Friday, May 1, 2015

Highlights Of The Agenda For The NDIC's May, 2015, Hearing Dockets Has Been Posted


May 3, 2015: a reader noted this --

Two more interesting cases. Ff you look closer. 23969, and 23970 are for BR for spacing in two fields in Stark county. The interesting thing: BR does not yet have any wells in either if these fields. So apparently they will be drilling in these fields.
I talked to a Denbury company hand last year who said Denbury was going to start drilling around Dickinson this year. I wonder if it will actually be a Denbury-BR partnership, possibly including Armstrong Operating, as Denbury and Armstrong do have wells in these two fields. It will be interesting to watch.
The reader is correct; there are not BR wells in either field. BR had a permit in Eland field some years ago but it was canceled. A longer time ago, Conoco (which bought BR) had a dry well in Eland. So, BR has no wells in Eland-Bakken. That field is pretty much a Denbury field with some Wesco wells and some Armstrong wells. Armstrong has two active oil wells in Versippi (old wells) and one SWD well in same field. Note: I took this information from the NDIC website. I often make mistakes; if this information is important to you, go to the source.

Original Post
Disclaimer: these summaries are for my personal use only; you are free to read them; don't quote me on them; there will be typographical and factual errors.  If this is important to you go to the source. Link here.

Full summary here but these are the cases that caught me eye. In addition, there are some interesting set-back requests, requests for flaring waivers, etc. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
23958, Hess, Beaver Lodge-Bakken, establish two overlapping 2560-acre units; one well each; 11 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, Williams County
23961, Hess, Robinson Lake-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 2 wells; 14 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, Mountrail
23977, Oasis, Willow Creek and/or Camp-Bakken, establish a laydown 2560-acre unit; 28 wells on said unit; establish an overlapping 3840-acre unit; 3 wells; establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit; 3 wells; establish another overlapping 2560-acre unit; 1 well, Williams, McKenzie
23978, Oasis, North Tobacco Garden and/or Siverston-Bakken; establish six overlapping 2560-acre units; 3 wells on each, McKenzie
23983, Hess, Antelope-Bakken, 16 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie County
23900, Whiting, Banks-Bakken, 7 wells on an existing 2560-acre unit, McKenzie
23991, Whiting, Heart Butte and/or South Fork-Bakken, 4 wells on a 320-acre unit; 8 wells on each of two 1280-acre units; 10 wells on five 1280-acre units, Dunn

Thursday, May 28, 2015
24006, CLR, North Tobacco Garden-Bakken, 14 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
24012, EOG, Parshall-Bakken, establish nine overlapping 1280-acre units; multiple wells; and establish four overlapping 1920-acre units; multiple wells, Mountrail
24019, Samson Resources, Ambrose-Bakken, establish an overlapping 160--acre unit; 9 wells, Divide
23020, Newfield, Haystack Butte-Bakken, establish an overlapping 1280-acre unit; 9 wells, Dunn
24053, Newfield, Bear Den-Bakken, ten wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; McKenzie
24054, Legacy, Red Rock Field, Souris Field, allowing the production of 39 wells to be  producedinto a central tank battery
24060, CLR, Rattlesnake Point-Bakken, ten wells on an existing 1280-acre unit; Dunn

Friday, May 29, 2015
All continued cases

Today's Rigzone Stories-- May 1, 2015

Links to stories over at Rigzone tonight; I'm too tired to do anything more than just link the stories tonight.
My hunch on the tax break: won't happen; May's WTI will stay above the floor.

My thoughts on the Aramco restructuring: look out  -- it appears Saudi is getting ready to maximize profits.

Week 17: April 26, 2015 -- May 2, 2015

One of the top stories this past week might be the fact that the price of WTI may have hit a new floor: $60. Another top story are the new North Dakota state oil production tax laws (linked below).

I drove from Dallas (Texas) to Williston; visited my dad for a few days, and then drove back to Dallas (Texas). Without question, the top story of the week has to be Reuters finding another reason why President Obama won't be announcing a decision on the Keystone XL before this October (2015).

My visit to North Dakota
Construction in the Bakken; price of gasoline, Texas to North Dakota
Video of truck reliever route northwest of Williston
Traffic at the four-mile corner west of Williston
Photograph: vacancy at the El Rancho hotel
Video of a "baby pad" in the Bakken
Video of the new bridge under construction across the Missouri River south of Williston
Video of a pad north of Alexander
Video of the Alexander bypass
Fracking water by pipeline
Video of another pad north of Alexander
Future home of SM Energy north of Williston
Crazy map of Williston
Video of "Country Cafe" in Alexander
Menards in Williston
Another pad north of Alexander

"NC" now being used by drillers: "NC" means the well has reached TD, but is awaiting completion 

Bakken economy
State passes new laws on production taxes on oil and gas
Three new electrical power infrastructure projects approved for the Bakken

Dickinson MDU-Calumet refinery to be on-line by May, 2015

New biofuel to be planted in North Dakota for US Navy jets  

The former Mrs Harold Hamm loses her appeal

Construction In The Bakken -- May 1, 2015; Prices Of Gasoline, Texas To North Dakota

2014 - 2016 might go down as the period in which some huge roads and bridges were completed in the Bakken.

I cannot believe how fast the bypasses around Watford City and Alexander were completed. These were not small projects. A year ago I don't recall any evidence that the bypasses were being built. This year the truck reliever routes around Williston look like they are going to be completed. And the new four-lane Lewis and Clark bridge across the Missouri River is under construction and will likely be completed this summer, it appears.

Videos of these various projects can be found here

And, of course, this is on top of all the other roads that were upgraded or smaller new roads put in.

I noticed something different this year about road construction. Back in 2011, when things were really, really crazy, and there were not enough workers in the Bakken to get anything done, there were no flagmen / flagwomen alerting drivers to heavy equipment operating in the area. This time, there were many, many flagmen along the roads under construction. Not only that, but I also saw a pick-up truck with a water tank in the back with a man washing those plastic cones along the sides and down the middle of the roads. I don't think I've ever seen those plastic cones being washed.

I did not get over to Watford City this visit, but I know, based on my trip there last autumn, that there must be some great new roads north and west of that city.

I also forgot to take a photograph of the underpass being built under the Williston bypass, 18th street. I thought it would have been completed, but the winter slowed them down. It will be completed by the next time I get back to Williston. 

There are still too many buildings under construction to keep track of -- the big ones include the four-story building going up on south Main Street across from the old Hedderich's building.  I've already mentioned the new SM Energy building north of Williston (and a photograph). The huge, new high school on the northwest edge of Williston will be built this year; ground was broken on the day before I left Williston this past week to return to Texas. They say the high school will be completed by the autumn of 2016, in time for the 2016 - 2017 school year.

The new Williston airport will also probably break ground later this year. The contractor, I understand, has been selected, and final siting should be announced. Apparently "they" can't use the current ISN for the new Williston airport and all the "good" three-letter codes have been taken. It would have been nice if OIL would have been available, but it wasn't: Oil City, Pennsylvania, has that one. So, the IATA code for Williston will be something like XWA.

Menard's in Williston is huge (previously posted) and should be opening any day now. 

Some other announcements:
New Building Going Up On South Main

Oh, by the way, everywhere construction was being done -- roads or buildings -- the folks were working well into the evening and on Sundays. They were taking advantage of the good weather and long days.

For The Archives: April, 2015, Trip To The Bakken
Gasoline Prices

Price for unleaded, least expensive (generally 87 octane rating) gasoline; places where I stopped to buy gasoline (disclaimer: generally rounded; sometimes I could not read my own handwriting and my price may be slightly off):
  • Grapevine, Texas (near DFW) -- origin: $2.49 
  • Oklahoma - Kansas state line -- $2.29 (in Oklahoma) 
  • Phillipsburg, NE: $2.36 
  • Oshkosh, NE: $2.49 
  • Rapid City, SD: $2.39 
  • Belfield, ND: $2.45 
  • Williston, ND: $2.50 
Return Trip 
  • Belfield, ND: $2.50 
  • Hermosa, SD (nr Rapid City): $2.48 
  • Oglala, NE: $2.50 
  • Hays, KS: $2.42 
  • Wichita, KS (south of the city): $2.36 
  • Oklahoma City: $2.25 
  • Grapevine, Texas -- $2.49 
  • pretty much the same everywhere
  • most expensive gasoline was at the CENEX stations. I only made the mistake of getting gasoline once at a CENEX station
  • Williston and Grapevine were the most expensive; Oklahoma the least expensive

Seven (7) New Permits -- May 1, 2015; Blowing Bubbles

Active rigs:

Active Rigs86187189209173

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: WPX (4), CLR (3)
  • Fields: Van Hook (Mountrail), Crazy Man Creek (Williams)
  • Comments:
One (1) producing well completed:
  • 28920, 1,587, Hess, BB-Belquist-150-95-1110H-10, Blue Buttes, t4/15; cum -- 
Blowing Bubbles 

Old News From Market Watch Today: Saudi Increasing The Number Of Drilling Rigs -- May 1, 2015

Market Watch has this story today:
Saudi Arabia has been making some big moves lately, most notably in its leadership reshuffle, but the country also has raised the number of rigs it has actively drilling for oil and natural gas by 30% since March 2014.
The most recent data from Baker Hughes show that Saudi Arabia had 125 active oil and gas rigs in March of this year, up from 96 the same time a year earlier. The total represents an all-time high. He said the number of active oil rigs is at a record too.
The rig count has climbed despite the fact that the “world market is still flooded with oil,” Williams said. “This indicates that the Saudis are expanding production capacity,” he noted. That is excess capacity that could be used at any time to “flood the market and crash the [oil] price.”
Also, note this, on April 16, 2015, it was reported:
Saudi Arabia boosted crude production to the highest in three decades in March, with a surge equal to half the daily output of the Bakken formation in North Dakota. 
The kingdom boosted daily crude output by 658,800 barrels in March to an average of 10.294 million.
Don't get too excited by the Market Watch story that came out today. There are other data points to consider.

Saudi Arabia is building two new refineries at home to produce refined products (gasoline, diesel, etc) to sell to Europe. In addition, one-half of Saudi's oil production is used domestically. They need increased production for those two new refineries.

That 658,000-bbl increase represents a 15% increase, but in the big scheme of things, Saudi production has been pretty consistent(ly flat) since 2008.


The Market Watch story today is old news (see the Rigzone story below). I track the number of rigs in the Bakken because it gives me an idea of the level of activity in home state, but doesn't tell me much else if that data point is reported in a vacuum (i.e., as the only data point).

I consider Rigzone a much, much more reliable source, and this is what Rigzone wrote back on March 21, 2015:
Saudi perspective: Saudi says they will increase sharply the number of drilling rigs. This is a huge story; long-time readers of the blog know my thoughts on this (Saudi Perspective, Peak Oil?)

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
As the global energy industry stares transfixed at a spectacular drop in U.S. rigs, Saudi Arabia is ramping up the number of machines drilling for oil and gas despite a sharp fall in the price of crude.
Industry sources and analysts say the OPEC kingpin is looking beyond the halving of global oil prices since June 2014 to a time when crude could again be in short supply. Riyadh is therefore keen to preserve what is known as its spare capacity - the kingdom's unique ability to raise oil output quickly at any given moment.
But to achieve that, Saudi Arabia has to drill much more than in the past, after boosting output to record levels to compensate for global supply outages in the past four years. "The Saudis are probably worried about everyone else reducing capex as a result of low oil prices and about non-OPEC output falling off a cliff at some point.
We all know that supply disruptions are unpredictable but they are certain," said Gary Ross, executive chairman of New York oil consultancy PIRA. "The increase in Saudi rig numbers is like a signal to the industry - let's be rational. We will need supply growth in the future."

Home Safely -- May 1, 2015; Solar Gardens Along The Road To Germany

I got home safely, arriving this morning about 10:00 a.m. I could have gotten home at 4:00 a.m. but decided to sleep at a nice rest area somewhere north of Dallas. Lots to write about, but will save it for later.

All I can say is that there are few things more relaxing and more enjoyable than a cross-country trip across the United States. Wow, it was wonderful and beautiful. I had forgotten how friendly midwesterners are. When servers in McDonald's come by to refill your cup of coffee -- not once, or twice, but three times -- you can't help but be reminded how friendly folks are in this part of the country.

Environmentalists who enjoy the scenery, need to visit northeast Hays, Kansas, to see how huge wind farms have forever changed the landscape of that area ... and it will only get "worse." Unless, of course, you like wind turbines. It is really, really sad. You have to see it for yourself to see how out-of-state environmentalists have "altered" the landscape of Kansas forever.

Speaking of which, I see that Minnesota continues to put up wind farms in North Dakota. is reporting:
Xcel Energy says it will spend $300 million to purchase and complete a wind farm in North Dakota under development by Geronimo Energy. The purchase salvages a project that might otherwise not have been finished because no wind energy company emerged to buy and operate it.
Xcel planned to buy electricity produced by the wind farm in Stutsman County, North Dakota. But the utility didn’t necessarily want to own it. Xcel has two other large wind farms under construction.
Geronimo executive Betsy Engelking tells the Star Tribune that an unfavorable tax ruling in North Dakota made it difficult to find an outside buyer. If Xcel completes the project before the end of 2016, it’s expected to qualify for the federal wind production tax credit.
But then this story. Apparently Xcel likes renewable energy ... just not too much (they don't want to "take the road to Germany"). is also reporting:
Xcel Energy Inc., alarmed that its Minnesota community solar program has unleashed large-scale corporate solar development, on Tuesday said it will enforce size limits on projects — a controversial step that would cancel more than 80 percent of those proposed so far.
Even with a size limit, Xcel officials said Minnesota will boast one of the largest community solar programs in the nation. Such programs, which Xcel pioneered in Colorado, let customers subscribe to shared solar arrays built by energy developers in farm fields or on large commercial rooftops.
Such deals by large energy users represent “a very different product than the one that was intended by the Legislature,” Aakash Chandarana, Xcel regional vice president of rates and regulatory affairs, said in an interview.
Although Xcel supported the 2013 Minnesota law that authorized community solar gardens, the utility has complained that solar developers are proposing clusters of up to 40 adjacent solar gardens on single sites.

“That is going to bring us back to facilitating really what is supposed to be a community-based program as opposed to a program where you have got the equivalent of a large power plant being built on our distribution system,” Chandarana said.
More than 500 solar gardens have been proposed in Xcel’s Minnesota service area. All are still under review by Xcel. If the large clusters of projects are excluded, Xcel said it still expects about 80 MW of solar gardens would be developed by the end of 2016.
The solar industry likely will challenge Xcel’s directive before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which established the solar garden rules.
“It is a shocking development for the utility to take such a brazen approach to kill solar in Minnesota,” said Mark Andrew, president and founder of GreenMark Solar, which has been planning 25 MW of community solar projects, some of them at clustered sites.
Lynn Hinkle, director of policy for the Minnesota Solar Industries Association, said he believes Xcel is contradicting a 2014 PUC order allowing multiple solar gardens on a single site. “I don’t know how anybody else could interpret it any differently,” he said.
Chandarana said about 15 solar developers have submitted applications to install nearly 560 MW of solar projects in Minnesota. That’s the equivalent of a large power plant. He said Xcel had expected that about 20 MW of solar gardens would be built each year for the first five years.
Laura McCarten, a regional vice president for Xcel, said the company’s scaled-back program still would be “one of the largest community solar garden programs in the nation — comparable to what the state of California expects to see by the end of 2016.”
Much, much more at the linked article. 

Why The GOP Is Ignoring ObamaCare -- Letting The Courts Decide -- And Following The Money

Everything in the article was "predicted" on the blog three years ago. This is really quite amazing. The only thing that I did not see: a) states will force the health insurers to pay higher fees to cover the cost of subsidies; and, b) the taxpayers will take up the slack.

I track ObamaCare under The Doomsday Chronicles

The Washington Post is reporting the ObamaCare exchanges are in deep doo-doo:
Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act.
Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer-call centers — and tepid enrollment numbers.
To ease the fiscal distress, officials are considering raising fees on insurers, sharing costs with other states and pressing state lawmakers for cash infusions. Some are weighing turning over part or all of their troubled marketplaces to the federal exchange,, which is now working smoothly.
"... which is now working smoothly....." Okay.

But at the end of the day, the preferred method: raising taxes on the middle income. 

ObamaCare faces another threat: The Supreme Court will decide by the end of June whether consumers in the 34 states using the federal exchange will be barred from receiving subsidies to buy insurance.
If the court strikes down subsidies in the federal exchange, the states that are struggling financially might be less likely to turn over all operations to the federal marketplace because they want to make sure their residents don’t lose subsidies to help them buy insurance. If the court upholds subsidies for the federal exchange, some states may step up efforts to transfer operations to
My hunch: the Court will uphold the law.

This is why some of the states did not want to go along with ObamaCare, getting stuck with escalating costs:
States have received nearly $5 billion in federal grants to establish the online marketplaces used by consumers to enroll in health plans under the ACA. The federal funding ended at the beginning of the year, and exchanges now are required to cover their operating costs.

Ford Reports April, 2015, Results -- May 1, 2015

April U.S. sales increased 5 percent:
  • best April sales performance best since April 2006 
  • Ford brand SUVs deliver all-time April sales record, best April sales ever
  • all-new Ford Edge delivers best-ever April sales Ford F-Series retail sales up 8 percent
  • EcoBoost™ V6 engines represent record 63 percent of 2015 F-150 retail sales; best-ever;
  • premium Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models are 60 percent of retail sales
  • commercial vans post best April sales since 1987 
  • Ford Mustang has best April performance since 2006 
  • Lincoln has best retail April sales results in seven years 
Rumor: Ford will be sending Saudi Arabia a thank you note for giving away oil at $50/bbl this spring. 

I counted six "bests" in that summary.

Friday -- May 1, 2015; Pressure On Saudi Arabia; Greek Default Slides To May 12 (Or Not); But First Payment Due Today

OPEC output near 2 1/2 year high; no let-up in production. Bloomberg is reporting: 
 OPEC oil production was little changed in April near the highest level since November 2012 as Saudi Arabia pumped 10 million barrels a day. Production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries slipped 1,000 barrels to 31.295 million a day this month.
Last month’s total was revised 267,000 barrels higher to 31.296 million a day, mostly because of a change to the Saudi estimate. Prices tumbled the first quarter of this year as U.S. output surged to the highest level in more than four decades and OPEC members pumped more barrels. The 12-member group left its production quota unchanged at a November meeting, prompting speculation that it would let crude slide low enough to curb shale development in the U.S.
“The high Saudi number is what sticks out,” Julius Walker, senior consultant at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna said by phone. “The consensus view is that the Saudis are going to continue with their present policy. The market continues to be substantially oversupplied.”
Reminder: Saudi is fighting a war in the Mideast.


Active rigs:

Active Rigs86187189209173

RBN Energy: Asian LNG Demand and US Production.
The pace of liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand growth in Asia will be a critical factor in determining how much natural gas North American producers export over the next 10 to 20 years, and gas/LNG export levels are sure to affect U.S. and Canadian gas production levels and prices. Last year's pause in Asian LNG demand growth--combined with a collapse in LNG prices--led many to wonder, where is all this heading, and what does it mean for gas producers and LNG exporters? Today, we continue our review of the fast-changing international LNG market with a look at Asia's burgeoning gas needs and how they will likely be met.
Of the 4,023 worldwide LNG shipments made in 2014, 2,886 (or 72%) were to Asian ports—and more than half (1,524) were to Japan, which is by far the largest consumer of LNG. Asian markets also represent the future of the LNG trade; the vast majority of the growth in worldwide LNG demand is expected to occur there, most of it in China and India and as a bunker fuel for ships plying the region’s waters. As we’ll get to, LNG demand growth in China is the biggest wild card.
Chinese demand is expected to grow rapidly but the forecast shows two scenarios – a low case and a high case. Which of these scenarios proves more likely depends on several factors, chief among them how much natural gas China gets delivered by pipeline from nearby regions of mainland Asia.
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.

Conoco Transcript

Mentions the Bakken.

Other Companies In The News

CVX: earnings.  Huge beat; forecast 79 cents; reports $1.37.

TransCanadamet expectations, 66 Canadian cents.

Genesee and Wyoming: beats by a penny.

Whiting would add rigs if oil hit $70. A lot of companies would add rigs if WTI / Bakken gets back to $70.  From Reuters:
WILLISTON, N.D., April 30 (Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp., the top oil producer in North Dakota, plans to keep 11 drilling rigs operating through 2016, though it would add "a couple of rigs" if crude prices rise to $70 a barrel.
The comments from CEO Jim Volker were among the most definitive yet from a leader of a big crude producer on what threshold is needed to start fresh drilling and curb recent pullbacks that have rocked the oil sector since prices started to drop last summer.
Thus far this quarter, executives at industry peers have sent mixed messages on adding new rigs. Hess Corp, for example, does not plan to add any rigs this year, while Pioneer Natural Resources Co told Reuters last week that it was considering adding rigs in the near future.
Shell still waiting for US permit to drill in the Arctic.
Royal Dutch Shell is pushing ahead with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska this summer despite opposition from environmental groups. The Anglo-Dutch oil major is preparing "an armada of 25 vessels" to begin a two-year program to explore two to three wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.
Saudi Burning Through Foreign Cash Reserves

From The Financial Times:
Saudi Arabia is burning through its foreign reserves at a record rate as the kingdom seeks to maintain spending plans despite lower oil prices. The central bank’s foreign reserves have dropped by $36bn, or 5 per cent, over the past two months, as newly crowned King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud dips into Riyadh’s rainy-day fund and increases domestic borrowing to fund public sector salaries and large development projects.

The latest data show Saudi’s foreign reserves dropped by $16bn to $708bn in March, driven by public sector bonuses paid by King Salman after he assumed power in January. This follows a fall of $20bn in February. Saudi Arabia has spent $47bn of foreign reserves since October. The king this week reshuffled his royal court, replacing Crown Prince Muqrin, one-time heir to the throne, as he seeks to shore up his power base and promote a younger generation of princes, including his son and nephew.
Significantly, the appointments of two well respected technocrats, labour minister Adel al-Faqih to the economy and planning brief and oil executive Khalid al-Falih to the health ministry, are meant to signal King Salman’s intent to tackle the country’s economic difficulties. Unveiling his reshuffle, King Salman promised a bonus payment for military personnel engaged in the kingdom’s month-long bombardment of Houthi rebels in Yemen, a campaign that itself added pressure to state coffers.
High quality global journalism requires investment. \The International Monetary Fund has warned Gulf states to cut spending on wages and subsidies to prevent the draining of national reserves. “The [military] bonuses are not an encouraging sign,” said Steffen Herthog of the London School of Economics. “It shows the knee-jerk reaction to political challenges is to distribute more money.”
If Saudi is feeling the pressure, imagine the pressure felt by the other OPEC nations.

EAI Statistics For Friday

Natural gas fill rate (dynamic link): 81 (very, very slightly below 5-year average).

Weekly US gasoline demand: drops.

The Stories Not Being Reported

Whatever happened to the Ebola epidemic?  First line from April 22, 2015 report:
The decline in confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has halted over the last three weeks. To accelerate the decline towards zero cases will require stronger community engagement, improved contact tracing and earlier case identification. In the week to 19 April, a total of 33 confirmed cases was reported, compared with 37 and 30 in the preceding weeks.
Whatever happened to the Greek tragedy? From the BBC April 24, 2015:
Greece initially has to come up with €200m on 1 May.
But the payment stirring jitters around Europe is a €760m (£550m; $810m) IMF bill due on 12 May.
So many crunch dates have come and gone for Greek reforms to be agreed, but the consensus is now that if any bailout money is to be released then the talking will have to stop by 30 June.
Losing Track Of War Zones Under US "Peace Prize" President

Now, US Navy will escort "every" US-flagged ship near Iran. The president has no trouble negotiating lifting Iranian sanctions while at war with the country, but is unable to bring himself to even look at the Keystone XL during Canada's political season.