Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Myth of Subduction

The significance of this map is that it shows subduction and plate tectonics are myths.

The oceanic lithosphere has been zircon dated by the National Geophysical Data Center. No part of the ocean floor is older than ~180-200 million years old.

If the so-called "plates" were subducting, the rifts would be the oldest part of the lithosphere, not the youngest.

There is no subduction. What you see here is called oceanic seafloor spreading.

Every rift above is a divergent spread as indicated by zircon dating.

There is drift, but it's not random, it's temporally diverging away from the rifts and causing spreads.

If there were subduction going on at continental margins wouldn't people on the beach in Oregon and California be sucked into the earth during earthquakes? So far as I know that has never happened. I'm from California; I grew up with the San Andreas fault.

The Earth is growing.

EMST: An Explanation For Gravity?

Tassos: In the Pacific and Any Other Tectonic Belt, Seismic and Volcanic Activity Relate To Positive Gravity

Therefore, iron having the highest nuclear binding energy of all the elements, 8.8 MeV per nucleon, should be the last element to form, and the fact that the bulk of iron rich rocks is younger than about 200 m. y. is supportive of that reasoning, and of the juvenility of oceanic crust. Another important property of iron is that under high pressure its 4s orbital is brought down to the 3rd orbital that can be filled with 10 electrons, 5 more than without compression, forming the Fe(21) anion. The newly formed in the outer core atoms that constitute Excess Mass (EM) relative to the overlying mantle and crust, and emplaced atom by atom, the great bulk concentrically and the active part vertically, in the preexisting "old" continental granitic crust, and cause it's oxidation, and all other geodynamic phenomena.

21st Century Seismology

Dr. Tassos disagrees with accretion as the mechanism and here is his proposal: An Integrated Alternative Conceptual Framework to Heat Engine Earth

An Integrated Alternative Conceptual Framework to Heat Engine Earth, Plate Tectonics, and Elastic Rebound

Starvros T. Tassos Institute of Geodynamics, National Observatory of Athens, P.O. Box 200 48, 118 10 Athens, Greece & David J. Ford 2/22 Mitchell St.,Townsville, N.Q., Australia 4810

Abstract -- Physical evidence indicates that a thermally driven Earth, plate tectonics, and elastic rebound theory violate fundamental physical principles, and that Earth is a quantified solid body, the size of which possibly increases with time. Earth's core is considered as a low-temperature, high-energy/high-frequency, high-tension material, wherein new elements form, constituting the Excess Mass (EM), which is then added atom-by-atom to the overlying mantle. Iron, with the highest nuclear binding energy of 8.8 MeV, should be the last element to form. Due ultimately to cosmic stretching, the internal pressure gradient is from the center, toward the surface; so EM ascends as solid state "wedges," which upon encountering an anisotropic obstacle, then accumulates due to its blockage. Iron ascends in the from of reduced high pressure Fe 2- , to a depth of about 700 km. At shallower depths it then releases 4-5 electrons whilst oxidizing and decompressing at reducing confining pressures. Some of the released excess mass electrons travel as free electrons, and thereby cause microcracks to form when the electron concentration exceeds the threshold of >10 18 electrons/m 2 ; these microcracks enlarge as their concentration increases and their cumulative internal electron pressure builds up; via this self-repulsive electron pressure a great mass of rock is uplifted over time. Microcracks serve both as resonant cavities for "old" metallic bond electrons from Fe 2,3+ and "new" electrons from Fe 2- , radiating at the infrared, and as electrical capacitors, producing effective semiconductor behavior. If and when the concentration of electrons in the microcavity and of p-holes at the rock-microcrack interface surpasses the necessary electro-motive force potential, the electrical impedance to electron flow is attrited and dielectric breakdown occurs, i.e., the transient discharging of electrons very rapidly empties the network of cavities, causing an implosive collapse of the regional network of parallel microcavities. This high-energy implosion coerces the otherwise plastic surrounding rocks to repond instantaneously elastically, and an earthquake is thus generated. The same implosion that caused the earthquake can also produce a fault rupture of the rocks if its transient dynamic shock pressure exceeds the rock's bonded strength. The magnitude of an earthquake depends on the size of the active volume of almost concurrently discharging microcavities. Hence, we are referring to an electromagnetic self-organized criticality, a direct implication of whch is the inherent non-predictability of any earthquake's timing or energy release. ...
PDF full text of article is: here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Gravity Hypothesis?

I just wrote Herndon and Tassos the following letter:

If you would be so kind.

In the context of gravity, astronomical collisions, mass accretion, and planetary growth, what do you think of the following quote?

"My research, based on irrefutable evidence of constant accretion of meteorites and meteor dust, concludes that Earth began as an asteroid remnant of an earlier comet captured by the Sun. The proto-planet then grew over uncountable years (possibly many more than the 4.5 Ga now believed) in an accretion process that is still underway and will continue into the future at an accelerating pace because of Earth’s constantly increasing mass and gravitational power." -- Lawrence S. Myers, cryptologist/geoscientist, 2005

Furthermore, as an alternative mechanism for mass accumulation and growth, what do you think of pair production?

"The creation of electron–positron pairs constitutes an example for the conversion of energy into mass." -- Jörg Eichler, physicist, March 2005

Is it possible that gravity is caused by positron pair production in astronomical cores?

The positrons act as an oppositely charged magnetic pole and hold the electrons (negatrons) in place?

Thus the center of the Earth, and all astronomical bodies, act as giant magnets and this accounts for the existence of gravitational force?

The missing so-called Dark Matter (anti-particles) are the positrons in all astronomical cores?

Absurd? What say you?

-- September 30, 2008

Mass Accretion On Mars: More Evidence For Growth

Scientists have identified iron (Fe), the sixth most adundant chemical element in the universe, all over the surface of Mars. Iron is one of the heaviest elements which do not require a Supernova for their creation. Scientists recognize that Mars is accreting mass, as all astronomical bodies must do because of gravity, (in the form of iron) from meteorites, thus growing. The New Scientist: Mars iron is ideal for building future bases.

FUTURE colonisers of Mars needn't worry about lugging materials from Earth to build their bases - the most widely used building material on Earth, steel, could be manufactured on the Red Planet.

The rover Opportunity has found elemental iron - a key ingredient of steel - peppered across the Martian surface as a result of collisions with iron-rich meteorites.
They also say mass accretion contributed to Mars's unique magnetic field: Giant impact explains Mars's wonky magnetic field.

The strange magnetic field of Mars, which is concentrated in the planet's southern hemisphere, could have been caused by a giant impact.

The finding clears up one of the biggest remaining mysteries about the planet.

The study, led by Sabine Stanley of the University of Toronto, has shown that the asymmetric field could be linked to the planet's strange surface features.

The relatively smooth, flat surface of Mars' northern hemisphere lies around 6 kilometres lower than the more mountainous surface of the southern hemisphere. Earlier this year, researchers proposed that this "Mars dichotomy" can be explained if a huge object, almost as big as Earth's moon, hit the northern hemisphere of Mars at a shallow angle.

It has long been known that the planet's oddly shaped magnetic field – first observed by the Mars Global Surveyor in 1985 – originated about the same time as the Mars dichotomy.
And Mars was decapitated (and killed?) by the biggest impact in the system: Almighty smash left record crater on Mars.

EVERY scar tells a story, yet a huge gash on Mars has long proven very hard to read. Now a peek beneath the planet's surface reveals that the scar is the largest known impact structure in the solar system - gouged out by a collision that reshaped the Red Planet.
"My research, based on irrefutable evidence of constant accretion of meteorites and meteor dust, concludes that Earth began as an asteroid remnant of an earlier comet captured by the Sun. The proto-planet then grew over uncountable years (possibly many more than the 4.5 Ga now believed) in an accretion process that is still underway and will continue into the future at an accelerating pace because of Earth’s constantly increasing mass and gravitational power." -- Lawrence S. Myers, cryptologist/geoscientist, 2005

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Expanding Universe

Adam G. Riess and Michael S. Turner via Scientific American: The Expanding Universe: From Slowdown to Speed Up.

From the time of Isaac Newton to the late 1990s, the defining feature of gravity was its attractive nature. Gravity keeps us grounded. It slows the ascent of baseballs and holds the moon in orbit around the earth. Gravity prevents our solar system from flying apart and binds together enormous clusters of galaxies. Although Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for gravity to push as well as pull, most physicists regarded this as a purely theoretical possibility, irrelevant to the universe today. Until recently, astronomers fully expected to see gravity slowing down the expansion of the cosmos.

In 1998, however, researchers discovered the repulsive side of gravity. By carefully observing distant supernovae—stellar explosions that for a brief time shine as brightly as 10 billion suns— astronomers found that they were fainter than expected. The most plausible explanation for the discrepancy is that the light from the supernovae, which exploded billions of years ago, traveled a greater distance than theorists had predicted. And this explanation, in turn, led to the conclusion that the expansion of the universe is actually speeding up, not slowing down. This was such a radical finding that some cosmologists suggested that the falloff in supernova brightness was the result of other effects, such as intergalactic dust dimming the light. In the past few years, though, astronomers have solidified the case for cosmic acceleration by studying ever more remote supernovae.

But has the cosmic expansion been speeding up throughout the lifetime of the universe, or is it a relatively recent development— that is, occurring within the past five billion years or so? The answer has profound implications. If scientists find that the expansion of the universe has always been accelerating, they will have to completely revise their understanding of cosmic evolution. But if, as cosmologists expect, the acceleration turns out to be a recent phenomenon, researchers may be able to determine its cause—and perhaps answer the larger question of the destiny of the universe—by learning when and how the expansion began picking up speed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Petrobras: Jupiter Is "Tupi-Sized"

Another 8 billion barrels: Galp Rises; Petrobras Confirms `Large' Deposit at Jupiter Find.

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Galp Energia SGPS SA, Portugal's biggest oil company, climbed as much as 3.6 percent in Lisbon trading after Petroleo Brasileiro SA said tests confirmed a ``large'' deposit of natural gas and light crude oil in the Brazilian offshore well known as Jupiter.

Lisbon-based Galp advanced as much as 45.5 cents to 13.255 euros, and traded at 13.01 euros as of 9:58 a.m. in the Portuguese capital. The stock has dropped 29 percent this year for a market value of 10.8 billion euros ($16 billion).

Petrobras, as Brazil's state-controlled oil company is known, last night said it will be able to provide a more- detailed estimate of oil reserves in the 1-BRSA-559A-RJS well after further analysis. Petrobras said Jan. 21 that the Jupiter deposit appeared to be ``Tupi-sized,'' a reference to a nearby prospect that it estimates may have 8 billion barrels of oil.

Abiotic Deep Origin of Hydrocarbons

I missed this last month and wasn't sure what Anaconda was talking about until now: GEP-13 Abiotic deep origin of hydrocarbons: Myth or reality?.

About combination genesis of hydrocarbons in different regions of Glob (Case Lesser Caucasus and Arabian Plate)
Albert Harutyunyan, Sargis Grigoryan

About the deep source of the hydrocarbon's reduced systems and origin of the Romashkin oil field
Rimma Gottikh, Bogdan Pisotskiy , Irina Plotnikova

Carbon in ancient serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal systems: Constraints from the northern Apennine ophiolites (Italy) and the Iberian margin
Esther Schwarzenbach

Deep origin of oil: Evidences from inorganic geochemistry of oil
Kirill Ivanov, Yuri Fedorov, Yuri Erokhin, Olga Pogromskaya, Yuri Ronkin, Irina Plotnikova

Fractured zone of the upper crust as a source of hydrocarbons entry
Inna Balanyuk, Anatoly Dmitrievsky, Tatiana Akivis

High production of hydrogen and abiogenic hydrocarbons by serpentinization of ultramafic rocks between 12°N and 40°N on the mid-Atlantic Ridge- Methane plumes and hot fluid geochemistry
Jean Luc Charlou, Jean Pierre Donval, Cecile Konn, Yves Fouquet, Philippe Jean-Baptiste

How tectonically driven upward movement of deep abiotic hydrocarbons makes conventional oil and gas fields
Alexander Kitchka

Hydrocarbons in the Ilimaussaq magmatic intrusion, Greenland, exhibit both abiogenic and biogenic signature
Troels Laier, Hans Peter Nytoft

Hydrocarbons in the rift zones, evidence from Iceland and Israel
Yuri Galant, Alfred Geptner, Yuri Pikovskii

New models of oil/gas forming in light of unique data of the ultra deep wells
Yuri Galant

Organic compound occurrence in fluids from ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems of the Mid-Atlantic ridge: a consequence of H2 production?
Cecile Konn, Jean-Luc Charlou, Jean-Pierre Donval, Nils Holm, Frank Dehairs, Bouillon Steven

Polygenesis of oil and gas
Anatoly Dmitrievskiy

Precambrian crystalline basement of the Volgo-Kama anticline and the origin of oil fields
Rimma Gottikh, Renat Muslimov, Bogdan Pisotskiy, Irina Plotnikova

Quantification of the rate of methane production by serpentinization
Alasdair Skelton, Patrick Crill, Fredrik Arghe, Bob Whitmarsh, Hemin Koyi

The modern theory of abiotic deep genesis of hydrocarbons: A history of the history
Vladimir Kutcherov

Trassers of superdeep fluids in petroliferous reservoirs
Alexander Lukin
As Anaconda noted, this website is a Brazilian government website and indicates that Petrobras (PBR) is well aware of abiotic exploration principles. Furthermore, it was sponsored by StatoilHydro (STO).

Over 15,000 Years of Methane Release

For at least 15,000 years, hundreds of millions of tons of methane have been released into the atmosphere on a daily basis: Hundreds of methane 'plumes' discovered

British scientists have discovered hundreds more methane "plumes" bubbling up from the Arctic seabed, in an area to the west of the Norwegian island of Svalbard. It is the second time in a week that scientists have reported methane emissions from the Arctic.

Methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and the latest findings from two separate teams of scientists suggest it is being released in significant amounts from within the Arctic Circle.

On Tuesday, The Independent revealed that scientists on board a Russian research ship had detected vast quantities of methane breaking through the melting permafrost under the seabed of the shallow continental shelf off the Siberian coast.

Yesterday, researchers on board the British research ship the James Clark Ross said they had counted about 250 methane plumes bubbling from the seabed in an area of about 30 square miles in water less than 400 metres (1,300 feet) deep off the west coast of Svalbard. They have also discovered a set of deeper plumes at depths of about 1,200 metres at a second site near by. Analysis of sediments and seawater has confirmed the rising gas is methane, said Professor Graham Westbrook of Birmingham University, the study's principal investigator.

"The discovery of this system is important as its presence provides evidence that methane, which is a greenhouse gas, has been released in this climactically sensitive region since the last ice age," Professor Westbrook said. An analysis of sediments taken from the seabed show that the gas is coming from methane hydrates – ice-like crystals where molecules of the gas are captured in "cages" made of water molecules, which become unstable as water pressures fall or temperatures rise.

Professor Westbrook said the area surveyed off the west coast of Svalbard was very different to the area being studied by the Russian vessel because the water was much deeper and does not have a layer of permafrost sealing the methane under the seabed.

It is likely that methane emissions off Svalbard have been continuous for about 15,000 years – since the last ice age

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oil Politics

House Democrats to Let Ban on Drilling Expire.

Congressional Democrats bowed to political pressure yesterday and agreed to let the ban on offshore oil drilling expire, a decision that would allow exploration just three miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines unless the next president reinstates an executive branch order that prohibits drilling.

Democrats said they gave in to White House demands rather than risk a showdown over the "continuing resolution" Congress must pass to fund the federal government through March. A new drilling moratorium would have been included in that wide-ranging measure. Provisions seeking money for home heating assistance for the poor and a loan program for the auto industry remain in the bill.

"At least temporarily, the moratorium is lifted. This next election will decide what our drilling policy is going to be," said Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
"Frankly, there is no shortage of oil, simply a shortage of effort to get it out of the ground." -- A.C. Bedford, geologist, 1917

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Methane Chimneys Not Related To Permafrost Thaw

Katey Walter: Researcher finds lake boiling with methane.

Walter said this summer’s fieldwork indicates that methane hotspots, such as the one she and the crew experienced, can come from various sources, not just thawing permafrost. Her next goal is to identify and quantify the sources of the methane hotspots around Alaska.

It is unlikely that this methane plume was related to permafrost thaw,” said Walter, adding that the methane boiling out of the lake was more likely related to natural gas seepage.
Ms. Walter was also featured on NPR's All Things Considered. For more on methane chimneys see here.

NYT Cartoon: 9-23-2008

Via Gawker.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mother Earth Terrorizes Radical Environmentalists

Forget terror in the Middle East. As all of the victims of terror know "there is no terrorist threat"... except from Mother Nature: Exclusive: The methane time bomb.

The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. ...

In the past few days, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through "methane chimneys" rising from the sea floor. ...

"We had a hectic finishing of the sampling programme yesterday and this past night," said Dr Gustafsson. "An extensive area of intense methane release was found. At earlier sites we had found elevated levels of dissolved methane. Yesterday, for the first time, we documented a field where the release was so intense that the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface. These 'methane chimneys' were documented on echo sounder and with seismic [instruments]."

At some locations, methane concentrations reached 100 times background levels. These anomalies have been seen in the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea, covering several tens of thousands of square kilometres, amounting to millions of tons of methane, said Dr Gustafsson. "This may be of the same magnitude as presently estimated from the global ocean," he said. "Nobody knows how many more such areas exist on the extensive East Siberian continental shelves.
And wouldn't you know? All the methane comes from the millions of tons of dinosaurs and vegetation which dominate the Arctic ice caps: Steve Connor: The ultimate gas leak that scientists have long dreaded.

Methane is produced naturally by the decay of water-logged vegetation. Over thousands of years it has accumulated under the ground at northern latitudes and has effectively been taken out of circulation by the permafrost acting as an impermeable lid.
Apparently the millions of tons of vegetation migrated to the North Pole to die. Curiously, however, they avoided decaying in the Southern latitudes which makes sense if you think about it. Why would vegetation want to die in the Southern latitudes? The Arctic climate is so much more hospitable for millions of tons of vegetation.

Government Manipulators Cause Oil Price Spike

Oil Posts Biggest Gain as Traders Caught in End-Month Squeeze.

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil climbed more than $25 a barrel, the biggest gain ever, as traders scrambled to unwind positions on the October contract's last day of trading. The more-active November contract rose $6.62.

``This looks like a squeeze play,'' said Phil Flynn, senior trader at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. ``All of the contracts are up, but nothing like October. This is the last day of trading and someone is scrambling to guarantee supply.''

Crude oil for October delivery rose $16.37, or 17 percent, to settle at $120.92 a barrel at 2:46 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement price since Aug. 21. Futures for November delivery rose 6.4 percent to settle at $109.37 a barrel.

Prices climbed today as traders who sold the October contract last week, when oil dipped close to $90, had to buy the futures back. In a squeeze a trader has gone short by selling contracts hoping the price will decline. In the last days before the contract expires the trader must buy back the same number of futures or be forced to deliver the underlying oil.

``I don't think there's any doubt that's the indication of a huge squeeze,'' said Craig Pirrong, director of energy markets for the University of Houston's Global Energy Management Institute. ``It's just stunning this could happen'' given the recent scrutiny in Congress and among U.S. regulators concerning the crude oil markets, he said.

Canada Ignored By Bipartisan Socialists

Canada's role missed in U.S. energy debate: Yergin.

BANFF, Alberta (Reuters) - The way Daniel Yergin sees it, the high-stakes debate over energy security in the U.S. presidential campaign has ignored one of the most critical parts of the United States' oil supply equation: Canada.

The United States' neighbor to the north has quietly become its largest foreign oil and gas supplier, and that has actually improved energy security in the United States, said Yergin, energy and geopolitical analyst, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Meanwhile, Canada's oil industry is struggling at home to keep boosting production of the country's vast oil sands while facing major new environmental and cost hurdles, Yergin said.

"People debate oil imports, but what they don't know is 22 percent of oil imports come from Canada, that 13 percent of our natural gas comes from Canada. Imports of energy from Canada need to be seen in the larger context of the trade and investment network that ties the two countries together," he said in an interview in the mountain resort of Banff, Alberta.

"This shows interdependence at work."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peak Oil Is Wrong

Peak oil "wrong," says Schwartz.

"The peak oil people simply don't know what they're talking about," said environmental futurist Peter Schwartz today at the Cleantech Forum in Washington, D.C.
Forget everything you've heard about peak oil as a driver of clean technology, said futurist Peter Schwartz today in a provocative closing session at the Cleantech Forum XVIII in Washington D.C.

"The peak oil people simply don't know what they're talking about, they don't know the facts," claimed Schwartz, co-founder and chairman of the Global Business Network and author of five books.

"Peak oil is wrong. We really don't know how much oil there is in most of the oil reservoirs of the world. Oil reservoirs are complex geological structures, and most of the data is in private hands, or in state governments, and they are not particularly forthcoming about how much is there." ...

"We don't know how much is out there," he said today. "And they tend to be very conservative, these estimates. And technology changes, and that opens up new reserves deep offshore. When I was at Shell, we could only drill into a thousand feet of water. Today, they're drilling into 10,000 feet of water, and 20,000 feet below that."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Smart Money

National Oilwell (NOV) Chairman/CEO Picks Up 10K Shares at Lows.

National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) Chairman/CEO, Merrill A. Miller, bought 10,000 shares on today (09/16) at $47.47, bringing his stake to 483,178 shares.

Shares of National Oilwell currently trade at $49.84, with a $46.21-$92.70 52-week range.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. engages in the design, construction, manufacture, and sale of systems, components, and products to the oil and gas industry worldwide.
$130,000 profit in three days. Not bad...:P

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday we had Petrobras begging for mercy: Petrobras president sees funding risk from crisis.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The crisis hitting global markets could make it more difficult for Brazil oil giant Petrobras (PBR) to fund its ambitious plans to tap vast deep-water oil reserves, the company's president said on Thursday.

"Imagine the volume of finances we need. It will be difficult to raise resources if this little country in the north keeps falling," Jose Sergio Gabrielli said, in an apparent reference to the United States.

"You can imagine the problems."

Gabrielli made the remarks in a speech at the end of the four-day Rio Oil and Gas conference, dominated by the state-owned firm's massive new offshore oil discoveries that could catapult Brazil into the world's top 10 producers.

The firm needs to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years to tap the oil, which lies up to 7 km (4.3 miles) below a thick layer of salt.

The financial crisis could squeeze funding sources for Petrobras and its suppliers of crucial equipment, such as the deep-sea oil rigs that can cost more than $500 million each to build.

Petrobras has leased about 80 percent of the world's deepest-drilling offshore rigs and plans to double its rigs in deep and ultra-deep water to 63 by 2017. Twenty-eight of the new rigs are to be built in Brazil.

The crisis has "consequences that are not yet fully realized in financing this market," Gabrielli added.
Today we have BRIC countries leading the strongest rally in 20 years: Russia, Brazil Lead Record Emerging Market Gain; Bonds Rally.

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market stocks surged the most in 20 years and currencies and bonds soared after central banks pumped cash into credit-markets, shoring up confidence and luring investors back to riskier assets.

Russia, China and Brazil led the rally as every emerging stock market but Pakistan gained. Russia's Micex Index rose the most ever as President Dmitry Medvedev pledged $20 billion to end the nation's worst financial crisis since the 1998 default. China's CSI 300 Index rose a record 9.3 percent. Latin American currencies surged, led by a 6.3 percent jump in the Colombian peso. Emerging-market bonds rallied the most since 2001.
Why was Pakistan the only emerging market not to gain? Because they are the only totalitarian country besides the U.S.S.A. authoritarian enough to institute a shortsale ban.

Here is a chart sent to me by industry sources:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Powdered Methane

Powdered Methane Could Help Harness Energy Source.

Sept. 16, 2008 -- Most people know methane as a component of natural gas. But chemists in the U.K. have developed a way to create a solid form of the gas that looks like granulated sugar and can be stored and poured.

Methane could power the world. Two methane hydrate deposits off the coast of South Carolina reportedly hold enough natural gas to power the United States for a hundred years. Other estimates say that worldwide methane deposits contain more energy than coal, oil and all other fossil fuels combined [LOL...there are other so-called "fossil" fuels that we don't know about?].

"There is a huge amount of energy in these resources," said Cooper. "The question is how much of that material can we recover."

Most of that methane is locked inside ice crystals in the Arctic or at the bottom of the ocean, where the pressure is high, the temperature is low, or both, which makes extracting those deposits difficult. ...

Easily trapping gases like CO2, methane and hydrogen could be useful, but first it has to be economical, said both Cooper and outside experts who are cautious about its expense.

Michael Max, who uses hydrates for desalination at Marine Desalination Systems, echoes Cooper.

"It's an interesting result," said Max. "But we don't see how this could be developed commercially."

Max points to Mitsui Group technology that mechanically presses methane hydrate into pea-sized pebbles, making them more stable for transportation and use. However it's stored and transported, finding a cheaper way to gather, store and transport methane and other gasses may eventually help use alternative natural resources.

"The economics of this are far from obvious," said Cooper. "This is a preliminary result and we have to think hard about the costs involved."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

House Passes Tepid Offshore Bill

House OKs bill allowing more offshore oil drilling.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed an energy bill clearing the way for more oil drilling off U.S. coasts, but not nearly as much as Republican leaders wanted.

The bill would expand offshore oil drilling, but not to the extent that many Republicans want.

The bill was passed by a vote of 236-189.

Many Republicans opposed the bill because it would allow new oil drilling only between 50 and 100 miles offshore. Republicans generally want to allow new drilling starting 3 miles from shore.

Republicans also objected to provisions repealing tax cuts for the oil industry and what they said was a lack of incentive for states to allow drilling on their land.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters Tuesday: "The American taxpayers have been ripped off for years on offshore drilling. This bill changes that."
Excuse me? There has been an offshore drilling ban for 26 years. Taxpayers have been ripped off by nonexistant offshore drilling? You really need to have attended Moscow University's Karl Marx department to follow that line of reasoning. Government has been ripping off taxpayers for 200 years so I'm not sure why Pelosi has a problem with oil companies.

Before the vote, Pelosi said the bill presented a choice between "the status quo, which is preferred by Big Oil," and "change for the future to take our country in a new direction."

Fifteen Republicans voted for the largely Democrat-backed bill. Thirteen Democrats voted against it.

The Senate, meanwhile, could vote on various energy proposals, including more offshore drilling, as early as this week.

The House bill would require states to give their permission for drilling on their land. It also would offer incentives for renewable energy, require the government to release oil from its emergency reserve, and force oil companies to drill on federal lands they already lease from the government.

Democratic leaders had previously opposed Republican-led efforts to repeal a 1981 law barring most offshore drilling. But they changed course over the August recess, saying their new plans would allow some expanded drilling. See where U.S. offshore drilling is banned »

But Republicans say the House bill wouldn't expand offshore drilling enough. Before the vote, Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, called the bill "a charade," denying it would do what its backers claim.

"This is not 'yes' to drilling. This is 'yes, but,' " he said.

"This is 'yes, but no drilling in Alaska, no drilling in the Eastern Gulf, no drilling inside 50 miles,' " Pence said. "This is 'yes, but no litigation reform that will prevent radical environmental attorneys from tying up leases even before a single shovel of dirt is turned.' "

Democrats and Republicans traded harsh words on the House floor Tuesday in the debate over the bill.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, said President Bush's "idea of an energy policy is holding hands with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, embracing him with a big smooch."

When the Republicans "controlled Congress, [they] passed their own energy bill, signed into law by the president. We got into this mess," Weiner said.

But Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, shot back that the Democrats' bill is a "sham" and a "fraud."

"This is a bill designed to ensure Democrats' re-election, not designed to ensure affordable energy in America," Hensarling said.

Hensarling also complained about how the bill was brought to the floor: "No amendments, no substitutes, no committee hearings. Is this democracy? No."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Petrobras Breaks Production Record

Petrobras' Brazil oil output hits record in Aug.

SAO PAULO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Petrobras' (PBR) domestic monthly oil output rose to a record high in August after production was raised at two wells and another platform entered into service, Brazil's state-run energy firm said on Tuesday.

Petrobras, which accounts for nearly all crude production and refining in Latin America's largest country, said it pumped an average of 1.89 million barrels per day last month, up 1 percent from 1.87 million bpd in July and above the average of 1.79 million bpd for all of 2007.

Petrobras said August's output made it a record month. The firm's crude output has risen more or less steadily since 2000, and is now expected to soar after its discovery of deep subsalt reserves late last year of 5 billion to 8 billion barrels of light crude deep beneath the ocean floor in the Santos basin.
Petrobras sees pre-salt output 1.1 mln bpd in 2017.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Brazil oil giant Petrobras(PBR) expects to be producing 1.126 million barrels a day of oil equivalent from its new "pre-salt" fields by 2017, the head of exploration and production for the fields said on Tuesday.

"In 2017, it (pre-salt) will have a significant mark on production with eight complete platforms of 120,000 bpd and three planned pilots of 100,000 bpd," Jose Formigli told reporters at the Rio Oil and Gas conference.

Petrobras has invested $1 billion, drilling 20 wells into the sub-salt layer of Brazil's coast since 2005 and has encountered large quantities of high-grade light oil and natural gas. Analysts estimate the sub-salt reserves could contain up to 80 billion barrels of oil, catapulting Brazil into the top 10 oil producers.

Last year, Petrobras produced 1.79 million bpd. It expects an average annual output growth of over 7 percent through 2012.

Formigli said the expected pre-salt production from the pre-salt cluster in the Santos basin would be included in the firm's business plan for 2009 to 2020 which is due to be released in October.

Formigli added that Petrobras was not concerned about the recent sharp fall in world oil prices since the company's plans for the pre-salt production were based on a price of $35 per barrel.

Oil Prices Continue To Drop

Oil prices continue to drop.

Oil prices extended their retreat, shedding $10 a barrel in a violent, two-day slide as Wall Street dims hope for a swift economic recovery and signals another drop in US energy demand.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $4.56 to settle at $91.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier dipping to $90.51, its lowest level since February 8.

On Tuesday prices closed below $100 for the first time in six months, shedding more than $5 and wiping out all of oil's gains for the year.

Crude has fallen about $55, or 37 per cent, since shooting above $147 on July 11.
Crude Oil Rises in New York on Speculation of AIG Rescue Plan.

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose from a seven-month low amid speculation the Federal Reserve may rescue American International Group Inc. from collapse.

Oil climbed as U.S. stocks advanced after floor trading closed on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday. U.S. crude-oil and fuel inventories probably fell last week as production platforms and refineries on the Gulf of Mexico shut because of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, a Bloomberg survey showed.

``The rebound in the stock market probably encouraged some buying, and then I think we're also setting up for the DOE report, which should show lower U.S. inventories in the major categories,'' said Tim Evans, an analyst with Citi Futures Perspective in New York.

Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.60, or 1.8 percent, to $92.75 a barrel at 9:15 a.m. Sydney time on the Nymex after touching $92.98. Crude futures declined more than $10 a barrel in the past two days on concern that financial market disruptions may weaken the global economy and cut fuel demand.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Invisible Hand Shakes Medvedev

Russia Market Drop May Temper Medvedev Georgia Moves.

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- When it comes to containing Russia, the invisible hand of the markets may be the West's most potent weapon.

Tightening access to international credit and mounting stock losses are hurting Russian billionaires as well as state- owned corporations, prompting calls by businessmen to heed Western complaints over Kremlin policy in Georgia.

The head of the country's biggest business association, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, met President Dmitry Medvedev, urging him to take ``anti-crisis'' measures.

``The stock market is plunging, capital is fleeing, there is a severe shortage of liquidity in the banking system, prices for many core exports are falling and inflationary pressures are strengthening,'' the business group's Alexander Shokhin said today in a live televised Kremlin meeting. Current policies ``may turn out to be inadequate,'' he said.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Iara: 4 Billion Barrels

Petrobras Oil Reserves Likely to Swell on Iara Field.

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said its Iara offshore field contains 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of oil, its second giant find in a year and enough to supply the country for five years.

The assessment released yesterday is the first estimate of recoverable oil from the discovery announced Aug. 11. Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, said in January its Jupiter field in the same region contained gas quantities similar to its Tupi area, the largest oil find in the Americas since 1976.

Iara is in the Santos Basin to the north of Tupi, a 5 billion- to 8 billion-barrel field announced in November. If confirmed, Iara and Tupi, which sit in non-adjacent parts of the same exploration block, could almost double Brazil's 12.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, according to BP Plc. Petrobras preferred stock gained the most in three weeks.

``It's still a huge field and bigger than almost anything around,'' Ted Harper, senior research analyst with Frost Investment Advisors in Houston, said by telephone. The company manages the equivalent of $2 billion of stocks and bonds, including Petrobras, Harper said.

Iara is operated and 65 percent owned by Petrobras.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Speculators Pulled 39 Billion From Oil Futures

Returning to fundamentals, the peak oil speculators have been washed out: Oil Investors Pulled $39 Billion in Futures Contracts.

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Commodity index investors, blamed for record oil prices, sold $39 billion worth of oil futures between a July record and Sept. 2, causing crude to plunge, according to a report released today.

The work by Michael Masters, president of the Masters Capital Management hedge fund, blames investors who buy and hold an index of commodities for driving prices to records and for their subsequent drop. It comes a day before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to discuss its own study of energy trading with a congressional committee.

Masters testified three times before Congress this year, arguing that limits on traders would cut oil prices to $65 to $70 a barrel. He has been cited by lawmakers who introduced at least 20 measures to curb speculation. Congressional pressure on the CFTC to step up enforcement and restrict anonymous trades has pushed index traders out of their positions, Masters said.

``I don't think it's just coincidence that the money came out after the pressure was put on these folks,'' Masters, who wants legislation that would set limits on index commodity holdings, said in an interview.

Crude oil futures surged to a record $147.27 on July 11, an increase of 53 percent for the year, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, then fell 26 percent to $109.71 on Sept. 2. Oil fell $1.24, or 1.2 percent, to $102.02 today on the Nymex.

``The speculators that drove prices up basically deflated the bubble,'' said Fadel Gheit, director of oil and gas research at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. ``They said, `That's it, the game is over. We are going to bet on another horse.'''
Not only were they wrong about geology but they lost money in the process. Now we can pick up RIG, NOV, and PBR on sale from sellers like Ospraie.

OPEC Cuts Production On Huge Oversupply

El-Badri Says OPEC Is Cutting `Huge Oversupply'.

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El- Badri said the group's decision to adhere to production quotas means it is cutting output by about 500,000 barrels a day.

OPEC members are reducing a ``huge oversupply'' of oil on the market, El-Badri said today during a press briefing at OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Before the cut, the group was producing 900,000 barrels a day above its quota, he said.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are They Really Oil Wars?

Ismael Hossein-zadeh: Are They Really Oil Wars?

A most widely-cited factor behind the recent U.S. wars of choice is said to be oil. “No Blood for Oil” has been a rallying cry for most of the opponents of the war. While some of these opponents argue that the war is driven by the U.S. desire for cheap oil, others claim that it is prompted by big oil’s wish for high oil prices and profits. Interestingly, most antiwar forces use both claims interchangeably without paying attention to the fact that they are diametrically-opposed assertions.

Not only do the two arguments contradict each other, but each argument is also wanting and unconvincing on its own grounds; not because the U.S. does not wish for cheap oil, or because Big Oil does not desire higher oil prices, but because war is no longer the way to control or gain access to energy resources. Colonial-type occupation or direct control of energy resources is no longer efficient or economical and has, therefore, been abandoned for more than four decades.

The view that recent U.S. military adventures in the Middle East and the broader Central Asia are driven by energy considerations is further reinforced by the dubious theory of Peak Oil, which maintains that world production of conventional oil will soon reach—if it has not already reached—a maximum, or peak, and decline thereafter. It follows that, therefore, war power and military strength are key to access or control of the stagnant, shrinking, or soon-to-be-shrinking oil.

In this study I will first argue that while, prima facie, Peak Oil sounds like a reasonable thesis, it is dubious on both theoretical and empirical grounds. I will then show that war and military force are no longer the necessary or appropriate means to gain access to sources of energy, and that resorting to military measures can, indeed, lead to costly, not cheap, oil. Next, I will demonstrate that, despite the lucrative spoils of war resulting from high oil prices and profits, Big Oil prefers peace and stability, not war and geopolitical turbulence, in global energy markets. Finally, I will argue a case that behind the drive to war and military adventures in the Middle East lie some powerful special interests (vested in war, militarism, and geopolitical concerns of Israel) that use oil as an issue of “national interest”—as a façade or pretext—in order to justify military adventures to derive high dividends, both economic and geopolitical, from war.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Russia Aims To Corner Energy Market

Russia aims to corner energy market.

ROME (Reuters) - Russia aims to extend its control over energy deliveries to the West and it is important that European countries push forward on efforts to diversify routes for oil and gas supplies, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

As Vice President Dick Cheney visited Italy to seek support for Georgia after its brief war with Russia, the official, said: "The fact is Russia has worked hard to try to corner the market, so to speak, and is working to foreclose options to transit for those energy products across Russia.

"They want everything to come out through Russia and a lot of us think it's more important that there be diverse means of gaining access to those resources," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"No one country ought to be able to totally dominate those deliveries."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gulf Production To Increase By 10 Million Barrels Per Day

Gulf oil production poised to increase by 10 million barrels a day.

Dubai: A massive $300 billion investment in boosting oil production is underway which could see the Arabian Gulf deliver a staggering 10 million barrels of crude a day in added capacity by 2015 more than half from Saudi Arabia alone according to project research firm Proleads.

"Recent analysis of total global oil production and development projects indicate that world crude production capacity from all sources has the potential to rise from 87 million barrels per day to as much as 108 million by 2015," said Emil Rademeyer, director of Proleads.

"Our analysis shows that if all current projects across the region meet their projected targets in barrels of oil a day, it would mean that by 2015 the hydrocarbon rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be supplying more than half that future added oil capacity," said Emil Rademeyer, director of Proleads.

This important Proleads analysis also reveals that within the GCC countries of Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, approved upstream oil projects designed to either maintain or increase production capacity have soared in value from below $1.5 billion in 2006 to a 2008 peak of $30 billion.

Across the GCC, Proleads is also tracking a record of nearly 300 active upstream oil projects with a combined value of almost $300 billion.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Brazil May Have 70 Billion Barrels Near Tupi

Brazil May Have 70 Billion Barrels of Oil Near Tupi.

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil has between 30 billion and 70 billion barrels of oil in its so-called pre-salt fields near the Tupi discovery off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, said Julio Bueno, the state's economic affairs secretary.

The oil estimate refers to fields previously discovered by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, BG Group Plc and other companies in the Santos Basin, Bueno said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London.

``We think that in the areas that Petrobras and other companies have already discovered we have 30 billion to 70 billion,'' said Bueno, a former Petrobras executive. ``It's not an easy task to say how much you have, but it's a good amount to think about.''

About $600 billion will be needed to develop the pre-salt resources, an amount that will require involvement from both Brazilian and non-Brazilian oil companies, Bueno said. The Tupi field may have as much as 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil, Petrobras said in November, making it the largest oil discovery in the Americas since 1976.

Bueno favors retaining Brazil's existing rules and regulations governing oil exploration and believes a national debate over how to spend revenue from the new fields will not end with restrictions on foreign investment.

``The law is very nice and running well,'' he said. ``We need foreign investment and technology. We need an open system.''

Rio de Janeiro-state's position as Brazil's main oil- producing region and its governor Sergio Cabral's close relationship with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will help ensure that major changes to the country's oil lease system aren't made, Bueno said.

Brazil currently leases its oil rights to private companies at auctions and the companies can sell the oil they produce. The discovery of the new fields has initiated a discussion about how to increase the government's share of oil revenue and whether the state should take a bigger role in managing oil development.
I just averaged down.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bad News For Daewoo Is Good News For Transocean

Bad news for Daewoo is good news for Transocean and Daewoo suitors including POSCO: Daewoo Ship Shows Subprime Woes Overcome Drill Orders.

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Park Chang Suk isn't waiting to learn what Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. will be worth when the South Korean government sells the maker of oil tankers, submarines and ferries this fall.

The 35-year-old Park, who oversees the equivalent of $481 million at NH-CA Asset Management Co. in Seoul, dumped his shares as orders fell by one-third from January to June and the Seoul- based company canceled a container-ship contract for the first time in its 35-year history.

State-run Korea Development Bank and Korea Asset Management Corp. plan to sell their 50.4 percent interest in the world's third-biggest shipbuilder for as much as 7 trillion won ($6.1 billion), according to Cho In Karp at Good Morning Shinhan Securities Co. in Seoul. Steelmaker Posco and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. last week joined two other companies in making separate offers. The bidding has failed to stir the shares, now at their lowest in five months.

``The shares could move higher on the sale, but for me that's not enough to change my position on Daewoo Shipbuilding,'' said Park, who earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington. ``The shipbuilding industry has already reached its peak. Demand has weakened. And Daewoo Shipbuilding is just too expensive.''
2 months ago things were a lot different: Daewoo Ship Receives Record 2.44 Trillion Won Order.

Brazil Risk: Much Ado About Nothing

Given that Petrobras (PBR) is now George Soros's single biggest investment, and given that Repsol began drilling the Santos Basin today, it seems to me that the Bolshevik rhetoric from Brazil's Socialists is much ado about nothing and merely hollow words without meaning. Does anyone honestly think Brazil wants to be the next Venezuela?

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Repsol YPF SA, Spain's largest oil company, started drilling in two projects it operates in the Santos basin offshore Brazil.

The company owns 40 percent of the BM-S-48 and BM-S-55 projects, while Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA holds a 35 percent stake, Madrid-based Repsol said today in a regulatory filing. Exploration will be carried out over the next two years and involve drilling two or three wells.

``The Santos basin in Brazil is one of the zones with greatest exploration potential in the world,'' Repsol said.

Brazil's ``pre-salt'' offshore region may contain about 50 billion barrels of oil, according to Peter Wells, a director at U.K. research company Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd. Repsol has stakes in 23 blocks in Brazil's offshore Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo basins, and operates 11 of those projects.

The company has pledged to almost triple profit by 2012 and is trying to increase exploration in countries including Russia and Brazil as it cuts reliance on Argentina. Chairman Antonio Brufau on July 1 said the company will triple investments for developing offshore crude oil deposits in Brazil's Santos Basin to at least $1.5 billion.

Repsol hired Transocean Inc.'s Sovereign Explorer platform for the work, which will start at the Panoramix well in the BM- S-48 area at a water depth of 170 meters (558 feet). The platform can drill as deep as 8,902 meters.

Repsol also plans to drill two appraisal wells in the next year at the Carioca discovery in the Santos Basin, Chief Operating Officer Miguel Martinez said July 31.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

University of Minnesota Seminar On Abiotic Hydrocarbons

Research scientist Qi Fu of the University of Minnesota will be leading a seminar on Abiotic Hydrocarbons this Friday: LPI Seminar Series: Experimental investigations on abiotic formation of hydrocarbons under hydrothermal conditions.

Qi Fu, Univ. of Minnesota

Experimental investigations on abiotic formation of hydrocarbons under hydrothermal conditions

A series of experiments were conducted to study mineral catalyzed carbon reduction processes in subseafloor hydrothermal systems. In experiments involving magnetite and CO2 and H2-bearing aqueous fluids at 400oC and 500 bars, time-series fluid samples indicated significant concentrations of dissolved CO and C1-C3 hydrocarbons and relatively large changes in dissolved CO2 and H2 concentrations, consistent with formation of additional hydrocarbons beyond C3. The isotope results showed a pattern of C and H isotope enrichment between C1 and higher hydrocarbons. The "isotopic reversal" trend was not observed for 13C values of dissolved alkanes with increasing carbon number. This may relate to the specific mechanism of carbon reduction under hydrothermal conditions at elevated temperatures and pressures. In another experiment, the catalytic role of iron-nickel sulfide (Pentlandite) was evaluated using a 13C-labeled carbon source at conditions (T, P, and fluid chemistry) close to Rainbow/Logatchev vent systems. Dissolved 13C-bearing alkane species were produced with relatively low H2(aq)/CO2(aq) ratio and the existence of dissolved H2S. Hydroxymethylene is the key intermediate in the hypothesized reaction mechanism, which was consistent with XPS and ToF-SIMS analysis results on the mineral product.
Also see here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brazil Devolves Into Socialist Circus

The Socialists in Brazil are doing their best to scare foreign investment away from Brazil so that Brazilians are never allowed to participate in the global economy. Hopefully Brazil won't join the ranks of Russia and Venezuela: Brazil Pumps First Pre-Salt Oil Amid Windfall Debate.

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva boarded an oil platform today to celebrate the first output from offshore deposits he's counting on to speed development and end poverty.

The oil is the first trickle from the so-called pre-salt region containing as much as 50 billion barrels of oil worth $6 trillion at current prices. Located in area is Tupi, the largest discovery in the Americas since 1976. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the state-controlled oil company, is tapping the well about 560 kilometers (350 miles) northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Although full-scale production is still years away, Lula's allies in congress are already writing bills to spend the windfall on programs ranging from education to nuclear submarines. Other lawmakers want to revamp Brazil's oil industry to exert more state control and limit foreign involvement. As the fight for cash intensifies, analysts and opposition lawmakers say it may scare off investment.

``We are cooking the omelets with eggs that the hen hasn't laid,'' said congressman Luiz Paulo Vellozo, who heads an opposition panel discussing pre-salt. ``We should not be discussing how to spend the money, but how to get the oil out.'' ...

Petrobras has the most at stake in the regulatory fight. The company has evolved into the world's 11th-largest company with a market value of more than $205 billion, about half the value of Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's the world's largest company, under the decade-old system of oil rights auctions.

``The paradox is that the discovery of pre-salt is the successful culmination of the same model now under threat,'' Carlos Langoni, a former central bank president, said at an Aug. 29 conference in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the new oil laws.

Since July 9, when the price of oil reached a record, the company's shares have tumbled 16 percent to 33.55 reais at 9:10 a.m. in Sao Paulo, almost double the decline in both the Sao Paulo stock market and the New York Stock Exchange Energy Index. The shares are now trading at the lowest levels since before the discovery of Tupi in November.

Monday, September 1, 2008

OPEC Production Up 4 Months In a Row

OPEC output up for 4th month in Aug: Reuters survey.

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC oil supply rose for a fourth consecutive month in August, mainly due to higher output from Iran and smaller increases in Nigeria and Angola, a Reuters survey showed on Monday.

The survey indicates the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping almost 800,000 barrels per day more than its target and comes as some members are voicing concern that the world market is oversupplied.

Extra OPEC oil and declining demand from slowing economies in the West have helped lower prices to $113 a barrel from a record $147.27 in July. OPEC meets on September 9, and some analysts expect its next move will be to trim production.

"While the bias has been towards rising output for the last year, that period is drawing to a close and it's a question of how much actual output is going to be trimmed in coming months," said Paul Horsnell of Barclays Capital.

Supply from all 13 OPEC countries climbed to 32.82 million bpd in August from 32.59 million bpd in July, according to the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts.

Iran accounted for much of the increase. OPEC's second-largest producer supplied less oil than expected in July due to limited demand for its heavier crude oil grades, which meant more crude was held in storage.

Output in August rebounded to 4.05 million bpd from 3.7 million bpd in July due to higher sales, the survey found.

Nigeria and Angola are also pumping more. In Nigeria, where attacks by militants on oil installations have curbed output, production recovered by 60,000 bpd in August.

Angola also raised output slightly, despite the shutdown on August 16 of BP Plc's 200,000 bpd Plutonio oilfield following an incident at a gas plant at the facility.

OPEC pumps about two in every five barrels of oil.