Friday, October 2, 2015

Potpourri -- October 3, 2015

From Rigzone/Bloomberg: Jim Rogers says oil ignoring bad news usually means rebound near or put another way, "hope springs eternal."
Oil is holding near $45 while the bad news keeps coming. For investor Jim Rogers, that’s usually a sign a rebound is near.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is still pumping near-record amounts of oil, China’s imports have slowed and U.S. crude stockpiles remain about 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average. Yet, U.S. benchmark prices have held steady for more than four weeks since plunging to a six- year low at the end of August.
“When there’s bad news and something doesn’t decline, it usually means it’s at a bottom and will be turning,” Rogers, who correctly predicted a commodities rally in 1999, said in an interview in Singapore on Thursday. “Whether we’re at a turning point or not, I don’t know yet, and I’m watching this very closely.”
I"ll sleep better knowing he's watching this, not only "closely," but "very closely." I think this is why Twitter has a 140-character limit; cuts down the fluff. (By they way, Twitter says it is considering increasing the character limit.)

Reuters Say It's a Record; Looks Flat To Me

From Rigzone/Reuters: the sky is falling, the sky is falling -- Russia oil output at post-Soviet high on foreign projects, Rosneft. Data points:
  • September: 10.74 million bopd
  • August: 10.68 million bopd
  • Delta: 10.74 - 10.68 = 0.06 million bopd or 60,000 bopd (almost a rounding error)
  • in percentages, 0.06 / 10.68 = 0.6% increase

Saudi To Maintain Spending
See Jim Rodgers Story Above 

But this story is probably the most important: Saudi Arabia will maintain spending. From Rigzone/Reuters:
Saudi Arabia is continuing with its investments in the oil and gas industry as well as solar energy despite the current drop in oil prices, the kingdom's oil minister was quoted as saying on Friday.
That part about solar energy? I think you can ignore. With regard to oil production, we'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

Week 39: September 27, 2015 -- October 3, 2015

Several top stories of the week that need special mention:
Williston named 2015 City of the Year
Update on the proposed $4 billion petrochemical plant in North Dakota; connecting the dots on this one; deal with CLR announced;

OXY: she's a mystery; a rumor

Bakken economy
Bloomberg on the real estate situation in the Bakken
Baker Hughes to lay off 117 employees at Dickinson facility
Bakken 101
Saving the Bakken through choking back
America's oil output refuses to collapse; here's why

Random look at some businesses in Williston  

Four (4) New Permits -- North Dakota, October 2, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs68190186189201

Four (4) new permits:
  • Operator: QEP
  • Field: Heart Butte (Dunn)
  • Comments:
Five (5) producing wells completed:
  • 29236, 795, Statoil, Smith Farm 23-14 8THF,  Cow Creek, t9/15; cum --
  • 29733, 273, XTO, Eckert 41X-6G, Indian Hill, t9/15; cum --
  • 29876, 31, Enduro Operating, NSCU H-717-H2, Newburg, a Spearfish/Charles well, t9/15; cum --
  • 29957, 423, XTO, Eckert 41X-6H, Indian Hill, t9/15; cum --
  • 29965, 916, XTO, Eckert 41X-6DXA, Camp, 4 sections, t8/15; cum -

Williston Named 2015 City Of The Year

Link here.

Maybe more later. I'm rushed. Going to a Friday night soccer game.

Did The Red Queen Just Fall Off Her Treadmill? -- October 2, 2015


Later, 1:45 p.m. Central Time: A reader wrote:
Choking, and the control of the flow, is not a new thing obviously, but this is the first I have read that talks about the effects of choking to improve the well. Less pressure rush at the beginning helps keep the sand in place (rather than being rushed out with the burst) allowing the well to produce more oil over time. From the article:
 "When Newfield Exploration Co. opened new wells in the Bakken formation in North Dakota, it found the pressure difference created flows so strong they would sweep along the sand meant to prop open cracks in the shale, said Danny Aguirre, the company’s head of investor relations. By using pressure control, Newfield gets more oil over the life of the well and can save money by not having to add as much artificial pressure, he said in an interview." 
I replied:
This might explain OXY's wells. You know that I give OXY a lot of grief for their lousy wells -- based on IPs. I may have been wrong all along -- when you go back and look at OXY wells one and two years out -- especially two years out -- they seem to compare well with Statoil wells, which compared to their huge IPs are relatively disappointing. I track OXY wells here.
The take-home from this is that the Bakken operators continue to learn....makes it exciting.  
Original Post
Bloomberg/Reuters is reporting:
Encana Corp. wants to ensure the shale-oil boom keeps booming. The Canadian producer is among a growing number of companies that are restricting initial output -- a process known as choking back -- in basins from North Dakota to Texas.
They’re conceding huge up-front gushers of crude in exchange for smaller production declines over time so that the wells ultimately generate more oil.
The strategy sacrifices one of the biggest benefits from shale. The early gushers paid back investments fast, allowing companies to pour capital into new projects. Instead, Encana and others envision a future with a more stable flow from wells, so that they don’t always have to keep drilling simply to maintain output.
The Red Queen (again):
Curbing initial production allows companies to maintain the pressure and integrity in their wells, which means output doesn’t fall as fast.
Shifting to the technique can avoid steep declines, a phenomenon known in the oil world as the Red Queen, the character in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” who tells Alice, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”
Choke management is among a number of strategies -- including moving to richer parts of fields, completing wells with more sand and water, and refracking -- that U.S. drillers have used to stave off a collapse in production.
Output has fallen just 5 percent from its peak even though companies have shelved more than half their rigs amid a price slump. The oil industry is “finding ways to continue marginal production in a way that would have defied probability and reasoning before companies took the kinds of actions they’ve taken,” said Ed Morse, the head of global commodity research at Citigroup Inc., in an interview.
Much, much more at the link. The article will be archived at the source.

Supertanker Day Rates Soaring -- Blame It On The Chinese For Hoarding -- September 2, 2015

BloombergBusiness is reporting: supertanker day rates are soaring; above $100,000 / day; highest since 2008. Blamed on China depleting supertanker fleet.

Tweeting now: US rig count plunges 29 units to 809—lowest total since May, 3 2002, via @BHInc.

Update On Federal Government's "Science Project" In Missississississippi -- October 2, 2015; Cost Overruns -- Brings Cost To $11 Million / MW


August 12, 2018: after Southern Corporation was forced to shut down the Kemper "clean-coal" project in Mississippi due to huge cost overruns, it looks like Southern Corporation is following the same pattern with regard to the Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear project in Georgia.

July 6, 2017: President Trump' suffers major setback -- Bloomberg. [Fails to mention this was an Obama-era project. Trump inherited it. But yes, Trump wanted it to succeed.]

July 2, 2017: Bloomberg op-ed -- "clean coal" is a fantasy and always will be. Mississippi is throwing in the towel and so should the rest of the world Well, maybe not India or China.

June 21, 2017: throwing in the towel. It looks like regulators are going to "convert" this to a natural gas plant.

June 4, 2017: still not finished; no new cost update; said to now cost $7.3 billion; will ask customers to help pay for this debacle.

March 19, 2017: new tubing leak; company does not know when plant will come on line -- now up to $7 billion. 

January 9, 2017: another delay; to be on-line by January 31, 2017;

December 22, 2016: Phoenix rising. Heidi Heitkamp in the news.

October 22, 2016: now its the annual operations cost that will balloon -- 4x forecast

October 13, 2016: Kemper makes power from natural gas made from coal for first time. Huge story. And huge cost. 
Original Post
It's time to bring all these posts to one spot. (Note: at $6.1 billion this was three times more than expected; now it's up to $6.3 billion -- I cannot make this up -- see below).

This is a 582-megawatt plant. So, $6.3 billion (and still rising) / 582 MW = $11 million /MW. Remember, even the most expensive solar energy / wind energy project seldom gets above $3 million / MW and even at $3 million / MW, that's outrageous -- in the US.

Background posts/updates:
Today's update: President Obama's science project still delayed --
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Power Co. announced Tuesday it will likely have to repay a $234 million federal tax credit because its Kemper County power plant won't be in operation by April 19 (which year?).
The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. said it probably won't meet that deadline to start producing carbon dioxide at the $6.3 billion plant it's building in eastern Mississippi, although Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland said the company still believes it will put the plant into commercial operation by June 30 (which year?).
"We still believe, as we had previously disclosed, that the plant will come online in the first half of 2016," Holland said.
It's the second batch of tax credits Mississippi Power could repay because of Kemper delays. The company had to repay $133 million to the federal government because it missed the original May 2014 deadline to put the plant into operation. Southern Co. began construction with little of the plant designed as it raced to claim the tax credits, and those monitoring the construction have said that was a prime cause of overruns and delays that followed.
Mississippi Power also said Tuesday said it will spend $15 million more on redesigns, rework and maintenance, as well as training additional plant operators. Holland said the plant is beginning to test the gasifier by feeding sand through it, and plans to begin testing with lignite coal by December or January.
The plant has been generating electricity by burning natural gas since August 2014. But its key parts, designed to gasify lignite for fuel and later strip out carbon dioxide and other byproducts from the plant's exhaust, had been scheduled to start operation by March 30. That carbon dioxide is supposed to be sold to companies that would pump it into the ground to force out oil. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would reduce the plant's contribution to global warming, which is why federal officials are supporting the project.
Critics deride the plant as a "science project," while Holland downplays the risk that it won't work as designed.

Now Some Good News -- October 2, 2015

Enbridge Line 9 To Open

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Canadian light synthetic crude and North Dakota Bakken crude for November delivery strengthened on Thursday after Enbridge received approval from regulators to open its Line 9 crude pipeline. 
Line 9 will ship 300,000 barrels per day of mostly light inland crude to Montreal, Quebec. 

Line 9A Reversal
Line 5 Expansion
Line 79
Western Canada to Montreal, Quebec 
  • Line 9A, reversal, from Sarnia, Ontario, (northeast of Detroit) to North Westover, Ontario: about 120 miles; should be complete by early-2014; 200,000 bopd
  • Line 9B: reversal already approved; 
  • Line 5, expansion, Superior, MN, to Sarnia, Ontario: should be completed early this year
  • Line 79, new, between Stockbridge and Romulus, MI; 50-mile stretch west of Detroit; enters service April, 2013; new pipe and existing leased pipe
  • Line 6B (Lakehead), replacement work, between Griffith, IN, and Stockbridge, MI: 200 miles west of Stockbridge; done by end of 2013; Stockbridge, MI, to St Clair River in Marysville, MI, 350 miles running from south, up to Stockbridge, MI; done by early 2014; [seems like two separate lines, one running west to east (Bakken); one running south to North (Cushing)]; Line 6B Phase 2 replacement; replace 75 miles of old pipe; full pipeline will have replaced (sic) once Phase 2 is complete, increasing capacity to 500K bopd from 240K bopd.
  • Line 62, expansion, Spearhead North Pipeline, from Flanagan, IL, to terminal at Griffith, IN: to 235K bopd from 130K by adding horsepower.  (Flanagan, IL: southwest of Chicago; out in the middle of nowhere)
A new 330K bbl storage tank to be built at Griffith to existing storage.

Solution To North Dakota Coal Plant Emissions Found

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
The coal industry in North Dakota got a reprieve Wednesday, along with the promise of some technical help from the federal agency that’s mandating a reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted from coal-powered energy plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will require an implementation plan from the State Health Department in fall of 2018, rather than by September 2016.
The agreement from the EPA to give more time to figure out how power plants will reduce statewide emissions by 45 percent came from pressure applied by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, as well as Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
One suggestion: cut off electricity to Minnesota every odd-numbered day. That would cut emissions by about 50%. Coal would then become Minnesota's third intermittent energy source, joining solar and wind energy as intermittent energy sources.

And The Best News So Far Today
NFL Goes One Month Without A Player Arrest For First Time Since 2009

Some used to call this this National Felon(y) League or the National Fantasy League. It is interesting that the headline emphasized "player" suggesting ...

CBSLocal is reporting: ah, who cares...... the headline says it all...

Rants And Raves, Friday Morning -- And Just Think: The Friday Night News Dump Is Yet To Hit (After End Of Today's News Cycle) -- October 2, 2015

Remember that hurricane that was going to hit New Jersey this weekend, the same hurricane that was then going to go west over Cincinnati? [Track the winds here -- live.]

Here's where we stand today:

The storm won't even hit Georgia or the Carolinas based on the current model. Even the Los Angeles Times seems disappointed.
"The models have become much more in agreement, and we are pretty confident the hurricane is going to pass well offshore of the East Coast of the U.S.," he said.
That didn't mean the danger was over.
That's what happens when you load "politically correct" algorithms into computer models to drive the "extreme weather" agenda.

Two days ago we have the hurricane tracking to hit New Jersey, Washington, DC, and NYC and now it won't even hit shore. (But we will see lots of rain reports over the weekend.)

But Matt Damon can tell us that 100 years from now, if we do nothing, the earth's temperature will rise 2.4 degrees (Fahrenheit or centigrade, doesn't matter; the numbers are just made up, anyway).

Part Of The Scam

Of course, the EIA is part of President Obama's "global warming" scam. Sucking up to the president, the EIA reminds us that even if the hurricane doesn't hit land (like Agore was hoping), there could still be some rain on the east coast.
Because of the storm's proximity to the coast, high winds, rainfall, and flooding will potentially affect energy infrastructure such as power transmission and distribution lines, petroleum refineries, natural gas processing plants, and distribution terminals.
Portions of 11 states along the East Coast have already experienced heavy rainfall and, in some cases, flooding prior to Hurricane Joaquin, all from an on-land storm system moving through the region. Hurricane Joaquin could amplify these effects, even if the storm does not make landfall. --- EIA 
By the way, these New Jersey hurricanes can be devastating. I was in Westfield, NJ, in 1971, when Tropical Storm Doria hit. I don't recall anyone suggesting Tropical Storm Doria was due to any climate change. It was due to weather, I believe.

Yesterday, by the way, we noted some very light drizzle in early afternoon here in north Texas; no doubt, this was due to Hurricane Joaquin. I'm thinking maybe I should stock up on some bottled water.
Speaking of Cincinnati And The Storm

The good news is that as soon as the mayor of Cincinnati saw that storm track he knew he had to do something about global warming.

WLWT is reporting that the mayor of Cincinnati will raise property taxes so that his neighbors can install rooftop solar energy. Taking advantage of the city's largess, a homeowner can install rooftop solar for as little as $14,000 instead of the full $23,000 cost -- and let the neighbors pay for the difference. What's not to like?
Mayor John Cranley announced the new rebates for home solar systems, along with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.
Cranley said the city will offer up to $1,500 in rebates for the installation of a new home solar panel.
Paired with federal incentives that can cut the cost by 30 percent, the Energy Alliance thinks now is a prime time to invest in solar.
“Solar technology has transformed -- the single panel on your roof generates far more electricity today than it did a couple of years ago, and that makes it more cost effective for all of us,” said Andy Holzhauser with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.
He said the cost to install solar on your home is around $23,000. With federal incentives and the new city rebate, that cost can be driven down to under $14,000.
I assume the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is a consortium of solar energy companies.

Two days ago GOP presidential contender Ben Carson was asked a most ludicrous question: what would be the first thing he would do as president if a hurricane hit the coast? Ben answered honestly, "I don't know." But he missed an opportunity to say, that as president, the first thing he would do would be to announce a federal program to subsidize solar energy panels if installed before the hurricane hit.
How To Screw Up An Energy Bonanza: Let The Government Get Involved

Wow, talk about a huge screw-up. A few months ago it appeared that Israel was on her way to becoming energy independent. In fact, things were looking so good, it was likely Israel was going to be able to supply natural gas to her neighbors, generating an incredible balance of payments (to help pay for their Air Force which they will need to defend themselves from Iran).

But it appears not to be. The Israeli government got involved and screwed things royally. Can a democratic government screw things royally, or can only monarchies like Great Britain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia screw things royally? But I digress.

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
When the Leviathan gas field was discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, it was pitched as a game-changer -- a vast energy reserve that would transform the economy and bolster public finances for years to come.
Five years on, poor policymaking, political infighting and a battle between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the antitrust commissioner over a lack of competition mean Leviathan remains undeveloped.
Meanwhile, Egypt has made a larger discovery that could make it a more attractive investment.
The case sends a worrying message to investors and may make them wary of the natural resources sector in Israel, which has struggled to diversify its economy much beyond technology.
Instead of billions of dollars in exports and tax revenue from the gas deposit over the next 25 years, analysts are now concerned Israel will end up with negligible additional income and may be forced to revise down its growth projections.
"It seems like (government leaders) are making every possible mistake," said Bank Leumi Chief Economist Gil Bufman.
"The government got mixed up. They counted how much they could make from this gas but forgot what they have to do to make it come true." 
This story represents the extreme opposite to what happened in the Bakken. I've always said the Bakken was three things:
  • Bakken, the geographical location
  • Bakken, the laboratory where oil and gas industry tried new methods (across the board)
  • Bakken, a working relationship involving private enterprise, individual landowners, and state agencies
It looks like Israel got one out of three.

This Cannot Be Spun -- Cannot Wait To See How Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC Report It -- Job Creation Craters -- October 2, 2015


October 4, 2015: the WSJ weighs in.
The labor market is supposed to be the strong point of this underwhelming U.S. economic recovery, so Friday’s weak jobs report for September came as a jolt to investors and perhaps to the Federal Reserve. The question is whether this is another slow patch of the kind we’ve seen so often during this expansion, or a signal of something worse.
It’s certainly hard to find much good news in the September numbers. Employers added 142,00 net new jobs, but only 118,000 in the private economy. Payrolls were revised lower by 59,000 for July and August, for a monthly average of only 167,000 in the third quarter. That’s down from a monthly average of 198,000 for all of 2015 so far, which is down from 260,000 a month in 2014. 
If the economy is slowing down, don’t expect much help from the rest of Washington. In their blog post on Friday, the White House economists said “we must take steps to continue the domestic momentum that the U.S. economy has enjoyed in the last several years. That includes passing a budget that reverses the sequester and makes critical investments that help our economy continue to grow, reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank so that our businesses can compete on a level-playing field abroad, and increasing investments in infrastructure.”
Is that all there is? Revive a loan-guarantee bank and spend more on roads and bridges? Really? This White House is either intellectually tapped out, or too partisan even to consider Republican growth ideas such as tax and regulatory reform. This week the Administration piled another costly rule on the economy to limit ozone in the atmosphere, even though only parts of California are in serious breach of current U.S. standards.
October 3, 2015: from CNBC, the joke for the day -- 
Obama said that although the long-term trend of job creation was positive, even more jobs could be created if "we didn't have to keep dealing with unnecessary crises in Congress every few months."
He called the Friday jobs report "good news" but also said that U.S. growth could slow if Congress does not take action.
Ignoring the global situation, within the US, the number one reason for job stagnation and poor economy is traced back to President Obama: war on coal; EPA (perhaps biggest job destroyer); ObamaCare (competes with EPA for bragging rights to be biggest job destroyer); minimum wage requirements for federal contractors; open borders (competes with EPA and ObamaCare for bragging rights). Killing Keystone XL says it all. Continuing the ban on crude oil exports will be the "new Keystone."

October 3, 2015: Rigzone is reporting:
U.S. jobs in mining declined for the ninth consecutive month, since peaking in December 2014. According to the September jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10,300 mining jobs were lost in September, with support activities for mining decreasing by 7,200. Jobs in oil and gas extraction declined by 1,100. These figures are seasonally adjusted.
October 3, 2015: two stories on yesterday's abysmal jobs report. Los Angeles Times front-page headline stating that yesterday's jobs report "had not one kernal of good news in it" has been removed, but the story is still out there, with a new headline, blaming it on "global woes."
The Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. economy added 142,000 net new jobs last month, well short of analyst expectations.  
On top of that, job gains in July and August surprisingly were lowered by a combined 59,000 positions while average hourly wages fell for the first time since last year.
Although the unemployment rate in September held steady at 5.1%, the lowest since 2008, it was mainly because about 350,000 people dropped out of the civilian labor force. The percentage of adults either employed or actively looking for work declined to just 62.4% last month, the lowest since 1977.

“There is no sugar-coating this report,” said John Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Financial, a brokerage and investment advisory firm. “If you're the most bullish person in the world, you can't find one kernel of good news in it.”
Look at the graph:

Under "normal" conditions, the "magic number" is 200,000. Economists suggest that creating less than 200,000 jobs in any given month is a sign of stagnation. Shortly after Obama took office, Reuters moved the goal posts, suggesting the number was 125,000.

This is what grabs my attention in the graph above. Except for that one spike to 500,00 in early 2010, the monthly numbers pretty much mirrored what was going on before the huge 2008 - 20110 debacle. The drop between 2008 and 2010 is incredible. It would have taken a huge jump in job creation to offset that loss of jobs. And then the spike in early 2010 was follow by four months of "negative" job growth. After that, there are clearly way more months below 200,000 than above that threshold.

Then this. Reuters is moving the goalposts again. Reuters now suggests that the Goldilocks number for jobs growth is ... 100,000. That is such an incredible article, I'm going to post it as a stand-alone post, and then simply link it here.

Original Post

Remember: this is the month, this is the deadline -- October, 2015, that all companies with more than 50 employees were required to enroll in ObamaCare. I don't watch network television, but I am being told that CNBC  has not connected that dot: employers saw the October, 2015, deadline, and quit hiring starting in July, August, September --- it's not just the health care costs (many companies probably provided health care for their employees) but the paperwork / compliance required would have absolutely scared many companies with less then 45 employees -- even if they could use the extra bodies, it wasn't worth the government intrusion.

This mandate by the way was delayed two or three years (I forget which); blogged previously. This was all expected, forecast, predicted. This is not rocket science.

Comment from the ethernet: Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose your job. Recovery is when Obama loses his job. 


Tweeting now:
August jobs number revised from 173,00 to 136,000, making combined number of new jobs for July and August 59,000 less than previously reported - @BLS_gov.
If you add up the last three months, the number is 120,000.


For the archives, these are the Drudge "headlines":
  • record 94,610,000 Americans not in labor force -- that's 94 million with a sad face
  • participation rate lowest since 1977
  • record 56 million women not working
  • "Payrolls disaster"
  • "Fed never going to raise rates"
  • It's ugly
  • Flashback: it's going to be great
  • Market at "panic levels" 
If You're Wondering Why The Stock Market Tanked Today

CNBC reports: US created 142K jobs in Sept vs 203K expected.
The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs in September, a number that missed expectations and could cool expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates soon.  
But the news gets even worse. Remember that slightly "good" number last month everyone crowed about -- 173,000 jobs. Wrong. Turns out it was a paltry 136,000.
Economists had been expecting the report to show 203,000 new jobs, from the downwardly revised 136,000 in August (from the originally reported 173,000)
Which, of course, raises the issue again: how was the government off by so much -- a "136,000" number is so incredibly bad, I assume the White House told the Labor Department to re-check the math, and they pulled "173,000" out of thin air.

These are not projections. These are actual counts. The only way one could be so far off (173,000 reported vs 136,000 revised) suggests a) deliberate massaging of the data; b) purposely double-counting numbers in California.

Prior to the Obama administration, these were the "magic numbers":

The Magic Numbers
First time claims, unemployment benefits: 400,000 (> 400,000: economic stagnation)
New jobs: 200,000 (< 200,000 new jobs: economic stagnation)
After the Obama administration starting reporting jobless numbers, Reuters moved the goalposts:
Economists estimate the labor market needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, though estimates vary -- Reuters.
I can't make this stuff up.

These are atrocious numbers.

173,000 - 136,000 / 173,000 = 21%.

Imagine if the September numbers are revised downward by 21% -->  a revised 112,180. 

And then this:
The unemployment rate has been declining steadily, but that has come in significant part due to the lowest labor force participation rate since the late 1970s.
Since all the pundits are telling us the economy is recovering, I can only assume employers are not creating more jobs because they cannot afford the costs associated with ObamaCare. 

Oh, completely missed this. How could this month's projections be so far off. Economists had expected 203,000 new jobs; in fact, only 142,000 (which could be revised downward to 112,000): 203,000 - 142,000 = 61/203 = a whopping 30%.  Or another way, 142,000/203,000 is 70% of what was forecast. Wow.

These must be the same guys and gals putting together Obama's Syrian strategy.

Here's how Reuters spins it:
Good morning and welcome to the August jobs report live blog! The economy added 142,000 jobs in August — a far cry from the 225,000 expected — and the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.1%. The release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is here. 
Wow, it's even worse. Reuters expectation was 225,000. Reuters can't believe the numbers. They say it was a miscount and that the number will likely be revised upward. Of course it will. Right now Mr Obama is on the phone talking to the Labor Department to do a recount, and this time, count the "hanging chads" as new jobs.

And someone has the unemployment story wrong. CNBC said the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%. Reuters said they expected the unemployment rate to tick down to 6.1%.

Lucia: get your facts straight. I can only assume she was so flabbergasted by the number she couldn't think straight.

As noted above, Reuters thinks the number was wrong and that it will be revised upward. Over at Bloomberg, this quote:
“We’re seeing some weakness in some of the manufacturing numbers earlier in the week,” said Joseph Betlej, who helps oversee $33 billion as vice president of Advantus Capital Management. “That was causing me some concern. Seeing the confirmation with payroll is a disappointment. I think it’s really going to cause people to second guess the strength of the economy.” 
Some folks don't need to second-guess the strength of the economy. It's pretty apparent.

Seven years into the recovery and a gazillion dollars in stimulus and the Russians are bombing indiscriminately in Syria. When does the current administration come to an end?  Fifteen more months of this.

By the way, for those who have not been paying attention, first-time unemployment claims surged 10,000 in the most recent report (yesterday). Mainstream media blew it off; saying it was simply background noise.

The background noise seems to be getting louder.

PBF Energy Buys Exxon's Refinery In California; Looks Like Long Winding Road Back -- RBN Energy -- October 2, 2015

This Wednesday (September 30, 2015) PBF Energy announced their acquisition of the 155 Mb/d ExxonMobil Torrance, CA refinery that has been out of commission since February 2015 and will not likely return to service until February 2016. This PBF purchase is their second refinery buy this year and their fifth since 2010. The sophisticated Torrance refinery has a lot of upside potential for PBF but may be constrained by California transport fuel regulations. Today we take a closer look at the deal. 
Back in February (2015) we looked at California regulation of transport fuels (see I’ll Be Back) in particular the impact of State environmental legislation known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that calls for continuous reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from transport fuels – effectively reducing the use of gasoline and diesel in the State – with a not too hidden agenda to remove them from the mix altogether. California is something of an “island” state when it comes to refining with unique regulations mandated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that make gasoline and diesel more expensive to produce than in other states. 
But PBF is certainly not risk averse as we discussed back in 2012 when they launched an initial public offering for one of the first Master Limited Partnerships (MLP’s – to operate refineries (rather than the more typical pipeline/midstream infrastructure that MLP’s are used for). 
Prior to this year PBF operated three refineries in Paulsboro, NJ (160 Mb/d), Delaware City, DE (190 Mb/d) and Toledo, OH (170 Mb/d) with the two East Coast refineries operating largely on a diet of heavy crude and Toledo running on light sweet domestic or Canadian syncrude. All three of these refineries have benefited from lower priced domestic crude in the shale era that have meant fat margins for refiners over the past four years. 
So far though – although the California refineries have enjoyed lower crude prices during the shale era and (as we shall see) refiners there have been very profitable this year – shale crude has not made any inroads into the Golden State. The “local” Monterey shale prospect has proven a hard nut for producers to crack and supplies of shale crude have not been delivered from out of State because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure – with the only such scheme on the drawing board being the Questar Inland California Express Pipeline that would potentially connect crude from the Rockies or the Permian basin to Los Angeles refineries. 
The Kinder Morgan Freedom pipeline project that would deliver crude from the Permian to the West Coast was put in mothballs last year (2014) although the company is still soliciting shipper interest apparently.
As usual, the story continues at the link.