Saturday, March 15, 2014

After A Long Hiatus, Sven Is Back

It is nice to see Sven back to blogging.

One of my favorite photos is here

Global Warming Lecture Canceled Due To Heavy Global Warming -- Nothing About The Bakken

One can't even begin to make these stories up. IceAgeNowis reporting:
McGill University biology professor Dr. Catherine Potvin was scheduled to host a lecture on global warming at the University of Windsor on Wednesday.
However, the school, located just outside Detroit in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, was hit by heavy snowfall, forcing the event’s cancellation.
Unfortunately for warmists, there was another alarming twist: Wednesday’s storm also helped shatter the city’s snowfall record, and guidance suggests more to come in the coming weeks.
I can imagine the notes on the bulletin boards at McGill: Global warming lecture canceled due to weather.

Dr Einstein had a great definition of insanity.

I think wiki does as good as anyone defining "group think":
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. 
I was first introduced to the concept of "group think" in the early years of my Air Force career. The military is exceptional in providing education and training for its forces, and counter-intuitively were not afraid of studying diverse and dissenting viewpoints.

Writing that brings back humorous memories. In Air War College, as an example, I learned that soldiers and airmen looked at bridges behind enemy lines very differently. Army soldiers thought that Air Force pilots considered bridges, buildings, and vehicles as homogeneous targets simply to be "taken out." The soldiers, on the other hand, saw those bridges and other structures as potential assets. The Air Force: everything was a target. LOL. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. LOL. Wow, some good memories.

About That Spring Flooding In North Dakota ...

... I don't know if folks can access this link or not, but give it a try:

The photograph is of an ice jam in the Yellowstone River as it approaches the confluence (where it meets the Missouri River) southwest of Williston. One might get a feeling for the size of this ice jam by noting the minuscule drilling rig on the lower left.

Meanwhile, a flood warning has been declared for Ward County (Minot).

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life, Kingsley M. Bray, c. 2006

I bought this book at Books on Broadway in Williston when I was visiting the Bakken a few weeks ago. I bought four books that day; I wasn't sure about this one, but I try to get a book on native American history every so often when I visit that bookstore. I've never been disappointed in any such books from Books on Broadway.

It wasn't until I got home that I read that the author is English. I have often said that the best writers are English, Scottish, and Irish. Kingsley Bray is an "independent scholar" who lives in Manchester, England. He was, apparently, raised in Yorkshire, where I spent some of the best days of my Air Force life.

The English have a fascination with the American West. In his acknowledgments, Bray writes:
In England, fellow students of the Plains Indians helped at various stages in the process of research and writing. Neil Gilbert, English Westerners' Society, helped crystallize my ideas about the Battle of the Rosebud. Members of the Custer Association of Great Britain, especially Derek Batten, Francis Taunton, and Barry C. Johnson, in inviting me to speak on Crazy Horse, helped me to focus my concept of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. .... I owe a special debt to Joseph Balmer, of Erlenbach, Switzerland. A founding member of the English Westerners' Society, Joe was also a prolific correspondent with historians and Indian people.
I found it fascinating -- simply fascinating -- that there were such organizations in England and Europe: the Custer Association of Great Britain -- who would have thought?

Saturday Morning News

If you get the opportunity to see Tim's Vermeer, don't pass it up. This is an incredibly good documentary. My wife took me to see it at the Ft Worth Museum of Modern Art for our anniversary.

In the articles on oil in The Wall Street Journal below, there is a very, very interesting backstory that is not getting a lot of ink: the increasing demand for oil. The data may or may not reflect that demand (which, of course, doesn't make sense) but when oil continues to trade at $100 despite surging output (see below) and despite Obama's release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,  that suggests that demand for oil may be bigger than folks realize. I'm probably wrong, but there certainly seemed to be an underlying theme in the oil articles below.

By the way, the Crimean conflict is having much less effect on the price of oil for one reason: the Bakken laboratory. I am not the first to notice that; that was first posited by an industry analyst.

The Wall Street Journal
Peggy Noonan on The Ukraine, Putin, and Obama

I do not read the op-ed section of the on-line edition of the WSJ and I seldom read it when I have the paper copy in front of me. I quit reading Peggy Noonan after she completely missed the Mitt Romney debacle in her last essay before that election. My wife dislikes the GOP -- fervently and passionately -- so we don't discuss politics much in our little hovel. I assumed the last person my wife would read would be Peggy Noonan so I was surprised she loved Ms Noonan's essay in the weekend edition of the WSJ. She asked me to read it. I did. I was very, very impressed.

I think my wife -- who used to only "know" Putin as a thug now knows Putin a whole lot better. She may know Obama a whole lot better but I don't dare ask. We're having a wonderful day out and about. Noonan's concluding thoughts in the linked essay:
The most obvious Ukraine point has to do with American foreign policy in the sixth year of the Obama era.
Not being George W. Bush is not a foreign policy. Not invading countries is not a foreign policy. Wishing to demonstrate your sophistication by announcing you are unencumbered by the false historical narratives of the past is not a foreign policy. Assuming the world will be nice if we're not militarist is not a foreign policy.
What is our foreign policy? Disliking global warming?
I find it interesting she picked up on this point. About a week ago I noted -- and was probably the only non-professional-blogger-writing-on-the-Bakken who noted that at the height of the crisis (up to that point) John Kerry was giving speeches on global warming. And so it goes. 

The Wall Street Journal

Flight probe (finally) focuses on sabotage. I find it remarkable how long it takes for the best and the brightest to admit the obvious. The answer lies with the pilot. Eight days into the probe, Malaysian officials visit the home of the pilot. And there they will find the answer. If multiple communication systems aboard Malaysia Flight 370 were manually disabled, as investigators increasingly suspect, it would have required detailed knowledge of the Boeing 777's inner workings. Investigators finally looking at pilots. The Washington Post is reporting that the plane may have flown for seven hours. A Malaysian spokesman said that Pakistan has not yet been asked by Malaysia to share its radar data, but will provide it if asked. (Sense of urgency?)

This absolutely does not make sense: fewer SBA loans are going to black borrowers.  The IRS can target right-wingers but apparently the SBA has not gotten the memo.

Front page: this year's tumbleweed accumulations in the US Southwest are historic in scale, piling up beside homesteads and blocking county roads. Renewable fuel?

ObamaCare deadline will be extended (again). Soon, enrollment will be 365/24/7. No brainer.

Iraq's oil output surges.


UAW faces another southern setback
CANTON, Miss.—The United Auto Workers union headquarters here—tucked beside a cow pasture down the road from a sprawling Nissan Motor Co. plant—was supposed to be a springboard for a new wave of labor activism across the South.
It has become instead a center of discouragement and uncertainty in a state where many want the union to pack up and leave. Labor organizers at Nissan were shocked when auto workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., last month voted against joining the UAW, a blow that has deflated the drive to unionize at Nissan, the largest private employer in Mississippi.
Union foes "are winning," said Isiac Jackson, a Baptist pastor who heads the Mississippi Alliance For Fairness at Nissan, a group trying to rally UAW support. But, he added, "they haven't won the war."
UAW officials and pro-union workers say they won't hold a vote on whether to unionize at the Nissan plant until the company agrees to let union supporters make their pitch to workers inside the facility. Nissan officials say they won't let that happen.
The union faces other obstacles.

Surge in oil production from US, Canada, and Iraq:
The dramatic increase in oil supply from the U.S. and Canada—coupled with a surprise surge in Iraqi output—helped stave off global demand pressures brought on by a cold U.S. winter and geopolitical concerns over rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The International Energy Agency, a watchdog for the world's biggest energy consumers, said North American output helped mitigate a bigger-than-expected draw from global crude inventories, caused by a colder than usual winter in the U.S. Surging Iraqi crude output, which rose to its highest level since 1979, also helped keep global markets supplied, and prices in check.
In recent years, new drilling and extraction techniques employed across North America—from shale-oil deposits in Texas to oil-sands reserves in Alberta—have boosted global supply.
That has helped steady global prices, acting as a sort of shock absorber amid big, recent output disruptions. U.S. and European economic sanctions against Iran have choked off a big chunk of Iranian oil to world markets, and Libyan unrest has all but shut off that country's once-prodigious oil shipments. Recent worry centered on Russia's moves in Crimea have also raised supply concerns.
 The Los Angeles Times

"Plane's disappearance was deliberate." -- Malaysian officials. Well, duh.

Bloomberg Businessweek

This is really quite incredible. The cover story in this week's issue of Bloomberg Businessweek is of the Target (the retail store) security breach. Not only is it the cover story, but it's the ONLY thing on the front cover other than the name of the magazine. Inside, six pages are devoted to the story, though two of the pages are non-value-added-graphic filler for some reason.

In that four-page story, this is about all one needs to know:
  • December 2, 2013: Target's security system detects the hack, but the company -- incredibly -- fails to act; two systems identify the malware; alert Target's security team who do nothing
  • December 12, 2013: federal investigators warn Target of a massive data breach
  • December 15, 2013: Target confirmed and eradicated the malware, after 40 million card numbers had been stolen
By the way, this is the very same story that was published in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago (which I linked). I'm not sure whether the Journal published the entire Bloomberg article.

Not getting much attention: the security firm FireEye, whose customers also include the CIA and Pentagon, alerted Target of the breach BEFORE the malware started sending data back to the hackers. Target chose to ignore the warning.

Getting even less attention: why the CEO is still the CEO. Target's advice for consumers: continue to monitor your Target card's activity and the activity of all your credit cards. But don't change your credit card number.

FireEye is a security software company in Milpitas, CA, that was initially funded by the CIA and is used by intelligence agencies around the world.

Even the company's antivirus system, Symantec Endpoint Protection, identified suspicious behavior over several days around Thanksgiving -- pointing to the same server identified by FireEye alerts.

The malware was "absolutely unsophisticated and uninteresting" -- if Target had a firm grasp on its network security environment, "they absolutely would have observed this behavior occurring on its network."

The story line that no one reports, but explains why this breach is getting more attention than most (besides the fact that it affected one in three Americans): a lot of folks consider Target the "gold standard" of big box stores. Of all the big box stores, Target is probably the most trusted by its customers. Had this happened at Best Buy, Home Depot, Wel-Mart, the story would have been less "exciting." In the minds of many, there was no excuse for Target to have been breached. Learning that the malware was "absolutely unsophisticated and uninteresting" makes it much worse. Learning that Target was aware that malware was in their system but failed to act is ... unfathomable.


Federal government withholds "payment" data but states are starting to release it. Connecticut, California, and Minnesota are doing "okay," but:
Maryland is dead last. The state's exchange, which has been a technological disaster, saw just 54 percent of enrollees paying for their first premiums as of March 1
The exchanges operated by Washington state and Vermont also failed to crack 60 percent.

 ObamaCare enrollment center, downtown Ft Worth, TX, March 14, 2014
Some folks took me to task for calling the program "ObamaCare" 
In 2025, these centers will be as ubiquitous as Starbucks coffee shops

Week 11: March 9, 2014 -- March 15, 2014

Director's Cut for January, 2014, data
Spring flooding starts to affect operations
Twenty-three (23) permits in one day; a 21-well pad for CLR?
Twenty-one (21) permits in one day
EOG keeps reporting huge wells in the Parshall oil field

Tyler formation
Update on the MRO wells

Tesoro Logistics proposed Bakken crude oil pipeline is over-subscribed

Global Partners -- big Bakken CBR outfit -- expansion halted in Albany, NY
Chicago may divert CBR from downtown to suburbs

Fracking is turning US into bigger producer than Saudi Arabia

Long article in Rigzone

Ferry 'cross the Missouri?

Aerial Photos Of The Bakken

What a great way to start the morning -- a new set of photos from Vern Whitten. Take a look at #22 from this set: I count about eight (8) flares and easily that many more possible flares. I particularly enjoyed the photographs taken after the sun had set.
Mr Whitten also included a set of incredible photographs of the North Dakota badlands.

His photos would make great gifts; great for business offices around the Bakken. More can be seen at his website.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs190185205173102

Minor Note For What It's Worth

Under President Obama, the US gives up "control" of the internet. Passes the baton to some EU-dominated organization. This guy will go down as the worse president this country has ever seen. At the link:
U.S. officials set several conditions and an indeterminate timeline for the transition from federal government authority, saying a new oversight system must be developed and win the trust of crucial stakeholders around the world. An international meeting to discuss the future of Internet is scheduled to start on March 23 in Singapore.
The move’s critics called the decision hasty and politically tinged, and voiced significant doubts about the fitness of ICANN to operate without U.S. oversight and beyond the bounds of U.S. law.
This must be a continuation of the Obama Apology Tour.