Israel among countries reporting new H5N1 outbreaks

first_imgJan 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in Israel today notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of an H5 avian influenza outbreak at a site near Haifa, and media outlets are reporting that final tests have confirmed the virus is the lethal H5N1subtype.Eighteen of 20 chickens at a petting zoo adjacent to a kindergarten in the city of Binyamina in northern Israel were found dead this morning, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency.Shmuel Rishpon, a Haifa district physician, said the kindergarten staff has been given preventive medicine and authorities believe none of the children or parents had contact with the birds.According to the OIE report, only chickens at the zoo were struck by the virus. Eight ducks and four pigeons were also housed with the chickens in a small enclosure.Polymerase chain reaction testing at Israel’s national laboratory at Kimron Veterinary Institute on samples from the infected birds were positive for the H5 serotype, but neuraminidase inhibition assay tests were pending, the OIE report said.However, the agriculture ministry said today the birds had the lethal H5N1 strain, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israel’s agriculture ministry received final test results from its department of veterinary services, indicating the birds had the H5N1 subtype, Globes Online, an Israeli business media outlet, reported today.The remaining birds were destroyed, and health officials placed a 3-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the outbreak area, said the OIE report.Israel’s last H5N1 outbreak, which hit domestic poultry, occurred in March 2006, according to reports from the UN Food and Animal Organization (FAO). No human H5N1 cases or deaths have been reported in Israel.Elsewhere, animal health officials in Vietnam said the H5N1 virus killed 350 white-winged ducks in northern Vietnam’s Thai Nguyen province, according to a Reuters report today. The outbreak occurred at a farm in 2-month-old ducks. Animal health workers culled the remaining birds, the report said.The H5N1 virus also struck ducks and chickens in Tra Vinh province in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Reuters reported.Officials in Bangladesh yesterday said the H5N1 virus was detected on a poultry farm in Dinajpur in the northern part of the country, prompting the culling of 300 chickens, according to another Reuters report.In other developments, the state media in Myanmar on Dec 29 reported an outbreak of the H5N1 virus in chickens in a village near the Myanmar border with Thailand, the Associated Press (AP) reported.The New Light of Myanmar, the state-run newspaper, said the outbreak occurred in a village in Shan state among domestic chickens and was reported to livestock officials on Dec 23, according to the AP report.See also:OIE reports on Israeli avian flu outbreakFAO update on H5N1 in birdslast_img read more

UK offers 123 offshore licenses to 61 oil & gas companies

first_imgUK’s regulator Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has offered for award 123 licenses over 229 blocks or part-blocks to 61 companies in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round.The 30th Offshore Licensing Round was launched on July 25, 2017 and closed for applications on November 21, 2017.Following the announcement of the awards on Wednesday, OGA said that these awards act as a strong platform for future exploration and production across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and can help transform exploration activity levels.The OGA also said that, in response to strong interest, it has made available huge areas of acreage; a total of 26,659 km2 has been offered for award and if the offers are taken up, the additional area under license will be an increase of 50% on existing acreage held.The OGA expects this round to lead very quickly to activity, providing a welcome boost to exploration. The new work program commitments include eight firm exploration/appraisal wells, nine firm new-shoot 3D seismic surveys and 14 licenses progressing straight to field development planning (second term licenses).The round may help to unlock around a dozen undeveloped discoveries containing a central estimate of 320 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of resource in undeveloped oil and gas discoveries which were previously stranded but can now be progressed through further appraisal to field development.It is estimated the UKCS currently has around 1.5 billion boe (Woodmac) of resource in potentially commercial undeveloped discoveries, many of which were previously considered to be too small or technically challenging. The 30th round alone effectively provides line of sight to the progression of 20% of these untapped reserves.In addition, using industry’s resource estimates, around 3.6 billion boe (mean-risked volume potential) of exploration prospectivity will be progressed by the new licensees.Awards have been offered to a broad spectrum of companies; some super-majors are expanding their footprint and new entrant companies have been attracted to invest in the UKCS for the first time, with capital investment coming from an equally diverse array of sources. Dr Andy Samuel, Chief Executive at the OGA said: ‘The UKCS is back. Big questions facing the basin have been answered in this round. Exploration is very much alive with lots of prospects generated and new wells to be drilled. The results show a great diversity of active players from super-majors to new entrants, and the hard work promoting undeveloped discoveries is starting to pay off. I’m looking to industry to rapidly press ahead with these activities and maximize recovery from these great opportunities.“Together we are building on the good momentum and collective efforts of industry, OGA and government over the last three years, with four projects already sanctioned this year and a healthy pipeline of 50 projects under consideration.”The OGA noted it provided a number of incentives to support the round and stimulate interest, including: the new, flexible Innovate Licence; an extended 120-day application period; technology forum held in conjunction the Oil and Gas Technology Centre; and a suite of new data and analyses, including digital maps, prospect and discovery reports, plus well and seismic data.Gunther Newcombe, Operations Director at the OGA said: “After a period of low exploration activity, support from the OGA and government has helped kick-off a revival in activity, as demonstrated by industry’s renewed interest through this license round. It was particularly pleasing to see many companies identifying new prospects through the application of the latest seismic processing technologies and modern 3D surveys. We believe that the basin will continue to be renewed in the years to come, and look forward to working with the new license holders to progress their resources into near-term production.”Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “It’s great see so many companies submitting applications as this demonstrates another vote of confidence in exploring for oil and gas on the UK Continental Shelf. We now need these opportunities to be pursued with a sense of urgency to help unlock activity for our hard-pressed supply chain and ensure we start to mitigate the potential drop off in production post 2020.“I’m optimistic that this can happen given that much of the acreage lies within reach of existing infrastructure, our development costs have reduced, our commercial behaviours are improving and our basin continues to be one of the most fiscally competitive in the world.”Chris Pearson, Small Pools Solution Centre Manager, Oil & Gas Technology Centre, added: “The outcome of the 30th Licencing Round is very promising. We are focused on significantly reducing the life-cycle cost of field developments across the UKCS, aided by the development and deployment of new technologies. We look forward to working with the successful applicants to help unlock the potential of the undeveloped discoveries, and use the learnings to drive international growth and export opportunities.”Attention will now turn to the 31st Round, scheduled to be launched in summer 2018, which will provide high-impact exploration opportunities in under-explored and frontier areas of the UKCS. To support the next licensing round, the OGA has already released the results of the 2016 Government-Funded Seismic Programme. Almost 19,000 km of newly-acquired broadband seismic data are now freely available to download, together with approximately 23,000 km of reprocessed legacy seismic data and well data packages.The round will cover large areas including the East Shetland Platform, North West Scotland, South West Britain and the Mid North Sea High. The seismic data are accompanied by new geotechnical studies commissioned by the OGA to investigate the key subsurface uncertainties in these areas. ‘The UKCS is back’last_img read more

Athletics’ World Championship Moved to Avoid Clash C’wealth Games

first_imgWhile the dates of Birmingham 2022 will remain the same – 27 July to 7 August – the start of the event is now set to overlap with the finale of football’s Women’s European Championship.Governing body Uefa has said it it is likely to delay the tournament,to be held in England, by a year because of the postponement of Euro 2020 in men’s football.BBC Sport understands the women’s Euros will now conclude at the end of July 2022, meaning a potential direct clash with the start of the Commonwealth Games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Organisers of the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the United States have agreed to stage the event three weeks earlier than planned to avoid a clash with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.The championships, in Eugene, Oregon, had already been pushed back a year after the postponement of this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.After a week of negotiations, a compromise has been reached, with athletics’ governing body shifting the event to 15-24 July 2022.last_img read more