Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Twelve (12) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota; Several Producers With "High-IP" Wells; MRO Reports A Huge Well; 4 Of 5 Wells Go To "DRL" Status; Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Earning(s) season officially opens:
Alcoa beats by $0.06, beats on revs; reaffirms FY14 global aluminum demand growth guidance +7%; raises North America commercial transportation mkt growth guidance: Reports Q2 (Jun) adj. earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.12; revenues fell 0.2% year/year to $5.84 bln vs the $5.65 bln consensus.
Futures at 6:35 p.m. CDT: Dow down 6.00 points; WTI oil up about 8 cents.

Note on 2Q14: "everyone" has been saying that 2Q14 will be a great quarter (coming off a winter-induced collapse -- their word, not mine); but today the market falls 115 points and the headline says that was due to "earnings warnings. Perhaps 2Q14 won't come in so "hot." 

Active rigs:

Active Rigs190186213170131

Wells coming off confidential list Wednesday:
  • 26244, drl, KOG, Koala 16-32-29-1H, Poe, no production data,
  • 26711, drl, Hess, BW-Arnegard State-151-100-3625H-3, Sandrocks, no production data,
  • 26807, 2,704, MRO, Earl Pennington USA 44-33H, Reunion Bay, producing, a huge well, 24,743 bbls, the first month, t5/14; cum 25K 5/14;
  • 27090, drl, Hess, GN-Alice-158-97-1324H-2, New Home, no production data,
  • 27311, drl, Enduro, LDCMU 4-44, Little Deep Creek, a Madison well, no production data,
Twelve (12) new permits  --
  • Operators: CLR (8), Fidelity (3), Enduro
    Fields: Camp (McKenzie), Zenith (Stark), Newburg (Bottineau)
    Comments: the CLR permits are for the Florida-Alpha pad in 14-152-100 (Camp oil field)
Wells coming off confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Fifteen (15) producing wells were completed:
  • 24508, 1,153, CLR, Norfolk 4-1H, North Tobacco Garden, t6/14; cum --
  • 25088, 1,267, Statoil, Edna 11-2-4TFH, Camp, t6/14 cum --
  • 25089, 2,941, Statoil, Edna 11-2 3H, Camp, t6/14; cum --
  • 25109, 995, CLR, Bonney 4-3H, Jim Creek, t6/14; cum --
  • 25110, 1,143, CLR, Bonney 3-3H1, Jim Creek, t6/14; cum --
  • 25892, 1,782, BR, Blue Ridge 41-30MBH ULW, Keene, Three Forks, 4 sections, t6/14; cum --
  • 26023, 2,213, Whiting,  Mork Farm 24-8-2H, Pleasant Hill, no frack data; gas averaged 4,139 units and peaked at 9,995 units; t6/14; cum --
  • 26024, 2,532, Whiting, Mork Farm 24-8H, Pleasant Hill, no frack data, gas as high as 5,761 units, t6/14; cum --
  • 26216, 1,440, EOG, Wayzetta 43-0311H, ICO, Parshall, no frack data, gas units not particularly remarkable, t6/14; cum
  • 26663, 1,487, Hess, HA-Link-152-95-3526H-4, Hawkeye, t6/14; cum --
  • 26720, 660, Hess, EN-State C-156-93-1615H-6, Alger, 4 sections, t6/14; cum --
  • 26959, 1,259, KOG, P Moen 155-99-14-11-2-3H3A, East Fork, no frack data, t6/14; cum --
  • 27050, 2,176, Whiting, Mork Trust 21-17-6H, Pleasant Hill, no frack data, t6/14; cum --
  • 27096, 1,042, BR, Ole Boe 44-14MBH-ULW, Haystack Butte, 4 sections, t6/14; cum --
  • 28089, 1,856, Whiting, Mork Trust 21-17-7H, Pleasant Hill, no frack data, background gas averaged 2,587 units and peaked at 8,609 units; t6/14; cum --

Chevron To Lithuania -- Sayonara -- July 8, 2014

Reuters at Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
U.S. oil major Chevron has divested its assets in Lithuania and pulled out of the country, the company said on its website.
Chevron won a tender to explore for shale gas in the Baltic state in 2013, but pulled out from the tender later citing an uncertain legal framework.
"Chevron closed its office in Vilnius, Lithuania. The company has divested its 50 percent equity interest in LL Investicijos," the U.S. company said in a statement on the website of its former office in Lithuania.

Oil Industry Provides Water To Drought-Stricken Central Valley In Southern California -- New Yok Times

This is a pretty interesting story sent in be a reader, thank you. The New York Times is reporting:
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The 115-year-old Kern River oil field unfolds into the horizon, thousands of bobbing pumpjacks seemingly occupying every corner of a desert landscape here in California’s Central Valley.
A contributor to the state’s original oil boom, it is still going strong as the nation’s fifth-largest oil field, yielding 70,000 barrels a day.
But the Kern River field also produces 10 times more of something that, at least during California’s continuing drought, has become more valuable to many locals and has experienced the kind of price spike more familiar to oil: water.
The field’s owner, Chevron, sells millions of gallons every day to a local water district that distributes it to farmers growing almonds, pistachios, citrus fruits and other crops.
It is one of the more unusual sources of water, one whose importance has increased in a year when the drought has forced farmers to fallow fields and bulldoze almond orchards.
The water is pumped out of the same underground rock that contains oil; after the two are separated, the water flows through an eight-mile pipeline to Bakersfield’s Cawelo Water District, which this year will rely on Chevron’s water for half of its supply, up from an average of a quarter. The district sells it exclusively to farmers for irrigation and reduces its salinity by blending it with water from other sources.
This was a most interesting data point:
According to the Western States Petroleum Association, 323 acre-feet of water were used in fracking 830 wells in California in 2013, compared with 2.7 million acre-feet for agriculture here in Kern County, the heart of California’s oil industry.  
  • in 2013, the oil industry used 300 acre-feet of water for fracking in ALL of California
  • in 2013, in Kern County alone -- one county -- agriculture used 3 million acre-feet of water
So, for Kern County, agriculture alone: 3,000,000 acre-feet of water; add in all of California's oil industry fracking water and one gets 3,000,300 acre-feet of water.

Two very important statistics were not noted in The New York Times article: irrigating golf courses, and marijuana farms.

Quick: how much water does the average golf course in California use per year: 350 acre-feet.

So, ALL fracking in ALL of California used less water than the AVERAGE amount of water to irrigate ONE golf course in California.
ALL fracking in ALL of California used less water than the amount of water required to irrigate ONE AVERAGE golf course in California.
Of course, that begs the next question. How many golf courses ARE there in California? Drum roll ... drum roll ... 1, 126.

So, rounding 1,000 x 350 = 350,000 acre-feet to irrigate all the golf courses in California. Add the water used in fracking and we get 350,300 acre-feet. Okay. 

Water used by the oil industry for fracking is NOT an issue.

In both cases, adding ALL California fracking water is a rounding error when added to water used in Kern County alone for agriculture or when added to water used for all the golf courses in California.

Marijuana Uses A Lot Of Water Per Plant, But Not That Much State-Wide 
The places one will go when one starts surfing the net!

So, back to marijuana farms. Daily Record News is reporting:
On a 21,000-square-foot field for marijuana, Hoffman’s estimate, like Graham’s, comes out to about 840,000 gallons of water annually.
That's about 2.5 acre-feet.

21,000 square feet is about one-half acre. House size? FactCheck.org is reporting:
In addition, at about 10,000 square feet, Al Gore’s home is a little less than four times the size of the average new American home built in 2006. In contrast, the Crawford ranch belonging to Bush was about 4,000 square feet.
So, a marijuana farm, about half the size of Algore's McMansion, will use 2.5 acre-feet of water annually (and annually is important; once a well is fracked, it is rarely fracked again; a fracked well is a one-time event for all practical purposes. Marijuana farms and golf courses will use water year in / year out.

For the record: my one-room apartment in the Dallas-Ft Worth area is 651-square feet, though I would like to move into a one-room apartment with 901 square feet.  

Warning: I often make simple arithmetic errors. 

Global Warming: Fortunately Chinese CO2 Is Not Our CO2

Zacks over at Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
Ford Motor Co. has posted record sales of 549,256 vehicles in China in the first half of 2014. This translates into a 35% surge from 407,474 vehicles sold in the first half of 2013. The automaker’s passenger car joint venture – Changan Ford Automobile  – also witnessed a 39% increase in wholesale vehicle sales in the first half of 2014 to 397,958 units as against 286,433 units sold in the same period a year ago.
My hunch is that, by executive order, Governor Jerry Brown, in a joint-pen-signing ceremony with President Obama, will sign a non-binding proclamation to build a CO2 barrier along the US Pacific Coast to divert the westerly Chinese CO2 to the north (Canada) and to the south (Mexico).

Granddaughter's Sculpture

Other than the tuna can for the "Weber grill," everything else should be self-evident.

Tongue-In Cheek

I wrote the note below based on one data point: the headline; nothing more, nothing less. It will be interesting to see how closely the tongue-in-cheek note below matches reality.

President Obama Seeks Almost $4 Billion To Care For His Children

The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
President Obama will seek $3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress  to meet the country's  “moral obligation” to care for unaccompanied minors who have flooded in recent months to the southwestern border, White House officials said Tuesday.
Nearly half the money would go to the Department of Health and Human Services for food, housing and medical care for the tens of thousands of children and teenagers who have arrived at the border, senior administration officials told reporters.
The rest of the money would be aimed at deterring further migrants by strengthening law enforcement, going after smuggling networks that ferry people from Central America and expanding the number of deportation hearings.
Nothing was said about actually returning the children to their home countries. The breakdown will go something like this:


US Agency For Dreamers
  • High Commissioner, annual salary: $250,000
  • Executive director, high commissioner's spouse: $200,000
  • First year's full-time equivalents: 51 @ $80,000 average each = $4,080,000
Room and Board
  • Housing, military bases, and seaside resorts:  $500 million
  • Food: off-budget; will come from existing USDA programs including "Food Stamps," cheese, milk subsidies
  • Mobile medical care units: $500 million
  • CXRs (tuberculosis surveillance): $50 x 60,000 "children" = $3 million
  • Immunizations: off-budget; excess immune sera from NIH, CDC, UN
  • Louse control: one-time bath provided by water parks as marketing tool
  • Birth control pills and contraceptives: $75 x 30,000 "children" =  $2.25 million
  • Planned Parenthood: $1 million
Centers For Dreamers, Administrative Services
  • Lease for 25 centers @ $1 million/location = $25,000,000
  • Social Services: 100 full-time equivalents at $50,000 per annum = $5,000,000 
  • Transportation to and from living quarters to CFDAS facilities = $2,000,000
  • K - 12: off-budget; local school districts
  • English as a second language: educators, 3,000 FTE's at $75,000 each = $225 million
Re-location Costs
  • Finding parents already here in the states: off-budget; Lois Lerner/IRS has (had?) that data
  • Finding parents not yet here in the states: off-budget; NSA has that data
  • Notification costs: $0.46 "Forever" stamp and $3.00 handling fee x 50,000 = $173,000 (donation from Hillary Clinton Foundation)
  • Taxi expense for the four children who reunite with their parents: $750 x 4 = $3,000 (tax-deductible donation from Joe Biden and his wife) 
Subtotal:  $1,267,780,000 ($1.268 billion)


US Supreme Court:
  • $5 million for new recreation facility
  • $5 million for new dining facility
  • $5 million for new auditorium
  • $5 million for new legal library study 
  • $500 million for bullet train initiative
  • $500 million for renewable energy initative
  • $0
New York State:
  • $100 million for speaking fees for Hillary, Schumer, et al, to promote the program
  • $10 million to New York Times to write feature story on program 
  • Wall Street Journal: $0
New Jersey:
  • $100 million for continued Hurricane Sandy reimbursement to parents of Guatemalan children
  • $0
Los Angeles:
  • $50 million for documentary, "Humanity Crossing the Pan-MexicUS Desert"; Director Sean Penn; Producer Mel Gibson; starring roles for Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie (migrants); Tommy Lee Jones (sheriff)
New Mexico:
  • $50,000 for Santa Fe art colony to document humanity crossing the Pan-MexicUS-Desert
Portland, Oregon:
  • $50,000 for New Age band to provide music for documentary

SUBTOTAL, Indirect Costs: $1,280,100,000  ($1.28 billion)

TOTAL, Direct and Indirect Costs: $2,547,880,000 ($2.32 billion)

Miscellaneous that Congress will write into the bill authorizing this expenditure: $1,152,120,000 ($1.15 billion) (amendments from Blue State congresswomen and senators, only). Shortfalls in the budget can be accommodated by eliminating direct health care expenses and obtaining medical care off-budget through military health care facilities and the Veterans Administration hospitals. Deaths, though expected to be few, will be in national cemeteries at expense of Social Security Administration and the military.

Fracking Fears Grow: Oklahoma Now Experiences More Earthquakes Than California -- July 8, 2014

Bloomberg is reporting:
So far this year, Oklahoma has had more than twice the number of earthquakes as California, making it the most seismically active state in the continental U.S. As recently as 2003, Oklahoma was ranked 17th for earthquakes. That shift has given rise to concern among communities and environmentalists that injecting vast amounts of wastewater back into the ground is contributing to the rise in Oklahoma's quakes. The state pumps about 350,000 barrels of oil a day, making it the fifth largest producer in the U.S.
The rise in earthquakes isn't just happening in Oklahoma, challenging scientists and regulators across the country. The growth of seismic activity alongside oil production in fracking states from Colorado to Ohio has sparked a series of studies tying the temblors to drilling activity. Most seismologists around the country are convinced that wastewater injected back into the ground is jolting fault lines and triggering earthquakes. Between 2006 and 2012, the amount of wastewater disposed in Oklahoma wells jumped 24 percent, to more than 1 billion barrels annually, according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the industry. 
Guilt by association. It's not fracking per se that is associated with earthquakes; it is wastewater injected back into the ground. This has been discussed before.

Reminder: Link To North Dakota Geologic Survey; Top 20 Middle Bakken Wells -- July 8, 2014

Over at the discussion group a reader sent me the link to the North Dakota Geologic Survey. I'm sure I was aware of that site or had visited it before, but I had not visited in a long time. There's a lot of information at the site. For example, one can easily find the total production of every well drilled in North Dakota by "formation."

For example, one can find a spreadsheet for every middle Bakken formation well, and then simply "select all," "copy" and "paste" into one's own spreadsheet and then sort the data. For example, here are the top twenty producing middle Bakken wells in North Dakota to date (permit number, well name, operator, field, completion date, cumulative oil, most recent production report):

20210 WHITMAN 2-34H CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC. OAKDALE 9/6/11 1,581,746 7/17
17092 BEHR 11-34H WHITING OIL AND GAS CORPORATION SANISH 6/18/08 1,071,553 7/17
17227 AUSTIN 21-28H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 8/18/08 1,035,001 7/17
17120 AUSTIN 10-34H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 8/14/08 959,446 7/17
17222 AUSTIN 18-21H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 9/16/08 825,351 5/1/14
17287 AUSTIN 22-31H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 10/1/08 810,894 5/1/14
17500 AUSTIN 19-30H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 11/15/08 797,132 5/1/14
16991 WAYZETTA 9-03H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 7/6/08 773,930 5/1/14
17111 AUSTIN 24-33H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 6/23/08 742,012 5/1/14
16954 AUSTIN 6-15H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 4/20/08 729,620 5/1/14
17612 MAKI 11-27H WHITING OIL AND GAS CORPORATION SANISH 10/20/09 719,995 5/1/14
17416 AUSTIN 16-19H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 12/8/08 718,002 5/1/14
16885 AUSTIN 8-26H EOG RESOURCES, INC. PARSHALL 2/24/08 697,221 5/1/14
17081 KINNOIN 11-14H WHITING OIL AND GAS CORPORATION SANISH 10/28/08 669,852 5/1/14

For Investors Only -- AA, AAPL, And More -- July 8, 2014

From 24/7 Wall Street:
Aluminum company Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is set to unofficially kick off the second-quarter earnings season when it reports results after the close of trading Tuesday. We have recently looked at how Alcoa is transforming itself, which is taking the company further away from its dependence on emerging markets growth. It also may no longer matter whether the global aluminum market doubles by 2020.
The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for the second-quarter of 2014 are $0.12 in earnings per share (versus $0.07 per share a year ago) and $5.66 billion in revenue (down 3.3% from a year ago). As a reminder on that revenue decline, the new effort in wheels and truck bodies are still getting underway and the jet engine parts acquisition is still pending — at a time when Alcoa keeps “right-sizing” its core global operations.
Achtung! 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.

AAPL hit a 52-week high yesterday; the underlying numbers are staggering. Business Insider is reporting:
If you told someone in IT in 2004 that in a decade, Apple would be a dominate force in enterprise, you'd be laughed out of the room.
Now, that fact is taken as a given.
On Apple's most recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook rattled off a list of statistics showing just how badly the company is crushing the competition among business users.
Among Fortune 500 companies, 97% use the iPhone in some capacity and 98% use the iPad.
If you factor in education and government buyers, market research firm IDC says that the iPhone holds 59% of of the enterprise market, while the iPad holds 78%.
The numbers are staggering. A lot of folks are "hung up" on "new" hardware (or lack of "new" hardware). In fact, hardware is but a small piece of Apple's success:
While people were clamoring to use the iPhone at work, Apple was making it easier to do so. As far back as 2007 — the year the iPhone first came out — Apple secretly licensed Exchange ActiveSync technology from Microsoft so that users could sync their email, contacts and calendars between their phone and work. 
This alone was huge for Apple in enterprise. When Microsoft came out with the news that Apple was building Exchange support into the iPhone, Terry Myerson (who was then a corporate VP in charge of Exchange, but now serves as executive VP of operating systems) noted that 81 Fortune 100 companies used Exchange for email and calendaring in 2008.
The Market On A Down Day 

The market is down 0.53% at the moment. On a day like today, with the market generally down, it's interesting to see which oil companies traded at new highs. COP and HES traded at new highs, but have since dropped back. I assume those highs were near the open and then quickly joined the rest of the gang dropping back a bit. Southern Copper (SCCO) also traded at new highs, and has stayed in the green. I bought SCCO some years ago, but sold fairly soon thereafter. I don't plan to get back into SCCO but it is interesting to follow. 

Update On Halcon -- Richard Zeits Over At Seeking Alpha

Link here (now requires a subscription to SeekingAlpha):
  • The article presents Halcón’s latest (through May 2014) well performance in the Eagle Ford.
  • Based on a well-by-well data aggregation, the company’s daily gross oil production in El Halcón is up ~32% sequentially so far in Q2.
  • Most notably, the latest wells are performing stronger on average than the company's earlier wells.
  • The growth rate is likely to subside in the second half of the year due to the decline in the pace of drilling.
During the month of May, Halcón Resources (HK) oil production grew in its El Halcón (Eagle Ford) play in East Texas, despite slow new completions schedule during the month:
  • The company's average daily gross oil production was up ~3% month-on-month.
  • During the first two months of the current quarter, average gross daily oil production was up ~32% relative to the first quarter of this year.
Assuming moderate growth during the month of June, Halcón may post a strong ~35%+ oil production increase in Q2 over the previous quarter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 -- Longer-Dated Oil Futures (2015 - 2017) Have Moved Higher This Year -- Because Of Iraq

Active rigs:

Active Rigs189186213170131

RBN Energy: continuation of series on fractionation -- will the Mont Belvieu expansions be adequate? Answer: most likely. The expansions will be adequate for the west and southwest; for the Marcellus and Utica, fractionation will be done closer to home.

The Wall Street Journal

Months after the sign-up deadline (which was extended, and extended, and extended), thousands of enrollees still don't have coverage due to technical problems or backlogs in the enrollment systems.

Wal-Mart shrink the big box. The retail giant will try to embrace new business models as its superstores fall out of favor.

This caught me by surprise: the driver shortage in long-distance trucking, where the driver shortage is getting worse, just as business is heating up.

Scientists identify largest flying bird -- a glider with a wingspan of 21 feet or more that likely soared above ancient seas 25 million years ago. Either that or an NSA drone.

Israel to significantly escalate retaliation in the Gaza strip.

Tim Cook's vision for "his" Apple emerges. AAPL, by the way, hit a new 52-week high yesterday. In a down market.

Behind the Bakken's unstable shale oil. This could be serious.

Delta Air Lines will cut 85% of its flights to Venezuela starting next month over a currency dispute.

United will outsource jobs at 12 US airports, including Buffalo, Charlotte, and Detroit, starting October 1, 2014, citing costs. United declined to comment on the expected savings. The airline pays such workers from $12 to $24 an hour, while some vendors start workers at $9 an hour—$1.75 more than the federal minimum wage—and don't offer health coverage or travel benefits. [That's what I thought: ObamaCare.] [A reader noted that The Chicago Tribune cleverly omitted the part about the cost of health care. The WSJ, as quoted above, said that some vendors, starting workers at less than what United would pay, do not offer health coverage or travel benefits. My hunch is that the delta is "health coverage." A huge "thank you" to the reader for pointing that out. The delta between United pay, taking the lowest wage ($12) and the vendor's pay ($9) = $3/hour. I assume "travel benefits" were inconsequential, meaning that ObamaCare was costing United about $3/hour; not trivial, but the first time we are getting an idea of what ObamaCare is costing corporations. $3/$12 = 25% of wages; $3 x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks = $6,000 / year -- in the ballpark of what other pundits suggest. And, of course, neither source discusses the union delta which might be as high as $15/hour ($24 - $9). Baggage handlers at $24/hour vs $9/hour? This is getting to be a lot longer than intended, but this short article points out the many nuances. It is interesting that either the source of the quote or the reporter pointed out two reasons for the difference in pay: health coverage and travel benefits. It is very possible that travel benefits were the driver for the delta ($24 vs $9). My hunch is that both the source for the quote (a United spokesperson/press release) and the reporter had reasons for including "travel benefits" along with "health coverage." Yes, the nuances are quite fascinating.]

Large investors are snapping up stocks that provide steady income, an endorsement of companies' health but also a sign of apprehension over the US market's five-year bull run. [Personally, I don't see the "apprehension" at all. With CD's / money market rates where they are, what's a large investor to do?]

Heard on the street:
And we're back. Brent crude oil, at $110 and change a barrel, is where it started the year. Or is it?
The near-month futures price for Brent—typically quoted as the oil price—has indeed made a round trip up and down over the past six months or so.
That is despite twin geopolitical shocks in the form of Ukraine's crisis and renewed insurgency in Iraq. In both cases initial worries, with Iraq's situation of particular concern, have given way to a sense that oil supplies aren't directly in the line of fire.
Focusing on the headline oil price misses the real story, though.
Longer-dated oil futures have moved higher this year. Brent for delivery in 2015 through 2017 is up by between 3.5% and 4% on average since the start of the year. Prices for 2018 and 2019 are up by an average of 4% to 5%.
This makes sense. The immediate threat to oil supply is minimal. In addition, again hopes are rising of higher Libyan oil exports—although that has for months been the oil market's equivalent of Charlie Brown's football being pulled away.
But Iraq's flare-up, especially, has been a reminder that despite high and rising North American production, the global oil market remains beholden to several unstable countries. Iraq's role as a source of potential supply growth—enough to meet 17% of anticipated demand growth through 2019, according to International Energy Agency forecasts—means any doubt such barrels will actually appear raises longer-term price expectations.
Germany's fracking follies.  See also: Germany to severely and intentionally cripple it's economy.

The Los Angeles Times

Rockets rain on Israel as Israeli forces strike back at Gaza. Gonna be a hot summer in the mideast. [Elsewhere: Israel has called up 40,000 reservists "as tensions mount."]

Small-business optimism drops despite upbeat hiring plans. This was the quote: "The recent turmoil in northern Iraq, food price inflation, and elevated fears of energy price spikes are weighing down many small businesses." I always find it interesting that such articles never fail to ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the living room -- ObamaCare: 29-hour work week; 49-employees; and, higher costs overall. Of course, the minimum wage story was not mentioned either.

Southern California's largest immigrant detention center to expand. Well, duh.

White House invites Texas governor to meet on border crisis. President Obama has visited Texas three times for fund-raisers, but never visited (or discussed) the border situation, or his immiggration reform plan: "Open Borders." Which, I believe, will become the name of a new fast-food franchise, which bottled water as the featured drink.