Sunday, August 23, 2015

Zavanna Wells East Of Williston Have Been Updated -- August 23, 2015

The Zavanna wells east of Williston have been updated. Lots of recent activity.

See also this post

North Dakota Approved For Night Flight-Testing Of Drones; Only US Site With Such Approval -- August 23, 2015

For background:
Now, in today's update, sent in by a reader, the AP is reporting, that of the six FAA sites approved for drone testing, only one site has been approved for both day and night flights.
Of the six sites in the U.S. where researchers are trying to figure out how to integrate unmanned aircraft into civilian airspace, only North Dakota's can fly high both day and night.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved a plan last week that allows drones to be flown up to 1,200 feet above the entire state and permits flights at night, a combination that makes North Dakota unique, since other test sites are limited to a 200-foot blanket and daylight hours.
Alaska, New York, Nevada, Texas and Virginia also were selected in December 2013 as national test sites for unmanned aircraft, which the FAA does not currently allow for commercial use. As for why North Dakota's wide-open skies were chosen for the higher altitudes, the FAA referred questions to the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
Officials at the Northern Plains site wasted no time getting up in the air at night last week with the Draganflyer X4ES, which was monitored by three University of North Dakota pilots.
Of note, California applied for an FAA drone test site but was specifically denied.

A Note to the Granddaughters
The Community College

From wiki:
William Martin (born February 16, 1957, Bethesda, Maryland) is an American botanist, currently Head of the Institut für Molekulare Evolution, Heinrich Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland, Martin was educated at Richland College, Dallas, Texas, and Texas A&M University. After working as a carpenter in Dallas, Martin moved to Hannover, Germany, and obtained his university Diploma from Technische Universität Hannover in 1985.
Martin's PhD is from Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Cologne, where he did postdoctoral research, followed by further postdoctoral work at Institut für Genetik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, where he obtained his Habilitation in 1992. In 1999, Martin became full (C4) professor at Universitaet Düsseldorf.
Martin is a distinguished and sometimes controversial contributor to the field of molecular evolution. He is known particularly for his work on the evolution of the Calvin cycle and plastids including chloroplasts, and, more generally, for contributions to understanding the origin and evolution of eukaryotic cells.
Martin is co-author, with Miklos Mueller of Rockefeller University, of the 1998 paper The Hydrogen hypothesis for the first eukaryote. A wealth of subsequent research papers include contributions, independently and with Michael J. Russell of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to understanding the geochemical origins of cells and their biochemical pathways. 
So, here we have a guy that is probably near the top of the food chain among modern biologists, perhaps a Nobel Prize contender, who went to a community college in the DFW area, and then to a school possibly known more for its football program than its scholastic program.

And then, with his college degree, works as a carpenter in the Dallas area, before moving to Germany, to get his undergraduate degree from the Technical University Hannover, and his PhD from a "satellite college" of the Max Planck Institute in fairly non-descript Cologne, Germany.

What an incredible story, starting with a community college in Dallas.

Another Note To The Granddaughters

The granddaughters lived in Boston for four years, from summer, 2009, to summer, 2013. We spent much of that time in Boston, also, taking care of them. It was a wonderful time.

During those four years we got to "know" the Boston metro -- the subway -- very, very well.

This story about Boston upgrading the metro for this next winter was very, very interesting. It talks a bit about the orange line, probably the line we know least. We knew the Red Line best, taking it to Harvard Square several times each week. We knew the Green Line well which took us to the fine arts museums and was the oldest line, as far as I remember. We took the Blue Line to the aquarium and I believe to the airport. I don't recall taking the Orange Line all that much.

If money were no issue, I would live in the Boston area. My favorite place was Provincetown, Cape Cod.

The Bakken Is Changing -- August 23, 2015

This is "just for the fun of it."

Google decline rate Bakken : 190,000 results
Oh, that's cool. The Million Dollar Way, #8, front page, with a very generic google. Regular readers of the blog are much more sophisticated than the audiences that the first seven sites cater to.

Regular readers know my thoughts regarding the decline rates in the Bakken. I could care less what the decline rates are. If one invested $7 million in a well, and that well produced enough oil to pay back the investment in six (6) months, and then the EUR resulted in a $50 million overall revenue return over the next "x" number of years, I wouldn't care if the well dried up in one year or 50 years. Actually, I would prefer to get the full $50 million in less than ten years than wait for the well to slowly decline over 45 years.

The decline rates are a red herring, but everyone still talks about them. Mike Filloon was the first to crack the code: it's the a) payback time; and, b) the EUR that counts. And, of course, little things like the price of oil. $100 oil in 2017 is a heck of a lot better than $20 oil in 2015.

However, the reason I bring this up is because I spent the last eight (8) hours trying to find a graph previously posted on the blog, and I finally found it. So after spending eight (8) hours trying to find that graph I wasn't going to let it go by for naught.

The fact is that the IPs are changing, the payback times are changing, the decline rates are changing, and the EURs are changing.

Here's the graph.

A Note to the Granddaughters

Wow, I'm in a good mood. I just got back in from swimming with our one-year-old granddaughter, I found the graphic I was looking for (see above), and I'm enjoying a new book, The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane, c. 2015.

Algore is to global warming as Richard Dawkins is to evolution, or in mathematical notation:
Algore:Global Warming::Richard Dawkins:Evoulution.
For both Algore and Richard Dawkins, the science is established. There is no room for debate. There is no room for thoughtful discourse. The science is established. Those foolish enough to disagree are flat earthers or deniers.

The Vital Question is geared for those who have a sound background in biology, perhaps majored in biology in college. The comments over at support that opinion. Some parts of it are very, very hard going. It starts off simple enough but quickly gets very deep. It's the perfect book for a high school student between his/her junior/senior year who plans on majoring in biology in college. The book will bring folks up to where biology currently stands on the big issues.

This is how it starts, page 1, introduction, one paragraph in the book but I've broken it up:
There is a black hole in the heart of biology. Bluntly put, we do not know why life is the way it is.
All complex life on earth shares a common ancestor, a cell that arose from simple bacterial progenitors on just one occasion in 4 billion years. Was this a freak accident, or did other 'experiments' in the evolution of complexity fail? We don't know.
We do know that this common ancestor was already a very complex cell. It had more or less the same sophistication as one of your cells, and it passed this great complexity on not just to you and me but to all its descendants, from trees to bees. I challenge you to look at one of your own cells down a microscope and distinguish it from the cells of a mushroom. They are practically identical. I don't live much like a mushroom, so why are my cells so similar? It's not just that they look alike. All complex life shares an astonishing catalogue of elaborate traits, from sex to cell suicide to senescence, none of which is seen in a comparable form in bacteria.
There is no agreement about why so many unique traits accumulated in that single ancestor, or why none of them shows any sign of evolving independently in bacteria. Why, if all of these traits arose by natural selection, in which each step offers some small advantage, did equivalent traits not arise on other occasions in various bacterial groups?
Richard Dawkins would answer that with a "Rudyard Kipling just-so" response, no doubt.

The black hole is that "space" between bacteria and eukaryocytes. I've never seen Richard Dawkins address the biologic black hole. I'm a huge fan of Stephen Jay Gould -- I think I have every book he wrote and have read all but one of them; the one I haven't read is so thick and so difficult, I can only read it in bits and pieces -- but upon reflection, he never addressed the biologic black hole either.
The author implies that his book is the first to address this subject. That's probably a bit of hyperbole, but if it isn't the first, it certainly is among the few.

Eighteen (18) Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday -- August 23, 2015; Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Is On The Board!

What was happening six months ago? Late March, 2015? Beginning of spring  in the North Dakota --

Long-time readers might see what I'm seeing in the report of wells coming off the confidential list over the weekend, Monday, tomorrow. If I remember, I might talk about it tomorrow. Memo to self: Whiting, CLR, Newfield, EOG, Hess.

Monday, August 24, 2015
  • 28539, 2,771, Whiting/KOG, P Dam State 155-94-4-16-21-13H3, Epping, Three Forks B1, northeast of Williston, ESP, 6/15; 30 stages, 3.6 million lbs; t2/15; cum 62K 6/15;
  • 28540, 2,614, Whiting/KOG, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-13H, Epping; ESP 5/15; Bakken, 30 stages, 3.8 million lbs; t2/15; cum 60K 6/15;
  • 28541, 1,700, Whiting/KOG, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-14H3, Epping, Three Forks, ESP, 5/15; 30 stages, 3.6 million lbs; t2/15; cum 57K 6/15;
  • 28542, 2,041, Whiting/KOG, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-14H, Epping, t3/15; cum 77K 6/15;
  • 29043, 950, Whiting/KOG, P Thomas 154-98-14E33-28-3H3A, Truax, t2/15; cum 47K 6/15;
  • 29044, 1,803, Whiting/KOG, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3H, Truax, at2/15; cum 46K 6/15;
  • 29045, 2,704, Whiting/KOG, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3H3, Truax, Three Forks, ESP, 6/15; 24 stages, 3 million lbs; t2/15; cum 51K 6/15;
  • 29759, drl/NC, MRO, Steinhaus 24-34H, Reunion Bay, no production data,
  • 29806, 2,237, Whiting, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3HA, Truax, t2/15; cum 37K 6/15;
  • 30518, drl/NC, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Hidatsa 3W-2H-TF, Squaw Creek, no production data,
Sunday, August 23, 2015
  • 24773, SI/NC, Statoil, Judy 22-15 2H, East Fork, no production data,
  • 27971, 1,217, Whiting, Duletski Federal 14-12PH, Fryburg, t3/15; cum 56K 6/15;
  • 29161, Si/NC, Hess, BB-Chapin A-151-95-0403H-9, Blue Buttes, no production data,
  • 29464, 2,525, BR, Teton 6-8-10MBH, Camel Butte, t7/15; cum --
  • 30389, SI/NC, SM Energy, Robert 1-15HS, West Ambrose, no production data,
  • 30517, drl/NC, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Mandan 3W-1H-BK, Squaw Creek, no production data,
  • 30758, drl/NC, XTO, Roen 24X-23A, Elk, no production data,
Saturday, August 22, 2015
  • 29160, 980, Hess, BB-Chapin A-151-95-0403H-8, Blue Buttes, t8/15; cum --
Missouri River Resources ND, LCC

Missouri River Resources ND, LCC, has five permits in North Dakota:
  • 4168, 51, Missouri River Resources ND, LCC, Drags Wolf 1, Antelope oil field, the Sanish formation, t12/66; cum 163K 6/15; (producing almost nothing any more; just enough to keep it active)
  • 30517, see above, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Mandan 3W-1H-BK, Squaw Creek, no production data,
  • 30518, conf, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Hidatsa 3W-2H-TF, Squaw Creek, no production data,
  • 30873, conf, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Arikara 3W-3H-BK, Squaw Creek, no production data,
  • 30874, conf, Missouri River Resources ND, LLC, Nation 3W-4H-TF, Squaw Creek, no production data,

28539, conf, Whiting, P Dam State 155-94-4-16-21-13H3, Epping:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28540, see above, Whiting, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-13H, Epping:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28541, see above, Whiting, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-14H3, Epping:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28542, see above, Whiting, P Dam State 155-99-4-16-21-14H, Epping:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29043, see above, Whiting, P Thomas 154-98-14E33-28-3H3A, Truax:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29044, see above, Whiting, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3H, Truax:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29045, see above, Whiting, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3H3, Truax:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29806, see above, Whiting, P Thomas 154-98-14E-33-28-3HA, Truax:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

27971, see above, Whiting, Duletski Federal 14-12PH, Fryburg:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Rig Productivity -- August 23, 2015

In an earlier post, I provided a graphic with regard to "rig productivity" across the various oil and gas plays. That post was on data released by the Obama administration on August 10, 2015. Now we have a full page of graphics on "rig productivity" for the month of August, 2015.

This looks like a dynamic link. One may want to archive it (memo to self: archived in folder on desktop).

For Mineral Owners Receiving Royalty Checks From Hess -- August 23, 2015

Hess now deducts a transportation charge from royalty checks based on information from a reader. See this post.

The Warmists Can't Handle The Truth -- August 23, 2015


August 23, 2015: Calgary, Alberta, with surprise snowfall in August, the middle of summer -- just a day's drive from the Bakken to the Rodeo Stampede. 

Fifteen miles south of Baker, MT -- yes, in the Williston Basin -- local folks have reported frost overnight.

Yes, I know this is weather. But 19 years of weather starts to look like climate. Nineteen years of no evidence of any global warming. And that is despite the warmists fudging the figures. Previously reported, and see below.

Last year I was about ready to quit posting notes on global warming / climate change, but then decided (probably due to my obsessiveness/compulsiveness) to go one more year with posts on global warming. However, with the stories coming out now, and particularly the stories about the Obama administration fudging the data (previously reported and now another story, below), I will probably post even more vigorously this year the global warming stories. Remember, the Farmer's Almanac projects a very cold winter coming this year, and apparently it's already started. By the way, in both cases, the Obama administration does not dispute they fudged the data, though they use different words, excuses, and phrases to explain their actions.

Original Post
RealClearPolicy is reporting:
Earlier this month, [Patrick Michaels] sent [his] findings to Jason Samenow, a terrific forecaster who runs the Washington Post's weather blog, Capital Weather Gang. He and his crew verified what [Michaels] found and wrote up their version, giving due credit and adding other evidence that something was very wrong at National. And, in remarkably quick action for a government agency, the National Weather Service swapped out the sensor within a week and found that the old one was reading 1.7 degrees too high. Close enough to 2.1, the observed difference.
But the National Weather Service told the Capital Weather Gang that there will be no corrections, despite the fact that the disparity suddenly began 19 months ago and varied little once it began. It said correcting for the error wouldn't be "scientifically defensible."
Therefore, people can and will cite the May record as evidence for dreaded global warming with impunity. Only a few weather nerds will know the truth. Over a third of this year's 37 90-degree-plus days, which gives us a remote chance of breaking the all time record, should also be eliminated, putting this summer rightly back into normal territory.
It is really politically unwise not to do a simple adjustment on these obviously-too-hot data. With all of the claims that federal science is being biased in service of the president's global-warming agenda, the agency should bend over backwards to expunge erroneous record-high readings.
In July, by contrast, NOAA had no problem adjusting the global temperature history. In that case, the method they used guaranteed that a growing warming trend would substitute for "the pause." They reported in Science that they had replaced the pause (which shows up in every analysis of satellite and weather balloon data) with a significant warming trend.
Normative science says a trend is "statistically significant" if there's less than a 5 percent probability that it would happen by chance. NOAA claimed significance at the 10 percent level, something no graduate student could ever get away with. There were several other major problems with the paper. As Judy Curry, a noted climate scientist at Georgia Tech, wrote, "color me 'unconvinced.'"
Unfortunately, following this with the kerfuffle over the Reagan temperature records is only going to "convince" even more people that our government is blowing hot air on global warming.

Random Update Of CLR's Bridger / Bonnevillle Wells In Rattlesnake Point -- August 23, 2015

February 21, 2019: see this post; a re-entry; large re-frack; 

December 1, 2018: see this post for an example of an halo effect between a middle Bakken well and a Three Forks upper bench well. 

March 7, 2018: update of an old Bridger well that's been successfully re-entered and re-fracked.

December 21, 2017: Bridger/Bonneville wells with jump in production, some fracked; some not fracked.

October 22, 2017: Rattlesnake Point wells have been updated.

August 8, 2017: Bridger 9-14H1 (#31847) was fracked in April, 2017. 

January 28, 2017: two more Bridger wells added (see below); one Bridger well taken off-line; reason not noted.

December 4, 2016: update here; a long and important update. 

September 28, 2015: From a reader -- FYI, In the next few days when August production numbers are available on NDIC, check out the decline curve on either well #19011 or #19013. Halo effect?

Original Post

Note: in a long note like this there will be factual and typographical errors. In addition, CLR made a lot of changes in targets and well names after the original applications; not all changes have been noted below. If this information is important to you, please go to the source, either CLR or NDIC.  Once wells are completed, names will be corrected if necessary.

These are the wells:

I am posting this information based on an earlier long comment from a reader which is re-posted here:
Some interesting things going on with all these new [Bonneville/Bridger] wells. None of the nine new wells have ever been on confidential so you have access to their well files.
The 6-well pad is on a 2560-acre unit; the last three Bridger wells are on a 1280-acre spacing unit. The Bonneville wells are being drilled right now as 2 MB wells and 1 TF1 well. The Bridger wells appear to have been fracked? They are MB TF1 & TF2 wells. Oil has already been hauled off for two of the Bridger wells with the note on the form that this is NOT the first sale of oil, also noted something about coil tube sale? What does that mean?  [Comment: readers will have to weigh in; I do not know but I will see what I can find out.]
Of the new wells, same layout MB TF1 & TF2, it appears that they must be in a big hurry to drill as it looks to me like the day NDIC approved the permits the surface casing for all three had already been set? If I read the file correctly.
Also if you look in the new files the plan and profile for the wells on the drilling unit show a detail I don't think I have seen before. There are ovals drawn perpendicular to the well bore and the further north they go the larger they become. You suppose those ovals represent the frack effort they intend to achieve?
Also note on the gas capture form they estimate that the initial daily flow of oil, not counting gas, is just over 2,100 barrels a day each for all three. (I don't understand gas production numbers.) That would be a high IP rate for a CLR well let alone that rate for any period of time. Maybe for design purposes they overstate anticipated production? When you look at the area map of these wells you realize the north end of these wells are not far from the south end of a very special Whitman well in the Oakdale field. It will be interesting to follow over the next year or so to see how these wells turn out. [Comment: lots of observations and comments; I will do what I can. Hopefully, other readers will weigh in -- provide some thoughts.]
Comments: with regard to oil  production, if there were any sales, that would have to be noted on the NDIC scout ticket; to date that data is not there but there could be a delay in reporting.
It is noted that in a sundry form for 29554, for example, a small amount of oil (222 bbls) has been sold, and it was said that "this is not the first sales" -- but that is boilerplate from the form. It is possible the "coiled tube sales" is referencing a coiled tube fracking. I would assume all wells would be fracked at approximately the same time and the fact that there is still on rig on site suggests that they have yet to frack the wells, but, again, a) I don't know the timing, the process; and, b) there can be a disconnect between what is happening in the field and what we see in the files and on the GIS map server due to delays in reports and updates. Bottom line: for me, it's still too early to say how this will all play out.

In the planning report for #29554, for example, with regard to ONEOK, under flowback strategy, CLR anticipates first production to be 9/27/15; gas sales connection is expected by 9/13/15. Anticipated oil and gas rates: IP, 4,490 BOPD, 3,628 MCFD.
Bridger-Bonneville Well Pads 

One day after the original post, CLR added another 3-well pad, NWNE 23-146-96, 495 FNL, 1740 - 1830 FEL; they look to be in same area as the new 6-well pad in the graphic:
  • 31845, 879, CLR, Bridger 7-14H2,Three Forks 2nd bench, t8/17; cum 322K 12/20; cum 325K 2/21;
  • 31846, 1,389, CLR, Bridger 8-14H, middle Bakken, t8/17; cum 224K 12/20; cum 226K 2/21;
  • 31847, 1,515, CLR, Bridger 9-14H1, Three Forsk, 1st bench, t8/17; cum 230K 12/20; 232K 2/21;
It appears the Bonneville wells run north, the Bridger wells run south. Again, I could be wrong, 29552and there might be exceptions.
  • 19013, 399, CLR, Bridger 2-14H, Three Forks, 21 stages, 2.3 million lbs sand/ceramic, t12/10; cum 388K 12/20; 393K 2/21;
  • 19012, 365, CLR, Bonneville 2-23H, Three Forks, 24 stages, 2.5 million lbs; 4 sections, t12/10; cum 222K 12/20; huge bump in production 6/17; not re-fracked according to FracFocus; cum 224K 2/21;
  • 19011, 725, CLR, Bridger 3-14H, Bakken NOS, 21 stages, 2.2 million lbs sand/ceramic; 4 sections, t12/10; cum 354K 12/20; a small bump in production after coming back on-line; cum 355K 2/21;
  • 19009, 651, CLR, Bonneville 3-23H, Bakken NOS, 24 stages, 2.5 million lbs sand/ceramic; 4 sections, t12/10; cum 436K 12/20; slight bump in production after being off-line for a few months; cum 438K 2/21;
  • 29554, 1,018, CLR, Bridger 4-14H2, name change when target changed to Three Forks B2 (was TF B1); 4 sections,  API: 33-025-0267; t1/16; cum 390K 12/20; cum 395K 2/21;
  • 29553, 1,160, CLR, Bridger 5-14H, Bakken NOS, four sections, API 33-025-02678; t9/15, cum 419K 12/20; cum 422K 12/20;
  • 29552, 1,977, CLR, Bridger 6-14H1, Three Forks B1 (originally was 6-14H2, TF B2); four sections, API 33-025-02677; note: all the documents up to this date (November 9, 2015, show this well still named -14H2, but the GIS map shows it correctly at -14H1; 30 stages, 6 million lbs; t9/15; cum 303K 12/20; 305K 2/21;
  • 29551, 1,311, CRL, Bonneville 4-23H, sounds like a minor glitch at the KOP while drilling; originally planned to be a TF well; changed target to middle Bakken; t8/17; cum 267K 2/21;
  • 29550, 1,407, CRL, Bonneville 5-23H1, new name; apparently was a middle Bakken; now a Three Forks first bench; nice production but back on conf list; t8/17; cum 311K 2/21;
  • 29549, 1,518, CRL, Bonneville 6-23H1, original target the middle Bakken; changed to Three Forks B1; t8/17; cum 354K 2/21;
  • 17088, 267, CLR, Bonneville 41-23, 1 million lbs sand, t4/08; cum 246K 11/20; stripper well, September 21, 2012; was not re-fracked; huge jump in production in 7/17; off line 12/20; cum 248K 2/21;

  • 17089, 400, CLR, Bridger 44-14H, t4/08; cum 404K 12/20; and then back on confidential; re-fracked 4/17; see this post; cum 406K 2/21;
  • 32740, 1,485, Bridger 10-14H2, Rattlesnake Point, t9/17; cum 353K 12/20; 356K 2/21;
  • 32781, 1,067, CLR, Bridger 11-14H1, Rattlesnake Point, t12/17; cum 276K 2/21;

Geology limits in this area, +/-, TVD, #29554:
  • Lodgepole: 10,265
  • Upper Bakken Shale: 11,128
  • Middle Bakken Member: 11,144
  • Lower Bakken Shale: 11,182
  • Three Forks/Base of Shale: 11,195
  • Three Forks Target: 11,217
  • End of Lateral: 11,192 
Geology limits in this area, +/-, TVD, #29550:
  • Lodgepole: 10,265
  • Upper Bakken Shale: 11,128
  • Middle Bakken Target: 11,159
  • End of Lateral: 11,169

New Record Low In Bowman, North Dakota? -- August 23, 2015

I don't know yet if this sets a new record, but a reader suggests that it does. I am being told that the temperature dropped to a low of 37 degrees overnight in Bowman, ND, in the southwest corner of the state. The previous low record temperature in Hettinger, ND, in the same area, was 42 degrees in 2007.

Eight years ago, wow -- right at the peak of anthropogenic global warming according to the warmists, though "everyone" concedes there has been no evidence of global warming in the past 18 -- going on 19 -- years.

Reason #5 Why I Love To Blog -- August 23, 2015; This Is Insane -- Utility Rates Up 88% Along The East Coast?

Last night I posted a story on Chicago utility rates -- a story sent to me by a reader. I wasn't sure I wanted to post the story, thinking it was a regional story with, maybe, not a lot of general interest. However, today I see the story was picked up by the Wall Street Journal and is on the front page of the WSJ On-Line edition,  August 21, 2015 (I obviously missed it the first time around):
The price of power that the U.S.’s largest grid operator pays utility companies for power rose across the board at an auction Friday, with prices more than doubling in New Jersey and Philadelphia, foreshadowing a potential increase in electricity bills and a rise in the share prices of some power companies.
The price increase stems from a series of reforms that grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC enacted after widespread failures led to brownouts during the frigid winter of 2014.
The price rise could add about $2 to $3 to the average consumers’ monthly bill across its territory, stretching from Newark, N.J., to Chicago and supplying 61 million people.
PJM estimates that an extra $3.4 billion will go to the system’s power companies in exchange for a guarantee that starting in 2018 they will run when demand is highest, a safeguard put in place after the 2014 failures.
Several investors and analysts say the auction results are likely to boost share prices of power companies with plants that supply the PJM market. The companies most likely to benefit include NRG Energy Inc., Exelon Corp., Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc. and Public Service Enterprise Group.
“Everything investors generally hoped for happened."
The so-called “capacity price” was set at $164.77 a day for every megawatt produced by power plants across most of PJM’s territory from July 2018 to May 2019, according to results of the annual auction PJM released after markets closed Friday. That compares with $120 a megawatt-day established last year for nearly all of the territory, regions that include some Washington, D.C., suburbs, Pittsburgh and Chicago.
Prices in the Chicago region and parts of the East Coast will go up even more, with a strip from New Jersey to Virginia seeing prices hit $225.42 a megawatt-day, up 88% for most of that area.
The award largely matched analysts’ expectations, which had generally ranged from $150 to $200 a megawatt-day. Moody’s Corp. had called this “arguably the most important” PJM auction in their eight-year history both for PJM’s plan to improve reliability and as an earnings driver to help companies.
Much, much more at the link.

Some story lines that I don't have time for now, but story lines that have been discussed before and will be discussed again:
  • before I started blogging, I had never heard of PJM; I believe it was an RBN Energy post that introduced me to PJM
  • the "size" and geographic footprint of PJM
  • the cost of intermittent energy; for the past decade, politicians have been pushing wind and solar energy; meanwhile infrastructure for conventional power was ignored
  • the nuclear energy story (see below)
  • the switch from coal to natural gas
  • the Road to New England: faux environmentalists doing what they can to delay needed pipelines to New England
  • it was global cooling -- the Polar Vortex -- responsible for this huge increase in the cost of electricity, not global warming
  • why utilities are protected; another issue I did not know about until I started blogging
  • "capacity factor" is back in the news
Just a few; many, many more story lines.

With regard to the nuclear energy story line, here is a link to Crain's, "Exelon's case for how poorly its nukes are doing" --
For the first time, Exelon is pulling back the curtain on the deteriorating economics at its Illinois nuclear plants.
In a bid to build more support for subsidies financed by rate payers, the state's largest power generator provided Crain's with its most detailed look at the financials of the company's six Illinois nuclear stations. Altogether, they are profitable but may not be in the near future.
The Chicago-based company learned on Aug. 21 that it will receive substantially higher revenue beginning in 2018 from increased consumer payments to power-plant owners for their promise to produce during high-demand periods. Even so, wholesale power prices in northern Illinois have fallen to such a point that the entire Illinois fleet could be unprofitable during the next few years.
Wall Street analysts want the company to shutter money-losing plants in Illinois if it can't get financial relief from the state.