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Archive for the ‘offshore oil’ Category

Statoil Evacuates North Sea Platform

Posted by feww on May 21, 2010

“Unstable” North Sea Oil Well Prompts Evacuation

Norway’s Statoil said it had evacuated the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea because well pressure fluctuation disabled a valve designed to prevent a blowout.

“There are no leaks and no injuries. The situation on the platform is stable and we are planning for further operations to normalize the situation.” Statoil spokesman said, Reuters reported.

Completed in 1990, Gullfaks C platform sits some 217 meters below the surface, with a total height of about 380 meters.


Gullfaks C (GFC). Source: Petroleum Safety Authority Norway.

Gullfaks is an oil and gas field in the Tampen area of the North Sea which produces about 80,000 barrels of oil per day (previously 250,000bpd) and 400 million cubic meters of gas annually.

Environmental group Bellona called the incident as “very critical.”

“They have a situation in which there is uncontrolled pressure from the well, one of the barriers is gone and one barrier is left,” said Frederic Hauge, head of Bellona, one of the leading environmentalist groups in Norway.

“Uncontrolled pressure is very serious and has the capability of being a large accident,” he said, adding that in the first quarter of 2010, eight incidents took place in the Norwegian oil industry that had “large scale potential.”

“That is very serious,” Hauge said. “Regulatory work in Norway may look nice from outside, but we have a lot of security issues in the Norwegian industry,” he said. More…

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Posted in Bellona, offshore oil wells, offshore Drilling, offshore oil, offsore drilling | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Britain and Argentina Headed Toward Another War?

Posted by feww on February 22, 2010

It’s about oil, again!

Another War in Falklands Could Flare Before Natural Gas Does

The Falklands War, which followed Argentina’s “re-occupation” of  the Falklands in 1982, claimed the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British soldiers.

Argentina considered the action as the “re-occupation of its own territory,” where as the British government saw it as an “invasion” of a “British dependent territory” and dispatched its naval force to retake the islands.

The limited war fought between the two countries resulted from the centuries-old dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which were initially occupied by France in 1764.

The islands lie in the South Atlantic, about 400 miles east of Argentina and some 8,000 miles away from Britain.

Geographically, Argentina has a legitimate claim to the sovereignty of Falkland Islands—proximity.

Cancun Summit 2010

Leaders of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries unanimously backed Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands at a 2010 Cancun summit in Mexico, said a report .

In their  statement, the 32 leaders reaffirmed “backing for Argentina’s legitimate rights in its sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom relating to the ‘Malvinas Question,'” and condemned the oil drilling operations.

The Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called on the UN to debate Argentina’s sovereignty claim to the islands.

“What is the geographic, the political or economic explanation for England [Britain] to be in Las Malvinas?” Lula asked.

“Could it be because England is a permanent member of the UN’s Security Council where they can do everything and the others nothing?”

The Undesired

Desire Petroleum, a UK energy company, probably owned by one or more of the multinationals, is about to begin drilling for oil in the territorial waters of the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic Ocean, despite strong objections from Argentina.


The semi-submersible Giant oil rig Ocean Guardian, built 24 years ago, traveled 62 days  from Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth to the Falklands. Source: Desire Petroleum.  “Desire Petroleum estimates potential oil reserves exceeding 3.5 billion barrels and more than nine trillion cubic feet of gas. … In 1998 six wells were drilled to the north of the islands that revealed the presence of a rich organic source rock that could hold up to 60 billion barrels of oil.”

The oil fields near Falklands are said to hold an estimated total of 60 billion barrels; however, Desire Petroleum, has said “the amount which could be exploited commercially would probably be a fraction of that.” BBC UK reported.  [The rest of it would be released in the ocean to keep an oil-rich marine environment.]

Desire Oil has towed a platform to a drilling site about 100km (62 miles) north of the Falklands. Drilling was scheduled to  start at 06:00UTC today.

Argentina, which has long claimed the islands, known locally as las Malvinas, filed a claim with the United Nations “for a vast expanse of ocean, based on research into the extent of the continental shelf, stretching to the Antarctic and including the island chains governed by the UK, ” BBC reported.

Based on the claim, Argentina says drilling by the UK company violates its sovereignty and has since imposed shipping restrictions around the Falklands, and has threatened to take “adequate measures” to stop “British oil exploration in contested waters around the islands.”

Argentine government has asked its neighbors to also impose shipping restrictions in the area, and  is further seeking support from Latin American countries.

According to desire oil, Argentina is about to start its own exploration off the west west coast of the islands.


Map of the region with exploration areas marked. Source: UN/ BBC UK.

Comments made by various parties:

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela: Britain is acting irrationally and it’s high time it realized the “time for empires was over.”

Argentinian Govt:  No war this time, but Britain must negotiate sovereignty.

UN: He who has nukes calls the tunes.

Desire Petroleum [having towed the giant rig, the Ocean Guardian,about 13,000 km (6,950 NM) from the Cromarty Firth, Scotland] : “Desire is an oil company and it’s exploring for oil and not getting involved in what Argentina is saying about going to the UN. The rig is sitting firmly inside UK waters.” Even if the commercially viable quantities of oil were to be found in the are, it would many years before any oil would be recovered. The Company spokesman added.

Falklands Legislative Assembly [“The Licensor”]:  We have “every right” to do “legitimate business.”

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband:  British oil exploration in the Falklands is “completely in accordance with international law.” [British government may be occupied by Israel-first interests, but Britain is not like Israel.]

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown:  UK government has “made all the preparations that are necessary to make sure the Falkland islanders are properly protected.” [We have nukes; Argies don’t.]

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Posted in Desire Petroleum, energy war, Malvinas, offshore oil, oil and gas exploration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

God Promised Offshore Acres to Chosen Companies

Posted by feww on February 14, 2010

submitted by a reader

The U.S. Interior Department delivers 37 million acres for offshore drilling

The U.S. Interior Department is leasing about 37 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas companies for drill-till-you-drop explorations

Perhaps the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico were meant to happen [sic]; they were as inevitable [sic] as the Climate Change. Whether its was the will of almighty that his chosen few companies be able to drill for oil and gas  in the Gulf  of Mexico, or the failure of His children to stop the companies doing so, one thing is for certain: The Gulf of Mexico would be made progressively more polluted.


Offshore drilling: Govt approved rape and plunder in the high seas.
Source of Photo: yourdemocracy.net.au

Since YOU and us only benefit from doing more with less energy, and keeping our food sources clean,  the only two conclusions we can draw from this must be (i) God has forsaken us in favor of His chosen few, and (ii) we have miserably failed to protect our sources of natural food.

The energy companies are being offered areas that “hold up to 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of gas,” the department said, Reuters reported.

Lease Sale 213 involves about 6,958 tracts spread over 36.9 million acres located 3 to 230 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The blocks are in water depths from 10 feet to more than 11,200 feet.”

The lease sale will include about 4.1 million acres in an area known as 181 South, off the Alabama-Florida border. Drilling off Florida in the Gulf is only allowed far from the state’s shoreline.

The lease sale, which will be held on March 17, will cut the time energy companies have to develop oil and gas resources on certain tracts.

The leasing period for blocks in waters 400 to 800 meters (1,312 to 2,625 feet) deep would change from eight to five years, but when an exploratory well is drilled the lease could be extended by three years.

Blocks 800 to 1600 meters (2,625 to 5,249 feet) deep would have lease terms of seven years instead of 10 years. There would also be an extension of three years with an exploratory well.

The current 10-year leasing period would continue for blocks in 1,600 meters (5,249 feet) of water.

Liz Birnbaum, director of the department’s Minerals Management Service, commenting on the shorter leasing periods, said, “they provide a fair return to the public for (offshore) resources and a fair opportunity for lessees to explore, develop and profit from their leases while encouraging diligent development.”

[It’s a “win-win situation,” but the environment and marine life were unintentionally left out of the formula.]

Despite the advantages to both oil and gas companies and the people, the chosen few have reportedly opposed the cut in the leasing periods, and have bitterly complained:

“MMS recognizes that advances in technology have decreased the time necessary for exploration and development in some water depths, while frontier conditions still exist in the deepest waters of the Gulf,” said Birnbaum. “The reduction of some initial lease periods with possible extensions is a way to expedite development.”

Companies pay the government a small royalty fee based on only 18.75 percent of the value of the oil and gas they drill in the offshore tracts, Reuters reported.

We interpreted that to mean 81.25 percent of the oil and gas would be squandered royalty free!

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Posted in Drilling off Florida, offshore oil, oil and gas, US energy | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »