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Origin of massive methane reservoir identified

Tall Bloke’s Talk Shop | August 21, 2019

As we already knew from elsewhere in the solar system, fossils are not essential for the production of methane aka natural gas. Only two ingredients are needed, one being water, as explained below.

New research from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) published Aug. 19, 2019, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter—on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

Researchers had long noticed methane released from deep-sea vents, says Phys.org. But while the gas is plentiful in the atmosphere where it’s produced by living things, the source of methane at the seafloor was a mystery.

“Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” says Jeffrey Seewald a senior scientist at WHOI who studies geochemistry in hydrothermal systems and is one of the study’s authors.

Of 160 rock samples analyzed from across the world’s oceans, almost all contained pockets of methane. These oceanic deposits make up a reservoir exceeding the amount of methane in Earth’s atmosphere before industrialization, estimates Frieder Klein, a marine geologist at WHOI and lead author of the study.

“We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle,” Klein says.

The scientists analyzed rocks using Raman spectroscopy, a laser-based microscope that allows them to identify fluids and minerals in a thin slice of rock.

Nearly every sample contained an assemblage of minerals and gases that form when seawater, moving through the deep oceanic crust, is trapped in magma-hot olivine. As the mineral cools, the water trapped inside undergoes a chemical reaction, a process called serpentinization that forms hydrogen and methane.

The authors demonstrate that in otherwise inhospitable environments, just two ingredients—water and olivine—can form methane.

“Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology,” says Seewald.

Full report here.
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Abstract of the paper:

Our findings highlight the ubiquitous occurrence of methane (CH4)-rich fluid inclusions in olivine-bearing rocks that, collectively, may constitute one of the largest reservoirs of abiotic CH4 on Earth. Because serpentinization in olivine-hosted fluid inclusions takes place in isolation from the surrounding rock, hydrogen (H2) and CH4 can form in any rock type containing olivine that hosts aqueous fluid inclusions, including those that do not undergo serpentinization on a macroscopic scale. Serpentinization and associated CH4 formation within olivine-hosted fluid inclusions has likely supplied microbial ecosystems with abiotic CH4 throughout most of Earth’s history and may be a source of H2 and CH4 on other planetary bodies in our solar system, even those where liquid water is no longer present.

August 21, 2019 Posted by | Phony Scarcity | 1 Comment

IEA says oil market dynamic set to change

Press TV – September 15, 2016

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the national oil companies (NOCs) will continue to dominate upstream oil and gas investments if oil prices remain at current low levels.

The IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol told Reuters in an interview that the dominance of NOCs in oil investment projects will create a new dynamic in the market.

Birol added that that independent players like Anglo-Dutch Shell, US heavyweight ExxonMobil and France’s Total have already scaled back their investments in upstream projects. He said this is due to falling profit margins caused by weak oil prices.

Birol further emphasized that NOCs like Saudi Aramco, China’s CNPC and Mexico’s Pemex have raised their share of upstream investments to a 40-year high of 44 percent.

On the same front, Reuters highlighted IEA figures as showing that more than $300 billion of upstream oil and gas money has been slashed in 2015 and 2016 – in what appears to be an unprecedented amount.

The largest cost cuts have been implemented by North American independent companies that include Apache, Murphy Oil, Devon Energy and Marathon. The IEA said the companies have all reduced spending by around 80 percent between 2014 and 2016.

The Agency further added, as Reuters reported, that NOCs in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have increased their capital for fresh investments via government bond issues. This policy, it said, has allowed them to make up for lower oil revenue.

Birol also said that the oil market could soon enter a new dynamic in which production decisions are less driven by market fundamentals.

“There are some NOCs that take other factors into consideration when making decisions,” Birol said, referring to internal economic or political issues as well as defense of market share.

September 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change

‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change’

By Kate Hardiman | The College Fix | August 31, 2016

Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.

“The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.

Signed by the course’s professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill, it was sent after several students expressed concern for their success in the course after watching the first online lecture about the impacts of climate change.

“Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course,” the professors’ email continued.

“… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.”

The professors also note this ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums. Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states.

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Professors Laroche, Skahill, and Haggren did not respond to email inquiries from The College Fix seeking further comment on their email or their stance on debate in their online class.

The University Communications Director Tom Hutton told The College Fix via email that “Humanities 3990 is a special topics course with multiple choices for students to take when fulfilling requirements.”

“By clearly stating the class focus,” he continued, “the faculty are allowing students to choose if they wish to enroll in the course or seek an alternative. Additionally, the faculty who are leading the course have offered to discuss it with students who have concerns or differing opinions.”

In addition to teaching man-made climate change, the course also delves into the “health effects of fracking,” according to its syllabus.

The reading assignments in the fracking section focus on only its negative impacts and fail to present the other side of the issue, namely the possible benefits of fracking.

Assigned readings includes: “4 States Struggling to Maintain Radioactive Fracking Waste,” “EPA Study on Fracking Ignored Contamination Studies,” and “Frack Free Colorado: ‘Colorado’s Affected People.’”

An activity assigned within that section instructs students to take a test to measure their own carbon footprint. The purpose, reads the syllabus, “is not to create guilt or shame, though those emotions are entirely common.”

Kate Hardiman is a student at the University of Notre Dame majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies and minoring in the Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics (PPE) Program. She serves as campus editor of the Irish Rover and is a fellow of both the Constitutional Studies Department and Center for Ethics and Culture.

September 4, 2016 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Iran pitches huge gas reserves for Asia markets

With more than 34 trillion cubic meters, Iran owns the world’s largest natural gas reserves but its share of global trade in gas is less than 1%

Press TV – August 21, 2016

Iran is pitching its massive gas sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe.

“Gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe,” Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir-Hossein Zamaninia has said.

The country hopes to eventually export natural gas to East Asia, including Japan, he told the Kyodo news agency in an interview on Sunday.

Zamaninia held the prospect of Iran and Japan forming a long-term partnership for the supply of Iranian LNG to the Asian country.

“Japan has a great potential of becoming a major partner for Iran in developing its gas industry,” he said.

The two countries have a chequered history of trade relations. They had to ditch a massive petrochemical project in 1991 as the Iraqi war of 1980-1988 under former dictator Saddam Hussein dragged on.

In 2010, Japan’s state-owned Inpex walked out of an agreement to develop Iran’s South Azadegan oilfield under US pressures.

Tokyo, however, was among the first countries to rush through a series of measures to lift sanctions on Iran before a nuclear agreement with Tehran went into effect.

In August, Japan sent its State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Daishiro Yamagiwa to Tehran with executives from major trading houses such as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Itochu, as well as plant-engineering giant JGC and major banks.

Tehran accounted for 10% of Japan’s oil imports before sanctions cut them to five percent. Japan wants to raise the purchases to the previous level.

“Given that Iran’s oil and natural gas reserves are one of the world’s biggest, there is a possibility that Iran will play a part if Japan seeks to diversify its supply sources,” Kyodo quoted a Japanese gas and oil industry source as saying Sunday.

Zamaninia said Japanese companies are interested in being re-engaged in the Iranian energy sector, especially in the gas sector, adding he thinks Japan’s current policy seems to be focusing less on crude oil.

With more than 34 trillion cubic meters under its belt, Iran owns the world’s largest natural gas reserves but its share of the global trade in gas is less than one percent.

According to an Iranian energy official, natural gas will be the main fuel in the next 20 to 30 years. Zamaninia said within two to three years, Iran will be a major supplier of gas to its neighbors.

Currently, Turkey is Iran’s biggest customer with 30 million cubic meters a day of imports under a 25-year deal signed before the West imposed sanctions on Tehran.

Iran seeks to raise gas production to 1.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) a day in five years, from 800 million cubic meters now. Annual output totals 166 bcm, which is mostly used at home.

The country exports 10 bcm of gas per year. To put it in perspective, Russia exports about 150 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

South Pars in southern Iran is the world’s largest gas field which the country is developing in two dozen phases.

It provides feedstock for a number of petrochemical complexes in an area known the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ) in Assaluyeh on the Persian Gulf coast.

Yoichi Yamamoto, adviser in charge of the Middle East at the Japan External Trade Organization in Tokyo, says petrochemical products, rather than natural gas itself, might be more attractive for Japanese companies for now.

“To transport gas across the sea, it is necessary to convert gas into liquefied natural gas and use special tankers, resulting in relatively large investment,” he told Kyodo.

“If Japanese companies are to form joint ventures or invest funds in the PSEEZ, petrochemical products produced there would be attractive,” he said.

“They cannot sell all the products in Japan. If they could draw up a business model in which they will sell the products also to third-party countries, I think it would be possible for them to invest,” he added.

August 21, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Maternal mortality rate on the rise in US

RT | August 11, 2016

The maternal mortality rate across most of the US increased by 27 percent from 2000 to 2014, new study finds, adding that the rate is actually higher than official estimates because states do not uniformly report pregnancy status on death certificates.

The last calculation of the US maternal mortality rate occurred in 2007, when it was 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to researchers responsible for the study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, that figure is too low because the estimate was made without accurate data. At the time, not all US states had adopted a “pregnancy question” on their standard death certificates, which became an accepted addition to forms in 2003.

Maternal mortality is defined as the “death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.”

Outside of California and Texas – which were not included because their trends were “markedly different” from other states and would have skewed the results – the actual maternal mortality rate in the US in 2007 was 21.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, the researchers found, a 68 percent increase from the official reported average.

Based on their research, the team said the 2014 rate in 48 states and the District of Columbia has gone up to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.

“It is an international embarrassment that the United States, since 2007, has not been able to provide a national maternal mortality rate to international data repositories,” the researchers wrote. “This inability reflects the chronic underfunding over the past two decades of state and national vital statistics systems. Indeed, it was primarily a lack of funds that led to delays (of more than a decade in many states) in the adoption of the 2003 revised birth and death certificates.”

The research team used a “correction factor” to analyze incomplete or unrevised maternal mortality data to adjust for the lack of uniform reporting of pregnancy status on death certificates. The adjusted figures were then used to calculate the maternal morality rates for US states, except for California and Texas. The Golden State showed a significant decline in maternal mortality rate from 2003 to 2014, while the rate in the Lone Star State doubled in 2011-2012.

While international maternal mortality rates were trending down, the US has gone in the opposite direction, researchers pointed out. They noted the World Health Organization has said that 157 of 183 nations have reported decreases in their rates since 2000. The current estimated rate in the US, however, is comparable to Iran and Ukraine, and is second-to-last only to Mexico among the so-called industrialized nations.

“The current maternal mortality rate places the United States far behind other industrialized nations,”said study co-author Eugene Declercq, professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. “There is a need to redouble efforts to prevent maternal deaths and improve maternity care for the four million US women giving birth each year.”

The study — Recent Increases in the US Maternal Mortality Rate: Disentangling Trends From Measurement Issues — was published online in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, and was conducted by researchers with the Boston University School of Public Health, the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland, and the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative at Stanford University Medical School.

Read more:

US ‘worst place to be a mother’ among developed nations – report

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

Iran to emerge as US rival in gas markets

Press TV – July 25, 2016

Forbes in a report has hailed Iran’s success in the development of its gas industry and says the country can soon become a main rival over market access to key players like the United States.

The world’s leading business magazine says Iran owes the progress it has made in its gas industry to its high exploration success rate which it says stands at a whopping 79 percent.

The rate, it says, is specifically high given that the world’s average is only 30 to 35 percent.

The Forbes report further emphasizes that the progress in Iran’s gas industry could soon enable it to exploit the promising markets in India, Pakistan, Kuwait, and UAE.

It adds that the country’s planned reductions in subsidized pricing, which will help reduce wasteful usage, will free up more of its gas for exports.

Forbes further stresses that Iran’s plans to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) will specifically have a prosperous future.

“Iran is currently working on several options to join the same ‘international LNG club’ that the US is also joining,” wrote Forbes in its report. “And Europe is the mid- and long-term target. Europe’s gas demand is projected to increase 15-20 percent by 2025. This means that Iran is competition for the US”.

The report emphasizes that Iran’s LNG plans are expected to become operational after 2020, adding that the country could benefit from the growing demand over the succeeding years particularly given that Europe’s gas demand, for example, is projected to increase 15-20% by 2025.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bolivia to Expand Gas Production 33% by 2020 – Energy Minister

Sputnik — 07.07.2016

Bolivia will expand gas extraction by more than 20 million cubic meters daily or more than 33 percent by 2020, Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Luis Alberto Sanchez said Thursday.

The discovery of new gas fields was announced jointly by the Spanish company Repsol and the Bolivian state-owned oil and gas company YPFB this February, which increased the country’s gas reserves by 40 percent.

“The total gas production now is approximately 60 million cubic meters per day. By 2020, through putting important projects into operation aimed at preventing a drop of gas fields reserves and guaranteeing supplies to domestic and foreign markets, the production is expected to grow for more than 20 million cubic meters,” Sanchez said as quoted by ABI News Agency.

As of 2013, Bolivia’s gas reserves were estimated at about 302 billion cubic meters. According to the Repsol Bolivia President Diego Diaz, gas deposits on the Caipipendi block are assessed as additional 115 billion cubic meters.

Russian gas giant Gazprom also expressed interest in work in Bolivia. During the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June, Gazprom, Bolivian Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy and YPFB signed a road map on the implementation of projects in the country, in particular, exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as the use of the liquefied natural gas (LNG).

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | , | 3 Comments

Minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage

By Steve Hough | American Herald Tribune | April 19, 2016

Whether one supports or opposes raising the minimum wage, there are any number of studies with which to reinforce either position. There is an old adage which states that while figures will not lie, liars will figure. Consequently, the issue continues to provide ample fodder for those operating in our hyper-partisan political arena.

While Republicans have created an echo chamber with the soundbite that raising the minimum wage inevitably results in job losses, most studies representing that point of view are tailored to fit a particular industry or class of workers.

The federal minimum wage was last increased on July 24, 2009, when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25per hour. It was approved by Congress in 2007 and was raised incrementally over a period of three years. Before 2007, the minimum wage had been stuck at $5.15per hour for ten years. Given the intransigence of Republicans in Congress, the Democrats have recently adopted a strategy of framing the minimum wage in terms of a “living wage”. No one in their right mind would consider $7.25 per hour a living wage, but there still exists valid arguments on multiple fronts against raising the minimum.

Teen employment and voluntary part-time employment as a convenience for the employee provide instances where a living wage may not be paramount in one’s decision to seek employment. However, shouldn’t a low-skilled employee, necessary for a business’ operations, deserve a wage sufficient to provide a minimum standard of living? My libertarian friends would argue that the government has no proper role in determining such things but, given our network of subsidies for the working poor, doesn’t the current minimum wage in fact equate to a taxpayer-funded subsidy to some in the business sector?

There are few certainties in life, but one is that raising the minimum wage would affect individual businesses differently and they could/would respond differently. Soundbites will never adequately explain the ramifications of such a decision.

To complicate matters, states and localities have adopted minimum wage laws exceeding the federal mandate. Most recently, cities such as Seattle and states such as New York and California have passed laws to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over time. While I certainly support such efforts, these changes can put these early adopters at a competitive disadvantage.

In an era where the domestic supply of labor has outstripped demand, due to businesses shipping jobs overseas and importing lower-wage foreign workers, an artificial imbalance has occurred. The result of these developments has created downward pressure on wages and states and communities with lower minimum wage laws will continue to cannibalize those with higher wage mandates. While I believe other actions must be taken to reverse the trend of offshoring jobs and importing foreign labor, an increase in the federal minimum wage would provide much needed consistency nationwide.

If and when the federal minimum wage is raised, not only should it be raised to an agreed upon rate adjusted for inflation, it should also be raised in the future as a function of inflation instead of Congressional whim. The practice would achieve a dual benefit for both employees and employers. Employees working for minimum wage could rely on increases to offset inflation and employers would have more certainty when preparing future budgets and profit projections.

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | , | 2 Comments

SITE intelligence group: ‘Al-Qaeda’ claims attack on Statoil Gas Plant in Algeria, issues threat against shale gas production

Sputnik — 19.03.2016

The al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Islamist group claimed responsibility for an attack with explosive munitions on Norwegian energy major Statoil’s facility in the Algerian Sahara, media reported Saturday.

The Norwegian oil and gas company declared state of emergency Friday following the attack on one of its gas facilities in Algeria. The In Salah Gas asset was hit by explosive munitions fired from a distance. No one was injured in the attack.

According to the SITE intelligence group, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb — banned in Russia — issued a statement threatening both the Algerian authorities and Western companies producing shale gas.

Background:

Statoil’s Gas Facility in Algeria Hit by Explosive Munitions

The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere

Saudi Arabian Oil Output and Exports Rise in January

GOP senators introduce new Iran sanctions bill

March 19, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Phony Scarcity | , , | 3 Comments

OPEC says low oil prices will continue four more years

Press TV – December 23, 2015

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says recovery of global oil prices to above $70 per barrel will not take place for another four years.

According to a report released by OPEC on Wednesday, the organization, which produces a third of the world’s crude, said it foresees a “gradual improvement in market conditions as growing demand and slower than previously expected non-OPEC supply growth eliminate the existing oversupply and lead to a more balanced market.”

The announcement came at a time that the global benchmark oil price touched an 11-year low of $36.04 on Monday, AFP reported.

In its annual World Oil Outlook report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries predicted that oil prices will rise to $70.70 for a barrel of crude in 2020 and to $95 in 2040.

According to analysts, the projections represent a sharp drop in market value compared to last year’s report, which predicted a nominal price of $110 for the rest of this decade.

Since one year and a half ago, the global oil market has been rife with various kinds of projections as OPEC largely gave up its past policy of cutting production to support prices, with the price of a barrel of crude plunging more than 60 percent.

Instead of following the traditional policy, the organization aimed to preserve its market shares and push out growing competition from higher-cost shale rock producers in the United States.

According to OPEC’s latest report, shale oil production will only start to “plateau” at 5.6 million barrels per day by 2025 and then decline. It added that low oil prices are only leading to short-term boost in demand.

“The impact of the recent oil price decline on demand is most visible in the short term. It then drops away over the medium term,” noted the organization in its report, which was released at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The report also projected the world’s total crude demand to hit 97.4 million barrels per day by the end of the decade, an increase of 500,000 barrels per day compared to its forecast from last year.

While OPEC projected that the demand for its oil will increase more than previously forecast over the next five years, it added that the figure will still remain below current production levels.

The organization also announced that demand for its crude oil will reach 30.7 million barrels per day by 2020, an increase of about 1.7 million barrels compared to last year’s projections. OPEC is currently pumping 32 million barrels per day.

The organization further stated that it expected its current market share to increase by four points to 37 percent by 2040.

As for trends in the global energy market, OPEC opined that the developing world will account for 63 percent of the total fuel consumption, thus, overtaking industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Natural gas is expected to replace oil and coal, according to OPEC’s report, as the fuel with the largest share of global energy use by 2040, by accounting for close to 28 percent of world demand.

According to OPEC’s forecast, although use of wind and solar energies is set to grow at the fastest rates, their overall market reach will only be around 4 percent in 15 years from now.

December 24, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | | 4 Comments

Greece confirms US asked to close airspace to Syria-bound Russian aid flights

RT | September 7, 2015

The Greek Foreign Ministry has confirmed receipt of a request from Washington, asking that Russia be denied use of Greek airspace for aid flights to Syria, Reuters reported.

The announcement came from the Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman, who added the US request was being considered.

On Sunday, a diplomatic source in Athens told RIA Novosti that Greece had refused to close its airspace to Russian planes carrying humanitarian aid to Syria.

On Saturday, the US embassy asked the interim Greek government to prohibit flights of Russian aircraft in the Athens FIR, the country’s airspace. The Greeks refused, so as not to worsen relations with Russia, the source said.

The RIA source added that Russia had requested to use Greek airspace for humanitarian flights to Syria, September 1-24. Athens reportedly agreed.

September 7, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Phony Scarcity, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment