Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Hampshire Shenanigans Follow Up

The NH House narrowly voted (189 to 184) to pass HB 135 which repeals New Hampshire's stand your ground law. The bill will now go to the Senate where the GOP has a slight majority.

To me, as a 6 decades plus old male with an artificial knee, I will not be able to retreat from ANY confrontation. This law will only embolden criminals who will now think they can confront you with impunity and not worry about the threat of immediate gun fire.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Counterfeit Stuff

Read about counterfeit USCG approved fire extinguishers here!

USS Miami Follow Up

The guy that started the fire aboard the USS Miami was sentenced last week, He received 17 years and a fine of $400 million. Of course, the fine is mostly symbolic because it's doubtful that he will become Bill Gates rich in federal prison.

Also, given sequester, the Navy is currently evaluating repairs to the boat. Estimates are that repairs could cost $500 million and would give the Miami another 10 years of service. It is doubtful if the boat will be repaired.

All it takes is one nut with a match to affect our national security.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ocean Engineers Needed

You may not be aware of the role rare earth metals play in modern technology but we would not have the gadgets we find so important if it were not for these obscure elements of the periodic table. The problem is that most of them are in China and the Chinese have leveraged them to drive their own economy. They refuse to export them and forced manufacturers to build plants within China if they wanted to use their rare earth metals.

Now the Japanese have found and alternative source. It 's deep ocean nodules and sea bed mud. This could drive an expansion of sea bed mining and, as these elements are in the deep ocean, it will require a new class of offshore vessel and development of technology to recover these minerals from depths of 15,000 feet or greater. Ocean Engineers will be needed.

Those of you who know submarine history will recall that the CIA used deep ocean mining as the cover story for the Glomar Explorer and their salvage of a Russian submarine.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

The Yankee Government held a lease sale yesterday for offshore tracts in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama was able to add $1.2 Billion, with a "B", to the government cash register. That's in one day. A total of 52 oil companies submitted 407 bids on 320 leases. The high bidders were:

ExxonMobil: 7 high bids totalling $220 million
Shell: 38 high bids totalling $140 million
BHP Biliton: 24 high bids totalling $107 million

Remember, this is money the oil industry is willing pay just for permission to drill. There is no promise of success, no government subsidies and no bailouts. If they find oil or gas, they will then have to fund the development and pay the Yankee Government a royalty for everything they produce. If they get a dry hole, the money is gone.

Can anyone show me a "green energy" company willing to take on those kinds of risks? Well, T Boone did and he lost his shirt.....but he has plenty of shirts he bought with oil money.

Now, think how much more money Obama could get to fund his socialist schemes if he just opened up drilling!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Energy Game Changer Follow Up

An Ocean Engineering friend of mine from Scripps saw my news about the methane hydrate well test and sent me this email.

15 or so years ago, while I was at TAMU, I had an interesting discussion with the lady who headed the DOE research lab in Pittsburgh She was wildly enthusiastic about one of her major research programs --- how to acquire all those methane icecubes on and in the deep offshore sediment. I snorted derisively, which seemed to upset her, and she launched into a sales pitch that included assumptions of huge deposit densities based upon interpretation of (at that time, at least) seismic layering as monster seams of methane hydrate. I made a succinct evaluation of her solution to the energy problem. I boldly stated "Never in my lifetime will you deliver a single cubic foot of gasified methane hydrate into a commercial pipeline". I'm still here and that still holds.
He may be right, and I admit that I still remain skeptical, but I've seen a couple things happen during my career that make me say, "Let's wait and see". One day back in the early 90s we had a visit from the top guy in the E&P organization. He had a meet and greet with the worker bees and I was nominated to attend. During his talk, he was asked about deep water. He responded that he was watching Shell and did not believe their economics. Clearly, we would not follow into deep water developments. Then a geologist asked him about sub salt plays. Evidently, there were big reserves suspected to lie under the massive salt sheath. Seismic could not, at that time, penetrate the salt to see what was under it. He replied that he did not believe in sub salt.

Fast forward about 10 years and deep water developments are the main plays in the Gulf of Mexico. Forward another 10 years and I'm working on a deep water play offshore Brazil that was drilled into.......wait for it........a sub salt reservoir.

So, what are the implications? If hydrates are real, it will mean a continuing supply of cheap, clean natural gas. This could drive a stake into the heart of Green Energy projects by keeping them non-economical for at least another generation. Don't buy any windmill stocks.

As the noted philosopher J. Garcia has said, "What a long strange ride it has been".

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More NH Shenanigans

New Hampshire leges will vote on HB 135 on Wednesday, March 20. HB 135 is a bill that eliminates the 2011 provision allowing a person to use deadly force anywhere he or she has a right to be, (negatively) amends the definition of non-deadly force, and repeals the provision granting civil immunity for the use of force in certain circumstances. If you live in NH and want to keep your right to live free, you need to contact your representative.

I'm afraid this is a result of good intentions that will have unintended consequences. But, as Daniel Webster said, "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Energy Game Changer

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. announced that they are testing a well drilled into methane gas hydrates. While this is only a well test, and experimental in nature, if the technology can be advanced to full production, it will unlock a source of natural gas currently unavailable for use. It will be a game changer in the energy business and will dash the hopes and dreams of the Green Energy proponents into the dirt by keeping natural gas prices cheap.

Hydrates are a frozen mix of natural gas and water and occur naturally at certain temperatures and pressures. I blogged about them earlier. Go there to read about the burning snowball.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Bad Stuff from China

A safety alert came across my desk concerning polyester lifting slings from China. The slings are supposed to have a red colored yarn in the center. If you can see that red yarn, it is an indication that the sling is damaged and should not be used. One contractor happened to notice that the red yarn was absent and, upon further checking (and destructive examination), found that none of their slings had the warning yarn. An immediate notice was sent out to stop using any polyester slings manufactured in China.

The slings in question were sold by S-Line, a major supplier of lifting and tie-down gear to the transportation industry.

I've blogged before about the quality of Chinese manufactured goods. A label that says "Made in China" should send off warning bells.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Swordsmen Needed in the KSA

There is a story on the internet, as yet unconfirmed, that Saudi Arabia is considering replacing public beheadings with shootings. It seems there is a lack of qualified swordsmen. Shooting is evidently acceptable under Sharia Law and would solve the current problem of the lack of executioners skilled in beheadings.

You can be sure that I will follow this developing story.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Filibuster

I had Rand Paul's filibuster on in the background on my computer yesterday. To me, it was an inspiring performance and a useful one as well. I was gobsmacked to hear our Attorney General try to equivocate on the Bill of Rights and the idea that the government could justify killing an American citizen on US soil without due process. (Yes, I know they did it at Kent State and got away with it) But it still makes me cringe that Holder's response wasn't an immediate "Sir, NO Sir!" and that Ted Cruz had to coax that out of him.

Today I read that the older senators (McCain and Graham) didn't agree with the filibuster. (They were off have din-din with Obama) To them I say, it's time for you to go. You have out lived your usefulness and you should retire.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Head Count

Saudi Arabia beheaded 7 criminals last month (murderers and druggies). This brings their 2 month year to date total to 16 heads. It appears that the Kingdom is starting the year off with a splurge of executions.