Friday, June 18, 2010

The New Face Of BP

Finally the board of BP got bored with the nincompoop CEO and have relieved him of his duties to be the spokesperson for the blowout in the Gulf. Getting him off the air was about as good as getting Helen Thomas of the air. Maybe Helen can go down to the gulf and tell the Cajun fishermen they should return to Arcadia from whence they came. It is actually quite amazing how folks with a high IQ and a good education can show their true insensitive colors.

The congress having got a taste of blood when Tony Wayward spent seven hours ducking questions, now wants to revoke BP's license to do business in the USA. As much as I have very little love for the company this is taking the blow out too far. I asked for 20 big boys in an escrow account and that will suffice for now. I received an email that claimed that the Russians had cause to sabotage the BP oil rig and that the accident was no accident but an act of sabotage. While there is a slight chance that the Russians did sabotage the rig, there is much more likelihood that bad engineering, poor operations, and rushing to completion caused the event.

The holy land is becoming more holey. A massive natural gas field has been discovered off the Mediterranean coast of Israel and the development of this field will be able to supply three quarters of Israel's energy needs for forty years. This made me go back and read an article I wrote in January 2005 for the oil and gas journal Hydrocarbon Processing. The title of my article was "What to do if you have gas". I kind of like the title as it was funny. The article actually provides governments and policy makers with a road-map of the various alternate uses of natural gas and how to maximize the value added to the natural gas in terms of industrial or energy usage of the gas. I have a pdf copy of the article if a reader wants to read it just comment below and I will send you a copy.

The world should use natural gas over the next fifty years to wean ourselves off of coal and oil. The other BP, Boone Pickens, an oilman I admire for his savvy, has been touting his plan to use compressed natural gas in vehicles as a substitute for oil. I am certain that Israel will use some of the natural gas as a transportation fuel. No doubt some of the gas will be used to generate electricity in state of the art combined cycle power stations that are now approaching 60% overall thermal efficiency. When James Watt invented his first steam engine he was happy to have an engine with a thermal efficiency of 2%. I have long said that our best path forward is to use less energy, deploy more efficient machinery, and use nuclear and natural gas to fullest extent possible. I do believe, solar, wind, geothermal, and bio-fuels can supply a small fraction of the energy and they too should be deployed but the heavy lifting will be done by natural gas and nuclear. Israel will be known as the land of milk and honey as well as natural gas. Helen Thomas and Tony Hayward will be known for what they truly are. Nincompoops!

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