Saturday, October 17, 2015

Week 41: October 11, 2015 -- October 17, 2015

Perhaps the biggest Bakken story of the week was the announcement that OXY sold its North Dakota acreage to Lime Rock Resources.  It appears Lime Rock got a great deal; Whiting, CLR, and others missed a great opportunity.

The other big story may be a wildcat natural gas well east of the Bakken that has produced one million boe in the past three years. The other big story, of course, is that despite record low activity in the Bakken (since the boom began in 2007) daily production in August, 2015, exceeded that of daily production one year earlier (linked below). Along that line, the Bakken fracklog hits a new record (linked below).

North Dakota received some nice national exposure in Forbes, which suggested that the state, due to a diversified economy, is poised to thrive.

32 wells to be sited in one section 
Transfer of 50 older wells from Whiting to White Rock
Rig count: post-boom record low (66)
Record low activity in the Bakken; production increases year-over-year
CLR reports another huge Three Forks well; this one in Chimney Butte oil field

Large frack sand mining operation north of the Bakken
Fracklog hits record
No evidence of groundwater contamination from fracking -- NPR

$80 million NST Express pipeline from Alexander to Fairview approved

Bakken economy
$150 million trucker reliever route around northwest side of Williston is officially completed
A new 36-unit development has opened

Another look at the Niobrara in North Dakota
Northrop Grumman coming to Grand Forks -- big drone story

Compare these top stories with the "top five" stories at I like my selection better.  Just saying. It's hard to believe the OXY story did not make the Top 5 at that site but an HBO comedy video did.

In The Heart Of The Texas Oil Patch, It's Natural Gas That's Taking Off -- Rigzone -- October 17, 2015

Bloomberg/Rigzone is reporting:
The oiliest county in Texas has seen its new natural gas production capacity more than double as drillers hone in on their most profitable acreage.

The peak output rate from new gas wells in Karnes County has surged 134 percent since January, estimates from Drillinginfo show. The only other county in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale patch where new gas capacity’s gaining is Live Oak, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Karnes, the Austin-based energy data provider said.

Gas producers are focusing on the most prolific parts of their plays as they grapple with the worst price collapse since 2008, and Karnes County has long been a sweet spot in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale. The 20,000-square-mile shale formation supplies about one-sixth of the nation’s crude.

Karnes County, southeast of San Antonio, is home to “top- tier acreage," Chris Smith, senior research analyst at Drillinginfo. "In this pricing environment, a lot of the rigs still active would be moving toward that core area."

The retreat to core fields, known as high-grading, is occurring in oil and gas fields across the U.S. Drillers are eager to cut costs amid low prices and focus their rigs on sweet spots that produce the most.
"Full-Blown Ice-Age" In Great Britain's Immediate Future?
It's Just The Weather

The [London] Express is reporting:
Crippling blizzards, snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures threaten a yearly dose of Arctic misery for the next FIFTY YEARS at least - and possibly decades more. Climate experts warn a rare pattern of water cooling in the north Atlantic will trigger a chain reaction of events leading to a “fully-blown ice age”.

Britain faces an 'all but unprecedented' situation thanks to a cocktail of climatic changes all happening at once to affect the weather.

The northern Atlantic has been cooling steadily over the past few months leading to a colossal area of icy water to form off the UK coast.

This is thought to be the result of changes in wind flow and salinity and could lead to lower than average temperatures in Britain all year round.

The phenomenon has already raised fears this winter will be un usually brutal with months of sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow on the way.

Long-term accumulative effects could be that parts of northern Europe, including Britain, will cool dramatically.

Martha Gellhorn

I am enjoying Selected Letters of Martha Gellhorn, edited by Caroline Moorehead, c. 2006.

Written from Cuba, shortly after being married to Ernest Hemingway (his third wife), this is a portion of a letter Martha Gellhorn (wartime correspondent) wrote to a friend, a literary critic. The letter mentions Igor Cassini (1916 - 2002), a journalist and gossip columnist, who wrote for the Hearst newspaper chain under the name of Cholly Knickerbocker. In the late 1950s Cassini claimed a readership of almost 20 million. Here is the excerpt:
However, as a philosopher (this morning) I think parties are really the last refuge of the empty and shrivelled brain, and are more destructive to the body than cocaine and more destructive to the spirit than jail. I have such a good time during them for a while, going about showing off in the cheapest and most repugnant manner, shocking citizens whose emotions (whether of shock or otherwise) surely should not concern me, and making a kind of belligerent tough-joking conversation which is found amusing only by the maker.

I had a fairly pleasant interlude last night with a little man named Igor Cassini who earns his living writing poisonous and painful things about fashionable or famous people in some second-rate Washington paper. He is a little man with a mouth which I like to think looks like a hog's ass in fly-time though I never saw that phenomenon but only imagined it. He has a great deal of matted waving hair and a little short doughy body and perfectly flat black little eyes, calculating and about as warm as ball-bearings.

He has also a wife who looks like a Russian mannequin formerly employed by Patou until she opens her mouth and then I do not know exactly where she comes from as I do not get around much but she asked me if I was American and was terribly surprised to find I was.

I went to this party with Bumbi, Ernest's oldest boy who is four days this side of the army. Bumbi is blonde and very good to look at and 18 and sweet and six feet and one inch tall. (Ernest, canny to the last, put himself to bed before the party with a sore throat; he seems fine today.)

So I told Igor Cassini [gossip columnist] that Bumbi was my son and that I had him when I was twelve, an act which had startled the medical world internationally and been very painful but rewarding for me. I also said that of course the boy had not been legal at the time but we had since given him a name. Igor was horrified to hear anyone breezing skeletons around like that (he evidently thought I was Bohemian and knew no better) and the little ball bearing eyes gleamed with pleasure at this item. So I was happy for a bit.
Her writing on the wars she covered was much more serious, of course.

Salvatore, Lana Del Rey