Monday, July 25, 2016

Bakken DUCs Rise To Nearly 1,000 -- July 25, 2016

The Emergent Group is reporting today that Bakken DUCs rise to nearly 1,000. See graph and data at this link. A reminder: CLR said fracking operations would resume when oil returned to $50 to $55. Not only is oil back in the mid-$40s, oil is a) now below $43; b) trending down; and, c) talk on the street suggesting the price of oil could go significantly lower (again).

The tea leaves certainly suggest we won't see $60 oil by the end of the year, and there is even question whether we will get into "CLR's fracking range."

In the July, 2016, Director's Cut (May, 2016, data), the NDIC reported that after falling a bit earlier this year, DUCs in the Bakken did increase slightly, by 39 from last report, up to 931.

LUCA: The Ancestor Of All Living Things

This story was a front page story over at the on-line edition of The New York Times
A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.
This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a grand name, or at least an acronym. It is known as Luca, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old.
Genes that do the same thing in a man and a mouse are generally related by common descent from an ancestral gene in the first mammal. So by comparing their sequence of DNA letters, genes can be arranged in evolutionary family trees, a property that enabled Dr. Martin and his colleagues to assign the six million genes to a much smaller number of gene families. Of these, only 355 met their criteria for having probably originated in Luca, the joint ancestor of bacteria and archaea.Genes are adapted to an organism’s environment. So Dr. Martin hoped that by pinpointing the genes likely to have been present in Luca, he would also get a glimpse of where and how Luca lived. “I was flabbergasted at the result, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
The 355 genes pointed quite precisely to an organism that lived in the conditions found in deep sea vents, the gassy, metal-laden, intensely hot plumes caused by seawater interacting with magma erupting through the ocean floor.
Deep sea vents are surrounded by exotic life-forms and, with their extreme chemistry, have long seemed places where life might have originated. The 355 genes ascribable to Luca include some that metabolize hydrogen as a source of energy as well as a gene for an enzyme called reverse gyrase, found only in microbes that live at extremely high temperatures, Dr. Martin and colleagues reported in Monday’s issue of Nature Microbiology.
Until the book comes out (which I am sure will happen), this is a great book that will bring you up to speed regarding LUCA: The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane, c. 2015. Bill Martin figures prominently in Nick Lane's book. 

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