Thursday, March 24, 2016

Second Greenfield Refinery Moves Forward -- March 24, 2016


Later, 4:37 p.m. Central Time: this really isn't an update, just a comment or two. I don't understand the "urge" to build these refineries in southwest North Dakota. The developers are simply inviting controversy putting them anywhere near "The Park." It's not as if there's not enough land in north of the park, on either side of the state line. When I was growing up there was a refinery in Williston; it begs the question. In addition, with Williston overbuilt with housing now, the city would probably bend over backwards to get additional activity in the area. One wonders if Williston might not be wise to do something to "attract" Meridian to Williston.
Original Post

The Dickinson Press is reporting: Meridian Energy Group moves forward on Davis Refinery in the Belfield area, citing business environment better in North Dakota than California. Data points:
  • would sits on 620 acres (one section)
  • west of Belfield in Billings County
  • capacity: 55,000 bopd
  • would be the nation's second greenfield refinery constructed in US since 1976
  • follows in the footsteps of the Dakota Prairie Refinery outside of Dickinson
  • no price estimates provided; CEO says the company has economy advantage
From the article:
[The CEO] said he sees North Dakota as a more business-friendly state compared to his native California, though he said this doesn’t equate to the former being loose in regulations.
“I’ve gotten the impression that as long as we’re meeting all the requirements of the permitting agencies, that we should have a pretty smooth road,” he said.
Prentice also said that California is just a temporary base for Meridian Energy Group, as it plans to call Belfield its new home in the future.
“This is an emerging North Dakota company,” he said.
The Apple Page

The reviews continue to come in. Yesterday I posted my thoughts on the Apple Watch (spoiler alert: incredible).

Today, The Wall Street Journal has an article on the new iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE is a win for ergonomic choice, but Apple doesn’t score any points for originality. The new phone is nearly indistinguishable from the three-year-old iPhone 5s, which is a hair thicker and less pleasantly rounded than Apple’s more recent designs. (The SE even fits in most existing 5s cases.) The SE will come in Apple’s newer rose-gold hue, but it lacks design improvements you’ll find in Apple’s competitors, such as waterproofing and expandable storage. 
It’s almost as though Apple is transplanting new brains into old iPhone 5s bodies. (Apple isn’t literally doing that, though the concept does seem like it could be a big boon for the environment.)
On most important functions, the iPhone SE doesn’t disappoint. Its A9 processor, exactly the same one that’s in the iPhone 6s, zips through apps and the most graphically challenging mobile games. (By a test called GeekBench, it’s about 70% faster than the 5s.)
It looks like I'm sold. To get the Apple Watch, I need an iPhone. I will wait for one more iteration of the iPhone SE -- hoping it either gets better or comes down in price (it's already ridiculously low -- one can get it free with a two-year contract).

I wonder if Apple has the "think different" attitude to bring out a clamshell, reminiscent of their early jellybean iMacs. That was one of my favorite models; I bought it overseas when it first came out; I bought it on impulse, the only Apple product I have ever bought on impulse. Mine was indigo blue.

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