If I don't like the mandated government policies passed, I have no options...
And if you don't like it leave is not a valid retort... For either party...
I'm a citizen of Virginia, so to be truthful about it, I don't really care either, nor do I care what Mass. citizens think of it or used to think of it. Thast their own States business.
(D) Voters will vote (D).
(R) voters will vote (R).
Moderates and Independants will vote either what they actually are (R or D), or whomever looks prettier and sounds better in the debates.
I have no illusion as to material opinions on policy forming any basis on who wins cr. I'm suprised if you would, tbqh.
This forum, for example, is a perfect microcosm of that. A number of loyal D(D) and (R) who will vote party-line, a few independants who are really (D) or (R) but don;t want to admit it whow ill vote down the party line, a few clueless Libertarians rebels-without-a-clue, and very few actual moderates/independants of any actual substance to break the balance, and who knows what those guys are judging things by.
No, Bit was right on this one.
I'm voting (L) so no, Mass. opinion on Romney means nothign to me. (R) and (D) will pick and choose what portions mean something to them, and moderates neither know nor care about it either way, as long as he looks good in as suit.
When (if) the embargo ends will Iran's stored oil and need for cash crash the market?
Can foriegn based companies build storage tanks for Iran and not in violaton of the embargo?
Oil Backed Up, Iranians Put It on Idled Ships
BANDAR ABBAS, Iran — The hulking tanker Neptune was floating aimlessly this week in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, a fresh coat of black paint barely concealing its true identity as an Iranian ship loaded with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that no one is willing to buy.
The ship’s real name was Iran Astaneh, and it was part of a fleet of about 65 Iranian tankers serving as floating storage facilities for Iranian oil, each one given a nautical makeover to conceal its origin and make a buyer easier to find. The Neptune had been floating there for a month, and local fishermen said there were two even larger tankers anchored nearby.
Iran, faced with increasingly stringent economic sanctions imposed by the international community to force it to abandon any ambitions to develop nuclear weapons, has been reluctant to reduce its oil production, fearing that doing so could damage its wells. But Iran has insufficient space to store the crude it cannot sell. So while it furiously works to build storage capacity on shore, it has turned to mothballing at sea.
“We have never seen so many just waiting around,” said Rostam, a fisherman and smuggler who regularly works these waters.
After years of defiance and insistence that sanctions were barely being felt at home, Iranians are acknowledging the latest round with growing alarm. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that they were “the strongest yet.”
International oil experts say Iranian exports have already been cut by at least a quarter since the beginning of the year, costing Iran roughly $10 billion so far in forgone revenues. Many experts say the pain is only beginning, since oil prices have been falling and Iran’s sales should drop even more with the European embargo that went into effect on Sunday.
“They are getting squeezed,” said Sadad Al Husseini, former executive vice president for exploration and development of Saudi Aramco, the state oil company. “It’s too much trouble to buy Iranian oil. Why alienate the United States and Europe? And the rest of OPEC is not very happy with Iran either.”
On Wednesday, a Kenyan oil official told Reuters that the country was canceling an agreement to import up to 80,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran after Britain warned Kenya that it could run afoul of the sanctions. Meanwhile, South Korea said its imports of Iranian oil fell by nearly 50 percent in May, compared with April.
The drop in crude sales has hit Tehran with multiple challenges. Besides the financial impact, Iran has to figure out what to do with all the oil it continues to produce. Iran is pumping about 2.8 million barrels a day — already down about one million barrels daily since the start of the year. But it is exporting only an estimated 1.6 to 1.8 million barrels a day.
The unsold crude is being stored in what has been estimated to be two-thirds of the Iranian tanker fleet. Most of the ships are sailing in circles around the Persian Gulf as Iran tries to sell the mostly heavy crude at bargain-basement prices.
International oil experts estimate that Iran is now warehousing as much as 40 million barrels — roughly two weeks of production — on the tankers. An additional 10 million barrels are in storage on shore.
“We are now forced to sell our most valuable export product in secret,” said Nader Karimi Joni, an Iranian journalist specializing in oil. “Iran had a great reputation; now we have to falsify bills of lading, hide the oil’s origin and store oil on ships.”
The subterfuge operates on several levels, but here, on the waters off Bandar Abbas, it is all about the tanker, Neptune. Beneath the fresh black paint, the ship’s hulk bore the name in English and Persian of the tanker company, NITC.
The ship, one of Iran’s smallest, was built in 2000 in South Korea. It carried no flag, and its home port — Bushehr — had first been changed to Valletta, Malta, which had also been painted over. It now said Funafuti, the capital of the Pacific Ocean island nation of Tuvalu.
To conceal their positions — and perhaps to hide just how many loaded ships are at sea — Iran’s oil tankers also frequently turn off their GPS tracking devices, according to IHS Fairplay, a London-based ship tracking data company. It mapped out the last-known destinations of all NITC tankers, including the Iran Astaneh, and concluded that 21 were last seen in the Persian Gulf.
“I hear there are a lot more up north close to the oil terminals,” said Rostam, the smuggler, as he pulled his small craft up alongside the tanker.
Smugglers regularly zip across the Strait of Hormuz in small speedboats to the northern tip of Oman, Rostam and others said, picking up boxes of all kinds of black-market goods. Along the way, Rostam said, he sees the physical evidence of growing tension in the narrow waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil must travel to get to market.
“We constantly run into United States Navy,” Rostam said. “They only stop us when our boat is filled with people. Not when we are shipping merchandise.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards navy is also present in the waters and has its headquarters in this port city, he said. The Iranian Navy operates mainly speedboats with missile launchers mounted on top, intending to swarm much larger American Navy ships with dozens of such boats in case of a confrontation.
Such conflict has happened before, and a defeat prompted Iran to change its navy’s military doctrine. During a one-day conflict in these waters in 1988 between Iran and the United States, one Iranian frigate was sunk, while Iranian forces claimed to have brought down an American helicopter. Some months later, an American Navy ship shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290 people, an event that Iran commemorated on Monday. The country maintains the plane was deliberately shot down, while the United States says it was an accident.
The prospect of a confrontation now could grow as the pressure builds on Iran while the sanctions, and dropping oil prices, cut deeper into Tehran’s financial lifeline.
Oil prices have fallen by nearly 10 percent since the beginning of the year — and roughly 20 percent from their peak in March — because of weakening demand from Europe, the United States and parts of the developing world, as well as increased production from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya. Oil experts estimate that Iran’s oil export revenues are down about 35 percent compared with the beginning of the year.
Increasingly, Iran’s officials are warning its citizens to prepare for tough times ahead. On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, made comparisons to the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq when he discussed with reporters the mounting pressures on Iran.
Iran’s vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, speaking during a religious conference on Sunday, said his country would never be stopped, and he asked for people’s support, state television reported. “Today, we are facing the heaviest of sanctions, and we ask people to help officials in this battle,” he said.
Aboard the Neptune, the crew knew what that meant: killing more time baby-sitting for crude at sea. On Sunday, members of the crew trudged out beneath a blazing sun and hauled up the anchor. They knew they were not going anywhere, but they took the opportunity to clean off the rust. Then they shouted to passengers in a skiff below, trying to make a joke.
“Wait five minutes,” a sailor said. “When we drop anchor again, you’ll get great pictures.”
Thomas Erdbrink reported from Bandar Abbas, and Clifford Krauss from Houston.
I want the Federal Government out of the school system period. It should be run by the state. I want federal money out of our school system entirely from Kindergarten thru College. No more, time to foot the bill yourself!
Regulation, if you will.
You like regulation of industries, don't you?
Education is just another industry, manufacturing productive educated minds.
A vital industry, to be sure, but just another industry.
As such, Federal Minimum Standards seems rather appropriate in that context.
You seem to be against it? I'd be interested to know why in greater details and specifics.
Speculation that nations are stockpiling oil at the fastest rate in 14 years is fanning expectations for Brent crude to drop below $100 a barrel.
OPEC pumped 2.1 million barrels a day more than projected demand in April through June, the biggest overproduction for any quarter since 1998, the International Energy Agency estimates. The increase has been overshadowed by focus on U.S.-led sanctions against Iran’s oil exports, Citigroup Inc. said. Brent will fall to $93 by September and $83 by year-end, according to the Centre for Global Energy Studies.
Shuttered oil output in nations outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is poised to resume after South Sudan this week agreed on a transit fee with its northern neighbor and Yemen fixed its main crude pipeline. Those two countries will add about 500,000 barrels a day to compete with OPEC, which is pumping the most since 2008. While the world faces the slowest pace of growth in fuel demand since the 2009 recession, crude rallied above $110 this week amid heightened political tensions in Syria.
“There is an overhang of producible oil in the world,” Ed Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodities research, said in a July 31 phone interview from Houston. “We will probably see more Iranian oil lifted or leaked while OPEC continues to produce more than is demanded. If China remains sluggish, oil could drop to the low $90s and even fall into the $80s.”
Going into Storage
OPEC produced 31.9 million barrels in the second quarter compared with projected demand for the group’s crude of 29.8 million, IEA data showed. OPEC hasn’t overproduced as much since 1998, when supply exceeded demand by 3.4 million barrels a day. Most of the excess oil is probably going into developing-nation storage sites where data is scarce, as only 15 percent is accounted for in the 28 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries the Paris-based energy agency advises.
The flood of supply comes as the euro area struggles to contain a debt crisis now in its third year. Economic growth has decelerated for six quarters in China while the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, has a jobless rate that hasn’t dropped below 8 percent for more than three years. U.S. oil consumption fell 1.1 percent last week, the first drop in four weeks, a report from the Energy Department showed yesterday.
OPEC lowered demand estimates for its crude this year and next. The group’s 12 members will need to supply 29.9 million barrels a day this year, 100,000 barrels a day less than in 2011, and 29.5 million barrels of crude a day in 2013, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said today in its monthly report.
The global economy is forecast to climb 3.5 percent this year, compared with 3.9 percent in 2011 and 5.3 percent in 2010, International Monetary Fund data show. It shrank 0.6 percent in 2009, when oil demand dropped the most since the IEA started records in 1986.
Brent, a benchmark grade for more than half the world’s oil, fell below $90 a barrel in late June, then rebounded as a European Union embargo on Iran’s crude came into full effect in July. Prices are 0.3 percent higher today at $112.50 after settling yesterday at $112.14 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, up 26 percent from the year’s low on June 21.
Citigroup forecasts oil averaging $105 a barrel in the coming three months, and then dropping to $100, “with higher downside price risk than upside potential,” Morse said. Refinery outages in the U.S., the return of halted output in non-OPEC nations, higher Iraqi exports and Saudi Arabian production of at least 9.5 million barrels a day raises the chance of crude falling below the three-digit mark, he said.
Most analysts forecast Brent holding above $100 with the median estimate for the third quarter at $106 and $108 in the fourth, according to a Bloomberg survey of 36 researchers.
‘Realism Will Prevail’
“Realism will prevail and prices will sink back,” said Leo Drollas, chief economist at the London-based CGES, which correctly forecast that Saudi Arabia would raise output in June to push prices below $100 for the first time this year. “Where is all the oil going to go? Iran has ways of circumventing sanctions, Iraq and Libya are producing more, and oil demand isn’t strong with the current status of the world economy.”
About half of the 1 million barrels a day of oil that has been shuttered in non-OPEC nations such as Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Norway will return, adding to the glut. South Sudan said Aug. 6 it will start its 375,000 barrel-a-day output by next month once it reaches a deal with Sudan on transit fees and border security. Yemen resumed flows from its main pipeline in mid-July, after at least 18 sabotage attacks since March 2011 cut off 120,000 barrels a day of crude that the link carries.
South Korea’s import of Iranian crude may resume as early as next month, Yonhap News said yesterday, citing unidentified government officials. Iran has offered to supply oil on its own tankers, a South Korean government official said June 29.
Producers may struggle to find an outlet for the extra oil as China, the world’s second-biggest crude buyer, cuts imports. Net purchases from overseas slid 12 percent in June from May, the biggest drop since October 2010, data from the customs service showed. Imports fell as commercial and emergency-reserve sites filled up, Gong Jinshuang, a senior engineer at China National Petroleum Corp, said July 17.
The country, which is building 207 million barrels of storage as part of a strategic-reserve plan, hoarded fuel at the fastest pace since the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the first five months of the year.
OPEC must reduce output to a range of 30 million to 30.5 million barrels a day to “prevent further price weakness,” Energy Security Analysis Inc., based in Wakefield, Massachusetts, said in an Aug. 2 report. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, raised production earlier this year to the highest in at least three decades to damp prices that had rallied to a 2012 high of $128.40 on March 1.
Economic stimulus plans may encourage demand, according to Commerzbank AG. Plans by the European Central Bank to buy bonds of euro area countries struggling with debt and the possibility of a third round of so-called quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve is boosting confidence that policy makers are keen to promote growth, Eugen Weinberg, Commerzbank’s head of commodities research said in an Aug. 6 interview from Frankfurt.
OPEC left its collective output limit at 30 million barrels a day at its June meeting, a level its 12 members exceeded by 1.8 million barrels in June, according to the IEA, as Saudi Arabia and its allies sought to make up for lost Iranian barrels ahead of sanctions. There’s enough oil to make up for further losses of Iranian production, which slumped to a 22-year low of 3.3 million in June, cutting OPEC supply by 100,000 barrels, the IEA said.
“The underlying profile for demand requires OPEC to produce less than 31 million barrels a day in the second half of the year,” David Fyfe, head of the IEA’s oil industry and markets division, said in a July 25 telephone interview from Paris. “OPEC is producing about 1 million barrels more than that, so it’s arguable whether they will have to do more than they already have done, even if we lose more Iranian oil.”
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