Saturday, December 15, 2018

Week 52: December 9, 2018 -- December 15, 2018

Based on time it takes first class mail to get from Williston, ND, to our apartment in Grapevine, TX (DFW) and based on delivery date information from Amazon, it is likely that many items not yet mailed will not reach their destination by Christmas. Letter mail seems particularly slow. Packages are arriving more quickly than letters, the latter delivered only by USPS (FedEx-type exceptions, of course). 

Geoff Simon's top North Dakota energy stories:
  • North Dakota sets another oil production record; winter slowdown due to price, not weather
  • Western school make expansion plans; Williston, Watford City announce January bond votes
  • PSC Christmann: "Not so fast on wind power."
  • Appeals court dismisses claims against Dakota Access -- Courthouse News
  • Marathon sees success in North Dakota, plans to expand Bakken activity -- Houston Chronicle
  • Western Canada oil industry ‘beyond a crisis’ due to lack of pipelines -- Weyburn Review
  • Going green is raising your electric bills, wind/solar raising rates -- Inside Sources

National: President Barack Obama takes credit for US shale revolution; and, here.

Williston:
New birthing center opens
Pizza Hut will move to a new building, next to Applebee's
Bakken
Bakken 2.5
Eleven new permits; twenty-five permits renewed; five producing wells reported as completed

Three Forks
A preliminary study of the middle and lower benches of the Three Forks;

Operations 
MRO extends core position in the Bakken
Noble Energy tiptoes into the Bakken
The Equinor Johnson wells in Banks oil field
A seven-year-old Petro-Hunt well goes over 900,000 bbls crude oil;
Number of active rigs remain at four-year high;
The Bakken setting all kinds of records; Director's Cut -- October, 2018, data;
Huge activity in Reunion Bay 
Vantage and the "Helis Grail" update; a case study;
Enerplus reports a 50K well;
Update of an old CLR Dvirnak well;
CLR Dvirnak wells in Jim Creek field are being completed;
Numerous pads have been updated;
The incredible Bakken; and, here; and, here; and, here, a 76K well;

Pipelines
DAPL survives first of two current court challenges 

Geology
A preliminary study of the middle and lower benches of the Three Forks;

Bakken economy
Kraken Operating acquires Kaiser-Francis assets in Mountrail County

Miscellaneous 
Break-even costs 
How to spend the Legacy Fund money

The Market, Energy, And Political Page, T+ 40, December 15, 2018

DAPL lives on: Eighth Circuit court throws out nuisance case. One down, one to go.

Price of gasoline: from a reader, "If you put .29 cents in the amount and the year is 1965, the adjusted price for gasoline is $ 2.16/gallon." See "inflation calculator."

Strange bedfellows: Saudi Prince MSB considering game-changing handshake with Israeli PM.

How America broke OPEC, from The Wall Street Journal. This is an op-ed piece by the editorial board. It almost qualifies The WSJ editorial staff for a nomination for the Geico Award. Anyone paying attention saw this coming several years ago -- if nothing else, the trillion-dollar mistake should have been enough evidence. At the linked article, 184 comments so far, but none from Art Berman. Best paragraph:
Barack Obama, hilariously, is now claiming credit for the shale boom. “You know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer . . . that was me, people,” he said last month at Rice University. But drilling leases on federal land declined 28% during his two terms amid new restrictions on land use. Drilling skyrocketed on private land, despite attempts by his regulators to block pipelines, slow down approvals, and impose higher costs on production.
Magic pony:

What a doofus

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Whoa! Not So Fast

Updates

December 16, 2018: link here

Original Post

Wind, solar have banner day in New England. From Boston's Chesto in Boston in The Boston Globe:
Winds of change: The blockbuster auction for offshore wind leases that wrapped up today should leave few doubts: The industry has finally arrived in New England.

Three developers backed by major European energy companies won access to 390,000 acres of federal waters nearly 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, after numerous rounds of spirited bidding that stretched over two days. These firms will each pay a record $135 million for the rights to build massive windmills in their respective slices of the ocean.

Walter Cruickshank, head of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, told reporters: “We are completely blown away by this.” He was speaking for the agency that oversaw the auction, of course.
But he also summed up the industry’s reaction. Although these areas will take many years to fully develop, BOEM says the three lease sites combined could eventually support 4,100 megawatts of wind generation, enough juice for 1.5 million homes.

How rich are these prices? Consider how far the industry has come in four years. In early 2015, two larger lease areas closer to shore -- read: easier and cheaper to develop -- each sold for less than $300,000. An acre of land in Edgartown sells for more than that. The offshore areas auctioned off this week? BOEM tried to sell them once before, also in 2015. Everyone took a pass.

Not this time. Eleven bidders gave it a shot this week. The eventual victors were: Equinor, the Norwegian company known as Statoil until earlier this year; Mayflower Wind, a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables; and Vineyard Wind, a JV controlled by Spain’s Iberdrola and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

So what changed? State policy, for one thing. In 2016, lawmakers in Massachusetts required the state’s big utilities to seek contracts for up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind. Vineyard Wind won the first round of bidding in May, for 800 megawatts, for an area it already controlled. The rest will likely be put out to bid in mid-2019. In July, legislators on Beacon Hill passed another law that allows the Baker administration to seek an additional 1,600 megawatts of offshore energy.
There's a reason that Apple, Inc., did not announce a tech campus in Boston -- they would have liked to have done that -- based on the tea leaves -- but they knew that electricity was going to cost them an arm, a leg, and an iPhone X. In addition, the taxes. Ouch! Apple, instead, announced a $1 billion tech center in Austin, Texas. Wow. Still no state income tax.

Also from Chesto:
  • how GE became a shadow of its former self -- WSJ
  • Newbury College to shut down
  • Hasbro -- signals it will exit Rhode Island, unless ...
  • Massachusetts state income tax drops from 5.1% to 5.05% on most income
    • let's see, $400,000 income x 0.05 = $20,000 -- the down payment for a Tesla

Re-Posting For The Holidays -- December 15, 2018

From Business Insider, twenty books coming out in 2019 and recommended by the writer at the linked article. Not one of them interests me.

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From February 7, 2014: Amazon's list of 100 best books to read in one's lifetime.

I'm a sucker for lists, and this is one of the best. I won't change my reading plans based on this list but it it is interesting. Here they are, all 100, said to be alphabetical, but some at the end are not in alphabetical order:

  • 1984, George Orwell
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
  • A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
  • The Bad Beginning or. Orphans, Lemony Snicket
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine Lengle
  • Alice Munro: Selected Stories
  • Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • All the President's Men, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
  • Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  • Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Born to Run -- A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  • Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
  • Cutting For Stone, Abraham Verghese
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney
  • Dune, Frank Herbert
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, Hunter S. Thompson
  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared M. Diamond (overrated)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • Interpreter of Maladies,  Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  • Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware
  • Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
  • Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
  • Man's Search for Menaing, Viktor Franki
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
  • Moneyball, Michael Lewis
  • Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham
  • On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  • Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • Portnoy's Complaint, Phillip Roth
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Age of Innocence, EdithWharton
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
  • Malcolm X, Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
  • The Color of Water, James McBride
  • The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
  • The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
  • The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown
  • The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman
  • The Great Gatsby,  F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • The Liar's Club, Mary Karr
  • The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and The Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright
  • The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Other Clinical Tales, Oliver Sacks
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan
  • The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel, Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Robert A. Caro
  • The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • The Shining, Stephen King
  • The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel, Haruki Murakami
  • The World According To Garp, John Irving
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story Of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  • The Stranger, Albert Camus
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Comments:
  • I was pleasantly surprised by some on the list, including Tim O'Brien
  • I was surprised by the absence of the great women writers of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries (Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, just to name a few)
  • I was surprised to see Hawking but not Darwin on the list
  • I was surprised to see none of the following: Defoe, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce
  • any list that includes Fear and Loathing by Hunter S Thompson is almost a perfect list
  • I was surprised to see how much reading I have left to do
  • I think our older granddaughter (age 10) has read more on the list than I have (if one counts all seven volumes of Harry Potter and three volumes of Hunger Games)

Around The Blogosphere -- December 15, 2018

The weekly run-through of non-Bakken featured blogs (linked at the sidebar at the right).

Mark Perry, AEIdeas, Monday evening links:
Video of the Day (below). Obama Built That? Obama jumps right over ridiculous and lands square on delusional as he actually tries to take personal credit for the shale revolution that made America the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas in recent years!! OMG! While in office, Obama called fossil fuels the “energies of the past” and burdened them with excessive regulations as he actively promoted renewable energies like solar and wind with subsidies. I’ll give Obama Four Pinocchios for his false, delusional claim that he was in any way responsible for America’s remarkable oil and gas energy success story.
Yeah, I Built That

Mark Perry, AEIdeas, best sentence I heard today:
…. is from Camile Paglia’s lecture below at about 4:00:
There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.
Here’s what she says right before that, for context:
On the intelligence spectrum, it’s been shown again and again that women occupy the great middle of the IQ spectrum. But with men you have them turning up at the opposite extremes. You have male geniuses and you have male psychotics. That’s why one of my great sentences is that “There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.”
RealClimateScience: cage match -- climate experts vs reality.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
– Joseph Goebbels
Temperatures in Greenland and Iceland warmed cyclically until the 1930s, cooled through the 1970s, warmed until about ten years ago – and are now declining again.

ZeroHedge: ObamaCare gutted. The story is now everywhere. ObamaCare remains in effect pending appeals. The basis of the case: now that there is no tax penalty for having no medical insurance, the law is unconstitutional. The tea leaves suggest it will end up in the Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see how the Chief Justice rationalizes the "act" now, 'cause you just know he will vote to uphold it.

ZeroHedge: Tom Steyer's tiny crowds

Pardon The Interruption -- December 15, 2018

A huge, huge "thank you" to readers. I make a lot of typographical errors on the site, but I fix them as soon as I find them. When I go back to old posts, I am amazed how many typographical errors I find.

I appreciate readers taking that in stride and not sending me notes about such errors. My goal is to get information disseminated as quickly as possible and that means there will be typographical (and factual) errors.

If you see a "factual" error, I do appreciate getting notified. I don't post "factual" errors on purpose.

Setting All Kinds Of Records; Back To The Flaring Issue -- December 15, 2018 -- Notes From All Over

It continues to amaze me when I read the comments at other social media sites about the lack of knowledge about the Bakken -- from folks that follow the oil industry closely. I won't name the site that is most egregious but I believe it's the "follow on" site to the  "Peak Oil" site that folded some years ago.

I thought of that when I saw this headline story -- the top story -- over at The Bismarck Tribune today:


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Notes From All Over

Sophia and I attended a Christmas party last night. It's a dinner hosted by our apartment manager and is the "party of the year" for Sophia and me. We both really look forward to attending. I talked at length with a woman whose son worked as a project manager for XTO in Midland, TX. We had a lot of stories to exchange. He had hoped to get a field job in Houston but with activity in west Texas and east New Mexico the company needed him out there. He loves the outdoors and particularly enjoys fishing. There is no fishing where he is working unless he wants to drive an hour and a half each way; a major disappointment. I didn't say anything but the little bit I know about fishing suggests he would have a great time in the Bakken, although he might learn something new when it comes to ice fishing.

Getting ready for the party:


At the same party I spoke with a Japanese man who was there with his wife and two children, ages seven years old and three years old. His English was not bad. She and the two kids spoke no English. He has been in the US for three months; his family has been here for one month. They love it. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for them, he said. He is a mechanic for JAL out at the DFW. My hunch is that he is not a blue collar mechanic but is in charge of all ground operations. JAL has one flight daily from Narita, Japan. I've flown into Narita on one occasion so I have a "picture" in my mind of his "home town."

His English will be quite good by the time the family returns to Japan in three years. The kids will be fluent in English by the end of this year. Guaranteed.

Our school district consistently ranks among the highest in the US. It was amazing to see all the Asians at the party. A few northern European heritage. A few Hispanics. Although the largest demographic in the apartment complex is subcontinent Indians, there was only one family of Indian descent at the party. The most  likely reason: dietary restrictions. The caterer for the party: one of the best barbecue restaurants in north Texas.

The interesting thing about the Japanese: "no religion" in Japan. If anything, Buddhism. When I spoke with the Japanese mechanic he pulled out his iPhone to help with interpretation. My wife is Japanese and it would be nice for her to meet the family but due to generational differences, probably won't happen. We'll see.

Last night, coincidentally, a huge story on Japanese society here in the DFW area. It turns out that the state of Texas maintains an office in Tokyo (or somewhere in Japan) to bring Japanese companies and jobs to Texas. Texas is one of the few states to do that. It may or may not have played a major role in Toyota US moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Plano, just north of the airport. With Toyota here, a huge influx of Asian enterprises, not just Japanese. Quite amazing.

My wife's note:
On tv news: Japan has an office in Tokyo specifically dedicated to encouraging Japanese business ventures in TX. They find Richardson, Ft Worth, and Dallas particularly lucrative, especially after the move of Toyota to Texas from Calif.

With the the Japanese population growing old and birth rate plummeting, they’re losing their market and need to seek alternative ones — Texas!
And finally this. Walmart is doing big, innovative things here in north Texas. We happened to see that yesterday when shopping. It is really quite amazing to see what Walmart is doing. More on this later, For now a link to this story.


In addition to the coffee shops, Walmart is replacing McDonald's with a more upscale sit-down restaurant with Hickory Bird. See linkedin:
At Hickory Bird we believe that great food should be available to everyone every day. By putting inspired spins on familiar classics, we strive to deliver delicious meals at affordable prices. Hickory Bird is an innovative, quick-serve restaurant exclusive to Walmart Supercenters. Our first opening will be in October 2018 and we are looking for enthusiastic people who are as passionate as we are about serving up great food with genuine hospitality.
Talking to the manager, it sounds like the DFW Walmarts are the first to get these restaurants Ten will open in the DFW area and if things go well, will expand.

Other links to Hickory Bird:
Next to Llft Off coffee in Walmart was state-of-the-art e-commerce center with package pickup. It was quite amazing to see what Walmart was doing. It is clear that Walmart is competing with Amazon but more importantly is taking on Target. The foot traffic at any Walmart is considerably greater than foot traffic at any Walmart. My hunch is that Lift Off will not succeed if they add more personnel. It was a bit slower than Starbucks but according to a small survey, one thing that Lift Off has over Starbucks: the various coffee drinks are much more consistent at Lift Off. The taste of a coffee drink at Starbucks is very, very dependent upon the barista.

For now, the #1 customer for Lift Off is going to be Walmart's own employees.