Monday, August 4, 2014

Natural Gas By Rail (NGBR) -- August 4, 2014

I thought I posted this, but I can never find it. So, for the archives: the next big thing -- natural gas by rail. Reuters is reporting:
As politicians debate the dangers of a massive increase in oil carried by rail in North America, railroads and energy producers are considering the same for natural gas.
Buoyed by the unexpected success of crude by rail, companies are beginning to consider transporting natural gas as remote drilling frontiers emerge beyond the reach of pipelines, executives said. 
Natural gas by rail is years away and likely to face strong public resistance after a series of explosive crude-by-rail accidents. But the potentially multibillion-dollar development could connect gas-rich regions like North Dakota with urban centers, presenting an opportunity for railroads, drillers and tank car makers already cashing in from hauling oil on trains. 
It could also be a cure for environmentally unfriendly flaring, a growing problem in far-flung areas where more than $1 billion of natural gas produced alongside oil is burned off each year for lack of processing plants or pipelines that can take years to build. 
Speaking of " railroads, drillers and tank car makers already cashing in from hauling oil on trains," Berkshire Hathaway/Warren Buffett reported 41% increase in profits this last quarter; and, Warren's company now has the most cash ($50 billion) on hand of any company in the United States. Warren owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the #1 mover of crude oil in the United States, possibly in North America. You can bet that Warren's 41% increase in profits wasn't from selling ice cream cones at Dairy Queen, especially not in the second quarter. By the way, this was Warren Buffett's biggest quarter ... ever. He can thank Mr Bakken.

What should Warren do with all that cash? Buy Union Pacific. LOL. 

Cocktail Trivia

I did not know this. Reuters via Rigzone is reporting:
The summit aims to showcase American interests in the region, home to six of the 10 of the world's fastest-growing economies and the fastest-growing middle class, through public-private partnership deals. 
The region? Africa.

I would have guessed China had six of the 10 fastest growing economies, followed by Dickinson, Watford City, Williston, and Parshall.

Bumper Stickers

The Road To New England -- August 4, 2014

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting:
In the first three months of 2014, Massachusetts residents paid nearly as much for energy as they did in all of 2012, according to Independent System Operator-New England, a nonprofit formed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to oversee the region’s bulk power system. While natural gas prices in New England averaged around $36 per megawatt hour in 2012, they routinely spiked above $200 per megawatt hour over that period.
And apparently the folks in Massachusetts don't mind. 

I'm just a spectator in all of this; I have no dog in this fight. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. LOL.

By the way, the next big thing in railroading: liquid natural gas by rail

Here are the realities:
  • contrary to what the nuts with the eccentric signs (their words, not mine) say, New England's demand for energy will increase (unless industry and jobs go away);
  • New England is shutting down its coal plants and nuclear energy plants;
  • solar and wind can't come close to making up the coal/nuclear loss;
  • customers will get their natural gas one way or the other -- yes, that's reality;
  • if the nuts with the eccentric signs (their words, not mine) don't like pipelines, they can watch unit trains carry highly volatile natural gas in from the Marcellus (no, it won't be Bakken natural gas; it will be Marcellus gas); and,
  • it won't get less expensive by putting the inevitable off
But after watching the Boston folks pay for the "Big Dig," it appears they are used to paying for their mistakes.

You're Goin' Nowhere, Chris Isaak

Headline Stories We'll See Tomorrow -- Posted August 4, 2014


Energy sanctions on Russia mostly political theater. Reuters' Kemp is reporting:
EU sanctions on Russia's oil sector will not seriously hamper the development of new oil resources in either the short or the long term, though they leave open the possibility of further escalation if relations with Russia deteriorate in future.
Taken as a whole, the restrictions announced on July 31 are best viewed as a piece of "sanctions theatre" designed to show the public and Washington that the EU is doing something in response to the downing of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine while keeping the costs to EU energy firms as low as possible.
Sanctions will be enforced in the form of a "prior authorisation" requirement before certain oil-related goods and services can be exported for use in Russia, according to the EU Official Journal.
You know, I hadn't thought about that. The EU (dependent on Russia for natural gas) placing sanctions on Russia is akin to Jimmy and Amy Carter imposing sanctions on OPEC back during the embargo.
The Wall Street Journal

Israel and Hamas agree to a 72-hour ceasefire (if it holds, even a bit, Hamas blinked).

Hospitals are cashing in on new ObamaCare patients.

For first time since "bust," banks are loosening up a bit on mortgage-lending standards.

SpaceX will launch rockets from a pad near Brownsville, TX.

Not looking good for the Kurds or al-Miliki.

Oh, yes, I've talked about this before: FedEx and UPS often use the US Postal Service to move packages. But in this case, there's a bit more to the story than I used to talk about. Very fascinating.

Filloon talked about this several months ago: America's hottest commodity -- fracking sand.

General Menace (aka Government Motors) is now under scrutiny for subprime loans.

The world's biggest coffee producers are turning into their own best customers, driving up the price of coffee from Brazil to California.

This is one reason why WTI is down this week: a fire at a small Kansas refinery.

Heard on the street: shale oil's big spenders have been helped by very low interest rates, but tighter policy probably won't choke off borrowing. 
A true demand shock—a sharp slowdown in Chinese energy demand, for example—could hit E&P activity by undercutting oil prices. Or the sector could finally hit a wall on productivity growth. But when it comes to funding, at least, even the mighty Fed is unlikely to derail shale.
 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. 

Sunset Boulevard
September 3, 2021: I'm watching Sunset Boulevard again. Elsewhere I've said that David Finch's Mulholland Drive is a remake of Sunset Boulevard. I never noticed this before. The first woman we meet in the movie, just as the first woman we meet in Mulholland Drive is named "Betty." Wow. And both Betty's are young, sweet, and innocent.
Original Post
 The Los Angeles Times

And finally, this is so cool. I am back in my Sunset Boulevard phase: watching and re-watching the William Holden - Gloria Swanson Oscar-winning movie. I don't know the number of times I've watched it. One of my favorites. Now, I'm watching all the extras -- 2.5 hours of extras -- that come with the Blu-Ray "version" of Sunset Boulevard. 

Two things: first, there's a feature article today's on-line edition of The Los Angeles Tiems on Edith Head, "the best sort of designing woman." She was the costume designer for Sunset Boulevard.

Second, the car that Ms Norma Desmond owns (the character played by Gloria Swanson in the movie) is a 1929 Isotta Fraschin. We saw a 1931 Isotta Fraschin at The Nethercutt Collection last week.

Seven (7) New Permits -- North Dakota, August 4, 2014

Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 26707, 658, Hunt, Bowline 1-2-11H,  Little Tank, t5/14; cum 13K 6/14;
  • 26801, drl, Hess, SC-Tom-153-98-1514H-6, Truax, no production data,
  • 27402, drl, XTO, William Federal 41X-6C, Bear Den, no production data;
  • 27492, conf, Murex, Shauna Michelle 26-35H, Daneville, no production data, based on its location, this should almost be a wildcat; nearest Bakken is two miles to the east in a different oil field (Writing Rock, Divide County); this field is exactly one township in size (T161NR102W). There are no Bakken wells in this field and only two inactive wells (#10126, and #10348, a Winnipegosis/Red River well; and a Birdbear/Red River well, respectively, neither of which amounted to anything). Daneville oil field is about 6 miles directly south of Skjermo oil field, which shares its northern "border" with the Canadian border.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs193179206182141

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: KOG (3), Hess (2), American Eagle, Oasis
  • Fields: Truax (Williams), Blue Buttes (McKenzie), Skjermo (Divide), Tyrone (Williams)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list this weekend and today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

I am just throwing this comment out there; it is not a political comment as in "pro-Obama or anti-Obama." It is simply an observation. It comes, probably, because of all the years I spent in that part of the world, physically and intellectually. Because of that I am probably more sensitive to what is going on in Iraq than perhaps some others in my circle of non-military colleagues. 

So, here's the comment: based on the very little news I'm seeing come out of Iraq, it appears to me that things are going well for the insurgents (ISIS), and not so well for either Kurdistan or the official Iraqi government in Baghdad. I could be wrong, but two things over the weekend: a) the rebels took more territory, towns, I believe in Kurdistan; and, b) they captured a dam with Iraqi regional (and perhaps national) consequences. [One wonders if the French Revolution might not be a good analogy; some irony there due to the long historical relationship between France and Iraq.]

Here's the observation: because the US has very little skin in the game in Iraq right now (in terms of "boots on the ground") there is currently little mainstream media or political interest in what is going on in Iraq. In addition, whatever interest there might be, it is being superseded by other "things" that are occupying Washington:
  • a coming election where politics is local, not so much international
  • the very influential Jewish lobby (again, I'm not taking sides); Israel-Hamas
  • the spat with Russia (again, I'm not taking sides); Russia-Ukraine-Germany
  • global warming
  • corporate inversions and
  • August recess
There is only so much room on the front page of The New York Times.

Iraq comes near the bottom of the list, if it even makes the list. I remember in Air War College, there were some senior officers who felt "Iraq did not matter." Time will tell. However Iraq turns out, I'm getting the feeling that it will occur off the US radar scope.

So, again, just an observation; no hidden political agenda one way or the other. As noted, I'm probably more sensitive to this "lack of information" coming out of Iraq due to my time spent there some years ago.

Space Program
Perry: 1 
Jerry: 0
Tesla billionaire to build space port in Rick Perry's home state; not Jerry's

Bloomberg is reporting:
Billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. plans to build the world’s first commercial launchpad near Brownsville in south Texas, Governor Rick Perry’s office said.
The state is providing $2.3 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to bring an estimated 300 jobs to the launch site, which will inject about $85 million of capital investment into the economy, according to a news release. [Many other dollar incentives at the linked article.]

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002, designs, builds and launches rockets and has the goal of enabling life on other planets. The company persuaded local governments near Brownsville, the nation’s poorest metropolitan area, to compete with alternative sites in Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico.
California was not even on the short list? Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico. That was it? They all have something in common.
This Is Political

Thinking about Rick Perry bringing all those jobs to Texas.

At the national level, if the president, who has no skin in the game in any of the world's hot spots (Mideast, Russia, Asia, Africa); is not creating any new jobs at home; and, has the Fed "micro-managing" the economy for him, exactly, what is the president doing? Taking selfies at fund-raising events (photo-ops) and golfing (non-photo-ops)? That's a rhetorical question.

Speaking of the nation's poorest metropolitan area --

Old Rivers, Walter Brennen
Every time I hear this song, I am reminded of my dad telling stories about his dad (my grandfather Paul) breaking up sod near the Black Hills in South Dakota behind two horses, and a single plow. The nation has come a long way.

Earnings: MDU, MRO, PXD -- 2Q14; August 4, 2014; Reporting Tuesday: CLR, EOG, OAS, OKE

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.

Reporting Tuesday, August 5, 2015 

BKH, 48 cents, after market close
CLR, $1.70, after market close
DAVE, 36 cents, after market close
DIS, $1.16, after market close
EOG, $1.37, after market close
FSLR, 37 cents, after market close
FTR, 5 cents, after market close
MPO, 7 cents, after market close
OAS, $0.74, after market close
OKE, 36 cents, after market close
OKS, 66 cents, after market close
REXX, 15 cents, after market close

Reporting Monda: August 4, 2014 

MDU: SeekingAlpha here.
MDU Resources Group, Inc. today reported second quarter consolidated adjusted earnings of $56.7 million, or 29 cents per common share, compared to $47.2 million, or 25 cents per common share for the second quarter of 2013. Consolidated GAAP earnings were $53.9 million, or 28 cents per common share, compared to $46.3 million, or 24 cents per common share for the second quarter of 2013.
Adjusted earnings for the six months ended June 30 were $117.4 million, or 61 cents per share, compared to $107.3 million, or 57 cents per share a year ago. Consolidated year-to-date GAAP earnings were $110.4 million, or 58 cents per share, compared to $102.7 million, or 54 cents per share in 2013.
MRO: press release here. Easily beats analysts' forecasts of 75 cents.
Marathon Oil Corporation today reported second quarter of 2014 adjusted net income was $603 million, or $0.89 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income in the second quarter of 2013 of $478 million, or $0.67 per diluted share.
During the quarter, Marathon Oil entered into an agreement to sell its Norway business, which is now reflected as discontinued operations. Adjusted income from continuing operations, which excludes Norway and Angola, for the second quarter of 2014 was $423 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, compared to adjusted income from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2013 of $293 million, or $0.41 per diluted share.
For the second quarter of 2014, net income was $540 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, compared to net income in the second quarter of 2013 of $426 million, or $0.60 per diluted share. Income from continuing operations, which excludes Norway and Angola, for the second quarter of 2014 was $360 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2013 of $241 million, or $0.34 per diluted share.
PXD: Press release here.
Pioneer reported second quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $1 million, or $0.01 per diluted share (see attached schedule for a description of the net income per diluted share calculation). Without the effect of noncash derivative mark-to-market losses and other unusual items, adjusted income for the second quarter was $195 million after tax, or $1.35 per diluted share. 
Berkshire Hathaway: Most Cash In Corporate America, Apparently
$50 Billion In Cash

Apple, Inc: About $40 billion, I think

For Investors Only

On a separate note. Despite all the hand-wringing about the market being over-bought (another bubble?) there certainly is a lot of good news for investors.

The earnings numbers are coming in quite good (analysts are never happy; even if a company beats forecasts, the stock can get hammered); the president appears not eager to get into any more "wars" overseas for the rest of her term; companies like Berkshire and Apple have record amounts of cash.

Companies are in the mood to move overseas (inversions) and Congress won't act any time soon on inversions, and even if they do, it won't be particularly bad.

The energy picture keeps looking better: what folks out here in California can't understand is with this glut of oil, why DOES gasoline cost $5.00/gallon? I can't answer that either.

The car companies are anticipating the best year of sales since 2006. The job market might be lousy but it's not getting worse. Congress did not extend long-term unemployment benefits. Good, bad, or indifferent, Congress must feel that jobs are "coming back."

Rick Perry, Texas, brings a huge project -- the SpacePort -- to the poorest city in America -- Brownsville, TX.

Algore may say the earth is burning up, but the weather has actually been quite nice, and no hurricanes yet this season; the season ends in November, but the worse part is over by October. Housing is starting to come back (maybe).

If Eisenhower were president, people would be happy with how things are going. At least that's my take.

Someone asked why I didn't comment on the Russian fighter - US RC-135 encounter. I didn't comment on it because during earnings season I'm too busy to link some stories I might otherwise link. This story -- the Russian fighter(s) intercepting an RC-135 was a non-story for me. I lived it for 15 years in the USAF. This used to happen all the time, and was very, very seldom reported. (In fact, that raises a question: why did this get such wide reporting?)

Depending on one's perspective, it was either a non-story or it was a huge story. I did not read any of the stories; all I read (or heard) was the headline. Even the story linked above was linked so fast I barely glimpsed that it was a New York Times story. For me the story was a non-event. (By the way, the crew on that plane will get medals for that mission; RC-135 crews are among the most-decorated USAF crew members, particularly in peacetime.)

I would assume the importance of the story is this: some pundits are now opining that we are back in a Cold War with Russia. Again, I suppose it depends on one's perspective. I have no interest in the Russian fighter-RC-135 story except that someone wondered why I didn't mention it.

I guess I didn't mention it last night because I was having too much fun re-living this episode with David Letterman:

Joaquin Phoenix and David Letterman, The First Interview

Leveling The Playing Field -- August 4, 2014

I think regular readers of the blog and those who follow the oil and gas industry are aware of the criticism that the oil and gas industry gets for a tax break known as the "oil depletion allowance." Critics call it a loophole when it is simply a modification of a well-known / well-understood business "phenomenon" related to the concept of depreciation.

But, to help level the playing field among the oil and gas industry and the wind and solar industries, I would assume that it is just a matter of time before Maxine Waters, Barack "they didn't build that" Obama, and Nancy Pelosi will offer a similar incentive for investors in renewable energy.

I assume it will be simply a matter of time before they will offer investors in renewable energy a tax incentive or a tax break called "the wind-depletion allowance" and a "solar-depletion allowance."

Global Warming, 2014 - 2015
Adelaide, South Australia: coldest morning 126 years

Yes, it's just "weather."

But, it would seem, to a sentient creature, that cooling weather for 19 years at some point becomes a cooling climate. 

IceAgeNow is reporting:
With the temperature dropping to 0.9 C, the weather bureau said it was the coldest August morning since 1888.
It was also the coldest day Adelaide has experienced in any month in six years.
In fact, most of regional South Australia woke to cold and frost.
“Murray Bridge has had its coldest ever start to the day in August at -2.7 degrees this morning,” said senior forecaster Mark Anolak.
I can't make this stuff up.

Global Warming, 2014 - 2015
Death Valley, CA, USA: 30 Degrees Below Average Yesterday

Hardly a conservative newspaper, The Washington Post is reporting that global warming is even affecting America's southwest: Death Valley was cooler than Missoula, MT, on Sunday.
Death Valley, Calif., which is known for being the world’s hottest location, maxed out at a relatively chilly 89 degrees on Sunday. This temperature – more than 30 degrees below average – was its coolest high temperature on record for the date by a whopping 15 degrees. The previous record of 104 was set in 1945.
This was only the eigth time that a high in the 80s has occurred in Death Valley in July or August, and there hasn’t been a high less than 90 since 1984. Weather records in Death Valley go back to 1911.
Locations that were hotter than Death Valley yesterday include Spokane, WA (93), Missoula, MT (91),  Casper, WY (92), and Boise, ID (99).
I can't make this stuff up.

More weather. Specificially, nineteen (19) years of cooling weather which according to the warmists is to be expected/predicted with "global warming." First it gets cooler, before it gets warmer. I was for the war before I was against it. Whatever. 

Looking Forward, Looking Back -- August 4, 2014

From the archives. (Same story at this website.)

Don sent me a link earlier today regarding an early story of the Bakken, which then then led me to a very nice analysis of the Bakken which was published at The Oil Drum in 2008. It is a very, very good overview of the Bakken. The author also lays out a very, very nice analysis of the likely amount of oil that the Bakken might produce.

It's a long article, and I heartily recommend newbies read it to help them put the Bakken - 2008 in perspective to the Bakken - 2014.

So, how much did the writer think the Bakken was capable of producing. From the article:
Will Bakken ever produce as much as 4.1 billion barrels (= 3,649+500 million barrels), the amount suggested by the USGS estimate? It seems very unlikely. Production so far has been 111 million barrels. If the industry is able to discover several more prolific areas such as the Elm Coulee field in Montana (43 million barrels, or 38% of the Bakken oil recovered to date), it might be possible to increase this recovery to 500 million barrels, or 4.5 times the current production. Is total production of 500 million barrels likely? It's difficult to say. The USGS estimate is vastly higher than this, so much less likely.
If 500 million barrels turns out to be the ultimate recovery, the recovery factor would range from 0.13% to 0.25% of estimated oil in place. This very low percentage recovery of the estimated oil in place is not unreasonable if one considers that many of the more marginal areas of the field are likely to be deemed sub-economic and will never be drilled and produced. Technology improvements that will inevitably be made during an era of high energy prices will undoubtedly render some of this more marginal oil recoverable, but the total recovery is still likely to be low.
It appears the writer suggested, back in 2008:
  • 0.13% to 0.25%: recovery rate of original oil in place;
  • not much more than 500 million bbls over the lifetime of the Bakken; 
  • marginal areas of the field will be deemed sub-economic; and,
  • although there would be technological improvements, making more marginal oil recoverable, the total recovery is still likely to be low
Where are we today?
  • 1 million bopd (about 300 million bbls/year, I suppose, starting this year); and this is just North Dakota; The Oil Drum author was talking about the entire Bakken;
  • a recovery rate of somewhere between 3% and 8% is the general consensus, but some think the recovery rate is more than 8%;
  • even the "marginal areas" (whatever that means) are being drilled aggressively; whether they will be found to be sub-economic will not be know for awhile, but oil companies certainly think drilling at the edges of the Bakken are worth the effort/financial risk; and,
  • this is all primary production; secondary and tertiary production will increase ultimate recovery
North Dakota produced 313,801,706 bbls of oil in calendar year 2013, according to the NDIC.

Cumulative production by formation, according to the NDIC, to date:
  • Bakken: 831,017,850 bbls (moving toward 1 billion bbls of oil from the Bakken)
  • Bakken/Three Forks:  3,590,399 bbls
  • Three Forks: 145,747 bbls
  • Sanish: 22,539,246 bbls
  • Pronghorn: not yet separated out
Total: 857,293,242 bbls from the Bakken Pool (moving toward 1 billion bbls of oil from the Bakken)

In comparison, the next most prolific formation:
  • Madison: 939,049,431 bbls; in continuous production in North Dakota since the 1950s
The Oil Peak folded up its tent a year or so ago; the Bakken seems to be getting busier.

Oh, back to that question whether the Bakken would ever produce 4.1 billion bbls of oil?

4.1 billion / 300 million = 14 years.

Or 4.1 - 857,293,242 = 3,242,706,758
3,242,706,758 / 365 million = 9 years.

The contributor who wrote the linked article at The Oil Drum: Piccolo, a petroleum engineer working in the petroleum industry. I can see why he/she used an alias. LOL.

By the way, how much OOIP was "Piccolo" willing to concede that existed in the Bakken?

0.20% of what = 500 million bbls (from "Piccolo").
The "what" = 250 billion bbls,
The general consensus is that the recovery rate, at minimum, is 3%, and might be 8%.

3% of 250 billion bbls = 7.5 billion bbls to be recovered at 3%.

7.5 billion bbls / EURs of 603,000 bbls = 12,438 wells at 2,000 wells/year = 6 years of wells. About two years of wells are already drilled. Something tells me the 3% recovery rate OR the 250-billion-bbl OOIP estimate is far too low.

Check out the original Leigh Price paper.


Looking Forward, Looking Back, Slim Dusty

Random Observation: Whitiing Is Reporting Some "High-IP" Wells in Elk Oil Field, Just South Of Williston, West Of the Sweet Spot In The Bakken

In the past week or so, the following "high-IP" wells have been reported by Whiting:
  • 24911, 2,585, Whiting, Roen Federal 24-10H, Elk, t5/14; cum 38K 6/14;
  • 24912, 2,607, Whiting, Roen 24-10-2H, Elk, t5/14; cum 16K (14 days) 5/14;
  • 24913, 2,424, Whiting, Roen 24-10-3H, Elk, t5/14; cum 15K 5/14;
I track the Elk field here. It has been updated.

"Russia Doesn't Make Anything" -- President Obama


A Note for the Granddaughters

One of the highlights this summer was the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of a special exhibit at the Getty Museum, of James Ensore.
The tour ended at, perhaps, his most famous painting, Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889. This is probably the most unusual painting in the Getty Museum. 

I was trying to find the painting's "homes" over the years.

The painting was "kept by the hermetic painter until his death" in 1949. We know the museum acquired the work in 1987. Where was the painting between 1949 and 1987.

I assume the painting remained with the Ensor estate for several years while it was being probated. 

According to Patricia G. Berman's James Ensore: Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889, c. 2002, "following Ensor's death, Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 was installed in the casino in Knokke-le-Zout."

From there, according to the same source, the painting was "moved to the Museum of fine Arts in Antwerp, and in 1983 to the Kunsthaus in Zurich. In 1987, the Getty Museum purchased the painting, after the Belgian government gave up its right of first refusal to purchase it."

It is the only Ensor painting at the Getty. 

The Getty's paintings cover a very short period of time, from the Renaissance (14th century?) up to the Era of Impressionism. The question is what is the Ensor painting doing at the Getty. It turns out this painting is the perfect segue into Modernism.

It is my understanding that the only two museums where one can see paintings by Ensor are in Chicago and Antwerp. I assume in Chicago it is the Art Institute of Chicago.

By the way, at this link, there is nice description of another work by Ensor, The Temptation of St Anthony:
After eight years of meticulous conservation and restoration, James Ensor’s monumental drawing The Temptation of Saint Anthony—almost six feet tall and composed of 51 separate sheets of paper mounted to canvas—will be on view for the first time ever outside of Belgium. In celebration of the world premiere of the restored masterpiece and its first public showing in more than 60 years, the Art Institute is mounting a major exhibition exploring the making and meaning of Ensor’s landmark work and showcasing the visionary talent of this avant-garde artist.

Ensor spent most of his life in the coastal Belgian town of Ostend, and it is there in the 1880s that he created his most important drawing, The Temptation of Saint Anthony. His theme—that of the ancient saint who resists greed and lust—was time-old, but rather than simply show Anthony surrounded by the trials of centuries past, Ensor placed his saint at the mercy of modern life, surrounded by the temptations of a brutal and turbulent world. Kneeling in prayer, eyes closed tight, Ensor’s Saint Anthony closes his eyes to fast food, corruption, disease, and sexual violence. Above his head, in the rays of a rising sun, a sorrowful Christ wears a military helmet.

Monday, Monday -- August 4, 2014

Active rigs:

Active Rigs193179206182141

Comment: today we are at 193 active rigs. This past week KOG said they were down to four rigs but by the end of the year they will be back up to seven rigs -- that would put us close to 197 ...

RBN Energy: NGL economics.
US natural gas liquids (NGL) production is growing fast, and surplus volumes are moving to export markets.  NGL production from natural gas processors increased from 1.7 MMb/d in early 2009 to 3.0 MMb/d this year (2014), and it is expected to continue growing to 4.5 MMb/d by 2019. Despite the important role of NGLs, these markets are not well understood, both due to their complexity and the unique aspects of their production, transportation, storage and use.  One of the most misunderstood aspects of NGL markets – the extraction of NGLs from natural gas, is the subject of RBN’s latest Drill-Down Report.  In today’s blog we’ll look at highlights of the report which reviews the basics of natural gas processing, current NGL markets, an outlook for NGL production, the health of NGL processing as measured by the Frac Spread, and a detailed review of RBN’s gas processing economics model.
Gas processing economics is founded on basic knowledge about the conversion of hydrocarbons from one state to another--gas to liquid, and liquid to gas--and about how much energy (that is, how many BTUs) a given amount of liquid or gas contains. NGLs enter a gas processing plant as a raw gas stream, and are extracted from the gas and converted to liquids. They exit the plant as liquids and then are sold in liquids units--gallons or barrels. At every stage in the process, the gases or liquids have a measurable energy content. In the report, we take you through, step-by-step, beginning with the conversion of the gaseous NGLs in a particular raw gas stream (with its chemically specific, percent-based mix of ethane, propane etc.) into liquid NGLs. Then we factor in a specific plant’s processing capacity and its efficiency in removing ethane and the other NGLs, and then plug in natural gas and NGL prices to calculate a useful estimate of the economic uplift provided by removing all five NGLs—or, as an alternative, the uplift (often greater, in today’s market) of rejecting the ethane into the gas. Our MQQV model (available for download with the Drill-Down Report) is not simplistic, but it is relatively simple to understand, and—like that good breakfast we described—satisfying. There is real value to gaining a solid understanding of natural gas processing economics, and this is the best tool we have come across yet to accomplishing that.
Again, the linked article is another great article.

The Wall Street Journal

Divisions in Gaza leadership hamper truce. Sort of like divisions in the GOP, I suppose.

California plans bullet train without more Federal aid. Taking the road to New England.

Libya warned earlier today that eight fuel tanks caught fire amid heavy fighting near Tripoli's international airport between rival militias.

Not much. 
For Investors Only

Report today: