Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two Stories From Rigzone Before The Evening Ends

First, the Eagle Ford:
Eagle Ford shale play activity in 2012 had an economic impact of $46 billion and supported over 86,000 jobs in the 14-county area in South Texas where Eagle Ford activity is more active, counties in South Texas, according to a report from UTSA's Center for Community and Business Research (CCBR).
The new study includes a 2012 update of direct, indirect and induced economic impacts by county in the 14-county and 20-county regions of the Eagle Ford shale. The report also provides a more comprehensive analysis of the economic impact in the Eagle Ford in regards to construction projects completed in 2012, crude oil transportation infrastructure, impacts on Texas Gulf Coast, impacts on Texas high education, innovations and advancements in natural gas applications, increases in county sales taxes, and pipeline construction costs.
The Eagle Ford shale's economic impact on South Texas in 2022 is estimated to grow to over $61 billion and support 89,000 jobs, according to the CCBR's latest study. The latest study released by CCBR focuses specifically on the impacts of 14 counties that are most active in the Eagle Ford play. These include Atascosa, Bee, DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio Gonzales, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Webb, Wilson and Zavala.
And, second, the Canadian oil sands:
Canada is being proactive in their recruiting efforts by searching the globe to fill much-needed positions in the oil and gas industry. The rapid expansion of oil sands production has made oil critical to the Canadian economy and with more than $100 billion invested in oil sands over the past 10 years, economic and political power has shifted westward to Alberta. It is estimated that production is connected to 75,000 jobs nationwide, and this number is expected to increase over the next 25 years.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that Canada's current production of 3.2 million barrels of oil a day will reach 6.2 million barrels a day by 2030, with oil sands representing majority of this output. Additionally, it is estimated that $283.4 billion will be spent on the development of new oil sands projects by 2035, noted the Conference Board of Canada. With an increase in production, the demand for skilled employees surges.
Essentially, conventional oil and gas producers need additional workforce to produce a barrel of oil or a cubic foot of gas today compared to 10 years ago. Canada's oil and gas industry will need to fill a minimum of 9,500 jobs by 2015, according to a report released by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada.

Rig On Site In Far Southwest Corner of North Dakota; One Well With Over 600,000 Bbls After 40 Years And Still Producing


March 28, 2013: disregard comments in the original post below regarding flaring. A reader writes:
I think I read somewhere once that the gas produced ended up being used in these air injection wells. So basically since the gas is not sold it is probably considered flared but not above ground, rather underground.  
March 28, 2013: The original post was "raw data." I did not have a chance to explore the "whys and wherefores." That's not unusual for me. At my age, I sometimes just don't have time. Ha. I'm getting to that age where my dad would tell me not to buy any green bananas. But I digress. A couple of readers wrote me -- thank you -- providing the background to these wells in MHPU.

First, a link to a CLR presentation, April 15, 2011, at Montana Tech, The University of Montana, Annual Spring Technology Symposium. This is a PDF/PowerPoint presentation. This explains what CLR is doing in the Medicine Pole Hills field to generate these returns. I assume this is what is meant by "huff and puff." The latter is considered secondary production, I believe; whether that's the right term or not, the presentation says "this" is secondary production in the MPHU. Primary production (vertical wells?) resulted in 6% recovery of original oil in place; air injection results in 22% recovery. Start-up costs very expensive.

Then, another reader provided some other observations by digging through the well files. Specifically the reader looked at #5749 below. The reader noted, correctly, that the "location" was less important than re-entering, laying new horizontals, and using new technology (second recovery as noted above). The reader also noted that the geologist was Kathy Neset Consulting, which was wonderful to see. Kathy Neset reports, as the reader noted, "seem so much easier to read than some others." That been my impression also: I am always happy when I see a geology report from Kathy Neset.

Original Post 

We haven't seen this in quite awhile: a rig in the far southwest corner of North Dakota (of if it's been there, I've missed it).

Fifteen miles southwest of Bowman, ND:
  • 25013, 23 (no typo), CLR, MPHU 13-10H, Medicine Pole Hills, Red River pool, t5/13; cum 37K 1/20;
and a half mile from:
  • 23818, AB-->IA/97, CLR, MPHU 32-10H, Medicine Pole Hills, West Red River, t1/13; cum 53K 11/18;
  • 23818, AB-->IA/57, CLR, MPHU 32-10H, Medicine Pole Hills, Red River, t1/13; cum 21K 11/18;
In the immediate area; all of these wells are active and very productive:
  • 5456, 200, CLR/Rainbow Resources, Wallman-Rausch 1-8, West Red River formation, Medicine Pole Hills oil field, t12/74; cum 719K 1/20; unitized; 1,500 bbls/month; producing since 1974, almost 40 years, this well is still producing 1,500 bbls/month;
  • 7656, 66, CLR, Wallman 1-9, West Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t7/80; cum 192K 1/20; unitized; 300 bbls/month;
  • 5749, 100, CLR, MPHU 43-16, Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t5/76; cum 668K 1/20; unitized; 
  • 11891, 6, CLR, MPHU 31-10, Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t1/86; cum 242K 1/20; unitized; 500 bbls/month;
  • 13602, 206, CLR, MPHU 21-15, Red River; Medicine Pole Hills, t12/93; cum 458K 1/20; 1,300 bbls/month;
  • 16375, 228, CLR, MPHU 43-16SH, Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t1/07; cum 94K 1/20; 1,500 bbls; month
  • 16375, N/D, CLR, MPHU 43-16SH, West Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t1/07; cum 253K 1/20; 1,500 bbls; month
  • 22856, 40, CLR, WMPHU 11-9H, Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t8/12; cum 66K 1/20; about 1,400 bbls/month and flaring a lot of gas;
  • 22856, N/D, CLR, WMPHU 11-9H, West Red River, Medicine Pole Hills, t8/12; cum 66K 1/20; about 1,400 bbls/month and flaring a lot of gas;
Spend some time looking at those wells. Some observations.

1. Almost all the wells, if not all of them, flare more natural gas than they sell. It is my understanding that NDIC requires wells to be choked back if they continue to flare gas after the first 12 to 18 months. If so, this suggests, these wells could be producing more oil.

2.  For newbies, this is a good example of how oil companies manage their wells. Look at the production (fourth column) of oil for #16375:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
RED RIVER1-2013315565562497524214563786
WEST RED RIVER1-20133115041504675114174393710237
RED RIVER12-2012315475332284523916483591
WEST RED RIVER12-2012311478144061751416544559710
RED RIVER11-2012305325332045508414653619
WEST RED RIVER11-2012301436144155281374539619784
RED RIVER10-2012315495492036526112424019
WEST RED RIVER10-20123114861485550514225335810867
RED RIVER9-2012305465412186554512564289

3. Look at the IP of #11891 and its production. This well, drilled in 1986, had an IP of 6 (not a typo). It has produced almost 200,000 bbls to date and demonstrates almost no decline rate, producing 500 bbls per month; flaring a lot, so probably choked back.

4. Look at #5749: this well produced about 500 bbls/month its entire life (spud in 1976). Then in July, 2011, it jumped to 2,000 bbls/month; then in September, 2012, 5,000 bbls/month; and, for the most recent month for which we have data, 6,000 bbls/month in January, 2013. Notice all the flaring: the well is probably choked back:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
RED RIVER1-2013316432633825131115930998060
RED RIVER12-201223465345811693821525845631
RED RIVER11-2012306040606320241064230677575
RED RIVER10-2012316355630420491160927418868
RED RIVER9-2012304883487817071272928839846
RED RIVER8-20123149654967168421072385117221
RED RIVER7-20123148354752213622983509117892
RED RIVER6-201230225022446731216330309133
RED RIVER5-20123120532058750902620147012
RED RIVER4-201230166616631002869311927501
RED RIVER3-201231164816768501149226468846
RED RIVER2-201229173117048471020426387566
RED RIVER1-201231209920811094785922495610
RED RIVER12-20112720772571762000
RED RIVER11-20113021671993384745327254728
RED RIVER10-20113121812521667724523594886
RED RIVER9-20113020501427142608020973983
RED RIVER8-2011316781028451550713154192
RED RIVER7-20113120141801234550511684337
RED RIVER6-201130176917914432078156420217
RED RIVER5-20113114511356494302613311695
RED RIVER4-201126801689111731637109

5. Look at #5456: producing since 1974, this vertical well has produced over 600,000 bbls, and is producing as much each month as some "good" Bakken wells, and it is flaring a lot of gas, suggesting that it, too, is choked back.

6. Finally, look at #22856, getting us into the modern era. Look at the monthly production on this one:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
RED RIVER1-2013311481145442791059819228676
RED RIVER12-20123114541471528238979292968
RED RIVER11-20123014401441564128396322207
RED RIVER10-20123113461329621924705031967
RED RIVER9-201230893873763414703071163
RED RIVER8-201213298285506853647
RED RIVER7-20120000000

It seems that while Bakken wells have horrendous decline rates, Red River wells get better with age.

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Thursday

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 22379, 2,301/IA, Whiting, Eide 41-13H, Timber Creek,
  • 22507, 280, Hunt, Antelope 1-35-26H, Antelope Creek, t2/13; cum --
  • 23220, drl, CLR, Rennerfeldt 3-30H, Brooklyn,
  • 23226, 752, ERF, Caluypso 149-93-33C-28H-TF, Mandaree, t3/13; cum --
  • 23450, 799, Hess, BB-Ole Anderson 151-95-3031H-3, Blue Buttes, t2/13; cum 10K 1/13;

The Defense Department Can Find a Way ... Perhaps the White House Tour Organizer Can Find A Way

The Defense Department will cut drastically the number of days their civilians need to be furloughed under the sequester.

From 22 days to 14 days.

Now, with just 3% of the $500 million the State Department will give the Palestinians this week, the White House could provide tours for about five years. Yes, five years. Amazing, isn't it?

Mr Hagel has already surprised me with his ability to make decisions quietly, effectively, and efficiently. Good for him.

A Note To The Granddaughters

I really, really enjoy Boston, but I feel so much more at home in Texas.  I've spent a lot of time, off and on, during the past four years taking care of you, and loving every minute it. There is so much to do in Boston. I refer to Los Angeles and San Antonio as "destination cities." If one has a free weekend, there is an infinite number of things to do in either of those cities, but they sprawl so much that one needs to pick a destination and then go there for the day. Boston, on the other hand, is what I refer to as a "exploration city." If one has a free half day, one doesn't need to plan. Just jump on the bus or the subway and go downtown or to Harvard Square and just explore. No destination.

But, having said that, there's something about San Antonio that makes me feel so much more at home. First, the people are incredibly friendly. And the weather -- except for the hottest days of summer (July, August, September, maybe October) -- is wonderful. And Whataburger. In Los Angeles it's In 'N Out.

Fifteen (15) New Permits, The Williston Basin, North Dakota; BR Has a Huge Well -- Another Mesa Verde Well;

Active rigs: 186 (steady)

Fifteen (15) new permits --
  • Operators: BR (4), KOG (4), Samson Resources (3), Hess (3), American Eagle
  • Fields: Colgan (Divide), Ambrose (Divide), Corral Creek (Dunn), Truax (Williams), Keene (McKenzie), Twin Buttes (Dunn),
    Comments: For all its rigs and all its acreage, I would expect more activity from CLR; Colgan field in Divide County is certainly active
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Six (6) producing wells were completed:
  • 23262, 2,967, BR, Mesa Verde 44-22MBH, Clear Creek, 2-section spacing; t3/13; cum --
  • 22734, 683, CLR, Glasoe 6-19H, Dolphin, t3/13; cum -- 
  • 21246, 636, CLR, Tande 2-23H, Lindahl, 4-section spacing;  t3/13; cum --
  • 23074, 513, CLR, Berthold 1-10AH, Corinth, t2/13; cum --
  • 23122, 791, SM Energy, Holm 13-12H, Siverston, t2/13; cum --
  • 24186, 438, Murex, Evy June 17-20H, Stanley, t3/13; cum --

Global Warming Hitting England, Scotland, and Ireland Particularly Hard


March 28, 2013: Rigzone is reporting:
ConocoPhillips will close its J-Block natural-gas operations in the U.K. North Sea for 10 days from April 8, the company said Thursday.
In a notice on its website, ConocoPhillips said the shut-down, which is weather dependent, will involve the Judy/Joanne, Jade and Jasmine fields, which together supply between 4.5 million and 5 million cubic meters of gas a day.
Last week, the U.K. government issued a statement to reassure consumers that the country's supply of natural gas would be sustained, despite the closure of a crucial pipeline connected to mainland Europe, during an ongoing period of unseasonably cold weather, and the low volume of gas in storage.
Original Post

Informed readers know the earth quit warming sixteen (16) years ago, according to the UK Met office, and apparently it's starting to cool (once again).

The BBC (hardly a conservative, Fox station) is reporting:
Severe weather continues to cause disruption across parts of the UK, as forecasters warn the cold temperatures will last until mid-April.
Thousands of people in western Scotland are without power for a sixth day and further snow has caused difficult road conditions.
In Northern Ireland, the RAF is delivering emergency food supplies to remote farms for a second day. Isle of Man farmers are searching for livestock buried in the snow. And thousands of animals are thought trapped in snow drifts in Northern Ireland.
Current daytime temperatures across the UK are wallowing at around 2-3C. The BBC weather centre said temperatures currently look set to remain below average until about mid-April.
Closer to home, Bloomberg is reporting cooler temperatures for the US:
Natural gas futures advanced to an 18-month high in New York on forecasts of colder-than-normal April weather that would increase heating-fuel demand, widening a year-on-year inventory deficit.
Gas gained as much as 2.2 percent after MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, predicted below-normal temperatures in the Midwest from April 1 through April 10. Stockpiles slid by 89 billion cubic feet last week, according to the median of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Supplies gained 45 billion in the same week last year.
“The forecasts are colder-than-normal and we’re going to have a pretty bullish inventory report tomorrow,” said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York. “Ending the season with stockpiles strongly below last year’s level is a tremendous accomplishment, considering where we started.”

Now This Is Clever -- I Wish The Chrysler Folks Had Thought Of This

LA Times is reporting, along with a great photo:
It’s not every day an automaker promotes a feature that sucks.
But Honda unveiled a refreshed version of its popular Odyssey minivan at the 2013 New York Auto Show with a unique option -- a vacuum cleaner built into the rear cargo area.

It's the first vacuum-equipped vehicle to hit the market, ready to suck up all the snacks and drinks spilled by the kids. Honda said it worked with Shop-Vac to design the HondaVac, with a replaceable filter and bag.
The contraption fits into two small compartments built into the left side of the rear cargo area. The top bin holds the hose and attachments, while the bottom section holds the canister.

Good Rockin' Tonight', The Legacy of Sun Records

This is part one of a multi-part "series" on YouTube. If you can find it, I highly recommend buying the DVD and you won't have to watch the documentary in pieces. It's really a classic. Elvis Presley walked into Sam Phillip's studio in 1954. It's hard for one to believe that Sam was responsible for Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbion. Wow.

Sam Phillips sounds a lot like Angel, in the Rockford Files, both in his voice and the way he sells himself.

Angel, "Kill Jimmy," The Rockford Files

In the next scene, Angel, in typical fashion, tries to bum $20 from Jim Rockford.

Oil Train Derails in Minnesota; Honey Bees

Reuters is reporting:

Data points:
  • Canadian Pacific; not said whether Canadian oil or Bakken oil
  • western Minnesota, near Parkers Prairie
  • 14 cars of a 94-car train derailed
  • first estimates: 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil; field, not water spill
  • CNP says only one car is leaking fuel
  • sheriff: train approx 5,700 feet in length or 1.7 kilometers (to mix units of measurement); hauling up to 2.4 million gallons of crude (2.4 million/94 cars = 25,000 gallons of crude/car, or about 600 bbls/car)
A reader thought it somewhat ironic that the spill took place in a "green" state.
A Note for the Granddaughters

Regular readers know that my older granddaughter and I love to read about honey bees. And there's an added benefit: she knows I will buy her "specialty" honeys. Wow, she loves honey. And I love to Socratically discuss bees with her. She's a good conversationalist.

So, Don sent me the link to this story, knowing my granddaughter's interest in bees and honey: a human interest story about a man and his sons who "farm" 10,000 beehives in Minnesota / North Dakota and winter their bees northwest of Houston, TX. They live in Clearbrook, MN, which should ring a bell for those who follow the Bakken. Carrington, North Dakota is well east of the Bakken.

I learned about bees, bee-keeping, and honey from Sue Hubbell's 1988 book, A Book of Bees.

It was a real treat to learn the history of African / Africanized bees which I happened to run across in Ring T Carde and Vincent H Resh's book, A World of Insects, 2012.

Cornerstone Natural Resoures Has a Bakken Well On the Eastern/Northeastern Edge


March 27, 2013: Another reader noted some other Cornerstone wells. Cornerstone's recently finished Jepsen well (22013) must be pretty close to the Albertson (22777).  The Jepsen is doing really well in its first few months of production and is listed as a Three Forks well.  And if you want to go farther north, Cornerstone has the Cuplin - 22012 - a Three Forks well, and its sister well the Carpentier - 21637 - a Bakken well - right up against the Sask border.

Yes, the Jepsen is just a mile to the west:
  •  22013, 360, Cornerstone, Jepsen 3-20-17H, Coteau, t11/12; cum 34K 1/13;
  • 22012, 324, Cornerstone, Cuplin 6-3-10H/Nevius Cuplin 2-3-10H, Flaxton, t5/12; cum 41K 1/13;
  •  21637, 292, Cornerstone, Carpentier 3-34-27H/Pierre Carpentier 3-27-34H, Flaxton, t5/12; cum 39K 1/13;
 The  Carpentier/Cuplin are practically on the Canadian border.

Original Post

A reader noted how far east this well is in the Bakken:
  • 22777, 222, Cornerstone Natural Resources, Albertson 6-27-34H, South Coteau, t2/13; cum 7K 1/13;
There are Bakken wells this far east, and northeast, but it is about as far east/northeast as one gets in the Bakken. It will be interesting to see how the well does.  The well is northeast of the Cottonwood field which is a mediocre field, and north of Dimond field which is due east of Cottonwood; Dimond has not been a good field for OXY USA. The Dimond and South Coteau are quite far east. It's about 60 miles northwest of Minot.


The note I sent a reader after noting the above:
Wow, I'm glad you noted that. I was traveling and completely forgot to look at yesterday's daily activity report. Yes, that well is quite a ways out. We'll have to wait to see how well it does.

It wasn't very deep at 17,555 feet (I'm used to seeing 19,000-foot Bakken wells or somewhat longer).

I would expect it to be a Three Forks well this far northeast, and indeed, the application for permit says Three Forks,  but the drilling report/completion report is not there yet.

The various forms variously say Bakken Pool and Three Forks Pool, but the application says Three Forks. Also, one form said the Lostwood field, but the NDIC report says it is South Coteau and almost all the forms said South Coteau. This well does run south into South Coteau.

Its sister well, on the same pad, 22776, Wahlund 3-22-15H, runs north into Lost Wood; 32 stages and 2.7 million lbs sand and ceramic, so an expensive well; the Wahlund was a middle Bakken well had an IP of 276

Eleven (11) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota; Whiting WIth Three Nice Wells;

Active rigs: 186

Eleven (11) new permits, yesterday, March 26, 2013 --
  • Operators: Hess (4), Newfield (2), Marathon (2), Triangle, Legacy Oil, American Eagle
  • Fields: Siverston (McKenzie), Elk (McKenzie), Colgan (Divide), Red Rock (Bottineau), Bailey (Dunn)
  • Comments: interesting to see six new permits in Siverston field and two different operators (Newfield and Hess)
Wells that came off the confidential were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Producing wells completed:
  • 22777, 222, Cornerstone Natural Resources, Albertson 6-27-34H, South Coteau, t2/13; cum 7K 1/13;
  • 21995, 706, Abraxas, Ravin 26-35-3H, North Fork, t2/13; cum 4K 1/3;
  • 24581, 1,461, Whiting, Fladeland 41-9H, Sanish, t2/13; cum --
  • 24464, 1,337, Whiting, Fladeland 13-10H, Sanish, t2/13; cum --
  • 24059, 1,656, Whiting,  Roggenbuck 34-24H, Sanish, t2/13; cum--
Again, for all the rigs and acres CLR has, one sure doesn't see many CLR rigs come off the confidential list.

Wednesday Links

Wells coming off the confidential list have been posted; scroll down.

RBN Energy: Part 5 in a continuing series of articles on reversing flow in natural gas pipelines, taking natural gas from northeast United States (Marcellus, Utica) to Canada or to western, southern United States

WSJ Links

Section D (Personal Journal):

Section C (Money & Investing):
U.S. oil prices posted their biggest gain of 2013 on Tuesday, spurred by signs of economic improvement in the world's biggest oil consumer.
"The market is embracing the fact that the U.S. economy is doing better," said Phil Flynn, broker and analyst at Price Futures.
A U.S. stock-market rally aided the push in crude-oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Nymex futures for May delivery finished $1.53, or 1.6%, higher at $96.34 a barrel, a five-week high. The gain is the biggest single-day rise in both outright and percentage terms since Dec. 26. 
Section B (Marketplace):

Section A:
  • Supreme Court still  hearing arguments on same-sex marriage; no link; I have no dog in the fight and I really don't care, but early signals as reported from LA Times suggests Court may say California law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but they won't ban such laws across the US; more signs of states' rights, but in this case, will result in lots of confusion; what to do if a California-legally married same-sex couple moves to a state where same sex marriage is illegal? Supreme court will be hearing a lot of cases going forward if they aren't definitive on this one way or the other.
  • Boom times on the tracks: rail capacity, spending soar; I remember the comments I got from folks a couple of years ago suggesting track designed for occasional loads of wheat would not hold up to all the oil trains. I love the by-line for the linked article: Epping, ND:
EPPING, N.D.—On a recent subzero day at a rail station here on the plains, a giant tank train stretches like a black belt across the horizon—as far as the eye can see. Soon it will be filled to the brim with light, sweet crude oil and headed to a refinery on Puget Sound. Another mile-long train will pull in right behind it, and another after that.
Increasingly, scenes like this are being played throughout the country. "Hot Trains" dedicated to high-priority customers like United Parcel Service Inc. roar across the country to deliver everything from microwaves to tennis shoes and packages. FedEx Corp., known for its huge fleet of aircraft, is using more trains, too.
Welcome to the revival of the Railroad Age. North America's major freight railroads are in the midst of a building boom unlike anything since the industry's Gilded Age heyday in the 19th century—this year pouring $14 billion into rail yards, refueling stations, additional track. With enhanced speed and efficiency, rail is fast becoming a dominant player in the nation's commercial transport system and a vital cog in its economic recovery.
  • Court says authorities can't bring drug-sniffing dogs to one's porch without a search warrant; no link; easily found; good call. Hard to believe it had to go all the way to the Supreme Court. A lot of porches are enclosed in North Dakota due to harsh winters. A man's porch is his castle.
Indiana's Supreme Court upheld a law that lets taxpayer funds pay for private schools, boosting an effort to expand what is already the broadest such voucher program in the U.S. and rebuffing critics who say it undermines public education.
The court's five judges unanimously rejected the argument of the state's largest teachers union and other plaintiffs that the Indiana voucher program violates the state Constitution because it uses public funds to support religious education. Most of the voucher funding goes to parochial schools. The judges, upholding an earlier trial-court decision, ruled that as long as the state maintains a public-education system, using Indiana tax dollars to help fund the private-school educations of low- and middle-income children doesn't violate the state Constitution.
  • Woman to direct Secret Service; no link; I have no dog in this fight, but maybe she will find the funds to open the White House to tours again; she could start with $500 million earmarked for Palestinians; that's enough for more than 150 years of White House tours.
  • Op-ed: race and the gun debate, by Juan Williams; no link; didn't read; I can guess his stance; wouldn't want folks to be able to protect themselves; only outlaws will have guns if guns outlawed; 
An evolving political consensus persuaded President Obama to come out for same-sex marriage last year. Here's hoping the shifting political tides will also inspire a personal evolution on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Last week 17 Senate Democrats voted with all 45 Republicans for a budget amendment supporting the TransCanada pipeline, which would transport crude from the Alberta oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries (oil from North Dakota's Bakken Shale would hop along for a ride). A similar measure last year garnered support from 11 Democrats but fell short of the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
They can vote all they want in these symbolic votes. It's all up to the State Department (John Kerry) and the President. The latter has already made up his mind; and when push comes to shove, Harry Reid will manage the bill.

The opinion piece continues:
More noteworthy are the six Keystone converts, which include South Dakota's Tim Johnson, Virginia's Mark Warner, Colorado's Michael Bennet, Florida's Bill Nelson and Delaware's Chris Coons and Tom Carper. Mr. Warner, who fancies himself a pro-business moderate but usually votes left, has evidently learned in the last year that the pipeline enjoys huge public backing: 70% of registered voters support its construction, according to a recent Fox News poll.
Four government environmental impact statements in the last five years have concluded that the 1,700-mile pipeline would present no significant harm to the environment. The Alberta oil sands produce a mere 0.01% of the world's carbon emissions, and the crude will find its way to foreign markets one way or another. If not via pipeline, then by tanker or rail, whose emissions could exceed Keystone's.