Friday, August 2, 2013

Vern Whitten Photos

My wi-fi access ends in less than 12 minutes, so this will be brief.

See you in the a.m.

Meanwhile enjoy some outstanding Vern Whitten photos!

I'll be back in the morning for more updates on the Bakken. Good luck to all. I hope some of you close down the bars - and get home safely.

Random Comment Regarding The NDIC GIS Map Server And Overlapping Spacing Units

Somewhere in the blog I provide an explanation of how to use the NDIC GIS map server. (I have not updated that post in ages, so there may be some inaccuracies. It was accurate at the time I posted it to the best of my knowledge, which is quite limited.)

I understand much of the GIS map server, but not all of it. But I understand enough of it to a) make it useful; b) know that it is the best GIS map server among the 50 US states; and, c) make me think I know all I need to know about the GIS map server.

Recently there has been a new wrinkle: "overlapping spacing units." I explain how the GIS map server designates "overlapping spacing units" elsewhere. At that site, scroll to the August 2, 2013, entry.

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs: 179

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: Marathon (2), BR (2), HRC, American Eagle, CLR
  • Fields: Reunion Bay (McKenzie), Strandahl (Williams), Burg (Williams), Camel Butte (McKenzie), Colgan (Divide)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Three (3) producing wells completed:
  • 23304, 1,444, WPX, Blackhawk 1-12HW, Moccasin Creek, t7/13; cum --
  • 24664, 503, Triangle, Dwyer 149-101-2-11-5H, Antelope Creek, t7/13; cum --
  • 24665, 454, Triangle, Dwyer 149-101-2-11-6H, Antelope Creek, t7/13; cum --

US Crude Oil Reserves Sets Record In 2011 -- EIA; An Increase Of 15% Is Not Trivial; Second Year In A Row That A Record Is Set; Note -- 2011 Is Before 2013 (For Becky); The USGS Completed A New Bakken Study, Doubling Reserve Bakken Estimates, In 2013

"Yes, there's some oil there, but don't be fooled by the Bakken hype." -- Jane Nielson, paraphrasing. 

Rigzone is reporting:
Proved crude oil reserve additions in the United States reached a record volumetric increase in 2011, the second year in a row that a record was set, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Today in Energy brief, which was released Thursday. The increase in crude oil reserves of 15 percent – or about 3.8 billion barrels – sent crude oil reserves to the highest level since 1985.
While not setting a record, proved natural gas reserves increased by nearly 10 percent – or about 31.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) – making it the second largest annual increase since 1977. Additions to reserves of natural gas might have been even larger, had a drop in natural gas prices not occurred, the EIA said.
The data for 2011 was the most recent year that complete data was available, an EIA spokesperson told Rigzone. Data for 2012 is still being collected.
The 2012 data would have been reported by now, but bureaucrats are stunned by the numbers coming out of the Bakken and the Eagle Ford and are double checking their figures. At least that's why I'm thinking.

Back to the EIA:
The largest increase in proved oil reserves was in Texas, and was due mainly to the Eagle Ford formation in the Western Gulf Basin, and the Permian Basin shale formation. The second largest increase was in North Dakota, and was attributed to the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin.

A Little Bit More On RINs And Milton Bradley Board Games

I'm still trying to understand the federal shell game with the acronym RINs.

Platts is reporting:
Unlike many of refiners, renewable fuel credits, or RINs, were not a big factor in Tesoro's bottom line this year, partly because of its ample products blending capability. Credit Suisse analyst Edward Westlake said in a note the company has minimal exposure in 2013, but it will rise to about $106 million in 2014.

RINs are a tradeable credit many refiners are using to meet growing US federal mandates for renewable fuels in the transportation pool.

Refiners are relying more on RINs as growing renewable mandates fail to match weaker-than-expected transportation fuel demand. Those that can physically blend renewables into fuel like gasoline and diesel can cut their RINs purchases. A RIN is generated when the fuel is blended so the blender gets that RIN to either trade or keep and use to meet its federal renewables target.
"A RIN is generated ..." sounds like the rules from a Milton Bradley board game.  "The play always goes to the left. The game ends with there are no more RINs in the discard pile."

Bakken: The Gift That Keeps On Giving -- Now, It's Tesoro

Platts is reporting:
Tesoro Corp. has remade itself from a small, second-tier US refiner into a leading presence in the US Northwest in both refining and logistic operations as it actively seeks out acquisitions and projects, according to analysts.

"No other US refining company can match [Tesoro's] demonstrated ability to execute on all facets of its strategic plan, in our view," said Macquarie Securities analyst Chi Chow in a report Friday.

Tesoro's Q2 refinery runs were up in California, thanks to the June purchase of BP's 266,000 b/d Carson, California, refinery and logistics business for $1.075 billion. The deal almost doubled Tesoro's California refining throughput.
But this is what the reader who sent me the link noted:
The company said the cost to rail Bakken to its 120,000 b/d Anacortes refinery is slightly less than $9/b. Anacortes has traditionally run Alaska North Slope, sent by tanker from Alaska. But now with Bakken coming in via rail from North Dakota, and taking into account the greater amount of gasoline and diesel extracted from a barrel of Bakken compared with the lower yield of the two products from a barrel of Alaska North Slope, the value of Bakken is upgraded by about $3-4/bbl, according to Tesoro's calculations.

On Thursday, Platts assessed the price of ANS at $110.85/b, while Bakken ex Clearbrook was assessed at $102.62/b.
A huge "thank you" to the reader.

By the way, there is some information on RINs in that article, so I will post the article again, in another stand-alone post to focus on RINs.

This Is For Becky, Who Was Surprised By The Disappearing Lake In The Arctic; The Arctic Sees Shortest Summer On Record

IceAgeNow is reportingUnprecedented July Cold – Arctic Sees Shortest Summer On Record
“Normally the high Arctic has about 90 days above freezing. This year there was less than half that,”  says Steven Goddard website.
“The Arctic ice extent is showing a remarkable recovery from the great oscillations of 2012,” says Guimaraes. “Compare with the previous years listed there, you’ll see that 2004 is the year that is closest to 2013 in terms of average temps during the summer.”
I'm glad President O'Bama is on top of this. 

Note: to repeat -- this is the shortest Arctic summer on record. Not just the shortest summer in that past few years, or the past decade, or the past century, but the shortest summer on record. And it should be noted Vikings were in the Arctic a long, long, long time ago.

My hunch is they didn't keep records. But the tree rings won't lie.

Williston: It's Official -- "Boomtown, USA"

California has its surfing capital, USA: Huntington Beach.

New York state has its Big Apple.

Now the US has it's official "Boomtown."

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
The city in the heart of western North Dakota's booming Oil Patch has a new brand — “Boomtown USA.”
The Williston Convention and Visitor's Bureau unveiled the theme on Thursday.
The city has some of its earliest roots as a boomtown, when the fur trading business exploded in 1828. That also is the year when Fort Union opened its doors. It was a fur-trading post along the Missouri River in northwestern North Dakota for much of the 19th century, and now is a national historic site.
The oil boom and its promise of jobs has drawn people from around the country to Williston. The U.S. Census bureau estimates that the city's population has grown from 14,700 in 2010 to 26,700, and a city-sponsored study done by North Dakota State University concluded that the number could be as high as 33,000.
If only Mark Twain or HST could be around. 

Zenergy To Sell Its Operations In The Bakken -- August 2, 2013


September 5, 2013: The Deal/Pipeline is reporting:
Houston oil and gas explorer Oasis Petroleum Inc. said Thursday it had signed four separate and unrelated purchase and sale agreements to acquire properties in the Williston Basin of North Dakota totaling 161,000 net acres for $1.515 billion.
Zenergy Inc. is the seller of the biggest chunk, 136,000 net acres in and around Oasis' position in the West Williston project area for $1.45 billion, according to people familiar with the industry. One of the sellers for the three other unrelated purchase and sale agreements, which include properties in the East Nesson totaling 25,000 net acres for $65 million, was Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., those sources said. Magnum Hunter revealed in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it had sold a package in Burke County, N.D., to Oasis for $32.5 million in cash.
Oasis said the acquisitions will give it 492,000 net acres in the area, up 50%, with reserves of 169.9 million barrels of oil equivalent and production of 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day based on internal operational reports.
$1.515 billion / 161,000 acres = $9,400/acre.   

Original Post

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
Closely held oil producer Zenergy Inc. has enlisted bankers to shop its North Dakota drilling fields, which would likely fetch more than $1 billion if they are sold, according to people familiar with the matter.
Tulsa, Okla. based Zenergy, formerly known as Zinke & Trumbo Ltd., was incorporated in 1982, according to Oklahoma business records. Its former name came from its founders, David Trumbo and Robert Zinke, who currently runs the company.
Zenergy is one of the last remaining closely held producers in North Dakota’s Williston Basin, an area where shale drilling has been responsible for much of the surging U.S. oil output. Zenergy currently has two rigs drilling wells in the state and had a hand in producing more than 3.2 million barrels of oil and four billion cubic feet of natural gas there in 2012, according to North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources data.
The article did not mention, and I don't think I have any data, regarding how much acreage Zenergy has.

At $5,000/acre = $1 billion could represent about 200,000 acres, which seems a bit on the  high side considering KOG has about 196,000 acres. So, either Zenergy has a lot of acres, or they will get a premium for the acreage they have. Yes, I know the deal will be more than just acreage; there is already production, and the deal may include some other assets. 

Seventeen Companies Announced Increased Dividends Today...

... MRO (17 cents to 19 cents) and MPC (35 cents to 42 cents).

Sturm Ruger, from 49 cents to 65 cents. What does Sturm Ruger do? That name rings a bell ... oh, yes, that's it, rugged, reliable firearms, i.e, guns.

Duke Energy Accused Of Grand Theft; Florida Regulators Co-Conspirators ...

... at least that's how some might see it....

Bloomberg is reporting:
Duke Energy will halt plans to build a new nuclear plant in Florida and seek to recover as much as $1.47 billion in costs associated with a shuttered reactor in the state under a settlement with regulatory staff.
Duke will record a $360 million pretax cost from the settlement in the second quarter, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said in a statement today. The agreement is subject to review by and approval from the Florida Public Service Commission.
The settlement resolves two issues associated with Progress Energy Inc.’s nuclear program. Duke acquired the company last year for $17.8 billion in a deal that made it the largest U.S. utility owner. Progress Energy’s Florida utility has been billing customers since 2009 to pay for a new nuclear plant and work on the Crystal River reactor near Tampa.
Some lawmakers aren’t happy with the deal.
“It’s grand theft,” Mike Fasano, a Republican state representative.

Nation's Largest Railroad Will Report Earnings Later Today

The AP is reporting:
Investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will release its second-quarter earnings report Friday afternoon.
Berkshire's results are likely to be affected by the health of the housing market and how well BNSF railroad dealt with reduced demand for coal. 
Coal is old news. It's all about CBR and sand.

Of All The Politicians, Colin Powell Has Probably Been The Biggest Disappointment


November 22, 2014: it looks like Colin was right the first time. How many times did he flip-flop?
The United States recovered thousands of old chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2009 and destroyed almost all of them in secret and via open-air detonation, according to a written summary of its activities prepared by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body that monitors implementation of the global chemical weapons treaty.
The 30-page summary, prepared after quietly held meetings between the organization’s technical staff and American officials in Washington in 2009, was provided to The New York Times by the Pentagon on Friday.
Original Post
Now this: where there's smoke, there's fire.

One of my favorite cartoons at this post (scroll to the very, very, very bottom) when you get there.

Canadian Investigators Look At Bakken Oil As Cause of Destroying Canadian Town

A reader sent me this link. The Globe and Mail is reporting:
The train, operated by the small regional carrier Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, was carrying light oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota where crude is drilled up from rock through a process known as fracking. Environmental groups and Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. have complained to U.S. federal regulators about the volatile and potentially unsafe chemical makeup of Bakken crude.
“We are aware of those experiences and have sent investigators to North Dakota, we are following the oil from the wellhead to here,” said Donald Ross, the safety board’s head investigator in Lac-M├ęgantic. Oil has been taken from each of the oil cars for analysis at an Ottawa-based labratory, and it could be months before the results of these tests are publicized.
Bakken oil is typically lighter than Alberta crude, rendering it more flammable when exposed to heat. This potential volatility is raising questions about whether railways and regulators are taking sufficient precautions when transporting the oil. Shortly after the derailment, Ottawa unveiled a series of tighter safety rules that call for more rail staff, supervision and safety precautions for trains carrying hazardous material.
There are many, many story lines in this article.

Something tells me the story won't get much attention. There are a lot more hazardous chemicals shipped by rail than crude oil. I imagine adding a flame retardant would increase slightly the cost of the price of oil which will be passed on to the consumer, anyway.

ObamaCare Defines Middle Class

Of all the media outlets and all the blogs I follow, the MDW was the first to note that ObamaCare would define the official national work week for the first time in US history: 30 hours.

MDW also was one of the first to note that the new official work week AND ObamaCare rules would drive an American cultural shift from full-time workers to part-time workers.

This is a new wrinkle, something I missed. Many upper middle income investors have learned to keep their incomes at about the levels of their Congressmen, which that is the sweet spot for a nice income and relatively modest taxes, especially with the right exemptions and deductions.

But now, ObamaCare offers something for lower middle income folks also: keep your income below the ObamaCare threshold of $62,000 for a married couple, and $78,000 for a family of three.

ObamaCare is doing something that "we" haven't been able to do in this country until now: define exactly the thresholds required for part-time, full-time, upper middle class, and lower middle class. We've always had government guidelines/rules for the "poverty threshold" but now we have "rules" for the middle class, at both ends.

There's been a general agreement among employers that 40 hours was the "standard" work week, but now we have 30 hours as the "official" work week. Initially that will apply to healthcare benefits, but it's only a matter of time before 30.5-hour full-time workers will start picketing for overtime pay whenever they work more than 30 hours.

Late last month Geraldo Rivera tweeted that 70 was the new 50. With ObamaCare, 30 is the new 40.

Horrific Hiring Numbers: Way Below Expectations In July; Revised Numbers Worse For May AND June; Hours Slip; Wages Slip; Labor Market Stuck In Quicksand; Almost 80% of 2013 Jobs Created Were Part-Time

Remember: for hiring, the magic number is 200,000. Anything below 200,000 is a "Fail."

Before we get to the most recent numbers, this update from ZeroHedge:
Obamacare full frontal: of 953,000 jobs created in 2013, 77%, or 731,000, are part-time.
When the payroll report was released last month, the world finally noticed what we had been saying for nearly three years: that the US was slowly being converted to a part-time worker society.
This slow conversion accelerated drastically in the last few months, and especially in June, when part time jobs exploded higher by 360K while full time jobs dropped by 240K. In July we are sad to report that America's conversation to a part-time worker society is not "tapering": according to the Household Survey, of the 266K jobs created (note this number differs from the establishment survey), only 35% of jobs, or 92K, were full time. The rest were... not.
Reuters is reporting:
U.S. employers slowed their pace of hiring in July but the jobless rate fell anyway, mixed signals that could make the U.S. Federal Reserve more cautious about drawing down its huge economic stimulus program.
The number of jobs outside the farming sector increased by 162,000, the Labor Department said on Friday.
That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 184,000. Compounding that miss, the government also cut its previous estimates for hiring in May and June.
That is simply horrendous. Reuters didn't even bother reporting the revised numbers for May and June; that's bad.

On top of that, US "workers" are dropping out of the labor force, simply because there are no jobs to be had.

Wow, the entire article is bad news. Buried deep in the article:
Friday's report showed the average work week declined to 34.4 hours, while average earnings slipped 0.1 percent.
The report also showed 5.7 percent of Americans who had jobs in June could not get enough hours to qualify as full-time workers.
So, again, the average work week declined -- heading toward that all important 30 hours -- the ObamaCare threshold; and wages slipped.
Now, look at this in which the writer says the most important data points in the monthly jobs report: hours and wages:
It's the most important economic data point in the world. Financial markets will grind to a halt on Friday as the Labor Department releases the July nonfarm payroll report. While economists, on average, are looking for 175,000 jobs to be added and a one-tenth of a percent dip in the unemployment rate (to 7.5%), the real action could be buried several lines deeper.
"Anything with regard to hours — any sort of indication that average hourly earnings is starting to pick up," says Kevin Cummins, U.S. economist at UBS, in the attached video. While acknowledging that month-to-month data is volatile, he says the June print of 0.4% hourly wage growth marked a four-year high.
"That would suggest that there may be some structural changes in the labor market that are beginning to push up wages," he says. "Obviously that's good for the consumer, but it also suggests [there is] probably a little bit more inflation than what the Fed is expecting."
For the record, Cummins' team at UBS is looking for 195,000 total jobs, 200,000 private sector jobs and unemployment to be at 7.5%. Given the stronger-than-expected print of the ADP Private Sector Report on Wednesday, he says that could be an area of surprise for July. "If anything, in the last few months [the ADP report] has under-predicted the pace of the BLS's private sector jobs.
The Daily Ticker reports:
The White House is laser-focused too on seeing the jobs number go up. Since the labor market bottomed in 2010, the economy has added more than 6 million jobs, that's still the slowest job recovery after a recession since WWII. The unemployment rate is stuck well above 7%.

Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and economics editor for The Guardian, tells The Daily Ticker that President Obama's economic record over the past four years is pretty mixed.
Mixed? Throw in the trillions of dollars in stimulus money, and all the bankrupt solar companies, and it's hardly a mixed picture. 

 I assume Mr O'Bama has a golf date scheduled this weekend.

This Is When Bloomberg Loses Its Credibility

Bloomberg is reporting:
Climate change will probably trigger more human conflict, according to an article in the journal Science.
An examination of 60 separate studies, including one stretching back to 10,000 B.C., found that individuals, groups and nations are “substantially” more likely to become involved in physical conflict in hot weather and heavy rain.
Climate change is expected to drive up temperatures in many regions, which will “systematically increase the risk of many types of conflict” ranging from barroom brawls and rape to civil wars and international disputes, according to the article. 
The writer has a great pseudonym: Justin Doom. Just-in Doom. Just in, breaking news, doom. And gloom. Global warming.

Along with Becky and Josh, Justin will now join the Forrest Gump group. 

Do you ever wonder how these research topics get funded? Yes, you are correct.

I Remember Whitby With Fond Memories -- And I Also Remember When North Dakota Potash Was All The Rage

Bloomberg is reporting:
Opponents of England’s first planned potash mine in 40 years can thank Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov for helping their cause.
A decision by OAO Uralkali to withdraw from a powerful marketing venture has upended the world’s $20 billion potash industry and is set to slash prices. The news reverberated in the seaside town of Whitby this week, where a former Citigroup Inc. banker wants to spend $1.9 billion tunneling beneath a national park and the North Sea to unearth the commodity. 
If folks are interested in the North Dakota potash story, I have a link at the bottom of the blog, "potash."

The story mentioned Whitby, Yorkshire, England. Back in 2002 (or thereabouts) I walked the English seaside coast from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby. That was one of the toughest slogs I've ever hiked but my traveling companion made it all worth it. Great memories.

Friday Morning Links, News, And Views -- KOG Sails Through $10

Wow, KOG just sailed through to a new high, breaking the psychological $10.00 barrier. 

MDU just hit a new 52-week high.

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

Active rigs: 178

Wells coming off confidential list today have been posted.

RBN Energy: nice "Fracking Sand 101" article today; great for reference and newbies.
The majority of the frac sand produced by companies like Unimin and US Silica is delivered under long term contracts to one of the main oil service companies that perform fraccing services at the wellhead (Weatherford, Sclumberger, Baker Hughes, Halliburton, and FTS International).
But one oil and gas producer at least has developed a proprietary frac sand supply. That company is EOG Resources – already a pioneer in the crude-by-rail business in North Dakota. EOG owns sand mines – they bought their first in 2008 in Texas and have purchased several mines in Wisconsin as well. EOG’s portfolio includes significant oil production assets in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in South Texas. The company has built its own sand processing plant in Chippewa Falls, WS that delivers sand to distribution terminals close to drilling sites. For example, the company shipped 70 unit trains with 100 cars each of sand to its Refugio, TX storage and distribution terminal in the Eagle Ford during 2012.
EOG has also installed a resin coating plant at Refugio to coat frac sand for added crush resistance. Although numbers are hard to come by, it is clear from EOG’s continued investment, that the company has significantly reduced its frac sand costs by becoming its own supplier.
Holy sushi! From Japan, Reuters is reporting:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has to decide this later this year whether to carry out a plan that would raise the 5 percent sales tax to 8 percent from next April and then to 10 percent in October 2015.
WSJ Links

The start of the Detroit legacy: a Michigan County pulls its bond offering:
In the most tangible sign of fallout from Detroit's bankruptcy filing, a Michigan municipality postponed a $53 million bond sale as investors blanched at the offered terms.
Potential buyers wanted much higher yields than Genesee County was willing to pay, said people familiar with the offering.
The setback came amid broader concerns about the county's finances, the small size of the offering and the safety of municipal securities given the potential for some Detroit bondholders to suffer losses.
Postponing a bond offering like Genesee County's, which was scheduled for Thursday, is unusual in the municipal-bond market, and the county plans to try again in coming days, according to people familiar with the offering.
The postponement underscores the difficulties some other municipal issuers may encounter as they seek to raise funds in coming months amid difficulties in many locales in funding pensions, raising tax revenue and balancing budgets.
Buy munis at your own risk. 

The bad news keeps coming: lousy hiring numbers AND lower wages AND fewer hours.  But hey, the unemployment number dropped. Yup, because "workers" are dropping out of the labor force. The gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" continues to widen.
By the way, there's a very, very interesting comment at that linked article just above about crappy hiring numbers, etc., etc. A reader mentioned he was able to make duplicates of his house key at a Lowe's using a machine with a credit card reader AND no employer required to help him operate the machine. Quite a few story lines in that short comment, but this is my comment: have you noticed all the plastic that makes your life so much simpler? And in many cases, you don't have to sign anything. Under $50 or something like that, and my Target Red Card just slides right through. I used to carry one credit card, and then let the credit card company organize the expenditures at the end of the year (to which I never paid any attention). It's a little late to be budgeting at the end of the year. Remember how some folks put so much money into various envelopes for rent, food, bowling, etc? It's gotten a lot easier: no envelopes. Just use pre-paid plastic. Pre-paid Starbucks plastic, for example. Subway has carried this one step farther: two cards on one account. Set up an account; keep one card for yourself and give another card to a significant other: friend, spouse, son, daughter, mother, father. Of course, using plastic is a bit old-fashioned when one can use an iPad app. Maybe next year.
Big Oil's problem: this is a great article for folks new to the investment world in the oil and gas industry.  Talk about a "Red Queen" problem. But I digress. This article helps explain why investing in Big Oil is not simply following the price of oil.

US car sales (continue to) surge.
The auto industry has been the most consistently improving area of the U.S. economy for the past several years. Auto and auto-parts makers have added hundreds of thousands of jobs as car and light truck demand rose from the industry's recent nadir in 2009.
Auto sales are getting a boost from low interest rates and gains in housing construction and energy exploration and production. Pickup truck sales, which are tightly related to new housing starts, have jumped this year. GM said July sales of its full-size GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups were up 44% from a year earlier. Ford's F-series pickup sales were up 23%, while Chrysler's Ram pickup notched a 31% gain.
Think about that: oil is flirting with $110/bbl and Ford pick-up sales are surging. 

And then this:
There is even some evidence that auto makers can't keep up with demand. Hyundai Motor Co. is at maximum capacity and has given up some sales because of inventory constraints.
For Adam Silverleib, vice president of Silko Honda in Raynham, Mass., it was a similar story. "We were challenged with inventory and had a low days supply, especially CR-V and Accord models. I just physically ran out of product," he said.
And the CR-V and Accord models are the higher end of the Honda line.

Rankings (GM, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chrysler):
Honda Motor Co .'s July sales jumped 16% to 141,439 as it passed Chrysler in monthly sales for fourth overall. Toyota sales rose to 193,394. Toyota's jump in deliveries moved it past No. 2 Ford for the month in the U.S. for the first time in several years.
The Senate can't pass a spending bill
Congress's reeling budget process stumbled again Thursday as the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to advance a bill to increase spending for transportation and housing programs.
The vote came one day after a companion bill to cut spending for those programs collapsed in the Republican-controlled House because of a lack of support.
The twin failures show the struggle leaders of each chamber face in moving legislation, and the distance between the parties in reaching agreement on spending bills needed to keep the government operating.
I didn't think one could find a spending bill the Dems didn't like. I assume they were hoping the spending bill would include a bailout for Detroit.

After A Huge Day For The Market AND Oil, It Looks Like There Is Room To Run

Dow futures up another 15 points.

NYMEX oil up almost another dollar, now solidly above $108; closing in on $109. And releasing all the oil in the SPR won't change things. There is no shortage of oil. If the price of oil corrects by an astounding 10%, it will still be in the high 90's. This is not good for Bakken operators who are hedged "wrong."

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.

Some random updates:

From Motley Fool: Sempra hit a new high today --
Sempra is right in the middle in terms of market cap, and is based on the West Coast, in San Diego. The company serves over 31 million people, and is actually the largest natural gas utility in the U.S. in terms of the number of customers served. The company operates in several segments, the largest of which are Southern California Gas (34% of revenues) and San Diego Gas & Electric (38%). The company also has a substantial South American business, with electric utilities in Chile, Peru, and Argentina.
The company is the most growth oriented of the three mentioned here, and its valuation and yield reflect that. Sempra currently trades for 19.6 times this year’s earnings, which are projected to grow at around 8% annually going forward, and according to the company this rate could rise to 10% in the right conditions. Also, Sempra pays a lower yield of 2.9%, representing just a 55% payout ratio. This also is a good indicator (although not always) of how aggressively a company plans to try to grow. A lower payout leaves more money to invest back into the company.
From SeekingAlpha: CNP hit a new high today --
Beat earnings estimate by four cents. Zacks: earnings report.
KOG: hit a new 52-week high, and after-market trading, up again, closing at $9.99.

OAS: wow; hit a new high, sailing through its old high; up 3% for the day.

COP: wow, COP hit a new high

XOM, PSX down a bit;

CHK: wow, up almost 8 percent today. Eight percent. Transcript. Despite a year of headlines, look at these results:
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) today reported financial and operational results for the 2013 second quarter. Key information related to the quarter is as follows:
  • adjusted net income per fully diluted share of $0.51, compared to $0.06 in the 2012 second quarter
  • adjusted ebitda of $1.424 billion increases 77% year over year 
  • daily oil production rises 44% year over year to 116,000 bbls per day 
  • full-year 2013 oil production outlook increases by 1 million barrels to 38 – 40 million barrels, a 22 to 28% increase year over year 
  • total daily production increases 7% year over year to 4.1 bcfe per day