Monday, February 29, 2016

"They" Really Are Stupid -- February 29, 2016

Senator Marco "GO8" Rubio is still campaigning to lift the US ban on oil. He apparently does not realize that ban has been lifted, and in fact, three ocean-going tankers have already taken US crude oil to Europe under terms of the lifted ban.
For almost three months the U.S. has been able to legally export crude oil, but Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is still campaigning on lifting the ban.
Rubio told supporters he would lift the ban as president at a private fundraiser in Texas Friday, and his campaign website has an entire page devoted to the need to lift the ban. “I would also allow American oil producers to be able to export,” Rubio said, when asked what he would do about poor oil prices as president. “Right now we’re not allowed to export.”
Congress lifted the ban in December as part of the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill it passed. “Oil companies rush to exploit end of U.S. crude export ban,” reported Reuters in the wake of the vote that ended a 40-year ban on crude oil exports.
A subsection of Rubio’s energy policy on his website echoes his remarks. “So how can we usher in a 21st Century energy agenda? We can start by eliminating government-imposed barriers to energy production and economic growth,” the page reads, which is titled: “It’s Time To Lift The Crude Oil Export Ban.”
Folks may recall that Senator Rubio has good reason to be unaware of this. He has not been back in the Senate for record number of weeks.

And they call Trump a buffoon.

Marco Rubio has been added to the list of nominees for the 2016 Geico Rock Award. 

Massachusetts Democrats Fleeing Party
Independents Can Vote In Either Democrat or GOP Primary

From a message board the day before Super Tuesday:
Two Things unrelated to each other, the second not worthy of a separate thread because there isn't much info yet.


"Nearly 20,000 Bay State Democrats have fled the party this winter, with thousands doing so to join the Republican ranks, according to the state’s top elections official.
Secretary of State William Galvin said more than 16,300 Democrats have shed their party affiliation and become independent voters since January 1, 2016, while nearly 3,500 more shifted to the MassGOP ahead of tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary....
Galvin said the state could see as many as 700,000 voting in tomorrow’s Republican primary, a significant number given just 468,000 people are actually registered Republicans. In Massachusetts, unenrolled — otherwise known as independent — voters can cast a ballot in the primary of any party."


"Donald Trump has added a press conference at his Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Super Tuesday, fueling speculations of another high-profile endorsement. The billionaire will host separate campaign rallies in Ohio and Kentucky during the day Tuesday, before arriving in Florida. Some speculate that Florida Gov. Rick Scott could announce his support of Trump at the press conference, which is scheduled two weeks before Florida's Republican primary."

March, 2016, NDIC Hearing Dockets -- Highlights

For newbies: during the boom, there were usually two to three days of hearing, and the agenda for each day was as many as 20 pages long. The March, 2016, hearings: two days; 6 pages of agenda for the first day, and 7 pages of agenda for the second day. Most of them are continued cases or pooling cases.

It is very, very quiet with regard to the dockets right now.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016: six pages.
  • 24899, MRO, McGregory Buttes-Bakken, a) allow up to 21 wells on a 2560-acre unit (sections 14/15/22/23 - 147-94; b) establish a 2560-acre overlapping unit with one well; Dunn County
  • 24907, BR, Dimmick Lake-Bakken, 14 wells on a stand-up 2560-acre unit, as well as two more wells in an overlapping 2560-acre unit; McKenzie County
Thursday, March 24, 2016: seven pages
  • 24951, Liberty Resources, Capa-Bakken, 12 wells on an existing 1280-acre unit, Williams County
The full summary will be provided later if I don't forget. 

New Post-Boom Low For Active Rigs In North Dakota: 35; Ten (10) New Permits; Five More DUCs Tuesday -- February 29, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3520462

Ten (10) new permits:
  • Operator: EOG
  • Field: Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comment: see this post
Five (5) wells coming off confidential list Tuesday:
  • 29684, SI/NC, Statoil, Cheryl 17-20 XW 1TFH, Banks, no production data,
  • 31546, SI/NC, EOG, Austin 59-1509H, Parshall, no production data,
  • 31550, SI/NC, SM Energy, Rufus 13B-9HN, West Ambrose, no production data,
  • 31551, SI/NC, SM Energy, Russ 13-9HS, West Ambrose, no production data,
  • 31828, SI/NC, EOG, Austin 463-1509H, Parshall, no production data,
Hess canceled three permits: three EN-Abrahamson wells, in Mountrail County.

One producing well completed:
30076, 1,082, BR, Elizabeth Stroh 44-7MBH, Cabernet, 4 sections, t2/16; cum -- 
  • spud: August 17, 2015
  • kick-off point: August 22, 2015
  • TD: September 1, 2015
  • target zone: 10 feet
  • inside drilling target: 84%
  • within target formation: 100%

Something For The Saudis To Think About This Week -- EOG With Ten (10) More Permits In The Hawkeye Oil Field -- February 29, 2016

The ten (10) new permits as of today:

29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 112-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 542 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 115-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 692 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 118-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 842 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 152-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 892 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 153-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 942 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 154-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 992 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 155-2413H
SWSW 24-152-95 250 FSL 1042 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 156-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 250 FSL 1092 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 11-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 300FSL 702 FWL
29 Feb 16
Hawkeye 12-2413H
Lot 4 24-152-95 300 FSL 752 FWL

The new pad will be located in this general area:

For newbies: in the better Bakken, we are starting to see upwards of 24 wells sited in one drilling unit, generally 1280- or 2560-acre units.

We will eventually see 48 wells in some of these drilling unit.

These permits were requested / issued during the Saudi Surge/Slump of 2014 - 2016 with no end to the glut seen until 2017, at the earliest.

Random Update Of Recently Completed Zavanna DUC -- February 29, 2016

This well is still shown as a DUC at the NDIC site, but FracFocus says it was fracked 9/11-24/2015:
  • 28432, SI/NC, Zavanna, Tomahawk 10-3 3H, East Fork, 11.7 million gallons of water; 5.7% by weight of sand; no test date, cum 36K 12/15:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Notes to the Granddaughters

I keep a list of words that I come across in my reading to share with Arianna, in preparation for the tests she will be taking a few years from now. Two things happen, and I think the first happens to everyone. When one discovers a new word, the word seems to start popping up everywhere.

Years ago, I first came across the word flaneur at a time in my adult life when I was doing lots of walking. I mean lots of walking. I was in northern England, single or at least alone, and I had nothing to do for long stretches at time, except to read and walk. I remember starting my walk some days at 7:30 a.m. and not returning home until 8:00 p.m. Some evenings, I honestly felt I could not walk another step and I had a real fear I would not make it home, falling from exhaustion. I honestly did not think one could become exhausted by simply walking, but one most assuredly can. I associate a flaneur with an urban walker, especially one who walks, not as a tourist, but as lifelong resident of a large city, like Paris, for example. Today while reading Sue Roe's The Private Lives of The Impressionists I was reminded (if I ever knew before, I can't recall) that Edouard Manet was a wealthy painter who loved to walk the streets of Paris. He was a flaneur.

The second thing that happens is I come across words that I use in everyday speech or grew up using but words that I never really stopped to think about.

Butte, for example.

I don't think I ever thought about the etiology of the word butte.

In that same book, just a few pages later:
He lunched every day at Tortini's on the boulevard des Italiens....and appeared again in the Café de Bade. This district, at the foot of the Butte -- hillside -- of Montmartre was where for half a century writers and artists, diplomats and financiers had gathered.
I never realized butte was a French word, but perhaps I was the only one. Whatever. Merriam-Webster spells the french word with one "t": bute

Random Update On Two CLR Wells In The Brooklyn Oil Field And A Nice Zavanna Well With 50 Stages -- February 29, 2016

In the process of updating the DUCs from 2Q15, the following wells were noted. No DUCs have been drilled since the last update. The Zavanna well went from drl status to producing. Note the number of stages used in the Zavanna well.
  • 29370, 822, CLR, Gronfur 2-28H, Brooklyn, 4 sections, 30 stages, 3.4 million lbs, t5/15; cum 126K 12/15;
Spud date: February 1, 2015
Kick-off point: February 6, 2015
TD: February 13, 2015
Within the ideal marker window of lateral for 88% of time; within the middle Bakken 100% of the time

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 29371, 864, CLR, Gronfur 3-28H1, Brooklyn, Three Forks, 4 sections, 30 states, 5.9 million lbs, t5/15; cum 111K 12/15:
Spud date: January 24, 2015
Kick-off point: January 29, 2015
TD: February 22, 2015 (14 days drilling time)
Exposure to target: 12' zone for 90% of the time; within the Three Forks 100% of the time

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 28436, 274, Zavanna, Arrowhead 10-3 3H, East Fork, 50 stages, 6 million lbs, t11/15; cum 36K 12/15;
Target zone: 4 feet thick;

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Monday -- February 29, 2016 -- Leap Year -- It Only Happens Once Every Four Years -- Enjoy Your Extra Day -- Too Bad It's A Monday

Berkshire Hathaway 4Q15 profit jumps 32%.

Ratings Fall


From Deadline late Monday afternoon -- Oscar Ratings: Chris Rock’s Return As Host Draws 34M Viewers In 8-Year Low.
The Oscars were all given out last night at the 88th Academy Awards but despite one of the most anticipated opening monologues in years due to the diversity controversy, it turns out there is no gold, nor silver or bronze for ABC. 
With 34.3 million total viewers watching the Chris Rock hosted shindig from the Hollywood and Highland on Sunday, the Oscars took a tumble this year to hit an 8-year low and the third lowest viewership ever
Original Post
Numbers of viewers for the Oscars, 2015, was the lowest in six years. The trend continues. This year, down 6 percent. The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
Anticipation of Chris Rock's no-holds-barred commentary at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony did not boost to the overnight ratings for Sunday's telecast on ABC.
Based on Nielsen’s overnight data from 56 large U.S. TV markets, the telecast averaged a 23.4 rating and a 36% share of the homes using television from 8:30 p.m. to 11:51 p.m. EST, when the last commercial break aired.
That's down 6% when compared with the 24.9 rating from the overnight data for 2015.
Among the local markets measured, the show's highest rating was in New York, 33.2. That was higher than the rating in Los Angeles, where the telecast averaged a 29.5, down from 33.5 in 2015.
The total national audience is expected to be available later Monday. Last year, the ceremony hosted by Neil Patrick Harris averaged 37.3 million viewers, the smallest audience in six years.
I didn't watch it. I could hear a bit of it from the television in the other room, but that was it. I rushed into see three highlights:
  • Leo DiCaprio accepting his Oscar: who was astonished how far he had to go to see snow (he could have visited Boston)
  • Michael Keaton on stage when best movie announced (wow, he has a string of successes: Batman, Birdman, and Spotlight)
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director (well, well deserved; I won't see Revenant but I loved Birdman
Something tells me that "Hollywood" feels they dealt with the "race" issue and things will return to "normal" today.

Most Governments Are Anti-Growth -- February 29, 2016

This pretty much says it all, from GE/CEO, Jeff Immelt:
What is unique in this cycle is the difficult relationship between business and government, the worst I have ever seen. Technology, productivity and globalization have been the driving forces during my business career. In business, if you don’t lead these changes, you get fired; in politics, if you don’t fight them, you can’t get elected. As a result, most government policy is anti-growth
In the U.S., we want exports but seem to hate trade and exporters; globally, governments love small businesses but then regulate them to death
And so, we perpetuate a cycle: slow growth, poor job creation, populism, low productivity, higher regulation, poor policy and more slow growth
We now live in a world where the most promising growth policy is “negative interest rates.” 
In the U.S., 2015 was the 10th consecutive year when GDP growth failed to reach 3%, a rate that used to be considered our entitlement.
He could have added, we want increased manufacturing opportunities but NIMBY. 

Social Security Update
Grandfathered In

For many baby boomers, what's especially confusing is determining whether you're grandfathered into the old benefits system. Those who will not be affected by the rule changes generally fall into one of three groups:
  1. Anyone who has already claimed benefits before April 30. If you submit your request by that date, and your spouse or children become entitled to benefits either before or after that date, they will not be cut off by the new rules and will continue to receive payments.
  2. Anyone who will reach full retirement age (66 right now) on or before April 29 will continue to be able to use the file-and-suspend strategy
  3. Anyone who was age 62 or older as January 1, 2016 will be able to continue to file a restricted application at FRA for just their spousal benefit, while deferring their own retirement benefit. They will not be subject to the agency’s new deeming rules.

$40 Is The New $70 -- US Shale; Looks Like Rush Limbaugh Was Suckered -- February 28, 2016

US Shale To OPEC: $40 Is The New $70 -- Reuters:
For leading U.S. shale oil producers, $40 is the new $70.
Less than a year ago major shale firms were saying they needed oil above $60 a barrel to produce more; now some say they will settle for far less in deciding whether to crank up output after the worst oil price crash in a generation.
Their latest comments highlight the industry's remarkable resilience, but also serve as a warning to rivals and traders: a retreat in U.S. oil production that would help ease global oversupply and let prices recover may prove shorter than some may have expected.
Continental Resources Inc, led by billionaire wildcatter Harold Hamm, is prepared to increase capital spending if U.S. crude reaches the low- to mid-$40s range, allowing it to boost 2017 production by more than 10 percent, chief financial official John Hart said last week.
Rival Whiting Petroleum Corp, the biggest producer in North Dakota's Bakken formation, will stop fracking new wells by the end of March, but would "consider completing some of these wells" if oil reached $40 to $45 a barrel, Chairman and CEO Jim Volker told analysts. Less than a year ago, when the company was still in spending mode, Volker said it might deploy more rigs if U.S. crude hit $70.
While the comments were couched with caution, they serve as a reminder of how a dramatic decline in costs and rapid efficiency gains have turned U.S. shale, initially seen by rivals as a marginal, high cost sector, into a major player - and a thorn in the side of big OPEC producers.
Saudi looks to "stabilize" market -- Reuters:
Brent crude futures edged higher on Monday, adding to strong gains last week, on rising hopes that the market has bottomed out and as OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility.
Putin summons top Russian oil men -- Reuters:
President Vladimir Putin has called for a meeting with top managers of Russia's leading oil producers on Tuesday, which is is expected to be dominated by low oil prices and taxation.
From the EIA today:
Iraq was the second-leading contributor to the growth in global oil supply in 2015, behind only the United States.
Crude oil production in Iraq, including fields in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, averaged 4.0 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2015, almost 700,000 b/d above the 2014 level.
Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and accounted for about 75% of total OPEC production growth in 2015. Iraq's oil consumption decreased slightly in 2015, and as a result, all of the crude oil production increase was exported to international markets. --- EIA [I doubt Iraq will comply with any freeze, even if they agree to a freeze as suggested by Saudi Arabia.]
So Much For ObamaCare In Massachusetts

The 800-pound gorilla is not mentioned (again):
The union representing 10,000 Stop & Shop workers in Massachusetts voted unanimously to authorize a strike if Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers can’t reach a contract agreement with the company.
Leaders of Local 1445 have not set a timetable for calling a strike. Stop & Shop, owned by the Dutch company Koninklijke Ahold N.V, wants to cut pensions, increase health care costs, and give new employees fewer benefits, according to the union. The wages being offered are also inadequate, the union said. 


February 29, 2016: on the Monday show today, Limbaugh says this was taken out of context; not accurate; that he has never given in one bit on amnesty. He does admit that Rubio has "this gang of 8 / amnesty problem" but until now I don't recall Limbaugh being this forthright on Rubio. Gradually walking it back?
Original Post
From The New York Times:
A few weeks after Senator Marco Rubio joined a bipartisan push for an immigration overhaul in 2013, he arrived alongside Senator Chuck Schumer at the executive dining room of News Corporation’s Manhattan headquarters for dinner.
Their mission was to persuade Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the media empire, and Roger Ailes, the chairman and chief executive of its Fox News division, to keep the network’s on-air personalities from savaging the legislation and give it a fighting chance at survival.
Mr. Murdoch, an advocate of immigration reform, and Mr. Ailes, his top lieutenant and the most powerful man in conservative television, agreed at the January 17, 2013, meeting to give the senators some breathing room.
But the media executives, highly attuned to the intensifying anger in the Republican grass roots, warned that the senators also needed to make their case to Rush Limbaugh, the king of conservative talk radio, who held enormous sway with the party’s largely anti-immigrant base.
So the senators supporting the legislation turned to Mr. Rubio, the Florida Republican, to reach out to Mr. Limbaugh.
How did it turn out?
On January 29, 2013, the same day Mr. Obama highlighted immigration in Las Vegas, Mr. Limbaugh had Mr. Rubio on as a guest to talk about immigration and called him “admirable and noteworthy” during a warm conversation about the bipartisan immigration plan.
“I know for you border security is the first and last — if that doesn’t happen, none of the rest does, right?” Mr. Limbaugh lobbed.
“Well, not just that,” swung Mr. Rubio. “That alone is not enough.”
The conversation concluded with Mr. Rubio saying: “Thank you for the opportunity, Rush. I appreciate it.”
“You bet,” Mr. Limbaugh said.
And they say Trump isn't a Republican. LOL.

Canadian CBR Vastly Overbuilt And Utilized -- RBN Energy -- February 29, 2016; Rolling Storage In The Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3820462

Bakken CBR tankcars being used for storage --The Wall Street Journal: The U.S. market is so oversupplied with oil that traders are experimenting with a new place for storing excess crude.
Thousands of railcars ordered up to transport oil are now sitting idle because current ultralow crude prices have made shipping by train unprofitable. Meanwhile, traditional storage tanks are running out of room as U.S. oil inventories swell to their highest level since the 1930s.
Some industry participants are calling the new practice “rolling storage”—a landlocked spin on the “floating storage” producers use to hold crude on giant oil tankers when inventories run high.
The combination of cheap oil and surplus railcars has created a budding new side business for traders. J.P. Fjeld-Hansen, a managing director for trading company Musket Corp., tested using railcars for storage last year and found he could profit by putting the oil aside while locking in a higher price to deliver it in a later month.
The company built a rail terminal in Windsor, Colo., in 2012 to load oil shipments during a boom in U.S. oil production. Now, Mr. Fjeld-Hansen says, “The focus has shifted from a loading terminal to an oil-storage and railcar-storage business.”
Canadian CBR vastly overbuilt and underutilized.
In Part 1 of this series we noted that CBR volumes are falling across the U.S. and Canada. The decline is mostly in response to narrower spreads between U.S. domestic crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and international equivalent Brent. The lower spreads reduce the incentive to move crude from inland basins to coastal refineries by rail because the latter is a more expensive transport option compared to pipelines (which mostly transport crude to the Midcontinent and Gulf Coast). When WTI was discounted to Brent by upwards of $25/Bbl in 2011 and 2012 because of congestion caused by a lack of pipeline capacity, it made sense to use rail to get stranded crude to market. We described the resulting increase in U.S.
CBR shipments from 33 Mb/d in January 2010 to a peak of 928 Mb/d in October 2014 (according to EIA). As new pipelines have been built out to provide less expensive options to get stranded crude to market so the WTI discount has narrowed dramatically and CBR traffic has declined. Primarily in response to the narrowing spread - CBR volumes fell during 2015 but not as fast as you might expect – dropping only 20% between January and November 2015 (latest EIA data) even though the spot market economics often made no sense.
As we discussed in Part 2 – looking at the epicenter of the CBR boom in North Dakota – the slower than expected decline in rail shipments is mostly because committed shippers and refiners continue to use rail infrastructure that they invested in and because some routes still do not have pipeline access. In Part 3 we looked at CBR traffic out of the Niobrara shale region in the Rockies. Rail load terminal infrastructure there was built in Colorado and Wyoming in response to increased crude production from the Niobrara shale over the past 4 years. Now although crude production in the region is down from 2014 peaks and expected to only grow slowly in the next 5-years if oil prices stay low – midstream companies continue the build out and expansion of rail terminals as well as new pipelines. This time we look at the fate of CBR load terminals built out in Western Canada in today’s low crude price environment.
Over the past two weeks we detailed the sorry plight of producers in Canada’s oil sands region in the face of record low prices for local benchmark heavy crude Western Canadian Select (WCS) at Hardisty in Alberta. For some producers the transport costs to get these heavy crudes to market are so high that at today’s crude prices they make minimal or even negative netbacks (crude selling price minus transport costs) at the wellhead.
The high transport costs include a penalty for blending in expensive light hydrocarbon diluent at the wellhead to dilute bitumen crude so that it can flow in pipelines. Producers not only have to pay more for diluent than the value of the blended WCS, but they also have to ship the diluent to markets as far away as the Gulf Coast (over 2000 miles). Nevertheless – as we noted in “Desperadoes” – Oil Sands producers continue to run their steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) bitumen plants despite losing money because they otherwise risk damaging these 40-year long-term production assets. And previous investment means that new projects continue to come online so that incredibly, – Canadian crude production is expected to continue growing. 
The Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) forecasts that total crude production will increase by about 5% during 2016 from 3.9 MMb/d in January to 4.1 MMb/d in December with oil sands SAGD production expected to increase by 9% in 2016. With Canadian market needs already met, almost all new production heads to the U.S. where closer-by Mid-Continent refinery demand for heavy crude is saturated – meaning producers have to ship all the way to the Gulf Coast to find new markets. For Canadian producers the long distances to market in the U.S. have been compounded by delays in the build out of more economic pipeline routes out of Canada – culminating in the November 2015 Presidential cross-border permit rejection of the proposed 800 Mb/d Keystone XL pipeline. The history of CBR in Western Canada is closely entwined with pipeline congestion on routes to the U.S. such that producers turn to more expensive railroad options when they can’t get access to pipeline capacity.