Oil workers in Brazil have threatened that they may call a national strike against state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) in August, say July 21 reports

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Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said July 19 that China and Iran are interested in the Pacific refinery, a $6 billion facility whose construction began July 16 with funding and assistance from Venezuelan state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela. It remains unclear how China and Iran would be involved in the refinery.

Oil workers in Brazil have threatened that they may call a national strike against state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) in August, say July 21 reports. The workers ended a five day strike last week over labor and salary demands at the giant Campos Basin offshore fields. Oil workers’ unions are set to hold a general meeting July 25 at which they will vote on holding the national strike currently set for Aug. 5. Petrobras’ output was not impacted by the recent strike as the firm had contingency plans and emergency workers in place.

Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency at a mine near Lima due to concerns that the facility could be leaking toxins into the capital city’s water supply, according to July 20 reports. The Coricanca mine, located in the Tamboraque region, is owned by Canadian miner Gold Hawk Resources. The region has been impacted by recent seismic activity and underground water filtration projects, leading to fear that the mine’s tailings dam is leaking arsenic, lead and cadium into Lima’s potable water. Gold Hawk noted the damages to the tailings dam in May 2008 and has already stopped operations at the facility; the firm is investing $3.3 million to relocate Coricanca’s tailings dam.

Canadian miner Aurelian said July 18 that an early version of Ecuador’s newly penned legislation on mining was “reasonable”. Ecuador suspended the majority of mining projects and concessions in April in order to give its convened constitutional assembly time to devise new mining legislation. The final draft of the legislation has not been made public, but was sent to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in late June for his review. Ecuador invited the top mining firms with operations in the country to participate in the drafting of the legislation.

**I included the source material below because I had to get it from Nexis**

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has issued a warning that it will cancel registrations and licenses for ships if the vessels do not improve their standards, say July 21 reports. Panama was listed in June on the Paris Memorandum of Understanding black list of flag states due to a large number of ship detentions between 2005-2007; the country was given a medium-risk classification – leaving it below Mongolia and Lebanon on the Paris list. The AMP will now require ships over 20 years old to be inspected before they can sail to ports within the Paris list.


Panama gets tough on old tonnage;

Maritime Authority will cancel registrations if standards don't improve
SECTION: News; Pg. 3
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THE Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has fired a shot across the bows of wayward classification societies and owners of ageing tonnage, warning that it will kick out ships and cancel licenses if standards are not improved.
Panama appeared on the Paris Memorandum of Understanding black list of flag states in June after recording 592 detentions out of a total of 7,368 inspections between 2005-2007.
The detention record placed the operator of the world's largest ship register below Mongolia and the Lebanon, in the 'medium-risk' category.
Following the appearance of 19 of its vessels in June's Paris MoU detention list, AMP has responded issuing a decree that will tighten the rules for operators of ageing tonnage.
"Vessels over 20 years of age will [be] required [to] submit to an occasional inspection by a recognised organisation and forward the results of such inspection to Panama's Merchant Marine Directorate before setting sail to a port within the Paris MoU," said AMP director of themerchant marine directorate AlfonsoCastillero.
"The inspection should be programmed in advance and the recognised organisation will notify the operator and shipowner of the necessity to perform such inspection within the conditions established in the resolution. If the vessel has not gone through the required inspection, it could be deleted from the registry or subject to a monetary fine according to the Panamanian law.
"Moreover, if the RO inspection proves no deficiency but the vessel is detained in the Paris MoU or any MoU, action will be taken against the RO," he said.
Vessels over 20 years of age and sailing within the Paris MoU that have been detained twice in a period of six months will be cancelled under the new regime.
Six of the Panama-flagged vessels that were detained by the Paris MoU last month were repeat offenders, having more than one detention in the last 24months.
One vessel, Rhino, a 1977-built, multi-purpose general cargoship has been detained six times in the last two years.
Another repeat offenders, the 1978-built MSC Erminia, is operated and managed by the world's second largest container line, Mediterranean Shipping Co, and is now amongst the list of ships due to be cancelled under the new guidelines.
The AMP said that it has already cancelled the registration of 35 ships and is in the process of cancelling a further 20.
In future, vessels over 20 years of age registering in Panama must have the approval of the Department of Navigation and Maritime Safety Section Port State Control.
The number of detentions in the Paris MoU "does not reflect the quality of all our flag but the behaviour of ships operating in that area, however, these are the rules of the game and we must adapt ourselves to the market", Mr Castillero said.
While the Panamanian flag has seen a considerable improvement in the detention rates of its vessels, it remains on the black list of flag states in European waters.

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