Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wow: Iowa Has More Installed Wind Energy Capacity Than California -- Iowa Not Worried About Land Values, Migratory Birds -- Annual Report On California's Wind Energy Sector -- Not Good News For WInd Industry -- September 5, 2017; Ohio Getting Ready For Tesla; Saudi In Deep Doo Doo

Link here.
Which way is the wind blowing in California?

In some respects, wind energy in the state has never been better, but by other measurements growth has hit a lull for the past four years.

The U.S. Department of Energy released its annual report a few weeks ago analyzing technologies and markets for the wind industry, showing that California has installed 5,656 megawatts of utility-scale wind, the fourth highest in the nation [trailing Texas by a huge margin, and even "beaten" by that little midwestern state, Iowa].

Installed capacity for wind energy, measured in megawatts, 2016:
1. Texas 20,320
2. Iowa 6,911
3. Oklahoma 6,645
4. California 5,656
5. Kansas 4,451
Note: this is "installed capacity." About 20% of that is actually delivered/used. Meanwhile, plants with reliable nuclear energy, coal, and natural gas must remain "on" to provide necessary back up when the wind is not blowing.

And While California Dithers, Texas Keeps Adding

Data points at PennEnergy:
  • NextEra Energy Resources; two established wind farms
  • will upgrade turbines
  • supplier: Siemens Gamesa Reewable Energy (SGRE)
  • should deliver 25% more annual energy production; boost reliability and efficiency; and, extend service life

Shell Opens First Service Station In Mexico

From Reuters, data points:
  • Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell opened first gas station in Mexico today (Tuesdsay)
  • ends Pemex' decades-long monopoly
  • private companies can now brand gas stations; sell non-Pemex brand gasoline and diesel, as well as import fuels;
  • opportunities are huge for the private sector: looks like Shell jumped in first
  • Mexico
    • Latin America's second-biggest economy (2nd to Brazil, I suppose)
    • one of the world's biggest gasoline consumers
    • top foreign importer of US gasoline
  • Shell said it's investment in Mexico could reach $1 billion
Ohio Getting Ready For Tesla

Coal, nuclear want state subsidies, grants, tax credits -- whatever it takes to stay in business.

Meanwhile, a wave of natural gas plants to produce electricity are waiting in the wings, waiting to see whether Ohio underwrites their nuclear, coal industry:
  • the new plant, near Toledo, OH
  • only requires two workers per shift; significantly less than what coal, nuclear plants require
  • $800 million natural gas plant; opened two weeks ago
  • located near the booming natural gas fields in the Utica / Marcellus
  • developed by Boston-based Clean Energy Future LLC; has three more plants in the works; says the state has room for 15 natural gas plants within the next decade
  • currently, close to a dozen natural gas power plants are being built or are in the planning stages
US To Be Net Exporter of Oil By 2023
Saudi in Deep Doo Doo

Link here. Data points:
  • if oil trade with Canada is excluded, the "2023" date moves to 2019 -- that's barely two years from now
  • one word: shale
  • net oil imports peaked in 2005 at 12.5 million b/d; will fall to 4.4 million b/d this year
  • US currently imports 7 million b/d: 3 from Canada; 2 each from Latin America and Middle East
  • analysts export US net oil exports to reach 3.3 million b/d 2031
The Birth of the Pill: 
How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution
Jonathan Eig
c. 2014

I first saw the softcover book at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, paged through it, saw the names of several individuals involved in the project, thought it would be a good read, and ordered it from Amazon (along with some other books already in the "cart'). Meanwhile, some days later, and this is the unvarnished truth, I was looking for a "science" book at the local library and the biography of Margaret Sanger jumped out at me. Okay, not literally.

So, I guess I'm in my Margaret Sanger phase. I've read the biography (from the library); notes are here

We take the "pill" for granted these days but for anyone coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s it's hard to think of something that was more life-altering. 

I was a teen-ager / 20-something right in the middle of the sexual revolution, and completely unaware of all that was going one, particularly the social implications. I was too involved in academics. That all changed between 1973 and 1977 through a whirlwind of events. 

It was really quite remarkable. At the time I never had any idea what was going on. I'm not sure many did. It was something about which was seldom discussed. It appears that Jonathan Eig has written a really good history of that decade -- actually several decades, of course -- based on the few pages I've read.

The first birth control pill, I believe, was Enovid (Searle). Page 258 of Eig's book:
On June 10, 1957, after taking two months to review the application filed by G. D. Searle & Co., the FDA approved the sale of Enovid for infertility and menstrual irregularities. At about the same time, the drug was approved for the same used in England under the brand name Enavid.
The drug was being marketed in West Africa, particularly, to help women become pregnant.

Back To 57 Active Rigs -- September 5, 2017

Active rigs:

Active Rigs573375196186

Three new permits:
  • Operator: BR
  • Field: Pershing (McKenzie)
  • Comments: BR has permits for a 3-well Pershing pad
Four permits renewed:
  • Slawson (3): two Moleback permits and one Armada Federal permit, all in Mountrail County
  • NP Resources: a Demores Federal permit in Billings County

Motiva Plans Re-Start -- September 5, 2017; Just In Time For Irma

Link here.
Motiva plans to restore 40pc of rates at its 600,000 b/d refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, this weekend.
The facility, which shut amid heavy flooding in the Port Arthur area on 30 August, could reach that limited throughput 10 September if workers can clear equipment checked for storm damage.
Motiva is the US refining subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. The Port Arthur refinery is the single largest in the US.
Meanwhile, apparently Colonial Pipeline is up and running. Company says it will waive fees.
Colonial Pipeline today restored the Texas segments of its 1.4mn b/d gasoline pipeline supplying the US southeast and Atlantic coast, the company said. Service on Line 1 from the Houston and Pasadena area had resumed by 3pm ET.
The 1.1mn b/d distillates-bearing Line 2 resumed operations from the Houston and Pasadena origin points in Texas yesterday. Harvey at its peak disrupted about 5mn b/d of Texas and Louisiana refining capacity, or 27.5pc of total US crude processing.
COP says its Eagle Ford output is back to 80% of what it was pre-Harvey.

The Political Page, T+228 -- September 5, 2017 -- Latest GDP Forecast Up To 3.2%

Politico: cognitive dissonance. Americans filled seasonal jobs at higher pay due to Trump's visa squeeze upsets Politico. Can't make this stuff up.

Paul Ryan urges Trump to keep DACA. US Congress has six months to do just that. What's the problem? Oh, this is the problem:
  • six months of talk on ObamaCare: no action, no change
  • six months of talk on tax reform: no action, no change
  • six months of talk on DACA: no action, no change
I see a pattern developing here.

Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist: excellent, excellent interview on CNBC  this morning. I assume the producer couldn't end that interview fast enough. A reader sent a link to a recent Friedman presentation which he referenced in his CNBC interview this morning. See comments.

Something to talk aboutLatest GDP forecast: 3.2 percent — September 1, 2017.
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2017 is 3.2 percent on September 1, down from 3.3 percent on August 31.
The forecasts of third-quarter real consumer spending and nonresidential equipment investment growth increased from 2.8 percent and 6.1 percent to 3.0 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively, after this morning's Manufacturing ISM Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management and the employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The model's estimate of the dynamic factor for August—normalized to have mean 0 and standard deviation 1 and used to forecast the yet-to-be released monthly GDP source data—increased from 0.11 to 0.41 after the reports.
These increases were more than offset by declines in the forecasted growth rates of real government spending and real nonresidential structures investment from 0.2 percent and 2.6 percent to -0.7 percent and -3.3 percent, respectively, after the employment report and this morning's construction spending release from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems
edited by John Vacca
c. 2005

Someone recently wrote that the three greatest unsolved problems are:
  • origin of the universe
  • origin of life
  • origin of consciousness
Part I
Astronomy and Cosmology

Chapter 1: Astronomy: The Mystery of Dark Matter
Chapter 2: Cosmology: The Creation of the Universe
Chapter 3: Theoretical Cosmology and Particle Physics: The Cosmological Constant Problem

Part II
Physics and Astrophysics

Chapter 4: Gravity: The Construction of a Consistent Quantum Theory of Gravity
Chapter 5: Particle Physics: The Mechanism That Makes Fundamental Mass
Chapter 6: Particle Physics and Astrophysics: The Solar Neutrino Problem
Chapter 7: Astrophysics: The Source of Gamma-Ray Bursts
Chapter 8: Theoretical High-Energy Physics: The Unification of the Basic Forces
Chapter 9: Solid State Physics: The Mechanism Behind High-Temperature Superconductors

Part III
Biology and Paleontology

Chapter 10: Biology: How the Basic Processes of Life Are Carried Out by DNA and Proteins
Chapter 11: Biology: Protein Folding
Chapter 12: Paleontology: How Present-Day Microbiological Information Can Be Used to Reconstruction "The Ancient Tree of Life"

Part IV

Chapter13: Free Will
Chapter 14: Consciousness

Part V

Chapter 15: The Dynamics of the Inner Earth
Chapter 16 Earthquake Predicting

Part VI

Chapter 17: How Microscopic Atomic Forces Produce Various Macroscopic Behaviors
Chapter 18: The Fabrication and Manipulation of Carbon-Based Structures (Fullerenes)

Part VII

Chapter 19: Free Energy
Chapter 20: Nuclear Fusion and Waste

The Energy And Market Page, +228 -- September 5, 2017

Houston recovery: Petrobras refinery in Pasadena, TX, reportedly restarted.

STACK update: from Emergent Group --
The SCOOP/STACK is one of the top shale plays in the Lower 48 and situated west of Oklahoma City in the Anadarko Basin. Public and private E&Ps are putting capital to work in the prolific play. In August 2017, Alta Mesa merged with Silver Run and Kingfisher Midstream to form a $3.8 billion pure-play exploration and production company focused on the STACK. Last year, Marathon acquired PayRock in a $888 million transaction. Operators continue to test, refine, and optimize wells in the SCOOP/STACK.

Illinois: issues first fracking permit to Woolsey Companies, Inc, of Wichita, Kansas. The Illinois Basin is linked at the sidebar at the right and is tracked here.

Other News

Oh-oh: Lego to slash 1,400 jobs as it posts first sales drop in over a decade. Toymaker expects to cut 8% of its workforce by the end of 2017. Link at WSJ.
  • currently employs about 18,200 people worldwide
  • grappling with competition from smartphone apps, digital games
  • net profit slipped from 3.5 billion kroner a year earlier to 3.4 billion for most recent six months
  • revenue dropped 5% to around $15 billion kroner
  • however, Lego's revenue topped rival Mattel; the latter reported half year sales of $1.71 billion
  • conversion rate: 1 Danish krone = 16 cents
  • 0.16 * 14.9 billion kroner = $2.384 billion
Porn Goes Mainstream

Predicted many years ago: porn goes mainstream. Now The Deuce on HBO. I had forgotten about the Drudge link until I saw a full-page ad for this "classy" new television show on the back cover of this week's issue of The New Yorker. Margaret Sanger would be cheering. Takes me back to September 12, 2014.

Y Chromosome

From wiki:
Many "cold-blooded" (a technically incorrect term, a colloquial term)  animals have no sex chromosomes. Sex determination determined by environmental factors such as ambient temperature.

Origin? The X and Y chromosomes are thought to have evolved from a pair of identical chromosomes termed autosomes. An allelic variation -- a so-called "sex locus" -- evolved; this allele caused the organism to be male. Over time, the chromosome with this allele became the Y chromosome while the other member of the pair became the X chromosome.

Until recently, the X and Y chromosome were thought to have diverged around 300 million years ago but new research says the XY sex-determination system could have been present more than 166 million years ago (based on the platypus genome).

This re-estimation of the age of the therian XY system is based on the finding that sequences that are on the X chromosomes of marsupials and eutherian mammals are present on the autosomes of platypus and birds.

Recombination between the X and Y chromosomes proved harmful: so, Y chromosomes are the only human chromosomes that do not undergo DNA recombination during meiosis/mitosis (technically 95% of the human Y chromosome is unable to recombine; the tips of the X and Y chromosome still recombine.

By one estimate, the human Y chromosome has lost 1,393 of its 1,438 original genes over the course of its existence, and linear extrapolation of this 1,393-gene loss over 300 million years gives a rate of genetic loss of 4.6 genes per million years. Continued loss of genes at the rate of 4.6 genes per million years would result in a Y chromosome with no functional genes – that is the Y chromosome would lose complete function – within the next 10 million years, or half that time with the current age estimate of 160 million years.

However, comparisons of the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes (first published in 2005) show that the human Y chromosome has not lost any genes since the divergence of humans and chimpanzees between 6–7 million years ago, and a scientific report in 2012 stated that only one gene had been lost since humans diverged from the rhesus macaque 25 million years ago. These facts provide direct evidence that the linear extrapolation model is flawed and suggest that the current human Y chromosome is either no longer shrinking or is shrinking at a much slower rate than the 4.6 genes per million years estimated by the linear extrapolation model.

The human Y chromosome is particularly exposed to high mutation rates due to the environment in which it is housed.

Update On US Natural Gas Storage -- September 5, 2017

Active rigs:

Active Rigs563375196186

RBN Energy: potential natural gas storage scenarios for the balance of injection season.
Hurricane Harvey has dissipated, but the affected areas, including energy infrastructure and operations, are still in recovery mode and will be for some time to come. In the natural gas market, production fell as low as 71.3 Bcf/d this past week, and has now rebounded to pre-storm levels near 72 Bcf/d.
But exports to Mexico, which were averaging near 4.4 Bcf/d in the 30 days prior to Harvey, were at 3.6 Bcf/d last Friday, still lagging 0.8 Bcf/d (18%) behind their pre-storm level, after dropping to as low as 2.85 Bcf/d last week.
Deliveries for LNG export are also down nearly 1.0 Bcf/d (47%) from the 30-day average to just under 1.0 Bcf/d last Friday and dropped to about 475 MMcf/d over the weekend.
Meanwhile, U.S. consumption — in the power, industrial and residential and commercial sectors — this past week averaged 62.8 Bcf/d, down 6.0 Bcf/d (9%) versus last year and also 1.6 Bcf/d (3%) lower than the five-year average for this time.
In another important market development, Energy Transfer Partners’ new Rover Pipeline began partial service on Friday and deliveries rose to more than 500 MMcf/d over the weekend. What will these shifts mean for the gas market balance and storage inventory? Today, we continue our analysis of the gas market balance, this time with a forward look at potential storage scenarios for the balance of injection season.
Figure 1 Source: RBN
As the graph shows, the 2017 storage inventory rose to well above the five-year average starting in February and stayed higher most of the summer, but in recent weeks that surplus has diminished and the inventory has converged with the five-year average line. It’s also remained below last year’s record levels, but that gap is narrowing.
  • high end scenario: if we take maximum injections seen in the past five years, the inventory could end up peaking at a record 4,053 Bcf (6.0 Bcf higher than the previous record in 2016)
  • low end scenario: if injections are kept low, inventory by early November would be around 3,764 Bcf (10,283 Bcf less than 2016
  • middle-of-the-road scenario: peak at about 3,890 Bcf (151 Bcf lower than 2016)