Saturday, May 18, 2013

Aerial Photos Of Flood Preparation Along The Red River Of The North

I apologize. Vern Whitten sent these photos about a week ago. I've been so busy, I am nowjust getting to these photos.

Again, superb photos.

The link:

Both temporary and permanent preparations are shown.

Vern mentions the "7 P's": prior, proper planning prevents profoundly poor performance.

It is amazing to see how serpentine the river is. The more serpentine a river is, the flatter the topography. Very, very flat in this region of the country. And serpentine rivers change course frequently.

"Deep Cut" -- A New Term For Me

Brad is reporting:

What Are Deep Cut Gas Plants? Deep cut gas plants are field gas processing plants that have a special processing capacity to extract more liquids. On average, deep cut plants in Alberta extract 3.7x more liquids for a given volume of gas than ‘shallow cut’ plants. This is because of their special processing units and because these plants are located in the areas in the basin where gas is more liquids-rich.
Great article about a subject I was not aware of (along with 1,098,432 other subjects).

And for those who like maps, the linked article has a couple of nice maps. Highly recommend. 

2012: The Year Of The Tank Car

This is an old article, published back in February, but I ran across it looking for something else. It's a nice article on CBR. 

The Oil and Gas Financial Journal is reporting:
The US energy midstream sector will remember 2012 as the “Year of the Tank Car.” Venerable pipeline companies were reduced to investing in rail terminals. Although reluctant at first, coastal refiners embraced the margin boost that crude by rail provides them. Producers signed up to move landlocked crudes by rail to coastal destinations in search of higher prices. Petroleum shipments increased 46% from 370 M carloads in 2011 to 540 M carloads in 2012. Rail car manufacturers struggled to meet an order book of 40,000 rail cars and the backlog for new delivery is 18 months.
Today we begin a crude by rail series.
We discussed the crude by rail “phenom” all through last year as the development gathered steam. A lot of our analysis was centered on the region that saw most rail loading terminal development – North Dakota (see From a Famine of Pipeline to a Feast of Rail and our earlier blog on rail shipments to the East Coast -  Rail it on Over to Albany). By August of last year the Bakken rail terminals coming online had started to have an impact on crude pricing in the region as rail became the preferred form of transport out of the Bakken (see Railing Against the Pipelines). We delved into the tank car business and the railroads in the context of natural gas liquids (see A Tank Car Train for Hire). In December we looked at the crude by rail destination terminals owned by Plains and Nustar at St. James, LA (see Back to the Delta). In this series we will cover crude by rail “soup to nuts” including loading terminals, destination terminals and transport economics.  In this introduction we review the expansion of crude by rail during 2012 and the market trends that lie behind the Year of the Tank Car.
A great, great article for the archives. 

So, How Did That Renewable Energy Plan Work Out? Europe May Be The Only CONTINENT In The Universe To Depend On Imported Energy

Commentary And Important Links

European Energy became a big story on May 18, 2013, when the EU Council President predicted that  Europe might become the only continent in the world to depend on imported energy.

Within that story:

February 11, 2019: Europe may be on the cusp of a nightmare -- George Soros. 

January 25, 2019: Europe is now the #1 customer for US LNG. Europe displaces South Korea and Mexico. This is a huge story.

January 9, 2019: the energy gap gets wider and wider, US vs EU. Russia now "controls" the EU. Pure and simple.

December 19, 2018: were the "Yellow Vests" the beginning of the end? At oilprice. Archived.

November 4, 2018: Europe's energy problem may be solved: Europe may not need all that much energy - Europe is moving manufacturing base to China.

October 31, 2018: rising energy prices push inflation rate to 6-year high in Eurozone.

February 22, 2018: Europe importing record amount(s) of coal from the US. What's in your barge?

December 7, 2017: Europe's energy mess gets messier and messier

August 17, 2017: South Australia, Denmark, Germany -- all competing for the highest electricity rate anywhere in the universe.

August 17, 2017: UK geology won't support natural gas fracking

July 29, 2017: a trifecta --

July 29, 2017: from the trifecta (above) --
  • France will close a number of nuclear power plants after a series of outages
  • US coal imports to Europe surging
  • Great Britain will phase out all coal power plants by 2025
  • US coal imports to the United Kingdom surged 175% in the first six months of 2017
  • France and Britain have both committed to coal-powered cars only by 2040 (both countries will ban gasolines; one or both will also ban diesel cars)
  • France bans fracking
January 13, 2017: Europe close to running out of coal, natural gas, energy due to cold snap caused by global warming.

May 25, 2016: workers strike; all eight refineries in France shut down; 2,000 gas stations have run dry; drivers waiting hours in line for gasoline;

May 11, 2016: France may ban imported "fracked" natural gas

March 20, 2016: time for Europe to pivot west with regard to importing LNG

June 23, 2015: Europe will probably "need" US LNG. -- RBN Energy

June 13, 2015: getting closer to an announced Greek default; being reported today, both Madrid and Barcelona, Spain's two biggest cities, have elected communist mayors

February 3, 2015: Europe won't pursue shale energy in my investing lifetime

November 30, 2014: Germany goes brown.

November 28, 2014: Europe to be only continent to produce less energy going forward.

October 7, 2014: EU clears way to import Canadians sands oil

September 21, 2014: 40 million German households now pay more for electricity than anyone in Europe except the Danes.

September 1, 2014: EU preparing for Russia to stop shipping natural gas this winter

September 1, 2014: Germany's economy shrank 0.2 percent, 2Q14.

August 28, 2014: Germany's dream turning into a nightmare

August 15, 2014: Europe in a depression.

July  17, 2014: Europe at risk of losing 30 million jobs to US shale revolution.

July 6, 2014: Germany to severely and intentionally cripple their own economy

June 10, 2014: South Korean per capita income to surpass that of France by 2018.

June 1, 2014: the beginning of the end of renewable energy. Iberdola, the renewable energy in Spain signs 20-year deal with Cheniere (USA) for LNG. 

April 23, 2014: Polish joke. Polish joke updated, May 21, 2015.

February 19, 2014: Great Britain scraps the second phase of its planned London Array, the largest off-shore wind farm in the world. 

February 5, 2014: EU running away from "green energy," embracing fracking, oil and gas. 

December 31, 2013: Russian natural gas exports to Europe hit a new record.

December 9, 2013: Jeffrey Rubin, Huffington Post, suggests Europe will begin fracking, producing oil. He provides no evidence, and I don't that happening in my investing lifetime.

October 16, 2013: uncertainty in Germany's energy market could stifle growth -- Bloomberg.

October 12, 2013:   Europe facing continent-wide blackouts; consumers already paying whopping utility costs.
Original Post

Europe may be the only continent in the world to depend on imported energy -- EU Council President.

I cannot make this stuff up.

That's almost a direct quote from European council president Herman Van Rompuy.  ("Romper Room Rompuy" is one way to remember these renewable energy reformists.)

The Parliament is reporting (this page has already disappeared, but you can find the story easily by googling):
European council president Herman Van Rompuy has voiced concern about Europe's "energy dilemma".

Opening the European business summit in Brussels on Wednesday, he said, "It's now becoming clear; eventually Europe may well be the only continent in the world to depend on imported energy.

"Already by 2035 our dependence on oil and gas imports will reach more than 80 per cent.

"This will have an impact on the competitiveness of our companies, and of our economy as a whole."
It should be noted that the Antarctic is a continent. So I doubt Europe will be the ONLY continent in the universe to depend on imported energy.

The EU spent billions on a strategic plan that not only failed, but failed miserably.

Think Solyndra writ large.


Meanwhile, The (London) Guardian is reporting: UK's climate change adaptation team cut from 38 officials to just six.
The number of people employed by the government to work on the UK's response to the effects of climate change has been cut from 38 officials to just six, triggering accusations that David Cameron's promise to be the greenest government has been abandoned.
Yup, six.  I guess the UK has its own version of a sequester.

Soaring Gasoline Prices

I heard this on the radio yesterday.

I was not aware of soaring gasoline prices. But it's a fact, Jack.

NewsOK is reporting, headline: Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailer --
Two years ago, he spent $500 to upgrade his signs so they can display prices above $4. He said he hopes he doesn't have to use them. But with wholesale prices soaring as much as 70 cents a gallon in the past five weeks, there seems to be no end in sight.
Convenience store owners throughout the state are facing the same challenge. 
“I would much rather sell gasoline at $1 than at $4,” said Jim Griffith, CEO of Stillwater-based OnCue Express. “At higher prices, my credit card costs are a lot higher, the customers are not happy, and we're not happy. People blame us, and my poor clerks catch a hard time about it.”
The summer driving season has not yet begun. The switchover from winter blend to summer blend should be complete, so don't use that as an excuse. 

Motley Fool noticed the same thing:
Americans spent more money on gasoline in 2012 than in any other year... ever. Meanwhile, here in 2013, retail gasoline prices spiked to $3.60 a gallon on average -- $3.94 on the West Coast -- the sharpest rise in prices seen in the past three months. And Iran is happy to hear it.
In fact, if the Islamic Republic has anything to say about it, Americans could wind up paying even more for gas than we already do. Right now, a barrel of benchmark crude costs about $95. But over the weekend, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi was quoted arguing that "the price of crude oil [should] remain at about $100." Ghasemi thinks that price "is fair, and Iran supports it."

I Missed This -- No Television -- A Magic Carpet Ride

I missed the explanation by the talking heads why price of oil rose this week. Here it is, from Bloomberg:
West Texas Intermediate crude advanced to a one-week high on signals that global economic growth will accelerate, bolstering fuel consumption.
Futures increased 0.9 percent as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 in May, higher than any projection in a Bloomberg survey. A government report yesterday showed Japanese gross domestic product grew 3.5 percent at an annualized pace, the most in a year.
“We’re seeing some moderate exuberance here,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “Traders are focusing on the positive news at the moment.”
Ah, yes, a magic carpet ride.

A Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf

As bad as things are in the US, at least no Vietnam War. Oh, yeah, that's right. The Afghanistan Forgotten War.  Never mind. I guess if the press doesn't report on it, it doesn't exist. Speaking of which, is it all about oil? Is Obama staying in Afghanistan for its oil. That was the story about Vietnam, that we went there for its oil.

Ah, yes, the Vietnam War, if nothing else, great music:

A Bad Moon Rising, CCR

PSX Poised For Impressive Growth -- Investors Only

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Don't make any investment decisions based on what you read here, or think you read here.

From SeekingAlpha, another feel-good story:
The big news in 2013 for this business unit is the upcoming IPO of Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP), which is planned for the second half of the year. PSXP will be an MLP in which PSX will be the general partner. Forming this MLP benefits existing PSX shareholders in a number of ways, which were discussed in an earlier article.
This is really all quite incredible in the big scheme of things considering a) how much useful capital was diverted to Solyndra-like failures over the past couple of years; and, b) how many obstacles the administration has placed on the fossil fuel industry.

Even Motley Fools have taken notice:
Next up is Phillips 66, which recently said it will boost shipments of cheap domestic crudes to its refineries across the country by as much as 130,000 barrels a day, as it joins forces with third-party operators to deliver U.S. and Canadian crudes via pipeline and rail. 
"We are aggressively pursuing increased access to advantaged crudes in North America by partnering with leading third-party transportation providers and better leveraging our own system capabilities," said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66.
So, how did PSX do in the market yesterday? Glad you asked. Up 2.5% (up $1.62). It went ex-dividend a couple of days ago, May 16, 2013. Nice.

PSX, another energy company with rising expectations:

The House of the Rising Sun

And so it goes.

That LNG Export Story Yesterday? Sempra Energy Involved; Stock Rises Nicely -- For Investors Only

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

Company's press release.

From Zacks (wow):
Sempra Energy struck a 20-year deal with GDF SUEZ S.A., Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. for the development, financing and construction of a liquefied natural gas ("LNG") facility in the Cameron LNG complex in Hackberry, LA. The agreement includes three separate tolling deals worth 4 million-tons-per-annum.
The combined initiative is subject to final investment decisions, permit authorizations, financing obligations and certain other customary conditions. These are expected to take place in early 2014. The entire program will cost in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion. Moreover, additional investments in the band of $6 billion to $7 billion will be directed towards the project.
Under the agreement, associates of Mitsubishi, Mitsui and GDF SUEZ will each acquire a 16.6% stake in the current facilities as well as the LNG complex. Sempra Energy on the other hand will act as the major operator carrying a 50.2% stake.
SRE rose about 1.75% yesterday ($1.46, back to near its all-time high).

By the way, that LNG will be going to Japan. Through the Panama Canal, I suppose

WSJ Links -- Barbecue, Golf, The Plantagents - A Great Weekend Edition; The Internal Revenue Scandal: Just a Simple Misunderstanding

Section D (Off Duty):
  • Wow, this is incredible. I have just moved into the heart of barbecue country (actually in San Antonio, I was already there, but somehow there's more talk about barbecue up here; be that as it may). So, the very first article I see in today's WSJ: The new barbecue.
From San Antonio:
American cooking is being reinvented before our eyes by the most creative, skilled generation of chefs in history. It was only a matter of time before some of them took on the sacred cow of barbecue. At the Granary 'Cue & Brew in San Antonio, Tim Rattray serves a classic Texas menu of brisket, ribs, links and other standards at lunch. 
From Dallas:
Though not a modernist like Mr. Rattray, Tim Byres at Smoke in Dallas hews to another great trend in contemporary American cooking: the return to following the seasons and sourcing ingredients locally. Smoke has its own vegetable garden and displays a kind of primitivist bent that feels revolutionary, especially in a city like Dallas, which is so dominated by big chains. "Dallas is pretty straightlaced," said Mr. Byres.
Section C (Review):
  • DSM-5 run amock.  This, by the way, will be why ObamaCare will break the nation:
Today the public complains that psychiatrists seem ready to call every state of mental distress an illness. They see that any restless boy can receive a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, that troubled veterans—whether exposed to combat or not—are routinely said to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that enormous numbers of discouraged, demoralized people are labeled victims of depression and have medications pressed upon them.
The public is not far wrong. A recent nationwide diagnostic census based on DSM claimed that the majority of Americans have or have had a mental disorder. As a result, an appalling number of young adults in schools and colleges are on one form or another of psychiatric medication.
In April 1349, as an epidemic of bubonic plague devastated his subjects, King Edward III of England staged a lavish tournament at Windsor Castle. This spectacular festival of jousting culminated in the creation of an exclusive club, the Order of the Garter. Edward was fascinated by stories of the legendary King Arthur. In founding a new order of chivalry, he sought to establish his own Knights of the Round Table, with an expanded Windsor standing in for Camelot.
Yet as Dan Jones amply demonstrates in "The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England," such ostentatious display amid the horrors of the Black Death was justified by harsh personal experience: Edward's father, Edward II, had been deposed and murdered in 1327 because of his failure to win the respect of his war-minded nobles. By inviting them to join his new fraternity, Edward III was not only rallying the military support he needed to pursue a claim to the crown of France—he had invaded the country in 1346 and warred there consistently through 1359—but taking steps to ensure that he would never share his father's dismal fate.
Richard III was the last English monarch of Plantagenet descent, but Mr. Jones's book stops in 1399, with the deposition of Richard II by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke. This episode ended the run of eight Plantagenet rulers that began with Henry II in 1154. Between 1399 and 1485, by contrast, the throne was occupied by rival Lancastrian and Yorkist "cadet" branches of the Plantagenets. (Mr. Jones is currently writing a sequel that will take the story through the tumultuous 15th century, culminating in the sporadic bloodletting of the "Wars of the Roses" and their gory finale at Bosworth.)
The anarchy only ended when Henry's grandson—the offspring of his daughter Matilda and her husband, Geoffrey of Anjou—assumed the throne as Henry II. It was Geoffrey's penchant for wearing a jaunty sprig of broom (Latin Planta genista) in his cap that gave the dynasty its evocative name, although it only entered common usage three centuries later. The dynasty is more strictly known as the "Angevins," after Geoffrey's title, Count of Anjou.
Readers can learn all this without tackling Ray Monk's "Robert Oppenheimer," as Mr. Monk acknowledges in a preface that generously pays tribute to previous biographers. He credits, above all, the "staggering amount of research" in Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin's "American Prometheus" (2005). But no biography, Mr. Monk notes, has attempted to assess Oppenheimer's contributions to physics.
So Mr. Monk devotes many pages to how Oppenheimer's mind worked, the papers he published, the students he taught and the reasons why "Oppie" (as he liked to be called) dueled with his competitors, especially Dirac. Yet the author's approach demonstrates why previous biographers did not bother with detailed descriptions of Oppenheimer's scientific papers. The author's summaries of his subject's work—literary or scientific—arrive dead on the page, dropped into the narrative, in a way that hardly encourages the reader to continue.
Ironically, Mr. Monk's account suggests that Oppenheimer's discoveries were really on the periphery of the physics research that led to the creation of the atomic bomb. (Oppenheimer's most original contributions were to astrophysics and to the discovery of "black holes"—a discovery that neither Oppenheimer nor his contemporaries were able to appreciate during his lifetime.) While breakthroughs in nuclear physics excited Oppenheimer, he never explored them in his own work. An account of his scientific career need not deal very much with the subject of physics at all. But to understand the whole man, one must understand why Oppenheimer did not win a Nobel Prize and why he did not carry on his work in nuclear physics.
Section B (Business & Finance):
  • Lots of small stories; not that caught my attention.
Section A:

The widely criticized new version of the U.S. psychiatric diagnostic manual released Friday faces a potentially diminished role in research, which would mark a shift for what has been considered the bible of American psychiatry for 30 years.
This fifth revision of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM-5, represents the first major overhaul of the book in nearly 20 years.
This, I suppose, is the medical profession's "rules" akin to the oil industry's rules on fracking. 
The U.S. Golf Association said Friday it will make public on Tuesday its final decision in the anchored-putting controversy. Nothing is official yet, but all indications are that the USGA and its international rules-making counterpart, the R&A, will push forward with the rule they proposed last November, to ban anchored putting once and for all time.
Op-ed: openly gay Democratic mayor of Houston. And they say Texas is a red state. LOL.
  • Houston's recent track record is startling. For the calendar year ending in February, it saw the fastest pace of job growth (4.5%) among the country's 20 largest metropolitan areas. (With a population of 2.1 million, it's the fourth-largest U.S. city.) In 2011, the last year such data are available, Houston had the fastest-growing large metropolitan economy, at 3.7%.
US ambassador killed in Benghazi: just so much noise. -- the President
US ambassador killed in Benghazi: what does it matter? -- Hillary
 Internal Revenue Scandal in chief, Steven T. Miller, please don't misunderstand me:

Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, The Animals

For Archival Purposes, A Reposting Of The BR-DNR "Deal" Yesterday

From yesterday's daily activity report:
Six pages of operator transfer; averaging about 40 wells/page, that would be about 250 wells being transferred from BR to Denbury. With the exception of three wells, they all have file numbers from 13XXX to 16XXX. It looks like there were seven (7) salt water disposal wells.
Denbury is known for EOR.
Looking at four random wells: Red River wells, Cedar Hills oil field, Bowman County (all wells were, in fact, in Bowman County).
This transfer of wells relates back to the COP-DNR deal announced some time ago, posted January 15, 2013. From that post:
Denbury buying COP field in the Williston Basin for $1.05 billion. The Wall Street Journal story here.

ConocoPhillips  said Tuesday it agreed to sell its energy properties in the Cedar Creek Anticline of North Dakota and Montana to Denbury Resources Inc. for $1.05 billion. The deal includes about 86,000 net acres with 2012 net production of 13,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day through November. The sale does not include assets in the Bakken region.
This is a Red River formation field, an old field, perfect for CO2 EOR, one would assume.  
Denbury said it'll fund the purchase out of the $1.3 billion of cash received from its Bakken sale and asset exchange with Exxon Mobil Corp. completed in December.

Earth's Mantle Affects Sea Levels

For archival purposes, Yahoo!News is reporting:
A prehistoric shoreline runs along the eastern edge of North America; scientists have pointed to it as evidence that much of Antarctica melted 3 million years ago. But new research suggests this shoreline is actually about 30 feet (10 meters) lower than previously thought, meaning less ice melted than suspected.
The shoreline, which should be flat, also swoops up and down the East Coast like a set of wave crests, reflecting tugging and pushing by Earth's mantle, the layer of viscous rock leisurely oozing underneath the crust, according to the study, published today (May 16) in the journal Science Express.
The finding shows that scientists have to be careful when looking at Earth for evidence of past sea level changes from the planet's cycles of glacial advance and retreat.
And then this very disturbing fact:
"You simply can't go somewhere and look at the height of the shoreline and infer anything about the amount of water in the oceans or the height of sea level without already knowing an awful lot about what the mantle is doing," said David Rowley, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Chicago.
Why is that so disturbing?

Back on November 29, 2012, just have Thanksgiving, I wrote:
The oceans have risen an average of 3 millimeters / year since 1992. That's from the linked article. Three millimeters.

 Twenty percent of 3 mm --> 0.6 mm.

Some years ago, I put a popsicle stick in the sand at Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, California, to measure the rising ocean. I marked the stick in one (1) millimeter hash marks. Unfortunately, I used water-soluble ink. My experiment gone awry. But I digress.

0.6 mm/year. Reproducible? Hardly. Statistically significant? Unlikely.

0.6 mm / year. But this is the scary part, from the linked article:

“Most people think they don’t have to worry about it, because it’s just a few millimeters,” he said. “But every inch we get makes a storm surge worse.”
Look at Hurricane Sandy. 
So, I will have to tell our granddaughters the unfortunate news that placing a popsicle stick in the sand at the beach is not accurate for measure the rise of global sea levels.

That's too bad. It seemed so simple.

I wonder if that popsicle stick is still there?

By the way, can we read that interesting line from the first paragraph again? Sure:
" .... this shoreline is actually about 30 feet (10 meters) lower than previously thought, meaning less ice melted than suspected."