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Watch These Texas Pre-K Kids Sing the National Anthem

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

If this doesn’t give you hope for America’s future, nothing will. – Because our granddaughters were doing a little cheerleading during the pre-game show, the Little Wifey and I attended the early part of the game between Mansfield Legacy and Mansfield High last night.

For the national anthem, they displayed this video on the stadium’s video screen. It’s the most precious, most unabashedly patriotic thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. Thank you, Mansfield ISD, for putting it together.

God Bless America.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Facebook Jail: Not as Bad as Real Jail

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Getting put in Facebook jail yesterday reminded me of the first time I got put into a real jail. It turned out to be the funniest moment of my life.

The Funniest Moment of My Life
 
So, I busted out of Facebook jail last night and then went right to bed ‘cuz I was sleepy. It was quite the 24-hour ordeal. Ok, it really wasn’t – it was actually kind of a relief if you want to know the truth. I actually got stuff done around the house for once.
 
That was not the funniest moment of my life, so don’t worry.
 
The funniest moment of my life was the first time I was in jail, which happened twice during my misspent youth. The second time was in the summer of 1974 when a buddy and I got arrested for streaking the parking lot at the Circle K store on St. Mary’s Street, but I’m not talking about that one, although it was all pretty funny, too. Maybe I’ll write about that incident in the future. Maybe.
 
But the first time I got tossed into the local lockup in my little South Texas hometown of Beeville was the night in early December, 1973 when I got arrested for running stop signs. I didn’t actually run the stop signs, but I got arrested for it because someone with a car that sadly looked like my rusted-out 1965 green Buick Le Sabre station wagon (my first car, which may Dad had bought from Wendell Duhon for $50 and a box of .44 magnum bullets) had apparently been running stop signs around town that early December Saturday night.
 
I knew I hadn’t run the stop signs because I had spent the evening at a party at the Segovias’ house – always great parties at the Segovias’ house, by the way. As luck would have it – and it was a rare stroke of luck in those days – I happened to be the only sober person at that particular party because I was taking pain medications because this party took place about a week after I had blown my knee out playing in our annual Thanksgiving Mud Bowl game on the band field at A.C. Jones High School.
 
So I couldn’t drink. Trust me, that was the only reason I didn’t also get charged with DWI that night, which would have made this story not funny at all.
 
Anyway, at about 11:30 I had gone out to the car to get something out of it – I don’t remember what exactly – and as I was about to head back to the party a police car screeched up and the police officer who I will not name because he was just doing his job ordered me to “assume the position!” Well, I watched Mannix and Hawaii Five-O, so I knew what that meant and did it.
 
As he was frisking me, the conversation went something like this:
 
“um, Officer, what’s going on?”
 
“You know what’s going on.”
 
“um, well, no, I really don’t.”
 
“Running stop signs – you know what you’ve been doing.”
 
“ummmm…see that party in that house over there? That’s what I’ve been doing.”
 
“Don’t bullshit me, son, I’ve been getting reports about this car all night.”
 
By this time, many of the party-goers had come out of the house to see what was going on, the sounds of the latest Led Zeppelin album pouring out the front door to awaken light-sleeping neighbors.
 
“Sir, if you would just ask any of those folks over there, they will tell you I’ve been here since about 6:00.” The Segovias liked to start their parties early in those days.
 
“Son, you just need to shut up before you really piss me off. Now, get in the back seat.”
 
And away we went. We got to the city jail, a small operation with a reception desk, a tiny waiting area and I think four small cells, three of which were empty. In the fourth, a very large man whose cheap-bourbon-and-vomit aroma wafted out to fill the entire facility, overpowering the otherwise omni-present smell of disenfectant, lay sleeping on the top bunk.
 
So of course, once they’d booked me in and figured out that they all knew my father very well, since he worked at the post office which was right next door to the jail, they decided to do the funny thing and tossed me into the cell with the drunk guy. Thankfully, he never batted an eye.
 
So here I am, 17 years old, never been in any real trouble in my life, no idea how I’m going to explain this all to my parents. Once I got used to the smell, I decided to just lie down on the bottom bunk and hope the drunk’s sweat didn’t leak down onto me.
 
After about an hour had gone by, just as I was about to nod off to sleep, I hear this voice coming through the small square window in the otherwise solid, grey cell door:
 
“Hey, Blackmon.” I look up to see the face of Zack Wright, a good friend who apparently had been appointed to be the spokesman by the 2-3 other wobbly friends standing there with him.
 
“Zack, what are you doing here?” I was worried because these guys were all underage, all pretty tipsy, and probably didn’t need to be hanging around the police station at that particular moment in their lives.
 
“Hey, we took up a collection at the party – we come to bail ya out!”
 
“Really? That’s great! How much money do you have?”
 
“We got, um, lessee here…39 dollars.”
 
Now, that was the funniest moment of my life, that moment when you find out that, even with such good friends doing their best to help you out of an absurd situation, you are well and truly screwed.
 
Anyway, I finally got my one phone call, and my poor sweet mother came and bailed me out. That cost $150, by the way, which is probably about $750 in today’s dollars. Which was real money to our family.
 
The next Monday, we went down and related the whole story to Kinkler Handley, one of the local attorneys who I think at the time was also the County Judge. He called the chief of police and informed him that, if this all went to trial, I’d have about 25 witnesses swearing that, not only had I been at that party all that evening, but I was the only one there who was purely sober.
It was literally the only time during my teenage years when I could have been made to look like an angel.
 
The charges were dropped that day, and Mom got her $150 back. I’m pretty sure the $39 that had been collected on my behalf went towards funding the next party at the Segovias’.
 
Life was a lot simpler in 1973.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Texas Dems Clamor for Their Precious Beto to Run Back Home

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

There’s a senate race in Texas, and the Democrats have no viable candidates. – Texas Dems floated Wendy Davis’s name as a potential challenger to incumbent Senator John Cornyn back in March, and boy did that one come up a crapper. No one, it seems, not even the ghouls at the Texas chapter of Planned Parenthood, want to return to the days of “Abortion Barbie.”

But what are the Democrats to do? Who are they going to field as an alternative to Davis who might scratch the 40% mark against Cornyn? San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro – the twin brother of presidential hopeful Julian Castro – was approached, but he knows a losing proposition when he sees one. The Dems could try to run the former Dallas Sheriff who ran for governor last year, but hey, everyone’s already forgotten her name, me included. So that’s not a likely winner. You might think that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner would make a strong challenger to Cornyn, but right now it’s looking like he’s going to have a tough time just getting re-elected to his current job this coming November.

So, what are the Texas Democrats to do? They have to run somebody in the race, don’t they? Well, sure they do, and that’s why their eyes have more recently turned back to their heartthrob from El Paso, Irish Bob O’Rourke.

Hey, they’re thinking, you’re sitting there at about 3% in the Democratic presidential horse race right now, your campaign has become a national joke even among many Democrats, the fawning fake reporters who all wanted to be your girl- or boyfriend last fall are now all making goo-goo eyes at the mayor of a mid-size town in Indiana, and your chances of making a comeback on that national stage are roughly the same chance Benny Hill has of becoming the next James Bond. So, here’s an idea – why not come back to Texas and redeem yourself for that loss to Ted Cruz last fall?

Sounds like a peachy idea, right? Sure, it does. Let our precious Beto return triumphantly to Texas and…er…ok, well, he’s sort of have to just skulk on back to Texas with his tail between his legs, but still. Texas is where his home is, where his heart is, kind of, if you ignore the fact that he has taken positions that would destroy the state’s economy by killing the oil and gas industry, take away all of our guns, and open the southern border even more than it already is to the human-and-drug-smuggling that is causing so much misery here.

With friends like Beto, Texans need no enemies.

But, boy, do Texas Democrats want him back, regardless. When Quinnipiac polled them in early June on the subject, fully 60% of them said they want Irish Bob to challenge Cornyn while just 27% said they want him to continue his joke of a presidential bid. Texas Democrats, it seems, do love their political jokes, but they just want them to run for lower offices.

So, come on home, Irish Bob. Come back to Texas where all the fake reporters at the Austin American-Statesman and Texas Tribune can fall madly in love with you again. And fall in love again they will, since you would be running against a detested Republican instead of a bunch of fellow Democrats.

You’ve made an ass of yourself on the national stage long enough; come back to Texas where you will be praised by all the local news outlets for making an ass of yourself at home. All that Hollywood money that you’ve been unable to collect for your presidential campaign is just itching to pour back into a senate race here.

This is what Texas Democrats are imagining, anyway.

To Texas Dems, O’Rourke is like the home town favorite son who rejects their pleas to stay home and make their town a better place, choosing instead to move off to the big city to make his fortune there. Now that he’s failed in that quest, they’re wanting him to come back home to recapture that magic.

The problem with such returns is that, in real life, they seldom work out too well. By the time the favorite son returns home, everyone back home has heard about his big city failures and his former glow has lost its luster. To make matters worse, a whole new crop of other favorite sons have graduated from the local high school and some of them have decided not to leave.

There is no doubt that Irish Bob O’Rourke captured a sort of political magic that we seldom witness in his race against Cruz last year. But his was a flash-in-the-pan sort of magic that dissipates as quickly as it was conjured up, and is almost never recaptured once it’s gone.

Texas Democrats are clamoring for their precious Beto to come back home right now, but are likely to end up being extremely disappointed in the results should he decide to do so.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Meet the New Beto, Same as the Old Beto

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Today’s Public Service Announcement! – The “World’s Fastest Train” has been unveiled in Japan, y’all! Guess what? It is designed to sail along at speeds up to … wait for it… 224 miles per hour! Which is, lessee here…. almost half as fast as the average airliner. Almost. Oh, and it won’t be operational until the year 2030, which is coincidentally the year before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells us we’re all going to burn up and die if we don’t get rid of air travel and replace it millions of miles of rail lines.

Dear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other fans of her appeal to abject nitwits, the Green New Deal: This dog don’t hunt. Just thought I’d remind you. Plus, it’s stupid-looking. Seriously, it looks like something out of a 1960s-era cartoon:

Dubbed the Alfa-X, it is capable of reaching speeds of up to 224 mph and consists of ten carriages. Its sleek silver design is matched by its incredible long and pointed nose which stretches for 72 feet n front of it (pictured)

 

Don’t look now, but Irish Bob O’Rourke is about to “reintroduce” himself again. – But the crucial question is, will the mental teenagers in our fake news media fall in love with their former heartthrob one more time?

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

The smart money says ‘no’ – it’s really hard to recreate the magic of that first high school crush. Once the bad breakup occurs, there is rarely any going back.

After Irish Bob let it be known late last week that he plans to “launch” his flagging presidential campaign one more time, I’ve been watching to see which U.S. national publication would be the first to do yet another fawning “profile” of him, complete with nasty comments about Ted Cruz, descriptions of El Paso and/or West Texas as “dusty”, misrepresentations about the origins of the fake nickname he gave to himself, and the required comparisons to some Kennedy or another. Would it be Vanity Fair one more time? Might Rolling Stone jump in again? How about the New York Times or the Washington Post? They’ve all done it before – would they find the waters to be still warm and give their ex-boyfriend another date to the local Pizza Hut?

Uh, no. As it turns out, the O’Rourke campaign apparently was unable to even catch coffee at Starbucks with any of its fake journalist exes, having to resort instead to grabbing a sandwich at Wichy Wich with some reporter from the UK Guardian. And what a soggy sandwich it turns out to be, which is only fitting for such a horrifically-run campaign.

Oh, the piece has the required “dusty” reference contained in literally every profile ever done about Irish Bob, when it describes El Paso as “the dusty, sunbaked border town in Texas where he was born”. The writer even goes so far as to outright lie about the fake nickname, calling O’Rourke “the tall white guy with the funny first name” in the piece’s opening paragraph. My goodness, the piece even makes the jump to include a quote from one of Irish Bob’s teenage flames (no doubt referred to him by the O’Rourke campaign), someone named Maggie Asfahani, who makes her living as – guess what? – a writer!  Because of course she does.

As if it is helpful, Asfahani says she is responsible for the famous photo of Irish Bob wearing a dress in a promo for his punk band, Foss: “I want to put on the record, that is my dress he’s wearing,” she said.

Oh.

Image result for beto in a dress

No doubt the O’Rourke campaign had longed for the standard puff piece that their candidate has become used to receiving from the national U.S. media and Texas-based outlets like the Texas Tribune and Houston Chronicle, but this one does not fit the U.S. media’s cut-n-paste mold. There is no comparison to anyone named Kennedy, and the Guardian’s piece is otherwise a fairly objective recital of O’Rourke’s political history and inconsistencies.

Not the launch – or re-launch – our hero was seeking.

Like everything else Irish Bob has done since losing his Texas senate race against Senator Cruz last November, this “re-introduction” comes too late, and displays nothing more prominently than a singular lack of situational awareness on this part.

In politics, it is crucial for a candidate to strike while the iron is hot, an aspect of the game that Donald Trump understands better than any national figure since Bill Clinton. Last November, the media’s best boyfriend could have made himself into an instant front-runner in the Democrat nomination race by announcing his candidacy the day after his loss.

Yes, doing that would have been ‘too soon’ and ‘presumptuous’ according to the conventional wisdom. But O’Rourke’s image at that time was made by being presumptuous and going against the conventional grain. By dawdling around and waiting to announce his campaign in March, he traded that image for one of being indecisive and unreliable, which is pretty much his life’s history.

And that’s it – he can’t get that back. The opportunity to stand out in the race is now gone – the field is too crowded and the fickle teen-mentality media has moved on to other crushes. If you want a comparison to 2016 and the crowded GOP field that sought the nomination, Irish Bob is this cycle’s Scott Walker, the “hot” candidate who everyone thought at one point would be that year’s BIG DEAL, but never was.

Walker left the 2016 race before it ever actually even got to 2016, ending his dead-broke candidacy in September of 2015, after just two months of debates in which he had utterly failed to make a good impression. Irish Bob is probably too self-absorbed and clueless to make a similarly-fast exit from the stage, but he might as well.

He’s done.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Why Californians Can’t Wait to Get to Texas, Part 6,572

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Two interesting articles today on studies conducted by two different groups shed light on why so many people are leaving Democrat-run California to move to Texas, where no Democrat has won a statewide election in a quarter of a century.

The first study, from the very liberal Brookings Institution, cites Texas as having 3 of the 5 most popular destination cities for Millennial professionals: Dallas, Austin and Houston. The other two cities that round out the top 5 in this analysis are Denver and Seattle. Note the absence of any city from California, even those that reside in the Silicon Valley region of the state.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Houston has averaged importing a net 15,000 young adults between the ages of 25 to 34 each of the last five years, while cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Diego and Miami have lost between 7,000 and 19,000 each of those years. Of those five largest population-losing cities, only Miami is part of a state that is not a Democrat stronghold, although the city itself certainly is. Of the five cities leading the gainers, only Seattle is part of a predominantly-Democrat state, although Colorado is now leaning in that direction.

With Seattle’s mushrooming homeless issue and a Democrat city government that is now actively encouraging the business community to go elsewhere, it will be very interesting to see the results of the next Brookings study five years from now. Ditto Denver, where Colorado is now going through its first year of a totally-leftist-Democrat-dominated state government, which is going about implementing a whole raft of radical policies, most of which will negatively impact the business community there.

Image result for houston skyline

Houston skyline

 

Image result for california air pollution

Los Angeles skyline

The second very interesting study comes to us from the leftist American Lung Association, and its annual State of the Air report. CNN’s report on that study contains the following very interesting passage:

An increasing number — more than 20.5 million people — lived in counties with year-round particle pollution problems. Topping that list was the Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California, area; followed by Bakersfield, California; Fairbanks, Alaska; Visalia, California; Los Angeles-Long Beach, California; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, California; the Pittsburgh-New Castle Weirton, Pennsylvania-Ohio-West Virginia area; El Centro, California; the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio, area; and Medford-Grants Pass, Oregon.

So, 11 of the cities with the worst air pollution happen to be in California, despite decades of mindless radical leftwing policies implemented by Democrat-dominated legislatures and a parade of liberal governors. The CNN report naturally tries to blame it all on Donald Trump – because of course it does – but it ignores the reality that California’s air quality standards have been stricter than those of the EPA for decades now. None of that state’s issues have a damn thing to do with a President who has only been in office for two years.

Note which state does not place a single city on that list: Texas. Which, as mentioned above, has been governed by a purely-Republican state government for 25 years now.

This not a coincidence, folks.

Of course, as I’ve discussed in the past, the problem with all these migrating Californians is that they leave that state to get away from all the high-tax, anti-business policies enacted by Democrats, and then they move to a new state and just keep on voting for more Democrats. Nobody in our fake news media will acknowledge it, but that’s one of the main reasons why Colorado has transitioned from a reliable GOP state to a near-reliable Democrat state over the last 20 years.

That is also why the states of Arizona and Nevada are verging on a similar transition, and it’s why we saw the winning margins of winning GOP candidates in Texas narrow in 2018 as compared to previous election cycles in the 21st century.

So, right now Texas has far more attractive and less polluted cities than California, but as more and more native Californians leave their home state to get to Texas, that will all eventually begin to change.

As a 7th generation native Texan myself, I’d prefer that President Trump build a wall around California than along the Rio Grande, simply to preserve the health of my home state.

God Bless Texas.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Speaking of Political Losers, Heeeeeere’s Beto!

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an actress. – Everyone should watch this video. Trust me, just watch it. It’ll be the best 23 minutes you invest this week. I’m going to keep this pinned at the top of each piece I post for the next few days in order to maximize its – and her – exposure.

And speaking of political losers. – Sometimes, events just follow the Campaign Update around.  Our focus yesterday morning was on the Democrats’ Ongoing Fascination With Political Losers, and – viola! – this morning, Irish Bob “Beto” O’Rourke is formally announcing his candidacy.

All the girls – and most of the guys – who pose as fake journalists in our fake news media are swooning and cooing sweet nothings they hope will eventually meet their precious Beto’s ears. Fake news hacks from El Paso to Austin to New York City to Washington D.C. are all lining up at the door to their fake editors’ offices, er, cubicles, vying for the glorious assignment of following the jumpy, sweaty, skate-boarding, 46 year-old around the country in the hopes that he will give them a passing glance, maybe one of his crooked smiles, or even – gasp! – repeat their name back to them during an evasive answer to one of their softball questions.

Oh, the glory! What more could a girl – or guy – possibly want amid a miserable life spent faking the news for a living?

The Texas Tribune, an Austin-based digital publication that acted as a pro bono PR firm for Irish Bob’s failed senate campaign last year, led with this paragraph in its story on this morning’s announcement:

“After months of intense speculation, Beto O’Rourke is entering the presidential race Thursday, marking an extraordinary rise from little-known El Paso congressman a few years ago to potentially formidable White House contender.”

Ah, so it’s been an “extraordinary rise”, has it, this progression from little-known congressman to senate race loser to presidential candidate currently pulling 6% in the Democrat preference polls? I suppose we should feel lucky the writer resisted the impulse to use the word “meteoric” instead.

To be fair, Irish Bob has been truly extraordinary at two things thus far:

  • He raised an extraordinary amount of out-of-state money in his senate race against Ted Cruz, ultimately out-spending Cruz by a 3-to-1 margin in a losing effort; and
  • He has attracted an extraordinary amount of free media from the fawning press, possibly more than any politician in U.S. history not named Obama or Clinton.

But maybe even more impressive is how many fake media outlets have chosen to publish pretty much the exact same “profile” of Irish Bob. Hell, Vanity Fair just put another one out there yesterday, complete with a photo spread by Annie Lebovitz.

Every profile of Irish Bob published over the past year reads like the breathless prose of a lovesick college coed, and they’re all structured as if torn from a page of a paint-by-the-numbers book:

  • Beto is “Kennedy-esque. Indeed, if that word does not appear in the story, it is not an official profile;
  • His hometown of El Paso, population of 683,577, is described as “small”, “backwater”, “isolated”, or my favorite, “dusty;”
  • He sweats a lot, and it shows. Swooning fake reporters spend a ton of time admiring Beto’s perspiration;
  • He rides a skateboard;
  • Hey, didja know he used to be in a punk rock band?;
  • The perpetually-jumpy politician with more tics than a stray dog has “nervous energy.” Oh;
  • His eyes are “piercing,” because hey, how else do you describe the eyes of someone who is “Kennedy-esque?” Just be glad they didn’t say “dreamy,” because that’s what they’re all really thinking.

Pablum for the masses, all in an effort to promote the candidacy of a guy whose main accomplishment in life – outside of having an admittedly-lovely family – is having raised $75 million in a senate race that he lost.

The conventional wisdom out there today seems to be that O’Rourke is getting into the race in an effort to become Joe Biden’s running mate in 2020. While I think that vastly underestimates Irish Bob’s massive ego, wouldn’t that outcome be wonderful?

Think about it: How would the rapidly-growing social justice warrior wing of the Democrat support base react if its 2020 convention were to nominate a ticket consisting of two of the most pasty-white men ever born in America outside of Wisconsin? It would be glorious.

So Irish Bob is officially in, and the Democrat fascination with political losers continues. I would say let the fawning fake news media slobbering over “Beto” begin, but as Vanity Fair and the Texas Tribune and many others demonstrate this morning, it began long ago.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Some Stunning New Facts About Texas and its Oil Industry

Today’s Energy Update
(Because Energy Fuels Our Lives)

#GodBlessTexas. – Last week at Shale Magazine, I put up a piece detailing some “Fun Facts” about the state of the oil and gas industry in Texas. That piece began with the following statement:

“Here’s a fun fact: If Texas were an independent country, it would now stand as the 5th-largest oil-producing nation on Planet Earth, behind only the rest of the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. According to projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Texas will pass Iraq in this measure of economic might later this year.”

Boy, things sure do escalate quickly in the oil industry. Here we are, barely a week later, and the truth about that little factoid has already changed again, at least if the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has its numbers right.  EIA now says that the U.S. averaged 12 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) in January, the first time it has ever reached level. The agency further projects that the Permian Basin alone will produce 4 million bopd in March, roughly 1/3rd of total U.S. production.

So, before we get to some new amazing facts about all of this, let’s do a little math.  First, roughly 85% of total Permian Basin production comes from Texas, which in March would come to about 3.4 million bopd. Next, add in EIA’s estimate that the other behemoth Texas shale play, the Eagle Ford, will produce about 1.3 million bopd, and you are at a stunning 4.7 million. Oh, and there’s also all that oil coming out of deep south Texas, east Texas and the Texas panhandle, and all of a sudden you find Texas producing in excess of 5 million bopd.

All of which means that as of today, the great State of Texas, all by itself, would now rank 4th globally in crude oil production if it were an independent country, having now blown past Iraq.  Oh, and if the EIA’s projected trend for Permian production growth holds true, Texas will in all likelihood surpass the rest of the United States in total production at some point in either late 2021 or early 2022, and become the third-largest producer in the world.

But that’s not all.

EIA’s March projection of 4 million bopd coming out of the Permian Basin alone means that single basin, were it to secede from the union, would suddenly rank as the 5th-largest oil producing nation on earth, behind Iraq as well as the other countries mentioned above. The other amazing but little known fact about the Permian is that it ranks as one of the largest natural gas plays on earth, second in the U.S. only to the mammoth Marcellus Shale play in the northeast.

How incredible is that? Look at it this way:  Just a decade ago, the Permian Basin was considered to be a “dead” oil play. Downtown Midland was basically a ghost town, and the only real oil business going on out there was a bunch of small companies buying up old, depleted oil fields and going in to rework the wells in order to squeeze a few more barrels per day out of them.

Today, just 10 year later, it is the focal point of the global oil industry, the driver of booming economies of Texas and New Mexico, the main driver of the country’s burgeoning oil and LNG exports businesses. Because industries like chemicals, plastics, fertilizers and many, many more use petroleum products and natural gas as feedstocks, the Permian is also one of the the major facilitators of our country’s manufacturing renaissance over the last few years.

Stunning. And a real blessing.

God Bless Texas, indeed.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Apache and the Alpine High: Changing the Way the Oilfield Works

Monday Energy Update

(Because Energy Fuels Our Lives)

“My story starts in 1956 when I was one year old, and M. King Hubbard made a prediction about ‘peak oil.’ He said somewhere around 1970 U.S. production would peak at about 10 million barrels per day and then it would fall off over the next 25-30 years to about 4 million bpd, and the U.S. would be completely dependent on foreign oil.”

Steve Keenan is, to put it mildly, a high-energy individual. Apache Corporation’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Exploration, he is a 40-year veteran of the oil and gas industry, a geoscientist who has seen it all and done most of it. As we start our interview last November, he is seated at his desk at the company’s offices on the western edge of San Antonio, trying to describe to this writer the series of events that led to the discovery of the massive Alpine High resource in the Delaware Basin of far West Texas. As we will soon see, it was a discovery that required a “cradle to grave” kind of approach, and true to form, Keenan was starting his explanation at the cradle.

“That’s important because people really believed what Hubbard was saying,” he continues. “And the amazing thing to me is that he was practically correct — oil did peak at 10 million bpd around 1970, and it did fall and we were disproportionally dependent on imports for a long time. But it didn’t fall in the logistic distribution curve that he predicted.” To emphasize this point, Keenan pulls up a line graph of the last 45 years of U.S. oil production onto his computer display. “If you’ll notice, there are changes in the slope of the curve, and it is those changes in slope that are the story of my career.

“Up until about 2005 the industry was involved in what we used to just call ‘exploration’ but which we now refer to as ‘conventional exploration,’ since we now have exploration in ‘unconventional’ or ‘resource’ plays,” he says, describing the different terms used to differentiate the sand and limestone formations from which almost all oil and gas was extracted during the industry’s first 150 years and the tight sands, coal and shale formations that have produced most of it in the U.S. during the course of the 21st century.

“All these changes in slope are important because what they represent are the introduction of new ideas, really creative and adaptive thinking, so that we could slow or arrest that decline. Or some kind of new engineering capability or new technology that didn’t exist previously. But mainly it was creative thinking.”

He points to a specific spot on the graph. “This is where I come in. I actually first got hired in 1978, after the Arab oil embargo and the discovery at Prudhoe Bay. Like a lot of people my age with my credentials (he has an MS degree, undergrad in geology with a master’s thesis topic pertaining to spectral analysis of seismic signals – most of his contemporary MS colleagues studying Geophysics were writing about the evaluation of gravity or magnetic data) I began my career working in frontier areas where all the big hopes were. The main suspects at that time were in Alaska and California.”

Indeed, the progression of Keenan’s career, which, before coming to Apache Corp. in June 2014 included stops at Cities Service Oil Company, SOHIO Petroleum, BP, Marathon and EOG Resources, reads basically as compendium of some of the largest major oil discoveries of the last 40 years.

As Keenan notes, the early years of his career, spent at Cities Service, were spent exploring for oil on the North Slope of Alaska and in California, where he worked on the huge Milne Point field 35 miles west of Prudhoe Bay, and also on the Point Arguello field in the Pacific Ocean waters offshore California, just north of Santa Barbara.

While working as Regional Project Manager and as Chief Geophysicist at a domestic independent oil company from 1985 through 1997, Keenan gained a wealth of international experience, exploring for oil faraway places like Norway, Oman, Spain, Argentina and Egypt. Keenan moved over to Marathon Oil in 1997, and spent the next five years working on assets in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Angola.

Keenan next moved to become Division Exploration Manager of the South Texas operations for EOG Resources. There, he led the company’s highly-successful development of the Middle Wilcox tight sands assets in South Texas. Then, in 2008, his team made a major new discovery when it drilled, hydraulically fractured and completed the first successful horizontal well in the giant Eagle Ford Shale formation.

Wait, you’re thinking, didn’t Petrohawk drill that first successful Eagle Ford well? That is the common story, and, to be fair, Petrohawk was the first company to publicly announce a successful Eagle Ford completion, in October of 2008.

In 2008, EOG made a strategic decision to add more liquids to its portfolio of assets as the natural gas market in the U.S. began to become over-supplied. Keenan and his team were directed by then-EOG CEO Mark Papa at that time to go find more oil, even though it had been highly successful in drilling for the natural gas in the Wilcox formation for many years by then.

In the summer of that year, Keenan’s team which included current Apache employees Chester Pieprzica, Roberto Alaniz and Navneet Behl, drilled the Tully C. Gardner #94H, a 4,200’ lateral well in Webb County, Texas, which is in the wet gas window of the Eagle Ford Shale, and brought it online in August. So, why does the Petrohawk well continue to get the credit? Because EOG made the strategic decision to not make an announcement of its new discovery.

“At EOG, we decided that there was no value to us in telling people that,” Keenan says with a chuckle. “We convinced our management to move over to Karnes County (to the east) [to start up an expanded leasing program]. We then moved our rig over into Karnes County and drilled what was the first crude oil well in the Eagle Ford Shale.

“If you think about it, what business advantage would we [EOG] have to tell anybody about that first well?” Keenan says, noting that doing so would only serve to bring new competitors into the play area. “When we drilled that first well, we had about 15,000 acres under lease in the Eagle Ford,” he notes. In the coming months, EOG’s acreage position ultimately grew to more than 575,000 acres, and the company became one of the handful of biggest players in the Eagle Ford drilling boom that lasted through 2014, and is now seeing something of a revival today.

Read the Rest at Shalemag.com

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Crude And LNG Export Facilities Work To Solve Bottlenecks Before They Can Start

Several recent big items of positive news relating to exports of oil and LNG along the Texas Gulf Coast might come just in time to help allay fears of new, downstream bottlenecks for production coming out of the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale plays.

The current bottleneck, of course, involves a lack of needed pipeline takeaway capacity for oil and gas coming out of the Permian Basin. But a dozen or more pipeline expansions and new-build projects currently in progress promise to quickly alleviate that situation during the course of 2019 and 2020. The vast majority of takeaway capacity in these projects will be designed to move the production to ports along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, with several of the lines picking up crude and natural gas produced in the Eagle Ford along the way.

This outlook has in recent weeks produced a new concern that, as those new pipelines get filled up with more and more volumes coming out of West and South Texas, new bottlenecks could materialize related to the capacity along the Gulf Coast to refine and export the production. Several recent developments in the Corpus Christi area hold the promise of heading the potential new bottlenecks off before the can form.

Where natural gas is concerned, Cheniere Energy this week was able to load its first shipment of LNG out of its new Corpus Christi LNG terminal . The Maria Energy tanker, which has a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters of LNG, left the terminal with a full load on December 11, the first load of LNG to ever ship out of a Texas-based facility. “Exporting the first commissioning cargo of LNG from Texas demonstrates Cheniere’s ability to deliver projects safely and ahead of schedule, including the first greenfield LNG export facility in the lower 48 states,” Cheniere chief executive Jack Fusco said.

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