Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North Korea testing the world again

Two American journalists detained in North Korea will be tried on charges of perpetrating "hostile acts" against the Communist state, a crime punishable by years in a labor camp, the North’s state-run news agency said today.The news agency is of course the regime's mouth piece to let the world know what it is thinking.
The decision to put Laura Ling and Euna Lee on trial is a strong message from North Korea and coincides with concerns about the launch of a test rocket by the North Koreans next week. Both Japan and the USA consider this "experimental space launch" as another test of North Korea's long range missile program. These two events are timed to test the outside world when its resources are already stretched to the limit.
The North Koreans are on the news wires tonight as saying they will declare war on Japan if there is any interference with the launch. Dangerous words from a dangerous regime...and the USA will be relying on China to tone down the North Koreans...China has some political and economic power at a crucial time in world events.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When an Irish hopeful went FAR away on a slight hope

Deeplode has ventured into the archives to remind us all that Tullow Oil, which is being touted as FAR's partner in its Senegal lease, in fact started its history with another outside punt also in Senegal.Twenty years ago Aidan Heavey then an Irish accountant followed a hunch that changed his life.
A friend told him that Senegal was looking for a company to develop the country's oil and gas fields which were too small to be of interest to major companies.
"Like most people in Ireland back then, I knew little about oil except what I learned from J.R. on Dallas," he is reported as saying.
But Heavey flew to Senegal on the basis of what was there to lose!!
He read up on the way so he at least knew the jargon.
He won the contract.
After mortgaging his house and calling in a few favours he bought a used oil rig in Texas.
It made it to Senegal but the crew forgot the basics..passports..not exactly surprising for Texans..(ask Geo W.)
The first well was dry but the rest is history!

Now is history about to repeat itself through FAR...with its maybe partner Tullow..which in DeepLode's guess may then be in Chinese hands.
What a story!

Follow the drama as it unfolds on hotcopper.com.au.

Friday, March 20, 2009

China, Tullow and a little far away Australian spec

In spite of a €1.6bn refinancing and a surprise €430m rights issue recently, Tullow apparently faces major funding hurdles over its oilfields in landlocked Uganda. Reports suggest it might have to sell part of the oilfield to a partner because Uganada has no oil infrastructure and a vast pipeline would need to be constructed to bring the oil across Uganda and through Kenya to the sea where it could be exported. The cost of building such an enormous pipeline would be prohibitive for Tullow.
It would need a partner!
And of course which sovereign wealth fund has that capability and has been engaged in extreme dollar diplomacy in West Africa?
And which sovereign entity has been running the ruler over Tullow as a whole?
DeepLode has written extensively on the activity of China in West Africa and of its interest in Tullow. There is no doubt Tullow needs another huge injection of money to keep up its activities in West Africa. China has both the cash, the willingness to take the risk and the political debts it can call in to get it all happening.
And of course there is the matter of our tiny spec First Australian Resources which has a huge acreage off shore from Senegal courtesy of the Senegal Government which is now almost totally reliant on China (and to some extent Indian) support.
FAR is about to announce its Joint Venture partner…..and has been a bit slow to do so…
Maybe a waiting game while China decides which of its three giants gets the partnership…or to avoid criticism of its “oil diplomacy”.. backs Tullow into it under its control.
Whatever DeepLode is watching closely.

As is the thread on hotcopper.com.au
If you are not there you will miss it all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The news wires are reporting tonight that the American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.
These payments are in addition to $US121m in bonuses already committed!!!

The U.S government now owns 80% of AIG....and they must stop this payout if the US financial system is to hold the little respect left for it.

DeepLode is outraged! Are you?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


China is tightening the screws on America. It is about to break free from being the adolescent of the international economic arena.

It started in February when this was reported on Bloomberg,

"China should seek guarantees that its $682 billion government debt won’t be eroded by “reckless policies,” said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the central bank. The U.S. “should make the Chinese feel confident that the value of the assets at least will not be eroded in a significant way,” Yu, who now heads the World Economics and Politics Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in response to e-mailed questions yesterday from Beijing. He declined to elaborate on the assurances needed by China, the biggest foreign holder of government debt. “the muscle-bound adolescent of the international system"

And this week what was said by the Chinese Premier?

Mr. Wen said on Friday in Beijing that China is worried about its huge stock of U.S. Treasury securities, an ominous warning given U.S. reliance on Chinese borrowing.
"We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S., so of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets," Mr. Wen said in response to a question at his annual news conference. "Frankly speaking, I do have some worries"

Hmm? Seems the same spin doctor at work!
So typical of the very sharp and well orchestrated Chinese political machine.

But did the USA take it seriously? Yes they did!!

The Obama administration quickly rejected China's concerns that its vast holdings of U.S. assets might be unsafe, in an unusual diplomatic exchange that underscored the global importance and the potential fragility of the Sino-U.S. economic relationship.

So things are serious.

And let's remember that during the Presidential campaign America's debt to China was a big issue. McCain said this to Reuters..

"the first step that has to be taken is obviously we have to stop mortgaging our economy to China ... and asking them to finance our debt."

Well too late!

The question for America is can it sustain its over 700 military bases in foreign countries? The answer is clear.

And now the question for sovereign funds bankrolling America is on the same topic.

Will China, Japan or Saudi Arabia keep financing new American military action?

The answer is equally clear.

And China is using this new found economic power to up its military capacity.
The USA is cap in hand as DeepLode has written before...

During her first overseas trip as the country’s top diplomat, Clinton continued asking Beijing to keep purchasing U.S.Treasury bonds despite its deteriorating economic condition. Clinton said because the economies are so intertwined, it could hurt China if the U.S. couldn't finance the nearly $790 billion stimulus plan.
In other words the USA need China to fund the U.S stimulus package

“We are in the same boat. Thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction, toward landfall,” said Clinton. She added that China and the United States “are truly going to rise or fall together.”

This is desperate politics and demonstrates just how much the balance of power is shifting between the U.S. and China

And this plea from the Obama administration shows just how the balance of power is shifting between the U.S. and China.

And DeepLode has China as odds on.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Much interest is being shown in the prospects for First Australian Resources as it gets close to announcing its partner to develop its huge prospect off shore from Senegal.DeepLode has previously written on the circumstances surrounding the fortuitous position that FAR has found itself in with this tenement.
The share market forum Hot Copper (hotcopper.com.au) has much speculation on its FAR thread.
DeepLode's pick is that the Chinese Government will pull a surprise on us and one of its oil companies will be announced as the joint venture partner to manage the project.
DeepLode's reasons for this have been put to readers previously.
Deeplode's position has been strengthened by reports coming out of Hong Kong and now hitting the news wires that one of the potential joint venture partners, Tullow Oil, is the latest Africa-focused energy firm to draw Chinese takeover interest.
Chinese oil giants Sinopec Corp, CNOOC and China National Petroleum Corporation -- parent of PetroChina-- have all looked at Tullow, three un-named Hong Kong-based bankers have told Reuters.
DeepLode suggests that we would be talking $US10b to get Tullow interested in any deal.The Chinese oilers' modus operandi is to hunt down a target and then the Chinese Government decides which entity will be the vehicle for the bid.
DeepLode will shortly be going up to Hong Kong so will be listening closely to any gossip.
But an announcement may come sooner than that.

Friday, March 6, 2009


DeepLode has written earlier about the chances of a huge discovery of tight gas in W.A.
The need to get a new supply of gas to secure W.A's energy supplies was dramatically evidenced by the explosion last year at Varanus Island

The W.A. Senate Committee investigating that gas explosion which crippled W.A.’s gas supply had some evidence placed before it in December about the huge reservoir of “tight gas” in which one of DeepLode’s favourite juniors(ASX: TSV) has a stake.
In his submission to the Senate Committee the former Minister for Energy, Hon Fran Logan MLA, pointed out that that there are drilling programs underway in 'tight gas' reservoirs in the mid-west and Busselton regions. Tight gas refers to gas that is difficult to extract because it is found in rocks with low permeability, needing specialised techniques and equipment for extraction.
Mr Logan informed the committee that:
“The volumes of tight gas in the two regions north and south of Perth are significant; notionally, around 12 trillion cubic feet. If the geological problems facing the explorers are overcome, the security and competition of the gas market in WA will be resolved to a significant degree, and I put it to you that the explorers for the tight gas should be encouraged and assisted both by the state and federal government: through royalty concessions, I believe, in the state area and through funding for the geological sites of geological science support for that exploration through the federal government.”
The drilling by Latent, Alcoa and Transerve is getting close to payday so keep a watch.
You can be sure that the West Australian and Federal Governments will doing all they can to support this project…now and in the future.
As with most interesting plays you can follow the action on