Sunday, August 2, 2015

Update On A Wildcat Well Northwest Of Mohall, North Dakota -- August 2, 2015

Over at the discussion group, a reader asked this question: Do you have any information on an oil well drilled in the Mohall area some time ago that turned out to be a Bakken and not a Madison?

I assume the well in question was posted at this link, February 20, 2015:
This well came off the confidential list today; it was a wildcat. Based on its location, I thought the Madison would have been the target; in fact, the target was the middle Bakken, and fairly shallow, which makes sense based on its location --
  • 28571, drl, Roff Operating Company, Osterberg 2-16 H1, wildcat, far north, and east, about 6 miles northwest of Mohall, near Little Deep Creek oil field, a Madison formation area; if a good well, might extend Little Deep Creek east, , no production data; very, very interesting -- the geologist's report states that the target was the middle Bakken; that the wellbore entered the middle Bakken target at 6,350 feet (shallow); oil present; gas values ranged between 50 and 100; the dipping suggests that anticlinal oil trapping structures could exist and be exploited; awaiting fracture/completion; spud August 20; ceased drilling September 13; total drilling days, 26; short lateral (640 acres);
This well came off the confidential list on February 20, 2015, and went to SI/NC status (it was drilled to total depth, but it was shut in before it was completed, and has been added to the "fracklog" or backlog of wells waiting to be fracked). This is the scout ticket (note that the pool is indeed the Bakken):

NDIC File No: 28571     API No: 33-075-01467-00-00
Well Type: OG     Well Status: NC     Status Date: 9/14/2015     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: SESE 2-161-85     Footages: 225 FSL 1220 FEL     Latitude: 48.793033     Longitude: -101.654164
Current Operator: ROFF OPERATING COMPANY LLC
Current Well Name: OSTERBERG #2-16 H1
Elevation(s): 1718 KB   1700 GR   1700 GL     Total Depth: 9886     Field: WILDCAT
Spud Date(s):  8/20/2014
Casing String(s): 9.625" 841'   7" 6338'  
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Status: SI     Date: 9/14/2015

Update On Selected Petro-Hunt USA Wells In Charlson Field -- August 2, 2015

The original post was here.

I believe the Petro-Hunt well, the USA 2D-3-1H [#16059], was the first well to produce one million bbls of oil in the current Bakken boom (reported July 30, 2010). I was not able to find any fracking data regarding this well.

About 2  1/2 miles to the west of that well, is a 5-well pad (see graphic at bottom of the post):
  • 20342, 1,430, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-1H, Charlson, AL,  t11/11; cum 928K 1/19;  no evidence this well was re-fracked; huge jump in production, 1/19;
  • 26446, dry, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-2H, Charlson,
  • 27209, dry, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-2HR, Charlson,
  • 27918, 1,167, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-1HS, Charlson, Three Forks, 4 sections, 33 stages, 4 million lbs, t12/14; cum 418K 1/19; AL; no evidence this well was re-fracked;
  • 27208, 2,262, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-2HS, Charlson, middle Bakken, 4 sections, 33 stages, 4 million lbs, t12/14; cum 590K 1/19; no evidence this well was fracked;
Production profiles for these wells over the last six months or so:
  • 16059, 729, Petro-Hunt, USA 2D-3-1H, t10/06, cum 1.71 million bbls 1/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN6-20153052195239854000
BAKKEN5-201531527852889331418013833315
BAKKEN4-201530531052779791457459398603
BAKKEN3-2015315979603610491652390887416
BAKKEN2-201528551655468741436314140196
BAKKEN1-201531639363691024167311665941
BAKKEN12-20143168266836116716787153521435
  • 20342, 1,430, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-1H, Charlson, F,  t11/11; cum 578K 6/15; 
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN6-20153010295103061044000
BAKKEN5-20153111035107078671575215291245
BAKKEN4-20153011438115408871848796808597
BAKKEN3-20153110827109417101207611640219
BAKKEN2-2015289185913754599069304406
BAKKEN1-201531123961279674625669232872165
BAKKEN12-201431144581453310391560872398279

  • 27918, 1,167, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-1HS, Charlson, Three Forks, 4 sections, 33 stages, 4 million lbs, t12/14; cum 144K 6/16; F:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN6-20153017555178314953000
BAKKEN5-20153119007189195692263312605460
BAKKEN4-20153020046203475871258271561210005
BAKKEN3-2015312424424354622229572281091246
BAKKEN2-20152820175202694506249592472340
BAKKEN1-20153127062269975384466243500511402
BAKKEN12-2014121544214432675917474017474

  • 27208, 2,262, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-4B-9-2HS, Charlson, middle Bakken, 4 sections, 33 stages, 4 million lbs, t12/14; cum 174K 6/15:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN6-20153018671189041786000
BAKKEN5-2015312061220585218728653284360
BAKKEN4-2015302292123292242540621324498171
BAKKEN3-201531239242355326613066229848597
BAKKEN2-2015282077821246206525540253440
BAKKEN1-201531263712587127273228431614454
BAKKEN12-201429411944043612951476601988627773
 


The Petro-Hunt 5-well pad about 2 1/2 miles west of the Petro-Hunt, #16059:



Fewer Wells Going To DRL Status When They Come Off Confidential List -- August 2, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015
  • 29290, 721, CLR, Annapolis 6-29H1, Dollar Joe, 4 sections, t3/15; cum 26K 6/15;
  • 29443, drl/NC, WPX, Olive Mae 7-8-9HW, Van Hook, no production data,
  • 29663, drl/NC, Newfield, Olson 152-96-30-31-10H, Westberg, producing, a nice well,
  • 30327, drl, SM Energy, Colleen 4-14HS, West Ambrose, no production data,
Sunday, August 2, 2015
  • 26940, SI/NC, Sinclair, Sinclair State 3-36H, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 29493, drl, XTO, Rita 44X-34BXC, Tobacco Garden, no production data,
  • 29664, drl/NC, Newfield, Olson 152-96-30-31-1H, Westberg, a huge well,
  • 30339, drl/NC, XTO, Lundin 14X-33F, Siverston, no production data,
Saturday, August 1, 2015
  • 28714, 541, EOG, Parshall 93-2827H, Parshall, choked back, it appears; 41 stages, 8 million bbls sand, t2/15; cum 51K 6/15;
  • 29459, 14, Denbury Onshore, CHSU 44-26NH 15, Cedar Hills, a South Red River B weel, t4/15; cum 4K 6/15;
  • 30092, SI/NC, BR, CCU Dakotan 7-8-17MBH, Corral Creek, no production data,
  • 30152, drl, Hess, EN-Weyrauch-LW-154-93-1918H-1, Alkali Creek, no production data,
***********************
Silver Lining For Frackers

It seems I've seen this story before, or it's a reprint, or a re-write, or it's a theme that is starting to get some traction. USA Today is reporting:
The slump in oil prices is more than a year old now, with bad news continuing for producers around the world, including those responsible for the shale revolution in the U.S.
Just look at second-quarter earnings, which largely show disappointing results again for oil companies and their shareholders.
But while there may be no end in sight for the industry’s dilemma, there may be a silver lining for producers, especially those using the downturn to hone drilling techniques, like hydraulic fracturing, to reinforce their output and profits later.
Among those who see such positive signs for drillers is Bill White, the chairman of Houston operations for Lazard, the global investment bank, and a former three-term mayor of the Texas metropolis.
“Most of the shale oil and gas is produced from a relatively small percentage of the shale wells and a fairly small percentage of the fracks in each well,” White said in an interview. “When the industry learns to drill more wells like the best wells and to make more fracks productive, you will see a vastly greater amount of oil and gas produced in the United States at the same total cost.”
White, while well known for his political experience in Houston, has spent much of his career in energy, including as an official in the Clinton administration and a chief executive of a company that built oil service businesses.
“This is a topic I discuss weekly and almost daily with senior executives of the service companies and the oil and gas industry,” White said. “There’s a lot of progress being made. In this sense, that is the next big chapter in the shale revolution.”
And that's what should scare Saudi Arabia.

*************************
Bakken Economy

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
A personal finance site found Dickinson to be the top city in the nation “where people are in best financial shape” in a study published last Monday.
Three North Dakota cities took top-five positions in the list, with Dickinson and Bismarck placing first and second with respective scores of 85.39 and 85.34.
Minot trailed a point behind third-place Sioux City, Iowa, with a score of 80.16.
This is why Williston did not make the cut:
Cities at the top of the list featured relatively low average housing costs and debt levels coupled with high average credit scores.
Had the criteria included "millionaires per capita" Williston would have led the list.

****************************
Human Interest Story

The Williston Herald has a nice human interest story on Audrey Kalil, a plant pathologist, interning with Williston Research and Extension Center — one of the many bright new faces in the MonDak taking up an agriculture career. She’s looking for more fields to scout in her territory, which includes Williams, Divide, Burke, McKenzie and Mountrail counties.

I assume Ms Kalil is the granddaughter of Bud Kalil or one of his siblings (though I could be wrong). The Charles (Bud) Kalil family lived across the street from us when we growing up in Williston.

The Kalils have many, many entries in Prairie Peddlers: The Syrian-Lebanese in North Dakota, Williams C. Sherman, et al, c. 2002.

The entry for the patriarch of the Williston family is on page 229:
Williston, as seen in an earlier chapter, was a hot bed of Lebanese mercantile activities. (Within ten years after settlement almost a dozen small firms existed in the area under Lebanese ownership.) The Kalils homesteaded in Bull Butte Township. Soon one family was running a township grocery store and very quickly another Kalil brother was in the grocery business in the City of Williston. As time went on, a Kalil family member established a furniture store and played a major role in the operating of a local bank and a large restaurant / tavern. One of descendants, Charles (Bud), became a vice-president of the Metropolitan Bank in Fargo. 
Dan Kalil, a son of Charles, is a Williams County Commissioner.

My father was a Williams County Commissioner, also, many, many years ago, a role he talks about often with great fondness. I remember "campaigning" for him. I must have been about 12 years of age going door-to-door, asking folks to vote for my dad and handing them a card. Dad employed his four older children to do this, giving us, if I recall, a penny for each card we gave away. At least I recall it was a penny. It's possible it was a dime; I honestly can't remember. I do remember being very, very exact about the cards I handed out. Some weeks later I learned from one of my younger siblings, one of my sisters, that she found it easier to simply throw the cards in a trash can rather than knock on doors.  I don't know if Dad ever found out. "Statue of limitations" has run out so it's probably safe to tell the story.

Katie Ledecky Back In The News -- August 2, 2015

Past Posts

August 13, 2016, past posts. Past posts on Katie (most, but not all):
Updates
December 4, 2017: Ledecky wins her third US Olympic Female Athlete of the Year Award.

August 4, 2015: after setting a world record in one even, advances to the finals in another event

August 3, 2015: Ledecky sets another record; in the 1500-meter freestyle, wasn't really trying.

August 3, 2015: front page story in WSJ.
 
Original Post
 
For background to this post, re-read these earlier posts on Katie Ledecky:
Today, on Fox News, Ms Ledecky was featured as the weekly "Power Player Plus."

The FINA World Championships, in Moscow, are now in progress, August 2 - 9, 2015.

Reach For The Wall is reporting:
Sometime around 6:30 Tuesday evening, Moscow Standard Time, after waiting for her fellow competitors to touch the wall, Katie Ledecky will pull herself out of the championship pool in Kazan, Russia, at the end of women’s 1,500-meter freestyle at the FINA World Championships.
Perhaps she will allow herself a few seconds to celebrate the gold medal she inevitably will have just won. But more likely she won’t — because those few seconds will be too precious to waste. In what will likely be the most difficult and taxing challenge of her brief but storied career, Ledecky, 18, having just raced nearly a mile against some of the top distance swimmers in the world — though none capable of beating her if she is anywhere near her best — will have roughly 20 minutes to recover before climbing the starting blocks again for her semifinal heat in the 200 freestyle.
Her true resting time, though, before having to report to the “race ready” room for the 200, will be closer to five minutes.
Schedule and results here

As Global CO2 Goes Up, Florida Weather Gets Better -- August 2, 2015

ObamaCare Update 
How did one-payer health care work out in Bernie Sanders' Vermont? The Wall Street Journal has the story and it isn't pretty. I assume Hillary and Huma wrote the story, using the pseudonym "Mr Norman."

***************************
Global Warming
Climate Change
Extreme Weather
Oh, Never Mind

It's been 3,566 days since the last hurricane hit the Florida coast. That probably explains why most Floridians say they're not worried about the prospect of a hurricane making a direct impact on their state, according to the results of a poll released this week.
One in three say they don't plan to evacuate if a Category 1 storm is coming their way, according to the the latest Mason-Dixon Florida Poll, which surveyed about 800 adults living in Florida by phone between July 20 and July 24.
The poll also found that 60 percent of the state's residents said it was either "not too likely" or "not likely at all" that a hurricane would make landfall in Florida this year.
And the younger the respondents were the less likely they were to be worried about storms, the Tallahassee Democrat notes. For residents age 18 to 34, only 28 percent said they thought there was "at least some chance for a hurricane," while 67 percent said they didn't.
Whether Floridians should be concerned or not, it's amazing that as the CO2 has continued to rise, the weather in Florida has gotten more sedate. I can't make this stuff up. I'm still waiting for Tim Cook to put the CO2 ppm app on the Apple Watch, so environmentalists can check it hourly.

It was also interesting to note that despite atmospheric CO2 hitting 402 earlier this summer, they are getting snow for the first time in quite awhile in Tasmania.

For those who may have forgotten:
  • Tasmania is an island off the southeast coast of Australia
  • this is winter in the southern hemisphere
ABC.Net.Au is reporting:
Snowfalls are starting to ease in southern Tasmania but many schools and roads remain closed.
Snow reached sea level for the first time since 2005, with Hobart's beaches and central business district receiving a dusting.
Snowfalls in Hobart are rare - the last time the CBD experienced a "dump of snow" was on July 25, 1986 when the Tasman Bridge was closed.Snowfalls in Hobart are rare - the last time the CBD experienced a "dump of snow" was on July 25, 1986 when the Tasman Bridge was closed.
One would almost think that we're seeing the beginning of a "mini" Ice Age.

Richard Kinder, KMI/CEO -- Forbes Interview -- August 2, 2015

A reader sent me this link a few days ago; I posted the link but didn't have time to write much more than that. Now I have a bit of time. From Forbes, an interview with Richard Kinder, who is stepping down as CEO of KMI after 18 years. It's a very interesting interview. I do these summaries to ensure that I really do read the articles, and don't simply skim through them.

Question/Answer: relevancy of the bust of Winston Churchill. [Comment: my hunch is reading these books helps put the CEO's challenges into perspective. It also provides insight on how to approach problems.]

Q/A: prolific reader. Best book on leadership: Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. [I think he would do well to read bios of Steve Jobs, Apple.]

Q/A: Kinder will remain active with the company, but will turn over day-to-day management to Steve Kean. Game plan: increase the dividend by 15% this year, and probably by 10% per year off that new base through 2020. Plenty of excess cash flow. Share appreciation will reflect growth in dividends and earnings, a 14.5% return. "Beats the hell out of anything I can think of." KMI has provided a 24% compound annual return over 18 years, "which is pretty good."

Q/A: by stepping away, Kinder can look at some huge projects; KMI has an $18-billion backlog right now on projects. Most frustrating: more opposition to new infrastructure than Kinder has seen in 35 years in the business [doesn't mention Obama, Steyer, Buffett, Nebraska, faux environmentalists]. Pipelines have become the choke point in America's oil and gas industry. "If you want, we can come back to the alternatives to fossil fuel later -- and the prospects for alternatives are not good -- at least not for the next 30 or 40 years." Environmentalists can't picket each and every oil well from Alberta to Texas, but they can shut down a single pipeline -- that's why pipelines are the choke point. [It may be easier to buy established pipelines; upgrade pumps, replace old pipe with new pipe, and while we're at it, larger-diameter pipe.]

Q/A: blocking pipelines is so short-sighted; the fossil fuel will be shipped by rail.

Q/A: mentions KMI's Northeast Direct, a $5 billion project to more additional natural gas into New England.

Q/A: New England has the highest cost of natural gas because of supply/demand imbalance. New England would rather go for intermittent energy projects. Put this in perspective. Today, intermittent energy provides 5% of New England energy. Wind? One would have to cover the entire state of Massachusetts with windmills and then a bit more with solar. It's not practical.

Q/A: can't even build a small wind farm off Cape Cod. "I can tell you what's going on, they're just nuts."

Q/A: by 2040, fossil fuels will still be 85% of the mix; intermittent energy will grow, but the percentage will remain the same. The irony in New England: those who want to defeat natural gas infrastructure are forcing the generators to burn oil and coal in the winter because they can't get enough natural gas. [KMI used the word "renewable"; I use the more appropriate word, "intermittent"]

Q/A: KMI is excited about the Trans-Mountain Pipeline (western Canada to the Pacific). Also excited about the Palmetto Pipeline. If you live in the Jacksonville-Savannah area, about the only way to get jet fuel and diesel is by truck.

Q/A: KMI has also just finished a project with Imperial Oil (Exxon in Canada), which may be the biggest rail terminal in North America -- can load about 250,000 tons / day, just went operationsl in April.

Q/A: that's the Kearl project in Edmonton. Pipeline is safer but KMI has invested close to a billion dollars in rail terminals. KMI has also bought "a bunch" of Jones Act tankers.

Q/A: rail offers flexibility and options, given the volatility between Brent and WTI. KMI thinks 10 - 20% of oil will continue to be moved by rail.

Q/A: KMI hates to think how badly the tepid recovery would have been without the oil and gas revolution.

Q/A: KMI mentions Russia's stranglehold on European natural gas; KMI said they could solve Europe's problem in ten years. [GE has the jump on this one, buying Alstom.]

Q/A: importance of maintaining access to energy -- softball question.

Q/A: the pipeline map of North America (excluding Mexico)

Q/A: KMI has 84,000 miles of pipeline (70,000 of that for natural gas). Currently, 75 bcf per day; pundits consistently say we're going from 75 to 110 bcf per day within ten years.

Q/A: huge natural gas production in the US due to fracking; long soliloquy.

Q/A: back to books.

Q/A: when KMI started, it had an enterprise value of $300 million; KMI laughed at when said they were going to strive for $1 billion enterprise value; today, $140 billion enterprise value. 175 employees when they started; now 11,000+ employees.

The big takeaway from the article: Currently, natural gas in the US, 75 bcf per day; pundits consistently say we're going from 75 to 110 bcf per day within ten years

**************************
Meanwhile, For The Deniers

From CNN:
The scientists say their findings could mean a deep freeze like the one Great Britain experienced around 1900, when the Thames River froze over.
CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller says the study looks intriguing, but it has not been peer reviewed, or subjected to the scrutiny of the larger scientific community.
"This isn't published research yet," he said. "Our ability to forecast the specifics of a solar cycle is incredibly poor. It's worse than forecasting in a hurricane season." [But we can tell you that the earth will be 0.1 degree hotter 100 years from now.]
Doug Biesecker, who works at the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, agrees with Miller.
He said the research shouldn't give anyone the idea that because the weather may cool, climate change is not something to be worried about. [Because the earth will be 0.1 degree hotter 100 years from now.]
"It's a very complicated issue," Biesecker, an expert in solar physics, told CNN. "Does the sun have a role in our variable climate? Yes. Is the dominant role? No. Even the concept of the sun being responsible for Europe's mini ice age -- it's not hard-and-fast true." [It's a very complicated issue, but we can tell you that the earth will be 0.1 degree hotter 100 years from now. And North Dakota farmers will be laughing all the way to the bank.]
It's complicated, I know. But we do know that the earth will be 0.1 degree hotter in 100 years due to global warming. I can't make this stuff up.

However, for those paying attention, there is a trend developing. As the end of Obama's tenure comes to an end, the number of stories questioning Algore global warming are increasing ... almost exponentially. And they will feed on themselves, with more research, and more studies.  

Another Painful Week Of Earnings Reports Due Out -- August 2, 2015

It was painful, but I think I'm pretty much caught up with posting snippets of earnings reports over at the "Earnings" post.

This will be another tough week for investors in the oil and gas sector. Scroll through the post at the link and note all the companies reporting earnings on August 3 and August 4.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. I follow earnings reports to help me better understand the Bakken, get a feel for where it is headed, and put it in perspective with other oil plays around the US, Canada, and the world.

***********************
Quick: What Was The Last Name Of The Captain Of The Exxon Valdez In 1989

This is a pretty good story, the link sent to me by a reader. It's a long article / long story, and it does not directly pertain to the Bakken but it's worth posting.

My hunch is that 95% of folks who follow the oil and gas sector closely can name the captain of the Exxon Valdez when it spilled its cargo of oil off the Alaskan coast back in 1989.

Hold that thought.

Two articles, both from same source. First article:
A drum full of radioactive waste exploded at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico last February, sparking serious safety concerns about the U.S.'s only longterm nuclear storage site. A yearlong government investigation has officially fingered the long-suspected culprit: kitty litter.
Kitty litter? Yes, inorganic kitty litter is commonly used to pack nuclear waste. But the contractor switched to wheat-based organic kitty litter, which reacted with existing chemicals in the waste.
"The nitrate salt residues, organic sorbent (Swheat Scoop® ), and neutralization agent (triethanolamine) known to be present represent a potentially reactive chemical mixture of fuels and oxidizers," concludes the report's summary.
The cost of the clean-up is apparently at $500 million and rising.

The report does not say exactly how the "wrong" kitty litter was acquired, but it may have been due to a simple typographical error. Second article:
Since September 2012, in fact, the LANL packed up to 5,565 barrels of radioactive waste with organic kitty litter but mislabeled it as inorganic kitty litter—16 of these barrels are also highly acidic and contain nitrate salts like the one that burst. It took an explosion before anyone noticed the mistake.
In addition to being horrifying on its own, the February explosion raises serious question about the safety of nuclear waste storage, especially when you consider how "comically simplistic," to use the New Mexican's words, the explosion's origins seems to be. There are many more worrying details in the New Mexican story, including how LANL took other shortcuts in packing the drum and failed to inform WIPP. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence in our nation's handling of radioactive waste. 
The reader points out that almost 30 years later, we can still remember the name of the captain of the Exxon Valdez back in 1989 but the government won't even name the individual (or individuals) responsible for ordering the wrong "kitty litter" and the apparent cover-up of same.

While Greenpeace activists are trying to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic, they ignore the nuclear waste program being mismanaged by our own government. 

The reader who sent me the Carlsbad story put it in words that I understand:
Very briefly, New Mexico has some salt caverns near Carlsbad. That area was deemed ideal to store supposed "low-level" radioactive waste, and for over 20 years, the stuff has been trucked in there.
A couple years ago someone (who I imagine was infected with "SantaFe-itis") bought organic kitty litter (think Trader Joe's or Whole Foods) instead of inorganic kitty litter (think clay pellets). When the wheat-based kitty litter was mixed in the nuclear waste, it fed a reaction (think barley fermenting into beer - duh). Barrels couldn't withstand that pressure, and burst.
I doubt more than 50 people (outside the nuclear industry) have even heard about this story. But we can all name the captain of the Exxon Valdez.

Summer Wine, Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra

Yes, the spelling of the last names vary.

Want To Boost North Dakota's Ag Sector? Build More Pipelines, American Farm Bureau Federation -- August 2, 2015

This is another really good piece on the Bakken, this time from the American Farm Bureau Federation:
Agriculture relies on affordable energy to stay competitive. The cost of crude oil and natural gas directly impacts farmers’ ability to maintain a healthy bottom line, driving the costs of necessary expenditures like diesel fuel, irrigation, fertilizer, lubricants and more.
In the past five years, crude oil production in the U.S. has skyrocketed, bringing a surge of economic activity. Our country will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s most prolific producer of fossil energy in 2015. For the first time in decades, the once vaporous concept of American “energy independence” is within reach.
The boom has been good news for farmers, helping to keep energy prices and operating costs under control. But it has also brought some growing pains – especially in the Midwest – due in large part to the strain that greater production has placed on the region’s freight transportation infrastructure. The increase in crude oil trains has reduced the freight capacity available to transport grain and other commodities. Without action, the future of shipping agricultural goods will be defined by delays, price spikes and uncertainty.
I recently partnered with the American Farm Bureau Federation to attempt to quantify the financial impact of regional transportation strain on farmers in the Midwest. We found that the surge in crude oil traffic – combined with other factors, – caused millions of dollars of losses to farmers, elevators and end users. The Agriculture Department confirms that $570 million were lost from Upper Midwest farmers’ profits during the 2014 harvest season alone. In North Dakota, the insufficient freight environment could be expected to reduce the average corn farmer’s income by $10,000 relative to a “normal” year.
Grain producers are uniquely dependent on efficient rail systems, especially in crude oil traffic “hot spots.” The nature of grain production and use renders the industry inflexible with regard to the freight methods that it must use. Grain farmers simply must have access to efficient rail in order to manage shipping costs, minimize delay and get their products to market in an economically competitive manner.
Fortunately, a clear path forward does exist.
Modern pipelines servicing the Bakken region can help provide a solution by channeling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day off of the rails and roadways.
Much more at the link.

Reason #5 Why I Love To Blog -- Yes, Wal-Mart Is Open 24/7 In Williston -- August 2, 2015

Screenshot taken at 12:01 a.m., Sunday morning, August 2, 2015:



This is the latest I could find on "blue laws" in North Dakota, as of March, 2015:
When it comes to retail sales, North Dakota has among the most extensive blue laws in the country. For example, while stores can be open on Sunday, many items cannot be sold between midnight and noon — from clothing, housewares and linens, to appliances, hardware and computers. As a result, most retail stores in North Dakota do not open until noon.
But not Wal-Mart in Boomtown, USA -- open 24/7.

Apparently roughnecks can get their soft drinks and snacks before heading out to the field. Just no housewares or fine linen.

Disclaimer: the website could be inaccurate. Not everything on the internet is true. At least that's what I've been told. Perhaps readers will tell me if Wal-Mart is open this Sunday morning. I don't recall visiting Wal-Mart Sunday mornings when the last time I was in Williston. 

*************************
A Note To The Granddaughters 

What a great night. I babysat the one-year-old so her parents (our daughter, son-in-law) could go to a neighborhood party. Wow, we had fun. She got up from her evening nap at 7:30 p.m. and stayed up one hour past her usual bedtime of 10:00 p.m., staying up until 11: 00 p.m. when she finally fell asleep on my shoulder.

The highlight of the evening was grilling, for the first time ever for me, a very small ham, only two pounds, but wow, it turned out perfect. I had never grilled a ham before but I received a free two-pound ham from Omaha Steaks with a recent promotion and decided to see how to grill it. I don't care for ham all that much, so I figured if it was ruined, not much was lost. I read several "recipes" on the internet about grilling a whole ham, and it seemed like it would be a lot of fun.

Briefly: I placed very hot coals on either side of a drip pan and the ham was cooked over the drip pan the full one hour and five minutes (indirect heat, but very hot coals -- wow, the coals were nice tonight for some reason). About twenty fresh coals divided evenly on each side, on top of about 15 old coals from the previous use -- so a lot of coals, maybe a third more than needed.

While the coals were getting started in the chimney, I prepared a honey-brown sugar paste with a bit of apple juice. I then spooned the honey-brown sugar-apple juice paste on the ham, liberally.

By that time the coals were very hot, and the grill was ready for the ham. Every twenty minutes I sprayed the ham with apple juice to keep the ham moist. Again, apple juice is really inexpensive and I was quite liberal with the spray. [My only error: I forgot to place aluminum foil under the ham; some, but not all, internet sources said playing aluminum foil under the ham would help retain moisture.]

The sun had set about the time I got started and it was pitch black outside the last forty minutes so it was hard to see exactly what was going on, but no big deal. At one hour and five minutes (it would have been exactly one hour, but I had to work with the one-year-old to keep her away from the Weber grill), I stuck two huge forks in the ham, lifted it off the grill and brought it inside where I could see it. I stuck a meat thermometer into the center: 160.9 degrees and then while still resting, the temperature rose to 163. I quit measuring after that. Perfect.

Juices were still running out of it so I knew it was still very moist, but I won't know how good it tastes until tomorrow. I had eaten earlier, so this ham was simply a trial run, and I will have ham sandwiches tomorrow. Maybe ham and eggs for breakfast; ham slices instead of bacon.

Unfortunately no photos -- a) I forgot; and, b) as noted, it was well after dark when completed.

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Another Burr Under My Saddle

In the extras on the Casablanca DVD, Roger Ebert provides commentary during the movie. It is absolutely an incredible commentary. I listen to it often. However, there are a few things I had trouble with. This is the worst: he has trouble with the plausibility of the "letters of transit" that Elsa and her husband require to fly safely out of Morocco. Ebert says such letters did not exist and even if they did, the Nazis would not have honored them. Maybe, maybe not. But "letters of transit" are very, very real.

In Stephen Fried's Appetite for America, c. 2010, p. 229, early in the outbreak of WWI, when Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, 2014, and France and Britain quickly joined the war, hundreds of thousands of Americans were trapped abroad. The very wealthy contacted friends in high places, including the White House, seeking safe passage home.

President Woodrow Wilson, an isolationist, relented by arranging for an armored ship, the Tennesse, to sail to Europe hauling nearly $8 million ($178 million, 2010) in gold to rescue tourists. Part of the money was government aid, but most was from American banks so that the wealthier travelers could cash large checks.

After weeks of trying, some very wealthy US tourists, Stephen Fried writes, "finally received personalized letters of passage from the US envoy in Bern [Switzerland]. With those documents ["letters of transit"] they were able to get to Paris, and then to England, where they arranged first-class accommodations on the RMS Cameronia out of Glasgow."

Good, another burr under my saddle taken care of. 



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Music video.

Near You, George Jones and Tammy Wynette