U.S. giving away ownership and control of our Energy and refineries

While we have been puffed up feeling good about our new energy finds, the continued eroding of its control and ownership has been slipping away. I first started reporting on the story when the major refineries closed in Philadelphia, once known as a major hub. What I found several years ago was chilling. We may have lots of oil, but  between the EPA bearing down, and the sale to foreign entities, mainly China, we have much to be concerned about, particularly our refineries.. First the update, then we take a look at the industry as a whole.

Aug 5 (Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will sell North American unit Citgo Petroleum if it receives a good offer, Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters on Tuesday in what would be its biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.

Citgo has three U.S. refineries with combined capacity of some 750,000 barrels per day. They are in Lemont, Illinois, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Separate from Citgo, PDVSA has a stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana with Exxon Mobil. The Venezuelan company also owns the Merey Sweeny unit of the Sweeny, Texas, refinery with Phillips66, which was spun off from ConocoPhillips.

Ramirez did not directly address the possible sale of PDVSA’s other refining assets in the United States, although bankers have said Chalmette is for sale. Ed:(Anyone want to bet China will step up?) More over atReuters

I recalled while doing research on Perry and his business dealings with China and others, that what most of us think as U.S energy has been slipping away from U.S. ownership.   I decided to scout around to see what was going on with our refineries and our energy specifically. Here is what I came up with in just a bit of time back in 2012.

The Philadelphia company, which owns two refineries in Pennsylvania, announced plans to sell those refineries and focus on its pipelines and retail gas stations that provide a steadier cash flow.

“We have made progress in increasing the efficiency of our refineries over the last several years, but given the unacceptable financial performance of these assets, it is clear that it is in the best interests of shareholders to exit this business,”

Sunoco’s refineries in Philadelphia and Marcus Hook, Pa., can process a combined 505,000 barrels of oil per day. If it cannot sell its refineries, the company will shut down its main processing units in July 2012.

The move is one more step in a major transformation for U.S. refining. Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips decided to distance themselves from refining, announcing plans earlier this year to spin off their downstream businesses. CNS News

Earlier, we have Valero:

Valero Energy, the top independent American refiner, is working to sell its remaining plants on the East Coast and in the Caribbean, The Wall Street Journal said Deal Book NY Times

Then we have this unpleasant business of China involved in Texas”

China stakes claim to S. Texas oil, gas

HOUSTON – State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves.

With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent.

As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border.

CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs.

The deal represents China’s second try at making a big move into the U.S. oil and gas market, following a failed bid five years ago to buy California-based Unocal Corp.

Intense political opposition over energy security concerns derailed that $18.4 billion deal. But analysts expect few political or regulatory hurdles to the CNOOC-Chesapeake deal. My San Antonio

Let us check out Wyoming:

China’s Niobrara Shale deal part of complex U.S. relationship

CHEYENNE — It’s more about greenbacks and less about the Red Menace.

China’s recent deal for assets and exploration in the Niobrara Shale should be viewed as part of a complex energy relationship between China, the United States and the rest of the world, some Wyoming energy experts say.

“It’s part of the mix. To me, that is the reality we’re working in, it’s a mutual dependency,” said Jean Garrison, director of international studies and professor of political science at the University of Wyoming. “These are people we’re going to be dealing with in a business setting.”

China’s $1.3 billion Niobara Shale deal with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is just one of many cooperative deals recently inked between the country’s state-owned oil companies and businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South America.

Mark Northam, director of UW’s School of Energy Resources, said he would be more concerned if Chinese state-owned firms tried to buy companies such as Chesapeake outright.

Read more: Trib Com News

Check out what Mexico and Citgo were up to decades ago, and who knew?

State-run Oil Company Mexico’s PEMEX Looking into Purchase of Oil Refineries in U.S.. By Carlos Navarro. The state-run oil company PEMEX is exploring the possibility  Repository UNM EDU

Between 1986 and 1989, PDVSA, through its subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corporation, acquired the Lake Charles and Corpus Christi refineries in the USA with a refining capacity of 485,000 b/d. The investment was made to enhance the value of Venezuela’s heavy crudes which, with a high sulphur and metal content, had been selling at a considerable discount to light crudes. http://www.petroleumworld.com/sati10061201.htm

China Enters California Oil Market With 50% Purchase of Coastal Corp. Refinery

China agreed Wednesday to buy half of a Hercules, Calif., oil refinery in a move that will put Chinese crude oil into competition with Alaska and California oil. The investment is the first of its kind by China’s state-owned oil industry and mimics recent actions by several OPEC nations.

The joint venture with Coastal Corp. of Houston, owner of the small refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area, also signals a move by Coastal into California’s huge gasoline and convenience-store market, the U.S. company saidhttp://articles.latimes.com/1988-08-04/business/fi-10283_1_oil-markets

 Then we have Israel:

ALON USA acquired ownership of the Big Spring, Texas refinery in August 2000, when ALON Israel Oil Company Ltd. purchased the U.S. fuels marketing and refining assets of Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc. (FINA). The 70,000-barrels-per-day Big Spring refinery delivers products to our customers from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Phoenix, Arizona via owned/operated and third-party pipelines. Alon USA

China and our Oil Leases

China’s state-owned energy firm just closed a deal to buy interests in four development leases on the American Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal, which requires approval of the U.S. government, is between Norway’s Statoil and China National Off-Shore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). This is the same CNOOC that would have bought Unocal four years ago for $18.5 billion but for pressure from Congress, according to The New York Times, quoting an energy industry trade publication.

Because it must be approved by the U.S. government, the Statoil/CNOOC deal puts President Obama and Ken Salazar, his Secretary of the Department of the Interior, which controls OCS leasing, in a difficult position.

UPDATE: Bishop says Obama policy aids foreign nations, not U.S.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT, says the Statoil/CNOOC deal is indicative of the Obama administration’s failure to protect U.S. consumers from foreign nations seeking to tap into this country’s abundant energy resources:

“Unemployment will continue to exceed acceptable levels and the economy will continue to suffer until this administration reverses its anti-energy policy.  China and other foreign countries are gaining access to the abundant natural resources located in the American OCS, meanwhile an energy starved U.S. continues to experience the detrimental effects of Secretary Salazar’s decisions to place special-interests before the American people.  Since taking office this administration has made great strides in helping countries gain access to American energy resources, it’s just too bad the U.S. isn’t one of them

Read more at the Washington Examiner: Washington Examiner

BONUS INFO!  Just to make our heads spin.

Recall: Russians to Control Uranium Mines in Wyoming?

Russians to control Uranium mines in Wyoming:

Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the mines’ licenses.

The NRC last week approved the license transfer to a Russian company known as ARMZ which expects to obtain a controlling interest in Canadian-owned Uranium One by year’s end. Uranium One holds the licenses for a proposed uranium mine and an existing uranium mine in northeast Wyoming.

The transfer raised concern from Wyoming’s congressional delegation, who said the uranium could in theory go overseas and serve against U.S. interests.

So who has the interests of the United States? Do not count on our government.

 

EPA ‘clean coal’ rule would increase power prices by 70 or 80 percent

Don’t you just love it when the administration finally tells the truth about what we have been blogging about for years. It’s not like he didn’t tell us. Those states that get their energy mostly from coal, should be an easy capture for the GOP. That is if they can keep their heads about them.

The Daily Caller reports:

An Obama administration official has said that the new clean coal rules could increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent.
Dr. Julio Friedmann, the deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told House lawmakers that the first generation of carbon capture and storage technology would increase wholesale electricity prices by “70 or 80 percent.”
The Obama administration’s plan to fight global warming includes limiting carbon dioxide from new power plants. In order for new coal-fired power plants to be built, however, they would need to install costly carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

 

Uploaded on Mar 18, 2009

Barack Obama: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (January 2008)

Posted in Energy. Tags: , , . 13 Comments »

Obama trys to sell Solar – Wind leases on Federal land, but no one came

Here is a feel good story for a Sunday. Obama held a party and no one came. At least for now. Be sure though that he will twist a few arms to find some lucky benefactor of his largess willing to step out in the wind or sun for a buck or two. What he wants to do is tie up hundreds of thousands of acres so no other form of extracting resources will occur that might benefit you and me. Here we go:

The Obama administration has been pretty jazzed about their sweet plans to auction off leases for certain parcels of the one-third of the surface area of the United States they control, largely in the western United States, for the express purposes of developing wind and solar farms to which they hope they’ll be able to point as evidence of the success of their not-quite-”all of the above” energy agenda

I think it’s safe to surmise that the day was something of a letdown for them, via the Denver Business Journal:

The nation’s first federally run auction for a chance to develop solar power projects on public lands was a bust.

No bidders showed up for the auction by the federal Bureau of Land Management, which was held Thursday in Lakewood.

“We did not have any bidders come to the sale and we did not receive any sealed bids on the sale,” BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said. …

“The BLM had received interest in developing the sites, that’s why we moved forward,” she said. “It’s hard to say why we didn’t have any bidders.” …

“We will evaluate today’s auction as we look at future opportunities to offer lands in Solar Energy Zones for development, both in Colorado and other Western states,” the statement said.

H/T: Hot Air

Energy nominee Moniz ‘We need carbon tax to triple the cost’

How is this for another wacko nominee? Every new appointee more radical than the last. Ernest Moniz. A name we would rather forget. Let’s see what the Senate does with this one.

Moniz position is not far from that of Energy Secretary Steven Chu before he took a job in the Obama administration. “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Chu said in 2008. Last year, gas hit $9 a gallon in Greece. Great, $12.00 a gallon sounds like a real economy booster.

Obama’s Energy Secretary Nominee Called For Doubling Or Tripling Energy Costs With Carbon Tax To Push U.S. Towards Green Energy…

Via Beltway Confidential:

President Obama’s Energy secretary nominee regards a carbon tax as one of the simplest ways to move the energy industry towards clean technologies, though he notes that government would have to come up with a plan to mitigate the burden this tax places on poor people, who would pay the most.

“Ultimately, it has to be cheaper to capture and store it than to release it and pay a price,” MIT professor and Energy nominee Ernest Moniz told the Switch Energy Project in an interview last year. “If we start really squeezing down on carbon dioxide over the next few decades, well, that could double; it could eventually triple. I think inevitably if we squeeze down on carbon, we squeeze up on the cost, it brings along with it a push toward efficiency; it brings along with it a push towards clean technologies in a conventional pollution sense; it brings along with it a push towards security. Because after all, the security issues revolve around carbon bearing fuels.”

Keep reading…

Obama Puts Agenda 21 On Steroids

I am pleased to offer this guest post from Jim over at Asylum Watch– “Because it’s a crazy world out there and we have to live in it”.  It is an important post. Agenda 21 is a sleeper, and we need to stay on top of it. Jim does great research and thought-provoking commentary. Be sure and visit him.

President Obama mentioned recently that he is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on climate change before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways. It should have. I highly doubt he will implement his plan via a bill that congress must approve. He is much more like to do it through an executive order.

Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online tells about Obama’s next steps toward stacking you and packing you in high density urban centers (Agenda 21).

Last Friday’s headlines focused on President Obama’s address at Argonne National Laboratory, where he proposed to spend $2 billion on an energy-security trust fund for renewable fuel research. Obama boldly pledged “to shift our cars entirely . . . off oil.”

…on the day of Obama’s Argonne speech, the Department of Energy released a series of coordinated reportscalled “Transportation Energy Futures” (developed in cooperation with Argonne). This DOE project explores a variety of strategies designed to curb America’s greenhouse gas emissions up to 80 percent by about 2050.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t hear about these DOE reports. I guess the MSM didn’t think they were very important. So, what is the DOE up to? Kurtz explains:

Arguably the most controversial of those reports covers the “effects of the built environment on transportation.” To put it plainly, the “built environment” report lays out strategies the federal government can use to force development away from suburbs and into cities, supposedly for the sake of reducing carbon dioxide emissions given off by all those suburban commuters. The Obama administration wants to force so-called smart growth policies on the country: get out of your car, stay out of the suburbs, move into small, tightly-packed urban apartment complexes, and walk or take public transportation instead of driving. (Bold added)

You can see what is coming, can’t you? The only projects that will get approval will be those in the cities. A developer wants to build a new subdivision in a suburb will find the permits denied or delayed indefinitely while the impact on climate change is reviewed and reviewed again. Need to add roads or schools to a suburb? Sorry! It would produce too much green house gases. The idea will be to make too expensive to live in the suburbs.

And, of course, there are all those federal grants that local politicians can’t turn down.

Kurtz has some thoughts on how to fight back:

How can these changes be fought? Publicity helps. Controversial policies like “smart growth” often operate under the public’s radar. Obama wants the energy debate to focus on benign-sounding research plans, while his administration’s interest in placing the massive power of federal funding behind urban densification strategies goes unnoticed.

The other way to block Obama’s plans is to have Congress cut funding for the Sustainable Communities Initiative. In particular, future funding for the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program ought to be eliminated. Although the cost of these planning grants is small, their potential impact is large, especially if the administration follows through with the built environment report’s option of conditioning a wide range of federal aid on local adherence to so-called smart-growth planning. (I described these troubling “sustainability” grants in “Obama’s Plan for Ohio.”)

Yours truly is not very optimistic that the House Republicans will use their power over the purse. All indications are that once again there will be no budget passed on the 27th of this month. That means there will be another Continuing Resolution passed to fund the government through September. The House Republicans could include no funding for “climate change reviews”. They could eliminate funds for those pesky government grants. They could cut funding for the DOE programs. And, of course, the Democrats could say no and shut down the government and blame it on the Republicans, in which case, the Republicans will fold in a heart beat.

So, the ultimate in central planning, Agenda 21, marches on.

Soviet born Boris Bershteyn, Cass Sunstein’s replacement a sleeper cell

Recall my post Cass Sunstein replaced by Soros’s Soviet born Boris Bershteyn? He never got brought forward for a Senate confirmation hearing as required apparently. Or so we thought. But Obama seems to have managed a round about way of letting him slip by without one. First a bit of the back story, then the update. Just where are our GOPers on this? His position more powerful than the EPA. This sure will put energy on a fast track now won’t it?

Boris Bershteyn, the budget office’s general counsel, will replace Sunstein as acting director. Bershteyn is a natural choice. He was born in the Soviet Union, earned his law degree at Yale, and was selected as a 2001 “fellow” by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Paul Soros is the elder brother of the notorious globalist and darling of the financial class, George Soros.

Boris Bershteyn

Between his tours at OMB, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel, with responsibility for legal issues in regulatory, economic, health, and environmental policy.ACUS Gov

 The new Administrator of OIRA will have powerful influence on any proposed energy and environmental policies, in addition to proposals or new regulations in any other sector. The OIRA has already exercised plenty of revisions to Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency proposals involving issues such as coal mining, fracking, energy exports and renewable energy sources. The Administration’s proposed new regulations involving air quality, emissions controls on power plants, and regulations addressing climate change increase pressure on Obama to choose a new administrator as these issues need to be addressed quickly

President Obama is now under pressure to appoint a new administrator at the OIRA. The position of OIRA administrator has been unfilled since August, when Cass Sunstein stepped down after serving for three years. A lawyer named Boris Bershteyn has been serving as Acting Administrator in the interim, but there is a time limit on how long the position can remain vacant. Bershteyn is approaching his limit of 210 days as acting Administrator, and Obama must soon appoint someone to the position permanently. The appointment also needs to be approved by the Senate. Because Bershteyn’s 210 days will be up sometime next week and no successor has been named, the White House may simply remove his “Acting Administrator” title.

.More at The energy collective

Treasury decision gives China Drilling rights in Gulf of Mexico

As if our Hypocrite-in-Chief has not done enough to sabotage our energy resources, now we hear that we are more than happy to give drilling rights to China in the Gulf. Best part is how the Treasury Dept. and the other Departments got their long fingers into the matter. Just think about it. No pipeline for us, but plenty for China. Obama’s bundler’s make out swell. H/T. goes to Judicial Watch and their FOIA request which has not been responded to.

Treasury Decision Gives Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation Drilling Rights in Strategic Gulf of Mexico Waters, Provides Apparent Windfall of Financial Returns to Major Obama Contributors.

But let me digress first. Recall this one that covered what foreign companies are doing to us. One example:

China buying up U.S. Energy Supplies

CNOOC recently completed a 570 million dollar deal that gives it a one-third interest in huge oil and gas deposits in Colorado and Wyoming. The following is from Wyoming Energy News….

Chinese energy company Cnooc Ltd. has agreed to pay $570 million for a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s 800,000 leased acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming. The acreage is in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River basins. Cnooc is China’s biggest offshore oil and natural gas producer.

In fact, according to a recent Business Insider article, this deal gives the Chinese government the right to a third of any new oil discovered by Chesapeake Energy in the entire region….

Now back to the story:

Because of Nexen’s holdings in the Gulf of Mexico, the CNOOC takeover required the approval of the CFIUS, which is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and includes the Attorney General, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State, and Energy. On February 12, 2013, the CFIUS announced its approval of CNOOC’s takeover of Nexen. As a state enterprise, CNOOC is owned by the Chinese government and is managed by Communist Party officials. CNOOC offered Nexen a 60% premium over the stock’s trading value at the time of the takeover, prompting analysts to describe the terms as “a fantastic deal for Nexen.” It also raised questions as to whether the Chinese government’s interests were more strategic than economic.

“With one ill-chosen action, the Obama administration has managed to undermine our strategic interests and reward its corporate cronies,” said Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch. “It’s little wonder that the Treasury Department is defying the open records law to stonewall accountability. And Americans may want to compare and contrast the quick approval of this Chinese strategic initiative with the Obama administration’s scandalous delay of the related Keystone XL oil pipeline project.”

The acquisition will reportedly provide a windfall return to Obama-connected investors, who profited heavily from Treasury’s approval of the takeover and Chinese expansion into the hemisphere, including:

  • Farallon Capital Management LLC, which bought 8.7 million shares of Nexen (1.65 percent of the company) between July 1 and September 30, 2012. The founder of Fallon Capital is Thomas Steyer, is a long-time Democratic fundraiser who ridiculed Romney’s energy plans at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
  • Eton Park Capital Management, which bought 6,737,000 shares (1.28 percent) of Nexen. Eton Park was founded and is directed by Eric Mindich, a bundler who raised more than $71,000 for Obama this cycle and has given more than $500,000 to Democratic candidates since 1990.
  • D.E. Shaw & Co., which increased its position by 5.8 million to 6.5 million shares, or 1.22 percent of the company. D.E. Shaw was founded by David E. Shaw, an Obama bundler in the $200,000 to $500,000 range. He also sits on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as he did under the Clinton administration.
  • Covington & Burling LLP, in which Eric Holder was formerly a partner, was hired by Nexen to lobby on behalf of the acquisition’s approval.

CNOOC’s July 2012 acquisition of Nexen drilling interests in northern Canada (which includes 1.6 billion barrels in Keystone XL oil reserves) and in the Gulf of Mexico (which includes 100 exploration projects and access to 116 million barrels in reserves) allowed the Chinese government a partial takeover of a vital strategic asset: accessible crude oil in the Western Hemisphere.

The acquisition is the largest Chinese takeover of a foreign company in history. More over at Judicial Watch

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