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  1. Past hour
  2. You folks are all assuming that the current iteration of the EV - a machine with batteries for energy storage feeding current through a Converter and then into drive wheel motors - is the final solution. I don't think so. Let's take a look back through the history books. Way back in I think 1903 a Swiss company called Oerlikon Electrogyro developed a trolley car for the city of Bern that had an intermittent pole pick-up arrangement. the trolley car would pull up to the stop and, while the pax were loaded and unloaded, a man would hop off the back and raise a pole to a short length of bare electric cable suspended just over the stop. The power would flow down to a motor that spun a maranged-steel flywheel. Once spun up (figure 40 seconds), the pole would be pulled down and stored, and the streetcar would trundle down the line to the next stop using the flywheel to generate current and operate the car truck motors, where the process would be repeated. That streetcar system thus required only these very short lengths of charged overhead wire; the rest of the time, the car could run freely until it ran out of juice, which was set up to not happen as there would be a stop within range. This very primitive system worked like a charm. It was a bit too labor intensive for the refined tastes of the Swiss, who after some decades dismantled the system and sold it to the city of Dakar, Senegal, where labor was readily available to man the rear pole, and cheap enough. I lost track of it after that but for all I know it is still in operation. It was simple, very rugged, basically indestructible. Now, what would be the more refined, aesthetically appealing version of this system that would pass muster with the effete snobs that control budgets? OK, how about a streetcar with a capacitor bank to absorb the charge and let the car run through the city center without overhead wires. Yup, that is exactly what they do in some German cities where the historic medieval centres are not to be defaced with wires. In true Germanic fashion, having a man do the wire engagement is so passe; instead, a slider engages with the wire guides up top, so the recharge is fully automated. Works just fine. So one approach is capacitors, and another is flywheels. Will batteries become the final, optimal result? Probably not. I see batteries as purely an interim arrangement, and other, more flexible, concepts overtaking batteries soon enough. And if flywheels become more refined, then they are perfect energy storage devices, with spin-down times of 4 months making time-of-day charging irrelevant. If you put a giant flywheel in each town and charge it up using hydropower for example, you have this big energy sink that you can tap into any time. If your auto is driven with a composite flywheel, you can charge it at a service station using welding cables with solid core plugs to plug in and pass huge currents, spinning up in less than a minute - and now ready to go for another 500 miles. When your power cost drops to one cent a mile, hey who needs gasoline? Will Elon Musk and his batteries be the final solution? Probably not. Musk is the current technology disruptor only because of his outsize personality and the vast gobs of cash thrown at him. That does not mandate that his batteries are the optimal solution. The next one is sitting in the wings, and will be out soon enough. And PS: coal is usable for conversion directly into both diesel and gasoline; it makes a very pure diesel fluid through the well-known Fischer-Tropsch process. The Germans ran their army on the stuff for an entire war; works fine. Also makes great aviation gasoline. Just saying.
  3. Would love to hear the experts' take on this Bloomberg piece citing sources who say OPEC and 'allied producers' "have already cleared surplus"
  4. Watching with great interest how the on-again-off-again North Korea summit unfolds, or if it even takes place. While everyone's busy talking about whether this signals a complete lack of diplomatic credibility in Washington or is simply Trump's normal negotiation strategy and there's a reason for the chaos, I'm more concerned about what this actually has to do with China and the trade talks. I'm thinking that Trump's sudden reversal on ZTE has something to do with North Korea .... thoughts?
  5. This week in batteries: "Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory discovered a first-of-its-kind copper and graphite combination that, they say, could have implications for improving the energy efficiency of lithium-ion batteries. “Copper is a highly conductive material but susceptible to oxidation. Being able to successfully embed it just underneath the surface of graphite protects the copper, and suggests a number of potential applications, including battery technology,” Research Assistant Ann Lii-Rosales said in a press release." I've no idea what this means but they seem to be really excited about it.
  6. Aaaand the grid is already barely managing with EVs as a third of all cars. I can't believe they didn't think about that.
  7. For instance, watching the Saudis play pricing with the Russians (and Iranians) for Asian market share? I think I recall several times over the past year that the Saudis have lowered prices for the Asian market to try to win back market share ...
  8. Today
  9. I'm sure it wouldn't take much to push them in the right direction. I'll bring popcorn.
  10. Nuclear, in fact, is not dirty as regards emissions. It's the risk of a disaster that gives it its bad name.
  11. Saeid, hiring is always going to be affected by the demand for a product; the demand for a commodity (oil) will be reflected in the market price. That said, do remember that any employer is always looking for talent. The skills that you have to offer will be the determinant of the job you are offered and what, eventually, you end up being paid. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve your skills. The other thing to remember is that any employer is also looking at your overall "work attitude." Do you have a history of getting out of bed and on the job on time? Or are you chronically late for work? Stick to Western ideas of being on time (or early), clean, washed and scrubbed, clothes washed (and ironed if you are an office worker), and you increase your chances. Remember, it is not only how great you are; it is also how you look compared to the next guy coming through the employer's door. You always want to put in that extra effort to be the best candidate the man doing the interviewing has seen that week. Cheers.
  12. I have a feeling the wreck has happened. Penn Square occurred in 1982. The full impact did not slam the industry until 1986 along with the savings and loan kerfluffle. When all the debt created for this particular boom is realized to be worthless, all the masters of the universe in New York who have orchestrated this will hope they have enough time to offload this like the last time with real estate. Then the suckers took the hit and that is what they hope happens now. If these MOU's get stuck with this and they cannot offload this, will the taxpayers be willing to bail out oil companies. Magic 8 ball say's, Don't count on it.
  13. Here's 2 items which I would like to bring to your attention, in combination. It seems the increasingly loud calls by stampeding oil bulls for $100+ oil prices have hit a few hiccups recently. And oil prices may cool down a bit. Unless oil traders get jacked up again on too many pots of coffee and restart their over-optimistic buzzing again, but that's another story. Meanwhile, Russia + OPEC may decide to increase their collective oil production shortly by 10% or so. Looks like oil prices may be getting ready to cool down a bit. So, surprisingly, my repeated comments, over and over again, that I've been hoping for an average of $65 oil this year may actually become close to reality. Will wait and see. Anyway, first up, here's an opinion piece on Financial Times (paywall article, "Fair Use" extract) ================================= The surge is over — why $50 oil is now more likely than $100 "The spring fever is passing. After three months on the rise the oil market has turned. In a single day on Friday the price of a barrel of Brent crude fell by 2.5 per cent while the US benchmark crude — West Texas Intermediate — was down by 4.5 per cent. The market is now set for a further fall as the hype and speculation that led to the increase is replaced by a cold return to fundamentals. A Martian watching the oil market from outer space during the past few months will have noticed one thing above all else. There is no shortage of supply and no imbalance of supply and demand. Any shortfalls in production from places such as Venezuela have been easily covered by production from elsewhere, not least the US where output continues to grow month by month thanks to the continuing shale revolution. The run-up in prices was driven by politics. Some traders came to the conclusion that supplies were going to be disrupted by war in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran or between Israel and Iran. This was fuelled by rhetoric on both sides and by President Donald Trump’s disavowal of his predecessor’s deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. The traders began to speculate on what they thought might happen next and the price rose. ..." ================================ ^ Great analysis. Tip of the hat to the author Nick Butler, and to Financial Times for posting Nick's opinion piece. Next up, here's an article from Reuters: ================================ Oil output could return to October 2016 level, says Russia's Novak "A return to the oil production levels that were in place in October 2016, baseline for the current deal to cut output, is one of the options for easing curbs, Russia’s energy minister said on Saturday. Sources said this week that Saudi Arabia and Russia were discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production to ease 17 months of strict supply curbs amid concerns that a price rally has gone too far. ... Oil prices have risen to $80 per barrel, levels unseen since late 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the price of $60 “suits Russia”. ... “I think the output reduction will not be as significant as many expect,” RIA news agency quoted Novak as saying when asked if he agreed with an estimate that the sanctions could remove as much as 800,000 barrels a day from the market. “Some 10 percent is probably the maximum level,” he said." ================================ So in summary, it seems a correction may be underway. My own opinion is that $65 oil is about right - not too high to hurt the global economy, and not too low to hurt oil producers. Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.
  14. Yesterday
  15. In reply to Jan van Eck: I appreciate your understanding of the fact that there are other options to our vehicle fuel market. I have heard from several advocates of methanol but have not seen any real acceptance aside from racing fuel. LNG, CNG, and propane have had a lot of acceptance worldwide. Please see: Natural Gas Vehicles The Natural Gas Revolution Part Eleven of Natural Gas Stories
  16. Pictures of those prices? GasBuddy says the highest price is $3.199, way below our prices in sunny Southern California.
  17. might as well you go with trains & buses than this autonomus rubbish. you are asking yr govt to control you via these politically autonomous nonsense!!
  18. Being more inclusive should be of utmost importance to all employers in an increasingly diverse society and competitive global marketplace.
  19. I know somebody said it earlier, in reference to another comment, but that was beautifully (and very accurately) explained
  20. Although this posture is undoubtedly advanced by inside counsel, I would think it to be sage advice. In the USA, we have devolved into a world where the best posture is to say nothing. But that is not all. In US litigation, once a lawsuit is filed, no matter how ridiculous, the plaintiff is entitled to "discovery." And that includes all e-mail, memos, regular mail, meeting tape-recordings, just about everything. These plaintiffs go on these fishing expeditions through the records of an entire corporation, using the volunteer labor of thousands of activists, to try to find some "smoking gun." So it has gotten to the point where you cannot even keep any written records, certainly not of anything controversial. Global warming? Nope, that is a taboo subject, the words that shall never be breathed. Fracking? That is the third rail of the oil industry, do a study on ground instability and fracking and expect to be hung from the rafters. It creates an environment of know-nothing. Welcome to America.
  21. The bubble is caused by human nature, all industries go through booms and busts and the same types of people get rich, or lose their shirts. Economic history is full of this. As for pulling down the economy, if it's pulled down a moderate amount, short sellers will make a fortune. If there is a risk of systemic collapse, bailouts will happen. Just got back from my time machine... Here's a headline from the news in 2050: "Opposition party says that the current administration is responsible for the national debt going from 150 Trillion to 170 Trillion in only 4 years"
  22. The way to look at gasoline prices can be much simpler by looking into the past. When oil was at its highest, gasoline prices weren't out of reach for the average consumer. It's not as though gas pump prices doubled as oil prices doubled. For example, say $60 per barrel oil hits $120 per barrel, fuel prices in Canada would likely leap from $1.25 Canadian per liter to close to $1.65 Canadian per liter. As in the past, gas outlets sell product by reaching a compromise with the consumer. Think back to times when oil was at its highest. Gas prices were high but not out of reach. The persons crying loudest at fuel prices are the loudmouths pretending to speak for others rather than to speak for themselves. They are preying on others, claiming that others are too weak-minded to speak for themselves. They say it so much, they start to believe it themselves. Their weak minded following become dyslectic about the harm such statements are doing to the majority of persons that like to live in a stimulated, thriving economy. It's shameful! Individuals most affected are the ones with big motorhomes, with big boats, with multiple vehicles, with a few ATV's, with .... Get the picture!
  23. Oil is indeed fungible - at the same time Iran has recently become a top exporter of crude to France, and supplies a third of Italy's needs. Replacing this most likely means greater reliance on Russia, which the EU is hardly thrilled about either. So if the concern is that with the escalation of public threats by Khamenei et al. will result in the US not granting sanctions exemptions to Italy/Greece/France/Spain as before, for those countries it is not an unreasonable concern. But Iranian hardliners have a strong hand to play.
  24. In protest, U.S. Senate Democrats are taking public transportation and walking a few blocks. Got to hand it to them.
  25. Last week
  26. Well, it looks like the Courts have just handed a rebuke toboth the City of Vancouver and the Squamish First Nations,demolishing their lawsuit to obtain a court injunction against the construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from the oil fields of Alberta to the marine terminals (and refinery) in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. To quote from the Financial Post article: CALGARY – The Supreme Court of British Columbia threw out two challenges against the B.C. government’s environmental approvals for the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline project, adding to Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.’s near-perfect record of winning legal cases even as the project faces stiff opposition on the ground. The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed applications by the City of Vancouver and the Squamish Nation to overturn the environmental certificates the former Liberal B.C. government had granted to the Trans Mountain project. In a decisive victory for the company, Justice Christopher Grauer ruled that Vancouver would need to pay Kinder Morgan unspecified legal costs. Prior to the two cases, Kinder Morgan had won 14 court challenges in a row for its Trans Mountain pipeline project. --------------------------------------------------------- For Americans unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Canadian Court system, I would mention that it operates under the British system of "loser pay." If you are a party to a lawsuit in Canada, and you lose, you get to pay the other side's legal bills on an attorney-client basis. Ouch. Will this be the end of the litigation? No chance. These guys will litigate that pipeline right into the ground. Hey, the City is playing with taxpayer money, not exactly the same thing as the City Council Members' own pocketbooks, now is it?
  27. < ahem > Kim Jong-Un Holds Surprise Second Summit With South Korea President Moon North Korea's president Kim Jong Un held a surprise two-hour second summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Panmunjom on Saturday afternoon to pave way for a summit between North Korea and the United States. The South Korean presidential office said the two leaders met at the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm local time on Saturday, where they "candidly discussed the potential Trump-Kim summit",and exchanged their opinions on implementing the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration.
  28. Just found this interesting report about the dynamics of oil between the united states and china.
  29. Seems the "masters of the universe" are limited to being "masters of the U.S." The EU is calling out their shenanigans. BRB, popcorn.
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