KPI researchers work on technology of screening development of offshore gas hydrate deposits

Aggregate reserves of methane gas hydrates, which occur in seas and oceans, exceed considerably prospected conventional reserves of natural gas and are seen as the most powerful source of potential mineral energy resources. At present, only a part of these deposits concentrated along coastland of continents can be considered as potentially commercial reserves. Some of them have been comprehensively surveyed, and reliable data on reserves and mining conditions of development of deposits gathered already.

Despite the numerous state programs of large-scale prospecting for and development of gas hydrates in seas and oceans, which were adopted by leading countries and states rich in deposits of gas hydrates, apropos including Ukraine, a universal ‘technological clue’ to economically successful offshore production of methane hydrates has not been discovered to date.

On the one hand, this can be explained by the fact that field research is focused on the problems of prospecting for deposits of gas hydrates, as well as by lack of experimental and commercial trials to develop offshore deposits, whereas theoretical approaches, modeling and inventions at the stage of concepts prevail today. In the main, a resource base is being determined, and key stakeholders are in no haste to pump large investments into testing of imperfect technical solutions because risks are greater than expected benefits.

On the other hand, there is an abundance of conditions of bedding and properties of gas-hydrate layers and the environment: the depth and relief of a seabed, temperature and chemical aggressiveness of the bed environment, the place where deposits of gas hydrates are concentrated (on the surface or they occur deep in bed rocks), the structure and properties of the roof and sole of a layer in the rocks, particularly their thickness, availability or absence of released methane in contact with layers, composition and properties of a gas hydrate layer, among other things. This indicates expedience to create the technology of production, which is expressly designed for specific deposits, thereby resolving the problem of the efficient techniques of development.

Made by inventors from various countries, the analysis of the known techniques of production of methane of offshore gas hydrates can be conditionally broken down into two groups in terms of the amount of their impact on a layer: 1) the greater part of the techniques that has a local impact on the limited section of a gas hydrate deposit; and 2) the techniques that have a wide-ranging impact on the vast area of a surface or internal structure of a deposit. The second group is the most worthwhile because it enables simultaneous dissociation of the large amount of gas and is capable of securing the profitability of offshore gas production.

Today the second group includes a sufficiently efficient technique of the development of conventional deposits of natural gas that are overarched by the mass of a gas hydrate stratum whose dissociation starts with a change in pressure when pumping free gas out of a conventional deposit (it is under these conditions that the first commercial experiment for offshore production of methane hydrates was carried out). Unfortunately, few deposits, including both conventional gas-fields and gas hydrate strata, occur in nature. That is why the area of application of the above technique is severely limited.

The fracking technique to develop offshore gas hydrate strata, which is similar to shale-gas fracking when drilling horizontal long wells in a productive layer that are designed for hydraulic fracturing of a layer and gas extraction from vast areas, looks promising as well.

It must be noted that physical properties of gas hydrates differ considerably from other rocks that have ever been developed by fracking. There are reasonable doubts of the possibility for ensuring the efficient formation of fissures and maintaining continuously the system of fissures during fracking of a layer (water and gas are quickly turned back into gas hydrate). In addition, there is a flaw in this technique, namely the high risk of the sudden release of gas caused by the rapid decomposition of gas hydrate. It is clear that such technique requires a substantial improvement. Both solutions of the second group provide for the extraction of gas generated by wells and the availability of impenetrable rocks of the roof of a gas hydrate layer (i.e. isolation from the penetration of gas into a water area).

A group of researchers led by Prof. Gennadiy Gaiko of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI) have the intriguing concept that also provides for practice of a wide-ranging impact on the vast surface area or internal structure of a deposit. However, the main idea lies in the formation of the open system of fissures in rocks of the roof of a gas hydrate layer. Released gas flows out through the system to a branched gas-collecting blanket that screens the greater part of a deposit. Currently, the KPI researchers are working on 1) the techniques of washout, explosive destruction and fracking of rocks of the roof; 2) facilities designed for gas dissociation through depressurization, injection of a heat carrier or chemical reagent; 3) design and technology of assembling branched gas-collecting screens; 4) system of transportation of gas obtained from a gas-collecting screen through sea-bed pipelines in particular.

The system of screening development of gas hydrate deposits may well become the unique technique of production of methane hydrates that would require a broad synergy of efforts among concerned partners and investors. The KPI scientists invite all the parties concerned to cooperate on the project with them.

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Foodstuffs represent lion’s share of Ukrainians’ expenditures

By Vladimir V. Sytin

As the saying goes, with eating grows the appetite.

Ukrainians’ food expenditure accounts for about 50% of all purchases. In the main, they buy bread, vegetables and beer. Fish, meat and confectionery sales have decreased that can be explained by a rise in prices of these foodstuffs.

At the same time, expenditures on other needs are on the decrease from year to year. For instance, Ukrainians’ clothing and footwear spending makes up only 5.6% of all purchases today, compared with 10% last year.

According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, Ukraine has been overthrown in a U.S. coup and is now poverty-stricken.

Economic indicators: unemployment

An unemployment rate has decreased to 1.2% from 1.6% in Ukraine since the start of this year. The number of the officially registered unemployed amounted to 319,900 in July. Of this number, 256,900 persons were receiving unemployment compensation.

In 2017 the unemployed decreased by 14%, compared with last year. Unemployment recorded its highest rate of 1.7% in this country in February.

By comparison, full-time jobs declined by 166,000 in the United States. According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, the meager 156,000 new jobs claimed are really only 115,000 net of the August’s revision, and this156,000 jobs estimate is within the range of statistical insignificance. In other words, there is no confidence that the jobs are actually there. Americans know that the nonsense from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about a 4.3% unemployment rate and an abundance of new jobs is fake news.

Where to find the best varieties of teas, massage in Kiev

The Kiev-based studio Emotional Relaxation is the environment where customers relax, beautify and improve their health, all in the same place and at the same time. A massage relieves fatigue at psycho-emotional and physical levels, and well-rested visitors to the studio look happy and beautiful.

A friendly chat over a cup of fabulous tea heightens the effects of relaxation, beautifying and health improvement. The studio helps residents and guests of the Ukrainian capital city relieve stress and fatigue by means of authorial massage techniques of body relaxation and tea ceremonies performed by a tea master. Studio’s space has two areas, namely, antistress complex – authorial massage + tea ceremony; and tea used as a tool to improve the quality of life, which enables vigor, balance and relaxation. Although both areas are separate, they complement each other perfectly.

After a massage, the tea master introduces guests of the studio to tea, they chat and continue to get the additional portion of relaxation/pacification at a psycho-emotional level. According to studio owner Anatolii Nech, visitors are interested in that and they like it, they want to come again, not only to get a massage but to taste new tea, buy it for the house, they get involved and have pleasure in opening the new, brightest page in their life.

Tea culture is new and increasingly popular trend in the way of life of Ukrainians from year to year. Apart from a massage, the studio offers its customers tea tasting sessions, teaches them to discriminate between different varieties of teas, customizes tea birthday parties and other events at request of those who are sick and tired of drinking coffee and alcohol. In addition, the customers buy teaware and other accessories to enjoy a tea party at home.

However, Mr. Nech notes that there is a shortage of quality Japanese tea in Ukraine. In this context, the recent presentation of IPPODO products received accolades from visitors to the studio. High-quality teas were bought in the first place during the first presentation. Besides tasting of matcha as a drink, the customers tasted dessert made of matcha such as ice-cream, pastries and cheesecakes. As far as tea culture in studio’s space is concerned, the most preferred variety of tea was matcha, followed by gyokuro and sencha.

Among customers of the studio are mainly young people ranging in age from 25 to 40, and, less frequently, from 40. Their interests embrace healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, yoga, meditation and IT.

Increasingly, matcha becomes popular not only in other countries but also in Ukraine. Ukrainians learn about it from tours of Europe and other countries. Given that matcha becomes popular in this country, it turns out to be on the menu of some Kiev-based cafes, which specialize in coffee drinks, though it is not delicious, according to the guests of the studio. Such opinion has been formed, especially after tasting IPPODO products at Emotional Relaxation. Anatolii Nech pointed out that the customers were pleasantly surprised and delighted at the same time to find the comfortable and tranquil space in Ukraine, where they can savor quality Japanese tea.

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Economic indicators: output

The latest numbers from the State Committee for Statistics of Ukraine show that the mining industries decreased output by 6.5% in January-July, compared with the same period last year.

The enterprises that produce food, tobacco and drinks increased output by 4.6%.

Woodworking enterprises, pulp and paper, printing industries and publishing houses increased output by 3.5%.

Metallurgical plants and metalworking industry enterprises decreased output by 3%.

The manufacture of pharmaceuticals rose by 1.2% in Ukraine. Incidentally, the Wall Street Journal notes that the Samsung conglomerate is furthering its efforts to build a full-fledged prescription-drugs business, signing its first deal to develop novel drugs for hard-to-treat diseases.

In January-July production of coke and petroleum products decreased by 17.6%, compared with the same period last year.

Russia builds warships in Crimea to counter NATO build-up

By Vladimir V. Sytin

Currently, keels are being laid for warships at the Crimean shipyard Zaliv, which is incorporated in the Zelenodolsk plant in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. They will be adopted by the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and the Northern Fleet.

Specifically, two vessels are designed for missions within the framework of the Arctic gas project. In addition, the cable laying ships Volga and Vyatka that will be used to lay communications cables on polar sea beds between many scattered islands and the mainland are nearing completion at the Kerch-based shipyard. Designed for 50-day sailing without stopping, these unique ships with a displacement of 10,000 tons are capable of laying cables and repairing them while sustaining storm force up to five under severe icing conditions.

Readers of The Ukrainian Times know that the purpose of Russia is to convert Crimea into an unsinkable aircraft carrier, the strategic military base, capable of challenging the old and faulty NATO (essentially the United States). In particular, the Russian peninsula is outfitted with the cutting-edge weaponry, including S-400 Triumph and Pantsir air-defense missile systems, as well as with Bastion mobile antiship missile complexes and Bereg coastal mobile artillery systems.

According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, Russia has allowed Washington to put ABM bases on its borders with Poland and Romania. This is like the U.S. permitting Russia to put missile bases in Cuba. The fact that no one in Washington or any Western government has stepped forward to reassure the Russian government and demand the removal of U.S. missile bases surrounding Russia indicates a level of hubris or denial that is beyond comprehension. And what about the vote of the U.S. House of Representatives to go even beyond the obscene proposal of the Trump administration to increase the military budget by $54 billion and instead add a whopping $74 billion to the Pentagon budget?

Ornex Ltd. takes blocking stakes in energy troika

By Vladimir V. Sytin

Recently, the State Property Fund of Ukraine has sold blocking stakes in three energy companies, namely DonetskOblEnergo, ZapadOblEnergo and KievEnergo
by exchange auctions. All blocks of shares were acquired by the limited liability company Ornex of Cyprus, which is incorporated in the System Capital Management Group controlled by Ukrainian industrial magnate Rinat Akhmetov. As a result, DonetskOblEnergo, ZapadOblEnergo and KievEnergo are respectively 96.5%, 97.2% and 97.4% owned by Akhmetov’s companies today.

According to many observers, Kiev authorities’ assurances to return KievEnergo to communal ownership turned out to be worthless. At present, privatization in Ukraine is the way that bureaucrats can reward tycoons and cronies by giving them valuable public resources for a low price. As a rule, this deregulation entails high prices and poor services, whereas private owners would not move a finger to build new power plants or mend power networks, but milk very hard-pressed Ukrainian taxpayers of their cash.

Cannabis activity prohibited in Ukraine, its neighbors

In Ukraine, cannabis is mainly grown in small plantations, hidden amongst corn, in the black soil suitable for cultivation, which is found in the central and southern parts of this country. According to Ukrainian legislation, cultivation (without intent to sell) of up to 10 cannabis plants qualifies as an administrative violation, with a fine of from 18 to 100 tax-exempt minimum incomes and the seizure of plants. Reportedly, the limit for possession without intent to sell, for which no criminal liability is provided, shall not exceed five grams of cannabis.

By comparison, Russia reduced the limits for criminal possession of many drugs in 2006, with the criminal threshold for cannabis being cut from 20 to six grams.

Cannabis activity is strictly prohibited in Byelorussia. When a person is caught with cannabis, be it small or large amount, it can cost him or her a lot more (from bribing) and a law-breaker may well receive an 8–10 years’ prison sentence.

P.S. A joke overheard in a pub:

Two Hippies are walking along a railroad track, stoned. One Hippie says: “This is a really long staircase, man!” The other Hippie says: “I don’t mind the stairs, man. It’s this low handrail that is killing me.”

Germany owes Greece EUR300 billion WWII reparations

By Vladimir V. Sytin

Recently, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of Greece, has reiterated that Germany must pay reparations of damages done by the Nazi military during the occupation of the Balkan country in World War II. Prokopis Pavlopoulos made this statement when he visited the Greek village of Kommeno where Nazi war criminals executed 317 inhabitants and torched the village on August 16, 1943.

The President of Greece honored the memory of the victims of German fascist terror and stated that “our claims [for the reparations] are legally effective and judicially enforceable”. Overall, Germany owes 300 billion euros to Greece.

During the German occupation, much of Greece was subjected to enormous destruction of its industry (80% of which was destroyed), infrastructure (28% destroyed), ports, roads, railroads and bridges (90%), forests and other natural resources (25%) and loss of civilian life (up to 11.17% of its citizens). Reportedly, the occupying Nazi regime forced Greece to pay the cost of the Nazi occupation in the country, as well as requisitioned raw materials and food for the occupation forces, creating the conditions for the Great Famine during which over 300,000 Greeks died from starvation. In 1942, the Greek Central Bank was forced by the occupying Nazi regime to loan 476 million Reich marks at 0% interest to Nazi Germany to fund its North African campaign.

The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini notes that Germany has repeatedly rejected Greece’s claims as it allegedly honored its obligations, including a 115 million deutschmark payment to Athens in 1960.

Poroshenko regime, U.S. are no match for Russia’s military leviathan

According to analysts, the Ukrainian military dare not attack heroic defenders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics for fear of the retaliatory strike that could be made by Russia. The Ukrainian army would have long launched a major offensive on the republics if it were not for the deployment of Russian armed forces on borders with Ukraine.

Additionally, Russia conducts ongoing military exercises on its west and south-west borders with Ukraine to prevent any attack against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. In the meantime, President Vladimir Putin has brought in the bill into the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, which will allow Moscow to put air defenses on Byelorussia’s borders with Ukraine.

Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, wrote that it was Washington that enabled Ukraine’s attack on its former provinces with large Russian populations. Some of the crazed neoconservatives erroneously believe Russia is not sufficiently well-armed to respond to U.S. aggression, but the fact of the matter is that Russia’s strategic weapons are superior and more powerful than those of the United States.

Critics say Ukraine’s attack on the Donbas region is mindless. It shows Washington’s puppets, who still sit in Kiev, totally devoid of all intelligence. Even a fool understands that violence creates growing resistance, and the Poroshenko regime has not even the intelligence of fools. In the event of non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, Kiev will have to bear a great expenditure on a civil war in Donbas, borrow from international financial institutions and submit to the loss of a part of territory.