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Crisis Management http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/20181/all/feed en How Mobile Payments Benefit Small Businesses http://www.themoneytimes.com/node/1701712984 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Mobile payments are the way of the future when it comes to how a consumer pays for services or goods. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, then you need to think of a way to configure your business to accept mobile payments. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Why Should You Consider Mobile Payments for Your Business?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many consumers are embracing the change as it is easy and fast. All a consumer has to do is enter the required details ahead of time on his or her phone and the consumer can begin paying with that phone. Stores that accept mobile pay make transactions quick and painless. </p> <p>If your business does not offer this option, then your customer is forced to use a credit or debit card, cash, or a check. Credit cards can charge astronomical fees, and checks are almost obsolete. Cash is nice, but if you do not have the right change, then things can get sticky. Mobile payment is quick and easy for both the consumer and the business.</p> <p><strong>Is Mobile Payment Safe?</strong></p> <p>One of the biggest concerns retailers have about mobile payment is privacy control. If a customer pays via smartphone, retailers worry that their information becomes easy for thieves to steal. If anyone can log onto a phone, then what is stopping anyone from using the phone's mobile payment scheme? </p> <p>In reality, the process is very secure because mobile payment occurs only if a password is used, and many mobile payment platforms have developed specialized techniques that prevent third parties from finding and stealing information. Ultimately, there is no reason why you should not use mobile payment. </p> <p><strong>Why Is Mobile Payment Better?</strong></p> <p>Mobile payment platforms offer a safer solution than carrying cash or a credit card because mobile payments can be made only after secure passwords have been entered. Customer or business information is never leaked because it is already stored in the system and not visible to anyone in the area where the transaction is occurring. Once a payment is made, the money is sent to the business’ account. </p> <p><strong>Do Mobile Payments Incur Fees?</strong></p> <p>There can be fees with mobile payments, but many retailers do not have to pay much more than their current credit card processing fees. As customers move towards using their smartphones for more tasks, paying the small fee is balanced by having the mobile payment option available in your store.</p> <p><strong>Is Mobile Payment Worth Installing?</strong></p> <p>The short answer is yes. Ultimately, mobile payment is faster than any other form of transaction. It is convenient and easy to use because the consumer has already entered all of the pertinent information. A business does not have to worry about any breach of their customers’ information. If you want to bring your company into the modern age, then this is the best way to do it. </p> <p>If you are afraid to take the big step, then just consider how much more convenient you are making things for your customers. People tend to spend more when payment options are as easy as the press of a button. Cash keeps people from spending because they actually see in hand how much they are using. </p> <p>However, mobile payment almost seems like a free way to buy things because no swipes or cash is involved. If you want to be a merchant of the 21st century, then mobile payment is the way to go.</p> <p>About the author:<br /> Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, providers of mobile payment processing for businesses. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors</p> <p>This story was originally published on March 7, 2013.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Mobile%20Payment%20for%20Small%20Business.png" alt="Mobile Payment" title="Mobile Payment" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="179" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Mobile Payments are catching up fast with other means of transactions.</p> <p>Payment via mobile does away with the intricacies of handling credit cards, debit cards, as well as cash.</p> <p>Small businesses can make use of mobile payments to ease conducting transactions.</p> <p>The transactions are pretty secure, so there is little cause for worry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Mobile Payment for small business</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management Cyprus Mobile Payments Personal Finance Small Business Top Story Mon, 20 Jan 2014 04:45:30 +0000 1701712984 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Lighter Touch Leads To Higher Profit Margins http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130320/lighter-touch-leads-higher-profit-margins.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Lenders are squeezing credit due to the fallout from the sub prime lending scandal but the effects are being felt across the land as businesses in need of a cash injection are in many cases unable to raise the necessary funds. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>This has led to small business owners to take an alternative approach to determining their future, cost analysis is seen as the best method of achieving growth in profitability as increases in sales are difficult to achieve in the present climate.</p> <p><strong>Take a step back</strong></p> <p>In a stagnant market businesses must have a strong self awareness to survive. When times are good the focus is on growth and detailed strategies are implemented to achieve this. It is often the case that when sales are the dominant category in the income statement, there is nobody taking an active interest in cost control. </p> <p>The result of this is that costs often increase at a rate that is out of proportion with any sales activity, and nobody has a real incentive to take any corrective action. To be effective, business owners must be able to step back from their daily activities and objectively assess the cost drivers within the business. </p> <p>They must be prepared to make change if necessary and customer satisfaction should not be compromised. If an objective view of a small business the results can be surprising. Owners are often very aware of the weak areas in their business yet feel that they are too small to influence industry change. If an owner wishes to review the performance of the business they need to look at costs that can be cut from a budget without compromising the core activity of the business.</p> <p><strong>Know Your Business</strong></p> <p>When consultants are invited to a business to deal with an insolvency one of the key observations is the lack of knowledge the business owners have of their own company. Many will be aware of the sales performance and the strategies used to maximise sales but few have a comprehensive grasp on the costs associated with their business and do not have a strategy to address any identified overspend. </p> <p>Business owners must take time out from their regular activity to analyse costs and determine whether there are any items of expenditure that could be considered to be inefficient. The process should not be used to attack certain departments or areas of the organisation, but to identify potential opportunities for savings that can be passed onto the bottom line. </p> <p><strong>Impact of Identified Loss</strong></p> <p>Not only do business owners need to quickly identify the areas in which they feel they are inefficient, they must also be able to quantify the value of that loss and develop a plan for change. It may be possible to renegotiate a contract that is almost up for review and those responsible for procurement can be educated so that future decisions can be made with confidence that the overriding business objective is to make a profit. </p> <p>It is often categories of expenditure that are least understood, that contain the most evidence of inefficiencies. <a href="http://www.quotezone.co.uk/business-insurance.htm">Business insurance</a> is a product that often requires the input of a third party specialist. It is possible that savings can easily be realised based on the previous year but a broker will be required to seek out a competitive deal. </p> <p>For less complex areas of expenditure a simple cost benefit analysis should suffice. Most cost categories will yield some savings if the necessity of the expenditure is not found to be indispensable.</p> <p><strong>Cost Reductions</strong></p> <p>Simple savings can be made by modifying behaviour within the business and by introducing a new culture that examines cost rather than just accepts the status-quo. Results of any cost analysis are enabling an appraisal of the costs associated with a business and strong management will engineer a culture of change. </p> <p>It is likely that thirty per cent of all expenditure that does not involve any direct costs of production, can be cut from the budget of a small company if a strict set of rules are introduced. A traffic light system could be introduced which would order the costs in terms of a requirement to review. </p> <p>Those with a green assessment offer low risk but those with the potential to offer a high risk to the business are allocated a red code which qualifies them for early attention. Groundwork will reap rewards in future reporting periods when the business emerges as a leaner organisation fit for purpose in a challenging environment.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Small%20Business%20Profit%20Margin.jpg" alt="Small Business Profit Margin" title="Small Business Profit Margin" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Strategies to boost business productivity:</p> <p>1. Step back and perform cost analysis. Implement steps that can cut unnecessary costs, and simplify procedures.</p> <p>2. Know the ins and outs of your own business.</p> <p>3. Identify the key areas where inefficiency has crept-in and losses are mounting.</p> <p>4. Simple Cost Benefit Analysis can be conducted.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Effective strategies to boost business profits</p> </div> </div> </div> Business business profit margin cost benefit analysis Cost Reductions Crisis Management Higher Profit Margins small business Top Story United States Wed, 20 Mar 2013 05:32:28 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701713039 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Beijing's Pollution Alarms Neighbors http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130216/beijings-pollution-alarms-neighbors.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The good news for the Chinese leadership is that their fiscal policies have paid off, producing both the world's second largest economy and the globe's leading creditor nation in less than a generation. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The less good news is that the country's hell-bent drive towards industrialization has brought in its train a host of collateral problems, not the least of which is pollution. Last month Beijing's air pollution soared past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization.</p> <p>Prior to that, the government often played down the pollution in Beijing, insisting it was merely fog, despite evidence to the contrary that was plain for all to see. Earlier this year, following public pressure resulting from hourly air-quality readings first published in 2011 by the U.S. embassy in Beijing, which Chinese authorities had previously denounced as "foreign interference," the municipal officials took notice. </p> <p>On 12 January the air-quality monitor operated by the U.S. embassy in Beijing recorded a Particulate Matter PM 2.5 level of 886 micrograms a cubic meter, nearly 35 times what the World Health Organization considers safe.</p> <p><strong>How bad?</strong></p> <p>On 5 February flights were grounded as visibility fell to around 200 meters across Beijing. Last month Beijing's Jiangong Hospital recorded a 30 percent spike in cases involving respiratory problems and the hospital's Emergency Department chief Cui Qifeng noted, "People tend to catch colds or suffer from lung infections during the days with heavily polluted air."</p> <p>According to a Chinese Academy of Engineering specialist in respiratory diseases, speaking about Beijing's current pollution levels, "It (the pollution) is more frightening than SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). For SARS, you can consider quarantine and other means. But no one can escape from the air pollution and indoor pollution." The six-month SARS epidemic in 2003 killed 775 people in 25 countries.</p> <p><strong>Causes?</strong></p> <p>Beijing alone now has five million cars choking the streets, spewing their exhaust into the air. More importantly, the nation's pollution problems are caused by China developing at a speed and scale unprecedented in history, which has produced widespread environmental degradation that the central authorities have been slow to acknowledge. </p> <p>Aside from vehicle exhaust, thermal energy plants utilizing the nation's poor grade coal power the country's factories, providing the heat for hundreds of millions of homes even as they belch toxins into the atmosphere.</p> <p>And the toxic air threatens to become an international issue as well. Drifting across the Sea of Japan, the smog is now impacting parts of Japan, with the Japanese Ministry of the Environment's website on 5 February being overloaded. One ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity said, "Access to our air-pollution monitoring system has been almost impossible since last week, and the telephone here has been constantly ringing because worried people keep asking us about the impact on health."</p> <p>While the Japanese government remained discreet about air quality issues, Ministry of the Environment official Yasushi Nakajima was more blunt, stating, "We can't deny there is an impact from pollution in China." According to National Institute for Environmental Studies researcher Atsushi Shimizu, the prevailing winds from the west carry air pollution over western Japan. </p> <p>The pollution from China has exceeded government limits for particulate matter, which government concern focusing on particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, whose concentration has been reported as high as 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air in northern Kyushu. The Japanese government limit is 35 micrograms.</p> <p><strong>Solutions?</strong></p> <p>Responding to the recent crisis, Beijing's city government ordered 103 heavily polluting factories to suspend production and told government departments and state-owned enterprises to reduce their use of cars by a third.</p> <p>More immediately, on 6 Feb. the Chinese government issued a timetable for its program to upgrade fuel quality, aiming to implement a strict standard nationwide by 2017, upgrading its standard V for automobile petrol, with sulfur content within 10 parts per million before the end of the year.</p> <p>But the country's long term solutions will not be inexpensive – reducing the use of coal, forcing cars to use efficient pollution exhaust equipment, and developing mass transit options to reduce the country's rising love affair with the automobile.</p> <p>China now has the wealth to implement such solutions –whether the political will is there is quite another matter. Should authorities not act, then they'd better ramp up the country's health insurance policies, as undoubtedly more and more workers will be reporting sick days. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/China%20air%20pollution.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Beijing has progressed by leaps and bounds in past few decades. However, it has had to pay a big price for it as the air pollution has spiralled out of control.</p> <p>The US Embassy in China repeatedly publishes the particulate content in Beijing, much to the chargin of the local authorities. Recently, it reported Particulate Matter PM 2.5 level of 886 micrograms a cubic meter,much higher than safe levels as per the World Health Organization.</p> <p>Hundreds of thousands Chinese nationals perish every year due to ailments directly related with poor air quality. </p> </div> </div> </div> Beijing air pollution Beijing pollution China Crisis Management severe acute respiratory syndrome Top Story World Health Organization Sat, 16 Feb 2013 04:42:42 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712901 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Can Leak Detection End the Pipeline Impasse? http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130213/can-leak-detection-end-pipeline-impasse.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Pipelines used to be things that were just built without blinking. It is said that there are enough pipelines now in the US to encircle the Earth 25 times with enough left over to also tie a bow around it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Interview with James Stafford of Oilprice.com</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today, getting a pipeline built is not so easy - there are too many environmental concerns and the industry has become highly polarized. But here’s one thing that could bring everyone together: pipeline safety technology. And it’s something we all want, especially for those who live along the thousands of miles of aging pipeline routes<br /> that carry hazardous liquids.</p> <p>Spawned by research that started in space, remote-sensing technology designed to detect dangerous leaks in pipelines has the potential to provide the neutral ground for decisions to be made and consensus to be formed. The clincher: This technology is not only affordable -it saves money and could eventually save the industry.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, Adrian Banica, founder and CEO of Synodon - the forerunner in leak detection systems - discusses:</p> <p>• How a technology that started in space has the potential to quell intensifying protests</p> <p>• Why Keystone XL will eventually be a reality - sooner rather than later</p> <p>• How remote sensing technology can fingerprint pipeline leaks</p> <p>• How remote sensing technology can find the little leaks before they become big leaks—at no extra cost</p> <p>• Why North America’s new pipelines aren’t the problem and why the focus should be on aging pipelines that are going to experience a lot more leaks</p> <p>• How this technology could bring the industry and environmentalists together</p> <p>• How external leak detection can save lives in high-risk areas</p> <p>Interview with James Stafford of Oilprice.com</p> <p>James Stafford: Now that pipelines are the hottest topic on the oil and gas scene and have found themselves on the frontline of conflict between environmentalists and the industry, high-tech leak detection systems such as Synodon’s remote sensing technology seem to be offering a way out of the chaos. Can you put this into perspective for<br /> us?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Yes. In North America alone, there are upwards of a million kilometers of transmission pipelines - and this does not even count the gathering and distribution pipelines. What we offer is attractive to both sides in this conflict: environmentalists want it and the industry can afford it.</p> <p>Methods for inspecting pipelines have existed for many decades. What we’re providing is a better way of doing it. Synodon’s technology offers an accurate and precise method of oil and gas leak detection. This technology detects small leaks before they become big leaks.</p> <p>James Stafford: In layman’s terms, how does it work?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: It is relatively simple. Synodon has developed a remote sensing technology that can measure very small ground level concentrations of escaped gas from an aircraft flying overhead. This “realSens” technology is mounted on a helicopter and piloted by GPS over a pipeline.</p> <p>Think of this gas sensor as a big infrared camera that is particularly adept at detecting very, very small color changes in the infrared spectrum. The color changes that we detect are caused by various gasses that the instrument looks at. Every gas in nature absorbs and colors the infrared light that passes through it in a very specific<br /> way. From the shade of the color, we can also infer how much methane or ethane we can see with our instruments. In effect, it’s like a color fingerprint of the gas.</p> <p>James Stafford: Can you give us a sense of how this technology has evolved into what it is today—essentially the potential tool for bringing environmentalists and industry leaders together over the pipeline issue?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Yes. It started in space. Back in the 1990s, I was aware of technology being developed for various space programs, including Canada’s and NASA’s. I was looking for technologies that could solve oil and gas problems, but that were also novel, unique. That is how the whole idea started: It was matching a technology that<br /> the Canadian Space Agency funded to develop an instrument that measured carbon monoxide and methane from orbit.</p> <p>So the idea then was if one can detect methane from space, why couldn’t we adapt that technology to detect methane by flying it on a plane? In 2000, I founded Synodon in order to monetize and commercialize this.</p> <p>James Stafford: How effective are automated leak detection systems?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: They are typically only able to detect high level leaks above 1% of the pipeline flow. They measure the volume of the product that passes a sensor (flow measurements) and the pressure in the pipeline--if there is a leak the pressure will be lower downstream from it, among other things. However, as a recent report from the<br /> Department of Transportation in the US points out, these systems only detect a leak at best about 40% of the time, irrespective of how big a leak is.</p> <p>It is also important to differentiate between catastrophic leaks and small leaks. For catastrophic leaks, most pipelines use these flow meters which operate 24/7. But smaller leaks can only be detected by performing an above-ground survey either by foot patrol, vehicle or aircraft. The predominant technologies used would be sampling gas<br /> sensors, thermal cameras, laser detection or our remote sensing system.</p> <p>James Stafford: So this remote sensing technology uses a sort of “fingerprinting” to detect leaks, but we understand that it has much more to offer the industry … </p> <p>Adrian Banica: Yes. The core offering is the technology we developed for natural gas and liquid hydrocarbon leak detection, but there is a basket of services designed to reduce the overall costs for our clients. During our leak detection surveys, we collect a lot of different types of data such as visual images, thermal images and very, very accurate GPS information. We’ve repackaged all those data sets into new value-added products. We can provide these extra services without incurring additional costs.</p> <p>For instance, we could offer some of those services for new construction, in which case it would speed up the process of getting all the information required for the necessary regulatory filings. </p> <p>The most important thing, as I mentioned earlier, is trying to find small leaks before they become large leaks. All our services and all the data we provide are geared towards preventative maintenance. We sought to add services beyond leak protection because all pipeline operators still need to get their other data sets from somewhere. We are consolidating everything they need in a very cost effective and efficient manner.</p> <p>James Stafford: A late-2012 study on leak detection by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has brought this subject to the forefront. Dr. David Shaw, one of the report’s authors, says that pipeline leaks, ruptures, and spill are “systematically causing more and more property damage…in bad years you have $5 billion in damages due to pipeline-related accidents”. The logic of the study is that pipleline operators could be spending 10 times more on leak detection given what kind of damages they are being awarded now.</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Yes, the study makes the most valid point here, and that is that leak detection systems represent a bottom line savings, not an expense. For instance, Dr. Shaw has pointed out that pipeline companies would likely be justified in spending $10 million per year for every 400 miles of pipelines because they are already spending<br /> more than that on public property damage.</p> <p>We have demonstrated that we can detect a leak that is less than 1 liter/min or 380 gallons/day. If our technology was deployed every 30 days and the leak were to happen in the middle of this period (on average), the total spill would be 5,700 gallons (380x15 days), which is 50 times smaller than the standard technology daily leak rate.<br /> That’s a huge difference.</p> <p>Another difference is that pipeline operators pay around $12 per hour to have personnel walk the pipeline, and they can only catch leaks that are close enough for them to see.</p> <p>James Stafford: Could leak detection systems also save lives? </p> <p>Adrian Banica: Yes. The PHMSA study points out that 44% of these old hazardous liquid pipelines are in High Consequence Areas (HCAs)—which means that peoples’ lives are at risk if they blow up. We’re talking about 44% of over 170,000 miles of these pipelines. On a public platform, this alone should lend a new urgency to the leak detection<br /> debate. The point is that remote—or external—sensors can head off a dangerous leak faster than an internal system. </p> <p>The challenge then is to convince pipeline operators to adopt external technologies that actually detect leaks rather than relying on the inconsistencies of visual detection, which sooner or later would see the pools of oil, but it might be a while. </p> <p>James Stafford: Is the market ready for this technology?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: The market is ready, but not necessarily because of leak detection—it’s the overall basket we discussed earlier. There is a tremendous need in the industry for remote leak detection. But we had to account for budget constraints within our potential<br /> clients. We think we’ve developed a technology that’s very capable of providing the information our customers are looking for and doing so at a competitive price they are willing to pay.</p> <p>We’ve been operating on the North American market for the last 2.5 years. It’s a very large market that has lately been in the eye of the media and the environmentalists. We’re talking about over 55 companies in Canada and almost 700 pipeline operators in the US, where some 100 companies operate or control roughly 80% of the pipeline<br /> infrastructure. It is also a regulated market, and regulators require operators to perform some level of leak detection surveys.</p> <p>James Stafford: Will Keystone XL—or the San Bruno pipeline explosion—have any notable impact on the regulatory environment or the market for remote sensing technology?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Personally I don't think that either of these will impact the leak detection practices in the industry. Rather, the driver will be the aging pipelines which will continue to have incidents and spills which the public will not accept.</p> <p>James Stafford: And how is this playing out on the regulatory scene?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Congress passed a new law a year ago on this topic. The US regulators have yet to act on new regulations based on this law, but the trend is indeed there. Pipeline companies are concerned about potential upcoming new regulations and are working with the regulators to try and come up with proactive solutions and preempt their moves. </p> <p>Adrian Banica: Congress passed a new law a year ago on this topic. The<br /> There are a lot of discussions going on in the US on this topic right now and the regulator has proposed a set of new rules which are out for comment and discussion in the industry. It is a slow and drawn out process.</p> <p>James Stafford: Everyone is waiting for the Obama administration to make a decision on Keystone, and while most analysts seem to think it will be given the final green light, the protest movement shows no sign of letting up. How do you see this playing out?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: With the governor of Nebraska now approving it, I think the administration has no choice and no excuses for not approving it.</p> <p>James Stafford: Would regulations governing pipeline safety actually boost support for Keystone XL?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Personally, I don't think so. The most vocal opposition for Keystone comes from the side of the environmental movement that does not want to see the pipelines build in order to decrease our overall dependence on oil rather than their concern for spills. So it is a philosophical position based on decreasing CO2 emissions rather than one based on spills in the environment which will not be appeased<br /> by regulations.</p> <p>James Stafford: What about any potential regulatory protection leak detection systems could offer pipeline companies?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: The benefit to our customers is that they can demonstrate due diligence and that they have employed the best techniques available to ensure pipeline integrity. They will be covered if there is any court action or regulatory action. The value<br /> of our data in case something does happen could be quite substantial. </p> <p>There may be small differences in the regulations with the US being somewhat stricter and tighter than the Canadian regulations. So there are a few more incentives for US based customers to use our service. </p> <p>James Stafford: Protests continue over the Enbridge pipeline in Vancouver, for instance. How could this play out. Could big pipeline players like Enbridge be able to embrace something like your technology to quell some of those protests?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: This is a good case in point. Yes they absolutely could, and should. I’m very firm on that answer and I think they are looking at it. Enbridge is a customer of ours already in the United States and they’re very aware of what we offer and do.</p> <p>James Stafford: So these are early days for commercial viability?</p> <p>Adrian Banica: These are very early days, and we have just turned the corner from a science concept into something that is commercially realizable. We spent 2011 and 2012 working very hard to penetrate the industry and to convince clients that this is not a science project anymore—this is a genuine commercially viable technology. </p> <p>We are now starting to see the adoption of our technology and services. So I believe we are at the tipping point and by no means do I think that shareholders have missed the boat.</p> <p>James Stafford: Adrian, thank you for your time. This has been a very interesting discussion and the topic is one we will be following closely over the coming months. Hopefully we will get a chance to talk later in the year to see if any of the developments discussed have come to pass.</p> <p>Adrian Banica: Absolutely, I'd be delighted to catch up later in the year. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Oil%20Pipeline.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Adrian Banica, founder and CEO of Synodon, maintains:</p> <p>1. Leak detection systems have potential of quelling doubts and protests against pipeline projects.</p> <p>2. Keystone XL will eventually be a reality</p> <p>3. Remote sensing technology can detect leaks and prevent them from aggravating</p> <p>4. Leak detection can save lives in high-risk areas</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management gas leak detection Keystone XL Pipeline leak detection systems Oilprice San Bruno pipeline Top Story United States Wed, 13 Feb 2013 07:27:20 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712890 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Kenyan Oil, Hot and Getting Hotter: Interview with Taipan's Maxwell Birley http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130117/kenyan-oil-hot-and-getting-hotter-interview-taipans-maxwell-birley.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kenya has become the hottest oil and gas venue in East Africa since big discoveries were made in the country's virgin oilfields last April. All eyes are on Kenya in 2013 to see how quickly--and economically they can develop those discoveries into production.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nairobi based Taipan Resources Inc. (TPN-TSXV; TAIPF-PINK) is the 4th largest acreage owner in Kenya, and is getting ready to carry out seismic on Block 2B. They recently attracted Maxwell Birley as CEO. Mr. Birley has been instrumental in discovering more than 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in his 30-year career—much of it in Africa and Asia.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, Taipan CEO Maxwell Birley discusses:</p> <p>• Why Kenya is the hottest venue in East Africa<br /> • Why 2013 will be a stellar year for Kenya<br /> • Why the regulatory environment remains attractive<br /> • Why Kenya outranks its neighbours<br /> • Why infrastructure will be in place in time for commercial activity<br /> • Why this venue is good for the juniors<br /> • Why the Somalia security risk remains low<br /> • What Taipan is really chasing</p> <p>Interview by James Stafford of Oilprice.com</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> There were some major discoveries in Kenya last year. Could you give me some colour on these discoveries that has the market thinking Kenya is now one of the hottest exploration spots on earth?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> There are a couple—or 2 billion--reasons actually. First, two recent discoveries by Tullow in the Tertiary Lokichar basin of Kenya are in similar geological settings as the discoveries also made by Tullow in the Albertine Basin in Uganda, just to the west.</p> <p>Uganda has over 2 billion barrels, and the discoveries are similar enough that one could assume the eventual size of the resources in the Lokichar basin could be in the billions of barrels range as well.</p> <p>There are also other Tertiary basins in Kenya that are attractive. Based on geochemical work we recently did it's possible that the eventual hydrocarbon resource size for the whole of Kenya could be much higher than this.</p> <p>Being specific the unrisked prospective resources for Taipan's acreage in Kenya is 530 million barrels. We also believe that this estimate will likely increase to approximately 1.0 billion on completion of our studies.</p> <p>These estimates are for only 2 blocks in Kenya, if this is reasonably extrapolated to other blocks across the country one can easily forecast very significant hydrocarbon resource sizes indeed.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What's the easiest and most challenging thing about working with the Kenyan government and in the Kenyan political climate?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> The Ministry of Energy is always ready for a meeting. They listen to our concerns and take the appropriate action. They quickly follow up and give us the support that we need with other Ministries. In the field the local administration is also very helpful. We have regular meetings to make sure our work continues without a hitch.</p> <p>With regard to the political climate, there is an election coming up in March 2013. We're making arrangements so that we do not have a slowdown in seismic operations during that period. The last elections in 2007 were associated with some “geographically limited” security issues, however these were located far from our areas of operation, so we are not expecting the elections to have much impact on our operations.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> The Kenyan government is reviewing its oil and gas regulations. Among the suggested amendments is one that would see the National Oil Corporation (NOC) get a 25% interest in oil properties that foreign firms are operating in Kenya, but this would put the government in a precarious position vis-à-vis attracting investors. How do you see this playing out in the end?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> The government is reviewing the terms that shall apply for licences/contracts that will be granted in the future. Oil companies will review all the terms on offer at the time of bid submission and compare them to the attractiveness of the acreage.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> In November last year, Kenya expelled Norwegian Statoil, after revoking its exploration license. Is Nairobi increasingly ‘policing' exploration, and what will this mean for investors in the near/medium term?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> One of the main functions of the Ministry is to regulate the companies undertaking exploration activities in Kenya. We feel confident, as in many other countries where we have worked, that if you carry out your commitments in the timeframe of the PSC then your license is 100% secure. If we decide to go into the next phases of exploration on Block 2B we can continue to explore for hydrocarbons on the block for another 4.5 years without concerns to the validity of our contract.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> How does the industry view the financial terms offered by Nairobi in oil and gas?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> We believe the terms are reasonably attractive, at least for an oil discovery. The reason that only a few exploration wells were drilled in the past was due to the lack of exploration success—and this was driven by the lack of understanding by the oil companies of the basins. It wasn't because of financial terms offered by the government.</p> <p>Now that a discovery has been made and our knowledge is increasing, we are going to see a significant increase in drilling activity and therefore reserve additions to the country.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Is Kenya becoming more a game for the majors rather than the juniors, and do you think we will see more joint ventures in the near future?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> In our opinion there is a place for small companies at every stage of the development of an oil province. But it's definitely good news for those juniors with large land positions already in the country. The early movers--i.e. the companies like Taipan that acquired their acreage before the oil was discovered—will benefit from the recent oil discoveries. Most of the more prospective acreage has now been leased and therefore the competition for land is increasing.</p> <p>As large volumes of oil are discovered, the large independent and Majors will start to notice the country more and more. The Majors—due to their size and complexity—tend to be exploration risk averse and prefer to concentrate on large, lower-risk developments.</p> <p>James Stafford: How would you like to see Nairobi interact with the energy sector moving forward? And how does Kenya compare with other venues in the region like Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Sudan?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> There is no doubt that Nairobi is a premium location for business, tourism and families. This is illustrated by the fact that many multi-nationals operating in the sub-Sarahan African region have their head offices in Nairobi. Regarding interaction, it is the oil industry that will need to develop an active and well respected industry body so that broad industry issues can be discussed at the higher levels.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Kenya is clearly the East African leader in oil infrastructure, and is now starting the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transit corridor (LAPSSET) project. But it will cost $25 billion for the roads, the 1200 km pipeline and 120,000 barrel-per-day refinery. How feasible do think this project is and why? Is it feasible in the timeframe projected by Nairobi?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> The resources in Uganda and to some extend south Sudan must be exported. A pipeline through Kenya seems to be the most feasible.</p> <p>Regarding the time line, having 2.5 billion barrels sitting in the ground just west of Kenya in Uganda is a really strong motivation to build the pipeline quickly. In South Sudan I think they started pumping oil back up north again now, but I think they will want to go through Kenya in the near future.</p> <p>Whether it's LAPSSET or the Tullow consortium someone is going to build a pipeline through Kenya to the coast in the next few years. We think the pipeline will be located within 175 kilometres from our acreage. The pipeline will be good for everybody in the region but it should be particularly positive for us.</p> <p>So when we make a discovery on Block 2B, the pipeline will be in the construction phase. In the interim we'll truck the oil by bowser the early production from the fields. Then, depending on the size of any discoveries, we'll build a connecting pipeline into the pipeline from Uganda. I think we're in a very fortunate position now.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> In terms of exploration what are the ‘sweet spots' in Kenya?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Definitely the Anza Basin. Currently, the proven sweet spots are in the Tertiary sediments of the rift basins of Uganda and Kenya. More specifically to Kenya in the Lokichar Basin as proven by the Ngamia and Twiga wells by Africa Oil.</p> <p>These basins form part of the larger East African Rift system. This is a very extensive rift system and many new plays will be discovered in the next few years. The Anza Basin is the largest of these East African rift basins and 10 times the size of Uganda's Albertine Basin and Kenya's Lokichar Basin. This rift contains Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments.</p> <p>Taipan is exploring for oil in the south eastern end of the Anza basin. Located on block 2B we have proven more than 9,500 feet of Tertiary section on the block. From the geochemical modelling we have undertaken we see the same oil source rocks in the Anza Basin that are present in the Lokichar basin, which are highly likely to be mature for oil generation on Block 2B. In addition we also believe that more oil discoveries will be made in the Cretaceous and Jurassic basins if you can find favourable places to drill.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What has Taipan's proprietary technical work in Block 2B in the Anza Basin demonstrated so far?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> The Anza basin has proven oil-prone Cretaceous source that in places is potentially in the gas window (Bogal gas discovery), however our technical work has also demonstrated that the basin has an active Tertiary lacustrine (lake) oil source that is in the oil window. Consequently, the Anza basin has an excellent chance of being a much more significant oil producing basin than the small rift basins that have so far been discovered.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> And that's what you're really chasing here—with these roughly 10 million acres in the Anza Basin—the tertiary play...</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Agreed. What we're primarily chasing in Block 2B is the same Tertiary oil play that Tullow inherited originally in Uganda. The discoveries there were the main reason Africa Oil and Tullow drilled the Ngamia and Twiga oil wells in Kenya—which have also been very successful. Of course, don't overlook the fact we also have a secondary Cretaceous oil play in the block, that appears to be broadly analogous to the Cretaceous plays present in the Muglad Melut basins of southern Sudan and is the main focus of exploration efforts in Block 10A, operated by Africa Oil Corp.</p> <p>Regarding the rest of our acreage, in Block 1 for example where we have a 20% interest in a 31,781 Km2 block we are chasing older Cretaceous, Jurassic and Permo-Triassic plays. The block is located in an extension of the successful Ogaden Basin of Ethiopia and Somalia. We think the block will be very prospective as it is surrounded by oil seeps and a well that recovered oil on test.</p> <p>The 2 blocks combined makes us the 4th largest acreage holder in Kenya. In terms of near-term drilling and catalysts in the region, we have Tertiary, Cretaceous and Jurassic plays on Block 1 and Block 2B that will be drilled in the next 12 to 18 months.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Tell us what 2013 will look like for exploration in Kenya?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Ten exploration wells should be drilled in Kenya in 2013. Based on the previous success rate it is expected that a significant number of these will be discoveries. Tullow will continue drilling wells on Blocks 10BB and 13T on the west side of the country to find more oil in that string of pearls.</p> <p>Also we shall shortly get the results of the Paipai-1 well which is currently drilling in northern part of the Anza Basin. The well is testing Cretaceous &amp; Jurassic plays, with a potential 121 million barrels. Other wells including Sabisa and Kinyonga also expected to be drilled in 2013.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> For Kenya, a discovery at Paipai-1 would prove that oil discoveries of Sudan extend into Kenya. What would it mean for Taipan?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> There have already been Cretaceous gas discoveries in Kenya. Taipan believes that if you can find the Cretaceous that has not been buried too deep it will be prospective for oil. However we think the Paipai well is very high risk as it seems likely to be a recent tectonic inversion structure and therefore may be breached by recent faulting. </p> <p>We think we can find on Block 2B Cretaceous structures that are oil prone that have not been breached by recent faulting. So if that well does come in then it is going to be good news for the Anza Basin in general, but if dry it will not write off the Cretaceous potential in our block. Having said that I should point out that this is not our main focus at this time.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What about other prospects, like the Kinyonga well?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Kinyonga is the next big prospect that is going to be drilled by Africa Oil Corp. and that is very meaningful for us. Kinyonga, which is on Block 9, will be located relatively close to our block, is both Tertiary and Cretaceous prospect. It has an unrisked resource estimate of 320 million barrels prospective, and it is one of the largest prospects in Africa Oil's portfolio of drilling targets. </p> <p>Africa Oil also has another prospect called Pundamilia which is even closer to our block. This prospect has a unrisked resource Best estimate of 402 million barrels and a High estimate of 952 million barrels which I believe is the largest prospect in Africa Oil's portfolio.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> And what is the status of Kinoyonga?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> The timeline Africa Oil report for Kinoyonga is the 2nd half of 2013.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> That would be a pretty big corollary for Taipan ….</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> I think that even prior to getting those drilling results; investors are going to become more aware that the Tertiary play extends into our block. This was proven by the Hothori well which encountered 9500 ft. of Tertiary sediments. Better than this based on seismic data we estimate that in parts of the block there could be greater than 15,000 feet of Tertiary sediments.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What can we expect from Taipan over the next six months?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Taipan has contracted BGP to acquire up to 800 kms of 2D seismic survey and Arkex to acquire a block wide FTG survey both over Block 2B. The seismic will commence recording in January 2013 and the FTG in February. Both surveys will be completed and interpreted prior to the 1st June deadline to complete the work. We expect to enter the first additional exploration period and are planning on drilling a well late 2013 early 2014.</p> <p>Taipan has a 20% interest in Block 1 where Afren has recorded 1900 kms of seismic data.</p> <p>After the seismic has been processed and interpreted the company will commence preparations for well to be drilled in late 2013/early 2014.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What do you expect to learn from this North Eastern data?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> We will be acquiring world class seismic data with an extremely high fold in Block 2B. We may record data with fold as high as 540 (other operators in Kenya usually only record at 60 fold). We will do this so that we get excellent signal to noise ratio and seismic data improvement. This will then enable us to predict with some certainty the areas that have high shale to sand ratios. </p> <p>This in turn will indicate where the Tertiary lakes sediments were deposited. This will dramatically increase the chances of drilling a successful oil well.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Let's close off then with a note on security and Taipan's potential concerns in that area...</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Our acreage is in a remote region with very few inhabitants. We always take the appropriate health and safety precautions for example we've carried out detailed security risk assessments and we have visited the areas on a number of occasions. We work with other operators and security companies to ensure we have good local information.</p> <p>To mitigate the risk, we have 50 to 60 armed police on the seismic crew to supply physical security. More importantly we have excellent support from the government and local authorities. We are in the process of undertaking some CSR water projects so that local people benefit from our activities. We also have a team from the area that is in the field communicating continuously to ensure that the local community understands what we are doing and observes the benefits of working with Taipan.</p> <p>So in summary, we take it all pretty seriously. There are risks, however, it's a place where you can work, so we're being very respectful and careful to nurture successful relationships.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Has Kenya's intervention in Somalia had any impact on exploration in the border area?</p> <p><strong>Maxwell Birley:</strong> Yes, it has ensured that oil companies can undertake their work in relatively safe conditions.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Mr. Birley, best of luck. Thank you for your time and we will check in with you later in the year. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/rsz_kenya12.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kenya is emerging as a hot destination for oil exploration with discovery of two oil blocks.</p> <p>Positive political climate works in favor of oil exploration companies like Taipan </p> <p>National policies are working in favor of big as well as small companies. </p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management ertiary Lokichar basin Kenya Kenyan Oil Maxwell Birley Oilprice Small Business Taipan Resources Inc Top Story Tullow Thu, 17 Jan 2013 11:57:33 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712777 at http://www.themoneytimes.com 2012's Top 5 Oil & Gas Plays http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121219/2012s-top-5-oil-gas-plays.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>2012 has been a stellar year for oil and gas. From East Africa to North America, new technology, major new discoveries, an unparalleled appetite for exploration and a metamorphosing perception of risk have changed the playing field.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're looking at potential rather than existing production, and here are our Top 5 picks for this year:</p> <p><strong>Turkana County, Kenya</strong></p> <p>We have to start with Kenya, the biggest success story of the year.</p> <p>In March, the UK's Tullow Oil and Canada's Africa Oil Corp. discovered 100 meters of oil in the Ngamia-1 well. The euphoria was in part because this discovery was made on the very first try in the very first well. Stocks shot up to record highs as a result.</p> <p>The euphoria has not abated. In late November, the same duo made another find of 30 meters of oil in the nearby Twiga-1 well.</p> <p>September also saw Kenya strike 53 meters of natural gas in its first-ever offshore find in the Mbawa-1 well, off the coast of Malindi. US-based Apache Corp. owns 50% the well in a consortium with a handful of other companies. They're still digging, hoping that going deeper will reveal the oil.</p> <p>The bigger picture, however, is that only the surface has been scratched in terms of exploration. The East Africa Rift is believed to hold over 70 billion barrels of untapped crude oil, while offshore Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique have a joint estimated 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. There may be offshore oil, too. The oil discoveries in Kenya so far have been confined to one massive basin, and there are six more.</p> <p>In addition to the size of the prize here, Kenya is favorable for other reasons as well: It offers relative political stability in the midst of a rather restless Africa; it offers attractive fiscal terms; it offers easy access to export markets; and it has an appetite for infrastructure that is hard to beat.</p> <p>While 2013 may see some changes in the regulatory environment that could be less favorable, as for 2012, Kenya remains THE number one East African play in terms of potential. Next year will give us a better idea of commercial viability.</p> <p><strong>Bakken, North Dakota</strong></p> <p>The Bakken shale play has placed North Dakota ahead of Alaska, making it the number two oil producer in the US for 2012, after Texas. Because of Bakken, the US has increased oil production this year to a level it hasn't seen in almost a decade and a half. In one month alone this year, North Dakota issued 370 drilling permits.</p> <p>Stretching from Eastern Montana to Western North Dakota and across parts of Saskatchewa and Manitoba in the Williston Basin, the Bakken Shale Play could yield some 4.3 billion barrels of oil, according to the US Geological Survey. That's the modest estimate. Continental Resources—one of the major Bakken players—estimates as much as 40 billion barrels.</p> <p>The clincher is that much of the vast Bakken Petroleum System has not even been tapped. So far, drilling has primarily targeted the Middle Bakken and the upper Three Forks Zones. The Three Forks Zones have not been fully tapped, and the Upper Bakken Shale hasn't really been tapped at all.</p> <p><strong>Eagle Ford, South Texas</strong></p> <p>Eagle Ford is potentially the next Bakken. It's one of the most ACTIVE plays in the US right now. And what the majors and juniors are playing with is 7,500 in total acreage, five producing wells, two more wells being drilled, and the potential for 100 wells. This year, oil production has increased to some 300,000 bpd (as of August).</p> <p>Natural gas is also a major Eagle Ford offering. Last year, it produced 914 million cubic feet of natural gas, though that has dropped slightly for this year.</p> <p>So far, drilling seems to have had even better results than in Bakken. And there is a great deal of confidence and optimism. Enough so that Marathon Oil is planning to shift its primary focus from Bakken to Eagle Ford and spend one-third of its operating budget there. </p> <p>Right now Marathon is producing around 40,000 net barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day and plans to more than double this next year. It's already doubled production this year (and, incidentally, seen its profits jump 11% in the first quarter).</p> <p>The biggest producer is EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), putting out about 110,000 boe/day and holding reserves of around 1.6 billion boe.</p> <p>Analysts think Eagle Ford could end up out-producing the Permian Basin in west Texas—and soon.</p> <p><strong>Mediterranean Plays</strong></p> <p>The Levant Basin in the Mediterranean has an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and around 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil. And the area has seen a flurry of activity recently.</p> <p>Between 25 and 33 billion cubic feet of this gas is in Israeli waters. The rest is carved up between Greek-held Northern Cyprus (which is a bit problematic), Syria and Lebanon.</p> <p>Of course, along with this potential comes some uncomfortable geopolitics; on one hand among Israel, Lebanon and Syria; on the other hand between Israel, Turkey and the Greek Cypriots.</p> <p>The first new natural gas field in the region is expected to begin full-scale production this year, with two additional fields coming on-line over the next six years.</p> <p>Specifically, we're talking about:</p> <p>• The discovery to two offshore natural gas fields in northern Israel (Leviathan and Tamar) with an estimated 25 trillion cubic feet (about 100 years year of gas for Israeli domestic use)</p> <p>• Estimates that Israel has a potential 1.9 billion barrels of untapped oil</p> <p>• About 5-6 tcf of natural gas in the Aphrodite field claimed by Greek-held Northern Cyprus (just west of Israel's Leviathan field)</p> <p>Exploitation will be a bit expensive, though. Israel's offshore fields are located 100 kilometers from the coast and in 6,000 feet of water. The natural gas is some 5,000 feet under the sea bed.</p> <p><strong>Offshore Tanzania &amp; Mozambique</strong></p> <p>Tanzania has become a gas sensation in a very short time, with recent offshore discoveries of some 33 trillion cubic feet.</p> <p>Sweetening the deal, we have political stability and low security risk, relatively speaking, as well as an existing 70-million-cubic-feet/day capacity for natural gas processing. More gas infrastructure is in the works.</p> <p>Next door, Mozambique's 130 trillion cubic feet of gas in its offshore Rovuma Basin is eye candy for foreign investors, and officials believe there is double this amount still waiting to be discovered. It's not as attractive as Tanzania for one reason: There is no infrastructure.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Oil%20Extraction.jpg" alt="2012&#039;s Top 5 Oil &amp; Gas Plays" title="2012&#039;s Top 5 Oil &amp; Gas Plays" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The biggest success story of the year in oil extraction:</p> <p>1. The UK's Tullow Oil and Canada's Africa Oil Corp. discovered vast swathes of oil in Kenya.</p> <p>2. North Dakota became the second biggest oil producing state in the US after Texas</p> <p>3. 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil was discovered in the Mediterranean.</p> <p>4. 33 trillion cubic feet gas was discovered in Tanzania and 130 trillion cubic feet of gas in Mozambique</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>2012's Top 5 Oil &amp; Gas Plays</p> </div> </div> </div> Africa Oil Corp Bakken Crisis Management Crude oil Eagle Ford East Africa Rift North Dakota oil exploration South Texas Top Story Tullow Oil Wed, 19 Dec 2012 06:49:40 +0000 Rishabh Verma 1701712597 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Will Regulators Damn Keystone XL? http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121217/will-regulators-damn-keystone-xl.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Starting Tuesday, U.S. regulators will hold regular meetings on oil and natural gas pipeline safety standards. A series of pipeline issues, ranging from a deadly gas pipeline explosion in California, to a massive oil spill in Michigan, have brought pipeline safety to the forefront of the American energy debate. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The safety meetings, scheduled in Virginia, come days after environmental regulators in Nebraska end a public comment period for Keystone XL, one of the most contentious U.S. pipeline issues.</p> <p>The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration scheduled hearings beginning Dec. 11 in Virginia. During those meetings, safety committees are expected to review proposed rules related to pipeline damage prevention. </p> <p>PHMSA described the committees as "statutorily mandated advisory committees that advise PHMSA on proposed safety standards, risks assessments, and safety policies for natural gas pipelines and for hazardous liquid pipelines."</p> <p>In October, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality announced it was finished with its draft evaluation report for the proposed reroute of the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. In its 600-page draft, the NDEQ found that TransCanada's new proposal "avoids the region that was identified as the Sandhills by NDEQ, which is based on extensive research conducted by various state and federal agencies several years ago."</p> <p>NDEQ closed the period for written testimony on the reroute Friday. Bold Nebraska, an advocacy group opposing the pipeline, said this week that TransCanada's route remains problematic, however.</p> <p>"TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) is still risking our aquifer and still risking the fragile sandy soils of our state," said Bold Nebraska's Executive Director Jane Kleeb in a statement. "When TransCanada first submitted their route to the U.S. State Department, their designation of the Sandhills was much larger and much more accurate to the reality of the Sandhills region."</p> <p>Nebraskans get about 85 percent of their drinking water from regional aquifers, a November report published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology states. The study found few published groundwater case studies on the fate of tar sands oil, the type of crude designated for Keystone XL, but noted there may be a residual impact. The report recommended for the pipeline a "risk-managed route." </p> <p>That route targets a section of the state that was "intensely spray-irrigated, row-cropped (and) underlain by contaminated groundwater." This route, the report finds, would provide easier access should any emergency response be needed for Keystone XL.</p> <p>Supporters of Keystone XL say the project is needed to ensure U.S. energy security and support jobs. U.S. Rep Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the pipeline could "create an estimated 100,000 or more direct and indirect jobs" for American workers. Detractors, like Bold Nebraska, however, said any potential benefits far outweigh the risks.</p> <p>The journal report finds that pipeline spills have declined considerably during the past 10 years. While it's unclear what action the PHMSA may consider in its safety review, it's clear that, despite high-profile concerns like the so-called fiscal cliff, regulators are taking pipeline issues seriously as the North American energy boom gains steam.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Keystone%20XL%20Protests.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In a series of meetings starting Tuesday, 17 December, US Regulators will meet on oil and natural gas pipeline safety standards in the wake of a massive oil spill in Michigan, deadly gas pipeline explosion in California and other related issues. </p> <p>Perhaps the fate of Keystone XL pipeline will be determined in the meetings.</p> <p>Keystone XL pipeline has met with a series of vehement protests in recent times. </p> </div> </div> </div> Business Crisis Management Energy Keystone XL Pipeline Keystone XL Pipeline fracking Keystone XL Pipeline Obama Keystone XL Pipeline project Small Business the Keystone pipeline Top Story United States Mon, 17 Dec 2012 05:31:15 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712582 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Keystone XL: Welcome to the Proxy Energy War http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121214/keystone-xl-welcome-proxy-energy-war.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Now that elections are over, everyone is waiting for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, but it's not so easy amid the atmosphere of protests that have even traditionally oil-friendly Texans putting up a fight.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Keystone XL Pipeline is back in focus after the elections. Which way will it go?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lawsuits, intensifying protests, conflicts of interest and the underlying notion that the pipeline is not really essential are causing the Obama administration no end of discomfort.</p> <p>At stake in this atmosphere of civil disobedience is a $7 billion, 1,179-mile pipeline project that will transport Canadian tar sands to refineries in south Texas, courtesy of TransCanada. In Texas alone, the pipeline affects some 850 landowners.</p> <p>TransCanada has been playing dirty, and Texans won't have it. If there is one state in the US where the phrase ‘ eminent domain' sparks revolutionary panic, it's Texas. </p> <p>And while the pipeline protests were earlier the strict purview of ‘tree-hugging' activists, it became a local Texas issue when TransCanada started having private land condemned by the court so it could buy it up on the cheap. So far, it has acquired 100 tracts of land in this manner, out of the 800 it has to date acquired.</p> <p>One Texan has gone so far as to sue the state over its handling of the pipeline, which is supposed to cross his land. Specifically, he's suing the Railroad Commission of Texas, which is tasked with regulating pipelines.</p> <p> According to the lawsuit, the Commission wrongfully granted TransCanada a permit and is failing to protect water supplies and ensure safety precautions. The landowner is also seeking an injunction and restraining order against the Commission.</p> <p>On Monday, the situation took a headline-grabbing turn when two activists blockaded themselves inside a pipeline in East Texas.</p> <p>In Oklahoma, things have gone a bit smoother, with construction already under way in full force.</p> <p>In Nebraska, the pipeline is challenged by the environmental risk to the Sandhills region. On 4 December, a public hearing opened on the Nebraska route, which will lay the groundwork for a final decision by the state's governor.</p> <p>In Washington, though, support for Keystone XL seems to be moving along nicely, though it still does not have the final approval of the State Department, which is necessary as the pipeline crosses an international boundary.</p> <p>While some politicians say the pipeline is a no-brainer, others disagree. Democrats are divided over the issue, with those in states whose economies depend on oil generally supporting the construction, while others balk. Republicans are generally united in support over Keystone XL.</p> <p>Will the pipeline bring thousands of jobs? Probably—estimates range from 3,000 up to 20,000. Is it vital to US energy security? In so much as Canada is vital to US security. So, not really.</p> <p>Energy security expert Michael Levi, of the Council on Foreign Relations, told Oilprice.com that the Keystone XL Pipeline is both “non-essential to US energy security” and “not disastrous to climate change.”</p> <p>“It has been overblown by both sides in the debate. It is one pipeline that would carry a modest, but non-trivial amount of crude, and that would help create economic incentives to increase production, again, by a modest but not earth-shattering amount.”</p> <p>From Levi's perspective, the real issue here is trends. “I think if you replicate a pattern like the one that some would like to see for Keystone and you start blocking pipelines all over the place, then that becomes a larger economic problem.”</p> <p>So welcome to the proxy war over energy.</p> <p>Overall, there is a general optimism that the pipeline will go ahead, eventually. But here's another new sticking point: the nomination for US Secretary of State, Susan Rice, who happens to hold shares in TransCanada, which is seeking State Department approval for Keystone XL.</p> <p>It's a bit of a conflict of interest that promises to get messy. Rice and her husband have stock in TransCanada valued at between $300,000 and $600,000. She also has some $1.25 million in stock in Canada's Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO), as well as in a handful of smaller Canadian oil companies.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Keystone%20XL%20Pipeline.jpg" alt="Keystone XL: Welcome to the Proxy Energy War" title="Keystone XL: Welcome to the Proxy Energy War" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Keystone XL pipeline is back into focus after the elections in the US.</p> <p>Widespread protests are being witnessed against the pipeline for the feared displacement and large scale cutting down of trees</p> <p>Susan Rice, who has withdrawn her bid for US Secretary of State, holds shares in TransCanada, the owner of the project</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>People protesting against Keystone XL Pipeline</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management Keystone XL Pipeline Nebraska Oklahoma President Obama Small Business Susan Rice Top Story TransCanada United States Fri, 14 Dec 2012 10:31:31 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712573 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Ukraine Crushed in $1.1bn Fake Gas Deal http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121205/ukraine-crushed-11bn-fake-gas-deal.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Certainly the folks at Gazprom are having a good snicker, reveling in the mockery that has been made of what should have been a landmark Ukraine-Spain gas deal that would have loosened Russia's gas grip on Kiev.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Ukraine's attempt to let go their dependence on Russian oil ended up being a dud. Find out how. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wondered how Russia would respond to Ukraine's attempt at gas independence. But this is what happens when you mess with Gazprom.</p> <p>It was a horrible moment for Ukraine last Monday—all the more horrible because the whole event was televised—when the historical $1.1 billion deal it was about to sign with Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa turned out to be fake.</p> <p>Why was the deal historical? It would have secured $1.1 billion in investment for the construction of Ukraine's first liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Black Sea and a pipeline connecting the country's vast gas network to the terminal.</p> <p>More to the point, this would enable Ukraine to import by tanker up to 10 billion cubic meters of European gas at a price 20% cheaper than Gazprom. Even more to the point, it would be a major first step toward reducing Ukraine's dependence on Russia.</p> <p>The deal was that investors had apparently signed agreements through a newly formed consortium for the construction of the $1.1 billion LNG terminal.</p> <p>Here's how the ill-fated signing ceremony went down:</p> <p>While Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko were cutting the ribbon on the construction of the terminal in a live televised ceremony, the country's investment chief, Vladislav Kaskiv, was attending the official investment signing ceremony elsewhere, also via live video feed. This is where walls caved in very suddenly.</p> <p>Signing on behalf of Fenosa was one Jordi Sarda Bonvehi. At the 11th hour, Fenosa let it be known that they have no idea who Bonvehi is and that he certainly does not represent the company in any way. Fenosa apparently had no idea it was signing a landmark agreement with Ukraine.</p> <p>Kiev was necessarily taken aback, and Bonvehi remained conveniently silent at the signing ceremony once the news broke out.</p> <p>Of course, what no one knows is how Ukrainian authorities were led to believe—during multiple rounds of negotiations—that Bonvehi was a Fenosa representative.</p> <p>The story being bandied about by authorities in Kiev is now that Bonvehi was under the impression that Fenosa would sign the deal with Ukraine and that he would be given the authority to sign the deal retroactively.</p> <p>But Fenosa denies it has ever considered such a deal and continues to deny any relationship at all with Bonvehi.</p> <p>So where does that leave us? It leaves Ukraine in the lurch. There is no way it can fund this terminal on its own, despite its claims to the contrary. We probably don't have to look much further than Gazprom and the Ukrainian oligarchy to find where this beautifully crafted charade was hatched.</p> <p>In the meantime, Bonvehi—if such a person of that name even exists—remains elusive. No one knows who he really is or who he really works for.</p> <p>More than anything, it's an advertisement for due diligence</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Ukraine%20Fenosa.jpg" alt="Ukraine Crushed in $1.1bn Fake Gas Deal" title="Ukraine Crushed in $1.1bn Fake Gas Deal" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A conman named Jordi Sarda Bonvehi almost made Ukraine officials sign a landmark deal with Spanish gas major Fenosa.</p> <p>While Bonvehi had absolutely no relation with Fenosa, how he could fool Ukrainian authorities into believing otherwise is not known. </p> <p>Ukraine does not have enough funds, even if it claims otherwise, to fund an ambitious pipeline to fulfill its gas needs.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Ukraine Crushed in $1.1bn Fake Gas Deal</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management Jordi Sarda Bonvehi Top Story Ukraine Ukraine and Fenosa deal Ukraine PM Mykola Azarov Yuriy Boyko Wed, 05 Dec 2012 08:54:26 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712525 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Shale Gas Will be the Next Bubble to Pop http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121117/shale-gas-will-be-next-bubble-pop.html-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The "shale revolution" has been grabbing a great deal of headlines for some time now. A favourite topic of investors, sector commentators and analysts – many of whom claim we are about to enter a new energy era with cheap and abundant shale gas leading the charge. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Is Shale Gas here to stay or will prove to be just another bubble? Arthur Berman, a prominent geological consultant, shares his views. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>But on closer examination the incredible claims and figures behind many of the plays just don't add up. To help us to look past the hype and take a critical look at whether shale really is the golden goose many believe it to be or just another over-hyped bubble that is about to pop, we were fortunate to speak with energy expert Arthur Berman. </p> <p>Arthur is a geological consultant with thirty-four years of experience in petroleum exploration and production. He is currently consulting for several E&amp;P companies and capital groups in the energy sector. </p> <p>He frequently gives keynote addresses for investment conferences and is interviewed about energy topics on television, radio, and national print and web publications including CNBC, CNN, Platt's Energy Week, BNN, Bloomberg, Platt's, Financial Times, and New York Times. You can find out more about Arthur by visiting his website: <a href="http://petroleumtruthreport.blogspot.com/" target=blank>Petroleum Truth Report</a></p> <p>In the interview Arthur talks about:</p> <p>· Why shale gas will be the next bubble to pop</p> <p>· Why Japan can't afford to abandon nuclear power</p> <p>· Why the United States shouldn't turn its back on Canada's tar sands</p> <p>· Why renewables won't make a meaningful impact for many years</p> <p>· Why the shale boom will not have a big impact on foreign policy</p> <p>· Why Romney and Obama know next to nothing about fossil fuel energy</p> <p>Interview conducted by James Stafford of Oilprice.com</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> How do you see the shale boom impacting U.S. foreign policy?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Well, not very much is my simple answer.</p> <p>A lot of investors from other parts of the world, particularly the oil-rich parts have been making somewhat high-risk investments in the United States for many years and, for a long time, those investments were in real estate.</p> <p>Now these people have shifted their focus and are putting cash into shale. There are two important things going on here, one is that the capital isn't going to last forever, especially since shale gas is a commercial failure. Shale gas has lost hundreds of billions of dollars and investors will not keep on pumping money into something that doesn't generate a return.</p> <p>The second thing that nobody thinks very much about is the decline rates shale reservoirs experience. Well, I've looked at this. The decline rates are incredibly high. In the Eagleford shale, which is supposed to be the mother of all shale oil plays, the annual decline rate is higher than 42%.</p> <p>They're going to have to drill hundreds, almost 1000 wells in the Eagleford shale, every year, to keep production flat. Just for one play, we're talking about $10 or $12 billion a year just to replace supply. I add all these things up and it starts to approach the amount of money needed to bail out the banking industry. Where is that money going to come from? Do you see what I'm saying?</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> You've been noted suggesting that shale gas will be the next bubble to collapse. How do you think this will occur and what will the effects be?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Well, it depends, as with all collapses, on how quickly the collapse occurs. I guess the worst-case scenario would be that several large companies find themselves in financial distress.</p> <p>Chesapeake Energy recently had a very close call. They had to sell, I don't know how many, billions of dollars worth of assets just to maintain paying their obligations, and that's the kind of scenario I'm talking about. You may have a couple of big bankruptcies or takeovers and everybody pulls back, all the money evaporates, all the capital goes away. That's the worst-case scenario.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Energy became a big part of the election race, but what did you make of the energy policies and promises that were being made by both candidates?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Mitt Romney, particularly, talked about how the United States would be able to achieve energy independence in five years. Well, that's garbage.</p> <p>Anybody who knows anything about oil, gas and coal, knows that that's absurd. We were producing a little over 6 million barrels a day thanks to an all-out effort in the shale oil play. We consume 15 million barrels of oil a day and that leaves the gap of 9 million barrels per day. </p> <p>At the peak of U.S. production, in 1970, the U.S. produced 10.6 million barrels per day. Like I said, either the guy doesn't know what he's talking about, or is making a big joke of it.</p> <p>Obama didn't talk so much . . . He's a hugely green agenda kind of president and I'm not opposed to that, but he's certainly not for the oil and gas business. It wasn't until he got serious about thinking about his re-election that he decided to take credit for what really happened.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Japan recently announced that they are going to be phasing out nuclear power. What are your views on nuclear? Are we in a position to abandon this energy source?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> No. Japan is a special case. The disaster at Fukushima, the nuclear reactor, was right on top of a major fault. So, that was a dumb place to put it.</p> <p>To wholesale abandon nuclear power because one reactor was incredibly stupidly planned, to me seems like a bit of a . . . well, I can't tell people how they should react, but if I were a Japanese citizen, and the truth was that we have no oil, we have no coal, we have no natural gas, the next question is, "Well, if we get rid of nuclear, what are we going to do?"</p> <p>It's a really good question to ask. If you don't have anything of your own, how are you going to get what you need? The answer is that they have to import LNG and that's very expensive.</p> <p>Right now, natural gas is selling in Japan for $17 per million BTUs. You can buy the same BTUs in Europe for $9 today, or in the US for $3.25</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What about Germany's decision to also phase out nuclear power?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> For Germany to abandon nuclear… that decision is truly delusional because they haven't had any problems over there. Nor is Germany particularly earthquake prone or tsunami prone. They have forced themselves into a love relationship with Russia.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What are your views on Canada's tar sands? Are they a rich source of oil that the U.S. needs to exploit? Or do you think they're a carbon bomb, which could do irreparable damage to the climate?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Well, that's a very good question. I suppose they're both, as are virtually all things that burn. Right? They're a very rich source of oil. And they're dirty. </p> <p>It requires a lot of natural gas heating to convert them into some usable form, a lot of processing, but here's the thing, if the United States doesn't buy that oil from Canada, do you think Canada's just going to say, "Oh. Okay. Nevermind. We'll forget about all this."</p> <p>No. They're going to sell it somewhere else. They'll probably sell it to Asia. So, the issue of the carbon bomb doesn't get resolved by the United States not taking the oil.</p> <p>So, to me, that's off the table. Yes. I think it's an incredibly sensible play to get your oil from a neighbour, and a neighbour who you trust, and it doesn't require overseas transport and probably getting involved in periodic revolutions and civil uprisings.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Is there any technology, any development you see coming in the future that can help us get where we need to be? Is conservation really the only answer or do you have any hopes for some of the alternative energy technologies, such as solar or, even, some of these more advanced technologies such as Andrea Rossi's E-cat machine?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Oh. I have all the enthusiasm for technology that you could ask for. I'm a scientist and I love technology but I heard a very good presentation several years ago on your exact question and the man who gave a talk said, "I'm going to give you a rule to live by. </p> <p>If it's not on the shelf today, then a solution is no sooner than ten years in the future." So, when you talk about E-cat and you talk about algae and all this kind of stuff, it's not on the shelf today. So, that means it's in some sort of pilot stage of testing.</p> <p>Work harder guys. Work harder and faster because you've got a lot of work to do. So, yes, I'm enthusiastic. I think there are some great ideas out there but I don't see any of them helping us in the coming five to ten-year period.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Environmentalists talk about the evil of fossil fuels, but have they really done their research to see how vital it is to pretty much everything that we base our modern lives upon?</p> <p><strong>Arthur Berman:</strong> Well, that's exactly right. My oldest son and his family until recently lived in California, and in California people think electricity comes from the wall. They don't have any idea that most of their electricity comes from horrible coal-fired power plants in New Mexico and Arizona. As long as they don't have to see it, they don't have a problem.</p> <p>But, in this world, and in this life, we're all connected and if you see something you don't like, there's a good possibility that whatever they're doing there has something to do with something you're using. So, this is an issue.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Shale%20Gas.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Investment in Shale Gas is not an intelligent idea for</p> <p>1. Its high decline rate, being as high as 24% in case of Eagleford shale, the biggest shale gas field.</p> <p>2. Shale gas has not been profitable at all for most players. Despite that, billion of dollars are being pumped into it. </p> <p>3. Companies engaged in its production are already in red. Chesapeake Energy had to sell assets just to keep itself afloat. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Shale Gas Will be the Next Bubble to Pop</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management Top Story Sat, 17 Nov 2012 05:55:41 +0000 Rishabh Verma 1701712433 at http://www.themoneytimes.com High Risk Investing - The New Trend in Energy: Interview with Andrew McCarthy http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121114/high-risk-investing-new-trend-energy-interview-andrew-mccarthy.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Risk perception isn't what it used to be. Ask the swelling ranks of Canadian junior oil and gas companies braving high-risk venues like Sudan, Iraq and even Yemen.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ever increasing demand for oil is fueling daring endeavors even by small players. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Technological advances and the shale revolution are making risk easier to digest. And political risk is no longer limited to developing countries. Plus, risk is increasingly relative: Ask anyone who's been caught up in the politics of the Keystone pipeline.</p> <p>Sudan is a case in point. While instability and a very fragile peace with South Sudan remains a threat, there is also growing optimism. The philosophy is this: Sudan and South Sudan will come to terms for the sake of economic growth, and oil will get them there. The prize: An estimated 5 billion barrels of oil.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com publisher James Stafford, Emperor Oil CEO Andrew McCarthy reveals:</p> <p>• Why investors are hitting up high-risk regions<br /> • Why Africa is more opportunity than risk<br /> • How political risk is no longer limited to developing countries<br /> • Why Shale WILL live up to the hype<br /> • Why conventional oil is still a great investment<br /> • And why human ingenuity will prevail</p> <p>Emperor Oil (TSXV: EM.V) is an international oil and gas company with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Most recently, the company has renegotiated the terms of a joint venture gas deal in Turkey and introduced a significant conventional oil project in Sudan.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Oil and gas juniors are now setting up shop in high-risk countries like Sudan, Iraq and even Yemen. What's behind this new era of risk, and are we likely to see more of this?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> This question creates an opportunity for risk comparison – is it less risky to drill a mile below the ocean surface and create the kind of disaster we saw BP (NYSE: BP) deal with in the Gulf, or do we continue to look for work in regions that have accessible resources and are anxious to advance their economic position along with the health and welfare of their community?</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> So you are saying that on a comparative level even North America has become a political risk? And that in this balancing act, volatile places like Sudan do not necessarily pose any greater political risk?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Yes, there are always risks associated with any investment. The US halted all exploration in the Gulf of Mexico for extended periods following the BP disaster. This is a risk that few would have foreseen when exploration and development began in a country whose level of political risk is considered to be negligible.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Furthering your point, there have been a number of other unforeseen political risks, both in the US and Europe…</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Certainly. The US banned all exploration and production in the Marcellus Shales in the State of New York. The US has also stalled the construction of Keystone XL pipeline that would link the US to Canada's oil sands. In Canada, we have seen the province of British Columbia place a moratorium on offshore drilling. Across the Atlantic, we have also seen Europe place a moratorium on all shale exploration and development.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> What is your message to investors who still view Africa and the Middle East as too risky?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Based on all of these North American and European developments, is it any less risky than operating in developing countries?</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Which brings us to Emperor's operations in Sudan. When South Sudan declared independence in July 2011 it took with it some 75% of the known oil resources. Since then, the situation between Juba (the capital of South Sudan) and Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) has been tense and even bloody. How will this affect exploration and extraction?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Well, now we have healthy competition due to the secession of the south and the need for both countries to maximize their economic opportunity. The skirmishes fought in the spring were quickly squelched when both countries realized the impact it was having on their economy and their people. Rather than fight over existing production they have chosen to expand their resource development so that there is a larger pie to share.</p> <p>There have certainly been many difficulties over the years but the country recently emerged from a democratic process that the South secede in a diplomatic fashion. Both countries are now keen to advance, and the competition to succeed is healthy and beneficial. Of course, one also has to remember how truly enormous this country is and how remote some of the areas are in which much of the oil reserves are located.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> There is also the question of infrastructure. South Sudan is seeking alternatives to transiting oil through Sudan, and Juba is extremely optimistic about the prospects of a new pipeline from South Sudan to Kenya. </p> <p>This is all part of Kenya's massive regional infrastructure plan—the $24.7 billion Lamu Port-South-Sudan-Ethiopia Transit corridor (LAPSSET). How feasible is this pipeline? What are the implications for Khartoum?<br /> How much would Khartoum stand to lose in transport revenues if this pipeline is realized?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> I think this is an unnecessary undertaking that will be difficult to finance for many different reasons. Pipelines are exorbitantly expensive to build and would seem especially unnecessary given the fact that they could face similar problems to those which they have just overcome in Sudan [in terms of prohibitively high transit fees].</p> <p>It is doubtful that a new pipeline would have any negative effects in Sudan. If anything it would likely cause the country to push for further exploration and production so as to maximize the infrastructure already in place.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts a drop in Sudan's oil production through 2017. This contradicts Sudan's own projections that it could double production in the next two years. How realistic is this?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> I think that they are more than realistic. The main pipeline and port in Sudan is more than capable of handling the capacity. The resources are proven and available.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Despite the problems between Juba and Khartoum, Emperor seems confident that development and production will proceed without interruption. Can you tell us more about your recent progress in Sudan that boosts this optimism?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Emperor has signed an MOU to acquire a 42.5% interest in concession Block 7 in Sudan. The other 57.5% is owned by the country's energy company, Sudapet. Block 7 is 10,000 sq km in size and tens of millions have been spent on the property. </p> <p>The property has 3 discovery wells which have been drilled, capped and are waiting for production. Initial production will be shipped by truck using existing roads which connect the property to the country's main pipeline, located approximately 60kms away. A tie-in pipeline will be constructed during the second phase of development.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Beyond Sudan, another key area of focus for Emperor has been Turkey, a key strategic player in Middle East oil and gas, where oil majors like Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) have significant interests. What can you tell us about Emperor's recent activities here?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Emperor has a JV agreement with a partner in the Catalca Block in Turkey's Thrace Basin. A major gas discovery was made on the property, which is located 30 kilometers west of Istanbul and only 5 kilometers from the natural gas pipeline supplying the country. </p> <p>The short-term plan is to complete the discovery well and connect it with the pipeline tie-in located only 5kms away. The long-term plan is to drill 5-10 more wells and expand the resource significantly.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> In high-risk countries, what should investors look for risk mitigation?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Management with experience and diplomatic skills; a country with a history and commendable track record in negotiation and resolution; resource potential; development costs; production curves.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Certainly, the reverse would be true as well?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Yes. In Sudan, for instance, Canadians have an excellent reputation for quality work. They embrace the community and are willing to share their technologies and knowledge with the local people. Canadians are seen as net contributors and effective partners whose relationships are valued.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> How are technological advances contributing to the juniors' readiness to operate in risky territory?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> With ever improving technical advantages in extraction methods I believe we will see more opportunities for resources which have a lower cost structure. Shale oil and gas developments will continue to evolve and conventional oil will have to compete on a cost level. </p> <p>Traditional extraction methods won't have the same exploration budgets nor will they be able to compete unless the extraction is simple and inexpensive. I believe this is why we are starting to see a renewed interest in Africa and South America. </p> <p>Energy reserves are abundant, they are often defined by past work and are inexpensive, efficient and safe to extract. This creates a significant advantage that can in many cases offset the political and geopolitical risk that was once associated with these parts of the world.</p> <p>I also see the world becoming a safer place. Modern communication has improved access to information and changed people's basic needs to wants and desires. Resource development creates employment and wealth – the cornerstone from which luxury and comfort is attained. Energy development is fundamental to advancing social, economic, health and safety standards for the world.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> On a broader level, does natural gas have much further to fall, or have we seen the bottom?</p> <p>Andrew McCarthy: I think we have seen a bottom in North America but Europe's moratorium on shale exploration and China's environmental concerns and air quality issues create a huge demand for natural gas, which in turn creates a long-term, sustainable model for natural gas exploration, development and export.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> Will the shale revolution live up to the hype?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> I really don't believe the hype has even started yet. Unfortunately, the uninitiated are still focusing on the concept of ‘fracking', while this is in fact one of the oldest technologies. We've been ‘fracking' oil and gas wells since the 1930s. </p> <p>What has changed and continues to change is the technology applied – do you know they actually use CAT scan equipment to check shale porosity? It's truly a fascinating region of science. The shale oil developers refer to 2010 like its ancient history and there is no reason to expect this rapid pace of development and advancement to slow.</p> <p><strong>James Stafford:</strong> While shale is currently the hot item, which sector will be the next big thing for energy investors?</p> <p><strong>Andrew McCarthy:</strong> Conventional oil is an excellent place to invest if you can find opportunities in areas that have excellent resources and are overcoming or mitigating their political risk. I think that technology stocks which are focused on the energy sector create wonderful investment opportunities. </p> <p>We are in a technological revolution in this industry. When people speak of peak oil they should first realize that the issue is energy – not oil. And in order to talk about a peak we have to eliminate the human factor – man's creativity, ingenuity, invention and design always has and always will prevail.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Oil%20Exploration.jpg" alt="High Risk Investing - The New Trend in Energy" title="High Risk Investing - The New Trend in Energy" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Comparatively light-weight players are investing in high risk countries such as Sudan, Yemen and Iraq for oil exploration.</p> <p>Oil exploration in seemingly low risk countries such as US is becoming difficult due to legal hurdles. </p> <p>Shale is going to present great deal of opportunities in coming times. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>High Risk Investing - The New Trend in Energy</p> </div> </div> </div> Chevron Corporation Crisis Management Emperor Oil ExxonMobil Gulf of Mexico High risk investment offshore drilling oil oil exploration oil pipeline Top Story Wed, 14 Nov 2012 04:38:17 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712409 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Dogged business? Embrace social media for spectacular sales! http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20121015/dogged-business-embrace-social-media-spectacular-sales.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Want to survive the cut-throat competition that becomes increasingly unforgiving with every passing day? Just incorporate social media into your business promotional strategy!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers! </p> <p>Bryan Weiner, CEO at Digital Agency 360i</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social media activity has been accepted as an important marketing tool by prominent digital marketers worldwide.</p> <p>In fact, if you are not promoting your product or service where your customers are, you are surely missing something incredibly important!</p> <p>Facing slowdown already? It is high time that you get registered on all the prominent social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Reddit and Digg and start sharing. A great deal of traffic is derived from these sites and in many cases most of it drawn from there.</p> <p><strong>Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn</strong><br /> Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn have become an indispensable part of modern life these days.</p> <p>You need to share your company news and updates with everyone in the social networking world if you want to get noticed. There are countless stories about companies leveraging power of social media successfully.</p> <p>Engage your customers, not ridicule them. Reply to whatever feedback they have to share, whether positive or negative. This will make them feel worthy and they will come back again and again for more, much to your delight.</p> <p><strong>Blog regularly</strong><br /> Blog regularly, preferably about something closely related with your business niche. While one post a day is an ideal proposition, at least a weekly post is recommended. Share your posts with your friends on all social networks and prod them to share them further.</p> <p><strong>Pinterest, Stumble, Digg, Reddit</strong><br /> Sites like Pinterest, Stumble, Digg and Reddit prove to be excellent for driving traffic to your site in short period of time. Choose interesting images, copyrighted by you of course, while sharing your posts on such sites. Users of these sites will definitely want to explore your offerings, driving up the traffic, and subsequently your sales.</p> <p>To achieve quick results, follow these tips:</p> <p>1. Choose the platforms sensibly, head where the users are.</p> <p>2. Engage others by being responsive to what others have to say about you.</p> <p>3. Be ready to adapt as per the fast changing social media world.</p> <p>You may want to explore each of these to the fullest to reap the maximum rewards. In case that proves to be overwhelming, get the help of a social media expert at the earliest.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/social%20networking_0.png" alt="Embrace social media for spectacular sales!" title="Embrace social media for spectacular sales!" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Here are few easy yet tremendously effective ways of milking Social Media for business promotion:</p> <p>1. Maintain a blog and update it with one post daily or at least weekly</p> <p>2. Post tweets on Twitter regularly, giving link to your blog posts.</p> <p>3. Use Facebook for interacting with your customers on a regular basis.</p> <p>4. Share interesting photographs on Pinterest, Stumble Upon and Digg, giving link to your website/ product page.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Embrace social media for spectacular sales!</p> </div> </div> </div> blog Business Crisis Management Digg Facebook Google Plus LinkedIn networking Pinterest Reddit social media stumble Top Story Mon, 15 Oct 2012 13:55:39 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712215 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Greece Parliament to debate austerity measures http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110627/greece-parliament-debate-austerity-measures-id-101701710636.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The parliament of Greece is going to start discussions on the austerity measures which the European Union and the IMF want to pass before distributing the next installment of the bailout programme.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Protests%20in%20Greece.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="125" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>The austerity measures are facing stiff opposition with nearly three quarters of the people opposing</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The parliament of Greece is going to start discussions on the austerity measures which the European Union and the IMF want it to pass before distributing the next installment of the bailout programme. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110627/greece-parliament-debate-austerity-measures-id-101701710636.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> austerity measures bailout package bankruptcy Crisis Management European Union government of Greece Greece’s Parliament majority opposed Top Story United States Mon, 27 Jun 2011 08:34:44 +0000 Anter Prakash Singh 1701710636 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Sexual Harassment? Not at My Place! http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110519/sexual-harassment-not-my-place-id-101701710214.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sexual harassment claims can pop up overnight. The best thing is to be prepared for that eventuality and initiate action against it when it happens. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Don’t lull yourself into believing that sexual harassment doesn’t happen at your place. It can, and here's how you can prevent it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Incidents of sexual harassment abound; some are reported, others go unreported. Nearly 12,000 charges of sexual harassment were filed and acted upon last year alone, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. </p> <p><strong>Sexual Harassment Is Gender-neutral</strong><br /> There is common misconception, an illusion, if you will, that only women can be sexually harassed by men. Women can just as easily harass men. The report mentioned above says more than 16 percent of the sexual harassment claims were made by males.</p> <p>“Many would say that sexual harassment is nothing but an issue of power—that is, one person exercising power over another and using sex as the tool of power,” attorney Gary Oberstein told Industry Week’s Michael Verespej.</p> <p>Sexual harassment is gender-neutral and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1974. State laws also kick in when it happens. Sexual harassment claims tarnish the image of your business, demoralize the workforce, and put you through the wringer of litigation. The claims can even sink your business. </p> <p><strong>Harassment Suits Can Strike Anytime</strong><br /> For small businesses, more often than not, the disastrous consequences of sexual harassment claims are the result of the firms not responding and acting upon when the claims are made. In essence, if you think the claims are going to wash over in due course, you are mistaken. In fact, the claims stink, fester, and kill off the business. </p> <p>Sexual harassment claims can come to boil at any time. This was evident during the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court.</p> <p>Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, accused Clarence Thomas of sexually harassing her. Hill worked for Thomas years earlier when he was the head of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. </p> <p>She charged that Thomas made lewd advances, and harassed her with discussions on laundry list of sexual acts and pornographic films after she spurned his invitations to date him. </p> <p><strong>Preventing Workplace Harassment</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Have a Clear Policy </strong><br /> Preventing sexual harassment at workplace is easy if you have a policy. The policy emphasizes the definition of sexual harassment, firm’s zero-tolerance approach towards it, and drills into everyone’s mind the consequences. The policy lays down channels for reporting and methodology of investigating complaints. </p> <p>Writing in Entrepreneur, Steven C. Bahls and Jane Easter Bahls state the vulnerability of small businesses: “Small businesses are especially vulnerable because the informal office atmosphere may seem to allow sexual banter and innuendos, and a small business is less likely to have an official sexual harassment policy and training program.”</p> <p><strong>2. Employee Training</strong><br /> Businesses have to conduct sexual harassment training, focusing on situations where it is likely. This should be done at least once a year. Go over it even if you and your employees think the policy has the feel of a sermon.</p> <p>Conducting sexual harassment training goes a long way in reminding everyone that there are boundaries at the workplace and that everyone should be within those limits.</p> <p><strong>3. Channels for Filing Complaints</strong><br /> Set forth different channels of communication so that employees can make complaints. For instance, they can contact their immediate supervisor, or human resource department, or call a hotline. </p> <p>Establishing communication channels will save you legal headaches. In Sexual Harassment, The Employer’s Role in Prevention, Mark I. Schickman says: “An important component of harassment prevention is the creation and dissemination of a sexual harassment prohibition policy and reporting procedure. </p> <p>This policy is critical because under federal case law, an employer fulfills its obligation if it takes all reasonable steps to prevent harassment before it occurs, and to take effective steps to remedy harassment after it takes place. If an employer demonstrates those attempts at prevention and remediation, it might not be found liable for the act of harassment itself.”</p> <p><strong>4. Workplace Supervision</strong><br /> Have both formal and informal discussions with employees about the working environment. Unless working environment is safe, secure, and non-threatening, employees’ productivity tanks. </p> <p>A Fact Sheet for Employees on Preventing Sexual Harassment mentions: “Retaliation against any employee who reports sexual harassment or who cooperates when the employer investigates a claim of sexual harassment is prohibited. The employer will want to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints, and matters will be kept as confidential as possible.”</p> <p><strong>5. Maintain Confidentiality</strong><br /> Taking employees into confidence goes a long way in reducing the claims. You can make it clear to employees that their claims will be confidential and that their claims are not a threat to company’s image. Usually it so happens that bosses, obsessing over stability of operations, may feel the claims are a threat, and employee a mal-adjusted misfit. However, it may not be the case.</p> <p><strong>6. Investigate the Claims</strong><br /> Take the sexual harassment claims seriously. Very seriously. If those claims are not true, they, nevertheless, serve as a warning, and provide a peep into the very subjective nature of the claims. If the claims are true, well, you will be spared a stroll through a legal hellhole. </p> <p>Theresa Donahue Egler observes in HRMagazine: “When it is considered that many more potentially explosive situations are quietly resolved (some at substantial cost) before reaching the complaint stage, it is readily apparent that sexual harassment is a risk that requires proactive management.”</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/sexual-harassment.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="121" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>EEOC Defines Sexual Harassment</strong><br /> The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment thus: "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: 1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment. 2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals. 3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Conducting sexual harassment training goes a long way in reminding everyone that there are boundaries at the workplace and that everyone should be within those limits.</p> </div> </div> </div> Crisis Management sexual harassment at workplace take steps to prevent sexual harassement United States workplace and sexual harassment Thu, 19 May 2011 05:07:08 +0000 Steve Anderson 1701710214 at http://www.themoneytimes.com So How Do You Sell Your Business? http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110519/so-how-do-you-sell-your-business-id-101701710212.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Selling your business can be hard, especially after investing so much money, time, and energy on building it up. If you do it right, you win; if you do it wrong, you lose. Selling a business is a delicate balancing act, and takes time. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Selling your business could very well be the most important high-stakes financial decision of your life. Make sure you do it the right way.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>However, Bo Burlingham, in his Foreword of Built to Sell, by John Warrillow, provides a counter-intuitive advice about building and selling a business: “The point is that the best businesses are sellable, and smart businesspeople believe that you should build a company to be sold even if you have no intention of cashing out or stepping back anytime soon.”</p> <p>The reasons for selling may vary: market saturation, burnt-out feeling, seeking a new adventure, the pleasure of creating something new, and worries about the economy and future of the company and industry.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/selling-business.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Ask Yourself These Before You Sell</strong><br /> Anthony Tjan, in his book The Founder's Dilemma: To Sell or Not to Sell?, advises entrepreneurs to ask themselves these questions:<br /> <strong>1.</strong> Do I need to sell? Explore whether there are other options such as investing in assets with long-term value that push this question off until you are ready.<br /> <strong>2.</strong> Can I take some chips off the table? Look at other options such as a recap, a dividend, or a partial sale of your stock.<br /> <strong>3.</strong> Do I want to sell? What you want personally is as important as the dollar amount you might get. Ask yourself whether you will be happy or feel as if you sold out too soon."</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There is a whole lot to learn about meeting the prospective buyers. These meetings will make or break the deal.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110519/so-how-do-you-sell-your-business-id-101701710212.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110519/so-how-do-you-sell-your-business-id-101701710212.html#comments basic steps to take before selling your business Crisis Management selling your business small business owners United States Thu, 19 May 2011 04:05:25 +0000 Steve Anderson 1701710212 at http://www.themoneytimes.com