Saturday, July 28, 2012

For Investors Only: Companies Increasing Dividends -- Friday's Announcements

The WSJ is reporting that twenty-nine (29) companies raised their dividend/distribtion Friday, including: ONEOK Partners (OKS), SandRidge Miss Trust II (SDR), and Marathon Petroleum (MPC). SDR and MPC were pretty significant increases.

Again, the disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read on this blog.

Administration: Scope of Coal-Fired-Utility-Planned Shutdown Is Unprecedented

From President Obama's own administration:
Facing declining demand for electricity and stiff federal environmental regulations, coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States, according to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 61 coal-fired generators will be retired.

While many of those coal plants are old and relatively inefficient, the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented.

“The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period,” EIA noted in the analysis.

Killing A Golden Goose of Jobs

According to the linked article: "Most of the coal-fired generator retirements will occur in the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio River Valley and the Southeast."

Week 30: July 22, 2012 -- July 28, 2012

Human interest stories:
Oil field updates

Saturday Morning Link; Clarification Re: "800,000 BOPD From the Bakken"

So far, just one, and I will be out and about with granddaughters for breakfast in a few minutes, so don't expect to do much blogging until later.

Link here to Independent Stock Analysis.

One clarification: the "800,000 bopd from the Bakken" may refer to Bakken oil production from both North Dakota and Montana, but the source is not clear. But if it includes the entire Bakken, then that's a very reasonable number.

Nice Human Interest Story From Wisconsin: Fracking Sand

Link here to Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley, sent in by a reader. Thank you.

The headline: no slowdown yet for sand mining industry in west-central Wisconsin.

The story includes a great map of the sand mines.
A new industry continues to rise — quite literally — from the ground in west-central Wisconsin.
Officials from 12 regional counties reported the area now has a total of 52 silica sand mines that are either operating or approved.
That's up 136 percent from 22 just a year ago and shows just how fast the sand storm is sweeping across west-central Wisconsin, ...
Go to link for rest of story.

There are a number of interesting data points at the link. This caught my interest: earlier, officials thought that supply/demand for fracking sand was narrowing in Wisconsin, but lately, they've not seen that to be true. Applications for additional sand mining operations continue to come in. 

Nice Human Interest Story in the Dickinson Press

Link here.
... a recent scan of the Walmart parking lot in Williston showed license plates from 25 states.
.... the North Dakota Department of Commerce provides a glimpse into which states’ residents seem to be most attracted to North Dakota.

In the first six months of this year, the state’s relocation program added nearly 2,700 names into a database of people potentially interested in moving to North Dakota....

Minnesotans topped the list of interested movers (242) followed by Californians (195), Washingtonians (169) and Floridians (159). North Dakota’s relocation program was contacted by someone in every U.S. state and ...
Go to the link for the full story. 

Hebron Update: August NDIC Hearing Dockets -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Elsewhere there was a query about the Hebron field; I was curious myself.   

Timing is everything. See the August 22 - 23, 2012 dockets --
Case 18453, CLR, amend Hebron and/or Squires-Bakken; create 2 overlapping 1920-acre units, 6 hz wells on each (12 wells); create an overlapping 1920-acre unit, 1 well; create an overlapping 3840-acre unit, 4 wells; create 2 overlapping 2560-acre units, 2 wells on each (4 wells); create an overlapping 2560-acre unit, 14 wells (not a typo); create 2 overlapping 2560-acre units, 12 wells on each (24 wells);  create an overlapping 2240-acre unit, 12 wells; a total of 71 wells?, Williams County.
For newbies: In the original query, the individual noted that CLR had canceled a number of permits. Early on in the Bakken boom a lot of folks were concerned when they saw a permit canceled. In most cases, a canceled permit did not mean anything other than the operator coming back with a new permit for the same location with some minor changes to the application for a permits. In other words, in most cases, a canceled permit doesn't mean much in the big scheme of things.

I may have miscounted, but it looks like CLR is looking for permits for up to 70 or so wells in the very small Hebron field. This is an example of what the "manufacturing" or "mining" phase of the Bakken is all about. You can also assume that this field is likely to have its infrastructure in place to minimize flaring and expedite movement of oil to regional pipelines when they start drilling all these wells.