Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazon Website-To-Delivery Vs ObamaCare Website Only

The granddaughters and one of their uncles joined us for a Thanksgiving dinner today/tonight, so I missed CBS "60 Minutes." [Actually, I would have missed it regardless; I haven't watched network television since July with rare exceptions, but I digress.]

A reader sent me this note (heavily edited and paraphrased):
Charlie  Rose interviewed CEO Jeff Bezos tonight. Mr Bezos indicated that Amazon will ship 300 items/second on cyber-Monday (tomorrow). Three hundred items/second works out to slightly more than 1 million items per hour.  
The ObamaCare website can handle 50,000 maximum at one time, and maybe 800,000/day .. but only 80% are expected -- the government's own statistic -- to be able to access the site. So, maybe 500,000 might be able to access ObamaCare each day and select a phantom insurance package; will take up to twice that number of items, and get paid for each one of them every hour, and then ship each one of them, and promising two-day delivery if the customer wants it that fast.

Only 80% of folks trying to access the ObamaCare site are expected to be able to do so; Apple and Amazon both expect 100% of all those coming to their site will be able to access their sites.
It is also common knowledge that the ObamaCare health site is not secure and is subject to hacking. What about I don't know but in the interview Mr Bezos indicated his company sells server space to the CIA. Good enough for me.
By the way, this was also interesting...maybe something Mr Bezos learned from the CIA: he revealed a drone that can deliver a 5-lb package up to 10 miles away using only GPS / shipping address.  
Oh, one more thing. When you order something from, there is a way to pay for it. The ObamaCare website does not have that functionality, to actually pay for the product. You can look at the options, choose the insurance policy you want, and put that "phantom" package in your cart. But you don't get it until you pay for it, and you can't pay for it, yet.

I am unaware of the date that function will be up and running.

Amateur hour. 

eCommerceBytes provides more background information

Another Nail In The Ethanol-85 Coffin -- There's No Market


January 24, 2014: it's all about votes and money; nothing to do with the environment. Chicago Business is reporting:
Once invincible in Washington, the industry has lost a string of high-stakes lobbying battles in recent years. Congress allowed ethanol tax credits to expire, along with tariffs that protected domestic producers from imports.
But the most painful blow came late last year, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broke a pattern of regularly raising the amount of ethanol oil refiners must mix into gasoline. Instead, EPA officials decided to let refiners use less of the corn-based alternative fuel.
Wounded but far from dead, ethanol advocates showed they still can draft plenty of U.S. senators to carry water for their industry, a sprawling confederacy ranging from Midwestern farmers to corporate giants like soon-to-be-Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. As my colleague Greg Hinz reported yesterday, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois rallied 30 colleagues to sign a letter urging EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to reconsider. Mr. Durbin's co-signers represent a bipartisan cross-section of liberals and conservatives, but most hail from states where corn is king.
Cutting the ethanol mandate, they warn, threatens not only “the environmental benefits from ongoing development of advanced biofuels” but “rural America's economic future.” They paint a bleak picture of job losses, rising dependence on energy imports, investment losses and reduced “consumer choice at the pump.”
Don't be fooled. This isn't about the environment or rural America's future. Mr. Durbin's crew is rushing to aid a narrow interest group that needs government support to survive. Ethanol can't compete in the marketplace without taxpayer help because energy prices are pegged to the price of oil, which costs less to produce than ethanol.
Corn, by the way, is destroying natural grasslands faster than the oil industry. Corn is single-use; oil is dual use.

Original Post
ChicagoBusiness is reporting -- "Is Ethanol Out of Gas?"
Drive around Chicago looking for a filling station that sells a special blend of gasoline containing 85 percent ethanol and you'll see 10 reasons why the Obama administration is giving the oil industry a big win over Corn Belt constituents.
Only 10 of nearly 800 gas stations in Chicago and fewer than 200 statewide sell E85 fuel, which was supposed to absorb more of the ever-increasing amounts of ethanol that refiners have been required to blend into gasoline under federal law. Instead, E85 and its cousin, E15, barely have penetrated the market—even in Illinois, the third-largest ethanol-producing state.
A first-ever cutback in the federal government's renewable fuel standard, which mandates how much ethanol has to be blended into the nation's fuel supply, is now roiling farmers and the ethanol industry, which includes huge producers such as Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. and a dozen smaller downstate ethanol plants. 
I believe there are warning stickers on pumps reminding folks not to use E85 for cars older than 2012. I know I am wrong on this, but somehow, if I can't use E85 in my 2011 car, what makes me want to take a chance on my brand new Cadillac Escalade SUV?

Update On CapeWind -- The Off-Shore Wind Farm Off Nantucket Island, Martha's Vineyard


December 26, 2013: Cape Wind developer sign with Siemens.
Original Post

I had pretty much lost track of this project. It was one of the first wind projects I followed on the blog, but after not hearing much about it, I assumed it finally got under construction ... but now a reader sends me this article --

Foster's Daily Democrat is reporting:
As it seeks investors, a project off the Massachusetts coast that aims to be the nation's first offshore wind farm must reach fast-approaching benchmarks or risk missing out on hundreds of millions in critical funding.

To qualify for a tax credit that would cover a major portion of its capital costs, Cape Wind either must begin construction by Dec. 31 or prove it's incurred tens of millions of dollars in costs by then. [The only significant cost I am aware of is the developer's travel expenses.]

Also, a $200 million investment -- the only one of a specific dollar amount Cape Wind has announced -- is conditioned on whether developers can fully finance the rest of the project by year's end.

With less than two months until the deadline, Cape Wind isn't publicly discussing financing efforts. It also has yet to start on-site construction and isn't detailing how it can qualify for the tax credit, only that it expects to.

Even if Cape Wind fails to qualify, spokesman Mark Rodgers said, "We will move this project forward, we will secure financing and we will construct the project." The 130-turbine, $2.6 billion Cape Wind project was proposed for Nantucket Sound in 2001 and touted as a large, clean energy source near a high-demand coastal area. It's been delayed by a thick bureaucracy and opponents who say the project will ruin the sound and threaten wildlife and maritime traffic.
I met the man behind this project two years ago (Mark Rodgers). The more and more I hear him speak and read the news stories, the more he seems like a modern-day Don Quixote, tilting at windmills (literally and figuratively, I guess -- I had not seen the irony until now).

I don't his background, but it seems that this project has become his life's work, and only work. He has been at it for more than a decade. Maybe he will get it done; maybe he won't. One has to give him credit for his perseverance. But if it is not built, one will always wonder if he could have accomplished something else ... like eradicate polio.

If they haven't begun construction by now, does anyone really believe he will have construction begun in the icy, windy north Atlantic in December --- if he does do anything to suggest he has started construction, it will be a sham. Maybe he will row a boat out to one of the sites, and drop in a block of cement to say he has started laying in anchorage for a wind turbine. It's hard to believe anyone has sunk 5% of the proposed cost of this project ---

But this project has been in the news for over a decade, so I doubt it will not be in the news in 2014. Like my feelings toward the Keystone XL -- it's mostly now just a fascination to see how these stories end.

The utilities that "bought" into this pretty much had their arms twisted. The deals Mark Rodgers had to make to get the utilities to buy in suggest that there's no way this project will ever make any money.

I do believe the Nantucket residents, the Martha Vineyard's folks, and the Kennedy clan all want to see this project go forward --- somewhere else. Perhaps Iowa. 

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday; Oasis Has Two "High-IP" Wells; Halcon And KOG Each With A Nice Well; Another Reader Provides Bakken Royalty Numbers

Pricing, Bakken oil

A reader was kind enough to send me royalty payments for Bakken oil. Data is from Continental Resources, Burke County:

  • June 20, 2013: $84.9665
  • July 20, 2013:  $93.8493
  • Aug 20, 2013:  $95.208
  • Sept 20, 2013:  $94.5064
  • Oct 20, 2013:  $87.9398
Average over the five months:  $91.294

Look at other Bakken pricing here to compare with the television crawler WTI/NYMEX. 


Wells coming off the confidential list over the weekend, Monday:

Monday, December 2, 2013
  • 23363, drl, CLR, Atlanta Federal 10-6H, Baker, no production data,
  • 24901, 1,815, KOG, Smokey 2-17-5-3H3, Pembroke, t9/13; cum 22K 10/13;
  • 25146, drl, Hess, HA-Mogen-152-95-0508H-6, Hawkeye, no production data,
  • 25512, drl, KOG, P Evitt 154-98-13-12-2-4H, Truax, no production data,
  • 25564, drl, KOG, P Evitt 154-98-13-12-19-14H, Truax, no production data,
Sunday, December 1, 2013
  • 21998, 836, Petro-Hunt, Producers Corp 159-94-8A-17-4H, North Tioga, t11/13; cum--
  • 24311, 188, Baytex, Murphy 29-32-160-99H 1CN, Burg, t7/13; cum 22K 10/13;
  • 24612, 2,356, Oasis, Leo 5200 43-20B, Camp, t8/13; cum 55K 10/13;
  • 24631, 2,514, Oasis, Cookie Federal 5300 24-25B, Willow Creek, t10/13; cum 30K 10/13;
  • 24951, 1,644, Oasis, Reynolds 5693 42-11T, Alger, t7/13; cum 25K 10/13;
  • 24970, 375, Oasis, Sam Horob 5604 43-23H, Bull Butte, t7/13; cum 15K 10/13;
  • 25087, drl, Statoil, Edna 11-2 6H, Camp, no production data,
  • 25126, 416, Oasis, Marosi 6093 12-1B, Gros Ventre, t9/13; cum 11K 10/13;
  • 25450, drl, CLR, Zelinsky 1-32H, St Anthony, producing,  
Saturday, November 30, 2013
  • 23364, drl, CLR, Atlanta Federal 9-6H, Baker, no production data,  
  • 25274, drl, MRO, Clemens Fettig 21-27TFH, Killdeer, no production data, 
  • 25562, 1,208, HRC, Borrud 156-101-2A-11-2H, Tyrone, t8/13; cum 21K 9/13;

 24901, see above, KOG, Smokey 2-17-5-3H3, Pembroke:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 24612, see above, Oasis, Leo 5200 43-20B, Camp:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Looks LIke It Isn't Only CBR That Derails -- NYC Commuter Train Derails -- 4 Dead, 48 Injured ...

... I wonder if it will get the attention the CBR derailments have gotten -- all two of them.

CBSLocal/NYC is reporting.