Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Computers Cost Twice What A Non-Apple Computer Costs

Link here.


From the Drudge Report -- US Stimulus Money Going to Finland

Link here.
With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

"There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle," the car company's founder and namesake told ABC News. "They don't exist here."
I can honestly say nothing surprises me any more with this administration, and further, I no longer care. If the American people like this, then who am I to suggest otherwise?

Conferences --

A reader reminded me of the 2nd Annual Bakken Infrastructure and Development Summit 2011 that is being held October 24 - 26 in Denver.

The list of attendees who have pre-registered is very, very impressive. I won't be there, for many, many reasons, but it looks like this may turn out to be one of premier Bakken conferences. So many of these conferences are about the oil business itself (if that makes sense) when many folks are looking at ways to support the oil industry.

Something tells me there will be venture capitalists there or folks with access to venture capitalists. It appears to me that the there is a shortage of well-educated highly motivated folks for all the opportunities that exist in the Bakken. As soon as these highly motivated, educated folks show up, they are snapped up and put to work.

It's incredible to look at the number of new buildings going up, businesses expanding, projects going up and realizing that these operations need all kinds of support folks. I can only assume that computer skills are critical for those applying for front-office jobs. I don't know, but I just get the feeling that companies working in the Bakken have as much trouble getting office help as they do getting field workers.

My hunch is that the dollars projected to be invested in the Bakken over the next several years will be staggering. I can hardly wait for folks to provide feedback from the conference.

Anyway, if you can't make this conference, there's another conference in Denver at the end of January, which I noted in an earlier post. That, too, is going to be quite a conference.

Ten (10) New Permits -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

The fracking backlog isn't slowing down the pace of new permits.

Daily activity report, October 20, 2011 --

Operators: Zenergy (3), Enerplus (2), (CLR (2), Oasis, Eternal Energy, MRO.

Fields: Oliver, Chimney Butte, Cottonwood, Dublin, Reunion Bay, McGregory Buttes.

Zenergy has two wildcats, both in Williams County. Eternal Energy has another wildcat.

Enerplus has permits for a 2-well pad.

Three wells were released from "tight hole" status and none of them reported an IP (not completed). I noted this elsewhere earlier today. Of the six most recent wells reporting, four of them have not been completed.

Raising Taxes on Oil Does Have Consequences

Link here.

This is quite stunning. Imagine what would happen to the Bakken Boom if drilling activity declined by 40 percent.
Drilling activity in the UK North Sea has fallen by 36% year-on-year despite an oil price of more than $100/bbl which would normally encourage increased exploration activity.

“Elsewhere in northwest Europe, this buoyant oil price has driven high levels of drilling activity,” said Graham Sadler, managing director of Deloitte's petroleum services group.

“It could be that factors, including the relative geological maturity of the UK sector, compared to some adjacent regions, and the alterations made to the UK fiscal regime earlier this year have impacted business confidence,” said Sadler. [You think?]

In March, the UK’s Treasury raised the top rate of tax on profits from North Sea production to as much as 81%, a move that was decried by international oil companies as a disincentive to investment.
With the Marcellus, Utica, Niobrara, Haynesville, California Monterey, and South Texas Eagle Ford there are a lot of places US drillers can shift their attention if need be.

Nice Discount For Those Registering Early for Bakken Conference in Denver

I will link this note at the top of the sidebar on the right.

Bakken Product Markets and Takeaway Capacity 2012 is scheduled for latter part of January, 2012, in Denver. Specifically: January 31 - February 1, 2012.

This will be huge. I am particularly interested in what presenters have to say about all the crude-by-rail oil loading facilities going up in the oil patch. I would never have expected it. I thought the pipelines were the way to go, but there almost appears to be a tectonic change in the way folks are thinking about rail and oil.

You can save an additional ten percent by e-mailing and quoting BMD 10. This discount is in addition to the early booking discounts: save $400 by registering before October 28 (next week) or save $200 by registering before December 9, 2011.

Obviously this is for new registrants only.

The website provides additional information (

According to a conference spokesperson: Please note that only the early booking discounts can be claimed when registering on the website, and requests for the additional discount must be made by e-mailing.

Steve Zachritz on The Bakken and Triangle Petroleum -- Seeking Alpha -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
This is really quite something. It's been fun to see small companies who used to participate in the Bakken only as partners with working interests to have their rigs and own operations.
TPLM is drilling its first operated well now, the 56% WI, Dwyer #150-101-21-16-1H, a long lateral Bakken test in McKensie County, ND. The well is located in the southern reaches of what used to be known as Rough Rider, next door to a field of fairly strong short lateral wells drilled by Zenergy Inc and two solid recent longer laterals drilled by Petro-Hunt and Slawson.

Fracking Backlog -- 4/6 Of Wells Off Confidential List Today Not Completed -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

Of the six most recent wells that came off the confidential list, only two of them were completed; the other four were placed on DRL status. I report new wells on a daily basis at the link above.

In addition, I am now checking the number of frac stages and amount of sand/proppant used if I have time (and remember).

The Whiting TF well in Stark County must have been very expensive based on amount of proppant and number of stages, and the IP was not exciting. I am aware that IPs are only one data point, but at least two Bakken producers have said that IPs correlate with a) time to pay back cost of well; and, b) EUR.

Also, in an earlier note, I noted that there may be a shortage of workover rigs in the Williston Basin.

So Much For Global Warming -- North Dakota's 2011-2012 Winter to Be Colder Than Usual

Link here.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast for the Northern Plains holds good news only for those North Dakotans who were worried that the snowblower they purchased during one of the last three snowy seasons wasn't a good long-term investment.

NOAA's winter outlook, released Thursday, says there is a greater than 40 percent chance of colder than normal temperatures across North Dakota during November, December and January. The western half of the state has a greater than 50 percent chance of wetter than normal conditions, while the eastern half has a greater than 40 percent chance of wetter than normal conditions.

"The current trends we're looking at do certainly suggest it's going to be another colder than normal winter, and more active in terms of storm systems hitting the state," said Rich Kinney, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Bismarck.
Thank goodness the producers are capturing all that natural gas, that would otherwise be flared, for heating homes.

For Investors Only -- WMB Revises Spin-Off Plan -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
The revised plan calls for Williams to fully separate its exploration and production business via a taxfree spinoff to Williams shareholders by yearend. The new independent E&P business will be known as WPX Energy Inc.

The previous proposal was to conduct an initial public offering of WPX Energy in 2011 followed by a spinoff of Williams’ remaining WPX Energy shares in the first quarter of 2012.

Following the spinoff, Williams shareholders will own common stock in Williams, a premier owner-operator of North American midstream and natural gas pipeline infrastructure assets, and common stock in WPX Energy, a large-scale, independent North American diversified E&P company with positions in key North American oil shale and gas basins along with additional holdings in South America.
Williams Cos is one of my particular favorites in the oil patch.

This Is a Very, Very Good Editorial on the Bakken -- Enjoy -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
Unlike the last boom in the Williston Basin in which little outside money was invested in infrastructure, this time it is completely different.
This is where the eastern attitude is starting to change and we are starting to get it: the activity in the Bakken is huge and it’s going to get bigger. I have been active in the Bakken for a couple of years, and I seem to be getting more and more involved with each passing day. So I am believer, but what is starting to change is other’s attitude towards investment in Western North Dakota. Not necessarily local investment but major capital investment into the Bakken. A colleague of mine who has many times mentioned the boom will again bust, has now taken a longer term view. The reason is due to outside investment.

Case in point: the facilities the oil companies are building. Baker Hughes is building 100,000 plus square feet buildings in Minot, Williston and Dickinson. Halliburton is building facilities throughout the state. The North Dakota Industrial Commission noted that $3 billion on natural gas compression plants are in the works for the next 2-3 years (note these are natural gas plants, not oil, but $3 billion investment for an item they previously flared off). Today the Minot Daily News did a story on the growth in the railroads ability to ship bulk oil out of state.

Crude Oil Pipeline Northeast of Belfield Approved -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
A $3.36 million crude oil pipeline project was unanimously green lit Wednesday by the North Dakota Public Service Commission in Bismarck. The pipeline has the potential to replace 273 trucks a day.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. of Denver, Colo., requested to build a 6.8-mile pipeline 6 miles northeast of Belfield.

The pipeline will connect to the Skunk Hill facility — 18 miles northwest of Dickinson — where it will connect to Bridger Pipeline. The pipeline will then have the potential to connect to crude oil markets in Mandan, Guernsey, Wyo., and Clearbrook, Minn.

The Associated Press (AP) Is Getting Excited About The Tyler -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota

Nice map of the Tyler here

"We've" talked about it before, so for those who follow the Williston Basin, this is nothing new.

For newbies: there may be another formation as good as the Bakken in the Williston Basin. And when Statoil bought BEXP, they bought "all" the formations.

Another story on the Tyler.
North Dakota’s booming oil patch is sweeping down to South Dakota, amid speculation that a reservoir similar to the rich Bakken shale formation could contain millions of barrels of crude.

A flurry of recent leasing activity in South Dakota is tied to hopes for the Tyler Formation. State geologist Ed Murphy in North Dakota said the formation extends from the western part of that state into northwest South Dakota and may hold up to one-third the volume of oil estimated in the prolific Bakken, a formation the U.S. Geological Survey called the largest continuous oil accumulation it had ever assessed.

Random Photo of the Day -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Headline: Jobless Claims Hit 6-Month Low -- Wow, The Spin

First, any jobless claim above 400,000 says there is no growth in jobs. The "400,000" marker was set down some months, if not a year or so, ago.

Second: the most recent reading was 403,000.

Third: the previous reading was raised to 409,000.

Here are the facts:
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 403,000, the Labor Department said, from an upwardly revised 409,000 the prior week.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 400,000 from the previously reported 404,000.
Here is the government spin and the lede:
New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week and a gauge of labor market trends hit a six-month low, a government report showed on Thursday, pointing to an improvement in the jobs market.
Wow, it's great to be out and about in the Bakken and now listening to "talking heads" on CNBC dissecting this atrocious data.

Speaking of the Bakken, I was out in the field by 5:00 a.m. and it was incredibly balmy. I looked for meteors; didn't see any. Will try again the rest of the week.

It is incredibly balmy, as noted. They say it will hit 60 degrees today. Sixty degrees in northwestern North Dakota in October is like 90 degrees in San Antonio in December. Wonderful.

If this is global warming, bring it on.

Photos: Update of the ONEOK Processing Plant Northwest of Williston -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Remember the original posting regarding the ONEOK CRYO processing plant northwest of Williston (about 8 miles west and five miles north on the Grenora Road, County Road 5)? This is Stateline 1 which should be operational sometime in 2012. Then Stateline II will be built, coming on line in 2013. These are ONEOK natural gas processing plants; they are being built by Linde

This is huge: it looked like about a 100 vehicles inside the compound of those working on the complex; at shift change there was a steady stream of vehicles leaving -- I didn't count, but easily 30 - 40 vehicles were leaving; and four large cranes on site.

For the company's explanation of what is going on at this site, go to this link, a PDF file, and check out slides 79 - 91