Russia to drill off-shore. Off-American shore. Reuters in Rigzone is reporting:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was hopeful Russian oil company Rosneft and Cuban state oil company Cupet could begin jointly exploring Cuba's potential offshore oil reserves "in the very near future."
Shortly before Putin began his six-day trip to Latin America, Rosneft and fellow state oil company Zarubezhneft agreed to help Cupet explore offshore in Cuba, which has limited onshore production and depends on Venezuela for oil imports.It appears Putin continues to befuddle the Obama administration with his chess moves. It now appears Putin is engaged in three chess games: the Ukraine; the Mideast (to fill the Iraq void left by the US); and, now Central America. We won't hear any speeches from Mr Obama on this precisely because there's really nothing to say, but worse, there's nothing Mr Obama could say -- he has lost all relevancy in the eyes of Mr Putin.
The Wall Street Journal
Reynolds and Lorillard in talks to merge. This was also a front-page story in New York Times which had an interesting comment in the article about global warming. The New York Times is reporting:
As was the case during the dot-com boom, when many made wild forecasts of potential Internet users and revenue, people are already predicting that sales of e-cigarettes will surpass those of regular cigarettes — well, by 2047, according to one analysis by Bloomberg Industries.
It's refreshing to see The New York Times joke about the claims of the warmists and the cover of The National Geographic some months ago, showing the Statue of Liberty up to her waist in global-warmed oceans.By 2047, many of us could also be underwater because of global warming, assuming we are alive.
Speaking of which (global warming), two stories are being reported elsewhere -- Chicago is "bracing" (their word, not mine) for a cold summer; and a 103-year record for low temperature was broken south of the equator. This was originally reported in The Australian but I forgot to link that source (one can find the same story at ABC online):
Not since July 28 1911 has Brisbane (Australia) felt this cold, getting down to a brisk 2.6C at 6.41a.m.
At 7a.m., it inched up to 3.3C.
Matt Bass, meteorologist from BOM, said the region was well below our average temperatures.
“If it felt cold, that’s because it was, breaking that record is pretty phenomenal for Brisbane,” Bass said.
“The average for this time of year is 12C, so Brisbane was about 9C below average, it is pretty impressive really, to have the coldest morning in 103 years is a big record.”This along with the NOAA admitting that the Antarctic continent is at its largest extent ever, and global sea ice setting new records; the fact that polar bears are back; and even the penguins are thriving, tells me that all this hoopla over global warming is starting to wane. Except as a tool for fund-raising, my hunch is the president doesn't even get all that excited about the subject any more. Pool (as in billiards) and beer is his new interest. And pretty soon, planning his library will take up a lot of his time. I'm waiting to see when he visits the Black Hills -- now that he has visited North Dakota (SRIR, really?). Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial take up their entire mountains, respectively, but there might be room on Mount Rushmore, and maybe it's not too late to change the rider on the horse up at Crazy Horse.
Back to the WSJ:
A story on dead polar bears.
Say what you will about Congress's catering to narrow, special interests.
This past week, the Senate, in blocking a vote on an outdoor sportsman's bill, kept one group quite literally on ice: 41 polar bears that were shot more than six years ago and have largely remained in storage in Canada while U.S. lawmakers debate whether they can be imported.
The polar bears were legally killed by hunters such as Don Hershey, co-founder of an agriculture-equipment company in Lancaster, PA, who traveled to the northern reaches of Canada in March 2008 to hunt the animals. But the hunters ran into a problem when they tried to bring the bears back. The U.S. government's decision to label the bears a "threatened" species in May 2008 made it illegal to import polar-bear trophies, even those killed before the ban went into effect, leaving the bears killed in March and April of that year in bureaucratic limbo.Front section story on Kurdistan's secession plans. No doubt they are waiting for John Kerry and Christiane Amanpour to show up.
US oil prices at lowest in nearly two months. The consensus: signs of abundant supplies spurring investors to resume selling. Me? I think it is something else. Be that as it may: buying opportunity.
Warning: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or anything you think you may have read here.
A Note To The Granddaughters
We made it safely from northern Texas (near Dallas) to San Pedro, CA (south Los Angeles). Their parents were concerned that the granddaughters would be bored to tears and stuck in the back seat on this cross country drive. Google says it would take 22 hours if driven straight through. We took it very slowly. It took us almost exactly 75 hours. We left on Tuesday night, 8:00 p.m. and arrived in San Pedro at 10:00 p.m. (local; 1:00 a.m. Dallas time -- I guess that's 77 hours). If google says 22 hours driving time and we took 77 hours, that means 55 hours were spent outside of the car.
A huge shout-out to American technology. First, to Firestone. It hit 111 degrees Fahrenheit in the Mojave Desert, when we had already driven 1400 miles or so. I was really worried about the tires on the hot asphalt and in 111-degree temperature, and the tires did just fine. I think the tires are rated for 75,000 miles and they were new 10,000 miles ago.
Second: a huge shout-out to Jiffy Lube. Prior to starting the trip, I took the minivan in to Jiffy Lube to have it inspected, lubricated, and whatever else it needed. They must have done a great job. I felt much more comfortable having the car checked out before we left, and Jiffy Lube did a great job.
Third: a huge shout-out to Chrysler. This is our third of three Chrysler minivans, a 2007 base model with 53,000 miles on it. Our second, a 2005 base model, has about 60,000 miles. We gave away our first minivan, a 1996 model, back in 2010 or thereabouts with 196,000 miles on it. We really enjoyed the minivan on this trip; very versatile.
Fourth: a huge shout-out to a wonderful park ranger at the Petrified National Forest. When we handed him our $10-bill to enter the park, he said that for no extra cost, we could get a lifetime pass for all national parks -- for seniors. The very next day, we entered Grand Canyon with the pass, and did not have to pay the $25 entry fee.
Fifth: a huge shout-out to McDonald's. We only stopped a McDonald's twice on this trip (and no stops at Starbucks) to use wi-fi.
Sixth: a huge shout-out to Shell, Chevron, Exxon, and myriad other national downstream companies providing gasoline at affordable prices 24/7, and also providing restrooms, some much cleaner than others. Even the "worse" restrooms on our trip wer better than the average toilets we experienced in eastern Turkey.
Seventh: speaking of Turkey, a huge shout-out to Lady Bird Johnson (RIP) -- Beautify America. There was almost no litter and no billboards along the entire route except in urban areas. Of course, the billboards are being replaced by wind turbines, most of which were not turning. The turbines may not be generating electricity but they are generating tax credits, especially for folks like Warren Buffett. What a great country.
The list could go on and on. I may add to it later.