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Bartenders should not attempt to lecture anyone about oil. I've heard Sean Hannity shout it at least a hundred times, that America is energy independent! We have more oil and gas than any other country in the world! We can push Putin into bankruptcy by exporting U.S. oil and gas to our allies in Western Europe!

Jeez.

Item One. Domestic production of conventional crude has been in slow decline since 2005. Horizontal shale fracturing in North Dakota is not a profitable business at $50 a barrel. We do not have the world's largest oil reserves. Not second, third, fourth -- or even tenth largest. It would be nice to drill offshore California, but that's politically verboten. We import oil from Canada, Arabia, and (oops) Venezuela. America is not the world's largest producer. We're the largest consumer, over 20 million barrels a day, about 1/4 of all worldwide oil production.

Item Two. Natural gas is not oil. Same situation. U.S. conventional production is in decline. Horizontal gas fracturing is upside down financially, roughly $100 billion in debt. Most of the sweet spots have been drilled and exhausted, with the exception of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. New York and California banned shale drilling. World class conventional gas reserves are in Siberia and offshore Persian Gulf (shared 50/50 by Qatar and Iran).

Item Three. France, Germany, and Britain are not allies. They are beggars, no oil or gas in the ground. Britain drilled the North Sea to death, depends on Holland for natural gas, and was forced to import LNG from Qatar in frozen winter, when the Dutch pipeline failed. Norway is exploring their northern Arctic shelf for a reason. Europe is screwed, after exhausting all the low-hanging fruit. European oil leases in Africa have always have been difficult to produce. Corruption, crime, and tribal wars are constant threats. Drilling rigs have been attacked.

Item Four. The price of oil is rising because Venezuela and Libya have been destroyed, plus U.S. sanctions against Iranian exports. When the price of oil goes up, demand goes down. We stop driving. No fancy dinners out. We make decisions like that as individual citizens in a free society. Others are less free. Japan and South Korea have no oil or gas, totally dependent on imports. 600 million people in Europe and the Far East are supplied by a fleet of supertankers from Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Our 4th, 5th, and 7th Fleets usher Middle East supertankers through the threats and guns of adversaries and pirates. The world's grisliest conflicts including both World Wars were fought over oil.

Item Five. The one and only U.S. energy resource worth talking about is coal. If our future is firetrap electric cars, then coal-fired power plants are the only hope of affordable electricity generation. Wind and solar are subsidized show pieces that require costly maintenance and replacement of unreliable parts made in China. However, abundant coal power is not a full solution to our energy needs. We have a huge fleet of diesel tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, dump trucks, and big rigs that are NOT going to work with batteries. Commercial passenger aircraft need jet fuel, and our military is the largest consumer of refined products on Earth. Bunker fuel powers oceangoing container trade, tankers, tug boats and barges. Every pump, engine, elevator, and axle needs lubricants.

Poor Hannity, a big oaf who can't dance and needs a radio script and staff to function at all. Sean could be right about oil -- we could ship supplies to Europe -- if we suffer severe global warming, no need for winter heat, and a ban on all air travel, mining, beef cattle, road traffic, and industrial production. That's not going to happen. Solar Cycle 24 has been quiescent and the trend is tilting toward global cooling again, just like the 1970s, when Royal Dutch Shell funded East Anglia's Climate Centre to study the dire threat of everybody freezing to death, because global oil and gas reserves were small.

They still are. We've already consumed half of the world's proved oil endowment. Cars are more fuel efficient today, particularly hybrids. Governments wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on "renewables" and mass transport, especially in oil-starved Western Europe and Japan. Adequate U.S. electricity in the future can be generated by cheap, abundant coal. It's not rocket science to scrub emissions squeaky clean and make inert construction materials from ash. We'll need it to deal with mountains of nuclear and biohazard waste. Poland has big coal reserves to keep shivering Brits and Krauts warm in winter.

The only thing goofier than Sean Hannity posing as an oil analyst is the BBC. Last night, they broadcast a program on "Saving The World" by refilling empty shampoo bottles, plastic water bottles, fizzy drink bottles, etc. Screwballs in England are carrying empty plastic bottles to a guru with 25-liter tubs of generic shampoo and dishwashing liquid. Evangelists are pitching UK retail chains to install nonexistent vending machines that would dispense name brand products to refill empty plastic bottles. Messy aisles in the grocery store. Consumer product companies would have to cooperate to supply uniformly shaped bulk competitive brands for a monster vending machine, to be designed, built, and serviced by somebody (?) as a public service. Shredding and recycling plastic bottles isn't good enough for BBC.

Meanwhile, little Greta from Norway told cheering crowds in London that the world will end unless governments shut down oil production. She's leading a global boycott of education.

I grieve for the folly of true believers in climate change. It's an article of faith at BBC that we have to abandon internal combustion engines, kill coal and liquid fuels, walk to work or use an electric scooter in winter, in a thunderstorm, or on a blazing hot summer day, no way to carry groceries and jugs of milk home to feed a family of five. Silly me. Plastic bags and jugs will be outlawed, no refrigeration at home or in the store, no air conditioning, no big rigs to stock a dimly-lit WalMart, no dairy or meat, no mechanized agriculture. Childbirth will be dangerous, medical care filthy, and surgery a rigged dice roll without one-time-use plastics. No utility pumps to push water over the mountains in the California Aqueduct. No sewage treatment or garbage trucks. No fire engines, buses, or digital server farms. That's what solar power implies. A couple of LED lamps at night while you charge your electric scooter.

Mistakes of this size are not made innocently, as Miss Rand used to say. The only difference between an industrial society and savages squatting in mud huts is a portfolio of high voltage power distribution, heavy equipment, and widely available refined petroleum products.

Whether it's Sean Hannity or Greta Thunberg or the IPCC climate change fakirs, none of them know what it takes to successfully explore for, discover, engineer, lift, separate, transport, refine, and deliver a gallon of diesel, gasoline, engine oil, or cubic foot of natural gas. The "Oil Patch" is a vast pyramid with academic centers of excellence like Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, and UT, tens of thousands of geophysicists, geologists, reservoir engineers, seismic processors, software developers, oilfield tool designers, rig manufacturers, semi-submersible deepwater platforms with GPS positioning thrusters and service boats, highly skilled "toolpushers" and drillers, welders, helicopter pilots, safety managers, executives, and lawyers to deal with an infinity of permits, state and Federal reports, and SEC filings.

And worse, 80% of all proved oil and gas reserves are owned and operated by Third World "national oil companies" -- hissing snakepits of hereditary princes, bureaucrats, and thieves. They hire contractors and oil service companies to do the actual work of production, field development, reservoir management, secondary recovery (water injection) and processing. Major international oil companies like Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell compete against each other to exploit 20% of global reserves. Russian oil companies offered joint ventures and raped all four of the aforementioned majors. The same thing happened historically in Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia. US-UK brains discovered oil. It got expropriated.

All this financial pain and toil and risk is so you can have a car, a fleet of 18-wheelers, bumper crops in farmers' fields, oceangoing trade, tens of thousands of scheduled passenger flights, and stupid shit on TV, backed by a million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines equipped to defend you with missiles, carrier battle groups, stealth fighters, bombers, and artillery.

To hell with the Green New Deal or whatever else the politicians cook up. Vote for rational self-interest and a prosperous industrial society that the men and women of "Big Oil" make possible. They are your neighbors and benefactors, many of whom work for small companies called "independents," over 18,000 of them operating in 32 U.S. states, drilling 94% of U.S. oil and gas wells, responsible for direct and indirect employment of four million workers.

Another six million Americans work for international majors and the oil service companies operating offshore in deep water, in overseas deserts and jungles, U.S. ports and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines, specialist steel tube producers, and dependable distribution of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas and LPG delivered to every city and village, every factory, farm, shop, and construction site, every school and university from coast to coast. You open the refrigerator door, adjust your thermostat for comfort, eat well, drive to work, board an airplane, check into a hospital when necessary, confident that you, your wife and children will survive and thrive, because American oil companies fuel prosperity and highly mobile emergency first responders.

Forget about Europe, Sean, unless you plan to move there, which you won't.

.

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15 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

.

I grieve for the folly of true believers in climate change. It's an article of faith at BBC that we have to abandon internal combustion engines, kill coal and liquid fuels, walk to work or use an electric scooter in winter, in a thunderstorm, or on a blazing hot summer day, no way to carry groceries and jugs of milk home to feed a family of five. Silly me. Plastic bags and jugs will be outlawed, no refrigeration at home or in the store, no air conditioning, no big rigs to stock a dimly-lit WalMart, no dairy or meat, no mechanized agriculture. Childbirth will be dangerous, medical care filthy, and surgery a rigged dice roll without one-time-use plastics. No utility pumps to push water over the mountains in the California Aqueduct. No sewage treatment or garbage trucks. No fire engines, buses, or digital server farms. That's what solar power implies. A couple of LED lamps at night while you charge your electric scooter.

Mistakes of this size are not made innocently, as Miss Rand used to say. The only difference between an industrial society and savages squatting in mud huts is a portfolio of high voltage power distribution, heavy equipment, and widely available refined petroleum products.

Say Amen, someone.

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Scott Adams has been doing a lot of commentary about Gen 4 nuclear power. According to him, that is where Bill Gates and other billionaires are putting lots and lots of their own money. He says Gen 4 is extremely safe, easy to produce, and even eats the nuclear waste from older generations. However there are still some bugs to work out to do it on a mass scale, but, if I understood Scoot correctly, the problems are now within the purview of engineers, not just scientists.

I don't know enough about it, yet, so I'm just throwing it out there in case anyone wants to comment. I do intend to look into it (sigh... after I finish learning everything else on the Internet :) ).

Scott's selling point is that Gen 4 solves the manmade climate change issue if CO2 is the problem, regardless of whether the climate change doomsday folks are right or wrong. Gen 4 doesn't produce CO2.

As to oil, I'm fine with it.

Michael

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As a practical matter they won't get by the NRC unless they want to sit on their heels for 20 years  Or, China, here I come!

CO2, of course, is faked and politicalized science. Bill Gates is willing to sanction that just like he's let slide the war on DDT while grandstanding with his war on malaria.

--Brant

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17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Scott's selling point is that Gen 4 solves the manmade climate change issue if CO2 is the problem, regardless of whether the climate change doomsday folks are right or wrong. Gen 4 doesn't produce CO2.

Scott has misidentified the problem. The actual problem is people wanting to control and punish other people. Gen 4 doesn't solve that problem, but  removes some of the excuses and satisfaction. So, in order to make Gen 4 palatable, they'll have to find a way to make it include more control and punishment -- and more costs -- more than what they've been advocating and proposing in regard to old energies and technologies. How can Gen 4 be used to reverse the concept of merit? Until there is a good answer to that question, it will face strong opposition. 

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2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

The actual problem is people wanting to control and punish other people.

And to get rid of other people.  Although "stopping climate change" is often pushed as necessary to avoid human extinction, there are those among the advocates of draconian methods who know that the result of those methods would be many human deaths and who want that result.

Ellen

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On 4/26/2019 at 8:43 AM, Ellen Stuttle said:

And to get rid of other people.  Although "stopping climate change" is often pushed as necessary to avoid human extinction, there are those among the advocates of draconian methods who know that the result of those methods would be many human deaths and who want that result.

Ellen

They seem to be feeling that it's within reach now. Their excitement levels have been noticeably increasing lately. They're becoming more open in expressing their true desires. We must create pain.

J

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On 4/26/2019 at 6:16 AM, Jonathan said:

The actual problem is people wanting to control and punish other people.

 

On 4/26/2019 at 8:43 AM, Ellen Stuttle said:

And to get rid of other people.

 

2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

They're becoming more open in expressing their true desires. We must create pain.

You guys are totally wrong. Just like everybody in the climate change controversies.

Let an Oxford authority tell you the truth:

Oxford University professor claims aliens are already breeding with humans on earth
The Korean academic has written a book called Alien Visitations and the End of Humanity

From the article:

Quote

AN Oxford University professor has claimed aliens are already breeding with humans to create a new hybrid species that will save the planet.

Dr Young-hae Chi, an instructor in Korean at Oxford’s Oriental Institute, part of the prestigious university, thinks this new species will save Earth from annihilation from climate change.

. . .

He says he has identified four types of aliens – small, tall and bold, scaly with snake eyes, and insect-like.

Dr Chi believes the insect aliens may be in charge and give orders to the other types.

I mean, it's right there in front of everyone...

Whew!

At least we will be saved...

:) 

Michael

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17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

 

 

You guys are totally wrong. Just like everybody in the climate change controversies.

Let an Oxford authority tell you the truth:

Oxford University professor claims aliens are already breeding with humans on earth
The Korean academic has written a book called Alien Visitations and the End of Humanity

From the article:

I mean, it's right there in front of everyone...

Whew!

At least we will be saved...

:) 

Michael

Whew is right! And it's settled science since it comes from someone at a prestigious university. We have to trust our scientists and professors.

The only question now is how do I find out if I'm an insect alien hybrid, and therefore in charge of controlling, punishing and killing everyone else as I see fit, in order to save the planet. I'm pretty sure that I should be in command. I can feel it.

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5 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Whew is right! And it's settled science since it comes from someone at a prestigious university. We have to trust our scientists and professors.

The article says that "Dr. Young-hae Chi [is] an instructor in Korean at Oxford's Oriental Institute [.]"

Not the correct credentials.  Mission Alarm remains in effect.

Ellen

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On 4/25/2019 at 12:28 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Scott Adams has been doing a lot of commentary about Gen 4 nuclear power. According to him, that is where Bill Gates and other billionaires are putting lots and lots of their own money.

Among thoughtful friends, it's always good and right to listen and hear an entirely different solution. I'm sure Mr. Adams knows what he's saying. A couple years ago I looked at thorium, and I was involved obliquely in the media circus of Three Mile Island, had the pleasure of speaking to the late Petr Beckmann. In many ways, I'm humbled and happy to have lived in an era of great men and profoundly clever women like the Russian hussy honored here.

In the original post, I mentioned that Americans consume 20 million barrels of oil a day, 7 or 8 billion barrels a year, depending on which war we're fighting where. That's not the problem. The problem is how to increase consumption, to encourage the liberty and prosperity of our surging population of penniless migrants and their soon-to-be ambitious descendants, who will multiply like rabbits. Whether coal-fired or nuclear (or both), we need to expand electric generation to power more homes, schools, factories, offices, hospitals, and water works. I've heard some truly psychotic counterproposals about "saving the planet" and consuming less. Solar, wind, Tesla, and Cash For Clunkers were a cheap opening gambit, billions in subsidies. High speed rail upped the price to hundreds of billions. Now they want to kill off petroleum,  with TENS OF TRILLIONS of dollars of capital assets deployed, a gigantic network of reliable industrial installations and equipment used in exploration, production, pipelines, refineries, distributors, retailers, 99.9% of passenger road traffic, and a fleet of big rigs delivering food to grocery stores and restaurants, supplies to Home Depot, WalMart, and Victoria's Secret. Without liquid fuels, Amazon, FedEx, and all government operations screech to a halt.

It strikes me as cruel, in a John Galt sort of way, that U.S. voters might someday elect people stupid enough to outlaw internal combustion engines and compel their constituents to drive lithium firetraps that ignite if wrecked and have to be recharged every 200 miles, assuming that charging stations are available in Frostbite Falls and Petticoat Junction. The U.S. Dept. of Fairness might have to ration amperage, alternate day even/odd plate numbers, recharging only during off-peak hours, unless you're a privileged public servant with an Exempt tag. A "quick" jolt at Charg N' Go might take an hour or two, depending on battery health.

Liquid energy is compact, powerful, available everywhere, and only takes a few minutes to fill up. It liberates 35 million commercial vehicles to go anywhere and work all day -- sales people, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders, bulldozers, backhoes, road contractors, ready-mix trucks, front end loaders, dump trucks, tractors, harvesters, school buses, airport shuttles, taxis, limos, ambulances, armored cars, 18-wheelers, and railroad locomotives. Our military is not going to convert its MRAPs, helicopters, F-16s, or patrol boats to run on laptop batteries. Neither will scheduled airlines, fire services, power linemen, or cops.

The "green" transportation pipedream is indulged by people who believe that they can wave a magic wand and create wealth. Enormous, vastly capitalized, competitive industrial titans supply refined petroleum as cheaply as possible to keep you independent, rain or shine or sleet -- a sector that employs seven million skilled American workers, not including auto mechanics and auto parts stores who enable the poor to escape mass transit and maximize their privacy and pride, to relocate for a better job in a safer community anywhere that roads exist. No car, no freedom. All my vehicles have been high mileage 4WD that were serviced cheaply in big cities and dinky villages. The heft and power of an old GMC Sierra enables my daughter to navigate gravel roads, curvy two-lane highways, and city streets, rain or shine.

In a former life, I used to be somebody, ten years of experience in oil and gas exploration as the business manager of a consulting company. We worked for majors and big independents, interpreted seismic volumes measured in terabytes, picked drilling locations, and assessed projects worldwide. I read well logs, reservoir maps, sequence stratigraphy models, paleo and geochem lab reports, production history, etc, and wrote about reserves valuation. During the past few days, I composed the following to explain a few things about domestic U.S. oil and gas production. It took a while to articulate in plain language what's what and why. There are economic, political, and social ramifications to consider. We are resource impoverished, which explains why our military became an expensive, globally engaged World Cop.

...

U.S. PETROLEUM GEOLOGY

60+million+years+ago.jpg

This is a map from 60 million years ago. There was a shallow continental waterway called The Great Basin that slowly filled with erosional sand and silt deposited in low spots. A meteor smashed into the Yucatan and changed the climate (the "K-T" Extinction). In the fullness of geologic time, tens of millions of years, tectonic pressures rearranged and lifted the Rockies higher. There was a great deal of water erosion, more sand and silt and meandering rivers.

Silt settled under coarser sand, and with millions of years of burial heat and pressure the silt became shale, some of it quite thick. The Great Basin is a layer cake with alterating layers of shale and sandstone. Shales have organic molecules that transform with "anoxic" (airless) heat and pressure to become kerogens, precursors of oil and/or natural gas.  Buoyant oil migrates up into porous sandstone. A higher, younger shale trapped oil in the sandstone. Hydrocarbon generation is accelerated by igneous hot spots. Recoverable oil columns are determined by thickness of the sand(s), the organic content of the source shale(s), and the subsurface water level. It's not unusual for some water to be produced in an oil reservoir.

Conventional production of oil and gas consists of drilling vertically into saturated sandstone in a "fault block" or a nicely rounded "anticline" formed by elastic compression of the layer cake. Because oil and gas exist at great depth, buried under thousands of feet of rock and dirt that were deposited over millions of years, drilling into an oil reservoir the first time often results in a "gusher." In a natural gas field, there is tremendous danger of a blowout. In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible operating offshore in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank when they lost control of a high pressure gas-capped oil well. Hundreds of workers have been killed or maimed in drilling mishaps, quite a few every year to the present day. It is dangerous work, handling tons of threaded steel pipe sections and correctly balancing the pressure of downhole circulating "mud" to evacuate rock cuttings.

drillers.png

Most of the oil and gas plays shown on the Great Basin map were explored and drilled during the past 100 years. Some are kaput as a resource. Believe it or not, there was a spectacular "pinnacle reef" oil play near Detroit and abundant natural gas drilled in 10-acre spacing like a waffle, long before we had seismic surveys. The Southern California oilfield in Signal Hill was drilled so intensively that there used to be dozens of ancient pump jacks on Cherry Avenue, idle and rusting, relics of a dead play. Very large resources in California (Monterey and Santa Barbara) are off-limits by state law and Federal sequestration, never produced.

HORIZONTAL FRACKING

Cut to the present. The deposits of 60 million years ago haven't changed. There's a limited amount of conventional drilling that still makes sense, in Alberta, Kansas, Oklahoma, on the Continental Shelf, and emphatically in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico -- the largest conventional oil resource in play, produced by multibillion-dollar "floaters" held in a constant sea location through tides, waves, and storms by powerful GPS-controlled thrusters. Although difficult and expensive to exploit, there's considerable undrilled potential in the Deepwater Gulf, thick mature shales and thick sands flushed by the Mississippi River tens of millions of years ago. All the supermajors are involved, and there's an amazing network of pipelines on the Gulf seafloor that pump oil and gas to Houma and Houston. Depending on the economics, it's possible to deploy automated subsea iron to do long term production, so the giant floating skyscraper can be moved to another deepwater drilling project.

BP+Subsea-thunderhorse.jpg


However, on dry land throughout the onshore Great Basin, there are lots of Mom and Pop drillers and oil leaseholders who own a few old wells that produce 20 or 30 barrels a day with "nodding donkey" pump jacks that fill a tank to be emptied into a truck once a month or so. Among the shrewd, entrepreneurial Texan drillers, there was a fellow who had a clever idea. He decided to drill a well and steer it horizontally, then push a metal "pig" full of bullets into the horizontal leg to perforate the casing and drain more oil, some of it oozing from shale.

Thus began the horizontal fracturing revolution.

With most of the saturated sandstone already exploited, one of the independents operating in the Denver Julesberg Basin reasoned that they could horizontally fracture their oily shales and a friable chalk layer. They followed up with high pressure water and sand to force larger cracks in the shale and hold the cracks open with chunky sand "proppant." All innovations in the oil business are shared by permit filings and enthusiastic gossip. The price of oil shot to $100 a barrel, a compelling incentive for dozens of small companies to frac. In Oklahoma City another idea was concocted, fracking to produce gas in the Barnett Shale under DFW.

Not much more to be said. There was a bidding war for shale acreage, despite falling prices for oil and gas. Hundreds of millions were invested, then billions raised from share offerings. Horizontal wells in the Bakken initially cost $10 million each, to produce $6 million of oil that wasn't separated effectively, diluted with volatile NGLs (natural gas liquids). North Dakota had no rail terminals, no pipelines to ship product to the Gulf Coast. Some of these economic problems were addressed by creative thinking, and money continued to flow into fracking. There was wall-to-wall hoopla in the Oil Patch press. Valuation firms made fat fees certifying billions of barrels of "proved" shale reserves, counting every acre leased as equally rich (!) Unskilled men tramped to North Dakota and were hired to drive water trucks, handle pipe, and risk their lives, paying $2000 a month to snore on a bunk in one of the "mancamps" that were put up as quickly and cheaply as possible. Prostitution and drugs became thriving enterprises. Sheriffs and Tribal cops worked overtime to fill overcrowded jails and hospitals. Sad ending for a lot of people, especially those fracking shale to produce gas in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. The price of natural gas crashed, shale drillers went broke, shareholders revolted, tens of billions were written off, and there was a high profile executive suicide.

Three big shale plays became profitable -- Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale in Texas that produced oil, a stone's throw from refineries in Houston, plus the rich Marcellus Shale gas play in Pennsylvania, operated efficiently in close proximity to Washington DC, New York, and Boston, who were eager to build new "clean" gas-fired electric power plants. Horizontal drilling in the Niobrara Chalk raised expectations in Colorado and Wyoming, and the Dakota Express pipeline project will improve Bakken economics $8-$10 a barrel.

I'm skeptical about triumphant huzzahs, that America is energy self-sufficient. Government people report funny statistics, counting all grades of crude and NGLs as "Total Liquids" with a misleading conversion of gas as Oil Equivalent. We're producing more than we did ten years ago, but if you unpack the numbers, we upgrade tar from Canada, and much of our domestic production comes from Deepwater GOM and dreary Kern County in California. For a time I worked at a news organization. I had to put my hand up to say stop the presses, because they were about to publish exaggerated reserves that a shale operator plumped on the road to an initial public offering. Their goal was a sky high multiple, backed by institutional investors and Wall Street underwriters, everything predicated on being acquired by a supermajor who needed to book the exaggerated reserves. Exxon's acquisition of XTO inspired a $100 billion scramble for US shale acquisitions and joint ventures by Reliance (India), CNOOC (China), Total (France), BG Group (UK), Statoil (Norway), Royal Dutch Shell (NL-UK), BP (UK), Talisman (Canada), Mitsui (Japan), BHP (Australia), and US stalwarts Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Bottom line. Forget about current Energy Dept stats, true, false or fudged. The future of shale fracking is no different than conventional production. Depletion is a one-way street. We're mining dry the high-priced onshore crumbs of a resource 60 million years in the making.

Private correspondence from a sharp colleague in 2012: "The unique aspect of newly booked reserves from fractured reservoir is how quickly they disappear from the books: 60% to 90% reduction in the first 12 months. So for CHK to just maintain a zero proven reserve growth, they need to drill more wells during that period. Wall Street doesn’t tend to hype a stock that isn’t showing growth. So in addition to replacement wells, CHK has to drill even more wells to show reserve growth. But by drilling those additional wells, they then have to drill more replacement wells for those rapidly depleting wells within the following year."

Check out Google Finance, set the chart to 10 years, and see what happened to CHK.

If you recall, I mentioned that I wrote financial articles about oil exploration and production. For three months in 2010, my weekly column appeared opposite Paul Krugman in an Abu Dhabi business magazine, posted online in English and translated into Arabic for the print edition. They paid me 35 cents a word, which made it worthwhile to sit in a coffee shop and scribble something in longhand, then type it up and send it off. Here's an example of my penmanship that describes how oil and gas deals are often -- uh -- negotiated. Consider that our 4th, 5th, and 7th Fleets are ushering supertankers past adversaries and pirates to deliver oil to Japan, Korea, and Germany, who have none, zero, totally dependent on imports, and to North America from West Africa and Arabia. We're a net oil importer.


EXXON'S $4 BILLION KOSMOS OFFER REJECTED


In October of 2009, I noted ExxonMobil's offer to buy privately-held Kosmos Energy's 24% interest in Ghana's Jubilee oil field. Based on Tullow maps and well data, I deduced that Exxon was using a medium term $100 per barrel price model to determine how much to bid for the Kosmos stake. No surprise, it matched oil forecasts by T. Boone Pickens, Goldman Sachs, and former CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin.

Kosmos promptly accepted the Exxon bid, in a straightforward move to monetize their Jubilee asset. They were out of pocket less than $1 billion funded by Warburg Pincus and Blackstone Capital Partners. Exxon's $4 billion offer would give them a $3 billion profit and zero their risk of development and doing business in Ghana. Kosmos previously reduced their risk by farming out stakes to Anadarko and Tullow, who did the actual work of drilling and discovery. Clever little Dallas-based Kosmos had achieved what all E&P "minnows" hope to do -- get a license, bring in experienced operators, then flip it to a supermajor.

Except the wheels fell off and Exxon's offer died.

Who, why, and what killed the acquisition is a convoluted story. It starts at a racetrack in Dallas involving Texas politicians, a Federal class-action settlement, and a silly "monte carlo" statistical reserves head fake that propelled attorney James C. Musselman from obscurity to VIP status at a White House state dinner for Ghana's President John Agyekum Kufour.

Musselman got his start in the oil business as an investor in Triton Energy. He became its CEO in 1998 when Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team and chairman of private equity firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst bought a big speculative stake in troubled Triton Energy. Musselman's job was to pump up valuation and sell the company, which he succeeded in doing in 2001, after reporting an operating loss of $383 million. Hess paid a 50% premium to Triton shareholders to acquire the Ceiba field in Equatorial Guinea. Musselman and his team were deemed geniuses and briefly worked for Hess, until Hess had to declare a $530 million impairment charge and write down 70% of the Triton reserves they paid $3 billion to own.

But that's not how it played in Ghana, nor in Dallas where Musselman and his ex-Triton team founded a new company, Kosmos Energy, in 2003. They were touted as West Africa experts with a new project negotiated by Craig S. Glick, who left Hunt Oil with insider knowledge of the West Cape Three Points block in Ghana. Hunt acquired 2D seismic data totalling 2,225 km and 264 square kilometres of 3D. They drilled and logged two deepwater wells. Those wells were immediately east of the future Jubilee discovery. When Hunt Oil quit Ghana in 2001, the story gets a little bizarre, clogged in multiple layers of state secrets.

Before he became President of the United States, Gov. George W. Bush was co-owner of the Texas Rangers, which he sold to Hicks. After he left the White House, Bush bought a house in the exclusive Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, down the street from Musselman's $6 million mansion. It seems likely that they knew each other in 2003, when Bush met Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufour in Dakar and urged him to do business with a US partner.

Two of Kufour's trusted associates laid the groundwork for a deal with Kosmos. Dr. Kwame Barwuah Edusei, a medical doctor practicing in Washington DC, and George Owusu, a self-styled Ghanaian oil broker living in Houston, formed a company called E-O, rather hilariously registered at a chicken farm near Accra. Kosmos and E-O entered into a written agreement signed by Edusei for E-O and Glick for Kosmos, covering future exploration, production and other revenue: Kosmos 86.5%, Ghana National Petroleum Company 10%, E-O 3.5%. The agreement stated that Kosmos would carry E-O and additionally pay them $250,000 upfront. Kufour appointed Edusei ambassador to Switzerland in August 2004 (to open a numbered account?) and later appointed him Ghana’s ambassador to the White House. Owusu became Kosmos Energy's Ghana representative. Owusu's Kosmos salary, perks and other graft may have totalled $2 million before he ran afoul of anti-corruption due diligence by Anadarko.

President Kufour, after serving two four-year terms, had to step down in 2009. He and his cronies did everything possible to grease the wheels for Kosmos, Anadarko, and Tullow, signing off on low royalties, 100% off-loading for export, and token involvement of GNPC. President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush made a 3-day goodwill visit to Ghana in February 2008, meeting all 30 tribal chiefs, promising US development aid, and stumping for Kufour's New Patriotic Party, hoping to upstage and deflate perennial opposition presidential candidate John Atta Mills. In September 2008 there was a gala White House state dinner to honor President Kufour and Kosmos boss Jim Musselman. In Ghana, NPP newspapers and radio stations celebrated their fabulous new oil wealth, thanks to Kufour and Kosmos.

All for naught. Social democrat and former national tax commissioner John Atta Mills was elected president of Ghana by a razor-thin majority, after an odd ballot re-run in a remote rural constituency. His first act in office was to appoint a special advisor on energy policy, Tsatsu Tsikata, long-serving patriarch of GNPC who was put in prison and tried for "causing financial loss to the state" when Kufour came to power in 2000. His trial lasted eight years and Tsikata was pronounced guilty, then pardoned when Mills won the 2009 presidential runoff.

Tsikata flew to Houston and visited Anadarko to pick up their Foreign Corrupt Practices file on E-O and Kosmos Ghana. Then he flew to New York and retained Morgan Stanley as financial advisors. Next on the agenda was a $10 billion line of credit from China. George Owusu's and E-O's assets were seized and Kosmos put under investigation. In 2010, Tsikata flew to China six times, negotiating with CNOOC.

When Kosmos Energy filed a request to sell its interest in Jubilee to Exxon, the new Ghana government's reaction was slow and comical. In due course, the Energy Ministry said, they would vet ExxonMobil and consider their suitability to partner a Ghanaian oil company. But we intend to produce Jubilee gas first, before oil production, because our country needs more electric generation, and we will be working with expert government engineers from Trinidad and Tobago (!) Your $4 billion Exxon deal is imaginary and illegal.

The only buyer Kosmos Energy could talk to was Tsatsu Tsikata.


--------------------------


One more item that I didn't write about, because it was exasperatingly tawdry. I had a big file of oil and gas frauds, involving billions bilked from investors in Canada, England, the U.S., and from China's state-owned flagships. A friend talked me out of publishing an article to shame the guilty, because I might be sued for defamation. The case of SEC v Gurgainers was typical of small scale shenanigans, and shows how common it is for pipsqueak oil and gas promoters to fail with other people's money.


SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION,
Plaintiff

vs.

STAR EXPLORATION, INC.
JAMES T. GURGAINERS,
Defendants

and

STAR GEORGETOWN 1 JOINT VENTURE
STAR MINERAL ROYALTY 1-A, LP
STAR MINERAL ROYALTY 1-B, LP
STAR DISCOVERY, LP
STAR HAMILTON 2 JOINT VENTURE
LAGNIAPPE OIL & GAS LEASES, LLC
STAR EXPLORATION LEASING, LLC
DISCOVERY DRILLING, LLC
DISCOVERY RIGS, LLC
TERRA FERMA OPERATING, LLC
STAR FINANCIAL INTERNATIONAL, LLP
1 AP.COM, INC.,
Relief Defendants

STATUS REPORT BY THE RECEIVER

$5,227 recovered from the bank accounts of the receivership entities
$5,802 recovered from an insurance company as a return of unearned premium
$35,000 recovered from the sale of James Gurgainers house in Alexandria, Louisiana
     (mortgage payments Mr. Gurgainers made on the house using investor funds)
$15,000 recovered from the sale of a 2006 Chevrolet truck
$10,000 recovered from the sale of two Sea Doos seized from Mr. Gurgainers house
    (the Sea Doos were purchased with investor funds)
$12,729 recovered from the United States Treasury as a tax refund

With limited resources in the receivership estate, the Receiver has made protection of the
drilling rig, which is the most significant asset in the receivership estate, his top priority. As a
result, to date the Receiver used $30,746 of the monies recovered to pay for insurance on the
drilling rig and $5,000 of the monies recovered to pay for security of the rig.


--------------------------

You know what's worse? W&T Offshore was one of the very best, most diligent, careful and successful operators using jack-up rigs in shallow water near the Gulf coast. A contractor on one of their rigs saw a little accidental spill of 10 barrels while drilling. He filed suit and threw W&T into the jaws of regulators, because "whistleblowers" get paid big money in civil suits, often millions, depending on how deep the victim's pockets are. It crippled W&T for a minor incident that a busy drilling crew failed to report instantly to the Feds. They had other things to do, with a couple thousand feet of pipe in a high pressure formation that kicked twice.

Something else to think about. The world didn't begin 60 million years ago, nor was North America always where we are accustomed to locating it on a world map. It was part of an equatorial supercontinent, joined with Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa -- one giant blob called "Gondwana." When I moved to Missouri, we pushed dirt around to build a house and discovered a snow white sandstone layer -- beach sand that was 400 million years old. Sea levels have changed many times in Earth's geologic history, and shales were repeatedly buried and cooked. There's a shale in Australia that's three billion years old. I mention it to conclude that our best bet for oil in the future is ANWR and coastal California. There's not much future in fracking progressively thinner, less productive Great Basin shales.

I wouldn't be shocked if the U.S. decided it would be easier to invade Venezuela than risk holy hell in groovy Monterey or happy smiley Santa Barbara. Sad situation. The U.S. was the world's #1 conventional oil producer before and after World War II, enabled us to build tens of thousands of ships and aircraft, to mobilize and transport millions of U.S. troops around the world, equipped with heavy weapons, fuel, and food. In 2003, we had to ask Germany and Japan to help pay for the Iraq War. America had joined the ranks of "oil beggars."

There's an old rig offshore Huntington Beach and, believe it or not, an onshore rig covered in tin to disguise it, in Beverly Hills. Together they produce 500 barrels a day, with a 94% "water cut," producing more formation water than oil. New horizontal shale wells in Texas share the same fate -- except they cost more and decline a lot faster than conventional straight holes. Ain't nobody drilling shale to frack it anywhere on this map of known global oil.

known-oil-global.png

.

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We didn't need Germany's or Japan's money to pay for the Iraq war. That was just politics. I was absolutely against that fiasco from the get go. Great article, Wolfo.

James Bond would listen to any expert regardless of the subject.

--Brant (-007)

Petr Beckmann was a personal friend of mine (Google Brant Gaede Fort Freedom to see my junky pre-Internet postings on his dial up "Web" site circa 1988; I've been continually on the Internet ever since)

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Brant (-007) ??? Well maybe the Roger Moore personification, but not Sean Connery.

Since this is an odd thread I will put this idea here. Can anyone think of a new TV show that mixes together two old shows? My choice would be "Two and a Half Men," and "Royal Pains." TAAHM is set on the beach in Malibu and RP is set on the beach in the Hamptons, Long Island.    

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16 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

 

60+million+years+ago.jpg

 

Um, Pup, you can't copyright someone else's work. Adding text to someone else's work that you stole from an online source doesn't make it yours.

The  copyright belongs to Dr. Ron Blakey, Professor Emeritus NAU Geology and Deep Time Maps™.

https://www.businessinsider.com/maps-of-north-american-continent-2012-7

J

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On 5/6/2019 at 10:17 AM, Jonathan said:

Um, Pup, you can't

Ooooo. The Witch Smeller Pursuivant spent an hour investigating the least relevant matter in a complicated presentation. The shale play overlay is mine. Great Basin art was tax-supported public domain, executed by an uncredited artist and web published for educational purposes -- and Jonathan knows that. His comment was a personal put-down, plain venom and fighting words wasted on a deplorable.

 

Quote

Having obtained early manumission and bright enough to make bigger trouble, much of my life was spent gambling that I could get away with mild havoc of an ever-increasing scope, especially in show business. Privately and professionally, my liberty knocked about a hundred people for a loop, innocent bystanders who gravitated too near.

For the reason given above, I claim to know something about error and deliberate wrongdoing. Frankly, I'm in favor of it, including but not limited to homosexuality, misappropriation of funds, lies, conscription of the willing, reckless fatherhood, high speed games of chance, contraband, and gross negligence in tax matters. Liberty entails the right to do wrong and get away with most of it. Half of all murders go unsolved.

I believe that Ayn Rand gave us two versions of Ayn Rand. The young Rand was a vamp -- my kind of babe. The Fountainhead had it all. Rape, dynamite, ruthless manipulation of weaker characters like Peter Keating, and smashing up priceless museum pieces. Rand the seeker was an immoral anarchist to the very roots of her hair, top and bottom.

["The Right to Do Wrong," Laissez Faire Law, pp. 218-219]


You're a stalker, Witch Smeller. Had to set me straight on Goodreads? An itch ya gotta scratch, because I don't deserve oxygen or bread, huh? Attacking me doesn't change anything, nor is it a particularly unique public service. I've had other stalkers, plenty of crap from others. Be of good cheer, Smelly. I live in a tin barn, no car, no phone, no book sales.

To resolve the matter, I appeal to MSK to delete the entire topic or send it to the Junk Pile. Meanwhile, I'll delete the graphics, since few readers care about Hannity and absurd White House talking points, proclaiming energy independence, or previous White House antics to stage manage oil payola in Ghana. The U.S. imports five million barrels a day, and there's not a hope in hell of prying Germany away from the Nord Stream megaproject supplied by Russia. Democrats are going to settle our hash when Trump is frogmarched out sooner or later, to be replaced by an anti-industrial mob of communists, so right reason and U.S. strategic interests in energy markets are about to expire in the New Green Deal.

War with Iran will be one of the stupidest, least justifiable projects in history. At some point, we should kick Mossad out of the U.S. national security establishment. Bad enough that they tricked us into conquering and occupying Basrah, a soft target, no Russian interests involved. It will be far more perilous to ignite a powderkeg of superpower intrigue, inviting Russia and China to join in the wet work, both of them aligned with Tehran for strategic and economic reasons. Don't expect the Brits or Frogs or anyone else to join "a coalition of the willing" to blow smoke over what's at stake and who we're up against this time.

It's a matter of settled history that World War II was fought over oil. Consider how stupid it is to replay a conventional or nuclear catastrophe because we undertook an impossible mission on behalf of Japan, Korea, Germany, India, and above all the Jewish State that a haberdasher from Missouri recognized to swing a few votes in 1948, over adamant protest by his Secretary of State, Gen. George Marshall. What did Gen. Dwight Eisenhower warn about? The military-industrial complex. Ancient history. $20 trillion in debt today? Tip of the iceberg if we trigger World War III to please Israel and Mohammed Bin Something, the ruling Saudi prince who likes to behead dissidents by the dozens.

 

Quote

Let's ignore the fact that 15 of the 19 World Trade Center and Pentagon cutthroats on 9/11 were Saudi nationals, and that Osama bin Ladin was a Saudi cleric, the wealthy son of a Saudi family who were quietly flown from Beverly Hills to Riyahd by our government after 9/11. I want to speak about something less despicable than secret foreign policy. It's almost trivial that Mossad tricked us into invading Iraq, at a cost of 75,000 U.S. "wounded warriors" and two million Iraqi refugees and war dead, a fertile breeding ground for ISIS and another bout of mass murder and misery, unending civil war in Syria, three million more refugees and their terrified, sickly children with no hope of repatriation to a war-torn, shattered homeland.
["The Speech"]


Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. We're supposed to fret about intellectual property belonging to an academic who got paid to explain the clastic kitchen of our long-depleted conventional oilfields in Texas and Oklahoma that made it possible for America to wipe out Germany and Japan, which we now defend with U.S. garrisons, missiles, warships, and oil tankered from a fascist kingdom that nationalized the oil we discovered and developed. Energy independent? Hah. A horizontal shale frack costs three times as much as a straight hole in Arabia, produces less oil and depletes in a matter of months, instead of years.

Ready to splurge trillions of borrowed dollars (again) to fight anyone who threatens Israel? Hmph. Junk Pile, for sure. We don't need no stinking critical thought. When it's all over, we can pick up the dead and dying, and say "Shit, we're sorry, orders were orders."

Your turn, Smelly. Scratch that itch. Show us how clean you are.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Ooooo. The Witch Smeller Pursuivant spent an hour investigating the least relevant matter in a complicated presentation. The shale play overlay is mine. Great Basin art was tax-supported public domain, executed by an uncredited artist and web published for educational purposes -- and Jonathan knows that. His comment was a personal put-down, plain venom and fighting words wasted on a deplorable.

 


You're a stalker, Witch Smeller. Had to set me straight on Goodreads? An itch ya gotta scratch, because I don't deserve oxygen or bread, huh? Attacking me doesn't change anything, nor is it a particularly unique public service. I've had other stalkers, plenty of crap from others. Be of good cheer, Smelly. I live in a tin barn, no car, no phone, no book sales.

To resolve the matter, I appeal to MSK to delete the entire topic or send it to the Junk Pile. Meanwhile, I'll delete the graphics, since few readers care about Hannity and absurd White House talking points, proclaiming energy independence, or previous White House antics to stage manage oil payola in Ghana. The U.S. imports five million barrels a day, and there's not a hope in hell of prying Germany away from the Nord Stream megaproject supplied by Russia. Democrats are going to settle our hash when Trump is frogmarched out sooner or later, to be replaced by an anti-industrial mob of communists, so right reason and U.S. strategic interests in energy markets are about to expire in the New Green Deal.

War with Iran will be one of the stupidest, least justifiable projects in history. At some point, we should kick Mossad out of the U.S. national security establishment. Bad enough that they tricked us into conquering and occupying Basrah, a soft target, no Russian interests involved. It will be far more perilous to ignite a powderkeg of superpower intrigue, inviting Russia and China to join in the wet work, both of them aligned with Tehran for strategic and economic reasons. Don't expect the Brits or Frogs or anyone else to join "a coalition of the willing" to blow smoke over what's at stake and who we're up against this time.

It's a matter of settled history that World War II was fought over oil. Consider how stupid it is to replay a conventional or nuclear catastrophe because we undertook an impossible mission on behalf of Japan, Korea, Germany, India, and above all the Jewish State that a haberdasher from Missouri recognized to swing a few votes in 1948, over adamant protest by his Secretary of State, Gen. George Marshall. What did Gen. Dwight Eisenhower warn about? The military-industrial complex. Ancient history. $20 trillion in debt today? Tip of the iceberg if we trigger World War III to please Israel and Mohammed Bin Something, the ruling Saudi prince who likes to behead dissidents by the dozens.

 


Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. We're supposed to fret about intellectual property belonging to an academic who got paid to explain the clastic kitchen of our long-depleted conventional oilfields in Texas and Oklahoma that made it possible for America to wipe out Germany and Japan, which we now defend with U.S. garrisons, missiles, warships, and oil tankered from a fascist kingdom that nationalized the oil we discovered and developed. Energy independent? Hah. A horizontal shale frack costs three times as much as a straight hole in Arabia, produces less oil and depletes in a matter of months, instead of years.

Ready to splurge trillions of borrowed dollars (again) to fight anyone who threatens Israel? Hmph. Junk Pile, for sure. We don't need no stinking critical thought. When it's all over, we can pick up the dead and dying, and say "Shit, we're sorry, orders were orders."

Your turn, Smelly. Scratch that itch. Show us how clean you are.

 

 

 

I want more!

--Brant

this is what words are for!

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13 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Ooooo. The Witch Smeller Pursuivant spent an hour investigating...

More like 12 seconds.

 

13 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Great Basin art was tax-supported public domain, executed by an uncredited artist and web published for educational purposes...

You're lying and just making shit up.

 

13 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Had to set me straight on Goodreads? An itch ya gotta scratch, because I don't deserve oxygen or bread, huh? Attacking me doesn't change anything, nor is it a particularly unique public service. I've had other stalkers, plenty of crap from others. Be of good cheer, Smelly. I live in a tin barn, no car, no phone, no book sales.

Yeah, now you're a poor little victim. You got caught being dishonest, and you're trying to weasel out of it and turn the tables. You're predictable, even profileable.

 

13 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. We're supposed to fret about intellectual property belonging to an academic...

Yeah, keep trying to spin the issue. The issue is not that anyone is "fretting" about the rightful intellectual property holder. The issue is your claiming to hold a copyright on something which you did not create, and which you know that you can't copyright.

J

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14 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:
 
 
1
13 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

 

Ready to splurge trillions of borrowed dollars (again) to fight anyone who threatens Israel? Hmph. Junk Pile, for sure. We don't need no stinking critical thought. When it's all over, we can pick up the dead and dying, and say "Shit, we're sorry, orders were orders."

Your turn, Smelly. Scratch that itch. Show us how clean you are.

 

 

 

Wolf, picking up on the tail of your knowledgable discourse about the petro-geopolitical nature and past doings in the ME, are the "trillions" of dollars you project when the US could be drawn into the potential Iran/Israel conflict. It's not going to happen that way, I predict. First the USA must protect the sea lanes for its own interests, Iran will back down and there won't be an Iraq-type invasion. Then, the brunt of any war and costs will be taken by Israel, smaller and being much nearer. 

A suggestion for the too-popular narrative: "the USA has to bail out Israel, again" (and, when did that actually happen to any high degree? Not Iraq, btw), is try looking at this from another viewpoint:

Less has the USA been defending Israel, than has Israel, by shared principles, alliances and lasting friendship, been tacitly defending the USA on the front line. Much smaller and much nearer, but without Israel (and Mossad), the US may already have had to confront Iran and its partners abroad.

To the stock question by westerners: "why do they hate us?"  the unthinking, glib reply: for the USA's and Europe's (weak) support for Israel (so we only need cut it loose and will find settlement with Iran and all Arab countries). This is an alarming incomprehension of 1. the geo-political, Shia and Caliphate ambitions in the entire region and 2. the depth of hatred of everything free and western by the Ayatollahs and terror groups, etc. against which America represents for now the major resistance and ultimate symbol.

Israel will go it alone as previously it has done, but would prefer that the US has its back, internationally and logistically, unlike recent times.

This is too complex and ideological to be brushed aside easily with one superficial explanation. 

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16 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

This is too rich in vertical and horizontal integration to delete.

Are those technical terms about drilling for oil?

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The last I heard, Iran still starts their legislative sessions with the chant, "Death to America!" Any conflict will begin with an aerial bombardment never before seen with conventional weapons. We have been stockpiling the evil stuff. I don't want war with anyone but I would barely shed a tear over Iran. It has been a shithole since "Persia" kicked out the Shah, not that I was a fan of his. They held Americans hostage and I think justice and revenge, served cold after all these years, would be sweet. "DEATH TO IRAN!" Whew. Now I feel better.  

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Iran fell under the control of The Gang decades ago, as had North Korea. And as with NK this is not a real war but a liberation. The Gang used Iran for its purposes, fear, terror, war. After liberation this great civilization will rejoin the family of nations in peace.

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24 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

Off to war we go?

It can't be about oil. Iran wants to sell it.

Is it about ego?

--Brant

Recently, they shot at our troops and embassy in Iraq I believe and they have been harassing our allies in the area.  They are spreading hatred towards us in their own country. Their top Islamic leader said that when they get "the bomb" they will immediately use it to destroy Israel. They threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. They have the equivalent of Nazi brown - shirts keeping order and threatening everyone. Iran is a theocratic dictatorship. Where I live there is a colony of Iranian expats, mostly Christians if I remember correctly, and many have just stopped wearing the burka type woman's wear with scarfs and veils . . . after being here for 30 years. it  is a bad place and a country that 'WANTS" world domination by Islam. Peter

From Ayn Rand...

PLAYBOY: What about force in foreign policy? You have said that any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany during World War II

RAND: Certainly.

PLAYBOY: . . . And that any free nation today has the moral right -- though not the duty -- to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba, or any other "slave pen." Correct?

RAND: Correct. A dictatorship -- a country that violates the rights of its own citizens -- is an outlaw and can claim no rights.

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