1. Despite the record number of producing wells, a new natural gas production record, and a new crude oil production record, the percent of natural gas flared in North Dakota in the most recent reporting period actually decreased over the previous month.
2. This comment from the director:
Crude oil takeaway capacity is expected to be adequate as long as rail deliveries to coastal refineries keep growing.Is the director telegraphing his concerns over the recent CBR derailments/spills, or is he seeing something the rest of are not seeing? With regard to takeaway capacity, I only know what I see based on corporate presentations and past NDIC comments. [Update: see first comment -- I think the reader has "hit the nail on the head": BNSF CBR is competing with grain shipments, etc. As the economy recovers, rail other than CBR will also continue to increase, putting pressure on rail. Great comment. The reader provides this link for more: http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,3233439.]
3. Finally, this. Regular readers know that larger operators hedge and collar the prices on the crude oil they contract to deliver on a specific date. The floor for these hedges and collars has been between $90 and $95 based on the corporate presentations I have reviewed. This means, that while the contract with this hedge/collar and floor is in effect, the Bakken operator will get "at least" $90/bbl upon delivery, regardless of the spot price of oil. Hold that thought.
The October sweet crude price quoted by the director: $85.Update: Don points out, in response to the above, that the $71 would be after trucking/local pipeline/rail expenses have been deducted, so the $71 is probably the net Bakken operators would get for spot. Don is correct; I am wrong; I had forgotten those pesky little transportation costs.
Today's sweet crude price quoted by the director: $71.
If an operator runs into a production glitch and can't meet the delivery contract, the operator can buy crude oil for the spot price of $75 and sell it to the refinery for $90. It's been my impression that quarterly earnings are often adversely affected when the spot price of oil has been higher than the hedge/collar/floor for which the operator has contracted.
This is very, very idle chatter. I am way beyond my comfort level and expertise but per my "disclaimer/welcome" I will throw it out there just for the fun of it. My thinking could be very wrong.
North Dakota farmers, by the way, are very, very familiar with similar issues involving grain.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or what you think you may have read here.
Despite the precipitous fall in the price of oil (NYMEX/WTI) from $104 to $94 over the past few weeks, almost all oil and gas companies I follow are "green" today, and some by a significant amount.
In addition, regular readers know what RBN Energy has to say about "netbacks" (CBR) for Bakken operators (the WTI-Brent spread -- the wider the spread, the better for CBR); and, about the reason for the recent decline in the price of oil, and what it likely means.