international issues from climate change to a treaty on oil spill prevention.
Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize 2012 has been awarded to researchers at Newcastle and Bristol universities.
Professor Richard Dawson from Newcastle University was designated Climate Change Winner for his work analysing coastal flooding and cliff erosion. The Natural Hazard winner was Professor Paul Bates from the University of Bristol for his work in developing large-scale, high-resolution flood modelling.
Washington State has become the first in the nation to set out an action plan for addressing ocean acidification. The plan follows publication of a report by a Blue Ribbon Panel established by outgoing Governor Christine Gregoire back in March.
Doha — Forestry experts have called for a new approach to managing land and tackling climate change - challenging the ongoing debate that forests have to be sacrificed for the sake of rural development and food security.
The need for a more sustainable global energy system is more urgent than ever, energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency warned on Monday as UN climate talks went into a second week.
UN climate talks on Monday entered their final week amid rows over the Kyoto Protocol and funding for poorer countries, despite fresh warnings of the peril from greenhouse gases.
After six days of wrangling, nearly 200 nations remained far apart on issues vital for unlocking a global deal on climate change, said delegates at the talks in Doha, Qatar's capital.
(Reuters) - Almost 200 nations are meeting in Doha until Dec. 7 to try to extend struggling U.N.-led efforts to slow global warming to avert ever more droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Highlighting a rift between the rich countries and emerging economies like China, New Zealand's climate minister staunchly defended his government's decision to drop out of the emissions pact for developed nations, saying it's an outdated and insufficient response to global warming.
Doha (Qatar): The majority of people in India, China and America believe their governments "should be doing more" to address global warming and climate change, says a study released today.
About 54 per cent Indians want their government to be more proactive on climate, while the figure is nearly 90 per cent for China and the US.
The politics and the science of global warming remain far apart. International climate negotiators in Doha, Qatar this week began talking about a climate treaty to be agreed by 2015 and implemented by 2020, when all that was supposed to be finished in Copenhagen three years ago. Inspiring. Meanwhile, the evidence supporting the broad international scientific consensus on climate change is only becoming more compelling, with three big, peer-reviewed studies out this week alone.
In other words, climate change is hard to really see in one’s daily life, and understanding it requires “analytic information processing”—otherwise known as thinking. That’s not something people have a lot of time, inclination (and perhaps ability) to do. But those who have been personally affected by climate change—which includes more than a quarter of the American public—report that they’ve personally experienced the effects of climate change, and that tends to be associated with higher levels of certainty that climate change is happening.