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Archive for the ‘oil’ Category

14 Aug 07
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Christopher T. Smith
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet
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NORTH PERSIAN GULF (NNS) – Coalition forces are training Iraqi marines to take over the mission of providing security to Iraqi territorial waters in the North Persian Gulf.

Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 24 has been conducting a dual mission aboard Iraq’s Khwar Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT) and Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) in the Persian Gulf. MSD-24 provides security for the platforms as part of the Coalition’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 158 while simultaneously training Iraqi marines to eventually assume responsibility for the protection of Iraq’s sea-based infrastructure.

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class (EXW/SW) Timothy Burrell said the Iraqi forces are undergoing advanced training on a variety of possible threats. “They are now countering multiple threats while experiencing casualties such as loss of power and loss of communications. Their exercises [the] last 24 hours [were] rather than just a few,” said Burrell. “They’re really working toward taking ownership of the platforms.”

Lt. J.G. Danny Soria, ABOT’s officer in charge, agrees that the Iraqis’ training has paid dividends. “The Iraqi marines have responded well to our training program,” said Soria. “Since our arrival, the platoons that have been observed have improved their readiness drastically.” Iraqi marines stand all of the watches aboard ABOT and KAAOT. “Currently, the Iraqi marines are our eyes and ears and the first to react to the threat,” said Soria. “MSD stands a reactionary force.”

In addition to preparing the Iraqis to better defend the oil platforms, Coalition forces are preparing teams of Iraqi marines to conduct their own Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations.

Coalition forces joined with the Iraqis to conduct Exercise Rapid Talon, Aug. 6, in the North Persian Gulf. During the exercise, Iraqi marines boarded a tugboat that simulated a commercial vessel transiting the region. “Rapid Talon is a routine exercise that we use to evaluate Iraqi boarding teams,” said Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. Iain Doran, CTF 158’s Iraqi training and transition officer. “We put them through different scenarios to test their core skills and rate their proficiency level.”

The marines, who are trained by the U.S. Coast Guard, are not only conducting exercises, they are also involved in real-world VBSS operations. “Depending on how well the Iraqi platoons perform during Rapid Talon, the platoons conduct boardings with either a Coalition-led team, or if they performed very well, with only their U.S. Coast Guard trainers,” said Royal Navy Warrant Officer 1st Class Darren Paskins, CTF 158’s assistant Iraqi training and transition officer.

Doran added that the platoons’ contributions to the Coalition are signs of significant progress in their training. “Some platoons have now completed solo tanker sweeps under the supervision of just two or three of their Coast Guard trainers, and the feedback we’ve received from the masters of the vessels is that the Iraqi boarding teams are very effective and professional,” said Doran. “This is quite a big step, and something that’s only been recently introduced.”

Coalition forces are training the Iraqis to someday take the reigns of all VBSS operations in their littoral waters. “Ultimately, this training will give the Iraqis the ability to police their own territorial waters,” said Paskins. “It’s important that they get as much experience as possible, so we have them conduct as many boardings as we can in order for them to gain the experience and knowledge that are required to carry out the mission.”

Doran stressed that although Iraqi forces are making significant strides in their training, CTF 158’s mission is still the responsibility of the Coalition. “The whole mission in the [North Persian Gulf] is conducted by the Coalition,” said Doran. “Inherently, we provide security for the oil platforms themselves and the vessels coming to and from the oil platforms. We do this by conducting Maritime Security Operations.”

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the North Persian Gulf and protect Iraq’s sea-based infrastructure, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. Iraq’s oil platforms account for about 90 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Photo – Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Nickel Samuel assigned to Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 24 observes Iraqi marines participating in a live-fire exercise. MSD-24 is training Iraqi marines to maintain security in and around the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminals, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher T. Smith.

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13 Aug 07
By Grant Sattler
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division
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AL BASRAH – The Gulf Region Division’s oil sector neared the finish line at the end of July with the final certification of work on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. The terminal, known as ABOT, is Iraq’s primary avenue for crude oil export.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invested $67.5 million to rehabilitate the export facility 50 km offshore in the Arabian Gulf. Currently, one and a half million barrels of crude oil a day leave Iraq via tankers on-loading at ABOT. That volume is roughly half of the terminal loading capacity of 3 million barrels per day achieved with the upgrade.

Iraq’s economy is dominated by crude oil export accounting for 97 percent of the government’s revenue. The GRD has been working to improve the country’s ability to get its crude oil to world markets through renovation of key components of the oil infrastructure. The $1.7 billion effort has been funded by the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, but is only a fraction of the $8 billion needed, according to a Coalition Provisional Authority estimate.

Prior to renovation ABOT illustrated the condition of the entire Iraqi oil infrastructure. Designed and commissioned by Brown and Root in 1974, the 30-year-old technology was in serious disrepair from decades of under funding, lack of preventive maintenance, and war damage from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.

U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas Brovarone, GRD Oil & Water Sectors director, said the most important improvement at ABOT is the installation of 24 custody transfer meters and associated flow provers that measure how much crude oil is exported from the terminal.

Supplied by a 48” undersea pipeline from the southernmost tip of the Al Faw Peninsula, the terminal has four berths capable of handling very large carrier type vessels and offloading 300,000-400,000 barrels per day on each berth. The terminal was identified in July 2003 as a key facility for immediate repairs by the Ministry of Oil and the Corp’s Task Force-Restore Iraqi Oil. Parsons Iraq Joint Venture was awarded a contract for the work in January 2004.

David Anderson, the Corp’s Quality Assurance Representative on the 1.6 kilometer long terminal said, “Before the Corps came on site, Southern Oil Company was using accounting procedures on the tankers and that has a tendency to be less accurate than turbo meters. The turbo metering system is accurate within one hundredths of a percent.”

Accurate metering is a requirement for confidence necessary in the world community if Iraq is to seek International Monetary Fund loans for remaining oil infrastructure improvements. The metering was installed in Phase 2 of the project.

Anderson said, “The Corps came out with [construction contractor] AFI and [Parsons Iraq Joint Venture] on Phase 1 to do a refurbishment of the loading arms and the rigging. The functional part of the arms weren’t in real good shape.” In fact, an April 2003 assessment found the loading arms to be operating at only a quarter of their design rate and leaking excessively.

As they reworked the loading arms for oil transfer, the Corps, PIJV and AFI also turned toward correcting major safety deficiencies on the terminal. Improvements include fusible loop fire detection, gas detection, emergency shut down systems, nitrogen generation and installation of life rafts, Anderson said.

“Another problem that was discovered on coming to the terminal was that fire fighting capacity was nonexistent. What this project has done is refurbish all the foam systems and recondition the towers… fire fighting capacity will be 120 percent of what it was previously when new,” Anderson said.

Workers also repaired four hydraulic transfer bridges, build control rooms meeting international standards for both platforms, and installed new power generation and electrical cabling throughout the terminal.

Photo – Several workers replace cabling on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. Photo by Betsy Weiner.

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This time I have a trio for you. This was supposed to be posted Wednesday, but I have been so busy. I apologize for that. This railroad is something else. If you want to increase commerce and bring a country together, build a railroad!

“The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq,” stated Edison. [Continue reading.]

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the only fights you heard were the bartering over the prices? Yes, that day will come. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

In this next article is about my kinda gal. She is the first one in her immediate family to serve, and she did not want to be just anybody. No, she wanted to go for the gusto!

AL ASAD, Iraq – It is estimated that more than 12,000 Native Americans served in the United States military in World War I. There are more than 190,000 Native American military veterans; as the years continue to compile, so do the numbers of Native Americans in the military.
[…]
Sixkiller began her journey with the Marine Corps when she enrolled in the delayed entry program Sept. 29, 2005.“I wanted to be one of the first in my immediate family to join one of the services,” said Sixkiller. “I picked the Marine Corps because I had to join the best.” [Continue reading.]

She may not be from my tribe, but she’s representing. Yeah!

This is an article about the visit that Admiral Fallon took to Iraq to check out the progress of the refineries and the insurgencies.

BAYJI, Iraq – Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.Fallon expressed his concern with getting the Bayji Oil Refinery running at its maximum potential, which included proposed methods for the protection of the oil pipelines that run to other cities and neighboring countries. [Continue reading.]

It may be so that many people are claiming that we went there for oil, but I’d like to see how they were getting around without that crude! BTW, we did not go there for oil, but that’s a given. If there happens to be oil in a place where we have to attack, we are obliged to make sure those fields are protected. Have a great day!
Dig This Story

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I came upon this fantastic article (if it is true) today over at Matt Drudge’s site. Here is a portion:

    Written by: Michael Howard in Sulaymaniya.
    Thursday June 21, 2007
    The Guardian.

    Iraq’s Kurdish leaders said last night they had struck an important deal with the central government in Baghdad over a law to divide up Iraq’s oil revenues, which is seen by the Bush administration as one of the benchmarks in attempts to foster national reconciliation.

    Ashti Hawrami, the minister for natural resources in the Kurdistan regional government, told the Guardian the text had been finalised late last night after 48 hours of “tough bargaining” with Baghdad. The deal represented “a genuine revenue sharing agreement” that was transparent and would benefit all the people of Iraq and help pull the country together, he said. [Continue reading.]

I have also included many of the other stories links. If you are interested in some of the articles, you may find a link to that story that is no longer on the first page. lol. Have a great day.

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Evidence?

My Newz ‘n Ideas.

It has been well known for quite some time now that you will find some people prone to conspiratorial thinking. Let us start with: The war in Iraq was for oil. If that were true, why is gas more expensive now than before the war? France, Germany, Russia, and China had contracts for future oil sales, and they were the most strident obstructionist. Could it be that they were all involved in the Oil for Food scandal that is under investigation as I write this? Their contracts are now null and void, since the government they dealt with no longer exists! Yes, it is indeed they who were against us because of your precious oil. Tsik tsik tsik.

Second, there are no weapons of mass destruction and there never were. Okay, then why did Bill Clinton bomb Iraq in 1998? Why did 15 out of 15 members of the UN Security counsel vote to have Saddam turn them over or else…? Clinton, Albright, Burger, France, UK, Spain, Germany, and other countries all had intelligence that he did indeed have these weapons. If President Bush was had bad intelligence (which he didn’t,) then everyone was wrong. Ultimately thought, there is only one person who is to blame, that could have prevented the war. That is your darling Saddam. This is what happens when we don’t stick together. What don’t you understand about “Either you are with us or you are against us.” Saddam was dancing in the streets on September 11, 2001. I have not forgotten, have you?

Last, but not the least of this argument, why did we FIND Saran nerve agent if it wasn’t there? What about the mustard gas, the 3000 chemical suits we found hidden in a hospital during the 3 week war, the soldiers that became ill due to exposure to WMD, and on and on? It happened because it is true. No conspiracy here, sorry.

Maybe the President is friends with the Saudi Arabian government? Well, every president since FDR has been friends with the Saudis. It’s called diplomacy. You cannot scream for the diplomacy for a murderous dictator, Saddam, drive your fancy cars, scream about the price of gas, deny us the ability to drill for oil on our own soil, and not expect us to keep diplomatic ties with the Saudis. They are even moving toward local elections, or haven’t you heard through your pathetic screeching?

Yes, there is a movement going on in the Middle East. People see what the Iraqis are able to do and wonder why they are not allowed. Freedom is the only thing that once you taste it, you can’t stop it from spreading. Are you forgetting Tienamin Square? I can assure they have not. Communism will fall. It cannot stand. It is evil the way it has to be implemented. If you were decent people, you would do what I do-buy American as much as you can. I realize computers are no longer made it this country. Thank you, lefties, for driving them away, and then you scream there are no jobs. Well, I’d have to say you’re right. Have you ever owned a business here? Capitalism was not meant to be an arm of the government, you fascist idiots with your regulations!!!! Please excuse me. You may have noticed that I have just about had it with these children dressed in grownup clothes.

Do you not realize we are in WWIV? (Yes, the cold war was WWIII.) Lay off our, my, president. Your hatred will destroy you. If you want to destroy yourself, fine, just don’t take me with you. That is exacly what you are doing. The Middle East and al Qaida are watching everything you do. If they see disunity, they feel safe. Do you want the blood of your fellow countrymen on your hands? Keep acting like you know no better. You, we, will all the price. I am not saying shut up. I am asking you to THINK before you speak. That’s all. I hope and pray for the Afghani and Iraqi people, that they may continue to know sweet freedom, and never again let a dictator destroy your beauty and spirit.

Well, now that I have given you some facts to ponder, although I really want to yell and scream at you that you are fighting the wrong people-we are not the enemy!-now I can go to sleep with a smile upon my face. A sad smile, yes, but a smile nonetheless.

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