domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Canada: Higher Carbon Taxes (WSJ)

CALGARY, Alberta—Canadian oil producers, pummeled by the prolonged slump in oil
prices and a string of political setbacks, now face another challenge: higher carbon taxes.
The nation’s oil-sands developers have been hit particularly hard by lower oil prices,
because they are among the most expensive oil plays in the world. Already facing
a corporate tax hike and the possibility of higher royalty payments in Alberta
the province richest in oil sands—the industry was dealt another blow by
the Obama administration’s rejection last week of the Keystone XL pipeline,
which was designed to transport oil-sands output to Gulf Coast refineries.
All major oil-sands operators in recent weeks posted losses or steep declines in profit
for the most-recent quarter, as shrinking revenue outpaced cost cuts. Some global
giants are rethinking future development. Late last month Royal Dutch Shell PLC
shelved an 80,000-barrel-a-day project, following similar moves by
Total SA of France and Norway’sStatoil ASA.
Now, ahead of a United Nations climate-change conference in Paris starting Nov. 30,
oil companies await the details of moves—including possible new taxes on carbon
—pledged by new governments in Ottawa and Alberta to rein in greenhouse-gas
emissions, making the oil sands a global test case for climate policy.
“Canada’s years of being a less-than-enthusiastic actor on the climate-change file
 are behind us,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took office last week, said at a
news conference on Oct. 20, the day after his Liberal Party won national elections.
Mr. Trudeau promised to start working on a framework for regulating greenhouse-gas
emissions within 90 days of the Paris summit.
Within weeks of taking power in May, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s government
said it would double Alberta’s existing tax on carbon emissions by 2017, and has
committed to additional measures in time for the U.N. conference in Paris. Ms. Notley
is expected to release details of the proposals later this month. Alberta pioneered carbon
taxes in 2007 when it introduced a levy of 15 Canadian dollars ($11.37) a metric ton.
Oil sands are among the highest-intensity greenhouse-gas producers of any oil
fields in the world. Production from the oil sands has been growing at a steady clip in
recent years under previous provincial and federal governments that played down
climate-change risks and ignored calls from environmental groups and opposition
politicians for tougher rules on carbon-dioxide emissions.
Canada’s environment ministry says the country’s CO2 emissions have continued
to rise over the past five years and are expected to hit 781 million metric tons a year
by 2020 if no reduction measures are taken. While oil sands account for just a fraction
of that total, it is one of the fastest-growing contributors to the release of these gases.
The government’s latest estimate projects oil sands-related emissions to nearly double
to 103 million metric tons by 2020.
Mr. Trudeau’s stance is a direct challenge to Canada’s oil-sands industry, but the country’s
 oil producers are divided on how best to cope with the push for stricter environmental
Some, including the nation’s No. 1 oil producer, Suncor Energy Inc., say they accept the
tougher rules as inevitable, and can use them to help burnish their environmental reputations.
Others, such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.—Canada’s biggest natural-gas producer
and a major oil-sands leaseholder—are pushing back, warning the rules would make
Canadian crude even less competitive.
The divide in the industry has surfaced in submissions by top energy companies to
a government advisory panel of experts that will recommend new climate-policy
 measures in Alberta.
“The time is right for a higher level of ambition in carbon policy stringency in Alberta,”
Suncor said in its submission to the provincial panel.
Suncor Chief Executive Steve Williams has publicly championed new taxes on retail sales of
energy such as electricity and gasoline, in addition to levies on large industrial emitters.
“Every indication is that, on the road to Paris, Canada will start to take positions” to combat
climate change, Mr. Williams told reporters late last month.
Canadian Natural said in its submission that it objects to higher carbon taxes and other
new government-mandated policies, and has called for allowing oil and gas producers
to focus on new technology to cut emissions.
Its 34-slide Power Point presentation to the Alberta panel lays out the competitive
challenges facing the industry and warns that tinkering with policies that directly
affect oil and gas producers “is very difficult and more often than not has
unintended consequences.” In a similar vein, oil-sands producer Husky Energy Inc.
 warns against making emission cuts deeper than in other countries such as the U.S.
“It would be politically suicidal for us to do a mea culpa and hang our neck out in a
way that disadvantages the industry here,” Husky CEO Asim Ghosh said on a recent
 conference call.
The main industry lobby, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is urging
regulators to offset any additional cost from climate-policy changes with a cut in
 royalties owed to Alberta’s government from oil and gas output from provincial
lands. Such a “revenue neutral” approach to reducing CO2 emissions has been
backed by multinational oil giants with exposure to Canada’s oil-sands,
such as Exxon Mobil Corp.and Shell.
Write to Chester Dawson at

sábado, 10 de octubre de 2015

Energy Storage: Canada

Canada has a chance to add a new dimension to its energy economy – one that is clean, profitable and globally groundbreaking.
The opportunity is electricity storage, which until now has been limited by technology to a relatively modest scale. That’s about to change. And it means that Canada – and specifically Ontario – can become an ideal seedbed for storage technology, because there are ready markets for both large- and small-scale storage systems.
First, the large scale. Ontario has a fleet of nuclear generators that operate around the clock, and come close to filling the demand for power at off-peak hours. In addition, Ontario has developed a large renewable energy sector of wind and solar generation (in addition to its traditional hydro stations.) Problems sometimes arise when the natural weather cycles that drive wind and solar production are out of synch with the market cycle. On a sunny, breezy Saturday afternoon in May, with the nuclear plants running flat out, the hydro stations churning out power with the spring runoff and solar and wind systems near peak production, Ontario may have more electricity than it needs.
Our electricity system operators have a solution, of course: Sell the excess electricity to our neighbours. But since our neighbours are often in the same boat, Ontario must cut the price close to zero – or in extreme situations, even pay neighbouring states or provinces to absorb our overproduction.
Wouldn’t it make far more sense to store that excess energy, knowing that it will be needed in a matter of days, or even hours? What’s been lacking is the technology to do the job.
That’s changing however, as Ontario’s current program to procure 50 megawatts of storage capacity demonstrates. Companies with a variety of approaches are working hard to bring their solutions to market – many of them clustered at the MaRS centre in Toronto. Some, such as Hydrogenics Corp., convert electricity into hydrogen, which can be used to supplement natural gas.
My own company, NRStor, has partnered with Temporal Power and is operating a flywheel storage system in Minto, Ont., that helps the market operator to maintain consistent voltage on the grid.
Of course, businesses around the globe are looking at the same opportunities as we are, and here lies the opportunity for Canada to rebrand its energy economy.
A recent report by Deutsche Bank calls battery storage the “holy grail of solar penetration,” and believes that with the current rate of progress in improving efficiency, mass adoption of lithium ion batteries at a commercial/utility scale could occur before 2020.
Analysis by Prof. Andrew Ford of Washington State University calculates that a 1,000-megawatt air storage system from U.S.-based General Compression Inc. could deliver $6- to $8-billion of value to Ontario – in the form of lower energy costs to local utilities – over a 20-year period. All this is of interest to large-scale electricity system operators, big utilities and their customers.
But there is another reason for us to pay attention to energy storage – a reason grounded on a much more human scale. There are still large rural areas around the globe where there is no reliable electrical grid – including Northern Canada.
There is great potential for these communities, including remote First Nations communities, to improve their standard of living by installing microscale renewable generation in combination with storage, and relying less on carbon-spewing diesel generators, powered by fuel that must be transported long distances at great expense.
Storage is the key to making renewable energy a fully competitive component of any electrical grid. It can make our grid cleaner and more efficient, for the benefit of all consumers – large and small, urban and rural. We have the chance, in Canada, to become world leaders in developing this technology. Let’s seize it.
Annette Verschuren is speaking at the Cleantech Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX Cleantech) conference in Toronto on Oct. 15.

martes, 1 de septiembre de 2015

Shell on Alaska: 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil. (Elliot Hannon)

The U.S. government gave Royal Dutch Shell the final go-ahead on Monday to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off the northwest coast of Alaska. The Interior Department issued the Anglo-Dutch company a permit allowing it to explore deeper into the ocean floor after granting Shell conditional approval to drill in May. The drilling will be the first exploration in the U.S. region of the Arctic in more than two decades; the area is estimated to hold some 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil which could significantly boost U.S. domestic oil production from its current level of 9.5 million barrels per day.
Here’s more on what this means for the company from the Associated Press:
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that it approved the permit to drill below the ocean floor after the oil giant brought in a required piece of equipment to stop a possible well blowout. The agency previously allowed Shell to begin drilling only the top sections of two wells in the Chukchi Sea because the key equipment, called a capping stack, was stuck on a vessel that needed repair in Portland, Oregon. Because the vessel arrived last week, Shell is free to drill into oil-bearing rock, estimated at 8,000 feet below the ocean floor, for the first time since its last exploratory well was drilled in 1991 … Shell bid $2.1 billion on Chukchi Sea leases in 2008 and has spent upward of $7 billion on exploration there and in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast.
“Environmental groups condemned the decision, arguing that it goes against Mr. Obama’s stated commitment to addressing climate change and shifting away from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas toward renewable energy resources,” the Wall Street Journal notes. Shell will have until late September to drill before weather conditions make it too difficult. The company plans on investing $1 billion on top of the $7 billion it’s already plowed into scouring the Arctic for oil and natural gas, according to the Journal. So far the company has yet to discover any oil or natural gas there.

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015

Inti Lantauro on Lower crude prices (Total Scenery).

PARIS— Total SA said aggressive cost-cutting and an increase in oil output helped offset the fallout from lower crude prices on its bottom line, as its net profit fell by less than expected in the second quarter.
The French oil company’s strategy for stubbornly low oil prices has been similar to other major energy companies: extract as much oil and gas from current operations while cutting back aggressively on all costs and reducing investment in long-term projects. Along with boosted revenue from units like refineries and petrochemical plants—which do well when prices are low—Total, like other majors, has shown signs of resilience in the face of a historic market collapse.
Total said Wednesday its net profit fell 4% to $2.97 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier, while revenue contracted 29% to $44.72 billion. When adjusted to exclude the effect of inventories and other nonrecurring items, the company’s net profit fell to $3.09 billion from $3.15 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
The adjusted profit data was higher than the $2.75 billion median forecast of eight analysts polled by FactSet.
Profit would have fallen much more if Total hadn’t scrambled to raise output to an average 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the second quarter, from 2.05 million barrels a day in the same period a year ago, the company said.
The company now pumps more crude than the U.K. oil giant BP PLC, which said Tuesday that it produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the second quarter. Total’s results also compared favorably with BP, which posted a $6.3 billion loss in the second quarter, mainly because of a settlement for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
Total remains under pressure from crude prices that have fallen by more than half in the past year, down to the low $50s for a barrel of Brent crude, the global benchmark, from highs of $114 a barrel in 2014.
Total and others have responded with a regime of severe cost cuts and delays to big projects.
Known for his cost-cutting record when he was running the refining and petrochemical unit, Total’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné focused on slashing spending when he took over in November after his predecessor died in a plane crash.
“It is a bottom-up exercise, every manager at every level has been incentivized,” Chief Financial Officer Patrick de la Chevardière said in a conference call.
There are no small savings for Total, Mr. de la Chevardière said. The company squeezed providers from Brunei to Congo, optimized logistics and supply chains and cut unneeded spending wherever possible. In Angola, for instance, the company has ordered its boats servicing offshore oil rigs to go slower and save fuel, the CFO said.
Total has said it is on track to cut its costs by $1.2 billion this year. The firm added it expects three projects to start production later this year.
Total was also helped by its refining business, one of the largest in Europe. Refineries had been a problem child for Europe’s major oil companies, but with crude prices so low, the plants now get cheap feedstock and higher profit.
Operating profit for refining and petrochemicals jumped fourfold in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago.
“We are very happy to have the resilience that comes with being an integrated company,” Mr. de la Chevardière told investors in a conference call.

jueves, 16 de julio de 2015

Canada energy producers scenery mid-2015

Canadian energy producers are giving up hoping for a big rebound in oil prices, preparing instead to embark on a course of belated hedging if crude prices edge just a few dollars higher.

    As crude markets collapsed during the first half of this year, Canada's oil producers held back on hedging on concern they would lock in prices at barely break-even rates.

    That may be about to change. A rally in U.S. crude CLc1 from $60 (38 pounds) a barrel today to about $65 could trigger a wave of selling from Canadian companies eager to build up protection against a second price slump, according to market sources in Calgary. Many allowed their hedging activity to lapse since last year, when oil tumbled to a six-year low near $42 a barrel.

   Canadian producers are between 10 percent and 20 percent underhedged compared with the same time last year, banking sources in Canada's oil capital estimated. For example, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) had hedged around 10 percent of its production by early May; a year earlier it had already hedged more than half its output.

    It was not immediately clear which Canadian companies were gearing up for more hedging. Dozens of them routinely use derivatives contracts such as swaps or options to provide a guaranteed price on future oil production, often to appease lenders who want secure cash flow.

Some firms may also hedge simply because they fear oil prices may fall further, potentially dropping below the cost of production in the energy-intensive oil sands, where per-barrel operating costs can top $35, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

   "A lot of guys are saying we don't want to hedge at the bottom of a commodity cycle so there's been some hesitation," said Jeremy McCrea, an analyst at AltaCorp Capital in Calgary. “Clearly everyone is wishing they had hedged last year more.”

    McCrea said a number of producers were looking to hedge at around C$80 ($65) oil, and that less than half the oil companies covered by his research team have a structured hedging policy, preferring to add protection when needed.

    One source at a major bank said at least one client has put in orders to transact on their behalf as soon as crude hits $65 a barrel. Another source at a separate bank said clients were holding off for levels closer to $65 before hedging for 2016.

    David Leben, a director in oil products trading with BNP Paribas' in New York, said some producers were looking for even higher levels, around $70 to $80 per barrel.

    That strategy has its risks, however. Global crude supply is still robust and if demand falters prices could slide again, leaving producers exposed before they have a chance to hedge.

    "Some large Canadian producers have taken the stance that they will do nothing until we reach higher levels," Leben said.



    Since oil prices started tumbling last June, producers have been reluctant to put on hedges in case a sudden recovery meant they missed out on potential hefty profits.

    But with crude trading between $57 and $62 a barrel since early May, many companies have accepted a return to over $100 a barrel is unlikely.

    Greater insurance could frustrate producer-group OPEC's aim of putting the brakes on North American crude output, part of the battle for global market share that saw oil prices more than halve over just a few months.

    There's a long way to go. As of May 6, Canadian Natural, the country's No. 1 independent crude producer and until recently one of the largest hedgers in Alberta, had only hedged about 50,000 barrels a day of production for the remainder of 2015, using price collars between $80-$120.54 Brent LCOc1, according to quarterly earnings statements.

    At the same time last year Canadian Natural had hedged approximately 297,000 bpd of forecasted 2014 crude oil volumes, more than half its production.

    The company declined to comment on its hedging policy.

    Heavy oil producer Baytex Energy Corp (BTE.TO) hedged about 62 percent of its West Texas Intermediate crude exposure at a weighted average price of US$99.47/bbl for the second quarter of 2014, but had only 33 percent of volumes hedged for the same period in 2015, mostly at a fixed price of $87.03 WTI.

    Baytex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Many of biggest oil sands producers such as Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) and Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) do not hedge at all because their integrated refinery operations benefit from low crude oil prices.

(Reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary, editing by Jonathan Leff and John Pickering)

jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015

United States crude oil storage 2015 (Bloomberg)

Seven months ago the giant tanks in Cushing, Okla., the largest crude oil storage hub in North America, were three-quarters empty. After spending the last few years brimming with light, sweet crude unlocked by the shale drilling revolution, the tanks held just less than 18 million barrels by late July, down from a high of 52 million in early 2013. New pipelines to refineries along the Gulf Coast had drained Cushing of more than 30 million barrels in less than a year.

As quickly as it emptied out, Cushing has filled back up again. Since October, the amount of oil stored there has almost tripled, to more than 51 million barrels. As oil prices have crashed, from more than $100 a barrel last summer to below $50 now, big trading companies are storing their crude in hopes of selling it for higher prices down the road. With U.S. production continuing to expand, that’s led to the fastest increase in U.S. oil inventories on record. For most of this year, the U.S. has added almost 1 million barrels a day to its stash of crude supplies. As of March 11, nationwide stocks were at 449 million barrels, by far the most ever.

Not only are the tanks at Cushing filling up, so are those across much of the U.S. Facilities in the Midwest are about 70 percent full, while the East Coast is at about 85 percent capacity. This has some analysts beginning to wonder if the U.S. has enough room to store all its oil. Ed Morse, the global head of commodities research at Citigroup, raised that concern on Feb. 23 at an oil symposium hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “The fact of the matter is, we’re running out of storage capacity in the U.S.,” he said.

If oil supplies do overwhelm the ability to store them, the U.S. will likely cut back on imports and finally slow down the pace of its own production, since there won’t be anywhere to put excess supply. Prices could also fall, perhaps by a lot. Morse and his team of analysts at Citigroup have predicted that sometime this spring, as tanks reach their limits, oil prices will again nosedive, potentially all the way to $20 a barrel. With no place to store crude, producers and trading companies would likely have to sell their oil to refineries at discounted prices, which could finally persuade producers to stop pumping.

Oil investors appear to be coming around to the notion that a lack of storage capacity could lead to another price crash. In the futures market, hedge funds have spent the past few weeks cutting their bets that oil prices will rise. Instead, they’ve built up a record short position, increasing their wagers that prices will fall. During a March 11 interview on CNBC, Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn said he’s concerned the U.S. is running out of storage, particularly as refineries enter their seasonal maintenance period, to prepare for the summer driving season. Around this time they usually cut the amount of crude they buy. Cohn said prices could go as low as $30 a barrel.

The math on this can be a bit tricky. The U.S. Department of Energy measures oil storage capacity twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. As of September 2014, the U.S. had 521 million barrels of working capacity, up from 500 million in 2013. That includes the space inside tank farms and on-site at refineries. It doesn’t, however, include the amount of oil that can be stored in pipelines or storage tanks near oil wells; nor does it include the amount of capacity in tankers off the coast, in transit from Alaska, or on trains. Of the 449 million barrels of total crude stocks, about 327 million are stored in tank farms or on-site at refineries.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. is using about 63 percent of its storage capacity, up from 48 percent a year ago. “We have more space than some people tend to believe,” says Andy Lipow, an energy consultant in Houston. The most recent estimate of storage capacity also doesn’t include tanks built since September in North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas, he says.

Still, the amount of space available in the tanks at Cushing is getting tight. The storage hub will run out of room by Memorial Day, says Stephen Schork, who runs energy consulting company Schork Group. As long as oil stays cheap, he says, traders have an incentive to store it. Cushing has room for roughly 71 million barrels of oil, up from about 50 million in 2010. One of the biggest owners of tanks there is Canadian energy distributor Enbridge. “We don’t have much room left, but we’re still answering the phones,” says Mike Moeller, who manages the company’s Cushing tank farm. “Not everybody who calls is going to get space.” He says monthly lease rates in the spot market have gone from dimes per barrel to more than a dollar in some cases.

“These producers have kept chugging away when they should have been shutting down”

Even with prices less than half what they were last summer and storage capacity growing scarcer, U.S. oil output has continued to rise. Through February, U.S. daily crude production reached 9.3 million barrels, about 1 million barrels more than a year ago. The massive storage buildup has provided oil companies with a phantom demand for their crude. Many hedged production before prices got too low, taking out futures contracts that guarantee a certain price. That’s allowed them to sell oil for a price higher than the going rate of $49 a barrel, keeping many profitable despite lower prices.

Running out of room inside the nation’s storage tanks might be the only way to keep companies from pumping more oil. “These producers have kept chugging away when they should have been shutting down,” says Dominick Chirichella, co-president of the Energy Management Institute, a New York-based advisory group. “At some point, the fact that supply is outstripping demand has to have its moment of truth.”

The bottom line: A record 449 million barrels of oil are being stored in the U.S. Shrinking storage capacity might lead to another drop in prices.

miércoles, 14 de enero de 2015

My friend Alberto Quiros Corradi (1931-2015) By Gustavo Coronel.

In memoriam

My friend Alberto Quiros Corradi (1931-2015)
By Gustavo Coronel.

Those were different times , we were both active in the oil industry. I met him in Lagunillas , by late 1950. From then until today , the day of his death, he brought us a close friendship. It was a symmetrical friendship affection, we had a deep mutual affection , but asymmetric in talent. Alberto always saw as my superior, not only hierarchical but brainpower. I had the pleasure and privilege of sharing with him many hours of analysis of our industry, our company and our country. Always had the virtue of owning an original perspective, a fresh perspective , always mounted in their particular intellectual helicopter, from which you could see all sides of the situation. While I was scratching the surface as he walked into the depths of the problem and its ramifications. I learned a lot at his side , first with Shell, then with Maraven and Petroleos de Venezuela , where we participated in big initial decisions on Streamlining business , changing pattern Refining, the future of the Orinoco Belt plans exploration and early Conventions Technology and Marketing . Uncountable these activities but will never forget our meeting with the high command of Shell in London to negotiate the Technology Contracts and Marketing . To them we attended Alberto Jorge Zemella , Arnoldo Volkenborn and me. From an initial position of Shell 's $ 70 million per pack, we reducirl the cost to $ 42 million , aided in planning the strategy , in which they had participated in Caracas a couple of bright young people who then had extraordinary careers professionals in other fields : Moises Naim , his PhD from MIT back under his arm and Raul Arriaga.
For years I sat near Albert on the Boards of Maraven and PDVSA (where he often attended because of his position as president of subsidiary ) and always felt very identified with their views . We had a similar outlook on life , seemed to think the same even if we had not put us previously agreed . This was because of , perhaps , with similar origins , both from a modest middle class but with huge desire to progress . Alberto was very poor young but was always sure not stay long in those rows. He began loading tubes in La Concepción and ended his career at the top of their companies , president of Shell Venezuela , Maraven , Lagoven and , had it not been for the intrusion of politics , had become president of PDVSA , position for which he was eminently qualified . We will have time on another occasion to expand on what was a brilliant career. Now, under the shock of his death , I can only add some other considerations about what Alberto Quirós meant in my life.
By becoming friends we discovered some interests in common who joined us for the 60 years of close friendship. We met on Sunday to play billiards ( I earned more than I beat him ) at home or elsewhere . We were not reluctant to go to play in unsavory places near the Nuevo Circo or in Maracaibo , in unsafe places but we never did anything. We were big fans of boxing and traveling to Maracay , Maracaibo or USA, to see fight to Ramon Arias, Betulio and sinning optimistic , a link to Obelmejías in the Hagler fight . We were going to baseball frequently. Along with César Prato and Eduardo Serrano, the author of " Barloivento " you had taken music at home. There I remember alternated up with Pedro Vargas. Our friendship was , you might say , fraternal . Alberto had no brothers and somehow took me like a younger brother . Our friendship was marked by generosity and selflessness. It helped me and helped both in hard times. When I had to leave the oil industry for a confrontation with the sector minister ,, on unfair terms , Alberto brought together the presidents of subsidiaries and met with the president of PDVSA , the General Rafaél Alfonzo Ravard and got a decent treatment for my output, which had been ordered to political levels just a year of my retirement. This allowed me to make an orderly transition to other activities, since I had always been in the oil industry, even before my graduation as a geologist ( Shell Fellow at the University of Tulsa )
My life was closely linked to the life of Alberto Quiros Corradi and always admire his broad vision of life, his encyclopaedic culture and people skills . All his life to his childhood friends , Ramón Monzant , Albertico Moran, the ñato Carrillo and friends acquired during his career , as was manuvo faithful .
Alberto touched hundreds of people with their friendship and generous treatment . I always knew how to take their partners the best they could give. Many mourn his death today. I cried, I am feeling that his departure is like take away a big chunk my life.

They were years of fraternal friendship .

Today I pay tribute to my boss, my friend , the great Alberto , who I will never forget for the remainder of my life.