Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Is It All Over In The Bakken? RBN Energy Suggests "Pert Near" -- March 9, 2016; Drones! China Imports Record Amount Of Crude Oil

Tweeting now:  China crude oil imports hit record 8 MMbopd in February. Quick: how much crude oil is the US importing each month according to latest figures? If you said 7 MMbopd you were right on target, and paying attention. Or a lucky guess. Reuters has the story.
China's February crude oil imports jumped 20 percent on year to their highest ever on a daily basis, as prices at their lowest in more than a decade drove buying from a group of new importers and state and commercial stockpiling. 
On a daily basis, February's imports also jumped roughly 27 percent from 6.29 million bpd in January.
This is incredibly cool! From today's Boston Globe! Link here:
When Stuart Rudolph wanted to build software to help companies manage fleets of drones, he found plenty of engineering talent in the Boston area. But when it came time to set up headquarters for his startup, SmartC2 Inc., Rudolph chose . . . North Dakota.
“They gave us some money — several hundred thousand,” Rudolph said. So even though SmartC2’s engineers are staying put, the company headquarters office is located 1,700 miles away, in Grand Forks
SmartC2 is just one beneficiary of a relentless campaign by the state of North Dakota to dominate the commercial market for unmanned aerial vehicles. It is a major aviation center in its own right — the University of North Dakota hosts one of America’s leading aviation schools and the Grand Forks Air Force Base is home to some of the military’s top reconnaissance drone programs.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts can lay claim to being a leader in robotics, where the technology overlaps that of drones. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell have top-tier academic programs and research operations, and the robotics industry claims more than 100 companies in the state.
Yet so far, the state government hasn’t sought to recruit drone companies with the same intensity or resources as North Dakota. If Massachusetts was offering financial incentives, Rudolph said, his company and others like it would set up shop in the state.
The payoff could be big. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, predicted in 2013 that the drone industry could generate $82 billion in economic benefits for the nation by 2025 and 100,000 jobs.
Kyle Wanner, director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, is determined his state will get its share. “We want people to know that North Dakota is very friendly toward this industry,” Wanner said.
he state has spent $13 million on drone-related infrastructure projects, including a recently opened business and technology park adjacent to Grand Forks Air Force Base, a major launching site for military reconnaissance drones. North Dakota has also paid $34 million in incentives and subsidies to attract companies.
Much more at the link.

The best news: Hillary has not yet said for a ban on drones.

I track "drones" at "the next big thing" at "the big stories."

Active rigs:

Active Rigs33114191187206

RBN Energy: Is is all over for the Bakken?
For the past, year many shale oil producers have defied the expectations of many and kept output at or near to record levels in the face of falling oil prices and much tougher economics. Improvements in productivity, cost cutting and a concentration on “sweet spot” wells that generate high initial production (IP) rates have all helped cash strapped producers survive. But with oil prices so far in 2016 stuck in the $35/Bbl and lower range and with the worldwide crude storage glut still weighing on the market – producers are finally pulling back. Today we look at how increased pressure on North Dakota producers is putting the brakes on Bakken crude production.
Man-camps in the Bakken. The Dickinson Press is reporting:
A proposal to keep some crew camps open in Williston for temporary oilfield workers failed 3-2 Tuesday night, but at least one camp operator said the issue isn’t over. Mayor Howard Klug was part of the majority.
Klug said after the meeting he meant that he was open to finding a compromise on the September deadline of requiring crew camps to be removed.
“And that may still happen,” Klug said.
The one camp operator who said the issue isn't over: Travis Kelley, regional vice president for Target Logistics, the largest worker housing provider in North Dakota.
For investors only: did Chevron just force XOM into dividend hikes no matter what? 24/7 Wall Street asks. OilPrice provides another look at the Chevron dividend.
But the strategies differ depending on the company. Chevron, for example, continues to cut spending in order to keep its dividend. The California-based multinational just announced that it would cut its capex in 2017 and 2018 by another 36 percent, bringing annual spending down to between $17 and $22 billion. That is down from an October 2015 estimate, when Chevron said that it expected to spend $20 to $24 billion each year in 2017 and 2018. It is also sharply lower than the $26.6 billion Chevron is spending this year, which itself is a 25 percent reduction from last year’s levels.
The severe cuts come as Chevron has had to take on debt in order to afford shareholder dividends, as the company has not generated enough cash flow to cover the payouts with oil prices as low as they are. Dividends cost the company $8 billion in 2015 alone. Chevron would need oil trading at $50 in order to cover the dividend with cash flow.
George Martin, Sir George, The Fifth Beatle joins Lucy in the sky with diamonds. No links; story everywhere.

Lockheed looks to cut 1,000 jobs -- a voluntary cut.
Lockheed Martin Corp. said it is launching a voluntary layoff program in its aeronautics business that aims to reduce 1,000 positions in the U.S., or about 0.8% of its total workforce.
The voluntary program announced Tuesday is available to midlevel employees in seven U.S. locations, including Edwards Air Force Base in California; Palmdale, CA; Fort Worth, TX; and Marietta, GA.
The Bethesda, MD, company said the cuts are needed “to position Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to be competitive in the future marketplace, secure future business opportunities, and keep an infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands.”
Did Hillary just jump the shark? The 68-year-old grandmother, expert in everything, made the announcement in Michigan that she will "ban" fracking through regulations. She tried to connect the lead-contaminated water problem in Flint, Michigan, with fracking. How dumb can you get? Of course, there's no way in the world that her comments on fracking cost her the election. But everyone in Detroit knows that the surge in Ford pickups and SUVs is due directly to the low price of oil, which, in turn, is due to the revolution in the oil and gas industry. Kill shale, and you kill the US oil and gas industry. Kill shale, and you start talking about $200 oil. Start talking about $200 oil and you get Detroit's attention. I can't wait until she campaigns in Pennsylvania and tells the folks there she plans to ban fracking. What a doofus.

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