Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Morning Links

Wells coming off the confidential list this long weekend have been posted, click here.

RBN Energy: Too good to be true. If you are pressed for time, don't read the article. Don't say I didn't warn you.

WSJ Links

Only three sections on Monday.

Section C (Money & Investing):
Coal is in retreat in the U.S., with demand down by about a fifth in the past five years. It isn't tough to see why. More than 90% of coal gets burned to produce power. Electricity use is down 2% over the past five years, and as the shale boom has made natural gas more competitive, coal's share of power production fell to 37% last year from 49% in 2007. Tightening emissions standards also favor gas over coal.
Little wonder, then, that many coal plants struggle with losses, and some now change hands at prices that even the phrase "fire sale" would flatter. But this could signal the market has bottomed out.
 A fire sale:
In early March, Dominion Resources sold three power plants totaling 4.1 gigawatts of capacity to Energy Capital Partners, a private-equity firm. 
After stripping out tax benefits, the implied underlying price paid per kilowatt of capacity was just over $100. In contrast, the Department of Energy estimates the cost of building a new coal-fired plant at about $3,000 per kilowatt—assuming you could even get the permission and funding to build one.
 Section B (Marketplace):
Section A
  • US steps up show of force in Korea: no link; stories everywhere
Afghanistan's Karzai seeks Qatar's help on peace talks with Taliban:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai traveled to Qatar in a bid to revive Afghanistan's faltering peace process and patch up relations with the wealthy Gulf emirate where the Taliban are establishing their main negotiating headquarters.
The US is quickly and quietly pulling out of Afghanistan; huge convoys moving south through Pakistan to port. Karzai has to feel a bit nervous. Bit the hand that fed him. After all the money and lives spent in Afghanistan, it looks like Karzai will ally with the Taliban. Years ago, I posted that likely outcome based on one National Geographic photograph. At least I think it was National Geographic. Wherever it was, it was a photo of Afghanistan's freedom fighters, the Taliban. The writing was on the wall, or should we say, the turban.

Op-Ed: nothing.

Wow, a pretty dismal issue.

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