Gorgon Gas: 100% Sellout of Australia’s Energy Future

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Another Disturbing  Announcement From Martin Ferguson:

 The Announcement:

‘MINISTER WELCOMES GORGON GAS DEAL’

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has welcomed Australia’s largest long-term LNG contract with India, following yesterday’s signing of a Sales and Purchase Agreement between ExxonMobil and Petronet LNG.

The Government warmly welcomes this development, which represents the dawning of a new trading relationship for Australia and brings the Gorgon gas development one step closer to fruition…The Government hopes this new partnership with India will grow to be as significant as our LNG export trade with our friends in East and North East Asia…I would particularly like to congratulate Exxon Mobil Australia on this very significant deal and acknowledge the company’s long and important history of investment in Australia…We are a country built on foreign investment, and investments which develop our natural resources to the benefit of all Australians will continue to be welcomed by the Australian Government.

The New York Times 2007:

The partners have already agreed to sell Gorgon’s 10 million tons per year of gas output to customers in Japan, China and India, with half of those deals agreed last month in a move that appeared likely to ensure the project’s progress. The Gorgon gas fields, first discovered in 1981, have certified gas reserves of over 1.1 trillion cubic meters, or 40 trillion cubic feet, enough to power a city of one million people for 800 years.

On this basis and old figures, enough gas to cleanly supply all Australian Cities big and small for the next forty years has just been snared and grabbed by a 100% foreign consortium, to be supplied in a completely non greenhouse friendly manner to a foreign country. Given that Australia has one of the most well developed natural gas distribution networks in the world, this raises a plethora of questions.

Firstly, why is the worlds biggest per capita green house gas polluter (us) embarking on an export program which is in denial of a local solution and adding further to the global wastage of energy through the absurd oil tanker transport of LNG to countries abroad? Secondly, why is the most significant green party in Australia, the Australian Greens, not at least raising its own ire and public awareness about the absurd rhetoric of ETS in relation to this and other perverse energy policies announced on a regular basis by this sinking vessel referred to as the ‘Australian’ government?

It would appear that the entire process upon which a simple and intelligent democracy is based has collapsed in Australia, and for anyone in doubt this announcement is surely ample confirmation. The issue is that Chevron and the consortium are able to profit immensely by this project, but at no point has there been an examination of the energy costs associated with liquefying and transporting natural gas for sale offshore, nor has attention been drawn to the obvious opportunities and policies of lacking locally in relation to natural gas.  This type of project and the other LNG projects approved by Martin Ferguson renders the ‘Emissions Trading Scheme’ and ‘Clean Coal’ as pure folly, and its an insult to every Australian that has been mislead by the Rudd governments barrage of Climate Change rhetoric. The simple fact is that Australia has the gas reserves and infrastructure to produce the in total nations energy requirements and operate transport from natural gas. The government is clearly co-operated and fingered by a Greenhouse Mafia that is making a mockery of every Climate Change related utterance coming from the Ministers and the Prime Ministers Mouths.

The final question is the most perplexing. If Australia has the technology, infrastructure and energy reserves to be a grade A Greenhouse friendly Climate Change Graduate, why do our politicians mislead the public so and insist that we sit continually in dunce corner?  Why has the ALP or the Coalition for that matter, never developed a national energy policy on either stationary  energy or transport grounds? The evidence of the past three decades points to a monoculture continuum of perverse and wasteful policies with the perhaps desired effect of running supply ship Australia into the ground.

It has become very clear that all Australian politicians have become the well rewarded mouthpieces for global enterprise intent on supplying the well advertised and promoted gluttonous and consumer world.  The sobering reality is the roles of opposition parties and minority ‘green’ have degenerated to such a degree that any chance of concept of sustainability now becomes one of individual choice and not the one announced in terms of the biggest ‘trade deal’ which in fact represents the biggest plan to waste energy and produce greenhouse gases, sanctioned and supported by our government, rules out any credibility of positive intentions of chorus of politicians all echoing the same problem of climate change, while failing to address micro reform of energy and industry which admittedly has been absent from party platforms. That’s the current game of global energy exchange that Australia is playing, and although it doesn’t make sense in terms of sustainability, security, economics or logic, when such a ridiculous deal is arranged, the whole world will line up in this wholesale export of energy around the world while most media including the ABC will report the sideshow sell-off without reflecting deeply or at all into the environmental and economic implications for the nation. Australia in a sense is being robbed and now we get to watch Peter Garrett justify this in terms of natural gas and carbon burying being an opportunity for Australia to clean the world of climate change, while Chevron , Exxon-Mobile and Shell, continue ( business as usual) to reap the benefits of intensive energy extraction, processing and transport – this is the current state of sovereign ownership of assets which is set to intensify energy wastage between our trading partners, but in reality is compounding the problems associated with a liquid fossil fuels lobby which continues post Howard to operate the cabinet and direct debate in the parliament.

In relation to these basic economics, a pertinent quote from Ollie Clark , Natural Gas Vehicle Association:

The thing that strikes me as being rather quaint, to put it mildly, is that we pay anywhere from about $8 billion to $25 billion to import the oil and we get a paltry $4 billion for the gas that we sell to overseas countries. It seems odd to me, especially given gas is a superior fuel for many, many purposes including the use in motor vehicles. ABC 7.30 Report : (Natural Gas: The Future of Fuel? )

Recent Media:

First Australia-India LNG deal reachedAugust 11, 2009, SMH 

I am very pleased to finalise this long-term agreement for the provision of LNG to our new terminal in Kochi, supporting more than $US2 billion ($A2.4 billion) of related energy infrastructure investment in India.  Energy consumers in Kerala State will now have access to a clean-burning base load fuel, which will enhance the economic development of the region and maintain the pristine ecology of Kerala. (Petronet MD Prosad Dasgupta )

Earlier on Monday, the West Australian government gave final environmental approval for Gorgon, the nation’s biggest resource project.WA Environment Minister Donna Faragher announced the latest step in the process towards development of the expanded $50 billion Chevron-led Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island.

The project’s environmental approval process is now in the hands of federal Environment, Heritage and Arts Minister Peter Garrett, who visited Barrow Island last week.

Gorgon gas development on Barrow Island approved – Perth Now – August 10. 2009.

Barrow Island ecology threatened further:

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In April, EPA conditionally approved Chevron’s proposal to revise and expand the Gorgon LNG development on the Barrow Island nature reserve. Despite its conditional approval, EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said the agency still opposed the location of industry on Barrow Island, a Class A nature reserve. Vogel stated,

“Given the very high environmental and unique conservation values of Barrow Island, which are reflected in its status as a class A Nature Reserve, it is the view of the EPA that, as a matter of principle, industry should not be located on a nature reserve and specifically not on Barrow Island.” ( Emerging Energy News)

$50b Gorgon gas project gets green light  ABC, April 30 , 2009

The general manager of the Gorgon Gas Project, Colin Beckett, has refuted claims by Greens and others the project will damage the fragile environment of Barrow Island and surrounds.

Despite Barrow Island being a gazetted A Class reserve for more than a century, there has been oil facilities there since the mid 60s

Mr Beckett says that history shows industry can handle the environmental issues around oil and gas.

The proof is in the pudding, …we have been there for 40 years and this is still a superb ecosystem…we have protected both the flora and fauna on Barrow Island during that time. I think it would be fair to say that if it wasn’t for Chevron’s stewardship of Barrow Island it would already have quarantine breaches.

See Also:  LNG – Killing Us Softly With Exports?

More Recent Media:

The rush for compensation The Australian,OPINION: Mike Steketee | August 22, 2009

Name Origin – ‘Gorgon’

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In Greek mythology, the Gorgon (plural: Gorgons) (Greek: ?????? or ????? Gorgon/Gorgo, “terrible” or, according to some[who?], “loud-roaring”) was a vicious monster with sharp fangs. She was a protective deity from early religious concepts. Her power was so strong that anyone who dared to look upon her would be turned to stone. Therefore, such images were put upon items from temples to wine kraters for protection. The Gorgon wore a belt of serpents that intertwined as a clasp, confronting each other.

In late mythology, it was said that there were three Gorgons and that one of them, Medusa, had hair of living, venomous snakes that she received as a punishment from Athena, an image that has become especially famous. However, the Gorgon exists in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer.

The Gorgon held the primary location at the pediment of the temple at Corfu. It is the oldest stone pediment in Greece and is dated to c. 600 BC.

From wikipedia

The perspective from the Clean state of California:

LNG and Clean Energy Laws are on a Collision Course in California

rory%20copy1.gif By Rory Cox
California Program Director
Pacific Environment www.pacificenvironment.org