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Friday, April 29, 2011

Chief Offshore Drilling Regulator Criticizes Lack of Oversight for Contractors

Chief Offshore Drilling Regulator Criticizes Lack of Oversight for Contractors

Share BP sues Transocean for $40bn

Share

BP sues Transocean for $40bn

USCG Deepwater Horizon Investigation Report REVIEW

USCG Deepwater Horizon Investigation Report REVIEW

Alabama Voices: Hardest hit

Alabama Voices: Hardest hit

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: BP is still not making it right Jorge Madrid & Kiley Kroh

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: BP is still not making it right

Jorge Madrid & Kiley Kroh

The Politics of Fossil Fuel

The Politics of Fossil Fuel

 

One year after the BP disaster, why are governments still putting the oil industry before the environment?

Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigative Team Releases Preliminary, Partial Findings

Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigative Team Releases Preliminary, Partial Findings

While BP Eyes Return to the Gulf, Safeguards Debated

The Oil's Story, From Wellhead to Beach

The Oil's Story, From Wellhead to Beach

Gulf Oil Shouldn’t Spill Beneath the Radar


Gulf Oil Shouldn’t Spill Beneath the Radar

« A thaw in the Gulf! High time to get familiar with the safety case regime for the Gulf of Mexico

High time to get familiar with the safety case regime for the Gulf of Mexico

Oil and Gas Research

Oil and Gas Research
US Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Discoveries and Status 2011
Offshore Magazine's Drilling Forecast is the source for this survey on the status of US Gulf of Mexico deepwater discoveries. Spreadsheet data includes: Field Name, Location, Year of Discovery, Status, Year Onstream, and Production Equipment Type.
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Worldwide Seismic Vessel Survey 2011
Convenient worksheet includes the following fields: Company, Vessel, Year Rigged or Converted, Total Length and Beam, Streamer Configuration, AV Streamers used Prior Year, AV Streamer Length, Source Array Configuration as Rigged, Max Towable Footprint, Acquisition Capability, Acquisition Experience, Technical Capability, Onboard Processing, Full Primary Recording Media, Satellite Transmission to shore, Delivery Time, and Company Address List.
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More Petroleum Research and Data
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - A Catalyst for Developing Stringent Offshore Safety Policies and a Game Changer for the Offshore Oil Industry and BP
Offshore Drilling Industry in the Americas to 2015 - New Deepwater Discoveries and Stringent Offshore Regulations Affecting the Future Industry Outlook
Worldwide Seismic Vessel Survey 2011
Offshore Exploration & Production Industry Worldwide Directory
Total United States Active Drilling Rigs Offshore - Monthly

Petrobras adds 14,000 BPD with Northeast Lula oil field EWT offshore Brazil

Petrobras adds 14,000 BPD with Northeast Lula oil field EWT offshore Brazil
Petrobras has started the Extended Well Test in the northeastern area of Lula Field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt, approximately 300 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
Full Article

Eddies found to be powerful modes of ocean transport

US Navy 070611-N-7676W-166 Amy Kukulya and Tom...Image via WikipediaEddies found to be powerful modes of ocean transport
Woods Hole MA (SPX) Apr 29, 2011 - Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues have discovered that massive, swirling ocean eddies-known to be up to 500 kilometers across at the surface-can reach all the way to the ocean bottom at mid-ocean ridges, some 2,500 meters deep, transporting tiny sea creatures, chemicals, and heat from hydrothermal vents over large distances. The previously un ... more
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Lima to declare itself a GMO-free zone

Flag of LimaImage via WikipediaLima to declare itself a GMO-free zone
Lima (AFP) April 27, 2011 - The city of Lima plans to declare the Peruvian capital a "GMO-free zone" after a controversial government decree that critics fear will see the country flooded with genetically modified organisms. Several municipalities in addition to Lima - a city of more than eight million inhabitants - as well as agricultural groups, agronomists and doctors have denounced the decree, which was published ... more
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NASA Mission Seeks to Uncover a Rainfall Mystery

A large cumulonimbus cloud, with rain falling ...Image via Wikipedia

Convective clouds - a vertically developed family of clouds are cumulus and cumulonimbus. The height of their bases range from as low as 1,000 feet to a bit more than 10,000 feet. Clouds with extensive vertical development are positive indications of unstable air. Strong upward currents in vertically developed clouds can carry high concentrations of supercooled water to high levels where temperatures are quite cold. Upper portions of these clouds may be composed of water and ice. Credit: NASA Langley
NASA Mission Seeks to Uncover a Rainfall Mystery 



Washington DC (SPX) Apr 29, 2011 - Scientists from NASA and other organizations are on a mission to unlock the mysteries of why certain clouds produce copious amounts of rain. In a field mission that is now under way, aircraft are carrying instruments above and into rain clouds. Meanwhile scientists are also getting rainfall measurements on the ground. This field campaign provides the most comprehensive observations of rain ... more
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Rice University geologist leads team effort to solve mystery of the Colorado Plateau

Rice University geologist leads team effort to solve mystery of the Colorado Plateau

Houston TX (SPX) Apr 29, 2011 - A team of scientists led by Rice University has figured out why the Colorado Plateau - a 130,000-square-mile region that straddles Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico - is rising even while parts of its lower crust appear to be falling. The massive, tectonically stable region of the western United States has long puzzled geologists. A paper published in the journal Nature shows how magm ... more



A convective "drip" of lithosphere (blue) below the Colorado Plateau is due to delamination caused by rising, partially molten material from the asthenosphere (gold), as plotted by Rice University researchers and their colleagues and described in a new paper in the journal Nature. (Credit Levander Lab/Rice University)

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Water currents of South Africa could stabilize climate in Europe

There are five major ocean-wide gyres — the No...Image via WikipediaWater currents of South Africa could stabilize climate in Europe
Barcelona, Spain (SPX) Apr 29, 2011 - One of the ocean currents which particularly interests oceanographers and climatologists is the Gulf Stream. This current, originating in the Gulf of Mexico, transports enormous amounts of warm tropical waters to the North Atlantic and is the cause of Europe's habitable climate. Climate predictions point to the fact that this will change in the future and affect especially the climate in c ... more
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Audio slideshow: Feeding China's coal habit

Audio slideshow: Feeding China's coal habit http://link.ft.com/r/WDI4RR/BM2I17/268VPS/GKZ3QO/18ULP1/ZH/h?a1=2011&a2=4&a3=29

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Overfishing 101: How Ocean Fish Populations are Managed in the U.S. (Part 2)

Overfishing 101: How Ocean Fish Populations are Managed in the U.S. (Part 2)

 

 

 

Lee CrockettContact:
Dave Bard, 202.778.4551
Author:
Lee Crockett, Federal Fisheries Policy Director
Fishermen, conservationists and scientists have actively debated how best to manage our ocean fish populations for decades. But with so much at stake, it's critical that as many Americans as possible be actively engaged in this discussion.
Lee Crockett's “Overfishing 101” blog series aims to do just that by providing a new outlet, in which we hope to open up the discussion to the larger public, cut through the rhetoric and encourage more people to participate in marine fish conservation.
Read the full "Overfishing 101" series below.

Helpful Resources

Ocean Phytoplankton Apocalypse - Perhaps Not Ronald Bailey

Phytoplankton - the foundation of the oceanic ...Image via Wikipedia

Ocean Phytoplankton Apocalypse - Perhaps Not

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Threading the Climate Needle: The Agulhas Current System

National Science Foundation
Press Release 11-085
Threading the Climate Needle: The Agulhas Current System

Increased Agulhas "leakage" significant player in global climate variability
Map showing the Agulhas Current system and its leakage into the Atlantic Ocean.
Agulhas Current system and its "leakage" into the Atlantic Ocean, affecting climate.
Credit and Larger Version
April 27, 2011

View a video on the Agulhas Current.
The Agulhas Current which runs along the east coast of Africa may not be as well known as its counterpart in the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream. But now researchers are taking a closer look at this current and its "leakage" from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean--and what that may mean for climate change
In results of a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature, a team of scientists led by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Oceanographer Lisa Beal, suggests that Agulhas leakage could be a significant player in global climate variability.
The Agulhas Current transports warm and salty waters from the tropical Indian Ocean to the southern tip of Africa. There most of the water loops around to remain in the Indian Ocean (the Agulhas Retroflection), while some water leaks into the fresher Atlantic Ocean via giant Agulhas rings.
Once in the Atlantic, the salty Agulhas leakage waters eventually flow into the Northern Hemisphere and act to strengthen the Atlantic overturning circulation by enhancing deep-water formation.
Atlantic overturning circulation is technically known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC); it carries warm shallow water into northern latitudes and returns cold deep water southward across the equator.
Recent research points to an increase in Agulhas leakage over the last few decades, caused primarily by human-induced climate change.
The finding is profound, oceanographers say, because it suggests that increased Agulhas leakage could trigger a strengthening in Atlantic overturning circulation--at a time when warming and accelerated meltwater input in the North Atlantic has been predicted to weaken it.
"This could mean that current IPCC model predictions for the next century are wrong, and there will be no cooling in the North Atlantic to partially offset the effects of global climate change over North America and Europe," said Beal.
"Instead, increasing Agulhas leakage could stabilize the oceanic heat transport carried by the Atlantic overturning circulation."
There are also paleoceanographic data to suggest that dramatic peaks in Agulhas leakage over the past 500,000 years may have triggered the end of glacial cycles.
These data are further evidence that the Agulhas system and its leakage play an important role in the planet's climate, Beal and others say.
"This study shows that local changes in atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Southern Hemisphere can affect the strength of the ocean circulation in unexpected ways," said Eric Itsweire, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s physical oceanography program, which funded the research.
"Under a warming climate," said Itsweire, "the Agulhas Current system near the tip of South Africa could bring more warm salty water from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean and counteract opposing effects from the Arctic Ocean."
The study establishes the need for additional research in the region that focuses on Agulhas rings, as well as on the leakage, believes Beal.
Climate modeling experiments are critical, she said, and need to be supported by paleoceanographic data and sustained observations to firmly establish the role of the Agulhas system in a warming climate.
"Our goal now is to get more of the scientific community involved in research on the Agulhas system and its global effects," said Beal. "The emphasis has been too long in the North Atlantic."
The Agulhas Current Time-Series Experiment, or ACT, was launched in April 2010 to measure the variability of the Agulhas Current using a combination of current meter moorings and satellite data.
Beal, who serves as chief scientist, spent one month aboard the research vessel Knorr in the southwest Indian Ocean deploying oceanographic instruments.
The data gathered in situ, when combined with along-track satellite information, will help increase our understanding of how the Agulhas system is changing in a warming climate, Beal said.
The scientific team included Beal, Wilhelmus P.M. de Ruijter of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Arne Biastoch of Leibniz- Institut für Meereswissenschaften (IFM-GEOMAR) in Germany, and Rainer Zahn of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain.
It also included members of the Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research (SCOR) Working Group 136 on the Climatic Importance of the Agulhas System, sponsored by SCOR, the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans, and the World Climate Research Program.
For information on the program, please visit the ACT website.
-NSF-
Media Contacts Cheryl Dybas, NSF (703) 292-7734 cdybas@nsf.gov
Barbra Gonzalez, RSMAS (305) 421-4704 barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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Could a Leaking Ocean Current Keep Europe Toasty?

Could a Leaking Ocean Current Keep Europe Toasty?

Which industries and activities emit the most carbon?

Which industries and activities emit the most carbon?

This question and answer is part of the Guardian's ultimate climate change FAQ

See all questions and answers
Read about the project

Chief Offshore Drilling Regulator Criticizes Lack of Oversight for Contractors

Chief Offshore Drilling Regulator Criticizes Lack of Oversight for Contractors
Sasha Chavkin, ProPublica: "The government currently regulates only operators of offshore drilling rigs, such as BP, and in turn holds them responsible for any contractors they hire. Experts say that by delegating the supervision of contractors the government is essentially taking the word of rig operators that facilities are safe and comply with regulation. As Reuters reported, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, Michael Bromwich, first raised the issue Monday, saying he thinks his agency has the authority to oversee contractors and that he intends to do so."
Read the Article
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An Incredibly Bullish Chart For The Shale Gas Revolution from Clusterstock by Gus Lubin

An Incredibly Bullish Chart For The Shale Gas Revolution

from Clusterstock

Annual Energy Outlook - 2011 EIA

Annual Energy Outlook - 2011 EIA

The Annual Energy Outlook from the Energy Information Administration finds that

*Imports meet a major but declining share of total U.S. energy demand.

*Domestic shale gas resources support increased natural gas production with moderate prices.

*Despite rapid growth in generation from natural gas and nonhydropower renewable energy sources, coal continues to account for the largest share of electricity generation.

*Proposed environmental regulations could alter the power generation fuel mix.

*Assuming no changes in policy related to greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide emissions grow slowly and do not return to 2005 levels until 2027.

"the projections in the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (AEO2011) focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term. Under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projections, the AEO2011 Reference case provides the basis for examination and discussion of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies." (from the summary).
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Clean Water: Foundation of Healthy Communities and a Healthy Environment -- U.S. President

Clean Water: Foundation of Healthy Communities and a Healthy Environment -- U.S. President

This report from the White House, dated April 27, 2011, states that the nation's water resources would benefit from promoting partnerships to conserve water, notes steps necessary to ensure water quality, invest in communities restoring important waterbodies, make more efficient use of water resources, enhance the use and enjoyment of our waters, investigate updating the Nation’s water policies and regulations, and make better use of science to solve water problems.

"Further the purpose of this document is to highlight important, ongoing initiatives at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI), together with their other Federal partners, to protect our vital water resources."

Reclamation: Managing Water in the West -- DOI

Reclamation: Managing Water in the West -- DOI

The report, produced by the U.S. Department of the Interior Policy and Administration, Denver, Colorado office, (dated April 2011) responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, and shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century due to climate change.

"Specific projections include:
• a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit;
• a precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
• a decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and
• an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin."
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IUCN/NRDC Workshop to Identify Areas of Ecological and Biological Significance or Vulnerability in the Arctic Marine Environment

IUCN/NRDC Workshop to Identify Areas of Ecological and Biological Significance or Vulnerability in the Arctic Marine Environment

This report from the IUCN and the NRDC states taht "Human activity is expanding in the Arctic marine environment, in part due to warming ocean temperatures and the dramatic loss of summer sea ice. New and expanding human uses include fishing, shipping and offshore oil and gas development. All have the potential to place major additional stress on ocean ecosystems which are already undergoing profound change related to warming, sea ice loss, and alterations in ocean chemistry.

Because activities conducted in one nation's waters can affect other parts of the region, effective management of some human uses in the Arctic marine environment will require international cooperation. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in conjunction with other international agreements and national laws and regulations, provides a general legal foundation.

However, new rules may be necessary to protect the Arctic marine environment. Examples of possible areas of international cooperation include: development of new standards for Arctic marine shipping, regulation of new or expanding Arctic fisheries, rules to protect the environment in the course of natural resource development, stricter regulation of Arctic tourism, mechanisms to assess and manage the cumulative impacts of multiple activities affecting the same ecosystems, and procedures for the establishment of representative networks of protected marine areas..."
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Managing California's water: From conflict to reconciliation

Managing California's water: From conflict to reconciliation

The rapid decline of salmon and the steady increase in the number of endangered fish species show that a new approach is needed to manage California's aquatic ecosystems, according to the book "Managing California's Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation," co-authored by Buzz Thompson, co-director of the Woods Institute for the Environment.

China's Rare Earths. The Video.

China's Rare Earths. The Video.

BP’s Gulf-related costs drop sharply

BP’s Gulf-related costs drop sharply
BP reported a significant drop in the costs related to last year’s devastating Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in the first quarter as the UK oil group sought to rebuild its oil and gas exploration operations.

http://link.ft.com/r/H60H77/5C8MFZ/WL1GSD/40TXY6/PRYEU8/MQ/h?a1=2011&a2=4&a3=28
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OPEC members' break-even oil price continues to rise - report

OPEC members' break-even oil price continues to rise - report
Driven by populist spending policies in some states, and investment in infrastructure projects and rising private consumption in others, both the actual price levels required as well as the capability to respond to fluctuations in prices vary greatly among OPEC members.
Full Article

BP platform back in action in the North Sea

BP platform back in action in the North Sea
Work has resumed on a BP-operated North Sea platform which was hit by a standby boat.
Full Article

Federal agencies to strengthen oversight of natural gas extraction, Jackson says

Federal agencies to strengthen oversight of natural gas extraction, Jackson says
A week after a natural gas well in Pennsylvania blew out, an Obama administration official said that the federal government is beefing up its oversight of deep underground natural gas extraction.
Full Article

Macondo will someday be produced, BP executive says

Macondo will someday be produced, BP executive says

Manned Submarines in the Race to Ocean Bottom - Triton 36000, Virgin Oceanic and James Cameron Submarines

Japan mulls safety certificate for seafood: report

Japan mulls safety certificate for seafood: report
Tokyo April 27, 2011 - Japan is considering issuing safety certificates for its seafood exports, in a bid to ease foreign fears over radiation contamination, a report said Wednesday. Japan is working with its top trade partner China on the certificate in an effort to persuade Beijing to relax rules on Japanese seafood products, the Nikkei said. Some 35 countries and regions have imposed restrictions on Japanes ... more

Ecuador on alert after volcano erupts

Ecuador on alert after volcano erupts
Quito, Ecuador (UPI) Apr 27, 2011 - Ecuador declared a national alert after the Tungurahua volcano, notorious for previous eruptions, began spewing lava again, forcing closure of schools and a widening evacuation of residents. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the latest eruption. A 5-mile-high column of lava and ash generated a vast, stifling canopy of poisonous gases and smoke, forcing the author ... more

WWF warns of massive forest loss

WWF warns of massive forest loss
Jakarta (UPI) Apr 27, 2011 - More than 568 million acres of forest worldwide will disappear by 2050 if no action is taken, a new WWF report warns. The report calls on governments and businesses to unite around a goal of zero net deforestation and forest degradation, or ZNDD, by 2020 as a global benchmark to avoid dangerous climate change and reduce biodiversity losses. "We are squandering forests now by fail ... more

Let's Talk About Solar Subsidies in Context

Let's Talk About Solar Subsidies in Context
Morrisville NC (SPX) Apr 28, 2011 - Lately I have heard and read in the media a general questioning of the need for renewable energy subsidies. Many of these critiques come at this conversation from a pro "free market" perspective. While I agree with many on the value of the free market, I'm often amazed by how little understood the energy market is. The world energy markets and the US energy markets are anything but free: e ... more

BP raises profits, Gulf oil spill costs

BP raises profits, Gulf oil spill costs
London (AFP) April 27, 2011 - BP's first-quarter net profits leapt 17 percent thanks to high crude prices, the British energy giant said Wednesday, adding that it was revising upward the cost of last year's fatal Gulf oil spill disaster. Earnings after tax jumped to $7.124 billion (4.9 billion euros) in the three months to March, compared with the first quarter of 2010, BP said in a results statement. It added that t ... more

Food vs fuel: the debate is over

Food vs fuel: the debate is over
Guelph, Canada (SPX) Apr 28, 2011 - A new study released by the Grain Farmers of Ontario should put an end to the ongoing debate of whether the grain we grow should be used for food or fuel. We can and should do both. The abundance of grain grown by farmers around the world and here in Ontario can both protect the environment and feed the world. As farm yields climb and investments are made in farm production in the developi ... more

NASA Technology Looks Inside Japan's Nuclear Reactor

NASA Technology Looks Inside Japan's Nuclear Reactor
Pasadena CA (SPX) Apr 28, 2011 - Design techniques honed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for Mars rovers were used to create the rover currently examining the inside of Japan's nuclear reactors, in areas not yet deemed safe for human crews. The iRobot PackBot employs technologies used previously in the design of "Rocky-7," which served as a terrestrial test bed at JPL for the current twin Mars rov ... more

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cooling on Global Warming Climate change has been put on the back burner.

Cooling on Global Warming
Climate change has been put on the back burner.

Europe prays for Easter rain in worst drought for a century

Europe prays for Easter rain in worst drought for a century
Brussels (AFP) April 22, 2011 - The Dutch have banned barbecues, camp fires and outdoor smoking this Easter, while the Swiss are forecasting potentially the worst drought in Europe for more than a century. Either way, prayers in Europe this Easter holiday weekend are as likely to call for rain as anything else - with serious fears over the wheat harvest, its impact on already sky-high global food prices and, of course, de ... more
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Growing threat of wheat rust epidemics worldwide

Growing threat of wheat rust epidemics worldwide
Aleppo, Syria (SPX) Apr 25, 2011 - For more information, see http://icarda.org/wheatrust/ and www.globalrust.org Researchers meeting at a scientific conference in Aleppo this week reported that aggressive new strains of wheat rust diseases - called stem rust and stripe rust - have decimated up to 40% of farmers' wheat fields in recent harvests. Areas affected are North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucuses, incl ... more
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