Posts Tagged ‘Methane’

1/12 & 1/13/2012 Newsfeed

Analysis on covert ops in Iran

  • “What has raised the world’s suspicions is that Iran continues to produce 20 percent enriched uranium despite the fact that this exceeds its civilian needs and, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged in September, does not make economic sense,” writes Olli Heinonen on
  • “Covert action creates the time and space for pressure to build, while reducing the need for military action. Ultimately, covert action should be aimed at bringing enough pressure to bear on Iran’s leaders so that they understand they will never reach their goal of being a nuclear power,” writes Andrew Cummings in the Guardian.
  • “Whatever the moral considerations, there is no doubt that curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is a paramount goal for policy-makers and security services alike, and the covert campaign appears to be the most effective means of delaying the Iranians’ progress,” argues this Daily Telegraph editorial.
  • Experts believe that covert actions that include a campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyber attacks and defections are the modus-operandi used mainly by Israel to weaken the Iranian regime and to halt the country’s attempts to develop nuclear capabilities. “Sabotage and assassination is the way to go, if you can do it,” Patrick Clawson, director of the Iran Security Initiative at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday.

Iranian Oil 


  • In a video posted on the internet, the leader of Nigeria’s Islamist Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, defended the group’s recent killings of Christians (Reuters) in the north of the country as justifiable revenge.
  • The Nigerian authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Niger state after a crowd of youths went on the rampage, setting fire to buildings and cars.The trouble in the state capital, Minna, came on the third day of nationwide strikes against a government decision to end fuel subsidies.


Fracing (Fracking… eventually I’ll concede that the popular media has succeeded in morphing the spelling which comes from ‘frac’ which is short for ‘fracturing’)

Macroeconomic News

Keystone Pipeline

Global Climate Change


Older News

The Invisible Catastrophe Unfolding Right in Front of Our Eyes

Fellow Folders,

On the ninth of May, shortly after BP’s cofferdam experiment failed (but before I had heard these reports), I sent an email to a friend who enjoys ‘insider’ access to oil industry experts. Imagine, if you will, a mustached man wrapped in a black cloak with the collar raised, eyes hidden by the strategically cocked brim of a dark grey fedora.  I was hoping that my mysterious friend might be able to ferret out an important piece of information: an estimate of the gas-oil ratio for the Tiber Oilfield which the Deepwater Horizon had penetrated before exploding and sinking to the black depths of the Gulf of Mexico.

I wanted this piece of information because the fiery collapse of the Deepwater Horizon left a ruptured, crumpled pipeline which continues to spew the mirky contents of the Tiber reservoir into the Gulf of Mexico.  But oil is not the only dangerous substance erupting from the broken riser pipe.

In the immortal words of Eddie Murphy, "Now *that's* a fire!"

To greater and lesser extents, gaseous hydrocarbons, like methane, are produced along with liquid hydrocarbons in nearly every oil field.  Onshore, these gaseous hydrocarbons can be captured and carted off to gas-fired power plants or pumped back into the reservoir in order to maintain reservoir pressure and the flow of crude.  These options simply do not exist for offshore production platforms.  Consequently gasses produced offshore are ‘flared’, a process which resembles a giant Bunsen burner.

In the Niger Delta, the flaring of gas causes acid rain.  The impacts are easy to see.  Zinc rooftops rapidly deteriorate and fishing nets must be hidden from the rain.  As an aside, it has been estimated that 564 million gallons of crude have been spilled in the Niger Delta over the last 50 years.  That is equivalent to an Exxon Valdez disaster every year.  At a constant flow rate of 40,000 barrels per day, it would take an entire year for the BP spill to leak as much oil into the Gulf.  How’s that for perspective? Read more…


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