Tullow sees quick path to production in Ivory Coast

Oct. 12 (UPI) — If the commercial potential exists in oil basins inland in Ivory Coast, it won’t take long to put them into production, British energy company Tullow Oil said.

For an undisclosed sum, Tullow said it was taking a 90 percent stake in four blocks in Ivory Coast from the national oil company, Petroci. Tullow said it planned to start geological surveys early next year.

“If commercial discoveries are made, the maturity of Ivory Coast’s oil industry suggests a relatively short and low-cost path to production,” the company stated.

Tullow already works in Ivory Coast, with a 20 year legacy as an explorer and producer. It holds a non-controlling interest in the nation’s Espoir field, taking a net 4,000 barrels of oil per day.

Offshore West Africa has emerged as a bright spot for new oil and gas discoveries. African Petroleum, an independent oil and gas company with a strong regional portfolio, said early this year an exploration well off the Ivorian coast found oil, but nothing significant. African Petroleum two years ago brought in its counterparts at Ophir Energy to its license area in the Ivory Coast, which eventually led to a multi-million dollar commitment to support a production sharing contract in the region.

Past maritime border disputes between Ghana and Ivory Coast interfered with the development of the TEN oil field, operated by Tullow.

The Espoir field sits about 12 miles from shore. In the past, Tullow said it was focused heavily on assets offshore Ivory Coast. The four blocks acquired are near the shoreline west of the capital city, Abidjan.

Tullow, which has its headquarters in London, posted a loss of around $519 million for the first half of the year, after taking a pre-tax profit of $24 million during the same period last year. It reported an operating loss of $395 million, said its realized oil price of $57.30 per barrel for first half of the year was 6 percent lower than last year, and lowered its spending guidance for the year by 20 percent to $400 million.

First-half production of around 81,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day was in line with its expectations.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Energy-News/2017/10/12/Tullow-sees-quick-path-to-production-in-Ivory-Coast/6851507803807/

Total moves deeper into solar energy market

Oct. 12 (UPI) — French energy company Total said Thursday it was playing an active role in the decarbonization of the French economy with a push deeper into the solar market.

After a call for tenders, Total’s solar power subsidiary said it was working through a partnership with agricultural services company Groupe Carré on 70 projects for solar polar installations on building and carports across France. The combined capacity of all projects awarded is 32 megawatts.

“We see rooftop solutions as particularly suitable for the development of solar power in France,” Julien Pouget, a senior vice president in charge of renewables for Total, said in a statement.

The move by Total is its second in the solar market in less than a month. The French supermajor in September made a $284.7 million investment to take an indirect 23 percent stake in renewable power company EREN RE. Total said it could eventually take the company over completely within the next five years.

Total said the momentum from EREN RE would allow it to accelerate its growth in solar energy and support a potential move into the wind power market. The September proposal was in line with Total’s efforts to have 5 gigawatts of installed renewable energy capacity in its portfolio in five years.

France has one of the least carbonized electricity sectors among members of the European Union. The French government so far this year called for a ban on oil and gas exploration and said it would phase out the sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles beginning in 2040.

For Total, the company started investing in solar energy in 2011 and set up its own solar affiliate earlier this year.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Energy-News/2017/10/12/Total-moves-deeper-into-solar-energy-market/3621507801358/

Jonny Gomes: Former MLB star raising money for California wildfire relief

Oct. 12 (UPI) — Jonny Gomes is aiming to raise $1 million to assist relief efforts for the wildfires in California.

Gomes, who played his last Major League Baseball season in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves, created the campaign on Wednesday.

The Jonny Gomes 707 Relief Fund had more than $13,000 in contributions as of Wednesday night from 122 people on GoFundMe.

The Northern California wildfires have killed at least 17 people and destroyed at least 2,000 structures. Gomes, 36, was born in Petaluma, Calif. and attended Casa Grande High School. He also went to Santa Rosa Junior College.

“I’m Major League Baseball Champion, Jonny Gomes,” Gomes wrote as the page description. “I’ve played professional baseball around the globe but the 707 area code of Northern California is my home. My friends are there. My family is there. I grew up playing ball in the fields and streets of Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Napa and beyond. That’s why you see “707” proudly displayed on my cleats. These people are my neighbors!”

“Now I need you to help me give back to the thousands affected by this horrific catastrophe. Kids are without homes and schools. People have nothing but the clothes on their back. My hometown is a wasteland of ash and rubble. You and I are going to change that!”

“The residents of these affected communities don’t need a home run from us – they need a GRAND SLAM! Give now and I will work with the people and organizations in the area to ensure that we are bringing home a win. When I identify a need I will allocate your donation swiftly, ethically and honestly. Let’s do this!”

The campaign has donations from other former and current baseball players, including $1,000 gifts from Eric Byrnes, David Ross, Pat Burrell and Kevin Youkilis.

Gomes is also sending his M35 military truck to his hometown to help clear roadways and move vehicles in the area, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Everyone: kids need diapers, dads need clothes, moms need clothes, families need cars. They need us,” Gomes said in a video on the GoFundMe page. “They need me. Let’s kick this off right now. Spread this video to everyone who has a heavy heart. Please help out. I’ll do what I can, have boots on the ground and kick this thing’s butt. Put some smiles on some people’s faces. Please help out. Need you.”

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Sports_News/MLB/2017/10/12/Jonny-Gomes-Former-MLB-star-raising-money-for-California-wildfire-relief/6621507795330/

Tougher penalties for suspects even ‘slightly involved’ in terrorism plots

The Sentencing Council, which draws up penalty guidelines for England and Wales, issued the first draft of sentences for terrorism-related offences ever handed to a court.

In view of the heightened terrorist threat in the UK, stricter punishments may now apply to anyone who is even slightly involved in a terror plot.

Under the guidelines, minimum terrorism sentences would extend from the existing minimum of between 21 months and five years, to between three and six years.

The proposals come as the UK has been rocked by five terrorist attacks within a span of just a few months that killed at least 30 and injured many more.

Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Borough Market, Finsbury Park and – most recently – Parsons Green tube station have all been targeted.

Under the new legislation, the use of social media and encrypted communication systems to avoid detection would also amount to an “aggravating factor”, lengthening sentence terms.

The Council’s chairman Lord Justice Treacy highlighted how the proposals aim to reflect a wide scale of terror offences and said:

“We want to ensure that courts have comprehensive guidance for dealing with these extremely serious cases.

“Offences vary greatly and could include someone who tries to make a bomb, another who urges others to join a terrorist organisation or a group plotting a murderous attack on the public.”

The legislation comes amid claims that it is increasingly easy and cheap for terrorist suspects to get hold of technology for DIY explosives in the dark corners of the internet, as well as on high streets.

An improvised explosive device (IED) set off just last month on a District line tube train at Parsons Green in the Fulham area left almost 30 people injured.

The bomb was understood to have been made at home by one of the perpetrators. Further loss of life was prevented only by the fact that the device failed to fully detonate.

The device contained an explosive substance associated with the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) called triacetone triperoxide (TATP), known as the “mother of Satan”, which was also used in the Manchester, Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.

The Council said terrorist attacks are “taking less time to be prepared” but current legislation is not adequately tailored to that.

“[In] the current climate, where a terrorist act could be planned in a very short time, using readily available items as weapons, combined with online extremist material on websites which normalise terrorist activity,” the Council said, “these offences are more serious than they have previously been perceived.”

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/uk/406454-terrorism-legislation-penalties-offences/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Lawmakers contemplate ‘legislative answer’ to new US anti-Russian sanctions

I really do not rule out a scenario in which Russia, in reply to the US law tightening the anti-Russian sanctions and absolutely unlawful actions targeting our diplomatic property, apart from all measures taken on the diplomatic level could develop a special draft law,” TASS quoted Leonid Slutsky as saying on Thursday.

As current geopolitical realities become tougher, when the United States start an unprecedented enlargement of anti-Russian sanctions and fixed this move in the form of a law it would be very logical from our side to introduce some counter-measures,” he added.

The MP noted that, when Russia had told the United States to cut the numbers of its diplomatic mission’s staff, it reserved the right for additional reciprocal measures. He also said that the Russian parliament already had experience with a ‘legislative response’ to unfriendly actions of other nations, such as with the 2012 Dima Yakovlev law banning the adoption of Russian children by US citizens or by proxy of US organizations, and introducing asset freezes and entry bans targeting particular US officials who had violated the rights of Russian citizens.

In early August this year, US President Donald Trump signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia – and also on Iran and North Korea – simultaneously stating that the motion was “seriously flawed” and blasting the US Congress for applying pressure to see the bill signed into law.

In reply, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev blasted the motion as a declaration of a fully-fledged economic war, adding that barring a miracle, the law would have a decades-long negative effect on Russia-US relations. Moscow also demanded that the United States cut the numbers of its diplomatic and technical staff to 455 people – the number of Russian personnel at US diplomatic missions and in the UN headquarters in the New York City.

In September, US authorities ordered the closure of three Russian consular offices, including the consular office in San Francisco and launched major searches in the buildings once they were vacated. On Wednesday this week they removed Russian flags from the roofs of the San Francisco consular office and the office of the Russian Trade Representative in Washington, DC.

The Russian Embassy in Washington has forwarded an official protest to the US authorities with a demand to return Russian state symbols to their flag poles.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/politics/406453-lawmakers-mull-legislative-answer-to/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Prison staff ‘attacked with pool balls’ by rioting inmates

The disorder at the Category A prison HMP Long Lartin was reportedly brought back under control in the early hours of Thursday morning. The category means the prison hosts the most dangerous types of criminal, such as those convicted of murder, rape or terrorism offences.

Tornado teams – specially-trained, anti-riot prison officers – were first sent to the prison to deal with an “ongoing incident.” Police, paramedics and firefighters were also called in.

A Prison Service spokesperson told the BBC there were no injuries to staff or prisoners.

“We do not tolerate violence in our prisons, and are clear that those responsible will be referred to the police and could spend longer behind bars,” the spokesperson said.

Long Lartin holds 622 male inmates, two-thirds of whom are serving life sentences.

The prison is famous for being the home to Abu Qatada, a notorious Islamist preacher, who was detained there during part of his lengthy legal battle with the Home Office over his extradition to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

Long Lartin is one of the highest-security facilities in England and Wales. An inspection report published three years ago described it as a “calm” prison, despite four inmates being killed there in four years.

The disturbance is just the latest incident in a series hitting prisons around the UK.

In July, a prison riot at HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire saw inmates take over two wings of the complex.

The Category C facility, which houses the least dangerous class of prisoners, had reportedly been running on a “restricted regime” due to chronic staff shortages. Prisoners were reportedly confined to their cells for up to 24 hours a day.

Severe budget cuts have left prisons facing a serious shortage of trained prison officers.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/uk/406452-prison-riot-security-attack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Turkey discusses with Baghdad, Tehran closing border gates with N. Iraq – spokesman

Turkey will gradually close border gates with northern Iraq in coordination with the central Iraqi government and Iran, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Thursday. The move comes in response to an independence referendum in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is expected to visit Baghdad on Sunday to meet with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi, Reuters reports.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/newsline/406455-turkey-kurdish-closing-border/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Greenpeace activists break into French nuclear plant, set off fireworks (VIDEOS)

READ MORE: Greenpeace activists board ship carrying 1000s of Volkswagen diesel cars in Thames Estuary

Demonstrators from the environmental NGO broke into the site in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Videos shared by Greenpeace show fireworks lighting up the sky above the nuclear plant.

The organization said it wanted to draw attention to the sites and the ease with which security could be breached.

“While EDF, the operator of French nuclear power plants, claims to secure the power stations, Greenpeace France’s activists point to the lack of protection of the most fragile parts of installations,” it said in a statement.

EDF Cattenom said that the activists were stopped by authorities and did not gain access to the nuclear zone. It added that the incident had no impact on safety.

The activists were arrested at the site, according to BFMTV.

Earlier this week Greenpeace France issued a report on what it describes as the “extreme fragility” of spent fuel pools which it claimed were poorly protected. It added that “people with criminal intent have shown clear signs of interest in nuclear facilities and activities,” and improvements in security were necessary to prevent this.

The report was not released to the general public but will be submitted to nuclear security authorities in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany.

France has 58 nuclear reactors, operated by EDF, which produce some 75% of the country’s electricity.

READ MORE: ‘Sword of Damocles’: French, Belgian power plants vulnerable to attacks – Greenpeace

EDF responded to the Greenpeace report by saying that security was a priority for the company and it makes continuous investment accordingly.

Nuclear power plant manager Philippe Sasseigne told Le Parisien of plans to invest an additional €700 million in security procedures both in personnel and equipment, such as lighting, fencing and cameras.

He said that although spent fuel pools are kept outside the reactor building they still are afforded the same level of protection, against storms and floods as well as malicious acts such as terrorism.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/406446-greenpeace-french-nuclear-fireworks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Madrid gives Catalonia’s Puigdemont 8 days to drop independence bid

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday gave the Catalonian government eight days to drop an independence bid, Reuters reports. Rajoy could call a snap regional election after activating Article 155 of the constitution that would allow him to sack the regional government of Catalonia. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont issued a symbolic declaration of independence from Spain on Tuesday night, then immediately suspended it and called for negotiations with the government in Madrid. Puigdemont commented on Madrid’s moves, tweeting late Wednesday that the Catalan government had asked for dialogue. “They answer you by putting [Article] 155 on the table,” Puigdemont said.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/newsline/406450-spain-catalonia-drop-independence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Britain govt to invest $1.19bn to meet 2050 emission-reduction target

Britain’s government will invest £900 million ($1.19 billion) in smart energy systems and nuclear and renewable technology as a part of its strategy to meet its 2050 climate target, Reuters reports. The government also said Thursday in its Clean Growth Strategy it will invest £100 million in technology to capture, use and store carbon dioxide emissions and in industrial innovations. The UK has a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming, by 80 percent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/newsline/406445-britain-government-invest-emission/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS