Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking for Something, Anything -- If I Ramble Long Enough, I Finally Get Back to the Bakken

I feel I let folks down when I can't find something to blog about the Bakken. Perhaps it's just a sign that the Bakken is maturing.

But it's feast or famine. Later this month the earnings reports will come out for the Bakken-centric companies for 4Q12 and I won't be able to keep up. A reminder: let me know if you see anything with regard to warnings, earnings, etc., that I might miss. I'm most interesting in hearing what Newfield has to say about the Bakken, if anything. Newfield has completely dropped off the Bakken radar scope. Even OXY USA has gotten more active with new permits over the past few days.

Odds and ends: someone noted that my concern about the Great Recession of 2013 based on lousy jobs reports is off-base, noting that unemployment is a lagging indicator. Wow, that is right on target. Employment has been lagging now for four years. If one was assured that the country would continue adding 155,000 jobs/month, we would be back to the baseline in another four years (based on that "scary" graph). Just use the same slope of the curve as it is now (and has been for quite some time) and extrapolate out: yes, it would be about another 48 months before we get back to the baseline. The concern is that there is nothing in the tea leaves suggesting that we will continue adding 155,000 jobs/month, and there are plenty of signs to suggest the number could go down. For the record: I remain very, very optimistic that 2013 will be a great year. Maybe "hopeful" would be a better word.

So, what's going on in the Bakken? Same old, same old, I guess. I see "they" have run out of steel-toed boots in Helena -- due to the Bakken.  For newbies, Helena, MT, is about 550 miles southwest of Williston. Just saying. A reminder: Montana Headlines (at the link) posts three times weekly; it does a good job wrapping up news, and it's very, very good writing.

I have never updated the Todd oil field which is a fairly large field covering the west half of the city of Williston and extending west of the city.

For a quick "cut and paste," here are the results of permits issued for Todd oil field in 2011.  (This may not be ready for prime time; there could be errors in this; if your numbers are different than mine, your numbers are probably correct, mine wrong. Note: data is current as of end of November, 2012, most recent reporting period for the NDIC; it appears natural gas production reports come in a bit later than oil production reports; which means that some wells reported as still flaring in November, 2012, might not be flaring any more in January, 2013.)

Permit #Operator IP

* Wells that have been in production close to a year; hooked up to natural gas pipelines, but still flaring up to half of its natural gas production.
** Wells that have come on-line in the last two or three months, and all natural gas is still being flared.
*** Wells that have been on-line for almost a year and all natural gas is still being flared.

The CLR and Oasis wells in Todd field (in the table above) are "loners" on the far southwest side of the field, which explains why they are not yet hooked up to natural gas pipelines. The BEXP wells are fairly close together on the northwest quadrant of the field. I assume pipelines are not being laid when the ground is frozen.

[By the way, lack of natural gas pipelines might explain the lack of drilling activity in East Fork, but the  presence of natural gas pipelines in the Brooklyn oil field might explain why there are three rigs in the latter field. Both fields are in the same general location.]

NOTE: comments about flaring may be way off but I think this is fairly accurate.

There could be typographical errors in the table above, but I think it's pretty close to being completely accurate. I'm sure readers will let me know where I've made mistakes. Smile.

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