Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Information Needed....

Unfortunately the story is incomplete; we don't have enough information, but ...

First the story: Bowman County commissioners are asking residents for a 12% increase in taxes. Inflation is coming, but for the past year or so, and projecting into the next or so, the Fed says there has been no inflation, and the Fed does not see inflation as being a problem in the near term going forward.

So, Bowman County residents are right to ask, 12%? Why?

The spotty answer in the linked article:
Commissioner Lynn Brackel said the county's hands are tied on several "mandated" increases and singled out rising costs for social services for residents, and retirement and health insurance tabs for county employees.
Note what was not included in the reason for the request for an increase in taxes: a) impact of the economic activity (i.e., oil); b) routine county responsibilities such as roads, snow removal, emergency services; and, c) inflation.

The answer: "mandates." Our hands are tied.

Note: based on the article, it sounds like this 12% increase does not include the increases the school district is expected to request.

My hunch is these "mandated" increases are trickle-down mandates from the Federal government. The Federal government has a habit of extending well-meaning programs and kick-starting them with Federal money for the first two or three years, but after that, local government is responsible. And so there "we" are --

We've been reading about these problems in other states. They are now coming home to roost, to steal a phrase.

It would be interesting to see the breakdown of the "mandated" programs. Before the November election.

Well, This Is Interesting...from the LA Times, No Less


November 24, 2012: exhibit #1 why global warmers are bull of "BS" -- a timeline of man and global warming. They start with Aristotle in 300BC and jump to 1896, conveniently forgetting the global warming period in 1500, documented by the Vikings; but most interesting: the timeline notes that the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997 but then conveniently neglects to mention that Canada withdrew from the protocol in 2011. The timeline authors spin the story of the 2011 conference which fell apart in disagreement; the best they could do was agree that they would re-convene in 2015 and negotiate a new accord applicable to all. Countries like West Germany were no longer interested in giving China a pass. The US has never signed the Kyoto Protocol.

But starting with Aristotle's observation of local weather phenomena....will it ever end, the BS? The timeline did not include a link to a video of a starving polar bear.

Original Post

Link to LA Times story here.
Centuries before the Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming, the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing powerful greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to a new study.

The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear cropland and process metals released millions of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year during several periods of pre-industrial history, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Nature.  
Although the quantity of methane produced back then pales in comparison with the emissions released today — the total amount is roughly 70 times greater now — the findings suggest that man's footprint on the climate is larger than previously realized. Until now, it was assumed by scientists that human activity began increasing greenhouse gas levels only after the year 1750.
Now, about that pesky little problem of the Medieval Warm Period, 800 - 1300 AD, when the Vikings were visiting Greenland.

That Was Short-Lived -- QE3 -- So, What's Next?


October 4, 2012: mortgage rate hits record low -- 3.36 percent

Original Post

Update: Fed Easing Has Little Impact So Far -- Out of Bullets? Prior to QE3, I posted that I was hoping the Fed would announce QE3: I was curious if the Fed had any more arrows in its quiver. 

Apparently not.
The Federal Reserve's latest easing program may be nicknamed "QE Infinity" on Wall Street, but it's having a very limited effect on the markets and economy so far
Stocks have been flat to slightly lower since the central bank announced the third round of its quantitative easing program — QE3 — while economists remain pessimistic that it will achieve its stated goal of bringing down the unemployment rate. Consequently, sentiment is beginning to build that the Fed may be running out of bullets
Sentiment is building for some. For others it's already a fact: the Fed has run out of bullets. 

Original Post On September 24, 2012, MDW wrote:

Is QE3 Already a Failure? 

Riding a bike gives one a lot of time to think. Seeing the market swoon again today, and the price of oil drop again, suggests to me, at least, that QE3, announced just a week or so ago, is already a failure. When it was announced, I thought as much. I have no idea what the expectations were, and don't even know if I have the whole story, but apparently the Fed is just buying more mortgage-backed securities. With mortgages already about as low as they can go, and folks still not buying, suggests that mortgages are not the issue. So, I'm probably all confused on that, and my reasoning is probably all wrong, but the bottom line for me is that there was nothing in QE3 that excited me. And today, while riding around Belmont (a suburb of Boston), I simply thought that QE3 is already a failure.

So, tonight, looking at today's business news, that's the Yahoo!Finance headline: if QE3 doesn't do what it's supposed to, the Federal Reserve is ready to step in and buy other assets (with money it doesn't have):
The Federal Reserve could expand its stimulus package to include assets other than mortgage-backed securities if the U.S. economy fails to respond to its latest effort to jump-start the economy. 
The article says the Fed is limited by what it can buy, but those boundaries are not written in stone; they can be modified.

I'm hoping they considering buying "stuff" that makes it easier for me to finance the following: a) a new Honda Civic; b) a new Apple MacAir; and, c) a new, high-end bicycle. I wonder if there's a way they could throw in a pre-paid Starbucks card for military vets?

You Can Now Pay For Your Starbucks Coffee With An iPhone App

Click here for the story.
Starbucks has added Passbook support to its iPhone app [App Store], as perhaps the highest profile app to embrace the feature. Starbucks customers can use its app to store gift cards and use QR codes on the phone to quickly pay for food and drinks without needing cash or credit cards. Additionally, the company keeps track of purchases for its rewards program.
This story would have held little interest for me (I don't have/own/use a SmartPhone), except for the fact the person ahead of me in Starbucks this morning paid for her coffee by having the cashier scan her QR code from her iPhone.

We all have our crosses to bear. For me, it's a hassle getting my billfold out of my backpack to find my Starbucks card.

For those at the Bakken Shale Discussion Board, it's a hassle depositing royalty checks in excess of $10,000. At the link scroll down to the fourth comment dated 11/30/11. See also this story posted earlier this evening. [You know, instead of a 371-foot pyramidal housing scheme on the prairie, these developers might consider chartering a bank in the same location that would take oil money checks with no questions asked, and no holding periods. Just a thought.]

[I carry my billfold in my backpack when biking. I bike to minimize my carbon footprint. I can hardly wait until the Boston winter.]

[I understand it may be best to NOT use the iPhone Maps app to find the nearest Starbucks.]

Random Update on Hauge 1-01H, #16965

Elsewhere, someone wanted an update on the following well:
  • 16965, 1,109, EOG, Hauge 1-01H, Parshall, t6/09; cum 383K 8/12;
The information is available at the NDIC website, but this level of information requires a yearly subscription ($50) which is totally worth it.

This is monthly data: the fourth column is oil production (bbls); the fifth column is oil sold (bbls); the sixth column is water (bbls); the last three columns have to do with natural gas -- mcf produced, mcf sold, mcf flared.

Notice how very little water this well is producing (good).

Notice how the production has stabilized at about 5,000 bbls/month; this well is paid for, by the way (very good).

Notice how there has been minimal flaring after the first year (good). 


How To Kill Solar In The US: File Under "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" -- Especially in the USSA

This is a most incredible story.

A few days ago I mentioned that everyone (well, at least "everyone" on CNBC) is concerned about the "fiscal cliff" coming after the first of the year. I argue that Congress will dither because they have all year to deal with the issue, and even as late as December 31, 2013, can make changes retroactive for the entire year. It will be a profoundly miserable 2013 but no one said life would be easy ... or fair.

Retroactive, you say? Well, that's the operative word for killing solar in the US.

Remember the ObamaSolarTariff (OST) imposed on the Chinese for dumping cheap solar panels on the US. Well, it turns out that the administration made the tariff retroactive and this small company in Hawaii just received a tax bill to the tune of 250% more than what they paid for the panels:
Marco Mangelsdorf, who co-owns a company in Hawaii, ProVision Solar Inc., that designs and installs rooftop solar-panel systems, has been fuming since he received a tax bill in June from U.S. Customs, saying that he owed more than $138,000. That is 250% more than what he paid for a shipment of panels he received in February from a Chinese supplier.
This company bought the solar panels legally and was installing them, just as the president wanted.

For their good work, the company is now looking at a whopping tax bill. I cannot make this stuff up.

By the way, the drop in the price of oil and natural gas will do to solar and wind what these retroactive tariffs cannot do.

Human Interest Story: North Dakota's New Millionaires

Great, great story from Yahoo News!Reuters.

Several story lines. One of them: oil money has now made it possible for farmers to farm again.
The retired men shooting the breeze at Joyce's Cafe in Stanley don't look like oil barons but appearances can be deceptive, especially in North Dakota.  
Take Robert Western, a farmer who was dressed in rumpled overalls and a baseball cap as he sipped coffee and discussed the oil boom that has transformed this once sleepy town. 
"Some of the younger people buy a lot more - machinery, vehicles, things like that," said the 75-year-old Western. "The rest of us, I guess it doesn't alter our lifestyle a great deal. I don't have a lot of needs."  
After he left, his friend Earl Rogstad remarked to a visitor: "It's too bad Robert didn't have his airplane ready... He offered last summer to fly me over and see (the oil wells) from the air."  
Western did not mention that he is co-owner of a Piper single engine propeller plane, according to FAA records. He did admit to receiving oil royalties from wells on his farm but locals said he is far from the richest man in town. It is not clear whether Western is a millionaire or merely wealthy.  
"You can't tell the average Joe farmer from the average Joe millionaire," said Ward Heidbreder, Stanley city coordinator.
The best part of the story: the absolutely stunning photograph of North Dakota from the air.

Many Tears Ago, Hillbilly Moon Explosion
This sounds like Norah Jones. There is riff about half way near the end that sounds very much like something from Willie Nelson's Stardust album. 

Snowing in North Dakota Tonight (The State Didn't Get the Global Warming Memo): Beach, North Dakota

Don sent me a note: snow in North Dakota tonight.

I remember when I was growing up, before there were any hints of global warming, it wasn't until Halloween that it started getting really cold. I could generally go trick or treating with out heavy winter clothes, so some years I do remember it being very, very cold.

Generally we did not see snow until December. But now we got snow on October 3, 2012 -- this is the southwestern corner of North Dakota. I grew up in the northwestern corner, so it's possible, it's always been colder and snowier in the southwest.

Anyway, here's the North Dakota weather advisory map. If you go the site at the link, you can see webcams of various locations in North Dakota: a) go to the sidebar at the left on that site; b) scroll down to the end or near the end; c) click on "Weather Cameras"; d) then go back to the map itself and click on the cameras. Beach, North Dakota is to the west of Dickinson, where you will see snow.

I digress, but one of the ... okay, two of my fondest memories when growing up in North Dakota -- during the coldest Januaries and Februaries when walking home late at night, maybe 10 or 11 p.m.:
  • the crunchiness of the snow; it was so cold, the snow froze into very, very crunchy crystals that seemed so loud when walking on an otherwise very quiet, still night; and,
  • the northern lights

North Dakota State Sales Tax Collection Increased by 40% Year-Over-Year for 2nd Calendar Quarter: 40%


Later, 11:20 pm: As you read the post below, consider this: the Bakken boom started in Montana in 2000. It started in North Dakota in 2007. This is either the fifth year or the twelfth year. Taxable sales and purchases increased by 40% over the previous year. A year ago, taxable sales and purchases were already setting records; in fact in 4Q11 was the first time TS&P increased by 40% you, and now, here "we" do it again. Had it just stayed even it would have been quite a story, but to do it again -- to increase 40% you again -- in a boom year one year ago -- that is the real story. I seriously doubt "we" will see this in 2Q13.

Original Post
This is an incredible story: the sales tax collections across North Dakota. Numbers rounded.

From The Bismarck Tribune, for the 2nd calendar quarter, 2012 (April, May, and June), North Dakota taxable sales and purchases increased by 40% over previous year.

Data points:
  • 14 of 15 sectors in North Dakota reported gains year-over-year
  • wholesale trade: up $500 million
  • transportation and warehousing: up by 90% (sector with greatest growth by percent)
  • construction: up 80%
  • mining and oil extraction: up 65%
  • financial, insurance, real estate, rental: up 50%
  • manufacturing: up 50%
Of the 50 largest cities, the biggest sales tax collection increases:
  • New Town: up 185%
  • Tioga: up 135%
  • Cavalier: up 115%
  • Watford City: up 75%
  • Williston: up 60% -- almost did not make the top 5! 
  • Mandan: up 20%
  • Bismarck: up 20%
By county:
  • McKenzie: up 80%
  • Williams: up 75%
  • Mountrail: up 65%
Cavalier is certainly an outlier: it is located in the far northeastern corner of the state, a long, long way from the oil patch. Maybe a reader will be able to explain why Cavalier made the top five. I did a short search but could not find any reason. Something going on with the Air Force Station there?

XTO and MRO With Two Nice Wells; Twelve (12) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Only three (3) wells come off the confidential list tomorrow:

  • 20600, 1,831, XTO, FBIR Blackmedicine 24X-21B, Heart Butte, t6/12; cum 35K 8/12; 
  • 22270, drl, WPX, Fettig 6-7HC, Eagle Nest,
  • 22489, 1,181, MRO, Thomas Miller USA 11-28H, Deep Water Creek Bay, t7/12; cum 25K 8/12; 

The Fettig file report makes for interesting reading. I don't understand 90% of what I read, but this one certainly seems to have had its problems. It seemed incredible to read all the problems the driller had. The original driller was replaced by a new driller late in the process to get to total depth, with three side-tracks. This sentence in the conclusion perhaps sums up this drilling experience: "A string of MWD failures occurred and MS Energy was run off location to be replaced by Sperry-Halliburton." [I don't know if that's standard jargon in the oil patch, "run off."] After that changeout, total depth was reached pretty quickly and seemed to be pretty straightforward. They spud this well April 4, 2012; reached a target depth with side track #2 on May 18th, 45 days from spud. Side track #3 was called due to motor failure 270 feet from total depth on June 26th, 84 days from spud. Shortly after that S-H came on the scene. [For newbies: drillers are routinely reaching total depth in less than 20 days.]
Again, I apologize if I'm misreading this.

Twelve (12) new permits:
  • Operators: BEXP (8), BR (2), EOG, Oasis
  • Fields: Cottonwood (Burke), Banks (McKenzie), Spring Creek (McKenzie), Big Gulch (Dunn), Painted Woods (Williams)
Comments: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Slow News Day -- Sorry For Not So Many Posts

The wells that came off the confidential list earlier today have been posted -- along with some commentary.

For those that missed it: eighteen new permits were issued yesterday.

I have a "human interest" story on the Eldridge well southwest of Williston, along the Montana border. It's an important well for a couple of reasons, not the least of which, the degree to which the team kept pushing to get this well drilled. Quite impressive. This is in the Briar Creek oil field which I don't believe I have blogged about before.

I will be off the net for awhile -- swim team practice for the older granddaughter, etc., etc., etc. I will continue to post short snippets here if I find anything of interest.

Oh, it's amazing how fast service stations can adjust to changes in oil prices. This morning, walking the granddaughters to school, the price of least expensive gasoline was $3.99/gallon. On the way home from school, early release today, the price had dropped to $3.85. This particular station gets its gasoline from an "independent source, " if that's what it's called.

An interesting nugget tucked into stories about the drop in oil price: the price of natural gas is rallying. You know, this could be very, very interesting: the drop in the price of oil could be more than offset by the rallying price in natural gas.

Good luck to all.

Price of Oil Drops -- SPR To Be Tapped?


October 4, 2012: talking head suggests reason for plummet in oil price -- Iran ready to implode. If new regime takes over in Iran --> sanctions lifted --> huge amount of oil back on the global market.

Later, 1:03 pm: Disregard the note below. I just happened to catch a snippet on CNBC a few minutes ago. The talking heads say there is no talk whatsoever of the SPR being tapped. In fact, they say that this drop means talk of tapping the SPR is off the table for now.

Original Post

I don't know. Just a random thought. But a $3.00 drop one month before the election and on the day of the first debate .... I know peace  hasn't broken out in the mideast.

An announcement to release oil from the SPR would blunt any bad news coming out of the debate.

Flashback: no announcement imminent but watching the price of gasoline closely.

Gasoline on the east coast has spiked due to refinery issues, etc. Reported earlier.

File Under: I Can't Make This Stuff Up

I saw this story earlier. I debated whether to post it or not. The MDW may not have much credibility but it does have a reputation to maintain.

Several readers have sent the link to me. I initially posted the link to the story deep in the blog where no one would see it but it would be there for archival purposes if necessary.

So, to let folks know my readers have not let me down, here is the story: some "firm" in Atlanta, Georgia whose CEO has never been to Williston (but does have a son who lives in Fargo and perhaps a map of North Dakota), has no permit, no zoning, no land, and probably no plan, is proposing to build a ..
a pyramid near Williston that would be the state’s tallest building and house 500 apartments, a mall, an entertainment center and more. New Cimarron City. Proposed by an investment group led by Camp and Associates, the pyramid would be 371 feet tall with apartments built into four sides and the interior filled with retail stores, a movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants and indoor parking for 1,200 vehicles.
Several details caught my attention, but "371" feet is fairly interesting. Three hundred seventy one feet.

I could understand a 370-foot building or even a 375-foot building, but 371 feet?

The enclosed hockey rink may be the one redeeming feature.

The biggest concern I have for a 371-foot pyramid in western North Dakota is the risk of earthquakes, following that report of an earthquake southeast of Williston the other day.

To the best of my knowledge there has never been an "old" Cimarron City in North Dakota, but wiki provides the dot that explains the origin of the name:
Cimarron City was an American Western television series, starring George Montgomery as Matt Rockford and John Smith as Lane Temple, that aired on NBC from October 11, 1958 until April 4, 1959. The name "Cimarron City" refers to a boom town north of Oklahoma City rich in oil and gold which aspires to become the capital of the future state of Oklahoma, established in 1907.
Upon hearing this proposal, it is rumored that Williams County Commissioner Daniel Kalil had four words to say about the proposal:
"Over my dead body."
And then something about ambulances.

That's just a rumor. Started here. Don't quote me on that.

If New Cimarron City doesn't fly, there's always "Mayberry RFD." [RFD stands for "rural free delivery," not, "rural fire department," in this case.] 

From wiki: Mayberry RFD's first episode had the highest ratings in recorded television history (up to premiere date in 1968), and the series was popular throughout its entire run. It was canceled in CBS's infamous "rural purge" of 1971. 

Something tells me this newest story needs to be purged, too. 

You know, on second thought, this could displace the "Mall of America" as the "go-to mall" in Minn-Dakota.

Follow-Up To That Question on Black Cat

A reader who still works in Williston, and at one time was in the ceramics distribution system in the oil patch, provided the following:

Black cat is a 100% based Chinese product, or at least it was 12 months ago.

Black Cat is not a manufacturer; they are a trader. They purchase from a supplier and have the product labeled as their own.

One can divide ceramics into two basic sources: domestic and foreign.

The domestic ceramic is a lightweight-only product and it typically produced in Georgia (southeastern United States); CARBO Ceramics has a large manufacturing facility in Georgia. Their ceramic is made with kaolin. CARBO Ceramics has manufacturing facilities in the US, China, and Russia. [I think I had a long post on CARBO Ceramics at one time; how it started out in the US, moved operations to Russia years ago.]

The foreign-made ceramic is an intermediate strength (ISP) or high strength (HSP), which are bauxite-based products.

Intermediate strength and high strength ceramics cannot be made with kaolin, but lightweight ceramics can be made with bauxite. [Australia was the leading producer of bauxite in 2010, followed by China. Interestingly enough, rock rich in kaolin is also known as China clay.]

Six months ago, the standard price was 38 cents/pound for ceramic.

The range of ceramics used per well varied from a minimum of 100,000 pounds to as much as 3 million pounds.

As a side note, it was pointed out that a cubic foot of wheat typically weighs 48 - 52 pounds; a cubic foot of 20/40 ISP typically weighs about 110 pounds.

Random Note on the Eldridge Well, Southwest of Williston

Briar Creek Oil Field

Briar Creek oil field is a relatively small field, about 24 sections, located southwest of Williston, right up along the Montana state line, just west of the confluence, where the Yellowstone River flows into the Missouri River. The area was made famous by Lewis and Clark, Fort Union, and Fort Buford. It's an incredibly beautiful area with a history to match. There's about a dozen short laterals in this small field, so it's been active, but the field doesn't show up often in the daily permitting or daily activity reports. That is why the long-lateral Eldridge -- discussed below -- is such a big deal: long lateral, Three Forks, and a great IP.

A sampling of the active wells:
  • 16107, 385, Zavanna, Lewis 1-36H, t5/06; cum 122K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16175, 267, Zavanna, Clark 1-35H, t6/06; cum 147k 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16212, 170, Zavanna, Ordway 1-26H, t11/106; cum 111K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16258, 199, Zavanna, Gass 1-25H, t1/07; cum 74K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16264, 66, Zavanna, Pryor 1-1H, t1/07; cum 29K 8/12; a Madison wel;
  • 16414, 35, Zavanna, Pvt. Hall 1-23H, t2/07; cum 150K 8/12; a Madison wel; 
  • 16417, A, Zavanna, Pvt. Goodrich 1-22H, cum 176K 8/12; a Madison well; no IP;
  • 16418, 50, Zavanna, Pvt Gibson 1-27H, t2/07; cum 34K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16455, 130, Zavanna, York 1-2H, t3/07; cum 79K 8/12; a Madison well; 
  • 16569, 108, Zavanna, Pvt. Frazier 1-34H, t6/07; cum 81K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16601, 32, Zavanna, Sakakawea 1-21H, t2/08; cum 20K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16638, 143, Zavanna, Charbonneau 1-14H, t9/07; cum 227K 8/12; a Madison well; 
  • 16643, 17/PA, Zenergy, Pvt. Labiche 20-19H, t4/08; cum 2K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16738, 125, Zavanna, Ft. Buford 1-16H, t10/07; cum 100K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 16889, 48, Zavanna, Pompey 17-18H, t3/08; cum 40K 8/12; a Madison well;
  • 18587, 2,413, BEXP, Sedlacek Trust 33-4 1H, t7/10; cum 127K 8/12; a Bakken well;
  • 20899, 2,980, BEXP, Eldridge 29-20 1TFH, t8/12; cum 8K 8/12; a Three Forks well;
  • 21846, loc/PNC, BEXP, Stubbs 28-21 1H,
  • 21847, loc/PNC, BEXP, Sedlacek Trust 33-4 2H,
  • 22178, 1,708, BEXP, Lund 3-34 1H, t5/12; cum 41K 8/12;
  • 22941, conf, BEXP, West Bank 26-23 26-23 1H;
  • 22942, conf, BEXP, Sullivan WMA 35-2 35-2 1H;
  • 23887, conf, BEXP, Eveland 30-19 1H; 
  • 23888, conf, BEXP, Gyda 31-6 1H;
I remember a couple of years ago, when I first started blogging about the Bakken, that the folks over at the Bakken Shale Discussion Group were told in no uncertain terms that there were no more Madison wells to be drilled/found. I guess Zavanna did not get the memo.

Original Post

I got a nice comment (posted earlier) from a team member that helped drill the Eldridge well about the  importance of team camaraderie and the rewards of seeing this well come in.

The little I know about the oil patch in the Williston Basin, this well is a big deal:
  • 20899, 2,980, BEXP, Eldridge 29-20 1TFH, Briar Creek, t8/12; cum 23K 9/12; this is about as far west in North Dakota as you can get before you are in Montana; south of the river, just west of the confluence; this is a huge well for this area
It's a big deal for several reasons:
First: looking at the GIS map server, this area is relatively inactive, and although it was not a wildcat, it's more remote than several wells I've seen listed as wildcats (I'm thinking of the recent well that was identified as a wildcat and for all intents and purposes was in the very nice Siverston field). 
But the Briar Creek is a field which we don't hear much about.  
Second, it's a big deal because it's a Three Forks well. It appears most followers of the Bakken boom have a pretty good idea of where the middle Bakken sweet spots are; that doesn't seem to be as true for the Three Forks. Being so close to the Montana border has to excite the folks in Montana.
Some highlights from the well file:
Core samples, as usual, were sent to NDGS Core Library, Grand Forks, ND; but, in addition, to Brigham Oil & Gas L.P. in Austin, TX.

The well was spud on April 19, 2012, and reached total depth less than a month later, May 16, 2012. The curve was initially landed five days after spudding; but the depth was considered unsatisfactory and a new sidetrack landing achieved on April 25.

It is quite interesting to note that background gases never exceeded 150 units in the Bakken (in the middle Bakken, the gas ranged between 14 - 80 units). But in the Three Forks, gas ranged between 12 - 3,536 (no typo) units.

And then the "challenges" began. There is more in the report than I understand but apparently after reaching total depth, the rig experienced a problem returning to the bottom of the well bore. They had reached total depth on May 5 (in only 16 days) but with the problems returning to the bottom of the well it took another 11 days of drilling and five more sidetracks (and as many trips back and forth into the hole) -- I could be wrong, but years ago, roughnecks told me there was nothing they dislike more than bringing all that pipe up and then putting it all back down again. It looks like this crew got to do this at least five times (but again, well above my understanding of the process).
I'm glad for the crew it was not the middle of the winter. So, at 17,000 feet total depth, "the well bore, for the majority of the lateral, deviated +/- 4 - 6 feet in true vertical depth from the Three Forks target line." Pretty impressive. To say the least.

Again, I apologize profusely if I've misinterpreted something. I enjoy reading the well files; I don't understand much of them; and don't have time to read many. But I think I learn a little bit something from everyone I read.

I can only assume all operators are this tenacious, but one has to wonder. I don't recall any "bad" BEXP wells. (I'm sure readers will remind me. Smile.) When you read this report, you are reminded that these great wells are not reached by accident.

[Wow, I can just imagine the grumbling every time the "boss" said they would they would have to bring the pipe back up again and try again.]

Wednesday Links -- Not Necessarily About The Bakken

The one-percenters are doing very, very well. Bloomberg story.
Four years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the biggest corporate rescue in American history. 
Even as U.S. unemployment has remained above 8 percent for 43 months, the country's biggest banks are making almost as much as they ever have. 
The combined $63 billion in profit reported by the six largest U.S. lenders over the four quarters through June is more than they earned in any calendar year since the peak in 2006. 
Bank of America Corp. made more in the 12-month period than Walt Disney Co. and McDonald's Corp. combined. 
Citigroup Inc., which like Bank of America took $45 billion in taxpayer funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, earned more than Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co. 
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets, had profits of more than $17 billion even after reporting a $5.8 billion trading loss. 
Ms Wanda Jackson still rockin'.

Google the rockabilly queen. [Actually, that alone is pretty incredible. Over time it will change, but today, the #1 hit when you google those three words is the WSJ article, page D5.] I feature some rockabilly videos on my various blogs, so it was a real treat to see this story, of all places, in the WSJ. But there it was: a huge story on Ms Wanda Jackson, 74 years old, and the queen of rockabilly.

Next week she will release her 31st studio album. According to the article, "last year she opened for Adele in North America, and Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello have hailed Ms Jackson's sizzly voice and rock-history importance."

A real rag-to-riches story. Some of the biggest rockabilly fans, I believe, are in Europe.


Motorola quietly drops a patent-infringement claim against rival Apple. Almost missed it. Back page of section B. Small column. Interesting.


Tea leaves suggest Syria will be Balkanized. Google Syria's Kurds build enclaves as war rages. The geography is very interesting. Arab Spring turns out to have unintended consequences. Turkey has always had a problem with break-away Kurdistan on its southeastern border. Syria's Arab Spring extends that problem. The entire northern Syrian border abuts Turkey, and all along that border are Kurdish enclaves. And the Kurds have money. Iraq just recently started reimbursing the Kurds for their oil (I believe that story was posted yesterday or Monday). 

It appears the movers and shakers know what really happened in Libya. But, like the Afghanistan War, if it's not reported, it didn't happen. The book, no doubt, will be out next year.