Archive for 01/24/2012

Helen Murdoch – 

A group of Australian divers has broken yet another cave diving record in the depths of the Pearse River resurgence and revealed the underwater cave system is linked to Mt Arthur’s Nettlebed Cave system.

The group returned from the remote Motueka Valley river head this week after spending a fortnight exploring the intricate underwater cave system.

Diver and explorer Craig Challen pushed the human limit, reaching 221m, breaking the 194m record he set in the river cave last January and setting an Australasian record.

The Western Australian vet said delving to a dark depth felt like “a long way from home”.

The 17-hour dive saw him stop four times at underwater “habitats” which were filled with trapped air.

They provided a base for divers to rest and decompress before continuing their return to the surface.

Mr Challen said diving into the uncharted cave at that depth was like “dipping your toe in the unknown”.

It was the third time the six-member team had returned to explore the Pearse. Mr Challen said the expedition was as much about exploration as endurance.

Full story…

gCaptain – 

Statoil has acquired a 30.625% working interest in the Pitu licence in Baffin Bay. The license was awarded to Cairn Energy during the first Baffin Bay licensing round in December 2010.

Cairn will continue as operator and retains a 56.875% working interest while partner Nunaoil will retain its carried (pre-development) interest of 12.5%.

The Pitu licence lies immediately adjacent to the two Shell-operated licences, Anu and Napu, where Statoil has a working interest of 20.125% and 14.875% respectively.

“We are looking forward to exploring this new frontier opportunity in Baffin Bay together with our partners and in close cooperation with the Greenland authorities.

The new license increases the optionality in our arctic portfolio,” says Nicholas Alan Maden, senior vice president in Exploration international in Statoil.

The current work programme includes the interpretation of recently acquired seismic data.

The first exploration period expires on 31 December 2014 and all initial work commitments have been fulfilled.

The partnership will evaluate the seismic data prior to making a decision on drilling an exploration well. Cairn will retain operatorship at this stage, while Statoil will operate any future development.

Full story…

 

RT – 

Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil.

Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, issued the warning in respone to a decision by the European Union on Monday to impose an oil embargo on Iran over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

“The pressure of sanctions is designed to try and make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

However, with Washington’s decision to deploy a second carrier strike group in the Gulf, the EU’s attempt to pressure Iran economically could greatly increase the likelihood of all-out war in the region.

The Strait of Hormuz is the vital link between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

It is also one of the most strategic chokepoints in the world when it comes to oil transit.

With world oil output estimated at some 88 million barrels per day in 2011, the US Energy Information Administration estimated that some 17 million of those barrels passed through the Strait.

If economic sanctions sufficiently pressure Iran to retaliate by closing down the Strait, nearly 20 per cent of worldwide oil trade would be impacted, resulting in a massive spike in global energy costs.

Full story…