Sunday, March 1, 2015

Saudi Oil Imports Into US Hit Lowest Point In More Than 25 Years (With One Exception) -- EAI Data -- March 1, 2015

Amount of Saudi oil imports into US hit lowest point since July, 1988,  in December, 2014 (most recent data available from EIA), with one exception. The one exception was August, 2009, which is a very strange outlier for some reason.

Brent To Rise Monday -- Commerzbank -- March 1, 2015; WTI-Brent Spread Widest In More Than A Year; Numbers To Watch: 410; 110


Later, 10:44 p.m. CTSaudi oil imports of crude oil into the US (most recent data reported by EIA is for December, 2014):

The EIA also reported a summary of crude oil imports at this site: Canada, #1; Saudi Arabia, #2; Mexico, #3; Venezuela, #4; and, Iraq, #5.

Later, 10:36 p.m. CT: Bloomberg Business is reporting:
Oil fell after posting the first monthly gain since June as Saudi Arabia stepped up production, lifting OPEC’s output beyond its collective quota for a ninth month.
Futures decreased as much as 1.1 percent in New York. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.6 million barrels a day in February, according to a Bloomberg survey. Oil sank almost 50 percent in 2014 as Saudi Arabia led the group’s decision in November to maintain output target at 30 million a day, exacerbating a global glut.
West Texas Intermediate’s discount to European prices settled at the widest in more than a year on February 27 as U.S. crude stockpiles expanded to the highest level in weekly data that started August 1982. The oversupply has driven U.S. drillers to cut the number of rigs in service for a 12th week to the fewest since June 2011, Baker Hughes Inc. data showed.
Original Post
Bloomberg is reporting:
Commodities including iron ore, oil and copper are set to extend gains on Monday as China’s interest-rate reduction spurs demand from the construction to energy industries.
China’s second cut to benchmark rates in three months will fuel gains as investors anticipate that cheaper credit will stimulate demand, Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank AG, said by e-mail on Sunday.
A Chinese factory gauge reported on Sunday signaled contraction in February. 
The big question is whether Brent and WTI will continue to diverge or whether Brent will pull WTI along in its wake.

Sea Levels To Rise In 2015

The seas should rise in 2015, all things being equal, simply from all the Boston snow that melts and flows into the harbor. It is being reported that a new round of snowfall should set all-time record for Boston.
After cold and snow that set February records, southern New England is entering March with another round that could push Boston over its 20-year-old snowfall record.
With 102 inches, Boston needs 5.7 more to break the 1995-1996 record of 107.6. Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was expected by early Monday across the area, with up to 8 inches in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Less is expected in northern Massachusetts and New York state, and on Cape Cod.
410: ppm of atmospheric CO2 in 2015
110: inches of snow in Boston winter of 2014-2015

Turns Out I Was Wrong

Quite some time ago, I opined that the White House had the resources to force Prime Minister Netanyahu from coming to America to give his speech. Not only was I way wrong, but there are now indications that the White House is trying to make nice (posted earlier). It looks like the seats boycotted by some House members are "oversubscribed"; looks like it will be an over-sold, standing-room only event. Everything points to this speech being the Washington event of the month (March) -- the attendees will be all "A-List." This might be the Speaker's salvation.

Dead Turbines

The Boston Globe is reporting:
Cape Wind, whose plans to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm were thrown into upheaval in January when two utilities terminated contracts to buy the project’s power, is not throwing in the towel, the company’s chief executive said Saturday.
In his first extensive comments to the media since the contracts were canceled, Cape Wind president Jim Gordon vowed to press ahead with the $2.5 billion project slated for Nantucket Sound and restore its agreements with National Grid and Eversource Energy, formerly known as Northeast Utilities.
The $2.5 million project would install 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. 
“We will be contacting them soon to talk with them and see if we can amicably resolve the situation so that this important clean energy project that has been under development for the last 14 years can be built,” Gordon said in an interview.
He spoke at a rally on Boston Common attended by a couple of hundred people and organized by Better Future Project in Cambridge, which advocates for clean energy. Craig S. Altemose, the organization’s executive director, said more than 95,000 people have signed a petition asking Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, to reconsider its agreement with Cape Wind.
“We are not giving up,” Gordon told the crowd, drawing cheers. “We have just begun to fight.”
From Dead Turbines To Dead Flowers

Dead Flowers, performed by Townes Van Zandt, written by Keith Richards/Mick Jagger

Back To $5 Gas? -- March 1, 2015

The AP is reporting:
Gas prices are soaring in California in a classic example of supply and demand after an explosion stopped gasoline production at an Exxon Mobil refinery while another remains offline due to labor unrest.
Average retail gas prices in the state have surged 25 cents a gallon in less than a week, from $2.98 per gallon for regular on Monday to $3.23 per gallon on Friday. That caps a run that saw the price of regular unleaded go up 60 cents per gallon since Jan. 30 as refineries prepare to shift to a summer blend of fuels.
In some areas of Southern California, gas station owners were forced to pass price hikes of 24 cents per gallon along to consumers on Thursday after seeing wholesale prices shoot up. Prices in Northern California lagged a day, but by Friday were also rising; an independent operator with a chain of gas stations around the San Francisco Bay area boosted prices 20 cents a gallon for regular on Friday, to $3.19.
How bad is it?
In Torrance, station owner Frank Scotto was forced to increase his prices by 24 cents per gallon on Thursday. He hasn't seen such a spike since he went into the gas station business in 1967, he said.
"I printed out the price change and I'm framing this thing because I've never seen this kind of thing in all my years," said Scotto, who owns a Mobil and Exxon station.
And this is during a period when the world is facing a glut of oil.

Quick sketch, by our 8-year-old granddaughter. 

Minor Notes, Mostly Political -- March 1, 2015

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
WATFORD CITY — Adam and Elizabeth Powell came to North Dakota as a package deal.
The newlyweds who recently completed serving four years in the U.S. Navy moved to Watford City to take on leadership roles with a startup energy company.
The couple met while serving on the same ship in San Diego. Even before they began dating, Adam was talking about moving to North Dakota after he left the Navy and researching jobs in the oil industry.
The couple works for the expanding Citadel Energy Co., which operates a saltwater disposal well and provides freshwater and other services for the oil industry.
Adam, who most recently was department head and navigation officer for the USS Sampson, was hired to be Citadel Energy’s manager of technical operations.
Elizabeth, 27, serves as Citadel’s logistics and planning manager, putting to use her Navy experience planning and managing training and deployment schedules.
As former Navy surface warfare officers, both are used to working long hours and getting called to duty any time of day, similar to what’s required in the oil industry.
Much, much more at the link. 

Clawing the Friendship Back 

After weeks of reports of growing animosity between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, there are signs that the US president feels he may have gone just a bit too far. It appears the White House has told SecState "throw my medals over the White House fence" Kerry to claw back all the animosity. Exhibit A: this headline in today's Los Angeles Times -- Kerry Seeks to Tamp Down Controversy Over Benjamin Netanyahu's vist.

Interestingly, this is being reported at the same time the Israeli media is reporting that the US President threatened to shoot down Israeli jets if they tried to take out the Iranian nuclear complex. From another souce:
Last week, Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, said the partisanship caused by Netanyahu's looming address was "destructive to the fabric of U.S.-Israeli ties."
Asked about this on the ABC program "This Week", Kerry said "the prime minister of Israel is welcome to speak in the United States, obviously. And we have a closer relationship with Israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history."
He said he had talked to Netanyahu on Saturday, adding, "we don't want to see this turned into some great political football." Israel and the United States agreed that the main goal was to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, he said.
It would seem strange that the Israeli ambassador to the United States hasn't called US SecState to the Israeli Ambassador's office to get to the bottom of this -- whether in fact the US was ready to shoot down Israeli jets. 

What's In A Name?
Back on February 23, 2015, just a few days ago I had a piece on "what's in a name?"
Just because you have Islamist in your name does not mean you are an Islamist organization. If that is accurate, I suppose that just because someone says he's a Christian does not necessarily mean he's a Christian. I was reminded of that when reading this story: why are Americans confused about the president's religion. The confusion crosses political lines:
In June, 2012, Gallup asked, "Do you happen to know the religious faith of Barack Obama?" Forty-four percent said they did not know, while 36 percent said he is a Christian, 11 percent said he is a Muslim, and eight percent said he has no religion.
The "don't know" group included 36 percent of Democrats. (A larger number of Republicans, 47 percent, said they didn't know Obama's religion, as did 46 percent of independents.)
You know the name: Barack Hussein Obama II.

[Update: just a few days after posting the above about "what's in a name,"FoxNews reported that a darling of the Obama administration in the bluest of blue states has also "confronted" the president on the issue of "what's in a name."]
There are an increasing number of stories on the "Is Obama a Christian" question (google it).  A president's religion should not matter ... unless if affects American foreign policy. If any of this story is accurate, it's very, very scary. At the moment the story appears to being reported only in the Israeli media. It will be interesting if any investigative reporters covering the US Department of Defense pick up on this story. It's very likely there's a bit of truth in the story. The bigger question is why would the President not want a pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Global Warming
Climate Change
Ice Age Now

Source: Facebook.

Iron Age (1200 - 550 BC) -- A Period of Rising Sea Levels

It is well documented that humanity was significantly affected by a period of rising sea levels in the Iron Age (google it).

There are many references to this in Graham Robb's The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts, c. 2013, an absolutely fascinating book.

"In the late Iron Age, when sea levels were higher than they are today, Loon was an island called Lugdunum, which means "fortress of Lugh," the Celtic god of light." -- p. 65 

CLR's Jersey Wells Starting To Come Off The Confidential List -- March 1, 2015; 17/26 To DRL Status

The Jersey wells: 30 wells in one section in Alkali Creek.

Monday, March 2, 2015
  • 27628, drl, Hess, EN-Farhart-156-93-409H-1, Baskin, no production data, 
  • 28987, drl, CLR, Debrecen 4-3H1, Bell, producing,
Sunday, March 1, 2015
  • 27996, drl, CLR, Jersey 2-26H2, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 27997, drl, CLR, Jersey 1-6H, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 27998, drl, CLR, Jersey 8-6H1, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 27999, drl, CLR, Jersey 7-6H, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 28001, drl, CLR, Jersey 5-6H, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 28002, drl, CLR, Jersey 4-6H2, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 28018, drl, Petro-Hunt, USA 15-95-22D-15-4H, Charlson, no production data,
  • 28263, drl, MRO, Morean USA 34-12H, Lost Bridge, no production data,
  • 28344, 38, Enduro, MMU 30-13-H1, Mohall, a Madison well, t11/14; cum 2K 1/15;
  • 28360, 1,118, MRO, May 34-22TFH, Bailey, t12/14; cum 21K 1/15;
  • 28391, drl, XTO, Lundin Federal 31X-9H, North Fork, no production data,
  • 28574, 583, Hess, EN-Fretheim A-155-93-3334H-6, Robinson Lake, t2/15; cum --
  • 28575, 805, Hess, EN-Fretheim A-155-93-3334H-5, Robinson Lake, 4 sections, t1/15; cum --
  • 28762, conf, Hess, HA-Thompson-152-95-1720H-9, Hawkeye, no production data,
  • 28773, drl, XTO, Ranger 21X-18B, Tobacco Garden, no production data,
  • 29114, 1,889, Newfield, Helsingborg Federal 153-96-22-27-10H, Sand Creek, t12/14; cum 34K 1/15;
  • 29115, 1513, Newfield, Helsingborg Federal 153-96-22-27-3H, Sand Creek, t12/14; cum 33K 1/15;
  • 29138, 95, Enduro, NSCU G-720-H1, Newburg, a Charles well, t10/14; cum 2K 1/15;
  • 29144, 460, Slawson, Revolver 7-35TFH, Big Bend, 1 section, t11/14; cum 24K 1/15;
  • 29241, IA/SI, Solutions Energy, Nangchen 155-86-11-HS1, Lone Tree, a Madison well,
Saturday, February 28, 2015
  • 26953, drl, CLR, Ryden 3-24H, Jim Creek, no production data,
  • 27039, drl, SHD, Hammer 12-36H, Clarks Creek, no production data,
  • 27995, drl, CLR, Jersey 3-6H1, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 28017, drl, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-22D-15-5H, Charlson, no production data,
  • 28392, drl, XTO, Lundin Federal 31X-9H, North Fork, no production data,
  • 28576, 518, Hess, EN-Fretheim A-155-93-3334H-4, Robinson Lake, t2/15; cum --
  • 29158, 84, Corinthian Exploration, Corinthian Backman 8-35-2H, North Souris, a Spearfish well, t10/14; cum 2K 1/15;
See also this post: Update on Solution Energy, First Well in North Dakota, September 11, 2014. Solutions Energy has one well in North Dakota (this one). It is located 20 miles northeast of the northeast corner of Parshall oil field. It is 15 miles due west of Minot. This is well outside of "the Bakken." It is targeting the Madison formation.

Killdeer, North Dakota -- Boom! -- March 1, 2015

Killdeer -- BOOM! The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Years ago, $1 million in private investment in Killdeer, ND, for one year was a big deal, he said. Maybe a single new motel, or a few new houses.
But last year, Killdeer saw more than $20 million in private investment, and it’s on track to hit at least that for 2015. This spring will be a busy one for the city, with a slew of private residential or multi-use developments breaking ground.
The private developments include:
  • Gateway Village, with 70 townhomes, a Wyndham Microtel hotel, 125 apartments, a drive-thru food establishment and a sit-down restaurant.
  • Killdeer Highlands, three 42-unit apartment buildings and a hotel-restaurant combination. 
  • Creekside, more than 150 apartments in eight buildings with views of Gumbo Creek.
  • Killdeer 110, a mix of condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes.
despite anxiety over oil prices, the city is not seeing a slowdown — in traffic through town or in development. Killdeer is one of the last Bakken boomtowns to get its truck bypass, so tanker trucks still rumble through Central Avenue — the city’s main street and a part of state Highway 22 — past a pharmacy, banks, churches and the school.
Samira Surani In Dickinson

For the archives. I'm not so much interested in this particular story as the name of the buyer. Will place the story here for an easier google search. The Dickinson Press is reporting:
The tallest building in downtown Dickinson has new owners, and with the changeover could come a revitalized appearance.
Though Home and Land Company, the Dickinson real estate company handling the sale, lists the contract as pending on its website, a contract-for-deed sale for the six-story Jordheim Plaza building — formerly the old Ivanhoe Inn — was finalized Feb. 20 when it changed hands from Dickinson’s Jordheim family to Samira Surani.
Sanjel Closes Operations in Billings, MT

For the archives. I can't remember if I posted this story earlier; I don't think so. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting that Sanjel is closing its operations in Billings, MT. A loss of 20 jobs; had been operating in Billings since 2012.

Dow Chemical Bets Big On Fracking

Forbes is reporting:
Dow Chemical is investing $6 billion to enlarge its manufacturing facilities in the United States by 40 percent, based on a wager that low natural gas prices here will persist into the middle of the next decade, a Dow executive said in Chicago this week.
The investment reverses Dow’s vocal exodus from manufacturing in the United States.
“We’re putting $6 billion here in the U.S. Gulf Coast, betting that the gas advantage maintains for us to get a suitable return on that investment, which is into the next decade."
Firms like Dow are emboldened by the news that U.S. natural gas production increased by 4 percent last year, even during a glut that caused low prices that discourage new drilling.

By Olivia, our eight-year-old granddaughter.