Saturday, February 15, 2014

An Aerial View Of The New Refinery Under Construction West Of Dickinson, ND -- Serving The Bakken, The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

A photograph taken quite some time ago is a Vern Whitten aerial view of the new refinery under construction west of Dickinson. At the link, scroll to the 33rd of 41 photographs.

Danica Might Have Some Competition This Season; Richard Petty Steps In It

Maryeve Dufault from Canada was slated to start #31 in today's ARCA race at Daytona (when you get to the link, click on "qualifying"). It's possible the lineup will change by the start of the race.

For the Bakken crowd, note her truck driving experience.

If it's on the internet, it must be true.


Meanwhile, Richard Petty speaks his mind. The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
Danica Patrick is trying to avoid the debris field while Richard Petty is holding his ground following his critical comments last week that many have deemed sexist when he said Patrick could win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race only "if everybody else stayed home."
Patrick responded with the obligatory "everyone's entitled to their opinion" during media day at Daytona International Raceway. In comments to the Orlando Sentinel's George Diaz this weekend, she continued to maintain an even keel.
“There are people who like me, who really don't like me, believe in me, will never believe in me,” Patrick said. “I think everybody deals with it on some level.”
Petty, on the other hand, was on the defensive Saturday night before the running of the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona.
“If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it," Petty said in reference to discussing a male stock-car driver. "So, y'all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me.”
Except Petty, the original "king" of NASCAR, kept mentioning he wasn't a sexist.

It's So Much Fun Pulling Activist Environmentalists' Chains; The Fourth Nominee For The Geico Rock Award; Effort To Solarize Burleigh County, North Dakota

California today (google -- photograph of oil rigs in California fracking near Bakersfield):

The photo above is California today (Kern County). Activist environmentalists are worried about OXY USA's plans to develop the Monterey Shale:
If we go in the direction of North Dakota, the consequences for California would be devastating,” said Patrick Sullivan, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued to invalidate government lease sales for drilling. ’’We’re determined to protect water, wildlife and public health.’’  -- from Bloomberg, February 15, 2014.
Contrast the California photo today (above) with the Vern Whitten aerial photos of the Bakken.

California should be so lucky to "go in the direction of North Dakota." Something tells me Patrick Sullivan has never been to North Dakota.

Patrick Sullivan: the fourth nominee for the Geico Rock Award for 2014.

California Blue

California Blue, Roy Orbison

Whenever I see "non-profit organization," I ask to see the equivalent of the "carfax": I want to see the salaries of the top six executives and what family members are on the payroll. A non-profit group wants to solarize Burleigh County. I assume the executives are not working for free.

Geese Hunting Season Opens In North Dakota

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
North Dakota's spring light goose hunting season is getting underway.
The season that opened today continues through May 18. The spring season is only for light geese — snows, blues, and Ross's. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.
That part about "the spring season is only for light geese..." Not entirely true: slicers and dicers in the North Dakota flyways can take any and all migratory birds year-round, with no daily limit. It's only law-abiding hunters that are affected by a daily limit on light geese.

Forbes Has It Correct On Global Warming

A reader sent this article; it is from a few months ago; I missed it. As good an article as I've ever seen with references to scientific articles from warmists.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

From Forbes:
The second shoe is preparing to drop to shatter the world view of so-called Progressives.
Coming, global revelations will demonstrate the fraud behind the theory of man-caused, catastrophic, global warming, just like the real world has shattered the falsehoods behind Obamacare. That is because the underlying reason for both frauds was the same: to expand government power.
Enablers went along with the fraud in both cases for the same underlying reason – political correctness. In both cases, going along with the cause for the assumed public good without raising questions was considered the politically correct thing to do for all “good” people. Soon the enablers in both cases will have to pay the price for participating in and perpetuating the fraud.
This past weekend, Peggy Noonan summarized the Obamacare fraud in the Wall Street Journal, writing,
“They said if you liked your insurance you could keep your insurance—but that’s not true. It was never true! They said if you liked your doctor you could keep your doctor—but that’s not true. It was never true! They said they would cover everyone who needed it, and instead people who had coverage are losing it—millions of them! They said they would make insurance less expensive—but it’s more expensive! Premium shock, deductible shock. They said don’t worry, your health information will be secure, but instead the whole setup looks like a hacker’s holiday. Bad guys are apparently already going for your private information.”
The premiums may be a great deal for some, but for all, the deductibles are incredible. $12,000 / year / couple. 

But it was the global warming story that most caught my attention: 15 years, now going on 18 years, when there has been no warming. Even the warmists admit their models are failing. Garbage in, garbage out.

Back to the Forbes editorial:
Similarly, the theory of man-caused, catastrophic, global warming is embraced not because of any “science,” (that sham is for the “useful idiots,”), but because it is a justification for a government takeover of the energy industry, with massive increases in regulation, taxes and government spending.  The United Nations loves it because it inspires fantasies of the UN growing up to be a world government, with real government powers of global taxation, spending and regulation, all “to save the planet.”  Scientists who go along with the cause are rewarded not only with praise for their worthy social conscience, but also with altogether billions in hard, cold cash (government and environmental grants), for their cooperation in helping to play the “useful idiots.”  Moreover, many academic scientists are “progressives” themselves, and so favor sharp increases in government spending, taxes and regulation, because they are certain they know how to run your life better than you do.
It sounds like Joe Kernen is about as tired of Algore as most of the rest of us are (with the exception of his co-host, who says he does not own a car, and does not drive), calling Algore a "charlatan" and/or a "villain." From the video:
Joe Kernen, co-host of  “Squawk Box” called the inclusion of Former Vice President Al Gore on CNBC’s list of “Top Leaders, Icons and Rebels” both “stupid” and “ludicrous.”
His Feb. 11, comments came after fellow co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin suggested that CNBC ought to include Gore on their “First 25” list for his contribution to global warming awareness.
Kernen went even further, suggesting that Gore would be included only if the list allowed for “charlatans and villains on there” and “as long as we put Ken Lay and some of the others."
"Squawk Box" is about the only television show I used to watch, but with Andrew Ross Sorkin providing commentary, I no longer watch it. I wonder where Joe Kernen will end up.

One Of President Obama's Legacies: A Mideast Nuclear Arms Race:


February 17, 2014: it looks like Iran is pursuing a second nuclear reactor in an oil-for-nukes swap with Russia. Upon hearing that, John Kerry's first response: "Well, somebody is going to have to buy a lot of carbon credits, aren't they?" LOL. By the way: google Iran in the blog and one will find that 2012 was a big year for posting stories about Iran. Looks like all that dithering has simply moved Iran closer to a really, really big stoyr.
Original Post
The Daily Beast is reporting:
President Obama wants an agreement with Iran to prevent a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race, but it’s pushing Saudi Arabia toward its own nuke program. 
Last month, America’s top Iran negotiator Wendy Sherman had some bad news for ambassadors from America’s Arab allies. In a meeting with envoys from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states, Sherman said that any bargain with Iran would likely leave Tehran, the Gulf states long-time enemy, with the capacity to enrich uranium, according to U.S. officials briefed on the encounter.
Sherman regularly briefs these allies after diplomatic talks with Iran, but in recent weeks those conversations have been different. While most of America’s Middle East allies—with the exception of Israel—have publicly supported the current Iran negotiations, behind the scenes, envoys from the region have expressed grave concerns that Iran could be left with a break out capacity to make the fuel for a nuclear weapon at a time of their choosing.
And now, one of the countries in the region without a full-blown nuclear programs—Saudi Arabia—may be changing its mind. Riyadh has a long-standing interest in nuclear power. But Western and Israeli intelligence services are starting to see signs that this interest is growing more serious, and extends into nuclear enrichment.
Until recently, the pursuit of nuclear enrichment—or the fuel cycle—was considered by arms control experts as a tell-tale sign of a clandestine weapons program. Nuclear fuel is sold to all members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it’s far more costly to build the infrastructure and produce it indigenously.
Saudi Arabia appears to be getting more serious about going down that path.

OXY "Is Targeting Asset Sales From North Dakota To The Persian Gulf" -- Bloomberg

This announcement was posted yesterday; today we find out a bit more. Note the fourth paragraph in the clip below, in bold.

Bloomberg is reporting
Occidental Petroleum Corp., the largest oil producer in the continental U.S., will split its operations in California into a separate publicly traded company in one of the final steps of a breakup plan. The new California company will be the biggest oil and natural gas acreage holder in the state with about 2.3 million net acres, Los Angeles-based Occidental said today in a statement.
[The new company] will have 8,000 employees and contractors and will establish its headquarters in the state.
“Creating two separate energy companies will result in more focused businesses that will be competitive industry leaders,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Chazen said in the statement.
Chazen is targeting asset sales from North Dakota to the Persian Gulf to focus on Occidental’s most profitable operations after lackluster returns in 2011 and 2012. The California company could be worth as much as $19 billion and carry as much as $5 billion of debt, Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. analysts wrote today in a note to clients. The assets being spun off represent about 20 percent of total production.  

Random Photo Of Two Smokey Wells -- Sent In By A Reader

A reader was kind enough to send a photographs of two KOG Smokey wells and their markers:

Even zooming in, I had difficulty making out the names on the sign; zooming in brought them out of focus.

I track the Smokey wells here.

These might be:

2051650 KOGSmokey 15-22-15-2HSMcKPembroke12/11147K12/13
20596101 KOGSmokey 15-22-34-15HMcKPembroke1/12124K12/13

If they are, #20516 has an interesting story to tell: it came off confidential; produced for awhile; went back on confidential; re-fracked; huge story; see this post.

A big thank you to the reader for sending the photos. They add a lot to the blog. If I have the wrong file numbers, I'll correct them if alerted.

Update On British North Sea Oil -- Puts The Bakken In Perspective

Reuters via Rigzone provides a four-page internet story of the status of British North Sea Oil.

An excerpt:
Production from UK waters fell by about 40 percent between 2010 and 2013 to the lowest level since the 1970s, according to industry group Oil and Gas UK. Exploration has also tapered off, with consultancy Deloitte reporting last month that only 47 test wells were drilled last year - the lowest level since 2003.
That is bad news for a cash-strapped government which in fiscal 2012-13 still relied on the oil industry for over 15 percent of all corporate taxes. It's not that North Sea oil is running out. An interim report from the government's review - chaired by industry veteran Ian Wood - estimated as much as 24 billion barrels of oil could still be produced, worth about $2.6 trillion at current prices.
But the oil is getting harder and more expensive to recover. And many of the firms with the skills to do so complain they can't get access to the infrastructure they need because it is owned by major oil companies that are focused elsewhere in the world and see little benefit from helping competitors.
High costs, including wages and taxes, are also making oil firms think twice about the North Sea.
In November, for example, Chevron cast doubt over its Rosebank project in the region, estimated to have cost $8 billion, saying it did not currently offer "economic value". There is also political uncertainty, with BP warning this month that the industry could face extra costs if Scotland votes for independence in a referendum in September.
A Note to the Granddaughters

I won't have time to get to the WSJ until later today, or tomorrow, because of a busy schedule with the granddaughters today.

I did have time to read the "Review" section of today's WSJ with coffee and toast this morning; no Starbucks.

There wasn't much in "Review" to get me excited but then this: a book review of Careless People, a 399-page book by Sarah Churchwell. I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what the book is about, but it appears to be the study of the novel in the early 20's, when F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing, re-writing The Great Gatsby (1925). I went through my Fitzgerald phase some years ago, reading several biographies of Fitzgerald and separate biographies of Zelda. I think the only novel I read of his was Gatsby.

Coincidentally, I got the Blu-Ray DVD of the 2013 movie, The Great Gatsby, starring DiCaprio and McGuire for my wife for Valentine's Day. I loved it. My wife thought the two party scenes at the beginning were too much; she could have done without all that, she says. It slowed the development of the story. In a sense, there are two stories: the first half which is the jazz age; the second half, which is the love story.

I was reminded of the new movie when, through the blog, I stumbled on Lana Del Rey, who provides some of the soundtrack for the movie. Surprisingly, I did not pay attention to her music while watching the movie; I was mesmerized by the spectacle, I guess. By the way, I thought the first half of the movie was a sequel to Baz Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge.

It's a movie I could watch several more times. It is on the top shelf now, along with Casablanca, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Mulholland Drive. The second shelf down contains Top Gun and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Again, the Blu-Ray version has hours of extra material, and that's one reason I try very hard to only buy Blu-Ray DVDs.

I got out my Fitzgerald "library" and will spend some time this next week looking at that again. I am always interested how directors, actors, screenwriters interpret a book and the characters. I will read The Great Gatsby in a completely different light, as they say.