Monday, February 25, 2013

Crude-By-Rail Sets Record; Crude Oil Loadings Up 250 Percent Over Previous Year

The Association of American Railroads is reporting:
AAR today reported that U.S. Class I railroads originated a record 233,811 carloads of crude oil in 2012, up 256 percent from the 65,751 carloads of crude oil originated in 2011. Crude oil in 2012 represented 0.8 percent of all U.S. Class I rail carloads, up from 0.2 percent in 2011.  AAR reports crude-only carloading data on a quarterly basis, with 4Q12 seeing 81,122 carloads.
Linked article spotted via CarpeDiem

Also via CarpeDiem, this trucking report:
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.9% in January after jumping 2.4% in December. (The 2.4% gain in December was revised down from a 2.8% increase ATA reported on January 22, 2013.) Tonnage has surged at least 2.4% every month since November, gaining a total of 9.1% over that period. As a result, the index equaled 125.2 (2000=100) in January versus 121.7 in December. January’s index was the highest on record. Compared with January 2012, the index was up a robust 6.5%, the best year-over-year result since December 2011.
“The trucking industry started 2013 with a bang, reflected in the best January tonnage report in five years,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “While I believe that the overall economy will be sluggish in the first quarter, trucking likely benefited in January from an inventory destocking that transpired late last year, thus boosting volumes more than normal early this year as businesses replenish those lean inventories.”

Time For A New Poll: Are Crude Oil Imports From the Middle East to the US Increasing or Decreasing?

Since I am not ready for another poll so soon, here's the answer.


Financial Times is reporting:
The US was more reliant on the Middle East for its oil imports last year, underscoring the critical importance of the politically unstable region for the country despite the growing energy independence its shale gas revolution is bringing.
[R]ecent oil import trends from the Gulf region suggest why the US might continue to play a critical security role in the region. While domestic production increased the most in 150 years last year, Washington will confirm later this week that oil imports from the Gulf region continued to rise. By the end of November the US had already imported more than 450m barrels of crude from Saudi Arabia, more than it imported from Riyadh in the whole of 2009, 2010 or 2011, according to figures from the US energy department.
For the first time since 2003, Saudi imports accounted for more than 15 per cent of total US oil imports. The Gulf as a whole accounted for more than 25 per cent, a nine-year high. Other Gulf exporters are also seeing unusually strong US demand. By the end of November, Kuwait had shipped more oil to the US than in any year since 1998. Analysts are expecting annual figures to be released later this week to confirm the trend seen up to November. 
Oil produced in shale fields like the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas is of a light high-quality variety. But Gulf oil is still vital for the US because many US refineries are set up to process heavier crude oils. So while imports of light crude from countries such as Nigeria have fallen dramatically, demand for Gulf crude has not.
The point of the article had to do with security concerns in the Mideast. The article did not mention the Keystone XL.

Perhaps it should have.  The dots are starting to connect. $60/bbl Canadian sands oil; $120/bbl OPEC oil. Analysts forecast the amount of oil the US imports from OPEC will increase.

Keystone XL -- Final Report -- EnSys -- December 23, 2010

This link will take you to the "quick view." From there you can get the PDF.

A reader sent this to me earlier today. Posting now for archival purposes as we get closer to approval/disapproval.

A New NG Pipeline From the Eagle Ford To Mexico

Oil & Gas Journal is reporting:
NET Midstream’s wholly owned subsidiary NET Mexico Pipeline LP reported it plans to build a 124-mile, 42-in. natural gas pipeline system that will deliver Eagle Ford shale gas to the Texas-Mexico border. A long-term firm gas transportation agreement for as much as 2.1 bcfd with MGI Supply Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica, anchors the project.
Much more at the link.

Folks following SRE are aware of the NG-export stories. This NG-export-to-Mexico is another story that has surprised many, considering just a few years ago "we" all thought the US would be importing natural gas.

It's beginning to look like the only area in the entire US that doesn't have a pipeline is a very small area in north-central Nebraska. I assume the state will erect an historic marker on the Sandhills: "Pipeline-free. Free at last."

Wells Coming Off Confidential List; OXY With a Great IP/Poor Production; 4 of 7 Wells on DRL Status


Later, 7:27 pm: see first comment. Correct IP for the OXY USA well, #22881: 210.

Original Post
20879, drl, Petro-Hunt, Fort Berthold 147-94-1A-12-2H, McGregory Buttes,
22117, drl, WPX, Dora Smith 5-8HC, Van Hook,
22532, 1,491, Whiting, Mildred Roggenbuck 41-24TFX, Sanish, t8/12; cum 41K 12/12;
22730, drl BEXP, Holm 9-4 3TFH, Alger,
22881, 2,281, 2,210, 210, OXY USA, State Frank Butler 1-29-32H-142-94, Murphy Creek, t8/12; cum 9K 12/12; [Not: the scout ticket originally had "2,281" or "2,210" for the IP; the well file shows the correct IP at 210.]
23191, 682, Hess, BL-Myrtrice-156-96-2536H-2, Beaver Lodge, see below, t12/12; cum 20K 12/12;
23302, drl, BEXP, Timber Creek 13-24 1TFH, Alexander

22881, 210, OXY USA, State Frank Butler 1-29-32H-142-94, Murphy Creek:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

23191, 682, Hess, BL-Myrtrice-156-96-2536H-2, Beaver Lodge; already on a gas line:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Ten (10) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs: 183 (nice)

Ten (10) new permits --
  • Operators: Hess (4), Newfield (3), XTO (3)
  • Fields: Robinson Lake (Mountrail), Sand Creek (McKenzie), Tobacco Garden (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Producing well completed:
  • 22727, 664, Enerplus, Needle 149-93-05AH, t1/13; cum --

Canada Pulls Funding for Carbon-Capture Project

Reuters is reporting:
The Alberta government said on Monday it canceled C$285 million ($278 million) in funding for a carbon-capture project tied to a proposed synthetic natural gas plant, the second withdrawal of such an environmental initiative in less than a year.
Alberta said the privately held company planning the project, Swan Hills Synfuels, has delayed it because lower-than-expected North American gas prices have made producing coal-to-gas fuel uneconomical.
Same goes for wind, solar, and algae. Don't tell the US Navy.

MDU - Calumet Ready To Start Construction; Received Air Quality Permit To Construct


September 5, 2013: one step closer; a water source for the Dakota Prairie Refiner has been approved by officials. Water for refining, plus water storage on site to fight a fire for 8 hours was sourced.

Original Post
Press Release:
MDU Resources Group, Inc. and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. announced that the North Dakota Department of Health has issued an Air Quality Permit to Construct for Dakota Prairie Refining, a diesel refinery the two companies are developing in southwestern North Dakota.
"Approval of the air quality permit means that we can begin construction within the next month, and the facility can be operational and helping supply North Dakota's diesel fuel market by late 2014," said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. "We are committed to operating this state-of-the-art facility responsibly and safely, and we appreciate the rigorous permitting process conducted by the health department."
"This facility will be an important contributor to the local and state economy," said Jennifer G. Straumins, president and chief operating officer of Calumet's general partner. "We appreciate the help of the state's agencies and officials to identify issues and help solve problems in a manner that has brought this project from concept to reality."
The facility will process 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil. The plant will be located on a 318-acre site located west of Dickinson in Stark County, N.D. It will employ approximately 100 people. Hiring and training of operating personnel is expected to begin in 2013. The plant will employ its own plant manager and management team, who will report to a governing board composed of representatives of WBI Energy and Calumet.

ONEOK Announces 4Q12 and Full Year (2012) Financial Results


February 26, 2013: I am bringing the first comment below up here, so it is easier to access the links. In addition, the comment reminds newbies and folks like me the issue of "ethane rejection," something that RBN Energy has talked about on several occasions.  Note, the comment includes a data point about a new pipeline from Williston, North Dakota, to Conway, Kansas.
The ethane issue is a major problem for OKS right now. With ethane prices so low, it is not economical to separate it from the methane by deep refrigeration methods, so the ethane gets "rejected" into the natural gas lines (and increases the BTU value plus the carbon content). As a results, their NGLs volumes are down (less ethane), so their fees are less.

As of now, almost all of the ethane now produced in the Bakken is rejected into nat gas pipelines, but when the NGL line from Williston to Conway, Kansas comes on line later this quarter, OKS will have the ability to include the ethane as part of the NGL line. When this ethane hits the market, it will further depress ethane prices. The new ethylene cracker units have to come on line - increasing demands for ethane - before this pricing situation gets corrected to ensure the ethane is profitable enough to separate from nat gas. The chemical companies in the US who produce ethylene and polyethylene have to be making a killing and will for some time.

For mid-stream MLP, ethane rejection is a big issue throughout the shale basins. The Bakken, Marcellus, Utica, and Eagle Ford are producing large amounts of ethane that are not yet seeing the chemical side end markets (but rather the shale basin ethane is being burned with the nat gas).

But the incredibly cheap price of ethane may allow the US Chemical Industry to undercut every other market in the world. Asian markets, especially China where they are building huge amounts of capacity, will simply not be competitive. Even Saudi production will have competitive issues. 
Original Post
Press release:
ONEOK, Inc. today announced 2012 net income attributable to ONEOK was $360.6 million, or $1.71 per diluted share, compared with $360.6 million, or $1.68 per diluted share on a split-adjusted basis, in 2011. 
Fourth-quarter 2012 net income attributable to ONEOK was $111.5 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, compared with $115.0 million, or 55 cents per diluted share on a split-adjusted basis, for the same period in 2011.
Half of the reduction in 2013 operating income and equity earnings guidance is due to lower expected natural gas liquids (NGL) volumes as a result of widespread and prolonged ethane rejection.  Narrower expected NGL location price differentials and lower expected NGL prices, particularly ethane and propane, also are expected to affect the partnership's 2013 earnings.
"We do not expect prolonged ethane rejection to continue into 2014, although there may be intermittent periods when ethane will be left in the natural gas stream," said Gibson.
  • 2012 operating income of $1.10 billion, compared with $1.16 billion in 2011;
  • ONEOK Partners segment operating income of $962.9 million, compared with $939.5 million in 2011;
  • Natural gas distribution segment operating income of $215.7 million, compared with $197.6 million in 2011;
  • Energy services segment operating loss of $77.9 million, compared with an operating income of $23.8 million in 2011;
  • In December 2012, the Kansas Corporation Commission approved an increase in Kansas Gas Service's rates by a net amount of $10.0 million annually, which became effective in January 2013;
  • ONEOK Partners announcing in November 2012 that it will not proceed with the Bakken Crude Express Pipeline due to insufficient long-term transportation commitments during its open season, which concluded Nov. 20, 2012

Third LNG-Export License Given Out By Canada -- British Columbia -- West Coast To China, Japan, and South Korea

Reuters is reporting:
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver on Monday gave the final needed approvals to a liquefied natural gas export license for Royal Dutch Shell Plc's planned LNG export plant on British Columbia's Pacific Coast.
The approval, which was expected, allows exports of up to 670 million tonnes of LNG over the 25-year period covered by the license, or 3.23 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
The license was given to LNG Canada Development Inc, a Shell-led consortium that includes Mitsubishi Corp, PetroChina and Korea Gas Corp.
While a number of LNG plants have been proposed for the northern British Columbia coastline, the license is only the third given out by Canada.

Oasis 4Q12 and Full Year (2012) Financial Results

From the press release:
  • Increased revenue by 108% to $686.7 million in 2012, up from $330.4 million in the prior year.
  • Grew Adjusted EBITDA by 118% to $512.3 million in 2012, up from $234.5 million in the prior year.
  • Increased net income by 93% to $153.4 million in 2012, up from $79.4 million in the prior year.
  • The Company reported net income of $42.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to a net loss of $13.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.  For the full year 2012, Oasis reported net income of $153.4 million compared to $79.4 million for the full year 2011.  Excluding certain non-cash items and their tax effect in the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2011, Adjusted Net Income (non-GAAP) was $45.2 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, and $28.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, respectively. Excluding certain non-cash items and their tax effect for the years ending December 31, 2012 and 2011, Adjusted Net Income (non-GAAP) was $138.4 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, and $78.2 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, respectively. 

Global Warming Clobbers Wichita, Kansas; All Flights Canceled; Highways Closed

Later, 8:54 pm: this storm has even made the front page of the LA Times --
A blizzard dumped mountains of swirling snow across parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Monday, then turned toward Kansas and other parts of the Midwest still reeling from a major storm last week.
Blizzard warnings and watches were posted for parts of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma through Monday evening as high winds blew large accumulations of snow in a wide band through the Southwest and Midwest.
The National Weather Service also warned of fierce thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast.
Gulf Coast. Again.

Later, 4:48 pm: wow! How bad is it? Ask Amarillo.
A historic blizzard on pace to become the second-snowiest event recorded in Amarillo made travel nearly impossible Monday and left some motorists stranded as emergency crews struggle to reach them, the National Weather Service in Amarillo said.
Wind gusts have averaged between 50 and 60 mph, with hurricane-force gusts of 75 mph recorded at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, the weather service said.
Conditions won’t improve until the storm passes, and the weather service has extended a blizzard warning until 3 a.m. Tuesday.
The weather service said a Feb. 25 record of 17 inches of snow has blanketed Amarillo, breaking the previous record of 10 inches recorded in 1903.
Don't even get me started on global warming.

Later, 2:22 pm: just after posting the original post, I see another blogger used the same verb, "clobber" when describing the storm. A senior meteorologist at AccuWeather:
A blizzard already blasting the Texas Panhandle will continue to expand northeastward across Kansas and will reach northwestern Missouri into Monday night.
According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The second major snowstorm in less than a week will bring travel to a standstill. School, business and other daily activities may be disrupted for days in the region."
Whiteout conditions and extensive blowing and drifting snow were clobbering northwestern Texas Monday midday. Conditions were deteriorating over western Oklahoma and central Kansas.
Note: "clobber" was in the headline, not the story.

Original Post
The Wichita Eagle is reporting:
Heavy snowfall has reduced visibility to near zero in Wichita and grounded all flights into and out of Mid-Continent Airport.
Numerous highways in southwest and south-central Kansas were closed as the powerful winter storm unleashed snow and strong winds on the region.
“Driving conditions are hazardous and visibility is extremely low,” KDOT spokesman Kirk Hutchinson said in a prepared statement.
Heavy snow arrived in Wichita late Monday morning, though weather officials cautioned that the worst of the storm isn’t slated to arrive until early afternoon.
Depending on where the faux environmentalists have put their thermometers, February will go down as one of the colder Februaries. But, of course, it depends on where the thermometers have been placed.

Having said that, I don't know what the optimum average yearly temperature for Wichita is.

Read more here:

Southwestern Energy Mentions Its First Bakken Well in Sheridan County, Montana, in Quarterly Earnings Call

Don found this paragraph buried in Southwestern Energy's five-page earnings transcript at SeekingAlpha:
In 2012, we began production of our first test well targeting the Bakken formation in Sheridan County, Montana. This well achieved a peak rate of 171 barrels of oil per day and has been producing for over 4.5 months. We continue to monitor the production decline in this well, in addition to watching the activity around us, as there will be several more well results from other operators in the area over the next 6 months. We plan to spud our second well in Sheridan County in late second quarter, targeting the Three Forks objective.

Completely Unrelated To The Bakken: Firefox OS Hitting Mainstream

Apple is being challenged -- CNBC is reporting.
More than anything, this year's conference seems to mark the end of Apple's  mobile world dominance and the rise of rival devices that run on more open, developer- and network-friendly operating systems. Case in point: Mozilla's Sunday-night, unofficial conference kick-off event.
The nonprofit whose Firefox browser a decade ago helped dismantle Microsoft's chokehold on web browsers is now similarly looking to upend the mobile device market. The industry at present is "unnaturally controlled by a few parties," Mozilla's chief executive, Gary Kovacs, declared as he unveiled the first generation of Firefox OS devices and partners. 
MillionDollarWay blog is optimized for Firefox. Even on an Apple computer, Firefox seems to load web pages more quickly than Apple's Safari. I don't think "official" tests support that view, but it sure seems true for me. Also, for some reason, I can't load "comments" to the MDW blog via Safari.

And the article continues:
And the two-dozen telecom execs who helped launch Firefox OS reiterated that sentiment.
"We are changing the industry for the better of everyone," Cesar Alienta, the chief executive of Telefonica, the Spanish-based telecom which is one of the worlds largest, said on-stage at Mozilla's event Sunday night. This after lashing out at "closed operating systems" (read:Apple) and warning that "the smartphone world is moving backwards" from the openness of the web-based internet.
Telefonica plans to shortly introduce Firefox OS-based devices to its customers in Spain, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.
America Movil, owned by the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, has meanwhile committed to launch Firefox OS phones in Mexico and "all possible markets" as soon as possible.
"I believe this is the beginning of the end of walled gardens," the company's chief marketing officer Marco Quatorze said on Sunday. Deutsche Telekom's outgoing chief executive Rene Obermann, whose company will introduce Firefox OS devices in Poland this summer, called it "an important step on the way to more competition between the different ecosystems."

Chesapeake To Sell 50% Stake In Oklahoma Assets To China's Sinopec

AP is reporting:
Chesapeake Energy said on Monday that it will sell a 50 percent stake in oil and natural gas-rich land in Oklahoma to Chinese oil company Sinopec for $1.02 billion as the natural gas producer continues selling off assets to repay debt.
Chesapeake is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. after Exxon Mobil. Hurt by low natural gas prices, it has sold off billions in assets to pay off debt incurred as it rushed to buy land and other assets. It's also increasingly focused on more lucrative oil and gas liquids.
From Yahoo!In-Play:
Co and Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production announced the execution of an agreement which provides for Sinopec to purchase a 50% undivided interest in 850,000 of Chesapeake's net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Mississippi Lime play in northern Oklahoma.
The total consideration for the transaction will be $1.02 billion in cash, of which ~ 93% will be received upon closing. Payment of the remaining proceeds will be subject to certain customary title contingencies. Production from these assets (including Mississippi Lime and other formations), net to Chesapeake's interest and prior to Sinopec's purchase, averaged ~ 34 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the 2012 fourth quarter and, as of Dec 31, 2012, there was ~ 140 million barrels of oil equivalent of net proved reserves associated with the assets.
All future exploration and development costs in the joint venture will be shared proportionately between the parties with no drilling carries involved.
$1.02 billion (almost all in cash) / 425,000 acres ---> $2,400/acre. 

SandRidge: 1.8 million net acres (per Filloon) x $2,400 ---> $4.32 billion. Market cap for Sandridge is $2.71 billion today.

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

Kill The Sequester; Expedite Oil Production in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana; Did We Just Get a Hint on Quid Pro Quo for the Keystone?

The Oil & Gas Journal is reporting:
“People outside Washington complain the federal government can’t get things done,” Timmons said. “The bureaucracy and red tape surrounding Keystone XL for nearly 5 years has been inexcusable.”
That pretty much sums it up.

Hey, by the way, in his prepared remarks this a.m., President Obama said if the GOP agrees to kill the "sequester," or at least "kick the can down the road a bit," his administration will "expedite oil production in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana." Nice quid pro quo.

South Dakota should be particularly excited.

Note: phrases in quotes are paraphrases; exact quotes from the president's speech can be found at the original source which I have not linked.

No direct hint, by the way, whether he plans to approve the Keystone XL.

However, there may have been a huge indirect hint: "Expediting oil production in ND, SD, and MT" could be "the hint."

Everyone agrees that Bakken production is held back by takeaway capacity (neither rail nor pipeline is currently adequate); the only way to quickly expedite production: completion of the Keystone XL -- at least that's the new spin on the Keystone.

K Street, Kazakhstan, Kyrzakhstan, Kerry, Keystone, Kompromise -- I guess "K" is in this year. 


Could just the announcement of approving the Keystone XL 2.0 drop the price of WTI by $10/bbl?  And, of course, the Bakken with it?

Previously Reported: "Keystone XL 2.0 Alt" In Progress; KeystoneAlt

Oil & Gas Journal is reporting:
Enbridge Inc. and Energy Transfer will jointly develop a project to move 420,000-660,000 b/d of crude oil by pipeline from Patoka, Ill., to St. James, La., and the eastern Gulf Coast refining market by converting certain segments of Trunkline Gas Co. LLC’s system to liquids service. Trunkline is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP and Energy Transfer Equity LP.
The converted 30-in. OD crude oil pipeline would enter service by 2015, pending US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of Trunkline’s July 2012 request to abandon certain designated segments of pipeline from natural gas transmission service. Crude slate and the level of subscriptions received in a pending open season will determine the pipeline’s capacity.
Once completed, the project will span more than 700 miles, including a new lateral from near Boyce, La., to St. James. The St. James hub will provide access to refineries in the eastern Gulf Coast, as well as dock access for water-borne shipments.
Remember, the Keystone XL 1.0 would have had a capacity of about 800,000 bopd.

So, now the new Keystone XL 2.0: the Trunkline Pipeline.

This has been previously reported, but I need to post a note to help me remember all these new pipelines or pipeline reversals.




Halcon Paying Royalties in Otter Field, The Williston Basin, North Dakota

A reader tells me she received a notice that in the future her royalties from well(s) in Otter oil field will be paid by Halcon Resources; Petro-Hunt LLC had sent the division orders.

This would jibe with earlier stories of Halcon buying "a huge swath of Bakken acreage" late last year. See "Halcon" on the sidebar at the right or use the "blogger" search app to look for Halcon on this site.

From that post:
October 22, 2012: Halcon to buy 81,000 net acres from Petro-Hunt, LLC; five operating rigs on acquired property.

Filloon: Part II of Update of Mississippi Lime

Link here to
There are several key points identified by SandRidge that are important. The first is a change in how wells are modeled. SandRidge did cut oil EURs as it is finding oil is depleting faster than natural gas.
These are the difficulties with new plays, as models are estimates and can change. Currently, SandRidge is the only operator addressing this. It is possible others will follow suit, but at this time, I am unaware of any other downward EUR revisions. The second variable is SandRidge's assertion that the Mississippi Lime is consistent throughout Oklahoma and Kansas with respect to EURs. Results contradict this as Oklahoma IP rates have been better than in Kansas. T
he best area is around the Nemaha Ridge. This would suggest EURs differ, but further development is needed to prove this. The third is better well design significantly improving IP rates. Some operators are further along in development, and this has improved production. Chesapeake and Devon also have considerable acreage in the Mississippi Lime. Both companies are experiencing varying degrees of success, but are improving techniques and well design to be more consistent.
So, bottom line: folks are lowering EURs for the Mississippi Lime. Ever since the the Bakken boom took off, the EURs in the Bakken have been increasing, and some increases have been significant.

Random Update of BP's Whiting Heavy Oil Refinery Modernization Project in Indiana

A reader provides this link to update of BP's Whiting refinery modernization project, the largest private sector project in Indiana.,d.dmQ

The link will take you to a PDF for downloading. Your choice whether you want to download the PDF; recommend using "virus checkers" before downloading any PDF.

One can find updates of this project by googling key words.

A Miserable Way To Start Off Monday Morning -- California Cap'n Trade -- RBN Energy

Wow, wow, wow: had the Keystone XL 1.0 been approved, gasoline prices would be lower -- CNBC is saying that, not me. Mentions Bakken oil -- part of the bottleneck; Seaway blockage; rail lines aren't going to correct the glut in the near term -- Cramer -- he actually has the Seaway and the rail part correct; pipelines falling out of favor; wants govt to get out of the way of Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines; mentions Sasol -- biggest synfuel project in the US (in Louisiana) -- in a 30-second "rant" hit all the high buttons. [Comment: historians will look back on killing the Keystone XL 1.0 one of the worse policy decisions ever made.]

RBN Energy continues its series of blogs on California Cap'n Trade -- part II.

Wells coming off confidential list have been posted: this is a very interesting list -- a must-read.

Brooklyn oil field has been updated. We're now seeing Brooklyn oil field wells with cumulatives over 100,000 bbls; slow but steady.

A big moat: when corporate America needs telecom, corporate America has two choices: ATT and Verizon, and even of those two, one can argue there may be only one choice. GM selects ATT to make their cars wireless.

For investors only: In pre-market trading, all three US majors (XOM, COP, CVX) are trading up.

[Disclaimer: this is not an investment site; do not make any investment decision based on what your read here.]

WSJ Links

Section R (Wealth Management): did not read, but cover story is "12 Debt Myths That Trip Up Consumers." On that note, CNBC noted this morning that the $85 billion-across-the board cut for the entire year -- is about what the Fed is buying up every month. You can look at that two ways: 1) Wow, the Fed is certainly buying a lot of Treasury bonds; or, 2) the 'cross-the-board cuts sure are trivial in the big scheme of things. At the end of the day: sequester = job cuts in recession-immune Washington, DC

Section C (Money & Investing): bigger rivals mean B&N has a tough job to kindle enthusiasm for Nook

Section B (Marketplace): huge story on Huawei; we discussed Huawei some time ago -- finger on the pulse?

Again, the ATT/GM story: GM plans smart phones on wheels. Big story; everyone will follow.

Section A: front page, not-so-good-news-story for JCP CEO

Page 3 (and we've talked about page 3 before); two stories today, one "happy"; one "sad"; one has to do with government stimulus, again, gone awry: logging towns are on a roll; gaps persist in high-speed web access

Voters grow weary of Washington's drama;

Congress has moved on; no longer working on "sequester"; the big concern is the impending government shutdown in March -- most have forgotten about that...

Op-ed: Will Mexico welcome wildcatters? The new finance minister says his country needs entrpreneurs to find untapped energy reserves.

Wow, the Virginia GOP -- a new GOP -- read our lips -- increasing taxes in Virginia -- I guess when you live that close to Washington, DC, it's hard for bad judgement not to rub off one one...
  • a $6 billion transportation bill financed almost entirely with higher sales and car taxes
  • sales tax from 5% to 6% in populous Hampton Roads; everywhere else up to 5.3%
  • sales tax on new cars to 4.3% from 3% (that's huge when tax on a new car approaches "regular" sales tax
  • a new 0.25% sales tax on homes in Northern Virginia plus a new hotel tax
  • eliminates the state 17.5-cent/gallon tax on gasoline
  • adds a more hidden 3.5% tax on the wholesale price of gas (now, 14 cents/gallon); over time...
More than one person has written or tweeted that the GOP governor of Virginia can now remove his name from consideration for higher offer.

Op-ed: wanted -- a balanced approach to shale gas exports, by the chairman/CEO of Dow Chemical -- against "rushing" into exporting shale natural gas; as soon as I saw the author, I knew I wasn't going to read the op-ed; I am aware of the argument.