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$80 Oil, Ebola and iPads

Irraan,TX - January. 2012

Irraan,TX – January. 2012

Many things in this ol’ world have next to nothing to do with me so I try to concentrate on the things where (A) I can make a direct difference or (B) I am directly affected good or bad.   We were in the Barnett Shale Late Winter 2011 / Early 2012 when things started to go south. Maybe somebody was looking out for us and maybe it was just pure dumb luck but we got out with no downtime. Beginning in December, the assignmenst started to get leaner and less attractive.  By January, it was a full scale stampede to get the hell out of there and in 3 short weeks the area was a ghost town. Crude oil was hovering around $82/barrel and natural gas prices were in the  cellar.

$90 per barrel and above is where I like to see the price.  I know my skill set is going to be in demand because everybody is blowin’ and goin’ in the oil patch at that price and you gotta make that money while the going is good.  Last Fall it was craziness down here in the Puckerbrush.   Crude oil was well over $100 and everybody was in a head long rush to make sure they got their piece of the pie.   The only thing that mattered was getting those holes punched and the wells online  –hang the cost!  This Fall??  Not so much.  Oil slipped below my comfort zone of $90 this week.  Part in due to a strong dollar and part in due to increased production with lessening demand.  T.  Boone Pickens was on Bloomberg today and he said he would keep drilling out in the Permian even at $80 and maybe even $70.  Many won’t, let me tell ya.  When the price drops below $90 I make sure there are a few more dollars in the reserve kitty.  I curtail long range plans which involve capital expenditures.  I play it lots closer to the vest.   Pretty soon now,  if the price continues downwards, rigs are going to be stacked, wells shut in and guard gates will close.   Just sayin’…………

 

…………

 

I had an unsettling thought this week when every lead story on the news was ebola.   Our southern border, just a few miles south of where I am sitting this very minute, is more open and porous than it has been in a decade. With the growing number of illegals crossing the border,  my concerns about public health escalate.   The jury is out as to whether or not the enterovirus affecting children in the United States was originally introduced from south of the border.  My main concerns personally are increased risk for tuberculosis, scabies and dengue fever.  I *actively* stay as far away as possible from the occupants of any vehicles I interact with, gone are the days of a casual hand shake with a stranger.  I have Purell Hand Sanitizer at every sink and by the door and I use it often.

Back to that unsettling thought………. What if they diagnosed a case (or cases) of ebola in Mexico City or Guatemala or Panama? Would a tide of humanity head north to seek refuge in Los Estados Unidos?   You know the media would hype the new infections south of us to the max.  Those that are scared of the inability of the inferior public health systems to deal with an ebola outbreak are going to strike out for a place they feel protected.  Those already infected or even suspicioning they might be infected are going to seek treatment in the United States.  I would do the same.  The Border Patrol is ill prepared to interdict  such a  human wave crossing our borders.  Now, mind you, I know you got to work at it a little bit to actually be infected with the ebola virus but the ebola is not what concerns me. I am concerned these illegals  are going to have TB or scabies or dengue fever;  that is what scares me.  I am sure I will get some comments that the ebola risk is minimal unless you have traveled to Africa or been in contact with someone who has.  Granted, I believe that even though the U.N. says they expect 1.2 million cases by January 2015.  The ebola does not have to be as pervasive a threat as the bubonic plague if the media chooses to hype it as the lead story 24/7.   That will be quite enough to start the hordes north.

……………..

I work 75 miles north of the border.  I do not know if you realize myself and many of you fall within the 100 mile Border Zone where our Constitutional Rights are interpreted differently.  This is not new legislation —  it was passed in 1953.

 

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from random and arbitrary stops and searches.

According to the government, however, these basic constitutional principles do not apply fully at our borders. For example, at border crossings (also called “ports of entry”), federal authorities do not need a warrant or even suspicion of wrongdoing to justify conducting what courts have called a “routine search,” such as searching luggage or a vehicle.

Even in places far removed from the border, deep into the interior of the country, immigration officials enjoy broad—though not limitless—powers. Specifically, federal regulations give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to operate within 100 miles of any U.S. “external boundary.”

In this 100-mile zone, Border Patrol agents have certain extra-Constitutional powers. For instance, Border Patrol can operate immigration checkpoints.

Border Patrol, nevertheless, cannot pull anyone over without “reasonable suspicion” of an immigration violation or crime (reasonable suspicion is more than just a “hunch”). Similarly, Border Patrol cannot search vehicles in the 100-mile zone without a warrant or “probable cause” (a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances, that an immigration violation or crime has likely occurred).

In practice, Border Patrol agents routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority in the course of individual stops, resulting in violations of the constitutional rights of innocent people. These problems are compounded by inadequate training for Border Patrol agents, a lack of oversight by CBP and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the consistent failure of CBP to hold agents accountable for abuse. Thus, although the 100-mile border zone is not literally “Constitution free,” the U.S. government frequently acts like it is.

 

Read the rest here.

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Man oh man, there has been a shit-ton of griping and bitching about gate guard companies going to the iPad for electronic gate log recording.

Why so much complaining?????  More gate guard companies are instituting the use of iPads thus more gate guards are affected and the volume knob gets cranked up.

Why are the gate guard companies switching over to the iPads?   More oil companies are specifying their use as a term of the contract.

Why are the oil companies requiring an iPad?  Two fold answer.

1) Digital data. Most of the data they accumulate is ALREADY in digital format.  You see all those yagi antennas and solar panels on the completed pad?  Yep, they are transmitting data somewhere.

2) Liability.   Say, heaven forbid, there is a fatality at a location. Lawsuits ensue and the attorney for the deceased family starts hammering the oil company about standard practices and procedures.  “You did not avail yourself of the latest technology which might have prevented this?”  “Why not???”  “Other oil companies doing similar business are using this advanced technology?”  “Why are you cutting corners?”  “Are you cutting corners in other areas as well?”

I made a forum comment the other day and said “I predict within two years we will be required to have training in EMS, fire fighting and evacuation procedures.  We will all be working out of a guard shack and using an iPad to log traffic.”

I stand by that completely.  The days are disappearing when you could be a crippled up senior citizen that barely navigates the door and steps with a 25 year old trainwreck of an RV.   I have seen the gate guard locations that look like a homeless camp and even 3-4 years ago, it made me say “WTF is up with that????”  You think the EHS Admin for the oil company is going to put up with that kinda crap in the months to come?  Not hardly.

I am more techno-belligerent than  the next 20 people I know.  I still love and adore my Motorola Razr flip phone fer chrissakes!  Still yet, I am not going to be a curmudgeonly old fart when it comes to accepting inevitable change.  I GOT OVER IT you see and I advise all of y’all to do the same.  I weighed the options friends and neighbors; this is the real world after all.  It is not always cute puppies and soft bunnies.  Cleaning the toilets in a campground for room and board just doesn’t come close to cutting it for me.

End Note: Wasp’s Nest  by Ray Wylie Hubbard from A: Enlightenment  B:Endarkment.  Little heard.  Worth a listen.

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7 comments to $80 Oil, Ebola and iPads

  • David

    Hey Andy,

    Never waste a crisis.

    The Ebola is already being handled with politicaly correct gloves.

    Next is not reporting cases so as not to stigmatize the individual (or disease?).

    I think the CDC director’s qualifications are in NYC with banning smoking and salt for Bloomberg.

    Fox News reported this morning a second confirmed case of The Ebola with a health worker.

    Just sayin’….

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  • I know of a couple of old characters who pride themselves on still not having cell phones, never mind iPads.

    Maybe if we get enuff ebola cases in Dallas (two so far, one dead) and a few start turning up south of San Antonio, the Spanish speakers will head for California instead, eh? No point in running into a brush fire, is there?

    I hear ISIS is selling oil at $12 a barrel. You sure wouldn’t want that to catch on.

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  • Richard Boyd

    Another world-wide pandemic inevitable, we just don’t know when. As soon as those nasty little pathogens begin to mutate, all bets are off.

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  • Jim

    Well you answered the questions I just posted on the forum. West Texas crude hit $85 today, We know were good on this site until Christmas…. Maybe, 5 hole punch with the surfaces being done now.. we’ll see

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  • Third case in Dallas already, but the Center for Disease Confusion is on the case. Obozo and his merry men (and women) will have this cleared up in no time.

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    • Andrew

      Let that move one infected person away from those that did not have contact with Patient Zero and all hell will break loose

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  • Joel

    LOL! So far, one Ebola death. In Texas. At a private hospital.

    I love being able to see how others’ prophecies turn out!

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