Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Net Acreage in the Bakken by Producer -- Subject to Typographical Errors and Incorrect Data

Net acreage in the Bakken (generally only North Dakota, but some include Montana and ERF includes Montana, Canada and North Dakota). SM is most likely to be way off.

Done in haste; will correct as I go along. 


CLR 923,270
Hess 900,000
Whiting 680,137
EOG 580,000
COP 460,000
XOM 410,000
MRO 391,000
BEXP 375,800
CHK 320,000
Oasis 307,430
Denbury 266,000
ERF 215,000
SM 204,000
OXY USA 200,000
NOG 160,000
KOG 155,000
Newfield 140,000
Baytex 126,400
Ursa 110,000
MDU 95,000
QEP 89,000
Williams 85,800
Triangle 83,500
Magnum 78,000
Sequel 65,000
GEOI 46,000
GMXR 35,524
Resolute 33,415
VOG 32,000
USEG 25,200
Renegade 23,673
Abraxas 20,853
Unit 12,750
LINN 11,193
Mountainview 11,000
Open Range 7,700
CREDO 6,000
Surge 6,000
Samson 3,033

Perhaps the Best Non-Bakken Post of the Year! Decade? --

From "anon 1."   It is without a doubt, one of the "best" posts I've seen on the internet. I was ready to call it a night ... until I saw this.

Here's the link.

Here's the actual bulletin from McGrath, Alaska:
Good Morning, we have received a few phone calls regarding the school's cold weather policy. As a reminder, please see below.
Cold Weather School Schedule
Posted by McGrath School on 1/1/2012, 12:05 pm
72.5.106.126
Here is the policy that we will be following during the cold weather based upon the temperature broadcast on KSKO at 7am each morning.
The bus will run on all days that school is open. Please be sure that your children dress warmly with winter coats, snow pants, boots, hats, and gloves. Thank you.
Up to -49: Normal School Schedule

-50 to -54 LATE START. Students will be picked up 2 hours later than the usual time

-55 and colder: School will be closed.
On the late start days, students will be dismissed as follows:
Kindergarten: 3pm
1st-2nd Grade: 4:00pm
3rd-5th Grade: 4:30 pm
6th-12th Grade: 4:55pm
All after school activities will be cancelled on late start days.
Be sure to listen to KSKO at 7am to hear whether or not school is open, delayed, or cancelled.
Stay Warm!
I hope that clears things up, thank you for thinking of your children's safety.
When we were growing up in North Dakota, we used to say, seriously, that once it got to 40 below zero, one could not tell the difference.

I assume the difference between 49 below and 55 below has to do with engine block heaters failing. There is no way a human being could tell the difference between 49 and 55 below. Note: there is no reference to wind chill. Just saying.

Look how late they get out on "late start" days; obviously they get a full day of school despite a late start.

And I thought North Dakota roughnecks had it tough.

And on "snow days," high school students are expected to put the time to good use and clear the snow.

Google Maps was unable to calculate the distance between McGrath and Anchorage, or between McGrath and Fairbanks, but it appears McGrath is about 500 miles, equidistance from both Anchorage and Fairbanks, as if all three urban areas were points of an isosceles triangle with Fairbanks to the northeast, McGrath to the southwest of Fairbanks,  and Anchorage to the southeast of McGrath. The winters must be tough, but the summers must be absolutely gorgeous.

Three (3) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity record, January 31, 2012 --

Operators: CLR (2), KOG

Fields: Dollar Joe, Truax

Released from "tight hole" status, four (4) wells, only one fracked/completed (that fracking backlog continues -- the one completed well was a Petro-Hunt with an IP of 704 reported elsewhere. Of the four, one was a salt water disposal, so that doesn't count (when 'complaining' about the fracking backlog).

Two (2) wells on DRL status reported IPs, including this barn burner:
  • 20717, 3,295, BEXP, Hilly 22-15 1H, McKenzie, Bakken

Flaring -- Another Solution -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Updates

July 27, 2013: update on Blaise Energy, in The Dickinson Press

The technology is one example of methods being developed by Bismarck-based Blaise Energy that seek to reduce the amount of natural gas flared in North Dakota.
“Nobody likes to see the flaring, especially the industry and the regulatory people,” said Mark Wald, owner of Blaise Energy. “New technology, new ideas are what’s going to solve the flaring issue.”
At a Statoil well site on the edge of Williston, Blaise has three generators and a “grid shack” set up that convert natural gas into enough electricity to power about 40 homes.
The natural gas flare at that site ebbs and flows, but it would be about twice as large if some of the gas wasn’t being captured. The company plans to add additional equipment to capture more of the gas.
Original Post

Thread on flaring and studies of flaring in North Dakota.

Blaise Energy: converting natural gas at the wellhead to electricity which goes back into the grid.

For more on flaring in general, see the label "Flaring Central" and "flaring" as labels at the bottom of the blog.

Upcoming Conferences

Along with many other pages at this blog, it is not always current. Sorry. Just to much to keep up with.

Bakken Flaring Alternatives, December 9 - 10, Denver, CO.

Bakken & Niobrara Crude Takeaway & Markets Congress, January 28 - 29, 2015, Denver, CO. Register by Friday, November 21, 2014, to save $400 on registration fees.

Ceramic Proppant for Sale --

I was sent the following information in an e-mail. I asked the sender if I could post it directly on the blog, and he said I could.

This is not an endorsement or a recommendation. I did not solicit the information.  It is simply being placed on the blog after it was sent to me. If I remember, I will link this post with "Top Ten Fracking Companies" in the sidebar at the right so it's easy to find if anyone is interested.

CERAMIC PROPPANT FOR SALE


I have ceramic proppant in 3 sizes: 20/40, 30/60 and 40/70.  

All three are available in low (7500 psi), intermediate (10,000 psi), and high (12,500 psi) strength grades.  

We currently have the capacity to supply nearly 15,000 tons per month of each.

Contact information below with link to website. 


Jared S. Head
Sr. Business Development Manager
Landy Energy Services
3077 Outlet Center Drive
Sealy, Texas 77474

work mobile: 713.392.5800
personal mobile: 832.867.1475
fax: 281.492.9873

A Monster Well -- CLR -- Whitman 2-34H -- 160,000 Bbls in 4 Months -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

20210, 803, CLR, Whitman 2-34H, Oakdale field, Bakken, s1/11; t9/11; F; cum 159,474K 12/11 (5 days short of four full months; 4-section spacing; runs south;
Production: 29K (25 days in Sept); 42K (Oct); 39K (Nov); and, 50K (Dec)

This is one of our wells on a CLR Eco-Pad. The others:
  • 20208, 960, CLR, Hawkinson 2-27H, Oakdale field, Bakken, s1/11; t9/11; F; cum 67,340K 12/11; runs south; 4-section spacing, runs north,
  • 20211, 263, CLR, Hawkinson 3-27H, Oakdale field, Bakken, s1/11; t9/11; F; cum 70,381K 12/11; 4-section spacing, runs north,
  • 20212, 482, CLR, Whitman 3-34H, Oakdale field, Bakken, s1/11; t9/11; F; cum 39,271K 12/11; 4-section spacing, runs south,

KOG Production Misses Estimates -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
  • Estimates: 7,500 to 8,000 bopd.
  • Actual: 7,195 bopd (mechanical problems at six wells during 4Q11 that led to production delays)
  • One year ago: 1,783 bopd
Other data points:
  • KOG tripled its reserves to an estimated 40 million bbls (some numbers rounded, as is customary at this blog)
  • 2012: estimates: 22,000 to 24,000 bopd

Green Electricity Finds Few Customers in Massachusetts -- The Boston Globe

Link to Boston Globe here. Full story requires signing in.

The lede:
Five years after NStar became the first Massachusetts utility to allow customers to buy electricity supplied by a wind farm, its Green program has failed to catch on. Fewer than 1 percent of the company’s nearly 900,000 customers have enrolled. The dismal response resembles lackluster participation in similar renewable energy programs offered by other utilities, worrying state officials as they push toward a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020.
Data points:
  • To sign up for wind energy electricity, you will be told that your utility bill will increase between 15% and 30%.

Dickinson: Building Permits Break Record -- Second Year in a Row

Dickinson Press link here (not always available for some reason).  Here's the lede:
Housing is getting more expensive to construct in Dickinson. For the second year in a row the record for building permit values has been broken with the city issuing more than $144.3 million, officials said Monday.
Building are bigger:
While the city issued permits for roughly the same number of buildings, buildings have gotten more expensive, Courton said. For example, the city issued 41 commercial structures in the last two years, but the value this year was just shy of $71 million, more than three times the amount in 2010 — which was more than $22.6 million.

“The projects are bigger than what they were in the past,” Courton said. “Instead of your standard, smaller industrial and commercial projects now they are a lot larger. Now they are significantly bigger, so the cost is representative of that.

Cramer Knocks Several Bakken Producers and Price of Oil Up $2.50; XOM Reports Earnings

Link to CNBC.

Oil has pulled back since earlier posting.

XOM beats/misses expectations, depending upon whom you listen to. Print media said average estimate was $2.01 for XOM. CNBC says XOM beat expectationshttp://www.cnbc.com/id/46191153?__source=yahoo|headline|quote|text|&par=yahoo ($1.97 vs $1.96).

XOM's natural gas position is interesting in light of current events; about two years ago XOM said it was focused on natural gas. One has to wonder about XOM's strategy.

Huge Kalil Well -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

8:32AM U.S. Energy provides operational update; announces initial production rate of 1,869 BOE/D from the Kalil 25-36 #2H well (USEG) 3.37 : The Kalil 25-36 #2H (infill) well was completed with 36 fracture stimulation stages and had an early 24-hour flow back rate of 1,869 BOE/D, which consisted of ~1,654 barrels of oil and 1,287 MCF of natural gas. The co has an ~ 27% working interest and a 21% net revenue interest in this well. The Lloyd 34-3 #2H (infill) well has been fracture stimulated with 38 stages and the operator is currently drilling out the plugs, which is the final step in turning the well over to production. Initial flow back rates are expected this week. The co has an ~14% WI and an 11% NRI in this well. This well is an offset to the co's best well to date in the Rough Rider program. The Lloyd 34-3 #1H well had an early 24 hour flow back rate of 4,030 BOE/D.

This was reported nationally at Yahoo!Financial In-Play on January 31, 2012.

Now we can slow down development in the Bakken until we resolve the food shortage problem in Williston.

Huge well. Just one of several. It's an infill well meaning it's surrounded by others.

As I've posted often: those who have their wells want things to slow down. Those who do not yet have their wells want things to hurry up.

How Environmentally Safe Is The Bakken Boom? The Oil Industry Deserves A Lot Of Credit

Before and after pictures of the 2006 brine spill referenced: you be the judge.

One has to go back to 2006, before the current boom even began to find one significant spill ... and it wasn't oil, but brine. Still a problem but brine doesn't give TFE the emotion-generating photos that are critical to their cause.

Even the Bismarck Tribune realized the (lack of) timeliness in this story ... they buried the story near the end of the article.

I'm all for strong environmental safety, but let's give credit where credit is due: 2,000 wells/year and thousands of miles of new pipeline in addition to the tens of thousands of miles of old pipeline, and there's been one story in half a decade to use as an example for additional rules and regulations.

I can only conclude the oil industry in North Dakota deserves a lot of praise for all they do in an inherently dangerous and dirty endeavor. The occupiers in Oakland and DC have created greater health hazards than the oil industry in North Dakota.

And while the oil companies proudly fly Old Glory, the occupiers are now burning it. And, it should be noted, the president has aligned himself with the occupiers. But that was before they started burning the flag. Something tells me there will be no comment from the press secretary on whether the president still stands with the flag-burning group.

Blogging will be minimal today. Sorry.

Futures: Pretty Volatile Today

Update

The early morning jump in the price of oil has come back down significantly on news that the Obama presidency has another trillion-dollar deficit and downbeat overall economic report for the US going forward.

Original Post

Futures mean squat, but all things being equal, I prefer seeing green more than I prefer seeing red. I just see the crawler, not the reason.

One story has it that progress in the Greek deficit/debt talks is driving the price, and yet there is no news from Greece. I think it has to do with Iran, Iraq, and Egypt. It looks like the administration accidentally pushed Egypt under the bus.

Iraq is next. Iran is a non-story today, but with Egypt and Iraq in turmoil, Iran will eventually get back in the game.

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Global Warming Hits Alaska -- Temperature of -79 Almost Breaks Record -- Themometer Breaks Instead -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With the Bakken

Link here.
Jim River, AK closed in on the all time record coldest temperature of -80°F set in 1971, which is not only the Alaska all-time record, but the record for the entire United States. Unfortunately, it seems the battery died in the weather station just at the critical moment.
Something tells me the caribou are huddled along the Trans-Alaska-Pipeline -- in fact, it may be the oil industry that saves these beautiful animals. The irony of it all.

Food Shortage in Williston, Obama Administration Has Created 22 Million Jobs, And Other Urban Legends

I may have to incorporate an "urban legend" page into my blog.

Along with the 57 states in the US.

Link here.Video of the president saying he had created 22 million jobs.  I believe that's how many folks are out of work.

Thank goodness for the Drudge Report.

Hardy Bakken Field -- Just for the Archives

Link here and here.
The Hardy Bakken Field in Southeastern Saskatchewan was discovered in 2008 by individuals involved in the original Bakken discoveries in Montana and North Dakota. The Hardy area falls along a well documented oil migration pathway that extends from the heart of the Williston Basin in North Dakota out to the old Bakken producing Roncott field (just Northeast of Hardy). Passport has participated in the second Bakken horizontal well in the Hardy field which is considered a successful well (initial rates of ~164 barrels of oil per day) and proves the area's potential.
A successful well with initial rates of 160 bbls/day. Hmmm. Think what the wells in North Dakota with initial rates of 1,000 bopd mean.

By the way, at the link, there is a nice schematic of the Williston Basin Bakken.

Awesome: Headline Alone Tells Me The Whole Story -- Off-Shore Oil Rigs To Benefit from Wind Energy

Link here to Rigzone

Somehow there is some irony here, but I cannot articulate it.
Since the late 1960s, the North Sea has been a major source of energy in the form of hydrocarbons for several countries, chiefly the United Kingdom and Norway.

But while some concern has been raised in recent years about how long North Sea oil can continue to support the Northern European oil and gas industry it has created, a whole new energy sector is taking off in the region where much of the experience and know-how that has been developed in the offshore oil sector is proving useful.

After the UK government announced plans in 2008 to open up the seas around Britain to enable the development of up to 33 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2020, energy utilities have shown a great deal of interest in the sector. And they have invested heavily: firstly, in order to secure offshore wind development licenses awarded by the UK's Crown Estate; and, secondly, in the equipment and components required to construct offshore wind farms.

Meanwhile, other countries connected to the North Sea are getting in on the act. Denmark – actually a pioneer of the sector, having been involved in developing offshore wind farms since the 1990s – recently, in 2009, built a wind farm at Horns Rev (in the eastern North Sea) that was briefly the biggest offshore wind farm in the world. Not far away, further south, Germany is developing offshore wind schemes off its North Sea coast.
On top of everything else, the oil companies can offset their profits, taxes, whatever, with those "cap-and-trade" costs. The rich get richer. Playing by Al Gore's rules. 

At the link, the photos are worth a thousand words, or more.

****************

A very random thought. The faux-environmentalists (TFE) are concerned about the rising ocean due to global warming and the disappearance of islands (hasn't happened; in fact, more islands than ever rose this past decade). TFE are worried that coastal cities like New York City will be inundated. Well, duh. The Low Countries (Netherlands, for example) dealt with this problem centuries ago; trying to keep the ocean water back from their land below sea level. And they did it with windmills and dikes. It doesn't take an Orson Welles to imagine windmills pumping water back out out to ocean as well as creating electricity. Just a random thought. Comments probably won't get posted.

CCS Gets Permission To Build Waste Treatment Complex Near White Earth -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

The top of the scenic White Earth valley near Tioga will become an industrial zone for treating oil field waste - some of it slightly radioactive.  CCS development manager Scott Herbst said he expects the White Earth facility will generate from three to 10 truckloads of radioactive waste weekly, the same as a similar treatment facility it owns near Alexander. The waste comes from naturally occurring radioactive materials in the earth that are concentrated in the oil production and treatment process. It's a small amount of the total volume and is hauled to an approved disposal site in Colorado, he said.  The state Industrial Commission approved the facility in an order issued this week, requiring a $200,000 reclamation bond.
Naturally occurring radiation. Hmmm. Concentrated. I'm impressed with the state. If this were Minnesota or California or BLM, the decision would be tabled, slow-rolled, decided, appealed, killed, re-visited, and finally passed -- maybe, ten years from now.

The county commissioners complain that there's too much waste, not enough infrastructure. This is a start.

The link is to the Dickinson Press.

And, of course, the article ends with the usual:
Some White Earth residents are concerned about truck traffic, road damage and declining property values. The Industrial Commission says that many of those concerns are outside of its jurisdiction.
My hunch: no one passing through the White Earth area will be even slightly aware of it. The population of White Earth is 80.

Incidentally, Arnold Morse Samuelson was born and raised in White Earth, North Dakota, which I blogged about a few days ago.

Commissioning New Pipeline -- Getting Oil Trucks Off the Highway -- Four Bears Pipeline System -- Bridger Pipeline, LLC

The Four Bears Pipeline begins just west of New Town and runs 77 miles south through McKenzie, Dunn and Billings counties to existing infrastructure near Belfield.   It delivers 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Butte Pipeline at Baker, Mont., and another 25,000 barrels per day to the Bakken Oil Express Rail Terminal at Dickinson.
One can only imagine how many oil trucks will be taken off the road now that this pipeline is on-line. Eighty thousand (80,000) bbls/day to Baker, MT, and another 25,000 bbls to Dickinson. I'm impressed. One little ol' pipeline.

(Yes, it's a regional link and will be broken soon.)

The rest of the story is, like most stories, in the Bakken, incredible:
Bridger Pipeline began work on the Four Bears Pipeline in the fall of 2010 and worked through one of the worst winters in North Dakota’s history to finish in late spring 2011. [I wonder how often the subject of "global warming" came up among the workers?] Three different regional contractors constructed the line through tracks that crossed the land of nearly 100 landowners and tenants.

Four Bears Pipeline began running crude oil in June of last year and became fully operational in September. It receives loads at terminals in Keene and Killdeer, along with other gathering systems along the line. Before this line was up and running, a truck making deliveries to Belfield could have a round trip of up to 232 miles per load.

That distance was cut to as little as 30 miles per load with the introduction of the Four Bears Pipeline.
One of thousands of success stories in the Williston Basin. Meanwhile, "occupiers" at camped out in various urban centers around the US, protesting something or other.

Whiting USA Trust II -- IPO -- 16 Million Trust Units -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Trust I: WHX
Trust II: WHZ
Why not WHY?

Link here to Reuters.
Whiting USA Trust II said in regulatory filing that it expects to sell up to 15.9 million trust units in its initial public offering.

The trust, which intends to list its units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WHZ," did not reveal their expected price.
An earlier Whiting Trust is on the NYSE under the symbol "WHX."

Be advised of disclaimer for this blog; see sidebar at the right. The disclaimer can be found multiple places, including at the welcome site.

Oasis Has a Great Well -- Oasis Hitting On All Cylinders -- McKenzie County -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Seven wells coming off confidential list today; five completed, including this one:
By the way, a talking head on CNBC mentioned Oasis as one of his top four picks just moments ago.

Actually that's wrong about "seven wells coming off confidential list." I've had trouble all day with a good wi-fi connection and finally have one (a good wi-fi connection). Lots of catching up to do.

In fact, there were seventeen (17) wells that were released from "tight hole" status as the NDIC now refers to it. Seventeen (17). Right up there with the best days in the Bakken.

If I count correctly, twelve (12) were completed/fracked, including these (I will repeat the Oasis Cook well again just to show you good these wells are):
  • 19639, 2,414, Oasis, Cook 5300 42-12H, Willow Creek, Bakken, Williams
  • 19159, 912, OXY USA, Reuben Schneider 1-27-34H-143-96, Bakken
  • 19441, 2,196, Whiting, Dry Creek 44-20TFH, Bakken, Billings County
  • 19639, 2,414, Oasis, Davis 5300 42-12H, Bakken, Williams
  • 19932, 815, Oasis, Bay Creek Federal 4703 11-5H, Bakken, McKenzie
  • 19960, 1,666, XTO, Kaye 43X-4, Bakken, Dunn 
  • 20731, 1,598, Zenergy, Hagen 31-30H, Bakken, McKenzie
There may be typos, typing fast to catch up, after such a miserable day trying to blog.

But what does that list say to you?

Well, first of all, it says to me that Oasis is the new "big man on campus." Hitting on all cylinders -- look at that -- both Williams County and McKenzie County, the latter that will prove to be THE county of all the Bakken counties before this boom is over. And that's saying a lot when you got competitors like Dunn County and Mountrail County.

And then look at the Whiting Three Forks well in Billings County.  I forget what the record TFS well; if I remember, I will look it up later.

Mike Filloon: IPs and EURs -- Continued

Link here to SeekingAlpha.com, for southwest Mountrail County. 

Note the EURs of 950K, which Filloon says is the highest in the Basin.

I'm waiting to see the one million EUR milestone. Note: these are "average" EURs or what an operator expects a well to produce over the lifetime of production. Again, these are EURs per well, and Whiting will be putting in as many as four wells in a section in the "better Bakken."

Catching Up -- Some Housekeeping -- Chesapeake and Hettinger County, Golden Valley County

This is from an RMOJ story back in July, 2011.

Regarding Chesapeake's foray into Hettinger County, some datapoints (as of the date of the link):
  • Chesapeake seeks approval for a 1280-acre horizontal drilling unit in Hettinger county
  • the unit will target horizontal Three Forks
  • 22 miles SSE of Dickinson, ND
  • sections 5/8-135-96
  • first horizontal drilling in Hettinger County
  • it is also the most southerly exploration of the Three Forks formation in the Williston Basin
  • estimated oil-in-place 6 million bbls in these two sections
  • primary oil recovery: 6%
  • EUR: 400K
This is from an RMOJ story back in July, 2011, also, datapoints:
  • Chesapeake adding a third county to their horizontal drilling program in North Dakota (was the first Stark?)
  • applied to create two 1,280-acre units about 12 miles SE of Beach, ND
  • sections 1/2-139-104 and 6/7-139-103.
  • 7 million bbls oil-in-place
  • primary recovery: 6% of OOIP

These are the 2012 Chesapeake permits
  • 22223, ros, Stark (rig-on-site, April, 2012)
  • 22250, LOC, Stark
  • 22319, LOC, Hettinger
These are the 2011 Chesapeake permits
  • 21135, conf, Stark
  • 21139, conf, Stark
  • 21143, conf, Stark
  • 21885, conf, Stark
  • 21976, LOC, Stark
  • 21986, LOC, Stark
  • 21987, LOC, Stark
  • 22003, LOC, Hettinger
  • 22004, LOC, Stark
  • 22014, LOC, Stark
  • 22153, LOC, Stark
  • 22160, LOC, Hettinger

Wind Credits -- Super Bowl Game -- To Offset Carbon Footprint

Link here.
A strong North Dakota breeze will blow over the field of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Super Bowl Sunday, in a manner of speaking.

Renewable energy credits from power generated from North Dakota wind farms will be used to offset 15,000 megawatt hours of electricity associated with the NFL extravaganza on Feb. 5.

The credits were provided through Green Mountain Energy Co., based in Austin, Texas, which describes itself as the nation’s longest-serving provider of green power.

The bloc of renewable energy credits were acquired from Minnkota Power Cooperative, based in Grand Forks, from wind farms near Langdon and north of Valley City.
One word: ridiculous. 

Last Reminder: Bakken Product Markets & Takeaway Capacity 2012 -- Conference -- Starts Tomorrow -- Denver, Colorado

Link here.

I know it's last minute but I believe you may be able to get 15% discount by registering on-line: info@canadian-business-conferences.com using registration code MDB15.

Also, note: Reserve Estimations for the Bakken/Canada conference coming up. Link here for information.  March 27 - 28, 2012. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Biomass Energy Update -- Minnesota's Perspective -- The StarTribune

Link to StarTribune here.
Minnesota has spent more than $11 million in taxpayer and utility funds to advance technologies that burn biomass for heat and electric generation or convert it to a synthetic gas. Now, it's getting difficult for the technology to compete.

"The era of low-priced natural gas has blunted opportunities for biomass and other renewables," said Doug Tiffany, an agricultural economist at the University of Minnesota.

Natural gas prices have dropped by half since their peak in 2008 as exploration using hydraulic fracturing opened new gas fields in shale formations beneath Texas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

What's been a bonanza for those states has been just the opposite for Chippewa Valley Ethanol in Benson, Minn., 125 miles west of the Twin Cities. The cooperative spent more than $20 million in 2008 on a system that gasifies wood chips and corncobs.
Of course this is just part of the story. Minnesota bans coal-generated electricity from North Dakota.

Fargo: Participating in the Bakken Boom -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here to the Fargo Forum.

Nothing really new in this article, but another "feel-good" story coming out of the Bakken.
The ongoing boom in the western North Dakota Oil Patch has been a siren song for businesses here – a lucrative but not easy opportunity.

Among the many answering the call is Indigo Signworks, a Fargo-based company with locations in Bismarck and Grand Forks in North Dakota, as well as Alexandria in Minnesota.
“I can name company after company expanding out there,” said Bernie Dardis, CEO of Indigo, which last summer purchased a 110-year-old sign company in Minot, N.D., so it could better meet demand in the Oil Patch.

Area business leaders say though they aren’t sure how many yet, local companies are increasingly getting in on the oil boom action in western North Dakota.
A fair number of data points in this article including the need for surveyors, and a the "great golf course" in the Bakken.

I do find it amazing; Fargo is about as far as one can get in North Dakota from the Bakken. As "big" as this story (the Bakken) is, it's only in a few western counties in North Dakota (as well as about three counties in eastern Montana and a bit of the provinces north of the border). I still maintain that most North Dakotans do not really have any first-hand knowledge of what is going on in their state. It was notable that the surveyors mentioned in this story were from out of state, Minnesota and Michigan.

Why I Love to Blog -- Reason #532

Not too long ago I asked folks to send me reports of any Bakken (Williston Basin) wells that had produced more than 40,000 bbls/month.

Today, "Old Oil" alerted me to "the original Lodgepole well" in the Dickinson vicinity.
  • 13447, 419, ConocoPhillips, Dickinson-Lodgepole Unit 74, Dickinson, s11/92; t2/93; F; cum 2.9 million bbls 11/11;  
Record months of production for this well: 06/1993 -- 53,000 bbls; 07/199 -- 51,000 bbls.

This well is still producing in excess of 4,000 bbls of oil per month.

But notice something else: no pump. Still flowing without a pump.

See other monster wells at my "Monster Wells" page.

For more on this well, go to this link

More Global Warming -- Fairbanks Freezing -- Owls Have Had Enough -- Mary Tyler Moore

Link here.
Winter continued to show her love of Interior Alaska by bestowing yet another cold snap on its beleaguered residents this weekend.

The temperature at Fairbanks International Airport hit 50 below zero Saturday morning for the first time since 2006, while a low of 57 below was reported in North Pole.

Fort Yukon and Huslia were the coldest Interior communities at 63 below zero, while two others beat their own records.

Tanana hit 61 below zero Saturday morning, breaking its previous record low of 58 below, set in 1919, and Bettles, at 60 below, broke its previous record of 56 below, which was set in 1989.
No comment.

In a related article, yesterday there was a story about mass migration of snowy owls from the Arctic. It was suggested it was due to the lemming population. I don't know about you, but when temperatures are hitting -61, it's time for the snowy owls to leave. But if you want to blame it on the lemmings, that's fine with me.
Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called “unbelievable.”

Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana, gliding over golf courses in Missouri and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.

Holt and other owl experts say the phenomenon is likely linked to lemmings, a rodent that accounts for 90 per cent of the diet of snowy owls during breeding months that stretch from May into September. The largely nocturnal birds also prey on a host of other animals, from voles to geese.
I think these experts either need to read the weather reports or actually visit Fairbanks. Unless the lemmings are migrating en masse to Massachusetts to escape the cold. But wow, that's a long trip for lemmings.

By the way, speaking of weather, I have my older granddaughter give me a weather report every day: temperature, wind, precipitation, cloud cover, etc. It's one of our favorite 30-second activities on the way to school.

I've taught her the gradations of snow precipitation: light snowfall, heavy snowfall, snow storm, blizzard, extreme blizzard, North Dakota blizzard.

Notes to the Granddaughters

I think I mentioned some time ago that I no longer watch FOX (too much fluff, too political); ABC, NBC, and CBS (too much fluff, too political, too hypocritical) except for sports events (NASCAR and football, occasional golf, no basketball). I don't even watch the award shows any more.

In every major metro market, there seems to be at least one "retro" station on cable and that's the station I watch.  The granddaughters and I now make it a habit to catch "MASH" at 7:00 p.m. every night, in between their showers. ("Lost in Space" on Saturday evening is the older one's new favorite. Who woulda thought?)

After they are in bed, then a string of Mary Tyler: Mary Tyler, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke.

The reason I bring this up: today there's a long, long article on MTM in the Los Angeles Times. This is a great article; brings back lots of memories. I knew a lot about MTM but this was the biggest surprise: half of the couple who slept in separate beds in Dick Van Dyke produced "Hill Street Blues," which made news when it showed some male nudity on network prime time television. I didn't see that episode (I generally did not watch HSB but I read about that episode).

Glossed over, but mentioned, is the fact that MTM has diabetes; born in 1936, she must be about 29 years old (again). She has managed her diabetes very, very well. As a kid, I thought she was beautiful. With Dick Van Dyke, she was. In MTM, not so much. But wow, what a dancer. Of all the things MTM is famous for and all that she has done, not much seems to be said about her dancing, unless of course I've missed that, which is very possible.


No Warming In 15 Years -- NASA -- New Ice Age -- An Inconvenient Truth

I do not google for these stories. They are appearing with increasing frequency. In mainstream media. An inconvenient truth for some.

Just after posting "the house of cards is falling" yesterday, lo and behold, this story pops up:
The supposed 'consensus' on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The data was released without fanfare from the Met Office of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini-ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames River in the 17th century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations ... it confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
Exactly what my data showed from my home thermometer which I check every couple of months. Or years. And NASA confirms.

The linked article is one of the best I've seen, with graphs, and lithographs, and everything. You can always count on the Brits to mince no words.

Anyway, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

**********************
Note to the granddaughters

One of the best-kept secrets in San Pedro is the marine biology library at Cabrillo Beach.  It is co-located with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium -- up on the second floor across the way from the aquarium itself, overlooking the beach, LA Port, and the western half of San Pedro harbor. I was told the marine biology library is the best of its kind in the US. I don't know if that's accurate, but it is very, very good. The aquarium is free, with a $5.00 suggested donation. One might be able to find free parking on the street outside the beach area, but if not, parking costs $1/hour with a maximum of $9/day. It's a very, very good deal.

Today -- August 5, 2012, while visiting and reading random book selections I came across this, regarding global warming, a scholarly work written in 1973:
During the last century, CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by about 11 percent, and this increase is enough to account for about half of the 0.6 C mean hemispheric warming that occurred before 1940. With the accelerated burning of fossil fuel that is expected durng the next three decades, the CO2 level will be increased by about 50 percent (to 450 parts per million) and global warming attributable to this cause will be about 1 C. Such a strong warming would be further reinforced by substantial changes in sea-ice extent and might trigger other important internal variables in the climate machine.

Thus it appears the CO2 influence on climate may soon become critical. On the other hand, other influences may counter these trends. For example, the cooling of the 1950s and 1960s shows that some ohter factor is more than countering the warming effect of CO2. Stratospheric dust form increasing volcanic activity reflects more sunlight away from the earth and thus causes cooling. This may account for recent trends, but records of dust load in the atmostphere are inadequte for a reliable evaluation. Man's contribution to the atomospheric dust load is increasing at an exponential rate with a doubling time in the 10- to 20-year range. A 10-year doubling time would more than compensate the warming due to CO2, a 20-year doubling time would compensate only partially. Thus it appears that the influence of each of these factors, dust and CO2, will become larger compared to natural variations, but the net effect is difficult to estimate without better data. -- pp. 136 - 137 from -->
Frozen Future: A Prophetic Report From Antarctica, Our Planet's Last Continent and Last Chance, edited by Richard S. Lewis and Philip M. Smith. Introcution by Walter Sullivan, science editor of The New York Times.  c. 1973.

Since that book was published, some attention has been thrown on solar flares as contributing to global warming but that, too, is very, very controversial. The point is: not all possible causes for global warming were mentioned in that book.

$700K To Improve Williston Waste Water Plant -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here to Williston Herald.
The Williston City Commission approved a low-bid of $704,700 from Magney Construction to make "influent and transfer pumping" improvements to the city's Wastewater Treatment Facility, which has been running at capacity due to high demand and increased population.

New Man-Camp In Williston -- The Heart of the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here to the Williston Herald.

Open to everyone, but built primarily for its own workers.
  •  "For us it's a key step, because as we came here over a year ago, we knew we had to solve our own problem, not add to the problem," said Kevin Burke, president and CEO of Burke Construction. "The precursor to us planting our flag in this community is this facility you're looking at."
Data points:
  • $105/night vs $200/night for Williston motels; drops to $90/night for stays at least 30 days
  • Boxed breakfast, free laundry

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yet Another Renewable/Alternate/Green Energy Company Ready To Go Under

Drudge Report Says This is The Third This Week!
I've Lost Count! 
Natural Gas: New Low -- $2.50!

Link to Las Vegas Sun here.
Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas, the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce.

Flextronics Industrial, the Singapore solar panel manufacturer that partnered with Amonix to staff the new $18 million, 214,000-square-foot plant, laid off about 200 of its 300-plus employees Tuesday.

Amonix’s director of manufacturing operations, Eric Culberson, said the layoffs are part of “retooling” the factory as the company prepares to roll out its next-generation product. [And that product would be?]

Lewis said employees were confused and disappointed when they heard the news and were directed by human resources to look for other local jobs in retail. [Which sounds like the company does not plan to re-hire, or bring them back.]

"With a promise to bring hundreds of clean energy jobs and boost the hard-hit North Las Vegas economy, the plant was heralded as a success earlier this month by Mayor Shari Buck in her state of the city address.

Buck said Wednesday that she was aware of the layoffs but has faith the company will bring back the jobs.
How's that hope and change working out for you? Or was that, "hope there's a change"? I forget.

Week 4: January 22, 2012 -- January 28, 2012

California governor fires anti-oil bureaucrats

Food shortage in Williston 

Williston #6 on Forbes' fastest-growing small town list

Results of recent January 24, 2012 lease sale: bonus of $10,000/acre

EURs too conservative

Update on the Tyler

History of horizontal drilling in the Tyler

Wildcat targeting the Tyler

The Helis Grail; a monster well 

Ross Gas Plant - another CRYO natural gas processing plant

BNSF opens $30 million rail year east of Minot

Those "radioactive" bags of Chinese ceramics -- never mind

New 80-room hotel near Dickinson, ND  (South Heart)

Triangle Petroleum multi-pad schematic; dedicated frack spread 

Elks building: new luxury hotel?

For investors:


One Last Breath, Badluck Bandits

This Could Be the Story of the Week -- And There Have Been Some Incredible Stories This Week -- Sort Of Related To the Bakken

Governor Moonbean Fires Anti-Oil Bureaucrats!

Governor Brown, California: drill, drill, drill.

Hell must be freezing over.

Link here to Los Angeles Times.
Late last year, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed for a top state regulator to ease key requirements for companies seeking to tap California's oil. The official balked.

Relaxing rules on underground injection, a risky method of oil extraction common in the state, would violate environmental laws, wrote Derek Chernow, then head of the Department of Conservation, in a memo obtained by The Times.

The process, in which a rush of steam, water and chemicals flushes oil from old wells, had been linked to spills, eruptions and a Kern County worker's death. The federal government had asked the state to tighten its regulations, but the oil industry complained that the stringent rules were killing jobs.

A week after Chernow wrote his memo, Brown had him fired, along with a deputy, Elena Miller. The governor appointed replacements who agreed to stop subjecting every injection project to a top-to-bottom review before issuing a permit.

Brown's decision to side with energy interests over his regulators reflects the economic and political pressures on the governor during his return engagement in Sacramento. The economy is still sluggish in the wake of a deep recession, and unemployment remains high.

Although Brown has fought offshore drilling and sued oil companies throughout his career, making him a favorite of environmentalists, he now talks of tossing cumbersome regulations to revive the economy. The oil industry, in particular, employs tens of thousands of Californians, many of them in Kern County, where the jobless rate is 14.5%.
It is generally thought that Governor Brown is in the twilight of his political career. It's nice to think that he may be actually feeling the pain of the unemployed, and no longer worried about re-election, is doing whatever is necessary to help some dads get back to work.

This is an incredible story. I know the realists and the cynics will say this is just political posturing -- although I can't figure out what that posturing would be -- I like to think that the governor truly feels the pain of the unemployed.

Some "Feel Good" Stories -- Much Needed -- And Appreciated -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here to Dickinson 7.

The link will be broken sooner or later ... but that's okay ... it's a great story ....
Oil-field work can be dirty work. The oil, grease, and dirt can coat the skin, cover your clothes, and really mess up other clothing in your washing machine.

But one Williston family saw this as an opportunity, and because of it they more than doubled the size of their business.

Now Village Laundry employs 25 workers, and its owners say it’s one of the few shops like it of its kind. They have a special boiler, as well as agitators and soaps to get the oil out.

They also have laundry machines that can hold up to 160 lbs of dirty clothes. They say as the business continues to grow, the plan is to add even more.

Did He Really Say This? -- Absolutely Nothing To With The Bakken

Link here.

Did he really say this?
The General Motors Co. Chevrolet Volt, the first mass-market electric vehicle sold by a U.S. automaker, has become a “political punching bag,” GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said.

Akerson, testifying before a U.S. House panel today, said the Volt, which the company is fixing after fires following crash tests, is engineered for safety.

“Unfortunately, there is one thing we did not engineer,” Akerson told a House subcommittee led by Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “Although we loaded the Volt with state-of-the-art safety features, we did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag. And that, sadly, is what the Volt has become.” 
Did he?

************

The GM CEO is still a salesman.

When Apple was struggling years ago and when Dell was saying that Apple should simple liquidate and close shop, Steve Jobs kept pressing on. One needs to keep selling the product no matter what. One does not say his/her product has become the laughing stock of the industry.

This would be the same as if I walked into a Chevy dealer to look at the Volt, and to be told by the salesman, "Yes, it's a beautiful car isn't it? Unfortunately it's become the laughing stock of the automobile industry." That would certainly turn me off.

I didn't pay much attention to the rest of the article but it certainly makes me think the CEO used this as a trial balloon to prepare the public / the government for the news that GM will throw in the towel with regard to the Volt.

GM can't afford to keep losing money on the Volt. Dealers don't want it (earlier story). People are no longer coming into showrooms to see it. And the bean counters in the back rooms of GM headquarters are showing the front office how much they are losing with the Volt program. It can't go on much longer.

The Volt was simply an experiment that failed. Badly.

Those "Radioactive" Bags of Chinese Ceramics -- Never Mind

Link here to the Minot Press.
Bags of hydraulic fracturing sand stored at a Minot site do not pose a health risk. That was the determination of the North Dakota Department of Health following the completion of testing at and near the location Thursday.

The department was testing for radioactive material.

According to Dan Harman, Department of Health program manager for radioactive materials, the level of radioactivity in the area of the bags was far less than what is encountered by most people on a daily basis. Part of the concern, said Harman, was that the term "hot" is often used in reference to hydraulic fracturing sand.

"Relative to what?" said Harman. "That's a perception. From what we've seen so far they don't pose a health risk. Just being alive in nature the average John Q. Citizen is exposed to about 620 millirads of radiation per year. The readings we got in Minot were 1,000 times smaller than a millirad."

Radioactive readings were so low that they could not be measured by standard Geiger counters.

Alternative equipment was used so that micro readings could be recorded.
The Dickinson Press has not yet picked up this story. But the press does have the headline story that mobile home residents have been evicted so that a parking lot can be put in its place.
Dickinson State University Alumni and Foundation members, along with other investors are attaching student housing to the Oasis Hotel and need space for tenants to park.
Hmmm.  Interesting. Another eviction story. This time not due to the oil companies but by the university.

Where's The Value? $42,000 and Top Speed: 65 MPH -- And That's The Problem (Along With Exploding Batteries)

Headline story in today's Los Angeles Times: another big bet in "EV" goes bust
For politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth, the view from inside Think City's plant here is their worst nightmare: 100 unfinished vehicles lined up with no word on whether they will be completed.

Only two years ago, the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas-guzzling recreational vehicles.

"We've said we're out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It's beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in January 2010 in announcing government incentives used to attract Think to his state.

Instead, the Hoosier State's big bet has been a bust. The plant is devoid of activity; there are just two employees. A Russian investor who recently purchased Think's bankrupt parent in Norway has been silent about its future. A government-backed Indianapolis battery maker that was to supply Think wrote off a $73-million investment in the car company and Thursday declared bankruptcy. Two unrelated electric truck makers Indiana planned to nurture have yet to get off the ground. [The government-backed battery maker was another one of Obama's initiatives. Another Solyndra.]

Indiana's foray into electric vehicles is a cautionary tale for states in hot pursuit of high-tech manufacturing jobs. Think's story illustrates how politicians so badly wanted to stimulate job growth that they showered the automaker and the battery supplier with tax benefits and incentives while at the same time failing to determine whether there was a market for the car: a plastic two-seater with a top speed of about 65 mph and a price tag approaching $42,000.
"Where's the value?" Gregg Fore, an Elkhart recreational vehicle industry executive, said of Think. "I could buy a golf cart for five grand if that's what I wanted to drive."
Fore says the federal and state governments as well as Elkhart subsidized the Think project apparently believing those tax benefits would drive down the vehicle's price and make the cars more attractive. "By giving money to the battery company and electric car company, they are saying, 'We want you to buy their products even though we know you don't want them.'"
No comment, the story speaks for itself. Except to say this was a headline story in the LA Times, not a trivial or conservative newspaper.

Where's the value? Where's the beef?

Here We Go: 80-Room Hotel Near Dickinson -- South Heart -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here.
South Heart may soon be home to an 80-room hotel and other developments.

Centerra Development Co., Colorado-based, intends to open an office in Dickinson and develop commercial properties including a hotel, restaurant and apartment complex, said Tom Davidson, president of the company.

The hotel will have at least 80 rooms and will be constructed in north South Heart in the spring, 2012.
And then this,
The property, south of Highway 10, was a good place to begin in North Dakota, Tsiaperas said.

“It’s just kind of amazing the growth that’s going on up there,” said Kim Bradley, program manager. “It’s a huge black gold rush that’s going on right in your town and we’re all very excited.”

South Heart Mayor Floyd Hurt feels the city of about 310 people will welcome the development.
Any strategic planning, or just more of the same?


My Love For Evermore, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion

Mike Filloon: EURs Are Too Conservative

Link here.

I've been saying that for two years -- EURs are way too conservative. Remember EURs of 409,000? I haven't read Mike's complete article, but I will in a moment. Will he be brave enough to predict EURs of one million bbls -- Oasis says 900,000, or was it KOG that said it will have EURs of 900,000 in its core Bakken. I forget.

But that's not the big story. EURs are for a single well.

"They" are going to put in upwards of ten wells in 1280-acre spacing units.

Remember, this is not an investment site. For an investor like Mike Filloon, EURs are very important. For me, what I find more interesting, and the basis for this blog, is the incredible production potential of the entire Bakken. Individual wells hold little interest for me except as data points to support my thesis: the Bakken is bigger than we are being told. (When I say "the Bakken" in this context, I am referring to all formations in the Williston Basin.)

Okay, back to Mike's article. What does he say about EURs?

Hmmm, unless I missed it, after the opening paragraph, he didn't mention EURs again. It was all about IPs. Hmmm.

Global Warming -- The Tip of the Spear

Updates

January 29, 2012: Anchorage on track to set record -- 
Meteorologists agree: January is on track to be one of the most frigid months on record in Alaska history, according to the National Weather Service. 

The average temperature in Anchorage for January so far is 2.7 degrees.

That's chillier even than the legendary winter of 1989, when the Daily News reported a freeze so deep that the Anchorage Police Department couldn't start 21 of their patrol cars one January morning.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/01/27/2287406/anchorage-on-track-to-set-record.html#storylink=cpy
Same day, minutes later: Global warming hits Fairbanks. January may not set a record, but January may be one of the coldest on record for Fairbanks, Alaska; it appears Fairbanks did not get the memo about global warming.
The temperature in Fairbanks has not reached 50 below zero but this month may be one of the coldest Januaries in community history.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the average temperature through Wednesday was 24.6 below.
That's the coldest since 1971, when the January averaged minus 31.7. The coldest average on record was 1906 — a chilly 36.4 below zero.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg describes the cold this year as "persistent," with temperatures about 15 degrees below normal for much of the month.
This would be a great story for the Dickinson Press to report. 

Same day, minutes later: the continental United States, especially the northern tier, has largely escaped winter this year. And that's the problem with global warming science: where do you place the thermometers and how do you "weight" them for relevancy? If you place all your thermometers in Fairbanks, one would get a different picture than if you placed all your thermometers in Boston.

Original Post
The house of cards is about to fall.

Before mainstream media prints a "big story," that story has been kicked around in the back rooms for awhile, as the pros and cons of the story are discussed. When one sees something in print in mainstream media, it is often a reflection of what the "big boys" are talking about in the back rooms. By the time it hits the front pages of the mainstream media, it's pretty much old news to the movers and shakers.

Look at three headlines in the past six months.
  • Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol (top energy story of the year, by the way)
  • Alternative energy companies promoted by this administration are declaring bankruptcy**
  • The president endorses natural gas -- "a 100-year supply in the US" in the state of the union address
I think Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol was the tipping point.

Canada has long been at the tip of the spear; the US has been the shaft, to continue the analogy:
  • 1960s: took in US anti-war / draft dodgers*
  • 1990's: led the environmental charge; one of the first to sign the protocol
  • 2010's: develops the oil sands, promotes Keystone XL, withdraws form the Kyoto Protocol
The thing that strikes me most about the global warming story is that it is no longer in the scientific arena.

The second thing that strikes me most about the global warming story is that the west feels China does not have to play by the same rules, the country with the most coal plants and building them at the rate of one per week, is it? I forget ... but you get the point....and the story that China is using clean coal technology ... give me a break.

Farther down the list of interesting things. No one has ever told me what the Earth's thermostat should be set at, and Who (yes, the capital "w") set the thermostat. No one has been able to provide data that the 0.6 degree rise in temperature over the next century is either reproducible or statistically significant. And the Warm Age of the Vikings is still very perplexing and unexplained (unless their Viking ships were coal-powered, as has been suggested).

It appears there are at least sixteen scientists who now agree.
“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause,” they wrote. “Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.”

In these scientists’ opinion, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but rather a key necessity for life — spurring the growth of plant life.

The group further condemned the climate of fear that has acted to trample dissenting view points that to no ape the “global warming is a crisis” message.
So, the three barbs at the tip of the spear:
  • Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol
  • Alternative energy companies increasingly declaring bankruptcy; those that survive, only with government grants, subsidies, and mandates
  • The president embraces natural gas, a 100-year US supply, in the biggest speech of the year -- the State of the Union Address
It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

By the way, if you get a chance today, build a house of cards -- take a 52-card deck of playing cards, and build a structure as high as you can. Then let it fall. Record the noise it makes and post it on YouTube.
*********

*Draft Dodgers: Tim O'Brien's books on the VietnamWar and his coming of age books should be read by all of us who grew up in the 1960's or were affected by the Vietnam War in some respect; I think it was The Things They Carried that allowed me to reflect on that period in a more meaningful, and adult way.

**Headline story in today's Los Angeles Times: another big bet in "EV" goes bust
For politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth, the view from inside Think City's plant here is their worst nightmare: 100 unfinished vehicles lined up with no word on whether they will be completed.

Only two years ago, the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas-guzzling recreational vehicles.

"We've said we're out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It's beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in January 2010 in announcing government incentives used to attract Think to his state.

Instead, the Hoosier State's big bet has been a bust. The plant is devoid of activity; there are just two employees. A Russian investor who recently purchased Think's bankrupt parent in Norway has been silent about its future. A government-backed Indianapolis battery maker that was to supply Think wrote off a $73-million investment in the car company and Thursday declared bankruptcy. Two unrelated electric truck makers Indiana planned to nurture have yet to get off the ground.

Indiana's foray into electric vehicles is a cautionary tale for states in hot pursuit of high-tech manufacturing jobs. Think's story illustrates how politicians so badly wanted to stimulate job growth that they showered the automaker and the battery supplier with tax benefits and incentives while at the same time failing to determine whether there was a market for the car: a plastic two-seater with a top speed of about 65 mph and a price tag approaching $42,000.

Friday, January 27, 2012

For Investors Only: Marathon OIl Increases Dividend

Link here.

Marathon Oil Corporation ... has approved a 13 percent increase in the quarterly dividend ... resulting in a new quarterly dividend rate of 17 cents per share.

Legislative Presentations -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Anonymous sent me this link to legislative presentations. Enjoy.

http://northdakota.areavoices.com/2012/01/27/read-oil-patch-testimony-to-legislators/

Eight (8) New Permits -- Wildcat Targeting the Tyler -- Southwest North Dakota -- 35 Miles Southwest of Dickinson

In today's daily activity report:
  • 18216, DRL, Williston Exploration, Vanvig 1, Wildcat, Tyler, Billings County; Williston Exploration, LLC,'s first well; 28-138-102; 35 miles southwest of Dickinson, right where you would expect a wildcat Tyler to be drilled.
Here are the permits:

Operators: CLR (2), BEXP, Crescent Point Energy, Oasis, XTO, Whiting, and Denbury

Fields: Banks, Cottonwood, Capa, Bell, St Demetrius, Poe, Oliver

Crescent Point Energy has another wildcat in Williams; Crescent had a couple other wildcats in Williams County yesterday.

Four wells came off the confidential list and only one was completed/fracked and it was not particularly noteworthy.

However, another twelve (12) wells were said to be plugged or producing.

Eight (8) wells on DRL status reported an IP, including:
  • 19422, 1,536, OXY USA< Beatrice Kubischta 1-15-22H-143-96, Dunn County
  • 20051, 1,169, MRO, Red Feather USA 21-17H, Mountrail County
Whiting canceled a permit:
  • 20309: Mikes Creek Federal 12-28TFH, Billings County

Another CRYO Natural Gas Processing Plant -- Follows On The Heels of The ONEOK Plants -- Plains All American Ross Gas Plant -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Ross Gas Plant to be built by Plains All American Pipeline data points
  • a cryogenic gas processing plant
  • "deep cut ethane plus recoveries and specification product fractionation"
  • purity ethane, specification propane, butane plus raw-make NGL stream
  • 50 - 75 million cfd (compare to 100 million cfd at each of three ONEOK plants)
  • to be on-line by 2Q13
  • will deliver pipeline quality residue gas into Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Company's transmission system
  • the facility will include rail-loaindg and storage facilities
  • first phase: capacity to trans-load 8,500 bbls/day of NGLs and 20,000 bbls/day crude oil
  • second phase: 4Q12; unit train loading of up to 65,000 bbls/day, to be served by a new 16-mile, 10" crude oil pipeline from PAA's Robinson Lake pipeline near Stanley, ND
The press release did not state a dollar amount for the project.

A big thank you to MD for sending me this link.

Triangle Petroleum Schematic for Multi-Pad Drilling in the Bakken, North Dakota, USA

  • Two 1280-acre units side-by-side
  • One 4-well pad in each 1280-acre unit
  • Four long laterals running north from each pad (a total of 8 long laterals)
  • Alternating "middle Bakken" with "Three Forks" long lateral
  • Terminal separation: 1,230 feet between laterals in same formation
  • Source: Triangle Petroleum, corporate presentation, January, 2012
Corresponds with what others are doing

Confirms that fracking is effective about 500 feet radially; 1,000 feet diameter

Triangle states: it has a lack of near-term lease expirations

Zipper frac

Multi-pad drilling: saves about $25,000/rig move (~ $225,000/8 wells)

Random Comment Regarding Fracking Spreads in the Bakken -- Backlog Continues To Worsen -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

According to Triangle Petroleum, corporate presentation, January, 2012
  • Operators with 4 rigs or less make up approximately 40% of the market and are grossly underserved by incumbent services companies struggling to maintain pace with demand from larger customers
  • Current idle well inventory waiting on fracturing services is estimated at +400 wells with an estimated market of +$4 billion and growing
  • Estimated backlog of 350-400 wells Waiting on Completion (WOC) 
This blog noted some time ago that smaller operators were last in the queue to get fracking scheduled; this seems to confirm that observation

The industry said in 2Q11 that it would catch up with fracking by 3Q/4Q11. In fact, the backlog appears to be worsening.

I am aware that Oasis, Triangle, and Chesapeake have their own fracking spreads; in addition, some operators have contracted out to dedicated fracking spreads if they don't have wholly-owned subsidiaries.

GeoResources -- One of the Stronger Shale Oil Companies -- Seeking Alpha

Link here.
One of the top takeover candidates in North American shale plays is GeoResources, which boasts leaseholds in the Bakken Shale and the Eagle Ford, has a market capitalization of only $760 million. The company owns 46,000 net acres in the Bakken, of which it operates 33,200 acres. GeoResources has drilled and completed eight wells in a 25,000-acre block near the border between North Dakota and Montana. In 2012 the firm plans to drill between 23 and 26 gross wells in which it will have a 25 to 30 percent working interest.
Personal note: it's been my observation that GEOI is getting more active in the Bakken through its wholly-owned subsidiary, G3 Operating.

Warren To Ship Western Coal to West Coast --> China

Warms the cockles of my heart. I have been following this story for some time.

All I can think of is all those dads and moms who will finally find work.

Work defines folks. Period. Dot. I can't think of many things more sad (sadder?) than folks who desperately want to work and can't find jobs. Somehow "occupiers" living off the largesse of their families or trust funds in the urban cities on the East Coast with the intent of denying others work is the height of hypocrisy. Carrying the banner of "environmentalism" doesn't do it for me.

The Spanish conquistadors, in their quest for gold, were preceded by priests carrying the banner of Catholicism. Not much as changed. Just the word on the banner.

In case the link is broken, this is what the story is all about:
Despite opposition from environmentalists and downtown Rainier, Wash., business owners, port commissioners Wednesday approved lease options for two coal terminals that would ship Powder River Basin coal from Wyoming and Montana mines to customers in Asia.

The five-member Port of St. Helens commission unanimously approved a lease option from Pacific Transloading LLC, a subsidiary of Australian coal company Ambre Energy, to operate a barge unloading dock at Port Westward, north of town.

Commissioners also voted 4-1 to approve a lease option from Houston-based energy giant Kinder Morgan to build potentially the largest coal terminal on the U.S. West Coast.

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! CVX Posts Its Largest Earnings Decline in Two Years

.... from $2.64/share to $2.58/share.

Never mind.

I've told this story many, many times. I bought my first position in Texaco -- before it was CVX -- when it declared bankruptcy. And have never looked back.

It pays 3% and has a p/e of 7.7.

I remember when I first started investing thirty years ago: I was told to look for $6 stocks paying 6 percent with a p/e of 6. No joke. I guess that's why I missed AAPL when it was selling for $20, had no p/e, and was paying no dividend.

Everything's relative.

CVX paying 3 percent. What's your favorite money market account paying?

Be advised of disclaimer at the sidebar on the right. This is not an investment site. This is a friendly discussion among friends.

By the way, the state's Legacy Fund -- oil money -- will not be invested in the stock market, and will earn less than one percent.

BNSF Opens Rail Yard East of Minot -- First New Facility in BNSF System In Quite Some Time -- $30 Million -- Bakken Impact

Link here.

Data points:
  • Gavin Yard, east of Minot
  • in Minot, not Williston
  • first new BNSF facility in quite some time
  • $30 million project
  • has now opened
  • new car shop and two (2) 9,200-foot inspection tracks
And,
"This is the first new facility we've built on our entire system in a long time. It just goes to show how much activity and how much potential there is in this part of the world," said Roger Nober, BNSF executive vice president from Fort Worth, Texas, where BNSF has its headquarters.

Nober said BNSF expects activity in this area will ramp up even more than it is now.
Another indication that the Bakken boom is having effect/impact outside of Williston.

Food Shortage in Williston - County Commissioner -- The Heart of the Bakken

Update

January 29, 2012: the mayor sees things quite a bit differently -- "a growing Williston will be a better Williston."Great op-ed article. Good for him. And the editor of the Williston Herald supports him. Good for both of them.

Same day, later: I've seen this story before; it appears it is a "cut and paste" job from the Dickinson Press and picked up by Bloomberg. Back in 2008/2009 I received a comment from "anonymous" that predicted all of this. I did not post that comment, not wanting to be inflammatory, and wanting to give the state leaders and county commissioners the benefit of the doubt. If armchair amateurs could see it coming why couldn't others closer to the action see it coming? There was no strategic vision, no planning, and this is where it has gotten us. As noted below, for every story of whining I see, I would like to see five stories in which there is some strategic planning going on.

Same day, later: I'm sure if there was a food shortage in Williston, the Dickinson Press would have reported it. 

Same day, later: this is a current ad from Economart; prices are better than what I am paying here in Boston. I see there is plenty of fruit and vegetables: avocados, grapes, apples. Thank you to a reader for sending me the link (and, no, it was not from an employee of Economart, although  that would have been refreshing).

Original Post

I was in the Bakken most of August, all of September, October, and November, departing on December 1, 2011, so I don't know how things have changed between then and now, in less than two months.

I do not recall any problem with a grocery shortage in Williston. The Economart was well stocked; Wal-Mart was well stocked. I did not visit the huge Albertson's store. But I don't know. Maybe Williston is short of groceries now as the county commissioners say:
Williams County Commissioner Dan Kalil received applause from the audience after his testimony about the toll the boom has taken on Williston. The area is short on patience, jail space, groceries and fuel; and long on sewage, garbage, anger and frustration, he said. 
I do know that there is a problem with diesel fuel on a daily basis, but there should be a diesel refinery up and running in the heart of the Bakken in a short time if folks work together to expedite the process. The diesel refinery would have been up and running by now had there not been the usual bureaucratic delays. Thank goodness, we don't have the Minnesota bureaucracy where it takes five years for a permit vs one year here in North Dakota.

But as far as gasoline for automobiles, again, I did not see any shortage back in September, October, and November. In WWII, "they" laid a fuel pipeline from England to Germany as the war effort moved east; that was across a channel during the biggest war in recorded history. The late Virgil Syverson, a tank driver for General Patton and long-term Williston resident, could have probably told us about that.

[The pipeline: PLUTO -- pipeline under the ocean -- from England to France to Germany.]

There's a refinery in Bismarck; if folks were serious about solutions, they should be able to find them.  We can't put in a diesel pipeline from that refinery to the Bakken? Greed? Lack of strategic vision? Faux-environmentalists? The boom started back in 2007; this is 2012. The impact was being talked about back in 2008. They can't lay a diesel pipeline from Bismark to Williston in five years?

From what I see, it's two things: a) bureaucratic delays; b) lack of strategic vision; and, c) greed. Okay, three things.

The greed prevents a lot from getting done.

I do agree with this:
“This level of activity has only led to unwarranted greed and unbelievable pressure on everyone,” he said.
The oil companies tried to get the lowest lease rates possible, but local folks held for as much as they could get [and it's getting worse]. Well, duh. I suppose some would call that greed.

My first question: do the county commissioners  have any oil income? My hunch is that the folks who have their wells, say "slow down." The folks who don't have their oil wells yet, say "hurry up." (By the way, wells that used to be named with names of folks and families we used to know -- not happening so much any more. Folks are asking their family names not be tied to the wells. No comment.)

It was not the outsiders that raised the rates on rooms at motels and hotels. Local folks did that. It was not the outsiders that raised the rent; that was the local folks. It was not outsiders that (in)famously evicted seniors from their long-term residences to increase the rent in Williston; that was the local owner. It was not outsiders that evicted a dance studio operator; that was the daughter/son of a long-term Williston resident, if I remember correctly. It is not the outsiders that have raised prices; outsiders are doing what they can to keep prices down. It's the local folks that have raised prices.

Not enough money coming back to the community to deal with roads, buildings, etc? That's a local problem, as in "local" at the state level, Bismarck. The outsiders don't vote; they don't control where the tax dollars go.

Lack of affordable housing? It was not the outsiders that banned man-camps.

But as I've always said, now we know how the native Americans felt when the white man invaded, bringing with them unwarranted greed and unbelievable pressure on everyone -- forcing the native Americans to reservations on some of the worse land in the state.

I'm not saying there aren't problems, huge problems. But I have great faith in what men and women can do. Certainly our grandparents, and now, in some cases, our great-grandparents suffered much greater challenges -- Giants of the Earth comes to mind.

For every Dickinson Press story I see about how tough things are, I would like to see five stories of state and federal government "fast-tracking" applications for infrastructure projects. Is WAWS on track, or is it mired in court? Why is there such a problem with getting new roads in; maintaining current roads? "They" fast-tracked the highway widening project between Williston and Watford City; I think that was done in six months, from announcement to completion. Construction crews from outside the area came in and did a bang-up job.

The Keystone XL project was killed, by faux-environmentalists; that pipeline would have taken thousands of trucks off the road on a daily basis, and maybe even less railroad terminals needed.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I know for some the Bakken boom is not fun; it is highly challenging for all. But maybe I'm seeing it from the eyes of the soldiers who took on a mission in Iraq and got it done. By the way, the Williston Herald reported fewer traffic accidents in December, 2011. Things can't be all bad.

And by the way, if groceries are in short supply in Williston, we need to ask the new Bakken millionaires to start ordering their steak, potatoes, desserts, and side dishes from Omaha Steak, to take the pressure off the local grocery stores, for the rest of the poor folks. My daughter sends me a gift pack every Christmas; it lasts for weeks. Those, whose wells have not yet come in, can order their groceries from Amazon.com. The post office, as we all know, desperately needs the business. [Although the Williston post office does not.]

It appears the one thing the Bakken is not short on is alcohol. At least that wasn't mentioned in the article above. It's funny how some things always seem to get "there." Years ago, I was deployed to a Muslim country; we were told we could not bring alcohol into the country, and that it was against the law to sell or buy alcohol there. I was naive; I believed the senior leaders. I was one of the later ones to arrive. When I arrived, I learned that the NCOs had found the discotheques and bars in the nearby city within 24 hours of their earlier arrival. I, too, enjoyed the night life.

Oh, one last story. We were in that foreign Muslim country for a full month. We were operating out of a bare-base operation, training their fighter pilots. We had an outstanding mess facility -- I do believe it was an Air Force operation, but it was so good, it makes me think it was Army-run, but I could be wrong. Be that as it may. We had great meals throughout the mission. But just standard meat and potato fare.

In these bare-base missions, it takes several days to fly every one out when being re-deployed. The fighters go first;  and then there is a hierarchy of who goes next. The security forces (to protect assets) go last, and the medics, of which I was one, go second to last (to be there to aid the security forces to the end). The mess hall folks go near the end, also, until there are so few, that the last can do with meals-ready-to-eat (MRE's), the modern answer to C-rations.

The commander and the pilots were the first to leave. As soon as the fighter jets were past the halfway point between the bare base where we were and the home base to which they were returning, the dining hall chef announced over the PA system that dinner that night would be steak and lobster. I kid you not. We were in Africa. There is no lobster in Africa. But as soon as the commander and his pilots were too far to turn back, the chief cook cracked open the really good stuff.

Well, this turned into a rambling note that went nowhere.

Good luck to all.

And again, please, will all you Bakken millionaires start ordering your groceries on-line so that the food shortage in Williston can be ameliorated.