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Saturday November 1st 2014

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

Exxon, Chevron profits boosted by refining as oil prices fall

A Exxon Mobil gas station is shown in Encinitas ,CaliforniaBy Anna Driver and Ernest Scheyder (Reuters) – A surge in refining profits boosted quarterly results for Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp , helping to offset lower oil and gas output and slumping crude oil prices. Both U.S. energy majors reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits on Friday, with executives touting the importance of owning massive refineries alongside oil and gas wells. Exxon shares jumped 1.7 percent while Chevron advanced 1.6 percent as the broader market was sharply higher. …

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 5:19 pm

Exclusive: Morgan Stanley commodities staff spooked by CEO comment

Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO Gorman speaks during the Institute of International Finance Annual Meeting in WashingtonBy Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) – During Morgan Stanley's public earnings call earlier this month, Chief Executive James Gorman made a remark that hit his commodities staff like a bombshell: the bank plans to further "optimise" its business of owning and trading stuff like oil, natural gas, electricity and metals. So this past Monday, when co-head of the commodities business Simon Greenshields held a meeting for senior staff, he was met with a barrage of questions from colleagues who hadn't been told about the plans either before or after the call, people familiar with the situation said. After several minutes of discussion, Greenshields ended the meeting, the sources said. Whatever Gorman meant by "optimise," the commodities staff interpreted it as "not good for my career at Morgan Stanley." According to KBW analyst Brian Kleinhanzl, who rates Morgan Stanley a "market perform," optimise means "cutting people or exiting products altogether that are unprofitable." Greenshields did not respond to requests for comment.

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 2:31 pm

Ukraine will guarantee transit of Russian gas to Europe – PM

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, speaking after a gas agreement with Russia was nailed down, said on Friday Ukraine would guarantee deliveries of gas through its territory to Europe to make sure Moscow had no room for “blackmailing”. Yatseniuk, speaking to Ukrainian energy officials, criticised Russia’s South Stream project to transport Russian gas through the Black sea to Europe and added: “Ukraine will guarantee transit. “It (Ukraine) will not give Russia the means of blackmailing Ukraine and Europe with different (gas) flows,” he said.

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 1:43 pm

Chevron quarterly profit jumps 13 percent

A Chevron gas pump is shown at a retail gas station in Cardiff(Reuters) – Chevron Corp said on Friday its quarterly profit rose 13 percent as lower crude oil prices boosted its refinery operations, helping to offset sagging results in its oil and gas production. The company posted net income of $5.59 billion (3.50 billion British pounds), or $2.95 per share, compared with $4.95 billion, or $2.57 per share, in the year-ago period. Production fell nearly 1 percent to 2.57 million barrels of oil equivalent per day as new wells failed to offset declines at old wells. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder)

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 12:49 pm

Australia set to pay polluters to cut emissions

In this file photo, the Hazelwood power station billows smoke from its exhaust stacks in the Latrobe Valley, 150 km east of Melbourne, on August 13, 2009Australia is set to approve measures giving polluters financial incentives to reduce emissions blamed for climate change, in a move critics described as ineffective environmental policy.

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 7:00 am

TransCanada seeks approvals for pipeline to Atlantic

Barges conduct seismic tests in the St. Lawrence river in Cacouna, Quebec on September 23, 2014, in order to build an oil terminal for TransCanada that would start operating in 2018TransCanada on Thursday filed for regulatory approval of a proposed Can$12 billion (US$10.7 billion) pipeline to carry western Canadian oil to Atlantic coast refineries and terminals, for shipping overseas.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 8:30 pm

International donors pledge $3bn to save shrinking Aral Sea

This combination of NASA satellite images shows the Aral Sea in 2008 (L) and as of September 22, 2013 (R), lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the southLeading international donor organisations have pledged $3 billion to help save the shrinking Aral Sea — the worst man-made ecological catastrophe ever.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 5:45 pm

Analysis – Oil price declines have small-cap shale investors scrambling

Tankers are seen outside Tesoro's Los Angeles oil refinery in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBy David Randall NEW YORK (Reuters) – Plummeting oil prices are pushing some of the small-cap companies which flourished as part of the U.S. Concerns about slowing growth in Europe and a stronger dollar have helped push the price of light crude oil down about 25 percent since June to about $82 a barrel, creeping closer to the average marginal cost of crude production of about $73 a barrel for U.S. "The market is selling all of these companies, even if it's clear that $75 a barrel oil is not going to affect every company the same," said Mike Breard, an analyst who works on the Hodges Small-Cap fund, part of Dallas-based Hodges Capital. The high price of oil over the last decade was largely behind the push to mine shale oil through fracking, a controversial technique that uses high pressure to capture gas and oil trapped in deep rock.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 3:31 pm

Next Shell chairman brings U.S. corporate experience, green agenda

Logos for Shell are seen on a garage forecourt in central LondonChad Holliday, the former chairman of Bank of America and DuPont widely credited for his sustainable energy vision, will become the first American chairman at Royal Dutch Shell , an oil major with tense relations with green groups. Shell has repeatedly come under fire from environmentalists over issues such as pollution of the Niger delta river in Nigeria or its Arctic drilling campaign after the company's huge rig run aground in Alaska last year. As chairman, Holliday will lead Shell's board through the implementation of the strategy outlined by Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, focusing mostly on boosting the company's cashflow.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 2:11 pm

BP says major Azeri oil field set for month of maintenance

Storm clouds form near a BP station in Alexandria, VirginiaBy Nailia Bagirova and Margarita Antidze BAKU (Reuters) – British oil major BP will carry out a month of maintenance work at one of its main oil fields in Azerbaijan from Friday, BP's Azerbaijan president said, in a move that could further reduce oil production in the country. Gordon Birrell told reporters the company would "slowly run down" operations at the Central Azeri platform and the work programme would end by Dec. 2. "These turnarounds (maintenance) are planned one year in advance under our annual plan and budget, which is agreed with the government," Birrell said. "The effect of the turnaround is built into a production forecast." Falling output at the main Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) oil fields has worried Baku for several years.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 1:37 pm

Green News – Environment and climate change news

Earth news from Telegraph Earth – your source for environment and green news and environment and green issues, with information on farming, climate change, global warming, pollution, green living and recycling, and all other environment issues.

UK enjoys last warm weekend during unseasonably hot Autumn

Seasonal colours from around the UK

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 5:56 pm

Pictures of the day: 31 October 2014

A shark selfie, ‘top gun’ Kim Jong-un and a giant moustache

Posted on 31 October 2014 | 11:40 am

Pictures of the day: 30 October 2014

An underwater sports car, a piano for cats and Rupert Murdoch’s socks

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 12:10 pm

Lava flowing from Kilauea volcano threatens communities in Hawaii, in pictures

In pics: Lava from Kilauea volcano threatens communities on Big Island, Hawaii

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 11:00 am

Fracking emits more formaldehyde than medical students experience from dead bodies

High levels of cancer-causing chemicals was found in the air around fracking sites in the US

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Genetically modified crops: an open letter to Europe

More than twenty of Europe’s most prominent plant scientists today signed a joint letter warning that Europe will never meet agricultural targets unless it starts allowing GM crops

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 12:01 am

Pictures of the day: 29 October 2014

A Chinese dragon lantern, boxing Boris and a 39,000-year-old mammoth

Posted on 29 October 2014 | 11:59 am

App that identifies birdsong to launch next year

A new app – Warblr – can identify up to 88 birds common to Britain, its creators claim

Posted on 29 October 2014 | 9:25 am

Earthquake hits Nottinghamshire

Residents report ‘big bang and sharp shaking’ as 2.6-magnitude quake strikes near Hucknall, just under eight miles north of Nottingham

Posted on 28 October 2014 | 11:02 pm

Some of London’s most popular picnic spots on top of plague pits

Victims of the plague were buried in hundreds of plague pits scattered across the city and surrounding countryside

Posted on 28 October 2014 | 9:47 pm

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Himalayan Viagra fuels caterpillar fungus gold rush

Overwhelmed by speculators trying to cash-in on a prized medicinal fungus known as Himalayan Viagra, two isolated Tibetan communities have managed to do at the local level what world leaders often fail to do on a global scale — implement a successful system for the sustainable harvest of a precious natural resource, suggests new research.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 8:50 pm

They know the drill: Leading the league in boring through ice sheets

Hollow coring drills are used to extract ice cores that can analyze the past atmosphere. Scientists have now documented carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 23,000 and 9,000 years ago, based on data from an 11,000-foot hole in Antarctica.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 8:30 pm

Oceans arrived early to Earth; Primitive meteorites were a likely source of water, study finds

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface and are home to the world’s greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: Where did Earth’s water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 6:22 pm

Emerging disease could wipe out American, European salamanders

A fungal disease from Asia wiped out salamanders in parts of Europe and will likely reach the US through the international wildlife trade in Asian newts sold as pets, say US experts. Scientists report the fungus arose in Asia 30 million years ago and is lethal to many European and American newt species. It has not yet been found in North American wild amphibians.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 6:22 pm

Magma pancakes beneath Indonesia’s Lake Toba: Subsurface sources of mega-eruptions

The tremendous amounts of lava that are emitted during super-eruptions accumulate over millions of years prior to the event in the Earth’s crust. These reservoirs consist of magma that intrudes into the crust in the form of numerous horizontally oriented sheets resting on top of each other like a pile of pancakes.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 6:20 pm

Saving lonely species is important for environment

Endemic eucalyptus in Tasmania has been the focus of recent study. Researchers discovered that these rare species have developed unique characteristics to survive, and that these characteristics may also impact the survival of its neighbors in the ecosystem.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 5:30 pm

Female frogs modify offspring development depending on reproduction date

Global warming is altering the reproduction of plants and animals, notably accelerating the date when reproduction and other life processes occur. A new study has discovered that some amphibians are capable of making their offspring grow at a faster rate if they have been born later due to the climate.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 3:48 pm

Active, biodegradable packaging for oily products

The increase in the presence of plastic in our lives is an unstoppable trend due to the versatility of this material. So innovation in the packaging industry has been focusing on the development of new, more sustainable, economically viable materials with enhanced properties and which also perform the functions required by this sector: to contain, protect and preserve the product, to inform the consumer about it and to facilitate the distribution of it. Now, a single-layer, biodegradable container from agro-industrial by-products suitable for both liquid and solid oily products has been developed by researchers.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 3:48 pm

Reef-builders with a sense of harmony

Cold-water corals of the species Lophelia pertusa are able to fuse skeletons of genetically distinct individuals. Scientists have made the first-ever discovery of branches of different colors that had flawlessly merged. The ability to fuse supports the reef stability and thus contributes to the success of corals as reef-builders of the deep sea.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 2:28 pm

High air pollution levels near unconventional oil and gas production sites

Research suggests air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US. High levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were found. The study is the first to be based on community sampling by people who live near production sites and could be used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs.

Posted on 30 October 2014 | 2:15 pm