Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chevy Volt Demand Outstripping Supply -- GM; Sales Down 50%

Link here to Christian Science Monitor.
Sales of plug-in electric cars fell slightly in November, with continued steady sales of the Nissan Leaf not enough to make up for a decline in Chevy Volt numbers.
This month's total may not quite equal last month's plug-in sales of 6,784. The big unknown, however, is deliveries of the Tesla Model S--which Tesla won't discuss.
This year's sales leader, the Chevy Volt range-extended electric car, logged 1,519 sales.
That brings the Volt's total so far this year to 20,828, though the November number is barely more than half the October total of 2,961--a number helped by now-expired sales incentives.
Drudge Report noted that Volt sales in November were about half what they were in October. Drudge seemed to imply that the decrease was somehow related to the election. GM, however, said they had the same problem Apple has with the iPad: they can't keep up with demand.

The 3,000 Chevy Volts sold in October was a record. 

GM said that they experienced a shortage of inventory in November in their biggest market, California, if I correctly understood the press release:
"Volt sales were modest in November due to availability in most key markets including California, our largest market," said GM spokesperson Michele Malcho. 
"We had a really low daily stock for most of the month," she continued, "and expect to have more Volts available in December."
I can't make this stuff up. Maybe I'm misreading something.

And note: "now-expired sales incentives." December inventories should increase. Especially if the sales incentives have expired.

Gazprom: Biggest Overall Producer of Oil and Gas; Trebles Levels of Nearest Rival ...

Gazprom has been named the biggest overall producer of oil and gas, almost trebling the levels of its nearest rival, concludes the latest report from industry experts GlobalData.
The new publication shows the Russian petrochemicals giant produced 3,340 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) last year, exceeding the company’s 2010 total by 35 MMboe and substantially outweighing competitor levels.
Gazprom’s future supremacy is under threat, however, with the US natural gas boom presenting rivals with the opportunity to capitalize on massively abundant reserves and correspondingly low sell-on prices.

MRO Announces a $5 Billion Budget for 2013

"Our 2013 capital budget of nearly $5.2 billion highlights Marathon Oil's continued focus on value growth, which we expect will generate a 6 to 8 percent year-over-year increase in total Company production, driven by our activity in liquids-rich U.S. resource plays," said Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., Marathon Oil's chairman, president and CEO. "About one-third of our overall budget, or $1.9 billion, is allocated to the Eagle Ford shale play in south Texas where we demonstrated our ability to deliver very strong results in 2012 and recently raised our 2013 production target there to 85,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). The economics and well performance we're achieving in the Eagle Ford, along with our ability to drive efficiencies, make this play a focal point of our growth strategy. The Bakken shale in North Dakota and the Oklahoma resource basin are our other two critical plays in the U.S.

Wells Coming Off the Confidential List Wednesday Including Two OXY USA Wells; Hess: A Birdbear Well; Whiting: A Red River Well;

RBN Energy: a good year for the barges, part 2

Bakken Operations

Active rigs: 180 (a new intra-boom low; previous low was 181)

Wells coming off confidential list today:
  • 20765, 366, OXY USA/Anschutz, George Miller 1-11-2H-142-95, Murphy Creek, t6/12; cum 12K 10/12;
  • 22153, 0, Chesapeake, Grenz 26-138-98 A 2H, Wildcat, Mission Canyon well; that was easy;
  • 22199, 1,088, EOG, Riverview 100-3031H, Clarks Creek, t6/12; cum 95K 10/12;
  • 22200, 528, EOG, Riverview 4-3031H, Clarks Creek, t7/12; cum 77K 10/12;
  • 22278, 593, OXY USA, Martin 2-30-31H-144-96, Cabernet, t6/12; cum 58K 10/12;
  • 22307, drl, Hunt, Oakland 2-31-30H, Parshall, no test date; cum 8K 10/12;
  • 22415, drl, Hess, HA-Swenson Observation-18-1, Hawkeye, a Birdbear well;
  • 22692, 560, Hess, EN-Meiers-154-93-24H-3, Robinson Lake, t10/12; cum 18K 10/12;
  • 22775, 295, Whiting, Ross 13-2, Hoot Owl, t8/12; cum 13K 10/12; a Red River well;
  • 22990, 373, Samson Resources, Nomad 0607-6TFH, West Ambrose, t10/12; cum 11K 10/12;
For newbies: occasionally, folks will write in and ask how long a Bakken well will produce oil. Some operators say they expect the average Bakken to be producing for 39 years. Far-fetched? Look at some of the monster wells, including this one 53 years old and still pumping:
  • 2275, 160, Taqa North/Pan American, Clara Kostad #1/Rival-Madison Unit 14; Rival oil field;  t4/59; cum 655K 10/12; (still active -- 53 years old). The Rival oil field is north of Williston, almost up along the Canadian border.
It took 53 years for this well to reach 655,000 barrels; there are some Bakken wells that have produced that much in four years.

Asia Oil Takeovers Match US Pace For First Time -- Bloomberg


December 5, 2012: link to SeekingAlpha.com.
Chinese oil giant China Petrochemical Corp. (SNP), otherwise known as Sinopec, will buy a 20% stake in Total S.A.'s Nigerian offshore oil field for $2.5 billion. This expands Sinopec's overseas asset portfolio significantly. Like its other two leading Chinese oil and gas firms, Sinopec has been attempting to secure its country's energy future globally while Total needs the cash to finance its explorations.
Later, 10:22 pm: amazing. Rigzone.com picked up the same story

Original Post

Two things that jump out: of course, the headline -- Asian oil takeovers match the US for first time ever, and, the future date that was referenced: 2015. That's just around the corner. Before the next presidential election. Wow. It's going to be a wild four years. And, oh, by the way, a thank you to Don for sending me this story.

For global warming enthusiasts: note that China's energy consumption and India's energy consumption will increase about 15 percent each over the next couple of years. It's very possible, due to energy conservation and the Great Recession of 2013, the energy consumption of the US will decline during this same period. Certainly it will not increase anywhere near that projected for China and India.

Both China and India are exempt from the Kyoto Protocol -- they are developing nations. Okay.

Link to Bloomberg.
“There are so many more options for Asian companies now with new discoveries around the world. The trend will be led by China, which has a large foreign- exchange reserve and is seeking hard assets.”
China’s energy use is projected to rise 16 percent to 124.2 quadrillion British thermal units by 2015 from 2011 levels, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Consumption in India will gain 14 percent to 27.8 quadrillion Btu, while South Korea will increase 6.7 percent and Japan 4.7 percent, according to the data.
China’s foreign-exchange reserves were $3.29 trillion, the world’s biggest, as of September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Japan, with $1.2 trillion as of October, had the second-biggest holding
The hook at the link: Record Asia Oil Takeovers Match U.S. Pace for First Time: Energy

Three Oil Formations Folks May Not Have Heard Of --- MoneyMorning.com

A reader sent this in as a comment, but told me I could delete the comment if I wanted, but in fact, the comment and information is too good not to share. There are three formations mentioned in this short article:
Woodford, the Tyler, and the Red River.
To get the entire article, apparently you need to enter your e-mail address at the bottom of the article.

It's worth it. (By entering your e-mail address, you will now receive an offer to subscribe to a newsletter. E-mail you care not to get, can be filtered. Spam does not bother me.)


All three of these formations are on the sidebar at the right. 

Neither the Tyler nor the Woodford should be surprising to regular readers.

However, the Red River is a sleeper. A couple of things: recently a reader wrote in to suggest that the Red River was about to get very, very busy. He/she did not expand on that comment, but the timing is very, very interesting. That caught my attention. A couple days later, the story at the above link appears. 

For newbies who wonder about the potential of the Red River, go to the "Monster Wells" page and then scroll down to the Red River. 

Montana Bakken Updates

In Montana, Oasis has two big Bakken wells:
In Richland County, Oasis Petroleum North America LLC reported the completion of the Olson Bottoms Fed. 2658 12-10H, with an SHL at NE NW 10-26N-58E (203 FNL/2321 FWL) and a Bottom Hole Location (BHL) of 20,500 feet at NE NW 34-27N-58E (255 FNL/2502 FWL). The Bakken Formation well is a “Big ‘Un”, with a reported IP of 1,788 BOPD and 1,450 MCFPD.

In Roosevelt County, Oasis Petroleum North America LLC reported the completion of the Ella Marie 2759 42-9H, with an SHL at SE SW 9-27N-59E (216 FSL/2500 FWL) and a BHL of 20,340 feet at NE NW 4-27N-59E (301 FNL/2356 FWL). The Bakken formation well is another Big ‘Un with an IP of 1,901 BOPD and 1,528 MCFPD.
For newbies, the MDW does not reguarly track the Montana oil patch but will post stories of interest sent to the blog.

In addition to this news, there were five new permits granted in Montana this past week: all five were for wells in Richland County.

Active Rigs in North Dakota Back to Intra-Boom Low: 181; Only Three (3) New Permits

Bakken Operations

See first comment: to make it easier to access the links, here they are:
Active rigs: 181 (decreasing, ties intra-boom low)
For newbies, after reaching a high of 218 active rigs in the current boom, the number of active rigs in North Dakota gradually decreased to 190 and then to 184 before the number hit a low of 181.

For the past several weeks it has fluctuated between 181 and 185, generally staying around 183 - 184. Since I do not follow activity in Montana, I can't say how much of the recent decline is due to rigs moving over the state line. There is anecdotal evidence that drilling in the Bakken along the North Dakota border is increasing in Montana. 
Three (3) new permits
  • Operators: Mountain View, Marathon, Triangle
  • Fields: Wolf Bay (Dunn), Rawson (McKenzie)
  • Comments: Mountain View has a permit for a wildcat in Divide County.
Wells released from confidential status were reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral -- Hopefully, Not Quite That Violent, But I Bet the Sparks Fly -- Keystone XL 2.0 Town Meeting Tonight


December 4, 2012: they came, they spoke, they left

Later, 10:26 pm: Rigzone.com picks up the story.
"This will conclude the longest pipeline application deliberation in history, which, with Nebraska's expected support we believe, will result in final approval for the project to commence," Kerekes said.
"This pipeline application application has been the most studied in history. It is now time to wrap this study up, hold this final hearing, issue a report to the Governor, then let the Governor communicate to the federal government the decision on behalf of the State of Nebraska. Then, let's get the pipeline approved in Washington."
Later, 7:29 pm: lots of noise, little opposition to the pipeline -- oil and gas industry. Link at Oil & Gas Journal.
Opposition to the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project has become more noisy than widespread, American Petroleum Institute officials said on Dec. 4 as Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality prepared to hold a public hearing on the project’s proposed new route later that day.
Support for the 1,500-mile project to transport bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to US Gulf Coast refineries remains strong, Cindy Schild, API’s downstream operations manager for refining and oil sands, and John Kerekes, API’s Central US region director, told reporters during a teleconference.
Original Post

A "big thank you" to the reader who sent us this: the BIG MEETING is tonight.

I was going to do a poll: one's thoughts on how the meeting will end.

But after reading the article, it appears the ending is foreordained, as can be seen in the third and fourth paragraphs below:
A tiny town in rural Nebraska is expected to draw a big crowd on Tuesday for a public hearing into TransCanada's new Keystone XL pipeline route.
Both Nebraska officials and the Calgary-based energy giant say the new route skirts the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region of the state, a critical sticking point in the approval process that resulted in U.S. President Barack Obama rejecting TransCanada's original application earlier this year.
Environmentalists, meantime, charge the new route does no such thing and insist a crucial state aquifer remains at risk, setting the stage for what's sure to be a contentious hearing on the fairgrounds of the town of Albion.
The new route still goes over the Ogallala aquifer, follows the highly endangered whooping crane's migratory path and poses risks to native tribal artifacts, Jane Kleeb, head of Bold Nebraska, said in an interview on Monday.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Frankie Laine

Peak Oil? The Oil Drum Updates Current Oil Production in OECD

OECD production (non-OPEC) at this link, which is a pretty nice summary.
According to BP, OECD oil production (C+C+NGL) peaked at 21.67 million bpd in 1997.
Monthly production data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) now suggests that production has been stable for 5 years at around 18.5 million bpd.
The North Sea (UK and Norway) is still in steep decline. This has been offset by growing production in the USA and Canada where non-conventional tight oil and tar sands production are offsetting declines in conventional crude in these countries.
Mexico, the other big OECD producer, has managed to arrest declines by switching nitrogen injection supply from Cantarell to Ku Maloob Zaap and has had stable production of just below 3 million bpd for three years.
From there, the article reviews production for "all" OECD countries. 

[C+C+NGL: crude oil + condensates + natural gas liquids, I believe]

The Flu Season (Yes, For Newbies, This Is Not About The Bakken)

I had forgotten all about this site. It was one of my favorites some years ago, and then for some reason I forgot about it.

In the military, we tracked influenza very, very closely -- it was one malady that could devastate an entire military unit in a short period of time. The military data, based on laboratory samples of folks coming to the clinic, was pretty good, but a bit delayed.

Some years ago, Google thought of trending, using available data that was already out there, and came up with their own flu monitoring site. It's really quite remarkable.

At the link, is the United States, but the site has the entire world. Everything points to a severe flu season this year (see this WSJ link).

The google map/trend suggests the same thing. Again, lotsa fun. Enjoy.

Floods Put Pipelines At Risk -- WSJ

So, maybe this is another reason for the current love affair with crude-by-rail.

This was the only story on page 3, section A of today's issue of the WSJ -- we've talked about page 3 before -- the most important page in the paper.
Federal investigators plan to announce soon that flood-caused erosion along the riverbed—known as scouring—exposed an Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline on the Yellowstone River in Montana in 2011, causing it to break and spill 1,000 barrels of crude, said a senior federal pipeline official speaking on condition of anonymity. 
A month later, an Enterprise Products Partners LLP pipeline burst after it was exposed by scouring in a Missouri River floodplain in Iowa, spilling 818 barrels of a gasoline additive. The greater weight and speed of floodwater can scrape dozens of feet of soil and gravel off a river's bed, potentially exposing pipelines and leading to their rupture. Heavy snow and rain last year caused record flooding on the Missouri River basin, which includes the Yellowstone.