When Shell announced it was pulling out of the Arctic “for the foreseeable future,” it surprised just about everyone. Many in Alaska had high hopes for offshore drilling — from an Arctic economic boom to more oil for the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Shell’s announcement left the state wondering what to blame — low oil prices? Tough regulations? Better prospects elsewhere?Download AudioShell’s Polar Pioneer in Unalaska on Monday, Oct. 12. The rig is heading for Washington State. (Photo: John Ryan, KUCB)In other words, is it us? Or is it Shell?Kara Moriarty heads up the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. And she said…maybe it’s us.“I think we have to ask ourselves, why did it take so long?” Moriarty said.In other words, why did it take seven years, from when Shell bid for leases in the Chukchi Sea in 2008, to when it finally drilled its Burger J well this summer?Moriarty blamed the slow pace of federal permitting and a thicket of regulations.“We can’t control geology, and we can’t control the company’s decisions,” Moriarty said. “But what we can control, as Alaskans and Americans, is to make sure that we have the right policies in place.”And, she thinks we don’t. That is also the view of many of Alaska’s elected officials. Sen. Lisa Murkowski called the federal regulatory environment “uncertain, everchanging, and continuing to deteriorate,” while Congressman Don Young complained of “insurmountable” hurdles.But the full story is more complex. Shell declined a request for an interview, but in a statement, the company pointed to three things: first and foremost, the Burger J well itself.“The killer was the results from the well,” said oil and gas consultant Brad Keithley. If Shell had found the elephant field it was hoping for, red tape probably wouldn’t have been an issue. But, “with declining cash, with increasing costs, you’ve got to have real blockbuster results to keep yourself in a position to go forward – and they didn’t have that.”In its statement, Shell said it “found indications of oil and gas” but not enough to justify further exploration. We’ll never know exactly what they found, Keithley said. They’ll keep that information close, and perhaps dust it off five, ten, or fifteen years from now, if they ever decide to return.Another issue Shell cited was what it called a “challenging and unpredictable” regulatory environment.“I would agree that there was a challenging regulatory environment,” said Lois Epstein, of the Wilderness Society. “But that was absolutely essential.”She pointed out that many of the regulations Shell faced were put in place after BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After that disaster, she said, it was clear there needed to be more stringent rules for the Arctic, where a clean-up would be much more difficult. But on one point, she agreed.“The regulations that are in place are appropriate, but they do make things a lot more expensive,” she said.And that’s the third issue Shell cites – the sheer cost of the project. Over the years, costs and delays added up. The BP oil spill prompted a wholesale reorganization of the federal agencies that oversee offshore drilling. There was litigation challenging the Chukchi Sea leases. Shell finally reached the Arctic in 2012, but wasn’t allowed to drill into oil-bearing rocks because its oil spill containment dome failed during tests in Puget Sound. Then, after the 2012 season, Shell wrecked its drill rig, the Kulluk, off Kodiak while trying to drag it across the Gulf of Alaska in the dead of winter. That put off drilling for another year.“Shell was down to one hole,” Keithley said. “If there hadn’t been the delays, if things had gone better –frankly if Shell had done some things better — if they had been able to get out there before oil prices collapsed and cash flow fell away, they might have been able to drill more wells, and they might have found that their second or third location was the one with the oil.”As it was, Shell ended up drilling its first well in 2015, with oil prices hovering around $50 a barrel.And during the years that Shell spent navigating the challenges of the Arctic, other opportunities had opened up, opportunities that weren’t even on the horizon when the company first bid for the leases. New technology unlocked new, and cheaper, resources.“Additional opportunities, like shale, like offshore Brazil, offshore Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, have opened up in a way that have made the Arctic less important in terms of that new frontier,” Keithley said.Shell’s decision is part of a broader trend. In just the last two years, Chevron and ExxonMobil shelved projects in Canada’s Beaufort Sea. Exploration off Greenland ended in 2012 after disappointing results.And Shell itself has other balls in the air. It is in the midst of a $70-billion deal to acquire the British company BG Group, which comes with offshore assets in Brazil and a focus on natural gas.So, is this the end of offshore drilling in Alaska? Keithley said yes, for now.“Shell put its best foot forward,” he said. “I think the industry is probably uncertain about where to try next.”
Here’s the full video if you’re interested: Advertisement Legendary streetballer Grayson ‘The Professor’ Boucher has been embarrassing his competition since his days in the early 2000’s on the And1 Mixtape Tour, but recently made the ballsy move to take his act to a prison in Nebraska to break some inmate ankles on the yard.In a teaser from the trip, several inmates state they’re serving time for everything from murder to assaulting a cop. That didn’t stop the unassuming Professor from crossing them up and even bouncing a ball off a guy’s head. Luckily, the inmates didn’t take any disrespect from it and decided not to shank him with a toothbrush.Crossing up ballers on the yard is a whole different ballgame than doing work on a beach court in Santa Monica. In the end, Boucher earned their respect.
Enhancing audio in GNU/Linux with PulseEffects in Linux Mint 18.3 by Mike Turcotte-McCusker on March 29, 2018 in Linux – Last Update: March 29, 2018 – 13 commentsI stated previously in my article about things to do after installing a new distro, that I love to make my sound as beautiful to my ears as I can. Sure, users can go out and spend thousands of dollars on amplifiers, headphones and other physical equipment, and it’ll do much better than an pure software solution… But PulseEffects is a really awesome second choice, for GNU/Linux users.There’s numerous ways to enhance your sound in Windows systems, but GNU/Linux users tend to have few and far between options for enhancing what is heard. I know that software can never truly replace hardware in this scenario, but let’s see just what we can do.Tip: Check out our Linux audio guide for beginnersInstallationFirst, let’s install PulseEffects, which is done through a flatpak. Thankfully, this can all be done quickly and easily from the Software Manager.Open Software Manager, and search for PulseEffects. The installation should go without a hitch, and the software will be installed and found under your Sound & Video (or other similarly named) application menu.However, by default the application has no presets built-in, and for users who have no idea what they are doing with advanced audio tools, it may be overwhelming. So, let’s download and install a few really nice presets too.Note: pulseffects must be run once, before installing the presets.Open a terminal and enter the following:wget https://github.com/JackHack96/PulseEffects-Presets/archive/master.zipunzip master.zipcd PulseEffects-Presets-mastermv *.preset ~/.var/app/com.github.wwmm.pulseeffects/config/PulseEffects/Now, our presets will be installed when we launch the application.Using PulseEffectsUsing the application, now that we have our presets installed, is incredibly simple, but does some with one major caveat; you can’t close the application or the effects are also turned off. Sadly, this (as far as I am aware) has not changed in years, and will not be changing anytime soon. It’s slightly annoying always having the application in my window list, but to me, the sound benefits outweigh the annoyance.Launching PulseEffects will open up the main window. From here, lets select one of our presets, by pressing the aptly named “Presets” button in the top right corner of the GUI. You’ll see a few different options to choose from, and I recommend trying each one to see how they sound to your personal tastes.Once you have finished selecting a preset, simply minimize the window, and enjoy. If you decide you want to mess around with various settings, you do have the option of creating your own presets based upon whatever your current settings are, in that same Presets menu.Last thoughtsIts unfortunate that there isn’t as many useful options for sound enhancement in GNU/Linux at this time, but PulseEffects is pretty awesome, as long as you can stand its one little annoyance. Regardless, if you find yourself wishing your audio had a little more punch, check it out.Now you: Do you use any software enhancements to your audio? If so, what?Related articles5 Things to do after a fresh install of GNU/LinuxOrganize and listen to your music with AqualungInstalling Spotify in GNU/LinuxThe best Linux Media PlayersUse MP3 Diags in Linux to repair your MP3 collectionSummaryArticle NameEnhancing audio in GNU/Linux with PulseEffects in Linux Mint 18.3DescriptionIf you want to enhance audio playback on devices running GNU/Linux, you may install PulseEffects to do so. Mike guides you through the process of installing and using PulseEffects in Linux Mint 18.3.Author Mike TurcottePublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement