Saturday, June 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, Olivia -- June 6, 2015

Her birthday is later this summer, but in order to see her friends before they all scatter this summer, Olivia had her second annual rock climbing birthday party. Olivia will be eight years old this summer.

For The Archives

There are no active rigs in Montana at the moment. The Billings Gazette is reporting. Both coal industry and wind industry are fading in Montana (The Billings Gazette, June 12, 2015). The tax credit for wind was renewed for one month in 2014, but not yet in 2015.

Late Spring

Yesterday, after reports of potential flooding in the Williston (Bakken) area due to the recent snow pack melt off, I suggested that this seems like a late spring. How incredibly prescient. NewsMax is reporting:
Don't talk about global warming to residents of Nuuk, Greenland's capital city, where record cold is keeping the city still buried in snow, climate change skeptic Steven Goddard writes.
Normally by this date, around 20 percent of Greenland is melting.
"This year the area of melt is less than 2 percent – the latest start to a melt season on record," he writes, noting: "Temperatures have plummeted over the past decade."
Northeast Greenland also saw its coldest May on record since measurements started back in 1949, while the island as a whole is colder than normal, the Daily Caller reports, citing Danish Meteorological Institute data. [Which is a much more credible source than NOAA now that the US agency was found to be fudging their data.]
"Greenland has gained half a trillion tons of snow and ice since September," Goddard writes.
To Tee Off First, Sunday
Assuming He Shows Up

The AP is reporting:
Tiger Woods hit a new low with a career high.
Right when it looked as though Woods was slowly making some semblance of progress, he posted an 85 on Saturday at the Memorial for the worst score of his career. It was three shots higher than the 82 he shot in the second round of the Phoenix Open in January, which led to him taking a two-month break from competition until he could get his game in order.
Woods ended his front nine with back-to-back double bogeys for a 42. Needing a par on the 18th hole to avoid his worst score, he hooked his tee shot into the water, flubbed two chips from short of the green and took a quadruple-bogey 8.
It was his third round in the 80s as a pro.
Woods, who had to make a 6-foot par putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut, declined interview requests, walking out the door to sign a few autographs. About 20 minutes later, his coach and caddie were sitting at a curb waiting for a van to come by to get them.
He was in last place, meaning he would play as a single Sunday for the first time in his career.
I did not know that this was the "punishment" for being in last place going into the final round of PGA tournament. One learns something new (or old) every day.  

Week 22: May 31, 2015 -- June 6, 2015


Later, 6:27 p.m. CT: okay, the biggest story of the week was American Pharoah (sic) winning the "Triple Crown" in thoroughbred racing.
Original Post

Without question, the big story this week was the EPA story: fracking poses no risk for drinking water. Period. Dot.

For me, the next big story had to do with Saudi oil production despite a $35 billion exploration and production program that began in 2012. Not much to show for it.

The other big story, of course, was that NOAA fudged the data to get the number they wanted/needed to keep the scam going. 

And, I am still intrigued with the national natural gas fill rate

So, here we go.

Big stories of the week
Fracking has no widespread impact on drinking water. Nada. Zilch. None.
Saudi production not all that remarkable, considering
Nation's natural gas fill rate not reassuring
NOAA fudges the data

Potential flooding in Williston area shuts in some wells
Graphing the Bakken phenomenon
Oasis not letting up
Globally, North Dakota ranks #20 in oil production; near bottom of list for terrorism
Manufacturing stage of the boom
Random update of the three oldest producing oil wells in North Dakota
Random observation: BR requesting 22 wells in a 2560-acre drilling unit

Fidelity (MDU oil and gas division) back up for sale

Minnesota PUC approves certificate of need for Enbridge Sandpiper

Bakken economy
North Dakota holds nation's housing record since 2010
Williston Wire: Williston's job market continues to grow; $250 million airport relocation on track
North Dakota to spend $40 million on US 2 & 85 between Williston, Minot
Golden China restaurant opens in Williston
Starbucks to open in Williston (sort of)

Gasoline demand failed to hit record over Memorial Day weekend despite AAA predictions
North Dakota has nation's first unmanned airport
Ethanol produces 20% more CO2 emissions than "standard" gasoline; 10% more than tar sands
Edmonton now paying their customers to take their propane
Quiet title action
Both North Dakota senators will be keynote speakers at annual international energy conference
Successful paddlefish season in Williston this year
Excellent Telegraph article on energy and the Mideast
President Obama sets yet another economic record

Weekend Update, Part II -- June 6, 2015

Rationing? I just checked Target. No rationing of eggs in this store here in north Texas. Apparently HEB, the grocery store in Texas, is starting to ration eggs, limiting purchases to three cartons per person. Due to avian flue, they say. My hunch is that this is occurring in the more under-served areas of Texas, where mom-and-pop stores have a habit of using HEB, Wal-Mart, and HEB as their warehouses and supply centers. These little stores can double the prices.

Williston's new airport. This sort of gets lost in all the other news. Plans to re-locate the Williston airport continue. What I had forgotten was how big this project was. $250 million. Most of that money will come from the Federal government I suppose, and what doesn't come from the federal government will be low-interest loans with huge grants or tax breaks. This will be bigger (economically) than a Florida wind farm in North Dakota. Some Willistonites are going to do very, very, very well. Very well. $250 million. The Williston rec center was $65 million or something like that. The new Williston High School has broken ground and is quoted at $57 million. The rec center in Watford City is quoted at $83 million. Those numbers help me put into perspective a $250 million project. That $250 million is just for the direct costs. Imagine all the new building that will go up. It will be interesting to see what happens to the old airport and all the hotels in that area. The old airport certainly sits on what the old-timers call "prime real estate."

Unmanned airports. It was also reported that North Dakota now has the nation's first airport for unmanned aircraft. Pretty exciting. Just west of the air base just west of Grand Forks. Great partnerships among UND, the USAF, the FAA, the private sector, and Saudi princes.

National story for 2015: ObamaCare. For those paying attention, last week was a huge week for all the stories regarding huge premium increases for ObamaCare. The suggestion that New Mexico could increase premiums 289%, of course, will go nowhere. Now, today, we read that Hawaii has thrown in the towel. Hawaii will scuttle its state-run ObamaCare website after investing $130 million in that boondoggle (their words, not mine) and will piggyback on the Federal site. What a mess if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare; that ruling will be handed down before the end of the month.

The JV team continues to advance. The US mainstream media isn't talking about it much any more, but the JV's took another city in Libya. In the big scheme of things, each individual story is minor, not worth reporting in US newspapers, but the theme is this: ISIS continues to advance, and continues to consolidate its position. ISIS did not exist during the Bush presidency; this is how fast things change. No matter how the story is spun, ISIS became a "new nation" under Obama's watch. It's just a matter of time until the "new nation" sets up a virtual capital / capitol and asks for UN membership. ISIS certainly has more "citizens" than many countries currently in the UN.

Moving the goalposts. NOAA is fudging the data, and now Janet Yellen's suggestion to re-jigger the economic models is gaining traction. Even if you leave out the first quarter of 2009—when the recession that started in December 2007 was still ongoing--President Barack Obama has presided over the lowest average first-quarter GDP growth of any president who has served since 1947, which is the earliest year for which the Bureau of Economic Analysis has calculated quarterly GDP growth. Janet Yellen knows the economy is really not doing this badly and thinks it's the algorithms and the models that need changing.


Multi-family units under construction, one street away from where new Williston High School is under construction, Williston, North Dakota, April, 2015:

Weekend Update, Part I -- June 6, 2015

For those paying attention, this was quite a week for the oil and gas industry. Lots of news.

Fracking. Of course, the biggest news was that the EPA published its "final" report on the safety of fracking and risk to ground water. None. The story was reported everywhere but hardly made the news, if that makes sense. When a story like that makes so little news, there's only one explanation: there was no way to "spin" the story. So the mainstream media printed the story, some even made it the headline news for about 15 minutes, and then moved on. Last I heard Governor Cuomo of New York was trying to get a copy of the report. He knows there must be something in the fine print to support his case.

Flinching? Not. First story I saw this morning, before I got out of bed, while reading the news on my iPad, the Reuters story, "North Dakota refuses to flinch as OPEC keeps output high." I might get back to this story later.

Fudging the data. NOAA proves that it can come up with any number it wants with regard to global warming. When they didn't like the studies that show there has been a hiatus of 19 years of global warming they went back and did what any good freshman college student does: fudge the data. And lo and behold, they got the exact number they wanted. The number was so perfect, the last I heard, Governor Cuomo of New York was trying to get a copy of the original report. Never mind that Antarctic sea ice hit a new record in area coverage. Boston broke its record for low temperature this past week (for that particular date).

Breaking news: OPEC will not cut production. First of all, this is no longer "OPEC." If it wasn't clear in the past, it's clear now: Saudi Arabia is driving the show in the Mideast when it comes to oil. When it comes to territory, ISIS is running the show, but I digress. Back to OPEC Saudi Arabia. OPEC is dead. I think this is the most interesting story with regard to Saudi Arabia and oil production: for all they claim to be doing, their overall production has not changed much. I posted a long note on this yesterday. It's worth re-reading. The site is still free.

Signaling? It appears that perhaps, just perhaps, Saudi Arabia is tired of giving their oil away for $50/bbl. Some weeks ago, there was word on the Arab street (Governor Cuomo of New York is trying to get a copy of that story) that the princes were willing to let oil drop to $20 to prove their point. Moments after saying they wouldn't cut production -- the princes signaled they were happy with $60 - $80 oil. I think it was MRO, with reference to North Dakota, who said $40 is too low for the Bakken, and $100 is too high.

In trouble? I think California may be in more trouble than some folks realize. When Exxon says they want to start transporting oil by truck convoy, in a state that hates oil, especially when they can see it, it's not going to be a pretty picture. Remember, when it comes to crude oil pipelines coming into California, the state is no better off than Hawaii. The state doesn't like rail, except for the bullet train. One wonders if Saudi Arabia has found a new market.

Sandbagging. The Minnesota PUC approved the certificate of need for the Enbridge Sandpiper. It was a close vote, 5 - 0. No abstentions. The lead group opposing the pipeline says they are not anti-pipeline, but simply NIMBYs. They apparently don't mind that Minnesota plans to clear-cut forest to make room for a gigantic (500 kV) transmission line to bring electricity from Manitoba to back up redundant electricity (but mandated by Minnesota) provided by a Florida wind farm operating in North Dakota. Or something like that. The good news for the NIMBYs -- they can drag out the process approving the route for decades, although I imagine it will be dragged out for about a year. Once everyone gets their due "respect" (i.e., their share of the money), the route will be approved. Most agree that the pipeline will be underground.

Supply squeeze? Reuters/Rigzone suggests a "new" supply squeeze could occur as early as next year. It will certainly occur by 2017, but I've also suggested it could occur as early as next year.

Greece: Another 5 - 0 vote, it appears. Merckel, IMF, ECB, Hollande, and EC agreed to let Greece delay its June 5th payment to the end of the month. They were not clear "which month." They weren't really clear about "which year" for that matter.


Ground has just been broken for new Williston High School, April, 2015, on the far northwest corner of Williston, North Dakota, looking to the west, toward Montana.