Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Williston Wire: Watford City's Post Office Is Expanding; Eastern Montana's Bakken Could Grow By 39% Over The Next 20 Years

In addition to the stories below, posted in The Williston Wire, The Dickinson Press had a story medical facility expansion in western North Dakota:
Sanford is constructing a $30 million “super clinic” in Dickinson. The clinic is expected to open in February, ahead of schedule, and will replace Sanford’s current clinic, which Lambrecht said is outdated and too small.
[In Watford City, a] site for the new facilities [for a new hospital] was recently selected, and Petersen said a groundbreaking is expected next spring. The project cost is estimated at $55 million, and the organization is seeking $40 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $15 million from the Bank of North Dakota.
The Williston Wire
North Dakota's oil patch is busting at the seams. The tipping point for the Williston mayor has been reached. The solution: the North Dakota governor has started meeting with city and county officials affected by the oil industry. We are seven years into the boom. Approximately $2.5 billion worth of crude oil is being produced each month in four or five western counties. I guess the meetings are a start.

Apparently the state has an interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee. The committee recently selected the engineering firm Kadrmas Lee & Jackson to look at the state's energy industry to see where "it is heading and its impact on the state." The name sounded familiar; I see a lot of "Kadrmas" wells. It turns out KLJ is headquartered in Bismarck, or so it appears. I could be wrong on that.

Williston's Planning and Zoning Commission approved a request for a proposed 535-acre commercial and residential development on one 535-acre parcel north of the city.

The "pediatric clinic" celebrated its grand opening in Williston. It is located at Mercy Medical Center. The rise in births, driven by the dramatic shft in demographics, led Mercy to lure new pediatricians to the area, according to The Williston Herald.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr John McNulty has returned to Williston; he has worked the past 15 years in Idaho. Some years ago it was said that the entire state of Idaho had moved to the Williston area to work in the oil patch.

More than 90 homeless students have attended classes in Williston Public School District #1 so far this year. I guess that would be one "impact on the state" that KLJ could look into.

Understatement of the week: "Williston Basin has 'huge potential' -- Kodiak executive. Sounds like this is someone KLJ should interview.

According to a KXLF story, eastern Montana's Bakken could grow 39% in 20 years. I'm impressed with the "preciseness" of 39% - not 40%, not 38%, but 39% over the next 20years.

The US Post Office in Watford City will be expanding.

Eight (8) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Twenty-Three Producing Wells Completed (New Record?); Oasis And Newfield Each Report A Nice Well

Active rigs: 181

Eight (8) new permits --
  • Operators: KOG (4), Whiting (3), BR
  • Fields: East Fork (Williams), Fancy Buttes (McKenzie), Roosevelt (Billings)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

This might be some kind of record. Normally six or less producing wells are completed. Today, there were 23 producing wells reported as completed:
  • 24979, 2,982, BR, CCU Corral Creek 41-28TFH, Corral Creek, unitized; t10/13; cum --
  • 23195, 2,232, Statoil, Hospital 31-36 3H, Alger, t10/13; cum --
  • 23196, 1,478, Statoil, Hospital 31-36-6TFH, Alger, t10/13; cum --
  • 23193, 3,171, Statoil, Hospital 31-35 5H, Alger, t10/13; cum -- 
  • 23979, 2,852, Statoil, Rose 12-13 5TFH, Avoca, t10/13; cum --
  • 23978, 3,810, Statoil, Rose 12-13 6H, Avoca, t10/13; cum --
  • 22841, 2,627, Statoil, Rose 12-13 4TFH, Avoca, t10/13; cum--
  • 22840, 3,107, Statoil, Rose 12-13-3, Avoca, t10/13; cum -- 
  • 23997, 3,511, Statoil,Margaret 5-8 6H, Spring Creek, t10/13; cum --
  • 23995, 3,462, Statoil, Margaret 5-8 4H, Spring Creek, t10/13; cum --
  • 24455, 2,323, CLR, Hawkinson 13-22H, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24350, 445, CLR, Hawkinson 12-22H3, Oakdale, t9/13; cum --
  • 24286, 323, CLR, Hawkinson 11-22H2, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24285, 922, CLR, Hawkinson 10-22H1, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24284, 203, CLR, Hawkinson 9-22H3, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24283, 504, CLR, Hawkinson 8-22H, Oakdale, t11/13; cum --
  • 24282, 175, CLR, Hawkinson 7-22H2, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24225, 809, CLR, Hawkinson 6-22H3, Oakdale, t10/13; cum --
  • 24224, 681, CLR, Hawkinson 5-22H, Oakdale, t9/13; cum --
  • 24456, 542, CLR, Hawkinson 14-22H2, Oakdale, t9/13; cum --
  • 24766, 600, CLR, Vatne 3-25H, Hamlet, t9/13; cum 6K 9/13;
  • 24767, 627, CLR, Rosenquist 3-24H, Hamlet, t10/13; cum 11K 9/13;
  • 24470, 3,552, Statoil, Viking 16-15 3H, Poe, t9/13; cum --
Wells coming off the confidential list Friday:
  • 23766, 1,940, Oasis, Ervin 5693 11-24T, Alger, t5/13; cum 52K 9/13;
  • 23906, 1,883, Newfield, Johnsrud 150-98-6-7-2H, Siverston, t5/13; cum 40K 9/13;
  • 24008, drl, Statoil, Jake 2-11 5TFH, Last Chance, no production data,
  • 24681, 1,032, Oasis, Helmer 5604 13-13H, Bull Butte, t6/13; cum 12K 9/13;
  • 25127, 226, Oasis Woll 6093 12-1T, Gros Ventre, t9/13; cum --
  • 25205, drl, Hess, EN-Trinity-154-93-2833H-6, Robinson Lake, no production data, 

23766, see above, Oasis, Ervin 5693 11-24T, Alger:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

23906, see above, Newfield, Johnsrud 150-98-6-7-2H, Siverston:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Third Fire In Five Weeks -- The Tesla

This time the driver apparently "hit a tow hitch."

InsideEVs is reporting:
Having recently gone through two “fire incidents” after an accident in the past 5 weeks, a third fire Model S has caught fire under potentially a similar condition.
And while the first two fires happened after the Tesla plug-in sedan had taken some serious damage, this Model S looks to have suffered less damage before the occurrence – although we would stress patience in jumping to any conclusions before an official investigation report has been released.
Another great photo at the link. 

If hitting a tow hitch can cause a fire, one wonders if jumping a curb or similar event could cause a fire.

Off The Net For Awhile

Posting comments, replying to e-mail, etc., will be delayed.

Fade Into You, back in 1993 (?), and now they are back. Very pleasant.

Seasons of Your Day, New Album, Mazzy Star

I honestly forget how I stumbled on this, this morning. Normally this only happens after midnight, which I mention over at my "music site." [Warning: if you go to that site, do not open it unless you have a good, high-speed wi-fi connection; one runs the risk of crashing your website surfing experience.

Around The Horn

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

After yesterday's huge day for earnings reports, let's see how the market is reacting in early morning trading.

30-second sound bite: 24 hours after the volatility of yesterday, things seemed to have settled down. One has to wonder with the emphasis on new completion techniques whether the oil service companies like SLB, WFT, HAL, BHI should be watched more closely. I am aware that WFT has its challenges.


KOG: this is a bit confusing. It looks like KOG may have traded at a new 52-week high today -- $12.40.

HK is also flat, but the bleeding stopped; actually green today.

Oasis is doing nicely, up another 1.3% but still off its high.

WLL is up about a percent, but off its high.

CLR is doing very nicely, up about 1.6%, and not that far off its recent high. ML has a "neutral" on this one following 3Q13 earnings. [Update, about 30 minutes later: wow, that ML recommendation killed CLR -- down $6.00 right now to about $110.]

CVX, COP, XOM: Of the three, only COP is in the red; interestingly, XOM has been climbing that wall of worry, and is now within shouting distance of reaching its recent high.

EOG is my favorite company at the moment. It is up 1% today, well off its recent high, providing an opportunity for some, I suppose.

CHK continues to bleed, but seems to be flattening out. Although below its recent high, it is well above what it had been earlier this year.

SD is flat; struggling. Fell quite a bit yesterday, if I remember correctly.

AMZGis absolutely flat today. 47 cents above its $2.00 entry price.

TPLM is down about the most of any that I follow; down about 0.6% at $10.00

UNP is in its trading range well below its 52-week high. Up today.

I don't follow BNSF (BRK) much any more; BRK follows the market in general.

ENB, EEP are both in a trading range, well below their highs.

SRE: flat today, but very nears it's recent high. No complaints from me.

TransCanada is in a trading range; has been for quite some time.

SLB: still trading near its 52-week high; up slightly today.

What The Success Of CLR's Hawkinson Unit Means: More Mega-Pads; Four Dedicated Rigs Drilling These Pads

From a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report following CLR's 3Q13 earnings report:
With the successful initial performance at the Hawkinson Unit, CLR announced that
the first area of full development will be in the Antelope prospect area of McKenzie
and Williams counties. Over the next four to five years, it intends to drill 350 wells on
20 to 30 well pad locations. In 2014, it will have four dedicated rigs with plans to drill the Middle Bakken, TF1, TF2 and T3 on 1,320 ft interval spacing
350/25 = 14 wells/pad. 

Click here to get an idea of what a 14-well pad will look like

This is the screenshot of the CLR Hawkinson graphic from CLR's November 6, 2013, earnings presentation.

Double-clicking on the graphic will open it in another window allowing the user to zoom in.

Job Watch

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The Magic Numbers
First time claims, unemployment benefits: 400,000 (> 400,000: economic stagnation)
New jobs: 200,000 (< 200,000 new jobs: economic stagnation)
Economists estimate the labor market needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, though estimates vary -- Reuters
I will stick with 200,000 (the "magic number" prior to the Obama administration) -- it's a nicer, "rounder" number to remember.

Over the two years that I had been posting these updates, it had become clear/obvious that the figures were often suspect, if not outright falsified. On November 18, 2013, it was reported that, indeed, unemployment figures have been falsified.
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
 Take the numbers for what they are worth, I guess. Not much. As so much else with ObamaNation.

January 15, 2015: huge, unexpected jump; rises by 19,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 6,750 to 298,000.

January 9, 2015: unemployment rate drops to 5.6%. Participation rate continues to drop. 

January 8, 2015: Initial jobless claims fell 4,000 in the January 3 week to 294,000, helping to pull down the 4-week average slightly to 290,500.

December 25, 2014: Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended December 27. That followed four straight weeks of declines. The four-week moving average of claims rose only 250 to 290,750 last week. It has remained below the 300,000 mark for 16 straight weeks.

December 18, 2014: unexpectedly fell 6,500 to 289,000. The four-week average, which is supposed to iron out week-to-week volatility slipped 750 to 298,750.

December 11, 2014: down 3,000 to 294,000 (which means last week's number was revised to a 15,000 decrease). Four-week average pretty much unchanged at 299,250 vs 299,000 the week before. 

December 4, 2014: applications plunge 17,000, to 295,000. Four-week average increased to 299,000. 

November 26, 2014: applications surge 21,000. At 313,000, the number was worse than expected by 26,000. The four-week average was said to have decreased, still under 300,000 but exact number not give in either of the two news reports I looked at.

November 20, 2014: applications drop 2,000; last week's numbers revised upward 3,000. Four-week average rises from 287,500 from 285,750. Mainstream media with huge spin this week.

November 13, 2014: applications surge 12,000 to 290,000. Reuters calls it simply a "pause." Four-week average also rose to 279,000.

October 30, 2014: applications rose 3,000 to 287,000. It appears last week's number was also revised up 1,000. That drop of 23,000 two weeks ago was an anomaly (unexplained, incredible, impossible, LOL-hilarious). Of course, because of that, the 4-week average continues to average down -- is this the last report before the election?

 October 23, 2014: Was last week's incredible drop to 264,000 an anomaly? What was that all about? Today, the number is back up to 283,000 -- almost as if last week did not happen. Analysts had expected today's number to rise to 281,000. The four-week average fell to 281,000. Well, of course, it fell -- that, too will be an anomaly if ...

October 16, 2014: plunge; 14-year low. Decreased by 23,000 to 264,000; four-week: down to 283,500, lowest since June, 2000.

October 9, 2014: last week's number for first time unemployment claims was revised upward 1,000; this week the number is down a thousand, a wash, as they say. Four-week average, 287,750. Weekly number stands at 287,000.

October 3, 2014: September, 2014, unemployment rate - 5.9%. Employers added 284,000 jobs.

October 2, 2014: "Apparently" the number dropped 8000 to 287,000. Previous week's number were revised up 2,000, to 295,000. Four-week average, 294,750.

September 25, 2014: first time claims surge 12,000 to 293,000; four-week average falls to 298,500. Analysts see this as incredibly good news.

September 18, 2014: incredibly and unexpectedly, first time claims for unemployment benefits plunged to 280,000; the four-week average is at 299,500. It will be interesting to see next week's numbers. One swallow does not mark the arrival of spring.

September 11, 2014: horrendous; back up to 315,000 (expectations? a modest drop to 300,000). Four-week moving average: 304,000, up from August 28, 2014.

September 5, 2014: horrendous job report; perhaps worst so far in this "recovery."

September 4, 2014: new jobs at 212,000 (note the "magic number" above). First time claims rise unexpectedly to 302,000; four-week average down.

Several headline data points at Drudge today regarding jobs:
  • nearly 1 in 10 workers in California are illegally here in the United States
  • all job gains in North Carolina since 2000 went to immigrants
  • Obama signs agreement with Mexico to ensure "workers rights" regardless of legal status
August 28, 2014: unremarkable, more of the same. At 298,000. Last week's number revised upward, 1000. So a wash. Four-week average 299,750.

August 21, 2014: plummets 14,000 to 298,000. Four-week average rose 4,750 to 300,750.

August 7, 2014: plummet "unexpectedly." Economists forecast a rise to 305,000 (that would have been up 3,000); instead the numbers fell 14,000 to 289,000; the four-week average fell to lowest market since February, 2006: 293,500. 

August 1, 2014: unemployment, five years into the recovery, headed in wrong direction; ticks up to 6.2% from 6.1%. That's why Ms Yellen is being very, very cautious.

July 31, 2014: dismal, dismal jobs number. Climbed to 302,000, slightly more than expectations. The market tanks.

July 24, 2014: first-time unemployment claims plummet to lowest number since February, 2006: down to 284,000. Last week's number revised upward, slightly, to 303,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 7,250 to 302,000. This is a remarkable report: this is the lowest reading since February, 2006, almost two years before the Great Recession began.

July 17, 2014: Declines underway in jobless claim point squarely to improvement underway in the labor market. Initial claims fell 3,000 in the July 12 week to 302,000. The 4-week average is also down 3,000, to 309,000 which is a new recovery low

July 10, 2014: first time claims down 11,000; lower-than-expected, 304,000; continuing claims, in lagging data for the June 28 week, did rise 10,000 to 2.584 million but the 4-week average is at a new recovery low, down 8,000 to 2.571 million.

July 2, 2014: jobs surge, unemployment drops to 6.1. Long-term unemployed at lowest level since 2009.  Last week, revised: 224,000. This week, 288,000. Note the "magic number" above: anything over 200,000 is wonderful.

June 26, 2014: Down 2,000 to 312,000. The number of people actually receiving benefits inched up by 12,000 to 2.57 million. But the small increase comes after the level fell to a six-year low in the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 314,000.

June 19, 2014: weekly claims decrease 6,000 to 312,000. The four-week average declining to 311,750 from 315,000 the week before suggests the four-week average is an anomaly based on the May 29, 2014, data point.

June 13, 2014: weekly claims up 4,000. Four-week average surges to 315,250.

June 9, 2014: the AP admits the "new norm" may be higher than 5% unemployment.
June 7, 2014: although the media spun it as a good week, in fact the news was bleak. First time claims did not go up all that much, only 8,000, but the fact they increased at all when they should have decreased is bleak indeed. Worse, the number of new jobs added was in-line with expectations, but not particularly upbeat. So, for the record, first time claims for unemployment insurance rose 8,000. The number is back up to 312,000, about where it's been "forever." The four-week average dropped to 310,250. Meanwhile, the ADP reported 179,000 new jobs: this is the fewest new jobs created since January, 2014. This is the longest jobs recovery since the US started tracking such data in 1939.

May 29, 2014: seasonally adjusted -- drops an incredible 27,000 (way more than forecast) down to 300,000; lowest level since 2007. Four-week average down to 311,500. That's down almost 12,000. and they say the four-week average is less volatile. LOL. 

May 22, 2014: surges 28,000 -- wipes out last week's rise of 24,000, almost double what analysts forecast. Back up to 326,000; 4-week average now at 322,250.

May 15, 2014: plunges 24,000; at seven-year low; to pre-recession levels; 4-week moving average drops 2,000 to 323,250.

May 8, 2014: first-time claims plunge 26,000 but four-week moving average actually increased, to a 324,750, a third straight gain.

May 2, 2014: unemployment plunges to 6.3%. An astounding 288,000 new jobs reported

May 1, 2014: spikes 14,000; back up to 344,000, the highest level since February, 2014.  Even the less-volatile four-week average rose by an astounding 3,000 to 320,000.

April 24, 2014: up an incredible 24,000; back up to 329,000. Four-week moving average up almost 5,000 to 316,750.

April 17, 2014: jobless claims rise much less than expected; up to 304,000. The initial claims seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average fell 4,750 to 312,000 in the April 12 week, which is the lowest since the October 6, 2007 week when the 4-week moving average was 302,000.

April 10, 2014: jobless claims drop significantly, down to 300,000. Four-week average also down significantly to 316,250. 

April 5, 2014: remember, the magic number is 200,000. Bloomberg survey forecast 206,000. Actual number: 192,000. Tepid, tepid, tepid.

April 3, 2014: initial claims come in more than twice what was expected; now back up to 326,000. Reuters still sees strong job growth on the horizon. The four-week average rose to 319,500. This is a most interesting report this week; there seems to be a bit of smoke-and-mirrors reporting.

March 27, 2014: claims drop by an astounding 11,000, unexpected. Now down to 311,000; analysts expected 323,000. Four-week average is 317,750, the lowest since September 28, 2013.

March 13, 2014: claims drop to 3-month low, 315,000. Four-week average down to 330,500.

February 27, 2014: claims surge; up 14,000, to 348,000.

February 20, 2014: status quo; down 3,000. We're going to be here forever going forward -- 330,000 +/-.  Four-week average 336,750.

February 13, 2014: bad report, again. Same spin. Analysts had expected number to decrease to 330,000 (from 331,000 last week); instead it rose an astonishing 8,000 to 339,000; the four-week average rose to 336,650. 

February 7, 2014: horrendous report. By the way does anyone still believe the government's official unemployment rate -- job gain horrendous, more folks entering the labor force (now that extended unemployment benefits lapsed), and official unemployment rate is at its lowest since October, 2008? 

February 6, 2014: 331,000.

February 5, 2014: new jobs, 175,000 in January, 2014. Lousy report. Anything less than 200,000 = economic stagnation. Note: this is the ADP number for new PRIVATE jobs; I believe the government figures for ALL new jobs comes out at the end of the week; analysts are expecting a number of 190,000 which is less than the magic number of 200,000.

January 30, 2014: a BAD, BAD, BAD report, surging first time claims, up 19,000 and the revised number next week will show a higher number. The four-week average "ironed-out," increasing only 750 to 330,000. 

January 23, 2014: simply no traction. Ticks up to 326,000.  The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the third straight week to 331,500. Both figures are said to be close to pre-recession levels and suggest that companies are laying off few workers. [Laying off fewer workers does not equate to increase hiring.]

January 10, 2014: bad, bad report; worst since January, 2011 -- Americans leaving the work force in droves; applications drop 15,000 to 330,000 (weather not a factor). New jobs added were 76,000, worse in three years (weather a factor). Four-week unemployment average drops 9,750 to 349,000.

January 2, 2014: drop 2,000 to 339,000. The much less volatile, and therefore much more meaningful actually rose 8,500 to 357,250.

December 26, 2013: back to the early days of the 2007 - 2009 recession. Down 42,000 to 338,000. Four-week moving average increased to by 4,250 to 348,000.

Decmember 19, 2013: what fresh hell is this? Analysts forecast a healthy decline. In fact, claims surged 10,000 to 380,000. We saw 380,000 back in early 2012. The saga continues. Not much has changed.

December 12, 2013: first time claims surge 68,000! The monthly average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 328,750 from 322,750 the week before.

December 5, 2013: plunges to nearly a six-year low; drops 23,000 to 298,000. Four-week moving average, 322,250.

November 27, 2013: down 10,000 to 316,000; 4-day moving average down to 331,750.

November 20, 2013: recent jobs reports are a disappointment -- Bernanke. 

November 14, 2013: down 2,000.

November 8, 2013: new jobs added exceeds expectations; exceeds magic number of 200,000. Happy days are here again. Occurred during the government shutdown.

For Investors Only; Initial Jobless Claims So-So; GDP Rises But Details Not Encouraging

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

Ten companies announce increased dividends/distributions.

WPX Energy misses by $0.36: Reports loss of $0.57 per share, $0.36 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.21).
  • Third-quarter 2013 results were negatively impacted by overall lower price realization (including hedges) for natural gas, a $19 million impairment charge related to the company's costs of acquired unproved reserves, a $9 million tax provision related to the increase in a valuation allowance on certain state deferred tax assets, a $7 million litigation accrual and a $6 million impact from changes to Argentine tax law affecting WPX's investment in Apco Oil and Gas International.
Futures: wow, crude oil is up again, and the broader market looks to hold its gains from yesterday and start off with a bang. Wow. Perhaps this is the reason: the European Central Bank cut interest rates to a record low earlier today, responding to a slump in inflation way below its target that has sparked fears the euro zone's economic recovery could stall. More easy money.


Okay, finally it's here, trickling in, Reuters is reporting:
Stock index futures briefly trimmed gains on Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter and initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell last week, mostly in line with expectations. 
Expanding, Reuters continues:
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. It was an acceleration from a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter and beat economists' expectations for a 2.0 percent rate.
But details suggest things are weaker than the 2.8 rate would suggest.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, expanded at a 1.5 percent rate, slowest pace since the second quarter of 2011. It grew at a 1.8 percent rate in the April-June period.
Some of the slowdown in consumption is blamed on weak demand for utilities because of unseasonably cool weather in the summer. But households have also been wary of loosening their purse strings as the pace of job gains slowed significantly during the quarter.
Jobless claims:
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 last week. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 335,000 last week.

Two Book Reviews Sent In By A Reader

Down below I will post the complete note I got from a reader. I normally would not do this, but there was too much work put into this note to let it simply vanish after I had the pleasure of reading it.

The reader talks about two new books. The first book, on fracking, I had mentioned earlier and  had planned to purchase. The second book, by David Letterman, I can say with some certainty, I will not be purchasing.

So, here's the note from a reader (below the break).


I noticed a couple book articles in the New York Times I found interesting. The first is a review of apparently a rather superficial book on the fracking boom:
Here are two paragraphs:
The stories collected here, in Mr. Zuckerman’s telling, ostensibly demonstrate that private enterprise can take you places that big government, which has focused on solving the energy crisis with green initiatives, cannot. The author wraps his heroes in the American flag, when they don’t wrap themselves in it first. Mr. Hamm’s success, he thinks to himself, will “confer extraordinary blessings on the nation.”
If there is any joy to be had in reading about the triumphs of these men (and they are all men), it comes from watching them stick it to the energy world’s complacent established players.
And a review of a new illustrated satire book by David Letterman and Bruce McCall that satirizes the lifestyles of the uberrich:
Again, a bit from the review:
David Letterman is not only an author of This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me), a new humor book he created with Bruce McCall. He is also a target of its pointed populist satire, and he knows it.
“We’re at the top of the list of dopes with too much money, who go to Montana and buy up land,” Mr. Letterman, the longtime host of CBS’s “Late Show,” said recently, referring to himself and the few people who can call themselves his economic peers. . . .
Mr. McCall said he did not see any hypocrisy in someone as well off as Mr. Letterman taking comedic aim at issues of financial inequity and wealth distribution. “George Soros is a liberal, too,” he said. “You don’t have to be stupid and poor to be a liberal.”
The reader comments:
What gets me is that the first reviewer can’t disguise his distaste at having to even contemplate what those macho, sexist, dumb hick conservative frackers in flyover land are doing, whereas the second article lavishes ironic praise on the urban liberal elitists like Ted Turner and Letterman who use their money to impose their will on impoverished rural people in Montana, etc., by buying up huge chunks of land: they’re ok, because we understand them, they’re sort of artistic and neurotic and make fun of their wealth. Comparing the two gives such a clear picture of the perspective of at least part of the media elite.
This can seem trivial, but I’m sure it’s a large part of why the drilling in Pennsylvania halts once you hit the New York border.
Great, great observation. Maybe I will page through the new book on fracking at Barnes and Noble before I purchase it.

Again, a huge thank you to the reader for sending me this note. His observation about New York elites is very, very perceptive. 

Perfect Timing -- New York Enjoys Cheap Natural Gas

Just yesterday I posted the cost of electricity in New York state (very, very expensive) compared to the rest of the country.

Now, Bloomberg reports that -- thanks to the fracking revolution that some New Yorkers hate -- the city is about to enjoy really, really inexpensive natural gas. And what's more: the natural gas will arrive by .... drum roll... pipeline. Say it ain't so. Sent in by a reader (thank you):
Of all the weird stuff that must have happened in New York City on Halloween, perhaps the strangest thing occurred in the energy markets. On Oct. 31, natural gas prices in Manhattan were nearly 40¢ cheaper than in Louisiana. That hasn’t happened in eight years.
Consumers in the Northeast and New England typically pay some of the country’s highest prices for natural gas, especially in the winter, when heating demand spikes. During a cold spell last January, the price of natural gas delivered to New York City hit a record high; it cost more than gas delivered across most of Asia, where prices are often triple what they are in the U.S. [I find this amazing, actually.]
A pipeline that opened on Nov. 1 has effectively doubled the amount of natural gas flowing into Manhattan and steadily pulled down the island’s delivery price. In anticipation of the pipeline opening, traders on Oct. 31 drove down the price of gas delivered to New York, to $3.18 per million British Thermal Units, knocking 66¢ off the price in just 10 days. That compares to the Henry Hub benchmark price of $3.58 that’s set in Erath, LA.
An incredible story. Another huge "thank you" to a reader for sending this in.

The story does mention that not everyone is happy with the "new" pipeline:
Opponents also contend that the pipeline is dangerous because it could trigger an explosion beneath Greenwich Village. As evidence they point to a 2010 explosion in San Bruno, Calif., that involved a pipeline of similar size and pressure and killed four people. That pipeline was built in 1956 and was found to contain numerous welding defects.
Those nervous about the threat of exploding pipelines should worry about the thousands of miles of aging pipes under cities such as New York, not the new ones being built. “The safest thing to do is to replace these old pipes with more of these updated projects,” says BNP Paribas’s Teri Viswanath.

Thursday -- Tuscaloosa Marine Shale -- A New Bakken? Still The Gold Standard

Active rigs: 181

RBN Energy: Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Trying say that seven times fast. (Regular readers, I'm sure, remember that I first posted on the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale back on August 13, 2013.)
With the crude to natural gas price ratio (crude in $/Bbl divided by gas in $/MMbtu) continuing in historically high territory many energy companies are looking for more opportunities to shift from producing cheap gas to producing premium-price oil. For that reason, one tight-oil play long in the background—the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) in central Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi—is attracting new attention; particularly from drillers who think they’ve figured out how to deal with TMS’s challenging characteristics. But is TMS all its fracked up to be? Today we begin a new series on TMS with a primer on this 6.6 million-acre shale play that’s said to have seven billion barrels of oil in place deep below ground but only a stone’s throw from the pipeline networks and refineries of the Gulf Coast.
The current set of players in TMS—the pioneers assembling leased acres, seeking permits, tweaking completion formulas, and generally working on the science—include EnCana, Goodrich Petroleum, Sanchez Energy, and EOG Resources. EnCana and Goodrich, for example, each have more than 300,000 acres in TMS under lease. Goodrich and Sanchez in recent months have been expanding their holdings significantly, Goodrich through the July 2013 purchase of Devon Energy’s two-thirds share of about 277,000 TMS acres, and Sanchez through its August purchase of about 40,000 acres in the play.
The Wall Street Journal

 Top story, page 1: Worried, Democratic Senators turning on Obama over ObamaCare.
Democratic senators took their complaints about the troubled launch of the federal health law directly to the White House, as some in the party warned they would face voter backlash next year if the problems weren't fixed. I don't think they have to worry; 47% will vote for Mr O'Bama's supporters no matter what.

ObamaCare: another exemption. The Obama administration plans to exempt some labor unions and businesses from paying part of a contentious reinsurance fee under the health-overhaul law, but many unions and companies say they wouldn't benefit. I find it interesting how the president can unilaterally pick and choose which parts of the plan he wants to keep. Even better than than the one-line veto President Reagan wanted.

The ObamaCare exchange site needs "hundreds of fixes" according to Ms Sebelius. Something tells me "a couple of hundred" -- her exact words -- are a bit off the mark (sort of depends whether one is a lumper or a splitter, I suppose. The clock is ticking. The website is supposed to be flawless by midnight, November 1, 2013. Another line in the sand, no doubt.

Of note: Energy companies in Colorado are girding for a statewide battle over fracking next year after voters in three communities passed bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Here we go again. Another SecState runs out of things to do, I guess. John Kerry tries to rekindles Israel-Palestinian talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry devoted a day of shuttle diplomacy between Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to defuse a crisis in peace talks exacerbated by recent Israeli plans to expand settlements in disputed territory. Better him than me. And to think he could be surfing off Hawaiian coasts.

And no headline story on Syria in today's front page, on-line edition of the WSJ.

Most US blockbuster stores will close

Chesapeake's plans concern investors. Chesapeake Energy said oil out from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas would be lower this quarter, spurring concern among investors.

This is a good question: Why did the country's mortgage delinquency rate rise so slowly even as unemployment soared above 26%? I've wondered the same thing for years. Finally, the answer:
A big part of the answer—revealed by a spate of bank earnings reports in recent days—is that Spanish lenders had been making their loan books look healthier than they really were by refinancing big numbers of loans to struggling homeowners and businesses.
The lower interest rates and easier terms of refinancing helped hundreds of thousands of Spaniards like Juan Carlos Díaz, who stopped making mortgage payments more than a year ago, remain in their homes and keep their businesses afloat longer than otherwise would have been possible. It has also helped banks bury a growing risk in their credit portfolios and avoid recognizing losses on debts they are unlikely to recover.