Thursday, March 21, 2013

Not Sure What This Is All About ....

Mike Filloon posted an article at SeekingAlpha earlier today suggesting that wells in northeast McKenzie County could out-produce wells in the Sanish and Parshall oil fields. But the story has been removed and is no longer available at SeekingAlpha. The lede can be found at other sites:
Well design in the Williston Basin has changed significantly since the first horizontal wells in North Dakota and Montana. These wells typically targeted the middle Bakken using very short lateral lengths, a handful of stages and very little water and proppant. Operators have found they can use laterals in excess of 10000 feet with up to 40 stages. These wells now used 100000 barrels of water and up to 9 million pounds of proppant.
Improvements have decreased depletion rates, and increased EURs. Decreased depletion will increase the cumulative production derived from fracking. If this is the case, current models may be too conservative.When looking at Williston Basin production, it is important to remember this is a stacked play.
But that's all you can find of the story unless you have a subscription to the second link. 

Fifteen (15) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; BEXP With Two Nice Wells North of Williston; MRO With Two Nice Wells

Active rigs: 184

Fifteen (15) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (4), Liberty Resources (4), Oasis (3), WPX (2), EOG, Whiting,
  • Fields: Parshall (Mountrail), Delhi (Golden Valley), Viking (Burke), East Fork (Williams), Van Hook (Mountrail), Camp (McKenzie), Elm Tree (McKenzie)
  • Comments: Getting exciting, isn't it?
Wells that came off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Several producing wells were completed:
  • 23089, 3,164, BEXP, Jarold 25-36 1H, Todd, t1/13; cum 13K 1/13;
  • 23090, 2,118, BEXP, Jarold 25-36 2TFH, Todd, t1/13; cum 7K 1/13;
  • 22266, 1,207, BEXP, Panzer 22-23 2TFH, Alger, t1/13; cum 4K 1/13;
  • 22846, 1,081, MRO, Diamond A 34-21TFH, Bailey, t2/13; cum --
  • 22844, 1,600, MRO, Diamond A 44-21TFH, Bailey, t2/13; cum --

NCAA Basketball: South Dakota State Plays Tonight -- CBS -- 6:00 PM?

A Note To The Granddaughters: The Next Big Thing

Updates

November 25, 2019: look for Enterprise Rental to partner with Ford EV. Enterprise/Ford to put charging stations in at Enterprise Rental locations; perfect for local test drives. [Again, this has not been announced and I've not seen anyone mention it, just a gut feeling.]

July 11, 2019: NFLX has soared nearly 45% this year.

July 22, 2018: the subscription model

January 22, 2018: Netflix: huge earnings report. Results even better than already-high expectations. Shares surge over 8%. Wow.  It looks like Kevin Spacey cost Netflix as much as $39 million. Netflix was the reason I started "The Next Big Thing" post many years ago.

September 14, 2017: Apple's "anemoji." It's a short distance between animated emoji and quadriplegics being able to speak and use computers with facial expressions. This is much, much bigger than folks realize.

July 17, 2017: Netflix shares soar; 2nd quarter usually their worse quarter; analysts: "a blowout quarter"; "an inflection point"; cord-cutting continues; DVD-to-streaming moment;

October 17, 2016: Netflix shares surge

July 24, 2014: the next bit thing -- mobile payments

January 22, 2014: Netflix surges almost $60 as soon as earnings announced. Almost 20% surge.

December 12, 2013: Today we learned that Netflix earned more Golden Globe nominations than CBSNCBABC combined -- at  least that's the Drudge link; no reason to doubt it, but I'm not going to check. I'm not a detail person; I'm more interested in the big picture.

November 21, 2013: same-day package delivery. [November 25, 2019: Amazon.]

October 21, 2013: Subscriber growth; beats estimates -- Netflix beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS above consensus.: Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.52 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues rose 22.2% year/year to $1.11 bln vs the $1.1 bln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.47-0.73, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.44 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Up about $55 for the day.

August 20, 2013: Netflix grabs multi-year deal --
... first-run rights to Weinstein films after they appear in theaters will bring new content to Netflix to help the company gain subscribers and compete with cable channels such as HBO and Showtime. 
July 22, 2013: today's earnings headline --incredible -- the next big thing --
  • Netflix gains 630K subscribers as 2Q earnings soar Netflix's 2nd-quarter earnings quadruple as 'Arrested Development' attracts more subscriber. The story at CNBC:
Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than quadrupled as the revival of the comedy series "Arrested Development" attracted more subscribers.
Despite the financial gains, the report released Monday flopped on Wall Street because the return of new "Arrested Development" episodes after a seven-year absence didn't add as many U.S. subscribers as many investors had been hoping. Netflix's high-flying stock sank $20.96, or 8 percent, to $241 in extended trading after the numbers came out.
June 17, 2013: DreamWorks becomes a television company; inks exclusive deal with Netflix; Netflix soars. 

June 15, 2013: kiosk ordering in fast-food restaurants, perhaps in sit-down fancy restaurants; employers don't have to buy health care insurance for iPads. [November 25, 2019: Chili's has 'em.]

May 26, 2013: Netflix continues to soar. Now, with "Arrested Development."

April 22, 2013: Netflix soars 20% after earnings beat
Netflix shot up more than 20 percent after the movie-rental company reported earnings that beat expectations.
The company posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of 31 cents a share, up from a loss of 8 cents a share in the year-earlier period.
Revenue increased to $1.02 billion from $870 million a year ago.
Analysts had expected Netflix to report earnings excluding items of 19 cents a share on $1.02 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
March 28, 2013: Netflix: S&P 500′s Best Stock of 2013 (So Far)

March 22, 2013: I mentioned Apple's iPhone in the original post. It has just been announced (no links, story easily found):
For the ninth time in a row, iPhone ranks “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Consumer Smartphones” by J.D. Power and Associates. iPhone ranked highest in a study that looked at the following categories: performance, physical design, features, and ease of operation. In fact, iPhone has ranked highest in each of these studies since the first iPhone was introduced.
Original Post

I think everyone enjoys trying to predict the "next big thing." Or at least "a" next big thing.

I was reminded of that at your school's book fair earlier this afternoon. I happened to see "Lego Crazy Action Contraptions" by Klutz.

Thirty years ago I started a Lego collection that eventually took on a life of its own. Our older daughter, your mom, never enjoyed Legos. Our younger daughter loves them as much today as she did then. For awhile, it looked like Lego might not survive (maybe ten, fifteen years ago). And then, with some incredible marketing efforts the company has thrived. Klutz's "Lego Crazy Action Contraptions" was another reminder of folks thinking outside the box.

At the book fair, I saw that Skippyjon Jones has a new book, Cirque de Ole. I happened to run across Skippyjon Jones some years ago, when it first came out, and could tell it was going to be huge, and it appears that it has. Good for Judy Schachner.

Years ago, before it was available, I saw a story in some now-defunct news magazine and told my wife that the "PT Cruiser" would be a huge hit. And it was.

Likewise, before the first episode of "30 Rock" aired, I knew that Tina Fey would be big; I just never imagined that BIG. I didn't think the show would do all that well (I was wrong) but that Tina Fey would do well.

I knew the iPad was going to be huge; I don't recall thinking much about the iPhone, but I knew the iPad had more uses than skeptics realized. The iPad has yet to live up to its potential but that's just a matter of time.  (I knew the "netbook" was doomed the minute I saw it. I think the "Surface" is likewise doomed.)

Back in 2007, when I started the milliondollarway blog, I knew the Bakken was going to be big. I didn't think it would be that BIG, but for North Dakota, I thought it would rank right up there with the last boom. Wow, was I wrong. The Bakken is much bigger than I ever imagined.

By the way, I deleted that first blog in a fit of insanity one night, and then started all over. I think the current milliondollarway blog dates back to 2009. I could be wrong. Haven't checked lately.

With regard to the Bakken, the biggest surprise: multi-well pads and rail.

My son-in-law thinks Vudu will be the next big thing. Perhaps in time. But not for awhile. Our discussion began with Apple and iTV. I suggested that "it" was all about "content," and, of course, that brought us to Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu. Vudu and Hulu have access to new movies sooner than Netflix. Yet Netflix is still well ahead of anyone else in that sector.

That made me question my assumption that "it" was all about "content." I think I'm wrong. "Content" is important, but within a month of release, new movies are available everywhere, so "content" alone is not the discriminator. "Content" is quickly becoming a commodity (with notable exceptions: NFL network, "made-for-Netflix" movies, as prime examples). Once "content" is a commodity, then something else drives the sector.

So, if it's not "content," what is it? "Accessibility." Accessibility includes "ease" of accessibility. All demographics can reach Netflix. Even my parents, well into their 80's and 90's can use snail mail to order Netflix DVDs, but unless it has to do with fishing, my dad would have no idea what "streaming" is,  much less be able to access it.

So, we'll see. For $7.99/month I have unlimited and "easy" access to Netflix; for $5.99 I can stream one movie from Vudu or pay "Target-" or "Wal-Mart-price" for the DVD itself. US mail and $7.99 / month / unlimited still beats the alternative. So we'll see. Vudu might be the next big thing but I don't see that for a few years. At least.

Back packs will become "a" next big thing. They already are in urban settings, not so much in rural areas.

I think LNG corridors will be "a" next big thing.

I think Facebook will surprise us; it will be "a" next big thing but only after it evolves to the next level to include a) gaming; b) better search; c) a music module; d) a YouTube-like video module; and, e) easier "home page" development.

All-electric vehicles as family cars are "dead." Hybrids aren't dead but it will be a long, steady slog for them to become mainstream.

Free wi-fi everywhere is just a matter of time. I don't know if one would call "free wi-fi everywhere" "a next big thing" but within a few years coffee shops won't stay in business if they don't offer free wi-fi. I do think that someone could yet come up with with a Barnes and Noble bookstore-coffee shop-internet cafe business plan that would work.  Except for college-centric Starbucks, most Starbucks coffee shops are pretty quiet after 6:00 pm. Just the opposite for most retail when they are very, very quiet before 10:00 am.

That brings us to a "cashless" society. Cyprus may be a "cashless" society by next Monday. Apple stores are cashless. I do think someone big is going to go cashless and that will change everything. Could Wal-Mart go cashless?  For those who don't have a credit card, or some type of mobile payment (SmartPhone, for example), they pay for a company cash card at customer service when they come in the door.

Apple Data Centers Are Now Running on 100% Renewable Power

MacRumors is reporting:
Bloomberg notes that Apple has posted the 2012 update of its environmental policy pages, noting that the company has now achieved 100% renewable energy usage at all of its data centers. On a worldwide basis, the company's corporate facilities are now running on 75% renewable energy, up from 35% just two years ago.
Awesome, to say the least.  But there is trouble in "carbon footprint land":
Apple estimates that its carbon footprint for 2012 included 30.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, with 98% of that total directly related to the life cycles of its products. The total represents a 34% increase over the company's 2011 estimates, but Apple notes that recent increases have been driven primarily by growth in its sales, with emissions per dollar of revenue decreasing by 21.5% from 2008 to 2012.
31 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Not good. Where's the EPA?

Speaking About the Weather, Here's a Story on Clouds ....

.... MacRumors is reporting:
Apple's iCloud and iTunes Match are the most frequently used cloud media services, with a combined usage total of 27%. 
Other "clouds" were not even close, including one that has not worked all that well for me, Dropbox, which came in second. (How many readers have even heard of "Dropbox"?)

Third was Amazon's cloud.

Fourth was Google, and after that, almost not worth reporting. Be that as it may:
Apple: 27%
Dropbox: 17%
Amazon: 15%
Google: 10%
Ultraviolet: 4%
Samsung Music Hub: 3%
OnLive: 3%
LG Cloud: 2%
Gaikai: 2%
I assume Gaikai came in at the bottom because it was a telephone poll and no one knew how to say (or wanted to say) "Gay Kay."

By the way, I dropped "Dropbox" because of its difficulty to use and poor results. That was sometime ago; maybe they have improved. "Gay Kay" is intriguing, to say the least. A Mary Kay "cloud"?

Global Warming? Say What? Near-Record Cold Temperatures in Fargo! Prepare for Summer Flooding -- Again

Updates

March 22, 2013: The Minot Daily News is reporting that the Souris River is also likely to flood this spring. Remember: the river is fed by snow pack in Canada. No link: the story is easily found.

Original Post
The AP is reporting:
The latest weather service flood outlook for Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., includes a 50 percent chance that the river would top 38 feet later this spring, which would surpass the fifth-highest crest of 37.34 feet in 1969. There's a 10 percent chance of an all-time record.
"It's March madness again," said Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral. He noted that it would be the fourth major flood in five years, including a record crest of 41 feet in 2009.
Chances of a top-five flood increased with near-record cold temperatures that have delayed the snow melt, which isn't expected to begin until the first week of April, NWS officials said. The chances of major rainfall totals also increase around that time.
And that's what happens when you try to avert global warming: you just push winter into spring. Or perhaps summer in this case. 

I can't make this stuff up. The comments may be a bit over the top, as they say, but just "a bit," but the AP stands by its story: "... near-record cold temperatures that have delayed the snow melt, which isn't expected to begin until the first week of April."

Native Americans In Montana Can Rest Easy: Their Hunting Grounds Are Safe -- No Oil Found -- Anschutz to Leave

Oil & Gas Journal is reporting:
Anschutz Exploration Corp., Denver, will cease operations and withdraw from the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana after failing to discover enough resources to support further exploration or development investment.
Had it not been for the milliondollarwayblog, it is unlikely I would have known how much the oil and gas industry disturbs the Native American culture. With this announcement, at least one group can rest more easily this evening.

And, had it not been for the milliondollarwayblog, it is unlikely that a story on Anschutz would have caught my eye.  

Talk About Timely....

.... one of the nice things about RNB Energy: it combines great topics with perfect timing.

This morning RNB Energy posted an article on RINs --- and now, the Oil and Gas Journal reports that both the API and US Senators are asking the EPA to address rising RIN prices.
The American Petroleum Institute and two Republican US senators separately asked the Environmental Protection Agency to address renewable identification number (RIN) costs, which have jumped by 1,400% since the beginning of 2012.
API’s request came as it released a NERA Economic Consulting Study that concluded that the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, under which refiners are required to buy RINs to help them meet cellulosic ethanol requirements, is irretrievably broken and poised to seriously harm consumers, the US economy, and the nation’s fuel supply system.
Perhaps that's what the president had in mind. Killing coal, killing Keystone XL, and now killing the nation's fuel supply system seems to be the perfect trifecta. It is amazing what one president can do in one term, when his party controls the Senate. He will leave quite a legacy.

If Americans are content/satisfied with the price of gasoline now, they will enjoy what RINs will bring:
.... a 30% rise in the cost of gasoline (which could result in rationing and other transportation disruptions)...
Not that it will amount to anything, but the House is also looking into this debacle. The article is not worth reading but if the link is broken, this was the lede:
The US House Energy and Commerce Committee launched a bipartisan review of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard with a white paper addressing the so-called “blend wall,” the point at which adding the required ethanol volumes to gasoline supplies would result in a blend above the currently allowable 10% ethanol limit.

Clarification On An Earlier Post: President Obama, EPA, Coal Plants; The President Would Ban Even Coal Plants Using New Technology

Link here to the Wall Street Journal story regarding an earlier post asking whether the president went a bit too far too fast trying to kill the coal industry. I don't recall how I portrayed the issue, but a reader was kind enough to explain what was going on.
The Obama administration is weighing changes to a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit emissions at new power plants, in a preemptive move to protect against possible court challenges, according to people familiar with the matter.
The changes may require the EPA to seek more public input, a move that would push the measure months past an April 13 deadline for finalizing it.
The proposed rule would limit emissions of carbon-dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas that many scientists have linked to a warming planet, to 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour of electricity generated at new power plants, whether fired by coal or natural gas.
The EPA put forth its proposal in March 2012 and immediately drew fire because it would essentially ban new coal-fired power plants that use current technologies.
The agency hasn't decided to alter that part of the proposal, but it is weighing concerns that the rule as written may not withstand legal scrutiny, said people who have been briefed on EPA talks.
The reader pointed out correctly: the president won't quit in his quest to kill the coal industry; at most, this newest wrinkle is only temporary.

Jerry: How's That Wind Energy Working Out Now?

Updates

June 7, 2013: San Onofre will close. It will be interesting to see how California will cope.

Original Post

Reuters is reporting:
California's electric grid agency warned on Wednesday that a second summer without output from the damaged San Onofre nuclear plant presents more challenges than last year and will force the agency to rely on voluntary conservation to avert rolling blackouts.
"This summer will be more difficult than last," Steven Berberich, president of the California Independent System Operator (ISO)...
The 2,150-megawatt San Onofre nuclear station, owned by Edison International and Sempra Energy, has been shut since January 2012 after the discovery of premature tube wear that damaged thousands of tightly packed tubes inside the large steam generators.
San Onofre, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, is the largest power plant in southern California and its extended shutdown creates reliability problems in south Orange County and the San Diego area...
Grid officials are closely watching California's supply of hydro power for the summer which is expected to be about two-thirds of normal.
Regardless, it looks like Warren will do just fine...as you read through the linked article, remember:
PacifiCorp, a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co, operates utilities in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and will invest about $2.1 million to set up its systems.
MidAmerican is a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
The article mentioned "hydro power" but did not mention solar or wind energy. Cue up Connie Francis.

Sempra Energy, by the way, hit a 52-week high yesterday, and has been hitting highs regularly in the last few weeks, but it has to do with its natural gas play and Mexico, not the California energy debacle.

Glut Easing At Cushing? What It Could Mean

Investor's Business Daily is reporting:
A surprise drop in U.S. oil inventories last week, particularly in the Midwest, in some respects supported recent arguments that WTI crude oil prices are headed higher.
If accurate, it could bode well for domestic oil producers, including Bonanza Creek Energy and Oasis Petroleum. It also could mean narrower margins for Midwest refiners like Northern Tier Energy and Phillips 66, as well as wider margins for Gulf Coast refiners.
The scenario hinges on the possible breakdown of the long-term supply glut at the pipeline hub where the benchmark is priced, in Cushing, Oklahoma.
A March 14 report from Robert Campbell, a Thomson Reuters analyst, contends that, despite forecasts for increasing stockpiles at Cushing, the area's inventories have been in decline. Last week, storage there reached its lowest level since mid-December.
Just as important for MDW readers is the WTI/Bakken spread. For the third day in a row, Bakken is selling at a premium to WTI at Clearbrook, MN (the link is obviously dynamic and will change over time; the comments were accurate at the time of posting).

Motley Fool On Three Energy Stocks

As noted several times, I don't care much for Motley Fool. The free sites are teasers to get folks to subscribe to their newsletters, but sometimes the teasers are worth looking at.

This particular Motley Fool article mirrors my thoughts, but for other reasons. If the link is broken, the article pertains to Continental Resources, KOG, and Enterprise Products Partners.

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

By the way, I see EPD just hit a new 52-week high.

Bakken Update: Decline Rate for Top 20 Producing Wells In The Bakken -- Filloon

From SeekingAlpha, Mike Filloon is reporting on the decline rate of the top 20 producing wells in the Bakken.

This is the summary, but the article holds a huge amount of data regarding decline rates.
In summary, the Bakken still has significant upside. There are still a lot of great areas to drill, and we are just beginning to see upside to the Three Forks' benches. Although many of the best areas have been drilled, continued down spacing in those areas are in process. More importantly, we are starting to see how good northeast McKenzie County is. This may be the best way to play the Williston Basin
Helis' wells have provided 1000+ MBoe EURs in the middle Bakken and upper Three Forks. This is the reason QEP paid so much for its acreage. These areas also have two and in some areas three additional targets.  [There is a reason the "million dollar way" refers to this area as the "Helis Grail."
Kodiak's Smokey ten well test pads should add useful data as to how deeper pay zones with perform. Completion techniques continue to improve increasing recoveries. There are several ways to play McKenzie County. Kodiak may be the best. Its acreage sits on top of the thickest Three Forks' pay zone. It also has additional acreage in northeast McKenzie and southwest Williams. 
Halcon has acreage in northeast McKenzie and Fort Berthold. Both areas are very good, but costs are higher on the reservation. QEP is in this area, but not as levered as the other two. Triangle's acreage is to the west of Kodiak's Smokey Prospect. This acreage is not as good as the others listed, but much of its success weighs on how productive this area is.
Some takeaways from the article:
  • Mike does an outstanding job summarizing and analyzing the Bakken
  • over the past six years, well density in the Bakken keeps increasing
  • completion techniques keep increasing recoveries
  • over the past six years, EURs keep increasing
  • the sweet spots in the Bakken are becoming well defined
  • even the most basic of data regarding the Bakken is still lacking (here we have the sweet spot highlighted, and there is still inadequate date regarding the thickness of the Three Forks)
  • there was only a passing reference to the lower benches of the Three Forks
This article, by the way, also links back to the "Red Queen" article at The Oil Drum.

Enbridge, Phillips 66 Negotiate 3-Year Deal For Berthold Terminal

Remember the MDW post yesterday regarding the Berthold oil terminal as reported by the Minot Daily News?

Press release at Yahoo!Finance:
Enbridge Rail (North Dakota) LLC, an affiliate of Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., and Phillips 66 have agreed to a three-year deal for unit train loading of Bakken shale crude oil at the Enbridge Berthold, North Dakota, terminal beginning in May 2013, with volumes ramping up to 35,000 to 40,000 barrels per day by November 2013.

The Enbridge Berthold Rail Project integrates the Partnership's North Dakota Pipeline System with an 80,000 bopd rail facility. The Berthold facility can accommodate up to three unit trains at any given time and is located adjacent to the Enbridge North Dakota Storage facilities, which have an ultimate capacity of 2.2 million barrels of contract storage.

Unnamed? New Storm Forecast For Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. This year, Palm Sunday, March 24; this Sunday.

AccuWeather is reporting:
Another major storm has begun to cross the nation with areas of heavy snow, flooding rain and severe thunderstorms. The worst conditions with the storm may center over the Palm Sunday weekend.
Like many storms during the second half of the winter, this first major storm of the spring could threaten lives and property, bring significant travel disruptions and foil outdoor plans.
If the storm pressed on, it could hit the East Coast near the beginning of April.

Global warming continues. 

Thursday Morning Links -- Part II; Unemployment Claims Higher; Last Week's Numbers Revised Up; Total Number Receiving Unemployment Aid Rose; "That Could Bode Well For Job Growth in March." -- Reuters

Updates

March 22, 2013: Los Angeles County unemployment rises to 10.4%.  And the spin: "Despite the uptick from 10.3% in December, the county appears poised for steady improvement this year along with the rest of California, economists say."

Later, 9:57 am: the market opens significantly lower; obviously investors can see through this. The good news, CVX hit a new high yesterday and is higher today (at least for the moment).  

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

Original Post 

So, unemployment claims RISE this past week; the previous week numbers were revised UPWARD, and the total number of folks receiving unemployment aid ROSE, and this is the Yahoo/Reuters headline:


I can't make this stuff up. Bottom line: unemployment claims rise -- again.

Let's see how they spin this story. From Reuters:
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week, but a trend reading dropped to its lowest in five years and pointed to ongoing healing in the labor market. [opinion]
The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, which was less than analysts had expected. [fact]
The four-week moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, fell 7,500 to 339,750, the lowest level since February 2008. [fact]
That could bode well for job growth in March. [opinion]
Past performance an indicator for future numbers? Okay.

Buried at the very end of the article, last week's numbers revised upwards and total number on aid rose:
The prior week's claims figure was revised to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported. [fact; also note how poorly that sentence is written to avoid the word "upward"]
Last week, the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 5,000 to 3.053 million in the week ended March 9. [fact]
But you have to read to the very end of the article to learn that it's not all so rosy out there.

The reporter who wrote the story: Lewis Carroll.

WSJ Links

Section A:
  • President Obama in Israel; no links; story everywhere; hasn't gone golfing yet (on this trip)
  • Op-ed: Supreme liberal washout; good news; Supreme Court struck down by a 7-1 margin on crazy Clean Water Act lawsuit; and in a lopsided 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit regarding class action suits; 
  • Op-ed: Cuomo's job-depletion plan: I don't know who's trying harder to increase unemployment: President Obama or Governor Cuomo but they are both doing a pretty good job. For Governor Cuomo he promotes higher taxes, higher minimum wage, and no natural gas fracking. Natural gas is bringing down CO2 emissions (significantly); fracking uses much less water than conventional drilling; fracking has been used for at least 40 years in the US; 
  • Op-ed: rotten tomatoes for a billion-dollar farm payout: my wife qualifies; she is Hispanic (half Hispanic, half Japanese) and she's female; and sometime between 1981 and 2000 she thought about applying for a Department of Agriculture loan but was sure she would be discriminated against, so she did not apply; she may now be eligible for a $50,000 payout from the US government for discrimination. I can't make this stuff up. 

Thursday Morning Links -- Part I

Active rigs: 184

Wells coming off the confidential list have been posted; see sidebar at the right.

RNB Energy: RINS and the EPA Ethanol mandate; USSR-style-central-planning promulgated by President Obama
To understand what is going on with RINS you first need to know about the ethanol mandates. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandated increased use of renewable fuel in place of gasoline. 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements the mandates. By renewable fuel, the legislation principally refers to ethanol produced from corn but also covers biodiesel, cellulose biofuel (ethanol produced using crops other than corn), and advanced biofuel. Although the biofuel mandates are not without controversy the current market excitement is all about ethanol – by far the largest source of renewable fuel.  Most US ethanol is produced from corn. The stated benefits of blending ethanol into gasoline are twofold. First ethanol is an oxygenate that reduces the carbon monoxide emissions that come from burning gasoline and second ethanol is renewable and in theory reduces our dependence on finite fossil fuels.
Oil and Gas Journal is reporting -- it's going to come much sooner than expected: US oil production is going to surpass US oil imports by the end of the year.  And had the Keystone XL been approved by the president in 2011, his first opportunity, the North American continent would now be producing far more oil than what we are importing from OPEC. But I digress. Back to the linked story:
US monthly crude oil production is expected to exceed the amount of crude oil imports later in 2013 for the first time since February 1995, the Energy Information Administration projected. The projected change is primarily attributed to rising US crude oil production, particularly from shale and other tight rock formations in North Dakota and Texas.
Note again the reference to the Bakken. Amazing, isn't it?

 **********************

This is really quite remarkable. The other day I polled readers about funding the president's proposed Energy Security Trust with oil royalties from off-shore drilling (federal leases). I guessed there would not be enough money from off-shore drilling to pay for this Solyndra-slush fund. So, tongue-in-cheek I asked whether folks receiving Bakken royalties would be willing to help fund the president's new slush fund. (Surprisingly, 7% said they would agree to send some of their Bakken royalty money to Washington, DC. I assume they were spoofing or misunderstood the question.) [At the link, the results of the poll are at the bottom of the post.]

Be that as it may, it was all done tongue-in-cheek. Well, the truth is stranger than fiction. The Oil and Gas Journal is now reporting (just days after my poll) that there will not be enough money in off-shore oil to pay for the Energy Security Trust fund.
The Obama administration will need to open more onshore and offshore federal acreage to oil and gas development if it expects a proposed energy security research trust fund to work.
I hope the president doesn't find out that 7% of MillionDollarWay Bakken mineral right respondents would be willing to help fund the slush fund as determined by a recent MDW poll.