Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEWS  |  Saudis Plan Unprecedented Subsidy Cuts to Counter Oil Plunge  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Saudis Plan Unprecedented Subsidy Cuts to Counter Oil Plunge  |  Rigzone: "Confronting a drop in oil prices and mounting regional turmoil, Saudi Arabia reduced energy subsidies and allocated the biggest part of government spending in next year’s budget to defense and security. Authorities announced increases to the prices of fuel, electricity and water as part of a plan to restructure subsidies within five years. The government intends to cut spending next year and gradually privatize some state-owned entities and introduce value-added-taxation as well as a levy on tobacco. The biggest shake-up of Saudi economic policy in recent history coincides with growing regional unrest, including a war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling pro-Iranian Shiite rebels. In attempting to reduce its reliance on oil, the kingdom is seeking to put an end to the population’s dependence on government handouts, a move that political analysts had considered risky after the 2011 revolts that swept parts of the Middle East. “This is the beginning of the end of the era of free money,” said Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of London-based consulting firm Cornerstone Global Associates. “Saudi society will have to get used to a new way of working with the government. This is a wake-up call for both Saudi society and the government that things are changing.”"

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

At Least 32 Dead in Worst Offshore Disaster since Piper Alpha - Oil and Gas News

At Least 32 Dead in Worst Offshore Disaster since Piper Alpha - Oil and Gas News: "Oil and Gas People has learned that at least 32 People are dead in what has been hailed one of the worst offshore disasters since Piper Alpha. The incident in the Caspian Sea yesterday happened on Platform 10 on the Guneshli field offshore Azerbaijan. It is believed severe weather ruptured a gas line causing an explosion and huge fire that engulfed the platform. Rescue was hindered due to 8m waves and strong winds. Just a few hours after the incident and as Oil and Gas People were getting reports of people trapped in lifeboats blown against the platform, a spokesman for the State Oil Company (SOCAR) went on record saying that everyone had been safely evacuated. The region is notorious for controlling the media and very little information has been released by SOCAR who have declined to take our calls."

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Russian foreign minster calls plane downing ‘planned provocation’ - The Washington Post

Russian foreign minster calls plane downing ‘planned provocation’ - The Washington Post: "The Kremlin sharpened its accusations Wednesday in the wake of Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane, as Moscow’s top diplomat called the incident a “planned provocation” that has dealt a major blow to already fragile relations with NATO. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also tamped down speculation of a military response by Russia after the jet broke apart in flames along the Turkish-Syrian border. “We’re not going to war against Turkey,” he said after talks with his Turkish counterpart."

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance | TechCrunch

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance | TechCrunch: "Well that took no time at all. Intelligence agencies rolled right into the horror and fury in the immediate wake of the latest co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital on Friday, to launch their latest co-ordinated assault on strong encryption — and on the tech companies creating secure comms services — seeking to scapegoat end-to-end encryption as the enabling layer for extremists to perpetrate mass murder. There’s no doubt they were waiting for just such an ‘opportune moment’ to redouble their attacks on encryption after recent attempts to lobby for encryption-perforating legislation foundered. (A strategy confirmed by a leaked email sent by the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt, this August — and subsequently obtained by the Washington Post — in which he anticipated that a “very hostile legislative environment… could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement”. Et voila Paris… ) Speaking to CBS New at the weekend in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said: “I think this is going to open an entire new debate about security versus privacy.”"

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Greater Lafourche Port Commission wins national environment award

Greater Lafourche Port Commission wins national environment award: "At its regular board meeting, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission showcased its latest national award for environmental restoration and recognized Nicholls State University as a valuable partner on the award-winning project. The Port Commission was awarded the 2015 Environmental Enhancement Award by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) for its Beach and Dune Restoration Geotube Project, which restored approximately one mile of beach and dune habitat at Port Fourchon. Fourchon Beach is the first line of defense for Port Fourchon, which services over 90% of all deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production, accounting for approximately 20% of the nation's energy supply. The Fourchon Beach area sustained extensive damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac. The Port Commission's project restored approximately one mile of this critical beach and dune habitat by utilizing over 250,000 cubic yards of sand to fill and cover a 30-ft diameter "geotube." Geotubes are large fabric mesh tubes pumped full of a sand and water mixture. The water is able to seep through and escape the mesh, leaving only extremely hard-packed sand behind in the tube and creating a solid barrier, which is then covered with more sand and vegetated."

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NEWS  |  Crowdfunding Platform Officially Launches  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Crowdfunding Platform Officially Launches  |  Rigzone: "EnergyFunders LLC, a crowdfunding platform that will allow accredited and non-accredited investors to invest directly in oil and gas projects, officially launched this week. The company has already funded some projects that are producing oil, but the company had reached a point where officials determined they had gotten the process and the user experience to the point where EnergyFunders felt ready to announce to the broader public that it’s open for business, Philip Racusin, CEO and co-founder of EnergyFunders LLC, told Rigzone."

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Friday, November 6, 2015

FireEye Shares Tank 14% After Hours On Sales Miss | TechCrunch

FireEye Shares Tank 14% After Hours On Sales Miss | TechCrunch: "Cybersecurity and malware protection company FireEye on Wednesday reported its third quarter sales were $165.6 million, compared to the $167.13 million Wall Street expected. Despite missing on sales, the company’s losses were not as high as analysts expected. Wall Street thought the company would lose 45 cents per share, but instead the company posted a loss of 37 cents per share. Investors have overlooked FireEye’s losses in the past due to healthy revenue growth. However that growth has slowed in recent quarters, causing shares to plummet. Today’s low sales number sent stocks diving 14 percent in extended trading."

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Joe Biden not running for president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Joe Biden not running for president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: "Vice President Joe Biden announced from the Rose Garden at the White House on Wednesday that he will not run for president. Flanked by his wife Dr. Jill Biden and President Barack Obama, Joe Biden said that the window of opportunity for his candidacy has passed. "As the family and I have worked through the grieving process, I have said all along and time again what I have said to others that the process by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president that it might close. I have concluded it has closed," Biden said."

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Activist Group Pushing For Removal Of New Orleans’ Monuments Tied To #BlackLivesMatter | The Hayride

Activist Group Pushing For Removal Of New Orleans’ Monuments Tied To #BlackLivesMatter | The Hayride: "An activist group seeking the removal of four Confederate-related monuments in New Orleans apparently has ties to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The group “STAND With Dignity” is a partner group under the “New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice” group, which often holds rallies comprised for immigrant and illegal immigrants demanding the state to cease deportations. STAND With Dignity often uses Twitter to promote the hashtags #BlackWorkersMatter and #BlackLivesMatter. And they usually get what the want. Most recently, the group was successful in lobbying the New Orleans City Council to increase the city’s minimum wage to $10.55 per hour, a plan bound to hurt businesses across the city, as it has happened in Seattle, Washington."

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NEWS  |  Angered by Air Strikes, Turkey's Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Ties  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Angered by Air Strikes, Turkey's Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Ties  |  Rigzone: " President Tayyip Erdogan, angered by Russian incursions into Turkish air space, has warned Russia there are other places Turkey could get natural gas and other countries that could build its first nuclear plant. Russian aircraft twice entered Turkish air space at the weekend as Moscow carried out air strikes in Syria. Turkish F-16 jets have also been harassed by Syrian-based missile systems and unidentified planes since then. "We can't accept the current situation. Russia's explanations on the air space violations are not convincing," the Turkish daily Sabah and other media quoted Erdogan as telling reporters as he flew to Japan for an official visit. Russia's air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad's forces have shifted the balance of power in the Syrian conflict and dealt a blow to Turkey's aspirations of seeing Assad removed from power. But beyond protesting, there is little Turkey can do."

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jet, Now Raising, Ditches Its Membership Fees But Says Profitability Still On Track For 2020 | TechCrunch

Jet, Now Raising, Ditches Its Membership Fees But Says Profitability Still On Track For 2020 | TechCrunch: ", the discount shopping site promising to take on Amazon by competing on lower prices, has made a fairly radical change to its business, the company announced this morning. Instead of charging members an annual fee of $50, similar to the fee associated with Amazon’s “Prime” membership program, Jet says it will now drop the fee entirely. While initially good news for price-conscious online shoppers who now will no longer have to pay to take advantage of Jet’s savings, the removal of the fee will impact Jet’s business model and path to profitability. Founder and CEO Marc Lore, who sold his e-commerce company Quidsi, including and other sites, to Amazon for $545 million back in 2010, had said earlier that Jet’s model would work when it reached $20 billion in products per year – something it hoped to do by 2020. At that point, the founder said Jet would have 15 million paying customers, or $750 million in membership revenues. Now that membership revenues are off the table, Jet will instead have to generate revenue on its sales – just like other e-commerce sites do. That also raises the question of when Jet – a business that’s backed by $220 million in funding, according to CrunchBase, will now hit profitability. According to Jet’s Chief Customer Officer, Liza Landsman, however, the timing of Jet’s profitability isn’t’ actually being affected. Now, it’s more like the site is shifting where its revenues come from, by moving from direct fees to slightly higher upfront prices."

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Announcing The Startups Pitching At The NOLA TC Meetup + Pitch-Off (Judges, Too!) | TechCrunch

Announcing The Startups Pitching At The NOLA TC Meetup + Pitch-Off (Judges, Too!) | TechCrunch: "TechCrunch is back on the road again with the upcoming New Orleans Meetup + Pitch-Off, in conjunction with Nola Tech Week, and we’ve finally made selections on which startups will have a chance to hop on stage and pitch. Seven companies will have exactly sixty seconds to pitch their wares to a panel of expert judges and a ready-and-waiting audience in a fight to win the opportunity to attend the next TC Disrupt, with First Place receiving a table in Startup Alley. We’ve been holding out on telling you who to expect, but no longer. Without any further ado, I’m proud to announce the companies participating in the TC Meetup + Pitch-off in New Orleans on October 8 at 6:00 pm at People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market on 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. CityKey Pupular ThatSoundsCool Meusu Echo Fantastic Casket Locally"

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Freeport-McMoRan may spin off oil and gas business

Freeport-McMoRan may spin off oil and gas business: "Freeport-McMoRan is undertaking a review of strategic alternatives for its oil and gas business, the Phoenix-based company said. According to a statement released Tuesday, Freeport is reviewing a number of options, with the aim of making Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas (FM O&G) self-funding. Earlier this year, Freeport indicated that it would be willing sell a minority interest in its oil and gas business in an initial public offering, and, according to the statement, the offering remains one of the options under review. "

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Today, all stores in the US should accept chip-and-PIN cards. Yeah, right. | Ars Technica

Today, all stores in the US should accept chip-and-PIN cards. Yeah, right. | Ars Technica: "On top of this, the US credit card industry isn't fully upgrading to the most secure version of EMV. Although new credit cards will have a chip that generates a new code every time the card is used at a terminal, guarding those cards from fraudsters who collect credit card numbers wholesale and reuse them on counterfeit credit cards, card users are also encouraged to set up a PIN and input that number after every transaction. But issuers like J.P. Morgan Chase and Discover will still allow customers to use a signature to authenticate transactions, and signatures can be forged more easily than PINs. "US bank executives said they are choosing the signature version so customers won’t be burdened at the checkout line to remember a new four-digit code," the Wall Street Journal reported in January. Julie Conroy, research director for retail banking at Aite Group, told that "It will probably take two to three years to fully convert to chip-and-PIN.""

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity | TechCrunch

Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity | TechCrunch: "There is a disease destroying our young people. It is silent, malignant, and fatal. It is called Minecraft and something must be done. If you have children of a certain age chances are they have made a giant Pikachu out of yellow blocks or put up a signpost that says “Poop Here” next to a chicken pen. It is truly terrible. But there is hope. With Piper, we can turn Minecraft into something more exciting. The kit lets kids create circuits in real life and then see how they interact in Minecraft. It lets you, for example, add a battery and a button to a breadboard and see those parts pop up on the screen. Electricity flowing through virtual wires simulates what is happening in real life. In short, what you make on screen happens in real life and vice versa – sort of. Watch the video to really understand it."

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John Boehner to resign as House speaker

John Boehner to resign as House speaker: "John Boehner will resign as House speaker and from his Ohio congressional seat at the end of October, according to a statement from his office. His resignation will take effect on Oct. 30."

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Landmark and Palantir Solutions form strategic alliance

Landmark and Palantir Solutions form strategic alliance: "Landmark, a Halliburton business line, and Palantir Solutions have formed an alliance to develop a fully integrated economics, planning and decision support framework. The joint solutions will be aimed at helping E&P companies respond more effectively to changes in technical data and market conditions. This responsiveness, in the face of uncertainty, will help enable companies to more effectively manage economic risk and increase the returns on their portfolio of investments. The current market outlook for the oil and gas industry indicates the need for a more efficient decision support system to improve petroleum investment lifecycle management. Connecting Landmark's DecisionSpace software directly to the Palantir PlanningSpace will create end-to-end petro technical and economic workflows. Operators will be able to continuously calibrate surface and subsurface risks with economics to implement planning workflows that are integrated, collaborative and dynamic."

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Study: Are we shifting to fewer, weaker Atlantic hurricanes? - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Study: Are we shifting to fewer, weaker Atlantic hurricanes? - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: "A new but controversial study asks if an end is coming to the busy Atlantic hurricane seasons of recent decades. The Atlantic looks like it is entering in to a new quieter cycle of storm activity, like in the 1970s and 1980s, two prominent hurricane researchers wrote Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists at Colorado State University, including the professor who pioneered hurricane seasonal prognostication, say they are seeing a localized cooling and salinity level drop in the North Atlantic near Greenland. Those conditions, they theorize, change local weather and ocean patterns and form an on-again, off-again cycle in hurricane activity that they trace back to the late 1800s. Warmer saltier produces periods of more and stronger storms followed by cooler less salty water triggering a similar period of fewer and weaker hurricanes, the scientists say. The periods last about 25 years, sometimes more, sometimes less. The busy cycle that just ended was one of the shorter ones, perhaps because it was so strong that it ran out of energy, said study lead author Phil Klotzbach. Klotzbach said since about 2012 there's been more localized cooling in the key area and less salt, suggesting a new, quieter period. But Klotzbach said it is too soon to be certain that one has begun. "We're just asking the question," he said."

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Acer’s Arduino-based Cloud Professor wants to get kids into the IoT | Ars Technica

Acer’s Arduino-based Cloud Professor wants to get kids into the IoT | Ars Technica: "How do you get a younger generation, one raised on a seemingly endless supply of smartphones, tablets, and PCs, into not just using such devices, but finding out how they work too? Small development boards like the Raspberry Pi have done wonders for getting kids (and curious adults) into creating all manner of interesting hardware and software. The upcoming BBC Micro:bit promises to go a stage further, too, by giving every Year 7 student in the UK—about a million kids aged 11 to 12—their own Micro:bit board to play with. But there's another take on the development board, and it's come from the unlikeliest of places: electronics giant Acer. Buried deep within its stand at IFA 2015 in Berlin is a unique development kit called Cloud Professor. It contains the obligatory Arduino board, as well as a variety of accessories, including a USB to GPIO adaptor, a control LED, and even a dust sensor. But rather than just offer yet another way to program things on an Arduino board, the Acer kit also contains a separate module that allows the board to talk to other devices over the Internet. Essentially, it's an Internet of Things development kit that links into Acer's cloud platform, allowing tinkerers to control various aspects of their connected device via a smartphone or tablet. Because that's often a complex task (particularly for the younger age group the kit is aimed at), Acer is providing a set of apps that automatically communicate with the Cloud Professor module. This lets users concentrate on creating cool stuff, rather than mucking about with cloud protocols."

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Louisiana School-To-Prison Pipeline Breaks, Spilling Hopeless Kids Into Swamp | THE PUSH POLE

Louisiana School-To-Prison Pipeline Breaks, Spilling Hopeless Kids Into Swamp | THE PUSH POLE: "America’s crumbling infrastructure took another hit today when the pipeline connecting Louisiana’s schools to its prison industrial complex busted, sending poor, under-educated teens sprawling into empty swampland in Avoyelles Parish."

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Oil caps biggest three-day gain since 1990 as OPEC ready to talk

Oil caps biggest three-day gain since 1990 as OPEC ready to talk: "Oil capped the biggest three-day gain in 25 years after OPEC said it’s ready to talk to other global producers to achieve ‘fair prices’ and the U.S. government reduced its crude output estimates. Crude traded in New York surged 27% in three days, the most since August 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent benchmarks have climbed more than 20% from their closing low on Aug. 24, meeting the common definition of a bull market. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for about 40% of the world’s supply, said in a monthly publication it’s willing to talk, “but this has to be on a level playing field.” Prices erased last week’s drop to a six-year low as the OPEC comments and signs that the U.S. shale boom is fading faster provided optimism that a global supply glut will evaporate sooner than estimated. A measure of oil-price fluctuations rose to a five-month high as traders sought protection from market swings. “The market turned around on two pieces of news,” Phil Flynn, senior market analyst for Price Futures Group Inc. in Chicago, said by phone. "The EIA cut its U.S. output estimates and OPEC says its ready to talk to others about cutting output.""

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Man Forced To Throw Back Bull Red That Self-Identifies As 11-Inch Speckled Trout. | THE PUSH POLE

Man Forced To Throw Back Bull Red That Self-Identifies As 11-Inch Speckled Trout. | THE PUSH POLE: "Unfortunately for Galliano angler Willie Bergeron, the mammoth fish he hauled in yesterday morning was actually a delicate 11-inch spec trapped inside the body of a 31-inch bull red. Stephanie Bergeron, his very intelligent and sunburned daughter, broke the news to him after netting the leviathan. It was their tenth redfish of the day, setting them at their limit. After pretending to hold a telepathic conversation with the gasping, flopping beast, she broke the news to her father, informing him that they have to release the fish or the game wardens would throw him into a FEMA camp for a hate crime."

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Flying robots replace oil roughnecks

Flying robots replace oil roughnecks: "Oil rig inspection is a dangerous business. Traditionally roughnecks dangled from a wire, in gale-force winds if needed, to manually log wear and tear on the girders. Assessments include giant chimneys—called flare stacks—that belch fire during million-dollar-a-day shut-downs. Increasingly, the industry has found that swapping abseiling humans for small drones equipped with high-definition and thermal cameras can save time, cut costs and improve safety. "These are large metal structures in a big pond of sea water. They will rust a lot, particularly in the North Sea where rigs designed to last 20 years are lasting more than 40. They are continually getting cracks and physical damage from the waves and need to be refurbished and fixed," explains Chris Blackford, Sky Futures' COO."

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Flying robots replace oil roughnecks

Flying robots replace oil roughnecks: "Oil rig inspection is a dangerous business. Traditionally roughnecks dangled from a wire, in gale-force winds if needed, to manually log wear and tear on the girders. Assessments include giant chimneys—called flare stacks—that belch fire during million-dollar-a-day shut-downs. Increasingly, the industry has found that swapping abseiling humans for small drones equipped with high-definition and thermal cameras can save time, cut costs and improve safety. "These are large metal structures in a big pond of sea water. They will rust a lot, particularly in the North Sea where rigs designed to last 20 years are lasting more than 40. They are continually getting cracks and physical damage from the waves and need to be refurbished and fixed," explains Chris Blackford, Sky Futures' COO."

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NEWS  |  Oil Tumbles Up To 6% To New Lows As China Fears Intensify Rout  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Oil Tumbles Up To 6% To New Lows As China Fears Intensify Rout  |  Rigzone: "Oil's weeks-long slump accelerated sharply on Monday with prices tumbling as much as 6 percent to fresh 6-1/2-year lows as a renewed dive in the Chinese equities market sent global financial markets into a tailspin. A near 9-percent fall in China shares roiled global markets and sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 1,000 points in early trading. Wall Street pared losses by mid-morning, briefly easing oil's slide, but a second wave of selling re-emerged in the afternoon. Oil's biggest one-day drop in nearly two months suggested that worst-case fears over the economic outlook in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, have eclipsed immediate signs of persistent oversupply as the main motivator. "Today's falls are not about oil market fundamentals. It's all about China," Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. "The fear is of a hard landing and that things get out of the control of the Chinese authorities." Brent October crude fell $2.77, or 6.1 percent, to settle at $42.69 a barrel, after plunging to a contract low of $42.51, the lowest front-month price since March 2009. Prices extended losses in after-hours trading, as the U.S. S&P Index fell by more than 4 percent at one point."

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Oil-stock plunge erases $17 billion as Exxon hits 5-year low

Oil-stock plunge erases $17 billion as Exxon hits 5-year low: "Oil and gas producers dropped to their lowest level in almost four years as collapsing markets in China heightened concern that demand will falter, aggravating a glut. An index of 40 energy explorers, refiners and drillers lost $17 billion in value, declining 2.1% at 12:49 p.m. in New York trading. The group earlier tumbled as much as 5.5% to the lowest since October 2011. The slide extended Exxon Mobil Corp.’s year-to-date decline to 24%, putting the world’s biggest oil producer by market value on track for the poorest annual performance since at least 1981. Stocks around the world plunged as a rout that began with the Aug. 11 devaluation of China’s yuan rippled through European and U.S. markets. Commodities fell to a 16-year low, Treasury yields dipped and U.S. crude fell below $38/bbl for the first time since February 2009. “It’s a bloodbath,” said Mark Hanson, an analyst who follows U.S. crude explorers at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. “We’re at an intersection of a lot of bad news.”"

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NEWS  |  DW: Saudi Arabia Hit by Low Oil Prices, Faces Difficult Decisions  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  DW: Saudi Arabia Hit by Low Oil Prices, Faces Difficult Decisions  |  Rigzone: "Douglas-Westwood, an energy business strategy, research and commercial due diligence services provider, commented in its latest edition of DW Monday that low global crude prices have hit Saudi Arabia hard. With a considerable budget deficit, Saudi has been forced to begin borrowing from capital markets – $4 billion in July. The kingdom is highly reliant on oil – accounting for more than 90 percent of budget revenues. Cuts have not been made to capital expenditure and Saudi has engaged in an expensive conflict within Yemen. Consequently, the decision to ride out lower prices has put a huge strain on finances – the IMF (International Monetary Fund) estimates $50 oil will lead to a deficit of ~$140 billion (20 percent of GDP) this year. Plugging holes in the budget with bond issues is the clearest sign yet that the kingdom is feeling the pinch, the question is, how long can it continue?"

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Monday, August 3, 2015

WellAware launches Chemical Management Solutions to reduce oilfield operating costs and optimize production

WellAware launches Chemical Management Solutions to reduce oilfield operating costs and optimize production: "WellAware has launched the WellAware Chemical Management and WellAware Chemical Optimization products. Designed for E&P and chemical service companies, the new products reduce operating costs, minimize pump and well downtime, and optimize production. Matt Harrison, CEO for WellAware, said, "Our customers asked us to help them more effectively manage their production chemical programs. It's a huge opportunity -- both to increase production and significantly reduce operating costs, as production chemicals are typically one of the three highest expenditures for an operator. WellAware's Chemical Management and Chemical Optimization solutions streamline chemical management processes so that operators and chemical service companies can spend less and implement more effective programs." Traditionally, monitoring of chemical tanks and pumps has been a completely manual process. Technicians drive to each well site to check the status of the treatment and frequently find issues including low tank levels, leaks, inoperable pumps, and over/under target injection rates. These issues result in not only high labor, transportation, and chemical costs, but also significantly impact downtime and production levels. "For example, low injection of paraffin inhibitors or H2S scavengers can increase required well remediation treatments and well shut-ins, preventing operators from hitting their production targets," added Harrison. "WellAware helps address these challenges by providing reliable data collection, exception-based monitoring and control, and actionable analytics. Chemical tank level and pump operating data is collected via remote telemetry using our heterogeneous communications network, which supports multiple wireless standards to ensure availability in all regions. This unique data visibility allows operators to monitor chemical equipment and inventory as well as receive alarms when issues arise, such as low tank levels, system leaks, insufficient pump voltage, and insufficient injection rates," said Harrison."

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Anadarko finds gas in ultra-deep waters offshore Colombia

Anadarko finds gas in ultra-deep waters offshore Colombia: "Anadarko Petroleum's Kronos-1 well has proved the presence of hydrocarbons in the ultra-deep waters of the Colombian south Caribbean area, Ecopetrol, a partner in the well, said. This discovery proves the geological model proposed for an unexplored area with high hydrocarbon potential, the Bogotá, Colombia-based company said Tuesday. Kronos-1 is located in Fuerte Sur Block, 53 km offshore Colombia, where Anadarko, the operator, and Ecopetrol each hold a 50% interest. According to operator's quarterly operations report, after drilling at a water depth of 1,584 m, the well reached a total depth of 3,720 m and encountered a net pay thickness between 40 m and 70 m of gas bearing sandstones."

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Child Dies Holding Breath To Avoid Raceland Sugar Mill Stench | THE PUSH POLE

Child Dies Holding Breath To Avoid Raceland Sugar Mill Stench | THE PUSH POLE: "According to multiple sources at Thibodaux’s Peltier Park,  “a kid totally died” while holding his breath in an attempt to avoid sniffing the mountain of bagasse located just off of Highway 182. A dozen caffeinated nine-year-olds told The Push Pole about a child who ran out of air and died in the backseat of his parent’s SUV as they traveled to New Orleans. When pressed for details, the animated group of kids gave conflicting reports. Some said his name was Jayden. Others said it was Conner. Some said his death happened last month; others were sure it happened years ago, before Frozen even came out."

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jindal defends his low popularity rating in Louisiana - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

He is a true politician! Telling bald-faced lies!

Jindal defends his low popularity rating in Louisiana - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social: "Gov. Bobby Jindal took his run for the White House to mainstream media Wednesday morning. Jindal stopped by CBS This Morning, where Gayle King pressed him about how he plans to win votes on a national level, when his approval rating at home is at an all-time low of 32 percent. "If folks are looking for a popular politician, you can govern by the polls," Jindal said. "You kiss babies, cut ribbons, don't do anything. That's not what our country needs. We're in serious trouble right now. We've got to shrink our federal government, grow our private sector economy. I've done that in Louisiana. I can do that in DC.""

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Technology Is Magic, Just Ask The Washington Post | TechCrunch

Plus points to Jon Evans for using the word "Stentorian" in a sentence!

Technology Is Magic, Just Ask The Washington Post | TechCrunch: "Most people don’t understand how technology works. When they flip a light switch, or tap their phone, what happens next is essentially magic to them. Oh, they may be able to handwave a bit about electrons and volts and microprocessors and radio waves and packet-switched networks, but they’re just mouthing the words. They don’t actually understand any of those things. They’ve never done the math. Which is fine! Not everyone can or should be an engineer. And as Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Our collective network of pocket supercomputers, communicating almost instantaneously across the globe, comes pretty close to “sufficiently advanced” on its good days. But “technology is magic” is a dangerous meme. It makes non-engineers begin to believe that technology really can do anything its wizard-engineers desire. It causes them to not understand that they don’t understand. And so it leads to Very Serious People making risibly embarrassing–and potentially dangerous–mistakes. Last week the editorial board of the Washington Post reiterated their demand that Apple, Google, etc., compromise the security of their users’ communications by building in back doors for law enforcement. This is a terrible, terrible idea, as I’ve mentioned before. But hey, don’t listen to me: listen to Whitfield Diffie, Ron Rivest, Bruce Schneier, and a whole Justice League of infosec legends, who write: We have found that the damage that could be caused by law enforcement exceptional access requirements would be even greater today than it would have been 20 years ago […] Exceptional access would force Internet system developers to reverse forward secrecy design practices that seek to minimize the impact on user privacy when systems are breached […] new law enforcement requirements are likely to introduce unanticipated, hard to detect security flaws [and] raises difficult problems about how such an environment would be governed and how to ensure that such systems would respect human rights and the rule of law. As Elissa Shevinsky writes in the Christian Science Monitor: “Law enforcement’s argument today is just as flawed now as it was in the 1990s. We cannot bend software or cryptography to our will. Technology is science, not magic.” Worst of all, any attempt to enforce this kind of magical thinking will still not prevent genuine bad guys from using strong encryption without back doors. That genie is long out of the bottle, widely available, and open-source. We’d get all of the multitudinous problems associated with built-in back doors, and few-to-none of the alleged benefits. So how did the Very Serious People of the Washington Post editorial board respond to this chorus of “no, bad, terrible, stupid, stop it!” from people who actually know what they’re talking about? Why, by doubling down on their ignorance— There are legitimate and valid counter arguments from software engineers, privacy advocates and companies that make the smartphones and software […] They say that a compromise isn’t possible, since one crack in encryption — even if for a good actor, like the police — is still a crack that could be exploited by a bad actor […] We urged Apple and Google, paragons of innovation, to create a kind of secure golden key that could unlock encrypted devices, under a court order, when needed. The tech sector does not seem so inclined. With all due respect to the WaPo’s editorial board–which is to say, very little–that is breathtakingly dumb. They acknowledge that engineers say that it is not possible to do the thing that they want, and that their arguments are “legitimate and valid” — and then, in the very next breath, they try to reframe that as ‘the engineers refuse to do it.’ It does not even seem to cross their collective mind that they simply cannot have what they want, that no “secure golden key” can or will exist. Engineering is all about tradeoffs. Security, or “golden key” back door: pick one. You can’t have both. That bird won’t fly. It is mythical nonsense."

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VIDEO: Anderson Cooper Gets Trumped, And What Scott Walker Could Learn From It | The Hayride

VIDEO: Anderson Cooper Gets Trumped, And What Scott Walker Could Learn From It | The Hayride: "Over the weekend Walker, whose stance on immigration has evolved quite a bit but now seems to have settled on a relatively hard line not just on illegals and controlling the border but on looking at placing tighter limits on legal immigration until the massive backlog of Americans who can’t find work gets cleared, was accosted in Iowa by the open-borders crowd in the person of an illegal immigrant from Wisconsin who accused him of trying to break up his family… Walker didn’t do a bad job handling a hostile situation from a bunch of obnoxious peope attempting to ambush him. In fact, he was fairly presidential in how he handled the interview – he was firm but polite and he stayed on message throughout the encounter. He also shut down the activists who had sponsored the illegals to accost him by refusing to discuss anything with them; as it turns out they actually drove the family to Iowa in a bus from Waukesha, which tells you all you need to know about how organic this confrontation was. But outside of the political junkies and news media, you didn’t see more than a blip out of this affair – because while Walker handled it exactly as a professional politician would be expected to, there was no news in it. He could have turned that into a perfect, defining moment and solidified his street cred with the conservative base – something he’ll need to do, because unlike Trump Walker has a real shot at being president in January 2017. What Walker could have done is to – before allowing his harasser to say a word in response to his position statement – demand to know how it is the man has his job. “Did they hire you off the books? Or do you have a Social Security number?” And when the expected answer came, next up would be “So you’re using somebody else’s Social Security number. That’s identity theft, you know, and it’s a crime.” Walker could then say “Look, I don’t bear you any ill will, and in your situation I can’t say I would have done much different from what you’ve done. All right? And I’m not somebody you should have any special fear of. But you’re here illegally, and you’re using somebody else’s Social Security number so you can take a job from one of the 93 million American citizens who aren’t in the work force, which as far as I’m concerned is the biggest problem this country has and you’re not part of the solution to it. “So I don’t know what it is you think I’m going to do for you. You want amnesty? OK, great. It’s pretty clear Congress isn’t interested in giving you that. You want Obama to do something he can’t legally do and give you amnesty? Well, that’s piling illegality on top of illegality, and at some point everybody decides they want to play. They’ll decide that not paying taxes works better for them, or moving into some vacant house and not paying for it. Or dumping industrial waste in the river. And then we have chaos. “If we’re going to do anything for you – give you a permit to live and work here, or a path to citizenship or something – then we’re going to need to have an economy that booms to such an extent that we come to you and say ‘what can we do for you?’ because we have a labor shortage and we need more Americans. Until then? Frankly, you really can’t complain about your situation and you definitely can’t make demands to be given better treatment than the citizens of this country who aren’t getting served all that well.” Most people haven’t really thought about the illegal immigration question in quite the terms Walker had it presented to him in Iowa over the weekend – namely, that he’s being accosted by illegal aliens who are making demands of him and making him out to be a bad guy because he’s not willing to change the law to give them something they didn’t earn. The ingratitude and, frankly, greed of that really ought to rankle."

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Halliburton said facing antitrust hurdles over Baker Hughes acquisition

Halliburton said facing antitrust hurdles over Baker Hughes acquisition: "Halliburton Co.’s takeover of Baker Hughes Inc. is facing resistance from U.S. enforcement officials who are concerned the tie-up could hurt competition, according to a person familiar with the matter. Justice Department lawyers reviewing the proposed $34.6-billion transaction are worried that the oilfield services industry would become too concentrated after a combination of its No. 2 and No. 3 firms, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the review is confidential. Though Halliburton has proposed selling some assets to other companies, government officials aren’t convinced its plan would restore sufficient competition, the person said. Although a final decision hasn’t been made yet, the department’s antitrust division is positioned to carry out a legal challenge if it decides to try to halt the deal, which the companies aim to complete by December. The unit has assigned John Read, a seasoned litigator, to oversee the Halliburton review, according to two people familiar with the staffing decision. Among his successes, Read helped win the division’s antitrust lawsuit against American Express Co. over its merchant rules for credit cards. Antitrust lawyers describe him as a formidable opponent who could bring a merger case to trial."

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NEWS  |  Offshore Driller Hercules Says Weeks From Bankruptcy  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Offshore Driller Hercules Says Weeks From Bankruptcy  |  Rigzone: "Hercules Offshore Inc, stung by slumping demand for drilling services in older Gulf of Mexico oilfields, said on Thursday it plans to file for creditor protection in about three weeks and emerge several months later with a restructured balance sheet. The small company, which rents out jackup rigs to drill shallow water wells that tend to yield less than giant deepwater ones, has been struggling for months because of an oversupplied rig market and slumping oil prices that have forced producers to slash spending. In November it cut 15 percent of its workforce, or 324 jobs, and last month started talks with creditors for an orderly bankruptcy filing. Hercules said on Thursday it has support for the filing from holders of over two thirds of its collective outstanding debt. It added that the prepackaged process will reduce the time it spends in bankruptcy protection, which it hopes to leave early in the fourth quarter."

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NEWS  |  Trials Underway for Wireless Mesh Communications Device  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Trials Underway for Wireless Mesh Communications Device  |  Rigzone: "Trials are underway for a new communications device just released for use with scalable, kinetic wireless mesh technology. Rajant Corporation – which Rigzone reported on earlier this year – this week launched the CacheCrumb node, a wireless transceiver with built-in processing power that allows applications to be pushed to a edge of a network for quicker access, the company said in a July 22 press statement. The new CacheCrumb is similar to Rajant’s ME4 line, but has an applications processor tuned for distributed video, sensors, algorithms and up to a terabyte of storage. CacheCrumb’s extra processing power and solid state memory means it can perform edge-processing, allowing video and other data to be stored, ‘groomed’ and consumed directly from the device. Rather than adding multiple separate boxes and creating a much bigger footprint, CacheCrumb provides capabilities for that can support different applications through an integrated device, said Paul Hellhake, Rajant’s chief technology officer, in an interview with Rigzone. CacheCrumb meets the demand for video that is growing not only in oil and gas, but other industries as well as companies want security and the ability to monitor equipment if case of failure. The device can store up to 30 days of video, meaning video can be accessed without having to send it across network resources until it’s needed. Video can be streamed immediately, meaning they don’t have to be collected and reviewed later, Hellhake noted. Sensor data also can be stored on CacheCrumb, meaning bandwidth isn’t chewed up by data being sent to a central database. Rajant is working with one oil and gas client to help them address their needs, which include the ability to gather, storage and analyze data locally, Hellhake said. Third party devices can be hooked with other breadcrumbs to provide the benefits of CacheCrumb, but would require additional power sources, such as a laptop hooked up on location to add processing capability. But hard drives tend to fail in outdoor environments, Hellhake noted."

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After deadly blast, 2.7 MMbbl of Pemex oil go missing

After deadly blast, 2.7 MMbbl of Pemex oil go missing: "Petroleos Mexicanos seems to have misplaced 2.7 MMbbl of oil. Since a deadly blast on April 1 tore through one of its offshore platforms, the state oil giant has baffled industry analysts with its assessment of the damage. Pemex has said the disaster, its deadliest this year, affected about 1.5 MMbbl of production. But Energy Ministry reports show the actual figure is nearly three times higher: 4.2 MMbbl in lost output since April 1. The disparity raises questions about how Mexico’s lone oil operator does -- or doesn’t -- keep investors in the loop about its sprawling business. It comes as Pemex tries to lure $33 billion in joint-venture investments to bolster sagging output -- all the more important after Mexico recently failed to attract enough buyers for offshore fields it wants to develop. Pemex is “failing to understand that in this world of transparency, you have to be careful what you say,” said Luis Maizel at LM Capital Group, who manages $5.5 billion of fixed- income assets, including Pemex bonds. “People don’t forget.” Conflicting Statements Pemex has given conflicting statements about how much output was cut. In an emailed response to questions on July 8, Pemex reiterated its 1.5 MMbbl estimate. In a follow-up email on July 10, the company said Bloomberg’s 4.2 MMbbl calculation was also “in the order of Pemex’s estimates” and didn’t provide details to explain the difference when asked in additional messages. At the heart of the confusion appears to be what, exactly, Pemex means by lost output. The production isn’t “lost,” Pemex says, just “deferred.” “It seems like Pemex is using a word game to avoid calling production lost,” said George Baker, an oil analyst and publisher of Mexico Energy Intelligence. “If production is being deferred after an accident, then that means the infrastructure isn’t in place or in good enough condition to pump the oil, so wouldn’t that be the same thing as lost production?” It’s not the first time Pemex’s output figures raise such questions. In addition to missing its own annual targets in each of the past seven years, Bloomberg News in August reported Pemex was including water in its barrel count. A week later, the company acknowledged the mistake and cut production estimates for 2014’s first half by a total of 23.5 MMbbl."

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Leeville commission's first meeting includes member's resignation |

Leeville commission's first meeting includes member's resignation | "A commission created to support Leeville got off to a rocky start Tuesday with the resignation of one of its founding members. The Leeville Fishing Village and Cultural Preservation Commission met for the first time since being approved by the Legislature in 2013. The commission was created to give local residents a direct hand in promoting tourism and overseeing historic conservation efforts while being able to apply for money directly from the state. After electing Don Griffin as chairman of the commission, Bob Gourgues as vice chairman and Janet Rhodus as secretary, the meeting took a personal turn. After Gourgues and members of the public criticized Rhodus and questioned her motives in Leeville, she resigned from the commission and suggested Harris Cheramie take her place."

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Belle Chasse Hires Mexican Drug Cartel To Build New Tunnel | THE PUSH POLE

Belle Chasse Hires Mexican Drug Cartel To Build New Tunnel | THE PUSH POLE: "The tunnel is located on a state highway, so you can imagine the bureaucratic red tape involved. The amount of people whose palms need greasing to make this happen is unreal. By the time everyone takes their cut, there’s not much money left for actual construction, so we’d be left with a shoddy, crumbling tunnel…kind of like the one we have now. The corruption and danger involved in local politics is terrifying; we figured we’d be better off dealing with a Mexican drug cartel. They’ve shown they can build a safer, stronger tunnel in half the time for a fraction of the price."

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Scott Walker IS Keyser Söze in 2016 US Presidential Election!

I am not necessarily a Scott Walker fan, but this is some funny stuff!

Who is Scott Walker? He is supposed to be from Wauwatosa. Some say his father was a Baptist. Nobody believed he was for real. That was his power.

One story the guys told me, the story I believe, was from his days in Madison. There was a gang of labor thugs that wanted their own union. They realized that to be in power, you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn’t. After a while, they come into power and then they come after Walker. He was small-time then, just running numbers, they say.

The union thugs knew Walker was tough, not to be trifled with, so they let him know they meant business. Then he showed these men of will what will really was. After dissolving the union, he lets the last member go. He waits until the recall is over and then he goes after the rest of the mob.

He fires their kids, he fires their wives, he fires their parents and their parents’ friends. He forecloses the houses they live in and the offices they work in, he fires people that owe them money. And like that he was gone. Underground. Nobody has ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that Democrats tell their kids at night. “Rat on your shop steward, and Scott Walker will get you.”

Scott Walker: The Left's Keyser Söze

Thursday, July 9, 2015

BP’s spill deal is ‘catalyst’ for acquirers as uncertainty ends

BP’s spill deal is ‘catalyst’ for acquirers as uncertainty ends: "BP’s $18.7 billion U.S. legal settlement is being cheered by investors and analysts as it ends five years of financial uncertainty. It also makes the British oil producer a more attractive takeover target. Potential buyers, held back by unquantifiable liabilities related to the company’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, may find a slimmed-down BP more appealing and digestible. “The market is looking at that,” said Ahmed Ben Salem, a Paris-based analyst with Oddo & Cie., who has a neutral recommendation on BP. “This could act as the catalyst because there’s more clarity now.” The five years of battling the consequences of the worst oil spill in U.S. history has seen BP shed a third of its market value and assets, cutting production by about 1 MMbopd. It could take CEO Bob Dudley years to restore the company’s pre-spill financial performance, giving potential acquirers a window of opportunity. BP climbed as much as 1.8% in London trading after advancing 4.4% on Thursday, when the company reached an agreement to pay a record amount to settle all federal and state claims from the oil spill that spewed thousands of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico and along the coasts of five states. The settlement forced BP to raise it’s total payout budget to $53.8 billion. Even that may not be enough. Defenses Strengthened The settlement didn’t cover some businesses and residents in large swaths of Texas and Florida, who still demand billions. It also didn’t include shareholders or investors blaming BP for the U.S. administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf after the spill. Still, BP’s biggest threats are now gone. The company stepped up its defenses against an opportunistic takeover earlier this year, and war-gamed strategies with advisers from firms including Morgan Stanley, according to people familiar with the situation. A buyer will also have to convince the U.K. government, which told BP in the wake of Shell’s acquisition of BG Group that it would oppose the acquisition of the oil producer by a foreign company. A BP spokesman declined to comment on the company being a likely acquisition target after the U.S, legal settlement. A slimmed down BP is also an attraction for potential buyers because it has the lowest enterprise value relative to its daily oil and gas production of any of the six largest U.S. and European energy producers. Based on the current share price, the ratio is less than half that of Exxon Mobil Corp."

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NEWS  |  Kemp: Data Availability Bias in the Oil Market  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Kemp: Data Availability Bias in the Oil Market  |  Rigzone: "Why is there such good data about oil in the United States but such poor data about everywhere else? Accurate information is essential for good decision-making, so it is remarkable how little reliable and timely data exists about the production and consumption of crude oil and refined fuels outside the United States. The situation in the other advanced economies, not to mention emerging markets, is mostly guesswork. The result is that oil analysts cannot even agree on production and consumption yesterday and today, let alone predict what will happen tomorrow. And because the best and most readily accessible data is for the United States, the market puts excessive emphasis on what happens there and neglects developments elsewhere. The obsession with weekly rig counts, production estimates and crude inventories in the United States as a sign of wider supply-demand trends in the oil market has been a case in point. But as long as U.S. data is more accurate, detailed and timely than the numbers for other countries, this example of "availability bias" is set to continue. Energy Crisis Some U.S. data comes from private companies such as Baker Hughes, which inherited the decades-old rig count from the Hughes Tool Company, but most is produced by the federal government. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analysis arm of the Department of Energy, provides by far the best data on oil and other energy markets anywhere in the world."

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NEWS  |  Shell's Ice Management Vessel Damaged In Alaska  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Shell's Ice Management Vessel Damaged In Alaska  |  Rigzone: "Royal Dutch Shell Plc's icebreaker vessel Fennica returned to the Dutch Harbor in Alaska with a small breech in the hull, raising concerns about the company's plan to resume drilling in the Arctic later this month. Shell said in June it plans to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week of July after a conditional approval by the United States. "Any impact to our season will ultimately depend on the extent of the repair," spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said in an e-mail to Reuters. Fennica, owned by Arctia Offshore, is one of the primary ice management vessels in the Port of Helsinki during European winter."

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Precision sees room for rig rebound as producers weather slump

Precision sees room for rig rebound as producers weather slump: "Even with the oil market in a funk again, producers are adjusting and Precision Drilling Corp. sees the potential for more spending by customers in the second half. Canada’s largest drilling services company sees some room for the North American rig count to rebound as customers restart wells and upgrade equipment after cutting costs, CEO Kevin Neveu said in an interview. The current price slump poses no threat to Precision’s dividend, he said. “I think the rig count actually might have dropped a little lower than necessary,” Neveu said by phone from Calgary. “I think our customers have saved more money than they intended to save.” The oil and gas industry has cut spending by tens of billions of dollars and eliminated more than 100,000 jobs to weather the crude slump. Prices that had rebounded somewhat recently have tumbled 12% this month on concern the Greek crisis will hurt the global economy, while an end to Iran sanctions could boost supplies. Still, the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. increased to 640 in the week ended July 3 from 628 in late June, paring a 60% decline from October levels, according to Baker Hughes Inc., the Houston-based oil-services company that has kept rig counts since 1944. A strong rig-count recovery, though, would require U.S. oil prices at $60/bbl to $70/bbl, Neveu said. The West Texas Intermediate benchmark fell 0.4% to $52.33/bbl at the close in New York on Tuesday, after slumping 7.7% on Monday. Precision Drilling is the ninth-best performer on the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Energy Index this year, up 6.9%, compared with a 7.8% decline in the 63-member indicator. It has a market value of C$2.2 billion ($1.7 billion)."

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NEWS  |  Succession Planning Critical for Longevity of Oil, Gas Companies  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Succession Planning Critical for Longevity of Oil, Gas Companies  |  Rigzone: "In recent months, restructuring has become almost an industry buzzword as oil and gas companies across the globe have adjusted their organizations’ operations in response to the dramatic decline in oil prices that began in late 2014. In mid-June, Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), completed an 8-month restructuring plan which included laying off foreign staff and taking over its foreign investment arm, Qatar Petroleum International. The company is focusing on future international expansion. And with the current market climate, there are many other companies following suit: restructuring, implementing organizational planning and identifying the necessary changes that will help propel their company through the downturn. Part of that includes preparing for the sudden or voluntary change of a CEO or senior level executive. By taking a strategic approach to succession planning, oil and gas companies will be better equipped to handle the cycles common to the industry.   Who Should Be Involved in Succession Planning Tobias ReadCEO, Swift Worldwide Resources As a company’s succession planning involves developing internal employees to fill key leadership positions, it seems almost detrimental for a company not to have this process in place. And according to Swift Worldwide Resources CEO Tobias Read, it can be.  “Companies that don’t look at succession planning are likely to end up failing,” Read told Rigzone. “Many CEOs won’t put succession plans in place very deliberately because they’re paranoid” of losing their job. The truth is, with the downturn, we’ve seen quite a few CEOs of oil and gas companies come and go. Those who are prepared for the transition stand to fare better than those who aren’t. "

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NEWS  |  Brazil Clears Shell's $70B Purchase Of BG  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Brazil Clears Shell's $70B Purchase Of BG  |  Rigzone: "Brazil gave the green light to oil major Royal Dutch Shell to buy smaller rival BG, advancing the $70 billion merger - the largest of the past decade - closer to completion in early 2016. Shell is set to become the largest foreign operator offshore Brazil after it buys BG, so the clearance from the country was a crucial step to complete the merger on time. Brazil's competition authority CADE said on Wednesday it had given preliminary approval to the transaction "without restrictions." BG said that if no appeals were lodged or referrals made in the next 15 days, CADE's clearance would become final. A spokesman for Shell confirmed the approval and the 15-day appeals period. The proposed acquisition had previously obtained a green light from United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and now only needs pre-conditional approvals from the European Union, Australia and China for the merger to go ahead. "The filing process for each of these is under way, and the transaction is on track to complete in early 2016," it said. Shell and BG produced a combined 212,252 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Brazil in May, or 7.1 percent of the country's total. Analysts expect this figure to double to nearly 500,000 boepd by 2020. The two companies have stakes in Brazil's most exciting oil plays, with BG owning 25 percent of the massive Lula field and Shell owning 20 percent of the Libra prospect."

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Pemex pulls out of Mexico licensing auction as oil slides

Pemex pulls out of Mexico licensing auction as oil slides: "Mexico’s national oil company withdrew from the country’s first license auction to conserve cash and focus on bringing in partners for its existing operations. The company known as Pemex, which has battled accidents and faced years of falling production and shrinking revenues, won’t bid in the auction of 14 oil blocks, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Wednesday. It’s focusing on the upcoming farm outs and was dissuaded from bidding after falling oil prices crimped earnings, he said at an event in Mexico City. “Pemex has seen its income reduced by more than 50% due to the fall in the price of oil,” he told reporters in Mexico City, adding that the company would participate in later auctions planned for this year. The unexpected withdrawal leaves 17 companies and seven groups planning to participate in the auction. Glencore Plc and Noble Energy Inc. together with PTT Exploration & Production PCL and Ecopetrol SA also pulled out of the event this week. Mexico will auction 169 oil blocks in onshore and offshore fields in the so-called “round one,” after last year passing legislation to end Pemex’s monopoly and open the country’s energy industry to private competition. Withdrawals Several companies pre-approved to bid on Mexico’s oil blocks have resisted the requirements for each bidding group to have one partner to act as guarantor, and for that company to maintain shareholder equity, or total assets minus liabilities, of at least $6 billion. The stipulation of a single guarantor, rather than sharing the burden among partners, is proving prohibitive for some companies, according to Alfredo Alvarez, Mexico’s energy sector leader at Ernst & Young LLP. “For the larger companies and the majors, a parent guarantee isn’t something a lot of them are going to tolerate,” Alvarez said in a phone interview. Mexico “will likely lose a few bidders and that is unfortunate because they would have had a few more bids had they been more open-minded.”"

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NEWS  |  Azerbaijan President Open to Snam Taking Stake in TAP project  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Azerbaijan President Open to Snam Taking Stake in TAP project  |  Rigzone: "Azerbaijan is open to Italian gas infrastructure group Snam taking a stake in the project to build the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will carry gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, President Ilham Aliyev said on Thursday. "Why not? If someone would allocate its shares to other companies I don't see any problems," Aliyev said when asked about Snam's possible investment in TAP. He spoke in English to reporters during a visit to Milan's EXPO international trade fair. Snam CEO told Reuters in an interview in June the company was ready to evaluate buying 20 percent of TAP."

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NEWS  |  Russia's Rosneft Signs Deal to Buy into India's Essar Oil  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Russia's Rosneft Signs Deal to Buy into India's Essar Oil  |  Rigzone: "Russia's top oil producer Rosneft has taken a significant step towards expanding its global reach by signing a preliminary deal to acquire up to 49 percent in Essar Oil Ltd, India's second biggest private refiner. Rosneft had initially said it would buy into Essar's Vadinar refinery. But a company spokesman clarified on Thursday the deal included Rosneft entering into Essar Oil's charter capital, echoing a statement from the Indian firm. The companies have signed a non-binding term sheet for Rosneft to buy an equity stake of up to 49 percent in Essar Oil, the Indian company said in a statement on Thursday. Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer, has long sought to increase its exposure to the global markets but its efforts have been hampered by Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis. The deal with Essar from India, a country Russia has close ties with since the Soviet era, was announced as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Vladimir Putin on the fringes of a summit of emerging nations."

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Statoil awards production chemicals contract to Baker Hughes

Statoil awards production chemicals contract to Baker Hughes: "Statoil Petroleum has awarded Baker Hughes an eight-year contract to design and supply production chemicals to the offshore Norne field and the deepwater Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. Work is anticipated to begin in July 2015, and the contract also includes an extension option of four years."

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This Is How "Sugarless" Sweeteners Trick Your Tongue

This Is How "Sugarless" Sweeteners Trick Your Tongue: "Take a sip of licorice tea and you’ll notice a strange lingering sweetness, as if someone secretly added sugar to your cup. This is due to glycyrrhizin, a sweetener which was used well before stevia entered the commercial market, but which works a similar way. People crave sweetness. Supposedly this is because we crave calories, but sweetness is an indication, not a guarantee. There are molecules that give us the sweetness of sugar, but without the calories. Lately, a lack of calories is considered more valuable than a surplus, and “sugarless” sweeteners have come on to the market. The most popular of them, stevia, come from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. It’s not, technically, sugarless. Stevia is a glycoside. A glycoside contains a sugar molecule, but it’s bound to another molecular structure, usually a hydroxy compound. Glycosides are often incredibly sweet when compared to plain old sucrose. A little glycoside goes a long way."

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

NEWS  |  Shell Goes Ahead with Giant Gulf of Mexico Field After Cost Cuts  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  Shell Goes Ahead with Giant Gulf of Mexico Field After Cost Cuts  |  Rigzone: "Royal Dutch Shell has given the green light for the development of its largest platform in the Gulf of Mexico after making steep cost cuts which made the deep water project economical despite low oil prices. The decision to pour billions of dollars into the Appomattox project comes as companies have scrapped around $200 billion of mega-projects in the wake of the sharp decline in oil prices over the past year. Shell has operated in the Gulf of Mexico for over 60 years. The region contributes about 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production according to the Energy Information Administration and was the location in 2010 of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, involving BP's Deepwater Horizon well. Shell's investment decision shows the energy giant's bet on deep water as it seeks to finalise by early 2016 the $70 billion acquisition of Britain's BG Group, which holds large stakes in Brazil's offshore oil production. The project, some 80 miles (130 km) off the coast of Louisiana, is expected to start production by the end of this decade and reach peak output of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, Shell said on Wednesday. Shell, which operates 7 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, said it had reduced the project's cost by 20 percent through design improvement and lower contractor and supplies costs, bringing its breakeven price to around $55 per barrel of oil equivalent."

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Summit ESP launches Sentry Well Surveillance and Optimization Service

Summit ESP launches Sentry Well Surveillance and Optimization Service: "Summit ESP has launched its Sentry Well Surveillance service, a real time electrical submersible pump and optimization service. Summit ESP Sentry is a holistic approach to well surveillance backed with 24/7/365 monitoring services designed to increase production, improve ESP run life and reduce downtime and labor expenses. Sentry collects data from artificial lift operations and then provides clients critical information necessary to optimize production and minimize field down time. Summit ESP's Sentry surveillance team of petroleum engineers continuously monitor clients production on a 24-hours-per-day, 365-days-per year basis from the company's monitoring center. Surveillance engineers have access to a complete 360° view of every well's operational information, downhole equipment, application design and field service history. This allows the engineers to analyze and understand each well's operational conditions and identify when there is an issue. Some popular service features of Sentry include: Full remote control ESP set point capabilities, reducing nonproductive time and significantly minimizing the need to call out service technicians to the well location. Custom and recalibrated alarms for all operating parameters, allowing clients to be notified of parameters that are the most important to their production operation. Intensive monitoring for startup and all wells <90 days runtime, during the critical initial new well production time frame. Wells >90 days runtime assessed multiple times per day, assuring production rates are maintained and optimized. Surveillance engineers performing performance analyses with flow rate modeling to ensure optimal production. Summit's Sentry platform is designed to support multiple SCADA systems that store key operating parameters in a centralized database for remote monitoring, analysis and control."

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BP pays record $18.7 billion to settle Macondo claims

BP pays record $18.7 billion to settle Macondo claims: "BP Plc will pay a record $18.7 billion to resolve claims by the U.S. and five states along the Gulf of Mexico related to the 2010 oil spill. The payments will be spaced out over as long as 18 years. A record $5.5 billion will cover federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, topping the previous high of $1 billion. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas will also receive payouts for harm done in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history."

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SMBC Funny: Chem-Trails!

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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Monday, June 29, 2015

After Reading Houma Courier Facebook Comments, NASA Decides Not To Deflect Oncoming Asteroid. | THE PUSH POLE

After Reading Houma Courier Facebook Comments, NASA Decides Not To Deflect Oncoming Asteroid. | THE PUSH POLE: "Top NASA officials unanimously agreed not to mobilize rockets and crew to deflect an asteroid headed directly towards Earth. This decision came shortly after they began reading the Facebook comments of a Houma Courier news story. The comments in question can be clicked on to enlarge. Click above to enlarge The disgusting depravity of human beings hoarding themselves into camps and willfully engaging in disingenuous arguments aimed solely at wanton attention and elevating themselves above their fellow man was enough to convince NASA that humanity deserves the fiery, gruesome extinction headed its way."

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Puerto Rico governor says island can't pay public debt - Business Insider

Puerto Rico governor says island can't pay public debt - Business Insider: "Puerto Rico's governor is warning that the island can't pay its $72 billion public debt, delivering another jolt to the recession-gripped US territory as well as a world financial system already worrying over Greece's collapsing finances. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla is hoping to defer debt payments while negotiating with creditors, spokesman Jesus Manuel Ortiz said Sunday night. "There is no other option," García said, according to The New York Times. "I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics; this is math.""

'via Blog this' » Jindal circumvented the law » Jindal circumvented the law: "What if Bobby Jindal held a presidential fundraiser in Baton Rouge and nobody came?  That would surely be big news, wouldn’t it?  Well yes and no. Well, Bobby did and they didn’t come, but nonetheless he raised a half a million dollars. One has to read between the lines in Elizabeth Crisp’s story in the Baton Rouge paper to fully understand the Jindal fundraising scheme."

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Researchers Use Femtosecond Lasers To Display Touchable Images In The Air | TechCrunch

Researchers Use Femtosecond Lasers To Display Touchable Images In The Air | TechCrunch: "A Japanese company called Aerial Burton has been using lasers to ionize air molecules in midair for a few years now, thereby creating bright pixels that float in space. Using the original system, however, you were essentially creating floating plasma which could burn you if you touched it. Now, however, the company has reduced the power necessary to generate the images by using femtosecond lasers, a feat that lets you actually tap images to interact with them. LATEST CRUNCH REPORT Meerkat Launches Embeddable Live Stream Player | Crunch Report Watch More Episodes From Spectrum: Our system has the unique characteristic that the plasma is touchable. It was found that the contact between plasma and a finger causes a brighter light. This effect can be used as a cue of the contact. One possible control is touch interaction in which floating images change when touched by a user. The other is damage reduction. For safety, the plasma voxels are shut off within a single frame (17 ms = 1/60 s) when users touch the voxels. This is sufficiently less than the harmful exposure time (2,000 ms)."

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NEWS  |  UK Says Argentine Plan to Seize Falklands Oil Driller Assets 'Unlawful'  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  UK Says Argentine Plan to Seize Falklands Oil Driller Assets 'Unlawful'  |  Rigzone: "Britain said on Monday any attempt by Argentina to seize the assets of oil drillers operating in the disputed Falkland Islands would be unlawful after Buenos Aires said it would pursue a local judge's order against six firms. On Saturday, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, boats and other property belonging to six European and U.S. oil companies operating in the islands. Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman was quoted in the local press on Sunday as saying his country intended to pursue the case as part of its claim to the islands' sovereignty, something Britain rejects outright. "We have always been very clear that this is an unlawful assertion of jurisdiction over the Falklands Islands' continental shelf, which we reject, and we will raise it with the appropriate authorities," a spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office said, when asked how London would react. "We are satisfied that the islands have the right to develop their hydrocarbons sector as a legitimate commercial venture with international oil and gas companies, and will continue to support them as they move forward. Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falkland Islands.""

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NEWS  |  BP, Anadarko Rejected by Top US Court on Gulf Spill Fines  |  Rigzone

NEWS  |  BP, Anadarko Rejected by Top US Court on Gulf Spill Fines  |  Rigzone: "The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and left intact a ruling that opens the companies to potentially billions of dollars in fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In declining to hear the appeal, the high court let stand a ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans that BP and Anadarko were automatically liable as co-owners of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Supreme Court intervention might have delayed Barbier’s pending ruling on a U.S. request for as much as $13.7 billion in civil fines from BP and more than $1 billion from Anadarko. His decision may come at any time. “We’re pleased with the decision,” Wyn Hornbuckle, a Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mail."

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Independent Oil & Gas extends seismic remapping agreement with Baker Hughes

Independent Oil & Gas extends seismic remapping agreement with Baker Hughes: "Independent Oil and Gas PLC (IOG) is extending its seismic remapping agreement with Baker Hughes’ Reservoir Development Services (RDS) group to better understand resource potential for its Blythe and Cronx/Elgood projects in the Southern North Sea (SNS), with an expected delivery date of late July 2015. “We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with RDS as the initial results from the seismic remapping work are positive,” said Mark Routh, IOG’s CEO. “We expect that the resource plays beneath the Blythe and Cronx/Elgood fields are larger than first anticipated, and with additional reservoir understanding we can more than double our proven reserves, which are currently 3.0 MMboe.”"

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas files for initial public offering - Houston Business Journal

Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas files for initial public offering - Houston Business Journal: "Houston-based Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas Inc. has filed a registration statement for an initial public offering that could raise up to $100 million. The number of shares to be offered, the price per share and the timing of the offering have not been decided, so that proposed maximum aggregate offering price might still change, according to the June 23 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company plans to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "FMOG.""

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USAA Leads $24 Million Round For Connected Car Platform Automatic | TechCrunch

USAA Leads $24 Million Round For Connected Car Platform Automatic | TechCrunch: "Automatic, the connected car platform whose sensor and app combination is sometimes referred to as a “Fitbit for your car,” announced this morning $24 million in Series B funding, led by the investment arm at USAA, a top insurance and financial services provider for military families, which today counts 11 million members. Also participating in the round were new investors CDK Global, and Comcast Ventures, who join existing investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital and angels Mark Goines, Jared Kopf, Rob Chandhok and Dan Rose. The company had never publicly announced its funding, but combined with earlier rounds, Automatic now says that it has raised $32 million in total. Automatic, which competes with a variety of connected car services including Dash, CarMD, Torque, Zubie, and many more, initially focused only on collecting data from your vehicle by way of a car adapter that plugs into the diagnostics port (OBD-II port). This allows it to gather information from your car’s on-board computer which is then shared with the Automatic smartphone app over Bluetooth. With the app, drivers can track their miles driven, MPG, fuel expenses, and more, plus take advantage of features like emergency crash response assistance and a parked car locator, for example."

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Amazon Unbundles Alexa Virtual Assistant From Echo With New Dev Tools | TechCrunch

Amazon Unbundles Alexa Virtual Assistant From Echo With New Dev Tools | TechCrunch: "Amazon has provided a strong answer to a desire I expressed only yesterday for broader software and hardware support for Alexa, its virtual assistant, and Echo, the speaker hardware that is the first platform wherein Alexa can be found. Today, Amazon announced an Alexa API set to let third-party developers easily build support for the system into their own apps; Alexa Voice Service, for integrating Alexa into connected hardware; and the Alexa Fund, as much as $100 million dedicated to supporting devs, gadget builders and startups who’re looking to build voice-powered experiences."

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eDrilling adds Geostreering to wellSIM

eDrilling adds Geostreering to wellSIM: "wellSIM is a dynamic downhole simulator, allowing for integration of client specific well data in early well planning, giving training a new meaning. wellSIM is an integral part of the eDrilling Life Cycle Drilling Simulation concept - advanced dynamic drilling models and diagnosis technology merged with 3D visualization into a “virtual wellbore”. The simulator is aimed at challenging drilling and well operations, including High Pressure - High Temperature wells, Through Tubing Rotary Drilling, Extended Reach Drilling, Managed Pressure Drilling and Dual Gradient Drilling."

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Netherlands loses landmark global warming case, ordered to cut emissions | Ars Technica

Netherlands loses landmark global warming case, ordered to cut emissions | Ars Technica: "In a landmark case that may set a very important precedent for other countries around the world, especially within Europe, the Dutch government has been ordered by the courts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. The ruling came from a class-action lawsuit that was brought before the Dutch courts by Urgenda in 2012. The case, rather magnificently, was based on human rights laws. Specifically, Urgenda asked the courts to "declare that global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide," and that the Dutch government is "acting unlawfully by not contributing its proportional share to preventing a global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius." Today, a Dutch court at The Hague ruled in favour of Urgenda, ruling that the Netherlands' plans to cut emissions by only 14-17 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 were illegal. Moreover, the wording used by the judges in the ruling is incredibly strong and clear-cut: “The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts ... Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”"

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Jindal Launches His Bid For Energy Secretary Today… | The Hayride

Jindal Launches His Bid For Energy Secretary Today… | The Hayride: "…or perhaps HHS. He’s not really running for president. Anybody with a pair of functioning eyes can see that he’s wasting his time trying to get the 2016 Republican nomination; Jindal lacks any of the assets a successful candidate for president needs. He’s not from a large state. Were Jindal the governor of Texas, or Florida, or California or even Virginia or Ohio, he would be able to claim experience governing on a large scale as a qualification for the highest office in the land. Not to mention governing a large state gives you a large amount of media exposure. As governor of Louisiana, you get little of that – Louisiana has only one media market of sufficient size for the national news networks to maintain a bureau, and New Orleans isn’t even the state capitol – so his media prominence as a governor is nearly nil. He doesn’t have a signature accomplishment. This is not to say Jindal hasn’t done anything as Louisiana’s governor. To the contrary, he’s presided over some structural changes to state government that will have lasting positive effect. But privatizing the state’s charity hospitals, when no other state has charity hospitals, doesn’t quite resonate the way Scott Walker gutting the public-sector unions in Wisconsin does. And Jindal’s school-choice reforms, while unquestionably a step forward and highly likely to bring improvement in results over time, have been trumped by developments elsewhere – Nevada, for example. Had he been able to couple those reforms with a massive overhaul of Louisiana’s Byzantine tax system plus some meaningful pension reforms,or perhaps come up with an innovative solution for financing major improvements to Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure, he would have a record far more suggestive of presidential ambitions."

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