Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ND Legacy Fund Through November, 2016 -- Deposits Total About $3.7 Billion

I track the Legacy Fund here.

Deposits through November, 2016: $3,700,055,301.

It appears that about $30 million was added in each of the last two months, October, and November, which is comparable to the $32 million added in September, 2016. See first link above.

Note: deposits do not equal asset value of the Legacy Fund.

Bakken 2.0: Dunn County's Breakeven Costs About The Same As Iran's; A Little Higher Than Iraq's -- Reuters -- November 30, 2016

So much for the trope that it's so much cheaper to drill in the Mideast. It may cost Saudi Arabia $12.50 / bbl to produce but its national budget is based on $92 oil. 

From Reuters: leaner and meaner -- US shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war.

This is a must-read article for Bakken fans. It is quite amazing. Note:
  • this article is a Reuters article; and,
  • of all the shale plays in the US, it is the Bakken that is singled out.
The lede:
In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.
In an earlier post it was noted that break-even costs in some areas of the Bakken are now below $20/bbl. Compare that with the break-even costs for middle eastern oil field breakeven costs at the linked article:

Amazing, huh?

The trillion-dollar mistake:
Rather than killing the U.S. shale industry, the ensuing two-year price war made shale a stronger rival, even in the current low-price environment.
In Dunn County, North Dakota, there are around 2,000 square miles where the cost to produce Bakken shale is $15 a barrel and falling, according to Lynn Helms, head of the state's Department of Mineral Resources.
Again, this is a Reuters article:
Dunn County's cost is about the same as Iran's, and a little higher than Iraq's. Dunn County produces about 200,000 barrels of oil a day, about a fifth of daily production in the state.
It is North Dakota's sweet spot because it boasts the lowest costs in the state, yet improved technology and drilling techniques have boosted efficiency for the whole state and the entire U.S. oil industry.

And more:
The breakeven cost per barrel, on average, to produce Bakken shale at the wellhead has fallen to $29.44 in 2016 from $59.03 in 2014, according to consultancy Rystad Energy. It added that in terms of wellhead prices, Bakken is the most competitive of major U.S. shale plays.
Wood Mackenzie said technology advances should further reduce breakeven points.
More at the link. 

I can't wait for Donald Trump to visit the Bakken.

Energy Drilling Rig No. 7 in Casper, Wyoming, from 2014:

North Dakota Borrows Another $7 Million For DAPL Protest Costs -- November 30, 2016

Link here.
The group earlier approved $10 million in emergency spending.
Officials say the new loan should cover the state's cost of policing protests over the $3.8 billion pipeline through December.
I guess this explains why the governor says he will meet with the protestors this week, or whenever it was.
***************************** 
Record Cold In USA Next Week
 
Link here: I cannot recall last time I have seen such a cold anomaly forecast across almost entire USA.’-- climatologist Dr Roger Pielke, Sr. See NWS forecast.

The Washington Post: frigid air mass building in Alaska, poised to spill into Lower 48 next week. 
Alaska is witnessing its coldest air in almost two years, and some of the biting chill is forecast to plunge into the western United States in about a week’s time.
In Fairbanks on Tuesday morning, the temperature tanked to minus-31 degrees, ending a 624-day stretch in which it was warmer than that — the second longest on record.
Tuesday afternoon, the mercury only recovered to minus-21, ending a record-long 658-day stretch with highs above minus-10.
It was even colder in Bettles, Alaska, on Tuesday, where the temperature dropped to minus-41 with a bone-chilling wind chill of minus-53.
Statewide, it was the first time Alaska’s daily temperature index was significantly below normal in almost a year.
So, we'll see.

**********************
Whatever Happened To Harrisburg?

November 30, 2016: whatever happened to Harrisburg? In 2011, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, became the first and only capital city in America to file for bankruptcy. The seven-term mayor has been indicted on 500 counts of corruption.  He was mayor for 27 years, from 1982 to 2010.
What was the result of that case?
“He has pled not guilty and the case is ongoing.”
“But it’s not just him. It’s the people who advised him. It’s the people who drafted the documents. He didn’t do this alone. Now, he’s facing 500 charges of corruption. He has pled not guilty to all of them. A trial date has not been set, but this is going to trial. The people who helped him — none of them have been held accountable. He didn’t do this by himself. He didn’t draft those documents alone. He didn’t write this stuff up alone. He had lawyers, accountants — they were all in on this.”
“The Attorney General of Pennsylvania has said that they are also being investigated. There is a grand jury investigating right now. They are looking into this to see what charges they can bring against the professionals who helped him. Also, the Governor of Pennsylvania has hired a law firm from Washington DC to go after the firms and the professionals civilly to try and claw back some of the money that Harrisburg lost in these loans that shouldn’t have been issued.”

Two New Permits -- November 30, 2016

Active rigs:


11/30/201611/30/201511/30/201411/30/201311/30/2012
Active Rigs3965185191182

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 31249, 127, EOG, WEst Clark 201-01SWD, Clarks Creek, Three Forks, 2 stages, 800K lbs proppant, t6/16, cum -- ; but note the name of the well; from the sundry form: perf'd and frack'd two (2) stages; noted a pressure drop at end of stage 2; determined that casing "part" at the collar with slight casing offset; as a result it was decided to not attempt to continue on with fracking operations due to operational risks associated with a reduced I.D. (internal diameter?) from a casing patch
  • 32217, SI/NC, XTO, Little Pete Federal 41X-3G2, Bear Creek, no production data,
  • 32218, SI/NC, XTO, Little Pete Federal 41X-3D, Bear Creek, no production data,
  • 32379, SI/NC XTO, Werre Trust 21X-3E, Bear Creek, no production data,
Two new permtis:
  • Operators: NP Resources, BR
  • Fields: Elkhorn Ranch (Billings), Big Gulch (Dunn)
  • Comments:
Fourteen wells temporary abandoned:
  • Statoil: 6 - all in Williams County
  • Oasis: 6 - all in Williams County
  • Enduro: 2 - one in Bottineau County; one in McKenzie County
No producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed.

Alaska Rejects 5 Cubic Feet Of Natural Gas Every Day For Every Cubic Foot Of Natural Gas North Dakota Produces -- November 30, 2016

From an earlier post, from RBN Energy:
Every day, crude oil producers on Alaska’s North Slope re-inject nearly 7.8 Bcf of natural gas into their wells, enough gas to supply the entire U.S. West Coast—California, Oregon and Washington State.
7.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

How much natural gas does North Dakota produce each day? From the most recent Director's Cut, North Dakota produced 1,611,836 million cubic feet per day or 1.6 billion cubic feet day.
  • 7.8 billion / 1.6 million = almost 5 cubic feet in Alaska for every one cubic foot of natural gas in North Dakota (assuming I did the math correctly -- which is a huge assumption).
This sort of helps me put things into perspective.

Note: I made huge mistake when I first posted this. See first comment below. I made the corrections above. Hopefully they are correct now. 

And a huge "thank you" to the reader who caught the error ... and didn't call me an idiot in the process. LOL. Much appreciated.

Kenmare, ND - November 30, 2016

I guess NoDaks don't have to dream about a white Christmas this year ..... it's already here .... from a reader in Kenmare....


Beautiful, isn't it?

Notes From All Over, Mostly Politics -- November 30, 2016

OPEC. If indeed this headline is correct, "Why Saudi Arabia Shocked The Skeptics With An OPEC Deal," shorts are getting hammered today. Had OPEC not cut a deal, the price of oil would have slumped, possibly below $40, taking oil companies down with it.


Pelosi wins. Jill Stein asks about a recount.

Priorities. Early in his presidency, Barack Obama brings a law enforcement officer and a Harvard professor together over a glass of beer. Before he was sworn in as president, Donald Trump saved 1,000 jobs in Indiana. No alcohol involved. 

Bully. The mainstream persists in meme-ing the mainstream left's portrayal of Trump. One of the memes: Trump is a bully. (Wow, I hear that from my wife on a daily basis, that Trump is a bully.) Now that Trump has bullied Carrier into keep the Indiana plant open -- I did not hear MSNBC or CNBC use the word "bully" or "bullying" when describing Trump's success in Carrier agreeing to keep at least some jobs in Indiana instead of moving "everything" to Mexico. I guess, like pornography, "bullying" is in the eyes of the beholder.

Tax relief. The new SecTreasurer-appointee said there would be no tax breaks for the top 1%. At least that was on one of the bullets on CNBC today. I doubt any Hillary supporter even saw that. The caps on deductions (like mortgage) will be capped. Those caps will not affect the "average" American.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead: I don't think folks have any idea how fast Trump plans to move. One of the things that slows down the first 100 days is a) Senate confirmations; and, b) the constraints of the House calendar where tax and spending bills begin. If Trump gets any push back, if he sees any hint that there is any political delay he will have the "Obama Pen" that was handed to him on January 20th. The Obama Pen:
  • executive orders
  • czar appointments (Reagan had one; Obama had 38)
From wiki:


Ready to move day 1: I doubt many caught it but on CNBC this morning, the SecTreasurer-appointee appeared to have really "startled" the "expert" journalists. Mnuchin (the "munchkin") outlined very clearly the Trump plans. The "expert" journalists appeared surprised that the appointee appeared to be talking directly from a very well-laid-out plan. My hunch is that the plan is 90% draft; will be completed over the Christmas holidays; and line items will be laid out by January 20th, and with a series of executive orders, legislative actions, presidential bullying, tweeting, 24/7 attention-to-detail, the line items will be checked off one-by-one.

Presidential bullying. By the way, when did the concern about "bullying" become so noteworthy. If one wants to talk "bullying," one needs to read the biography of LBJ. I just checked my Funk and Wagnall's: next to the entry for "bully" there's a photo of LBJ. But let's go a bit more mainstream. One of our greatest presidents -- in fact, the big national park in North Dakota is named after him -- from wiki:
This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the White House as a "bully pulpit", by which he meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt used the word bully as an adjective meaning "superb" or "wonderful", a more common usage in his time than it is today.
So, the question again, why is "bully" all of a sudden becoming an issue? One word: "cupcakes."

Legacy: on November 11, 2016, I asked the question, "how long is a presidential legacy expected to last?" I suggested that Obama's legacy could be erased before Trump is even sworn in. I'm beginning to think that the Obama legacy is not much more than the smile of the Cheshire cat. The cover of this week's The New Yorker suggests the same thing.

****************************************


BHI to build a new FRACKING and CEMENTING services company in North America. Data points:
  • new company: under the BJ Services brand
  • headquarters in Tomball, TX
  • Baker Hughes, CSL Capital Management, and Goldman Sachs fund West Street Energy Partners are backing the new firm
  • Warren Zemlak, current president and CEO of Atlanta-based Allied Energy Services will serve as CEO of the new company
  • Zemlak has worked as a senior exec with both SLB and Sanjel (two names well known in the Bakken)
  • "will renew the BJ Services legacy"
  • BHI acquired BJ Services in a $5.5 billion deal that closed in mid-2010
  • CSL and WSEP together will own 53.3%; BHI will have a 46.7% stake
*************************************
World Chess Championship

King Olaf vs The Tsar.

Tiebreakers will begin this afternoon. Data points here:
  • First, a mini-match of four rapid games will be played. Each player gets 25 minutes for all of his moves, plus 10 bonus seconds after every move played. Four games.
  • If the players remain tied after those four games, they will play a mini-match of two blitz games. Each player will get five minutes, plus three seconds after every move. They’ll keep playing those, if the two-game mini-matches are tied, for up to five total mini-matches (10 total blitz games).
  • Finally, if none of that settles it, they’ll play one sudden-death game using a format known as Armageddon. White gets five minutes and black gets four minutes, but a drawn game counts as a win for black.
Meanwhile, TutorTime will begin teaching chess to 3-year-olds after the first of the year.

Sophia is already getting ready. The best part is going to be ringing the bells when one has made his/her move (and the M&M treat whenever an opponent piece is captured).

Sophia has already told me she is going to replace/rename the chess pieces, to include:
  • the front row will be eight Disney princesses instead of pawns
  • the rooks will be miniature Barbie doll houses
  • knights will be small unicorns or "My Little Pony" 
  • bishops will be Harry Potter wizards
  • the King: papa
  • the Queen: Sophia, of course

 On a side note: people may laugh at TutorTime introducing chess to 3-year-olds, but TutorTime is nationally-recognized leader in childcare. There is no question that they have researched this to the nth degree. So, let's google "chess and three year olds": in 0.68 seconds, there were 3,880,000 results.

"Chess at Three" was the first non-ad hit. And, then, of course, YouTube. At 2:26 in the video note the highly sophisticated move this kid makes -- castling:

Off The Net For Awhile -- Going Biking -- November 30, 2016

Dow 30 Rallies Continue -- November 30, 2016

Dow 30 hitting all-time highs.

S & P 500 hits record high.

NASDAQ: needs 5,404 for a trifecta. Not there yet.

OPEC rally:

Trump rally:

At 8:43 a.m. Central Time: Dow 30 almost up 100 points; new all-time record. OPEC cut deeper than previously "telegraphed."

CNBC: Saudi taking brunt of cut. Will Iran/Iraq cheat? That's a strawman.

OPEC Agrees To Cut - Bloomberg -- November 30, 2016

Story posted at 7:42 a.m. Central Time: Bloomberg. Data points:
  • first cut in eight years
  • OPEC will reduce production by 1.2 million bopd
  • to 32.5 million bopd
  • oil jumped 7.6% to $49.90 / bbl in London at 1:23 p.m. local time
WTI futures in NY: $48.54 (up 7.32%).

Cramer: it looks like Saudi Arabia takes the cut; Iran, Iraq don't do anything; Russia even agrees to a cut; US drillers are winners. 

****************************
Getting Ahead Of Our Headlights

Hey folks, before we go any further, take a look (again) at the two graphics at this post. I may be missing something. A reader has pointed out something very, very interesting. The reader has street cred with more than a decade working in Saudi Arabia. The reader suggests that the Saudis may be doing the same thing that is being done in the Bakken: drilling DUCs. Saudi could be drilling wells but not bringing them into production. "A few hundred shut-in wells is a lot better than money in the bank for surviving the next ten (10) years or so." Saudi might be significantly increasing productive capacity because they anticipate:
  • increasing financial difficulties; and/or
  • possibly some significant "social unrest"
I would add two more possibilities:
  • major disruption in mideast oil shipping 
  • major mismatch in supply / demand if Libya, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, others falter 
The "interesting graph" at this post could change significantly if any oil suppliers falter. 
***************************
Schlumberger Rigs

I haven't had a chance to really take a look at Schlumberger's new rigs. Some data points:
  • last year Schlumberger announced: "Drilling System of the Future"
  • a departure from the past where oil service companies would stay out of contract drilling services
  • SLB specifically acquired T&T Engineering, a Houston-based rig engineering company, to help develp the new rig's design
  • SLB rigs will be manufactured by a joint venture that SLB has created with BAUER Maschinen GmbH
  • Cameron's drilling rig portfolio: the new rig will receive top-drives, pipe handling modules, and blow-out preventers
  • five engineering prototypes of the new system would be ready for field testing in US and Ecuador before year-end 2016
  • first prototypes manufactured in US
  • complete version of the rig is expected in 2017
Key:
It would be incorrect to think of the "rig of the future" as an attempt by Schlumberger to capture a share of the highly competitive and commoditized North American land drilling market. It is an attempt to capture a share of the entire oil services market by moving from selling a Schlumberger downhole tool or a Schlumberger reservoir characterization service to selling a Schlumberger well, and extrapolating a Schlumberger full field development. In many ways, the "rig of the future" is a logical extension of the company's integrated project management philosophy and should be viewed in that context.
Debate: is SLB concentrated on international markets, rather US unconventional markets? It sure looks like that. But....
While the leading North American independent drilling contractors, such as Helmerich & Payne and Patterson-UTI , have achieved tremendous success in designing and continuously improving highly efficient drilling rigs specifically tailored for shale drilling, their advantage versus Schlumberger may not be long-lived. There is certainly a risk that Schlumberger's integrated technology approach will make a difference in producing "smarter" wells at a lower overall cost.
Bottom line: it looks like Schlumberger is trying to to "integrate" the entire drilling operation rather than contract out the pieces. 

Every Day Enough Natural Gas "Rejected" In Alaska That Could Supply The Entire US West Coast -- California, Oregon, Washington -- RBN Energy -- November 30, 2016

Updates

Later, 11:15 a.m. Central Time: snow totals (so far) from winter storm Blanche -- this was a huge ND storm. I wonder if the Kennedys will send their grandchildren to see the snow. The Kennedys, as folks well remember, said their children and grandchildren would never see snow because of global warming.
  • Van Hook Park: 24"
  • Bismarck: 18"
  • Minot: 17"
  • Williston: 6"
Original Post
US student loans: the US will forgive at least $108 billion in student debt in coming years; the Obama program is proving to be far more costly than predicted. And this is news? Over at The Wall Street Journal
The report, to be released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, shows the Obama administration’s main strategy for helping student-loan borrowers is proving far more costly than previously thought. The report also presents a scathing review of the Education Department’s accounting methods, which have understated the costs of its various debt-relief plans by tens of billions of dollars.
DAPL: the weather should start improving later today. Late last night, moving into today:


Active rigs:


11/30/201611/30/201511/30/201411/30/201311/30/2012
Active Rigs4065185191182

RBN Energy: the dilemma posed by Alaska North Slope's stranded gas. When you read the first paragraph below note the amount of natural gas that is being "rejected" in Alaska, and then recall the huge outcry in the Bakken about the incredibly small amount of natural gas that was not being captured in the early days of the Bakken:
Every day, crude oil producers on Alaska’s North Slope re-inject nearly 7.8 Bcf of natural gas into their wells, enough gas to supply the entire U.S. West Coast—California, Oregon and Washington State. If only there were some way to monetize that gas supply, to move it to market. The problem is that there isn’t, at least in today’s gas/LNG market, which is characterized by ample supply and relatively low prices. This same market also favors infrastructure projects that are simple and low-cost; no one wants to make multibillion-dollar commitments when natural gas prices and margins are so low. Today we conclude our series on the tough times ahead for Alaska’s energy sector with a look at the state’s vast natural gas reserves and the challenges associated with tapping them.
******************************
The Market

Trump rally continues: Fifteen trading days since the election. Thirteen days were "up" days and most of those days new records were set. We're now in a new trading range, but it looks like we might have another "up" day. Dow 30 futures are showing green, albeit only 23 points to the "up" side.

"Trump inheriting a very strong economy" -- CNBC "Squawk Box" -- jobs. ADP data. Jobs:
  • 216,000 private sector jobs added (forecast, only 170,000)
  • previous number revised downward by 28,000 to 119,000 -- last month; when you look at the ADP of 119,000, remember the magic numbers; 
  • market responds; futures rise, now up 50+ points
Oil: oil "jumps" on prospects for OPEC output cut. Oil had dropped to $45 yesterday; today, it's back up to where it was a few days ago: $48. That represents a 7% increase overnight.

 Deal or no deal, OPEC can't win in fight against American frackers. Link here to Forbes. Again, the Harold Hamm quote: "We've doubled oil production. We can double it again."
Oxy is the biggest producer and acreage holder in the Permian basin, with a vast legacy position in old conventional fields. In the two years since prices collapsed in 2014, Oxy has cut its spend per barrel in half and doubled its Permian tight oil production to 125,000 bopd. With thousands of drilling locations economic at $50, Oxy should be able to double that and double it again.
Tesla. The SEC is writing strongly-worded letters to Tesla about "individually tailored" measurements in its August earnings release.

The market, Dow 30:
  • new highs -- 204, including Anadarko (APC), Apache (APC), BHI, CVX, Concho Resources, CLR, EOG, Enerplus, HAL, Helmerich & Payne, MRO, McDermott Int, ONEOK, Plains All American, RSP Permian, SLB, Tenaris, UNP, WPX
  • new lows -- 53

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Updating The Gadeco 25-36H Well In Epping Oil Field -- November 29, 2016

Previous notes:
December 9, 2014: just noticed that this one went inactive in August, 2014; track the well here.
20398, 1,313 825 (corrected), Gadeco, Golden 25-36H, Epping, Bakken, t6/12; cum 140K 9/16; IA as of 8/14; back on status for one month, 12/14, but then off-line all of 1/15; now listed as A, 2/15. Off-line 11/15, and then back on-line 3/16 but only 3 - 6 days each month through 6/16. Two IPs provided; not explained why; t6/12; completed installing new ESP after it quit working 4/16; July 18, 2016; back on status, 2/15;A API 33-105-02135; FracFocus: no report that this well has been fracked. No stimulation reports in the file.
NDIC File No: 20398     API No: 33-105-02135-00-00     CTB No: 120398
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 7/26/2012     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NENW 25-155-99     Footages: 310 FNL 2460 FWL     Latitude: 48.225936     Longitude: -103.356301
Current Operator: GADECO, LLC
Current Well Name: GOLDEN 25-36H 
Total Depth: 20689     Field: EPPING
Spud Date(s):  4/12/2011 
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 11364-20485     Comp: 7/26/2012     Status: AL     Date: 1/9/2015     Spacing: 2SEC
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 140066     Cum MCF Gas: 247696     Cum Water: 14461
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 6/3/2012     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 1313     IP MCF: 20163     IP Water: 1912
 
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN9-2016182370293223904826477543
BAKKEN8-2016206256600236158486841710
BAKKEN7-20161642563831221236383478152
BAKKEN6-201644894891757007000
BAKKEN5-2016336236203093090
BAKKEN4-201667847840344104242
BAKKEN3-2016350350305220522
BAKKEN2-20160000000
BAKKEN1-20160000000
BAKKEN12-2015100011110
BAKKEN11-2015641441402322320
BAKKEN10-201524182118210323432340
BAKKEN9-201530331333130968050324648
BAKKEN8-201531235323530194719470
BAKKEN7-201531319631960243324330
BAKKEN6-2015302719271903843840
BAKKEN5-201528363136310138901389
BAKKEN4-2015303948394804280428
BAKKEN3-201531592059200113701137
BAKKEN2-2015281839183909209200
BAKKEN1-20150000000
BAKKEN12-201431138213820567805678
BAKKEN11-201430000000
BAKKEN10-201431000000
BAKKEN9-201430000000
BAKKEN8-201431000000
BAKKEN7-20143115051505625000
BAKKEN6-201430452545250503505035
BAKKEN5-201431474947490499804998
BAKKEN4-201430507550750496504965
BAKKEN3-201431354435440100401004
BAKKEN2-201428228722870382003820
BAKKEN1-201431244924490385703857
BAKKEN12-20130000000
BAKKEN11-201394764760127101271
BAKKEN10-201331284528450565505655
BAKKEN9-201330284928490444504445
BAKKEN8-201331239723970433604336
BAKKEN7-201325203020300278002780
BAKKEN6-201322180318030157501575
BAKKEN5-20130000000
BAKKEN4-201332372370000
BAKKEN3-20133169876987015704015704
BAKKEN2-20132863376337015023015023
BAKKEN1-20133155835583013241013241
BAKKEN12-20123172167216035216035216
BAKKEN11-20123041954195026150026150
BAKKEN10-20123055095509024957024957
BAKKEN9-201225680768070118701187
BAKKEN8-2012311157611576544422168022168
BAKKEN7-201227352937750401104011
BAKKEN6-201218000000

Random Update On Amber Renee -- November 29, 2016

For background: this link.

Update: December 3, 2014: the operator wants to re-enter the Amber Renee. Noted on January 27, 2016, to be AB (abandoned). Now TA as of 3/16; sundry form March 8, 2016 -- original well bore plugged; "future use of of the wellbore will be to sidetrack and complete new lateral once commodity prices improve." Operator requests Amber Renee 25-36H be granted TA status for one (1) year.

DAPL Protesters Can Now Move To British Columbia; The Sooner, The Better -- November 29, 2016

We've been waiting for this one. It must be a big story -- the story made The New York Times. Data points:
  • Trudeau approves the expansion of a pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands to a tanker port in British Columbia
  • KMI
  • 53-year-old pipeline
  • critical to Alberta's oil industry
  • will increase capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 bopd
  • Trudeau said his decision was based on ... get this ... science
The DAPL protestors can now move to BC.

But it would have been easier for all involved if Trudeau had simply "vetoed" the entire project.  Now the Canadians will have to live through five years of litigation and never-ending news stories on the pipeline.

By the way, how is KMI doing? Very green YTD but very red if one extends the time frame any longer. Still pays about 2.3%. Trading near it's 52-week high.

Apache, The Shadows

Saudi Arabia And The Red Queen -- November 29, 2016

Updates

November 30, 2016: see first comment for a couple of additional links --
Original Post
 
I'm re-posting this. I posted it earlier today as part of an earlier post but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it needed to be a stand-alone post. This really is quite amazing. Look at the degree to which Saudi Arabia increased its drilling ... and yet, production hardly moved at all. There are several obvious story lines here, but they are so obvious, it would be tedious to point them out. 
*******************************
The Red Queen Effect

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Saudi's crude oil production has remained fairly stable over the past several years.

The EIA data suggests there has been almost no increase in Saudi oil production since 2011. Remember: 2008 and 2009 -- global recession and oil production decreased in response to that, but since 2011, not much of an increase:

Yes, I know the graphic only goes to 2014, but that was the newest one I found. More recent data suggests overall crude oil production has not increased all that much since then.

Now compare that graphic with the graphic John Kemp tweeted today showing how many rigs Saudi Arabia has added since 2011. Almost a quadrupling, or maybe even more than a quadrupling -- it's hard to tell from the graph, and the data from Saudi Arabia is probably somewhat suspect to begin with. Whatever.


One can quibble about the degree to which Saudi Arabia has increased its crude oil production since 2011, but it's pretty easy to see the growth in the number of active rigs Saudi Arabia has had to employ to do that. It appears that there were 20+ active rigs in 2011 and by 2014 there were upwards of 60+ rigs; now there are upwards of 80+ rigs. Whatever CAPEX was for 20 rigs in 2011, I assume the Saudis are spending more money to operate 80+ rigs.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, crude oil production has decreased (mostly due to wells being taken off-line, choked back or shut-in without being fracked/completed-- DUCs) but not all that much; total North Dakota oil production has remained around the same for the past several years: 1 million bopd.

In that same time period, North Dakota has gone from 200 active rigs to about 35 active rigs.

Lucid Motors -- Arizona -- Sonora, Mexico -- November 29, 2016

A name to note: Lucid Motors. Arizona. Tesla. Sonora, Mexico.

***********************
New Mexico Electric Utility To Seek Another Rate Increase

Link here.  

Utility costs are among the most regressive form of taxation.

Data points:
  • Public Service Co of New Mexico: NM's largest electric provider
  • needs to recoup the dollars that are being spent on grid improvements and pollution controls at two coal-fired power plants in northwestern New Mexico
    • Obama's war on coal
    • New Mexico overwhelmingly votes and re-votes for Obama
  • money needed to ensure fulfillment of an agreement between PNM, the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to shut down two units at the San Juan Generating Station to meet federal haze pollution standards
And more:
In southeastern New Mexico, Xcel Energy also is asking for a rate hike. The Minnesota-based company filed its request in early November, citing nearly $2 billion in new investments that include transmission lines and substations
And finally this, with eyes wide shut:
Environmentalists have been critical of PNM, saying the utility needs to do more to wean itself from fossil fuels. Utility officials have argued that they've invested $270 million in solar energy centers and have been buying wind-generated power since 2003.
Environmentalists must like higher utility bills. A most regressive form of taxation. 
 

Not Even President Yet: Carrier Will Keep Indiana Plant Open -- November 29, 2016

Not even president yet: link here.

Trump and Pence to visit Carrier plant in Indiana on Thursday.  Good for them. I hope they do a photo-op every day in their administration where American workers are putting out quality products.

Wow, That's A Surprise -- Active Rigs Jump To 40! -- November 29, 2016

DAPL: I-94 closed from Mandan to Dickinson. Snowfall accumulation from winter storm Blanche so far: Bismarck: 12.5"; Minot: 12"; Dickinson: 11"; and, Williston, 6".

Williston's new -- its second -- $6.3 million fire station dedicated Monday. Wow! When I was growing up in Williston we had a volunteer fire department, and that was it.

Active rigs:


11/29/201611/29/201511/29/201411/29/201311/29/2012
Active Rigs4064185191182

Three wells coming off confidential list Wednesday:
  • 27431, 3,163, HRC, Fort Berthold 148-95-23C-14-3H, Eagle Nest, 34 stages, 4.5 million lbs, t6/16; cum 6K over 10 days;
  • 32219, SI/NC, XTO, Little Pete Federal 41X-3H, Bear Creek, no production data,
  • 32380, SI/NC, XTO, Werre Trust 21X-3A, Bear Creek, no production data,
Four permits approved:
  • Operators: Petroshale (3), Whiting
  • Fields: Antelope (McKenzie), Moccasin Creek (Dunn)
  • Comments:
And that's it:
  • no producing wells (DUCs) completed
  • no permits renewed
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Speaking Of Rigs

Zeits at SeekingAlpha:
  • Schlumberger has deployed two prototypes of its “rig of the future” in the U.S. market
  • As many as five prototypes may be working in the U.S. and internationally by year-end
  • “Rig of the future” is a strategic initiative for Schlumberger and over time may become a disruptive service offering creating a serious competitive threat to the established drilling contractors
But it's a must-see photograph at the link. 

Shock! UK Grid Loses Half Its Power From Link To France -- November 29, 2016

From The Financial Times. Data points:
  • UK gets a significant amount of electricity from the continent
  • four of eight cables running between Folkestone and Calais were danaged during Storm Angus
  • the interconnector generally provides 2 gigawatt capacity to the UK
  • the damage means the connector would operate at half its 2 gigawatt capacitiyth
  • this is equivalent to losing one nuclear reactor
  • solution: National Grid will have to call on expensive back-up generating capacity -- much of it from coal-fired power stations
  • the interconnector damage is also bad news for France: France is facing its own supply tightness this winter because of outages at several nuclear reactors undergoing safety checks
  • France is  usually a net exporter of electricity to the UK but in recent weeks the flow has been going in the opposite direction more frequently than usual
  • the other cables go to Netherlands, Ireland, Northern Ireland
  • another cable under construction to Norway, which will be the longest in the world
  • cable to Iceland has also been proposed

Trump Not Even In Office Yet But US Consumer Confidence At 9-Year High; US GDP Growth Revised Up To Strongest Expansion In Two Years -- WSJ -- November 29, 2016

US consumer confidence at 9-year high. Bloomberg.  Data points:
  • highest level since 2007: Obama sworn in, January, 2009 -- wow, wow, wow
  • consumer confident increased to 107.1 from a revised 100.8
  • forecast was 101.5
  •  present conditions gauge rose to 130.3, highest since July, 2007, from 123.1
Now that is something President-elect Trump should tweet tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. Central Time, just as MSNBC "Morning Joe" is coming on the air.

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Healthy Upward Revision In US 3Q16 GDP

Link here. Data points:
  • 3Q16 revised upward to 3.2%
  • strongest growth in two years
  • analysts' forecast: 3.0% from initial estimate of 2.9%
  • accelerated from the 2Q16 "more modest" 1.4%
Meanwhile, looking ahead, GDP Now for 4Q16: 3.6%, unchanged from previous forecast.

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US Home Prices Set New Record Amid Healthy Sales

US News. Data links:
  • home prices slightly above the peak it set in July, 2006 
  • prices rose 5.5% from a year earlier (September data)
  • the milestone comes after almost four years of gains
  • largest gains: Seattle, Portland, Denver -- 
  • those gains in Seattle, Portland, Denver? Those cities have the distinction of reporting the largest annual gains for the eighth straight month
  • cities where home prices still remain far below their pre-recession peaks: Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, and Las Vegas 
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The Market

There have been nine trading days since the Trump election (one was a half day). To the best of my knowledge there were only two down days: one was trivial (down about 30 points) and the other not much worse (about 60 points down).

It looks like we might have another "up" day on the market today.

Dow 30:
  • New highs: 99, including Aetna, Boeing, Humana, MDU.
  • New lows: 20.

US LNG Exports Continue To Surge -- November 29, 2016

Over at "The Big Stories," under US Energy Revolution, "LNG Exports." Today, this graphic from EIA:






The Bakken Boom began in 2000 in Montana, and then in 2007 in North Dakota. The boom hit its stride in 2010 but somewhere between 2014 and 2015, LNG exports really began to jump.

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The Red Queen Effect

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Saudi's crude oil production has remained fairly stable over the past several years.

The EIA data suggests there has been almost no increase in Saudi oil production since 2011. Remember: 2008 and 2009 -- global recession and oil production decreased in response to that, but since 2011, not much of an increase:

Yes, I know the graphic only goes to 2014, but that was the newest one I found. More recent data suggests overall crude oil production has not increased all that much since then.

Now compare that graphic with the graphic John Kemp tweeted today showing how many rigs Saudi Arabia has added since 2011. Almost a quadrupling, or maybe even more than a quadrupling -- it's hard to tell from the graph, and the data from Saudi Arabia is probably somewhat suspect to begin with. Whatever.


One can quibble about the degree to which Saudi Arabia has increased its crude oil production since 2011, but it's pretty easy to see the growth in the number of active rigs Saudi Arabia has had to employ to do that. It appears that there were 20+ active rigs in 2011 and by 2014 there were upwards of 60+ rigs; now there are upwards of 80+ rigs. Whatever CAPEX was for 20 rigs in 2011, I assume the Saudis are spending more money to operate 80+ rigs.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, crude oil production has decreased (mostly due to wells being taken off-line, choked back or shut-in without being fracked/completed-- DUCs) but not all that much; total North Dakota oil production has remained around the same for the past several years: 1 million bopd.

In that same time period, North Dakota has gone from 200 active rigs to about 35 active rigs.

Maybe this should be the lead story, instead of the natural gas story. Whatever.

Texas Is Flipping From A Net Producer To A Net Demand Region. Say What? -- RBN Energy -- November 29, 2016

Shopping list: see first comment -- you, too, can help the DAPL protesters ... supplies needed. It may take a moment to load, but it's there.

DAPL weather: no travel advised in several counties; Bismarck and Mandan schools closed. Many schools across western North Dakota closed or delayed openings. Bismarck is north of Standing Rock Reservations. No travel is advised across several western counties including Mountrail County. It seems the area around Minot and Bismarck are the worst hit. Conditions have worsened:


Yesterday, it was reported that ND Highway 1806 into the reservation was still blocked/closed; ND Highway 6 was suggested as the alternate. Today, ND Highway 6 is in worse condition with scattered ice. Yellow in the map above: ice and compacted snow.

For newbies: this is NOT what the protest camp looks like today -- maybe The New York Times will send a photo-journalist out to the camp and get a current photo:

Dickinson got 10 inches of snow on Monday.

6:00 a.m. surprise: after reading about disarray in OPEC over upcoming meeting; and, the downward trend in the price oil, I would have thought Dow 30 futures to be trending down. In fact, Dow 30 futures went from negative three to positive five during the night and now up 22 points in futures.

6:42 a.m. surprise: doesn't even make MSNBC "Morning Joe" news or Drudge report, and not the first story over in Los Angeles Times: 70 killed when plane carrying Brazilian soccer team crashes. May have run out of fuel. 

World Chess Championship: at end of 12 matches, it ends in a tie. Now, we begin with the tie-breakers on Wednesday: rapid games and the blitz.

Costlier sand: shale rebound starts with costlier grains of sand.
  • sand prices have rise roughly 25% to about $24/ton -- first sign that turnaround has begun
  • spending by drillers in the lower 48 states are not forecast to be $1 billion higher than analysts expected in the final three months of 2016; now up to $13-- second sign that turnaround has begun
  • best rigs: lease rates are up as much as $5,000 / day -- third sign that turnaround has begun
  • sand volume: 120 million tons of sand through 2018, for both oil and gas wells; up from a previous forecast of 95 million tons 
  • service companies may increase prices by 10% / year through 2021
This doesn't look like an industry in distress.

President Obama ceded the Arctic to others. Norway and Russia step up cooperation in Arctic hunt for oil.
  • will share new seismic data from the Arctic Barents Sea border region
  • will hold discussions on how to split potential future discoveries that straddle the border
  • these are being called the Arctic Unitisation Talks -- Norway and Russia
Iraq: Shell considering selling its Iraq oil assets
  • as part of its global $30 billion asset disposal program
  • seeking to slim down after its $54 billion acquisition of BG group earlier this year (this deal transformed Shell into the world's top LNG trrader)
  • with slump in oil prices, Shell wants to concentrate on LNG and deepwater oil production in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico
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Active rigs:


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Active Rigs3764185191182

RBN Energy: Texas is flipping from a net producer to a net demand region. What?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Musings On Shale As We Anticipate The "OPEC Meeting" -- November 28, 2016

Some thoughts:
  • at one time I bought into "peak oil"; no longer. We're not going to run out of affordable, accessible oil for at least three more human generations (through my granddaughters); probably four generations
  • I have no clue why folks are so 'interested" in gasoline at $5.00/gallon. For me, I love gasoline at $1.50 / gallon (free market-based; supply and demand; not subsidized)
  • I don't buy into anthropogenic climate change 
  • with regard to global supply of oil, right now it's the Mideast (mostly Saudi Arabia); Russia; and, the US
  • there is no such thing as "swing" producer any more; having said that, US producers respond to the market; Saudi Arabia tries to manipulate the market; and, Russia ignores the market
I say all that as a preface to this very interesting article in Forbes: shale wars -- where are oil prices headed as Saudi Arabia lets the big bet play out?

Comments and observations:

First, the Forbes subject line: "oil prices." It's a fool's errand to predict oil prices. And oil prices don't matter. As in everything else, it's not the price that matters, it's the margin that matters. If oil is priced at $200 but it costs $180 to produce, the margin is $20. If oil is priced at $50 and it costs $20 to produce, the margin is $30. Price doesn't matter; margins matter.

Second, Saudi Arabia's "big bet." I suppose one could call it a "big bet." Most now consider it a "trillion-dollar mistake." Saudi Arabia tried this at least once before, back in the 80s, to bankrupt America oil companies by driving the price of oil down below what US operators needed to stay in business. It worked in the 80s. It didn't work this time (at least not so far). 

Now back to the article.

Saudi has lost something like $200 billion since their decision in 2014; this jibes with other writers who have suggested $180 billion. So, $200 billion is a nice round number; easy to remember.

Saudi's sovereign wealth fund was $2 trillion; now it's $200 billion less. I guess.

The writer says we are witnessing a two-part test.

The first question: how much damage low oil prices will have caused America's shale industry?

Okay, let's stop right there. Who cares?
In economics, today is always the first day of the rest of your life and yesterday is a sunk cost.
Oh, I get it. The author is suggesting this: if the US shale industry was hurt badly enough, it won't be able to respond quickly to changes in global supply, and Saudi Arabia will gain market share by default.

I didn't see that because I don't see anything to suggest that US shale operators are incapable of successfully responding.

I guess the author had to fill out two long internet pages because instead of asking/answering the two questions he posited, he digresses into the "history of oil."

Let's skip all that, and get back to the two questions, or as the author says, the "two-part test."

Again, the first "test" / question: can the US shale industry respond to global supply and demand or did Saudi succeed in crippling the US shale industry?

Again, the writer digresses back into the "history of shale oil." We all know that history.

Finally, here it is. The Forbes contributor writes:
The results of the first part of the experiment are now known. Over the 30 months of declining prices the number of shale drilling rigs in operation collapsed nearly four-fold, and about one-third of the companies in the shale business went bankrupt or became seriously financially distress.....
wow, he's going back to history that we already know. What's his opinion?  Can the US shale industry respond to global supply and demand or did Saudi succeed in crippling the US shale industry?

Ah, there it is:
The lesson from the first half of the experiment is thus clear: a price drubbing achieved only modest production declines and did nothing to slow and arguably accelerated the radical technology gains in the cost-effectiveness of shale drilling.
Put another way; the Saudis have seen that the amount of money needed to add more American supply keeps shrinking and is moving monthly closer to the Middle East’s vaunted low-cost advantage.
At the current tech-driven growth rate, output per rig will double every 3.5 years. That kind of progress is normally seen in Silicon Valley. For consumers it’s exciting, but not so much for shale’s competitors.
Finally.

Now "part two of the experiment." Just how quickly will American shale produciton rise this time? 

The writer says we know the answer. The answer is "fast." The writer says: "it won't take much of a rig count rise to produce world-shaking results.

Wow, the writer and I are on the same page. I agree with him completely.
Given what we know from very recent history it’s reasonable to think that the shale industry today could grow again at least as fast as it did from its inception circa 2005 when shale companies went on to more than double U.S. production in a handful of years.
And that happened using technology that was literally half as good as what exists now, and with operators who then had to learn-on-the-fly to use techniques for which there was no prior experience.
That industrial ecosystem now has fantastically better technology, deep experience, and a pre-built infrastructure. One might pay attention to what shale pioneer Harold Hamm, Continental Resources founder and CEO, said earlier this year about U.S. oil production:
“We’ve doubled it. We can double it again.”
The writer than provides the four key characteristics of shale that differ radically from the traditional oil business and that account for shale's past and future velocity.

You can go to the linked article to "discover" those four key characteristics. Regular readers of the blog already know these four key characteristics.

I just wanted to know whether this writer felt that the US shale industry was up to the challenge.

It is.

And I agree. It's really not a question at all, is it?

Oh, by the way. Did the writer ever get around to answering the initial question: where are oil prices headed? Yes, he did. I agree with him. If anything, he's a bit optimistic.

By the way, let's go back to something said early in the article:
At the current tech-driven growth rate, output per rig will double every 3.5 years. That kind of progress is normally seen in Silicon Valley. 
At one time North Dakota had around 200 active rigs and production was wide open and about one million bbls of oil per day.

Now, North Dakota has had less than 40 active rigs for an extended period of time, with much production "choked back" due to economic reasons (DUCs, etc), and production is still about one million bbls oil per day. Unfettered, North Dakota could get to two million bbls per day "overnight."

Oh, one more thought. I started off with this comment/observation:
It's a fool's errand to predict oil prices. And oil prices don't matter. As in everything else, it's not the price that matters, it's the margin that matters. If oil is priced at $200 but it costs $180 to produce, the margin is $20. If oil is priced at $50 and it costs $20 to produce, the margin is $30. Price doesn't matter; margins matter
It looks like things might be working out just right: a) prices might rise; b) costs to produce are definitely coming down. Result: better margins. Regardless of the price of oil.