Friday, January 18, 2013

Eight (8) Wells To Be Sited in Section 16-152-99, Banks Oil Field

With seven new permits posted today, CLR will have eight (8) wells sited in section 16-152-99, Banks oil field.

Currently, the only well in this field:
  • 19450, 322, CLR, Wahpeton 1-16H, Banks, t7/11; cum 110K 11/12; F; 
The seven new wells in this section:
  • 24804, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 14-16H2, Banks, 
  • 24805, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 13-16H3, Banks,
  • 24806, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 12-16H3, Banks,
  • 24807, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 11-16H1, Banks,
  • 24808, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 10-16H2, Banks,
  • 24809, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 9-16H, Banks,
  • 24809, conf, CLR, Wahpeton 8-16H1, Banks,
Once the wells are drilled and come off the confidential list, the names of these wells will make sense.

Ten Wells To Be Sited in Section 3-152-94, Antelope Field


Updates at this post

With four more permits issued to CLR for section 3-152-94, Antelope Field, there will be ten (10) permits in that section. Currently, all long laterals:
  • 18909, 674, CLR, Rollesfstad 2-3H, Antelope; t8/12; cum 163K 11/12; F;
  • 18159, 754, CLR, Rollefstad 1-3H, Antelope; t9/09; cum 324K 11/12; F;
  • 20674, 843, CLR, Rollefstad 3-3H, Antelope; t6/12; cum 105K 11/12; F;
  • 24722, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 6-3H-2; Antelope;
  • 24723, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 5-3H-3; Antelope;
  • 24724, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 4-3H-2; Antelope;
The new permits in this section:
  • 24799, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 7-3H-1; Antelope;
  • 24800, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 8-3H-3; Antelope;
  • 24801, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 9-3H; Antelope;
  • 24802, conf, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 10-3H-2; Antelope;
  • #18159, tested back in late 2009, is still producing 9,000 bbls of oil monthly; it is hooked up to a natural gas pipeline but some natural gas is still being flared
  • #18159, the oldest of the three active wells, spud back in 2009, is still flowing without a pump (according to NDIC; it should be noted that paperwork documenting a well can be delayed for quite some time according to unofficial sources; I don't know how accurate that is)
  • once these wells are drilled and come off the confidential list, the names of these wells will make sense 

Samson Oil & Gas in Stockyard Creek; SSN = Operator; 160-Acre Spacing


January 21, 2013: Teegue, over at the Bakken Shale Discussion Group, has sorted this one out.  The NDIC GIS map still shows 160-acre spacing in Avoca oil field. I misread that in the post below. It's been corrected. Apparently SSN will keep 1280-acre spacing and drill wells to 160-acre spacing. I'm glad this was corrected in a timely manner. For further details on this one, I would simply go to the link above and ignore this post. The original post will not be corrected/edited/changed except to correct the 160-acre spacing unit in Avoca field. Although, that begs the question....

Original Post
Note: this is a long post (but much of it, at the bottom) is a press release. But, it's possible this will be seen as one of the more important posts in 2013.  If one goes to the NDIC GIS map server, and sets it up to find Bakken spacing at 160 acres, one will find only a handful of such spacing. One such spacing unit is in Stockyard Creek Avoca (that's what this post is all about) and SSN has permits to place four wells on this 160-acre spacing unit. This is all new to me and I have it wrong, but a) there is a purple 160-acre spacing unit as described; and, b) SSN has permits for four wells in this this little spacing unit.
Again, I could be way wrong on this: that's why I have all the links and the full press release.
Original Post

In the daily activity report posted today, there were four permits for Samson Oil & Gas. These are the first permits for SSN in North Dakota according to the NDIC website. The four permits are for wells in Stockyard Creek.

It appears the last time I posted anything about SSN was back in December, 2011. Wow, that seems like an eternity. If you follow the links back far enough, you will find one regarding Everett 1-15H
  • 20510, 705, Zavanna, Everett 1-15H, Stockyard Creek, t1/12; cum 76K 11/12; 
[And this is why I "cut and paste" as much as I do; that AP/Yahoo link has now been broken/removed; fortunately there is enough in the "cut and paste" to provide some explanation; in this case, SSN referred to the Everett 1-15H as their sixth well, but Zavanna was the operator.]

So, now back to the permits issued today.

First, this SSN advisory posted December 30, 2012 (this is an important advisory, and because the link/story could be lost, here it is in its entirety (at a later date, I may summarize it into shorter data points) but note the most data points:
  • SSN is now an operator in Stockyard Creek
  • SSN will place wells with a density of 160 acres (at one point in the press release, it is said to be 160-acre spacing, and at first I thought this was in error -- that it would be 640-acre spacing, but with an effective density of 160 acres. However, according to the NDIC GIS map server, a very small area in section 13-154-99, Stockyard Creek, is now spaced at 160 acres. SSN now has permits for four wells in this 160-acre spacing: two targeting the middle Bakken and two targeting the first bench of the Three Forks. 
Here is the press release in its entirety (except some company info at the very end):
Samson has owned an equity position in the North Stockyard Oilfield for several years and has participated in the drilling of six Bakken Formation wells along with a Mission Canyon Formation well. The six Section area, (three Sections are designated as the Northern Tier, and three Sections the Southern Tier) has been developed with a 640 acre spacing utilizing 5,000 foot laterals. Standard industry practice has evolved and the norm is to develop the Middle Bakken and the First bench of the Three Forks Formation at 160 acre spacing. Samson has been keen to develop the North Stockyard field to this drilling density; however, several of the other working interest owners in the field, including the Operator, do not wish to accelerate the development of this field at the optimal acreage spacing.
As a consequence, Samson and the Operator group have negotiated an acreage swap for the Middle Bakken/First Bench of the Three Forks (MB/TF), whereby Samson will acquire these parties’ undeveloped acres in the Northern Tier and will divest undeveloped acres in the Southern Tier. After the swap, Samson will own 64% and 57%, respectively, in the two overlapping 1,280 acre spacing units located in the Northern Tier. Samson will become Operator for the entire Northern Tier. Samson will retain its existing equity in the seven producing wells and the deeper benches of the Three Forks in both the Northern Tier and the Southern Tier. The formal agreement documenting the swap has been completed and was executed by Samson and the Operator today.
Samson has appeared in front of the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) and requested a 160 acre spacing order in the Northern Tier. Samson expects that this request, which was unopposed, will be approved and that the NDIC will consent to the drilling permits that have already been lodged. This administrative step will then allow Samson to drill an additional 14 wells in the Northern Tier to develop the MB/TF to a 160 acre spacing.
Proved Developed Producing Reserves (PDP)
The PDP reserve of the North Stockyard Oilfield have been assessed by Ryder Scott as at June 30 2012, at a gross EUR of 1.8 MMSTB valued at $7.5 million net to Samson using the NYMEX forward curve as at June 30th. Representing $86 per barrel for the second half of 2012, $88 for 2013, $87 for 2014 and 2015, $86 for 2016, and thereafter.
Probable Reserves
Samson has completed an internal estimate that suggests the MB/TF in the Northern Tier will recover a gross EUR of 7.1 MMSTB (net 3.4 MMSTB) valued at $42.4 million net to Samson.
Given the administrative status of these wells, these reserves are currently classed as Probable. At such time as the NDIC approves the requested spacing order the designation of these reserves is expected to move from Probable to Proved Undeveloped.
Samson has also completed an estimate of the Probable Reserves of the deeper Three Fork Benches (TF) and has estimated that these Probable Reserves, at a gross EUR of 24.5 MMSTB (net 6.1 MMSTB), valued at a $49.8 million net to Samson.
These estimates are set out in the following table:
                  Gross EUR MMSTB       Net EUR MMSTB       Net NPV#
MB/TF Northern Tier       7.1       3.4       $42.4
TF Both Tiers       24.5       6.1       $49.8
Total       31.6       9.5       $92.2
NPV is calculated at a 10% discount rate, using $80 per barrel for Bakken crude.
Development Plan
Samson is planning to mobilize the Frontier Rig 24 to the North Stockyard Field early in 2013 to drill an initial 6 development wells. These wells will be drilled from two pads utilizing the skiddable platform available on Frontier 24. As previously advised, Samson contracted for the use of this new build rig for an 18 month period at a contract cost of $14.2 million, although the drilling rig contract, as amended, caps the liability for cancellation during the term at $5 million. The development wells are designed as 5,000 horizontals in either the Middle Bakken or the First Bench of the Three Forks. The wells will be “batched” drilled which are expected to result in considerable cost savings.
Samson has the majority equity in a recently completed Salt Water Disposal well in the Northern Tier, as well as a water disposal pipeline system, that will be utilized to dispose of the water produced from the development wells in an economic manner. Existing gas gathering infrastructure is also already in place. Samson therefore expects that a relatively high net return will be extracted from the development of the Northern Tier. Samson’s ability to complete the development plan is contingent on its completion of a planned debt financing or another capital raising program.
South Prairie 3-D Project, Williston Basin, North Dakota (SSN 25% WI)
Acquisition of the South Prairie 3-D seismic survey has been completed as planned and the initial processed seismic data was received on schedule in early December. That seismic data is currently in the process of being mapped and evaluated.
Samson has a 25% working interest in 23,879 net acres within the South Prairie 3-D survey. Potential reservoirs include the Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation and the Devonian Nisku Formation. After the 3-D data has been evaluated, the first well is planned for the 1st quarter of 2013.
As previously disclosed, the leads identified on the existing 2-D seismic data appear to be similar to the oil field immediately adjacent to the north of the project area. Wells in this other field have demonstrated recoveries of between 260,000 and 450,000 barrels of oil for wells drilled at the crest of the structure. Additional Mission Canyon fields along trend have demonstrated that some wells can recover as much as 900,000 barrels of oil per well when located on the crest of the structure. The 3-D seismic is expected to deliver excellent structural control, such that the wells can similarly be located at the crest of any structures. Given that the wells are presently expected to be drilled for approximately $1.1 million, Samson believes that the return on its investment will be attractive.
Added, January 21, 2013, after it was pointed out the mistake I made regarding the 160-acre spacing: see disclaimer, part of which states: This is a blog, short for "web log," or diary.  It [the blog] was started for my use only since HTML provided a great way to track the Bakken boom. I decided to open it to the public for various reasons which I discuss below. I will make mistakes, and I have made some doozies. Most of the mistakes could have been avoided had I posted more slowly, and had the posts reviewed by an expert in the oil and gas industry. If something looks wrong, it probably is. If a mistake is brought to my attention, I will address it immediately. If I ever get the feeling that my posts on the Bakken are doing more harm than good, I will bring down the site. It is not my intention to mislead anyone on the Bakken. Again, this is a "web log," often being posted on the run, open to others for reasons discussed elsewhere.  

This was a confusing press release for me; it still it. That's why I included the entire press release.  

Nineteen (19) New Permits; Talk of End of Bakken Boom A Bit Premature: 187 Active Rigs

Bakken Operations

Active rigs: 187 (has gradually increased from an intra-boom low of 179)

Nineteen (19) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (12), Samson Oil & Gas (4), Murex, MRO, Petro-Hunt
  • Fields: Stockyard Creek (Williams), Midway (Williams), Wolf Bay (Dunn), Banks (McKenzie), Antelope (McKenzie),
Comments: Several --
  • CLR has a wildcat in Williams County; this is a "real" wildcat, about 30 miles straight north of Williston; about 7 miles WSW of Alamo, ND
  • it's been a long time since we've heard/seen Samson Oil & Gas (not to be confused Samson Resources); in fact these are the first four permits ever issued to Samson Oil & Gas in North Dakota -- according to NDIC website; Samson Oil & Gas (SSN) posted an advisory on December 30, 2012, which, if I remember, I will get back to later.
  • it's been awhile since we've seen new permits in Stockyard Creek; this is quite exciting
  • CLR appears to be getting serious: when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and they are picking some nice fields
  • it looks CLR has permits for one Eco-Pad (4 wells); and permits for a 7-well pad in Banks
Wells released from confidential status were reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.


Memo To Self: File Under "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" -- Nothing About the Bakken

Thinking of buying a high-mileage automobile? Be prepared to pay more in gas taxes. From the Star-Tribune.

Cue up Connie Francis.

Incredibly, some legislators are considering increasing the tax only on those vehicles that get high mileage -- everything "we" were told to do.
Oregon is the farthest along in trying to address the problem with a "vehicle miles traveled" tax. Legislation there would impose such a tax on cars of 2015 model year or later that get 55 mpg or better.
If that sounds like a high number, it may not for long. New fuel economy standards agreed to by the government and automakers last year say that by 2025, cars will average 54.5 mpg.
Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said calculating how much of a VMT tax is owed would be done through the global positioning system devices that are expected to be standard equipment in cars later this decade.
And folks concerned about privacy issue and GPS tracking: another red herring. Add a tax at highest level for those who don't want to provide proof of actual mileage driven. Sort of like paying for a lost ticket at a parking garage that charges by the hour. Lost your ticket? Pay the 24-hourly rate. 

Anyway, I have no dog in this fight, so at best, I'm a spectator. And probably not much of one at that.

Plan B For ONEOK; The Vanishing DIscount For CLR

Both of these stories are old news:
  • ONEOK did not go forward with its Bakken crude oil pipeline
  • ONEOK announces yet another natural gas gathering and processing plant in the Bakken
Motley Fool has a nice footnote to the story, from CLR's last earnings release:
We've recently seen a significant improvement in Bakken oil price differentials, reflecting higher volumes being shipped by rail to the coasts and the anticipation of increased pipeline capacity ... We now have excess transportation capacity in both pipe and rail, and, with additional infrastructure projects in the planning and construction stages, capacity should remain ahead of Bakken production growth.
The "we" is interesting. CLR often speaks for the entire Bakken boom, but it's possible, in this case, it is referring only to itself when it reported: "we now have excess transportation capacity in both pipe and rail."

Excess capacity.

In both pipe and rail.


The WTI/Bakken spread (at least at Clearbrook, MN) seems to confirm that. At the link, the October 29, 2012, spread was $10. Today, it is moving toward $3,00. For all intents and purposes, at least at Clearbrook, WTI and Bakken are at parity. Interesting. So, for Bakken producers:
a) increased output -- i) more wells; ii) more takeaway capacity (opening the spigots on more wells)
b) price of oil trending upward
c) discount to WTI vanishing
After failing to sign up enough subscribers to justify another crude oil pipeline, ONEOK took another look at the Bakken boom and another look at what ONEOK does best. It didn't take them long to go for Plan B: another natural gas gathering and processing plant. With the legislature looking at tax benefits for the natural gas industry in North Dakota, and faux environmentalists wringing their hands over flared natural gas, ONEOK looks to be in a great position.

Wisconsin Labor Union Law Upheld

Wisconsin labor union law upheld in its entirety -- US Court. -- Bloomberg

Berkshire Hathaway's Energy Stocks

I assume most folks have seen this article in today's SeekingAlpha site: a look at Warren Buffett's energy stocks.

The writer doesn't say that Berkshire Hathaway has "only" three energy stocks but he certainly suggests it. From the lede.
The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, doesn't own many energy companies, but he does own three.
COP, PSX, and NOV (National Oilwell Varco).

That was it.

The writer missed a few energy companies Warren owns:
  • MidAmerican Energy Company
  • MidAmerican Renewables
  • PacifiCorp
  • Northern Power Grid
  • Integrated Utility Services US 
  • CalEnergy Generation
  • Kern River Gas Transmission Company, Kern River Pipeline
  • Northern Natural Gas Company
  • BYD Company, 10% of outstanding shares (autos and batteries)
One can also argue that his ownership of the Burlington Northern Railroad is an energy play. At least a major portion of it.

FracSorb Wood Pellets

I received this note earlier today, unsolicited. I know nothing more than what is in this note. 
Attached (see link at website below) is information on FracSorb Wood Pellets. Wood Pellets are 100% natural replacement to fly ash for the fracing industry.  There are a few companies that started using them since they are 100% organic & renewable. They are more absorbent than fly ash, safer to work with and cheaper. 

I have a pellet plant for sale  that I am trying to sell and would think this would be a great opportunity for someone in the Bakken area. Pellets can be used for heating, BBQ, bedding, fracing, animal food.  Pellets can be made from, corn husks, soybean husks, sawdust, grains for feed and other biomass.
Thank you
Sally V Goossen
North Dakota Safety Professionals
19 1st SW PO BOX 434
Parshall, ND 58870
507.251.1235 or 651.210.7717

Fracking Safe For One's Health; Unsafe For One's Financial Health

Link here to bizjournals. From "anon 1."

Turns out ObamaCare is going to cost you:
Turns out the ObamaCare has a 3.8 percent tax on certain kinds of income, including rental and royalty payments.
People subject to the tax — or surtax, as Adams calls it — have an adjusted gross income above $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married couples.
That means if your income fits that description and you sign a gas lease this year or after, your bonus payment will be taxed at the regular income tax rate plus another 3.8 percent. Same goes for any royalty checks you receive from gas that’s already flowing.
Cue up Connie Francis. 


Link here to Investor's Business Daily. ("Thank you" to the reader who sent me the link.)
A major U.S. daily has shut down its environmental desk but hasn't given up its eco-elitism. Just this week it attacked the energy industry not with science or evidence but by smearing the men who bring us energy.
The closing of the New York Times' environmental desk is a "worrisome change" to Al Gore, who finds himself anxious about the newspaper's "ability to cover climate."
But Dean Baquet, managing editor for news operations, told Inside Climate News that The Times has not "lost any desire for environmental coverage" and swears shutting down the desk has nothing to do with budget matters.
Clearly the former is true. The Times has not lost its appetite for smearing conventional energy production. But maybe it's just gotten a little more sneaky about it.
It's no secret that the Times loathes the oil and gas industry. Yet, like the rest of the state-run media and the fanatical environmentalist lobby, The Times knows it can't eliminate the harvesting of America's cheap and plentiful energy.
At one time, a local regional paper in North Dakota printed a lot of Inside Climate News; in fact, it appeared the two media outlets were joined at the hip.

The article IBD refers to was posted/linked earlier, if I remember. Not worth taking the time looking for that link.

But I certainly enjoy updating this post.

Best Performing Cities for 2012: Two of Top Five in North Dakota

In their category, best performing small metros in the nation's 57 united states, North Dakota took two of five spots:

Top 5 Small Performing Metros
  1. Logan, UT
  2. Morgantown, WV
  3. Bismarck, ND
  4. Odessa, TX
  5. Fargo, ND
It should be noted: neither Fargo nor Bismarck is located in the oil patch.

And this was interesting:
  • Texas is loosing (sic) its edge: While the state still going strong with 7 metros in the top 25, it has lost some of its stature due to slowing natural gas and oil production in the state.
  • Utah is rockin' it: Both Salt Lake City and Provo are in the top 10 best performing cities for large metros.
[Loosing: another example of the quality of our 21st century writers. Wow. Embarrassing]

SLB Must Have A Good Report; Up Nicely On An Otherwise Flat Day

I haven't seen the report yet; just the share price -- but must have been good.....

... so here it is.....

... headline..... earnings "surge past estimates."   Wow!  Wow! Wow! Do-ha-ha-ha!

From Wall Street Cheat Sheet:
Schlumberger Limited  exceeded Wall Street analyst estimates on both the top and bottom line. Both wins are positive signs to shareholders seeking to preserve their confidence in the company’s performance. Shares are up 0.72%.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site; don't make any investment decisions based on what you read here. I have owned SLB "forever." One of the first companies I ever invested in. Will hold forever and pass on to my granddaughters. I learned to love the French when I bought shares in this company. Smile. I have no intention of buying any more shares in the near future except through dividend reinvestment. I am overweighted in energy as it is.

Elsewhere on Schlumberger at HBJ Morning Call:
Full-year 2012 revenue increased to $42.15 billion, up from $36.96 billion in 2011. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted revenue of $42.35 billion.
For the fourth quarter, revenue was $11.17 billion, compared to $10.3 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts had estimated revenue of $10.82 billion.
Net income for the quarter was $1.37 billion, or $1.02 per share, down from $1.41 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding charges and credits, Schlumberger reported diluted earnings per share of $1.08, down from $1.10 a year earlier. Analysts had predicted earnings per share of $1.07.

Random Single Well Comparison of Return on Natural Gas

Link provided by "anon 1." PDF link here.

From a comment sent in by another reader:
Natural gas is the forgotten by product in the Bakken. These plants go for about $300 million a piece, 60-80 jobs that are permanent for the next 80 years or so and pay about 80K a year. It is this job that is forgotten but will be the foundation for stability in western ND. This is what brings the family and builds the house.
Well said.

With regard to all of the above, more from "anon 1":
There is a lot of condensate in the Wet Utica wells, generally.

But the industry hasn't been defining "wet" lately. Something about liquids, but what?

In the Utica it often has rich gas plus condensate. But with little or no condensate, when is it "dry" gas? And, do they all agree? My guess is that it is used very loosely, they don't want to say, and no one is pinning them down. "Analysts" are pretty worthless. They don't ask.

Jeffries is in the back room for the deals, so I take their numbers seriously. I think there are pending deals and they can't really just make stuff up.

There are lots of players.

Gulfport and CHK are probably the most obvious.

Many have land that might be good, but those have lots of good land.

Of the Bakken players, MHR and HK have land that they claim is good, but no data yet.

Hess has a joint venture. XOM and CHV have some land.

The need for processing plants is key. No point producing if they can't keep up. The big production starts this summer. It will grow fast.
How fast?
Natural gas production in North Dakota:

Source: NDIC.

The most interesting thing about this whole discussion: the Bakken is an oil field, not a gas field. When I first started blogging about the Bakken I had no intention of blogging about natural gas. It did not interest me. The Bakken was an oil field, not a gas field. And I did not understand natural gas.

I understand natural gas a bit more now.

Rachel Carson! Rachel! Rachel! We Need You!

Slicers and Dicers Asking For Even More Immunity

I thought slicers and dicers already had complete immunity when it came to indiscriminate killing of eagles, migratory birds, and bats. Maybe not.

Sent in by a reader this story from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
A controversial wind farm proposed near Red Wing plans to ask for federal permission to legally kill eagles, making it one of the first in the nation to participate in a new federal strategy aimed at managing the often-lethal conflict between birds and turbine blades.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they urged the developers of AWA Goodhue Wind to seek the new permit because the deaths of an unknown number of eagles and endangered golden eagles will be inevitable once the 50-turbine project is up and running.
The process for such "incidental take" permits was devised in 2009 as a compromise between the demand for clean energy from the growing number of wind farms and the rising concern over the estimated hundreds of thousands of birds and bats that they kill every year. [Hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by wind turbines every year. Compare this to six ducks killed in the past five years due to the oil activity in the Bakken.]
The 18.75-square-mile site in Goodhue County is home to a number of nesting eagles, and many more migrate through the area every year. There also have been sightings of two rare and endangered golden eagles, which come down from Canada to winter along the Mississippi River bluffs in southeastern Minnesota.
To get a permit, the company must provide a detailed plan designed to minimize the impact on protected species, project how many are likely to be killed each year, and keep track of the outcome. [Big deal: a detailed plan.]
Keep track of how many eagles are killed? Impossible. The nocturnal varmints will dispose of the carcasses.

I wonder how many faux environmentalists will attend the public hearings to voice their outrage? I assume none. After all, these are wind towers. 

Meanwhile, it is a criminal offense punishable by hanging for killing a single duck in an oil patch waste pit. Well, maybe not hanging.


The International Energy Agency ups oil demand forecast, warns on supplies. Yoh!
The "awakening dragon" that is the growing Chinese economy will help boost oil demand in 2013, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday as it raised its 2013 demand forecast.
According to the IEA, global oil consumption will rise to 90.8 million barrels per day (bpd), a 240,000 barrels per day increase over its previous estimate.
Overall, 2013 consumption will increase 1 percent on 2012. The organization cited higher winter demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 and heightened expectations for growth in China, the world's second largest energy consumer, for hiking estimates.
Economic data from China on Friday, showed a pick-up, with growth accelerating to 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, from a year ago.
After warning in December of "violent structural changes" as the shift in oil demand moves from west to east, the IEA's latest report likens the global market to a "crouching tiger, hidden dragon," with increased demand from China and decreased supplies from Saudi Arabia.
Most interesting bit of trivia? That last observation -- "decreased supplies from Saudi Arabia."

And then, this:
"The dip in Saudi supply, for one, seems less driven by price considerations than by the weather. Analysts often lose sight of the fact that Saudi Arabia has become its own single largest customer. A dip in air conditioning demand - as well as reduced demand from refineries undergoing seasonal maintenance - likely goes a long way towards explaining reduced output."

Friday Morning Links

WSJ Links

Section M (Mansion): didn't read.

Section D (Arena): nothing of interest.

Section C (Money & Investing):
This is an interesting JOBS Act component hailed by President Obama -- helping the "less than wealthy" to become venture capitalists. Very interesting. For someone who doesn't want even 2% of one's Social Security payments go toward investing in America, this is quite amazing. It's called crowdfunding and the president is huge supporter. By the way, for the skeptical, this is essentially the process that started the incredibly successful IRAs. A little, over-looked provision that someone, more clever, than most spotted.

Cold weather snaps natural-gas prices to a six-week high. Happy days are here again. By the way, I plan to watch "Groundhog Day" with my granddaughters this weekend; they have never seen it.

Section B (Marketplace): huge story on batteries and the crisis at Boeing.

Big charge at ATT. It will be interesting how bad this gets for ATT. In the overall scheme of things, it might not be that big, but to take it all in one quarter. Ouch. Buying opportunity? (Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Simply idle chatter. Don't make any investment decisions on anything you read here.)

Intel hurt by PC shift.

Back page, full-page Wal-Mart ad: unlimited nationwide talk, text, data on the iPhone 5 for $45/month.

Section A

Thank goodness. A US district court agrees with the defendant that water is not a pollutant as the EPA would have us believe.   This case is not trivial.

Friday Morning

The southeast digging out from snow. And quite cold in the Boston area today, but no new snow. Nice day to go bike riding: sunny, no wind, and will warm up no doubt.


RBN Energy: I haven't read the entire post yet, but it makes me think of the story I linked yesterday.
In February 2012 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiated a proceeding to investigate issues related to gas/electric interdependencies. In a letter requesting comments on the coordination between the two industries FERC Commissioner Moeller stated that recent problems suggest that more resources need to be allocated to planning for the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. The “problems” that FERC referred to occurred during a February 2011 cold weather event in the southwest. That event triggered outages, curtailments and rolling blackouts by both gas and electric utilities. An examination of the causes by federal, state and industry bodies led to the spotlight being turned on gas-electric interdependency.

The FERC request for comments also pointed to the trend of more natural gas being used in power generation. That trend accelerated during 2012 when there was a major increase in the volume of natural gas burned for power generation due to fuel switching from coal. While electric service was not threatened, the question of electric reliability was raised in the context of the adequacy of existing pipeline infrastructure and gas-electric interdependency should the trend continue. We discussed this in "Feeding the Power Burn."

Well density from the Minot Daily News
Alison Ritter, public information officer for the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources in Bismarck, said, "Once this is all said and done, we'll only be using a little over 200 square miles of surface usage compare that to the 15,000 square miles that the Bakken mature area really is. The impact will be underneath the ground."


NPR: turning a boom town into a "real" town -- whatever that means.