Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week 43: October 21, 2012 -- October 27, 2012

This week was the start of earnings for 3Q12; see sidebar at the right.

Bakken Operations
Halcon buys 81,000 net acres from Petro-Hunt
New operator in the Bakken: Williston Exploration/Medora Minerals
BEXP with three big wells
BEXP's incredible Strobeck wells 
BEXP's incredible Clifford Bakke wells
Sounds like OXY getting ready to stack its rigs
ONEOK's Bakken Crude Express Pipeline taking orders
Bakken hits new production record; 40% of Bakken oil is going out by rail
CLR Hawkinson wells in Oakdale -- testing the lower benches?

Supply boom upends oil market
US production could exceed Saudi's
Bakken rock clearly the source for both Bakken and Three Forks

Economic Activity
Counties secure $370 million in loans for electric grid build-out
Electricity demand could triple in western North Dakota over next 20 years
Another 123-single family unit development, east of Dickinson

North Dakota potash story: quiet but not quite dead

New Truck Wash in Dickinson; One To Follow In Williston

Link here to Dickinson Press.
The mess on oil field trucks that haul oil or other chemicals and solutions used in the drill process is not the same as the mess on cars, and needs to be cleaned carefully to make sure hazardous chemicals don’t end up in the water supply, Vice President Tyson Olson said.
The two, from Bozeman, Mont., decided to set up shop in Dickinson because they wanted to protect the environment and clean the thousands of trucks in the Bakken, President Troy Butler said. The truck wash facility has been open since June.
One to follow in Williston in the spring according to the article.

US Postal Service Hits Borrowing Limit


October 28, 2012: as I noted in the original post, October 16, 2012: this was a headline only. I haven't heard a thing since. No one cares. Someone noted that there is no such thing as "borrowing limit" in Washington.

Original Post
I assume, like the two pension payments it has not made, this will be a headline only.
The U.S. Postal Service in September hit its $15 billion borrowing limit from the U.S. Treasury for the first time in its history, leaving the agency with only the revenue it takes in from selling stamps, shipping and other services to cover its enormous operating costs.
The Postal Service has added $2.4 billion to its debt since June 30, pushing the agency to its borrowing cap, a spokesman said Tuesday. "Being at the limit is a serious situation because our limited liquidity does not give us operating flexibility," Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer said. "Without passage of comprehensive legislation as part of the Postal Service's business plan to return to financial stability, we continue to project low levels of cash."
The agency hit the limit in late September, though it had sufficient cash reserves to make a $1.4 billion workers compensation payment on Monday, Mr. Partenheimer said. The Postal Service was set to disclose its borrowing situation in an annual financial filing due out on Nov. 15. The Postal Service is on a fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
$2.4 billion added since June 30th -- $2.4 billion every three months?

File Under: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished....

Folks in Minnesota are conserving electricity -- so, their rates will go up....

Link here to
Xcel intends to file a request next week with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a 2013 electric rate hike, with an interim increase to be sought on Jan. 1. Madden offered few details, but said higher rates are needed to pay for investments in Xcel's two nuclear power plants in Minnesota and to cover other cost increases.
CEO Ben Fowke said Xcel intends to seek additional rate increases in the years ahead in Minnesota under a new, multiyear regulatory process. He said Xcel also will file requests this year for a gas rate hike in Colorado and electric rate hikes in Texas, New Mexico and North Dakota.
Minnesota's largest electric utility is still making money. But its customers in the Midwest aren't demanding more power the way they used to.
For 2013, Xcel expects only a 0.5 percent increase in electricity demand, with even less growth in Minnesota and no growth in Wisconsin, she said.
Nuclear energy? Yes, nuclear is part of the "all-the-above" excepting fossil fuel.

I thought Xcel  had a wind farm in North Dakota, but googling reminded me that Xcel was mentioned but then canceled a wind farm project back in 2011. The "official" reason had to do with uncertainty surrounding regulations protecting migratory birds; my hunch it had to do more with the uncertainty of tax credits ending in 2012.