Good luck to all the roughnecks out there. This too shall pass.
The Obama administration has laid out a plan for regulatory reform that offers a strong platform for moving forward.Now: It appears that Jamie Dimon has had his fill of the Obama regulations. The New York Times is reporting:
“Banks are under assault,” Mr. Dimon said in the call with reporters. “In the old days, you dealt with one regulator when you had an issue. Now it’s five or six. You should all ask the question about how American that is, how fair that is.”
This is not the first time that Mr. Dimon has publicly criticized the new scrutiny and rules that banks have dealt with since the financial crisis. But in the past, Mr. Dimon was often confronting skeptics from outside the banking world. On Wednesday, he faced off against several industry analysts who questioned whether the costs associated with JPMorgan’s heft are outweighing the benefits.
Since Democrats swept into congressional power in the 2006 midterm elections, many industries — including some that traditionally back Republicans — have either begun to contribute to both parties equally or favor Democrats outright.
The chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, however, never had to make any shift.
Jamie Dimon happens to be a long-time Democratic donor.
Dimon and his wife, Judy, have donated more than a half-million dollars to Democratic candidates and committees since 1989, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of his donations. That is nearly 12 times what the couple has given the GOP.And now he complains about regulators. It will be interesting which party he supports in 2016.
The number of oil wells drilled in the British part of the North Sea fell to the lowest level in 15 years last year, data showed on Thursday, underlining the basin's struggle with high exploration costs that have contributed to a decline in output.
Oil and gas explorers drilled just 40 exploration and appraisal wells in the UK Continental Shelf in 2014, 47 percent lower than the average yearly drills over the past ten years.
Many large oil companies have cut investments in the North Sea as they see more profitable new fields in emerging areas such as south-east Asia and Brazil. Oil explorers' high North Sea costs have been compounded by a 60 percent drop in oil prices in the past seven months.Brazil? The tea leaves suggest things aren't going all that well either.
California's oil industry is being hit harder than any other state by falling prices because of the comparatively poor quality of its crude and its aging fields.
The number of active drilling rigs in the state has more than halved since June 2014, from 48 to just 21, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes (http://link.reuters.com/ruz73w).
The California rig count is the lowest since October 2009, when producers were struggling with low prices in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and deep recession that began a year earlier. California's high-cost and low-productivity oil industry has always been vulnerable to falling prices and exhibits deep especially cycles in activity rates.
It is still the third-largest oil producing state in the union, producing almost 560,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin and around Bakersfield in Kern County were once among the largest and most productive in the United States. But the state's output has been steadily declining since 1986.
Unlike other major producing states such as Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma, the shale revolution has bypassed the state.
California's very mature fields produced 3 billion barrels of water and just 200 million barrels of oil in 2012 - 15 barrels of water for every barrel of oil - according to state regulators.
Most of the oil is heavy and viscous. More than half of state production, including big fields like Kern River, Belridge and Midway-Sunset, has an API gravity of 20 degrees or less.
In 2009, California operators had to inject 500 million barrels of steam and almost 1.4 billion barrels of water into declining fields to maintain pressure and improve flow to produce just 230 million barrels of oil.
The state has around 35,000 stripper wells which produced on average just 3.4 barrels per day each in 2012. These highly marginal wells accounted for 116,000 barrels per day of the state's total output, more than 20 percent of the total, according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.Much, much more at the link, including this:
The state's fields are all conventional rather than shale plays and mostly very old so decline rates are slow. Production did not surge in 2010-2014 and for the same reason it is unlikely to collapse now even if drilling rates decline. The drilling slowdown will not contribute much to the rebalancing of the global oil market.
But the price collapse has killed off plans to frack in the state's giant Monterey shale formation. It illustrates the intense financial squeeze on all high-cost low productivity producers across North America as prices tumble.
The board of directors of ONEOK, Inc. today increased ONEOK's quarterly cash dividend by 1.5 cents per share, or 3 percent, to 60.5 cents per share, effective for the fourth quarter 2014, resulting in an annualized cash dividend of $2.42 per share. The dividend is payable Feb. 13, 2015, to shareholders of record at the close of business Jan. 30, 2015.Tweeting now: Blackberry shares plummet 12% after company says it's not engaged in discussions with Samsung.
Mexico began accepting new bids on a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project Wednesday, two months after the concession was abruptly canceled amid allegations of favoritism.
The planned 130-mile (210-kilometer) line between Mexico City and the central city of Queretaro would be the first of its kind in Latin America, reaching speeds of up to 186 mph (300 kph).
Officials say it will cut what is now a 2 1/2-hour trip by car to just under an hour and carry 27,000 passengers daily.
A decision is expected in late July.
The original winner of the $3.7 billion concession was a Chinese-led consortium that had submitted the only bid and included a subsidiary of Mexico's Grupo Higa. But days after the announcement in early November, the government cancelled the concession.So, now we have three "bullet train" projects we can watch: a) the train to nowhere in California, b) the 240-mile rail from Dallas to Houston; and, c) the Mexican "bullet train." Anyone want to guess which one is likely to win?
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Musk wants to change the economics of batteries by mass-producing them in the “gigafactory” Tesla is building in Nevada, which is due to open in 2020 and reach production of 500,000 battery packs per year at some point. Musk has said those packs will go into future Tesla vehicles, including mass-market models costing less than $40,000. But he may also need other automotive customers for those packs, which won’t happen unless Tesla’s competitors are building electrics. That helps explain why Tesla released many of its patents last year and called for open-source development of EV technology – with other automakers using Tesla’s technology, instead of the other way around, of course.
One big problem for electrics is that battery technology — unlike semiconductors, which have seen enormous gains in processing power and a corresponding plunge in costs — is evolving slowly, with no huge breakthroughs on the horizon. Putting enough juice in a battery to power a car remains so expensive that the segment still depends on a $7,500 federal tax credit per vehicle. Even then, it’s difficult for automakers to turn a profit on electrics. Most technology becomes more cost-efficient as production ramps up, but it’s still not clear if batteries will ever become cost-competitive with other forms of fuel, absent subsidies.-- from the linked article.Building out the national, much less a global, charging system will be economically impossible for the private sector; competing standards will make things worse:
Tesla faces as a small-batch manufacturer: different standards for fast-charge stations springing up across the country. Tesla uses a proprietary system the way Apple’s iPhones can only be powered with Apple chargers.
That’s not a problem for charging the car at home, but when traveling, Tesla owners can only get a quick charge at a Tesla charger, and there simply aren’t enough of them to allow worry-free driving in every market.
Building a full national network on Tesla's own dime coudl be prohibitively expensive. Teslanauts can charge more slowly through a standard outlet, but such trickle-charging takes hours. That limits the appeal of any Tesla regardless of the price, especially for families that only want to own one car.
Nissan uses a different fast-charge standard for the Leaf, which is catching on in many cities that are building public charging networks. BMW and other German manufacturers rely on a third standard. The Leaf already outsells the Model S nearly 2-to-1, and if a competing charging technology becomes the dominant standard, Tesla risks becoming Betamax in a VHS world. Some critics say Musk missed an opportunity by not making Tesla’s technology available sooner, before other standards were in place.-- from the linked article.
Musk declined to report December sales numbers, as he did last year around this time, generating speculation that the numbers must be weak. He also said Tesla won’t be fully profitable until 2020, several years later than some analysts had been expecting. The company’s stock fell by more than 6% following Musk’s remarks. -- from the linked article.
One of the huge breaks the Bakken got was high-priced oil during the Bakken's discovery and early development stage. The slump in the price of oil occurred when the Bakken had entered the manufacturing phase and production costs for Bakken crude had decreased significantly. With the infrastructure in place, the Bakken can better manage the slump in oil prices.
It is quite the opposite for Tesla. Tesla is still in its infancy, in its "discovery" phase, and hardly even into a "development stage." As long as the price of oil was projected to increase over the next 20 years, Tesla EVs looked comparatively attractive. However, a spokesman from someone who should know, a Saudi prince, says we will never see $100-oil again. That's a real downer for someone selling EVs.
Rigs are down approximately 25 over the past month to 158, with all but about 10 in the core counties, Helms said. Oil prices have dropped by more than 50 percent since the summer.
He estimated the state needs 130 rigs operating to maintain production, but that the rig count may hit as low as 120 by the third quarter of 2015.
"If we see these kind of prices stick around through the first quarter, then we're gonna drop below that production maintenance rig count for a brief period of time," he said, adding that he expects oil prices to recover by the year's end.These articles are frequently archived only for subscribers after a short period of time.
The price of natural gas delivered to Northern Border at Watford City is down $0.28 to $2.70/MCF. This results in a current oil to gas price ratio of 11 to 1.
The percentage of gas flared rose to 25%.
The Tioga gas plant remained below 70% of full capacity due to delayed expansion of gas gathering from south of Lake Sakakawea. The October capture percentage was 75% with the daily volume of gas flared from October to November increasing 36.5 MMCFD.
The historical high flared percent was 36% in 09/2011.
Gas capture statistics are as follows:The percentage of natural gas flared in October was 22%; in November, the percentage of gas flared rose to 25%. And that's with 750 wells waiting to be completed.
- Statewide 75%
- Statewide Bakken 75%
- Non-FBIR Bakken 75%
- FBIR Bakken 74%
- October 2014 capture target =74%
- January 2015 capture target =77%
Russian government officials appealed for calm on Wednesday after predicting budget cuts and a further surge in inflation as the country faces its worst economic downturn in 15 years.
With the currency and economy wilting under the twin blows of Western sanctions and a fall in the price of oil exports, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov proposed slashing some 10 percent to most areas of the state budget.
Many parts of the economy, which relies heavily on public spending, will be affected, though Russia's vast military modernization program and spending on infrastructure reforms will remain untouched as the country tries to reassert its power in the face of the West.
That means Russians, who have seen the cost of imports jump as a result of the fall in the ruble, can expect more increases in the cost of living.
Canada is certainly not on the "watch list" -- it ha a more diverse economy than just oil, but just the same: today the Canadian dollar is worth 84 cents (USA). Three years ago, the Canadian dollar was worth $1.02. That's quite a swing.Inflation could hit an annual rate of 17 percent in the spring, the deputy economic development minister, Alexei Vedev, was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency. Last year, inflation was 11.4 percent, the highest rate since 2008.
Oceana’s report finds that offshore wind would produce twice the number of jobs and twice the amount of energy as offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. The report, titled Offshore Energy by the Numbers, An Economic Analysis of Offshore Drilling and Wind Energy in the Atlantic, challenges recent claims by the oil and gas industry that opening the East Coast to offshore drilling will lead the United States to energy independence, generate millions of dollars in revenue for states and create thousands of jobs in the process. Oceana’s analysis instead finds that the benefits projected by the industry appear to be exaggerated due to the inclusion of oil and gas resources that are not economically recoverable, thereby inflating the potential benefits. Industry estimates also rely upon an assumption of a state revenue-sharing system that does not exist.
One positive element to the oil price crash is that consumers are paying less at the pump for their gasoline. Of course it is natural that prices at the pump don’t fall as fast as they do in spot or futures markets – there is a lag – usually measured in days. However, while average retail gas prices have fallen over $1/Gal in the past year – more or less in line with spot and futures markets, it seems that changes to diesel prices at the pump have lagged further behind refinery prices. The result is that retail buyers filling their diesel truck at the pump have benefited far less from the oil price windfall than gasoline powered vehicle owners – at least so far. Today we review the data.
This blog began with a visit to the gas station last week. We noticed that although regular gasoline prices have been falling consistently in the past six months – making everyone feel happier about filling up their tank - the retail posted price for diesel doesn’t seem to have fallen nearly as far or as fast – to the tune of a differential at the pump of $0.50/Gal - $1.00/Gal between unleaded regular and diesel. That was a pretty unscientific survey based on prices in Houston and Austin, TX. We decided to dig into the data to see if we were just imagining things or if retail diesel prices were not responding as fast at the pump as gasoline.One can find state-by-state diesel prices at this AAA site. I saw the same thing driving cross-country a few weeks ago; diesel was still very expensive, especially compared to gasoline.