Monday, February 10, 2014

Abraxas, Samson Oil And Gas Provide An Operational Update

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. provides operational update; announces upcoming presentation:  
At Abraxas' Jourdanton prospect, in Atascosa County, Texas, the Blue Eyes 1H averaged 405 boepd (383 barrels of oil per day, 134 mcf of natural gas per day) over the well's first 30 full days of production. Total acreage at Jourdanton now consists of approximately 5,700 net acres. Abraxas also recently spud the Snake Eyes 1H, which is the first of four consecutive wells to be drilled on the Jourdanton prospect in 2014. Additional wells scheduled to be drilled in 2014 include the Spanish Eyes 1H, Eagle Eyes 1H and Ribeye 1H. Abraxas owns a 100% working interest across the Jourdanton prospect.

Williston Basin In McKenzie County, North Dakota, the company successfully drilled and cased the Jore 1H, 2H and 4H. The three Jore wells are now scheduled to be fraced in March, weather permitting. Raven Rig #1 recently mobilized to the Ravin West pad to drill four wells. Abraxas owns a working interest of approximately 76% and 51% in the Jore and Ravin West pads, respectively. 
We're going to see a lot of fracking activity in March, based on this note, and what else I've been seeing across the Bakken.


Samson Oil & Gas reports its weekly operational update: Co provides an update on its North Stockyard Project. (Update: Samson Oil sells interests in Rennerfeldt wells)

Rennerfeldt 2-13-H (SSN WI 25.03%)
The Rennerfeldt 2-13-HBK well was drilled to a measured depth of 11,572 feet, where the 7 inch production casing was set and cemented in the middle Bakken.

The forward plan is drill the 3,700 foot lateral to 15,230 feet (MD) and run the production liner.

Rennerfeldt 1-13-H (SSN WI 25.03%)
Rennerfeldt 1-13-H has been drilled to a measured depth of 11,571 feet, where the 7 inch production was set and cemented. The forward operation will be to drill the 3,600 foot lateral in the Middle Bakken once Frontier Rig 24 has completed drilling operations on the Rennerfeldt 2-13-H well.

Tooheys 4-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%)
The Tooheys well is flowing restricted on a 22/64ths choke and has maintained an average oil rate of approximately 800 BOPD over the last 16 days.

Little Creature 3-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%)
The Little Creature well is flowing restricted on a 18/64ths choke and has averaged 435 BOPD over the last 9 days.

Coopers 2-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%)
The Coopers well is flowing on a 18/64ths choke and has averaged 490 BOPD over the last 5 days.

Coopers, Tooheys and Little Creature are located on the Tofte 2 pad on the northern boundary of Section 14

Blackdog 3-13-14H (SSN WI 25.03%)
The preparatory workover on the Blackdog well has been essentially completed, with the workover rig currently undergoing some repair work. The forward plan in this well is to perforate the first frac zone ahead of the arrival of the frac crew.

A coil tubing unit will then be used to drill out the frac plugs in both the Blackdog and Sail and Anchor 1-13-14HBK wells (SSN WI 25.03%), enabling both of these wells to be put into production. These wells are located on the Tofte 1 pad, which is on the southern boundary of Section 13 within the North Stockyard project.

Sail and Anchor 1-13-14HBK well (SSN WI 25.03%)
Sail and Anchor was fracked in September 2013 and has been flowed back previously, though that prior flow back is believed to have been restricted by the frac plugs. The plan is to have a coil tubing unit drill out the frac plugs on Sail and Anchor when fracture stimulation is completed on the Blackdog well.

Idle Rambling -- No Reason To Read This

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. 

Three interesting data points ahead of Janet Yellen's first meeting:
  • the stock market managed to eke out a slight gain today, and "eke out" is the operative phrase
  • WTI futures were trading just above $100 until the close, when the price settled at $99.95
  • there are 196 rigs actively drilling in North Dakota today
Whether the rigs are FlexRigs, conventional rigs, work-over rigs, or drilling salt water disposal rigs, they all represent work and tangible resources.

This $100-oil-streak is the longest sustained streak of "high price oil" -- ever. It's a lot easier to live with stability, even with high prices, than volatility, and at the end of the day, $100-oil seems about right. 

How did some of the NYSE companies do today? This is the one I'm most interested in today -- McDonald's. I thought I saw a headline that said sales were still slipping. Yes, here it is: "sales chilled by January weather." LOL. December was the unexpectedly cold month; January was pretty normal. Oasis, in the Bakken, said it was a normal winter -- I love it when a company doesn't offer excuses, but just gets on with their work. Apparently McDonald's competitors didn't have the same trouble with the weather. Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
In hopes of attracting more diners, McDonald's has been aggressively promoting its revamped Dollar Menu, which includes new burgers that cost more than a dollar. 
Hellloooo! Could that be one of the problems .... "revamping the Dollar Menu which includes new burgers that cost more than a dollar"? [No, I don't invest in McDonald's -- never have, never will; I grew up with McDonald's; always curious to see how they are doing; I have to agree that their menu is way to complicated. In 'N Out, by contrast, has two hamburger choices, one French Fry choice, and a drink, and that's it. Pretty simple.

Other news from the financial world:

The Wall Street Transcipt requires a subscription (which I don't have) but one can always glean something from the teaser, and this one paragraph says what many others are saying:
I think we are seeing two themes which will impact offshore spend in 2014. The first is a decision by some of the major IOCs to try and rein in capex in order to improve their free cash flow. The second shift seems to be that at least some of the major oil companies have shifted their capex focus more onshore than the offshore in order to take advantage of North American shale opportunities.
What is WBR&C doing? Bloomberg is reporting:
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans $5 billion in capital investment at BNSF Railway Co. this year, positioning the carrier to extend a lead in spending over its biggest rival.
The budget marks an increase of about 25 percent from the target set a year earlier, Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF said yesterday in a statement. BNSF’s program includes $2.3 billion for its rail network and $1.6 billion for equipment, including locomotives and railcars.
Buffett’s railroad outspent Union Pacific Corp. (UNP), its direct competitor in the western U.S., by about $700 million in 2013, a gap that may widen. With a boost from hauling crude oil, cargo shipments at BNSF rose about 4.5 percent last year compared with a 0.3 percent decline for Union Pacific, according to estimates by Jason Seidl, a New York-based analyst with Cowen & Co.
That's an interesting bit of trivia -- BNSF is based in Fort Worth. We live in Tarrant County; Fort Worth is the county seat for Tarrant County. Tonight on the news according to my wife (I don't watch television except, rarely, for sports), according to new census figures, Tarrant County currently is #1 in the entire United States for the number of folks moving into the county (if that makes sense). The #1 county out of which folks are moving is Los Angeles County. Three families a day, according to the news, according to my wife, are moving into Tarrant County -- three families a day. Obviously they are not all coming from Los Angeles.

I can't help but think that Ft Worth-based BNSF isn't part of the big picture in US mobility. Maybe it's a stretch. I don't care. I'm enjoying Slim Dusty on iTunes in the background waiting for our older granddaughter to finish her swimming lessons.

By the way, back to the BNSF story above. I wrote the following on February 6, 2014:
I say all this because we have no idea what BNI would have done during this same time period, but one can probably use UNP as a proxy for BNI. My hunch is that with the demise of coal and a relatively bad economy, UNP has not done as well as BNI, since the latter pretty much has a monopoly on track in the Bakken.
Wow! Pretty good, huh. Compare that with the story above:
With a boost from hauling crude oil, cargo shipments at BNSF rose about 4.5 percent last year compared with a 0.3 percent decline for Union Pacific, according to estimates by Jason Seidl, a New York-based analyst with Cowen & Co.
With that, gotta go. Maybe later tonight.

Active Rigs In North Dakota Continue To Increase In Number; Nine (9) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs:

Active Rigs19618520316591

Nine (9) new permits --
  • Operators: Petro-Hunt (6), Whiting, QEP, Statoil
  • Fields: Little Knife (Dunn), Clear Creek (McKenzie), Sanish (Mountrail), Grail (McKenzie), Buford (Williams)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were reported earlier; see sidebar at the right.

There were two (2) well name changes:
  • 19954, the BR CCU Olympian 21-2TFH will now target the Three Forks instead of the middle Bakken
  • 27646, the HRC Fort Berthold 148-95-26A-35A-14H was incorrectly "placed" in T148N-R94W
Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 25908, drl, BR, CCU Columbian 43-1MBH, Corral Creek, no production data,
  • 25962, drl, BR, Archer 34-25TFH, Charlson, no production data,

Update On Keystone XL 2.0 North Pipeline Milestones


January 29, 2015: House has already passed the bill. Senate passes the Keystone XL bill earlier today, 62 - 36. 
Original Post

About one year ago, I posted my best-guess estimates for the Presidential Keystone XL 2.0 North decision. The estimates (E) are brought forward below. I was wildly optimistic, expecting that the recently released State Department SEIS would have been released almost one year ago. Wow, was I wrong. I assume all the "snow-days" in Washington, DC, slowed things down for the State Department:

The old timeline

February 28, 2014 (E) White House approves with conditions. Any decision later than this will impact the mid-term elections.

January 30, 2014 (E): On President Obama's desk. 

January 15, 2014 (E): State Dept makes recommendation. Other departments can object. In early 2013, State Department said they would not make decision before end of 1H13, and then revised it by saying "not before March, 2013," so the January 15, 2014, date may be six months too long.

November 15, 2013 (E): Mandatory 30-day wait.

October 15, 2013 (E): State Dept publishes final SEIS in the Federal Register.

September 30, 2013 (E): State Dept compiles comments and answers any "substantitve" concerns.

June 30, 2013 (E): EPA places summary in Federal Register.

June 15, 2013 (E): 45-day comment period ends.

May 1, 2013 (E): EPA's mandatory 45-day comment period. Impacted by new EPA chief.

March 4, 2013: EPA has to review the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). No deadline to complete.

March 1, 2013: State Department's Keystone Pipeline report Friday. This was a draft statement.
The new timeline

I suggested the SEIS might be released by May 1, 2013, at which time the EPA would review the environmental study. In fact, that occurred, not on May 1, 2013, but on January 31, 2014. So, the new timeline:
  • The EPA has 45 days to review the SEIS (E): March 15, 2014.
  • State Dept has unlimited time to study the EPA concerns (E): reports September 15, 2014
  • SecState signs off on final State Dept report, places it in Federal register (E): December 15, 2014
  • President Obama makes remarks in State of the Union Address, 2015 (E): January 20, 2015

I updated the timeline today following The Dickinson Press op-ed on same. The managing editor's position: it's time for the President to make a decision. Okay.

Meanwhile,  here are the results of the poll at the sidebar in which was asked whether President Obama will eventually approve the Keystone XL 2.0 North pipeline:
  • Yes: 31%
  • No: 39%
  • No longer matters: 30%
I won't take the poll down but I doubt I will update any new results.

Most Of ObamaCare Delayed Until 2016, The President's Last Year In Office; Tax On Medical Devices About All That Is Left

For newbies, there are three components of ObamaCare:
  • the employer mandate (delayed until 2015; today, a further delay)
  • the individual mandate (delayed for some; effectively delayed for all)
  • taxes on medical devices (who cares)
Regular readers know that I opined that ObamaCare would unravel piece by piece. The employer mandate for large corporations was delayed until 2015. When the webpage rollout faltered, exemptions for individuals were announced. About the only thing left was the mandate for small business (part of the employer mandate/part of the individual mandate depending). No one really cares about taxes on medical devices except a few lobbyists and that portion of ObamaCare is still likely to be repealed or scaled back.

Today, the administration announced a significant portion of ObamaCare would be delayed. It's pretty much all over except for the political theater. Bloomberg is reporting:
Employers with fewer than 100 workers won’t have to provide health insurance until 2016 under Obamacare, as the administration said it would again delay a key requirement of the health law.
Larger firms have to cover at least 70 percent of the workforce starting next year, the Internal Revenue Service said in a rule issued today.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act envisioned as a cornerstone of its expansion of U.S. insurance coverage that employers with 50 or more workers would be required to provide health benefits to their employees. Under pressure from business groups, the Obama administration has weakened that requirement since July, first by delaying enforcement of the mandate until 2015. Many firms will have even more time under the regulation issued today.
2016 is a presidential election year. Anyone wanna bet the delay won't be extended until after the election? Rhetorical. Please don't reply.

Insurance premiums for 2015, to be announced October, 2014, will soar. If you thought they were bad now, you haven't seen anything yet. The insurance companies must be livid. As stated before, my hunch is the president will issue an executive order prior to November, 2014, that insurance premiums for 2015 cannot be raised more than five percent. There's a very good chance the executive order could even do a "Wal-Mart" -- require a rollback in premiums for 2015, promising the insurance companies that the government would make up the difference.

I-98, The Second Episode: The Inferno

Season One, Episode 2: The Inferno 

a syndicated television series spanning one decade, 2040 - 2049
Chronicles from The Bakken
Starring Samuel "Oilman" Goshwin & Liam Nikolai Gjorkstad
with occasional appearances by Archie McCool
initial funding from Apple Prairie Broadcasting  
matching grant money from The Legacy Fund
continuing support from viewers like you.

Season One, Episode Two: The Inferno

Liam: "Don't tell me you're crying over a little bit of spilled beer?

Samuel, blowing his nose in his handkerchief, wiping the tears from his eyes, "No, it's this darn hayfever."

Samuel had run out of Allegra-X, the follow-on to Allegra-M, which, in turn, had followed Allegra-D. 

[Shares in the parent company had plunged several years earlier when investors noted that the manufacturer was getting near the end of the alphabet. Disaster was averted, however, when the President of the United States had stepped in, and by executive order, added sixteen letters to the alphabet. Like most of his cabinet, the letters were not needed; nor, like most of his cabinet were they ever used, so no one complained. In fact, had the letters been more like the president's "czars" no one would have even noticed them.]

It was easier to get refills back when ObamaCare still existed, but that was long ago. ObamaCare had been replaced by Michelle Enterprises. Michelle Enterprises went public in 2025 (NYSE ticker: ME), and despite its "heritage," was endorsed by the Tea Party, long since defunct) when Michelle agreed to tack on "Inc." at the end of ME, to make it appear "more capitalistic." The original plans were to make the enterprise an LLC but no one in the administration knew what those letters stood for, no one having been in business before. 

Michelle Care Enterprises-Medical Systems Endeavors (MCE-MSE, pronounced "mickey mouse" by Fox Business News) was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Michelle Enterprises. MCE-MSE developed the health care enrollment app. Unfortunately the Belarus engineers who wrote the code neglected to develop the "medication refill" app. [The Belarus engineers, in their defense, said it was never in the contract to develop a "refill" app.]

And without the app, Samuel was up a creek without a paddle, as they often said in Rugby.  More accurately, he was up a creek in ragweed country without his allergy medications.

Ragweed was nearly eradicated when the I-98 was being built. Ragweed to the I-98 workers was what yellow fever was to those working on the Panama Canal at the end of of the nineteenth century. Ragweed hayfever could never be compared to yellow fever, but it slowed things down. 

Dr Ole Kjorkstad (no relation to Liam, despite the similarity in surnames), was North Dakota's "Dr Gorges." He almost eradicated ragweed. Unfortunately The New York Times did a piece on the weed, and wouldn't you know it -- ragweed was declared an endangered species. Now it was back. 

Had The Dickinson Press not done a human interest story on ragweed, it's likely The New York Times would have never picked up on the story. But the video-story went viral: a Dickinson city bus driver had gone into a hayfever sneezing fit and had run his bus into a WBR&C crude oil unit train west of the Dickinson refinery. Unfortunately, the 220-car unit train had not yet unloaded its legendary flammable cargo. The ensuing inferno could be seen from outer space for days. It reminded some of the old-timers of the good old days when flaring was still allowed. Today's four-car derailment was a far cry from the "Dickinson Disaster of '27" as it came to be called.

In his haste to reach the overturned beer tank, Sam had forgotten it was late August, the 28th to be exact. Ragweed pollination season begins on August 15th, like clockwork.

The sun was low on the horizon; pollen counts increase at dawn and dusk, like that other North Dakota scourge: mosquitoes. Sam was sneezing into his handkerchief and Liam was still swatting the aforementioned pests when they reached the beer running into the drainage ditch.

By now the authorities had arrived; drones were circling overhead; two Rugby female police officers were setting up barricades; a Good Humor ice cream truck had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. The ice cream truck was the one non-emergency vehicle allowed to go around the police barricades. A crowd had gathered. The crows feasting on roadkill had long scattered but were not far out of sight. 

"Get back! It's gonna blow!" cried a voice from the crowd; the shouter was never identified. The yell was said later to have come from the grassy knoll on the other side of the road.

The two oil men ran toward the drainage ditch, covering their ears. Liam jumped into the ditch, and became partially swamped by the beer, which in another setting might not have been the worst outcome. Sam didn't make it to the beer-filled ditch. One of the three derailed oil tank cars burst into flame, no explosion, just a 30-foot-flare, reminiscent of the old Bakken flares.

"Quick, this way," Liam cried.

Sam was temporarily blinded; he was lying in a swath of ragweed; his eyes were swollen shut. Instinctively he moved away from the heat of the flame. Liam tried to get to his knees, stumbled, and fell back into the ditch.

The Rugby ECNALUBMA had arrived on scene but was blocked by the Good Humor truck from getting where it needed to be. Not funny, despite the lettering on the ice cream truck. 

The paramedics rushed to Sam and Liam (they would later be honored by the Rugby Rotary Club as heroes for rushing toward the fire when everybody else, that is, Sam and Liam, were trying to flee). The crowd was not moving. The crowd sort of reminded some folks of the crowds that gathered every February at the First Lutheran Church in Williston for the annual Lutefisk and Lefse Dinner.  It would take more than a three-alarm fire to get Norwegians to leave their pews patiently waiting for lutefisk.

[Post-events, the mayor of Rugby became a national celebrity, even thinking about running for President of the United States for his actions that day, maintaining calm in Rugby. The Dickinson Press would later publish a human interest story on the derailment, focusing on the ECNALUBMA.]

"Sam, are you okay?" was all a shocked Liam could muster.

The drones continued filming.

Next week's episode: the chase.

Olympics: Peaceful Norwegians Win At Shooting; Gun-Loving Americans Win At Snowboarding

[Note: wells coming off confidential list today have been posted.]

I wish I could write as well -- or even half as well -- as Peggy Noonan. I think she could write a column on the irony that the peaceful Norwegians take the gold in the biathlon (which includes shooting a high-powered rifle with state-of-the-art sighting) and the gun-loving, NRA Americans taking gold in both the men's and the women's snowboarding competitions at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

America's favorite in the 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, Tim Burke, finished 19th.

I'm looking forward to the day when they combine snowboarding with shooting.

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. 

Seventeen companies announce increased dividends or distributions, including UNP (previously posted), Apache (previously posted), Dr Pepper Snapple, Fluor, KKR.


So much for the Obama administration trying to narrow the gap between CEOs and worker bees. Today it is announced that Government Motors will pay their new CEO 60% more than her predecessor
General Motors Co's Mary Barra, the auto industry's first female chief executive officer, will be paid $14.4 million in cash and stock this year, 60 percent more than her predecessor, the automaker disclosed on Monday.

The Fiscal Times via Yahoo!News is reporting:
As the next Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) takes the gavel, his first priority will likely be to renew the more than 55 tax breaks or extenders that expired at the end of the year.
These provisions are essentially a grab bag of goodies for business and industry, as well as some for individual taxpayers. Last year, they cost taxpayers a whopping $74 billion--$63 billion of which solely benefited businesses, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
There are also the more obscure, smaller extenders like the tax break allowing filmmakers to deduct up to $15 million on movies produced mostly in the U.S. and another for building NASCAR racetracks.
What a great country -- tax breaks for building NASCAR racetracks. I like this guy already.

Barnes and Noble will axe the Nook. On January 9, 2014, I offered three pieces of advice for Barnes and Noble:
  • discontinue the Nook; partner with Apple (unfortunately they've already signed with the devil)
  • convert to sales club model (Sam's or Costco's model): everyone pays $30 annual fee; card-entry required
  • raise the bar significantly on the retail experience to "make" folks want to visit

Monday -- February 10, 2014

Active rigs:

Active Rigs19218520316591

RBN Energy: Gulf Coast condensate splitter economics.
Midstream companies are building or planning 400 Mb/d of new condensate splitter capacity to process Eagle Ford production by 2016. BASF/Total have been operating a 75 Mb/d splitter at Port Arthur since 2000. The new splitters are being built in response to a flood of condensate range material coming out of the Eagle Ford into Houston and Corpus Christi. So what’s the big deal with condensate splitters? Today we look at splitter economics.
The Wall Street Journal

Millions trapped in health-law coverage gap.  
Ernest Maiden was dumbfounded to learn that he falls through the cracks of the health-care law because in a typical week he earns about $200 from the Happiness and Hair Beauty and Barber Salon. Like millions of other Americans caught in a mismatch of state and federal rules, the 57-year-old hair stylist doesn't make enough money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy health insurance.
If he earned another $1,300 a year, the government would pay the full cost. Instead, coverage would cost about what he earns. 
Not to worry. This will be corrected before the election.


Even the WSJ can spin a story. More people quit their jobs, as optimism grows.
The percentage who volunarily left their job -- the nation's "quit rate" -- hit 1.8% in NOvember, the highest in the recovery and up from a low of 1.2% in September, 2009. Some retired or simply chose not to work. But most quit to hunt for a new job or because they had already found one.

Five days without power -- Pennsylvanians. A global warming storm hit the southeastern part of the state, knocking out power for more than 50,000 Pennsylvanians.

Even Senator Charles Schumer knows that President Obama would interpret any new immigration law any way he wanted, using executive orders to enforce the law selectively.

UAW, auto industry hold breath on VW vote. [Update: UAW lost; workers vote down union.]
The future of the United Auto Workers union and a large swath of the U.S. auto industry may be decided this week when workers at the three-year-old Volkswagen AG plant here vote on whether they want union representation.
For a time, Donna Allmon, a quality inspector on the assembly line, was open to the idea of a union, and looked positively on the UAW's practice of giving preferences based on workers' seniority.
But then she took into account the UAW's history of confrontations with the Detroit auto makers, and its role in the long decline that culminated in the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler.
"Anything they have been involved with has had problems," she said Saturday, leaving a meeting hosted by a group of antiunion workers where she picked up a blue "NO UAW" T-shirt and stack of leaflets to pass out to co-workers.
"We are a great company. I just don't feel we need this."
If the UAW prevails in the vote, it would be a rejuvenating victory for an organization whose membership rolls and influence have declined steadily for 30 years as GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. struggled and downsized. It would also signal new hope for unionizing other foreign-owned plants in the South, where antiunion sentiment runs deep.

The Los Angeles Times

Winter Olympics: USA steamrolls Switzerland 9 - 0 in women's hockey.  

Jamie Anderson completes gold-medal sweep for US in slopestyle (snowboarding). 

Tight Propane Supply Reaches Crisis -- The Wall Street Journal -- February 10, 2014


April 1, 2014: Park Rapids Enterprise says problems that led to propane shortage have not been fixed, but because of spring/summer weather, folks will forget. We will see what winter of 2014-2015 brings. 

February 21, 2014: update on this story. FERC issued a one-week order, than extended the order for another week. 
Original Post
Link here.
Federal and state officials are pushing emergency measures to get propane to people who need the gas to heat their homes in the Midwest and other regions of the country beset by persistent frigid temperatures.
The measures, which include extending working hours for truckers and ordering a pipeline company to prioritize shipments to areas with tight supplies, are meant to alleviate a propane crunch that has sent prices for the fuel to record highs in some parts of the country.
"The propane shortage has been a crisis for thousands of families and farmers in Minnesota and across the region," Sen. Al Franken, who represents the North Star State, said in a statement.
He has been asking various federal agencies to help route more propane to places in need. Governors in affected states are trying to increase propane deliveries and make funds available for residents to pay higher heating bills.
In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton expanded the state's heating assistance program to increase the number of households eligible to receive its funds by 120.000. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence waived fees for overweight propane loads for suppliers, and is asking farmers to make available whatever supplies they have leftover from the harvest-drying season.
The good news: Al Franken, with his long experience in the oil and gas industry AND in government knows exactly who to call. LOL. Literally.


North Dakota death due to propane shortage. The Minot Daily News is reporting:
Authorities on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas hope to know by the weekend whether a woman found dead in a mobile home with an empty propane tank died from the cold, as people nationwide struggle to stay warm due to a lack of affordable fuel.
Debbie Dogskin's body was discovered Tuesday morning at her Fort Yates home, but a cause of death was not immediately determined. An autopsy was planned Wednesday morning, with results possible by Friday, Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis said.
The temperature in Fort Yates dropped to 1 degree below zero early Tuesday, and the inside of the mobile home was just as cold, according to the sheriff.
"Being that the house was so cold, and the position of her body, leads us to think that she just froze to death," Landeis said. He declined to elaborate. He also declined to say how old Dogskin was, though tribal officials have said she was in her early 50s.