Monday, June 29, 2015

New York State, After Seven Years Of Study, Says "No" To Fracking; Shell Almost Ready To Drill Arctic Off Alaska -- June 29, 2015

See this post for explanation why blogging has slowed down (I'm on vacation). For the family I will post a journal of sorts here, but it is not intended for the general public. You won't miss anything by not going to that site.

New Refinery Celebration

From a press release today:
June 29, 2015 - Several hundred business and government leaders today celebrated the success of the first greenfield fuels refinery built in the U.S. in nearly 40 years. The Dakota Prairie refinery, which began operating on May 4, 2015, is capable of processing 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil. It is supplying about 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel fuel to help offset North Dakota's need to import nearly two-thirds of its diesel supply.
France New York Continues To Find Fracking Unsafe

Rigzone is reporting:
New York has formalized its ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas after a seven-year environmental and health review.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced the decision Monday, saying a ban was the "only reasonable alternative" after "years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts."
The agency concluded that existing safety precautions are inadequate to protect against harm to water, air, ecosystems, wildlife, community character and public health
Of course, this comes just a few weeks after the EPA says fracking is perfectly safe. 

The agency concluded that "existing safety precautions are inadequate to protect against harm to water, air, ecosystems, wildlife, community character and public health."

Sounds like a "personal problem." New York state did not say fracking was not safe. The state agency simply said the state did not have in place the necessary rules and regulations to ensure safe fracking. Meanwhile, the rest of the country was able to put in place "safety precautions" that met the high standards of the EPA.

Arctic Exploration To Begin

Reuters via Rigzone is also reporting: Shell could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska as early as July.

This Will Keep The Riff-Raff Out

The Atlantic was one of the first, if not the first, to proclaim that the Bakken boom was over some years ago and then the Bakken continued to boom. Apparently the editors over at The Atlantic were embarrassed because now the same editors say the Bakken boom is a bust.

This is the link to the article.  This is the response by Rob Port, Say Anything Blog. I'll trust Rob's analysis before The Atlantic's. As with "boom," I don't think we have a good definition for "bust." But the economic numbers for North Dakota hardly suggest a "bust." Be that as it may, The Atlantic story has a huge silver lining. If the word gets out that the boom is over, or that the boom has gone bust, it might help keep the riff-raff out of the state. Hopefully the riff-raff will hear the story that the boom is over in North Dakota and they won't come to North Dakota without a plan. Hopefully the drug dealers and those involved in human trafficking will avoid North Dakota.

The good news: the Bakken isn't going to go away.

Miscellaneous News and Comments

Greece says they will sue if the EU kicks them out. Who exactly will they be suing, and who exactly will hear the case? And exactly what does it mean to be in the "eurozone" if you have no cash? This is going to be very interesting to watch.  But first things first; they have a huge $2 billion bill to pay tomorrow, to the IMF, which Greece has already blown off.

It is interesting to read some of the quotes being attributed to Chief Justice Roberts to his fellow Supremes, complaining they are not following rule of law. After his explanation of why he voted to save ObamaCare, he has no leg on which to stand. Not only has he lost all credibility, he is now just one of the nine; no longer worthy to be considered chief. Regardless of which side of the fence you are standing, Chief Justice Roberts' explanation of why he "voted" to allow the federal exchange was neither scholarly nor defensible.

It blew me away when I heard on the radio that the court ruled against the EPA with regard to new restrictions or new guidelines affecting coal plants.

EOG Bakken Well Pad Produces $200 Million+ Revenue In 2.5 Years -- Filloon; Syria: The Future Of The Mideast -- EIA -- June 29, 2015

Michael Filloon on EOG over at Seeking Alpha (article archived):
  • EOG Resources' sand-heavy frac design may have revolutionized unconventional production
  • EOG's early well results in Gonzales County have had huge success, leading to its uses in the Bakken and Permian
  • This design is being copied by other operators with good results, although EOG continues to significantly outpace the competition.
  • EOG's sand heavy Parshall Field fracs have produced some of the best wells to date in the Bakken
  • The large volumes of sand/foot seems to show significantly better source rock stimulation. The greater the void, the more proppant needed to fill it 
EOG has revolutionized horizontal development with its sand heavy frac design. It was the first to focus on fractures close to the well bore as opposed to deep into the shale. This breaks up the rock better and deters communication between locations. Hopefully, tighter spacing can be achieved by this. We had summarized QEP Resources' well design in a past article. It had used 31 to 34 stages and 7.5 to 9 million pounds of sand. We are awaiting results from its 50 stage, 10 million pound fracs. QEP is seeing a production uplift of approximately 25% from the change. This still trails EOG's design. It's tough to know the exact design EOG is shooting for, as they are tight lipped about the technology. We don't have any data from completions in Parshall Field for 2015, but it did complete some wells at the end of last year. Here we begin to see changes to design, and upside to oil production in North Dakota.

EIA "Energy Cookie"

EIA's daily "energy cookie":
Syria’s energy sector has encountered a number of challenges as a result of conflict and subsequent sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. Damage to energy infrastructure has hindered the exploration, development, production, and transport of the country’s energy resources...
Syria is no longer able to export oil, and as a result, government revenues from the energy sector have fallen significantly. Prior to the current conflict, when Syria produced 383,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil and 316 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas, Syria's oil and gas sector accounted for approximately one fourth of government revenues. --- EIA

Thirteen (13) New Permits; Seven (7) Producing Wells Completed; Thirteen (13) Wells Coming Off Confidential List Tuesday -- June 29, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs77191189215173

Thirteen (13) new permits:
  • Operators: Emerald Oil (7), Petro-Hunt (4), CLR (2)
  • Fields: Charbonneau (McKenzie), Charlson (McKenzie), Brooklyn (Williams)
  • Comments:
Sixteen wells released from confidential status:
  • 28598, 298, Hess, EN-Vachal-155-93-0532H-5, Alger, t5/15; cum --
  • 28603, 942, EOG, Parshall 99-1721H, Parshall, ICO, t12/14; cum 73K 4/15;
  • 28811, A, no IP, Fidelity, Steffan 1-12H, Zenith, Bakken, t --; cum 34K 5/15;
  • 29210, drl, MRO, Tony Lun USA 12-14TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,
  • 29519, SI/NC, QEP, P. Levang 4-14-23BH, Grail,
  • 29520, SI/NC, QEP, P. Levang 3-14-23BH, Grail,
  • 29786, SI/NC, QEP, P. Levang 2-14-23TH, Grail,
  • 29822, drl, EOG, Fertile 75-0905H, Parshall,
  • 29823, SI/NC, EOG, Fertile 76-090H, Parshall,
  • 29835, SI/NC, Petro-Hunt, Dolezal 145-97-7C-6-4H, Little Knife,
  • 30060, SI/NC, Statoil, Banks State 16-21 XE 1TFH, Banks,
  • 30061, SI/NC, Statoil, Banks State 16-21 5H, Banks,
  • 30082, 1,411, Hess, BB-Sivertson (sic) -151-95-2019H-4, Blue Buttes, t4/15; cum 30K 4/15;
  • 30083, 1,134, Hess, BB-Sivertson (sic) -151-95-2019H-5, Blue Buttes, t4/15 ;cum 16K 4/15;
  • 30193, SI/NC, XTO, Evelyn 31X-3C, Lindahl,
  • 30194, SI/NC, XTO, Evelyn 31X-3GXH, Lindahl,
Seven (7) producing wells completed:
  • 27660, 1,068, XTO, Star Federal 21X-14E, Grinnell, t4/15; cum 4K 4/15;
  • 27662, 857, XTO, Star Federal 21S-14E2R, Grinnell, t4/15; cum --
  • 28505, 2,803, Statoil, Irgens 27-34 5H, East Fork, t5/15; cum --
  • 28772, 2,940, XTO, Ranger 21X-18A, Tobacco Garden, t5/15; cum --
  • 28775, 3,116, XTO, Ranger 21X-18C, Tobacco Garden, t6/15; cum --
  • 29437, 2,180, XTO, Sorenson 14X-33A, Siverston, t6/15; cum --
  • 29977, 1,240, XTO, Star Federal 21X-14A, Grinnell, t5/15; cum --
Thirteen (13) wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 27780, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 2-35-26BH, Grail, no production data,
  • 27781, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 1-35-26TH, Grail, no production data,
  • 27782, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 1-35-26BH, Grail, no production data,
  • 28460, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 4-35-26TH, Eagle Nest, no production data,
  • 29357, SI/NC, QEP, Jones 2-15-23TH, Eagle Nest, no production data,
  • 29358, SI/NC, QEP, Jones 1-15-23TH, Grail, no production data,
  • 29359, SI/NC, QEP, Jones 2-15-22BH, Grail, no production data,
  • 29360, SI/NC, QEP, Jones 1-15-22BH, Grail, no production data,
  • 29393, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 5-35-26BH, Grail, no production data, 
  • 29394, SI/NC, QEP, TAT 5-35-26TH, Grail, no production data,
  • 29409, drl, Hess, HA-Thompson-152-95-1720H-11, Hawkeye, no production data,
  • 29756, drl, MRO, Anna Packineau USA 21-3TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,
  • 30182, SI/NC, Enduro Operating, NSCU F-721-H1, Newburg, a Spearfish/Charles well, no production data,

Active Rigs Remain At Post-Boom Low; Huge National Natural Gas Story -- June 29, 2015

See this post for explanation why blogging has slowed down (I'm on vacation). For the family I will post a journal of sorts here, but it is not intended for the general public. You won't miss anything by not going to that site.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs75191189215173


The only headlines I am aware --
  • Greek banks are closed through Thursday
  • The second New York prisoner captured; not sure if the state trooper who shot him will be charged with any crime for shooting the escaped prisoner; all lives matter, I suppose
  • Supreme Court upholds use of "controversial" lethal injection drug; I wonder if Chief Justice Roberts dissented on that one? I guess it depends on whether he followed the law as written or made it up as he went along
RBN Energy

RBN Energy updates the Marcellus: Big Deal! REX to Open the Floodgates: 5.2 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica Natural Gas Receipt Capacity. (Archived)
One of the most significant events to occur in the U.S. natural gas market this year will be the full-scale reversal of flows in Zone 3 of the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), and it is right around the corner.
The Zone 3 East-to-West Project (E2W) will bring on an incremental 1.2 Bcf/d of westbound capacity, opening the floodgates for Marcellus and Utica producers. As REX touches nearly every part of the US gas market, the expansion will reconfigure continental gas flows and price relationships across multiple regions as it comes online.
Based on conversations last week with our good friends at Tallgrass Energy, the operator of REX, today we bring you the up-to-the-minute scoop on the E2W expansion and other forthcoming changes on the pipeline.
Tallgrass is targeting completion of construction on the required facilities for the E2W expansion by early July and expects to bring the new capacity into service August 1, 2015 once downstream parties complete the necessary work. The project is expanding westbound firm transportation capacity by 1.2 Bcf/d from REX’s eastern terminus point in Clarington, OH to Moultrie County, IL, and will bring the total westbound firm capacity to 1.8 Bcf/d for that stretch of REX. This new E2W capacity will be in addition to the 1.8 Bcf/d of eastbound firm capacity still available from the Rockies to Clarington, OH.
The E2W capacity in-service will mark a significant increase in outbound capacity for natural gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and will be a game changer for the US Northeast supply-demand balance.  We’ve been talking about the reversal of REX for a couple of years going back to our 2013 series.  
More recently, we laid out why outbound pipeline capacity is especially critical for the Northeast natural gas market to balance this summer and beyond. Local production has pushed out nearly all of the inbound supply flows from other regions. With little to no inbound supply to push out this summer and barring the unlikely scenario of massive production declines, increased outflows from the Northeast to other markets will be an essential outlet for the production growth that has already occurred in the region compared to last year, as well as future supply growth.
Thus, one of the biggest shifts occurring in the natural gas market today is the expansion of gas pipeline take-away capacity out of the Northeast, whether through backhaul capacity, whole-scale pipeline reversals, pipelines creating bi-directional capabilities, or brand new pipelines. Volume wise, E2W is the biggest such deal so far.  In addition, REX connects to about a dozen major north-south pipelines within Zone 3, which presents the likelihood of a ripple effect on flows as well as price relationships as more westbound capacity becomes available.
Great graphics at the link.

Other News

The AP is reportingUS pending home sales climb to 9-year high. Signed contracts to buy US homes rose 0.9 percent in May, as summer buying season gets hot.

These guys are fast. By legalizing marriage between any two (?) consenting adults, the Supreme Court used language that, if the court remains consistent, will mean that any laws restricting guns will be nullified. The vast majority of states have open carry, few restrictions. The only problem with the argument at the link is the suggestion/assumption/fallacy that the Court will be consistent in its ruling.

The court won't take the case in which Google is appealing its adverse ruling involved Oracle. That is the right decision by the court. There would be no end to such cases.

Note to the Granddaughters

The trip to the Grand Canyon was a wonderful opportunity for me to catch up on reading and journaling.

I went back to This Side of Paradise. I had to re-read the last 50 pages or so. I had finished the book a few weeks ago. I had read some parts closely; skimmed through some parts. I read the introduction and the commentaries and comments at the end of this particular edition closely. At the end of the first reading I was not sure whether I liked this book or appreciated it or understood why it was "so important."

After re-reading the last 50 pages, and then re-reading the introduction, my thoughts are changed completely. This is an incredible book on so many levels. It is clearly not a book to be read by high school students. This is a book that should be introduced to high school students by a really good English or literature teacher, and then students should be asked to delay reading the entire book until late in their second or third year of college. At the time it was published, every American male over the age of 35 should have read it. I doubt many (> 35 year white males in 1920) read this book when it first came out. It should have terrified them.

Near the end of the book, TSOP takes a surprising twist, and I start to understand why this book is so important, why it is what it is.

This novel was begun in 1917 and published in 1920. Reviewers at the time said it was the work of a 23-year-old. In fact, the novel was begun when the author was 21 years old and he probably had the idea for the novel some time before then. He knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he succeeded: write The Great American Novel.

It was noted that most authors, in such novels, write about the past. In this case, F Scott Fitzgerald was "just fractionally" ahead of his time. It is amazing. In TSOP he described the Jazz Age, a phrase he coined. Later in life, he defined the Jazz Age as that time in America from May Day, 1919, to October, 1929.

In that respect, "just fractionally" ahead of his time, exactly describes one of my favorite personalities, Hunter S Thompson. He, too, was "just fractionally" ahead of his time, when he wrote on the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, and drugs. I think he was wrong on Nixon, but I'm probably wrong that he was wrong. He was correct on so many other subjects, I find it unlikely he was wrong on Nixon, but it seems he had a personal grudge with Nixon and that may have "colored" his thoughts on Nixon. As incredible as it sounds, HST may have had a blind spot when it came to American politics. 

But I digress.

Fitzgerald started TSOP in 1917, two years before the beginning of the Jazz Age, and had it published not more than a year after the Jazz Age began. Other than The Great Gatsby I have not read any of Fitzgerald's other works, but Amory Blaine in TSOP was the young Jay Gatsby. Absolutely brilliant.

Once one has read TSOP from beginning to end, it is the perfect book to go back to and read different parts, or sections. It's not an easy book to read from start to finish. But once completed, it is rewarding to go back and read particular sections.

Among the many, many topics touched on in TSOP, one question the editor left for the reader was the issue of feminism, equal rights for women, etc. It dawned on me that men cannot answer that question; it can only be answered by women. I don't think men can even comment on the subject with any credibility. All they can do is read about the subject in all its forms: feminist literature, letters to editors, essays, etc. It is what it is.

On another note, I was blown away by Fitzgerald's (Amory's) discussion (monologue?) on American capitalism. Amory's views, and I assume, by extension, Fitzgerald's views on socialism (he did not use the word communism, but certainly could have) could have been written today.

The Jazz Age was an age of transition between the American Victorian age and the age of modernism, as applied to culture and literature. I'm beginning to re-think the most important event or decade for American in the 20th century. I'm wondering if it might not have been WWI.

TSOP, WWI, and the Jazz Age put the recent Supreme Court rulings (ObamaCare and same-sex marriage) in perspective. It helps explain why my thoughts that Obama will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever may be completely wrong.