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Crowcon launches gas safety cloud data solution

first_imgCrowcon Connect automatically uploads and syncs vital gas detector data and presents it in a versatile, easy-to-read dashboard that delivers business impact.The solution captures data and user association across and Crowcon devices, regardless of location and single/multiple user profiles.Crowcon Connect alerts users when action is required, for example when near-miss events occur, and when calibration and bump testing are due.The newly developed solution also allows users to track devices by both location and performance and provide a host of actionable insights.Wherever their location, gas detector users can upload data to Crowcon Connect either via on-site docking stations or off site, using that app. There is no limit to the number of users and locations.Due to it being an inhouse solution, Crowcon can engineer and tailor Crowcon Connect to specific workflows or processes and can even provide bespoke functionality.last_img read more

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What Is Causing North Sea Drilling Slump?

first_imgOil and gas firms may be adopting a “wait and see” approach before making further investment decisions in the North Sea, according to a new report from business advisory firm Deloitte. The report, which details drilling, licensing and deal activity across North West Europe over the second quarter of 2014 and was compiled by Deloitte’s Petroleum Services Group (PSG), found a total of seven exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells were drilled on the UKCS.This is significantly lower than the 12 wells drilled in the previous quarter and the 17 drilled in Q2 2013.This drop may be down to companies controlling high costs and awaiting potential changes to the industry resulting from the Wood Review and the ongoing review of the North Sea fiscal regime.There were also fewer deals completed this quarter compared with the previous three months.Five deals in total were announced on the UKCS in Q2 2014, down from the 10 transactions reported in Q1.This is also seven deals fewer than the 12 registered during the equivalent period in 2013.There were no farm-ins reported at all in the last three months – which are generally a popular type of deal.Derek Henderson, senior partner in Deloitte’s Aberdeen office, said that the North Sea industry has been grappling with rising operating costs, which was having an impact on activity and investment decisions, particularly given the maturity of the region.Henderson said: “It’s no secret that the costs facing oil and gas firms on the UKCS have been a significant issue for some time now. Understandably, it tends to be more expensive to operate in mature fields where oil is much more difficult to recover. Research suggests it’s now almost five times more expensive to extract a barrel of oil from the North Sea than it was in 2001.What’s more, the drop we’ve seen in the number of farm-ins could indicate that companies are holding off before committing to longer term exploration investments. Asset transactions, involving producing fields, remain at more consistent levels, which suggests companies are more confident in these types of deals, which can offer a quicker and less risky return.”Meanwhile, the UK’s oil and gas industry awaits the implementation of recommendations made in Sir Ian Wood’s ‘UKCS Maximising Recovery Review’, which included among its propositions the introduction of a new regulator – the Oil and Gas Authority.Combined with the review of the North Sea’s fiscal regime, which was announced in last March’s UK Budget, Derek Henderson went on to say that oil and gas firms may well be adopting a “wait and see” approach until there was a better understanding of all the these changes and their impact.Echoing this sentiment, a recent Deloitte poll of the industry, which looked at the issues facing the UKCS and how the fiscal regime could be used to address these, indicated that oil and gas firms felt the overall level of tax most needed to be addressed (46%).This was followed by a more predictable and internationally competitive tax regime, which scored 27% and 15% respectively.In addition, only 23% of respondents said they thought the current regime encouraged new entrants into the basin.[mappress]Press Release, July 18th, 2014;last_img read more

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Pangea LNG’s FTA export authority vacated by DOE

first_imgUS Department of Energy issued an order granting Pangea’s requests to vacate notices granting the company to export liquefied natural gas from a proposed South Texas LNG export project on Corpus Christi Bay.In January of 2013, DOE granted long-term, multi-contract authorization to Pangea LNG to export 398,5 billion cubic feet per year of natural gas for a term of 25 years to free-trade agreement countries, DOE said in its notice.The company also informed during March 2014, it had entered into an agreement with NextDecade Partners that looked to acquire 100% ownership interest in Pangea.A recent notice by Pangea shows that the company has not exported any LNG to FTA or non-FTA countries and is no longer pursuing efforts to export LNG. Pangea also informed that the control of the  company was never transferred to NextDecade Partners and is no longer being contemplated.It, therefore, requested DOE to vacate all authorizations.[mappress mapid=”17106″]Image: Pangea LNGlast_img read more

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Fight, fight, fight! (productively)

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

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Balmy days of summer

first_imgA rise in collective turnover, a rise in average margin, and – so far at least – predictions of a slowdown failing to materialise: for contractors, Building’s annual top 150 league tables make for far better reading this year than they have for some time. But while these firms might be enjoying a golden summer, or at least what passes for it in an industry which is still plagued by high costs and low margins, is this a trend that’s likely to last – or should firms be bracing themselves for the prospect that winter is coming?The recently exposed woes at Carillion, the sector’s second biggest firm, which announced an £845m writedown earlier this month, cast an obvious shadow over the sector’s performance. But so too does the spluttering health of a string of other firms in the top 10: Laing O’Rourke, Kier and Interserve have all recently suffered financial hits, partly at the hands of problem jobs. Meanwhile, Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest contractor, is only just starting to glimpse the fruits of its mammoth turnaround, with the barest glimmer of a margin at 0.09%.This list of the walking wounded is counterbalanced by exciting performances elsewhere in the sector. Multiplex Construction surpassed £1bn turnover with 67% growth, while Winvic Construction doubled in size. But with so many of the top 10 already showing signs of strain, how healthy really is the outlook for contractors?While some of the conditions in the market are uncomfortably close to those that accompanied the last recession, there are also some important differencesWhile margins for the top 50 contracting-led businesses, at an average of 1.78%, are far higher than last year’s 1.05%, this is still only a return to 2014 levels, and offers a poor buffer should things start to go awry. Meanwhile, companies are reporting a rise in single stage tendering, which increases the risk that firms will be caught out by rises in materials and labour costs further down the line. Taken together with the backdrop of the political and economic uncertainty that accompanies a government surviving on the back of an agreement between two parties, contractors could be forgiven for looking over their shoulder and thinking that this all has worrying shades of 2010 about it.But while some of the conditions in the market are uncomfortably close to those that accompanied the last recession, there are also some important differences that will provide a tonic for those who like their glass half full.One, ironically, lies in the fact that many companies are still feeling the effects of jobs won at low – or non-existent – margins at the end of the last downturn. While this legacy, in pure balance sheet terms, means companies are less prepared to cope with the effects of any brewing market storm, it also means that they are less likely to repeat the same mistakes by putting in unfeasibly low bids now, even if the market is tipping back in clients’ favour.A host of large contractors – Balfour Beatty being the most high-profile example – have overhauled their project and bidding controls since being caught out by problem projects won in the last recession. This won’t stop some single-stage contracts from becoming a race to the bottom, but it is entirely plausible that it will have enough of an effect to stop this becoming the dominant market trend, and also to ensure that other procurement routes – like construction management – retain a presence in the market.The government’s endorsement of the vast majority of the Farmer report’s conclusions last week was encouragingMeanwhile, while the way the industry works continues to make it extremely vulnerable to cost rises in materials and labour, initiatives to drive modernisation are – albeit slowly – gaining traction. Mark Farmer’s pull-no-punches review of the sector, published last year under the banner Modernise or Die, has provided a fresh impetus for discussion between government and the industry over ways to promote more efficient building techniques, particularly on public sector projects.The government’s endorsement of the vast majority of the report’s conclusions last week was encouraging. Firms bidding on public sector contracts now need to use that endorsement to their advantage, to put forward proposals that will give them the confidence and security to invest in building methods that will ultimately reduce their cost base.Just as importantly, however, firms should use the high-profile endorsement of the report – by the housing, education, and construction ministers – as leverage against any public sector clients that attempt to retrench into a pattern of lowest cost procurement.It is disappointing – although entirely predictable – that the government stopped short of endorsing Farmer’s idea to consider introducing a charge on clients to incentivise them to commission more modern methods of building.But even so, the behaviour of public sector clients will be crucial as to whether UK contractors find themselves bouyed by the work they win over the next year – or fall hostage to it.  Sarah Richardson, editorlast_img read more

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LSB softens ‘prescriptive’ diversity approach

first_imgRegulators should be able to develop their own methods for collecting diversity data, the Legal Services Board has said, proposing to replace the ‘prescriptive’ approach initially adopted.The oversight regulator wants to replace its 2011 guidance, which was narrowly focused on data collection, with what it calls an outcomes-focused approach.A consultation paper published today states that some regulators have ‘now moved past’ the 2011 guidance, ‘while others have started collecting the data but have not used the information gathered to begin to inform policy decisions’.Regulators would be required to: build a ‘clear and thorough’ understanding of the diversity profile of their respective regulated communities; use data, evidence and intelligence to inform regulatory arrangements and operational processes; collaborate with others; and ‘account to’ their respective stakeholders for its plans and achievements to encourage diversity.The board proposes to remove a ‘model questionnaire’ from the original guidance. At present, regulators are required to notify the LSB of proposed changes to their data collection methods if it departs from the current guidance.‘We consider that regulators should now be able to maintain and develop their own, independent data collection methods based on their own experiences,’ the consultation paper states.In May the Solicitors Regulation Authority announced that its annual diversity survey would take place every two years after acknowledging the burden placed on firms by its requirement to collect diversity data.Regulators will be expected to have ‘appropriate activities’ in place to encourage a diverse profession that deliver the four outcomes by August next year.The board also proposes formally assessing work carried out by regulators.Describing the board as a ‘passionate advocate’ for a diverse legal profession, LSB chief executive Neil Buckley said the proposed revisions are focused on ‘consolidating and building’ on the many ‘excellent initiatives, in the legal sector and further afield, that are delivering change’.Buckley added: ‘We want regulators to continue to develop their work in this area and as such as have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to also develop and describe what regulators may do to demonstrate they are encouraging a diverse profession.’The consultation closes on 2 December.last_img read more

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Former Virginia Senator drops out of Democratic Presidential Race

first_imgFormer Virginia Senator Jim Webb announced on Tuesday that he will no longer seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Citing frustration with party leadership and what he sees as a corrupt political class, Webb announced at the National Press Club this afternoon that he is withdrawing from any consideration of being the Democratic Party’s nominee.Asked if he is still a Democrat, the former Ronald Reagan administration appointee replied: “We’ll think about that.” He also said he has no plans to endorse a candidate of either party.Webb had run a low-key campaign and had little organizational infrastructure. As a Democratic candidate, he faced a number of deadlines to get on the ballot in several states beginning in the next coming weeks.last_img read more

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13 Calypsonians to participate in Kings of Kings Calypso Extravaganza

first_imgLeroy ‘Wadix’ Charles (file photo)Over thirteen calypsonians are set to be part of the King of Kings Calypso Extravaganza scheduled for October 25th.The King of Kings Calypso Extravaganza was launched at the Garraway Hotel Thursday 4th October, 2018.The King of Kings Calypso show is organized by E-Dominica Promotions and Productions.President of E- Dominica Promotions & Productions Anna Maria Clarke says the event forms part of the fortieth reunion calendar of events. She said patrons can expect a great show this year from the artist.“Over the years Calypso has not  been featured much in the independence season celebrations, therefore we thought as we celebrate reunion 2018 it would be fitting to have this show in Dominica,” Miss Clarke said.Meantime Events Promoter of the King of Kings Calypso Extravaganza Leroy Waddix Charles said the event is a platform where the artist can express themselves and also entertain patrons.The artist that will perform at The King of Kings Extravaganza include Super Blue from Trinidad and Tobago, King Bob, Dice, Hunter, Daddy Chess, Observer, Karessah, Tasha P, Rabbit, Solo, Robin, Dino, Sye and Sour Sour.The King of Kings Extravaganza will be held at the Harlem Plaza at 9 p.m, on 25th October, 2018. 434 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img Share EntertainmentLocalNews 13 Calypsonians to participate in Kings of Kings Calypso Extravaganza by: – October 8, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

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PD POLL: Are you in favor of the Foundation for the Future dairy policy plan? [September 1]

first_imgBob Lefebvre Executive DirectorMinnesota Milk Producers Association This summer Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota), ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, introduced a dairy policy “discussion draft” aimed at improving the long-term prospects for dairy farmers. The draft was largely based on the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Foundation for the Future plan.The proposal consists of three main components – a Margin Protection Program, a Dairy Market Stabilization Program and reforms to the Federal Milk Marketing Order system.advertisementadvertisement The proposal would provide a safety net based on margin protection, rather than price, and replace both the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program.In August, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) announced he will be a co-sponsor of the draft legislation. Simpson is the lead Republican proponent of discussion draft legislation.While not yet formally introduced, find the dairy reform package text at:http://democrats.agriculture.house.gov/inside/Legislation/PETEMN_001_xml_071111.pdfThe legislative language is termed a discussion draft, rather than a bill, as it now allows members of Congress to view the language, prior to it being formally introduced as a bill. Peterson, along with Simpson, will now be seeking additional co-sponsors, from both parties, to co-sponsor and introduce the legislation once Congress returns from its August recess after Labor Day.advertisementIn addition to working on the legislation, NMPF has held grassroots meetings across the country to educate and listen to dairy producers. Progressive Dairyman attended two of these meetings and has heard from a number of readers in the last few weeks. Click here to read producer comments at these meetings.Now it is time to hear from everyone. Please take a moment to vote for whether or not you believe the policy proposed in Foundation for the Future is right for the future of U.S. milk production.You can learn more about the details of the plan at: www.futurefordairy.comYes: Dairy producers realize that the status quo protections offered by current federal policies have failed them during the past decade – especially in 2009 – yet some may understandably be apprehensive about advocating comprehensive reform of those policies.The Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program combined constitute nearly 80 percent of the dairy budget baseline over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. However, the DPPSP has become an ineffective safety net for farmers and has created an unintended outcome whereby the U.S. has become burdened with balancing the world’s milk supply.The MILC program also has been ineffective in providing a safety net for farmers and treats farms and entire regions of the country unequally. More specifically, it does not address the rise in volatile feed costs and has not prevented the exodus of farms during its decade of existence.advertisementIn 2001, there were 97,460 U.S. dairy farms but, by 2010, that figure was 62,500 – a loss of 36 percent of the nation’s dairy farmers, almost all of which were small to medium-size operations of 500 cows or less. This clearly demonstrates the inadequacy of the current program and the need for better dairy policy.The policy proposals contained in the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future (FFTF) eliminate the DPPSP and MILC programs and create a more efficient and effective safety net in the form of a Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program, the costs of which are shared by dairy farmers and the federal government.FFTF also establishes a Dairy Market Stabilization Program to prompt producers to respond more quickly to economic signals from the marketplace and at no cost to the government.Existing farm programs, including the dairy title within the Farm Bill, are expected to undergo further cuts as part of the new federal budget deal passed by the House and Senate. FFTF was created to achieve better economic protection for farmers while also yielding a budget savings – compared to current baseline spending levels – precisely because farm safety nets are going to shrink in the future.The Congressional Budget Office says FFTF will save $166 million over the next five years, at a time when Congress has now pledged to cut more than a trillion dollars from federal spending.Dairy producers have acknowledged that shrinking federal resources are the reality. Keeping the status quo is not an option, either economically – as the best safety net to producers – or fiscally, due to budget demands. Producers have been calling for something better for the past two years. We can’t stay where we are, and change is needed, which is why Foundation for the Future was developed.Jerry Kozak President and CEONational Milk Producers FederationNo: The Minnesota Milk Producers Association and the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association would like to thank Congressman Peterson and the National Milk Producers Federation for starting the dairy policy debate. Unfortunately, the policies included in the draft legislation need to be modified before moving forward.The draft is crafted to closely mirror Foundation for the Future, the package of elements that the National Milk Producers Federation has claimed is the answer to the myriad challenges that dairy farmers have faced over the past few years, including dramatic price volatility.While NMPF claims that the so-called stabilization program will limit volatility, it will do so only at the expense of our growing export market. U.S. milk production increased about 15 percent, from 165 billion pounds in 2001 to nearly 193 billion pounds in 2010.However, that growth would not have been possible if U.S. dairy exports had not more than doubled over that same period of time. So far this year, more than 13 percent of U.S. milk production is accounted for by exports. Growing domestic markets simply could not absorb this growth.The supply management program will remove the U.S. dairy industry as a consistent supplier to the world market by potentially pricing our commodities out of the global marketplace at times, causing a decrease in demand for U.S. dairy exports and more milk price volatility.The draft language proposes the solution to our federal minimum pricing system is to raise the price of Class I milk. NMPF tried this a few years ago, but thanks in part to efforts by the Upper Midwest dairy industry it was stopped; they are back at it again with this latest plan. When Class I farm milk prices are increased, Class III farm milk prices go down, further discriminating against Upper Midwestern dairy farmers.Despite six years of 2 percent annual growth, Minnesota milk production has been down the first two quarters of 2011, 1.1 and 3.2 percent respectively. Yet Minnesota dairy farmers would have been required to reduce an additional 4 to 8 percent of their milk production under the proposed FFTF Dairy Market Stabilization Program. If the dairy farmers didn’t cut back on their production, they would have been penalized by the federal government.The margin insurance safety net provision of the plan is a good start, but falls far short of providing a viable safety net for average Wisconsin and Minnesota dairy farmers. Adjustments in the premium rates and coverage must be made in order to have a program that covers all producers in a fiscally responsible manner.We believe the answer to the volatility problem is through better risk management tools and are prepared to work with Congressman Peterson and the National Milk Producers Federation to incorporate these ideas. Our organizations want dairy policy reform, but not at the expense of farmers and others who rely on the industry for their livelihood. While we don’t agree on all of the components of this draft, we wholeheartedly agree that changes must be made.Laurie Fischer Executive DirectorWisconsin Dairy Business Associationlast_img read more

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Farmington’s Rhythmz concert features Steely Dan tribute band

first_imgMajor Dudes, a Steely Dan tribute band, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on July 6, as part of downtown Farmington’s Rhythmz in Riley Park concert series.Major Dudes (contributed photo)This six-piece band delivers impeccable renditions of hits driven to the top of the charts, along with a few of their original tunes. Sarah and Sam Conway of Farmington School of Rock will open for the band at 7 p.m.Bring a blanket or chair; the concerts happen rain or shine. First United Methodist Church, located directly north of the park, provides the rain location. No food or drink is allowed in the church. In case of inclement weather, check Facebook for concert status.Parking is time-limited in many downtown Farmington public lots, enforcement is in effect Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. To view a map, visit downtownfarmington.org. Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)last_img read more