Sunday, June 9, 2013

Three East Coast Journalists Heading To Williston To Write A Book On The Bakken Boom

Why? And how you can help, from their website:
The problem is there is very little coverage of what’s happening in North Dakota. The area has only one small newspaper, which allocates most of its coverage to sports. Williston’s boom has received little in-depth coverage from major media outlets – reporters drop in for a week and collect anecdotes, but quickly return to their regular work thousands of miles away.
We’ll be spending the summer there to write a book, take photos, and film a short documentary about these men and their families and find out what’s really going on in the area. We’ll be uncovering the stories that aren’t being reported, and let the voices of the men and women living there be heard.
This is where you come in. To complete the project, we’ll need enough money to cover the basics. Because of the housing shortage, Williston, North Dakota is outrageously expensive, and the average one-bedroom costs $2,000 a month. To live there over the summer will cost $4,000 in rent alone. We’ll be blogging and giving daily updates on our progress so supporters can follow along. Let’s go to North Dakota together.
"The problem is there is very little coverage of what's happening in North Dakota." I just googled "Bakken" and got 18,000,000 hits in 0.26 seconds. 

They will be here this summer. [Is it just me or have other folks noticed that out-of-staters don't stick around during the winter if they don't have to? LOL. Seriously, if they are only staying for three months, only during the summer, they are missing 90% of the story. Anyone can drill for oil in perfect weather: what impresses me are the roughnecks who do this during some of the worse winter weather imaginable.]

Their site provides details what donors can expect to receive for their monetary donations. The $10,000 funding goal has been met. 

Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement. I have no connection with these journalists. This is simply reporting information folks might otherwise miss.

Eleven (11) Shocking Facts About The North Dakota Oil Boom -- The Fiscal Times

Link here. From CarpeDiem.

One shocking fact: the Williston McDonald's can't find enough workers.


But the shocking fact: it remains open. 

A lot of other interesting stories at CarpeDiem (linked above).

In The Eye Of The Beholder


June 10, 2013: earlier this morning, I dropped off my bicycle to have some routine maintenance done. I had to wait ten minutes before someone was able to assist me. They were not much busier than usual for a Monday morning.

June 10, 2013: the more I think about the article linked below, the more it validates my feelings about the Bakken. Note: not one word about:
  • CLR's 14-well Atlanta pad next to the river southwest of Williston
  • Statoil's 4-well Pyramid pad northwest of Williston with 38 tanks on the pad
  • ONEOK's natural gas gathering and processing plants northwest of Williston, northeast of Watford City
  • the Chicago hot-dog stand outside of Alexander; was there a line there?
  • the BNSF yard in Minot
  • any of the 22 CBR terminals
  • whether he stopped at any RR crossing waiting for a 120-unit oil train to pass (and whether he counted the cars)
  • the huge industrial parks west of Williston; the huge industrial parks east of Williston
  • Crosby
  • the incredible housing developments going up around Watford City
  • having a great steak dinner at the bank-restaurant in Watford City
  • about the "new" highways in the area, and the biggest ND highway budget coming this summer
  • the water depots all over the oil patch
But I will always remember that he waited ten minutes for a waitress to serve him. The story continues to add validity to my opinion that even the local folks really have no idea how big the Bakken story is. It is incomprehensible and that's why people end up writing about the traffic.

Original Post

The Bakken as seen by the managing editor of The Dickinson Press.
Williston? Well, for those who haven’t been there in a while, it is what you’ve heard it is. Streets are packed, you seat yourself in sit-down restaurants and wait 10 minutes to get a waitress.
Walmart was crazy for 2 p.m. on a Thursday, though not the end-of-times, barren shelves scene many of us have heard it was. Yes, they have a Buffalo Wild Wings now for those of you who are still upset Dickinson didn’t get one first. Though a man told me it had to close in mid-afternoon a few days back because it ran out of food.
In small towns along Highway 2, I get a sense that things are beginning to settle down as infrastructure begins to catch up and rigs get replaced by pump jacks.
See the packed streets at this video, posted Memorial Day weekend, 2013, Williston, North Dakota.

We need more photojournalists. Compare this article with what Mail On-Line might provide. I'm not talking about the content. I'm talking about how photos, graphics, and maps add so much more to the story. It would have been great to have some glossies embedded in the linked article above of the road trip. 

Ten minutes for a waitress. Rosa Parks should have been so fortunate.

Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday

Monday, June 10, 2013
  • 22581, 1,482, Newfield, Beg Federal 149-97-30-31-1H,  Haystack Butte, 32 stages; 3.5 million lbs sand frack;
  • 23778, 1,211, WPX, Howling Wolf 28-33HC, Wolf Bay, 16 stages; 2.7 million lbs sand frack;
  • 24016, drl, CLR, Colter 4-14H-4, no more data,
  • 24317, 461, CLR, Dorothy Ann 1-11H, Wildrose, 30 stages; 3.1 million lbs sand;
Sunday, June 9, 2013
  • 23666, 2,806, BR, Kummer 21-30MBH, Blue Buttes, 30 stages; 3.4 million lbs sand + ceramics;
  • 23800, drl, Petro-Hunt, Moody 159-94-15A-22-1H, no more data,
  • 24401, drl, QEP, MHA 4-04-33H-150-92, Heart Butte, no more data,
  • 24429, 1,170, MRO, Fredericks USA 43-26H, Wolf Bay, 30 stages; 2 million lbs sand;,
Saturday, June 8, 2013
  • 23174, 356, KOG, Grizzly 147-103-14-22-15-4H3, Mondak, t2/13; cum 5K 4/13;
  • 23455, drl, Hess, BB-Budahn-150-95-0506H-2, Blue Buttes, no more data,
  • 23957, drl, Hess, EN-D Cvancara S-154-93-0904H-5, Robinson Lake, no more data,
  • 24119, drl, BR, Blegen 34-24TFH, Blue Buttes, no more data,

 22581, see above, Newfield, Beg Federal 149-97-30-31-1H,  Haystack Butte:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 23778, see above, WPX, Howling Wolf 28-33HC, Wolf Bay:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

24317, see above, CLR, Dorothy Ann 1-11H, Wildrose:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

The NYT Feel-Good Story On Data Mining; As Noted Earlier: The NYT Is A Great Newspaper If One Understands The Front Page Is Their Op-Ed Page

Based on the front page of today's New York Times, the story is a non-issue. Their front-page story on the subject is crowded out by other mundane stories, and the story on snooping has a headline suggesting a "feel-good" analysis of how the US uses technology to mine data.

President Obama's name is mentioned once in that long "feel-good" article:
On Friday, President Obama defended the agency’s collection of phone records and other metadata, saying it did not involve listening to conversations or reading the content of e-mails. “Some of the hype we’ve been hearing over the past day or so — nobody has listened to the content of people’s phone calls,” he said. 
But President Bush was mentioned four times, and look at the words that are in proximity, which will help with google searches in the future:
  • When President George W. Bush secretly began the N.S.A.’s warrantless wiretapping program in October 2001, to listen in on the international telephone calls and e-mails of American citizens without court approval, the program was accompanied by large-scale data mining operations
  • Those secret programs prompted a showdown in March 2004 between Bush White House officials and a group of top Justice Department and F.B.I. officials in the hospital room of John Ashcrof ...w ho were willing to go along with warrantless wiretapping argued that the data mining raised greater constitutional concerns.
  • ....a firestorm of protest forced the Bush administration to back off...  
  • In 2006, the Bush administration established a program ...
OMG, "established a pogrom program..."

I hope folks didn't miss the big story: the president clearly states that the NSA is not listening into conversations of Americans, but in the same breath, simply saying it was doing what Bush was already doing, i.e., "listening in on the international telephone calls and e-mails of American citizens without court approval."

You can't have it both ways. Either they are listening in on American phone calls or they are not; either they are following Bush's precedent or they are not.
President Obama, “Some of the hype we’ve been hearing over the past day or so — nobody has listened to the content of people’s phone calls,” he said. 
Yes, they have. At least according to the NY Times

Huge Success Story In Crosby, ND

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
Anyone who remembers Bushel 42 in Crosby remembers the heartbreak of money lost trying to stem the flow of people leaving North Dakota.
A multimillion-dollar pasta plant enterprise, Bushel 42 was to be a checkpoint at the border. It would keep people home working good jobs and revitalize a region lush in resources and increasingly poor in people in the twilight years of the ’90s.
The plant failed, hopes dimmed, money was lost and the lights went out. Two years ago, the empty facility was purchased in a merged venture of two regional elevators, and today it’s one of the region’s largest employers.
In a twist of Bakken-inspired fate, New Century Ag is a bustling business, in large part because the outmigration of two decades ago has been transformed into an in-migration of thousands of oil field workers who stop for fuel, food and showers at this mixed truck stop and farm store.
For the complete story, go to the linked article. Another wonderful success story. 

A Note To The Granddaughters

It is an incredibly beautiful day in the Boston area, after a couple of dreary, drizzly, damp, disgusting days. The weather started to change last night. I took advantage of that. I rode into Cambridge, finding a more direct bicycle route, making for a much more enjoyable ride.

I perused some great books down at the Harvard Book Store. I found several that I would have bought in the past, but things are changing, and I didn't get anything last night. I paged through a number of books on quantum mechanics to compare with the Louisa Gilder book I'm reading now (for the second time, and outlining). In her book, Ms Gilder wrote quite a bit on Paul Ehrenfest, one of Einstein's closest friends. I was curious to see what others had written about Ehrenfest. The most promising book on quantum mechanics had three single references to Ehrenfest, each about a sentence long, and each of the three references were only a passing comment. From that book, I would not have learned anything about Ehrenfest; from Louisa gilder I felt I knew him as much as I could know anyone from that era, that discipline.

While standing in line at Starbucks, I read the following passage, describing the early 1930's when Hitler had just come to power in Germany:
Hesienberg wrote to Bohr a month later from Zurich, where the mail was not owned by the Nazis, "Concerning the Nobel Prize, I have had a bad conscience regarding ...."
Wow. "....where the mail was not owned by the Nazis...."

And the story that broke last week here on the east coast in the US, in the 21st century:
  • the USPS photographs the front and back of every piece of mail going through its facilities
  • the NSA tracks every e-mail sent by Americans
  • Schumer, Pelosi, Reid, Markey knew all along that the NSA was tracking all American phone calls
For me, it just seems so unreal. Under Richard Nixon I could have expected these revelations but under a liberal, progressive ... who wudda thought? I do think that moving from a community organizer to president of the United States, literally overnight, the president was a) in over his head; b) never imagined the power;  and, c) taken over by others and taken over by events, it was natural that the aphorism would be proved true: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We've all learned that what is printed in the media is but the tip of the iceberg of all that is really going on. Anyone who believes that the government is only tracking phone numbers and not listening in on conversations or reading e-mail is ... naive. Very naive.

Where is Hunter S. Thompson when we need him? At best we're getting bland reporting from reporters with no sense of rage. I wonder if The Rolling Stone Magazine will do an in-depth report of the revelations this past week? If the magazine ignores this story this month, I would not be surprised. Or what Vanity Fair will report? Both of these publications devoted a lot of space to abuse of power under Reagan and Bush, but anything those two did, pales in comparison to what is being revealed this week.

Back to 1933:
Hesienberg wrote to Bohr a month later from Zurich, where the mail was not owned by the Nazis, "Concerning the Nobel Prize, I have had a bad conscience regarding ...." -- p. 149, The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn, Louisa Gilder, c. 2008.
At least one late-night comedian is talking about it; the others are avoiding the subject. Based on the front page of today's New York Times, the story is a non-issue. Their front-page story on the subject is crowded out by other mundane stories, and the story on snooping has a headline suggesting a "feel-good" analysis of how the US uses technology to mine data.