Reviving The United States, European and Japanese Economies With Saudi Oil Production and Plummeting Oil Prices — How Low and For How Long Will This Continue? — Punishing Iran and Russian Economies Dependent Upon High Oil Prices For Exports — Videos

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oil production

Why are oil prices falling – explained in 60 seconds?

Plunging Prices for Oil 

How will plunging oil prices affect the economy?

PRIME TIME NEWS 22:00 OPEC refuses to cut production, oil prices slump

OPEC Curtain Raiser

Plunging Oil Prices Have Unpredictable Impact on Politics, Economics

The Real Reason for Falling Oil and Gas Prices

Will OPEC Spark Oil Price War With Production Cuts?

Oil Prices Tumble Again: How Long Will This Go On?

Series Preview: The Global Drop in Oil Prices

Stratfor Vice President of Global Analysis Reva Bhalla and Global Energy Analyst Matt Bey discuss highlights of an upcoming series on the geopolitical impact of oil below $90 a barrel.
For more analysis, visit:


Impact of Low Oil Prices: Petro Power or Petro Poverty?

Top 10 Oil Producing Countries in the World 2013-2014 –

At present transportation has become the major sector in the world which has facilitated all the people living around the different countries.So there is a need of billions barrels of fuel. There is no country in the world which has not the need of fuel, so there are several countries which are producing the fuels at their own resources while some countries are importing fuel from the other producers just to survive their transportation as well as the industrial sector.

So its importance can not be denied because its precious resources are also known as black gold.The nations having largest reserves in their geographical boundaries are considered the luckiest and richest countries. Following is a list of top ten countries which are considered the largest oil producers in the world.

List of Top 10 Largest Oil Producing Countries in the world 2013

1. Saudi Arabia

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil-producing and exporting country producing more than 11.75 million barrels per day which is more than 13% of world’s entire output. It has very good reputation in the Muslim countries around the world having the number of Islamic historical places.

2. United States

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

USA is the 2nd largest oil-producing nation it is not only the second biggest producer.Although it has it has a huge amount of production and more than 21 billion barrels proven reserves yet it is an oil importing country because it has the highest fuel consumption rate than other countries .It is producing more than 10.59 million barrels per day which is about 12% of the world’s over all production.

3. Russia

Russia has the 11.4% share in the world’s entire production.Its reserves are accounted more than 60 billion barrels making it the third biggest oil-producing country around the globe.


4. China

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

China is officially recognized as People Republic of China which is the largest country in the world by its population. Most of its cities are considered the largest cities of the world by population.It is the fourth largest oil-producing country in the world with daily production of 4.19 billion barrels which is 4.7% of world’s total production.China is World’s Largest Rice Producing country click here to see its annual rice output.

5. Iran

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Iran is the fifth nation in the ranking list of top 10 largest oil-producing countries in the world. It has 4.6 % share in the world’s overall production which more than 4.13 million barrels per day production.

6. Canada

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Canada has a fantastic and stable economy in the world. It one of the biggest oil-producing nations around the globe having more than 179 billion barrels proven reserves. Its daily production is 3.92 million barrels which is 4.4% of world’s total production.

7. United Arab Emirates

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

UAE is producing 3.23 million barrels oil per day which is 3.6% of the world production. Its further oil reserves are accounted more than 98 billion barrels.UAE is going to increase it’s per day production up to 5 million barrels in the next coming years. And according to a recent estimate United States of Arab Emirates has further reserves enough for the next 93 years.UAE is the 7th richest country in the world by per capita GDP.

8. Mexico

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Mexico is officially recognized as United Mexican States covering the total area of 1,972,550 square km. it has the 8th rank in the list of top ten largest oil producers in the world.  It is producing 2.95 million barrels per day which is the 3.3 percent of the global output.

9. Brazil

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Brazil is the 9th largest oil-producing nation in the world, its production share in the global output is 3.15%. It is producing 2.8 million barrels per day. Brazil has already 12.86 billion barrels proven oil reserves and according to an estimate, which is expected to increase after the discovery of Jupiter Oil Field.

10. Kuwait

Top 10 oil producing countries, the biggest oil producers, oil production by country

Kuwait is the 9th richest country in the world having the strongest currency rate in the world. It has more than 104 billion barrels in its proven oil reserves while its share in the world’s entire oil output is accounted for 3.1% making it the 10th largest oil-producing country in the world. It is producing about 2.75 million barrels per day.

Question of the day

Q : what country produces the most oil in the world?

Ans : At present Saudi Arabia the biggest oil producer in the world having 11.75 billion barrels daily production which is 13% of world’s total output.

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As oil prices plunge, wide-ranging effects for consumers and the global economy

By Steven Mufson

Tumbling oil prices are draining hundreds of billions of dollars from the coffers of oil-rich exporters and oil companies and injecting a much-needed boost for ailing economies in Europe and Japan — and for American consumers at the start of the peak shopping season.

The result could be one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history, potentially reshaping everything from talks over Iran’s nuclear program to the Federal Reserve’s policies to further rejuvenate the U.S. economy.

The price of oil has declined about 40 percent since its peak in mid-June and plunged last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries voted to continue to pump at the same rate. That continued a trend driven by a weak global economy and expanding U.S. domestic energy supplies.

The question facing investors, companies and policymakers is how low oil prices will go — and for how long. Every day, American motorists are saving $630 million on gasoline compared with what they paid at June prices, and they would get a $230 billion windfall if prices were to stay this low for a year. The vast majority of that will flow into the economy, with lower-income households living on tight budgets likely to use money not otherwise spent on gas to buy groceries, clothing and other staples.

On Monday, the average U.S. price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline was $2.77, according to AAA, which projects that prices could drop by an additional 10 to 20 cents.
(The Washington Post)
Big American companies are better off, too. Every penny the price of jet fuel declines means savings of $40 million for Delta Air Lines, the company’s chief executive said in a recent CBS interview.

(Related stories: A simple guide to the sudden collapse in oil prices
How plunging oil prices could affect your pocketbook

Could gas prices go as low as $2 a gallon?)

“Despite the impressive recent gains in natural gas and crude oil production, the U.S. still is a net importer of energy,” William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said Monday at Bernard Baruch College. “As a result, falling energy prices are beneficial for our economy and should be a strong spur to consumer spending.”
An employee changes figures on a board showing currency exchange rates in Moscow on Monday. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)
Although falling oil prices lower inflation, the Federal Reserve tends to view that as a fleeting effect that would not alter its underlying judgments about policy. Nonetheless, Dudley said, “the slump in oil prices may also help to persuade” the European and Japanese central banks to implement further monetary easing as prices remain subdued.

The consequences of the decline in oil prices are also evident in politics and pocketbooks.

At current prices, the annual revenue of OPEC members would shrink by $590 billion, money that will instead stay within the borders of the world’s biggest oil importers, led by the United States, China and Japan.

The size of the global economy will “easily be between 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent higher as a result of the decline in oil prices,” wrote Andrew Kenningham, senior global economist for London-based Capital Economics.

The 40 percent drop in the price of the international benchmark Brent-grade crude oil over the past five months will reduce annual revenue to oil producers worldwide by a whopping $1.5 trillion.

“Those losses are staggering,” Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, wrote to investors Monday.

The losers include Russia, where the value of the ruble has been crumbling, inflation has crept up to more than an 8 percent rate and oil prices have done more to hurt the economy than Western sanctions.

In Iran, whose economy and government budget rely heavily on oil sales, low prices could intensify the effect of sanctions that have curbed the country’s oil exports in an effort to pressure the regime into reaching a diplomatic accord on its nuclear program.
In Venezuela, dwindling oil revenue has exacerbated an economic crisis that is also tied to fuel subsidies, price controls and generous social programs.

In the United States, there are losers, too — mostly in the oil patch. The oil services giant Halliburton has lost 44 percent of its value since July 23. Heavily indebted Continental Resources, a huge shale oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken region, has lost half its value since Aug. 29. Even BP, a big, integrated firm, has lost a quarter of its value in just the past few months.

“It happened so fast, it’s been a shock to the system,” said Scott D. Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources. Sheffield said that if oil prices had stayed between $90 and $100 a barrel, Pioneer would have added 10 new rigs to its fleet of 40, nearly all drilling shale oil wells. Now he is going to wait and see before announcing capital spending plans in February.

The prospect of low oil prices over an extended period grew much stronger last week after OPEC opted to maintain output instead of paring back to prop up prices.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s swing producer, with about 9.7 million barrels of production a day, has usually adjusted its output to moderate lurches in oil prices. But the kingdom has grown worried that production will continue to grow outside OPEC, reducing the cartel to a smaller and smaller share of the global market. So Saudi Arabia has chosen to fight for market share by letting prices slide.

That could jump-start global oil demand, currently about 94 million barrels a day. But it could also slow down or halt the growth in global oil supplies.
The biggest target of this strategy: U.S. shale oil, which has grown from a negligible amount six years ago to 4 million barrels a day, nearly half of U.S. production and more than any OPEC member except Saudi Arabia. Other high-cost oil projects, such as Canada’s oil sands, could also be curtailed or postponed.

But oil prices have historically swung from one extreme to another; it takes years for price signals to change exploration plans and production levels. U.S. exploration firms might be able to withstand lower oil prices than OPEC members that need oil revenue to balance their budgets and keep their citizens content. A Citibank analysis says that current prices will not eliminate growth in U.S. shale oil output, only trim that growth by 30 percent.

Within OPEC, there was discord. “It is not good for OPEC,” Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in an interview with the newsletter Argus Global Markets. “Some of our colleagues in OPEC believe they should wait and see what the market reaction is, especially in U.S. shale investment.” He added that “it’s a very risky issue” and could require “years, not months.”

There are risks in the United States, too. Kathy Jones, fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab, said that while lower oil prices will boost consumer spending, which makes up 68 percent of the U.S. economy, it could also hurt investment, which runs high in the petroleum business. She also noted that oil and gas companies account for 15 percent of the Barclays U.S. high-yield index, double what it was a few years ago.
“High yield means more highly leveraged, and we don’t know what a 30 or 40 percent drop in oil prices will mean,” Jones said. “It’s going to show up in places, I’m sure. It’s just a question of where.”

The Fed’s Dudley was less concerned. “Even after the large gains in recent years, oil and gas investment remains a small fraction of GDP,” he said.

On Monday, traders and investors struggled to grasp OPEC’s stance; prices slid then rebounded sharply to $69 a barrel.

Although analysts said that global production is running about 2 million barrels a day over consumption, barely 2 percent of world demand, slight economic changes or a renewal of paralyzing civil strife in Libya could shrink that extra margin.

On the other hand, the sudden glut — while small — could grow even larger if Libya restores more of its former production, Iraq continues to expand output from its low-cost reservoirs and Iran strikes a deal over its nuclear program that would lift sanctions and permit a jump in exports.

Iran’s oil minister told Argus Global Markets that Iran could increase output by 1 million barrels a day within two months.

That has left people guessing. Richard Anderson, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, said on “CBS This Morning” on Nov. 25 that the airline was planning on jet fuel costing $2.80 a gallon in 2015, though he acknowledged that “all this is a bit of a thumb in the wind.”

Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan Group consulting firm, said OPEC seemed to be letting non-OPEC countries resolve the market surplus and surprised the industry by not scheduling another meeting until June 5. “This was about as bearish a signal as OPEC could have sent to the market,” he said.

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Train Derailment of 72 Oil Tankers Explodes in Downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Province, Canada, Killing 45 Plus and Destroying 30 Buildings — July 6, 2013 — Photos and Videos

Posted on July 6, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Homes, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Press, Railroads, Resources, Transportation, Unemployment, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATED July 8, 2013


Lac Megantic.JPG











Quebec train explosion

Canadian Freight Train Explodes After Derailment

Runaway Canada oil train explosion destroys town center, forces evacuation

Lac-Megantic Explosions, Fire Sparked By Train Derailment in Canada 

A train pulling over 70 tankers of crude oil derailed and burst into flames in Canada early Saturday near the U.S. border.

It jumped the tracks in the small town of Lac-Megantic in the province of Quebec, according to officials in Maine, who received a request for help at around 3 a.m. ET.

The inferno spread to nearby homes, and authorities evacuated the center of town and a home for the elderly, CNN affiliate Radio-Canada reported. Thick fuel spilled into the Chaudiere River.

Firefighters from both countries rushed to fight the blaze with at least 27 firefighting vehicles.

Five of the trucks deployed from the United States, after the sheriff’s office in Franklin County, Maine, issued an “all call” for help to U.S. fire departments near the border.

Flames welling up stories high into the night sky were caught on camera and uploaded to Youtube. The video appears to reveal an explosion. Thick black smoke billowed into the air.

A “nauseating” odor spread through the town, Radio-Canada reported, and environmental emergency services dispatched a mobile lab to check for airborne toxins.

The radio station said that the oil shipment was on its way to the United States.

Explosion of a train in downtown Lac-Mégantic

Huge fire erupts in Lac-Mégantic, QC, Canada, as an oil train derails. All of downtown is burning right now.
Vers 1:20am samedi matin, il y a eu une Explosion d’un train au centre-ville de Lac-Mégantic. Le train ne freinait pas et les wagons-citernes ont explosé à la traverse à niveaux. Le ciel s’est éclairé jaune et rouge. Un scène d’horreur.
Train carrying petroleum derails, catches fire in Canada’s Quebec province.
A train carrying petroleum products derailed in a small town in Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec on Saturday, causing big explosions and sending flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air.
Huge explosion of a fuel train in Quebec
Un train de carburant explose à Lac-Mégantic
La Ville de Lac-Mégantic, en Estrie, est littéralement en feu. Un incendie majeur a éclaté au centre-ville, à la suite du déraillement d’un train qui transportait du pétrole brut, dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi.

Massive Explosion | Quebec | After Freight Train Carrying Fuel Derails (Raw Footage + Slow Mo)

BREAKING: Massive Explosion after Freight Fuel Train Derails, Whole Town Evacuates in Quebec

Quebec Crude-Oil Train Derailment Sparks Fire And Explosions

Invest in Lac-Megantic

Lac Megantic Quebec Canada

Drive Through – Lac Megantic, Quebec

Lac Megantic: Death toll rises in Quebec train derailment explosion

Ravaged site is now being treated as a “crime scene” as the railway says someone shut down a locomotive keeping the brakes on.

AC-MÉGANTIC,QUE.—So much is lost.

Five people confirmed dead, 40 missing. They may never return, dead or alive, perhaps vaporized in the blast early Saturday morning, after a driverless train hurtled into the busy downtown core of this idyllic Quebec town 250 kilometres from Montreal.

People gathered throughout the town of Lac-Mégantic: at the Polyvalente Montignac, a secondary school transformed in a matter of hours into an emergency shelter and resource centre; at old, picturesque churches that dot its usually quiet streets, now pulsing with official vehicles, media, worried residents still looking for their families and friends.

People gathered under trees, hiding from the glaring sun, hugging, crying. Others arrived by the dozen from across Quebec, their vehicles laden with food, toys, clothing, for those forced from their homes.

One young woman who worked at the now-leveled Musi-Café, near the heart of the blast, emerged from the school in tears.

Learning there was still no news of her cousin, Andree-Anne Sevigny and a work colleague with her, Jo-Annie Lapointe, were devastated.

“They can’t find them,” she said. It had been nearly 36 hours since the blast.

Ed Burkhardt, chairman of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, said Sunday night that the train’s sole engineer shut down four of the five locomotive units on the train, as is standard procedure, in the neighbouring community of Nantes before heading to Lac Mégantic to sleep. Burkhardt said the next engineer was probably due to arrive at daybreak.

But someone managed to shut down the fifth locomotive unit, he said. The railroad alleges someone tampered with the controls of the fifth engine, the one maintaining brake pressure to keep the train stopped.

“If the operating locomotive is shut down, there’s nothing left to keep the brakes charged up, and the brake pressure will drop finally to the point where they can’t be held in place any longer,” Burkhardt said.

There are two ways to shut down the fifth unit: There’s an emergency lever on the outside of the locomotive that anyone wandering by could access. Or, there are a number of levers and buttons inside the unlocked cabin.

Both means were used, said Burkhardt.

The result was what Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who visited the stricken Eastern Townships community Sunday, said resembled a “war zone.”

The chair of the 10-year-old rail company headquartered in Maine said they would “consider” changes to procedures in light of the tragedy.

Burkhardt said the engineer went to the epicentre of the explosions and picked up nine cars, bringing them back to Nantes, where they still sat on the tracks beside the road Sunday.

By Sunday night, the fires that had raged for some 36 hours were finally out, though firefighters continued to douse what remained of the train cars in an area still off-limits.

The ravaged site of a train explosion that razed blocks of downtown Lac-Mégantic is being treated as the “scene of a crime,” police said.

Genevieve Guilbault, spokesperson for the provincial coroner’s office, made the grim announcement that some of the 40 still missing may never be found.

“It is not impossible when we look at the intensity of the explosion,” she told reporters. She added that the five bodies recovered from the ravaged downtown area and transported to Montreal for forensic examination have not been positively identified.

Sunday evening, the Surete du Quebec said finding more victims had been difficult in part because investigators and search-and-rescue crews were able to comb through only a “pretty small area.”

“There is still a big part of the scene that is too dangerous to examine,” said Sgt. Benoit Richard.

Police are meeting with relatives of the 40 still listed as missing and asking them to provide material that might identify their remains. That material is in turn passed on to the coroner’s office, which is running forensic pathology tests in a Montreal laboratory.

It’s not known how long the police investigation may take, Richard said. “It could be a couple of days to a couple of weeks.”

Donald Ross, the Transportation Safety Board’s investigator in charge, has a nine-member team on site and is shuttling in experts from the TSB’s Ottawa headquarters as the need arises. But the probe is slow-going, mainly because the last fire was extinguished only Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a tremendous job,” Ross said, describing how the firefighting effort over a day and a half left water that was knee-deep in some places. “It’s hard to get around.”

Still, investigators have confirmed that there was a fire involving the train where it was parked by the engineer in Nantes, though they would not, or could not, say at this point whether that contributed to the derailment and subsequent explosion.

The TSB has recovered the locomotive event recorder, the train equivalent to the airliner “black box.” That  device will tell authorities how fast the train was travelling, when it was set in motion and whether all the necessary braking mechanisms were applied.

Lucienne Gallant was still trembling Sunday morning at the home of her son and daughter-in-law in Nantes, 36 hours after she was awakened by a neighbour, telling her a train had derailed and they had to run.

The 81-year-old ran with several people up the street, feeling the flames at her back, a scene she described with trembling hands while the home phone and cellphones rang constantly, with family and friends calling to check in.

But initial panic on Sunday evolved into grief as people began to comprehend the extent of the devastation and the mounting official death toll.

Reporters and TV crews camped outside the school entrance. Inside, said Lac-Megantic resident Linda Gendreau, there was an information vacuum — no televisions, no running updates.

“Maybe it is better that way, because people are living through this event and they have to take it one day at a time,” said Gendreau. Her own family and friends have been accounted for, but friends of friends remain missing, she said.

“We can’t absorb it all at once, so it’s maybe a good thing that we start by going through the shock of the situation, and then go through the collective crisis of what it means for the community.”

The 10-year-old railway owns more than 800 km of track serving Quebec, New Brunswick, Maine and Vermont.

Beauchesne said there were 160 firefighters on the scene and there’s a “team spirit” in the town and “everyone is working together.”

Worried residents watched from behind the perimeters set up by authorities, sick with fear that some of their friends and loved ones may have died.


Canadian train derailment death toll rises to 5; dozens still missing

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — As firefighters doused still burning oil tanker cars, more bodies were recovered Sunday in this devastated town in eastern Quebec, raising the death toll to five after a runaway train derailed, igniting explosions and fires that destroyed the downtown district. With dozens of people reported missing, authorities feared they could find more bodies once they reached the hardest-hit areas.

Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet said Sunday that about 40 people have been reported missing, but cautioned that the number could fluctuate up or down.

“We met many people who had reported family members missing. Right now I can tell you about 40,” Brunet said.

Brunet confirmed two more deaths early Sunday afternoon after confirming two people were found dead overnight. One death was confirmed Saturday.

All but one of the 73 cars were filled with oil, which was being transported from North Dakota’s Bakken oil region to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The eruptions early Saturday morning sent residents of Lac-Megantic scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow that illuminated the night sky.

Local Fire Chief Denis Lauzon likened the charred scene to “a war zone.”

“This is really terrible. Our community is grieving and it is taking its toll on us,” Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said.

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured the town where a large part of the downtown area has been leveled.

“This is an unbelievable disaster,” Harper said. “This is a very big disaster in human terms as the extent of this becomes increasingly obvious.”

Harper said the whole country is worried about the missing and is praying for the town.

“This is an enormous area, 30 buildings just completely destroyed, for all intents and purposes incinerated,” Harper said. “There isn’t a family that is not affected by this.”

The search for victims in the charred debris was hampered because two tanker cars were still burning Sunday morning, sparking fears of more potentially fatal blasts.

Lauzon said firefighters are staying 500 feet (150 meters) from the burning tankers, which are being doused with water and foam to keep them from overheating.

The multiple blasts came over a span of several hours in the town of 6,000, which is about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Montreal and about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the Maine border. It is a picturesque lakeside town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

The derailment caused at least five tanker cars to explode in the downtown district, a popular area packed with bars that often bustles on summer weekend nights. Police said the first explosion tore through the town shortly after 1 a.m. local time. The fire then spread to several homes.

Brunet said he couldn’t say where the bodies were found exactly because the families have not been notified. Many feared for the lives of those who were at the Musi-Cafe bar where dozens of people were enjoying themselves in the wee hours of a glorious summer night.

Residents who gathered outside a community shelter Sunday hugged and wiped tears as they braced for bad news about missing loved ones.

Henri-Paul Audette headed there with hope of reuniting with his missing brother. Audette, 69, said his brother’s apartment was next to the railroad tracks, very close to the spot where the train derailed.

“I haven’t heard from him since the accident,” he said. “I had thought … that I would see him.”

Another man who came to the shelter said it’s difficult to explain the impact this incident has had on life in Lac-Megantic. About a third of the community was forced out of their homes. David Vachon said he has one friend whose sister is missing and another who is still searching for his mother.

The cause of the accident was believed to be a runaway train, the railroads operator said.

Edward Burkhardt, the president and CEO of Rail World Inc., the parent company of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, said the train had been parked uphill of Lac-Megantic because the engineer had finished his run. The tanker cars somehow came loose and sped downhill nearly seven miles into the town before derailing.

“We’ve had a very good safety record for these 10 years,” Burkhardt said of the decade-old railroad. “Well, I think we’ve blown it here.”

Joe McGonigle, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic’s vice president of marketing, said the company believes the brakes were the cause. He said the rail company has been in touch with Canada’s Transportation Safety Board.

“Somehow those brakes were released and that’s what is going to be investigated,” McGonigle said in a telephone interview Sunday. “We’re pretty comfortable saying it is the brakes. The train was parked, it was tied up. The brakes were secured. Somehow it got loose.”

Lauzon, the fire chief, said that firefighters in a nearby community were called to a locomotive blaze on the same train a few hours before the derailment. Lauzon said he could not provide additional details about that fire since it was in another jurisdiction. Nantes Fire Chief Patrick Lambert couldn’t be immediately reached, but McGonigle confirmed the fire department showed up after the first engineer tied up and went to a local hotel and after someone reported a fire.

“We know that one of our employees from our engineering department showed up at the same time to assist the fire department. Exactly what they did is being investigated so the engineer wasn’t the last man to touch that train, we know that, but we’re not sure what happened,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said there was no reason to suspect any criminal or terror-related activity.

Because of limited pipeline capacity in North Dakota’s Bakken region and in Canada, oil producers are increasingly using railroads to transport much of the oil to refineries on the East, Gulf and West coasts, as well as inland. Harper has called railroad transit “far more environmentally challenging” while trying to persuade the Obama administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

The proliferation of oil trains has raised concerns of a major derailment like this. McGonigle said it is a safe way to transport oil.

“There’s much more hazardous material that moves by rail than crude oil. We think it is safe. We think we have a safe operation. No matter what mode of transportation you are going to have incidents. That’s been proven,” McGonigle said. “This is an unfortunate incident.”

Myrian Marotte, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Red Cross in Lac-Megantic, said there are about 2,000 evacuees and said 163 stayed at their operations center overnight.

Patrons gathered at a nearby bar were sent running for their lives after the thunderous crash and wall of fire blazed through the early morning sky early Saturday. Bernard Theberge, who was outside on the bar’s patio at the time of the crash, feared for the safety of those inside the popular Musi-Cafe when the first explosion went off.

“People started running and the fire ignited almost instantaneously,” he said.

“It was like a movie,” said Theberge, who considered himself fortunate to escape with only second-degree burns on his right arm. “Explosions as if it were scripted — but this was live.”

According to Montreal Maine & Atlantic’s website, the company owns more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic carried nearly 3 million barrels of oil across Maine last year. Each tank car holds some 30,000 gallons (113,600 liters) of oil.

Maine state officials were notified regarding concerns about the smoke from the fire but staff meteorologists don’t believe it will have a significant impact, Peter Blanchard of the state Department of Environmental Protection said Sunday.

The Maine environmental agency had previously begun developing protection plans for areas in the state through which the oil trains travel.

But Glen Brand, director of the environmentalist Sierra Club’s Maine chapter, said the Quebec derailment is reason enough to call for an immediate moratorium on the rail transport of oil through the state.

“This tragic accident is part of the larger problem of moving oil through Maine and northern New England,” Brand said. “It reinforces the importance of moving away from dirty fossil fuels that expose the people of northern New England, Maine and Quebec to a host of dangerous risks.”

French President Francois Hollande’s office issued a statement offering condolences to the victims in the predominantly French-speaking Canadian province.


Deadly Derailment in Quebec Underlines Oil Debate


The police said on Sunday that at least five people had died and 40 were missing after runaway railroad tank cars filled with oil derailed and exploded in a small Quebec town.

“We know there will be more deaths,” Lt. Michel Brunet of Quebec’s provincial police told reporters in Lac-Mégantic, where the fires continued to burn on Sunday.

The derailment and explosions, which took place around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, underscored a debate in the effort to transport North America’s oil across long distances: is it safer and less environmentally destructive to move huge quantities of crude oil by train or by pipeline?

Visiting the town on Sunday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper compared it to a “war zone.”

The fires, which incinerated at least 30 buildings in the core of Lac-Mégantic, a tourist town of 6,000 people about 150 miles east of Montreal, limited the work of accident investigators, as well as attempts to search for survivors and the remains of victims.

In a statement, the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway said the train had been parked outside Lac-Mégantic for the night with no crew members on board. Its locomotive had been shut down, “which may have resulted in the release of air brakes on the locomotive that was holding the train in place,” the statement said.

The railway did not respond to further questions, but Reuters, quoting officials from the company, said the oil aboard the train had come from the Bakken oil fields of the Western United States.

The Bakken oil deposits, which are often drilled through hydrofracking, have become a major source of oil for the railroads to move because the deposits lack direct pipeline links. Canada’s oil sands producers, frustrated by a lack of pipeline capacity, are also turning to trains to ship their products.

Their move to rail comes as the Obama administration continues to weigh an application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver synthetic crude oil and bitumen, an oil-containing substance, from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. An analysis of the pipeline plan for the State Department concluded that if the pipeline was rejected, oil sands producers would instead turn to railways for shipments to the United States.

Both the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway have extensive rail networks into the United States and have been promoting what the industry often calls a “pipeline on rails” to serve the oil sands. Mark Hallman, a spokesman for Canadian National, said the railway moved 5,000 carloads of crude oil to the United States from Canada in 2011, increased that amount to 30,000 carloads in 2012 and “believes it has the scope to double this business in 2013.”

Unlike pipeline proposals, however, the escalation of rail movements of oil, including light oil shipments from the Bakken fields as well as from similar unconventional, or tight, oil deposits in Canada, is not covered by any regular government or regulatory review.

“We have an explosion of tight oil production in Canada and the United States, and most of it is moving by train,” said Anthony Swift, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington. “But this process has happened without due diligence.”

Keith Stewart, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada who has examined the increased use of oil trains, criticized railways in Canada and the United States for continuing to use older oil tank cars that he said were found to be unsafe more than 20 years ago.

A 2009 report by the National Transportation Safety Board about a Canadian National derailment in Illinois called the design of those tank cars “inadequate” and found that it “made the cars subject to damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials.” Television images suggested that the surviving tank cars on the Lac-Mégantic train were of the older design.

Mr. Hallman, the spokesman for Canadian National, did not respond to questions about the safety of tank cars or the consequences of the Lac-Mégantic derailment for rail oil shipments in general. However, he said, “this tragedy notwithstanding, movement of hazardous material by rail not only can be, but is being, handled safely in the vast majority of instances.” Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for Canadian Pacific, declined to comment.

The comparative safety of railways over pipelines has been the subject of much debate. Speaking in New York in May, Mr. Harper emphasized that the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would lead to an increase in oil sands shipments by rail, which he called “more environmentally challenging” than pipelines.

“We have seen some major safety risks associated with the crude-by-rail regime,” Mr. Swift, the lawyer, said.

But Edward Whittingham, the executive director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental group based in Calgary, Alberta, said there was not conclusive research weighing the safety of the two shipment methods.

“The best data I’ve seen indicates,” he said, “depending on your perspective, both are pretty much as safe as each other, or both are equally unsafe. There’s safety and environmental risks inherent in either approach.”

Accidents involving pipelines, Mr. Whittingham said, can be more difficult to detect and can release greater amounts of oil. Rail accidents are more frequent but generally release less oil. The intensity of the explosions and fires at Lac-Mégantic, he said, came as a “big surprise” to him and other researchers, given that the tank cars had been carrying crude oil, rather than a more volatile form like gasoline.

While Mr. Whittingham hopes that it will not be the case, he anticipates that proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline will use the rail accident to push their case with the Obama administration.[]

Sixty missing and scores feared dead as train carrying hundreds of tons of  oil derails and explodes in Canadian town center

  • 60 people  believed to be missing
  • About 30 buildings destroyed in Lac  Megantic
  • Force of blaze preventing rescue workers  from checking for survivors
  • Oil from train cars is spilling into  nearby river

By Jessica Jerreat

The force of the blaze has prevented  emergency workers from getting close to the damaged buildings to check for  survivors.

It is not yet known if anyone was killed or  injured in the blast, according to the Hamilton  Spectator. The Montreal Maine & Atlantic train did  not have a driver and was being run on autopilot.

About 30 shops and homes in the town center,  including the library and local weekly newspaper’s office, were destroyed by the  fire, which is being dealt with by firefighters from Quebec and Maine.

‘We do fear that there are going to be  casualties,’ Sergeant Gregory Gomez del Prado, of Quebec Police, told CTV  News.

Witnesses said the blast flattened an  apartment building and part of a pub, which had a terrace packed with people at  the time of the fire, according to CBC.

The ferocity of the blaze has made  authorities fear for the safety of many of the lakeside town’s 6,000 residents. About 120 firefighters are still trying  to contain the fire in the town  center.

‘When you see the center of your town  almost  destroyed, you’ll understand that we’re asking ourselves how we  are going to  get through this event,’ the town’s mayor, Colette  Roy-Laroche,  said.

‘We’re told some people are missing but  they  may just be out of town or on vacation,’ Lieutenant Michel Brunet,  of Quebec  police, said.

A Facebook page has been set up to help  friends and family check on their loved ones, according to the Toronto  Star.

About 250 residents have taken shelter in a  Red Cross center set up in the town’s high school, and more are expected to  arrive there later today.

‘Many parents are worried because they  haven’t been able to communicate with a member of their family or an  acquaintance,’ Ms Roy-Laroche  said.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has  sent his sympathy to the stricken town.

‘Thoughts & prayers are with those  impacted in Lac Megantic. Horrible news,’ he said on Twitter.

Flames could be seen from several miles away  as the fire spread to several  homes after the 73-car Montreal Maine &  Atlantic train, which was  heading towards Maine, derailed.

Zeph Kee, who lives about half an hour from  Lac-Megantic, told CBC: ‘It was total mayhem … people not finding their  kids.’

Resident Anne-Julie Hallee, who saw the  explosion, said: ‘It was like the end of  the world.’

Another resident, Claude Bedard, said: ‘It’s  terrible. We’ve never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama,  everything that was there is gone.’

Some of the oil has leaked into a lake and  the Chaudiere River, and plumes of thick smoke can be seen from about 10km away,  nearly 10 hours after the blast.

A 1km section of the town has been cordoned  off and boats have been banned from coming close on the river, after flames were  allegedly seen in two aqueducts.

‘We have a mobile laboratory here to monitor  the quality of the air,’ Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette  said.

‘Firefighters are working hard to extinguish  that fire, but it’s burning hard because of the crude oil,’ Gergeant Gomez del  Prado said,adding that it would take a while for the fire to be contained.

‘We also have a spill on the lake and the  river that is concerning us. We have advised the local  municipalities  downstream to be careful if they take their water from  the Chaudiere  River.’

Firefighters have set up a perimeter around  the town as they try to tackle the  blaze, which was caused when four of the  cars that were pressurized blew up.

‘There are still wagons which we think are  pressurized. We’re not sure because we can’t get close, so we’re working on the  assumption that all the cars were pressurized and could explode. That’s why  progress is slow and tough,’ local fire chief Denis Lauzon said.

The cause of the derailment is not yet known.  The railway company’s vice-president Josephy R. McGonigle, said the middle  section of the train had derailed, the Montreal  Gazette said.

Investigators are headed to the town to begin  gathering information and statements from witnesses.

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Quebec town rocked by explosions, fire after derailment

Train derailment in Lac-Mégantic forces 1,000 from homes, several people reported missing

Worry is growing among residents of the tight-knit community of Lac-Mégantic, as people search for missing friends and loved ones after a train derailment sparked a series of explosions and a major fire that continues to burn.

The train carrying crude oil derailed overnight in the heart of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, forcing 1,000 people from their homes.

Witnesses reported between four and six explosions overnight in the town of about 6,000 people. The derailment happened at about 1 a.m. ET, about 250 kilometres east of Montreal.

It is not yet known if there are any casualties, but according to Radio-Canada 60 people have been reported missing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent his thoughts out to the community on Saturday afternoon. He said the government was monitoring the situation and was standing ready to provide extra support.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those affected by this morning’s tragic train derailment,” he said in a statement. “We hope evacuees can return to their homes safely and quickly,” he said.

‘Total mayhem’

Zeph Kee, who lives about 30 minutes outside of Lac-Mégantic, said he saw a huge fireball coming from the city’s downtown early Saturday morning.

He described one of the local bars, where people were enjoying their drinks on the outside patio at the time of the explosion. That bar is now gone, Kee said.

Kee said several buildings and homes were flattened by the blast.

Isabelle Aller, who was visiting the area, says she has been calling her friends ever since the explosion, and they haven’t answered their phones.

“The more time that passes, the more we are worried,” she said.

Aller says after the first explosion, some people went to the scene to see what was going on.

Several explosions followed afterwards.

Mayor holds back tears

The teary-eyed mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy-Laroche, said emergency services are doing everything possible to deal with the crisis.

“We have deployed all resources to ensure that we can support our citizens,” she said.

A spokesperson for Quebec’s Environment Ministry says 73 rail cars filled with crude oil were involved. At least four of the cars exploded, sending a huge cloud of thick, black smoke into the air.

The fire, which can be seen for several kilometres, has spread to a number of homes. Authorities say some 30 buildings were affected.

“It’s dreadful,” said Lac-Mégantic resident Claude Bédard. “It’s terrible. We’ve never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone.”

Firefighters called in from U.S.

More than 100 firefighters, some as far away as Sherbrooke, Que., and the United States, were on the scene early Saturday morning to bring the flames under control.

A large but as-yet undetermined amount of fuel is also reported to have spilled into the Chaudière River. Some residents say the water has turned an orange colour.

The derailed train belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic, which owns more than 800 kilometres of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick, according to the company’s website.

CBC’s French service, Radio-Canada, has reported there was no one on board the train, which was being remotely operated.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. A spokesperson for Quebec provincial police said it is still too early to say what caused it.

Experts from Environment Quebec are working to determine whether the smoke poses any danger to people.

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American History–The French Explorers–Videos

Posted on June 11, 2012. Filed under: American History, College, Communications, Education, European History, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

French in North America part 1/2 the french Louisiana

French in North America part 2/2 the french Canada

The French Explorers (Part 1/2)

The French Explorers (Part 2/2)

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Remembering the 68th Anniversary of the D-Day landings 1944-2012–Videos

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Education, European History, Foreign Policy, High School, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Video, War, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

WW II in Colour 9/13 [Overlord]

General Eisenhower – D Day Message

D-Day 6/6/44

FDR D-Day Speech June 6, 1944

Normandy Speech: President Reagans Address Commemorating 40th Anniversary of Normandy/D-Day

Remembering the 68th Anniversary of the D-Day landings 1944-2012


Background Articles and Videos

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 12,000-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving almost 7,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June; more than 3 million troops were in France by the end of August.
Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on D-Day itself came from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Free French Forces and Poland also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also minor contingents from Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway. Other Allied nations participated in the naval and air forces.
Once the beachheads were secured, a three-week military buildup occurred on the beaches before Operation Cobra, the operation to break out from the Normandy beachhead, began. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to expand the foothold on France, and concluded with the closing of the Falaise pocket on 24 August, the Liberation of Paris on 25 August, and the German retreat across the Seine which was completed on 30 August 1944.

D-Day 6.6.1944 [1/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [2/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [3/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [4/5] BBC Documentary

D-Day 6.6.1944 [5/5] BBC Documentary

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Remembering D Day, Operation Overload, June 6, 1944–Videos

World War II in Color–Videos

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Newt Gingrich Attacks Short-Sighted Stunningly Stupid Socialist: Comrade Obama Rejects Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline–Job Creator and Energy Supplier For Communist China!–Barack Hussein Obama–The Redistributor–Videos

Posted on January 19, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Oil, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

“…The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.


~Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Newt calls Obama’s Pipeline decision “stupidity” – like he’s “governing Mars”

Obama Nixes Keystone Pipeline 

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Government is the worst failure of civilized man.

~H.L. Mencken

America will never be destroyed from the outside.

If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

~Abraham Lincoln

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