Category: Crude


Published time: November 06, 2013 14:24
Edited time: November 06, 2013 18:53

Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

A new law suit claims some of the world’s largest oil companies – including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, manipulated Brent Crude spot prices in collaboration with Morgan Stanley, Vitol Group, and other energy traders.

The plaintiffs accuse the companies of deliberately submitting false and misleading information about Brent prices to Platts, the energy and oil market news outlet, which is used by traders worldwide in daily transactions, Bloomberg reports.

“By providing false or inaccurate information and engaging in false or sham trading, defendants undermined the entire pricing structure for the Brent Crude Oil physical and futures markets,” the plaintiffs allege.

By fixing the North Sea oil benchmark, the oil companies and traders, not only manipulated the oil market, but petroleum, food, and other products that look to Brent as a guide for buying and selling across world exchanges.

Four traders – John Devivo, Robert Michiels, Anthony Insinga and Kevin McDonnell – filed the class act in a Manhattan court in New York on October 4.

Other companies accused of ‘fixing’ are Trafigura AG and Trafigura Beheer British Virgin Island, Dutch commodity trading firms, Phibro Trading LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Vitol Group, a Swiss-based, Dutch-owned energy trader, S.A., and other unnamed traders.

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I  have gone  through the Oil Sands Fact   Check site and  honestly  all I  can  find is boasting as  to  the boon in the  US  economy, jobs and the fact that  activists  are  using the  pipeline and  tar sands oil as a   scapegoat. Not once  in all the  supposed  facts they  have there do they  address the  real concerns, simply   twisting  the  facts to their advantage.  Painting themselves  as  responsible entities.  Never  once addressing that this substance  is way  more dangerous  than oil to  the  environment and  the  water, especially.  The tap dance over  the  fact by  stating that   tar  sands  oil has  been  transported into the US for decades. 

What they  fail to miss is  this:  Instead  of  reporting  the  factual analysis of the  toxic substances that this tar sand emits they  skirt  over the  fact  claiming their emissions testing results.  Now  please correct  me if I  am  wrong , but the  major concern  of environmentalists  and activist is  not the emissions once it is  in the  car.  In  fact the  concern is of the  damage  the  unrefined substance will do  to the  environment  and the  water shed if a spill were to take  place.  As we can  see in  Arkansas the substance is so toxic that   the  residents  are  already  suffering  from it’s effects .

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They  call themselves  responsible entities, so  then my   question is this :  

what  is  Exxon doing  to  make this right? 

Exxon  has  stated  that the   water   quality was  within  safe  limits. 

So what  exactly  does that  mean ? 

Are  we to  accept  the  status  quo with  regards to safety limits just  as  we  are  to  accept that  GMO’s are  good for us  even  though there   are more and more opponents  coming out  stating  that   it is  in fact  detrimental to human  health?

What about  the air quality?  Or does  that not  matter? 

Children are   getting  sick.  People are  becoming  ill due to the  toxic  conditions.

Are we to believe  this is acceptable ?

Or will this also be  kept from the  people and the sick treated like insignificant data as  the  people of the  gulf  were?

Good health  once it has been compromised cannot be replaced. 

Will your  tar sands oil paycheck take care  of it?

There  is no amount of compensation that will replace good health.  Nor erase catastrophic  illness.

Or does it  not  matter  because  it isn’t your family?

I am sorry to break it to you  , but  unless  you  have a crystal ball that tells  you otherwise .  It could  very well be  you  and  your  family that suffers  next!  Do not  delude  yourself  by  detaching from the reality  of things entertaining the belief that  it  won’t happen to you .  I am sure the  people  of Mayflower , Arkansas never  imagined they would now  be mired  in this  poison.  Their children getting sick and  their  homes surrounded, helpless waiting  for some  heartless  oil company to decide  whether the clean up is worth the expense.  Not the  lives  of the people affected by their poison, but their bottomline.

Don’t kid yourself!

With  the   lack of responsibility  and  lack of corrective  action  taken  by   oil companies in  Africa.  With  leaking pipelines and  toxic sludge where lakes had once been.  Dead  soil where crops were once  grown. 

How can  anyone  in their  right  mind take the  word of these companies as to their integrity and responsibility? 

We  have  seen  what  BP did  in the  Gulf Of Mexico.

Do you  truly  consider what  was done in the  gulf an adequate job  of cleaning up the mess  made by their incompetence  and lust  for profits? 

The sea life  dying  as  a result and scientists complaining  that they  have  been  legally gagged  from making their findings available to the  public. 

Restrained by  whom? 

The oil companies?

No restrained by the  government   that  is supposed to  be looking  out  for our   benefit.  Instead  they are  protecting the Oil Companies interests. 

Is this the kind of safety  measure   you  want?  

The  reins handed over to a company  who’s  haste  for fattening up their bottom line poisons our earth , our  air and our water so  that they  can  police themselves? 

How many  journalists  were   kept away  from  the  Gulf  to keep them from reporting  what they   saw  there?

How many  reporters  were  kept from Mayflower, Arkansas for the  same reason?   

Everyone is crowing about  the jobs the  tar  sands oil will bring to the  US.

  Are  you truly  understanding  what  you are   asking  for? 

Do you  even understand that   Mayflower  Arkansas could be anywhere   in the heartland? 

Do  you  realize  what   would happen if  that   pipeline leaked into the  water  shed.?

It  would not  be someone else’s problem , it  would be  everyone’s problem . You are looking for  jobs, yes  we  understand.  We  all live  here in the   States and we are all going  through  the  same hard  times.  We  all need to  work and  we all  need  to  pay  our  bills. 

Where  do  we   draw the line  at  what  is admissible and what  is  over the  not? 

There  is only  one   Earth and when  she is   completely  trashed   where  will you  go ? 

Will your  job with  tars sands oil help you  bring  her  back ? 

Will you  be  able to remove  the  horrible toxins  deposited by   your  tars  sands  oil from the  earth,the rivers, the  water?

Are  you  not paying attention to what  is  happening around  you?

I want  you  to  understand one very  important thing.  The responsibility   for the  destruction of  our environment  is not just  on the  oil companies.  It is  on  everyone of  you   who  don’t  give it  a second thought.  On  everyone of you that  takes  clean  air ,and water  for  granted.  On everyone of you that  places  a  job  over  the  well  being  of  your  children and your fellow  American’s children.  This is not a  game this is a very   hazardous  situation  that  has   grave   consequences and until all of  you realize  that , we  are  lost.

Money  has become the  denominating factor in our lives. 

What  happened to principal , responsibility and honor.

What  happened to doing  what is  right ?

  Where is  the  concern for our   children’s well being?

   I  see  my  fellow citizens on a collision course with destruction,  hell bent on  ignoring  the  warning   signs.  Their eyes on the prize of money and material things. 

One wonders how much that  money  and those materials possessions  will help when  you  can  no longer   give  your   child a cup of clean , safe  water to  drink?

 

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Excerpts  taken  from  Oils Sands  Fact Check

Top 5 Things You Should Know About Transporting Oil Sands Crude

On March 29, an oil pipeline running through Mayflower, Arkansas experienced a leak that resulted in the evacuation of 22 homes and immediate clean up efforts from the pipeline’s operator, ExxonMobil. According to reports, the Pegasus line was carrying Wabasca Heavy crude oil – a blend of crude produced in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta.

Of course, in the minds of oil sands opponents, all pipelines are made alike and are uniformly threatened by oil sands crudes. In fact, following the news of the incident, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) stated:

“This latest pipeline incident is a troubling reminder that oil companies still have not proven that they can safely transport Canadian tar sands oil across the United States without creating risks to our citizens and our environment.”

We have the top five reasons why that’s not the case.

1)     Oil sands crudes have been transported safely in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Accident reports from the Pipeline & Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) from 2002 through mid-2012 show zero internal corrosion-related releases from pipelines carrying diluted bitumen.

 2)     Oil sands crudes are not more corrosive than other crude oils. In a 2011 report, Canadian research group Alberta Innovates found that acid and sulfur compounds found in oil sands crudes “are too stable to be corrosive and some may even decrease corrosion.” Recent testing and studies by ASTM International and Penspen support this conclusion.

 3)     Oil sands crudes are transported at comparable pipeline pressures as other heavy crude oils. All U.S. pipelines must operate under Maximum Operating Pressure limitations administered by PHMSA. In other words, pipelines are constructed to specifications that ensure they can handle the intended operating pressure and the type of liquid that flows through them.

 4)     Oil sands crudes are not heated for transportation in pipelines above the temperature of other crude oils. The range of temperatures for all crude oils from Canada is 40-135 degrees Fahrenheit. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code for Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids does not consider pipeline temperatures to be elevated unless they exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

5)     Keystone XL would “have a degree of safety over any other.” As mentioned in point #3, pipelines must meet certain specifications before transporting any type of crude, no matter if it’s heavy or light. Keystone XL, which will also carry heavy oil from Alberta, is going above and beyond those requirements by adopting 57 extra safety measures, leading the State Department to declare that the project would “have a degree of safety over any other.”

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I challenge  you to watch this  video and  tell me  a  paycheck is worth all this destruction and misery! 

           …………………………….The True Cost Of Oil…………………………………

             If  you  have a  conscience you  would have  to admit  it  is not  worth it.                    Unless this is how you  want  to see  America  when they are done

                                                                             with   her

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~Desert Rose~

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Citizen group sees ‘toxic’ oil soup in Arkansas

UPI
Published: April 30, 2013 at 7:34 AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 30 (UPI) — There’s been a “toxic soup” hanging over residents in Mayflower, Ark., as a result of an Exxon Mobil oil pipeline accident, a citizen’s group said.

Exxon said about 5,000 barrels of oil was released last month from a 22-foot rupture on its Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower. The pipeline, built in the 1940s, was carrying a diluted form of Canadian crude oil, dubbed oil sands, at the time of the spill.

Air samples taken March 30, the day after the incident, indicated high levels of compounds considered harmful to human health. The samples were conducted by a student activist trained by the Faulkner County (Ark.) Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor.

“Total toxic hydrocarbons were detected at more than 88,000 parts per billion in the ambient air and present a complex airborne mixture or soup of toxic chemicals that residents may have been exposed to from the Mayflower tar sands bitumen spill,” Neil Carman, a representative from the Texas chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

Exxon admitted to finding levels of benzene and other harmful chemicals in early samples taken at Mayflower. It said air and water quality was within safe limits in the weeks following the spill, however.

The report, published by the activist groups, said residents are showing signs of exposure to chemicals ranging from benzene, a carcinogen, to toluene, a central nervous system depressant, more than four weeks after the spill.

There was no response from Exxon on the report.

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Study Reveals 30 Toxic Chemicals at High Levels at Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Site

An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.

But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.

The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.

All of these chemicals are hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), “regulated under the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act amendments as the most toxic of all known airborne chemicals,” as explained in the press release summarzing the study.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

Iraq oil croppedAn U.S. Army soldier stands guard near a burning oil well in the Rumaylah Oil Fields in Southern Iraq April 2, 2003. | ARLO K. ABRAHAMSON/U.S. Navy News


By Sean Cockerham | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Ten years after the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, the country’s oil industry is poised to boom and make the troubled nation the No.2 oil exporter in the world. But the nation that’s moving to take advantage of Iraq’s riches isn’t the United States. It’s China.

America, with its own homegrown energy bonanza, isn’t going after the petroleum that lies beneath Iraq’s sands nearly as aggressively as is China, a country hungry to fuel its rise as an economic power.

Iraq remains highly unstable in terms of security, infrastructure and politics. Chinese state-owned oil companies appear more willing to put up with that than Americans are.

“The Chinese have a higher tolerance for risk,” said Gal Luft, a co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a Washington research center focused on energy.

The International Energy Agency expects China to become the main customer for Iraq’s vast oil reserves. Fatih Birol, the agency’s chief economist, recently declared “a new trade axis is being formed between Baghdad and Beijing.” Birol said that about 80 percent of Iraq’s future oil exports were expected to go to Asia, mainly to China.

Iraq’s potential for oil production is huge. The International Energy Agency predicts that Iraqi production will more than double in the next eight years and that the country will be by far the largest contributor to growth in the global oil supply over the next two decades. By the 2030s, the agency expects Iraq to become the second largest global oil exporter, overtaking Russia.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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China Will Soon Be Drilling A Third Of Iraq’s Oil

Rob Wile

iraq, oil fields

Muhanna Fala’ah / Getty

 

Ten years after the invasion of Baghdad, major American oil companies are staying away from investing in Iraq’s oil resources, McClatchy’s Sean Cockerham reports.

Instead, many of Iraq’s newest oil fields are now controlled by Chinese.

Iraq possesses the second-largest oil deposit in the world, in the West Qurna region. Forbes says the country could easily become the second-largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia.

Only Exxon and Occidental have active stakes in Iraqi oil fields. The reason for America’s relative absence, Cockerham writes, is that the country is still too unstable.

 

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Originally posted on END TIME HEADLINES:

Gas
Freezing Britain was last night facing the unprecedented prospect of gas rationing. A combination of bitterly cold weather and pipeline failures has left the energy grid at breaking point. The country has less than 36 hours of gas reserves remaining and one energy expert warned yesterday that if the cold snap continues, rationing is ‘inevitable’. If this happens, businesses and power stations will be restricted first, but then householders will be ordered to cut down on the amount of gas they use for heating their homes.  Britain’s gas stores are dangerously low as unexpectedly low temperatures have forced people to keep their heating on. The crisis deepened yesterday when a crucial undersea pipeline connecting Britain and Belgium shut down without warning, pushing the price of gas up by 50 per cent to a record high. Ships bringing desperately needed supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar are still more than two days away, and…

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Building IP pipeline starts in March despite US threats: Pakistan

Press TV

File photo shows a construction site of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

File photo shows a construction site of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.
Fri Mar 1, 2013 2:28PM GMT

An unnamed Pakistani official confirmed on Friday that an Iranian-Pakistani consortium will start working on the gas pipeline as of March 11, 2013.

The date was announced after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held several meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran earlier this week.

The pipeline will enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters (mcm) of Iran’s natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis. Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

Pakistan faces a crushing energy crisis which has caused difficulties in financing the pipeline which stretches from the border between the two countries to Nawabshah region in Pakistan.

Washington has repeatedly voiced its discontent with the joint project, but Pakistan has constantly dismissed rumors that it might pull out of the project amid efforts by the United States to convince the country to abandon the pipeline.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal said in a report that the United States had threatened Pakistan with stringent sanctions if it goes through the project.

“Washington has made it clear that it will impose economic sanctions on Islamabad if it begins to buy gas from Iran. Besides, the UN has mandated sanctions on any trade with the oil-rich country,” the report added.

Iran, the second largest owner of gas reserves in the world after Russia, has said it will provide USD500 million to help Pakistan build the pipeline on its side of the border.

Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Company Javad Owji said on February 26 that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is expected to be constructed in 22 months on the Pakistani soil with the participation of Iran.

TNP/KA/SS

Oil prices drop below $94 per barrel

By PAMELA SAMPSON | Associated Press – 14 hrs ago

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil fell below $94 a barrel Thursday as disagreement among U.S. Federal Reserve officials about its super easy monetary policy weighed on prices ahead of the release of a report on U.S. crude inventories.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was down $1.64 to $93.58 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.88, or 2 percent, to finish at $95.22 a barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.

Oil prices were undercut by expectations for higher U.S. crude supplies when the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration releases its weekly inventory report later Thursday.

Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions forecast a rise of 1.5 million barrels.

“An increase in inventories here may seem like the best thing with refineries cutting runs, but we’re cutting our imports and increasing our domestic production,” he said in an email commentary. Ample supplies tend to lower prices.

Read Full Article Here

Thousands rally in Washington to protest Keystone pipeline

The decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline will be the first major climate change decision Obama will make during his second term. And given Obama’s strong comments on climate change during both his inaugural address and the State of the Union, Whitehouse said it’ll be hard for him to approve the project.

“It would create a huge credibility gap with the administration if they go that way,” he said.

The southern portion of the pipeline — from Oklahoma to Texas — is already under construction, and the 1,179-mile portion from Alberta to Nebraska is awaiting approval of a presidential permit from Obama. Last month, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved a revised route for the pipeline after the state’s Department of Environmental Quality said the route avoided sensitive areas of the Sandhills region.

The State Department will incorporate the Nebraska evaluation into the supplemental environmental review that will help inform the recommendation Secretary of State John Kerry will make to the president. Kerry thus far hasn’t shown his hand on whether he supports the project or not, but has said that he is committed to studying the pipeline and finishing the process begun by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton.

Kerry’s first foreign guest in his new job was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, and the two stressed that the economies of the two countries were inextricably linked and important to the other.

But to California billionaire investor Tom Steyer, the idea that investment in Canada should be the basis for economic growth in America is folly, and he said the investment will keep the U.S. economy dependent on oil for decades.

Read Full Article Here

Published on Feb 14, 2013

DemocracyNow.org – Forty-eight people, including civil rights leader Julian Bond and NASA climate scientist James Hansen, were arrested Wednesday in front of the White House as part of an ongoing protest calling on the Obama administration to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The action came before a rally planned for Sunday on Washington’s National Mall, which organizers have dubbed “the largest climate rally in history.” We speak to Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, who was arrested in the first act of civil disobedience in the organization’s 120-year history.

By Timothy Gardner and Andrew Quinn, Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp’s rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska’s governor on Tuesday approved a plan for part of the line running through his state.

“We don’t anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year,” said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision by that deadline.

She said the department would take into consideration approval of the line by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

Interest in the fate of the $5.3 billion pipeline that would link Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas has been heightened after President Barack Obama promised to fight climate change.

Obama said in his inaugural address on Monday the United States will respond to the threat of climate change and that failure to do so would “betray our children and future generations.

The Keystone pipeline is staunchly opposed by environmentalists, who say it will lock the United States for 50 years into dependence on fuel that has higher emissions than average crude oil refined in the United States.

They want the State Department to re-examine the climate impact of the line after it previously said the project would not result in additional emissions because the oil would find its way to market even if Keystone were not built.

 

Read Full Article Here

Oil prices fall as Israel-Hamas truce holds

By PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer

 

Benchmark oil for January delivery was down 33 cents to $87.95 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract rose 90 cents to close at $88.28 a barrel on the Nymex after Israeli troops fired on crowds in Gaza surging toward a border fence, killing one Palestinian.

Prior to the shooting, oil prices had been falling, thanks mostly to optimism that the cease-fire agreement between the two sides would prevent a broader conflict in the region that could disrupt crude supplies. The truce was struck last Wednesday to end to an eight-day Israeli offensive against Gaza militants who had fired rockets into Israel, but remains fragile.

Traders were also keeping a close eye on developments in Egypt, said independent oil analyst Stephen Schork. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday moved to grant himself near-absolute power, sparking street clashes between his supporters and opponents.

Brent, which is used to set prices for many international varieties of oil, fell 33 cents to $111.05 a barrel.

Other futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 0.2 cent to $2.719 a gallon.

— Natural gas lost 5 cents to $3.851 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil was unchanged at $3.086 a gallon.

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