Thursday, November 20, 2014

ObamaCare: How Small Businesses Are Trying To Avoid TrainWreck (Their Words, Not Mine)


November 23, 2014: it's amazing how fast things turn. Now that the mid-term elections are over and the media begins to push POTUS off-center stage to make room for Hillary and Pocahontas, the "stuff" we all predicted is now being reported. More and more, folks are realizing it's not the hourly wage that is the problem for many Americans in minimum wage jobs, it is the number of hours they are allowed to work by their employer that matters.

In the original post below, and for the past two years, there have been many posts on how ObamaCare's 30-hour rule would hurt the lower socioeconomic class. Mainstream media even trotted out "studies" that suggested that wasn't true.

Now CNNMoney is reporting what I've been saying for the past two years. It's actually worse than I thought:
The number of people working part-time involuntarily is more than 50% higher than when the recession began.
There was a similar spike in part-time workers in prior recessions, but it dropped quickly. That's not happening this time around. In fact, some states have seen an increase during the recovery in people languishing in part-time jobs who want something more.
I find it more than coincidental that employers have chosen 29 hours as the cut-off:
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance to employees working 30 or more hours a week in 2015.
There has been concern that some businesses will scale back worker hours to avoid having to provide insurance. Walmart, the nation's largest employer, announced in October that it will not provide health care coverage for about 26,000 of its part-time employees, although it did not attribute this move directly to Obamacare.
Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Trader Joe's have made similar announcements. Meghan Brachle can only get 29 hours a week at Whole Foods, one of her three part-time jobs. Whole Foods offers a health care plan to part-time employees, but Brachle says she would have to pay about $200 a month.
The article is extremely interesting, and again, an article we did not see prior to the mid-term elections.
Original Post
How small businesses are adjusting to ObamaCare:
  • franchising, to keep number of employees under 50 in each "company"
  • reduce hours
Link is here.

We talked about this two years ago, I think.

By the way, again, this is nothing new. It could have been published two months ago, before the midterm elections. But now that the elections are over, the truth can be published. It's time to move POTUS off center stage of this three-ring circus to make room for Hillary (and Pocahontas).

Hell Is Freezing Over -- Again! -- November 20, 2014; The Desert Tortoise Wins Out; Apache To Sell Non-Core Assets

The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday denied a renewable energy company's application to build a controversial wind and solar farm in the Mojave Desert's remote Silurian Valley, deciding the sprawling project "would not be in the public interest."
The closely watched decision is considered a bellwether for how the federal agency will handle future requests to develop renewable energy projects outside established development areas.
Jim Kenna, the BLM's California director, made the decision, finding that Iberdrola Renewables' proposal would have industrialized 24 square miles of "a largely undisturbed valley that supports wildlife, an important piece of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and recreational and scenic values."
Kenna said he had been discussing the matter for weeks with field personnel and found the evidence "pretty persuasive."
He cited concerns that the project would degrade the quality of the wilderness surrounding the proposed site, located between two national parks. He also noted potential hazards to the desert tortoise and other impacts that could not be mitigated.
Apache To Sell Non-Core Assets

I always enjoy the phrase "non-core assets." I assume "non-core" is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the eye of the CEO. Once a company starts selling "core" assets, it's all over. So, of course, if any assets are being sold, an investor must hope they are non-core. Whatever. Rigzone is reporting:
Apache Corp. will sell non-core oil and gas assets in southern Louisiana and the Anadarko Basin in two transactions valued at approximately $1.4 billion as the company focuses on growing its North American onshore liquids production.
The Houston-based company will sell its working interest in approximately 90,000 net acres of mature fields in southern Louisiana. Production from these fields, which have high decline rates and short reserve lives, produced around 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day – of which 62 percent was natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) – net to Apache during this year’s third quarter.
Apache will retain its 275,000 mineral acres in southern Louisiana.
In the Anadarko Basin, Apache will sell approximately 115,000 net acres in part of its Stiles Ranch field in Wheeler County, Texas, and in its Mocane-Laverne and Verden fields in western Oklahoma. Net production from these properties averaged 26,000 boepd in the third quarter of 2014; 83 percent of this production was gas and NGLs.
All That Talk About Germany Banning Fracking ... So Much Talk

Reuters via Rigzone is reporting:
Germany's government plans to stop short of an outright ban on the controversial technique of fracking for gas, bowing to pressure from industry, according to the latest draft of a law from the environment ministry seen by Reuters.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing to extract gas and oil has transformed the U.S. energy market, boosting domestic supplies.
The process is banned in France on environmental grounds. It is allowed in Britain but has strict environmental and safety guidelines.
German industry is concerned that its competitiveness is being hurt by rising energy costs at home compared to lower prices in the United States which has seen a fracking boom. A deterioration in ties with Russia over the Ukraine crisis has also raised pressure on Europe, especially Germany, to cut its reliance on Russian gas and fuelled the fracking debate.
Germany is drawing up new fracking rules, and has promised strict environmental audits and a ban on drilling in areas where water is protected due to possible environmental damage.
We won't see much, if any fracking, in Germany in my investing lifetime. Talk, so much talk. Maybe that would make a good poll ten years from now: where will see fracking next: New York or Germany? LOL.

About That Decline Rate In The Bakken; Almost 400,000 Bbls In One Year -- November 20, 2014


April 30, 2018: update on production -- t9/13; cum 977K 2/18; the 21,000 MCF adds 3,000 boe per month, so for example, the 6,209 bo in 2/18 goes to over 9,000 boe in 2/18; cum MCF gas 1,568,427 MCF = 261,000 boe -- so this well has gone over 1 million boe in less than five years.

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
Original Post
A random update: the permit said "Bakken," but the target was the Three Forks. The well was tested September 23, 2013, just a little over one year ago.
  • 25374, 1,414, EOG, Austin 39-324H, Parshall, spacing ICO/1920 acres; 60 stages; 14 million lbs sand;
I am quite sure the application said "Bakken" and the drilling report said "Three Forks," not otherwise specified. EOG has drilled mostly middle Bakken wells in the Parshall, so a Three Forks well is noteworthy in this field. It was drilled a little over a year ago and to date, almost 400,000 bbls of oil.

Note the huge amounts of sand being used (14 million lbs); the number of stages is greater than normal, but note this is a 1920-acre drilling unit with a horizontal about 3,000 feet longer than a typical long lateral (based on my calculations which may be entirely wrong).

Check out the "Bakken decline rate" in this well:

NDIC File No: 25374    
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 9/18/2013     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NWNW 32-154-90    Latitude: 48.123901     Longitude: -102.286554
Current Operator: EOG RESOURCES, INC.
Current Well Name: AUSTIN 39-3204H
Elevation(s): 2330 KB   2305 GR   2298 GL     Total Depth: 22,349     Field: PARSHALL
Spud Date(s):  4/24/2013
Casing String(s): 9.625" 2246'   7" 10042'
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 1094-22287     Comp: 9/18/2013     Status: F     Date: 9/23/2013     Spacing: ICO
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 378,180     Cum MCF Gas: 255674     Cum Water: 14017
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 9/23/2013     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 1414     IP MCF: 936     IP Water: 120
Monthly Production Data

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
The Wall Street Journal

POTUS immigration EO; top story as expected.

Top US story: Obama administration lied about numbers enrolled in ObamaCare -- now, who is going to be thrown under the bus? Oh, that's right -- the HHS cabinet secretary is an OMB budget bureaucrat; no medical experience. Good at numbers. Until she gets caught.

No sign of inflation.

Snowstorms pound Buffalo.

Several articles on POTUS immigration EO.

Wow, I'm getting tired of this: Keystone's fate may lie not in DC, but in Nebraska.

University of California to raise tuition 5% for each of the next five years. The gap between the haves and the have-nots widens.

Truce? What truce? Ukraine death toll mounts despite "truce."

Here we go again. Manufacturer of defective air bags knew about it in 2005 but didn't start its investigation or warn car makers until two years later.

Movies: latest "Hunger Games" expected to be biggest open of the year.

Ahead of the tape: the windfall from the sharp drop in energy prices isn't being felt evenly throughout the US economy. Great headline, but story hardly worth reading.

The Los Angeles Times

Lead paragraph in lead story:
In a major change, the program will invite parents of either U.S. citizens or long-term permanent residents to apply for a work permit and a three-year protection from deportation.
That's what everyone is worked up about! Give me a break. How many potentially affected? Five (5) million. Won't even be noticed. About that many Americans signed up for ObamaCare the first year.

On the other hand, this is big news: truck drivers from three (3) companies end strike at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Didn't we just write about those ports the other day? Reason #26,542 why I love to blog.

Hell Froze Over

The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday denied a renewable energy company's application to build a controversial wind and solar farm in the Mojave Desert's remote Silurian Valley, deciding the sprawling project "would not be in the public interest."
The closely watched decision is considered a bellwether for how the federal agency will handle future requests to develop renewable energy projects outside established development areas.
Jim Kenna, the BLM's California director, made the decision, finding that Iberdrola Renewables' proposal would have industrialized 24 square miles of "a largely undisturbed valley that supports wildlife, an important piece of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and recreational and scenic values."
Kenna said he had been discussing the matter for weeks with field personnel and found the evidence "pretty persuasive."
He cited concerns that the project would degrade the quality of the wilderness surrounding the proposed site, located between two national parks. He also noted potential hazards to the desert tortoise and other impacts that could not be mitigated.
For The Archives

It is amazing how inexpensive Blu-Ray DVDs have become. Yes, I know the younger crowd is watching movies for even less, and streaming them, but one can purchase a Blu-Ray set of three Sean Connery / James Bond movies, Volume 1, and Volume 2, each for about $14.99.  On so many levels the movies are pretty cheesy but two things draw me to them, to watch them over and over: a) the music; and, b) the scenes of beautiful locations around the world. Tonight, "From Russia With Love," reminded me our visits to Istanbul when we were assigned to Turkey for a couple of years.

Halcon's Eagle Has Landed .... November 20, 2014

These wells come off the confidential list in February, 2015, but this may give us some idea of what Halcon is doing:
  • 27280, conf, Halcon, Fort Berthold 148-94-30B-31-5H, Eagle Nest, producing: 
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

  • 27279, conf, Halcon, Fort Berthold 148-94-19C-18-5H, Eagle Nest, producing: 
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

  • 27278, conf, Halcon, Fort Berthold 148-94-30B-31-4H, Eagle Nest, producing:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

  • 27278, conf, Halcon, Fort Berthold 148-94-19C-18-4H, Eagle Nest, producing: 
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

I track the Eagle Nest here

Whiting Well: 150,000 Bbls In Less Than Four Months, Twin Valley -- November 20, 2014


October 13, 2016: there are 18 wells in Twin Valley. Two of the 18 wells are BR wells; the other 16 are Whiting wells and they are some of the best Whiting wells in the Bakken. All sixteen Whiting wells in Twin Valley were taken off-line for the entire month of August, 2016; no reason given. See link here

 Twin Valley

Twin Valley is a very, very small oil field, only 8 sections (July 28, 2015), in the northeast corner of McKenzie County, right smack in the middle of the sweet spot of the Bakken, about 14 miles northeast from Watford City. Interestingly enough, on this date (July 28, 2015), the most activity in the Twin Valley oil field is in one 1280-acre drilling unit.


2017 (none as of April 14, 2017)

2016 (none -- list is complete)

2015 (list is complete)
32329, 2,861, Whiting, Rolla Federal 11-3-1TFHU, 4 sections, t10/16; cum 341K 8/17;
32328, 2,053, Whiting, Rolla Federal 11-3-2TFH, t10/16; cum 200K 8/17;
32327, 3,149, Whiting, Rolla Federal 11-3-1TFH, t9/16; cum 215K 8/17;
32326, 2,420, Whiting, Rolla Federal 11-3-1H, t10/16; cum 188K 8/17;
31715, 3,465, Whiting, Rolla Federal 21-3-3TFH, t10/16; cum 214K 8/17;
31712, 2,274, Whiting, Rolla Federal 21-3-1H, t9/16; cum 209K 8/17;
31711, 3,810, Whiting, Rolla Federal 21-3-2TFH, t10/16; cum 230K 8/17;
31710, 2,426, Whiting, Rolla Federal 21-3-1TFH, t10/16; cum 225K 8/17;
31708, 3,101, Whiting, Rolla Federal 31-3-1H, t9/16; cum 185K 8/17;
31707, 2,546, Whiting, Rolla Federal 31-3-4TFH, t9/16; cum 179K 8/17;
31706, A, Whiting, Rolla Federal 31-3-3TFH, t --; cum 207K 8/17;
31705, 2,079, Whiting, Rolla Federal 31-3-2TFH, t10/16; cum 319K 8/17;
31704, 3,271, Whiting, Rolla Federal 31-3-1TFH, t9/16; cum 209K 8/17;
30776, 1,345, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-3TFH, t10/15; cum 301K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;
30775, AB/IA/175, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-4TFH, 31 stages, 4.6 million lbs, t10/15; cum -- ; what happened;
30774, 1,844, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-5TFH, t10/15; cum 559K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;,
30688, 1,392, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-2TFH, t10/15; cum 248K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;
30687, 1,841, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-2H, t10/15; cum 185K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;

2014 (list is complete)
27522, 4,207, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFHU, 4 sections, t10/14; cum 430K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16; still no pump as of 6/17;
27521, 5,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4HR, t10/14; cum 430K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16; still no pump as of 6/17;
27520, 6,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFH, t10/14; cum 616K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16; still no pump as of 6/17;

27284, 4,934, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3TFH, t6/14; cum 463K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;
on a pump sometime in 2017;
27283, 4,523, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3TFHU, 4 sections, t6/14; cum 363K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16; pump sometime in 2017;

24213, PNC, BR, Raider 31-5TFH,
22361, 4,971, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-3H, t12/12; cum 560K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;
22360, 1,394, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-1H, t12/12; cum 246K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;

20710, IA/606, BR, Barkley 1-5H, t10/11; cum 247K 8/17; off-line as of 5/17; back on line as of 8/17;

Other Twin Valley wells:
20589, 4,815, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4H, t10/11; cum 611K 8/17; taken off-line all of 8/16;

Original Post
Three huge Whiting Flatland Federal wells are followed at this link


This well comes off the confidential list on December 6, 2014:
  • 27284, 4,934, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3TFH, Twin Valley, Three Forks, not otherwise specified; probably first bench; 1280 acres; max gas, 3,749 units, 29 stages, 3.1 million lbs sand/ceramic; t6/14; cum 460K 7/17; (see production updates above)
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Twin Valley is in the sweet spot of the North Dakota Bakken, northeast McKenzie County. It has only eight (8) sections and borders Banks oil field. All sections are "held by production."

That well is not unique, here's another one:
  • 27283, 4,523, Whiting, Skaar Federal 41-3TFHU, Twin Valley, Three Forks, possibly 2nd bench (narrative suggests 2nd bench, but permit say 1st bench); background gas max 2,408 units; 2560 acres; 30 stages; 2.5 million lbs sand/ceramic; 4 sections, t6/14 cum 358K 7/17; (see production updates above)
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Regular readers may remember these two wells also in Twin Valley, and now on the "Monster Well" page:
  • 20589, 4,815, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4H, said to have a 7,000 boepd IP; record middle Bakken (as of Feb, 2012); Twin Valley; s8/11; t10/11; cum 608K 7/17; 30 stages; 2 million lbs sand/mesh 
  • 22361, 4,971, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-3H, Twin Valley, Middle Bakken "C" facies well; 30 stages; 2.7 million lbs sand/ceramic; t12/12; cum 559K 7/17;
Note that #22361 was inactive (for operational reasons). It went off-line in the middle of August, 2014, and was off-line all of September.  In July, it's last full month of production, it was producing 8,500 bbls of oil.

Note that #20589 was also inactive (for operational reasons). It went off-line in the middle of August, 2014, and was off-line all of September.  In July, it's last full month of production, it was producing 7,000 bbls of oil.

The wells are, no doubt, off-line, while fracking is going on nearby. 

Three "High-IP" Wells; Baytex With Two Nice Wells; OXY With Another OXY Well; Sixteen (16) New Permits -- North Dakota

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

Active rigs (note, 2011, is missing), which is probably about 200:

Active Rigs18618518115965

Sixteen (16) new permits --
  • Operators: SM Energy (4), XTO (4), OXY USA (3), WPX (2), Oasis (2), Enduro
  • Fields: West Ambrose (Divide), Blue Buttes (McKenzie), Little Knife (Dunn), Cabernet (Dunn), Fayette (Dunn), Spotted Horn (McKenzie), Cottonwood (Mountrail), Newburg (Bottineau)
  • Comments:
Two (2) producing wells completed:
  • 26897, 644, Oasis, Delta 6093 24-15 2T, Gros Ventre, t9/14; cum 3K 9/14;
  • 27157, 58, Oasis, Delta 6093 24-15 4T2, Gros Ventre, t9/14; cum 3K 9/14; 
Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 19954, 1,800, BR, CCU Olympian 21-2TFH, Corral Creek, t9/14; cum 14K 9/14;
  • 23807, 994, CLR, Bismarck 5-9H, Brooklyn, t9/14; cum 14K 9/14;
  • 26775, 101, Baytex, Molander 27-34-161-99H-1CN, Burg, t6/14; cum 26K 9/14;
  • 26776, 347, Baytex, Molander 22-15-161-99H-1XC, Brug, t6/14; cum 36K 9/14;
  • 27367, drl, Petro-Hunt, Brenna 152-96-23D-14-2HS, Clear Creek, no production data,
  • 27372, 726, OXY USA, Delvin Dukart 4-30-31-H-143-95, Manning, t5/14; cum 13K 9/14;
  • 27687, 2,855, Whiting, Roen 34-10-2H, Elk,t5/14; cum 50K 9/14;
  • 27740, 2,057, XTO, Brandvik 24X-13E2, Corral Creek, t10/14; cum --
  • 27849, 935, Sinclair, Bighron 2-6H, Mary, t9/14; cum 14K 9/14;
  • 28066, drl, Hess, EN-State C-156-93-1615H-8, Alger, no production data,
  • 28314, 15, Enduro, NSCU N-715-H1, Newburg, a Spearfish/Charles well, t7/14; cum 1K 9/14;
  • 28395, drl, Hess, An-Evenson-LW-152-95-1003H-2, Antelope, no production data,

Polar Vortex? What Polar Vortex? -- Active Rigs In North Dakota Hit Second Highest For This Date -- November 20, 2014; WMB Increases Its Dividend; BNSF Announces Increased CAPEX; Filloon On NOG; Roofs Collapsing In Western NY From Weight Of Snow

Natural gas fill rate. See this link for background. Today's number: -17. Natural gas up t $4.44; and oil up a bit today. (Dynamic links.)
Later, Reuters is reporting:
New England should have enough electricity to meet demand this winter but the natural gas pipeline constraints that caused price spikes on the coldest days last winter will be a "concern" again this year, the region's power grid operator said Thursday.
ISO New England, the grid operator, warned the region's dependence on gas puts it in a "vulnerable position" because current pipelines cannot deliver all the gas required for both heating and power generators, especially during cold weather.
Jobs: huge miss, but Reuters and Bloomberg still see silver lining. Remember, retailers are holding on to all their employees and struggling for more to meet expectations of a huge holiday season.
Active rigs:

Active Rigs18618518115965

[Update: an astute reader noted this (I missed it): the chart above does not include 2011 -- this was a "cut and paste" from NDIC). There were certainly more rigs on this date in 2011 than 186, so today's number of active rigs is the second highest for this date. I will correct the graphic when I get back to a corrected NDIC graph. A big "thank you" to the reader who noted this.] I assume there are factual errors or typographical errors, but it is what it is. This is all the more remarkable because North Dakota just went through the same polar vortex that the rest of the nation to the south and east of us experienced.
Four of five wells coming off confidential list today went to DRL status. BR has a huge well (see below); note -- 10,000 bbls in 7 days; all natural gas was flared; I track the Corral Creek wells here; the area does have access to the natural gas gathering pipeline system but flaring still seems to be significant.

How Good Is The Bakken?

10,000 barrels of crude oil in seven (7) days :
  • 27889, 1,992, BR, CCU Olympian 11-2MBH, Corral Creek, t9/14; cum 10K 9/14;
NDIC File No: 27889    
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 9/24/2014     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: LOT3 2-146-94    Latitude: 47.501622     Longitude: -102.623788
Current Well Name: CCU OLYMPIAN 11-2MBH
Total Depth: 21007     Field: CORRAL CREEK
Spud Date(s):  5/20/2014
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 11183-21007     Comp: 9/24/2014     Status: F     Date: 9/29/2014     Spacing: U
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 10,223     Cum MCF Gas: 7579     Cum Water: 6790
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 9/29/2014     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 1,992     IP MCF: 1373     IP Water: 1008
Monthly Production Data

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare


Now, back to the stories on first time claims for unemployment benefits. I track the weekly data here, at one time planning to quit tracking it but continued tracking it when the government admitted they manipulated the data "one week."

1. Last week's numbers were awful: they surged 12,000 applications -- well out of the ordinary.

2. It turns out last week's number was undercounted: this week it was revised upward, 3,000 more applications.

3. Expectations for this week by expert analysts: a "dip" to 285,000.

4. In fact, applications hit 291,000. So last week, the initial number was 290,000, revised upwards brings us to 293,000, and at 291,000, it essentially was "no change." The headline at Reuters: jobless claims fall; continuing claims lowest since 2000. Bloomberg headline: fewer than 300,000 in US file jobless claims for 10th week. Wow.

5. Neither article says that the continuing claims dropped because the extended benefits -- remember this? the benefits used to extend out for 99 weeks -- "ran out."

6. It's always buried, but if you look, you will find that the four-week average, less volatile (their words, not mine) actually increased to 287,500 from 285,750. I assume after folks shovel themselves out of the snow in the northeast, the claims will go up again.

7. It always takes Wall Street a few minutes / hours to digest the information. But they eventually get it right, and they know that Janet Yellen is following this data closely. Today's news is not good for the Fed. Before the jobs data was released, Dow futures were down as much as 80 points (last night); at the moment, the Dow is up slightly. If it finishes in the green, it will be the 9th or 10th day out of ten or eleven days that the Dow has been in the green, setting new records almost every day.

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here. Make no travel plans based on what you read here. I post quickly and frequently; typographical and factual errors are likely. If this information is important to you, go to the source.

For Investors Only

I see WMB increased its dividend (again). It was 32.5 cents at the end of 2012. It was 56 cents in September, 2014, and now it's been increased a penny to 57 cents/share, a 4.13% yield.

 BNSF, a huge bet on the future of America: Investor's Business Daily is reporting --
Berkshire Hathaway's BNSF Railway plans to spend $6 billion in 2015 to upgrade and expand its facilities to meet rising demand for rail transportation services.
It would be a 9% increase for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company from its planned $5.5 billion capital spending this year.
The bulk of the 2015 expenditures will go to replacing and upgrading rails, ties and other track components, the company said.
The railroad will add 330 new locomotives to its fleet of 7,500 and replace others that are nearing the end of their useful life.
Filloon on NOG


Back to the natural gas fill rate (first item at this post above: actually I was going to comment, but no comment is really needed. Just to go the link for the information. I had never followed the natural gas fill rate until this year, and it looks like a great year to learn about it.

Okay, this note I sent to Don:
I wrote about that once -- the huge amounts of natural gas being produced in the Marcellus and yet the rate is a negative fill rate and the New England area will still have problems. So, being the novice that I am, I pointed that out. Steve (I believe it was, but I forget) pointed out that the problem is that there is not enough pipeline to take the natural gas from the Marcellus (even though it's in their backyard) to New England, and even to neighborhoods in Pennsylvania and New York state. (New England activists protested against additional pipeline as recently as two weeks ago.)

RBN Energy talks about that at length; I think it was yesterday that they had another article on Marcellus takeaway -- and it's "all" being reversed to go to the Gulf.

They say following this polar vortex there will be a warming spell that will melt the snow, but I doubt it will be enough to melt the lake ice or do much to change the temperature of the water. And another cold spell is forecast to follow this polar vortex.

Link here to Lake Erie temperatures, which at the moment appear to be 5 - 8 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year (a dynamic link).
See also this link that a reader sent in after noting the above comments.
Last winter, gas demand and prices hit record highs because there was not enough gas available to heat homes and businesses and for power generation on the coldest days due to the pipeline constraints. That left several generators unavailable when needed most, threatening grid reliability.
At the moment:
  • the Senate voted against its own energy chairperson, all but guaranteeing another anti-Obama Senate seat (latest polling: Cassidy: 56%; Landrieu: 41%);
  • oil is holding its own, even though there are rumors that OPEC won't cut production;
  • active rigs in North Dakota are at their highest for this date;
  • jobless data will force Janet Yellen to stay the course; and,
  • it's back to warm and sunny weather in north Texas (better bike-riding weather).
What's not to like; what a great country. Even with all the free ObamaPhones.

Oh, I forgot. My Starbucks was free today -- I usually forget to take advantage of all my "free" coffees; the "stars" expire at the end of every month, I believe.   

Three More Feet!
Global Warming, 2014 - 2015
Unnamed Autumn, 2014, Polar Vortex

The unnamed 2014 autumn polar vortex: the headlines started appearing November 11, 2014:
  • Minnesota shatters snow record from 1898 -- predicted by warmists -- global warming will result in more snow 
  • Arctic blasts pummels USA -- unexplained; stuff happens 
  • Only six (6) states not expecting snow in coming week (and one of them may be Hawaii) 
  • Winter still a month away 
  • Twelve (12) years since Dallas has had two consecutive days so cold  
  • Wyoming wind chill warning: 35 below  
  • Central Ontario snowfall could reach 20 inches  
  • Cold to freeze East  
  • Shattering snowfall records in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan -- predicted by warmists -- global warming will result in more snow 
  • All 50 states brace for freezing temperatures -- November 13, 2014 
  • Cold freeze moves east -- November 13, 2014 
  • Denver cold shatters two records, including low temp record set in 1882 -- November 13, 2014 
  • Coldest November in decades -- November 14, 2014 
  • Michigan town receives one month's snow -- in one day --November 14, 2014 
  • Storm dumps four (4) feet of snow on Wisconsin town -- November 14, 2014 
  • Ice on Lake Superior -- almost a month early -- November 16, 2014 
  • Harsh cold to set records in south, freeze northeast -- November 16, 2014
  • Snow on the ground in DFW area; 27 degrees -- November 17, 2014 
  • 50% of nation covered in snow -- November 17, 2014 (this was on ABC Nightly News, also)
  • Most snow this early in a decade -- November 17, 2014
  • Four (4) feet of snow expected in upstate New York -- November 17, 2014
  • Record cold in Boise, Idaha, Monday morning, possibly again Tuesday -- November 17, 2014
  • Deep freeze blankets USA -- November 18, 2014
  • Coldest November morning since 1976 -- November 18, 2014
  • 1,360 records shattered in one week -- November 18, 2014
  • "Global warming" activists huddle together together in Capitol -- November 18, 2014
  • I-90 closed in Buffalo, NY; snow -- November 18, 2014
  • Buffalo, upper NY state gets slammed -- November 18, 2014
  • 74 inches of snow predicted overnight in Buffalo, NY -- November 18, 2014 
  • Cuoma deploys organized militia (National Guard) -- November 18, 2014 
  • 7 feet of snow in upstate New York -- November 19, 2014
  • Natural gas futures soar -- November 19, 2014 
  •  Snow stranded in NY; 100+ trapped; man trapped in 12-ft drift -- November 19, 2014
  • Supersnow, stranded in NY -- November 19, 2014
  • 8 feet and counting -- November 19, 2014
  • Biggest power grid hits monthly record -- November 19, 2014 
  • Cuomo calls for "NFL Snowday" -- November 20, 2014
  • Forecast: three more feet! -- November 20, 2014 
  • All-time snowfall record? -- November 20, 2014
  • Buffalo Bills - NY Jets relocated -- November 20, 2014
  • 141-year-old cold record falls in Florida -- November 20, 2014
  • Ice forces earliest closure EVER of upper Mississippi -- November 20, 2014
From Daily Mail today:
  • Three more feet of snow is expected in Buffalo today - making it eight feet since Monday night
  • Sections of the New York State Thruway remain closed 
  • Some truckers and other motorists have spent three days stranded in their vehicles waiting for the road to open 
  • Thundersnow is coming to Buffalo, bringing dangerous lightning strikes 
  • Weekend thaw and rainstorms could cause flash flooding as snow melts rapidly 
  • Roofs are collapsing across western New York from the weight of the snow 
Lies, Lies, And More Lies

Bloomberg is reporting:  Obamacare hit goal by including 400,000 unpublicized dental subscribers. My hunch is that sooner or later we will learn that an additional 1.4 million dogs and cats enrolled in veterinary clinics will eventually be included in the ObamaCare count. Big Health and Big Pharma are going to do very, very well.

[Update, White House responds: Responding to a report that the White House included dental plan sign-ups in Obamacare enrollment numbers, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell writes, 'the mistake we made is unacceptable' -]

[Update, from Bloomberg: "stupid is as stupid does."


For the first time ever, I heard the Massachusetts senator referred to as Pocahontas on talk radio at 1:28 p.m. November 20, 2014, almost a month after my first entry with that.  LOL. Makes my day. 


My note to Don on immigration (written before THE non-televised speech):
One of the things that has resulted from all the noise over Obama's immigration executive order, based on the bits and pieces that are being released: the most vocal immigration advocates will see that POTUS has over-promised and will under-deliver.Based on what is likely to be said, it sounds like POTUS waited way too long; all the noise, and everyone is going to be disappointed.
The GOP will be disappointed on geeky constitutional terms; the liberal Dems will be disappointed on how little is being done by POTUS. And this will be the last any president will do for quite some time.
It appears the undocumented "immigrants" will still need to go through a process. Attorneys that take them through this process will make about $5,000 / individual based on an immigration attorney I spoke with in California. She was a Hispanic lawyer, does pro bono work offering help for Latinos to get their legal documentation -- she says lawyers can easily charge $5,000 for services. And, of course, those high-priced lawyers will get their paperwork moving through the system more quickly. The good news is that folks willing to pay $5,000 are probably not your typical out-of-work terrorists. The problem is political -- with an executive order -- but that's why we have checks and balances. But at the end of the day I think the extremists are going to be very unhappy that he mostly just "legalizing" what is already occurring in the trenches. Also, many immigrants are not going to go through the process because background checks could expose many others living in their homes that are not eligible at all to be here.
This is something I've not heard discussed: an executive order, as this will be, is "clean." A bill with the very same language would have had a lot of unrelated amendments attached, mostly pork.
It is ironic, but the POTUS EO may be exactly what the GOP hoped for. The end of any more discussion on immigration in the immediate future; a "clean" bill; and simply legalizing what is already happening. Now the GOP can go back to securing the borders.
It will be interesting if I feel the same way after the NY Times prints the EO.
By the way, Nancy Pelosi's comparing this EO with the Proclamation of Emancipation is completely bogus on so many levels.

[Update, 9:58 CT, November 20, 2014: just following the speech, just as I predicted -- the most extreme immigration advocates are not happy with the POTUS immigration EO. Top story over at Yahoo!Finance right now: Obama's immigration tweaks leave Big Tech wanting more.
President Barack Obama plans to make life a little easier for some foreign tech workers, but Silicon Valley representatives are disappointed his immigration rule changes will not satisfy longstanding demands for more visas and faster green cards.

In a speech on Thursday, Obama outlined plans to use executive authority to help millions of undocumented people. He also announced minor adjustments to cut red tape for visa holders and their families, including letting spouses of certain H-1B visa holders get work permits.
 What little I've seen, this EO was all about checking off the box ( immigration reform) without much substance.]