Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eight (8) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs: 185

Eight (8) new permits --
  • Operators: XTO (5), Oasis (3)
  • Fields: Murphy Creek (Dunn), Charlson (McKenzie), Willow Creek (Williams)
  • Comments:
There were no wells that came off the confidential list today.

Three (3) producing wells were completed:
  • 25062, 1,400, Hess, AN-Prosser-152-95-0211H-3, Sanish, t12/13; cum --
  • 25463, 1,542, Hess, EN-Freda 154-94-2635H-1, Alkali Creek, t12/13; cum --
  • 25226, 883, Hess, BW-Sorenson 145-99-1324H-3, Cherry Creek, t12/13; cum --

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Tomorrow -- Will Be Reported Thursday 
In Lieu Of That List, A Global Warming Update
From DrudgeReport, Others

StevenGoddard is reporting:
Before NASA and NOAA start tampering with the data, 2013 is one of the ten coldest years  in the US since 1895, and has had the largest year over year decline on record.
NOAA of course won’t talk about this, and will massively tamper with the data before releasing it.
Not much global warming in Minnesota these days. MinneapolisStarTribune is reporting:
The average monthly temperature for December in the Twin Cities was 13.9 degrees, the Weather Service said. That figure was boosted somewhat by Saturday’s high of 47 degrees, forecaster Tony Zaleski said. But, while it’s still almost 6 degrees below normal, it isn’t close to 1983, when the coldest December in modern history was recorded, with an average temperature of just 3.7 degrees.
It wasn’t even close to the fourth-coldest December, in 2000, when the average was 7.6 degrees. The second- and third-coldest Decembers happened in the late 1800s. Nevertheless, Zaleski said, Sunday’s high of 0 and expected low of 15 below in the Twin Cities was far short of the normal high of 24 and low of  9.
Freezing temperatures and up to ten inches of snow to hit Chicago New Year's Eve
“The two really cold spots will be New England and Wisconsin,” said Bruce Terry, a forecaster with the weather service. Minnesota and North Dakota will also be frigid, he said.
Lows in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota could reach 40 degrees below zero on Tuesday night, he said.
More record lows than record highs in the United States in 2013 -- and remember, the northern hemisphere was to have more global warming than the southern hemisphere -- another inconvenient truth. USA Today.

Keystone XL 2.0 South To Start Flowing January 22, 2014, A Little Over One Year After Construction Began

The AP is reporting via Yahoo!Finance
The operator of a $2.3 billion pipeline between Cushing and the Gulf Coast expects to begin shipping oil Jan. 22. TransCanada began injecting crude oil into the 485-mile, 36-inch pipeline in early December.
Spokesman Davis Sheremata said the process involves injecting about 3 million barrels of oil into the system at Cushing and moving it to the Houston area. Construction began in August 2012 and involved more than 11 million hours of labor by 4,844 workers in the U.S., Sheremata said.
The number of workers employed in the operational phase has not been established, he said.
The Keystone XL "journey" is tracked here

Has Oasis Broken The Code In Montana With Regard To The Bakken?

Oasis reports some very nice wells in Roosevelt County, Montana:
  • Romo Bro Louise 2759 43-9B, TD of 20,300 feet, with an IP of 1,658.
  • Romo Bro Margaret 2759 43-9B, two laterals with TDs of 10,979 feet and 20,350 feet, with an IP of 1,612. I don't quite understand later with a TD of 10,979. See comments below, regarding the CLR well with two laterals.
  • Romo Bro Ray 2759 43-9B, TD of 20,380 feet, with an IP of 1,209
CLR reports a completed Bakken well in Richland County, Montana:
  • Stoney Butte-Prevost HSU, two laterals with TDs of 12,307 feet and 20,678 feet, with an IP of 273 for the Bakken formation well. The way that is worded suggests the other horizontal is tapping into another formation.  
Going west of Williston, on US Highway 2, just crossing into Montana, Roosevelt County is on the north side of the highway (west of Williams County), and Richland County is on the south side of the highway (west of McKenzie County).

Down in Wibaux County, Montana, an operator will be targeting the Lodgepole Formation. Wibaux County's eastern border is the North Dakota state line, directly west of Dickinson. The well/permit:
  • Rieckhoff 16-1, with a probably total depth of 14,069 feet

So, How Did Europe's Renewable Energy Plan Play Out? Russian Natural Gas Exports To Europe Hits A New Record


February 26, 2016: Russia losing dominance in Europe.

November 30, 2014: large German utility to get out of conventional energy, concentrate on renewable energy:
German utility company E.ON SE says it plans to spin off its nuclear, oil, coal and gas operations to focus on renewable energy and power distribution.
E.ON said in a statement late Sunday that the new strategy will see it quit conventional power generation, global energy trading, exploration and production.
The move comes against the backdrop of Germany's plan to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022 and ramp up power generation from renewable sources.
E.ON, which is struggling with massive debts, also says it expects to book a 4.5-billion euro ($5.62 billion) charge on its operations in southern Europe this year. The company says it will sell its businesses in Spain and Portugal to Australian investment firm Macquarie for 2.5 billion euros ($3.12 billion).
November 30, 2014: Germany goes brown

October 4, 2014: Germany's energy policy -- a Rube Goldberg cartoon.
Original Post
Rigzone is reporting:
Russian gas exports to Europe in 2013 jumped 16 percent year on year to reach a record high of 161.5 billion cubic metres, preliminary data from Gazprom Export showed on Monday, as shipments from Norway and other sources decreased.
Europe, where the Kremlin-controlled company meets a quarter of gas demand, is a source of over 50 percent of Gazprom's revenues, which stood at almost $56 billion in 2012. Gazprom's previous record high for exports to Europe was 159 bcm hit in 2008, just before a global financial crisis hit.
I track Europe's big energy issues here

Just To Be Sure ....

North Dakota tax office feels it is getting "most" of the tax that is due from royalties paid to residents from out-of-state. But to be sure (and for other stated reasons), the state made a slight change in tax law that goes into effect January 1, 2014. The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Out-of-state mineral rights holders will be affected by another change.
Most of House Bill 1198 took effect July 1, but a key provision that becomes effective Wednesday will require companies producing at least 350,000 barrels per year of oil or 500 million cubic feet of natural gas to withhold taxes on royalty payments to nonresident individuals or businesses.
More than half of oil royalty payments go to out-of-state residents, said Ryan Rauschenberger, the state’s incoming tax commissioner. The production threshold of 350,000 barrels per year will cover more than 90 percent of the state’s oil production, he said.
Instead of receiving a Form 1099 at the end of the year, out-of-staters receiving royalty payments will have income taxes withheld at the highest marginal rate, which is 3.22 percent for individuals, Rauschenberger said. The state will hold the money until the person files their state income tax return, at which point they may have to pay in or receive a refund.
The change is designed to speed up the collection process and make it easier for nonresidents, some of whom earn so much in royalty payments that their accountants advise them to make estimated quarterly tax payments to avoid getting stuck with a big bill at the end of the year, Rauschenberger said.
“It’s kind of paying as you go instead of waiting to write us one big check,” he said.
It also captures tax revenue from those who may slip through the cracks if they don’t file their 1099s, though Rauschenberger said he believes the state is collecting most of the nonresident royalty income owed to it.
“So, there’s a compliance issue too that this fixes,” he said.
I don't know about you, but a tax bill of $5,000 on April 15th is a sizable bill to pay. So, how much royalty income are we talking about here? Three point two two percent of "what" yields $5,000?

0.0322 x ? = $5,000

Total royalties would equal = $155,000. Rounded down. 

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, And Energy

These links all come from the same source, but I link them because in a day or two those links will disappear into the ethernet.

I've noticed the same thing as a SeekingAlpha contributor. It seems Berkshire Hathaway / Warren Buffett, at least the public persona, is morphing from an investment company / investor to an operating company / operator ...
... recent major acquisitions have begun a transformation into a New Berkshire Hathaway, which is less an investment company and more an operating company. I saw this transformation as a positive ongoing development which held the promise of renewed and sustained growth.
From Investor's Business Daily
The acquisition of the flow improver business, which makes chemicals to boost pipeline flows, is the latest energy deal for Berkshire Hathaway.
Last month, it reduced its ConocoPhillips (COP) stake to 13.5 million shares from 24.2 million in June and disclosed a 40 million-share stake in Exxon Mobil (XOM).
In May, Berkshire doubled its stake in oilfield equipment maker National Oilwell Varco (NOV) to 7.5 million shares or $529.5 million.
Berkshire Hathaway's BNSF Railway has also benefitted from the U.S. energy boom by hauling crude from shale fields. But on Monday, a Burlington Northern train carrying crude oil crashed into another train in North Dakota causing an explosion that left 10 cars on fire. No injuries were reported.
And from Motley Fool:
Warren Buffett has long liked the consistency of energy stocks, but he's stepped up his energy buying in 2013. He bought a $3.5 billion stake in ExxonMobil in the second half of this year and agreed to pay $5.6 billion to buy utility NV Energy in May. 
Last night, it was announced that Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway would use about 19 million of its long-held shares of Phillips 66  to acquire a unit of that energy company that makes chemicals to improve the flow of pipelines. The unit will essentially be folded into Lubrizol, which was another Berkshire acquisition in 2011.  

Buying energy isn't just about buying big oil or utilities, like Buffett did with ExxonMobil and NV Energy. There's ways to profit from products energy needs as well. 
In recent years, the oil and natural gas pipeline business has become just as important as exploration and production because it makes recovered oil economical. New shale plays in North Dakota, Texas, and elsewhere have resulted in a surge in pipeline building and stress on some of the existing infrastructure. Creating products that help energy flow through pipelines is the bet here as the need for pipelines isn't going anywhere soon.
You could say the same for Berkshire's acquisition of Burlington Northern in 2009. That's not an energy company, but a large portion of its business involves moving coal and even oil around the country. Buffett was using the need for energy to his advantage in that purchase as well.

More Active Rigs In North Dakota Today Than One Year Ago; No Rigs On Federal Land In The Dakota Prairie Grasslands; I Knew The Market Was Good -- I Didn't Know It Was This Good -- The Best Since 1995; North Dakota To Have More Drones Than California? Frigid Temperatures Fueling Natural Gas Prices; What A Great Way To End 2013

Frigid temperatures fuel natural-gas prices -- The Wall Street Journal, section 3.
Natural-gas prices gained on expectations that continued colder-than-normal weather in the central and eastern U.S. will keep demand for the heating fuel high.
Natural gas for February delivery rose 5.9 cents to $4.427 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The 1.4% gain was the largest one-day rise since Dec. 19.  
Active rigs:

Active Rigs18718319715673

RBN Energy: provides a look back at the top RBN blogs this past year. The top blog -- Utica and NGLs.  
Number 2: Detailed survey of rail loading terminals in the Bakken.  Explores the impact of new terminals on crude markets and pipeline throughput
Number 5: CBR -- the year of the tank car
This certainly was not well publicized. I would not have known about it had a reader not told me. The Williston Herald is reporting that President Obama signed the bill to streamline the oil and gas permitting process on BLM land.
The bill allows BLM offices in Montana and other less stressed states to review and approve permits. Currently, as of the December report by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, there are no drilling rigs in North Dakota on federal land in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands.
If that's the extent of the pilot project -- my hunch is one year from now, we will not see much difference in number of rigs in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read or think you may have read here. 

PSX is on a tear the last day of the calendar year. PSX is up over 2% and trading at yet another high. It was announced earlier this week that Warren Buffett, in a deal worth about $1.4 billion, will be buying a specialty chemical unit from PSX. There are many story lines here, but anything related to pipelines is not one of them. It will be interesting to see if The WSJ has a story; I will be looking at The WSJ in a few minutes. Yes, here is The WSJ story.

By the way, Batton's pointed out something that is very interesting regarding this deal:
PSX has had a huge run-up (before Warren Buffett bought a PSX unit with 19 million shares  of PSX / $1.4 billion).

Buffett is incredibly smart and is well-known to be tax-averse. Here he has 19 million shares of PSX (probably more) and PSX has had a huge gain. Time to sell; lock in that profit. The problem: huge capital gains tax on that gain.

So, what does he do? He simply exchanges the PSX shares he owns, to take control of a PSX unit.
  • eliminates the capital gains tax consequences of selling PSX 
  • 19 million shares of PSX goes back to PSX -- retired, and amounts to a PSX buyback which increased the value of existing PSX shares (some of which he probably still owns) 
  • he sees value in the "parts" of PSX and takes advantage of this unit being worth more than what might be reflected in the PSX share price.
If he turned around and sold that unit for exactly what he "paid" for it: no capital gains tax; in fact, there might be some things he could off as a loss against other capital gains. But, I'm sure he bought the PSX unit for a long term investment. 

The Wall Street Journal

Winners of 2013: boring investors
In the best year for U.S. stocks since 1995, the smart way to play the markets has been to follow the dumb money. So-called dumb-money strategies, which involve buying and holding a plain-vanilla portfolio of U.S. stocks, did much better than the more complex approaches employed by hedge funds and other professional investors.
Fueled by easy money from the Federal Reserve and signs of improvement in the economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average goes into the final day of 2013 with a gain of 29% once dividends are included, while the S&P 500 index has climbed 32% with dividends.
Those gains far outpace the rally predicted by even the most bullish Wall Street strategists.
Many hedge funds were left in the dust, alongside investors who use "tactical" timing of the markets' ups and downs and those who spread their bets among a wide variety of assets such as commodities, emerging markets and exchanged-traded funds.
"The more colorful your pie chart, the worse you did," said Lawrence Glazer, managing partner at Boston's Mayflower Advisors, which oversees $1.5 billion.
My pie is pretty much one color: the color of crude.


The train derailment and subsequent crude oil crash in North Dakota.

This is why immigration reform is just a matter of time: US population grew at a snail's pace.

FAA authorizes commercial drone testingThe WSJ mentioned North Dakota first:
The winning applicants were the commerce department of North Dakota; the state of Nevada; a public airport some 250 miles north of New York City; the University of Alaska; Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi; and a partnership between Virginia Tech and Rutgers University. The first site is expected to begin operating within six months. California was NOT selected; see story below.
Show me the money.
Millions of new insurance policies purchased under the federal health-care law officially take effect on Wednesday, but many enrollees won't be able to use them to visit doctors or get prescriptions filled for days or weeks, insurers say.
Because problems with the online marketplaces forced the government to extend deadlines for enrollment to Christmas Eve, insurers are hustling now to complete those enrollments, to process payments and to issue membership cards. They say they won't be able to reach everyone by Jan. 1.
Small businesses anticipate breakout year ahead. Most of them will get health care premiums off their books, as they cost-shift employees to ObamaCare. (No, the story does not mention ObamaCare.) But this article does: the three obstacles facing small businesses in 2014: accessing capital, health-care costs, and 'Beltway' battles.

The Los Angeles Times

Air Force member (male) alleges that blowing the whistle on a "consensual" relationship with a male superior has brought him nothing but grief. A gazillion story lines in this article, starting with the tattoos. I found it refreshing that the male superior was given a weak slap on the wrist. (If you have trouble accessing the entire article, google key words.)


Incredible. Drone giant California loses bids for federal testing sites.
Disappointed California officials were at a loss to explain their failure to land a test site, though some suggested the state didn't do enough to win in the fierce nationwide competition.
The state lost out to Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Virginia and — adding salt to the wound — longtime rival Texas.
Not only that but California was the only state with two groups submitting bids — one based in Ventura County and the other in Kern County.
"How California was left off the list, I haven't got a clue," said Bill Buratto, who, as president and chief executive of the Ventura County Economic Development Assn. helped pitch a bid for a test site in California. "It would seem to me that the FAA would look favorably on California." 
My hunch: the FAA didn't need a bunch of crap from activist Californians screaming about privacy issues


Back to paper. Remember all those paper bags you got for free at grocery stores. In Los Angeles, starting tomorrow, they will cost you 10 cents apiece. Supermarkets are going to be the big winners here.  I'm sitting here in Starbucks, and looking at the cutest looking little puppy, patiently waiting while its master finishes his coffee so they can resume their walk. But I digress.
Starting Wednesday, it will be illegal for big grocery chains, including retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart that sell groceries, to distribute disposable plastic bags. In July, smaller markets will have to comply with the ban as well. Customers will have to bring their own reusable bags or pay a 10-cent fee for each paper bag requested, according to the ordinance that Los Angeles City Council members passed in June.
As of Jan. 1, L.A. will be the largest city in the U.S. to ban plastic grocery bags. The ban was passed to prevent billions of plastic bags from clogging landfills, waterways and the ocean, where they kill marine life. Council members have said they hope to send a message to state lawmakers by enacting the law.
World's hottest pepper hits 2.2 million Scoville units.
Until recently, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was known as the world's hottest chile pepper. But according to the Guinness Book of World Records last month, it's now the Carolina Reaper grown by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Co. in South Carolina.
The pepper rates an average of 1,569,300 Scoville heat units, as tested by Winthrop University in South Carolina throughout 2012, says the Guinness entry.
A story by the Associated Press says the record is for the hottest batch of Currie's peppers tested, code named HP22B, which stands for "Higher Power, Pot No. 22, Plant B." The hottest individual Carolina Reaper came in at 2.2 million Scoville heat units. Last year, New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute named the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion the hottest chile in the world, with a mean of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units and individual plants with a heat of more than 2 million units.

Monday, December 30, 2013

For Newbies: The Bakken Oreo -- Market Realist

Another nice article by Market Realist. The link takes you to part 14 of a 14-part series.
One factor in the Bakken that has increased its value in the eyes of many producers is that oil can be produced from more than one “horizon”, or layer of rock. Originally, oil had been produced from only the “Bakken” layer which is where the play got its name. However, over the past few years many companies also began to produce oil from the Three Forks Sanish formation or “TFS”, which is located below the Bakken. More recently, companies have began to test lower layers of the TFS, also referred to as different “benches”, and these lower layers are referred to by number such as the “TFS 2″ and “TFS 3″, with higher numbers representing lower layers.

Maybe Someone Else Wants To Do The Math ....

Rigzone is reporting:
Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC  has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire natural gas and oil properties in the Pinedale and Jonah fields of Southwestern Wyoming for a purchase price of $581 million from an unnamed source. The properties being sold consist of approximately 87,000 gross acres (14,000 net acres) that are currently producing approximately 113.4 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) with approximately 80 percent being natural gas, percent oil and 16 percent natural gas liquids. The effective date of the acquisition is Oct. 1, and the Company anticipates closing this acquisition on or before Jan. 31, 2014. 
$581 million / 14,000 net acres = $41,500/acre.

Also, at the press release:
Approximately 2,000 producing wells and over 970 proved undeveloped drilling locations; there are approximately 5,200 additional locations not booked at this time due to the current expectation that they will not be drilled within a five year period as required by the SEC for recording proved reserves.

2,000 + 970 + 5,200 = 8,170 / 14,000 net acres = 8,170 drilling locations / 14,000 net acres. 

Drones Over Dakota

More stories on the drones here

Bloomberg/Politics is reporting:
The U.S. approved drone test centers in six states, including North Dakota, as the start of research efforts to eventually allow civilian unmanned aircraft widespread access to the nation’s airways.
The Federal Aviation Administration, after sifting through 25 applicants, also approved bids from Alaska, Nevada, New York, Texas and Virginia, it said in an e-mailed statement.
This was actually reported more than a year ago, back in July, 2012 -- either something new, or Bloomberg just getting around to this story. Other than reading the headline and the first one or two paragraphs I didn't spend any more time on the story. I assume that between the NSA and Amazon.com the wild blue yonder will soon be filled with drones: some with spy cameras, some with packages.

Memo To Self: Mail One Less Letter Every Two Months For The Next Two Years; "Warmists" Bailing

I use about ten (10) first-class stamps/month.

x 12 months = 120 stamps

x 2 years = 240 stamps

x 46 cents for one "forever" stamp = $110.40

With the "temporary" increase to 49 cents for a first class stamp effective January 26, 240 stamps would cost = $117.60.

Decisions, decisions.

But how gullible does Congress think Americans are? This is being "sold" as a temporary measure.

Back to the arithmetic.  

$117.60 - $110.40 = $7.20.

$7.20 / $0.49 = 15 first-class stamps (15 letters)

So, the easiest thing to do is maintain my $110.40 postage stamp budget for the next two years, and mail 15 less letters over the course of the next two years.

Christmas cards? Nope, Christmas postcards.

That was easy.

Global Warming

I can't make this stuff up. A bunch of "warmist" scientists set sail this summer to study the effect of global warming on the Antarctic ice sheet. They were expecting the Antarctic ice sheet to have shrunk either in area or in thickness due to global warming. Remember, it's summer in the Antarctic.

It appears their ship was iced in. For the past several weeks, folks smarter than I have been trying to figure out how to rescue these latter-day Gullivers. Ice-breaking ships were unable to reach the stranded "warmists."

The "warmists" have given up. They will be rescued by helicopter.

I can't make this stuff up.  Mail On-Line is reporting.

Three More Very Nice Bakken Wells In Siverston Oil Field

Active rigs: 187

Ten (10) new permits -- 
  • Operators: Burlington Resources (3), MRO (3), CLR (2), Hess (2)
  • Fields: Banks (McKenzie), Blue Buttes (McKenzie), Chimney Butte (Dunn), Rainbow (Williams)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list over the weekend, Monday, were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Five (5) producing wells were completed:
  • 26465, 2,107, Whiting, S-Bar 13-2H, Sanish, t11/13; cum --
  • 26137, 396, Whiting, Moore 14-7-2XH, Sanish, t12/13; cum --
  • 24933, 1,908, XTO, Lundin 41X-14C, Siverston, t9/13; cum 20K 10/13;
  • 25111, 2,869, XTO, Lundin 41X-14D, Siverston, t10/13; cum --
  • 24932, 1,956, XTO, Lundin 41X-14G, Siverston, t9/13; cum 17K 10/13;

Global Warming

Green Bay sets "global warming" record -- 19 degrees below zero.

Green Bay Press Gazette is reporting:
Green Bay set a new record low of minus 19 Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Ashwaubenon. The frigid weather is expected to persist through the day and the early part of the week.
Monday’s low just edged out the previous record, minus 18, set in 1976. A number of other cities also recorded record lows.
Is it just me or are we seeing more cold weather than usual ever since Algore received his Nobel Prize?

How Soaring Propane Exports Affect Domestic Prices

Regular readers know the background to this story. When I get caught up I will include a few more links. For now, enjoy the story sent in by another reader: how soaring propane exports is (are?) affecting prices, as reported by MarketRealist/Yahoo!Finance

Excellent article, background, and analysis. If I don't forget I will put in some data points in case the link breaks, but I just got back from being out and about all day and am now catching up.

Warren Buffett Buys PSX Unit For $1.4 Billion

Reuters via Yahoo!News is reporting:
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc struck a deal to buy a Phillips 66 business that makes chemicals to improve the flow potential of pipelines for around $1.4 billion of stock Phillips 66 said on Monday that Berkshire will pay for the unit, Phillips Specialty Products Inc, using about 19 million shares of Phillips 66 stock that it currently owns.

"I have long been impressed by the strength of the Phillips 66 business portfolio," Buffett said in a statement. "The flow improver business is a high-quality business with consistently strong financial performance."

Early Reports On The Bakken Crude OIl / Grain Train Collision


February 8, 2017: NTSB releases its findings, after five years -- a broken axle on the train carrying soybeans. The CBR train was not at blame one iota. 

January 6, 2014: The Dickinson Press is reporting that in the past nine years there have been four (4) derailments west of Fargo, near Casselton, where the most recent Bakken crude oil unit train derailed/three explosions after hitting a derailed train carrying soybeans.

January 2, 2014: both tracks are back to operating normally. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
BNSF Railway has reopened the two lines at Casselton that were shut down Monday when a crude oil-carrying train derailed and caught fire.
One of the lines reopened at 3 a.m. Thursday and the second about 15 minutes later. Railroad spokeswoman Amy McBeth says trains have been operating on the route since then without incident.
Later, 9:32 p.m. Pacific Time: Oil produced in North Dakota's Bakken formation for delivery at Clearbrook, Minnesota, was unchanged at a discount of $8.25 a barrel versus U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude yesterday.

Later, 9:32 p.m. Pacific Time: Bloomberg is reporting (linked at Clearbrook, MN, news site):
A BNSF Railway Co. train carrying oil erupted into flames after colliding with railcars that went off the tracks earlier yesterday in North Dakota, causing a series of explosions that forced local residents to take cover.
The accident occurred at 2:10 p.m. local time near Casselton, North Dakota, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s BNSF said in a statement on its website. About 12 railcars were ablaze as of 5 p.m., prompting emergency responders to issue a shelter-in-place order for Casselton, Cecily Fong, a spokeswoman for the state Emergency Services Department, said by telephone.
It was the fourth major North American derailment in six months by trains transporting crude. Record volumes of oil are moving by rail as shale plays from North Dakota to Texas have spurred U.S. output to the most since 1988 and pipeline capacity has failed to keep up. Berkshire’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad carried about 500,000 barrels of oil a day in March, Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett said at the time.
“A westbound train carrying soybeans derailed just west of Casselton just after 2 p.m., and then an eastbound train carrying oil hit that derailed train, causing a series of explosions and then a subsequent fire,” Fong said.
 Original Post
The Dickinson Press is reporting:
A westbound grain train derailed, crashing into an eastbound crude oil train, which caused it to derail one mile west of Casselton about 2:10 p.m., said BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth.
About 10 of the 106 oil train cars are fully engulfed in flames after the collision, and fire and hazmat crews are on scene, keeping the fire at bay. No crew members reported injuries after the accident, McBeth said.
Meanwhile in a related/unrelated story, being reported by the Dallasbizjournal.com:
Burlington Northern xpects to be hauling 1 million barrels of crude oil per day by the end of 2014, said Matthew K. Rose, executive chairman of the railroad.
My colleague Bill Hethcock talked to Rose Monday morning about his role on the AT&T board of directors but also asked a few questions about the booming oil by rail industry.
Right now, Fort Worth-based BNSF is hauling about 750,000 barrels of oil from places like the Bakken in North Dakota and the Permian Basin in West Texas to refineries.
It's possible crude-by-rail would have become a big player in oil shipment regardless of the Keyston XL decision, but there's no question that President Obama killing the "XL" at the behest of activist environmentalists hastened the day that CBR would be so important to the oil industry. It's really quite a story. On so many levels. Here's just one story, being reported by WyomingStarTribune: CBR raises concerns of small Wyoming towns --
It's tough to miss the trains hauling crude oil out of the Northern Plains. They are growing more frequent by the day, mile-long processions of black tank cars that rumble through wheat fields and towns, along rivers and national parks.
As common as they have become across the U.S. and Canada, officials in dozens of towns and cities where the oil trains travel say they are concerned with the possibility of a major derailment, spill or explosion, while their level of preparation varies widely.
Stoking those fears was the July crash of a crude train from the Bakken oil patch in Lac Megantic, Quebec — not far from the Maine border — that killed 47 people. A Nov. 8 train derailment in rural Alabama where several oil cars exploded reinforced them.
"It's a grave concern," said Dan Sietsema, the emergency coordinator in northeastern Montana's Roosevelt County, where oil trains now pass regularly through the county seat of Wolf Point. "It has the ability to wipe out a town like Wolf Point."
The number of carloads hauled by U.S. railroads has surged in recent years, from 10,840 in 2009 to a projected 400,000 this year.
As noted earlier,  it might have happened anyway, but there is no question that President Obama killing the Keystone XL....well, you know... 

Top Automobile Dealership Shifts Insurance Costs To ObamaCare

I think I've been pointing this out ever since the law was passed.

Cost shifting.

I track the cost-shifting story elsewhere.

For Wall Street, ObamaCare is great news.

For Main Street, not so good.

For investors, ObamaCare gets the unpredictability and spiraling health care costs off the company's books.

Companies are going to do exactly what Extreme Dodge, Jackson, Michigan, is doing:
... when employees were told that the health insurance plan that the auto dealership had provided its workers was canceled because it doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Rather than officially sponsor a new policy, the company -- voted one of the 100 best car dealerships to work for in the country last year -- will instead provide its employees with $2,400 apiece to buy their own insurance, or to pocket and pay the new federal penalty if they elect to go without it.
That’s a little bit more than the company says it spent on health insurance this year.  Dealership owner Wesley Lutz said his decision to go in a new direction was driven by the fact that health insurance is “incredibly expensive” and getting more so. He says he needs to be able to control his future costs.
“As a business owner, we have to be viable first and then provide services,” he said. Lutz is not required to provide health insurance to workers, but has done so for 35 years.
 How bad are spiraling health care costs with the Affordable Health Care Act? Again, the article:
Insurance broker Michael Harp said small businesses, part of what’s known in the industry as the “small group market,” are used to seeing health insurance premiums climb about 10 percent a year, but it’s never before been this dramatic. 
For Extreme Dodge to have kept deductibles and out-of-pocket costs at last year’s levels, he said, would have cost the dealership almost 50 percent more than last year.
The story has a hundred story lines. Another one -- the act of civil disobedience. By law, everyone must carry health insurance under ObamaCare:
Four younger workers opted not to sign up for any health insurance at all, according to a company official. 
Four works out of 26. That is 15 percent, and my hunch is that about 15% of the overall general population will not enroll in ObamaCare. It could be significantly worse: the next time you visit a Wal-Mart, or a Target, or a grocery story of your choosing, look around, and think for yourself how many of those you see shopping actually know how to enroll in ObamaCare electronically. Scary, huh?

Merry Christmas! Baby, Please Come Home

Darlene Love, 2013 --

Baby, Please Come Home, Darlene Love
 1986: her first appearance on the Dave Letterman show -- 

Baby, Please Come Home, Darlene Love

Fire In The Hole (St Louis, Missouri, Story) -- Puts Fracking Into Perspective; Tea Leaves Suggest WTi Will Trade Toward $85 In 2014

Active rigs: 187

RBN Energy: the tea leaves suggest that most pundits expect WTI to fall towards $85/bbl in 2014.
In their Short Term Energy Outlook published earlier in December (2013) the EIA predicted that US crude production will increase by 1 MMb/d in 2013 to 7.5 MMb/d and is expected to increase by another 1 MMb/d in 2014. Those increases are driven by tight oil production of predominantly light sweet crude. As a result we cannot expect there to be any demand for imports of light sweet crude at the Gulf Coast in 2014. That means Brent prices will continue to be “detached” from the US domestic crude market.
Whatever happens in the world market, WTI prices will continue under pressure from rising domestic production and the oversupply of light-sweet crude on the Gulf Coast. If international supplies are tight then Brent prices will rise relative to WTI. If international markets are oversupplied then Brent prices will fall but they are unlikely to dip below WTI. The greatest danger for producers is that both WTI and Brent prices will be pushed into a downward spiral by a glut of world crude supplies. But of course in that case it might just be refiners who will “Get Lucky.”
Worst Funded US Pension Plans: City, State -- Financial Times

In case the link breaks, the worst-funded metropolitan pension plans ("best" to worst, % funded):
San Diego (70%); Boston (60%); Phoenix (60%), New York City (60%), Jacksonville (50%), Philadelphia (50%), Chicago (37%). [80% funded is considered a healthy threshold.]

For the states: US average (70%), Rhode Island (60%), Mississippi (60%), Kansas (60%), New Hampshire (60%), Louisiana (60%), Connecticut (50%), Kentucky (45%), Illinois (40%), Puerto Rico (10%).

The Wall Street Journal

Chesapeake energy got cash for sales; now bills come due.  
As Chesapeake Energy Corp. burned through cash in recent years, it raised billions of dollars by selling pieces of its empire: oil and gas properties, pipelines, even royalties from wells yet to be drilled.
Some of these deals saddled the nation's second-largest natural-gas producer with costs that only now are becoming clear.
The obligations pose hurdles to new Chief Executive Doug Lawler, who has pledged to rein in spending and improve profit.
When Chesapeake unloaded its pipeline business last year in a medley of transactions totaling more than $4 billion, it agreed to ship a certain amount of natural gas on lines now owned by Access Midstream Partners. But in north Texas, Chesapeake isn't tapping enough gas to fill the space it reserved as it cuts back on drilling new gas wells.
The shortfall means Chesapeake must pay for a service it isn't using. If its wells there continue to produce gas at current rates—which isn't likely, given that production has been falling—the company would have to pay at least $400 million to Access over the next five years to make up for the shortfall, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of regulatory filings. That equals almost half of the company's profits through the first nine months of 2013. 
This seems to have come at the wrong time. What's up with this? Mass-transit commuters face a hit.
An expiring tax-code provision means commuting by mass transit will cost some people more when the new year begins Wednesday.
An expiring tax-code provision means commuting by mass transit will cost some people more when the new year begins Wednesday.
The maximum monthly tax exemption for transit riders is set to drop to $130 in 2014, while the benefit for drivers' parking expenses will rise slightly, to $250. This year, mass-transit users have been allowed to set aside up to $245 a month of their pretax income to pay for commuting expenses, reducing their overall tax bill and effectively lowering the cost of their ride. Americans who drive to work have gotten the same benefit for their parking costs in 2013. The reasons for the divergence in mass transit and parking next year reflect the complicated ways Congress sometimes writes tax law.
Lawmakers originally set the transit benefit lower than the drivers' break, but since 2009 has temporarily raised it to match the drivers', and that provision expires at the end of this year. Meantime, the drivers' benefit is set to rise in the new year because it is tied to inflation.
Fire in the hole! And folks are worried about salt-water waste from fracking. St Louis, Missouri, has a radioactive waste problem on their hands.
A dispute is smoldering here, in one sense quite literally, over what to do with thousands of tons of radioactive waste in a landfill in this suburban St. Louis town.
Some residents argue the waste, created decades ago by the U.S. nuclear-weapons program and other federal work, poses a health and environmental threat and should be removed. The landfill's owner disputes that and says the best course is to leave the waste in place with some beefed-up protections. The Environmental Protection Agency has favored the second option but is reconsidering in reaction to community opposition.
The dispute is complicated by other factors. What officials from the EPA and the landfill's owner call a "subsurface smoldering event"—locals call it an underground fire—has sprung up in a nearby nonnucleaThe price of a popular genetic test that predicts women's risk of breast cancer is likely to drop in the New Year after the agency that administers Medicare benefits said it would slash its reimbursement rate for the test by half.r landfill area. It isn't clear what would happen if the smoldering reaches the radioactive materials. Efforts are under way to prevent that.
Reimbursement for breast-cancer test to be cut. I had no idea one test would cost nearly $3,000.
The rate cut goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, with consequences for genetic-testing companies, particularly Myriad Genetics Inc., the dominant supplier of screenings for mutations in the genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Medicare will pay a maximum of $1,440 for the BRCA test, a 48.5% decline from the rate of $2,795 it paid in 2013, according to a notice published Friday afternoon on the website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Los Angeles Times

I never understand these stories: the top story in The LA Times today is a story about a pedophile priest who was moved from California to Texas without folks knowing his background, and now the headline: one troubled priest who got a second chance.
Yolanda Villegas adored Father John. A pillar of the Church of the Holy Spirit, she knew nothing of his past. Few parishioners did. Nearly every Sunday for a decade, she arrived for the Spanish-language Mass, knelt in the same pew and wondered how he'd inspire her that week.
After several paragraphs of what a great guy he was, and how he was molested by his mother, we finally learn well into the article, "in 1987, Salazar pleaded guilty to abusing two teenage boys and sent to prison."

Not once is the word "pedophile" used in the article. The word used was "abuse" to describe the sexual molestation.

By 1991, he was out of prison, on parole. He left California to be a priest of a parish in Texas where folks did not know him.

He was accused of sexually molesting a close family friend after his arrival in Texas. In 2004, he was finally defrocked and was criminally charged for the third time. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In 2011, the top criminal appeals court in Texas overturned Salazar's conviction and was released from prison last year. [The LA Times uses the word "abuse" to describe "forcible oral sex" on the 18-year-old family friend. His defense: it was consensual.]

And, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Salazar is given a second chance. A second chance?

Another young man has now stepped forward and Salazar faces his fourth criminal charge for sexual molestation -- although again, the LA Times only says he is charged with "abuse."

I never understand these stories. But again, I may be missing something. It was hard to wade through the story that was more concerned with touchy-feely writing than presenting the facts, and/or using the word pedophile.
Los Angeles and Santa Monica have approved several construction projects along two well-known faults in recent years without requiring seismic studies. But they will study fracking for decades. Fracking began in 1947 in western Kansas.
Obamacare: 1.1 million enroll at federal website; maybe a total of 2 million have enrolled overall. Goal was 3 million by this time; the insurers need 7 million (that was the original story, but the goalposts will move. But folks are following the wrong metric. The metrics that need to be tracked: a) how many are paying their premiums; and, b) who enrolled. By July, 2014, we will know. These are the two immediate problems:
Others may discover that although they're properly enrolled in a health plan, the doctor or hospital they visit or the prescription they want to fill won't be covered by the plan they have selected.
Still other patients, including many who have never had insurance before, may be shocked to learn they have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before their coverage kicks in. Like employer-provided health plans, many insurance plans set up under the health law come with low premiums and high deductibles.
Obamacare, unlike Obamaphones, has a very high up-front cost for lost-premium health care policies.
For Investors Only

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. 

PSX is off and running: up over a percent, and now trading at a new high.

SRE, still well off it's highs, is up about half a percent today, at just under $90.

CHK, despite the WSJ story earlier today, is up over 1%, at almost $28, trading near its 52-week high of $29.

Oasis, well off its highs of nearly $60 and now trading well below $50, is up over a percent today.

Schlumberger is up a bit today.

CVX is down about as much as SLB is up today.

And that gives me a quick overview of how the market values the energy companies today. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday; EOG Reports A Huge Well; MRO With A High-IP Well; Newfield, Whiting WIth Huge Wells

Active rigs:

Active Rigs18718719615675

Wells coming off confidential list over the weekend, Monday:

Monday, December 30, 2013:
  • 24512, 1,982, Whiting, Taylor 14-7-2H, Sioux, t7/13; cum 40K 10/13;
  • 24513, 1,657, Whiting, Taylor 14-7H, Sioux, t7/13; cum 38K 10/13;
  • 25058, drl, Hess, BB-Chapin 151-95-0506H-3, Blue Buttes, no production data,
  • 25185, drl, Slawson, River Rat Federal 4-23-14TFH, Four Bears, no production data,  
  • 25657, 2,289, QEP, Ernie 3-10-2-11LL,  Grail, t10/13; cum 12K 10/13;
  • 25744, 1,736, Newfield, Johnsrud 151-98-31-30-3H, Siverston, t9/13; cum 28K 10/13;
  • 25752, 115, Legacy, Legacy Et Al Bernstein 13-7 2H, Red Rock, a Spearfish well; t8/13; cum 14K 10/13;
Sunday, December 29, 2013:
  • 25479, drl, CLR, Malcolm 3-20H, Sauk, no production data,
  • 25842, 2,585, MRO, Jodi Aubol 41-14H,  Reunion Bay, 4 sections; no production data,
Saturday, December 28, 2013:
  • 23268, 1,487, EOG, Bear Den 25-16H,  Spotted Horn, t7/13; cum 91K 10/13;
  • 25057, drl, Hess, BB-Chapin 151-95-0506H-2,  Blue Buttes, no production data,
  • 25071, drl, Hess, EN-Hermanson A 155-93-3601H-5, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 25495, 557, Slawson, Walleye (Fedeeral) 3-12-11TFH, Sanish, t11/13; cum 14K 11/13;
  • 25743, 1,734, Newfield, Johnsrud 151-98-31-30-2H, Siverston, t9/13; cum 10/13;

24512, see above, Whiting, Taylor 14-7-2H, Sioux:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

24513, see above, Whiting, Taylor 14-7H, Sioux:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25744, see above, Newfield, Johnsrud 151-98-31-30-3H, Siverston:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 23268, see above, EOG, Bear Den 25-16H,  Spotted Horn (91K to date):

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25495, see above, Slawson, Walleye (Fedeeral) 3-12-11TFH, Sanish:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25743, see above, Newfield, Johnsrud 151-98-31-30-2H, Siverston:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Subtle Change In CLR's Proposed Horizontal Placement In The Better Bakken?

There are certainly some observant and some astute readers out there.

Take a look at these graphics.

I believe the proposed well pattern on those two graphics are the same; if not, the differences are very, very subtle.

Dan, earlier today, told me to take a look at a recent case before the NDIC:
Case 21582, CLR, 21582, application of CLR, for an order amending the field rules for the Bear Creek, Cabernet, Corral Creek, Crooked Creek, Jim Creek, Oakdale, and Rattlesnake Point-Bakken Pools, Dunn County, ND, authorizing a total not to exceed fourteen wells on each existing 1280-acre spacing unit within Zones II and III in the Bear Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones III and IV in the Cabernet-Bakken Pool; Zones II, III, and IV in the Corral Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones I and II in the Crooked Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones I, II, III, IV, V, and VI in the Jim Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones I and II in the Oakdale-Bakken Pool; and Zones I, II and III in the Rattlesnake Point-Bakken Pool; a total not to exceed fourteen wells on each 1920-acre spacing unit in Zone VII in the Jim Creek-Bakken Pool; and Zone IV in the Rattlesnake Point- Bakken Pool; and a total not to exceed twenty-eight wells on each existing 2560-acre spacing unit within Zone V in the Corral Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones VIII and IX in the Jim Creek-Bakken Pool; Zones III and IV in the Oakdale- Bakken Pool; and Zones V and VI in the Rattlesnake Point-Bakken Pool, eliminating any tool error requirements and such other relief as is appropriate.
Look at the graphic and see if you see the subtle difference that Dan noted:

Now that I look at it again (for the umpteenth time), maybe the difference is not so subtle.

I've talked about this from the very, very beginning: how fracking should work 360 degrees radially, and should impact other horizontals if drilled within 300 feet or so. But I had not noted the new well pattern proposed by Continental Resources in this case, on the December, 2013, dockets.

For those that don't see the change, here it is: in the earlier links, horizontals in the MB and TF2 were "stacked" directly above each other; while horizontals in the TF1 and TF3 were offset from MB and TF2 and "stacked" directly over each other.

In the newer, proposed configuration, none of the Three Forks horizontals are directly below the middle Bakken horizontals.

In addition, none of the TF wells are "stacked" directly in line with each other: all horizontals are off-set.

It certainly looks to me like this should optimize fracking the entire drilling unit.


Also note that the horizontal distance between the middle Bakken wells are 1,320 feet. I've always felt that 500' radially was the maximum distance that fracking was effective, or 1,000 feet between wells. It certainly raises the question, twenty years from now, whether it would make more sense to re-frack the existing middle Bakken wells (1,320 feet apart from each other) or drill/frack new wells between the existing middle Bakken wells. I remain convinced that fracking a new well in the vicinity of an existing well, improves the production of the existing, older well.


Regardless, using the same spacing it is easy to see that one could put in additional wells in the above graphic:
  • TF1:  two additional 1/2 wells on the drilling unit lines (one net well)
  • TF3: one additional full well
Thus, 16 wells on a 1280-acre spacing unit, or as many as 32 wells on a 2560-acre spacing unit.


See, also a recent post on XTO and KOG leading the charge on increased density projects:
....numerous operators are seeking authority from the commission to drill up to 30 wells on existing 2,560-acre spacing units, up to 16 wells on existing 1,280-acre units, and up to four wells on existing 320-acre units.

Ah, The Hypocrisy Of Alarm Over Bald Eagle Deaths; ObamaCare in Massachusetts? 44,000 Have Enrolled, 309 Have Paid First Premium

I follow The Los Angeles Times fairly regularly. Its editorial slant, of course, is similar to The New York Times, but in some respects it may be "worse." I generally don't pay much attention to the LA Times. But a couple of interesting stories today.  First. on the front page, on-line:

Bald eagle deaths in Utah alarm and mystify scientists.
Bald eagles are dying in Utah -- 20 in the last few weeks alone -- and nobody can figure out why.

Hundreds of the majestic birds -- many with wing spans of 7 feet or more -- migrate here each winter, gathering along the Great Salt Lake and feasting on carp and other fish that swim in the nearby freshwater bays.

Earlier this month, however, hunters and farmers across five counties in northern and central Utah began finding the normally skittish raptors lying listless, on the ground. Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis in the legs, feet, and wings.

Several of the ailing birds were taken to the mammoth Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, where handlers tried to save them. Within 48 hours most were dead.
My hunch: concussions following run-ins with turbines.

What incredible hypocrisy. The headline says scientists are alarmed over the loss of these magnificent birds and The LA Times does not mention that President Obama, with an executive order, provided 30-year immunity to slicers and dicers (aka, wind turbines) with regard to unlimited bird kills, including bald eagles. It's a very, very long article; it is quite an in-depth article and not one word of slicers and dicers.

Ah, yes, the hypocrisy.

That was on the news page.

This from the op-ed section: "Fracking" the Monterey Shale -- boon or boondoggle? The op-ed is hardly worth reading; there is nothing there that hasn't been reported a gazillion times before, most of which can be paraphrased: Californians frown on fracking. What caught my interest is that, again, this is a very, very long article, and neither North Dakota nor the Bakken are mentioned. What? But it does mention Kansas:
What began with rudimentary wells in Kansas in the 1940s [fracking] has evolved into a sophisticated technology that is being exported to China, Argentina and South Africa, even as its impact is hotly debated here.
But apparently that is correct:
The first “frack” was performed in western Kansas in 1947. What is relatively new is the combining of horizontal drilling techniques and fracking, but even this process has been used for more than a decade.
Meanwhile, from The Boston Globe, New York fracking advocates tire of wait (link to StarTribune because The Boston Globe requires a subscription):
Born of the energy crisis of the 1970s, gas driller Lenape Resources flourished in western New York for more than three decades — until the revolutionary technology that sparked the nation's shale gas boom brought the industry to a screeching halt in New York under a moratorium now in its sixth year.
Today, Lenape has just five employees, down from 100 in years past. "Those five, we're trying to give them work in Pennsylvania," said John Holko, the company's president. "We're not going to be here much longer."
As another year closes with a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York and no timetable for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decide whether to lift it, drilling interests have all but given up on the state, and environmental groups are pressing for a permanent ban.
Advancements in horizontal drilling and fracking — which releases gas from rock by injecting a well with a mix of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure — have yielded so much gas from the Marcellus Shale underlying much of the Mid-Atlantic region that gas prices have plummeted. As a result, the less productive vertical wells still allowed in New York are no longer in demand, Holko said.
Also in The Boston Globe, the state's ObamaCare website is doing so badly that Massachusetts and Vermont have suspended payments to the developer:
Even as President Obama’s health insurance website limps to recovery, at least two states that used the same contractor and are still plagued with malfunctions — Massachusetts and Vermont — are taking preliminary steps to recoup taxpayer dollars.
Massachusetts officials are reviewing legal options against CGI Group, a Montreal-based information technology company, and will make recommendations on how to seek financial redress at a Jan. 9 meeting.
So far, the state has paid $11 million of its $69 million contract with CGI. It will not pay a penny more until a functioning website has been delivered, said Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Commonwealth Health Connector, the state’s insurance marketplace.
However, this is the bigger story, and one I have blogged about before. Just because one has enrolled does not mean one will actually buy the "selected" product. Look at this data point, also from The Boston Globe:
By Thursday afternoon, just 309 people had paid their first premium to fully enroll in a plan through the Connector. More than 44,000 people have completed applications to date, but many others have faced roadblocks in getting that far.
People are focused on the wrong metric (how many are enrolling). The important metrics: a) how many are paying their premiums; and, b) who is paying their premiums.

The administration can extend the deadline as far into the future as they want, but no one is covered if they haven't paid their premium.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Stories Of 2013

This is "final" but it could be updated.

Top Story of the Year:
ONEOK to invest almost $1 billion in the Bakken in new natural gas gathering, processing

The world:
Great Britain lifts ban on fracking to exploit shale gas reserves

The nation:
US oil production surges to highest levels since 1989, almost 25 years ago -- CarpeDiem

North Dakota:
New four-lane bridge across Missouri southwest of Williston announced
$70 million, 5-year construction project, Minneapolis, MN, to support the Bakken -- biggest story of the week

Most exciting operator in the Bakken in 2013:
  • revolutionary completion techniques (60+ stages; 12 million lbs sand)
  • owns own sand resources
  • ramps up in Parshall (from one rig to seven rigs)
  • payback in less than 12 months: wells in both the Bakken and Eagle Ford
  • operates in top three US plays: Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian
  • predicted to be be largest producer in continental US by 2018 
Most surprising story of 2013:
Harold Hamm, CLR/CEO, divorce proceedings; affair in 2010

The deals:
See sidebar
The KOG - Liberty Resources deal has closed; a bit pricier than originally reported 

Record price per acre:

Bakken Operations:
Increased well density

Most exciting production prediction:
The Bakken potential; heading for 2 million bopd -- Goldman Sachs

Bakken oil field story of the year:
July dockets posted: XTO to drill another 300 wells in Siverston oil field

Biggest story in takeaway capacity:
90% of Bakken oil could go by rail in 2014

Investment story of the year:
The KOG-Liberty Resources deal

The "Other" Williston Basin formations
Random update of a Red River re-entry well

The Williston Wire's Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- My Thoughts
CNBC broadcasts from Williston
Number of North Dakota millionaires nearly doubles
Reservation royalties surge on tax agreement
$100 million event center for Dickinson?
Williston Planning/Zoning Commission approves 535-acre residential/commercial development
Fuddruckers, Acme Tool, Famous Dave's, Outlaw Grill, Home of Economy expanding -- Williston
Hertz Equipment Rental moves into spacious facility on 5-acre lot
Second Tractor & Equipment Store to open in Williston
Menard's to build concept store in Williston, 18 acres of shopping pleasure 
A 624-room Bakken Inn to be built in Parshall

The Williston Wire's Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Their Pick

  • Williston named fastest growing micropolitan. Again.
  • Glut of job openings; more than 700 in Williams County
  • Williston experienced a baby boom
  • New restaurants poured into Williston: Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave's BBQ, Fuddruckers, Doc Hollidays, The Williston Brewing Company, Basil Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion just to name a few
  • Williston City Commission approved an unprecedented annexation of 4,888 acres, increasing the geographical size of Williston to 20.3 square miles
  • Apartment construction boomed in 2013
  • Sloulin Field continued to break enplanement records
  • Babe Ruth World Series drew large crowds and praise
  • Williston State College won the National Junior College Hockey Championship
  • Williston State College saw major transformation

Expanded List of Top Stories of 2013
The Short List

The nation:
EPA says final report on fracking won't be ready until 2016 -- biggest story of the week
US fuel exports surge

The Bakken: production
Whiting's Sanish wells model to 2 million bbls EUR
The Bakken potential; heading for 2 million bopd -- Goldman Sachs
NDIC expects surge in crude oil production this summer

The Bakken: fields
Statoil's Beaux-tiful wells in the Banks oil field
EOG's Parshall field on track to generate revenues in excess of $100 million -- Filloon
July dockets posted: XTO to drill another 300 wells in Siverston oil field
Re-entering/re-completed wells in the Spotted Horn oil field
QEP to unitize the Helis Grail-Bakken oil field14 wells on each 1280-acre spacing unit in Brooklyn-Bakken oil field -- CLR 

The Bakken: formations
The Three Forks potential -- in some areas Three Forks wells are five times better than middle Bakken well

The Bakken: wells
EOG 3-mile long horizontal; 213,000 bbls in less than 5 months
Zenergy's Omlid well: a TF3 headliner
EOG's monster wells
CLR with the "deepest" horizontal well in Williams County
Three CLR Hawkinson wells with total cumulative production over 1 million bbls

The Bakken: well density
Fourteen wells sited in one section in Truax oil field
CLR's Atlanta wells; 14 wells in Baker field
48 wells/spacing unit in the better Bakken -- Lynn Helms
Fourteen wells in one section in Antelope oil field
The downspacing revolution in the Bakken -- Richard Zeits
WPX with eleven wells in one spacing unit
KOG, XTO leading the way on density well drilling
What the success of CLR's Hawkinson wells means for the Bakken
CLR's graphic of 34 wells in one spacing unit
34 wells on a spacing unit -- EOG

The Bakken: operators
Is something going on with Oasis?

The Bakken: crude by rail (CBR)
90% of Bakken oil could go by rail in 2014
CBR expansion at New Town planned
BNSF to add second stretch of mainline track, Ray to Tioga, 12 miles
BNSF to invest $220 million in CAPEX in North Dakota in 2013
Two more terminals raise capacity to almost 500,000 bopd; capacity jumps 50% in June
New Frontier to build rail/industrial yard in Williston
Stark County approves new rail transloading facility 

The Bakken: takeaway capacity
Enbridge keeps adding to its $6 billion pipeline project

The deals:
See sidebar
Oasis acquires 161,000 net acres in the Bakken
Petro-Hunt sells 17,000 net acres to Whiting, $260 million cash; the deal
The KOG - Liberty Resources deal has closed; a bit pricier than originally reported 
Analysis of KOG-Liberty Resources deal
The KOG-Liberty Resources deal -- Mike Filloon (one of numerous stories on the deal)
Zenergy to sell Bakken assets; estimated at $1 billion 

The Bakken: investments
EOG drills well in western North Dakota with payback in six months
Hess increases dividend by 150%
Five Bakken wells with revenues over $17 million in less then two years - Filloon
KOG market cap passes US Steel
ONEOK to spin off ONE Gas
OXY USA to sell its position in the Bakken?

The Bakken: taxable sales receipts
Williston beats Fargo in taxable sales; 8th month in a row

The Bakken: fracking

EOG reports a 62-stage fracked well
EOG reports a 61-stage well; a 55-stage well; 12 million lbs sand
EOG monster wells: 49 stages and 10 million pounds of sand
SBR terminal to be built in New Town, North Dakota 
Refracking in the Bakken
Whiting's new completion technique
Statoil receives first permits to use high-salt produced water for fracking
Re-fracking the Bakken: an update on the MRO experience  

The Bakken: natural gas
ONEOK to add fifth natural gas gathering and processing unit; this one near Watford City
ONEOK to invest almost $1 billion in new natural gas gathering, processing

The Bakken: miscellaneous
The three biggest energy stories of 2013 (2 of 3 involve the Bakken) -- The Motley Fool 
The Bakken is a lot bigger than we thought 
Is economic value of Bakken natural gas four times greater than forecast?
If this were the Daytona 500, the Bakken is at "Mile 50"; 30 years of drilling yet to go
It appears the reservation (BLM) is main source of flaring in the Bakken
Update on EOG's waterflooding experience in the Bakken 

Williston will need $625 million/year for next six years for infrastructure
Five-lane highway, Williston to Watford City, announced
WAWS water at 13-mile corner, north of Williston
Bobcat, bigger than ever, back in Bismarck
Williston's Buffalo Wild Wings outsells all other BWWs in the nation
Growers to build $1 billion fertilizer factory near Grand Forks using Bakken natural gas
First new US refinery in almost 40 years; breaks ground in North Dakota
Native America refinery to break ground in August
New $12 million water treatment plant for Parshall  

The "other Williston Basin formations
Random update of a Red River re-entry well
MRO targeting the Tyler formation in southwest North Dakota
MRO permits another Tyler well in Slope County

Renewable energy meets reality:
Slicers and dicers given 30-year immunity re: bird kills

Commentaries, Resources