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Saturday April 25th 2015

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Environment News Headlines – Yahoo! News UK

Ghana can continue development in Ivory Coast oil dispute – tribunal

An international maritime tribunal on Saturday ruled that Ghana can continue developing a $4.9 billion (3.2 billion pound) dollar offshore oil project in an area caught up in a border dispute with Ivory Coast but must not start new drilling. The decision is positive for the government of Ghana and for British firm Tullow, which leads a consortium developing the “TEN” field and has already drilled the wells it needs to begin production in mid-2016. A moratorium would have denied the West African state’s government revenue it needs as it seeks to restore economic stability with the help of an International Monetary Fund aid programme. Ivory Coast in February asked the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to issue a moratorium on oil activity by Ghana in the disputed area while legal hearings are held.

Posted on 25 April 2015 | 9:27 pm

Kazakh leader seals power with stability before democratic reform

Kazakhstan's President and presidential candidate Nazarbayev attends session of Assembly of People of Kazakhstan in AstanaBy Dmitry Solovyov ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was set to renew his 26-year grip on power on Sunday, offering the multi-ethnic Central Asian state economic and social stability in return for what rights groups call systematic suppression of opposition. Nazarbayev, 74, officially titled "Leader of the Nation", called presidential elections more than a year early in a move that could quash any speculation about a successor. He faces no real challenge from the other contenders, a low-profile Communist Party functionary and a loyal ex-regional governor. The former steelworker has promoted market reforms and, with the help of more than $200 billion (132 billion pound) in foreign direct investment, turned his steppe nation into the second-largest economy in the former Soviet Union and No. 2 post-Soviet oil producer after Russia.

Posted on 25 April 2015 | 8:39 pm

Tullow says ‘TEN’ oil project ‘can move ahead’ after court ruling

ACCRA (Reuters) – British company Tullow said on Saturday its offshore oil and gas project TEN “can move ahead” after an international maritime tribunal ruled in a border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast. The company said it would await instructions from Ghana’s government on implementing provisional measures ordered by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, which ruled that Ghana could continue the $4.9 billion (3.2 billion pound) development, but not engage in new exploration. (Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Posted on 25 April 2015 | 8:04 pm

Venezuelan state firm PDVSA’s oil revenue slips 7.6 percent in 2014

Oilfield workers hold a flag with the corporate logo of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, in a drilling rig at an oil well operated by them, in the oil rich Orinoco belt, near Cabrutica at the state of AnzoateguiIts total revenue for last year was also down by around 4.4 percent to $128.4 billion. Economists tend to focus on PDVSA's revenue because of its multibillion-dollar contributions to anti-poverty campaigns, which make profit figures less relevant in assessing performance than they are for private firms. PDVSA was the world's fifth-biggest oil company in 2013, according to a ranking by Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, which says it uses reserves, production, refinery distillation capacity and sales volumes as criteria. PDVSA President Eulogio Del Pino told Reuters earlier this month that Venezuela was exporting 2.4-2.5 million barrels per day from a production of roughly 2.85 million.

Posted on 25 April 2015 | 7:44 pm

Chill in the air as Arctic nations meet

The giant jawbones of bullwhale guard the entrance to the original Inuit village of Iqaluit northeastern Canada, on April 24, 2015Arctic nations warned Friday of the dangers facing the environment and the peoples of the remote region, as it now also becomes a new flashpoint in global tensions with Russia.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 10:04 pm

Petrobras says non-government board member Monforte resigns

Jose Guimarães Monforte quit his position on the board of directors of Petroleo Brasileiro SA on Friday, two days after he abstained from voting to approve the company’s audited financial statements, the state-run oil company said on Friday. Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, gave no reason for the resignation, in a note announcing the resignation sent to Brazil’s securities regulator CVM. Monforte was not immediately available for comment after normal Brazilian business hours on Friday. The board on Wednesday voted 7 to 3 to approve audited financial statements that have been delayed since November after a corruption scandal raised doubts about the true value of Petrobras assets.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 9:51 pm

Four Petrobras platforms halt output due to oil leak -union

Four Petrobras oil platforms off the northeast coast of Brazil have halted production after a leak of about 7,000 liters of oil was detected coming from a pipeline linking them, a local oil workers union head said on Friday. Brazil’s oil regulator, ANP, confirmed the leak in the Camorim field, 16 kilometres (10 miles) off the coast of the city of Aracajú, and said it had been contained by Petroleo Brasileiro SA , as Petrobras is formally known. Stoessel Chagas, director of the Sindipetro-ES, which represents Petrobras offshore oil workers in Brazil’s Alagoas and Sergipe state, said the leak was detected coming from a pipeline linking the PCM-5 and PCM-6 production platforms.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 9:50 pm

Total seeks sale of its fuel retailing business in Turkey – sources

General view of the Total's oil refinery at La Mede near MarseilleBy Humeyra Pamuk and Asli Kandemir ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Total aims to sell its fuel distribution business in Turkey and has asked Societe Generale to lead the process, sources said on Friday, as the French oil producer looks to retreat from a highly competitive and regulated market. Turkey has some of the steepest fuel prices in Europe but heavy taxes and other regulations leave little margin for profit for the 70 different retailers. Two of them said French bank Societe Generale has been chosen to lead the potential sale. "Profitability in fuel distribution is under serious pressure in Turkey.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 7:50 pm

Brent at 4-1/2 month high; U.S. crude up for sixth week

Pump Jacks are seen at sunrise near BakersfieldFighting between Yemen's warring factions raged in southern and central parts of the country, and air strikes from a Saudi-led coalition hit Houthi militia forces, creating more tensions over the security of Middle East oil supplies. A softer dollar also lent support to Brent and formed a floor beneath falling U.S. crude prices. "It's a push-and-pull situation with the Yemen tensions giving Brent support while U.S. prices get pulled down as people steel themselves for another inventory rise next week," said John Kilduff, partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital. After a sell-off between June and January driven by oversupply, oil prices seem to have found their footing in the last three months, gaining about 20 percent in April.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 7:41 pm

Analysis – Petrobras overhaul calls for much more than corruption clean-up

The Petrobras logo is seen in front of the company's headquarters in Sao PauloBy Jeb Blount RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Petrobras' decision to take a massive $17 billion (11.20 billion pound) write-down to account for overvalued assets and corruption-related costs is only the start of a broad overhaul needed to revive Brazil's troubled state-owned oil company. While many have focussed on the $2.1 billion, or 12 percent of the write-down, related to money siphoned off in a price-fixing, bribery and political-kickback scheme – Brazil's biggest-ever corruption scandal – it is the remaining $15 billion that calls for greater attention. Those write-offs reflect bad investment decisions, flawed execution, political interference and falling oil prices, Petroleo Brasileiro SA acknowledged when it released audited 2014 results on Wednesday. "The write-downs show Petrobras suffers more from incompetence than corruption," said John Forman, a former board member of Brazil's oil regulator ANP.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 7:35 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.

Tourist hiking in nature reserve captures exact moment Chilean volcano erupts

A man has captured the incredible footage of Calbuco volcano erupting

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 12:32 pm

Pictures of the day: 24 April 2015

Orca whales hunting, Ruth Davidson playing the bagpipes and baby Tawny Owls with painted nails

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 7:45 am

Pictures of the day: 23 April 2015

A tame Robin, car free day and a paraglider

Posted on 23 April 2015 | 7:03 am

Exclusive extract: John Lewis-Stempel’s Meadowland

In this extract from the winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015, the historian and farmer captures traces of a Britain bright with birdsong

Posted on 22 April 2015 | 6:46 pm

Pictures of the day: 22 April 2015

Earth Day, a cat in a hat and an owl among the bluebells

Posted on 22 April 2015 | 12:20 pm

Kermit the Frog – alive and well?

A new species of frog has been discovered in Costa Rica – and people have been quick to notice an unerring likeness to a certain Muppet

Posted on 21 April 2015 | 3:29 pm

Pictures of the day: 21 April 2015

Asparagus fields in Germany, an international kite show and dinosaur eggs

Posted on 21 April 2015 | 7:51 am

Pictures of the day: 20 April 2015

A cat with swag, boys playing football with a melon and the Paris colour-run

Posted on 20 April 2015 | 1:20 pm

Scientist in Costa Rica discovers new species of glass frog

Brian Kubicki discovers the Hyalinobatrachium dianae glass frog species in Costa Rica’s Talamanca mountains

Posted on 20 April 2015 | 8:51 am

An election triumph for our Green Belts

Whichever party wins the election, building on brownfield sites is to be prioritised over countryside development, writes Geoff Lean

Posted on 18 April 2015 | 5:35 am

Earth & Climate News — ScienceDaily

Diabetes drug found in freshwater is a potential cause of intersex fish

A medication commonly taken for Type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish – male fish that produce eggs. The medication is found to be widespread in freshwater.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 6:17 pm

Continental U. S: Map shows content and origins of the geologic basement

This map provides a picture of the nation’s geologic basement. More than 80 pieces of crust have been added to the nation’s basement since the Earth began preserving crust about 3.6 billion years ago.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 2:54 pm

Psychology of the appeal of being anti-GMO

A team of philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture. They argue that the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of GMOs.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 2:53 pm

Risk perception: Social exchange can amplify subjective fears

A ‘pass the message’ experiment investigates how people perceive and communicate the risks of a widely used chemical.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 2:53 pm

Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems

A worldwide study of the interplay between organisms and their environment bolsters the idea that greater biodiversity helps maintain more stable and productive ecosystems.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 12:56 pm

Ascent or no ascent? How hot material is stopped in Earth’s mantle

Gigantic volumes of hot material rising from the deep earth’s mantle to the base of the lithosphere have shaped the face of our planet. Provided they have a sufficient volume, they can lead to break-up of continents or cause mass extinction events in certain periods of the Earth’s history. So far it was assumed that because of their high temperatures those bodies — called mantle plumes — ascend directly from the bottom of the earth’s mantle to the lithosphere. Scientists explain possible barriers for the ascent of these mantle plumes and under which conditions the hot material can still reach the surface. In addition, the researchers resolve major conflicts surrounding present model predictions.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 12:50 pm

Are bees ‘hooked’ on nectar containing pesticides?

Bees are attracted to nectar containing common pesticides, scientists have discovered. This could increase their chances of exposure to high levels of pesticides.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 3:41 am

Fracking? Injecting wastewater? New insight on ground shaking from human-made earthquakes

Significant strides in science have been made to better understand potential ground shaking from induced earthquakes, which are earthquakes triggered by human practices. Earthquake activity has sharply increased since 2009 in the central and eastern United States. Many questions have been raised about whether hydraulic fracturing — commonly referred to as “fracking” — is responsible for the recent increase of earthquakes. The increase has been linked to industrial operations that dispose of wastewater by injecting it into deep wells.

Posted on 24 April 2015 | 1:56 am

Why do animals fight members of other species?

Why do animals fight with members of other species? A nine-year study by biologists says the reason often has to do with ‘obtaining priority access to females’ in the area.

Posted on 23 April 2015 | 10:25 pm

Many Dry Tortugas loggerheads actually Bahamas residents

Many loggerhead sea turtles that nest in Dry Tortugas National Park head to rich feeding sites in the Bahamas after nesting, a discovery that may help those working to protect this threatened species.

Posted on 23 April 2015 | 7:46 pm