Royal Dutch Shell has made major investments in developing conventional and unconventional natural gas resources in several parts of the world, building LNG terminals to prepare it for distant markets, develop the first floating LNG facility and develop new methods to convert natural gas into liquid fuels.
“Tropical Storm Tim formed over the Coral Sea on March 13, 2013, and remained off the coast of northeastern Australia for the next four days. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Tim on March 17. Although lacking a distinct eye, Tim still had the spiral shape characteristic of strong storms.” Quoted from NASA’s Earth Observatory image release.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is a new radio telescope that will produce so much data that a supercomputer capable of one quadrillion floating point operations per second will be needed to support it. The project leaders have decided to cool the supercomputer with a closed-circuit geothermal cooling system that will operate on ground water.
Chevron will acquire rights to 810,000 acres of potential shale gas property along pipelines out of Australia’s Cooper Basin and connecting to natural gas export facilities on Australia’s eastern coast.
Several factors work together to determine the annual value of Australia’s diamond production. The output of mining operations, the quality of the stones, world diamond prices, and the relative strength of the Australian Dollar against other currencies are major factors in the annual value.
A new report reveals that generating electricity from wind in Australia costs much less than generating by natural gas or coal. This means that Australia might have even more coal and natural gas for export.
A guy with a metal detector found a 5.5 kilogram gold nugget near the city of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The nugget has an estimated value of about $282,000 based upon its gold content but a collector might be willing to pay more because it is such a unique specimen.
Many energy companies would like to export natural gas as LNG from the United States to countries where market prices are much higher. However, United States manufacturers object because they fear that LNG exports will raise domestic prices.
Not mentioned in the FuelFix article are: 1) many new conventional gas discoveries in Africa, Australia, South America and Indonesia that could compete with LNG exports from the United States; 2) the enormous untapped shale gas potential in other parts of the world; and, 3) natural gas throughout the world that is currently being flared. Will LNG export terminals for United States gas make economic sense five years from now?
Chevron is the largest holder of natural gas resources in Austraila. Their Gorgon LNG Project and Wheatstone LNG Project are both located on the northern coast of Australia with easy access to Asian natural gas markets.
Although many groups oppose large-scale natural gas exports for a variety of reasons, a government study finds that the exports would be a net benefit to the economy.
We wonder if there is going to be an oversupply of LNG because several large LNG plants with dedicated gas fields are being built off the coasts of Africa, Australia and Indonesia – and the same shale bonanza that occurred in the United States has yet to begin in other parts of the world. US LNG could arrive late and at a transport disadvantage.
A study done by Geoscience Australia estimates Australia’s natural gas resource at about 390 trillion cubic feet. The country’s offshore resources is being aggressively developed by projects that are expected to produce LNG that will be exported to Asia.
Rio Tinto is looking for buyers for three diamond mines. A 100% stake in the Argyle Mine in Australia that is famous for its pink diamonds, a 60% interest in the Diavik Mine in the Norwest Territories of Canada that is famous for it’s extremely high ore grade, and the smaller Murowa Diamond Mine in Zimbabwe.
“Heavy rains soaked northeastern Australia in February and March 2012, with some areas receiving more than 1,500 millimeters (59 inches) of precipitation. This image shows rainfall, as observed by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, over parts of Queensland, Northern Territory, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. The date range is from February 22 to March 23, 2012.” Quoted from the Earth Observatory image release.
“Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 4.7 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 227 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas in major offshore petroleum basins of Australia.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
Low diamond prices and a strong Australian dollar have caused problems for the Australian diamond and gemstone mining industry for the past five years (see graph below). Could 2012 be a year of change?
“Severe flooding affected multiple communities along Australia’s Queensland-New South Wales border in early February 2012. On February 5, 2012, the Australian Associated Press reported that several thousand residents were isolated from the outside world by an inland sea.” Quoted from the Earth Observatory image release.