Thursday, July 23, 2015

Minor Notes -- July 23, 2015; Looks Like Off-Shore Is Off-Limits

Is anyone even aware that the American men's soccer team got beat by Jamaica earlier this week, 2-1?

After watching an exciting American women's soccer team earlier this month trounce Japan in the finals to take the World Cup, talk about a huge let down to see the US men's team (ranked #1?) lose to Jamaica (ranked #76) in a semi-finals game. The WSJ is reporting:
ATLANTA—In what has to be considered the darkest night of Jurgen Klinsmann’s four-year run as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, the reigning Gold Cup champions were unceremoniously bounced from the biennial confederation championship in a shocking 2-1 upset by Jamaica.
The Reggae Boyz, ranked 76th in the world, stunned the U.S. with two first half goals scored within five minutes of each other on two costly mistakes by a U.S. team that last month knocked off world champion Germany. This was just the second win for Jamaica over the U.S. since 1988 and the first ever on U.S. soil.
Not Gonna Happen This Year
Winter In The Arctic Is Just Weeks Away

The US says Shell does NOT YET HAVE AUTHORITY to drill in the Arctic. Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday granted Royal Dutch Shell two final permits to explore for crude in the Arctic this summer, but said the company cannot drill into the oil zone until required emergency equipment arrives in the region.
The department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) conditionally granted Shell permits for exploration in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, in a season which sea ice limits from July until October.
But Shell must have emergency equipment to contain a potential blown-out well deployable within 24 hours before drilling into the oil zone.
Shell discovered weeks ago that the Fennica icebreaker that holds the required equipment, called a capping stack, had a three-foot (1-meter) gash in it.
Shell last week sent the Fennica, which it is leasing, to Portland, Oregon, for repairs. Fixing the gash and sending it back could take weeks more.

Expensive Parking Lot: The Caribbean

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
Imagine parking your $300 million boat for months out in the open sea, with well-paid mechanics hovering around it and the engine running.
The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea have become a garage for deepwater drillships -- at a cost of about $70,000 a day each. It’s either that or send your precious rig to a scrapyard. The dilemma underscores how an offshore industry that geared up for an oil boom is grappling with a bust. Rig owners are putting equipment aside at unprecedented numbers as customers including ConocoPhillips pull back from higher-cost deepwater exploration.
That’s helped make Transocean Ltd. and Ensco Plc two of the three worst performers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the past year.
“Most contractors have never seen an environment like this, where demand is falling as quickly as it is,” David Smith, an analyst at Heikkinen Energy Advisors in Houston, said in a phone interview. “It’s been a big headache, and the problem is that we’re not halfway through.”
A growing glut of newly built exploration vessels looked worrisome enough before the oil rout. Now it’s beginning to look disastrous.
It looks increasingly obvious that off-shore drilling is off-limits: either it's uneconomical (COP pulling out of the Gulf) or illegal (Obama administration).

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