Monday, June 22, 2009
Some observations along the way:
The reception was held at a private beach club. The wait staff was mostly young people from Eastern Europe - Poland, to be specific. Now, with unemployment running at over 9%, do we still need to import Eastern Europeans for service jobs?
We flew Southwest Airlines. It's been years since I've flown with them. The 737s on all four legs of our trip were full. Not almost full - FULL. No more seats available. In a recession! Clearly, they are doing something right. In a casual conversation with a seat mate. he told us that he commuted from DC to home on weekends with Southwest because they were cheaper than that government run institution known as AMTRAK.
Friday, June 12, 2009
It reminded me of the shipyard in Astrakhan, Russia where I worked back in 1999. The yard was over run with dogs. They had been sorta adopted by the shipyard workers but they received no veterinary care and little food. These Russian shipyard dogs led a hard life. Very little food and lots of disease. They were the most miserable looking things I have ever seen. And, like loose dogs everywhere, they bred more of their kind.
The puppies were cute as could be and would visit our construction trailers often. Some of the guys made it a policy not to feed them. "Give them food and they'll just keep coming around", they would say. But I thought about how my favorite niece would feel if her Uncle PE ignored these little critters.
Besides, the breakfast bag the hotel gave us was usually some sort of mystery meat on a bun. Most of the time it was tongue. (There's nothing so tasty as a tongue sandwich for breakfast) So I would open the window, whistle a couple of times and share my breakfast with the puppies.
It is my belief that people that abuse animals are reincarnated as dogs in a Russian shipyard.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
And the Washington Post, hardly a conservative rag, has something to say about it here. Did you know that it would allow the feds to dictate building codes? Thinking about building a new house soon?
And there's more bad news about the federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing that I wrote about earlier. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that if it is passed, it will reduce domestic production by more than 20%. Wasn't there campaign talk about energy being a matter of national security? How is decreasing domestic production going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
That's a little different from what the MSM reported back to the USA. Of course, they were under a few restrictions on their reporting that Obama and Hillary agreed to ahead of time.
To read the story, go here.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The public will not even know that these tax laws changed because they are buried deep in the 2010 budget. Go here for more details.
Friday, June 5, 2009
What he neglected to say was that the treaty was made because the US had to make protection payments to the Barbary pirates to prevent them from hijacking our ships. (We didn't have a navy at the time so we were forced to pay tribute to the Muslims.) The treaty went south when the Pasha of Tripoli demanded an increase in payments to Jefferson (Thomas, not Dollar Bill). This led to the First Barbary War in 1801 and the inclusion of that "shores of Tripoli" line in the Marine Hymn.
The lesson of that bit of history is that appeasement didn't work. It didn't work for John Adams and it won't work for BHO.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The final count is in. Over 334,000 nutria have been harvested in this years hunt. The Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries pays $5 per tail. The story is here.
Seems like they could combine this hunting program with the food stamp program. That's a lot of tasty nutria meat, and several nice fur coats.
They want to regulate fracturing of wells. Wells are fractured in order to open passages for the flow of oil. It is done by pumping fluid, usually a clear drilling fluid with acid, into the well until the rock fractures. It is a highly technical process and is best regulated by those who are familiar with the local geology - not congresscritters in DC. Most of these wells are drilled far below the level that water wells are drilled to and these strata are protected behind casing.
The increased cost of compliance will force companies to abandon wells early or call some wells as non-commercial that could be producing.
Folks, unless you read the Federal Register every day, you will have no idea what is happening until it is too late.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Here is my take on a couple of the issues.
Merging the BLM and MMS - They are two separate organizations that have unique requirements. Offshore oil and gas, which the MMS regulates, requires specific knowledge of a technology that doesn’t exist for onshore wells. There is no economy of scale to be gained by merging them. Merging them is a bad idea. It’s a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Shortening the lease period to 5 years – This totally ignores the hurdles that companies have to jump in order to start drilling or construction of a production facility. It is possible to take 5 years just to get the permits required. Offshore leases are even worse given the fact that often the technology to drill in deep water may not exist when the lease is purchased. The technology and procedures have to be developed at a tremendous expense. I think companies will just stop buying leases if they are restricted to a 5 year lease term.
No discharge offshore – The offshore industry has been subjected to ever tightening environmental regulations. Numerous studies have been done, at industry expense, to measure the effects of the discharge of produced water on marine life. There have not been any findings showing that these discharges have a deleterious effect on benthic organisms. The EPA monitors this issue very closely. Going to zero discharge will increase the cost of development to the point where a marginal lease will not be economic.
Production Incentive Fee – It sounds like this is a fee (spell that TAX) imposed late in a field’s life to encourage production. The problem is that there may not be any production to encourage. That’s why they call it DEPLETED. As production from a field decreases, it reaches what is called the “economic limit”. This is when it costs more to produce it that it is worth. A well that reaches this status will be shut in. When that happens depends upon the price of oil, of course. Sometimes, a major company will sell nearly depleted fields to smaller producers who may have lower lifting costs. But when its dead, its dead, and no amount of incentive fee will bring it back to life. To believe that oil companies operate otherwise is to buy into the Big Oil Conspiracy Theory.
Oil companies want to reduce risk. One of the risks they measure is the risk of changing regulations. If they think the rules are going to change, or become more onerous, they will go elsewhere. The good intentions of the Obamabots will surely send oil companies overseas and kill domestic production.
Why would they want to do that? I suspect they are doing this to force us to renewable energy. If they take away domestic oil and gas production, we will have no choice but to rely upon wind, wave and solar sources for our energy. It will cost too much to drive a large car, so we will have to buy the tin cans built by Government Motors. If I sound paranoid, maybe I am, but am I paranoid enough?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Pick a bunch and de-seed them (this is the dangerous part)
Slit them and stuff with cream cheese and a thin strip of sausage
Wrap in bacon and use a toothpick to hold in place
Put them on the grill until the bacon is done.
Color: golden amber
Nose: sweet, clean
Palate: mild, oakey
Body: thin, slightly mouth coating
Finish: short, clean
And a thanks to Mostly Cajun who reminded the world that Friar John Cor is recorded as receiving malt in order to make whisky for the king on 1 June, 1494. The king would have been Henry VII. His son, Henry VIII would have been three years old.
The DOE has discovered natural gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico. See the story here.
Gas hydrates are suspected to hold immense volumes of natural gas. For the layman, they are a unique form of ice that can form above freezing temperatures when gas and water are mixed under the right conditions. They have been a bain to production facilities where they can plug pipelines and valves when gas is cooled by the Joule-Thompson Effect. PE got an expense paid trip to Dubai a few years ago to push a fast track project designed to inject hydrate inhibitor into a gas pipeline in Qatar. Hydrates had shut in a major LNG plant there. Yup, ice formed in a pipeline in the desert.
If you watch Ice Road Truckers, you know that one of the drill rigs they supported was looking for hydrate formations in the Canadian arctic.
Hydrates are thought to be an important source of energy for the future.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I didn't complain when you took your time deciding what you wanted. After all, the menu is a little confusing. But when you made a cell phone call to take someone else's order, and they didn't know what they wanted, and you started to read the menu to them.......I unleashed the Stare of Death. That was why you felt that warm spot on the back of your head.
Venn diagrams have stymied students for years. They show logical relations between sets of things. This is an example of one (taken from danmeth.com) that shows the relationships of Beach Boys songs featuring girls, cars and surf. It is now easy to see how they combined the three elements into individual songs.
I actually worked with the grand-nephew of John Venn. We were in Dubai working on the same project. Imagine my surprise when I found that he was related to a mathematical icon.