Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sweet Spots In The Bakken Still Profitable -- March 26, 2015 is reporting:
With the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovering between the $43 to $50 for the better part of this month, analysis by Wood Mackenzie has found that the majority of U.S. shale plays would need a 30 percent cost reduction to be economically viable.
With that being the case, only a select few “sweet spots” exist where drillers focus their limited capital expenditure dollars. Those “sweet spots” include the Springer, a newer shale play located in southwest Oklahoma, the Karnes Trough portion of the Eagle Ford Shale and the Nesson Anticline portion of the Bakken Shale. Two sub-plays that require minor cost reductions are The Parshall Sanish portion of the Bakken and the SCOOP Woodford in Oklahoma.
Wood Mackenzie, a global energy, metals and mining research and consultancy firm, believes even the 30 percent cost reductions can be achieved and many companies have already announced it. That’s mainly due to oil service companies slashing costs as demand for work has gone down.
Not That Anyone Cares

Today's EIA blurb:
According to EIA monthly supply data through December 2014, which EIA released in late February, U.S. exports of fuel ethanol in 2014 reached their second-highest level at a total of 826 million gallons.
This level was second only to the 1.2 billion gallons exported during 2011 and 33% more than exports of fuel ethanol in 2013. Similarly, U.S. imports of ethanol, which totaled approximately 377 million gallons during 2013, fell by 81% to a total of 73 million gallons in 2014, their lowest annual level since 2010. As a result, the United States was a net exporter of fuel ethanol for the fifth consecutive year and exported the fuel to 37 different countries in 2014.---EIA 
20 million bbls? if I did the math correctly. I think the US uses about 9 million bbls of gasoline per day.
Sage Grouse Don't Fly That High is reporting:
A proposal to establish an enormous bomber training area over the northern Plains that advocates say will improve military training and save money got final approval Tuesday despite concerns about loud, low-flying aircraft disrupting civilian flights and damaging rural economies.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved a plan to expand the Powder River Training Complex over the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming. The move roughly quadruples the training airspace to span across nearly 35,000 square miles, making it the largest over the continental U.S.
The airspace would be used by B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and B-52 bombers from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The U.S. Air Force estimates that the expanded training airspace could save Ellsworth up to $23 million a year in fuel costs by reducing the number of training flights to states such as Utah and Nevada.
Saudi's Shock and Awe
Saudi's Plans To Send Ground Troops Into Yemen

Zero Hedge is reporting:
As reported first thing today, while the initial phase of the military campaign against Yemen has been taking place for the past 18 hours and been exclusively one of airborne assaults by forces of the "Decisive Storm" coalition, Saudi hinted at what is coming next following reports that it had built up a massive 150,000 troop deployment on the border with Yemen.
And as expected, moments ago AP reported that Egyptian military and security officials told The Associated Press that the military intervention will go further, with a ground assault into Yemen by Egyptian, Saudi and other forces, planned once airstrikes have weakened the capabilities of the rebels.
Saudi better do something: ISIS/Iran/Syria/Obama are conspiring to set the stage for a new Persian Kingdom stretching across the Mideast. Apparently President Obama has agreed to Iran's demands. As opined earlier: the president cares not about the details; it is only a matter of checked things off his bucket list.

Fourteen (14) New Permits -- March 26, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs99198186206170

Fourteen (14) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (7), BR (4), EOG (3)
  • Fields: Banks (McKenzie), Elidah (McKenzie), Parshall (Mountrail)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list Friday:
  • 25736, SI/IA, Enerplus, Snow 149-93-07A-12H,  Mandaree, no production data,
  • 28076, drl, MRO, Hale USA 23-14TFH,  Moccasin Creek, no production data,
  • 28171, 738, Emerald, D Annunzio 3-7-6H, Boxcar Butte, t9/14; cum 23K 1/15;
  • 28993, drl, Hess, GO-Perdue-157-97-0112H-3, Ray, no production data,
  • 29219, drl, BR, CCU Golden Creek 44-23TFH, Corral Creek, no production data,
  • 29353, 120, Enduro, NSCU O-708-H1, Newburg, a Spearfish well, t11/14; cum 4K 1/15;
  • 29471, drl, Slawson, Wolf 2-4MLH, Big Bend, no production data,
  • Petro-Hunt renewed two Moberg permits in Burke County
  • Oasis renewed five Domalakes permits in Burke County
  • Hess canceled one Bingeman permit in Williams County

Fastest Growing Counties In The US, 2014 US Census Bureau Data

US Census Bureau; fastest growing counties in the US.

Fastest growing counties in the US, July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2014:
  • Williams County was #1. 
  • Stark County was #2. 
  • Richland County, Montana, was #19.
  • Morton County, #39.
  • Cass County, #82,
Fastest growing counties in the US, April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2014:
  • #1 - Williams County
  • #2 - Stark County
  • #26 - Ward County
  • #39 - Cass County
  • #41 - Burleigh County
  • #96 - Morton County
Business Insider story here

Solar Energy, Rounding To The Nearest Whole Number According To The US Government, Contributed Zero (0) Percent Of US Energy Consumption In 2014; That Was A 1.7% Increase Over The Previous Year

The US government has just released the preliminary US energy production and consumption data for 2014. Link is here:

This month’s monthly energy report (MER) includes the first complete set of 2014 preliminary statistics for U.S. total energy consumption, production, trade, and carbon dioxide emissions.  The report is posted at:

Note: Quadrillion: 1 x 10^15 (15 zeroes after the 1)

Preliminary energy data for calendar year 2014:
  • U.S. primary energy consumption totaled 98 quadrillion Btu, a 1% increase compared with 2013.  Renewable energy and natural gas consumption each increased 3%, nuclear electric power consumption increased 1%, and petroleum consumption was virtually unchanged, and coal consumption decreased 1%.
Total energy consumption: 98 quadrillion--
  • Wind energy consumption: 1,734 trillion Btu
  • Solar energy consumption:  427 trillion Btu
  • Wind + solar = 2,161
As a percentage of renewable -
  • wind / wind + solar = 80%
  • solar / wind + solar = 20%

As a percentage --
  • Wind: 1,734 trillion / 98 quadrillion = 1.76939% (yes, less than 2%)
  • Solar: 427 trillion / 98 quadrillion = 0.043571 (yes, rounding to nearest whole number = 0%)
  • Wind + solar = 2,161 trillion / 98 quadrillion = 2.2051%
The good news: renewable energy consumption in the US increased by 3%

Back of the envelope:
  • 2,161 / 1.03 = 2,098 trillion Btu in 2013
  • wind: 80% x 2,098 = 1,678 Btu in 2013
  • solar: 20% x 2,098 =  420 trillion Btu in 2013
  • wind: 1,678 / 1,734 = a 3.3337% increase year-over-year
  • solar: 420 / 427 = 1.7% increase year-over-year
Bottom line observations:
  • between wind and solar, wind accounts for 80% of renewable energy consumption in the US
  • between wind and solar, solar accounts for 20% of renewable energy consumption in the US
  • wind energy consumption accounts for less than 2% of total energy consumption in the US
  • rounding to the nearest whole number, solar energy accounts for 0% of total energy consumption in the US
  • wind energy increased 3.3% year-over-year, 2013 to 2014, in the US
  • solar energy increased 1.7% year-over-year, 2013 to 2014, in the US
These numbers are after a gazillion dollars of credits, grants, and advocacy over the past 30 years.

Diclaimer: I often make simple arithmetic errors. If this information is important to you, go to the source, which is conveniently linked at the top. 

For warmists: ask yourself if you are getting value from your tax dollars going to renewable energy. 

The Team Formerly Known As The Fighting Sioux -- Looking For A New Name May, 2015; How About "Frack And Sue"


Later, 2:28 p.m.: a reader suggests "UND Lawyers." Sounds great! "GO SUE!"
Original Post

Pretty aggressive schedule: suggestions will be accepted through April; new name chosen by May, 2015.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:
In 2012, North Dakota dropped its old nickname, the Fighting Sioux, after a long legislative and legal battle. The NCAA had threatened to not allow North Dakota to host postseason games if it continued to use the name and display its Native American head logo. In a statewide referendum, 67% of voters supported getting rid of them.
But in the process, a cooling-off period was imposed until 2015 before the school could pick a new name. So as North Dakota begins play Friday in the 16-team hockey tournament—it is hosting the West regional in Fargo, about 80 miles from its Grand Forks campus—there is another crucial piece of business at hand: replacing the beloved Fighting Sioux name.
I like the one already suggested: Formerly Known As The Fighting Sioux, or "Fighting Sioux" for short.

UND should be able to keep "Sioux." Utah has the Utes; Florida has the Seminoles; Mississippi College has the Choctaws; and, Central Michigan has the Chippewas. And, of course, the President's team: Washington Redskins.

By the way, my hunch is that most Americans do not know the origin of "redskins." It's worse than you think ... unless you know. 


From Seeking Alpha:
  • Sempra Energy slips a bit after providing an investor presentation that reaffirms its FY 2015 EPS guidance of $4.60-$5.00, compared with $4.84 analyst consensus estimate, but sees 2016 EPS of $4.80-$5.20, below $5.27 consensus.
  • In longer-term guidance, SRE says a build-up of base plan earnings shows it has contracts in place that, in combination with utility operations, yield an ~11% compound annual growth rate, creating EPS in 2019 of $7.00-$7.50.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. Having said that, 2019 is not that far away.  

US Economy In One Graph -- March 26, 2015

Gasoline is "dirt cheap," and falling in price, and gasoline demand is falling to levels one year ago (dynamic link; graph at end of that link):

One wonders how much this has to do with loss of jobs in the oil and gas sector.

The narrative:
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 15.5 million barrels per day during the week ending March 20, 2015, 94,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average.
Refineries operated at 89.0% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging over 9.0 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.4 million barrels per day last week, down by 104,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 7.3 million barrels per day, 1.0% below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 443,000 barrels per day.
So, with all the hand-wringing by Saudi Arabia over market share in the US, crude oil imports were down a whopping 1% from a year earlier.

One word: speculators. LOL.

Natural Gas Fill Rate

Unremarkable (dynamic link).  Coming to the end of the heating season.

Global Warming Wiping Out Languages

In addition to the excellent article on snooker in this week's issue of The New Yorker, there is also an excellent article on the demise of languages around the world. Into the second page, I was almost wondering if the author would get around to blaming global warming .... and then, there it was, at the top of the third page of the article:
Nowhere is there a richer or more concentrated cluster of languages, some eight hundred, thanin Papua New Guinea, with its daunting topography of highlands and rain forests. In New Guinea, as in other hot spots of endangerment, indigenous languages are a user's guide to ecosystems that are increasingly fragile and -- in the fact of climate change [euphemism used by warmists for 'global warming'] -- increasingly irreplaceable.
But that can be ignored; the article is otherwise very, very good, and I think, sticks to the facts without a lot of political correctness editorializing.

How Personal Is It Between Obama and Netanyahu?
Personal Enough For The Former To Encourage A Nuclear Arms Race In The Mideast

Israel National News is reporting:
In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.
But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth. The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu's March 3 address in Congress, in which he warned against the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and how the deal being formed on that program leaves the Islamic regime with nuclear breakout capabilities.
Another highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel's sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.
It really is quite incredible, isn't it? One starts to get the feeling why the US response to ISIS has been so tepid. 

If the dots don't connect by now, you are not paying attention. The president may have been born in Hawaii, but he certainly wasn't raised there. 

Meanwhile, More Golf

Off to Florida as war breaks out in the Mideast

US Oil And Gas Industry -- Too Successful Too Fast -- March 26, 2015

From SeekingAlpha:
  • Facing pressure from the drop in oil prices, General Electric has increased the planned job cuts at its Lufkin oilfield equipment unit from 330 to 575.
  • "As a result of increasingly challenging market conditions, we are announcing additional workforce reductions in our Lufkin business," said Kristin Schwarz, a GE Oil & Gas spokeswoman.
  • GE bought oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries for about $3.3B in 2013.
  • GE -1% premarket
Iran Vs Saudi Arabia

I posted the following earlier this morning (a continuation, pretty much a repeat of what I've been posting the past two days):
ISIS/Syria/Iran/Yemen now have Saudi Arabia surrounded (with one trivial exception: Oman). 
Iraq is pretty much neutralized / occupied as far as Iran is concerned. Iran's rear flank is secure. 
Once John Kerry and Barack Obama remove the sanctions on Iran, Iran becomes a much bigger threat to its neighbors in the Mideast. 
Most importantly: the Iranian mullahs will have the money they need to pursue their regional goals. Remember: it's called the Persian Gulf, not the Saudi Arabian Gulf. 
The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia was once a solid relationship (and, of course, that was true with regard to the Shah of Iran, also). Saudi Arabia could not have missed the fact that the Obama administration has thrown the Israelis under the bus AND will soon conclude an "agreement" with Iran allowing the latter unfettered development of their nuclear "energy for peaceful uses" program. Saudi Arabia does not have a warrior culture; without US support it cannot defend itself. As important as Saudi Arabia is to the stability of the western world, the fact that the US has thrown Israel under the bus certainly suggests to princes that with regard to the present regime in Washington (DC), nothing is off the table.
So, now I see this headline: Saudi Arabia in a proxy war against Iran by attacking Yemen. A reader wrote me earlier this morning: Saudi is in a fight for its life. I can't disagree.

Back on March 18, 2015, I asked, "what could possibly go wrong?" I guess we are finding out.

On/about March 14, 2015, the US Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was shut down due to security concerns.

Back on February 6, 2015, the fathomless ignorance of President Obama -- the WSJ -- on Yemen ...

January 23, 2015, Saudi Arabia is in deep doo-doo.

September 5, 2014, Saudi Arabia is in trouble.
I posted "Saudi Arabia is in trouble" on September 5, 2014. Today, September 6, 2014, it is announced that Saudi is building the "Great Wall Of Arabia":
Saudi Arabia has inaugurated a multilayered fence along its northern borders, as part of efforts to secure the kingdom's vast desert frontiers against infiltrators and smugglers, state media said.
King Abdullah announced late Friday the launch of the first stage of a border security programme, covering 900 kilometres (560 miles) of the northern frontier, SPA state news agency reported.
SPA did not name Iraq, Saudi Arabia's neighbour to the north, referring only to the northern frontier, but the two countries' common border stretches over 800 kilometres (500 miles).
There was another post that I wanted to link but can't find it now, but I think the point is made. 

Remember this from your high school history, these two bullets?
  • Europe was a powder keg.
  • The fuse was lit with the assassination of Archduke Prince Franz Ferdinand.
Minimal substitutions:
  • The mideast was always a powder keg.
  • The fuse was lit with Barack Obama's "Arab Spring" speech in Cairo.
The Mideast In Free Fall

The note above was posted at the time of the original post (see time/date stamp).

A day later, this article was posted over at Politico: "Obama's Mideast Free Fall." 
Barack Obama faces a slew of Middle East crises that some call the worst in a generation, as new chaos from Yemen to Iraq — along with deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations — is confounding the president’s efforts to stabilize the region and strike a nuclear deal with Iran.
The meltdown has Obama officials defending their management of a region that some call impossible to control, even as critics say U.S. policies there are partly to blame for the spreading anarchy. “If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.
Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.
For years, members of the Obama team has grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.
Obama officials were surprised earlier this month, for instance, when the Iraqi government joined with Iranian-backed militias to mount a sudden offensive aimed at freeing the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Nor did they foresee the swift rise of the Iranian-backed rebels who toppled Yemen’s U.S.-friendly government and disrupted a crucial U.S. counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda there. Both situations took dramatic new turns this week.
The U.S. announced its support for a Saudi-led coalition of 10 Sunni Arab nations that began bombing the Houthis, while Egypt threatened to send ground troops — a move that could initiate the worst intra-Arab war in decades. Meanwhile, the U.S. launched airstrikes against ISIL in Tikrit after originally insisting it would sit out that offensive. U.S. officials had hoped to avoid coordination with Shiite militias under the direct control of Iranian commanders in the country.
Now the U.S. is in the strange position of fighting ISIL alongside Iran at the same time it backs the Sunni campaign against Iran’s allies in Yemen — even as Secretary of State John Kerry hopes to seal a nuclear deal with Iran in Switzerland within days. 
I've long forgotten whether Politico is left- / right-leaning, but I always thought Politico was supportive of President Obama. Might be wrong, but this is a pretty scathing report card for President Obama's foreign policy.

Folks still supporting President Obama's Mideast policy are not paying attention.

Jobs -- March 26, 2015; Fracking Not Safe (For Governor Cuomo's Political Career); Medi-Cal Costs Could Surge

Why I look forward to every Thursday -- to see how they spin the story.

From fxstreet
  • March 26, 2015: 282,000 (well below the consensus of 290,000; well down from 291,000 previously).
From The Washington Examiner:
Jobless claims were 291,000 the week before, and have now been under 300,000 for three straight weeks.
The four-week moving average was of claims fell 7,750 to 297,000.
From ABC News:
Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that strong hiring should continue despite signs of slower economic growth at the start of 2015.
Weekly applications for jobless aid fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The decrease suggests that a recent slowdown in manufacturing, housing starts and retail sales have not trickled into the job market, a possible indication that economic growth will rebound after a harsh winter.
What A Great State

The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
Immigrants living in the U.S. without permission can't enroll in Obamacare, but an unusual policy in California allows those granted temporary relief from deportation to sign up for Medi-Cal. That means up to half a million more Californians could apply for the state's low-income health program, according to data released Wednesday by UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Another Great State

The Los Angeles Times is also reporting:
From this village of dairy farms and friendly diners, Carolyn Price can see across the border into Pennsylvania, and it is a bittersweet view. The rolling hills a few miles away are as green as the ones here, and the Susquehanna River is icy and beautiful on both sides of the state line as it meanders toward the Atlantic.
Price sees something else, though: towns brimming with money extracted from the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, where the high-pressure drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has spurred an economic boom [in Pennsylvania].
It is a different story here on the New York side, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo in December declared a statewide ban on fracking — one of only two in the country — saying he was not convinced it is safe.
Fracking is not safe. Not safe for Govenor Cuomo's political career.

War Across The Mideast -- Saudi Arabia, Allies Attack Yemen -- March 26, 2015

My daily routine changes little. Occasionally I don't start the day at Starbucks but it is rare. The location of the Starbucks varies. There are three in my immediate area and a fourth that is 5.5 miles away -- a nice bicycle ride. For various reasons, I usually go to the Target Starbucks in the immediate area -- it is never busy. More accurately, it "was" never busy. However, now it is extremely busy. They normally have one barista; today three. The line is 7 deep compared to the usual "no line." It turns out that the new owners of the grocery store up the street did not keep the contract with the in-store Starbucks, so now many of those customers are coming down here.

Left over from yesterday's Rigzone. I don't think I will link any of the stories; most are old by now; for the archives only.
  • Hess pulls out of Kurdistan
  • Wood Mackenzie: "demise of unconventional oil exaggerated"
  • North Dakota oil rig count drops below 100 (to 98 to be exact)
  • as oil prices slide, North Dakota sees manufacturing future (okay, maybe that one I will post later)
  • in an attempt to further hobble US oil industry, US Senate Democrats push White House on oil train safety

Active rigs:

Active Rigs99198186206170

RBN Energy: part 7 of the series on natural gas in the Marcellus / Utica
The U.S. Midwest region is slated to get an infusion of cheaper Northeast natural gas supply later this year as the first of five new westbound pipeline expansions is expected to begin service in November. Already a couple of projects are moving gas to the Midwest from the Northeast.  The Northeast-to-Midwest capacity will have a huge impact on the Midwest supply stack and consequently on prices. The Chicago Citygates forward curve shows prices flipping from premiums to discounts later this year. Today’s blog continues our look at how new pipeline capacity will re-shuffle the Midwest’s supply stack and change regional pricing.

This is Part 7 in our natural gas forward curve series. Part 1 provided a definition of forward curves and how they work. Part 2 and Part 3 dove into two Northeast gas markets – Transco Zone 6 in New York and Dominion South in Appalachia. The region is poised to transform from a net demand region to a net supplier of natural gas to the U.S. but is sorely constrained by takeaway capacity in the near- to mid-term, resulting in distressed pricing. In Part 4, we laid out the fundamental drivers influencing Northeast forward curves for the next several years, the biggest factor being the slew of pipeline expansions proposed to relieve supply congestion in the region. In Part 5 we concluded that based on expected supply/demand fundamentals and our variable cost assumption, the current forward curve correctly suggests extreme price weakness through 2016, but that the back of the curve (2018-19) may be too pessimistic and holds some upside potential based on timing of capacity expansions – assuming all of those expansions happen.

ISIS/Syria/Iran/Yemen now have Saudi Arabia surrounded (with one trivial exception: Oman). Iraq is pretty much neutralized / occupied as far as Iran is concerned. Iran's rear flank is secure. Once John Kerry and Barack Obama remove the sanctions on Iran, Iran becomes a much bigger threat to its neighbors in the Mideast. Most importantly: they have the money they need to pursue their regional goals. Remember: it's called the Persian Gulf, not the Saudi Arabian Gulf. The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia was once a solid relationship (and, of course, that was true with regard to the Shah of Iran, also). Saudi Arabia could not have missed the fact that the Obama administration has thrown the Israelis under the bus AND will soon conclude an "agreement" with Iran allowing the latter unfettered development of their nuclear "energy for peaceful uses" program. Saudi Arabia does not have a warrior culture; without US support it cannot defend itself. As important as Saudi Arabia is to the stability of the western world, the fact that the US has thrown Israel under the bus certainly suggests to princes that with regard to the present regime in Washington (DC), nothing is off the table.

It doesn't matter that any of this is hyperbole or even remotely likely or possible, the market does not like uncertainty. And we're going to see that today.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.


This week's issue of The New Yorker has a great article on snooker. The author writes:
People who grew up in Britain in the nineteen-eighties, as I did, found themselves steeped in snooker whether they liked it not.
That is so incredibly accurate. As a family we lived in England for three years in the late 1980's. As much as one might have wanted to "remain an American" it was almost impossible. British television (BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV, and a fourth station, and that was it); British radio (BBC 1 and BBC 2); fish, chips, and mashed peas (not for the faint-hearted); consistent weather (overcast, cool, rain); pubs; pub food (best food in England); queues; darts; and, snooker.

Of all those mentioned, there was only one exception for me: I didn't get interested in snooker. So now, the article in The New Yorker on snooker. Highly recommended. Very, very interesting. Usually I find New Yorker articles are too long; this one is not long enough at seven full pages and only one small drawing.


Re-posted from late last night: Apple will release three new iPhone models in the second half of 2015, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The site claims that a 4-inch iPhone model will join the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

I don't have a smart phone and have no plans to get one. However, a clamshell phone about 3 inches x 1.5 inches when closed and very, very thin would be the cat's meow. Now that, I would consider.

Tidying Up Wednesday's News -- March 25, 2015

When it rains, it pours.

Regular readers know that my primary job purpose in life is taking care of our three granddaughters. Right now, my wife is out in Los Angeles and I have the opportunity to spend more time with the granddaughters and thus blogging gets put on the back burner.

I take the two older granddaughters to school at 7:15 a.m. I am free until 10:00 but from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. I am 100% occupied with the 8-month-old. Normally we take a 3-mile stroller ride during this period with lots of stops at parks and places to eat. It is one of the high points of my day, and I have many, many high points.

At 3:20 I walk the older granddaughter home from school and then my "real" day begins. I take the 8 y/o to soccer at 5:30 and then return to take the older granddaughter to water polo at 7:15. Water polo ends at 9: 15, so we get home about 10:00 p.m., when we have a late dinner together.

So, now it's 11:40 p.m. and I begin the blog for the evening. I have the DVD Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on in the background -- this is the fourth time in as many evenings that I've watched it. Last night I saw something in the movie I had not seen before. I now understand why Haydon was so upset when Prideaux was shot in Budapest. Until last night I did not know if Haydon was "putting on a act" or whether it was a genuine reaction. One more dot connected.

And so the blog begins.

The plane crash in the Alps. We now know what happened; over the next 48 hours we might learn why it happened. I follow the story elsewhere and because it has nothing to do with the Bakken I won't link the post where I track the story. As for me, the story is pretty much closed. [Early on I mentioned that the pilot better have a non-Arabic name, a happy marriage, two non-adult children at home, and no skeletons in his/her closet. Interestingly enough, the easiest thing to release -- the name of the pilot alone in the cockpit -- has not been released. Update, March 26, 2015, 9:16 a.m.: co-pilot's name is released -- Andreas Lubitz.]

Global politics: Saudi Arabia does not have a warrior culture. It depends on the US for protection. Saudi Arabia saw the US president throw the Israelis under the bus. Iran/Syria/ISIS/Yemen now surround Saudi Arabia. The price of oil is moving up overnight. The Saudis are bombing Yemen. For ISIS, the PRIZE is Saudi Arabia. The dots are easy to connect. Iran, without sanctions, could easily take Saudi Arabia if the latter is not protected by the US. Close reading of the stories coming out of the Mideast suggest that things are starting to implode across the whole region. About time for President Obama to go golfing. When was the last John Kerry was back in the US?

Back in the USA, Linda Ronstadt

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on anything you read at this site or think you may have read at this site.

Whiting's recent action to issue 35 million shares and another $1.75 billion in debt has befuddled me. There are only two reasons why WLL would do this. I don't know which one of the two.

There's an interesting article on Oasis over at SeekingAlpha. Link is here: This article will be archived; if you are interested in the Bakken or Oasis, I recommend you read the article before it is no longer available -- unless you have a paid subscription to Seeking Alpha.


A new word for me and for newbies: "redetermination." Dallas Business Journal is reporting:
The process is called redetermination and it’s about to hit oil and gas companies as the first quarter wraps up.
Another shoe is about to drop on energy companies as banks adjust credit limits to meet the falling price of crude oil.
“Most of their credit is tied to reserves. A lot of people are facing cuts in their borrowing base. The value of those reserves are falling significantly. A lot of people are facing stress on their system.”
Fort Worth-based Quicksilver Resources filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. The driller got hit with a double whammy as natural gas prices remained depressed for years and then crude oil prices fell from $100 a barrel to less than $50 a barrel in the second half of 2014.
This was recently discussed over at Rigzone


There's a headline elsewhere, I won't link here, North Dakota might challenge new federal fracking rule. The challenge, if done at all, will go nowhere. "We" can't even do anything about Hillary Clinton's outright lies about private servers. The fracking rules as presented to the public are pretty innocuous to the general public and that's why the challenge will go nowhere.

And down to less than 100 active rigs in North Dakota. 

Caught up with today's news. I guess that wasn't so bad; it just took one look.

Just One Look, Linda Ronstadt

It's now 12:40 a.m. and I'm into a fugue state -- I used to have a blog "YouTube Fugue" -- I don't know if it's still open to the public -- if it is, don't open it -- your computer will most likely lock up -- -- now that I have a great wi-fi connection, caught up with today's news, and YouTube taking me places I haven't been in awhile, I should keep going ... but I have to get up at 6:45 to take the granddaughters to school.

Obama fans' song?

I Will Follow Him, Peggy March
12:50 a.m.

Perhaps biggest news of the day: Apple will release three new iPhone models in the second half of 2015, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The site claims that a 4-inch iPhone model will join the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

This is exactly what Steve Jobs would have argued against, but ... I'm heading to bed.