Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Now If They Can Just Stop The Earthquakes -- January 7, 2015

Rigzone is reporting:
Energy Recovery Inc. President and CEO Tom Rooney compares the pumping of sandy water through sophisticated pumps in the hydraulic fracturing process to pouring sand into the oil of a Maserati.
The wear-and-tear of sandy water on pumps still represents a major pain point in the hydraulic fracturing process, despite efforts by oil service companies and others to create a better solution.
The company’s pressure energy technology, which has been widely used in the desalination industry and is currently utilized in sour gas processing and oil pipelines, has now been rolled out to address this “pain point” in the fracking process.
Colorado-based Liberty Oilfield Services will test in early 2015 Energy Recovery’s first manufactured VorTeq device, which transfers high pressure energy from clean water to fracking fluid, which will reduce the cost and downtime associated with the need to repair and replace pumps in the fracking process.
Liberty will conduct the first live well field trials at its operations in Wyoming. The company’s pressure energy technology has been used successfully in the desalination industry as well as in midstream processing facilities and pipelines. At first blush, Rooney didn’t think the technology would be applicable to fracking, in which most of the energy created is used, not wasted. After studying the fracking process, Energy Recovery’s engineers determined the company’s technology could be used to solve the most vexing problem of the process: the destruction of pumps.

Just How Tight Is The Takeaway Issue In The Bakken? -- January 7, 2015

Over the years, I must have read every article and looked at ever graph that depicted takeaway capacity in the Bakken. I always had the feeling that there was adequate takeaway capacity with rail and pipeline. And every day there were stories of more pipelines going in and stories of more CBR terminals.

I always thought "we" were ahead of the game. I looked forward to a bit of slack in takeaway capacity as Bakken oil production (or at least the pace of growth) slowed due to the slump in oil prices.

So, I was surprised when I read this story that said the slump in oil prices is not likely to result in a gain for grain shippers:
A decline in Bakken oil trains isn’t likely to spell good things for Montana grain farmers, according to rail observers.
Getting grain on trains has been a struggle for Montana’s $1.5 billion wheat economy for more than a year, during which time critics have faulted Burlington Northern Sante Fe for leaving grain at the station while hauling more than a half-million barrels of oil daily.
Now oil production seems poised to decline. The number of active drilling rigs in North Dakota has fallen by 14 in the last three weeks, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The price per barrel for oil hit a five-year low Monday.
A slowdown isn’t likely to free up the rails for grain, analyst Terry Whiteside told farmers gathered Tuesday in Billings.
“You would think it would,” Whiteside said. “However, they are telling me in Wyoming they have not found as much oil through horizontal drilling as they have in the Bakken, and that’s probably all going to go westbound. I don’t see it lightening up very much, and then if coal comes on. We’ve just got a very tight capacity problem for a while.”
On top of this, remember: new restrictions on shipping oil by rail. And still it continues. 

51-18-7 -- It's Not About "Cool" Any More -- January 7, 2015; Apple Vs Samsung

Remember that recent posting: after-Christmas mobile device activations -- Apple, 51%; Samsung, 18%; and Microsoft (7%)?

Reuters is reporting:
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday said operating profit likely fell 37.4 percent in the October-December period to $4.74 billion, beating expectations.
This would still mark the company's fifth consecutive quarter of declining operating profit in annual terms, and means annual profit fell for the first time in three years.
Also The AP:
Analysts said Samsung's smartphone business, which contributed two-thirds of its profit in the last two years, continued to struggle but improvements in its semiconductor division helped the company rebound from the third quarter, its worst quarter in nearly three years.
Samsung does a lot more than compete with Apple but the other day I mentioned the 51-18-7 data point to a friend.

He suggested that 51-18-7 must mean that Apple still has the "coolness" factor.

Maybe six years ago, or three years ago. But Apple is way beyond cool. The thing I find most interesting about Apple is the number of little things that Apple puts into their devices and software that no one really knows about -- until someone discovers those little "things" and finds a use for them.

I grew up with Apple, starting with my first Apple desktop in 1984 while stationed in Germany.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on what you read here. I have never owned shares in Apple. I have no plans to start buying shares in the next 72 hours. That seems to be the usual disclaimer / time frame on other sites -- 72 hours. I don't have any plans to buy any Apple shares this week or next week either, but I suppose plans change. It certainly helped me to have Bill Clinton as president; I learned to really parse sentences and read every word.  

I bring up Apple and the "cool" factor for any number of reasons. Nothing specific. I suppose the UE Boom that I recently got my wife really made me sit up and take notice. The UE Boom is an external wireless speaker for mobile devices with Bluetooth capability. I talked about it earlier. It turns out I didn't know much about external wireless speakers either until I got this one, and learned that there are much less expensive options on the market (check Amazon). Interestingly, even if I had known more about external wireless speakers, it would have been a mistake for me to get something other than the UE Boom. It is quite incredible. It beats the Beat Pill just on the "coolness" factor.

What amazes me is how simple the UE Boom was to set up. And I assume it's just as simple with Androids and Samsungs. But, wow, with my wife's iPhone 6, it was incredibly easy. (Just for the record, I don't have a smart phone; never have, never will. My slam-shell [which some call a clam-shell] from 2009, or thereabouts, is simply perfect. Had to get a new battery recently. But I digress.

I am also impressed with the "continuity" function of Apple devices. Instead of trying to explain it, here it is from the Apple website.

By the way, there is a lot more in that AP article on Samsung: it helps me understand where the "i" in iPod, iPad, iPhone is going.

With regard to cell phones, the most recent data, Macrumors is reporting:
The latest smartphone sales data released today from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech highlights good news for Apple on the strength of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, with Apple gaining share year-over-year in every country surveyed except for Japan.

The report, focusing on the September-November 2014 period, points out that Android market share dropped in most European markets and saw its first decline in the U.S. since September 2013. In the surveyed period, Apple reached 42.5 percent of UK sales, up 12.2 percentage points from the same time in 2013. 

Additional Links In Wake Of The Slump In Oil Prices -- January 7, 2015

Slump in oil prices probably doesn't necessarily mean grain farmers will have better access to wheat-carrying unit trains. The is reporting.


A second link, Bloomberg is reporting:
The U.S. exported a record amount of crude oil in November after a five-year run of production growth that has made the country the most oil-independent in 20 years.
Shipments surged 34 percent to average 502,000 barrels a day in November, the most on record dating back to 1920, data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Energy Information Administration show. The previous peak was 455,000 in March 1957. The U.S. is now the 17th-largest exporter. 
I have to really chuckle. When I first started blogging in 2007/2009 (and deleted the original blog in a moment of insanity) I suggested US oil exports would surge. I did not know there was a ban. A reader wrote to tell me. I checked the law and wrote that the exceptions were large enough to drive a 100-unit oil train through. More of the story:
About 218,000 barrels a day left from northern places like Detroit, upstate New York and Maine. Another 174,000 exited via Texas ports like Houston and Corpus Christi. About 70,000 went through Montana and North Dakota, and 38,000 out of New Orleans.
The U.S. bans most exports of unrefined crude oil. Shipments to Canadian refiners are allowed, as are re-exports of foreign oil, and a few other small exceptions. Congress will discuss repealing the ban in 2015, Representative Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, said at a Dec. 11 hearing in Washington.
For now, the existing exceptions are helping producers find higher-value markets for U.S. crude. The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was $2.50 a barrel less than than international Brent yesterday, from a $13.44 discount a year ago. 
This is a very interesting story. I talked to a CEO of an oil company located in Texas and he said something I never gave any thought to: all oil produced is sold.

Unlike Christmas wrapping that goes on sale after the holidays, and then a lot of it never sold and just thrown away, produced oil is not dumped in the ocean. It ends up going somewhere. The Bloomberg suggests exactly that. Very, very interesting. There's more than just Cushing, Pennsylvania refineries, etc., for Bakken oil. Very, very interesting. 

Much, much more at the linked story.

"A Major Setback" Or Deal-Breaker -- January 7, 2015

The Boston Globe characterizes it as "a major setback." Everything I've read suggests this is a "deal-breaker." There is another interesting bit of trivia in the article that also suggests this is much more than "a major setback."

The story:
The Cape Wind plan was dealt a major setback Tuesday when two power companies that had agreed to buy energy from the Nantucket Sound wind farm terminated their contracts with the developers, raising questions about the future of the $2.5 billion offshore project.
National Grid and Northeast Utilities said Cape Wind had missed the December 31, 2014, deadline contained in the 2012 contracts to obtain financing and begin construction, and chosen not to put up financial collateral to extend the deadline.
In a separate e-mail, National Grid spokesman Jake Navarro said the utility was “disappointed that Cape Wind has been unable to meet its commitments under the contract, resulting in today’s termination of the power purchase agreement.”
Under the 2012 agreement, Northeast Utilities and NStar agreed to buy 27.5 percent of Cape Wind’s production. National Grid had previously signed on to purchase 50 percent.
A Cape Wind spokesman said the developer does not “regard these terminations as valid” because of provisions that, the company argued, would extend the deadlines.
And deep in the story:
Ian Bowles, who as Patrick’s first energy and environment chief helped shepherd the offshore project, said Tuesday’s news may have spelled the end for Cape Wind.
“Presumably, this means that the project doesn’t go forward,” he said in a telephone interview.
The jeopardy in which Cape Wind finds itself reflects a changed energy market, in which developers bear more risk than the eventual ratepayers, Bowles said.
The risk is on the developer to either build it or not. And in this case, the developer appears to have failed,” he said.
Advances in the state’s renewable energy and efficiency policies have lessened the importance of Cape Wind in its overall energy landscape, Bowles said.
And here is that bit of trivia I alluded to in the beginning, another nail in that coffin:
Governor-elect Charlie Baker is set to take office Thursday. Once a critic of Cape Wind, Baker shifted positions during last year’s campaign, calling the project “a done deal.”
On Tuesday night, a Baker spokesman issued a statement that hinted that the new governor would not interject himself into the contract dispute.
By the way, "...the state's renewable energy and efficiency policies have lessened the importance of Cape Wind...." I assume they mean the state has already backtracked or is likely to backtrack on renewable energy mandates. 

Twenty-Four (24) New Permits; One-Day Record? Twenty-Nine (29) Wells Coming Off Confidential List Thursday; Twenty-Two (22) Are Oasis Wells -- January 7, 2015


January 7, 2015: with regard to Armstrong Operating's First Creek well (see below, #28376):
The Armstrong well that is coming off confidential status on Thursday was a dry hole, and was plugged by the drilling rig. The seismographs for that spot showed a pool of fluid in the Tyler formation, but when they drilled into the pool it turned out to be 100% water. No oil at all. 
This does not surprise me; depressing and distressing, but does not surprise me. See "well search" at NDIC website for more about Armstrong Operating wells and permits. 

Original Post

CLR's January, 2015, presentation (a dynamic link).

Remember: NDIC issues permits based on reasonable likelihood that operators will drill the well.

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday (if this is not a one-day record, it is among the top five or ten):
  • 24774, 823, Oasis, Marlene 5501 14-1T, Cow Creek, t7/14; cum 27K 11/14;
  • 24775, 1,304, Oasis, Herb 5501 14-1B, Cow Creek, t7/14; cum 23K 11/14;
  • 26458, 1,374, EOG, Wayzetta 45-0311H, Parshall, Bakken NOS, 1920 acres, geologist's narrative and frack data N/A, t6/14; cum 217K 11/14;
  • 26899, 369, Oasis, Delta 6093 24-15 ST, Gros Ventre, t9/14; cum 17K 11/14;
  • 26994, 586, Oasis, Emerald 5603 43-10 2B, Bull Butte, t10/14; cum 9K 11/14;
  • 26995, 701, Oasis, Ross 5603 43-10 2B, Bull Butte, t10/14; cum 10K 11/14;
  • 27011, 162, Oasis, State 5792 31-15 6T2, Cottonwood, a T2 well, not particularly noteworthy, t8/14; cum 6K 11/14;
  • 27012, 177, Oasis, State 5792 31-15 5T, Cottonwood, a big well for Cottonwood, T1, t8/14; cum 15K 11/14;
  • 27108, 1,469, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42 31 8B, Banks, t8/14; cum 70K 11/14;
  • 27111, 1,071, Oasis, Hagen Banks 5298 42-31 5B, Banks, t7/14; cum 92K 11/14;
  • 27223, 1,030, Oasis, Mallard 5692 31-22 8B,  Alger, erratic production, t8/14; cum 32K 11/14;
  • 27224, drl, Oasis, Mallard 5692 31-22 11T2, Alger, producing,
  • 27463, 147, Oasis, Shaw 6092 11-236B, Cottonwood, t10/14; cum 9K 11/14;
  • 27464, 103, Oasis, Shaw 6092 11-23 5T2, Cottonwood, a T2 well, t10/14; cum 6K 11/14;
  • 27598, 1,158, Oasis, Oasis Meiers 5692 43-18 4T2, Alger, a T2 well, t8/14; cum 8K 11/14;
  • 27599, 1,754, Oasis, Oasis Meiers 5692 43-18 8B, Alger, t8/14; cum 32K 11/14;
  • 27602, 1,677, Oasis, Oasis Meiers 5692 43-18 5B, Alger, t7/14; cum 63K 11/14;
  • 27614, drl, Oasis, Andre Shepherd 5501 31-8 7T, Missouri Ridge, no production data,
  • 27641, 1,488, Oasis, Holmes 5501 11-5 3B, Tyrone, a big well for the Tyrone, t11/14; cum 5K 11/14;
  • 27678, 355, Oasis, Delta 6093 44-15 7B, Gros Ventre, t8/14; cum 26K 11/14;
  • 28019, conf, QEP, Moberg 4-20-21BH, Grail, producing,
  • 28145, 410, Oasis, Delta 6093 44-15 6T, Gros Ventre, t9/14; cum 30K 11/14;
  • 28252, DRY, Oasis, Chalmers Wade Federal 5300 44-24 12TX, Baker, surface casing problems; plugged;
  • 28273, 2,445, BR, Copper Draw 11-27MBH, Johnson Corner, 4 sections, t10/14; cum 4K 11/14;
  • 28310, 48, Enduro, MRPSU 19-41, Mouse River Park, a Madison well, t8/14; cum --
  • 28342, drl, Oasis, Chalmers 5301 44-24 2TR, Baker, no production data,
  • 28376, drl, Armstrong Operating, First Creek 1, a Tyler well, wildcat, no production data, two miles directly north of Amidon (12-153-101) where Tyler wells are being drilled; about 8 miles southwest of Rocky Ridge where Tyler wells are being drilled.
  • 28606, 637, Newfield, Gariety 150-99-36-25-11H, Siverston, t10/14; cum 24K 11/14;
  • 28666, conf, QEP, Johnson 4-9-4BH, Grail, no production data,
By the way, what jumps out at you when you look at that list of 29 new permits? Two things should immediately catch your eye(s).

Disclaimer: my comments about these wells are based on very little production data. I make these comments simply for my own benefit to help me better understand the Bakken. My comments do not reflect at all how I think these wells will do long term. The qualitative adjectives are for my use only. If asked to comment on them, I will comment, "no comment."

26458, see above, EOG, Wayzetta 45-0311H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Wells coming off confidential list today have been posted, see sidebar at the right.

Twenty-four (24) new permits:
  • Operators: Slawson (6), Hess (6), SM Energy (5), Hunt (2), QEP (2), XTO, Samson Resources, Enduro
  • Fields: Big Bend (Mountrail), Westberg (McKenzie), West Ambrose (Divide), Parshall (Mountrail), Croff (McKenzie), Lindahl (Williams), Ambrose (Divide), Newburg (Bottineau)
  • Comments: additional tracking of permits at this page; something else to note -- some of these areas are not immediately thought of as "sweet spots in the Bakken";
Five (5) producing wells completed:
  • 26758, 459, Hess, GN-Stundal-158-97-1819H-1, New Home, t12/14; cum --
  • 27573, 837, Hess, EN-Jeffrey A-155-94-2734H-8, Alkali Creek, 4 sections, t12/14; cum --
  • 27642, 634, Oasis, Holmes 5501 11-5 2T, Tyrone, t12/14; cum --
  • 27653, 1,085, Oasis, Clear Creek, 4 sections, t12/14; cum --
  • 27795, 910, Hess, Antelope, a Sanish target, t12/14; cum --
Active rigs:

Active Rigs166189180200163

Random Update On Three Huge Whiting Wells -- January 7, 2015; Record Number Of Frack Stages -- In Excess Of 90 Stages; Moderate Amounts Of Proppant

The Whiting Flatland Federal and Tarpon Federal Wells
Twin Valley

30687, 1,841, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-2H, t10/15, cum 219K 91/9;; on a pump
30688, 1,392, Whiting, Flatland Federal 114-2TFH, t10/15, cum 303K 91/9; on a pump; off line as of 4/19; 
30776, 1,345, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-3TFH, t10/15; cum 364K 91/9; still flowing
30775, AB/IA/175, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-4TFH, 31 stages, 4.5 million lbs, t10/15; cum -- ; no sundry form to explain what happened;
30774, 1,844, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4-5TFH, t10/15; cum 678K 91/9; still flowing
27521, 5,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4HR, t10/14; cum 477K 91/9; on a pump
27520, 6,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFH, t10/14; cum 661K 91/9; still flowing; off line as of 7/19;
27522, 4,207, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFHU, t10/14; cum 553K 91/9; still flowing; jump in 3/19;
20589, 4,815, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4H, t10/11; cum 631K 91/9; on a pump; off line 7/19;
22360, 1,394, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-1H, t12/12; cum 260K 91/9; on a pump
22361, 4,971, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 21-4-3H, t12/12; cum 583K 91/9; on a pump


September 4, 2019: production data updated;

January 28, 2017: change in production after neighboring well fracked

December 5, 2016: check up on Flatland Federal / Tarpon Federal wells. Were they all taken off line while #30775 was re-worked/re-fracked? 

November 5, 2016: update on the Flatland Federal wells; note that a well on the 5-well pad must have had some problems; all wells on that pad came off-line in the summer of 2016, but are now coming back on line. 

September 6, 2015: see update of the fire on one of the Flatland Federal wells in May, 2014

September 5, 2015: the Flatland wells have been updated through July, 2015; note that all three wells are still flowing without a pump; also note the the wells have not been on-line the full time; in fact, #27520 was off-line the entire month of July, 2015; in July, for #27520, there was a report that the gas capture unit originally installed was removed; the wellpad is now selling to ONEOK's pipeline. The form said all three Flatland wells were affected.

June 17, 2015: production profiles and cumulative production numbers have been updated; narrative remains the same.

April 7, 2015: the three Flatland Federal wells have come off the confidential list:
  • 26388, 1,680, BR, CCU North Coast 31-25TFH, Corral Creek, t4/15; cum 135K 91/9;
  • 27520, 6,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFH, TF1, Twin Valley, up to 9,900 gas units; 97 stages; 4.2 million lbs sand/ceramic; t10/14; cum 661K 91/9;
  • 27521, 5,002, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4HR, Twin Valley, MB about 42 feet thick; 94 stages; 4 million lbs sand/ceramic; t10/14; cum 477K 91/9;
  • 27522, 4,207, Whiting, Flatland Federal 11-4TFHU, 4 sections, TF2, in excess of 9,500 gas units, Twin Valley, t10/14; cum 553K 91/9;
Pad Schematic:

Earlier Posts
Note: these wells are finally coming off the confidential list on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Link here

Note: I posted new production numbers as of 1-2015 on March 10, 2015. 

Original post back on November 29, 2014.

NDIC File No: 27520     API No: 33-053-05634-00-00     CTB No: 227520
Location: LOT4 4-152-97     Footages: 275 FNL 640 FWL     Latitude: 48.023199     Longitude: -103.109482
Current Well Name: FLATLAND FEDERAL 11-4TFH
    Field: TWIN VALLEY
Monthly Sales Data:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare


NDIC File No: 27522    
Location: LOT4 4-152-97     Latitude: 48.023199     Longitude: -103.109728
Current Well Name: FLATLAND FEDERAL 11-4TFHU
    Field: TWIN VALLEY
Monthly Sales Data:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare


NDIC File No: 27521     API No: 33-053-05635-00-00     CTB No: 227520
Location: LOT4 4-152-97     Footages: 275 FNL 610 FWL     Latitude: 48.023199     Longitude: -103.109605
Current Well Name: FLATLAND FEDERAL 11-4HR
    Field: TWIN VALLEY
Monthly Sales Data:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Sometime In Last 24 Hours The Million Dollar Way -- Bakken Oil Went Over The 7,000,000 Page View Mark -- January 7, 2015

ICYMI: Bakken oil is being quoted at $36/bbl. It will be interesting to see how the courts decide the inevitable lawsuit.

Miscellaneous Links
Notes To The Granddaughters

Last summer we walked up to the Hollywood sign -- or at least as close as we could get. Here's the backstory as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:
Residents of L.A.'s Beachwood Canyon are fighting off hordes of GPS-enabled tourists — thousands a day — who block their driveways, sometimes piss in public and, they say, pose a major fire risk as they make their pilgrimage to the city's most popular and unregulated landmark.
Actually, it's pretty regulated; you can't get all that close. The photos at the link show how close one can actually get. 

I'm glad we went there last summer. It's only a hunch, but I think the neighborhood could solve this problem fairly quickly if the city would be just a little bit helpful.

SM Energy To Focus On Core Areas In The Bakken, Eagle Ford -- January 7, 2015

Denver BizJournal is reporting:
SM Energy says it plans to sell gas-producing assets in areas of the Mid-Continent region of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana and close its regional office in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Denver-based oil and gas company said it will instead focus on its "core assets" in the Eagle Ford and Bakken/Three Forks areas.
The assets to be offered by SM are in the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma and in the Arklatex area of East Texas and Northern Louisiana. The assets produced 3.4 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2014, 98 percent of it gas, SM said in late Tuesday's announcement.
I think I have talked about "this" numerous times since the slump in oil prices began October 1, 2014. 

Eleven Earthquakes In 24 Hours -- North Texas -- January 7, 2015

Buried in the story:
CBS 11 reached out to seismologist Dr. Craig Pearson, who has been hired by the Railroad Commission of Texas, to investigate earthquakes across the state. 
A spokesperson said Dr. Pearson was unavailable for an interview, but he released the following statement on his behalf: “There are no oil and gas disposal wells in Dallas County. And I see no linkage between oil and gas activity [in] these recent earthquakes in Irving.”
7:37 a.m. Tuesday                    2.3 magnitude
3:10 p.m. Tuesday                    3.5 magnitude
6:52 p.m. Tuesday                    3.6 magnitude
8:11 p.m. Tuesday                     2.9 magnitude
8:12 p.m. Tuesday                    2.7 magnitude
9:54 p.m. Tuesday                    1.7 magnitude
10:05 p.m. Tuesday                  2.4 magnitude
11:02 p.m. Tuesday                   1.6 magnitude
12:59 a.m. Wednesday             3.1 magnitude
8:34 a.m. Wednesday               2.6 magnitude
9:57 a.m. Wednesday               2.7 magnitude
Original post.

I am near the epicenter. I haven't felt a thing. Slept right through the early morning quakes. LOL.

Random Update On THAT Gravel Pit -- January 7, 2015; Lake Sakakawea Is Frozen Over


I track this story, as well as the story about a  Little Missouri River crossing near the south unit of the park, at this post.

November 8, 2015: The Dickinson Press is reporting that the owners of the gravel pit in/near the Elkhorn Ranch near the south unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park are getting closer to begin mining operations. Stuff needs to be done first:
Shannon Boehm, a ranger with the U.S. Forest Service's Medora District, said Elkhorn Minerals LLC has valid authorization to move ahead with the project. While there is no definite timeframe, the pieces could fall into place regarding pre-work meetings within the next few weeks.
The first of those discussions will revolve around improving the road to the site, which the owner will need to complete before mining begins.
Boehm said the process of improving roads would be the "first step" and could take time due to the amount of work that needs to be completed before construction begins.
Original Post
The Dickinson Press is reporting:
A plan to dig a gravel pit on the Elkhorn Ranch that once belonged to Theodore Roosevelt will move forward.
The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday it has approved a plan to mine gravel from 25 acres on the ranch, which is part of the Medora Ranger District. Almost all of that is on National Forest Service land, with about 19 acres set to be mined and the rest to be used as a buffer zone.
“It’s more than a disappointment, it’s a tragedy to take gravel from that site and impact that viewshed,” said Joes Satrom, past president for the Friends of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The ranch, which is 25 miles north of Medora, was purchased in 2007 for $5.3 million by the Forest Service, which owns about 4,400 acres encompassing the ranch. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park sits on 218 acres.
The agency purchased the land from the Eberts family but failed to obtain mineral rights from the original landowners. Roger Lothspeich of Miles City, MT, and his partner, Peggy Braunberger, own the mineral rights. Braunberger first applied for the gravel mine permit in 2008, according to the Forest Service.
“When the Forest Service acquired that land, the mineral rights were not part of that,” said Babete Anderson, a public affairs officer for the Forest Service. “Those folks have a right to get to those minerals.”
I doubt the story is over.

But in the meantime, could sometime explain to me how unsightly windmills and solar farms are any different than a very, very tiny gravel pit that will be seen by maybe 100 people a year?

For The Record: Global Warming Began In 1994 Or Before -- Algore

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared Lake Sakakawea frozen at 3:30 p.m. January 5, 2015.
  • The earliest freeze-up when the reservoir was full was Dec. 14, 2000.
  • The latest date Lake Sakakawea froze over was Jan. 18, 2011.
The earliest freeze of the full reservoir right in the middle of global warming.

Two Screen-Shots Taken Today -- California And Oklahoma Gasoline Prices -- January 7, 2015

First California (a dynamic site), $5.00 gasoline (you have got to be kidding):

It should be noted that gasoline rose 10 cents a gallon on the first of the year (2015) due to "cap and trade program." This was on top of already high prices due to other regulations.

For those who don't know California, two data points:
  • ARCO is generally the least expensive, taking ONLY cash or their own company credit card; and,
  • Torrance, Long Beach, Pomona are not isolated, remote communities; they are part of the sprawling urban Los Angeles metropolis
By the way, groceries were generally 50% high at the neighborhood Ralphs that we shopped at in San Pedro, California, compared to what I pay at our "high-cost" grocery store in our Dallas-Ft Worth neighborhood. The 50% is not an exaggeration; I posted specific examples in an earlier post. The most amazing: fresh broccoli here in Dallas, 79 cents/pound; in California, $1.79/pound. Those little Yoplait yogurts? 70 cents in San Pedro versus 50 cents in Dallas area (70 - 50/50 = 40%).

Now, Oklahoma (a dynamic link):

We averaged about $2.79 (before the 10-cent increase) while in southern California over the holidays. The least we paid was $1.87 in Gallup, New Mexico, on the way home.

Before you all write complaining that I'm misleading you on the gasoline prices, yes, I know I am comparing apples with oranges: highest price vs lowest price. I could write more on that, but time to move on.

Active Rigs Down To 166 -- January 7, 2015

Wells coming off the confidential list today have been posted. Link here. Some interesting "stuff" today.

RBN Energy: ETP in the Permian and the Eagle Ford.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs166189180200163

Global Recession?
If We're Lucky

CNBC is reporting:
The specter of growth-sapping deflation finally materialized in the euro zone on Wednesday, with new data confirming that the region had entered a period of falling consumer prices.
Prices in the euro zone fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in December, marking the first time since 2009 that prices have dipped into negative territory. This is likely to add yet more pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to launch a U.S. Federal-Reserve-style bond-buying program.
Wednesday's flash estimate was below market expectations of a 0.1 percent fall and lower than November's 0.3 percent rise.

Deflation - when consumer prices fall instead of rise - is seen as concerning by many economists, as shoppers hold off on purchases in the hope of further price falls, which puts a brake on the broader economy. 

The story also reported that the unemployment rate in the euro zone held steady at 11.5 percent in November, the same figure for the month before.

Prognostications: a) a trillion-euro stimulus; b) Greece leaves.

It's a Shoot-Out -- January 7, 2015; SM Energy To Exit The Mid-Continent

This is cool. Reuters calls it "high-noon." I called it a "shoot-out" quite a while ago. My first post on the subject had a great video - that was December 6, 2014, a month ago. Reuters is reporting:
As a test of wills between OPEC nations and U.S. shale drillers fuels a global oil market slump, a brewing battle between Canadian and Saudi Arabia heavy crudes for America's Gulf Coast refinery market threatens to drive prices even lower.
While the stand-off between the oil cartel and U.S. producers of light, sweet shale oil has captured the limelight in recent months, the clash over heavier grades - playing out in the shadowy, opaque physical market - may put even more pressure on global prices that have halved since mid-2014.
Two factors will come into play over the next few weeks: From the North, new oil pipelines will pump record volumes of Canadian crude to the southern refineries, many better equipped to process heavy crudes than lighter shale oil.
From the Middle East, top exporter Saudi Arabia is offering crude at discounted prices in an attempt to defend its remaining share of the important regional market, which has shrunk by more than half in recent months.
I still like the video.

The looming clash of barrels comes at a time when oil markets already face a global glut expected to last for a year or longer.
Large volumes of foreign heavy oil reaching the Gulf Coast will give many U.S. refiners more choice after they have upgraded their systems to process cheaper, heavier crudes. The new supply also marks a breakthrough in Canada's years-long effort to bring its growing Alberta oil sands crude output to new markets.
Enbridge Inc's 600,000 bpd Flanagan South pipeline, which runs from Illinois down to the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil hub began commercial service on Dec. 1; Enterprise Product Partner announced that its 450,000 bpd Seaway Twin pipeline from Oklahoma to Freeport, Texas, shipped its first volumes on December 21, 2015.
That promises another quantum leap for Canadian crude after its U.S. Gulf Coast sales already hit a record 274,000 bpd in October, nearly three times as much as a year earlier, according to U.S. data.
The new flows will compete with other crudes as well. Some refiners see Saudi's medium crude as a more direct substitute for Mexican and Venezuelan crudes.
However, some refiners are likely to blend oil sands crude with overabundant super-light U.S. condensate, creating medium blends that may rival Saudi Arabia's main grade, said Citi global commodities strategist Ed Morse. He warns the clash could set up another tumble in global prices.
Bakken oil is now down to the $30-range in some spot prices, I am being told.

And it's not going to quit any time soon. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that drillers will keep drilling due to the amount of debt they have (they have no choice except to keep drilling). Same with Russia, Venezueala, Iran, etc., they have not choice but to keep drilling.
American oil and gas companies have gone heavily into debt during the energy boom, increasing their borrowings by 55% since 2010, to almost $200 billion.
Their need to service that debt helps explain why U.S. producers plan to continue pumping oil even as crude trades for less than $50 a barrel, down 55% since last June. But signs of strain are building in the oil patch, where revenue growth hasn’t kept pace with borrowing.
On Sunday, a private company that drills in Texas, WBH Energy LP, and its partners, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying a lender refused to advance more money and citing debt of between $10 million and $50 million. Neither the Austin-based company nor its lawyers responded to requests for comment.
SM Energy Exiting The Mid-Continent

The story here.

A TrainWreck?

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting:
A year ago, PreferredOne looked like an Obamacare success story: The Minnesota health plan offered some of the lowest premiums in the country and captured 60 percent of the state's roughly 55,000 new Obamacare enrollees. But those premiums were too low, it turns out, to cover the medical care and other expenses of all those new customers. 
In the fall, PreferredOne steeply hiked rates for 2015 and dropped out of Minnesota's Affordable Care Act marketplace entirely, saying it was “not sustainable" to continue. 
Now roughly 12,000 people who bought PreferredOne policies in 2014 and haven’t switched plans will face bigger insurance bills this year, according to Joe Campbell, communications and marketing director for MNsure, the state's Obamacare marketplace. 
By law, customers who enrolled will automatically be renewed in coverage plans at the new, higher premiums. And those who were getting subsidies to make premiums more affordable will lose them, because the assistance is available only for plans sold through the Obamacare markets. A spokesman for PreferredOne declined to comment for this story.
There will be a huge number of ObamaCare stories this year. The provisions were deferred or waived until 2015/2016. Most Americans will, for the first time this year, start to see the impact of ObamaCare. It isn't going to be a pretty story. 

Note: the "gotcha" -- by law, customers who enrolled will automatically be renewed in coverage plans at the new, higher premiums.

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on what you read here. However, having said that, this story warms the cockles of my heart. I had this exact discussion with a physician less than a week ago on investing opportunities. His wife, the family's portfolio manager, understood.

By the way, if folks have not yet caught on, ObamaCare is, at the end of the day, high-cost catastrophic health care insurance with thousands of pages of rules and regulations written by the health care industry. Most people will never need catastrophic health care insurance but it is crucial to have. The problem: most folks don't understand that's all they are buying.

For a health care insurer not able to make money despite "low premiums" suggests to me there is a) a huge administrative cost providing this health care; and, b) the first folks to purchase low-premium heath care insurance had catastrophic chronic illnesses already diagnosed (AIDS, cancer, liver disease etc). But I could be wrong, way wrong.

But think about this:
By law, customers who enrolled will automatically be renewed in coverage plans at the new, higher premiums. And those who were getting subsidies to make premiums more affordable will lose them, because the assistance is available only for plans sold through the Obamacare markets. A spokesman for PreferredOne declined to comment for this story.
Can you imagine that if ATT said they could not afford the plan you subscribed to, unilaterally stopped it and then you were automatically re-enrolled into Verizon at a higher monthly cost.

Pelosi supported this. Just saying.  It's no wonder PreferredOne declined to comment.

Remember, the heathcare insurers wrote this bill. This would be like ATT/Verizon writing all bills relating to the internet.

Tuesday's Daily Activity Report -- January 6, 2015

Coming off confidential list Wednesday:
  • 20541, 60 (no typo), EOG, Wayzetta 114-0311H, Parshall, Three Forks, 1920 acres, 51 stages; 16 million lbs, t6/14; cum 3K 11/14;
  • 22323, 181, Crescent point, CPEUSC Makowsky 31-30-158N-99W, Ellisville, t10/14; cum 15K 11/14;
  • 24354, 949, CLR, Sutton 2-10H, Oliver, t11/14; cum 14K 11/14;
  • 25055, 288, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Dressler 36-25-158N-100W, Dublin, t9/14; cum 29K 11/14;
  • 26207, 209, Murex, Dwight Ludwig 13-24H, Writing Rock, t11/14; cum 3K 11/14;
  • 26216, 1,440, EOG, Wayzetta 43-0311H, Parshall, 51 stages; 15.8 million lbs; required anti-collision due to existing Wayzetta 9-03H (#16991 -- see production profile below); 10-foot target window; during the drilling, conditions average a temperature of -25 degrees with blizzard-like conditions, effecting drilling operations, 1920 acres, t6/14; cum 145K 11/14;
  • 28182, drl, Hess, HA-Rolfsrud-152-96-1720H-6, Westberg, no production data,
  • 28397, drl, XTO, Ernest 31X-19H, Haystack Butte, no production data,
  • 28431, drl, Zavanna, Tomahawk 10-3 3H, East Fork, no production data,
  • 28455, drl, CLR, Debrecen 2-3H1, Bell, no production data,
  • 28712, 1,370, WPX, Martin Rox 20-17HW, Mandaree, t11/14 cum 31K 1//14;
Production profile of #16991:
  • 16991, 1,383, EOG, Wayzetta 9-03H, Parshall, short lateral, 2 million lbs perforated intervals, t7/08; cum 794K 11/14;


Active rigs:

Active Rigs169189180200163

Eight (8) new permits --
  • Operators: Triangle (3), Newfield (3), MRO (2)
  • Fields: Ragged Butte (McKenzie), Siverston (McKenzie), Murphy Creek (Dunn)
  • Comments:
Four permits canceled:
CLR (2), both in McKenzie (#28804, #28805); KOG (#18813) in McKenzie; and, Slawson (#26108) in Mountrail
Two (2) producing wells completed:
  • 26497, 636, Hess, GN-Ring-158-98-1522H-1, Rainbow, t12/14; no production yet;
  • 27572, 1,265, Hess, EN-Jeffrey A-155-94-2734H-7, Alkali Creek, t12/14; cum 11K 11/14;
A fairly recent producer abandoned:
  • 23246, AB, Timberline Production, Bodmer 24-35; 
Nine (9) Earthquakes Rock North Texas In Less Than A Day

The latest quake, reported just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, measured in at a 3.1 magnitude, and was centered near the convergence of State Highway 114, Loop 12, and the Airport Freeway near the old Texas Stadium site in Irving.

7:37 a.m.                    2.3 magnitude
3:10 p.m.                    3.5 magnitude
6:52 p.m.                    3.6 magnitude
8:11 p.m.                    2.9 magnitude
8:12 p.m.                    2.7 magnitude
9:54 p.m.                    1.7 magnitude
10:05 p.m.                  2.4 magnitude
11:02 PM                   1.6 magnitude
12:59 AM                   3.1 magnitude

This is about where we live. I am not aware of any fracking in the immediate area. I'm sure mainstream media will report if there is any fracking as soon as possible. 


Global Warming

Chicago cold set to smash records
Minnesotans warned frostbite in minutes
Ski resorts close because too cold