The “Amazon Effect” Is Coming To Oil Markets (Oilprice.com)

The following article is published with permission from Oilprice.com (Original article here).

The “Amazon Effect” Is Coming To Oil Markets

While OPEC mulls over further steps to once again support falling oil prices, tech startups are quietly ushering in a new era in oil and gas: the era of the digital oil field.

Much talk has revolved around how software can completely transform the energy industry, but until recently, it was just talk. Now, things are beginning to change, and some observers, such as Cottonwood Venture Partners’ Mark P. Mills, believe we are on the verge of an oil industry transformation of proportions identical to the transformation that Amazon prompted in retail.

According to Mills, the three technological factors that actualized what he calls “the Amazon effect”, which changed the face of retail forever, are evidenced in oil and gas right now. These are cheap computing with industrial-application capabilities; ubiquitous communication networks; and, of course, cloud tech.

The Internet of Things is entering oil and gas, and so are analytics and artificial intelligence. These, Mills believes, will be among the main drivers of a second shale revolution, reinforcing the efficiency push prompted by the latest oil price crisis.

It seems that shale operators have been paying attention to what growing choirs of voices, including Oilprice, have been saying: they are talking more and more about the benefits that software solutions can bring to their business, potentially leveling the playing field for independents, a field that has been tipped in favor of Big Oil for decades.

Long-standing mistrust of technology is now dwindling as the benefits—including streamlining operations, maximizing the success rate of exploration, and optimizing production—make themselves increasingly evident, not least thanks to a trove of tech startups specifically targeting the oil and gas industry.

In a story for Forbes (“The Future For Oil Supply And Prices After The ‘Amazon Effect’ Stimulates Shale 2.0”), Mills notes several examples of such startups that are already disrupting the industry with cognitive software for horizontal drilling, an on-demand contractor network, and an AI-driven software platform for well planning, among many others. The common feature among them all is they are narrowly specializing in various segments of the oil industry to deliver solutions that promise to substantially reduce times, labor, and costs, while improving outcomes. What’s not to like?

Tech investments among oil independents are still much below the level already characteristic of other industries such as healthcare or financial services, to mention just a couple. Yet this will also change. In the not-too-distant future we may see a flurry of M&A in oil and gas software development.

The reason for this future consolidation is already evident: there are many oil and gas independents in the shale patch. Technology improvements will soon separate the winners from the losers, so it’s a pretty certain bet that more M&A—a lot more—will likely happen over the next few years.

But independents in the shale patch are already burdened with debts that they took on in order to expand their production, and not all will survive the digital disruption. And they don’t just have Big Oil to contend with; oil and gas independents also have renewable energy solution providers breathing down their necks every time oil prices rise—renewable energy that’s already married to software.

That should be strong enough motivation for shale boomers to make sure they catch up, and catch up fast.

Link to original article: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/The-Amazon-Effect-Is-Coming-To-Oil-Markets.html

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Rossi: E-Cat Good Enough for Electricity Generation on Industrial Scale

Andrea Rossi had mentioned earlier this week on the Journal of Nuclear Physics that “our tech is mature to produce electricity only on industrial scale, using the Carnot cycle.”

I noted that each year coal power plants are retired from service, having completed their life-cycle, and are not being replaced by new coal plants largely because of environmental concerns, and I asked if the E-Cat could be used as a fuel to meet the energy demand as we lose more coal power plants. Rossi responded saying that they were not yet ready to produce E-Cats on an industrial scale, and I followed up with this:

Frank Acland
September 16, 2017 at 2:36 PM
Dear Andrea,

I understand you are not at mass production stage at this point. My question was to learn if you think [your] technology is developed enough to build power plants (control, stability, durability, sufficient temperature, etc.), once you have sufficient production capability.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Andrea Rossi
September 16, 2017 at 4:22 PM
Frank Acland:
The answer is “yes”.
Warm Regards,
A.R.

If Rossi is planning to create electricity on an industrial scale he is going to need production facilities that will be able to make millions of E-Cats and control systems (the average coal plant in the US today produces around 500MW of electricity), so substantial funding will be required.

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Opening Statements from Rossi v. IH Trial Published

Thanks to Abd Lomax for finding and publishing the opening statements from the Rossi v. IH trial that was cut short when the two sides settled. Abd has published the court transcripts on his Cold Fusion Community website here:

http://coldfusioncommunity.net/rvd-opening-statements/

There were actually two sets of opening statements published, as the trial had to restart after too many of the first set of jurors withdrew, so after a new jury was seated Rossi and IH repeated their opening statements (not sure yet if there were any changes — will have to study the transcripts), and also new statements from JM Products and Fulvio Fabiani were made.

Once the settlement was completed all trial activity was over, and the matter went into the history books. However there is still interest in the whole event and Abd has done an important service here in making these records available to study.

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“Hurricane Harvey Makes Case for Nuclear Power” (Forbes)

An article written by James Conca has been published on the Forbes website making a case that in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated parts of the gulf coast in the southern United States, nuclear power has proven to be the most resilient power generation source.

The article is titled “”Hurricane Harvey Makes Case for Nuclear Power” https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/01/12/polar-vortex-nuclear-saves-the-day/#5fa8613c6b08

He some excerpts:

“The two nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project plant near Houston were operating at full capacity despite wind gusts that peaked at 130 mph as the Hurricane made landfall. The plant implemented its severe weather protocols as planned and completed hurricane preparations ahead of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey striking the Texas Gulf Coast on August 25th.

“Anyone who knows anything about nuclear was not surprised. Nuclear is the only energy source immune to all extreme weather events – by design.

[…]

“Whether it’s hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, heat waves or severe cold, nuclear performs more reliably than anything else. There’s no better reason to retain our nuclear fleet, and even expand it, to give us a diverse energy mix that can handle any natural disaster that can occur.”

Mr. Conca does make valid points about the vulnerabilities of fossil fuel and solar/wind, but I was somewhat surprised that he did not mention the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster following the 2011 tsunami in northeast Japan as a possible exception to his case. I think if we had E-Cat style LENR plants instead of the fission variety, which would eliminate the concerns about radiation leakage and waste then his case would be more solid.

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The Solid Foundation: Don’t Skip Nickel-Hydrogen

The following post was submitted by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous

The requirement to carefully treat and process nickel to facilitate the adsorption and absorption of nickel into a metal lattice is by no means a new discovery. Sergio Focardi and Francesco Piantelli learned through trial and error testing during their testing of Ni-H systems in the 1990’s that contaminants, both on the interior and exterior of their fuel, could inhibit the production of excess heat. Moreover, their papers go into significant detail about their methods of washing, etching, annealing, thermal cycling, and degassing. If proper care was utilized in the treatment of their fuel, significant quantities (capable of being measured with ordinary instrumentation) of ordinary light hydrogen could be documented being taken up and emitted from their nickel.

They noted that a sudden change in temperature OR pressure could trigger the uptake or release of hydrogen, inducing an “excited state” in which excess heat was produced. During this period of research, they were capable of producing a COP of over two, utilizing only nickel rod, bar, wire, or plated materials.

Their work, long before Andrea Rossi came onto the scene, proved that a significant quantity of excess heat could be produced from a highly unoptimized setup. An increase in surface area, reverse spillover catalysts (palladium, platinum, copper, or even smaller nano-particles of nickel), methods of accelerating the splitting of molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen (high voltages, radio frequency generators, utilizing resonance, including metal hydrides that emit atomic hydrogen when heated such as LiAlH4 or lithium hydride), and other methods could be utilized to dramatically increase the excess heat. In reality, to produce very good results, there is no magic pixie dust or special element. Perhaps Rossi did start off using a spillover catalyst of some sort; however, the obvious conclusion is that he moved past such elements rapidly and utilized other methods of producing atomic hydrogen.

Beyond a doubt, however, the basis of any successful Ni-H system is properly treated, cleaned, and degassed fuel. To accomplish this requires tedious effort and extreme care. If someone is willing to perform the long, ongoing series of tests to gain the experience needed to remove surface coatings (oxides, grease, and other contaminants) and trapped gases (carbon monoxide, oxygen, and even water), positive results beyond any doubt can be obtained with only nickel and hydrogen. According to one replicator whose results have not been confirmed, once you learn how to treat your nickel so that it can “breathe” light hydrogen in and out, a COP of 2-3 is easily possible. Then if you can add a method of producing atomic hydrogen on demand, there is no limit to the COP you can achieve.

As asserted in the paper by Mizuno, the suggestion that excess heat cannot be produced with only nickel and some form of hydrogen without an additional element is blatantly incorrect: the feat has already been performed. The challenge that may add difficulty to achieving excess heat with nickel and hydrogen alone is related to the importance of proper treatment that allows splitting molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen. Nickel isn’t the most catalytic element around in terms of interacting with H2 or D2. Palladium, on the other hand, can split the molecule like a hot knife through butter. So if you’re not going to rely on another element, your cleaning may have to be spot on, you may have to produce smaller particles of the same element in your fuel processing, or you may have to intentionally create specific surface features that can improve the catalytic activity of nickel.

I have zero doubt whatsoever that with enough work Mizuno or any other research with adequate resources and focus can produce significant excess heat without utilizing palladium or other catalysts. The only barrier is their work ethic and determination to do so. Once this know how is accumulated, all additional improvements would happen more organically.

A final observation: the high voltage mentioned in Mizuno’s paper produces a plasma that engulfs the area in which the nickel mesh resides. The plasma is certainly creating some quantity (high or low) of atomic hydrogen directly. In a system in which nickel alone is treated adequately enough to produce excess heat, such a plasma could accelerate hydrogen adsorption and absorption.

The key to mastering the nickel-hydrogen reaction is going back to basics: the work of Focardi and Piantelli. From there, we can utilize the tidbits provided by Andrea Rossi and the suggestions of other researchers to improve our results. My hope is that researchers like Mizuno and others will narrow their focus on processing nickel alone in such a manner that it can absorb adequate quantities of hydrogen to produce copious excess heat. Such a foundation is needed by the LENR community: a simple set of instructions that allows two elements (Ni-H) to come together and produce a non-conventional safe nuclear reaction. From there a thousand improvements could be made. But using plausible shortcuts initially, such as introducing palladium or other additional elements before mastering the basic effect, is like building a house on sand for skeptics and cynics to wash away.

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Questions for Carl-Oscar Gullström

Mats Lewan just made this comment in the LENR initiation thread, I thought I’d put it in a separate thread in case people might not see it.

Hi all—if I would get an interview with Carl-Oscar Gullström who helped Rossi with the recent theoretical work on the E-Cat, what would you want me to ask him?
If you prefer not to post here you can email me at mats@matslewan.se.

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“Proof of the Reality of the Cold Synthesis of the XIAS Energoniva Synthesis of Metals demonstration” (Video)

The following comment was posted on the BLP thread by Zephir

Доказательство реальности холодного синтеза ХЯС Энергонива синтез
металлов демонстрация Энергонива – ответная ЭДС в реакторе Вачаева,
эффект Лыгина

“Proof of the reality of the cold synthesis of the CNG Energonov synthesis Metals demonstration Energoniva – response EMF in the reactor Vachaeva,
Ligin effect from  lenr.su/video

https://www.youtube.com/wat…

https://www.youtube.com/wat…

Videos are in Russia, so feel free to ask for details. For background see https://www.lenr-forum.com/…

This technology shares many resemblances for BLC Power process: high current discharge inside the water vapor plasma between copper or silver electrodes with signs of overunity – just the the arrangement of experiment is a bit different.

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Triangle Business Journal: Tom Darden Not Giving up on Cold Fusion following Settlement with Rossi

Here is a tweet from Lauren Ohnesorge, writer for the Triangle Business Journal regarding an article she has written regarding the Rossi-IH settlement. It sounds like she has interviewed Tom Darden, but ufortunately for us, the article is only available to paid subscribers.

https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/08/03/dispute-between-inventor-and-raleigh-investor-over.html

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Google’s New Energy Storage Moonshot uses Salt and Antifreeze

An article in Bloomberg News reports about a new energy storage system — code named Malta — which is being developed by Google’s parent company Alphabet by a skunk works subsidiary simply named X. X has worked on previous “moonshot” projects such as driverless cars and Google Glass. The goal of Malta, as with other energy storage system, is to be able to capture energy provided by such sources as solar or wind, and store it for later use when the sun is not shining or the wind has dropped.

According to information provided by X to Bloomberg, the Malta system comprises vats of salt and antifreeze along with a heat pump. Here is a simple description of how the system works from the Bloomberg article:

“Two tanks are filled with salt, and two are filled with antifreeze or a hydrocarbon liquid. The system takes in energy in the form of electricity [generated from renewable sources] and turns it into separate streams of hot and cold air. The hot air heats up the salt, while the cold air cools the antifreeze, a bit like a refrigerator. The jet engine part: Flip a switch and the process reverses. Hot and cold air rush toward each other, creating powerful gusts that spin a turbine and spit out electricity when the grid needs it”

While this kind of storage technique is not new, apparently the advantage of the Malta system is able to use inexpensive materials and operate at lower temperatures than similar systems, making it more economically viable. So far only a prototype of the system has been built, but X just has now decided to reveal some information to the public.
.

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Railroad CEO: Fossil Fuels are Dead

An article in the Financial Times quotes Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX, a freight railroad company, that the business of hauling coal by rail is in decline. He stated:

“Fossil fuels are dead, that’s a long-term view. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be in two or three years. But it’s going away, in my view.”  He also said that he would not be buying a single new locomotive to haul coal trains, or add any extra tracks for coal freight.

A recent report from the Association of American Railroads states that coal represents 31.6 percent of all tonnage hauled on US Class I railroads, and provided 13.9 percent of rail revenues.

In the US, contrary to most countries, the Trump administration is pushing for a revival of coal, by easing environmental regulations, but it would seem that a lot of the damage to the coal industry has already been done, with more power stations moving to natural gas, and the increased use of wind and solar.

The consequences of a coal’s decline are not limited to the the mining industry only; from Hunter Harrison’s comments, it appears that the rail industry is looking to adjust to a new reality.

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