Thursday, September 11, 2014

News You Will See Friday -- September 12, 2014

North America's shale oil boom has started to squeeze Saudi Arabian oil out of the U.S. market in the same way it did with West African crude, the West's energy agency said on Thursday.
The International Energy Agency also predicted a flood of U.S. gasoline exports to world market.
"In recent years, surging light tight oil production has backed out U.S. imports of West African crude, which are now moving to Asia," the IEA said in a monthly report.

"Saudi exports seem to be showing the beginning of a similar shift," it said, estimating that Saudi exports have likely run below 7 million barrels per day for the last four months, their lowest level since September 2011.

"Exports to the U.S. led the drop amid rising Saudi domestic demand for crude burn and refinery runs," the IEA said. Saudi Arabia was pricing oil out of the U.S. markets by keeping official selling prices high while adjusting them down for Asia, it added.

The North American supply boom has not only cut crude imports into the United States but also turned it into a net products exporter - in sharp contrast with previous decades when it was the largest importer in the world.
For a different perspective, see Slate's article back in 2013.

Reuters is reporting:
Mexico state-run oil company Pemex on Thursday said it will invest nearly $5.5 billion in expanding the country's largest natural gas pipeline, building a fertilizer plant and boosting output of cleaner-burning gasoline and diesel.

Pemex said it would spend $2.5 billion on the second phase of the Los Ramones pipeline, which will eventually run from the U.S.-Mexico border to central Mexico to help satisfy growing demand for gas by boosting cheap imports from the United States. It will also invest $2.8 billion on upgrading five of its six refineries to process cleaner fuel, as well as $184 million on a fertilizer plant.

Pemex currently has to import about half of its gasoline and diesel needs due to lacking domestic capacity.
 The Wall Street Journal
The fight is on. US allies pledge to help Captain America vs ISIL.

Sanctions on Russia put Exxon at risk.

Economists see overseas risks as growth wild card. [If Europe can't get their act together with falling oil prices, ...]

This is big: Homeland Security to create Southwest Border Command.

ObamaCare: health care spending picks up. This is a very interesting story. If this was an investment site, I would add more but 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.

Scientists identify first swimming dinosaur. By the way, there has been a lot of new stories on dinosaurs over the past few weeks.

Germany sees rising anti-Semitism among Muslims -- well, duh.

RadioShack ... drip ... drip ... drip ...

Sprint CEO aims to return carrier to its roots ... unlimited data plans.

Gasoline prices have dropped 19% from highs hit in June; markets suggest more to come. [Something to return in 2015 when new indirect taxes hit California gasoline; previously posted.]

Grain, soybean futures hit 4-year lows....record-setting harvests.

The Los Angeles Times

Ohio school shooter serving three life terms for the 2012 shooting rampage at Chardon High School, killing three people, escapes from prison.

The Watch: I Was Wrong

Of everything presented at the Apple presentation this past week, I was most disappointed in the Watch. Earlier I said it would simply be a fashion accessory, and simply superfluous.

The "aha" moment came at 11:43 p.m. CDT having just watched the last episode of "House Of Cards, Season One" and then seeing this story over at Macrumors. It's now obvious why Tim Cook said he felt "victorious" (his word, not mine) after his presentation on Tuesday.

I'm not going to say anything more right now. I want others to think about the special niche that the Watch will have. One clue: Apple did not say how often it would require charging. Some say that's the weak link; I thought so, at first. Now, not an issue.

I am thrilled. This has been bugging me all week, what was Apple thinking. Now I know.

Oh, I can't resist. One more clue: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are bigger than previous iPhones. 

Links To Projects Requiring Approval By The US Army Corps Of Engineers

Some nice links for folks looking for new projects, sent to me by a reader, with reference to the new railroad terminal east of Williston:
Back in March, the company planning to build this terminal made a required filing with the US Army Corps of Engineers letting them know about the project. See Click on the attachment on that page to view a PDF that includes a schematic of the site.

The regulatory filings made with the Army Corps of Engineers are often a good place to get a head's up about major projects in the Bakken that are in the planning stage. Sometimes the projects are well publicized, while sometimes they slip under the radar. For instance, did you know there is a major residential and commercial development being planned for Jamestown, ND? See
One can start with the links above, or go to this link:

The US Army Corps of Engineers link will be placed at "Data Links" page.

Random Look At Oasis Activity In Baker Oil Field, South Of Williston - September 11, 2014

This will give folks a sense of how much activity is occurring in the Bakken. These are Oasis locations in the Baker oil field, south of Williston, across the river, near Indian Hill. The three sections are adjacent to each other, running north to south.

Section 18-153-100:

  • 23230, 2,734, Oasis, Ash Federal 5300 11-18T, Baker, t11/12; cum 119K 7/14;
  • 20275, 2,924, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 11-18H, wildcat, t7/11; cum 189K 7/14;
  • 29244, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 11-18 3T, Baker,
  • 29243, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 11-18 4T2, Baker,
  • 29242, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 11-18 5B, Baker,
  • 28754, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 31-18 8T, Baker,
  • 28755, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 31-18 7T2, Baker,
  • 28756, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 31-18 6B, Baker,
  • 28651, rig on site, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 9T, Baker,
  • 28652, drl, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 10B, Baker,
  • 28653, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 11T2, Baker,
  • 28658, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 12TX, Baker,
  • 28654, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 13T2X, Baker,
  • 28655, loc, Oasis, Kline Federal 5300 41-18 14BX, Baker,

Section 19-153-100:

  • 28633, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 5T, Baker,
  • 28634, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 6B, Baker,
  • 28635, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 7T2, Baker,
  • 28636, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 8T, Baker,
  • 28648, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 9T2, Baker,
  • 28637, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21019 10B, Baker,
  • 28649, loc, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 21-19 11T, Baker,
  • 20407, 1,395, Oasis, Chalmers 5300 31-19H, Baker, t12/11; cum 167K 7/14;
  • 28342, conf, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 2TR, Baker,
  • 28599, drl, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 3BR, Baker,
  • 27215, drl, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 2T, Baker,
  • 28600, rig on site, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 4T2R, Baker,
  • 27214, drl, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 3B, Baker,
  • 28601, drl, Oasis, Chalmers Wade Federal 5301 44-24 12TXR, Baker,
  • 27213, drl, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 4T2, Baker,
  • 28252, conf, Oasis, Chalmers Wade Federal 5300 44-24 12TX, Baker,

Section 30-153-100:

  • 28978, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 21-30 13B, Baker,
  • 28977, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 21-30 14T2, Baker,
  • 28976, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 21-30 12T, Baker,
  • 20197, 2,286, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 21-30H, wildcat, t8/11; cum 180K 7/14;
  • 28303, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 31-30 11T, Baker,
  • 28304, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 31-30 10T2, Baker,
  • 28554, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 31-30 2B, Baker,
  • 28555, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 3T2, Baker,
  • 28394, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 4T, Baker,
  • 28556, loc, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 5T2, Baker,
  • 28425, drl, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 6B, Baker,
  • 28557, drl, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 7T, Baker,
  • 28558, rig-on-site, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 8T2, Baker,
  • 28744, drl, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 9B, Baker,

Random Update Of Three Wells In Westberg Oil Field -- September 11, 2014

I track the Westberg oil field here. Here are a couple of updates from the Westberg oil field:
July 12, 2013: Whiting with two huge wells:
  • 22388, 4,956, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3-3H, Westberg, middle Bakken; Pioneer 74 Flex rig; gas averaged 276 through the lateral but spiked to 3,895 units and above; did not see completion data;  t6/13; cum 244K 4/14 @10,000 bbls per month oil.
  • 22386, 4,456, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3-1H, Westberg, middle Bakken; Pioneer 74 Flex rig; gas averaged 484 throughout the lateral, but spikes of 7,000 units and above were noted; did not see completion data; t6/13; cum 213K 4/14; @13,000 bbls per month oil.
October 12, 2011: incredible Westberg well:
  • 18691, 3,731, Newfield, Wisness Federal 152-96-4-2H  --- 35,849 bbls in first 25 days. Okay. Westberg field, Bakken. One section spacing. Middle Bakken at 10,573 feet.  26 stages. 2.2 million pounds of proppant;  no acid. s4/11; t7/11; cumulative 61,336 bbls in 53 days (less than 2 months); total depth 16,012 feet; fracked "on time." Sand only. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. Cumulative 287K 4/14 @ 4,000 bbls/month oil.
A Nice Trilogy: Two Books And A Television Series

For a 3-hour university credit in political science 101, one might consider reading two books while watching a Netflix hit.

The two books:
  • A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination, Philip Shenon and Robert Petkoff, c. 2013
  • Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, Robert Dallek, c. 2013
The Netflix series:
  • "House of Cards'; first and second series available on DVD
It seems there was a plethora of books on JFK published with a copyright date of 2013. The assassination was in 1963.

A Note for the Granddaughters
Nothing About The Bakken

[I wrote this some weeks ago; never got around to posting it. Will post it here, simply for the archives.]

It is great to be back home, but I already miss my dad, Williston, and all the folks I met while I was back in North Dakota.

Even though I'm retired, and not doing anything, I still find the two weeks "on the road" a real vacation. From what, I'm not sure.

The cross-country driving certainly gives me a lot of time to reflect. I catch snippets of right-wing talk radio and much longer segments of NPR. I much prefer the latter. I catch new music. I take a stack of books I've been meaning to read, and I pick up additional books at Books On Broadway in Williston.

For the archives, this is "where" I've been for the past three or four weeks. Because of the movie The Great Gatsby I was back in my "great Gatsby" phase. I happened to pick up Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America here in Texas before I started the road trip; that was the book I read while on the road these past two weeks. I've not completed it, but I've read most of it, and I've read enough of it to know which chapters I want to read again. Interestingly enough. F Scott Fitzgerald is hardly mentioned in the book.

Just prior to leaving for Williston, we watched the DVD movie, Tim's Vermeer.  We had seen the movie at the Ft Worth Modern Museum of Art; I was so taken by it that I wanted the DVD. It's an incredible story. Two other artists/art historians/books were mentioned with regard to this movie, Vermeer's Camera, by Philip Steadman, and Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, by David Hockney; both authors were featured in the movie. Before leaving on my trip, I ordered both from and when I returned home, they had arrived. I've read the first two chapters of the Steadman book and am not disappointed.

I bought two books at Books on Broadway, one on "the" assassination and one on "Camelot's Court." Chuck does a great job showcasing the books. I will talk about these two books in a later post.

Idle rambling.

Relatively Quiet Day As Reported By The Daily Activity Report, September 11, 2014

Wells coming off the confidential list Friday:
  • 20789, 987, Whiting, Kadrmas Federal 34-10PH, Zenith, t3/14; cum 44K 7/14;
  • 24871, 984, Whiting, Kadrmas Federal 44-10PH, Zenith, producing, t3/14; cum 32K 7/14;
  • 24872, 967, Whiting, Kadrmas Federal 14-10PH, Zenith, producing, t3/14; cum 39K 7/14;
  • 26477, drl, CLR, Rochester 7-24H1, North Tobacco Garden, no production data,
  • 27497, drl, Hess, EN-L Cvancara-155-93-2627H-5, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 27635, 137, Slawson, Matilda Bay 1-15H, Stockyard Creek, 8 stages; planned for 24, mechanical problems; 600,000 pounds proppant; single section spacing, t6/14; cum --
  • 27778, 80, Enduro, NSCU R-711-H1, Newburg, a Spearfish/Charles well, t5/14; cum 3K 7/14;
Active rigs:

Active Rigs198180193199141

Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Eight (8) new permits --
  • Operators: XTO ENergy (4), SM Energy (2),  Petro-Hunt, Zavanna,
  • Fields: Bear Den (McKenzie), Colgan (Divide), Briar Creek (Williams), EAst Tioga (Burke)
  • Comments:
Boomtown Budget

Williston approves a $250 million budget. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
The budget for the oil boomtown of Williston has increased nearly fivefold in just three years.
The city commission passed a record $250 million budget for 2015 on Tuesday.

The city's budget was just $53 million in 2012. The budget was $20 million in 2000.

One of the things I've enjoyed over the years is trying to understand what business or what sector a particular company was in (Rigzone happened to have an article on that very subject yesterday, by the way, which I did not link). One of the "aha" moments for me was when I realized that BNSF was not in the railroad business, but was in the transportation business -- a subtle difference, perhaps, but it makes a difference (think "intermodal"). One could argue that BNSF is an energy company now. That' s a bit a of a stretch but it helps explain this thread.

From the very beginning, I always felt Apple was in the fashion business. It was also in the mobile entertainment business. But I've seldom seen articles by anyone suggesting that Apple was in the fashion business. It might have started with multiple colors of their "iBean" computers, and certainly in their multiple colors of their iPods or whatever those small music devices came to be called. I've long forgotten.

Then the Watch. It is pretty much unnecessary from a utilitarian point of view, because it requires an iPhone to be fully functional. The Watch, then, becomes superfluous, except .... as an accessory item. And yes, women are going to be getting the top end (sapphire crystal/18-karat gold backing) Watch as gifts.

I probably would not have posted that except for this most recent item from
Apple appears to be targeting a mid-2015 launch for the machine [the notebook] and, most interestingly, the company is said be planning to offer it in the same silver, gold, and space gray colors used on its iPhone lineup.
So, yes, folks will be color coordinating their notebooks, iPhones, and their Watches ... and at least one of them will be completely superfluous -- simply a fashion statement.


This is the opening paragraph from the most recent issue of The New Yorker, "The Talk of the Town," p. 27:
Even the most forgiving judge of Barack Obama, one willing to overlook his preference for chipping onto the sunlit greens of Martha's Vineyard rather than brooding in the fluorescent glare of the Situation Room, must admit that the President has sometimes been a thick-tongued steward of his own foreign policy. How did the author of "A More Perfect Union" become the author of "The worlld has always been messy"? Obama, who prides himself on late-night preparation, unshakable rationality, and a writerly ear, is compiling an anthology of botched pronouncements that have, at best, muddied his intentions.

August, 2012: "We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized." [Which, by the way, almost sounds inner-city-gangsta.]

September, 2013: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line."
August, 2014: "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet."

Wow. Besides the content (substance was lacking), the language was "low English," at best.

Notes to the Granddaughers

Don sent me a link to a Dickinson Press article about a USAF Red Horse team helping to construct housing on the reservation:
Construction is underway on a 10-trailer complex for government employees at the Bureau of Land Management’s Dickinson office, where officials say turnover is high due to housing shortages in the area.
Work began last month on the complex, which will house BLM and Forest Service employees and their families, some of whom live in trailers in South Heart and New England.
The 10-acre parcel, off of First Street and 40th Avenue Southwest near Patterson Lake and just five minutes from the BLM office, belonged to the Bureau of Reclamation, who agreed to transfer the land to the BLM in 2013 at no cost. The U.S. Air Force’s 819th RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer), Construction Team Bravo is performing the labor at no cost as part of a training exercise for its 10 members.
I did not know that RED HORSE was actually an acronym; wow, someone had to have spent a lot of time working on that one; worthy of anything the US Navy can come up with.

I probably would not have posted the story; not much interest in it except for the memories it brought back of time I spent with a RED HORSE team and PRIME BEEF team in northern Africa some decades ago.

More on that later. Hopefully I can find a photo to post.

Random Update On Several Oasis Wells On DRL Status In Alkali Creek -- September 11, 2014


February 8, 2015: I think I was wrong on these wells. I thought these were going to be very short laterals based on the NDIC map server -- see screen shot below -- but it appears these will be standard long laterals (about 9,300 feet horizontally); the graphic below was apparently taken when the wells were being drilled and not on confidential status; they are back on confidential status and the horizontals are not shown on the NDIC map server
Original Post

This is just a reminder to myself to check up on these Oasis wells sometime in the future.

The wells in question (it appears these were were initially on confidential; came off confidential after TD reached; and then placed on DRL status; and before fracking, back on CONF status:
  • 28068, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 44-22 5B, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Bakken;
  • 28069, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 44-22 6B, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Bakken;
  • 28070, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 44-22 7B, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Bakken;
  • 28061, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 43-22 16T3, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Three Forks B3,
  • 28062, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 43-22 10T, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Three Forks B1,
  • 28063, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 43-22 13T2, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; Three Forks B2,
  • 28064, conf, Oasis, Helling Trust Federal 5494 43-22 4B, 1280-acre, sections 15/22-154-94; gas shows to 8,322 units in the far end of the lateral; no flare;
Russia And China Keep On Truckin'

Over at "Big Stories" I track the growing Russian-China partnership. Today it was announced that Russia and China will build one of the world's largest seaports:
China and Russia will build one of the largest ports in northeast Asia on Russia's Sea of Japan coast, reports said, in a further sign of the powerhouses' growing alliance.
The seaport is expected to be able to handle some 60 million tonnes of cargo a year, China's state-run People's Daily Online reported late Wednesday -- comparable to Britain's busiest port Immingham or Le Havre in France, according to European Commission statistics.
The new facility will be located in far eastern Russia, just 18 kilometres (11 miles) away from the Chinese border. The region is also close to North Korea.
While our own president dithers on the economy, now focused on a new war, and still playing golf, Russia and China just keep on truckin'. [With regard to the reference to golfing, even The New Yorker Magazine led off with that observation in its September 15, 2014, issue. I can't make this stuff up.]

Update On Solutions Energy, LLC, First Well In North Dakota -- September 11, 2014

In the July, 2014, NDIC dockets, Solutions Energy presented this case:
  • 22684, Solutions Energy, Lone Tree-Madison, establish a 320-acre unit; 1 well, Ward County;
There is now a rig on site:
  • 29241, conf, Solutions Energy, Nangchen 155-86-11-HS1, Lone Tree, Latitude: 48.255327     Longitude: -101.685200; about 15 miles west of Minot, and 2 miles south of Highway 2.  
This is Solutions Energy's first permit in North Dakota.

For My Archives - "No One" Will Believe This Anyway

Investor Village is reporting:
Hydraulic fracturing—fracking or hydrofracturing—raises many concerns about potential environmental impacts, especially water contamination.
Currently, data show that the majority of water injected into wells stays underground, triggering fears that it might find its way into groundwater.
New research by a team of scientists should help allay those fears. In a paper published in the current issue of the Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources, Terry Engelder, professor of geosciences, Penn State; Lawrence Cathles, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, Cornell University; and Taras Bryndzia, geologist, Shell International Exploration and Production Inc., report that injected water that remains underground is sequestered in the rock formation and therefore does not pose a serious risk to water supplies.
Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling technique commonly used to extract gas from previously inaccessible "tight" gas reserves, including gas trapped in shale formations such as the Marcellus. During this technique between 1.2 and 5 million gallons of water mixed with sand and chemical additives are injected at high pressure into each well to fracture the rock and release the gas. Typically less than half of the injected water returns to the surface as "flowback" or, later, production brine, and in many cases recovery is less than 30 percent.
In addition to the chemical additives, flowback water contains natural components of the gas shale including salt, some metals, and radionuclides and could impair water quality if released without proper treatment.
While flowback water can be managed and treated at the surface, the fate of the water left in place, called residual treatment water or RTW, was previously uncertain. Some have suggested that RTW may be able to flow upward along natural pathways, mainly fractures and faults, and contaminate overlying groundwater. Others have proposed that natural leakage of the Marcellus is occurring without human assistance through high-permeability fractures connecting the Marcellus directly to the water table and that hydraulic fracturing could worsen this situation.
The researchers report that ground water contamination is not likely because contaminant delivery rate would be too small even if leakage were possible, but more importantly, upward migration of RTW is not plausible due to capillary and osmotic forces that propel RTW into, not out of, the shale. Their study indicates that RTW will be stably retained within the shale formation due to multiphase capillary phenomena.

CBR: Coming Of Age -- RBN Energy -- September 11, 2014; Global Warming Hits Rapid City, SD -- Earliest Snowfall Since 1888

RBN Energy: CBR -- coming of age. Another article to save and/or bookmark.
A recent SEC filing to register a proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) for their Master Limited Partnership (MLP) by terminal operator USD Group - whose principal asset is a unit train crude loading terminal in Hardisty, Alberta - reveals long-term commitments to rail by Canadian shippers. That development reflects frustration with continued delays to the expansion of congested pipeline capacity out of Western Canada but also indicates a new maturity in crude-by-rail transport. Today we discuss crude-by-rail’s coming of age in Canada.
And as we described in the “Go Your Own Way” blog series, a number of similar large rail terminals are also being built out and coming online in Edmonton and Kerrobert – Western Canada’s other crude oil gathering hubs. These developments are not unexpected in the context of continued delays in solving pipeline infrastructure constraints out of Canada. What is interesting about the USDP IPO filing is that the company clearly expects that its Hardisty rail terminal will be in business for the long term and should continue to generate income to distribute to investors. The 5 year terms of the throughput agreements associated with USDP’s Hardisty terminal are longer than similar commitments made by shippers in US crude basins like the Bakken. If successful, the IPO will add a degree of maturity to the crude-by-rail industry that has sometimes been considered a “stop-gap” solution to rescue stranded crude production until pipelines can be built.
Our view is that rail will continue to occupy a vital place in the North American crude oil distribution system. But rail is too expensive to replace pipelines as the preferred method of crude transport and is not suited to transporting the huge volumes of oil that pipelines ship around North America today. As an example, if the Hardisty rail terminal had to take the place of the delayed Keystone-XL pipeline that would ship 830 Mb/d of crude then it would need to expand its operation beyond the proposed Phase III with its 5 unit train loading tracks that could only load at best 420 Mb/d of crude (assuming 120 cars in a unit train holding 700 Bbl per car and five unit trains loaded each day). As a result rail is likely to remain the marginal transport choice that producers choose when pipeline capacity is not available or delayed. In the case of North Dakota that means rail will continue to be the first choice to ship crude to the East and West Coasts because there are no pipelines – but pipelines are rapidly replacing rail shipments to the Gulf Coast. Longer term, in the case of Canadian bitumen, the jury is still out on the question of whether shipping reduced diluent railbit or rawbit can provide rail with cost advantages over pipelines based on the diluent penalty. That answer has to wait until sufficient infrastructure is built out to determine unit train rawbit economics.
And, all of this, a "big thank you" to Mr Obama.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs198180193199141


SeekingAlpha: why Apple's product launch rocked! This article will probably be available by subscription only later this month, but that's fine. It doesn't say anything we already didn't know. Everyone has their favorite from the hundreds of announcements, upgrades, changes, etc., provided by Tim Cook. My favorite: mobile payments. The Watch? Sometimes I get the feeling that Apple released the Watch just to get critics off their back. The technology is incredible, the sapphire crystal and the 18-karat gold backing are amazing, but time will tell whether it adds much to the Apple ecosystem. By the way: did you see how Apple finally got around from all those copyright problems. They have moved away from iWatch and iPayments. Apple stole a page from Prince, incorporating an "icon" (the famous Apple) as the first part of Watch and Payments. No copyright problems at all. Again, very, very clever.

For Investors Only

Trading at new highs: CFN, EW, GPRO. And that's about it. Pretty dismal.

Global Warming
Climate Change
Extreme Weather
New Ice Age

Seven inches of snow in the Rapid City, South Dakota, area overnight. This is the earliest snowfall in the city of Rapid since 1888. Not even the middle of September yet. When I was growing up in Williston, we usually looked forward to wonderful "Indian summers" in September. Now, with global warming we get snow. And more:
The NWS says many areas across far western South Dakota might experience a hard freeze by Friday morning as temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s and even teens in the Black Hills.
Overnight (and more to come). Biggest "official" snow reports so far:
  • Custer - 8"
  • Mt. Rushmore - 7"
  • Johnson Siding - 5"
  • Hill City - 4.5"
Look for increasing totals in the Northern/Central Hills between now and noon as snowfall has intensified in that area.
Meanwhile, summer snow blankets Denver.

Gonna be a long winter for the warmists.

It looks like the "climate change" we're getting is the climate we had in pre-industrial days. LOL.

Eighteen years and counting.

It will be interesting to see if the keynote speaker at the UN Conference on Climate Change (to which "no one" will be attending) mentions global warming, now that they call it "climate change." And if it's not "global warming," exactly what "climate change" are we talking about? Back to the Ice Ages? I can't make this stuff up.

Jobs And Joblessness -- September 11, 2014; CNBC Finally Starts Talking About The 800-Pound Gorilla

I got a late start, so I post the links and then come back to them later.

BusinessInsider is reporting: initial jobless claims rise to 315,000. Horrible. Expectations were for claims to total 300,000, down slightly from last week's 302,000.
The four-week moving average of claims rose slightly to 304,000. 
Ahead of the report, Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he was "nervous that today’s claims report will show a clear jump from last week’s 302K, thanks to the difficulty of seasonally adjusting the data accurately in the week of the Labor Day holiday."
In other words: "fudging" or "massaging" or "manipulating" the data.

With these horrendous numbers it will make Janet Yellen's job that much more difficult: jobs, she says, are a bigger concern than inflation. [Later. About an hour after writing this entry, I came across this story: this chart is why Janet Yellen doesn't want to raise rates. How coincidental, or prescient.There is no graph at the present, but here is the narrative: Wages as a percent of GDP remain near multidecade lows, and until this trend shows any sign of improvement, Gundlach doesn't think that Yellen will want to do anything with interest rates.]

This certainly seems to suggest last week's overall unemployment numbers were very accurate -- the ones that no one could believe.

Finally, CNBC is talking directly about the 800-pound gorilla. An Obama mouthpiece, CNBC is reporting: it's all about ObamaCare. The soundbite that most analysts will take from this story: it's all about ObamaCare, and it's prominently mentioned in the article, albeit near the end of the article.
DeLong said his health-care premiums have surged by 48 percent during the past year. While DeLong doesn't have to offer health insurance to his employees, he always has, and wants to continue to do so. 
So, the Affordable Care Act was to make health care less expensive: health-care premiums have surged 48% (the number varies but all agree that health-care premiums have surged for those who had health care insurance in 2010). 

You may recall that some pundits have said ObamaCare is working out very, very well. They fail to mention that almost all of ObamaCare was delayed/put on hold by the President himself. Folks who should know fail to remind us of that. But this article does:
President Barack Obama's signature legislation requires all business owners with at least 100 or more full-time workers to offer them government-approved insurance by the end of the open enrollment period on Feb. 15, 2015-or face a fine of $2,000 per worker, per year.
Those with 50 to 99 workers have some reprieve, until 2016, as the law's requirements were pushed back an additional year thanks to criticism from the small business community. NFIB economist Dunkelberg says his group's polling has shown health-care costs are the top concern for small companies during the past 25 years.
He delayed his own program by executive order and his party did not object.

And then the minimum wage:
For Ken Jarosch, owner of family-owned Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, a big concern is minimum wage. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour from its current $8.25. Obama has led the push to hike the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
"That would increase our payroll by 5.5 percent, so I would have to raise my price by between 2 percent and 3 percent," Jarosch said. "My wait staff, sales clerks-they are high school kids. I can't see paying them more than $10 an hour right off the bat. I feel for those trying to raise families on $8.50 an hour, but we have to look at our interests."
Jarosch is also just below the full-time threshold for offering insurance to his workers, which is what is keeping him from creating new jobs.
I said that from the beginning: ObamaCare will limit hours for workers (29 hours is the threshold) and will limit number of employees small businesses will hire.

By the way, what color is the sky in the man's world? Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
That day [when the Fed raises interest rates] is coming as the U.S. economy, five years into its recovery, finally enjoys some robust job creation and seems to be on the cusp of real wage gains. As a result, the Fed is preparing to end its third iteration of bond-buying stimulus next month and is on track to raise rates sometime in early-to-mid 2015.