Crude oil for August delivery fell 11 percent, to $128.88 a barrel last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-week drop in four years. Futures had reached $147.27 a barrel on July 11, the highest since 1983. And the price of oil is going to keep dropping, says a prominent energy analyst. Edward L. Morse of Lehman predicts a plunge to $93 a barrel. Declining demand will contribute to a build-up in inventories. One of the biggest drops will come in China, which had been feeding the fire. Plus there is some new capacity coming on line. The swing in oil prices upward was more exaggerated than normal because of rising speculation on oil and other commodities by investors who no longer could find good bets in real estate, or in the stock market. Some $90 billion of new cash reportedly moved into commodity funds in the past 18 months. A drop in short-term oil price speculation will help move tags down.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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