On The Wonderful Inability To Prove A Negative

A while back the EPA produced a draft report that said that fracking a well doesn’t pollute ground water.  So the final report has come  out and surprise, the wording has been changed to say that fracking could harm water supplies even in the absence of data.  Here’s how the Wall St. Journal wrote about the report.

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The Power Of Technical Disruption

This is a long and detailed post from Trent Teleko on the oil business.

Texas Fracking and the Death of Big Oil

From the post.

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How A Smear Grows


The Nation has yet another attack on Exxon for “environmental crimes” due to the appearance of that fifty odd year old Humble Oil report. I’ve posted about this before. Here’s the Nation’s post.


On April 13, ExxonMobil filed suit to block a subpoena issued by the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands. Following revelations from the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News, the subpoena charged that the company may have violated the territory’s anti-racketeering law. It questioned whether Exxon told investors, including the territory’s pension fund, one thing about climate change (that it wasn’t a danger) while its own scientists were privately telling its management the opposite….

What’s more, by enabling increased global warming, Exxon’s alleged lying has damaged many people around the world. Crucially, the victims include investors and business owners. The poor suffer first and worst from climate change, but they rarely file—much less win—lawsuits against polluters. But when people of means are damaged, they don’t hesitate to sue for compensation…

Exxon’s exposure on this front is immense. If the allegations are true, the oil giant has in effect transferred massive amounts of risk and loss onto the rest of the market and virtually every business enterprise in it. By confusing the debate, Exxon helped delay government action against climate change. The company made buckets of money, but the resulting higher temperatures and extreme weather events have cost investors, governments, businesses, and ordinary people many billions, with much larger costs ahead. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned that as climate change intensifies, “parties who have suffered loss or damage [may] seek compensation from those they hold responsible….”

Nor is the right’s cheerleading without its complications for Exxon. The right conflates the First Amendment argument with its cuckoo belief that climate change is a hoax, but Exxon has a different goal: to protect its public image. Exxon needs to be perceived as a good corporate citizen, and in 2016 a good corporate citizen doesn’t deny climate change.


Note that last sentence.  “in 2016 a good corporate citizen doesn’t deny climate change.  As an engineer who’s worked on scientific instruments and somebody who’s been around science at all sort of level for a long time this is appalling on a bunch of levels. First, who are the Nation to decide what a good citizen is, corporate or otherwise.  Second, in a free society, it isn’t the citizen’s role to affirm or deny anything.  It’s the government that’s required to make it’s case.  Which you don’t do with nuisance lawsuits and legal extortion threats.  Third, when presenting science you need to base what you say based on what you know, not what you believe.

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Building The Largest Structures

On their side.

A long time ago, a good friend of mine tried to get me a job in Corpus Christi TX.  It didn’t work out, but I got a good look at some of the largest structures ever built, the giant oil rigs for the Gulf and other locations. I found some old photos that I took a while back and them some Youtube videos.

The gigantic rigs are fabricated at Gulf Coast Marine.


And Keiwitt Offshore Fabricators.


Here’s a bunch of links and videos to put these amazing structures in perspective.



Picture of the Day: Just the Base of an Oil Platform Being Towed Out to Sea


New oil platforms rise high to reach deep (photos)




Global Oil: Profits, Losses, Supply, Demand

This was utterly predictable. I have a two volume set on the history of oil production from the API. One thing that is clear is that technology has ALWAYS kept ahead of depletion. An that yesterdays unconventional oil become todays supply.


A good post from Watts Up With That.


al fin next level

Peak Oil Isn’t What it Used to Be

The key figures were a 1 million barrel-day increase in worldwide oil supply during March to an 95.2 million barrels a day, and a 1.1 million barrel a day increase in demand to 93.6 million barrels a day.

As everyone knows when supply exceeds demand there is downward pressure on price which is exactly what’s happening to oil… __ Tim Treadgold

Oil Profits and Losses http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2015/04/20/who_wins_who_loses_in_oil_price_drop_108428.html via http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/cheap-oil-s-winners-and-losers-in-one-giant-map Oil Profits and Losses

With oil prices still down about 50 percent since June, the global economy is benefitting. The IMF estimated in December that the price crash could boost GDP worldwide by 0.7 percent.

“I believe we are in an era of lower oil prices in the medium term and also in the longer term,” Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said in a presentation at the group’s annual summit on Tuesday. __ Bloomberg by Tom Randall


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