Monday, June 1, 2015

OPEC Needs A New Mission Statement -- June 1, 2015

Earlier today I posted a number of links to stories on OPEC. Add another one, this one from Reuters via Rigzone:
Two landmark events this month will underscore the extent to which the oil market's balance of power has been transformed by the shale revolution.
In Washington, Congress will begin considering legislation to permit the export of crude oil from the United States, reversing a four decade ban put in place after the first oil crisis in 1973/74.
In Vienna, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to roll over its crude production target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) even though prices have fallen more than 40 percent over the last 12 months.
Rather than reduce production to boost prices, Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC members are prepared to continue pumping to defend market share and maximise revenue.
After 40 years when OPEC appeared to play the dominant role balancing supply and demand and influencing prices (sometimes successfully, sometimes not), power has passed to the shale drillers of North America.
Now it is the shale drillers who must decide whether to respond to the recent price rebound by re-activating rigs and completing more wells, at the risk of sending the price tumbling again.
The first event will be political theater: Congressional debate on US oil export. Really? LOL. A blanket reversal of the outright ban won't happen -- ever -- and certainly not during a presidential campaign.

The second event -- the OPEC meeting will be also be all talk. How it all turns out will only be known six to twelve months from now. The OPEC meeting will be a noisy debate between Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC. But after the noisy debate, OPEC will do what Saudi Arabia says OPEC will do. OPEC is an organization in name only.

I think there are two data points much more interesting than these two data point-events (Congressional debate on exporting oil and OPEC's fake debate).

First: the White House has clearly stated that Saudi Arabia's security is no longer an American responsibility. Saudi Arabia is on its own, even as the Mideast is more unstable that it has ever been, without American boots on the ground and a half-hearted air response.

Second data point: the US frackers are adjusting; they will do just fine. OPEC's mission statement needs to be revised


The area we live in -- at the confluence of Euliss, Grapevine, and Colleyville, and south of Southlake Texas, may be one of the most active real estate areas -- private and commercial -- in the US right now. The area is the upscale side of the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex within walking distance -- very long walking distance -- of DFW, the airport. North of the airport lies Plano where JCP is headquartered (if I recall correctly) and where Toyota's North American headquarters is now located after exiting California sometime in the last couple of years (again, if I recall correctly).

The other night, coming down a major thoroughfare in Southlake, my wife and I saw a huge "For Sale" sign on commercial property with this tag: "M.O.B. and Hospital Attached." Neither of us had any idea what that meant, either M.O.B. or "hospital attached."

Google to the rescue
The world’s largest and finest medical complex — the Texas Medical Center — is located just a couple of miles south of downtown Houston.
Over 4,000 doctors work there, performing heart surgeries, treating cancer and delivering about 20,000 babies annually. Many of the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center are ranked as best in the business.
So every ill or injured Houstonian wants to go there, right? Wrong.
The Loop-centric Houstonians may not have noticed, but there’s a huge trend to take medicine to the far flung suburbs. People in Katy get sick, too.
A tremendous amount of new medical buildings and hospitals have been built in the Houston suburbs. Medical institutions are clamoring to get a toe-hold in outer suburbia.
Therefore, suburban medical buildings are considered red hot real estate.
Real estate experts who specialize in the niche say real estate players are dying to get into MOB investments. (MOB is industry lingo for Medical Office Buildings. Apologies to Rice University’s Marching Owl Band, also known as MOB.)
The article was posted July 26, 2010 -- almost five years ago. And I never knew. Until now. 

Midstream M&A Becoming Active -- Rigzone -- June 1, 2015

This is really cool. I reported this EPD story first thing this morning -- just another story. Except that Rigzone puts it in perspective.
Although upstream mergers and acquisitions has had a slow start in the first half of 2015, the midstream sector is picking up the pace. On Monday, Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources, along with Reliance Holding USA Inc. agreed to sell their Eagle Ford midstream business to an affiliate of Enterprise Products Partners LP for $2.15 billion.
Pioneer owns 50.1 percent of the assets, and Reliance owns the remaining 49.9 percent. The midstream unit provides gas gathering, treating, compression and condensate processing services in the Eagle Ford shale. Enterprise will pay for the business in two installments, $1.15 billion at closing, which is expected in the third quarter, and $1 billion a year after closing.
Also on Monday, Ferrellgas Partners unveiled plans to buy Dallas-based Bridger Logistics for $838 million. Expected to close in July, the transaction consists of $563 million in cash and $11.2 million in Ferrellgas common units, according to a news statement. It represents an 8.4 multiple on Bridger’s estimated earnings for a 12-month period. As part of the deal, Ferrellgas’ board approved a $0.125 increase in its quarterly distribution.
Bridger, which provides integrated crude oil midstream services, has operations in 14 states and a presence in most major U.S. oil plays, including the Permian, Bakken, Rockies, Niobrara, Mid-Continent, Gulf Coast and Eagle Ford. Those assets are expected to be immediately accretive to Kansas-based Ferrellgas, and give it a platform to expand its distribution services.
Ferrellgas, one of the nation’s largest propane retailers, has only been in the midstream game since last May, when it acquired Sable Environmental LLC.
In a recent report, Foster Mellen noted that U.S. midstream activity is dominating energy’s M&A field. Other recent midstream transactions include Houston pipeline giant Kinder Morgan Inc.’s $3 billion purchase of Hiland Partners, and Vanguard Natural Resources purchase of two midstream rivals, Eagle Rock Energy Partners and LRR Energy LP.
Same story, another source is here
A report from Bentek, the forecasting unit of energy news agency Platts, found oil production in the Permian basin increased 50 percent and natural gas production increased 30 percent in the last three years.
While other reserve basins are seeing a decline in rig activity, Bentek said the Permian shale has shown resiliency in the era of low oil prices.
Enterprise last month said it had the long-term agreements in place to support the development of a 416-mile pipeline to send crude oil and condensate, an ultra-light grade of oil found largely in U.S. shale deposits, from its terminal in Midland, Texas, to a storage facility in Sealy, west of Houston.
The new pipeline would be able to carry as much as 540,000 barrels per day, largely from the Permian shale basin in Texas, and be in service by 2017. With the new midstream asset in hand, the company said it was establishing itself as a vital cog in Texas shale basins.

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. 

Off The Net For Awhile -- This Is For My Wife -- June 1, 2015

Link here. In case the link breaks, it's a story on how ABC Nightly News and David Muir jumped to the head of the pack. The link is for my wife. Who never reads my blog.

Pat On The Back

This is really, really cool. Yesterday I posted a list of those things we would be talking about today. #1 on the list: Greece. This is what I wrote:
Greece heads the list. Everything points to things getting crazy as we get closer to default. Great political theater. At a minimum, the creditors will find a way to delay another 30 days.
And here it, The New York Times reports in an article dated, but untimed, June 1, 2015: European Leaders Assemble for Urgent Meeting on Greek Crisis. The meeting was composed of these five:
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
  • President Francois Hollande, France
  • Jean-Claude Juncker, president, European Commissioin
  • Christine Lagarde, managing director, IMF
  • Mario Draghi, ECB, president
When I saw that assembly, I knew immediately the Greek story was not coming to any conclusion any time soon. Except for Chancellor Merkel, every member of the entire assembly has a vested interest to "save" Greece. It's all about their personal legacy.

But the vote won't be 4 - 1 to save Greece. Chancellor Merkel has more bark than bite. She talks a good game but at the end of the day, keeps voting with the rest of the guys and gals. The final vote will be 5 - 0.

That was my initial thought. Then deeper in the article, there it was, and I quote verbatim:
The leaders discussed how Greece could meet its obligations in June but also make a series of large payments during the summer, said a person with knowledge of the discussions.
An extension of the current aid program is one option. The creditors did not comment publicly on the meeting.
After that, the article was all about how to phrase the "non-ultimatum" to Greece, and looking into the crystal ball to see when Greece would reply with a "non-answer."

An extension of the current aid program is one option. LOL. Did anyone think otherwise?

Ford Is On A Roll; Manufacturing Stage Of The Bakken Boom; Legalese In The Bakken -- June 1, 2015

For some reason, the auto manufacturers scheduled their May numbers to be released on June 2, rather than on the first full business day of the new month, which would have been today. I assume it is due to Memorial Day sales. From Seeking Alpha:
  • TrueCar estimates the average U.S. automobile transaction price rose 4% in May.
  • Prices were up 0.5% compared to April's ATP, according to the research firm.
  • The group of automakers with 4% or more gains in pricing includes Subaru, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Ford.
  • The ratio of incentive spending by automakers fell 10 bps to 8.2% during the month.
Ford is on a roll, and Americans are spending more money on cars, iPhones, and food. On the rest of the stuff American has to offer, not so much.

Manufacturing Phase Of The Boom 

Okay, folks, pay attention. Another reader has sent a link to a story that I never should have missed. I've been slacking off. I was getting a bit bored with the whole energy story. I started the blog to educate myself about the Bakken and thought there was something to be gained by sharing it with the general public. Regular readers have become better educated about the Bakken than I have because a) they have better memories; b) aren't sidetracked by ridiculous articles on global warming or ObamaCare; and, c) gave up on Obama years ago. I'm a very, very slow learner, very gullible, and too optimistic.

Be that as it may, the aforementioned reader / link / story is from The Wall Street Journal: the shale oil boom shifts into higher gear. I skimmed the article, but need to go back and read the whole thing. From what little I read, it appears that we've talked about all of this numerous times in the past couple of years. I guess that's why I get bored. It's yada, yada, yada, Bakken, yada, yada, yada, Bakken.

What really got me excited about this article was the 250 comments (and counting). That's the most comments I have ever seen for any article in the WSJ on a subject like this. I may not be able to go through all the comments, but the comments, as is often the case, may be more interesting, and more valuable, than the article itself.

This is the type of comment that really gets me excited. It reminds me of something about the Bakken that I used to know and then forgot. I started the blog to educate myself about the Bakken. I feel more educated just from this one comment:
Great article, but I'm always surprised that the 3rd big innovation is never mentioned in these stories. Mitchell Energy fracked a lot of horizontal wells in the 90's and couldn't make a profit until they started using microseismic mapping. The same methods that map the San Anreas fault can map hydraulic fractures, but the microearthquakes are a million times smaller than damaging level (magnitude -1 to -3). Profit margins are so small that if the fractured zones overlap, frac fluid is wasted and if they have gaps, oil or gas is left behind. Only when the zones fit like a jigsaw puzzle is there a profit.
The next step is efficiently refracking old existing wells. So there is still room for lower break even prices.
Not only refracking old wells, but drilling first-time laterals in other formations following natural frack lines

I used to say the Bakken never ceases to amaze me. I need to adjust my horizon a bit: the Williston Basin never ceases to amaze me.

Quiet Title Action

Okay, folks, pay attention again. This is another important story, the link sent to  me by another reader. I hope I understand the legal argument and outcome correctly.

I've always maintained there are three Bakkens:
  • the geographical/geological Bakken where oil happens to be located and recoverable
  • the political/commercial Bakken where government jurisdictions, the oil industry, and ordinary private citizens are working together for the best possible outcome with no evidence of corruption/influence peddling by the regulators or governmental agencies
  • the Bakken as a laboratory where operators are using out-of-the-box thinking, trying new things, to get better production at lower cost. 
This article, in The Bismarck Tribune, is an example of the "second" Bakken. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
A federal court of appeals affirmed a North Dakota district court’s decision Monday to deny environmental groups from intervening in a quiet title case involving the federal government and four western North Dakota counties.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland’s denial last fall of allowing three environmental groups, including the Badlands Conservation Alliance, the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, from intervening in the case.
Billings, Golden Valley, McKenzie and Slope counties sued the U.S. government seeking to quiet title what they allege are right-of-ways along section lines of land owned by the federal government on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. The state of North Dakota later filed suit, and the cases were consolidated.
The counties argue that section lines with few exceptions in North Dakota are subject to public easements allowing for right-of-way. The federal government doesn’t recognize these rights-of-way.
The groups contended they have environmental, recreational and aesthetic interests in the area. The court ruled that the groups failed to show they had a specific interest in the case.
The appeals court received the appeal in October following Hovland’s denial of the groups’ request to intervene.
The full opinion can be found at
Quiet title action: A special legal proceeding to determine ownership of real property.  A party with a claim of ownership to land can file an action to quiet title, which serves as a sort of lawsuit against anyone and everyone else who has a claim to the land.  If the owner prevails in the quiet title action, no further challenges to the title can be brought.

I hope I'm interpreting the article correctly. I often make simple mistakes reading simple English. 

This Is Not An Investment Site
By the way, 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. 

ISIS Advancing Deeper Into Northern Syria; US Negotiating With Yemen Rebels; OPEC Losing Its Clout; And ND Rig Count Remains Unchanged -- June 10, 2015

WSJ headline story: ISIS advances further into northern Syria, the Aleppo Province. I might read the story later, but I doubt it. It's not that we've seen this movie before: we're seeing this movie in real time and already know the ending.

Also from the WSJ: the US which has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, is apparently doing just that, negotiating with Yemen rebels

Also in today's WSJ: OPEC-US oil tussle takes toll on Nigeria. Regular readers were already well aware of that story, also.

And finally this story, also from the WSJ: OPEC clout hits a low.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries used to demonstrate its power by forcing prices higher with production cuts or steadying them by flooding the market with oil. But OPEC’s meeting that starts Friday will instead demonstrate how that power has decreased, Bill Spindle, Summer Said and Benoit Faucon report. OPEC delegates expect the group to leave its output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day untouched, just as it did at its most recent meeting in November.
And that article links to another WSJ article, OPEC's pricing leverage is weakening
It's not a pretty picture for OPEC. Saudi Arabia "balances" its budget on $100 oil and that's when they are not fighting a war. Now they are giving their oil away for $60/bbl; borrowing money to maintain their (huge) cash reserves, and, fighting a war on their southern border.

But enough of that, time to get back to the Bakken.

Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs80189187215173

It looks like the June, 2015, index failed to load today. So, all I have at the moment is the two new permits issued today:
  • Operator: Crescent Point (2)
  • Fields: West Ambrose (Divide)
  • Comments:

Setting Us Up For $200 Oil -- Again -- June 1, 2015

30-second soundbite: considering where "we" are with regard to global oil and the strength of the US dollar, all-in-all, this was a pretty good day for oil bulls. And, no, this is not an investment site.


With today's Wall Street Journal article on the slump in oil prices, I was reminded of the list I posted back in January.
Countries on the watch list with plummeting oil prices:
  • Venezuela
  • Russia
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Brazil 
One can add Columbia to the list.
From today's Wall Street Journal article:
Oil bulls ought to be cheered by news from Colombia last week.
Ecopetrol, the country’s national oil champion, cut its projection for oil and natural-gas output in 2020 by more than 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. Assuming 82% of that is oil—in line with output last year—that is roughly 350,000 barrels of incremental supply off the table.
That is a lot. The International Energy Agency’s medium-term projection has production from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rising by 3.4 million barrels a day by 2020 compared with 2014. Ecopetrol’s retrenchment equates to roughly 10% of that.
Except that it doesn’t really. The IEA, anticipating Ecopetrol’s struggles, wasn’t banking on a Colombian gusher. Indeed, it expects the country’s oil output to fall by 150,000 barrels a day by 2020. Certainly, at less than $68, 2020 oil futures don’t indicate panic.
That isn’t to say the risk of expected barrels evaporating isn’t real. Take Brazil. The IEA sees its production rising almost 900,000 barrels a day by 2020, roughly a quarter of the projected non-OPEC increase. But Petróleo Brasileiro, accounting for about 90% of Brazil’s oil output, has become a byword for corruption and missed targets.
And Petrobras, as the company is known, is due to announce new, likely reduced, guidance soon.
Scandal aside, what ails Petrobras, as well as Ecopetrol, is the need to curb spending as lower oil prices constrain cash flow and access to capital, undermining growth plans. In the IEA’s outlook, emerging markets, including such oil powerhouses as Russia, account for virtually all the cuts in forecast supply relative to last year’s outlook.
There are a lot of story lines here. I would love to opine on some of them but folks would think I'm nuts (if not certifiably "nuts," then at least inappropriately exuberant when it comes to oil). So, we'll let it go at that. For now. 

Maybe I'm just wearing rose-colored glasses:

Rose-Colored Glasses, Jon Conlee

Four Keynote Speakers At An International Energy Conference: Every North Dakota US Senator Is A Keynote Speaker -- June 1, 2015

The annual EIA conference on current energy issues is two weeks away. 

This is normally something I would "blow off," but look who the keynote speakers are. From an EIA press release:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 and 16 in Washington, DC.
This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff. Last year more than 900 people from industry, government, and academia attended EIA's conference.

Session topics include:
  • Effects of changing world oil prices: production, economy, and geopolitics 
  • North American energy markets 
  • The role of emerging electricity storage technologies 
  • Natural gas: domestic and global markets 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: power and methane 
  • Developments in hydrocarbon gas liquids markets 
  • Electricity distribution markets in the 21st century 
  • Energy by rail and water 
  • Energy infrastructure needs and options 
  • New data in residential and commercial energy consumption 
Government keynote speakers include:
  • Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy 
  • Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Secretary of Energy, Mexico 
  • John Hoeven, U.S. Senator 
  • Heidi Heitkamp, U.S. Senator
Look at the session topics again. North Dakota has a seat at the table with regard to almost every issue regarding energy these day:
  • obviously, oil, economy, and geopolitics
  • obviously, NA energy markets
  • perhaps not so obvious, electricity storage technologies; but with wind energy, it's obvious
  • obviously, natural gas but not as much as the Marcellus, Utica
  • greenhouse emissions: flaring
  • developments in hydrocarbon gas liquids markets: fertilizer? CBR conditioning, ethane
  • obviously energy by rail and water (CBR to the east coast; by barge to the gulf)
  • energy infrastructure needs and options: the IS the Bakken
Most interesting to me is that although renewable energy (solar and wind) can be tucked into any of the sessions, there were no BIG sessions called
  • winning the war on coal
  • sandbagging pipelines 
  • why wind works even if the stats don't
  • why solar works even if the stat don't
Missing from the keynote speakers' roster
  • either one of the Koch brothers
  • Tom Speyer 
  • Bill Clinton

Golden China Restaurant To Open In Williston In Early June; Paddlefish Season Very Successful This Year -- June 1, 2015

Just a reminder:

A new restaurant is opening its doors in June. The Badlands Town Center has announced Golden China will be opening in early June of 2015. The restaurant will feature hibachi, sushi and a buffet. It is located at 910 42nd St. W., adjacent to the Badlands Town Center retail complex.

I'm thinking about another road trip to the Bakken, the weather is so incredibly nice now, and school responsibilities are less, but not sure yet. Regardless, I missed the paddlefish season. The state site is here.

In early May, Reuters had a story on paddlefish in North Dakota. It's a bit unclear to me, but it appears the "regular" season runs from May 1st to May 31st but the "regular" season can be shortened as conditions dictate. It looks like this year's season was to end May 11th but then extended four more days for those who already had a tag but had not yet snagged a paddlefish. One can get an updated report at the Scenic Sport website. Apparently opening day set a record with more than 180 paddlefish cleaned at North Star Caviar.

Supreme Court Starting To Hand Down Rulings

First on the docket: "vacation home" mortgages cannot be voided in bankruptcies. Unanimous. Well, that was easy. That should burst the housing bubble.

Second on the docket: private enterprise can't set wardrobe requirements in retail outlets.

Third: on Facebook, threatening to kill your spouse and others in the same room is not enough to make "a reasonable person feel threatened." Well, that's a relief.

A Scam

I've said this from the beginning: EVs, Wind, Solar -- one big scam. You just had to realize that early, get in quick, get the tax subsidies, build your moat, and then move on. The Los Angeles Times finally figured it out:
Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.
And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.
Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.
"He definitely goes where there is government money," said Dan Dolev, an analyst at Jefferies Equity Research. "That's a great strategy, but the government will cut you off one day."
Well, maybe The Los Angeles Times had it figured out a long time ago, but it a) took time to gather the data; and, b) they decided to report the story now that Musk/Tesla is moving its battery shops to a better business environment: Nevada.

Random Update Of The Three Oldest Wells In North Dakota That Are Still Active -- June 1, 2015

I believe these are the three oldest wells drilled in North Dakota that are still active (I could be wrong, and would be thrilled if anyone can provide names of wells that are older and still producing). These wells are celebrating 61 years of production this year.
  • 537, 458/421, Hess, Lalim-Ives Unit A 1, Tioga oil field, Madison/Devonian, t3/54 (Madison) and 9/68 (Devonian); cum 152K (Madison last produced 5/68); cum 1.93 million bbls (Devonian, still producing about 500 bbls/month; as high as 1,340 bbls 11/13)
  • 498, 292, Hess, Tioga-Madison Unit L-132HR, Tioga oil field, Madison, t7/54; cum 1.95 million bbls; still producing about 250 bbls/month; I can't say for sure, but it looks like this well was re-entered and a lateral was drilled in 2006;
  • 443, 409, Hess, Beaver Lodge-Madison Unit S-27HR, Beaver Lodge oil field, t8/54; cum 742K 3/15; still producing about 350 bbls/month; from the file report, 7/03; total drilling days for this re-entry -- 9 days; "Amerada Hess drilled the Beaver Lodge Madison Unit S-27HR2 as a re-entry second leg horizontal well to produce a good Madison trend that is currently not being produced by horizontal technology. The vertical well bore was drilled at an earlier date to a depth of approximately 8,511 feet. The first lateral was drilled along an azimuth of 220 degrees, parallel to the fracture trend, with a vertical section of 1805 feet, approximately 1600 feet being in the Rival B1/B2 Porosity target. The second lateral was drilled along an azimuth of 170 degrees in a southeast direction for a total of 11,098 feet measured depth with a vertical section of 2466 feet in the Rival B1/B2 Porosity target." If I understand the report correctly, the well is producing from the second lateral. If I understand this report, the re-entry was a horizontal, but it was not fracked artificially; it followed the natural fracture trend.

Location of #498:

Production profile of # 443 about the time it was re-entered and a lateral drilled:


Laterals for #443:

Monday; This Is Not An Investment Site; EPD To Acquire Midstream Assets In Eagle Ford -- June 1, 2015

Wells coming off the confidential list this weekend, Monday have been posted.

From MDU press release:
MDU Resources Group, Inc. announced today that the Dakota Prairie refinery initiated diesel product sales to the market on May 15. The 20,000 barrels-per-day refinery is the first greenfield fuels refinery built in the U.S. since 1976 and is co-owned and operated with Calumet Specialty Products Partners.
 From Seeking Alpha, DOE approves more LNG exports from Alaska terminal:
  • Exxon Mobil says it received authorization from the U.S. Energy Department to export liquefied natural gas to non-free trade agreement countries from its proposed Alaska LNG terminal.
  • The project includes a liquefaction facility, an 800-mile pipeline, up to eight natural gas compression stations and at least five take-off points for in-state gas delivery, as well as a gas treatment plant on Alaska's North Slope, where XOM already has operations at Prudhoe Bay and Point Tomson.
  • Other participants in the Alaska LNG project include BP, TransCanada, and ConocoPhillips
Active rigs:

Active Rigs80189187215173

RBN Energy: School of Energy now on-line.

Odds and Ends

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment or financial decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

US consumer spending in April weakest in 3 months, blamed on three things: wintery weather; people saving their money; and, global warming.

Ford Motor Company will release May, 2015, US sales Tuesday but here's a preview: Ford will have a better second half. This is very, very interesting: GM has been forced to discount prices on full-size trucks by at least 13% due to demand for Ford’s redesigned F-Series. The initial success of the all-new aluminum body F-Series is undeniable. The F-Series is generating increased revenue, with average transaction prices around $42,500, up $3,200 from a year ago.


Enterprise Products announces an agreement to acquire all member interests in EFS Midstream for $2.15 bln, paid in two installments: Co announced it has executed definitive agreements to purchase all of the member interests in EFS Midstream from affiliates of Pioneer Natural Resources Company  and Reliance Industries Limited for $2.15 billion.
  • EFS Midstream provides gas gathering, treating, compression and condensate processing services in the Eagle Ford Shale
  • The EFS Midstream system includes approximately 460 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines, 10 central gathering plants, 780 million cubic feet per day of natural gas treating capacity and 119 thousand barrels per day of condensate stabilization capacity
Market Not So Efficient? Eh?

Yahoo!Finance asks the question: why are investors willing to pay so much for equity these days? I assume the writer does not subscribe the efficient market theory. Goldman's answer:
American stocks are definitely pricey, with the median stock carrying a higher valuation than 98% of the time in the last 40 years, says Goldman Sachs. While low interest rates and inflation help explain this, they don’t make equities a bargain for anyone looking for future returns.
One reason that folks are paying up for richly priced stocks is that money – for many – is not much of an object right now. U.S. companies have issued some $700 billion in new debt so far this year. That’s ahead of the all-time record pace set last year – and is enough to pay off the total national debt of Greece two times over.
Companies, through their own profits and all that debt raised, are acting as if no price is too high to buy their own stock. Share repurchases are on track to exceed $600 billion this year.