Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sorry For The Delay in Responding To Comments

My filter moved all "anonymous" comments and comments from some regular readers over to the spam folder for some reason. I had the filter set to prevent that from happening, but apparently from the volume of comments being sent in, the filter thought the "anonymous" comments were spam. I will get to them now that I have found them.

Solar Technology Company To Shut Down in California -- Gravy Train for Lobbyists -- Even With Government Subsidies Can't Make It -- 1,000 California Jobs Lost Along With Half Billion Tax-Payer Dollars

Link hereCartoon of the day.
Solyndra, a major manufacturer of solar technology in Fremont, has shut its doors, according to employees at the campus.

Shortly after it opened a massive $700 million facility, it canceled plans for a public stock offering earlier this year and warned it would be in significant trouble if federal loan guarantees did not go through.

Solyndra was touted by the Obama administration as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs. The President visited the facility in May of last year. 

The federal government offered $535 million in low cost loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. NBC Bay Area has contacted the White House asking for a statement.
I have nothing against solar energy. But the numbers simply don't work, even with massive government subsidies.

For those who write and tell me I'm all wrong on this, you may want to look at the list of lobbyists promoting this short-lived company:
In July, Solyndra retained the powerful Glover Park Group, where the company's lobbyists include top Max Baucus aide and Environment & Public Works Committee staffer Catherine Ransom, longtime Republican aide Alex Mistri, and Energy and Commerce staffer (and former John Kerry Legislative Director) Gregg Rothschild .... are just a few of the lobbyists ... more at the link. 

Construction West of Williston, North Dakota -- Bakken

Last night I walked six miles from where I am staying in Williston out to the four-mile corner to take photographs of the buildings of oil service companies west of Williston.  And six miles back, I walked at least 12 miles.

I started out at 6:30 p.m. and got back to where I am staying at 11:00 p.m. I stopped at the way home at a pub to get a drink. The pub, by the way, a bar and grill,  is without a doubt, the best sports bar west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, and I have visited sports bars across the country. But I digress.

Here's the new Schlumberger building west of town:

And then just west of the new Schlumberger site is this building (I do not know who will occupy this building):, which is where McCody Concrete will be going (see first comment below).

I started out walking in daylight; I didn't have a watch or cellphone, but based on "number of hands between sun and horizon" I figured I had two hours of sunlight. And I was about right; here it is right when I got back to Williston:

Drill, Baby, Drill -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Drill, Baby, Drill

Even Without the Keystone XL, That Canadian Oil Will Get to the US

Link here.
EnSys Energy & Systems Inc. and Navigistics Consulting concluded in a report issued as part of the US Department of State’s final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that it is “almost impossible…to conceive of a situation” wherein the anticipated 1.4 million b/d growth in Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin crude could not be shipped to the US, even if Keystone XL is not approved.

The report, “Keystone XL Assessment—No Expansion Update,” examines three tiers of potential transportation: Tier 1, major new pipeline projects (Keystone XL and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline to Canada’s west coast); Tier 2, modification-expansion of existing pipelines; and Tier 3, rail, barge, and tanker transport. It notes that as options move from Tier 1 toward Tier 3 the capacity of individual projects drops and the $/bbl transport rate climbs. But it also notes that capital costs, scale of commitment, difficulty in permitting, and time to implement all drop, while available transport options expand.

The EnSys report describes rail alone as being able to provide the additional 1.25 million b/d in WCSB take-away capacity anticipated as necessary by 2030, subtracting 0.15 million b/d as upgraded-in-place. EnSys notes that the roughly 100,000 b/d/year expansion rate required is well below the current 250,000 b/d/year expansion rate currently undertaken in the Bakken shale, and equate to adding just 1-2 unit trains/day/year out of WCSB between 2016 and 2030.
I continue to post stories about the Keystone XL because I know folks are interested in the story, but for me, I've lost interest. The Keystone XL won't be built in my lifetime. If it is started, it won't be completed in my lifetime.

But that's not the reason for posting yet another story on the XL. The reason I posted the story is in the third paragraph. I am noticing that in almost every story that has to do with oil production in North America, the Bakken comes up in discussion.

US Labor Department Singles Out North Dakota for Its Low Unemployment Rate

Link here (regional links break early).

First paragraph of this AP story:
Bismarck has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, according to information released today.
Unemployment rates fell in a majority of U.S. cities in July, despite a weak economy that is producing few jobs.
And then this:
The biggest monthly decrease was in Morgantown, W.Va. The unemployment rate there fell from 6.6 percent in June to 5 percent in July, mostly because people stopped looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively seeking work. 
And finally:
Bismarck had the nation's lowest rate, at 3 percent. It was followed by Fargo at 3.7 percent, and Lincoln, Neb., at 3.8 percent. Eight of the 10 metro areas with unemployment rates less than 5 percent were in the upper Midwest. North Dakota, in particular, has been helped by a boom in its oil drilling industry.
It should be noted that Fargo is on the eastern side of the state and has no oil industry. Fargo benefits from the low tax rate on the west side of the river, compared to high-tax state, Minnesota, on the east. Bismarck has some oil-related growth, but it, too, is not in the Bakken. 

Sixteen (16) New Permits -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, August 31, 2011 --

Operators:  KOG (4), Samson Resources (3) Slawson (2), Dakota-3 (WMB), OXY USA, Oasis, Whiting, Helis, MRO True Oil

Fields: Buffalo Wallow, Big Bend, Reunion Bay, Grail, Sanish, Pembroke, Candak, Squaw Creek, Juno, Vanville, and one wildcat

Oasis has the wildcat in Williams County

KOG has a 4-well pad in Pembroke (at least all four wells are in SESW 21-149N-98W); and, Slawson has a 2-well pad in Big Bend.

Twelve wells were reported as "plugged or producing," and there are "no" dry holes in the Bakken.  Four of them were Whiting wells; no CLR wells.

Whiting has a permit in its cash cow, the Sanish

Auto Sales Surge; ATT - T-Mobile Story -- Idle Rambling -- Not a Bakken Story


May 11, 2012: No link; from print edition, Wall Street Journal, page B5.
T-Mobile said it lost more than a half million of the most lucrative customers in the first quarter, casting doubt on whether the company can regain momentum after regulators blocked its sale to ATT.
Predicted. This, as noted below, was a win-win for ATT. At best they would have gotten T-Mobile all to themselves. At worse, ATT and Verizon would split the spoils as T-Mobile sort of just withers away. This happened some years ago when regulators refused to let two video rental chains merge. One of the two eventually disappeared (going through bankruptcy first?). The other? I don't know if it's still around.

Later: I posted the stories below earlier today.

For the first time this afternoon I have finally had an opportunity to check the news, and this is the story that caught my eye:

Headline: T-Mobile customers fleeing
See my post below, predicting that this would happen.

Original Post
Idle rambling.

Connecting two disconnected dots.

First dot: auto sales surge.
U.S. factory orders rose strongly in July on the biggest jump in demand for autos in more than eight years and a surge in commercial airplane orders.
The Commerce Department says factory orders climbed 2.4 percent, the largest increase since March. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 9.8 percent, the largest one-month gain since January 2003.
Second dot: housing sales down.
The already-struggling housing market has another 15% decline in home prices already priced in for homebuilder stocks, according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Michael Widner.
According to a talking head on CNBC this a.m. the government has made it easier for banks to get out from under their mass of foreclosed homes prior to 2011. However, the relaxation was not extended to new home sales going forward. For any number of reasons, the new rules imposed on banks for home financing have become much more onerous. This is one explanation for disappointing home sales according to the talking head on CNBC.

It's hard to argue with that logic in light of the surge in auto sales. The surge in auto sales suggests that folks have the money to make large purchases, but a) are still scared of the housing market; and, b) unable to get financing due to onerous banking requirements.

A third factor that folks don't talk about: unintended consequences. At their last meeting, the "Fed" announced that it was keeping borrowing rates (or whatever they are called) at their current record low rates for the next two years, which for all practical purposes is zero percent. Until now, the "Fed" has always been vague about its intentions. That means for folks sitting on the fence, trying to make a decision to buy a new home, they can now procrastinate, knowing that rates may not change all that much over the next two years. Yes, I know the two rates are not directly connected; if home buying starts to pick up, mortgage rates can increase. But, in the big scheme of things, to be told that the "Fed" plans to keep rates this low for two years, folks will naturally procrastinate.


On another note, the Obama administration has filed to block the proposed buyout of T-Mobile by ATT. This is really bad news for T-Mobile; great news for Verizon, and maybe Sprint; and so-so news for ATT. Common sense tells me that T-Mobile was ready to shut their operations down when they agreed to be bought out by ATT, and common sense tells me that psyscologcally, at least, that process has begun. Regardless, how many folks are signing up for T-Mobile not knowing who their new service provider might be. So, this is not good news for T-Mobile.

I'm not sure this is the worse news for ATT or its shareholders. This was going to be a huge chunk of change all at one time. Now, if the buyout is stopped by the Justice Department, the Verizon, ATT, and Sprint folks will simply divide the spoils as T-Mobile implodes from lack of growth. Obviously if the Justice Department nixes ATT, it should also nix Verizon buying T-Mobile, but it's always possible Sprint-T-Mobile will find a way to get together. I used to follow the various systems (e.g., CDMA) the different providers used, but have long given up on that. It turns out the providers have ways of making any combination work, it seems.

Re-Look at MDU - Fidelity Plans For Ten (10) Rigs By End of Next Year -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

See link posted a few minutes earlier.

Think about that. Perhaps MDU/Fidelity won't be putting all ten (10) rigs in the North Dakota Bakken, but one has to assume most of them will end up here. MDU/Fidelity has a relatively small footprint in North Dakota: 90,000 acres.

By comparison, Continental Resources has almost a million acres, and even "tiny" Oasis which got its start by buying Fidelity's Cottonwood oil field acreage, has over 300,000 acres.

Even with that relatively small footprint, Fidelity will be moving to 10 rigs. And maybe they will stop with three or four in the Bakken and deploy the rest in such areas as the Niobrara. But right now, the Niobrara does not appear as active as the Bakken.

Eagle Ford News -- Not the Bakken

Link here.

Halliburton and Schlumberger seek sites near San Antonio.

The story caught my eye 'cause San Antonio is my home.
Fresh off Thursday's revelation that Halliburton Co. is looking to build a "supersite" in the San Antonio area, a county official disclosed that another heavy hitter in oil services wants a piece of the action. Schlumberger, the world's largest oil field services company, with offices in Houston, Paris and The Hague, Netherlands, is proposing to establish a site in south Bexar County, said David Marquez, executive director of Bexar County's economic development department. He said Schlumberger's operation would not be as large as what Halliburton is considering, "but it's still significant and still in the southern part of the county."

Baker Hughes in August said it plans to build a $30 million operations center and administrative headquarters in southeast Bexar County [San Antonio] to support drilling in the Eagle Ford shale. The company said the center, to be built on 64 acres at Interstate 37 and U.S. 181, eventually will employ 400. Switzerland-based Weatherford International said in June that it will build a facility on the northwest quadrant of Loop 1604 and I-37, according to a company official. The structure will include offices and bays to house and service the company's hydraulic fracturing equipment, a company spokeswoman said. Halliburton, though, appears to be the big fish.
If BHI plans to build a $30 million operations center but HAL is considered the "big fish," one can only imagine the size of their "supersite."


Does The Bakken Extend to Minot, North Dakota -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I've been getting several queries lately on whether the Bakken will extend as far east as Minot, North Dakota.

There's a great slide on the extent of the Bakken at the recent MDU/Fidelity corporate presentation, slide 15. It's a long PDF file and it may take a moment to load; the lower left of your browser might say "Done" and you might not see any activity; wait a few more moments, and the PDF file will eventully pop up. I have a fast link today and it still took a moment for it to download.

While at the presentation, take a look at the number of rigs MDU/Fidelity will eventually have in the Bakken, going from three or four now to ten (10) rigs by the end of next year (2012).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nine (9) New Permits -- New Operator in the Bakken -- Liberty Resources, LLC -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, August 30, 2011 --

Operators: Slawson (2), Hess (2), CLR (2), EOG, BEXP, Liberty Resources

Fields: Big Bend, Blue Buttes, Clear Water, Ragged Butte, Brooklyn and two wildcats.

CLR and Liberty Resources each have a wildcat.

This is a new operator in North Dakota: Liberty Resources. This is their first permit. And they are in a great area, just west of the Arnegard oil field. If one is familiar with the area, one follows US Highway 2 south from Williston toward Watford City; just south of Alexander, instead of swinging east, head straight south as if you were going to Sather Dam/Lake. The Liberty Resources site will be about three miles south of that junction, and on the east side of the road, maybe half a mile off to the east.

There were no wells that came off the confidential list today, and no completed producing wells. Zilch. Nada. None. Goose egg. Zero.

North Dakota Envy -- Minnesota -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
You'd never get a Minnesotan to acknowledge it, but there's a lot of North Dakota envy going around these days.

Here was an August 19, 2011, headline on the New York Times website: "The North Dakota Miracle." And then, just three days later, this one, also on the Times site: "The Happiest States of America: North Dakota on the Rise."
These two paragraphs caught my eye:
No doubt, some will seize on North Dakota's lower individual and income tax rates as proof that Minnesota needs to do the same in order to compete. But if that's all it took this column would be about South Dakota, which has no individual or corporate income taxes and usually appears at or near the top of most "business friendly" rankings.
Geology, not tax policy, explains North Dakota's incredible run. They've been drilling for oil in the Williston Basin since the early 1950s, but new horizontal drilling technologies have allowed prospectors to tap into the rich Bakken Formation. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the region holds about 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable reserves of oil, larger than all other current oil assessments in the lower 48 states.
In fact, the natural resources in this country is not limited to North Dakota: oil, natural gas, timber, coal, rare earths, etc., but there are some areas of the country where environmentalists and pro-growth folks somehow make it work. But a permitorium in the Gulf -- ask Louisianas if it's geology or taxes or government regulations that make you or break you.

If fracking was banned in North Dakota; if the state banned any more pipeline; if the state raised taxes on oil companies, things would be a lot different.

I beg to differ with the folks in Minnesota who think it's all about geology in North Dakota. It's all about taxes and government regulations.

The boom has been very, very difficult on folks living in the middle of it, but somehow the folks are getting along and doing their best to keep it moving along smoothly.

No, it's a lot more than geology. Texas, Lousisiana, Oklahoma, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alaska have their fair share of  oil, too, and some of  them have a nicer (weather) climate in which to work. Oregon and Washington have the potential for some of the best transportation / harbor networks in the world but anti-growth folks are doing their best to put a stop to that. I don't want to get into it, but two of the nation's largest ports, both located in California, are feeling pressured by ports in Mexico, again due to business climate and not geology or geography.

Adding support to my argument is the story about ExxonMobil signing a $3.2 billion deal with a Russian company to develop the Arctic. If "you" can't get anything done wtih the Obama adminsitration, there's always others with whom to deal. Both the US and Russia have the "geology" but Exxon has to work with the Russians to get anything done.

NY Times Bicyclist-Reporter -- Blogs On North Dakota -- Great Story -- References the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
I crossed the border from Montana on I-94. It’s legal to ride on the Interstate in these parts, though not especially enjoyable, and I got off at Exit 1, Beach (how does such a landlocked place get such a name?), and stopped at the visitor information bureau. The attendant, a woman named Jan, not only set me onto old Highway 10 — a scenic, rolling byway that runs west to east, essentially traffic-free through the western half of the state — but also offered me cough drops.

I was on my way to Medora, the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park about 25 miles away, and I asked if there were any services on Route 10 between Beach and the park, places I might stop for a cold drink or a meal. She said there was just one, a tiny little burg about seven miles down the road called Sentinel Butte. The gas station there is a hangout, she said, where people stop in and shoot the breeze.

“It’ll be a good stop for you,” she said.

And so it was. A lot of speck-on-the-map towns I’ve ridden through are pretty desolate and rundown, but Sentinel Butte is an attractive little place set in the middle of seemingly nowhere, surrounded by miles and miles of wheat fields and prairie. The lawns are green and the homes are neatly kept and the whole place — you can take it in with one sweep of the eyes — gives off an unlikely whiff of prosperity.

As it turned out, no one was hanging out in the gas station, except the owner, Rick Olson, who is also the mayor. We sat at a card table inside the station, enjoying the air-conditioning on a hot day. A voluble fellow (maybe you’d be, too, if you lived there), he explained the the town was flush even though its property taxes amounted to less than $2,000 a year — “Not even enough to pay the electric bill,” he said — because it sells water to the oil companies that are exploring much of western North Dakota these days. Right on cue, two huge tankers rolled past the station, full, on their way out of town.
Nice story to read.

Slow Day -- Only Four (4) New Permits -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

As a reminder: "we" hit a new record yesterday  -- 201 active drilling rigs in North Dakota. The previous record was set ... drum roll ... the day before, or the previous business day, I guess, at 200. 

Daily activity report, August 29, 2011 --

Operators: Denbury Onshore (3), and OXY USA.

Fields: Murphy Creek, Vanville, and one wildcat.

OXY USA had the wildcat; Denbury has a two-well pad in Murphy Creek.

In addition, the state reported 15 more wells that were either "plugged or producing." In the current boom, there are "no" dry holes, so one can assume all 15 of these wells are producing; data will be released once they are off the confidential list and have been completed. 


Of the six wells that came off the confidential list, two were not yet completed, so that was a better ratio than usual:
MRO has consistently been reporting better wells in the past six months, as I have posted before.

And recently I noted that the Banks oil field looks exciting with the Berquist twins.

Monday, August 29, 2011

201: Active Drilling Rigs in North Dakota -- New Record -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Dynamic link here.

Excellent Story on States' Fiscal Status -- Some Bakken-Related Notes -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

Very long story here with lots of information. Buried in the story is this nugget:
Tax-collection growth is where the rubber meets the road for most states. Many of the stars in this respect are benefiting from rising prices for oil, food and minerals. North Dakota had a 46% jump in first-quarter fiscal 2011 collections, boosted by exploitation of the gas- and oil-rich Bakken shale shelf. Alaska, with its tax take up by 16.7%, likewise benefited from higher oil prices.
Other states:
Particularly shaky are states like Illinois, with only 51% of its pension obligations funded, and California, with 81%. Their dysfunctional state governments, allied with public-employee unions, are seemingly incapable of making needed reforms. Several times in recent years, Illinois has floated bond issues to make its pension contributions, only to find that it paid more in interest on them than it made on its investments.
And, of course, the obligatory slam on the previous president:
Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California still have big mortgage problems, stemming from the faux housing boom of the George W. Bush years. That encouraged local governments to wildly expand, using soaring property-tax revenue, and individuals to spend more, by taking out home-equity loans. When the boom ended, the spending did, too, and joblessness soared. Based on June numbers, the states with the worst jobless rates were Florida (10.6%), and Michigan and South Carolina (both 10.5%).
I thought Nevada had the worst jobless rate: 14% in June; down to 12.9% in July.

Oil Up $2.00 -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I didn't read the story, and I don't know what the talking heads over at CNBC are saying to explain the bump in oil price, but I find it interesting. The bump was supposed to have come if Hurricane Irene veered into the Gulf of Mexico.

The over-hyped Hurricane Irene is done -- hardly a hurricane at all -- and oil bumps up.

Headline: Spring Flooding Affected Oil Industry -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

The headline told us what we already knew.

The story, on the other hand, told us how little the spring flooding actually affected the North Dakota oil industry:
Thomas Nusz, president and CEO of Oasis Petroleum, said his company's production dropped 2 percent in the second quarter.
"That being said, we're up significantly or 77 percent from the second quarter of 2010 and up 5 percent from our fourth quarter 2010 production levels."
The good news: oil companies made changes in operating procedures and long term plans to better handle the unpredictable North Dakota weather.

By the way, the great weather and long days here in North Dakota at this time of year is great for construction projects. Williston is right on the Central Daylight / Montana Daylight time zone, meaning that it stays light late into the evening. When it is 10:00 p.m. in Chicago, it is 10:00 p.m. here in Williston, but being right on "the link," it is really about 9:00 p.m. by "light" standards.

As noted in yesterday's postings, folks are working seven days a week in the Bakken.

And some folks are making more money "makingdenimbluejeans" than drilling for oil.

Anyone Who Thinks The Bakken Is Overhyped Should Read The Headline To The Link -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Note: there are really two stories here, both about Halliburton.  About 2/3rds of the way down, there is a second story.

Does this catch you by surprise? It did me.

On April 12, 2011, Halliburton says they had 800 employees in North Dakota. Now in August, 2011, there is a story that Halliburton is hiring 11,000 new employees, "mostly" for the Bakken play.

Anyway, here are the stories and the links:

Link here.

I have posted the link to this story (from another source) earlier, but this headline is striking:
Halliburton to hire 11,000, mostly for Bakken Shale play
I find that incredible. The first article I linked with regard to this story had a different headline which did not mention the Bakken. Inside the article, the Bakken was mentioned as the primary reason for the hiring.

But here, no pussyfooting around. Halliburton is hiring 11,000, mostly for the Bakken shale play.

"We" hit a record of active drilling rigs last week (200), and projects are going forward to increase the number of man-camps.

My rule of thumb is that an operator needs about one frack team for every three rigs actively drilling just to keep up with drilling; that ratio will not alleviate the backlog. Only the bigger operators have dedicated frack teams, and there are a lot of smaller companies that hire any frack team that is available, and that's why the 3:1 ratio will only barely keep up with the drilling. Drillers reach total depth in 20 days now, and frack teams are faster, but there is still a lot of time moving frack teams onto a new pad, setting up, bringing in water, and then tearing down and moving on.

But this Halliburton story is eye-catching.

You can bet Schlumberger will do the same. I need to get a photograph of the huge new Schlumberger structure that is being built west of Williston.  Maybe tonight. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Halliburton, I missed this story:
In September 2010, Halliburton broke ground for a $15 million, multi-purpose facility in Minot. Located on the Great Plans Energy Park, Halliburton will occupy 38 acres of land in the Phase 2 portion of the park, located in east Minot. Parts of the facility are scheduled to be ready this year: A cement bulk plant is expected to be operational this spring; the remaining construction, including a maintenance shop, wash bay facility and administration office, should be completed by the end of 2011.

The Minot facility is expected to have 250 employees.

"Williston is our hub in North Dakota, so our nearly 800 employees in the state all fall within one Halliburton district, called the 'Williston District,'" Agard explained. "Of course, while they are based in the Williston district, some of these employees may go to various locations within the state to serve our customer's needs."

Mike Filloon -- Seeking Alpha -- Completes His Most Recent 4-Part Series on the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Mike Filloon's four-part series on the Bakken: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

I originally linked these updates at my post on the CNBC Jim Cramer visit to Killdeer, ND, August 24, 2011, which has additional links that might be of interest to newbies.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bakken Maps for Sale -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

Sunday Night -- Wal-Mart -- Williston, North Dakota -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Of course Wal-Mart would not provide the data if asked, but it sure would be fun to see the sales for the Wal-Mart in Williston compared to any Wal-Mart anywhere else.

Sunday evening we had to pick up a few things -- mostly the old light bulbs before only the funny ones are available at $10 apiece -- so we drove out to Williston Wal-Mart. Traffic was heavy, but nothing compared to what it will be tomorrow, Monday, morning. Dad showed me a "secret" way to get to Wal-Mart to avoid the traffic. Water trucks parked wherever there was an open space. The truck stops along the milliondollarway were full of trucks. It's gonna be a lot better when that 720-acre truck stop north of Williston is completed. Wow -- 720 acres -- a section is 640 acres; there's already a man-camp out there getting ready to start building that truck stop / industrial park.

But Wal-Mart parking lot was full, and the check-out lines were long. Dad normally takes his few grocery items to the jewelry counter, but even that counter was busy tonight, so we did the self-checkout thing -- a first for him. Worked great.

Anyway, in the parking lot as we walked in; the first ten cars we passed: Idaho, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Montana, North Dakota. And one without a license plate, just one of those little "just bought" tags up on the rear window. One of the ten North Dakota plates belonged to us. Seven of the ten were pick-up trucks. The "story" in town is that no one lives in Idaho any more; they have all come to North Dakota. (No cars from Wyoming. Interesting.)

It looks like, for the first time in a long time, some of the eight hotels or so, might have some rooms available. Up until now, no rooms have been available in the eight hotels, but advertising on the electric signs suggest there may be some vacancies.

Chesapeake Has Arrived -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

 Actually Chesapeake has been here for awhile. But I thought some folks would enjoy the ad.

North Dakota Hitting On All Cylinders -- Now, It's Corn -- Bakken, North Dakota

Another incredible story for North Dakota -- link here (regional links break early).

Remember all those dire warnings regarding farm crops in North Dakota this year due to flooding?

Data points;
  • North Dakota may have record corn production this year -- perhaps third best in history
“If I had to take an educated guess, I’d say this is the best corn crop we’ve ever had,” he said during a drive around tour. “There’s 150 bushels an acre out there.”

He and his dad, Laurance Heger, turned the corner last year, for the first time planting more corn than wheat acres.

Corn, for all its good looks, is much less high-maintenance than wheat. Genetics have made it more drought-resistant. It can stand up to hail and wind damage better and at harvest time, there’s none of that waiting around every morning for dew to dry, he said.
  • Corn is selling for an all-time record of $7.11/bushel on the spot market: three times higher than its average historic price
  • 40 percent of all corn: cattle feed
  • 27 percent of all corn: ethanol
  • At $7.00/bushel, ethanol barely profitable; much above $7.00 and ethanol producers will have trouble making money
Single farm: enough corn to fuel a 2008 Malibu for 19 million miles (one farm)
Single farm: enough wheat to make 12 million loaves of bread (one farm)

With corn this high in price, ethanol will increase in price; watch of price of gasoline to go up.

Observations in the Bakken -- Widening the Highway South of Williston -- Sunday, August 28, 2011 -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Fourteen Observations -- Some Related To The Bakken

First and foremost: thank goodness for McDonald's. The company-owned franchise restaurants offer free wi-fi. I just walked from where I am staying to city library, about a 2-mile walk to use wi-fi there. When I got there, the library was closed. During the summer, the city library is closed on weekends except for Sunday evenings, 6 - 9 p.m.

But's it's an "evil" free market that has free wi-fi 24/7. Almost 24-7.

Second: shovel-ready jobs: I was last in the Bakken about six weeks ago. I don't recall any road construction on the two-lane road south of Williston to Alexander. Today, I drove that two-lane highway to Alexander and it appears that it will be a four-lane highway by winter. I asked a local about the highway: he said it was not going to be a four-lane highway, but rather stretches of four lanes for passing lanes. From a practical point of view, it certainly seemed to me that most of the Williston-Alexander stretch would be four lanes, and as noted, I don't recall any evidence of construction six weeks ago, and now it is close to being blacktopped. See Williston Herald for more on this project.

Third: this is a Sunday and everywhere building was going on. This is a right-to-work state; I have no idea if that has any impact. But on public projects (the aforementioned highway) and on private projects (the new Schlumberger complex going up) construction workers were out there working.

Fourth: speaking of working 24/7, the back-hoes were working digging ditches for the new water pipeline that is being paid for by the oil companies. See WAWS, a $150 million shovel-ready job. This new water system will include a significant upgrade and capacity expansion at the Williston city water plant and drinking water will be piped to surrounding communities fifty miles away, including Grenora, Watford City, Alexander, etc. I don't know the extent of this system but it will be huge. Geographically, it may be one of the largest water systems in the US. Six weeks ago I saw some pipeline being laid near the water plant; today I saw pipeline stretching north, south, east and west of Williston. Again, the back-hoes were digging on a Sunday; there is a sense of urgency here in the Bakken. No doubt there is a reason for this sense of urgency: it's but a few months to very cold winter weather. For newbies, the winter won't affect drilling operations until late January, February. The first freeze is around Halloween, but the severe winter doesn't kick in until after the new year.

Fifth: there's no pleasing everybody.  I talked to a local resident about the new four-lane highway being put in between Alexander and Williston. At least when I asked him about it, I thought it was a four-lane highway being put it, expanding from the current two-lane highway. He corrected me, saying that the project was a "waste of money." He said that it wasn't going to be a four-lane highway, just stretches of passing lanes. He thought "they" should have put in a four-lane highway. I agree with some of what he said, but from my perspective, the passing lanes seemed to be most of the stretch between Alexander and Williston, essentially making it a four-lane highway. And, oh by the way, for all the complaints about the roads, the highway between Alexander and Williston was in perfect condition.

By the way, if anyone knows about the appropriation process, it is sometimes easier to get an "addition" approved rather than a completely new project. I don't know if this applies in this case -- passing lanes vs four-lane highway but I wouldn't be surprised. 

Sixth: flooding. Much of the flooding is receding. It appears any wells affected by the flood are now high and dry (I'm sure folks will write me and tell my I am stupidly wrong on that; be that as it may), but the water has receded significantly. We drove out to a Madison / Bakken pair of wells that I was curious about, and the road was recently filled in for oil trucks and on the way out, we passed an oil truck heading out to the same well to load oil that was being stored in the on-site tanks. As expected, the Madison was was not pumping (according to the NDIC website, this well is not currently producing, but it is not abandoned). The BEXP Bakken well had a great first month and then the typical horrendous decline. I don't know for sure but this might be the well that BEXP (if it was BEXP, and not Whiting, I forget) that is holding $2 million in royalties until the owner of those mineral rights is sorted out; the horizontal runs under the river).

Seventh: the traffic is incredible. Busy, that is. But drivers seem courteous. Compared to Portland, Oregon, where I have just come from, the traffic in Williston moves smoothly. It seems traffic signals are set correctly and there is minimum congestion at lights (by big-city standards). Long-term residents will disagree and say the traffic congestion at lights is very, very bad.

Eighth: I can't remember if I posted this. Another rant about folks complaining about roads. The roads are bad. In the rural areas, they can be incredibly bad for the the farmers. The Williston Herald recently interviewed six men and posted their photos and their comments regarding the roads. Five said they weren't that bad; the six they said they were very bad. I believe most of the six (or was it five) were truck drivers; none were farmers. All were in their 20's and 30's. But considering there are 200 active drilling rigs in North Dakota, and most of them in four counties (there are 53 counties in North Dakota), the roads (from my viewpoint) are in great shape. Again, considering there are 200 active drilling rigs in these four counties. Seventy-five percent of wells are not connected to pipelines and require trucks to get oil from oil pad to nearest pipeline or rail facility.

Ninth: I asked a long-term resident how many oil service companies he thought were located in Williston. The long-term resident is a business man who deals with businessmen throughout Williston. He is very cognizant of the commercial build in Williston. So, how many oil service companies are located in Williston? He guestimated 25. --- Schlumberger, Halliburton, Sanjel, Baker Hughes, etc., ---

The Williston Herald says there are ... drum roll .. there are more than 135 (that is not a typo, more than 135) oil service companies located not "just" in North Dakota, but located in Williston. I imagine that if you asked the average person how many oil service companies in Williston, one would get the same answer, about 25.

And each of these oil service companies generate other businesses: restaurants, theaters, automobile dealers, construction companies, etc.

Tenth: supposedly there is a yellow Lamborghini in Williston. I have not seen it. It was spotted Friday night. I will keep an eye out for it. Hopefully get a photo in front of a Williston landmark to prove it's in Williston.

11th: I understand the Halliburton complex cost $60 million; and now, Schlumberger is building a complex probably about the same size west of Williston, perhaps about the same amount of money. I could be way off on the $60 million; it was idle chatter. I know I blogged about it months ago, but probably can't find it -- ah, yes, here it is, November 16, 2011.  Only $20 million, but I think that refers to the expansion project. Now there is a brand new Halliburton complex just west of the original site (there is an old, unused (?) Farmers Union building sitting between these two Halliburton sites). So, who knows, $20 million, $60 million? Whatever.

12th: someone recently wrote to complain to me about the long coffee lines at CENEX. I assume that 99.9995 percent of folks standing in line at CENEX have a home and could brew their own coffee and place it in a thermos. There are homeless folks in Williston that would love to have as one of their many complaints that the line for coffee is too long. I spoke to a local pastor earlier today and he brought up the issue of homeless folks. Somehow I just can't get excited about long lines for coffee. I can't wait to hear from folks on this one.

13th: And just for the record: I am impressed in general with how the residents, the county commissioners, the city commissioners, the truckers, the rough necks, the workers from Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, et al, are doing their best to keep this boom under some semblance of normality, if not control. I understand the state of Idaho has moved all its residents to North Dakota to help out with all the work that needs to be done. Right now I'm sitting in McDonald's and it's filled with grandmothers and their grandchildren enjoying an afternoon out. They've learned not to come during the coffee-hour rush.

Fourteenth: I was reminded last night that sales tax receipts in Williams County exceed sales receipts in any other North Dakota county, including Cass County, home of North Dakota's largest city, Fargo, North Dakota, with a population of 106,600 with huge regional farming population, on both sides of the border, North Dakota and Minnesota. The population of Williston is 15,000. Fargo is more than 7 times larger than Williston, and yet the county where Williston is located had a higher sales tax receipt total than the county where Fargo is located. Cass County, home of Fargo, also includes West Fargo with a population of 26,000. Moorhead, Minnesota, across the river from Fargo, has a population of 38,000 and more Minnesota folks probably shop in Fargo than vice versa (sales tax difference; retail shopping opportunities, etc). When you include West Fargo (in Cass County) but not Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo is almost 9 times larger than Williston. But Williams County has a larger total sales tax receipt.

Enough for now.

Natural Gas in Water Wells -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here (regional links break early).
In the early 1900s, settlers in North Dakota tapped into shallow gases to light and heat their homes. Now geologists are conducting studies to see if these gases could be used as a resource.

“Historically, what has happened when people have developed in rural areas they found shallow gases in their water wells and used them as a resource to power lights,” North Dakota Geologist Fred Anderson said.

Anderson, who works for the Department of Mineral Resources in Bismarck, said this occurred in the 1800s in the southeastern part of the state, and there have been reports of shallow gases across the state since.

The North Dakota Geological Survey has screened 905 shallow gas occurrences in 52 out of 53 counties in North Dakota, according to a January newsletter put out by Anderson.
For more on this story, go to this post. I first posted this back in January, 2011.

Fortunately for the litigious-affected, hydrocarbons can be fingerprinted.

How Big Is The Bakken: Williston -- Population: 12,000 -- Home To More Than 350 Oil Service Companies

Link here.

Nice Human Interest Story in the Bakken -- Twelve-Year-Old Raises Rescued Canadian Geese

I doubt I would have posted this story, but unknowingly I saw these two geese out at Lewis and Clark State Park last night (Saturday, August 27, 2011).
A pair of geese named Nip and Moose quietly follow the 12-year-old Quentin Corcoran he walks across the lush greenery of this state park about 20 miles east of Williston.
We had just entered the park, when I saw these two Canadian geese near the boat ramp. They looked very out of place, among all the campers, RVs, and people. In urban areas, I'm used to seeing Canadian geese on golf courses but not at boat ramps on rivers. There's no reason for them to be that close to folks when they have the whole river to themselves, so this time these two geese seemed out of place.

And then this morning, in the Williston Herald I see that that these are two of three Canadian geese raised by a local 12-year-old boy who rescued the eggs when the rising flood waters earlier this spring would have covered the eggs:
He found the nest with six eggs in it in the beginning of June while kayaking.“I kept watching (the geese’s mother)” he said. ‘She had a nest in the pipe and the water kept rising. I knew the water would come up and flood the nest.”
.... after the mother had abandoned her eggs Quentin Corcoran brought the six eggs home; three hatched and are now big enough to be on their own. One has already flown off, and Quentin assumes it's only a matter of time before the siblings follow.

Williston Herald Has Nice Story on the 200 Active Drilling Rigs Milestone -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here to my earlier post, which has the link to the Williston Herald.

Crude By Rail -- Update and Idle Rambling -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Last night while driving home from the river, here in the Bakken, I thought about crude-by-rail again.

Then this morning, Don sends me the following Reuters story, about how that very subject:
Rail shipments of crude from the landlocked and oversupplied Midwest to refiners in the Gulf Coast appear set to surge next year, to nearly double the volume now flowing in congested pipelines between the regions.

The shipments, which were rare until this year, have already grown to around 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in recent months, industry sources told Reuters. Two rail terminals in St. James, Louisiana are receiving much of the crude, while other sites like Houston are taking additional crude.

The daily cargoes between the Midwest (PADD 2) and the Gulf Coast (PADD 3) could triple to 300,000 bpd by late 2012, industry sources said. Logistics firms unveiled plans for several new crude-by-rail terminals over the last four months.
This was also interesting:
Since the Department of Energy does not track crude-by-rail, there's no official data on how much is moving.
The government tracks everything else, I was surprised that it does not track oil shipments by rail. Be that as it may, I started posting about crude-by-rail about six months ago, I suppose. I don't have a good quantitative mind, but when one spends a lot of time in the Bakken, and even more time thinking about it, one starts to pick up on trends.

Warren Buffett is either very, very smart, or very, very lucky (I assume a 30/70 split) -- I am thinking of of his purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI) in 2010. But one has to remember, the sage of Omaha was probably stopped at BNI rail crossings all his life growing up in Nebraska. He had lots of time to think about the potentials of rail.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Talk About Blight! Blimey! Not a Bakken Story

From Carpe Diem: solar energy -- mixing sunlight with tax dollars.

I walked hundreds of hours across the beautiful English countryside in a previous life. This is truly horrendous to see what they've done to their country.
"Hundreds of acres of countryside have been carpeted in solar panels after companies from across the globe flocked to Britain to benefit from a lucrative policy on solar power.  The Feed In Tariff (FIT), launched in April last year. promised those who built solar 'farms' an inflated minimum price for the power generated which is fixed for the next 25 years.  In a rush to beat the deadline which expired earlier this month, a sudden flurry of development has seen around 20 farms spring up, covering at least 200 acres across the country.
Sad. The good news: ten years from now, they will go back to farming.

Meanwhile, I just took a drive around Williams County tonight, and it was a gorgeous night. About every section or so, there is a well or a rig. The actual pads take up very little space, and the land is still  multi-use: oil, farming, recreation. Specifically, I was out at the state park north of the river and east of Williston and the campground was filled with folks enjoying the beautiful evening; the drive out was beautiful.

I note that the land is still multi-use: oil, farming, recreation, because solar farms are not multi-use as one can see at the link. Even wind turbines allow for multi-use in general, farming and wind, although one can question whether wind farms are conducive to recreation/tourism.

For Investors: Schlumberger -- From

Link here, from
I added to my position in Schlumberger (SLB) this morning due to the stock's attractive valuation. I added at $74.28 to $74.48. Readers will recall that I cut my position back in December 2010 at about $82 per share after choosing SLB as my "High Conviction Pick" in May of 2010. The long-term bull case for SLB is:
  • Peak oil
  • Weak USD
  • Emerging markets
I have accumulated SLB over the years.  

Week 34: August 20 -- 26, 2011

EPA ready to shut down one-fifth of nation's coal capacity. Stories I can't make up.

Japan switching to costly fossil fuel.

Nabors man-camp to be increased by 150; now up to 450.

Economic impact of Minnesota's renewable energy mandate.

North Dakota high school students #2 in nation on ACT; "all" ND students take the ACT.

Williston city budget to rise dramatically.

200 active drilling rigs.

Federal govenment to okay killing of whooping cranes.

North Dakota is the new Texas.

The Bakken: 1,000 undrilled permits and 250 permits in queue to be approved.

Continental Resources Drilling Deeper into the Three Forks.

Halliburton to hire 11,000 more North American workers.

CNBC reporting from the Bakken, August 24, 2011.

Historic first: crude oil from the midwest being shipped out of the Tulsa, OK, port.

Greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas significantly lower than those emissions from coal.

Marcellus reserve estimates raised significantly.

Spanish-language training for Hispanic gardeners in Nevada. Stories I can't make up.

Record number of new permits in one day, 18; August 22, 2011.

Chili's Restaurant might open in Williston.

Williston International Airport To Close For Two Weeks in October for Repaving

Link here (regional links break early).
The FAA is wanting a signed grant prior to Sept. 16 and the tentative date for the repave is Oct. 8-15. The airport will be closed during this time. The specific dates could change based on the bid accepted and when that company would be able to complete the work.

Heart of the Bakken: Williston City Budget To Rise Dramatically -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Williston budget to increase significantly. A lot of numbers rounded in this post. See link at the Williston Herald.

Last year's budget:
  • Appropriations: $50 million
  • New employees: 7
This year's proposed budget:
  • Appropriations: $65 million
  • New employees: 24
Other data points:
  • $30 million borrowing for infrastructure bond issues
  • Infrastructure requests: $18 million for water; $17 million for sewer
  • How to pay for this: bonding, mill levy increases and/or rate increases on water and sewer
New positions requested:
  • Williston Police Department: 9 new positions (6 officers, 3 dispatchers)
  • Public Works: requesting 8 new positions
  • Auditor's Office: 2
  • Building Department: 2
  • Williston Fire Department: 1
  • Planning and Zoning: 1
  • Economic Development: 1
  • Total employees for Williston if all approved: "140 and three-quarters employees"
  • Record number of Williston employees: 141 back in the early 1980s

Friday, August 26, 2011

Banks Oil Field -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Production Data Until Wells Released from Confidential Status

23664, 657, CLR, Charlotte 3-22H, Banks, t11/12; cum 50K 6/13;

DateOil RunsMCF Sold


2019 (as of Jan 13, 2019)
35928, CLR
35915, CLR

2018 (the list is complete)
35775, CLR
35730, Oasis
35723, Oasis
35712, Whiting
35697, Oasis
35618, Oasis
35486, Oasis
35406, Oasis
35309, Oasis
35254, PNC, Oasis, Kellogg Federal  ...
35163, drl, CLR, Uhlman Federal ...
35120, drl, Oasis, Nordeng ...
35118, drl, Oasis, Kellogg Federal ....
35101, PNC, Oasis, Kellogg Federal ...
34857, drl, CLR, Uhlman Federal ...
34846, drl,  CLR, Patterson Federal ...
34811, conf, Oasis, Aagvik ..., producing, 
34746, SI/NC, Oasis, Nordeng ...
34737, 3,119, Whiting, Renbarger Federal 24-33-2H, Banks t1/19; cum --
34722, SI/NC, Oasis, Mildred Nelson ...
34592, conf, CLR, Pasadena, huge well;
34549, PNC, CLR, Pasadena ...
34471, 1,573, Whiting, Wold ...
34467, 1,624, Whiting, Wold 41-5-1HR, Banks, t12/18; cum 12K 11/18;

2017 (list is complete)
34269 SI/NC, Oasis, Muri 5198 11-4 14T, Banks, t--; cum 108K 11/18;
34242, conf, Oasis, Nelson 5298 42-33 7T, Banks, producing,
34226, SI/NC, Oasis, Nelson ...
34153, SI/NC, Oasis, Nelson 5298 14-26 11TX, Banks, no production data,
34040, conf, Oasis, Aagvik ... producing,
33863, 2,805, Equinor, Gunderson 15-22 5H-R, t9/18; cum 55K 12/18; constrained production;
33614, SI/NC, Equinor, Garmann 19-18F 8TFH, no production data,
33588, 378, Oasis, Muri 5298 14-28 9T, t7/18; cum 111K 12/18;
33266, 1,997, Whiting, Wold, Banks, t8/18; cum 49K 11/1/8;
33265, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33264, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33263, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33262, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33261, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33260, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33259, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33258, loc, Whiting, Wold,
33257, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33256, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33255, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33254, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33253, loc, Whiting, Wold Federal,
33252, 1,852, Whiting, Wold Federal 44-7-1TFH, Banks, t8/18; cum 69K 11/18; came off line 12/18;

  • 33242, 1,129, Oasis, Muri 5198 12-4 5B, Banks, t6/18; cum 183K 11//18;
  • 33241,
  • 33240,
  • 33239,
  • 33228,
  • 33129,
  • 33128,
  • 33127,
  • 33098,
  • 33097,
  • 33096,
  • 33095,
  • 33013,
  • 32995,
  • 32994,
  • 32984,
  • 32983.
  • 32982,
  • 32965,
  • 32964,
  • 32963,
  • 32962,
  • 32961, SI/NC,  Oasis, Ceynar 5298 44-32 12T, huge production;
  • 32960, loc, Oasis,
  • 32959, loc, Oasis,
  • 32958, loc, Oasis,
  • 32947, loc, Oasis,
  • 32946, loc, Oasis,
  • 32945, loc, Oasis,
  • 32944, loc, Oasis,
  • 32943, loc, Oasis,
  • 32916, loc, Oasis,
  • 32915, loc, Oasis,
  • 32914, loc, Oasis,
  • 32913, loc, Oasis,
  • 32833, loc, Whiting,
  • 32823, loc, Whiting,
  • 32822, loc, Whiting,
  • 32801, loc, Oasis, Ceynar 5298 42-32 11T,
  • 32764, SI/NC, Whiting,
  • 32691, PNC, Statoil,
  • 32690, PNC, Statoil,
  • 32689, PNC, Statoil,
  • 32688, PNC, Statoil,
  • 32562, 1,385, Whiting, Flatland 43-9-1XH, was a DUC, now confidential; producing 11K in 10/16; API 33-053-07531; FracFocus: wells fracked 9/3-16/16 -- 14.6 gallons of water; 7.5% silica by weight; t10/16; cum 294K 12/18;
  • 32561, 2,370, Whiting, Flatland 43-9-1H, was a DUC, t10/16; cum 204K 12/18;
  • 32560, 1,385, Whiting, Flatland 43-9-2H, was a DUC, t10/16; cum 201K 12/18;
  • 32559, 1,416, Whiting, Flatland 43-9HU, Banks, t10/16; cum 200K 12/18;
  • 32555, 903, Whiting, Flatland 43-9-1HU, was a DUC, t9/17; cum 132K 12/18;
2015 (the list is complete)
  • 32415, conf, CLR, Polk Federal 4-33H1,
  • 32414, conf, CLR,
  • 32413, conf, CLR, 
  • 32412, conf, CLR,
  • 32289, conf, Equinor/Statoil,
  • 32270, conf, Equinor/Statoil,
  • 32260, conf, Equinor/Statoil,
  • 32169, conf, CLR,
  • 32168, conf, CLR,
  • 32167, conf, CLR,
  • 32166, conf, CLR,
  • 32110, loc, CLR,
  • 32109, loc, CLR,
  • 32009, PNC, Whiting,
  • 32008, PNC, Whiting,
  • 32007, PNC, Whiting,
  • 31911, 931, Equinor/Statoil, Enderud 9-4 6H, Banks, t8/18; cum 71K 11/18;
  • 31910, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, 
  • 31909, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil,
  • 31908, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil,
  • 31838, SI/NC, CLR,
  • 31797, conf, Whiting,
  • 31796, conf, Whiting,
  • 31795, conf, Whiting,
  • 31573, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31572, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31523, loc, CLR, Steele Federal
  • 31522, loc, CLR, Steele Federal
  • 31521, loc, CLR, Steele Federal
  • 31520, loc, CLR, Steele Federal
  • 31519, SI/NC, CLR, Lansing
  • 31518, SI/NC, CLR, Lansing
  • 31517, SI/NC, CLR, Lansing
  • 31516, SI/NC, CLR, Lansing
  • 31508, SI/NC, CLR, Akron Federal
  • 31507, dry, CLR, Charlotte 7-22H,
  • 31466, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Topaz
  • 31465, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Topaz
  • 31365, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Topaz
  • 31364, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31363, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Topaz
  • 31362, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31361, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Topaz
  • 31360, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31359, conf, Equinor/Statoil, Samson
  • 31150, SI/NC, Whiting, Loomer
  • 31140, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl
  • 31139, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl
  • 31116, PNC, Whiting, Chameleon State
  • 31115, PNC, Whiting, Chameleon State
  • 31114, PNC, Whiting, Chameleon State 31-16-2TFH,
  • 31113, PNC, Whiting, Chameleon State
  • 31112, SI/NC, Whiting, Chameleon State
  • 30977, loc, CLR, Uhlman Federal
  • 30976, loc, CLR, Uhlman Federal
  • 30975, loc, CLR, Pittsburgh
  • 30974, loc, CLR, Pittsburgh
  • 30966, 2,466, CLR, Pittsburgh3-7H, Banks, t4/18; cum 304K 7/19;
  • 30965, 2,293, CLR, Uhlman Federal 2-7H1, t4/18; cum 306K 7/19;
  • 30964, 3,049, CLR, Uhlman Federal 3-7H, t4/18; cum 226K 7/19; 56K in one month, 5/18;
  • 30944, 4,040, Statoil, Richard 8-5 XE 1H, Banks, t8/16; cum 421K 7/19;
  • 30943, IA/2,517, Statoil, Richard 8-56TFH, Banks, t9/16; cum 226K 4/19; off line as of 4/19; remains off line 7/19;
  • 30942, 2,206, Statoil, Richard 8-54TFH, Banks, t9/16; cum 330K 5/19; off line as of 5/19; remains off line 7/19;
  • 30625, SI/NC, Statoil, Banks State 16-21 7H,
  • 30624, SI/NC, Statoil, Banks State 16-21 6TFH,
2014 (the list is complete)
  • 30254, 1,302, CLR, Monroe 8-2H,
  • 30253, 3,225, CLR, Pasadena 6-2H1, Banks, t10/17; cum 391K 7/19;
  • 30252, SI/NC, CLR, Monroe 7-2H, 
  • 30251, SI/NC, CLR, Monroe 6-2H1,
  • 30206, 765, CLR, Boulder 3-4H1, t6/15; cum 125K 10/16;
  • 30205, 1,542, CLR, Boulder 2-4H, t6/15; cum 161K 10/16;
  • 30168, SI/NC, CLR, Syracuse 7-23H,
  • 30161, SI/NC, CLR, Chicago 5-26H,
  • 30160, SI/NC, CLR, Syracuse 6-23H1,
  • 30159, SI/NC, CLR, Chicago 6-26H1,
  • 30158, SI/NC, CLR, Syracuse 5-23H,
  • 30064, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Enderud 9-4 8TFH,
  • 30063, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Enderud 9-4 5H,
  • 30062, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Banks State 16-21 8TFH,
  • 30061, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Banks State 16-21 5H,
  • 30060, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Banks State 16-21 XE 11TFH,
  • 29798, SI/NC, CLR, Chicago 7-26H,
  • 29685, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Richard 8-5 XW 1TFH,
  • 29684, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 XW 1TFH,
  • 29683, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Richard 8-5 7H,
  • 29682, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Richard 8-5 3TFH,
  • 29681, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Richard 8-5 8TFH,
  • 29680, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Richard 8-5 5H,
  • 29612, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 7H,
  • 29611, SI/NC, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 8TFH,
  • 29610, 3,651, Equinor/Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 5H, Banks, t12/16; cum 243K 12/18;
  • 28737, 1,423, CLR, Uhlman 1-7H, t1/15; cum 438K 12/18;
  • 28605, 929, CLR, Jamestown Federal 7-17H, t3/15; cum 152K 6/16;
  • 28604, 1,102, CLR, Jamestown Federal 6-17H, t1/15; cum 202K 6/16;
  • 28203, 1,040, CLR, Jamestown Federal 3-17H1, t3/15; cum 149K 6/16;
  • 28202, 1125, CLR, Jamestown Federal 2-17H, t3/15; cum 201K 6/16;
  • 27824, 3,659, Statoil, Maston 34-27 7TFH, t4/15; cum 149K 6/16;
  • 27814, 3,838, Statoil, Maston 34-27 2H, t4/15; cum 207K 6/16;
  • 27813, 3,713, Statoil, Maston 34-27 3TFH, t4/15; cum 130K 6/16;
  • 27812, 3,896, Statoil, Maston 34-27 4H, t4/14; cum 96K 10/15;
  • 27811, 2,879, Statoil, Maston 34-27 5TFH, t4/15; cum 64K 10/15;
  • 27810, 2,940, Statoil, Maston 34-27 8TFH, t4/15; cum 51K 10/15;
  • 27809, 2,232, Statoil, Maston 34-27 6H, t4/15; cum 76K 10/15;28737
  • 27551, 896, CLR, Steele Federal 4-24AH1, Banks, t5/15; cum 16K 10/15;
  • 27550, 1,239, CLR, Steele Federal 3-24Ah, Banks, t5/15; cum 40K 10/15;
  • 27549, 848, CLR, Lansing 4-25AH1, Banks, t5/15; cum 120K 10/16;
  • 27548, 997, CLR, Lansing 3025AH, Banks, t5/15; cum 62K 10/15;
  • 27421, SI/NC, CLR, Garfield 4-5H, Banks,
  • 27420, SI/NC, CLR, Garfield Federal 5-5H1, Banks,
  • 27419, SI/NC, CLR, Garfield Federal 6-5H, Banks,
  • 27418, SI/NC, CLR, Garfield Federal 7-5H1, Banks,
  • 27343, 816, CLR, Polk Federal 3-33H1, Banks, t5/15; cum 133K 10/16;
  • 27342, 973, CLR, Polk Federal 2-33H, Banks, t51/5; cum 76K 10/15;
  • 27114, 709, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 2T2, Three Forks B2, t7/14; cum 107K 10/15;
  • 27113, 658, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 3T, t7/14; cum 123K 10/15;
  • 27112, 506, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 4T2, Banks, 13-ft target zone; gas units max at 1,254 units; methane gas (characteristic gas of second bench); drilling days, 20; 36 stages; 3.7 million lbs sand/ceramic; t7/14; cum 104K 6/16;
  • 27111, 1,071, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 5B, Banks, t7/14; cum 154K 10/15;
  • 27110, 612, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-13 6T, Banks, t7/14; cum 62K 1/15;
  • 27109, 1,668, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 7T3, Three Forks, Third Bench; Banks, 36 stages; 3.8 million lbs sand/ceramic, t7/14; cum 50K 10/16; the geology report does a great job describing the middle Bakken, the Pronghorn, the first 3 benches of the Three Forks (note, Pronghorn was above the Three Forks first three benches); background gas units were very low (147 - 249);
  • 27108, 1,469, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 8B, Banks, t8/14; cum 151K 10/15;
  • 26453, 989, CLR, Jamestown Federal 5-17H, t7/15; cum 70K 10/15;
  • 26452, 1,074, CLR, Jamestown Federal 4-17H1, t6/15; cum 152K 10/16;
  • 26174, 1,324, Hess, SC-5WX-152-99-0310H-1, t6/14; cum 206K 10/16;
  • 26173, 1,066, Hess, SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-3, t5/14; cum 157K 10/16;
  • 26172, 511, Hess, SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-2, t5/14; cum 80K 10/16;
  • 26171, 1,299, Hess, SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-1, t5/14; cum 183K 10/16;
  • 26158, 3,771, Statoil, Johnston 7-6 3TFH, t11/14 cum 126K 10/16;
  • 26157, 3,869, Statoil, Johnston 7-6 4H, t51/5; cum 249K 10/16;
  • 26156, 3,657, Statoil, Johnston 7-6 5TFH, t11/14; cum 137K 10/16;
  • 26155, 4,076, Statoil, Johnston 7-6 6H, t11/14; cum 200K 10/16;
  • 26129, 2,525, Oasis, Lefty 5200 14-30 3B, Camp, t4/14; cum 121K 10/15;
  • 25859, 3,802, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 6TFH, Banks, t3/16; cum 32K 6/16; only 19 days in 6/16;
  • 25858, 5,010, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 5H, Banks, t3/16; um 78K 6/16;
  • 25857, 4,545, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 4H, Banks, 41 stages, 8 million lbs, t4/16; cum 164K 10/16;
  • 25856, 3,645, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 7H, Banks, t3/16; cum 72K 10/16;
  • 25855, 3,115, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 3TFH, Banks, t4/16; cum 72K 10/16;
  • 25854, 3,098, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 2TFH, Banks, t4/16; cum 318K 11/18;
  • 25827, 970, CLR, Akron 5-34H1, Banks, t3/14; cum 173K 2/16;
  • 25826, 1,142, CLR, Akron 6-34H1, t3/14; cum 205K 10/16;
  • 25804, IA/1,837, Whiting/KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-29-1H3, Banks, t3/14; cm 115K 1/18; off line as of 1/18;
  • 25803, 1,573, Whiting/KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-8-15H3, t3/14; cum 107K 10/16;
  • 25802, 1,944, Whiting/KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-9-15H, t3/14; cum 145K 10/16;
  • 24908, 397, CLR, Charlotte 6-22H2, t7/13; cum 86K 10/16;
  • 24844, 334/IA as of 1/16, CLR, Wahpeton 7-16H3, t6/14; cum 22K 2/16;
  • 24843, 1,050, CLR, Wahpeton 6-16H, t6/14; cum 135K 10/16;
  • 24842, 411, CLR, Wahpeton 5-16H-2, t6/14; cum 46K 10/16;
  • 24840, 382, CLR, Wahpeton 4-16H1, t7/14; cum 59K 10/16;
  • 24838, AB-->TA, CLR, Wahpeton 3-16H3, problems with the well; has not yet been fracked (posted 11/14)
  • 24837, 652, CLR, Wahpeton 2-16H2, t6/14; cum 81K 10/16;
  • 24810, 550, CLR, Wahpeton 8-16H1, t6/14; cum 103K 10/16;
  • 24809, 1,786, CLR, Wahpeton 9-16H, t5/14; cum 175K 10/16;
  • 24808, AB/366, CLR, Wahpeton 10-16H2, t6/14; cum 19K 8/15;
  • 24807, 354, CLR, Wahpeton 11-16H1, t6/14; cum 75K 10/16;
  • 24806, AB/1,031, CLR, Wahpeton 12-16H3, t5/14; cum 13K 8/15;
  • 24805, 1,612, CLR, Wahpeton 12-16H, t5/14; cum 143K 10/16;
  • 24804, AB/1,031, CLR, Wahpeton 14-16H2, t5/14; cum 24K 8/15;
2012: 82 oil and gas permits; some selected ones --

A 4-well pad in section 7-152-98:
  • 23990, 3,657, Statoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 2TFH, Banks, t8/13; cum 179K 2/16;
  • 23991, 4,071, Statoil/BEXP, Johnston 7-6 2TFH, Banks, t8/13; cum 222K 2/16;
  • 23992, 5,417, Statoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 7H, Banks, t8/13; cum 271K 2/16;
  • 23993, 3,888, Statoil/BEXP, Johnston 7-6 7H, Banks, t10/13; cum 233K 2/16; still flowing as of 2/16;
Two multi-well pads in section 8-152-98:
  • 21814, PA/dry, Statoil/BEXP, Cheryl 17-20 1H, Banks,
  • 21815, 4,680, Statoil/BEXP, Richard 8-5 1H, Banks, t4/13; cum 278K 2/16;
  • 22322, 4,630, Statoil/BEXP, Cheryl 17-20 2TFH, Banks, t4/13; cum 222K 2/16;
  • 22806, 3,464, Statoil/BEXP, Cheryl 17-20 3TFH, Banks, t2/13; cum 160K 2/16; still flowing as of 2/16;
  • 22807, 3,793, Statoil/BEXP, Richard 8-5 2H, Banks, t4/13; cum 230K 2/16; still flowing as of 2/16;
  • 22808, 4,439 Statoil/BEXP, Cheryl 17-20 4H, Banks, t2/13; cum 291K 2/16; GL
Multi-wells pads in section 9-152-98:
A 5-well pad:
  • 19876, 2,879, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 1H, Banks, t10/11; cum 314K 11/18; F as of 11/18; like several wells in this area, off line as of 9/17; some production seen 9/18;
  • 20630, 3,179, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Banks State 16-21 1H, Banks, t9/11; cum 375 like several wells in this area, off line as of 9/17; some production seen 9/18; like several wells in this area, off line as of 9/17; some production seen 9/18;
  • 20631, 3,166, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 2H, Banks, t9/11; cum 305Equinor/ F as 0f 11/18; like several wells in this area, off line as of 9/17; some production seen 9/18;
  • 24243, PNC, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 3TFH, Banks,
  • 24244, 1,166, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Banks State 16-21 2TFH, Banks, t11/18; cum 4K after 3 days;
A 3-well pad:
  • 22938, 2,945, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Banks State 16-21 4TFH, Banks, s9/11/12; td reached 10/3/12 (less than a month); 1 - 3' initial flare; t5/13; cum 195K 11/18;
  • 22939, 3,042, Equonor/Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 4TFH, Banks, s7/24/12; vertical depth not reached until Sept 9/5/12; td 10/14/12; gas units "tame," and no flare; t7/13; cum 232K 11/18;GL
  • 22940, 4,295, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Banks State 16-21 3H, Banks, s8/7/12; vertical depth reached on 8/13/12; td 10/27/12; moderate gas; 2 - 5' flare, t5/13; cum 260K 11/18; like several wells in this area, off line as of 9/17; some production seen 9/18;
A 3-well pad in section 15-152-98:
  • 22839, PA, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Gunderson 15-22 5H, Banks, gas units up to 2,400; and 4 - 7' flare;
  • 22577, 3,129, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Gunderson 15-22 4TFH, Banks, gas tame, 2 - 4' flare; t4/14; cum 230K 11/18; still flowing as of 11/18; small jump in production;
  • 22578, 3,906, Equinor/Statoil, Gunderson 15-22 3H, Banks, t3/13; cum --, gas units up to 2,200; 4 - 6' flare; t3/13; cum 311K 11/18;
Last Banks permit in 2012:
  • 24414, 2,856, Statoil/BEXP, Garmann 19-18 4TFH, Banks, t2/14; cum 178K 11/18;
First Banks permit in 2012:
  • 22235, 539, CLR, Syracuse 2-23H, t6/12; cum 254K 11/18; 
2011: 31 oil and gas permits

2010: 27 oil and gas permits

2009: no permits issued for locations in Banks oil field (at least in my database)


November 27, 2013: Oasis reveals permits for seven wells in the Banks field which were acquired from Zenergy in a deal earlier in the year

January 18, 2013: section 16-152-99 to have 8 wells sited in it; names of wells suggest CLR will be targeting the various benches of the Three Forks; 

January 7, 2013: announced today --
  • 20714, 3,884, Statoil/BEXP, Johnston 7-6 1H, Banks, t11/12; cum 357K 11/18;
January 7, 2013: it appears that one of the first wells in Banks oil field in the current boom was in 2010.
  • 18651, 462, Oasis/Zenergy, Berquist 34-27H, Banks, t8/10; cum 377K 11/18; jump in production; see this post;
The Banks Oil Field

The Banks oil field is a large oil field for North Dakota. It is 104 sections. My hunch is that it has only recently been this big.

Back on March 25, 2010, at the NDIC hearing, Panther Energy oil company requested that the Banks field be extended by 16 1280-acre spacing units:
  • Case 12302: Panther, extending the Banks-Bakken Pool to create sixteen (16) 1280-acre units with one horizontal each [Note: Panther Energy Company, LLC, has only one permit/well in North Dakota - as of 02/14:
  • 17684, PNC, Panther Energy Company, LLC, Norman 2H-16, Banks, status date: 8/10
The Banks oil field is on the south side of the river, southeast of Williston. It is hemmed in by some great oil fields, and this field (the Banks) also looks like it is going to be a great field. The two Zenergy Berquist wells are in this field.

The field is pretty much owned by BEXP, CLR, and Zenergy. KOG also has a few wells in the Banks oil field.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no villages or towns in this field.

December 19, 2011: Statoil/BEXP just reported a great IP for a well on a 3-well pad.

Wells of Interest
Same pad: 
  • 20630, 3,179, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Banks State 16-21 1H, Banks, Bakken.  Right in the bull's eye of the Bakken, northeast McKenzie County; s5/11; t9/11; off line since 9/17 but some production10/18; still flowing as of 11/18; cum 375K 11/18; on same pad as:
  • 19876, 2,879, Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 1H, Banks, 36K in first month of production (less than 30 days of production); last of the three to report; t10/11; cum 314K 11/18; 39-stage frac; 4.1 million lbs sand frac including 2.5 million lbs ceramic; GL; off line 9/17; some production 10/18;
  • 20631, 3,166, Statoil/BEXP, Enderud 9-4 2H, Banks. [As of January 5, 2011 -- I do not see completion/frack data.]; t9/11; GL; cum 294K 2/16; -- 80K in first 4.5 months
March 6, 2012 [another 10 wells added on January 6, 2013]: In addition to those three wells on one pad, there is currently a huge amount of activity going on in the Banks oil field, with five rigs in the field itself and another four or more in the immediate area, some of them on the edge of the Banks field. The following fifteen wells (various stages of completion) are all within a couple of miles of each other. Note that even the well drilled back in 2010 is still without a pump, and despite it's low IP, has done well (#19126):
  • 23388, 3,375, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 3TFH, Banks, t6/13; cum 300K 11/18;
  • 23387, 5,287, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 4H, Banks,  t6/13; cum 273K 11/18;
  • 23386, 3,823, Equinor/Statoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 5TFH, Banks, t6/13; cum 13K in first 9 days; cum 212K 11/18;
  • 23385, 5,070, SEquinor/tatoil/BEXP, Beaux 18-19 6H, Banks, t6/13; cum 299K 11/18; 7 days to drill the lateral; I did not see completion data; 31 swell packers planned;
  • 24335, PNC, CLR, Lansing 3-25H, Banks,
  • 24334, PNC, CLR, Lansing 4-25H, Banks,
  • 24333, PNC, CLR, Steele Federal 3-24H, Banks, 
  • 24332, PNC, CLR, Steele Federal 4-24H, Banks,
  • 23051, 505, CLR, Syracuse 4-23H, Banks, t10/12; cum 301K 11/18;
  • 23050, 954, CLR, Syracuse 3-23H, Banks, t10/12; cum 302K 11/18;
  • 23049, 334,  CLR, Chicago 4-26H, Banks, 4 sections, t5/13; cum 259K 11/18;
  • 23048, 606,  CLR, Chicago 3-26H, Banks, t1/13; cum 280K 11/18;
  • 23610, 731, CLR, Akron 2-27AH, Banks, t5/13; cum 296K 11/18;
  • 23609, 360, CLR, Akron 3-27AH, Banks, t5/13; cum 200K 11/18;  
  • 23608, 1,303, CLR, Charlotte 5-22H, Banks, t6/13; cum 233K 11/18;
  • 23664, 657, CLR, Charlotte 3-22H, Banks, t11/12; cum 171K 11/18;
  • 23612, 673, CLR, Charlotte 4-22H, Banks, t7/13; cum 155K 11/18;
  • 23611, 988, CLR, Akron 4-34H, Banks, t6/13; cum 296K 11/18;
  • 22244, PNC, CLR, Wahpeton 3-21H, Banks, Bakken,
  • 22245, PNC, CLR, Wahpeton 2-21H, Banks, Bakken,
  • 21128, 692, CLR, Charlotte 2-22H, Banks, Bakken; t10/11; cum 235K 11/18;
  • 19918, 496, CLR, Charlotte 1-22H, Banks, Bakken; t6/11; cum 338K 11/18;
  • 19637, 443, CLR, Akron 1-27H, Banks, Bakken, t5/11; cum 325K 11/18;
  • 22423, PNC, CLR, Akron 2-27H, Banks, Bakken,
  • 22424, PNC, CLR, Akron 3-27H, Banks, Bakken,
  • 22235, 539, CLR, Syracuse 2-23H, Banks, Bakken, t6/12; cum 253K 11/18;
  • 22375, 814, CLR, Chicago 2-26H, Banks, Bakken, t6/12; cum 260K 11/18;
  • 19740, 646, CLR, Syracuse 1-23H, Banks, Bakken, t7/11; cum 455K 11/18;
  • 19590, 540, CLR, Chicago 1-26H, Banks, Bakken, t5/11; cum 348K 11/18;
  • 22273, 609, CLR, Steele 2-24H, Banks, Bakken, t5/12; cum 243K 11/18;
  • 22155, 553, CLR, Lansing 2-25H, Banks, Bakken, t5/12; cum 199K 11/18;
  • 19915, 743, CLR, Steele 1-24H, Banks, Bakken, t8/12; cm 368K 11/18;
  • 19126, 76, CLR, Lansing 1-25H, Banks, Bakken, t11/10; cum 385K 11/18; 30 stages; 2.8 million lbs sand and ceramics; huge jump 11/18;
  • 22729, 2,008, Equinor/Statoil, Alger State 16-21 2TFH, Banks, t3/13; cum 192K 11/18; flowing; still flowing as of 2/16;