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.

North Dakota breaks record oil production level for three months running.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production in North Dakota has broken a record for three months in a row. This is not a record breaking number of record breaking months though. In the post-bust time since 2014, the record number of record levels was July 2018 through October 2018, or four months in a row. Back then production was 1.27m bopd in 7/18, 1.29m, 1.36m, and 1.394m, before sliding a bit to 1.378m in 11/18.

Production was 1,477,394 bopd (preliminary) in August 2019, up 2.18% from 1,445,934 bopd in July.

Check out the production trend:

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In July 2019, North Dakota oil production breaks record for second month in a row.

Four of the reasons oil prices are *not* completely crazy after the attack on Saudi Arabia’s processing facilities this past weekend. Photo by James Ulvog.

The Million Dollar Way blog points out With The July, 2019, Data, North Dakota Set Four New All-Time Records.

In July, the state energy wizards set four record levels of production:

  • Crude oil
  • Gas
  • Barrels of oil equivalent (converting gas into equivalent amount of oil and combining with crude production)
  • Number of producing wells

Breaking production records in North Dakota, New Mexico, and Texas is something to celebrate if you like being able to get gasoline for your car whenever you feel like doing so, or if you like having gas available at reasonable prices in spite of when, oh, say, someone drops a bunch of bombs on Saudi production facilities.

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Cost of Los Angeles and Las Vegas football stadiums

3d rendering of an outlined stadium. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It is fascinating to see the cost of large projects. Check out the price tag for new football stadiums in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles

The new stadium under construction in Los Angeles which, will be the home of the Rams and Chargers, will run a cool $5 billion.

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Where are they now? Players in Silk Road, the on-line bazaar for drugs, explosives, and body parts.

Mr. Ulbricht’s housing area for either the rest of his life or until the Feds decide to move  him to another facility for the rest of his life:  Federal Correctional Complex Tucson FCI Tucson Arizona Overhead View by Prison Insight is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Time for a follow-up on the status and jail location of the major players in the Silk Road, dark web fiasco. If you need lots and lots of background, check out this tag.

Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator service, some online searching, and previous reporting provides this info:

 

Ross William Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts”, “DPR” – Silk Road mastermind – age 35.

Register number 18870-111.

Serving Life Sentence. (In the federal system, I think “life” means life.)

In 12/18 he was confined at Florence (Colorado) – High security U.S. Penitentiary, that is the ‘super-max’. On 9/2/19 he is confined at Tucson U.S. Penitentiary, a high security prison.

 

Roger Thomas Clark – a/k/a “Variety Jones”, allegedly Mr. Ulbricht’s deputy – age 57

Register number 85816-054.

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Where is he now? Keith Graves, star of “The Overnighters” documentary

If you were reading my blog a few years ago, you recall lots of discussion of the documentary The Overnighters. The movie provides one perspective on the oil boom in Williston, North Dakota.

As you may recall, one of the main characters was a fellow by the name of Keith Graves. He was identified by the director as one of the individuals who “survived” the tumult seen during the time the movie was filmed. If you want to catch up on his story, check out this link.

Where is he now?

Federal prison.

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Two percent increase in North Dakota oil production in June 2019.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Oil production in the state increased 2.15% in June, growing an average of 30,004 bopd, from 1,394,648 bopd average in May (revised) to 1,424,652 in June (preliminary). That is after a lull from October 2018 through May 2019, when the average production increased a mere 648 bopd.

Before showing the production graph, a few comments about prices and rigs in operation.

Prices have declined substantially in the last couple of months:

  • Sweet crude in North Dakota
  • $48.00 March
  • $52.50 April
  • $50.50 May
  • $43.10 June

The drop, especially in June, shows up in the value of crude production:

The productivity of wells has increased over the years. The result is the count of completed wells is largely independent of the number of drilling rigs in operation.

Consider an overlay of the completed well count and the rig count:

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More tips for people planning a felony on what *not* to do.

If you are planning a felony, consider your pacemaker might testify against you. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As a public service to people planning a felony (but will never read my blog) and also for entertainment of people who would never commit a felony, I have accumulated a few stories of people who really messed up their escapade by not quite thinking things through.

Extra special tip for your planning consideration:  pay attention to the impact of technology.

Previous discussions:

Here are a few more tips on how not to commit a felony, or in one situation how not to commit fraud:

 

Tip #13

This item doesn’t involve criminal charges, but it sure does fit with the theme of these posts…

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Guy took some time away from basketball after college and playing pro on several teams in Europe. Wanted to join a team in Bosnia after his break.

The league requires a drug screening test. For reasons unknown, he used his girlfriend’s urine. Seems obvious to me that he wanted to hide something.

Urine test was clear for banned drugs.

However…

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Deepfake – manipulating video to create a fabricated story.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

How’s this sound for another down side of technology?

Applying cutting edge technology to a video, changing the words said, altering the mouth movement to conform to the fabricated words, changing facial expressions, and thus fabricating a new video telling a story that doesn’t exist.

That is called deepfake.

Currently, the technology is at a level where a human watching a deepfake can tell it is fake. Inconsistencies in facial movement or lighting or pixelation will give away the fabrication. Several articles say the technology is advancing so fast that soon humans will not be able to detect a fake just by watching.

Special computer programs can detect the alterations.

A few articles for more background:

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Just another routine space launch and recovery of the booster. What a delight to ponder recollections of the Apollo 11 mission along with another SpaceX mission.

Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off on CRS-18 mission. Credit Flickr. Courtesy of SpaceX who has placed their photos in the public domain.

Just a few days ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. What an astounding accomplishment and what a joy to remember. Take a look at the grainy views of the launch and walk on the moon mentioned in immediately previous post.

Check out the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission yesterday, 7/25/19. CRS-18 carried about 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. In four weeks about 3,300 pounds of cargo will be returned to earth.

The mission press release says this is the third time this Dragon capsule has flown, which is a new record for reuse.  This is the second time this particular Falcon 9 booster has flown. The booster was successfully recovered.

The announcer on the broadcast said this is the 44th successfully recovery of a booster.

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Film clips of Apollo 11 mission to the moon. 50th anniversary is today.

Behind the Black has a series of posts linking to video of the astounding first trip to the moon. Today, July 20, 1969, marks 50 years since humans set foot on the  moon. What an incredible accomplishment.

Some fun links to fun video:

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North Dakota oil production remains steady in May 2019.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Oil production in North Dakota increased slightly to average of 1,393,284 BOPD in May 2019 (preliminary), up 799 BOPD from April (revised).

Rig count has been flat, ranging from low of 61 to high of 67 during the last 12 months.

An odd factor this month is small increase in production (up 799 bopd/day, 0.06%) with increase in producing wells of 194 (+1.26%).

Lynn Helms is cited in article at Bismarck Tribune (7/16/19 –Oil Production steady in May, but transportation woes persist) suggesting this is due to old legacy wells that produce around 25 barrels a day being closed in for the winter and then brought on-line from late spring until fall.

Economic driver explaining this is the costs of plowing roads and hauling oil makes such wells uneconomical in the winter. Thus they are taken off line in the winter.

The number of inactive wells dropped by 69 in May.

The two month changes are:

  • 141 – drop in inactive wells
  • 185 – well completions
  • 337 – increase in producing well count

That leaves an increase of 11 producing wells that isn’t explained by drop in inactive wells and completions.

Here is what the average production looks like:

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North Dakota oil production expected to accelerate this year. Also two more new huge oil finds where oil wasn’t expected.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Latest guess, from someone who has a clue about such issues, on where production is going in North Dakota is somewhere around 1.5M or 1.6M barrels a day late this year or early next year.

Huge finds off coast of Guyana and in New Mexico/Texas.

Question needs to be asked again:  What Peak Oil?

 

The Million Dollar Way – 7/7/19 – ND Oil Production to Surge – Lynn Helms. Citing another source, the article says Lynn Helms, director of DMR, thinks production in North Dakota will surge later this year after gas infrastructure construction is done.

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First sentencing in college admissions scandal

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A sentence has been handed down in the first of the college admission scandal cases to reach a judge. The former sailing coach at Stanford received:

  • $10,000 fine
  • 1 day in jail, already served
  • 6 months house detention
  • 2 years supervised release, i.e. probation

(Cross-posted to my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Prosecutors recommended 13 months in prison.

Several articles pointed out this person is the lease culpable of those lined up for sentencing. He did not receive any money directly.

If I read the articles correctly, the only student admitted as part of this scheme was not actually an athlete and has since been expelled.  No other students were admitted.

One key point of detention is an assessment of what type of crime is present.

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What is the total federal and state tax on gasoline in California?

Ever wondered what you are paying in direct taxes for that gas? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

State tax on gasoline in California went up again on July 1. Have you been wondering what is the federal & state tax load on a gallon of gas in the state? I was. So I calculated it.

The total excise and sales tax load levied the federal and state level is 72.5 cents a gallon, which is 23.9% on top of the cost of gas.

On July 1, CNBC reported After tax hike, gas in California is now a dollar higher than the national average.

State excise tax went up 5.6 cents for each gallon bringing total state haul to 47.3 cents.

Oh, the 2017 bill that imposed the tax hike also contained an inflation adjustment.

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Intro and update to college admissions scandal

Lots of things going on behind closed doors that have drawn the focused attention of the U.S. Attorney in Boston. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The pretend-to-be-an-athlete-in-a-sport-you-have-never-even-played scandal in higher education is one of many issues I have not focused on over the last year or more.

Family issues have pulled me away from blogging. Hope to start getting caught up on the massive changes taking place around us. I’ll begin with the college admissions disaster.

(Article cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.

Brief background:

A large number of parents were paying Mr. William “Rick” Singer to help their children get into colleges where their kids wouldn’t otherwise gain admission.

More background:

The schemes, according to a long string of articles covered in most newspapers which I won’t link, included techniques such as:

  • Creating fake profile of the student being a competitive athlete when the student had not even played the sport.
  • Paying to have another person take your SAT or ACT tests.
  • Hiring a proctor to oversee extra-testing time and then correcting answers.

Flow of cash was complicated, as expected. Most of the dollars went to a non-profit foundation set up by Mr. Singer. He then distributed portions of the money to college sports coaches, proctors, and other participants. Some of the payments went directly from the parents to the colleges.

Oh, by making those payments to a charity, the payments became tax deductible. So there is also a tax fraud angle for all the involved parents to ponder. You can easily guess someone from IRS Criminal Investigations is involved in each of the cases.

Current status:

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