Sunday, March 16, 2014

How Much Clout Does Harold Hamm Have? You Might Be Surprised ...

Copied directly from Platts via Twitter:
No doubt about the most #oil-soaked first round game in the #NCAATournament announced so far: Oklahoma vs N. Dakota State.
Just saying.....

........ by the way, the state of North Dakota has more times in the NCAA basketball tournament ("March madness") than the state of Indiana. Again, just saying .....


Yesterday, I mentioned that oil demand was increasing -- at least that was my perception -- based on the reading or misreading of the tea leaves.  Now, from Platts we read:
The IEA revised upward its estimate of world oil demand in 2014 once again amid an improving economic picture.
The latest upward revision of 80,000 b/d leaves the full-year demand estimate at 92.68 million b/d, an increase of 1.35 million b/d on 2013.
This was the seventh consecutive upgrade to the IEA’s demand forecast, and brings the total upward revision to 700,000 b/d. Right now demand growth is relatively muted, but the IEA said it was expected to gather pace later in the year.
It is worth bearing in mind, though, that demand is still being outpaced by non-OPEC supply, which is expected to rise by 1.7 million b/d this year because of what the IEA called the “relentless growth in US and Canadian supplies,” with smaller increases also expected in Russia, China and Brazil. [The delta between 1.7 million bopd and 1.35 bopd is about 0.35 million bopd, or 350,000 bopd.]
This effectively reduces the call on OPEC crude — the amount of crude the oil cartel would have to pump in order to balance supply and demand — to an average of 29.7 million b/d in 2014.
This is well below current production, even without accounting for further increases from Iraq, a possible recovery in Libyan production or the potential lifting of sanctions against Iran.
If any of those events come to pass, there would be even more oil available to ease any market pressures.

Flasback To 2009: BP Refinery Put On Hold By EPA Is Finally Completed

Flashback: this was one of the first posts I ever did for this blog, back in October, 2009:
October 25, 2009: Surprise! BP refinery expansion in question.
While pundits keep repeating the mantra that no refinery has been built in the United Stated since 1976, when an oil company finally decides to add refining capacity, the current administration puts it on hold. The refinery had met all regulatory requirements and was surprised when the EPA said BP had 90 days to submit new information on air pollutant emissions. BP spokesmen say that this does not mean the project is scrapped but they are disappointed. Everyone thought the regulatory obstacles had been cleared. Not in ObamaNation.
Flash forward. I was curious to see if this expansion project was ever approved by the Obama administration. Lo and behold, it was. In a  press released dated December 18, 2013 -- BP announces completion of the refinery expansion --
BP announced today all of the major new units associated with the Whiting modernization project have been successfully brought on stream.  The start-up of the new 102,000 barrel per day coker in mid-November marked the last major milestone of the multi-year, multi-billion dollar modernization project at the facility in Northwest Indiana.
The refinery is working through post-start-up troubleshooting activities and expects to be ready to begin the ramp up of progressively higher Canadian crude processing from year-end through the first quarter of 2014 as previously announced.
Some comments:
  • I am amazed none of the links were broken, including the original Reuters link
  • I was impressed that BP pressed on
  • now, if the federal and state governments will approve the new pipelines and pipeline expansion programs bringing in Canadian crude oil

Mainstream Media Knows No Bounds When It Comes To Renewable Energy

Read this linked article, sent to me by Don. Reuters is reporting that South Africa's energy grid is about to fail:
South Africa's failure to invest in new power plants nearly two decades ago meant it paid dearly in 2008 when the grid nearly collapsed, leading to power cuts that cost the economy billions of rand in lost output and dented investor confidence.
State-owned power utility Eskom is scrambling to finish new power plants, including Medupi and Kusile, massive coal-fired outfits with a combined capacity of about 9,500 megawatts (MW).
But they are still several years away from completion, and in the interim Eskom will be battling to keep the lights on, nursing its fleet of ageing generating units and hoping breakdowns do not reduce reserve margins to critical levels.
The article goes on and on and on. And on and on and on. It's all about bad choices (failure to manage the nuclear energy program appropriately) and reality (evil coal). And then at the very end, the absolute very end, the truth comes out. [Actually the fifth sentence before the end.) The real reason the country is in trouble.


President Obama appears to have accomplished what no one thought possible: renew the Cold War. The dots are easy to connect, starting with the "apology tour" and ending with the "red line" in the Black Sea."

The AFP is reporting that state television says Russia could turn the US to radioactive ash.  
A leading anchor on Russian state television on Sunday described Russia as the only country capable of turning the United States into "radioactive ash", in an incendiary comment at the height of tensions over the Crimea referendum.
"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television.
Kiselyov made the comment to support his argument that the United States and President Barack Obama were living in fear of Russia led by President Vladimir Putin amid the Ukraine crisis.
I guess that pretty much completes his trifecta (but he has 1,040 days left):
  • ObamaCare
  • a nuclear arms race in the Mideast
  • a return to the "Cold War"
I track his legacy here.

Unlike the Keystone, This Project Will Be Fast-Tracked

The AP is reporting that Kansas farmers don't want a high-powered transmission line crossing their farmland:
The windy plains of Kansas could be a treasure trove in the nation's effort to harness clean energy, but a major proposal to move wind-generated electricity eastward is running into a roadblock: Farmers who don't want high-power transmission lines on their land.
Clean Line Energy Partners wants to spend $2.2 billion to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line. Towers 110 to 150 feet tall, 4-6 per mile, would carry lines with power generated by Kansas' modernistic windmill turbines through sparsely populated northern Missouri, through the cornfields of Illinois and to a substation in Sullivan, Ind. The exact route has not been finalized.
Unfortunately they will have little say in this. The project will be fast-tracked and if push-comes-to-shove, President Obama will mandate it by executive order. 

Interestingly, the farmers know that the transmission line is the least of their worries. This is what they are concerned about:
Kansas figures to benefit the most. Clean Line projects that more than $7 billion of new wind projects will be needed to meet demand created by the line, potentially creating thousands of new jobs in Kansas and making the state a hub of wind energy.
Rural Kansas will become one huge wind farm. So much for "their" way of life. So much for migratory birds. So much for the sandhill cranes on their way to Nebraska.

I don't have a dog in this fight; this will be fun to watch.

EOG ReportsTwo More Huge Wells; WPX And Whiting Report Nice Wells

Monday, March 17, 2014 -- Happy St Patrick's Day
  • 25424, 1,196, XTO, Alice 44X-34G, Siverston, t2/14; cum --
  • 25530, drl, Zavanna, Sylvester 32-29 2H, Springbrook, no production data,
  • 25974, drl, KOG, P Vance 154-97-4-17-20-13H, Truax, no production data,
  • 25981, drl, XTO, Inga Federal 41X-29C, Haystack Butte, no production data,
  • 26084, 596, HRC, Quarne 2-21-16, Strandahl, t11/13; cum 16K 1/14;
  • 26150, drl, Corinthian, Corinthian Brenden 1-28 1H, Haram, a Spearfish well, no production data,
Sunday, March 16, 2014
  • 22108, 1,614, WPX, Mary R Smith 5-8HW, Van Hook, t12/13; cum 28K 1/14;
  • 24884, 485, Fidelity, Carol 43-29H, Stanley, t9/13; cum 21K 1/14;
  • 25131, 1,433, Whiting, Jurgens 34-12PH, Fryburg, t9/13; cum 54K 1/14;
  • 25132, conf, Whiting, Jurgens 44-12PH, Fryburg, t8/13; cum 38K 1/14;
  • 25133, conf, Whiting, Jurgens 41-13PH, Gaylord, t8/13; cum 33K 1/14;
  • 25253, 1,908, EOG, Parshall 35-0509H, Parshall, Bakken, 1,920 acres; 59 stages; 18 million lbs; t10/13; cum 108K 1/14; 
  • 25605, 1,686, EOG, Fertile 52-3332H, Parshall, Bakken, 31 stages, 9.5 million lbs; 1,280 acres; t10/13; cum 71K 1/14;
  • 26128, drl, CLR, Perch 1-30H1, Park, no production data,
  • 26132, drl, Hess, LK-A Qtr Cir-147-96-0718H-3, Big Gulch, no production data,
Saturday, March 15, 2014
  • 23781, 234, Petro-Hunt, Carlson 159-94-4B-9-2H, North Tioga, t1/14; cum 4K 1/14;
  • 24270, drl, HRC, Fort Berthold 147-94-3B-10-5H, McGregory Buttes, no production data,
  • 25364, 340, OXY USA, Evelyn Kary 2-22-15H-144-97, Cabernet, 32 stages; 2.6 million lbs; t12/13; cum 15K 1/14;
  • 25470, 1,144, Whiting, Privratsky 14-22PH, Bell, t9/13; cum 41K 1/14;
  • 25471, 1,236, Whiting, Privratsky 24-22PH, Bell, t9/13; cum 40K 1/14;
  • 25538, drl, KOG, P Thomas 154-98-14-33-3H3, Truax, no production data,
  • 26210, drl, HRC, State 157-100-29A-32-3H, Marmon, no production data,
  • 26248, 986, Newfield, Eide 150-99-7-6-4H, Tobacco Garden, t1/14; cum 14K 1/14;
  • 26339, 295, American Eagle, Erling 15-33-164-102, wildcat, t11/13; cum 12K 1/14;

22108, see above, WPX, Mary R Smith 5-8HW, Van Hook:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 25131, see above, Whiting, Jurgens 34-12PH, Fryburg:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25253, see above, EOG, Parshall 35-0509H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25605, see above, EOG, Fertile 52-3332H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Nothing To Do With Oil; Everything To Do With North Dakota

Bear Den oil field has been updated
Big Bend oil field has been updated.

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Ropers from around the country have flocked this week to the Bowman County Fairgrounds to be critiqued and molded into better athletes by a true rodeo legend, eight-time National Finals Rodeo champion Joe Beaver.
The Beaver roping clinic has been helping ropers of all ages and talent move up to another level of competition for the past 20 years. This is the fifth year the clinic has been held in North Dakota — the past four years have been in Bismarck — and Beaver works individually with each participant.
“It’s seeing how the kids come back year after year and they improve, and what they get out of rodeo,” Beaver said. “There’s guys making the national finals that I’ve had in my clinics, there’s kids in the college finals, winning it and sending me texts and stuff about, ‘I won the college finals,’ or ‘I won the high school finals.’ And that’s the reward of it.”
For a little town, Bowman certainly seems to have its act together. A lot of things going on in their part of the world.


Sunday morning coming down:

Sure Am Glad To Be Around, Chuck Suchy
A Note To The Granddaughters

Through serendipity and keeping my ears open, I have come across favorites from suggestions made by close friends, family, acquaintances, beautiful women, the homeless. 

I never, in a million years, would have come across Henry James, the author, had Colleen not mentioned him in passing one day. She did not have a college education but was one of the brightest women, and best read women, I had ever met. Henry James, The Beast In The Jungle, haunts me to this day.

My younger daughter introduced me to Catcher in the Rye.

My closest friend growing up in Williston mentioned Chuck Suchy to me.

A German professor introduced me to Goethe, poetry, which was critical to my reading in literature.

My brother introduced Leonard Cohen to me, and perhaps was the reason I now own several Bose CD players.

I forget who introduced me to Jerry Jeff Walker. It's hard to believe I stumbled across him by accident.

A passing acquaintance in graduate school introduced me to Gustav Mahler. 

A most beautiful woman introduced me to Arvo Part. Or was it the other way around?

Norway Reaching Its Peak In Oil Production; Statoil Cutting Back -- Not Necessarily A Bakken Story

Over the past year there have been a number of stories written about the headwinds/obstacles that Statoil has been facing. Individually the stories were not all that interesting, but in the aggregate there seemed to be a theme developing.

Overnight a reader sent me this Bloomberg article suggesting things might be getting a big dismal for Norway:
A near half-decade boom in oil investments in Norway is about to come to an end, sapping momentum in the economy of western Europe’s largest crude producer, the country’s main economic forecaster said.
“The big change next year is investment in the petroleum industry because we have reached the highest level, it’s peaking next year,” Hans Henrik Scheel, director general of Statistic Norway, said yesterday in an interview at his Oslo office.
Oil investment will stabilize at a high level and the “demand impulse will be there but not a growth impulse,” he said. Scandinavia’s richest nation has used its oil wealth, which it funnels into an $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, to save itself from the wave of recessions that tore through most of the rest of Europe.
Yet that’s left Norway’s economy reliant on fossil fuels and with weakened competitiveness. Statistics Norway yesterday cut growth forecasts in the mainland economy, which excludes oil and gas, through 2016 as investments and record consumer debt weighs on households.
Statoil, Norway’s biggest oil producer, said last month it would cut planned investments by 8 percent over the next three years as the stagnant price of oil weighs on cash flow. The government, which owns 67 percent of Statoil, warned that planned projects must go ahead. The company, along with the rest of the global oil and gas industry, is reviewing investments after oil prices slid about 15 percent to $108 a barrel since 2011. 
$95 oil? I assume they are talking about the price of Brent, but i could be wrong. That would price WTI about $85, I suppose. The Bakken will do just fine.


Later. After posting the above, Don sent me the following comment from the MDU message board over on Yahoo!, one of the better message boards:
Most of the folks I talk to use $80 for investment assumptions and the futures curve agrees with that range.
I think the Chevron CEO was taking about the possibility that Brent stays in the current range. They showed a chart to 2030, 200 billion barrels of oil need to be found and produced just to stay up with normal declines and modest growth. If you figure it costs $50 per barrels to find it, that's going to cost $10 trillion. If I got my zeros correct, you could buy 25 Exxon's for that price tag.
The oil price is kind of like the '08, '09 financial disaster, a lot of people have assumed we were going to revisit it. Like Buffet said on CNBC the other morning, we will have a blow out again but who knows when and what causes it. Same thing with oil I suspect. We have gone up 10x in the past decade and a half.
And the US shale experience, while it is impressive, is only a million barrels more this year, and that won't keep up with global demand. I'm hard pressed to see much of a decline from the current levels and with a blowup in the Mideast, $100 might seem cheap.
The US energy revolution is under-appreciated, in my opinion, and I think we might still be in the early innings.
But frankly, I think I will continue to try to ride it on the infrastructure side of it, more than the producer side, maybe just a chicken's way to play it without a lot of the commodity exposure.
One of the reasons the globe may not be able to replicate the shale revolution world wide is the lack of infrastructure and a built in market, we still import 40% of what we use. We hear all of the negative-talking heads, and we do have warts, but this is by far the best country on the planet, and I don't see anyone challenging us for that spot any time soon.
There were a couple of comments that deserve repeating:
  • the US energy revolution is under-appreciated
  • the shale story may be in its early innings
  • $100 oil might seem cheap someday
With regard to the US energy revolution, I think this is the most important story: cheap energy. Americans, individually, and collectively, will have more discretionary income to spend and invest relative to others around the globe will be spending more and more individually and collectively on energy needs.

The Bakken phenomenon has also resulted in oil price stability, which is more important than the price of oil. Price volatility kills individuals and corporations: they can't plan and they get hit broadside when they least expect it. I have trouble believing that the price of oil would not have surged last Friday on news coming out of the Crimean had it not been for the Bakken, Permian, and Eagle Ford, all part of the Bakken legacy and laboratory.