Friday, November 18, 2011

A Huge Public "Thank You" --- The "Drillum-Frackum-Pumpum" Sweathshirt Arrived

This is simply a huge "thank you" to the Bakkenduds folks. Their service is as fast as that of I think I spoke to them three days ago about ordering a sweatshirt; it arrived today. It is superb and I am impressed.

I posted this photo and the following caption a few days ago: 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:

My wife opened the box when it arrived and phoned me to let me know that it had arrived. She said the sweatshirt was "so me." I'm not sure what she meant by that, but she sounded very pleased.

I wonder if Home of Economy would have room for these in their stores next spring, or perhaps a specialty item during holiday season.

Powder Keg -- Fairview, Montana -- Best Pizza In the World

I have blogged about the Powder Keg before. It really is incredible.

We were there again tonight.

I thought the pizza was even better than usual, especially the crust.  I mentioned that to the staff: that their pizza is always excellent, but tonight the crust seemed even better than usual. I thought maybe it was my imagination. Nope, the weather has a lot do to with it. That makes sense. I make lefse: you cannot make lefse in the summer; it is best during the cool, dry months. And the Powder Keg has noted the same thing. The weather has a lot to do with how good the crust turns out and right now the crust is turning out very, very good.

By the way, the Powder Keg now accepts credit cards. In the past, they did not accept plastic because all the fees practically resulted in a 10 percent loss on all transactions. But now the Powder Keg uses the "square." There are no hidden or additional fees; just the 3 percent transaction fee. The Powder Keg charges the customer the three percent, so those paying in cash are not penalized. Very, very clever. The Keg uses a iPad to attach the square and it's about as simple as it could possibly be.

The parking lot was full tonight, as was the restaurant. I uses to be ambivalent about the long, community tables in the "overflow" room,b ut I have gotten used to them, and now I prefer them, even if there is a free table in the main room.

On the way out we noted a semi had backed into the parking lot. I was impressed. Those truckers can rally maneuver their trailers.

If you are in the Bakken, you need to try out the Powder Keg.

Six (6) New Permits -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, November 18, 2011 --

Operators: Hess (2), OXY USA, Cornerstone, Murex, Petro Harvester

Fields: Columbus, Sanish, Dimond, Lignite, Dollar Joe, and Oliver

One of two wells coming off confidential list was fracked/completed.

Sinclair had a nice well coming off DRL status:
  • 19055, 1,089, Sinclair, Bighorn 1-6H, Dunn

America's Economy Growing At Fastest Pace of the Year

Link here.
The U.S. economy may end 2011 growing at its fastest clip in 18 months as analysts increase their forecasts for the fourth quarter just a few months after a slowdown raised concern among investors.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York now see gross domestic product rising 3 percent in the final quarter, up from a previous prediction of 2.5 percent. Macroeconomic Advisers in St. Louis increased its forecast to 3.2 percent from 2.9 percent at the start of November, while New York-based Morgan Stanley & Co. boosted its outlook to 3.5 percent from 3 percent.
This, despite all the efforts of the Obama administration to scuttle the nascent recovery. Oh, well, give them time.

Global Warming Hits Alaska --

Link here.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that for the second time in three days, Fairbanks set a new low temperature record on Thursday. A temperature of 41 degrees below zero — the first 40 below temperature of the season — was recorded at Fairbanks International Airport at 6:29 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Fairbanks says that broke the old record of 39 below set in 1969.

The last time Fairbanks residents saw 40-below temperatures in November was in 1994. 
Yup. Global warming.  For a moment there, I was concerned that global warming was literally causing the Arctic to melt away.

By the way, Arctic blasts usually head southeast to North Dakota.

Speaking Of Threats to the Water Supply -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken

Link here.
Foreign hackers broke into a water plant control system in Illinois last week and damaged a water pump in what appears to be the first reported case of a malicious cyber attack damaging a critical computer system in the United States, according to an industry expert.

On Nov. 8, a municipal water district employee in Illinois noticed problems with the city’s water pump control system, and a technician determined the system had been remotely hacked into from a computer located in Russia, said Joe Weiss, an industry security expert who obtained a copy of an Illinois state fusion center report describing the incident.
It's a relief to me that the administration is all over this.
It’s not the first time that two-step technique — hack a security firm to gain the keys to enter other companies or entities — has been used.

Earlier this year, hackers believed to be working from China stole sensitive data from RSA, a division of EMC that provides secure remote computer access to government agencies, defense contractors and other commercial companies around the world. Armed with that data, they breached the computer networks of companies, including Lockheed Martin, whose employees used RSA “tokens” to log in to the corporate system from outside the office. Lockheed said that no sensitive data were taken.

Infrastructure Not Keeping Up With Drilling in the Bakken

Source: NDIC November Presentation, slide 67:

Wow, when I make an error, it's a huge error. Sorry. A big thank you to "anonymous" for catching my mistake, and not calling me an idiot.

Here's the data, hopefully correct this time:

Percent of natural gas flared:
  • 2006: 5 percent
  • 2008: 8 percent
  • 2010: 15 percent
  • Current figures: 28 percent
To see this data in graphic presentation, go to the line: it's much more impressive.

Adequate Water for Fracking in Western North Dakota?

One inch of water from Lake Sakakawea will provide enough water for 5,000 wells, or more than a 2-year supply.

Source: NDIC, November, 2011, presentation, slide 31

Wow, The Ohio Permitorium


Read this story in light of the story below. Poverty stats stun census bureau; folks just hanging on, and the president kills another shovel-ready 200,000-job opportunity.

Original Post
Just days after killing Keystone XL, the President has killed another shovel-ready, 200,000-job opportunity:
President Obama's United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing.

“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed," announced WNF Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. "The technology used in the Utica & Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan." The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly "will focus solely on how it could affect forest land," the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, "and not how it could affect groundwater."
This is truly incredible. Unprecedented.

The area already has nearly 1,300 oil and gas wells in operation.
The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program recently estimated that drilling in the Utica shale, which is affected by the suspension of the mineral lease auctions, would produce up 204,500 jobs by 2015.

"The President’s plan is to simply say ‘no’ to new energy production," House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash, said to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a hearing pertaining to hydraulic fracturing. "It’s a plan that is sending American jobs overseas, forfeiting new revenue, and denying access to American energy that would lessen our dependence on hostile Middle Eastern oil."
Let's see what Chesapeake shares are doing:  down about 1.2 percent.

I assume polling in Ohio suggested that the president could lose the state by a margin of votes equal to the number of environmentalists opposed to drilling.

In Trace of TR -- Dan Aadland -- Sort of Near the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

For folks who enjoy the outdoors and want to learn more about eastern Montana / western North Dakota, this is an absolutely fascinating book: In Trace of TR: A Montana Hunter's Journey, by Dan Aadland.

I happened to pick up my copy at Books on Broadway in Williston, North Dakota, one of the best bookstores in the US, and certainly the best in this part of the country.

Perhaps as I go along, I will post some tidbits from the book. Here's one:
It's strange how life in the West has changed the connotation of many words. "Pasture," to the easterner, may mean a ten-acre enclosure. Here it means several sections (square miles) of sparse grass of deceptively high nutrition if only it's not abused. Roosevelt the rancher soon learned a fact that John Wesley Powell tried unsuccessfully to shove down the craws of disbelieving easterners: the lifeblood of the West is water, there's never enough of it, and all eastern agricultural truisms must be discarded. It takes vast acreage to sustain cows int his country, but the grass is high in protein, evolved for grazing by bovines and elk, and is sustainable if cared for.
I did not know this about pronghorn:
Antelope, unlike deer, are not nocturnal. They bed down at night like cattle. Across the United States, anywhere deer are abundant (and that's nearly everywhere) automobile collisions with deer are rampant. Drive through territory densely populated with antelope, however, and the sight of any killed in collisions with vehicles is relatively rare by comparison. The difference is that at night, while deer are traveling and feeding and playing chicken with oncoming headlights or, at the last moment, sprinting across the highway in front of a speeding car, antelope are bedded down. Often selecting a slight depression to protect them from the wind, pronghorns will bed in a tight group, sheep-like.
The ninety-six mile trail connecting the north unit with the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park:
We loaded our cantle packs with sandwiches and cameras and and prepared for a ride on the Maah Daah Hey Trail. The official National Park Service translation of the trail's Mandan name is "an area that has been or will be around for a long time." The Mandans must have been masters of linguistic economy.
 Perhaps more later. It's a great book and I highly recommend it. Maybe a nice Christmas gift.

Europe Now Facing A "Lost Decade"

"Lost decade" stories have been tagged since January, 2011, at this site.

The phrase has since become mainstream for the US.

Now we see that others are writing about the "lost decade" facing Europe. I find it fascinating because all the technological advances in the field of hydrocarbon energy suggest that this could be one of the most exciting decades ever, if only folks weren't afraid of progress.

As just one example: France banning fracking.

Bakken From Space -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I posted the link to the video of this earlier, but this site might even be better.

This is a view of the Bakken from space as reported in the London (England) newspaper, the Daily Mail.

Several folks have forwarded me the link, but for some reason Corey's note to me caught my eye, and that's where the link came from. Thank you, Corey.

Request for Information -- Vac Trucks for the Oil Patch -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

The following comment came into another post. Because I assume not everyone sees the comments, I am re-posting it here.
Anyone know who I should contact to provide vac trucks for hauling water to the drill sites in North Dakota. 
 If you have an answer or suggest, please feel free to submit comment:

There Are "No" Dry Holes in the Bakken -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Don't take it from me.

Take it from the state commission.
"A drilling rig hits oil 99.6% of the time. A dry hole is extremely rare."
The occasional dry hole targeting the Bakken formation I see is because of a problem with the rig or the drilling -- not because oil wasn't there. In almost every case in which I see a "dry" hole due to technical problems with the drilling, the operator has plans to go back in at a later date.

Back to 203 Active Drilling Rigs -- Ties Record -- KOG Prices New Shares -- KOG Raises Senior Notes

Dynamic link here.

KOG will price new share offering of 42 million shares at $7.75/share.

KOG raised the offering from $550 million to $650 million in senior notes paying 8.125 percent per annum, mature in December, 2019.

Minimal Posting Today -- Out and About in the Bakken

But this is an incredible slide presentation from NDIC that will tell you all you need to know about the Bakken -- as of November 18, 2011.

A huge thank you to Don for alerting me to it.

Beautiful, Balmy Day in the Bakken -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Having spent most of my later adult life in southern latitudes (Turkey, Alabama, south Texas) I didn't know if I was going to be acclimate to North Dakota again.

But it is amazing how nice 25-degree weather with no wind can feel.

It is simply another gorgeous day in the Bakken. No wind, and not quite shirt-sleeve weather, but certainly no need for a heavy coat. And, again, my favorite stop at 6:00 a.m. is the Cenex at the 2nd busiest corner in Williston, watching the trucks maneuver up to the pumps. It's incredible how they can pull some of those road trains into the pumps designed for pickup trucks.

On another note, it looks like I get the opportunity to try out a new restaurant for breakfast tomorrow. On Saturdays, Michelle's on Main opens at 9:00 for breakfast. According to the print edition of the Williston Herald, the restaurant's official name is "216 Main."
It has a menu like a simplified version of Applebee's and slightly cheaper. Prices start at about $8 for burgers and sandwiches. Pop comes in cans rather than from a soda fountain. The atmosphere is simple.
The two owners, from Kalispell, Montana, and Pocatello, Idaho, have started other successful businesses in Montana, including restaurants and hotels.  [One of the local jokes is that the entire population of Idaha has moved to the Bakken; if they are starting restaurants here that must be true.]

From the Herald:
One advantage this restaurant has in oil-boom country is 216 Main has a dormitory in the basement which houses the restaurant's 20 employees.
Most of the employees are from Libby, Montana; there are just not enough local residents available for all the job openings.

San Pedro Harbor -- LA Port -- Los Angeles Port Sets Export Records

Back in July, 2010, more than a year ago, I posted a story about the record activity at the largest US port, the Los Angeles-Long Beach (California) Port.

Today Carpe Diem is reporting again, a record month at the port. I believe my earlier story included all activity, imports and exports.

Carpe Diem as done me better (as usual). This time he shows the graph depicting the activity for just exports. Incredible.

A record breaking month for exports at the largest US port.

Two additional comments:
  • the port is on the west coast -- one can guess where these exports are going; and,
  • this was not an anomaly or a blip; look at the impressive rise in exports since the depths of the recession; exports are well past pre-recession levels.
For investors, anyone not accumulating shares in US companies is missing the boat.

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