Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday: Kashagan Is No Cash-Haven

Note: scroll down for the Kashagan story.

Original Post

The Wall Street Journal

The jobs data and the GDP data will put pressure on the Fed.

Iran talks strain mideast alliances. When I was biking into Starbucks this a.m. at 4:45 in the morning, I thought about that. Israel is furious, but the country that has to be most concerned: Saudi Arabia. the continent that needs to be most concerned: Europe. Again, Americans can be spectator, sending troops and drones in when the spirit moves us, but other than that, a spectator sport for most Americans. [Update: yup. On November 17, 2013, The Sunday Times (London) was reporting:
Once they were sworn enemies. Now Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is working with Saudi officials on contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if its nuclear programme is not significantly curbed in a deal that could be signed in Geneva this week.
Both the Israeli and Saudi governments are convinced that the international talks to place limits on Tehran’s military nuclear development amount to appeasement and will do little to slow its development of a nuclear warhead.
As part of the growing co-operation, Riyadh is understood already to have given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran.
Both sides are now prepared to go much further. The Sunni kingdom is as alarmed as Israel by the nuclear ambitions of the Shi’ite-dominated Iran.]
US private colleges face declining enrollment.

ObamaCare continues to unravel. A federal appeals court blocked a provision of the health-care law requiring employers to provide birth-control coverage in employee insurance, ruling it imposed a 'substantial burden' on religious rights of two firms.

ObamaCare costs to scare insurers.  Five years after Congress required insurers to cover mental-health and medical problems equally, the Obama administration on Friday issued regulations on how the law should be implemented. It looks like the president will use "ObamaCare" the way he uses the EPA -- executive orders.

Texas prosecutor gets 10-days jail sentence for misconduct that sent an innocent man to prison for nearly 25 years. It sounds like the misconduct continues. Ten days. Maybe that's a typo.

Job watch: best of WSJ blogs.

US stocks "soar."

Boeing warned that it could look to build its planned 777X jetliner outside Washington state, amid signs of union resistance to a proposed contract. [Update: the union later voted 2-1 against the Boeing contract, adding speculation that Boeing could build the 777X elsewhere.]


Wow, this story never quits. I think I started blogging about this story some years ago. Giant oil field in Kazakhstan faces long delay
Oil production at Kazakhstan's huge Kashagan field, halted since mid-October because of a dangerous gas leak, won't resume before next year, according to people familiar with the matter, casting a cloud over one of the world's biggest energy projects.
Equipment needed to inspect a leaking pipeline connecting the field in the Caspian Sea to an onshore processing unit won't arrive on site before mid-November, the people said. The inspection will determine how much of the pipeline must be replaced, and once it is completed a preliminary report on how to conduct repair work won't be submitted to Kashagan operators before late December, they said.
NCOC, the consortium of oil companies operating the field, said it was too early to say when production—which exceeded 75,000 barrels a day at the time of the shutdown—might restart. "No prediction can be made," a NCOC spokesman said.
The stoppage at Kashagan after barely a month of production is another setback for the NCOC consortium, which has invested an estimated $40 billion over more than a decade to develop one of the largest hydrocarbon discoveries of the last 30 years.
Ramping up production to 370,000 barrels a day in 2015, and later to a projected plateau of 1.5 million barrels, is crucial for some members of the consortium, such as Total SA, which are relying on crude oil from Kashagan to help offset output declines in other parts of the world. Similarly, Kazakhstan, a thinly populated country of desert steppe, is counting on Kashagan to transform itself into a mighty petro state.
In the past I was often criticized for posting non-Bakken stories on a "Bakken-all-the-time site" but this story puts the Bakken into perspective. Development of this field in Kazakhstan has been going on for years, costing upwards of $40 billion, and it looks like "they" still have nothing to show for it. Before the latest setback, developers were hoping for 315,000 bopd. The Bakken, four counties in western North Dakota, is doing twice that much as significantly less cost, less frustration, less risk.

Kashagan: cash-hole. 

 All I have time for, now.


  1. Have a great Vet's Day, Bruce

    1. Thank you, that's very nice of you to remember.

      I'm always a bit humbled/embarrassed/overwhelmed when folks thank me for my service --- the military was an exceptionally good to me. Without question, the best part was mentoring all the wonderful young folks entering the service, year after year. It is incredible to see all those young men and women coming out of high school and/or college eager to be part of the military for many, many reasons. The camaraderie made it all so worthwhile.

  2. And it's the camaraderie that I miss the most. "Only" did eight years, but they were the best years of my life. The military teaches you lessons cannot be learned anywhere else. Again. blessings onyou and your family

    1. "The military teaches you lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else." So true.

      Thank you.