Thursday, May 8, 2014

This CLR Middle Bakken Well Drilled In 2011 Has Hit The Million-Barrel Milestone In Early 2014

This middle Bakken well passed the one-million-bbl milestone in early April, 2014. Pretty exciting:
  • 20210, 803, CLR, Whitman 2-34H, Oakdale: 2,888 boe (IP); 34-147-96; 24 stages; 2.4 million lbs sand/ceramic; t9/11; cum 1.48 million; 
Recent production:


DateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Recent production: The last twelve months or so of production:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

I track "Monster Wells" here

Random Update On Two 5-Well Pads In Heart Butte

Just for the fun of it, nothing else.

Original Post
Remember: the October, 2011, hearing dockets has a case presented by QEP for ten wells on a 2560-acre spacing unit. Case 15695. They may not all be on the same pad, but there's not much land to work with in this area where much of it is under water (Missouri River). It will be interesting to follow.

Case 15695:
Application of QEP Energy Co. for an order amending the field rules for the Heart Butte and/or Van Hook Fields creating one 2560-acre spacing unit in the Bakken Pool described as Sections 2 and 3, T.149N., R.92W., Dunn and Mountrail Counties, ND and Sections 34 and 35, T.150N., R.92W., Mountrail County, ND authorizing the drilling of up to ten horizontal wells within each spacing unit at any location .....
Update: screenshot taken May 8, 2014:

The ten wells sit on two 5-well pads, all spaced at four sections:
  • 23331, 2,282, QEP, MHA 1-03-34H-150-92, t3/13; cum 114K 3/14;
  • 23332, 2,348, QEP, MHA 3-03-34H-150-92, t3/13; cum 116K 3/14;
  • 23333, 2,310, QEP, MHA 1-03-35H-150-92, t3/13; cum 110K 3/14;
  • 23334, 1,949, QEP, MHA 3-03-35H-150-92, t3/13; cum 90K 3/14;
  • 23335, 1,791, QEP, MHA 1-03-35H-150-92, t3/13; cum 74K 3/14;
  • 23336, 1,386, QEP, MHA 4-03-35H-150-92, t12/13; cum 21K 3/14;
  • 23337, 873, QEP, MHA 1-03-02H-149-92, t12/13; cum 12K 3/14;
  • 23338, 1,831, QEP, MHA 3-03-02H-149-92, t12/13; cum 28K 3/14;
  • 23339, 2,217, QEP, MHA 2-03-02H-149-92, t12/13; cum 46K 3/14;
  • 23340, 2,306, QEP, MHA 4-03-02H-149-92, t12/13; cum 67K 3/14;

Three EOG Wells Ready To Report Near An Old EOG Well

Reminder to self: these three wells are in section 16-153-90 where an old Bakken well sits:
  • 25661, 65 (no typo), EOG, Wayzetta 25-1617H, Parshall, t12/13; cum 300K 11/17;
  • 25662, 1,084, EOG, Wayzetta 158-1617H, Parshall, t12/13; cum 353K 11/17;
  • 25663, 219, EOG, Wayzetta 37-1617H, Parshall, cum 441K 11/17;
The old Bakken well is now a water injection well:
  • 17170, A/PWI/667, EOG, Wayzeta 4-16H, Parshall, Bakken, s4/08; t7/08; AL; 487K 11/17; -- pretty impressive -- no pump; >300K after 3 years; a short lateral; 6 frack stages (?); go back and check reason for huge bump-up in 1/14; on a pump now;

25661, see above, EOG, Wayzetta 25-1617H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 25662, see above, EOG, Wayzetta 158-1617H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 25663, see above, EOG, Wayzetta 37-1617H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

This Beats All -- A Non-Bakken Story -- Could Be Biggest Story Of They Week

It looks like Apple will buy Beats Electronics. I was looking at a pair of Beats headphones in the local Apple store a couple of weeks ago; Beats will be my next headphone purchase. But what a surprise, Apple buying Beats.

Apple carries very, very brands other than Apple in its retail stores. I was surprised to see Beats being heavily marketed in the store, but in retrospect it does not surprise me. It's my opinion that headphones are a commodity; there is a range of quality and price for everyone. What sets Beats apart is what sets Apple apart: cachet. When you buy an iPhone, just like buying Beats headphones, you aren't buying hardware; you're buying awesome.

Can they afford Beats? It's gonna cost Apple about $3.5 billion dollars. Oh, not to worry. Apple has about $150 billion in cash. The story at the link:
Apple is said to be paying $3.2 billion dollars for the company, a sum that dwarfs the $404 million Apple spent to acquire NeXT in 1996, its largest purchase to date. As of its last earnings call, Apple had some $150 billion in cash on hand, plenty to cover the large acquisition.

Tim Cook said earlier this year that the company was open to making large acquisitions if the purchases made sense. "We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero."

In addition to producing a range of popular premium headphones and speakers that Apple currently sells in its stores, Beats also recently launched its Beats Music service, a direct competitor to Spotify, Pandora, and Apple's own iTunes Radio service. Beats Music is, however, a subscription-based on-demand service, which could bolster Apple's free station-based iTunes Radio service.
By the way, here's another columnist/analyst that does not get it
Parallel to this magical denial fantasy, Apple’s rigid stance, that it must build everything in house, even as it was generating the massive financial resources necessary to make strategic purchases, froze progress and hurt the company badly. Apple flat out missed Nest, a company recently acquired by Google, built by ex-Apple guys, that makes connected thermostats, fire detectors and the like - beautifully designed products that are a part of the internet of things and forward looking.
No, Apple is not into thermostats and fire detectors. Apple is into 'awesome.'

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Reporting tomorrow:
  • Enerplus ERF.TO (n/a): 20 cents (1Q14) vs 8 cents a year ago; strong report;
  • Magnum Hunter Resources MHR (a loss of16 cents): misses by a penny or maybe even 2 cents worse than forecast
Active rigs:

Active Rigs191185209177111

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: Hess (5), Ballantyne, CLR
  • Fields: Alkali Creek (Mountrail), Glenburn (Renville), Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

One (1) producing well completed: 
  • 26722, 640, Triangle, Stte 152-102-36-25-6H, Elk, t4/14; cum 3K 3/13;
Wells coming off confidential list Friday:
  • 25294, drl, Hess, EN-Weyrauch 154-93-1918H-8, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 25863, 637, Newfield, Holm 150-98-5-8-10H, Siverston, t3/14; cum 12K 3/14;
  • 26107, 404, Slawson, Rum Runner 1-16-9H, East Tioga, t3/14; cum 13K 3/14;
  • 26471, 1,048, Newfield, Wisness State 152-96-21-16-11H, Westberg, t2/14; cum 23K 3/14;

Oasis 1Q14 Earnings Conferecne Call

Transcript over at SeekingAlpha.

for 2Q14, anticipate 45,000 boepd
growth to accelerate going into the second half of the year
will complete 60% of wells in second half of the year
40% of wells with slickwater in areas where it seems to work
average well cost: $7.2 million (savings due to OWS)
volumes grew 5% despite a very harsh winter
slickwater: increases of 25%  - 30% through 90 days of production
in the Cottonwood, reduced proppant volumes actually improved production
mentions that the company will test coil tubing fracks and cemented liners
excited about Montana operations; EURs of 450,000; well cost: $6 million
Montana: 90,000 net acres
encouraged by lower Three Forks wells; moving to full DSU development in 20% of our acreage

Whiting's 1Q14 Earnings; Coiled Tubing Fracking Will Increase Operations Tempo; Might Increase IPs By 70%

Now that CLR has posted 1Q14 earnings and the market has responded, I was curious to see what Whiting was doing. Wow, I must have missed this. Whiting already posted 1Q14 earnings, and I didn't see them. Or if I did, I forgot. So, either the first time, or the second time, here's Whiting.

Whiting's 1Q14 profit jumps 27% -- Reuters.

Earnings transcript -- SeekingAlpha.

Target for WLL raised to $95 from $80 -- Yahoo!News. -- 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.

Whiting Petroleum divestiture might send stock higher -- Bloomberg. 
Billionaire hedge-fund investor John Paulson said Whiting Petroleum Corp. shares may rise if the oil and natural gas company sells non-core assets.
Last year, Whiting sold the Postle field for $810 million and acreage in Texas for $152 million, Paulson wrote. A streamlined Whiting “should command a higher multiple and result in a higher stock price,” the firm said. Whiting shares have risen 15 percent this year to $71.40. 
Highlights from the earnings conference call:
  • major player in two of the hottest US oil plays in the last 40 years: the Bakken and the Niobrara
  • discretionary cash flow: almost $500 million, up 20% over 1Q13
  • the Bakken production: 73K boepd, up almost 30% over 1Q13
  • successfully tested "new coiled tubing conveyed frack technology at Missouri Breaks (the Bakken)"
  • new frack technology: IPs 70% better than with the sliding sleeve method; 40% better than the cemented liner method; completion costs are comparable
  • the Bakken represents almost 75% of total Whiting production
  • the Bakken: 685,000 net acres
  • Hidden Bench: the last 15 cemented liner completions: average rate of over 2,600 boepd
  • with a 40-stage frack, a total of 120 entry points (with uncemented, only 30 entry points)
  •  increased density plans: 9 wells/drilling unit in the middle Bakken vs origianl Sanish develpment plan of 3 to 4 wells per 1280-acre units
  • Hidden Bench: a drilling program of 8 wells/drilling unit vs original plan of only 4 wells
  • financials: strong fixed-price gas contracts net $5 /Mcf
  • lots of discussion on coiled tube fracking; at Redtail will try a 80-stage frack; the earlier one was 60 stages
  • completed two Sanish wells with coiled tube fracking
  • analysts note that they have not heard of coiled tube fracking before; wondered if others were using it;not answered
  • spacing in the Pronghorn; currently 3 wells per unit; could go to 2 more in between exisitng wells, or a third well, called the lease line well (LLW): 6 wells/drilling unit for much of the field
  •   Missouri Breaks: comfortable with 4 wells/unit for now
  • the Sanish had the highest OIOP of any part of the entire Williston Basin; drilling density there is 3 wells/spacing unit; operators elsewhere are drilling at twice that density, so a lot of potential for Whiting in the Sanish
  • EURs? a bit vague; sounds like WLL has increased EURs to about where CLR has been for quite some time; "on the low end, being pushed from 400,000 closer to 600,000."
  • more on coiled tube fracking: adds about $700,000/well; costs may come down; faster cycle times; don't have to clean the well after the frack; can put the well immediately into production
  • coiled tube fracking: will result in higher operational tempo
  • lots of talk on the Bakken, what about Three Forks? the Central Basin, the Tarpon project, the best-looing Three Forks they've seen, based on core samples
  • a good charge all the way down through the third bench
  • still lots of unknowns about the Three Forks; locations, benches
  • Tarpon: drill into the 3rd bench but everywhere else, probably only to the 2nd bench
  • more about the coiled tube fracking process at the link

For Investors Only: CHK Increases Dividend; Amazon Expands Sunday Delivery To 15 More Cities

Dow Jones Transports -TRAN- edges above its April peak at 7774.58 to set a minor new all time high of 7775.10 and pauses :
Dow Industrials (+98) set a new session high of 16622 to edge above last week's peak (16620) but paused shy of its April/all time high at 16631.
I've opined in personal e-mail and possibly on the blog (I forget) that I am getting tired of every company blaming missed earnings on the weather. Now, even biotechs are blaming the weather. LOL. And this is why I don't miss CNBC
It's been a gloomy week for biotech earnings, with disappointments coming Thursday from Regeneron and NPS Pharmaceuticals, on top of a miss Tuesday from Aegerion.
Why? In Aegerion's case, executives blamed, in part, the weather.
"A particularly long harsh winter resulted in delays in outbound physician calls and a slowdown for patient onboarding," Craig Fraser, Aegerion's commercial head, told analysts on a conference call, noting the company was also re-aligning its sales force through January. "These factors contributed to the year beginning with a flatter script trend and thus, we had fewer new patient starts in the first quarter than expected."
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company sells the drug Juxtapid for a rare, genetic cholesterol disorder called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH. It's characterized by extremely high levels of cholesterol that can cause kids to have heart attacks in their teens and often not survive past age 30.
Genesee & Wyoming reports traffic in April 2014 was 170,513 carloads, an increase of 12,818 carloads, or 8.1%, compared with April 2013.

Amazon is adding Sunday delivery available in 15 additional cities through the United States Postal Service In addition to the Los Angeles and New York metro areas where Sunday delivery launched in November 2013. The new cities are: Austin, Cincinnati, College Station (Texas), Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Shreveport, and Waco, Texas.  (6 of the 15 are in Texas; none in Massachusetts, Washington (DC) or Washington state, Oregon, North Carolina, or Georgia; only one in NY state; only one in California -- that really surprises me.)

Eight companies announce increased dividends or distributions including Pepsico (from 57 cents to 66 cents) and Chesapeake Oil.

Trading at new 52-week highs: AXAS, BP, CHK, ENB, NFX, SRE, TRN.

Apache beats by $0.14, beats on revs.

Priceline beats by $0.89, reports revs in-line.

Apple set to leave competitors behind. This is quite a story. MacRumors is reporting:
Apple revolutionized aluminum manufacturing when it adopted the unibody design for its MacBook Pro line of notebooks, advancing the production process in a way that benefitted the industry as a whole. Now, the company is poised to change the nature of sapphire manufacturing in a similar way, but this time the sole beneficiary will be Apple, argues The Verge.
Apple may have kickstarted the aluminum revolution, but it did not control the production processes it advanced and the adoption of the metal spread across a variety of industries. With sapphire, Apple is taking a different approach.
The company is again poised to overhaul a new manufacturing industry, but this time Apple is in a better position to keep most of the benefits to itself. Apple partnered with materials manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies to build a sapphire production plant in Arizona and is working on mass producing the material for use in its iPhone lineup and possibly the iWatch.
Any advancements the company makes in sapphire production to make it more affordable and to scale its manufacturing output to support hundreds of millions of devices per year will stay within the walls of Apple and GT.

Competitors will have to pursue their own sapphire manufacturing endeavors or concede sapphire to Apple and pursue different transparent cover materials to use in their devices. Most companies will be left behind as they do not have the financial reserves that allows a company like Apple to invest in a full-scale production facility dedicated to a single material used in their devices.

Apple and GT have already started producing small quantities of sapphire in their Arizona plant, with approximately 100 furnaces online producing 2,220 kg of sapphire in early production runs. GT is expected to install more than 1,000 additional furnaces as the company ramps up production for the end of 2014 ahead of the release of the iPhone 6 and iWatch.

California CBR -- A Huge Success Story

There are a lot of metrics in this story that will be interesting to follow. InvestorVillage is reporting:
California, the most-populous U.S. state and biggest gasoline market, more than doubled the volume of oil it received by train in the first quarter as deliveries from Canada surged.
The third-largest oil-refining state unloaded 1.41 million barrels in the first quarter, up from 693,457 a year ago.
Canadian deliveries made up half the total and were eight times shipments a year earlier. Supplies from New Mexico jumped 71 percent to 173,081 barrels. Those from North Dakota slid 34 percent to 277,046.
U.S. West Coast refiners including Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. are developing projects to bring in more oil by rail from reserves across the middle of the U.S. and Canada to displace more expensive supplies.
Crude production in PADD 5, which includes California and Alaska, has dropped every year since 2002 while drillers are extracting record volumes from shale in states including North Dakota and Texas.
The surging flows of domestic oil to California “reflect a continuing improvement in crude-by-rail receiving facilities here,” David Hackett, president of Stillwater Associates, an energy consultant, said by phone from Irvine, California.
Rail shipments still account for a small fraction of California’s oil demand.
In February, the state imported more than 20 million barrels of crude from abroad.
Crude from North Dakota and Canada trades at a discount to Alaska North Slope oil, which is near $108 a barrel (on the day the story was originally posted). Western Canada Select, a heavy, sour blend, $83.
North Dakota’s Bakken crude is priced slightly over $95.
It costs $9 to $10.50 a barrel to send North Dakota’s Bakken oil by rail to California, according to Tesoro, the West Coast’s largest refiner.
A lot of story lines there. The best one: President Obama's decision to dither on the Keystone XL changed completely the dynamics of the flow of oil and gas in this country. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

But when California imports 20 million bbls of oil per month, it certainly leaves open the opportunity for a lot more CBR terminals. Regular readers may remember that Canada sees absolutely no more foreign imports of oil for its east coast refineries, except from the US.

A Note For The Granddaughters

This is a must-read for those interested in the status of the sage grouse in North Dakota. The Dickinson Press is reporting:
North Dakota’s sage grouse population appears to have collapsed.
The counters found 31 males. That’s down from 50 last year, continuing a trend that began half a dozen years ago.
This year’s count is the lowest number ever recorded.
It’s down from nearly 300 displaying males in 2000 and 159 in 2007.
Consistent with the Game and Fish Department’s management plan, North Dakota’s hunting season on sage grouse was closed in 2008, when the annual count of dancing males fell below 100 birds.
The results of the count in Bowman, Slope and Golden Valley counties — the state’s three southwestern-most counties, all of them bordering Montana — left Game and Fish biologists disappointed, concerned, puzzled, frustrated, even a little bit angry.
The story does not mention the most likely culprit: West Nile virus

Nor does the article weigh in on wind farms which take up a much larger footprint/energy unit than oil and gas ever will. And unlike oil and gas well pads which will eventually be returned to their original state, wind farms are expected to live on forever.

You Don't Often See This; A Bakken Operator -- Halcon -- Surges


I'll refer readers back to my post yesterday: trying to get a handle on Halcon.

This will be lots of fun. Let's see why The Street says Halcon is up today. This is the lede:
For the first quarter Halcon reported earnings of 3 cents a share, beating the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of 2 cents a share by 1 cent. 
You know, call me a fool, but if every company that beat expectations by a penny went up 10% we'd all be gazillionaires. Yes, I know in this case one cent out of two cents is 50 percent or one cent out of three cents is 33 percent, so it's not just the penny, it's two things: a) a "beat"; and, b) a pretty good beat.

But after a reader caught my error yesterday (see first linked post above), it would be fun to re-do the "per acre" calculations:
  • Bakken/Three Forks: 142,000 net acres
  • El Halcon/Eagle Ford: 100,000 net acres
  • Tuscaloosa Marine Shale: 307,000 net acres
  • Enterprise value: $5.4 billion
So, $5.5 billion / 550,000 net acres = $10,000 / acre. Pricey?

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.

Go to The Street link to see how much their analysts dislike Halcon. I don't think they could find one thing they liked about the company.

By the way, what about that Tuscaloosa Marine Shale? I track it once in awhile at a link on the sidebar at the right.

Most recently, the transcript for earnings, 1Q14, Goodrich, at SeekingAlpha:
The level of activity in the TMS is an all-time high, with 6 to 7 rigs running currently and more to come. We feel that our recent Blades well result in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana at 1,250 barrels of oil per day was an inflection point for the play, in that the well was drilled in record time without issues and we saw very consistent result to the best well in the field, which is our Crosby well, approximately 50 miles away.
As we previously stated, we tweaked our completion methodology on the Blades, which was a 5,000-foot lateral, by reducing the frac interval and slightly increasing the profit amount per stage, which yielded a higher production rate per linear for the lateral. The Blades well also opened up an area that previously had not had a well drilled, which expands our core position.
The Blades well also supports our thesis for other acreage acquisition last summer, that when you analyze core and other subsurface data, we only see minor differences in the rock quality across our entire block and the difference in well results are primarily been driven by landing target and completion recipe.
As we've stated before, you can't deny the resource potential of the TMS when you look at the wells that have been drilled and stimulated effectively. We continue to update production from the key wells and plot against our 600,000 and 800,000-barrel type curves.

For Investors Only -- May 8, 2014; Chinese Car Sales

Companies reporting Thursday:
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. 

Chinese Auto Sales

Right now there are really only three or four or five economically viable types of cars and trucks, based on energy source:
  • diesel
  • gasoline
  • electricity
  • LNG
  • CNG
I might have missed one or two but I do know that algae-based fuel for commercial vehicles and private automobiles are not yet viable. Assuming electricity in China comes predominantly from coal, all five of the fuels listed above suggest that fossil fuels will fuel Chinese automobiles for quite some time, at least through the end of my investing lifetime, which when I awoke this morning, was one day less than it was yesterday at the same time.

So, assuming that most Chinese cars will run on diesel, gasoline, or coal for the foreseeable future, what does the future hold? Yahoo!News posted this press release:
Ford China sold 96,829 wholesale vehicles last month, up 29 percent from the 75,315 sold in April 2013. Strong April performance pushed year-to-date sales up to 368,150 vehicles, an increase of 41 percent from 261,859 during the same period last year. 
April sales of imported Ford vehicles—which include the Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, Ford Focus ST and the Ford Fiesta ST—increased 72 percent compared to April 2013 with 3,251 vehicles sold. Year-to-date sales more than tripled, with 12,249 vehicles, up 202 percent compared to the same period last year.
Changan Ford Automobile, Ford's passenger car joint venture, sold 68,119 vehicles in April, an increase of 29 percent compared to April 2013. Year-to-date sales reached 263,317 vehicles, up 46 percent. 
I assume other car manufacturers will do as well, unless Ford has some special secret for selling cars in China.

Wow, I wish we had a president who woke up every day and said, "it's morning in America. I wonder what I can do to help the economy?" And really mean it.

The Real Concern

From a reader:
If warmists really cared about their kids, instead of worrying about the horror of CO2 having gone from 0.03% to 0.04% of the atmosphere in the last 100 years,  they should worry about the US debt going from $1.5 trillion in 1984 to $17.5 trillion in 2014.

A Random Look At A Recent Oasis Well; The Martell Well In Glass Bluff, Northwest McKenzie County

This was a fairly mediocre well for Oasis based on the IP so I thought it would be interesting to read the well file:
  • 25077, 320, Oasis, Martell 36-25HTF2, Glass Bluff, 36 stages; 3.7 million lbs; Three Forks;  t2/14; cum 5K 3/14;
More on the Oasis Martell well:
  • Glass Bluff formation is in the far northwest corner of McKenzie County; Foreman Butte is to the southeast
  • oil and gas shows in the middle Bakken
  • the Pronghorn (Devonian) member forms an unconformity between the lower Bakken and the Three Forks and is present in the  Foreman Butte field and surrounding fields
  • oil and gas is present in the Pronghorn with a porosity of 12 - 15%
  • the 1st bench of the Three Forks was the target: 7 - 12% porosity; hydrocarbon saturation actually appears to be about half what it was in the Pronghorn;
  • the Nisku (Devonian): 7 - 18% porosity; hydrocarbon saturation similar to 1st bench Three Forks in this area; gas shows were "minimal" but similar to the other formations for this well with the exception that the target formation averaged greater than 500 units for the majority of the well, and spiked regularly as high as 1,000 to 2,500+ units
  • one trip flare was in excess of 10 feet; smaller flares 2 - 5' observed later 
Results of other wells coming off the confidential list for today have also been posted.

The Norwegian Boom Tails Off

Yahoo!News is reporting:
Norway's energy boom is tailing off years ahead of expectations, exposing an economy unprepared for life after oil and threatening the long-term viability of the world's most generous welfare model.
High spending within the sector has pushed up wages and other costs to unsustainable levels, not just for the oil and gas industry but for all sectors, and that is now acting as a drag on further energy investment. Norwegian firms outside oil have struggled to pick up the slack in what has been, for at least a decade, almost a single-track economy.
How Norway handles this "curse of oil" - huge wealth that bring unhealthy dependency in its train - may hold lessons across the North Sea in Scotland, which votes on independence from the United Kingdom later this year, relying at least in part on what it sees as its oil revenues.
Norway had the foresight to put aside a massive $860 billion rainy-day cash pile, or $170,000 per man, woman and child. It also has huge budget surpluses, a top-notch AAA credit rating and low unemployment, so tangible decline is not imminent.
Like, not in my investing lifetime. 

Companies Reporting Today; Unemployment Claims Plunge -- Why Was Ms Yellen Worried? Why ERF Has Been On A Tear Lately

Job watch. I always look forward to Thursdays. It's the one day I get to spend a bit of time reading fiction, the weekly first time unemployment claims. They pretend to tell us the truth and we pretend to believe them. And even fewer pretend to care. And the spin continues:
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 26,000 last week to 319,000, the latest sign that the job market is slowly improving.
But then reality sets in:
Despite the improvement, the 4-week average, reflecting sharp increases in the prior two weeks, is still trending higher, at 324,750 for a third straight gain and nearly 10,000 higher than the month-ago comparison.
I guess this analyst didn't read the 4-week average which rose again this week:
Claims are drifting lower on a longer-trend basis,” said Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, whose forecast for 320,000 filings was among the closest in the Bloomberg survey. “I think hiring will creep slightly higher.”  -- reported at Bloomberg
Other realities:
All of this will, of course, keep wage and price inflation at bay.

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. 

Natural gas prices are driving energy shares higher. I alluded to that yesterday when posting notes from a transcript of an earnings call. Remember when natural gas was in the $2.50 range? Now, it is solidly in the $4.50 to $5.00 range. Double. More than double. Contribution by Michael Fitzsimmons over at SeekingAlpha. The article explains why ERF has been on a tear lately. Fitzsimmons is one of the three best energy contributors over at SeekingAlpha; the other two? Zeits and Filloon.
For those Seeking Alpha followers who read my two-part series Is The Pendulum Swinging From Oil Back To Natural Gas, it should not have come as a surprise that StatOil reported nicely higher Q1 earnings, primarily as a result of a doubling of North American natural gas prices. The main driver of those higher prices was a cold winter and decade-low domestic natural gas storage supplies. While the winter is now in the rear-view mirror - the natural gas storage data is still very bullish.

Another Huge RBN Story: Get Ready For US Ethane Exports; Whole Foods Shares Plunge

Active rigs:

Active Rigs191185209177111
RBN Energy: ethane exports -- might soon happen.
U.S. ethane has never been exported overseas.  Not yet, that is.  Week by week, the details of an emerging export market for U.S.-sourced ethane are coming into focus. Enterprise Product Partners, which has been expressing interest in exporting ethane for some time, a couple of weeks ago announced plans for a 240 Mb/d export terminal on Texas’s Gulf Coast and explained how it sees things shaking out. Navigator Holdings, a major shipping company, has placed an order for new semi-refrigerated liquefied gas carriers capable of carrying ethane (or ethylene). And while U.S. ethylene producers fret about how ethane exports could drive up domestic ethane prices, there is solid evidence ethane will remain a surplus, low-cost commodity for years to come. In this follow-up to our recent ethane exports series, we consider recent developments and what they mean.
The Wall Street Journal

Janet Yellen: keep pumping. If you read the story closely, she is quite concerned that economy could falter. One almost wonders how much of this is all being caused by a) Dodd-Frank, b) the EPA; and, c) the President's misguided fixation on global warming. Fortunately, presidents come and go.

I've always thought this was something that need to be considered. FedEx to charge by package size.

Test shows US 12th graders aren't improving in reading of math. Since this took some time to "develop," the blame can probably be traced back to George W. Bush.

US urges companies to use sturdier tanks for oil-trains.

Tea Party impact still looms large in Republican primaries. If the government forced me to register with one of the parties, I would register with the Tea Party, or perhaps the Libertarian Party. I can no longer tell the difference between the Boehnerists and the Reidists in Washington, DC.

House votes to hold Lois in contempt. Does she have the mental fortitude to go it alone?

You think genetically modificed crops are interesting? Think about this: researchers for the first time have created microbes containing artificial DNA, expanding the universal genetic code that guids life.

Sanctions on Russia now hurting US, European firms. And this is news? Dog bites man in Iowa.

The Russians are organizing in Latvia.

I've never been fond of Whole Foods; I always thought eventually prices would do them in. Now this headline: slow to cut prices, Whole Foods is punished. Shares plunged almost 20% after it reduced its sales and earnings outlook for the third time in six months. Actually, it wasn't so muc that it was slow to cut prices, after six years of the "no-bama recovery," consumers are finally throwing in the towel at shopping at high-price grocery stores.

How Target missed the mark in Canada. Target's failed launch in Canada was marred by understocked shelves, prices higher than customers expected (see Whole Foods story above, inadequately trained staff and disappointed shoppers.

Previously posted: Tesla reports loss on higher research costs.

The Los Angeles Times

Estimated cost of key bullet train segment rises $1 billion. And this is news? Dog bites man in Iowas. The $1 billion-increase in price was just the estimate; building has not even begun. Once they actually start building, one will will sees costs rise astronomically. Remember the Big Dig in Boston?

Hook-ups at California college campuses leading to more unwanted sex. And this is news? Dog bites man in Iowa.