Friday, December 21, 2012

Ten (10) New Permits Issued Yesterday -- The Williston Basin

I don't recall listing these new permits issued yesterday, so a day late. Sorry.

Here they are, ten (10) new permits
  • Operators: SM Energy (3), OXY USA (2), KOG (2), MRO, Whiting, Enduro Operating
  • Fields: Sanish (Mountrail), McGregory Buttes (Dunn), Truax (Williams), Mouse River Park (Renville), Manning (Dunn), Siverston (McKenzie)
  • Comments: KOG has two more permits in Truax oil field which is turning out to be a huge field for KOG. Mouse River Park is a Madison oil field; it is very, very active right now with several wells on confidential status and two Enduro Operating rigs operating in this relatively small field.
Mouse River Park has a high well density supporting about a dozen wells in each section. How good are these wells? Three non-random selected examples:
  • 4388, 200, Murex, Schmitz A 2, Mouse River Park, t3/68; cum 289K 10/12;  
  • 4416, 28, Murex, Brekhus A 1, Mouse River Park, t5/68; cum 182K 10/12; 
  • 4563, 196, Murex, Clarence M Ness 1, Mouse River Park, t11/68; cum 287K 10/12;

Chevron Moving Employees From California to Texas


December 23, 2012: the link to this story was sent by a reader. Without question, it is one of the best stories I've seen in the past few days. See my original post below and then compare to the story being linked now. It will be interesting to follow this story over the next twelve months. Without further ado, here's the story: green California to vie with Texas as U.S. oil heartland: energy.

Original Post

Link here to
Chevron Corp. (CVX) will move up to 800 of its California positions to Houston to strengthen its upstream business, the U.S. oil major told employees in an e-mail made public Friday.
The move would over two years shift more than 10% of the employees from Chevron's San Ramon, CA, headquarters to Houston, considered the capital of the U.S. Gulf Coast energy industry. Chevron, the third-largest oil and gas producer in the U.S., is moving to increase its oil production operations in the ultradeep area of the Gulf of Mexico, where rigs must drill holes in a seafloor thousands of feet below water.
"The positions are to support a variety of global upstream projects that are based in Houston," said Chevron spokesman Morgan Crinklaw.
Okay. Sounds plausible.

Folks may recall Chevron experienced a fire at one of their refineries in northern California earlier this year. I'm probably wrong, but it's my impression Californians in the local area of the refinery have never been happy with Chevron.

It would be interesting to know the "back" story of Chevron's decision of moving 800 of its employees out of state.  San Ramone, CA, is the headquarters of Chevron. There are about 3,500 employees in San Ramone according to the link which seems at variance of the press release (800/3,500 --> almost 25%).

Construction Keeping Pace Through Various Schemes in the Bakken and The Eagle Ford

Link here to
The surge in oil and gas exploration and production activity in North Dakota's Bakken shale play and the Eagle Ford play in South Texas have drawn thousands of workers to areas which previously had small populations, creating a demand surge for housing as well as emergency services, schools, roads and stores.
Responding to the high demand for housing that is in short supply in both regions, three different housing development schemes for oil and gas workers are either under construction, announced or have just opened for business.
These are the three schemes:
The first: the 90-day hotel: The "Shut Eye Hotel," the first of its kind, is expected to begin operations at the end of this year.
Construction began in October on the 70-unit facility, which is located 20 miles south of Williston, N.D., and 19 miles west of Watford City, in the town of Alexander. The hotel site is an ideal location along Highway 85, a major highway connecting Williston with Watford City.
The hotel offers an innovative lodging solution that allows stylish, high-quality hotels to be constructed in 90 days instead of the typical two years or longer, Banyan said in a statement. The final product looks comparable to traditional construction at a fraction of the cost.
Traditional hotels are stick-built, using lumber bricks and mortar. Instead of this traditional approach, Atlanta-based Proteus On-Demand provides custom-made modular buildings made of sturdy structural steel that provide security and comfort, configured to a customer's specific space and capacity needs, said Proteus On-Demand CEO Theo Den Bieman in a statement.
The second is Harvest Hills, talked about frequently on the MDW.

The third sounds like a crew camp in the Eagle Ford.

Bakken Oil To Canadian Refinery Hits A One-Off Speed Bump -- Hopefully

Link here to a most interesting Bloomberg article.

A very, very long story; read it through to the end. I am impressed that the "back" story is more important than the headline story.

A huge "thank you" to a reader for alerting me to this story. 

New Poll

Time for a new poll. I really dislike doing these things, as I mentioned the other day. But ...

I said this current poll would be up for only a couple of days. This one had to do with the severe Russian weather storm, one of the worst on record. I was curious if folks were even aware of the storm prior to seeing the story linked here.

Results of the poll (of the 52 that even bothered to vote):
  • Yes, 12% said they were aware of the storm prior to seeing it on the blog;
  • No, 56% said they were not aware of the storm prior to seeing it on the blog; and,
  • 33% asked, "what storm." (Due to rounding, numbers add up to 101%).
So, for lack of anything more interesting tonight, here's the question. The active rigs in North Dakota hit an intra-boom low of 180 a few weeks ago, but the number of active rigs has gradually melted back up to 188, which has surprised me. I thought we would head to 175 and level off there.

The other day, Lynn Helms (Director, NDIC) opined that "we" would eventually get back to 200 rigs which would become the new "norm."

So, knowing that there are a lot of folks who have their collective ears close to the Bakken ground, I'm curious if you agree with Lynn Helms.

Do you think there will be 200 active rigs in North Dakota by September 30, 2013? 

Nine (9) New Permits; Active Rigs Up To 188; BEXP With An Unconfirmed Gusher; A Look At Jack Cvancara and Domaskin Wells

Bakken Operations

Active rigs: 188 (steady, but melting up from intra-boom low of 180 -- I reported earlier an intra-boom low of 181, but my records show it was actually 180; sorry for the error).

Nine (9) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (3), Whiting (3), Triangle (2), Petro-Sentinel
  • Fields: Hamlet (Divide), North Creek (Stark), Antelope Creek (McKenzie)
  • Comments: Petro-Sentinel has a permit for a wildcat in Bottineau County; this is the first permit for Petro-Sentinel in North Dakota
Wells coming off confidential list were reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Triangle canceled two permits:
  • 24026, Dwyer .... 2-11-4H
  • 24028, Dwyer .... 2-11-2H
Three producing wells completed:
  • 22697, 1,875, Statoil/BEXP, Hospital 31-36 2TFH, Alger, t11/12; cum 159K 91/6;
  • 22646, 1,947, Statoil/BEXP, Jerome Anderson 10-15 4H, Alger, t11/12; cum 156K 9/16;
  • 21770, 4,790, Statoil/BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 2H, Alger, t11/12; cum 265K 9/16;
More on the Statoil/BEXP Domaskin well with a reported 4,790-bbl IP:
  • spud February 21, 2012; curve section began on April 28, 2012
  • total measured depth (TMD) reached May 13, 2012
  • target: Bakken Shale formation, measured depth of 10,252 feet; true vertical depth of 10,182 feet
  • Middle Bakken: 10,286 feet; true vertical depth, 10,198 feet
  • gas levels were low throughout the first section of the lateral
  • at measured death (10,641 feet), a trip gas of 855 units and again at 18,538 feet trip gas of 6,461 was observed
  • a flare of 1 - 2 feet seen throughout the later stages
If the sundry forms reporting the completion details (frack stages, proppants, IP) were posted at the NDIC website, I missed them. I did not see the report, and cannot verify the IP of 4,790 as noted. There have been typos on the daily activity report, but BEXP is known for high IPs, so we will see.

There are currently six Domaskin wells; three of them are Fidelity wells in the Sanish field to the south; and three are BEXP wells in Alger oil field one township to the north:
  • 17056, 419, Kaiser-Francis Oil/Fidelity, Domaskin 11-29H, Sanish, section 29-154-92, t8/08; cum 158K 9/16;
  • 17098, 516, Kaiser-Francis/Fidelity, Domaskin 11-20H, Sanish, section 20-154-92, t9/08; cum 202K 9/16;
  • 19080, 877, Kaiser-Francis/Fidelity, Domaskin 19-20-29H, Sanish, 2560-acre; section 19-154-92, t10/10; cum 214K 9/16;
  • 21769, 3,603, Statoil/BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 3H, Alger, section 30-155-92; t10/12; cum 211
    K 9/16;
  • 19057, 4,106, Staoil/BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 1H, Alger, section 30-155-92, t10/10; cum 413
    K 9/16;
  • 21770, 4,790, Statoil/BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 2H, Alger, section 30-155-92, t11/12; cum 265
    K 9/16;
Now, 21770, is the last of four wells on a 4-well pad:
  • 21769, see above
  • 21772, 2,994, Statoil/BEXP, Jack Cvancara 19-18 3TFH, Alger, t10/12; cum 226K 9/16;
  • 21771, 3,080, Statoil/BEXP, Jack Cvancara 19-18 2H, Alger, t10/12; cum 254K 9/16;
To complete the story, another Jack Cvancara well in the immediate area, in the next section north:
  • 18628, 4,357, Statoil/BEXP, Jack Cvancara 19-18 1H, Alger, t5/10; cum 425K 9/16;

MDW Bailed On This Company A Long Time Ago

This is an interesting story.

MDW was keen on Petrobras early on, but then quickly bailed. For two reasons:
  • a) it ain't easy drilling that deep
  • b) Brazilians aren't going to let oil threaten their pristine beaches -- especially with the Olympics coming up
A history of government interference didn't help.

At the link:
Credit-ratings agency Moody's Investors Service said late Monday it has cut its credit outlook for Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, citing rising debt levels and growing uncertainty over how quickly the oil company can bring new production on stream.
Moody's changed the outlook for Petrobras to "negative" from "stable" and also questioned how quickly Petrobras can boost cash flow given the company's massive investment plan, rising costs and losses in its refining operations. Petrobras did not respond to requests for comment on the change.
A Note to the Granddaughters

I had forgotten how inexpensive it is to go grocery shopping in San Antonio. Turkey at 88 cents/pound. A load of white bread for 88 cents. I think HEB has held the price of 88-cent white bread at this price for three years. It is quite incredible. One of the best things HEB has is all the coupon-in-the-store sales. Very, very well done, and quite unique. And now, in my neighborhood in San Antonio, is a brand new Trading Joe's store. For Californians, imaging the Trading Joe store you like the best, and then imagining it 50% better and you get an idea of this brand new Trading Joe's store overlooking the "Quarry" golf course. It is quite incredible to say the least. Two-buck Chuck is three-buck Chuck here: I don't know if that's the current price in California. I will have to check that out. Wine and beer is incredibly inexpensive compared to what I noticed in the Boston area. But 88 cents/pound Turkey. Wheaties is priced about half what I recall in Boston. 

Oooooh, This Is Nice: Energy Companies Hiring -- Look At These Familiar Names

Link to

Houston Chronicle's annual ranking of the city's top workplaces for 2012 listing 150 notable companies due to their advancement opportunities.

But before we get to the story, first, this pretty good cover, only because the earth did not end today (for newbies, play the video while reading the story; I often read the MDW on the iPad; my version iPad cannot multi-task and that's the reason for embedding):

Remember, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion

Now the story. By the way, if you go to the link you can click on a slide show for each of these companies to view advancement opportunities:
  •  Anadarko: largest independent deepwater producer in the Gulf of Mexico
  • TransCanada: the third largest natural gas storage provider in North America
  • Aker Solutions: headquartered in Norway; oil services 
  • Enbridge: recognized for operating the world's longest, most sophisticated crude oil and liquids transportation system; (a top favorite of MDW)
  • Noble Energy: one of the first independent producers to explore the Gulf of Mexico
  • Hilcorp: third-largest, privately-held exploration and production company in the US
  • EOG: one of MDW's favorites, not for its Bakken, but for its Eagle Ford
  • Linn Energy: has grown from a handful of natural gas wells in 2003 to a top-15 independent US E&P company with 5.1 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves in the US
  • Energy XXI: in six of the 11 largest fields in the Gulf of Mexico; headquartered in Bermuda (note for global warming advocates: Bermuda is an island; islands may disappear to rising oceans; use caution)
  • Oil and Gas Solutions: an independent, specializing in large but lightweight topsides designs that are fit for purpose for fixed/floating production facilities; founded in 2007 with 15 employees; a goal to supass 250 employees by 2015.
By the way, back to the linked video. Play it loud. Several times. Does it remind you of anything (other than the Phil Spector wall of sound, which it wasn't)?  Listen to any number of James Bond theme songs. Skyfall is only the most recent, but Shirley Bassey, with Goldfinger, I think started it all, and set the bar. What a great country (see comments).

Story of the Day? Another North Dakota Oil Record -- Nothing About the Bakken; This Is Sunflower Oil; And Another Bit of Good News For Warren

North Dakota Agriculture


January 16, 2013: KXNews reports the same.
Both oil and confection sunflowers set new yield records in 2012.

Oil yields per acres average 1750 lbs per acre, a 140 pound jump from the previous record set in 2005. 
While confections, the sunflowers you eat straight from the shell, averaged a record 1580 pounds per acre. 
(John Sandbakken / National Sunflower Association) "On the confection side we export about 50% of what we produce here in North Dakota, and our main markets are in Europe. Spain, turkey, places like that are the largest customers. But, also Mexico is expanding significantly. And that has been our shining star here for the last few years. That in Mexico the demand is increasing consistently every year."  
Executive Director of the National Sunflower Association John Sandbakken calls this year's production "an off-the-charts crop."
January 15, 2013: North Dakota lost the crown for one year (due to extreme flooding) but handily gained it back this past year.
South Dakota in 2011 became the nation's top sunflower-producing state for the first time in recorded history, due to extreme flooding in North Dakota. Production data from the federal Agriculture Department released this month show that North Dakota handily reclaimed the crown last year, with a crop of 1.46 billion pounds compared to South Dakota's 892 million pounds. 
Original Post

Link to Prairie Business. (Thank you to a reader for sending this one.)
The head of a new North Dakota-based sunflower business says he believes the company's new plant in Lubbock, Texas, is the most technologically advanced sunflower seed roasting facility in North America.
SunGold Foods CEO Bob Majkrzak (MAY'-shack) presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at the facility, which will produce in-shell sunflower seeds to be sold as snack food.
Majkrzak says the plant has unique equipment that controls moisture and monitors salt levels for specific products. The technology was developed at the company's North Dakota facilities.
The plant has 40 employees. Majkrzak says there are plans to hire 65 more workers in five years.
Several story lines:
  • North Dakota, #1 in sunflowers; this year is a spectacular year for ND sunflowers -- yes, credit it to global warming. Thank you (that's two story lines).
  • How to pronounce: Majkrzak. That alone makes the story worth reading. I've always wondered how to pronounce Majkrzak. The "z" is silent. That threw me off.
  • Forty: didn't it rain forty days and forty nights early in the Bible stories?
  • Forty employees: avoid 50 -- ObamaCare kicks in. Break the company in two: one for upstream; one for downstream.
  • North Dakota showing Texas how it's done. The technology was developed at the company's North Dakota plant.
  • The whole story reminds me of wonderful autumn days of hunting in North Dakota. 
The AGWeek link might break, so I will post this just in case:
Clark Coleman has raised sunflowers for many years. The Baldwin, N.D., farmer rarely has been as optimistic going into sunflower harvest as he is this year.

For some growers, this is “a dream year,” given the combination of excellent yields and high prices, says John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association.
With the area sunflower harvest nearing the halfway mark, some North Dakota and Minnesota sunflower producers are reporting yields of 1,700 to 2,800 pounds per acre.
Typically, sunflower growers shoot for 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per acre.
Prices, which rose above 30 cents per pound earlier this year, an exceptionally strong level, remain around 25 cents per pound at area grain elevators surveyed weekly by Agweek.
Growers also benefit because the crop’s oil content is unusually high, for which they receive a premium, or bonus, Sandbakken says.
North Dakota is the nation’s leading sunflower producer, accounting for 46 percent of the 1.815 million acres the federal government projects will be harvested this year.
A Note For The Granddaughters

I'm back in my JRR Tolkien phase. It just happened, independently of the new movie release, The Hobbit.  I am re-reading Tom Shippey's biography of JRR Tolkien, in which Shippey argues that Tolkien was the "author the century." He makes a great case. What an incredible book. Tom mentions that JRR Tolien was never taken seriously by the literari. So, I was curious whether Tolkien made Harold Bloom's western canon. Surprisingly, Tolkien does not. In The Western Canon, Harold Bloom lists hundreds of, perhaps as many as a thousand, writers that make the grade.  And yet, Tolkien is not one of Harold Bloom's western anon. Tolkien is mentioned once, on page 73 (soft-cover edition) as part of a short list of non-Christian writers.

We all have blind spots. Harold Bloom's blind spot is JRR Tolkien.

So, I'm re-reading Shippey and watching the extended edition of the trilogy.

In Shippey's book, p. xviii, the soft-cover edition:
However, while Ulysses had had few director imitators, thought many admirers, after The Lord of the Rings the heroic fantasy 'trilogy' became almost a standard literary form. Any bookshop in the English-speaking world will now have a section devoted to fantasy, and very few of the works in the section will be entirely without the mark of Tolkien -- sometimes branded deep in style and layout, sometimes showing itself in unconscious assumptions about the nature and personnel of the authors' invented fantasy worlds. One of the things that Tolkien did was to open up a new continent of imaginative space for many millions of readers, and hundreds of writers ...
Think Star Wars.  A heroic fantasy, and a trilogy.

How Good Is Bakken Lite? How About $131/Bbl Good

Link here to
According to the company, Bakken is lighter and sweeter than North American benchmarks such as Louisiana Light Sweet , Alaska North Slope and Kern County . It is also ligthter and less-sulphurous than international rivals like Nigeria's Qua Iboe and North Sea Forties.
Bakken produces a far higher share of valuable light products and far less residuum than other markers, without the need for expensive conversion and upgrading.
When distilled, one barrel of Bakken will yield about 43 percent of products in the gasoline range, and more than 10 percent suitable for making jet fuel, as well as 43 percent in the distillate zone, leaving almost no heavy residuum.
According to Continental, the distillation products from Bakken were worth almost $131 per barrel compared with $127 for WTI and just $120 for Forties, based on crude and products prices on September 21.
Bakken's quality is also far more consistent than output from Eagle Ford, the other big shale play. Bakken has a consistent quality of 42 degrees API, where Eagle Ford crude/condensate ranges widely from as little as 28 degrees to as much as 63, and must be blended to achieve even quality.
I assume less refining, less CO2. But I could be wrong. 

Friday Notes -- Some Bakken; Some Not

RBN Energy has another great article on oil / natural gas ratio, the frac spread (as in fractionation). I am really impressed with all the great articles RBN provides. As I've said before, such information would provide basis for an elective for a student attending a school of engineering.

The wells coming off the confidential have been posted; scroll way down for the post or find them on the sidebar at the right. Only three reported today, but two were gushers, once by XTO and one by BR.

I may have to start a top ten list of why global warming is good for us. The story that suggested the need was that North Dakota cattle have been enjoying warmer winters later (short memories: 2010?). Even The Dickinson Press has found a silver lining in global warming: warm cattle.

WSJ Links

Section D: Lots of movie reviews, including,  Tom Cruise::Jack Reacher:: Loathsome.

Section C: Nothing of interest.

Section B:
Section A:
The storm brought blizzard conditions and up to a foot or more of snow to parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, said Jim Keeney, weather program manager with the central region headquarters of the National Weather Service in Kansas City. "It's the first big snow in a very long time," he said. "It's been a real shock back to winter for a lot of folks."
A real shock to those who fail to understand global warming predicts a one-degree rise in temperature over a hundred years. Wheres' Sam Kinison when we need him?

Slow news day. I assume even the WSJ reporters were preparing for the Mayan armageddon.

Other Links

Two lost decades: Generation Y professionals' dreams fade. Too bad the president just doesn't get it. He's still pushing for a carbon tax. That's a good way to grow jobs. I wasn't going to post the WSJ story but reading the "dreams" hit me pretty hard. And folks wonder why Oregon, Washington, and Colorado okayed recreational marijuana. It's gonna be a long four years. Cue up Connie Francis.

The 2013 Checklist To End All Checklists

The Election: a landslide

Mayan End of the Earth: didn't happen

East Coast/Gulf port strike: didn't happen

The Fiscal Cliff: happened; yawn

_  Debt Ceiling

_  Fiscal Cliff Redux (spending cuts; on/about the Ides of March, 2013)

_  The Great Recession of 2013

"We stood on the cliffs on a starless Mayan night..."

My Love for Evermore, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion