Matt Damon and the Arab oil industry team up to stop fracking

January 15, 2013

(Thinker) It seems like Matt Damon’s new anti-fracking film, “Promised Land” has some secret financers behind it. These financers would love nothing more than to stop fracking in its tracks. Why, you ask? Well because these financers are actually part of Abu Dhabi, an Arab oil emirate.
Supporting the anti-fracking movie is just their way of silencing the competition – American oil and gas producers.

Not only does Image Nation Abu Dhabi finance the “Promise Land,” but the Abu Dhabi government owns the media company that subsidizes Image Nation.

The film’s Abu Dhabi connection is significant, because the UAE is the world’s third largest oil exporter, according to 2011 figures from the U.S. Energy Information Agency. The country also holds the 7th largest proven reserves of crude oil and natural gas in the world. The UAE was ranked 17th in the world in natural gas production in 2010, according to EIA. (Courtesy of CNS news)


The fact that the UAE is one of the major producers of gas and oil is important. US natural gas producers have seen an increase in production thanks to fracking, which allows them to access once unreachable gas reserves and oil wells. This puts US natural gas producers in steep competition with the United Arab Emirates, because fracking is such a lucrative business for the US oil and gas industry.

The more the US oil and gas industry utilizes the method of fracking the more the Arab oil countries feel threatened. Not to mention the UAE loses money, which keeps their country afloat.

Matt Damon’s financers are using his movie to demean fracking. These financers hope that negative public opinion will put an end to their competition. However, one problem with such a plan is that basing something on a lie always comes back to bite you where it hurts the most.


Environmentalist Movie Funded by Oil-Rich Royalty

September 28, 2012
Matt Damon / AP
(BY: – image Matt Damon / AP) Matt Damon turned to oil-rich Middle East royalty to finance his film attacking domestically produced natural gas.

The environmentalist screed, Promised Land, received a chunk of its funding from the United Arab Emirates, an oil kingdom known for its lavish spending on man-made islands and the world’s tallest building, according to the Heritage Foundation.

The creators of Promised Land have gone to absurd lengths to vilify oil and gas companies, as Scribe’s Michael Sandoval noted Wednesday. Since recent events have demonstrated the relative environmental soundness of hydraulic fracturing – a technique for extracting oil and gas from shale formations – Promised Land’s script has been altered to make doom-saying environmentalists the tools of oil companies attempting to discredit legitimate “fracking” concerns. …
Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which is running PR for the film, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.

An ever-growing market for domestic fracking threatens dependence on foreign oil from the likes of UAE and OPEC.

A strong global market presence for American natural gas could also work to the UAE’s disadvantage. The Arab nation ranks seventh worldwide in proven natural gas reserves. For instance, Japan’s energy imports are expected to rise significantly over the next five years. The country is currently a major importer of UAE natural gas. If it decided to import more LNG from the United States to accommodate its increased energy demands, it could deal a blow to the UAE economy. …
All of this suggests a direct financial interest on the UAE’s part in slowing the development of America’s natural gas industry. Pop culture can be a powerful means to sway public opinion. While Promised Land, like anti-fracking documentary Gasland, appears to inflate the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, it may have an impact on the public’s view of the practice.

Matt Damon is a longtime Democratic partisan. Though he has voiced criticisms of Barack Obama, he donated $4,600 in 2008 to then-candidate Obama. Damon also co-hosted a star-studded fundraiser for Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Hollywood that netted the “Native American” candidate $250,000.

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This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Green movement. It isn’t just that the UAE is doing this for biz reasons (there are plenty of places that want to buy energy that don’t care about Green Tech). The reason the UAE is doing this is for public relations reasons. America needs to be autonomous of this public relations culture on the surface that reveals hardline tyranny.
PS: wasn’t it Mother Jones who showcased Carter’s video of Romney? and what totalitarian regimes did Mother Jones Rep? For starters Muammar Kaddaffi. Why are we falling for this? Why is it offensive to shout out the truth?


The Coming Oil-Shale Revolution?

November 27, 2011

The chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company- Aramco- has admitted that the development of large oil shale reserves in North America looks set to shift the monopoly over global energy supplies increasingly away from the Middle East.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (h/t Docs Talk)
Media_httpostseisanlg_qgbnhTo preface, when it comes to global petroleum supplies, a distinction is drawn between “conventional” and “unconventional” oil reserves. The former are still in abundance in oil fields throughout the Middle East, and petroleum is produced from them simply by drilling at oil wells. Unconventional reserves include tar sands and oil shale: the latter is a form of sedimentary rock that must first be decomposed at high temperatures before crude oil can be obtained for refinement.

In terms of reserves, it is estimated that conventional sources across the world can yield around 1.2 trillion barrels, while in the United States alone, anywhere between 500 billion and 1.1 trillion barrels are thought to be recoverable from oil shale. An immediately astonishing observation to draw is the low-end of the estimates for U.S. oil shale, which is still around twice as large as Saudi Arabia’s total reserves.
What makes this issue particularly relevant now is the emergence of reports on a potential breakthrough in oil shale extraction technology. Traditionally, extraction of oil shale has required the use of a method known as “fracking,” or “hydraulic fracturing” (to use the more technical term).
Hydraulic fracturing, however, has raised concerns because of issues such as contamination of groundwater and air pollution, besides the large amounts of water required for the process. The high water usage is particularly problematic in the Southwestern states that contain most of the United States’ oil shale reserves and are under water stress owing to drought in recent years.
Nonetheless, companies such as Chevron are now looking into the use of propane gel rather than water. Not only does this method require no water, but it also makes more sense from a technical point of view. As one former Halliburton Co engineer pointed out, “It’s an ideal liquid to crack the rock open with because it does not damage the rock like water would.” Accordingly, this pioneering process, despite some worries over propane gel’s flammability, is increasingly being given the green light by regulators in Canada and the United States.
In light of these developments, the chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company- Aramco- has come to acknowledge that the development of large oil shale reserves in North America looks set to shift the monopoly over global energy supplies increasingly away from the Middle East. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has now halted a $100 billion expansion program that aims to expand Saudi output to 15 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020.
Meanwhile, China is expected to be producing 1.1 million bpd of unconventional oil by 2035 (as opposed to 6.6 million bpd from the United States and Canada), a petroleum firm has announced the discovery of significant oil shale reserves in Argentina, and various companies have reported success in drilling wells for extracting natural gas from shale rocks in Poland.
Naturally, the following question arises: Are we finally moving into an era of complete energy independence from the Middle East and OPEC? If so, what are the implications?
As regards the former question, there is still one sign that appears to point to uncertainty. Despite anticipated increases in oil shale production, the fact remains that conventional oil will always be much cheaper to extract and use. Linked to this point is the International Energy Agency’s recent report that predicts Iraq will be the largest contributor to the growth in global oil production over the next 25 years. Iraqi crude, like that in Saudi Arabia, is perhaps the least expensive oil to extract in the world at only a few dollars per barrel.
Since state-control (which still exists) over the Iraqi oil industry and international sanctions have meant that for many years Iraq has produced oil largely for domestic consumption, there is still potential for exploration and discovery of new reserves in the country, hence, for instance, the recent exploration deal signed between ExxonMobil and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.
Since the 2003 invasion, Iraq has been able to secure numerous contracts with foreign firms in an effort to undergo a massive expansion in production for the international market, and output can only be expected to increase over the coming years. Peak oil for Iraq is not expected to occur until at least 2036.
Nonetheless, questions have been raised over export capacity hindered by outdated infrastructure. Perhaps paradoxically, the increased oil revenues for the Iraqi government mean that Baghdad is unlikely to shift towards liberalizing economic reforms, which in turn will continue the problem of excessive bureaucracy that impedes reconstruction and updating of infrastructure.
In any case, regardless of whether the West achieves energy independence from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s profits (as well as those of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) from the oil industry will probably diminish in light of competition from Iraq and oil shale across the world. In this context, commentators will no doubt be wondering if these developments will mark a decline in Islamism around the world.
In fact, what Daniel Pipes terms the “Islamic revival” coincided with the surge in oil prices in the 1970s and 1980s, and so many analysts have drawn a major link between the two events. End the oil dependence, so the reasoning goes, and Saudi Arabia will be exhausted of petrodollars to fund and spread its Wahhabi ideology.
However, I remain skeptical of such claims, which appear to reduce simplistically the growth in Islamist ideology to a single cause. Of course, funds from Saudi Arabia have led to an upsurge in the Wahhabism in countries like Bosnia, where an individual influenced by the Wahhabi movement growing in Bosnia- Mevlid Jasarevic- opened fire on the American embassy in Sarajevo.

Oil revenues helped give militant Islam a start; but once up and running…
Nonetheless, Islamism is ultimately a problem rooted in questions of “identity and circumstance” (as Pipes puts it), and in the age of mass communication, it is much easier for those who draw on broad elements of traditional Islamic theology to justify doctrines of jihad as offensive warfare and imposing Islamic law to attain success in winning over peaceful Muslims to their causes.
Moreover, we see that in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, Pakistan with its numerous Islamist movements, Tunisia with its an-Nahda movement, Yemen with al-Qa’ida, Somalia with ash-Shabaab, and Sudan with its regime under Omar al-Bashir (to name just a few), Islamism enjoys success without dependence on financial boosts from petroleum profits.
As Pipes noted back in 2002: “Oil revenues helped give militant Islam a start; but once up and running… it [militant Islam] no longer depends on this financial boost as shown by oil revenues having several times in the intervening years gone down without a noticeable reduction in militant Islam’s steady gains.”
In short, therefore, growing energy independence for the West via oil shale (a pleasing development in its own right) seems unlikely to hamper significantly the problem of Islamist ideology.
The only real solution- necessary, but difficult and almost certainly long-term- is honest reform within mainstream Islam to counter appeal to traditional notions of waging jihad against non-Muslims and imposing Shari’a in the public realm.


Global Energy Use to Jump 53%

September 20, 2011
TRANSFORM!

Global energy use is expected to jump 53% by 2035, largely driven by strong demand from places like India and China, according to a report Monday.
Combined, developing nations currently use slightly more energy than those in the developed world, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration. By 2035, they are expected to use double.
“Concerns about fiscal sustainability and financial turbulence suggest that economic recovery in the [developed] countries will not be accompanied by the higher growth rates associated with past recoveries,” the report said. “In contrast, growth remains high in many emerging economies, in part driven by strong capital inflows and high commodity prices.”
The 53% rise is slightly more than the 49% increase the agency predicted in last year’s report.
Accompanying the surge in energy use is a correspondingly large jump in greenhouse gas emissions. EIA sees energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rising 43% by 2035.
The projections, in the agency’s 2011 International Energy Outlook, are based on current policies. They could change substantially if countries like the United States and China passed stronger laws restricting carbon dioxide emissions.
Higher or lower energy price projections can also influence the report’s findings.
EIA assumed slightly lower oil prices in calculating this year’s report. The agency predicts oil prices to reach $108 per barrel in 2020 and $125 per barrel in 2035.
Last year EIA thought oil would be at $133 a barrel by 2035. EIA’s numbers do not include price increases attributed to the normal rise in inflation.
Fossil fuels will continue to be the dominant fuel choice in 2035, the agency predicts, with renewables constituting just 14% to the world’s overall energy consumption.
But that’s a substantial jump from renewable energy consumption in 2008, which stood at 10%. That growth rate makes renewables the fastest growing of all the energy sources, the report said.
The agency noted that most future renewable energy supply will continue to come from wind and hydropower. It did not include biofuels like ethanol as part of its renewable catalog, instead lumping it in with liquid fuels like oil.
EIA does not expect solar power to become a significant energy source by 2035. That runs counter to the opinion of solar power supporters who foresee rapidly declining prices for solar panels in the coming years.
The agency predicts nuclear power will go from about 5% of overall energy consumption in 2008 to about 7% in 2035. The vast majority of new nuclear plants are expected to be built in China. EIA did not factor in how last year’s nuclear disaster in Japan might impact nuclear power plant construction.
Natural gas continues to make up nearly a quarter of the world’s energy consumption, driven by increasing development of shale gas.
EIA projections for natural gas use by 2035 are 8% higher in this year’s report compared to last year’s, largely due to shale gas development.
Natural gas from shale, which is found in a different type of rock than most previous natural gas developments, has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to new drilling and extracting technology.
The technology involves cracking the shale rock with pressurized, water, sand and chemicals — a process knows as hydraulic fracturing, for “fracking” for short.
But the process has many people concerned over its effects on the groundwater, and shale gas development has been put on hold or stopped in some locations.
Despite the concerns, EIA predicts shale gas and other unconventional forms of natural gas will make up three quarters of U.S. natural gas production by 2035, up from about half today. Similar patterns are expected in China and Canada.
{CNN Money/Matzav.com }


THE TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN OIL BOOM? This surge in domestic production would leave Iran, Kuwait and the Arab emirates combined in the rear-view mirror”

July 16, 2011
A US oil boom — unless greens abort it – By ARTHUR HERMAN

Just a year after the BP oil spill, America is on the verge of a new golden era of oil exploration and production — unless President Obama and his environmentalist friends get their way.

This surge in domestic production would leave Iran, Kuwait and the Arab emirates combined in the rear-view mirror.
The US drilling boom rests on a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to open shale-oil reserves. It’s why wells are springing up in places like North Dakota, California and Pennsylvania, with thousands of new jobs in their wake.
Fracking has also opened up supplies of natural gas, sending prices plummeting. Now, even New York’s regulators have recommended lifting the state’s ban on the fossil-fuel gold rush that’s pushed North Dakota’s unemployment rate to 3.2 percent — the lowest in the nation.
The irony is that Obama had hoped higher oil prices would make us all drive electric cars and install backyard windmills. Instead, they’re making it profitable for US companies to expand the hunt for new reserves and to use fracking to reopen old ones.
Just last month, Exxon-Mobil announced the discovery of a vast field in the Gulf of Mexico, with as many as 700 million barrels waiting to be tapped. Other companies are using fracking to return to the Texas basin, the center of US oil production in the 1930s — which will mean millions in investment and thousands of jobs for that state. Montana and North Dakota are sitting on a shale-oil formation that could yield nearly 4 billion barrels.
Not many Americans realize we are already the world’s No. 3 oil producer, at 7.5 million barrels a day. The coming boom should add another 1.5 million by 2015. That’s closing in on Saudi Arabia’s daily total.
And oil-shale rich Canada could surpass Iran’s barrel-per-day output in a few years — so we’re looking at a major shift in the geopolitics of oil.
Easy-to-find oil is running out in the Mideast. After deliberately wrecking a multibillion-dollar deal with BP, Russia — the world’s biggest oil and gas producer — is looking more and more like a bad bet for foreign investors. If you want to make money in the oil biz, America will be the place to go.
But the environmental lobby is bent on preventing it — waging an all-out war on fracking, claiming (against all evidence) that it contaminates ground water. The ideologues hope to use memories of the BP spill and a more recent one on the Yellowstone River to dam up all exploration and pipeline construction.
Never mind that fracking goes on thousands of feet below groundwater sources, and that Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling did more damage to the Gulf economy than the BP spill ever did — or that the Yellowstone accident has affected an area of less than 10 miles on the edge of a national park of 3,500 square miles.
The promise of prosperity and jobs was enough to get even a blue state like New York to ignore the green lobby’s fearmongering. But Obama may yet derail the boom.
The president has had the oil industry’s two most important tax incentives — the percentage-depletion allowance and the deduction for intangible-drilling costs — in his cross hairs for a long time.
Both help oil and drilling companies recoup the heavy capital investment they need to look for oil, even when they turn up nothing. The White House argues that we must end both “tax breaks for Big Oil” to close the budget deficit.
This is nonsense. Manhattan Institute oil guru Robert Bryce notes that the entire value of the industry’s tax advantage comes to $4.4 billion a year. The notion that scrapping tax abatements that have been around since the 1920s will put a dent in a deficit of $1.4 trillion is laughable — and dangerous.
Besides, those few billions in savings would be washed away in rising oil prices if the impending rebirth of the US oil industry is aborted.
So there’s more at stake in the debt-ceiling impasse than just how we pay for our government. It’s also about whether America will dictate its own energy and economic future — or whether it’s left in the hands of sheiks, dictators and the EPA.

Arthur Herman is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise via ibloga.blogspot.com


UN report: US can quickly become a vast energy power and exporter of cheap energy

December 9, 2010

For the past year or so I have been writing about the vast wealth America has beneath our feet in the form of shale gas. We have huge amounts trapped in shale rock that can be liberated by blasting it open via a process called hydraulic fractioning (“fracking”). Wells are drilled horizontally miles underground and then a stream of water, sand, and a minor amount of chemicals fracture the rock and release the gas. All this happens far below the surface and the water tables. Natural gas is relatively clean-burning, is on-shore, and is ours.

Now comes a report from the UN (of all places) that asserts America can be on the verge of energy independence and can become one of the world’s great exporters of energy because of our shale gas and oil reserves. Natural gas is the one commodity that has been plummeting in price and delivering an economic jolt of its own for consumers more accustomed to higher energy prices.

From the Washington Examiner that picked up a report from Canada’s Globe and Mail :

Toronto’s Globe & Mail quotes a UN report that includes this observation: “Within a decade or so, North America will almost certainly emerge as the world’s biggest supplier – and exporter – of reasonably cheap energy.”

How can that be? As The New York Times reported last month, it’s because the U.S. is incredibly rich with natural gas and oil shale deposits that can be reached affordably using hydraulic fracturing, the injection of liquids into rock formations thousands of feet below the drinking water table.

The injections force the gas or oil into recoverable areas, thus opening up millions of new barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas for production here in America.

These new resources are having a profound impact on the U.S. energy situation and it’s happening right now, not off in some projected future, as is the case with the arrival of alternative energy resources like solar, wind, and biomass.

Intrigued? Here’s more detail from the Globe & Mail:

“With rising production from shale fields, the U.S. surpassed Russia last year to become the world’s largest supplier of natural gas.

“Shale now accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s natural gas production – up from 2 per cent in 1990. Chesapeake’s production from its next Texas project, expected by the end of 2012, will by itself supply the energy equivalent of 500,000 barrels of oil a day.

“For new oil, the U.S. has the huge Green River play that overlaps Colorado and Utah, one of the largest shale oil fields in the world. The EIA reports that the country’s proven reserves of crude rose last year by 9 per cent to 22.3 billion barrels.

“For natural gas, the U.S. has the four largest fields in the world: the Haynesville field in Louisiana (with production up by 77 per cent in 2009); the Fayetteville field in Arkansas and the Marcellus field in Pennsylvania (both with production up by 50 per cent); and the Barnett field in Texas and Oklahoma (with production up by double-digit increases).

“The EIA reports that proven U.S. reserves of natural gas increased last year by 11 per cent to 284 trillion cubic feet – the highest level since 1971.”

It is all there for the taking. But Democrats threaten to plug all those holes warming our homes and saving us money. Meanwhile, oil prices are going through the roof — helped along by the Obama administration’s efforts to stop oil drilling off-shore, take land out of commission for exploring, and impose new rules and regulations.

Not only do they overtly and covertly favor green schemes that try to kill carbon in all forms,  they have tried to enact one roadblock after another to stop us from tapping our shale gas and oil reserves (see, for example, my columns “Cheap Natural Gas and Its Democratic Enemies,”  a follow-up to my previous column Cheap Natural Gas and Its Enemies).

Who would benefit from stopping this energy revolution in its tracks? George Soros, environmentalists, green schemers that need government help (subsidies, investments, mandates) to make their ventures fly — and who reward Democrats with donations, Russia, Hugo Chavez, Arab oil powers, terrorists, and other assorted international bad actors. The Russian government recently expressed concern regarding their international power because America was developing our shale gas resources.

Those are the groups Democrats help when they curtail our own development of this treasure beneath our feet. Nice company to keep, huh?