Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's The Bernie Sanders Show -- Venezuela Feels The Bern -- May 4, 2016; I Used To Care, But Things Have Changed

Updates

May 9, 2016: op-ed in WSJ -- Venezuela's hunger is no game
87% of those polled reported that they did not have sufficient income for food. Their privation is a result of artificially holding down prices, which creates shortages. 
Consumers are forced to scurry about black markets looking for what they need and then pay dearly for it—if they can. They face killer inflation which, according to the central bank, was 180.9% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 82.4% in the first quarter of last year.
Hunger is only a symptom of a broader economic collapse, all along the production chain, brought on by state diktat. 
The problem I have with these editorials: we are long past the point of describing the reason for Venezuela's problems. We need some nice op-eds on the likely outcome. 

May 9, 2016: nothing new here; just more of the same, from Bloomberg.
Making sense of the rolling political and economic disaster in Venezuela isn't easy. But the bigger mystery may be why the whole country isn't flooding into the streets to demand the end of the social revolution that's left one of Latin America's most resource-rich nations in a shambles.

Start with the riddle of why the country with the world's largest crude oil reserves has suffered constant power outages. (Spoiler: instead of using oil to generate electricity, the government has relied on hydropower while failing to plan for this year's punishing drought; it neglected to build new power plants or invest in its crumbling infrastructure.)

And how has President Nicolas Maduro responded to the energy crisis? He cut the work week for public servants to two days. Along with the furlough, Maduro -- who also is presiding over the world's worst recession -- ordered a 30 percent hike in the national minimum wage. Just how much the crowd-pleasing bonus will matter in a country with high triple-digit inflation, where consumers queueing for hours can't find eight out of 10 staple goods at grocery stores, is debatable. Not to mention that Venezuela is literally running out of bank notes.  
No light at the end of the tunnel; no end in sight. 

Original Post
 
The #1 demographic group supporting Bernie Sanders are the best educated, richest American teenagers and young adults ever, and they've fallen for Marx and Lenin. LOL. They should all spend a week or two or three in Venezuela. The Washington Post is reporting:
It's come to this: The country with the largest oil reserves in the world can't afford to brew its own beer, stay in its own time zone, or even have its own people show up to work more than two times a week.
Venezuela, in other words, is well past the point of worrying that its economy might collapse. It already has. That's the only way to describe an economy that the International Monetary Fund thinks is going to shrink 8 percent and have 720 percent inflation this year. And that's not even the worst of it. No, that's the fact that the state itself is near collapse. Venezuela already has the world's second-highest murder rate, and now the Chavista regime seems to be threatening violence of its own if the opposition succeeds in recalling President Nicol├ís Maduro. It's a grim race between anarchy and civil war.

This is an entirely man-made catastrophe. Venezuela, by all rights, should be rich. As we just said, it has more oil than the United States or Saudi Arabia or anyone else for that matter. But despite that, economic mismanagement on a world-historical scale has barely left it with enough money to even, well, pay for printing money anymore. That's right: Venezuela is almost too poor to afford inflation. Which is just another way of saying that the government is all but bankrupt.

How did Venezuela get here? Well, by spending more than it had and not having as much as it should. Let's take these in reverse order. It really shouldn't have been hard for the government to use some of its petrodollars on the poor without destroying the economy. Every other oil-rich country, after all, has figured that out. But you can't redistribute oil profits if there aren't oil profits to redistribute, or at least not many of them. And there weren't after Hugo Chavez replaced people who knew what they were doing with people he knew would be loyal to him at the state-owned oil company. It didn't help that he scared foreign oil companies off too. Or that he took money out, but didn't put it back in, so that they can no longer turn as much of their extra-heavy crude into refined oil. Add it all up, and Venezuela's oil production actually fell by about 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.
North Korea appears to be in better shape than Venezuela, or maybe I'm just misreading Asian News

It's enough to make one want to vote for Donald Trump.

The big question is why would The Washington Post post this story? 

Venezuela. Tick. Tick. Tick.

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The Apple Page

I used to think Apple's obsession with "thinner" and "thinness" was getting a bit out of hand. But now that I use the MacBook Air almost exclusively I find the MacBook Pro is incredibly thick, incredibly heavy, and something I would never use again.

The importance of "thinness" cannot be overestimated.

I will eventually get the Apple Watch. I have never wanted an iPhone, but to have the Apple Watch one needs the iPhone. Maybe next year.

I still think Apple needs to become a "private" company. I wish it would become a 100% employee-owned company. If not that, it would be nice if Apple would report earnings once yearly or even less often.

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Theme Song For 2016  Presidential Race
I Can't Wait For The Debates
Play Loud and Often -- Really Loud

 
Things Have Changed, Bob Dylan

The death of Prince puts things into perspective. One wonders how Bob Dylan made it. No matter how good people say Bob Dylan is, he's a thousand times better. I saw him once in concert -- in San Antonio -- maybe 10 years ago.

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Reminiscing

Years ago the USAF sent me to northern England for what we called "temporary duty."  It was not a good period of my life. I survived, I guess, by walking the moors, or whatever they were called, for 12-hour stretches each day on the weekend.

I carried a portable CD player and listened to Woody Guthrie (in the original post, I mis-wrote the name of the artist). That's how I ended up listening to Bob Dylan tonight. It's nights like this I think about shutting down the site, but I never will. So indulge me tonight. Forget about the Bakken; let me write about other things for awhile.

Tomorrow I will be back to normal and back to the Bakken but tonight, Bob Dylan. Really loud.

I used to care, but things have changed. Prince, Trump, wind farms/eagles, the human mind can only stand so much. People are crazy, times are strange, I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range, I used to care, but things have changed.

May 4, 2016 -- Nothing About The Bakken In This Post

Warning: I doubt this post will have much to do with the Bakken. If you came here for the Bakken, scroll down or go to the sidebar at the right, but disregard this post. 

I could not possibly be in a better mood but it might take awhile to complete this post. There are so many things going on right now that have put me in an incredible mood. It started with a wind turbine story, but I will save that for later. 

So, these are the stories that have me in a manic mood, but I've put them in a different order in which I first thought about them.

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The Apple Page

Some weeks ago I decided to get the new iPad Pro. I will get the largest screen available, and I will get the keyboard and the pencil, and it will be for my wife. I had not seen one until tonight, but I knew enough about it to know that's what I need right now. Or more accurately, exactly what my wife needs now.

On the way to Starbucks this evening, I stopped at the Apple store and played with the iPad Pro for the first time.

Oh, yeah. I'm going to get the iPad Pro before the week is out. Don't hold me to that. I have a lot of expenses but if the Master Card people give me their approval, that's what I'm going to do. I'll talk with the M/C people tomorrow; see what kind of deal we can work out. LOL.

One may want to read about Michael Hayden and his favorite gadgets, which includes the iPad Pro. Michael was a 4-star USAF general officer. He was the former director of the NSA and CIA. If you really want to read the article and hit a paywall, let me know. I will help you out. The Wall Street Journal article begins:
We’re a Mac kind of family, which had nothing to do with my view on the Apple/FBI controversy; we find that they’re a bit more resistant to attack. I just picked up an iPad Pro, which I’ve immediately fallen in love with. And I’m talking with you on an iPhone 6s. My normal rhythm in the morning is: The alarm goes off, I grab the iPad, download the CIA press clips and see what’s going on in the world. I have got the attachable keyboard, so when I want to sit down somewhere, it’s as if I’m at my workstation, even though I can easily tuck it into my backpack.
I worked directly for Michael Hayden some years ago, or at least I think I did. I really don't remember. It was in transition. He was leaving; I was arriving. Our paths crossed off and on over the years. He was a demigod in my mind, like Odysseus and/or Achilles. 

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The Environmental Page

I recently noted that I remained conflicted when it came to ocean acidification. A thoughtful reader helped me out by providing me three links (URLs) to sites that would help convince me that ocean acidification due to rising atmospheric CO2 was still a problem.

Be that as it may, one of the reasons I'm in a manic mood tonight is I've crossed the line; I've made the jump.

Growing up I used to be really concerned about endangered bird species. High on my list were bald eagles and golden eagles. Not any more.

I was going to write a lot on this, but I've decided I'm not going to. I will simply say this: if the #1 environmentalist -- POTUS -- has no concern for the eagles, I certainly don't. And that's why I'm in a great mood. I am no longer conflicted. I am put in a "bad mood" when I am conflicted, but once a problem is solved, I can move on. I used to be concerned about eagles and other endangered birds, and I was conflicted about wind turbines and bird deaths.

But no more. No more conflicts. This story tells me there are way more eagles than we realize. Obama is considering a plan that would allow unlimited bird kills. That tells me that all those concerns about endangered bird species was overkill.

This kills two birds with one stone (pun intended). First, it tells me that these birds are not endangered, contrary to what third grade teachers have been telling their gullible third graders for decades. Second, this means that oil companies have less to worry about when it comes to environmental issues: precedents are being set that oil and gas lawyers will use to their advantage.

As long as folks don't mind wind turbines going up in their backyards, I no longer care.

This is very similar to the polar bear story. Global warming and polar bears being threatened turned out to be a myth, also.

Lobsters, too. Some years ago the environmentalists said the lobster industry was dying. Whether that was true or not, I don't know. Regardless, the lobsters are back, more than ever. And I see that one can get huge lobsters at the local supermarket.

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Lamb Chops and Halibut

This past week I finally got back into cooking. It's been awhile. The first thing I did was lamb chops. They turned out incredibly good, so I "did them" again (prepared them yesterday; had them this evening).

 Lamb Chops

Last night we had halibut. It's been a long time since we've had halibut and if done right, it's incredible. My wife likes salmon best. I enjoy tuna steaks almost as much, but halibut -- I would have to move halibut into a "tie" position with salmon. I suppose I still like salmon best but tuna and halibut are right up there.

By the way, fresh halibut in this area goes for $24.99 / lb. Yesterday, our local grocer -- who probably has the best beef / seafood in the area -- had marked the halibut (and much of the other seafood) down to half price. The halibut was $12/lb or something like that. We got about 3/4 of a pound.

 Halibut
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The Political Page

After the wind turbine/bald eagle story, and the iPad Pro story, I am most excited about the November contest between Trump and Hillary.

It's going to be a blowout.

75% of Americans hate Trump.

30% of American hate Hillary.

And Trump is going to win by a landslide.

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The Weather

Summer is finally almost here in north Texas. I can now take long bike rides. I bought another bike this past month (it's on layaway and I will make the final payment at the end of the month). Today I also bought another rear red light for my current favorite bike. One cannot have too many lights when riding at night. I have three rear red lights on the bike. I will add more.

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Silver Dollars

I mentioned the other day that I am finally into buying silver and gold again. I said that I would buy a silver dollar for every "crazy" story and the wind turbine/bald eagle story means I can buy way more silver dollars this month than originally planned.

There is an excellent gold and silver / coin show every month in Grapevine. And unlike guns, there's no 72-hour "cooling off" period before taking possession of new coins. You pay your money and you get your coins with no background check.

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The Literature Page

I got a new coffee table book today: The Wright Style by Linda Lind. Perhaps more on that later, but Starbucks is getting ready to close and they're kicking us out.

Good luck to all. See you tomorrow. 

Five (5) New Permits In North Dakota -- May 4, 2016; Anyone In The Market For A Slightly "Used" New Refinery?

Updates

May 7, 2016: by the way, this story on the MDU/Calumet refinery was picked up by oilprice.com:
A brand new North Dakota refinery—the only new refinery built in the United States since the 1970s--has been forced to cut production, while its owners and operators are forced to concede that a sell-off might be in order thanks to the consistently low oil prices.
The North Dakota based refinery, owned by MDU Resources Group Inc and Calumet Specialty Product Partners LP, is only running at 75 percent of capacity due to low demand for diesel fuel, which is its main product. Refinery losses over the first quarter amount to $7.2 million.
The refinery, which only started selling fuel a year ago, got off to a rocky start with an initial investment of US$430 million—a sum that was 40 percent above original estimates. 
Original Post
 
I assume it's just a matter of time before we see this white elephant on the auction block. MDU cites continued losses with their new refinery in southwest North Dakota:
MDU Resources Group Inc., will only run its Dakota Prairie Refinery in Dickinson at 75 percent capacity following continued losses of $7.2 million in the first quarter.
MDU Resources CEO Dave Goodin said the company is assessing its options regarding its partial ownership in the refinery, which started operations a year ago. The company had expected run the plant at 90 percent capacity but with a low local demand for diesel and higher costs of production, the refinery is currently only processing 15,000 to 16,000 barrels of Bakken crude daily. The lowest the capacity can be sustainably reduced at the refinery is 14,000 to 15,000 barrels per day.
MDU’s partner in the refinery, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, LP, also said in its quarterly earnings report that it may divest of some of its assets including Dakota Prairie.
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From Today's Daily Activity Report

Operator transfer: Legacy Oil transfers about 148 wells (three SWD wells; all the rest oil and gas wells) to Crescent Point. See yesterday's note when I wrote:
Corinthian Exploration transferred about 83 wells to Legacy Oil:
  • earliest permit: 00884
  • oldest permit: 29202
  • two SWD wells
Corinthian and Legacy have a long history together. Back in June, 2014, there was a post: "Legacy buys Corinthian."

I've never been able to keep track of Corinthian, Legacy, and Surge. I track North Dakota operators here. In addition, one can search any of the names here at the blog.
So, it's the same with Crescent Point. One big mixing bowl: Crescent Point, Legacy, Surge, Corinthian. I can't keep them straight.

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 11409 (no typo), dry, Denbury, Cedar Hlils 21-22, wildcat, this well has a long history, of course: the original name was Cedar Hills 1-22, Bowman County, back in 1985; targeting the Red River "C"; "the Red River "C" zone, because of its thickness, is usually the best zone of production in the Bowman County area; this well was dry in '85; and it was dry again in 2015; this time they targeted the South Red River B; re-entry date: November 29, 2015; permit application: "will drill out existing cement plugs to 9500' and re-plug well per NDIC requirements. Re-plug objective is to isolate entire Red River A, B, C, & D intervals in order to prevent conformance issues; in an earlier note, the same thing: "re-plug to abandon the well."
  • 30686, SI/NC, XTO, Rink 12X-4D, Garden, no production data;
Active rigs:


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Producing wells completed: none.

Five (5) new permits --
  • Operators: EOG (4), Petro-Hunt
  • Fields: Parshall (Mountrail), Charlson (McKenzie(
  • Comments: the four EOG wells will be on a single pad in SWSE/SESW 21-154-90
Two permits canceled --
  • Triangle canceled a Sanders permit in McKenzie County
  • Abraxas canceled a Yellowstone Boxer in McKenzie County

CLR WIth New Investor Presentation -- May 4, 2016

CLR: New Presentation

Link here (a dynamic link; the link will change over time).

Thirty-five slides. 

Slide 17: Bakken -- Focusing on the Core at Reduced Costs
  • Average EUR up 13% from 2015
    • 2016 target average EUR: 900,000 boe/well
    • 2015 average EUR: 800,000 boe/well
  • Enhanced CWC reduced to $6.3 million
    • down from $6.8 million at YE 2015 (2-mile laterals with 30 stages)
    • targeting $6.0 million at YE 2016
  • Valuable DUC inventory
    • 135 DUCs at YE 2015
    • the company projects 195 DUCs at YE 2016
    • each DUC has an average EUR of 850,000 boe
    • $3.5 million incremental completion cost ($500K/well reduction)
    • over 100% ROR for incremental completion cost for DUCs at $45 WTI/$2.25 gas
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The Apple Page

Macrumors is reporting:
Kohl's has announced that customers can now pay for their purchases with Kohl’s Charge Cards or other credit or debit cards and simultaneously earn Yes2You Rewards loyalty points with a single tap using Apple Pay.

The combined functionality is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl’s stores in the United States, and the department store chain expects one-tap checkout to be available in all stores nationwide later this month.

Kohl's is the first retailer to offer a one-tap solution for payments and rewards using Apple Pay. Customers can simply add both their Kohl's Charge Card or other payment method and Yes2You Rewards card to Apple Pay and simultaneously pay and collect loyalty points upon checkout with one Touch ID tap for verification.

Kohl's has supported Apple Pay since June 2015, and last October it became the first retailer to allow store-branded cards to be used with the iPhone-based contactless payments service. JCPenney is also rolling out store card support.

Tesla's Vice President For Production To Take Leave Of Absence [Perhaps To Spend More Time With His Family]; Tesla Vice President Of Manufacting Also Expected To Depart [Perhaps To Spend More Time With His Family, Also] -- May 4, 2016

Updates

May 18, 2016: will raise $2 billion in new shares. Dilution: about 7%. 

May 10, 2016: Investopedia on Tesla --
  • Tesla in reverse
  • in past 30 days, TSLA down almost 20%
  • Wall Street not buying MuskMelon's hype
  • last week, MuskMelon said Tesla would produce 500,000 cars in 2018, two years ahead of prior forecast
  • raised the stakes higher by promising to double the volume in 2020
  • even if he could meet his production target, it would cost more money than he has; "a cash-hungry, start-up unicorn" -- Barclays
  • 1Q16: net debt of almost $2 billion; operating cash flow of negative $500 million (numbers rounded)
  • no plan how MuskMelon plans to raise needed cash
May 5, 2016: WSJ is reporting that Tesla's losses widen on lower-than-expected deliveries. Now we know why the vice president for manufacturing and the vice president for production are both departing. Yesterday it was a bit unclear. 

Original Post
Tesla beats expectations: loses 57 cents/share vs expected loss of 58 cents/share. It will be interesting to see the details, particularly the rate of cash burn. Tesla's loss for the day is made back immediately after results were released. During the day, TSLA was down about $10; after market close/after earnings announced, it was up about $7; later up as much as slightly more than $10.  [Later: up as much as $12 after hours to $234.00.]
Still, it remains to be seen how Tesla deals with increasing production demands in the coming years. While Tesla blew away expectations with at least 325,000 reservations for the Model 3, its ability to produce the vehicles in 2017 and 2018 is still unclear.
Separately, Tesla in April announced a worse-than-expected 14,820 vehicle deliveries for the first quarter. -- maybe that's why vice-presidents for manufacturing and production are leaving.
For those who have forgotten, from 4Q15:
TSLA (10 cents): in 3Q15, the forecast was for a loss of 50 cents; AP story here; but the loss at 58 cents was much bigger than expected; deliveries were better than expected and TSLA surges 7% in after-hours trading; this time around, 4Q15, the company is expected to post earnings of 10 cents, and reports February 9. Whether it misses or beats that forecast, my hunch is that the shares move up or down significantly;
Yesterday I reported:
Link here (March, 2016 --> April, 2016 sales):
  • Tesla Model S: 3,900 --> 800 (the company delivered 850 in January, 2016)
  • Tesla Model X: 1,850 --> 850 (the company delivered 270 in January, 2016)
  • Chevrolet Volt: 1,865 -->1,983
  • Nissan Leaf: 1,246 --> 787 (that's more than a stall)
  • VW e-Golf: 86 --> 326 (recovering)
  • Chevrolet Spark: 252 --> 419 (gaining traction)
  • Cadillac ELR: 104 --> 95 (in a rut)
  • BMW i8: 89 --> 130 (whatever) 
Tesla reports 325,000 preorders for the Model 3. On an annualized basis, based on April sales, annualized sales for:
  • Tesla Model S: 9,600; on March sales: 46,800
  • Tesla Model X: 10,200; on March sales: 22,200
To meet the demands for pre-orders in the first six months after the new Model 3 is released, Tesla will have to ramp up from 20,000 autos/year to 54,000 Tesla Model 3 deliveries/month to satisfy current demand (in the first six months after the first Model 3 is released).
Look again at how much Tesla has to be able to ramp up to meet customer expectations. And now, see below in "today's update" we get word that Tesla's vice president of production is going to take a LEAVE OF ABSENCE. 

Something tells me things are not going well in paradise. 

Today's update:

Tesla earnings will be out later today. Right now, on a "down" day for the market, TSLA is down 4% -- down about $10 on a $220/share comapny. CNBC is reporting:
Analysts expect Tesla to report a loss of 58 cents per share on $1.6 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Its loss is forecast to be larger than the one posted in the prior-year period.
The electric automaker's shares dropped 4 percent Wednesday as it confirmed Greg Reichow, its vice president of production, will take a leave of absence after it finds a successor. Tesla's vice president of manufacturing, Josh Ensign, is also expected to depart.

Gasoline Consumption Extends Season Record Streak -- May 4, 2016



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Price Of Oil

For the archives: Bloomberg is suggesting the oil price rally might be for real this year.
While U.S. supply was a big driver last year, it's time to look at supply outside of America. The analysts note that U.S. production peaked last April, and supply outside the country is now significantly impacted by low prices. This is important because it's much harder for other countries to get drills back online than in the U.S. Due to the nature of shale, once oil prices start to rise, U.S. producers can quickly ramp up production while other countries can't. 
"[T]he list of countries with declining supplies has grown rapidly: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, China, Azerbaijan and others. Total non-OPEC oil production (excluding the U.S.) fell year over year in February and March (-105,000 barrels/day and -142,000 barrels/day, respectively) after rising for the prior 33 months," Kleinman and his team wrote. "This dynamic is particularly important, because unlike shale, these supply declines are much harder to reverse in the short- or even medium-term."
To be sure, the team at Citigroup doesn't expect a massive rebound in oil prices either, due to risks such as Saudi Arabia's continued unwillingness to budge on production: "Saudis are not looking to reduce oil production under the current market conditions and if anything are likelier to be putting more barrels on the market. This is probably the biggest bear risk to oil markets right now."
For newbies: a drop of 200,000 bopd is a rounding error. If global production is 90 million bopd, 200,000 works out to about 0.2%. And yes, the decimal is in the right spot. 

May 4, 2016

Updates

Later, 12:27 p.m. Central Time: yes, it will be GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting, Donald Trump speaking at the oil conference in Bismarck. No links; story everywhere. [Okay, by popular demand, here's the link.] Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will be telling West Virginia miners her comment that she will put coal miners out of work and coal companies out of business was "lost in translation." And I bet she still wins West Virginia in the general election.

Original Post 

I'm being told the groundbreaking for a new bank in Watford City was on television last night. This is the website of the new bank: Cornerstone Bank.
Cornerstone Bank will break ground on a new location in Watford City on Tuesday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the building site located on Highway 85, just east of Heggen Equipment. The bank is scheduled to open to customers in the summer of 2017 and will offer conveniences like a drive up ATM and better parking in addition to the same great services offered at the current location. Cornerstone is working on this project with the Architecture Firm Wild CRG.
Heartbreakers in Williston to become first (and only) LGBT bar in the Bakken. No link; story everywhere. Name of new bar not announced. The other bar on the south end of Main Street has converted to a sports bar. And we move on.

Lynn Helms teases that an "amazing speaker" will attend the Bismarck oil conference. Rumors are it will be Trump.

Active rigs:


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RBN Energy: Is Shell Chemical finally ready to act on Ohio River cracker?
Shell Chemicals is taking steps that suggest it finally may be ready to pull the trigger on a long-debated petrochemical complex which would include an ethylene plant (steam cracker) and three polyethylene units in the heart of the “wet” Marcellus/Utica natural gas liquids production region. If the $3+ billion project advances to construction soon, it would significantly impact ethane market dynamics, not just in Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia but along the Gulf Coast too. And if it turns out we’re in for extended stagnation in drilling and production, the Shell cracker also may undermine plans to build additional NGL pipeline capacity out of the Marcellus/Utica—or any other cracker there.  Today we discuss the likelihood of Shell proceeding with its Beaver County, PA, cracker and the effects the project’s development might have.
The production of NGLs in the Utica/Marcellus really started taking off in 2011-12, when shale drillers, responding to declining prices for natural gas, began to focus on “wet” gas liquids plays to take advantage of higher prices – thus higher returns.
That required the build-out of gas processing and fractionation capacity. As we noted in [an earlier report], in 2009, there was only 600 MMcf/d of gas processing capacity in the entire Northeast region, most of it legacy infrastructure dating back decades, and now there is some 7,600 MMcf/d of gas processing capacity—more than 40 new plants built in the past six years, most of them built by MPLX (MarkWest) at eight major processing centers across the region
There are still more gas processing plants on the drawing boards. Similarly, there’s now some 500 Mb/d of fractionation (C3+ or full range) and another 240 Mb/d of de-ethanization capacity.
All that production—natural gas, mixed NGLs and “purity” products like ethane, propane, butanes and natural gasoline—has also resulted in the build-out of extensive take-away capacity (pipelines for gas, NGLs and purity products; rail- and barge-loading terminals for NGLs and purity products) as well as the development of local gas-fired power plants to consume Marcellus/Utica gas and—the subject of our blog today—proposals to construct in-region steam crackers to consume locally sourced ethane.
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Despite oil glut, US imports more foreign oil. Market disruptions and overseas storage that is at or near capacity have pushed crude imports form 20% from a year year. The Wall Street Journal is reporting. This has been on the blog for quite some time, first noted by John Kemp. 

Oil price upheaval finally hits refiners. The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Earnings are down sharply from year earlier.

Google will partner with Fiat Chrysler minivans for self-driving tests. Good choice. The New York Times is reporting.

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Active rigs:


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