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News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

November 15, 2016 - ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. ("ShaMaran" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: SNM) (NASDAQ OMX: SNM) is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. Unless otherwise stated all currency amounts indicated as “$” in this news release are expressed in thousands of United States dollars. On November 7, 2016 the Assignment, Novation and Fourth Amendment Agreement to the PSC (the “4th PSC Amendment”) and Atrush Facilitation Agreement were concluded between TAQA Atrush B.V. (“TAQA” and the Operator of the Atrush Block), General Exploration Partners. Inc. (“GEP” and a wholly owned subsidiary of ShaMaran), Marathon Oil KDV (“MOKDV”)(together, the “Non-Government Contractors”) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”) resulting in participating interests in the Atrush Block PSC of TAQA at 39.9%, the KRG at 25%, GEP at 20.1% and MOKDV at 15%. In addition these agreements include the terms for repayment to the Non-Government Contractors for costs which they have agreed to pay for on behalf of the KRG, including those relating to the Feeder Pipeline. Construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility (“Production Facility”) is complete and commissioning is in progress. The Atrush-2 (“AT-2”) and Atrush-4 (“AT-4”) wells were successfully completed in the second and third quarters of this year. All four wells intended for production are now completed, connected to the Production Facility and ready for start-up. Work on the pipeline being constructed between the Production Facility and the block boundary (the “Spur Pipeline”) is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016. Work has now commenced on the final 35km section of pipeline which will run from the Atrush block boundary to the tie-in point on the main export pipeline (the “Feeder Pipeline”) and is subject to the terms of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract between TAQA and KAR Company (“KAR”) which became effective on November 7, 2016. The length and complexity of the commercial discussions associated with the EPC contract, the 4th PSC Amendment, and the Atrush Facilitation Agreement have brought the commencement of the Atrush Feeder Pipeline closer to the winter season which means there is an increased risk to the schedule. While completion in the first quarter of 2017 is still the target and a possibility, it is probable that first production from Atrush will be further delayed to the second quarter of 2017. As a result the Company estimates that it will require approximately $20 million of additional funding which the Company expects will be made available by increasing GEP’s Super Senior Bond through facilities provided for in GEP’s April 2016 financing arrangement. FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 During the reporting period the Company continued its appraisal and development campaign in respect of the Atrush petroleum property located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which constitutes the continuing operations of the Company.  Atrush currently generates no revenues. The Company reports a net loss of $7.4 million in the first three quarters of 2016 which was primarily driven by general and administrative expenses, share based payments expense and finance cost, the substantial portion of which were expensed borrowing costs on the Company’s Senior Bonds and Super Senior Bonds. These expenses have been slightly offset by interest income on interest bearing funds as well as service fees. Total assets increased during the first nine months of 2016 by $20.9 million which corresponds to increases in share capital and equity reserves by $18.3 million, borrowings by $7.5 million and other non-current liabilities by $4.9 million which were offset by an increase in the accumulated deficit by $9.5 million, principally due to the net loss recorded in the period, and a decrease in current liabilities by $0.3 million. Property, plant & equipment assets increased by $37.2 million during the three quarters of 2016 due to $27.6 million of Atrush development costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $9.6 million incurred during the period.  The increase in intangible assets by $0.6 million during the first nine months of 2016 is due to $0.3 million of Atrush exploration costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $0.3 million incurred in the period. The decrease by $17 million in the cash position of the Company during the first nine months of 2016 was due to cash outflows of $25.2 million on Atrush Block development activities, $2.9 million of cash out on G&A and other cash expenses and $5.1 million of negative cash adjustments from changes in working capital items which were offset by $16.2 million of net proceeds on the issue of Super Senior Bonds. 1. This estimate of remaining recoverable resources (unrisked) includes contingent resources that have not been adjusted for risk based on the chance of development. It is not an estimate of volumes that may be recovered. 2. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 million cubic feet (“Mcf”) per one barrel is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility is complete. Commissioning is in progress and is expected to be complete in advance of the Feeder Pipeline. Engineering and design of water injection facilities has commenced and will continue in 2017. TAQA, as operator of the Atrush PSC, is responsible for the construction of the Spur Pipeline to the block boundary. The construction of the Spur Pipeline is substantially complete. Construction of the pump station and the IPPR is nearing completion and is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. Work has commenced on the Feeder Pipeline which will ultimately be owned by the KRG. The complexity of commercial and legal discussions has led to delays in the start of construction of the Feeder Pipeline. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2017 but due to onset of winter conditions it is probable that it will slip to the second quarter of 2017. Production start is planned to begin after the Feeder Pipeline is commissioned. AT-2, the final of four initial producing wells, all equipped with electric submersible pumps, was completed in the third quarter of this year. The four initial producing wells are all connected to the Production Facility and now ready for start up. Plans in 2017 are to drill and test CK-7, an appraisal and development well located in the central area of the Atrush Block, and CK-9, a dedicated water disposal well. This information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. under the EU Market Abuse Regulation and/or the Swedish Securities Market Act. This information was publicly communicated on November 15, 2016 at 23h30 Central European Time. ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. is a Kurdistan focused oil development and exploration company with a 20.1% direct interest in the Atrush oil discovery. The Atrush Block is currently undergoing an appraisal and development campaign. ShaMaran is a Canadian oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and the NASDAQ OMX First North Exchange (Stockholm) under the symbol "SNM". Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Pareto Securities AB is the Company’s Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North. The Company's condensed interim consolidated financial statements, notes to the financial statements and management's discussion and analysis have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are also available on the Company's website (www.shamaranpetroleum.com). This news  release contains statements and information about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as legal and political risk, civil unrest, general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events and management’s capacity to execute and implement its future plans. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking information. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as  "may", "will", "should", "expect", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "projects", "potential", "scheduled", "forecast", "outlook", "budget" or the negative of those terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Company cautions readers regarding the  reliance placed by them on forward‐looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management. Further, any forward-looking information is made only as of a certain date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management of the Company to predict all of these factors and to assess in advance the impact of each such factor on the Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking information. For the complete report see attached file.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

November 15, 2016 - ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. ("ShaMaran" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: SNM) (NASDAQ OMX: SNM) is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. Unless otherwise stated all currency amounts indicated as “$” in this news release are expressed in thousands of United States dollars. On November 7, 2016 the Assignment, Novation and Fourth Amendment Agreement to the PSC (the “4th PSC Amendment”) and Atrush Facilitation Agreement were concluded between TAQA Atrush B.V. (“TAQA” and the Operator of the Atrush Block), General Exploration Partners. Inc. (“GEP” and a wholly owned subsidiary of ShaMaran), Marathon Oil KDV (“MOKDV”)(together, the “Non-Government Contractors”) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”) resulting in participating interests in the Atrush Block PSC of TAQA at 39.9%, the KRG at 25%, GEP at 20.1% and MOKDV at 15%. In addition these agreements include the terms for repayment to the Non-Government Contractors for costs which they have agreed to pay for on behalf of the KRG, including those relating to the Feeder Pipeline. Construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility (“Production Facility”) is complete and commissioning is in progress. The Atrush-2 (“AT-2”) and Atrush-4 (“AT-4”) wells were successfully completed in the second and third quarters of this year. All four wells intended for production are now completed, connected to the Production Facility and ready for start-up. Work on the pipeline being constructed between the Production Facility and the block boundary (the “Spur Pipeline”) is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016. Work has now commenced on the final 35km section of pipeline which will run from the Atrush block boundary to the tie-in point on the main export pipeline (the “Feeder Pipeline”) and is subject to the terms of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract between TAQA and KAR Company (“KAR”) which became effective on November 7, 2016. The length and complexity of the commercial discussions associated with the EPC contract, the 4th PSC Amendment, and the Atrush Facilitation Agreement have brought the commencement of the Atrush Feeder Pipeline closer to the winter season which means there is an increased risk to the schedule. While completion in the first quarter of 2017 is still the target and a possibility, it is probable that first production from Atrush will be further delayed to the second quarter of 2017. As a result the Company estimates that it will require approximately $20 million of additional funding which the Company expects will be made available by increasing GEP’s Super Senior Bond through facilities provided for in GEP’s April 2016 financing arrangement. FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 During the reporting period the Company continued its appraisal and development campaign in respect of the Atrush petroleum property located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which constitutes the continuing operations of the Company.  Atrush currently generates no revenues. The Company reports a net loss of $7.4 million in the first three quarters of 2016 which was primarily driven by general and administrative expenses, share based payments expense and finance cost, the substantial portion of which were expensed borrowing costs on the Company’s Senior Bonds and Super Senior Bonds. These expenses have been slightly offset by interest income on interest bearing funds as well as service fees. Total assets increased during the first nine months of 2016 by $20.9 million which corresponds to increases in share capital and equity reserves by $18.3 million, borrowings by $7.5 million and other non-current liabilities by $4.9 million which were offset by an increase in the accumulated deficit by $9.5 million, principally due to the net loss recorded in the period, and a decrease in current liabilities by $0.3 million. Property, plant & equipment assets increased by $37.2 million during the three quarters of 2016 due to $27.6 million of Atrush development costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $9.6 million incurred during the period.  The increase in intangible assets by $0.6 million during the first nine months of 2016 is due to $0.3 million of Atrush exploration costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $0.3 million incurred in the period. The decrease by $17 million in the cash position of the Company during the first nine months of 2016 was due to cash outflows of $25.2 million on Atrush Block development activities, $2.9 million of cash out on G&A and other cash expenses and $5.1 million of negative cash adjustments from changes in working capital items which were offset by $16.2 million of net proceeds on the issue of Super Senior Bonds. 1. This estimate of remaining recoverable resources (unrisked) includes contingent resources that have not been adjusted for risk based on the chance of development. It is not an estimate of volumes that may be recovered. 2. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 million cubic feet (“Mcf”) per one barrel is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility is complete. Commissioning is in progress and is expected to be complete in advance of the Feeder Pipeline. Engineering and design of water injection facilities has commenced and will continue in 2017. TAQA, as operator of the Atrush PSC, is responsible for the construction of the Spur Pipeline to the block boundary. The construction of the Spur Pipeline is substantially complete. Construction of the pump station and the IPPR is nearing completion and is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. Work has commenced on the Feeder Pipeline which will ultimately be owned by the KRG. The complexity of commercial and legal discussions has led to delays in the start of construction of the Feeder Pipeline. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2017 but due to onset of winter conditions it is probable that it will slip to the second quarter of 2017. Production start is planned to begin after the Feeder Pipeline is commissioned. AT-2, the final of four initial producing wells, all equipped with electric submersible pumps, was completed in the third quarter of this year. The four initial producing wells are all connected to the Production Facility and now ready for start up. Plans in 2017 are to drill and test CK-7, an appraisal and development well located in the central area of the Atrush Block, and CK-9, a dedicated water disposal well. This information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. under the EU Market Abuse Regulation and/or the Swedish Securities Market Act. This information was publicly communicated on November 15, 2016 at 23h30 Central European Time. ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. is a Kurdistan focused oil development and exploration company with a 20.1% direct interest in the Atrush oil discovery. The Atrush Block is currently undergoing an appraisal and development campaign. ShaMaran is a Canadian oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and the NASDAQ OMX First North Exchange (Stockholm) under the symbol "SNM". Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Pareto Securities AB is the Company’s Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North. The Company's condensed interim consolidated financial statements, notes to the financial statements and management's discussion and analysis have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are also available on the Company's website (www.shamaranpetroleum.com). This news  release contains statements and information about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as legal and political risk, civil unrest, general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events and management’s capacity to execute and implement its future plans. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking information. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as  "may", "will", "should", "expect", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "projects", "potential", "scheduled", "forecast", "outlook", "budget" or the negative of those terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Company cautions readers regarding the  reliance placed by them on forward‐looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management. Further, any forward-looking information is made only as of a certain date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management of the Company to predict all of these factors and to assess in advance the impact of each such factor on the Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking information. For the complete report see attached file.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 15, 2016) - ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. ("ShaMaran" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:SNM)(OMX:SNM) is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. Unless otherwise stated all currency amounts indicated as "$" in this news release are expressed in thousands of United States dollars. On November 7, 2016 the Assignment, Novation and Fourth Amendment Agreement to the PSC (the "4th PSC Amendment") and Atrush Facilitation Agreement were concluded between TAQA Atrush B.V. ("TAQA" and the Operator of the Atrush Block), General Exploration Partners. Inc. ("GEP" and a wholly owned subsidiary of ShaMaran), Marathon Oil KDV ("MOKDV")(together, the "Non-Government Contractors") and the Kurdistan Regional Government ("KRG") resulting in participating interests in the Atrush Block PSC of TAQA at 39.9%, the KRG at 25%, GEP at 20.1% and MOKDV at 15%. In addition these agreements include the terms for repayment to the Non-Government Contractors for costs which they have agreed to pay for on behalf of the KRG, including those relating to the Feeder Pipeline. Construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility ("Production Facility") is complete and commissioning is in progress. The Atrush-2 ("AT-2") and Atrush-4 ("AT-4") wells were successfully completed in the second and third quarters of this year. All four wells intended for production are now completed, connected to the Production Facility and ready for start-up. Work on the pipeline being constructed between the Production Facility and the block boundary (the "Spur Pipeline") is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016. Work has now commenced on the final 35km section of pipeline which will run from the Atrush block boundary to the tie-in point on the main export pipeline (the "Feeder Pipeline") and is subject to the terms of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") contract between TAQA and KAR Company ("KAR") which became effective on November 7, 2016. The length and complexity of the commercial discussions associated with the EPC contract, the 4th PSC Amendment, and the Atrush Facilitation Agreement have brought the commencement of the Atrush Feeder Pipeline closer to the winter season which means there is an increased risk to the schedule. While completion in the first quarter of 2017 is still the target and a possibility, it is probable that first production from Atrush will be further delayed to the second quarter of 2017. As a result the Company estimates that it will require approximately $20 million of additional funding which the Company expects will be made available by increasing GEP's Super Senior Bond through facilities provided for in GEP's April 2016 financing arrangement. FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 During the reporting period the Company continued its appraisal and development campaign in respect of the Atrush petroleum property located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which constitutes the continuing operations of the Company. Atrush currently generates no revenues. The Company reports a net loss of $7.4 million in the first three quarters of 2016 which was primarily driven by general and administrative expenses, share based payments expense and finance cost, the substantial portion of which were expensed borrowing costs on the Company's Senior Bonds and Super Senior Bonds. These expenses have been slightly offset by interest income on interest bearing funds as well as service fees. Total assets increased during the first nine months of 2016 by $20.9 million which corresponds to increases in share capital and equity reserves by $18.3 million, borrowings by $7.5 million and other non-current liabilities by $4.9 million which were offset by an increase in the accumulated deficit by $9.5 million, principally due to the net loss recorded in the period, and a decrease in current liabilities by $0.3 million. Property, plant & equipment assets increased by $37.2 million during the three quarters of 2016 due to $27.6 million of Atrush development costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $9.6 million incurred during the period. The increase in intangible assets by $0.6 million during the first nine months of 2016 is due to $0.3 million of Atrush exploration costs and capitalised borrowing costs of $0.3 million incurred in the period. The decrease by $17 million in the cash position of the Company during the first nine months of 2016 was due to cash outflows of $25.2 million on Atrush Block development activities, $2.9 million of cash out on G&A and other cash expenses and $5.1 million of negative cash adjustments from changes in working capital items which were offset by $16.2 million of net proceeds on the issue of Super Senior Bonds. 1 This estimate of remaining recoverable resources (unrisked) includes contingent resources that have not been adjusted for risk based on the chance of development. It is not an estimate of volumes that may be recovered. 2 Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 million cubic feet ("Mcf") per one barrel is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The construction of the 30,000 bopd Atrush Phase 1 Production Facility is complete. Commissioning is in progress and is expected to be complete in advance of the Feeder Pipeline. Engineering and design of water injection facilities has commenced and will continue in 2017. TAQA, as operator of the Atrush PSC, is responsible for the construction of the Spur Pipeline to the block boundary. The construction of the Spur Pipeline is substantially complete. Construction of the pump station and the IPPR is nearing completion and is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. Work has commenced on the Feeder Pipeline which will ultimately be owned by the KRG. The complexity of commercial and legal discussions has led to delays in the start of construction of the Feeder Pipeline. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2017 but due to onset of winter conditions it is probable that it will slip to the second quarter of 2017. Production start is planned to begin after the Feeder Pipeline is commissioned. AT-2, the final of four initial producing wells, all equipped with electric submersible pumps, was completed in the third quarter of this year. The four initial producing wells are all connected to the Production Facility and now ready for start up. Plans in 2017 are to drill and test CK-7, an appraisal and development well located in the central area of the Atrush Block, and CK-9, a dedicated water disposal well. This information in this release is subject to the disclosure requirements of ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. under the EU Market Abuse Regulation and/or the Swedish Securities Market Act. This information was publicly communicated on November 15, 2016 at 23h30 Central European Time. ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. is a Kurdistan focused oil development and exploration company with a 20.1% direct interest in the Atrush oil discovery. The Atrush Block is currently undergoing an appraisal and development campaign. ShaMaran is a Canadian oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and the NASDAQ OMX First North Exchange (Stockholm) under the symbol "SNM". Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Pareto Securities AB is the Company's Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North. The Company's condensed interim consolidated financial statements, notes to the financial statements and management's discussion and analysis have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are also available on the Company's website (www.shamaranpetroleum.com). This news release contains statements and information about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as legal and political risk, civil unrest, general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events and management's capacity to execute and implement its future plans. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking information. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as "may", "will", "should", "expect", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "projects", "potential", "scheduled", "forecast", "outlook", "budget" or the negative of those terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes. The Company cautions readers regarding the reliance placed by them on forward‐looking information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management. Further, any forward-looking information is made only as of a certain date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management of the Company to predict all of these factors and to assess in advance the impact of each such factor on the Company's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking information.


News Article | November 20, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Welcome to Jamland. Formerly known as the United Kingdom, Jamland is where the Jams live. They were once known as the squeezed middle. They have also been dubbed the people who just get on with it. Now, courtesy of Theresa May, there is a new moniker for those who are struggling to get by – the families who are “just about managing”. The prime minister minted the phrase that has become Whitehall’s favourite new acronym in her speech outside Downing Street on the day she got the job. She pledged to strive for a country that worked for everyone, empathising with those in precarious jobs, struggling to pay the mortgage, worried about the cost of living or anxious about getting their children into a good school. Politicians have known about the Jams and vied for their allegiance for years. Ed Miliband made a pitch for the “squeezed middle” and George Osborne donned a hard hit and a hi-vis jacket to praise and rub shoulders with those who uncomplainingly “got on with it”. Philip Hammond, who has the responsibility of making good on the prime minister’s promises, explained who the Jams were on his visit to Andrew Marr’s sofa to talk about Wednesday’s autumn statement. “They are the people who work hard and don’t feel they are sharing in the prosperity that economic growth is bringing to the country,” the chancellor said. Or, to put it more concisely, the ones who voted for Brexit. The referendum was a seminal moment, because the Jams turned out in their millions to vote for leave. Their living standards are lower than they were in the mid 2000s. Twenty years ago, a just managing family was twice as likely to own their own home as to rent. Today the reverse it true. Two-thirds of children in poverty live in homes where at least one adult is working. On 23 June, the Jams were on one side, the Darts – doing all right thanks – were on the other. The Jams live in a country that is just about managing. Courtesy of record-low interest rates, the Bank of England is just about managing to keep the economy going. Despite repeatedly missing its targets, the government is just about managing to convince the financial markets that the public finances are under control. Exports of services mean the UK is just about managing to disguise the fact that there has been a deficit in manufactured goods every year since 1982. The NHS is just about managing to cope with increased patient demand and the toughest run of financial settlements since it was founded in 1948. Fair play to the government. It has identified all the right problems. There are, indeed, far too many just about managing households. The reason is that Jamland is a country that invests too little, where productivity is poor and where Osborne’s promised rebalancing of the economy towards manufacturing and exports simply has not happened. Jamland specialises in creating low-skill, low-pay, insecure jobs. May and her team have talked about the need for an industrial strategy, of the desirability of having workers and consumer representatives on company boards, of a budgetary “re-set” that will soften austerity and – most notably – of helping those who are just about managing. So far it has been just that. Talk. Wednesday, however, is when the talking stops. Hammond has the task both of bringing some short-term relief to the Jams while at the same time tackling the deep-seated problems of the economy so there are fewer Jams in the future. That is not going to be easy. For one thing, there are a lot of Jams out there spread thickly across the country. The Resolution Foundation estimates that there are 6 million working-age households on low to middle incomes concentrated in areas as diverse as Pendle in Lancashire, Sandwell in the West Midlands and North Devon. And there’s more. Money is tight and will remain so. The government’s target date for balancing the books continues to be pushed back. Hammond has abandoned Osborne’s plan to run a budget surplus by the end of the current parliament and will announce on Wednesday that there will still be a chunky deficit in 2020. The economy has performed much more strongly since the EU referendum than many feared, but the deficit in the current financial year is still likely to be at least £10bn to £15bn higher than the £55bn Osborne pencilled at his 2016 budget. The Office for Budget Responsibility, which compiles the government’s economic and fiscal forecasts, will say on Wednesday that the uncertainty Brexit is causing will put additional strain on the public finances. Osborne’s plan to run a budget surplus required big cuts in the welfare budget. One way of saving money was to freeze working-age benefits such as tax credits for the duration of the parliament, which meant their value would be eroded by inflation. The fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote means inflation is now going to be higher than expected, with the Bank of England predicting it will hit 3% by early 2018. The Jams rely on tax credits to top up their wages, so they could do with some help from the chancellor. He gave little indication, however, on the Marr show that he had much to offer. Noting that the economy was likely to slow next year, he talked about the “eye-watering level of debt”, the need to maintain “credibility” and his desire to make the economy “match fit” for the challenges and the opportunities ahead. The challenges were highlighted last week by the left-leaning IPPR thinktank, which announced a two-year commission designed to come up with solutions to Britain’s structural economic weaknesses. Six were identified – under-investment, a chronic trade deficit, poor public finances, too many Jams, the concentration of income and wealth in the south-east, and the failure to hit carbon reduction targets. “Brexit forces us to face up to the diagnosis,” the IPPR said. “We have an economy that is not delivering what it should for the British people. The paradox of the Brexit vote – a mandate for change that may make change harder to achieve – requires a far-reaching response.” It has taken decades for Britain to become Jamland. A cash-strapped Hammond is not going to come up with all the answers. Freezes to fuel duties, more generous childcare subsidies and money for road improvements represent tinkering rather than a fundamental shift in policy. What does that mean? It means the scope for disappointment is high. The prime minister may wake up on Thursday morning to find herself portrayed as the White Queen in Alice through the looking glass – offering jam tomorrow but never jam today.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

A quarter of London homes listed on Airbnb were rented for more than 90 days last year, many illegally and in breach of an act intended to stop landlords turning badly needed housing into unofficial hotels. The booming homesharing website admitted on Thursday that 4,938 of its “entire home” London listings – 23% of the total – were let out for for three months or more, despite a law requiring anyone doing so to apply for planning permission. The San Francisco-based website published an independent report into its activities by the thinktank IPPR that concluded: “It is likely there are many cases where planning permission for a change of use has not been obtained.” The report warned that Airbnb and other homesharing sites are causing landlords to remove properties from the already stretched private rented sector and placing them into short-term lets in a trend that poses “potential future risks to housing supply in London”. Airbnb announced on Thursday that from next spring it will ban hosts in London from renting out entire homes for more than 90 days a year without official consent. “The problem was that a website that was about people making a little money letting out rooms was being abused by professional landlords turning their properties into hotels by the back door,” said Tom Copley, Labour’s housing spokesman on the London assembly, who campaigned for the change. He said it adversely impacted on the already squeezed housing supply in the capital and affected local communities, with people in some areas complaining of Airbnb guests coming and going at all times. It was already against the law for property owners to let out their homes on short term, hotel-style lets without planning permission, if the total letting period was over 90 days per year. But, according to Copley, town halls did not have the resources or data to enforce it. Sarah Hayward, leader of the London Borough of Camden, welcomed the ban. “Swathes of properties in Camden had effectively been removed from the longer-term rental market, making it both more expensive and difficult to find a longer-term rental property in the borough for those working here,” she said. “It was abundantly clear to all councils involved that many users of the site were flouting the 90-night limit, and the simplest way to stop that was for Airbnb to stop it at source.” In a letter to hosts sent on Thursday, Airbnb said: “We want to help ensure that home-sharing grows responsibly and sustainably, and makes London’s communities stronger. That is why we are introducing a change to our platform that will create new and automated limits to help ensure that entire home listings in London are not shared for more than 90 days a year, unless hosts confirm that they have permission to share their space more frequently. “The new measures will begin from 2017. If you want to host more often, you will need to certify that you have permission to do so or apply for the relevant permissions from your local council.” In March, Airbnb said London was the third biggest city in terms of places to stay, with a little over 40,000 places, and that this was growing at a rate of 75% per year. “I welcome this move,” Copley said. “Airbnb have engaged constructively since I raised this with the mayor a couple of months ago. I now call on other short-term letting websites to do the same.” Airbnb, which has been valued at $25bn (£20bn) and helps let out 3m properties around the world, has faced a regulatory backlash in some cities where leaders have grown concerned about its impact on housing supply. Berlin levies a €100,000 (£85,000) fine for anyone renting out more than half of their home for less than two months without a permit, while hosts in San Francisco who do not register with the city authorities can be fined up to $1,000 per day. In New York there are strict laws against short lets in apartment blocks if hosts are not staying the apartments at the same time as their Airbnb guests. “While independent research shows that home-sharing has no significant impact on housing affordability in London, we believe it’s important to take action against unwelcome commercial operators who have no place on our platform,” Airbnb told hosts.


News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

The archbishop of Canterbury will spend the next two years as part of a commission launched by a left-leaning thinktank that aims to rewrite the rules for Britain’s post-Brexit economy. Justin Welby will join other leading figures including the general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, and the chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Sir Charlie Mayfield, on the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) programme that will seek remedies for six key UK weaknesses. Launching its commission on Thursday, the IPPR said the apparent success of the economy masked fundamental problems: weak investment compared with rival countries; a huge trade deficit; a budget deficit that would get bigger as the population ages; the capture of the fruits of growth by a small minority; the gap between the south-east and the rest of the country; and poor progress in meeting the UK’s climate change ambitions. The IPPR said none of the six problems identified were a recent phenomenon, with each getting worse for at least a quarter of a century. Tom Kibasi, the IPPR director, said: “The economy belongs to us all but it isn’t working for everyone. We need a new national economic vision and policy that the whole country can get behind. “The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump shows we must build an economy with economic justice at its heart. The problems we face aren’t temporary weaknesses in an otherwise sound model. “The foundations of our economy need to be rethought and the rules of the economy need to be rewritten. We need big, bold and ambitious change. Rethinking by half just won’t do.” The thinktank said a specially commissioned YouGov poll showed that 51% of Britons thought the UK economy was unfair for the majority. The IPPR’s move has echoes of the thinktank’s commission on social justice, which deliberated in the 1990s and was seen as preparing the ground for Tony Blair’s government when it came to power in 1997. The IPPR believes its new investigation into Britain’s deep-seated problems will also be of interest to the government, which has said it wants to make the economy work for the whole country. Sources said Downing Street was keenly interested in the commission’s work. Welby said: “I am very pleased and honoured to be part of the commission on economic justice. I believe this is a unique opportunity to reflect on the vision for our economy for the next 20 years and, in a time of significant change and uncertainty, seek to put our economy on a foundation of values and virtues. “I am hopeful that this commission’s work can lead to a tangible and hopeful set of recommendations, that go beyond party politics and make the case for an economy that delivers for the common good.”


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prfire.com

Just one in three people intends to house their ageing parents, finds study Tens of thousands of ageing parents will spend their later life in care homes – because just one in three families intend to give them a roof over their heads, according to a study. The study, of 2,000 adults with parents aged over 60, also found a third would have to ‘think seriously’ about the implications before making a decision. Around half who refused said their home ‘wasn’t big enough’, while four in ten said they ‘wouldn’t be able to cope’. Some 20 per cent said they feared they lacked the necessary skills to look after their parents, while one in ten said their own health wasn’t up to it. Financial reasons, having their own children still at home and not having a close relationship with their parents were other factors. The report, conducted by leading national care provider Care UK, comes at a time when the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)¹ has revealed its estimation that by 2030 there will be more than two million people aged 65 and over with no child living nearby to give care if needed. Maizie Mears-Owen, head of dementia services at Care UK, said: “We understand that the future care of a parent is an emotional topic and can be a difficult subject for many families to approach with their loved one. ”Discussing care plans with your parents can be upsetting, especially for the first time, but we encourage families to research and talk about their options so they can make informed decisions together. “Support is available but it can often be hard to find. Talk to a financial advisor about your options and seek advice online. ”We work closely with families to understand their needs and advise on all the options of care available, from respite and at-home support through to nursing and residential care.” Today, Care UK’s research has also revealed that two thirds of adults worry about the future care of their parents, yet most refuse to discuss the topic with them, and even less have made any plans. According to the survey findings, 66 per cent of adults have never discussed the issue with their parents as either side may refuse to talk about it, or it simply has not ever come up. In comparison, just five per cent discuss the topic regularly and one in five broach the subject from time to time. Worryingly, only seven per cent of respondents said they have made plans for their parents’ future care. With an ageing population and an expected increase in the need for elderly care services, Care UK say that this is a subject that needs to be discussed, sooner rather than later. Three out of four of those polled said they felt their parents would wish to stay in their own home, but two in three respondents said they wouldn’t want to leave them home alone. Seventy-four per cent also said they would feel awful if their parents wanted to live with them but they couldn’t accommodate them. In addition, the study found that while 37 per cent of those polled felt that a care home could provide better care for their parents, they felt guilty about arranging external care. Maizie adds: “From our experience, the thought of moving parents into a care home can come with great concern. ”Often the decision is made at crisis point – when parents need a level of care which families may not be able to provide. ”This can lead to a big decision that nobody was prepared for, which only heightens the anguish for parents and their families. “This is why we encourage people to discuss the subject of care with their parents before it becomes a necessity. ”This gives both parents and families a sense of control and also allows them to explore all the options available. ”For example, parents may not need full-time care, but there are day centre options in which parents can spend a few hours and receive vital care and support in a sociable setting. ”Having an open and honest discussion about this beforehand – and perhaps trying out the options available – can save a lot of stress and heartache in the future.” Interestingly, the survey also found that attitudes towards parental care seem to change according to age, with 18 to 24 year olds most likely to say that they would look after their parents compared to respondents aged 55 or over who were most likely to say they would not. Maizie concludes: “I think the idea of looking after your parents is very different from the reality. This is perhaps why younger people are more open to the idea. “As people get older, their own finances, how much space they have and bringing up their children are all factors which can make it harder for them to look after their parents. Again, this is why we encourage families to talk it through, see the best solution for all, and make the most of the help and advice available to them. “Within the community there are many places people can ‘drop in’ to find out where to go for further support – such as a local care home or Citizens Advice Bureau. ”www.carersuk.org is a great place to start. Taking this all-important step towards getting sound information and professional advice really can make a big difference further down the line.” Reasons for not having ageing parents live with you 1. Our house isn’t big enough 2. I couldn’t cope 3. I don’t have that kind of relationship with my parents 4. I lack the necessary skills to deal with them 5. I have too many work commitments 6. I cherish my independence 7. It wouldn’t be financially feasible 8. I have children to look after 9. My partner wouldn’t agree to it 10. My health isn’t up to it Reasons for not discussing future care plans with parents 1. It’s not something I worry about right now 2. It’s a depressing topic 3. I don’t know enough about the care options available 4. We don’t want to face it 5. It’s too upsetting for my parents 6. It’s too upsetting for me 7. Neither of us can afford to pay for care if and when they need it 8. If we don’t talk about it, it can’t cause arguments


News Article | April 11, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

According to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) the UK’s government capacity market is not working. With a consultation from the UK Department of Energy and Climage Change (DECC) just finished, Byron Orme, research fellow in energy, transport and climate policy at IPRR explains what the capacity market was supposed to achieve, where it has gone wrong and how it could be fixed. Courtesy of Carbon Brief. The capacity market is the UK government’s primary policy for ensuring security of electricity supply. It offers payments to power generators for being available to generate at certain times, and to demand response providers for being able to reduce electricity demand. The market takes the form of an auction, held every year, for capacity to be delivered in four years’ time. Firms bid into the auction at the price they need to stay open to generate electricity, or to be built from scratch in time to generate. The amount of capacity that is needed is decided by the secretary of state for energy and climate change, following a recommendation from National Grid. The capacity market was introduced in 2014 as part of a wider programme of reform (known as Electricity Market Reform), designed to decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply while keeping the lights on and costs affordable. There have been two main auctions so far, held in December 2014 and 2015. These resulted in the award of £2.8bn in subsidies, mainly to existing power stations. The so-called ‘clearing price’, the amount per kilowatt (kW) paid out, has been relatively low in each auction. The chart below shows who won contracts, and how much they received in the first auction (here’s the data from Sandbag). As can be seen, coal power stations will receive £173m in contracts for winter 2018/19, with multi-year contracts adding up to £293m in total. The UK’s nuclear power stations all received payments amounting to £153m in total, despite being highly likely to have stayed open anyway. The results of 2015’s auction were similar, but it also saw a marked increase in the amount of diesel generators winning contracts, despite those being one of the most polluting form of generation. As they are able to earn money in different parts of the market, they are able to compete to deliver their capacity at a low price. In the first auction, just over 5% of contracts went to new capacity and just 0.35% to demand response providers, as can be seen in the graph below. Critics of the scheme think there are three main problems with it. The first is that it provides continuing subsidies to fossil fuel generators, and highly polluting diesel plants, at a time when the UK is trying to decarbonise its electricity system. Indeed the energy market now has two contradictory policies working against one another – the carbon price floor penalises coal-fired power stations at the same time as the capacity market rewards them. Decarbonising electricity will be even more important as the heat and transport sectors are increasingly electrified. The capacity market also awards payments to plants that would have been open anyway – in the first auction, around a third of the plants which won contracts signalled they would have stayed open with no or very little payments. These windfall payments are arguably not the best use of bill payers’ money. The market is also focussed on the needs of large fossil fuel and nuclear plants rather than new technologies which can reduce costs to bill payers by shifting demand. Such technologies can reduce the need to build expensive new power stations and the amount of time that the most expensive stations need to run. As can be seen from the graph above, demand response providers have been awarded very few contracts so far. The government is currently consulting on changes which could mean more new gas-fired power stations are contracted, mainly by purchasing more capacity overall. The risk of this is that highly polluting plant will still be subsidised, and there will be even higher payments to power stations that would have been open anyway. IPPR has recommended that a host of changes should be made to reduce the costs of the capacity market, and to better align it with the government’s principal goals: security of supply, affordability and decarbonisation. First, there should be separate auctions for new and old capacity, so that there is more control over the amount of new capacity bought, and so the same payments required to get those plants built are not paid to plants which would have been open anyway. The Committee on Climate Change should provide advice to the secretary of state on the level of new capacity recommended by National Grid. Second, there should be an Emissions Performance Standard preventing highly polluting plants from bidding for capacity contracts, to end the situation where bill payers are subsidising diesel and coal power stations. Finally, there should be a much greater role for demand response. The National Infrastructure Commission has recently shown that moving to a more flexible and efficient system of demand management could save bill payers up to £8bn a year by 2030. The capacity market needs to work in a rapidly changing energy system in which the cost of renewables is falling and new demand management technologies such as storage are becoming available. Greater visibility for investors through an extendedlevy control framework would help renewables develop into the 2020s. Along with a growing use of demand response and storage, a lower-carbon system would rely less on the fossil fuel and nuclear plant currently being subsidised through the capacity market. An even more radical reform has previously been recommended by Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at Exeter University. She has argued that we can best facilitate a move to a decentralised, flexible and efficient system by looking again at the whole regulation of our energy market, as New York State is currently doing. This article was first published by the website Carbon Brief and is republished here with permission. To read IPPR’s full report, Incapacitated – Why the capacity market for electricity generation is not working, and how to reform it, published on 31 March, click here.


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Ridding inner London of virtually all diesel vehicles would solve the capital’s air pollution crisis, according to research published as the high court is due to rule on the government’s air quality plan. Illegal levels of air pollution cause about 9,500 early deaths a year in London and a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) sets out a series of measures to solve the problem. Imposing charges on all diesel cars and banning diesel taxis, plus stricter limits for trucks and buses, are central to the plan, which modelling by scientists at King’s College London show would deliver clean air. Boosting public transport, cycling and walking are also vital, according to the report, as is a national scrappage scheme for old diesel vehicles. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has proposed strong new measures to tackle air pollution but the IPPR proposals go further. Khan has joined a legal action against the government by NGO ClientEarth, which says the national plan does not cut illegal levels of air pollution in the “shortest possible time”, as required by law. ClientEarth defeated the government in the supreme court in 2015 but argues that even the new plan prompted by the defeat is still illegal. The judgment from the new challenge is expected in the high court on Wednesday morning. In October, it was revealed that George Osborne, then chancellor, had blocked moves to charge diesel cars for entering cities due to worries over cost and alienating drivers. In April, a cross-party committee of MPs said air pollution in the UK was a “public health emergency”. Traffic is the major cause of air pollution in cities, with diesel vehicles especially dirty. Paris is already taking steps to phase out diesels, as are cities across Germany. “Air pollution in London is at lethal levels,” said Laurie Laybourn-Langton, one of the IPPR report authors. “Bringing these levels down will save lives and make the capital more pleasant and prosperous for all Londoners. This won’t be easy and so our plan includes a number of measures that reduce the cost to Londoners of cleaning up transport.” “The fact that air pollution is an invisible and odourless killer has meant that we have been sleepwalking into a health crisis that has already claimed thousands of lives,” said a trio of medical professors, Jonathan Grigg, Chris Griffiths and Stephen Holgate, in a foreword for the report. “The benefits of moving away from diesel and fossil-fuel vehicles to health, to the economy, and to the climate will be significant. All we need is the political courage to do so.”


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Problem gambling costs the UK up to £1.2bn a year, according to a report that its authors say should serve as a “wakeup call” to the government. The report, commissioned by charity GambleAware and written by the IPPR thinktank, charts the costs associated with problem gambling, such as mental health services, police intervention and homelessness. It comes with the gambling industry facing increasing scrutiny, including a government review of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) – often dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling due to their addictive nature. The IPPR said the largest costs were racked up in the health service and the welfare and criminal justice systems, which even the report’s most conservative estimates pitched at £260m. The £1.2bn highest estimate compares with the £2.6bn that the Institute of Fiscal Studies says the industry contributes to the exchequer every year. Campaigners said that even the maximum estimate could still be too low, because it did not take into account the wider economic impact on employers and families. Dr Simon Tanner of GambleAware, a former NHS director of public health for London, likened the report to groundbreaking studies of alcohol-related harm. “I hope that this report kick starts the conversation about gambling-related harm in the same way,” he said. Craig Thorley, a research fellow from IPPR said: “For many, problem gambling is a hidden addiction. This should be a wakeup call to government. We need a proper strategy to deal with this issue, just like we’ve had for other public health issues such as alcoholism.” The report identifies groups of people who are particularly at risk of becoming addicted to gambling and suffering harm as a result. People aged 16 to 24 are least likely to gamble, but those in that age bracket who do so are more likely to develop a problem. Men are five times more likely to become addicted to gambling than women, while those in the lowest income bracket are least likely to gamble but most likely to develop a problem. Up to 1.1% of the adult population are believed to have a gambling problem, according to the report, with the prevalence higher among homeless people, the unemployed and black or Asian people. Marc Etches, the chief executive of GambleAware, which receives donations from the betting industry, said: “Problem gambling is an issue which affects millions of people across Britain each day. GambleAware is keen to put problem gambling on the public health agenda, as it’s no different to any other kind of addiction.” British gamblers lost a record £12.6bn in 2015, while this year the industry’s spend on TV advertising hit an all-time high. The industry’s own efforts to police the problem have met with criticism, while a string of sanctions handed down by industry regulator the Gambling Commission have increased the pressure on politicians and industry leaders to combat addiction.

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