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.

Photojournalism site telling the story of North Dakota and the Bakken

Just found a wonderful site – Intersection Journal -

Founder and photojournalist Chad Ziemendorf’s description:

Intersection Journal is an online magazine dedicated to capturing the culture, industry and way of life in Western North Dakota through photography and writing.  Optimized for the mobile generation, we celebrate living, working in and exploring the Peace Garden State.

Read more…

Update on marijuana regulation – #11

Legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington is a natural experiment to see what happens when the government lays heavy regulation on a brand new industry. It is also a natural experiment on how to handle an entire industry that moves from the shadows into the lawful world.

10/25 – The Feed – Colorado Thinks Twice on Pot? – Legalization in Colorado passed 55-44. Recent survey says 50% of people in survey think it wasn’t such a great idea.

Current prediction is the state will fall $20M short of the tax revenue forecast. That is one of the unintended consequences I expect to see and think it will be discussed a lot.

Read more…

Would you rather be in the middle class today or the richest man in the world in 1836?

If it was possible to choose, would you prefer to live life in the middle class, struggling to get by in a lousy economy with an uncertain retirement, or would you rather live the life of Nathan Rothschild, who was the richest man on the planet when he departed this life in 1836?

John Kay discusses this idea in his article, Precise inflation figures ignore evolutions in product quality and consumer choice.

Mr. Kay points out that Mr. Rothschild was richer than either John D Rockefeller or Bill Gates. He was the second richest man in all of history.

Before you say you’d rather live his life than yours, consider this:

Read more…

Amazon and Hachette resolve their contract dispute

11/13 – Wall Street Journal – Amazon, Hachette End Publishing Dispute – After an extended, public dispute, Amazon and the publisher Hachette have a multi-year agreement.

Terms are vaguely hinted at: Hachette will set retail prices of their books with Amazon giving higher payouts for lower prices. Will go into effect in 2015 but that should resolve the spat in advance of the 2014 Christmas shopping season. Both of them are highly motivated to move tons of product in the next six weeks.

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 11/18

A few articles on the open frontiers of technology, energy, space and publishing that are worth a read and a brief comment.

About those low energy prices – #4

11/15 – Dickinson Press – Bakken keeps booming: Despite low prices, companies continue to invest in Oil Patch – Estimates attributed to “state officials” suggest that crude oil prices would have to drop to $42 per barrel to bring most production in the state to a halt. The impact of that price would be far more devastating to OPEC and Russia than the U.S. industry.

Read more…

Value of oil production in North Dakota

The monthly market value of oil produced in the state has increased more than five-fold in the last four years.

Check out the economic output of oil from North Dakota, by month:

 11-14 value of crude production

Read more…

Update on solar and wind power – solar #33

More on the economic, environmental, and ecological devastation caused by solar and wind power. This post discusses flaws in the master plan to develop wind and solar in the California desert.

Update 11/18: Chris Clarke informs us that You Have More Time to Comment on That Desert Energy Plan. The deadline for comment has been extended from January 9 to February 23, which is an additional six weeks. He points out you better get started. At 8,000 pages, you need to get through 800 pages a day to make sure your comment is thorough and responsive enough that the regulators can’t just throw away your letter.

10/23 – ReWire – California’s Renewable Energy Plan Misses the Point of Renewable Energy - Chris Clarke shreds what logic and rational thought went into the plans to develop the California desert into a massive solar and wind farm.

The 6,000+ page Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is essentially an EIR to develop the desert starting from east of LA and San Diego all the way to the Nevada border. Previously mentioned this plan here.

Mr. Clarke explains the goal of the plan is to develop 20,000 MW of renewable energy in the desert by 2020.

Mr. Clarke says that is equivalent to an additional Read more…

Crude price is still above the prices that generated the current boom

The Director’s Cut report from the NDIC Department of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Division has lots of good info every month.  I’ve been reading that for quite some time.

One piece of information included is the average sweet crude price. That is a usable benchmark for oil production. My understanding is there may be a discount for Bakken oil to allow for transport. The number in the reports are a reference point.

I accumulated the price mentioned in the reports going back to January 2010, which is the oldest report available online.

Current month Director’s Cut can be found here. Previous reports can be found here.

Here’s what I found:

11-14 crude price by month

Notice something?

Read more…

Near term prediction for oil production in North Dakota

Million Dollar Way thinks we will see the monthly production drop in November. Might still see one more record in October before the drop for winter.

Mr. Oksol’s comments from his post, New All-Time North Dakota Oil Production Record… Read more…

Another month of record production in North Dakota – up 4.6% for the month



(Photo by James Ulvog)

Oil production in North Dakota increased to average of 1,184,635 bopd in September, up 4.63% from August. Bakken only production was 1,120,031 bopd average.

That is a 26.8% increase from 9/13 to 9/14. Very cool.

Flared percentage was down to 24% from 28% in August and 26% in July.

Here are some updated graphs:

Bakken and state-wide production since ’08:

9-14 since 08

More graphs -

Statewide since 2004: Read more…

Good news from the open frontier of space travel

After a rough week on the frontier of private space travel, some good news: a huge investment by Google and a probe landed on a comet.

11/11 – Space.com – Google Leases NASA’s Moffet Field, Historic Hangar for $1.2 Billion - and 11/11 – CNN – Google leases massive Navy blimp hangar

Read more…

More good stuff on surveillance – 11/14

Here is my fifteenth list of good stuff on our surveillance society. A few articles of interest:

11/14 – Wall Street Journal – Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program – Devices on Planes that Mimic Cellphone Towers Used to Track Criminals, but Also Sift Through Thousands of Other Phones -

The same technology used to identify and track terrorists in battle zones is being used on U.S. citizens. The Department of Justice in running a program through the US Marshall Service that puts a detector in a small plane and flies over an area.

Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – 11/13

Here’s a few quick notes on interesting news from the Bakken that I won’t cover in a separate post.

Hard work, determination, and perseverance will produce superb results in Bakken. With those skills in California, you are underemployed. And that assumes you can even find a job.

Here is one more in a non-ending string of stories of people who find success in the oil patch of North Dakota:

Read more…

Ivanpah update – solar #32

The huge collecting solar power plant in the California desert near the Nevada border, Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, is in distress as an energy producer and as a business deal.

Output in the first eight months of operation is about one-third of what was expected.

Project negotiated a delay of its first two loan payments and is requesting federal grants to pick up the tab for those payments plus one more.

In the accounting world when a borrower doesn’t make payments in accordance with the original loan agreement it is called a troubled debt restructuring. In finance that is called a workout. In banking that is an impaired loan. In politics and the media world we call that a bailout.

9/23 – Wall Street Journal – Ivanpah Solar Project Owners Delay Repaying Loans, Documents Say – NRG, Google, BrightSource Said to Delay Paying Back Loans – Project was built with a $1.6B guaranteed loan as part of the total reported price tag of $2.2B.

Read more…

About those dropping oil prices – 3

A global game of chicken is underway. Will falling oil prices slow or shut down the rapid expansion in shale oil production in the US before the budgets of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia are devastated? Which will happen first?

I think it isn’t a smart bet to go against the human ingenuity that has driven the shale revolution.

10/30 – American Interest – OPEC Makes Shaky Bet on Fragility of US Shale Boom – Article quotes a Bloomberg report which in turn quotes the OPEC Secretary General saying that 50% of tight oil (read shale in US) is uneconomical at current prices. That means he believes a lot of projects will get shut down at current pricing. AI article calls that a game of chicken. I agree.

11/3 – Wall Street Journal – Saudi Price Cut Upends Oil Market – Saudi Arabia dropped the price they are asking for crude oil shipped to the U.S. and increased their asking price for oil shipped to Asia.

A graph in the article helps explain why.

Read more…

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