Home » Swint Friday's Articles » HOT TOPICS

Category Archives: HOT TOPICS

Finance Careers

Watch U.S. Oil Drilling Collapse—and Rise Again

By Tom Randall and Blacki Migliozzi

March 2, 2017
The boom looks like it’s back. The number of oil and gas rigs drilling in the U.S. has almost doubled since bottoming out at the lowest level in more than 75 years of records. The animation below shows the collapse of America’s energy boom beginning in 2015—and its subsequent resurrection beginning last May.

While two dozen nations are coordinating to cut oil production and rein in the global supply glut, U.S. producers are moving in the opposite direction. Over the last four months, output increased by half a million barrels a day. If that rate of expansion continues, the shale boom will break new production records by summer.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-oil-rigs/

This decade saw the fastest expansion of oil and gas production in American history. New technology drove the boom—particularly deployment of horizontal drilling through shale rock. Major shale regions include the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas, the Scoop and Stack plays in Oklahoma and the Bakken formation in North Dakota.

After the global plunge in oil prices began in late 2014, producers began shutting drilling operations at an unprecedented rate. The number of active oil and gas rigs plummeted 80 percent to the fewest since Baker Hughes started tracking them in 1940.

The industry that’s returned has been transformed. It employs fewer workers per rig and is even more tightly focused on the rich shale formations that drove America’s oil and gas boom before the crash. Almost 90 percent of the rigs added during the rebound have been of the horizontal variety.

Raw rig counts are losing their predictive power. The drilling industry is increasingly automated, and wells are pumping oil faster. Gone are the abundant high-paying jobs in pop-up oil towns filled with roughnecks. The U.S. now produces 9 million barrels a day; when the shale boom first crossed that threshold in 2014, more than twice as many rigs were actively drilling.

 Sources: Data compiled by Bloomberg, EIA, Baker Hughes
Editor: David Rovella
link: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-oil-rigs/
Note: A previous version of the map didn’t include gas rigs.

Wall Street’s Trick or Treat

Mark Hulbert, Special for USA TODAY 11:02 a.m. EDT October 13, 2016

Wall Street wants you back!

If you were one of those investors who this past spring “sold in May and went away,” you should know that the seasonal winds will soon shift and begin blowing in a bullish direction.

I’m referring, of course, to the well-known six-month-on, six-month-off seasonal pattern that goes by the name of the “Halloween Indicator.” Followers also refer to it as “Sell in May and Go Away.” In contrast to most of the alleged patterns that Wall Street claims to have discovered, this one turns out to be based on solid statistics. The stock market historically has produced the bulk of its gains in the “winter” months between Halloween and May Day.

STORY FROM HYATT

When his football career ended, he became an Opera sensation

Since the Dow Jones industrial average was created in 1896, for example, it has produced an average winter gain of 5.2%, versus just 1.7% during the summer. Not only is this difference significant at the 95% confidence level that statisticians often use to determine if a pattern is more than just a random fluke, it is not unique just to the U.S. Ben Jacobsen, a finance professor at the TIAS Business School in the Netherlands, has detected the Halloween Indicator in almost all foreign countries’ stock markets as well, and as far back as 1694 in the United Kingdom’s market.
(more…)

San Francisco is getting tiny self-driving robots that could put delivery people out of a job

starship technologies autonomous delivery robot

A robot that looks like the love child of an icebox and R2-D2 pulls up outside a house in San Francisco. The lid pops open, uncovering a box of pastries inside.

“I got a delivery from a little roaming cooler, it looks like,” Julie O’Keefe, 67, tells the San Francisco Chronicle.

A recent test run of startup Starship Technologies’ autonomous robot shows what may be the future of on-demand delivery. The London- and Estonia-based company developed a fleet of delivery bots that aim to crack the last-mile challenge, or make the last leg of a delivery.

The startup has already begun testing in Europe, encountering more than a millionpedestrians, and plans to start tests in the Bay Area in the next couple of months.
(more…)

College student 3-D printed his own braces to save money

Amos Dudley 3D printed his own clear braces to straighten his smile.

  • Amos Dudley's 3-D printed braces

    Amos Dudley’s 3-D printed braces.

    He scanned and printed models of his teeth and then molded non-toxic plastic around them to form a set of 12 clear braces, Fox13Now reported. He then determined how far he needed to move each tooth to correct misalignment problems, and divided it by the maximum recommended distance a tooth should travel to determine the design for each alignment tray.

    “It was very obvious which tooth [the tray] was putting pressure on,” Dudley told Fox13Now. “I was sort of worried about accumulated error, but that wasn’t the case so that was a pretty glorious moment.”

    In total, he has spent 16 weeks wearing his so-called “homemade braces,” and is currently wearing the final set. He said he’s already gotten requests to print braces for others, but doesn’t want to due to liability concerns.

    “I’m not interested in orthodontics,” he told Fox13Now. “It was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this.”

Socialism, Taxes and Economic Prosperity

Socialism, Taxes and Economic Prosperity

 

 

 

 

(more…)

Using 3-D printing to make jet engines

Ben Geie

@ben_geier

    Source: FORTUNE

A worker ensures the dimensional conformity of a prototype pattern. Today Alcoa can 3-D print the dies used to manufacture turbine parts.Courtesy: AlcoaAlcoa’s embrace of additive manufacturing allows it to turn ideas into reality faster.

Company Snapshot

Name: Alcoa
Ranking: 130
Headquarters: New York City
Employees: 60,000
Revenue: $23 billion (2013)

If you’ve spent any amount of time in an aircraft about to take off—gazing out the window at the tarmac, thinking about the cold beverage you’ll have at altitude—you’ve probably spent at least a passing moment wondering how exactly manufacturers make sure the iron birds don’t break. The answer is materials science, of course. But that’s not the whole story.

There’s a great deal of testing that goes into airplane parts to be sure they can handle the temperatures and stresses of aviation. Alcoa would know. The metals producer, more than 125 years old, makes parts for gas turbines, the engines that plane manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus install to give planes the power to get you to your next meeting. The problem? All that testing takes time. Between tooling, development, and casting, it used to take Alcoa upwards of a year to manufacture one of the nickel-alloy parts that go into an engine, where it must withstand temperatures of up to 2,000˚F. Then the company caught wind of something called additive manufacturing—better known as 3-D printing.

(more…)

World’s first 3-D printed cars go on sale next year

Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY8:05 p.m. EST November 7, 2014

LAS VEGAS — For those frustrated at having to search dealers’ showrooms for just the right set of wheels, along comes an innovation that could make creating a custom-made car as easy as a few keystrokes.

A Phoenix company said this week that it plans to produce what it’s calling the world’s first 3-D printed car. Local Motors says it plans to make them available for sale in about a year at prices ranging from $18,000 to $30,000.

The basic idea is simple: Buyers would be able to select their ideal car on a computer screen, then hit the print button. A giant machine would then start making the car out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, weaving it out of thin lines of paste that harden to form the chassis, body and even the dashboard. The process takes about 40 hours.

Some of the car’s major components are then attached to complete the car, such as the wheels, controls and powertrain.

Instead of about 25,000 parts in some modern cars, Local Motors says the prototype that it’s showing off last week in Las Vegas at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show has about 50.

Because the car is easily changed on a computer screen, it can be shaped to however the buyer would like it, says CEO John “Jay” Rogers.

“If I want this car to be 10% bigger, I just click a button,” he says.

Don’t like the model called the Strati after all? Hang on to it for a few months, then go and choose another model. The 3-D-printed car will be recyclable as long as it has not been painted, Rogers says. Buyers quick to change fashions can grind up their existing car into fine particles again and use the materials to make a new model.

Rogers says the car will pass safety tests. And unlike other cars that can take months for improvements, Local Motors can change any part of its cars with a few keystrokes, allowing changes within hours of a crash test.

The notion of a 3-D-printed car “sounds feasible at some point,” says John O’Dell, an editor for Edmunds.com who specializes in eco-friendly cars.

He noted that handcrafters have made one-of-a-kind cars for generations, so the notion of a car made just for a particular person isn’t entirely new. Those cars, however, were generally not the for the masses. Rather, they appealed to the whims of the super-rich in the past century.

So O’Dell says he’ll watch with interest to see if Local Motors can pull off the idea of 3-D printed cars for the masses.

INTERESTING ARTICLES