Thursday, November 14, 2013

How Much Lignite Does North Dakota Have: Only Australia -- A Continent -- Has More Than North Dakota -- And Not By Much; Australia And North Dakota Sharing Secrets?

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
North Dakota state geologist Ed Murphy said there are 150 billion tons of proven lignite reserves worldwide. Only Australia, with 37 billion tons of proven lignite reserves, has more than North Dakota's 25 billion tons.
Lignite is sometimes called brown coal and is usually geologically younger than other coals, Murphy said. Lignite can contain up 30 to 60 percent water, making it inefficient to burn and heavier and more costly to transport. Drier coal creates more energy and lessens the amount of power needed to process and burn it, reducing pollution from factory stacks.
North Dakota has seven coal-fueled electric power plants and a factory that produces synthetic natural gas from lignite coal. The state's lignite mines in west-central North Dakota produce close to 30 million tons of fuel annually.
Almost 70 percent of electricity produced from North Dakota's lignite-fired power plants is exported to surrounding states to more than 2 million customers, Van Dyke said.
There are about 280 power plants in the U.S. that burn lignite and other high-moisture coal, and those factories generate about a third of the electricity produced by all coal-fired power plants, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
And so the collaboration:
The Lignite Energy Council said it formed a partnership late last month with Melbourne-based Brown Coal Innovation Australia. An agreement signed by the groups said the intent is to “harness their complimentary resources and expertise to develop and pursue cooperative activities associated with coal.”
Plus all those neat trips to Australia during the North Dakota winter to see what they're doing in Australia.

A Note To The Granddaughters

Today has been such an incredibly awful day with regard to what is going on in Washington (ObamaCare), the only way I will get through the rest of the evening is by playing this song very, very loudly with headphones.

Loaded, The Velvet Underground

It's very surreal. I'm sitting at the top of the viewing area in a huge swimming pool complex, playing the album very loudly with headphones, and watching, through binoculars, the older granddaughter swim laps in the pool below. With the binoculars one sees the splashing of water and you jump back thinking you are going to get wet when you realize it's the binoculars and they are half a football field away.

I don't know what could beat this moment: sitting in a lounge chair, watching our granddaughter swim, and listening to great music from another century. Incredibly relaxing, rewarding.

Well, That Didn't Take Long -- Not Only "No, But Hell No"

Washington State insurance commissioner took less than an hour to make his decision assuming it takes an hour to digest the news, write the memo, discuss it with his staff, revise the draft, and then call a press conference to announce his decision.

The Seattle Times is reporting:
State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has rejected President Obama’s proposal to allow insurance companies to extend health insurance policies for people who have received notices that their policies will be cancelled at the end of the year.
Within two hours of President Obama’s news conference announcing the proposed administrative fix for Americans upset by their policy cancellations, Kreidler issued a statement rejecting the proposal.
“I understand that many people are upset by the notices they have recently received from their health plans and they may not need the new benefits [in the Affordable Care Act] today,” he said. “But I have serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market.”
For those not following this story (and don't identify yourself, at risk of being named a nominee for the 2013 Geico Rock Award), the key phrase is this: "... its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market."

That phrase alone will put terror in the heart of every state insurance commissioner. I can almost bet that not one state insurance commissioner is going to open this bag of worms. 


The 2014 rates were based on "x" percent of Americans signing up for ObamaCare, and an algorithm adjusting for "low-risk" enrollees and "high-risk" enrollees. The insurance companies bet on a good to excellent roll-out, based their premiums on those formulas and sent them to insurance commissioners to review and approve.

Now that the insurance companies have seen the incredibly bad roll-out, and the likelihood that only the "high-risk" will enroll, if they (the insurance companies) were allowed to have a "do-over," to re-set their premiums, they would raise those premiums. The state-run exchanges already know they will have a tough sell; they cannot "afford" to have premiums increased at all. [By the way, that's why the government military health care system, Tricare, has been helped by all this. For years, Congress and senior officers have stressed the need to increase the incredibly crazy, low premiums active duty and retirees pay for their insurance coverage (which, by the way, was exempt from ObamaCare -- I cannot make this stuff up); but now, there is no political stomach to consider raising anyone's insurance premiums, not even the military's.]


Krauthammer, November 15, 2013, in The Washington Post:
For four years, this debate has been theoretical. Now it’s real. And for Democrats, it’s a disaster.
It begins with the bungled rollout. If Washington can’t even do the Web site — the literal portal to this brave new world — how does it propose to regulate the vast ecosystem of American medicine?
Beyond the competence issue is the arrogance. Five million freely chosen, freely purchased, freely renewed health-care plans are summarily canceled. Why? Because they don’t meet some arbitrary standard set by the experts in Washington.
For all his news conference gyrations about not deliberately deceiving people with his “if you like it” promise, the law Obama so triumphantly gave us allows you to keep your plan only if he likes it. This is life imitating comedy — that old line about a liberal being someone who doesn’t care what you do as long as it’s mandatory.
Lastly, deception. The essence of the entitlement state is government giving away free stuff. Hence Obamacare would provide insurance for 30 million uninsured, while giving everybody tons of free medical services — without adding “one dime to our deficits,” promised Obama.
I think that's what middle America detests most: the arrogance and the deception. "Arrogance and Deception" -- sounds like the title of a book?

For The Archives: Article Helps Explain The Sudden Drop In Oil Price; Will Correct; Before The Flood -- Preview Of A US Market Drowning In Oil -- Reuters

Reuters is reporting:
The U.S. oil market is getting its first real taste of a remarkable phenomenon that may soon become a permanent reality: an excess of light sweet crude oil.
With a swath of refineries shut down for routine seasonal maintenance this month, the unyielding gusher of crude from U.S. shale wells and Canadian oil sands plants has temporarily overtaken demand from refiners, say analysts and traders. 
This is a very, very long article. I doubt most folks will read it to the end; I did not. I will come back to it. But it's filled with interesting data points.
RBN Energy's Rusty  Braziel is quoted:
Oil priced at St. James is now so cheap that BP is sending it to Canada, shipping data show. While cargo shipments from Texas to Irving's refinery in St. John's, Newfoundland, have become relatively common this year, oil shipments from the Port of Louisiana are rare.
Even the premium for Alaska North Slope on the West Coast, a market that typically bears little relation to the domestic U.S. market, has been affected. The crude has hit discounts of more than $7 a barrel to Brent for the first time since late 2012. 
"If continued, this trend would suggest that ANS prices are being driven more by U.S. domestic crude rather than by competition from imports. That would be a startling development," since only a limited amount of shale crude is moving West, RBN Energy analyst Rusty Braziel wrote this week.
By the way, this quote from the President today ...
“What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” President Obama, November 14, 2013. Link.  ...
... explains a lot. It explains to me why he has not made a decision on the Keystone XL. If he thinks buying insurance is complicated, imagine what it's like for him to try to figure out why "we" need pipelines. I wonder if he thinks buying car insurance is complicated. I know a 15-minute phone call to Geico can save you $500 or something like that.

Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement for Geico. Do not make any 15-minute phone call to Geico, Progressive, or Nationwide based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

LNG And The Railroads


January 23, 2014: The AP is reporting:
Natural gas "may revolutionize the industry much like the transition from steam to diesel," said Jessica Taylor, a spokeswoman for General Electric's locomotive division, one of several companies that will test new natural gas equipment later this year.
Any changes are sure to happen slowly. A full-scale shift to natural gas would require expensive new infrastructure across the nation's 140,000-mile freight-rail system, including scores of fueling stations.
The change has been made possible by hydraulic fracturing mining techniques, which have allowed U.S. drillers to tap into vast deposits of natural gas. The boom has created such abundance that prices dropped to an average of $3.73 per million British thermal units last year — less than one-third of their 2008 peak.
Over the past couple of years, cheap gas has inspired many utilities to turn away from coal, a move that hurt railroads' profits. And natural gas is becoming more widely used in transportation. More than 100,000 buses, trucks and other vehicles already run on it, although that figure represents only about 3 percent of the transportation sector.
The savings could be considerable. The nation's biggest freight railroad, Union Pacific, spent more than $3.6 billion on fuel in 2012, about a quarter of total expenses.
Original Post is reporting:
General Electric and CSX will begin field testing liquid natural gas-fueled locomotives, adding momentum toward a potential transformation in the railroad industry.
In trials set for next year, CSX — the third largest North American railroad by market value — will run trains pulled by compressed LNG-powered locomotives manufactured by GE.
Drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have freed oil and gas deposits in shale fields like the Bakken formation, creating a glut of cheap natural gas that U.S. industry is increasingly adopting.
Using LNG would give railroads a cleaner, lower cost, more abundant fuel, GE Transportation CEO Russell Stokes said in a statement, adding that the impending use of LNG is part of "a new era of energy sources and what's possible for rail transport."
Warren Buffett is doing it, too:
In March, Berkshire Hathaway's BNSF Railway announced plans to test natural gas locomotives. BNSF CEO Matthew Rose said in June the railroad is working with GE and EMD, a unit of equipment maker Caterpillar, to develop technology for using LNG in locomotives.

Carpe Diem's Fact Of The Day

US oil production surged last week to the highest level since January 1989, almost 25 years ago.

Quote Of The Day

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted a quote of the day:
“What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” President Obama as his ObamaCare goes into a death spiral, November 14, 2013. Link.
For more "quotes of the day" since the Million Dollar Way came into its own. 

"What we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy." Not really. Only when the government gets involved, and Michelle's girlfriend creates the website. But people buy insurance every day. Except on the exchange.

A Random Look At A Fairly Busy Area In The Bakken -- For The Newbies

A random look at a fairly busy area in the Bakken (clicking on the graphics will open them in a new window which allows them to be more easily seen):

Zooming in on the wells to the west:

Zooming in on the wells in the center:

Zooming in on the wells to the east:

Looking at the string of wells sited on the south side of the section lines:
  • 26069, ros, BR, Big Jon 11-2MBH-ULW, Camel Butte,
  • 26082, conf, BR, Big Bend 11-2TFH, Camel Butte,
  • 26081, conf, BR, Big Bend 11-2MBH, Camel Butte,
  • 26091, conf, BR, Big Bend 21-2MBH, Camel Butte,
  • 26092, conf, BR, Big Bend 21-2TFH, Camel Butte,
  • 22488, 1,320, BR, Big Bend 3102TFH, Camel Butte, t8/12; cum 110K 9/13;
  • 17973, 1,772, BR, Big Bend 31-2H, Camel Butte, t11/09; cum 143K 9/13;
  • 26070, ros, BR, Big Sun 41-2MBH-ULW, Camel Butte,
  • 26089, conf, BR, Big Bend 41-2TFH, Camel Butte, 
  • 19287, 1,872, BR, Rising Sun 11-1TF-2NH, Clear Creek,
  • 19286, 1,464, BR, Sunline 11-1TF-2SH, Clear Creek,
  • 19285, 2,325, BR, Rising Sun 11-1MB-3NH, Clear Creek,
  • 19283, 1,524, BR, Sunline 11-1MB-3SH, Clear Creek,
  • 25831, ros, BR, Sunline 21-1TFH-4SH, Clear Creek,
  • 25830, conf, BR, Rising Sun 21-1TFH, 4NH, Clear Creek,
  • 25829, conf, BR, Sunline 21-1MBH-5SH, Clear Creek,
  • 25828, conf, BR, Rising Sun 21-1MBH-5NH, Clear Creek,
  • 25684, conf, BR, Sunline 31-1TFH, 6SH, Clear Creek,
  • 25683, conf, BR, Rising Sun 31-1TFH-6NH, Clear Creek,
  • 25682, conf, BR, Rising Sun 31-1TFH-7NH, Clear Creek,
  • 25681, conf, BR, Sunline 31-1TFH, 7SH, Clear Creek,

Fourteen (14) New Permits; HRC With Two Wells That Make The "High IP" List

Active rigs: 185

Fourteen (14) new permits --
  • Operators: Oasis (6), Statoil (4), HRC (3), CLR (1),
  • Fields: Alger (Mountrail), Marmon (Williams), Bull Butte (Williams), Oliver (Williams)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right. 
There were eight (8) permit renewals, including four by Enerplus.

Two (2) permits were canceled:
  • 22725, PNC, Oasis, Modi 5603 43-10B, 
  • 22724, PNC, Oasis, Rind 5603 43-10B, 
There were four (4) producing wells completed:
  • 24737, 2,224, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-94-15A-22-7H, a Sanish well, Antelope, t10/13; cum --
  • 25254, 1,047, EOG, Parshall 34-0509H, Parshall, t11/13; cum --
  • 23514, 620, Hess, EN-Fretheim S-154-93-0805H-4, Robinson Lake, t10/13; cum --
  • 24731, 2,171, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-95-15B-22-3H, a Sanish well, Antelope, t10/13; cum --
Wells coming off the confidential list Friday:
  • 23368, drl, CLR, Atlanta Federal 5-6H, Baker, no production data, 
  • 24630, drl, Oasis, Ordean Federal 5300 24-25T, Willow Creek, no production data,
  • 24812, drl, CLR, Rollefstad Federal 14-3H-2, Antelope, no production data,
  • 25135, 720, Oasis, Nels 5792 13-3T, Cottonwood, t9/13; cum 6K 9/13;
  • 25276, 438, American Eagle, Albert 16-33S-164-101, Colgan, t9/13; cum 2K 9/13;
  • 25330, drl, Statoil, Arvid Anderson 14-11 7TFH, Alger, no production data,

Clearest Sign To Remain Bullish On Natural Gas And Oil: Warren Buffett Takes "BIG" Stake In XOM -- Business Insider

Wow, this is a bullish sign for the oil and gas industry.

The operative word in the headline: "big."

The headline: Warren Buffett Takes Big Stake In XOM.

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

From the linked article, Warren has bought about 1% of the ExxonMobil company:
Warren Buffett's conglomerate picked up 40,089,371 shares of Exxon Mobil in the third quarter.
Exxon has 4.37 billion shares outstanding, so the Berkshire stake amounts to about 1% of the oil giant.

Sequestration? I Don't Think So

Lockheed Martin announces a layoff of 4,000, and then this paragraph:
Defense contractors have been scaling back their workforces in response to the package of federal budget cuts known as sequestration
Sequestration? That didn't start until earlier this year (2013). And Lockheed Martin has been laying off folks since 2008:
Since 2008, Lockheed Martin has cut 146,000 employees, to 116,000 today. 
Since 2008, the company has cut 146,000 employees, all well before the sequestration. And somehow the reporter felt the 4,000 layoffs announced today were due to "the" sequestration. And despite the sequestration ...
... the Congressional Budget Office [has] estimated that total federal outlays will continue to increase even with the sequester by an average of $238.6 billion per year during the next decade, although at a somewhat lesser rate (wiki).

MDU Raises Dividend

From $0.1725 to $0.1775/share quarterly.

From $0.69 to $0.71/share annually.

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

Individual Mandate Delayed For One Year: Cool

The Weekly Standard is reporting:
The White House is saying that it will use "enforcement discretion" to allow illegal health insurance plans to be able to still be sold. That is, the Obama administration will not enforce the penalty on individuals for not having eligible health insurance plans and they'll allow the insurance companies to still sell so-called bad plans -- plans they technically can't sell under Obamacare.
The employer mandate was already delayed a full year.

Again, for newbies, there are three parts to ObamaCare:
  • employer mandate: delayed for one year
  • individual mandate: delayed for one year
  • tax on medical devices: I don't follow 

The Los Angeles Times has this headline: "Obama: 'We fumbled the rollout."

A couple days ago I either posted or told someone (I don't think I posted it; I probably just mentioned it to someone who prefers not to be identified) that President Obama had hoped his interview with an NBC correspondent a few days would have put an end to all this ObamaCare hysteria. Usually, an interview with the President on an issue comes at the tipping point, and in most cases, the timing is chosen/fixed by the President to tell Americans he considers the issue over and done with and he is moving on. Even if the media and the public are not moving, by his interview, he is telegraphing to Americans that he is moving on. For him, the hysteria is all getting "silly."

So, now again, President Obama appears before the America public and apologizes again; essentially it's the interview all over again, with the addition of a "fix" to the problem. He, I assume, is telegraphing to the media and the public that, again, he is moving on.

The problem: I don't think the media and the public are ready to move. Something tells me he will be doing yet another interview and/or press conference addressing yet another issue with ObamaCare.


This is the real problem: the insurance companies have set rates for 2014 based on their analyses of ObamaCare prior to the roll-out. With the president's announcement, it permits the insurance companies to reset premiums. Now that the insurance companies have seen how few Americans are going to sign up with the exchange roll-out debacle, the only option the insurance companies have is to increase their 2014 premiums. Up until this morning, those rates had been requested, approved, and set by the various state insurance regulators. Wow. 

American Eagle Reports 3Q13 Earnings

Press release here.
  • American Eagle reports record quarterly oil production of 125,343 barrels of oil equivalent  or an average of 1,362 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Third quarter production was up 6% from 117,164 boe (1,288 boepd) quarter-over-quarter for the period ended June 30, 2013 ("qoq") and up 232% from 37,792 boe (411 boepd) year-over-year for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 ("yoy");
  • record quarterly oil sales of $11.6 million, up 12% qoq and up 305% yoy;
  • record adjusted EBITDA of $7.2 million or $0.14 per share (basic and diluted);
  • adjusted cash flow of $6.0 million or $0.11 per share (basic and diluted); and
  • adjusted income of $3.7 million or $0.07 per share (basic and diluted).

Under-Reported/Unreported Story: Number of Corporations Cost Shifting Their Employees To ObamaCare

I track this story elsewhere.

One of the problems with American health care that Congress and the administration fixed was the inability of American corporations to plan for their health care costs going forward.

Corporations never knew what their premiums would be for their employee health care programs for the next year, the following year, and the next year after that. All they knew was that they could expect a five percent (5%) to 20 percent in their company premiums each year.

Corporations that don't take advantage of ObamaCare will continue to have the same challenge; it may, in fact, get worse when insurers are forced to cover (subsidize) their "individual" policies with corporate health premiums.

It is obvious to all (except perhaps Nancy Pelosi and Lawrence Summers) that the individual policy premiums will preclude 80% of Americans from buying them due to the high cost and even higher deductibles ($12,000 annual deductibles seem to be the norm).

Insurers will be mostly covering those with high medical expenses (the lifetime medical cap has been eliminated). The math doesn't work. So, they will rely on corporate policy premiums to subsidize their individual health care divisions.

Corporations can expect that annual premiums will increase significantly when the numbers are released in 2014 (remember, the "employer mandate" was delayed one full year).

Many blue-chip corporations have taken advantage of ObamaCare. They have dialed in their expenses for as far out into the future as they want. They will end their company-sponsored health care programs and simply provide each of their employees with $400/month (or whatever number you want to put there) and tell folks to enroll on the ObamaCare exchange. The president has told us that less expensive policies are out there, "shop around."

So, sometime next year, probably late summer, early autumn, we will start to see a stampede of companies cost-shifting their health care costs. Many have already done so or announced their intentions. See the link above.

Random Update Of The Hawkeye Oil Field

The Hawkeye oil field has been (partially) updated: all IPs, cumulative production for 2012 update; new well/permits for 2013 have posted, but IPs not updated for 2013.

Some surprisingly good wells: BR with some huge IPs; Hess with one well with over 200K in one year.

Thirteen (13) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs: 185 -- one of the higher numbers I've seen in awhile

Thirteen (13) new permits --
  • Operators: Hess (8), Enerplus (3), Slawson (2)
  • Fields: Hawkeye (McKenzie), Alger (Mountrail), Antelope (McKenzie), Van Hook (Mountrail)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Initial Unemployment Claims Drop 2,000; Moving Average Decreases 5,750

Seasonally adjusted data:

In the week ending November 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 339,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 341,000. The 4-week moving average was 344,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 349,750.

Box Score: North Dakota

Feds sign up 42.
North Dakota drops 36,000. Reported previously.

No hits, no runs, lots of errors.

Data show that North Dakota has had the fewest successful sign-ups in the nation.

But per capita, North Dakota may be near the top. 

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting.

Thursday; Marcellus Accounts For 76% Of Natural Gas Growth In US;

Time to move
Boeing's largest union rejected an eight-year contract that would have guaranteed the plane maker's updated long-range 777X jetliner and its wings are built in unionized facilities in the Pacific Northwest.
The rejection brings fresh uncertainty to the process of finding a manufacturing home for the 777X. Boeing threatened earlier to look outside its traditional Puget Sound base should the contract vote fail.
If Boeing moves out-of-state, the union is counting on NLRB to come to its aid. Don't count on it. With ObamaCare, things have changed.


The nation's railroads are asking safety regulators to require that all existing tank cars that carry crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids be modified or upgraded to better withstand accidents or be "aggressively" phased out of service.
They are stopping short of recommending a deadline for the changes to the U.S. tank-car fleet or estimating the cost of the retrofits, which would be needed on 78,000 older tank cars and modifications to some of the 14,000 newer cars that don't already comply with its suggested changes.
The groups said they would leave those deadline and cost details to the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for regulating tank-car safety, which is beginning to craft new rules on tank cars.
Trade groups representing the railroads—the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association—plan to make their request Thursday. Two troubling crude-by-rail accidents—the catastrophic accident in Quebec that killed 47 people last July in an inferno and another in Alabama last week—have shaken the rail industry at a time when crude oil shipments on the major freight railroads have ballooned to a projected 400,000 carloads this year from 4,700 carloads in 2006, according to the AAR.

Active rigs: 183

RBN Energy: update on Marcellus productivity
The second release of the EIA’s new monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) for November came out on Tuesday (November 12, 2013) showing December natural gas production is expected to increase in four of the six regions covered. But one region alone – the Marcellus – accounts for 76 percent of natural gas production growth. In fact if the Marcellus were a country it would rank 5th in world gas production – ahead of Qatar. The DPR provides a breakdown of rig productivity and production from new and legacy wells and includes access to historical data back to 2007. Today we continue our review of the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report.
This was a feature story in the StarTribune about a week ago on military veterans returning from wars overseas finding jobs in the Bakken oil patch. 

The Wall Street Journal

Obama "open" to health-law change. This will be a huge mess as they try to patch work this back to "something."


Hmmm....I always love a mystery. Business owners throughout the US used-smartphone market are reporting they suddenly cannot unlock old iPhones. None of them know exactly what changed, but  AT&T seems to be at the center of it. 
The market is gone," Mr. Ashner said, who said he was on track for $1 million in revenue this year.
"We are closing up." Business owners throughout the U.S. used-smartphone market are reporting the same problem, and like Mr. Ashner none of them knows exactly what went wrong.
Whatever changed, AT&T appears to be at the center of it.
The carrier accounts for 48% of the iPhones now operating in the U.S., according to comScore, and the technology it uses is compatible with most of the world's networks. That gives its phones the widest resale market. Wholesalers had long been able to get AT&T's iPhones unlocked on a mass scale by specialized services, many working out of Asia, for relatively little cost.
That changed about a month ago, when people in the industry say AT&T suddenly made it harder to unlock phones on its network.
"AT&T was very lax for a long time in regards to mobile phone unlocking. If they said no, a third-party unlocker would be happy to unlock any AT&T iPhone or other device for a very decent price," said Will Strafach, who runs a Connecticut-based unlocking company called ChronicUnlocks.
"AT&T is really taking action and coming down hard."
In mid-October, AT&T did stop accepting unlocking requests over the phone and now requires that they be made online, a person familiar with the matter said. The process is only open to current and former customers, who must enter their email addresses and last four digits of their social security numbers, among other information, according to AT&T's website.
The mystery underscores how shadowy the used-phone market remains even as it enjoys explosive growth. Apple Inc., AT&T and others have leapt into the business this year as a way to help their customers trade up to newer models more quickly.

Under the revised rule, the average workweek has been shortened to 70 hours from 82. They must take one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of driving. And the required 34-hour break between workweeks now must extend over two nights, including the hours between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Those changes are proving more disruptive because they are added on to existing requirements that limit drivers to driving 11 hours a day and require them to rest a consecutive 10 hours.

Eagle Ford: A Stacked Play Like The Bakken -- Surprised? Not Me

Richard Zeits over at SeekingAlpha:
The Eagle Ford may soon become yet another major shale play in the U.S. to be developed using stacked laterals in more than one horizon.
So far, operators in the play have targeted only one "landing zone" within the Eagle Ford for the placement of horizontal wells. In those areas where the Eagle Ford is thick, this landing zone has often been chosen closer to the bottom of the formation, in the Lower Eagle Ford (the shale's thickness varies across the play, from less than 100 feet to over 350 feet; lateral placement also varies depending on the geology in each specific location).
Most recently however, some operators are suggesting that in those areas where the formation is thicker, the Eagle Ford may be successfully developed by placing laterals simultaneously in the Lower Eagle Ford and the Upper Eagle Ford, similar to how this is being done in the Three Forks interval in the Williston Basin. While the benefit of gaining additional economic drilling locations within the same acreage is obvious, another important (and less trivial) upside the industry is focusing on is the potential "synergy" between adjacent fracture stimulations. 
The hope is that the overlapping and intertwined fracture networks from wells located in the Upper Eagle Ford and Lower Eagle Ford would provide a EUR uplift for all wells in the array.

Random Update On KOG's Scanlan, Pankowski, King Wells In Truax

Hastily done; could be errors
  • 18770, 819, KOG, Scanlan 3-5H, Truax, t9/10; cum 181K 9/13;
  • 20857, 358, KOG, Pankowski 4-6H,  Truax, t2/12; cum 114K 9/13;
  • 20856, 1,349, KOG, King 3-8H, Truax, t1/12; cum 84K 9/13;
These are the only three wells in each of three drilling units (one well in each drilling unit).

The siting of two of these wells are somewhat unusual (not as long as they could have been if sited slightly farther to the northwest corners):


At the sidebar at the right, I break out the various Bakken operators for easier access. I have, up until now, not included Baytex. It was grouped with "other producers."

Today, I add Baytex to the sidebar at the right.


Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Thursday; Baytex Wells In Northwest North Dakota With Some Ambiguity

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 22112, 233, Petro-Hunt, Fredrickson 160-94-33D-28-3H, North Tioga, t10/13; no production data,
  • 23366, drl, CLR, Atlanta Federal 7-6H, Baker, no production data,
  • 23893, drl, Slawson, Mauser (Federal) 1-18-17TFH, North Fork, no production data,
  • 24999, 535, Baytex, J. Olson 22-15-162-98H-2DM, Blooming Prairie, t5/13; cum 36K 9/13;
  • 25284, drl, Hess, SC-Barney 154-98-1819H-3, Truax, no production data,
With regard to #24999, I am not sure what "DM" means. According to the well file, the Three Forks was the target. There are three 2-well pads sited in that section, 22-162-98. It appears that on each 2-well pad, one horizontal will go north into Blooming Prairie, and one will go south into Whiteaker.

These are the wells:
  • 22019, going south, 1,116, Baytex, Judith Olson 27-34-162-98H-1XN, Three Forks, 40 stages, 1.8 million lbs, t812; cum 107K 9/13;
  • 22020, going north, 239, Baytex, Judith Olson 22-15-162-98H 1NC, Three Forks, 40 stages, 1.8 million lbs, t8/12; cum 74K 9/13;
  • 24999, going north, conf, Baytex, J. Olson 22-15-162-98H 2DM, producing,
  • 24690, going south, conf, Baytex, J. Olson 27-34-162-98H 2XM, Three Forks, producing,
  • 24776, going south, conf, Baytex, Sandvol 27-34-12-98H 3XQ, Three Forks, producing,
  • 25003, going north, conf, Baytex, Sandvol 22-15-162-98H 3PA, producing,
With regard to 1XN, 1NC, 2DM, 2XM, 3XQ, 3PA, no clue. Obviously the number refers to the pad, so 1XN and 1NC are on the same pad. The "X" wells all go south, but the D, N, and P designations are ??? and all go north.

From #24690, "The Baytex Energy team identifies one six foot thick target zone directly above the Three Forks Shale. The top of this target zone is identified by a gamma marker known as the Three Forks 10 Mrk." A similar statement was found in other reports varying from four feet to six feet.

I thought it sounded like Baytex was talking about two "target zones" in these well files, but I don't understand all that I am reading. From #22019, "The Baytex Energy team identifies a 11 and a half foot thick secondary target zone directly above the Three Forks 10 Marker and a primary target, five and a half feet thick, from the Three Forks 10 Marker to the top of the Three Forks Shale. The top of this Three Forks 10 zone is identified by a gamma market known as the Three Forks 10 marker."

It seems in all cases Baytex was targeting Three Forks 10 Marker but also noted a secondary target aone above this target (Three Forks 20 Marker?). 

Bottom line: these are all Three Forks wells which make sense due to the location (northwest North Dakota where the Three Forks might be better than the middle Bakken. All wells seem to target the same Three Forks zone, but it sounds like there is a secondary target zone above the primary target zone. [I have limited time, energy, and interest to sort it out; if anyone figures it out, others will be appreciative. It would shed light on the Upper Three Forks in this area.]