Friday, March 27, 2015

Harry Reid Not Running For Re-Election; Flaring In North Dakota -- March 27, 2015

Middle East in free fall. Seems to mirror exactly what I wrote yesterday.

Germanwings co-pilot found psychologically unfit during early pilot training, as far back as 2009; eighteen months of psychiatric treatment. Is the airline industry/Lufthansa that short of pilots that eighteen months of psychiatric treatment not disqualifying? Did the co-pilot have another connection with the airline to get that job? Physician's statement found in co-pilot's belonging (WSJ reports): medical leave of absence valid/justified through March 24, 2015. Date of crash: March 24, 2015. (Yeah, that makes sense: the physician hands the note to the patient to take to his employer. Was the co-pilot on Prozac? Well-known association with suicidal ideation.) Described as a "quiet person." Still lived with parents; had separate apartment. Think "self-loathing." Folks ask why he would want to kill 150 people; spent 9 months as flight attendant while on medical / psychiatric leave. A reader noted that the US does not require psychiatric evaluations for folks running for president or even serving as president.

Speaking of psychiatric evaluations, in the midst of a Mideast free fall, SecState warns of "global warming refugees" in the "not-too-distant future." They Syrian refugees, apparently, are an old-story.

Fourth quarter US GDP unrevised at 2.2%. Eight years of recovery and a gazillion dollars in stimulus and this is all we have to show for it: a) an unapproved Keystone XL pipeline; and, b) a 2.2% GDP? Wow. 

Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs99196185206170

RBN Energy: flaring in the Bakken finally winding down.
Producers in the Bakken are making progress reducing the natural gas flaring that had put an unwelcome spotlight on the region. The fix, spurred in part by tightening regulations, is being made possible by the addition of new gas processing capacity and increased efforts to use “stranded” gas at the well-site. (A drilling slowdown associated with soft crude prices is providing an assist.) Today, we take a fresh look at what’s been happening on the flaring front in western North Dakota, where gas flares still light the nighttime sky.
The flaring of large volumes of associated natural gas in the Bakken continues to attract attention from critics. As we said a while back in Why Will Bakken Flaring Not Fade Away?, there are environmental and economic reasons for flaring. In any situation where natural gas (primarily methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas) would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere it’s much less damaging to the environment if that gas is burned off. From an economic perspective, flaring allows oil production (which has been the primary driver of Bakken activity) to start before pipeline infrastructure is in place to take away the associated gas that is produced. As we explained in Set Fire to the Gas--The Fight to Limit Bakken Flaring, connecting wells to gas gathering systems and processing plants isn’t a cure-all.
New wells produce gas at higher initial production rates and higher pressure, and gas from these new wells takes up pipeline capacity and knocks older, lower-pressure wells off the gathering system, causing their gas to flow back to the wellhead and require flaring.  It is a complicated system with no easy fix.

Macrumors is reporting:
Apple today officially announced April 10 grand openings for its three dedicated Apple Watch shops located in high-end department stores in London, Paris, and Tokyo. As previously outlined, the store-within-a-store locations are at Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and Isetan in Tokyo.
The new locations appear set to handle only Apple Watch viewing and sales, with customers being directed to other Apple retail stores for their support needs.

The Selfridges Apple Watch shop will be located near the entrance to the iconic Wonder Room, a massive shopping hall that houses a wide selection of luxury jewelry and watch brands alongside a concept store and mezzanine wine bar. Apple has reportedly been drawing employees from other retail stores in London to staff the new shop. The Galeries Lafayette shop will take over four balcony sections overlooking the main rotunda of the department store. 
We visited Paris and London often while we were assigned overseas. Calling these locations "high-end" is an understatement. These are exclusive.

The hardest thing analysts will have getting their arms around regarding these Apple stores: this is not going to be "high volume." This is a completely different market with a completely different purpose.

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