Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Israel is the main and immediate present danger to the middle east and the world.
Immediate sanctions should be imposed on the rogue state of Israel.
Their nuclear threat and arsenal should be immediately dismantled.
Unfortunately the US government with its congress critters are paid shills for Israel.
They have been in the pockets of their Israeli pay masters for decades.
Why do we allow our congress to put Israeli concerns ahead of ours?
Stop the Isrseli lobby flow of money into our elections.
Stop condoning Israels policy of apartheid.
Stop giving them the green light when they want to "mow the lawn" in a neighboring state.
Let them mow their own lawn in their own country.
Tao Dao Man
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR ? ? ? ?
Our war in Viet Nam was based on lies, told to us by our own government.
We learned nothing from the carnage in Nam.
We just keep on killing.
All in the name of national security and other nonsense.
Let the Senator's sons fight their own wars.
War is the most dispicable, barbaric act ever imagined..
T D M
Monday, April 27, 2015
Sunday, April 26, 2015
(this week's news from the oil patch, with a particular focus on how what we've learned affects a nuclear power plant in Northeast Ohio...)
it appears that the ongoing drop of rigs drilling for oil is finally affecting output, as US production of oil fell for the 2nd week in a row in the week ending April 17th, slipping to 9,366,000 barrels a day from 9,384,000 barrels a day the prior week, matching our output in the 1st week of March...while our daily production has plateaud over the past 6 weeks, it's still been running 14.3% more than the same period last year... even with that higher production, our crude oil imports have been little changed; according to the weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf), U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 7.8 million barrels per day in the week ending April 17th, which was 617,000 barrels per day higher than the prior week...over the four weeks ending April 17th, our crude oil imports averaged over 7.6 million barrels per day, 0.9% above the same four-week period last year...so, with our imports of oil relatively unchanged, our higher field production leaves us with more oil than we can use, meaning still more is being put into storage...in the week ending the 17th, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 5.3 million barrels to a new record of 489.0 million barrels, 23.0% higher than the 397.7 barrels we had stored in the same week last year..
in the week just ended, Baker Hughes reported that US oil patch operators shut down 31 more drilling rigs, leaving 703, while gas operators added 8, bring their total to 225, while the count of miscellaneous rigs increased by 1 to 4...this left 932 drilling rigs operating in the US as of April 24th, which was down from 1861 rigs running in the same week last year, with 831 fewer oil rigs, 98 fewer gas rigs, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged from a year ago...of those left operating this past week, 895 were based on land, which was down by 22 from last week, 3 were on inland waters, which was down from 4 last week, while offshore rigs increased by 1 to 34...the count of horizontal rigs was down by 21 to 720 while the count of vertical rigs dropped by 1 to 121...the greatest reduction of rigs was again in the Permian basin of west Texas and eastern New Mexico, where 12 more rigs were shut down this week, still leaving the area with 246 rigs at week end, while the Eagle Ford of southeast Texas saw another 8 rigs taken out of service...elsewhere, the Williston Basin in North Dakota saw a reduction of 5 rigs, Oklahoma saw 3 fewer rigs, while Louisiana added two...meanwhile, the rig counts for both the Marcellus and the Utica were unchanged, as operators shut down a rig in West Virginia and restarted one in Pennsylvania, leaving Ohio unchanged from last week with 25 rigs still running..
news on new studies on the seismic hazards associated with fracking dominated my news feeds this week, with two releases on state level induced quaking on Tuesday and a major USGS tome released Thursday generating web wide coverage....the major state release, from the Oklahoma department of Energy and the Environment, was actually just an official confirmation of what everyone in Oklahoma knew but had been denying, in that they admitted that the recent 600-fold increase in earthquakes in the state, with some damaging quakes as large as 5.7 and 5.3, was in fact being caused by the injection of oil and gas wastewater into underground formations...now, that this is the case is not new, in that roughly two-dozen peer-reviewed, published papers had concluded that the Oklahoma disposal wells and quakes were connected, but Oklahoma regulators, controlled by the oil industry, had been denying it up until this week, with State Seismologist Austin Holland silenced under pressure from the industry...so it will be interesting to see if they act on what they know before serious damage or fatalities occur...
north of the Oklahoma border, Kansas had been experiencing 17 quakes a month during 2014, an increase from none at all in 2012, and the Kansas Geological Survey linked a rather severe swarm, including a 4.1, to brine injection wells earlier this year....by the middle of March, Kansas regulators imposed sharp restrictions on the state's wastewater injection wells in response to the increase in earthquakes, citing an "immediate danger" to public safety as the reason for limiting the pressure that could be used and the volumes of liquid that could be injected.into the state’s injection wells...so far, since the time the regulations went into effect on March 30th, the area of south-central Kansas that had been plagued with quakes has not experienced another quake..
the dozens of earthquakes that began rattling the North Texas towns of Azle and Reno in November 2013 were the subject of the other state level injection well earthquake study that garnered attention this week, as a seismology team led by Southern Methodist University (SMU) in partnership with USGS developed a model for those quakes that indicated fluid pressure differentials resulting from roughly 70 production wells and 2 wastewater injection wells activated old faults in the area northwest of Dallas that hadn't moved in 60 years...in this case, fracking itself was implicated, as the quakes were the result of the combined actions of high fluid injection rates to the west of the faults and high water removal rates to the east where the fracking was taking place...as a result of this study, the Texas Railroad Commission moved to shut down the two wastewater disposal wells in the Barnett Shale that were linked to the seismic activity in the area..
these small state level studies notwithstanding, the real blockbuster report came on Thursday, when the USGS released their seismic hazard model for 2014, which incorporated induced seismicity into the earthquake risks for 17 new areas in the US, including two in our corner of Ohio...although the USGS had instigated and partnered in many studies of injection well quakes, this is the first time the geological survey itself put the Federal agency imprimatur on injection wells as the cause of the increase in earthquakes....this release updates the 2008 National Seismic Hazard Maps which are used by architects and urban planners in assessing the risk in designing cities and building construction, so USGS is, in effect, putting out a warning here that the potential for injection well earthquakes must be considered in these 17 regions....in many of these cases, the injection of fracking fluids were attributed to have awakened faults that have not moved in millions of years...
although much of the 14.4 MB PDF Report from USGS discusses the methodology of how they arrived at the new seismic risk maps for various regions of the US, using formulas and references that are above my pay grade, there are some images and tables we can look at from the report which will give us an idea of what they're saying and how it affects us...the first map we'll include below, from page 5 (11 of 75) of the pdf, shows the 17 induced seismicity zones that were identified by this report; obviously, the largest is in Oklahoma, and there are 4 such zones each in both Texas and Colorado where man-made earthquakes are known to have occurred...but note that two of them are in Ohio, and both of those are uncomfortably close to us, in Ashtabula and Youngstown...each of those 17 zones where injection well earthquakes have occurred are further described in a table on page 13 (18 of 75) within the report, where they are named and located, the peer-reviewed study that tied the earthquake to pressures induced by injection injection wells is cited, and largest quake and the time window when the quakes occurred is listed...for Youngstown, the period has been between 2011 and 2014, and includes all of the fracking related earthquakes we've discussed in this forum, with the largest quake the new year's eve quake of 2011, which we wrote about here...for Ashtabula, the injection well earthquakes they reference were previously unknown to me as being man-made, and occurred between 1987 and 2007, with the largest a 3.9 magnitude induced quake that occurred during January of 2001...the USGS now considers that earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater are now 100 times more likely to occur in these 17 areas than they considered were likely previous to this new assessment...
USGS map of known man-made earthquake zones:
the next graphic from the report that we found instructive is a set of 17 graphs showing when and how many man-made earthquakes occurred in each of the 17 induced seismicity zones that this report highlights, which is taken from page 7 (13 of 75) of the pdf report...note that many of these injection induced quakes predate fracking, and the first known incident of an injection well induced earthquake, at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado, didn't even involve the injection of brine, as the army was injecting much more hazardous waste underground there when that series of quakes occurred, which tailed off after they stopped injection and withdrew fluids...also note that only quakes greater than 2.7 are indicated below, and the color coding indicates the USGS catalog that references each of the quakes...again, we know the nature of the Youngstown quakes from our earlier discussions, but the Ashtabula quakes all appear to have occurred prior to taking in waste from Pennsylvania fracking, a time when at least a half dozen wells in the area were disposing of the copious quantities of brine that were associated with the gas wells being operated in the area at that time..note that the scale for each graph is different, with the two Ohio locations just showing a handful of quakes, while the central Oklahoma graph shows the number of injection well induced quakes spiking towards the 1000 mark...
historical man-made earthquake graphs:
that Ashtabula county has been identified as a seismically hazardous area due to induced injection wells earthquakes immediately brought to mind the Perry nuclear power plant, on the lake Erie shore, merely 5 miles to the west...as we have previously discussed, the 4.9 earthquake that stuck the Lake-Geauga county border due south of Perry on January 31st in 1986 earthquake produced ground motion at the Perry Nuclear Power plant that exceeded its SSE design specifications, and it was thus automatically shut down...at that time, i was involved in a county wide effort to stop CEI (now First Energy) from building another 345 KV transmission line corridor through the middle of Geauga county, from Perry to the Hanna substation near Ravenna, and hence i was fairly attentive to what was occurring at Perry...in talking to area politicians and geologists, i found there was considerable speculation that the 1986 Perry quake may have itself been the result of an injection well nearby, although i have to admit that at the time, the idea of a man-made earthquake seemed like a far fetched conspiracy theory to me..
later, when i was made aware that injection wells were still being operated in this area, i checked the literature to see if a connection between injected brine and that 1986 quake had been established...while it has been addressed on several occasions, the connection between the Perry quake and nearby injection wells still seemed to be inconclusive...the following links to abstracts from two papers from the journal Geology below are typical:
- Earthquakes, injection wells, and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Cleveland, Ohio: On January 31, 1986, an earthquake of Richter magnitude 4.9 occurred in northeastern Ohio some 17.0 km south of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant (PNPP) and 12.0 km south of the Calhio injection wells. Accelerometers on site at the PNPP recorded accelerations as high as 0.19 to 0.23 g. Many instruments tripped due to high-amplitude vibrations. Microearthquake networks have recorded 16 microearthquakes within 5.0 km of the injection wells with focal depths ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 km. A hydrological model of an anisotropic reservoir 7.2 km wide and 18.4 km long indicates a pressure buildup of 5.3 MPa at the epicenter and 11.8 MPa at the injection well. The assumption of an anisotropic reservoir is consistent with available geophysical and geologic data. A pressure increase of 11.8 MPa, based on stress ratio estimates in crustal rocks in the region, is more than sufficient to induce failure to a depth of 5.0 km. Furthermore, brittle faults and extensive fracture permeability within the basement rocks would allow for the migration of pressure transients to hypocentral distances. The indicated pressure buildup of 5.3 MPa at the epicenter may have been sufficient to trigger the January 31, 1986, earthquake.
- The northeastern Ohio earthquake of 31 January 1986: Was it induced? - On 31 January 1986, at 11:46 EST, an earthquake of mb = 5.0 occurred about 40 km east of Cleveland, Ohio, and about 17 km south of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. The earthquake was felt over a broad area, including 11 states, the District of Columbia, and parts of Ontario, Canada, caused intensity VI-VII at distances of 15 km, and generated relatively high accelerations (0.18 g) of short duration at the Perry plant. Thirteen aftershocks were detected as of 15 April, with six occurring within the first 8 days. Two of the aftershocks were felt. Magnitudes for the aftershocks ranged from about 0.5 to 2.5. Focal depths for all of the earthquakes ranged from 2 to 6 km. Except for one small earthquake, all of the aftershocks occurred in a very tight cluster with a north-northeast orientation. Focal mechanisms of the aftershocks exhibit predominantly oblique right-slip motion on nearly vertical nodal planes oriented N15° to 45°E, with a nearly horizontal P axis north of east.
- Three deep waste disposal wells are currently operating within 15 km of the epicentral region and have been responsible for the injection of nearly 1.2 billion liters of fluid at pressures reaching 112 bars above ambient at a nominal depth of 1.8 km. Estimates of stress inferred from commercial hydrofracturing measurements suggest that the state of stress in northeastern Ohio is close to the theoretical threshold for failure along favorably oriented, preexisting fractures. This implies that effective stress conditions near the bottom of the two most active wells may be at or near the critical level for incipient failure. Two and, possibly, three earthquakes have occurred within less than 5 km from the wells since 1983. The relative distance to the main shock epicenter and its aftershocks (about 12 km), the lack of large numbers of small earthquakes typical of many induced sequences, the history of small to moderate earthquakes in the region prior to the initiation of injection, and the attenuation of the pressure field with distance from the injection wells, however, all argue for a “natural” origin for the 1986 earthquakes. In contrast, the proximity to failure conditions at the bottom of the well and the probable spatial association of at least one earthquake suggest that triggering by well activities cannot be precluded.
in NRC studies after the Fukushima meltdown, Perry Nuclear was found to be the US nuclear plant most likely to suffer core damage in an earthquake, and that study was conducted based on the 2008 seismic hazard maps, which obviously did not even take into account what we now know about induced seismicity from the area's injection wells...unlike the power plants in California, Perry was not built to withstand an earthquake the size of the Oklahoma injection well induced quake, and while Perry was able to withstand a 4.9 quake when it was a new plant operating at partial power in 1986, it's questionable whether it could withstand quakes as large as 5.3 or 5.7, which by my calculations would be more than 15 times destructive than the 1986 quake...many of the engineered components of the Perry plant were designed to last 40 years, and in some cases of planned obsolescence, not one day longer...thus the plant that safely shut down in 1986 due to the nearby 4.9 earthquake might not do so today under similar circumstances..
unfortunately, our captive ODNR licenses injection wells as a lucrative side line, making 5 cents a barrel on injected in-state waste, and tipping fees of 20 cents a barrel on out of state waste, incentivizing them to encourage other states to dump their waste into Ohio bedrocks...we know of at least 14 injection wells that are apparently still being operated in Ashtabula county, assuming those that were operation as of July of 2012 are still operating...that includes 3 in Lenox, 2 in New Lyme, 2 in Monroe, 1 in Piepont, and 6 at the large injection well complex in WIndsor, near the Geauga county line, and near the site of Ohio's first recorded earthquake in 1823...there are also two injection wells being operated in Lake County, in Painesville and in Leroy, 7 miles from the nuclear power plant...since we know from Oklahoma studies that injection wells have caused earthquakes some distance away, in one well studied case snapping three successive fault planes, one after the other, and that it has been shown that the distance of induced quakes increases with the length of time the injection well has been in operation, and that the magnitude of the largest induced earthquakes tends to increase as the total volume of injected wastewater increases...so it seems that ODNR is just sitting on a time bomb in our area by continuing to license and profit from these injection wells, and all we can do is hope that when the next induced quake strikes our corner of the state, it isn't the big one..
(more at Focus on Fracking)
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
New Yorkers are used to aggressive advertising. Banners for breast implants. Billboards for condoms. But a federal judge’s ruling has opened the door for far more controversial posters on buses and subways across the city.
“Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” reads one such ad next to the image of a young man in a checkered headscarf. “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”
The poster is at the center of heated legal debate over public safety and free speech. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ruled that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cannot stop the controversial ad from running on scores of subway cars and buses.
The MTA has argued that the ad could incite violence against Jews, but Koeltl rejected that idea.
MTA officials “underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements,” he ruled. “Moreover, there is no evidence that seeing one of these advertisements on the back of a bus would be sufficient to trigger a violent reaction. Therefore, these ads — offensive as they may be — are still entitled to First Amendment protection.”
Making the case all the stranger is that the posters are not the work of an Islamist group, but rather a pro-Israel organization.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
the fracking related story that received the most media coverage this week was out of Texas, where their House passed HB 40, the so-called "frack anywhere" bill, by an overwhelming vote of 122-18, which would give the state the exclusive right to promote the oil and gas industry and ban any local ordinances or zoning laws that would encumber it ...the Senate still has to take up the measure before it goes to the governor, who has stayed out of the debate...assuming a veto proof bill emerges, it will leave Texas the second state in the nation, after Ohio, where local laws on fracking are trumped by the state, while New York and Maryland have banned fracking completely...however, note that key Senators and House leaders have agreed this week on fast track legislation for the international trade deals we've often mentioned, which will make all those state and local regulations moot...these deals will change everything we know about all environmental regulations, so you might want to review what i wrote about ‘fracking and the TPP’ three weeks ago...
since we missed covering the rig count last week, we'll catch up with that next, as it provides us the clearest and most timely evidence that the frackers are folding up their steel tents and going home, in the face of low oil prices and the oil glut they've brought on themselves....for the week ending April 17th, Baker Hughes reported that we saw a reduction by 34 of the rigs operating in the US; in the prior week, the rig count fell by 40; that left us with 954 rigs operation in the US and offshore as of this weekend, down from 1831 a year earlier and down from 1931 that were in use during the last week of September...of the rigs shut down this week, 26 had been drilling for oil and 8 had been drilling for gas; the prior week saw 42 oil rigs and one miscellaneous rig shut down and 3 gas rigs restarted; this left 734 oil rigs, 217 gas rigs, and 3 miscellaneous rigs still operating at the end of the week....those totals are down from the recent peak of 1609 oil rigs that were operating during the week ending October 10th, and the recent peak of 356 gas rigs that were being run the week of November 11th....of those operating this past week, 917 were based on land, which was down by 34 this week, and down from 993 in the week ending April 3rd; another 4 were on inland waters, which was unchanged over the past two weeks, and 33 were drilling offshore, unchanged this week but up from 31 two weeks ago...of those still operating, 741 were horizontal rigs, 122 were vertical, and 91 were directional; that's down from 799 horizontal, 136 vertical and 93 directional two weeks ago, with the horizontal rig count down from the record 1372 set during the week of November 21st...
the greatest reduction of rigs over the past two weeks was in the Permian basin of west Texas and New Mexico, where 21 rigs were shut down last week and an additional 6 were stacked this week..that left the area with 258 rigs at week end, down 282 from the 540 rigs running there a year ago...other major reductions by field include the Eagle Ford of southeast Texas, where 12 rigs were shut down in the week of April 10th and another two were idled this past week, leaving them with 123 rigs running, down 94 from the year earlier 217, and the Williston, which includes the Bakken shale, where 5 rigs were stacked last week and another 2 were idled this week, leaving them with 84, 101 less than the 185 rigs running there a year earlier...in addition, the Mississippian lime of west Kansas and Oklahoma saw 9 rigs shut down this week after being unchanged last week, leaving them with 31, 43 less than the 71 running there a year ago...the major natural gas play, the Marcellus, saw its major rig reductions when gas prices crashed in 2012, and has seen additional drilling cuts in the low price environment this year, as they finished the week with 69 rigs running, down 1 from two weeks ago and down from 81 in the same week last year...and below that shale layer, there are still 26 rigs drilling into the Utica shale, 11 less than the year ago 37, where 2 rigs were idled this week after 1 was shut down last week...
of the states, Texas, with most active rigs by far, saw the greatest reduction of rigs over the past two weeks, as drillers in that state shut down 29 rigs last week and 15 this week, leaving Texas with 412 rigs still working, down from 884 a year ago...Oklahoma saw 5 rigs shut down in the week ending April 10th and another 6 this week, leaving them with 118 at week end, down 69 from the 187 being run there a year ago...North Dakota saw a reduction of 2 rigs last week and another 5 this week, leaving them with 83 still operating, down 95 from the 178 that were active a year ago..meanwhile, drillers added 5 rigs in Louisiana last week, bringing their total back up to 72, down just 38 from a year ago...Ohio drillers shut down 1 rig each of the last two weeks, leaving us with 25 still drilling, 11 less than a year ago...other states with drilling activity and their current rig counts include New Mexico, with 49 rigs operating, down 2 over the last two weeks and down 40 from 89 a year ago, Pennsylvania, with 48 rigs, down 2 from April 3rd and down 11 from 59 a year ago, Colorado, with 36 rigs this week, down 1 over the past two weeks and down 26 from 62 a year ago, Wyoming, with 23 rigs, down 5 from the 3rd of April and down 26 from 49 a year ago, West Virginia, with 22, unchanged in recent weeks and down 1 from 23 a year ago, Kansas, with 13 rigs, one less than two weeks ago and down from 27 a year ago, California, with 13 rigs, down from two weeks ago and down from 40 a year ago, Alaska, with 12 rigs, down 1 this week but up from 9 a year ago, Arkansas, with 8 rigs, unchanged over two weeks but down from 12 a year ago, and Utah, with 7 rigs, down 1 this week and down 20 from 27 a year ago...
understand that the year ago count on the basins or for the states don't indicate the peak count for each; for instance, the recent California rig count peaked at 48 during the week of May 30th, 2014, while the Utica shale saw as many as 50 rigs actively drilling into it during the week of December 12th last year...for such complete details, Baker Hughes provides the North America Rotary Rig Count (Jan 2000 - Current), an Excel file which includes rig counts for each basin under tab 2, and weekly rig counts for each state under tab 3...most of the material Baker Hughes provides is fairly dense, which is why the media usually relies on the press releases..
that file also provides the Canadian rig count by province, weekly since March 2003...while we'll spare you the details, suffice it to say that the aggregate Canadian rig count fell by 20 over the last two weeks, and they now have just 80 rigs in operation, 77 of which are in the western provinces and 3 of which are offshore Newfoundland..that's down from the 199 rigs that were operating in Canada in the same week a year ago, with Canadian oil rigs down 65 to 20 and gas rigs down 54 to 60...in the week ending February 21st of last year, Canadian operators were running 632 rigs, and as recently as December 12th they still had 431 running...so the collapse of the Canadian oil & gas industry is the largely untold story of this year, a sequence we could have predicted Thanksgiving week, when we noted that Canadian oil was some of the most expensive on the planet...
in addition to it's regular weekly North American rig count data release, last week Baker Hughes also reported on International rig counts for March, which indicated that the average international rig count for March was at 1,251, down 24 from the 1,275 they counted in February, and down 94 from the 1,345 they counted in March a year ago...including North America, the worldwide active rig count for March averaged 2,557, down 429 from the average of 2,986 counted in February, and down 1,040 from the 3,597 counted in March 2014....for March, they counted 351 active rigs in Latin America, down 4 from February and down 55 from a year ago, with 284 of those land based, an increase of 1 from last month but a reduction of 53 land based rigs from a year ago, while 67 rigs were operating offshore in Central and South America, down from 72 in February but just two fewer than the year ago count of 69...they also show 407 rigs operating in the Middle East, down 8 from February but up 6 from the year ago count of 401; of those, 355 were land based, down from 367 last month, but up from 350 a year ago, and 52 were offshore, up from 48 in February and from 51 a year ago....other areas reported on included the Asia-Pacific region, where the active rig count of 233 was down 7 for the month and down 25 for the year, with 102 of those operating offshore, Europe, where the rig count of 135 was an increase of 2 from February but down from 148 a year ago, and Africa, where the 125 rigs being operated was down 7 from February and also down 7 from the year ago count...
despite the fact that our oil rig count is down nearly 55% over the last 6 months, our production of oil fell during the week ending April 10th for only the 3rd time this year, slipping to 9,384,000 barrels a day from 9,404,000 barrels a day the prior week...while that's down 0.4% from the near term record of 9,422,000 barrels of day output set in the 3rd week in March, it's still 13% higher than the 8,301,000 barrels a day that were being produced in the 2nd week of April a year ago...even with our lower oil production and a ramp up of refinery activity, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased during the same week, as they were up by 1.3 million barrels to a new record of 483.7 million barrels...and although our imports of crude oil were down this week by 1.07 million barrels a day to 7.15 million barrels a day, the weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) reports our crude oil imports have still averaged over 7.5 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, 0.2% above the same four-week period last year...
finally, there's one graph we want to include here, which comes from a pdf booklet of graphs published this week by Reuters energy analysis John Kemp...on several occasions, when citing oil prices, we've made an attempt to explain that the oil price we quote, the same oil price that you often see quoted in the news, is for WTI, or "West Texas Intermediate", which is the benchmark for US light sweet oil at or to be delivered to the oil storage depot in Cushing Oklahoma, and that wellhead prices might differ, depending on transportation costs, specific gravity and sulfur content (ie, "sour" crude)…the graph below shows exactly how that has played out over the past 6 months for two important fracking crude oil grades, and for the two benchmark prices that are most often quoted…in the graph below, the quoted WTI price, which is actually a price quote in dollars per barrel for a contract to deliver oil the next month, is shown in brown, and the price for a similar contract to deliver North Sea Brent oil, the global benchmark price, is shown in green...in addition, the same graph has six months of wellhead price quotes for oil produced in the Eagle Ford of southeast Texas shown by the dashed brown line, and wellhead prices for sweet Williston crude, typically from the Bakken shale in North Dakota, shown by a dotted line graph...what we can note here is that while oil from the field has been priced lower than the benchmark, it fairly much moves along the same track, with the difference, or the discount from the benchmark, remaining pretty tight over time, with Eagle Ford crude roughly $4 a barrel less than WTI, and Bakken crude, with its high transportation costs, discounted by around $17...meanwhile, the relationship between US prices (WTI) and the international benchmark Brent is more volatile, with Brent even dropping below the WTI price for a time in January...we should also make note that a benchmark oil price is not always the highest price for oil; for instance, higher quality Nigerian and Algerian crude grades have often sold for a premium over the Brent price...
after we 'went to press', so to speak, with our main link aggregation on Saturday, we learned of two pipeline spills that occurred on Friday that we missed in our last scan of our newsfeeds that day, and hence were not included in our accompanying links...the first was of a rupture of a pipeline belonging to Phillips 66 that allowed roughly 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel to flow into the Mississippi river about 20 miles north of St Louis before the source of the leak was secured...as of this writing, the Mississippi river has been closed from mile marker 160 to 195, with no timeline on when it would be reopened....the second pipeline rupture was more explosive, as a 12 inch gas pipeline transversing a California sheriff’s gun range exploded, sending a fireball over 100 feet into the air, injuring 11 inmates who were doing forced labor nearby, two of them critically...in this case California Highway 99 was closed until the situation was brought under control, while rail traffic had to be re-routed as the heat from the flames warped 400 feet of track...speaking of track, as far as we know, there were no oil bomb train derailments of note this past week, although two trains carrying ammonia, one in Colorado, and one in South Carolina, did jump their tracks and spill their loads, resulting in evacuations of nearby residents...
(from Focus on Fracking, where there is more)
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Every other Saturday the Goodwill has a 50% off sale for the entire store.
The doors open at 9 A.M. sharp.
Must have been 50 people waiting in line to get in.
Lots of families buying clothes for their children.
Its the American new norm, adapt or perish.
T D M
Friday, April 17, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) signed a deal with Iraq on Wednesday worth $11 billion to build a petrochemicals plant in the southern oil hub of Basra, boosting the country's aim to become a major regional energy player and diversify its income.
Industry Minister Nasser al-Esawi told a news conference the Nibras complex, which is expected to come online within five to six years, would make his country the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East.
Iraq, which relies on oil for more than 90 percent of its revenue, has been hit hard by the steep fall in global oil prices since June, with Brent crude now hovering around $50 a barrel.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last week he feared lower revenues from oil could hurt Iraq's military campaign against the Islamic State militants who swept across northern Iraq last summer, prompting U.S.-led airstrikes.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The Eisenhower Administration and the Discovery of Dimona: March 1958-January 1961 By Avner Cohen and William Burr
Israel has never signed the NPT.
The time has come to sanction Israel until they acknowlege and dismantle their nukes.
Israel has nukes, Iran does not. So who exactly is the clear and present danger in the middle east?
T D M