Friday, March 9, 2012

Enbridge -- Special Call

Great, great article -- transcript.

Everything you wanted to know about the family of Enbridge funds.

The Q&A is all about the Bakken: history of the pipeline, role of crude-by-rail, Keystone XL.

This is not an investing site; see disclaimer. But ENB and various members of the family have been one of my favorite investments. It is currently flirting with new highs; raised the divided 15 percent, and declared a 2-for-1 split last summer. Just an incredible story. Not the best investment I ever made, but certainly among the top ten.

I have no plans to buy, sell, or do anything else with Enbridge or any member of the Enbridge family in the near future.

Finally, An Article on Oil That Doesn't Mention the Bakken

The headline caught my eye.

The story is actually pretty good.

But it doesn't mention the Bakken.
Even with technologies that are exponentially superior for finding new fields to those we had in the 1960s, most petroleum geologists agree no more supergiant fields will be discovered. Historians centuries from now will conclude that the "oil age" was astonishingly short.

It is seductive and convenient to blame the president or those pesky environmentalists for rapidly rising prices, but it's a hollow endeavor. Most environmentalists I know merely want to pass to their children and grandchildren a world as verdant, healthy and livable as they found it. And the president can't put more oil in the ground or impact international economies.

The fluctuations in price in recent years are more about rapidly increasing worldwide demand, global political uncertainty and speculation than anything our government is doing. Our nation's depletion curve has continued for two generations, through Republican and Democratic administrations.
I am surprised to see such an article in the Rigzone. Good for them.

Stephen Chu's $50 Light Bulb -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken

Wins government prize of $10 million 
HEB 60-watt bulb: a buck; this bulb: $50

Link here.
The U.S. government last year announced a $10 million award, dubbed the “L Prize,” for any manufacturer that could create a “green” but affordable light bulb.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the prize would spur industry to offer the costly bulbs, known as LEDs, at prices “affordable for American families.” There was also a “Buy America” component. Portions of the bulb would have to be made in the United States.

Now the winning bulb is on the market.

The price is $50.

Retailers said the bulb, made by Philips, is likely to be too pricey to have broad appeal. Similar LED bulbs are less than half the cost.

How the expensive bulb won a $10 million government prize meant to foster energy-efficient affordability is one of the curiosities that arise as the country undergoes a massive, mandated turnover from traditional incandescent lamps to more energy-efficient ones.
Something tells me Wal-Mart is not going to be stocking this bulb. The big question is: will you be able to find this bulb anywhere one year from now?

I Erred On the New Claims for Unemployment/New Jobs Numbers Earlier Today

I started this blog to help me keep track of the Bakken, in an attempt to better understand it.

Along the way, there were other issues that caught my attention about which I frequently blog.

One of them is the state of the economy because it affects directly/indirectly what is going on in the oil patch.

One of the indicators I follow regarding the economy is the number of new claims for unemployment benefits; another metric I follow is the unemployment rate.

For as long as I can remember, the "magic number" for new claims for unemployment benefits is 400,000. Below 400,000 new claims for unemployment benefits (monthly number), pundits generally agree is a good sign.  Above 400,000, not such a good sign.

The unemployment rate is easier to follow -- well, duh. Today it was reported to be 8.3 percent.

I don't recall if I have posted the "magic number" for the number of new non-farm jobs (again on a monthly basis). I don't know if the "magic number" is as straightforward as the unemployment claims "magic number," but based on today's news stories on CNBC it appears to be 200,000.

So, to keep it straight in my mind,
  • the "magic number" for new claims for unemployment benefits: 400,000
  • the "magic number" for new non-farm jobs: 200,000
Hopefully I can keep this straight.

I appreciate "anonymous" for alerting me to my error earlier today; the pundits have not moved the goalposts as I stated.

Now, back to the Bakken. Glad to have gotten that off my chest.

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

March 9, 2012, Daily activity report --

Operators: Petro-Hunt (6), Fidelity

Fields: Eagle Nest, Sanish, Clear Creek

Five wells released from "tight hole" status; only two were completed, reporting an IP.

Another relatively unremarkable report.

Updated 4Q11 New Wells -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I have just updated a lot of the wells on DRL status that have now reported IPs.

Here are some very nice wells. I cut the threshold off at about 2,000 to be posted here, but that means a lot of great wells were not posted here (but still updated at the linked site). It really is incredible how good these wells are. Anyway, here are the best of the best:
It is likely that I have reported these earlier or elsewhere, but it's never too often to see them again.

Fracking Backlog Continues -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Of the six new wells reporting today in North Dakota, only two reported IPs. The rest are still waiting to be completed. 2/6 --> only 1/3 of wells that reported today were completed.

New Building Available in Well-Developed Industrial Park -- Williston, North Dakota, Heart of the Bakken

Sent to me earlier:

I have a building, new, for lease in the well established industrial park, 10th Street East, by the Coco-Cola building. Contact information? Patti 775-842-7261.

I don't have any connection with Patti, and have no knowledge of the building.

Update: after posting, Patti sent me a follow-up: Patti is a Willistonite; she had the building built last year; her current tenant moved out and she is ready to re-lease. Sounds like a great opportunity.

Oil Up $1.40 -- Oil Is Trading Like the Fuel of the Future -- For Investors Only

Oil is the fuel of the past -- the President
Algae is where the future lies


Later: I guess when the President speaks, God listens. A 120-mile algae plume can be seen from space.  Wow, you can't make this stuff up.
The Great Wall of China has company. It is a 120-mile-wide, bright green bloom that has been discovered floating in the ocean off the coast of Antarctica. It's a sea of algae, and it is visible from space. Scientists in Australia discovered the bloom in satellite photos taken more than 400 miles away. The giant growth most likely sprouted because of heavy winds during Antarctica's summer that blew snow into the water. There's a lot of iron in the snow, and the algae has thrived on it. The bloom has become a sort of cafeteria for aquatic animals such as whales, penguins, seals, and fish. But eventually it will disappear on its own and shouldn't have any negative environmental impact.
Why would there be any negative environmental impact? The writer says it's become a cafeteria for penguins and seals, and it's the energy of the future.

Original post

The jump in the oil price today, frankly, surprises me. There is no news. The Greece play has played out. The market has already priced in the 2.6 million Iranian bbls of oil taken off the market. It will take six months for the Israelis to get "bunker busters" and refueling planes from the US. The strength of the dollar has not changed; if anything, it's up slightly against the euro today. The dollar is having one of its best days -- just on CNBC -- a significantly stronger dollar. The unemployment rate did not change; the few added jobs did not move the needle.

The tickers at the right, on the sidebar, are pretty much all green. CVX is 75 cents from an all-time high -- not a 52-week high, but an all-time high. KOG is testing $10 again, right at $9.99 now.

11:00 a.m. EST -- oil up $1.40 on the television crawler.

As noted elsewhere, I don't care for Motley Fool, but how could I pass up on this one: according to one of their contributors, DNR is the best oil company investment.  Note: I do not hold or trade in DNR. I have no connection with DNR. I have a close friend who has told me numerous times, however, that DNR is one of his favorite companies. DNR has a unique niche in the oil and gas industry. Again, this is not an investment site; see disclaimer.

Unemployment Does NOT Improve; Still At 8.3% Nationwide

Yahoo: Trend Emerges -- Meaningful Growth Emerges -- What!
Yes, this is the trend: unemployment is stuck at twice the norm two years after the stimulus 
Jobs recession, 49 months: longest since WWII (link here)

Link here.
When something happens once, it's a phenomenon. When something happens twice, it's a coincidence. When something happens three times, it's a trend. That's an old journalistic rule of thumb. And by that rule, February's employment report confirmed that we have a trend of decent employment growth.

The headline number showed that the economy created a net 227,000 jobs in February. When the economy began to create jobs in significant numbers, analysts frequently pointed out that a job creation rate of 150,000 per month was barely enough to keep up with population growth, and wasn't enough to make a dent in unemployment. Now we're finally getting that growth. February marked the third straight month in which payroll jobs rose by more than 200,000. Gains could be seen in a range of industries: professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. The construction and retail trade sectors shed positions.
By the way, I missed the full discussion, but CNBC talking heads Jim and Michelle didn't spin the story: they were commenting on fact that a) solar was not a job creator; and, b) specifically, killing the Keystone was a job killer. A job killer. Period. Dot. Not rocket science. Good for Michelle and Jim.

It sounds like Michelle and Jim had just read the CarpeDiem story, same thoughts. 

By the way, my hunch is that the Yahoo reporter posting the linked story above drives a Volt with an "Obama for President" bumper sticker.

Dickinson May Not Like Men Living Together But Officials Certainly Praise the Wages

Link here to the Dickinson Press
Stark County companies pay the big bucks for mining and oil and gas extraction. The county paid the highest wages in the third quarter of 2011, allowing employees to pocket more than $2,000 a week, according to a Job Service North Dakota report released Tuesday.
Average weekly wages for mining have increased steadily from 1990 to 2008. Wages suddenly jumped from about $1,350 in the 2008 third quarter to almost $1,550 in 2009. Those wages increased by another $200 in 2010.

Update on the New Dickinson't Man-Camp

Just across the county line

Remember that story about Dickinson't killing a state-of-the-art, professionally-run Logistics Target man-camp.

Logistics built it just north of Dickinson't across the county line. Looks pretty impressive. In the big scheme of things, not a big deal except for scores of unnecessary miles driven every day.

A Feel Good Story To Brighten One's Friday

Unable to restart the $100,000 Fisker Karma

Consumer Reports bought the Fisker Karma from a Connecticut dealer.

CR takes it for the speed test. While gently moving through 65 mph, the "engine light" comes on. CR completes the speed test, brings it back to the center to park it. Moments later, it would not restart.
On Wednesday, Consumer Reports engineers were just starting to calibrate the Karma's speed by driving 65 miles per hour down the magazine's test track in East Haddam, Connecticut, Champion said.

"During the gentle run down the track, a light on the dashboard came on," he said, referring to the battery light.

The speed test was completed despite the light on the control panel, but after it was parked, officials were unable to get the car restarted. A spokesman for A123 Systems, which makes the Karma batteries, could not be reached. 
Champion, who called the Karma "gorgeous looking,"  said problems with new technology is not surprising.
But it sure looks gorgeous sitting there. I can't make this stuff up.

The question is whether AAA is trained to re-start Fisker Karmas.

Thank you to a reader for alerting me to this. I had to do some valet parking this morning and all cars started without a hitch. No, a Fisker was not among them.