Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Twelve (12) New Permits Today -- CLR Has a Nice Red River Well -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, November 16, 2011 --

Operators: QEP (4), Oasis (2), Baytex (2), Hess, OXY USA, BEXP, Slawson

Fields: Willow Creek, Heart Butte, Stony Creek, Tobacco Garden, Whiteaker, Sather Lake, and St Anthony.

Oasis has permits for a 2-well pad in Willow Creek; QEP has permits for a 4-well pad in Heart Butte; it appears Baytex has permits for a 2-well pad in Whiteaker.

Continental has a nice North Red River B well in Bowman County
  • 17367, 213, CLR, Eric 11-24SH, Bowman County, North Red River B
Samson Resources has a very nice well in Divide County, right near the Canadian border; considering how far north this is, this is a nice well and very nice to see (remembering that KOG just acquired 20,000 net acres in Divide County):
  • 20231, 758, Samson Resources, Ranchero 18-19-163-98H, Divide
And Whiting stays as active as ever, requesting five more wells for "tight hole" status.

This will probably be one of the last days I tag/label posts with "Multi-Well-Pads" because multi-well pads are becoming so commonplace now.

Shutting Down the Keystone XL -- Reversing Gulf Oil Flow Into Cushing -- Implications for the Bakken

Rigzone: oil soars 3.2% on pipeline reversal:
  • Initially: 140,000 bopd taken from Cushing
  • Max capacity: 400,000 by mid-2013
Traders said the move will unlock value in the crude, which has been largely confined to use by Midwest refiners because of its delivery to the landlocked Cushing hub. Benchmark WTI is the crude most often delivered against the New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crude futures contract. The lack of infrastructure to move WTI crude out of Cushing has kept the crude sharply undervalued against world market prices.

News of the reversal had investors aggressively selling ICE Brent crude while buying up Nymex crude contracts, traders said. Brent's price had gained sharply against WTI this year, hitting a peak premium of $27.90 a barrel in mid-October.
Last paragraph at this link in Forbes:
The addition of further transport capacity from Cushing to the Gulf is a positive catalyst for WTI crude oil prices.  Citi’s analysts suggest the Brent-WTI spread will probably converge to $4 to $5 per barrel by next summer.  With Brent set to average $115 in 2012, it does seem like higher oil prices are here to stay.
What has the Brent-WTI spread been:
The spread, which reached $27.88 on October 14, narrowed to less than $9 during the day (Wedneday, November 16, 2011), as front month WTI contracts rose 2.7% to $102.04.  Brent crude, which is much more responsive to global demand, fell 0.5% to $111.68 by 2:32 PM in New York.

Enbridge -- Seaway Crude Pipeline Company -- Wrangler Pipeline

Link here.
Conoco has also agreed to sell its ownership interest in Seaway Crude Pipeline Company to Enbridge Holdings, a subsidiary of Enbridge. The transaction is expected to close in December.

ConocoPhillips said the sales of the two non-core pipeline assets are important components of its $15 billion to $20 billion divestiture program.
What is the Seaway Crude Pipeline?
A plan to develop an 800,000 b/d crude oil corridor between the Texas Gulf Coast and U.S. Midcontinent regions is on track to begin service early in 1996. In the latest action, state and federal authorities cleared the regulatory path for the proposed Seaway pipeline system. Meantime, work began on two construction projects key to the systems timely start-up. ARCO Pipe Line Co. and units of Phillips Petroleum Co. are creating Seaway pipeline by pooling and reshaping selected assets (see map, OGJ, Feb. 20, p. 35). Project sponsors say the crude oil capacity is needed because existing systems fall about 250,000 b/d short of meeting demand.
What is Enbridge doing?
Enbridge Inc. said Wednesday it would reverse the flow of the Seaway Crude Pipeline to carry up to 400,000 barrels of crude from the oil supply hub of Cushing, Okla., down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Shares of Enbridge ENB +0.73%  rose 1.1% after the company said it would use its pending $1.2 billion acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ COP -0.06%  50% stake of the Seaway Crude Pipeline System to clear up a bottleneck of oil in the Midwest.

Enbridge announced it would reverse the flow of the pipeline with 50% Seaway pipeline owner and operator Enterprise Product Partners  to ship oil to export terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Shares of Enterprise Product Partners rose 0.3%.
But there's more:
Analysts at Howard Weil said Wednesday it will be “interesting to see” if the Wrangler pipeline, which also will run from Cushing to the Gulf Coast refineries near Houston, continues moving forward in light of the Seaway transaction, since Enbridge was a partner in that project along with Enterprise.
From the Wranlger pipeline home page (same as link in earlier paragraph): 
Wrangler Pipeline, L.L.C. is proposing to construct approximately 500 miles of new interstate liquid petroleum pipeline, beginning at an Enbridge terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma, Terminal and extending to the Enterprise ECHO Terminal in southeast Houston, Texas.  A second phase of the project, when developed, will extend approximately 85 miles from ECHO Terminal to near Port Arthur, Texas. The proposed common carrier pipeline will have an initial capacity of up to 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

Wrangler is targeting an in-service date of mid-2013.  A sufficient level of interest has been received to begin planning activities and Wrangler will hold an Open Season to secure commitments beginning October 3, 2011.
Resolving the glut at Cushing has to be huge news for Bakken production.

But there is one question that is not being asked.

Just like the cliff-hangers on Dallas.

Wow, He Really Stepped In It This Time -- Keystone Debacle

This has been a most fascinating day.

Here's the timeline:

6:00 a.m. Market not open; Squawk box CNN; Boone Pickens guest; oil showing red

7:00 a.m. "Red" for oil starting to attenuate; turns green just before I head out the door

8:59 a.m. E-mail to Don, asking for thoughts on jump in oil price; only up a dollar or so

10:05 a.m. His reply -- Mideast tension

10:20 a.m. My answer -- Mideast tension has been there for days; not new; something else going on; can't explain it

10:21 a.m. Don e-mails article on Enbridge reversing pipeline flow; easing Cushing bottleneck; that's the reason; blogosphere not talking about it yet; mainstream media starting to talk about it (Don hit the nail on the head with this one!)

3:30 p.m. Widely disseminated -- mainstream media, blogs, columnists -- Enbridge reversing the flow takes pressure off Cushing. Brent fell slightly today; spread between Cushing (WTI) and Brent lessens; price of WTI up significantly considering it had already trended toward $100, and especially considering that most pundits expected a temporary pullback

4:00 p.m. First time all day I've had opportunity to check in on Drudge: headline story: "Oil Spikes" with picture of the president; upper left headline: "Obama nixed pipeline aimed at boosting US supplies..."

By tomorrow this will have all sunk in. The dots will have been connected. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" will avoid the 800-lb gorilla sitting in the living room ($100 oil) or will have their own spin; FOX will be all over it. If oil continues to rise (I don't think it will; I think there will be profit taking, or sanity will replace euphoria, and oil will settle back around $100), there will be a lot of hand-wringing over all that Canadian oil that is now going to be sold to China. Of course, it won't all be sold to China; there are still huge pipelines from Canada to the US, but it will make for interesting theater.

But, at least for the moment, it certainly appears he really stepped into it this time. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the timing of this oil spike is being picked up by Drudge. It will be interesting to see if the story has legs. It will, if ...


Forbes columnist calls it a colossal mistake (killing the Keystone XL)

Canada's premier says China will be the dominant player in the 21st century and says Canada should look to China rather than to the US for its economic well-being. Wow. 

Forbes: The Real Reason for Jump in Oil Price Today -- Implications for The Bakken

Link here.
The real reason that oil has broken through $100 is neither an uptick in demand nor a potential attack by U.S. or Israel on Iran’s nuclear installations.  The real reason is another step towards rectifying the colossal mistake in the oil infrastructure design in the U.S.
This was written by the same author five days ago:
The reason for the rise in oil price is not the geography of Iran but the geography of Cushing, Oklahoma.

Cushing is the oil tank farm capital of the United States.  It’s a major hub where various pipelines converge.

Cushing is the price settlement point for West Texas Intermediate Sweet Crude Oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange. NYMEX is now owned by CME Group.  This price benchmark is used for oil in the United States.

As the production for Canadian oil sands has increased, Cushing has become a major choke point.  Cushing has turned out to be a colossal error in oil infrastructure planning.
Now, today, the writer expands:
To understand the second big reason behind the move in oil prices we have to understand ‘oil markers’.  Oil marker is simply a term that refers to a crude oil price bench mark based on the variety and grade of the crude oil.  Oil markers are used because there are many varieties of crude oil.

The most well know oil markers are West Texas Intermediate, Brent, Dubai, Isthmus, Tapis, and Bonny Light.  Brent is used more than any other benchmark in the world, however West Texas Intermediate is the pre-dominate benchmark in the United States.
If the writer is accurate, the price of WTI should start to move in tandem with Brent, and for the longest time now, Brent has been well above $100/bbl.

Implications for the Bakken: I don't remember the year, but I clearly remember it was during the summer, so it must have been the summer of 2009. I happened to be talking to a mineral owner. At the time I knew nothing about the Bakken oil glut and lack of pipeline capacity. Operators were being asked to limit their production, and oil companies were being paid less for their oil, simply because the pipeline companies had way too much. They were doing what they could to slow down production. One wonders how much producers in the Bakken have been holding back the past six months. Perhaps they have been pumping at 100 percent, but perhaps not.

If indeed, the storage problems at Cushing are attenuated due to Enbridge's actions today and the increased railroad capacity taking Bakken oil directly to the coast, bypassing Cushing, we may see an unexpected jump in Bakken production two or three months down the road. The Director's Cut generally comes out 45 days after the end of the most recent reporting month; therefore, we won't know until March, 2012, or so how today's events affected the Bakken.

Links From Around the Oil Patch -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

There were a few stories other than the Keystone XL debacle and price of oil; here are a few links:

Mike Filloon, SeekingAlpha: Oasis and Denbury Onshore continue to improve initial production

Motley Fool: CLR and BEXP margins

Motley Fool excited about NOG's future:  NOG is participating in 527 wells spread across the entire Bakken; only 37% of its total Bakken and Three Forks acreage is developed. By the way Motley Fool is saying the same things about the unique business model of NOG that I started saying two years ago: NOG participating with stellar Bakken companies; NOG isn't left out of any of the major sweet spots in North Dakota; access to almost the entire lucrative North Dakota oil play is definitely a competitive advantage over peers.

NOG has about 150,000 net acres in the Bakken. Folks are paying anywhere from $7,000 to $14,000/acre for Bakken mineral acres; KOG's recently announced acquisition is probably at the lower end of that range; 150,000 acres x $7,000/acre --> $1 billion. NOG's market cap:$1.5 billion

Forbes: Shares of CLR now overbought

Steve Zachritz, SeekingAlpha: KOG makes a steal of a deal

Five best investments in the Bakken: Statoil, Enerplus, Whiting, Hess, and GeoResources

Comparing Apples and Oranges? CLR and KOG -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Two items taken directly from two other sources:

First, from Investopedia
Continental Resources is one of the more active operators in the Bakken and reported average production of 34,505 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day from this formation in the third quarter of 2011.
Now, from SeekingAlpha:
KOG also went ahead and initiated first guidance for the combined company for 2012 of 22,000 to 24,000 BOEpd with an exit target of 30,000 BOEpd, and just like that KOG is within 12 months of being bigger than BEXP was at their takeout.
Those numbers have to be verified, but if accurate: KOG with daily boepd almost what CLR's daily production from the Bakken is right now.  

Halliburton's Clean Fracking and Two Stories Specific to the Bakken -- CNN Money -- Mainstream Media -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

I posted a blurb about Halliburton and "clean" fracking a long, long time ago. It was such a small blurb, I probably can't find, and it's not worth the time.

But now, mainstream media has finally caught up with the story: Halliburton to use "clean" fracking.
Last summer a Halliburton executive did the unthinkable: He took a big ol' swig of hydraulic fracturing fluid.

No, he didn't have a death wish. And yes, he appears to be doing just fine. He did it to prove a point: fracking fluid need not be toxic.

What the exec drank was a new formulation of fracking fluid made with ingredients sourced from the food industry rather than the chemical industry.
By the way, the writer says the same thing, that mainstream media is finally catching up to this story:
Halliburton announced its new fracking formulation earlier this year to relatively little fanfare.
Generally speaking, the mainstream media would not print any story that frames Halliburton in a good light, so it was not surprising that the Halliburton story was announced with "relatively little fanfare." But the slightest hint of "bad news" by Halliburton and it gets great exposure.

That linked article also has two stories specific about the Bakken: a) cleaning up the waste from the oil wells; and, b) landing a job in boomtown. Great article.

A big thank you to "anonymous" for sending it my way.

China Set To Re-Enter America's Oil and Gas Play -- The Norwegians Are Here (Statoil) -- Why Not The Chinese -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here: China primed to enter US energy market in 2012.

For investors, this is a great article -- touches on just about every US energy company.
China's energy use has been a key driver for oil prices while it has remained on the sidelines in the consolidating U.S. oil marketplace.

But that may be about to change in 2012 as energy finds and economic forces will push China to reenter the U.S. market, albeit through less politically challenging joint venture deals.
Recent shale discoveries in the U.S. -- which holds 750 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 24 billion barrels of shale oil resources according to July estimates by the U.S Energy information Administration -- will peak [sic] the interest of Chinese oil companies looking to tap rock-trapped hydrocarbons ...

Venture stakes in exploration of deepwater oil assets outside of North America may be a sign of what's to come in China's shale interest. 
First, the "typo" -- this speaks volumes to me, this "typo" -- "peak" instead of  "pique" -- to excite or arouse interest in something.

Now back to the story.

Read this story (at the link) in light of the Keystone XL debacle.

The Chinese have got to be thinking: "Let's see. If Russia, with whom we share a very, very long border, wants to employ a lot of our folks to build their pipeline; and wants to pay us to lease the right-of-way for that pipeline; and will even let us use that pipeline for our oil; and the oil will be refined in our refineries for our profit and for our workers, why wouldn't we let them put that pipeline in: they pay for it, they hire our workers, and it's the gift that keeps on giving. And we don't even like the Russians. In fact, we consider them an enemy.

"So, now, the Canadians, with a very, very long border with the US wants to employ a lot of US blue collar workers to build their pipeline; wants to pay Americans to lease the right-of-way for that pipeline; will even let Americans use that pipeline for Bakken oil; and the oil will be refined in US refineries for US profit by US workers, why wouldn't they do it? It's a no brainer. And the US and Canada are great friends."

The Chinese must be thinking: US policy makers are either playing with less than a full deck of cards or are one bacon strip short of a BLT sandwich, but whatever it is, we (the Chinese) might as well get into the North American energy market. It sure doesn't appear Washington appreciates the natural resources right at their own doorstep.

Oil Solidly Above $100 -- Enbridge Decision May Be Part of the Answer -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA


Dollar stronger, euro weaker.
Brent down, WTI up.
US oil supplies down 6 percent from last year.
Last year: deep recession; this year: hmmmm.
Cushing glut could be resolved with Enbridge decision to reverse pipeline flow. 
What a great country.


If you look long enough, you generally can find the answer  to the question. In this case the question was: why is price of WTI rising today?

This may be the connecting dot needed to complete the picture: Enbridge will reverse flow of oil, taking pressure off Cushing. Incredible.
Oil in New York climbed above $100 a barrel to a five-month high as Enbridge Inc. said it would reverse the direction of the Seaway pipeline, opening an outlet for crude from the central U.S. and Canada.

Futures rose as much as 2.9 percent after Enbridge agreed to acquire ConocoPhillips (COP)’s share of the pipeline that runs between Cushing, Oklahoma, and the Gulf Coast and announced the reversal. The change may alleviate a bottleneck at the Cushing storage hub that had lowered the price of West Texas Intermediate, the grade traded in New York, versus other oils. 
A big thank you to Don for finding this story.

Same story in Wall Street Journal.  The writer points out that the price of oil continued to move upward even when drop in oil supplies not as much as analysts predicted; and, bearish demand for gasoline.

Also this: the nation's crude oil supplies decreased by 1.1 million bbls last week, almost 6% below last year's level. A year ago we were in the middle of a severe recession with no good news on the horizon; this year, there is talk of a bit of an economic recovery. Analysts had expected a decline of 1.5 million bbls, so this news should not have affected the price of oil today; that was already baked in by the analysts. Demand for gasoline has dropped -- again, almost 6 percent less than what it was a year ago. Folks are watching their driving habits and/or buying more efficient cars. I don't think sales of Volts could explain a 6 percent drop in gasoline demand.

Also, this story, which I will post as a stand-alone story later: China to re-enter America's oil and gas play

Original Post

This is the headline at Yahoo!Financial today:
I see the TCOP is now solidly above $100, at $10.45, up $2.45.

For newbies, this is how I model the price of oil:
  • Below $60: global recession, depression, very bad news
  • $60 - $80: supply and demand; classic market principles apply; OPEC's floor is about $75
  • $80 - $100: weakness of the dollar, improving global economy; generally good economic news driving price to this range
  • >$100: significant, singular events affecting price of oil
Everyone models the price of oil differently. I doubt anyone agrees with me, but at least I have a model that I can tweak as things change. 

I do not know what the events are today that are driving price of oil up almost $3.00 and solidly above $100. "Everyone" has been saying the price of oil will be volatile and "we" should expect a pullback in the term term, but long term the price of oil will trend higher. We haven't seen that pullback "everyone" is predicting, so it's yet to come.

This is what the AP says is driving price of oil up today:
  • Improving global economy
  • Tensions in the Mideast
Okay, nothing new with either of those data points compared to yesterday, the day before, or last week. A $3.00 rise when the price had already been trending higher suggests something else going on. Most likely it is simply going through the "emotional" $100-ceiling.

Wind Central -- AKA Slicers and Dicers; AKA Prayer Wheels: Wind Power: Not One Redeeming Feature

N.B. Renewable energy and a dose of reality.

March 8, 2014, for the archives:


Wind tax credit is good for ten (10) years. Renewable electricity production tax credit

When I first linked the "wind site," it was a very useful and free site. I see now that has now gone commercial. The "education" stuff is all free, but if you want any data, you need a paid subscription (or a password from a friend). It is quite disappointing. The organization describes itself as a "lobbying force for wind development and voice for wind manufacturers in the United States. Includes wind energy information." But when it charges for access to its data it speaks volumes. Sad. Noted September 20, 2011. 


April 5, 2015: biggest wind energy operator in Germany goes bust

March 8, 2014: random update on wind farms in North Dakota

December 17, 2013: another wind project scrapped; Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

December 10, 2013: President Obama signs bill to provide 30-year immunity to wind industry for killing birds.

November 23, 2013: a first. Wind farm found guilty of slicing and dicing 14 eagles plus 149 other birds.

November 18, 2013: the picture says it all. The French have just realized what their future (view) looks like.
Plans to dot France with wind farms are facing fierce opposition from critics worried they will blight a landscape that has helped make the country the world's top tourist destination.
France relies heavily on nuclear power but is working to shift to renewable energy sources and triple by 2020 its number of wind turbines, from the current 4,000 that are spread across 1,127 sites.
But opponents are urging the government to tread carefully so as not to damage France's thousands of kilometres (miles) of stunningly beautiful countryside -- which range from Europe's longest strip of beaches to the peaks of the Alps.
November 8, 2013: new wind energy projects in southwest North Dakota, data points --
  • Basin Electric
  • Infinity Wind Power of Santa Barbara, CA (note: not putting them in their own backyard)
  • two new projects: a) Sunflower Wind Project, 106 MW, Hebron, Morton County; b) Antelope Hills Wind Project, 172 MW, Golden Valley, Mercer County
  • to be operational by the end of 2015
No one better complain about the view.
October 26, 2013: Finally, the bats win one ... Minnesota PUC kills a wind farm. Good riddance.
After years of delays and strong opposition by area residents, a controversial Goodhue County wind farm project has reached its end.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission accepted a request by developer New Era Wind to withdraw a certificate of need extension for the proposed 78-megawatt installation north of Zumbrota, according to an order released Wednesday.
The PUC further voted to revoke New Era’s site permit and close all related dockets.
Originally slated for operation at the end of 2011, the proposed $180 project encountered numerous safety and environmental concerns raised by the public.
October 12, 2013: CarpeDiem continues to fight the good fight, reminding folks that the wind industry has carte blanche to slaughter golden eagles, bald eagles, whooping cranes, and migratory ducks while the oil and gas industry is fined millions for a handful of lost birds. I don't have a dog in this fight; if the environmentalists don't care, why should I? The lawyers and politicians will sort it out.

October 10, 2013: another unneeded wind farm in North Dakota approved; this one near Hettinger. 

August 22, 2013: after cutting 9,000 jobs in the wind-turbine manufacturing business, the industry is starting to show signs of life. Vestas will report a small profit for the first time since 2010.

June 28, 2013: another wind turbine manufacturing plant is closing its doors.

June 6, 2013: Italian green jobs. Where's the spaghetti?   

February 26, 2013: Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA, planning to take down its two wind turbines due to sickness secondary to loud noise. Erected in 2010 at cost of $15 million. Cost to take them down, $5 to $10 million. City fathers want to bring them down; probably take it to a community vote. Falmouth is nears Woods Hole. [ Update, May 25, 2013: the citizens voted. The wind turbines in Falmouth will continue to turn for now.]

February 12, 2013: GE #1 in wind -- first time in history -- Vestas drops to 2nd place in wind turbine manufacturing; GE takes first place; CEO was President Obama's economic adviser; to the victor, go the spoils.

January 6, 2013: Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, has reduced the number of hours in the work week for its Colorado employees to 24 hours. This is below the "official" Federal work week defined as 30 hours. 

November 30, 2012: South Dakota wind industry headed for a crash

November 21, 2012: 32 more turbines, Lakeswind wind farm, Clay, Becker, and Otter Tail counties. I'm absolutely convinced Minnesotans will someday rue the wind farms as the turbines fall into disrepair, remain an eyesore, and do not lower utility rates. By that time, global warming will be long forgotten as a late 20th century/early 21st century fad with no redeeming features. Foxes and rats will have had a field day feasting on the carcasses of migratory birds sliced and diced by these monstrosities.

October 10, 2012: from Fox 31 in Denver, Colorado: wind farm continues to lay off workers
Vestas, the largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world, laid off another 80 Colorado employees from its plant in Brighton Friday, just four weeks before Election Day.

A Vestas spokesman says it’s a direct result of Congress’s failure to extend the Production Tax Credit for the wind energy, which is due to expire at year’s end, and a subsequent drop in orders for the wind turbines built at plants across Colorado.

Vestas has no laid off about 200 workers in Colorado and more layoffs are likely later this week at the company’s facility in Windsor, according to a report in the Greeley Tribune Tuesday. Vestas has announced plans to lay off some 3,700 workers worldwide by the end of the year.  
My hunch: the lame-duck Congress will extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy as part of a "grand" energy compromise.

October 9, 2012: picking winners and losers (usually losers); IntSec Salazar has approved a Wyoming wind farm with up to 1,000 turbines; if built, could be largest wind farm in the US; 1,000 turbines --> 1 million homes; Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project; 

September 28, 2012: the president blocks Chinese from owning wind farm in Oregon; cites national security;
September 20, 2012: wind energy industry withering without windfall tax credits;

September 11, 2012: Exelon kicked off advocacy board because it wanted to level the playing field.

September 9, 2012: Is the UK re-thinking wind energy?

August 29, 2012: North Dakota continues to issue more wind farm permits; Allete Clean Energy has another permit; currently building two other wind farms in southwest North Dakota. I am on the losing side of this issue; so are the whooping cranes. Allete is the new name for Minnesota Power and Light.

May 21, 2012: Massachusetts looking at turbine wind abatement regulations

May 6, 2012: Minnesota's wind mandates look pretty ridiculous right about now -- the Wall Street Journal

April 17, 2012: Reuters reports 10,000 wind energy jobs lost under Obama.

April 9, 2012: North Dakota slice and dice farm is on hold one year after permit approved.
... the site for a sprawling 200-megawatt wind farm six miles north of here [Ashley] — one of 20 wind projects that have been permitted or are in the regulatory pipeline in North Dakota.

But more than a year after the Ashley Wind Energy Project was approved, not a single turbine has been erected, and landowners who signed leases with the developer were told in December that the project is on hold.

North Dakota's once-booming wind energy sector is waning because of the sluggish economy, continued transmission bottlenecks and the prospect that federal tax credits will expire at the end of the year.
Can't slice and dice without tax breaks.

April 9, 2012: Wind turbine energy has no redeeming features -- none, but as long as it is here and everyone else likes it, North Dakota might as well claim some braggin' rights. North Dakota is now third in the nation for wind energy. Soon, North Dakota will be third in the nation for whooping crane deaths by blender/rotor.

March 27, 2012: Trump on CNBC, 7:45 a.m. -- no redeeming reason for wind energy; not one good thing about wind farms.

March 21, 2012: not one redeeming reason for wind energy, in a format that those with an 8th grade education can understand.

March 20, 2012: I guess a few folks are finally realizing that acquiring federal permits to allow unlimited killing of eagles and whooping cranes is not palatable. There are now 90 entities asking the Federal government to stop this madness. There is no redeeming reason for wind turbines. None.

March 13, 2012: Red Wing, MN, wind farm will apply for federal permit to kill unlimited number of eagles. Wind farms have not one single redeeming reason for existing, especially when natural gas is at all time lows. By the time the whooping crane census starts dropping, it will be too late. Truly a sad day in history of conservation that energy companies get licenses to kill unlimited number of eagles, whooping cranes.

March 8, 2012: not one redeeming reason for wind farms. Period. Dot. Unless you want to eradicate whooping cranes, eagles, and migratory birds in general. 

February 20, 2012: wind projects in Wyoming slowing down, on hold; starting to use the word "abandoned."

February 9, 2012: the Dutch pull the plug on off-shore wind energy.

January 12, 2012: world's biggest wind turbine maker, Vestas Wind Systems, Denmark, cutting jobs in Europe; probably in US; can't compete with Chinese manufacturers
Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel has reduced sales forecasts twice since October and pared staff three times in the past three years as Sinovel Wind Group (SINOVZ) Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. grabbed market share. Vestas also suffered from a delay in ramping up production at a generator factory and from downward pressure on turbine prices
Meanwhile, natural gas keeps getting less expensive.

December 19, 2011: Incredible. The state that refuses to use coal-generated electricity from North Dakota has no qualms about destroying a habitat for eagles and other raptors in the land of 10,000 lakes, soon to be known as the land of 10,000 wind turbines. Truly incredible. What a sad state of affairs. As mentioned earlier, I have yet to find one redeeming feature about wind.

December 6, 2011: Wyoming wind project put on hold; uncertainty about tax credits likely "to blame."

October 4, 2011: State regulators have been studying whether to approve a merger between NStar and Northeast for almost a year. Cape Wind proponents want regulators to require that such a merger would require the new company to buy 50 percent of of the power generated by Cape Wind . National Grid agreed to purchase half of the power generated by Cape Wind more than a year ago. Regulators and residents all know the price of electricity will increase substantially if they are required to purchase wind energy. At this rate, all but the rich will soon qualify for state grants to pay for their electricity. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess what the regulators have been doing for the past year while studying the merger request.

The Dutch are losing their infatuation with wind; the math and science doesn't work.

Duke of Edinburgh: people who "believe" in wind, believe in fairy tales.
In a withering assault on the onshore wind turbine industry, the Duke said the farms were “a disgrace."

He also criticised the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers, claimed wind farms would “never work” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale."
The Duke’s comments will be seized upon by the burgeoning lobby who say wind farms are ruining the countryside and forcing up energy bills.
Criticism of their effect on the environment has mounted, with The Sunday Telegraph disclosing today that turbines are being switched off during strong winds following complaints about their noise.
Zero margins for wind; boom and bust -- and this, at a time, when government is providing "unlimited" moral support and financial support for renewable energy.

Minnesota's wind power initiative, September 20, 2011.

From Carpe Diem: North Dakota Oil Output Approaching That of OPEC Member Equador -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

From Bloomberg, via Carpe Diem:
"Surging crude output in the Bakken shale formation is set to make North Dakota a bigger oil producer than OPEC member Ecuador. The CHART OF THE DAY above tracks North Dakota’s production, which has almost doubled in the past two years, as Ecuadorean output has stagnated."
And the nice thing about Carpe Diem: the links don't break. 

Boone Pickens on CNBC --

Boone Pickens on CNBC this a.m.

US natural gas sells for $3.00.

Mideast buys natural gas for $16 - $18.

Unrelated, Kernan/CNBC just used my favorite phrase: "You can't make this stuff up."

Boone Pickens and I feel the same about Steven Chu.

Comes down hard, very hard on Obama and the Keystone XL project ... the more Americans hear about the Keystone debacle, the more they will wonder about federal government thinking --- even Stephen Colbert is incredulous -- the US will send billions of dollars to the Mideast where they hate us, as Joe Kernan would say, and yet we snub out noses at Canada whenever given the chance ...

He thinks price of oil will be volatile in the near term (pullback likely) but will be higher next summer.

For those looking to buy shares of KOG, OAS, etc., one might want to wait for pullback in price of oil.

I wonder if the biggest under-reported story for 2011 will be the ----ooooooo --- price of oil just went green ---- decision by the US govt to allow natural gas to be exported and sold overseas. For investors in companies with heavy natural gas portfolios, think what $3.00 natural gas in the US means for those companies if natural gas is sold overseas for $16. 

This is not an investment site; see disclaimer at the right.

Best News Aggregator Site for Energy Across the Northern Tier --

This might be the best site for aggregating energy news -- from Ohio to the Dakotas, as the site says:

Midwest Energy News

I'll link it at the sidebar at the right.

A reader alerted to me with this space view of the Bakken: View of the Bakken from space.