Friday, April 23, 2010

Phil Flynn: Deepwater Horizon Triumph and Tragedy


The more you read about the tragedy that is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil rig fire the more you realize the magnitude and the symbolism of what is happening. Obviously the loss of life is a reminder of the risks that those in the oil industry take on a daily basis to bring us products that we take for granted. To a larger extent the history of this rig is a reminder of the type of entrepreneurial spirit that has made this country great. It represent the same type of spirit that Horatio Alger captured in his stories of America the land of opportunity or the call from Horace Greeley and John B. L. Soule that urged Americans to go West young man can grow up with the country. This accident is a loss that should be felt by us all.

The Deepwater Horizon was a marvel of modern technology. It was what they call an ultra deepwater dynamic position semi submersible oil rig. It was the size of two foot ball fields and was like a ship that used a computer controlled system to automatically maintain its position and heading. It was a rig that could reach the bottom of the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to depths many had even imagined. In September of last year Deepwater Horizon made history by drilling the deepest oil well in history. This was an achievement not unlike landing a man on the moon or a successful space shuttle. An achievement that in another era would have inspired the passion and imagine of the nation in a nation that has become accustomed to great achievements.

Think about the implications of drilling for oil in an area of the ocean where no man dared drill before. Think of the impact it can have on a world that is not satisfied with surrendering to the sentence of peak oil but to expand our imagination and our desires to overcome the status but to do what those who think small said was impossible. Instead of surrendering to the prospect that world and the economy was doomed because of Peak Oil to those that said we have not even begun to tap the earth’s possibilities.

There are other concerns of course like fears that this accident will be used by drilling opponents as an example why we should not drill and extend the benefits that off shore drilling to the economy and the health and well being of the human race at large. In fact there was word that BP was about to announce another major discovery at the sight that would have added tens of millions of barrels of oil to the marketplace. In many ways the Deepwater Horizon was a vessel that deserved the same type to of reverence that is given to the Spirit of St. Louis or Space Shuttle Challenger. It loss is a national tragedy.

Speaking of tragedy let us talk Greece, again. MarketWatch reports that” The Greek government surrendered to the credit markets Friday, formally requesting the activation of a joint European Union International Monetary Fund rescue plan after soaring borrowing costs were seen making it virtually impossible for the debt strapped nation to meet its funding needs on the open market. The Greek government surrendered to the credit markets Friday, formally requesting the activation of a joint European Union International Monetary Fund rescue plan after soaring borrowing costs were seen making it virtually impossible for the debt strapped nation to meet its funding needs on the open market. This can impact oil yet oil seems to be less sensitive to the dollar.

Perhaps oil is focusing more on the upcoming summer driving season and the upcoming showdown with Iran. Iran had war games in the straits of Hormuz and Iran’s supreme Leader is t is lashing out as the possibilities of sanctions against his country are looking exceedingly likely. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that it is impossible to break the will of the Iranian people by threatening with nuclear weapons, and this is a shameful paper in the U.S. political history and a black spot on the U.S. government. Hey who is threatening who? Iranian war premium seems to be creeping back into oil.

Phil can be reached at pflynn@pfgbest.com Have a great weekend!




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