Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random Update On The Bakken Boom With Video

KPAX is reporting:
WILLISTON, ND - Any thoughts that the pace in the Bakken oil patch has slowed down over the past few years, can be eliminated.
"We're breaking records everyday," noted Tom Rolfstad, Executive Director of Williston Economic Development.
"They're growing houses, like they grow wheat on the plains," said Rick Leuthold, Chairman of Sanderson Stewart, a regional development company that has been involved in helping Williston deal with the impacts of a seemingly endless oil boom.
With North Dakota on the threshold of surpassing the one million barrel-a-day threshold in oil production, sights are already focused on two million barrels a day.
There are now more than 10,000 producing oil wells "Rockin the Bakken" in North Dakota, and experts say before it's all said and done, there will likely be more than 50-thousand producing wells.
Go to linked site for more and for video.

A huge "thanks" to the reader who sent this in -- was sent to The Bakken Discussion Group

Global Warming Climate Change Extreme Weather IceAgeNow

Duluth expecting more snow tonight, tomorrow.

Northern Minnesota could get 8 to 11 inches. Of snow.

Will this winter ever end?

Fifteen (15) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Active Rigs Decline

Active rigs:

Active Rigs183187210175110

Fifteen (15) new permits  --
  • Operators: Statoil (4), Triangle (4), Baytex (3), Whiting (2), MRO, Petro-Hunt
  • Fields: Squires (Williams), Rawson (McKenzie), Blooming Prairie (Divide), Whiteaker (Divide), Ambrose (Divide), Sanish (Mountrail), Chimney Butte (Dunn), Charlson (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Wells coming off the confidential list Friday:
  • 23257, drl, SM Energy, Dorothy 16-21H, Siverston, no production data,
  • 23891, drl, Slawson, MacCougar 4-30-19TFH, Big Bend, no production data,
  • 25018, 1,433, Whiting, Wright Federal 21-5H, Bully, t10/13; cum 35K 2/14;
  • 25019, 1,680, Whiting, Wright Federal 21-5-2H, Bully, t10/13; cum 30K 2/14;
  • 25039, drl, QEP, Lawlar 3-5-8BH, Grail, no production data,
  • 25669, 60, Whiting, Maus 41-21H, Camel Hump, a Red River well, t12/13; cum 3K 2/14;
  • 25935, 201, Murex, Camille Helen 33-28H, Fortuna, t2/14; cum 2K 2/14;
  • 26336, 10, Corinthian Exploration, Corinthian Derr 8-9 1H, Red Rock, a Spearfish well, t1/14; cum --
  • 26599, conf, BR, Sequoia 14-9MBH, Hawkeye, no production data,

Reason #24,946 Why I Love To Blog: Coal Accounted For Almost 60% Of The Increased In Electricity Demand This Past Winter

Quick! Is the war on coal over? One would think so based on all the posts at this blog. LOL.

But then this. First, the small print, and then the graph. Here's the small print, from Mr Obama's EIA:
Coal stockpiles at electric power plants experienced a steep drawdown this winter, falling 24% between November 2013 (156 million tons) and February 2014 (119 million tons), ending at the lowest level since March 2006.
A main reason for this reduction was increased electricity demand because of the colder-than-normal weather.
Total U.S. net electricity generation was 5.3% higher this winter (November-February) than last winter, with 59% of the increase supplied by coal generation, which was up 8% year-over-year, or by 40,000 gigawatthours.
Renewable energy, and even natural gas, was unable to keep up with the demand created by this year's colder-than-normal winter. An increase in electricity was necessary and coal provided almost 60% of that increase in energy that was needed.

I never would have guessed that based on mainstream media reports.

Now, the graph:

Wind Off Rhode Island

Euronews is reporting that GE may buy Alstom.


Alstom will build the first large off-shore US wind farm. The press release:
Alstom signed a contract to supply 5 offshore wind turbines for Deepwater Wind’s 30-MW Block Island pilot Wind Farm located off the coast of Rhode Island, USA, in the presence of Arnaud Montebourg, French minister of economic recovery; Amy Ericson, Country President Alstom USA and Jeffrey Grybowski, Deepwater CEO. The project, scheduled for commissioning in 2016, will be one of the first offshore wind farms in the U.S. and will be the world’s first to feature Alstom’s Haliade™ 150-6 MW - the largest turbine installed in offshore waters today. The five turbines will produce approximately 125,000 MWh of electricity a year, enough to power over 17,000 homes (I suppose about the size of Williston?).
The contract scope includes the manufacturing of 5 Haliade™ 150-6 MW wind turbines and 15 years of operation and maintenance support for the Block Island Wind Farm owned and operated by Deepwater Wind.
Each wind turbine: 150-meter rotor diameter on a 100-meter tower; rated at 6 MW

I assume that would be five turbines (5 x 6 = 30 MW).

Later in the press release:
This project represents an important technological step for the Haliade 150-6MW. Along with the installation of 2 wind turbines in Europe - the first onshore at le Carnet site (in the western region of France), and the other in Ostend, Belgium - this pilot farm in the U.S. will enable Alstom to develop its offshore technology to the point where it can launch serial production. 

In France, Alstom will equip 3 wind farms (Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp and Saint-Nazaire) won by EDF EN and its partners as a result of the first French call for tender offshore, and today participates with EDF to the second call for tender for Le Tréport wind farm and the two islands wind farm (Yeu-Noimoutier). In Germany KNK Wind (the project development company for Arcadis Ost 1) has chosen the Haliade™ 150-6MW in December 2013 in support of a building permit for a project to install 58 wind offshore turbines on an area of about 30 square kilometres in Baltic Sea.
Newbies may want to put these 30 MW into perspective. At this link, note the amount of new energy placed in service in the US in the entire calendar year, 2013.

The year 2013 was a big year for US wind (tax credits ran out at the end of the year) and a total of 1,032 MW of wind-generated electricity was added for the entire year. This project off Rhode Island would represent about (30/1,032) about 3% of that total. That's just wind.

A start. I guess. My hunch is the lure of tax credits is the prime mover.

Midday Trading -- For Investors Only; Weekly Natural Gas Numbers

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.

Trading at new 52-week highs today: CAT, EOG, JOY, OKE, PSX, SYRG, WIN.

EOG has since dropped back, probably profit taking. Certainly oil and gas fundamentals have not changed. The price of oil crept up today and the weekly report for natural gas storage suggests continued price support for NG (some numbers rounded):
  • Total one week ago: 850 bcf
  • Total today: 900 bcf
  • One year ago: 1,700 bcf
  • % change from one year ago: -50%
  • 5-year average: 1,900 bcf
  • % change from historic average: -50%
Natural gas storage is almost 50% less than what it was last year at this time, and it is more than 50% less than the historic average (2009 - 2013).

The "implied flow" (new storage this week) was 50 bcf.

Bloomberg is reporting:
Speculators’ decision to raise bullish bets on U.S. natural gas was rewarded with a rally to the highest price since February.
Their net-long position across four natural-gas contracts rose 1.9 percent in the seven days ended April 15. Two days later, prices advanced the most in two months after a government report showed a second week of below-average U.S. stockpile gains, bolstering concern about tightening supply.

Inventories are 54 percent below the five-year average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said April 17. Another year of record production will be needed to cut the shortfall by the end of October, when stockpiles may be at the lowest pre-winter level since 2008, according to EIA projections. Frigid weather since November helped send supplies last month to the lowest in 11 years.
What's with the "speculators"? Someone has to buy, someone has to sell, they are all traders or investors, but I don't think this rises to the definition of "speculation."

The Big Slawson Case Will Come Up Later This Afternoon -- Unless

At 12:12 p.m., a reader wrote:
Next up - C22174 but breaking for lunch right now …. will reconvene at 1:10pm
Still a lot of cases before the Slawson case; it will be interesting if they get to it thoughts...

This pertains to the NDIC hearing today for the huge Slawson case. Link here for details

The Slawson case: C22272.

Another Canadian Province Will Have To Ban Fracking: 6.6 Magnitude Earthquake Off British Columbia; Dithering On The Keystone, Embarrassing -- Washington Post

CBC is reporting:
A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck last night shortly after 8 p.m. PT, with the epicentre located 40 kilometres southwest of Port Alice, according to the Pacific Tsunami Information Centre.
There were no initial reports of damage or injury.
The earthquake was initially reported at 6.7 magnitude, but the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Centre later changed the scale of the quake to 6.6.
And so it goes. Another promising oil field that will be closed to fracking.

Who Will Benefit From Chinese Shale?

For archival purposes only. This is a throwaway article over at Motley Fool. I include it only for archival purposes:
One company participating in the Chinese shale opportunity is Royal Dutch Shell. The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate is teaming up with state giant China National Petroleum Corporation to explore the Fushun-Yongchuan block in China's promising Sichuan basin. So far, the two companies have drilled 24 wells last year and plan to drill 14 more wells this year.
Another super-major participating in the Chinese shale opportunity is Total SA. The French company is working with Sinopec to look for economically recoverable shale gas in a 4,000 square-mile space near China's eastern city of Nanjing. If they find economical reserves, Total and Sinopec may agree on a long-term development deal over that acreage.
Not to be left out, Chevron is in China as well. The company is exploring China's Qiannan Basin for shale gas and has drilled two wells so far.
That's far in the future. The next story will play out over the next year or so. If the 2014 - 2015 winter is a severe winter, look for Mr Putin to cash in his cards.

Will GE Support VP Or BHO?

Reuters is reporting:
Russia warned foreign companies working in the oil and gas sector that if they quit the country over Ukraine-related sanctions, they would not be able to return any time soon.
Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoy said on Thursday that foreign firms had not so far signalled they would withdraw from projects in Russia, the world's top crude oil producer, but that there would be a price to pay if they did.
"It is obvious that they won't return in the near future if they sever investment agreements with us, I mean there are consequences as well," Sergei Donskoy told reporters in the city of Birobidzhan in Russia's Far East.
"Russia is one of the most promising countries in terms of hydrocarbons production. If some contracts are severed here, then, colleagues, you loose a serious lump of your future pie."
Presidents come and go. Is it worth it to GE to leave Russia?

For the archives.

The Keystone Dithering? Embarrassing

The Washington Post editorial board is reporting:
If foot-dragging were a competitive sport, President Obama and his administration would be world champions for their performance in delaying the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Last Friday afternoon, the time when officials make announcements they hope no one will notice, the State Department declared that it is putting off a decision on Keystone XL indefinitely — or at least, it seems, well past November’s midterm elections. This time, the excuse is litigation in Nebraska over the proposed route, because that might lead to a change in the project that various federal agencies will want to consider. The State Department might even decide to substantially restart the environmental review process . This is yet another laughable reason to delay a project that the federal government has been scrutinizing for more than five years. 
The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.

The Big Slawson Case -- Updated -- From A Reader

Been listening to NDIC live and the cases seem to be moving quickly.   Some cases continued until the May session, some dismissed, which makes for rapid processing.  For parties interested in listening to C22272, they know know what number the court is on, at present.
If an interested party is in the right circumstance, they could log on, keeping one ear on the hearings, while keeping their present tasks moving along, until C22272 is heard.
They are currently on:  C22164

Random Notes On The Bakken

Some fields of interest to me today:
  • Sanish oil field: only five rigs today; four in the south half (in/near the reservation)
  • Parshall oil field: hard to say for sure, but looks like about seven rigs in Parshall oil field, but many more rigs in fields right along the Parshall
  • Stockyard Creek oil field: two rigs, but a small field (about one township); and maybe about 12 wells on confidential status; Stockyard Creek has been updated
  • Grail oil field has been updated
Blue Velvet

One can argue who is best at covering "Blue Velvet,", but this is stunning. It sends shivers down my spine, even at 8:30 a.m. in Starbucks. I didn't think anyone could improve on the "theme" but Lana Del Rey's version must haunt David Lynch. 

Blue Velvet, Lana Del Rey

It would be intriguing to see a mash-up of Lana Del Rey's "Blue Velvet" and a dreamy scene in DiCaprio's "The Great Gatsby."

Jobless Claims -- Holy Mackerel -- Up 24,000; The CNBC Spin Is More Interesting Than The Government Report

CNBC is reporting [my comments in brackets]:
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but the rise probably does not suggest a shift in labor market conditions as the underlying trend continued to point to strength. [LOL]
[Quick, let's change the subject.] Separately, orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in March and a measure of business capital spending plans surged, bolstering views of an acceleration in growth in the second quarter.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 for the week ended April 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the week ended April 12 were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported
The mainstream media has been saying this for the past two years, maybe longer: "... but the rise probably does not suggest a shift in labor market conditions as the underlying trend continued to point to strength."

Maybe not, but a jump of 24,000 is I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

Had the previous week numbers not been revised upward, today's report would have been even worse, up 25,000 -- in one week. At the beginning of the construction and road-building season. 

Analysts expected first time claims would rise to 310,000.

In fact, first time claims rose to 329,00.

That is not trivial.

Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with first-time home sales plummeting almost 15% in March. Lowest since July, 2012.

Especially at this point in the recovery. Recovery?

When one sees a jump of 24,000, it explains why Janet Yellen continues to remain dovish. Great news for the market. 

And the spin over at CNBC continues:
The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose only 4,750 to 316,750. That was not too far from pre-recession levels. A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated and there were no special factors influencing the state level data.
Jobless claims generally move up or down 5,000 to 9,000. When one sees jumps of 25,000 new claims .... call it what you want ... not good.  Especially six years into the recovery and trillions of dollars in stimulus (and more to come).

For Investors Only

Twelve companies announce increased dividends or distributions. Today's list did not include AAPL's announcement -- will increase its dividend 8% annually on a regular basis.

Others increasing their dividends/distributions include: MetLife (from 27.5 to 35 cents); Suntrust Banks (doubles their dividend from 10 cents to 20 cents); Travelers (from 50 to 55 cents).

It is amazing: up until two days ago, everyone was piling on AAPL, suggesting how badly it was doing. Today, nothing but stories on how incredible AAPL was doing. LOL.

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

Be sure to scroll down. The big post for the day was posted earlier.

Still to report today, end of day:
  • AMZN: right on the nose; 23 cents, shares surge; sales up 23%; thin profits (again);
  • MSFT: 68 cents, beating expectations by 5 cents; "earnings fall less than expected";
  • Starbucks: right on the nose at 56 cents; but revenue up 9% from same period last year;
  • Weatherford: beats by 2 cents; 13 cents;
Early morning trading:
  • EOG: down slightly
  • CVX: flat
    COP: up slightly
    PSX: down slightly
    XOM: down slightly
  • BHI: down slightly
  • SLB: flat
  • HAL: down about a percent
  • HP: after reaching new highs yesterday, profit taking today, down 3%
  • KOG: up slightly
  • ENB: up slightly; near its 52-week high
  • EPD: up sligthly; also near its 52-week high
A disconnect between S&P and Dow; S&P up somewhat more than then Dow.

Huge Slawson Case On Tap; Thursday -- April 24, 2014; Important RBN Energy Post On Flaring In The Bakken

Earnings reports:
  • Carbo Ceramics (CRR): 80 cents; misses by 7 cents; impacted by weather.  
  • CAT: blows through forecast; reports $1.44; forecast $1.24
  • GM: 6 cents; either beat by 2 cents or in-line depending on analyst
  • HP: blows through forecast; reports $1.59, vs $1.48 forecast 
  • New York Times: beats by 4 cents
  • Noble Energy (NBL): 55 cents well below forecast of 75 cents, but excluding certain items, adjusted earnings at 82 cents/share 
  • Verizon: $1.15 in earnings and 84 cents in adjusted EPS vs 87 cents forecast 
  • UPS: big miss; misses by 10 cent; reports 98 cents vs $1.08; though others forecast $1.48
Remember the NDIC hearing today for the huge Slawson case. Link here for details. I don't know the time -- maybe some reader knows the time when the hearing starts. 

Top story in WSJ: Apple moves to reward investors.

I talked about this awhile back: slowing train traffic will have huge repercussions. Auto industry being hurt by slow train traffic. Big story in WSJ.

RBN Energy: a must read -- analysis of the flaring problem in the Bakken --
From the start of the Bakken oil production boom four years ago, a substantial portion of the associated natural gas produced has been flared, mostly due to a lack of gas gathering and processing infrastructure. Widespread flaring continues as the energy industry struggles to keep pace with the Bakken’s explosive growth. Finally, though, a confluence of events—new gas gathering and processing capacity coming online, new rules on flaring, and the emergence of new technologies for capturing and using stranded gas--suggests flaring activity may decline significantly over the next few years. In this new blog series, we examine what the energy industry, the government and entrepreneurs have been doing to help solve one of the shale era’s most persistent and high-profile problems.
As we said a while back in Why Will Bakken Flaring Not Fade Away?, flaring—while frustratingly wasteful—is done for both environmental and economic reasons. In any situation where natural gas (methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas) would otherwise escape into the atmosphere (known as venting) it is less damaging to the environment if that gas is flared (burned). As for economics, flaring allows oil production to begin before pipeline infrastructure is in place to take away the associated gas that is produced. That is, if you drill a well for Bakken oil and start production, you can capture the oil in tanks and transport it to market in trucks and railcars until an oil pipeline is built, but you cannot do the same with the well’s associated gas.
In the early years of the region’s oil boom, companies were wary to invest up-front in gas pipelines and processing plants until they knew for sure just how much gas would be produced. They have been playing catch-up ever since, and (as we will get to later) they finally are starting to close the gap between gas infrastructure needs and gas infrastructure in operation. In Set Fire to the Gas—The Fight to Limit Bakken Flaring, we explained that substantial flaring could occur even at wells that are connected to gas gathering systems and processing plants. Why? New wells connected to a gathering system produce gas at higher initial production rates and higher pressure. Gas from these new wells takes up pipeline capacity and knocks older, lower-pressure wells off the gathering system, causing their gas to flow back to the wellhead and require flaring. The solution to pressure problems that throw older wells off the gathering system is to increase compression in the system or to add additional capacity to existing pipelines by looping. Again, this is a constant game of catch-up.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs187187210175110

Rigzone is reporting that BP sells assets in some of its Alaska North Slope assets --
BP plc announced late Tuesday that it has agreed to sell interests in four of its Alaska North Slope assets to U.S.-based independent oil and gas firm Hilcorp Energy. However, the firm said it remains committed to plans to increase investment at Prudhoe Bay, which have resulted from recent oil tax reform by the State of Alaska.
"This agreement will help build a more competitive and sustainable business for BP in Alaska," BP Upstream Chief Executive Lamar McKay said in a company statement.
"It will allow us to play to two of our great strengths, managing giant fields and gas value chains. We will now concentrate on continuing development and production from the giant Prudhoe Bay field and working to advance the future opportunity of Alaska LNG."
The Prudhoe Bay plans include adding two drilling rigs, one in 2015 and another in 2016, for a total incremental investment of $1 billion over five years. BP estimated these activities will account for some 200 jobs in Alaska and 30 to 40 additional wells being drilled each year.
The Wall Street Journal

 More good news for Apple: FCC to repeal net neutrality; big operators win.

Cold War II gets hotter: Russia warns Ukraine. I assume Kerry and Obama are drawing new lines int eh sand.

US home sales plunge almost 15% in March.

Labor Department pursues war on coal with new coal-mine rules.

Georgia expands gun owners' rights:
Called the "Safe Carry Protection Act," the law eliminates a host of restrictions on Georgians' ability to carry guns in public and allows people licensed to carry weapons outside the home to bring them into some bars and many state- and local-government buildings.
The law also largely eliminates criminal penalties for people found with guns at airport-security checkpoints and removes gun-permitting restrictions for anyone who has pleaded "no contest" to a criminal charge.
In addition, the measure extends the state's "stand your ground" law to convicted felons. Such laws generally grant people more leeway to attack and even kill someone who is threatening them.
 Seven fruitless weeks searching for Malaysia airplane; search efforts to get a reset.

France to broaden spending cut to help narrow deficits required by European Union.

Facebook results surge on ad revenue.


I talked about this some weeks ago -- slowing down rail traffic will have huge repercussions. Auto industry already feeling the pinch and it's been less than a month for the new rules. WSJ is reporting:
New cars and trucks—including some of the season's hottest sellers—are stacked up outside U.S. factories as auto makers and railroads struggle to overcome delays brought on by winter weather and the rise of production outside the Midwest.
The logjams have left dealers short of some popular models, such as the Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle and Toyota RAV4, ahead of the biggest months of the year for new-car sales.
Lost car and truck sales are another example of widespread fallout from U.S. rail traffic snarls. Farmers, grain elevators, and coal and ethanol shippers have all been hurt. Snowy, frigid weather and rising grain and coal shipment forced railroads to run shorter trains and more of them, clogging routes through Illinois, Michigan and southern Ontario.
Service is improving and eventually will be back to normal, the railroads and many auto makers say. However, some shippers believe the problems could linger, aggravated by a booming crude-by-rail business that barely existed five years ago and is crowding the rails. Other factors include the growth of U.S. auto exports, which means more vehicles are heading to coastal ports and returning empty, the rise of Mexico as a car production powerhouse, and the scrapping of rail car carriers during the recession.
The Keystone would not have eliminated the rail problem but in the middle of a North American energy revolution,  new pipelines are critical. The problem is not simply that the Keystone was stopped; the success of the activists here emboldened activists everywhere, slowing down pipelines everywhere across the US and Canada.


Canada toughens CBR rules. Great headline. I don't see much impact.

Dr Pepper Snapple profit soars; must be the new marketing campaign targeting men.

Delta's profit surges despite weather.

The Los Angeles Times

Jury awards Texas couple $3 million for health-related problems supposedly due to fracking.  

Obama: US ready to hit Russia with more sanctions. It will be interesting to see who wins this game of chess. Someone in Europe or America better be ready to pony up a lot of natural gas for the Ukraine and for Poland next winter if push comes to shove. The Berlin airlift all over again, this time natural gas, not coal.

The Dickinson Press

Oil revenue way up for "tribes"; money going for roads, infrastructure. In less than one year, the Three Affiliated Tribes have collected $184 million in oil tax revenue, nearly equal to the amount collected during the entire 2011-13 biennium. The reservation accounts for nearly 30% of North Dakota's total production.

Buffett: moving oil safely by CBR a major industry concern. He added that the delay in the construction of the Keystone pipeline was unlikely to prompt additional purchases of tank cars at Berkshire railroad unit BNSF Railway. Earlier this year the railroad said it plans to buy its own fleet of up to 5,000 new crude oil tank cars with safety features that exceed the latest industry standards.
Oil by rail has surged in recent years, helped by a boom in North Dakota. Traffic is now running 10 percent ahead of last year at this time, with BNSF accounting for roughly a third of U.S. oil-by-rail traffic. 

Global Cooling

Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
Consider this:
-In 2013, the UK had the coldest spring since 1963.
-In March 2013, Northern Japan received record snowfall–up to 16 ft thick just south of Aomori.
-In October 2013, the worst frost in more than 80 years hit Chile and damaged 50 million boxes of fruit for export—damages were over $1 billion.
-And my personal favourite—an expedition vessel full of Climate Change scientists became trapped in Antarctic sea ice 10 feet thick on Christmas Day 2013.
These true-life stories are examples of global cooling—from all over the globe.
In Parts I and II of this series, I outlined the long term cycle of temperature changes on Earth, and how sunspots have had an eerily accurate correlation to earth’s temperatures for centuries. Data strongly suggests that solar cycles have a definite impact on the world’s climate.
The President of the United States has pretty much been wrong on everything. The good news: the countdown calendar at the sidebar at the right will go under 1,000 days by the end of the week. Lamest of lame ducks.