Sunday, December 11, 2011

FT's Take On US Unemployment has another article on unemployment in the United States. link here.

After reading that article, ask what issues were not brought up in the article.

This link provides a nice balance to the article. When you get to the link, read the original post about a Minnesota manufacturing company that has built three new manufacturing plants in North Dakota, rather than in Minnesota. Here are the reasons provided by the manufacturer:
Warroad-based Marvin Windows and Doors has opened North Dakota plants in Fargo, West Fargo and Grafton.

Marvin’s John Kirchner explained why the firm expanded to North Dakota in the last several years: “The regulatory and tax climate in North Dakota ... tend to be more friendly toward the business."

Also, Kirchner said, it takes too long to get state permits, delaying expansion plans.
While pledging that “we are not going to walk away from Minnesota” and saying Warroad will remain Marvin’s home and biggest factory, North Dakota is a good location for company manufacturing plants, he said.
As far as I could tell, none of that was mentioned by Nothing about taxes, regulations, or permitting.

Nothing was mentioned about uncertainty, ObamaCare being the 800-pound uncertainty gorilla.

Nothing was mentioned about the ideological fanaticism of this administration against the bfossil fuel industry. Nothing was mentioned about the permitorium in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing was mentioned about moratoria on drilling off-shore Alaska, California, Florida, or Virginia. Nothing was mentioned about uncertainty of fracking. Nothing was mentioned about ban on fracking on federal land in Ohio. Nothing was mentioned about killing a shovel-ready project that would have employed tens of thousands at high pay scales. Nothing was mentioned about the president's stated goal to kill the coal industry.

Nothing was mentioned about the example set by the government's economic czar.

Nothing was said about the administration's focus on faux-environmental issues.

Nothing was said about the administration's unbridled support for solar and wind energy and what that represents.

Nothing was said about the state with the highest unemployment rate (Nevada) and the administration's directive to forego conventions in Las Vegas.

Nothing was said about the administration's attitude toward CEOs using corporate jets, never mind that the US once had a thriving jet manufacturing industry.

Nothing was mentioned about protection of sage grouse taking precedence over opportunity for fathers to provide for their families.

Next Concern for Anti-Growth Groups: Being Overrun With Paleontologists

NOTE: based on some comments I received regarding this article, it appears some folks did not understand this was written tongue-in-cheek. It was hardly worth my time to write it; it's not worth your time to rebut it since I generally don't post comments to a post that was done completely tongue-in-cheek. We all have our myths.  Good luck to all.

Original Post

Bismarck Tribune link.

In addition to the world-class source rock for oil (the Bakken), it turns out North Dakota may have the best place to find dinosaur fossils.
Standing Rock's paleontology director Allen Shaw said what the tribe has in the remote setting along the river is like few others.

"A world-class eco system is preserved here," Shaw said. "I'd hate to say it's the best, but it's definitely one of the best places to find Late Cretaceous fossils, the last time there were dinosaurs on Earth."

Shaw took over the tribe's paleontology department two years ago, bringing experience and an endearing, almost boy-like wonder to his work.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of edmontosaurus dinosaurs died on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Late Cretaceous Period, a mere 65 million years ago in geologic time, give or take a few million on either side.
I assume it's just a matter of time before the Feds step in to save the endangered edmontosaurus.

Oh, my bad, they're already extinct, one of the few extinctions that can't be blamed on man, I guess (if one ignores several other mass extinctions, including ones that wiped out nearly all life on earth).

I can't resist: one of the possible causes of mass extinctions being studied by scientists is the effect of sea-levels falling. From wiki:
Sea-level falls could reduce the continental shelf area (the most productive part of the oceans) sufficiently to cause a marine mass extinction, and could disrupt weather patterns enough to cause extinctions on land. But sea-level falls are very probably the result of other events, such as sustained global cooling or the sinking of the mid-ocean ridges.
It should be noted that global warming will raise sea levels, thus making mass extinction less likely based on this theory.

I can't make this stuff up.

Western North Dakota Pipeline -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Bismarck Tribune link here.

This is an old story, from August 3, 2011, but I don't recall posting it. Perhaps I did but if so it did not interest me at the time. For some reason it interests me now.
A proposed oil pipeline in western North Dakota has been scaled back because of the [killing of the Keystone XL by the Obama administration]...

BakkenLink Pipeline LLC was intended to carry up to 100,000 barrels of oil from oil truck unloading stations and a pipeline gathering system in three North Dakota counties to Baker, in southeastern Montana.

In Montana, the line was to link up to TransCanada Corp.'s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700-mile project that is intended to deliver oil from Canada's Manitoba province to locations in Oklahoma and Texas.

[The] BakkenLink now intends to build its pipeline to a rail loading station that is being developed near Fryburg, about 30 miles west of Dickinson in southwestern North Dakota.

The length of the proposed line is being reduced from 250 miles to about 144 miles, and the project's cost is now estimated at $126.5 million, roughly half the cost of the original plan....
And so it goes. More trucks on the road. More diesel being used. More emissions from those trucks. Kudos to the faux-environmentalists.

DOT Studying Plans for Bypass Around Dickinson

Note: I actually had one individual complain about the proposed Dickinson bypass The comment was difficult to follow (not unlike some of my posts, perhaps), but what I could glean from it was the fact that the individual was upset that federal dollars might be used for Dickinson roads when the government is already $15 trillion in debt. If federal dollars are used on North Dakota roads, the funds will amount to a rounding error on a line item in the US annual budget. And those funds will be more than matched by local funds. Not to worry. Just as appropriate as Federal payments to North Dakota farmers: very well deserved.  At least the federal government gets something back in return for the money they send BACK to North Dakota. I don't think a whole of unemployment benefit money is being spent in North Dakota.

Original Post

I think this is the link.

The Dickinson Press works hard at making it difficult to access their on-line stories. I don't have that trouble with LA Times, Williston Herald, Bismarck Tribune, or NY Times. But for some reason, The Dickinson Press wants to track those who visit their site, requiring one to log in.

I generally don't have time for such nonsense, so unless the story is really important, I won't take the time to log in. And so my link might be wrong above.

However, with regard to a bypass: note to Dickinson -- it's a no-brainer.

Dickinson is fortunate to have the interstate which will absorb a lot of the traffic, and it's federally funded, for the most part, as far as I know. Williston, Watford City, Minot, Stanley, and Alexander should be so lucky.

Years ago, wow, it must have been 50 years ago when North Dakota put in the bypass which is now a godsend for the city. I remember the fight about the bypass then. I was only about ten years old; don't remember exactly, but certainly pre-teen. I remember riding shotgun with my dad as he sped down the brand new bypass, just recently blacktopped, and ending up going through a wooden barricade. Yeah, that was exciting. It was a new car, too. But he was well insured.

But I digress. At the time, one has to admit there seemed to be little need for a bypass around Williston (at least to the locals) but when one looks at a map, it made all kinds of sense. Wow, are the current residents of Williston lucky to have that bypass now. I cannot imagine the thousands of trucks that would be driving up and down Main Street daily had we not had the bypass.

So, for Dickinson, my advice: act sooner, not later with regard to a bypass, and think big.

And for The Dickinson Press: think about making it easier to access your site. It's actually the second-best news source for oil news in the state (following the Bismarck Tribune). The Tribune publishes most of the important stories and seems fair and balanced, whereas the Press publishes almost any story regarding the oil patch regardless of importance, and seems to have a definite slant.

Here's the pertinent information:
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has released a diagram of study areas for potential routes for the northwest bypass, which will connect Interstate 94 to Highway 22 north of Dickinson. It will give semi drivers the option to avoid driving on city streets.

The DOT has presented two options. Engineers could connect the bypass to Exit 59 or build an exit to connect to 116th Avenue Southwest. From there, the bypass would go north to 34th Street Southwest or 33rd Street Southwest, where it would head east to connect to Highway 22.

The DOT is also studying 32nd Street Southwest as an option. The bypass could be built to take semis further north on 113th Avenue Southwest, the street connected to Exit 59.

Week 49: December 3 -- December 9, 2011

Biggest news story of the week: pipeline company to invest $145 million in new rail transport

In-depth look at one of the most exciting oil companies in the Bakken: KOG.

Kudlow talking head: fracking ban goes from possibility to probability.

EPA's shenanigans in Wyoming.

Six-stage frack results in huge Bakken well.

Tesoro to increase diesel production: big headline, little increase.

Dickinson residents gasping at growth -- The Dickinson Press gasps.

$1.2 billion for western ND roads.

Oil industry pouring $2 billion/month into western ND.

Whiting to build another natural gas plant south; south of Belfield

Carbo Ceramics analysis.

Huge Harry Stroh well; Fayette field update.

Week 48: November 26, 2011 -- December 2, 2011

Almost, North Dakota: We Don't Want A Bunch of Men Living in a Building All Together -- Unless They're Monks or Construction Workers.

BLM fast-tracks golden eagle and whooping crane killing

Minnesota's dirty oil industry.

Motel 6 opens in Williston, December 2, 2011.

The Sanish vs the Pronghorn (formations).

US #1 in natural gas production; surpasses Russia.

First the Saudis; now the Russians: the Bakken changes things.

Dickinson to build 5-lane highway north of town.

On-line Dunn County auction on-going.

Taking another look at the Madison.

Kiewit -- Buffett -- Williston home construction.

Six great Oasis wells.

Indian Hill: there are "no" dry holes in the Bakken.

CLR with permits for a 6-well pad in the bull's eye of the Bakken.

Senator Hoeven reassured by EPA

Forbes: fracking not an issue for concern.

NDIC Lynn Helms worries about ban on fracking

Longest EOG horizontal in the Bakken?

Jacks: New Truck Stop South of Alexander, North Dakota

On Track for 1,989 New Permits for North Dakota in Calendar Year 2011

With 1,798 new permits issued so far this year, and at 330 calendar days in the year so far (as of December 9, 2011), "we" are on track for 1,989 new permits this year; most of them will be for the Bakken Pool.

Previous years:
  • 2006: 422
  • 2007: 497
  • 2008: 953
  • 2009: 628
  • 2010: 1,682
  • 2011: 1,989 (estimate as of December 9, 2011) 
It's interesting to look back on number of permits. I opined numerous times that 2010 would be a watershed year for the Bakken and based on this one data point alone, it certainly was. In 2010, the Berthold Reservation was opened up. 2011 was the year "we" entered the manufacturing phase of developing the Bakken.

I predict that 2012 will be another watershed year for the Bakken. Activity will move to northeastern and north-central McKenzie County (especially around the Watford City and northwest from there to Indian Hill, just across the river from Williston. We will also have more clarity with regard to EPA's strategy to shut down the Bakken.

For Newbies: Pooling

Elsewhere they are asking what happens if an oil company drills a well but can't find all those who have mineral rights associated with said well. My hunch is that this is what pooling is all about.
Instead of locating every last mineral rights owner and contracting with each mineral rights owner on an individual basis (lots of time wasted), the producer/operator asks the state for permission to "pool" all mineral rights owners, thereby setting remuneration based on agreement reached with a majority of the mineral rights owners. Obviously when an oil company can't find all those with interests in the spacing unit, pooling is the solution. It appears that the right to pool is the last step in the paperwork/bureaucratic process before preparation for drilling actually begins.