Tag Archives: Energy
May 13, 2011

POTD: Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig in Galveston

Pictured above is the Ocean Star, an offshore drilling rig located in Galveston, Texas. This jackup rig worked in the Gulf of Mexico for 20 years before being retired and hauled to Galveston, where it now serves as a museum dedicated to the offshore oil & gas industry. The museum houses an education center that explains the process of drilling for oil & gas in the ocean as well as giving you an idea of what life is like for the workers who lived and worked on the rig for several weeks at a time (they even have several uniforms that you can try on). The rig itself is the big draw, as most of the original drilling equipment is still on board. You can freely walk around the pipe deck and drill floor, which showcases drill bits, a mud pump, derrick, and the “Christmas Tree”. I think the best part of the museum, though, is the gift shop, where you can purchase oil related gifts such as derrick earrings and cookie cutters. Yes, really.

If you’re ever in Galveston, this place is definitely worth a visit. Plus, it’s near Joe’s Crab Shack, so afterward you can sit down to a big plate of fried seafood and a gigantic beer.

September 9, 2010

POTD: The oil fields of Baku

Baku oil fields

Baku oil fields

It’s no wonder the Abşeron Peninsula is considered to be one of the most polluted areas in the world. Years of drilling with little regard for the surrounding environment have left the area resembling an apocalyptic wasteland. In July 2006, we drove through these famed old fields of Baku – the same fields upon which the Nobel family earned their fortune and Royal Dutch Shell rose to prominence. Now, these fields are dotted with homes (mere shacks, really) and the rusting equipment acts as makeshift goals for the local kids playing soccer on the thick, oily sand, surrounded by pools of crude oil and broken pipelines.

August 13, 2009

Don’t bother trying, you’ll never ever find a surer friend than Gazprom

Definitely the greatest corporate anthem I have ever heard. Go Gazprom!

Don’t bother trying, you’ll never ever find
A surer friend than Gazprom
We’re giving people warmth and light
For office and for home
We should always keep in mind
From dawn till sun down,
That our work is always needed
Working day or holiday

Ref.:
Let’s drink to you, let’s drink to us,
Let’s drink to all the Russian gas
That it never comes to an end,
Though it’s so hard to obtain
Let’s drink to you, let’s drink to us
Let’s drink to all the Russian gas
For those extracting the new sun
From down beneath the ground

We’re renowned for our deeds
The world over
And all your troubles will recede
If Gazprom people are nearby
Don’t try, you’ll never ever find
A surer friend than Gazprom
We’re giving people warmth and light
For office and for home

Ref.:
Let’s drink to you, let’s drink to us,
Let’s drink to all the Russian gas
That it never comes to an end,
Though it’s so hard to obtain

Let’s drink to you, let’s drink to us
Let’s drink to all the Russian gas
For those extracting the new sun
From down beneath the ground

March 15, 2009

My life (in comic strip format)

st_francis_comic.gif


I would probably say “dude” more often, though.

st_francis_comic.gif

Via “Hark, a Vagrant!” by K. Beaton.


December 19, 2008

I guess we’ll have to bail out the Iraqis, too


Heeey, I coulda sworn the Bush administration said the reconstruction would pay for itself:

Plummeting oil prices may force Iraq’s government to slow ambitious reconstruction plans, and the country could face a budget shortfall by next summer, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

“We’re in a situation where Iraq is … potentially going to be in a deficit mode next year,” said Paul Brinkley, who leads Pentagon efforts to aid Iraq’s economy.

The trend worries U.S. officials who say a strong economy is needed to lock in the security gains made over the past year. “The long-term stability of the country heavily depends on a vibrant economy,” Brinkley said.

[…]

“For next year, with the oil prices going down, we’re going to have a problem,” said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States.

If prices decline after that, “it’s not even going to be enough to pay salaries, never mind reconstruction of the infrastructure,” he said in a speech Tuesday.


December 19, 2008

CPC Pipeline capacity to double


I never thought this day would come. The CPC Consortium has finally agreed to expand the pipeline’s capacity, which will carry some 1.4 million bpd of Kazakh crude by 2013.


December 19, 2008

Russia and OPEC


No promises from Russia on production cuts, but I thought this was interesting:

In a speech to the assembled OPEC ministers, Mr. Sechin said that Russia’s beleaguered oil producers had already pruned production in November, and could cut still more if market conditions warranted. But he gave no promises.

Instead, he put forward a list of changes that Moscow would like to see made to the international pricing and trading of crude.

First, he said, the world needed to establish some other recognized benchmarks than those now used in New York and London for trade in West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oils. Those benchmarks, he said, were “inappropriate and unfair.”

It was also “worth discussing” scraping the U.S. dollar as the primary oil currency and replacing it with a basket of currencies—a pitch made from time to time by Iran and Venezuela.

The world, Mr. Sechin said, also needed “new trading floors” in other parts of the world to counterbalance the power of the New York Mercantile Exchange and to better reflect the “actual turnover volumes” of crude itself, as opposed to the mere “financial instruments” traded on the Nymex. The Kazakh capitol of Astana, he said, would be one good location.

Mr. Sechin then pitched Russia being granted permanent observer status within OPEC. That way, he added, Russia could host an OPEC meeting sometime next year.


November 24, 2008

Russian oil companies to explore off Cuba


Maybe:

Russian oil companies could soon begin searching for oil in deep Gulf of Mexico waters off Cuba, a top diplomat said just days before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the island.

Russian oil companies have “concrete projects” for drilling in Cuba’s part of the gulf, said Mijail Kamynin, Russia’s ambassador to Cuba, to the state-run business magazine Opciones.

Kamynin also said Russian companies would like to help build storage tanks for crude oil and to modernize Cuban pipelines, as well as play a role in Venezuelan efforts to refurbish a Soviet-era refinery in the port city of Cienfuegos, according the article published this weekend.

[…]

Washington’s nearly 50-year-old trade embargo prohibits U.S. companies from investing on the island. But Cuba’s state-run oil concern has signed joint operating agreements with companies from several countries to explore waters that Cuban scientists claim could contain reserves of up to 20 billion barrels of oil.

Remind me again…this trade embargo is useful because? Oh, right…it’s not. We have just allowed our Cuba policy to be hijacked by some bitter old dudes in Miami. Meanwhile, U.S. companies can’t invest in lucrative opportunities there, and I can’t fly down and enjoy a mojito and frita. Dear Obama: Please get rid of this useless embargo.


November 20, 2008

POTD: Oil wells near Los Angeles, 1937

los_angeles_oil_wells_1937.jpg


Los Angeles, over seventy years ago. Wonder what is there right now. Probably a mall.

los_angeles_oil_wells_1937.jpg
(1937, Horace Bristol)


November 16, 2008

Okhta Center (aka Gazprom City) on hold

Well, something good has to come out of this financial crisis, right?

From the department of silver linings comes this item from Russia: because of the financial crisis, plans for a controversial skyscraper that would have towered over St. Petersburg’s low-slung Baroque skyline have been delayed and — preservationists, architects and many residents fervently hope — may never be carried out.

The mayor of St. Petersburg has submitted an amendment to next year’s budget to cut money for the city’s first skyscraper, which was to have been financed with Gazprom, the Russian oil and gas behemoth that has itself suffered financially with the spectacular decline in energy prices.

[…]

From the start, the proposed design for the tower by the London firm RMJM drew considerable criticism, the twisting facade alternately being described as evoking a flickering gas flame or a corncob. But the principal complaint from historical preservationists was its height.

The building would soar 1,299 feet, shattering a czarist-era rule that no structure, other than a church spire, should exceed the height of the city’s centerpiece building, the former Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum. Before the law was changed specifically for the Gazprom project, the zoning restriction at the proposed site was 138 feet.

So contentious was the proposed height that three of four foreign architects on the selection committee resigned rather than consider any design of that sort in downtown St. Petersburg. Critics took to calling it the “Gazoskryob,” or “gas scraper.”

Critics, including Unesco and a number of prominent architects, pointed out that the site was directly across the Neva River from Smolny Cathedral, a delicate ensemble of spires and onion-dome cupolas. And they roundly panned the design itself.

“It could be a mirage, appearing over the sand,” complained Semyon I. Mikhailovsky, an architectural historian and the vice president of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Art. “It was unclear they needed it before, and now it is clearly unneeded.”


GAH?!