Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Op-Ed Over At Rigzone Re: Russia-China Gas Deal

Back on June 10, 2014, I wrote a fairly long piece on the implications of the Russia-China natural gas deal. Now, Rigzone has an op-ed on that deal. The US lost this chess match. The "Global Shift" is just one of the "Big Stories" I follow.

Rigzone: Russia-China Gas Deal -- The End of the US-EU Energy Power Play --
All of this means that the leverage enjoyed by the Gulf States such as Qatar – one of the high-profile allies of the United States in the region – will take a beating in a longer timeframe.
The recent European elections also raised a question mark over the mandate enjoyed by the parliament at Brussels wherein the UK, France and Denmark have voted overwhelmingly in favor of Eurosceptic parties.
While the EU is marred by internal bickering, the Russia-China duo are romping away with a great show of unity – at least in inking deals that could diminish the clout of the European heavyweights.
All in all, there is much to ponder and strategize accordingly for the policymakers and statesmen both in Washington and Brussels. For this deal and its ramifications would be felt in the times to come.
There is a common theme running through much of this. It started six to twelve months ago.

Iraq Imploding -- And There's A Media Blackout On Events?

I don't have cable television, so perhaps the cable news channels are running 24/7 the stories coming out of Iraq, but I doubt it. There is very little even in the print media. My hunch is that "things" in Iraq are much, much worse than any of us can imagine. The bits and pieces I get regarding what is going on in Iraq suggests the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is fairly well organized. My hunch these guys are fresh, well-armed, and very, very "pumped up." On the other hand, the "Iraqi Army" is worn out trying to maintain some semblance of calm over the past several years; is probably quite corrupt from the top down; poorly trained; probably poorly equipped, and, ... scared.

Energy E & P To Increase 6% This Year -- Barclays; Investing In Renewable Energy -- SRE

Energy E & P to rise 6% this year -- Barclays.
There is potential for higher capital deployment in the United States due to geopolitical risks in other oil-producing countries, particularly Iraq, Barclays said. "I think the first place they are going to put that money into is North America," Barclays analyst James West told reporters on a conference call.
 Add China To the Arctic List of Players

Add China to the list that wants access to oil and gas in the Arctic. Link here. Meanwhile, the US, under this administration, is pretty much sitting this one out, also. Except in passing, in the very last paragraph of the linked story, the United States was not even mentioned.
The Arctic Council agreed in May last year to admit emerging powers China and India as observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and energy potential of the planet's Far North.
The organisation, which coordinates Arctic policy, is gaining influence as sea ice thaws to open up trade routes and intensify competition for oil and gas - estimated at 15 percent and 30 percent respectively of undiscovered reserves.
The Defence Policy Research Centre of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army singled out the Arctic as one of the chapters of an annual strategic assessment.
"The Arctic region has rich oil and gas resources and quick and convenient shipping conditions, which has important meaning for ensuring the sustained development of China's economy," the centre said in its report, according to excerpts published by the official China News Service.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.
Wow, this is a little nugget for investors.

SRE surged today.

No SRE news today. But there was some SRE news earlier in the week I was going to post and then forgot. Zack's is reporting:
SRE announced that its Mexican unit Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB (IEnova) has received a loan worth $270 million. The company will utilize the fund for the completion of the first phase of its wind energy generation project called Energia Sierra Juarez. 
I posted more of the story at an earlier post

There are at least three ways to make money on renewable energy.
  • tax credits to offset other profitable making ventures (Warren Buffett does this)
  • get the contracts to build out the renewable energy infrastructure (like SRE is doing)
  • invest in publicly traded companies that are making money on renewable energy (BRK, SRE)
However, sometimes the most important "asset" in renewable energy is something that cannot be measured: building political and business relationships.

After years of following SRE and then the past years blogging to include SRE, it certainly appears that SRE is doing some very, very interesting things across the "southern tier," stretching from Tijuana to Louisiana.

On another note: right now it appears the only way to make money "directly" on renewable energy is through tax credits (see Warren Buffett above). An industry dependent on tax credits is not a viable industry. Just my two cents worth.

Seeking Alpha Noted North Dakota's One-Million BOPD Milestone

From Seeking Alpha:
  • North Dakota, home to the Bakken shale formation, is now the fourth state in U.S. history to produce more than 1M bbl/day of oil, as the state's Department of Mineral Resources reports output rose 2.5% in April from March to just above 1M bbl/day.
  • North Dakota now produces more than 12% of all U.S. oil and more than 1% of global production - unimaginable just a decade ago
  • Texas, California and Alaska previously have crossed the million-barrel mark; of the three, only Texas remains above it, at almost 3M bbl/day.
  • Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. 

Nine (9) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota; Statoil With Two Huge Wells, One In Todd Oil Field

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 25110, drl, CLR, Bonney 3-3H1, Jim Creek, a Three Forks well, no production data,
  • 26693, drl, CLR, Marlene 2-3H1, Stoneview, a Three Forks B1 well, 2560-acre spacing; no production data,
Active rigs:

Active Rigs189184212173129

Nine (9) new permits --
  • Operators: QEP (3), Hunt (2), Slawson (2), MRO (2)
    Fields: Grail (McKenzie), Zahl (Williams), Big Bend (Mountrail), Murphy Creek (Dunn)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Eight (8) producing wells completed:
  • 23092, 3,106, Statoil, Jarold 25-36 4H, Todd, t5/14; cum --
  • 23355, 58, Bakken Hunter, Pacer 3427-MBH, Ambrose, t1/14; cum 5K 4/14;
  • 25091, 2,902, Statoil, Bill 14-23 3H, Alexander, t5/14; cum --
  • 25092, 1,166, Statoil, Bill 14-23 5TFH, Alexander, t5/14; cum --
  • 25699, 1,253, Hess, AN-Evenson 152-95-0310H-4, Antelope, a Sanish well, t5/14; cum --
  • 26172, 511, Hess, SC-4WX-153-98-3130H-2, Banks, t4/13; cum --
  • 26805, 1,882, MRO, Renn 41-4TFH, Reunion Bay, t5/14; cum --
  • 26842, 1,108, Hess, EN-Leo-154-94-23224H-3, Alkali Creek, t5/14; cum -- 
Apple Introduces New "Low-End" iMac

Wow. I watch Apple even more closely than the Bakken (not entirely true). I check Apple sites two or three times a day and yet I almost missed this one. Apple introduced a new, lower-priced iMac today with no advance announcement.

For Investors Only; Market Surges After Yellen Speaks -- June 18, 2014; Snow Falls In Idaho; Freezes In Oregon -- In June, 2014; Eighteen Years Of No Warming

The Fed: Generally after Bernanke spoke, the stock market fell; after Yellen talks the stock market surges. The market surged after she spoke, now up about 90 points even with these data points:
  • growth forecast cut;
  • tapering continues;
  • the Fed wouldn't raise interest rates until 2015 
 It was that last point that moved the market -- another year of easy money.

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

Trading at new 52-week highs: APA, BP, BCEI, CSX, CVX, COP, DVN, ECA, ERF, Floteck, Genesee & Wyoming, KOG, NRG, NFX, SD, SRE, TPLM, WLL. 

SRE: surged. That's a surprise. Oh, that's right. I forgot to post this this other day. Zack's is reporting:
SRE announced that its Mexican unit Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB (IEnova) has received a loan worth $270 million. The company will utilize the fund for the completion of the first phase of its wind energy generation project called Energia Sierra Juarez.

IEnova is engaged in the construction and operation of energy infrastructure in Mexico. It is the only energy company in the country, which is publicly traded. The company has two segments – Gas and Electricity. In 2013, IEnova invested $2.4 billion in natural gas distribution, transportation and storage and electricity generation projects. Currently, the company is spending around $1.8 billion in new energy infrastructure ventures.

The 155-megawatts ESJ wind project is located in the Municipality of Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. The $300 million project is jointly owned by IEnova and InterGen. It is the first cross-border wind generation project between the U.S. and Mexico. The company has used 47 units of 3.3-MW Vestas turbines in the project, which is expected to start commercial operations in the first half of 2015.

The output from the ESJ project will be purchased by Sempra Energy’s subsidiary San Diego Gas and Electric Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Inking long-term contracts will ensure IEnova a steady cash inflow, which will support it to repay its loan on time.
KOG: goes over $14. Up almost 4% today.

The Market: earlier today most everything was red, some green. Everything has turned green. The market surges almost 100 points after Yellen speaks.

Phillips 66 Acquires New Storage Terminal Along The Gulf

I can't recall if I've previously posted this, another exciting energy story, Motley Fool is reporting:
Earlier this month, Phillips 66 announced the acquisition of a Gulf Coast terminal facility to little fanfare. The company didn't even disclose the price of the terminal that it purchased from Chevron.
This is just another quiet step the company is taking to profit from increased American energy exports by following in the footsteps of leading exporters such as Enterprise Products Partners.

Phillips 66 is acquiring Chevron's Beaumont Terminal complex near Beaumont, Texas. The terminal has 7.1 million barrels of storage capacity that encompasses 4.7 million barrels of crude-oil capacity and 2.4 million barrels of refined products capacity.
Most noteworthy, the facility has deepwater access via two marine docks capable of handling Aframax tankers and one large barge dock. It also has rail and truck loading and unloading facilities, as well as access to major crude oil and refined product pipelines.
The company noted that the facility is strategically positioned for the increased movement of North American crude oil into the Gulf Coast, as well as for the growth in refined product exports. Furthermore, Phillips 66 pointed out that the asset has significant expansion potential. Bottom line here is this site is perfectly positioned for the export market.
Much more at the link.

Meanwhile, President Obama Has Drawn A Red Line Against Global Warming

I can't make this up. Over at IceAgeNow:
On June 14 he gave a commencement speech to graduates of the University of California at Irvine, using it to tell Big Fat Lies, not the least of which was that the Earth’s temperatures were rising when in fact they have been falling for nearly eighteen years.
It is an endless source of wonder to me that no part of the mainstream media disputes him when he says things like this. For years now they have been reporting the evidence of increasingly cold weather worldwide.
On the same day the President was lying about warming, eight inches of snow fell in Rize, Turkey. It has fallen as well in South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia while closer to home snow fell on several cities in Idaho with cold freezes extending into Oregon. In June!
Obama used the speech to demand that politicians take steps to acknowledge climate change which used to be called global warming until it became undeniable to everyone except the charlatans lining their pockets with utterly bogus “research” that underwrites the source of the lies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
UC Irvine. Really?


Motley Fool is reporting: Kurdistan soon to be independent -- great news for some investors.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

Motley Fool is looking at the Iraqi incursion as an investing event. I am posting this as a geo-political event. The bottom line: analysts think the Sunni-Shiite uncivil war will allow the Kurds to go independent sooner than later. This, I think, WILL happen in my investing lifetime. This could be huge and will provide opportunities for the next US president.

A Note for the Granddaughters

Some time ago I wrote to say that I had canceled my Bloomberg Businessweek subscription. It was an introductory $10 offer that had expired. I was dismayed by a the childish graphics and the very few articles that interested me. Certainly there was nothing there for a serious investor. It was more Newsweek than Bloomberg Business

Starved for good writing, I subscribed to The New Yorker, the first time in decades. Years ago when I was subscribing to a dozen news magazines and The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker was always my favorite. I often did not read much of it, but whenever I saw an issue I always felt I was missing something if I wasn't reading it.

I am thrilled to see that The New Yorker has not changed. Unlike BBW which felt it had to change to attract yuppie investors -- is yuppie even a word any more -- The New Yorker stayed true to its past. It overflows with good writing and great authors.

Another thing that surprised me: the heft of the magazine. Last week, the "love" issue was so heavy, I thought it was a double issue. I was surprised to get this week's issue. It too feels like a double issue. The cover price is an outrageous $6.99 and I assume in NYC with all the taxes it comes close to $8.00 at the news stand, unless magazines aren't taxed in NYC which might be possible. Be that as it may. I think one gets about 50 issues each year. The subscription rate is around $70, about $1.40 an issue. And with the subscription one gets access to The New Yorker archives.

At night, after 9:30 p.m. I start my movies for the evening. I always start with "light" entertainment -- generally old television series. Right now, I am just beginning the third season of "Miami Vice." So, it was quite coincidental, and rewarding, to see a full page write-up on Don Johnson in this week's issue of The New Yorker, p. 27 - 28. Apparently at age 64, he's got a new thriller out. 

The Public Has Declared The Obama Presidency To Be Over, June, 2014 -- NBC White House Correspondent, Chuck Todd

This is very, very interesting.

The other day I posted a long political note (which I have re-posted in its entirety below -- due to the interest it has generated -- suggesting that presidential missteps are not due to "bad management" but due to "bad leadership." That applied to all presidents, not just recent presidents.

Today, the NBC reporter who covers the White House and who was clearly vying to be the next press secretary said the America people are telling us the Obama presidency is "over."


Later, 2:45 p.m.: I posted the original post at 11:31 a.m. this morning and left it up for ten minutes. I then took it down as promised to make sure Bakken stories were at the top of the blog. I now see that this is the very same "headline" over at Drudge: Todd Turns: Obama "Over" 

Original Post

White House press secretary when Jay Carney resigned, said practically the same thing I said in that post: President Obama has effectively departed the Oval Office.

Chuck Todd, NBC White House correspondent:
The survey would appear to be so bad, in fact, that NBC News' Chuck Todd said Tuesday that the poll basically means the public has declared the Obama presidency to be over.
"This poll is a disaster for the president," Todd said. "You look at the presidency here: Lowest job rating, tied for the lowest; lowest on foreign policy. His administration is seen as less competent than the Bush administration, post-Katrina." 
"On the issue of do you believe he can still lead? A majority believe no. Essentially the public is saying your presidency is over," Todd added.
Todd has it right, unlike the Chicago Tribune writer. It was a failure of leadership.

It was said some years ago that Lyndon B. Johnson remarked in dismay that "when he lost Walter Cronkite, he lost the country." Some years from now, some folks will look back on Christiane Amanpour's reporting two days ago that was her "Walter Cronkite" moment.

The "stuff' below the asterisk was posted a couple days ago. I am re-posting it here to tie in with the comments above.

Pulling A Bergdahl

A reader sent me a link to this article in which The Chicago Tribune lists all of President Obama's failures (and the list seems endless). The Tribune says President Obama failed, because like President Bush, he is a poor manager.

Regardless of whether one feels President Obama has made any mistakes or not, and let's for argument's sake say he has been perfect, making no mistakes, there's something inherently wrong with the writer's premise. 

My response:
The article says the mistakes were because President Obama was a poor manager. I disagree with that: Presidents, just like four-star general officers, are not "managers." Presidents are not elected and general officers are not promoted for being "good managers."
Presidents and four-star general officers are leaders and change-agents.
This is what Obama and Bush both had in common: they held no one accountable. President Obama should have fired the cabinet head as soon as the specific debacle surfaced. He should have fired Hillary after Benghazi. That would have gotten the attention of everyone in his administration; no one is "holier" than Hillary among the Democrats; she is THEIR sacred cow. He should have fired Sebelius as soon as the first word of disaster in ObamaCare. Shinseki should have been fired a year earlier.
However, that is past.
I think with the Iraqi "thing," I think we are seeing something entirely new with regard to President Obama.
I don't have any clue how "being a poor manager" would have resulted in losing Iraq, as we are now doing. It was his decision not to make a preemptive strike: his decision alone. That's not a failure of management; that's a failure of leadership. 
No, starting about six months ago, maybe a year ago, Obama went AWOL. He has simply walked away from the presidency.
While CNN video was showing a professional army sweeping through Mosul and then Tikrit, to the doorsteps of Baghdad, the President walked (actually he literally flew) away from Washington (just as he walked away from the situation room the night Benghazi fell).
While video was showing a professional army sweeping through Iraq, President Obama left Washington, DC, to a) watch native Americans dance in a remote location of North Dakota/South Dakota (really?); b) to talk about global warming to college students at a non-descript venue in southern California (UC Irvine? Really?); and, c) and I can't make this up, went golfing, according to his mouthpiece, The New York Times
President Obama understands the frustration of Sgt Bergdahl who also walked away from his post, frustrated with the US Army.
President Obama has similarly telegraphed his frustration with Washington, DC; Congress; and, the Drudge Report, and is simply pulling a Bergdahl. So, I don't think it has anything to do with poor management. It was his lack of leadership (not holding anyone accountable) that resulted in the failures prior to Iraq, and now the "failure in Iraq," is due to walking away from the job.

In my 21 years of formal education (I include one year of kindergarten though I only attended half-days, all that was offered at that time), I never once heard Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt (both of them), Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton referred to as great managers. Likewise, I have never once considered Generals US Grant, Robert E Lee, George Custer, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, great managers.

Even Elizabeth Warren (is she the only Native American currently serving in the US Senate?) would not refer to the four great Native American Indian chiefs -- Crazy Horse (the greatest), Sitting Bull (a close second), Red Cloud, and Spotted Tail -- as "managers." They were leaders, each one of them and many, many others. 


One of the best stories of leadership I have ever read was John Hershey's 1944 account of JFK's surviving and saving his men when his PT 109 was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer in the Pacific in WWII. I did not understand the weight on President Lincoln's shoulders during the Civil War until I saw "the movie."

The Canary In The Coal Mine: Exxon Evacuates Workers From Iraq

I think it was sometime over the weekend that I said that the "canary in the coal mine" would be when we started seeing stories of foreign oil and gas companies (generally that means the US) start to pull their workers out of Iraq.

It's starting.

CNBC is reporting:
Exxon has carried out a "major evacuation,'' and BP had evacuated 20 percent of its staff, the head of Iraq's state-run South Oil Company said Wednesday.
Dhiya Jaffar also said ENI, Schlumberger, Weatherford and Baker Hughes had no plans to evacuate staff from Iraq following the lightning advance of Sunni militants through the country. The companies, which are based in southern Iraq where the government is still in firm control, were not immediately available for comment.
I assume these other companies have plans to evacuate if necessary -- they simply have not put them in place. If these companies have no plans to protect their workers that is a huge dereliction of duty. 

No plans to evacuate. Wow, such a cavalier attitude.

The Bakken Spreads Out; Quantum Energy Looking To Build Five "21st Century Energy Centers"


November 3, 2014: Quantum Energy announces it has secured its first site. Stanley area.

August 21, 2014: whoa, whoa, whoa -- east of billings blog is reporting:
It didn’t take me long (maybe an hour or two) to find that Mr. Andrew J. Kacic, formerly of Arizona, has a fairly extensive history of shady business dealings. You don’t have to take it directly from me or from jilted business partners. You can take it directly from court documents I found from Arizona from his divorce proceedings. He has numerous other civil cases listed in which he was the defendant, mostly it seems for not paying his bills, but the divorce proceedings cover a complex web of business dealings that you can read about below. If you want to know the details of how I found out he was the same person, the information is at the end of this blog.
I think it is important to emphasize that the divorce is irrelevant. In fact, Andrew J. Kacic is irrelevant. What is relevant is the lack of due diligence by our Yellowstone County Commissioners John Ostlund,  Jim Reno, Bill Kennedy and Steve Arveschoug, executive director of Big Sky Economic Development. From my research, it seems as if Mr. Kacic starts businesses, tries to find investors and then uses the company and a private non-profit “foundation” for his own personal piggy bank while actively trying to avoid taxes and creditors. But don’t take it from me, you can read all about for yourself. It reads like a real life version of Arrested Development.
July 1, 2014: I think this is the same information, but I did not read entire article

June 19, 2014: my hunch was correct. It is unlikely that we will see any of these refineries in my investing lifetime. 
Original Post

The Dickinson Press is reporting more expansion in the Bakken area. Quantum Energy plans to build five oil refineries (mostly likely to produce diesel fuel) in the Bakken area, to include Baker, MT; Fairview, MT; and Minot, ND.

A typical refinery, such as the one proposed for Baker, MT:
The facility, which would be run by Quantum Energy, Inc., would refine 20,000 barrels of oil to produce 7,000 barrels of diesel a day. It would supply fuel to other energy companies and agricultural producers within a 100-mile radius, cutting back on diesel transported from out of state to meet oilfield-related demand.
Based on what I have seen covering the Bakken since 2007, we won't see any of these refineries in my investing lifetime.The importance of this article is to show the potential of the Bakken. Or at least what folks are thinking.

Second Largest Pipeline By Diameter To Go On-Line; Life Is Sweet, Very Sweet

The Bakken Oil Express.

For background see this link, and see this link.

Now the update:
At 16 inches wide, the $14 million pipeline is the second-largest pipeline by diameter in North Dakota, he said. It can move up to 165,000 barrels a day.
Data points:
  • second largest pipeline by diameter in North Dakota
  • connects Killdeer to Dickinson
  • 38 miles long ($350,000 / mile)
  • the project was approved in December -- only six months to complete after approval
  • equal to 825 tanker trucks/day on the road
  • at 165,000 bopd, this represents more than 15% of Bakken output
This is the big story, though, something seldom seen in the pipeline business. There was no "open season" prior to the decision to build:
BOE didn’t wait for commitment from shippers to get going.
“We gauged the market for shippers — both our rail shippers as well as producers — and felt that there was sufficient interest to just move forward and construct the pipeline,” Freed said.

A long, long time ago Mr Vern Whitten, the photographer who often sends us incredible photos of the Bakken and even more incredible photos of North Dakota scenery (to include agriculture) suggested to me that high schools in North Dakota should use the oil patch as teaching opportunities.

The other night while driving her to swimming lessons, I discussed with my granddaughter how to calculate volumes of containers, such as cereal boxes and Pringles potato flake cylindrical containers. She was able to "transfer" base x height of a cube to the base x height of a cylinder. So, what a great opportunity for pre-algebra students to take on this one: calculate the volume of a 14-inch, 38-mile cylinder.

And, then, of course, for the calculus students, to determine how long it would take to fill that cylinder based on a ten trucks loading an empty cylinder.

And, then, of course, for social sciences, the students could discuss the federal government's role in states' issues. LOL.

The Big Sting; US Crude Oil Inventories Drop Almost 3 Million Bbls

Overnight: militants take Iraq's largest refiner; supplies one-third of Baghdad's energy; foreign firms (oil and gas) start to evacuate their employees.

Coyote Blog remains one of the best blogs on the net.

Front page, top story in Los Angeles Times today: ObamaCare subsidies push cost of health law above projections. Well, above projections, one might add. It was also nice to see the LA Times call it  "Obamacare" in the headline. Some folks who wrote me a year ago felt I was being irresponsible to call the trainwreck (an alternate term for this program coined by one of the senators who actually championed the bill) "ObamaCare." But now even the LA Times calls it Obamacare. This story will also be found in today's WSJ.

Weekly petroleum update: link here. Refinery inputs down 500,000 bopd; operating at 88% of capacity. Gasoline production decreased by 9 million bbls per day. US crude oil imports up by 23,000 bopd, but four-week average is 8% below the same four-week period one year ago. US crude oil inventories decreased by 2.6 million bbls but at 387 million bbls, US crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. The price of oil is up slightly in early morning trading.

Active Rigs:

Active Rigs190184212173129

RBN Energy: this is sort of cool. This past Saturday I posted a few thoughts on the US energy revolution, and mentioned SCOOP as an important play. Today, RBN Energy has a whole post devoted to SCOOP -- Harold Hamm's other sand box.

Rigzone Stories From Yesterday

A 103-year-old New England company with roots in the wool trade and green manufacturing has entered its second century in business on a solid growth trajectory, thanks in part to opportunities from the shale revolution underway in the oil and gas industry.
"Our factory is only a 5-hour drive from the heart of the Marcellus," said Daniel Weinstein, president and CEO of Rig Grip Incorporated. The family-owned New Bedford, Mass.-based company sells a rugged containment system for well pads designed to install in a single day.
Because of its durability, some gas operators are reusing the pad from drilling through completions, noted Weinstein, adding this in turn reduces expenses and the impact on landfills.
Iraq's oil growth targets look increasingly at risk, the International Energy Agency said, as threats to supplies from political instability and violence grow just as demand is picking up due to a stronger global economy.
Iraq is the second-largest producer in OPEC and its northern exports have been offline since March. OPEC output has also been hit by unrest in Libya, sanctions on Iran and oil theft in Nigeria.
"Within OPEC, Iraq remains the main source of most of the expected capacity growth, but this expansion looks increasingly at risk," Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA's executive director, wrote in the report's Foreword.
Still, the adviser to the United States and other industrialised countries also said in its Medium Term Oil Market Report on Tuesday that global growth in oil demand may start to slow down by the end of this decade due partly to high prices, and shale oil would start to spread outside the United States.
[Comment: to repeat, "global growth in oil demand may start to slow down by the end of this decade due partly to high prices." Let's parse that sentence:
  • may: that one word says it all
  • slow down: that's the nugget -- he says global growth in oil demand won't cease, it just might slow down a bit
  • by the end of the decade: that's six years from now. The IEA did not forecast the Iraqi militant incursion that apparently was "yearslong" in planning; everyone in the Mideast must have known it was coming
  • high prices: we are now in the longest period of sustained high oil prices in the history of the world and global demand in actually increasing; those two billion Chinese each want an Algore SUV just like everyone in the US

See also, the link to The Los Angeles Times above on the same story.

First, from The Fiscal Times:
Nearly two months after Obamacare’s first open enrollment closed, we finally have a clearer picture of what people are paying for the policies they bought on the federal health insurance exchange. 
Monthly premiums for silver plans – the standard insurance policy sold on the exchanges – cost an average of $345 a month this year for people who did not qualify for subsidies, a new analysis from the administration shows.
However, for the overwhelming majority of Obamacare enrollees (87 percent) who did qualify for financial assistance, the average monthly premium on the silver plan costs about $69.
That’s an average tax credit of about $276 a month, or $3,312 a year.
Most of these folks are going to get caught up by the IRS and other federal agencies for lying. "The Big Sting" may be the new name for ObamaCare. 

The Wall Street Journal

Iraq may be imploding but "we" got the mastermind in Benghazi who was so enraged by a anti-Muslim video that he grabbed a few of his friends and attacked the US Consulate and killed the US Amabassador. But as Hillary has said, "what does it matter?"

The White House continues to rule out airstrikes; but has flip-flopped again -- at least Mr Keryy has, suggesting now that he is willing to ally with Iran to perhaps possibly talk about what the two countries might possibly have in common, sort of, to respond to the Iraqi insurgency that began, oh, about two years ago.

Good news, the "upshot" of the domestic oil boom. The latest spasm of Mideast violence has sent crude-oil prices climbing in recent weeks, a familiar action-reaction that frequently has proved to be a drag on economic growth. However, that dynamic appears to be less important as US dependence on Mideast oil is at a generational nadir. Thank you, Mr Bakken.

They recycle in West Virginia. Really?

Polls show erosion in President Obama's support. Really?

An explosion ripped through a gas transit pipeline in central Ukraine; the flare was 200 meters (over 600 feet) high.  Greenpeace, I assume, will call for an end to flaring in the Ukraine.

Gold in coal. Great graphic at the link.

UPS to factor box size into pricing. I wondered when that would happen. Boxes carrying Depend diapers are relatively light but very, very bulky.

Heard on the street: Iraq foretells oil's dystopian future.
Yet Iraq's real significance for oil may have less to do with what transpires this summer and more over the rest of this decade.
The direct threat to the country's oil exports actually isn't acute yet. For now, the insurgency is focused in central Iraq, away from the main oil-producing and exporting areas in the south and the largely Kurdish-controlled north. The bigger issue is what the sudden advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham means for Iraq's oil-production growth prospects.
In its latest medium-term forecast, released Tuesday, the International Energy Agency cut its supply-growth outlook for Iraq. It now expects Iraq to be able to produce 4.29 million barrels a day by 2018, almost half a million barrels a day less than last year's forecast. Even so, Iraq still accounts for 61% of expected growth in output capacity controlled by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
So even if the near-term threat to supply from ISIS isn't catastrophic, the wider context potentially is. Iraq's borders now look more like dotted lines, possibly portending a situation like Libya's, where rival groups vie for power or separation with a weak central government.
In Libya, that instability has caused production to yo-yo between virtually zero and about 1.75 million barrels a day.
Now, it is down at about 250,000 barrels a day. In 2010, before Libya blew up, the IEA forecast output of more than two million barrels a day in 2015. Now, Libya isn't seen getting anywhere near that even by 2019.