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Rpt-russia, N.america Invest Billions To Feed Asian Oil, Gas Demand

No comment from the NSA on Snowden’s claims was immediately available. U.S. officials have expressed grave concern that the files taken by Snowden might have fallen into the hands of foreign intelligence services. Some politicians and other observers have condemned him as a traitor. The New York Times said the interview with Snowden took place through encrypted online communications over several days in the last week. Snowden, 30, has been the source of disclosures that have appeared in newspapers around the world revealing that the U.S. government collects vast amounts of telephone and Internet records worldwide. President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence officials have defended the surveillance programs, saying they are a legal and valuable tool that helps to thwart terrorist attacks. They say measures are in place to prevent the programs from being abused or trampling the privacy rights of Americans. Critics say the programs are excessive, have insufficient oversight, infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Americans, and do little to counter real terrorist threats. Russia has granted Snowden asylum for at least one year.

“The centre of gravity shifting east is becoming a reality,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in South Korea. “They (China) would like to get oil from everywhere. Whether it’s by ship or, let’s not forget about Russia, by pipeline.” Net oil imports in the Asia-Pacific will rise to more than 25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2035, close to current crude output in the Middle East, the Asian Development Bank said, giving a sense of the region’s rising demand. ASIAN DEMAND While Asia’s market grows, the United States, which has been for decades the world’s biggest market for oil and gas, could slash its oil imports by half by the end of 2020 from levels seen two years ago due to the shale oil and gas boom and improving energy efficiency, the IEA said. Gas producers in North America and Asian buyers are working on multi-billion dollar projects to liquefy the region’s abundant gas supply and ship the super-chilled fuel to the East. North America has already pushed Australia out of the top spot for new Asian investment in gas development, while several pipeline projects are being planned in Canada to send landlocked crude to Asia. Pipeline operator TransCanada Corp is participating in projects worth nearly C$14 billion ($13.5 billion) that aim to fill Asia’s fast-growing demand for Canadian oil and gas and could build more, Chief Executive Russ Girling said. “I would have never predicted that 24-36 months ago,” Girling said in an interview earlier this week. Russia, the world’s largest gas producer, also plans to open up liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports next year to meet growing demand from Asia-Pacific markets. The government plans to submit a bill in parliament on it soon. That comes after Russian producer Rosneft signed one of the biggest deals in the history of the global oil industry in June – a $270 billion pact to supply 365 million tonnes, or 300,000 bpd, of oil for 25 years. That would come on top of the 300,000 bpd Rosneft is already sending to China. MIDDLE EAST Middle East producers are competing hard among themselves and with other suppliers for the Asian market.

Edward Snowden Tells NYT He Took No Secret Files To Russia

Democrats and Republicans are still at a stalemate on funding for the federal government as the shutdown goes into eighth day. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Obama Press Conference U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 8, 2013, as the crisis over a U.S. government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff deepens on the 8th day of the shutdown. (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) CDC The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stands behind a street sign marking the agency’s entrance, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Atlanta. The government shutdown has slowed or halted federal efforts to protect Americans’ health and safety, from probes into the cause of transportation and workplace accidents to tracking the flu. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Grand Canyon Ahmed Alaawaj, of Libya, gets his photo taken by Juan Riaz, of Colombia ,at the Grand Canyon National Park entrance, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Tusayan, Ariz. The friends traveled from Las Vegas to see the Grand Canyon unknowing it was shut down. The Grand Canyon remains closed to visitors because of the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Matt York) Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon National Park entrance is blocked off, Tuesday, Oct.