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 – 5/27

Here’s a few quick notes on interesting news from the North Dakota oil fields:

Rig counts actually going up –

5/20 – Million Dollar Way – Another Post-Boom Low — 80 Active Rigs; Eleven (11) New Permits; Slawson Proposing A 11-Well Pad In Big Bend Oil Field  – 80 rigs

5/22 – Million Dollar Way – Eleven (11) New Permits – Count of rigs is up to 82.

5/26 – Million Dollar Way – Five (5) New Permits – Rig count up to 84.

I wonder if the drilling is now in a plateau. A few more articles on point:

Read more…

More tidbits on the foolishness of rooftop solar

Here are two more articles pointing out the risks to the electric grid and economic destruction of rooftop solar. Didn’t realize how big a mess I would find when I started this series of posts!

4/18 – New York Times – Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes The huge increase in solar power generated from rooftops in Hawaii is creating instability in the grid across the islands. The capacity and output from homes is invisible to the electric companies, which makes it increasingly difficult to maintain stable power.

You can translate ‘risk’ as an increased chance of random spikes, brownouts, and blackouts.

Read more…

Observation on third trip to Williston

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(All photos by James Ulvog, shot in May 2015.)

My wife and I took a short vacation to Williston last week, which was mid May. Got out of town before the temperature dropped below freezing after all day rain with snow following.

It seemed there may have been some slowdown in the number of vehicles and general activity as we moved around town. But that could just be confirmation bias? Maybe I saw what I wanted to see.

Two things I know I saw.

First there is a tremendous number of apartments, duplexes, and houses close to done or just recently occupied on the west side of town around 26th Street and 32nd Avenue. We are talking several complexes of several hundred units each. There are a half-dozen streets a few blocks long of duplexes.

Second thing I noticed was a number of signs on apartments advertising units available.

Here is just one such sign: Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken oil field – 5/18

A few articles on what’s going on in Bakken:

5/5 – Dickinson Press – Stark County wind energy permit rejectedPreviously mentioned 87 slice-and-dicers operated by Dickinson Wind LLC, a sub of NextEra Energy were moving toward construction. Project has a buyer for the electricity, which I’m slowly learning is one of the biggest hurdles to clear.

With one abstention, the Stark County Commissioners unanimously denied a conditional use permit. An outpouring of public complaints persuaded the commissioners to vote down the application.

5/5 – Bismarck Tribune – Communities continue to expand in and around the oil patchRead more…

March oil production in North Dakota increases 12K bopd

The preliminary March production info is in – average daily production increased to 1,190,538 bopd from a very slightly revised 1,170,082 bopd in February. That increase of 12,501 bopd essentially offsets the decrease of 13,116 bopd in February.

Here is a graph of current production on a long-term perspective:

5-15 oil prod 1990 to mar 15

The peak in December 2014 was 1,227,529 bopd. March 2015 production is a drop of 36,946 bopd.

Last few months look kinda’ sorta’ like a plateau, doesn’t it?

Take a look at the following production graph. Do you suppose that is the change that OPEC wanted to see when they decided to maintain production in order to crush the American shale sector?

Read more…

Minor updates on Powerwall battery

A few more tidbits on the new batteries from Tesla I discussed here, here, and here. Accumulating the info here in case I go into more detail in the future.

5/1  Bloomberg News – SolarCity Taking Orders for Tesla Batteries Starting at $5,000 – You can place an order now for a Powerwall backup battery. The 10 kWh backup can be purchased for $7,140. Price for just the battery is $3,500, so the inverter and installation will run you $3640. Installation only runs about $1,500 I think, which means the inverter is running around $2,000. Need to add that into all of the previous calculations I made. That further reduces the economic value of batteries, solar, and going off-grid.

5/6 – Bloomberg News – Tesla’s New Battery Doesn’t Work That Well With SolarRead more…

More good stuff on the open space and technology frontiers – 5/12

Several fun articles on space and one on self-driving trucks

4/18 Commented previously that SpaceX’s third try to recover a Falcon booster rocket failed. It came down too fast, was unstable, and exploded. SpaceX already knows the problem. Elon Musk sent a tweet on 4/18 that said

Cause of hard rocket landing confirmed as due to slower than expected throttle valve response. Next attempt in 2 months.

Problem identified. I am sure the solution will be implemented 5 or 6 weeks before the next launch.

Very cool.

5/6 – Spaceflight Now – Video: Dragon test articles flies pad abort profileRead more…

Get control of every domain that refers to your name, including all extensions

Back in 2013, I offered An illustration why you should gain control over your name on the ‘net, both through buying domain names and reserving your name at social media sights (oops, meant to say sites!).

To illustrate the concept that you should grab control over your name on the ’net, I pointed out a pro-Second Amendment activist who bought a domain and turned it into a pro-gun website to poke fun at an anti-gun politician.

The domain?

I just checked that address and found out it is a dead link. It used to be an advocacy site. However, the joke (if you are into such things) and the point (which is the reason for this post) stand.

(cross post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update)

In recent weeks, a politician from the opposite side of the aisle got zinged. She is former head of a large technology company. Someone grabbed a domain including her name and put up a one-page site criticizing how many people were laid off during her tenure.

The domain? Read more…

More good stuff from the wide open energy frontier – 5/8

Some articles on the amazing things going on in the energy world:  oil factories, fracklog, greener fracking and calculating the Saudi cash burn rate.

5/6 – Russell Gold at Wall Street JournalWhat the Future of Oil Drilling Will Look Like – think “oil factory”. Liberty resources is developing a 10,000 acre complex that will have 96 wells when complete. It will be called Stomping Horse.

A pipeline corridor will link all the drill sites to each other allowing oil and natural gas to be gathered to one location. Freshwater can be pumped from a central location and saltwater gathered by pipe at the disposal well.

Read more…

Going off-grid. Would merely triple what I pay for electricity.

One of the most fun things about blogging is learning as you go. If you like watching an uninformed person slowly get informed, get a fresh cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy.

I previously discussed Battery storage for the home. Extremely expensive, but available. Update: merely double my costs.

(My math was off. Read to the end for my new calculation.)

Also More followup on the Tesla Powerwall home battery.

To analyze the concept of home batteries and solar power, I’m looking at the concept from the perspective of going off-grid.

I found a few websites that provided some info on the solar array needed. I won’t list the specific sites to avoid causing any unexpected problems, like, oh, exposing commercial businesses to unwanted ridicule.

One site gave helpful tools to calculate how many panels are needed. To go off-grid and cover our actual electricity use last August would call for a 7Kw system. That would involve $18,000 of their panels plus $1,500 or $2,000 for an inverter. Installation and permits are extra.

Read more…

More followup on the Tesla Powerwall home battery

More comments on the nifty new battery for home use. Mentioned this earlier.

5/3 – Seeking Alpha – The Silliness of Tesla’s 10kWh Back-up Battery – Just a few silliness tidbits from the author’s long list of silliness factors: Read more…

More glimpses that disruptive change is already here – (radical change #4)

The disruptive change around us is staggering. Yet I don’t see how it will disrupt my business, which is the auditing sector of public accounting. Before I get into that, here are a few more articles on the change going on around us.

Just in case you are wondering what digital disruption looks like, check out this graph of newspaper ad revenue for the last 65 years, adjusted for inflation:

newspaper ad revenue 5-15

(Copyright Carpe Diem, used with permission.)

4/30 – Carpe Diem – Creative destruction: Newspaper ad revenue continued its precipitous free fall in 2014, and it’s likely to continue – Above graph is from this article, which points out that print advertising has dropped 57% in six years and is down 75% from the 2000 high 14 years ago.

Adding back digital advertising puts the volume of advertising essentially at the same level as in 1950 when adjusted for inflation. Phrased differently, it took 50 years to go from $20B to $67B and merely 14 years to lose all that growth.

More examples:

Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – 5/4

Here’s some fun notes on interesting news around the Bakken. Big change on the oil tax. Slowdown is drilling is having some interesting impacts on the housing market. Also, tracking the rig count.

5/1 – Dickinson Press – North Dakota still on track for oil tax break – Oil prices in April were below the level which will trigger the “big trigger” tax reduction on oil. If West Texas Intermediate is below a threshold, currently $52.29, for five consecutive months the 6.5% oil extraction tax is waived for two years on wells started after the trigger is pulled. One more month below the cut off will trigger the drop.

Read more…

Battery storage for the home. Extremely expensive, but available. Update: merely double my costs.

Tesla announced a new home battery product called Powerwall. A very cool idea. In spite of what you might think from reading my blog, I think this is a good idea.

5/1 – AP at Daily Bulletin – Tesla charges into home battery market despite challenges

It is merely the next step in a very long journey, but I can grasp the great idea. Someday storing electricity at home may be viable.

On the other hand, it is astoundingly expensive at the moment. On the other, other hand, that’s what happens at the front-end of breakthrough technology.

You can find more info on the battery at Tesla’s Powerwall site.

I’m going to stretch my knowledge, probably beyond the breaking point. Let me know if I slip a digit or miss a step.

Read more…

Reusable shopping bags are so dangerous they require a warning label

Got a free reusable shopping bag today from the pharmacy where I shop.

Scan your card to get a handful of coupons and they give you a free reusable bag.

I have described the dangers of reusable bags previously.

This bag came with a warning label. It said: Read more…

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