Friday, August 3, 2012

External Links (Sidebar To the Right) -- New URL for -->

I wish I could do justice to all the great Bakken-related sites that are out there. I link them, of course, when I find them, but there are so many links on the sidebar at the right, it's probably not easy for any specific link to stand out. But, "it is what it is."

Near the bottom of the sidebar are some links to external sites. One site has a new URL:
With regard to the website on the Bakken at that you've linked to on your Million Dollar Way blog: the site was recently moved to The site is essentially the same, just on a new domain.
If I didn't make any mistakes, the new URL should now be seen, and the link, hopefully works.

By the way, I haven't visited most of those external sites in a long time. If any of the external links are no longer valid, or if they are broken, please let me know.

Oil Company Will "Donate" $60 Million for Public Education

Use whatever word you want, but at the end of the day, Bonanza Creek Energy will "provide" $60 million over five years to help pay for public education. Link here.
Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. has agreed to pay nearly $60 million over five years to lease 5,600 acres of oil and gas rights in Colorado's Weld County. The money will help pay for public education in Colorado. Bonanza Creek has been active in the Greater Wattenberg field for over a decade and has drilled more than 250 wells in the region.
Something tells me the faux environmentalists will let this one pass.  [Based on their past history, maybe I should not assume such.]

This is but one example; there are examples all over the country of Big Oil and little oil financing public education. 

Now, From the Same Folks That Brought "You Didn't Build That," Comes: the Real Rate is 8.254%

I can't make this stuff up.
"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July)," wrote Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.


Last time I looked, Nexen was a Canadian company.

Another word: chutzpah.

In case the link is broken:
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has joined Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in calling for the United States to issue a conditional block CNOOC's proposed acquisition of Canada-based Nexen, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Markey said that Nexen has drilled for oil in the U.S. without paying royalties and that, if the merger proceeded, would result in a "massive transfer of wealth" to China at the expense of the American taxpayer, the Wall Street Journal reported.
I assume CNBC interviewed Chuck with regard to this. Wow, I'm glad I haven't watched television in several weeks now. Stories like this make me happy to see Congress go on vacation for five weeks. Wow, five weeks vacation. If only.

Wow, Wow, Wow -- SandRidge Beats Estimates by Several Hundred Percent; Raises Guidance

Link here. Earnings updates for "all" companies are linked at the sidebar at the right.

Estimates: one penny.

Actual: seven cents.

Beat estimates by 7x. I guess.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read at this site. I do not own any shares in SD, and don't plan to trade in SD in the near future.

Wow, That Snuck Up On Me -- Oil Up > $3 Today

Must be the speculators again.

KOG is up almost 7%.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read at this site. I do not own any shares in KOG, and don't plan to trade in KOG in the near future. I have owned shares of KOG in the past. I use KOG as the bellwether Bakken-centric stock to follow the Bakken. With a P/E of 150, it has to be good. (With apologies to Smuckers.)

From Motley Fool:
Another strong performer is Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG ) , up 7% this morning. The company has once again made significant strides over the past quarter, growing revenue 288% year over year as well as surpassing EPS estimates by $0.15. Things are looking bright for Kodiak, especially if oil prices continue to march higher -- the company expects a 50% growth rate over the next few years.

Wow, That Snuck Up on Me -- AAPL Solidly Above 600 -- Again

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read at this blog.

I have never bought any shares of AAPL, nor do I ever plan to buy any shares, or trade any shares, in AAPL. I have no hidden agenda with regard to AAPL. I simply enjoy the products and enjoy following the Apple story. One of the few other companies I enjoy following almost as much as AAPL is ATT; it is interesting their close relationship.

Anyway, this snuck up on me: Apple is solidly above $600/share this morning. I am really impressed.

Just to give folks an idea of the things that are exciting to watch (most from the same website):
And I haven't even mentioned a dozen other things Apple is doing and will be doing.

By the way, this gives me an opportunity to explain (again) why the numbers don't add up for solar energy. All one has to do is look at the geographic area consumed by one manufacturing plant relying on solar energy (and my hunch is that the plant is not going to rely solely on solar energy). Look at how much land is taken up with solar panels for one manufacturing plant; and, it is obvious this land can no longer be used for anything else, and will never go back to the way it was. Oil and gas companies use so much less surface area it's not even worth comparing, and once the wells are abandoned, the land can be completed reclaimed. But dual-use land is the norm when it comes to drilling. Also, how many acres of trees were removed for this solar farm? Sad. The solar farm is 100 acres in size. Can you imagine the outrage if every manufacturing plant in the US started bull-dozing down 100 acres of trees? I assume there were no spotted owls in North Carolina -- in fact, the spotted owl is only in the western United States (not the east) -- wouldn't it be a hoot if Apple moved their data processing plant to the East Coast to eliminate this issue?

Low-Intensity Conflicts

This is definitely not a story I was going to link. But then the irony was too good to ignore.

This is the title of the three-part series: "Oil and Gas in the Crosshairs," at PennEnergy.

Based on the source of the article I was absolutely convinced the article had to do with the Federal government and the permitorium.

So, I was quite  blown away -- which might be a great phrase to use in this case -- to see that the article has to do with the "shooting wars" that the majors often find themselves in:
Energy companies are increasingly conducting up and downstream business in areas where they wouldn’t have gone 10 years ago – low intensity conflict zones (LICs), to be specific. The lure of profits is too great. But the physical, financial, and PR risks can be high. As Steve Coll’s recent book, Private Empire, points out, energy companies such as ExxonMobil have an increasingly critical need for threat intelligence and security not only to protect their people and assets in LICs, but also to make sound business decisions on where and where not to drill and refine.  

Just what are LICs? There are technical military definitions, but for the plainspoken oil and gas industry, LICs are “light wars” without defined front lines. The antagonists are typically non-state armies that don’t wear uniforms that might be fighting for religious, tribal, or extreme political causes. Their style of fighting customarily involves light weapons and hit and run tactics. LIC battlefields range from jungles and mountains to rural neighborhoods and cities. Besides fighting age men, LICs pull everyday people into the fight, including women, children, and the elderly. These type wars, sometimes called “peoples’ war,” “irregular war,” and “asymmetric war,” include guerrilla warfare and terrorism. 
LICs were (was?) a major topic of discussion during my two years at Air War College.  

One has to chuckle. A lot of us are concerned about the WTI-Brent spread, the cost of completing a well in the Bakken, housing, etc., but, in general, the one thing we do not have to worry about (yet) in the Bakken, is a "shooting war." I guess, on a Friday, it's nice to be able to put something into perspective. 


Economy creates 163,000 new jobs but rate rises.

More folks re-entering the jobs market now that the economy has turned around.

Forty-one (41) consecutive months with rate above 8 percent, despite ... what was it? ... a trillion dollar stimulus for shovel-ready jobs .... and a promise thrown in ... I forget the promise ...

CNBC reports again: get used to the "new normal" -- unemployment rates of 6 - 7 percent.

The more one digs into the report, the worse it is. For one thing, generally when the unemployment number goes up, the mainstream media uses the cliche, that "more people are entering re-entering the job market, looking for jobs, because the market is recovering." But this month (July), 150,000 Americans dropped out of the work-force; 150,000 Americans quit looking for jobs and will join the chronically unemployed. If these 150,000 had not dropped out, and, if an additional 150,000 had actually re-entered the job market, the "fake" unemployment rate would have been even worse. If interested in "fake" unemployment, google it. You will be surprised what you find. What you find will speak volumes. [Update: Motley Fool is reporting that more folks re-entered the work force. I think Motley, the Fool, got it wrong this time. But if not, wow!]

The AP spin. Incredible. The AP is losing -- has lost? -- all credibility when reporting unemployment stories. I would be surprised to find any man (or woman) on the street who would associate a rising unemployment rate beneficial to a president. Except for investors. The market appears to love this news: the market is now up over 200 points, almost 2 percent.


Obama's job approval drops to 44%.

Ms Pelosi calls it "a step in the right direction." I assume she gets her news from USA Today whose headline for today's unemployment story had this headline: "jobs report beats forecasts." Wow.


Meanwhile, the Labor Secretary gushes: "hey, we added jobs, but we need to do more." Yup. The headline says she chides Congress for not passing legislation to create more jobs for teachers. Congress just went on vacation, and I don't see why the President doesn't just sign an executive order, as he has done in the past to get things moving.

I can't make this stuff up.
"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July)," wrote Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Or more precisely.

The Olympics -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken -- Perhaps a Reminder That Harold Hamm Didn't Build CLR

From the Wall Street Journal
From a friend watching the Olympics: "How about that Michael Phelps? But let's remember he didn't win all those medals, someone else did. After all, he and I swam in public pools, built by state employees using tax dollars. He got training from the USOC, and ate food grown by the Department of Agriculture. He should play fair and share his medals with people like me, who can barely keep my head above water, let alone swim." -- Peggy Noonan, WSJ

Illinois Coal-Fired Utility Learns the Junior Senator Was Speaking the Truth


August 8, 2012: Black Hills Power to close more coal-powered plants.
Black Hills Corp. said Monday that its utilities will close some older coal-fired power plants because it would cost too much to bring them in compliance with new federal and state environmental regulations.

The company said its Colorado Electric subsidiary will idle a plant in Canon City, Colo., at the end of this year but keep it available for power-generation during peak demand until retiring the plant at the end of 2013.

Colorado Electric will also suspend operations at the end of 2012 for two units of a natural-gas-fired plant in Pueblo, Colo.

The Black Hills Power subsidiary will suspend operations Aug. 31 at a coal-fired unit in Rapid City, S.D., and retire the plant in March 2014. It also plans to retire plants near Gillette and Osage, Wyo., in March 2014.
Original Post 
This is truly incredible: Illinois coal-fired utility considering filing for bankruptcy:
Midwest Generation, which operates six coal-fired electric generating plants in Illinois, may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection along with its parent company, Edison Mission Energy, executives said Tuesday.

Three months ago, Midwest Generation executives announced they would shutter the outmoded Fisk and Crawford coal plants in Chicago in September. Midwest Generation also owns and operates the Powerton (Pekin), Joliet, Waukegan and Will County (Romeoville) power generation plants, which together with the Chicago plants provide electricity to nearly 5 million homes.
About 1,000 jobs. 

Note to the Granddaughters

On a more pleasant note, we all went "downtown" to Los Angeles to visit Chinatown, Olvera Street, and Little Tokyo.

Best kept secret: for $5.00, one can part all day in Metro Plaza Hotel at 711 North Main Street. All three locations are within easy walking distance, and lots of historical "stuff" to see along the way. Chinatown is about a ten-minute walk; Olvera Street is across the street from the parking garage; and Little Tokyo is 24 minutes.

It is not a grueling walk. The younger granddaughter, who turned 6 in July, walked all day, and walked the entire distance from Chinatown to Little Tokyo.

Why Not? "We've" Got Almost Everything Else -- Human Interest Story -- Riverboat Gambling

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting that the oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes is asking for permission for riverboat gambling. Here we go.

Human Interest Story: Alexander Man-Camp Opens Its Kitchen to the Public

From the Oil Patch Dispatch/Dickinson Press/InsideClimate News:
The Bakken Buffet near Alexander opens its dining facility up to the public, which most crew camps don’t do.

I had been curious about it and finally stopped there recently while driving home to Williston from Watford City.

That night they featured prime rib, halibut and chicken cordon bleu.

I was one of the few people dining that evening who didn’t live in the camp, but I’m told it is starting to catch on with the public.

One of the buffet’s fans is 90-year-old Elma Melland of Alexander. It’s giving locals another dining option they didn’t have before.
This simply warms the cockles of my heart. What a great story. I've spent a bit of time with folks over 85 years old, and companionship is an oft-repeated issue. I also get a kick out of the fact that folks outside of North Dakota and much younger than Elma complain about harsh North Dakota climate. This tends to put things into perspective. 

Consolidation, Expansion in Wireless -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With the Bakken

The wireless story is almost as exciting for me as the Bakken story. Today, very exciting news in wireless was reported:
AT&T Inc. has gone on a shopping spree for wireless spectrum, striking three separate deals that should let it increase its capacity for wireless broadband.
  • will buy NextWave Wireless, Inc, a Dallas-based start-up
  • will buy spectrum from Comcast Corp
  • will buy spectrum from Horizon Wi-Com, a Miami-based start-up
Comcast has given up on its own plans to start a wireless network, and is selling most of its spectrum to Verizon Wireless.
This is exciting for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly:
The three deals all involved spectrum in one particular band. Put together, they would provide near-nationwide coverage and a substantial boost to AT&T's capacity. AT&T said it will begin to deploy the spectrum in three years.
Total cost for these three deals is estimated at less than $1 billion. ATT's market cap is $220 billion and its operating cash flow is over $35 billion. This is an extremely small price to pay to provide ATT near-nationwide coverage. You all probably recall a competitor's very effective ad campaign some time questioning / challenging ATT's nationwide coverage, or lack thereof.