sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, November 21, 2016


Donald Trump continues to amaze and delight post election in the same way as he did before the election. Here is a singlet that make me smile.

The Media Summit

No, it wasn't an episode from The Apprentice, but I think that some of the great and near great in the news business ended up feeling like they'd been taken to the woodshed. That doesn't happen very often but there is a real fear on the part of the mainstream media that 'liars' will lose their press credentials. 

Personal Message to CNN: If you are no longer in White House press briefings, LSP, Fredd, Adrienne, Old NFO and the Grunt of Monte Cristo will use their press passes to get in and they'll tell you what's going on.
(NY Post) “It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter. 
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said. 
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added. 
A second source confirmed the fireworks. 
“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said. 
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

Energy Independence

The energy initiative that President Trump is pursuing calls for the US to be energy self sufficient. The recent disclosure from USGS of the vast untapped resources in the Wolfcamp shale makes that goal more achievable.

The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas' Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.
Journal Reference:
Stephanie B. Gaswirth, Kristen R. Marra, Paul G. Lillis, Tracey J. Mercier, Heidi M. Leathers-Miller, Christopher J. Schenk, Timothy R. Klett, Phuong A. Le, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Sarah J. Hawkins, Michael E. Brownfield, Janet K. Pitman, Thomas M. Finn. Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil resources in the Wolfcamp shale of the Midland Basin, Permian Basin Province, Texas, 2016. U.S. Geological Survey, 2016; DOI: 10.3133/fs20163092
The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment, making this the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date.
"The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more," said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program. "Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that's why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States and the world."
Although the USGS has assessed oil and gas resources in the Permian Basin province, this is the first assessment of continuous resources in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian.

Continuous oil and gas is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences, such as those in conventional accumulations. Because of that, continuous resources commonly require special technical drilling and recovery methods, such as hydraulic fracturing.

The question of what price gasoline would have to reach to make this oil and gas resource both recoverable profitable is one that I can't answer. I'm sure that there are studies afoot to make that determination. 

There is another question and one possibly more sensitive. Do the Saudis already own the oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale, or are they negotiating to buy it?

Wars and Rumors

A Cold War in the South China Sea

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported last week that recent satellite imagery showed that Vietnam lengthened its runway on Spratly Island by dredging and reclamation work.

The runway has been expanded from less than 2,500 feet to more than 3,300 feet and probably will be lengthened to 4,000 feet. According to AMTI, which is a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, continued reclamation work by Vietnam would likely mean that the runway has been extended to more than 4,000 feet.

According to AMTI, Vietnam has added 57 acres to Spratly Island.

When construction is completed, the longer runway will be able to accommodate commercial transport aircraft and jet fighter aircraft. Vietnam has been upgrading the defenses of its islands, especially Spratly Island, steadily this year. Vietnam installed an extended range artillery rocket (EXTRA) system on Spratley Island that can reach some of the Chinese Islands.

The Vietnamese can't be blamed for pushing back against China, which would swallow all of Asia whole if I could. That's naturally the Chinese plan but being Chinese, they have a 100 year timetable to accomplish it.


The Syrian air forces attacked eastern Aleppo for a sixth straight day Sunday, 20 November, in the most intense bombing since the war began five years ago.

Among the latest reported violence: a suspected chemical attack that killed four children and their parents. Two activist groups -- the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights and Aleppo Media Center -- said a barrage of barrel bombs struck their neighborhood.

The death toll since the bombing campaign began is over 300, or 50 deaths a day. All hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed or have closed.

As yet no major ground offensive against Aleppo has occurred. The Syrians continue to have the lead in liberating the rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

The Russians want the Syrians to do the heavy lifting that comes with a ground assault. The Syrians would rather have the Russians do it for them. The process of softening up neighborhoods (turning them into rubble) will continue until the Syrians feel that they can manage the mopping up without suffering a humiliating defeat.