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.