Sunday, July 24, 2016

How Bad Is It? -- Bloomberg Says The World Will Need To Depend On Russia To Make Up The Shortfall In Oil Going Forrward -- Oh, Give Me A Break -- July 24, 2016

From Bloomberg, some data points:
  • international CAPEX cut so much, dire shortages predicted
  • Russian is our only salvation
  • Russia will need to produce 11.7 million bopd by 2018, an increase of almost 600,00 bopd from 2015
Oh, give me a break. Later this year, we will see North Dakota production drop below 1 million bopd.

Unfettered, North Dakota Bakken can produce 2.2 million bopd.

Russia, our only savior. Nonsense.

Non-Bakken News And Comments -- July 24, 2016

Yahoo!Mail is down. At least here in north Texas, in and around Denton, Texas. This is about 40 minutes away from my hovel in Grapevine. I won't know if Grapevine was affected until about 9:30 later this evening. I'm up in Denton with our oldest granddaughter at water polo practice. My Gmail account is up and running but I don't use Gmail except for "emergencies." Gmail: not one piece of spam over several years of having a Gmail account. Yahoo!Mail? 50 spam messages daily including some that seem to come from Yahoo itself. Maybe Verizon will scrap Yahoo!Mail and simply start over. LOL.

Terror in Germany. I see there was another terrorist bombing in Germany today -- in Ansbach. Ansbach is an administration capital of Middle Franconia. In addition, the US Army had (has?) a huge military presence there. No links, story everywhere.

Terror in Turkey. I also see that there is a "massive" fire in / around a NATO base / US air force base in Turkey: Izmir. No links; story easily found. I provide more background at "Mideast on the brink."

Disarray in Philadelphia: And, of course, the Wasserman story. It looks like it is playing out like this:
  • CNN: someone resigned? Really? Who? Hillary waiting in wings to be crowned.
  • MSNC: someone resigned? Really? Let's go interview some demonstrators.
  • Fox News: DNC implodes.
Sets new record: shortest time on job -- I'm not even sure this is "legit,"  but wikileaks is now reporting that Donna Brazile who had been named to replace Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has now, in turn, been replaced by someone named Marcia Fudge. Yup, it's "legit." Fudge represents a district in Ohio. So, Donna Brazile held the job as an interim DNC chairperson for about ... oh, maybe 30 minutes. Long enough for Hillary to make a phone call. Too bad she didn't act this quickly the night of Benghazi. Just saying. I wonder who will write the speeches for Marcia Fudge? My hunch she is not ready for prime time and for all those Bernie Sanders protestors. A sacrificial lamb?

The press can't keep up. Some mainstream media outlets are still reporting that Donna Brazile will be the interim DNC chairperson for the duration of the convention. (8:25 p.m. Central time: Hollywood Deadline)

My thoughts:
Wow, let's just say I was completely wrong. Not in a million years would I have expected DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to step down. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Right now the press is having a field day with this. I'm watching this at a McDonald's (with wi-fi and no limit on how long I can stay here) for about 30 minutes before going back to watch oldest granddaughter at water polo practice). I think this will be a 24-hour story. As one commentator said, Hillary will "power through this."

The Sanders folks won't be appeased; her stepping down may even give them renewed strength to see what "else" they can get. But if Hillary does power through this, the national perspective is what is important. I think this makes Hillary look a lot more decisive, a strong leader -- she saw the wikileaks and said it was time for Wasserman to go. Hillary didn't even let Wasserman twist in the wind; the hanging was quick.

Hillary has the media on her side. They will report the convention but won't dwell on the Wasserman story. It goes without saying that Fox News ... so I won't say it. 

Obviously the Sanders folks are not going to vote for Trump in the November election; whether they stay home or not is the real question. I think a lot more folks than just the Sanders folks who wanted to see Wasserman go. The obvious question is to what degree Kaine played a role?
180 days: until January 20, 2017. 

Liberty Resources To Report Four Nice Wells -- July 24, 2016

The wells coming off the confidential list and will be reported Monday:
Monday, July 25, 2016
29856, SI/NC, Newfield, Jorgenson Federal 148-96-10-15-3H, Lost Bridge, no production data,
30617, see below, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-1TFH, McGregor, producing
30618, see below, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-1MBH, McGregor, producing,
30619, see below, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-2MBH, McGregor, producing,
30620, see below, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-3TFH, McGregor, producing,
Sunday, July 24, 2016
32010, SI/NC, MRO, Colvin USA 14-34TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,
Saturday, July 23, 2016
27345, SI/NC, BR, Stafford 13-34TFH, Blue Buttes, no production data,
30921, SI/NC, WPX, North Segment 6-5-4 HY, Van Hook, no production data

*********************************************

30620, see above, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-3TFH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
5-20161062210115
4-20161303213531
3-201667086426
2-20161115928

30619, see above, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-2MBH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
5-201668908353
4-2016848710249
3-201679978403
2-201614931395

30618, see above, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-1MBH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
5-201678389922
4-20161006813031
3-20161091410793
2-20161469512063
1-20164980

30617, see above, Liberty Resources, Leon 158-95-17-8-1TFH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
5-201682667820
4-20161045311164
3-2016101059409
2-2016112329241
1-20166050

Sunday Morning -- Nothing About The Bakken, Except One Link -- July 24, 2016

The one Bakken link on this page: a reminder that Mike Filloon posted a great update on the Bakken yesterday. I track it here with comments. I say that because a reader has provided some additional information on what it means "to trip" in the oil patch. Another reader introduces technology that was new to me: monobore / monodiameter / one run drilling. These little vignettes could serve as the basis for some great essays for kids in school tasked to write essays on various subjects. I remember how much I enjoyed writing projects throughout "junior hi" and high school.

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Non-Bakken

If you came here only for the Bakken you can skip the rest of this page, and scroll down, or to the sidebar at the right. Nothing below will interest those who arrived here simply for Bakken updates.

Wow, the Drudge Report this Sunday morning certainly is full of stories on the fallout from Wikileaks (#DNCLeaks) and the Munich Massacre by Ali. I think the most interesting was the BBC's attempt -- remember who the mayor of London is -- to "change" the suspect's name. Until Breitbart called the BBC on that, and then they posted the full name. (By the way, it's very similar to how the media long ago -- if ever -- referred to the president using his full given name.) No links; stories everywhere.

CNN headline: "21 killed in Baghdad suicide blast, weeks after deadliest in years." ISIS claimed responsibility. I assume this is another example of ISIS on the run not that we have them on the run, according to the administration. I track the "Mideast on edge" at the sidebar on the right.

Fox News reported that "Saudi official makes rare Jerusalem visit, meets Israelis." If he visited Jerusalem, it's hard to think he would not meet Israelis. As a reminder, the Israelis and the Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital. Fox News considers this newsworthy; my hunch is this happens all the time, Saudi officials meeting Israeli officials. I wonder if they met in an air-conditioned unmarked aircraft parked at the end of a runway.

NextEra. Nexterror. Someone has a sense of humor. The NextEra lawyers are suing a blogger who refers to NextEra as Nexterror. The NextEra lawyers suggest her parody could confuse folks who might want to buy a wind turbine. I can't make this stuff up. Over at wiki:
NextEra has launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against a wind turbine protester who, on her personal website, created a parody of the NextEra logo and referred to the corporation as Nexterror. The corporation's lawyers claim that she “advertised her services in association with a trademark that was confusing with the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks”, potentially causing confusion among NextEra’s customers. As in, wind turbine customers might think that the woman is really NextEra and that they might try to buy wind turbines from her.
That last entry: a huge "thank you" to Don. By the way, on a serious note, a much bigger story, at least for me. This finally connects all the dots.

I assume folks in North Dakota remember Florida Power and Light investing in all those wind farms in the Peace Garden State. I blogged about it numerous times, although I think it might have been under the FPL moniker. For some time now, I haven't seen anything with regard to FPL in North Dakota. It turns out they changed their name, and I see NextEra everywhere -- especially on the "WSJ -- new highs" list for the past few weeks. NextEra is on a tear, trading at new highs, it seems, almost every day.

This on NextEra from wiki:
NextEra Energy is currently the largest owner and operator of wind turbines in the US, and second in the world after Iberdrola.
As of January 1, 2015 NextEra Energy, through its subsidiaries, currently operates over 100 wind farms across 19 states and three Canadian provinces, with a gross capacity of 11,300 megawatts.
It owns and operates the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor County, Texas, the second largest wind farm in the United States.
In 2015, NextEra accounted for roughly 35 percent US wind power installed.
Google Energy is an investor and customer of NextEra, having invested $38.8 million in two sites in North Dakota, and entered into a purchase agreement for 100 MW at a fixed rate for 20 years.
So, the dots are connected.

Tax credits -- Google -- NextEra -- FPL -- North Dakota -- wind farms.

One final note: when the Hillary administration takes office, one can bet that corporations investing in "x" amount of wind power will be given generous tax credits. Anyone paying attention has seen the close relationship between Eric Schmidt and Hillary Clinton. They're joined at the hips. (Of course, a lot of folks are joined at Hillary's hips: her hips are broad and inclusive.)

By the way, speaking about blogging about FPL: RBN Energy has had some great posts on FPL (now NextEra Energy) investing in natural gas producing companies and the reserves themselves, guaranteeing them some ability to control the price of their "own" natural gas.

Ah, enough of that.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Late Saturday Night -- Nothing To Do With The Bakken -- Just Chillin' -- July 23, 2016

Such elitism. This guy has lost all credibility.


I wonder how cool he keeps his hotel rooms. I wonder how cool the conference rooms are kept. I wonder what his monthly air conditioning electricity bill from all his houses adds up to. 

Here in Texas, I don't think it's air conditioners as much as a) lawn care services; and, b) outdoor barbecuing. My hunch is that air conditioners in the states have gotten quite efficient and folks use them judiciously. On the other hand, the lawn mowers I see, the leaf blowers, the edgers, etc., seem to be about as inefficient as ever and way overused. I remember the good ol' days when the only noise caused by mowers was on a Saturday morning for a couple of hours. Now it seems, lawn care is all-day, every day. 

Thank goodness for YouTube to take my mind off nuts like the elitist above.

Surf Riders From The Swamp, Messer Chups

The Munsters theme by Messer Chups.
Surfer Joe Summer Festival, Livorno, Italy, 2015.

*******************************
More Surfing

After watching The Endless Summer for the umpteenth time, this video means a lot more to me. I understand a whole lot better the whole "concept" of surfing. I still say it was a shame that The Endless Summer could not have been filmed in high definition.

Pipeline, The Chantays

******************************
Muscle Shoals

By the way, another "shout out" to the reader who introduced me to "Muscle Shoals." You have no idea how often I come across Muscle Shoals music. In a most obscure YouTube video (with all of 342 views), "Almost Persuaded" with this little gem: "For 46 years and two months, no #1 song matched the chart-topping longevity of "Almost Persuaded" until Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" notched its ninth week atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart the week of December 15, 2012." I think "Almost Persuaded" was a signature song of my coming-of-age years.

"Almost Persuaded" was written by Glenn Sutton and Muscle Shoals songwriter Billy Sherrill and first recorded by David Houston in 1966.

And that's why I love the United States: every locale in "America" has something to be proud of, something to be known for, and where anyone can "hit it big."

***************************
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

A huge "shout out" to John Boykin.

The Man Who Liberty Valance, Gene Pitney

****************************
Social Media

I think I've written about this before. A lot of folks don't like Twitter; a lot of folks don't understand Twitter. At one time I fell into both categories.

But, if one understands Twitter, it's an incredible tool. The most important thing, I think, for anyone with a life, is to minimize the number of hash tags one follows. But that doesn't mean staying in a rut. When something is trending, join in, and then when it falls off the radar scope, stop following. For example, right now, our Southlake, Texas, water polo teams (male and female) are participating in the National Junior Olympic competition in San Jose, CA. The boys left Friday and are out there playing now; the girls leave this next Wednesday.

To keep up with what is going on, the water polo team has a Twitter account. Photos and updates are incredible. And most important, the coach can easily remind players when and where to report. Every team member no doubt has a smart phone, and is following along on Twitter.

******************************
Notes To The Granddaughters
Speaking of Livorno, Italy

Your mom and your aunt had a number of trips to Italy when we were assigned to Germany. I do not recall if we ever made it to Livorno; if not, it was one of the few major destinations in Italy we did not visit.

We did so much while we were in Europe for thirteen consecutive years, 1983 - 1996. I can say unequivocally I do not regret having not done more. Having said that, I can think of a lot more things we could have done. But no regrets. 

Without question, the best family "trip" to Italy was when I was sent to Aviana, Italy, a small air base north of Venice, Italy, to provide medical coverage for a full month. It was the first time in my life, if I recall correctly, that I had "banker's" hours, and "no call" after the clinic closed for the day. The clinic closed precisely at 4:00 p.m. every day. The clinic was not open on weekends. It was July, and very, very hot.

Every day, for a full month, I rushed home at 4:00 p.m. and then we headed up into the Dolomite Mountains to cool off. I don't recall the names of any of the villages we visited in the Dolomites. All I remember was how incredibly cool the mountains were and how wonderful the food was. And inexpensive.

Generally when tasked to provide coverage in a temporary setting, families do not accompany the active duty member. But the air base was very accommodating. They provided us a "family suite" in temporary lodging on base. That must have been in 1986.

Nice Saturday Evening Photograph Of Fracking Sand Terminal, Richardton, ND -- July 23, 2016

Sent to me by a reader. Thank you, very much. A frack sand train at the Halliburton terminal near Richardton, North Dakota.


What I like best about this photo? The "Big Sky" look. Brings back great memories of western North Dakota.

********************************
Speaking of Sand

This is an incredible (and unexpected) upbeat story from Wisconsin
Despite a slump in the U.S. oil industry, Wisconsin frac sand producers are planning to spend millions of dollars on new plants and loading facilities as they seek to increase efficiency and sell their product in new markets.
According to documents filed with state officials, at least half a dozen companies have hatched plans to build mines or loading terminals along rail lines that provide an economical link to drilling operations in Texas, where the demand for silica sand remains strong, as well as other regions.
“We feel that from a longer-term prospective it’s still a good time to make some investments,” said Jack Mitchell, president of Wisconsin Proppants, which is planning a $23.5 million rail loading facility for its mine in Jackson County.
The number of permitted industrial sand mines and processors ballooned to nearly 130, but oil prices began falling in 2015, making North Dakota crude less competitive. As drills went idle, so did Wisconsin’s sand mines, which have laid off hundreds of workers in the past two years.
But even as producers have shuttered some mines, others are making big investments — or even preparing to open new mines — to meet the demands of a changing energy marketplace:
  • Meteor Timber, a Georgia investment company that has explored the possibility of mining in Jackson County’s public forests, has plans to build a $65 million sand mining operation in Jackson and Monroe counties.
  • Terracor Resources is proposing a combined mine, processing and loading facility between Black River Falls and Alma Center that could produce about 3 million tons of sand a year.
  • Hi-Crush Proppants is seeking to add three rail sidings at its 857-acre mine, processing and loading facility in Wyeville. Hi-Crush says it has idled a facility in Eau Claire County and is focusing on maximizing production and efficiency at the Monroe County site.
  • Smart Sand Inc. plans to build a rail terminal near Tomah to handle sand from the Texas company’s existing 1,118-acre mine in Oakdale, which is about four miles away and already has a loading facility on the Canadian Pacific railroad.
All of those operations, which would allow the loading and storage of multiple trains, are situated on the Union Pacific rail line. A fourth project, since shelved because of market prices, would have been sited on the Wisconsin Northern rail line in Chippewa County, which connects to Union Pacific’s track.
Unlike the Canadian Pacific and BNSF, two major U.S. rail lines that link Wisconsin to the Bakken basin, Union Pacific lines offer a direct route to Texas.
The article is from the LaCrosse Tribune, sent to me by a reader, thank you very much.

Although I posted quite a bit from the article above, there is so much more at the link. This is a very good article from a very unlikely source. I'm quite impressed. 

At the linked article, there is much more information about each of the companies listed above, interested in expanding frack sand operations. 

North Dakota Rancher To Be Featured On NBC Tonight For Those In North Dakota -- July 23, 2016

Updates

Later, 5:03 p.m. Central Time: see note below regarding Merle Clark. For those who won't see this on NBC North Dakota, one can find it at Vevo: start here and then search "Merle Clark" at the sidebar for any number of "Merle Clark" segments.
 
Original Post
 
Oh, my goodness. Don introduced me to Merle Clark a couple of years ago. I hope someone posts this on YouTube. I doubt I will catch NBC North Dakota down here in Texas.

Here's the link to a great, great story: Marmarth rancher will be featured tonight on NBC's "Special Cowboy Moments."


This was the saddle that Merle was re-furbishing when I met him in Bowman a couple of years ago. He was donating this to the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum in Bowman, North Dakota, perhaps one of the best little museums in the west.

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Impressions, Merle Haggard

Update On "The Forgotten War" -- July 23, 2016

Updates

Later, 10:35 a.m. Central Time: what a hoot. This headline from The Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2014 -- "In devising a play for Iraq, President Obama looks to the "Yemen Model."" I can't make this stuff up.
As they plan their response to the crisis in Iraq, President Obama and his top aides are hoping to replicate elements of an often-overlooked and relatively successful U.S. military operation in another war-ravaged Middle East nation: Yemen.
We obviously missed a nominee for the 2014 Geico Rock Award: Kathleen Hennessey. I can't even imagine where she got her journalism degree. In fairness to her, I suppose, things in Yemen turned sour when the US declared victory, pulled out, and turned things over to that other superpower. 

 
Original Post
 
I saw a related story this past week, but as I told Don, I was either too tired or too frustrated with yet another Obama-failed story line to link it or post it. But I'm getting too many alerts now to ignore it. What now? The "forgotten war."

Well, actually one of several forgotten wars. Another war in which President Obama said was pretty much over, the "good guys" had won, and the "bad guys" were on the run.

Band on the Run, Wings

I went back and looked for an article to see if it was worth posting. And then I found this one posted back in April, 2016. It makes my point: the Saudis can't do much of anything without help from the outside. We'll get back to that later. No, we won't. Not worth the time.

The other story line: I haven't seen the word "quagmire" used since the Vietnam War. And here it is, "Saudi Arabia's increasing quagmire in Yemen's War." Even wiki sees this as a never-ending story with an entry devoted to the Saudi Arabian-led Intervention in Yemen.

I've long lost interest in this war, and I've even long lost interest in this story as another failed President Obama (aka Baghdad Bob) story. There are just too many of them. Only 181 more days. Oh, when will this nightmare ever end?

What caught my eye was this little one line entry, buried deep in the story, near the very bottom:
So far, the Saudi-led Coalition forces have been rather unimpressive and relatively weak, despite boasting the 3rd highest military expenditures in the world.
Third highest? Where does that put China? Fourth? The EU? Fifth? Scotland? The Fifth of Forth?

The last few paragraphs of the story are actually the best:
Yemen’s infrastructure has been reduced to rubble as a result of the Saudi airstrikes.
Millions of civilians have been displaced, with others facing starvation and dehydration.
This disastrous war has been mainly caused by the ambitious and overzealous Saudi deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to improve his family’s legacy to make Saudi Arabia a regional power in Middle East.
So far, the Saudi-led Coalition forces have been rather unimpressive and relatively weak, despite boasting the 3rd highest military expenditures in the world. According to the Saudi whistleblower @ Mujtahidd, Mohammed bin Salman is facing a moral dilemma because ending the war would appear like a victory for the Houthis.
With the quagmire becoming far more apparent in Yemen, bin Salman is desperate to find a respectful end to the Saudi war in Yemen.
Now, bin Salman has decided to completely abandoned the U.N sponsored ceasefire in favor of forcing the Houthis to surrender their weapons and cities to the Yemeni government.
The source stated that bin Salman’s campaign has cost the Saudis a large number of personnel, putting the death toll as high as 4,000 killed while battling the Yemeni forces.
And one might add, a lot of cash.

HAL, SLB: The Worst Is Over, Things Are Starting To Turn -- July 23, 2016

Anyone following earnings reports and conference calls are aware that both Halliburton and Schlumberger have said "we've" hit the bottom in the oil and gas industry, that things are starting to turn.

For the record, I don't buy it. I think HAL and SLB are both "talking their book" as the say. We'll see in January, 2017, when these companies report their 4Q16 earnings. 

There was an article, which I did not link, yesterday that said that despite HAL's and SLB's claims, in fact, the oil and gas industry was continuing to shed jobs.

Today, we get this headline: COP to trim 6% of its workforce.
ConocoPhillips will lay off approximately 6 percent of its global workforce, the exploration and production (E&P) company confirmed to Rigzone in an email.

ConocoPhillips, which has headquarters in Houston, has undertaken a series of cost-reduction measures over the last 18 months in response to the industry downturn.
Beaudo said ConocoPhillips has significantly reduced its capital activities and finished some major projects, leaving the company with “more organizational capacity” than it needs.
Much  more at the link, and it's not good news. 

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Keppel, the world's largest builder of oil rigs, sees a prolonged dearth of oil-rig orders amid glut.
The company may consider reducing its workforce and mothballing some facilities in its rig-building operations because of excess capacity, the Singapore-based company said Thursday.
Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. has already shrunk its workforce by about 11,000 and subcontractor headcount by some 8,500 since 2015
Keppel sees a long, harsh "winter" in its rig-building business after net income fell 48 percent in the second quarter to S$205.8 million ($152 million). The company is among Asian shipyards that have cut jobs and are considering dock closures after oil prices more than halved in two years, leading to a slump in orders for offshore drilling and production, deferrals and cancellations.
The company has been hit by non-payments from one of its biggest clients, Sete Brasil Participacoes SA, which filed for bankruptcy protection in April.
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Sophia and Friend

Mike Filloon's Update On The Bakken -- Part II, July 23, 2016

Updates

July 24, 2016: a reader (in comments below) also notes the advances in drilling to include monodiameter / monobore / one-run drilling now being used in the Niobrara.

July 24, 2016: follow-up from previous comment, and explanation of tripping -- see additional comments below; most recent one brought up here for easier browser searching:
When tripping, 3 30 foot sections of drill pipe are combined to make a "90 foot stand". When rigging down to move to a new drill site these 90 foot stands are broken down into 30 foot sections. When nearly 4 miles of pipe are out of the hole there about 220 90 foot stands racked in the derrick. 220 connections coming out and 220 back to the bottom. Rig crews pride themselves in making this "trip" as quickly and safely as possible.
Later, 11:28 p.m. Central Time: see first comment. In fact, I will bring it up here for easier browser searches. Note that in the original post I made a huge mistake  -- I said two (2) miles of pipe. In fact, "we're" talking four (4) miles of pipe in a long Bakken lateral. My bad; sorry. I'm glad a reader took time to write and note that. Here's the first comment:
Just some comments to support your idea that the problems with 3-mile horizontals is not generally "controlling the entire length".
Near the end of a two mile horizontal, drillers often experience a lot of drag on the drill string so lubrication methods need to be used to keep the drill pipe free.
Also, drillers can sometimes drill the entire two mile horizontal with just one bit. Near total depth this bit and motor are usually at life's end. Some operators choose to call total depth (TD) when a bit or motor fail just a few hundred feet from TD.
Tripping 4 miles of pipe (2 horiz and 2 vertical) often take 14 to 18 hours of rig time
If three mile holes are drilled you need a powerful rig that can handle 3 miles of drill pipe (and liner) as well as the 2 mile vertical section. These longer holes offer a new set of challenges. 
Original Post
Wow, it doesn't quit. Just days after President Obama said terrorist attacks were an indication that ISIS was losing, that it was on the run, we have the Munich mall massacre, and now "31 minutes ago" there are reports of another huge ISIS bombing Afghanistan.

Fathomless ignorance. Peggy Noonan no doubt would say it is neither "fathomless" nor "ignorance."

Making the social media rounds right now: Ted Cruz "told" us to "vote our conscience." Spoiler alert, Ted: we already voted our conscience. That's why you are not the nominee. It's hard for me to accept a Texan who doesn't keep his word. In hindsight, Cruz never should have made a pledge he could not keep.

Whatever. On to more interesting news. Mike Filloon has an update on the Bakken: with big changes afoot, a stronger industry could emerge long-term. He says this is part two in this series. If so, I believe part one is posted at this link, from July 16, 2016.

Summary of part two:
  • CLR has continued to keep costs very low, but moving to the STACK has improved economics significantly.
  • Costs in the Permian are down, but the Delaware Basin may hold more promise than Midland as newer plays have higher costs initially, so an operator can decrease costs more.
  • Enhanced completions may only cost $400K to $500K more, but can increase production by 35% to 65% so operators are motivated to move to this type of design.
  • We expect continued increases in costs, as well as in the number of wells in plays like the STACK and Permian.
As part two of this series, we continue to look at production increases and cost cuts in the unconventional oil industry. This is not limited to any play, although economics is considered the best in the Permian and STACK. Cost decreases have been seen through better oil service contracts, including frac sand and fluids prices. Water costs are down, as water depots are not as busy and most operators have or are putting pipe in the ground.
Operators continue to decrease drilling and completion times, while improving production. As efficiencies have improved, so has source rock stimulation. This is how the operator breaks or fracs the rock to release oil and natural gas. By doing this well, it increases production significantly. Operators are focusing on the best geology. Core operations produce more resource per foot. When coupled with better well designs performance increases. These are the reasons unconventional US well economics is improving.
Other data points:
  • CLR continues to improve production per dollar. Some of this is due to the STACK, but we are seeing better completions in North Dakota. EURs are up, but some of this is due to high-grading. If we look back to 2012, it [EURs?] is up over 300%. Well costs continue to improve.
  • Bakken well costs have seen improvements. Although it is highlighted here, we have seen this throughout all plays. There was a time when one-mile laterals in the Bakken were around $10 million, but now most operators are doing it for a little more than half that. The above slide shows well costs on an average two-mile lateral. This is the North Dakota average. Operators have tried three mile laterals but it is too difficult to control the entire length. On average, an operator does produce more per foot doing a one-mile lateral, but has to bear the cost of drilling twice as many holes. Now CLR can drill and complete a location for approximately $6 million.
  • We expect oil around $60 to $65/bbl by year end with the possibility of it occurring in 1Q17. We also expect oil prices to be below $50 through Q3. 
Another comment. I am not disagreeing with Mike Filloon on this one. He knows the Bakken a thousand-times better than I do, but I'm not sure I agree with his comment regarding the length of horizontals:
Operators have tried three mile laterals but it is too difficult to control the entire length. 
I've read a lot of "geologist summaries" in the file report, and it does not seem "controlling the entire length" is the long pole in the tepee. Rather, it seems that motor failure or gizmo failure is the biggest problem. The longer the drilling takes, the harder on the motors and the monitoring gizmos. They seem to routinely fail sometime into the second mile. Many well reports that I have read say that the decision to stop drilling just short of the planned bottom hole location was because a motor failed or a monitoring gizmo failed. I don't know if folks realize it, but to replace that motor or monitor, the entire string needs to be brought back up, one section at a time. Takes "forever" when there is two miles of pipeline in the ground. Talk about a lot of man-hours to bring up 2 miles of pipe, replace the motor, and then put back in 2 miles of pipe. 
For the record, I don't see $60 oil by the end of the year; I'm not even sure we will see it in 1Q17 -- and I mean sustained $60 oil, not a day or two of some spikes only to have it pull back.