BEHIND THE SCENES NEWS: China warns US to stay out of maritime spat, # The dark side of today’s big oil move
‘Gunwalker’ Requires Special Counsel Investigation
“Gunwalker” never should have happened.
We’ve spent the better part of a week here at Pajamas Media documenting the damning evidence of a reckless government that has conspired to allow gun runners to smuggle an estimated 2,000 weapons across the Mexican border to violent drug cartels.
During that time, we’ve discovered that the president and Democratic lawmakers have lied, and continue to lie, about the role of American guns and American small businessmen in arming drug cartels south of the border. We’ve watched as they’ve lied, and continue to lie, blaming gun shops for the carnage that has resulted from the depravity of Mexican narco-terrorists.
President Barack Obama’s plan announced on Wednesday calls for withdrawing tens of thousands of troops just weeks before the 2012 election.
Major scandals don’t always have the most dramatic beginnings. Andrew Johnson was impeached for replacing the sitting secretary of war; Richard Nixon’s collapse started with a breaking and entering. Bill Clinton’s infamy was guaranteed for quibbling over the definition of a common verb.
It now appears that high-ranking officials in the Obama administration may be writing the end of their careers and risking a life behind bars by arguing about the technical definition of “walking” firearms.
“Gunwalker” now involves the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); its parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the White House itself. But to understand the depth of the scandal you must return to its roots at the beginning of the Obama adminstration.
Saudi clout on oil questioned after OPEC
BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 23 (UPI) — Saudi Arabia’s defeat by Iran over oil production levels at OPEC’s June 8 meeting caused considerable dismay among consumer nations and hinted that Riyadh’s dominance of the cartel was in doubt.
The Vienna setback followed a February disclosure in U.S. documents released by WikiLeaks that Washington was concerned that the kingdom wasn’t able to pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices.
WASHINGTON (AP) – For the first time, minorities make up a majority of babies in the U.S., part of a sweeping race change and growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that could reshape government policies.
Preliminary census estimates also show the share of African-American households headed by women – made up of mostly single mothers – now exceeds African-American households with married couples, a sign of declining U.S. marriages overall but also continuing challenges for black youths without involved fathers.
The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and householder relationships such as same-sex couples.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has represented the face of Iran for the West for more than half a decade, is on his way out of power in Tehran. Whether or not the ayatollahs formally push him out of office is yet to be seen. But for practical purposes, the Ahmadinejad era of the Islamic Republic’s history is coming to an end.
Two years ago, during the height of the pro-democracy protests that followed Iran’s presidential elections, most of the country’s most powerful clerics stood steadfastly behind Ahmadinejad. As millions of Iranians took to the streets accusing Ahmadinejad and his supporters of stealing the election, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his weight fully behind the president, displaying a unified front that relentlessly beat back, brutally suppressed and ultimately silenced the so-called Green Movement. …
Thu Jun 23 20:45:06 2011 · by Hunton Peck · 9 repliesThe Foundry (Heritage Foundation) ^ | June 22, 2011 | Rob Bluey and Abigail WhiteShell spent five years and more than $3.5 billion while waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a permit for drilling in Alaska. Now lawmakers in Congress hope to force the hand of EPA bureaucrats by mandating a six-month deadline to review permit applications. The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act is set for a House vote Thursday and is expected to easily pass with bipartisan support. The White House declined to issue a veto threat Tuesday. There is a companion bill in the Senate, but its fate is uncertain. (UPDATE: The House approved the measure Wednesday night by a…
* Clinton reasserts U.S. interests in S. China Sea * U.S. pledges to honor defense treaty with Philippines * Philippines worried over ‘increasingly aggressive’ China (Recasts with Clinton, del Rosario quotes; adds byline) By Andrew Quinn WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday pledged to support the Philippines amid growing tensions between China and its neighbors in disputed areas of the South China Sea. Clinton — brushing aside a Chinese warning for the United States to stay out of the dispute — said U.S. national interests in freedom of navigation and respect for international…
Vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai said neighbouring countries, including Vietnam, were responsible for recent incidents in the disputed waters and dismissed calls for Washington to play a greater role in resolving tensions .
Right To Work: As the administration tries to block Boeing from building airliners in South Carolina, word from the Paris Air Show is that Europe’s Airbus is once again “trouncing” America’s aerospace giant with record orders. Four days into the show that runs through Sunday, Airbus announced it had amassed $72 billion in orders and commitments. AP reports that Airbus’ success “cast a long shadow” over Boeing, which has only $22 billion in orders and commitments. The Associated Press traces Airbus’ popularity to the fuel efficiency of its A320neo, a twin-engine airliner comparable to Boeing’s 737. Maybe. But there might…
Global Image Cyber Warfare: The gTLD weaponry
Naseem Javed – 6/22/2011
Why would someone invest $187,000 for single name application with ICANN plus another few hundred thousands of dollars on related costs to acquire a new gTLD domain root system? Simple, the real motivation will be to declare global-image-cyber-warfare and to create global market domination under a name identity.
China Warned N.Korea Against Attacking the South, Says Lee China clearly warned North Korea that South Korea would retaliate if the North carries out another provocation, President Lee Myung-bak said Thursday. At a lunch meeting with members of the parliamentary Defense Committee, Lee said the Chinese government informed him that the comments were “delivered to North Korea,” according lawmakers who were there. “President Lee said North Korea would not be able to carry out further acts of provocation and added that China officially notified our government that it would no longer help the North if it did that,” one committee…
Did the International Energy Agency (IEA) just deliver the oil equivalent of QE3? The decision to release two million barrels per day of emergency oil reserves — with the U.S. covering half from its strategic petroleum reserve — is surely aimed at the sputtering economies of the U.S. and Europe following an onslaught of bad economic statistics and forecasts. This includes a gloomy Fed forecast that Ben Bernanke unveiled less than 24 hours before the energy news hit the tape. I wonder if all this was coordinated. The Bernanke Fed significantly downgraded its economic projections, blaming this forecast on rising…
CHICAGO — FBI agents took box after box of address books, family calendars, artwork and personal letters in their 10-hour raid in September of the century-old house shared by Stephanie Weiner and her husband.
The agents seemed keenly interested in Weiner’s home-based business, the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand, which sells silkscreened baby outfits and other clothes with socialist slogans, phrases like “Help Wanted: Revolutionaries.”
Federal Reserve Ending QE2 – Much Ado about Nothing
Prof. Peter Morici – 6/22/2011
The Federal Reserve will soon conclude its $600 billion in bond purchases. Not much will happen, because QE2 was as inconsequential as one hand clapping.
Politics: With Democrats’ poll numbers in the dumps, President Obama has decided to release some of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves to cut prices at the pump. Problem is, its only real “strategic” purpose is politics. The White House announced Thursday that for only the third time in history, the U.S. would release 30 million barrels of oil from the national stockpile. America’s 727 million barrel-strong reserve, buried deep in the salt domes of Texas and Louisiana, was created in the wake of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. It’s always been meant to cushion the U.S. economy against shocks from…
THE OIL DRUM
Global oil production (crude oil plus condensate) has been on a plateau / in decline for 7 years, resulting in high energy prices that are feeding inflation, eroding family budgets and crippling the World economy. It is time for the international political community to awaken to the risks posed by Peak Oil. A British Government report published last week under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request makes clear that civil servants working at the UK department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) seem very aware of the risks posed by peak oil, and yet the British Government seems happy to continue to ignore warnings.
The post is co-authored by Oil Drum contributor Sam Foucher, who did most of the data mining and provided the adjusted JODI and IEA data. Oil Drum commenter KLR provided this spread sheet deducting natural gas liquids from the BP data.
Posted by Leanan on June 22, 2011 – 10:37am
Today the Wall Street Journal has a fascinating piece describing a speech given this month by Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal. The prince, speaking to a group of U.S. and British servicemen at an airbase near London, explained that Saudi Arabia was so concerned about Iran’s continued march toward attaining nuclear weapons that it was considering opening its oil spigots and swamping the world with oil in the interest of gutting Tehran’s government revenue. The prince insisted that the Saudis still have sufficient spare production capacity that, if need be, “we could almost instantly replace all of Iran’s oil production” of roughly 4 million bpd.
The following guest post is from Jonathan Callahan, a PhD chemist currently working as a data management / information access consultant. Jonathan writes on energy issues and data management at Mazamascience.com.
On June 6 and 7, I attended Opal Financial’s Clean and Green Investment Forum. I was invited to take part in a panel on “Green Energy in Emerging and Frontier Markets”. The forum brought together clean tech entrepreneurs and investors as well as a few academics and analysts and proved very stimulating. The overall vibe was one of optimism and opportunity — we’re talking entrepreneurs and investors here. This post will discuss presentations in the following categories:
- Government policies and private investment
- Utilities and grids
- Electric vehicles
- Batteries and fuel cells
- Biomass and algae
Disclaimer — Opal Financial paid my airfare and hotel room and waived the conference fee.
Last week I covered some of the early history of the development of the oil industry in California, and briefly mentioned the difficulties in integrating an ongoing oil industry into a thriving surface community. I thought to take this ongoing debate offshore this week, since one of the remaining most productive regions in California (???*) is actually offshore. It is also where the “Drill, Baby, Drill” argument runs into fervent environmental opposition.
Oil and Gas Fields off Santa Barbara (CA Conservation)
This is a follow up to the post by Sam Foucher of 23rd May noting that global crude oil plus condensate (C+C) production reported by the Energy Information Agency of Washington (EIA) had begun to diverge from same data reported by the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) to the point that EIA data was now about 3.8 million barrels per day (mmbpd) higher than JODI. EIA data show strongly growing global oil production reaching new peaks in excess of those reached in 2005 and 2008, whilst JODI data do not and are more consistent with a continuation of the bumpy plateau reached in 2006. Why is this important? There are a number of issues at stake. First, the EIA data give the impression that high price has fed into an increase in global production capacity whilst the JODI data do not. The EIA data give the impression of strong growth in the global economy feeding into higher demand for and production of oil whilst the JODI data do not. Finally the cause of the divergence raises questions about reporting standards and why these should vary. It is this last point that is the focus of this post.
This post is joint with Sam Foucher and the data mining and analysis made by long term TOD commenters Darwinian (Ron Paterson) and Web Hubble Telescope (WHT) are also acknowledged.
Posted by Heading Out on June 15, 2011 – 10:55am
Tags: energy demand, non-opec oil production, opec, opec monthly oil report, opec oil production, saudi arabian oil production [list all tags]
With the turmoil in the Middle East and North African countries (MENA) now more evident in nature, the impacts on global oil production can be more rationally assessed. In this vein, the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for June has now been released. The main feature article looks at the prospects for the rest of the year, and as Leanan caught in Drumbeat, one of the major concerns has to be that OPEC supply, at current levels (28.97 mbd), does not reach the anticipated average demand for the year (29.9 mbd). However, putting that in context, MOMR begins by noting that the price of the OPEC basket fell $8.15 in May, to $110/bbl, so there are mixed signals in the air. Further, OPEC currently reports that they collectively supplied an average of 29.6 mbd in 2010, so that the increase in supply needed over last year is only 0.3 mbd.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, the disputes within OPEC have so far left the organization unwilling to sanction the increases needed to meet the anticipated imbalance. Whether this is a ploy by Saudi Arabia (KSA) to appear “friendly” to the customer, while bowing to majority rule and keeping supply tight enough to force prices higher, or whether the KSA will unilaterally release more oil is currently in question. The level of increase that KSA has suggested, 1.5 mbd, may appear to be larger than that needed to bring supply and demand into balance. Demand is seasonal, however, and is expected to maximize in the third quarter, during which global demand is expected to rise some 2.3 mbd, with growth continuing with a further addition of 0.2 mbd in the fourth quarter. Thus, in that context, it is interesting to see how the MOMR reflects the current organizational view of the next six months.
Posted by nate hagens on June 15, 2011 – 10:45am
Topic: Site news
During the past 6 years, TheOilDrum.com has hosted analysis and discussion surrounding the possibility and implications of a near term peak in global oil production and importance of energy to society in general. Out of the ~7,000 articles posted here (all searchable by keyword in upper left), the list below comprises what each author considered some of their most relevant content.
The development of oil in Texas produced, in its time, the four richest men in the world (H.L. Hunt, Sid Richardson, Roy Cullen and Clint Murchison) and the single richest acre of oil production at Kilgore but is not where the greatest number of productive fields of oil per acre, or perhaps the most expensive acre in the country lies. (And the current richest American oilman, Harold Hamm, incidentally is now from Oklahoma – oh, tempora). That expensive acreage is found in and around Los Angeles in California, and so it is California that I will write about today.
Oilfields of Los Angeles County (Source via Los Angeles Almanac is California Dept. of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources.
Posted by Rembrandt on June 10, 2011 – 1:43pm
Tags: aspo 9 conference, aspo9, oil production, oil recovery factor, peak oil, reservoirs, saudi-arabia, total, water content [list all tags]
Since 2006, the international oil company TOTAL has consistently voiced warnings about the future inability of the oil industry to meet continued oil demand growth. In 2006, then CEO Thierry Desmarest stated that maximum oil production lies between 100 to 110 million b/d, reached potentially by 2020. Only a year later the new CEO Christophe de Margerie announced that it would be difficult for the industry to produce beyond 100 million b/d, a message that became and remained 95 million b/d in subsequent years (1), (2), (3), (4). To better understand how TOTAL arrives at this view, the organizers of the 9th international ASPO conference asked the company to give a presentation on why they expect a plateau in production around 95 million b/d. In this post I give a summary of that presentation, given by Pierre Mauriaud, TOTAL Exploration Training and Technical Image Manager (PDF of presentation) (watch presentation VIDEO).
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet today, June 8 in Vienna to talk about increasing oil production. Preliminary news reports are hinting at Kuwait and Saudi Arabia pushing for a 1.5 million barrels per day increase in production to cool off oil prices. West Texas Intermediate oil is currently a little below $100 a barrel, but most other blends are above $100 per barrel. Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq oppose the increase.
The increase appears to be based on an attempt by OPEC to re-balance supply with demand for OPEC crude. The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (May 2011) (PDF) indicates that demand for OPEC crude oil will average 29.9 million b/d in 2011. An increase in production by 1.5 million b/d would raise production from April’s 28.8 to 30.3 million barrels per day,assuming that the statements made by OPEC are about production increases, and not about rising the quota level – something that is not at all clear.
*Update: OPEC has been unable to reach an agreement due to which production quota will not change. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will likely raise production regardless of the decision. “It was one of the worst meetings we’ve ever had..We were unable to reach an agreement” Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said as representatives of the 12-member group left the meeting in Vienna after five hours of talks. (Bloomberg)