Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015 -- Venezuela, Tick, Tick, Tick --



November 4, 2018: one more week and Venezuela may be completely out of fuel.

June 14, 2018: Veneuzela is now importing heavy oil to meet the demands of its largest refinery. 

March 2, 2018: articles and headlines coming out of Venezuela suggest we may see a tipping point of some kind within the next 30 days.

February 27, 2018: the vultures are circling.

February 22, 2018: Venezuela's troubles continue
From ArgusMedia, some data points:
  • Venezuela's state-owned US refining subsidiary CITGO has shelved plans to re-start / operate Aruba's 235,000 b/d refinery
  • why? CITGO running short of cash to finance the $695 million plan to revamp the refinery; shortfall due to US sanctions
  • CITGO had already built a construction worker's camp and is looking for a way to move forward
January 23, 2018: Canadian oil will replace Venezuelan oil -- based on RBN Energy story at this post.

September 13, 2017: Venezuela is asking Russia to restructure its debt. Venezuela faces $3.5 billion in bond payments in October and November, 2017, with less than $1 billion of liquid reserves. Venezuela's debt to Russia stood at $2.84 billion as of September, 2016. Russia's Rosneft lent more than $1 billion to PDVSA in April this year (2017) in prepayments for future oil supplies, bringing loans to the oil company to around $6 billion in the past few years.

July 23, 2017: Venezuela could be the first sovereign producer to fail. At Bloomberg. From my perspective, Venezuelan heavy oil = Canadian heavy oil. Any loss in Venezuelan exports will be a win for Canada. Too bad the Keystone XL was never built.

June 3, 2017: further isolating Venezuela, United Airlines suspends flights to Venezuela.

March 1, 2017: Venezuela is down to its last $10 billion

May 13, 2016: president declares 60-day state of emergency

May 9, 2016: hunger is no game, WSJ op-ed

April 28, 2016: Venezuela does not have enough money to pay for the ink and paper required to print more money.

April 13, 2016: Schlumberger will reduce activity in Venezuela

February 26, 2016: 238,000 bbls of heavy Venezuela crude oil at risk.

February 25, 2016: Venezuela shipping gold to pay its debts.

February 2, 2016: Venezuela begins importiing light oil. Production of light crude oil falls short; Venezuela needs light oil to blend with heavy oil for shipping, processing.  

November 13, 2015: the story of two countries, Bolivia vs Venezuela -- BloombergBusiness.
Back in the late 1970s, when Venezuela’s oil wealth fueled the supersonic Concorde’s flights from Paris to Caracas, the idea that a poverty-stricken, landlocked nation known for bowler hats and coca leaves would someday surpass it was unthinkable. How times have changed.
Bolivia, South America’s poorest country on a per-capita GDP basis, leads or is poised to surpass Venezuela in a number of areas. Already plagued with a plunging currency and the world’s fastest inflation rate, Venezuela’s decline is stunning for a country that holds the world’s largest reserves of oil and whose late president, Hugo Chavez, once served as a mentor for Bolivia’s leader, Evo Morales.
While Morales took over Bolivia’s natural gas industry in 2006, his policies were never as radical as Chavez, who once walked through Caracas’s downtown, pointing at various companies and saying "nationalize it." Morales and Finance Minster Luis Arce “understood the importance of having orderly fiscal policy,” said Ben Ramsey, chief economist and head of sovereign debt strategy for the Andean region at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who follows the two countries. “They have massive reserves vis-à-vis their economy.”
After peaking at more than $40 billion in 2008, Venezuela’s reserves have tumbled to less than $15 billion, much of that in gold. While falling energy prices have also affected Bolivia, its reserves have been on an upward or stable trajectory under Morales, peaking at about $15 billion last year from less than $5 billion when Morales took office in 2006. 
Original Post
From OilPrice:
But cash is running low. Gold reserves are falling sharply as Venezuela liquidates them to raise funds to meet debt payments. Also, the Wall Street Journal reported that Venezuela withdrew $467 million in cash reserves that it keeps with the International Monetary Fund, a sign that Venezuela is scrambling to raise as much money as it can.

And inflation is running at around 85 percent, at least according to official estimates, which are likely vastly understating the true inflation rate. Crime rates are some of the worst in the hemisphere.

.... oil prices need to rise to $88 per barrel in order to guarantee global oil investments. “If the price of oil stays at $40, there will be a depreciation of investment, and within a few months we are going to see a price of $150, $200. Who does this suit? Nobody,” the Venezuelan president said on state TV.
The Apple Page

I find this interesting. This is a good example of government regulations holding back innovation. The link is at Macrumors:
Cook also said Apple doesn't have plans to introduce sensors or other health features that would cause the FDA to get involved with the device. He didn't rule out the possibility of other products that require FDA approval, like apps.
We don't want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else."
I would trust the sensors Apple would use and they would eventually be "rubber-stamped" by the FDA, but not for at least a decade.

Cook knows what he is doing. 


Shadows in a Mirror, Chris Isaak

Notes to the Granddaughters

I get a lot of free stuff by writing reviews for

My wife says I am being dishonest: I rate almost everything 5 stars and am not "honest" in the reviews. (In fact, I am honest. The fact is, I only order stuff that is worth "5 stars." Why would I order something that would be less than 5 stars? It's not like I have time to waste.)

Today, I reviewed an advance copy of a book that will be released in a few weeks, Sex in the Sea, a very serious scientific marine biology book. I received it for free, but I specifically ordered it because I thought it might be something our oldest granddaughter would be interested in. She wants to become a marine biologist.

I gave the most honest review I have ever written, and I used words and phrases directly from the book.

I have written hundreds, maybe thousands of reviews for Amazon, and have never had a review rejected.

I posted the review and then sent a copy to my wife who is out in California. I received a phone call almost immediately despite the time difference. She was probably still in bed this morning when she called. She told me that I couldn't possibly post that review and I had to take it down immediately. I reiterated what she had told me about my reviews, and that this time I was going to write one of my best "honest" reviews. She was not in a mood to be trifled would.

I told her the review had been rejected by Amazon because it violated Amazon's policies.

She was relieved.

I re-submitted the review, replacing the "offensive" words with hyphens. Again, not one word was a swear word or an inappropriate word except when used as used in the book. This time, the review was accepted. The recommendation was the same: 3 stars. The only thing that was changed, the words Amazon did not want used were replaced with hyphens. [I have subsequently edited the review again, eliminating the hyphens so that there is nothing "objectionable" in the review. It is still rated 3 stars, although now that I have spent more time with the book, maybe 4 stars is warranted.]

It was interesting to learn that rejected an honest review because I mentioned that some sea creatures engage in group sex.

Every Well Has A Story -- November 9, 2015

Disclaimer: the usual disclaimer holds. There will be typographical and factual errors. Opinions and facts will be interspersed; it is often hard to tell opinion from fact; the shorthand and notes are for my use only; feel free to read them but don't quote me on any of this stuff. This is not an investment site. Do not make investment or financial decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. If this information is important to you, go to the source.

Updating some old wells. Note the date these wells were drilled (the "t" date is the test date -- so "t5/07" means the well was tested May, 2007. Wells are tested about the time they are completed/fracked, and at the time these wells were drilled, they were fracked soon after.

Also note the total production to date (cum XXXK 9/15).

These wells were drilled when:
  • average EUR in the Bakken was estimated to be about 350,000 bbls
  • not a lot was yet known about the Bakken (where the sweet spots were; how best to complete the wells)
  • when infrastructure was greatly lacking
These wells will be producing for another 20 years, if not longer. 

These wells are back on active status:
  • 16457, 922, EOG, C & B 1-31H, Parshall, went inactive 1/15; back on status of 9/15; t5/07; cum 434K 12/14; 
  • 16997, 1,520, EOG, Van Hook 1-13H, t6/08; cum 579K 9/15; placed on inactive status in 4/13; appears to be pumping again in 7/13; producing as of 7/13; again, off-line, 10/14; again, off-line as of 11/14; back on status as of 9/15; 
  • 17092, 3,027, Behr 11-34H, Sanish; s4/08; produced 500,725 bbls in 591 days; inactive Jan/Feb 2015; now back on status 3/15; 1.03 million 9/15;
According to the NDIC, these wells are still flowing freely (no pump):
  • 17158, 4,184, Whiting, LL, Richardson Federal 11-9H, Sanish, t10/08; F; cum 895K 9/15; 
  • 17147, 2,101, XTO, Boucher 41X-21, Hofflund, t4/09; F; cum 700K 9/15;
According to the NDIC, this well is still on active status but it was on-line for only five (5) days in August, 2015, and only one (1) day in September, 2015, and produced no oil last month:
  • 17287, 1,137, EOG, Austin 22-31H, Parshall, t10/08, cum 861K 9/15;
We now know why this well was taken off-line:
  • 18193, IA/1,666, OXY USA, Martin 34-31H, t10/09; cum 320K 3/15; not much production since May, 2014; is off-line; inactive; a sundry form dated 3/31/14 says that 12.28 tons of contaminated soil was removed; another well is being added to the pad; the existing tank batter and berm will be removed to ensure adequate cleanup and a new lined dike will be installed to accomodate the dual well pad;
This well is waiting to be re-drilled according to a sundry form from 2014; this well has never been on a pump:
  • 18408, IA/1,945,  Amber Renee 25-36H, Sanish; one mile to the west of the Chandler James; t2/10; F ; 822K 8/14 -- 661K in about two years; no pump; still 9K/month 1/13; IA 1/14; still inactive 7/15; the most recent sundry form shows this well is scheduled to be "re-drilled";
Every Picture Tells A Story, Rod Stewart

Three Songs, Two (2) New Permits, Five (5) Producing Wells Completed; And No Partridge In A Pear Tree --- November 9, 2015

I continue to marvel at the Bakken. The boom began in Montana in 2000, and in North Dakota in 2007. Going back to the daily activity report dated November 1, 2007, the year the ND Bakken boom began, the new permit numbers were 16888 - 16891. Today, the new permits are numbered 32230 - 32231, and the producing wells are file numbers as high as 31011. Who wudda guessed eight years ago? I know I'm speaking heresy here, but I am thrilled that everything has slowed down in the Bakken. There are a lot of good things one could say about the slowdown but regular readers can probably figure out what I'm talking about. Those who arrive at the blog/site by accident wouldn't care any way, so might as well move on.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs65193182192198

First of three:

In My Secret Life, Leonard Cohen
Perhaps one of the best songs ever.

Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 31001, A, Hess, EN-Cvancara A- 155-93-3231H-8, Robinson Lake, API: 33-061-03649; no test date, cum 16K first 27 days; according to FracFocus this well was fracked 8/4 - 6/2015; with 1,644,636 gallons water, and 14.93% sand (from RockPile Energy); for those interested, search the blog for RockPile Energy;
  • 31010, SI/NC, EOG, Shell 46-3229H, Parshall, no production data, API: 33-061-03652;
Two (2) new permits:
  • Operators: Denbury, WPX
    Fields: Cedar Hills (Bowman), Mandaree (Dunn)
Producing wells completed:
  • 30702, 750, SM Energy, Hagen 3-28HS, Burg, t10/15; cum 6K 9/15;
  • 30777, 1,960, BR, CCU Red River 7-2-15TFH, Corral Creek, t10/15; cum --
  • 31013, 1,348, Newfield, Wahus Federal 152-97-13-24-4H, Westberg, t9/15; cum 9K 9/15;
  • 31012, 833, Newfield, Wahus State 152-97-12-1-12H, Westberg, t9/15; cum 7K 9/15;
  • 31011, 1,348, Newfield, Wahud Federal 152-97-13-24-1H, Westberg, t9/15; cum 9K 9/15;
Denbury canceled one permit today; #30026, CHSU 42-31SH in Bowman County.  

Second of three:

I'm The One Who Got Away, Devil Doll

Oh, why not? One more:

My Sweet Lord, George Harrison
Perhaps one of the best songs ever. Also.

31001, see above, Hess, EN-Cvancara A- 155-93-3231H-8, Robinson Lake:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Monday, November 9, 2015

Supreme Court gives cops using deadly force more immunity. The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
The Supreme Court made it harder Monday to sue police for using deadly force against fleeing suspects, ruling that officers are immune from lawsuits unless it is "beyond debate" that a shooting was unjustified and clearly unreasonable.
By an 8-1 vote, the justices tossed out an excessive force suit against a Texas police officer who ignored his supervisor's warning and took a high-powered rifle to a highway overpass to shoot at an approaching car. The officer said he hoped to stop the car but instead shot and killed the driver.
The high court said the benefit of the doubt in such cases always goes to the police officer who sees a potentially dangerous situation. The court has "never found the use of deadly force in connection with a dangerous car chase to violate the 4th Amendment," the justices said in an unsigned 12-page opinion.
In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor faulted the majority for "sanctioning a 'shoot first, think later' approach to policing."
The one dissenting voice is concerning, of course. 8 - 1. The decision was about as short as I've ever seen reported, 12 pages. Seems Sonia is out of her element. Even Ms Ginsberg was among the eight.

Again, The Los Angeles Times showing its bias: headline was that the Supreme Court was giving cops using deadly force more immunity. Sounds like they simply maintained the status quo. According to the decision, the court has "never found the use of deadly force in connection with a dangerous car chase to violate the 4th Amendment," the justices said in an unsigned 12-page opinion. What additional immunity were the cops given? Immunity if firing from a bridge?

Newfangled Energy Stocks -- The Yieldcos -- DIsappoint -- November 9, 2015

From a post back on October 12, 2015:

Now we have this story from The New York Times: intermittent energy financing has hit a snag (if you hit a paywall, google renewable energy financing hits a snag).
Only a few months ago, it seemed that the renewable energy sector could do little wrong: Stock prices were soaring and money was pouring in as investors flocked to get in on the action.
That is no longer the case. Low oil and gas prices have roiled the energy markets, and the specter of rising interest rates has rattled investors’ confidence in the industry’s returns. Although energy and financial experts say that the basics of the business remain sound, the lofty stock prices have tumbled, leading renewable energy companies to scramble for new approaches to their businesses.
Nowhere has the retrenchment been more acute than in a newfangled financing mechanism called a yieldco. Yieldcos, public companies conceived by renewable energy companies as a way to raise cheaper capital for project development, have attracted billions in new investments.
The yieldcos buy and operate power plants, mainly those that their parent companies develop. The yieldcos then collect the contracted electricity fees and pay the bulk of them out as dividends. With investors hungry for stable returns, energy yieldcos were greeted with enthusiasm through initial public offerings of their stocks over the last year and a half.
Last week, though, one of the most aggressive companies in the sector called a timeout.
SunEdison, which has bought several companies in recent months in a bid to become the world’s largest renewable energy developer, told investors it would not sell any more projects to its yieldcos, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, until conditions change.
The company said it would trim expenses and streamline operations, including reducing project development by 20 percent, withdrawing from Britain and cutting roughly 15 percent of its work force.
I bring that up because The Wall Street Journal has a very similar story today:
When they were first launched, “yieldcos” lit up the stock market like fireworks with their impressive dividends and the prospect of even higher yields to come. But these new renewable-energy stocks flamed out as dramatically as they appeared, and it now looks as though many may fall short of the hopes of yield-seeking investors.
Then someone thought of "yieldcos."
For a decade or more before yieldcos came along, it was one of the biggest enigmas on Wall Street: The world’s largest economies were shifting their electricity grids to renewable-energy sources, but investors and corporations, with rare exceptions, couldn’t seem to make a buck on the energy revolution.
In theory, yieldcos combined the safety of a steady revenue stream and the sexiness of a fast-growing company, in an era when these companies’ 5%-plus yields have been almost impossible to find elsewhere. In the 30 months following NRG Yield’s launch, about $28 billion was raised in yieldco IPOs, according to Bloomberg research.
But in the time-honored tradition of Wall Street, yieldcos sounded too good to be true precisely because they were.
Investors who piled in saw share prices drop in recent months as the answers to some questions about yieldcos emerged. Namely, who was going to pay for the new projects after the IPO money dried up? (Answer: the investors, whose stakes would be diluted by new offerings of yieldco stock.) What would happen to the construction costs for solar-panel complexes and wind farms when billions of dollars of newly raised capital started chasing the builders? (Answer: They would shoot higher.) Would yieldco investors sit tight as interest-rate increases loomed or flee like many other utility investors? (Answer: They ran for the hills.) 

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations At 400 PPM Are Still Dangerously Low For Life On Earth -- November 9, 2015

I don't have time to really go into this but these two stories to explain why global warming is a scam.

In the first story, Bill Nye, the science guy, says global warming is apocalyptic -- that at current trends the world will be self-destruct by 2025 or something to that effect -- and yet he talks about cost of wind coming down from 2.1 cents to 1.8 cents. If things are as apocalyptic as Bill suggests, we all better quit using ALL fossil fuel energy immediately. Talking about wind going from 2.1 cents to 1.8 cents is not going to prevent an apocalypse. Oh, did I mention that Bill Nye is promoting a new book? Everyone is getting in on the act. I assume Dr Oz will start talking about global warming, if he hasn't already begun.

And the UN knows it. The second story is that the UN -- after telling us for years that we face an apocalypse at 400 ppm CO2 (where we are now) -- has just raised the ceiling for CO2 emissions it will accept.

I didn't read the entire article, mostly just the headline and a bit of the lede. The UN raised the ceiling in the hope that it could bring on more countries to sign a new commitment to transfer billions of dollars from the US and Germany to South Pacific islands that might go under rising seas. Of course, the money would be transferred via the UN and slightly less would leave the UN than would come in. Management fees, no doubt. The Clinton Foundation would be second line behind the UN collecting some of those fees, followed closely by Bill Gates (not his foundation, just Bill Gates).

From The Washington Post story, the newspaper that broke the Watergate story decades ago:
The U.N.’s environmental authority has quietly raised its assessment of the level at which global greenhouse gas emissions must peak to avoid dangerous climate change, as governments seek a new accord to fight global warming.
In its first four annual emissions reports in 2010-2013, the United Nations Environment Program said emissions must not exceed 44 billion tons in 2020 for the world to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F).
But with real-world emissions rising far beyond that level, UNEP has since last year downplayed its focus on 2020 as a make-or-break year for emissions reductions.
Some years ago when the global warming "thing" came up I asked the questions:
  • what is the "right" temperature for the world; and,
  • who sets the thermostat?
Those two questions have never been answered.

A reader send me an excellent link that addresses that very question. I don't have time to go into it now, but it's an incredibly interesting article: Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations At 400 PPM Are Still Dangerously Low For Life On Earth.

How's That War On Coal Going? Update From India -- November 9, 2015

I don't know the best way to handle this. It's been a problem from the start. I hate to clutter the blog with a lot of unrelated, non-Bakken energy stories, but those stories are critically important (at least to me) to help put the Bakken into perspective. [If I had not been following these other stories, based on what I read in The Los Angeles Times I would have thought that the entire world had gone to intermittent energy (wind and solar) and that the oil companies had converted their rigs to wind turbines/towers and solar panel supports.]

I track these unrelated, non-Bakken energy stories elsewhere, but if I just provide a link, there is risk that the link will break some months down the road, and the gist of the story will be gone; on the other hand, if I post excerpts of the story at the site where I track such things, the one page would become excessively long.

So, until something better comes along, I will continue to clutter the blog with these unrelated, non-Bakken energy stories, and then link them at the page where I track such events.

Tracking these stories begins over at "the big stories." One of the big stories I track is natural gas and coal in the post-nuclear world.  I break that subject into countries or regions of interest, for example India, which leads me to this story sent to my be Don early this morning, from SeekingAlpha:
GE will invest $200 million in Indian Railways --
India GE announced today it will invest $200 million to develop and supply Indian Railways with 1,000 diesel locomotives.
The company received a Letter of Award from the Ministry of Railways for a locomotive supply and maintenance contract, worth approximately $2.6 billion over 11 years.
The deal advances the Make in India initiative and reinforces Indias position as a global manufacturing destination. The largest deal in GEs 100-year history in India, the company will build a diesel locomotive manufacturing facility in Marhowra district in the Indian state of Bihar, as well as maintenance sheds at Bhatinda in Punjab and Gandhidham in Gujarat. This effort is a major boost to Indias railway modernization efforts, and will provide skill development opportunities for local talent.
I always love how some very important details always seem to be buried in the story. Dollar amounts seem not to catch my interest but that 's the lede in so many of these stories. For me the big story was that this is the largest deal in GE's 100-year history in India.

There are so many story lines.

First, and foremost, less than five years ago, in the energy business, GE seemed to be all about wind turbines. I assume that's still a big part of GE (I don't know; I don't follow GE very closely; and don't write me about GE and wind turbines; I don't have the time; I have my myth, my world view, and I don't want facts to confuse me) but some years ago GE made a strategic shift from intermittent energy to dependable energy. See two stories on GE's recent move into Europe: from The Wall Street Journal and from Forbes.

The Indian story above does not say what the locomotive story is all about, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to suggest that it's all about coal. From the blog back in September, 2014, the same link as one of the links above:
Blackouts in India widened as inadequate coal supplies forced plants to shut down, after increased industrial activity and a monsoon deficit boosted electricity demand from factories and households.
The national peak shortage yesterday expanded to more than 6 percent from the 3.9 percent average in July, according to data from the Power Ministry and Power System Operation Corp., a unit of Power Grid Corp. of India. Stocks at power stations run on local coal plunged. Equipment breakdowns or maintenance also caused other plants to be under shutdown, including ones operated by Tata Power Co. and Adani Power Ltd.
A surge in economic activity has led to higher demand for the fuel, exacerbating supply bottlenecks caused by heavy rains at some mines and slow railway transport in places. India’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than two years, the Central Statistical Office said in a statement in New Delhi yesterday. Slow economic activity had caused coal stocks at power plants to swell last year.

Reporting today:
  • Arch Coal (ACI), forecast a loss of $5.45; much, much better -- only a loss of $3.38/share; Arch Coal soars after earnings beat; up as much as 10%; Revenue decreased to $688.5 million, down from $742.2 million for the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed at Zacks were expecting the company to report a wider loss of $5.79 per share on revenue of $688.29 million.
I guess that's it; nothing else, unless I missed something, interests me.

Monday, November 9, 2015; Increased Volumes of Fracking Sand Being Ordered From Suppliers?

Active rigs:

Active Rigs64193182192198

RBN Energy: Storage Surplus Threatens Winter Natural Gas Prices Part 2.
Last Thursday, November 5, 2015, the Energy Information Administration reported the U.S. natural gas storage inventory is 3,877 Bcf as of October 23, 2015, which is above the 5-year maximum for this week and within striking distance of breaching the all-time record high of 3,929 Bcf (November 2, 2012) by the end of the traditional storage injection season on October 31.
And, while the production growth rate has slowed compared to recent years, and even dipped a bit over the past couple of weeks, total gas production is still near record levels and about 2.0 Bcf/d higher than last year.
Now the gas market is about to flip to withdrawal season, when winter heating demand typically exceeds available local production, leading to storage drawdowns. The combination of high storage and production levels sets up a bearish dynamic for the winter market.  Today, we take a look at the supply and demand balance going into the winter gas market.
Our last update on the natural gas supply and demand balance was at the end of August 2015. At that time the market had worked off some of the supply surplus it started with back in April. At the start of the summer injection season in April there was 600 Bcf more gas in storage and production was 4.0 Bcf/d higher than last year. By August end, near-record demand from power generators and flattening production helped to whittle down the year-over-year storage overhang to just under 500 Bcf. Since then, demand has maintained record highs each month. And, while average production set a new record in September, year-over-year increases continued to flatten out.
Increasing sand being ordered? I generally don't pay attention to this site, for various reasons, but I happened to check in on "Emergent Group" this morning, and their lead story:
The Q3 investors reports are coming in with U.S. Silica and Hi-Crush reporting volume increases, at 32% and 14% respectively, compared to Q1. We expect more and more proppant and sand companies to begin working closely with E&P's to reduce costs and gain efficiencies. Other companies, such as Unimin are showing record breaking deliveries to Eagle Ford and Marcellus.