Canada Pipeline Delays Killing Producers

Canada’s energy producers are almost out of patience, Imperial Oil Limited CEO said on Tuesday. “I think the industry has largely gotten to the point where we’ll believe it when we see it,” Rick Kruger, Imperial CEO told Bloomberg in an interview, adding that he was not willing to bet on when the oil pipeline would go into service. Kruger is retiring from serving as Imperial’s CEO at the end of this year. Canada’s federal government approved the much-awaited, much-delayed pipeline in June after purchasing it from Kinder Morgan in 2018 after KM grew weary of the prolonged battle in getting the pipeline project up and running.  But reactions were reserved, and with good cause.

In September, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal ruled that it would allow indigenous challengers to the pipeline. The groups argued that they were not consulted adequately.  The ruling was just the latest in a long string of delays.

The pipeline delays caused Alberta to institute mandatory oil production cuts in order to staunch the bleeding in price of its Western Canadian Select benchmark, which was trading at a record discount to WTI in late 2018. These production cuts, Kruger claims, prevented Imperial from committing to large-scale investments this year. These production cuts were eased last week for new exploration wells, but oil producers are likely to find minimal comfort after putting their businesses on effective hold for all of 2019. And according to Kruger, this is just one of the issues plaguing Canada’s oil industry. “The timeframes it takes, the cost, and, when you get approvals: Are they enforceable? Do they allow you to advance projects? We have an issue with that across our country.” Nick Note: another example of the failure of democracy. When the majority of the voting  public are dumb shits the system is doomed. Russia and China wants to put in a pipeline they put it in. Screw the great spirit or ancestral burial grounds. In fact anyone who protests ends up in one of the aforementioned burial grounds. In the time the Keystone XL pipeline (a small spur)  has been debated, delayed and litigated Russia has built the biggest and longest pipeline in the wold. So as  we screw around with the greenness Russia is the dominate supplier of gas to Europe and now Asia.

Russia’s Landmark Pipeline Could Transform Global Gas Markets

The Power of Siberia gas pipeline that will bring Russian natural gas to the world’s biggest gas importer, China, will start operations in December, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday. The Power of Siberia, one of the largest natural gas pipeline projects in the world, will transport natural gas from the Irkutsk and Yakutia production centers to consumers in Russia’s Far East and to China. Gazprom is dominating gas supplies to many European markets, while it also vies to meet rising Chinese natural gas demand as the country is in the middle of a massive switch from coal-fired to gas-fired heating in millions of homes. Russia wants a share of that market and the Russian gas giant looks to supply pipeline gas to China. At the end of last month, Gazprom said that it had completed feeding natural gas into the Power of Siberia, whose linear part is now ready for the start of Russian pipeline gas supplies to China. The next step is to feed gas into the trans-border crossing under the Amur River, Gazprom said. “With the concerted efforts of the two sides, the project is scheduled to launch its operation in December this year,” Geng said today, asked to confirm information from Yury Ushakov, Aide to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who said on Monday that Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping would take part in a teleconference next month to launch the pipeline.
“It is of great significance to deepening all-round cooperation between the two countries and advance integration of our interests,” the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, referring to the pipeline.

Gazprom has a 30-year contract with CNPC for the supply of an annual 1.3 trillion cu ft of natural gas via the infrastructure. The completion of the pipeline has been among Gazprom’s top priorities in recent years.

At an investor day presentation in February, Gazprom said it expects its market share in China to grow from zero to more than 25 percent of Chinese gas imports and to account for 13 percent of China’s gas consumption by 2035. By that year, Gazprom vies to be the number one gas supplier to both Europe and China, according to its presentation.

After a quiet night, a barrage of rockets strikes Israel

On Tuesday, Israel was pounded by close to 200 rockets following the predawn targeted killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata at his home in the Gaza Strip.

After an evening of relative quiet, several red alerts were heard across Israel on Wednesday. The first siren sounded before 6:00 a.m. and the second shortly thereafter. By 6:30 a.m., rockets were launched toward the Gaza border communities, the Shfela region and as far as Beit Shemesh.

 Despite IDF strikes on several terror targets in the Gaza Strip overnight and a day of rocket fire on Tuesday, Israelis experienced a quiet night. “The IDF attacked several underground rocket launchers and elite launching stations, underground terrorist infrastructure and military forces of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization,” an IDF statement explained.

Earlier in the evening, IDF aircraft attacked three terrorist operatives in the northern Gaza Strip after they launched rockets from Gaza into Israel.
On Tuesday, Israel was pounded by close to 200 rockets following the predawn targeted killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata at his home in the Gaza Strip. His wife was killed in the assassination, as well. “We are not interested in an escalation, but we are ready – on the ground, in the air and at sea,” Kochavi said. The military said that all the airstrikes in the first wave targeted PIJ underground facilities used for storage and manufacturing of weapons and training camps. These sites were critical facilities for the group which invested large sums of money to construct.
The second wave targeted training compounds, including one used by PIJ’s naval commando unit, the shaft of a cross-border attack tunnel and a tunnel digging site. IDF tanks struck also two outposts and IAF jets also struck several PIJ militants preparing to launch long-range rockets.
Palestinian Wafa news agency said five Palestinians were killed and dozens injured in the retaliatory airstikes. None of the retaliatory strikes carried out by Israel targeted Hamas, the group the IDF tends to strike following violence from the Strip. Earlier in the day defense officials said that if Islamic Jihad restrained itself and Hamas did not join the rocket fire, Israel would also hold back from escalating and carry out retaliatory strikes against Hamas. “Terrorists think they can hit civilians and hide behind civilians,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We showed that we can hit the terrorist with minimal damage to civilians. Anyone who thinks they can hit our civilians and get away with it is wrong. If you hit us we will hit you.” Al-Ata, Kochavi said, was the man “who undermined the quiet in southern Israel” and who “acted in every way to sabotage attempts for calm with Hamas. He was a living ticking bomb, and up until today worked and planned attacks. He was responsible for the majority of attacks that took place over the past year.” Almost 200 rockets were fired towards Israel on Tuesday morning after the IDF confirmed that it had killed al-Ata in Gaza in a “surgical airstrike.” An hour after the strike, sirens were activated in numerous communities bordering the Gaza Strip as well as the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gedera. Incoming rocket sirens were also activated in the central Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion and Holon. Several rockets made direct impacts on homes and businesses, causing first responders to treat 39 people, including two suffering from shrapnel wounds and an eight-year-old girl who collapsed while running for shelter in Holon. She was evacuated to Wolfson hospital in serious condition.

President Trump’s ‘Hardened Criminals’ Tweet Shows He Doesn’t Understand What DACA Is

Just hours before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments on whether the White House can abruptly end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, President Donald Trump on Tuesday jarringly misrepresented the program’s recipients as “hardened criminals” — while simultaneously stating his apparent willingness to make a deal that would allow them to remain in the country. “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” Trump tweeted. “President [Barack] Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

While it is true that many DACA recipients, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” have aged since the program’s 2012 inception, the government’s administration guidelines explicitly prohibit “hardened criminals” from being eligible for the program. Aside from the strict age and education requirements, under DACA guidelines, all applicants for the program must “have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.” In other words, any individual one can reasonably characterize as a “hardened criminal” would not be eligible for DACA status. According to the government’s own statistics from 2012-2018, less than eight-percent of DACA applicants who have been arrested or apprehended on suspicion of their involvement in a crime were approved to participate in the program. It’s important to note that an arrest or apprehension does not mean those individuals were convicted of any crimes, as any felony or significant misdemeanor conviction would immediately make them ineligible for the program. For example, 850 DACA recipients were eliminated from the program in 2017 due to criminal activity. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in May blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the DACA program, ruling that the decision was unlawfully “arbitrary and capricious” because the Administration failed to offer any plausible explanation for the determination.

As Law&Crime previously reported, Ted Olson, who has argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court and served as solicitor general under President George W. Bush, is taking the lead in defending the program. He will be flanked by Luis Cortes, a 31-year-old lawyer who graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law. Cortes is himself a Dreamer. According to seasoned Supreme Court litigator Ted Boutrous, Trump’s misleading Tuesday morning tweet could actually provide further evidence to support the notion that his administration’s decision to end DACA was, indeed, arbitrary and capricious.

The implementation of the Trump administration’s agenda has been hampered before by unconvincing rationales.


Gaza militants fire rockets into Israel after Islamic jihad leader killed

Militants in Gaza sent a barrage of at least 50 rockets over the border into Tel Aviv early Tuesday, vowing further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic jihad commanders in Gaza and in Syria. “The response to this crime will have no limits,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement. An Israeli airstrike killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said. The target was a “ticking time bomb” responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and claimed that he was actively planning new attacks, Conricus said. “We essentially, over the last week, have been waiting for the opportune moment to conduct this surgical strike,” he said. Conricus added the airstrike had destroyed only the floor of the building in the Shejaeya neighborhood, in the eastern part of Gaza City, to minimize “collateral damage.” Minutes after the Iran-backed Palestinian group confirmed the death, barrages of rockets were fired toward Israel. Air raid sirens continued to go off throughout the morning as far as Tel Aviv. In one instance, a rocket landed on a highway, meters from a passing vehicle. The military said more than 50 rockets were fired in just a few hours, with 20 intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. There were no Israeli casualties. Israel shut down crossing points into Gaza and reduced the permissible fishing area off the territory’s coast to 6 nautical miles. Schools were closed, and people were instructed to stay home in communities stretching from the Gaza border all the way to Tel Aviv, about 55 miles away. Public shelters were opened and restrictions placed on large gatherings. At least two people were injured from the rockets, including an 8-year-old girl who was left in critical condition and lost consciousness while running to a bomb shelter, The Wall Street Journal reported. Syrian officials said another Israeli airstrike in Damascus targeted another Islamic Jihad commander, Akram al-Ajouri, who was not harmed. Israeli warplanes fired three missiles at al-Ajouri’s home, killing his son and granddaughter, according to Syria’s state-run news agency. The Israeli military had no comment. A military official in Damascus said Israeli warplanes fired three missiles toward the Syrian capital, with one being destroyed by Syria’s air defenses before reaching its target, according to the Associated Press. The two others struck the home of al-Ajouri, the official said. A second man identified as Abdullah Yousef Hassan was killed and nine civilians wounded, the unidentified official said according to Syrian state media. The sudden surge in violence looked to awaken Israel’s increasingly open conflict with Iran and its proxies in the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a series of warnings recently about alleged Iranian aggression. Netanyahu also has been criticized by southern border residents and political rivals for a tepid response to recent militant attacks. Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet was holding an emergency meeting to discuss further action. The airstrikes come at a tenuous time politically for Israel, as Netanyahu leads a caretaker government after two inconclusive elections. His chief challenger, former military chief Benny Gantz, is currently trying to build a coalition government of his own. Gantz said the airstrike was “the right decision.” A successful military operation could bolster Netanyahu as he seeks to hold onto power — especially if he is indicted on corruption charges.

Violence brings Hong Kong to ‘brink of total breakdown’ – police


HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police fired tear gas in the heart of the Central financial district and at two university campuses to break up pro-democracy protests as violence was bringing the Chinese-ruled city to what they said was the “brink of total breakdown”. The clashes came a day after police shot a protester at close range and a man was doused with petrol and set on fire in some of the worst violence in the former British colony in decades. A flash mob of more than 1,000 protesters, many wearing office clothes and face masks, rallied in Central for a second day during lunch hour, blocking roads below some of the city’s tallest skyscrapers and most expensive real estate. After they had dispersed, police fired tear gas at the remaining protesters on old, narrow Pedder Street. Police made more than a dozen arrests, many pinned up on the pavement against the wall of luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co. Police vans surged into the area, and officers took up positions in a standoff with protesters just an hour or so before office workers were due to start leaving for home. “Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown,” a police spokesman told a briefing, referring to the last two days of violence. He said the man set on fire on Monday was still in critical condition and appealed for information on who was responsible. Police on Monday fired volley after volley of tear gas in Central, where some protesters blocked streets lined with banks and jewellery shops. Most had pulled down their shutters on Tuesday. Tension eased as the lunch hour ended, but some protesters used a double-decker airport bus to block a key road running alongside the newly reclaimed area of the harbour close to downtown Central. Police also fired tear gas at City University in Kowloon Tong, beneath the Lion Rock, and at Chinese University on the other side of the mountain, where protesters threw petrol bombs and bricks at police. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said protesters were being extremely selfish and hoped that universities and schools would urge students not to take part in the demonstrations. The United States on Monday condemned “unjustified use of deadly force” in Hong Kong and urged police and civilians alike to de-escalate the situation. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged Britain and the United States not to interfere in what was China’s affair. “The central government firmly supports the (special administrative region) government in implementing policies according to law, supporting the Hong Kong police in law enforcement, maintaining social order and protecting the safety of citizens,” he told a briefing in Beijing. “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. We urge the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty…” China has a garrison of up to 12,000 troops in Hong Kong who have kept to barracks throughout the unrest, but it has vowed to crush any attempts at independence, a demand for a very small minority of protesters

As Trump fumes, public impeachment hearings set to grab spotlight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This week will mark a new and unparalleled chapter in Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency, as the Democratic-led impeachment probe goes public with televised hearings into allegations about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Beginning on Wednesday, three witnesses will publicly detail their concerns, previously expressed behind closed doors, that the Trump administration sought to tie military aid to Ukraine to an investigation of the Republican president’s potential Democratic rival for the presidency, Joe Biden. The testimony will be carried by major broadcast and cable networks and is expected to be viewed by millions, who will watch current and former officials from Trump’s own administration begin to outline a case for his potential removal from office. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives argue Trump abused his authority in pressing the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which will hold the hearings on Wednesday and Friday this week, accused Trump on Sunday of “extortion.” Republicans on the committee will be permitted to question the witnesses this week and defend the president, although the president’s lawyers will not allowed to do so – something Trump has complained about bitterly.

The worst thing about Trump’s ‘fake news’ warning

There’s something my former CBS News colleague Lesley Stahl said a while back that continues to haunt me. It was something she says President Trump told her, off camera, in July 2016, after he already had enough votes to win the GOP presidential nomination The conversation supposedly came after Stahl interviewed Trump for “60 Minutes.” She says she told him that his constant bashing of the media was tiresome.  “Why are you doing it?” she says she asked him. “You’re doing it over and over and it’s boring. It’s time to end that; you’ve won the nomination. And why do you keep hammering at this?” According to Stahl, the man who would be president responded with this: “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”  I had conversations with both Stahl and Trump — and it sounds like something he would say. But I’m a reporter, so I found somebody who was in the room at the time of the reported conversation, someone who told me Stahl’s version was absolutely correct.  As I say, that happened several years ago, but it’s relevant today, since Trump can’t go 10 minutes without saying something nasty about the national news media. His favorite shot is that some of the biggest news organizations in America traffic in “fake news.” I’ve been a working journalist covering national news since 1972 — 28 of those years as a correspondent at CBS News — and I can tell you that Trump is wrong. Do journalists make mistakes from time to time? Yes. Do too many journalists have it in for the president and slant their stories to make him look bad? Yes to that, too. Is there a liberal bias in the so-called mainstream media? Absolutely. Yet, except in the rarest of instances, journalists do not make up stories out of nothing just to hurt him. When he says the “fake news” media concoct sources to make him look bad, he’s wrong.  To Trump, “fake news” is just about any news that he doesn’t like. So what should we make of his comment to Stahl, that he goes after the media for cynical political reasons? There are more than a few takeaways.  One is that he doesn’t understand that, in a free country, we need not only a free press but also a press that has the trust of the American people. Yes, journalists have done their share to discredit themselves. But we don’t need the president contributing to what is already an unhealthy situation. Another takeaway is that he does understand but doesn’t care. All that counts, as far as Trump is concerned, is that Trump looks good. And if that means yelling “fake news” whenever a story pops up that puts him in a negative light, he’ll yell “fake news” all day long. And here’s the worst part: Even if there were incontrovertible proof substantiating what Stahl says, even if there were a videotape of Trump saying he attacks journalists so the public at large won’t believe them when they report something negative about him, the president’s most devoted fans almost certainly wouldn’t care. They love him and they hate the media. And if the president lies about journalists to cover his own lies — well, that, I’m confident, would be no big deal as far as those who adore him are concerned.

OPEC’s No.2 Seizes Market Share Following Saudi Oil Attacks

  great propaganda(fake news by definition is what news is) video about the seizing of the middle east oil fields by the us impearlists. i like ti when we are the police man of the world!!!. I think its great kick their asses and steal their oil. that’s how the world has worked since the cave men. by the way trump just committed us troops to help steal Iraqis oil. all i can say is thats is how the game is played

Despite a marginal decline in overall crude oil exports, Iraq has boosted the sales of its crude to top Asian importers China and India since late September, as the confusion over the return of full Saudi capacity after the attacks made other Middle Eastern producers more popular in Asia. After the September 14 attacks on vital Saudi oil infrastructure, which cut 5.7 million barrels per day—or around 5 percent of daily global supply— offline, “Iraq seems to have quickly stepped in and sold crude oil to China and India since late September,” Fotios Katsoulas, Liquid Bulk Principal Analyst, Maritime & Trade, at IHS Markit, wrote in a commentary on Monday.  Most of Iraq’s exports continued to be shipped via very large crude carriers (VLCCs) capable of carrying up to 2 million barrels of oil. But the share of Suezmax tankers—such capable of shipping up to 1 million barrels of oil—fell at the expense of Aframaxes, smaller tankers carrying between 500,000 and 800,000 barrels. The reason for this, IHS Markit’s Katsoulas says, was that shippers considered chartering smaller vessels after tanker rates soared in late September and early October following the U.S. sanctions on Chinese tanker owning firms. At the end of September, the U.S. imposed sanctions on several Chinese tanker owners for shipping Iranian oil, including units of Cosco, who owns more than 40 oil tankers, including 26 supertankers. The cost of chartering supertankers to carry crude oil from the Middle East to Asia soared by double digits overnight on the day following the announcement of sanctions as oil traders and shippers scrambled to understand the extent and impact of the U.S. sanctions. Going forward, one major concern about Iraq’s oil production and exports is how the anti-government protests will develop and whether they would threaten oil output or export facilities, IHS Markit said. Iraqi oil production and exports remain at stable levels, Iraq’s Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said in a statement this weekend, as carried by Reuters.

China October new bank loans dip to 22-month low, more easing expected

BEIJING (Reuters) – New bank loans in China fell more than expected to the lowest in 22 months in October, but the drop was likely due to seasonal factors and policymakers are still expected to ramp up support for the cooling economy in coming months. Chinese regulators have been trying to boost bank lending and lower financing costs for over a year, especially for smaller and private companies which generate a sizeable share of the country’s economic growth and jobs. But domestic demand remains sluggish as investment and consumption weakens, while escalating U.S.-China trade tensions weigh on exports, suggesting more policy stimulus is needed. “We think the central bank will need to loosen policy more aggressively in the coming months in order to drive a turnaround in credit growth and prevent economic activity from slowing too abruptly,” Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics said in a note. Chinese banks extended 661.3 billion yuan ($94.55 billion) in new yuan loans in October – the weakest since December 2017, data from the central bank showed on Monday, down sharply from September and falling short of analyst expectations.

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