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  1. 29 points
    The irony of the Mueller investigation that was demanded by Democrats because they thought it would show Trump colluded with Russia to win the Presidency is that it has blown up in their faces by exposing in greater detail how Obama and the Deep State attempted first, to throw an election in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and second, attempted a coup once Trump was elected via investigations and false claims. Once Trump won the election, the Deep State used their accomplices in the msm to convince the American public that Donald J Trump stole the election with the collaboration of the Russians. In this way they sought to remove him by impeachment. It turns out the Deep State were the ones who were acting as agents of Russia seeking to tear America apart. Consider: John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, by his own admission, played a key role in instigating the investigation of Trump before the election. In the aftermath of the election Brennan has repeatedly called Trump a traitor on social media and old media. We now know in August 2016 Brennan gave a private briefing to Sen. Harry Reid. Subsequently, Reid sent a letter to the FBI which included info that clearly came from the now infamous dossier, manufactured by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS contractor. This dossier would later be included in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application that was used to justify investigations into Trump, his campaign, and his family. It now appears very likely Brennan later lied under oath that he did not know who commissioned the dossier. This dossier was originally funded by none other than Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Since the conclusion of the Mueller report has come out Brennan, probably fearing an investigation into his actions pre/post election, now says he had “bad information”. A more accurate description might be that he was willfully spreading disinformation to bring down a President. James Comey himself described this dossier as “salacious” and “unverified” yet he did not bother to have the FBI attempt to verify the contents of the dossier. This didn't stop Comey from lying 4 times to the FISA court that ex-British spy Steele was the source of an article by “journalist” Isikoff, which was used to corroborate claims in his own dossier. So Comey, in essence, told the FISA court that the Steele dossier had been corroborated by…Steele. Some background: Steele also worked for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. So the only person who had any verifiable evidence of working with the Russians in any capacity is an ex-British spy, contracted to manufacture a false dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton to smear Trump and later weaponized to impeach Trump after he won the election. Comey lied to the FISA court so he could obtain, as he did, a warrant to spy on Carter Page (Trump staffer) and the Trump family during the election. Moreover, in addition to Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, and former Attorney General Sally Yates were required to sign off on the FISA warrant application. They are either incompetent or were engaged in a conspiracy but regardless, this was a fraud on the FISA court. Bruce Ohr, a senior official at the time at the Justice Department, acted as a middleman between the FBI and Steele. He passed along information from his wife Nellie Ohr, also a Fusion GPS contractor like Steele, with, presumably, unverified and false info regarding Trump and his campaign. The FBI later terminated Steele’s relationship as a confidential informant with them after he revealed this relationship to the press. However, for up to 1.5 years after, Bruce Ohr continued to act as middleman between Steele and the FBI, even after Mueller took over the investigation. Americans should be marching in the streets at this attempted coup but we are so doped with mindless entertainment that we no longer care. We are becoming a system where as long as you don’t challenge the 2 party system you are allowed your freedom to make money and to say whatever you want so long as it doesn't have consequences. Any more details of Mueller's report due to be released by AG Barr are likely to reveal more of the rotted core of the Deep State and their machinations and not, as Democrats think, damaging info about Trump.
  2. 21 points
    Excellent overview. Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history ANALYSIS / OPINION: The new coronavirus is real. The response to the coronavirus is hyped. And in time, this hype will be revealed as politically hoaxed. In fact, COVID-19 will go down as one of the political world’s biggest, most shamefully overblown, overhyped, overly and irrationally inflated and outright deceptively flawed responses to a health matter in American history, one that was carried largely on the lips of medical professionals who have no business running a national economy or government. The facts are this: COVID-19 is a real disease that sickens some, proves fatal to others, mostly the elderly — and does nothing to the vast majority. That’s it. That, in a nutshell, is it. Or, in the words of Dan Erickson and Artin Massih, doctors and co-owners of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California: Let’s get the country reopened - and now. “Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no. Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. … [T]he data is showing it’s time to lift,” Erickson said, in a recent interview. He’s right. They’re right. The data to keep America closed and Americans closed in simply doesn’t exist. If truth be told, it’s questionable it ever did. The scientists leading the coronavirus shutdown charge predicted in March that in America, between 100,000 and 250,000 would die. They based those estimates on computer modeling. But at the same time they were basing those estimates on computer modeling, they were acknowledging that computer modeling is inaccurate and errs on the side of hype. “I’ve never seen a model of the diseases I’ve dealt with where the worst-case actually came out,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus task force, during a CNN interview in March. “They always overshoot.” Catch that? Fauci’s message: Computer models are flawed and inaccurate and always overestimate the problem. But from these faulty overinflated computer figures came all the constitutionally questionable actions by government anyway - from ordering businesses closed to quarantining-slash-house arresting American citizens to doing some quick and pitiful and economically painful income redistribution schemes via stimulus funds’ legislation. Since, about 56,000 have died in America due to coronavirus — or have they? Again, the facts are flimsy. Government ordered hospitals weeks ago to stop performing elective surgeries to make way for the projected numbers of coronavirus patients. So they did. And in so doing, they cut off their revenue streams. So Congress passed legislation giving hospitals billions of dollars to treat coronavirus patients. Conflict of interest? Yikes. Yes. The coronavirus counts, already flawed from computer modeling, were then given another flaw treatment. “[Pennsylvania] removes more than 200 deaths from official coronavirus count as questions mount about reporting process, data accuracy,” The Inquirer reported. Add to that the ever-changing nature of a virus that spreads by air and contact, and honestly, suddenly, even expert Fauci’s best guess is about as good as Joe Neighbor’s best guess. So that leaves common sense, combined with knowledge of past viruses, to guide. But the quote-unquote medical experts refused to go there, refused to acknowledge common sense, refused to compare with past viruses in any way that didn’t hype the coronavirus counts. This virus was different, Americans were told. This virus was far more contagious than anything ever before seen or studied, Americans were told. And any time the case counts dropped off and the numbers proved wrong, well, this was due to the social distancing and quarantining and face-mask wearing that Americans had been doing, by government’s order - Americans were told. It just didn’t make sense. It just doesn’t add up. It just didn’t, and doesn’t, justify the utter shredding of civil rights. And now some in the medical community, thank goodness, are starting to point out the glaring omissions of logic and fact that have plagued this overhyped, overreaching coronavirus crackdown that has stretched on far, far too long. Among some of Erickson’s remarks: “This is immunology — microbiology 101. This is the basis of what we’ve known for years: When you take human beings and you say, ‘Go into your house, clean all your counters, Lysol them down’ … what does it do to our immune system? … Sheltering in place decreases your immune system.” And this: “Any time you have something new in the [medical] community, it sparks fear — and I would have done what Dr. Fauci did … initially. … But you know, looking at theories and models — which is what these folks use — is very different than the way the actual virus presents itself throughout communities.” And this: “Do you think you’re protected from COVID when you wear gloves that transfer disease everywhere? … We wear masks in an acute setting to protect us. [But] we’re not wearing masks. Why is that? Because we understand microbiology. We understand immunology. And we want strong immune systems. I don’t want to hide in my home, develop a weak immune system and then come out and get disease.” And this: “When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add COVID? To maybe increase the numbers, and make it look a little bit worse than it is. We’re being pressured in-house to add COVID to the diagnostic list when we think it has nothing to do with the actual cause of death. The actual cause of death was not COVID, but it’s being reported as one of the diseases processes. … COVID didn’t kill them, 25 years of tobacco use killed.” Does it get any clearer than that? Seriously, America. The only reason America is still in shutdown mode is political. Either politicians are too afraid to make any move that might come back to bite them politically or politicians are using this coronavirus to political advantage — to, say, pass gun control laws, like Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam. Or to, say, float campaign hopes on the current ravaged economy, like former Vice President Joe Biden and oh, all the Democrats facing races. But for the rest of America - the rest of hardworking, freedom-loving America - it’s time to reel in the radically unconstitutional. “If you’re going to dance on someone’s constitutional rights, you better have a good reason - you better have a really good reason, not just a theory,” Erickson said. “The data is showing us it’s time to lift … so if we don’t lift, what is the reason?” That is the key question. As time goes by, the answer will only become more and more evident. The coronavirus may be real — but the hype is hoaxed. Now let’s just hope this is a one-time hoax that doesn’t roll around every time flu season approaches.
  3. 18 points
    Chris, I like your confidence but how is the world going to get moving again? About the only way I see that happening is if this virus is "seasonal" and goes into a silent pout on its own or the hydroxychloroquine turns out to be a silver bullet. IOW, I'm not at all sure that most people have peaked over the hill to see what lies ahead, post-coronavirus. I can't imagine restaurants, bars, barber shops, the DMV, people-to-people contact places opening up to business as usual until there's some assurance those people will survive the experience. Not to try to dampen your enthusiasm but I think we skipped right through the recession part and are now, very likely, in a depression. With depression era unemployment numbers (likely will reach 20-25%). I think the stock market will bottom out again, only much lower this time, probably to a Dow of 12,500--about where it was before the crash of 2008. What we are going through is going to take a few years to recover from as we're going to come out of it with the largest national debt ever imaginable by the drunkest of men. Inflation has to run rampant. About the only thing that can save the oil business right now is a massive infrastructure project across America, and a complete ban of across-the-water oil, at the same time putting a cap on prices at or about $60. I just don't see any other way out at this point--too much has occurred, too much demand destruction, too much debt-making and destruction, too much storage all across the world. We have reached a stage of oil warfare. Compare it: we were in medical or viral or call it what you will warfare with China since SARS, but let it go. We let this go, let our entire United States petroleum business go, we're looking at hostage prices.
  4. 17 points
    We don't really have a two party system in this country. There's only the party of incumbency, then wealthy retirement as "lobbyist" or "consultant". We see Obama on billionaires' yachts and don't blink an eye. Al Gore is worth half a billion from a net worth of 2.5 million when he left office. The Clintons control a $2.5 billion fortune much of it protected by the paper thin veneer of a "foundation" from the tax man. Because when they ran on higher taxes on the rich, they meant thee, not themselves. It's going to take awhile to figure out how Paul Ryan was bought off, but bought off he was. In some ways, the biggest tragedy of 9/11 was that flight 93 couldn't find Congress. Shuffling the deck might have been the best thing for the country. Politicians aren't our friends
  5. 16 points
    The governments everywhere are flailing because they were acting like headless chickens when the virus hit was confirmed. It was obvious that it would hit. They planned badly, The US did badly as well. Flying blind without tests because of CDC and FDA power games, which you can also interpret as deliberate sabotage. The WHO acted as a Chinese mouthpiece and its efforts in coordinating vaccine and treatment development are thus suspect. They may be just as well making sure that there is no vaccine or treatment to pass trials. It is typical for example of the NIH and FDA to structure trials and experiments by selecting patients for trial that can't react to a low cost treatment in order to keep away competition from a new patented drug. There is no reason for any European nation to support the WHO and collaborate with it. Its actions as a CCP sycophant disqualify it from any degree of trust. They know better than that. Trump was suckered into the lockdown guidelines. It was a mistake. He is trying to get out of it without having to admit that he was taken in by the establishment - aka "the swamp" - in their role as CCP shills and paid saboteurs and political enemies.
  6. 16 points
    To set the stage, I do not have a medical background, I am an engineer. Furthermore, I am just like everybody else as I to am forced to rely on questionable media sources for my information. That said, there seems to be little, or no, consensus between the various medical association, various doctors, or various politicians, regarding the present lethality of the corona virus, the level of infection, or the effectiveness of any treatment proposed. There also seems to be dissension among the ‘experts’ as to the necessity, or effectiveness, of these draconian lockdown measures. Everyone does seem to agree that the prevention measures presently in place are destroying economies and driving the world to the brink of a depression. For Americans, the trampling of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is of grave concern. This whole corona virus issue reminds me of the climate change debate where we are willing to bet our livelihood and way of life on science which does not have the blessing of the entire scientific community and has hatched cheerleaders on both sides of the debate that rarely, if ever, actually understand the science supporting what they are cheering about. In regards to the corona virus issue, and the climate change debate, it appears that the blind are leading the blind.
  7. 16 points
    Readers might note that "Dumping" is a specific set of events in which surplus product is sold at prices below that commanded in the home country for the same product. Occasionally, Dumping is taken to mean selling at below the cost of production. There is no hard evidence - yet - that the KSA is selling that crude for less than equal-quality crude is internally sold. It is a bit of an abstract, as I assume that the production of petroleum goods inside KSA is all controlled by the State, and thus pricing ladders are artificial. That said, is there evidence that the oil itself has not already been sold to oil traders? Can traders "dump"? Probably not. I do not see any plausible way for anti-dumping laws to apply to the sale of Saudi oil at fire-sale pricing. Yo9u have this cheap oil everywhere, the world is awash in it. I would not put much stock into anything that Rick Perry says, he is a notorious dimwit. Can the Trump Administration impose import quotas? Yes, it can, and there is precedent for this. Readers are invited to review the combination of tariffs and quotas on construction lumber from Canada into the USA (a perennial sore point, for many decades, between them). Will Trump do that? My guess: no. The US economy benefits immensely from ultra-cheap oil. The users of oil products pay less, thus having more funds to spend on "something else." Or, as in the case of the air carriers, they can offer lower fares, once the hedging contracts run out. All that, cumulatively, puts more cash into individual pockets, be that corporations or individuals. More cash ultimately results in more spending, and greater levels of economic activity. OK, that is not so pleasant for the domestic oil industry, but it is what it is.
  8. 16 points
    President Trump has pretty much done what he promised to do on his campaign trail. That must be the biggest slap in the face to his haters. I'm sure there were many who thought "oh well, he'll never get anything done" Instead, he does every thing he said he would, including keeping oil prices down. I say this honestly, I have been impressed with his effectiveness in politics and his wisdom in keeping the U.S. out of foreign conflict. Especially considering he's met arguably the harshest critics and most political resistance of any American President. I definitely don't always agree with him, but he has been consistent to his promises.
  9. 16 points
    This thread starts with the headline: "Iran downs US drone. No military response" Why is this so startling? The US sends a spy drone to go take a look at what the Iranians are up to (not much of a surprise there), and the Iranians go take a shot at it, get lucky, wing the bird, and down it goes. Again no big surprise - after you get past the shooting part of hitting the bird. Let's remember something: The USA has no business sending spy drones over other countries. If you do that, then don't be surprised that somebody takes umbrage and tries to knock it down. Going back some 50 years, the Russians were infuriated that the US had developed that U-2 high-level spy plane that flew up beyond their air power reach, and could travel over several thousand miles of Soviet territory with impunity. So the Russians knocked themselves out developing an ultra-high-altitude interceptor missile, knocked down Francis Gary Powers, and the rest is history. The US can do it today with the Blackbird SR-71, but nobody much bothers as satellites have made those manned flights obsolete. Today those spy drones, and their cousins the assassination drones, are cheap enough to build and operate and can drop a bomb right through some open window and into the bedroom of any foreigner the US wants to go assassinate, and do it with complete impunity. Now, that prospect is going to make adversaries rather jumpy. You have to expect that the targets are going to do their damnest to knock those birds down. Another good reason not to have a live pilot on board. Nobody is going to start a shooting war over some spy drone. They just send up another one, and the game continues.
  10. 15 points
    Do others, reacting to fear, hype and flawed computer models have a right to close your business, take your job, ruin your livelihood and trample on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
  11. 15 points
    There are really 2 separate issues for conventional and unconventional shale fields. Most conventional fields are quite old, and have been using waterfloods for decades to keep the reservoirs pressurized and fluids moving. In a waterflood, you inject high pressure water on 1 end of the field and expect to recuperate that water + oil + gas on another end of the field. By continuously injecting water, you keep things moving underground through the rock pores. Now, if you shut in wells, you also need to stop injecting water, because the reservoir can only take so much. Once you stop injecting water, everything stops moving underground, the rock can swell, effectively closing the pores making impossible to restart the reservoir... or the oil can stick to the rock rather than flow through the water... there are many mechanics that would simply cause the oil to get trapped underground if we shut in these old conventional fields, and would take billions of dollars to get them restarted. So it's just not worth, better to produce the field at a loss for a few months than lose it forever. I would argue that unconventional shale fields are a lot easier to shut in and restart but in many cases there is a huge cost associated with that. Once a shale well is producing, if you shut it in for some time, sand will slowly accumulate in the horizontal effectively clogging the well off completely and there is nothing you can do to get this well back online without incurring huge costs by getting a crew out on location to clean out the well and bring it back online. So again engineers need to carefully evaluate the economics in this scenario to make sure that shutting in a well wouldnt end of causing more economic damage than just keeping the well online even through it is currently uneconomic. all this is to say... turning wells on and off isnt just a simple ordeal... you can turn them off for a couple hours, maybe a day, and not cause long term damage but shutting in some wells for a long period of time is essentially abandoning the asset.
  12. 14 points
    Watching the news in Malaysia this morning I saw where the rioters in the US were pulling down the statues of Confederate veterans, defacing historic sites (including the Lincoln Memorial), and demanding that US miliary installations named after Confederate Generals be renamed. In other news, British protesters and rioters were pulling down statues, defacing others (including those of Winston Churchil) and demanding institutions named after Cecil Rhodes be renamed. Slavery was a horrible institution, most agree on that.,But it needs to be seen in the historical context it existed in. Furthermore, almost every society, at some point, kept slaves (including South America, Africa and the Middle East). Slavery was NEVER a solely ‘white’ institution. The George Floyd/police brutality/racism narrative has now been highjacked. I have never owned slaves and neither have my ancestors. By the same token, no black alive today, in the US or UK, has ever been a slave in either the UK or the US. I refuse to buy into the white guilt or white privilege trip - I have neither. I am seeing ‘black entitlement’, which is unearned. I am to the point where I don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone who loots, burns down residences or beats people up for no reason. This is aggrevated robbery, arson and assault. I hope these people are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I am sick of these people trying to rewrite history because they are ‘offended’. These rioters are entitled idiots have lost the plot and are doing more damage to their ‘cause’ than the Floyd murder created. I have zero respect for these rioters and will not shed a tear when they get what they deserve...regardless of their skin color.
  13. 14 points
    The Trump Administration is doing everything possible, and probably too much in some ways. Meanwhile his actions, and that of the entire government are being lied about by almost all of the mainstream media sources. They are guilty for much of the stock market losses and scare mongering going on. It is born out of the same desperation that the motivated the attempts to overthrow him since even before he was nominated and finally the phony attempt at impeachment. These lies are just more of the same.
  14. 14 points
    Have you ever personally seen what it takes to get a barrel of oil out of the ground and into a barrel? I doubt it; correct me if I'm wrong. Do you have any idea of history? With barrels of oil in reserve, we're about right: no less, no more. IMO-2020 takes place January 1, 2020. Do you have any idea what it's going to cost to transport a VLCC full of oil to China after the low-sulfur bans are in place? I didn't think so. Do you have any idea what the Saudis have in reserve? I don't either, but it's a given that it's less than they had five years ago. Occidental has ten billion borrowed at 8% interest--but they're trying to sell property. Continental is doing okay. Hess is also doing okay. Several small players are doing okay. Some are going to go broke, but you know what, it's not their money----it's funny money, from pooled investors, pay your way and find your way. Secretary Perry doesn't have a f****** clue. The Department of Energy is one of the departments he claimed he was going to eliminate when he was campaigning for president. He forgot its name on stage! And now he's head of it! Does that not strike you as ironic? Whether Perry's guess is right or Goldman Sachs has it right is of very little significance: it is what is is. And what it is is a market, with fear and greed moving it, along with surplus and . . . ultimately, shortages. But I'll damn sure guarantee you one thing: the world is NOT currently awash in oil. The world's storage is just about on par. The world's proved up reserves are no longer even verifiable; if they were the Saudi Aramco IPO would be ongoing. In truth, the world doesn't have a clue what the reserves are, and which ones will be used. Most of the articles on Oilprice are meant to scare people, written by someone like you: who hasn't a brain cell's idea of what it's like to go take a risk, bring up a barrel of oil, try to peddle it. It's just bullshit. I don't mind you saying it, but I do want to call it out as bullshit. It's not even provocative.
  15. 14 points
    I feel like looking at this through an idealistic lens: When a nation adopts dangerous ideas, it's safer for the world to destroy that nation than to let the infection spread. Thus, nations aren't being destabilized to prop up the price of oil. They're being destabilized to prevent violent ideas (Iran) and economically unsound ideas (Venezuela) from infecting other nations. This works partly because it strips dangerous nations of the resources they need to spread their ideas and partly because it makes an example of them. Most of the Middle East is an obvious example of dangerous ideas. They export violence, oppression of women, etc. That's not acceptable. Venezuela is a more subtle case. Their sin was socialism: stripping resources from the producers of society to give it to unproductive people. This is dangerous because, in the long run, it destroys the economy, plunging everyone into destitution. Unfortunately, citizens of developed nations looked at Venezuela's short-term success and thought, "I want free stuff too!" The dangerous idea was spreading. Thus, the safest course of action is to accelerate Venezuela's inevitable demise. If Venezuela doesn't appear successful, then there's no reason to mimic their behavior. There's also the issue of OPEC, which intentionally manipulates markets. If the problem is that governments are manipulating markets, then the solution is to replace those governments. If The People don't like the resulting death, disease, and destruction, then they shouldn't have supported market manipulation. Better to have a few suffer today than to have everyone suffer later. Conveniently, many dangerous nations rely on oil revenues. Increasing oil prices has the short-term effect of enriching these nations, but the long-term effect of destroying them. As they become dependent on oil revenues, high prices allowed unconventional oil producers to invest in R&D, which drove down the cost of unconventional oil, which allows unconventional oil to replace conventional oil from dangerous nations, which eliminates those nations' revenue streams. These dangerous nations are now wholly dependent on oil revenue even as they're being stripped of that revenue. Problem solved. On a more abstract level, the problem is that some people can't manage resources. They consume everything they're given, fall into destitution, and then complain bitterly that it was Someone Else's fault. These people destroy everything they touch. They are dangerous and cannot be allowed to infect others. Thus, they must be made into examples.
  16. 14 points
    In my opinion, Russiagate was a fraud and a hoax. However, I do not view "the Deep State" is a monolithic entity. I believe there are various factions and interests, some more in common with others, and it's never clear in the shadowy netherworld of intelligence and intrigue. What we see on the media are the figureheads and cartoon cutouts - the Ted Lieus, the Adam Schiffs, the Muellers, the Maddows, etc. In my opinion, the Trump election reflects a slight conflict precisely within the 'Deep State' factions. The neoliberal establishment that has long since reigned does not like Trump for various reasons, including likely his geopolitical opinions. The Russiagate narrative served to vilify Russia has the number enemy. Unfortunately, most in the American ruling class were and still are asleep to the fact that the greatest geopolitical rival and threat to the U.S. actually comes from China, not Russia. Former candidates like Mitt Romney are completely oblivious to the geopolitical tectonic shifts that are currently underway that will determine the fate of the 21st century. Russiagate did a whole lot of nothing, but the lasting effect of Russiagate has been online censorship of mostly right-leaning personalities who dare questioned the official media narrative. Social media sites have largely silenced or banned those who did not necessarily tow the main line. Russiagate will soon be in the public memoryhole, but you can bet the censorship tactics of most of the social media corporations will remain intact. Although I do not agree with Trump on most items, he was correct to see China as the true geopolitical rival to the U.S. and his (at least) verbal overtures to woo Russia could be viewed as an attempt to mend ties with Russia. If the U.S. has any hope of trying to stay relevant not just as a superpower but as a country, it will need to realize the reality and court proper alliances on the grand chessboard, especially Russia.
  17. 14 points
    That is a bogus polling company paid by Maduro's regime close to 90 % of Venezuelans want him to go. He is hanging on because of the chief military support based on their asociation with drug cartels and money laundering and widespread corruption
  18. 14 points
    1) Demand for oil plummets due to the economic effects of the threat of triple digit oil prices. 2) Oil and gas production continue to increase, far more than is needed, due to overblown concerns about oil production cutbacks in Iran, Venezuela, etc. 3) Canada gets its act together and an oil pipeline system is put in place to export more oil to U.S. Tar sands production increases due to pressure to pay down fixed costs. 4) U.S. Shale oil pipeline bottlenecks get resolved, and Shale oil production increases dramatically. 5) Iran keeps exporting oil, but on the black market, resulting in incorrect global oil production figures, and OPEC and Russia don't cut back. 6) Oil traders panic about overproduction and drive oil prices over a cliff. If some (or all) of these happen by middle / end of 2019, I could plausibly see $20 oil.
  19. 13 points
    An upbeat success story about Natural Gas. For some reason, the media complains lately that Natural Gas is a reliable, cheap and abundant competitor to wind and solar - which are unreliable, expensive, and require backup systems for when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Seems to me that Natural Gas being reliable, cheap and abundant is a GOOD thing, not something to complain about. Natural gas is crushing wind and solar power ... Meanwhile, the United States continues to reduce its carbon emissions into the atmosphere at a faster pace than virtually every other country in the world. This is because natural gas is not just cheap. It is one of the cleanest ways to produce scalable and dependable electric power for a nation of 320 million people. We don't need brownouts in America as we saw in California, and natural gas is an excellent way to make sure the lights don't go out. It would be hard to find anything NOT to like about this great American success story: energy independence, reliable and inexhaustible supply, low prices, reduced power of the Middle East, Russia, and other OPEC nations, and cleaner air than at any time in at least a century. Yet liberal environmentalists are grousing about this good news. A recent Bloomberg news story exclaims in its headline: "Cheap Gas Imperils Climate Fight by Undercutting Wind and Solar Power." "Gas is such a bargain that it's being viewed less as a bridge fossil fuel driving the world away from dirtier coal toward a clean-energy future," the story tells us, "and more as a hurdle that could slow the trip down. Some forecasters are predicting prices will stay low for years, making it tough for states, cities, and utilities to achieve their goals of being zero-carbon in power production by 2050 or earlier." Ravina Advani, head of renewable energy at BNP Paribus, complained: "The fact that there's an abundance of it makes the move to complete decarbonization much harder … Gas is a tough competitor. It's reliable, and it's cheap." And that is bad news, why, exactly? It's like saying a cure for the coronavirus is bad for hospitals and doctors. Maybe it is high time we admit we have found for now the great energy source of the next few decades and celebrate that America is endowed with a vital resource that is abundant and affordable — just like our best-in-the-world farmland. The Left talks about eradicating "poverty," but "energy poverty" is a primary source of deprivation around the world. Now, there is an obvious solution: Natural gas could easily be the primary source of power production for the world as a whole, slashing costs for the poor everywhere on the planet from sub-Saharan Africa to Bangladesh. Instead, politicians and government bureaucrats around the world are trying to force-feed the world expensive, unreliable, and unscalable wind and solar power. The African Development Bank, for example, is only financing "green energy" projects, not coal or natural gas. It is substituting a cheap form of clean energy for a costly "green" alternative. Why? ... ... It's time to get smart about energy and climate change and throw asunder taxpayer subsidies doled out to all forms of energy production. Let the market, not politicians and environmental groups, choose the safest and most reliable and affordable energy source. Everyone is making a big bet on battery-operated cars and trucks. But who is to say that trucks and buses fueled with natural gas won't be the wave of the future? No one knows what makes the most sense and where the future will lead us. Nuclear power has great promise. But for now, the markets are shouting out for natural gas on a grander scale. Fifteen years ago, no one would have thought we would have a superabundance of this wonder-fuel today. But we do. No one is more surprised than politicians. Why do we let them keep betting the farm on the wrong horse?
  20. 13 points
    (My comment 1 of 2) Simple timeline for you to consider. Your mileage may vary. 1) War on drugs (unwinnable) 2) War on terror (unwinnable) 3) War on Global Warming ( *sigh* ) 4) War on Panic-demic (unwinnable) Each of these items in the timeline has a very specific thing in common: "voluntarily" giving up rights and freedoms in exchange for a false sense of security. See how that works? Also, I refuse to apologize for being a pain in the butt about my views.
  21. 13 points
    Brushing up on my Oil Kingdom Official-Speak parlance, I think the non-official version of the announcement roughly translates to something like this: Dear world consumers, we have been pushing for $80 to $100 oil prices to prop up our Aramco IPO. But some hawks are pushing for $300 oil - that's crazy talk, as we tend to like having our heads firmly attached to our necks. So we plan to push for weekly increases in oil prices, to see just how far we can go. Next week we'll run the idea of $120 oil up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. And the week after that, we'll push for $130 oil, because of risk of supply disruptions. And stuff. Risk stuff. We want consumers to be happy with a balance of oil prices somewhere between $80 and $300, depending on what the market will bear, with us creating fear and highlighting risk. Did we mention risk yet? Because oil prices need to increase because of risk. Trust us, we are doing what is best for us. Have a nice day, consumers.
  22. 12 points
    Dead on accurate. Presented without my usual long winded comments. DEFIANCE – There are More of Us Than Them In April something was bugging me… a familiarity amid the COVID lock-down status & another time… I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until a dear friend reminded me. Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980’s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable. Sacramento California, peaceful protesters confronted by riot police Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers. In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other. In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly. In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state. In 1981 in Poland; communication amid the Solidarity Movement was forced underground. In 2020 many oppressive State governors demanded social media remove public content adverse to the interests of the Stay-at-Home confinement orders. Big Tech complied with the authoritarian dictate. In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business. In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching. In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens). Interestingly, as we begin to see the American people saying “enough”, and openly defying the authoritarian state. There’s another parallel that is comparable, enlightening and quite remarkable. Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined pole shout on television: Fast forward more than thirty years later and those glorious voices are prescient. The power of the government comes from the people; or as we say in the U.S. “from the consent of the governed.” Thus the underlying principle behind our defiance. If the people will lead, the politicians are forced to follow: If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it. If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it. If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it. The power of the local, regional or state authority comes from the expressed consent of the people. As soon as the majority of people deny that consent, those officials and state authoritarians lose all of their power. Yes, it really is that simple. Go live your best life. You’re worth it. Sacramento, California
  23. 12 points
    This is exactly the type of scenarios that the Climate Panic crowd deliberately ignore. I really do get annoyed with the obtuseness of those who demand to magically convert the entire world to so-called "renewable" energy while they ignore the simple fact that these "renewable" energy systems require backup hydrocarbon energy systems. Double the cost, having both hydrocarbon systems and "renewable" energy systems. Germany’s overdose of renewable energy Germany now generates over 35% of its yearly electricity consumption from wind and solar sources. Over 30 000 wind turbines have been built, with a total installed capacity of nearly 60 GW. Germany now has approximately 1.7 million solar power (photovoltaic) installations, with an installed capacity of 46 GW. This looks very impressive. Unfortunately, most of the time the actual amount of electricity produced is only a fraction of the installed capacity. Worse, on “bad days” it can fall to nearly zero. In 2016 for example there were 52 nights with essentially no wind blowing in the country. No Sun, no wind. Even taking “better days” into account, the average electricity output of wind and solar energy installations in Germany amounts to only about 17% of the installed capacity. The obvious lesson is: if you want a stable, secure electricity supply, then you will need reserve, or backup sources of electricity which can be activated on more or less short notice to fill the gaps between electricity demand and the fluctuating output from wind and solar sources. The more wind and solar energy a nation decides to generate, the more backup capacity it will require. On “bad days” these backup sources must be able to supply up to 100% of the nation’s electricity demand. On “good days” (or during “good hours”) the backup sources will be used less, or even turned off, so that their capacity utilization will also be poor. Not very good economics. ...
  24. 12 points
    There is no logical reason for the American voters to wish to reject a second term of Donald Trump (assuming he is the candidate, which is likely, and assuming that his wife does not insist he retire from politics), The USA has effectively a two-party system. The opposition party is the democrats, and they seem incapable of mounting a credible candidate. Wht logical reason would any voter have, to vote for a Democrat candidate, when all they can trot out is some recycled Clintonite? Who needs those people? Nobody. The Chinese have lost all credibility among Ameerican voters. An argument could be made that the corn growers in Iowa might be angry that the market for their crop, and for soybeans, has evaporated, but remember that Mr. Trump can win an election without the delegate votes of Iowa in the Electoral College. The key states are those that "flipped" from Dem to Repub in the last election: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Iowa. That brought Trump to 303 electoral votes, and you only need 270 to win. Trump can lose Iowa. The Americans are going to separate themselves from China. Nothing that China can do is going to deflect that. Is China going to dismantle the Communist Party, remove itself from Tibet, remove itself from Xingjiang and fre the Uighurs, give up the South China Sea, renounce intentions of seizing Taiwan, and start to behave? No chance. So, why should the Americans (or anyone else) have any truck with that crowd? "Trade War truce?" There isn't going to be any trade, forget about those guys. Will China disintergrate internally without the cash influx from sales to the Americans? Probably. Nobody cares about China any more. China is done.
  25. 12 points
    Nope. BUSTED: Media Uses VA ‘Study’ To Launch Easily Debunked Attack On Hydroxychloroquine Read the ^ article. And here is an analysis of this article: The Department of Veterans Affairs study (Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19) being pushed by the media right now is not a randomized control study, nor has it been peer reviewed. It is a retroactive analysis. The problem with retrospective analysis is that it relies upon secondary data where researchers have no control over how the data was initially collected, essentially making any conclusions in such research studies biased or incomplete. The VA study being pushed by the media right now only involved 385 patients, of which only 368 males between the ages of 59 and 75 were evaluated. From the study: “…hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, was more likely to be prescribed to patients with more severe disease, as assessed by baseline ventilatory status and metabolic and hematologic parameters. Thus, as expected, increased mortality was observed in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, both with and without azithromycin.” Given the various clinical characteristics of the patients shown in the study, and the fact that differing treatment protocols were given for various underlying morbidities, it is not possible to accurately determine the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine from this retrospective analysis. From the study: “…we cannot rule out the possibility of selection bias or residual confounding.” In other words, the study does not account for variables that influence both dependent and independent variables. In this case, associated variables pertaining to morbidities are not causally related, essentially making the any conclusions about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine unreliable. From the study: “Our findings may also be influenced by the demographic composition of patients in our cohort, the majority of whom were black.” 236 of the patients used in this study were black. The median age for the patients was over 65 years. Correlations regarding mortality pertaining to age and race were not established in the documentation of this retrospective analysis, so the study’s conclusions about treatment efficacy are inadequate. The documentation of this retrospective analysis does not indicate anything about the usage of zinc. Given that the hypothetical anti-viral mechanism of hydroxychloroquine is to open the cellular pathway for zinc, the analysis from the VA is incomplete. Hypothetically, hydroxychloroquine allows zinc to enter cells, inhibiting the replicase enzyme, effectively preventing COVID-19 from replicating. The political left is acting as if this study proves that the treatment touted by President Trump is somehow tantamount to snake oil. Given the weaknesses of the study, those who espouse such an opinion are clearly wrong. As you are reading this, the media is conducting a coordinated effort to promote this particular study to discredit and tarnish the President and his supporters. They are pushing what amounts to a false narrative, and people may very well die because of it. Here is a link to the study: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.16.20065920v1.full.pdf ====================================================================== https://twitter.com/ScottFantasy/status/1252786512808292360
  26. 12 points
    As JFK said, the trick is to surround yourself with competent people (paraphrases). Does Trump have an in-depth knowledge of the oil industry? I doubt it. This is similar to him having an in-depth knowledge of military operations or the mining industry. It is ridiculous to assume that he has an in-depth knowledge of each and every industry. That said, he does understand business, and he will have advisors for each segment of industry.
  27. 12 points
    ^ I'm a baby boomer. A lifelong runner. A mountain climber. A biker. And wouldn't you know it, I contracted a bad disease a few years back that left me with only one functioning lung. So, at age seventy-five, I'm in the highest risk category. If this gets really awful, and I present to the ER with say 120 other C-virus victims, I'm going to get triaged to the parking lot. And I'm okay with that. I'm not suicidal and very few people appreciate life more than I, but I think if we come out of this with our same bloated population of elderly people (all that 90 is the new 50 bullshit) and a badly damaged economy, we're in a world of hurt. 90% of Medicare is spent in the last year of a person's life, 25% in the last month. I've had a good run. Most of us have. Yes, protect the economy. Believe it or not, with age comes a modicum of a special kind of wisdom: old people understand the need for a strong economy. Without it there is no future for our children and grandchildren. And that's paramount for most of us.
  28. 12 points
    Should I hazard a guess that some people would prefer China's CCP authoritarianism and EU's Socialism headquartered in Brussels to conquer Capitalism? Thanks but no thanks. CCP has bungled badly with its mishandled coverup and subsequent explosion of Coronavirus. EU budget is now €75 billion in the hole after the UK extracted itself from the EU's Borg collective.
  29. 12 points
    Anybody else seeing the shale oil ‘house of cards’ collapsing as we speak? Many of us saw this coming, but were continually shouted down by the shale oil cheerleaders. With rig count plummeting and lack of financing, the DUC’s being completed (finally) is the only reason production is still up. Once the DUC backlog is completed it is going to be a whole new ballgame!
  30. 12 points
    Well, here's the math: An "excellent" shale well, as with merely "good" or even "punk," produces the most during the first year. Then fairly rapid decline sets in. That initial production, the IP, basically bankrolls the company that drilled that well. The lifetime production of such a well is based on the trajectory of the IP parabola, and that, in turn, depends on the thickness of the shale layer, how oil-soaked it is, and matters such as porosity of the rock, how easily fractured, and whether or not it is held in place by a pinch-out (a non-porous subterranean barrier). An excellent well with a big IP is usually thought to have a lifetime yield of about 600,000 barrels, which even at $50/barrel (which can't go on forever, can it?) comes to . . . $30,000,000. It costs just as much to drill a mediocre well as an excellent well--about $6,000,000. Many of the wells drilled into Tier-1 rock pay out in the first two years of life. That's one of the reasons EOG is so successful: They have great geologists and engineers working on this and their GPS drilling is second to none. Another reason is because they buy cheaply, drill out a field quickly, and by the time other companies move in, they're on their way to the next great Great. But you're right, every driller is running out of Tier-1 rock, especially in the Permian where "child" wells (infills) are between 20-30% less productive than their "parent" well (the "wildcat" in the tract). This is because of a pressure sink and also due to porosity and the near absence of pinch-outs. Okay, move on to Tier-2 rock, which is frequently thinner shale but sometimes closer to the surface. A pretty good well is projected to produce about half that of a Tier-1. That's still $15,000,000 return for a $6M investment, and again about 50% of that comes with the IP. Something that no one ever mentions is "re-frack," which is going to eventually become--I think--a pretty big deal. Spend $2-3M for re-fracturing a good well and in many cases--especially in the Bakken, where they say 60% of wells are re-frackable--and you wind up with a brand new oil well that is as good as the old one (or better, because completion techniques improve). The thing that is killing most shale drillers is the usual: too much debt. But all this pessimism in the WSJ and elsewhere presupposes that we're never going to improve completion techniques, or discover cheaper ways to fracture rock, or handle the 2:1 water load that comes up with the oil (think reuse and pipelines instead of trucking it to disposal wells). Me? I'm no expert but I think shale oil just saved our asses; instead of escalating a conflict in the Middle East (Iraq comes to mind), we are mostly just imposing economic sanctions on Iran and showing KSA how to run their radar. This is amateur hour when I explain this, but also factual data from someone who loses a lot of sleep about the shale business. I hope this helps, because I don't have a single link to show you and I don't even know where to find one for sure. My only "link" is from putting my money where my mouth is, which probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done in my long life. But it has forced me to study like I was back in college, and they say that keeps Alzheimer's at bay.
  31. 12 points
    Yup. It's one of the most amazing political elections in history. He had the entire state apparatus against him. This includes, especially, the media. Even members of his own party. Even more amazing is he survived this coup attempt. If you're an atheist it's enough to make you a believer in some sort of invisible hand. Eric Schmidt is evil. I don't like to throw the word evil around because it's used too often but it applies here. Google was working on Project Dragonfly. It was essentially a censored search engine for China. They would censor whatever words or content the Chinese Communist Party wanted. To their credit some employees leaked this effort and now Google says it won't deploy it. I've no doubt, however, they continue to work on it until things quiet down. Google is also working with the Chinese on AI. This has led General Dunford, Chairman of the JCS, to meet with Google since this technology will benefit the Chinese military, hence, the CCP. Recall that Google decided not to continue working with the Pentagon on Project Maven for fear it could be used to identify targets, for example. Google is so desperate to get back into the Chinese market that they are willing to get into bed with the Chinese. What they don't understand is that China will never let Google in their market so long as it's ruled by the CCP. To stay in power the CCP need to control information. An unfettered search engine is anathema to that goal. They are going to steal everything they can from Google while dangling the prospect of letting them in. When they've got what they want they'll sever ties with Google and continue to keep them out. Just imagine the things Google would have been able to get away with, here and abroad, if Hillary had won.
  32. 12 points
    Really interesting that this is taken seriously. It is again all about the dislike of OPEC. Those Arabs have all the oil, they live in tents, they don't need oil, they should just give it to us for free. OPEC are currently producing close to maximum at the request of the U.S president. So is the current oil price due to manipulation by the U.S. president. Maybe his assets should be frozen. OPEC claim they don't manipulate the price, they try and manage supply. Does America really want an even more unstable oil market. Do they really think that will bring cheaper oil. And where does this confidence to tell OPEC what to do come from, energy independence based on oil shale -really!
  33. 12 points
    I sadly report that the situation in Venezuela continues to collapse into unreal despair and the country sinks ever farther into the abyss. Two Reports have surfaced on the BBC which should give anyone pause. One is on the unfolding effects of continuing electricity outages, with failed appliances (presumably burned out due to low-voltage conditions that typically precede a brown-out) and rotted meat being sold in the markets. One father is seen buying some pure fat, all he can afford for his children. A woman going in for cancer surgery has to find and provide everything for her operation, even the surgical gloves, as the hospitals and doctors have nothing. If she survives, she faces recovery in a house with no fan even, in the stifling heat: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-45868268/venezuela-crisis-hits-food-markets-and-a-morgue?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fcg41ylwvwgxt%2Fvenezuela&link_location=live-reporting-map Right with that is another BBC report on young mothers giving up their babies for lack of food. The people literally no longer have anything to eat. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-45879534/venezuela-crisis-mothers-giving-away-babies-children-living-on-streets?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fcg41ylwvwgxt%2Fvenezuela&link_location=live-reporting-map It is an entire country in a death rattle. How anyone looking at this chaos can have a reasonable expectation that the oil will once again flow and bring money for reconstruction is baffling.
  34. 12 points
    It is now, after Qatarstrophe.
  35. 11 points
    The Chinese are incredible negotiators. And Westerners, in almost every case, are incredibly gullible. Acting almost as clones, the Chinese: 1. Meet with the target foreign interested concern (FIC) and feign surprise when the FIC "enlightens" them to the possibility of selling the proposed 51%/49% (Chinese/FIC) joint venture's (JV) widgets not only to the FIC's markets, but to the Chinese market as well. This is trap #1. When the FIC thinks they see "enlightenment" in their Chinese partner, they begin to believe they have a motivated (by greed) partner and that this is a restriction (local market) they can get around, with the eager help of their newly enlightened partner. They believe, high on the prospect of selling their widgets to the Chinese market, they have made a breakthrough with this particular partner which will translate into access to markets they have been told they would not have access to. The FIC will report back to headquarters that "even if we only get 1/4 of the Chinese market that is (breathlessly) OVER 250 MILLION CONSUMERS! Now the trap has spread, and the FIC CEO starts making arrangements to expand investment and to make the next trip to meet the partners in person. 2. On the next trip/meeting, the CEO is eager to make an expanded deal; why else would he/she have come all this way? The Chinese partners show them the proposed site(s) for the shiny new JV. The CEO can easily see that the site(s) need an urgent injection of cash, but the Chinese side tells them, sadly, that the government Bureaucracy in charge of providing JV capital moves very slow. That everything else is ready to move forward, everything, just not the Chinese side's money. So sorry. Trap #2 - The site(s) may not even be under the Chinese partner's control, let alone ownership, AND, more times than not they never had any significant capital to begin with. Undeterred and seeing his opening, the CEO will pledge to get the JV a generous $1-5 million cash advance from the FIC's side immediately after returning to headquarters (some are even more efficient and make the transfer before they leave China). The Chinese partner will show amazement at the FIC partner's capabilities and commits to getting the site(s) up and ready for production to begin right away, say 6 months' time? In fact, could the FIC partner go ahead and send some or even all of the production machinery necessary? 3. The FIC CEO confers with his "delegation" to see if they could send machinery too. They decide it is possible, but they would need to have "their man" on the ground for the installation. The Chinese side, acting a bit humbled by such gestures of goodwill, consider this. They know they can get the machinery through Customs, which is a big job anyway and nobody can be sure how long it will take (about 1 week ), but they have not made accomodation for a foreign worker yet. And since they don't know how long it will take for the machines to clear Customs (maybe 3 days ), it's probably not a good idea to have the FIC's man sitting in a hotel for weeks, just waiting there. The Chinese will suggest that the FIC go ahead and send the machines AND the floor plans and they will try their best to get the plant set up by themselves. Trap #3 - The only things the Chinese partner wants are the floor plans and the machines, one of which will be "lost" for reverse engineering. The CEO will again confer with his "delegation" and decide, why not, we have a signed contract (in a country with no neutral arbitration and contract laws that favor ONLY the Chinese partner), and they make the arrangements to send the Chinese everything they need. They agree that a working team will return in 6 months, if all goes well, to get the machinery up and running, begin training the local staff (which doesn't exist) and get ready to open the production lines. 4. Six months later and the working team arrives. They are met at the airport by an interpreter and transported in a NEW small fleet of high-end western cars and vans to their hotel to rest for a day or two. Then they are taken to the JV site(s), where they immediately see that nothing has happened. The machines are there (minus 1 that was apparently "lost") but still in their crates. The buildings have not been cleaned and upgraded as promised and there are very few people around except for a shabby looking security guard. AND the Chinese partner's senior management team is nowhere to be found. Back to the hotel, calls are made to headquarters who order the working team to demand a meeting immediately with the Chinese partners. Frantic interpreters promise to make this happen, and it does a few days later Mind you, the meeting is with the newly appointed senior management team and nobody has met before, except maybe the interpreter is the same as the first meetings. They also note that the interpreter has another "trainee" interpreter with him/her. The team soon learns that the Chinese partners are in Beijing working on approvals for licensing and funding (still)! The team plods forward with their meetings in an effort to find out what is going on and what is needed to get things back on track (250 MILLION CONSUMERS ARE WAITING!). It slowly comes out that there was a big misunderstanding (or quite a few actually). You see, the Chinese side says, we meant that we needed the machines to prove to the authorities that our FIC partners were serious. They thought that would get the government to release the funds needed to get going. "Didn't you understand that?" More phone calls, more delays. "No, that was not what we were told" The interpreter is called out in the middle of the meeting and berated severely, as all of this misunderstanding must be his/her fault! The interpreter is replaced on the spot by (isn't that handy) the less talented but available "trainee" interpreter. Assurances are made that this embarrassing set of circumstances will not be allowed to happen again. So, back to business. Where were we? Oh yes, so where is the $X million we sent you? What? The interpreter didn't tell you what that money was needed for either? Lots of heated embarrassed discussion goes on in front of the team, and then, slowly, it subsides. Silence. The team leader asks the new interpreter: so what do we do now? Shrug. Just wait a moment please, Manager Xi is waiting for some information and must talk to the partners. Let's meet again tomorrow, okay? Tomorrow. Manager Xi informs the team where the money that was sent before had to be used (don't mind those shiny new vehicles outside): X had to be used to pay off old debt (What?!), X had to be used to pay off old electric bills and upgrade the electrical supply for your machines, X had to be paid to Beijing for approvals, X had to be used to staff the JV (still no sign of these people), etc. etc. etc. The team asks "So, is there any of that money left? (No, sorry) What about the funding from your side? Has that been approved/released?" Answer "No, that's why the owners are in Beijing, and it doesn't look good. They think it might take another few months, or maybe, maybe, a little bit longer. Trap #4 - They can't get up and running without another injection of cash. This goes on for month after month until you have a working factory, you have given over your blueprints and designs (because what would happen if any of the machines were to breakdown in the middle of production? And that's what they demand in exchange for 250 MILLION CONSUMERS WAITING! Finally, if they don't need your expertise anymore, they will trump up charges against your company and your team and throw the lot of you out, never to return. There is no real recourse in the Chinese courts, and YOU agreed to those terms anyway. You have no leg to stand on, and may well be on your way to bankruptcy, while the Chinese own your designs and your markets and your sales contacts and everything else. Have a nice day. Sorry it didn't work out. I saw this play out dozens of times and the U.S. Consulate people I was in contact with shared devastating numbers of times that this same scenario was replayed. We're talking thousands of companies every year. And I guarantee you there are still companies going in today that will fall for the same things, all in the pursuit of those same 250 MILLION CONSUMERS(!) that have absolutely no interest in your widgets.
  36. 11 points
    In my personal opinion, there are simply too many people involved in the issue who simply want to make a buck or a reputation out of this pandemic at this point.
  37. 11 points
    Just spitballing: Suppose there's no deal and prices stay low. Shale production dips temporarily, but stabilizes the second oil prices rise, a la 2014-2016. Shale workers suffer, the US loses its net exporter status, and OPEC retains some market share. Most OPEC nations can't balance their budgets at these low prices, so allowing the market to run its course merely delays their inevitable decline while introducing price instability. Overall, not a great result for the US. Suppose there's a deal and prices increase a bit. Those prices still won't be high enough to stimulate much shale drilling. The net benefit to shale workers would be negligible, the US would still likely lose its net exporter status, and US consumers would lose the benefit of ultra-low prices. OPEC still experiences that long-term instability. It doesn't seem like there's much in this for the US. Suppose there's no deal, but the US government decides to protect its market share. This could be accomplished through a cocktail of tariffs, sanctions, waived regulations, fast-tracked project approvals, reduced royalties, low interest rates, letting OPEC nations fall into chaos, and perhaps even actively stoking conflict. Prices would rise little more than if the US struck a deal with OPEC, except this time the US gains market share, protects shale workers, remains a net exporter, etc. There's a lot for the US to like about this scenario. All of that said, does the US really need to strike a deal? It seems to me that we hold all the cards. Why not lend shale oil some support while letting OPEC producers fight among themselves? It would be easy to keep the industry afloat until the dust settles. On that note, there's a ready-made conflict brewing in the Middle East: Iran keeps chucking missiles at US bases. Meanwhile, the US appears to be withdrawing troops to Western Iraq. From this location, it's more difficult for Iran to target US troops - but those troops remain perfectly capable of unleashing chaos. I also noticed that Trump has ordered the military to prepare a plan for striking Iranian-backed terrorist groups. What happens to Iraqi oil production if conflict erupts on its soil? What happens to Saudi production if there are more attacks on its infrastructure? Bad things, I imagine. And we're one incident away from that happening. Now, if I were the intelligence agencies, generals, and elites planning such disruption, I'd want to do it with a minimum of damage to my own economies. The problem in the past was that any disruption to Middle Eastern supplies would cause skyrocketing oil prices, upsetting The Voters. Today, that seems not to be the case. We have plenty of new production queued up, inventories are rapidly reaching their upper limits, there's a domestic industry to protect, citizens are distracted by a pandemic, and oil traders have been conditioned out of their old panicky habits by the Saudi infrastructure attack. If there were a time to initiate Middle Eastern chaos, the next 2-3 months would be it. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how the US walks away from this empty handed.
  38. 11 points
    Let’s see....the world is set up to run on oil. The world is now swimming in CHEAP oil. Yep, guess you’re right, it sure looks like the end of the oil era! You can apply your EUROPEAN Green Deal to Europe if you like, but please leave the rest of us out of it while you freeze in the dark.
  39. 11 points
    Illegal immigration is ILLEGAL. The EU really is turning into the Borg collective. Happy I'm back in the U.S. where it is slightly less Borgy. See 90 second video in this tweet: https://twitter.com/OrtaineDevian/status/1231426342933000192 Quote from EU official to media: "Criticism of migration will become a criminal offense. And media outlets - that also concerns you - that give room to criticism of migration, can be shut down." Hey EU ministers, illegal immigration is ILLEGAL. Illegal immigration sucks, and the EU should feel bad that criticism of it is going to be illegal. Apparently EU ministers are unable to handle legitimate criticism. Will this forum be shut down in the EU because this forum (so far) allows me to criticize illegal immigration? P.S. all the EUphiles here - please feel free to criticize me. I can take it. Illegal immigration is destroying the EU. Illegal immigration is destroying the U.S. Don't like what I said? Let's debate it civilly, instead of making it illegal in the EU to say what I just said.
  40. 11 points
    People will blame each and every catastrophe or change in recent weather patterns on climate change...whether there is any scientific evidence or not. If you can’t identify the cause, just blame it on climate change! It is then politically incorrect to argue with you.
  41. 11 points
    P.S. getting used to the cold weather again here in the U.S. Been a couple decades. Wearing bright colors because it is deer hunting season, and I want hunters to be able to see me when I'm walking around. My family shot 4 deer on opening day of deer season. Going to be eating venison all winter. I've been labelled locally as "borderline hyperactive" which sounds about right, except for the 'borderline' part. Fun to be adventuring again, and totally enjoying the freedom to freely speak my mind again without the very real threat of being arrested or worse - just for saying words.
  42. 11 points
    Still, tribute needs to be paid to Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward. Mr. George Mitchell made fracking for natural gas a reality down in the Barnett Shale, but it was Aubrey who latched onto the concept and developed the Haynesville Field. Remember, before those two events, the United States was screaming, our presidents saying that we were going to run out of natural gas. Aubrey was a gun-loving gunslinger who overpaid for minerals more than I do, and that's saying something. God bless him, he didn't realize the magnitude of what he'd wrought until it was too late. Everyone was used to conventional wells. He saw these gigantic numbers and swung a deal with the board so he could take a pretty good percentage of each well. By the time he realized the rapid decline curve, it was too late. He would still have been alright if he hadn't played the stock market so hard. Anyway, while the history of fracking is long (creek water jazzed with napalm pumped into a well in the old Kanas Hugoton Field), it was Mr. Mitchell who discovered the sickness, McClendon who created an epidemic, and people have had fracking fever ever since. Chesapeake would likely have survived if Aubrey had . . . he was so charismatic he could not only get gas out of a rock, blood out of a turnip, but money from the tightest-fisted Wall Street banker. Looking backward, it seems like they were drunken fools. However, during a precarious time in history, the frackers--especially those at Chesapeake--made us secure in the knowledge that domestic natural gas was in abundance. And God bless them for that.
  43. 11 points
    Copying this delicious comment in full. Great overview of the story so far. https://np.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/d98t4d/asking_for_it/ Let me break this down from a fundamental standpoint. Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States has just been caught extorting Ukraine to keep his son out of trouble. His son, Hunter Biden, who was kicked out of the Navy in 2014 for cocaine violations and arrests, is not a man of integrity. This is the same man that cheated on his wife, with his dead brothers widow. Just a few weeks after his Navy discharge, and also in 2014, despite having absolutely no experience, Hunter gets a 600k per year job (that’s 50k per MONTH!) on the Board of a Ukraine energy firm. This despite having no experience in the the energy sector and not knowing how to speak a word of the languages used in Ukraine. After a short period of time, Ukraine has had enough of him. They appoint a prosecutor to go after him for alleged crimes and do what prosecutors do. This doesn’t sit well with Joe Biden. Not at all. Joe Biden, while still Vice President, calls Ukraine and tells them that if the Prosecutor is not fired immediately, the United States will not be sending them the 1 BILLION dollars in aid that we normally send them. Now think about that? This is YOUR tax dollars that he’s using as leverage to stop a criminal investigation on his son. That’s a huge problem. Of course Ukraine immediately fires the prosecutor because they desperately need the aid that the United States provides. Also, Ukraine has to rehire New prosecutor (get ready for this) that Biden himself has to approve. Is this not Crazy! Now fast forward to present time. President Trump during a recent phone call speaks to the new Ukraine President congratulating him on his win. During the conversation President Trump mentions Biden. Alleging that he has possibly committed a crime. The Ukraine President says that he is aware and has been wanting to talk with President Trump about that. How does President Trump know about this? Because Biden is very stupid and talks about doing exactly just that during a recorded video. It’s in the video that President Trump tweeted out personally on his Twitter feed yesterday. Now of course before President Trump tweeted this, Biden when questioned about it, played dumb. He also lied and said he has never spoken to his son about any of his son’s out of country business adventures. He even gets mad at the reporter and starts yelling that he should not be investigated, but that Trump should be. So a “whistleblower” (it was just released that his lawyer, who organize the whistleblower’s statement, donated to Biden’s presidential campaign) goes to the press (The New York Times) and says Trump called the Ukraine President and that he 8 separate times, in a hostile phone call, pressured the Ukraine President into investigating Hunter Biden and Joe Biden for doing the above mentioned. The Ukraine President states that he very much remembers the phone call and that it was a very pleasant phone call and President Trump absolutely did not pressure him or threaten to or deprive his country of anything. He also acknowledged that his government was threatened by Joe Biden by withholding aid if the Biden issue wasn’t dropped. But oddly enough, at least for the first few days, the press didn’t mention the sins of Joe and Hunter. And in the New York Times piece about the “whistleblower”, if you read past the headline, and towards the very end of the story, you’ll see that the The New York Times slips in the fact that the “whistleblower” DOESN’T have any direct knowledge of the phone call and didn’t hear it personally. Seems like a handy piece of information to have upfront, doesn’t it? The person saying this happened never heard it themselves! That’s not a whistleblower, that’s gossip. But what does Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi do with that gossip? She foams at the mouth and calls a press conference saying that she is launching an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. An impeachment inquiry! Over unverified gossip! Does that Sound desperate to you? She accuses President Trump, based on information from said “whistleblower” who never heard any part of the phone conversation, of threatening to withhold military support to Ukraine unless the investigation into the Biden’s is resumed. She is accusing the President of a quid pro quo. Which is EXACTLY what Joe Biden did. The only problem is that no such thing happened with President Trump. She held that press conference, yesterday, BEFORE SHE OR ANYONE ELSE, HAD POSSESSION OR EVEN READ THE DAMN CONVERSATION TRANSCRIPT! President Trump approved the White House to release an unedited, Non-redacted transcript of the entire phone conversation. That’s what a victim does, not criminal. And guess what? They did just that today. And again guess what? It’s nothing like what was reported. I read it. It’s not even close. During the conversation President Trump says Joe Biden has recently been bragging about what he did for Hunter and that a lot of people in America are concerned about it. He he wants to find out what happened. Totally within his right as an American President. The (newly elected) Ukraine President tells President Trump on the phone that he’s putting together a cabinet and will be selecting a team to investigate the claim. That’s it, nothing hostile, no mention or allegation at all of President Trump threatening to withholding military aide like the media and Pelosi said. President Trump didn’t keep bringing it up 8 times. Absolutely fake news. Now that the White House released the phone call, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her posse should be embarrassed for jumping the gun with the announcement of an impeachment inquiry. Biden, who even as a former Vice President, can still be impeached (would lose all pension and benefits among other things) should step out of the presidential race and await his fate. This is actual political corruption. Criminal political corruption. Not just an ethics violation. And it absolutely should be dealt with at the highest level of our courts. So did President Trump have a right to ask Ukraine to help look into a possible matter of corruption involving them and Vice President Joe Biden? Absolutely. Treaty 106-16 is a document signed and passed in 1999 that allows for Ukraine to cooperate with mutual legal assistance on any matters with the United States. FUN FACT: Joe Biden was even in that Congress. Shhh. Don’t tell the democrats.
  44. 11 points
    These are your suppositions not supported by any sort of data and it's a narrative I've often seen used to rationalize Hillary's loss and disparage people who voted for Trump. The poorest people in the US are black and Hispanic. They also vote overwhelmingly Democratic. These are facts. Poorer people are more likely to be the 'automatons' who support politicians promising them free things as the Democratic Party does rather than using these mythical leadership skills you speak of to acquire them through effort. The reality is most people in this world, regardless of political belief, are worker bees. As it should be. This doesn't mean they are unthinking automatons. Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians makes for a bad organization.
  45. 11 points
    The rabbit hole goes deep. They never thought Hillary would lose. Here's just one of the many reasons why I use DuckDuckGo for my research searches rather than Google:
  46. 11 points
    Option 3. renewables and FF will co-exist.
  47. 11 points
    @Mike Shellman While you're right in agreeing with Tom about independent U.S. producers having a bankruptcy-prone business model, you are overly pessimistic and cynical about the extent of our reserves and the role America is playing in the industry. These independent producers took large risks to actually develop shale reserves when all the majors spent time developing deep-sea offshore reserves. Crude oil prices above $100 per barrel allowed these independents to be creative and gave them plenty of room to experiment with new techniques. On the other hand, the crash in crude oil prices forced them to maximize efficiency, spurring more innovation. While many of these companies remained unprofitable through both the boom and the bust, you can't say that they all operated irresponsive to price. Even if you disapprove of every fiscal decision made by every independent, you have to applaud their engineering prowess and technological contributions to the industry. With oil prices significantly up from February 2016 lows, Chevron and Exxon are increasingly focused on developing upstream shale oil, especially in the Permian Basin. The Permian was the only shale oil basin that continued to thrive throughout the oil price crash, as the previously favored Bakken and Eagle Ford shales became too expensive to operate. Today, the Bakken and Eagle Ford are making a comeback, as well as other the other many basins in Texas and Oklahoma. I'm personally optimistic about East Texas and Louisiana, as the Haynesville and Austin Chalk are relatively untapped. Acreage in the Permian is now at a premium, and we are starting to see independents cash out on their Permian assets in favor of other plays with much cheaper acreage. Chevron and Exxon have the benefit of being capable of operating at a much larger scale than any independent, which further cuts down on costs per barrel. If our shale resources are truly going to run out in 5 to 8 years, would the acreage in the Permian remain to be so expensive? Would we really be building pipelines from the Permian to Texas's gulf coast if our shale resources were going to run dry in 5 to 8 years? Of course not! Those pipelines will be in use for decades once they're built. Everyone needs to realize just how heavily stacked are the Delaware and Midland sub-basins (The Wolfcamp A is just one layer), not to mention the thickness of each layer. If anything, the insolvency of many U.S. independents will allow for consolidation through M&A, if not only land swaps. The town of Pecos, Texas was luckily considered an opportunity zone under the new tax bill, and it's located in the heart of the Permian Basin. You'll be damn sure money will continue pouring in to reduce and defer the capital gains earnings of many. With today's investor sentiment, people are fearful of the prospect of another oil glut, getting fatigued by the money-losing independents, and, in some cases, divesting their shares in oil for the sake of being green. With money so tight and investors demanding returns, oil companies are under a lot of pressure to reduce capital expenditures. To further cut costs by scaling upwards, what if Chevron and Exxon did what Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining are doing in Nevada? A Permian Joint Venture would allow for both longer laterals and shared infrastructure across the entire region. Other companies could be allowed to pool in their assets for a stake. Maybe base the headquarters of this joint venture in Pecos and trade it publicly? As for Donald Trump, his cutting of taxes & regulations, opening up of federal lands & waters for lease-sale, and sanctions on Venezuela & Iran has helped America's oil industry greatly. There are many factors contributing to why WTI is nearly $10 less than Brent, and one of those reasons is pipeline bottlenecks. If we had all the necessary infrastructure to send all of our Permian and Eagle Ford shale oil to the Texas coast for refining and/or exporting, we wouldn't have to discount it as much to make up for trucking and rail transportation costs. Global supply plays an important role as well, and OPEC is using leverage where they can. OPEC knows that they can't compete with us on drilling for light oil but can compete with us on drilling for heavy oil. Much of the production OPEC cut was heavy oil, giving them higher margins on heavy oil while suppressing our margins on light oil. We should be getting our heavy oil from Canada, but the Keystone XL, TransMountain, and Line 3 pipelines are all being held up by communist lawyers on both sides of the 49th parallel. (Maybe Alberta can build a pipeline through Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the Hudson Bay, potentially the town of Churchill?) As someone who follows news on WorldOil and Hart Energy, I have faith that technology in geophysics, data science, and sub-sea/onshore engineering will continue to make oil exploration and production more cost effective and efficient.
  48. 11 points
    I share your opinion, Tom, and I have 50 years of experience writing checks to be IN the oil and natural gas business. I understand well economics. Does THIS... https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-12/in-private-talks-opec-is-said-to-warn-wall-street-on-nopec sound like America is a swing oil producer in the world, that shale oil can "dominate" the rest of the world with cheap oil exports? This is proof positive that if it were not for OPEC + production cuts the US shale oil industry would be facing $80B of debt maturities in the next 20 months with $40 oil prices. It would not survive that. OPEC knows it is helping the United States shale oil industry by propping up oil prices. Why, do you suppose, it is willing to do that? Because it is afraid of Trump, or US repercussions? Phfttttttttt. It can out produce America in a heartbeat, and make 300 times the money the shale oil industry can. IT IS GIVING AMERICA JUST ENOUGH ROPE TO DEPLETE ITSELF INTO OBLIVION, AS FAST AS IT CAN, so that in another 5=8 years it will be back in the driver seat selling oil to America for whatever it wants. Does the Bloomberg article above sound the US has control over world oil markets? That we are about to become energy independent? If American shale oil is so tough, why isn't Trump asking IT to raise production and lower oil prices? America's energy policies are leading us all down a bad road. We are being led by the stupid.
  49. 11 points
    It was reported yesterday by CNN that Khalid al Falih, Oil minister of Saudi Arabia, said "Two years ago we pulled supply. I think in the near future there will be time to release supply," Al-Falih said. "It's likely that it will happen in the second half of this year. We've had intensive discussions [with Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak], and I think we're aligned on that," . Apparently most observers accept this statement with an attitude of "Of course - no problem". But is a bit more thought and critical questioning needed to understand the consequences of such an action? Let us examine these consequences. It may turn out that the Saudi's and Russia's increasing production is more complicated than they imagine. In fact, since oil can only be produced if you have an empty receiving vessel awaiting delivery of oil, neither country can produce more oil without enticing potential customers to provide a means for receiving such additional oil. Currently we know of no empty tankers at anchor outside either the Saudi or Russian loading ports that are awaiting acceptance of their nomination for a cargo of oil. So how do they accomplish this promised increase in production? The only control lever that Russia and the Saudis possess is the pricing lever. There is no lever, no on/off switch, to force the customer to accept an increase in production. So, in order to entice additional vessels to enter the loading port, ready to receive cargo, the producers must offer a price advantage. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that for the Saudis and Russia to fulfill their promise to increase production they must become more price aggressive. Since demand is currently being readily supplied, and the Saudi/Russian wish to increase production will not increase that demand, the only way that the Saudis and Russia can increase production is to cut the price below that of another producer so that that producer's oil is displaced from the market. In other words, the actions of 2014 are about to be repeated. A similar price decline is possible. One would have thought that the Saudis would have learned from the 2014 experience. But that was Al Naimi. This is Al Falih. Neither minister can put ten gallons of oil in a five gallon bucket. Al Naimi thought that he could regain market share by undercutting the shale oil price. He did not gain market share from doing this, he only lost revenue, as did the entire industry. What suggests that Al Falih will fare any differently? He will not. If OPEC tries, this year, to regain the 1.8 million barrels a day of market share that they conceded to others two years ago, prices will likely return to the $30's. If you lived through the 2014/15 time period, you will recall that, initially, when the price dropped from $110/B to $90/B the industry was sure that this "low" price would soon be reversed. When the price dropped to the $80's, the idea of a quick recovery persisted. When the price keep falling and reached $70, even al Naimi assured the industry that the price would go no lower. He was wrong. The fall continued into the $20's. In spite of the falling prices, the talk of "recovery" did not subside. First it was believed that a "V" shaped price recovery would occur. Then, as time marched on and prices did not recover, the industry shifted to the expectation of a "U-shaped" recovery. When it became obvious that it was more likely an "L-shaped" profile, OPEC gave up. They quit trying to maintain market share through price cutting and conceded 1.8 million barrels a day of the market to non-OPEC. By removing the downward price pressure of trying to maintain market share, the speculative trading community was able to restore the higher prices through persistent demand for and accumulation of the "long" side of the futures market. This same trading community had the usual knee-jerk reaction to the Saudi/Russian announcement of planning to regain markets. The futures price dropped. But will the drop persist? If the marginal producers, the Saudis and the Russians, follow through with their expressed intention of pushing back into the already-satisfied market, the drop in price will continue through the pressure of liquidation of the long side of the futures contracts, while the buyers of real oil take advantage of the producers' price war. A repeat of 2014/15 seems quite likely. For those of you who've become convinced that inventory levels dictate the price, I might point out that the figures for US total stocks, the only numbers reflecting the current time period, show inventories now at essentially the same level as they were at this time in 2015. The price then was comparable to the current level. By early 2016, nine months later, the price had halved and US oil stocks had increased by 100 million barrels. If you believe that surplus inventories at that time contributed to the price drop, then do you similarly believe that inventory levels will again place downward pressure on prices? Will the price drop by 50% again? This is an important time for the oil industry. The developing events remind us again that without an understanding of how prices are actually formed - the pricing mechanism - the industry is left with a random, hit or miss system of oil prices. Good luck!
  50. 11 points
    "Saudi Arabia “will work with major producers and consumers within and outside OPEC to limit the impact of any supply shortages,” a Saudi energy ministry official said on Wednesday, according to state news agency SPA." It does my ole heart good to see how the Saudis care about the world's needs. So selfless. So generous. Excuse me while I wipe a tear.