Sunday, July 31, 2016

Liberty Resources To Report Two Nice Wells Monday -- July 31, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016
  • 32072, 832, Liberty Resources, Holte 161-94-30-31-5MBH, Stoneview, 35 stages, 4.7 million lbs; t2/16; cum 66K 5/16;
  • 32073, 447, Liberty Resources, Holte 161-94-19-18-5TFH, Stoneview, 35 stages, 4.7 million lbs; t2/16; cum 42K 5/16;
  • 32291, SI/NC, XTO, FBIR Blackmedicine 24X-21F, Heart Butte, no production data,
Sunday, July 31, 2016
  • 32290, SI/NC, XTO, FBIR Blackmedicine 24X-21A, Heart Butte, no production data,
Saturday, July 30, 2016
  • 32015, TASC, MRO, Hal USA 34-34H, Reunion Bay, no production data

32073, see above, Liberty Resources, Holte 161-94-19-18-5TFH, Stoneview:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

32072, see above, Liberty Resources, Holte 161-94-30-31-5MBH, Stoneview:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Miscellaneous Energy Notes -- Sunday, July 31, 2016

California gasoline prices Fortune magazine -- it must be a slow news week -- has yet another story on Californians "paying up" for gasoline. But even so, they are paying less than $3.00/gallon. They will do fine. Same ol', same ol' excuses, explanations, political talk. Bottom line: California is an island (when it comes to energy) and California plays by different rules than the rest of the nation.

$40 oil. Looking forward to this next week, the big question is whether WTI will go under $40/bbl. If it does, some would say that $40 is a critical floor and if oil crashes through that floor, oil could drop significantly more.

Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, I constructed five spreadsheet scenarios based on projected oil prices, by month, that would be required if Saudi Arabia was going to average $60/bbl/month in calendar year 2016. Saudi Arabia budgets for $100 oil, and clearly needs $100 oil. It continues to hemorrhage cash reserves. There has been talk that at $60 oil Saudi could manage, but early in the year, Saudi clearly was looking for $80 oil by the end of the year. I'm looking for stories this week about the situation Saudi is in right now. Of course, it's not a whole lot better for any of the oil producers anywhere.

CBR. Having said that, I thought yesterday's story on Canadian CBR was fascinating.

Rig counts. I can't remember if I've seen this story elsewhere. I've talked about this for so long, I've forgotten what I've linked and what I haven't linked. From Casper Start Tribune: Not what it used to be: Counting rigs and predicting production.
The number of rigs operating in the state has long been seen as an indicator of production. 
The weekly rig count from Baker Hughes, along with commodity prices and oil and gas inventories, still offers clues as to what is happening on the front lines. More recently, the number of rigs in Wyoming has been used to demonstrate the staggering effects of the current commodities bust.
But technology has changed, and the rig count might not be as indicative of production as it once was.
In a call with analysts last week, the CEO of Halliburton said the counting game has changed, as rigs operate with better productivity, speed and efficiency.
“In the next North America rig cycle, 900 is the new 2,000."
Update on an old post. This is deep into the weeds, but back in November, 2015, the production report for #26485, a Statoil Hawkeye well, caused so much confusion, I prefaced the post with "just ignore this entire page." It turns out there was a huge production profile error posted. I've updated the production profile for this well. I don't know if it will clear things up or not. I've quit paying attention to that page, but did want to post the current (and hopefully, correct) production profile.

Tesla. My wife was out in San Jose, CA, last week. She happened to end up visiting with a blue collar worker who had worked on the Tesla giga factory in Nevada, was laid off, then asked to come back. I couldn't follow the whole story but what I heard seemed in line with what I've been reading. Something suggests to me that things are not going all that smoothly out in Sparks, NV. I assume MuskMelon will announce another effort to raise more cash. Tesla, according to Yahoo!Finance will report a loss of 52 cents/share on August 3, 2016 -- Wednesday, this week, after the market closes. This was from the 1Q15 earnings call:
The electric automaker reported a first-quarter loss of 57 cents per share on $1.6 billion in revenue. The shortfall was wider than the 36 cents per share reported a year earlier, while sales climbed 45 percent from the prior-year period.
Analysts expected Tesla to report a loss of 58 cents per share on $1.6 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. The company's shares rose as much as 8 percent in after-hours trading before retreating slightly.
Showing Up Is 80% Of Life -- Except For Politicians, Apparently

Many, many years ago Woody Allen famously said "showing up is 80% of life."

Senator Heidi Heitkamp did not show up for the roll call vote that nominated the first woman ever by either the GOP or the Democratic party to be its presidential nominee. She cited scheduling conflicts. Something about a game of solitaire that she was playing.

Lawn Services And The Texas Economy

A few days ago I mentioned the "lawn service" industry here in north Texas. It is quite incredible all the pick-up trucks pulling flatbed trailers and clearly in the business of lawn care. Our older daughter and her husband live in an upper middle class neighborhood where most (?) homeowners seem to employ some lawn service for at least part, if not all, of their lawn service requirements. Yesterday I saw something I had not seen before. The two men mowing and trimming the law across the street pulled up in a 2016 Cadillac Escalade (MSRP starts at around $73,000) pulling an enclosed trailer. After doing the edging, the driver of the Escalade drove off, no doubt to the next house they were servicing, leaving the other worker to mow the lawn. I assume the Escalade would be back in about an hour. But a new Escalade? No "advertising" on the SUV or the trailer. 

Chrysler Pacifica

"Best in class." Review over at Portland Press Herald. Some data points:
  • 10 USB ports, 2 HDMI ports and two built-in high-definition 10-inch touch screens
  • nine-speed transmission
  • the engine: a Pentastar V-6
  • 32 mpg combined over mostly highway miles in this review; much better than the US EPA-rated 28 highway mpg; ties the Odyssey for best in class
  • a plug-in hybrid variant expected in the fall; will have a 30-mile electric range that gets the equivalent of 80 mpg
  • base price: just under $40,000
Chrysler invented the minivan in 1984. Then, it was all about the number of cupholders, not the number of USB ports.

Notes To The Granddaughters

Another incredibly busy weekend. I've been pretty much 24/7 with Sophia for the past several days. Her mom and older sister Olivia are participating in a soccer tournament in Dallas. Her dad and oldest sister Arianna are out in San Jose, CA, for a National Junior Olympics Water Polo tournament, the largest such water polo tournament in the United States, and by extension, probably in the universe. Certainly the universe as we know it.

Sophia is still asleep. She will get up in another ten minutes or so. Breakfast, and then she gets ready for her own soccer practice at 10:00 a.m. at an indoor complex not too far down the road.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nothing About The Bakken -- Jumping Out At 25,000 Feet With No Parachute; Also, Times Magazine Long Article On Katie Ledecky -- July 30, 2016

The Katie Ledecky Page

From The New York Times Magazine, "The Olympics Issue," -- The Phenom
Katie Ledecky is so nice. So normal. “She’s a better person than a swimmer,” says her coach, Bruce Gemmell — a comment that, strictly speaking, would put her in the running for best person in the world. After she came home from London in 2012 with an Olympic gold medal, she rejoined her high-school swim team in Bethesda, Md., and when she wasn’t in the water, she stood and cheered on her teammates. At lower-level meets that she’s not attending, members of her club team can count on texts from her: Good luck! Swim fast! She stands just under six feet, but her coach insists that she is shorter than most of her rivals, which is not the case but advances the conceit of Katie being, well, normal.
Ledecky, 19, is also happy, seemingly just about all the time. When you start listing the factors that make her so freakishly good at what she does, being freakishly happy has to rank very high. She rarely has anxieties about her swimming or anything else, and when she does, she says: “I can get rid of them. I’m pretty good at doing that. If I’m worried about something, I’m able to make myself just think about something else.”
The sport she has come to dominate makes almost impossible demands of the body and spirit. It imposes a ratio of hard training to exhilaration that is depressingly out of whack.
Top swimmers train as often as nine times a week, 50-plus weeks a year, with their heads submerged in water for two or more hours at each of those sessions. What they hear is the rhythm of their own strokes, their teammates’ kicking, their coach’s muffled voice.
One of the sport’s cruelties is that all this extreme training produces, on the whole, lackluster competitive performances. Swimmers try to peak just once or twice a year, and they prepare for these occasions in scientific and ritualistic ways. They swim fewer yards in the weeks leading up to a big competition, in order to be rested and fresh. They also, on the eve of major races, shave: women their legs and arms, men their legs, arms, chests, backs and sometimes their heads. The idea is to feel sleek and fast in the water.
In 2012 in London, Ledecky, a little-known 15-year-old, won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle, defeating Rebecca Adlington, a British swimmer and world-record holder so heavily favored that Prince William, Kate Middleton and other members of the British royal family were in attendance at the Olympic aquatic center, anticipating a coronation. As the crowd chanted Adlington’s name, Ledecky channeled its energy and imagined the shouts were “Ledecky, Ledecky, Ledecky.”
In the four years since, she has been on a world-record spree, setting them at all times of the year and over a stunning range of distances. First she established her supremacy in the distance freestyles, then she took command of shorter events. She is now the world’s top female swimmer in the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyles. She is among the best Americans in the 100 free. No swimmer has conquered this combination of distances in nearly half a century, and to many in the sport, her achievement is hard to fathom — it would be like the Jamaican star sprinter Usain Bolt taking up and winning mile races.
So much more at the link, including vignettes about breaking more of her own records.

Ultimate Adenaline Rush?

The CLR Holstein Federal Wells, Elm Tree Oil Field -- July 30, 2016

Assuming there are no errors in the production profile or issues with commingling, this is an incredible well:
  • 27564, 1,235, CLR, Holstein Federal 2-25H, Elm Tree, 40 stages, 4 million lbs, t2/15; cum 485K 1/17; still without a pump, as of 1/17;
Monthly Production Data

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

CBR: The Tale Of Two Countries -- July 30, 2016

A couple days ago I posted a link to an article from The Wall Street Journal about the decline of CBR in the US. I made the comment that CBR was a solution for a problem that no longer existed.

Perhaps I spoke too soon, or perhaps it is simply a tale of two countries, but an alert reader noted this article in The [London] Globe and Mail: the death of the Keystone XL means record revival for Canadian railways. One wonders how much worse Canada's economy (May's GDP) would have contracted had it not been for the demise of the Keystone XL. From the linked article:
Keystone was the great hope for opening U.S. markets further to Canadian crude. Now that it’s dead, the railways are going to make not just a comeback, but transport more oil than ever before.

The Keystone XL pipeline was set to carry heavy Canadian crude south from Hardisty, Alberta’s oil hub, before being blocked by President Barack Obama last November, largely on environmental grounds. In a sign of what’s coming, exports by train rose 23 per cent in April, the biggest year-on-year jump since September 2014, according to Canada’s National Energy Board.

That’s just the beginning. Next year, with about a half dozen new projects and expansions in the oil sands, rail exports could double by the third quarter to a record, said Eric Peterson, research chief at Denver-based ARB Midstream LLC, an oil transport investor. That’s good news for USD Group LLC, Imperial Energy Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc., all of which invested in new rail terminals or plan on expanding older ones this year.

“That production has to find an alternative source of take-away and that’s where rail comes in,” said Brad Sanders, chief commercial officer of USD Group, which plans to double capacity at its Hardisty terminal within 12 months to four trains a day, each of which could carry 65,000 barrels. “We expect from this point on that activity to grow.”

The capacity of existing pipelines is 4 million barrels a day, opening an opportunity for rail carriers. Crude output is expected to rise about 5 per cent to more than 4 million barrels a day in 2017, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Keystone XL would have augmented pipeline capacity by 830,000 barrels a day, an addition of more than 20 per cent.

“We are going to have to see some pretty significant volumes move by rail,” Peterson of ARB Midstream said by phone. “Every new incremental barrel of production that comes out of Canada will have to go by rail” once the pipelines are full, he said.

After two years of declines, rail transport rose to 109,000 barrels a day in April, a number that Peterson says will double by next year and could reach 450,000 by 2018.
Much, much more at the link.

So many story lines, least of which how killing the Keystone XL may have "saved" what little was left of the manufacturing economy in Canada when the price of oil plummeted.  

The Apple Page

I knew it was "big." I did not know it was that big. From Market Watch:
The historic surge in Apple Inc.’s stock on Wednesday is finally giving investors something other than declining iPhone sales to talk about, and could confirm what Warren Buffett may have believed several months ago, that a bottom has already been seen.
The stock ran up 6.5% to close at a three-month high. The split-adjusted price gain of $6.28 was the second-biggest one-day rise in Apple’s history, in the wake of the technology giant’s better-than-expected quarterly results. It was just behind the biggest-ever gain of $7.10 on April 25, 2012. (A 7-for-1 stock split went into effect on June 9, 2014, meaning the actual April 25, 2012 price gain was really $49.72).
The Conway Twitty Page

Don't Cry, Joni, Conway Twitty

The Whims Of Government; No Text-Enabled Cell Phone, No Access To On-Line Social Security Account; Want To Vote? Just Give Us A Name, Any Name Will Do -- July 30, 2016

The federal government and the courts seem not to worry about identify theft when it comes to voting -- "no photo IDs required" seems to be the "rule."

But when it comes to access Social Security on-line, one needs to have a smart phone, or at least a text-capable phone as of August 26, 2016. Those of us, without a text-enabled phone, will not be able to access our on-line social security account.

From the SSA yesterday:
Starting in August 2016, Social Security is adding a new step to protect your privacy as a my Social Security user.
This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services.
Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication.
When you sign in at with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number.
The purpose of providing your cell phone number is that, each time you log in to your account with your username and password, we will send you a one-time security code you must also enter to log in successfully to your account.
Each time you sign into your account, you will complete two steps: Step 1: Enter your username and password. Step 2: Enter the security code we text to your cell phone (cell phone provider's text message and data rates may apply).
The process of using a one-time security code in addition to a username and password is one form of “multifactor authentication,” which means we are using more than one method to make sure you are the actual owner of your account.
If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will not be able to access your my Social Security account.
And since "data rates may apply," I guess a type of "poll tax" has been placed on those who want to access their account on line. 

US GDP, The Recovery, And Jobs -- July 30, 2016

Three interesting articles and graphics in today's WSJ.

First, US GDP grew a disappointing 1.2% in second quarter. Economic growth ws well below expectations; cautious business investment offset robust consumer spending. Economic growth is now tracking at a 1% rate in 2016—the weakest start to a year since 2011—when combined with a downwardly revised reading for the first quarter. That makes for an annual average rate of 2.1% growth since the end of the recession, the weakest pace of any expansion since at least 1949.

Second, an op-ed, make America grow again. The economy is stuck on 1% growth as business investment stalls.

And, finally, the third article, over at "Heard on the Street," that ties everything together -- lack of business investment and "stellar" job reports over past several months: the divide between GDP and jobs.
Even so, the message from the GDP report is that the economy is growing only slowly—a message greatly at odds with labor market readings. In the first six months of this year, the economy gained over one million jobs. If the historical association between GDP and employment growth from before the financial crisis held, about 400,000 fewer jobs would have been added.
One explanation for why GDP figures and labor-market data seem at odds may be that economy’s productivity problem is even worse than believed. Under this view, years of weak investment spending have cut into companies’ efficiency gains, so that even slight increases in demand compel them to hire. With much of the labor markets’ slack already taken in, they must pay up more to get the workers they need.
Or the GDP-labor divide may be driven by a situation where the U.S. economy is experiencing decent domestic demand in a world that is very weak. Manufacturers making globally traded goods see little reason to invest, while American oil producers, facing low prices that have little to do with what’s happening domestically, are retrenching. That cuts into GDP growth, but since these industries represent only a small portion of employment, the effect on job growth is muted.
Either scenario suggests that weak GDP and steady job growth could persist through the rest of the year.
Of course, nothing is mentioned about a) the anti-business mentality in the West Wing; b) the EPA; c) ObamaCare; d) the thousands of regulations promulgated by this administration.

The editorial -- the second linked article -- did mention some of these. 

NextEra (Florida) Buys Controlling Stake In Biggest Power Provider In Texas -- July 30, 2016

This is a story that perhaps would have meant nothing to me. I'm not sure I would have followed it and I'm pretty sure I would not even have posted it had it not been for the Bakken.

While writing about the Bakken over the past few years, there were stories of a Florida utility buying wind farms in North Dakota. It took awhile to connect the dots.

The utility was Florida Power and Light, and then FPL, and then NextEra. I assume it's the largest utility in Florida.

Well, now it may just become the largest utility in Texas. In today's WSJ:
NextEra outbid rivals for Energy Future Holdings Corp's controlling stake in the biggest power provider in Texas, in an $18.4 billion deal that thrusts the Florida company into the big leagues among US utilities.
Some data points and excerpts from the article:
  • selling Dallas-based Oncor was vital to lifting Energy Future out of bankruptcy that has gone on since 2014
  • Energy Future was the former TXU Corp
  • Oncor: widely regarded as Energy Future's crown jewel
  • NextEra has morphed into a national electric powerhouse by purchasing unregulated renewable-energy projects across the US
  • NextEra also appears eager to expand into regulated utilities
  • NextEra tried, failed to buy Hawaiian Electric Co
  • Oncor: 10 million homes
  • Warren Buffett was the final rival, but he caved after multiple rounds of bidding
  • the deal still requires regulatory approval
I think the bigger story line here is the melding of unregulated unreliable energy with regulated reliable energy and how a utility with a national footprint will manage it. My hunch is that NextEra has a lot of lobbyists in Washington, DC, and probably competing for White House appointment slows with Eric Schmidt. 

From Dallas Morning New:
NextEra has 23 wind farms in Texas with the capacity to generate about 3,100 megawatts of power. Its Lone Star Transmission unit has about 330 miles of power lines from northwest of Abilene to Navarro County.
It has 542 miles of natural gas pipelines in southern Texas. It owns Gexa Energy, an electricity retailer in Houston, and has a fiber-optic network that provides broadband access to business.
Meanwhile, coal is struggling here in Texas. This was back in April:
Until coal plants start shutting down or the state tweaks regulations to artificially inflate prices, power companies will struggle, executives said. A new Moody's Investors Service report concluded that Texas "power prices are unlikely to climb out of their doldrums."
Already, less than a quarter of Texas' coal fleet is operating early this spring, as more generators simply take their coal plants offline until the summer heat brings more demand.
In March, wind added to the grid more than coal power for the first time ever for a full month. Wind contributed 21.4 percent of the grid's overall power, compared with 12.9 percent from coal, which used to be the dominant source of the state's electricity generation, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages about 90 percent of the state's electricity load.

Failed Turkish Coup

Even after the fact, Turkish government can't find any hints of a coup in millions of encrypted messages prior to the coup.

This whole thing ...

Canadian GDP Plummets, Contracts; WTI Ends The Month With Worst Monthly Loss In A Year -- July 30, 2016

For the archives: Canada's GDP for the month of May, 2016, dropped the most since 2009 due to wildfires out west. Wow, this is bad. Not only did the GDP "drop," the entire Canadian economy contracted 0.6%. A negative 0.6% GDP. And April was not much better: the Canadian economy expanded -- if one can use that word -- 0.1% in the month of April.

The contraction in May was due to the record 22 percent plunge in non-conventional oil production (i.e., oil sands). Excluding oil sands, Canadian output shrunk 0.1% in May. Manufacturing fell 2.4%, the fastest since 2009; and a 15% drop at oil refineries.

Oil ends July with the worst monthly loss for WTI in a year. Reuters reports. WTI was down 15% by the end of the month from where it started at the beginning of the month.

Porsche Marketing With Better Gas Mileage

I wonder how many folks know that the Porsche 718 Boxster S runs on a flat four-cylinder engine. From Dan Neil, the car guy over at The Wall Street Journal:
The 2.5-liter turbo four in the new Boxster S produces 35 more hp (350 hp), with two fewer cylinders and nearly a liter less displacement than the naturally aspirated 3.4-liter six. Porsche says the flat-four cars get on the order of 15% better fuel economy on the European driving cycle.
The specs show EPA fuel economy: 21 / 28 / 24 mpg, city / highway / combined.

Yes, I have never considered a Porsche due to the poor gasoline mileage but I guess I can't use that excuse any more.

Price? Well, it will compete with the current Tesla models available. The 2017 Porsche Boxster S: base price of $73,000; as tested by Mr Neil, $93,000.

I have trouble believing anyone buying an entry-level Porsche for $100,000 is seriously concerned about mileage, especially now that gasoline is well below $2.00/gallon in many parts of the US.

Mr Neil says the better gas mileage "bends the curve of Porsche's CAFE numbers." Wow -- at 24 mpg, one wonders how "awful" the flat-sixes are.

The article can be found in today's WSJ. It explains why Porsche is gong to flat-fours for all of its "starter sports cars": Cayman and Boxster.

By the way, I never knew "Caymans" were "starter cars for Porsche. That puts things into perspective around here where I see a lot of Caymans. Just like the BMW 3-series, I guess. When we were in Europe for 13 years, no one was caught dead in a BMW 3-series; if one had a BWM in Germany, it was a 5-series or a 7 series. But here in the states, folks settle for the 3-series much more often, it appears. I didn't realize that until I returned back to the states in 1996. I'm not sure I even knew the BWM 3-series existed until I got back to the states. A starter car. LOL.

By the way, my second car, a 1973 Chevy Nova SS, with a base price of under $3,000, would have compared nicely to the Porsche starter car, if comparing "bang for the buck."

Fastest EV Is Not A Tesla

It's a Corvette EV at this link:

A 2006 Corvette Z06 has been converted to an all electric drivetrain and it just beat the land speed record for an street legal EV at 205.6 mph.

Week 30: July 24, 2016 -- July 30, 2016

Internationally, there were a lot of stories this past week on how the Panama Canal Expansion was changing the order of things in energy, especially with regard to US LNG exports.  Platts had just one of many stories but a browser search will bring up many, many more.

I also posted a story on surging petrochemical demand around the world. ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabia are in discussions about a possible joint venture petrochemical plant in along the US Gulf Coast, in Texas or Louisiana.

In perhaps the most ludicrous story of the week, Bloomberg suggested that the world may need to depend on Russia to meet oil demand in the next few years. Actually, there was one story even more ridiculous: SecState Kerry said that air conditioners were more dangerous than ISIS.

WTI flirted with $40 this past week, and the government provided the first official estimate of GDP for 2Q16: a horrendous 1.2% -- not even half of a the tepid 2.6% analysts had expected. And, of course, with revisions (there will be two), it's possible that the 1.2% number will go down. Or go up. Or stay the same. Chevron, ExxonMobil, and COP all reported disappointing earnings for 2Q16. The way things are going in this third quarter, it may get worse before it gets better. Assuming it gets better.

I think we will look back on the recent jump in the number of active rigs in North Dakota as "jumping the gun." It now seems it was too soon to start bringing rigs back in but things looked differently in early 2016 when the decisions were made to contract for new rigs.

Outside the Bakken, CLR reported its record well in the Meramec, STACK, Oklahoma. Devon reported something similar a week earlier.

Home ownership in the US is at a 51-year low, another arrow in the president's quiver labeled "Legacy." But there are mixed messages: it was also reported that June home sales were the highest in more than eight years; with a seasonally-adjusted rate of almost 600,000 homes, it was the best month since February, 2008.

Tesla declared that its giga-factory in Nevada is now open for business. The factory itself is 14% complete. I assume the "14%" is the front end where the Tesla's press office is.

I posted a book recommendation; the book can be bought at Books on Broadway in Williston, or on Amazon, including a Kindle edition.

With regard to the Bakken, the trend right now is not so many new permits, but lots and lots of renewed permits. Although mentioned once before, there is now a new operator in the Bakken -- perhaps not an operator but an "energy management company" -- a company that owns acreage and wells but contracts out to others to actually do the heavy lifting -- like drilling and producing and transporting. In this case, it is Foundation Energy Management out of Dallas, TX, I believe. It appears they acquired a package of North Dakota Madison wells from Whiting.

Now, to the Bakken itself:

North Dakota active rig count jumped to 35 from an "average" of 30 the previous week
The Mergent Group reports that Bakken DUCs have risen to nearly 1,000
Mike Filloon provided an update

An update in The WSJ: like man-camps, a solution for a problem that no longer exists

Bakken Economy
Update on the new Williston airport

Friday, July 29, 2016

Twelve Permits Renewed; Three New Permits; New Operator in North Dakota -- July 29, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3573192179179

Three new permits:
  • Operator: Enerplus
  • Fields: Spotted Horn (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
Twelve (12) permits renewed:
  • CLR (6): three Bang permits and three Carus permits, all in Dunn County
  • Hess (2): two EN-Leo permits in Mountrail County
  • EOG (2): two Riverview permits in Mckenzie County
  • Enerplus: a Mars permit in Dunn County
  • Crescent Point Energy: an Aldag permit in Divide County
One producing well completed:
  • 29684, 2,052, Statoil, Chryl 17-20 XW 1TFH, Banks, t7/16; cum -- 
Transfer of wells: Whiting transferred 42 wells to Foundation Energy Management
  • all older wells, permit numbers between 11410 and 14870
  • mostly in Mountrail County
  • a couple in Ward County
  • the few I checked were all Madison wells
  • it looks like this is a new operator in North Dakota
  • these are the only wells for Foundation Energy 
  • website for Foundation Energy Management
  • Dallas, TX?
  • this company has been previously mentioned on the blog: see Bakken operators;

Statoil To Buy Majority Interest Off Brazil; License Had Been Held By Petrobras; $2.5 Billion -- July 29, 2016

Link here. Statoil:
It has 30° API oil and associated gas “in a thick reservoir with excellent properties.”
From an earlier article:
Petrobras in 2012 encountered 400 meters of continuous oil pay at the Carcara discovery well.
It's Just Business

From the guy who says his secretary is overtaxed.  

Reuters is reporting:
Duracell said it plans to close a battery-making plant in South Carolina that employs 430 people, making the announcement fewer than five months after being acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The shutdown of the Lancaster, South Carolina, plant, which made AA batteries, will begin in March and should be completed by the middle of 2019.
Duracell is consolidating its North American production of AA and AAA batteries into a plant in LaGrange, Georgia.
"This was a very difficult decision," Robert Lorch, Duracell's president of global operations, said in a statement. "We're taking this important step to position the Duracell business for growth."
Duracell said the move will lead to "some" job growth in LaGrange, which is about 330 miles southwest of Lancaster, and that Lancaster workers will be encouraged to apply for work there.
Sure. Pretty sad. 

Idle Rambling About Apple, Amazon -- Nothing About The Bakken -- At Least Not Much Except In Passing -- July 29, 2016

Bezos is where Jobs was: neither seemed interested in financial statements, quarterly reports, revenue, and net income from quarter to quarter. Both of these guys, it seemed, were/are focused on their customers.

This story over at Quartz is a great example.
As it always does, Amazon punctuated its latest results with flashy tidbits that don’t give you any insight into performance. Amazon’s wireless Alexa speaker now has “over 1,900 third party skills.” Its on-demand “Dash” ordering button added 50 new brands, including Campbell’s Soup and Play-Doh. AmazonFresh, the company’s grocery delivery service, debuted in London. And Amazon Studios, its video production arm, earned 16 Emmy nominations.
But investors don’t care about these things. What they care about is Amazon Web Services and Amazon Prime, and on the latter the company refused to engage. During Thursday’s earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky repeatedly dodged inquiries on Prime’s metrics. Instead, he praised Amazon’s second-annual Prime Day (“a great day for customers globally”) and nodded vaguely to the program’s strength (“we are seeing great acceptance of Prime, and usage of Prime benefits”).
Understanding Prime has become increasingly vital to understanding Amazon writ large. Bezos made clear earlier this year that Prime is a priority, writing in his letter to shareholders, “We want Prime to be such a good value, you’d be irresponsible not to be a member.”
After Jobs moved to the heavenly cloud, Apple seemed to be more interested in quarterly financial reports and less interested in "gee whiz" excitement of its products. Apple has seemed to move into a "value" story, not a "growth" story. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Of course that will all change when the Apple EV is announced and delivered.

Amazon on the other hand seems to still be in a "growth" stage, always looking for innovative ways to improve their customers' experience. And not particularly concerned about their bottom line. Amazon continues to put its money back into the company.

Yes, the quarterly numbers at Amazon are incredibly impressive, but it's the way they talk about their company that impresses me.

That's what it was like in the early days in the Bakken Boom. We didn't hear much about "bottom lines" and costs to complete wells. The emphasis was on the excitement of what the Bakken could become. But now, the quarterly conference calls have pretty much turned into MBA discussions of operating cash flow and not much about the excitement of the Bakken.

Amazon Prime

Some time ago I posted that I accidentally signed up for Prime. I clicked on the wrong button and couldn't "back out." I suppose I could have talked to Amazon and got out of Prime, but the more I used it, the more impressed I became.

I no longer wait to add products to "my cart" to get free shipping. I order things when I want. And they generally show up in two days. The video streaming is incredible. And my hunch is there is a whole lot more to Prime of which I am unaware. 

One of my "problems" with Apple is that their products last "forever." I know folks update their iPhones every year or so, but I don't have a smart phone. I'm talking about their iPads and their laptop/desktop computers. My iPad is a second generation iPad -- it is several years old and does everything I need it to do. I really, really want to upgrade to a newer iPad but to date, there is just no compelling reason. Same with my MacBook Air -- a few years old, and it seems brand new.

Ayurvedic and Ogive and Operon

Okay, so here's a new word for me: ayurvedic. From Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene: An Intimate History.

From google/wiki: Ayurvedic medicine -- also known as Ayurveda -- is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

And now a second new word from the same book: ogive. Ogive is a pointed or Gothic arch. In biology it means a "cumulative frequency graph." We usually referred to them as "S-shaped" graphs in Biology 101.  

Years ago I understood an operon but somewhere along the way, I forgot.  From Mukherjee, page 175:
Surprisingly, all the genes dedicated to a particular metabolic pathway were physically present next to each other on the bacterial chromosome -- like library books stacked by subject -- and they were induced simultaneously in cells. The metabolic alteration produced a profound genetic alteration in a cell. It wasn't just a cutlery switch; the whole dinner service was altered in a single swoop. A functional circuit of genes was switched on and off, as of operated by a common spool or master switch. Jacques Mono called one such gene module an operon
The author then goes on to talk about how a repressor protein keeps the operon in a "locked" position, much like a photoelectric cell or a smoke alarm system.  

A Book For Aunt Laura

Original Post
For The Glory: Eric Liddell's Journey From Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr, Duncan Hamilton, c. 2016.

It takes off where Chariots of Fire ended.  


October 8, 2106: in this week's issue of London Review of Books has a long essay on Emil Zatopek, another runner and the subject of two new books:
Today We Die A Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zatopek, Olympic Legend, by Richard Askwith
Endurance: The Extraordinary life and Times of Emil Zatopek, by Rick Broadbent

The News Coming Out Of The Panama Canal Expansion Is Staggering -- To Say The Least -- It's Only Just Begun -- July 29, 2016

This story was linked earlier, but it will be lost in the chaff. Here is it again, as a stand-alone, from Platts.
It has been quite a year for the US LNG industry.
In February, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal exported the continental US’ first commercial cargo of LNG.
Since February, Cheniere’s Train 1 at Sabine Pass, the only fully commissioned operating US LNG export terminal, has exported 19 cargoes to eight different nations on three continents.
While South America has so far received more US LNG cargoes than any other region, the re-opening of the newly expanded Panama Canal could drive new competition from North Asian markets. While many expected the majority of Cheniere’s cargoes to end up on Europe, ten of the first 16 cargoes (three are out at sea) have delivered into South America, specifically Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Only two cargoes have delivered into Europe.

2016 US LNG exports (YTD)

Cheniere’s first cargo was delivered to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s furthest regasification terminal from Sabine Pass. Depending on what terminal you deliver into Brazil, shipping a cargo of LNG from the US Gulf Coast can take between 11 and 16 days. Delivery into either of Argentina’s two terminals takes roughly 21 days.
The expanded Panama Canal will allow US LNG producers to deliver their cargoes to select destinations in South America and Asia faster and cheaper. Chile is a good example: when travelling around the southern tip of South America, an LNG vessel departing from Sabine Pass must travel 9,507 nautical miles over 30 days to deliver into Chile’s Mejillones terminal. Through the Panama Canal, the trip is cut down to just 3,607 nautical miles, lasting about 11 days.
A shorter trip to North Asia through the Panama Canal means South American LNG importers will now face new competition for US LNG supply.
Before the opening of the Panama Canal, the idea of sending a cargo of US LNG to North Asia seemed like a pretty far off idea. Via the Suez Canal, a US Gulf Coast laden LNG vessel must travel around 47 days and 14,500 miles to reach Tokyo Bay. Around the Cape of Good Hope, the trip is 15,689 nautical miles, lasting 50 days. Through the Panama Canal, the trip is cut down to 29 days and a distance of 9,214 nautical miles.
Much, much more at the link. 

Global Warming Update; 1Q17 -- July 29, 2016

From John Kemp, over at Twitter:

I guess it depends where one places the thermometers.

Coal To Newcastle? -- US Exporting LNG To The Mideast -- EIA -- July 29, 2016

I can't make this stuff up. Tag: Panama Canal Expansion. A big whoop.

Asian Notes Over At Twitter

Japan's July fuel oil demand for power surges 22% year-over-year.

South Korea's crude oil imports from Africa and Latin America surge in 1H16 in efforts to diversify supply sources beyond the Middle East.

Panama Canal expansion opens premium Asian markets to US LNG: over at Platts.

They Said It Couldn't Be Done -- Update On New Williston Airport -- July 29, 2016

Project location:
Final master plan, April, 2016:

From The Williston Wire:
It has been a big week for the new Williston Basin International Airport project. The airport is moving from the land acquisition phase to the construction phase as the property owners signed purchase agreements from the City of Williston and a ceremonial ground breaking was scheduled for Oct. 10, 2016.
Federal, state and local dignitaries have been invited to the historic endeavor that is being called "Taking Flight." Watch for more details in the Williston Wire. 
The Williston Herald is reporting:
Construction is officially due to start on Williston's new airport this fall. Airport and city officials say purchase agreements are signed for about 1,500 acres of land, and a groundbreaking date has been set for October. Negotiations with eight landowners wrapped up in mid-July, clearing the way for the relocation project to move into its first building phase. Officials, citing various loose ends that have yet to be finalized in the deals, won't yet say how much the city paid for the tracts of farm and pasture land.
And this:
In the meantime, bidding will start on several facets of construction, including the terminal building foundation, preliminary road construction and other staging areas. Those projects are expected to be complete by the end of this year.
Grading work and a re-route of 59th Street will also be up for bid this year, bringing 2016’s construction costs to $18.5 million. 
Kjergaard, who was among a group from Williston that met with members of the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, said project heads are hoping to pay for the first phase of construction with federal money.
The project’s total price tag has dropped to an estimated $240 million, down from $265 million that the city was banking on several weeks ago.
As a reminder, here is the link to the Williston Airport Relocation page

Shock! -- Drudge Report; Disappointing -- WSJ; Horrendous -- Reality -- July 29, 2016

The government's first estimate for 2Q16 GDP is absolutely horrendous. Horrendous.

GDP Now almost got it right but was too optimistic. The Wall Street Journal was way too optimistic.

See this post, posted just before the 2Q16 GDP figures were released. GDP Now lowered the forecast from 2.3% to 1.8% one day after new numbers were released.

The WSJ forecast an incredible 2.6% growth.

In fact, the economy responded less than half the 2.6% growth predicted by The WSJ. The story at Bloomberg:
The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the second quarter after a weaker start to the year than previously estimated as companies slimmed down inventories and remained wary of investing amid shaky global demand.
Gross domestic product rose at a 1.2 percent annualized rate after a 0.8 percent advance the prior quarter. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent second-quarter increase.
Makes me wonder about the economists surveyed by Bloomberg. 

Had this happened under a Republican administration after putting us $20 trillion in debt, Bloomberg would have hammered the GOP. But I guess under this administration, its just part of the business cycle. 


Reminds me of the day some weeks ago when the jobs number for May was released. Shocking.

So, let's see how the market is taking this. I can only imagine. Hold on to your hats buckaroos.
  • S & P 500: down almost 4 points, to 2,166
  • Dow: down almost 60 points, to 18,398
  • WTI: down another 45 cents; below $41, and now about $40.69
Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3573192179179

RBN Energy: update on pricing and takeaway capacity for natural gas in the northeast, Marcellus and the Utica. 

Are You Kidding Me?

UPS blames "higher fuel costs cut into its profits." Really? Fuel has never been so inexpensive. Sure, it might have gone up a bit quarter-over-quarter (albeit very little) but year-over-year? From The WSJ
United Parcel Service Inc. on Friday reported profit rose 3.2% in the latest period, though higher fuel costs cut into climbing revenue from its U.S. and international package deliveries.

Oil prices rose during the latest quarter, and UPS said lower fuel surcharges in the quarter hurt results. The company’s fuel surcharges are typically tacked onto shipments to cover that cost, but they lag rising fuel prices by a couple months.
Revenue rose 2.4% in the U.S. package segment and 1.1% in the international package segment.
Over all for the June period, UPS posted earnings of $1.27 billion, or $1.43 a share, compared with $1.23 billion, or $1.35 a share, a year earlier. The per-share figure was helped by a lower share count in the latest period. 
You mean to tell me that with gasoline and diesel fuel at incredibly low prices, UPS is still able to "tack on fuel surcharges"? I could see that when gasoline was selling for $4.00/gallon and $100-oil, but we're seeing gasoline now well below $2.00/gallon. Obviously I'm missing something; The WSJ wouldn't report this if it weren't true.

Book Recommendation: Letters Home From Lt William R Larson, WWII, Pacific Theater -- July 29, 2016

This is pretty cool. An alumnus of Williston High School, Don J Larson -- Class of 1986 -- has recently completed a biography of his uncle who served in WWII: Lt William R Larson, USNR, a torpedo bomber fighter pilot. The book is Lucky's LIfe: Letters Home From Lt William R Larson, Squadron VC 38.

The subject of the book, Lt William Larson grew up on a farm in Divide County, just north of Williston.

The letters "home" were to his parents and his brother Lloyd, the father of the author of the biography. The fact that Bill Larson never returned home from the Pacific would make his letters that much more compelling. I was alerted to the biography of "Bill" Larson by his nephew who shares his uncle's name.

A very, very nice write-up in the Williston Herald is available at this link:

A Facebook page devoted to Lt William Larson is at this link:

The book is available at Amazon, and even better, the paperback edition, I am told, is available at Books On Broadway in Williston, North Dakota. The Kindle edition is less than $5.00, I believe.

The paperback is 630 pages long. That is simply incredible: 630 pages. One can read much more about the book at this post:

Personal note: in 1943, Larson participated in bombing runs during the Bougainville Campaign. It just so happens that Larson would have been providing air support to the Americal Division, US Army, to which my father-in-law, Flavio Garcia, was assigned.

According to a biographical note I wrote many years ago The Americal Division had its origin in Task Force 6813, formed January 14, 1942, with the mission of occupying and defending New Caledonia.
Task Fork 6813 was disbanded May 27, 1942, once the Americal Division was up and running.

Gaudalcanal ground offensive: The 164th Infantry (North Dakota) arrived on Guadalcanal on October, 13, 1942, under air attack. Division headquarters and the 132nd (Illinois) landed on Guadalcanal on December 8, 1942. The 35th Regiment Infantry Division relieved the 132nd Infantry Regiment, in early 1943. The 132nd reached Tenaro Village by February 9, 1943, and that ended the Guadalcanal ground struggle.

Bougainville: the Americal Division moved to the Fiji Islands in March / April, 1943, and then moved to Bougainville in December, 1943 - January, 1944, first the 182nd Infantry Regiment (Massachusetts) and then the 132nd Infantry Regiment.

The division was relieved by the Australian 3rd Division on December 10, 1944, and the division conducted amphibious training and prepared to move to the Philippines. 

Philippines: the division moved to the Philippines in January, 1945. The following units are mentioned by the veterans’ association: the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment; the 1st Battalion, 132nd Infantry Regiment; the 3rd Battalion, 164th Infantry Regiment (North Dakota).
My own father was serving on the USS Wakefield on the Atlantic Ocean during this time, but in 1946 was in the Pacific Theater bringing US Marines back home. 

Note: there may be typographical and factual errors in this note.

Last "GDP Now" Foreast Before "Official" 2Q16 GDP Released -- July 29, 2016

For all that talk about civil disobedience and demonstrations and #BlackLivesMatter, the two political conventions came off pretty well.

2Q16 GDP

The last update before the "official" 2Q16 GDP is released. This was released July 28, 2016:
The final GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 1.8 percent on July 28, down from 2.3 percent on July 27.
After the U.S. Census Bureau's inaugural release of its advance economic indicators report, which covers retail and wholesale inventories and foreign trade in goods, the nowcast of the contribution of net exports to second-quarter real GDP growth declined from 0.17 percentage points to –0.10 percentage points and the nowcast of the contribution of inventory investment to growth declined from –0.63 percentage points to –0.79 percentage points.
I think The Wall Street Journal is a bit more optimistic.
U.S. economic growth appears to have accelerated in the second quarter after a weak start this year. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, is projected to have advanced at a 2.6% annualized pace this spring, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The economy grew at 1.1% in the first three months of the year.
Then this:
If the economy advanced at the rate economists forecast, it would be the fastest pace in a year. That’s significant because in the prior two quarters, U.S. output increases came in below the relatively lackluster roughly 2% pace averaged during most of the expansion, which began in 2009. An improvement in growth would suggest the economy has stabilized, as opposed to gradually slowing into a contraction.
I believe 1Q16 GDP was -- after all revisions -- 0.8%. If 2Q16 GDP really comes in at 2.5% .... well, it would be interesting. And encouraging.

Helicopter Money

After reading this article in The Wall Street Journal I was pretty sure Japan would be dropping some helicopter money, but Japan has decided not to. Futures are down (early morning, Friday, July 29, 2016; and oil is pennies away from going below $40).

Microsoft Dismantling Its Telephone Division

From The Wall Street Journal: Microsoft to Shed 2,850 Additional Jobs. Layoffs come as company retools sales operations, dismantles mobile phone hardware business. From The Verge, May 25, 2015, Microsoft wasted at least $8 billion on its failed Nokia experiment.
Microsoft is taking another almost $1 billion hit on its failed Nokia acquisition today. The software maker is "streamlining" its smartphone business, writing off $950 million and cutting 1,850 jobs. The cuts come almost a year after Microsoft wrote off $7.6 billion and cut 7,800 jobs.
Only a small number of former Nokia employees will remain at Microsoft, and the company's consumer phone making days are over.
Microsoft has wasted at least $8 billion on its failed Nokia experiment, including the costs of restructuring and severance payments for thousands of employees. Microsoft originally hired 25,000 Nokia employees as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone business, but a series of layoffs over the past two years has triggered the end of Microsoft's mobile subsidiary.
Microsoft's Nokia phone business acquisition was always tricky and risky, but it was a deal organized by former CEO Steve Ballmer. It has been clear from the start that Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO, wasn't interested in running a phone business.
Nadella announced a strategy shift away from a "devices and services" focus just a couple of months after the Nokia acquisition finalized, and last year the strategy shifted even further away from producing multiple handsets.
Many will argue Microsoft had no choice, as Nokia controlled more than 90 percent of the Windows Phone market and had been rumored to be considering switching to Android.
Google's experiment with making its own Android phones resulted in the search giant selling Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, less than two years after paying $12.5 billion to acquire it. While Google's investment was primarily driven by the need to obtain key patents, it's not clear how Microsoft has benefited from its Nokia deal.
No mention of Apple or the iPhone.

Ballmer on the iPhone

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One New Permit And That's About It; Three More DUCs -- July 28, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3573193207181

Wells coming off confidential list Friday morning:
  • 29858, drl, Newfield, Jorgenson Federal 148-96-10-15-2H, Lost Bridge, no production data,
  • 32014, TASC, MRO, Jackie USA 34-34TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,
  • 32283, SI/NC, XTO, FBIR Blackmedicine 24X-21E, Heart Butte, no production data,
  • 32302, SI/NC, XTO, FBIR Blackmedicine 24X-21AXD, Siverston, no production data
One new permit:
  • Operator: Liberty Resources
  • Field: McGregor (Williams)
  • Comments:
Two producing wells completed:
  • 31930, 630, Hess, HA-Grimestad-152-95-3031H-4, Hawkeye, 50 stages, 3.5 million lbs, t7/16; cum --
  • 31932, 1,233, Hess, HA-Grimestad-152-95-3031H-6, Hawkeye, Three Forks, 36 stages, 2.5 million lbs, t7/16; cum 5K after 2 days; 
New-Well Oil Production Per Rig

For the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and the Permian. Nice graphic.

Surprise, Surprise. Tesla Needs More Money - Barron's

Link here.

MuskMelon as much as admitted that a "modest" capital raise will be necessary. On news, shares were initially up, but today down.  Will the "modest" capital raise be announced before/after August 3 2016?

I-98: An Update -- July 28, 2016

I-98: An Update

Some folks (not many, but some) have been asking whatever happened to the television series, I-98

Unfortunately the series only ran for one season and only eight episodes. Due to low ratings, the series was canceled. The series was just beginning to build its audience and many think killing the series at this time was premature.

However, there is talk of at least one spin-off. It is possible the roles of Thelma and Louise will be brought back in a 30-minute sitcom: "Stripper Wells."

Stripper Wells is the story of a young woman from south Minneapolis who heads west to the Bakken when she hears that women can become quite wealthy working, not as waitresses in cheesecake restaurants, but as dancers in upscale gentleman's clubs. Mary Bernitsky Westly takes the stage name of "Stripper Wells." To save money she shares a room with "Shelley Shaker" at the far end of town in El Ranchero, a modern 32-story glass skyscraper, which has become the place to be if in the oil and gas industry. The skyscraper replaced the 32 man-camps that were strewn about McKenzie and Williams counties. The Trump helicopter landing pad will be highlighted in the sitcom's opening credits. Mary and Shelley will be the two lead characters in an ensemble of four regular characters, with weekly cameos by the seventeen original 2016 GOP presidential candidates.

As for the two main characters, Sam will become a spokesperson for BOG, formerly known as Bakken Oil & Gas; and, Liam will return to Rugby where he hopes to become a community organizer with a focus on getting the marker for the geographical center of North America in exactly the right spot.

BOG, often derisively referred to as "bogged down," has recently expanded into wind and solar, and will be renamed WASBOG (wind and solar, Bakken oil and gas). 

Off The Net For Awhile -- July 28, 2016

I guess we can add this to the Obama legacy: home ownership at 51-year low. Let's see -- 2016 - 51 = 1965. That was a great year for music. Can't say the same for the top hits of 2016. The Beatles had two songs on the top 100 song-list for 1965, and didn't score higher than 31st. That tells you exactly how good the music was in 1965. President Obama, according to available data, turned four years old in 1965.

A Nice Write-Up Of The Montessori Method

Yesterday was the last day for one of Sophia's "tutors" at TutorTime. Ms Almas had been accepted for a position at a local Montessori school. Sophia wrote a short congratulatory note with a small monetary gift and proudly handed it to Ms Almas as her going-away present and thank you.

Today, of all things, while continuing to read Kate Clifford Larson's Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, I came across several pages of a nice discussion regarding the Montessori method and the eponymous school. 

Data points which are easily available at wiki, I assume, but more rewarding to read in a biography:
  • Maria Montessori, born in 1870
  • medical degree in 1896, one of Italy's first female doctors
  • she saw first-hand the ravaging effects of poverty and the lack of education on the city's most vulnerable
  • became particularly interested in those with intellectual disabilities and emotional problems
  • opened her first day care in the slums: Casa dei Bambini
  • in the right environment, older children readily worked with younger children
  • advocated practical skills like cooking, carpentry, and domestic arts along with classical education in literature, science, and math
  • to her surprise, teenagers seemed to benefit most
  • the Montessori method arrived in the US in 1915
  • it would be years before it was accepted in the US
  • very closely allied with Catholic teachings, especially on good and evil
DNA: Wilkens, A Physicist
From Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene: An Intimate History

Ernest Rutherford, to Cambridge, on a scholarship in 1895:
  • a New Zealander
  • a blaze of unrivaled experimental frenzy 
  • deduced the properties of radioactivity
  • built a convincing conceptual model of the atom
  • shredded the atom into its constituent subatomic pieces
  • launched the new frontier of subatomic physics
  • 1919: the first scientist to achieve the medieval fantasy of transmutation: by bombarding nitrogen with radioactivity, he converted it to oxygen
  • discovered that atoms were made up of even more fundamental units of matter
Wilkens followed in Rutherford's wake. BUT Wilkens had read read Schrodinger's What Is Life? and became instantly enthralled.
  • he reasoned that the gene must also be made up of subunits
  • he felt that the structure of DNA would illuminate these subunits
  • 1946: Wilkins appointed assistant director of the new Biophysics Unit at King's College, London