Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Random Photos From Stockyard Creek, The Bakken, The Williston Basin

This is something new for me; I had not seen this before. Operators are laying down a "wooden mat" to combat the muddy roads leading up to the drilling pads:

A random photo of a four-well KOG pad. The KOG pads are absolutely exquisite in the Stockyard Creek; absolutely first rate in appearance. I was very, very impressed.

I had forgotten about all the "electric vehicles" in the Bakken. Here's a random photo of one such electrical vehicle. According to the owner, she is not impressed with the mileage:

Update On MRO Tyler Wildcat Well, The Powell Well --

On April 27, 2014, I noted:
Two of the MRO Tyler wildcat wells come off the confidential list Monday (April 28, 2014); no production data reported yet; I track these wells here. [Later: I am being told by a reader/good source that the Powell well comes off the confidential list June 25th, not tomorrow as reported on the NDIC website.]
On Monday, April 28, 2014, I updated the original post to report the wells coming off the confidential list. I was able to access the file report for the Powell report, suggesting that it had indeed come off the confidential list:
  • 26335, drl, MRO, Powell 31-27TH, wildcat, no production data, geology report not filed yet;
A reader asked if there was any more information on the Powell well. I went to the NDIC site tonight (just a few minutes ago) to check on the Powell well. As noted above, I was able to access the file report for the Powell report on Monday, April 28, 2014 -- just two days ago. I noted that the well was on DRL status and I noted that "the geology report had not yet been filed." At least it was not yet available.

It appears the reader was correct: that the Powell well does not come off the confidential list until later; the reader says June 25th. It's my experience that readers are often correct when they write me about my own errors or if there is "factual" reporting in error (if that makes sense).

Tonight, the file report for the Powell well is back on "confidential" status, and it appears that it was never supposed to have come off confidential status until later. I don't recall what I saw on the Powell file report two days ago, but I believe it was simply a planning report and that it confirmed MRO was targeting the Tyler.

This was from a personal e-mail received from an individual who visited the Powell site on Sunday, April 20, 2014:
Sunday afternoon my friend and I drove out to the Powell well and the Rundle trust well. At the Powell well, nothing has changed in three (3 )months ... ten (10) frac trucks setting on site, along with tanks and a oil/water separator.

For Investors Only: KOG Reports Tomorrow

Companies reporting earnings Thursday:
  • Baytex Energy (BTE.TO): 38 cents vs 8 cents one year earlier
  • Black Hills Corporation: 93 cents; after market close
  • CenterPoint Energy: 31 cents before market open; actual -- beats  by 11 cents;
  • COP: $1.56 before market open; actual "easily beat"; $1.71
  • Enterprise Products Partners: forecast 75 cents; beats by 2 cents;
  • XOM: $1.88 before market open; actual: "handily beat" -- $2.10
  • KOG: 18 cents after market close
  • Linn Energy LLC: 38 cents,
  • Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): $1.05 before market open; actual: misses by 39 cents; refinery maintenance
  • Targa Resources Partners (NGLS): forecast 49 cents; actual beats by 18 cents;
Comment: overall -- these seem to be incredible results, coming off a tough winter. 
Democratic-Controlled Senate Defeats Minimum Wage Bill; 
Senator Harry Reid Votes No

The vote was 54-42 in favor of allowing debate on the measure to proceed, six votes short of the 60 that Democrats needed to prevail. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only Republican to cross party lines and vote "yes." Reid switched his vote to "no," which gives him the right to call another vote on the measure. No other Democrats opposed the bill.


For the archives:
The bonds were sold with yields ranging from 1.07 per cent for $1.5bn in three-year securities to 4.49 per cent for the $1bn 30-year tranche. The $2.5bn notes maturing in 10 years were sold at 3.46 per cent.
These bonds were heavily subscribed, according to the linked source: 1.07% to 4.49%. How incredible is that? One point oh seven percent for three year bonds. Apple is getting some really "cheap" money.


For the record: White House cover-up of a cover-up -- the Benghazi tragedy -- not reported in The New York Times. Not reported in four hours of prime time on CNN. Of the "big media outlets," only The Washington Post reported the story -- on page 17.

Apologies To All For My Delayed Posting; I'm Traveling And Not On The Net As Much; Fourteen (14) New Permits; Lynchburg, VA, Crude Oil Probably Bakken Crude Oil; More People Killed In Wind Farm Accidents Than CBR Derailments In USA?

Gradually catching up.

Lynchburg, VA, crude oil derailment not linked at Drudge Report yet; front page story at LA Times. Front page story at on-line WSJ, but small headline "below the fold."From the WSJ
The train was traveling from Chicago. It was unclear where the crude shipment was headed, but there is one oil train terminal in Virginia. The Yorktown, Va., storage and shipping site owned by Plains All American Pipeline LP began receiving shipments of crude by rail in December, according to a securities filing. Bakken oil produced in North Dakota is railed to Yorktown where it can be loaded on barges and shipped north to East Coast refineries, one expert said. Plains didn't return calls for comment.
Irony? hopefully there were no injuries in the crude oil derailment. Four were killed when a small private plane flies into "wind farm windmill." It was noted that this story -- a most unusual story to say the least -- was not picked up by the mainstream media.
This is not the first time a plane has crashed into a wind farm--in 2008 near southeast Minnesota, poor weather caused the pilot of a 1948 Cessna 140 to lose control while trying to fly around wind turbines.
Rigzone is reporting: An explosion in a West Texas oil field near the border with New Mexico left at least two dead and nine injured Wednesday morning, the Associated Press said. The workers were changing a wellhead when the buildup of pressure caused the explosion. 


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. 

Earnings today:
  • Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP): expectations, 20 cents; actual -- in line; declares distribution of $0.5435/unit
  • Hess: expectations, $1.02; actual -- profit drops from a year ago; results boosted by gain from sale of some properties; net income comes in at $1.20/share (compared to $3.72/share one year ago)
  • MDU: expectations, 33 cents; actual --- in line; see below;
  • Murphy Oil: expectations, 96 cents; actual -- beats by 2 cents;
  • PSX: expectations, $1.34; actual: $1.47/share but without excluding a one-time gain, the actual earnings were $2.23/share.
  • Whiting: expectations, 96 cents; actual -- beats by 9 cents; profit jumps 27%;
  • Williams Companies: expectations, 26 cents; actual -- beats by 2 cents; profit drops 13%

MDU Resources reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; raises FY14 EPS guidance in-line : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.32 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.32; revenues rose 11.9% year/year to $1.04 bln vs the $0.97 bln consensus.
  • Co raises FY14 EPS guidance, sees EPS of $1.50-1.65 vs. $1.59 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from $1.45-1.60.
  • "A $653 million backlog at construction materials is a very strong position from which to begin the construction season. We continue to grow oil production and are confident that we will achieve our upwardly revised 2014 target of 15 to 20 percent oil growth over last year." 
  • "A $653 million backlog at construction materials is a very strong position from which to begin the construction season. We continue to grow oil production and are confident that we will achieve our upwardly revised 2014 target of 15 to 20 percent oil growth over last year." 
  • "A $653 million backlog at construction materials is a very strong position from which to begin the construction season. We continue to grow oil production and are confident that we will achieve our upwardly revised 2014 target of 15 to 20 percent oil growth over last year." 
  • "A $653 million backlog at construction materials is a very strong position from which to begin the construction season. We continue to grow oil production and are confident that we will achieve our upwardly revised 2014 target of 15 to 20 percent oil growth over last year."
 Active rigs:

Active Rigs187185210173112

Fourteen (14) new permits --
  • Operators: MRO (6), BR (3), Whiting (2), Denbury, QEP, Enduro
  • Fields: Lost Bridge (Dunn), Reunion Bay (Mountrail), Johnson Corner (McKenzie), Lonesome (McKenzie), Cedar Hills (Bowman), Grail (McKenzie), Glenburn (Renville)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Three (3) producing wells completed:
  • 25722, 657, Petro-Hunt, MM Wold 160-94-31A-6-7H, North Tioga, t4/14; no production data,
  • 26050, 72, Samson Resources, Almos Farms 0112-5TFH, Ambrose, no production data,
  • 26128, 413, CLR, Perch 1-30H1, Park, t3/14; cum 5K 3/14;
More stringent road restrictions go into effect today in the Bakken.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs187185210173112

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
I normally don't post these so early, but in case I am off-line tonight longer than expected, these are the wells that come off confidential list Thursday:
  • 25403, 1,004, QEP, MHA 4-10-11H-149-91, Heart Butte, t2/14; cum 2K 2/14;
  • 25879, drl, Samson Resources, Comet 2635-7H,  Ambrose, no production data,
  • 26001, 992, Oasis, Kelter 7-6HTF2, Eightmile, no production data,
  • 26247, drl, SM Energy, Orlynne 2-3H, West Ambrose, producing,
  • 26600, drl, BR, Sequoia 24-9TFH, Hawkeye, no production data,
  • 26637, 354, Hunt, Bear Butte 1-12-1H, Bear Butte, t1/14; cum 25K 3/14

For Investors Only; China Could Become Largest Global Economy This Year; US Economy Slows Drastically

Dow closes at all time high: 16,580. Main Street might not be doing so well, but Wall Street is doing very, very well.

Sweet: Exxon Mobil announces quarterly dividend increase, to $0.69/share from $0.63.

I mentioned this a couple years ago on the blog and go push-back from some folks telling me that China would never surpass the American economy, at least not any time soon. Now, Financial Times is reporting:
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
Stagflation? MyWay is reporting (it will be interesting to see how Reuters spins this story; I assume the White House is helping Reuters re-write the story):
The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity.
The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.
Growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and was down from a 2.6 percent rate in the previous quarter.
What is the definition of a recession, again?

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.

Eight companies announce increased dividends or distributions.

Hess beats by $0.31, beats on revs: Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.38 per share, $0.31 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.07; revenues fell 35.0% year/year to $2.68 bln vs the $2.15 bln consensus. Trading at 52-week high.

PSX: expectations, $1.34; actual: $1.47/share but without excluding a one-time gain, the actual earnings were $2.23/share.
Phillips 66, the second-largest independent U.S. oil refiner, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by a big gain from a share exchange and its chemicals and midstream businesses.
Crude oil and natural gas pumped from shale formations in the United States have lowered feedstock costs for companies such as Phillips, which is expanding its network of pipelines and processing facilities for increasing onshore output.
Phillips, based in Houston, had a first-quarter profit of $1.6 billion, or $2.67 per share, compared with $1.41 billion, or $2.23 a share, in the same quarter of 2013.
Excluding a one-time gain of $706 million primarily related to Berkshire Hathaway Inc's deal to swap its Phillips 66 shares for ownership of the company's specialty products unit, Phillips 66 earned $1.47 per share.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.34 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Trading at 52-week highs: AAPL, BRK.B, HES, OKE.

Crude Oil Train Derailment In Lynchburg, Virginia; Libyan Oil Production Decline Will Affect Saudi Production


May 1, 2014: The CSX Corp train that derailed and erupted in flames in Lynchburg, Virginia, was carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale in North Dakota, the kind of oil involved in several other fiery derailments over the last few months, the railroad said on Thursday.

Comment: it should be noted that there were no injuries, fatalities. About the same time this happened, a low-flying plane in fog hit a wind turbine killing three passengers and the pilot in the small private plane. That story was not widely reported. 
Original Post

Specifics not yet reported.

I first saw it in LA Times; will be reported everywhere, eventually.

From Reuters:
There was no immediate information about where the train was coming from or where it was heading. Most East Coast refineries are far to the north. One of the only crude oil facilities to the east of Lynchburg is a converted refinery in Yorktown, which is now a storage depot run by Plains All American. Officials said there were no reports of injuries.
Other News

Bloomberg is reporting with the chart of the day:
Saudi Arabia will probably have to sustain production above 10 million barrels a day for the longest period in more than 30 years as it meets the summer surge in domestic demand and compensates for production losses in Libya. 
This should come as no surprise to regular readers. The surprise will come whether Saudi Arabia is able to keep up on a prolonged basis. Both Brent and WTI are trading lower today; obviously no one thinks this is a very big deal.


Remember how President Obama said there was no war on coal (sort of like his promise: "You can keep your doctor if you want"). The Boston Globe is reporting:
Competition from natural gas combined with increasing environmental regulations has made casualties of many of the nation’s aging coal-fired power plants, including Salem Harbor Power Station and Brayton Point in Somerset.
By 2020, about 60 gigawatts of coal-fired electric-generating capacity — enough to power an estimated 48.5 million homes — is expected to disappear, at least partly due to the expense of meeting federal rules to cut pollution from power plants, according to the Energy Department.
Don't let anyone fool you. Natural gas played a role but this is all about the war on coal, nothing else, regardless of how one wants to spin it. Don't believe me? Read the next two paragraphs:
“For an existing coal plant to basically stay in operation, it would have to install some sort of pollution control apparatus, such as a scrubber,” said Elias Johnson, an energy analyst with the Energy Information Administration. “The problem is that these technologies are not cheap.”

The consequences are likely an even greater reliance on natural gas, which despite booming production, is experiencing upward pressures on prices. That in turn could mean higher heating and electrical costs for New England consumers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

For Investors Only -- Earnings Wednesday -- Some Interesting Ones; Recent High In Active Rigs In North Dakota; Someday, I Will Be President -- V. Stiviano

Fiery freight train derailment in Lynchberg, VA; forces evacuations ... tanker cars derailed in downtown Lynchburg in central Virginia on Wednesday afternoon.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs189185210173112

RBN Energy: Permian pipeline build-out; the Permian is at 1.5 million bopd
Permian Basin crude producers are currently churning out over 1.5 MMb/d of crude from a basin that has produced oil since the 1920’s but is the center of a recent renaissance. With new production comes new demand for takeaway capacity and between January 2013 and the end of 2015, about 1 million barrels of new pipeline has been constructed or will come online directed towards Houston, Nederland and Corpus Christi, TX. 
About a dozen new gathering systems are being constructed to help get new production from the wellhead to the larger takeaway pipelines. Today we continue our series on new Permian gathering infrastructure.
Earnings to be reported today:
  • Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP): expectations, 20 cents; time not supplied;
  • Hess: expectations, $1.02; actual -- profit drops from a year ago; results boosted by gain from sale of some properties; net income comes in at $1.20/share (compared to $3.72/share one year ago)
  • MDU: expectations, 33 cents; after market close;
  • Murphy Oil: expectations, 96 cents; after market close;
  • PSX: expectations, $1.34; actual: $1.47/share but without excluding a one-time gain, the actual earnings were $2.23/share.
  • Whiting: expectations, 96 cents; after market close
  • Williams Companies: expectations, 26 cents; after market close
Investment stories:
The Dickinson Press  is reporting:
  • Gravel pit near national park ranch resurfaces: US Forest Service says mine would have ‘no significant impact’ on area. Roger Lothspeich of Miles City, Mont., and his partner, Peggy Braunberger, own mineral rights to the land, located near the ranch, about 25 miles north of Medora. The 26th U.S. president spent several years on the ranch during the 1880s. [Update, January 7, 2015: link here.]
 The Wall Street Journal

Top story, front page: EPA ruling on coal. Big political win for the Obama administration.

Americans want to pull back from world stage, WSJ poll -- not surprising. I still don't know why"we" are in the Crimean. This will end badly for the US.

Alstom accepts GE's bid for power business -- should be biggest story of the week in the WSJ.

Another old white man interested in buying another NBA basketball team.

Boehner makes amends for GOP immigration gibes. I have no idea why he maintains leadership.

Minimum wage fight, not gaining traction at national level, is being pushed quietly at the local level.

US homeownership rate: lowest since mid-1990s.A reminder that despite two years of recovery thre is still a way to go before the housing market is back to normal.

In drug mergers, there's one sure bet: the layoffs.

Apple returns to the bond market; the company completed its second blockbusgter bond sale in a year, tapping robust investor demand that has propelled corporate debt in 2014 to a larger gain than US stocks.

Dow rose yesterday, but falls shy of record. [Closes at all-time record today.]

The Los Angeles Times

Memo to self: file under "they're all crazy." The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
With paparazzi tracking her every move, V. Stiviano -- friend of sanctioned Clippers owner Donald Sterling -- roller-skated in her driveway Tuesday and said she wanted to be president.
“One day, I will become president of the United States of America and I will change the legislation and laws,” Stiviano said in one of several odd encounters with media camped outside her home. “Modern day history. Civil rights movement.”
And then this:
Calabasas lawyer Mac Nehoray told The Times that, contrary to some media reports, Stiviano was not in a romantic relationship with Sterling.
"It's nothing like it's been portrayed," Nehoray said. "She's not the type of person everyone says."
Crazy, Kat Dahlia
So many versions, but this one is pretty straight forward ...
Crazy, Gnarls Barkley, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo

EOR In Nebraska

A reader sent me this interesting story:
Elk Petroleum Limited is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Singleton Unit in Nebraska. The effective date of the transaction is 1 May 2014, when the company will take over operatorship of the Unit.  
The company plans to develop the remaining oil potential in the Singleton Oil Field using CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. The source for the CO2 for the project is the Bridgeport Ethanol plant, located 25 miles to the northeast of the Singleton Unit.  
The Singleton Oil Field has produced 10.9 million barrels of oil and is historically the largest oil field in the Panhandle of Nebraska.
I do believe the proposed route for the Keystone, killed by activist environmentalists, was through the Panhandle of Nebraska.

Someone has a sense of humor.

And this will make everyone feel better:
Having completed the acquisition of the Singleton Unit and secured the CO2 supply, Elk Petroleum is now in a position to attract external funding for development of the project. The corn‐ethanol source of the CO2 for the project makes the CO2‐EOR process a carbon sequestration project, with the implication that the oil produced from the Singleton Field will be carbon negative. This aspect of the project makes it attractive to green energy funds, which have a mandate to develop energy sources that result in reduced CO2 emissions. Elk has started conversations with several green energy funds in the United States regarding the development of the project.
Some feel that the Bakken will also be a candidate for EOR somewhere down the line.

Amateur Videos Of The New $70-Million Williston Area Recreation Center

Williston is now home to the largest indoor recreation facility owned and operated by any metropolitan park district in the entire United States.

Williston Area Recreation Center, from the outside:

Williston Area Recreation Center, general:

Williston Area Recreation Center, indoor track, basketball courts, volleyball, tennis:

Williston Area Recreation Center, indoor baseball and walking:

Note the badminton nets that swing down, so folks can play badminton on turf.

Williston Area Recreation Center, treadmills, general fitness:

Williston Area Recreation Center, children's swim and water play area; with wave generator:

Active Rigs In North Dakota Take Huge Jump; Statoil, XTO Each With Two High-IP Wells

Active rigs:

Active Rigs189186209173111

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: QEP (4), XTO (3)
  • Fields: Grail (McKenzie), Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comments: the four QEP Grail wells will be sited in section 15-149-95. This is strange. There is/was one short lateral sited in that section -- #16856. This was a Helis well. The frack was aborted after one stage. The plan was to come back and re-frack. There is no evidence that this well was ever fracked after that aborted one attempt. This well produced about 83K in four years (it was spud and tested in 2008, and taken off-line in December, 2011 (only two days of production in December, 2011). That's a pretty good well for a) being a short lateral; and, b) not being fracked. I did not find any reason why the decision was to plug and abandon the well. So, now QEP will site two wells in this section. One completed Moberg well ends in this section (begins in section 22; there is a parallel well on DRL status.
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Seven (7) producing wells completed:
  • 22577, 3,129, Statoil, Gungerson 15-22 4TFH, Banks, t4/14; cum --
  • 23844, 497, OXY USA, Nels Wold 1-36-25H-141-97, St Anthony, t3/14; cum --
  • 24983, 2,238, Statoil, Jack Cvancara 19-18 5TFH, Alger, t4/14; cum --
  • 25417, 3,001, XTO, Rolfsrud State 14X-36F, Sand Creek, t3/14; cum --,
  • 25836, 2,595, XTO, Duke 34X-31B, Siverston, t3/14; cum --
  • 26893, 607, OXY USA, Leiss 4-26-23H-143-96, Fayette, t3/14; cum --
  • 26894, 424, OXY USA, Robert Sadowsky 2-35-2H-143-96, Manning, t3/14; cum --
Note the Rolfsrud well. Sited in section 36 which explains the "14X-36F." But the 14X must mean there are 14 Rolfsrud wells planned for this group.

The OX USA IPs are typical of OXY USA wells.

Wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 25987, drl, Hess, EN-Frandson-154-93-2116H-6, Robinson Lake, no production data, 
  • 26259, 63, Hunt, Alexandria 161-100-23-14H-1, Alexandria, t12/13; cum 28K 3/14;
  • 26672, drl, Hess, BW-Sharon-2560-150-100-2536-3031H-1, South Tobacco Garden, no production data,
  • 26688, drl, CLR, Schroeder 2-34H, Stoneview, no production data,
  • 26726, drl, MRO, Edwards 44-34TFH, Killdeer, no production data,

General (Ret) David Petraeus Visited The Bakken To Check On "His" Property; Random Photos Of A Statoil Four-Well Pad; And A Probable Statoil Eight-Well Pad -- April 29, 2014

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Retired four-star general and former CIA Director David Petraeus visited the Oil Patch on Tuesday and met with local officials at a private event in Williston.
Petraeus was hosted by North Dakota State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
Petraeus has a tie to the Bakken through private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which is partnering with other investors on a 164-acre housing development in Williston. Petraeus works for KKR as chairman of the KKR Global Institute.
One more swirling tea leaf that suggests the boom is just beginning.

Unrelated Photos

In the old days (two years ago), each well pad had one or two signs designating one or two wells. This is how Statoil is  identifying multiple wells on a single pad. In the foreground to the right is a pad with three pumpers; a fourth well is waiting for a pump. Note the Statoil sign, the second picture that shows three of the Rose wells and one State well.

These four wells (three Rose wells -- one TFH, two middle Bakken wells; and one State well -- a TFH well) are located in Avoca oil field east of Williston, right next to the prolific Stockyard Creek field, just to the east.

To the left, in the far background is a well pad with four pumpers in place. Those four are also Statoil Rose wells, all in spacing unit 12-154-100 in the Avoca oil field.

I don't recall any flaring for any of these eight wells. 
Interestingly, the GIS map server shows only four wells on each pad, though the Statoil sign at the Rose/State pad clearly slows a "key" for eight wells. 

For Apple Folks

WallStreet Cheat Sheet is reporting:
The newest MacBook Air is faster and cheaper, with the most recent price tag of $899 for the base model of the 2014 MacBook Air making it closer in price to fellow laptop makers HP, Samsung, and Lenovo.
While portable computers options continue to spring up at prices ranging from $199 netbooks to $1,500+ for more high-end offerings, Apple’s slow downward trickle suggests that it’s more than just cheaper technology at work here. Apple may be attempting to become a more mainstream competitor in the laptop market.
Apple previously carried a lower priced laptop in the form of the MacBook, the predecessor to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. They were quietly discontinued in 2011. The downward pricing of the latest MacBook Air starts to put it at prices below the original MacBook, with an initial price of $1,099 before taxes. Three MacBook Air options are that price or lower today.
There may be another reason. Apple users know that Apple computers last "forever." I have had my MacBook Pro for two years, and I love it. I have no reason to get something different. However, I love my wife's MacBook Air and was thinking about buying one this summer (after federal taxes, property taxes, etc are paid). I had convinced myself that the $999 price was "doable" but the new price, $899 -- although not that much different in the big scheme of things -- has convinced me to get an MacBook Air.

Coming down in price, Apple is not only looking for new customers, but is enticing Apple users who have no need to upgrade but were thinking about it. For Apple users, that's a big, big deal, and, it appears, Apple knows exactly what they are doing. I'm impressed.

For Investors Only; Energy Is Doing Quite Well Right Now; Oil Up Slightly

Energy Select Sector edges above last week's peak at 94.24 to set new multi-year high of 94.41: Oil Service OIH is also providing early leadership with its reaching 52.53 this morning.  Its multi-year high from last week is at 52.76. 

Reporting today:
  • Cheniere Energy (LNG): -0.27; time not supplied; not reported
  • Plum Creek Timber (PCL): beats by 2 cents; investors happy
Seven companies announced increased dividends/distributions.

Trading at 52-week highs today: AAPL, AEP, BRK.B, COP, ERF, MDU, OKE, SLB, SRE, XOM.

EPD, ENB, and CVX also traded nicely.

El Paso Electric: EPA air permit issued to EE to build Montana power station becomes effective: The EPA previously issued greenhouse gas (GHG) permit for El Paso Electric's four-unit natural gas burning Montana Power Station became effective on April 25, 2014 when no appeals were filed prior to the expiration of the appeals period.
EPE may now commence construction of the first two units, which it expects to bring online by the summer peak of 2015. The issuance of the EPA permit allows EPE to stay on track to effectively meet the growing needs of the communities it serves. EPA's permit action follows the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's decision in January 2014 to issue a separate permit for emissions other than GHG. 
El Paso Electric is pleased to announce its next investment to prepare for the region’s economic growth and to meet our customers’ growing demands for electricity in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The investment is a new power station located in east El Paso. The plant will be located adjacent to Montana Avenue, just east of Zaragoza Avenue.
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.

Abbreviated Post Today; Minimal Posting Today -- Back In The Bakken, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Note: this post was done in haste; there may be more typographical errors than usual.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs184186209173111

RBN Energy: Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon
The success of an LNG export project is founded on many things. Good connections to natural gas supply. Easy access to LNG buyers. A competitive delivered cost. Timing matters too, and may turn out to be a critical factor for Veresen’s Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon. Not only is it the first greenfield project to win the approval of the US Department of Energy (earlier DOE approvals went to projects to convert existing import terminals to export facilities), Jordan Cove also would be the first new LNG export terminal on the US West Coast—days closer to key buyers in the Asia/Pacific region than its Gulf Coast competitors. And it appears likely to beat out the first LNG export projects in British Columbia. Today in the first of a two-part blog series, we take a look at the Jordan Cove plan—its gas supply sources, the pipelines feeding it, the project’s economics, and its likely fate.
A race is on among prospective LNG exporters in the US and Canada to secure regulatory approvals, lock in LNG buyers and gas suppliers, and build the needed infrastructure. Being among the first at the finish line is a do-or-die matter, because realistically there will be limits to the number of LNG export projects approved, the volume of LNG that will be allowed to be exported, and demand from major LNG buyers. LNG buyers in Asia, Europe, and Latin America have options--Qatar, Australia, and Malaysia among them—and, in their quest for sourcing diversity and low prices, they are constantly sizing up the North American LNG export projects under development to see how they might fit into their gas-supply mix.
Jordan Cove is a 6 MMTPA (or million metric tons per annum - about 800Mcf/d) LNG export terminal (expandable to 9 MMTPA, 1.2 Bcf/d) to be built within the Port of Coos Bay on the Oregon coast. (The project was first envisioned as an LNG import terminal a few years ago, but the US and Western Canadian shale boom put the kibosh on that.) In March, Veresen, ,the project’s owner, a Canadian midstream natural gas infrastructure company, received DOE’s approval to export up to 800 Mcf/d of LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries for 20 years. (That approval is critical for exports to the Asian market where only Singapore and South Korea are FTA countries.) Veresen this fall expects to get Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval to build Jordan Cove. If all goes according to plan, Veresen’s financial investment decision and construction start will come in the first quarter of 2015, and the first LNG will be shipped in late 2018 or early 2019. Figure #1, from a recent presentation by the owner, helps us tell the story.
The Wall Street Journal

Top story: US, Europe raise stakes with Putin. Talk radio throughout the night provided a perspective. I arrived in the Bakken about 8:00 a.m. this morning after driving straight through from Dallas -- blizzard north of Rapid City / south of Buffalo. Will write more about snow conditions in the Bakken later.

This was on talk radio during the night and in the WSJ this morning: Pfizer will see huge tax savings if it buys AstraZeneca; the company will move to Europe, save taxes.

Boom time in Texas: jobs, traffic, water worries.

Tribes' new negotiating power cots utilities.

Kerry must not know history. He sees Ukraine crisis as uniquely Putin's. Wrong. He also doesn't know Israeli history: rues "apartheid" remark; bristles at criticism.

Wisconsin race signals historic shift in power of unions.

Texas to pay $10,000 for each Toyota job. Less than what the trillions in Obama-stimulus cost American taxpayers. 

Natural-gas prices climb. Regular readers know why.
Natural-gas prices jumped to a two-month high as investors wagered that supplies wouldn't bounce back fast enough from their lowest levels in 11 years. Inventories are just starting to climb after an unusually cold winter drove demand for the heating fuel to records.
Supplies are at about half their normal level for late April, even as U.S. gas production hits a record. Investors in the $52.1 billion natural-gas futures market are turning increasingly bullish, questioning whether producers are up to the task of replenishing stockpiles.
Analysts said producers would need to add an extra 20 billion to 35 billion cubic feet a week above the average for six months to ensure power plants have enough gas on hand to meet another frigid winter. Some investors said prices could climb this summer should a hot summer drive up air-conditioning demand, reducing the amount of gas left over for winter.
For Investors Only

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. 

Early trading: market up another 80 points after yesterday's 80-point rise. Oil up over 1%.

Trading at 52-week highs: SRE, PSX, COP, KOG, BRK-B,
Oasis is up nicely. UNP is up nicely.

Abbreviated post today.

First view of the Bakken for me today

Southwest North Dakota, April 29, 2014

  Southwest North Dakota, April 29, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Coolest Bit Of Trivia This Year? Reason #45,888 Why I Love To Blog

CLR will name two wells "Hereford" wells and two wells "Buelingo" wells. Of course, I am familiar with Herefords, but the "Buelingo" is new to me. I am truly embarrassed to say that I had seen these cattle often but never thought of asking what they were called. They are very, very distinctive.

From wiki:
The BueLingo breed of beef cattle was developed in Ransom County, North Dakota, on the Bueling Ranch, by Russell Bueling and R. B. Danielson of the Animal Science Department of the North Dakota State University at Fargo. It is similar in appearance to the Dutch Belted breed of dairy cattle. BueLingo cattle usually have a white belt around the stomach area.
The "buelingoes" even have their own web page.

See also this post on herefords, buelingos, and limousins.

Slawson has a history of selecting awesome names for its wells, as does Samson Oil & Gas. Harold Hamm frequently has interesting names, albeit a bit more subtle.

If Activist Environmentalists Stop CBR, Stop Pipelines, Burlington Northern Has Options....

.... flying oil from the Bakken to the east coast refineries.

Rumor has it BNSF is moving cargo planes to a staging point to start flying oil from the Bakken to refineries on the east coast if it comes to that ... video taken along the Loup River, northwest Nebraska, April 28, 2014....

A Wing and a Prayer: Crude-by-Air (CBA)

Still photo:

It has also been suggested that the First Lady is getting ready for another vacation.

Update On An Oasis Lodgepole Well North Of Williston -- This Could Be Important


March 18, 2015: Stripper well status.  Went off-line 4/15; now producing a small amount of oil beginning 10/16.

Original Post 
Background posts (also note "tag"): Today a reader noted the following production history:

NDIC File No: 21261     API No: 33-105-02315-00-00     CTB No: 121261
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 1/5/2012     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NENW 13-156-102     Footages: 300 FNL 1470 FWL    
Current Well Name: CLARK 5602 12-13H
Total Depth: 14410     Field: TYRONE
Spud Date(s):  8/29/2011
Completion Data
   Pool: LODGEPOLE     Perfs: 10170-14410     Comp: 1/5/2012     Status: AL     Date: 2/3/2012
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: LODGEPOLE     Cum Oil: 8825     Cum MCF Gas: 6367     Cum Water: 22829
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 1/9/2012     Pool: LODGEPOLE     IP Oil: 94     IP MCF: 0     IP Water: 43
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Eleven (11) New Permits, The Williston Bakken, North Dakota, USA; The Buelingo

Active rigs:

Active Rigs185187209174109

Eleven (11) new permits --
  • Operators: Hess (4), CLR (4), Emerald (2), Oasis
  • Fields: Alkali Creek (Mountrail), Elm Tree (McKenzie), Baker (McKenzie), Boxcar Butte (McKenzie)
  • Comments: CLR will name two wells "Hereford" wells and two wells "Buelingo" wells. Of course, I am familiar with Herefords, but the "Buelingo" is new to me.
Wells coming off the confidential list over the weekend, today, were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 25590, 779, Whiting, Kostelecky 41-28PH, South Heart, t10/13; cum 22K 2/14;
  • 25639, 2,362, Oasis, Feathertop 5493 43-23B, Robinson Lake, t11/13; cum 35K 2/14;
  • 25741, 618, Oasis, Bennett 6093 12-26T, Gros Ventre, t12/13; cum 23K 2/14;
  • 25839, 942, EOG, Austin 131-0631H, Parshall, t12/13; cum 18K 2/14;
  • 25840, 916, EOG, Austin 34-0631H, Parshall, t12/13; cum 14K 2/14;
  • 26214, 2,122, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-22C-15-3H, Charlson, t1/14; cum 34K 2/14;
  • 26604, drl, Slawson, MacCougar 3-30-19H, Big Bend, no production data,
  • 26689, drl, CLR, Schroeder 3-34H1, Stoneview, no production data,

KOG And Flaring; Some Dots To Connect; WMB Suspends Investment In NG Pipeline From The Marcellus-Utica

Three dots to connect:
Motley Fool weighs in.

In this Motley Fool article, the contributor is bullish on KOG, but doesn't mention the flaring issue.

By the way that second Motley Fool article says:
Whether you trust him or not, Continental Resources does control 1.2 million net acres in the Bakken and was also the first company to discover the Parshall shale in North Dakota. 
I thought it was EOG who made the Parshall discovery that started the Bakken boom in North Dakota. Not taking anything away from Harold Hamm who quietly bought up a lot of leases over the years prior to the boom, but I thought it was EOG who had the "discovery" well as it were. But, the Bakken has any number of drillers who say they were first. 


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

Twenty-one (21) companies announced increased dividends or distributions, including: Magellan Midstream, Holly Energy, Johnson & Johnson, Lexmark (30 cents to 36 cents).

Trading at new 52-week highs today: AAPL (up nearly $22 and nearly $600/share).

Sanchez Energy announces Q1 2014 Production of 1,691 MBOE, an Increase of 376% over the First Quarter of 2013 :
Co provided an update on Q1 2014 production and operations. Summary Highlights Sanchez Energy reported Q1 2014 production of ~1,691 MBOE (18,784 BOE/D), an increase of 376% compared to the same period a year ago Reported production volumes consisted of 72% oil, 15% NGLs, and 13% natural gas Current production is ~21,000 BOE/D with 13 gross wells in various stages of completion. Operating in the Eagle Ford and the TMS.
Williams Cos suspends investment in Bluegrass NGL Pipeline due to insufficient customer commitments: Co announces it has suspended capital investments in the Bluegrass Pipeline, a proposed natural-gas-liquids project, primarily in response to an insufficient level of firm customer commitments. The company continues to engage in discussions with potential customers regarding the scale and timing of demand for services and the required firm contractual commitments that would support any future capital investments.
  • The project, in which Williams is a joint-venture partner, is designed to connect natural gas liquids produced in the Marcellus-Utica areas in the U.S. Northeast with domestic and export markets in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Bluegrass Pipeline represents a strong long-term solution in the marketplace.
Natl Oilwell Varco beats by $0.01. Stock down 7% -- investors not happy. 

Evidence the economy continues to struggle? Briggs & Stratton sees FY14 EPS lower than consensus.

800 New Construction Jobs; 150 Full-Time Jobs -- New Project Along Texas Coast Due To North American Energy Revolution; US Equity Markets Up In Early Trading; Oil Up Slightly

Look at all the jobs President Obama private enterprise is bringing to Texas. FuelFix is reporting:
SAN ANTONIO — The voestalpine Group will break ground this week on a $740 million plant at the Port of Corpus Christi.
The plant on the north shore of Corpus Christi Bay will use iron ore to make briquettes that will be shipped to European auto plants. Hot-briquetted iron, or HBI, is a primary material for raw steel making.
The voestalpine manufacturing plant will be powered by natural gas and is part of a wave of industrial investment at the port. The emergence of a cheap, reliable source of natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale has drawn billions of dollars in projects to the Corpus  Christi area.
The voestalpine plant will create about 800 construction jobs and 150 full-time jobs, the company said.
It takes a village.

Ukraine. A non-issue?

[Later: several companies traded at new 52-week highs: BRK-B; PSX, SRE.]  Futures for Tuesday show holding those gains today.

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.

Equities up strong in early morning trading; oil up slightly.

XOM, COP, CVX: up strong; at or near 52-week highs
Bakken operators: mixed; CLR up nicely; others down slightly
ENB, EPD: up slightly
MDU: flat to down slightly
BRK-B: down slightly

Monday; Keystone "Delay" Will Impact Western Canadian Oil Sands; Toyota US Marketing Headquarters Moving From California To Texas

Reporting today:
  • Cheniere Energy (LNG): -0.27; time not supplied
  • Plum Creek Timber (PCL): 15 cents; after market close
Active rigs:

Active Rigs185187209174109

RBN Energy: western Canadian oil sands, new rail regulations
Last week Transport Canada (the federal department responsible for transportation policy) directed that DOT-111 rail tank cars built prior to new safety standards proposed in January 2014 be phased out or refitted within three years.
Fifty five thousand railcars built to the new standards are currently on back-order. The directive could constrain rapidly developing Canadian crude by rail shipments to the US - currently running at about 250 Mb/d according to an April report by Peters and Company.
Increased use of crude-by-rail is driven by pipeline congestion out of Alberta - a situation the latest Keystone pipeline delay appears to make worse.    Today we review unit train options out of Western Canada.
The last episode in this series distinguished between oil sands producers that are able to deliver their bitumen crude to market direct from the production plant as pipeline quality dilbit via feeder pipelines and smaller producers that mostly do not have that luxury.
We pointed out that it is often more convenient for small producers to deliver their crude by truck to rail terminals because of the overhead costs associated with blending up their crude to pipeline specifications and securing scarce capacity on pipelines out of Alberta.
However, we also noted that such small producers are unable to justify shipping their crude on unit trains of 100 cars or more even though doing so would achieve economies of scale. Until these smaller producers are able to ramp up production and invest in improved infrastructure, they are essentially price takers. This time we look at increased unit train options available to larger producers.
Their conclusion:
Nevertheless it seems that larger oil sands producers are willing to go ahead and ship dilbit by unit train just to get their crude to market, regardless of the diluent penalty. The fact that a number of these producers have made long term commitments to Alberta rail terminals on that basis is a good indication of just how constrained the pipeline systems out of Western Canada have become. The recent Keystone decision delay underlines the reality that pipeline congestion could continue for some time. So even though the new rail car regulations will increase rail costs, producers have little choice but to pursue rail alternatives.
 The Wall Street Journal

New bid disrupts Alstom-GE deal. Stakes high for GE's Immelt in Alstom fray.

Detroit's many creditors inch toward vote on plan. The city has more than 100,000 creditors.

Democrats see doomed minimum-wage plan as an election boost.

EU, Ukraine set to sign gas deal.

Missing out of Marcellus riches.
Nearly 15 million people in New England live within driving distance of America's biggest natural-gas field, yet heating and electricity prices reached a record for the region this winter.
As states stretching from Massachusetts to Maine thaw out from bitter cold, questions linger about why New England hasn't benefited from the energy boom in the nearby Marcellus Shale. The short answer is not enough pipelines.
And the reason is an impasse between pipeline operators and power plants over how to pay for new capacity.
The problem is that pipeline operators want long-term contracts in place before they spend the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to build a new pipeline or expand an existing one. But power companies, which buy gas to fuel generators on a need-to-have-it basis, work on a different timetable. Independent power-plant operators must supply electricity to utilities at the lowest cost possible, and utilities are restricted in the extent to which they can pass on costs to customers.
The result is that the power industry long has been wary of getting locked in to long-term contracts with higher prices than necessary.
Regulators are proposing a tax to bridge the gap
Microsoft browser has security flaw. I have never used IE on my personal computers. A security hole in Microsoft's IE -- the default web browser for many -- could be particularly troubling for those still running Windows XP.

The Los Angeles Times

Governor Perry with bragging rights. Toyota to move jobs and marketing headquarters from Torrance, Los Angeles, CA, to Texas.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

MRO Tyler Wildcat Wells Come Off Confidential List Monday

Two of the MRO Tyler wildcat wells come off the confidential list Monday; no production data reported yet; I track these wells here. [Later: I am being told by a reader/good source that the Powell well comes off the confidential list June 25th, not tomorrow as reported on the NDIC website.]

Active rigs:

Active Rigs182187209174111

Wells coming off the confidential list over the weekend, Monday:

Monday, April 28, 2014
  • 23889, drl, Slawson, MacCougar 5-30-19TFH, Big Bend, no production data,
  • 25591, 660, Whiting, Kostelecky 11-28PH, South Heart, t10/13; cum 31K 2/14;
  • 26335, drl, MRO, Powell 31-27TH, wildcat, no production data, geology report not filed yet;
  • 26572, drl, Hess, BW-Sharon-150-100-2536H-4, Timber Creek, no production data,
  • 26656, DRY, Statoil, Ross-Alger 6-7 7TFH, Alger, truly a dry well; just not much there;
  • 26794, drl, MRO, Rundle Trust 21-29TH, wildcat, no production data, see below
Sunday, April 27, 2014
  • 25986, drl, Hess, EN-Franson-154-93-2126H-5, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 26289, 1,976, MRO, Adam Ell 44-33H, Murphy Creek, t2/14; cum 8K 2/14;
  • 26690, drl, CLR, Schroeder 4-34H, Stoneview, no production data,
Saturday, April 26, 2014
  • 23890, drl, Slawson, MacCougar 2-30-19H, Big Bend, no production data,
  • 25722, drl, Petro-Hunt, MM Wold 160-94-31A-6-7H, North Tioga, no production data,
  • 26379, 765, Petro-Hunt, MM Wold 159-94-6D-13-5H, North Tioga, t2/14; cum 8K 2/14;
  • 26571, drl, American Eagle, Taylor 16-1E-163-102, Colgan, producing,
  • 26655, drl, Statoil, Ross-Alger 6-7 7TFH, Alger, no production data,
Additional data on one of the MRO Tyler wildcats

26794, drl, MRO, Rundle Trust 21-29TH, wildcat, no production data. From the file report --
The Rundle Trust 21-29TH lateral target zone did not have any observable oil in samples while drilling. Oil-based drilling weight was kept very heavy ...during the final trip of the initial later (11,456' MD), very thick and likely parafinated, oil-saturated mud was removed from the side of the mud motor, and was a very different consistency and smell than the drilling mud.  

A sample of this was forwarded to Marathon, and has been sent for a detailed petro-physical analysis. Other indicators oi oil present in formation were rising oil to ater ratios of the drilling mud. When the sidetrack lateral started, oil to water ratios were 85/15; at the end of the side track lateral, oil to water ratios were 94/6.

Due to heavy mud properties, gas response during the Rundle Trust 21-29TH lateral was minimal, and did not appear to be better or worse in any particular place in zone. Background gas averaged 30 units, with shows peaking at 90 units. Gas was almost entirely methane, with a trace component of ethane. The max trip gas observed was 115 units. No flaring or backside pressure was observed or held while drilling.
Positive Train Control

Deadline: December 31, 2015.

It's an $8 billion to $10 billion project that requires railroad companies to upgrade and rewire the nationwide network of more than 50,000 switches and signals already in use, add a network of fiber-optic cable, cellular and satellite equipment, and create software platforms to run it all.
“It's the largest infrastructure project done by any railroad in our history other than building the railroad itself,” says Henry McCreary, a director of PTC at CSX Corp., a railroad that stretches from Richmond, VA, to Chicago to Tampa, FL.
CSX estimates it will spend $1.7 billion on an effort that includes upgrading signals and switches along 16,000 miles of track, as well as installing or upgrading software, hardware and communications equipment on 3,600 locomotives.
Altogether, 22,000 locomotives will be outfitted with new equipment, primarily cellular and satellite gear. Railroads banded together and spent $40 million buying their own wireless spectrum to transmit data among trains, signals, switches and dispatch centers. The railroads even own a company that makes some of the communications equipment needed on trains and towers alongside tracks.