Tue, 2014-10-14 13:35Steve Horn
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Tar Sands Trade: Kuwait Buys Stake in Alberta As It Opens Own Heavy Oil Spigot

Chevron made waves in the business world when it announced its October 6 sale of 30-percent of its holdings in the Alberta-based Duvernay Shale basin to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for $1.5 billion.

It marked the first North American purchase for the Kuwaiti state-owned oil company and yields KUFPEC 330,000 acres of Duvernay shale gas. Company CEO and the country's Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called it an “anchor project” that could spawn Kuwait's expansion into North America at-large. 

Kuwait's investment in the Duvernay, at face-value buying into Canada's hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) revolution, was actually also an all-in bet on Alberta's tar sands. As explained in an October 7 article in Platts, the Duvernay serves as a key feedstock for condensate, a petroleum product made from gas used to dilute tar sands, allowing the product to move through pipelines. 

And while Kuwait — the small Gulf state sandwiched between Iraq and Saudi Arabia — has made a wager on Alberta's shale and tar sands, Big Oil may also soon make a big bet on Kuwait's homegrown tar sands resources.

“Kuwait has invited Britain’s BP, France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, to bid for a so-called enhanced technical service agreement for the northern Ratqa heavy oilfield,” explained an October 2 article in Reuters. “It is the first time KOC will develop such a big heavy oil reservoir and the plan is to produce 60,000 bpd from Ratqa, which lies close to the Iraqi border [in northern Kuwait]…and then ramp it up to 120,000 bpd by 2025.”

In the past, Kuwait has said it hopes to learn how to extract tar sands from Alberta's petroleum engineers.

Mon, 2014-10-13 13:29Chris Rose
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US Defense Secretary Hagel Outlines Military's Response to Climate Change "Threat Multiplier"

While U.S. politicians continue to disagree on global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just released a report saying climate change will have serious implications for national security.

Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict,” Hagel said in the introduction to the report — Department of Defense: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.  

They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.”

Hagel said the U.S. military refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of today’s challenges – from infectious disease to terrorism.

He also said a changing climate will have significant impacts on the military and the way it executes its missions, including supporting civil authorities and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters.

Mon, 2014-10-13 10:08Brendan Montague
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Sacked Environment Minister Owen Paterson Provokes Widespread Disbelief

Sacked environment minister Owen Paterson has provoked derision and disbelief at his “perverse” call to scrap the Climate Change Act, according to a report by the Guardian newspaper.

Paterson will present the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s annual lecture tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on Birdcage Walk, Westminster at 7pm, where he will attack his own government’s climate policies.

The former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will argue that the Climate Change Act should be suspended and if other countries don’t take Britain’s lead it will eventually be scrapped altogether, in a speech trailed on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph.

The extraordinary charge flies in the face of David Cameron’s promise that he would deliver the “greenest government ever” and presents a serious threat to the Tory’s ambition to win the trust of the electorate at the next general election. 

Mon, 2014-10-13 08:00Chris Rose
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New Report: Who Will Pay for the Costs and Damages of Climate Change?

people's climate march, zack embree

Canadian oil and gas companies could be liable for billions of dollars of damages per year for their contribution to climate change caused by toxic greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published Thursday.

The study looked at five oil and gas companies currently trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange — Encana, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, Talisman, and Husky — and found they could presently be incurring a global liability as high as $2.4 billion annually.

Climate change is increasingly discussed not as some far-off threat but in terms of current realities,” said the 62-page study — Payback Time? What the internationalization of climate litigation could mean for Canadian oil and gas companies.

Published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), the study found data showing the global financial cost of private and public property and other damage associated with climate change in 2010 has been estimated at $591 billion, rising to $4.2 trillion in 2030.

Mon, 2014-10-13 00:05Brendan Montague
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Sacked Environment Secretary Attacks Climate Change Act

Sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson will, on Wednesday, demand his government scrap the world-leading Climate Change Act, during a speech before climate denial charity the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

Paterson (pictured) was removed from office by David Cameron amid speculation that his climate scepticism would prove hugely unpopular among voters during the 2015 general election, but now seems to be positioning himself with a right-wing challenge to the party leader.

The former cabinet minister will claim that Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” because of the Tory-led government’s current climate change and environmental policiesdespite the fact that he voted for the Climate Change Act in 2008 and supported the legislation during the entire time he was in office.

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