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David Fessler  

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  • Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints [View article]
    Yes agree with David G. sounds like Mr. Petersen should have bought Tesla stock at $17 instead of that silly penny stock he used to peddle in his previous articles. Why isn't he talking about that now? Seems the only way he can get attention is to write negative articles about anything. It's a shame, because he otherwise is a good writer.
    Aug 26, 2013. 03:20 PM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence, Part I [View article]
    I agree with Mr. Fitzsimmons. You've really missed the point -- and some important facts -- with your article. Natural gas is so abundant here in the U.S. it's really criminal not to exploit it.

    Oil fueled the economic growth of the 20th century, and now it's mostly gone from our shores, at least in the quantities we need to support sustained economic growth. And that's the REAL problem.

    If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: economic growth cannot occur without cheap, abundant, homegrown sources of energy. If nothing else, natural gas makes a great transition fuel towards the total elimination of fossil fuels. The reality is that it will ultimately be part of a portfolio of homegrown energy sources that include solar, wind, geothermal and natural gas.

    Enough supply of gas won't be the problem. Todays reserve estimates will indeed prove to be low, and I suspect they will continually be revised upwards from today's current levels, i.e. technology marches on.

    And to Mr. Fitzsimmons other point, the total lack of political will in Washington to pass ANY bill dealing with our energy crisis ignores the real problem: everything good about America's future growth will be borne on the backs of our energy independence.

    It's such a simple concept, it's no wonder our leaders in Washington can't seem to get it.

    And yes, you do have pretty graphs. You're just a little ignorant of some very important facts.
    Feb 8, 2010. 08:41 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shale Gas Revolution: Real or Unreal? [View article]
    If you weren't so impressed with yourself, perhaps readers could take what you say with something more than a grain of salt.

    Anyone who constantly refers to themselves as "brilliant" -- which you do in most of your posts -- loses credibility rather quickly.

    Any "brilliance" you may have -- and I'm really going out on a limb here -- will come out in your writing.

    Perhaps you should start out your research sessions with a slice of humble pie. Wash that down with some factual research, and you might just end up with an article that's somewhere north of gibberish...

    Otherwise, it barely even rates as entertainment, let alone useful.
    Oct 31, 2010. 05:31 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 100 Year Natural Gas Myth [View article]
    Ignoring the collective intelligence and experience of oil and gas exploration companies, their engineers -- who each have more experience than the number of years you've been on the earth -- and the incredible technology they have at their disposal, paints a very biased and warped view of reality of the oil and gas industry.

    About the only job you're likely to garner in the energy industry is making pretty graphs for others who are giving you the real data. Good luck. You'll need it.
    Mar 12, 2010. 12:01 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence, Part II [View article]
    Your natural gas demand assumptions - and the pretty color chart - are completely unrealistic. You completely neglect future technological advances in automobiles, the growing presence of PHEV's and EV's, the contribution from solar, wind geothermal and other sources. All of these will greatly reduce the shape of your NG demand curve.

    If you have a desire to be taken seriously - you should look at all aspects of the energy demand picture, which you've failed to do in both of your articles.

    The quality of your research isn't quite up to the level of your pretty picture making abilities.
    Feb 8, 2010. 09:51 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar: Here It Comes [View article]
    I don't usually weigh in on other author's articles, but this one is so poorly written, researched, biased, and myopic in its views, I felt it necessary.

    First of all, "ridiculous amounts of land" aren't required. WalMart alone has over 35 square miles of store roofs in the U.S. alone. Similarly large tracts of "land" are available on the tops of other big box stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. Most industrial parks are loaded with flat-roofed warehouse buildings that would require little if any modification to the building's structure to accommodate solar.

    If solar was installed on these buildings, it would eliminate the need for other, more polluting forms of generation.

    In terms of solar subsidies, it obviously comes as a surprise to you that every single form of energy generation in the United States receives some form of subsidy. Every one. Clearly you need to do a little more research on this point. I mentioned it in an article I wrote on solar a few months ago.

    I spent most of my life in the semiconductor business. Solar cells are nothing more than large semiconductors. Like their smaller counterparts, mass production and advances in manufacturing technology continues to reduce their costs.

    The first cellphones were thousands of dollars. Now they are smaller, orders of magnitude cheaper, and pack more computing power than mainframes did just a decade ago.

    Solar costs will reach grid parity, storage battery technology and costs will also continue to come down, and in spite of your short-sighted view, it will be a major source of power both here and around the world. Technology marches on, and it does for solar as well.
    Dec 28, 2011. 10:21 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REITs: Paving the 2011 High-Income Highway [View article]
    Appreciate all the comments. As several posters have pointed out, I should have more fully explained all the different kinds of REITs. I did point out that the two I mentioned are agency-backed mREITs.

    As several posters have also correctly pointed out, as long as short and long term rates and inflation remain status quo, these two stocks and others like them will remain compelling investments.

    Commercial REITs are a completley different animal. In suburban America, there is a negative absorbtion of commercial real estate space. In the last year over 15,000,000 square feet of additional commercial real estate came onto the market. This has had the effects of keeping prices depressed, vacancy rates high, and investments in them performing poorly.

    New York City is an exception, and there are real bargains to be had there in commercial real estate now. I'm not aware of any commercial REITs that focus exclusively on NYC real estate, but there may in fact be one.
    Jan 10, 2011. 09:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Energy Information Administration: Electric Drive Forecasts Running in Reverse Since 2009 [View article]
    John, what about the 800lb gorilla in BEVs favor in the form of fleet adoption of BEVs? BEV adoption by fleets is something that's being overlooked here. Most large fleet owners are already testing and experimenting with BEVs, and since most of them travel far less than 100 miles in a day, "range anxiety" isn't a problem for them.

    One of their biggest costs is fuel and maintenance, and a BEV will likely cost less for both. I haven't seen any cost spreadsheets from fleet owners, and it's likely we never will. The point is that once fleets start using them en-masse, the public won't be far behind.

    As with any new technology, BEVs will experience fits and starts. But with nearly ALL of the big automakers announcing entire families of BEVs, it will continue to be one of the hottest sectors for investment over the next 5-10 years, IMHO.

    The biggest problem the car manufacturers will have is keeping up with demand. I think you'll find the EIA numbers will be way off... on the low side. The big variable, of course is trying to predict what the adoption rate of them will be by Americans and others around the world. $5 gasoline will certainly help to push their thinking in favor of them.
    Jan 9, 2011. 10:05 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California Crushes Proposition 23: What It Means for America… and Investors [View article]
    Regardless of where solar panels are made, the installers and service people have to live and work in America. With a little incentive at the Federal level, we could have a thriving green energy business in this country. There's a reason 45% of all the panels made in the world - including China - go to one country: Germany.

    Germany's successful implementation of the feed-in-tariff concept has resulted in a thriving green energy sector there, and the country now gets over 10% of its total electrical energy needs from the sun.

    So it's possible to have a viable green sector. Sadly, but of no surprise to most Americans, the 400 people in Washington (Congress) operate in an apparent vacuum from the rest of us. In my humble opinion, it's doubtful our energy dilemma will be solved by them anytime soon.
    Nov 7, 2010. 04:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Plug-In Vehicles Are a Luxury No Nation and No Investor Can Afford [View article]

    I've read many of your articles, and while your analysis is generally correct with regards to what is happening today, you conveniently ignore the fact that "technology marches on... continually". I spent over 20 years in the semiconductor industry, and saw advances that made my head spin. In the ten years since I've left, the advances have been even more amazing.

    With EVs, we are at the very beginning. Battery and vehicle technology will continue to make them more efficient over time.

    You can't possibly expect all the coal and fossil fuel plants to be replaced overnight. But coal plants are being retired on a regular basis, or being converted over to cleaner burning natural gas. That will continue. So, over time, the "long tailpipe argument" will have less and less merit, I believe.

    Global warming aside, getting off foreign oil is crucial to the future economic health of the United States. Spending $1 billion every day to purchase foreign oil is insanity. Putting it to use here on EVs and CNG vehicles (ala Pickens) and the associated refueling/recharging infrastructure makes more sense.

    Rome wasn't built in a day, but if we don't get started, we'll never get there. I think there's no question we're going to be beholden to fossil fuels for a long time. But we can certainly lessen our foreign dependence on oil, and improve our nation's security in the process.

    The EV industry is already creating thousands of engineering and production jobs, and it's just getting started. As far as lithium-ion technology goes, there's a lot of money going to be made investing in companies who mine and produce it, regardless of whether or not it ends up being the final EV battery technology. Right now, it seems to be building quite a head of steam.

    I for one think EVs are here to stay, and investors who position themselves correctly stand to make a lot of money as the adoption of them increases. Fleet EVs are already being eagerly accepted by the likes of Fed Ex and UPS. They can't wait to begin replacing their diesel guzzling delivery vehicles.

    We shall all have to wait and see what happens, but I believe EVs are building quite a head of steam. Arguing about how clean the power is that is recharging them is a moot point. That's a separate problem, and one that's being fixed. When's the last time you saw a new coal-fired plant being built here?

    All the Best,

    Dave Fessler
    Feb 14, 2011. 01:41 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Market New World Order: 3 Ways to Profit [View article]
    Not sure I agree with you on that one. The demand in China and India -- if it continues as it currently is -- will far outstrip the ability of the world's oil companies to supply the increased demand. China alone will use all of the current supply by by 2030 if its demand continues to increase at current rates.

    The only reason things "appear' to be OK now is the depressed demand from OECD countries, most of whom are still mired in recessions to some degree...
    Feb 19, 2011. 02:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar: Here It Comes [View article]
    Here's data, right from the EIA...

    Below are the subsidy levels for all the different types of energy, just for 2007. The data is right from a 2008 report from the EIA.

    Renewables (in total) $4,875,000,000
    Refined Coal: $2,370,000,000
    Natural gas: $2,149,000,000
    Nuclear: $1,267,000,000
    Coal $932,000,000

    So let’s look at the government’s fuel subsidies in a different way. How many “subsidy dollars” does it take to produce, say, one megawatt-hour of electricity, for each of those subsidized forms of energy? Again, we turn back to the EIA data:

    Refined Coal: $29.81/Mwh
    Solar: $24.34/Mwh
    Wind: $23.37/Mwh
    Nuclear: $1.59/Mwh
    Coal: $0.44/Mwh
    Natural gas $0.25/Mwh

    Before you jump up and down and say "see I told you so" while solar and wind are high, they are also the newest on the list.
    All you have to do is look at coal to know solar and wind will play a big part in our nation's energy future, and without all the pollution that goes along with all the others.
    Dec 28, 2011. 10:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • LED Bulbs: The Future Of Lighting [View article]
    Thanks for your kind words. Having spent 25 years in the semiconductor business in a previous life, I know that technology marches on when it comes to semiconductors, and just about everything else for that matter.

    It won't be long before the economies of scale will do the same for LED lighting. That will, for the most part, relegate CFLs and incandescents to dust bins and museums.

    I saw it happen with semiconductors when I was in the industry, and it's continued to happen in the 12 years I've been out of it.

    Just look at the technology packed into a current smartphone, unthinkable at any price just a decade ago.

    LED lighting will eventually transform the energy picture in the U.S. and elsewhere. Cree will certainly be one of the drivers and beneficiaries of that transformation.
    Dec 11, 2011. 06:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shale Oil Is The New Energy Boom In The U.S. [View article]
    I beg to differ, and so do two of the largest operators in the Niobrara. Two days ago, both Anadarko and Noble Energy both reported excellent Niobrara drilling results in the Oil and Gas Journal.

    "Excellent economics" was a phrase used by Anadarko, and Noble plans to double its Niobrara rig counts there in two years.

    They wouldn't be doing that if the play was uneconomical. Both companies have done enough drilling there to de-risk their own acreage.

    Here's the article verbatum: Two key operators have provided positive assessments of horizontal drilling results in the emerging Niobrara play in giant Wattenberg field in the Denver-Julesburg basin.
    Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said its well results in the Niobrara and Codell formations indicate excellent economics and a net resource of 500 million-1.5 billion bbl of oil equivalent, and Noble Energy Inc. said its Niobrara activities have revealed an estimated net risked resource of 1.3 billion boe, up more than 60% from 2010.
    Anadarko, producing from only 11 horizontal wells within field boundaries, said the company has 1,200-2,700 future drilling locations with estimated ultimate recoveries of 300,000-600,000 boe/well, 70% liquids. It put costs at $4-5 million/well. Initial well rates have averaged 800 boe/d.
    Initial rate at Anadarko’s best horizontal well to date, the Dolph 27-1HZ, was 1,100 b/d of oil and more than 2.4 MMcfd of gas. The well paid out in less than 4 months, and EUR exceeds 600,000 boe. The play should become self-funding in short order because payouts are expected to average 10 months, Anadarko said.
    At more than 70,000 boe/d, Anadarko is the largest net producer in the basin. It holds more than 350,000 net acres in Wattenberg and operates more than 5,200 wells with an average 96% working interest and 88% net revenue interest.
    Anadarko will run extensive tests to define the optimum spacing and lateral lengths for the Niobrara and Codell. It plans to be running seven rigs drilling Wattenberg horizontal wells by the end of 2012 and drill 160 horizontal wells compared with 40 in 2011.
    Anadarko said it is exploring other liquids-rich horizontal opportunities on its 550,000 net acres in the greater DJ basin outside Wattenberg and 360,000 net acres in the Powder River basin. Both prospective for the horizontal Niobrara and “other horizons that we will evaluate over time.”
    Noble Energy said it holds more than 840,000 net acres in the DJ basin and expects to double its 2011 net production of 67,000 boe/d, 54% liquids, by 2016.
    Niobrara horizontal drilling, Noble Energy said, has derisked the legacy portions of Wattenberg and has expanded the economic limits of the field by 67%. The company’s 58 horizontal wells in the Niobrara are yielding 14,000 boe/d of net production, up more than 20% since Sept. 30.
    “Strong returns continue to improve with recent production performance exceeding previous results. The company’s most recent 18 wells are expected to achieve an average EUR of 355,000 boe, which is a 22% improvement over an average EUR of 290,000 boe from 23 early wells,” Noble Energy said.
    Within 2 years, Noble Energy plans to double its horizontal Niobrara rig count and well completions.
    Nov 17, 2011. 03:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Copper Is My Number One Energy Investment Idea [View article]
    Your observations on natural rubber is very timely. I just finished an article today that will be published on Monday over at
    Seeking Alpha will probably grab it the same day, but if you want to read it a few hours earlier, check over there.

    Your observation is spot on... both copper and natural rubber are extremely volatile commodities... not for the faint of heart. I think a much better way to play them is the long term trend. I'm not aware of a natural rubber ETF, but there's an idea...
    Mar 4, 2011. 09:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment