Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Japan One Step Closer To Importing Huge Amounts Of LNG From The US; Tomorrow's Headlines Tonight -- Posted August 6, 2014; Restaurants In Minnesota Start Charging Small Fee To Cover New Minimum Wage Law

Japanese partners in the Cameron LNG terminal say the project has secured its last investment approval by obtaining $7.4B in financing.
  • The move brings Japan a step closer to importing significant amounts of LNG from the U.S.'s abundant supply of shale gas.
  • The Cameron project is owned by Sempra Energy, GDF Suez, Mitsui & Co. , and a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corp., and Nippon Yusen KK.
The Wall Street Journal
More smoke and mirrors with ObamaCare: almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. Essentially, this "act" is simply dying on the vine, and that's why it's not  even an election issue this year.

Trade gap narrows sharply as imports tumble. Good news? Hardly: it may mean US consumers have have lost interest in buying.

This story has many, many story lines: Obama is focused on putting in place a global security structure that will last decades, but his handling of crises in the Mideast and Ukraine has driven support for his foreign policy to new lows. UC Irvine? Really?

Wow, really? Italy slips back into recession.

I might come back to this later; it's been discussed often at the blog -- the 800-lb gorilla in the living room of small business owners: startup entrepreneurs and owners of small ventures are facing big changes in how they obtain their own health coverage under ObamaCare, as well as in the benefits they're able to offer employees.

Chrylser's earning jump 22%. Who wudda thought?

The Los Angeles Times

Front page, top of the fold: bill would cap income eligibility for state's clean-vehicle rebates. Class warfare, I guess. Only the privileged few can afford to drive the HOV lanes in southern California; only the rich can afford EVs. Four-fifths of California rebates for EVs go to those earning over $100,000. Interestingly, $100,000 is hardly a working wage for longshoremen in southern California. By the way, I drove past their brand new, beautiful new building near the San Pedro Harbor (couldn't tell if it was nearer the LA Port or the Long Beach Port.

Good, bad, indifferent. Global warming. Summer weather. Whatever. It's' the headline in tomorrow's LA Times: southern California hit by cooling trend, fog in heart of summer. Must be something unusual to merit a headline story. Whatever. It's just the weather. Nineteen years of cooling weather. I remember all those stories when I was growing up about the hot weather spells in NYC, Chicago -- haven't heard those stories lately. Whatever.


This is really quite remarkable. Check out the restaurant tab over in Stillwater, MN. Yup. This restaurant is now adding (padding) every restaurant tab with an additional 35 cents to cover "the new minimum wage." I can't make this up. Next we will see an itemized listing for 56 cents for ObamaCare Coverage, and 23 cents for costs associated with renewable energy mandates. Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. Sort of like the airlines charging separately for aisle seats, carry-on baggage, snacks, and drinks. As long as the fees are transparent, something President Obama promised us, and not hidden in the price of the soup or salad.

An A-Ha! Moment
The Ultimate Christopher Walken Impression

Over the past few years it has become almost impossible not to see or hear a "Christopher Walken impression" somewhere. Everybody does a Christopher Walken impression. If you don't believe me, do a YouTube search for these impressions: other actors on Letterman, Conan, and compilations across the internet -- everyone "does Christopher Walken."

I've always been "troubled" by the long Christopher Walken monologue in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. It seemed "over the top," even for Tarantino. But then it hit me -- the a-ha moment: Tarantino had Christopher Walken do a Christopher Walken impression/parody in Pulp Fiction.

The reason the Christopher Walken monologue always troubled me was because Christopher Walken was playing himself, he was not playing another character. I could never figure out why Tarantino had Walken playing Walken.

Then I saw all the YouTube videos of everyone and his brother (or cousin) "doing Christopher Walken." Except one. You can't find a video of Christopher Walken doing an impression of Christopher Walken anywhere.

Until Tarantino came along. Genius, pure genius.  The real question: was Christopher Walken let in on the secret?  A cursory search of the net is silent on the subject.

New Operator In The Basin; Thirteen (13) New Permits -- North Dakota; Active Rigs Back Down A Bit -- August 6, 2014; XTO With A "High-IP" Well

Reporting earnings Thursday:
CFN, 72 cents; after market close;
LINE, 42 cents; before market open;
WEN, 10 cents; before market open;
WIN, 8 cents; before market open;

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 21373, drl, Statoil, Barstad 23-14 5H, Alger, no production data,
  • 24574, 904, Whiting,  Wanner Federal 21-1TFH, St Demetrius, t4/14; cum 25K 6/14;
  • 25707, 312, OXY USA, Martin 3-30-31H-144-96, Cabernet, t2/14; cum 19K 6/14;
  • 26754, 622, CLR, Juneau 6-11H1, Brooklyn, t6/14; cum 9K 6/14;
  • 27084, 1,656, BR, Norman 44-33MBHm Johnson Corner, 4 sections, t7/14; no production data,
Active rigs:

Active Rigs191183204184141

Thirteen (13) new permits --
  • Operators: BR (4), Whiting (3), Emerald Oil (2), XTO, St Croix Operating, Slawson, CLR,
  • Fields: Corral Creek (Dunn), Sanish (Mountrail), Boxcar Butte (McKenzie), Siverston (McKenzie), Stockyard Creek (Williams), Williston (Williams)
  • Comments: St Croix has a wildcat in Renville; this is the first permit for this company in North Dakota
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Two (2) producing wells completed:
  • 26457, 1,236, XTO, Broderson 31X-27D,  Siverston, t5/14;  cum 4K 6/15;
  • 27443, 2,153, XTO, FBIR Guyblackhawk 24X-27ER, Heart Butte, t7/14; cum --

A Note for the Granddaughters

Earlier today I had a couple of free hours, so I drove over to the Jiffy Lube in Long Beach, on Pacific Coast Highway, to have the oil changed in preparation for our trip back to Texas. I talked about that visit earlier.

It was a gorgeous day. Windows down, radio blasting, memories of my early days in California. The radio station was playing songs from the 1980s. One was "Against the Wind." It took me back to my cross-country hitchhiking days. I forget how many times I hitchhiked across the US in my late teens/early 20s -- college and graduate school. I can recall quickly three times; hitchhiked "regionally" many more times than that.

I thought about how soft I've become. I tried hitchhiking out of Boston a couple of years ago. I was going to hitchhike back to San Antonio, but I gave up after 18 hours. Either I changed or hitchhiking changed. Perhaps a little of both. But I just couldn't do it. By 5:00 a.m. the next morning I was very, very cold and trying to find shelter and "turned against the wind."

Reminds me of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Sunset Boulevard: "I am big, it's the pictures that got small!"

But how soft I've gotten. I still ride my bicycle everywhere I can but I no longer think of hitchhiking as a viable mode of alternate transportation. I no longer live on Campbell's soup and tuna fish sandwiches (I swear that's all I had for lunch, four days out of five, while in graduate school many decades ago). Having said that, when I'm looking for comfort food, I still turn to Campbell's bean and bacon, and a tuna fish sandwich. (Years ago I spent a day hanging around with a highly successful orthopedic surgeon in his clinic out in California; he was so busy, he did not leave the clinic for lunch: lunch was Campell's bean and bacon soup -- room temperature -- directly from the can.)

Against the Wind, Bob Seger

EOG 2Q14 Results -- August 6, 2014

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.

Other Investment News

EOG Transcript, over at SeekingAlpha:
  • EOG's workhorse assets, the Eagle Ford and the Bakken meet or exceed "high" expectations
  • steadily improving completion designs
  • pad completions 
    • a lot of offset wells are taken off-line
    • wells take longer to flow back as new wells are brought on-line
    • production growth can be lumpy rather than linear
  • in the Bakken
    • shifted to more multi-well pad drilling this past year
    • encouraged by early production from first 700-foot-spaced wells
    • results still pending
    • after achieving peak rates, well production is flattening out nicely, delivering excellent rate of return
  • during 2Q14, EOG plans to drill both MB and TF on EOG's Antelope Extension acreage
    • will test various benches of the TF in both core and Antelope
    • later this year will get first data point from the third bench
  • Q&A
    • railcar safety issue? non-issue for EOG
    • spacing in the Bakken? on their third set of down spacing; with good success with 1,300-feet spacing (4 wells / section)
    • spacing in the Bakken? now on their third set of down spacing; with good success with 1,300-feet spacing (4 wells / section)
    • now testing 700-foot spacing (8 wells/section); initial results look good
Seeking Alpha noted in the presentation:
  • In an investor presentation today, EOG Resources touted a pair of plays in the Permian Basin the company believes have the potential to achieve returns in excess of 100% each
  • The Leonard Shale is a shallow play believed to have potential reserves of 550M barrels of oil net to EOG, while the company is still evaluating potential reserves for Second Bone Springs; the two plays sit below 73K net acres EOG holds in the region
Reporting today:
  • CNP, forecast 23 cents, beats by 7 cents; beats on revs, raises FY14 EPS
  • CHK, forecast 44 cents, misses; 36 cents; raises guidance; Zacks;
  • DNR, forecast 27 cents; misse; 26 cents; Zacks;
  • DVN, forecast $1.40; in-line; $1.40; Zacks;
  • ETP, forecast 64 cents; after market closes;
  • QEP, forecast 33 cents; after market closes;
  • SD, forecast 4 cents; beat by 2 cents;
  • RIG, forecast $1.12; after market closes;
The Space Story Of The Decade
Without question, this is the outer space story of the decade: it should make Mr Obama very, very happy. The US did not build this; the European Space Agency did. This is simply incredible:
After 10 years and a journey of four billion miles, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination on Wednesday for the first extended, close examination of a comet.
A six-minute thruster firing at 5 a.m. Eastern time, the last in a series of 10 over the past few months, slowed Rosetta to the pace of a person walking, about two miles per hour relative to the speed of its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
“It is like driving a car or a bus on a motorway for 10 years,” said Andrea Accomazzo, the flight director, at a post-rendezvous news conference. “Now we’ve entered downtown. We’re downtown and we have to start orienting ourselves. We don’t know the town yet, so we have to discover it first.”
Over the coming months, Rosetta and its comet, called C-G for short, will plunge together toward the sun.
In November, a small 220-pound lander is to leave the spacecraft, set down on the comet and harpoon itself to the surface, the first time a spacecraft has gently landed on a comet.
My understanding is that "a Mr Wolowitz" will be in charge of landing the spacecraft on the comet. 

The bad news: Mr Wolowitz works in a non-metric environment; the ESA works in a metric environment. We've seen this movie once before. 

The Big Bank Theory, Mars Rover Theory

A Note for the Granddaughters

What a beautiful day this has turned into. A great day for a flâneur. 

I'm in a Long Beach, California, McDonald's on Pacific Coast Highway, where no one looks like me. It has to be one of the friendliest McDonald's I've visited in quite some time. It is the exception when I find a McDonald's where the staff is not friendly; it's just that I haven't been in a McDonald's in the past two weeks. The only place where I can recall a McDonald's not being friendly was in NYC about 30 years ago. And a McDonald's at some airport, a long time ago. But today, the typical, wonderful friendliness.

I'm waiting for my car to be serviced in preparation for the trip back to Texas. When I walked in (to McDonald's) I noticed that the breakfast menu was still up; hamburgers wouldn't be served until 11:00. When I asked what time it was; she said, "10:53." On the dot, apparently. Something tells me her shift got over at 11:00 which would also explain why she was so friendly.

In Germany, restaurants generally had a table reserved for "regulars," called a Stammtisch. Here, at this McDonald's there was a table for four with this sign on the wall: "This table is reserved for the police department." It was empty. I sat across from it. I almost expected Joe "Jack Webb" Friday to wander in. Speaking of which, to get back to the Bakken, wouldn't it be a hoot for Emerald Oil to start naming their wells after great TV shows from the 50's and 60's. Start with "Car 54, Where Are You" and Toody and Muldoon. 

Jiffy Lube is still the best place in the world for an oil change. Also Firestone. I don't like going to dealers much any more: the wait is always way too long. But they have really nice waiting rooms, and if you like to look at cars you can't afford, then getting your car's oil changed at a dealer is the place to go.

 The first thing the mechanic said, "On behalf of Jiffy Lube, I apologize for the mechanics in Texas (where you last had your car serviced). They forgot to put the air filter clamp back on."

The downside?

"The car probably used a bit more gas."

And so it goes; I just thought the Chrysler minivan was .... speaking of which .. the first trip out to California in our other Chrysler minivan which I drove alone (thank goodness) from San Antonio had the smell of leaking gasoline the entire trip. I was a bit worried when I connected a) the smell of leaking gasoline, and, b) 120-degree weather in San Bernardino County. But I got to LA okay. When I brought the van to our trusted "oil change" person, he asked me to park the van across the street in the empty lot. Yeah, it's fixed. A cracked plastic fuel line: cracked due to sitting in the hot sun for several months without being driven. The fuel line was spewing gasoline into the west Texas desert, the New Mexico desert, the Arizona desert, the California desert, and unto the sprawling Los Angeles interstate highways for about 1,504 miles. Mileage: not so good.

So, back to Long Beach. I told the Jiffy Lube folks I would take a walk for the half-hour while they changed the oil and serviced the 60,000-mile transmission recommendation. They told me that back in Dallas that at 60,000 miles the transmission would need to be serviced, so I was expecting that. Nothing else but they have my cell phone number in case they need to call me.

The young woman at Jiffy Lube (the only time I've seen a young woman at a Jiffy Lube) asked if I would like my windows washed and the floors vacuumed. Very, very friendly service.

Immediately after leaving the Jiffy Lube location, I found 15 pennies, a dime, and a nickel -- I had to dodge a few cars to get them all, and it was a bit weird to be doing this in front of what-looked-like-an-abandoned-ObamaCare-health-clinic with "pregnancy tests" stenciled on the glass door (sort of like "Sam Spade, Private Detective"). I've taught my granddaughters the art of finding coins on the street. The second most important rule: if you see one coin, look for more. Dropped/lost coins seldom travel alone. The first most important rule: watch out for traffic. A rule I don't think I have to teach: a penny partly hidden by dog poop is probably not worth picking up. A dime? Depends. On how much of the dime is visible, I suppose.

My coffee and hash browns (they don't serve hamburgers until 11:00) cost $2.22, so I had 22 cents in found change.

I knew there was a possibility that the day would start out well. I have never, ever talked business with a financial adviser in person. It's a long story, but to cut to the chase, I actually made an appointment to meet a financial adviser in person at the bank where we have an account. I was well prepared, but had no real interest in doing this, so when he said that he was licensed only in California, and because I was from Texas, he could not talk "financial advice" with me. That was wonderful. I fulfilled my spousal duty of scheduling time with a financial adviser in person but he was restricted by law or by the SEC or by the San Pedro police department from talking about my account or talking about anything that had to do with finances. My only question was whether the account was a margin account (another long story, don't ask). His expertise was in this area according to the signs outside and inside the bank and on his desk, and according to his business card. But he couldn't answer that question, whether it was a margin account because he was restricted by law or by the SEC or by the San Pedro police department from answering that question. He was able to bring up my account on his computer, so he knew.

Actually, I think he broke the law when he said it was not a margin account; actually he didn't come right out and say that but one could tell by his facial expressions it was not a margin account when I told him I bought $1,000 in securities on that account last Friday and the transaction came in at $1,005.36, and now my account is in arrears of $5.36. The look on his face was priceless.

He asked me how I ever got into that account. I told him I've had the account for 30+ years and how I got into it was a story longer than he would really be interested in. So, and I kid you not, he simply asked, with that countenance of incredulity, "So you just kept putting money into this account for 30 years?"


So, maybe it wasn't the law or the SEC or the San Pedro police department that kept him from talking financial stuff with me. He probably thought I was crazy.

So, it was a very pleasant meeting. It took up about 15 minutes; he was still apologizing (and thanking me for my service to this country) as I left.

And that's when I drove down to get the car serviced. All of a sudden I had two hours free that I thought was going to be spent with a financial adviser.

What a beautiful day for a flâneur.

Weekly Petroleum Status Report -- EIA -- August 6, 2014

Link here.

Some data points (some numbers rounded):
  • crude oil refinery inputs 160,000 bopd less than previous week's average
  • refinery capacity: 92%; slightly less than previous week
  • gasoline production increased
  • US crude oil imports at 7.6 million bopd; down 180,000 bopd from previous week
  • over past four weeks, imports down 5% compared to same period one year earlier
  • crude oil inventories decreased by 1.8 million bbls
  • total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.4 million bbls
An unremarkable report.


Ghost Riders In The Sky, Debbie Harry/Blondie

CLR Has A New Presentation -- August 6, 2014

CLR has a new presentation.

Data points:
  • 2Q14 Bakken production: 108,573 boe
  • completed industry's first full-field development in prolific Antelope area (MB, TF1, TF2, and TF3)
  • successfully completed three 1,320-foot density pilots since beginning density pilot program: Hawkinson, Rollefstad, and Tangsrud
  • completed the first 660-foot density pilot at the Wahpeton unit
  • three additional planned 660-foot density pilots to be completed: Lawrence, Mack, and Hartman
  • average completed well costs: $8.0 million (FY13 target) met; fiscal year 2014 target: $7.5 million
  • CLR continues to model the 603K EUR well as the average
  • better EURs projected with slick water completions
    • Madison 2-28H: after 29 days, 35% higher than 603K; 50% higher than neighboring wells
    •  Sacramento 2-10H: after 192 days, 50% higher than 603K; 60% higher than average of neighboring wells
  • both the Madison and the Sacramento wells are located in Williams County, east of Williston
  •  the graph at slide 9 (Sacramento, Madison wells) is quite stunning
  • large proppant volume & slick water providing better completions
    •  large proppant volume, 3 test wells: 39% higher than 603K average; 30% higher than neighboring wells
    •  slick water, 3 test wells: 35% higher than 603K average; 25% higher than average of neigboring wells
  • incremental cost of enhanced completion designs estimated at $1.5 to 2 million
  • Rest of presentation relates to the SCOOP
Long term: has CLR moved average Bakken/Three Forks well from 603K to 815K EUR (low end)? (using new completion techniques)

Random Post On Increased Density Well Drilling Inspired By A Reader's Comment -- August 6, 2014

Note: in long posts like this, I seldom double check them for typographical or grammatical errors for several days. I assume there are factual errors as well. Don't use this as a source of information for anything that might be important in your life. 

I get the feeling that the definition of "density drilling" in the Bakken will be in the eye of the beholder.

An analogy: CLR trademarked "Eco-Pad" for its four-well pad sites. I haven't heard the term "Eco-Pad" used in a long time (so the trademark must have worked) but everyone (except OXY, it seems) has gone to pad drilling in the Bakken.

So it is with density drilling. This is being posted without much research or thought put into it, but a long time ago, in a place far away, the consensus was this: surface owners would see only one oil well per section (one mile by one mile, 640 acres).

Then BEXP came along with the Olson wells and Harold Hamm came along with the Bice wells and all of a sudden, we had two long horizontals going north, and two long horizontals going south, all from the same four well-pad.

It was obvious at that point that fracking was not particularly effective more than 500 feet radially from the borehole. To the best of my knowledge, this blog was the first blog that had no advertising and no subscription, and written by a layperson, that talked about this. I opined that we would see up to six wells across a one-mile section (one formation).

Shortly after the cat was let out of the bag, or as they say in Norway, after the lutefisk started to smell, CLR announced two density projects, the specifics of which I have long forgotten.

I think by the strict definition of "increased density" wells, the oil companies mean very, very close spacing of wells in the same formation, as little as 660 feet apart. [There must be something magical about 660 feet. I assume it has to do with spacing from the section lines. By the way, with regard to the XXX-XX-XXX format for social security numbers, the string "666" is never used for the first three numbers. I read that yesterday in a Social Security Bulletin issued in 2009. But I digress.]

Some readers might think that 12 or 14 wells in one section constitute "increased density" wells. Not necessarily. If three wells target four separate formations (MB, TF1, TF2, TF3), twelve wells altogether, that would technically not be a "increased density pilot project." I suppose. But then again, whatever it's called, it's probably in the eye of the beholder. [Speaking of which, if the eye belongs to Algore, it's probably an eyesore; if the eye belongs to a mineral rights owner, its $$$$$$; and, if the eye belongs to the surface owner, it's a right-brain (emotion) vs left-brain (rationality) cognitive dissonance problem. But again I digress.

This brings me to the Atlanta wells in Baker oil field. I track the Atlanta wells here. When I get the time I have to update the Atlanta wells to post which wells target which formations. If the wells target only two formations (the MB and TF1, which we used to call the "upper Three Forks") then it should be considered an increased density project, although perhaps not a "pilot." Perhaps a "co-pilot."

Some time ago, I posted a list of what CLR called their density projects; they did not include the Atlanta wells for some reason. At that link, these are the CLR density projects as of that date of the original post: Hawkinson, Tangsrud, Rollefstad, Wahpeton, Hartman, Mack, Lawrence. I did not link the source for calling these "CLR's density projects" so .... whatever.

The other bad news: I use multiple tags to identify posts with information about increased density wells. I will have to work on that; maybe this weekend.

For now, here are some links to posts for additional background on density projects.

Perhaps one of the better ones, posted on December 29, 2013, subtle change in CLR's proposed horizontal placement in the better Bakken? That link takes you to a post with graphics (320- and 160-acre density); and, a proposed well pattern that was either the same (or had very, very slight changes). [Wow, that last link, actually both those links, were to some great posts.]

Although I don't think Oasis referred to them as "pilot projects," here is a link to a post about Oasis and 10-well density in Burke County.

As far as KOG goes, here's a nice post of their increased density projects.

In addition, there are cases pending before the NDIC that are beyond the pale. For example:
Update on the section in Mandaree oil field in which EOG could place "not more than 32 wells in one 640-acre unit." No new wells, but the IPs and cumulative production for wells sited in this section have been updated.
Someday, one of my granddaughters will write the book on increased density projects in the Bakken. It will be titled: On The Evolution of Increased Density Well Drilling In The Bakken, Volume 6. The illustrations will be done by the other granddaughter.

By the way, as you get to older and older links, you may run into a "broken" link in which the "blogger app" says the site is not available. That has to do with the fact that my blog was hacked awhile back. I had to change the URL. Nothing else changed. So if you get a broken link to a milliondollarway blog, don't panic. Simply replace "" or whatever it was, with "" and it should work fine. The "the" is all-important, but so is the rest of it. I've fixed a lot of the links, but I'm really only back to 2012. And this blog goes all the way back to 2010, I think. [I deleted the original blog which went back to 2007 because it did not contract specifications.]

As long as I'm talking about broken links, a lot of linked stories in regional newspapers are archived after a few months, and require a paid subscription to reach them. Same with RBN Energy, I believe. All the links to the "Bakken Discussion Group" are broken. It's a sad story; a lot of incredibly good historical information is lost to the general public. Links to "The Bakken Discussion Group" should be intact. 

Global Warming Fallout: Excessive Rain In Europe Could Wreak Havoc On Europe's Wheat Crops; Wheat Prices Surge -- August 6, 2014

The RBN Energy story below on "the road to New England" is very, very interesting. I thought about the story yesterday when I was posting the story about the nuts with eccentric signs (their words, not mind). I wish now I had mentioned it: but it comes down to this in New England: a) freeze; b) buried natural gas pipelines; c) huge, Jolly Green Giant transmission lines (Canadian hydroelectric power) running through that pristine forest in a land where tourism is job #1. Oh, there's always CBR, I suppose. Now that North Dakota says Bakken crude oil is safe to ship by rail, this should be a no-brainer. I think the key to safety with regard to CBR: a) set the brakes when indicated; and, b) keep the train on the track.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs193183204184141

RBN Energy:
The New England states and ISO-New England, which manages the region’s electric grid, are taking steps to keep the lights on during polar vortex events until new natural gas pipeline capacity through New England comes online. They also are making progress on an effort to have electric customers pay to help support new pipeline capacity developed specifically to serve gas-fired units. But while new gas-fired generation is being built in the region to replace older coal (and nuclear) capacity being retired, gas’s role in New England electricity production may well be stymied by a push to import large amounts of eastern Canadian hydroelectric power. Today we examine how New England is playing gas against hydro, and how the outlook for gas consumption by generators may be less bullish than some think.
New England has been turning away from coal-fired generation, mostly in favor of gas-fired power.  But as we have said often, there is not enough gas pipeline capacity into New England to fuel all (or sometimes even most) of the region’s growing fleet of gas units during the winter months, especially when gas demand for business and residential space heating is high. In Episode One of this series, we explained that ISO-New England is implementing several stop-gap measures to keep the lights on, and is considering various longer-term fixes that would bring the region’s electric needs, gas supply and air quality into a zen-like balance. The near-term fix is the Winter Reliability Program (WRP), which among other things incents oil stockpiling and gas-to-oil fuel switching when gas supplies for generation run tight.  Longer term, ISO-New England and policymakers are considering ways to encourage development of new gas pipeline capacity to serve the electric sector. The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), has suggested a plan to add at least 600 MMcf/d of capacity later this decade, paid for through a monthly charge on utility bills. Midstream companies are already enthusiastic about this idea. They continue to win support from local distribution companies (LDCs) for incremental gas pipeline capacity—Kinder Morgan in late July announced deals totaling 0.5Bcf/d with several LDCs—but they need a NESCOE-type plan to support the additional pipeline capacity generators require. 
What we have not discussed yet, though, is the very real possibility that the New England states also may decide to import a sizable amount of hydro power—1,200 MW as soon as 2018 and maybe 3,600 MW as soon as 2022--from existing or planned hydro megaprojects in Quebec and Newfoundland. To deliver more than a few hundred MW of around-the-clock power to New England, the states would need to socialize the cost of one, two or even three new 1,200 MW transmission lines.  That means adding the cost to ratepayer bills just like the plans to add gas capacity.  Your first thought may be, “Who cares about hydro?” But just about every MWh of electricity imported from eastern Canada would effectively replace gas-fired power generation in New England, meaning less demand for US natural gas. And while it should  be noted that new transmission lines are not easily built without controversy in environment friendly New England,  analysis from a recently released confidential report to Massachusetts policy makers confirms that these plans are real and that they could have a big impact on gas power burn demand.
The Wall Street Journal

Top story, front page: US general killed in Afghan attack.

T-Mobile left standing at the altar. Again. Sprint says opposition from regulators not worththe effort.

Fox withdraws its bid for Time Warner. Very, very, very smart move. Wasn't going to happen anyway.

Ohio will address drinking-water crisis with a new requirement for farmers to have a license to fertilize. Sort of like a permit for fracking.

I guess the hospitals and physicians making all that money on clinical trials are upset that someone had the audacity to try to save a couple of Americans with Ebola by using life-saving serum that had not gone through clinical trials. I always tell my granddaughters: if something doesn't make sense, a) follow the money; or, b) look it up on wiki.

Poll finds widespread economic anxiety? Really? 2Q14 GDP set some kind of record, hitting 4% Really? UC Irvine? Really?

If the Israel-Hamas ceasefire holds, Hamas blinked. I wonder how many Americans know that the Hamas leader lives in a luxury apartment in Doha. Phoning it in.

The Ukraine. What does it even matter?

This is a huge story; I see it everywhere out here in southern California: shoppers are fleeing physical stores. US retailers are facing a steep and persistent drop in store traffic, which is weighing on sales and prompting chains to slow store openings as shoppers make more of their purchases online.

Mom-and-pop investors may not be making any money but hedge-fund firm Och-Ziff's second-quarter earnings surged, driven by double-digit increases in revenue from management fees and income of consolidated funds.

More global warming fallout: too much rain in Europe. The excess rain may threaten wheat crops in Europe. Wheat prices jumped to a one-month high on such speculation. Speculatoin. There's that word again. I bought some shares in a publicly traded company earlier this week; I wonder if that makes me a speculator. No, it wasn't wheat.

The Los Angeles Times

Top story, first page: "use of experimental Ebola drug worries medical experts." Mostly the hospitals and physicians that clean up (financially) with clinical trials.  Mandate that clinical trials be conducted pro bono and I doubt this would be a story. The audacity of it all: criticizing last-ditch efforts to save  a couple of Ebola victims.

Porn industry flees Los Angeles; will likely flee the state. Actors can someday take the bullet train to Arizona. Oh, that's right. The bullet train is projected to run north-south.

Monkey bites woman outside Riverside County pizzeria. I assume the monkey will get the blame, but we haven't heard the monkey's side of the story. Probably one-too-many "monkey's uncle" stories. 

Reminder: Links To The North Dakota Stude On The Safety Of Shipping Bakken Crude Oil By Rail, August, 2014

Reminder: the link to the North Dakota study on the safety of shipping Bakken crude oil is at this link: This link takes you directly to the RBN post that discusses the study. A warning: the RNB energy posts generally disappear after awhile; archived; and available through subscription.