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Friday, 29 July 2016

"Earthlings, Half Your Planet's Biodiversity Now Unsafe"


Biodiversity is below safe levels across more than half of world's land – study

Habitat destruction has reduced the variety of plants and animals to the point that ecological systems could become unable to function properly, with risks for agriculture and human health, say scientists

Enormous swaths of dry forest in Paraguay’s sparsely populated Chaco Boreal region have been cleared for cattle ranching

 Enormous swaths of dry forest in Paraguay’s sparsely populated Chaco Boreal region have been cleared for cattle ranching. Photograph: Planet

The variety of animals and plants has fallen to dangerous levels across more than half of the world’s landmass due to humanity destroying habitats to use as farmland, scientists have estimated.
The unchecked loss of biodiversity is akin to playing ecological roulette and will set back efforts to bring people out of poverty in the long term, they warned.
Analysing 1.8m records from 39,123 sites across Earth, the international study found that a measure of the intactness of biodiversity at sites has fallen below a safety limit across 58.1% of the world’s land.
Under a proposal put forward by experts last year, a site losing more than 10% of its biodiversity is considered to have passed a precautionary threshold, beyond which the ecosystem’s ability to function could be compromised.

Coup d'état Attempt: Turkey's Reichstag Fire?

The damage that was inflicted on the parliament building in Ankara was huge reminiscent of the Reichstag fire in Germany in 1933. The Reichstag fire marked the end of basic freedoms and critical thinking in Germany. 

Greenpeace: 'Extremely High' Jump in Post-Fukushima Radioactive Chemicals 

There is no return to normal. The vast expanse of contaminated forests and freshwater systems will remain a perennial source of radioactivity for the foreseeable future, as these ecosystems cannot simply be decontaminated.

Unicef Report Reveals 250 Million Child Victims Of War

There have not been so many children suffering the consequences of conflicts, crises and natural catastrophes since the Second World War. Some 250 million girls and boys, one in nine children, are forced to grow up in conflict zones. Even more are threatened by natural disasters such as droughts, floods and epidemics. 

Nearly 3,000 Migrants Have Died so far This Year in Mediterranean


 Some disturbing figures about the upcoming banking crisis 

Deutsche Bank has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and a risky asset base with derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP. Even the IMF has stated unequivocally that Deutsche Bank poses the greatest risk to global financial stability. And the IMF would be right… except for all the other banks.

Currency Crash Drives Stg to a 31 Year Low As Deutsche Bank Sinks To Lowest Level Ever

The British pound could eventually hit parity with the US dollar.  We are seeing seismic shifts on the foreign exchange market right now that will affect trillions of dollars of currency-related derivatives.  

Heat Dome Expected to Bake the United States

Forecasters expect a high pressure ridge and extreme temperatures to combine to create what is referred to as a "heat dome" over large portions of the US. A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way. Heat index values for parts of the U.S. are expected to reach 110 degrees or higher.

Today's ENERGY News - 29 July 2016

Top Stories 

 Goldman says oil’s rebalancing remains fragile amid macro headwinds

Image result for goldman sachs
A natural gas flare on an oil well pad burns as the sun sets outside Watford City, North Dakota January 21, 2016. Oil’s recovering fundamentals remain fragile, with many global factors offsetting each other, leaving a firmer U.S. dollar as the main driver of lower prices recently, Goldman Sachs said in a note this week. The Wall Street bank, which turned bullish on oil earlier this year, said oil prices will remain in a $45 a barrel to $50 a barrel trading range through mid-2017, with near-term risks skewed to the downside due to high inventory levels and the possibility of a stronger dollar. “Beyond these near-term uncertainties, however, our updated supply-demand balance is little changed and still points to a slow rebalancing of the global oil market over the coming year,” the U.S. bank said in a note dated Wednesday. Oil prices on Friday were hovering around April […]

Sinking Oil Prices Mean Fragile Unity for OPEC’s New Chief

Mohammed Barkindo becomes secretary general on August 1 OPEC at ‘critical time’ as cost of new strategy hits members When OPEC’s new chief starts next week, he’ll take over an organization that’s largely reconciled internal differences after a two-year fight over strategy. But as oil prices sink again, that unity could be at risk. Nigerian Mohammed Barkindo will be the first new top official at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in almost a decade. He comes to the role after a dispute over output policy split OPEC’s richest and poorest nations and marked the final months of his predecessor’s tenure. While members now back Saudi Arabia’s tactic of pumping without restraint to choke off supply from rivals such as U.S. shale drillers, many struggle with its effects. Oil’s 53 percent recovery since January hasn’t boosted prices enough to relieve the economic pain that pushed some members, notably Venezuela, […]

Aramco Buyer Beware: The Risky Track Record of Government Oil

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has captured the oil industry’s attention with plans for an initial public offering that could raise more than $100 billion, but some investors are wary, pointing to the track records of other government-controlled energy companies. The plan to float as much as 5% of Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has kicked off a scramble among banks for a role in a deal that could generate $1 billion in fees—the biggest investment-banking deal ever. The kingdom estimates the company has a value of between $2 trillion and $3 trillion. But several publicly listed, state-run oil firms have stumbled, demonstrating the hazards in investing in government-controlled companies. That highlights the dilemma that would-be Aramco investors could face: Would Aramco be accountable to shareholders or to the kingdom that still would own a stake of at least 95%? “Investing into a government-run entity, which acts as kind […]


Pemex Losses Accumulate as Oil Production Hits Record Low

Mexico oil company hasn’t reported positive results since 2012 Pemex had plant explosion, received capital injection in 2Q Petroleos Mexicanos added to more than three years of losses as a cash injection from the government wasn’t enough to overcome the pinch of record-low crude output, refinery upsets and a petrochemical plant explosion. The second-quarter deficit narrowed to 83.5 billion pesos ($4.42 billion), from 84.6 billion pesos during the same period a year earlier , according to a filing sent to the Mexican Stock Exchange. The result adds on to $59 billion of losses since 2012. Crude production at Pemex, as the company is known, fell 2.2 percent from a year earlier to 2.176 million barrels a day, following a budget reduction in the first quarter that crimped the company’s exploration spending. Pemex’s refineries, which lose more than 100 billion pesos each year, continued to be hampered by outages during […]


Petróleos Mexicanos Posts $4.4 Billion Second-Quarter Loss

Mexican state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos on Thursday said it recorded an after-tax loss of $4.4 billion in the second quarter, as lower oil prices and output hit sales and hefty exchange losses boosted its financial costs. Sales in the quarter fell 17% from a year earlier to $13.5 billion. Pemex’s hydrocarbons production fell 3.4% in the quarter, with crude oil output down 2.2% to 2.18 million barrels a day and natural gas output off 6.4% at 5.88 billion cubic feet a day. Crude oil prices averaged $36.69 per barrel compared with $52.92 in the second quarter of 2015. Output of the company’s refineries fell 5.4%, partly because of unscheduled maintenance shutdowns. The second-quarter loss was slightly smaller in Mexican peso terms than that of a year earlier. Meanwhile, Pemex’s operating profit rose 91% to $6.6 billion, lifted by reduced cost of sales. The peso’s slide to new […]

Faltering Oil Rally Boosts Leveraged Loan Defaults, Fitch Says

Templar, Stallion likely to miss interest payments, Fitch says The defaults would push energy default rate to nearly 18% The default rate for leveraged loans in the energy sector could spike close to 18 percent if Templar Energy LLC and Stallion Oilfield Services Ltd. are unable to make interest payments on their debt, Fitch Ratings said. The companies will likely be forced to default on the loans in August, according to Fitch, as weak oil and gas markets leave them short on cash. The July trailing 12-month energy leveraged loan default rate rose to nearly 14 percent from 11.3 percent in June, Fitch said. Officials at Templar, an oil and gas exploration company, and Stallion, which provides drilling support, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. “The impact of commodity price pressures has been the largest driver of defaults in the leveraged loan market this year,” said Eric Rosenthal, […]

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 28 July 2016

Top Stories 

Crude Rally Unwinds Completely – Expect $40 Oil

Oil prices plunged on Wednesday as the EIA shocked traders once again, raising the possibility that the oil markets are not as close to “balance” as once thought. The EIA revealed several worrying signs for the oil markets. First, crude oil inventories actually increased by 1.7 million barrels for the week ending on July 22, the first increase in over two months. Oil stocks rose to 521.1 million barrels. And in another worrying sign for product markets, gasoline inventories also increased for the week, rising by 0.5 million barrels, the fifth increase in the past six weeks. Gasoline inventories are now sitting largely unchanged from March levels, despite hopes and expectations that the summer driving season would cut down on the high levels of supply. Citigroup now estimates that gasoline inventories around the world have topped 500 million barrels. The figures came as a surprise, with analysts’ expecting a […]

Oil nears a fresh bear market: 5 things to watch

Crude oil’s quiet slide from its 2016 high sharpens questions about the outlook for the commodity S ince oil prices hit a year-high above $52 a barrel in June they have slipped almost 20 per cent, leaving them on the cusp of a new bear market and heaping more pressure on oil companies and major producing countries that had hoped the worst of the rout was over. Here are five things traders are tracking to see if the slide continues — or if the sell-off is just a blip in a recovery. Supply and demand Two years since oil began its precipitous decline from above $100 a barrel, troughing below $30 in January, the market appears to be edging closer towards balance. High-cost supplies are declining, demand has been boosted, and concern about the impact of investment cuts on future supplies have all helped the market recover from levels […]

Oil Industry About To Be Burned Again By Fall In Oil Prices

The current oil-price rally is over. U.S. rig counts have surged as oil prices sink. Capital is driving the oil markets and it enables bad behavior 
by producers. That is why oil prices will stay low. The oil-price rally that began in February is over. Prices rose from $26 per barrel to $51 by early June and are now below $42 (Figure 1). If they fall through $40, the next likely support level is at $36 per barrel. (Click to enlarge) Figure 1. The current oil-price rally is over. Source: EIA, Wall Street Journal and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. Capital Drives The Oil Market and Prices Most people think that fundamentals–supply and demand–drive the oil market but capital drives the market and oil prices. More than anything, rig count reflects capital flow. Many believe that oil prices drive the rig count but it is really capital flow that drives […]

Why Saudi Arabia Continues To Pump Crude At Record Levels

Hawtah field As the Financial Times reported on 12 July , Saudi Arabia’s oil-output reached record highs in June 2016. Increasing production 280,000 barrels/day to 10.6m b/d, Saudi Arabia has once again waved off OPEC’s request not to glut the market with oil. As it turns out, economic principles explain why the Saudis began, in late 2014, to pump crude as fast as they could – or close to as fast as possible. In fact, there is a good reason why the Saudi princes are panicked and pumping. Let’s take a look at the simple analytics of production. The economic production rate for oil is determined by the following equation: P – V = MC, where P is the current market price of a barrel of oil, V is the present value of a barrel of reserves, and MC is the marginal recovery cost of a barrel of oil. […]

Shell misses expectations with 70 percent earnings plunge

Filled oil drums are seen at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s lubricants blending plant in the town of Torzhok, north-west of Tver, November 7, 2014. Royal Dutch Shell ( RDSa.L ) reported a more than 70 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, well below analyst estimates, blaming weak oil prices, poor refining profits and higher charges resulting from its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group. Shell’s current cost of supplies — its definition of net income — came to $1 billion in the second quarter, compared with analyst expectations of $2.2 billion and $3.8 billion achieved the same time last year. “Lower oil prices continue to be a significant challenge across the business, particularly in the upstream (business),” said Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, who said last month he wants to turn Shell into the best oil company for investor returns. Rivals BP ( BP.L ) and Statoil ( […]

Massive Methane Releases In Siberian Tundra


 Taimyr crater

Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters

Earth is moving as 'leaking methane gas due to global warming causes surface to bubble' in a new phenomenon.

This extraordinary sight - in a video filmed of the tundra on remote Belyy Island in the Kara Sea off the Yamal Peninsula coastline - was witnessed by a scientific research expedition. Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich spotted 15 patches of trembling or bubbling grass-covered ground.
When punctured they emitted methane and carbon dioxide, according to measurements, although so far no details have been given. The reason is as yet unclear, but one possible explanation of the phenomenon is abnormal heat that caused permafrost to thaw, releasing gases.
Alexander Sokolov said that this summer is unusually hot on the Arctic island, a sign of which is polar bears moving from the frozen sea to the island.


Amazing Methane Bubbles From Tundra

Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters


Sections of Great Barrier Reef suffering from 'complete ecosystem collapse'

Without enough surviving corals, the fish didn’t have the shelter and food sources they needed and had died or moved elsewhere. Without many of those fish, Marshall said the coral would face a harder time recovering, since the entire ecosystem had been degraded.

How Extrajudicial Executions Became Policy in Washington 

The US has been fighting wars for almost 15 years.  As vets have returned from their tours of duty, numbers have gone into police work when weaponry, vehicles, and military equipment have poured off distant battlefields and into police departments.  And while the police were militarizing, gun companies have been marketing battlefield-style assault rifles by the millions, at the very moment when citizens can carry weapons in public.

The Trojan Drone: An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised As Technological Advance 

The technical advances embodied in drone technology distract us from a more fundamental change in military strategy. The US has now embraced extrajudicial executions on foreign soil.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 27 July 2016

Top Stories 


Oil Heads Back To $30, And Probably Lower

Financial players are now bailing out of their bullish positions in oil markets. The US dollar’s recovery means they have no need for a “store of value”. They are leaving behind mounting chaos. Prices will probably need to go well below $30/bbl to enable the market to rebalance. There was never any fundamental reason why oil prices should have doubled between January and June this year. There were no physical shortages of product, or long-term outages at key producers. But of course, there was never any fundamental reason for prices to treble between 2009 – 2011 in the Stimulus rally, or to jump nearly 50% between January – May last year. Instead, prices once again rose because financial players expected the US$ to decline They realised this meant they could make money by buying oil on the futures market as a “store of value” Now, as the US$ has […]

How Much Oil Is in Storage Globally?

The waterways surrounding this island nation have become home to one of the world’s biggest oil-storage sites. The problem: It is unclear how much oil is in the tankers anchored there. The historic fall in oil prices has created a pileup of inventories, much of it stashed in tanks in the U.S. and other industrialized countries that are committed to disclosing the latest tally. But millions of barrels are also flowing to locations outside the scope of industry trackers. Some countries, such as Russia and China, choose not to report their oil-storage levels. And traders and oil companies that park supertankers have no obligation to make public their supply. Their decision to keep this information private doesn’t violate any international laws or agreements. But it makes for a more-cryptic and volatile oil market, analysts say. How much crude is in these locations, and how quickly it can be resold […]

Low Oil Prices Kill Off 7 Billion Barrels Of Oil Production

Offshore Oil Rig The Trent Capital expenditure cuts of $150 billion for 2016 and 2017 by U.S. exploration and production companies are expected to result in average production losses of 4.2 million barrels per day in the Lower 48 through 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie. This is not only a trend in the U.S., with upstream companies around the world trimming capex by more than $370 billion for 2016 and 2017. Wood Mackenzie believes that this will impact oil production and the world will result in 7 billion fewer barrels of oil through 2020. “The plays that saw the highest proportion of their capital expenditure cut were Eagle Ford and the Bakken,” said Jeanie Oudin, Wood Mackenzie Senior Research Manager, Lower 48. “That’s because the two plays were in full-scale development, with most operators’ acreage held by production at the time oil prices began to fall, allowing for a […]

Climate change risk threatens 18 U.S. military sites: study

Rising sea levels due to hurricanes and tidal flooding intensified by climate change will put military bases along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast at risk, according to a report released on Wednesday. Nonprofit group the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed 18 military installations that represent more than 120 coastal bases nationwide to weigh the impact of climate change on their operations. Faster rates of sea level rises in the second half of this century could mean that tidal flooding will become a daily occurrence for some installations, pushing useable land needed for military training and testing into tidal zones, said the report titled “The U.S. Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas.” By 2050, most of these sites will be hit by more than 10 times the number of floods than at present, the report said, and at least half of them will experience daily floods. […]

Oil Majors Lost One Engine; Now the Second One Is Sputtering

BP says second-quarter refining margins drop to 6-year low Downstream business was key last year in cushioning cheap oil If Big Oil was a two-engine airplane, you could say it’s been flying on a single engine since energy prices crashed in 2014. Now, the second motor is sputtering. The major integrated oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and BP Plc, have relied on their so-called downstream businesses, which include refining crude into gasoline, oil trading and gas stations, to cushion the losses on their upstream units, which pump crude and natural gas. “The crash in oil prices in late 2014 brought refineries worldwide a pleasant surprise: booming margins,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consulting firm Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “But now, the market is changing.” BP, the first major to report second-quarter results, showed the impact on Tuesday. The British company said its downstream […]

Blazing ALL-TIME Record 129F Degrees Heat Hits Middle East


Two Middle East locations hit 129 degrees, hottest ever in Eastern Hemisphere, maybe the world

The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news.
It’s also possible that Mitribah’s 129.2-degree reading matches the hottest ever reliably measured anywhere in the world. Both Mitribah and Basra’s readings are likely the highest ever recorded outside of Death Valley, Calif.

Death Valley currently holds the record for the world’s hottest temperature of 134.1 degrees (56.7 Celsius), set July 10, 1913. But Weather Underground’s Burt does not believe it is a credible measurement: “[T]he record has been scrutinized perhaps more than any other in the United States,” Burt wrote. “I don’t have much more to add to the debate aside from my belief it is most likely not a valid reading when one looks at all the evidence.”

Global warming hadn’t paused at all. It was just getting ready to hit the accelerator.

It is the increasing rate of emissions that indicates we are entering an increasingly rapid-change era in which each increase adds fuel onto the next. Exponentially

 The Myth of “Aggressive Russia”

The US and allies have imposed sanctions because of the Crimea decided to separate from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Tourist cruise ships no longer stop at Crimean ports and international airlines are prohibited from flying directly to the international airport at the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Students from Crimean universities cannot transfer their academic credits to universities internationally. Despite the sanctions Crimea appears to be doing reasonably well.

Scores of City-Sized Siberian Wildfires Spew 2,500 Mile-Long Plume of Smoke 

Practically no one in the global mainstream media is talking about how Northern and Central Siberia is burning. Scores of massive fires, some the size of cities and small states, are throwing off a great pall of smoke 2,500 miles long.

US Releases Saudi Documents: 9/11 Coverup Exposed

fresh evidence of a deliberate cover up of the role played, not only by the Saudi government, but US intelligence agencies themselves, in facilitating the attacks and then covering up their real roots.

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