Saturday, July 30, 2005

GULF OIL PLATFORM COLLAPSING!

Thanks to alert reader here, Daliwood, comes this breaking news: the most expensive and probably biggest new oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico is collapsing after being hit by Hurricane Dennis.

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Before hurricane hit
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Today

This is what the Titanic sinking looks like, energy-wise. Exxon/Mobile claim the hurricane didn't do this. So what did it? Sharks? Beach bums? Ecoterrorists? Bin Laden?

Well, whoever did this, if they can't fix it, this will be a major blow. The platform costs over a billion dollars to build, about what we spend a week in Iraq trying to pump oil there.

Gads. This world has gone daft, hasn't it?

Train carrying oil was blown up just yesterday in Iraq. And Americans killed, too. I passed by a website with a photo of this but can't find it now...it certainly isn't in American news! Nor is this platform collapse! You would imagine this would rate some level of interest but there is zero on the mainstream media but tons of talk about it on the net, on forums and blogs like mine which is where breaking news goes!

Bet it will make the news when the turtles carrying bottles arrive some day.

The scandal of the EPA holding onto a bad report card about CAFE standards, namely, we guzzle more gas than ever per vehicle since Ronnie Reagan sold his soul to Tokyo! We are fucked up and down and all around.

Here: From Rednova:
THE world's international oil giants must be hoping accidents don't come in threes: At the start of the week BP's $1bn (Pounds 560m, E820m) Thunderhorse oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico was spotted at a terrifying 20% tilt and feared to be sinking. Royal Dutch/Shell then revealed on Thursday that costs had doubled at its Sakhalin II gas project to $20bn.

Both are flagship projects of such scale that such mishaps would seriously hurt even BP and Shell's bulging balance sheets. Since the 1990s, oil companies have tended to concentrate their spending on fewer and bigger projects. This is partly in search for sheer economies of scale, and partly the result of pushing into Arctic and deep water territory where only giant projects make sense.

Their skill in managing massive projects is also the main advantage international oil firms have left to offer the national oil and gas companies of Russia or the Middle East.

Last week's scares underline the risk of the approach. If BP lost Thunderhorse, its growth in oil output for next year would be slashed from 8.9% to 5.4%. If Shell's Sakhalin project's profitability took a major dive, it could drag on company's financial performance for over a decade.

Thankfully, BP's alarm was turning to relief in the run up to the weekend. Oil platforms do sink - Norwegian firm Statoil's Sleipner platform sunk like a stone at its launching ceremony, and Brazilian oil firm Petrobras's platforms seem to keel over with alarming frequency. But Thunderhorse now looks unlikely to be one of them.
Oh, it hasn't sunk..yet. They will try to "right" it, right?

Then there is the flagging oil strikes in the former Soviet Union. Bad news all around.

Here is a chat room I lurked upon: Too cool fishing
The BP Thunderhorse semi took a hit from Dennis. It's listing 20-30 degrees with the topsides almost in the water. Check out the press release on the BP website http://www.bp.com/extendedgenericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7007227

Pics to follow ....
jtburf
Don't you know the CEO of BP is having a scotch straight up right about now between the refinerys going up and now this ....

Look out at the next share holders meeting !!!!

lol

John
DavidG
Pics ...

I was schduled to go out in the next 2 weeks and do some final commissioning on some equipment. Guess I don't have to worry about that for a while now.
jtburf
Better yet how would you like to be the person who was incharge of closeing the valve that was flooding the legs ......This very well could be a major human mistake !!!

John
Game On!
Rumor around the indusrty is that it is now at the bottom of the ocean.....
JOKERSWILD
Gas is going up again to pay for that one!
FISHIN COUG
"Rumor around the indusrty is that it is now at the bottom of the ocean....."
-This is simply a rumor.
The platform is still listing and the platform is still completely evacuated. Once the company finds means of safely placing personel on the platform to turn on the pumps to remove the water from the rig legs it will do so. Rumor on this end is that Dennis had no affect on the platform since the swells were only about 10 to 12 feet. Something evidently happened during the three days that the rig was left evacuated.
Seems these are rig workers! So, interesting seeing their chat about this. Sort of like listening in on police radio talk.

From BBC news:
Oil prices have soared back above $61 a barrel after fires at two US oil refineries and a North Sea rig.
US light sweet crude closed at $60.57, up 1% having hit $61.05 earlier in the day. London's Brent crude ended the day at $59.52.

The fresh rise came as the US Senate passed President George W Bush's energy bill, giving $14.5bn in tax breaks and subsidies to US energy firms.

The bill is unlikely to have any short term effect on US energy costs.

The White House insists that it will, however, make a difference in years to come by opening up drilling for oil in Alaska, subsidising new nuclear power plants, and doubling production of corn-based ethanol used as a petrol additive.
Prime the pumps for USS Titanic! If we are sinking we might as well be pumping. I had the oil well in India pictures on my laptop but that is in Texas tonight, being repaired after the last big thunderstorm kind of toasted the hard drive.
Meanwhile, the breakdowns in two US refineries thanks to fires were taken in some quarters as evidence that energy supply lines in the US were overstretched by current high demand.
I had pictures of the two refineries burning, too. Now I can't find them.From Reuters:
Oil prices surged a dollar to $61 a barrel on Friday as U.S. refinery fires and an oilfield outage in the North Sea underlined concerns about stretched global refining and crude production capacity.

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Here is the Arabian Sea oil rig burning merrily. I feel like playing "Goetterdaemmerung" now.

I saw pictures of the oil refineries blowing up. Looked like huge bombs. Arg. What if bin Laden's prayers are working? Gads. Seems like the gods don't like us right now? Or is it Mother Nature? Is She finally roused to take action against us? One can only wonder.

Amazing. Like in the Holy Grail, the castle not only falls into the swamp but catches on fire, too.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

LOSING ENERGY FAST

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Congressional pigs flying high today

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Today the energy bill that was launched with big hooplah is finally oozing across the end zone and will be happily signed by our dictator, Bush, despite his collapsing popularity, there are no enraged mobs storming his fortress of solitude in DC. So he will cut more taxes for the oil barons, give more goodies to the oil barons and laugh his way to the bank yet again.

From the Washington Post
Congressional negotiators completed work yesterday on a $14.5 billion package of tax breaks as part of a major energy bill that provides far less support for alternative energy and efficiency than many lawmakers had urged.

The tax package -- negotiated behind closed doors by lawmakers -- would award 58 percentof the total benefit over 10 years to traditional energy industries, including oil, natural gas, coal, electric utilities and nuclear power. About 36 percent of the total would go for renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and cleaner-burning vehicles. The Senate had sought considerably more in tax incentives for conservation and alternative sources of energy in its version of the energy bill approved last month.
OK. Enlighten me, everyone. Why do the oil companies need tax breaks?

Crickets chirping.

Obviously, they don't. Record profits, record amounts of loot. The money is pouring in! They are suffering from a tidalwave of money pouring in from all over America as people turn their pockets inside out to pay for oil! And they need tax breaks?

Give me a break.
The Bush administration had sought a $6.7 billion tax package, but the Joint Committee on Taxation said the 10-year net cost would be $11.5 billion. The bill would generate an estimated $3 billion in revenue to partly offset the $14.5 billion in tax breaks.

Despite the costs, White House spokeswoman Dana M. Perino said President Bush supports the energy bill, which he has sought passage of since he took office in 2001. "While we may not agree with every last detail, this is a really good bill that's good for consumers, good for business and good for the environment," Perino said.
Good for what environment?

Oh, I forgot. The great battle between the Empire of the Roaches and us. Bush and Cheney know their people well, don't they? This is why the air is nearly unbreathable in summer unless we get wind coming out of Siberia and Canada which is clean, still. When the air moves up from the bulk of the USA, gack. Choke.

Cockroaches don't need much oxygen. They have lived here on our planet for hundreds of millions of years.

Cockroaches don't give a fig about taxes but their human allies hate paying taxes and this is why America is going bankrupt. Our rulers and their buddies want tax cuts even though these same clowns have pushed us into an oil war that we can't afford. The bill for that baby is heading towards the trillions.

This stupid bill gives tax breaks to people making "energy efficient" buildings without defining what this is. A glass tower is, by definition, not energy efficent on any scale but you can bet, they will get the tax cuts. Poor people get nothing. They don't pay enough in taxes to be helped and this is all Federal taxes, not property taxes. Heavens, if they gave tax breaks for energy efficient houses that came out of the property tax, my bill would be around zero!

You will never ever see that, I guarantee you.
The measure would allow utilities less time to deduct the cost of natural gas distribution lines that connect homes and neighborhoods. The industry said the measure would encourage more rapid expansion of pipelines to newly built communities and the replacement of lines that are aging.
This one item alone shows how insane the bill is. Giving a tax cut so gas companies can build more gas lines to "newly built communities" which are the notorious McMansions popping up all over farmland in America? What a ridiculous thing.

The logic of the Hubbert Oil Peak applies to natural gas. It, too, is going to run out. When it does, all those pipes will be worthless. This doesn't address the matter of building houses that are energy efficient and comfortable and useful. Not one of these houses will be built with an eye to the sun, the wind or the temperatures. They will be built, helter skelter, facing all directions, the windows randomly set. Insane.

Like the same bill won't change CAFE standards, either. Try finding a Geo Metro that gets 50+miles to the gallon like my gallant little car did for almost 200,000 miles. You can't. No car does this. Even if you want milage, it ain't there no more.
In an effort to encourage the expansion of the electrical grid, the bill would allow more rapid depreciation of assets used in the transmission and distribution of electricity.
To the bitter end, one stupid provision after another. This bill will go down in history as an example of stupidity and craven lust. Since when do we need to "extend the electrical grid"? Huh?

Oh yes, those McMansions again. As our exurbs balloon with the mad housing bubble, they need roads, gas lines and electrical lines since virtually no new houses are being built with solar arrays or anything. So the energy companies want us to foot this bill for them, too. This drives down the overhead for expanding our suburbs.

Which is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

Instead, we are seeing these same men and women kill Amtrak. We are doomed.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

OIL=WAR

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Original art by Elaine Supkis

Right now, the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are being abandoned as Hurricane Emily grinds ever closer, her skerry-quern of destruction mills the ocean's depths, the continental shelf shivering under her blows. We get a lot of our oil from Mexico.

From the BBC:
As oil prices remain volatile the markets do their best to forecast future prices. Unfortunately this is not an easy task. While it may appear extraordinary to outsiders one of the main problems in the oil market is the reliability of basic statistics.

The oil industry calls the problem 'data transparency'. As an example this week is a 'revision' to oil demand growth in the United States in 2004.

Previously the growth in oil demand was thought to be 2.4%, about 484,000 barrels per day. In fact it was 697,000 barrels per day or 3.5%. That is in fact 46% more than was previously stated - a huge revision.
In other words, we are gas guzzling with a vengence. Despite the relentless hike in prices, America still is in love with burning fossil fuels. Far from reforming our ways, we go on a wayward last yahoo.

From Xinhaunet:
The competition between the China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) and Chevron to acquire Unocal is coming to the crucial moment, said the CNOOC spokesman on Thursday.

California-based Unocal Company will hold a board meeting at its local time Thursday to decide whether to accept the takeover bid of CNOOC.

According to the spokesman, the board will decide whether to support CNOOC's all cash bid of 18.5 billion US dollars for Unocal and whether to recall its further acceptance of Chevron's cash and share bid of 16.6 billion US dollars.

If the Unocal board decides to support CNOOC's bid, it will recommend the plan to Unocal's shareholders, who will hold a special meeting on Aug.10 to make the final vote on Unocal's acquisition choice.

However, if the board denies CNOOC's bid, it does not mean that CNOOC has lost the final opportunity, said the spokesman.

According to securities law in the US, CNOOC could apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the US to win support directly from the shareholders, even though that would make it more difficult for CNOOC to make the deal, he said.
Seems the Chinese have figured out all the nicities of hostile take overs. Move over, Chainsaw Al.

The Chinese will get what they want because they have the loot. Our rulers can stymie them only if they cough up some money and they really would rather do it all on the cheap, bribe some politicians, etc. Only the crafty Chinese know the politicians all love money, too, and are for sale just like the media whores. Everyone is on the auction block. Even the rich. Everyone wants to get rich quick and not pay a price for this.

Now for a pair of news stories that are intertwined like the eternal world serpent,Orobouros. From Xinhuanet:
Japan is stamping on China's maritime rights by granting Japanese firm Teikoku Oil Co the right to test drill for gas and oil in a part of the East China Sea disputed by the two countries and muddying the waters of the East China Sea, the China Daily said in an editorial Saturday.

Japan's move could lead to confrontation with China, it warned, citing that the Chinese government's calls to solve the dispute through negotiation have fallen on deaf ears in Japan .

Giving Teikoku the go-ahead to test drill is a move which makes conflict between the two nations inevitable, though what form this clash will take is hard to tell, the daily said.

It said that Japan's attempt to force gas exploration in an area beyond the Okinawa submarine trench has many motivations:

-- Japan's need for oil is not a new issue. The island country has secured several oil suppliers. Gas resources in the area near the Diaoyu islets are unlikely to quench its thirst for oil.

-- Japan's unilateral action to start drilling, which flies in the face of international maritime laws, is not simply about new sources of energy. It reveals plainly the country's intention to take China Diaoyu islets for good.
Flash point alert time. This is why a top Chinese general reminded us all about the price we will pay for WWIII especially if we decide to play mercenary for Japan.

Again, from Xinhuanet:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will prioritize China over Japan as the recipient of oil supplies from a pipeline project linking eastern Siberia with the Russian Far East.

Putin made the remarks during a news conference after the three-day summit of the Group of Eight powers in Gleneagles, Scotland, according to a report by Japan's Kyodo news agency

Both Japan and China have tried to convince Russia to favor it in planning the pipeline's route. Russia had at one point last year agreed to build a 4180-km pipeline from Taishet near Lake Baikal to Nakhodka on Russia's Sea of Japan coast, Japan's preferred route. Tokyo has offered to extend some $12 billion to help finance the project.

China, which had initially inked the deal for a pipeline from the Siberian oil fields to Daqing, later offered Moscow more than $13 billion, Kyodo said.
Every major power is rapidly choosing sides. This war will be over oil. The increasing chumminess of Putin and Hu and Wen is a historic power shift. It isn't a thin thing but has a solid foundation. Europe sided with Bush and repudiated Putin and Bush's personal attacks on him have shoved him into the gleeful waiting arms of the Chinese. This is a very formidable alliance. Together, they will dominate Asia. Japan can project power only via the American war machine.

Since the Japanese own a trillion of government debt we unloaded on them this means they own our government and can force us into being the clone of the Japanese warriors who fought all of the world during WWII. Why we allowed ourselves to become the tool of those we struggled to dominate sixty years ago is one of history's greatest ironies.
Putin made it plain this time that the construction of the Pacific-bound pipeline will be contingent on development of a new oil field in eastern Siberia -- where the amount of oil deposits remains unconfirmed.

He said the three-year first phase of the project will be launched as early as this year, with 20 million tons of oil supplied to China a year and another 10 million tons transported to the Pacific by train.

Japan has told Russia it may not offer financing for the pipeline project if the prospect of Russian oil reaching the Sea of Japan coast diminishes.

Kyodo quote Japanese observers as saying Putin's remarks indicate that the Japanese government's strategy to build up bilateral ties with Russia through the pipeline project in the hope of finding a way to make progress with the ongoing territorial row have been dashed with the latest developments.

When complete, the pipeline is expected to funnel 80 million tons of oil a year.
You see, Japan wanted to use money to buy influence but they didn't want to spend political capital. They basically treated the Russians as a third world nation that needed to obey them if they wanted development. The Chinese offered the Russians a multilevel, multilateral series of agreements and treaties, all of which make Russia vastly stronger, internationally as well as on the domestic plane.

Each Chinese agreement dovetailed into the other. They were carefully crafted with one eye on history for the history of the intersection of Japan, Korea, China and Russia's spheres of influence in that key area is long and bloody and a mess. This is why North Korea has been able to thumb their nose at America. America chose to be a tool of Tokyo and the Koreans don't exactly like Japan for obvious reasons so they leaned towards China, an ancient ally.

So here we sit, we have our military overextended protecting various people who hate each other and don't particularily like us, and what do we get for all this?

You tell me.

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