Saturday, September 13, 2014

Carl's Jr Ad On Texas Television -- September 13, 2014

We''ve lived in Texas since 2000, I believe. Regular readers know that I generally don't watch television except for sports, so I could be wrong on this, but I doubt it.

In the fourteen years I've lived in Texas, I don't recall a television ad for Carl's Jr. I'm sure they've been advertising all along but because I so seldom watch television, I may have missed any ad for Carl's Jr. (The few times I watch, however, I see a lot of ads for Sonic and for Geico.)

Tonight, while surfing across the basic 12 channels to check in on each of three simultaneous college football games, I caught a Carl's Jr ad while stopping to watch "Bones." Wow, a Carl's Jr ad. I don't recall a Carl's Jr ad since my days in California back in the late 1980's.  For that matter I don't recall a Carl's Jr.

Regular readers will remember this post. It looks like it is starting: Carl's Jr moving to Texas in a big way. In 'N Out is already here. They have a huge mobile restaurant/18-wheeler that delivers to the elementary school on special occasions where our granddaughters are enrolled. Yes, Michelle, that's true. And I love the school's rules on "treats from home." But enough of this; I apologize for the digression.

[This is really quite funny. While posting this, I saw both a Geico and a Sonic ad. LOL. Life imitating blogging.]

A Note to the Granddaughters

One of my favorite memories while living in South Pasadena, California, 1973 - 1977, was visiting Carl's Jr on Colorado Boulevard on the east end of Pasadena.

And regular readers know which video is coming next:

Little Old Lady From Pasadena, Jan and Dean

It Started When President Obama Killed The Keystone XL -- September 13, 2014

A must-read story on the railcar backlog affecting many industries across the US. is reporting:
On Friday, officials at Minnesota iron ore mines said they can't get all their finished taconite pellets to market because of a shortage of rail service apparently spurred by the huge increase in the amount of oil moving by rail.
Taconite industry officials confirmed Friday that they are making taconite faster than they can move it by rail, with millions tons of pellets stockpiled and waiting for trains.
The shortage of rail service is an unintended consequence of a huge increase in demand to ship crude oil by rail. Railroads now are shipping more than 15,000 train carloads of petroleum products each week, more than double the amount in 2010. Oil shipments from North Dakota are competing for rail space with many other products nationally, but especially in the Upper Midwest.
Cliffs Natural Resources, which operates three taconite plants in Minnesota and one in Michigan, said Friday its operations "are among a number of industrial facilities that have been have been significantly affected by the national logjam of rail service in the United States."
In a statement to the News Tribune, Cliffs said the rail backlog "creates substantial and irreversible negative consequences" because the shipping season on the Great Lakes is finite, closing in early January for more than two months. If Cliffs can't get its pellets to Lake Superior and shipped out by ore boat by then, its steelmaking customers in the eastern U.S. won't get the raw material they need to make it through winter. 
And much, much more at the link.

It won't make any difference this year, but the activists in Minnesota continue to derail new pipeline routes. Pun intended. The PUC is unable to make a decision. At least that's how it appears to me, and I'm sure I'm wrong. Whatever. Meanwhile, the Nebraskans seem to have an even bigger circus sorting out the Keystone.

Starting with the killing of the Keystone XL, this has morphed from a Greek tragedy to a Bollywood comedy. Or perhaps vice versa depending which side of the tracks you are on. Pun intended.


Pullman Strike of 1894. Perhaps some lessons there.


A huge "thank you" to a reader for sending me the link to this story. 

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Plants And Mississippi Power -- September 13, 2014

This story is now tracked here

Background for a combined cycle electric power generating plant (wiki):
In electric power generation a combined cycle is an assembly of heat engines that work in tandem from the same source of heat to produce electricity.

The principle is that after completing its cycle (in the first engine), the working fluid of the first heat engine is still low enough in its entropy that a second subsequent heat engine may extract energy from the waste heat (energy) of the working fluid of the first engine. By combining these multiple streams of work upon a single mechanical shaft turning an electric generator, the overall net efficiency of the system may be increased by 50 – 60 percent.

Combining two or more thermodynamic cycles results in improved overall efficiency, reducing fuel costs.

In stationary power plants, a widely used combination is a gas turbine  burning natural gas or synthesis gas from coal.

This is called a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant, and can achieve a thermal efficiency of around 60%, in contrast to a single cycle steam power plant which is limited to efficiencies of around 35-42%. 
Press release:
Mississippi Power announced today (August 14, 2014) that the Kemper County energy facility's combined cycle has been placed into commercial operation marking the facility's most significant milestone to date.
Putting the combined cycle unit into operation means it will be available to serve Mississippi Power customers' energy needs during the remaining summer months.

The unit was originally synchronized to the grid on Oct. 5, 2013 during testing using natural gas as fuel. 
Another significant milestone – the first gasifier heat up – is scheduled for later this year.  
The gasifiers at Kemper are the core of the integrated gasification process, which will be used to convert lignite into synthesis gas. The use of Mississippi lignite adds fuel diversity at low costs and stable prices for Mississippi Power's customers.
So, if I got this right, the new plant will use natural gas in one "unit" and gas derived from lignite in the second "unit" to achieve an efficiency of around 60% compared with less than 40% efficiency for "conventional" gas generating electric power plants.

Question: what does North Dakota have a lot of? Natural gas and lignite.

Since 1988, North Dakota’s lignite production has consistently been about 30 million tons per year, making North Dakota one of 10 major coal-producing states in the United States.
It seems one could have a combined cycle gas turbine plant using natural gas OR lignite-derived gas in each unit, but there may be good reasons for using both. I can certainly think of some.

Natural Gas Fill Rate: 92 -- September 13, 2014; Cushing Hub Getting Bigger

On July 31, 2014, I posted:
It appears, that in round numbers, the industry needs to inject 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas into storage every week to meet this winter's expected demand. Don sent me the number for the most recent week: 88. That's the net change: previous week plus newly injected minus withdrawal.
Last week's number was 79.

This week's number was 92.  And winter started early across the nation. See the graphic at this link (scroll to the bottom when you get to the link). It may get worse: at this weather update one can see where the natural gas is going to be going in a few days -- at the video, it's about seven minutes into the summary.

Cushing Hub Is Getting Bigger

Tulsa World is reporting:
The Cushing interchange, already one of the world’s most important crude oil hubs, is going to get even bigger.
One new pipeline is in operation, another almost completed and yet one more major project revealed this month. Tulsa-based NGL Energy Partners announced the Grand Mesa Pipeline, a joint venture with Rimrock Midstream LLC.
The Grand Mesa, which will be open to oil producer commitments starting next week, will be a 550-mile system from Weld County, Colorado, to the Cushing hub. Once completed, the pipeline could move more than 130,000 barrels per day from production in the Denver-Julesberg Basin.
For newbies, this will give you some idea of how huge the Bakken is. Note the emphasis in this article on the Denver-Julesberg Basin. This new pipeline "could move more than 130,000 barrels per day from production in the Denver-Julesberg Basin."

Compared to the Bakken, how big is the Denver-Julesberg Basin? The answer was provided by the EOG CEO earlier this month:
  • 95% of all horizontal oil produced in the US comes from just six plays, in order:
  • Eagle Ford: 39%
  • Bakken: 30%
  • Permian Basin: 15%
  • Midcontinent plays: 5%
  • Denver-Julesburg Basin: 4%
  • Powder River Basin: 2%
And, so this one new pipeline could move more than 130,000 barrels per day from the D-J Basin. Bill Thomas pretty much put the Bakken and the Eagle Ford into perspective. 

When Will US Quit Importing Saudi Oil?

My only unknown: the "mix" or "type of oil" coming from Saudi. I know a fair amount of Saudi oil is light. I don't know if all of it is light.

From an earlier post:
The U.S. imported 878,000 barrels of Saudi crude a day in the first four weeks of August, the least since 2009.
To put that in perspective, compare that number (878,000 bopd) with the historical trend, around 1.5 million bopd.

The tsunami of oil coming out of the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and the Permian will easily grow by another 878,000 bopd by this time next year. I would assume that most of the Saudi oil coming to the US today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow was contracted for many months ago. I would also bet that as each day goes by, fewer US contracts for Saudi oil are being written, unless of course, a certain type of oil is needed that Saudi has.  Like I said, I don't know.

From wiki:
The third most commonly quoted benchmark is Dubai Crude, which is 31° API. This is considered light by Arabian standards but would not be considered light if produced in the U.S. The largest oil field in the world, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field, produces light crude oils ranging from 33° API to 40° API.
Bakken crude oil gravity ranges from 36 to 44 degrees API. The quality of this oil is excellent, almost identical to WTI. The benchmark crude oil is West Texas Intermediate, which is 40 degrees API sweet crude. It is the benchmark because it requires the least amount of processing in a modern refinery to make the most valuable products, unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel.
It certainly appears Bakken crude is pretty much like Saudi crude, at least with regard to "degrees API."

We could certainly see "zero" Saudi imports a year from now.

If I remember that could be worthy of a poll early next year. 

Week 37: September 7, 2014 -- September 13, 2014

Biggest story of the year nominee
Ground-breaking on new rail terminal east of Williston

New monthly oil production record for North Dakota
Top story in Rigzone: North Dakota record production
Projected number of new permits to set record
Huge Halcon wells in McGregory Buttes
Testing the Tyler; update on three MBI permits
Season high: 199 rigs

Re-posting: three new pipelines could add almost one million bopd takeaway capacity

Bakken economy
CHS to build $3 billion fertilizer plant near Jamestown

The future of domestic, unconventional oil
CBR coming of age

Random look at Oasis pad drilling in Baker oil field
Bakken impact on US economy
Random look at the halo effect, MRO's Uran 31-2H well in Reunion Bay
A tool for tracking your oil royalties