Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 8: February 22, 2015 -- February 28, 2015

The top story of the week remains the slump in oil prices with Brent around $60 and WTI around $50. Active rigs in North Dakota have dropped to 119, well under the 190 that otherwise might be seen, and there is nothing to suggest the number of rigs won't drop further.

Halcon wells tracking well above 800,000 bbls EUR in the Fort Berthold prospect
Active rigs in North Dakota hit 119 last day of the week
NDIC case for 13 wells in an overlapping 640-acre drilling unit
Whiting to keep fracking despite slump in oil prices; shareholders not happy
Operators let 21 permits expire

Bakken economy
Man camp to close due to delinquent compliance with safety code
Williston Wire update
Capital Lodge, between Tioga / Ray to shut down

Natural gas
ONEOK to halt work on Demicks Lake natural gas processing plant in McKenzie County

Ethane pipeline from Tioga to Canada to expand capacity

Chicago Downgraded -- February 27, 2015


February 2, 2018: temporarily things are better. Link here.

Original Post 

Reuters is reporting:
Chicago drew closer to a fiscal free fall on Friday with a rating downgrade from Moody's Investors Service that could trigger the immediate termination of four interest-rate swap agreements, costing the city about $58 million and raising the prospect of more broken swaps contracts.
The downgrade to Baa2, just two steps above junk, and a warning the rating could fall further still, means the third-biggest U.S. city could face even higher costs in the future if banks choose to terminate other interest-rate hedges against fluctuations in interest rates. All told, Chicago holds swaps contracts covering $2.67 billion in debt, according to a disclosure late last year.
"This is an unfortunate wake-up call for anyone still asleep over the fiscal cliff facing the city of Chicago," said Laurence Msall (sic), president of the Chicago-based government finance watchdog, The Civic Federation.
Chicago's finances are already sagging under an unfunded pension liability Moody's has pegged at $32 billion and that is equal to eight times the city's operating revenue.
The city has a $300 million structural deficit in its $3.53 billion operating budget and is required by an Illinois law to boost the 2016 contribution to its police and fire pension funds by $550 million.
I track Doomsday: US Cities here.

Birdman, The Movie

Regular readers know that of the movies nominated for best movie this year, my favorite was Grand Budapest Hotel and of the eight movies nominated, GBH was one of the few (maybe the only one) I saw.

But with Birdman winning the Oscar for best movie I was curious. I watched it tonight. Incredible. Excellent movie. I went through the list of the eight nominated movies. For me it came down to, in alphabetical order: Birdman; Grand Budapest Hotel; and, Theory of Everything.

My wife would have gone with TOE. 

Theory of Everything; American Sniper; and, The Imitation Game, for me, as weird as it sounds, are of the same genre, and I would not have voted for any one of them among this year's nominations. So, it came down to GBH or Birdman.

I don't know if I can watch Birdman several times in one week; I have watch GBH several times in one week on more than one occasion. I can watch it over and over. I don't think that will be true with Birdman.

But, for best movie, I might lean toward Birdman.

Birdman follows in the footsteps of another classic, a black and white classic that I watch maybe two or three times a year. I was curious if anyone else thought the same thing. I googled Birdman  and the name of the other classic and lo and behold, The Economist came up with the very same match: Sunset Boulevard --
A gleeful deconstruction of Hollywood superheroes and has-beens—a kind of "Sunset Boulevard" for the age of spandex—the film is constructed entirely from long, continuous takes, shot by the cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who prowls the enclaves of the St James Theatre on West 44th Street with the same stealth with which he penetrated outer space in last year’s “Gravity”. Here the stars on view are just as dazzling, from the collapsing supernova that is Mike Shiner (Edward Norton), a wormy, preening method actor whose commitment to realism extends to getting drunk on stage, followed by actual intercourse; to the black holes of insecurity that are his co-stars, Lesley (Naomi Watts) and Laura (Andrea Riseborough), a young starlet who may be pregnant with Riggan’s baby.

Random Look At 5120-Acre Drilling Unit In Brooklyin Oil Field -- Spacing, Royalties -- February 27, 2015

A reader asked about Case 23758 in the February, 2015, NDIC hearing dockets:
Application of Continental Resources, Inc. for an order pursuant to NDAC § 43-02-03-88.1 pooling all interests for wells drilled on the overlapping spacing unit described as Sections 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, 31 and 32, T.155N., R.98W., Brooklyn-Bakken Pool, Williams County, ND, as provided by NDCC § 38-08-08 but not reallocating production for wells producing on other spacing units and such other relief as is appropriate.
The question was whether all mineral owners would share equally in oil produced by these wells permitted for this drilling unit.

The following answer applies to those who have mineral rights only in the wells that are permitted in the overlapping 5120-acre unit in the case noted above (8 640-acre sections). The answer below does NOT affect previously drilled wells in this area or new wells drilled in this area in different drilling units.

The answer: regardless of where the well is sited, mineral owners who have interest in any well permitted for the overlapping 5120-acre drilling unit in question, regardless of the length of the horizontal or where the horizontal starts or ends, will share equally with all mineral owners who have mineral rights in this drilling unit which consists of the following sections in T155N-R98W: 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, 31, and 32.

As an example: if a well is sited in section 5-154-98 (outside of the drilling unit) and the horizontal is a long horizontal (two sections) running north into sections 32 and 29, anyone who "owns" minerals in any of the eight sections will share in the royalties of this well. Even if you "own" 10 acres in far northwest corner of section 18-155-98, you will share in the royalties even though the horizontal comes nowhere near that section. Those who own minerals in section 5-154-98 will not share in royalties in this case.

I have not checked all the wells yet, but I don't think there are any permits yet for this overlapping 5120-acre drilling unit. I could be wrong. If I'm wrong, hopefully someone will give me the permit number(s) for wells on this 5120-acre drilling unit. The wells that already exist and are producing, and the wells on DRL status in these sections appear to be on different drilling units. Even the newest permits, which show up only as LOC on the GIS map server (30551, 30552, 30553, and 30554) are permitted for 2560-acre drilling units. There are a couple of wells on confidential status in this area for which I do not know the drilling unit.

The reader noted that there are about six new wells in this area; the reader wondered whether mineral owners in these eight sections would all share royalties from these six new wells. If these six new wells are permitted for different drilling (spacing) units, then "no," owners in all eight sections would not share. If these six new wells are located in the overlapping 5120-acre unit, then mineral owners in all eight sections would share but again, I don't think the "new" wells are in the 5120-acre unit, but I could be wrong. 

I did this quickly. Typographical and factual errors may be present. I will check it again later, but errors may persist. Do not use this information to make any financial, investment, or relationship decisions. If this information is important to you, go to the source (generally the NDIC) or a landman.

Richard Zeits Update On Halcon -- February 27, 2015

Richard Zeits over at Seeking Alpha on Halcon:
  • Recent wells in Fort Berthold area continue to track well above Halcón’s 801 Mboe type curve.
  • The current AFEs are running at $8.5 million per well; $8.0 million per well expected by mid-year.
  • Ceramic proppant has been fully replaced with white sand, with no reduction in performance expected.
  • At the type curve, wells are strongly economic assuming the current strip pricing. 
According to Richard Zeits:
Halcón's FBIR data points are impressive and suggest that the company should be able to realize significant full drill-out value for its FBIR asset, even assuming only moderate recovery in oil prices.
The obvious challenge is that Halcón's FBIR holdings are limited in size. The company controls ~20 operated drilling units in this area. With the high-density drilling that has been proven successful, Halcón's "core of the core" inventory likely exceeds a hundred locations and therefore represents at least several years of active drilling. In this regard, the FBIR acreage should allow Halcón to sustain its company-wide production at a relatively stable level, even in the event of a protracted commodity price trough.
However, this crown jewel asset alone is not sufficient to support the company's entire enterprise value. Other assets must also "work" well and therefore a meaningful recovery in the price of oil would certainly help.

Leonard Nimoy Dead At 83 -- February 27, 2015

Kennedy Ice Age

The New York Times is reporting:
We have reached the 69th day of winter. It seems like the 6,669th. Pretty much the same nonsense is reprised day after day. Miserable, punishing, obnoxious, teeth-rattling, bone-numbing weather. Unmitigated, merciless, are-you-kidding-me cold.
With the average temperature for the month of February lingering around 24 degrees, some 11 degrees shy of normal by the National Weather Service’s calculation, this insult of a month looks as though it will clock in as the coldest recorded February in New York City since 1934. That is 81 years of weather. That is all the way back to the Depression, when there were so many more dire things to worry about than whether 7-Eleven had salt or whose turn it was to walk the dog.
Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs119194181205169

Eight (5) new permits --
  • Operators: Whiting (4), Oasis (3), MRO
  • Fields: Pleasant Hill (McKenzie), Morgan Draw (Billings), Camp (McKenzie), Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comments: 
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Statoil cancels three permits -- a Michael Owan permit in Williams County, and two Margaret permits in McKenzie County.

Agenda For March, 2015, NDIC Hearing Dockets Are Posted -- February 27, 2015; This Should Get Your Attention -- 13 Wells In An Overlapping 640-Acre Unit

Link here to source (NDIC).

Full agenda here.

Just a quick look for now:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (8 pages; well below the typical 14 - 20 pages)
  • a lot of 2560-acre units; most with 1 - 4 wells; nothing unusual
  • BR with one case for seven wells on a 1280-acre unit; with 8 wells on another 1280-acre unit
  • Hess with a case for ten wells on a 1280-acre unit;
  • Hess with a case for nine wells on a 1280-acre unit;
  • Hess with a case for eleven wells on each of two 1280-acre units;
  • Whiting with a case for 5 wells on a 320-acre unit; 10 wells on each of two 1280-acre units; 12 wells on a 1280-acre unit
Thursday, March 26, 2015 (15 pages; on the low side; typically 14 - 20 pages)
  • this should get your attention: Liberty to drill 13 wells on an overlapping 640-acre section (case #23801); see below
  • XTO with several cases requesting flaring relief
  • lots of "continued" cases
  • typical number of pooling cases

13 Wells In An Overlapping 640-Acre Spacing Unit
Why Not 14?

23801: Application of Liberty Resources Management Co., LLC for an order amending the field rules for the West Tioga-Bakken Pool to create and establish an overlapping 640-acre spacing unit comprised of Section 33, T.158N., R.95W., Williams County, ND, authorizing the drilling of a total not to exceed thirteen wells on said overlapping 640-acre spacing unit, eliminating any tool error  .....

About four miles northwest of Tioga, the oil capital of North Dakota:

Look at the spacing in this area: 320-acre spacing, 640-acre spacing, and 1280-acre spacing. This is the first case that I am aware of that is an overlapping 640-acre spacing unit. I'm sure there are many more; this is just the first one that caught my attention.

In the graphic below:
  • purple: 320-acre spacing -- section 33-158-95 is currently spaced at two 320-acre drilling units; this new case will ask for an overlapping 640-acre unit and 13 wells
  • brown: 640-acre spacing
  • green: 1280-acre spacing

For those interested, the eight horizontal wells directly above section 33-158-95:

(I'll finish this later) - but look at that 313,000 bbls from a well that was tested in 3/13; there's a reason Tioga is the oil capital of North Dakota.

26192, 510, Liberty, t12/13; cum 86K 12/14;

29310, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 1/15;
29311, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 1/15;
29313, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 1/15;

23206, SI/IA, Liberty, t3/13; cum 313K 12/14;

29514, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 2/15;
29515, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 2/15;
29516, SI/IA, Liberty, no production data, 2/15;

But there's more! Look at that vertical well, #10328, three targets, which I'll break out separately:
  • 10328, 35, Samuel Gary Jr, Hemsing 1, West Tioga, a Red River well, t12/83; cum 19K 8/88;
  • 10328, 79, Samuel Gary Jr, Hemsing 1, West Tioga, a Stonewall well, t10/88; cum 145K 11/03;
  • 10328, 6, Samuel Gary Jr, Hemsing 1, West Tioga, a Bakken well, t12/83; cum 33K 12/14; the Bakken was perforated between/inclusive 9,622 feet to 9,636 feet (14 feet thick); 180,000 lbs of sand and ceramics; so that gives you an idea of how thick the Middle Bakken seam is here; and howmuch it produces with minimal fracking

Active Rigs Fall Below 120 -- February 27, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs119194181205169

Watching AppleWatch

Apple will roll out the Apple Watch in March, 2015, less than a month from now.

Until then we will start seeing stories on what the Apple Watch is likely to be used for. Example: Fortune is reporting:
Cook envisions the Apple Watch replacing car keys, particularly the fobs now used for a number of newer vehicles. As The Telegraph notes, such a feature is sure to add fuel to the rumors swirling around Apple’s potential entry into the automotive industry.
Quick: how much does your replacement fob cost you now? About $250. 

The watch will have a battery life that lasts an entire day. And, it won’t take as long to charge as an iPhone, thanks to what The Telegraph called “special magnet technology” used in the watch’s charger.
And more:
  • The new product differs from previous Apple product rollouts because it’s the first time the company has released something that users have to try on before purchasing. That may lead to Apple “tweaking the experience in the store,” said Cook. The CEO also praised the company’s new retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, left her role as Burberry’s CEO last year to run Apple’s online and retail stores.
This is going to be exciting. Tim Cook will tell you why you need an Apple Watch. LOL.

Watching India

Forbes is reporting:
The World Bank predicts India will overtake China to become the world’s fastest-growing major economy within the next two years. It might even happen sooner. Not long ago India was considered the weakest link among BRIC countries. Now, led by competent leadership in the central bank and government for the first time in decades, the economy is quickly turning the corner.
India is expected to benefit from a “demographic dividend” for years to come. The country will soon have 20% of the world’s working-age population, and boasts a birthrate of 2.5 children per woman. The statistics are staggering. The working-age population, aged 15-64, will rise by 125 million over the next decade, and another 103 million over the following decade. India probably needs to create 100 million net new jobs over the next 10 years just to keep pace with its explosive population growth.

Ah, Yes, An Inconvenient Truth With Regard To EVs -- February 27, 2015; How Bad Is The Slump? CRC Drops Rigs From 27 To 3

See disclaimer. This is not an investment site. Do not make any financial, investment, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. One big piece of advice: never marry a lawyer named "Sue." Having said that, Barron's is reporting:
California Resources Corporation is rising on Friday, after announcing that the exploration and production company’s board of directors approved a dividend of a penny a share.
It is the first quarterly dividend announced for California Resources since it was spun out from Occidental Petroleum at the start of December. Of course, dividends and capex are being widely watched at energy companies, which have been pulling back amid continued low energy prices. Despite its dividend increase, California Resources otherwise slashed its spending budget for the full year by 80%, announced in its fourth-quarter earnings report last week.
Raymond James’s Pavel Molchanov noted that the budget “all but eliminates shale drilling” and reduces its rig count from 27 in November to just three today.
“It is virtually unheard of for a single operator’s activity to adjust this quickly,” he wrote, but the deep cuts come as the company grapples with debt:
Put simply, CalRe may well end up with the steepest spending cut of any U.S. E&P company in this downcycle…CalRe’s debt/cap ratio of 71% is near the high end of the E&P universe (currently averaging around 50%), a direct consequence of the $6 billion dividend paid to Occidental.
The steep spending cut needs to be seen in that context, and management clearly wants to achieve some deleveraging before organic growth becomes a priority.
For newbies: this is for the archives. I have no financial interest in following this story. I have a huge interest in following this story for reasons I have posted before as it relates to the Bakken. 

This is going to be so much fun. I still think oil and gas investors are going to enjoy 2017, if not 2016. Saudi Arabia is going to look back on 2014 as a watershed year.

Used EVs A Great Bargain

This is a great story. I have talked about this issue from "the very beginning." I'm not going to re-hash it. Regular readers know the story. Bottom line, used EVs won't sell:
  • gasoline is cheap (and could get much cheaper once Cushing reaches capacity)
  • there is an oil glut as far as the uninformed can see
  • mileage on new cars keeps getting better and better
  • conventional cars keep getting better and better, fancier, and bigger
  • batteries don't last forever; most folks assume batteries in EVs might last about seven years
  • when gasoline was $5.00/gallon, EVs still did not make economic sense
  • gasoline is now $2.00/gallon
The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
Nissan Motor Co. ’s Leaf electric car has been a big seller for Atlanta car dealer Pat Hoban over the past three years, thanks to its low monthly lease price. But as those car leases are beginning to expire amid cheap gasoline, the vehicle is becoming a bit of a headache.
Mr. Hoban expects between 100 and 150 of the leased vehicles to be returned to his Capitol City Nissan dealership on a monthly basis over the next two years as their leases expire. The problem: used Leafs aren’t attracting much demand.
With gas prices down 33% from a year ago, and buyers cooling toward electric vehicles, some auto makers are offering deep discounts or attractive leases on battery-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Nissan, for instance, slashed the price of a new Leaf by $6,400 in 2013 and is now offering a $199-a-month lease, or $3,500 cash back and 0% financing for 72 months, on brand new Leafs.
One can buy a new Honda Civic for about $169/month right now -- a new car for less than leasing a three-year-old Leaf, and there's no comparison between a Leaf and a Honda Civic.

Used cars:
Other electric cars, including plug-in versions of Ford Motor Co. ’s Focus and Toyota Motor Corp. ’s Prius, are depreciating as fast as the Leaf with the average trade-in value in 2014 falling between 22% and 35%, depending on model. The depreciation rate on plug-in electric cars is nearly twice that of a comparable gasoline-engine car.
In December and January the average selling price of a 2012 Nissan Leaf at auction was about $10,000, nearly a quarter of the car’s original list price and down $4,700 from a year earlier.
Three-year-old Volts, a plug-in car with a backup gasoline motor, were selling for an average $13,000 at auction in January, down from about $40,000 excluding the federal tax credit.
Resale values “have been crushed on these cars,” said Chris Coleman, co-founder of Carlypso, an online used-car shopping site. “As a used-car value, they’re an absolute bargain.”
And that's the problem: a used car salesman telling me a used Volt is an absolute bargain but not telling me a) when a new battery will be needed; b) how far a charge on an aging battery will take me; c) how much a new battery will cost me; and, d) who replaces the batteries.

Tesla, too, might be "over-building." It is generally reported that Tesla builds to demand -- when an order comes in they build -- and they are behind in meeting demand. A writer over at SeekingAlpha suggests that Tesla has "time" to build cars on speculation they will find a buyer -- meaning that they are keeping up with demand, and simply not selling as fast as they can produce. 


After the recent near-miss -- thinking I had a hard drive crash -- I started looking into whether I should have a better back-up process in place (rather than external hard drive) and so I started looking into iCloud.

Setting up iCloud was one of the easiest things I've ever done, but it was like following the proverbial rabbit down the proverbial rabbit hole. Every time I thought I was done, there was, as Steve Jobs might say, "one more thing to do."

This is the process: perhaps through Google I found iCloud (I forget how I found iCloud but Google is always the fastest). (But now that I've found it, it's bookmarket. LOL.)

All I really wanted to do was store my photos on iCloud and possibly one file folder of documents. Pretty simple.

It turns out I already had an iCloud account (free), an Apple ID, and a password, set up some years ago and it all still worked. I still had $1.87 in my iTunes account which hasn't changed for about three years, I suppose.

But I was surprised that my operating system "10.8.something" was not sufficient; I had to upgrade to "10.10 Yosemite" -- something I  had put off for months for various reasons, but now I had no choice. So at 11:00 p.m. last night when my internet is working best I started the download. It took about an hour. I watched old Seinfeld DVDs.

I was surprised how well Yosemite worked.

Then to load the photos. Another surprise. I could not access iPhoto because it also had to be upgraded. At midnight, I was not about to start another upgrade, so this morning, at Starbucks, that's the first thing I did, start the iPhoto download. That also took about an hour, and the bad news: there is no bar showing update status; you just have to have faith that something is happening.

And then, there it was, a notification that the installation was complete. My photos are there. Awesome.

Another Bakken Man Camp To Close -- February 27, 2015; A Shout-Out To Firestone is reporting:
Officials in Williston are standing by their previous decision and forcing a 400-bed man camp to close because of city code violations.
Black Gold Lodge petitioned the city to reverse a January 13 decision to shut down the facility Tuesday evening. City commissioners moved to take no action, allowing their previous vote to stand.
Black Gold came under city limits in 2013 through a land annexation. The city requires sprinkler systems and commissioners had given Black Gold until Dec. 31, 2014, to install one, but the company says contractor issues stalled the installation.
A Shoutout To Firestone

I prefer to take my car to Firestone for servicing. I started going to Firestone about ten years ago while living in San Antonio. I'm not sure why I started: I think the Chrysler dealer that I had been going to moved to a new location much farther away from where I lived. It seems dealers are a bit farther out of town; Firestone seems to be nearer residential areas. Maybe, maybe not. Whatever.

I always buy my tires at Firestone. The tires on our 2007 Chrysler minivan have less than 20,000 miles on them. Yesterday I noted that the rear passenger tire looked slightly low -- I thought I might be imagining things, or that it might be due to the colder weather we've been having, but I didn't need any surprises on all the soccer and swimming event trips we take four days out of seven.

I drove up to Firestone in Grapevine; they were busy, but not more than one would necessarily expect. Talk about friendly. I expected to wait about 90 minutes to be seen (they said it would be an hour to an hour and a half wait) but I saw them move the car in about 15 minutes (big surprise) and about 20 minutes later was told that yes, there was a nail in the side of the tire, which meant it had to be replaced.

I'm not even sure Chris asked; he simply told me they put on a brand new tire and the total cost would be $14.

I had forgotten I had bought "Road Hazard Insurance" when I bought the tires -- normally I don't buy this kind of insurance, but for some reason I did that time (and will do so in the future, with all the construction in the area). The new tire automatically came with road hazard insurance, although I may have misheard him because the total bill was $23 or something like that -- I wasn't quite sure what the extra $9 was for but the paperwork looked fine and for $23, a brand new tire, tire rotation, and road hazard insurance I wasn't going to ask. [I also bought "free tire rotation for life" when I bought these original times some years ago.]

I remember years ago when we were living in Turkey we had a brand new Saab 900 which we had bought while stationed with the USAF in Germany, and brought it with us to Turkey. To pass Turkish inspection (required by USAF and Turkey) we had to get a new exhaust pipe. Knowing that original parts sent in from Germany would cost $300 to $400 I gave that amount of cash to my wife and told her to take the car "downtown" to have the exhaust pipe replaced.

When she returned, she said it cost $5.00.

It turns out that the Turks (who repair stuff whenever they can just enough to pass inspections, apparently) simply patched the small hole in the exhaust pipe. My wife was told the problem was fixed (something lost in translation) and would cost $10. My wife, known to have fairly expressive facial reactions (perhaps it's a Hispanic thing; certainly not her Japanese heritage) appeared shocked, saying, "What, $10?" She expected at least $250 based on what I had told here.

The Turkish mechanic, apparently taken aback by my wife's reaction, in best English he could muster, "For you abla, $5 and we give free calendar."

My wife gave me the calendar and kept the $400 in cash I had given her.

["Abla" in Turkish: 1. older sister. 2. ma´am (a respectful term of address for a woman). poet. water.]

By the way, that exhaust pipe never needed to be replaced or repaired again in all the years we owned that car. I forget when/where we sold that Saab but I believe I sold it before we left Turkey. I didn't want all the hassle of customs, etc.

Vantage Ethane Pipeline -- Carrying Ethane From Tiogo To Alberta To Expand -- February 27, 2015

In the original report on this pipeline, the company said it could increase capacity to 60,000 bpd. The company has announced it will do the expansion, and will actually exceed the original 60,000 bpd -- bringing capacity up to 68,000 bpd. A big deal considering the concerns about the Bakken and the slump in oil prices. is reporting:
Pembina Pipeline Corp. has announced plans to expand the Vantage pipeline system which would link Bakken’s growing supply of ethane with the petrochemical market in Alberta.
The recently constructed high-vapor-pressure Vantage pipeline runs from a gas processing plant in Tioga, North Dakota, and extends 430 miles to Empress, Alberta. From there it connects to the Alberta Ethane Gathering System pipeline. The $85 million expansion will increase the mainline capacity from 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to roughly 68,000 bpd. The additions will include new pump stations and a new 50-mile 8-inch gathering line.

Active Rigs Down To 120 -- February 27, 2015; Williston Wire Update

Reporting today:
  • NRG, forecast 52 cents (but Zacks average was 93 cents/share); misses (21cents) but swings to profit; misses forecast; shares up; story here;
  • Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), forecast a lost of 45 cents; misses by 2 cents; story here;
Active rigs:

Active Rigs120194181205169

From the Williston Wire (headlines only; easy to subscribe to the Williston Wire):
  • Developers to present plans on new airport
  • Mississippi BBQ to open in Williston, located inside the Sitting Bull Auction Stockyards
  • McKenzie County School District has final cost for new high school: $52.3 million
  • Border States Electric expands to Watford City; distribution center at Hunter's Run
  • More than 340,000 people have visited the Williston Rec Center since it opened less than a year aog (April, 2014); $76 million facility
  • Williston Area Recreation Center (ARC) to hos swim meet; first time hosting; EJ Hagan Natatorium
  • Virgil Hill's final box match, tomorrow, Saturday, in Bismarck

The Spin Continues -- 4Q14 GDP Revised Downward -- February 27, 2015

Related: Job Watch.

"Job Watch" has consistently suggested that the economy is not doing as well as pundits suggest. Today we get a bit of that confirmation: GDP for 4Q14 revised sharply down, from 2.6% to 2.2%.

In a sense that's not a big deal, I suppose, in some folks' minds, but some pundits would have rounded the 2.6% to 3%, and now it's been revised to 2.2%, which for all practical purposes is 2%. There's a big difference between 2% and 3% for folks who follow this stuff.

But I love the spin (in bold below):

Reuters is reporting:
U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a slow pace of stock accumulation by businesses and a wider trade deficit, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The economy grew at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter.
I believe there is one more opportunity for another revision. I could be wrong, but I think the final revision is next month. 

Did Imported LNG And Oil "Save" New England This Winter -- RBN Energy -- February 27, 2015

Related tag: natural gas fill rate.

Related: did imported LNG and oil save New England this year?

RBN Energy: distillate fundamentals in New England.
Freezing weather along the Atlantic Coast has disrupted refinery operations threatening supplies of refined products – in particular distillates – in an already tightly balanced market. The resultant spike in heating oil prices has encouraged European traders to ship cargoes to New York – a reversal of flow patterns seen in recent years. Today we look at northeast distillate fundamentals and explain why European imports are headed across the pond.
The balance between supply and demand for distillates – mostly ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) for road use and heating oil for residential and commercial heating - is traditionally tight in the northeast. We first described the challenges of distillate supply in this market in the context of growing refinery closures back in 2012. Since then, access to cheaper crude transported from North Dakota and (to a lesser degree) from Canada, has rejuvenated the region’s refining industry. Distillate supply is still problematic however and – as we shall see- supply interruptions like those caused by freezing cold weather – can prompt unusual trade patterns.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) the 9 operating refineries in Petroleum Administration District for Defense (PADD) 1 – representing the northeast and Atlantic Seaboard from Maine to Florida - have 1.3 MMb/d of crude processing capacity and produce about 350 Mb/d of distillates. Distillate demand in the region averages more than 3 times that local refinery output at 1.2 MMb/d with the largest consumption being on-road diesel (60%) and heating oil (25%).