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— November 2009 —

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November 30, 2009

U.S. Crude Oil Production in 2009 Poised To Show Big Jump: Platts Analysis



Photo: Platts' new 100-year anniversary global branding ad for oil rolled out in February issue of UK's Energy Risk Magazine; first in a series of Platts' 2009 ads to highlight the commodities it covers: Oil, Petrochemicals, Electricity, Natural Gas, Metals and Renewable Fuels.

United States crude oil production for 2009 is on target to have its biggest one-year jump since 1970, according to a Platts analysis of industry data.

Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is a leading global provider of energy and commodities information.

With U.S. oil production averaging 5.268 million barrels per day (b/d) through October, the gain in U.S. output will be the most since the country produced 9.637-million b/d in 1970, which turned out to be the peak year of U.S. crude output, according to Platts' analysis of data published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). If that 5.268 million b/d figure holds through December, this year would show a 6.4% boost from the 4.95 million b/d average of 2008 and rank as the best U.S. oil production year since 2004, when output averaged 5.419 million b/d.

Projections from the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) indicate that the primary driver for this year's U.S. oil production resurgence is actually just getting started. That driver is the Gulf of Mexico, where operators have begun launching a group of new fields, fulfilling what has been a decade-long focus on unlocking the promise of deepwater exploration there.

Oil Tanker

Photo: Oil tanker and offshore drill on ocean.

In its reporting, Platts concluded that with the jump in the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the emergence of two other new oil-production trends, it appears the U.S. has a chance of at least maintaining oil output in the range of five million to six million b/d for some years to come.

The Gulf posted its biggest oil production year in 2002 with 1.556 million b/d, but only 61% of that total came from deepwater. In contrast, this year the MMS projects oil output of 1.213 million b/d with 76% from deepwater as the Gulf ramps toward an expected new oil production record of 1.635 million b/d by 2011.

Besides growth in the Gulf, those other trends involve further development of the Bakken Shale oil play in North Dakota and success by a group of operators now training their onshore exploration sights toward new oil targets at the expense of natural gas.

Oil Rig

Photo: Oil Rig at Sunset.

As for companies shifting their strategies, that group includes large Houston independent and Bakken pioneer EOG Resources, which has set a goal of shifting from a 70% gas production share to a 50:50 oil and gas mix by 2011 with a comprehensive review of additional potential North American shale oil targets.

This rise in output has helped the U.S. reduce its net imports -- defined as imports less exports, both crude and petroleum products -- by a substantial amount. While there are many factors that go into the United States' net import figure, the decline has been striking, according to EIA data.

And while the drop in U.S. consumption can be seen as accounting for much of that decline, the U.S. also has put more than 140 million barrels of crude oil and products into inventory since the beginning of October 2008, something made possible in part by the rise in crude oil output.

Source: Platts

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:39 AM | View the original post

November 26, 2009

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games: Panasonic to Deliver Full Lineup of HD Equipment

Vancouver 2010


Photo: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Mascots Quatchi, Sumi and Miga (© VANOC/COVAN).

Vancouver 2010


Photo: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Whistler Olympic Park (© VANOC/COVAN).

PANASONIC Olympic Winter Games


Photo: Panasonic to Deliver Full Lineup of HD Equipment to Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Panasonic Corporation, the Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, announced it is providing a full lineup of High-Definition (HD) equipment to support the broadcast of the Olympic Games; delivering the largest supply of AV equipment for any Winter Games in the company's history.

Through cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver (OBSV), Panasonic will supply its HD video equipment to the competition venues and broadcasting locations, making the Vancouver Games the first Olympic Winter Games to be broadcast completely in HD format.

Panasonic Olympic Winter Games


Following Beijing 2008, all international video signals for the 2010 Winter Games will be produced and distributed in HD format from the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) to rights-holding broadcasters around the world. In addition, the HD video signals will also be used for the first time for display on the LED Large Screen Display Systems in the competition venues and BC Place Stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place; making the 2010 Winter Games the first "HD Olympic Winter Games" with all the Olympic videos to be delivered completely in HD.

In addition, Panasonic will support a safe and secure Olympic operation by providing high-quality picture and high-sensitivity surveillance camera systems for the indoor and outdoor Olympic facilities, the surrounding areas and highways.

Sources: Panasonic Corporation; Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).


Our Opinion

"Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will take place in February 2010. Relevant consumer-oriented businesses targeting audiences in participating countries (especially those in North America) may timely explore this advertising opportunity."

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:02 AM | View the original post

November 25, 2009

Lands' End Offers FeelGood Sweaters

Lands End


Photo: Lands' End FeelGood Cardigan. The FeelGood collection includes a variety of sweater styles, such as the cabled sweater vest, striped turtleneck or cabled cardigan, all in rich seasonal colors like Winter Violet, Rich Red and Iris. Lands' End is one of the world's largest retailers of casual and tailored clothing for women, men, children.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:31 AM | View the original post

November 20, 2009

Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200, Says National Taxpayers Union


The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).


The report, The Auto Bailout - A Taxpayer Quagmire, is authored by NTU Adjunct Scholar Thomas D. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Hopkins held senior management positions in two White House agencies during the Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations. In the early 1980's, he served as Deputy Administrator, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, in the Office of Management & Budget.

GM Chevrolet Silverado 2010


Photo: 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Extended Cab.

"Every time someone in your neighborhood drives home in a shiny new Chevy Silverado, remember that it cost American taxpayers more than $12,000," said Pete Sepp, NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications.


The study found that the average American taxpaying family has invested roughly $800 in the auto bailouts so far. Moreover, the study found, the government support poured into General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC - the financing subsidiary that supports sales at both - now stands at $78.9 billion. Given that figure, and an estimate of how many vehicles GM and Chrysler will sell through the end of 2010, the study finds that each vehicle one of the bailed-out companies sells costs taxpayers $10,700.

Finally, breaking down the costs by company, the study reports that every Chrysler vehicle sold costs taxpayers $7,600, and every GM vehicle sold costs taxpayers $12,200.

General Motors

The research is based upon a November study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled "Continued Stewardship Needed as Treasury Develops Strategies for Monitoring and Divesting Financial Interests in Chrysler and GM," a follow-up report on the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," as well as statements and reports released from the U.S. Treasury.

The study also found that during the first ten months of 2009, GM and Chrysler sales fell further than other major auto producers, down 33.4 percent and 38.9 percent, respectively.


Photo: US Treasury Department, Washington, DC, USA.

"While the prospect of repayment of GM and Chrysler loans might be expected, after bankruptcy the vast majority of the bailout funds are no longer legal obligations of the newly-structured GM and Chrysler," the study concludes. "If Americans are to believe public officials' claims that the government will eventually reprivatize the auto industry, the necessity of a thoughtful exit plan is essential. However, at this time no such plan exists, making it likely that the Treasury will not recover its investment."

Source: National Taxpayers Union, 108 North Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.


Our Opinion

"The names 'GM' and 'General Motors' continue to take a beating.

But the value of the name 'Chevrolet' (as well as that of 'Cadillac' and 'Buick') remains unaffected. It is the same it was 20 or 30 years ago.

If GM had projected 'Chevrolet' as its flagship brand (it may do so even today!), it would have boosted the buyers' confidence in all its brands and nameplates and would have restored the investors' confidence in the company."

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:16 AM | View the original post

November 19, 2009

Bridget Moynahan is the Newest Spokesmodel for Garnier Nutritioniste

Moynahan will be the face of the Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift product collection.


Garnier Nutritioniste


Global skincare company Garnier Nutritioniste is introducing actress Bridget Moynahan as the latest spokesmodel for the brand. Moynahan will appear in print and TV campaigns for the brand's top-selling Ultra-Lift skincare collection, set to debut July 2010.

Moynahan joins an impressive roster of Garnier spokesmodels, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Bar Rafaeli and Alana de la Garza.

"We are thrilled to partner with the beautiful Bridget Moynahan," says Maybelline New York-Garnier President David Greenberg. "Her class, grace and accessibility make her a model representative of the Garnier brand. Most importantly, she exhibits a likeable, healthy beauty that speaks to our consumer in such a positive way."

Moynahan is an all-American girl raised in the East Coast town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Before earning international recognition in films and TV, she had a successful modeling career, appearing on the covers of numerous magazines including Glamour, Vogue, Elle and Self. Moynahan has since appeared in a number of major films, such as Serendipity, The Sum of All Fears, The Recruit, I, Robot, and Lord of War. She is the star of the upcoming 2010 film Ramona and Beezus and is currently shooting the film Battle: Los Angeles.

Source: Garnier

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 6:11 AM | View the original post

November 14, 2009




Photo: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (center) visit a diagnostic imaging suite during a tour of University Medical Center at Princeton today. Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Holt held a press conference at the hospital to discuss the need for healthcare reform in America. Pictured at left is Barry S. Rabner, president and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System. (Photo Credit: Princeton HealthCare System. Photographer: Richard Titus)

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:10 PM | View the original post

November 12, 2009

Volkswagen Group of America Invests $125 Million for New Dealer Storefronts in New York City

Flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships reinforce commitment to U.S. market.



Photo: Volkswagen Group of America Invests $125 Million for New Dealer Storefronts in New York City.

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. announced today that it is investing in flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships in New York City, as part of its strategic plan to grow business in the U.S. market.

The $125 million deal is for the 265,000 square-foot building formerly housing Potamkin General Motors. The building is strategically sited in the highest traffic area of 11th Ave., making it a convenient location for Volkswagen and Audi customers.




Auto Maker

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's third largest automaker and the largest carmaker in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen.

"As Volkswagen and Audi move forward on our aggressive plan to increase sales in the U.S., there is no better place to demonstrate our commitment than in Manhattan -- a town synonymous for bold actions and big thinking," said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "New York has always been a leading market for the Volkswagen and Audi brands, and these new store fronts will serve to strengthen our business even more. We are proud to be investing in the New York economy, excited to showcase our brands and look forward to seeing more Volkswagens and Audis on the streets of New York."

The new dealerships will showcase Volkswagen and Audi's new showroom concepts, known respectively as "white frame" and "terminal." The dealerships will be part of one of the largest dealers in the area, the Open Road Auto Group. The Group will target to begin selling vehicles in early 2010.

Source: Volkswagen Group of America


Our Opinion


Should an Automaker make a potential car buyer look upon its marketing as that from an Established, Confident Car Company that believes that its products are very much in demand and that trusts that when someone buys its new car, he or she is already in love with it?

Or, Should an Automaker make a potential car buyer look upon its marketing as that from a Struggling, Jittery Car Company that believes that its products are not in demand and that is why it is forcing the consumers to become artificially interested in them by saying, "If you buy a new car from us and you don't love it, you can bring it back within a specified time, and we we'll refund your money, though, of course, we would do it after a frightening refunding process you would never dare to undergo!"?

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:26 PM | View the original post

Marriott International Developing Green Hotels




Photo: Marriott International will expand its green hotel portfolio ten-fold in five years, with a new green hotel prototype for its Courtyard brand that will be pre-certified LEED(R) (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council. Shown here, the Courtyard Portland City Center, which is certified LEED-Gold. (© Marriott International, Inc., William James Photography)

Marriott International, Inc. announced today that it will expand its green hotel portfolio ten-fold over the next five years by introducing a green hotel prototype that will be pre-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building certification system designed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The green hotel prototype, which will be available in April 2010, will save owners approximately $100,000 and six months in design time, and reduce a hotel's energy and water consumption by up to 25 percent.

The green hotel prototype, referred to by the USGBC as "volume build certification," has been created for Marriott's Courtyard brand, which has a development pipeline of nearly 160 hotels worldwide. In 2010, the company expects to introduce similar green hotel prototypes for its Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites brands, which represent more than 290 hotels in the pipeline worldwide.

"Marriott's' commitment makes it among the first in the world to commit to implementing green buildings on this scale," said Doug Gatlin, Vice President, USGBC. Marriott was the first hospitality member of the USGBC, and has more than 20 LEED accredited professionals on staff.

While many of the benefits of LEED certification, such as improved energy savings, better indoor air quality and reduced CO2 emissions, are transparent to guests, others are easier to identify such as easy access to public transportation, in-room recycling, and light sensors in the guest rooms.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:09 AM | View the original post

November 5, 2009

General Colin Powell Receives American Patriot of Character Award

U.S. Civil servant and retired Army General honored for "outstanding service to America, commitment to ethical conduct"



General Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, received the American Patriot of Character Award presented by The Character Education Partnership during their 16th annual National Forum on Character Education, in Alexandria, VA.

The American Patriot of Character Award honors one American citizen whose leadership exemplifies the very best of the nation's founding principles.

"The award recognizes individuals not only for great success in their chosen field, but also for upholding the highest ethical standards in service of the common good." "General Powell is a remarkable public servant who has truly made a positive difference in our nation," CEP's executive director Joe Mazzola said. "He is a shining example of integrity for young people, and all American citizens, to emulate. We are honored to have him as the first recipient of this award."

In his acceptance remarks Powell talked about his family's emphasis on good character and achievement.

General Powell also congratulated the National Schools of Character award winners who were in attendance to receive their awards. He commended the educators for their efforts to develop students of good character.

Character Education Partnership advocates for quality, comprehensive character education in U.S. schools. It is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals based in Washington, DC.

Source: Character Education Partnership



"Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character."

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:15 AM | View the original post

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