Friday, July 24, 2015

US Crude Oil Imports Rising; India's Surging Appetite For Diesel -- July 24, 2015

Note story below: if it's cheaper to import crude oil and store it domestically, imagine how much oil operators are "storing" in the Bakken.

US crude oil imports have been rising. Reuters is reporting:
Futures prices are making it increasingly profitable to store surplus crude in the United States, coinciding with a strong period of oil imports and a further build up of already swollen stockpiles.
WTI crude futures prices imply the market is paying more than 61 cents per month to cover the cost of financing and storing oil at the Cushing delivery hub during the fourth quarter of 2015. 
The WTI contango for the fourth quarter of 2015 has tripled from less than 20 cents per month at the start of June. 
It has become more profitable to store oil in the United States in a “cash and carry” strategy tied to WTI than in other parts of the world benchmarked to Brent.
Unsurprisingly, the increased contango in WTI has coincided with an increase in tanker arrivals and crude oil imports.
Crude imports have risen from a recent low of 6.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on May 22 to 7.5 million bpd in four weeks ending July 17.
In the week ending July 17, imports hit 7.94 million bpd, the second highest rate for the year.
Crude imports have been rising strongly even though crude stockpiles are close to their highest levels for 80 years.
The fast pace of imports has been enough to keep stocks from falling even though U.S. refineries are processing crude at record rates of more than 16.8 million bpd.
India Diesel Consumption Surging

Tweeted earlier this morning:
India's oil product exports plunged nearly 30% to 6-year lows in June as refiners diverted diesel to meet surging local demand.

I'm Impressed -- July 24, 2015

Penn Energy is reporting:
Fortress Environmental Services (FES) ( announced that it has opened a new $9.3 million, state-of-the-art Saltwater Disposal (SWD) well in Waelder, Texas to serve oil & gas hydraulic fracturing operations in the Eagle Ford Shale Play.
Per the Texas Railroad Commission, the El Cruce #1 SWD well can accept 25,000 barrels of produced saltwater (more than 190 transport tanker trucks per day), which is pumped to a depth of approximately 8,000 feet.
All roads to the huge Fortress Environmental Services 10-acre truck stop are paved. The SWD facility provides four pull-through lanes, rapid 8-minute saltwater pump-outs, quick 30-minute truck tank washouts and convenient 10-minute fill-ups from an onsite 50,000 BBL fresh water depot.
In addition to quick SWD produced water disposal and fresh water refill services, the Fortress Environmental Services' facility also provides a free food buffet for truckers to get a warm meal.
The air-conditioned trucker's lounge/break room provides free high-speed Wi-Fi internet access for checking emails and trucking apps, charging up cell phones/laptops and enjoying hot food, cold drinks and/or a fresh pot of coffee.
There is also an outdoor shade tent with a BBQ grill as well as the option for free hot showers for both men and women to provide a fresh start on the long haul to the next truck stop.

Week 29: July 19, 2015 -- July 25, 2015

The big story has not changed, except that the price of crude oil (WTI)  dropped below $50. North Dakota rigs hit a post-boom low of 68 but then bounced back to 73 where it stood at the end of the week.

Eighteen (18) new permits Friday
Eleven (11) new permits Thursday
Ten (10) new permits Tuesday
Ten (10) new permits Monday 
Unique well in North Dakota
Active rigs drop to post boom low, 68 

3 of 4 wells coming off the confidential list are not being completed/fracked 
Whiting reports two more incredible Tarpon Federal wells; 90-stage and 62-stage fracks
Propane fracking 
NDIC reports 28 wells completed -- turns out to be no big deal
Halo effect of fracking
Federal fracking rules delayed another month
How much fresh water being used in Bakken fracks? 

Bakken Economy
Four fourth year in row, North Dakota ranked #1 in economic well-being of children
New year-found fitness center to be build in Killdeer, ND
Spiritwood, Jamestown, North Dakota update

A great photo of Saudi Arabia
EQT reports record NG well in the Utica
Plans going ahead to put in as much as 80 million bbls of new crude oil storage along the coast
Saudi's crude oil exports drop to lowest level since December, 2014
Renewable energy fees proposed by MDU
Five-million-fluid-ounce crude oil spill in northeastern Montana

Eighteen (18) New Permits -- North Dakota -- July 24, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs73193208181138

Eighteen (18) new permits --
  • Operators: Whiting (8), QEP (8), HRC, BR
  • Fields: Stockyard Creek (Williams), Epping (Williams), Grail (McKenzie), Blue Buttes (McKenzie), Spotted Horn (McKenzie); McGregory Buttes (Dunn), Elidah (McKenzie)
  • Comments: looks like two 4-well pads in Stockyard Creek/Epping, same section, for Whiting; looks like a 6-well pad in the Grail, and a 2-well pad in Blue Buttes/Spotted Horn for QEP; 
Three (3) producing wells completed:
28548, 1,112, XTO, Schettler 14X-9C,
28547, 2,312, XTO, Schettler 14X-9F,
29176, 1,380, XTO, Granli 34X-20D,

Area for Whiting's proposed 8 P Bibler wells sited in the Stockyard / Epping oil fields:

I Was Wrong: Someone At NDIC On Vacation? -- July 24, 2015

See this post for background to this note:
July 24, 2015: I may have been wrong. Another writer suggests that the reason for this 28-well completion was because the NDIC has only one employee who can enter the data and he/she was on vacation, and when he/she returned, all the data was input. From the reader who caught this, something I missed:
Did you happen to see the "explanation" of why there weren't any completions for awhile and then 28 all on one day's report?
Apparently NDIC has only one employee who can enter the data?? And he was on vacation??? Really??!!
I liked the comment at the end (f the commentator's source is as reliable as posted):
"From a direct energy insider source, a major Bakken player is actually adding rigs within the next few months. Fracking is going to begin picking up using a new method which cuts the frack cost in half. He thinks we will have another 6 months of status quo, and things will take off again.
"Not quite ever the break neck pace of two years ago, but back to comfortable levels. Boom is far from over."
The Red Queen Hasn't Fallen Off Her Treadmill

From SayAnythingBlog:

US Economy

The forecast for US auto sales in July are really quite remarkable, not just the number but the type of vehicles being sold.

Folks in the showroom are being told that the days of crude oil shortages are over; cheap gasoline as far out into the future as one can see.

From SeekingAlpha: U.S. auto sales forecast to rise 2.6% in July Jul 24 2015.
Kelley Blue Book forecasts new car sales in the U.S. will increase 2.6% Y/Y in July to 1.47M units, led by a 13.4% jump in the compact SUV/crossover segment.

Forecasts by major manufacturers are posted below.
  • General Motors: +0.7% Y/Y to 258K units, market share of 17.6%. 
  • Ford: +0.8% to 214K, market share of 14.6%. 
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: +4.4% to 175K units, market share of 11.9%. 
  • Toyota: -0.4% to 215K units, market share 14.6%. 
  • Honda: +2.3% to 139K units, market share 9.5%. 
  • Nissan: +4.6% to 127K units, market share 8.6%. 
  • Hyundai/Kia: -0.3% to 119K, market share 8.1%. 
  • Volkswagen: +5.1% to 52K, market share 3.5%.
I "get" Volkswagen, and I know Chrysler is having an incredible run with Jeep, but I don't know what is moving Nissan. Is it the Nissan Rogue? From US News:
The 2015 Nissan Rogue ranks 5 out of 27 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Rogue, as well as reliability and safety data.
Meanwhile, it was announced that Mitsubishi will be closing its one factory in the United States.

Saudi Dakota -- July 24, 2015

I don't know about you, but when I first saw the photo below, I honestly would never have guessed Williston or the Bakken or North Dakota -- either Texas or the Mideast. That's quite a striking photo. 

To get the best "wow" factor, click on the picture to bring it up on your screen, and then go to the tool bar, to the "view" drop-down menu and click on "Enter Full Screen." (The content is excellent but the quality of the photograph is second to none; first-rate.) I'm amazed how close the photographer got to the wells without being kicked off; I'm never that brave to get that close.


A reader was generous enough to send some incredible photographs. They are so amazing, I will post one daily for the next few days. I hate to spoil the fun all in on day. A huge thank you to the reader. These the Statoil Trust wells in the Todd oil field east of Williston, The photos will be of a 5-well pad; there is a neighboring 4-well pad in the same section, just to the west.

The reader points out that 9 wells x $10 million in on section, two pads = $90 million invested in direct costs.

The reader did not identify the wells except to say they were new Statoil Trust wells, and that they were a few miles west of Williston. I think I have the correct wells in the graphic below, but could be wrong; my graphic shows a 4-well pad west of the 5-well pad. The reader said it was a 3-well pad next to the 5-well pad but I didn't find another 5-well pad west of Williston, but I easily could have missed it.

Regardless, the photos are of a 5-well pad, and the graphic where I the wells are located. As noted above, one photo today, more to follow.

Random Notes From The Field -- July 24, 2015

From a reader:
I visited eastern Divide and western Burke counties last week. Nice to see a 10-inch/0.365 wall/X42 pipeline construction crossing the county line about 3 miles SE of Noonan.
This would be about 75 miles northeast of Williston, as the seagull flies. Assuming rodents with wings fly in straight lines.

The pipeline according to the reader:
The 46-mile pipeline will carry crude oil produced in the Fortuna area to the Basin Transload Facility located outside Columbus. The transmission line is capable of carrying up to 25,000 barrels per day and could eventually haul 50,000 barrels per day.
For more on this pipe, see US Steel. Just google: 10 inch/0.365 wall/X42.

Absolutely amazing what Google can find for you.

Not Only #1 In Economic Well-Being Of Children, North Dakota Claims The #1 Spot Four Years In A Row

I wonder if The New York "ban fracking" Times will report this story? The Dickinson Press is reporting:
North Dakota is the best state in the country for the economic well-being of children, according to the annual Kids Count survey.
Buoyed by the lowest rate of teenagers out of school and not working, and the second-lowest child poverty rates in the U.S., the Annie E. Casey Foundation named North Dakota tops for the fourth-straight year. The state ranks seventh overall, down one spot from 2014.
In the other categories ranked in the study, North Dakota was sixth for family and community, 18th for education and 29th in health.
North Dakota was preceded in the rankings by Minnesota (No. 1), while neighbors South Dakota (18th) and Montana (30th) lagged behind.
[The story is a bit confusing to me, but North Dakota is #7 (Minnesota is #1) in overall child well-being, but in economic well being for children North Dakota was #1. At this link:, scroll up and down to see the rankings in the overall category and the subcategories.]

I particularly liked the part about "lowest rate of teenagers out of school." Remember this article from Bloomberg?
That burst of employment generated by fracking in the past decade may not have been all good news for the U.S.
Jobs offering low-skilled American teenagers a chance to earn big bucks in the shale oil and gas industry also made it less attractive to finish high school, causing a jump in dropout rates, a new study showed. It was published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The sobering takeaway: fracking raises the risk that some workers at the bottom of the skills and education ladder may end up being stuck there, because they made bad schooling choices in a rush to be part of the industry, according to Elizabeth Cascio and Ayushi Narayan, the study's authors.
Even my wife who is no supporter of fracking (don't even ask), laughed out loud when she heard someone say that fracking has contributed to the high school dropout rate. 

Speaking Of Children ... Or More Accurately, Children-To-Be

It's interesting that the Pope has not spoken out about whether it's appropriate to pay for a Lamborghini with baby parts.

New Year-Round Fitness Center In Killdeer, ND -- July 24, 2015

From The Dickinson Press, some data points:
  • 14,500-square-foot, year-round facility
  • a multi-depth indoor pool
  • a party room
  • room with light exercise equipment
  • locker rooms, including one designed for families 
Above The Law

Saudi Arabia borrows money:
The Saudi budget deficit will be more than twice its own forecast, a leading research firm has said, forcing the kingdom into the debt market for the first time in more than a decade.
Hit by plunging crude prices, the world's biggest oil exporter will post a deficit of $106 billion, compared with a government projection of $39 billion.
The kingdom that exports 7.0 million barrels per day on average will see oil revenues fall by 35 percent to $171.8 billion in 2015.
Total revenues are forecast down 33.7 percent at $185 billion, while public spending is expected to remain almost unchanged at $290.9 billion.
Jadwa said the government is highly expected to return to the debt market for the first time in around 15 years despite its massive reserves.
Seattle bends over backwards (maybe forward) to follow Sharia law when arranging mortgages: 
A proposal in Seattle meant to increase homeownership among Muslims by offering financing compliant with strict Islamic law -- known as Sharia -- is gaining ground in the latest test for local leaders trying to accommodate diverse religious beliefs.
"We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevented from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said during a press conference July 13.  
"Sharia," which comes from the Koran and means "the right path," prohibits the payment of interest -- the primary way lenders earn. Many of Seattle's 30,000 practicing Muslims, therefore, are hard-pressed to find Sharia-compliant financing options when buying homes, making large purchases or starting a business. 
I guess if you are a Muslim in the US you abide by Sharia Law, but not if you live in Saudi Arabia -- or maybe the princes are some how "above the law," like our own political leaders.

By the way, buying a house under Sharia Law is not that difficult. You simply determine the amount of money one would pay over 360 months of mortgage (a standard 30-year mortgage) at the going interest rate, and then price the house at that amount, and then Sharon or Muhammed simply pays for the house in 360 "installments." This is not rocket science. 

Speaking Of Rice Bowls

I mentioned to my apartment complex neighbor this morning that as I get older the more I hate mankind but love people.

He replied that Henry David Thoreau said that. I couldn't find the quote.

But I did find this quote:
The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them. ―  Louis C.K.
I guess the Germans looked into the Greek bowl and saw they did not have enough.

Record IP In The Utica; EQT's First Well In The Utica; Staggering -- And New Yorkers Are Watching From Over The Fence -- July 24, 2015


Later, 12:15 p.m. Central time: Don did the math --
@ $ 2.85per mcft that is  $ 207,765 .00 per day..
Let's round that to $200,000/day -- once the well is paid for -- in about 20 days -- sometime next month -- LOL -- that well is going to make a lot of money for someone.

Does anybody remember the NY Times telling us the US natural gas story was a scam?

Original Post
I will follow-up on this later, when I get time, but a reader writes:
EQT announced yesterday a new record IP from the Utica formation, flowing 72.9 MMcf. Expressed in boe, that is over 12,000 boe.
The lateral was 3,221' long.
The Utica not only extends well into New York state (much more so than the shallower Marcellus), it is now believed that the thickest payzones are to be found in NYS.
That's an incredibly short lateral considering the record IP.

Apparently it's even a bigger story than I first realized. This was EQT's first well in the Utica.
We have plenty of EQT news today, but none of it is (for us) as big as this: EQT finished fracking their very first Utica Shale well in Greene County, PA last week, a well that they call “the most technically challenging well” they’ve ever drilled. But man oh man was it worth it! The EQT Utica well is gargantuan. It is the new reigning #1 champ for any on-shore shale well anywhere in the world that we’re aware of when it comes to production.
The EQT Utica well produced a truly astonishing initial production (IP) of 72.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (MMcf/d).
The previous record-holder was a Range Resources Utica well in Washington County, PA at 59 MMcf/d.
We’re not quite sure how to convey just how big this news is!
EQT flowed their new Utica production right into a pipeline for sale – the well has not been shut in. Once the initial gush settled down, the well is now producing 22 MMcf/d. Stupendous output. EQT is planning to drill their second Utica well in Wetzel County, WV later this year…

Commentary -- July 24, 2015

I recently received a note from my bank that terms have changed. The fee for a "returned check" or a "bounced check" or an "overdraft" or whatever  you call it, has been raised from $24 to $27 or something like that. I didn't pay much attention to it. It's the cost the bank says it incurs when they have to hire someone to electronically punch in changes to your checking account, what with all the ObamaCare costs and the Dodd-Frank (or is it Frankly Dodge?) law.

With net metering, one has solar panels on one's roof or wind turbines in one's back yard. If the system generates more electricity than one is using, one argues that one can simply reverse the flow back to the utility and get full credit. What happens if there's a lineman on the pole and thinks he has cut the electric power and doesn't know that Farmer Joe is sending electricity his way (I don't know how electricity works, so maybe that's not a problem)?

Although the wires and poles are already there, Farmer Joe is using said wires and said poles, and certainly there must be some fair value Farmer Joe should pay for using said wires and said poles. Sort of like if I put my private locomotive on BNI or CSX or UNP railroad tracks; hey, the tracks are already there, I should be able to use them for free.

And, then of course, you have that same someone at the utility who has to manage the meters and manage the computers to account for all that electricity coming and going. Something tells me this portion alone costs more than what it costs a bank to cover overdrafts.

The utilities also have to add additional conventional capacity to provide back-up for those times when the sun isn't shining or the wind is blowing too fast or too slow.

The utilities also have to hire programmers to manage the grid to account for spikes in in-coming electricity when the sun comes up and then the drop-off of electricity coming in when the sun sets. And do the same on rainy days.

I don't know, but it seems all of that would cost someone some money. German utility companies learned the hard way.

So, now we have this story from Midwest Energy News: Iowa farmer says he will remove solar if co-op's $85 fixed charge stands.
A small rural electric cooperative in Iowa has informed its 3,000 customer-members that, should they install solar panels or other distributed generation, they will pay what appears to be one of the highest monthly charges in the nation.
Pella Cooperative Electric sent out a notification on June 18 alerting customers that the “facilities fee,” which is the fixed part of the monthly bill, will triple from $27.50 per month to $85 per month – but only for customers with solar panels or another source of their own generation.
If the co-op does back off, it's making a huge mistake. Even if Farmer Joe says he won't ask for payment for the electricity he's putting back into the system, he still adds the cost to the system as noted above. 

A public utility is regulated by PUCs/PSCs. My hunch is that PUC/PSCs have watched this play out in Germany and will proceed with caution. I do not know if co-ops are similarly regulated by PUCs/PSCs; I suppose I could look it up. But I won't. The story says Farmer Joe will file a complaint with the Iowa Utilities Board.


Disclaimer: I am Apple fan boy #3. I think I grabbed that position about 20 years ago; I forget when I first used that as my screen name over at Macrumors or some such site. And no one has challenged; statute of limitations has run its course.

Anyone that follows Apple has to aware of the hubbub over the Apple Watch. There are two issues commonly discussed:
  • the Apple Watch is a toy; an unneeded solution to what?; a cultural flop; etc...
  • the Apple Watch will never move the earnings needle
With regard to the first question, whether the watch is needed? Prior to Apple launching the watch, all we heard was "when is Apple going to launch a smart watch?"  The underlying assumption was that a trillion-dollar fashion company needed to have a watch to complete its stable of devices, from the very, very tiny to the very, very big. Apple without and Apple Watch would always be  and "Apple, but no Apple Watch, Company."

Even if the first iteration "fails" miserably, Apple needs to keep its Apple Watch line.

With regard to the second question, whether the Apple Watch will ever move the earnings needle? This is what's wrong with accounting in American. Apple investors see the Apple Watch, like all products in "cost/profit" terms.

In fact, the costs of developing the Apple Watch need to come from Apple's advertising budget. Apple Watch is the biggest advertisement for Apple right now and mainstream media is doing it for free. Quick: take away the Apple Watch and is Farmer Joe interested in Apple any more. Nope, it's just a phone company.

But much more importantly, the costs of developing the Apple Watch need to come from Apple's R & D budget. Jobs and Cook (or is it Cook and Jobs? which has a better ring to it) gave the Apple engineers an impossible job. Squeeze a battery that lasts seven days into a watch. The watch needs to have a bluetooth component so it can communicate with other devices. It needs a computer chip, the best in the market, to run a gazillion apps. It needs to have a device to pick up human speech in order to take verbal commands. It's needs to have something inside it to sense movement so it can alert the wearer that she has not moved in 20 minutes. It has to monitor the wearer's heart rate. And, again, put all of this this inside something incredibly small and something incredibly thin.

The engineers succeeded in most areas -- not the battery. Maybe it last 36 hours depending upon how you use the watch. But the engineers learned a lot and Apple learned a lot. A lot of those smaller components are going to be found in other Apple devices.

I assume I will eventually get an Apple Watch, maybe version 10.5 when I get an iPhone, some years from now. I'm thrilled that Apple has the Apple Watch because it will make all the Apple devices I'm already using that much better.

If Apple can squeeze all that stuff into an incredibly small and incredibly thin watch, think how much they can cram into the dashboard of your Honda Camry.

For The Archives: 
Amazon Shares Surge 20%; Market Cap Surpasses Wal-Mart

CNBC is reporting:
Amazon shares spiked in early trading Friday after the online retailer blew past quarterly earnings and revenue estimates, boosted by growth in the North American market and cloud computing segment.
Shares rose 20 percent, giving the retailer a larger market capitalization than bricks-and-mortar behemoth Wal-Mart.
The surge also generated a huge windfall for CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns 83,921,121 shares of the company. At Friday's early prices, his fortune rose some $8.05 billion—a gain that by itself would be enough to put him in the world's 200 richest people
Someone once said that $8.05 billion is more money than anyone needs. Why do people need so much money, they ask, suggesting that it needs to be redistributed. 

Let me tell you why some folks need $8.05 billion. This is from the "food and drink" review section near the front of every issue of The New Yorker, June 29, 2015, page 15, on a review of Lupulo, an up-scale restaurant on Sixth Avenue, NYC:
Giant, ruby-red prawns known as carabineros, flown in seasonally from Portugal, are grilled, head on, until they're just cooked, their perfume nearly floral, their flavor lush and buttery. At thirteen dollars per shrimp, their juices must be sopped. 
And that's why some people need $8.05 billion. 

Having said that, grilling the shrimp head on seems to be something important I had not thought about before. Next time I grill carabineros, I will grill them with the head on. 

Three-Fourths Of Wells Coming Off Confidential List Are Not Completed -- July 24, 2015

At this rate, it's going to take a lot of fracking to whittle down the 925 wells waiting to be fracked.

Crazy Accounting

There are several story lines in this article, but in the interest of time, I'm moving on. Bloomberg/Rigzone is reporting that after a deadly blast tore through one of its off-shore platforms, Pemex cannot account for 2.7 million bbls of oil.


More Layoffs

Weatherford raises layoffs target to 11,000. The company completed 97% of its planned workforce reduction of 10,000, but has now raised the number to 11,000.

Upstream Without A Paddle
Upstream MLPs have long swam against the current of traditional infrastructure-focused and fee-based traditional MLPs. The upstreamers buy shallow producing assets and hedge their bets, and often enough, they make good on a promise to investors that they’ll enjoy stable quarterly distributions. But dismal — even record-low — unit prices at the trading desks may push investors to reconsider the structure as an upstream device for MLPs as commodity prices have sent distributions tumbling.
It’s a combination of factors that have rendered upstream master limited partnerships (MLP) to be particularly vulnerable to a pullback in commodity prices, Ethan Bellamy, managing director at R.W. Baird & Co. told Rigzone. And there are some upstream MLPs that have performed better than others, he added.
But as a group, he said, “They weren’t hedged enough and/or had too much ‘unhedgeable’ (natural gas liquids) exposure. They spent too much money on acquisitions. They carried too much debt. They did not deduct enough from distributable cash flow to offset commodity price weakness or to switch to payouts that float with commodity prices.”
And here’s the kicker: “They failed to either develop a substantial distributable cash flow coverage cushion to offset commodity price weakness or to switch to payouts that float with commodity prices,” Bellamy said.

Did I ever mention this is not an investment site? Well, it is not an investment site. Do not make any financial or investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. 

More Oil Coming Off The Market

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
Brazil's main oil workers union is considering an open-ended strike in September if a 24-hour walkout scheduled for midnight Thursday fails to stop moves to shrink state-run oil company Petrobras, a senior union official said.
FUP, which represents platform, refinery and other workers, is fighting plans by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is known, to sell $15.1 billion of assets by the end of 2016.
Petrobras wants to pay down debt, which at about $120 billion is the largest of any oil company, as well as generate cash for investment and revive investor confidence after a giant corruption scandal.
FUB also opposes a bill before Brazil's Senate seeking to strip Petrobras of its right to all new development work in a giant offshore area known as Subsalt Polygon and end a requirement that Petrobras take a minimum 30 percent stake in exploration and production rights in the area.

Remember, this is not an investment site, but this is a huge story. ATT -- hitting on all seven cylinders? Maybe. Blasted through earnings estimates; I think I read somewhere 69 cents vs 63 cents. And now, the DirecTV deal could add 15 - 16 cents earnings per share. The 70 cents earnings is quarterly; I assume the 15 cents is annual. 20%. WSJ is reporting. T is up 3% on another rough day on Wall Street. Pays 5.5%. Has $4 billion in cash and only $100 billion in debt. LOL.


Meanwhile, Apple has $35 billion in cash, $54 billion in debt, and their own watch. And pays a dividend of 1.6%. By the way, I read somewhere, I think, Apple has $200 billion in cash held captive overseas.

Friday, July 24, 2015; Propane Fracking

Active rigs:

Active Rigs70193208181138

RBN Energy: The Prospects for LPG/Propane Gel Fracturing.
A few years ago, water-based or “hydraulic” fracturing emerged as a viable, cost-effective technique for coaxing large volumes of natural gas and crude oil out of U.S. shale formations. Calling it a game-changer is not an overstatement. In the shadows, another approach to fracturing was being developed, one that uses a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane gel and appears to offer some noteworthy benefits over tried-and-true hydraulic fracking.
Today, we consider the potential for niche applications (and maybe much more) for fracturing that’s based on a hydrocarbon-based gel—not water.
New York State recently imposed a ban on the use of high volume hydraulic fracking (involving more than 300,000 gallons of water per well). The ban follows a 7-year moratorium on the technology and appears to put the kibosh on the use of fracking to recover crude and natural gas in the Empire State, whose southern tier (from Buffalo to the Hudson River) is part of the hydrocarbon-rich Marcellus/Utica. But New Yorkers are an innovative lot; native sons George Eastman invented the Kodak camera and rolled photo film, Jonas Salk thought up the polio vaccine, and Peter Cooper invented Jell-o (and, to show the breadth of his abilities, he also built the first steam locomotive in the U.S.). Now, faced with a prohibition on water-based fracturing, Tioga Energy Partners (TEP) plans to use not water (or Jell-o) but an LPG/propane gel to fracture tight underground formations in New York’s Tioga County, deliver proppant and allow hydrocarbons to flow into a well. 
More on TEP’s plans in a moment; first, a summary of how LPG fracking (also known as propane gel fracking) works, and the economic and other benefits it offers. As we have previously explained, hydraulic fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water (an incompressible—widely available, and generally cheap—fluid) and proppant (usually sand) at high pressure into a horizontal well.
I'm not holding my breath. For New Yorkers, fracking is fracking regardless of the method used.