Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why I Re-Post Data

Earlier this evening I received the following comment regarding my daily re-posting of the NDIC daily activity reports:

Guess what Bruce, Everyone who cares read this on the NDIC site

The grammar, punctuation, and the capitalization suggested ... I won't go there. I digress.

I responded to that comment by explaining why I re-post so much data. I won't repeat that here. You can read it at the original post. It was at today's posting of the NDIC daily activity report.

However, there is another reason I re-post so much data. It is amazing how much I "see" when I re-post the data. When I first started this blog, I did not re-post the monthly NDIC hearing dockets, but I found that I was often skimming through the information, and not really paying attention to what I was reading. If I was interrupted while reading the cases, I often failed to return to the dockets. But re-posting it forced me to really look at the data.

And by doing this, I often see things that I would otherwise miss.

This is my best example and one of which I am most proud. To the best of my knowledge I am the only one who has ever noticed it. I am the only one who has ever posted it.

It has to do with Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, Mrs Dalloway. The first time I read that book, I hated it. But critics said it was a masterpiece which made me think I was missing something. So, to force myself to really read this book, I re-typed the entire book. The entire book.

But I didn't simply re-type it as Ms Woolf posted it. I re-typed it in blank verse. And I didn't do that without a reason. While typing it initially, I noticed that it was a prose poem, again something I did not see until I started typing it.

And then, when I typed it in blank verse, I noted something else. Ms Woolf had incorporated a poem into her novel. I assume others have noticed that but I have seen no indication and googling has not confirmed that others have seen it.

But, and this is where I really got excited: by typing it out in blank verse, I discovered the source of the poem, and even provided a hypothesis as to where Ms Woolf found the poem. That, to the best of my knowledge, is something no one else has discovered, and if they have, they have not put it on the net.

The story is at one of my other blogs, my literature blog. Again, I consider that post one of the best things I ever did (for me, not for anyone else) and I never would have noted it had I not re-typed the entire novel. [It took me several months to re-type that novel, about two hours a night, every few nights.]

The same thing has happened numerous times while re-posting NDIC data, most of which I post when I discover it.

The other thing, and this is very, very minor in the big scheme of things, but important to note. My Bakken blog is not an investment site. No one should use my site to make investment decisions. But by re-posting every last NDIC daily activity report (I haven't missed one in two years) and posting a summary of every NDIC hearing docket, I feel I have developed a real feel for the Bakken, which has led me to make some very nice investment decisions. I have invested on my own starting back in 1984, if I remember correctly. The first investment I ever made was in Burlington Northern, one of my best investments, and I got the idea for that investment by watching coal train after coal train pass through Williston (actually, it was in a cafe in Grand Forks with my parents when I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB when I first had the idea -- the cafe was next to the railroad and while sitting there a coal train went by). The data was all there -- somewhere -- for investors but I had never found it; it was day after day of coal trains going through Williston that hit me like a "2 by 4." So, it's the same with re-posting the data.

Here's a Bakken example. The following is one of the best examples of thinkgs I noted regarding the Bakken, again because I re-posted so much data. Maybe everyone else in the world also noted it but to the best of my knowledge, I was the first to blog about it: the two operational centers for Whiting in North Dakota -- their northern ops and their southern ops. That was many, many months ago. To date, I am unaware of anyone else blogging about it. (Probably because it is/was obvious and everyone in the world knew except me.)

I was also the first to note on a blog that there was something different about Whiting's Lewis&Clark/Pronghorn Prospect. And guess what? In their most recent corporate presentation, Whiting now separates out the Pronghorn Prospect from their Lewis&Clark Prospect.

This observation -- which I came across only because I re-posted and re-posted so much data -- confirmed that an earlier investment was a good decision and one I should stick with. That investment decision is now "throwing" off free cash which I use for other investments.

Re-posting and re-posting data also convinced me to get out of one Bakken investment and move into another, a decision that turned out to be the correct one.

(Like gamblers who return from Las Vegas, I won't talk about all my losers. Smile.)

You know, it's sort of like practicing the piano. I could simply listen to the CD, but to really get a feeling for the piece, practicing the piece over and over and over makes a huge difference. My favorite is "Für Elise."

So, again, my blogging is not for investing or for investors. If you go back to my "welcome" and/or my "disclaimer" I mention that I never planned to talk about investments or the stock market with regard to the Bakken. But it soon became obvious that one could not understand the Bakken without following the investments that were being made. In fact, I wish I could eliminate all references to the stock market and to investing, but it's not gonna happen when talking about the Bakken.

Posting, re-posting, and re-posting all those stories about crew camps -- are you getting anything out of that? If not, your missing a huge story. If you look at all the stories I've posted and re-posted about the crew camps around Dickinson, one can only get the feeling that something big is happening in that part of the state.  The stories about the crew camps around the Dickinson area were being posted and re-posted and re-posted before the announcement of the Pronghorn Prospect.

Actually, the real reason I post and re-post and re-post is because I want to improve my typing skills.

Oh, I'm sorry. I can't quit. Again, by posting and re-posting data, I got into a pipeline investment very, very early. In fact, multiple pipeline plays.

But again, investing is a very minor piece for me. I post and re-post and re-post to help me see developing stories. That's the reward and the joy of blogging.


It's 12:00 midnight on the east coast. After midnight I go to YouTube and pick a song I want to hear, and from there go randomly to the next song from the suggested YouTube list. As I say at the site:
After midnight I start with a random song on which leads me to another and then another. Later, sometimes hours later, I end up somewhere not knowing how I got there. Often I am in a fugue state. I am sure I am not alone.
So, tonight, at two minutes after midnight, I will start with:

California Blue, Roy Orbison
I've told this story many times. I think I've posted it before.  A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to do a lot of hitchhiking, including three cross-country hitchhiking trips across the US. Later, I returned the favor by picking up hitchhikers.

The second time I ever visited California, and the first time I had a car while visiting California, I was "Sunday driving" down Highway 1, near Santa Cruz. I stopped to pick up a young couple. His name I forget; she called herself "something Blue." I think it was "California Blue," but I can't say for sure, but the second "part" was Blue. Easy to remember. The blue skies, the blue ocean. They wanted me to drive them about ten miles so he could start hitchhiking from a better spot. She was not hitchhiking any farther that day. So we dropped him off and continued in the same direction for awhile. I asked her what "we" would do, or what her boyfriend would do if he failed to catch a ride. That was never a consideration but she said we'll know when we turn around and drive back.

So, after some miles down the road we turned around and headed back in the direction from which we had come. And there he was -- in the front seat of a VW minivan. He had a huge smile on his face and he was on his way.

You know, it's a funny thing. I obviously dropped "California Blue" off where she wanted to be let off, but I don't remember that part of the story. All I remember she was an incredibly beautiful California daytripper. I remain, to this day, "amazed" that he would head off without her.

So, now back to YouTube Fugue to see where I end up tonight. Maybe some night I will tell you about my hitchhiking story in Switzerland, again, a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Landmark Energy Deal Creates Thousands Of Jobs -- Nope, Not in the US -- Sorry

I have only read the headline, haven't read the story yet: landmark UK-Norway energy deal creates thousands of jobs.

In fact, I don't think I will even read the story.

I'm just thinking, had the president not killed the Keystone, this could have been headline: landmark Canadian-US energy deal creates thousands of job.

With a sub-headline: North America one step closer to total energy independence.

InsideClimate News/Dickinson Press Raise More Questions About Keystone XL 2.0S

The Dickinson Press story is here.

The InsideClimate News story is here, in case there are questions in the Dickinson Press story that were left unanswered.

If you click on the second link, spend some time exploring the site. For additional background, see this earlier posting.

Housekeeping: Glass Bluff Oil Field Has Been Updated

Glass Bluff oil field has been updated. Most of the wells are fairly new, but in light of all the Zavanna activity, someone suggested it was time to update the field.

Twenty (20) New Permits -- QEP Has Permits For Another 10-Well Pad -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Daily activity report, June 7, 2012 --
  • Operators: QEP (10), BEXP (4), CLR (2), KOG (2), OXY USA, SM Energy
  • Fields: Moccasin Creek (Dunn), Tobacco Garden (McKenzie), Saddle Butte (Billings), Todd (Williams), Musta (Divide), Heart Butte (Dunn)
I didn't map the ten QEP wells, but they will all be on one pad or very, very close in section 6-149-92. There's already a producing well in that section:
  • 18322, 1,742, QEP, MHA 1-06-31H-150-92 (no typo), t6/10; cum 230K 4/12; 
Back on April 9, 2012, I posted a link to a Mike Filloon post that QEP had finished drilling another 10-well pad.

Same with the BEXP wells: I didn't map them out so don't know if they will be on the same pad, but again, awful close in section 25-155-101, Todd field. These four wells will be east of the highway leading out of Williston on the north side, about two miles north of the city limits.

One well was released form "tight hole" status:
  • 20622, 1,067, EOG, Fertile 48-0905H, Mountrail

Finally: Seaway Oil Reaches the Gulf

August 10, 2012: article on the "Seaway Reversal" and why it has not resulted in the changes we had hoped.

August 3, 2012: the data points below are taken from RBN energy. The "Seaway Reversal" has three (3) phases:
  • Phase 1: the reversal: the pipeline now delivers domestic and Canadian crude out of Cushing into the lucrative refining market on the Gulf Coast
  • Phase 2: boost existing pipeline capacity from 150,000 bopd to 400,000 bopd; should be completed by the end of 2012
  • Phase 3: build a twin, parallel, crude pipeline alongside the original; will more than double the capacity of the Seaway; expected to go into service in mid-2014
Original Post
Link here.
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.  and Enbridge Inc. announced that the initial volumes of crude oil through the Seaway Pipeline were delivered to the Jones Creek facility, near Freeport, Texas, today at approximately 11 a.m. CDT. The arrival marks the first southbound delivery of crude by pipeline from the oversupplied Cushing hub, and gives producers access to all of the major refineries in the Greater Houston area and Texas City.

Thundering Telephones, Batman -- We're Down to $30/Month For Unlimited Data


Later, 12:45 p.m.: I just looked at Virgin Mobile's nationwide coverage. I wouldn't do this; I travel too much and have friends and family in fly-over country. Without roaming capability, this offer does not fly. But, it may spur ATT to do something similar.

Original Post
Link here.
Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans for iPhone start at $35 per month for access to Sprint's Nationwide Network, and customers can receive a $5 per-month plan discount when they register for automatic monthly payments with a credit card, debit card or PayPal account, making iPhone available for as low as $30 per month. Customers can also use their iPhone as a mobile hotspot through Virgin Mobile for an additional $15 per month.
I currently pay about $75 for two Sprint cellphones. Voice only. No data. And my younger daughter (who has the second cell phone) just called to tell me she doesn't need all the minutes in our plan. The Virgin Mobile basic plan come with 300 minutes.

I used to pay about a $100 for bundling internet and television at home, which I have discontinued, but for an extra $15 with Virgin Mobile, one could have a "hot spot" which could connect to a mini to stream television.

This is getting very, very interesting very, very fast.

Barron's Soapbox Take on Current Oil Prices, Supply, Demand, Global Economy

Link here to an interesting article with a fair number of data points for consideration.

I was unaware that US imports of crude oil have actually increased in a "meaningful" way from both Canada and Saudi Arabia. I thought imports from Saudi were dropping.

These increases occurred over the past year, a year in which I thought the American economy was slowing down. Wow, can you imagine what would be happening if the US economy actually started moving again?

The short note recommends investors look at five energy companies, three of which are very, very familiar to readers of Bakken blogs.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. This is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any shares in any company mentioned at the link. 

Subsidies to Farmers -- WSJ

Link here to WSJ.

About every six weeks, Connie writes me to "complain" about farm subsidies to North Dakota farmers. Connie tells me she is a liberal. She has asked that I not post her comments, so I don't. I assume she will send me the above link.

As usual, the WSJ has a great graphic. And Connie is correct. North Dakota farmers get a lot of subsidies.

Check out the graphic. The WSJ uses relative size of circles over each state to depict relative amount of subsidies going to each state.

The first thing one notices is that most farm subsidies go to states where there is a lot of farming.

Okay, seriously.

The circle overlaying California is a small circle, about the size of the Los Angeles metropolitan area on the map.

The circle overlaying North Dakota is about 7/8ths the size of the state of North Dakota. There is a bit of North Dakota showing from outside the circle, but not much.

There is only one state in which the circle is bigger than the state: that most liberal of states -- IOWA. Yes, the circle overlaying Iowa completely covers Iowa as well as a bit of each surrounding state. There is only one other state that comes close to Iowa in overall size and almost obliterating out the state itself: that most liberal of states - ILLINOIS.

That most liberal of states -- MINNESOTA -- is in the same mix as IOWA and ILLINOIS. President Clinton's home state is almost completely obliterated by the circle and is about the same size as the North Dakota circle.

You know, on second thought, I don't think Connie will send me the link. She has no problem with Iowa getting subsidies, only North Dakota.

I do not know if subsidies for ethanol are part of the IOWA subsidy program but I assume they are. But maybe not. The picture caption suggests "direct payments to farmers."

Most disturbing: how little (relatively) the southern states (except for Texas) get in subsidies. [The circles in Massachusetts and Maine are microscopic.]

Where Is All That Consumer Debt -- The WSJ

CarpeDiem writes about this often. I didn't pay a lot of attention because the issue no longer affected me: college loans.

I assume CarpeDiem will post this story/link if it already hasn't.

The journal provides a small graph that is worth a thousand words. It shows three sources of American debt: credit card, auto loan, and student loan.

Credit card debt has been on a striking downward trend since 2008 (which I can explain if anyone cared -- no, don't ask).

Auto loans had a similarly striking downward trend between 2008 and 2011, but it now increasing, albeit slowly.

But student loan. Wow! It looks like the trend line for Bakken oil production -- about a 45-degree angle, and it's a a straight line. No recession effect on student loans, or costs, I assume.

A Shout-Out to Karen: Thank You!

Don reminded me how much some of us miss Karen.

I posted some of this yesterday at the bottom of another post:
... a big "thank you" to Karen over at the Bakken Shale Discussion Group. For a long time, on a daily basis, despite having a real life (unlike me), she posted the results of wells that came off the confidential list on a daily basis.  I couldn't wait for her reports to be posted. It was because of her posts, I finally decided to get my own "Basic Subscription" to the NDIC website. One of the nice things about her postings at the Discussion Group, folks would comment on the peculiarities of various wells.  I learned a lot.

I am thanking her again on this stand-alone post -- I hope it doesn't embarrass her -- in case folks missed it yesterday. She probably did more than anyone else to get me really interested in the NDIC reports. 

Karen hasn't posted in several weeks now. I assume her BEXP oil well came in with a typical BEXP IP and she is on a Caribbean beach somewhere. It takes a lot of work to post these results every day, and with the manufacturing phase about ready to kick in, it will only get more challenging.

So, thank you, Karen, wherever you are, and I hope you are enjoying the beverage of your choice on that white, sandy beach.
Sometimes I wish this blog was part of "Facebook" so that it could be accessed only by "friends." Yes, that sounds elitist but is not meant to be. I would happily expand the "friends" to whomever wanted to join. But the point is this: at the end of the day, there is a small cadre of folks really, really enthusiastic about the Bakken. And it would be interesting to see them in a "Facebook" group.

But then, the right side of my brain says, "no way, Jose." The anonymity of the Bakken crowd allows a better flow of ideas. "Facebook" friends will result in group think. I get a fair number of comments I cannot post because of the language and a fair number of comments I can't post because it would embarrass "anonymous" due to lack of understanding even basic concepts of economics.

Anyway, I digress.


Karen, if you happen to read this, one favor. Please do not respond. It would only embarrass me. In addition, I would like to think you have been able to break yourself of the Bakken addiction, something I am unable to do. I hope to enter a 12-step program some time down the road.

Thursday Morning Ramblings

1. Washington Post: 7-point trouncing of the unions and Washington Post calls it a "close vote." Meanwhile Stockton, California, ready to declare bankruptcy; "City Hall also is in an ongoing struggle with police and city workers unions over pensions." "Also."  In fact, according to an earlier article, 70% of the city's budget goes to pensions. Don't even get me started. Oh, by the way, California's proposed bullet train to nowhere includes Stockton.

2. Speaking of trouncing, Drudge has the most recent cable rankings. FOX News has the top 6 spots, and by a wide margin. Most concerning is how far Maddow has moved up, now between the two cable comedy shows. But it appears folks looking for an alternative to Fox News are unsure which of the MSNBC shows to go to. Chris (Hardball) is losing to Rachel. Speaks volumes.

3. I probably missed it, but I did not see one article on D-Day, 1944, in any major mainstream media yesterday (I don't watch network television). I am not aware that the President mentioned the significance of June 6th yesterday. Interestingly, this came at a time when Europe is looking for moral support, if not financial support, from the US, as the EU implodes.

4. In the third quarter of the Spurs-Thunder game last night I said: even if the Spurs win "tonight," they aren't going to win game 7. [Update: they lost. Wow. Completely unexpected.]

5. Better than nothing: LAX offering limited wi-fi for free for 45 minutes. San Antonio airport still offers free wi-fi, no strings attached.

6. For investors, ATT hit a new high today -- I see -- I just checked out of curiosity. I don't hold any shares in ATT but my father gave our older daughter a small gift of ATT when she was born -- some thirty years ago. Held it all this time.  I subsequently bought some shares for our younger daughter so "it would all even out." This is an interesting statistic: there are more mobile subscriptions in the US than there people: some folks have multiple subscriptions, most likely a smart phone and an iPad.

7.  Here's a data point to think about: unemployment among the young in Greece -- 50%. It's actually slightly worse, and way up from 40% last year. The volatility in the stock market is related to some extent to the likelihood of a global recession, and that takes us quickly to China.

China works hard to cool off an over-heating economy, but its bigger challenge: keeping its young men employed. China has a one-child rule and Chinese prefer men. The Chinese population is skewed toward young men. Who all want iPhones. And iPhones require money, which, generally, requires a job.

The Chinese cannot afford to let their economy slow, and we saw that with today's Chinese "rate cut." I know nothing about economics when it comes to monetary policy vs fiscal policy but "rate cut" always seems to be a good thing. So, when you see the Chinese trying to slow their economy, and the drop in the stock market, remain calm, take a deep breath. [Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.] The Chinese effort to cool an overheating economy is always short term.

[Update: apparently the situation has changed recently in China. If anything, China is now short of workers. That's even a bigger story.]

8. Wow, I love the WSJ. Today, print edition, page D6, "When designers meddle with Hawaiian Shirts."
About seven years ago, about the time I retired, I told my family that the only thing I wanted on my birthday was a Hawaiian shirt. Not just that birthday; for every birthday until I never grow any older.  (Yes, there's a song on YouTube "The Dead Don't Grow Older" but I would never subject any reader to it.). So, now I have a closet full of wonderful Hawaiian shirts. As did Elvis Presley, and, as does tom Selleck and George Clooney, at least according to the WSJ. And, I look forward to my next birthday.

COP and the Bakken -- More Rail Cars?

This was sent to me by Don, taken from a message board. I have not confirmed, but...
Interestingly the new Phillips 66 (Conoco Phillips spin off) is purchasing 1000 more rail cars to haul oil from the Bakken and other shale plays that have pipeline issues.

Data points:
  • unit trains are about 100 cars, up to 120 cars
  • around three days for a one-way trip to destination
  • flexible
  • no commingling of different grades of oil
  • scale up, scale down
  • my favorite: Nebraskans helped this industry immensely
  • Warren Buffett owns Burlington Northern, perhaps the biggest railroad in the Bakken 

Texas: Considering First-in-Nation 85 MPH Speed Limit

Link here.

This will be on a toll road between my home, San Antonio, to the state capital, Austin.

And unlike the bullet train in California, the toll road in Texas is 2/3rd's complete.

A lot of story lines. The first one I can think of is this: all those new Eagle Ford oil millionaires will be testing out their new Ferraris and Lamborghinis. And just in time to save the Italian economy.

A second story line: I was unaware of this new toll road --  it just goes to show, again, the robustness of American private enterprise and the potential of the American economy. If only ....

Wow, when you think about it -- the liberal elite Hollywood folks with all their fast cars would love a German-style autobahn from west Los Angeles to San Francisco/Sacramento. German style autobahn: no speed limit, no passing on the right; tickets for going too slow (holding up traffic -- yes, on the autobahn, one is ticketed if going to slow as to hold up traffic behind you); and a requirement to drive 5-series or better if driving a BMW.

I made up that last requirement -- about the BMW. 

Good News for Jobs

Remember: the magic number is 400,000.

Link here.
.... claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week for the first time in April, declining 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 377,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 380,000. The four-week moving average for new claims increased 1,750 last week to 377,750.
The four-week moving average will continue to improve if ...

The reason the four-week moving average increased is somewhat of an anomaly due to last week's numbers.

Not to worry. Summer rally on its way.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. 

Dunn County Crew Camps to Keep Growing -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Link here.

The debates between the "lodging industry" and the temporary crew camps remind me of the ranchers vs sodbusters in another generation.

Crew camps require less infrastructure than permanent buildings. They will be removed when the boom slows/ends. Permanent structures are .... well, permanent. Crew camps are up and running a lot more quickly than permanent structures. And as they are currently configured, crew camps offer a better living experience to the residents. There needs to be a mix (of permanent and temporary structures) and it appears those making the decisions are on the right track.

In hindsight, it looks like it worked out better for all involved for Dickinson to have denied the "first" large crew camp which "moved" a few miles north.

If you build it, they will come.

Natural Gas Supply/Demand Curve Improving -- RBN Energy

Link to RBN Energy here.

Independent Stock Analysis WIth Commentary on Newfield; Other Energy Links

Link here to ISA.