Saturday, January 11, 2014

North Dakota Seeds Record Amount Of Winter Wheat: Looks Like Oil Activity Not Interfering With Wheat Farming (?)

KUSI is reporting:
The first acreage estimate of the growing season shows U.S. farmers planted fewer acres of winter wheat for harvest this year, according to a report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service released Friday.
The agency reported that the 41.9 million planted acres are down 2 percent overall from last year. Seeding began in August for the 2014 winter wheat crop, which is harvested in late spring and early summer across the nation.
But plantings of hard red winter wheat, the type primarily used to make bread, were estimated to be up 2 percent at 30.1 million acres.
Significantly more hard red wheat acres were seeded in Colorado, Montana and North Dakota, the agency reported. Those helped offset large acreage decreases in Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Utah had a record low acreage, while North Dakota seeded a record high number of wheat acres.
The report goes on to say that weather may have played a role. 

Other data points from the North Dakota Wheat Commission:
  • Nationally, North Dakota typically ranks second to Kansas in total wheat production, though there are years when the state has come out on top, depending on growing conditions. North Dakota was the top wheat producing state in 2009 and 2010.
  • North Dakota is number one in the production of two wheat classes: hard red spring and durum. On average, the state's farmers grow nearly half of the nation's hard red spring wheat (250 million bushels) and two-thirds of the durum (50 million bushels).
So, with large decreases in Kansas and record seeding in North Dakota, it will be interesting to see which state comes out on top in 2014. 

Stats / A Snapshot In Time: Confidential Wells And Active Rigs By Operator -- January 11, 2014

From the NDIC website, Saturday, January 11, 2014. This list includes all operators active that date according to the NDIC including rigs drilling salt water disposal wells. I did not double-check the list, but it's probably pretty close.  I think I've read that CLR has 20 rigs; on this date, assuming I counted correctly, CLR had 19 active rigs. 

Active Rigs:
  • Abraxas: 1
  • American Eagle: 2
  • Baytex: 1
  • BR: 10
  • CLR: 19
  • Corinthian: 1
  • Cornerstone: 1
  • Emerald Oil: 2
  • Enduro: 1
  • Enerplus: 2
  • EOG: 9
  • Fidelity: 3
  • Gadeco: 1
  • Hess: 16
  • HRC: 6
  • Hunt: 3
  • KOG: 8
  • Legacy: 1
  • MRO: 6
  • Mountain Divide: 1
  • Murex: 1
  • Newfield: 4
  • Oasis: 16
  • OXY USA: 6
  • Pembroke: 1
  • Petro Harvester: 1
  • Petro Hunt: 8
  • QEP: 8
  • Samson Resources: 1
  • Sequel: 1
  • Sinclair: 1
  • Slawson: 6
  • SM Energy: 4
  • Statoil: 5
  • Triangle: 3
  • True Oil: 1
  • Whiting: 15
  • WPX: 4
  • XTO: 11
  • Zavanna: 1

Confidential Wells (includes salt water disposal wells):
  • Abraxas: 7
  • American Eagle: 29
  • Arsenal Energy: 2
  • Bakken Hunter: 11
  • Ballard Petroleum: 1
  • Baytex: 5
  • Buffalo Hills: 1
  • BR: 128
  • CLR: 261
  • Corinthian: 20
  • Cornerstone: 6
  • Crescent Point Energy: 9
  • Cypress: 1
  • Denbury Onshore: 4
  • Emerald Oil: 14
  • Enduro: 12
  • Enerplus: 57
  • EOG: 36
  • Fidelity: 17
  • Flatirons: 3
  • Fram Operating: 7
  • Gadeco: 2
  • GMX Resources: 8
  • Harris: 1
  • Hess Bakken Investments: 89
  • Hess Corporation: 96
  • HRC: 87
  • Hunt: 22
  • KOG: 90
  • Legacy: 9
  • Luff: 1
  • Mann: 1
  • MRO: 76
  • Missouri Basin Well: 1
  • Mountain Divide: 5
  • Murex: 7
  • Newfield: 60
  • North Plains Energy: 6
  • Oasis: 67
  • Omimex: 1
  • OXY USA: 23
  • Pembroke: 1
  • Petro Harvester: 2
  • Petro-Hunt: 93
  • PetroGulf: 2
  • Prairie Disposal: 1
  • QEP: 77
  • R360: 1
  • Resolute: 3
  • Samson Oil and Gas: 27
  • SHD: 10
  • Sinclair: 8
  • Slawson: 78
  • SM Energy: 28
  • Statoil: 117
  • Stephens: 1
  • Strata-X: 4
  • Strike Oil: 1
  • Texakota: 9
  • Triangle: 13
  • True Oil: 4
  • Wesco: 1
  • Whiting: 95
  • WPX: 79
  • XTO: 138
  • Zavanna: 31
Ratio of wells on confidential status / active rigs:
  • BR: 128/10 = 12.8
  • CLR: 261/19 = 13.7
  • EOG: 36/9 = 4.0
  • Halcon (HRC):  87/6 = 14.5
  • Hess: 185/16 = 11.6
  • KOG: 90/8 = 11.3
  • MRO: 76/6 = 12.7
  • Oasis: 67/16 = 4.2
  • OXY USA: 23/6 =  3.8
  • Petro Hunt: 93/8 = 11.6
  • QEP: 77/8 = 9.6
  • Slawson: 78/6 =  13.0
  • Statoil: 117/5 =23.4
  • Triangle: 13/3 = 4.3
  • Whiting: 95/15 = 6.3

Insurers Are Baffled About Low Number Of ObamaCare Enrollments; Mainstream Media Worries About Early Flu Season


January 12, 2014: the numbers are low, but what is worse is the fact that the demographics are wrong -- too many old, high risk folks signing up for ObamaCare; not enough young folks enrolling. Predictable. Reuters is reporting:
Now that more than 2 million people have signed up for private insurance plans created by President Barack Obama's healthcare law, a crucial next check-up for the new marketplace will be to see how old customers are.
Early data from a handful of state exchanges shows the administration needs more young adults to sign up in the next three months to help offset costs from older enrollees and prevent insurers from raising their rates.
Critics of Obama's Affordable Care Act say the market won't attract enough young people to keep it financially viable, putting more pressure on government funds to compensate for any insurer losses.
Data from seven states and the District of Columbia, which are running their own marketplaces, show that of more than 200,000 enrollees, nearly 22 percent are 18 to 34 years old, according to a Reuters analysis.
The administration had hoped that over 38 percent, or 2.7 million, of all enrollees in 2014 would be 18 to 35 years old, based on a Congressional Budget Office estimate that 7 million people would sign up by the end of March.
Again, this is not a problem. The insurers are protected by the law: a bailout is guaranteed. The insurers will simply become "pass-through" entities for ObamaCare. The folks who crafted this bill were no dummies, and with a president who was given a free pass on every executive decision modifying the law, things are working out just fine for ObamaCare.

Original Post

The Dickinson Press is reporting: yup, insurers are baffled about the low number of enrollees. Let's count the ways:
  • the websites didn't work
  • the federal website was taken off-line for the first three weeks
  • the ObamaCare website has more security risks than the Target breach
  • original website required private data submission before viewing plans
  • majority of folks who thought they would qualify, do not qualify (income is required)
  • the most affordable plans had a $12,000 annual deductible
But the big reason North Dakota folks did not enroll: with the Bakken boom, everyone in North Dakota is a millionaire (some billionaires) and do not qualify for subsidies, so why sign up?

Just joking. The big reason folks did not enroll: sticker shock.

The insurers are not concerned: the law provides for a bailout if the insurers lose money on this scheme.

In the end, the insurers will simply be "pass-through" entities for national health care.

In case the above link is broken:
The Sanford Health Plan enrolled 92 in North Dakota through the new marketplace exchange.
By the way, Sanford Health has the monopoly in North Dakota for Medicaid; Blue Cross Blue Shield pulled out of Medicaid coverage in North Dakota.


Mainstream media seems to be reporting that the flu season might be earlier and worst than previous seasons. See for yourself at Google flu trends, probably a better source than the government's own statistics. Right now, the flu season this year is much, much less severe than what it was this time last year.


One would think that with the highest corporate tax rate in the world, the US would have no trouble paying universal health care, or at least subsidizing it. 
The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. After Japan lowered its tax rate last year, the combined federal and average state tax rate of 39.2% in the U.S. was the highest of any nation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Some mega-corporations pay billions of dollars every year in federal and state taxes. In its most recent fiscal year, Exxon Mobil reported $31 billion in corporate income tax expenses.
Some large corporations, on the other hand, paid no taxes at all and even received tax benefits.
General Motors, which had annual revenue of more than $150 billion, received a tax benefit of $28.6 billion. 24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 U.S.-based, publicly traded companies with tax expenses of more than $5 billion in their most recently reported fiscal year, and the 10 companies that received a benefit of at least $5 million.
The ten (10) companies paying the most income tax, from least to most: Microsoft, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan, ConocoPhillips, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, Apple, Chevron, Exxon Mobil. I doubt we will ever see a wind energy or solar energy corporation make the top 10 list.


Speaking of corporate taxes, these corporations are also well known for philanthropy. As just one minor example, The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
State leaders recognized an energy company Wednesday for its $1 million contribution to the Housing Incentive Fund which fills out the portion of the fund to be capitalized through tax credits.
Members of the North Dakota Industrial Commission recognized Denver-based QEP Resources for its contribution.
Earlier this week it was announced that the $20 million in state tax credits authorized by the Legislature through taxpayer contributions had been reached. These HIF dollars are in addition to a $15.4 million direct appropriation made to the fund for this biennium.
Gov. Jack Dalrympe said the $1 million from QEP Resources put the fund over the threshold.
I've been remiss in not reporting corporate philanthropy since the boom began -- mostly because it was hardly news -- there were so many companies donating at so many levels. But a reader pointed out that we haven't seen any donations from renewable energy companies in North Dakota. I'll watch for them. North Dakota is one of the leading wind energy states in the US.

Week 2: January 5, 2014 -- January 11, 2014

Spring flooding in the Bakken not a concern?
Abraxas provides an update on the Lillibridge pad
Random look at siting of wells for new KOG Koala pad
Number of active rigs in North Dakota continues to rise despite frigid temperatures
Part 1 of a two-part series on the Bakken -- Mike Filloon

Bakken deals
Emerald Oil acquires 20,800 net acres in McKenzie, Williams counties
Petro-Hunt transferred about 30 wells to Whiting

Fargo, Bismarck top US in low unemployment rates
Williston #1 in North Dakota for taxable sales, purchases for 9th consecutive quarter

For investors only
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site; do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you might have read here.
Some COP, OXY USA rumors surface late Friday night
ONEOK spins off its natural gas distribution system
Flashback: a look at Hess' 3Q13 earnings conference call transcript

MarketRealist has a 14-part series on the Bakken operators
Blue Buttes oil field has been updated
CLR's density projects listed, linked
Legacy fund?

"The Bakken" puts 16 European refiners out of business