Tuesday, August 5, 2014

North Dakota Sets New Production Record -- August 5, 2014

This story (from a different source) was posted earlier, but it's just so much fun to see it in print and to read about it again, I wanted to post it again, this time from a different source.

Rigzone is reporting:
Crude oil production from the Williston Basin’s Bakken and Three Forks formations boosted North Dakota’s crude oil production to a new record of more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in April and May of this year. 
Advances in drilling methods and technology, a better understanding of the Bakken’s geology, higher crude oil prices, and the formation’s large size and number of wells have contributed to higher production and potential for future growth, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA)
In June, Wood Mackenzie estimated that 21 billion barrels of light sweet crude oil will ultimately be recovered from the Bakken and Three Forks play, higher than the U.S. Geological Survey’s April 2013 estimate of 7.4 billion barrels.
21 billion bbls.

The original Leigh Price paper: 500 billion bbls original oil in place.

21/500 = 4%

I'm still sticking with 45 billion bbls ultimately recovered in primary production

Are The Europeans Finally Coming To Their Senses With Regard To Fracking -- August 5, 2014

Rigzone is reporting:
Towards the end of July, the UK government launched the 14th Landward Licensing Round, in which several companies keen on unconventional drilling for oil and gas in the country are expected to apply for licenses.
The use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, techniques in order to extract shale gas is controversial in the UK. Since the UK government ended its moratorium on shale gas fracking in December 2012, there have been a number of protests from environmental activists as well as local residents around the UK as potential sites have been earmarked by energy firms for unconventional drilling.
Nevertheless, despite opposition to fracking by a vocal green lobby and ordinary members of the public, the UK government is pressing ahead with its plans to facilitate a shale gas industry in the country, recognizing the need to access shale gas both for Western European energy security and to boost tax revenues.
Announcing the 14th UK round for onshore oil and gas licensing, the government revealed that potentially up to half of the UK's territory could be opened up for shale gas and shale oil development, as well as conventional oil and gas drilling.
And Spain's constitutional court threw out the country's anti-fracking law:
While France's President Francois Hollande used Bastille Day last year to rule out any shale gas drilling during the term of his presidency, the country's neighbor Spain took steps this June to hasten the development of a shale gas industry. Spain's Constitutional Court threw out a law against fracking for shale gas and oil that had been put in place by the Spanish region of Cantabria in April 2013, explaining that the matter was up to the country's central government.

CLR's Bakken Density Pilot Project Update -- 2Q14 Earnings Press Release -- August 5, 2014

Press release here.
In 2013, the Company embarked on a plan to test different areas across the Bakken field to determine what well density and pattern best maximizes crude oil recovery and returns.  In all, the Company has initiated seven density pilot projects, all designed to include the Middle Bakken and Three Forks One, Two and Three ("TF1", "TF2", "TF3") across a broad section of Continental's approximately 1.2 million net acres of leasehold.  Three of these projects are testing 1,320-foot inter-well spacing and four are testing 660-foot inter-well spacing.  [I assume the "old" "upper Three Forks" is now TF1.]
The Hawkinson 1,320-foot pilot project was the first to be completed by the Company and was announced as a fourth quarter 2013 completion, followed by additional 1,320-foot spacing tests at the Rollefstad and Tangsrud units.  The Hawkinson pilot continues to be a strong producer with all of the 14 wells trending on average 50% above the Company's 603,000 Boe EUR model after 190 to 250 producing days. 
The Rollefstad pilot is also performing well, with 10 of the 11 wells on the unit producing an average rate that is 10% above the 603,000 Boe EUR model after approximately 60 producing days.  Four wells at the Rollefstad unit are still flowing naturally without the aid of artificial lift. 
The Tangsrud pilot was designed to test the extent of the Lower Three Forks productive footprint in the northern portion of the play.  On average the MB and TF1 wells are producing similarly to neighboring wells in the area.  The TF2 and TF3 producers in the Tangsrud pilot continue to underperform offset MB and TF1 producers and do not appear to deliver economic results that compete with the Company's substantial inventory of high rate-of-return development opportunities, based on current technology and cost structure
In late May 2014, the Company began producing its first 660-foot inter-well spacing test at the Wahpeton pilot in McKenzie County, North Dakota.  The new wells were completed using the Company's standard completion design of 30 stages with 100,000 pounds of proppant per stage.  Initial production rates for the 12 new wells in the unit averaged approximately 1,015 Boe per day, which included three new MB wells averaging approximately 1,730 Boe per day.  
Mr. Bott added, "Continental continues to lead the industry in seeking the optimum density and enhanced completions in order to maximize recovery, enhance returns and increase net present value.  It is too early to estimate recoveries at the Wahpeton pilot; however, we are encouraged by the early performance and potential for 660-foot inter-well spacing."
The three remaining pilot projects are 660-foot inter-well spacing tests that are in various stages of drilling or completion.  These include the Mack, Lawrence and Hartman units, which include a combined 18 new wells and six existing producers.  The new wells are expected to be completed in the second half of 2014.

Nineteen (19) New Permits -- North Dakota -- August 5, 2014; North Dakota On Track To Issue Record Number Of Oil & Gas Permits This Calendar Year; Huge Increase Projected

Reporting tomorrow:
  • CNP, forecast 23 cents, before market opens
  • CHK, forecast 44 cents, before market opens
  • DNR, forecast 27 cents; before market opens
  • DVN, forecast $1.40; before market opens 
  • ETP, forecast 64 cents; before market opens 
  • QEP, forecast 33 cents; before market opens 
  • SD, forecast 4 cents; before market opens 
  • RIG, forecast $1.12; before market opens    
North Dakota on track to issue record number of permits: I didn't double-check the numbers but it appears North Dakota is on track to issue a record number of permits this calendar year.
  • In calendar year 2013, on this date, August 5, 1,405 permits had been issued; that put the state on track to issue 2,363 permits for the calendar year, 2013.
  • This year, calendar year 2014, on this date, August 5, 1,709 permits have been issued, which tracks out to 2,875 new permits this calendar year if issued at the same pace.
A projection of 2,875 permits would represent a 22% increase, year over year, over last year's projection at this point in time.

The commission issues permits based to some extent on the perceived ability of the operators to actually get around to drilling these wells. In other words, despite fewer active rigs this year compared to last year, NDIC feels the operators will be able to drill more wells (significantly more, apparently) with fewer rigs due to faster times to total depth; and pad drilling.

Wells coming off confidential list Wednesday:
  • 26606, 1,013, Newfield, Hoffmann 149-98-11-2-10H, Pembroke, t5/14; cum 19K 6/14;
  • 27237, drl, Slawson, Waterbond 4-27-34TFH, Van Hook, no production data,
  • 27272, 789, WPX, Glenn Fox 13-24HX, Van Hook, t6/14; cum 8K 6/14;
  • 27290, 454, CLR, Volesky 1-23H1, Ukraina, t6/14; cum 7K 6/14;
Active rigs:

Active Rigs193183206183140

Nineteen (19) new permits --
  • Operators: BR (4), XTO (4), EOG (3), Whiting (3), Hess (3), CLR, Stephens Production Company,
  • Fields: Camel Butte (McKenzie), Johnson Corner (McKenzie), Siverston (McKenzie), Parshall (Mountrail), Sanish (Mountrail), Juniper (McKenzie), Stony Creek (Williams)
  • Comments: Stephens has a permit for a wildcat in Ward County; this is only the second permit for this company in North Dakota; their first permit/well, a Madison well (#25603) was dry, located about 12 miles north of Minot. This newest permit is for a well about six miles northeast of Minot. [There is also a Stephens Energy Company, LLC, last active in 2010.]
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at right.

KOG changed the name of three wells:
  • from P Thomas 154-98-14-33-XHX to P Thomas 154-98-14-33-28-XHX
Other Energy News This Very, Very Busy Reporting Day

The Marcellus hits new record in natural gas production, Obama administration still not capitalizing on it:
  • Natural gas production in the Marcellus region exceeded 15B cf/day in July, the most productive period ever recorded there, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • Marcellus, located mostly in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, now accounts for nearly 40% of total U.S. shale gas production, and its rapid growth isn’t expected to ebb soon, the report says.
  • New wells in the region are expected to deliver another 600M cf/day, more than offsetting decline rates, for a net production increase of 247M cf/day.

WLL-KOG Deal Moves Forward -- August 5, 2014

Press release:
Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: KOG) ("Kodiak"), an oil and gas exploration and production company with primary assets in the Williston Basin of North Dakota, today announced that it has received notification of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 relating to Kodiak's proposed arrangement transaction with Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: WLL) ("Whiting"), thereby satisfying a condition to the closing of the transaction.
As previously announced on July 13, 2014, Kodiak and Whiting entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Whiting will acquire Kodiak in an all-stock transaction valued at $6.0 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to the approval of both Kodiak and Whiting shareholders, Kodiak securityholders and certain court approvals and customary conditions.

Earnings Reporting After Market Closes -- August 5, 2014; FSLR With Big Miss, Shares Tumble;

Disclaimer: 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.

Reporting after the market closes:
  • BKH, forecast 48 cents, big miss; misses by five cents; see below
  • CLR, forecast $1.70, see below
  • DAVE, forecast 36 cents, see below
  • DIS, forecast $1.16, big beat; beats by 11 cents; see below
  • EOG, forecast $1.37, huge beat; beats by 9 cents; $1.45; profit jumps 7%, increases dividend 34%; beats expectations; dividend of $0.1675 effective October 17, 2014
  • FSLR, forecast 37 cents, see below; big miss
  • FTR, forecast 5 cents, in-line; revs in-line; see below
  • MPO, forecast 7 cents, huge beat; beats by 16 cents; see below
  • OAS, forecast $0.74, see below; huge miss; misses by 4 cents;
  • OKE, forecast 36 cents, see below
  • OKS, forecast 66 cents, see below
  • REXX, forecast 15 cents, beats by a penny; see below
  • WPX, huge beat; beats by 11 cents; see below

  • Wow -- LOE ballooned from $6.65 one year ago to over $10/boe most recently; compare with KOG of $8.40; both companies said increased costs were due to delayed work caused by severe ND winter
  • For the second quarter of 2014, the Company reported net income of $38.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $67.1 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2013. The Company's second quarter 2014 results were impacted by several non-cash items, including a $54.2 million non-cash mark-to-market loss on derivative instruments. Excluding these items and their tax effect, the second quarter 2014 Adjusted Net Income (non-GAAP) was $70.5 million, or $0.70 per diluted share. Excluding similar non-cash items and their tax effect, Adjusted Net Income (non-GAAP) for the second quarter of 2013 was $60.1 million, or $0.65 per diluted share.
  • Increased average daily production to 43,668 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 45% increase over the second quarter of 2013 and a 6% sequential quarter increase, excluding production from Sanish.
  • Grew Adjusted EBITDA to $254.7 million in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of $69.2 million over the second quarter of 2013 and a sequential increase of $14.9 million over the first quarter of 2014.
  • Invested capital expenditures of $351.8 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Completed and placed on production 41 gross (30.8 net) operated wells in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Started operating Oasis Well Services' ("OWS") second fracturing fleet.

CLR: today announced second quarter 2014 operating and financial results.  Net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 was $104 million, or $0.56 per diluted share.  Excluding items typically excluded from published analyst estimates, adjusted net income for second quarter 2014 was $277 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, a 13% increase over adjusted net income of $246 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, for second quarter 2013.

OKE: second-quarter 2014 net income attributable to ONEOK of $61.6 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared with second-quarter 2013 net income attributable to ONEOK of $0.9 million, or zero cents per diluted share, which included a non-cash, after-tax charge of $71.0 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, in the former energy services segment.   
Second-quarter 2014 income from continuing operations attributable to ONEOK was $69.6 million, compared with second-quarter 2013 income from continuing operations attributable to ONEOK of $75.2 million.

BKH: today announced 2014 second quarter financial results. Net income, as adjusted, and net income were both $20 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, compared to net income, as adjusted, of $18 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, and net income of $31 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, for the same period in 2013 (net income, as adjusted, is a non-GAAP measure, and an accompanying schedule for the GAAP to non-GAAP adjustment reconciliation is provided).

FTR: today reported second quarter 2014 revenue of $1,147.3 million, operating income of $224.3 million and net income attributable to common shareholders of $37.7 million, or $0.04 per share. Excluding acquisition and integration costs of $19.9 million, acquisition-related interest expense of $7.5 million and severance costs of $0.8 million, partially offset by discrete tax items of $1.9 million (combined impact of $16.0 million after tax), non-GAAP adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders, as defined by the Company in the attached Schedule B, for the second quarter of 2014 is $53.7 million, or $0.05 per share.

OKS: today announced second-quarter 2014 net income attributable to ONEOK Partners of $214.4 million, or 54 cents per unit, compared with $202.4 million, or 62 cents per unit, in the second quarter 2013. 
Second-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increased 15 percent to $360.9 million, compared with $315.1 million in the second quarter 2013.

REXX: Net income from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders for the three months ended June 30, 2014 was $8.1 million, or $0.15 per basic share. Net income from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2014 was $16.9 million, or $0.32 per basic share. Adjusted net income, a non-GAAP measure, for the three months ended June 30, 2014 was $8.5 million, or $0.16 per share. Adjusted net income for the six months ended June 30, 2014 was $20.3 million, or $0.38 per share.

DAVE: Diluted net income per share was $0.46 compared to $0.28, for 2013;

DIS: beats expectations; $1.28; net income jumps 22%, topping analyts' expectations;

FSLR: big miss; shares tumble;
For the recent second quarter, First Solar posted profits of $4.5 million or $0.04 cents a share, compared with $33.6 million or $0.37 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Sales grew to $544.4 from $519.7 million last year. Analysts had forecast earnings of $0.37 a share on sales of $795.9 million.

MPO: today announced its financial and operating results for the three months ended June 30, 2014. Record Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income were driven by best-ever production volumes and lower cash operating costs.
  • Reduced cash operating expenses before transaction costs to $13.63 per Boe, down 35% from $21.07 per Boe in the second quarter of 2013 and down 13% from $15.62 per Boe in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Lowered lease operating and workover expenses (LOE) to $6.79 per Boe, a new record for the Company.
  • Reported record Adjusted Net Income of $14.4 million, or $0.22 per share, compared with a loss of $4.2 million, or ($0.06) per share in the second quarter of 2013 and net income of $8.3 million, or $0.13 per share in the first quarter of 2014.
WPX Energy beats by $0.11, misses on revs: Reports Q2 earnings of $0.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.05); revenues fell 0.1% year/year to $814 mln vs the $887.2 mln consensus.
  • WPX's oil production showed dramatic growth in the second quarter, increasing 57% year-over-year on a domestic basis, 37% on a consolidated basis that includes international volumes and 23% domestically vs. the sequential quarter.
  • Domestic oil production was driven by higher volumes in the Williston Basin, which grew 53 percent year-over-year and 21 percent from first-quarter 2014. Oil production in the San Juan Basin's Gallup play also climbed 76 percent vs. the sequential quarter.

For Investors Only -- Comparing A Bakken Operator With A Permian Operator -- August 5, 2014; "There's Such A Thing As Living Too Long"

Disclaimer: 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.

Don got me interested in looking at the Permian again.

I've mentioned several times in the past six months or so, I suppose (if I haven't mentioned it, I've certainly thought it): in the short term (5 - 10 years), the Permian may be a better play than the Bakken. Like real estate, it's all about location, location, location. And right now, the Permian has the location: Wall Street is excited about this area; there is already a lot of infrastructure in place; geographically close to refineries; and, in a very, very friendly regulatory state.

There might be one concern: lack of water for fracking, perhaps, although that's more "emotional" than "rational" -- golf courses use a lot more water than the oil and gas industry, and there's no talk of closing golf courses, at least as far as I know.

So, let's compare AREX with TPLM. I know nothing about the former; something about the latter.

First TPLM, a pure-play Bakken:
  • market cap: $906 million
  • enterprise value: $1.3 billion
  • p/e, forward: 11
  • net acres: was 135,000; with recent acquisition, now about 190,000 acres (more than KOG)
  • production: 7,254 boepd 4Q14 (most recent), projecting 12,000 boepd 2H15 (next two quarters)
  • 2014 CAPEX:
  • rigs: 8 rigs in the Bakken back in 2013
  • % oil: 80%
  • LOE:
  • Three "divisions": E&P; midstream (Caliber); fracking (Rockpile)
AREX, pretty much a pure-play Permian:
  • market cap: $700 million
  • enterprise value: $1.1 billion
  • p/e: 16
  • net acres: 138,000
  • production: 14,000 boepd
  • 2014 CAPEX: $400 million
  • 3 rigs; to drill 70 wells during 2014  
  • % oil: 41%
  • % total liquid: 70%
  • LOE: $6.18 (compare to $8.40 for KOG)
Maybe more later, but I know enough.

A "snapshot" of the Bakken operators can be found here.

I chose TPLM to compare with AREX because of similarities in market cap / enterprise value, in two different plays.

But how about comparing a darling of Wall Street with about the same amount of acreage as TPLM, both in the same play. Of course, I'm talking about KOG:
  • market cap: $4 billion
  • enterprise value: $6.5 billion
  • p/e, forward: 14
  • net acres: was 183,000; (173,000 in North Dakota)
  • production: 34,000 boepd
  • 2014 CAPEX:
  • rigs: 4 rigs at the moment; CEO plans to get to 7 by end of year
  • % oil: ~ 90%
  • LOE: $8.40
  • E&P only 
SandRidge: 2Q14

Over at Seeking Alpha, Zeits on SandRidge, and 2Q14:
I expect the company to report its best quarter in a long time, both in terms of overall production growth and well quality. I estimate that the company's production from its core Mid-Continent operation will increase by ~23% sequentially, to ~62 Mboe/d, of which crude oil production will be ~25-26 Mboe/d.
My estimate is based on the very strong well results that the company posted during the March-May period, including a dozen "monster" wells. The majority of the March-May wells reached their peak production during Q2 and define the quarter's outcome.
The President And Main Street
Mainstream Media: What Obama gets wrong about corporate America.

Yahoo!Finance is reporting:

There are so many story lines in this article, but this is the crux of the argument: the very, very large corporations have done well under the Barack "they didn't build that" Obama administration but "Main Street" businesses have not. This is the reality:
Perhaps the most worrisome sign of trouble in the Main Street economy is an anemic pace of business startups. New research by the Brookings Institution shows the pace of new-business creation has been declining for 30 years, with the drop intensifying during the last five years or so [coinciding with the Barack "they didn't build that" administration].
The rate of new business creation now is only about half what it was in 1978. New businesses are vital because they tend to grow the fastest and hire the most, whereas big companies are more likely to consolidate and do whatever’s necessary to boost their share price — which often includes cutting costs and payroll.
Perhaps it’s no surprise we have chronically high unemployment at the same time there’s a shortage of startups and younger firms.
Lots of speeches, but little follow-through:
Obama, like all other politicians, tends to give rah-rah lip service to the Main Street economy, but his administration hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to help. [Think BP and the Keystone XL.]
Early initiatives and the 2009 stimulus program were generally meant to direct aid to the top of the economic food chain in the hope it would trickle down. Some trickled, some didn’t. There’s very little stimulus Obama can point to that bypassed Wall Street and the big players and went straight to Main Street. Among them: limited aid for struggling homeowners and a ramp-up in small-business lending that some business owners say is more trouble than it’s worth.
The writer's suggestion:
What Obama could do, if he wanted, is find a way to drastically reduce the thicket of regulations and the paperwork burden that plagues many businesses. In his Economist interview, Obama scoffed at businesspeople who complain about being overregulated. “They always complain about regulation,” Obama said. “That’s their job.” Then he ticked off a list of things going right — soaring stock market, record corporate profits, etc. — that supposedly proves all the whining about overregulation is baseless.
And that's why I was interested in the article. I was curious if the writer would mention the 800-lb gorilla in the living room of every small business owner.

Nope, a word search for ObamaCare or "affordable" was not in the article. By the way, speaking of ObamaCare, The Daily Caller has an update how well this plan is working out. Doctors are starting to refuse to take new ObamaCare patients. The numbers don't add up. It was the same thing we saw with Medicare: ask the senior sitting next to them if they talk about their doctor taking Medicare or not. LOL.

See also: why businesses are leaving California and heading to Texas.

A Case For Share Repurchases

Bloomberg is reporting:
Spurred on by zero-percent interest rates and the highest cash balances on record, companies are plowing capital into the equity market to curb supply and buttress per-share earnings. While Scott Wren of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC says there are usually better things to do with capital, companies with the most repurchases have beat the S&P 500 during the bull market.  
Apple, Inc. is up 25 percent since it spent $18 billion on its own shares between January and March and rallied 32 percent after a $16 billion buyback in 2013. Those are the highest four-month returns among the 20 biggest quarterly repurchases by any company since 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Standard & Poor's. S&P 500 constituents have spent $211 billion on their own stock this year amid concern the five-year bull market is prone to selloffs such as last week's 2.7 percent retreat.
"Inversions" are getting a lot of attention and a lot of press, but the best thing going for large corporations for the past several years has been: really, really cheap money. This has not been lost on the Warren Buffetts and the Tim Cooks of the world. 

Remember: 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.

A Note for the Granddaughters

It is difficult to remember a trip as enjoyable as our recent cross-country trip from Grapevine (Dallas, TX) to San Pedro (Los Angeles, CA) a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight of that trip, without question, was the opportunity to see Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and the Albuquerque area.

I have just finished reading Virginia L. Grattan's Mary Colter: Builder Upon the Red Earth, c. 1992. It makes me want to re-visit the Grand Canyon on our way back to Dallas. [Shortly thereafter, I spent a fair amount of time with the much thicker, more definitive architectural book on Ms Colter: Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest, Arnold Berke, c. 2002.]

Much of what Mary Colter designed and built is now gone.
"Of all the places where she worked in the Southwest, Grand Canyon has the largest number of Colter buildings still standing. Six significant buildings remain: Hermit's Rest, the Lookout, Bright Angel Lodge, Phantom Ranch, Hopi House, and the Watchtower."
We saw many of them but not all of them.

A year before her death (1958), the La Posada in Santa Fe went on the auction block. "For Mary Colter it was a tragedy: the most beautiful and best loved of her buildings was to be dismantled and sold, the furniture to be auctioned off in Albuquerque. When La Posada closed, Colter observed,
'There's such a thing as living too long.'"
Mary Colter died at the age of 88, on January 8, 1958. 

Now, unto Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest, Arnold Berke, c. 2002.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter

From Appetite For America, Stephen Fried, c. 2010
Within six months, Schweitzer and Huckels had bought every private collection of Indian art and crafts they could find, but now didn't know quite what to do with the pieces in that big empty space in the Albuquerque train station. So they reached out to an improbable woman none of them had ever met -- a thirty-three-year-old high school industrial arts teacher in St Paul, Minnesota, who apparently had been recommended to the main office in Kansas City by a Fred Harvey cashier in San Francisco.
Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was a tiny dynamo, a petite, formidable woman with full lips, long, thick hair she never let down in public, wide blue eyes that cataloged every detail, and calloused hands equally adept at fine detail drawing and bricklaying. She had a strong jaw -- often used to bite people's heads off -- and an almost religious belief in her own good taste.
"An incomprehensible woman in pants" was how one admirer described her.

North Dakota Oil Production Sets New Record; Almost A 4% Month-Over-Month Increase In Daily Production -- Tuesday -- August 5, 2014

Quick: what was the percentage increase in North Dakota production, May, 2014, over April, 2014, according to just-released figures?  3.6%.
For newbies: this is not trivial. The Bakken production is still exponential growth, about 2.1% monthly increase over the past year. The question has always been how long can exponential growth continue and at what rate. I certainly thought we were getting into "law of big numbers" and the North Dakota infrastructure was such that the growth would decrease by now. I assume Bakken fanboys like me will be disappointed this winter when we see negative growth month-over-month. But for now, quite exciting. See the report at the link below, and more on this at the post farther down.
From SeekingAlpha:

  • North Dakota’s crude oil production passed 1M bbl/day in April and remained above the 1M benchmark in May on the strength of production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations.
  • One reason for May's 3.6% M/M growth to 1.039M bbl/day was the addition of 227 producing wells through the state, with 10,892 producing wells in May compared to 10,665 in April.
  • Average production per well in the state also grew between the months, to 2,959 barrels per well from 2,822 in April.
  • North Dakota's oil fields now account for 12% of all U.S. oil production, and more than 1% of global production.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs194183206183140

RBN Energy: North Dakota-sponsored study reports on parameters of Bakken oil vis a vis CBR.

From FuelFix, the linked article above:
North Dakota’s crude oil production passed a record 1 million barrels per day in April and remained above the benchmark in May ... according to government reports.
In April, the North Dakota produced 30,097,687 barrels of crude and averaged 1,003,256 barrels produced per day through the 30-day month, according to data compiled by North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources.
In May, the state produced 32,228,691 barrels for average daily production of 1,039,635 barrels per day through the 31-day month.
One reason for the growth in oil production was the addition of 227 producing wells through the state. North Dakota counted 10,892 producing wells in May compared to 10,665 in April.
Average production per well in the state also grew between the months, from about 2,822 barrels per month per well in April to about 2,959 barrels per month per well in May.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report Monday that the growth in drilling may have yielded knowledge about the North Dakota formations that contributed to the increased production.
In the Bakken, the relatively low thickness and low permeability of the formation means that better information on the location of the oil can translate quickly into more production.
For Jane "there might be some oil there" Nielson:
The state’s oil fields now account for 12 percent of all U.S. oil production, and more than 1 percent of global production.
For newbies: remember, the reports lag about two months. This is August 5; the report covers the most recent month data is available: May. Lynn Helms suggested there could be quite a surge in North Dakota oil production this summer. May is still considered "spring" in North Dakota; the summer reports won't be seen until this autumn (in September, we will get the first summer report, June).

General Officer Shot/Killed In Afghanistan -- Report

A two-star general was supposedly shot in Afghanistan.

For the military that's a big story. It's one thing for junior officers to die in combat, lieutenants and captains, but majors are pretty safe (except for being fired by Obama) and one almost never hears of lieutenant colonels (O-5's) begin killed, and if a colonel gets killed it's huge news.

A "combat" fatality involving a general officer moves it to a whole new level.

When I first read the headline, I thought perhaps a one-star general -- they are a bit more "common" to be seen with combat troops, but a 2-star is ... unheard of? It will be interesting to see if we get some statistics on how many 2-star generals have been killed by enemy soldiers.

I'm waiting for the speech and then the golf outing.