Sunday, February 15, 2015

$29 Billion Stimulus Program Helps Japan Out Of Its Recession -- February 15, 2015

I just love the spin.

Reuters is reporting that Japan has come out of a recession:
...contracting for two straight quarters, supported by a pick-up in exports.
Reuters is a pretty good business news organization (or so I've been led to believe). I find it interesting that Reuters picked up on "exports," but completely failed to mention the $29 billion stimulus program that was put in place less than two months ago. On December 27, 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday approved a $29.17 billion stimulus package meant to boost consumer spending and regional economic activity, seeking to revive an economy in recession.  
Many story lines.  

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Bigger Boots On The Ground

One really needs to parse presidential statements closely. In response to taking on the JV team, the president (or his press secretary) said that there would be no US troops on the ground (in Syria or Iraq). The president (or his press secretary never mentioned other options -- I knew Turkey was out of the question. I had forgotten about Kuwait -- but that makes perfect sense -- almost re-doing the first Iraq War in which the first Bush sent troops to Kuwait. But I guess I didn't parse the presidential statement closely enough. Gazette.com is reporting
President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked Congress to authorize long-term combat efforts against the Islamic State, but reinforced his pledge to not use the Army's big combat units in the fight.
"Local forces, rather than U.S. military forces, should be deployed to conduct such operations," Obama said in a letter to lawmakers. "The authorization I propose would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving U.S. or coalition personnel or the use of special operations forces to take military action against (Islamic State) leadership."
The Army has kept a brigade in Kuwait since the end of the Iraq war in 2011. Those soldiers, including two units from Fort Carson, have worked to train local troops from throughout the Middle East. In its most recent deployment to Kuwait, Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat team conducted training missions with allies including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which have joined the coalition against Islamic State fighters.
But now:
As Congress mulls America's war with the Islamic State terror group, more than 4,000 Fort Carson soldiers prepared Thursday to leave for Kuwait, where they will take over as America's largest ground force in the troubled region.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team bid farewell to the post in a ceremony and soon will serve as U.S. Central Command's Reserve force in the Middle East - the first soldiers into battle if a major combat force is used to battle Islamic State fighters.
The unit is Fort Carson's heaviest force, armed with tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Many of its soldiers are veterans of one or more of the brigade's four combat tours in Iraq.
Interesting. On paper it's simply replacing one brigade with another -- except this is quite a brigade going over there now. Hopefully the A team.

Oil Well Site On Fire Near/In Watford City, North Dakota -- February 15, 2015

KXNET is reporting:
An oil well site near Watford City has gone up in flames.
McKenzie County Emergency Management says the fire started on a oil pad around 6:30 p.m.
Crews worked for about half an hour to put out the flames.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
A nearby apartment building was evacuated due to the fire but residents have now returned home.
Wow, I'm glad this did not happen on "Friday the thirteenth." Missed it by that much.

I assume terrorism is not suspected.

No injuries reported -- must have been fast thinking by the folks on site. Good for them; hope it all turns out okay.

Taking Water Trucks Off The Road; Libya About Ready To Call It A Day -- Getting Ready To Shut Down -- Take Some Time Off To Fight A War -- February 15, 2015

The other day I posted a note about all the fracking that will be required this summer. It generated a nice little discussion regarding some data points on fracking water. These are just ball-park figures, not exact at all, but gives newbies a feel for what this all means. A reader noted that "he/they" have 1200 acre-feet of fresh water under contract for fracking "by hose." Going through all the conversions, if I understand the conversation correctly, 1200 acre-feet "by hose" equates to about 40,000 + truck sorties -- i.e, taking trucks off the road -- which, by the way, means some operators won't have to wait for lifting of road restrictions if sand/ceramic is pre-positioned. Idle chatter. Not sure about that. But gets me thinking.

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Bloomberg is reporting:
The North African nation’s oil production was reduced by 180,000 barrels a day after a fire at a pipeline that carries crude to the eastern Hariga port, National Oil spokesman Mohamed Elharari said by phone in Tripoli. Hariga, near Tobruk, has oil left in storage for exports and the last ship to load there was the Greek-flagged Minerva Zoe.
Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, was producing 350,000 barrels a day in January.
The nation may be producing less than 200,000 barrels a day after the pipeline fire. The previous lowest daily average was in March 2014, at 150,000 barrels. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels a day before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule. 
What does it matter?

So, who are the terrorists threatening Libya? None other than the JV team (President Obama's word terminology). Reuters is reporting:
Islamic State released a video on Sunday purporting to show the beheading of a group of Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya, violence likely to deepen Cairo's concerns over security threats from militants thriving in the neighboring country's chaos.
Egypt's state news agency MENA quoted the spokesman for the Coptic Church as confirming that 21 Egyptian Christians believed to be held by Islamic State were dead.
Egypt has a lot to worry about. Under President Obama, US foreign policy --
  • "Strategic Patience" 
  • "terrorism" does not exist
  • Islamists are just like the rest of us; we just need to understand their grievances
Closer to home:
  • close GITMO
  • open borders
  • blanket amnesty
What The Greek Debt Story Is All About


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Just An Excuse To Extend The Deadline

Fox News is reporting that the ObamaCare websites "hit a snag" on the deadline weekend. 
Consumers trying to sign up for health insurance ahead of a looming deadline are getting snagged by technical difficulties, the Obama administration said Saturday.
Administration spokeswoman Katie Hill said some people trying to get coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law haven't been able to get their income information electronically verified.

That's crucial because the amount of financial assistance to help pay premiums is based on people's income. The health care law offers subsidized private insurance to people who don't have coverage on the job. More than 8 in 10 of those who apply qualify for help. Without it, most can't afford the coverage.
Not to worry. This is simply an "excuse" to extend the deadline another couple of weeks. How many folks really knew that the deadline was this weekend. Now with "everyone" reporting the snags, more folks will know; more will sign up with President Obama signs an executive order extending the deadline, or puts pressure on insurance companies to extend the deadline. 
This is a non-issue; "deadlines" are sort of like lane markers on Italian highways: just a suggestion.

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Notes For The Granddaughters

Our 8-y/o granddaughter is working on her art project. In the background we are hearing mostly, but watching a little, the DVD, "The Art of Norton Simon."

May and I visited the Norton Simon art museum in Pasadena last summer. We had visited it only once before. I've always wanted to return but this past summer it was even more important to go: the Norton Simon was showing "The Railway," an Édouard Manet painting on loan from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

I was interested in looking at the video again. It just so happened that in the "Review" section of The Wall Street Journal today had a long article on that very painting, and noted that it was on loan to the Norton Simon through March 2, 2015. 

The article also happened to mention one of my favorite words, flâneur. Between 2001 and 2004, on many trips back to Yorkshire, northern England, I was a hiker and a flâneur. The word brings back many, many good memories.

Incidentally, just below the fold on the page that has the story on Manet's "The Railway," there is a short music review by the suspense novelist Jonathan Kellerman. He talks about Santo and Johnny's 1959 "Sleep Walk." I hardly need say more. 



Sleep Walk, Santo & Johnny

The Wood Wells In Truax Oil Field -- February 15, 2015

These are the "non-P Wood" Wood wells:
  • 24233, 1,948, XTO, Wood 21X-25A, Truax, t4/13; cum 255K 1/19;
  • 24232, 1,678, XTO, Wood 21X-25AXB, Truax, t4/13; cum 229K 1/19;
  • 20503, 560, XTO, Wood 21X-25B, Truax, t4/13; cum 267K 1/19;
  • 19857, 1,533, Whiting/KOG, Wood 5-15H, Truax, t11/11; cum 330K 1/19;
The "P Wood" wells are tracked here.

The Truax oil field is tracked here.

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Huge Jump In Production For #19857, Whiting/KOG Wood 5-15H

No evidence on FracFocus that this well has been re-fracked, API 33-105-02024. The most recent sundry form in the file report was from 2014, and there is nothing in the file report to suggest a re-frack. Assuming there was no mistake in the commingling data (and based on the water and natural gas numbers) that is unlikely, there was a huge jump in production in late 2014. I will post the production profile at this site.

Truax Field Has Been Updated; A Great Night To Look At Global Winds -- February 14, 2015

Link here.

Clicking on "earth" at the link, one can also overlay "temperature" to see how far south the frigid temperatures will extend.

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Truax oil field has been updated