Whiting Petroleum Corp. is "actively working with a couple of parties" on an oil pipeline that would connect the Bakken region in North Dakota with refineries in the Philadelphia area.
Whiting, the third-largest oil driller in the Bakken, is willing to work exclusively with a pipeline developer and would commit its crude to a line to Philadelphia, chief executive officer Jim Volker said at Hart Energy's DUG Bakken and Niobrara conference in Denver on Wednesday.
The producer is currently moving crude to Philadelphia Energy Solutions L.L.C.'s refinery via a combination of pipeline, rail, and barge. "What's the best market for Bakken crude?" Volker asked. "In my opinion, it's the Midwest and the Northeast, in particular the Philadelphia refining complex. Our contribution to that formula, getting oil there by pipeline, is to say publicly and privately to anybody who will listen, 'We'll commit our crude to that line.'This fits into an earlier data point: North Dakota ships more oil to the East Coast than all other regions in US combined.
Yesterday, someone asked me who the "top" five or six oil companies in North Dakota were right now -- not necessarily in terms of overall production or overall acreage but their focus, their long-term plans, their operations, their production and acreage (of course), and other intangibles.
KOG was bought by WLL last year; that was just one company bought, but it certainly changed the landscape. I can't comment on companies that don't trade publicly but this is how I see the landscape in North Dakota, in 30-second soundbites.
For newbies (regular readers know all this): I could be way off on all this; I don't have any hidden sources. I only know what I know from reading many articles from many sources quickly. I often make simple mistakes and I often come to wrong conclusions based on my lack of insight. And lack of background in finances, economics, and the oil and gas industry. This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment or financial decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.
With the slump in oil prices, it certainly appears to me that Whiting has changed the most. Ever since I started blogging about the Bakken, it always seemed Whiting was open to being acquired. That doesn't seem to be the case any more. If anything, Whiting is the "new CLR." Whiting seems to be, "full steam ahead, damn the price."
CLR seems to be on autopilot, managing its assets in a traditional manner facing any oil company during a significant downturn in oil prices.
Oasis remains a bit of a quandary for me. It doesn't have the deep pockets that some others might have, but it, too, seems to be completing its wells with gusto. But Oasis permitting seems to have come to a stop with minor exception of some pad-permits. In other words, Oasis may have a dozen new permits, but a dozen permits could involve two rigs for two different pads, or maybe just one rig.
Whiting is doing the same: lots of permits, but mostly pad drilling. CLR still has lots of singleton permits.
CLR's Brooklyn wells are turning out to be better than I originally expected.
Oasis' Tyrone wells are perhaps a bit better than I originally expected.
EOG is still the company to watch.
XTO is also an enigma; it has great drilling locations and it has very deep pockets. It's big in the Bakken, but just a part of a much bigger company.
So, that's WLL, CLR, EOG, XTO, Oasis. Did I leave anyone else out? Oh, yes, the "bedrock" of the oil capital of North Dakota: Hess. Like EOG, Hess is another company to watch -- a lot of activity that might not get reported because it is simply "mundane" or "routine" but activity, just the same, that could make a big difference for either the company or the state.
One can skim through the list of operators in the Bakken, and ask why I did not include other companies in that short list above. Yes, one can ask.
Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
I stopped by the Apple store in Southlake (Texas) yesterday just because I was in the area. I always enjoy talking with the employees. There is generally no pressure to buy anything; they seem to enjoy the discussion -- someone must have worked with them on Steve Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Surprisingly, it even has a web page. His fifth habit (or rule): Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
That aphorism has served me well in discussions with our older granddaughter.
But I digress.
I mentioned to Justin, the Apple employee, yesterday, that over at the Macrumors discussion boards the conversation seems to have changed from "who would ever buy an Apple watch, " to "OMG, there may not be enough Apple watches," or "I need to have one."
Apple will sell the Apple watch very differently than its other products (previously discussed). But I believe one can order the Apple watch starting on April 10th, for delivery on April 24th.
The wording and timing of the new section suggests that Apple Watch in-store reservations will be available April 10, a move that would generate more foot traffic in Apple Stores on Apple Watch launch day.
Nevertheless, there remains a slim possibility that reservations will begin on April 24. Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment, although we will update this post if we receive confirmation.I was told, yesterday, by the way, that this is the first time Apple has ever had the new product in its store before the day that it would be available to consumers.