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Prepared by the
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security

September 29, 2003
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Focus: Iraq

Minding Its Business
Saudi Arabia, which has demonstrated its willingness to use its vast oil reserves as a foreign policy tool, has not acted to aid U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Fencing in looters and saboteurs in Iraq
Too many people in and outside of Iraq are hoping to deny Iraq a better future through a campaign of sabotage and plunder of the country's neglected oil facilities. The problem, and possible solutions.


Prospects on Russia’s stance towards OPEC
In September Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Prince Abdullah made the first visit to Russia by a Saudi head of state in over seven decades. The future of Moscow’s stance towards OPEC is a critical question for the world oil market. Will Russia be willing to cooperate with OPEC and thus further strengthen the power of the cartel to set a price range for oil?

Energy security and liquefied natural gas
Demand for natural gas has increased as have the security vulnerabilities presented by liquefied natural gas terminals and tankers.

Under the Radar

Oil, terrorism and drugs intermingle in Colombia
Seventy U.S. Special Forces soldiers are training Colombians to protect an oil pipeline.

Japan's struggle to secure future oil supply
Energy dependent Japan looks to Iran for oil, causing tension with the U.S.

Chad-Cameroon pipeline project put to test
Will the pipeline, partially financed by the World Bank, improve the lot of Chad and Cameroon or exacerbate existing corruption and strife?

Natural resource curse hits São Tomé
A tiny West African country illustrates a well known problem.

On the technology front

Smart Fuel Cells for RVs
SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG is selling a fuel cell system for use in recreational vehicles (RVs) that weighs less than 5% the weight of a leadacid battery of similar capacity.

Rentech announces progress on Australian coal-to-diesel project
The Latrobe Valley in eastern Victoria, Australia is the leading choice for what could be the first "clean" production of gas and sulfur-free diesel and naphtha in Australia from the processing of coal.

GTI reports significant results from direct methanol fuel cell membrane
A new membrane developed by the Gas Technology Institute for proton exchange membrane fuel cells has substantially improved direct methanol fuel cell system performance.

San Francisco and Honda to partner on fuel cell car program
American Honda announced last week that it will supply two Honda FCX hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles, the world's first commercially certified fuel cell car, to the City of San Francisco.

Fuel Cell Locomotive for Military and Commercial Railways
An international consortium is developing the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle, a 109 metric-ton, 1 MW locomotive.

Fuel cell power plant installed at NJ Sheraton
A stationary fuel cell will supply 250 kilowatts of electric power as well as heat to the Sheraton Edison Hotel, accounting for about 25 percent of the hotel's electricity and hot water.

Fuel cell scooters for Europe and China
Palcan's fuel cell powered scooter is designed to address the world's need for a low-end mass transport vehicle.

U.S. Air Force to get fuel cell bus
Fuel cell powered thirty-foot hybrid bus to be stationed at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

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Back Issues

Rentech announces progress on Australian coal-to-diesel project

Rentech, Inc. announced that the Latrobe Valley in eastern Victoria, Australia is the leading choice for what could be the first "clean" production of gas and sulfur-free diesel and naphtha in Australia from the processing of coal. The proposed project would convert synthesis gas made from coal into the clean diesel and naphtha products using Rentech's Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids technology (GTL).

The project is a result of Rentech's previously announced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GTL ENERGY LIMITED (GTL Energy), an unlisted public Australian corporation with headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia (Dennis L. Yakobson, president and CEO of Rentech, maintains a seat on the Board of Directors of GTL Energy.)

Feasibility trials for the clean fuel GTL project, which would be developed adjacent to the 1600 megawatt Hazelwood Power Station at Morwell, Victoria, will commence immediately under a "Deed of Arrangement" that has already been signed between GTL Energy and International Power (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (IPA). IPA is a subsidiary of UK-based International Power plc, owners of the Hazelwood Power Station.

Core samples of the coal seam will be tested in the United States for their suitability for beneficiation as a premium grade stock for subsequent gasification. The synthesis gas that results would be used as feedstock for the proposed GTL project. If these feasibility studies are successful, GTL Energy, IPA and Rentech plan to enter into additional agreements to develop a design for the clean fuel GTL project, determine capital costs, and other arrangements for a potential 10,000 barrel per day GTL facility.

The Hazelwood "brownfields" site has ready access to a major coal mine and the IPA power facility. This includes availability to the existing infrastructure for distribution of excess base or peak load power, transportation facilities, and a staff of 530 experienced personnel.

Also see:
On-Road Use of Fischer-Tropsch Diesel Blends

Coal fuel for jets

DOE: Clean Coal-to-Methanol project a success.