The shale boom has not only transformed once rundown towns deep in the west Texas desert; it is increasingly reshaping the landscape of international politics. The emergence of the US as a born-again energy superpower — one of the key factors in the recent fall in oil prices — has led politicians in Washington to weigh how it might reshape some of its oldest alliances, raising uncomfortable questions for the oil producers of the Middle East .Fracking challenges with $50-oil, from The WSJ:
For Saudi Arabia, the US’s chief ally in the Arab world, the past two months have delivered a stark lesson in how its relationship with Washington has been reshaped by the Texas oil revolution.
On Thursday and Friday ministers from OPEC, the oil cartel that controls roughly a third of global production, and its allies including Russia and Kazakhstan, will meet in Vienna to decide how to respond to the 30 per cent plunge in oil prices to nearly $60 a barrel over the past two months. With US output surging, and Russia and Saudi Arabia also producing at close to record levels, traders are convinced the market will be awash with oil next year.
Previously such a fall would have prompted OPEC and its allies to agree to cut production. But for Saudi Arabia, which remains the world’s top oil exporter and the cartel’s de facto leader, that decision has been complicated by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
In the autumn of 2014, the Saudi government tried to reassert its authority in the oil market against the nascent threat from shale. As a global glut of crude swelled up, Riyadh declined to cut production, in the belief it could drown the Texas producers in a sea of cheap oil.
But shale proved far more resilient than Saudi Arabia — the only country with significant spare production capacity — had hoped. Two years on OPEC members returned to restricting output, with the help of Russia and other non-member producers, to lay the foundations for a recovery in prices.
As the oil price has fallen this autumn, the memories of 2014 have been resurfacing. But Jason Bordoff of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy says there is at least one crucial difference. “We now know how resilient shale can be. We saw how companies could cut costs and become more efficient to keep producing. That complicates OPEC’s decision-making,” he says. “This time around, OPEC knows it can’t kill shale, but maybe just wound it.”
Back to the Bakken
Wells coming off confidential list today -- Tuesday, December 4,2018 -- both Three Forks wells, not the small amount of proppant and relatively modest number of stages:
- 33241, 643, Oasis, Muri 5198 12-4 6T, Banks, Three Forks, 50 stages; 4 million lbs, t6/18; cum 121K 10/18;
|Pool||Date||Days||BBLS Oil||Runs||BBLS Water||MCF Prod||MCF Sold||Vent/Flare|
31265, 851, Oasis, Kjorstad 5300 34-22 10T, Willow Creek, Three Forks, 40 stages; 6.1 million lbs, t6/18; cum 98K 10/18:
|Pool||Date||Days||BBLS Oil||Runs||BBLS Water||MCF Prod||MCF Sold||Vent/Flare|
RBN Energy: tight supply-demand balance brings back natural gas price volatility.
Volatility is back big time in the U.S. natural gas market. The CME/NYMEX Henry Hub prompt natural gas futures contract in mid-November raced up more than $1.00 (28%) in the span of two days to a settlement of about $4.84/MMBtu on November 14, the highest price since February 2014, only to whipsaw back down 80 cents the next day. And, since then it hasn’t been unusual to see daily swings of 20-45 cents in either direction. As of yesterday, the now-prompt January 2019 contract was at about $4.34/MMBtu, down 27 cents on the day. The gas market hasn’t seen quite this level of volatility in a decade or more. Why now and what are the fundamentals behind it? With the coldest, highest-demand months still ahead, today’s blog provides an update of the gas supply-demand balance driving the recent price volatility.
The Bible Page
I continue to enjoy the history and literature of the Bible. I had never read Maccabees; incredibly interesting. There's something really, really cool reading about the origin of a moveable feast for the first time when a) I was ready to learn about it; and, b) it was actually being celebrated in "real time."
We start with Alexander the Great. When he died, his kingdom was divided among four of his generals. From another source:
Alexander the Great: kingdom divided among four, as of 301 BC (source: http://www.fsmitha.com/h1/ch12dis.htm):
- Macedonia and Greece (western Greece): Cassander
- Thrace and Asia Minor (eastern Greece): Lysimachus
- Egypt, Cyprus, nearby Asia Minor: Ptolemy, a Macedonian
- Eastern Asia Minor to Indus River: Seleucus
The Second Temple of Solomon on Mount Zion had been re-established centuries earlier but now the Seleucids pretty much desecrated the temple. The majority of the Jews, apparently, went along to get along. The Seleucid king at the time was the particularly notorious Antiochus Epiphanes. Apparently a big sticking point was the gymnasium that King Antiochus allowed the gentiles to build in Jerusalem.
The author of 1 Maccabees says that Antiochus conquered Egypt. That would have been around 170 BC. [Antiochus subsequently lost Egypt, around 168 BC; that is not mentioned in the early chapters of Maccabees -- as far as I've read so far.]
According to the author of Maccabees, two years later Antiochus took Jerusalem; destroying much of it, and re-built much of it to include a surrounding wall, making it his fortress in Judea. Those Jews that were not killed, either accepted Antiochus as their new king, or fled.
The Seleucids practiced their own pagan religion and forced all those in Jerusalem to do the same. It is interesting that monthly sacrifices on the alter occurred on the 25th of each month.
One of the Jewish rebels who escaped was Mattathias, a priest, who fled and settled about midway between present-day Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in a small town called Modein.
Mattathias and his five sons, led a small band of Jewish rebels. Mattathias led the rebellion but appointed Simeon to be the spiritual leader; he appointed his son Judas to be the general and warfighter. The five sons:
- John Gaddi
- Simon (Simeon?) Thassi,
- Judas Maccabaeus
- Eleazar Avaran
- Jonathan Apphus
The name Maccabee is often used as a synonym for the entire Hasmonean dynasty, but the Maccabees proper were Judah Maccabee and his four brothers.
The name Maccabee was a personal epithet of Judah, and the later generations were not his direct descendants.
One explanation of the name's origins is that it derives from the Aramaic maqqəḇa, "the hammer", in recognition of Judah's ferocity in battle.
The traditional Jewish explanation is that Maccabee (Hebrew: מכבים Machabi, מכבים) is an acronym for the Torah verse that was the battle-cry of the Maccabees, "Mi chamocha ba'elim YHWH", "Who is like You among the heavenly powers, Lord!" as well as an acronym for "Matityahu haKohen ben Yochanan.
The correlating Torah verse Exodus 15:11, The song of Moses and the Children of Israel by the Sea, makes a reference to Elim, with a mundane notion of natural forces, heavenly might, war and governmental powers. The scholar and poet Aaron Kaminka argues that the name is a corruption of Machbanai, a leading commando in the army of King David.The patriarch, Mattathias, died a natural death before his sons began actively fighting the Seleucids. Before he died, he instructed his sons to "pay back the gentiles to the full and hold fast to the ordinance of the Law." On his death, Judas Maccabaeus took his place.
In the course of several battles described in the first two chapter of 1 Maccabees, Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers drove the Seleucids out of Jerusalem.
During the course of these battles, separately the Syrians and the Egyptians also tried to take Jerusalem but failed. Judah Maccabaeus and his brothers were able to repel all invaders (but the Egyptian battles sound particularly tough).
Be that as it may, the Maccabees restored the second temple of Solomon on Mount Zion. From 1 Maccabees:
On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year 148 (around 164 BCE) they rose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offering which they had made....the alter was dedicated ... for eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar...The book at this point does not mention the story of the Menorah's eight candles and the never-depleting oil. From wiki:
The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple following Judah Maccabee's victory over the Seleucids. According to Rabbinic tradition, the victorious Maccabees could only find a small jug of oil that had remained uncontaminated by virtue of a seal, and although it only contained enough oil to sustain the Menorah for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be procured.I had never read the "original" story of Hanukkah. It was absolutely amazing how easy it was to read. Only two or three chapters of 1 Maccabees.
The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar and thus "moves" with the moon. Chislev corresponds to our current November-December period.