NATO strike kills 7 Afghan troops during fight with Taliban

first_img Comments   Share   Insurgents fired toward the helicopters, prompting a response that destroyed one army checkpoint, the ministry statement added. An unspecified number of the army members were “killed and wounded,” the ministry said, adding that the incident was under investigation.Logar provincial army commander Abdul Razaq said the early morning strike took place in the district of Baraki Barak, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Kabul. Razaq revised an earlier higher figure and said that seven troops were killed while five were wounded in the strike.Logar police chief Mohammad Douod Ahmadi confirmed those casualty figures. Conflicting number of casualty figures are common during fighting in remote areas inaccessible to reporters.District governor Mohammad Rahim Amin said the NATO airstrike was “likely a mistake, due to bad coordination” in an area where Taliban insurgents are highly active.A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, said the coalition is aware of an incident in Logar and is investigating it.According to a statement from Ghani’s office, the Afghan president appointed a team to “comprehensively probe the incident and come up with clarification surrounding the airstrike.” Ghani also urged the international forces to “take maximum precautions” not to harm Afghan civilians and troops in their future operations. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A NATO airstrike hit two Afghan military checkpoints on Monday in a restive province east of the capital, Kabul, killing seven Afghan troops in what an Afghan official described as an accident due to bad coordination.The Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, expressed his “profound sorrow” over the tragedy and ordered an investigation into the killings.The incident happened as coalition helicopters were flying over an area in Logar province where clashes were underway between Afghan troops and Taliban fighters, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said. Top Stories The vital role family plays in societycenter_img Security in Logar has deteriorated in recent months as the Taliban stepped up their attacks on Afghan soldiers and security forces, trying to spread their footprint across the country and take control of some remote regions.The U.S. and NATO forces concluded their combat mission at the end of last year and Afghan troops have since taken control of the country’s security, which has caused their casualties to spike.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

Moonshadow Cruises wins Young Achiever Award

first_imgMoonshadow Cruises – dolphin and whale cruises Justina Tourism Awards Moonshadow Cruises is very proud to announce that Justina Nicholson, our Sales and Functions Coordinator, has been awarded ‘Young Achiever in Tourism’, at the  2010 North Coast Tourism Awards held at the Opal Cove Resort Coffs Harbour. More than 350 tourism industry operators attended the awards night on August 14 with Channel 10 weatherman, Tim Bailey, serving as MC.Janene Rees, Justina’s Manager at Moonshadow, nominated Justina for the award and was nearly as excited as Justina with the win:”As a mentor it is very important to empower young up and coming tourism employees in our region. Justina had no idea she was nominated and it certainly was a huge surprise for her,” Janene said.Justina was employed by Moonshadow Cruises in the role of sales and functions coordinator in October 2007. Prior to this she attended Newcastle University to complete her degree in Social Science (Recreation & Tourism).She began her career in tourism with the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast before making the move north to Moonshadow. Working within an industry that is very dynamic, Justina’s role has changed and grown and she has always demonstrated a passion and drive the achieve in her work. The rest of the Moonshadow team benefit from her enthusiasm.The award is a great boost to individuals in the tourism industry. Self nomination is not permitted, so to be a finalist is an honour and a win is an absolute promotion of the persons abilities and regard amoungst their industry peers. “I had no idea what I was even in Coffs Harbour for. It was the best awards night that I have attended and it was a complete surprise to win this award,” said Justina. “It really is a boost and an assurance that I am achieving both personally and for my industry.”   Other Port Stephens winners on the night were Samurai Beach Resort and Big 4 Holiday Park, Soldiers Point. Following the North Coast awards all winners become automatic finalists in the state awards… so our fingers are crossed for Justina at these awards in November.center_img Source = Moonshadow Cruiseslast_img read more

Fisherman found dead in his boat off Paphos

first_imgA 52-year-old fisherman was found dead in his boat on Saturday two nautical miles off the Kato Paphos harbour.The man was located by marine police who launched a search operation in the afternoon after being alerted by the family that he had been missing since morning and was not answering their calls. The 52-year-old left his house in the morning to go fishing in his boat.He was found unconscious in his boat some two nautical miles south-east of the harbour. His boat was towed to shore and he was taken to Paphos general hospital where he was pronounced dead.Police ruled out foul play. A post mortem is to be carried out in the coming days is to shed light on the cause of death.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Barron spends legislative day with Rep McBroom

first_img24Jan Barron spends legislative day with Rep. McBroom State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, welcomed Mitchell Barron of Gladstone to the state Capitol today to job shadow the 108th House District lawmaker. Barron, the son of Bob and Barb Barron, accompanied McBroom to a morning Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee meeting chaired by Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, for a discussion on forest and agricultural property tax issues, and in the afternoon attended House session with McBroom. Categories: Newslast_img

Rep Lower encourages 70th District residents to contact his Lansing office

first_img Categories: Lower News,News State Rep. James Lower has officially opened his Lansing office and says he is here to serve the people of the 70th District.“I’m excited to announce the opening of my Lansing office” said Rep. Lower, R-Cedar Lake. “My staff and I are here to help the people of Montcalm and Gratiot counties with issues involving their State Government. It can be daunting and frustrating for citizens to navigate the complexities of state agencies. Often times people feel left out of the decision making process when it comes to administrative rules, regulations, and even the laws that govern our communities. We are here to help bridge that gap and be our district’s frontline advocate.”People may contact Rep. Lower at (517) 373-0834; mail correspondence to S-1089 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514; or e-mail jameslower@house.mi.gov.Rep. Lower’s office staff includes Joseph Cecil and Danielle Sirianni as his legislative assistants.Rep. Lower will be announcing monthly in-district office hours in the near future.You can receive regular updates on his official Facebook page and sign up for Rep. Lower’s e-newsletter on his webpage at www.replower.org.##### 09Jan Rep. Lower encourages 70th District residents to contact his Lansing officelast_img read more

Rep Iden bill creating savings opportunities for community colleges is signed

first_img31Oct Rep. Iden bill creating savings opportunities for community colleges is signed Categories: Audio,Iden News,News Michigan’s community colleges will now have increased ability when it comes to funding forward-thinking infrastructure and energy efficient development, thanks to legislation proposed by state Rep. Brandt Iden and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.Lease-purchase agreements do not demand up front full payments like bonding debts and act as a pay-as-you-go system. Money community colleges begin to save from energy-friendly improvements will help pay for the project or the implementation of others.Current law allows local governments and school districts to enter into lease-purchase agreements. Iden’s provision allows for community colleges to employ the same option.“This is a flexible, sensible option for an age when budgets are often strapped for funding,” said Iden. “It’s a win-win for community colleges across our state. They can spend carefully through these agreements and have savings for other projects over the future with the energy-friendly projects they invest in right now.”Community colleges will have the option to cancel a lease-purchase contract after each fiscal year and after as little as one year.Within 60 days of improvements, a filed report will be required by the Michigan Public Service Commission listing which facilities were worked on, energy consumption of those facilities prior to improvement, project costs and estimated annual savings.House Bill 4457 passed with unanimous votes in both the House and Senate before becoming Public Act 133 of 2017.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Brandt Iden (left), of Oshtemo, holds a signed copy of House Bill 4457 with Gov. Rick Snyder at a ceremony in Lansing on Oct. 26.last_img read more

Rep Wentworths plan to jumpstart rural economy gains House approval

first_img Measure aims to boost job creation in small townsState Rep. Jason Wentworth discusses legislation with colleagues in the Michigan House chamber.State Rep. Jason Wentworth’s plan to help small businesses in rural areas of Michigan was recently approved by the Michigan House with bipartisan support.Wentworth, of Clare, said the Rural Jobs Act aims to give small job creators in counties with populations of 200,000 or less additional access to investments, creating new jobs and boosting the economies of struggling rural communities.“Many small, rural businesses have trouble attracting new capital or getting approved for business loans,” Wentworth said. “By creating a safe and effective financing tool, we are helping local job creators expand their businesses and create new, good-paying jobs in growing industries.”Under Wentworth’s plan, the Rural Development Creation Fund would be established within the State Treasury with oversight by the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. Target industries for the grants include aviation and aerospace, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, clean energy, cybersecurity, information technology and life sciences.Rural small job creators would partner with the state and qualified private investment fund managers in utilizing the grants. If a business did not achieve its goals it would have to return the funds to the state.“In the past 18 years, only 5 percent of Michigan’s private investments have been made in rural areas,” Wentworth said. “This solution would provide a much-needed boost for the many small towns that were left behind during Michigan’s economic recovery.”The measure, House Bill 6064, now moves to the Senate for consideration.### 08Oct Rep. Wentworth’s plan to jumpstart rural economy gains House approval Categories: Wentworth Newslast_img read more

Amazonowned online video service Lovefilm has str

first_imgAmazon-owned online video service Lovefilm has struck a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution that will give UK subscribers access to the Hollywood studio’s second pay television window. The deal will see Lovefilm have access to Fox’s 2011 theatrical slate in March 2013. It will also give customers access to series including early seasons of motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy and all seasons of 24, Prison Break, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel.This is Lovefilm’s latest Hollywood studio deal following arrangements with Warner Bros, Sony, Disney and NBC Universal.Gina Brogi, executive vice-president of worldwide pay television and subscription video-on-demand for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution added: “We are delighted to be partnered with Lovefilm on this new window for Fox films in the UK. This film and series agreement enables us to give UK fans yet another avenue to enjoy the great stories and characters they have come to know and love from our studio.”last_img read more

Al Jazeera English has revamped its iPad app enha

first_imgAl Jazeera English has revamped its iPad app, enhancing the social functionality of its access to the channel’s TV feed. According to Al Jazeera, the Live Dashboard update includes a social second screen feature alongside the in-app live TV output.Users will be able to view the channel’s official Twitter feeds, the user’s own personal Twitter feeds, and hashtags while watching news and programmes. The app allows users to share content with friends, family, and followers through Twitter, Facebook and email.The app’s integration with Al Jazeera’s news systems means that some stories will appear there before they do on air, according to the broadcaster. Video on the app will be positioned in a ‘fluid grid’ – meaning that video will be in different sizes and shift in position throughout the day according to their prominence in the news agenda.“We want to encourage ever more interaction with our content, and this development enables that interactivity to take place. This feature will especially come into its own during major breaking events,” said Moeed Ahmad, Head of New Media at Al Jazeera.“We held workshops with viewers before building the apps. Twitter traffic went up exponentially during major events such as the Arab Spring and the Japanese earthquake where events were changing by the minute. Viewers were glued to TV coverage and social media. This app makes checking both so much easier.”last_img read more

Entertainment net Fox is launching in Hungarian pa

first_imgEntertainment net Fox is launching in Hungarian pay TV – bringing shows such as The Simpsons, The Walking Dead and The Bridge to local audiences.The deal with pay TV platform Telekom marks the first time a Fox International Channels network has launched in Hungary.Fox will launch on February 4 with all of its major international franchise brands tailored to the Hungarian audience. Titles getting their exclusive local debut include 24: Live Another Day, Sleepy Hollow and The Crazy Ones, plus UK-commissioned FIC series Meet the Russians and Man Up.“We’re thrilled to bring Fox and our slate of original, breakthrough and exclusive series to Hungarian fans,” said Carlos Ortega, executive VP of central and eastern Europe.“Our new audience will enjoy premieres of world-class entertainment content, and an impressive list of productions that will be scheduled and promoted to serve the needs of the local market. As with all our channels worldwide, it will localise an international brand, without losing its essence.”FIC channels have launched in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Russia among other territories in the CEE region in the past year.last_img read more

German broadband trade fair ANGA COM has provided

first_imgGerman broadband trade fair ANGA COM has provided details of the agenda for the 2015 show.The Congress will kick off with a speed by North-Rhine Westphalia prime minister Hannelore Kraft, and the opening panel session will, for the first time, be split into two parts featuring network operator and media respectively.Network operators appearing will include Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries, Kabel Deutschland CEO Manuel Cubero, Astra Deutschland MD Wolfgang Elsäßer and Unitymedia KableBW CEO Lutz Schüler, while the media panel will feature ProSiebenSat.1 board member Conrad Albert, Discovery Networks CEEMEA MD Kasia Kieli and RTL Germany management board member Marc Schröder.The English-language International Broadband Summit track at the show will include contributions from Michel Azibert, CCO and deputy CEO, Eutelsat, Colin Buechner, chief network officer, Liberty Global, Wilhelm Dresselhaus, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland, Bruce McClelland, president, network and cloud and global services, Arris Group, Yves Padrines, VP and general manager cable, media and Video EMEAR, Cisco, and Dirk Woessner, president consumer business, Rogers Communications, Canada.Highlights of the strategy programme include a panel on the competition between video-on-demand and pay TV with Amazon Instant Video, M7, ProSiebenSat.1, Sky, and Tele Columbus.Other features include sessions on network neutrality and migration to DVB-T2 as well as a strategy panel on TV everywhere and the cloud.“The DNA of ANGA COM is and will remain the close combination of broadband and audiovisual media – practical, international and strictly dedicated to business. This year, we especially like to thank our diverse cooperation partners bringing together,” said Peter Charissé, MD of ANGA COM.According to ANGA, 400 exhibitors from 30 countries have so far registered for the show.ANGA COM 2015 will take place at the Köln Messe in Cologne, Germany from June 9-11.last_img read more

TV production boosted the top line performance of

first_imgTV production boosted the top line performance of Lagardère Active, the French media group’s magazine and TV arm, in the first quarter, contributing to a 2.8% like-for-like increase in revenues to €204 million.TV production revenues rose by 82% year-on-year for the quarter , thanks to an exceptionally weak performance in 2014 and the positive impact this year of phasing of delivery of programmes.Lagardère Active’s top line was pulled down by a dip in magazine revenues, dragged 5.1% lower by distribution problems and lower advertising revenue, which stronger digital sales failed to offset.Lagardère Active’s gross sales rose by 1.1%, with the gap between that figure and the like-for-like number attributable to the impact of the sale of 10 magazine titles in July last year, partially offset by the integration of channel Gulli.Overall, Lagardère posted revenues of €1.572 billion for the quarter, up 6% on a like-for-like basis.last_img read more

Paulina SmaszczKurzjewska Polish pay TV operator

first_imgPaulina Smaszcz-KurzjewskaPolish pay TV operator nc+ has named Paulina Smaszcz-Kurzjewska as director of communications and PR, replacing Arkadiusz Mierzwa.Smaszcz-Kurzjewska has previously held senior communications roles at PTK Centertel, Onet.pl and Bayer.Nc+ marketing chief Jacek Balicki has taken overall responsibility for communications within the group to ensure continuity.last_img

Internet TV service FilmOn has renewed its deal wi

first_imgInternet TV service FilmOn has renewed its deal with SPI International / Filmbox and added more of its channels to its line-up.FilmBox Russia, MadscreenBox HD, Kino Polska International and Kino Polska Muzyka join the six SPI International channels already available at FilmOn.com.FilmBox Russia features original Russian dramas, comedies and TV series and is aimed at Russian expats; Kino Polska International airs Polish movies and TV series; Kino Polska Muzyka is dedicated to Polish popular music; and MadscreenBox is an interactive games channel that combines television, mobile and tablets.“FilmOn Live TV makes it possible for our channels to gain new viewers worldwide. We have been observing a healthy increase in the number of subscribers of the six channels carried by FilmOn and we are certain the newly added channels will share the same success, especially among the Russian and Polish ex-pat communities,” said SPI International president, Loni Farhi.The four new channels join the six SPI channels already available on FilmOn – FightBox HD, DocuBox HD, FashionBox HD, 360Tunebox, Fast&FunBox and FilmBox Arthouse.last_img read more

Nokia is acquiring Gainspeed a USbased startup

first_imgNokia is acquiring Gainspeed, a US-based start-up that specialises in Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) solutions for the cable industry.Gainspeed’s Virtual Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) solution would “strategically diversify Nokia’s product portfolio for cable access customers” and expand Nokia’s footprint in this market, the company said in a statement.Upon closing of the deal, California-based Gainspeed, which employs some 70 people, will become part of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group.“Cable is one of the fastest growing areas in our fixed networks business, and we are committed to delivering a complete solution set to cable operators,” said Federico Guillen, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group.“Gainspeed’s Virtual CCAP perfectly complements our leading fiber access solutions for cable MSOs.”Nokia said that with the acquisition of Gainspeed it will have an “extendible and flexible platform” that can host “the future innovations of the cable industry”.The company’s Virtual CCAP solution is designed to help cable operators increase the capacity of their existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) infrastructure and deploy new services, while reducing space and power requirements in the headend. Customers can also use it to migrate their networks to a software-driven, all-IP architecture.The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to closing conditions.last_img read more

Roku exceeded its third quarter revenue and profit

first_imgRoku exceeded its third quarter revenue and profit outlook, driven by continued strength in its advertising business and better-than-expected demand for its streaming players.Total net revenue was up 39% year-on-year to US$173.4 million, platform revenue was up 74% year-on-year to US$100.1 million, while gross profit was up 58% year-on-year to US$79.0 million.Adjusted EBITDA of US$2.0 million and a net loss of US$9.5 million were also ahead of Roku’s outlook, with the company noting that “operating trends remain strong”.The company ended Q3 with 23.8 million active accounts, up 43% year-on-year, with more than half of new accounts coming from licensed sources, primarily Roku TVs. User engagement also increased during the quarter with users streaming 6.2 billion hours, up 63% year-on-year.Platform revenue represented 58% of total revenue compared 46% a year ago, with more than two-thirds coming from advertising services such as video ads, audience development and brand sponsorship on the Roku user interface.Streaming player revenue increased 9% year-over-year, driven by 15% unit growth, offset in part by a 5% decrease in average sales price. Demand for Roku’s low-priced players remained robust.“Based on our strong Q3 results and slightly higher expectations for Q4 revenue, we are again raising our full-year 2018 outlook,” said the company in its letter to shareholders.“We now see full-year revenue growth of 42% year-over-year at the midpoint, up from 40% year-over-year provided last quarter and from 31% year-over-year when we provided our outlook at the beginning of 2018.“We are also raising our full-year gross profit outlook growth to 63% year-over-year, up from 61% previously and from 43% year-over-year when we provided our outlook at the beginning of 2018.”last_img read more

Derry City Council has been forced to review its a

first_img Derry City Council has been forced to review its arrangements for next week’s concert in the city by ageing supergroup, the Beach Boys, after an outcry by elderly fans wanting to take fold away seating to the open air event.The publicity photo featuring former Miss Derry, Katie McCauley, on the fold away chair she had booked for the concert.The decision follows criticism levelled at the local authority for not initially catering for the elderly.Thousands of fans – many in their 60s and 70s – of the US group, whose hits date back to the 1960s, are expected to attend the concert being staged at Ebrington as part of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival celebrations. ShareTweet “I understand health and safety issues but I’m sure my mum and her sisters won’t be throwing their chairs anywhere or causing mayhem. Very poor customer care!”Surfing Derry…. The Beach Boys.Revealing a designated area for people wishing to sit would be made available, a Council spokesperson said the number of chairs would be restricted and those using the facility may have their view restricted.The spokesperson said: “Due to a level of demand, Derry City Council has reviewed the existing arrangements for the Beach Boys concert and are going to make an area available for people who wish to bring small fold away chairs onto the site.“Due to the size of the concert venue, however the number of chairs will be restricted and persons wishing to take chairs along are reminded that it may affect their view of the concert.”As part of the publicity campaign for the concert, former Miss Derry Katie McCauley was featured after “booking” her deck chair for the concert.UPROAR AT NO SEATING FOR ELDERLY BEACH BOYS FANS was last modified: June 19th, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: However, after outraged fans hit out at the possibility of having to stand throughout the entire concert, the council has now agreed to make an area available for fans wishing to bring fold away chairs.One woman said: “I am very disappointed OAPs will not allowed to bring in foldaway seating to Beach Boys concert next week,  considering the fact Beach Boys are probably in their 70s themselves.“How do they expect 70+ to stand for 90 minutes?“This concert should be for all citizens of this city, however they should not be discriminated against. awaybeachboysconcertDerryelderlyfoldseatslast_img read more

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first_img Facebook IAEGER, WV (WOAY) – Two people from McDowell County are in jail facing drug charges. On 02-21-2019 Deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Troopers with the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police and Members of the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force conducted a Search Warrant in the Sandy Huff area of Iaeger WV. Upon conducting the search warrant they found a quantity of Methamphetamine and suboxone packaged for delivery.Deputies arrested a Jody Worthington from Sandy Huff and a Crystal Justice from Iaeger. Both are charged with Possession with intent to deliver a Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substance, Felony Conspiracy, Maintaining a Dwelling for selling drugs Magistrate Daniel Mitchell arraigned them both and a bond of $47,000 was set.They were remanded back into the holding unit awaiting transport to the Southwestern regional jail. CrimeWatch NewsFeaturedNewsWatch Two arrested for drugs in McDowell County By Tyler BarkerFeb 22, 2019, 09:49 am 603 0 Mail Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com Google+ Home NewsWatch CrimeWatch News Two arrested for drugs in McDowell County Pinterest Twitter Next PostRally Protest At West Virginia University Over Campus Carry Bill Previous PostOne person injured in Greenbrier County Shooting Tumblr Linkedinlast_img read more

Home NewsWatch West Virginia State Fair Announce

first_imgHome NewsWatch West Virginia State Fair Announces Food Contest Contenders Facebook Tumblr Pinterest LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia state fair is holding its second annual food contest.The fair’s organizers on Tuesday announced the contenders for the 10-day contest that runs from August 8th to the 17th in Lewisburg.The menu items include a smoked bacon ice cream, a corndog wrapped in Monterey jack cheese and flaming hot Cheetos, a buffalo chicken pizza and more.The winner will be announced on August 17 after votes are cast through social media or in person at the fair. Next PostWVU Basketball Alumni Tour to Visit Beckley Thursday Google+ Twitter Linkedin Previous PostUPDATE: One Person In Custody After Lewisburg Shooting NewsWatchState NewsTop Stories West Virginia State Fair Announces Food Contest Contenders By Yazmin RodriguezJul 10, 2019, 05:39 am 191 0 Mail Yazmin Rodriguez Yazmin Rodriguez is currently the morning and noon anchor for WOAY. She was born in Newark, New Jersey then later headed down to the Jersey shore where she received her bachelor’s degree in television and radio from Monmouth University.last_img read more

By Marin Katusa Chief Energy Investment Strategis

first_imgBy Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment StrategistThe energy market is a complex beast, its many parts interconnected through a multitude of linkages. When one part fails, the entire system reacts: certain linkages are burdened with extra stress, while other components sit idle. Only by studying the entire machine can one understand the rippling effects that stem from one change.With the energy market, the system is made up of various sectors – oil, natural gas, uranium, coal, and alternative energies – and the countries that have each of those energy resources. The components are then linked through a long line of forces, including the geographic distributions of supply and demand, international allegiances and trade deals, global markets and commodity prices, and the ever-evolving field of international relations. A change in any country, sector, or linkage resonates through the entire system.From this perspective, North America’s shale gas revolution truly earns its accolade as a “game changer.” As many people now understand, the boom in natural gas reserves and production in the United States and Canada is changing the way North America will power itself in the future.What a lot of people do not understand is how to profit from this shift.Natural gas prices are depressed and expected to remain so for the short to medium term, so investing in natural gas options or a natural gas exchange-traded fund is not likely to bring home the big bucks anytime soon. Domestic natural gas equities are an even riskier idea – most producers are scaling back production and selling assets as they hunker down in preparation for a tough few years.In this case, the way to profit is by understanding how natural gas’ changing role is impacting North America’s energy machine as a whole. Cheap natural gas is prompting utilities to switch from coal to gas where possible. The confluence of cheap natural gas and a risky global economy has droves of investors turning their backs on green energy, the sector that was such a market darling only a few years ago. Farther down the road, North Americans are debating – and in places implementing – a range of strategies to take advantage of the continent’s newfound abundance of natural gas, from natural-gas-powered transport trucks to exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).Isaac Newton showed us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is why every downside force in the energy sector creates upside opportunities elsewhere. The challenge is finding them. It takes an understanding of the entire global energy machine to figure out what areas are benefitting from the changing landscape.For Every Down, There’s an UpNatural gas seems to know that it is heading for several years in the doldrums and, in fighting spirit, it is trying to take a couple of other energy sectors down with it.With coal, it is succeeding, but there are still lots of coal opportunities outside of the United States. With uranium, the global supply-demand scenario and America’s position within it is in such flux right now that cheap natural gas is doing little to reduce America’s need for U3O8. Then there’s the well-field services sector, where the successes born from horizontal drilling and fracturing created the gas supply glut that is forcing production cuts. Far from slowing down, however, well-field service companies are busier than ever as the oil industry adopts fracking to access shale oil, and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico continues to test the limits of drilling technology.CoalThe sector feeling the worst impacts from gas’ downturn is thermal coal. Demand for the coal burned to generate power in the US is plummeting as utilities take advantage of the cheapest natural gas in ten years. Consumption of coal to produce electricity is expected to fall 2% this year to its lowest level since 1992, while gas-fired consumption rises 5.6%. Making matters worse, winter heating demand is falling in the face of mild weather: through January, this has been the warmest winter since 2006 and the fourth-warmest on record. With natural gas and warm weather conspiring against it, coal demand is decidedly down – in the second week of February, coal consumption was 4.3% lower than it was a year ago.Exports are not going to provide any help. Last year, Europe bought 50% of America’s thermal coal exports, but demand from the EU is shrinking as the region struggles to stave off a recession. The economies of the EU shrank 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter, the first contraction since mid-2009.In response, US thermal coal prices are deteriorating. Appalachian coal, the US thermal-coal benchmark, fell 15% in January alone to sit near US$60 per tonne and has moved little since (by comparison, Australian thermal coal is currently fetching almost US$120 per tonne). Mining costs to dig thermal coal out of the ground range from $60 to $75 per tonne for Central Appalachian producers, which means margins are already razor thin or nonexistent. Several major US thermal coal producers are reducing output and in some cases closing mines, including Arch Coal (NYSE.ACI), Patriot Coal (NYSE.PCX), and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE.ANR).Now for some good news. Thermal coal prices in the United States may be faltering, but that doesn’t mean that coal is in the doldrums across the globe. In fact, quite the contrary: global thermal-coal demand is expected to increase by 50% from 2008 to 2035, with the vast majority of increased demand coming from the developing world. That equates to a demand increase of 1.5% each year, and production is not quite expected to keep up to that pace. Rising demand plus not-quite-enough supply equals investment opportunities – maybe not in the US, but elsewhere.That’s just thermal coal. There’s another component to the coal world: metallurgical coal, the higher-carbon coal used to make steel. Supplies are even tighter with metallurgical coal, which is why our subscribers have exposure to “met coal” through either equities or a fund. More recommendations are on the horizon: the upcoming edition of the Casey Energy Report will be all about coal. We will provide the background, supply and demand projections, and the best ways to profit from the global coal sector.UraniumThe abundance of cheap gas has utilities looking to build more gas-fired power plants. Some observers have suggested that this will be to the detriment of the nuclear sector in the US. But that perspective is pretty shortsighted.It is true that some utilities have delayed plans for new nuclear plants by a few years, primarily in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and the ensuing public backlash against uranium. But that backlash is already fading; and those delays will have only a minimal impact on the nuclear sector in the US. Five new generators are on track for completion this decade, including two reactors approved just a few weeks ago (the first new reactor approvals in the US in over 30 years). Those will add to the 104 reactors that are already in operation around the country and already produce 20% of the nation’s power.Those reactors will eat up 19,724 tonnes of U3O8 this year, which represents 29% of global uranium demand. If that seems like a large amount, it is! The US produces more nuclear power than any other country on earth, which means it consumes more uranium that any other nation. However, decades of declining domestic production have left the US producing only 4% of the world’s uranium.With so little homegrown uranium, the United States has to import more than 80% of the uranium it needs to fuel its reactors. Thankfully, for 18 years a deal with Russia has filled that gap. The “Megatons to Megawatts” agreement, whereby Russia downblends highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads to create reactor fuel, has provided the US with a steady, inexpensive source of uranium since 1993. The problem is that the program is coming to an end next year.At present the world is producing just enough uranium to meet global demand, but this precarious balance is already tipping. There are dozens of new reactors under construction in China, India, South Korea, and Russia that will need fuel. Production increases from new mines and mine expansions are not expected to keep pace. The race to secure uranium resources is on, and for the first time the US has to compete.The answer is domestic production. The rocks underneath the United States hold lots of uranium, enough to make a significant contribution to the country’s uranium needs. The biggest impediment to mining this resource is public opposition to the nebulous dangers of uranium mining, but as the Megatons program ends Americans will start to see that the alternatives to domestic production are decidedly worse: competing against China, India, and the like for uranium is an expensive and unstable way to acquire a desperately needed energy resource. In fact, we have been vocal in predicting a demand-driven boom in US uranium production. We even expect to see “Made in America” uranium garnering a premium over imported yellowcake, in the same way that in-demand Brent crude oil earns a premium above oversupplied West Texas Intermediate crude.We have already recommended a range of investments to our subscribers to gain exposure to the coming uranium resurgence and, as with coal, there is more to come: the next edition of the Casey Energy Opportunities newsletter will focus on uranium, with recommendations to boot.Well-Field ServicesThe techniques used to unlock natural gas from shale reservoirs – horizontal drilling and well fracturing – worked so well that they created a supply glut that is altering the global energy scene. That supply glut is now prompting natural gas producers to cut back on output, which you might think would be bad news for the well-field service companies that complete those tasks.Not to worry: North America is also in the midst of a crude-oil production boom, and the common theme linking most of the continent’s new wells is highly technical drilling and production methods. The purveyors of those techniques are the continent’s well-field service companies, and their services are very much in demand.Well-field service companies have been able to compensate for lost gas fracking business by shifting to oil, as the oil industry has adopted fracking to unlock its shale deposits. If you’ve read about the oil production boom that is keeping North Dakota’s economy hopping, you read about the Bakken shale formation. In the Bakken, wells are drilled horizontally to follow along the oil-bearing layer, and then high-pressure fluids are forced down the well to fracture the shale and release the oil.Meanwhile, the challenges of producing oil in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico continue to test the limits of drilling technology. Pushing through kilometers of water before drilling through just as much rock and then extracting and transporting oil from a platform rocked by waves and threatened by hurricanes demands a wealth of specialized equipment and operators.Most oil and gas companies do not own drill rigs, nor do they actually drill or fracture their own wells. They contract those jobs out to companies that drill and frac for a living, known as well-field service companies. And with wells in America’s booming oil and gas fields requiring more complicated and more technical services with each passing year, the services these companies provide are essential to North America’s oil and gas producers.The Casey energy team is all over the well-field services sector. Subscribers to the Casey Energy Report newsletter and the Casey Energy Confidential alert service were alerted to our latest recommendation in the sector in mid-November. Three months later, our investment is already up roughly 50% and we suggested that subscribers take a “Casey Free Ride,” which means selling enough shares to recoup one’s initial investment and retaining the remaining “free” shares for continued, risk-free upside exposure.The Take-HomeWhen a machine is as interconnected as the global energy trade, no part can change without impacting the rest. The dramatic debut of shale gas in North America has done far more than just depress domestic natural-gas prices – a shift of this magnitude has impacts that reach far beyond one commodity or one country. Some of those impacts are negative, but hidden in the doom and gloom lie opportunities to profit. The key is to open your horizons and embrace the complexity and interconnectedness of the global energy machine… either that, or find a good mechanic who can do the job for you.[One of the best opportunities we’ve seen in years involves leveraging a touchy situation that OPEC doesn’t want you to know about. Learn more about it.] Additional Links and ReadsTransCanada Pushes Keystone XL Southern Leg (CBC News)TransCanada plans to break ground on the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline soon, while it completes a re-routing of the contentious northern leg to avoid the sensitive Sandhills region of Nebraska. When President Obama denied TransCanada a permit for Keystone in January, the only issue was the routing through Nebraska. Since regulators did not identify any problems with the portion connecting Cushing, Oklahoma to the refineries on the Gulf Coast, TransCanada will now resubmit that section for expedited approval in the hopes of having the much-needed connection in operation by mid-2013. Major production increases from the oil sands and the Bakken formation in North Dakota have created a supply glut at the oil hub in Cushing, because there is insufficient pipeline capacity to move all that oil to the refineries in the south.Rising Energy Prices Endanger German Industry (Der Spiegel)Chancellor Angela Merkel set Germany on a course to eliminate nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources. Now, however, electricity prices are rising rapidly, threatening Germany’s important industrial and manufacturing sectors. Companies are closing factories or moving abroad, unable to deal with power prices that have, in some places, tripled in ten years. And there is no answer in sight: Only a few of the promised pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants needed to store power when the wind dies down and clouds cover the sky are being built; upgrades to the country’s power grid needed to transport wind-generated power from the coast inland will cost billions; and very few companies are willing to invest in much-needed natural gas-fired power plants given the high levels of regulatory uncertainty.Shippers Back Trans Mountain Expansion: Kinder Morgan (The Globe and Mail)The owner of the only pipeline running from Canada’s oil sands west to the Pacific coast is starting design work on doubling the pipe’s capacity after receiving binding commitments from enough shippers to fill the additional volume. Kinder Morgan has been testing the waters around doubling capacity on the 300,000-barrel-per-day Trans Mountain pipeline for some time and says the proposal would still need approval from the National Energy Board before construction could begin. Compared to the other main westbound oil sands pipeline plan (Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal), Kinder’s plan has the advantage that it would be using an existing right-of-way rather than impacting pristine lands. However, larger tankers would be needed to accommodate the increased crude volumes – and that would require dredging the Port of Vancouver, which is a significant obstacle.EU’s Dubious Attack on the Oil Sands (National Post)This editorial explains why legislation proposed in the European Union to effectively label crude from the oil sands as “dirty” is a bad idea. For one, while the impact on carbon-dioxide emissions would be minimal, the precedent would be dangerous in its exclusivity. Second, the label itself is highly questionable, as there is little to no evidence that oil sands crude emits significantly more CO2 than many other crude oils. Third, implementing the policy would be wrought with difficulties – would pharmaceutical and plastics manufacturers, for example, have to avoid petroleum products derived from the oil sands? And fourth: the problem is not the oil sands but rather the world’s reliance on burning oil.First Nations Don’t Have a Pipeline Veto, But They Do Have Options (The Globe and Mail)Public consultation over Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is under way, and the issue is creating major debate in British Columbia. One key stumbling block is that most if not all of the First Nations bands along the proposed route oppose the pipeline. In that light, this interesting article explains just what powers the First Nations in British Columbia have over such decisions and what options they have if they don’t like the outcome.Green Energy’s Deadly Doldrums (The Globe and Mail)A great article on the quadruple whammy that has hit the green energy sector in recent years. Four years ago, investors pushed the prices of big, multinational players in the green tech sector to record highs; now many of those large companies are trading at a fraction of those levels, and several have filed for bankruptcy. The sector is struggling against cheap natural gas, overcapacity in green manufacturing, a less favorable political climate, and a global economic downturn that has reduced investors’ risk appetite and government’s generosity with subsidies.last_img read more