Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Apple Page -- April 28, 2015

AP is reporting:
Samsung Electronics Co. said its first-quarter net income has plunged 39 percent as the smartphone business saw its profit shrink to less than half from a year earlier.
The company reported Wednesday that its January-March income was 4.63 trillion won ($4.35 billion), compared with 7.49 trillion won one year earlier.
That was lower than analysts' consensus of 4.97 trillion won.
Sales fell 12 percent from a year earlier to 47.12 trillion won while operating income dropped 30 percent to 5.98 trillion won, in line with Samsung's earnings preview earlier this month.
The wider-than-expected drop in net profit was due to a big profit plunge in Samsung's mobile business. The maker of Galaxy smartphones said its mobile division generated 2.74 trillion won in quarterly profit, compared with 6.43 trillion won a year earlier.
Analysts estimate Samsung sold more smartphones than Apple during the quarter but the Korean firm lost its share in the high-end market to Apple after the maker of the iPhone began offering models with bigger screens last fall.
Compare to Apple which had a blowout quarter and stunning results. 

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

Random Update Of Iraqi Production

For the archives. Bloomberg Business is reporting:
Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, will start exporting Basrah Heavy crude next month after offering discounts for the new grade in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Iraq is offering Basrah Heavy after facing pressure from customers to split its main Basrah Light crude into two grades to preserve quality. The country, home to the world’s fifth-largest proven reserves, is rebuilding its energy industry after decades of conflict and sanctions. Iraq pumped 3.34 million barrels a day in March, state-run Oil Marketing Co. known as SOMO said April 16.
Crude exports from northern Iraq via SOMO will rise to 550,000 barrels a day in early May, 600,000 barrels a day in June and 625,000 barrels a day by August. Iraq pumped about 2.4 million barrels daily at the end of 2010 and plans to boost capacity to 6 million barrels by 2019
I'm probably misreading this but the delta between 3.34 million bopd production and 600,000 bopd in exports suggests most of Iraq's oil is necessary for internal consumption. I don't know.

Five (5) New Permits -- April 28, 2015; Seventeen (17) Producing Wells Completed; Thirteen (13) WIth High Initial Production

Active rigs:

Active Rigs86185187209174

Five (5) new permits --
  • Operator: Whiting
  • Fields: Poe (McKenzie), Banks (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Seventeen (17) producing wells completed:
  • 29071, 740, Whiting, Tiisto 43-7-2H, Sanish, t3/15; cum --
  • 30121, 542, Whiting, Bartleson 11-19-2H, Sanish, t4/15; cum --
  • 29435, 1,288, Slawson,  Vixen Federal 1 SLH, Big Bend t3/15; cum --
  • 27899, 1,446, XTO, Van Dyke Federal 44X-19A, Bear Den, t3/15; cum --
  • 26390, 1,272, BR, CCU North Coast 41-25TFH, Corral Creek, t3/15; cum --
  • 28367, 2,886, BR, CCU Pullman 7-8-7MBH, Corral Creek, t3/15; cum --
  • 21788, 1,593, Enerplus, BMX 148-93-23B-24H TF, South Fork, t4/15; cum --
  • 28093, 504, Hess, GN-Earecen-159-98-2734H-1, Big Stone, t4/15; cum --
  • 25079, 1,737, Statoil, Field Trust 7-6-5TFH, Todd, t3/15; cum --
  • 25080, 2,593, Statoil, Field Trust 7-6-4H, Todd, t3/15; cum --
  • 24451, 128, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Ruby 17-20-158N-100W, Winner, t3/15; cum 8K 3/15;
  • 27915, 1,288, Slawson, Bootleg 7-14-15TFH, Stockyard Creek, t21/5; cum --
  • 30510, 1,798, Whiting, Cherry State 31-16HU, Pleasant Hill, 2 sections, t4/15; cum --
  • 30466, 1,889, Whiting, Cherry State 31-16-3H, Pleasant Hill, t4/15; cum --
  • 28368, 2,004, BR, CCU Pullman 7-8-7TFH, Corral Creek, t3/15; cum --
  • 28345, 2,880, BR, Copper Draw 41-27MBH-ULW, Croff, 4 sections, t4/15; cum --
  • 28366, 1,403, BR, CCU Pullman 8-8-7TFH, Corral Creek, t3/15; cum --
Wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 27661, dry, XTO, Stara Federal 21X-14E2, Grinnell, this was a Three Forks B well according to the permit application; nothing in the file yet to explain when/why drilling stopped; I assume it happened early probably during casing;
  • 28331, drl, CLR, Salers Federal 5-27H, Antelope, no production data,
  • 28439, 1,191, Liberty Resources, Gohrick 158-95-17-8-4MBH, McGregor, t11/14; cum 25K 2/15;
  • 28440, 1,061, Liberty Resources, Gohrick 158-95-17-8-5TFH, McGregor, t11/14; cum 13K 2/15;
  • 28565, conf, CLR, Wiley 4-25H2, Pershing, no production data,
  • 29109, conf, Hess, EN-URan A-154-93-2215H-6, Robinson Lake, no production data,

28439, see above, Liberty Resources, Gohrick 158-95-17-8-4MBH, McGregor :

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 28440, see below, Liberty Resources, Gohrick 158-95-17-8-5TFH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Quick look at a baby pad in the Bakken:

The Moose Will Be Happy -- April 28, 2015

Heading north on US Highway 85 toward the Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Missouri River south of Williston.

This was a 2-lane highway for as long as I can remember, but then back in 2011 or thereabouts they widened the road to three or four lanes.

Now the road is back under construction, back to two lanes, and will be make a four-lane divided (I think) highway leading to the new bridge.

I didn't think they were going to start the new bridge until 2015 or 2016 based on earlier stories, but that recently changed. Local residents noted that one day there was no evidence of the new bridge being built, and then overnight, it seemed they were halfway across the river.

The moose will be happy. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed the Missouri River back in the day, they didn’t have to contend with the nearly 13,000 vehicles that cross it these days via the bridge named for the famed explorers.
But moose, deer and other wildlife do.
Part of the $300 million the North Dakota Department of Transportation has committed to upgrade U.S. Highway 85 between Williston and Watford City will include a first-of-its-kind wildlife underpass, or crossing. At least it’s the first of its kind in North Dakota.
Work on a portion of the project between Watford City and Alexander is already underway, but the bridge part of the job won’t be bid until sometime this spring.
An underpass is a better idea than simply putting up a moose sign inviting moose to cross the highway at designated points.

Solyndra Back In The News -- April 28, 2015

Fox News is reporting:
It’s official, the Energy Department’s green energy loan program is actually expected to lose money despite media reports that such loans would net the government a profit.
The Government Accountability Office says the DOE’s oft-touted $28 billion loan program will cost taxpayers $2.21 billion over the lifetime of the loans. Not only that, the costs to taxpayers for green loans has risen about $500 million as “the result of loan guarantee defaults” from companies like Solyndra and Abound Solar.
The “credit subsidy cost of the loans and loan guarantees in its portfolio” is expected “to be $2.21 billion, including $807 million for loans that have defaulted,” GAO reports. “The fees DOE has collected have not been sufficient to cover all of its administrative expenses for the program” because the “fees on the current loan guarantees were too low to cover ongoing monitoring costs.”
This stands in sharp contrast to media reports from last year suggesting the DOE’s green loan program would net taxpayers $5 billion. Last year, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog ran with the headline, “Remember Solyndra? Those loans are making money.”
The liberal news watchdog Media Matters exclaimed that “Solyndra Scandal-Mongering Hasn’t Stopped The Energy Dept’s Loan Program From Turning A Profit”
Such news stories came after a November 2014 DOE progress report saying it was on track to earn more than $5 billion in total interest payments. The DOE said it had earned $810 million in interest payments — outweighing the $780 million in estimated losses the loan program was expected to incur.
But for Obama, Solyndra accomplished what it was set up to do.

Small Country Road In The Bakken -- April 28, 2015

This is a short clip of the new bypass to the west of Alexander, North Dakota.

We Gave Those Who Wished To Destroy, The Space To Do That As Well" -- Baltimore Mayor -- Apirl 28, 2015


July 11, 2015: NYC -- giving them "space to destroy." If the link is broken, it's simply about NYC council considering decriminalizing public urination, public drunkeness, jumping over subway turnstiles, being in a park after dark, and failure to obey park signs. Photograph of male urinating in middle of downtown street, NYC. Giving them space to destroy.

May 3, 2015: liar, liar, pants on fire. At least three Pinocchios. From The Daily Caller:
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake offered up regrets on “Meet The Press” Sunday for saying space was given to protesters in Baltimore who “wished to destroy.”
Rawlings-Blake told host Chuck Todd that she “certainly used the wrong phrase,” of which she received roundabout criticism as the riots escalated Monday.
“Do you regret using the phrase ‘space to destroy?'” host Chuck Todd asked.
“You know, I certainly think that it was taken out of context,” Rawlings-Blake started.
“Let me say this: I’m from Baltimore, my parents are from here, I’m raising my daughter here. I’m a public defender. As city council person, as mayor, I’ve always worked to strengthen my city. We fought to get those stores in our community. I would never condone rioting. Just period. I would never condone it.”
It was not taken out of context; I heard (and watched) the entire press conference. She was very clear in what she said; her police officers confirmed that she told them to "stand down." It was very clear that the police had been ordered to stand down that first night of rioting.

"... it was taken out of context [but I don't regret saying it]....."

"I would never condone rioting. I would never condone it [except this time]...."

By the way, President Obama said we should have been concerned about "Baltimore" way before now -- and he has never mentioned "Baltimore" in seven State of the Union addresses
If I were president and thought I knew an obvious way to bring peace and prosperity to troubled cities -- and felt pretty strongly about it -- I'd maybe mention it before my seventh year in office. Drop it into a State of the Union address, for example.
But it just isn't the case that we're a new federal program away from fixing the problems Obama identified. It isn't the case that conservatives are standing in the way of what everyone knows would work because we just don't share Obama's compassion.

Original Post
It was interesting that Fox News was the only one of the four to follow this story live all through the night (Fox News, CNN, HLN, MSNBC). After 10:00 p.m. or thereabouts, it was only Fox News covering this story, perhaps the biggest story right now.

From the Baltimore mayor, earlier in the week:
“It's a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we gave those who wished to destroy space to do that, as well,” she said in the wake of Saturday's protests in Baltimore.
Last night:
However on Monday night, as rioters engaged in outbreaks of violence, Rawlings-Blake gave this statement. “I'm going to protect people's right to protest,” she said. “The fact that people exploited that does not mean that I do not have an obligation to protect people's right to protest. I never said, nor would I ever say, that we are giving people space to destroy our city. So my words should not be twisted.”
Video hurts.

The businesses destroyed were most likely ...

144 cars torched.

15 buildings burned ... including a brand new apartment building for seniors nearing the end of construction.

Yup, "we gave those who wished to destroy the space to do that as well." -- Baltimore mayor. Way in over her head.

Comment: say what you want, that has to be a most bizarre statement -- "We gave those who wished to destroy [other people's property] the space [and the right] to do that as well." That is way beyond my comprehension. It certainly suggests Baltimore is much more lawless than anything I've experienced in the wild, wild west.


Oh, yeah!

Well Pad North Of Alexander, North Dakota -- April 28, 2015


10:21 a.m. CT: I guess I'm wrong.  A reader wrote:
I believe from the lightening bolt that the red boxes are just generators.
If you want to see well sight infrastructure check out the tarpon federal wells at 22554 there are two well pads in the middle of the federal grass lands south of tobacco gardens lots of extra gas compressing equipment.  Just getting started producing and trying to stay in federal guidelines.

To see how to get out to this site, go to Google maps or Google Earth and cut/paste: "48.054316, -103.066444."(not the quotes or the period, obviously)
Original Post
This is a well pad north of Alexander. I saw something I had not seen before on this pad; the "red trailers" show up at the beginning of the video and probably again later in the video. I think I know what this is all about but not for sure. If others want to confirm what the "red trailers" are all about, I will comment further:

Again, one of the smaller pads in the Bakken.

This Is Not Good -- April 28, 2015

From The Telegraph, breaking news:
An Iranian force has seized a US cargo ship with 34 crew onboard and directed it to an Iranian port, the Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya has reported.
Glut Of Oil In The Permian

Daily Shale News is reporting:
Four-hundred miles from the near overflowing tanks at the U.S. oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, a second glut in the Permian Basin of West Texas is pressuring oil prices once again as pipeline disruptions strand millions of barrels in the region.
The Permian, the fastest-growing shale play, accounts for about a fifth of the country’s total oil production, and is expected to produce about 2 million barrels of crude a day in May. The region houses over 20 million barrels of crude storage.
Stockpiles in the Permian have hit several records in the last four weeks.
Investors have zeroed in on storage, waiting for declines in weekly inventory data to signal demand is rising or production is beginning to taper off. Stockpiles in Cushing, the delivery point for the U.S. futures contract, hit a record in the week to March 13, and Gulf Coast supply has been robust.
Now a Permian backlog shows signs of an even bigger supply glut. Pipeline interruptions next month will compound already high inventories in the region that have grown because production has outpaced takeaway capacity.
Crude from the Permian that gets stored in Midland, Texas, awaiting transport to the Gulf Coast, will be diverted to Cushing, where it will add to burgeoning supplies, possibly putting even more downward pressure on crude prices, traders said.

It Just Keeps Getting Better In North Dakota -- April 28, 2015


August 26, 2015: reports of this carinata harvest coming in nicely in the Bakken area, of all places. 
Original Post

CBSLocal is reporting:
Western North Dakota farmers this year have agreed to plant 6,000 acres of a crop that can be made into jet fuel.
The farmers will be seeding carinata, a variety of mustard seed. Canadian seed producer Agrisoma Biosciences over the winter sought farmers to plant the crop. Spokesman Garret Groves said producers were quick to sign up and exceeded the 4,000-acre goal.
“We’ve had pretty good success,” he told The Bismarck Tribune.
Carinata looks similar to the oilseed canola, only a little bushier. It will be grown in fields near Mott, Carson, Tioga, Ray, Williston, Noonan and Flasher.
One potential customer for the crop is the U.S Navy, which is targeting carinata to help reach its goal of serving half of its energy needs with non-oil sources by 2020.
From wiki:
The flowers are very attractive to honey bees which collect both pollen and nectar.
This plant is also part of a research to develop an avation biofuel for jet engines. On October 29 of 2012, the first flight of a jet aircraft powered with 100 percent biofuel, made from brassica carinata, was completed.
From RD Magazine:
This new “kid” on the biofuel block taking root is the carinata seed. Carinata is a leafy plant originating in Ethiopia, also referred to as Ethiopian mustard and Abyssinian mustard, and produces oil seeds being used as a biofuel which mimics the attributes of its petroleum-derived counterpart.
To date, carinata has demonstrated agronomic success across sixty commercial sites and farms in the Canadian and U.S. prairies. Carinata is a non-food, energy feedstock crop which yields oil that can be refined into fuels that meet the specifications of petroleum-based fuels and work in ground and air transportation engines without engine modifications or blending.
Glad to see the US Navy has money to burn. Taxpayers won't mind. Certainly North Dakota farmers won't mind.

Just A Matter Of Time -- April 28, 2015

Regular readers know my thoughts on this issue. Interesting to see mainstream media like Forbes writing about it: will Iran grab Saudi oilfields?
Iran doesn’t possess a passel of Panzer divisions and have a murderous Luftwaffe at its disposal. But it now has the means to make a play for control of the immense oilfields of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and, all too obviously, Iraq, where its proxy militias are gaining strength. Militias under Iranian control can achieve Teheran’s imperial goals almost as well as WWII-style armed forces.
We've talked about it before:
It doesn’t take a great military theorist to see that Iran is applying a pincer movement against Saudi Arabia. While the world focuses on U.S./Iran nuclear negotiations, the mullahs–and Putin–have their eyes on more immediate and immensely more juicy prey. They believe, despite the deployment of U.S. Navy vessels leading Iran to turn back an Iranian naval convoy last week, that Obama will do nothing effective.

It's Just A Matter of Time, Randy Travis

Earnings Being Reported
Valero (largest independent refiner) and NOV have both reported earnings this morning; both beating estimates by a large margin. Range Resources (RRC) will report after market close today.  
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site, yada, yada, yada. 

Fracking Water By Pipeline -- The Bakken -- April 28, 2015

Yesterday, we drove out east of Williston, driving about 23 miles east to Lund's Landing. Several miles before we got to Lund's Landing we noted a pipeline running from a water source -- probably the river -- along the road for several miles. The pipeline is flexible -- some kind of heavy plastic, obviously -- and perhaps 12 inches in diameter (but I am a very, very poor judge of estimating pipe diameters). It appeared to be taking water to wells for fracking.

On the way back we saw a pump and just as we were leaving an individual drove up to the pump. We drove back and chatted. Apparently there are two companies in the local area doing this: pumping water through temporary pipelines laid on the surface; water to be used for fracking. He estimated that the farthest they have gone with this is a well sited seventeen (17) miles as the pipeline runs from the water source.

From a 2013 Reuters article:
Energy companies get most of their water in the state by trucking it from depots to oil and natural gas wells. Some wells require more than 650 truckloads to frack. Companies such as EOG Resources Inc and Halliburton Co are experimenting with ways to reduce their dependence on water.
Fracking water depots, which cost roughly $200,000 to build and can gross more than $700,000 per year, are typically small metal buildings on concrete slabs filled with pumps and small tanks connected to the Missouri River or local aquifers. They can have two to six hookups and fill water trucks with as much as 7,800 gallons of water per visit.
[A] government-backed co-op has nine water depots to hold the fresh water that is piped from the treatment plant in Williston, about 45 miles north of Watford. It plans to build four more depots throughout the Bakken and hugely expand its pipeline system to bring fresh water to more homes. Small lines from the new pipelines will connect directly to some oil wells.
On the other side, Independent Water Providers member JMAC Resources will build more water depots in the region and a massive pipeline just south of the Missouri River to supply oil wells. Other members of the group have also applied for depot permits.
North Dakota water suppliers do not pay for water, and the state legislature rejected a proposed water tax earlier this year. Each side's plans will rapidly increase the options that energy companies have to access water, further depressing prices.
The operation in the video above was JMAC. The individual who I spoke to drove up in a pickup truck with the WDW logo on the cab doors. From an April, 2014, Roundup article:
Williston: West Dakota Water (WDW) is saving the state, counties and townships millions of dollars in road maintenance and construction costs through private investment in water pipeline infrastructure.
WDW Principal Engineer Drew Poeckes states, "The most economical way to transport water is through a pipeline. We currently pipe water upwards of 30 miles to well sites by utilizing permanent underground infrastructure to transport the water. West Dakota Water takes away much truck traffic to and from well sites thus saving the state, counties and townships money on the maintenance of their road systems. We are a private company putting in infrastructure (pipelines) that takes the burden off of the public infrastructure (roads)."
WDW is a subsidiary company to JMAC Resources, Inc., and has worked closely with their engineering and technical partner Bartlett & West, to plan, design, construct and provide operational services for fresh water delivery.
This is a video of one of the smaller pads to which water is being brought by surface pipeline to the wells; this is about 20 miles east of Williston on 1804:

From the linked article:
WDW was granted an industrial permit by the ND State Water Commission in 2012 to withdraw 10,000 ac-ft. annually from the Missouri River. In addition to this permit, WDW was also permitted to construct permanent submerged intakes into the Missouri River for withdrawing this water. The installed intakes allow for year round access to the water even in the harshest weather conditions. 
I'm not going to go through the math again, but a long time ago I mentioned how many wells could be fracked with an acre-foot of water.

Oh, I might as well re-do some of the math just for the fun of it. 

For newbies: Garrison Dam is currently releasing about 22,000 cubic feet / second.

One acre-foot: the amount of water that would cover one acre of land, one foot deep. One acre-foot = 43,560 cubic feet.

One cubic foot of water = 7.5 gallons.

So, 22,000 cubic feet / second = 7.5 gallons = 165,000 gallons of water/second.

2,000 wells x  5 million gallons of water to frack a well = 10,000 million gallons of water.

10,000 million / 165,000 gallons of water per second = 60,000 seconds = 1,000 minutes = 17 hours of water released from the Garrison Reservoir.

My math may be way off. I often make simple arithmetic errors.

Other posts on water, fracking, and the Bakken:
Again, this is an old, old subject; talked about it at length years ago; a non-issue but I suppose it helped me to go through it again.

Apple Earnings Surge 33% On iPhone Sales -- April 28, 2015; Apple Announces Significant Increase In Dividend

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment or financial decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here. Do not make any decisions about what type of computers to buy or whether to buy a new watch based on anything you read here. Do not make any travel plans based on what you read here. Don't change your views on water fluoridation based on what you read here or elsewhere. Memo to self: stay out of west Baltimore for a day or two.

Spoiler alert: the rest of this page will be devoted to Apple earnings 2Q15; there will be nothing about the Bakken. If you came here for the Bakken, leave now. If you hate Apple, definitely leave now.

Links to some stories that were posted yesterday regarding Apple's 2Q15 earnings:
The numbers:
  • With strong iPhone sales (and perhaps also lower memory prices) providing a lift, Apple had an FQ2 gross margin of 40.8%, up 150 bps Y/Y and above guidance of 38.5%-39.5%. FQ3 GM guidance is at 38.5%-39.5%.
  • Product line performance: iPhone revenue (69% of total revenue) +55% Y/Y to $40.3B; iPhone units +40%. iPad -29% to $5.4B; units -23%. Mac +2% to $5.6B; units +10%. Services (iTunes, App Store, AppleCare, Apple Pay, etc.) +9% to $5B. Other products (iPod, Apple TV, Beats) -10% to $1.7B.
  • Regional performance: Americas revenue +19% to $21.3B. Europe +12% to $12.2B. Greater China +71% to $16.8B. Japan -15% to $3.5B. Rest of Asia-Pac +48% to $4.2B. International sales were 69% of revenue, up from FQ1's 65%.
  • iPhone ASP was $659, down from FQ1's $687 but up from FQ4's $603 (iPhone 6 Plus boost). iPad ASP was $430 vs. $419 in FQ1 and $432 in FQ4. Mac ASP was $1,231 vs. $1,258 in FQ1 and $1,200 in FQ4.
  • GAAP SG&A spend rose 18% Y/Y to $3.46B. R&D spend rose 35% to $1.92B.
  • $7B was spent on buybacks, up from FQ1's $5B. Apple ended FQ2 with over $193B in cash/investments (much of it offshore), and nearly $44B in debt.
  • Apple's increased quarterly dividend of $0.52/share is good for a yield of 1.5% at current levels. The next dividend is payable on May 14 to shareholders on record as of the May 11 close.
The most interesting data point to watch next quarter: the margins on the Apple Watch.

The data points that jump out at me:
  • this was not the Christmas quarter, nor the beginning of the school year, and yet Mac computer sales increased 10%; one will find that PCs overall are decreasing in sales; Apple continues to increase
  • Apple sales in China, at $17 billion (just getting started) almost equal to US sales at $21 billion (mature)
  • average selling price for an iPad has increased
  • margins at 40% are huge (though down from some quarters; IIRC, Apple has had margins as high as 45%
Other data points from one of the linked articles above:
  • for its fiscal 2015 Q2 earnings, Apple posted a 27.5% y/y increase in revenue and a 30% y/y increase in operating income
  • Apple's growth has been fueled by the continuing success of the iPhone 6 and the company's rapid expansion in emerging markets, especially China
30% increase year-over-year! This is a mature company, in a very, very competitive space, been around since only about 1984.
Companies the size of Apple aren't supposed to grow by roughly 30% y/y. The reason Apple shouldn't be growing so fast has something to do with the Law of Large Numbers. Apple has now violated that "law" for the past two quarters. Perhaps that's why the analysts on the conference call seemed so subdued. They were still getting over their shock. 
  • During the company's earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said sales in Greater China rose about 100 percent year over year. 
100% year-over-year in the world's biggest economy.

As predicted:
As many expected, Apple announced an expansion of its capital return program. The program will be increased 50% to $200 billion through March 2017. Apple increased the quarterly dividend to $.52/share, and increased the share repurchase program to $140 billion. Share repurchase funds were about to run out, with $80 billion of the $90 billion allocated already spent. 
More from that fanboy:
According to Cook, the rapid expansion of the middle class in China is what's fueling Apple iPhone sales. As people become more affluent, they are tossing their white-box Android phones for something more upscale. Apple has intelligently positioned itself as that upscale alternative. Apple's retail presence in China, the beauty and elegance of its stores, serve to reinforce the upscale perception.

Most ridiculous column I've seen in the past 24 hours regarding Apple was in Forbes:
With Apple’s billions sitting in the bank, I’m constantly surprised that it hasn’t taken big steps to invest some of this cash into battery technology. If it could increase the power density of its batteries even by 10-15%, it could tempt many users away from  Android and other mobile platforms because the fact of the matter is, every smartphone currently suffers from this issue to some degree.
The writer needs to look at the battery technology used in the new Apple MacBook. 

Memo to self: avoid articles by Antony Leather in the future.

Tuesday -- April 28, 2015

One well coming off confidential list today
  • 27958, 509, OXY USA, State Dvorak A 2-16-21H-142-96, Manning, 40 stages; 4.3 million lbs sand, the lateral drilled in 15 days; spud to TD, 21 days; middle Bakken; gas max at 3,316 units; connection gases as high as 3,992 units; highest trip gas was 5,187 units; t101/4; cum 40K 2/15;
Nine (9) new permits Monday --
  • Operators: XTO (6), Statoil (2), BR
  • Fields: Siverston (McKenzie), Banks (McKenzie), Fayette (Dunn)
  • Comments:
  • Whiting renewed permits for three Skunk Creek wells in Dunn County
  • Petro-Hunt renewed a permit for a Dolezal well in Dunn County
Active rigs:

Active Rigs84185187209174

RBN Energy: monthly review of CBR data (EIA);
We first examine rail shipments out of the Rockies – known to the EIA as Petroleum Administration District for Defense (PADD) IV – consisting of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho.
In the three years from January 2012 to January 2015 total CBR shipments out of PADD IV grew 18 fold from 10 Mb/d to just under 200 Mb/d – picking up significantly during 4Q 2013. Just as we have seen with the growth of CBR in North Dakota and Canada earlier in this series, the take off in the Rockies correlates closely with growing crude production in the region – in particular production from the Niobrara shale.
Monthly Niobrara crude production estimates grew nearly 3 fold over the period from 137 Mb/d in January 2012 to 395 Mb/d in January 2015. As happened in North Dakota, the rapid growth in Rockies crude production overwhelmed existing pipeline capacity – encouraging the build out of rail loading facilities.
We have previously detailed the build out of takeaway infrastructure in the Rockies as a result of increased Niobrara crude production from Wyoming’s Powder River and Colorado’s Denver Julesburg (DJ) basins. Although there are several large pipelines due online in 2015 and 2016 that will alleviate takeaway congestion, rail took up the slack and helped producers get crude to market in 2014.
The big increase in overall CBR movements that you see in the chart during 2014 mirrored the build out of rail load facilities in Wyoming (that added 5 load terminals with over 400 Mb/d capacity since the end of 2013) and in Colorado (three large rail load terminals with 130 Mb/d capacity). 
Much, much more at the link; the post will be archived at the source.

Canadian Politics: The #1 Topic Readers Are Interested In

From Reuters via Rigzone:
The Canadian province of Alberta, the largest source of U.S. crude imports, may be poised to change its government for the first time in 44 years as the ruling Progressive Conservatives (PCs) struggle with the shock of tumbling oil prices.
With just a week remaining in the election campaign, polls show the PCs trailing their opponents, hurt by an unpopular tax increase and campaign missteps.
The PCs have won 12 straight elections, the longest uninterrupted run of any provincial or federal party in Canadian history.
But Premier Jim Prentice, who left investment banking to become party head in September, faces a challenge from the right and left in the May 5 election.
Polls show the center-right PCs trailing the right-wing Wildrose Party in what had been the party's rural strongholds, while the left-wing New Democrats may be poised to sweep as many as 20 seats in the capital of Edmonton.


Random look at small oil pad a few miles north of Alexander: