Friday, November 23, 2012

Eight (8) New Permits; Two OXY USA Wells Approved For Tight Hole Status; No IPs Reported

Eight (8) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (7), Murex 
  • Fields: Oliver (Williams), North Tobacco Garden (McKenzie)
  • Comments: Murex has a permit for a wildcat in Divide County; two OXY USA wells approved for "tight hole" status
Five of the seven new CLR permits are in Oliver field, including a 4-well pad. Oliver field has been updated.
No IPs reported for wells that came off confidential list yesterday or today. It's going to be a busy Monday. Cyber-Monday for retailers. 

Enbridge Announces Additional Canadian Oil Sands Pipeline: Edmonton to Hardisty

ENB announces it will add a 36-inch pipeline to its mainline system between Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. The segment will be just slightly more than 100 miles long. Cost: $1.8 billion; capacity eventually to 800,000 bopd. Does Hardisty ring a bell? Earlier this year: "TransCanada Corp. said Wednesday (May 9, 2012) it will proceed with the construction of an oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, which will serve as the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline."


Global Warming -- Idle Chatter

I was watching "Planet Earth" with my granddaughter last night; we watch it often -- it's one of her favorite DVDs. The younger granddaughter dislikes nature documentaries and won't watch them with us for the most part. She particularly dislikes documentaries in which the fish do not talk. (She's thinking of her favorite alternatives like "Finding Nemo."

Of the six DVDs in the boxed set, and of the five or six selections on the particular DVD she chose, she selected the one-hour segment on "Ice": the Arctic and the Antarctic. She says she loves the narrator, David Attenborough. I was quite impressed how balanced the series is. There was mention of global warming but it was done well.

I can't count the number of times I've seen this particular DVD, but it seems I always hear or see something new.

A new bit of trivia I heard last night which I did not know or had forgotten (it is seldom mentioned -- ever? -- in articles and newscasts on global warming): the Antarctic holds 90% of the earth's ice, and the ice pack in the Antarctic, as we all know, is growing. That little bit of trivia is lost in all the anxiety about the Arctic's loss of ice.

That is quite amazing: the Antarctic accounting for 90% of the earth's ice and is growing in size. [I can't find a similar statistic for the Arctic -- probably because the Arctic is ill-defined, unlike the Antarctic. Greenland and the Antarctic account for 99% of the earth's total ice, but that leaves out the Arctic (except for Greenland). In terms of "coverage," Arctic ice accounts for about one (1) percent of the earth's surface." Again, don't take that out of context. It's not the surface area that is important, it's the total volume, but if the Antarctic and Greenland account for 99% of the earth's total ice, the rest of the Arctic (the part we see in all those Al Gore videos) must account for less than one percent of the earth's total ice, if I did the math correctly.

Don sent me an interesting link to Bloomberg this morning: Pollution Sets Record as Euro Crisis Slows Climate Drive. This confirms what I've been saying for quite some time: a) the EU is abandoning renewable energy due to financial constraints; and, b) the US is going it alone in trying to save the world from global warming -- US CO2 emissions are at a 20-year low. Those two irrefutable facts and others are posted here. Irrefutable in the sense that the New York Times reports these data points as facts. If the New York Times reports something, it must be true.

So, what did Bloomberg have to say about pollution and the euro crisis?
The next victim of Europe’s economic crisis is becoming the global effort to restrain fossil fuel emissions and curb pollution now at record levels.
The European Union, which led the fight by establishing the biggest market for carbon emissions, is letting the matter slip as a priority. EU leaders didn’t discuss climate strategy at their four summits this year, while France, Germany, Spain and Britain are focused on paring the region’s 10.5 percent unemployment rate and 10.8 trillion euros ($13.9 trillion) in debt. The matter didn’t emerge during U.S. presidential debates. 
The inaction contrasts with widening concern among scientists that the time to react is passing. Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its lowest on record this summer as drought devastated corn crops in the U.S. Midwest and superstorm Sandy pummeled the East coast after becoming the largest ever tropical system in the Atlantic.  
Three things:
  • Sandy was the biggest, but cause and effect?
  • drought devastating corn crops? anyone remember the 30's Dust Bowl? or the warming spell during the Viking Age -- warm enough to grow grapes on Greenland?
  • Arctic ice shrinking? absolutely no mention that the Antarctic holds 90% of the earth's ice and is actually growing in size
And finally, the polar bears are making a comeback also (widely reported, no link necessary). Okay, just one link:
A new study from Canada, based on aerial surveys along the western shore of Hudson Bay -- a region considered a bellwether for bear numbers in the Arctic generally -- found that the polar-bear populaiton was 66 percent higher than expected. The director of wildlife management for the region: "The bear population is not in crisis as people believed. There is no doom and gloom." Oh, and the scientist for the Department of the Interior whose 2004 work on drowning polar bears inspired Al Gord and others has been placed on administrative leave for unspecified wrongdoing.
And so it goes.

Friday Links, Mostly WSJ -- Nothing On The Bakken

Note: scroll down through this post and the next to see the wells coming off the confidential list on Friday.

Wal-Mart reporting record sales on Black Friday. Unions: epic fail. At a Wal-Mart on the south side of Chicago one lone Wal-Mart employee walked out on the job.
Despite union efforts to target retailers like Walmart, businesses are reporting record Black Friday traffic – the biggest sign yet that the unions are out of touch with the American people. Starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Walmart put its products on Black Friday sale, sparking a run to the stores and earning the stores record sales.
Americans are content/satisfied. Americans support unions. Except when it interferes with their shopping.

How the fight to tame TB made it stronger, WSJ
The World Health Organization's long-standing strategy for fighting tuberculosis is showing deadly unintended consequences: By focusing for years on the easiest-to-cure patients, it helped allow TB strains to spread that are now all but untreatable by modern medicine. 
I've never understood this controversy: startup visas get new push, WSJ, page 3 of first section
A coalition of entrepreneurs, investors and advocacy groups is pressing its campaign for a special visa that would allow foreigners who launch companies to stay in the U.S. The group hopes to avoid situations like the one faced by Asaf Darash. Mr. Darash, 38 years old, who was born in Israel and raised there and in Australia, started software firm Regpack Inc. after moving to the U.S. in 2010. He entered the country on a J-2 visa associated with his wife's research in an academic exchange program.
Folks who arrive here illegally are given amnesty, driver's licenses, in-resident state tuition for college, but folks who actually do it legally and play by the system, adding to the nation's GDP ---> go back home.

Higher gasoline tax pitched in talks, WSJ,
The White House and Congress are trying to craft a broad deficit-reduction deal to substitute for the so-called fiscal cliff, a $500 billion combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to begin Jan. 2. State highway officials and industries that stand to benefit from increased highway spending—including road builders and heavy-equipment makers—are among those pressing lawmakers to raise the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline tax as part of an agreement. [The 18.4 cents/gallon seems like a strange number, but Don has done the math, and it turns out that 18.4 cents/gallon of gasoline offsets CO2 emissions if "taxed" at $20/ton. Very, very interesting. Can be verified numerous places on the net net by googling the numbers. I am just amazed at how they can arrive at these numbers.]
Cue up Connie Francis.

Better written than some science articles. Straight-forward, easy to understand, no hidden agendas
Book review, cry me a tributary, River Notes, Wade Davis, WSJ
Americans mastered the river with a vengeance. In 1922, seven states signed the Colorado River Compact, dividing its waters among them. In 1944, a treaty ceded the leftovers to Mexico. The first and most audacious project to control the river's flow was the Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, dedicated in 1935. Today the Colorado is the most regulated watershed in the world, hemmed by no fewer than 25 dams. By the time it trickles into the Gulf of California it has ceased to be a river in all but name, and most of its once huge, incredibly diverse delta is a barren mud flat.
Environmentalists abhor the subjugation of the Colorado. Mr. Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, also sounds an alarm for the tens of millions of people who live along the river—because the Colorado, already taxed to the brink, is shrinking. Thanks to population growth, a decade-long drought and global climate change, the river is being drained beyond sustainability. And if the Colorado were to die, Mr. Davis tells us, "it would be necessary to abandon most of southern California and Arizona, and much of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming."
Illinois the "Unfixable," WSJ
Illinois's pension system is heading for a meltdown and may now be beyond help. That's the forecast from a Chicago business group, which told its members last week that the state's pension crisis "has grown so severe" that it is now "unfixable."
The Commercial Club of Chicago wrote that because the November elections did not bring in lawmakers willing to push real reform, the state's roughly $200 billion debt now threatens education, health care and basic public services. The problem is worsening so fast that the usual menu of reforms won't be enough to keep public pensions from sucking taxpayers and whole cities into its yawning maw.
If you think Illinois lawmakers aren't taking the problems seriously enough, just ask Pat Quinn. On Sunday, the Illinois Governor kicked off a "grass-roots" effort to rally the state around pension reform. The Governor hasn't come up with a plan, but don't despair: He introduced the state's new animated mascot, "Squeezy, the Pension Python," and encouraged voters to talk about the problem over Thanksgiving.
Here's some food for thought. The state estimates its unfunded pension liabilities at around $95 billion. But that rosy scenario is based on the assumption that pension investments earn some 8% a year. In fiscal 2012, the Teachers Retirement System had a 0.76% return, the State Employees Retirement System 0.05%, and the General Assembly Retirement System a negative 0.14%.
Sleuthing the Apple stock selloff, WSJ, must be a slow day for the journal to post this fairly long op-ed (?) piece in the opinion section. The contributor is the publisher of Forbes. [For newbies, I'm a fanboy of Apple; officially Fanboy #3.] Disclaimer: I own no shares in Apple, have never owned any shares in Apple, and doubt I ever will. Don't make any investment decisions based on what you read at this blog. This is not an investment site.
Speaking of aesthetics and Apple-like touches, Microsoft recently opened retail stores in luxury shopping malls. At the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, the Apple and Microsoft stores are within 100 feet of each other. On a recent Saturday I counted more people in the Microsoft store.
Meanwhile at Barclay's: Barclays has purchased over 8,500 iPads, The Next Web reports. The bank intends to use the tablets as a means to improve customer service and it stated that their employees demanded iPads, according to the website. Demanded?

Egypt is truly out of control and will be for quite some time. It is only a matter of time before the sphinx, the pyramids, and the great archaeological treasures will be destroyed. And to think the British were under pressure to return their Egyptian museum pieces back to Africa these past twenty years.