The kings of oil increasing production to 10 million barrels a day

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels of oil a day of its light, sweet crude oil, according to analysts and oil traders who have been informed by Saudi officials. This announcement alone, plus the Republican party political movement called “Drill Here — Drill Now!” is making it into the media. 

The increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day, which, if sustained, would be the kingdom’s highest performance level in history. The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.

Saudi Arabia is currently pumping 9.45 million barrels a day, which is an increase of about 300,000 barrels from last month.

The Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually damp economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the United States and other developed countries. The current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy. The high prices have also made it profitable to stimulate mature oil wells in Texas and California. 

President Bush visited Saudi Arabia twice this year, pleading with King Abdullah to step up production. While the Saudis resisted the calls then, arguing that the markets were well supplied, they seem to have since concluded that they needed to disrupt the momentum that has been building in commodity markets, sending prices higher. That creates panic. There seems to be no end in sight. 

The Saudi plans were disclosed in interviews with several oil traders and analysts who said that Saudi oil officials had privately conveyed their production plans recently to some traders and companies in the United States. The analysts declined to be identified so as not to be cut off from future information from the Saudis.

Last week, King Abdullah also took the unprecedented step of arranging on short notice a major gathering of oil producers and consumers to address the causes of the price rally. The meeting will be held on June 22 in the Red Sea town of Jeddah.

Oil prices have gained 40 percent this year, rising to nearly $140 a barrel in recent days and driving gasoline costs above $4 a gallon. Some analysts have predicted that prices could reach $200 a barrel this year as oil consumption continues to rise rapidly while supplies lag.

The growing volatility of the markets, including a record one-day gain of $10.75 a barrel last week, has persuaded the Saudis that they need to step in, analysts said. The Saudis and Republicans are the only groups trying to lower the price of crude. But you won’t read that in your mainstream newspaper on watch it on NBC. 

Did you know…

Until recently, only 35 percent of oil has been extracted from reservoirs. Oil resides in porous rock formations, it is not in the sate of underground pools as many consumers believe. Today, oil companies such as Chevron, Shell,  Halliburton and Schlumberger, have developed stimulation methods to revive mature wells. There are fracturing and perforating techniques, 3-D seismic methods to clearly see trapped reservers that have been missed by the original well. There are now, steerable drill bits that can capture those trapped oil reserves and pinpoint stimulation on targeted areas. 

–Mick Gregory

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While at the Getty home in Pacific Heights (San Francisco), Obama calls small-town whites, Bible thumpers, gun-loving bigots

By Mick Gregory

Here is why I’ve created this blog on citizen journalism: to expose the cozy relationship between the mass media and Democrat political machine, and let you into the mansions and “elegantly casual” settings. Here is a prime example. Who, what, where and why? The basic questions a reporter asks are often glossed over to protect the politician.

Sen. Obama, while speaking at the Getty’s private mansion in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, the richest enclave of society in America, condemns small-town, lower middle class whites in suburban America for their belief in God, Second Amendment rights and being bigots and idiots. Let me tell you a little bit about Getty. He bought the mansion next door to his to garage his 12 luxury sports cars.

No talk of a carbon footprint among friends. Did Sean Penn attend the gathering? I’d like to know, because his movie “into the Wild” (a very good movie and book) is about a rich kid who graduated from Emory University and was accepted to Harvard Law School, but instead he burns and gives away $20,000 and goes off to live off the land.

Penn is also a big supporter of Hugo Chavez, who is a de-facto dictator of Venezuela and is one of the key OPEC members behind the recent spike of oil.

Here is the report on the citizen journalist from the Huffington Post who attended the “gala.”
Ms. Fowler, who graduated from Vassar in 1968 and had dabbled in writing, became a “citizen journalist” last summer when the Huffington Post started “OffTheBus.net,” a new venture that has now expanded to a network of about 1,800 unpaid writers and researchers. I wrote about O.T.B. in October, by which time editors at the Huffington Post had already identified Ms. Fowler as one of O.T.B.’s “emerging star correspondents.”

Ms. Fowler has spent a lot of time (and her own money) following the presidential campaign– and participating in it. She has maxed out at $2,300 to Mr. Obama, starting in increments last fall. She said she has also given money ($100) to Mrs. Clinton, because she is roughly Mrs. Clinton’s age and liked the idea of a woman president and she attended two Clinton fund-raisers with her sister, a devoted Clinton supporter. And she also gave $500 to Fred Thompson, of Tennessee, even though he is a Republican, because that’s where she is from and her family has been steeped in Tennessee politics since the 1790s (that’s not a typo).

As a supporter who had made donations, Ms. Fowler had been invited before to Obama fund-raisers — and written about them on O.T.B. After the Ohio and Texas primaries, she was back home in the Bay Area and heard that Mr. Obama would be holding four fund-raisers there on April 6. She had not been invited but asked a friend if she could go. She was put on the list for the last of four events, this one at a mansion in Pacific Heights.

There’s a bit of a brush fire in California about how Ms. Fowler got in, and Ms. Fowler is protecting the person who secured her a ticket. That person has since called her and said that fund-raisers are always off the record.

“This was never conveyed to me,” Ms. Fowler said. “I was invited to the event, I had written on fund-raisers in the past, why wouldn’t I this time?” She said the Obama campaign had never objected before to her having written about fund-raisers (though admittedly, nothing much of interest had happened). And the invitations said nothing about being closed to the press. Besides, she said, several guests brought people and children and who had not been invited.

Please write me if you see this reported in the San Francisco Chronicle or New York Times.

Did you read that Jimmy Carter is going to meet with Hamas leaders, a group of terrorists headed by Khaled Meshal. A group that killed hundreds of Americans and thousands of their own people and Jews in a blood-thirsty drive to wipe out Israel and Christians in the Middle East?

Did you know that Carter already met with Hamas a year ago?

It should be front page news today. It’s not any different than if FDR had gone on a trip to visit with Hitler and his inner circle in 1942.

More…

Five of America’s top energy company executives called before Congress. Where is Citgo?

Five U.S. oil company executives are scheduled to “testify” at the Capitol on Tuesday about soaring crude oil prices and prices at the gas pump of over $3.20 per gallon.

Why wasn’t Citgo invited to the interrogations? What is the profit margin for the energy companies? It is 8 percent. That’s about half of the New York Times, LA Times and Houston Chronicle’s profit margins.

By Mick Gregory

Executives from the three biggest U.S.-based oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips will attend, as well as U.S. representatives of BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

With accusatory questions expected from Democrats on the panel, oil executives will have to simply point to U.S. crude oil prices, which have skyrocketed from below $20 per barrel in early 2002 to a record $111.80 a barrel earlier this month. Approximately 44 gallons of gasoline are in one barrel. Heavy sour crude oil takes more processing expense to produce the equivalent in light, sweet crude.

“Gasoline and diesel prices are being set in what we consider to be a crude-driven market,” said Red Cavaney, president of the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies on behalf of big U.S. oil companies.

A good question to ask is why not Citgo? How can an OPEC member be trading and pumping up prices on the New York Mercantile exchange while being members of a cartel that benefits from raising the price of crude?

Do the Democrats have a basic understanding of business and markets?

How about leasing exploritory drilling in Alaska and off shore? More supply lowers demand and price. It’s simple Eco 101.

Will Hillary or Obama chime in? This could be good. Will the famous Democrat from California speak up, Henry Waxman?

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Newspaper jobs at 15-year low. A Harbinger of things to come.

U.S. media employment in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), slammed by the slumping newspaper industry. But employment in advertising/marketing-services — agencies and other firms that provide marketing and communications services to marketers — broke a record in November (769,000). Marketing consulting strongly lead that growth.

Companies still invest in marketing, but they have more options now such: digital initiatives, direct marketing, promotions and events, just to name a few. That creates more opportunities for consultants to help define strategies.

Meanwhile, dissident shareholder Harbinger Capital Partners has increased its stake in newspaper publishing company New York Times Co. to 11.8 percent, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. The Harbinger investors are going to take control and eventually do away with the two-tier stock that gives all the voting rights to the elitist family while they spend the investors money on global trips and penthouse condos.
Harbinger, working together with Firebrand Partners founder Scott Galloway, a New York University business professor, has criticized the Times for not aggressively building up its digital businesses.

The investors have nominated four candidates for election to the board at the Times’ annual shareholder meeting on April 22.

On Tuesday, Harbinger reported owning 16.9 million shares of the New York-based publishing company. Earlier this month, Harbinger disclosed that it had raised its stake to more than 10 percent from 5 percent.

Ad agencies also have evolved, expanding beyond simply creating and placing ads. Indeed, Ad Age DataCenter research has shown that U.S. marketing-communications agencies collectively in 2005 for the first time generated less than half of their revenue from traditional media and media planning/buying.

Falling stocks

Marketing consultancies over the past year added 14,500 jobs (up 10.8%), nearly matching staff cuts at newspapers (down 16,900 or 4.7%), reported in AdAge.

Funny, that’s what I am, a marketing consultant now.

Meanwhile, back at the Bay Area newspapers the staff of the left over Knight-Ridder papers that were bought by the fire sale specialists, Dean Singleton’s Media News Group. The publisher told the entire staff that this is the first time the Contra Costa Times lost money since 1991, again about 15 years ago. Isn’t that something?

So we’re announcing today that we’re extending to all employees a one-time voluntary separation opportunity, commonly known as a buy-out. Everyone except Operating Directors and me will get the opportunity to apply for a buy-out. Each of you will have the opportunity to apply. We are distributing a packet with all the details. If you don’t get one within 24 hours, by 2 p.m. Wednesday, please contact your department manager or Human Resources.

Here are some of the things I hope you’ll keep in mind as you review the buy-out information:

Your getting a packet is not in any way a reflection on your performance or value to the company. Everyone is getting a packet.

Announcements regarding the need to reduce costs also were made this afternoon in San Jose, at the Mercury News, and in San Ramon, at the Shared Services Center. This is a BANG-wide effort.

This program is part of a general cost reduction program. We also will be taking other steps unrelated to our compensation costs to bring down operating expenses. We’ll have more to say later about these other steps, such as limiting days for inserting and reducing the size of the TV tab.

We are not announcing the number of job eliminations. For one thing, the number can change depending on who applies and is accepted for a buy-out. Second, we are seeking a dollar savings, not a reduction in a specific number of jobs. But I will say this: The number of jobs that will be eliminated will be significant. So each employee needs to give the buy-out opportunity full consideration.

Applying for a buy-out doesn’t mean you’ll get one. The decision whether or not to accept a buy-out application will be made by senior management based on our business needs.

If we do not get and accept enough buy-out applications to reach our cost savings goal, we will have to do involuntary layoffs. We won’t know where we stand on layoffs until after the buy-out acceptance deadline, which will be March 3rd. Very quickly thereafter, we will make a decision on layoffs.

To encourage employees to apply for a buy-out, the severance benefits for voluntary buy-outs are twice the severance benefits for involuntary layoffs. The severance payouts and benefits associated with buy-outs and layoffs are contained in the information packet.

These are very difficult times. They demand that we move quickly and decisively. It is easy to get discouraged, to wonder about the future of newspapers and companies like ours. Personally, I still believe in the power of newspapers and, specifically, the power of our newspapers and Web sites. We deliver the biggest media audience in the East Bay, and that will be the key to our growth in the future as we rebound from these economic challenges. And we will rebound.

The senior management team appreciates your understanding and continued dedication to moving us forward.

John Armstrong, President & Publisher

Hillary’s last gasp as bill hits a supporter

“This is the last hurrah. After March 4, Hillary Clinton will be out of the race for good, and Obama will take the commanding lead,” he said. “She should back him with her delegates immediately. That’s what I’m asking them to do.”

Obama supporter Robert Holeman (a black man) said that Clinton responded by saying Obama came after him first. Holeman also described Clinton’s reaction to him as “irate.”

So, get your Flip video cameras and cell phones ready for Hillary’s last chance. She’s even losing her union support. Hillary’s final weeks.
This is going to be dirty.

Hillary is using her machine to grab the “super delegates” that nobody won. Now she’s using the last of her clout to put them in her win column. The seated delegates from Florida and Michigan.

Clinton actually elbowed him in the mouth. The Secret Service actually had to take Bill away.

Have you seen Bill’s temper? Doesn’t that make you wonder about Vince Foster?

Four separate courts freeze PDVSA (Citgo) assets in Exxon Mibile legal case.

Mick Gregory

Did you see this on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or MSNBC? The Exxon Mobil lawsuit has advanced to the point that four world courts have frozen Venezuela’s PDVSA (Citgo) assets to the tune of $12 billion. Hillary Clinton should take a lesson from this; when a leftist/progressive government socializes or nationalizes companies, there are consequences.

The United States State Department on Wednesday backed Exxon Mobil Corp’s effort to win compensation from Venezuela for seized assets in a case that has prompted the OPEC nation to threaten to cut off oil supplies to America.

Venezuelan President Hugo (Boss) Chavez, an enemy of the U.S. and UK, (and friend to Cuba and Iran) says Exxon court victories that resulted in $12 billion in Venezuelan assets being frozen over the seizure is part of an “economic war” to unseat him directed by the Bush administration.

chaves-killerclown.jpg

“We fully support the efforts of Exxon Mobil to get a just and fair compensation package for their assets according to the standards of international law,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“But we are not involved in that dispute. It is something that has to be litigated between Venezuela and Exxon Mobil and various courts around the world,” he added.

Chavez stopped oil exports to Exxon on Tuesday, escalating Venezuela’s multibillion-dollar fight with the U.S. company over his nationalization of a project last year that was part-owned by Exxon and Britain’s BP.

Imagine if you will, Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage caught masturbating in front of a young girl. This is just a tid bit of Bernie Ward’s background.

demo-ward.jpgThis is a glimpse into the mind of a top Democrat and leader of the left. Bernie Ward is his name.
WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING

PUT THIS STICKER UP IN PUBLIC PLACES.

Barbara Boxer is said to have put pressure on the SFPD to halt the investigation of Ward.

“…Using the San Francisco Chronicle to get his message to KGO listeners, Bernie Ward is begging to be rehired at his former station. …Ward, 56, is using the kind of excuse that his liberal apologists would never tolerate from conservative talkers: that his crimes are in the past and therefore should be forgotten. Indicted on several counts of both possessing and distributing child pornography, Ward may indeed face prison time, whether San Francisco’s disturbed liberal establishment likes it or not…” http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/2008/01/bernie-ward-begs-to-be-rehired-still.html

A pdf of the police report has an on-line chat between Ward, who refers to himself as a “slave”, and a Dominatrix. Ward talks about homosexual encounters at a porn theater, states he wants to be sodomized and “sisified”, says his daughter saw him masturbate, says he committed a sex act on his own son and threatens to molest children at a future date. http://prosites-prs.homestead.com/ward_new.pdf

This is the man that the San Francisco radio station, KGO, gave a primetime show to to attack President Bush for 15-hours a week and then three hours on the weekend to attack Christians (on the show “God Talk”) and is considering rehiring.

His agent intimates that it’s the Bush Administration getting him for being such a tireless critic ( she also offers the “Townsend Defense”) http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/iteam&id=5821709

Yet, like all good liberals, he is not going to let a little misunderstanding regarding pedophilia get in the way of his righteous fight against REAL EVIL:

US Marines fighting Bush / Hitler’s war:

“…American soldiers are engaged in an immoral war…Go Hillary! (Bernie Ward worked on the staff of Senator Barbara Boxer (D).