Friday, November 11, 2011

Caterpillar To Open New Plant in US -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

It would be nice if one could quantify the Bakken boom with figures from  a) Caterpillar; and, b) truck manufacturing plants, especially, Western Star in Portland, OR.

The number of trucks and heavy equipment coming to Williston, ND, on a daily basis is quite startling.

There is no reference to the Bakken at this story, but considering the rest of the country isn't doing much, I can only assume some of these dozers will end up in North Dakota.

KOG's 3Q11 Reported Wells -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

This is old news -- probably already a week old, but for newbies, I have updated the IPs for the wells that KOG discussed in its 3Q11 earnings report at the "New Wells Reporting" page. Note: they are boe, not bo, so they will be a bit higher than the others on that page which are mostly bo.

KOG's 3Q11 report is here

Earnings central is where I link earnings reports.

Bottineau County, Spearfish Formation, Legacy Oil and Gas Updated

Bruce reminded me to update the Legacy Spearfish activity in Bottineau County. Update provided at this link.

It should be noted that EOG has canceled all Scandia-named well permits or let them expire. There are no Scandia wells being drilled by EOG, and it's my impression that EOG has blown off the Spearfish for the time being.

Anyone else notice that oil is above $99....

... and no major Middle East crisis yet .... obviously killing the Keystone XL did not do this on a supply and demand basis, but one wonders if the implications of killing the Keystone are at least part of the reason ... or did I miss something about the economy taking off this next week?

.... and the number of active duty rigs has quietly hit 200 again, one short of tying the all-time record of 201.

Awesome! ConocoPhillips To Name Downstream Company ...

Phillips 66!

Wow, I can get out all my memorabilia!

Tom is to your left. Near the beginning, Nancy asks for a dollar's worth of gas.

I cannot make this stuff up.

Chariots On Fire

Chariots on Fire


June 30, 2016: first US fatality involving self-driving technology ... and it was a Tesla.
The first U.S. fatality using self-driving technology took place in May when the driver of a Tesla S sports car operating the vehicle's "Autopilot" automated driving system died after a collision with a truck in Florida, federal officials said Thursday.
October 3, 2013: now Teslas are bursting into flames

May 9, 2012: now it's the Fisker Karma that is the subject of a probe that its owner says started on fire and burned the family's home down (Sugar Land, Texas). The story may be bogus, but then again, one never knows.

January 5, 2012: all Volts are "called back" for several structural repairs; not a formal recall

January 4, 2012: 2011 wrap-up for the Volt. Predicted - 10,000 in sales; actual - 7,000. I was surprise the Volts did that well.

December 16, 2011: Audi CEO -- the Volt is for idiots : no amount of fuel savings will recoup up-front cost.
Third, de Nysschen addresses the Volt head-on, saying that it is simply not economically feasible at present. The features, size and performance offered are those of a gasoline powered car that costs roughly half as much, according to de Nysschen, so those that pay that premium aren't being economically sensible. Use of taxpayer-funded subsidies, which are already being heavily touted as a way to make the Volt affordable, are proof that the technology isn't currently sustainable in a pure market sense. Further, no amount of fuel savings will recoup the up-front costs.
December 12, 2011: Volt's exploding batteries could derail all electric vehicles -- Forbes.

December 8, 2011: GM says close to fix. This a.m. CNBC reports that GM is now looking at the welds. This is at least the third thing they are looking at. All other fixes involve major design changes. Welds would be least expensive, easiest to fix. It looks like the fix is in.

December 1, 2011: Volt power cords subject to failure, fire.

December 1, 2011:  GM will miss Volt sales target this year , selling less than 7,000 this year; about 3,800 shy of its goal. But they still plan to sell 5,000 Volts/month --- per month --- next year, all with the exploding battery:
While GM is expanding annul production to 60,000 units starting in January, the Volt is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because its batteries caught on fire in the weeks following three government crash tests. 
I can't make this stuff up.

November 25, 2011: I can't make this stuff up -- "One Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire ...[A]nother recently crash-tested battery emitted smoke and sparks ...

Criminal?  Government Motors sells Volt before it developed answer to exploding battery . Still no solution. And yet, oil companies subject to fines and jail time for killing a solitary sandplover. I can't make this stuff up. GM is given a pass on this.

Original Post
Link here.

The headline and the lede suggest risk of fire to passengers if involved in a crash with a Chevy Volt:
  • U.S. regulators are investigating the safety of batteries used to power electric vehicles after a General Motors Co Chevrolet Volt caught fire following a routine crash test.
You have to read well into the story to get this little nugget:
  • The Volt crash test was conducted last May at a facility in Wisconsin. The fire did not break out until more than three weeks later.
I don't know about you, but if involved in a crash that totals my car, I would probably not be sticking around regardless of how safe the car was.

Somehow, this seems like the perfect car: it destroys itself in a fire three weeks following a collision. What more can you want from a car when it comes to negotiating with the insurance company on whether it was a total loss or not.

It would be nice to know how severe the original crash was. If this was a fender bender, it would be bad news, but obviously it was a catastrophic crash test.

Speaking of Chevy Volts, I saw my first Volt today -- I assume it was a dealer's Volt -- it was black and had a huge "VOLT" logo and a lightning like bolt in white on the right side. It was turning in front of me so I don't know if the left side had the same logo. Maybe the left side had a silhouette of a flaming Volt. Who knows? Anyway, for $40,000 it looked very small. I spotted the Volt headed south on University Avenue, Williston, North Dakota, just as it was turning into the parking lot at Williston State College, "where the people make the difference."

Link of the Week -- Just The Link

Link here.

But ya gotta read it to the end.

First Rail Oil Shipment From Dickinson Shipped Monday -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here. There is so much irony in this story, coming one day -- or is it two days -- after the Keystone XL was killed.
The first train with Bakken crude oil shipments embarked on Monday from the newly completed Bakken Oil Express terminal near Dickinson, North Dakota, according to Lario Logistics, the terminal owner.

The BNSF railway train, equipped with 103 oil tank cars, left for St. James, Louisiana, with 70,000 barrels of crude aboard.

The anchor shipper was Eighty-Eight Oil.

The rail hub currently has a take-away capacity of 100,000 bpd and is the first mutli-shipper facility in the Midwest state, Lario Logistics said.
Don sent me the link. Thank you.

The most remarkable thing about this article: picked up and printed by Reuters. Pretty special.

The company plans to expand to 250,000 bopd. North Dakota is currently producing about 500,000 bopd. 

The BNSF, owned by Warren Buffett, Omaha, Nebraska, will be carrying the crude, and looking at the map, the route will take the oil over the Ogallala Aquifer, probably crossing more surface area than the Keystone XL ever would have. And just think, they will be increasing from 70,000 bopd to 245,000 bopd. Ya gotta love it. 245,000 bopd crossing Nebraska prairie.

I can't make this stuff up. Not only is oil crossing ground zero for the Keystone XL, the local folks get to put up with all that train traffic. And I assume the trains will run on diesel. Oh, yeah.

The Oil Patch Has a New University -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Along with oilfield courses, they have Latin 101 with an emphasis on completing wells:

These were sold at the Hoestfest this year. Photo courtesy of DH. I was particularly pleased to see that in Latin "frackum" is spelled correctly.

For those who would like to order these for Christmas gifts for mineral owners living out-of-state, here's the website:

Above-Ground Retaining Water Pool for Fracking -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA


There are other above-ground fluid retaining pools. Poseidon Concepts is another example, again, sent to me by a reader. According to that note, Hess uses these in the Bakken.

Original Post

Shortly after posting QuickPits, I was sent a note from DH with regard to using above-ground water retaining pools for fracking. DH just sent the following photo of the Atlas well at 20-160-92 in Burke County.

A huge "thank you."  You can click on the photo; it should open in another window and you can make it larger, if you want.

Another innovation being developed in the Bakken.

For Investors Only -- Buyout Targets in the Bakken

Link here.

Three companies to consider: Oasis, SM, and QEP.

I followed QEP for awhile, then got sidetracked; Oasis is my favorite of the three although I currently hold no Oasis shares and have no plans to purchase any shares any time soon. SM has also intrigued me since starting this blog but I have never bought shares in St Mary or SM.

If one is interested in a specific company in the Bakken, of these three, I would go with Oasis. It is a pure play Bakken operator and seems to have its act together. It also plans to be here for a long, long time. I recently posted photos of their new complex west of Williston, much bigger than the BEXP complex farther west of Williston. With 300,000 net acres, it has about a 1/3 of what CLR has, and one could venture to say that comparing location of its acreage, Oasis might have a nicer portfolio. I've never looked at the two portfolios (CLR and OAS) in depth; it's just a gut feeling. CLR has a $12 billion market cap and 900,000 net acres; OAS has a $3 billion market cap and 300,000 acres. Idle chatter, rambling; if interested, do a bit of research.

With regard to investing, see disclaimer linked at sidebar at the right.

Five (5) New Permits -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA; November 10, 2011

Daily activity report, November 10, 2011 --
  • Operators: BEXP (2), Petro-Hunt (2), BR
  • Fields: Squires, Sugar Beet, Cartwright, Rough Rider
Petro-Hunt has a wildcat in Williams.

One of two wells released from "tight hole" status was completed/fracked (50% backlog in fracking)
  • 20040, 883, XTO, William 41X-6, McKenzie, Bakken, t9/11; cum 206K 4/17;
Two other previously producing wells were completed and reported, including a nice Marathon well:
  • 17942, 1,184, MRO, Kovaloff 14-9H, Dunn, Bakken, t10/11; cum 193K4/17;
And, of interest, Sequel re-completes a well from Red River to Birdbear and Duperow, is how it is recorded in the daily activity report. I'll be learning with this one. This appears to have been a Duperow/Birdbear well when it was spudded in 1988; then the Red River was added in June, 2011, and the Duperow/Birdbear were abandoned.
  • 12240, recomplete, Sequel, Hay Draw 33-33, McKenzie; it looks like this was not a success; the IP in 2011 was 30 from the Red River; and there has been no production since, as of 6/12; update, 8/14 -- about 70 bbls every three months;

Update on the Permitorium in the Gulf II -- Nothing To Do With The Bakken


November 16, 2011: House committee recommends opening up a bit of ANWR for drilling. Don't hold your breath. I find it incredible that this was a headline article at RIGZONE -- this is only a proposed bill at the committee level in the House; a long, long way to go to get to the President's desk. Don't hold your breath. 

November 16, 2011: op-ed piece; others agree -- the permitorium continues unabated.

Original Post
Link here.

Is it just me or do all we hear coming out of Washington is "plans"?

Here's another plan.
Oil and gas companies will have far greater access to energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico under a new policy proposal from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The plan would set a timeline for the sale of oil and gas exploration rights for 15 locations over the course of the next five years. Twelve of these sites would reside in the Gulf of Mexico, while only three would be located in Alaska.
Parse that first sentence in last paragraph: "the plan" -- this is just a plan, no project, no actual work, just a plan; "would set a timeline" -- wow, we can kick this can down the road; "for the sale ... of exploration rights" -- again, no actual drilling; just setting a timeline for selling rights; "over the course of the next five years" -- half a decade. It looks like another "lost decade" in the Gulf.

And, then the kicker was in the first paragraph: this was just a "new" policy "proposal" from a department. Lots of time for the president to sit on it, and wait to make the decision until after 2012 elections. 

North Dakota state holds auctions every three months; doesn't seem like a whole lot of work in setting up a timeline.

A Random Note from Billings Big Sky Economic Development Authority -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here
In the midst of oil and gas exploration and production to the east, south and north, in the middle of wind energy production, and surrounded by coal production, with the prospect of much more to come, Billings could easily be proclaimed as an “energy hub.”

That’s just what Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSED) proclaimed, as it set as a priority, the recruitment of companies to Billings and Yellowstone County which are engaged in energy-related businesses.

“We make the perfect hub to locate offices or to manufacture stuff,” said Jeremy Vannatta, who is BSED’s director of business outreach, recruitment and marketing. “We have a big opportunity.”

Although quick to note that energy-related businesses are not the only kind of business BSED wants to recruit, it does make sense, he said, that energy-related businesses should be readily attracted to Billings, once they understand its strategic location.
Look at what Billings is seeing with regard to Williston:
Board member Susan Riplett, vice president of First Interstate Bank, agreed that many people are still unaware of what is in store. She said that her industry is trying to get geared up by acquiring the expertise they will need in providing financing to energy related businesses.

Financial services, medical services, retail, construction — all are going to be impacted, she said. Energy development will “bring more people, more jobs, and help every business,” she said.

Gordon Tryon, general manager of Brown’s Auto Service and a member of the committee, agreed. He said that most auto service businesses in Billings are now being frequently pressed by customers who say they are in a hurry to get back to North Dakota. He added, “There are a hundred thousand more vehicles in that area and no more auto shops.”

He went on to say that there are many people with incomes “10, 20, 30 times greater than before.” They are buying things and have no place to spend money where they are, he said.
I can't remember if I posted my observation regarding the need for diesel mechanics here in the Bakken, but this article supports that view.

Railcar Boom Being Fueled by the Bakken Boom -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
Greenbrier Cos Inc. and American Railcar Industries Inc. can’t expand their fleets fast enough as demand for sand used in the hunt for oil and natural gas helps power U.S. railcar production to a three-year high.

“Everybody is asking for cars right now,” Dale Davies, chief financial officer at American Railcar, said in a telephone interview from his Saint Charles, Missouri, office. “Everybody is trying to ramp their capacities up as much as they can. We’re pretty much full for 2012.”
Folks have been writing me asking about investment opportunities in railcars, wondering which companies to look at.

This is not an investment site; see disclaimer at sidebar on the right.

I think I've counted not less than ten (10) crude-by-rail oil loading facilities built or being built in the Bakken. It is amazing to see them being built. These are not going to be small operations. With the death of the Keystone XL pipeline the CBR industry will accelerate.

In this case, the rail enthusiasts see huge demand for trains hauling gold.
Trains transport as much as 2,500 tons of sand for a single hydraulic fracturing project, which involves splintering open tiny cracks about a mile beneath the earth’s surface to unlock stores of petroleum and natural gas. When the so-called fracking is complete, a different set of railcars hauls out the thousands of barrels of newly discovered fuel.
The data points at the linked article are incredible.

Bakken Bust? Basin Doesn't Bite -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.  (A reader alerted me to this story; thank you.)

The most important point in this story was buried near the end: "anticipated construction could start in 2014."

A big company is not going to announce a 190-mile 345-kw transmission line to help meet the energy needs in the Bakken if they didn't think the Bakken was going to be around for awhile.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a major player in the coal industry, has just made that announcement.
Basin's in-house projections show that by 2025, demand for electricity in the oil patch will increase another 1,300 megawatts, or about one-fourth of all power produced now in North Dakota.

The new line, as proposed, will run from the co-op's Antelope Valley Station in the heart of Coal Country to the Williston and Tioga region, served by Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative, where nearly 90 rigs are drilling.
In surface area, the North Dakota Bakken comprises a relatively small percentage of North Dakota, although that may change a bit over time. And to imagine it will require one-fourth of all power produced (not consumed) in North Dakota.

Discovery Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" May Be Here -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Remember this trivia posted a few days ago?
Carlson said CNN reporters did a ride-along with the department recently and other national news organizations have descended upon the town. He said producers of the Discovery Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” reality show plan to soon come and follow Williston police officers for a new television series.
I just received a comment from a reader that "they" are here, apparently staying in the trailers / mobile homes / homes on wheels / whatever over at Williston State College. 

Ice Road Truckers, Driving Down Into the Bear Den, the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Oh, speaking of following the police around for a few days, here's a story on crime in Williston. For those who have not been keeping up with the news out of Williston, the oil boom has resulted in a crime wave, so bad that folks are being quoted as saying, "We want our town back."

In today's Williston Herald, there are five stories on the front page. Three of them are above the fold, including one on bus drivers petitioning the city to slow down traffic at 4-mile corner (I agree); one on zone changes approved for more homes (good); and, then the following story. Again, remember, this is on the front page, above the fold and the headline right below the banner, about the same location where the Herald headlined the D-Day Invasion, back in 1944. (I don't have an on-line link, so this is being re-typed.)

Headline: Thief Caught on Camera; Busted

This is the story (again, remember this is the crime wave folks are talking about in Williston):
A pop machine was broken into at the El Rancho Wednesday. Adam Wayne Ready, 23, Shoshone, Wyo., stole $80 in coins from the Pepsi machine.

He then exited the building, crossed the parking lot and entered a camper parked there. 
Hotel staff called the police and the rest is history: confession, arrest, open-and-shut case.

I don't think the details to the Michael Jackson death were this good: not just any pop machine, but a Pepsi machine. The perp was seen exiting the building, to cross a parking lot, to get back to his camper.

Law and Order. Had it been a Coke machine, it would have been Law and Order: SVU.

And then this story, November 3, in the Williston Herald:
But that’s just what happened last Saturday, said the 50-year-old Everitt, who moved to Williston seven weeks ago for work and has been living in his van.

Everitt was charged with theft of utilities after he pulled his 1997 Chevrolet Astro next to the Raymond Family Community Center and used an extension cord to plug in a space heater that he has in his van.
Everitt was sentenced to 10 days in jail, eight days suspended and a $200 fine.
Williston Police Lt. Mark Hanson said police typically don’t go looking for people who are illegally plugged into electrical outlets, but if they get a complaint they will react to it.

And stealing is stealing, Hanson said.

“I don’t care if it’s 12 cents worth of electricity. He’s still stealing it,” Hanson said.

And because the Raymond Center is a public facility, Everitt is “stealing from the taxpayers,” Hanson said.

Hanson said a misdemeanor theft charge such as this can carry a maximum $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.

Wilder said the city attorney pushed for four days in jail, but he decided two would be enough.
Four days in jail for 12 cents worth of electricity; I hate to imagine what will happen to someone who steals $80 from a Coke machine. Sorry, a Pepsi machine.

I can hardly wait to watch these crimes unfold on Discovery Channel as Geraldo-Rivera-wannabees follow Williston police around town.