Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Huge Impact Forecast For Oil Patch In West Texas Over Next Decade; Think Bakken

This report concerns West Texas. I posted it for one reason: the last line from the "cut and paste" below:
The number of full-time jobs supported by the oil and gas industry in 2022 compared with 2012 represents a 42.2 percent increase, a rate of growth that almost doubles the estimated 21.7 percent growth in total employment in the area for the same period, the report noted. 
I assume this is exactly what will happen in the Bakken, western North Dakota. A 40%-growth rate in full-time jobs over ten years is not trivial.

Rigzone is reporting:
Oil and gas activity in 2012 had an economic impact of nearly $14.5 billion in a 10-county area of West Texas, and supported nearly 21,450 full-time jobs and paid $1 billion in wages and salaries.
The oil and gas industry also generated almost $472 million in state revenues in 2012 – including $187 million in severance taxes – and added approximately $6.2 billion in gross regional product, and contributed nearly $447 million in local government revenues.
The number of full-time jobs supported by the oil and gas industry in 2022 compared with 2012 represents a 42.2 percent increase, a rate of growth that almost doubles the estimated 21.7 percent growth in total employment in the area for the same period, the report noted.
A second story from same issue of Rigonze. Reuters is reporting:
The pace of U.S. oil production growth will begin to slow in 2015, even as global demand continues to rise, allowing OPEC to pump more crude for the first time in three years, U.S. government forecasts showed on Tuesday. 
In its first projections for 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. output will rise by 9 percent or 750,000 barrels per day next year to reach 9.3 million bpd, the highest in 43 years.
That rate may seem heady but is less than the breakneck 1 million bpd growth seen last year and forecast for 2014, the result of the biggest oil boom in a generation as fracking and horizontal drilling technologies make millions of barrels in domestic on-shore oil reserves more accessible.
The data arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, like many other analysts, has consistently underestimated the scale of the U.S. shale oil boom and these estimates may yet prove low, analysts said.
"I think the EIA recognizes that they have been too conservative and is marking to market now," said Katherine Spector, with Canadian bank CIBC in New York.

Random Look At Possible Siting Of New KOG Koala Wells Based On Today's Permits

This is what really makes blogging about the Bakken fun.

This takes me back to the early days when I tried to anticipate where wells would be sited and what formation they would be targeting. It was much simpler then: just the middle Bakken and the (upper) Three Forks. Now we have three additional Three Forks benches.

A reader alerted me to this one. When readers write in about the Bakken correcting something I have written, the readers are almost always correct. In fact, I think I have been wrong 100% of the time, and readers have been correct 100% when they have pointed out what might be an error on my part.

So, when a reader suggests I am seeing something incorrectly, well... talk about cognitive dissance. I assume the reader has to be right, but yet, I remain confused.

This is the situation.

KOG has six new permits in today's daily activity report. The pertinent information:
a) 27405, KOG, Koala 4-4-6-4H, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 935' FNL and1116' FWL, development, Poe
b) 27406, KOG, Koala 4-4-6-4H3, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 905' FNL and 1116' FWL, development, Poe
c) 27407, KOG, Koala 4-4-31-13H, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 875' FNL and 1116' FWL, development, Poe
d) 27408, KOG, Koala 4-4-29-1H, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 650' FNL and 810' FWL, development, Poe
e) 27409, KOG, Koala 4-4-28-4H, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 650' FNL and 870' FWL, development, Poe
f) 274010, KOG, Koala 4-4-28-3H3, Lot 4 4-151N-99W, 650' FNL and 900' FWL, development, Poe
This information is taken directly from the daily activity report. Note: Poe field.

So, to get started.

For newbies: those are six permits, which for identification, I have labeled "a," "b," "c,"  "d," "e," and, "f."

For newbies: FNL - "from the north line of the section (in feet)"
For newbies: FWL - "from the west line of the section (in feet)"

Therefore, the siting:
  • six wells either on one 6-well pad or two 3-well pads at right angles to each other
  • three wells ("a," "b," and "c") sited (surface locations) in a a line north/south 1,116 feet from the west line
  • three wells ("d," "e," and "f") sited (surface locations) in a line west/east 650 feet from the north line
  • the wells will be sited in Lot 4 of section 4-151-99
  • I don't know where Lot 4 is, but based on the "FNL" and the FWL" they will be in the northwest corner of the section 4
Which oil field?
  • Section 4-151-99 is clearly in the North Tobacco Garden oil field (see NDIC GIS maps below)
  • however, the permits are for development wells in Poe field
  • permit nomenclature always designates the oil field from which the oil will be taken, not the field in which the wells are sited. In this case, the wells are clearly sited in North Tobacco Garden, but the permits (according to the NDIC daily activity report clearly designate these are to be development wells draining the Poe field.
Development wells
Development wells mean that there is already a producing well in the same general area (same field?) and these wells will continue to "develop" the field/location (as opposed to "wildcat" wells, for example).
Existing wells and spacing units
  • section 4-151-99 is spaced for 640 acres (one section) and has one well is already there (an XTO well)
  • the surrounding sections in question (which we will get to later), are spaced for 1280 acres and overlapping 2560 acres
  • the surrounding sections in question (which we will get to later), already have KOG Koala wells
  • they are all Koala wells
  • their names consist of four "parts" after the Koala
  • the fourth part (4H, 4H3) has to do with the formation being targeted (middle Bakken or one of three Three Forks benches)
  • the first part (the number "4") in all six permits is the same number (as noted, the number "4"): that means they are on the same pad, "Koala pad #4." (That's my first opinion. Up to this point, everything has been factual, not opinion.)
  • the second two numbers are the sections where the well begins (SHL = surface hole location) and where the horizontal ends (BHL = bottom hole location)
So, for example, let's look at the "d" permit:
d) 27408, KOG, Koala 4-4-29-1H -- explanation:
  • permit number 27408
  • a KOG-operated well
  • a Koala well
  • on Koala pad #4
  • surface hole location in section 4
  • bottom hole location in section 29
  • formation target and operator's chronologic number: 1H -- the first middle Bakken in this group
So, let's see another example. Let's look at the "b" permit:
b) 27406, KOG, Koala 4-4-6-4H3 -- explanation:
  • permit number 27406
  • a KOG-operated well
  • a Koala well
  • on Koala pad #4
  • surface hole location in section 4
  • bottom hole location in section 6
  • formation target and operator's chronologic number: 4H3 -- one of the Three Forks benches
I've placed "1H" and "4H3" in red because I haven't sorted out what formation is designated using KOG's shorthand. I "know" that "H" by itself is the middle Bakken, and anything else is one of the Three Forks benches. I've never understood the "chronologic number" in this type of nomenclature.

That's how I see it.

More could be written explaining other details. I am mostly curious where I am wrong in my thinking on this.

Below are two graphics taken from the NIDC GIS map server. One shows 1280-acre spacing and one shows 2560-acre spacing. Everything seems to fit 1280-acre spacing except for one well, but the 2560-acre spacing is certainly possible.

The locations of the surface holes in the graphic are not perfect but are in the general direction. I did not label the origin of the arrows with "a," "b," "c", etc., because it would have gotten too cluttered. But "a" and "b" run to the west and "e" and "f" run to the north.

Before going to the graphics, one last comment. This is all idle chatter. It matters not the least to me exactly where these are sited or what they target. I own no mineral rights. But I get great enjoyment out of trying to break the nomenclature codes of the operators (and I did that for EOG's middle Bakken/Three Forks wells early on). (I also like Sudoku puzzles.) With so much going on in the Bakken, I don't have time for that much any more and in the big scheme of things es macht nichts. 

Disclaimer: It is very likely I have made a typographical error in the long post above. If alerted to typographical errors, I will correct them. It is also very possible I have misinterpreted the nomenclature and the graphics below are completely wrong. I would love to hear (definitively) where I have erred.

But again, this is all idle chatter on a frigid January evening for some. And again, a huge shoutout to all the roughnecks and geologists on site in the Bakken.

In the graphics below, section 4 (in white) is 640-acre spacing only. The well in section 4 is an XTO well. The existing wells where the red arrows are located are all (I believe) KOG Koala wells.

For newbies: it's hard to tell, but the red straight lines (the vertical and horizontal lines; not the arrows) are the borders of the oil fields in the graphics: the Poe, the Banks, and North Tobacco Garden. The arrows represent the horizontals (the tips of the arrows are the bottom hole locations/end of the horizontals); and all arrows reside within the Poe oil field, which agrees with the permits, except where they are sited (inside North Tobacco Garden. It is not at all unusual for wells to be sited in one field but draining an adjoining field. Folks with mineral rights in section 4 (white) would not share in the royalties of these six wells even though they are sited in that section. (Again, if my understanding is correct; and I could be way wrong; don't make any financial or investment decisions or sign any paperwork based on what you read here.)

1280-acre spacing (most likely):

2560-acre spacing (less likely):

Twenty-One (21) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Fifteen (15) Wells Come Off Confidential List Wednesday


Later, 7:27 p.m. Pacific Time: regular readers have noted the (unexpected?) increase in the number of rigs in North Dakota over the past few weeks. Today, it was noted that there were no new completions this past week in Montana (as reported by The Fairfield Sun Times. One wonders if some of the "new" rigs in North Dakota might have been brought back over from Montana. Just thinking out loud.

Original Post
Active rigs:

Active Rigs19018020016377

RBN Energy: I normally post these in the a.m. I completely forgot to do it today, and it was a very good one. This is Part 6 of their series on Canadian crude oil storage.
TransCanada currently owns just over 1 million bbls of crude storage at Hardisty that is used to stage operations on the existing 580 Mb/d Keystone pipeline to the US. With two huge new pipelines planned to originate at Hardisty – the 830 Mb/d Keystone XL (still awaiting Presidential approval) and the 1.1 MMb/d Energy East potentially coming online in the next four years, the company is rapidly expanding Hardisty capacity. At the same time Gibson Energy and US Development Group are building a 120 Mb/d rail terminal close by to Hardisty that will give Canadian producers the option to bypass pipeline congestion. Today we describe these companies’ infrastructure plans. [Note: originally the Energy East pipeline was said to have a capacity of 850,000 bopd; now it is up to 1.1 million, according to RBN Energy.]
There is so much in that article, this is just one small, but very interesting snippet:
In August (2013) Gibson announced a partnership with US Development Group (USDG) – a Houston based rail logistics developer – to construct a unit train crude-by-rail loading facility about 3 miles from the Hardisty storage hub. Gibson will build a pipeline connecting their Hardisty East expansion terminal to the new Hardisty Rail Terminal. Served by the Canadian Pacific Railroad’s North Main Line, the terminal will provide producers with a rail alternative to ship their crude to Canadian and US markets (see map below). The Hardisty Rail Terminal will be able to load up to 120 Mb/d onto two unit trains with 120 railcars each. Loading facilities will consist of a fixed loading rack with 30 railcar positions and a unit train staging area capable of holding up to five unit trains. The Hardisty Rail Terminal is targeted to begin operation in the first quarter of 2014. Term contracts with four customers for approximately 100 Mb/d underpin the investment.
Twenty-one (21) new permits --
  • Operators: KOG (6), Fidelity (6), OXY USA (4), EOG (2), XTO (2), Whiting,
  • Fields: Poe (McKenzie), Bear Den (Dunn), New Hradec (Stark), Little Knife (Dunn), Heart River (Stark), Parshall (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Whiting has a permit for a well in Stark County;
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right. 

For newbies, one generally expects to see anywhere from 3 to 5 wells come off the confidential list on any given day. Seeing 15 wells coming off the confidential list tomorrow is some kind of "record," I suppose.

Wells coming off the confidential list tomorrow:
  • 23069, 412, CLR, Victoria 1-20H, Ukraina, t9/13; cum 9K 11/13;
  • 24253, drl, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-93-7D-6-4H, Four Bears, no production data,
  • 24408, drl, Hess, BB-Budahn 150-95-0506H-4, Blue Buttes, no production data,
  • 24984, drl, Statoil, Jack Cvancara 19-18 6H, Alger, no production data,
  • 25358, 1,519, XTO, Lundeen 31X-9C, Garden, t10/13; cum 19K 11/13;
  • 25428, drl, Hess, EN-Nelson 155-95-3328H-5, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 25614, 73, Murex, Trina Diane 15-22H,  Fortuna, t8/13; cum 24K 11/13;
  • 25633, drl, Samson Resources, Comet 2635-3H, Ambrose, no production data,
  • 25668, drl, Mountain Divide, Olson 2-11S-1H,  Fortuna, producing, first full month looks great for Fortuna oil field;
  • 25766, drl, CLR, Madison 4-28H1, Dollar Joe, no production data,
  • 25793, 1,119, HRC, Njos 157-100-28B-33-2H, Marmon, t8/13; cum 42K 11/13;
  • 25886, drl, BR, Blue Ridge 34-31TFH, Keene, no production data,
  • 25891, drl, Blue Ridge 44-31MBH, Keene, no production data,
  • 25960, drl, BR, Archer 44-25TFH, Charlson, no production data,
  • 25993, 27, Legacy, Legacy Et Al Berge 13-6 2H, North Souris, a Spearfish well, t9/13; cum 7K 11/13;
A Note to the Granddaughters

As far as I know, our granddaughters are the only two girls in the western world who do not have any Barbie dolls. Do not ask how I stumbled across this song: I do not recall ever having heard it, much less ever seeing the video. My younger adult daughter tells me this is a classic, and now I note it has over 106 million YouTube views.

For the roughnecks, then:

Barbie Girl, Aqua

If you are even listening to this song, and I feel bad for you if you are, you must read about it at wiki. Note three things:
  • Danish-Norwegian group (think Statoil); this song went to #1 everywhere (except US, #7)
  • one of the most annoying songs ever -- Rolling Stone
  • this is the thirteenth best selling single -- ever -- in the UK

Back on January 8, 2008, I posted this on my Yahoo!Calendar: 
Boone Pickens said oil will trade in $150 range, July 8, 2008, just as oil was falling; it fell $8 in two days; down to $131. But he says oil will stay in $150 range; and he says if supply/demand balances out, could see $100 oil in two years (2010). 

Putting Things Into Perspective

Bizjournals noted:
The U.S. government's approval process for this pipeline, which would bring crude oil from Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries, has "gone far too long," said API President and CEO Jack Gerard.
At five-plus years, this project has been under evaluation "longer than America's involvement in the second World War, longer than it took our nation to put a man in space, and almost as long as it took to build the transcontinental railroad 155 years ago," Gerard said.
I assume the administration hasn't polled everyone yet on this issue. LOL.

Meanwhile, most of us have moved on.  Even some Bakken operators say it's no longer needed and Canada is one step closer to approving an Enbridge pipeline to bring oil to Asia.

No, Virginia, Oil Production Did Not Stop In Oklahoma (Or North Dakota)

A reader wrote in after listening to the SandRidge conference call on the "GoM sale." During the Q & A, one of the Wall Street analysts actually asked if oil production had stopped in Oklahoma. The CEO "chuckled" and said, "Well, it only got to five degrees in Oklahoma City. Work might have slowed a bit, but did not stop."

The reader who sent that and I both wonder about the lack of common sense in this country on some issues. Everything seems to be a crisis. The same reader said he talked to two folks last night who each work for a different (oil?) company in North Dakota and both of them said they worked through the cold weather.

Ranchers, by the way, and folks with dairy cows, by the way, are working through the weather, also. And, so are a lot of other folks (see The Dickinson Press link below).

I posted this earlier but it was buried, so I will post it again.

Remember that post yesterday in which the Frankfurt, Germany, analysts said:
"It is so cold that they cannot produce at full capacity, if at all. That should support prices," said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
Meanwhile, The Dickinson Press says: "51 below doesn't hinder western North Dakota much."

At worse, it seems some operators had to delay fracking operations one or two weeks; see the Samson Oil & Gas update at the original link.

Also, for the umpteenth time, the number of active rigs in North Dakota has actually been increasing through this bit of severe cold.

Again, a huge shout out to the roughnecks working on the rigs.

CBR Is Not Bakken's Be All And End All

[By the way, memo to self: whoopee!]

A number of analysts are raising concerns about the recent crude oil derailments. The most recent is from The Financial Times:
Manufacturers of tank railcars have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the US shale energy boom, with share prices and order backlogs soaring as fast as oil pouring from new deposits in North Dakota.
Deliveries are booked well into 2015. But growth of the industry’s backlog has slowed recently, sparking speculation that supply is catching up to demand from companies eager to ship crude on routes not well served by pipelines. 
Hold that thought.

I posted this the other day:
The emotional anxiety this will cause investors will result in share price volatility but it will be temporary. There are four pipelines that are particularly interesting and relevant to this discussion:
  • the Keystone XL 2.0 South will start flowing oil out of Cushing on January 22, 2014, but the huge influx of western Canadian heavy oil that was to replace it via the Keystone XL 2.0 North won't be on-line by 2016, if ever. There may be a reason that Harold Hamm has said the Keystone XL is no longer needed; 
  • the Killdeer-to-Dickinson pipeline will be on-line by the middle of this year;
  • the Enbridge Sandpiper project; this one won't be completed until 2016; in addition, I have some concerns whether it will be completed/delayed due to activist environmentalist concerns, but with the rail issues, the advantage may have turned in Enbridge's favor; and, 
  • the Double H pipeline from Dore, North Dakota, to Guernsey, Wyoming. I haven't seen anything on that recently; updates should be in the annual report, if nowhere else.
The point is this: the pipeline companies have not been sitting idly by for the past two years thinking CBR is the "be all and end all."

Go back to that linked Financial Times story and the thought you were holding. I posted the first two paragraphs from that linked story. Here's the rest of the story:
With new pipeline capacity set to come online in the next few years and new regulations under discussion, whether the industry can sustain the explosive growth of the past few years remains uncertain.
“It’s hard to tell because the dynamics change all the time,” says Art Hatfield, analyst at Raymond James. “But based on some of the data we look at it would appear that orders are going to slow dramatically.”
The promise of tank cars has attracted some of the biggest names in investing to two of the four main manufacturers: Union Tank Car is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway while American Railcar Industries is controlled by Carl Icahn.
Both companies, along with Trinity Industries and Greenbrier Companies, have enjoyed soaring fortunes in recent years, with shares in the three public companies up more than 250 per cent in the past five years, compared with a doubling of the S&P 500.
Investors need to focus on issues facing the railroads, but investors also need to look at the overall picture.

One almost gets the feeling that Warren Buffett saw this coming six months ago when it was learned he bought a company that makes a product that helps oil flow more smoothly through pipelines. I would assume that this would be particularly helpful for heavy oil coming out of Western Canada. Minyanville, by the way, provides a nice look at the the recent Buffett/PSX deal.

In Canada, it looks like Enbridge is one step closer to a huge trans-Canadian crude oil pipeline. Motley Fool is reporting
Northern Gateway pipeline just received approval from a Canadian federal environmental and energy regulators' panel. Now the federal government has 180 days to review the $6.5 billion pipeline, placing the big decision in June 2014. Canada needs to get more oil out of its interior, and new pipelines could open up the precious Asian markets. While the deal is not done yet, 2014 will be a big year for Enbridge and its shareholders.
Reminder: 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. 
This pipeline will move 525,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to tankers in Kitimat in British Columbia. It will also carry 193 mbpd of heavy oil thinning condensate from B.C. to Alberta. The panel did not give Enbridge a free ride, however. The company must put up $950 million in liability coverage and comply with 208 other conditions. 
While it is impossible to predict the future, there is a good chance the pipeline will be approved. Canada's reliance on U.S. refiners makes Canadian energy producers sell their products at a discount, reducing federal and provincial tax income. Also, transporting oil through mountain passes in rail cars is not too attractive after runaway crude cars in Lac-Megantic, Quebec killed 47 people.

MRO Reports A "High-IP" Well; 3/5 Wells Go To DRL Status; Active Rigs Continue To Rise In Numbers Despite Frigid Temperatures; Coal Will Surpass Oil As World's Dominant Fuel By 2020; Spot Natural-Gas Prices Hit All-Time High On East Coast Due To Global Warming -- As Much As $90 Vs $14 "Usual" Average

Wells coming off the confidential list today:
  • 23642, drl, Hess, SC-Mari-153-98-2223H-1, Truax, 
  • 25016, 420, Baytex, Marcella 1-12-161-98H 2DM, Whiteaker, t7/13; cum 33K 11/13;
  • 25329, 2,275, MRO, LBM Tuhy USA 41-4H, Murphy Creek, t9/13; cum 39K 11/13;
  • 25632, drl, Samson Resources, Bel Air 2314-3H, Ambrose,
  • 25811, drl, Slawson, Jugard (Federal) 2-26-35H, Big Bend,
Active rigs:

Active Rigs18918020016377

SandRidge revises production guidance for 2014. SandRidge expects production to surge 26% in 2014 (that is revised upward from 12% guidance earlier). This comes on news that SandRidge will sell its GoM assets and concentrate on midcontinent operations. One more data point illustrating how productive the Bakken, Permian, Eagle Ford, Mississippi Lime, etc., are going to be, as infrastructure improves, manufacturing gets its stride.

The Wall Street Journal

New York spot natural-gas prices rise to record as cold approaches.
Natural-gas prices surged to all-time highs on the East Coast on Monday as frigid weather approached, raising the prospect of higher prices nationwide in coming weeks.
Natural gas for Tuesday delivery rose as high as $90 a million British thermal units at a pipeline delivery point in New Jersey where New York City gas prices are set. On Friday, gas there traded at an average of $14/mmBtu.  
Despite natural gas boom, coal is not dead.
Coal remains the biggest source of fuel for generating electricity in the U.S. and coal exports are growing fast.
Even as coal production plunges in the green hills of Appalachia, it is booming in the open-pit mines of Wyoming and under the plains of Illinois and Indiana. Overall, U.S. coal production is projected to remain relatively constant over the next three decades, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Demand is being stoked by the rise of power-hungry middle classes in emerging economies, led by China and India.
By the end of this decade, coal is expected to surpass oil as the world's dominant fuel source, according to a recent study by consultant Wood Mackenzie. Two-thirds of coal's growth will be driven by demand for electricity in China, the firm says.
Concern over the links between climate change and carbon emissions linked to coal could reduce consumption. Assuming weak economic growth and the strictest environmental rules, global coal demand could drop to 3.3 billion tons in 2035 from around five billion today, according to the International Energy Agency. But if politicians and regulators decide that the benefits of coal outweigh the environmental risks and craft looser regulations, coal demand could rise to six billion tons, the agency says.

JetBlue suspends flights to Boston, NYC, citing global warming:
Company said it suspended operations in New York and Boston late Monday, one of the biggest sets of cancellations this year and a sign of how badly winter weather has snarled air travel across the U.S. in recent days.
The discount carrier, based in New York, started reducing flights on Monday afternoon, leading to a full stop by 5 p.m. EST in the targeted cities. It said it plans to begin resuming service in the cities by 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, with all flights resumed by 3 p.m. EST. JetBlue operates as many as 240 departures and arrivals daily in Boston, and as many as 440 departures and arrivals a day at the New York City region's three major airpo
rts: John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International. The airline said the hiatus would allow for "17 hours of rest for our equipment and crew members and time to service aircraft." Amtrak, meanwhile, said the severe weather would force it to reduce the number of trips Tuesday on its rail routes between Boston and Washington, D.C., and between New York City and Albany, N.Y.

Egypt's largest wheat order since 2010 lifts prices.

Number Of Active Rigs In North Dakota Surges; Up Three On Coldest Day Of Current Cold Spell; Up Six In Past Week; Exceeds Number Of Rigs One Year Ago

But before we get to "active rigs in North Dakota," let's look at the number of active gray whales along the California coast.

Active gray whales along California coast: 364 (vs 182 same period one year ago). The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
More than 20,000 gray whales migrate each year from Arctic waters in the north to the shallow lagoons and bays of Baja California. Volunteers for the census project work around the clock from Dec. 1 through May 15, looking for whales from the vantage point at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.
Hunted to near extinction in the early 1900s, the whales were declared endangered in 1973 but were taken off the list in 1994 after the population boomed.
The number of gray whales spotted migrating south off the Southern California coast in December was double what it was compared with the same period last year, raising questions about whether it reflects changing migration patterns or perhaps a population boom for the once endangered species.
From their perch high above the water at Point Vicente in Rancho Palos Verdes, whale spotters in December counted 364 gray whales heading south to Baja California. Volunteers counted 182 during the same period in 2012.
The record count is far higher than in 2010, when observers saw just 38 gray whales in December. The difference is prompting researchers to ask whether a migration shift is underway or if there is some other explanation.
Point Vicente is just down the coast from where I stay when visiting southern California -- about four miles.


Remember that post yesterday in which the Frankfurt, Germany, analysts said:
"It is so cold that they cannot produce at full capacity, if at all. That should support prices," said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
The Dickinson Press says: "51 below doesn't hinder western North Dakota much."

At worse, it seems some operators had to delay fracking operations one or two weeks. A bit of the Samson Oil & Gas weekly update:   
Samson Oil & Gas provides its weekly operational update: Co provides and update on its North Stockyard project, North Dakota

Blackdog 3-13-14H (SSN WI 25.03%)
Frac operations in the Blackdog well are expected to take place following fracture stimulation of the Little Creature 3-15-14HBK well. Due to harsh weather conditions and subzero temperatures, the fracture operations have been delayed. Fracture stimulation is now expected to take place within the next two weeks.

Coopers 2-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%) and Tooheys 4-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%)
Fracture stimulation operations on the Coopers and Tooheys wells were completed, and both of the wells are currently shut-in. Flow-back operations on these wells will commence following fracture stimulation on the Little Creature well.

Little Creature 3-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%),
The 35 stage cemented liner fracture stimulation was delayed on the Little Creature well over the weekend due to subzero temperatures in North Dakota. Currently 11 stages of the fracture stimulation have been completed. Operations are expected to resume this week, weather permitting.
For investors only. 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.
PSX is trading at another high. If you go to Yahoo!Financial to PSX you will see a lot of headlines regarding PSX and Warren Buffett. Also an interesting note about batteries used by Tesla and PSX.

The majors are holding their own very, very nicely. I only looked at CVX.

SandRidge is reporting some interesting news. That will be posted elsewhere, later.

SRE is moving nicely, as is Hess.

Wow, there is so much energy news, one cannot keep up. Did you all see the Motley Fool article on Enbridge's application for a $6.5 billion pipeline? I will post that later, also, if I remember. 


I did not post a comment from a reader yesterday who reminded me, with regard to global warming, that "science is complicated."  That's one of the reasons I've never taken Algore seriously. But now we have the science behind global warming explained to us. Because science is complicated, Al Sharpton has donned a white lab coat to explain global warming. I cannot make this stuff up. The timing is absolutely perfect.

By the way, an MIT professor takes on global warming:
Lindzen is no shrinking violet. A pioneering climate scientist with decades at Harvard and MIT, Lindzen sees his discipline as being deeply compromised by political pressure, data fudging, out-and-out guesswork, and wholly unwarranted alarmism. In a shot across the bow of what many insist is indisputable scientific truth, Lindzen characterizes global warming as “small and .  .  . nothing to be alarmed about.” In the climate debate—on which hinge far-reaching questions of public policy—them’s fightin’ words.
In his mid-seventies, married with two sons, and now emeritus at MIT, Lindzen spends between four and six months a year at his second home in Paris. But that doesn’t mean he’s no longer in the thick of the climate controversy; he writes, gives myriad talks, participates in debates, and occasionally testifies before Congress. In an eventful life, Lindzen has made the strange journey from being a pioneer in his field and eventual IPCC coauthor to an outlier in the discipline—if not an outcast.
Some say science is complicated. I know forecasting is very, very difficult. I'm not even sure if we know what next month's weather will bring. Okay, the editors of The Farmer's Almanac do.

By the way, Breitbert is reporting that climate change groups seek new leadership as green movement loses momentum. I'm thinking, maybe, Al Sharpton. LOL.

"We need Al Sharpton as our leader," said no one. Ever.

Other global warming news and headlines ripped from DrudgeReport and elsewhere:
  • Chicago smashes low temp records
  • NYC breaks 118-year-low
  • average temp in US hit 14.4 degrees yesterday
  • "coldest air in 20 years"
  • hundreds stranded overnight on snowbound AMTRAK trains
  • power demand soars; Texas grid pushed to edge; Tuesday to be "the day"

By the way, the frigid temperature story could not have come at a better time for the Obama administration. The cold weather story completely knocked ObamaCare off the front pages (and the entire newspaper, for that matter) -- just when ObamaCare is fully implemented. Except for the corporate mandate (which was delayed a full year, into 2015). And except for the individual mandate for anyone who can claim hardship. Like everyone.

And then look at this, active rigs in North Dakota rose by three on one of the coldest days of the year:

Active Rigs18918020016377

And look at the number: surges past the number of active rigs one year ago, and practically where "we" were two years ago during the height of the boom.