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.

Crude oil production in North Dakota increases slightly in June ’15 to second highest amount ever

(Shaky videography and editing by James Ulvog)

Production of crude in the state increased to 1,211,180 bopd (prelim) in June from 1,202,615 bopd (final) in May. That is up 8,565 bopd. Only  month with higher average production was December 2014 at 1,227,529 bopd.

production 6-15

Keep in mind the goal of the Saudis when they kicked off the price war was to take Bakken production off the table. I don’t think the results above are quite what they had in mind.

Read more…

“Everybody point and laugh” at Peak Oil doctrine – #41

What oil production curve should have been for last decade according to Peak Oil doctrine. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

What oil production curve should have been for last couple of decades according to Peak Oil doctrine.  Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Ridicule is the appropriate way to address the false idea that oil production follows a bell curve and at any moment production will drop off and head to zero. Gonna’ happen any hour now. It is an undisputed scientific certainty…

Only problem is the inconvenient truth that production has consistently blown out every prediction from the peak oilists. It’s almost like the entire concept is bogus.

8/11 – Ronald Bailey, author of The End of Doom, at Reason – Peak Oilers Shut Up Forever Please One of the main apostles of Peak Oil precisely calculated the peak of oil production would be Thanksgiving Day in 2005 with an inevitable, unavoidable decline thereafter.

The absolute peak production, never to be seen again?

85M bopd.

Please remember Peak Oil doctrine clearly states that production will drop the day after the peak and enter a bell shape curve decline, quickly heading to zero. Production graphs are supposed to have already resembled the image at the top of this post.

Petroleum liquids in July 2015?

Read more…

Biased, slanted, propagandistic updates on Central African Republic

Central African Republic outline inset into a map of Africa over a white background

Central African Republic. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Media coverage of the tragedy in Central African Republic is taking on a slanted, agenda-laded bias worthy of American media in a U.S. presidential race.

(I have been sitting on this post for months. Think it is time to post.)

Shouldn’t be necessary, but I suppose it is necessary to say I denounce the destruction of religious houses of worship, especially when such facilities are targeted because they are houses of worship. I also denounce violence targeted against people because of the way they worship.

Let me know if you think the following articles are talking about the same country.

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Mali update – 8/11

Hasn’t been a lot of news from Mali lately, or at least that I’ve seen. Probably just a reflection on my poor ability to pay attention.

Well, there was news last week.

Islamic extremists (that’s the description in the AP article) attacked a hotel in Sevare, taking hostages and battling government troops. A Malian special operations team flew in from Bamako to join the fight and retook the hotel. The rebels held the hotel for about 24 hours.

Read more…

Update on who will collapse first

A couple of followup comments about my long post pondering Who will break first, Saudi Arabia or the American shale oil industry.  I read Bruce Oksol’s comment on the article that drew my closest attention.

In his post at Million Dollar Way, Saudi Arabia Looking At Bankruptcy?, he recaps some comments he has pointed out before, which I will quote. Read the following to provide context for the article at the center of the above post. Read more…

Who will break first, Saudi Arabia or the American shale oil industry?

Ras Tanura oil terminal, Saudi Arabia, photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Ras Tanura oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com


5 oil pads in North Dakota, 1 with drilling rig and one cleared ready to drill. Photo by James Ulvog

5 oil pads in North Dakota, 1 with drilling rig. Each pad may eventually have 3 or 10 wells. Photo by James Ulvog. October 2014. Yeah, yeah, I’m not much of a photographer.

Three fascinating articles to give some perspective on global oil market. Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee, this will be a long read.

From immediate appearances, Saudi Arabia is in financial distress because of low oil prices. On a longer-term perspective they are in extremely severe trouble. OPEC as an organization is essentially done. Entertaining to watch one writer tried to blow off all of the above information.

First, the immediate indication that Saudi Arabia is having serious trouble now.

8/5 – Financial Times – Saudi Arabia plans $27bn in bond issues – Saudi Arabia has already borrowed $4B in the bond market. They are floating ideas of borrowing $5.3B a month through the end of the year for an additional $27B debt.

With selling around 10.3M barrels a day at price of around $50 which produces somewhere around $188B a year, why are they tiptoeing back into the debt market?

Read more…

Another case study in the cost of rooftop solar, this time focusing on the sky-high financing terms

photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Here is another case study, this time emphasizing the really high cost of leasing.  The Wall Street Journal has an article in the 8/4 print edition:  Solar-Power Fight Hits Home in Arizona/ New rules to require solar companies to tell potential customers how much systems will cost over the lifetime of their contracts.

Car dealers and bank loan officers, please sit down.

Apparently home solar installers are all up in arms because Arizona now requires them to tell customers how much they’re going to pay over the term of the contract. Yes, you lenders who have to deal with truth-in-lending laws that have been around since, oh, before you were born can now chuckle.

Typical roof-top solar contracts run for 20 years and have built-in annual price increases. When told the total of what they will pay, many customers choose to buy the system instead of pay an extra fortune over two decades.

Typical terms according to the article for an average system: Read more…

Unintended consequences – Conflict mineral edition

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

The Frank-Dodd Act of 2010 requires companies to report whether there are any conflict minerals in their supply chain. This would include any gold, tin, tantalum, or tungsten originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The feel-good intention is to hurt militia groups funding their violence by selling those minerals.

The completely foreseeable yet unintended consequences are to hurt poor people, slightly inconvenience the militia warlords, and impose huge costs on American businesses. Oh, and starting next year, generate huge fees to CPAs.

Here’s a quick tour of articles to make my point. First some background:

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USGS study shows grassland birds move nests away from wind turbines

Birds that are at risk of finding out why turbines are called slice-and-dicers. Pictures courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com.

Birds at risk of finding out why turbines are called slice-and-dicers. Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com.

A 10 year study looking at nesting patterns of nine species of grassland birds in the Dakotas found that seven of the species relocated their nests away from good breeding ground after wind turbines were constructed.

Read more…

Head scratching news from the open energy frontier

Patriot missile launcher. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Patriot missile launcher. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

A series of posts at Million Dollar Way has me scratching my head on the amazing things happening in energy and what may be down the road. Consider the following:

7/30 – Saudi Arabia Begins Buying New Patriot Missiles From The US – Lots of countries in the Middle East are doing some serious shopping for serious defensive weapons. Today’s news is that Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 more Patriot missile interceptors at a cost of over $5 billion.


Read more…

Environmental devastation from constructing wind turbines and solar farms.

Turbines under construction in Holland. Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com.

Turbines under construction in Holland. Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com.

Constructing turbines or solar panels consumes vast amounts of natural resources. Consider just some of the resource drain created by ‘renewable’ energy discussed on 1/13/15 at The Scotsman:  Comment: Renewables drain our resources

Wind turbine towers are constructed from steel manufactured in a blast furnace from mined iron ore and modified coal (coke). Turbine blades are composed of oil-derived resins and glass fibre. The nacelle encloses a magnet containing about one third of a tonne of the rare earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium. Large neodymium magnets also help propel electric cars.

A third of a ton of rare earth metals for every turbine. So what? Consider: Read more…

News from around the Bakken – 7/27

Mancamp near Ray, ND. Photo by James Ulvog

Mancamp near Ray, ND. Photo by James Ulvog

Williston city and Williams County are working to cut back mancamp housing, which will have the expected unintended consequence of putting upward pressure on housing prices. The new airport in Williston is moving forward. Biggest news is indication that newest wells aren’t seeing production deplete as rapidly as in the past. Read more…

Construction of wind farm in Scotland contaminated the water

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Water in an area around a 215 turbine farm in Ayrshire contains high levels of E.coli along with other coliform bacteria. Water has far more than the safe levels of trihalomethane (THM). That stuff has been linked to a variety of cancers, miscarriages, and stillbirths. Discussed at New Evidence: Wind Farms Contaminating Water Supply in Scotland.

The power company running the slice-and-dicers denies having caused the pollution but does acknowledge that they failed to warn residents that the water supplies could be contaminated as a result of the turbines.

So in Scotland it looks wind turbines are causing human health damage from diarrhea and miscarriages in addition to causing ecological damage from killing off birds and bats.

Wind turbines contaminating drinking water? How does that happen?

Read more…

Fun news from the open frontier of technology – 7/24

Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Picture courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Did you know more employees are using Uber than traditional taxis? New York has new rules on licensing bitcoin dealers and the Air Force is having challenges getting enough pilots to fly drones. A few fun updates on the wide open frontier of technology:

Read more…

Capitalism undermines feudalism and offers economic freedom to Dalits

Capitalism does a better job providing freedom and equality than any other system. It is a far better option than feudalism.

Capitalism has been allowed to flourish in India since 1991. The results have been to release large numbers of Dalits from bonded labor. Previously those individuals were restricted to the most dirty, dangerous jobs.

Check out the results in this article by Swaminathan S. Ankelsaria Aiyar, writing at Cato Institute: How Capitalism Is Undermining the Indian Caste System

Article is reprinted in full under a Creative Commons license granted by the author: Read more…

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