Friday, February 1, 2013

Cue Up Connie Francis


February 4, 2012: Gasoline costs take biggest share of household income in three decades
Trips to the gasoline pump in 2012 and 2008 took their biggest share of U.S. household income in several decades, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Energy Department’s statistical are reported Monday (today) that the average household spent $2,912 for gasoline in 2012, which makes up almost 4 percent of pre-tax income, tying 2008 for the highest percentage in roughly 30 years.

Pump prices took center stage in White House races in 2008 and 2012, but gasoline expenditures as a share of household income remain lower they did than the early 1980s, when they were above 5 percent.
Original Post

The price of gasoline is at the highest price ever for this time of year -- CNBC.

U.S. drivers are now paying more to fill up their gas tanks than they ever have at this time of year.
The national average price of retail gasoline posted its biggest one-day increase in 23 months on Friday, rising four cents to $3.46 a gallon, according to AAA. The average price has risen 13 cents -- a 4 percent increase -- in the past week.
Gasoline prices have followed in part the climb in the stock and oil prices. Oil and equities have risen sharply over the last few weeks, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 14,000 for the first time since 2007, Brent crude oil futures hit at 4-month high near $117 a barrel, while the U.S. oil price is near $98 a barrel.
In unrelated news, the administration has announced that the decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring more oil to the United States will be delayed .... at least another six months. It should be noted that killing the Keystone XL will have no effect on the price of gasoline in this country in the near term, if ever.

Seaway Expansion Delayed

Earlier I noted that the WTI-Brent spread was widening. No explanation was given.

But now we have the explanation, over at
Brent's premium to the U.S. benchmark price on the New York Mercantile Exchange blew out by $1 a barrel, to $19.06 a barrel, the most since Jan. 3, after operators of the Seaway Pipeline said the key conduit may not be free from potential operational restraints until work on a new section of pipeline is completed near the start of the fourth quarter.
Seaway, the pipeline outlet for growing crude oil supplies from the Midwest to the key Gulf Coast refining hub, last month more than doubled operational capacity to 400,000 barrels a day last month. Anticipation that the higher flows to the Gulf from Cushing, Okla.--the delivery point of the Nymex contract--had driven U.S. crude prices higher, on the notion they would gain market share at the expense of costlier imports, priced against the value of internationally traded Brent.
While the spread did narrow briefly in January to its weakest level since July, at under $16 a barrel, news last week that operating problems cut the flow on the line to just 175,000 barrels a day, pushed it back out, with Brent galloping higher, at the expense of the U.S. benchmark.

Groundhog Day -- Keystone XL: At Least Another Six Months -- State Department Will Delay Decision Another Six Months


June 10, 2019: despite court win, no closer to completion.

July 30, 2018: US State Department gives new Nebraska route "positive" review. We've been here before. It actually got to President Obama's desk before he killed the project. After killing the project, Hillary came out against the Keystone XL also. So, we've been here before. The Nebraska Supreme Court is still hearing the case and promises to make a ruling by the end of this year (2018) or next year (2019). Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 85 years old, says she plans to remain on the US Supreme Court for another five years so she can rule on the Keystone XL when the project reaches the highest court in 2022.

November 20, 2017: Nebraska regulators approve 3 - 2 the "concept" that TransCanada can build the Keystone XL pipeline through their state .. but not where the company had planned. Back to square one. Even if TransCanada agrees to the new route, what's not to say that the Nebraska state supreme court won't step in and stop the whole thing? All this "excitement" that the pipeline has been approved is grossly misplaced.

March 29, 2017: connecting the dots. Not quite a "commentary." 

March 24, 2017: Trump administration approves Keystone XL. Nebraska has not approved the new route; won't even get to the issue until September, 2017, the earliest. 

November 10, 2015: with regard to the Keystone, winners: Warren Buffett's BNSF, Venezuela, CBR in general, Enbridge. Losers: Canada, future large pipeline projects, the American public, Nebraska taxpayers, those who wait at RR crossings. 

November 6, 2015: SecState John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) kills the Keystone. President Obama says regardless of climate change issues, oil is so inexpensive now, the Keystone is not needed for national security. Very, very clever. Sort of a "present" vote. Obama/US public don't understand US refining; heavy oil; light oil; and why the decision to kill the Keystone was all about "saving" Saudi, Iraq, Iran at the expense of Canada. 

October/November 2015: Obama says he will decide Keystone issue before he leaves office.

February 22, 2014: Rigzone says the Nebraska PSC won't vote on the new Keystone XL route for at least seven months. This pushes the decision into 2015.

February 19, 2014: judge rules that the Nebraska governor did not have the authority to approve the new route for the Keystone XL 2.0 North. Back to square one. LOL. 

February 3, 2013: from Petroleum News, all of a sudden, the Canadian government, others, getting nervous -- this US administration might not approve the Keystone XL. 
However, what should have been the most welcome development for the Canadian government in more than four years of raging battles over the project and its own desire to open up a huge new market on the U.S. Gulf Coast for oil sands crude has instead turned gloomy.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who seldom comments on natural resource matters, told reporters Jan. 27 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Obama’s inaugural speech to launch his second term does not bode well for the pipeline.
By pledging to combat climate change, emphasizing that a “failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” and insisting the U.S. should be a leader in sustainable energy, Obama had effectively eroded the outlook for Keystone XL, Flaherty suggested.
“I had reason for optimism before the election that the president would approve (the pipeline) were he re-elected, but his (inaugural) speech was not encouraging,” he said.
If the 830,000 barrels per day XL pipeline is scuttled it removes the prospect of including about 100,000 bpd of Bakken crude on the system to Cushing, Okla., and accessing TransCanada’s Gulf Coast project to carry 700,000 bpd from Cushing to Nederland, Texas, starting late this year.
I still don't believe any North Dakota Bakken oil is going to be put into the Keystone XL without a huge price discount.

I think the announcement delaying a decision for six months was a political trial balloon: the administration will see how much blow-back it gets. If it doesn't get much blow-back, the Keystone XL is dead. As far as I know, there are not many US voters living in Canada. I think this is a win-win for the president: his faux environmental base doesn't want the Keystone XL; and, no one in the US really cares.

It will also be a nice feather in the new SecState's cap. Sort of like President Nixon going to China.

Original Post 

Groundhog Day is tomorrow, Saturday, February 2, 2013, just in time for this post. I can't make this stuff up.  

I believe when we last left "As The World Turns," we were on episode 49.  I could be wrong; I have lost count. But like reruns in syndication, it really doesn't matter.

Now episode 50 of "As The World Turns" in which Bill Murray plays the president of the United States, and Stephen Tobolowsky plays the part of TransCanada's CEO:

Click here for yet another ridiculous excuse ...
The Obama administration's decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will not be made until at least June, a U.S. official said, which would delay the project for months and frustrate backers of Canada's oil sands.
"We're talking the beginning of summer at the earliest," said the source, who did not want to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the TransCanada Corp project, which has been pending for more than four and a half years. "It's not weeks until the final decision. It's months."
I have no dog in this fight. But this continues to be great news for the Bakken, for Enbridge, for the crude-by-rail folks, for Warren Buffett, for the US oil and gas industry, for Saudi Arabia, for OPEC, actually for everybody except the Canadians. Some people even suggest that TransCanada is better off not getting this pipeline approved. Again, remember: Bakken oil was never going to be put in the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline is only about Canadian oil and politics.

When gasoline starts hitting $4.00/gallon or more this spring/summer, a lot of folks will blame this on the Keystone XL delay, but the Keystone XL being delayed a few more months will have no effect on the price of oil.

I assume the only reason the President is delaying the decision is because he can. Next week: "I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not."

Observations Regarding the NDIC February Hearing Dockets

At the January 15, 2013, post, there is a CLR graphic on how the company plans to drill fourteen (14) wells in one 2560-acre spacing unit.

In the February NDIC hearing dockets, there are a couple cases in which CLR is asking to drill 14 wells in one 2560-acre spacing unit. It's very possible, this is a request for seven wells to be drilled into two of the four sections, and the other seven wells to be drilled into the other two sections of the four-section spacing unit. Or it's possible that they will be using the plan in the schematic at the January 15, 2013, link above.

The cases:
  • 19678, CLR, Elm Tree-Bakken, 14 wells on each existing overlapping 2560-acre units; McKenzie
  • 19679, CLR, Alkali Creek-Bakken, 14 wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit; McKenzie, Mountrail
Other cases of note:
  • 19581, Bakken Hunter, Bounty School-Bakken, establish 13 640-acre units; and 10 1280-acre units; 8 wells on each of the 640-acre units and up to 16 wells on each of the 1280-acre units, Divide. This adds up to about 264 wells.
  • 19624, Petro-Hunt, amend, Stockyard Creek-Bakken, 7 wells on a 640-acre unit, Williams County.

A day or two ago, "anon 1" alerted me to the January, 2013, Magnum Hunter corporate presentation. Bakken Hunter is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Magnum Hunter. This is a good time to review that presentation in light of the case noted above.

NDIC Hearing Dockets -- February, 2013

List of all monthly dockets

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

19572, North Plains, revoking a Murex permit, Jennifer Abigail, Divide County
19480, cont'd
19573, Marquis Alliance, oilfield waster facility, Williams County
19574, Williston Exploration, siting for Rocky Ridge Fritz #1, Billings County
18647, cont'd
19575, Cornerstone Natural Resources, proper spacing for Big Gulch-Bakken, Dunn
19225, cont'd
19576, Whiting, temporary spacing for Evy June 18-19H, McKenzie
19577, Whiting, temporary spacing for Kjelstrup 44-24TFH, Golden Valley
19578, Whiting, temporary spacing for Samuelson 23-32, Golden Valley
19579, Whiting, amend Roosevelt-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit; 4 wells; Billings
19580, Whiting, amend Camel Hump-Red River and/or Delhi-Red River, establish 1 320-acre unit, 1 we;; establish 2 160-acre units with one well each; Golden Valley
19789 (sic), Whiting, siting for the Brookbank State 42-16TFH, Sanish-Bakken, Mountrail
19581, Bakken Hunter, Bounty School-Bakken, establish 13 640-acre units; and 10 1280-acre units; 8 wells on each of the 640-acre units and up to 16 wells on each of the 1280-acre units, Divide (Bounty School field borders the Canadian border, just east of Crosby, north of Williston)
19582, Petro-Hunt, Stoneview-Bakken, create a 2560-acre unit, 10 wells; or alternatively, create a 1280-acre unit with 5 wells on the existing 1280-acre unit and another 5 on the proposed 1280-acre unit, Divide
19583, Petro-Hunt, amend Charlson-Bakken and the Keene-Bakken/Three Forks, to establish one overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 one on that unit, McKenzie
19407, cont'd
19408, cont'd
19584, Hess, amend Manitou-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit, 1+ wells on the unit in between the exiting 1280-acre units; Mountrail;
19403, cont'd
19585, Hess, amend Alkali Creek-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit; up to 10 wells on the unit; Mountrail;
19586, Hess, amend Blue Buttes-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ wells between the existing 128-acre units; McKenzie
19587, Hess, amend Beaver Lodge-Devonian and Bakken pools and the Capa-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit; 4 wells in the Three Forks formation; Williams
19588, Hess, amend Beaver Lodge-Bakken, produce unrestricted; Williams
19589, Hess, amend Hawkeye-Bakken, produce unrestricted; McKenzie
19590, Hes, Blue Buttes, Antelope, and Hawkeye, commingling, McKenzie and Mountrail
19402, cont'd
19591, SM Energy, amend Elm Tree-Bakken and Phelps Bay-Bakken, amend stratigraphic definition, Mountrail and McKenzie
19592, SM Energy, amend Poe-Bakken, establish a 2560-acre unit; 1 well; McKenzie
19593, SM Energy, amend Johnson Corner-Bakken and Dimmick Lake-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ wells, McKenzie
19594, SM Energy, amend Sivertson-Bakken, up to 9 wells on three 1280-acre units; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit for 1+ wells; McKenzie
19595,  BR, amend Camel Butte-Bakken and Clear Creek-Bakken, to establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ wells between the existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
19596, BR, amend, Edge, the Camel Butte, and the Clear Creek-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ well between the existing 1280-acre units; McKenzie
19597, BR, amend Camel Butte and the Blue Buttes-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1+ well between the existing 1280-acre units; McKenzie
19598, BR, amend Johnson Corner and the Blue Buttes-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit, 1+ well; McKenzie
19599, BR, amend Pershing-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit, 1+ well between....McKenzie
19600, BR, amend Pershing-Bakken, Croff-Bakken and North Fork-Bakken; establish three overlapping 2560-acre units; 1+ wells between....McKenzie
19601, BR, amend MonDak-Bakken, establish one 1280-acre unit; 1 well; McKenzie
19602, BR, amend Pierre Creek and the Covered Bridge-Bakken, extend Pierre Creek by one section; establish 3 1280-acre units; 1 well; McKenzie
19603, True, amend Red Wing Creek and Bowline Fields to create a 1600-acre unit for the Bowline-Bakken; up to 7 wells on that unit, McKenzie
19604, Sequel, amend Temple-Bakken, unrestricted production, Williams
19605, Sequel, amend North Tioga-Bakken, unrestricted production, Burke, Divide and Williams
19606, Sequel, amend Stoneview-Bakken, unrestricted production, Burke, Divide, Williams
19418, cont'd
19607, MRO, amend Lost Bridge-Bakken, unrestricted production, Dunn
19608, MRO, amend Deep Water Creek Bay-Bakken, unrestricted production, Dunn and McLean
19609, MRO, amend Strandahl-Bakken, unrestricted production, Williams
19610, American Eagle, amend Colgan-Bakken to authorize up to 8 wells on an existing 800-acre unit; authorize up to 8 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; and authorize up to 8 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; Divide County
19611, North Plains, SWD
19612, Mesa, SWD
19613, Legacy Reserves, enhanced recovery, Knutson-Madison, Ramona Federal 21-6, Billings
19614, WaterWorks Cartwright, SWD
19615, True, SWD, notice to dismiss, McKenzie
19616, True, amend, Buffalo Wallow-Bakken, 7 wells on each 1280-acre unit in Zone II, McKenzie
19617, Sequel, pooling, Stoneview-Bakken, Divide
19618, Sequel, pooling, North Tioga-Bakken, Divide
19619, KOG, pooling, Corinth-Bakken, Williams
19620, KOG, amend, Poe-Bakken, 8 wells on 6 1280-acre units; McKenzie;
19621, KOG, amend, Pembroke-Bakken, 12 wells on 8 1280-acre units, McKenzie;
19622, Petro-Hunt, pooling, North Tioga-Bakken, Burke
19623, Petro-Hunt, amend, Glass Bluff-Bakken, 8 wells on each 1280-acre unit; McKenzie, Williams
19624, Petro-Hunt, amend, Stockyard Creek-Bakken, 7 wells on a 640-acre unit, Williams County;
19625, Hess, commingling
19626, Hess, commingling
19627, Hess, commingling
19628, Hess, commingling
19629, Hess, commingling
19630, Hess, commingling
19631, Hess, commingling
19632, Hess, commingling
19633, Hess, commingling,
19634, Hess, commingling
19635, Hess, commingling,
19636, Hess, commingling
19637, BR, amend, Johnson Corner-Bakken, 12 wells on a 2560-acre unit, McKenzie
19638, SM Energy, pooling, Stockyard Creek-Madison, Williams
19639, SM Energy, pooling Stockyard Creek-Madison, Willams
19640, SM Energy, amend Dimmick Lake-Bakken, 9 wells on two 1280-acre units; McKenzie
19641, SM Energy, pooling
19642, SM Energy, pooling
19643, MRO, pooling
19644, MRO, pooling
19645, MRO, pooling
19646, MRO, pooling
19647, MRO, pooling
19648, MRO, pooling,
19649, MRO, pooling,
19650, MRO, pooling
19651, Whiting, pooling
19652, Whiting, pooling
19653, Whiting, pooling
19654, Whiting, pooling
19655, Whiting, pooling
19656, Whiting, pooling
19657, Whiting, pooling
19658, Whiting, pooling
19659, Whiting, pooling
19660, Whiting, pooling
19661, Whiting, pooling
19662, Whiting, pooling
19663, Whiting, pooling
19664, Whiting, pooling
19665, Whiting, pooling
19666, Whiting, pooling
19667, Oasis, amend, Squires-Bakken, 8 wells on each 1280-acre unit; Williiams

Thursday, February 28, 2013

19668, CLR, et al, Crazy Man Creek-Bakken, proper spacing, McKenzie, Williams
19669, CLR, et al, Hebron-Bakken, proper spacing, Williams
19670, CLR, extend Juno, Kimberly, Baukol Noonan and/or Noonan-Bakken; establish 4 1280-acre units; establish 4 1920-acre units; create 2 overlapping 1920-acre units; 1 wells on each, Divide
19671, CLR, extend Sanish or Four Bears-Bakken; create a 1280-acre unit, 8 wells, McKenzie, Mountrail
19672, CLR, extend Painted Woods or Todd-Bakken, establish a 640-acre unit; 1 well; Williams
19673, CLR, extend Stoneview or Leaf Mountain-Bakken; establish a 1280-acre unit; 1 well; Burke
19674, CLR, amend, Stoneview and Sauk-Bakken, create two overlapping 2560-acre units; multiple wells; Divide, Williams
19675, CLR, Stoneview-Bakken, 12 wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit; Divide, Williams
19676, CLR, Northwest McGregor-Bakken, 12 wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit, Williams
19677, CLR, amend Oliver-Bakken, create an overlapping 2560-acre unit; multiple wells; Williams
19678, CLR, Elm Tree-Bakken, 14 wells on each existing overlapping 2560-acre units; McKenzie
19679, CLR, Alkali Creek-Bakken, 14 wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit; McKenzie, Mountrail
19334, cont'd
19605, con'd, notice to dismiss
19680, XTO, extend Lindahl-Bakken, establish a 1280-acre unit, 1 well; Williams
19320, cont'd
19487, cont'd
19488, cont'd
19681, EOG, siting for the Liberty 106-0107H wells; Mountrail
19682, WPX, amend Reunion Bay-Bakken, establish a 640-acre unit, 1 well; Mountrail
19683, WPX, revoke several QEP permits, Dunn
19684, WPX, siting for the Blackhawk 1-12HW, Dunn
18497, cont'd
19685, BEXP, amend, Briar Creek-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 15 wells on the unit; Williams, McKenzie
19686, BEXP, amend, Alger-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 10 wells; Mountrail
19687, Slawson, reconfiguring field boundaries for Four Bears, Sanish, Van Hook, and Big Bend-Bakken; drill additional wells; Dunn, McKenzie, McLean, Mountrail
19514, cont'd
18676, cont'd
18677, cont'd
18678, cont'd
19325, cont'd
19326, cont'd
19688, Baytex, flaring
19689, Baytex, flaring
19690, Baytex, flaring
19691, Baytex, flaring
19692, Baytex, flaring
19693, Baytex, flaring
19694, Corinthian, create 7 320-acre units; 12 wells on each 320-acre unit; Bottineau
19695, Corinthian, extend North Souris and/or Red Rock-Spearfish; create 3 320-acre units; 12 wells on each 320-acre unit; Bottineau
19696, Crescent Point, temporary spacing, Williams
19697, Evergreen Mud, portable waste treating facility,
19223, cont'd
18836, cont'd
19342, cont'd
19698, Sinclair, Mary-Bakken, 4 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, Dunn
19699, XTO, Heart Butte-Bakken, 4 wells on an existing 640-acre unit; Dunn
19700, XTO, Tioga-Bakken, 8 wells on an existing 960-acre unit, Williams
19556, cont'd
19701, GMX Resources, pooling
19702, GMX Resources, pooling
19703, GMX Resources, pooling
19704, G3 Operating, pooling
19705, G3 Operating, pooling
19706, G3 Operating, pooling
19707, G3 Operating, pooling
19708, G3 Operating, pooling
19709, G3 Operating, pooling
19710, G3 Operating, pooling
19711, G3 Operating, pooling
19712, Zavanna, pooling
19713, Zavanna, SWD
19714, Corinthian, pooling
19715, Zenergy, pooling
19716, Zenergy, pooling
19717, Zenergy, pooling
19718, Samson Resources, risk penalty legalese
19719, Samson Resources, risk penalty legalese
19720, Flatirons, Lake Darling-Madison, 3 wells on an existing 640-acre unit, Renville,
19721, Newfield, pooling
19722, Newfield, risk penalty legalese
19723, Newfield, risk penalty legalese
19724, Newfield, risk penalty legalese
19725, Newfield, risk penalty legalese
19726, Fidelity, risk penalty legalese
19727, Fidelity, risk penalty legalese
19728, Fidelity, risk penalty legalese
19729, Fidelity, risk penalty legalese
19730, CLR, pooling
19371, CLR, pooling
19732, CLR, pooling
19733, CLR, pooling
19734, CLR, pooling
19735, CLR, pooling
19736, CLR, pooling
19737, CLR, pooling
19738, CLR, pooling
19739, CLR, pooling
19740, CLR, pooling
19741, CLR, pooling
19742, CLR, pooling
19743, CLR, pooling
19744, CRL, pooling
19745, CLR, pooling
19746, CLR, pooling
19747, CLR, pooling
19748, CLR, pooling
19749, CLR, pooling
19750, CLR, pooling
19751, CLR, pooling
19752, CLR, pooling
19753, CLR, poolng
19754, CLR, pooling
19755, CLR, pooling
19756, CLR, pooling
19757, CLR, pooling
19758, CLR, pooling
19759, CLR, pooling
19760, CLR, pooling
19761, CLR, pooling
19762, CLR, pooling
19763, CLR, pooling
19764, CLR, pooling
19765, CLR, pooling
19766, CLR, pooling
19767, CLR, pooling
19768, CLR, pooling
19769, CLR, pooling
19770, CLR, pooling
19771, CLR, pooling
19772, CLR, pooling
19773, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19774, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19775, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19776, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19777, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19778, CLR, risk penalty legalese
19779, CLR, Haystack Butte-Bakken, increase density wells on each 1280-acre unit to 7 wells; Dunn, McKenzie
19780, CLR, Elk-Bakken, 7 wells on each existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
19781, CLR, Banks-Bakken, 7 wells on each 1280-acre unit, McKenzie, Williams
19782, CLR, Poe-Bakken, 7 wells on each 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
19783, CLR, Viking-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; Burke
19784, CLR, Antelope-Sanish, 7 wells on each existing 1280-acre unit, McKenzie
19785, CLR, Glass Bluff-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, McKenzie
19786, CLR, SWD
19787, Hanna SWD, SWD
19788, Harris SWD, SWD
19782, cont'd
19369, cont'd
19377, cont'd
19378, cont'd
19380, cont'd
19381, cont'd
19382, cont'd
19386, cont'd

Whiting Has Another Record-Setting Well In Twin Valley; Twelve (12) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Bakken Operations

Active rigs: 187 (steady, up, if anything)

Twelve (12) new permits --
  • Operators: Petro-Hunt (5), Slawson (4), Fidelity (2), BR,
  • Fields: Hawkeye (McKenzie), Elk (McKenzie), Zenith (Stark), Stockyard Creek (Williams), Big Bend (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Petro-Hunt has two permits in Stockyard Creek, a very interesting field.
Wells coming off the confidential list were reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Producing wells completed:
  • 22052, 120, Baytex, Randy Olson 17-20-161-98H 1XB, Plumer,
  • 22361, 4,971, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-3H, Twin Valley, Middle Bakken "C" facies well; a Pioneer 74 flex rig; spudded 9/11/12; TD on 11/20/12 (40 days from spud); gas averaged 534 units in the False Bakken; gas averaged 534 units also in the Upper Bakken shale; gas averaged 526 units in the middle Bakken; curve sidetrack #1 into the middle Bakken with an average of 658 units; gas in the lateral sidetrack averaged 225 units with spikes to 2,000 units. Fracking data not at the well file yet. 
This IP of 4,971 bbls of oil exceeds the record-setting Tarpon Federal 21-4H noted back in November 3 2011:
  • 20589, 4,815, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4H, Twin Valley, Bakken, t10/11; cum 283K 11/12;
There are three wells on this pad: #20589, 22360, and 22361
22360, 1,394, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-1H, t12/12; cum --

Williston Wire Headlines

No links. The Williston Wire is easy to subscribe to.

Williston city commission approves 4,888-acre annexation on the north side of town.

Job Service North Dakota has been very, very busy so far this year.

Western North Dakota seeks more oil production tax revenue.

New program provides $10 million for roads in the oil patch.

Legislators seek tax breaks for renters, loan forgiveness for child-care providers.

North Dakota starts coyote catalog, sort of a Sears and Roebuck catalog for coyotes. Just joking. Apparently it's a ND State Department of Agriculture to "connect" hunters and trapper with landowners who would like to reduce coyote populations in their areas.

Watford City prepares for construction boom. There are estimates that Watford's permanent population could swell from 1,500 three years ago to 20,000 or more in the next several years.

Divide County's population on track to double by 2023.

2012: Best Year Ever for Average Price of Oil; Will It Continue?

Link here to
With futures markets anticipating a price of Brent crude oil of $110/bbl this year, an easing to $90/bbl appears possible in three unlikely cases, according to Panorama 2013, an annual review by IFP Energy Nouvelles (IFPEN) of Paris:
• “A strongly deteriorated economic situation” with growth worse than projected by the International Monetary Fund in its base-case World Economic Outlook.
• Greater stability and less tension than prevail now in North Africa and the Middle East.
Faster-than-forecast growth in US production of oil from shales and other low-permeability formations.
“Such scenarios, unlikely today, must not be excluded in principle,” wrote the Panorama 2013 author, Guy Maisonnier. “Surprises are a common occurrence in the oil market.”
Actually, I think two of the three scenarios cited are very possible.

Enbridge Gets Michigan Okay To Replace Line 6B


July 12, 2013: I understand CBR vs pipeline is not an "either/or" issue or a "all or nothing" issue, but the runaway freight train that killed 50 people and decimated a small Canadian town puts into perspective a pipeline spill. Right, wrong, or indifferent, sentient beings can sort this out. That's the difference between sentient beings and activist environmentalists. The runaway freight train should give top cover to President O'Bama if he elects to approve the Keystone XL, though whatever his decision is, it will be seen as arbitrary and capricious by those who disagree with him. In fact, his decision will be strictly political, as well it should be for a politician. That's why he is called a politician, and not a statesman, not a leader, not a businessman, not a scientists, and not a visionary. 

Original Post
Link here to
Enbridge Energy Partners LP received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to construct and operate a replacement to its Line 6B pipeline running between Griffith, Ind., and Marysville, Mich. The project consists of 110 miles of 36-in. OD pipeline and 50 miles of 30-in. OD pipeline, all of which replace certain 30-in. OD segments of its existing crude oil and petroleum pipeline.
The US National Transportation Safety Board last year ascribed Line 6B’s 2010 failure and spill of 840,000 gal of crude into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River to pervasive organizational failures at Enbridge combined with weak federal regulations.

Nothing About The Bakken, But If It's Important Enough for US News, It's Important Enough for MDW

I grew up with US News & World Report, my favorite news magazine well into high school.

From the Defense Intelligence Agency:
A week after women were cleared to serve in combat, Defense Intelligence Agency employees got a different message. "Makeup makes you more attractive." "Don't be a plain Jane." "A sweater with a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks." "No flats." "Paint your nails." "Don't be afraid of color." And, "brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads."
Men and women at DIA were given fashion advice in a presentation prepared by an employee at the agency this week. Susan Strednansky, public affairs officer at DIA, offered the agency's regrets about the briefing, which raised eyebrows among some employees, saying, "I'm not going to deny that it exists, and it was bad. It was inappropriate for sure." She added, "Neither the agency nor the leadership has condoned anything that was in that briefing."
How to combat dark circles under your eyes:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu To Be Replaced

His legacy ...

.... came under questioning for his handling of a solar energy loan, resigns. -- The Washington Post.

And another legacy: 36 solar companies that received DOE funding.

On A Day Where The Business News Just Does Not Quit: Apple Hits Another First -- Biggest US Phone Seller in the US -- One-Third Of New Phones: Apple

Apple overtakes Samsung to become largest mobile phone vendor in the US.

Link here to an AP story.
The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. for the first time, re search firm Strategy Analytics said Friday.
The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to U.S. buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for one in three new phones.
Samsung Electronics of Korea was close behind, shipping 16.8 million phones, including non-smart ones. Samsung has been the largest seller of phones to the U.S. market since 2008, Strategy Analytics said.
Worldwide, Samsung is still the biggest phone vendor with 23 percent of the market, according to another research firm, IDC. Apple is number three, with 9.9 percent of the market. In between sits Nokia with 17.9 percent. 
Something tells me Nokia will not be at #2 for long. 

AAPL is down slightly today (in a market that is surging). AAPL is selling at a P/E few high growth tech companies ever see (P/E - 10). Amazon, for example has a P/E of .... N/A -- because it has no earnings. Let's see what GOOG is doing: a P/E of 24. Facebook, 3,011. Yes, no typo. According to Yahoo!Financial, Facebook's P/E is 3,011. Zynga, a P/E of ... N/A. See Amazon. And so it goes.

Video, Story of Bakken Crude Oil Moving To Washington State

Yesterday I linked a Platts' story that a reader sent me about Bakken oil reaching the west coast.

Today, a reader alerted me to a great link at Oil boom bringing trainloads of crude oil through Washington.
An oil boom in the Midwest is laying the tracks for a major transportation hub in Washington. Crude is coming here by rail, pipeline and barge, and state agencies have a hard time keeping up with the pace.
Activists have been worried about what proposed coal terminals would do to rail traffic in Washington state, but little attention has been paid to plans to transport.
Washington State Ecology officials have been planning to publish a map showing increasing oil maps across the state. The problem is the new proposals are popping up so quickly they have to keep updating it. Crude oil is already rolling down rail lines through Tacoma and Seattle and more is on the way.
The site at the link has a short video clip.


The article and the caption at the movie suggest that the Washington state officials are having trouble keeping up with all the activity: port and rail. Can you imagine a much smaller state (in terms of population and much less infrastructure) having a whole lot more to deal with: permitting, drilling, fracking, rail transportation, pipelines, the reservation, BLM/the feds, airlines/airports, housing, labor or lack thereof, $17 starting pay for Wal-Mart, and the list goes on and on and on. And here the folks in Washington State are having trouble keeping up with two small aspects: rail, which is pretty much already in place, and ports, ditto.

Brent/WTI Spread

At Bloomberg:
  • WTI: $97.60
  • Brent: $116.81
  • Spread: $19
For previous data, click here.

The WTI/Bakken spread at Clearbrook, MN, remains unchanged at $3.25. 

EV's Fizzling; Tesla: Makes Consumer Reports Top Ten List -- Nothing To Do With the Bakken; Chevy Volt Sales Short CIrcuit


February 13, 2013: this page will probably turn to "automobiles" in general; EVs will simply become part of the overall story. Automobile growth to show huge growth:
Although global vehicle demand has grown only 2.3% annually over the past 30 years, they foresee more robust growth in the next three years, from 72.6 million units in 2010 to 77.6 million in 2011, 83.5 million in 2012, 88.3 million in 2013 and 107 million in 2020.
The main drivers to better sales identified in the reports are no surprise, namely extremely rapid motorization in China and other emerging markets and recovery in the U.S. market after two years of weakness.
February 10, 2013: NY Times -- a very, very bad review of the Tesla Model S -- 
Instead, I spent nearly an hour at the Milford service plaza as the Tesla sucked electrons from the hitching post. When I continued my drive, the display read 185 miles, well beyond the distance I intended to cover before returning to the station the next morning for a recharge and returning to Manhattan.
I drove, slowly, to Stonington, Conn., for dinner and spent the night in Groton, a total distance of 79 miles. When I parked the car, its computer said I had 90 miles of range, twice the 46 miles back to Milford. It was a different story at 8:30 the next morning. The thermometer read 10 degrees and the display showed 25 miles of remaining range — the electrical equivalent of someone having siphoned off more than two-thirds of the fuel that was in the tank when I parked.
I called Tesla in California, and the official I woke up said I needed to “condition” the battery pack to restore the lost energy. That meant sitting in the car for half an hour with the heat on a low setting. (There is now a mobile application for warming the battery remotely; it was not available at the time of my test drive.)
February 10, 2013: LA Times tests the Tesla Model S; an EV for $90,000 So, we'll see how it does.
The trouble is that repeated demonstrations of the car's prodigious power utterly destroy its range. Tesla says this model will go 300 miles on a single charge. The EPA puts that number at 265 miles. Over four days of testing the car, we managed only about 160 miles in heavy-footed driving.
All Model S's will charge through a 120V or 240V outlet. Tesla says the former needs roughly 46 hours to recharge fully, while the latter needs eight to 10 hours. Buyers can reduce these times by adding a second on-board charger for $1,500 and buying a high-power wall connector for $1,200.
Tesla is also installing 100 of what it calls supercharging stations in the U.S. and Canada by year's end, including six already operating in California. They're free for Tesla owners, who can add half a charge in about half an hour.
February 4, 2013: more evidence that EVs are fizzling at Reuters --
Recent moves by Japan's two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time - and may never be.
In the meantime, the attention of automotive executives in Asia, Europe and North America is beginning to swing toward an unusual but promising new alternate power source: hydrogen.
The reality is that consumers continue to show little interest in electric vehicles, ...
Despite the promise of "green" transportation - and despite billions of dollars in investment, most recently by Nissan Motor Co - EVs continue to be plagued by many of the problems that eventually scuttled electrics in the 1910s and more recently in the 1990s. Those include high cost, short driving range and lack of charging stations.
The public's lack of appetite for battery-powered cars persuaded the Obama administration last week to back away from its aggressive goal to put 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.
Lack of charging stations is bad enough, but length of time to recharge in a culture that wants to keep moving. 
The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday eased off President Barack Obama's stated goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and laid out what experts called a more realistic strategy of promoting advanced-drive vehicles and lowering their cost over the next nine years.
Since Obama announced the goal in his 2011 State of the Union speech, auto analysts and executives have doubted American consumers would buy a million electric vehicles by 2015.
"Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that's less important than that we're on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road," an Energy Department official said, in advance of remarks by Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a speech at the Washington D.C. auto show.  
What a bunch of poppycock.
February 4, 2013: EV sales flattening out; sales tripled in 2012; sales will double in 2013.

February 3, 2013: Nissan will quadruple the number of high-speed charging stations in the US over the next 1 - 1.5 years. I can't wait until NASCAR goes electric. Pit stops will be measured in hours, not seconds, but lots of opportunity for advertising.

February 2, 2013: EVs fizzle; so do sales of small cars.
Sales of some of the smallest cars barely budged or fell last month despite the steady rise in gas prices.
It could be a sign that one of the axioms of the car business may be weakening: sales of tiny cars rise in tandem with driver angst at the pump.
Mercedes-Benz's Smart car, the two-seater that is the smallest car on sale in the U.S., saw sales fall 3% in January to a mere 481 cars. Toyota, whose four-seat Scion iQ is the next smallest, fell 21.1% to only 295 cars.
For cars that are slightly larger, sales are better. Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit subcompact sales were down, but Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark and Fiat 500 all saw good sales gains, according to Autodata. As overall auto sales rose 14.1% last month, the "lower small" segment was up only 6.1%.
February 2, 2013: EVs fizzle in 2013.
General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. all reported much lower sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids in January over December, citing lower inventory and the decision of many customers to buy before the end of the tax year.
GM said sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt rose 89 percent to 1,140 over January 2012.
But that's still much lower than recent months — including the 2,633 Volts sold in December. It's the lowest number of Volts sold in a month since February 2012, when GM sold just 1,023.

In total, California and Michigan account for 46 percent of Volt retail sales.
Toyota said January sales of the Prius plug-in fell from 1,361 in December to 874 in January.

Nissan said January 2013 Leaf EV sales fell 3.8 percent over 2012 to 650 — but fell by more than half over December's 1,489 sold.
This week, Ford Motor Co. said it was offering hefty discounts of more than $10,000 on leasing its slow-selling Focus electric vehicle.
The Dearborn automaker also said on its website that it has dropped the base price of the Focus EV by $2,000 for cash sales and is offering up to $10,750 off for three-year-leases.
Ford is also offering a $2,000 cash discount on the Focus EV and 1.9 percent financing if purchased through Ford Motor Credit.
The automaker sold just 685 Focus EVs in 2012, while it built 1,627 Focus EVs — making it one of the poorest performers among electric vehicles on the market.
Last week, Nissan dropped the price of its new base model 2013 Leaf EV by 18 percent to $28,800 and last year offered incentives in the wake of far lower than expected sales.
Ford's new discounts came just days after the Nissan announcement.
Original Post

CNBC at Yahoo!Finance is reporting that Consumer Reports has posted the top ten brand names in automobiles in its survey taken of 2,000 Americans. Here is the list with the number of the 2,000 surveyed who voted for that particular make as #1:
  • #1 Toyota - [133]
  • #2 Ford - [118]
  • #3 Honda - [114]
  • #4 Chevrolet - [94]
  • #5 Mercedes-Benz - [77]
  • #6 Volvo - [77]
  • #7 Cadillac - [66]
  • #8 BMW - [66]
  • #9 Dodge - [56]
  • #10 Tesla - [55]
According to Wiki, since 2008 Tesla has sold more than 2,250 Roadsters in 31 countries through March 2012. Less than three thousand cars in more than 30 countries. And it makes the top ten list. Pretty incredible. It must be an incredible automobile: Tesla stopped taking orders for the Roadster in the U.S. market in August 2011

Even more interesting, the brands not on the top ten list: Porsche. Jeep. Ram. In fact, not only were these not on the top ten list, they were at the very bottom.

Another list that makes me very, very skeptical. It would be interesting to see the breakdown of the 2,000 that were surveyed; how those 2,000 were selected; and, how the questions were phrased.

I assume the survey was taken before the Dreamliner 878 started reported "non-passive failures" involving lithium-ion batteries similar to those used in the Tesla.

Speaking of which -- batteries and cars: Chevy Volt sales, Nissan Leaf sale short circuit.
Sales of the Chevrolet Volt have fluctuating wildly recently between record months (October 2012, when 2,961 were sold or December 2012 with 2,633) and noticeable slumps (1,519 Volt sales in November). Last month, January 2013, was one of the down months, with just 1,140 Volts sold across the US. Still, this is better than the 603 Volts sold in January 2012.

As for the Nissan Leaf, we're in a transition period between model years. We recently heard that Nissan is almost sold all of 2012 Leafs in the US and has started making the much cheaper 2013 MY in Smyrna, TN. That said, the company moved just 650 Leafs in January, down 3.8 percent from the 676 sold in January 2012. Nissan sold 1,489 Leafs in December and 9,819 in all of last year. Nissan spokesman Travis Parman told AutoblogGreen that the downturn was due, in part, to "a shortage of inventory during the transition to U.S. assembly of the 2013 model year Nissan Leaf'."
Shortage of inventory? Okay.

Much cheaper or less expensive? 

Oasis Surges Almost 5% Today

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. The "welcome" explains why I follow the market with regard to the Bakken.

Having said all that, Oasis has surged almost 5% in early trading. Earlier, I updated the "Snapshot" of Oasis.

It's interesting to see the five companies Wall Street Cheat Sheet highlights today. One of them: Oasis --
Jefferies raised their price target for Oasis Petroleum on expectations that the company’s reserves could grow 41% in 2013 and 27% in 2014.
I assume most/many/other/some/ Bakken-centric companies wills show similar growth in reserves.

I also see that the price of crude oil has turned green, though it is pretty much flat for the day.

Don't Fight The Fed

The Dow crosses 14,000 -- the first time since October 17, 2007, according to CNBC.

Only 200 points from all-time high -- according to CNBC.

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

US Shale Gas Taking Short-Cut to Asia: The Panama Canal

Link here to
Six years after the Panama Canal began a $5.25 billion expansion to capture shipments of Asian- made goods to the U.S. East Coast, the flow of liquefied natural gas in the opposite direction promises to be a better bet.
Shipments of the fuel, along with rising commodity and energy cargoes between the U.S., Latin America and Asia, are likely to provide the largest sources of demand growth when the project is complete in June 2015, Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said in an interview. Shipping containerized goods, which generate most business for the 50-mile link, has yet to return to the same level as 2007, two years before the global economy had its worst recession since World War II. 
The shift shows how rising U.S. shale-gas output is reshaping global energy markets. The Panama Canal enlargement is central to the change because the route cuts voyages by more than 7,500 nautical miles (8,500 miles) to Asia, where fuel demand is growing fastest. The waterway, handling 5 percent of world trade and shipping 333 million metric tons in the year to Sept. 30, is used by as many as 14,000 ships a year, connecting 160 countries and 1,700 ports, according to its website.  
One can extrapolate this back to the lessons learned in the Bakken.

Gas Prices Headed Up -- Will Top $4/Gallon

Link here to current gasoline prices. Best prices at Gas Buddy.

But back to the story of the day: gasoline prices headed up -- back to $4 / gallon despite demand destruction and really, really inexpensive domestic oil (compared to really, really expensive Brent oil), and really, really low domestic gasoline taxes (compared to really, really high gasoline taxes in England).

From Chicago:
Hold on to your wallets: we are in the middle of a gas price spike, and experts say it will only get worse.
CBS 2′s Courtney Gousman learned several factors might push the price in our area to more than $4 a gallon.
He said refineries are already getting ready for the summer blend, and slowing production of the winter blend, resulting in a reduction of gasoline supplies.
Wednesday’s fire at a Toledo refinery will also make things worse.
Across the street, the gasoline has been at $3.49 for the longest time, but now, today I see it is $3.65/gallon for regular. 

Back To The RBN Energy Story Earlier Today: The Eagle Ford

The RBN analysis: takeaway capacity in the Eagle Ford is four times production.

"Anonymous" posted that takeaway capacity was also overbuilt in the Bakken. I normally would not post something that doesn't link sources or add to the conversation, but I was curious if there were any sources out there to support the premise that takeaway capacity in the Bakken is overbuilt.

I think "anonymous" failed to read the entire RBN Energy analysis posted today. There are a lot of story lines there, which I will get back to. First, some conclusions reached by RBN Energy:
Which naturally begs the question – what is going on? Why would otherwise rational midstream companies build too much takeaway capacity if the production is not expected to support it for at least another 3 years? Our guess is that developing this infrastructure – relative to (say) building longer pipelines out of North Dakota was a lot less expensive.
There is also a lot of recycling and repurposing of existing pipelines versus greenfield construction in South Texas. That is because of the long history of oil and gas development in the region. Also the Eagle Ford development is so close to the large Gulf Coast refining market that midstream companies likely see this as low hanging fruit that they have to participate in for fear of missing the boat.
Part of the construction frenzy can be attributed to the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) tax structure that makes new investment in infrastructure relatively cheap – especially in an era of low interest rates (see Masters of the Midstream). The Enterprise/Plains joint venture decision and consolidation such as NuStar’s acquisition of TexStar in December 2012 and this week's acquisition of Copano Energy by Kinder Morgan suggest that midstream companies may have tempered their giddy enthusiasm over the past few months.
Eagle Ford production of crude and condensate close to the Gulf Coast refining market is increasing rapidly.
Infrastructure to get that production to market has shot up even faster – to the point where today the pipeline capacity is as much as four times the production.
That is one reason why you don’t hear much about rail transport out of the Eagle Ford – it is not required.
In the next few years Eagle Ford production can continue to increase comfortably without fear of capacity constraints. This is the opposite of the situations we have seen in the Bakken (where a feast of rail was required to overcome the famine of pipelines) or the Permian basin (that is still constrained waiting for new capacity to come online). The flood of crude expected in Houston over the next two years could exert downward pressure on prices. That will hurt Eagle Ford producers along with all others, but because they are closer to market their transport costs are lower and they will be in a better position to compete for market share on price. That will be good news for Eagle Ford midstream players because their revenues rely on volume flows not prices. Maybe there is method to the overbuild madness after all.
Let's break out some of these and other data points:
  • first, folks need to look at the map: the Eagle Ford is pretty darn close to Houston; easy to build pipelines that short distance;
  • folsk building takeaway projects generally don't follow through unless they have commitments to pay for them (see ONEOK story early, cancelling a pipeline because not enough commitment out of the Bakken)
  • folks are forgetting the the tax structure of MLPs which RBN Energy mentioned
  • developers learned from the Bakken experience about lack of infrastructure
  • it's probably a lot less expensive to develop pipelines in Texas than North Dakota: a) many easements already in place; b) much shorter pipelines; c) can lay pipe year-round in Texas
  • takeaway capacity in North Dakota is absolutely scalable; if it's unprofitable to ship by rail, the pipelines will see the benefit; 
  • everyone complains about 30% of natural gas in North Dakota is being flared; that tells me there is no takeaway overcapacity in North Dakota
  • the numbers will change, but if I recall correctly, as much as 75% of all North Dakota crude oil is still trucked at some point between wellhead and the refinery
But I think this is the big story:
  • I link takeaway capacity with production potential, not the other way around.
If that's the case, there is going to be a huge amount of domestic oil and natural gas coming to the market over the next decade.

CVX: Another Company With Huge Earnings; Refinery Margins Improve; $3.70 vs $3.00 -- Incredible

And yet another story of another oil and gas company benefiting from better refinery margins. See earlier story on XOM posted earlier this morning.
Chevron Corp. posted a 41 percent gain in net income for the fourth quarter as the company produced more oil and gas, improved the performance of its refinery business and realized a gain from swapping assets in an Australian natural gas field.
Chevron Corp. posted net income of $7.2 billion for the quarter on revenue of $60.6 billion. That's up from $5.1 billion on revenue of $60 billion a year ago.
On a per-share basis, Chevron earned $3.70. Analysts had expected the company to earn $3.06 per share, according to FactSet, but analysts had not factored in the $1.4 billion gain from Chevron's asset exchange.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read at this site. 

Is OXY Telegraphing A Signal?

A reader noted this in a story about OXY's 4Q12 earnings:
Asked about mergers and acquisitions, Chazen said there was little on the horizon in terms of purchases in the Permian basin, where it is focused. He side-stepped with a joke a question on whether he would sell out of the high-priced Bakken region around North Dakota, where Oxy has cut rigs.
"If somebody would like to buy my desk, if they pay the right price, they are more than welcome to it," he said. "There's not much in the drawers."
It will be interesting to watch this play out. Note that in bold. OXY has about 300,000 net acres in North Dakota; some of it in some nice fields, some acreage in areas not quite so good.

XOM Reports Profit: Higher Refining Margins; Earns $2.20; Forecast: $2.00; Huge For a Company The Size of XOM With Decreasing Production

This is at least the third company that has reported increased earnings due to better refining margins: XOM, MPC, PSX, or maybe it was Hess. I'm starting to forget. Bottom line: "relatively" inexpensive domestic oil is replacing "relatively" expensive foreign oil here in the states.

XOM reports 6% profit.
The world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Friday reported a higher-than-expected 6 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by its chemical and refining businesses.
The Irving, Texas company said profit in the fourth quarter was $9.95 billion, or $2.20 per share, compared with $9.4 billion, or $1.97 per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected a profit of $2.00 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Oil and gas output fell 5.2 percent, Exxon said.
There are a lot of data points in that small story to talk about. Maybe later. 

Why Do I Even Bother, Part II: Unemployment Rises; Unemployment Benefits Surge; GDP Contracts First Time Since 2009 -- Analysis: Economy's Recovery On Track


February 28, 2013: the government revises GDP data twice after the initial report. The first revision shows that the economy grew by 0.1% in 4Q12 -- and thus DID NOT contract as originally reported:
The U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter - but just barely - instead of contracting for the first time in three and a half years, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The U.S. expanded at a 0.1% annual rate in the last three months of 2012, better than the initially reported 0.1% drop but well below the third quarter's 3.1% pace. Stronger residential construction and an improvement in net exports pushed growth into positive territory. A third and final report will come out next month.
Later, 12:43 pm: I see Drudge noted the same thing I noted earlier. He has now added this heading to his page regarding the new unemployment figures:

ASSOCIATED PRESS: 'mostly encouraging'...
Later, 10:41: just a hunch. Currently, the US Department of Labor uses "age 16" as the age when folks enter the job market. As we all know, ObamaCare established an official workweek at 29 hours = full-time employee. ObamaCare also extended health care insurance for the family for children up to age 26 years of age. My hunch is that the US Department of Labor is mulling changing its definition of when folks enter the labor market. By moving the age to 26 years of age the administration can make the number of folks NOT in the labor market look much better. 

Later, 10:23 pm: a reader was nice enough to confirm that nearly 90 million Americans are no longer in the labor force. This is another source, from last September:
Headline: Record 88,921,000 Americans ‘Not in Labor Force’—119,000 Fewer Employed in August Than July

Story: The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.
The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks.
The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.
Original Post 

This is the teaser for this story at Yahoo!News, cut and paste, no changes:
The U.S. added 157,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate edged up to 7.9%, the latest data supporting views the economy's sluggish recovery was on track despite a surprise contraction in the final three months of 2012.
Remember: the magic number is 200,000

So, here we have this teaser at Yahoo!News:
The U.S. added 157,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate edged up to 7.9%, the latest data supporting views the economy's sluggish recovery was on track despite a surprise contraction in the final three months of 2012.
The data points I see:
  • 157,000 is less than the magic number of 200,000 
  • the unemployment rate goes up
  • reporter's conclusion: economy's sluggish recovery is ON TRACK DESPITE A SURPRISE CONTRACTION
I can't make this stuff up.

The unemployment number would have been worse, but fortunately for the president's Jobs Council, 169,000 folks left the job market, no longer looking for work; up significantly from last month; see below.

Other stories relevant to the discussion

Massive revisions in the numbers: the numbers of new jobs added in November and December were revised upward -- some very good news, indeed.

Another 170,000 quit looking for jobs:
The number of Americans not in the labor force grew by 169,000 in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report.

BLS labels people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work. There were 89 million of them last month.
 8.5 million folks left the labor force in the President's first term;
Lost in these headline numbers was another rise in the number of people not in the labor force.
This number now stands at a staggering 89 million, up from 80.5 million when President Obama took office.
This means that there are currently 8.5 million more Americans not in the labor force than just four years ago.

Friday Morning

Wells coming off confidential list have been posted; scroll down.

Big story on BHI sent in by reader; scroll down.

RBN Energy: over-built takeaway capacity in the Eagle Ford.
Eagle Ford pipeline takeaway capacity is four times production and local refinery consumption  – an excess of over 1.3 MMb/d. More than 20 pipeline projects are already built or under construction to move Eagle Ford production to market. Today we review recent Genscape research on Eagle Ford infrastructure and assess the takeaway balance.
WSJ Links

Section M (Mansion): not read

Section D (Arena): later

Section C (Money & Investing):
Early payouts of dividends, bonuses spur a windfall; the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" widen; lack of political leadership, uncertainty driving unintended consequences;

Jobs environment changes with the times;

Bottom falls out of debt-ridden city; Harrisburg, PA:

'Loonie' slips on oil patch; plunging Canadian crude prices, worsening trade deficit pressure the currency;

Royal Dutch Shell's stock could do with a wake-up call;

Section B (Marketplace):
Cheap gas lets factory rise again on Bayou; Nucor, great article

Best Buy to close 15 stores in Canada

Section A:
Wow, a disaster on The Hill, and he will still be approved; an administration puppet; he admits as such, saying he is not a policy maker;

Page 3, and we've talked about page 3 before: drug tunnels have feds digging for answer; US agents can spot the passages, but the brains behind them prove elusive;

Op-ed: the truth comes out -- immigration's poison pill: Big Labor; unions have long used Democratic allies to kill any reform that includes a guest-worker program. Time for GOP to get on board. What a great op-ed.

Op-ed: Wal-Mart wants you! The retailer offers a job to any returning veteran who wants one.  Will other companies follow suit?

Op-ed: ObamaCare's broken promises. Every one of the main claims made for the law is turning out to be false.

Minot Daily News Has Update On BHI Actitivies in North Dakota: $120 Million In New Facilities In Past Two Years

Send in by a reader.

Link here.
Baker Hughes, an international oil-field services company, has invested about $120 million in facilities in the state of North Dakota in the past 20 months, says the facilities director for the new Minot Joint Facility.
Warren Wilson said Baker Hughes has been in North Dakota on a small entity basis all along. Then last year it opened its Dickinson facility, about a $25 million facility.

Wells Coming Off Confidential LIst Friday; XOM, COP Reporting Before Market Opens; Jobless Report

Wells coming off confidential list Friday:
  • 22855, 567, Fidelity, Kathy 11-15H, Sanish, t8/12; cum 36K 12/12;
  • 22959, 325, Fidelity, Schwartz 14-2H, Dutch Henry Butte, t8/12; cum 24K 12/12;
  • 23060, drl, Hess, LK-M Elisabeth 147-97-1522H-4, Little Knife,

Earnings reports:
  • CVX (11:00 ET) ($3.04):
  • XOM (9:30 ET) ($2.00): huge; $2.20.

22855, conf, Fidelity, Kathy 11-15H, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

22959, conf, Fidelity, Schwartz 14-2H, Dutch Henry Butte,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold