Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Spanish Solar Crisis -- Actions Have Consequences -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken

Tomorrow we are going to start hearing that the Greek banking run has moved to Spain. Some time ago there were stories that Spain got into financial trouble because of its bet on solar energy. My hunch is this: that little inconvenient truth won't be mentioned even once on CNBC tomorrow in the discussion on Spain. 

Three solar dots to connect:
1. This week the US places heavy tariffs on solar panels coming from China -- week of May 17, 2012
2. Banking crisis in Spain rocks Europe -- Thursday, May 17, 2012 (today)
3. Flashback: bankrupt Spanish solar program -- 2010 -- to what extent is this related to the Spanish banking crisis? The failed solar program cost the Spanish government a whopping 126 billion Euros....
From the Spanish solar program linked article, the second linked article:
Spain stands as a lesson to other aspiring green-energy nations, including China and the U.S., by showing how difficult it is to build an alternative energy industry even with billions of euros in subsidies, ....

“The government totally overshot with the tariff,” de la Sota says. “Now they have a huge bill to pay --

U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted solar energy as part of his plan to create green jobs this month with a decision to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of the White House....
From the same linked article:
Power from the most-efficient photovoltaic plants costs utilities about $275 per megawatt-hour to produce compared with about $60 for a coal-fired plant, according to Bloomberg. 

Random Example of Low IP; Nice Production; Re-Entry Well, Madison -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

This is an example of how a well with a low IP can still turn out to be a nice well:
  • 12605, 32 (no typo), SM Energy, Elkhorn Ranch 22-35HR, Elkhorn Ranch, Madison pool, t1989; R-2006; cum 242K, 3/12;
From the geologist's report, some paraphrasing; typed in haste; typos may be present; omissions:
"On February 16, 2006, the Nance Petroleum....Elkhorn Ranch 22-35HR was successfully kicked off and later landed for horizontal penetration of the Upper Buckhorn Porosity in the Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation. ... The original horizontal well was drilled in 1989 by Meridian Oil Corporation and abandoned uncompleted after losing the drill string in the Bakken Shale. The Elkhorn Ranch 22-35H as re-entered and subsequently completed in the Upper Buckhorn Porosity zone."

"This single lateral well required 9 days to drill ... Lateral #2 remains un-drilled at this time."
This well is still producing 1,000 bbls / month. Over the lifetime of this well monthly production has been fairly consistent, with a very small decline compared to Bakken wells.

Good News for Russian Natural Gas -- Czech Joins Others to Stop Fracking

Link here to Rigzone.

Czech will ban fracking for a couple of years while they try to sort things out. They join France, Bulgaria, and Romania in banning fracking.

Czech gets 70 percent of its natural gas from Russia. Russia has been concerned about a potential glut of natural gas in western Europe similar to what the US is experiencing. This is welcome news for Mr Putin.

This also tells me that despite all those stories coming out of Europe about how expensive energy is ($16 for natural gas; $8 for gasoline), the Europeans are fairly content with these prices. And they don't mind importing natural gas from Russia, nor oil from the Mideast.

Stockyard Creek Has Been Updated -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

If I were home in the Bakken tonight, I would take a drive out east of Williston. About five miles east of Williston, up and down some rolling hills, one drives through the middle of the Stockyard Creek. This is a small field, only about 34 sections. I have just updated the field. I count about 38 locations and the wells are very, very good wells.

Five (5) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, May 17, 2012 --

Operators: American Eagle (2), Zavanna (2), Fidelity
Fields: Colgan (Divide), Stockyard Creek (Williams), Dutch Henry Butte (Stark)

Five wells released from "tight hole" status:
21008, 279, EOG, Hardscrabble 9-0508H,
21064, 1,939, KOG, Skunk creek 9-2-3-5H,
21135, DRL, Decker 26-138-97 A 1H,
21762, DRL, Fram Operating, Donovan Funke 3,
21765, 182, MRO, Black Hawk USA 31-16H,

Whiting's Prospects and NDIC Oil Fields

I've talked a lot about the business strategy of Whiting, its northern ops and its southern ops. Obviously it is easy to figure out which county a well is in and NDIC supplies the name of the oil field that the well is in.  In most cases it is easy to figure out which prospect a certain Whiting well is in, but with the Lewis & Clark and Pronghorn prospects so close geographically, it's a bit more difficult to sort them out. It appears Whiting will help out by putting a "P" designation for Pronghorn Sand wells but it's possible a Pronghorn Sand well could be in either the Lewis & Clark Prospect or the Pronghorn Prospect.

This is a very rough guide, and I will take any suggestions. I feel pretty comfortable about the sweet spots in the northern ops, but I still don't have a good feeling in the southern ops. Hopefully this will be an aid. 

Pronghorn Prospect, north of I-94, between Dickinson and Belfield
Whiskey Joe -- nw of Park, Park west of Bell
Bell -- north of Belfield
Park -- east of Bell
North Creek -- between Bell and New Hradec
New Hradec -- east of Bell, ne of Zenith
Dutch Henry Butte -- east of New Hradec
Green River -- east of Belfield, north of Zenith, north of I-94; west of Dickinson
Pronghorn Prospect, south of I-94, west of Dickinson
South Heart -- south of Dutch Henry Butte -- south of I-94; west of Dickinson
Zenith -- south of Bell, east of Belfield; west of South Heart; south of I-94; west of Dickinson
Gaylord -- south of Belfield; south of the interstate; west of Zenith
Fryburg -- sw of  Belfield; west of Gaylord
Davis Creek -- sw of Belfield; south of Fryburg; southwest of Gaylord oil field

Medora area
Marquis -- between Medora oil field and Fryburg; se of town of Medora

Dickinson area
Hiline -- SE Dickinson; inside city limits
Heart River -- sw of Dickinson, outside city limits

Lewis & Clark
Magpie -- ne of Elkhorn Ranch 
Ash Coulee -- se of Roosevelt
Roosevelt -- se of Morgan Draw
Cooks Peak -- south of Beaver Creek
Four Eyes
Morgan Draw -- east of Bicentennial, Beaver Crrek
Beaver Creek -- south of Bicentennial
Elkhorn Ranch
Big Stick -- between T.R. and Elkhorn
Chateau - west of Demores
Marquis -- between Medora oil field and Fryburg; se of town of Medora (possibly part of Big Island, doubtful)

Big Island
Camel Hump -- out in the middle of nowhere, 3 sections, near Sentinel Butte
Hoot Owl -- middle of nowhere, 2 sections, far west, near Montana border, ne of Camel Hump

Central McKenzie
Pleasant Hill -- central McKenzie
Ellsworth -- central McKenzie

Southwest McKenzie
Cinnamon Creek -- sw McKenzie; north of Bicentennial
Rough Rider -- east of Cinnamon Creek
Poker Jim -- sw McKenzie, east of Squaw Gap
Squaw Gap -- sw McKenzie, north of Bicentennail
Bicentennial -- Montana border, sw McKenzie
North Elkhorn Ranch -- east of Buckhorn
Buckhorn -- east of Bicentennial

Central McKenzie, Arnegard Area
Cherry Creek -- central McKenzie
Timber Creek -- Arnegard
Arnegard --
Bully -- central, east McKenzie

Alexander Area
Rawson -- east of Alexander
Sioux -- north of Alexander
Lonesome -- north of Alexander

Indian Hill, Bull's Eye of the Bakken
Elk -- se of Indian Hill
Westberg -- bull's eye
Twin Valley -- bull's eye, west of Westberg

North of the river, east of Williston, near Ray
Dollar Joe -- south of Ray; part of Ray, north of the river, north of the bull's eye
Robinson Lake -- west of Sanish; north of the river; Mountrail
Ray -- mirror image of Dollar Joe, north of Ray



Way east, east Ward County
Wabek -- way east; part in Ward County
Plaza -- way east; part in Ward County

North McKenzie, Montana border
Estes -- Montana border, north McKenzie
Mondak -- se of Estes

Southeast Mountrail
Lucky Mound

Way north, near Canadian border; Spearfish formation area
Smith -- way north
Landa -- way north
Sherwood -- Canadian border, east
West Ambrose
Big Dipper -- Canadian border, west
Gooseneck -- Canadian border, west

Interesting, Isn't It? -- Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Bakken

Link here.

The president's literary agent in 1991:
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.  The son of an American anthropologist [mother] and a Kenyan finance minister [father], he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation.   He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
You can't have it both ways.

Or maybe you can if the mainstream media lets you.

This is very, very, VERY, interesting. 

And there's more, the AP reported the same thing: born in Kenya. It will be interesting if the "off-Broadway" stories will reach a tipping point when the mainstream media finally has to report the story.

ND Legacy Fund: $350 Million in 9 Months -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Headline only, from print edition of Williston Herald, no link: $350 million, Legacy Fund, 9 months old.

I assume it is earning no interest or dividends. It is primarily in cash if I understand the earlier reports.

Have We Been Here Before? -- All About Greece, Not the Bakken


Later, 1:55 p.m.: This doesn't sound as bad as last summer.
Fitch on Thursday sliced Greece’s long-term credit rating to CCC from B-, citing a “heightened risk” Greece won’t sustain its membership in the eurozone.

Original Post

Headline at Drudge, but no link yet: "Fitch slashes Greece."

Flashback, July 14, 2011: The Fitch rating agency Wednesday downgraded Greece's credit rating to just one grade above default status. Greece may receive a second bailout to prevent its crisis from destabilizing other European countries.

Comment: either we've been here before or Fitch has put Greece into default status. Unless they've added some "grades" between where they were last year (one grade above default) and default.

I will continue to watch for the link.

Eerily Quiet in Tel Aviv -- Nothing About the Bakken


May 28, 2012: Netanyahu blames Iran for mass killings in Syria.

Original Post
Speaking of the biggest IPO in history (which we weren't, but are now), Facebook friends will have a lot to discuss when Israel visits Iran.

From the second linked story:
As the deadline for a decision draws nearer, the public pronouncements of Israel's top officials and military have changed. After hawkish warnings about a possible strike earlier this year, their language of late has been more guarded and clues to their intentions more difficult to discern.

"The top of the government has gone into lockdown," one official said. "Nobody is saying anything publicly. That in itself tells you a lot about where things stand."

Last week Netanyahu pulled off a spectacular political surprise, creating a coalition of national unity and delaying elections which everyone believed were inevitable. The maneuver also led to speculation that the Israeli leader wanted a broad, strong government to lead a military campaign.

The inclusion of the Iranian-born former Israeli chief of staff and veteran soldier, Gen. Shaul Mofaz, in the coalition, fuelled that speculation - even though both Mofaz and Netanyahu deny that Iran was mentioned in the coalition negotiations.

"I think they have made a decision to attack," said one senior Israeli figure with close ties to the leadership. "It is going to happen. The window of opportunity is before the U.S. presidential election in November. This way they will bounce the Americans into supporting them."
There's a reason Saudi is stockpiling 100 million bbls of oil off-shore.

Pricing the Bakken -- Reuters

This is one of the best articles I have seen on the Bakken in the last few months.

A huge "thank you" to a reader.

I breezed through it quickly. Some initial unedited comments from what I remember speeding reading. I may be completely off.

First, what I wrote to the reader who sent me the article:
Wow, that is a great article, and conforms almost exactly with my world view of the Bakken.

It is interesting the article focused on OXY talking about pulling out to some extent from the Bakken, saying they have better prospects elsewhere, based on cost.

What was not noted in the article was the absolutely dismal wells OXY has reported (one recent exception in Dunn County).

If OXY was reporting wells with yearly production that BEXP and Whiting are reporting, OXY would be less concerned about costs.
Other things that made an impression, in no particular order, and not edited ("Economart talk"):
  • OXY is not moving out completely. Why? "That's where the oil is."
  • Whiting mentioned frequently. Reuters noted how quickly Whiting is drilling their wells. Did they say Whiting was reaching total depth in 15 days?
  • Reuters thinks OXY's talk about costs is at the wrong end of the curve. Reuters thinks costs of drilling and completing a well are going down; but service companies are going to re-negotiate their contracts with eye on raising prices. (Some schizoid notes here: costs coming down in some areas, but may rise in other areas.)
  • Reuters note that new state regulations on waste management will add $400,000 to cost of each well in North Dakota.
  • Sand and ceramics will become more plentiful (prices to come down).
  • Price point for Bakken oil: $68 oil provides a 15% rate of return. [Saudi, other sources, needs $87 to execute their state budget.]
If I have time, I might go back to the article and put in data points from the article, but since it pretty much conforms to my world view of the Bakken, I will probably move on.

Bottom line: both Reuters and I agree that OXY's worry about the cost of drilling in the Bakken tells us more about the efficiency/effectiveness of OXY's drilling/fracking than about the Bakken potential. Whiting and BEXP seem to have cracked the code. Newfield also expressed worries about costs but seems to be doing something about it. But "everybody knows" that the Bakken and the Eagle Ford plays are where the oil is. 

Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen

Chesapeake's Grenz Pad Wells, #22153, #21885; Updates -- One Confidential; One DRL

NDIC File No: 22153     API No: 33-089-00676-00-00
Well Type: OG     Well Status: DRL     Status Date: 4/19/2012     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NWNW 26-138-98     Footages: 350 FNL 1270 FWL     Latitude: 46.744687     Longitude: -103.014836
Current Well Name: GRENZ 26-138-98 A 2H
Elevation(s): 2753 GL     Total Depth:       Field: WILDCAT
Spud Date(s):  4/19/2012
Completion Data
   Pool: MISSION CANYON     Status: DRL     Date: 4/19/2012

April 24, 2012: letter from NDIC noting change in target to Mission Canyon.
December, 2011: sundry form listing the Three Forks as the target. 


NDIC File No: 21885     API No: 33-089-00660-00-00
Location: NWNW 26-138-98     Footages: 350 FNL 1250 FWL     Latitude: 46.744687     Longitude: -103.014916
Current Well Name: GRENZ 26-138-98 A 1H
    Field: WILDCAT

Target: Three Forks 

The Kostenko well, #21681, sits on the same east-west line between the Grenz pad wells and the Decker well.  Kostenko on confidential list.

The Obritsch permit, #21687, loc, is on the same east-west line between the Grenz pad and the Decker wells, east of Kostenko.

This is also the same area as Oil for America's Froelich well, #19785, which has been on DRL status "forever."

Jobless Claims Holds Steady at 370,000; Previous Week Revised Upward; Total Number Rises

Remember: the magic number is 400,000
Leading Economic Indicators Goes Negative For First Time Since September

The previous week was revised up from 367 to 370-thousand.

From Reuters:
Not good when the number holds steady but it could be worse. How did others see it?
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 365,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 4,750 to 375,000.

The data comes on the heels of three straight months of slowing employment gains. Companies added 115,000 new jobs to their payrolls in April, the fewest in six months.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 18,000 to 3.27 million in the week ended May 5.
WOW, WOW, WOW -- Leading Economic Indicators went negative in April after it had gone positive in March. Market reacting in a very negative way the drop in LEI. The 30-second soundbite says the drop in LEI is due to a) persistent jobless rates; and, b) mortgage and housing problem. I don't know about you, but everything is pointing to a difficulty decoupling risk of American recession from the recession in half of the entire EU. It's going to be a very, very long, hard summer for investors. 
The economy is "still struggling to gain momentum," though long-term trends remain expansionary, the Conference Board said Thursday as it reported that its index of leading economic indicators fell 0.1% in April, the first decline since September.

Chesapeake's Decker, #21135

NDIC File No: 21135     API No: 33-089-00645-00-00     County: STARK
Well Type: OG     Well Status: DRL     Status Date: 10/28/2011     Wellbore type: HORIZONTAL
Location: NWNE 26-138-97     Footages: 365 FNL 1220 FEL     Latitude: 46.744775     Longitude: -102.876964

Lateral 1 Start Coordinates 8 N 703 W From Wellhead, End Coordinates 9923 S 674 W From Wellhead
Current Well Name: DECKER 26-138-97 A 1H
Original Well Name: DECKER 26-138-97 A 1H
Elevation(s): 2629 GL     Total Depth:       Field: WILDCAT
Spud Date(s):  10/28/2011
Formation Tops
   K-M 5288    K-N 5420    K-IK 5666    K-GH 5854    J-S 6007    J-R 6460
   T-S 6812    PM-MK 7085    PM-OP 7120    PM-EBA 7240    M-KL 8202    M-MD 8307
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN/THREE FORKS     Status: DRL     Date: 10/28/2011

The well is about 8 miles SSW of Dickinson, maybe almost directly south of the west side of Dickinson. This well is almost exactly six miles east of the Grenz pad. 

From the Geologic Summary:
  • targeted the Three Forks formation 
  • spudded: October 28, 2011 total depth: November 9, 2011 
  • upper Bakken shale: approx 6 feet thick 
  • no mention of middle Bakken 
  • Three Forks: gamma and gas API unremarkable; 
Paraphrased in haste; typos possible; omissions;

Thursday Morning Non-Bakken News and Comments

1. CNN hits lowest primetime "demo" rating in primetime in 15 years. Incredible.
Unfortunately for CNN, “Piers Morgan Tonight” was the apparent victim of the busy night, drawing only 39,000 viewers 25-54 at 9 PM. To say those ratings are anomalous would be something of an understatement. That is the lowest 9 PM weekday demo rating for CNN since at least 1997.
39,000 viewers nationwide. That is incredible. I assume 38,000 of those viewers were folks walking through airport terminals. A captive audience.

2. I don't know if you have been following the story coming out of Washington, DC, in which the president has inserted himself in the bios of the previous presidents. Apparently, it has gone viral:

Upon Retirement

3. I don't think this is exactly what they meant, but the verbatim quote from the LA Times:
Headline: coffee linked to lower risk of death

The story: A study finds that older adults who drink java are less likely to die than those who don't. Subjects who averaged four or five cups per day fared best, though it's not clear why.
"Less likely to die." Really.

4. Harvard's first woman of color?  Elizabeth Warren is trying to "crawl back" from any assertions that she knew anyone was describing her as as minority (1/32nd Cherokee) but now one of the Boston tabloids has a full-front-page photo of a recipe for baked beans submitted to something called "Pow-Wow Cookbook." No big deal except it was submitted by "an" Elizabeth Warren.

5. Several housing stories regarding the Bakken posted earlier: a) at least 5,000 more houses needed in Williston; some say 7,000 more houses needed now; others say 25,000 more houses will eventually be needed. Dunn County has ended moratorium on crew camps. Dickinson moving closer to large house development.

6. For investors in energy, the play to be: "midstream." Story posted earlier.

7. Jobless claims hold steady at 370,000. Remember, 400,000 is the is magic number. Steady is not good. But it's better than an increase.

8. Wal-Mart's quarterly revenue numbers are amazing: revenues of $113 billion vs $110.5 estimated.

9. Maryland: a) increases taxes on the wealthy (defined as income > $100,000); b) increases taxes on small businesses; and, c) shifts teachers' pension costs to counties (from state). The legislature is 2/3rds Democrat. The spending bill is $1 billion more than last year.

10. Yesterday's news of Robert F Kennedy, Jr's, second wife hanging herself came just days after I finished reading Anthony Summers' biography of Marilyn Monroe. This is the first paragraph from a story of yesterday's news:
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife, Mary, who battled her husband’s rumored philandering by turning to alcohol and prescription drugs, hanged herself in a barn on their Westchester estate yesterday, sources told The Post.
Until one reads the Monroe biography, one does not get a real feeling for the extent of the "rumored philandering" of some men in this family. Marilyn Monroe was a very sympathetic figure. Somehow I could accept "mad men" back in the late 50's and early 60's but I thought things had changed. Obviously not. 
From the linked story, this quote from a dinner guest:
“I remember being seated at a dinner next to Bobby around 10 years ago that she was also at — it was the first time I had met either of them — and he put his hand on my thigh under the table. We hadn’t even spoken but to say hello. He is such a dog that way.” 
It is a very sad story. Four children, I believe. Regarding Summer's biography on Monroe: I got a "clinical" feeling for Marilyn Monroe, but only in a few places did I feel an emotional response based on his writing. It would be interesting to read a psychological biography of Marilyn. She was certainly a much more complex individual than folks seem to note.

11. Verizon will end unlimited data plans for those grandfathered in when Verizon switches to LTE data plans. Wow.  If ATT had done this (and they most likely will do this eventually), this would have been headline news. For some reason Verizon gets a pass.

State To Provide $3 Million in Subsidies for Law Enforcement Workers in the Oil Patch -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Link here to the Dickinson Press.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced Wednesday he’s directing $3 million from the state’s share of a lawsuit settlement to subsidize housing for law enforcement in the Oil Patch.

Stenehjem, speaking at the Bakken Housing Conference in Williston, said law enforcement agencies in the oil and gas producing counties are getting qualified applicants, but they can’t afford the housing costs in those communities.

“Are we having issues with housing? Absolutely,” Dickinson Police Department Capt. David Wilkie said. “The entire city is having issues with housing. Not just the public sector, but the private sector too. You bring anybody into the city right now and there’s no place to live.”

Inflated housing prices have some landlords charging $2,000 a month for an apartment, he said, adding a new officer is commuting three hours round trip daily from a relative’s house until he can find a place to live.
I give the Dickinson Press more grief than they deserve, probably, for their editorial stance on the oil industry. I have to admit, when I want to find information about local issues in the Bakken, it seems the Dickinson Press always comes through. The Bismarck Tribune does well. The Williston Herald, for some reason, has less on a daily basis. The supplements published periodically by the Bismarck Tribune and the Williston Herald are outstanding.

7,000 More Homes Needed in Williston, North Dakota -- Conference Speaker -- The Heart of the Bakken

Link here to the Dickinson Press.
Organizer Jeff Zarling said that 5,000 may not be the magic number, but the theme was designed to convey the magnitude of the oil boom on western North Dakota’s housing needs to stakeholders around the country.

Peter Elzi, principal of THK Associates, who does market feasibility work for builders and developers, told attendees that Williston has an immediate need for 7,000 homes.

Over the next decade, Williston will need about 25,000 homes, said Elzi, whose Colorado firm has been working in the Bakken for two years.

More than 350 people from 33 states are attending the sold-out summit [being held in Williston], representing developers, builders, investors and others in the construction industry.
I have nothing to say. I am overwhelmed.  Okay, I will say something. I wonder if the analysis is built on 150 billion bbls of original oil in place (OOIP), 300 million bbls, or 900 million bbls.

Dunn County Ends Moratorium on Crew Camps -- The Bakken, The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here to the Dickinson Press.
Dunn County will lift its crew camp moratorium June 1.

“We need a place for these people to stay,” said Commissioner Tim Steffan. “If there is no place for these people to stay, they’re going to stay in all of these other places, but I think we need restrictions on them. Zero tolerance.”

Over the past year, Dunn County commissioners approved construction of six crew camps. Camps housing more than 1,000 oil workers are already in operation in Killdeer and Manning.
"These people."  How about "We need a play for people to live."?

Several Good Links At ISA -- Not Necessarily All About The Bakken

Independent Stock Analysis (ISA) has a number of links to energy-related stories. I will look at them later today.

Upstream, Downstream, and Now Midstream -- RBN

I'm sure the term "midstream" has been used in the oil and gas industry "forever." But when I was growing up, it was just "upstream" and "downstream." But about six months ago, I don't think it was even a year ago, I started seeing "midstream" everywhere.

Today, RBN Energy has a story which corroborates a story I posted yesterday: "midstream" is going to be in the news for quite some time. The US pipeline network is severely challenged by the immense amount of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids that are being produced.