Friday, May 31, 2019

Allied Forces Take Out Storage Tanks In Syria To Enforce Oil Embargo -- May 31, 2019

A "war" we don't hear much about:
  • May 31, 2019, allied aircraft take out storage tankers, oilprice.
  • May 3, 2019, Syria scrambling, AP News.  
  • April 25, 2019, Damascus, misery, Bloomberg.
  • Back on March 22, 2019, another incident in which oil to Syria was turned back; in The Wall Street Journal.
I'm sure Iran is watching.

"Fed" Watch

Reminder: when the China trade war began, there were stories that as bad as this would be for the US, it would be worse for the Chinese. Some suggested the China-US trade war would end when Chinese bankers started jumping out of windows. Hold that thought.

Now, from zerohedge comes this: US banks and the recession panic.
As we await for Goldman to throw in the towel and admit its forecast of one rate hike in 2020 (and no cuts in 2019), was overly... optimistic, moments ago Barclays had a "hold my beer" moment, and just hours after JPMorgan changed its forecast, and as a result of an economic slowdown resulting from the escalating trade war now expects 2 rate cuts in 2019, Barclays has one-upped the largest US bank, and moments ago revised its FOMC forecast, now expecting 3 rate cuts in 2019. 
Now, while some may debate whether a curve inversion begins the clock on an upcoming recession, one things is undisputable (sic): while many analysts will caution that it is the Fed's rate hikes that ultimately catalyze the next recession and that every Fed tightening ends with a financial "event", the truth is that there is one step missing from this analysis, and it may come as a surprise to many that the last three recessions all took place with 3 months of the first rate cut after a hiking cycle!

Conclusion: the US will enter a recession somewhere around January, 2020.

If so, it will be one of the shortest recessions on record.

Having said that, we're back to the "chicken and egg" problem/question. How does a rate cut "catalyze" a recession. My hunch is the writer has that all wrong. My hunch is that by the time the Fed gets around to a rate cut they are too late: they see the recession coming, react too late, and by the time they make the rate cut, the recession is already in motion.

By the way, if the Chinese trade war does not end soon (like by the end of June), it will be a very, very bad Christmas for US retailers in 2019. US retailers are making their Chinese buying decisions by the end of June, perhaps by the end of July at the latest. US retailers go to trade shows to find out what's hot, to make their bets on what to order early in the summer. The Chinese need time to make the products, and then time to ship the products in time for Christmas. We are now down to less than six months when these Chinese products need to be on US store shelves.

The EU

As "bad" as it might be in the US regarding a "Fed" rate cut, the Europeans have an even bigger problem. Europe has no more arrows in their quiver.

From The Wall Street Journal:
For five years, European nations have been trying to jump-start their ailing economies with what was supposed to be a radical, short-term remedy—negative interest rates.
Instead, central banks haven’t been able to wean their economies off them.
Increasingly, they appear to be a permanent feature of the landscape.
No major bank that introduced negative rates during Europe’s debt crisis has turned main policy rates positive again.
“Overall, we are on a painkiller,” said Tamaz Georgadze, chief executive of Raisin GmbH in Berlin, which provides a platform for consumers and businesses to deposit through 77 banks in 25 countries, “and it’s very hard to get off it.”

Wow, look at Switzerland -- I never would have expected that. 

WTI Plummets; Trades Below $54; Twelve New Permits In North Dakota -- May 31, 2019

Newbies: note the number of active rigs, 64, which seems about right in North Dakota when WTI ranges between $55 and $65. Note how few active rigs there were in 2016 -- that was during the "trillion-dollar mistake" by the Saudis when they tried to crush US shale by opening their spigots.

More important than the number of active rigs is the number of wells not producing for operational reasons. As of the the most recent Director's Cut, the March, 2019, data:
  • DUCs: 968, up 74 from last report
  • inactive: 1,697, up 30 from last report
  • total: 2,665 (up from 2,561 last month; this represents about 1,000 more wells than will be drilled this calendar year; 2,561 is about what North Dakota will complete every three years)
Active rigs:

Active Rigs6461482880

Twelve new permits:
  • Operators: Hess (6); RimRock (6)
  • Fields: Alkali Creek (Mountrail); Heart Butte (Dunn)
  • Comments:
    • RimRock has permits for a 6-well Skunk Creek pad in lot 2/section 7-148-92;
    • Hess has permits for a 6-well EN-Sorenson B pad in section 35-155-94, Alkali Creek;
One well did come of the confidential list today:
  • 35242, SI/NC, WPX, Badlands 5-32-29HT, Heart Butte, no production data,
Five permits renewed:
  • Slawson: five Gunslinger Federal permits, all in McKenzie County

A Note To The Readers -- May 31, 2019

Disclaimer: I remain inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken. I love Big Oil and I love the independents. I see the world through oil-covered glasses. I love to blog. I do troll. I've talked about that before. I am occasionally (probably too often) snarky. After the fact I feel badly and often apologize. It's hard for me to "suffer fools."  I "love" Trump. I think I "get him." It's my opinion that his adversaries, for the most part, do not "get him." I agree with Jon Voigt regarding Trump. I'm among the older, white, male generation who are stereotyped -- that the world has passed them by -- or however the millennials and the NY Times phrase it. That's fine. I'm pretty content.

I have no "bucket list." I used to live one day at a time. I now live one hour at a time. Seriously. When my wife tells me the schedule for the weekend on Thursday, I tune her out. I'm only concerned about the schedule for Thursday night. Calendars? Instead of weekly calendars, I have "what's happening now?" calendars.

My dad at age 92 years of age said he never bought any green bananas. I don't buy green bananas and I don't buy ice cubes. I make ice cubes when I need them. My only goal now is to live long enough to make sure Sophia has a driver to get her wherever she needs to be. That's about ten more years. I've become an Uber driver without the app or the pay. 

A bucket list sounds like work and when I retired, I decided never to work again. Having said that, I never considered my 30 years and one day in the USAF "work." I went into the office (or the tent, or the hardened shelter, or the Tab-V) seven days a week, except when I had a headquarters job, and never considered it work. One exception: working the emergency room. Wow, talk about an experience. Being the only physician in a busy ER overseas ... in an American hospital ... in Turkey.

A digression: I just finished reading Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, c. 2006.  Explains a lot why the US military is as good as it is.

Mike Flynn, good, bad, or indifferent, was railroaded. And I say that, even though I probably would not have liked him and would not have wanted to serve under him (grammar?).

The note: A huge "thank you" to those who read the blog and another huge "thank you" to those who write.

I sometimes feel guilty that I don't provide a full and appropriate response to those who send  in comments to posts or send me e-mail notes. I'm not always able to respond as much as I would like due to family commitments. Social media is such that if one does not respond immediately, it seems too late to respond later.

Now, about those family commitments. Almost all of them involve driving the three granddaughters somewhere. Some of the trips are routine, scheduled, and daily, e.g., Sophia back and forth to TutorTime -- one of my favorite activities. Other scheduled trips are taking Arianna to water polo two or three nights a week. [By the way, Walt Disney found time to drive his two teenage daughters to high school even when he was "breaking out" into the "big time." I'm in good company.]

The unscheduled trips are pop-ups. For example, I thought I was "free" today. Already, Olivia has three trips for me that are "pop-ups."

But, wow, talk about triply blessed. Arianna, the thinker, knows something about everything and I'm always surprised by what she comes up with. I think as a sophomore she knows more academically than I did when I graduated from high school. Certainly in writing, history, and the social sciences that would be true.

Olivia, the student-athlete. No one in the family "takes her on." She is in a world of her own and most of us just try to avoid being knocked out of our own orbit by her energy.

Finally, Sophia, age 4 (fifth birthday in a month or so): she could be the cleverest of the three. We'll see. She is certainly the most empathetic.


I missed the game last night. I was told the first game was this weekend. Toronto won. Next game Sunday.


And it continues. Phil Mickelson, holy mackerel, drops 82 spots; played seven over today, is +5 for the tournament, tied at 105, finished for the day and finished for the tournament. He will miss the cut. Tiger Woods bogied the first hole, is now one under for the tournament. The cut line will probably be one over, so it's likely he will be playing the weekend. The sponsors and the advertisers are counting on Woods being around.


Not NASCAR but "indy" racing comes to the Texas Motor Speedway June 8, 2019. I know I won't go, but I can dream.

$59 for two tickets -- are being advertised on the radio.

I could take Sophia. The other two granddaughters will be out of town.

Yes, I'm going to do it. $10-tickets along the track. I need to get hearing protection for Sophia and me.

The Daily Note

Polling: Real Clear Politics 

115th US Congress
Second 100 Days
Days 151 - 200

June 17, 2019, T+17: Trump supporters lining up / camping out 40 hours before his re-election announcement rally later this week. The impeachment rallies held around the country this past weekend were a complete bust -- at best, no more than twenty folks turned up at any rally.

June 16, 2019, T+16: see previous note. The debates are in Pocahontas' favor. Not only is Pocahontas debating the first night, she is not on stage with either Biden or Bernie. She should have a blow-out debate. However, one would bet the Nielsen ratings will be very, very low. Other than Pocahontas, no one is in the hunt -- but there could be a nice turnout based on curiosity: Flailing-arms Beto will be on stage with Pocahontas. The second night will be a face-off between Bernie and Biden but with ten folks on the stage each night, it's hard to imagine how much we will actually learn. Bernie and Biden will be on stage with Buttigieg and Harris. 

June 15, 2019, T+15: one has to assume the DNC political stories are originating in Hillary's war room. The one person that most wants a circular firing squad right now: Hillary. The only person that can prevent a brokered convention: Biden. Hillary is still betting on a brokered convention and diva ex machina. If one accepts that, this weekend's buzz that Pocahontas is surging makes sense. Several media outlets, including The New Yorker, suggest that Pocahontas could end up taking it all. So, let's check the most recent poll that has just come out:
  • Biden: down from 33.4% to 32.3%
  • Bernie: back to 16.5%; he had moved up slightly (to 17%) in the previous poll
  • Pocahontas: yes, she has surged; after tending down to 8.0%, takes a significant jump, up to 11.8%; if Biden and Bernie pretty much stayed the same, who gave up points to Pocahontas? It turns out it was Harris -- the big change
  • Harris: previous poll it was noted that she was really down, from almost 8% to nearly 7%; at 7.2%; but now, in the most recent poll, down to 6.3%, falling behind Buttgieg
  • Buttigieg: continues to move up; from 7.0% to 7.8%; most interestingly, The Economist is in line with the other polls, 7 - 8%;
  • Beto: trending down; now at 3.5% 
  • Bottom line: Kamala Harris has peaked; Hillary is now pushing Warren 
  • by the way, who was featured this past week as supporting Pocahontas? Occasional-Cortex
June 14, 2019, T+14: twenty candidates for first DNC debate, June 26 - 27, 2019, Miami, FL -- how many can you identify? It's hard to believe, but in addition to these twenty, there were another four who did not meet the threshold to be on stage for the first debate.

June 13, 2019, T+13: Iran torpedoes two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Price of WTI barely changes.

June 12, 2019, T+12:

June 11, 2019, T+11: it is now being reported that North Korea leader's slain brother (2017) was a CIA source. Anyone who isn't interested in the CIA - Obama "story" is wearing blinders. New Democratic presidential polls are out:
  • Biden: unchanged at 33.4% (down if anything)
  • Bernie: up slightly at 17%
  • Pocahontas: continues to trend down, now at 8.0% -- from 8.4% to 8.2% and now, down to 8.0%
  • Harris: really down, from almost 8% to nearly 7%; at 7.2%
  • Buttigieg: moving up, from 6.8%; surges to ... 7.0% -- this is after must media fawning, but again, throw out the most liberal Economist, and he's down to 25/4, he's down to 6.25%
  • Beto: unchanged at 3.8%
June 10, 2019, T+10: Financial markets continue to surge. Legislation passed by the US House subsequently passed by the US Senate:                                          . And we move on.

June 9, 2019, T+9: quiet.

June 8, 2019, T+8: Beto is introduced as "blank slate" in Iowa. We now know why Buttigieg is running for higher office: Buttigiege and her husband have $131,000 in student debt. LOL. 

June 7, 2019, T+7: Trump wins again. Mexico blinks. Mexico will work to stop the southern surge. Trump suspends tariffs on Mexican goods. 

June 6, 2019, T+6: new poll --
  • Biden: slips slightly to 33.5%
  • Sanders steady at 16.7%
  • Pocahontas (and this is the important one): drops from 8.4% to 8.2% (see this post)
  • Harris: up slightly from 7.3% to 7.8%
  • Buttigieg: from 6% to 6.8%
  • Beto: unchanged, from 3.9% to 3.8%
From Reuters, June 6, 2019: "Beto O'Rourke, a Democratic darling in 2018, struggling on national stage."
Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who nearly won a U.S. Senate seat last year in the reliably conservative state, is struggling in his White House bid and has lost support from young voters and minorities, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos national poll. 
The public opinion poll released on Thursday shows support for O’Rourke among registered Democratic and independent voters slipped by 3 percentage points since a May survey to 3% overall.
During the same time, other leading Democratic presidential candidates saw their support increase. The poll found 31% of Democratic and independent voters would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, 14% supported U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 9% backed U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, netted 6% and 5%, respectively, making O’Rourke the sixth most popular choice in a field of 24 candidates. 
And it gets worse after that.

CNN viewership drops another 16%. Only 761,000 viewers in a country of more than 300 million. Meanwhile, Rachel Madcow is at a Trump-era low.

June 5, 2019, T+5: another win for Trump. The US House by itself cannot stop Trump's emergency funding of the wall. Congress is composed of two bodies: US House and US Senate. US House cannot act unilaterally. What a great country. Biden charged with plagiarism: stealing AOC's Nude Green Eel climate change plan.  Pelosi says she wants to see Trump in prison, not impeached. What movie is she watching? Two years of investigation by Hillary''s lawyers at $40 million: and no collusion found. Exactly what is Trump guilty of?

June 4, 2019, T+4: is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the mainstream media is not mentioning the ethnicity of Virginia shooter who killed twelve innocent people? Or even showing his face? Instead, the media is showing the faces of the victims, an eclectic mix. Most recent Democratic presidential poll:
  • Biden: at 35%, unchanged
  • Sanders: at 17%, up slightly
  • Pocahontas, drops, after admitting "she is not a person of color, not a member of any tribe" but says putting "Native American" on her resume did not help her get into Harvard; drops below 9%; now at 8.4%; donors will soon get tired of sending her money;
  • Kamala: drops to 7.3%
  • Buttigieg: flat at 6%; media says his polling numbers have surged; not seeing it;
  • Beto: moving up -- now at 3.9%
June 3, 2019, T+3:

Another win for President Trump. Trump announces, while in Great Britain, that Russia says it has removed most of its personnel from Venezuela. If true, Putin blinked. 
June 2, 2019, T+2: the tea leaves suggest Mueller did a half-ass job investigating the origin of the "dossier." Mueller failed to investigate the origin of the "dossier."  Considering who made up the "Mueller team" this should not be a bit surprising. Wow, wow, wow: impeachment is off the table. Pelosi has "always" said no. Last week Nadler said the American public won't accept impeachment. Now, today, Schiff agrees that impeachment efforts would fail -- blames it on the GOP but in fact, the majority of US House is all that is needed. The fact is that not enough Dems in the US House would have voted for impeachment. Mueller won't help the Dems. Have we finally seen the fifth stage of grief for the Dems in the US House?

June 1, 2019, T+1: : this will be longer than usual. This is quite interesting. Quite some time ago I wanted to do a post on the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) and how it related to the Trump victory. It is quite interesting how events unfolded after the election results were in -- and how they seemed to follow the five stages of grief almost perfectly, beginning with denial. Remember the "meltdown" as the results started coming in. Television anchors could not believe it. And then through anger, bargaining, depression, but I never thought we would get to acceptance. But Rep Nadler's comments yesterday were very, very interesting. He seems to be stepping back from impeachment also, stating that impeachment is a political act, and the American public has not "yet" accepted impeachment as an option. He says that because Americans don't yet have all the facts, but that's another story. But the five stages of grief and the reaction to Trump being elected is very, very interesting. At least for me.
115th US Congress
Second 100 Days 
Days 101 - 150 

WTI Will Test $55 Today -- No Wells Coming Off Confidential List Today -- May 31, 2019


Later, 12:02 p.m. CT: well, that didn't take long. WTI drops below $55, now trading at $54.89.
There's a bit of smoke and mirrors with OPEC production numbers. "They" (Reuters) say that OPEC's total production dropped in May to a record low (since 2015) -- even though Saudi's production increased. Reuters suggests that even though Saudi Arabia increased its production, it was not enough to offset the loss of production by Iran. Oh, give me a break. Does one really think that Iran has not found a way to off-load their "sanctioned" oil? LOL. But, Saudi Arabia production, all things being equal, starts to increase in the summer due to increased a/c demands, so who knows where we really stand? The bottom line is that regardless of how much the Mideast produces, America has a glut of light oil, can't get enough heavy oil from Canada (thank you, Mr Obama) and with new tariffs on Mexico, WTI is now below $55. Brent? Saudi needs $70-Brent. Brent is now trading for about $64. "OPEC basket" is trading for about $68.

Original Post

MRO denied: link here. See this post for background and graphics
North Dakota's Board of University and School Lands has denied a leasing extension to an oil company that has sought to develop several Badlands mineral tracts since 2013.
The panel of five state elected officials chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum voted unanimously at its meeting Thursday morning to deny Marathon Oil's request for another 360-day leasing extension. The company has faced rough terrain, mixed landownership and protected species requirements in siting a drill pad.
Not surprising. From Rigzone, independents dominate US energy markets.  Data points:
  • independents account for 83% of the nation's oil output and 90% of domestic natural gas / NGL production
  • independents accounted for almost $600 billion in 2018 or almost 3% of US GDP
Not over until it's over: Icahn sues OXY, threatens fight for sale. Link to Bloomberg. Activist investor Carl Icahn launched a lawsuit against Occidental Petroleum Corp. with the goal of potentially seeking board seats and a sale of the company.

Politics trumps common sense: EPA will issue rule allowing E15 gasoline to be sold nationwide year-round -- a huge nod to Iowa voters prior to the 2020 election. 

Big Oil probably won't be buying Permian stragglers any time soon. Bloomberg. Seems at odds with what we all thought six months ago. 
Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips are all on record saying they are wary of scooping up smaller rivals at a time when would-be sellers are demanding premium payouts and global crude prices are under pressure from ample supplies.
There is “not always alignment among buyers and sellers,” Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said Wednesday. He suggested Permian drillers may have to be squeezed by weak prices for a bit longer before they dial down their expectations.
“That’s often the case in a market, particularly in one that’s in transition,” Woods said.
In other words: the vultures will continue to circle. 

Back to the Bakken

No wells coming off the confidential list today (there was no November 31 six months ago).

Active rigs:

Active Rigs6561482880

RBN Energy: what's driving new propane dehydrogenation projects in North America?
Global demand for propylene is rising, but lighter crude slates at U.S. refineries and the use of more ethane at U.S. (and overseas) steam crackers has reduced propylene production from these plants. That has led to the development of more “on-purpose” propylene production facilities — especially propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plants — in both the U.S. and Canada. More than 2 million metric tons/year of new PDH capacity has come online in North America since 2010, another 1.6 MMtpa is under development, and propane/propylene economics may well support still more capacity being built by the mid-2020s, maintaining the U.S. and Canada’s position as propylene and propylene-derivative exporters. Today, we begin a series looking at “on-purpose” production of propylene by PDH plants and what the development of these facilities will mean for U.S., Canadian and overseas markets.
Propylene — a particularly useful chemical building block — is used in downstream petrochemical processes to make a number of important materials, including polypropylene; acrylonitrile (used for acrylic fibers and coatings); propylene oxide (used for polyurethanes and other chemicals); oxo alcohols (used in PVC plasticizers and coatings); cumene (used to make epoxy resins and polycarbonate); and isopropyl alcohol (used as a solvent). About two-thirds of the propylene produced is used to make polypropylene — one of the best-selling plastics, second only to polyethylene. Polypropylene (or PP) is used extensively in automobiles and in the manufacture of packaging films, bottle caps, fiber ropes, as well as bicycle helmets and diapers. Global demand for propylene has been increasing at an average of about 5.2 MMtpa — a 3.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — while North American demand is growing at a more modest average of 390,000 metric tons per year, for a CAGR of 2.2%. However, as we’ll get to in a moment, the traditional “co-product” sources of propylene supply have not kept up with demand — a situation that has led to the development of on-purpose propylene capacity on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.
The Physics Page

One of the best books I ever read on quantum theory was The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Born,  Louisa Gilder, c. 2008. The book was criticized by some readers because the "conversations" were fictional, made up by the author based on her reading of the source documents. Whatever. It appears that Jim Baggott, in 2011, provided a great, great follow-up to the book.

Baggott's book traces the history of development of quantum. I don't understand much of the science and none of the math but the historical vignettes of the various players are incredible.
I'm not sure it's the book I would recommend for newcomers to quantum, but for those who  have followed the subject for years, this is a great summary of how the science developed. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rig Counts Are Irrelevant; Producing More With Less -- May 30, 2019

Several years ago I started posting that rig counts were irrelevant for shale oil. Don't take that out of context. Rig counts provide information about level of activity but rig counts don't have the same importance in unconventional oil as in conventional oil. That's been obvious in the Bakken for years now.

Today at twitter:

Tough Day For Big Oil -- WTI Drops Almost 4% -- Trading Below $57; OPEC No Longer Relevant -- May 30, 2019

Relevancy of OPEC? This sort of shows how relevant OPEC has become. OPEC suggests they will keep production low to "maintain" prices; talk of war in the Mideast; tankers being targeted in the strait; and, drones hitting Saudi oil fields. Venezuela and Iran at minimal production/exports. Mexico not doing much better. Western Canada landlocked. Five years ago, all of this would have resulted in a spike in WTI -- today, WTI drops almost 4%.  Saudi is relevant; OPEC is not, but I've been saying that for years.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs6562502980

One new permit:
  • Operator: Slawson
  • Field: Big Bend (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Slawson has a Challenger Federal permit in section 29-151-92, Big Bend oil field
Three permits canceled:
  • Whiting: three Berg Trust permits, all in McKenzie County
Fourteen permits renewed:
  • Petro Harvester Operating Company, LLC (5): four PTL4 permits and one FLX3 permit, all in Burke County
  • CLR (4): two Dennis permits and two Flint Chips permits, all in Dunn County
  • QEP (3): three MHA permits, all in Dunn County
  • Texakota (2): two H. Borstad permits, both in Williams County
One producing well (a DUC) reported as completed:
  • 34485, F, XTO, Nelson Federal 21X-5F, Antelope-Sanish, t--; cum --; 

North Dakota Board To Hear Case On Extension Of Leases, Update #2 -- May 30, 2019

See this post for background (and at that post, another link to the original story). So this is the third post on this issue, the second update.

A reader writes that a lot of the "delay" is due to the BLM. This reader, a credible correspondent suggests:
About ½ of the land in the area, part of the old Figure “4” ranch, is Federal Minerals, controlled by the BLM.
About 2007, (12 yrs ago) some “official” said “we need a study,” which has never been done, supposed to have been funded in 2018.   All “bovine-droppings”!
Because of this, the BLM will not put the O&G Leases up for lease, sooooo that has tied the hands of all parties involved.    Sad!  That’s why there are so many un-Drilled Sections here.
"Bovine-droppings." The reader was being tactful.

If you go back and look at the graphics at the linked post above, look at how little has been drilled in this area (to which the reader alludes). This reader's note explains a lot. Folks over at oilprice and elsewhere talk about "stranded assets" due to climate change concerns decades from now. Something tells me the BLM and other regulatory agencies are a bigger nuisance / factor when it comes to "stranded assets" than climate change issues fifty years from now.


So many good scenes in this movie. Yes, I know I just posted this clip, but I "feel the need" to post it again. So many good lines. Such a great scene.

On another note:

My primary aircraft for many years in the USAF: the F-15D, a two-seater, for training and upgrades.

These are F-15C's - single-seat F-15s probably out of RAF Lakenheath, England.

Hearing Dockets For June, 2019

NDIC posts the hearing dockets here.

Dockets are tracked here.

The usual disclaimer applies. As usual this is done very quickly and using shorthand for my benefit. There will be factual and typographical errors on this page. Do not quote me on any of this. It's for my personal use to help me better understand the Bakken. Do not read it. If you do happen to read it, do not make any investment, financial, job, relationship, or travel plans based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. If this stuff is important to you, and I doubt that it is, but if it is, go to the source.

Note: the overlapping units are getting larger and larger; the units are often composed of smaller-than-full sections; it's difficult to abbreviate the description and/or visualize the overlapping unit; expect many typographical errors in the summary below; if this is important to you, go to the source.

Highlights In Bold
Mostly cases involving commingling and pooling.

No flaring cases.

Only one revoke/suspension case, if I recall correctly.

See more at this post regarding continuation case #27556.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Eight Pages

27582, Hess, Tioga-Lodgepole, redefine field limits, Burke, Williams, and Mountrail counties
27583, Hess, commingling, the GO-Dahl pad
27584, Hess, commingling, the GO-Hauge pad
27585, Hess, commingling, the CA-E Burdick pad
27586, Hess, commingling,  the RS-Harstad pad
27587, Hess, commingling, the AN-Bohmbach pad
27588, Hess, Tioga-Bakken and/or Pleasant Valley-Bakken; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; one well, Mountrail County
27589, Worthington Industries, to site an indirect heated separator closer than 125 fee to the oil tanks
27590, CLR, Avoca-Bakken,  to complete Rader 11-24H1, #34967, Williams County
27591, Sakakawea Ventures, LLC, construction of a treating plant, Williams County
27592, Kraken Operating, LLC, commingling, the Dragseth pad, Williams County
27593, MRO, pooling,
27594, MRO, pooling,
27595, MRO, pooling,
27596, MRO, pooling,
27597, MRO, pooling,
27598, MRO, pooling,
27599, MRO, pooling,
27600, MRO, pooling,
27601, MRO, pooling,
27602, MRO, commingling, the Rebecca/Zimmeman/Bugbee/Delmont/others
27603, MRO, commingling, the Rosa Benz/Higgins/Snider/Ruth/others
27604, MRO, commingling, the Carlson/Kinney/Blanche wells
27605, MRO, commingling, the Lily Reiss/Bryden/Herbert/Pletan wells
27606, MRO, commingling, the Charchenko/Parmeter/Raleigh/Reagan wells
27607, Hess, Tioga-Bakken, 4 wells on a standup 1280-acre unit; sections 30/31-157-94; Mountrail
27608, Hess, Alkali Creek-Bakken; 11 wells on a standup 1280-acre unit; sections 26/35-155-94, Mountrail County
27609, Hess, pooling,
27610, Hess Water Services, SWD,
27611, Hess Water Services, SWD,
27612, BR, Keene and/or Union Center-Bakken, 2 wells on a 2560-acre unit, 2/3/10/11-152-96, McKenzie
27613, BR, Keene-Bakken, 14 wells on a 1280-acre unit, sections 3/10-152-96, McKenzie County27614, BR, Hawkeye-Bakken, 14 wells on a 1280-acre unit, sections 4/9-152-95; McKenzie County
27615, BR, commingling, the Anderson Ranch pad, McKenzie County
27616, Oasis, SWD

Thursday, June 27, 2019 
Eleven Pages

27617, XTO, Alkali Creek-Bakken, establish two overlapping 2560-acre units, 11/12/13/14-154-95 and 12/13-154-95 and 7/18-154-94; one well, Mountrail, Williams
27618, XTO, Siverston-Bakken, estalbish an overlapping 1920-acre unit, 26/35-151-98 and 2-150-98, 4 wells; McKenzie;
27619, Kraken Oil & Gas, LLC, Sanish-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit, 14/15/22/23-154-92, Mountrail
27620, RimRock Oil & Gas Williston LLC, Mandaree-Bakken, establish an overlapping 1280-acre unit, 23/24-149-93, Dunn County
27621, RimRock, Moccasin Creek-Bakken, establish an overlapping 640-acre unit; E/2 of 34 and the W/2 of 35-148-93; one well, Dunn County
27622, Slawson, Big Bend-Bakken, establish an overlapping 1280-acre unit; 34/35-152-92; three wells, Mountrail
27623, Slawson, Big Bend-Bakken, establish an overlapping 640-acre unit, W/2 of 10/15-151-92; one well, Mountrail
27624, WPX, Squaw Creek-Bakken, establish an overlapping 3840-acre unit; one well; McKenzie County
27625, North Range Resources, LLC, Grassy Butte-Duperow Pool, establish a 640-acre unit, one well; McKenzie County
27626, New Horizon Resources, LLC; recompletion of the Harold Haugen 25-1 well (#6900) into the Gunton Formation (Red River) (see below) at a location approx 500 feet FSL and 2140 feet FWL of section 25-161-103, Divide County
27627, Newfield, South Tobacco Garden-Bakken, Schneiderman, #36298, set back rules, McKenzie
27628, NDIC, South Tobacco Garden-Bakken; appropriate spacing for future wells in section 17/20/29/32-150-99; McKenzie
27629, CLR, Beaver Lodge-Bakken, i) establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; one well; ii) establish an overlapping 3840-acre unit; one well; Williams
27630, CLR, Haystack Butte-Bakken, estalbihs an overlapping 2560-acre unit, one well; Dunn County
27631, CLR, Larson-Bakken, establish i) two overlapping 1920-acre units; four wells each; ii) an overlapping 3840-acre unit, one well; Burke County
27632, Cobra Oil & Gas Corp, to approve the voluntary unitization, operation, and further development of the Flat Top Butte-Madison Unit Area, consisting of lands within McKenzie County
27633, Cobra Oil & Gas Corp, Pierre Creek Field, Madison formation, recomplete the Federal Rivet 6-6 well (#13796), approx 1980 feet FNL and 2540 feet FEL of section 6-146-102, McKenzie County; and to establish a 320-acre unit comprised of N/2 of section 6-146-102, McKenzie County;
27634, Enerplus, Mandaree-Bakken; suspend/revoke a permit issued to WPX, Mandaree Warrior, #36463, McKenzie
27635, XTO, pooling,
27636, XTO, pooling,
27637, XTO, pooling,
27638, XTO, pooling,
27639, XTO, pooling,
27640, EOG, pooling,
27641, WPX, pooling,
27642, North Range Resources, LLC, pooling,
27643, CLR, pooling,
27644, CLR, pooling,
27645, CLR, pooling,
27646, CLR, pooling,
27647, CLR, pooling,
27648, CLR, pooling,
27649, CLR, pooling,
27650, CLR, commingling, the Gordon Federal pad, Dunn County
27651, CLR, SWD
27652, Slawson, pooling,
27653, Equinor Energy LP, Avoca-Bakken, two wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit; Williams County
27654, Kraken Oil & Gas, LLC, Sanish-Bakken; seven wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, sections 15/22-154-92;
27655, Resource Energy Can-Am LLC, Ambrose-Bakken, 5 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, Divide Coutny
27656, Ballantyne, Red Rock-Spearfish, re-work the Legacy etal Bernstein 13-7 well (#21887), in section 7-163-76; Bottineau County
27657, Tobacco Garden SWD, LLC, SWD,
27658, Zavanna, LLC, SWD,
27659, Dahl SWD, LLC, SWD,
27660, White Owl Energy Services, SWD,
27661, White Owl Energy Services, SWD

Note: the Gunton formation -- see #27626 above --
The Red River Formation is productive across most of western North Dakota. Most Red River Formation production has been found west of the Nesson anticline, in the deepest parts of the basin, and is associated with structural closures.
However, the best porosity is not always coincident with the structure's crest.
The Red River Formation is the second most important hydrocarbon producing horizon in North Dakota and produces hydrocarbons in many fields.
The Stony Mountain Formation conformably overlies the Red River Formation and is comprised of interbedded calcareous shales and argillaceous limestones. The Stony Mountain Formation is rarely productive, but where it is productive it is always associated with a Red River Formation structure.
Production usually comes from the Gunton Member which can have a well developed dolomite porosity. The Stonewall Formation is the uppermost formation in the Big Horn Group and conformably overlies the Stony Mountain Formation. Continuous sedimentation occurred across the Ordovician-Silurian boundary and dolomites and limestones, with thin anhydrite beds near the basin center, were deposited. The Stonewall Formation produces oil and gas from several zones, usually associated with a Red River structure.
"The Red River is the second most important ...." I assume this was written before the Bakken. Before the Bakken, I believe the Madison was the largest production formation in North Dakota followed by the Red River. In round numbers, at their peak the Madison and the Red River were each producing about 12 million bbls/year. The Bakken is currently producing around 364 million bbls crude oil/year.

Wow! I Can't Make This Stuff Up! -- May 30, 2019

Record IPs are tracked here.

A reader spotted this:
Not sure if you noticed the Hess well completed in Antelope field a few weeks ago. It's the largest IP I've noticed from Hess and maybe overall? It's 35093 AN-Bohmbach H-8. Oil IP was 10626 and gas 27577. Be interesting to see what the others look like when they report.
I completely missed that. I would not forget if I saw an IP of 10,626. If that is not a typo, that is incredible. It's the biggest IP ever reported in the North Dakota to the best of my knowledge. The Antelope-Sanish is an incredibly good field so the IP is probably correct.

The scout ticket, it came off confidential list March 5, 2019:

NDIC File No: 35093     API No: 33-053-08605-00-00     CTB No: 135093
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 4/5/2019     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: SESW 22-153-94     Footages: 295 FSL 1707 FWL     Latitude: 48.053302     Longitude: -102.755819
Current Well Name: AN-BOHMBACH- 153-94-2734H-8
Elevation(s): 2182 KB   2156 GR   2156 GL     Total Depth: 20749     Field: ANTELOPE
Spud Date(s):  9/5/2018
Casing String(s):  9.625" 2025'   7" 11084'  
Completion Data
   Pool: SANISH     Perfs: 11132-20414     Comp: 4/5/2019     Status: F     Date: 4/7/2019     Spacing: 2SEC
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: SANISH     Cum Oil: 68402     Cum MCF Gas: 0     Cum Water: 32773
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 4/7/2019     Pool: SANISH     IP Oil: 10626     IP MCF: 27577     IP Water: 5599
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The file report: 35 stages; 10 million lbs; middle Bakken, an IP of 10,626.
  • Neset
  • spud: November 25, 2018
  • cease drilling: December 2, 2018
  • middle Bakken
  • KOP: tripped out once, due to motor failure
  • at penetration of the middle Bakken, gas units were very low
  • it appears the lateral took only four days to complete
  • gas units averaged only 264 units; there was a maximum of 1,000 units reported
  • the wellbore was 100% inside the middle Bakken
CLR Bohmbach wells are tracked here, but I am not yet tracking the Hess Bohmbach wells. Looks like I need to start doing that.

The five Hess AN-Bohmbach wells on that pad:
  • 35091, SI/NC, ... H-10;
  • 35092, SI/NC, ... H-9;
  • 35093, 10626, Hess, AN-Bohmbach-153-94-2734H-8, Antelope-Sanish, t4/19; cum 68K after 24 days;
  • 35094, SI/NC, ... H-7; has produced 12,890 bbls in 10 days which extrapolates to 37,670 bbls in the first month;
  • 35095, SI/NC, ... H-6; has produced 25,890 bbls in 14 days which extrapolates to 55,479 bbls in the first month;
Neighboring wells (to the east):
  • 19723, off line since 1/19; t10/11; cum 410K 1/19;
  • 23287, off line since 1/19; t4/13; cum 163K 1/19; minimal production for four days in 4/19;
  • 23571, off line since 1/19; t4/13; cum 243K 1/19; minimal production for four days in 4/19;
  • 23572, never taken off line while #35093 was fracked; t5/13; cum 176K 3/19; no evidence of halo effect;
  • 23573, never taken off line while #35093 was fracked; t5/13; cum 299K 3/19; no evidence of halo effect;
Neighboring well (to the west):
  • 33249, 1,748, Hess, AN-Gudbranson-LW-153-94-2215H-1, Elm Tree, t10/17; cum 317K 3/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

North Dakota Board To Hear Case On Extension Of Leases, Update -- May 30, 2019

See this post for background. See more at this post.

There are two parts to this long note. Be sure to read the second part, which is perhaps even more interesting.

First part:

A reader writes me to provide some background to the case.

Apparently the case is being heard this morning and and decision should be made fairly soon.

The reader provided a lengthy back-story to this whole issue. I would like to print it in full, but I prefer not to become a target of any gun owner who might be offended.

Suffice it to say that the reader who knows the area under discussion very, very well, suggests that the problem is more likely to be related to "access" -- finding a road or easement into the area.

The reader agrees with me that "rough terrain" may not be the issue -- unless by "rough," MRO means the personality of some of the locals. Wow, you can take North Dakota out of the wild west (some consider North Dakota to be the midwest), but you can't take the wild west out of North Dakota.

[Another digression: somehow, Deadwood, SD, due south of Williston is definitely part of the Old West, but Williston is considered to be the Midwest by those who live in Montana.]

By the way, that reminds me of a story. A few years ago I was hired to take some photos of real estate in the Bakken area. On one particular Saturday morning I got very, very lost. I finally decided to ask for help, and proceeded down a long gravel road to a homestead; at the entrance of the long gravel road there was some sign saying it was private property and perhaps it would be best to seek help elsewhere. But I decided to chance it.

About a mile down the gravel road, on the south side of the river, I turned in toward the homestead, to be greeted by two barking dogs, the kind that look like they are not barking "welcome" but rather, "maybe, best, you stay in your car."

I was momentarily distracted until I heard gun shots. LOL.

An older gentleman (with ear/hearing protection) was pistol shooting at a target -- the target was between the gentleman and me. I'm glad to say that he must have been a good shot -- no bullet holes in the car (or me).

I must have talked to him; he must have been friendly; I must have gotten directions but I have no recollection of anything that happened after driving into the homestead.

Second part:
This is language from the agenda.  (I was going to pull up the ND Oil and Gas maps and haven't - may not get that done today)
The Commissioner and Department staff met with Marathon on January 22, 2019, and were made aware of concerns to obtain commercial production before expiration of the amended terms. The Commissioner and Department staff met with Marathon on January 25, 2019, and Marathon requested permission to explore the opportunity to place an off unit pad north of Enerplus’s well pad located on State surface
Department staff contacted Enerplus and requested a formal response to Marathon’s request to locate an off unit pad north of Enerplus’s well pad. 
In a letter dated February 12, 2019, Enerplus denied the request stating a violation of correlative rights and therefore opposed Marathon’s proposed pad location. On March 26, 2019, the Commissioner and Department staff met with Marathon to discuss concerns that commercial production would be obtained prior to the expiration of the amended terms. On April 4, 2019, the Commissioner received a formal request for extension from Marathon. The Commissioner responded on April 16, 2019, to Marathon’s request for an extension that the determination had been made that circumstances do not warrant extension of the leases per the Amendment of the Oil and Gas Lease dated May 4, 2018.
From the reader:
Here's part of a lengthy blurb from today's proposed agenda.  It goes on for many more paragraphs, but they just recap statute, so here's an excerpt of what I find relevant.
Marathon Oil Company Request for Lease Extension in Dunn County T148-R95W-16: All In May of 2013, Marathon Oil Company (Marathon) entered into four leases with the Board of University and School Lands (Board) (OG13-00342, OG13-00343, OG13-00344, and OG13- 00345). These leases cover 469.52 acres of Common Schools mineral tracts in T148N-R95W-16, Dunn County, North Dakota, and Marathon paid a total bonus to the Board of $3,850,064. Marathon states their total expenses to date are in excess of $4 million (bonus, surveys, archeological surveys, etc.). Marathon experienced extreme difficulties in developing these mineral tracts, including; complex stakeholders, environmental concerns, and rough terrain which have impeded timely development of the area. The North Dakota Department of Trust Lands (Department) has been working with Marathon since late 2015 in search of a viable solution to develop the section. On November 20, 2017, a formal request was directed to Commissioner Gaebe requesting a 365- day extension. On January 23, 2018, Commissioner Smith received another formal request for a 365-day extension.
Paydirt (pardon the pun)

So - that land is 2 to 3 miles north and 1 to 2 miles west of Lost Bridge.  (Lost Bridge is on Section 34).  That whole tract  is listed as State of ND Wildlife Management.  It's the western 469 + acres of Section 16. The remaining eastern slice is Ft Berthold Reservation.  (The eastern 18 sections of that township is FBIR, and the reservation boundry picks up about a quarter mile into each adjoining section north to south)

Once Highway 22 continues north of the river, it veers east about 2 miles.  So - any access from Hwy 22 is through the reservation.  The section immediately south of 16, Section 21, is USA land, but you can't get to that unless you go through the Reservation. 
This is the area we are discussing:

But look at that. There's already an existing MRO pad even closer than the Enerplus pad. I must be missing something or the whole story is not being told. 

The reader mentioned that "Lost Bridge" is in section 34:


EIA Weekly Petroleum Report; Unremarkable -- May 30, 2019

Link here. Pending; to be released at 10:00 a.m. CT.
  • US crude oil inventory change, weekly: (yesterday API reported a draw of almost 6 million bbls) -- the EIA reports that the weekly change was almost flat -- the change was a meaningless draw of 0.3 million bbls -- again, the false precision .... 0.3 million / 476.5 million = 0.000629 or 0.063%
  • US crude oil inventory, weekly: 476.5 million bbls; about 5% above the five-year average
  • Refinery operating capacity: finally, above 90% but not by much -- at 91.2%;
  • gasoline: inventories are about 1% above the 5-year average, having increased by 2.2 million bbls
  • distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.6 million bbls and are about 5% below the 5-year average

Week Ending
Million Bbls Storage
Week 0
November 21, 2018
Week 1
November 28, 2018
Week 2
December 6, 2018
Week 3
December 12, 2018
Week 4
December 19, 2018
Week 5
December 28, 2018
Week 6
January 4, 2019
Week 7
January 9, 2019
Week 8
January 16, 2019
Week 9
January 24, 2019
Week 10
January 31, 2019
Week 11
February 6, 2019
Week 12
February 13, 2019
Week 13
February 21, 2019
Week 14
February 27, 2019
Week 15
March 6, 2019
Week 16
March 13, 2019
Week 17
March 20, 2019
Week 18
March 27, 2019
Week 19
April 3, 2019
Week 20
April 10, 2019
Week 21
April 17, 2019
Week 22
April 24, 2019
Week 23
May 1, 2019
Week 24
May 8, 2019
Week 25
May 15, 2019
Week 26
May 22, 2019
Week 27
May 30, 2019

Natural gas fill rate: from twitter, natural gas storage change, link here:
  • storage fill of 114 bcf from previous week
  • vs estimate of 98
  • previous 100

A sharper rise than last year but still a smooth climb.