November 23, 2013

Buffet Continues to invest in Bitumen

Buffett Increases His Oil Sands Stake With $3.45 Billion Exxon Mobil Investment

Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil & Gas Inc., discusses how Warren Buffett's latest oil investment affects shareholders

It has now been revealed that Warren Buffett's oil sands exposure has increased again, with his 40.1 million share purchase of Exxon Mobil, one of the world's leading producers and a major player in Alberta's enormous bitumen play through its 70% stake in Imperial Oil.

This is Buffett's second recent high-profile oil investment, the first being in June when Berkshire Hathaway announced it had taken a $500-million stake in Suncor Energy Inc., the world's leading oil sands producer and Canada's largest integrated operator.

Tellingly, Buffett increased his stake in Exxon Mobil right around the time it was acquiring the enormous Clyden in-situ bitumen project from ConocoPhillips - a company whose stock he just sold, reducing his holdings in it by 44 percent.

ExxonMobil/Imperial also owns the Kearl project - another massive Alberta-based bitumen project with 4.6 billion barrels of bitumen resource and a project lifespan of over 40 years. Production is already at 80,000 barrels per day.

In short, Buffett's ExxonMobil stake gives him ownership in Imperial Oil - one of Exxon Mobil's jewels-in-the-crown, partly because of its enormous Canadian oil sands position.
Ron Daems, President of Strata Oil, provided these comments to shareholders:

"Strata Oil views Buffett's increased stake in ExxonMobil as good news for Alberta's bitumen producers, and a real endorsement of the future potential of the resource. Many of the leading 'Carbonate Triangle' companies have already attracted the investment dollars of some of the world's major investment institutions including Warburg Pincus, Blackstone Capital, and Goldman Sachs. But there's no doubt that Buffett's $3.45 billion stake in ExxonMobil/Imperial and his earlier $500 million stake in oil-sands producer Suncor is the kind of good news that really bodes well for Alberta's bitumen production," said Mr. Daems.

"All these developments mean that momentum is building in Alberta's bitumen carbonate play, and Strata Oil has one of the largest and most attractive projects in the industry. We acquired our project in 2005 and 2006, making us one of the earliest companies to position in the carbonates. Through drilling and geological analysis, we now have a recoverable resource of 887 million barrels of crude, and a total resource of 3.4 billion barrels. We believe our company offers substantial value to its shareholders."

Strata Oil's Cadotte Central project is estimated to have a Net Present Value (NPV) of USD $1.3 billion. Its newly updated total of 887 million bbls of recoverable bitumen provides significant additional upside potential which hasn't been factored into the $1.3 billion calculation yet.

Source- einews

November 9, 2013

Kazakhastan Builds Bitumen Plant

   KAZINFORM In a month, i.e. November 20, there is planned the output of the first trial batch of bitumen at the plant named «Caspi Bitum», that has been stated at the workshop on implementation of the investment project called  "Production of bitumen road ", which was being conducted at the plant.

"Construction of the plant is complete, there is active phase of commissioning. As for power supply all works have been finished. The first batch of oil is to be October 25 and October 30 there will be the second supply.

 Running-in of oil product processing equipment will be carried out on October 26. Prior to October 28 the working committee will finalize its activity, and the state acceptance of the plant is to be take place November 7 this year", said the chairman of the Board of Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries JSC (KPI) Dauletkeri Ergaliev.

Despite these optimistic forecasts, the participants voiced a number of problems and their solutions.

"In February, I was reported on the fact that in April the plant would be launched. Closer to the summer I was again reported on the readiness by September. It is worth remembering that the project is a part of the Republican map of industrialization, it is planned to produce bitumen that is required for development of the manufacturing industry. It will be produced in solid form and not in liquid. There is not yet a plant producing this sort of bitumen on the territory of the CIS", said the mayor of Mangystau region Alik Aidarbayev.

The total cost of the project is subject to payment of interest, since it runs on borrowed funds - 290 million U.S. dollars. The client is «Caspi Bitum» JV, project participants are  « KPI » JSC and "CITIC Kazakhstan", and funding is provided from two sources: 80 % -  "BANK of CHIN" borrowings, and 20 % are the means of the project parties.

Source- Kazinform

November 4, 2013

Recycling Asphalt

The Bother of Bitumen in China under Discussion
   2013-11-03 08:41:45      Web Editor: Xu Fei
Liu Wenjie (male, center), Secretary-General of China Highway and Transportation Society speaks at the International High-level Consultative Meeting of Recycling Use Industry of Asphalt Resource held in Beijing on Saturday, November 2, 2013. [Photo:]
  Anchor: Pollution is frequently associated with highly industrialized areas. However, new research shows that disused bitumen from asphalt roads in any public area may cause severe environmental pollution.
At a recent meeting in Beijing on the asphalt resource recycling use industry, environmental experts discussed a solution to the threat posed by the new pollution source, currently affecting China and other developing countries across the world.

CRI's Katharine Xu has more.

Reporter: Over the past decade, China has been rapidly developing its expressway system. As the number of new roads continues to rise, disused pavements are being dug out with their asphalt surfaces left exposed.
Secretary-General of China Highway and Transportation Society Liu Wenjie revealed at a recent conference on recycling asphalt, that only ten to twenty percent of asphalt from disused county and village roads is being used in the construction of new roads.

At the meeting, Liu warned of the danger of intense pollution from not recycling these asphalt materials.
"In the past, when a road fell into disuse, construction workers would dig it out and lead asphalt waste scattered around. This contributed to China's low efficiency in recycling asphalt resources. This situation mainly existed due to the lack of an asphalt recycling mechanism, and the absence of good innovation technologies at the time. Disused asphalt constitutes not only a huge waste problem but also leads to severe environmental pollution."

Liu Wenjie added that today, remarkable progress has been made in large metropolitan areas in China, with 60 to 70 percent of waste materials from express roads in cities being recycled.
The new development should help further innovations in asphalt-recycling technologies in both government-run laboratories and private high-tech companies.

Yang Linjiang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zhejiang Lanting Hi-Tech Company promotes asphalt-recycling technology and equipment at the International High-level Consultative Meeting of Recycling Use Industry of Asphalt Resource held in Beijing on Saturday, November 2, 2013. [Photo:]

Zhejiang Lanting Hi-Tech Company has been dedicated to researching asphalt recycling since 2001. Chairman of the Board of Directors Yang Linjiang introduced an asphalt-recycling technology invented by his company. 

"One of my company's main achievements over the past dozen years has been our successful development of a technology that guarantees zero-pollution from a recycling process where disused asphalt remains are burnt twice."

Yang Linjiang also explained that recycled asphalt has been proved to be no less effective than new asphalt material. He promoted his company's technologies and equipment for recycling asphalt in a speech which attracted the attention of both domestic and international experts.  

Adegboyega Ajani, a program officer with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, speaks at the International High-level Consultative Meeting of Recycling Use Industry of Asphalt Resource held in Beijing on Saturday, November 2, 2013. [Photo:]

Mr. Adegboyega Ajani, a program officer with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said he hopes such technology may be introduced to other developing countries, including his native country of Nigeria.

"Definitely what have been developed by Lanting high-tech Company is very useful for our program, and also to promote such kind of practices under the south-south cooperation framework in other parts of the world."

At present, Japan and the United States take the lead in recycling road waste: Japan uses 85 percent of recycled road debris for new construction projects while the US uses 80 percent.

The meeting, jointly sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Energy Conservation Environmental Protection Association, aims to promote technologies for recycling asphalt from pavements in China and other developing nations to reduce construction waste and better protect living environments.

For CRI, I'm Katharine Xu.