Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wal-Mart Continues To Support An Increase In the Minimum Wage

Active rigs:

Active Rigs188188209178116

RBN Energy: Permian Basin pipelines -- part 4.
No fewer than 28 publicly listed companies are currently drilling in the Permian Basin – including industry stalwarts like Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Shell as well as independent producers like EOG Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources, Concho Resources and Apache. Overall crude production is over 1.5 MMb/d and headed to 1.7 MMb/d by the end of 2014. Current hot spots include the Wolfcamp horizontal shale play in the Midland Basin – featured in our latest Drill Down Report. Today we look at new gathering systems in the Midland that will transport up to 490 Mb/d of crude to Crane and Colorado City, TX.
The Wall Street Journal

Russia, China fail to sign natural gas deal. [Update: China and Russian sign the landmark, $400-billion-natural-gas-pipeline deal - 9:00 a.m. EDT, May 21, 2014]
Even if Russian and Chinese officials agree on a price to secure future gas supplies, the fortunes of Gazprom are likely to remain deeply interwoven in the European market.
Gazprom provides 30% of Europe's gas, around half of which flows through Ukraine. Gazprom needs the higher price it receives for exports to Europe to compensate for the much cheaper price it charges in its domestic market, where gas is subsidized.
Last year Gazprom made 2.1 billion rubles ($60 million) from the 174 billion cubic meters it sold to Europe, a far higher profit margin than for domestic sales. It made just 794 million rubles from domestic sales of 243 billion cubic meters of gas. Any deal with China, on the other hand, would take years to become reality. Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in March that Gazprom could start to supply China in 2019 or 2020. The initial volume of gas exported, around 38 billion cubic meters a year, would be small compared to the amount currently exported to Europe.
Even if capacity were increased to over 60 billion cubic meters later, as the Russians hope, the volume of gas will still only be around a third of what is currently exported to Europe. Gazprom's sales to Europe rose by 15% last year to 174.3 billion cubic meters—the highest since 2008.
Workers' new tactic in minimum-wage fight.
Stymied in Washington on their minimum-wage push, low-wage workers are now pressing for U.S. companies to raise wages voluntarily.
Fast-food workers have held rallies asking for hourly pay starting at $15. President Barack Obama is publicly praising companies—from retailer Gap Inc. to Punch Neapolitan Pizza, a tiny Minnesota pizza joint—that committed to paying workers more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The activism comes after efforts to increase the federal floor to $10.10 an hour fizzled in Congress in recent weeks. Some major corporations have responded by being more open about pay practices, noting that few of their workers receive the minimum wage. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last week said it doesn't oppose an increase to the federal pay floor. Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's U.S. president, said the retailer is "not a minimum wage payer," noting that only about 5,000 of the company's 1.3 million U.S. workers currently make the minimum wage in their states.
Staples profit drops sharply - a 43% drop in profits.

With Target, it helps to aim low. Target's perverse advantage going into its earnings report is that investors don't expect much.

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