The Tide That Rises All Boats


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ot_B09VBMc


McDonald’s won the cold war


WorldWideWu


“All (sales) contracts and agreements signed outside the legal framework, in other words with SOMO, are illegal,” Baghdad’s oil ministry said in a statement. SOMO – the State Oil Marketing Organisation – deals with sales of Iraqi oil and gas products.

Talks on the allocation of Iraq’s natural resources are deadlocked, and Baghdad refuses to recognise contracts that the Kurdish regional government, based in the northern city of Arbil, has signed with foreign oil companies.

“No one outside the ministry has the right to sign contracts for the exportation of oil and gas,” the oil ministry added.

RWE announced on Friday it has signed a cooperation deal with the Kurds “to develop and design its domestic and export gas transportation infrastructure – creating a route to market for Kurdistan’s major gas reserves.”

“The cooperation also foresees the negotiation of gas supply agreements to enable gas from the region to be transported to Turkey and Europe via the Nabucco pipeline,” the German company said.

RWE is a key shareholder in the Nabucco project, which aims to bring up to 31 billion cubic metres (1,100 billion cubic feet) of gas annually to Europe through Turkey.

The European Union regards the project as vital to its future energy security following a number of eastern European disputes, which have disrupted supplies of Russian gas.

Kurdistan has been touted as a potential major supplier, but experts warn that instability in Iraq could make it difficult for supplies from the region to reach Europe. The regional government halted oil exports in October last year due to a payment dispute with Baghdad.

The oil ministry on May 6 said it had reached a deal with Arbil whereby all revenues would be handed over to SOMO, with Baghdad responsible for paying the extraction expenses in Kurdistan. But the agreement has not been implemented.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is extending his reach in New York with purchase of a century-old Beaux Arts townhouse on Fifth Avenue for $44 million — one of the most expensive townhouse sales ever in the city.

He owns the townhouse, located on Fifth Avenue at East 82nd Street across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through a limited liability company, a technique used by many wealthy buyers. But the deed documents were signed by a lawyer at Grupo Financiero Inbursa, Slim’s financial services company, and the closing was handled by the same New York lawyer who handled Slim’s closing on the Fifth Avenue office building.

Several brokers confirmed that he was a buyer. Slim did not respond to requests for comment.

The townhouse, at 1009 Fifth Avenue, is 27-feet wide and said to be the only private mansion left on Fifth Avenue, after most were knocked down when a wave of apartment towers went up in the 1920s.

The 1901 house, known as the Duke-Semans mansion, was owned by descendants of the original owner, tobacco magnate Benjamin N. Duke, until 2006. The mansion was sold at that time for $40 million — then a record sale in the city — to Tamir Sapir, a former cabdriver who made a fortune in Russian oil and is now a real-estate investor and developer.

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