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Shell announced on Monday that it will cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. The company said the decision reflects the results from Burger J exploration well located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea; the high costs associated with the project; and the “challenging and unpredictable” federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.
The company expects to take a financial hit as a result. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. Shell will provide an update with third quarter 2015 results.
The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles (241 km) from Barrow, Alaska, in about 150 feet (46 meters) of water. Shell safely drilled the well to a total depth of 6800 feet (2.073 meters) this summer in a basin that demonstrates many of the key attributes of a major petroleum basin. For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.
Although Shell found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, these were insufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with US regulations.
The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year’s exploration program. Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin. —Marvin Odum, Director, Shell Upstream Americas
Shell holds a 100% working interest in 275 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Chukchi Sea.
Operations will continue to safely de-mobilize people and equipment from the Chukchi Sea.
Europe needs to incentivise carbon capture and storage technology if it to keep up with the Americans on CO2 emissions reduction, argues Chris Davies.
All key services will be simultaneously revamped and modernized. These will include ‘water supply, electricity supply, sanitation, public transport, solid waste management and affordable housing.’ To be successful, it must be a collaborative effort involving citizens, NGOs, social organizations, and the public sector’s support. Smart cities include transport infrastructure such as bicycle sharing; dynamic carpooling where passengers and drivers can united in real time; integrated transit hubs and electric vehicles. Public transport surveillance, GPS tracking and geo spatial services can provide real time information on accidents, traffic conditions and journey times. The project also plans on introducing smart traffic lights, tolls and parking with sensors and cameras to improve efficiency.The government plans to spend a total of USD7.26 trillion over 5 years on this project
The 98 cities designated for SMART status account for a population of 130 million, or 35% of India’s urban population. The government plans to spend a total of USD7.26 trillion over 5 years on this project. Each city is to initiate the project with a disbursement of USD0.3 million. The cities are expected to improve their infrastructure with the aid of ‘technology and e-governance’. The private sector will also contribute to funding. The costs will be recouped from levies or tolls once the new services are launched.
The cities include 24 industrial or business centres, 18 cultural or tourism hubs, five port cities and three educational and healthcare hubs. Capital cities account for 25% of the total.The World Bank estimates that India’s cities will be home to over 600 million people by 2013
India needs a sustainable public transport system to ensure social and economic development keep pace with population growth. The World Bank estimates that India’s cities will be home to over 600 million people by 2013. Public transport systems exist in just 20 cities with populations over 500,000. Public transport accounted for 40% of all transport in 2007. This was a decline of 70% from 1994.Time and energy that could be spent delivering economic growth is wasted in commuting
Some cities have local bus services or train networks. Mostly, people depend on bicycles, rickshaws, taxis and private cars. This causes congestion on existing road networks in the cities and on the highways. Time and energy that could be spent delivering economic growth is wasted in commuting. India needs integrated transit hubs and smart infrastructure engineering. But these must be designed according to the needs of the diverse population of India’s urban centres. Otherwise cities will be ‘centered on highways and high rise enclaves.’ They will not be able to adapt to India’s sprawling informal economy. This will risk accelerating unemployment and poverty amongst India’s disadvantaged.
India’s poor road networks are a huge break on its economic growth. Improving public transport and transit hubs connecting towns, cities, states and regions would enable labour, goods and services to move freely, cheaply and safely between work and home. This would accelerate growth and lift more people out of poverty faster.Take the example of Agra and Ferozabad, two cities 30 km apart
Take the example of Agra and Ferozabad, two cities 30 km apart. Firozabad is home to many skilled glass workers as there are many glass works in the town. Meanwhile, business owners in Agra are shutting down factories that use intermediate glass products due partly to a shortage of skilled workers. A worker from Ferozabad must endure a long and expensive commute to Agra to work at one of its factories. This pushes up wages. The higher expense is driving businesses out. A dedicated, high frequency, inter-city bus-route would be a simple solution to this problem. Instead both unemployment and poverty can be expected to rise in both places.
SMART cities will not only improve quality of life for the residents of these cities but the monitoring systems will provide valuable data for constant improvement. Access to data on water, electricity, gas consumption, and sanitation services can be analyzed to make the cities more efficient. Improvements in waste management, greener, environmentally friendly solutions to pollution and drainage systems will help improve quality of life. These cities can then focus on providing better education, health services and entertainment to their residents.
With a mere 1% of the world’s automobiles, India accounts for 15% of its fatal traffic accidents. The dead are usually male, between 15-44, poor and dependent on public transport for employment and sustenance. This is a huge drain on society in terms of lives destroyed and families ruined. The solution – safe, efficient, integrated road networks and public transport – is expensive in the short-term but with huge long-term benefits.
The post SMART cities are key to India’s economic and social growth appeared first on India Transport Portal.
The Center for Economic Criminal Matters (Zentralstelle für Wirtschaftsstrafsachen) of the German public prosecutor in Braunschweig (Staatsanwaltschaft Braunschweig) has begun an investigation of Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the former CEO of Volkswagen AG, over the VW exhaust affair (“VW-Abgasaffäre”).
The focus of the investigation is the accusation of fraud related to the sale of vehicles with manipulated exhaust systems. Volkswagen AG had filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutor’s office without naming an accused.
The prosecutor’s office said the particular focus of the investigation of Dr. Winterkorn is the clarification of responsibilities (accountabilities).
Earlier in the day, citing “sources close to the matter”, Reuters reported that Volkswagen AG suspended Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of brand development at its core VW brand; Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of research and development at Audi who also oversees technical development across the group; and Wolfgang Hatz, R&D chief at Porsche who heads group engine and transmissions development.
Volkswagen has not confirmed the suspensions.