Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, May 15, 2012 --

Operators: Hess (3), BEXP (2), EOG, Whiting
Fields: Briar Creek (McKenzie), Clarks Creek (McKenzie), Cedar Coulee (Dunn), Truax (Williams), Ellsworth (McKenzie)

Five wells released from "tight hole" status:
  • 21143, 0, Chesapeake, Schoch 21-137-97 A 1H, reported earlier today
  • 21415, 207, ERF, Gray Wolf 148-94-05CH TF, Eagle Nest field, t4/12; no production reported yet;
  • 21483, 2,503, Whiting, Marsh 21-16TFH-R, Dutch Henry Butte, t11/11; cum 57K 3/12;
  • 21511, 906, CLR, Boulder 1-4H, Banks, t4/12; cum 257 bbls (no typo) 3/12;
  • 21615, 279, CLR, Sevre 1-22H, Corinth, t2/12; cum16K 3/12;

Four confidential wells plugged or producing.

Finally, temporary abandoned well plugged:
  • 17623, TA, BEXP, Wanner 25 1, Mercer County
Five wells approved for confidential status, including four Baytex wells (Lokken and Bentson) and one Madison well to be drilled by Whiting.

Three producing wells completed:
  • 21197, 1,100, Liberty Resources, Jackman 156-100-18-19-1H, East Fork (north of Williston, east of Tyrone field)
  • 21328, 1,411, XTO, Truax State 11X-16, Truax, east of Williston,
  • 21579, 988, Samson Resources, Nomad 6-7-163-99H,  not a bad well for near the Canadian border, West Ambrose, west of Ambrose,

Harvard's First Woman Of Color -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken


May 30, 2012: Now she tells us she was the first nursing mother to take the bar exam in New Jersey. I wonder if she co-invented the internet with Al?
May 25, 2012: The dots have been connected; link to the Boston Globe.  In the '90s, Harvard was coming under fire for lack of diversity. Warren was a twofer: not only was she female, she was a Cherokee Indian. Can't get much better than that.

Original Post
Link here.
"There are few women of color who hold important positions in the academy, Fortune 500 companies, or other prominent fields or industries," the piece says. "This is not inconsequential. Diversifying these arenas, in part by adding qualified women of color to their ranks, remains important for many reaons. For one, there are scant women of color as role models. In my three years at Stanford Law School, there were no professors who were women of color. Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995."
Photo here

I didn't read the wiki entry; it's possible these are two different people.

The "real" Elizabeth Warren says she is 1/32nd Cherokee Indian.
The videos below have nothing to do with the above story.

To Tell The Truth

Cherokee genealogist: "tell the truth."

"I Firmly Believe"

Minor, Miscellaneous Note: IRET in Williston

Link here.
Mr. Martin also noted that IRET's Williston Garden Apartments, a joint venture development of which IRET owns 60%, is 100% pre-leased. When completed, this development will provide 90 furnished units and 55 unfurnished units. Currently, two of the four buildings are open and the remaining two are scheduled to open this summer. This property is located in the heart of the Bakken Shale Oil Formation in Williston, North Dakota.
Photo and floor plan of furnished unit for $1,565/month in Billings, Montana.

Photo and floor plan of furnished unit for $1,600/month in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Quick Look At Williston's First Quarter Permitting

January - March, 2012, Williston permits: $33.5 million (previously posted)

March, 2012: building permits in Williston: $12.5 million; included three projects each worth more than $1 million
  • WAWS, $1.5 million
  • Granite Peak, $1.2 million
  • MPI Warehouse Specialty, $2.2 million
April, 2012: Williston building permits, mostly dedicated to new housing; 23 new housing permits.
  • Williston Timbers
  • DayBreak Properties
  • Stone Creek Construction
The complete list of permits can be accessed at http://www.cityofwilliston.com --> Building Department --> documents.

Another Nice Whiting TFS Coming Off Confidential List Today -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

21483, 2,503, Whiting, Marsh 21-16TFH-R; Dutch Henry Butte; Three Forks; another nice well; a re-entry; t11/11; cum 57K 3/12; 30 stages; 2 million lbs; gas averages at 1,500 at one point; 3,500 units later; 10' to 25' constant flare. Middle Bakken only five feet thick in this area.

I recently blogged about a string of Whiting wells in southwest North Dakota, between Belfield and Dickinson. I believe this is Whiting's Pronghorn prospect which is a bit southeast of Whiting's Lewis & Clark prospect. In my mind, they are still one and the same; I need to remember to separate them.

I sound like a broken record, but Whiting's Lewis & Clark prospect in southwest North Dakota is geographically 3.5 x larger than the Sanish, and the Whiting TFS wells, on average, might be better than the wells in the Sanish, if that's possible. If northeast McKenzie County is the bull's eye of the Bakken in the north, Whiting's Pronghorn prospect might be the bull's eye of the Pronghorn/TF formation.

For newbies, a snapshot of Whiting and its operations can be found hereCompare this well with the Mastel well that I was so excited about yesterday.

Also here.  The Pronghorn prospect is a little bit southeast of the Lewis & Clark prospect.

NDIC File No: 21483     API No: 33-089-00653-00-00     CTB No: 121483
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 11/15/2011     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NENW 16-140-97     Footages: 300 FNL 2218 FWL     Latitude: 46.947838     Longitude: -102.927099
Current Well Name: MARSH 21-16TFH-R
Elevation(s): 2620 KB   2590 GR   2590 GL     Total Depth: 20180     Field: DUTCH HENRY BUTTE
Spud Date(s):  9/12/2011
Casing String(s): 9.625" 2262'   7" 10839'  
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 10839-20180     Comp: 11/15/2011     Status: F     Date: 11/19/2011     Spacing: 2SEC
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 57135     Cum MCF Gas: 34596     Cum Water: 19576
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 11/19/2011     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 2503     IP MCF: 1144     IP Water: 2134
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Mash-Up Two Recent Posts -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Mash-up of two recent posts.
First post. From the 1Q12 Chesapeake transcript:
CEO: This is an important point and so I'd like to reiterate it. We are all set with our asset base, with the exception of the sale of the Permian and a few other minor odds and ends that we have left to sell later in '12 and in '13. Quite simply, as a result of our innovative approach to the business and hard work during the past 7 years, we now have a very focused and exceptionally high-quality asset base. In fact, we think it's the best in the industry. We've now established #1 position in the Utica, Mississippi Lime, Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Powder River in the Niobrara, Marcellus, Haynesville and Bossier plays. In addition, we have established #2 positions in the Eagle Ford and the Barnett. No one else in the industry has assembled anything close to this scale and quality of an asset portfolio. In short, we've built a very strong foundation of 11 #1 and #2 positions in the nation's best plays. And to make sure I'm crystal clear on this, we have no interest in going to Canada or anywhere else outside the U.S.

Q: Which play is not mentioned in that list of #1 and #2 positions?
CEO: And to do that, I think you've got to be the best at what you do. And for us, that's going to be, to be #1 and #2 in 11 of the most important plays in the nation after we sell the Permian. So the Permian will get bought either in 3 packages, a group of 3 packages, or individually in those 3 packages.
And the Bakken?
CEO: We're still working our Williston acreage. It doesn't look like it's going to work for the Bakken or the Three Forks [recent wells were DRY or nearly DRY], but we've got some other ideas there. So I haven't given up there. We're getting ready to complete a well in another formation. DJ Basin has not worked for us in the Niobrara, although the Powder River has worked quite well. So those are 2 areas, plus you mentioned the Woodbine, all of which we've accounted for in our go-forward plans. So again, we tried -- sometimes you try to get in plays and sometimes you're successful with where you want to be and sometimes you're not. So again, as we look at the company going forward, we want to be real simple about our goals, which is, if we own it, we're going to be #1 and #2 in it. If we can't get there, then we're going to sell it and let somebody else consolidate their position.
Second post. From Investopedia:
Five companies adding CAPEX -- NOG, Magnum Hunter, CLR, Denbury, and WLL.
  • CLR: $1.75 billion --> $2.3 billion; additional CAPEX all in the Bakken 
  • WLL: +$200; more than $100 million to acquire more leaseholds
Thoughts and comments to follow later if I remember.  

For those unfamiliar with "mash-up," here's a mash-up video:

Ring, Ring, Hanging on the Telephone, ABBA, Blondie

Kansas Participating in the New Energy Revolution -- Not the Bakken

Kansas participating in the North Dakota to Texas renaissance zone.
Activity in the oil and gas industry in Kansas is on the rise, according to information from the Kansas Corporation Commission.

According to the KCC website, 611 intents to drill were filed in April. That’s a sharp increase from the 473 reported in March.

Just through the last 15 days, there have been 337 intents to drill filed, signifying that May could see increased numbers as well.

None of those most recent filings were in Sedgwick County, but other parts of south-central Kansas — where companies large and small have been exploring the Mississippian Lime oil play — have seen plenty of activity.

Five E&P Companies Raising CAPEX

From Investodia: five companies adding CAPEX -- NOG, Magnum Hunter, CLR, Denbury, and WLL.
  • CLR: $1.75 billion --> $2.3 billion; additional CAPEX all in the Bakken
  • DNR: +$150 million; $80 million for the Bakken; the rest for its tertiary operations
  • Magum Hunter: $150 --> $325 million; all in Eagle Ford (that's a healthy increase)
  • WLL: +$200; more than $100 million to acquire more leaseholds --- is WLL one of the sharks in southwest North Dakota?
  • NOG: $325 --> $360; I believe all in the Bakken
Maybe more comments later. Rushed right now with too much information to post. Beware of increased typos, omissions. 

Idle Chatter Overheard at the Diner -- Not Much To Do With The Bakken

Something tells me this story is getting a bit more play in Israel and the Mideast in general than it is here in the United States: Iran executes accused Israeli spy.

Seaway pipeline reversal is slated to occur Thursday, May 17, 2012.

Thank goodness no one reads the site

Measure 2 in North Dakota looks like it may fail by a wide margin if polls are accurate. Measure 2 would eliminate North Dakota property tax. If the measure is not passed, this suggests to me North Dakota voters a) have common sense; b) don't trust bureaucrats to sort this out if it passed; c) have doubts about the Bakken boom or have not heard of it; d) don't gamble with school funding.

Politics: Boston Globe now buries the claim that the Democratic Senate nominee claimed she was Cherokee and a minority. The president says the NYT/CBS poll that shows him trailing Romney was biased. Yes, it was. Had it not been biased the results would have been even more striking.

Federal agricultural department employees can make > $240,000 per annum. Nice work if you can find it.

JPMorgan earned $18 billion last year. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley COMBINED earned $16 billion. And we're criticizing Jamie Dimon?  I can't comprehend "billion" so, as an analogy, JPM has $867 in it's billfold; it earned $18 this past year; it lost $2 due to a bad bet. Okay. [From a graphic on CNBC; saw it in passing; the numbers are correct; some of the other data may be incorrect, but you get the idea.]

Coal company shares are getting crushed. With natural gas at $2.40 and the administration out to kill the coal industry, it necessarily follows. Natural gas. Coal, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, algae.
  • Arch coal, six months ago: $16. Today, $8.
  • Peabody, six months ago: $39. Today, $28.
  • Alpha Natural Resources, six months ago: $26. Today, <$13.
  • First Solar: six months ago, $45; today, $15. 
Women prefer Romney to Barack -- NYT/CBS.  I know Mrs Romney never worked a day in her life. She did raise five sons. But that's really not work. It's possible Hillary's thinking on "working mothers" is evolving.

After a 40-year public career, he is finally getting married. A beautiful love story.
"I used to listen to these songs about love and ... they didn't mean anything to me. I would almost be kind of annoyed by them, you know -- it's like I was left out. The whole thing takes on a meaning it didn't have." But now he's getting married. Barney Frank will be marrying his fiance, Jim Ready, this July.  I, too, enjoy those love songs. See my other blogs.

Am I missing something here? From the Boston Globe, a new test for colon cancer screening. The new test does not require the laxative to clean the colon and does not require a any apparatus inside any orifice. It is a virtual colonscopy using an orally administered dye and a CT (x-ray) scan. This is the part I don't get: "Of the study participants who express a preference, 62 percent said they preferred the prep-free CT procedure over the colonoscopy." Well, duh. My question: why wasn't it 94%. Yes, I would assume some percent enjoy the laxative and a rubber coil transiting the entire colon, but I wouldn't expect almost 40% would say they prefer that. I must be missing something. It's from the print edition, but I'm sure you can find the article on-line by googling "New test offers hope for easier colon screening."

Colorado Company Selects Billings For New Modular Home-Building Manufacturing Plant

Link here to Billings Gazette.
A newly formed Colorado company has chosen Billings as its headquarters to build modular homes to help address the critical housing shortage in 10 Western states and three Canadian provinces.

Canadian-American Structured Solutions Inc. has leased the sprawling Sutton's Sportswear Co. warehouse at 1400 S. 24th St. W., and intends to hire 100 workers by year's end to build 150 to 250 single-family homes per year.

Chesapeake Wildcat, Schoch 21-137-97: IP -- Zero

21143, 0 (no typo), Chesapeake, Schoch 21-137-97 A 1H, wildcat, Bakken/Three Forks; t12/11; cum 0 bbls 3/12; 31 bbls in December, 2012; none since; 33 stages; 4.1 million lbs.

Fracked with a system of 24 sliding sleeves and 9 plug and perf stages; combination of sand and ceramics. This was not an inexpensive well.

Drilled down to Nisku at 10,072; Three Forks at 9,890 feet.

It was spud August 26; reached total depth on October 15 (most wells now reach total depth in less than 30 days).

From the geologist's report (paraphrased; not quoted):
Upper Bakken reached at 9,721 feet; no mention of a Middle Bakken formation.

Three Forks formation reached at 9,830 feet total vertical depth. Gas ranged from 3.1 to 68 units.

Once rat hole completed and wire line e-logs were conducted (Sept 19 - Sept 21), re-entry was made from the kick-off point on September 24. Encountered some problems with motor (x2) and computer software glitch during early horizontal drilling.

A gas spike of 103 units coincided with oil shows shortly after entering the Three Forks formation.

Another tool failure while drilling laterally on October 11.

While drilling within the Three Forks, total gas levels remained relatively low, ranging from 0.1 to as high as 234 units, averaging 13.8 units. There was no flare. "Gamma reading remained fairly consistent: from as low as 28 API to as high as 141 API."

"Oil shows were somewhat consistent throughout the lateral and were exceptional during the concluding portion of the wellbore."

I'm out of my depth here (no pun intended), but it appears the top of the Three Forks was 9,890 feet, and the bottom of the Three Forks was 10,010. If that is accurate, the thickness of the Three Forks at this point is 120 feet. But again, I could be misinterpreting the data.  (The depth numbers vary at different parts of the report.)

Note: this was transcribed/paraphrased/typed in haste. There may be typos. There are omissions.

NDIC File No: 21143     API No: 33-089-00647-00-00
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 12/13/2011     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: SESE 21-137-97     Footages: 350 FSL 1250 FEL     Latitude: 46.660005     Longitude: -102.920071
Current Well Name: SCHOCH 21-137-97 A 1H
Elevation(s): 2734 KB   2712 GR   2716 GL     Total Depth: 20269     Field: WILDCAT
Spud Date(s):  8/27/2011
Casing String(s): 9.625" 2215'   7" 10105'  
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN/THREE FORKS     Perfs: 10105-20269     Comp: 12/13/2011     Status: AL     Date: 1/14/2012
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN/THREE FORKS     Cum Oil: 0     Cum MCF Gas: 0     Cum Water: 43267
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 12/16/2011     Pool: BAKKEN/THREE FORKS     IP Oil: 0     IP MCF: 0     IP Water: 597
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN/THREE FORKS3-20120001813000
BAKKEN/THREE FORKS2-201200020018000
BAKKEN/THREE FORKS1-201200010982000
BAKKEN/THREE FORKS12-2011310010454000

HUGE! North Dakota is #2 in Production; Surpassed Alaska; Only Texas Ahead of North Dakota

I did not believe this when a reader sent this in, but according to an article from InForum, North Dakota passed Alaska in March to become the second-leading state in crude oil production.
North Dakota passed Alaska in March to become the second-leading state in crude oil production, trailing only Texas, according to officials from Alaska and North Dakota.

It’s been a dramatic rise for a state that was behind seven other states in 2006 in terms of oil production.
North Dakota produced an average of 575,490 barrels of crude oil every day in March, another record, and up from 558,255 barrels a day in February, according to Lynn Helms, director of the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. The crude is coming from a record 6,636 wells, up from the previous record of 6,450 set in February.

North Dakota’s new record output of crude surpassed the steadily declining output of Alaska, which saw its production fall to 567,481 barrels per day in March, down nearly 15,000 barrels from February’s daily average, said Stephen McMains of the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Monday.
The only thing more incredible than the story itself is the fact this was not THE headline in every North Dakota newspaper today. This is a huge milestone.

New Poll: Will The Seaway Reversal Narrow The WTI-Brent Spread?


March 21, 2016: futures; spread is $0.01

February 15, 2016: the spread is widening moving into mid-February; it is currently about $3.00 - $4.00.

December 22, 2015: at parity in the "front month." Spread: $0.00.

June 10, 2014: Brent - $109.74; WTI - $104.49. Spread: $5.24.

April 9, 2014: Brent - $107.98; WTI - $103.34. Spread: $4.64.  

August 16, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $110.04; WTI - $107.75. Spread: $2.29.

August 1, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $109.28; WTI - $107.69. Spread: $1.60.

July 23, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $108.46; WTI - $107.14. Spread: $1.30. The price of Bakken at Clearbrook is no longer available from Bloomberg without a very expensive subscription.

July 18, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $108.77; WTI - $108.33. Spread: 44 cents. The price of Bakken at Clearbrook is no longer available from Bloomberg without a very expensive subscription.

July 17, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $109; WTI - $106. Spread: $3. The price of Bakken at Clearbrook is no longer available from Bloomberg without a very expensive subscription.

April 26, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $103; WTI - $93. Spread: $10. The price of Bakken at Clearbrook is no longer available from Bloomberg without a very expensive subscription. The $10 spread is the narrowest spread in a very, very long time; said to be due to lowered outlooks on global growth, not due to less glut at Cushing.

April 8, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $104; WTI - $93. Spread: $11. The Bakken premium at Clearbrook, MN, dropped 180% overnight, now trading to a discount to WTI at $1.00/bbl.

March 26, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $109; WTI - $96. Spread: $13. Bakken premium at Clearbrook, MN: + 50 cents. (Reminds me of a musical group.)

March 14, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $111; WTI - $93. Spread: $18. At COB, interestingly enough, the CNBC crawler showed the Brent-WTI spread to be $16.26, one of the narrowest spreads in quite some time. Bakken discount at Clearbrook, MN: -25 cents.

March 5, 2013:  Bakken premium at Clearbrook, MN: +1.50 cents.

Elsewhere, look what they are getting for Bakken crude oil: $98/bbl. 
February 15, 2013: 
At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $117; WTI - $95. Spread: $22.
February 11, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $118; WTI - $97. Spread: $21.
February 6, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $118; WTI - $97. Spread: $21.
February 5, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $117; WTI - $97. Spread: $20.

RBN Energy notes the spread is worsening; unexpected; decision changed -- operators will now reverse the flow of the nation's largest continental pipeline, the Capline (runs from Louisiana to Illinois)
February 4, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $116; WTI - $96. Spread: $20.
February 1, 2013:  At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $117; WTI - $98. Spread: $19.
January 21, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $112; WTI - $95.62. Spread: $16.
January 17, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $110.86; WTI - $95.62. Spread: $15.
January 14, 2013: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $111; WTI - $93.64. Spread: $17.

January 11, 2013: Seaway pipeline expansion AND reversal back on line.

August 10, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $113.28; WTI - $92.30. Spread: $21.
August 1, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $105.99; WTI - $88.91. Spread: $17.
July 18, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $105.95; WTI - $89.83. Spread: $16.
June 18, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $95.78; WTI - $83.27. Spread: $12.
June 12, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $97.21; WTI - $83.13. Spread: $14.
June 7, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $102.14; WTI - $86.40. Spread: $16.  

Seaway crude finally reaches the Gulf.

June 1, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $99.84; WTI - $86.53. Spread: $13.
May 31, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $103.83; WTI - $87.43. Spread: $17.
May 30, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $103.74; WTI - $87.90. Spread: $16.
May 29, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $107.64; WTI - $90.66. Spread: $17.
May 25, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $107.69; WTI - $90.38. Spread: $18 - widened by a bit.
May 24, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $107.67; WTI - $90.91. Spread: $17.

May 22, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $109.94; WTI - $92.20. Spread: $18.

May 22, 2012: Apparently the oil is starting to flow in the Seaway

May 21, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $109.14; WTI - $91.80. Spread: $17.

May 21, 2012: Modifications complete; oil will start flowing this weekend (~ May 27, 2012).

May 18, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $108.26; WTI - $92.31. Spread: $16.

May 17, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent - $110.23; WTI - $93.60. Spread: $17.
CNBC talking head says the spread has come down about $4 since the Seaway reversal, although I may have misheard. On May 15 the spread was $17; yesterday, the spread was $18; the spread today, the day the reversal is to take effect, is $17. 
May 16, 2012: At Bloomberg energy, Brent -- $111.38; Dated Cushing -- $93.12; the spread is $18.
CNBC spokesperson at 1:00 p.m. noted that the WTI-Brent spread was widening, the exact opposite that was supposed to happen with the Seaway reversal. 
Original Post

The results of the last poll reveal that 30 percent of respondents have absolutely no interest in the Eagle Ford.

Time for a new poll.

The Seaway reversal is slated to occur this Thursday, May 17, 2012. When this reversal was initially proposed there seemed to be universal agreement that the result would be a narrowing of the spread between WTI and Brent. Since then, folks following this story say the impact has become less clear.
What do you think? Will the reversal narrow the spread or have no impact.

Yes, I know. One can find almost any price for WTI or Brent if one looks hard enough, so it will be a judgment call over time with regard to the results. Perhaps I should have added a fourth choice: "whatever."

Further confusing matters, there is a WTI-Bakken spread. Perhaps more later.

Bloomberg energy:
  • May 15, 2015, 9:45 a.m.: WTI Cushing oil - $95.23; Brent - $112.15. Spread of $17.

HEAD FAKE: The President Supports Fossil Fuels


May 22, 2012: White House aide says outreach to domestic oil and gas industry is not a "head fake." If so:
One of the biggest is whether federal fracing regulations, such as the ones the US Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management proposed on May 4, are even necessary when many producing states already regulate operations aggressively, Gerard told reporters after the meeting.

“The first thing the president’s interagency taskforce should have done, once it was formed, was to sit down and review all of the agency and departmental proposals to regulate fracing and toss out the ones which are unnecessary and irrelevant,” he suggested.

Zichal maintained that the administration recognizes that states are the most effective fracing regulators, and is trying only to produce federal regulations which complement what they’re already doing. “There’s a lot of terrific work happening at the state level, and we’re willing to provide technical support where it’s needed,” she said.
North Dakota does not need any technical support, thank you.
May 16, 2012: the map says it all!

Original Post
Link here to PennEnergy.
After committing early on in his term to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, President Barack Obama has steadily increased his support for increased natural gas exploration and production, according to Bloomberg.
Several recent decisions, however, have illustrated the growing role of natural gas in the administration's approach. Among them, White House officials downplayed the results of an Environmental Protection Agency report faulting fracking for water contamination in Wyoming.

More recently, President Obama met with several members of the natural gas industry at the White House to discuss policies for encouraging greater use of the fossil fuel.

"It took a while for the administration to realize the role it could play," Michael Walls, vice president of the American Chemistry Council, told Bloomberg. "What we’ve seen is an evolution in thinking." [There is that word again.]
According to the LA Times, the Obama Administration has approved 3,675 new natural gas wells in Utah.
The Obama administration has approved a new natural gas drilling project in Utah that is designed to support more than 4,000 jobs and boost the production of energy -- while protecting the environment. All are political issues in the current presidential election year.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the approval on Tuesday [week of May 8, 2012] during an appearance outside Salt Lake City. Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will be allowed to develop up to 3,675 natural gas wells in the next decade in Uintah County, about 170 miles southeast of Salt Lake City near the Colorado border.
3,765. Wow. That's almost twice the number of wells that will be drilled in North Dakota this year.

Quite an evolution in thinking. Nothing like an election to get a president focused.

Natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, algae.

Maybe we will soon get a chance to see if the Wyoming pipeline czar got the memo from the president.

Dakota Farmers Rebound After History Flood (Spring 2011)

My sister alerted me to this story.
Customers are tossing back more beer this spring than last at Drinks Inc. on Main Street in Mohall, and it has a lot to do with the barley farmers are once again planting in the fields around the town of about 1,000 people.

A year ago, many tractors and seeders in northwest North Dakota sat idle as snowmelt, heavy rains and overflowing rivers swamped fields and roads. A record number of acres went unplanted, putting a strain on farmers' wallets. That carried over to small-town businesses that depend largely on farmers' spending for their livelihoods.

It was an unexpected downturn in a state spotted with oil fields and an influx of so many well-paid workers there aren't enough hotels or homes to house them. If it hadn't been for workers from North Dakota's booming oil patch, Drinks Inc. owner Chad Schmidt said, his bar might have collapsed because "farmers weren't spending."

But one mild winter and relatively dry spring later, farmers have a more optimistic outlook — and are willing to buy more beer. In North Dakota, durum wheat acres are expected to double, and the barley crop is projected to be almost 1 ½-times bigger. In South Dakota, this year's corn crop could be the biggest in state history.

EU Narrowly Avoids Recession -- Due to Strength of Germany -- Oil Rises

Link here.
Brent crude oil futures gained on Tuesday, as the euro zone narrowly avoided recession and as better-than-forecast German first quarter GDP data raised hopes that Germany will steer the way through the European debt crisis.

The euro zone economy stagnated, with zero growth, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday.
The results were more positive than forecast, boosting riskier assets, but the region's debt crisis has sapped the life out of the French and Italian economies and widened a split with paymaster Germany.
My hunch is that Mr Hollande will lead the French out of their economic morass. 

North Dakota Production Sets Another Record -- Carpe Diem

I posted the numbers last night; CarpeDiem has the story.
The "Economic Miracle State" of North Dakota pumped another record amount of oil during the month of March at a rate of 575,490 barrels per day, which was an increase of 3% compared to February, and 60% above the output level from a year ago (see top chart above). The new record-setting production in recent months has moved the Peace Garden state ahead of California to become the nation’s No. 3 oil-producing state, behind only Texas and Alaska. If North Dakota continues to increase monthly output at the current rate, it will pass Alaska this year to become America's No. 2 oil-producing state, possibly as early as June or July. 

Seaway Pipeline Reversal Scheduled for May 17 -- Will We See WTI-Brent Spread Narrow?

Link here to WSJ.
It is the biggest question in the global crude-oil market: When will the gap between U.S. and European oil prices shrink back to normal? It also is one of the biggest trades.

Traders have been homing in an unusually large gulf between prices of the benchmark U.S. oil contract, known as West Texas Intermediate, and the European benchmark, known as Brent. Usually the two oil contracts trade within a few dollars of each other. But for more than a year, they have diverged widely.
Currently, Brent trades at $111.57 a barrel, $16.79 above WTI's price of $94.78. Since January 2011, the gap has been as wide as $27.88, but as recently as December it was below $8.

Now traders are seizing on signs that this spread could soon shrink. Industry experts say a new pipeline scheduled to come online in the U.S. this week is likely to help reduce a glut of oil in the Midwest. But opinions vary on how much—or even whether—the planned opening of the Seaway pipeline on May 17 will help drive up WTI prices and narrow the gap between the two oil prices. 
For the Bakken there are at least three spreads: a) WTI-Brent; b) Bakken-WTI; and, c) Bakken-Brent, though the third can be calculated from the first two.