longevity

Oil and Gas, Sweden, UUVs

Dated: 20 Oct 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized
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Oil and Gas: Traders in the oil markets are currently debating Saudi Arabia’s strategy. One theory is that Saudi is happy to see oil’s slump because it will harm the U.S. shale industry. The lower prices go, the more difficult it will be for shale oil projects to make a decent return on investment. Therefore, the idea goes, shale production will come off line, causing a supply squeeze that will soon see oil prices recover.  However, shale projects may not come off line even if prices fall further. Productivity gains and hedging activities by shale oil producers mean their break-even prices on investments are falling all the time.  For example projects in the major shale oil fields of the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford could break even with oil prices at $60 per barrel.

Sweden: Sweden released on Sunday a grainy photo of a mysterious vessel in Stockholm’s archipelago, as the military hunted for a foreign submarine or divers in the country’s biggest such mobilization since the Cold War. The search in the Baltic Sea less than 30 miles (50 km) from Stockholm began on Friday and reawakened memories of the final years of the Cold War when Sweden repeatedly sought out suspected Soviet submarines along its coast with depth charges.

UUVs: MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans.  Originally designed to look for cracks in nuclear reactors’ water tanks, the robot could also inspect ships for the false hulls and propeller shafts that smugglers frequently use to hide contraband.  Because of its small size and unique propulsion mechanism — which leaves no visible wake — the robots could, in theory, be concealed in clumps of algae or other camouflage. Fleets of them could swarm over ships at port without alerting smugglers and giving them the chance to jettison their cargo.

Iraq, Solar Power, USA

Dated: 8 Sep 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Iraq: U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday to outline the government’s plan to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, although he has emphatically ruled out the deployment of additional U.S. combat troops to the region. This will be followed by a speech to the country on Wednesday where he could announce airstrikes on the group’s bases in Syria, though he has ruled out sending more U.S. combat troops. Additionally, President Obama is expected to press Congress to authorize his proposal for an additional $500 million to arm and train pro-Western rebels in Syria.

Solar Power: A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy.  The device is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a clear surface.   This comes as solar efficiencies have gained over the last decade and practical applications continue to expand.

USA: Excellent WSJ Weekend opinion piece by Robert Kagan, where he highlights parallels between the belligerent nations and people of WWI & WWII and the leaders that we must confront today: “that failure to act against aggressors would only invite further aggression….Americans, their president and their elected representatives have accepted this gap between strategy and capability with little comment—except by those who would abandon the strategy. It is as if, once again, Americans believe their disillusionment with the use of force somehow means that force is no longer a factor in international affairs.”