New Year Resolution

There are only a few hours in year 2010. Before the new year begins, I am going to make new year’s resolutions here.

1. Finishing my PhD study.

2. Finding a job.

3. Publishing at least one paper of my work.

4. Practicing writing skills through blogging every week.

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Snowstorm is Hitting East Coast of America

This winter was predicted as the coldest winter ever because of global warming1~3. Snowstorms have hit Europe4, and Asia5, even the Oceania which is on another hot hemisphere6. Now the snowstorm is approaching to east coast of America7. Weather “pros” announced a blizzard warning for New York City from early Sunday morning till 6PM on Monday, with a forecast of 11 to 16 inches of snow and strong winds that will make visibility to near zero at times8. Government prepared salt for this snowstorm, and transportation administrative shut off the railway and cancelled hundreds of flights already8.

Fig. 1 Snow Began Hitting on the Grass

Fig. 2 Snow at 11AM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 3 Snow at 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 4 Blizzard Around My Apt At 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 5 Footprint of Mine on Accumulated Snow at 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 6 Accumulated Snow at 10PM on Dec. 27th, 2010

Fig. 7 Channel through Snow Pile that Near the Window

Initially weather.com showed the snow would begin at 6AM, actually I checked the outside at 11:15 (15 minutes after the corrected time) and found there was snow on the ground9. I took several pictures of the snow for memory. I guess that is the first time for me to witness the very beginning of a snow. I still remember the white Christmas on the Junior High School English textbook. Three years ago, I went to see my cousin in Boston. To be honest, I love New England so much. As you know, the trees, the lake, and the snow, since I had to help my cousin to dig a driveway for my brother-in-law. Last night I sent a message to my cousin to express that I miss them very much, also the time that her daughters and I played with snow.

Fig. 8 Local Weather Report on 2010 December 26(www.weather.com)

References:

1. THE COLDEST WINTER FOR 100 YEARS – SO WHERE ARE THE GRITTERS.

2. Another Record Breaking Winter, What Happened to Global Warming?

3. It’s official, coldest winter in 130 years in Ireland.

4. Europe Is Off To A Flying Start.

5. La Niña, Strong St. Baby Girl (in Chinese, “拉尼娜”:“强壮的圣女婴”).

6. Australia Summer Marked By Snow, Heavy Flooding (VIDEO).

7. Snow storm bears down on Mid-Atlantic, Northeast.

8. Blizzard Warning for New York as Storm Heads Up East Coast.

9. Blizzard Warning for Richmond (staten Is.), NY.

Will China’s Economy Back 100 Years if Involved the Korean Conflicts?

Ten days ago, it was reported that Gernal Burwell Baxter Bell, the former commander of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday called for powerful military retaliation to future provocations by North Korea and a temporary ban on all engagements with the regime to punish it for its recent deadly attack on a South Korean island1. He also emphasized that six-party talks as a way of taming the belligerency of North Korea have failed and should be replaced by tougher military responses and economic embargoes and hard stand should be the only option2. But in a report in Chinese and Korean, General Bell once said that if China took part in the war on the Korean peninsula, China will back to 100 years ago3~5. Shortly after, the news propagated over Chinese websites, especially a famous Chinese media Global Times6. The response from Chinese netizens is quick and strong. Also, some personnel related to PLA or belong to PLA strongly criticized the warning7,8. General Peng responded that if China falls back to 100 years ago, the U.S. should be prepared to fall back 200 years9. Now Korean media began talking about Peng’s words10.

Former USFK commander Burwell Bell speaks at a security forum in Seoul on Dec. 3. (Yonhap1)

I have no comments on Generals words, but I think it is very strange that General Bell’s warning on China’s involvement in Korean conflicts started from Korean media in Korean and Chinese. I could not find any English version of his words. Also, no video could be found on the internet. I guess that is a rumor created by Korean media. It is not very difficult to find out why they did that. But I cannot understand why US would allow they do such a stupid thing. It is time for US to do something to rein South Korea.

BTW, one more funny thing is that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan plans to send troops to the Korean Peninsula if a war break out, which has been dismissed by South Korea11. Japan government is insistently over warmhearted on others’ land.  At the end of this post, I wanna say please do not forget from Dec.13, 1937, Imperial Japanese Army killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and POWs, and raped thousands of women, which is called Nanking Massacre.

References:

1. Former USFK chief urges ‘asymmetric’ retaliation for future N.K. provocations.
2. Bell: hard stand is only option.
3. The only option, powerful military retaliation to future provocations by North Korea(in Chinese, 应对朝鲜挑衅 除了武力报复之外别无他途).
4. Bell, the former commander of United States Forces Korea, said, use of forces as a solution to North’s provocations(in Korean, “北 도발 해법은 무력사용뿐” 벨 前주한미군사령관 ).
5. No alternative options other than military retaliation to North’s further provocations(in Korean, “北 추가도발시 무력보복외 대안없어”).
6. The former commander of USFK told Korean media, If China involved the Korean conflicts, it will back to 100 years ago (in Chinese, 驻韩美军前司令答韩媒:中国参战将被打回100年前).
7. Luo Yuan: China’s involvement in the Korean conflict if the U.S. would be “100-year nightmare”.
8. General Peng Guangqian talked the US-Japan joint military drills and the security situations in northeast Asia(in Chinese, 彭光谦谈美日联合军演及东北亚安全局势).
9. Chinese Envoy Rejects Call to Rein in N.Korea .
10. After North’s provocation on Yeongpyeong Island, if China retreated 100 years, its opponent should retreat 200 years(in Korean, <北 연평도 도발 이후>“전쟁으로 中 100년 후퇴땐 상대방은 200년 후퇴할 것”).
11. Seoul dismisses Japan PM’s comment on troop dispatch .

Shale Gas

When we talk about shale gas, we need to know what is shale gas. Simply speaking, shale gas refers to the natural gas produced from shale, sedimentary rocks of laminated structure formed by the deposition of successive layers of clay1, 2. The shale looks like the pages of a book, very thin (formed by compaction) and brittle (due to its composition of clay). Also the porosity and permeability of shale rocks are very low, which make it difficult and uneconomical to produce natural gas locked in tight, impermeable shale1. Thus, shale gas is regarded as unconventional gas resources which also include tight gas, coal-bed methane, and gas hydrates3. With the advancement of horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, production of shale gas became technically and economically possible, even a hot topic in oil and gas industry, especially in United States4. Mr. Fred Julander, the president of Julander Energy, said that shale gas was the most important energy development since the discovery of oil5. Major gas shale basins exist throughout the lower-48 United States. There are at least 21 shale basins in more than 20 states6.

Fig. 1 Major US Shale Basins7

The Barnett Shale play is reportedly the most active natural gas play in the United States with as many as 182 drilling rigs at work in 20086, 8. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas’s statistic data, as of September 22, 2010, there are total of gas wells 14401 entered on RRC recrods since the discovery of Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field on October 15, 19819. For January through July 2010, gas well gas production accumulated for 1025 Bcf, which accounts for 27% of Texas production9. Total natural gas production in North Texas’ Barnett Shale has passed a milestone level of 8 TCF10. Until January 1, 2009, as the biggest Barnett Shale producer, XTO Energy Inc.’s Well TRWD #H 2H in Tarrant County has produced 4.4 Bcf gas in 43 months11. While EOG Resources, Inc.’s Well Fowler $4H in Johnson County had a record of 8.6 MMCFGPD peak month as the biggest Barnett Shale well based on peak month daily average11. There are a total of 234 operators in the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field now9. In 2002, Devon Energy Production Co., L.P. Purchased Mitchell Energy & Development for $3.5 billion in cash and stock from Mr. George Mitchell, the father of the Barnett Shale, and has established itself as the leading producer from the Barnett Shale9, 12. Not only the advancement of technologies, but also the increased price and gas demand drove the development of shale gas. In another hand, the development of shale gas lower the price of natural gas13.

Now water issue has become the biggest problem despite of the economic downturn and resulting lower natural gas prices14. Hydraulic fracturing needs tremendous water to crack the formation thousands of feet under the ground, especially in the water lack area, such as Texas. For a typical horizontal well frac, it needs more than 3 million gallons water14. The potential pollution from the chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing fluids may halt the application of this technology15.

Fig. 2. Horizontal Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing16

References:

1. US Shale Gas Brief.

2. Shale.

3. International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2010, Chapter 5 , Natural gas market outlook, Page 187.

4. Shale Gas.

5. Kuuskraa, V.A., et al., Worldwide Gas Shales and Unconventional Gas: A Status Report.

6. Andrews, A., et al., Unconventional Gas Shales, Development, Technology, and Policy Issues.

7. What You Need To Know About Shale Gas Investing and the Pros and Cons of Fracking.

8. RigData Rig Stats.

9. Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Statistics Updated: 09/23/10.

10. Barnett Shale natural gas field passes a milestone.

11. Powell, Jr., M.E., Recent Developments in the Barnett Shale.

12. The Father of Shale Gas.

13. As Oil Explodes, Why Natural Gas Prices Stay Low.

14. Texas Energy Sector & Barnett Shale Update.

15. Barnett Shale.

16. The Marcellus Shale: New York is the Natural Gas Industry’s New Lab Rat.