Friday, October 7, 2011

Truck Reliever Route -- The Bypass Around Williston -- Starting to Take Shape -- Bakken, North Dakota


November 29, 2012: Update --from The Bismarck Tribune -- Williston's truck reliever route just hit a speed bump. Huge speed bump. Back to square one.
An amazing array of archaeological features ended hopes of building a bypass around northwest Williston preferred by officials because it’s shortest, closest and cheapest.
The State Department of Transportation built a temporary northwest bypass earlier this year, but a preferred route for a permanent one has been fairly well stopped in its tracks by the discovery of more than 8,000 ancient archaeological features, including burials and cemeteries along both sides of the route.
This is too big a deal for the DOT to overcome. Oh, well. It looks like the temporary route is going to be a bit more permanent.
Original Post

Environmental impact studies will delay building the proposed Truck Reliever Route.

But wouldn't you know it? There's already state and county roads in place that would "fill the bill."


The "best route" for the TRR would require a few miles of new road. But environmental impact studies would take "five months minimum" and thus no chance of the route being completed by 2012.

The Good News

The good news is that the route is practically already there.

The Williston Herald has a nice graphic of the proposed temporary route (now requires a password/subscription).

Except for two curves on the west portion of the TRR, it's practically as good as the "permanent" solution. Sometimes one gets the feeling that folks are overthinking the problem.

From my perspective, instead of building a new road on the west side to straighten out the curves, the best highway engineering minds need to be concentrating on designing three intersections:  the intersection at "2&85" at 4-mile corner on the west side; the intersection where the TRR intersects State Highway 2 north of Williston; and, the intersection of 1804 and County Road 9 on the east side. The intersections are going to be the challenge, not the curves.

On a completely different note: funding.

From the Herald story yesterday:
Commissioner David Montgomery said he was concerned that if County Road 9 is used as the east bypass, the county will be in a bind to maintain the road.

Commission Chairman Dan Kalil said the new truck route is a three-way effort between the county, city and state.

"We can't go into this bypass thinking all of the expenses will be paid by the county," Kalil said.
Question: what do the following highways and bridges have in common: New Jersey turnpike; Boston's I-90; Kansas I-35; Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and many, many others?

They're toll roads. Unless there's some law that says they can't do it, I don't understand why they don't make the Truck Reliever Road a toll road. Local farmers get free use, of course, but after that, there's a toll. It would certainly help keep Sunday drivers off the road, which the truckers would appreciate.

I'm not talking about a punitive toll. I'm talking about a fair-use toll to help pay for the road. Again, this is not rocket science, unless of course there is some law that says toll roads in North Dakota are illegal. 

I used to hate toll roads, but they have their place. And the Truck Reliever Route would be one such place.

Eleven(11) New Permits -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, October 7, 2011 --

Operators: BR, CLR, OXY USA (4), Oasis, Petro-Hunt, SM, Hess, Slawson

Fields: Charlson, Simon Butte, Cottonwood, Murphy Creek, Wheelock, Ross, Fayette

CLR has a wildcat in Williams; Petro-Hunt has a wildcat in Williams; SM has a wildcat in Williams.

OXY USA has permits for a 2-well pad.

Of four wells released from confidential list, two reported IPs:
  • 19544, 830, Denbury Onshore, Gilbertson 34-26NEH, McKenzie, Bakken
  • 19872, 108, CLR, MPHU 43-9H, Bowman, Red River (not a Bakken)
Four other wells were completed and reported IPs, including
  • 18712, 1,391, Slawson, Athena 1-36H, Mountrail, Bakken
All wells will be reported elsewhere.

Transfer of permits don't always catch my attention, but these two do. Petro-Hunt is transferring operations of the following wells to Canadian Crescent Point Energy US Corp, both in Williams County, and both remain confidentail:
  • 20564, Axness Farm 158-100-17B-20-1H, wildcat
  • 20177, Stockman 159-99-32D-29-1H, Burg field

Continental Resources (CLR) Reports Some Nice Wells -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

If I have time later, I will expand on the following, but for now, look at these IPs (boe -- oil and natural gas) that Continental Resources is reporting (I have not checked all well files to see which ones were Three Forks):
  • 20210, 803, Whitman 2-34H, Oakdale: 2,888 boe; t9/11; cum 1.528 million bbls 1/17;
  • 20211, 263, Hawkinson 3-27H, Oakdale, 1910 boe; t9/11; cum 382K 1/17;
  • 20208, 960, Hawkinson 2-27H, Oakdale, 1,694 boe; t9/11; cum 434K 1/17;
  • 20212, 482, Whitman 3-34H, Oakdale, fracked?; t9/11; cum 103K 1/17; no evidence this was fracked
  • 19616, 728, Colter 2-14H, Bear Creek, 1,844 boe; t7/11; cum 337K 1/17; Three Forks
  • 20034, 524, Debrecen 1-3H, Bel, Three Forks, 1,693 boe; t7/11; cum 237K 1/17;
  • 20538, 352, Calhou 1-3H, Pembroke, 1,519 boe; t8/11; cum 273K 1/17;
  • 20265, 733, Rutledge 1-32H, Jim Creek, 1,425 boe; t911; cum 105K 1/17;
  • 20357, 629, Fuller 1-2H, Little Knife, 1,401 boe, t9/11; cum 214K 1/17;
  • 19534, 579, Lawrence 2-13H, North Tioga, 1,352 boe; t10/11; cum 360K 1/17;
  • 20205, 859, Rennerfeldt 1-30H, Brookyn, 1,346 boe; t8/11; cum 271K 1/17;
  • 18642, 238, Inga 2-12H, Haystack Butte, 1,300 boe; t9/11; cum 233K 1/17;
  • 19536, 986, Lawrence 3-13H, North Tioga, 1,296 boe; t10/11; cum 338K 1/17;
  • 19897, 681, Sivertson 1-9H, Elidah, 1,286 boe; t911; cum 367K 1/17;
  • 19191, 402, McCoy 2-18H, Northwest McGregor, 1,249 boe; t7/11; cum 190K 1/17;
  • 20638, 591, Kuhn 1-12H, Camp, 1,236 boe; t8/11; cum 400K 1/17;
More needs to be said about the well that was not fracked; if it is yet to be fracked or if they will see what this well can do without being fracked.  Fracking can double the cost of the well.

Due to technical problems, very little posting for awhile.

There may be some posting.

Hearts and Prayers Out to Family and Friends of James Hladky -- Owner of Cyclone Drilling -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
Haakon County Sheriff Mel Smith says the helicopter crashed in a pasture a mile south of Philip early Saturday afternoon. Sixty-four-year-old pilot James Hladky was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hladky was the owner of Cyclone Drilling Inc. He was alone in the helicopter. Smith says Hladky was flying to Winner to see a friend.
Very sad.

Another link here
One of Gillette’s best known business owners and perhaps Campbell County’s most generous community leader, James Hladky, age 64, passed away unexpectedly this weekend.

Oukrop and Wock -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Elsewhere folks are asking about Oukrop and Wock. These are two Fidelity wells in Stark County; interestingly both are short laterals. One is  in the very interesting Dutch Henry Butte field. The Oukrop is just outside of Dickinson city limits on the southwest side. Wock is located in Dutch Henry Butte oil field. Dutch Henry Butte is a small field (20 sections) northwest of Dickinson.  Dutch Henry Butte's claim to fame is a DRY hole (20449, Whiting, Marsh 21-16TFH); however, Whiting has a rig back at that site and is drilling again. [See first comment below.]

But I digress. Here are the numbers for the Wouk and the Oukrop.

NDIC File No: 19275  County: STARK

Well Type: OG Well Status: A Status Date: 4/28/2011 Wellbore type: HORIZONTAL
Location: SWSW 11-140-97
Current Well Name: WOCK 14-11HTotal Depth: 15158 Field: DUTCH HENRY BUTTE
Spud Date(s): 12/23/2010
Pool: BAKKEN Comp: 4/28/2011 Status: AL Date: 8/13/2011 Spacing: SEC
Pool: BAKKEN Cum Oil: 22432 Cum MCF Gas: 5624 Cum Water: 9408
Production Test Data:
IP Test Date: 5/7/11  Pool: Bakken   IP Oil: 193   IP MCF: 56  IP Water 95
Cum 65K 6/12


NDIC File No: 19277 County: STARK CTB No: 119277

Well Type: OG Well Status: A Status Date: 2/2/2011 Wellbore type: HORIZONTAL
Location: SWSE 34-139-97
Current Well Name: OUKROP 34-34H
Total Depth: 14738 Field: WILDCAT
Spud Date(s): 11/18/2010
Completion Data
Pool: BAKKEN Comp: 2/2/2011 Status: AL Date: 4/29/2011
Cumulative Production Data
Pool: BAKKEN Cum Oil: 13612 Cum MCF Gas: 4466 Cum Water: 20536
Production Test Data
IP Test Date: 2/9/2011 Pool: BAKKEN IP Oil: 118 IP MCF: 44 IP Water: 118
Cum 24K 6/12

Friday Morning Links -- Including My Favorite: More Global Warming -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

1. Yankees out of the race for this year.

2. Harold Hamm expects Continental Resources to meet "top end" forecasts for entire 2011, based on strong third quarter.
Independent oil and natural gas company Continental Resources expects to meet the upper-end of its production-growth forecast for 2011 on the back of a strong third quarter.

"We significantly accelerated production growth in the third quarter, especially in the North Dakota Bakken," CEO Harold Hamm said in a statement.
3. More on the Bakken story, same press release, different source:
We significantly accelerated production growth in the third quarter, especially in the North Dakota Bakken," Mr. Hamm said. "At this point we are focused on improving operating efficiencies and getting additional gathering systems in place so we can minimize truck traffic, deliver more of our natural gas to market, and deliver our oil production more efficiently." In the next two months, additional gas processing plants are expected to be completed and put into service. The Company is also evaluating the use of portable gas turbine generators that would consume excess gas and produce electricity.

Continental is the most active operator in the Bakken, with 24 operated drilling rigs and five dedicated fracture-stimulation crews active in the Bakken play.
4. Evidence of more global warming:
Heavy snow and unsafe road conditions prompted the temporary closure of Yellowstone National Park's South Entrance and Craig Pass between Old Faithful and West Thumb as well as U.S. Highway 212 over the Beartooth Pass on Thursday.
This was predicted by Al Gore: global warming would bring much more precipitation to areas such as the Rocky Mountains.

By the way, speaking of weather forecasts (and, of course we weren't as purists will write in to tell me that global warming is climate change and not weather change; whatever): wakling down Main Street in Williston I stopped in at a little antique shop, and had a lovely discussion with a life-long Williston resident.

She mentioned that her friend, the neighborhood weather forecaster said that if a particular caterpillar (the bug, not the heavy equipment) is black it will be a very tough winter. She said her friend said the caterpillars are "pitch black" this autumn.

5. Huge story here regarding daily production. Read this alongside the Harold Hamm quote above.

6. Job creation: 103,000. Significantly better than expected. And then this, buried deep in the article:
Striking Verizon workers back on the job fed much of the gains as 45,000 of the telecom giant's employees came off the picket lines and the unemployment rolls.
Somehow that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence with regard to a) the economy; and, b) how writers interpret jobs data. I don't know how one can call it "job creation" when it is simply a striking worker returning to the location where he/she tells the IRS he/she works.

43,000 of the 103,000 "created" jobs come from striking workers returning to "work." I cannot make this stuff up. By the way, did anyone notice a degradation in Verizon service when 43,000 of their employees were not at work? I don't recall any news stories on such.

Here's a story on the unemployment figures. The writer notes, as I did several weeks ago, that automobile sales are up. Unfortunately, he comes to the wrong explanation.

7. Meanwhile, even if the economy is stagnant, and even if the housing market is a bust, Cook County (Chicago) seems not to have noticed. Property taxes for some have jumped "a whopping 27 percent." Obviously this was out of the ordinary (across the county, the new rates were only 2.7 percent higher), so there was something peculiar about this 27 percent jump which was not explained.

Huge, Huge, Huge -- I Was Going to Post This Later But It's Too Important -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

Read the third paragraph of that story:
North Dakota was producing 440,000 barrels a day in August, according to Helms. While some counties may not produce as much as others, Helms predicted that North Dakota could produce up to 800,000 barrels a day by the end of 2011. [July production: 423,550 bopd; June production: 384,809 bopd]
Then the next paragraph:
The United States produces 5.5 million barrels a day. Helms said North Dakota will contribute close to 15 percent of the country’s oil when it reaches 800,000 barrels a day.
One of the reasons I started this blog (which I don't talk about much) is that when I first read about the Bakken, there were folks who said it was being over-hyped and would never provide much energy for the nation as a whole. I agreed. I knew that locally this was a huge story, but I did not think that the Bakken would move the needle nationally. But 15 percent -- yes, in some circles that is moving the needle. And this is oil found predominantly in four counties, although Stark will soon be added to the mix, along with a few others in the southwest part of the state.

I assume we will see the October "Director's Cut" early next week. Maybe Monday.

For Investors Only -- Be Ready For Some Major Announcements Regarding Mergers -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I have no specific information but two articles caught my attention today. One article was sent to me by Don -- now I have to find it again, to link it.

A few minutes ago I ran across this article: "Oil price slide may hit small oil companie's spending plans for 2012."
An unexpected drop in oil prices is beginning to give small and medium-sized oil companies pause, even though larger oil companies seem unfazed by it.

Prices for West Texas Intermediate oil, the benchmark for U.S. crude, which for most of 2011 has traded above $100 a barrel, prompting a drilling frenzy, have dropped to around $79 a barrel amid fears of a new dip into recession. The decline is already becoming an issue for relatively small energy companies, which depend more on the short-term cash flow they receive from high commodity prices to finance their future drilling plans. This week, small independent oil-and-gas producer Denbury Resources (DNR) said it plans to reduce its 2012 capital expenditures in order to protect its balance sheet amid concerns of lower cash flows. The Texas firm has a market capitalization of $4.4 billion.
Here's the article Don sent me that I was looking for: "Worst Oil Industry Slump Since Lehman May Herald Takeovers" from Bloomberg.
The oil and gas industry’s worst slump since the financial crisis heralds a surge of takeovers for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Sanford C. Bernstein Co. as Asia buyers put $150 billion in cash to work.

The market valuation of U.K. and North American exploration company reserves has dropped 23 percent this year to the lowest since 2008, Bloomberg data shows, while Brent crude prices gained 8 percent to $102 a barrel. The dislocation between crude and company valuations is “extreme” and may lead to twice as many deals as usual, Goldman said last month.
And this little nugget:
Companies with fields large enough to be of interest to national oil companies and with assets mostly in one country are the most attractive, Goldman said.
How about oil fields large enough ... with assets mostly in one state. Smile.

Adversity always presents opportunity.