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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Turkish entrepreneur opens first online 'halal' sex shop

Mon, Oct 21 13:25 PM EDT ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish entrepreneur has opened what he says is the country's first online sex shop for Muslims, selling everything from lubricants to herbal aphrodisiacs and offering advice on how to have "halal" sex. Haluk Murat Demirel, 38, said he had been inspired to launch the site (www.bayan.helalsexshop.com) by friends who wanted sex advice and products but found the content on other websites and in specialist stores too explicit. "Online sex shops usually have pornographic pictures, which makes Muslims uncomfortable. We don't sell vibrators for example, because they are not approved by Islam," Demirel said. Sexual mores provoke frequent debate in the majority Muslim but constitutionally secular country. There are relatively few sex shops, even in major cities, although in parts of Istanbul those that do exist advertise themselves with neon signs. Critics of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose roots are in Islamist politics, have often accused him of puritanical intrusiveness into private life, from his advice to women on the number of children they should have to his views on abortion. Demirel said the website - which offers advice on which sexual practices are banned by Islam and which are not - had proved unexpectedly popular since launching last Tuesday, with 33,000 visitors on Sunday alone. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Robin Pomeroy) =============

Syrian man in Tom Hanks-like limbo at Dubai airport

Thu, Oct 24 09:41 AM EDT DUBAI (Reuters) - A Syrian man has been stranded at Dubai airport for 16 days in a case with echoes of the Tom Hanks film "The Terminal". Wasfi Tayseer Jarad has been stuck at the airport's Terminal 2 since being freed from prison after serving time for a drugs conviction and issued with a deportation order, the English-language Gulf News reported on Thursday. With his native Syria in political turmoil, like Hanks' homeland in the 2004 film, authorities in Dubai gave the 34-year-old the option to travel to anywhere that would take him. But his passport has expired, and Jordan -- where his family had fled from Syria's civil war -- refused to let him in. Turkey and Lebanon have done the same, returning Jarad on the same flights on which he arrived from Dubai, the newspaper said. The case appears to have fallen between various jurisdictions: while Jarad himself could not be reached by telephone, several local government departments all referred calls to each other when contacted by Reuters. The prosecutor's office, responsible for overseeing the deportation of convicts, said it would look into the situation. Jarad said he had been living on a hamburger a day and washing in toilets while his family tried to get him a new passport so he could join them in Jordan. He had been offered a flight to Latakia, Syria, but said he feared for his life there, telling the paper: "I wish I could go back to Dubai jail." (Reporting by Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclean and Mark Trevelyan)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Iraq's Maliki to seek U.S. arms, role on Iran and Syria

Iraq's Maliki to seek U.S. arms, role on Iran and Syria Tue, Oct 29 11:56 AM EDT image By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki flew to Washington on Tuesday, seeking urgent military supplies to fight an upsurge in sectarian violence spilling over the Syrian border. He will also present himself to President Barack Obama as a potential mediator for him with Iran and Tehran's Syrian ally, Bashar al-Assad, Iraqi sources said - though U.S. officials played down the prospect of Maliki playing such a role. Two years after his last visit, as U.S. troops were leaving Iraq, Iraq is suffering bombings on a scale not seen since the bloody sectarian chaos of 2006-08. Seeking a third term next year, he also seems to be looking to the shifting diplomatic geometry in the Middle East to help entrench his position. Speaking at Baghdad airport before flying out for three days of talks in Washington that will culminate at the White House on Friday, Maliki said it was "urgent" that Iraq receive "offensive weapons to combat terrorism and hunt armed groups". He stressed a need for helicopters and other equipment. Aides have also cited drones as useful for patrolling a border across which the Shi'ite-led government says al Qaeda and other Sunni groups fighting President Assad in Syria are bringing in men and arms that have killed more than 7,000 Iraqis this year. "We will discuss security and intelligence in addition to arms needed by the military to fight terrorism," said Maliki, who will meet Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel with senior U.S. generals on Thursday. He cited the threat from Syria was high on his agenda and distanced himself from comments by aides who called for faster delivery of F-16 jets, due to arrive in about a year. Such aircraft were not a priority to counter militants, he said. Maliki's Shi'ite-led government says al Qaeda is bent on securing territory in Iraq, where minority Sunni Muslims are the main community in the desert next to Syria, and wants to destabilize Baghdad to further its goal of ousting Assad. However, many Iraqi Sunnis, long dominant until U.S. forces ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003, accuse Maliki of using al Qaeda violence to justify excluding their community from power. The United States, which fostered the electoral system that put Maliki in office in 2006 at the head of a Shi'ite coalition, has watched with dismay as he has ignored its calls to build consensus and has moved closer to Shi'ite Tehran. REGIONAL BALANCE The prime minister, who faced sharp U.S. criticism in March for letting Iran fly weapons and fighters over Iraq to help Assad in Syria, may seek to turn his pivotal position in the region to advantage as the fallout from the Arab uprisings of 2011 and Iran's nuclear program shakes up U.S. strategy. Maliki made no direct mention of his potential to act as a go-between but several Iraqi officials and politicians told Reuters that he would be discussing that issue in Washington. "Maliki's message to the Americans is that Iraq is the best broker between Tehran and the West to resolve the nuclear issue," a member of Maliki's State of Law coalition said. A senior Shi'ite official close to Maliki said: "Everything will be in one basket: Iraq, Iran and Syria." With the Middle East increasingly divided between a Sunni bloc dominated by Saudi Arabia and Shi'ites looking to non-Arab Iran, Maliki could play a central role - as a Shi'ite Arab leader of a large and central state, who lived for many years in exile in Iran and Syria and has close ties in Washington. A Shi'ite Iraqi former minister said U.S. officials also saw a closer alliance with Iraq as a possible offset to the estrangement between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which has been angered by Obama's willingness to talk to Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani and his failure to attack Assad. "America wants Iraq to play a role in solving the Syrian crisis," the former minister said. "The U.S. sees Iraq as a potential balancing point in the Iranian-Saudi conflict." However, U.S. officials, asked about such statements, said they saw little need for mediation with Iran. One noted that Obama spoke to Rouhani a month ago in the highest-level bilateral contact since 1979 and saw positive developments from the latest nuclear discussions between Tehran and U.N. powers. "I don't think there is going to be any major pitch," the official said. "It certainly is not going to be the centerpiece of the visit." Ramzy Mardini at the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies said Maliki may be promoting himself as a regional player to consolidate his domestic support before an election in April. "Maliki's road to re-election runs through Washington and Tehran," Mardini said. "There's great political interest to make himself important to both sides, whether the focus is Iran's nuclear program or negotiating a political settlement in Syria. Maliki wants a regional diplomatic role because it most likely assures his third term as prime minister." (Additional reporting by Suadad al-Salhy in Baghdad, Isabel Coles in Arbil and Arshad Mohammed, Phil Stewart and Andrea Shalal-Esa in Washington; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by David Stamp)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why China Is Set To Drive Gold Prices Skywards

.By Motley Fool | Mon, 28th October 2013 - 15:31 The strength of gold bar, coin and jewellery demand across Asia helped gold to rebound from three-year troughs below $1,200 in the summer. Looking further ahead, in my opinion the prospect of accelerating physical demand from these regions — and in particular China — combined with enduring difficulties in the world economy, provide the perfect melting pot for gold to rise strongly. And if, like me, you believe that gold is ready to stage another surge to the upside, in my opinion SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT: GLD.US) and Gold Bullion Securities (LSE:GBS) are an excellent way to pocket gold-lined gains. These exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are designed to follow movements in the metal price. Chinese demand set to soar higher According to the World Gold Council (WGC), surging physical demand from China is set to push total purchases to more than 1,000 tonnes for the first time this year. Such a development would push India into second spot as the planet’s largest consumer, although purchases here are also expected to rise to around 1,000 tonnes in 2013. According to media reports, Albert Cheng — the organisation’s Far East Managing Director — added said that he anticipates growing Chinese demand to move in line with wider economic growth in the country. In particular, the effect of an increasing population and rising disposable income levels are set to bolster demand for gold jewellery, the executive said. Latest proposals from the People’s Bank of China to relax gold trading rules could help the WGC’s prediction of surging domestic demand to become a reality. The plans would boost the number of firms allowed to import and export the metal, as well as increase the amount individuals can bring into China, without having to pay tax or report to customs, to 200 grams. Flaky macro outlook ready to push gold higher Although gold prices remain significantly down from those at the start of the year — the yellow metal was recently trading at $1,350 per ounce versus around $1,660 at the turn of the year, an 18.5% decline — prices have received a boost in recent weeks as macroeconomic concerns have again resurfaced. The safe-haven asset has risen more than 5% in the past fortnight alone. Gold has received a boost as expectations of the US Federal Reserve keeping its quantitative easing measures rolling into the considerable future has increased inflationary expectations, a supportive backdrop for gold. It has also highlighted the fragile state of the global economy which, combined with patchy data from North America, Europe and China in recent days, has confirmed gold’s position as a popular flight-to-safety asset in troubled times. ===================== PRECIOUS-Gold climbs to near 5-week high on Fed stimulus hopes Tue, Oct 29 00:58 AM EDT * Gold up for 4th day on bets Fed will keep stimulus * Prices climb close to 5-week high hit on Monday * Gold due for correction, physical demand could weigh -analysts (Updates prices, adds detail on session high) By A. Ananthalakshmi SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Gold gained for a fourth session on Tuesday, edging closer to a five-week high, as weak U.S. economic data boosted views the Federal Reserve would maintain its stimulus measures, burnishing the metal's appeal as an inflation-hedge. The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday in which it is widely expected to confirm it will continue buying bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace. Gold prices have fallen nearly 20 percent this year on fears the Fed could begin tapering its stimulus programme, but a budget battle in Washington and a string of weak economic data have raised questions over whether the bank would scale back, giving bullion a boost. "In line with market expectations, we think the Fed will continue with quantitative easing," said Songwut Apirakkhit, managing director of Globlex Holding Management in Bangkok. "However, we think the expectations have already been priced in and gold is due for a correction," he said. He still expects gold to end the year around the current levels. Spot gold had edged up 0.3 percent to $1,355.51 an ounce by 0441 GMT. It has gained about 8 percent since marking a three-month low on Oct. 15. The metal earlier hit a session high of $1,360.06, not far from its five-week peak of $1,361.60 touched on Monday. U.S. manufacturing output barely rose in September and contracts to buy previously owned homes recorded their largest drop in nearly 3-1/2 years, the latest signs the economy's momentum ebbed as the third quarter ended. Many economists believe the Fed could push tapering to early next year. Though a prolonged period of easy money could support gold, physical demand could take a hit due to the higher prices. Demand in Asia has remained subdued for a while. "We continue to view gold as precariously placed while physical demand for the metal remains soft," ANZ analysts said in a note. "We viewed the metal as overbought above $1,340 on the back of weak demand from China and continued ETF selling." Outflows from gold-backed exchange traded funds have continued, weighing on investor sentiment. Precious metals prices 0441 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1355.51 3.92 +0.29 -19.05 Spot Silver 22.53 0.06 +0.27 -25.59 Spot Platinum 1465.00 -5.00 -0.34 -4.56 Spot Palladium 740.72 -2.78 -0.37 7.04 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1355.70 3.50 +0.26 -19.10 14383 COMEX SILVER DEC3 22.56 0.02 +0.10 -25.56 4621 Euro/Dollar 1.3774 Dollar/Yen 97.55 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue) ======================= Billionaire John Paulson lost almost $1 billion as gold posted its steepest decline in 30 years hitting $1,361 per ounce. The precious metal is no longer seen as a safe-haven asset. Those who decided that it was too early to dump gold for good, lost a lot in the past few days. Billionaire John Paulson lost almost $1 billion of his personal wealth in the past two days as gold price fell to its lowest in almost two years, losing 13%, Bloomberg reports. Out of around $9.5 billion invested across his hedge funds, some 85% is invested in gold. Influential investor George Soros seemed well prepared for the slump. He said earlier in April that gold has been “destroyed as a safe haven” during the euro crisis. However he added he expected the global central banks to continue buying gold to support prices. Speaking with the South China Morning Post, Soros sounded cautious on the metal. “It has disappointed the public, because it is meant to be the ultimate safe haven. But when the euro was close to collapsing last year, actually gold went down, because if people needed to sell something, they could sell gold,” Soros said. Soros said he did not expect gold “to go down.” However he started significantly shortening his positions in gold in 2011 when he dubbed gold “the ultimate bubble." Back then he sold most of his holdings in the bullion-backed SPDR Gold Trust and iShares Gold Trust funds and invested in mining instead. Some experts believe its is too early to drop gold. If the economy in the US does not recover, gold might yet be a worthy hedge. Renowned bond investor Bill Gross, the manager of PIMCO's Total Return Fund said in early February said that he saw gold as a“stellar inflationary hedge” as global central banks attempt to reflate their economies. Investor Jim Rogers commenting on the latest gold drop to Bloomberg, said he’s not buying the commodity yet, as he expects it to go even lower. “This may be the correction that gold needs,” said Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings. “If it goes down enough, I will start buying it,” Rogers told reporters in Singapore. Gold slump not such a great surprise Experts say gold dropped so significantly due to a number of short and long term reasons. JPMorgan sees falling global inflation as the main factor slashing gold’s value as a sustainable hedge. In the short term, the main reason for gold's weakness is the rise of the US dollar value due to the credit crisis in Europe. Signals that the US economy is recovering may force the Federal Reserve to withdraw its stimulus package sooner than expected, the Economic Times reports. Goldman Sachs lowered its gold price prognosis expecting accelerating US economic growth. The price forecast for 2013 was lowered to $1,545 an ounce from $1,610. The forecast for 2014 hints at a further decline to $1,350 an ounce from $1,490. Global investors were seen getting rid of gold and transferring their funds in riskier assets. Weak economic data from China and reports that Cyprus could sell of its gold reserves to pay off debts contributed to the latest slump in the gold price. Сommodities super cycle over? Meanwhile analysts at Citigroup claim the commodities super cycle might be over. Citi Research’s Ed Morse, released a report on Friday, to coincide with the historic gold slump, while oil prices demonstrated a steep decline as well. “The second quarter should provide another affirmation that the so-called commodity super cycle has finally ended and should usher in the first ‘normal’ year in over a decade in which, broadly, commodity prices end the year lower than when the year started,” Morse’s reports said adding that the super cycle headed towards the end for several years dubbing it “Supercyle Funeral” that began in 2011. This year would be the “afterparty,”he added. Experts also foresee a drop in prices for aluminum, copper and nickel by some 5%-10% in 2013, and by 8% to 13% in the following year. ==============================

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Polish firms still unpaid for tight gas supply

Overdue rights: OGRA expect­ed to announ­ce tight gas price soon to resolv­e the issue. By Zafar BhuttaPublished: October 27, 2013 Share this article Print this page Email . The policy says that a 40% premium will be given over the zonal price of Petroleum Policy 2009 and an additional 10% premium will be offered on the gas that is brought into production within two years of announcement of the policy. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: As the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has not been able to operate effectively in the absence of member gas, exploration companies, which have invested millions of dollars, are facing a financial crunch as they are supplying gas to the distributors but are receiving no payments. Polish Oil and Gas Company (POGC) is one of the companies that has invested $77 million in exploration work and is supplying tight gas to Sui Southern Gas Company, but gets nothing in response, say sources. The company, which says that Ogra has not yet announced the gas price causing the delay in payments, is producing 10 million cubic feet of tight gas per day and plans to ramp up production to 100 mmcfd. It is the first company that has discovered tight gas – gas found in rock formations which is difficult to extract – and supplied it to the gas pipeline network after announcement of the tight gas policy by the previous government. In June 2005, POGC got Kirthar exploration licence and found tight gas in Rehmat-1 well in July 2009 and Hallel well in December 2011. State-run Pakistan Petroleum Limited is POGC’s joint venture partner with a 30% working interest. After promulgation of the Tight Gas Exploration Policy 2011, the Polish company was given the right of incentives. In an attempt to encourage exploration companies to tap tight gas reserves, the policy says that 40% premium will be given over the zonal price of Petroleum Policy 2009 and an additional 10% premium will be offered on the gas that is brought into production within two years of announcement of the policy. According to sources, POGC has been producing 10 mmcfd since June 25 this year in a bid to determine the size of the reserves. After that, it will be able to place the commercial discovery before the government for approval. The director general gas has requested Ogra to announce a provisional price for the tight gas. However, in a letter to the DG gas, Ogra has sought a sample of calculating the price. “Owing to lack of quorum, Ogra is currently dysfunctional, hence the case of Polish gas company for setting a provisional gas price shall be determined after induction of member gas which will complete the quorum,” a source quoted Ogra as saying in its reply. “Price notification is pending due to lack of quorum. We have determined the gas price of Polish company and are waiting for appointment of member gas to notify the price,” Ogra Chairman Saeed Khan told The Express Tribune. The price would be announced as soon as the government appointed a new member gas, he said. When approached, a cabinet division official, who asked not to be named, said the process of appointing the member gas was going on and would possibly be completed in a week. Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2013. Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

As Iraq seeks U.S. arms, bombs kill another 65

Sun, Oct 27 15:02 PM EDT 1 of 5 By Kareem Raheem and Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A dozen bombings in Iraq killed 55 people on Sunday as the prime minister prepares to travel to Washington to seek President Barack Obama's help in confronting a wave of sectarian violence fuelled by Syria's civil war. Killings, mostly blamed by the Shi'ite-led government on Sunni Islamists from al Qaeda, are running at daily rates not seen in five years and Nuri al-Maliki will ask Obama on Friday to speed up promised deliveries of drones and F-16 jets that he believes can help staunch the long desert border with Syria. Iraq's own security forces, trained and equipped by the U.S. troops who withdrew in late 2011 after a nine-year occupation, have been unable to prevent a surge in violence which has taken the civilian death toll so far this year to about 7,000. Sealing the Syrian border would only address part of the problem. On Sunday, police reported 11 vehicles blowing up in mainly Shi'ite Muslim areas in and around Baghdad, killing 41 people in an apparently coordinated series of explosions typical of al Qaeda. A further 14 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove up to a line of soldiers waiting to collect their pay from a bank in the northern city of Mosul and detonated his car. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. In the worst of the attacks in the Baghdad area, two car bombs exploded moments apart near a busy market in the town of Nahrawan, south of the capital, killing seven. In Baladiyat, where another car bomb killed three people, a woman living nearby spoke of a terrifying start to the working week: "I was eating my breakfast when a powerful blast shook the building, shattering the window of my apartment and covering the dining table with glass," said Suad Ahmed. "I was terrified. I heard women and children shouting next door. I started to cry. I was afraid of death." SYRIA CONNECTION Violence between the Sunni minority, long dominant in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and before, and majority Shi'ites empowered through elections promoted by Washington peaked four years after the U.S. invasion; the monitoring group Iraq Body Count recorded over 29,000 civilian deaths in 2006 and 25,000 in 2007. Having steadied to a monthly average of 300 to 400 deaths from 2009 to 2012, tolls have close to doubled since violence in April, when government forces stormed a camp where Sunnis were protesting at what they see as their political marginalization. "The deterioration of security in Iraq is one of the shockwaves of the Syrian crisis," said Shakir Salman, a former general who advises Iraq's defence ministry. "Al Qaeda is working now to undermine Maliki's government because they think this is one way to accelerate the fall of the Syrian regime." Maliki, a Shi'ite who lived in exile in Iran and Syria while Saddam was in power, accuses al Qaeda and Sunni rebels fighting Syria's Iranian-backed President Bashar al-Assad of arming and aiding militants in Iraq. Aides to the prime minister say he will ask Obama at the White House on Friday to speed up supplies for Iraq's air force in order to protect its western border. "The first thing the prime minister will ask for is to accelerate the processes for the shipment of drones and F-16s," Deputy National Security Adviser Safa al-Sheikh Hussein told Reuters in an interview last week. "The initial response from the U.S. was positive, but it depends on the delivery time. We want them immediately." Washington agreed in August to supply by late 2014 a $2.6 billion integrated air defence system and F-16s. The United States, which a decade ago hoped to turn Iraq into a beacon of democracy for the Middle East, has struggled to maintain its influence in Baghdad as Maliki has developed ties with Washington's adversaries in Shi'ite Iran and turbulence elsewhere in the region has demanded U.S. resources. Hussein said that if the United States could not provide the weapons Iraq wanted, Baghdad could turn to others; Russia, Assad's main armorer and once a supplier to Saddam, already has a $4-billion deal for helicopters and surveillance equipment. DIPLOMATIC SHIFTS Obama has demanded Assad step down but has stopped short of military action that could help the rebels to victory. Maliki is likely to urge him to press harder for a negotiated end to Syria's conflict and to curb the influence of Sunni militants there, sources close to the prime minister have said. The two men will meet at a time when diplomatic alignments in the region have been shifting as a result of the Syrian war - part of the broader challenge to authoritarian Arab rulers since 2011 - and Western efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program. Sources close to Maliki, who is positioning himself to win a third term at an election next year, said he may present himself to Obama as a figure who could help Washington explore further a detente with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Talk of a U.S. rapprochement with Tehran, as well as Obama's decision to step back from military action in Syria last month, has alarmed traditional U.S. allies in the region, notably Israel and Iraq's Sunni-ruled southern neighbor Saudi Arabia. Iraqi officials have accused Riyadh and others in the Gulf of funding Sunni groups in Iraq, as well as in Syria. (Additional reporting by Ziad al-Sinjary in Mosul and Isabel Coles; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Ten car bomb blasts across Baghdad province kill 37

Sun, Oct 27 04:14 AM EDT BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Ten car bombs exploded across Baghdad province early on Sunday, killing at least 39 people, police and medics said. Nine of the blasts hit predominantly Shi'ite Muslim districts, with the deadliest attack in the town of Nahrawan, south of the capital, where two car bombs exploded in quick succession near a busy market, killing seven people. Shi'ites have been targeted by Sunni Muslim insurgents including al Qaeda who have been regaining momentum this year after being forced underground in 2007. Insurgents have exploited growing anger among Iraq's Sunni minority, which complains it has been marginalized under the Shi'ite-led government that came to power following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Sectarian tensions have been further exacerbated by the civil war in neighboring Syria, which has drawn Sunnis and Shi'ites from Iraq and the wider region into battle against each other. Violence, which reached a climax in 2006-07 before starting to ease, is now on the rise again, with around 3,000 civilians killed so far this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count. (Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Friday, October 25, 2013

اعلان غدیر سے تجدید وفا کیلئے ۲۷ اکتوبر کو نشتر پارک میں مجلس وحدت مسلمین پاکستان صوبہ سندھ کے زیر اہتمام ہونے والی عظمت ولایت کانفرنس کے موقع پر نیا ترانہ

https://fbcdn-video-a.akamaihd.net/hvideo-ak-ash3/v/1064222_729111100437104_1875910401_n.mp4 https://fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net/rsrc.php/v1/yj/r/BhiS6MPYm22.swf

Strengthening the GKP BOD : New Iraq-Turkey oil line not possible in 18 months

Author Gramacho View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted 2013-07-10 11:14 Subject Strengthening the BOD Votes for this Posting Voted UP 237 times. Message This post concentrates on the important issues to be considered before voting on the AGM resolutions and documents recent conversations with 3 of the 4 proposed NEDs. I will post some thoughts on technical and other matters arising from the Investor Day at a later date. Discussion about the move by M&G to add 4 NEDs to the GKP Board has mainly been framed in terms of the need to either remove or reign in Todd and this, inevitably, has served to divide opinion just as he does. I believe he does need advice and a degree of control exercised over his more maverick instincts but the move is, or should be, about much more than that. The move should be about bringing additional expertise to the Board to ensure that GKPs assets are matured and managed such that maximum benefit is derived for and distributed appropriately to stakeholders i.e. GKP employees, shareholders and the people of Kurdistan. Todd is very reminiscent of one of Britain’s most successful industrial entrepreneurs who I had the good fortune observe close up for a number of years in an earlier life. This guy, like Todd, was highly skilled in relationship building and in inspiring others to reach a common goal. He also sailed close to the wind and, coincidentally, did not always please the city. He too operates a very rewarding remuneration policy and the last I heard had lost very few of his management team. He built a multibillion dollar business starting from almost nothing. So Todd has some of the characteristics to continue to build value for stakeholders but needs the right people around him. His strongest card is his relationship with the KRG. IMO the case for him continuing as CEO outweighs any arguments that he should be ousted. Below are four areas that IMO are keys to success going forward and existing BOD members with executive responsibility that have expertise in the area are noted (initials only). IMO those with executive responsibility for these areas should have support, advice and challenge from a NED and that NED should provide input to the BOD on the executive’s performance. So the question is which of our NEDS is delivering this and do any of the M&G4 offer additional expertise and experience that would lead to improved independent oversight in the respective areas. • Host Government relations in KRI (TK/AAQ? + Lord Guthrie?) • Achieving a successful listing on the main market (TK/EA + Simon Murray + Mark Hanson) • Maturing and Managing our Assets with particular emphasis on pace of development and reservoir management of fractured carbonate fields (JG + ?) • Strategy for Major Asset divestment (TK/EA +Simon Murray) HOST GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Todd has done such a good job to date. Does AAQ also function in this role? It is hard to know what he actually does as he has such a low profile. According to the Daily Telegraph and ST articles M&G plan to vote against his re-election and I struggle to see what he has contributed. One of the roles of a BOD is to ensure that comprehensive risk management strategies are in place and the strategy is not robust if relations are based entirely on Todd’s relations with the KRG. Who from the BOD could front relations on a temporary basis if he were to become ill for example? I don’t know if Simon Murray would step in on a temporary basis, he has too much going on elsewhere and his background has focused more on the Far East. (Also could one of our political analysts explain if fighting for the French against a national movement in Algeria constitutes a favourable background as far as the KRG is concerned?) ACHIEVING A SUCCESSFUL LISTING ON THE MAIN MARKET This includes the whole Corporate Governance issue (a pre requisite for a successful listing) particularly reward and remuneration policies and business ethics. TK running the whole show as Chairman and CEO was seen as a barrier to this. The existing BOD composition is woefully short of what would be considered best practice. Consider the composition of BP and Shell BODs. BP = 5 Execs and 10 Non Execs at 31/12/2012 Shell = 4 Execs and 10 Non Execs at 31/12/2011 (believe an 11th non exec was proposed in 2012) GKP BOD = 4 Execs + 3 NEDS at 31/12/2012 now 4 including Simon Murray At BP and Shell the ratio of NEDS:Execs is 2:1. With NEDS of the right quality IIs are satisfied that the CEOs of our two most important oil companies gets the support they need and are meeting CG expectations. At present GKP appears to be settling for 1 possibly 2 more NEDS for a total of 5 or 6. The ratio of NEDs to Execs post the AGM will depend on whether the 1 Exec and 1 NED are re-elected but appears to be at the low end of best practice. MANAGING AND MATURING THE ASSETS John G is fond of saying that in Shaikan we have a world class asset and I agree. But at the moment the “Jewel in the Crown” dominates our portfolio, we are essentially a one asset company although SA and BB may become more important with successful appraisal. That makes development of the field ultra important to the company’s future. In John G we have a safe pair of hands to move development forward. But this asset is a highly complex, fractured carbonate reservoir and there is minimal information on how it will behave when on production. Who on the Board with deep experience of developing this type of field can provide John G with independent advice and support to make the right decisions moving forward? Todd may have been brought up in the oil field and has a number of attributes but I don’t think he claims to have any deep insights into fractured carbonate field development. No one else on the BOD can offer any technical insight. It is noticeable and of concern, that none of the NEDS, including Simon Murray) has any real oil field experience. The current BOD has recently outlined a forward strategy for the company in which the pace of development of Shaikan is set by the company’s desire to become a self funding business in the near to medium term. This may be the best strategy; certainly the case for no equity dilution will appeal to us PIs. However what alternatives were looked at and which of the NEDS was able to question the BOD about alternative strategies? For example what are the pros and cons of a faster pace of development up to the point that the project is self funding in terms of value creation, development risk and debt requirements? Possibly Varzi but how deeply would he question and challenge the BOD? STRATEGY FOR MAJOR ASSET DIVESTMENT We are currently in the process of building value through exploration, appraisal and field development. There will come a time when it is appropriate to consider whether the assets are more valuable to others than GKP. (For example could a supermajor create more value than GKP by developing the field beyond say the initial target of 100-150k bbl/d more quickly than GKP?) The BOD will need to further develop the strategy regarding the sale of assets and perhaps consider the eventual sale of the company. The rationale of the strategy to put Akri Bijeel up for sale so early in its exploration and appraisal stage, before value could be proven, was not clear and did not build confidence that the BOD had access to the right level of independent support from existing NEDs in making this decision. Simon Murray has experience of big deals and input from new NEDS with oil field divestment experience would be beneficial. POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF M&G4 With these concerns in mind I have conducted my own due diligence and spoken to 3 of the M&G4 for the first time. (I may try to contact the fourth if time permits.) Apparently I am a couple of steps ahead of Lord Guthrie lol! I look forward to his findings as he should have more time and resources at his disposal. The conversations were focused on assessing their experience as it related to the above subject matter. Jeremy Asher • Jeremy Asher is well known to PIs for his services as a former GKP NED. He was Deputy Chairman and left the BOD in 2010. Although he has maintained a dignified silence about the reasons for his departure it is becoming clear that his stance with respect to remuneration was a primary factor. • He is a director of Pacific Drilling a NYSE company which recently raised $2Bn debt. He is the Chair of the remuneration and Nomination Committees. Corporate Governance requirements on the NYSE are extremely rigorous. • He also has a background in oil trading and the downstream segment and understands the market for ME heavy crudes. During his time as CEO of Oil Refineries Ltd the company financed and constructed a $500MM hydrocracking unit. • In a separate venture he was responsible for upgrading and selling a refinery in Germany • IMO Jeremy ticks the boxes regarding: Host government relations - based on his history with GKP, background in the ME and his Kurdistan contacts. Achieving a successful listing/Corporate Governance – based on his track record at GKP and Pacific Drilling. Strategy for Divestment of Assets – based on his track record of building value at all the businesses he has been involved and selling on assets when value can be achieved. In addition his significant holding in GKP, purchase with his own funds aligns him strongly with PIs. John Bell • John has strong ME connections. He lived in Damascus and now lives in Beirut. He is also involved in two business projects in Iraq and has met with Dr Ashti and the KRG leadership a number of times. He is a member of the US Kurdistan Business Council. • Whilst at Suncor he built a material business in Syria that was being transformed into a regional business with three legs, two of which were outside Syria. The Syrian businesses was returning $350MM/yr free cash before Syria went into force majeure. He was also involved in proposals to develop a NOC to NOC business to start taking gas and oil from Iraq through Syria before the conflict shut down business. John was offered the opportunity to run 60% of a $65Bn Suncor business in Canada but it came with the requirement to emigrate to Canada and it did not fit with family commitments at that time. • Prior to Suncor John had further ME experience as a Business Unit Leader for BP leading the West Med Deep Water BU in Cairo. This included renegotiating commercial terms with the government to make the project commercially attractive. • His experience as a VP at Statoil is also of interest. He was head hunted to expand its international oil and gas business via M&A deals that covered all stages of field development. When Statoil’s focus moved to non conventional oil he moved to Canada and oversaw the acquisition of a $2.2Bn Canadian heavy oil business based on SAGD potential which he built into a business employing 600 people with a $6Bn portfolio. Unfortunately the Canadians saw fit not to come forward with tax breaks and the business had to be scaled back. • IMO John ticks the boxes regarding: Host government relations - based on his experience in Syria and Egypt, his work in Iraq and his Kurdistan contacts. Managing and maturing assets – based on his experience in Syria and Egypt. Strategy for Divestment of Assets – based on his experience at Statoil of being a buyer of assets. Although John has not previously had a NED position he has been in the position of being a non operator and providing oversight on the operator’s performance. I have been in a similar position and agree that in many ways this is analogous to being a NED. Your role is a form of governance and is to confirm that operator is being capital efficient, is operating safely and has evaluated an appropriate range of alternatives. You don’t set his pay but you can evaluate his performance. I should also point out he began as an apprentice at the former BP Grangemouth refinery before graduating with a 1st class hours in process control engineering so he has a strong instinct for process safety. He also won an award that is competed for by the best young engineers in BP. Philip Dimmock • Was chairman of the remuneration committee for about 7 years at Nautical Petroleum. Advises he has taken a strong interest in remuneration practices. Described the practices at Nautical as being considerably more parsimonious than at GKP. • As an aside whilst COO at Equator he facilitated the establishment of organised teleconferences at which PIs could put questions to management. Two thirds of the duration was dedicated to questions collated by four organisers of PI group and the remaining time to questions from other individual PIs. This enabled management to better understand and react to what PIs felt was important. This sounds like the type of arrangement that KOEP was hoping might evolve with GKP. IMO many PIs on this BB would welcome this arrangement for GKP. • Valuable experience in maturing and managing assets at Forties commencing with reservoir engineering and development planning in the 1970s before returning in the 1980s as asset manager at a time when the field was being redeveloped. He had over 1000 contractors working on the field on brown field projects in the difficult period post Piper Alpha. • IMO Phil ticks the boxes regarding: Achieving a Successful Listing/Corporate Governance - based on his previous experience at Nautical. Managing and maturing assets – based on his experience on Forties and Wytch Farm with BP. Strategy for Divestment of Assets – resulting from his tenure at Nautical which ultimately lead to the company being sold at an SP near its all time high. There has been some criticism of Philip on this BB regarding the financial difficulties that Equator got into with its attempt to develop a field in Nigeria. These can be found on the web. These mainly stem from a series of attacks on an offshore rig by disaffected communities that resulted in kidnappings on three occasions and led to the rig being idle for about 100 days. (This is the result of a much wider problem that is well documented.) It also affected the availability of an FPSO. I was concerned that non payment of money owed to Equator by its partner Peak Petroleum may have reflected a lack of due diligence by Equator. Philip assures me that this was not the primary problem. My personal opinion is that, had Peak been the primary problem, then as he was COO at the time this is a bit like blaming John G if GKP was to run into financial difficulties because the development of Shaikan ground to halt because of a local dispute and MOL failed to honour cash calls. My impression is that these 3 are high calibre candidates that would bring improved governance and considerably strengthen the BOD. They may not be candidates chosen by Simon Murray or the Execs but it is my understanding they were chosen by M&G from a wide ranging list. One of the proposed NEDS was bemused that GKP should announce the NEDS are not of the calibre they are looking for when search firm they are using has approached him for bigger opportunities than is being offered here! I found them all open and willing to discuss their backgrounds and thoughts about these positions and what they entail. IMO two issues remain. Firstly can the BOD come up with several significantly superior candidates in the next few days before the broker voting cut off date transpires? If not then, based purely on what they can bring to the BOD in terms of competency and experience, I see plenty of reasons to support the nominations and no reason not to support them. Secondly is there any other agenda in play that would be detrimental to GKP PI interests? So far my due diligence has not revealed anything of concern. Due diligence should be complete on Thursday this week. Regards, Gramacho ================================= KURDISTAN IRAQ NEW PIPELINE final test data before oil starts flowing for the first time directly across the border to Turkey. By News Teamin DirectorsTalk Highlights, Oil and Gas0 On a hot and dusty plateau in Iraqi Kurdistan, engineers in hard hats are gathered around a section of new pipeline as they check final test data before oil starts flowing for the first time directly across the border to Turkey. Twin flare towers behind a bank of storage tanks send viscous black smoke billowing into the sky. The powerful smell of sulphur is an indicator of the quality of what lies underground. “It’s the champagne of Kurdistan,” grins Joe Stein, a softly spoken Texan who is operations manager for the joint Turkish-Chinese venture at Taq Taq, part of the last great onshore oilfield in the world. “It’s very light. It’s very good for refineries. It’s high grade and easy to produce. It’s golden oil.” Hydrocarbon wealth is transforming this strategic corner of the Middle East at a time of dramatic change and extreme violence across the region – elsewhere in Iraq itself, where a post-2006 record of 1,000 people were killed in May alone, as well as in neighbouring Syria. With an estimated 45bn barrels of reserves – the fourth largest in the world – and a century’s worth of natural gas, the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) has become a big player in a geologically exciting but politically sensitive market. The pipeline from the Turkish-Chinese venture at Taq Taq, part of the world’s last great onshore oilfield. Final section of the new pipeline from Taq Taq will tie in to the border metering station at Fishkhabour, allowing 300,000 barrels of crude a day to begin flowing into Turkey. Targets are 1m barrels a day in 2015, and 2m in 2019. Crucially, this is being done without the approval of the federal government in Baghdad, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the KRG over the terms of the Iraqi constitution and the revenue-sharing that is supposed to flow from it. Economic independence – and perhaps more – is suddenly within sight for a sizeable chunk of the world’s biggest group of stateless people. “Sharing wealth is a fundamental instrument of power,” argues Ashti Hawrami, the KRG’s natural resources minister. “By not implementing the constitution, Baghdad is encouraging instability and disintegration. The only way we can survive is by having economic development. Slogans about democracy are not enough.” Officials in Erbil, the KRG’s booming capital, complain that Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s Shia prime minister, is wedded to the same authoritarian style and centralised administration that the Kurds hoped had gone with Saddam Hussein. Based on their share of the country’s population, the KRG is supposed to get 17% of national revenues. Baghdad in turn accuses the Kurds of acting unconstitutionally. The KRG retorts that whatever they earn, they will pay 83% into the national treasury. “There is a huge gap between this Iraq and the other Iraq,” muses Fuad Hussein, an adviser to the KRG president, Massoud Barzani, whose photograph adorns every government office. “My generation grew up in Iraq and we were part of the Kurdish resistance. The new generation already has freedom. They will not accept losing it again.” Other contentious issues include payment for Kurdish peshmerga fighters, compensation for the victims of Saddam’s genocide and the status of disputed areas such as Kirkuk, from where Kurds were ethnically cleansed. But oil and the new link with Turkey are giving the KRG a strong hand to play in the game of nations. Seeking to mend fences, Maliki visited Erbil for the first time in two years on Sunday, but his talks with Barzani were largely symbolic. “Neither I nor President Barzani has a magic wand,” he quipped. Barzani had warned that the latest contacts with Baghdad were the last chance, with the oil multinationals now calling the shots. Exxon Mobil’s landmark agreement with Turkey, risking retaliation against its own operations in southern Iraq, is at odds with US government policy. Maliki has condemned it outright as illegal. But Chevron, Total and Russia’s Gazprom are taking risks too. Fifty companies have invested $20bn (£13bn). Iraq has had an oil industry since the 1920s but Kurdistan’s was started from scratch in 2006 because it was never developed under Saddam, who milked the country’s hydrocarbon wealth to buy weapons to kill Kurds in the infamous Anfal campaign and to invade Iran and Kuwait. “This is all oil Iraq never knew it had,” says an official in Erbil. “It’s intoxicating. There is a sense of history about what is happening here.” The row over the unpaid revenues is grimly familiar, says the independent journalist Hiwa Osman. “For the KRG, it feels as if it’s still dealing with the same Baghdad. Its economic sanctions are straight from Saddam’s playbook.” Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters, whose checkpoints guard the roads to the oilfields. Photograph: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Kurdistan’s stability is a strong pull for foreign investors. Security at Taq Taq is run by a UK company employing former South African special forces, with the KRG’s oil-protection force guarding the perimeter and Ashaish, its CIA-trained intelligence service, watching closely. Peshmerga checkpoints line the roads to Mosul and Kirkuk, where al-Qaida bombings are as frequent as in Baghdad. Erbil has become the exploration capital of the world, and the bars of its best hotels echo with multilingual banter about oil and associated deals. The Turkishenergy company Genel, partnered with China’s Sinopec at Taq Taq, is run byTony Hayward, the former BP chief executive who was forced to quit after theDeepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In the face of such intense interest, awareness is growing of the effect on the KRG economy and the urgent need for a skilled local workforce. “Now everyone wants to go to university to do an oil-related degree,” says a young professional woman, “but we don’t yet have the resources.” Her husband has just quit a secure civil service job to move into private-sector oil services. It looks like a smart and potentially lucrative career choice. Outside of government circles, some suspect Turkey’s motives – not surprising given its historic hostility to the Kurds. There is a vivid reminder in the shadow of Erbil’s ancient citadel, where young men collect signatures in support of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed PKK leader whose peace talks with Recep Tayyip Erdogan are another important strand of the region’s shifting geopolitical landscape. “Oil in Kurdistan is not just about Iraq,” argues Asos Hardi, of the independent newspaper Awene. “It’s about relations with Syria, Iran and with the US, which opposes what the KRG is doing. Everyone is using Kurdistan. “Erdogan wants to play the Kurdish card. That’s his game, not an independent Kurdistan.” Exactly how and where oil revenues will be spent is another worry. Hawrami’s officials highlight “capacity-building” agreements under which foreign companies pay for facilities that give ordinary Kurds a share of the region’s wealth. Norway is cited as an example of prudent planning and diversification. Gorran, the main opposition party, complains of corruption and nepotism in Barzani’s KDP. But Kamal Kirkuki, the party spokesman, dismisses “negative propaganda by an unhealthy and immature opposition”. Uncertainty about the future has been a staple of Kurdish life for decades. But Taq Taq and other oilfields, Turkey’s volatile politics and voracious energy needs, and the ambitions of the world’s biggest oil companies are creating new options. For the moment the Kurds of Iraq seem to be improving their bargaining position to try to force a reluctant Baghdad to comply with the federal constitution. If that does not happen, then all bets are off. “Iraq is going to hell,” says Hussein, Barzani’s adviser. “If we cannot live together we must talk about something else. We Kurds are not part of the conflict between Shia and Sunnis. But if there is a fire in the house next door, it will burn you too in the end. And there is no fireman.”
Foreigners have heard this message, and tend to agree. “Iraq is disintegrating slowly,” observed an Erbil-based diplomat. “Over the last two years the Kurds have been pushed into a corner. Baghdad is no longer their point of reference so they started looking elsewhere. Now Turkey is giving them the possibility of making money out of oil. But oil could be a trigger for the division of Iraq. If there is no agreement on oil, there is no Iraq.”
A troubled history Iraq’s 5 million Kurds have experienced relative stability since the end of the 1991 Gulf war, when they were liberated from Saddam Hussein and lived under a no-fly zone protected by US and British air power. A persecuted people who famously had “no friends but the mountains”, they were allied with the post-cold war world’s only superpower. Iraq’s 2005 federal constitution gave the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) an unprecedented degree of self-government. But the last few months have also held out the prospect of change for the 14-17 million Kurds in Turkey, where the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is in negotiations with the jailed Abdallah Öcalan, leader of the PKK and its 30-year insurrection. Syria’s 1.6 million Kurds have made big gains since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad and now control the north-east of the country – though their status has bedevilled relations with the Arab opposition. Kurds in Iran (7 million) enjoy minority rights but experience persecution. The Tehran government is concerned that PKK fighters leaving Turkey may now launch attacks inside Iran. Öcalan has talked of creating a “stateless union” between Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, which would increase integration while maintaining national borders. Kurdish leaders everywhere are painfully conscious of a history of oppression and betrayal by supposed friends. Hopes for statehood after the first world war came to nothing and the British put down a Kurdish revolt in Iraq in the 1920s. In 1946 the short-lived Mahabad republic in Iran was abandoned by the Soviet Union. In 1975 the US withdrew its support for an Iraqi Kurdish rebellion mounted from Iran and secretly aided by Israel, as part of a rapprochement between Baghdad and the Shah of Iran. “Covert action,” Henry Kissinger told Mullah Mustafa Barzani, father of the current KRG president, “is not missionary work.” - See more at: http://www.directorstalk.com/kurdistan-iraq-final-test-data-before-oil-starts-flowing-for-the-first-time-directly-across-the-border-to-turkey/#sthash.VjtC0xrT.dpuf ================================= You are all correct this was designed as a gas line. Taq Taq to Khurmala 20" capacity 150,000 bbl/d. Completed. Khurmala to Fish Khabur 24" opening to 36" capacity 300,000 ( without pumps ) Completed. ================================================================== http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/istanbul/new-iraq-turkey-oil-line-not-possible-in-18-months-21765882?. New Iraq-Turkey oil line not possible in 18 months: official Istanbul (Platts)--1Nov2013/1145 am EDT/1545 GMT The construction of a new oil export line from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey is not possible with the 18 month timeframe suggested by Kurdish officials, a Turkish energy ministry spokesman told Platts Friday. Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz wants a new pipeline but has not given a possible timeframe for its construction, the spokesman said. There have been no feasibility studies, tenders or pipeline ordered so the completion of a 970 km pipeline within such a short timeframe is not feasible, the spokesman confirmed. He was commenting on reports that Kurdistan region minister for natural resources Ashti Hawrami had said that a new 1 million b/d line could be operational within 18 months to two years. Sources close to the Iraqi Kurdish side confirmed to Platts Friday that the new line will be constructed to carry heavy crude from fields such as Sheikhan separately from the lighter crude produced by fields such as the Genel-operated TaqTaq field. Speaking at a conference in Istanbul on Thursday, Hawrami said the Kurdistan Regional Government wants to expand flow through the existing Kirkuk-Ceyhan line to full capacity and commission the new line when production of the heavier crude has risen sufficiently. Sources confirmed that the new pipeline is expected to be completed in around 18 months with the KRG responsible for completing the Iraqi section of the line. The Turkish section of the line will be constructed by Turkey, he said but was unable to confirm whether it would be a state-owned or private company that would complete the line. Turkish company Ikideniz Petrol, a subsidiary of Calik Holding, last year applied to Turkey's Petroleum directorate for a license to construct a pipeline from the Iraq-Turkey border to Ceyhan. Calik holds stakes in upstream assets in southeast Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. The source said the new pipeline is expected to run parallel to the existing Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. --David O'Byrne, newsdesk@platts.com --Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@platts.com ======================================================== Turkey aware of Iraq's concern View parent message Hello Everyone, There have never been any doubts at all that Kurdish oil will not flow from Kurdistan direct to Turkey.It is only the usual rhetoric from Shahristani. For those of you that have stayed invested in GKP long enough you will remember what Shahristani said: 1. The contracts signed by Marathon and Murphy,sometime in late 2010 was illegal and that never stopped ExxonMobil,Total,Chevron and Gazprom from signing PSC's with the KRG despite the illegal PSC's. 2.That the trucking of Kurdish oil to Turkey is illegal and Shahristani calls it "smuggling" and threatened to sue Genel and that has not stopped the daily 40-60K barrels going into Turkey. 3.When the 300K pipeline was announced,Shahristani called the pipeline illegal and when it was near completion,he asked the KRG to join the line to the Baghdad controlled pipeline before being exported! My take: 1.No one in Kurdistan takes Shahristani seriously.It is just bad politics and Baghdad does not have the Kurds interest at heart at all.Baghdad has no control over the KRG and they should start treating the KRG as partners in the Government. 2.The Turks will distribute and monitor the amount of oil exported and will give Baghdad 83 percent of the revenues from the Kurdish exports net after paying the PSC's contractors their cost and profit oil.This is what Turkey will do and unless Shahristani tells Turks that he does not trust them,that will not come down well with Turkey if that is the case. 3.Given the above,it will address Baghdad's concern of the amount of oil exported and it will guarantee that the PSC's contractors are paid. Make no mistake,oil will flow from Kurdistan direct to Turkey.Now markets are strange and never perfect,DNO closed on last Friday, at a historical high of 17.68 Nowegian Kroners,whilst Genel is down which makes no sense given that Genel has stakes in Tawkye and Taq Taq. GKP,given the raising of 50mil Usd in a short time and will be funded till mid 2014 and that GKP will begin exports once the Kurdish pipeline is ready and it will happen,make no mistake with that as well,the SP is again ridiculous and for those of us thats been here long enough,this is not new at all. However,who knows GKP could start exports earlier than planned if the KRG needs every drop of oil that they could get hold off to export,knowing that Baghdad will surely and slowly reduced the KRG budget over time. Till my next post,best wishes to all and stay steadfast. ======================= The thread is like a old copy of the Dandy magazien, now FFS wake up. Monks investment trust as always been a vehicle for Kurd oil explorers and state street. Look at DNO and learn the lessons and never assume the shares in Monks BG are TK 100% Open your eyes and realize the MNR have more dam share in Kurd oil exploration companys than any investor , all mixed into a series of accounts. Those who have been around along time should realize and should have followed DNO debacle and GKP debacle in March 2009 when shares were sold out of the oppenheimer . Dont assume the owner of benificary of Gokan is kozel, think about issues clearly and ask where the 450,000 share are that never voted at the AGM. I am no Kozel fan, but I know people who wear blinkers cant see the Dam MNR and KRG are upto there necks. Try an exercise. Genel Enerji. Heritage. DNO VAST GKP HUNT KOMET AFREN How many litigation issues are there and who carved up DNO block and gave part to Genel Enerji and Etamic, who carved up DNO block and gave SA to GKP. What about Alqoush, and so on so forth I bet Ross perot is happy, the MNR and KRG think they can do what they want, problem is they can as they own all the shares in listed companys. GENEL finish up with Chia Sukr from Longford LFD. Remind me which spiv american generals were on the board of Forber Manhattan. Take a long hard look at which institutions owned DNO and what the Oil Minister did when he had a JPM , HSBC squabbling over who was going to trade the DNO shares and where did they finish up.Genel Enerji. Politicians and oil companys , are expendable to the KRG, I struggle to believe people cant see the simple facts. Regards from the windy city CJ He noted that the libertarian vote swung against Republicans in the 1992 presidential election, which included third party candidate Ross Perot, a businessman who favored a balanced budget and abortion rights. Both Perot and Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush lost to Democrat Bill Clinton. The Constitution Party, first established as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party in 1991, is a vehicle for a hard-edged Christian conservative politics that has never found much success. And in 2000, Pat Buchanan tried to transform Ross Perot's Reform Party into a nationalist conservative party in line with his own idiosyncratic, anti-trade populism. The round of funding was led by I2BF Global Ventures, the same firm that invested into the ridiculously cool asteroid-mining space startup Planetary Resources along with Avatar director James Cameron, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Google cofounder Larry Page, and Ross Perot Jr. “In the two years since Dauria Aerospace was founded, we’ve reached several key milestones in technology development and have successfully secured contracts and established our global presence,” Dauria Aerospace president Mikhail Kokorich said in a statement. “We are confident that with our new partnership with I2BF Global Ventures and the invested capital, we will succeed in reaching our amplified goals in the next few years.” Founded in 2011, Dauria Aerospace has raised a total of $30 million in funding to date. The company currently operates satellite development centers in Moscow and the NASA Ames Research Center in California. Clinkle peeked out of stealth mode long enough to reveal that it has raised a whopping $25 million seed round from some of the most well-known investors out there, including Andressen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Diane Greene, Jim Breyer, Marc Benioff, Owen Van Natta, Ross Perot JR.(chairman of the real estate development firm Hillwood and The Perot Group. ), Peter Crisp, and Stanford professors. Clinkle is building a mobile payments platform that could ultimately replace physical wallets. That is the big vision — to create a transactional network of merchants and consumers that is so strong, you could walk around without a wallet for a week and still be able to buy everything you need. Read more on VentureBeat. ============

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Average residential rents in Doha up 16pc year-on-year

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 Doha: A lack of supply in the residential market due to increasing expatriate inflow has led to an average annual rental increase of 16 percent, says the latest Asteco Qatar Q3 2013 report. On average two-bedroom units in The Pearl Qatar development have increased by 9 percent compared with Q2 2013 and 16 percent year-on-year. A two-bedroom apartment now costs on average of upwards of QR14,000 per month, closely followed by similar sized apartments in West Bay, which now command rents of up to QR12,000 per month — an average increase of 6 percent which has been consistent over the past year. “Leasing rates have most notably increased in The Pearl Qatar, where availability will continue to be scarce until the completion of a number of new towers currently under construction,” said Jed Wolfe, Managing Director, Asteco Qatar. Availability of good quality villas is also limited, with rental increases apparent in most locations across Doha. On average West Bay Lagoon is now the most expensive area to lease a four-bedroom villa at QR27,000 per month, up 16 percent year-on-year, while Ain Khalid and Al Waab saw annual increases of 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively. “The expatriate influx has also driven further demand for serviced apartments, where occupancy levels have increased from long-stay guests,” added Wolfe. Increasing rents in the freehold zones have led to an increase in expatriate tenants looking to purchase and a resurgence in investor appetite. Direct and resale prices in the Porto Arabia-Pearl increased 7 percent and 9 percent respectively, while direct and resale values for properties in Viva-Bahriya-Pearl were up 6 percent and 3 percent. “According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the number of sales transactions fell from Q3 2012, however, the overall value of transactions increased, indicating an increase in average property values,” said Wolfe. In the commercial sector, a significant number of property deals have been agreed for office buildings in West Bay, which will lead to a decrease in availability of prime office space in the area, potentially driving rents upwards for the remaining space available. “The average price per square metre per annum in West Bay is QR185, which is still 5 percent lower than Q3 2012, but significantly it is 9 percent higher than Q2 2013,” said Wolfe. Although evidence should suggest that most of the demand for office space is for smaller sized office suites in West Bay, in light of increasing occupancy levels, many landlords are reluctant to enter into negotiations with potential tenants unless they consider taking up an entire or at least half a building. Most of the remaining available office building space is either to shell and core standard, awaiting government interest, or below the standards required by most tenants, especially offices in secondary locations. The Peninsula

E&P Projects & Future Plans

Thanks for finding this aktierman. I find Session 2 equally if not more significant. Session 2 includes the following discussion items • Accelerating the Kurdistan Oil & Gas Plan 2015 – 2019 • Exploring the potential of oil and gas reserves in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq • Responding to the market supply and demand dynamics • Boosting development projects in the Region • Remaining milestones to further expand business in the Region • Enhancing Kurdistan’s output and examining the challenges facing development Interesting that GKP does not feature in the session yet Shaikan should be the single largest contributor to production growth during this period. Oil company participants are Chevron, Genel and DNO. Is this recognition that GKP cannot accelerate the plan in the 2015 – 2019 time frame without help from the likes of Chevron? The KRG plan calls for a production increase from 1 mmbbl/d to 2 mmbbl/d between 2015 - 2019. Chevron has the Sarta, Rovi (adjacent Shaikan block) and Qara Dargh licences. It has not yet made a discovery although the Sarta Central A1 drilled and tested in 2010-11 by Reliance did produce 1000 bopd. With its acreage only in the very early stages of exploration and not yet demonstrating that it can contribute significantly to forward why does Chevron earn a place at the table for this session? What can it offer, or what has it offered, the KRG towards accelerating the plan? Perhaps this is when we may hear more details from the KRG of Chevron's involvement with the heavy oil pipeline dedicated to the Shaikan/SA/Akri Bijeel area and the extent of this line. PS “Todd F Kozel, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd” Hope he doesn’t wear this badge at the conference. It would be a bit misleading would it not? Regards, Gramacho ============= Session 3 E&P Projects & Future Plans ———————————————————————————————————————– Outstanding drilling successes and the major discoveries this year Exploration plans underway; reviewing the development of current plans Identifying project opportunities for EPC contracts and contract models Attracting investment across the oil and gas value chain Assessing new opportunities for investment in the provinces Outlining the role of the foreign oil and gas companies in supporting job creation What potential partnerships are on the horizon? Chairman Opening Remarks: Nadhim Zahawi, MP, UK Parliament Todd F Kozel, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd Tom Schmitt, Senior Vice President of Kurdistan Development, Hunt Oil Company David D Kennedy, Regional Managing Director, Afren Africa Middle East North Africa, Ltd. Baz Karim, President, KAR Group David Cook, Executive Officer & Head of Oil & Gas, TAQA http://www.cwckiog.com/conference/day-2/ Hmmm...Todd Kozel is going to talk about potential partnerships....! Should be interesting.....! ========================== Re: 17500 bopd for 2013 (average)->No... GKP.L 81 I have just re-watched Ewen’s presentation from the Investor day and especially the section from about 2 mins 55 seconds in for the following 2 minutes or so. In it, EA actually refers to his projection of an “annualised average of 8500 barrels per day from Shaikan” explaining that this would be the average figure taken across the whole year. He then proceeds to describe how this will be achieved, citing 5000 bpd in July, 10000 bpd in August and increasing to the targeted 20000 bpd for PF-1 in October, in effect increasing production by 5000 bpd every month… and then carrying on the same way with PF-2. While his commentary is slightly inaccurate in places, for example in that he then anticipates 40000 bpd at the start of 2014 (should be 35000), it is very clear to me that GKP’s target is to add 5000 bpd of production each month until they to get to the proposed 40000 bpd for PF-1 and PF-2, and use the constantly increasing revenue stream to then continue to grow production at much the same rate thereafter. In essence, he was saying that production in H2 2013 was projected to be:- July: 5,000 bpd (ie 150,000 barrels produced) August: 10,000 bpd (i.e 300,000 barrels produced) September: 15,000 bpd (i.e 450,000 barrels produced October: 20,000 bpd (i.e. 600,000 barrels produced) November: 25,000 bpd (i.e 750,000 barrels produced) December: 30,000 bpd (i.e 900,000 barrels produced) The projected total for H2 2013 was therefore 3,150,000 barrels = 525,000 barrels per month = or about 17,000 barrels bpd… or, on an annualised basis, 8500 bpd. As Finance Director, EA would simply have provided ‘projected’ figures based on the information available to him at the time, and no doubt assuming the anticipated levels of production contained in the Shaikan FDP. Whether those projections have actually been met or there have been any operational delays or restrictions caused by the ongoing political saga, I have no idea. But I see absolutely no reason for anyone to doubt that the ‘plan’ was very reasonable, and clearly outlined by EA at the Investor day. To me, his figures make total sense. And yes, it would have been good from the point of view of investor reassurance for us to have seen an RNS by now detailing exactly how GKP is doing in respect of those projections. But it is perhaps worth noting that the Investor Day was on 4 July 2013 and we should be receiving the latest operational update together with the interim results on Thursday 19th September, not much more than 2 months later. Not really all that long to wait, I reckon, especially when you think how long it took to finally get rid of Excalibur! While I understand that DNO provide MONTHLY updates on their levels of production in Kurdistan, I am not so sure that the same applies across the board of Kurdish operators. So, I would be inclined to give GKP the benefit of the doubt, especially as they now have a large quota of NEDs to ensure that they adhere fully to industry standards, whatever they might be! How frequently, for example, does Genel update their shareholders on their production levels in Kurdistan? My impression is that their operational updates have never been particularly frequent, and I don’t believe there are too many people complaining. Anyway, Thursday’s update should certainly be very interesting in many ways, and I rather wonder if today’s rise was partly in anticipation of positive news. We will see. =================== Author scaramouche View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted 2013-09-10 20:54 Subject JUSTICE ! Votes for this Posting Voted 167 times. Message Well, it has been a long time coming since that ‘Rejection of legal claims’ RNS first spoiled the festive season on 29 December 2010, knocking a swift 30% off the share price, as it fell from Christmas Eve’s close of 184.5p to 131p in a matter of minutes… and costing many ill-prepared or perhaps over-leveraged investors considerable sums of money. It is easy to forget quite how damaging or even crippling this court case has been for some of our former colleagues. Furthermore, in the 986 days that have followed that bombshell of an announcement, many of our fellow investors have ceased to hold GKP shares for all manner of reasons - whether financial pressures, persistent uncertainty, fear of an adverse CC result, disappointment with the failure of the share price to ever adequately reflect the fantastic assets discovered by TK and his team, or simply the passage of time with all the sad events that can happen in what amounts to nearly three years. So, the fact that this millstone has finally been removed is undoubtedly a huge relief to everyone, no matter how confident they may have felt throughout that the lawsuit was spurious and how much they believed (like I did), that Excalibur deserved to receive absolutely NOTHING for their efforts. My position has ALWAYS been that, if they had felt that they warranted a finder’s fee they should have accepted the original generous offer made to them or sued purely on the basis of that finder’s fee. The fact that they did neither, but subjected all long-term holders to nearly 3 years of misery and torment through a combination of selfishness and greed says everything to me. And the fact that Blackrobe, Platinum Partners, Lemos and indeed even Clifford Chance readily jumped on board, clearly eager to profit from what was in effect a form of blackmail targeted at our CEO, our company and its shareholders, tells me very clearly that unfettered Third Party Litigation Funding simply has no place in our system of Justice. I will therefore very much look forward to reading Justice Clarke’s full judgement when it becomes available to see whether he has any further comments on such matters. No, I do NOT share the views of those who see Rex Wempen and his brother as somehow warranting a “grudging form of respect”, or simply being guilty of “having thrown away a golden opportunity” and seeking to take their subsequent battle a little too far. Everyone faces disappointments or times in their lives when they may perceive themselves to have been victims of personal injustices. But few choose to follow up those disappointments by seeking extortionate amounts of redress which they know will seriously impact the lives of thousands of people they have never met. To put it in context, we should therefore remember that the Wempens and their 'accomplices' were making demands on our company amounting to up to £1 billion pounds or 30% of the assets which could have led to its total destruction. And this after having already turned their noses up at £1 million when GKP had been nothing more than a very small oil explorer operating on a shoestring budget! Because of them, many of us have been extremely seriously damaged by their actions, and I am pleased to see that, at long last, the boot is very firmly on the other foot. I make no apologies for saying this. Today, Justice Christopher Clarke delivered the verdict we were all hoping for and for that I am absolutely delighted.... but please don’t let us forget the pain and the trauma which all parties to the Excalibur cause have brought upon innocent bystanders like ourselves. Good to see then that Memery Crystal commented today “The Defendants will now seek to recoup their costs, firstly against the £18.5m currently deposited in Court by the Claimants and secondly, the balance, if any, from the Claimant’s third party litigation funders”. No let-up for Platinum and Lemos then since BlackRobe it appears have already fallen on the Excalibur sword. We will undoubtedly all be sleeping a little sounder tonight, but hopefully Rex and Eric, the TPL funders, and certain lawyers will still be tossing and turning, as they wonder what else might lie ahead. And hopefully, when the full force of LJC’s detailed judgement has been applied, Justice will not only have been done… but it will also be SEEN to have been done. AIMHO and please DYOR. GLA, scaramouche ===========================

Ashghal announces diversion at Arch roundabout

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/257910-ashghal-announces-diversion-at-arch-roundabout.html Tuesday, 22 October 2013 DOHA: The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has announced new diversions around the iconic Arch roundabout in West Bay which will be converted to a three level intersection. Alternative roads will be open to all surrounding areas during the work, which is part of the Lusail Expressway project. The diversions will be available from October 24 until completion of the project. The Arch roundabout will be converted into a three-level interchange including a dual three-lane underpass from Al Dafna area to Lusail. It will comprise a single point interchange at the ground level for the Arch roundabout and three lane directional link at level 1 from Lusail Expressway to the Central Business district. The project will also feature other landmarks. All newly constructed diversions will have three lanes in each direction except the road from University Street to the Arch Roundabout and Qatar Sports Club to the Arch R/A have two lanes available in each direction. Six signal controlled junctions will be available on the roads to streamline traffic movement. Clearly marked U-turns are allowed on four signal controlled junctions. Clear directional signs are available on all routes. The Lusail Expressway project will provide a vital link into Doha’s fast growing Lusail City development. With its complex network of tunnels, flyovers and junctions, the ongoing project responds to future traffic demands and delivers a modern road network that will connect people and places with speed and ease. On completion the 5.3km dual four-lane expressway will serve the new development areas in the north of Doha. Commenced in the third quarter of 2012, the Lusail Expressway project includes three large interchanges and has key interfaces with the Pearl, Katara Cultural Village, Lusail City Development, Diplomatic area, residential and commercial areas. Ashghal’s Expressway Programme is a nationwide road infrastructure programme which will deliver more than 30 major road projects across Qatar including new and upgraded freeways, expressways and arterial roads, a new orbital highway and truck route as well as substantial upgrades to existing roads. =========== Ashghal announces new detours at Lejbailat, Abu Hamour roundabouts By: Shabina S. Khatri | 13 hours agoView as "Clean Read" | 1 Comment EmailPrint In tweets posted late last night, Ashghal and the Ministry of Interior have announced that Lejbailat Roundabout (on Al Jamiaa St. after TV R/B, heading to Qatar University) will be closed immediately until Nov. 10. The sudden closure of the R/B, which is being converted into a signaled intersection ahead of Ashghal’s Nov. 15 deadline, means yet another new diversion for commuters struggling to navigate the West Bay area. Those approaching Lejbailat from TV R/B going toward Qatar University will be diverted onto a side road that takes them out on Al Markhiya St. and to Onaiza R/B. If you’re heading toward Lejbailat R/B from Onaiza R/B, you’ll have to take a series of turns to make it to Al Jamiaa St. or Al Markhiya St., depending on your destination. Meanwhile, diversions at Oryx R/B, which was partially closed at the beginning of the week, will remain in effect through Nov. 15. Arch R/B diversions will be in effect for the next two years. Abu Hamour diversion On the other side of town, Ashghal has also announced that starting today, it is partially closing the road from Abu Hamour R/B to Al Jazeera R/B, through 2014. Ashghal The move, which extends an existing road closure from the Church to Mesaimeer R/B, is in preparation for the construction of a flyover bridge from F Ring Road to the Al Jazeera Academy area, Ashghal said in a statement sent on Wednesday. A new u-turn is in place at the site of the new closure, and commuters trying to head in the direction of the Church will be rerouted to Mesaimeer Immigration R/B. Ashghal added: “The area will be covered by directional signs showing the closed roads and the new roads to assist commuters who are advised to follow them for their safety.” Thoughts? EmailPrintFiled Under: Lifeashghalconstructiontraffic About Shabina S. KhatriMore by this authorShabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press. =====================

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dispute settlement: Int’l court orders release of Turkish power ship

The compan­y welcom­es verdic­t, seeks compen­sation from Pakist­an. By Our CorrespondentPublished: October 22, 2013 Share this article Print this page Email . Following a hearing on October 8, 2013, the ICSID tribunal ruled that Karkey’s Karadeniz Powership Kaya Bey registered under the Turkish flag should be immediately released from detention and allowed to sail to Dubai for repairs. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has ordered immediate release of Karadeniz Power ship Kaya Bey detained in Pakistani waters since April, 2012. In a statement issued here, the leading Turkish energy company, Karkey Karadeniz ElektrikUretim A.S. (Karkey), welcomed the decision on its Request for Provisional Measures by the tribunal established under the World Bank-affiliated International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on October 16, 2013. In this decision, the tribunal ruled that it is satisfied pursuant to Article 25(1) of the ICSID Convention that it has prima facie jurisdiction, and has ordered the immediate release of Karadeniz Power ship Kaya Bey (Karkey’s largest Powership and one of four Karkey vessels that has been detained in Pakistani waters since April, 2012). Following a hearing on October 8, 2013, the ICSID tribunal ruled that Karkey’s Karadeniz Powership Kaya Bey registered under the Turkish flag should be immediately released from detention and allowed to sail to Dubai for repairs. In the decision, the tribunal stated that the State of Pakistan shall grant all authorizations and clearance required for the vessel’s departure, and shall take any other action necessary or required to allow the vessel to depart lawfully into international waters. A Karkey spokesperson said: “The decision by the ICSID tribunal to order the release of one of our powerships vindicates the position taken by Karkey that the tribunal clearly has jurisdiction under the Turkey-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”), and that recourse to Pakistani courts is not mandatory under the BIT. This is especially important since Karkey has opted to enforce its rights and remedies at ICSID due to lack of fair and equitable treatment and due to denial of justice in Pakistan.” The spokesperson also stated: “In light of the decision, a new opportunity has arisen for Pakistan to amicably settle the dispute, especially considering the findings therein regarding the jurisdiction of the tribunal and ICSID.” Karkey is seeking compensation from Pakistan for breach of Pakistan’s obligations under the BIT in connection with Karkey’s investment in a rental power project (RPP) in Karachi, as well as for loss of earnings and costs associated with Pakistan’s detention of its ship. The dispute has reached the highest levels of government and was discussed during the recent visit to Turkey of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister. The company spokesperson said: “Increased economic cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan is in both countries’ best interest. This unnecessary dispute has clouded the climate for bilateral cooperation and damaged investor and business confidence. We hope it can be settled quickly and fairly, preventing it from becoming an obstacle to successful future Turkish collaboration with the Government of Pakistan in the energy and other sectors.” Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2013. Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Australian wildfires put heat on climate change skeptic Abbott

Mon, Oct 21 03:49 AM EDT SYDNEY (Reuters) - A long, hot summer looms for Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as devastating wildfires near Sydney fuel opposition to his plans to repeal a carbon emissions tax, one of his basic campaign pledges in the election he won a month ago. The links between the blazes and climate change caused by carbon emissions are complex and as the driest inhabited landmass on earth, deadly wildfires have been a perennial problem for Australia. But a series of record-busting hot, dry conditions across the continent and an early start to the Southern Hemisphere summer has rekindled arguments on mankind's impact on climate and what can be done to mitigate it. Abbott was elected in September on the back of plans to repeal Australia's scheme to price the carbon emissions responsible for global warming. He has promised to dissolve both the lower house and the Senate if his plan to scrap the scheme is blocked. But as the fires spread, the pressure is mounting on Abbott, who once described the science around climate change as "absolute crap". "Reducing emissions is not a free lunch, but neither is climate change," said John Conner, the Chief Executive of independent research organisation The Climate Institute. "If we're serious about reducing the risks of climate change and climate impacts like these bushfires, then we need to have a serious climate policy which is credible." More than 200 homes have been destroyed since last Thursday as scores of fires burned through thousands of hectares of bush, farms and rural communities outside Sydney. A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales (NSW) state, Australia's most populous. Forecasts for a return of hot, windy weather later this week has raised fears that three of the most dangerous blazes in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney could join up to form a massive "mega-fire", according to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. CARBON PRICING BATTLE The previous Labor government's carbon pricing plan was aimed at reducing emissions by taxing major polluters with the world's highest carbon price of A$23 ($22.23) a tonne before moving to a market cap and trade system by mid-2014. Abbott, a volunteer NSW firefighter himself, now faces a tough test to convince opposition politicians to repeal it when parliament resumes next month, with the Greens and Labor vowing to fight changes. Abbott has a clear majority in the lower house, but if he fails to get the legislation through a hostile Senate, he has promised to call a double dissolution to break the deadlock. Such a move, last called in 1987, would mean elections to both the lower house and the upper house. After earlier rubbishing climate change, Abbott has subsequently acknowledged that it is happening and has proposed a "direct action policy" that would fund some projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and punish businesses which exceed their "business as usual" emission baselines. But just days after taking over as prime minister on Sept 18, Abbott dismantled the Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority, the two main government bodies for reporting the science of climate change and providing advice on carbon pricing and emissions reduction targets. Before being disbanded, the Climate Commission had reported that climate change had increased the incidence of bushfires in many regions, with heat waves more frequent and severe and the number of hot days in Australia doubling since the 1960s. Last month, leading global climate scientists said they were more certain that human activity was the main cause of global warming, which would bring more heatwaves and droughts, as well as more floods and rising sea-levels. Scientists and most politicians are loath to link single weather or fire events to climate change, and Australian Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt was heavily criticized by some government ministers and media for "political point-scoring" when he did that after last week's blazes. But the fires and persistent hot weather would increase public pressure on Abbott to come up with a strong alternative to carbon pricing, said Tristan Edis, a former research fellow at the Grattan Institute and now editor of Climate Spectator. "It's not just about axing something. He's got to replace it with something that credible and in that respect, (the fires) help people that are concerned about climate change and want to see government action on it, it helps their cause to keep this top of mind." ($1 = 1.0348 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Vertigo: Brazil's Libra oilfield

Author Chicago Jack View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Saturday 18:21 Message Vertigo; I think we visited this previously when ILS got all wound up about a few details showing what oil is worth and how far down you have to go to get it, and where you have to got to get it, snorkel anyone. Regards CJ Ring any bells. ILS. Note the words 'final value.' You understand what they mean, I presume. Unless you believe that the entire asset base of the Conpany will be taken out for five, six or seven Pounds (in the event of a full asset sale) then my statement is not inaccurate. For me the only fly in the ointment is the politics. That's the one thing that could upset any plans in the pipeline. The Board isn't the problem. Nor is geology, the weather, accessibility, route to market or demand for the asset we have. Patience and the passage of time. All that's needed.. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx So Vertigo is correct , its a matter of applying sound economics with paitence and politics, ESPECIALLY for those who frequent the Economics school of Business. Try this simple bit of reading and try to grasp the realities of what is under the ground where GKP as been successful in drilling 17 wells plus. The Political situation as been in play from day 1, and has a large impact, but in saying that, is GKP downgraded by far more than it should be? IMO its is well down in comparison to where it should be currently. If you doubt the asset and its value, then you must simply not understand the enormity of what the proven resources so far are worth- and I use that term loseley-as I would assume the proven resources on ultra cautious . So to the reading and grasping of a few facts, something they simply don't teach you in the business of economics in the UK. You have to study the detail and , but Kurdistan is not Brazil or offshore and I am pretty confident in it holding well in excess of what Libra Filed is reported to hold betewen 8 and 15 billion barrels of OIL The below is worth reading and digesting each part and reflecting on the assets under GKP's PSC agreements. then decide which you would like to develope and take into production http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/08/08/brazils-oil-field-may-be-the-worlds-most-expensive-to-develop/ Oil majors interested in snapping up Brazil’s largest offshore oil discovery had better be prepared to write some very large checks. The total cost of developing the giant Libra field over the next 35 years could be at least $174 billion, making it the most expensive single oil field project ever developed—more than the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, which is expected to cost at least $150 billion, according to IHS Energy Insight. Sure – the cost is only two-and-a-bit months’ worth of bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve. But it’s a mind-boggling amount. So is the 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of crude oil that is estimated to be held by Libra, a huge field that lies deep beneath the Atlantic seabed off Brazil’s southeast coast. The government is preparing to auction Libra to the highest bidder in October. Rather than seeking a cash bid, the winner will be the firm that, after covering its costs, promises to deliver the most oil to the government. The winning bidder will have to team up with state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, which—under new legislation passed specifically for the pre-salt fields—is obliged to hold a minimum 30% stake. The huge price tag is expected to attract only the biggest players in Big Oil—companies with enough time and money to sink billions of dollars into a project that is unlikely to generate any payback for nearly a decade—although there may be some smaller firms involved as minority partners. The companies also need to cope with the huge risks associated with drilling kilometers into the seabed in deep Atlantic waters, potentially very dangerous operations. Still, despite costs and risks, some simple math suggests the cost extracting each barrel from Libra would be about $15, making it cheaper to develop than other recent discoveries off the coast of West Africa or the Gulf of Mexico, where costs range between $22 and $30 per barrel. With oil prices hovering above $100 a barrel, the potential profits will likely be worth the risks. “That’s perfectly reasonable on a per-barrel basis and certainly comparable with existing pre-salt developments in Brazil,” said Ruaraidh Montgomery of consultants group WoodMackenzie. Oil companies are still being coy, wary of changes to legislation that have yet to be fully understood. But it’s the sheer size of Libra, which is not only Brazil’s largest offshore oil find but one of the biggest made in the world over the past three decades, that has grabbed their attention. “Everything leads us to believe that there will be a lot of interest in the auction,” said Lincoln Guardado, chief executive of Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção, a small Brazilian oil and gas firm. “I don’t see any reason why there wouldn’t be.” Brazil has been portraying itself as a country that’s keen to welcome the oil industry, providing a degree of economic and political stability that stands in contrast to neighboring Argentina and Venezuela, where Big Oil has been happy to do business. There are challenges, to be sure. Firms must deal with Brazil’s Byzantine bureaucracy and inflexible labor laws. Chevron Corp. was recently targeted with a $20 billion civil lawsuit after spilling a relatively modest amount of oil leaked from an offshore well in Brazil. Companies must also adhere to strict rules requiring local goods and services to be purchased locally, aimed at boosting a burgeoning oil-services industry, but which some argue pushes up costs. But for Big Oil with cash to burn and a thirst for crude, Brazil is once again open for business. http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn%3AGKP.L&display=discussion&threshold=0&action=detail&id=10775772 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Of course it was considered a ramp by sone. So I just replied it was a few details. the Brazil article....First it was not a ramp, its was a sensible article based on fact and what is going to happen to those billions of barrels under the sea, it was to give a little glimpse into BIG OIL. What gets lost is peoples willingness to discount the amount of oil under GKP PSC's. Production of mineral never stopped one of the worlds leading companys paying a large amount of money for unproven resources, they snapped them up before the chinese got a sniff. Its time some people learnt Oil finds a way to market and production is not the only requirement to secure an asset for the future. Can anyone show the worlds last largest oil discovery that was made by an independent oil company of this size that was not working for a National Government /State owned oil company. A snippet , as anyone looked at Linc Energy and the possibilities of what it might have . Regards CJ Its the assets stupid, don't lose sight when the M&G gang want a quick sale. http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn%3AGKP.L&display=discussion&threshold=0&action=detail&id=10776959 ============ Author leesbillbob View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Saturday 20:38 Subject Re: Vertigo: Brazil's Libra oilfield. View parent message Votes for this Posting Voted 27 times. Message Good to see you posting Jack;I have pretty much abandoned iii and left it for another sight that the "Gurus" (or as I call them chihuahuas) have not gained editorial control. GKP is a much bigger,much better find than offshore Brazil.S7 is going to be a game changer.The OIP will be upgraded greatly and I hope it won't be sludge;the deeper drills have seemed to found better quality APRs.We will find out. exactly where it should be. "Do you think Todd would put this kind of effort into drilling down 5000 meters if he didn't believe the big columns of oil were there?" Rig 319 Heavy Duty, 3,000 HP General Description Design Branham/Swift-Lift Estimated drilling depth rating 25,000 ft (7,620 m)* Camp capacity.................... 80 Estimated total rig move loads 120 truck loads Estimated total camp move loads 20 truck loads Mast Type Branham/Swift-Lift Height 157 ft (47.8 m) API rated simultaneously load capacity of setback and rotary 2,395,748 lb (1,086,693 kg) Static hook-load capacity 1,597,900 lb (724,795 kg) Setback capacity 797,848 lb (361,898 kg) Substructure Type Branham Swing lift, self-elevating Height 34.9 ft (10.67 m) Clear height, rotary beam to ground 26.9 ft (8.23 m) Casing capacity 1,597,900 lb (724,795 kg) Setback capacity 797,848 lb (361,898 kg) Drawworks Type National 1625 UBDE Power rating 3,000 HP Input power 3 � General Electric GE-752, 1,000 HP each Drilling line diameter 1-5/8 in. Auxiliary brake Baylor/Elmagco 7838 Top Drive/Swivel Type Canrig/1275 AC Capacity 1,653,467 lb (750,000 kg) Torque 51,400 ft-lb at 120 rpm Rotary Table Type National/D-375 Table opening 37-1/2 in. Drive type Independent GE 752, 800 HP each Engine Engines 5 � Caterpillar D-399, 1,215 HP each Generators 5 � Kato, 1,500 kVA, 600 V, 60 Hz SCR/DC-DC General Electric, type U drill Well Control Diverter 1 � Hydril, MSP 29-1/2 in., 500 psi Low-pressure annular 1 � Hydril MSP 21-1/4 in., 2,000 psi Low-pressure ram preventer 1 � Cameron, Type U, 20-3/4 in., 3,000 psi, double High-pressure annular 1 � Shaffer Spherical, 13-5/8 in., 10,000 psi High-pressure ram preventer 1 � Cameron, type U, 13-5/8 in., 15,000 psi, double 2 � Cameron, type U, 13-5/8 in., 15,000 psi, single Choke-and-kill manifold 3-1/16 in., 15,000 psi, hydraulic/manually operated Accumulator unit ..................Koomey 80 MC 220-11SB, 3,000 psi, 9 stations Mud System Mud pumps ...................... 3 � National 12-P-160, triplex single acting Power rating 1,600 HP Pressure rating 7,500 psi Active mud volume 2,000 bbl Reserve mud volume 1,000 bbl Shale shakers .................... 6 x Derrick/2L/M48-90F-3P Desander Not available Desilter Not available Mud cleaners King Cobra with 3 each, 10 in.+ 24 each � 4-in.cones Sack storage capacity 2 pallets at each hopper Enhancements Crane Not available Forklift Caterpillar 966-D forklift, convertible to loader � 5 ton Kelly spinner/pipe spinner I.T.C./A6-C2 Kelly spinner/ Varco or equivalent drillpipe spinner Desert-style moving capacity ======================== Protests, strike against big Brazil oil auction expand Fri, Oct 18 12:22 PM EDT * Strike has had limited impact on output so far * Union says contingency teams suffered two "small" spills * Gov't to deploy troops to ensure security at auction By Jeb Blount RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian oil workers said on Friday they managed to reduce oil and fuels output from state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA for a second day after launching a strike for higher pay and against a planned auction of the country's largest-ever oil discovery. Platforms in the Campos Basin run by Petrobras, as the company is known, have been below full capacity for 36 hours, said Marcos Brida, the press spokesman for Sindepetro Norte-Fluminense, the union responsible for Petrobras offshore production platform and land-terminal workers in the Campos Basin, home to about 80 percent of Brazil's oil production. Brida also said contingency teams for Petrobras suffered two "small" oil spills at the PCE-1 and P-15 oil platforms in the Campos Basin. The union also announced the spills in a note. Petrobras officials were not immediately available for comment. Sindepetro Norte-Fluminese is part of a national strike by Brazil's National Oilworkers' Federation (FUP) that began at midnight (0300 GMT) on Thursday. It has seen workers walk off the job at most of Petrobras' 12 refineries, some of its oil terminals and pipelines plus scores of oil production sites. Natural gas and oil pumping operations and fuel production at refineries were also reduced, said Alessandra Muteira, press official for FUP in Rio de Janeiro. Neither Brida nor Muteira were able to quantify the reductions. Petrobras was not immediately able to comment on the strike. Petrobras has said it has contingency plans to ensure that energy and fuel supplies are maintained during strikes and that the safety of its facilities is not compromised. Strikes have rarely had any significant impact on output or supplies in Brazil. Top Petrobras officials have told Reuters in the past that the company can face strikes of about two weeks without any major impact. To prevent the strike from interfering with the auction of the massive offshore Libra field on Monday, the government will provide police and army units to ensure the smooth operation of the sale. On Thursday, oil workers briefly occupied Brazil's mines and energy ministry in Brasilia in protest. Libra holds an estimated 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to both Brazil's oil regulator and Dallas-based oil-reserve certification company Degolyer & MacNaughton (D&G). If the projection holds up, Libra could nearly double Brazil's oil reserves or have enough oil to supply the world's crude demand for as much as 19 weeks. Libra, billed by the government as the largest offshore oil are ever sold, is the latest in a series of "subsalt" finds beginning in 2007 that struck oil southeast of Rio de Janeiro, trapped deep below the seabed by a layer of salt. Brazil is expected to get at least $7 billion in up-front fees from the winning company or group. Petrobras by law will have to take a minimum 30 percent stake in any winning group and run the project as operator. Opposition to the sale of Libra is strong among Petrobras unions. The unions still protest the 1997 end of Petrobras' monopoly over exploration, production and refining and regularly attack any non-Petrobras involvement in oil production, whether the involvement is domestic or foreign. The union's nationalist sentiment is shared by many in Brazil. The creation of Petrobras 60 years ago this month is still considered by many, especially older Brazilians, as an act of national liberation. Ildo Sauer, a former Petrobras gas and energy chief, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Libra sale. To date, oil regulator ANP has managed to get all suits seeking injunctions against the sale quashed. ================ Brazil's oil regulator says 2014 concession auction unlikely Thu, Oct 17 16:13 PM EDT By Jeb Blount RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The head of Brazil's oil regulator said on Thursday that her agency is unlikely to recommend an auction of oil exploration concessions in 2014, raising doubts of a revival of an annual auction cycle after a five-year hiatus. "I'm not so concerned about having annual auctions as I am about having good areas to sell," Magda Chambriard told reporters in Rio de Janeiro. "Right now I think it unlikely that we will recommend an auction next year." On May 15, Brazil raised about $1.4 billion at its first oil rights concession auction since 2008. From 1999 to 2008 Brazil held annual auctions for on-shore and offshore areas. Many investors and experts consider annual auctions essential to the long-term health of the Brazilian oil industry, allowing companies to plan while knowing they have or can buy new projects to replace any old or diminished field. During the 1999-2008 period Brazil experienced rapid oil output growth that transformed the economy from one dependent on imports into a net exporter of crude. Oil output rose, on average, more than 5 percent a year in the period. Brazil ended its annual auction system after a series of giant offshore discoveries south of Rio de Janeiro known as the "subsalt" starting in 2007. Subsalt refers to oil strikes made under a layer of salt deep beneath the seabed. The auctions were canceled to allow the government time to draft and pass a law that boosted government control over those new discoveries and adjacent areas. Since then, output has faltered, growing an average of 2.35 percent a year. Output even fell 5.3 percent in 2012. The first auction under that new framework is scheduled for Monday. Chambriard, who has headed the regulator known as ANP since last year, has billed the sale of the Libra area, which contains an estimated 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of oil, as the largest offshore oil prospect ever sold. If the projection holds up, Libra could nearly double Brazil's oil reserves and would contain enough oil to cover world crude demand for as much as 19 weeks. Chambriard said Thursday that she expects production to peak in Libra at about 1.4 million barrels a day in a decade, though some in the government suggested that production could rise to more than 2 million barrels a day. That auction will be for a production-sharing contract, an accord that will go the company or group that offers Brazil the largest share of "profit oil," or oil produced after investment costs are recouped, to sell on its own account. State-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), or Petrobras, will have to lead any winning group as operator of Libra and take on a minimum 30 percent ownership and investment stake. Chambriard said it was also unlikely that a new production-sharing auction would be held next year as the oil prospects in the area covered by the new framework are too large and require too much investment to be tendered on an annual basis. The concession system gives exploration and production rights to the highest bidder, Brazilian or foreign, in exchange for an exploration commitment, an agreement to buy a minimum of related goods and services in Brazil- usually more than half - and the payment of a royalty. All oil produced is owned by the concession holder and can be sold wherever the owner wishes. This system still applies to all areas outside the Subsalt Polygon, an area that comprises most of the Campo and Santos offshore basins south and northeast of Rio de Janeiro, already home to more than 80 percent of Brazilian output. Those basins are also where the main subsalt finds were made. All future development in the Subsalt Polygon will be done under production sharing contracts. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Edited by Alonso Soto and Jim Marshall) ============