Pages

April 12, 2008

Oil mega project status, Saudi, Russia, deepwater oil and Canada's oilsand

Oil Mega projects starting in 2008.

The complete list of megaprojects at the wikipedia [oil megaprojects] is for over 13 million barrels per day added. Plus there is all of the small 200-25000 barrel per day small wells. Like several hundred in the Bakken to offset any 4.5% decline. Ten of thousands of small rigs. As pointed out by Dan a reader, 2006, 2007 were flat oil production years so roughly 3.5-4 million b/d of megaprojects has gone to offsetting decline. So 3 to 3.5 million b/d is the projected excess from 2008, 2009. So it would be 6-7 million barrels per day to be added net of any decline for the end of 2009 and into 2010 as those new additions scale up. If the increase in large projects also indicates more small projects then say 0.5-1.5 million b/d each year from that increase.

So if we are 87.3 million b/d Jan 2008.
Then my prediction is a little over 90 million b/d at the end of 2008 (not the full 3.5-5 million b/d increase because of lag in scaling)
For the end of 2009, over 94 million b/d and for the end of 2010, over 97 million b/d.

OIL Projects 100,000 barrels of oil per day or larger, Big to smaller
Country Project Name Company Peak Yr Peak amt bopd
Saudi Arabia AFK Aramco 2009 500,000 [Abu Hadriya;Fadhili;Khursaniyah]
Russia Vankorskoye TNK-BP Rosneft 2017 420,000 bopd towards the end of 2008
Mexico Amatitlan PEMEX 2029 393,000
Saudi Arabia Hawiyah Aramco 2009 318,000 (NGL)
Azerbaijan ACG Phs III BP 260,000 [Q208]
USA Thunder Horse BP 250,000 End of 2008
Canada Cold Lake CNRL 2018 240,000
Nigeria Agbami Chevron 2010 230,000 [first oil Q308, ramped up Q309]
Nigeria Akpo Total 180,000 [Probably early 2009]
Brazil Marlim SM2 P-51 Petrobras 180,000 P-51 On track for mid-2008
Brazil Marlim Leste P-53 Petrobras 180,000 P-53 also on track second half 2008

Russia YK Lukoil 2009 150,000 [ramping up 2008-2009]
Kazakhstan Dunga Maersk 150,000
Canada Firebag; Steepbank Suncor 2010 140,000
Qatar Ras Laffan QP 140,000
Canada Horizon CNRL 135,000
Iran Azadegan P1 NIOC 2012 125,000
Norway Alvheim; Marathon 2009 120,000
Nigeria EA expand Shell 115,000
Iran Darkhovin P2 NIOC 2008 110,000
Brazil ML(FPSO C d Niteroi) Petrobras 100,000
Angola B15 Kizomba C (Mondo) ExxonMobil 100,000
Angola B15 KizC(Saxi;Batuque) ExxonMobil 100,000


Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that they will start adding 500,000 bpd to its total capacity when the Khursaniyah field comes on stream this month. Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, vice president of new business development at Saudi Aramco said, "The Khursaniyah field will start producing within a month at 300,000 bpd and will eventually add 500,000 bpd to the country's production capacity."

The United states has the Thunder Horse deep sea oil project in the Gulf of Mexico, which should produce 1 billion barrels of oil with 250,000 barrels per day. The Bakken needs pipelines and refinery capacity to reach its full potential, which I think is (US and Canada combined) 250,000 bopd by 2008 and 500,000 bopd by 2010 and 1 million bopd by 2013 and 2 million by 2015. Bakken could go higher but then it would require new drilling technology advances for higher recovery. I think that will happen as well.

Brazil has some preliminary assessments of 33 billion barrels in their offshore oil.

Suncor 240,000 bpd in 2007, targeting 270,000-300,000 bpd average in 2008. Probably 350,000 bpd by yearend as still 248,000 bpd in April, 2008

The US part of the Gulf of Mexico could be producing a daily yield of 800,000 and accounting for 11 percent of US oil production by 2011. This would be follow up to the Jack2 test well by Chevron, which indicates 3-15 billion barrels of oil.

Saudi AFK production to start in June, 2008

CANADA's OILSAND
from Jan 14,2008 London oilsands forum

Feb, 2008 Oil and Gas network 8 page report on the oilsands










Horizon oil phase I Q3 2008 for 110,000 bopd,later expanding to 232,000 b/d and 500,000 b/d. The Horizon section has 15 billion barrels of oil in place and current technology can recover 6-8 billion barrels.

OIL MEGAPROJECTS 2008 and 2009



The big one in 2009 is Saudi Arabia, Khurais 1,200,000 bopd

FURTHER READING
UPDATE:
The Oildrum has an article with charts that look at additions and contractions in capacity on a country by country basis from 2002 to 2008.

Also, there was a separate analysis from the EIA that oil demand was increasing at less than 1 million b/d per year and in 2008 will increase by 1.3 million b/d. How demand changes (based on economic growth and changes) will effect the other side of the supply/demand and therefore oil price equation.

Oil fields in the USA

Canadian Natural gas deliverability 2007-2009

EIA on natural gas until 2030 The trend has been increasing reserves and increasing demand.




April 11, 2008

Why space exploration ?

Universe today asks the question "Why should we be spending money exploring space when there are so many problems here on Earth that we need to solve first?"

I provided my answer [I have extended it here]:
Lack of a space program will not solve anything else faster and a well planned program [not what we have been doing] can deliver massive benefits. History shows the logical flaw.

There has been no historical example of any group "solving all of their problems before embarking on exploration/expansion/major project". The solve all problems locally before advancing has not been shown to be a successful strategy. There has been major examples where the imperfect/highly flawed expander had major advantages over the non-expander (who was also flawed). The biggest one is China had the largest ocean going fleet in 1400's. Then the emperor destroyed that fleet. The Western nations came a few hundred years later and forced China to give up Hong Kong and Macau for 99 years. The Europeans colonized North America and expanded economies because of those policies. The world has about a 60 trillion/year economy. There is not a shortage of resources in money or people to target problems. Well funded, well planned and well executed efforts can be directed at all of the problems simultaneously. Just putting ten times, a hundred times or a million times more money does not convert a failing plan, project against hunger, poverty, corruption into a successful plan. Most of those plans and efforts have failed in the past and holding a new project contingent upon solving those first is a bad idea. We need more/better plans and better thinking.

The fallacy of the let us solve X, Y, and Z before doing A, B and C can be seen not just in big history but every day life.
I will lose 35 pounds, organize my home and achieve emotional balance before getting a new job.
I will become self sufficient through greenhouse farming, get my extended family and friends jobs and savings and solve all of their arguments, feuds and disagreements before I launch a new business.
Whether I can make a new business a success is largely independent of those other projects. A well executed business plan can provide more money to pay for other home projects.

Space exploration and development has had a lot of waste and a lack of purpose and a good plan. A strong case can be made that the overall purpose of the space programs have been one aspect of political pork with minimal space efforts and the name space program. Clearly the space shuttle and the space station have vastly under delivered for the money spent on them.

Strategies for successful space development: Focus on lowering the cost and the purpose of colonization and industrialization and commerce (tourism etc…)

- If lowering the cost is best down with more robots then use robots first or mainly. do not force the manned program until costs go down.

- fuel depots in space (bring the costs down closer to the cost of LEO $2000/kg)

- More nuclear propulsion and non-chemical systems (mirrored laser arrays for launches).

Bill Dunford - Riding with Robots on the High Frontier had an answer that was along similar thinking.

Certain Aluminum clusters appear to superconduct at 200K


Martin Jarrold,Indiana University in Bloomington, is claiming to have found evidence of superconductivity in aluminium nanoclusters at 200 K. Two years ago Yuri Ovchinnikov at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow and Vladimir Kresin at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California predicted that metal nanoclusters with exactly the right number of delocalised electrons (a few hundred or so) could become strong superconductors. Hopefully this leads to other materials that work at high temperature and which can be incorporated into products and applications.

Physicists require three unambiguous and repeatable lines of evidence. The first is obviously zero electrical resistance. The second is the Meisner effect in which the superconductor reflects an external magnetic field. And finally there must be evidence of a superconducting phase transition, such as a jump in the material’s heat capacity when superconductivity occurs.

What Jarrold’s team have measured is the last effect–a massive change in an individual nanocluster’s heat capacity at 200 K.

In other superconducting news: Researchers found that atomic areas where electrons were strongly repulsive when at non-superconducting high temperatures were where there was the strongest connections when superconducting at low temperatures. [Important for developing better theories and hopefully guiding experimentation.]

They found that atomic locations of the sample in which electrons show signs of stronger repulsion for each other -- at very high temperature -- formed the strongest bonded pairs of electrons at low temperatures. This observation runs contrary to the behavior of electrons in low-temperature superconducting materials, in which electron-electron repulsion is not conducive to electron pairing up and superconductivity.

They found that when the samples were heated up to very high temperatures at which electrons no longer paired up, the electrons that had been superconducting at colder temperatures exhibited unique quantum properties at warmer temperatures indicating they possessed extremely strong repulsive forces.




FURTHER READING
Evidence for High Tc Superconducting Transitions in Isolated Al45 and Al47 Nanoclusters

Superconductance has been seen at 185K

There was the new class of highly pressurized silane superconductors which could have potential.

April 10, 2008

Some natural gas and oil plays

The Horn River Basin, very little was known about the play until Feb 28, 2008, when Houston-based EOG Resources Inc. said it might have reserves of six trillion cubic feet - the same as Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories, and a figure that would increase Canada’s total proved reserves by roughly 10 per cent.

EnCana Corp. of Calgary - which claims the initial discovery of Horn River’s potential - and partner Apache Corp. of Houston may also have 6 trillion cubic feet of gas, Apache said in early February.


British Columbia is set for a frantic land grab by natural gas explorers, following months of speculation and intensified by last week’s announcement of what could rank among the largest gas discoveries in Canadian history. Land sales are conducted twice a month in Alberta, once a month in British Columbia, and every two months in Saskatchewan. Wells at Horn River are expensive, roughly $10-million per hole. Horn River - as well as the hot Montney play further south in the same area of B.C. - faces challenges beyond geology, led by its remoteness, where drilling is conducted in winter because rigs can only make it to locations when the rugged ground is frozen.

Montney natural gas is potentially one of the largest economically viable resource plays in North America, says a report by Raymond James Ltd.

Estimates for gas content in the sandstones, siltstones and shale sequences of the Triassic-aged Montney formation in northeastern British Columbia put the resource size at about 50 trillion cubic feet (tcf) over an area of about 680 square miles (73 billion cubic feet per section). This estimate is near the bottom end of the range of the B.C. government estimates of 30 tcf for the Upper Montney and 50 tcf in the Lower Montney in B.C. alone. the report says. The current focus is the Upper Montney which is being developed by drilling horizontal wells with multi-stage fracs. The economics have improved from a break-even prospect using vertical wells to a 27% expected internal rate of return (IRR) using horizontal wells. The limited facilities and pipelines in the areas will constrain significant production growth until new infrastructure is added. Raymond James says wells in the Barnett Shale play in Texas show similar characteristics to the Montney (for example, first-year average production), but the Barnett wells have higher internal rates of return -- primarily due to faster completion times -- and hence lower wells costs. In the Montney, average horizontal well costs have fallen to the $4-$5.5-million range (drilled and completed) -- much better than 18 months ago when some horizontal wells were still costing $7-$8 million, the report says.


Montney players (either on the producer or service side) include Murphy Oil Corporation, Ensign Energy Services Inc., Storm Exploration Inc. and Sabretooth Energy Ltd., EnCana Corp, Duvernay Oil Corp. and Birchcliff Energy Ltd, ARC Energy Trust among others.

Oil Mega projects starting in 2008.


OIL Projects 100,000 barrels of oil per day or larger, Big to smaller
Country Project Name Company Peak Yr Peak amt bopd
Saudi Arabia AFK Aramco 2009 500,000 [Abu Hadriya;Fadhili;Khursaniyah]
Russia Vankorskoye TNK-BP Rosneft 2017 420,000 bopd towards the end of 2008
Mexico Amatitlan PEMEX 2029 393,000
Saudi Arabia Hawiyah Aramco 2009 318,000 (NGL)
Azerbaijan ACG Phs III BP 260,000 [Q208]
USA Thunder Horse BP 250,000 End of 2008
Canada Cold Lake CNRL 2018 240,000
Nigeria Agbami Chevron 2010 230,000 [first oil Q308, ramped up Q309]
Nigeria Akpo Total 180,000 [Probably early 2009]
Brazil Marlim SM2 P-51 Petrobras 180,000
Brazil Marlim Leste P-53 Petrobras 180,000
Russia YK Lukoil 2009 150,000
Kazakhstan Dunga Maersk 150,000
Canada Firebag; Steepbank Suncor 2010 140,000
Qatar Ras Laffan QP 140,000
Canada Horizon CNRL 135,000
Iran Azadegan P1 NIOC 2012 125,000
Norway Alvheim; Marathon 2009 120,000
Nigeria EA expand Shell 115,000
Iran Darkhovin P2 NIOC 2008 110,000
Brazil ML(FPSO C d Niteroi) Petrobras 100,000
Angola B15 Kizomba C (Mondo) ExxonMobil 100,000
Angola B15 KizC(Saxi;Batuque) ExxonMobil 100,000


Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that they will start adding 500,000 bpd to its total capacity when the Khursaniyah field comes on stream this month. Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, vice president of new business development at Saudi Aramco said, "The Khursaniyah field will start producing within a month at 300,000 bpd and will eventually add 500,000 bpd to the country's production capacity."

The United states has the Thunder Horse deep sea oil project in the Gulf of Mexico, which should produce 1 billion barrels of oil with 250,000 barrels per day. The Bakken needs pipelines and refinery capacity to reach its full potential, which I think is (US and Canada combined) 250,000 bopd by 2008 and 500,000 bopd by 2010 and 1 million bopd by 2013 and 2 million by 2015. Bakken could go higher but then it would require new drilling technology advances for higher recovery. I think that will happen as well.

Suncor 240,000 bpd in 2007, targeting 270,000-300,000 bpd average in 2008. Probably 350,000 bpd by yearend as still 248,000 bpd in April, 2008

The US part of the Gulf of Mexico could be producing a daily yield of 800,000 and accounting for 11 percent of US oil production by 2011. This would be follow up to the Jack2 test well by Chevron, which indicates 3-15 billion barrels of oil.

Saudi AFK production to start in June, 2008










The big one in 2009 is Saudi Arabia, Khurais 1,200,000 bopd

FURTHER READING

Oil fields in the USA

Canadian Natural gas deliverability 2007-2009

EIA on natural gas until 2030 The trend has been increasing reserves and increasing demand.




NanoEngineer-1 software for CAD/CAM with structural DNA


Sample of designs using structural DNA

H/T to Foresight

Nanorex will be announcing the first public release of Nano-Engineer 1 at their evening workshop on April 24.

NanoEngineer-1 (NE1), the world’s first 3D CAD/CAM program for structural DNA nanotechnology (SDN) research and education. NE1 can generate atomistic models of DNA structures from NE1 reduced models. NE1 plug-ins like QuteMolX and POV-Ray can create stunning, high-quality renderings of DNA models suitable for publication and the web.

NE1 can produce a “Bill of Materials” from the DNA model which contains all strands and their sequences in the design. This can be used to order DNA directly from suppliers of custom oligonucleotides such as Intergrated DNA Technologies



FURTHER READING
Online info on nanoengineer-1 They also have Nanohive, NanoHive-1 is a modular simulator used for modeling the physical world at a nanometer scale, and also NanoHive@Home for distributed computing simulations.

DNA structures can provide frameworks for next-generation nanosystems.

Special structures: The first line of research is the development of a wide range of atomically precise functional components -- organometallic complexes, magic-size quantum dots, nanotubes and fibers, engineered surfaces, and so forth.

Engineered Proteins: The second line of research is the development of polymers made from a diverse set of monomers that fold to make specific 3D structures.

Structural DNA itself: The third line is SDN itself, which now can be used to implement a large growing range of structures on a scale of tens to thousands of nanometers.

USGS Bakken oil study released, 3.65 billion barrels of oil


Assessment of Undiscovered Oil Resources in the Devonian-Mississippian Bakken Formation, Williston Basin Province, Montana and North Dakota, 2008 Click on the pictures for larger view.

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered volumes of 3.65 billion barrels of oil, 1.85 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the Bakken Formation of the Williston Basin Province, Montana and North Dakota.


UPDATE: There is a separate North Dakota only study out performed by the State of North Dakota. North Dakota also publishes frequently updated reports on new well completions and production rates of these new wells

This is a lower figure than I had guessed. However, it is 24 times more than the 1995 estimate of 150 million barrels and 6 times more recent quotes of 600 million barrels. It increases the US assessment of October 2007 from 42 billion barrels to 45 billion barrels a 6.7% increase. This is a probable [50% probable] reserves number as the old proven [90% likely] reserve number was 21 billion barrels Proven reserves increases by almost 3 billion barrels. The 95% figure was 3063 million barrels of oil. The old proven reserves was 150 million barrels. So the US proven reserves number goes up to 24 billion barrels a 15% increase. Adding almost 2 years to the 12 year life of US reserves based on proven reserve calculations. The Bakken is now the largest probable reserve in the United States outside of Alaska. It is one third the size of Alaska's ANWR.

As technology improves I would expect the recovery rates to increase. The USGS projection is keeping pace with what is happening now. The technology and the business effort has to and I believe will increase to find ways to get more of what is there.

Just like eventually the shale in Colorado should be tapped for oil with underground heating. The Bakken oil in shale sandwhich should be easier to access than the Colorado shale without oil. When that happens then there will be new USGS reports to reflect that proven development. THe USGS is like Missouri (the show me state). First you have to show that a technique is working then the USGS ups the estimate.




Here is the fact sheet

The USGS press release 3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate.

The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.

Five continuous assessment units (AU) were identified and assessed in the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana - the Elm Coulee-Billings Nose AU, the Central Basin-Poplar Dome AU, the Nesson-Little Knife Structural AU, the Eastern Expulsion Threshold AU, and the Northwest Expulsion Threshold AU.

At the time of the assessment, a limited number of wells have produced oil from three of the assessments units in Central Basin-Poplar Dome, Eastern Expulsion Threshold, and Northwest Expulsion Threshold.

The Elm Coulee oil field in Montana, discovered in 2000, has produced about 65 million barrels of the 105 million barrels of oil recovered from the Bakken Formation.



Link to the 6.5 minute podcast talking to the authors of the report.

The geological assessment results can be downloaded here

The page where a link to the full report should appear.

Welcome Instapundit readers.

TO THOSE SO INCLINED
Consider digging this article and/or stumblingupon.

Thanks

FURTHER READING
Update:
UPDATE: Bakken in the context of the world's oil megaprojects. About 7 million barrels per day being added in 2008 and 2009 from about 50 projects per year.

For context, I have an article that reviews the largest new oil production that will be starting in 2008. 23 will be more 100,000 barrels of oil per day or more If Bakken development and drilling success went really well then 100,000 barrels per day might be added on the US side and a similar amount on the Canadian side. Canada has 3 oilsand projects starting in 2008. The United states has the Thunder Horse deep sea oil project in the Gulf of Mexico, which should produce 1 billion barrels of oil with 250,000 barrels per day. The Bakken needs pipelines and refinery capacity to reach its full potential.

The US part of the Gulf of Mexico could be producing a daily yield of 800,000 bopd and accounting for 11 percent of US oil production by 2011. This would be follow up to the Jack2 test well by Chevron, which indicates 3-15 billion barrels of oil.

The assessment methodology of the USGS

USGS 1995 study and current decline rates

Estimates of bakken oil size and timing

Multistage fracturing horizontal drilling technique

Here is more details on how horizontal drilling and fracturing work

Bakken oil not fully valued

Bakken oil is highly profitable

A Saudi Arabia of oil in Bakken and Toquay formations in the USA and Canada

Other methods of resurrecting old oil wells. 67% of US oil is still in old wells and needs new technology to help recover it.

MDU resources has a couple of 800 barrel per day wells

Petrobank is a major player in the Bakken and also has the THAI and CAPRI drilling processes for the oilsands in Alberta [scaling up to a 100,000 barrel per day oilsand project over the next few years.

More bakken news from Google news

Advertising

Trading Futures
 
Nano Technology
 
Netbook     Technology News
 
Computer Software
   
Future Predictions

Carnival of Space Week 49

Carnival of Space 49 is up at willgater

My contribution was my article on carbon nanotubes with gold surrounded by lithium hydride being able to convert radiation to electricity 20 times better than old RTGs This will provide better space power in about ten years.

Centauri dreams article on Dyson spheres and aliens is part of CoS 49 as well. This was a follow up to one of my articles and some SETI search for Dyson Spheres.

Growing plants on the Moon

Not part of Carnival of Space week 49, but two excellent articles on fuel depots from Selenian Boondocks here and presentations on Space access 2008 Propellant Depot Panel.


China currency stronger than 7 to the US dollar

China's yuan is now stronger 7 to 1 versus the US dollar [6.99 as of April 10, 2008]

The Asia Times discusses the advantages of a strong currency for China.

Beijing may have so far the strongest incentive not to wage any currency wars but to accelerate the pace of yuan’s appreciation. In January, the consumer price index in China went up 7.1% from a year earlier, followed by a 8.7% year-on-year increase in February (Bloomberg, March 28). A major appreciation of the yuan, together with raising the interest rate further, is seen as the most effective way of bringing China's ongoing inflation under control.


A stronger yuan, Yu Yongding [director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and former member of the country's powerful Currency Committee] writes, will certainly have an impact on China's export volumes, and potentially affect some manufacturing jobs. But the impact will be limited given the size of the Chinese economy. Furthermore, China's imports will become cheaper, thus canceling out any negatives that may come from the reduced exports. Ultimately, such macro-level adjustment will make the Chinese economy much healthier and more competitive.


The NY Times take on the stronger yuan

Many specialists believe the shifting fortunes of the yuan and the dollar are healthy for the global economy because they reflect the reality of a weakening American economy and China’s growing wealth. Before, many economists complained, America was consuming far too much and China was overproducing and not consuming enough.

“This is helping rebalance the global economy,” an economist at Credit Suisse, Dong Tao, said. “But this is also very significant for China’s export sector. We forecast that as many as one third of export manufacturers may close down over the next three years.”


FURTHER READING
The yuan passed 7.3 at the end of 2007

Some are project the yuan to be at 6.45-6.8 by June, 2008

'Inflation in China is the number one policy concern,' said David Mann, currency strategist at Standard Chartered Bank. 'At the moment, the priority is to lower inflation over growth.'

The Chinese government earlier today revised its gross domestic product growth for 2007 to 11.9 percent from 11.4 percent. It was the fifth straight year that GDP expanded at more than 10 percent.

The yuan will probably appreciate to 6.45 to the dollar by the end of June and to 6.10 to a dollar next year, said Mann.


If David Mann were correct then the projection below would have China with Hong Kong and Macau passing the United States economy on a exchange rate basis in 2017.

Updated projection for slightly faster appreciation, US recession and China slowdown this year and next.

Year GDP(yuan) GDP growth Yuan per USD Yuan+ % China GDP China/w HK/Ma US GDP
2006 20.94 7.8 2.7 13.2
2007 23.6 11.5% 7.3 3.24 13.8
2008 26.2 9% 6.35 15% 4.1 4.4 13.9
2009 28.8 9% 5.62 13% 5.1 5.4 14.2
2010 31.6 9.5% 5.11 10 5.9 6.4 14.6
2011 34.4 9.5% 4.64 10 7.1 7.6 15.0
2012 37.5 9.5% 4.26 8.0 8.4 9.0 15.4
2013 40.9 9.0% 3.91 7.0 10.4 10.7 15.9
2014 44.6 9.0% 3.72 5.0 11.9 12.3 16.4
2015 48.2 8.0% 3.54 5.0 13.5 14.0 16.9
2016 52.0 8.0% 3.53 5.0 15.3 15.8 17.4
2017 55.9 7.5% 3.38 5.0 17.2 17.8 17.9
2018 59.8 7.0% 3.20 2.0 19.2 19.8 18.4
2019 64.0 7.0% 3.09 2.0 21.4 21.8 19.0
2020 68.5 7.0% 3.0 2 23.4 23.8 20.1
2021 72.6 6.0% 2.9 2 25.3 25.7 20.7
2022 77.0 6.0% 2.9 2 27.3 27.7 21.3
2023 80.8 5.0% 2.8 2 29.3 29.7 22
2024 84.8 5.0% 2.8 2 31.4 31.8 22.6
2025 89.1 5.0% 2.7 2 33.6 34.0 23.3

April 09, 2008

Life extension Update, metabolic pathway drug modification and SENS

In an Esquire magazine interview Andre Dillin, Salk Institute, indicated that they have a compound which is very effective at treating Alzheimers effects and extending life. So far that work has been on C elegan worms

But more than the apparent result, what excites and interests Dillin is the way the drug achieves its result. A-Beta does its damage by causing cell proteins to misfold; Dillin suspects that the drug works not by specifically blocking A-Beta but rather by encouraging proteins to keep folding accurately and precisely. That is, he thinks the drug works by promoting an overall cellular well-being, otherwise known as youthfulness. Specifically, he thinks the drug works by "upregulating the PHA-4 pathway," which has been defined as a pathway regulating longevity. But he thinks it does more than that. He thinks it will enable him to define and deal experimentally with youthfulness.


The article mentions doubling lifespans to 250 years. However, to achieve that effect would require more than calorie restriction effects. It would also not apply to people who are already middle age or older if it is reducing metabolic aging in half.

Andrew Dillin's research papers

The SENS and MPrize funding combined are over $11 million

SENS is looking to launch several new research projects.

AmyloSENS: Extracellular junk is aggregates of stuff that do not have any function and should ideally have been cleared out of the body, but have proven resistant to destruction. Most of this junk is termed “amyloid” of one variety or another. You may have heard of one form of amyloid – Abeta, the stifling, web-like material that forms plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, and also (more slowly) in everyone else’s.

Elan Pharmaceuticals’ most recent candidate Alzheimer vaccine, bapineuzumab, has been the subject of recent excitement after the company launched a full-scale (“Phase III”) clinical trial at an unusually early point, leading to speculation that the as-yet-undisclosed preliminary results of its earlier trials may be exceptionally promising.

The Methuselah Foundation is presently in discussion with leading researchers in this field with a view to initiating work on a vaccine – similar to that developed by Elan for Alzheimer’s disease – to stimulate the aged body to clear the widespread amyloids (particular of transthyretin) responsible for senile systemic amyloidosis.

ApoptoSENS

There are three main classes of cells that sometimes acquire a metabolic state that is damaging to their neighbours. (Visceral fat cells, Senescent cells, Immune cells)

There are two main alternatives:

1. Inject something that makes the unwanted cells commit suicide but doesn't touch other cells.
2. Stimulate the immune system to kill the target cells.

Glycosens

The Methuselah Foundation is currently planning out a project to engineer enzymes capable of cleaving the ubiquitous glucosepane crosslinks, which may comprise as much as 98% of all the long-lived crosslinks in aged human tissue. This work is still in the early planning stages, but we hope to be able to begin full-time research before the end of 2008.

Oncosens

We don't actually need to fix chromosomal mutations at all in order to stop them from killing us: all we need to do is develop a really really good cure for cancer. The one that I favour (and which was the topic of the third SENS roundtable, a meeting I convened in Cambridge in 2002) is called WILT, for Whole-body Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres.

The Methuselah Foundation is planning to launch three projects in the OncoSENS strand during 2008.

The first project aims to characterise the enzyme responsible for ALT, which is still unknown. Recently, however, observations in two different organs have given good reason to consider a hitherto unsuspected gene. A relatively simple series of experiments could test this hypothesis.

The second project addresses a potential problem with the WILT strategy. It’s possible that telomerase activity per se – independent of telomere length – may have roles in maintaining the health of the stem cells themselves, or of their rarely-dividing neighbours in the so-called “stem cell niche”. We are arranging a project to address this question, in the blood of mice, with the world’s leading professor in the area.

Finally, the theory that non-cancer-causing mutations are unlikely to be harmful in a normal lifetime – protagonistic pleiotropy – is not yet widely accepted. We are therefore initiating a rigorous study into the effects of such mutations in mouse brains.

Replenisens

Cell depletion is the loss of cells without equivalent replacement. Cell depletion can be fixed in two main ways: by stimulating the division of existing cells, or by directly introducing new ones. There is a lot of active work with Stem cells, so the Methuselah Foundation does not currently intend to allocate its limited resources to projects in this area.

20% of the readers of Nature use cognitive enhancers

20% of the surveyed readers of Nature use cognitive enhancers to improve their focus, concentration, or memory

This is related to my article that the transhumanist debate needs to be properly framed. My general view is that if the negative health aspects of any form of enhancement can be made less than the benefits then on an individual basis people will choose enhancements that personally benefit them.

A total of 1,400 people from 60 countries responded to the online survey. The subjects were asked specifically about the use of three drugs: methylphenidate (Ritalin), which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but is considered on college campuses as a "study aid"; modafinil (Provigil), which is prescribed for sleep disorders, but is used by some to fight general fatigue or jet lag; beta-blockers, cardiovascular drugs prescribed for heart failure and high blood pressure, which are also known for their anti-anxiety effect.


Among those "who choose to use," methylphenidate was the most popular agent: 62 percent of users reported taking it. Modafinil was taken by 44 percent of users and beta blockers by 15 percent. Thus, many of the subjects were using more than one drug

When asked about use of other drugs, many of the subjects reported taking Adderall, a drug prescribed for ADHD containing a mixture of amphetamines. Other drugs used included centrophenoxine, piracetam, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and alternative medicines, such as ginkgo and omega-3 fatty acids.

The use of cognition-enhancing drugs did not vary by age group, the report indicates. Maher said this may be surprising to some people since prior research has suggested increased usage in 18- to 25-years-olds.

Improving concentration was the main reason cited for using these drugs with enhancing focus on a specific task being a close second.

Four fifths of respondents believed that healthy adults should be permitted to take cognition-enhancing agents if they want to and 69 percent said they would risk mild adverse effects to take the drugs themselves.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said that children under 16 years should be restricted from using these drugs, yet one third of respondents said they would feel pressured to give their child these agents if other children were taking them.




Regenerative medicine advance: 140 Cell Types From Human Embryonic Stem Cells


Research published this week in Regenerative Medicine, reports on a new technology that yields over 140 previously uncharacterized cell types, many on an industrial scale. This advance holds great promise for future research and may one day lead to many new cell-based therapies in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
Previously there have been occasional reports that individual cell types have been generated from hES (human embryonic stem cells) cells, such cells have often been generated in small quantities, not useful on an industrial scale.

In a paper titled The ACTCellerate Initiative: large-scale combinatorial cloning of novel human embryonic stem cell derivatives", a team led by Dr Michael D. West, now CEO, BioTime, Inc and Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley, along with collaborators at Advanced Cell Technology, the Burnham Institute, Ontario Cancer Institute, and the University of California, San Francisco demonstrated that primitive precursors of the many body cell types have an unpredicted ability to be propagated from a single cell, leading to the clonal expansion of these embryonic progenitor cell types. A careful genome-wide analysis of gene expression showed evidence that the "Zip code" that the developing body uses to place cells in their proper location in the body is preserved in these cells, giving researchers a means to make cell types from a single location in the body.

Another important finding in this publication is that these highly purified cell types show that primitive embryonic cell types show the expression of genes generally associated with malignant cancer. However, when used in this highly purified form, no malignant tumors could be observed when the cells were injected into mice.

Dr Chris Mason (UCL), Associate Editor of Regenerative Medicine said, "This is an enormously exciting development for the regen sector. The research reported by Dr West and his team represents a quantum leap forward in embryomics, the mapping and characterization of the cells of early human development. Without any doubt, the ACTCellerate technology will greatly hasten the translation of human embryonic stem cell-based therapies into safe and effective products for routine clinical practice ".

"The demonstration that combinatorial cloning can lead to numerous and diverse purified cell types opens the door strategies to map the human embryome. This roadmap is critical to the clinical application of the emerging field of regenerative medicine", said Dr. West.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The unique challenges of pluripotency

• Human embryonic stem (hES) cells show the capacity to differentiate into all of the hundreds of somatic cell lineages in the developing human.

• Human embryonic progenitor (hEP) cells are primitive precursors of terminally differentiated cells that are capable of propagation in vitro and display makers generally associated with the embryonic stages of development.

• Challenges to the field include the mapping of the ‘embryome’ for example to identify the unique molecular markers that allow the identification and isolation of hEP cells.


Multiplex generation & characterization of hEP cell clones

• The ACTCellerate protocol utilizes a two-step differentiation and propagation protocol to isolate clonal populations of scalable hEP cell lines. Of 1090 clones isolated in this report, 280 lines (25.7%) expanded to at least four roller bottles.


Clonal hEP cells do not display hES markers but instead show markers of diverse primitive embryonic progenitors

• Cell lines derived with the ACTCellerate protocol do not express markers of hES cells such as hTERT or OCT4.

• A total of 71% of the hEP cell lines show positive expression for MEOX1, MEOX2, or FOXF1, which in the mouse are reported to be expressed only in early stages of embryonic development.

• Non-negative matrix factorization suggested that the complexity of distinct cell types isolated was at least 140.


Immunocytochemical confirmation of hEP microarray gene-expression analysis

• Selected markers in putative ectodermal, mesodermal, endodermal and neural crest gene cell lines were confirmed by immunocytochemistry.


Clonal hEP lines express diverse cell surface antigens

• Flow cytometry confirmed that gene expression often predicts CD antigen expression on the cell surface and provides a means of manipulating hEP cell types.


hEP clones express unique secreted factors

• hEP cell clones expressed diverse secreted growth factors. Select factors confirmed by ELISA included AREG, FGF7, IGFBP5, TGFβ-1 and PDGF-BB.


hEP cells lack tumorigenicity

• hEP cell lines expressed a wide array of oncofetal genes including: SILV, PLAG1, AMIGO2, HCLS1, SPINK1, PRAME, INSM1, ENC1 and CEACAM1, as well as others.

• Clonal hEP cell lines did not generate malignant tumors in 4-6 months at doses of 10 million cells per mouse when injected subcutaneously and intramuscularly.

hEP cells include clones with a robust & mortal proliferative capacity

• hES cells express high levels of telomerase activity by telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay, and an immortal phenotype when maintained in the undifferentiated state.

• hEP cells were telomerase negative by TRAP assay, but often display a long proliferative lifespan in vitro useful in scaling the cells.


Bakken news from around the internet on the eve of the USGS report

My guess at what the USGS will report as the recoverable oil in the Bakken formation tomorrow.

Well my guess was far to optimistic. The USGS 2008 figure was 3.65 billion barrels of oil for the US part of the Bakken formation.

Stackfrac horizontal drilling that is available today could recover up to 15% of the oil in parts of the formation. 75% of the formation is in the USA. 25% is in Canada. Not all parts of the formation would have 15% recovery, some might have 0-10%. Even though future technology could improve this number, that is not what will be projected. The high price of oil means that quick wells that produce for as little as 6-12 months could be profitably drilled.

I will say for the US portion 380 billion barrels of oil in place and 42 billion barrels of recoverable oil with todays technology. My guess is whole formation has 510 billion barrels of oil in place. 15 Billion barrels of recoverable oil in Canada.

Business Week reports on the Bakken and the imminent USGS report

Salon has brief coverage.

Bakken shale blog is of course solely focused on the Bakken

The Cost of Energy summarizes some of the data and reports and agrees there is a lot of oil in place but wants the USGS and other sources to pin down whether recoverable oil is 3% or 50% and then will not say how fast it will be developed

Classical values feels that the Bakken shows that capitalism beats fear mongers again

Resource Investor has a news roundup on Bakken

North Dakota Press release from 2006

FURTHER READING
USGS 1995 study and current decline rates

Estimates of bakken oil size and timing

Multistage fracturing horizontal drilling technique

Bakken oil not fully valued

Bakken oil is highly profitable

A Saudi Arabia of oil in Bakken and Toquay formations in the USA and Canada

More bakken news from Google news

April 08, 2008

Elite individual power : who has it and what does it take ?

Many people who discess the enlightenment and social discuss the power of the masses versus the power of the lite. The supporters of the Enlightenment do not want "the elite" to roll back society to a more fuedal looking power structure. Who are the elite and where does real power reside ? Newsweek has a relevant article.

The Fed brought together the leaders of the world's 14 major financial firms, from five countries, representing 95 percent of all the activity in global markets. The Swiss were there, the Germans were there, the British were there. Interestingly, no Asians were there, not even the Japanese. Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein "jokingly called them 'the 14 families,' like in 'The Godfather'," says Geithner. "And we said to them, "You guys have got to fix this problem. Tell us how you are going to fix it and we will work out some basic regime to make sure there are no free riders to give you comfort; you know that if you move individually everybody else will move with you."



The people on the recent calls like those described by Geithner, plus a few thousand more like them, not only in business and finance, but also politics, the arts, the nonprofit world and other realms, are part of a new global elite that has emerged over the past several decades. I call it the "superclass." They have vastly more power than any other group on the planet. Each of the members is set apart by his ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide. Each actively exercises this power, and often amplifies it through the development of relationships with other superclass members. This new class of elites is both more permeable, and more transient, than elites of the past. The age of inherent lifelong power is largely behind us—to be a member of this superclass one has to hold on to power just long enough to make an impact, be it by leading a revolution or launching a revolutionary Web site.

That such a group exists is indisputable. It includes the heads of the biggest financial institutions, the 14 families Blankfein joked about, and then some; the top 50 control almost $50 trillion in assets. The heads of the world's biggest corporations are also members; the top 2,000 support perhaps 500 million people, generate almost $30 trillion in sales and have well over $100 trillion in assets. The list also includes top government officials with real cross-border influence: heads of state, of course, leading diplomats and military chiefs, but also central bankers like Geithner and Bernanke, and their counterparts like Chinese Central Bank Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan, reappointed this week, and the other top economic officials responsible for the world's fastest-growing economy and its nearly $1.5 trillion in reserves.

They are joined by media barons like Rupert Murdoch, whose global network of newspapers, Web products, movie studios and TV stations reach hundreds of millions of people every day, or tech entrepreneurs like Facebook wunderkind, 23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, whose company is redefining what global community means. Alongside them you'll also find those who have different forms of power: religious leaders from the pope to Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei, perhaps the most powerful man in the Middle East today; clerics who have taken to a media pulpit and reach millions around the world daily like Latin America's Luis Palau or the Egyptian "tele-Muslim," former accountant turned religious TV star Amr Khaled. Cultural icons who use their celebrity platforms for activism like Bono and Angelina Jolie would certainly make the list, as would terrorist leaders and others who form a kind of shadow elite, like Osama bin Laden or the recently arrested arms dealer, Russia's Viktor Bout. A growing number of tycoons from emerging markets make the cut: Indian industrialist Ratan Tata, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Saudi oil investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and Chinese real-estate billionaire Yang Huiyan, among others.

One can debate who is in and who is out endlessly. Indeed, given that so much power today is institutional or job related (and thus fleeting), any ranked list is out of date almost as soon as it's finished.

A core group of somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 people—meaning that each one is "one in a million"

Says Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Wall Street's Blackstone Group, "The world is pretty small. In almost every one of the areas in which I am dealing or in which we at Blackstone are looking at deals, you find it is just 20, 30 or 50 people worldwide who drive the industry or the sector."


For media access and influence for individuals one really needs to have weekly audiences of 3 million+ to have not elite power but some semblance of somewhat significant influence. Although this can be greater if the influence over a smaller group is stronger. 10,000 in a fanatical army willing to die for you versus 10 million casual listeners (ditto heads).

For elite media power, moguls own multiple major newspapers, radio stations, internet outlets and television stations in multiple countries. The collective audience should exceed 200 million and be around 500 million to one billion.

Media power is just one possible venue to achieve power. There is political, military, wealth, corporate power etc...

FURTHER READING
Where do people get there news

April 07, 2008

Onchip photonic communications for 2017 computer processors


Problems that need a lot of computing power and new architecture that will be needed to enable that speed. Click on the pictures for a larger image.


Communication challenge in ultradense computing devices. Chips are not full speed because communication is not fast enough.
DARPA MoleApps–Aim: 10**15devices/ cm**3
Currently: 17 nm half-pitch,3.5*10**11 /cm**2 demonstrated


Communication speed of 80 TB/s for full speed 2017 chips





FURTHER READING
Zettaflop workshop 2007

Computational challenge for systems biology and personalized medicine

Prospects for computing beyond CMOS

Programming techniques to harness Exaflops [and zettaflops]

Rethink hardware
–Parallelism is mainstream, but most cores are optimized for serial performance
–Need to design hardware for power and parallelism

Rethink software
– Massive parallelism
– Eliminate scaling bottlenecks replication, synchronization

Rethink algorithms
– Massive parallelism and locality
– Counting Flops is the wrong measure

Enabling technology for Zettaflops
Optical communication and nanomemory.

Zettaflop architecture report

Systems software for zettaflop systems
Things like billions of threads.


Energy of Computing in 2005



The biggest barrier to exaflops and zettaflops is the heat/power problem. Transistors may be cheap, but the energy they dissipate is not.
• Heat/power is not all in switching hardware; most of it is wattage for communication and memory. And clock switching is increasingly wasteful.
• In the long term, application programmers can help just as much as hardware engineers, by being less sloppy with memory use and precision demands.
We need to have new tools for analyzing power used in software. Less precision is more energy efficient (use just enough precision).

Europe works on road safety with long term goal of uncrashable cars

The largest road safety research project ever launched in Europe will usher in a series of powerful road-safety systems for European cars. But, in the long term, its basic, experimental research could lead to a car that is virtually uncrashable. The technology would be pushed to make crashes increasingly unlikely and mitigate crashes when they do occur. Tiny differences have a huge impact on car safety. Dropping speed by 1km/h can reduce accidents with injury by 3 per cent, while braking fractions of a second sooner is enough to reduce the damage caused dramatically.

A truck exits suddenly from a side road, directly into your lane only dozens of metres ahead. Suddenly, your car issues a warning, starts applying the brakes and attempts to take evasive action. Realising impact is unavoidable; in-car safety systems pre-tension the safety belts and arm the airbag, timing its release to the second before impact.

PReVENT has a budget of over €50 million and 56 partners pursuing a broad, but highly complementary programme of research. A dozen sub-projects focus on specific road-safety issues, but all projects support and feed into each other in some way.



PReVENT project WILLWARN uses wireless communication with other vehicles to alert the driver about potentially dangerous situations ahead, while MAPS&ADAS reads sat-nav maps to track approaching hazards, like bends, dips or intersections. SASPENCE looks at safe driving distances and speed, while LATERALSAFE finally brings active sensing to the blind spot.

Two projects, APALACI and COMPOSE, take this a step further, actively tracking the speed and trajectories of surrounding vehicles and other road users in real time. If one vehicle suddenly stops, or a pedestrian suddenly steps onto the road, they swing into action to rapidly calculate the implications.


Intel forecasts Moore's law to continue until 2029


Pat Gelsinger, head of the Digital Enterprise Division at Intel, says that Moore's Law will continue until 2029 with zettaflop supercomputers at that time. [link is to his Intel Developers Forum keynote address, 80 pages, From Petaflops to Milliwatts]

Pat expects by 2017 it will be possible to create a complete genetic simulation of a cell, which would require an exaflop (10 to the 18th power floating-point operations) per second.

I have covered Tensilica's configurable processors which could be one of several approaches to accelerating or at least maintaining Moore's law computer performance progress to exaflops and beyond

From a 38 page study of detailing petaflop and exaflop scale computing challenges

Some have expressed concerns that silicon will stop having performance improvement [from shrinking lithography stalling out] in as little as four years.



The Inquirer also has another quote from Pat Gelsinger on Moore's law from the same event.

"I compare Moore's Law to driving down the road on a foggy night, how far can you see? Does the road stop after 100 metres? How far can you go?

"That's what it's been like with Moore's Law. We thought there were physical limits and we casually speak about going to 10 nanometres. "We have work going on different transistor structures. Silicon has become scaffolding for the rest of the periodic table. We're putting these other structures into the materials. We see no end in sight and we've had 10 years of visibility for the last 30 years.


Intels chips now and future

Tukwila chip
- Quad-core with 30 MB cache core with 30 MB cache
- 2 billion transistors
- Multi-threading technology threading technology
- Intel QuickPath QuickPath interconnect interconnect
- Dual integrated memory controllers
- Estimate 2 times performance of dual core Itanium 9100 series
- Mainframe-class RAS

Dunnington 6 cores
- 45nm high-k technology
- 1.9B transistors
- 16 MB L3 cache
- Caneland socket compatible socket compatible
- Latest Intel virtualization technologies
- 2H’08



FURTHER READING
Press room for the Intel Spring 2008 developer's forum

Zettaflop architecture challenges

Frontiers of Extreme Computing 2007 workshop was held in Santa Cruz, CA October 21-25, 2007.

Zettaflop applications

Ab initio million-atom electronic structure simulations.


Communication challenge in ultradense computing devices
DARPA MoleApps–Aim: 10**15devices/ cm**3
17 nm half-pitch,3.5*10**11 /cm**2 demonstrated


Communication speed of 80 TB/s for full speed 2017 chips




More details on the Coskata process for converting garbage into fuel (Cellullostic ethanol)

Costaka's process combines both biological (i.e., microbes) and thermochemical (heat and chemicals) processing. This could potential convert existing biomass sources in the United States to provide 35% of current fuel usage.

Coskata can use a wide variety of feedstocks for making fuel: wood chips, weeds and non-food crops like miscanthus, human waste, and carbon-heavy garbage (such as tires). Biomass, ideally easy-to-grow crops that don't require much water, will likely be the primary feedstock. The ability to exploit various feedstocks reduces exposure to crop failures or shortages. Coskata, which has received an investment from General Motors, also makes fuel from the lignin in biomass. Some companies making ethanol from strictly biological processes can't use lignin to make fuel.

Conceivably, Coskata could even produce fuel from the carbon monoxide from steel mills. If you could capture all of the carbon monoxide that comes out of mills worldwide, you could make 50 billion gallons of fuel a year, or close to a third of the U.S. annual consumption of fuel.


I had a prior article on the Coskata process and company.

The first stage in Coskata's process revolves around converting the feedstocks into synthetic gases. The different feedstocks can be segregated and processed differently. Waste can be converted to gas with plasma technology, for instance, while plant matter can be gasified with less energy-intensive methods. This allows the company to optimize on different gasification processes.

Once the syngas is produced, it is fed to microbes that convert it to liquid fuels. The microbes live in large colonies that collect on membranes. Fuel is produced when the gas passes through the membrane. Part of the company's intellectual property revolves around coming up with a way to let the microbes live as colonies and form slimes.

Less distillation. Microbes can create a fluid that is 15 percent alcohol or so by volume but can't get it to 99 percent purity on their own. That's why distilled spirits are stronger than beer.

Rather than fully distill the fluid, Coskata will distill to about 50 percent and then employ a membrane from Membrane Technology Research in Menlo Park to purify it the rest of the way. This cuts processing costs and energy. Coskata actually doesn't need the membrane to get to $1 a gallon. "This is gravy," Roe said.

Coskata primarily wants to earn revenue and profits from licensing the technology to big companies. like large forestry concerns, petroleum producers, and chemical manufacturers.

The Cosksta process cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent (complete fuel lifecycle) compared with gas. It also uses less water than most ethanol processes, which rely on food crops.

The Coskata $1 a gallon figure is how much the fuel will cost to produce. It includes the cost of the feedstock, the cost of the energy required to convert raw materials into fuel, and labor. It does not include paying off the capital of the facilities, taxes, retail mark-ups, or other expenses that can be added as the fuel wends its way through distribution. An adjusted price is around $1.50 a gallon.

FURTHER READING
Zeachem combines thermochemical and biological processes in a different manner.

Popular Mechanics description of the process

USGS Bakken oil study to be released Thursday, April 10, 2008

USGS Bakken recoverable oil study will be released thursday, April 10, 2008

Sen. Byron Dorgan says the U.S. Geological Survey is slated to release a study this week on the oil potential of the area known as the Bakken formation.

The shale formation encompasses some 25,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Dorgan says the study is to be released Thursday. He says it will estimate the amount of oil that is recoverable in the Bakken using current technology.

FURTHER READING
USGS 1995 study and current decline rates

Estimates of bakken oil size and timing

Multistage fracturing horizontal drilling technique

Bakken oil not fully valued

Bakken oil is highly profitable

A Saudi Arabia of oil in Bakken and Toquay formations in the USA and Canada

Nuclear plant security

Some who are against nuclear power are trying to make a big deal about guards sleeping at nuclear plants where no one died and nothing actually happened. Plus in one of the main incidents the guards were sleeping "in the ready room".
They were not at the time supposed to be guarding anything.

Similarly if a surgeon fell asleep in the operating room that would be one thing but if they were in the break room then the impact is ??

In this case there were other guards at the necessary points.



Report on security guards for critical infrastructure shows 5000-8000 guards among the 67 nuclear sites in the United States. (some with multiple reactors).

NOTE: There is lot of other critical infrastructure and not just nuclear plants. So all critical infrastructure needs an appropriate level of security. Over protecting one type of thing does not help overall security.

So about 100 guards per nuclear site.
Say 20-30 per shift.

If I have 15 on active duty and 5 taking a break, does it matter if the 5 are on the toilet, eating or sleeping ?

Guards are not the only layer of security.



Nuclear plant security review

Detection. At all four sites, the owners installed additional cameras throughout different areas of the sites and instituted random patrols in the owner-controlled areas.

Delay. The sites we visited installed a variety of devices designed to delay attackers and allow security officers more time to respond to their posts and fire upon attackers. The sites generally installed these delay devices throughout the protected areas so that attackers would have to defeat multiple security systems before reaching vital areas or equipment. For example, the sites installed fences outside the buildings housing the reactors and other vital equipment and blocked off entrances to make it more difficult for attackers to enter the buildings. Similarly, the sites installed a variety of delay devices within the reactor and other buildings, some of which are permanent and others that security officers would deploy in the event of an attack.

Response. Each of the four sites we visited constructed bullet-resistant structures at various locations in the protected area or within buildings, increased the minimum number of security officers defending the sites at all times, and expanded the amount of training provided to them.


The new vehicle barrier systems consisted of rows of large steel-reinforced concrete blocks, or (at one plant) large boulders weighing up to 7 tons in combination with piles of smaller rocks. (See fig. 3 for an illustration of a vehicle barrier system.) The vehicle barrier systems either completely encircled the plants (except for entrances manned by armed security officers) or formed a continuous barrier in combination with natural or manmade terrain features, such as bodies of water or trenches, that would prevent a vehicle from approaching the sites.

While in many cases it may be true that increasing guard numbers can make a
facility more secure, in other cases the relationship between guard deployment and facility security may be less clear. In guarding, quantity does not necessarily ensure quality. Analysts have suggested several reasons why increasing the number of guards at a given facility might not make it more secure, or might even make it less secure.

- Guards can only meet “guardable” threats, such as physical intrusion or surveillance by potential terrorists. Any number of guards could not be expected to prevent attack by a commandeered airliner, or a remote cyber-attack on facility safety systems.

- If the nature of a terrorist attack is potentially “guardable,” but guards are not trained to recognize it, additional guards may be no more likely to respond to it effectively than fewer guards.

- If an increase in the number of guards at a facility is accomplished by making the existing force work more hours, the guards may become fatigued, disgruntled, and, consequently, less effective.

- Increasing the size of a guard force may lead to confusion about individual responsibility and reporting relationships, which may reduce guard effectiveness.

- Expanding a guard force may increase opportunities for hostile “insiders” to infiltrate that force. Having a larger guard force, however, might make it more difficult for such an insider to successfully conduct hostile activities.


FURTHER READING
A reporter visits a nuclear power plant.

Even inside the fenced and card-controlled area, there's razor-wire around the exterior pipes. And that's the comparatively low-security zone.