Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

More good stuff on the Bakken – 12/19



(photo by James Ulvog. If my city boy eyes are working right, there are 4 pumps, two of which are producing, along with a drilling rig and a workover rig on that one pad. Can you find 48 million dollars and 6 million barrels of oil in the picture?)

A few more articles that I found interesting on what’s going on in the rockin’ Bakken:

12/9 – Wall Street Journal – North Dakota Energy Regulator Mandates Steps to Reduce Oil Volatility- NDIC issued rules requiring oil be treated to reduce vapor pressure to 13.7 psi. Excess gas will be burned off by heater-treaters heating the crude to 110 degrees.

Read more…

Update on wind and solar plants in California and North Dakota – solar #34

A few updates on a few slice/dice/fry projects, as one observer calls them:


11/4 – ReWire – “Dead” Solar Plant May Rise From Grave – The joint owners of the Palen Solar Electric Generating System pulled their plan recently. One of the owners (Abengoa Solar) will buy out the other (Brightstar), revise the design, and resubmit their plan. That is the announced goal. The wing-toasting facility will be redesigned with one tower and the ability to store electricity using molten salt.

This would be Palen plan #3. The first was parabolic solar. The second was 3 warming towers. This will be only one solar collecting tower plus storage capacity.

10/30 – ReWire – Wind Project Pulled from San Bernardino MountainsRead more…

About those dropping oil prices – 6

Have a lot of articles to discuss about what’s going on in the energy area. Lots of turmoil and uncertainty at the moment. Here are a few articles, to help get caught up:

12/6 – Economist – Sheikh v Shale – Love the cover illustration! I’ll be rooting for the shale guy in the showdown.

Article gives credit to shale oil for the drop in gas prices and oil prices. Take a bow, all you frackers in Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian! A $40 drop in price moves $1.3 trillion a year from producers to consumers. That is a savings of around $800 a year for an average American, or equivalent to a 2% pay raise, according to the article

Read more…

About those dropping oil prices – Be careful what you wish for – 5

So much news about energy and oil prices and the damage caused by wind and solar power lately. Will try to get caught up in commenting on the fascinating news around us. In the meantime, here are a few articles about energy. By the way, one ought to be really careful when choosing to start a price war…

11/30 – The Telegraph; Ambrose Evans-Pritchard – Saudis risk playing with fire in shale-price showdown as crude crashes – Crude prices dropped to $66 in the wake of OPEC decided to maintain production levels. Rumors are the OPEC and Saudi goal is to cut the growth rate of US shale production from another million bopd to only a 500K bopd increase.

Check out the differing expectations for where the pricing vulnerability is in the U.S:

Read more…

More info from 12/14 Director’s Cut – Indicators for near term

For follow-up to my previous post on October oil production data in North Dakota, check out the Dickinson Press’ discussion of comments from Mr. Lynn Helms:  Prices could plateau production: Hems says 2015 could be tough for oil.

Here are a few tidbits that help me understand what is going on around us:

Mr. Helms, who is director of the ND Department of Mineral Resources, didn’t think oil prices would drop this far.

Article says that on Friday sweet crude prices were $41.75 a barrel in North Dakota and $57.81 on the New York Mercantile.

Graphic at the Bakken Magazine says on Friday the Brent price was $62.05 and Cushing was $57.99. I’m slowly catching on (but you already knew that), so that graphic tells me that the Cushing price is also called the West Texas Intermediate index.

Rig count

Read more…

North Dakota oil production in October ’14 plateaus, likely for the winter

Total production in October 2014 averaged 1,182,174 bopd. That is down a smidgeon (2,461 bopd) from the preliminary of 1,184,635 in September, and down a smidgeon more (4,054 bopd) compared to the slightly revised 1,186,228 amount for September.

Here is what the total and Bakken-only production looks like:

ND production 10-14 total


The Director’s Cut each month has narrative on the month along with  more statistical data. The December report is here.

Price of sweet crude

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 12/12

There are wonderful things going on in the tech world. Also some not so great things in education and publishing. Here’s a few articles on the good and not-so-good stuff.


12/8 – Economist – Free the drones / Drones have immense commercial potential—so long as regulators don’t try to tether them to the ground

Read more…

A discussion about finite oil

A commenter on my blog has asked a few questions. We have a pleasant discussion running.

Yesterday he asked if the amount of oil is finite.

As I started to reply, I just kept writing and writing. Decided to move my comment to a separate post so the conversation is more visible.

On December 9, Stig Helmer (self-identification) said: Read more…

Update on marijuana regulation – #12

Not much in the news lately on the crushing effect of overregulation on the newly legal industry of recreational marijuana. (You now know my opinion and can filter my comments accordingly.)

This post will catch up on a few older articles.

11/8 – The Economist – The Marlboro of marijuana – The legal cannabis industry is run by minnows. As liberalisation spreads, that may not last – Here are a few more regulatory restraints that will strangle the industry: Article says that in Colorado, dispensaries have to grow at least 70% of what they sold and growers had to sell at least 70% of what they grew. That recently changed.

Read more…

The visual appearance of a million barrel a day oil field


(All photos by James Ulvog. Above view of 4 pads, with a pair of flares visible in the middle and workover rig on pad in lower left.)

Following post was written on October 18, when my wife and I flew out of Williston:

We took a 6:25 a.m. flight, so it was still dark. The view on departure was fabulous.

I wish I had the camera equipment (and the skill) to show what I saw.

Words will have to suffice, along with photos taken during daylight.

Sky was clear until several minutes from the airport, then clouds slowly built up.

Drilling rigs are quite visible, what with those tall metal superstructures and the working deck all lit up. Sorta’ like an all white Christmas tree.

Read more…

Peak Oil debunked over and over and over again – #37

The Wall Street Journal has a delightful editorial today on Peak Oil. That prompted me to pull together several articles I’ve been wanting to talk about.

Just in case you wondered, the devotees of Peak Oil are alive and well. Many of the big names are reportedly in hiding. Do a few minute search on the ‘net and you can still find a lot of them.  I’ve had a dialogue over the last few days with one gentleman on my blog.

Haven’t pointed out the foolishness of Peak Oil doctrine since July, so it’s time to look again. Here we go…

12/5 – Wall Street Journal – ‘Peak Oil’ Debunked, Again – And again. And again.

Gotta’ love the opening paragraph:

It has been 216 years since Thomas Malthus gave birth to the idea that mankind’s appetite for natural resources would outstrip nature’s capacity to supply them. There have since been regular warnings that the world is running out of soybeans, helium, chocolate, tunsgsten, you name it—and that population growth has become unsustainable. The warnings create a political or social panic for a while, only to be proved wrong.

Peak Oil is the current fad of ‘we will run out by the day after tomorrow.’

The run up in oil over the last several years to a high of around $112 this past summer has encouraged entreprenuers, or perhaps we should call them petroprenuers, to figure out how to get massive amount of shale oil out of the ground. Read more…

Upside and downside of social media

Social media is a wonderful thing. You can create videos or blogs and spread your message far. The downside is your message can spread far.

Two recent examples of the upside and downside.

First, the upside…

11/14 – Wall Street Journal – This Rabbi Raps and Riffs – on Judaism – Ordained Hasidic rabbi Medny Pellin also does comedy and rap videos. You can check out his signature video, Talk Yiddish to Me.

Read more…

Update on wind power (solar #33)

More on the economic, environmental, and ecological devastation caused by solar and wind.

Today let’s look at two articles on the economic damage from wind power: massive tax subsidies which look likely for another year and cost of wind-provided electricity rising.

11/30 – Tim Phillips in Wall Street Journal – Wind Power is Intermittent, But Subsidies Are Eternal – Check out the article for a brief overview of the massive corporate welfare found in wind power subsidies.

The Production Tax Credit provides slice-and-dice farms a 2.3 cent tax credit for each kilowatt-hour produced.

Read more…

Great ways to make sure you are always unhappy

Jeff Haden surveys 7 Poisonous Beliefs That Make You Desperately Unhappy.

He suggests that if you are routinely unhappy, there might be some things inside you that are the cause. The good news is that you can change those drivers. If you recognize them and if you want to.

Here’s a few of his points I particularly enjoyed.

Read more…

“I, Egg”, or, how many millions of people have to cooperate for you to boil one egg?

Check out Exxon-Mobil’s commercial. Try to take a completely wild guess how many people are involved in getting one egg to your house and the number of people and millions of dollars of investment needed to get a bit of natural gas to the stove:


Read more…

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