Tom Kirkman

Correlation does not equal causation, but they do tend to tango on occasion

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On 8/9/2018 at 7:46 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

One of these days my comments about oil & gas might land me in some hot water.  Over on LinkedIn, I tend to comment quite a bit about Petronas and Malaysia oil & gas & LNG.  That's simply because I have a lot more Malaysian connections on LinkedIn than I do here on Oil Price.  And some of my comments on LinkedIn have gotten "disappeared" in the past on "touchy" topics.

Anyway, my latest comment on LinkedIn may rile a few Petronas staff, but as many of you already know, I'm not a big believer in not speaking my mind.

So here's my latest observation this morning about the ongoing Petronas vs Sarawak dispute in Malaysia, which I posted on LinkedIn:


Regardless of what Reuters or The Edge or any media say, I tend to think the abrupt slowdown in natural gas / LNG in Sarawak is due *at least in part* to the dispute over oil & gas (and LNG) rights and royalties, between Petronas / Federal government in Peninsular and Sarawak.

Malaysia is one of the largest exporters in the world of LNG.  And all of Malaysia's LNG exports come from MLNG in Bintulu, Sawarak.

The *timing* of the abrupt "problems" with natural gas & LNG in Sarawak happened at the same time as the very vocal oil / gas / LNG rights & royalties dispute between Petronas and Sarawak.  And mysteriously, approvals are not granted yet to resume production  < eye roll >

I remain unconvinced that the O&G dispute and the O&G slowdown are totally unrelated.  Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.

Malaysia LNG exports hit 4-yr low on pipeline issues — sources



For a bit of background, here's one of my previous rants about this Petronas / Sarawak dispute:

Hey Petronas, Royalties are *not* the same as Profits

Ah well, it isn't just oil and gas that suffers from, hmmm lets call it "some degrees of opacity". A few years ago I uncovered a huge - and I mean huge - cartel that was milking humanitarian demining of millions of dollars annually, in a then, recently post conflict country. Moreover the cartel was also running a huge smuggling operation as well as creaming millions from the World Bank (reputed loss in 1 year = 7 million USD) and other major donors.  I actually went under cover with the world bank fraud investigation team to assist their investigations for a week or so.

I took the evidence of the fraud and corruption to the OHR. The Resident High Representative received me like a present of rotten fish. My own embassy staff treated me with derision and scorn. My office manager, a redoubtable lady was beaten senseless and I received a message to the effect that if I didn't leave the country concerned immediately I would be killed.

On returning to my own country I went to see the organisation responsible for handling foreign aid (at that time about 15 or 16 billion dollars worth a year). There I was treated  like a contagious disease and told that if I had any complaints I should have taken those complaints up with the people concerned. In other words I should have complained to the people who had told me they were going to kill me.

Later on - not very much later on, the politician responsible for foreign aid in my country wrote to my Member of Parliament, through whom I had channelled my information to the government and told him that there was no truth in my allegations.

My country? Oh thats the one with the "Mother of all Parliaments", you know, the one with one of the oldest judicial systems in the world. The country with the government that doesn't allow bribery and corruption. Did you guess it yet?

I am a UK citizen. The country concerned is UK and the government department is DFID. As an old friend of mine from MI6 once told me: "Dont believe anything about UK, the whole country is a mess of smoke and mirrors".

And they have the nerve to criticise Putin and his skulduggery.

Edited by Eodmatt
Banana fingers
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On 8/10/2018 at 11:24 AM, Tom Kirkman said:

Intriguing idea there, Epic.  Meritocracy in action.  Every student gets a fair shot at a free education.

Sounds more workable than this idea:

Professors allow students to pick their own grade

A literature class at Davidson College this fall will use “contract grading,” allowing students to pick ahead of time their grade for the class and the workload they need to complete to earn it.

The offer is posed by Professor Melissa Gonzalez for her Introduction to Spanish Literatures and Cultures course, SPA 270, at the private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina.

She is one of several professors across the nation who allow this pick-your-own grade method, billed as a way to eliminate the student-professor power differential and give students control of their education. But critics contend it is just another example of how colleges coddle students from the harsh realities of the real world, which includes competition and goal expectations.

... But not all students are convinced it’s a good idea, including Davidson College senior Kenny Xu, who is majoring in mathematics.

“It degrades trust in your achievement by outside authorities, including employers, grad schools, scholarships etc.,” he told The College Fix. “Imagine if an employer saw that you got an A not because you were truly one of the best in the class but because you fulfilled some requirement YOU personally set. Would he really trust that A? I think not.”

“Colleges are increasingly viewing themselves as a support system rather than an institution of learning,” Xu added. “Learning is not supposed to be easy, or comfortable. Excellence requires that you step out of your comfort zone and compete. Colleges are becoming shelters, which is not what this country nor what this generation needs.”

And in UK, yesterdays papers revealed that school examinations will be marked more "leniently" so as not to disadvantage some pupils. Namely, one supposes, the lazy and stupid. I mean please excuse me for asking, for I am but an old ignorant EOD engineer, wouldn't it be better if teaching methods were improved, if slower pupils were encouraged more, rather than lowering the standard across the board?

I taught EOD at advanced level at the NATO school for a few years and the pass marks were high (you cant really allow people to deal with bombs if they are only half trained), but the failure rate was low. The training was all about motivation and not about lowering standards so that all could achieve the same level.

Come to think of it, I may be wrong. I quite fancy being a professor of quantum physics. How hard can it be? Pas me an exam paper and I'll have a crack at it during my tea break.

Edited by Eodmatt
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On 8/10/2018 at 11:22 AM, mthebold said:

it costs me nothing to be considerate.

I wish more people thought like this.

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32 minutes ago, Epic said:

I wish more people thought like this.

Winston Churchill once said: "If you are about to kill a man, it costs nothing to be civil to him".



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