Saturday, August 31, 2013

So Much For Caviar -- BloombergBusinessweek

Not yet on the net; watch for it later this week. A two-page article on how the energy revolution in the US is affecting Russia -- "Rising energy production in the US is testing Russia's economic model. Will vladimir Putin survive the challenge?

Whatever happened to Jane Nielson who said there was "some" oil in the Bakken, but not much? The Bakken was about a lot more than "how much oil was there." It was a laboratory for geologists and roughnecks. And it was a laboratory for free market capitalism with a pro-business legislature in session.

I can't wait for the BloombergBusinessweek article to be on-line. Another eye-opener. It's all about LNG.

Watch for it.

For Jane

The Syrian Missile Crisis

The theme song:

Under Pressure, Queen

Week 35: August 25, 2013 -- August 31, 2013

Petro-Hunt sells 17,000 net acres to Whiting, $260 million cash; the deal;

NDIC hearing dockets, September, 2013
EOG: requesting authorization for more than 604 wells in three cases
QEP reports four huge wells
Several huge Statoil wells
Is Crescent Point Energy pulling out of North Dakota?
Oakdale field is updated; one well, less than two years old, closing in on one million bbls

"CBR Shift" squeezes pipeline companies
BNSF to add second stretch of mainline track, Ray to Tioga, 12 miles

Enbridge increasing capacity by more than one million bopd

Government looking at new rule to regulate mining of fracking sand

The Bakken is a lot bigger than we thought
Legacy fund
Schools maxed out in the Bakken oil patch
Another Minnesota company sets up operations in North Dakota (Devils Lake)

Other formations/plays
Update on the North Dakota Spearfish
Natural gas production to increase 8x from the Marcellus

Random Look At Three EOG Cases On The NDIC September, 2013, Hearing Dockets Agenda -- Rough Look

Long-time and regular readers may want to compare these EOG cases with the EOG case 11939 in the December, 2009, NDIC hearing.  In that case, EOG was looking to permit 570 wells, if I counted correctly.

In the hearing dockets to be held in September, 2013, I count, in the three cases below, 604 permits that EOG could be requesting in the future.

Case 21007: Application of EOG Resources, Inc. for an order authorizing the drilling,
completing and producing of a total of six wells on each existing overlapping 1280-acre spacing unit comprised of:
Sec. 31, T.155N., R.90W. and Sec. 6, T.154N., R.90W.;
Sec. 32, T.155N., R.90W. and Sec. 5,T.154N., R.90W.;
Secs. 2 and 11;
Secs. 4 and 9;
Secs. 5 and 8;
Secs. 10 and 15;
Secs. 14 and 23;
Secs. 16 and 21;
Secs. 17 and 20;
Secs. 21 and 28;
Secs. 23 and 26, T.154N., R.90W.;
Secs. 1 and 12;
Secs. 5 and 6;
Secs.12 and 13;
Secs. 16 and 17;
Secs. 19 and 20;
Secs. 19 and 30;
Secs. 28 and 29; and
Secs. 33 and 34, T.153N., R.90W.;
Sec. 25, T.153N., R.90W. and Sec. 30, T.153N., R.89W;
Secs. 1 and 2;
Secs. 11 and 14;
Secs. 14 and 15;
Secs. 25 and 26, T.152N., R.91W.;
Secs. 1 and 2;
Secs. 23 and 24;
Secs. 27 and 28;
Secs. 28 and 29;
Secs. 29 and 30;
Secs. 32 and 33; and
Secs. 34 and 35, T.152N., R.90W.;
Sec. 12, T.151N., R.91W. and Sec. 7,T.151N., R.90W.;
Secs. 17 and 18;
Secs. 21 and 28;
Secs. 28 and 33;
Secs.31 and 32; and
Secs. 32 and 33, T.151N., R.90W.;

and six wells on each of the following existing 1920-acre spacing units:

Secs. 27, 34 and 35, T.155N.,R.90W.;
Secs. 32 and 33, T.155N., R.90W. and Sec. 4, T.154N., R.90W.;
Secs. 11, 13 and 14; and
Secs. 19, 29 and 30; T.154N., R.90W.;
Sec. 32,T.154N., R.90W. and Secs. 4 and 5, T.153N., R.90W.;
Secs. 35 and 36,T.154N., R.90W. and Sec. 1, T.153N., R.90W.;
Secs. 9, 10 and 15;
Secs. 9,15 and 16;
Secs. 17, 20 and 21;
Secs. 21, 22 and 27;
Secs. 22, 23 and 26;
Secs. 26, 35 and 36;
Secs. 27, 28 and 34;
Secs. 29, 32 and 33; and
Secs. 30, 31 and 32, T.153N., R.90W.;
Secs. 25 and 36, T.153N., R.90W. and Sec.31, T.153N., R.89W.;
Secs. 11, 12 and 13;
Secs. 23, 24 and 25; and
Secs. 26, 35 and 36, T.152N., R.91W.;
Sec. 1, T.152N., R.91W. and Secs. 6 and7, T.152N., R.90W.;
Sec. 12, T.152N., R.91W. and Secs. 7 and 18,T.152N., R.90W.;
Secs. 13 and 24, T.152N., R.91W. and Sec. 19, T.152N.,R.90W.;
Sec. 36, T.152N., R.91W. Sec. 31, T.152N., R.90W. and Sec. 6, T.151N., R.90W.;
Secs. 4, 5 and 9;
Secs. 5, 6 and 8;
Secs. 8, 16 and 17;
Secs. 11, 12 and 13;
Secs. 17, 20 and 21;
Secs. 18, 19 and 20;
Secs. 21, 22and 27; Secs. 26, 35 and 36; and
Secs. 30, 31 and 32, T.152N., R.90W.;
Sec. 1, T.152N., R.90W. and Secs. 6 and 7, T.152N., R.89W.;
Secs. 13 and24, T.152N., R.90W. and Sec. 19, T.152N., R.89W.;
Secs. 33 and 34,T.152N., R.90W. and Sec. 3, T.151N., R.90W.;
Sec. 1, T.151N., R.91W.and Secs. 6 and 7, T.151N., R.90W.;
Sec. 13, T.151N., R.91W. and Secs.18 and 19, T.151N., R.90W.;
Sec. 24, T.151N., R.91W. and Secs. 19 and 30, T.151N., R.90W.;
Secs. 25 and 36, T.151N., R.91W. and Sec. 31,T.151N., R.90W.;
Secs. 3, 4 and 10;
Secs. 4, 5 and 9;
Secs. 5, 8 and 9;
and Secs. 8, 16 and 17, T.151N., R.90W.;
and Secs. 24 and 25, T.151N.,R.91W. and Sec. 30, T.151N., R.90W.

43 + 37 = 80 drilling units
6 wells each = 480 wells

21008, EOG, Van Hook-Bakken, 5 wells on each of 2 320-acre units; 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; 7 wells on an existing 1920-acre unit; 7 wells on each of 3 1600-acre units; Mountrail (10, 7, 8, 21 = 46 wells)

21009, EOG, Stanley-Bakken 6 wells on 4 1280-acre units; 6 wells on each of 9 1920-acre units; Mountrail
(24, 54 = 78 wells)

These three cases: 480 + 46 + 78 = 604 wells.

Saturday Morning News, Views, And Links -- Bullsh*t -- Part III


September 5, 2013: The Wall Street Journal, in a front page story, reports that automobile sales are surging to a pre-slump level of sales. If one were watching the tea leaves for the past 12 months one could have seen this coming. The CNBC reporter below must still be under the Geico rock.

Later, 7:30 pm: a much better story about America's love affair with the automobile is in the current issue of BloombergBusinessweek, Sept 2 - 8, 2013. I don't believe the articles are on the newsstand any more. In "The Boomer Car Boom," BBW reports that "people 55 and older have replaced younger folks as the top purchasers of new autos." For me, that 3-second sound bite is all about the economy and nothing about "the American love affair with automobiles." So let's look at some data points from the article:
  • graying boomers have replaced the 35- to 44-year-old age group, the most likely to buy four years ago.
  • There's a strong psychological motive driving boomers back to the  the dealer's lot: the car defined the boomers growing up; a 20-year-old doesn't see the car the same way
  • 2011: 79 percent of those 20 - 24 had a driver's license
  • 1983: 92 percent between 20 - 24 had a driver's license
  • numbers reversed for older folks
  • in 2011, 93 percent of those 60 - 64 had a driver's license
  • 1983, 84 percent between 60 - 64 had a driver's license
Nothing in the article suggests car sales have anything to do with how much folks like cars; it's all about the widening gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots." At least that's how I see it.
Original Post

This story, being reported by CNBC, is a re-run. They're run this story before, several months ago. I guess this is an update.

It's all bullsh*t. Or bullshit if anyone is having trouble with the missing vowel.

This is being reported:
So, how to explain the fact that even as the economy finally is showing real signs of recovery the number of miles driven continues to decline. That report from the Federal Highway Administration is just the latest indication that Americans may be falling out of love with their automobiles.
In its report released this week, the agency said the number of vehicle miles traveled-VMT in the lingo of the transportation world-continued dropping during the first half of 2013. If the past were prologue, the numbers would have rebounded at least slightly to reflect the national rise in employment and income.
In a study earlier this month, researchers from the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center found that the number of miles individuals are driving has been declining sharply in recent years. That figure peaked at an average 900 miles per month in July 2004. By July 2012, it was down to 820 a month, a figure the researchers hadn't seen since the final years of the last millennium. 
For argument's sake, let's assume ... not yet.

First this: the writer makes the basic mistake that the economy is improving, more people are returning to work. He is obviously still under the Geico rock. Recent stories abound of the 30 million (or is it 60 million?) Americans that have dropped out of the labor force. The jobless numbers are unchanged for the past four years; if one can show improvement, one can show misreporting.

The author blew it: in bold above --  Americans may be falling out of love with their automobiles.

The government numbers did not say that all; the government numbers said folks were driving less, on average.

For argument's sake: let's assume the writer is correct. Americans are driving less miles. If that is accurate (and not simply due to being out of work), it simply means, that Americans are driving less. In fact, it doesn't even mean they are falling out of love of driving.

But for sure, there is nothing to suggest that they are falling out of love with their automobiles. Maybe they are falling out of love of driving (but I doubt it).

I don't drive very much. I hate driving in town. But I pay for four cars (one of which I never drive; two of which I seldom drive; and one of which I use to transport the granddaughters to swim lessons and back (four miles roundtrip).

I love cars. And I love road trips. But I digress. Where was I?

Oh, yes. For argument's sake: let's assume the writer is correct. Americans are driving less miles. If that is accurate (and not simply due to being out of work), it simply means, at most, Americans are driving less. I love hamburgers, and I love marbled steak. And I love French Fries. But I'm eating less of all of those for reasons other than lack of a change in taste. Likewise, just because Americans are driving less does not mean they love it less.

I am saving this article for the archives. It will come in useful when the new automobile sales records continue to be reported. We've already seen record sales over the past few months and this will continue, with or without O'BamaCare taxing the heck out of Americans.

Next week, we will probably read another story about the record number of Teslas being sold. To Americans. Who hate driving. Whose love affair with the automobile is waning.

Yeah. Right. Bullshit.

(Next time you drive down the interstate, see if you can see the old highway that the interstate replaced. Yes, the two-lane highway that curved to miss every little creek and gully, and then compare it to the straight interstate. My hunch is that in addition to absolutely everything else, routes between point A and point B have gotten shorter. People may have learned it makes more sense to live closer to where they work. They may have taken telecommuting. No, Americans may or may not be driving less, but they haven't fallen out of love of driving, and they certainly haven't fallen out of love of the automobile. If you doubt me, join me here at Starbucks and look at the number of late model SUVs in the parking lot and the luxury cars going through the drive-through.)

(My hunch is this story was also a televised CNBC story: one more reason I'm glad I don't have television. Smile.)

(It appears people are spending MORE time in their automobiles, just driving less miles, as this congestion-by-city table purports. Look how many hours folks in Atlanta, Georgia, sit in their automobiles, going nowhere. LOL.)

(I assume that the writer also feels that because fewer people are working than before -- as a percentage -- people are also getting tired of making money. LOL.)

So Many Story Lines -- "CBR Shift" Squeezes Pipeline Companies

The Financial Post is reporting:
The tug-of-war between railroads and pipelines in North American oilfields is only just getting started.
In recent months, the popularity of moving crude on tracks has sapped commercial support for new pipelines from oil fields in West Texas to North Dakota’s Bakken. Now it’s raising questions about the importance of Keystone XL, TransCanada Corp.’s controversial project designed to connect Alberta’s booming oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The assessment reflects moves by companies such as Gibson Energy Inc., Keyera Corp. and others, which have committed a combined $1-billion this year and next to build rail terminal infrastructure in Western Canada. Another $4-billion to $5-billion is earmarked for new railcars that are on back order, Peters said in the report.
As regular readers know, I enjoy tweaking active environmentalists who often act before they think.

Look at the photographs that accompany the linked story and tell me what makes more sense environmentally:
  • shipping oil by pipeline
  • crude-by-rail
  • trucking oil (LOL) 
So, next time you are sitting at a railroad crossing watching 110 oil tankers pass you by at 5 mph, thank the folks who killed the Keystone XL. 

For investors, it's a huge win-win no matter how you bet (rail vs pipeline).

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you might have read here. 

Saturday Morning Links, News, And Views -- Part II -- Dickinson Adding 1.4 Million Square Feet Of Retail Space

The Dickinson Press provides an update on economic development in Dickinson:
The first building of Dickinson’s major new retailers is beginning to look like the Menards store it’s going to be.
There are three major commercial developments planned for Dickinson’s west side, and while there are complete and near-complete hotels and apartments on the site, Menards is the first retailer to break ground at Roers’ West Ridge.
“We have several national retailers and restaurants that have shown an interest in the city that, over the next year, I anticipate them announcing that they will be coming to Dickinson,” said Ed Courton, Dickinson’s community development director. Big box stores can take nine months to a year to complete.
Directly north of West Ridge is Pinecrest, Meyer Real Estate Group’s commercial development, and on the south side of Interstate 94, along 30th Avenue West is the 5 Diamond commercial development.
As proposed, these three developments will add up to 1.4 million square feet of retail to Dickinson, Courton said.
Beltrami County, Minnesota, will lose $1 million/year in lease money from Enbridge with new Sandpiper proposed route to avoid the wetlands:
Beltrami County makes about $900,000 off Enbridge Energy each year, but no more funds will be funneling into county coffers if the Canadian company has its way.
Enbridge chose the route it prefers for the proposed Sandpiper pipeline, and it does not run through Beltrami County, which made just south of $1 million in property taxes off the company in 2011.
“It’s mainly about winter construction costs,” said Becky Haase, spokeswoman for Enbridge. With the proposed route, taking a sharp turn to the south just west of the Beltrami and Clearwater county line, those costs will be much lower, Haase said.
The property taxes for the Sandpiper would go to the eight Minnesota counties through which the pipeline will travel — a distance of 610 miles, with a price tag of $2.5 billion, according to Haase.
From west to east, those counties are Polk, Red Lake, Clearwater, Hubbard, Cass, Crow Wing, Aitkin and Carlton. With the existing pipeline, which runs through Clearbrook, Bemidji and just south of Grand Rapids, the Sandpiper would bring to 11 the number of counties carrying Enbridge oil.
Easy come, easy go. I assume the Beltrami folks are happy to finally be rid of Enbridge. And the million bucks each year. Easy come, easy go. Be sure to thank your local environmentalist.

Global Warming -- Saturday Morning's Recap; No Hurricanes In The Month Of August; The First Time In 11 Years; Accumulated Cyclone Power 30% Of "Normal"

This is a cut and paste from an earlier post this morning. This is just about global warming, nothing else.

Deniers of the coming ice age should skip this, but I thought it too important to languish as part of an earlier post that some folks might miss.

So, if you have read everything I've posted so far this morning, this is a repeat. My editor recommended I do this. I don't like doing this, repeating stuff, but I have a pretty good editor. So:

Global Warming

First, and this is the best: there were no hurricanes in the month of August. Bloomberg is reporting:
August is about to end without an Atlantic hurricane for the first time since 2002, calling into question predictions of a more active storm season than normal.
Six tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic since the season began June 1 and none of them has grown to hurricane strength with winds of at least 74 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic, a measure of tropical power, is about 30 percent of where it normally would be, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal hurricane forecasts.
“At this point, I doubt that a super-active hurricane season will happen,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail yesterday.
Environmentalists seem to be in a panic. Bloomberg is also reporting:
U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.
They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change.
 And this:
The summary document notes that the rate of warming over the past 15 years “is smaller than the trend since 1951,” citing a rate of about 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade in the years 1998 through 2012. The rate was about 0.12 degrees per decade from 1951 through 2012.
From The Guardian
Cooling waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean appear to be a major factor in dampening global warming in recent years, scientists said on Wednesday.
Their work is a big step forward in helping to solve the greatest puzzle of current climate change research – why global average surface temperatures, while still on an upward trend, have risen more slowly in the past 10 to fifteen years than previously.
Waters in the eastern tropical regions of the Pacific have been notably cooler in recent years, owing to the effects of one of the world's biggest ocean circulatory systems, the Pacific decadal oscillation.
And so it goes. Finally, some discussion in the mainstream media about "the pause." Seventeen years now. 

Alabama: one of the coolest summers on record in 131 years.

Why President O'Bama Killed The Keystone XL: It Wasn't "XL" Enough; Coal To Natural Gas

It can now be revealed why President O'Bama killed the Keystone XL.

It wasn't big enough.

Quick: what was the estimated cost for the Keystone XL? Let's call it about $7 billion (wiki) but I'm sure you can find figures all over the "map."

The Chinese are talking about a $16 billion pipelineAnd another $11 billion for the coal-to-natural gas plant where the pipeline is headed. Almost $30 billion for a single, multi-province project. Sort of makes the Keystone XL pale in comparison and not worthy of Barry's attention.
China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) has received Beijing's approval for a mega project to turn coal into natural gas as part of the mainland's strategy to increase energy efficiency and cut reliance on oil and gas imports.
Fu Chengyu, the chairman of the nation's second-largest oil and gas producer and the world's second-biggest crude oil refiner, said the project had received "all necessary government approvals", but the budget was not known.
"Since this project involves over a dozen provinces, the overall investment can be known only after a detailed feasibility study is completed," Fu said.
The project involves the construction of an 8,000-kilometre main gas pipeline from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to Zhejiang province through Guangdong. Five branch pipelines will also be built.
China is 90 per cent coal self-sufficient but imports almost 60 per cent of its oil and a quarter of its gas usage. Coal gasification subjects coal to high heat and pressure to turn it into gases, which are processed into natural gas and other by-products.
The total cost of the pipeline would exceed 100 billion yuan (HK$126 billion), Fu said, adding Sinopec would lead the project and be responsible for investing in 8 billion cubic metres of annual gas production and transmission capacity. Total capacity will be 30 billion to 36 billion cubic metres (bcm). [US dollars: $16 billion; Hong Kong dollars: $126 billion].
For additional background on this story, see a MDW post back on April 7, 2013:

China announced that it will be building a huge, $11 billion, coal-to-gas facility. Reuters is reporting:
China's state energy giant Sinopec Group envisages investing 70 billion yuan ($11.3 billion) to build the country's largest coal-to-gas project in 8-10 years to meet a rising demand for natural gas, a newspaper said on Sunday. 
Coal-to-gas production facilities in Zhundong in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang will have annual production capacity of 8 billion cubic metres of gas (bcm) .... Coal extracted from two mines in Zhundong will be used to feed coal-to-gas production facilities nearby, the daily said. The coal mines have annual production capacity of 15 million tonnes each. 
Something tells me Sinopec will have no trouble with the permitting process. The CO2 emissions, I imagine, will flow eastward over Portland, OR.

Saturday Morning Links, News, And Views -- I Have A Dream


September 1, 2013: hours before the surprise speech on Syria a reader suggested that Obama was going to strike that night. The strike would have been brief and in time for the Sunday morning news shows. At the time, I don't think either the reader (who sent me his thoughts on Obama) or I knew that the President had a speech scheduled for later that day. This was my reply, before I knew there was going to be a speech:
I don't get television so I don't know what additional information you have that I don't have.

If he were to launch tonight, it would simply be a square filler. He would be able to give a speech saying he did it, that he kept his word.

If he does do a limited, brief launch, I think it will be horrendous -- the Russians know that he was acting like a spoiled child, that even without the Brits, he would show the world who is boss, but the Russians know he is a paper tiger. The Syrians have said that if Obama launches, he will be launching all by himself, and he (Obama) will own/buy completely 100% whatever the fallout it, and I think it would Vladimir Putin carte blanche to do what he wants in the Mideast. Obama would be going it alone; no UN vote; no Congressional vote.

I can't read Obama's mind; he is 100% unpredictable. Reagan's Libyan bombing was similar but there was no lead up to it; it just happened. In this case, Obama would be going in despite everyone (except French Hollande) saying "no" publicly, though privately they may be saying something else.

So, I would not take any bet on when/if he launches tonight. He is too unpredictable. I think he invites the wrath of Putin if he launches.
The key thought in that note was my suggestion that President Obama knew he was going to be doing this completely alone: as I said above, whatever happened after the brief and limited launch, he, personally, had bought whatever happened next, for however long it lasted. He would "own" Syria. 

It appears the last connecting dot was the failure of the British government to back him: Parliament said "no" and the Prime Minister acquiesced.  Without the British, President Obama was entirely on his own. 

I thought about that note when I read the New York Times piece on his decision and his speech. Generally, the Times will put their spin on the story, giving some insight into their editor's stand on an issue. In this case, and I read the article twice, I could not find one bit of editorial slicing and dicing that put the President in a good light. 

WSJ Links

Of course, the Syrian Missile Crisis heads the list. No links: the story is everywhere. John Kerry reprises the Colin Powell role as the SecState who has all the evidence he needs to strike Syria. Well, actually not quite (all the evidence). His exact words: "high confidence" that the Syrian regime was behind a chemical-weapons attack -- direct quote from The WSJ.

"High confidence" is just a bit more conclusive than "pretty sure, you betcha."

Barry O'Bama reprises the role of George Bush #2, but this time the producer/director is the lead actor himself, Barry O'Bama, and he will re-write the script: no coalition, no UN vote, no Congressional authorization. Producer, director, writer, screenplay, editing: Barry will go it alone.

But with the British vote, and the American polling, this movie may never get made. 

If you all recall, Barry was piloting the lead helicopter that flew into the Osama bin Laden compound. I assume Barry will fly to Langley Air Force Base to personally launch the first drone missile attacks if the movie is released.

It is nice to see that French President Hollande is goading President O'Bama to take action against Syria. I assume France doesn't get any oil from Syria.

Meanwhile, Canada is rethinking/re-vamping its immigration policy. It looks like the Canadians are more interested in bettering their country than getting votes.

This should be interesting: Amish newspapers thrive in digital age.
The corn stands 5 feet tall, the temperatures are in the 90s and Johnny Byler got hooked on his head while fishing with a friend, reported Mrs. Jerry Ray Byler in a recent front-page article of the Budget.
Mrs. Byler is one of about 860 correspondents for the Budget, a 123-year-old weekly newspaper, which carries the news of Amish and Mennonite communities, from Diagonal, Iowa to the three Minnesota outposts of Bertha, Clarissa and Lenora. They write about who got married, who went to church, who received dentures—and how 11 chickens went missing when Toby Schrocks of Cisne, Ill., forgot to close the chicken-house door.
I Have A Dream

I have a dream, too. I dream that someday we will have political leaders who can think and orate like Martin Luther King

The Bakken Can Wait -- But First Some Idle Chatter

If you came here for the Bakken, scroll down, up, or to the left. Or better yet, look at the September NDIC hearing dockets, and drool over the 600 wells that EOG is looking to drill. But for now, I'm going to spend some "me-time" which is important to help put all this in perspective when my granddaughters read this 20 years from now.

Everywhere, and at the top of the fold of The New York Times, a bigger headline than the Syria missile crisis story: Seamus Heaney, died August 30, or thereabouts, I guess. I first met Seamus through reading his translation of Beowulf. Other than that, I don't really know much about him. Here are some stories: The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, wiki.

His passing caught the eye of the gods. Jupiter was the second brightest object in the sky this morning just before dawn; the brightest object, of course, was the crescent moon. And if one had good enough eyes, and I just barely do (I forget to grab the binoculars) one could also see Mars just above Jupiter. I saw all three. If I had a telescope/camera/photographic skills/interest/time/etc I would have taken a photograph.

It was incredible. Apparently one more viewing opportunity tomorrow (Sunday) morning, when it is still very dark before dawn. We happen to live where there is minimal manmade light interfering with stargazing.

Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In, The Fifth Dimension

" ... when the moon is in the 7th house, when Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars ..." [Shortly after this was posted, the US and Russia fond a way out of striking Syria.]


There is a Russian proverb: there is no such thing as happiness. There are only happy moments.

About a week ago I realized I was experiencing one of those happy moments, perhaps one of the happiest moments in my life (save those I've spent with three beautiful women).

I can't recall when I've been happier. I wouldn't be surprised if having no television is not playing a significant role. I may be spending as much time in front of an LED monitor but I'm not watching television.

This evening I had a free hour and needed something to fill that time while preparing dinner. I had not watched Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, II, in some time. I had forgotten how superb the sound track was.

David Lynch always has incredible sound tracks, and he has incredible scenes, but he seems to have difficulty putting an entire story together -- at least one in which sane people can understand.

But Quentin Tarantino, when he is good, he is very, very good. Sometimes I think David Lynch puts his movie together building around some incredible scenes. Quentin, on the other hand, it seems, puts his movies together based on some incredible sound tracks. The sound track for Kill Bill Volume 2, is an incredibly good sound track. 

I only had an hour but watching the first hour of Kill Bill Volume 2 was incredible. I knew I always enjoyed the music, but I had forgotten how really good it was.

[Current DVDs being viewed this past week: The Lord of the Rings, the entire trilogy; Casablanca, for the umpteenth time (I never get tired of watching it); the first three seasons of 'curb your enthusiasm'; the first season of Miami Vice; and, the first 1 and a half seasons of Twin Peaks (there were only two seasons). None of these were selected randomly, except perhaps Kill Bill Volume 2 which I was watched last night -- just the first hour.


I continue to read Edward Hodges' 1983 biography of Alan Turing. I think I've mentioned it before so I won't talk about it now, except to say for those interested in the history of quantum physics and the development of the modern computer, and the social milieu of England in the last half of the 20th century, the biography is a must-read. The book has been in continuous print since 1983, and the centenary edition came out in 2012.

As exciting, is an Amazon Vine copy of Sidney and Violet: Their Life With T. S. Eliot, Proust, Joyce, and the Excruciatingly Irascible Wyndham Lewis, Stephen Klaidman. I am reading an advance copy; I'm not sure when it will be released for sale. The advance copy comes with a few typesetting errors that need to be corrected and without an index. I am always surprised to see how much influence a man like Wyndham Lewis could have who seemed to do so little, produce so little, and what he produced, seemed so irrelevant. [Again, I'm talking about Wyndham, not the president.]

Global Warming

I should do this as a stand-alone post, all the stuff coming out with regard to global warming.

First, and this is the best: there were no hurricanes in the month of August. Bloomberg is reporting:
August is about to end without an Atlantic hurricane for the first time since 2002, calling into question predictions of a more active storm season than normal.
Six tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic since the season began June 1 and none of them has grown to hurricane strength with winds of at least 74 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic, a measure of tropical power, is about 30 percent of where it normally would be, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal hurricane forecasts.
“At this point, I doubt that a super-active hurricane season will happen,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail yesterday.
Environmentalists seem to be in a panic. Bloomberg is also reporting:
U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.
They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change.
 And this:
The summary document notes that the rate of warming over the past 15 years “is smaller than the trend since 1951,” citing a rate of about 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade in the years 1998 through 2012. The rate was about 0.12 degrees per decade from 1951 through 2012.
From The Guardian
Cooling waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean appear to be a major factor in dampening global warming in recent years, scientists said on Wednesday.
Their work is a big step forward in helping to solve the greatest puzzle of current climate change research – why global average surface temperatures, while still on an upward trend, have risen more slowly in the past 10 to fifteen years than previously.
Waters in the eastern tropical regions of the Pacific have been notably cooler in recent years, owing to the effects of one of the world's biggest ocean circulatory systems, the Pacific decadal oscillation.
And so it goes. Finally, some discussion in the mainstream media about "the pause." Seventeen years now.

Alabama: one of the coolest summers on record in 131 years.

And This, Folks, Is Why Bakken Acreage Still Commands A Premium, And Why the Bakken Is The Gold Standard; Four QEP Wells With High IPs

From Friday's NDIC daily activity report, six producing wells that have been completed:
  • 24398, 2,909, QEP, MHA 1-04-33H-150-92, Heart Butte, middle Bakken, t7/13; cum --
  • 24400, 2,844, QEP, MHA 2-04-33H-150-92, Heart Butte, middle Bakken, t7/13; cum --
  • 24399, 2,381, QEP, MHA 3-04-33H-150-92, Heart Butte, Three Forks; t7/13; cum --
  • 24401, 2,384, QEP, MHA 4-04-33H-150-92, Heart Butte, t7/13; cum --
  • 24600, 592, Sequel, Leon 21-8H-0817-15895-TF, McGregor, May 7 - 25; fairly high gas units; t8/13; cum --
  • 24599, 694, Sequel, Larena 21-8H-0817-15895-MB, McGregor, high gas units; 24-foot trip gas flare, t8/12; cum -- 
I track Heart Butte here; it has been updated; a great field for newbies to look at, to see the incredible production potential in the Bakken. 

In addition, there were twelve (12) new permits:
  • Operators: Statoil (3), Corinthian (2), HRC (2), MRO, Cornerstone, CLR, American Eagle, Whiting
  • Fields: Red Rock (Bottineau), Coteau (Burke), White Earth (Mountrail), Sanish (Mountrail), Otter (Williams), Northeast Landa (Bottineau), Alger (Mountrail)
  • Comments: MRO has a permit for a wildcat in Slope County; American Eagle has a permit for a wildcat in Divide County;

Unedited e-mail sent in reply to a note from a reader (my reply may not make sense without the original e-mail note from the reader, but ....)
Great comments. Thank you.

Yes, comparing ALL of Texas to the Bakken is comparing apples with oranges. I think folks forget the Bakken is essentially four counties, and then whatever they find around Dickinson in the next Three Forks and Tyler boom, yet to come.

I agree with you. Unless there are some major geopolitical debacles impacting the Bakken negatively, I doubt Dickinson will be overbuilt. Hopefully, I will see for myself in October. But, without question, the activity is still centered in McKenzie County right now.

The flared gas issue is quite troubling. The only way they can make a dent in flared gas is shutting in or choking back a lot of wells. It looks like "little" mineral owners can get $80,000/month in crude oil royalties, and $4,000/month in NGLs from Bakken wells, and some of those folks are complaining that they are losing $4,000/month in "wasted" natural gas. It is not worth the effort, money, or time for the operators to put in a pipeline to some of those remote wells, and even if they did, ONEOK and MDU don't have enough processing capacity to handle all that natural gas so it would still be flared. If those complaining about wasted flared gas, wait until NDIC or the Feds start shutting in those wells that are flaring; then they will have something to complain about.

I don't know if you saw the RBN Energy article. The natural gas production from the Marcellus will increase by 8 times, and they will be piping the excess natural gas out to Montana, Utah, etc., and that will put further pressure on the Bakken natural gas flaring issue. And we haven't even begun to talk about all the NGL coming out of Canada. When that NGL tsunami hits, the $4,000/month in wasted natural gas will probably go to $1,000/month. And some folks will still be complaining about "wasted" gas. It suggests to me they do not understand the economics of drilling. Of course, I don't either.

Thank you for taking time to write; sharing comments. Hopefully I will be in the Bakken in late October.

Bakken Update -- NOT!

I don't know if it's Mike Filloon's headline or the headline that SeekingAlpha attaches to his articles, but it appears that SeekingAlpha has a "series" called "The Bakken Update." I only noted it this morning, but it seems to be almost synonymous with articles submitted by Mike Filloon, regardless of what he actually writes on.

Today, the headline: "Bakken Update: Carrizo Beats On The Top and Bottom Line In Q2." Carrizo is in the Eagle Ford and the Marcellus; Carrizo is not in the Bakken. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

NDIC Hearing Dockets: September, 2013

Note: as you go through these cases, think about folks who elected to not participate in a given well in a given spacing unit, and become a working partner; some of these spacing units will see 15+ wells. 

Note: along that line, look at all the risk penalty cases.

Note: the percentage of cases in which maximum production and flaring is being requested; Lynn Helms and the commission have the authority to deny these requests which the majority of those commenting elsewhere would like to see. Activist environmentalists would be pleased. Again, the flaring issue in the Bakken could become a non-issue fairly quickly.

Note: permits for 600 or so wells being requested by EOG

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

20854, Evertson Operating, proper spacing, Ray-Red River, Williams County
20855, Whiting, proper spacing, Hoot Owl-Red River, Golden Valley County
20856, Whiting, temporary spacing, Williams 24-25; Golden Valley County
20857, Whiting, temporary spacing, Jones 44-25; Golden Valley County
20858, SM Energy, amend, Phelps Bay-Bakken, terminate a 960-acre spacing unit, and establish a 640-acre unit; 8 wells; McKenzie County
20859, Oasis, amend, Bull Butte-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well, Williams
20860, Oasis, amend, Tyrone-Bakken; establish four overlapping 2560-acre units; 1 well each; Williams
20861, Oasis, amend, Squires-Bakken, establish two overlapping 2560-acre units; 1 well each; Williams
20862, Oasis, amend, Missouri Ridge-Bakken; i) establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit, 10 wells; ii) establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit, 1 well; iii) alter the stratigraphic definition Williams
20863, Oasis, amend, Robinson Lake and Alkali Creek-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well; Mountrail
20864, Oasis, amend Willow Creek-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well; Williams
20865, Oasis, amend, Baker-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well; Williams, McKenzie
20866, Oasis, amend Camp-Bakken, establish an overalapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well; McKenzie
20867, Oasis, authorize, Baker-Bakken; 15 wells on some or all 1280-acre units; McKenzie, Williams
2868, Oasis, authorize, North Tioga-Bakken; 15 wells on a 1280-acre unit; Burke, Divide, Williams
20869, Oasis, authorize, Gros Ventre-Bakken; 15 wells on a 1280-acre unit; Burke, Mountrail
20870, OXY USA, amend, Little Knife-Bakken, establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit 1+ wells; Dunn
20871, OXY USA, amend, Cabernet-Bakken, establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ wells; Dunn
20872, OXY USA, amend, Cabernet and Murphy Creek-Bakken, establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ wells; Dunn
20873, OXY USA, amend, Dimond-Bakken, max production, flaring, Burke
20874, OXY USA, note to dismiss, amend, Fayette-Bakken, max production, flaring, Dunn
20875, OXY USA, amend, Little Knife-Bakken, max production, flaring, McKenzie, Billings, Dunn
20876, OXY USA, amend, Vanville-Bakken, max production, flaring, Burke
20877, Hess, amend, Truax-Bakken, authorize 8 wells on a 1280-acre unit; Williams
20878, Hess, amend, Rainbow-Bakkken, max production, flaring, Williams
20879, Hess, amend, Juniper-Bakken, max production, flaring, McKenzie
20880, Hess, amend, Hawkeye-Bakken, max production, flaring, McKenzie
20733, cont'd
20737, cont'd
20728, cont'd
20881, cont'd
20882, cont'd
20883, cont'd
20607, notice to dismiss, QEP, amend, Van Hook-Bakken, 16 wells on a 3200-acre unit; Mountrail, Dunn
20884, Nuverra, treatment facility
20885, Nuverra, treatment facility
20886, Nuverra, treatment facility
20887, Nuverra, treatment facility
20888, Earthworks, treatment facility
20889, Murex, Stanley-Bakken; 8 wells on 4 1280-acre units (32 wells total); Mountrail
20890, Murex, Sanish-Bakken, 8 wells on 4 1280-acre units (32 wells total); Mountrail
20891, Murex, pooling
20892, Murex, pooling
20893, Murex, pooling
20894, Murex, pooling
20895, Oasis, Cow Creek-Bakken, 9 wells on a 1280-acre spacing unit; Williams
20896, KOG, Epping-Bakken, 10 wells on a 1280-acre unit, Williams
20897, Samson Oil & Gas, pooling
20898, Samson Oil & Gas, pooling
20899, BR, pooling
20900, BR, pooling
20901, BR, pooling
20902, Whiting, SWD, conversion of 16581, Curl 23-14, McKenzie,
20903, Whiting, SWD, conversion of 16177, Mork 24-8, McKenzie,
20904, Whiting, Ash Coulee-Bakken, 4 wells on a 1280-acre unit; Billings
20905, Whiting, pooling
20906, Whiting, pooling
20907, OXY USA, Crooked Creek-Bakken, 7 wells on 7 1280-acre units (49 wells), Dunn
20908, OXY USA, pooling
20909, True Oil, SWD, conversion of 15507 Burlington Northern 31-27A;
20910, True Oil, pooling
20911, True Oil, pooling
20912, True Oil, pooling
20913, True Oil, pooling
20914, True Oil, pooling
20915, True Oil, pooling

Thursday, September 26, 2013 

20916, North Plains, suspend, revoke Murex permit, Dwight Ludwig 13-24H, Divide
20917, Sakakawea Ventures, treatment facility,
20918, New Frontier Group, treatment facility
20919, EOG, Clarks Creek-Bakken, proper spacing, McKenzie
20920, EOG, Parshall-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit; and establish two 1920-acre units 6 wells on each spacing unit; Mountrail
20787, cont'd
20495, cont'd
20921, Fram Operating, South Greene-Madison, proper spacing, Renville
20922, Zenergy, Eightmile-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; multiple wells; Williams
20923, Zenergy, Sand Creek-Bakken, 16 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie;
20924, CLR, Twin Valley and Banks-Bakken, create an overlapping 2560-acre unit; mulitple wells; McKenzie
20925, CLR, Elidah-Bakken, create two overlapping 2560-acre units; multiple wells; McKenzie
20926, CLR, suspend, revoke a Hess permit, SC-5WX-152-99-0310H-1, McKenzie
20927, CLR, suspend, revoke a Hess permit SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-3, McKenzie
20928, CLR, suspend, revoke a Hess permit SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-2, McKenzie
20929, CLR, suspend, revoke a Hess permit, SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-1, McKenzie
20930, CLR, Beaver Lodge-Bakken, max production, flaring, Williams
20931, Corinthian, extend Haram-Spearfish; create five 320-acre units; 12 wells on each spacing unit; Bottineau (that could mean as many as 24 wells in each section)
20932, Corinthian, extend Northeast Landa-Spearfish/Madison; establish three 320-acre units; 12 wells on each unit; Bottineau;
20933, Enduro, recomplete the Beicegel Creek 27 42 well, McKenzie
20934, Enerplus, Eagle Nest-Bakken, establish an overlapping 1280-acre unit; 4 wells; Dunn
20935, Triangle, extend Sioux and/or Ragged Butte-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit; 8 wells, McKenzie
20936, XTO, Morgan Draw-Bakken, establish a 2560-acre unit; multiple wells; Golden Valley, Billings
20937, Slawson, Stockyard Creek-Bakken, establish two overlapping 960-acre units; 8 wells on each 960-acre unit; Williams
20797, cont'd
20938, Powers Energy, risk penalty legalese
20939, Fiedlity, Heart River-Bakken, max production, flaring, Stark
20940, Fideltiy, Zenith-Bakken, max production, flaring, Stark
20941, Crescent Point, Colgan-Bakken, max production, flaring, Divide
20942, Baytex, et al, West Ambrose-Bakken, max production, flaring, Divide
20943, Baytex, et al, Ambrose-Bakken, max production, flaring, Divide
20795, cont'd
20944, Newfield, Tobacco Garden-Bakken, max production, flaring, Mckenzie
20945, Mountain Divide, Fortuna-Bakken, max production, flaring, Divide
20946, WPX, Squaw Creek-Bakken, 11 wells on a 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
20947, WPX, Eagle Nest-Bakken, 11 wells on a 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
20948, WPX, Mandaree-Bakken, 11 wells on each of two 1280-acre units; Dunn
20949, WPX, Van Hook-Bakken, max production, flaring, Mountrail, Dunn, McLean
20498, cont'd
20500, cont'd
20501, cont'd
20800, cont'd
19901, cont'd
20658, cont'd
20950, Bakken Hunter, risk penalty legalese
20951, BOH, SWD
20952, BOH, SWD
20953, WPX, risk penalty legalese
20954, WPX, risk penalty legalese
20955, WPX, risk penalty legalese
20956, WPX, risk penalty legalese
20957, XTO, pooling
20958, XTO, pooling
20959, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20960, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20961, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20962, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20963, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20964, XTO, risk penalty legalese
20965, CLR, pooling
20966, CLR, pooling
20967, CLR, pooling
20968, CLR, pooling
20969, CLR, risk penalty legalese
20970, CLR, Alkali Creek-Bakken, 9 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie, Mountrail
20971, CLR, Banks-Bakken, 5 wells on each of two existing 1280-acre units; McKenzie
20972, CLR, Camel Butte-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 12i80-acre unit; McKenzie
20973, CLR, Elidah-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
20974, CLR, Camp-Bakken, 14 wells on an existing 2560-acre unit; McKenzie
20814, cont'd
20815, cont'd
20816, cont'd
20975, Baytex, risk penalty legalese
20976, Baytex, risk penalty legalese
20977, Newfield, risk penalty legales
20978, Triangle, pooling
20979, Triangle, pooling
20980, Triangle, pooling
20981, Triangle, pooling
20982, Triangle, Elk-Bakken, 8 wells on each of 3 1280-acre units; McKenzie
20983, Emerald, pooling
20984, Emerald, pooling
20985, Emerald, pooling
20986, Emerald, pooling
20987, Emerald, pooling
20988, Emerald, pooling
20989, Emerald, pooling
20990, Emerald, pooling
20991, Emerald, commingling
20992, Emerald, commingling
20993, Emerald, commingling
20994, Emerald, commingling
20995, Zenergy, pooling
20996, Zenergy, pooling
20997, Zenergy, pooling
20998, Zenergy, pooling
20999, Zenergy, pooling
21000, Zenergy, pooling
21001, Zenergy, pooling
21002, Zenergy, pooling
21003, Zenergy, pooling
21004, Zenergy, pooling
21005, Zenergy, pooling
21006, Zenergy, pooling
21007, EOG, Parshall; 6 wells on each of 37 existing 1280-acre units; and 6 wells on each of 43 existing 1920-acre units (approximately; I was unable to quickly count each spacing unit). But it looks like 6 wells on each of about 80 existing spacing units, which would be about 480 wells, Mountrail
21008, EOG, Van Hook-Bakken, 5 wells on each of 2 320-acre units; 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; 7 wells on an existing 1920-acre unit' 7 wells on each of 3 1600-acre units; Mountrail
21009, EOG, Stanley-Bakken 6 wells on 4 1280-acre units; 6 wells on each of 9 1920-acre units; Mountrail
21010, Slawson, Sanish-Bakken, 7 wells on each of 2 640-acre units; 9 wells on an overlapping 1280-acre unit; 6 wells on each of several 640-acre units; Mountrail
21011, Slawson, Van Hook-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; Mountrail
20839, cont'd
21012, Arsenal, commingling
21013, Enduro, commingling
21014, Enduro, commingling
21015, Fidelity, commingling
21016, Fidelity, commingling
21017, Flatirons, SWD
21018, Armstrong, Patterson Lake-Lodgepole, injection in the unitized formation, Stark

Give Him A Great Big Kiss, Shangri-La's

It Will Be A Long Night: The Agenda For The September Hearing Dockets Has Been Posted

In addition, "why the Bakken is still being sold for $14,000/acre."


Earlier today some asked me how difficult it was to find the "FTP" for a particular well. I said it would be quite difficult.

I was wrong. Elsewhere they are talking about the same thing. It appears the FTP data is easily found at the NDIC website at premium services. I only have basic services so I was unaware of this.

For those interested in FTP, check out the linked site above.

Friday Morning Links -- Around The Horn

SeekingAlpha story on investment opportunities in North Dakota.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here. 

KOG hits a new high, up a couple of pennies.

Oasis struggles.

CVX, COP, XOM: all up slightly; doing slightly better than the market today

EOG up slightly despite news of that isolated fire east of San Antonio

CHK is flat/down, but SD up slightly; SD is having a nice run.

UNP flat.

I don't follow BNSF (BRK) much any more; BRK follows the market in general.

ENB, EEP up slightly.

SRE, TransCanada: both up a bit.

Market relatively uninteresting today. Looks like everyone has left for the weekend.

Crime Story, Runaway, Del Shannon

Friday Morning News, Views, And Links -- Part II

I follow the Duvernay play here The Calgary Herald is reporting:
Alberta’s early stage Duvernay resource play has already absorbed $6 billion of investment and promises to be the subject of much more, analysts say, judging by recent activity and promising results.
“The Duvernay is arguably the most exciting emerging resource play in Canada,” says a research report from TD Securities published Monday.
“We estimate that over $6 billion has been spent on the play to date: $3 billion at land sales, $2 billion of corporate acquisition and divestitures ... and $1 billion in drilling activity.”
The Duvernay was the main driver of the record $3.2 billion spent at Alberta Crown drilling rights auctions in fiscal 2011-12.
The shale marine formation is believed to be the oil and gas source rock for many adjacent conventional Devonian formations that have already been extensively drained. It is found 2,800 to 3,600 meters underground, in thicknesses of 35 to 60 meters and extends over 400 kilometres from northwest to southeast Alberta.
Connecting the dots. Literally. Remember that story about Tesla looking to put in a recharging station at Mitchell, SD? It is being reported that utilities have requested permission to put in a high-voltage transmission line in northeast South Dakota to better connect the Big Stone power plant at Milbank, SD, to the grid system. Mitchell, SD, is in the same general area, though a bit farther southwest, but it looks like South Dakota is getting reading for Tesla.

Bloomberg reports spending increased less than expected:
Consumer spending in the U.S. rose less than forecast in July as income growth slowed, indicating further job gains are needed to sustain household purchases.
Consumer purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, rose 0.1 percent after a revised 0.6 percent increase the prior month that was larger than previously estimated, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.3 percent rise.
Incomes increased 0.1 percent, down from 0.3 percent the previous month.
Bad news, of course, but not even "reproducible" and probably not even statistically significant. Simply a data point that will be forgotten by this afternoon if not by noon.

O'BamaCare: unions will get the subsidies. Did anyone expect anything else? Is this even news? Before it's all over, everyone will get subsidies except those registered as Tea Party members. The NSA will know. And the NSA will tell the IRS.

Friday Morning News, Views, And Links -- Part I

Active rigs: 184

RBN Energy: more than you ever wanted to know about quality of crude oil going into pipelines. Regular readers will remember the articles regarding Enbridge's decision to limit its pipelines coming out of North Dakota to Bakken crude only. This provides some of the background.

WSJ Links

I agree completely. I have not followed the Johnny Manziel story and could not care less. But I have to admit, hearing the decision did sound like something straight out of The Onion. This will make the game a must-see game; and will actually make him even more a legend in his own time.
When I first read it, I didn't believe it. I squinted at the news break. Squinted! Like Harrison Ford in the desert heat. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel suspended for the…first half of Saturday's opener.
A half! Of one game? Was this true, or a hoax? It had all the fingerprints of The Onion.
It was real, of course: The NCAA threw half the book—dropped half a hammer—on Manziel on Wednesday after completing its investigation of allegations that the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback had accepted money for autographs. Manziel denied wrongdoing, but the NCAA found "an inadvertent violation"—basically it said, What did you think all those autographs were for, dude?—so Texas A&M will sit its superstar for two quarters against the fearsome Owls of Rice.
One half. Thirty minutes. That's one "Seinfeld." Johnny Football could serve it standing on his helmet. He can sleep in. Hit the snooze button. Stay up to watch Fallon and Carson Daly.
This is the "blurb" immediately under the headline:
Radio broadcaster Cumulus Media is close to acquiring syndicator Dial Global, in a deal that is likely to shake up the radio industry's landscape and Clear Channel's dominance.
I'm not even going to read the article. I don't want my world view to be influenced by this article or by reality. But this certainly seems to have "Rush Limbaugh" fingerprints all over it. If so, one word: wow.  During my 13 years in San Antonio (just before moving up here to Grapevine-Ft Worth-Dallas area), I was just blocks away from Clear Channel headquarters in San Antonio -- I walked by it, bicycled by it, or drove by it every day I was in San Antonio. And, of course, I followed the Rush flap when he "crossed the line."

I am not going to link the stories because I really don't care (though I do invest in these companies), but it looks like the news coming out regarding Verizon, Vodafone is considered to be "colossal" by some. So, we'll see. I completely missed the story. Too tied up with the Bakken.

I like almost anything written by Niall Ferguson so this should be an interesting article, debating whether the Boston Consulting Group or Ferguson has it right, in "two views on the US trajectory." The article begins:
This study helps explain why Dow Chemical on Tuesday confirmed it will expand its manufacturing operations in Texas and Louisiana, and why scores of other companies—from Siemens to Toyota to Michelin —are expanding U.S. production, too.
The authors see the U.S. fast becoming one of the developed world's lowest-cost manufacturers, with a double-digit percentage advantage in key costs by 2015. Decline isn't part of this picture.
But first, the cold shower.
For corporate chiefs who worry about megatrends affecting business, Mr. Ferguson is a worthy Jeremiah. An economic historian and best-selling author who teaches at Harvard and is a sought-after speaker, he has long warned about sclerosis in the West. When I asked him two years ago what he would do if he ran a U.S. company, he responded: Move it to Hong Kong.
One can already see the two (Ferguson and Boston Consulting Group) are talking past each other.

I have no interest in this story, either, but it certainly has a lot of story lines, the story on increasing wages for fast food restaurant employees.  At the end of the day, we will see tectonic changes at McDonald's as they move to iPad kiosk ordering, cutting staff in half. Behind the scenes, there will be other changes, also. For the consumer, service will improve. The question is whether prices will increase. On prices, it is a win-win for the consumer. If prices stay the same, it's a win: same prices, better service. If prices increase, "we" might order "down" -- ordering small portions and perhaps helping our arteries and waist lines in the process. But this latest salvo ($15/hour) and ObamaCare will bring huge changes to fast food industry. (Assuming ObamaCare is even implemented.) Speaking of $15/hour, why don't they just ask for $150/hour?)

No links on the Syria story. I may do a separate piece on this. It would be a great poll, but I already have four polls and don't want any more. Four is excessive by three. In fact, some days I wish I did not even have the polls. But my contract requires at least one.

Under O'BamaCare, subsidies will benefit older buyers more than younger ones. Does this surprise anyone? Who are the voters in this country? This is not rocket science.

Also, under O'BamaCare: Americans will need to precisely manage their annual income, unless they want a huge unexpected tax bite

Something we already knew: the private sector shrugged of the sequester. I won't read the story because I'm sure it won't mention that at least 80% of money "cut" in the sequester has been restored; the biggest "items" hit by the sequester: White House tours, US Navy Blue Angels, and USAF Thunderbirds. Hardly a factor for the private sector, except for the hot dog vendor across the street from the White House.

Scientists shed new light on black holes. I am enjoying a "collector's item" Scientific American my wife got me the other day on quantum physics. I finally have the picture of the Standard Model (fermions, quarks, leptons, bosons) firmly planted in my mind. So this WSJ article will be fun to read. Maybe a note to the granddaughters later.

I think this is a bigger story than investors realize: the US won't challenge recreational marijuana use laws in Washington or Colorado. Do folks remember all the stories about all the trademarks held for naming marijuana cigarettes. Within my investing lifetime, we will see packs of marijuana cigarettes alongside tobacco; it will be interesting to see if mainstream corporations will risk their brand names by marketing marijuana. Think Blue Moon.

Will We See Stories Of Railcar Shortages For North Dakota Grain This Year?

A reader reminded me of this story.

Some years ago there was a flurry of stories about shortages of rail cars for handling North Dakota grain. Farmers and co-ops were concerned that the "near-monopoly" status of BNSF in North Dakota allowed the carrier to manipulate availability of rail cars, especially in the more "remote" areas. 

It would seem the huge crude-by-oil shipping would exacerbate the situation. Obviously hoppers that carry grain don't carry oil but I don't know if these grain hoppers carry other oil-service related supplies. I would think the bigger problem would be adequate number of locomotives and track.

So, I really have no idea. Curious what others think.

Will we see stories of railcar shortages this year for handling North Dakota grain?
  • Yes, more than usual due to the oil boom
  • Yes, but no more than usual
  • No

"The Finals": Your Favorite Bakken Operator

It looks like it's time to go with the "finals."

First, how we got here (I could be wrong which was the first round and which was the second round, but it doesn't matter):

The results of the first round, your "favorite Bakken" operator:
  • CLR: 36%
  • WLL: 27%
  • EOG: 18%
  • BEXP (STO): 11%
  • HES: 8%
The results of the second round, your "favorite Bakken" operator:
  • KOG: 46%
  • OAS: 26%
  • Slawson: 12%
  • Halcon: 9%
  • BR: 7%
The results of the "semi-finals" for "your favorite Bakken" operator.
  • CLR: 32%
  • EOG: 16%
  • KOG: 22%
  • OAS: 9%
  • WLL: 21%
So, the "finals" (posted August 30, 2013).
  • CLR:
  • KOG:
  • WLL:
My apologies to those who supported operators I never included from the beginning including QEP, SM Energy, XTO, and several others, of course. It showed my bias. Maybe I will do this again sometime down the road; if so, I will broaden the choices. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nineteen (19) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Some Huge Statoil Wells

Active rigs: 184

Nineteen (19) new permits --
  • Operators: Hess (4), XTO (3), HRC (2), EOG (2), Whiting (2), Oasis (2), QEP (2) American Eagle, Triangle,
  • Fields: Zenith (Stark), Gros Ventre (Burke), Cottonwood (Mountrail), Sandrocks (McKenzieI, Eagle Nest (Dunn), Parshall (Mountrail), Lost Bridge (Dunn), Grail (McKenzie), New Home (Williams)
  • Comments: American Eagle has a permit for a wildcat in Divide County
No wells came off the confidential list today.

Five (5) producing wells were completed. 
  • 23729, 1,803, Statoil, Delorem 12-1 3H, Painted Woods, Kinderhook mentioned; t7/13; cum --
  • 23730, 1,942, Statoil, Boots 13-24 3H, Painted Woods, Kinderhok mentioned; t7/13; cum --
  • 23731, 679, Statoil, Delorme 12-1 4TFH, Painted Woods, Kinderhook mentioned; t7/13; cum --
  • 23732, 1,078, Statoil, Boots 13-24 4TFH, Painted Woods, Kinderhook noted; t7/13; cum --
  • 23974, 3,997, Statoil, Rose 12-13 7H, Avoca, Kinderhook not mentioned; t8/13; cum --

The Williston Wire

No links, just headlines. It is easy to subscribe to The Williston Wire.

North Dakota led the nation in permanent housing growth in 2012, increasing its supply of housing by 2.3% in just one year. Overall national growth was 0.3%.

44,000 attend the Babe Ruth World Series, held in Williston (twice the number that showed up for the President's political event yesterday at the Washington Mall).

Williston had 350 students; Watford City adds 160. Look for some tough football, basketball, and wrestling teams coming out of the western divisions. 

Williston's Downtown Farmer's Market is now up to 20 vendors, having started with just three last year.

The "Bakken Boom Towns" TV crew was recently in Williston and Sidney to shoot some scenes.

This I would enjoy: the 68th Annual Old Settler's Days this weekend. I was last there in 2011, and it really was a treat. Highly recommend. A most relaxing day. It's "funny" how a little town like Alexander can really put on a spectacular event. If anything needs filming by an out-of-state film crew, it would be this.

Flashback: Former Lakers Coach, Author, North Dakota Alumnus Reminisces On Growing Up In The Peace Garden State

A reader sent this story by Phil Jackson, published in Sports Illustrated back in 2004. It begins:
My parents told us one spring morning in 1956 that they had accepted a pastorate in Williston, N.Dak. My two teenage brothers weren't happy about the decision to move 500 miles east from Montana. I was 10, and I couldn't have cared less, as long as I could play ball -- any kind of ball.
Williston, on North Dakota's western border, had recently gone through an oil boom that had almost doubled the population to just over 10,000 brave souls. It had brought in folks from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas who knew the "ahl bidness" to join all those Norwegian immigrants who had come over at the turn of the century. The Lutheran church services were broadcast on the radio in Norwegian, and the lutefisk dinners at any of the 12 Lutheran churches during the holiday season were the social events on the Williston calendar.
Growing up a pastor's kid wasn't a cakewalk, but Williston was a good place to be when the chance to play arrived. We had school teams and recreational leagues, and the local 4-H county agent organized the eight counties in western North Dakota and eastern Montana into a rec-basketball conference. Some players came from the Indian reservations, and they liked to play run-and-gun style. We had fun playing with and against them, even though our parents and theirs didn't socialize.
North Dakota is large; there isn't a major U.S. city within 500 miles of Williston. If we wanted to see pro sports, we would drive three hours to Regina, Saskatchewan, to watch the CFL Rough Riders. But the adults in Williston didn't want us to think small-time. They regularly reminded us of the NoDaks (our term for North Dakotans) who had made the bigs, such as fomer secretary of state Warren Christopher and actress Angie Dickinson. 
In 1956, I was starting elementary school at Wilkinson, or maybe it was one more year at "Williston High" before Wilkinson opened up.  Unfortunately I never crossed paths with Angie, who was a bit older than I at the time. We are probably about the same age now; I've noticed that after 50, "ages" tend to converge.

But Mr Jackson's essay brings back a lot of memories. By the way, my closest childhood friend lived in the home in which Phil Jackson grew up in while attending Williston High School. I have been in that house many times. They should put a heavy iron plaque on the house designating it an historical landmark.

By the way,  Phil Jackson has written several books. I remember really enjoying Sacred Hoops and highly recommend it to anyone.

Heaven's Helpers In Bismarck, North Dakota

A reader alerted me to a story out of Bismarck earlier today that happened to mention the Heaven's Helpers Soup Cafe in west Bismarck. Curious to learn more about Heaven's Helpers Soup Cafe, I caught up with this article, reported by The Bismarck Tribune last year:
Heaven’s Helpers Soup Cafe opened in a converted gas station in March 2009. The meals are free and the servers don’t expect tips. The only rule is that nobody wastes anything.
No questions are asked and the customers are not rushed out after they finish their meals. Coffee and free desserts —including a table of take-home caramel rolls and bread loaves — are offered along with television and Christian music. But for the daily patrons, the socializing is the most tantalizing item on the menu.
“It’s truly a mission fueled right here in Bismarck,” said owner Mark Meier. “No one should go hungry.”
Most soup kitchens are open certain days of the week with limited hours, but Heaven’s Helpers is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
“(Heaven’s Helpers) is pretty much the only place in town that is available every day pretty much,” said Heidi Selby, vice president of the Missouri Valley Coalition for Homeless People.
This is their website

I'm sure they would love to hear from you --

Government Looking At New Rule Regulating Fracking Sand

Platts is reporting:
So, is a proposed federal rule designed to reduce worker exposure to crystalline silica in industrial sands a backdoor assault on the oil and gas industry in general, and hydraulic fracturing in particular?
A blogger for Motley Fool, Rich Duprey, thinks so. “It would seem that when you combine this move with the other efforts of the administration to attack the oil and gas industry, the motto ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ is the guiding principle at work thwarting future growth,” he said in a recent column.
Marc Freedman, the executive director of Labor Law Policy for the US Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule “is going to affect a lot of different industries. Fracking will be significantly affected and to the extent that industry is generating a lot of beneficial outcomes, then that could be at risk too.”  He wouldn’t go so far as to say the government is plotting against the oil and gas industry.
A spokesman for API wouldn’t comment on the assertion the proposed rule is an anti-drilling plot. The head of the National Industrial Sand Association, Mark Ellis, the trade group that represents sand and gravel companies in Washington, didn’t think the Obama administration was conspiring against the industrial sands segment of the industry.
I can't get too shook about this.  Life will go on; posted for archival purposes, not to make any statement one way or the other. If push comes to shove, "we'll" just buy all our ceramics from China, sending more dollars to China instead of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Historical Data: Active Rigs At NDIC Web Site

A reader noted this addition to the NDIC "active rig" page: historical number of rigs for the past several years.  It will be interesting to follow.

BNSF To Add Second Mainline Track On 12-Mile Stretch, Ray To Tioga, North Dakota

This may or may not sound like a big deal -- twelve miles -- but it is huge. This will help Amtrak deal with all the BNSF oil-carrying unit trains across the northern frontier.

A reader sent me the public announcement which led with:
The District Engineer, U.S. Army Engineer District, Omaha, Nebraska is evaluating a Department of the Army (DA) permit application from BNSF Railway for construction of approximately 12 miles of new mainline between the towns of Ray and Tioga, North Dakota. 
Hopefully, over time, the entire route can be double-tracked.

Thursday Morning -- Around The Horn

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here, or what you think you read here. 

KOG hits a new high, up a couple of pennies.

Oasis struggles.

CVX, COP, XOM: all down about a percent; strikes on Syria may be delayed;

EOG down about a percent: reports a non-injury incident in Eagle Ford

CHK is down, but SD up slightly.

UNP flat.

I don't follow BNSF (BRK) much any more; BRK follows the market in general.

ENB, EEP up slightly.

SRE, TransCanada: flat, down slightly.

So, the overall market is up slightly; energy is down slightly; probably a bit of profit taking, but not much activity going into the four-, five-, or six-day weekend, depending. 

Thursday Morning News, Views, And Links -- Jobless Rate Improves; GDP Surges

Yes, I've been posting since about 6:30 a.m. and just noticed that it was Thursday, not Wednesday. That's what happens when one is retired, and has the day off from child care responsibilities. Actually, I only have the morning off. I will have the granddaughters this afternoon and early evening.

GDP surges in second quarter, they say. Let's see, Reuters is reporting:
The U.S. economy accelerated more quickly than expected in the second quarter thanks to a surge in exports, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to wind down a major economic stimulus program.
Gross domestic product grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate, according to revised estimates for the period that were released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The quarter's growth rate was more than double the pace clocked in the prior three months.
The report could boost confidence that the economy is turning a corner despite government austerity measures. At the same time, a full recovery from the 2007-09 recession is probably years away as the U.S. jobless rate remains historically high at 7.4 percent.
Jobless news:
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, ticked up 750 to 331,250, still holding at a level economists associate with a strengthening labor market.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here, or what you think you read here. 

Labor participation hits 34-year low

WSJ Links

Detroit woes add to angst over municipal debt
Bonds from some financially troubled issuers, like Puerto Rico and Chicago, have been particularly hard hit. Debt from the Windy City, which was downgraded by Moody's Investors Service last month amid questions about its pension liabilities, now yield about 1.50 percentage points more than a municipal market benchmark, up from about one percentage point in early July, according to Dan Toboja, senior vice president in fixed-income trading at investment bank and broker-dealer B.C. Ziegler & Co. in Chicago. Higher yields indicate lower prices.  
IBM has a new competitor: Amazon. Who wudda thought?
To understand the challenges facing makers of server systems, look to health-care staffing firm Schumacher Group.
The Lafayette, La., company, has been shifting a growing proportion of its computing chores to computers operated by Inc.  In the past year, Schumacher purchased just one server from Hewlett-Packard Co., says Douglas Menefee, Schumacher's chief information officer.
Five years ago, the company may have bought 50 such servers for as much as $12,000 apiece. "We don't really buy hardware anymore," says Mr. Menefee.
Many other companies are turning to operations like Amazon Web Services or Rackspace Hosting Inc. instead of buying and maintaining their own systems. The trend adds to a growing list of pressures for makers of servers, a crucial class of computers whose growth and profitability is being squeezed.
There are several story lines here. The biggest: Amazon is a trusted name in providing service. Very, very interesting. IBM doesn't have time for the "little guy." Amazon does. H-P, one word: clunky.

Syria: attack will be brief, limited.....and delayed. Stories everywhere; no link needed.

Ms Yellin playing down her chances of getting new job. The old glass ceiling.

Op-ed: $15/hour for McDonald's new workers will mean two things: fewer jobs in the fast-food industry, and a move to self-ordering at iPad kiosks. Personally, I like the idea of iPad-kiosk ordering.

Op-ed:  Here comes the unaffordable careless act. Same story, different verse. I no longer care; I will continue to post stories on this debacle, this train wreck, but I've long lost interest.

A Note To The Granddaughters

During the past few evenings I've been watching 'curb your enthusiasm,' the HBO television show. I don't recall if I ever saw the show when it first came out, but I was well aware of it, and wanted to see it. I had seen snippets on YouTube. So, now I've watched the first three seasons and am wondering whether to get the next six seasons. I don't know if new episodes are still being filmed or if the series is over.

I have grown tired of the series: Larry David is a misanthrope; he engenders no empathy, or sympathy; he is a loser; he is pathetic. The issues are banal. The episodes are repetitious.

But I'm addicted. I can't not watch it. I can't wait to see what craziness is up next.

People compare it to Seinfeld. Some say 'curb your enthusiasm' copies Seinfeld, but a cheap imitation. In fact, it is the other way around. 'curb your enthusiasm' is the prequel to Seinfeld. Just like "Firewalk With Me" was the prequel/sequel to Twin Peaks.

Having watched 'curb your enthusiasm,' I now see that Seinfeld was the slicked up, glossy, no-bloopers-allowed, over-the-top-Kramer sitcom based on Larry David's stand-up comedy. The only question I have is whether Larry David is the original, whether Jerry Seinfeld is the original, or is there an Ur-David-Seinfeld out there somewhere.

Seinfeld was hilarious; there's no question about that, but it was not reality. Sure, it was real, but not reality; it was sanitized, cleaned up, cut, edited, sitcom perfect.

'curb your enthusiasm' has so many defects. The actors -- if one can call them actors -- are generally one frame from breaking out of character and laughing. You can see it in their faces. I am impressed they can keep it together long enough to keep it going.

The cutting and editing is atrocious; the continuity between frames is incredibly bad. Larry David says they did many, many more takes on each scene than on sitcoms like Seinfeld. That is not surprising. This was improvisation; very little writing was done. Actors were given a scene and then then improvised the dialogue. So instead of actors working out the scene and their lines without being in front of the cameras, it was just the opposite here: they worked out their lines and the scenes in front of the cameras. Money was spent on filming, and not on editing. They may not have the time either to do the right editing. 'curb your enthusiasm' becomes a throwaway "sitcom." One saves Seinfeld for the ages; 'curb your enthusiasm' will be thrown out with the day-old newspaper.

It's easy to say that the show is about a dysfunctional group of Hollywood acquaintances. They are not dysfunctional; they portray what people like me think Hollywood personalities are like. And the fact that the show has been nominated/won so many awards suggest that Hollywood says "yes" this is what we are like. Banal, petty, self-centered, self-righteous, non-Christian, and unable to talk without using the f-word. It may not be 100% accurate, but my hunch is it comes very, very close to reality (without the scenes of drug use or sex). Or at least the reality the bored wives of Hollywood want to project. It sort of explains Mylie, I suppose.

Thursday Morning Links, News, And Views -- Part III

Lo and behold! Yahoo! Finance finally got their "oil price" link working. And then this headline: oil falls. Yeah. Sure. It falls all of 80 cents to about $109.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you might read here or what you thought you read here. 

Isn't this just incredible, as reported in The New York Times: no smoking gun that Mr Assad used chemical weapons. That is absolutely correct. It might have been the grocer at the corner of Muhammad and Omar.  It's all about Vladimir.

Thursday Morning News, Links, And Views -- Part II

Update on North Dakota's Legacy Fund. is reporting:
A savings account North Dakota created to preserve a portion of its oil and natural gas tax dollars for the future has exceeded growth estimates in its first two years and could swell to $3 billion by the time state lawmakers decide how to spend it.
State officials predicted the Legacy Fund would accumulate about $600 million by this summer. Through August, officials said, the fund has grown to $1.3 billion. It will continue building revenue until June 2017, when lawmakers are allowed under law to begin tapping the account for such things as education. 
“It is growing very fast. It's going to become much bigger,' Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple told Stateline in an interview. He said the fund added a record $92 million in July.
Maybe this would be a good time to ban flaring, shut down wells that are flaring gas, and let the projection catch up with reality. LOL.


Photos of the Bakken: 20-photo slideshow -- pretty nice.  In The Fiscal Times. A reader from California who knows very little about the Bakken but is a very, very close, dear friend, sent me the link. I am impressed.  I love the 'Home of Economy' photograph.


Labor fact of the day, from CarpeDiem: the six US metro areas with the lowest July jobless rates were near shale oil:  Crosby, Alamo, Fortuna, Williston, Watford City, and Dore. Just joking. The six at the link: Bismarck, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Midland (TX), Rapid City, and Billings. Pretty incredible, huh?


The Bakken is a lot bigger than we thought. Previously reported. Being confirmed.

This is kind of an unusual story. It is nothing new for regular readers. It was first reported back in 2012. Apparently some folks in Dickinson are just now hearing the news. For others it is a nice recap/update of where we are.

For my 30-second soundbite and to make it easier to remember: the Bakken may hold a trillion barrels of oil, five percent of which may be recoverable.

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Given a recoverable factor of 4 percent — which is how much oil Continental predicts will be able to be commercially produced — the 903 billion barrels would mean roughly 36 billion barrels of oil could ultimately be syphoned from Bakken reserves, according to data presented to Continental investors in October.
Though the estimates are not new, Stark said that 13 of a planned 20 test wells in the deep regions of the Three Forks — including testing zones in Dunn County — have been completed this year with several more scheduled to be finished before 2013’s end. Stark added that Continental isn’t the only oil and gas operator exploring deeper into the vast Bakken play.
“The database for the productivity and the incremental reserve additions that will come from the Three Forks is building daily,” Stark said. “This is a very significant addition to the play and we’re going to continue to assess what impact it ultimately has. What we initially thought was a two-layer reservoir rock is now looking like a five-layer reservoir.”
Essentially what it has found to date, Stark said, is the results from the completed test wells — which are dotted over a 3,800-square-mile swath of the Bakken — have proven to be hard evidence that there is more oil deep in the earth than what was previously thought. A lot more.
Best three words in the article: "a lot more."

By the way, four percent is lowballing the recovery rate.