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News: Shale & More!

Are the RUSSKIES Funding Fractivists?

by:  TOM SHEPSTONE, PRESIDENT Shepstone Management Co.

There has been a lot of speculation over the last several months about Vladimir Putin underwriting, either directly or indirectly, fractivist cam-paigns around the world, but particularly in Europe, which is a big cus-tomer for Russia’s state-owned gas company, Gazprom.  Our friend Nick Grealy talked about it in this post. He noted how very strange indeed it was that Gazprom paid its US public relations firm a lot of money to for things such as “correspondence with Tribeca Film Festival on future sponsorship options.” That festival, of course, is a favorite of the one and only Josh Fox, so Nick’s ears and our’s both went up at that one.

Moreover, call me cynical, but it’s not readily obvious why a gas company that sells nothing to the US market needs a PR firm here. The Russkies have a clear interest in influencing what’s happening in Europe, of course, but the only apparent reason to spend money here is to help slow down fracking advances before things migrate to Europe. It’s too late to stop it, but any delay is clearly valuable to them, especially if they’re looking for an opportunity to get their own shale gas development program going before Europe fully develops alternatives to Russian gas.

Therefore, it’s no surprise evidence of Russian involvement in fractivist causes keeps building.

NATO Head Says Russkies Funding Fractivists

What caught Nick Grealy’s eye to write his post was this paragraph from a Foreign Affairs article (emphasis added):

It should not be surprising that the Southern Gas Corridor has caught Moscow’s ire. Russian-run Gazprom is attempting to buy up gas transit and transmission infrastructure along the pipeline route to try to undermine the project. Even more insidious, it has paid environmental movements to try to stymie construction with environmental claims. This is not the first time that Gazprom has used bogus environmental movements to promote its interests. It has also funded anti-fracking campaigns in Europe, including in Ukraine and Bulgaria, to slow Europe’s development of local gas supplies. If public watchdogs in Europe do not monitor and publicize Russia’s manipulation of environmental causes, distinguishing its claims from those of legitimate envi-ronmental organizations, it will find itself increasingly dependent on Russian gas imports.

It’s also worth noting Phelim McAleer was ahead of the curve on this in Fracknation, when he interviewed James Delingpole of Breitbart London and Neil Buckley of the Financial Times about this very issue. Here’s the video link:

Now, Breitbart London (a conservative blog) has come out with still more on the subject, reporting on a remarkable article in the Guard-ian (a center-left UK paper) that includes the following:

Russia ‘secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking’ The head of one of the world’s leading groups of democratic nations has accused Russia of undermining projects using hydraulic fracturing technology in Europe.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), and former premier of Denmark, told the Cha-tham House thinktank in London on Thursday that Vladimir Putin’s government was behind attempts to discredit fracking, according to reports.

Rasmussen said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”

Rasmussen made clear that fracking should be used, in his view, to increase Europe’s energy security, by providing a new source of gas and oil supply.

Nato was originally formed at the start of the cold war as an alliance of western states, including the US and many European nations, and historically has often opposed Russia. Rasmussen himself has spoken out previously against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

A Nato official told the Guardian that Russia’s influence on energy sup-plies was causing problems for Europe. The official said: “We don’t go into the details of discussions among allied leaders, but Russia has been using a mix of hard and soft power in its attempt to recreate a sphere of influence, including through a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy. In general, the potential for Russia using energy supplies as a means of putting pressure on European nations is a matter of concern. No country should use supply and pricing terms as tools of coercion.

“As energy supplies and routes are an issue mostly for the EU, we count on the EU to take into account the new security realities in Europe and look at whether there is a need to review diversifying energy sources and expanding energy infrastructure. Clearly, it is in the interest of all Nato allies to be able to have adequate energy supplies. This is critical to our economies, our security and our prosperity. We share a concern by some allies that Russia could try to obstruct possible projects on shale gas exploration in Europe in order to maintain Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.”

Green groups were swift to attack Rasmussen’s views, saying that they were not involved in any alleged Russian attempts to discredit the tech-nology, and were instead opposed to it on the grounds of environmental sustainability.

“The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at Nato HQ,” said Greenpeace, which has a history of antagonism with the Russian government, which ar-rested several of its activists on a protest in the Arctic last year.

Andrew Pendleton, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, added: “Per-haps the Russians are worried about our huge wind and solar potential and have infiltrated the UK government.”

This is the first statement by someone in a position of authority to the effect Russia is behind the fractivist movement (along with a small group of wealthy special interest foundations in the US). Rasmussen’s interpretation of events is not NATO policy per se, but it is the view of a leader in the position to know and there’s more. Notice, for example, the “Who, me?” reaction of both environmental groups is anything but denial.

Fractivists Aren’t What They Used To Be

The suggestion that Greenpeace’s recent actions make it implausible to think the Russkies may have financed them is even less convincing. Why? Because, Greenpeace is, according to others who have watched it carefully, essentially a shakedown outfit and when operators of that sort want more money they get it by reminding their patsy funders of why it’s not healthy to have them as an engaged enemy.

The Greenpeace of today, in fact, is a completely different organization, both mission-wise and legally, than the original. One of the original’s founders, Patrick Moore, got so disgusted with the evolution of the organization he left and has written a book about the experi-ence. Likewise for Bjørn Lomborg. They got tired of the bullying and Greenpeace’s lack of conscience and reason.

Interestingly, the Russian newspaper Pravda, tells us this (emphasis added):

A coordinator of the Moscow branch of the Russian anti-globalization resistance Elena Borisova believes that Greenpeace’s methods are unacceptable.

It seems that Greenpeace is activated when Russia begins to imple-ment some projects in the Arctic, Barents Sea?

“I strongly suspect that it is really the case. We did support a number of campaigns by Greenpeace when we thought that the nature was in danger. The examples are Utrish reserve, game reserves of the Caucasus in connection with the ongoing construction there. However, in many cases there is some correlation.

Of course, Greenpeace needs funding. It receives this funding. The current public relations system allows, so to speak, to create the impres-sion of independent functioning. That is, direct requirements are not always there. There are no statements like “we’ll give money if you hurt someone,” in many ways it’s hidden, including from the protesters, and even employees of Greenpeace. We are in contact with them and know a lot about it…

Apparently, even Greenpeace’s occasional allies believe it has taken dark money and reading between the lines suggests some of it could have easily come from the Russian government itself when the issue was something other than drilling in the Artic. This candid observation about Greenpeace operates, though, tells us a lot about the fractivist movement here and abroad. Most of them are just “useful idiots” who haven’t the slightest idea where their funding comes from or what’s its purpose is and many don’t care as James O’Keefe recently illustrated.

Did any of the dark money make it to the US? Well, apart from the money Gazprom gave the Ketchum firm, it’s hard to know. Our foundation re-porting requirements allow us a glimpse into how each spends its money although some act as as money-launderers for others. Foreign firms are generally under no such obligations, though, so we can only see the recipi-ents and not the funders.

Greenpeace Funding A Puzzle

We do know there are two different Greenpeace USA groups. Like the NY-PIRG, they have two corporations; one, Greenpeace, Inc. is a 501(c)4 political lobbying entity and the other, Greenpeace Fund, Inc., is a char-ity. The political arm took in $32 million in 2012 and the charity side had $12 million in revenues. The former spent the vast bulk of its money on salaries, benefits, fund-raising expenses and other overhead. This is fascinating, given the relatively low profile Greenpeace has in this country compared to, say, the NRDC. It suggests an organization that isn’t doing much for the money it receives.

The charity side spent more in grants than it collected in revenue in 2012. Some $13 million was granted to the political arm and/or Greenpeace International (the Stichting Greenpeace Council) climate, forest, ocean and Arctic campaigns in Europe; all for the same purposes. Greenpeace is, other words, raising political money here in the US to spend abroad–tap-ping our useful idiots. We are simply a money trough. And, it’s the usual suspects giving the money. Adelaide Gomer, of Park Foundation fame, is on the board of the charity arm and gives it $50,000 per year. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is another funder.

But, where does the rest of the political arm’s funding come from? It took in $33 million and only a fraction came from the charity arm. It’s hard to believe such a low-profile group could raise that kind of money. Some-thing called The Partnership Project, Inc. (funded by World Wildlife Fund Inc, Wilderness Society, Environment America, The Energy Foundation and the Tides Foundation among others) gave it $120,000 and the Ru-dolph Steiner Foundation apparently gave it money some time in the past but there is no indication of any other groups funding Greenpeace, Inc. in recent years.

That means the money came from mail solicitations, large private in-dividual donations or groups that don’t have to report. We’ll probably never know exactly who, but we do know useful idiots here are apparently sending big money to Greenpeace International where it is likely packaged with money from the Russkies to fight fracking and Greenpeace may well be shaking them down for more.


Alyeska named one of World’s Most Ethical Companies, second year in a row

The Ethisphere Institute has recognized Alyeska Pipeline Service Company with a 2013 World’s Most Ethical (WME) Company award. The institute announced its selection today at the 2013 WME Honoree dinner in New York.  

“We have earned this award two years in a row. This shows Alyeska employees and contractors live the values embedded in our policies and in our code of conduct every day,” said Tom Barrett, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company President. “Ethics begins with our people. Without their ongoing commitment to integrity, the best policies and procedures in the world wouldn’t hold up.”  

Alyeska received the award for demonstrating the following:

  • Strong and consistent safety and environmental record.
  • Excellent code of conduct and an open work environment that encourages employees to raise concerns and identify company improvements.
  • Sustainability initiatives designed to extend the life of the pipeline and protect the environment.
  • Established policies and procedures that foster ethical behavior.
  • Direct lines of communication between the workforce and leadership.
  • Corporate citizenship programs, including the annual United Way campaign, school partnerships and matching employee philanthropy contributions.
Alex Brigham, Executive Director of Ethisphere, said the institute is “seeing more companies be proactive and create new initiatives that expand ethics programs and cultures across entire industries… We are excited to see the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies take these leadership positions, and embrace ethical behavior.” 
The Ethisphere Institute is an international organization dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Read about Ethisphere’s selection criteria and view the complete list of 2013 World’s Most Ethical Companies at 
About Alyeska Pipeline  
For 35 years, Alyeska has operated the 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), safely moving oil from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska south to the Port of Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the United States. The pipeline traverses three mountain ranges, permafrost regions and 34 major rivers and streams. Alyeska personnel work in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez and at pump stations and response facilities all along the pipeline. They also operate the Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) for Prince William Sound. Alyeska was created to construct, operate, and maintain TAPS for owner companies which today are BP Pipelines (Alaska), ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, Unocal Pipeline Company, and Koch Alaska Pipeline Company. 

For further information, contact Michelle Egan, Alyeska Corporate Communications Director, 907-787-8870. For information on Alyeska, visit the company’s website at, or follow Alyeska on Facebook or on Twitter at 

Gas Processing Company Revolutionizing Equipment One Well Site at A Time

written by:  Cameron Croft, CEO

There are many things that CROFT, as an oil and gas company, does well- we have out-standing engineering, state of the art manu-facturing, and superior customer service. We also have the ability to give you options with our equipment, since we customize and build to your specific wells and specifications. 

We have recently launched a new product, Fuel Gas Conditioning System, or FCS, that has the power to cool, dehydrate, and remove gas heavies to prevent freeze-ups of fuel lines, and clean gas for fuel and instrumentation. There are seven different types of FCS’ avail-able to purchase-just depends on the size of the well, pressure, volume, and gas that is being produced. 

The FCS is a combination of multiple Croft Systems combined into one package to condi-tion fuel, supply, and instrument gas on loca-tion. The FCS incorporates two of our other pieces of equipment, the Ambient Cooler System and the Passive Dehydration System. All these systems work together to utilize a pressure drop, remove the natural gas liquids from the gas stream, and then to dehydrate the gas so the dew point is reduced below pipeline specifications. The FCS removes con-densates and water to provide a dehydrated and consistent BTU for utilization in high speed engines and instrumentation. The FCS is commonly utilized after initial free liquid separation and field processing of the gas, and immediately before the generator, for the final polishing of the gas. 

The FCS is the only type of its kind in the oil and gas industry. Other companies sell all the components separately, which ends up being more money, materials, labor costs, and chemicals. The FCS is neatly packaged onto a skid, with the other gas processing parts already equipped and ready to run at startup. The way that our units are engineered mean that there is minimal downtime, reduced equipment failure, and increased output. All these features save our clients time, money, and labor costs. The FCS can be utilized for those who have natural gas powered engines, burners, pneumatic controllers and instru-mentation. You won’t be able to find a equal package of this caliber in the industry. Along with prompt, professional service sup-port, and spare parts that are available from the regional service technicians, CROFT con-tinuously strives to improve quality, cost, and service. We have ASME coded pressure vessels and we are ISO9001 certified. When doing business with CROFT you can be reassured that the job will be done correctly. 

CROFT is located outside of Houston, TX and services nine states and has over 60 clients. These systems are designed to be eco-friendly and with operational safety and efficiency in mind. We base our engineering on several de-cades of experience in natural gas processing. To receive more information on the systems we sell please visit our website:, call the office at 979-793-2100, or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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