Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Turkish Cuisine In Williston -- Also, Merle Haggard, Apple, And Ledecky -- April 6, 2016

WILLISTON — A transplant of Turkey, Aghahuseyn Amirguliyer, traveled around the U.S. for years, and in that time he admits he was always hungry. His hunger was for the cuisine he grew up with, and it’s inspired him to begin a restaurant of his own.
“I was traveling a lot,” Amirguliyer said, when he first came to the states. “I couldn’t find anything to eat except for pizza and hamburgers. I was hungry everywhere I went.”
He sought to open a restaurant in New York, but the already crowded food market would prove to be difficult to crack. Gears shifted when he received a call from a friend telling him about a little town in North Dakota that was experiencing exponential economic growth, but was lacking diversity of flavors.
Through his friend’s suggestion, Amirguliyer found his way to Williston to test the waters and see if the community had a palate for what he looked to create.
Last summer he offered delivery service, which quickly rose to 35 orders a day, and when he saw Turkish cuisine could be a successful draw, he began scouting a location to open a storefront.
“For one year we had hard times,” Amirguliyer said. “But I knew I can bring new taste to the community.”
The friend who told him about the opportunity in Williston — and now his business partner  Agha Asgarov, helped secure a location on 8th Ave. The empty walls were a blank canvas that took them 8 months to build out with dining area, kebab grill, and vertical spits, customary for cooking in Turkey.
The Istanbul Kebab House opened its doors to the public on Monday, which brought traffic solely by word of mouth and social media. The steady stream of customers kept flames hissing and spiced meat aroma hanging in the air.
The success stems from the owner’s ability to hire his chef, Mustafa Kara, who has 25 years experience cooking traditional food in Turkey before coming to the U.S. The menu offers a taste of authentic Turkish cuisine that Amirguliyer said is identical to what can be found in his homeland.
Much more at the link. 

This is really quite a story. We were stationed for two years in Turkey. In addition, I was deployed to Turkey many times before we were stationed there as a family. The Turks would bend over backwards to exceed their customers' expectations. 

Two stories: when we ate in Turkish restaurants in the "alley" outside the air base, we were given a menu. Generally speaking three of the four of us enjoyed authentic Turkish cuisine but often our younger daughter preferred something not on the menu. She would order what she wanted even if it was not on the menu. The waiter would say "no problem." She always got what she ordered. How? The waiter went to another restaurant in the "alley" and ordered what she wanted if his own restaurant did not have it.

Second story: late, late one night, a traveler showed up at a small inn looking for a room. All the rooms were taken. The traveler was desperate. The proprietor told the traveler to wait 30 minutes and he would find a bed for him. The next thing the traveler heard was a lot of commotion and a lot of hammering. Thirty minutes later the traveler had a bed and a room. The proprietor took some plywood and literally put up a wall in an existing room between two beds (one with an occupant; one empty) and made two rooms out of one. True story. 

Two years in Turkey provides me with a lifetime worth of stories. Turkey was probably my favorite assignment along with northern England (Scotland for all intents and purposes). If I was given the chance to return to Turkey tonight (and I did not have Sophia to worry about), I would jump at the chance. 

One other note: at 107 8th Avenue West, this "restaurant" is located at a very, very interesting location, right along the BNSF railroad tracks midway between J Dub's Bar & Grill and my family's independent insurance agency. One more reason to visit Williston again.

Sophia's Idea Board

On the refrigerator we have a dry-erase "idea board" at "eye level" for Sophia. During our move this past weekend, I asked Sophia to draw a layout of the apartment and identify where she would place the furniture. Here is her floor plan. The only two things we did not agree to was a "milk bar" in the crafts room, nor her own private snack bar.

Sophia's Idea Board April 2016
Sophia At Her Idea Board

The Merle Haggard Page

Merle Haggard, country music legend, dies at 79. The New York Times:
Few country artists have been as popular and widely admired as Mr. Haggard, a ruggedly handsome performer who strode onto a stage, guitar in hand, as a poet of the common man. Thirty-eight of his singles, including “Workin’ Man Blues” and the 1973 recession-era lament “If We Make It Through December,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country chart from 1966 to 1987. He released 71 Top 10 country hits in all, 34 in a row from 1967 to 1977. Seven of his singles crossed over to the pop charts.
He had an immense influence on other performers — not just other country singers but also ’60s rock bands like the Byrds and the Grateful Dead, as well as acts like Elvis Costello and the Mekons, all of whom recorded Mr. Haggard’s songs. Some 400 artists have released versions of his 1968 hit “Today I Started Loving You Again.”
He was always the outsider. His band was aptly named the Strangers.
Unlike his friend Johnny Cash, Mr. Haggard didn’t merely visit San Quentin State Prison in California to perform for the inmates. Convicted of burglary in 1957, he served nearly three years there and spent his 21st birthday in solitary confinement.
The Apple Page

I don't think I ever posted this, but after seeing the iPhone SE, I thought to myself, these things are going to be flying off the shelf. They are really, really nifty. Now this report over at Macrumors: yes, they are flying off the shelf:
Nearly one week following the launch of the iPhone SE, availability of the new 4-inch smartphone continues to tighten. Apple now lists a standard delivery estimate of around April 22-27 in the U.S. for the majority of iPhone SE models, while in-store stock is depleted in many major cities. 
Apple's online Personal Pickup tool reveals that the iPhone SE is out of stock at many retail stores nationwide, including most or all locations in New York City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Denver, Portland, Raleigh, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
The Katie Ledecky Page

Nineteen-year-old Katie Ledecky has emerged as a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon, breaking multiple world records in races short and long. What’s her secret? asks Robert Sullivan (italics at source).
One of the reasons it is difficult to see precisely what makes Katie Ledecky perhaps the greatest athlete in America, and maybe the planet, is that when she comes out of her house it is dark, as in very dark, as in 4:25 in the morning. Naturally, conversation at this hour is limited: The swimmer is under the hood of her parka and savoring those last few moments before the 5:00 a.m. plunge, while her father, David Ledecky, who is ferrying her to practice, is DJ-ing a little classic rock, as fathers driving their nineteen-year-old daughters anywhere typically do.
Ninety minutes and thousands of strokes later, at the pool at Georgetown Prep, in Bethesda, Maryland, where Ledecky trains six days a week, it’s easy to spot the swimmer who has broken her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle an astounding four times since 2013. She is the six-foot-tall woman powering through her laps alongside the men, a few lanes away from the rest of the women. Seated in the stands is the swimmer’s mother, Mary Gen (short for Mary Genevieve), who doesn’t get into the particulars of her daughter’s technique.
“You should ask Katie,” she says. “I wonder what she’ll say. We try to stay out of strategies. We just try to make sure she’s happy.”
To that end, Mary Gen Ledecky sprints from the pool before practice is over, places an order on her phone, and drives to the Ledeckys’ favorite deli, Ize’s, to pick up breakfast. Does the Olympian order special a├žai powders or protein shakes that were originally tested by NASA? Does she favor anything that gives a clue as to how a person can win only gold medals since her 2012 Olympic debut as a fifteen-year-old? Or how, given her subsequent golds in the 200-, 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle races at the FINA World Championships in Russia last August, she pulled off a first-time-in-history coup that, by the way, set world records in the 800 and 1,500, when people had thought that maybe she was good only at short distances?
(“I don’t know if she has any weaknesses,” Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin said recently. “If she does, we haven’t seen them yet.”)
Sportswriters are pulling muscles trying to explain the significance of this four-event sweep by Ledecky, which is akin to a runner’s taking the gold in the 100-yard dash and then doing the same for the marathon.
“Katie wants an omelet,” says her mom. “She doesn’t really eat anything special.”
Much more at the link. Makes me want to subscribe to Vogue

No New Permits; Four More DUCs Likely On Thursday -- April 7, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3094192187208

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 31173, SI/NC, WPX, Peterson 6-5-4 HD, Van Hook, no production data,
  • 31542, SI/NC, Hess, CA-Russell Smith-155-96-2425H-5, Capa, no production data,
  • 31703, SI/NC, Statoil, Shorty 4-9F 8TFH, Charlson, no production data,
  • 31982, SI/NC, EOG, Austin 441-2326H, Parshall, no production data,
Four permits renewed:
  • SM Energy (3), three Stenberg permits in McKenzie County
  • BR, a Saddle Butte permit in McKenzie County
Six Slawson permits canceled, all in Mountrail County:
  • one Panther permit
  • four Jackal permits
  • one Rum Runner permit

Moving -- Nothing About The Bakken -- April 6, 2016

Our move to a new apartment unit went well.

I consider a move successful if all remote controls are accounted for. They were. Nothing lost or misplaced.

My wife won the battle: I was happy with a one-bedroom apartment, but she needed a second room for her crafts and painting, not so much for herself, but for all the projects our 9-year-old granddaughter does.

It was a busy but very, very efficient weekend move. In 72 hours, we did the following:
  • a move entirely by ourselves, except for a two-hour period when two men came to help move the heavy stuff
  • Time Warner Cable stopped by to transfer the internet/TV cable
  • reconnected the washer, dryer; cleaned the old unit from top to bottom
  • two soccer practices (one for the 9-year-old; one for the the 20-month-old Sophia)
  • two soccer games (both for the 9-year-old; opposite sides of Ft Worth - Tarrant County)
  • two birthday parties (for the 12-year-old to attend: one -- a swimming party; the other -- an archery party)
Sophia was a great help:
  • she moved two items over the 72-hour move: an empty water-spray bottle, and a yardstick
  • she figured out how to remove those twisty, springy door stops from the wall
  • she pulled down one window blind
  • she learned how to grate Honey Graham crackers to make a pie crust; she grated the cracker on the bottom of her tennis shoe and left a pile of cracker crumbs on the new kitchen floor
  • she only fell off the bed twice
  • she squished one spider, and one silverfish  

When my wife and I retired in 2007, our plan was to move every two years, moving from one large US city to another large US city, moving from furnished efficiency apartment to furnished efficiency apartments in Boston, San Francisco, Washington (DC), Chicago, NYC, Charleston, Miami, Dallas, Albuquerque, Phoenix, El Paso, San Diego, etc.

It seems we get along best when we are moving. From the time we were married in 1977, I think I can count 17 moves:
  • one-bedroom apartment, west Los Angeles, CA
  • house, Travis AFB, CA
  • house, Vacaville, CA
  • house, Grand Forks AFB, ND
  • duplex, Bitburg, West Germany
  • 4-plex, RAF Lakenheath, England
  • house, Bitburg, West Germany (then Germany)
  • apartment, Rhein Main Air Base, Germany 
  • house, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
  • house, Prattville/Montgomery, AL
  • house, Langley AFB, VA
  • house, Diamond Canyon Drive, San Antonio, TX
  • three-bedroom apartment, San Antonio, TX
  • house, San Pedro, CA
  • one-bedroom apartment, San Antonio
  • one-bedroom apartment, Grapevine (DFW), TX
  • two-bedroom apartment, Grapevine (DFW), TX
39 years/17 moves = 2.3 years/move.

It generally took two years to recover financially from a move.

Every move was different; every move was the same.

Most of the moves overseas required two moves: the first move into temporary living quarters for several weeks, followed by "permanent" housing. Our first daughter's first crib/bed was a drawer taken out of chest of drawers. It was amazing how well that worked.

Our house in Turkey came with a gardener and a maid. We did not know that when we moved in. Two days after moving in, there was a knock on the door. A Turkish man, in broken English, said he was our gardener, and his wife was our maid. Okay. We had the nicest flower garden on the block. We did not know why until we learned that we "overpaid" the gardener. To show his appreciation, he dug up the flowers from other houses (for which he gardened) and moved them to our yard.

We always gave stuff away on every move. We gave our entire vinyl record collection -- and it was extensive -- to a Turkish woman who became my wife's best friend while we lived there. (I still often think about the wonderful Turkish experience we had -- my best experience until my unaccompanied stints in northern England.)

We gave our older daughter's entire Bruce Springsteen CD collection to the movers in Rhein Main, Germany. It was an incredible collection of US CDs and European CDs not available in the US. It was a mistake in this case. The CDs were stored in government furniture we borrowed until our furniture arrived; we forgot about the CDs when the furniture was moved. No tears. Just one of those things. But this was a collection that could never be replaced.

Our first "house" was a bomb shelter previously used by the servants who were assigned to the commanding officer at Travis AFB some years earlier. It was our first "house." My wife still reminds me of that. She was not happy. I loved it. I could walk to work.

Our first German landlord mowed the lawn with rabbits which he kept in cages with no bottoms on the cages. He just moved the 2-foot by 2-foot cages every few days. Every so often he had us over for rabbit stew.

Attending high school orientation in Prattville, AL, my wife heard the principal say that "no guns were allowed." We had just returned from overseas (where we felt incredibly safe and had only heard horror stories of all the shootings in the US). My wife was mortified. Later, the principal's comments were clarified: "No gum was allowed." After being in Europe for 13 years (my wife says 14 years), we did not "understand" the southern dialect. Gum, guns, whatever.

In the 4-plex in Lakenheath my wife was held hostage in the upstairs bedroom for several weeks while her fractured ankle healed. I brought her meals to her during that period; I did all the cooking, all the cleaning, all the childcare. We had two young daughters at the time. My orthopedic colleagues said bones should heal in about six weeks. I thought eight months of cooking, cleaning, washing, childcare by myself was a bit excessive. But what did I know? I was not an orthopedic surgeon.

We're hoping this is our last move for many, many years.

We love the new apartment. It has exceeded our expectations in all regards. 

Reality Sets In -- April 6, 2016

Going into the April 17, 2016, OPEC meeting to discuss freezing output, Russia says $45 - $50 oil is that country's goal.

Breaking news: $50 oil is still $10 away from what Saudi needs ($60 oil) and $50 away from what Saudi would like.

Let's check in on this futures site on April 20, 2016:

Job Watch -- Getting Ready For Tomorrow's Seasonally-Adjusted, Boiler-Plate, Massaged Report -- April 6, 2016


April 7, 2016: forecast, first-time unemployment claims, at 6:48 a.m. Central Time, before official release in about an hour --
  • prior: 276,000; new claims surged "unexpectedly" 11,000 in the previous report
  • forecast for April 7, 2016, report: 272,000 (consensus; range - 261K to 290K)
  • forecast for four-week rolling average: 263.25
Actual: fell 9,000 to 267,000. Report here. The four-week average, a less-volatile figure, rose 3,500 to 266,750.
Original Post
If I remember, I will post the first-time unemployment claims data here tomorrow.

In anticipation of this report, here's an interesting update from The Atlantic: How can a jobs recovery so historic be so disappointing?



From the article:

Let’s start with the first storyline
That the economy is returning to normal, as the labor force is on a historic streak of creating full-time jobs. There is some evidence that the nature of work—and the relationship between employers and employees—is undergoing a major shift that is more complicated than the “return to normal” narrative.
For several years, economists wondered whether freelancers or on-demand jobs, like Uber drivers, were growing. It was hard to know for sure, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn’t conducted a proper survey on it since 2005. So, economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger did their own.
They discovered that the on-demand “Uber” economy is still puny. But something bigger is happening. A larger category of “alternative” work has exploded, with contractors and temp workers—like home health aides, truck drivers, and call center workers—who often face unpredictable schedules and lack benefits like health insurance or a retirement package. Between 2005 and 2015, the economy witnessed a 66 percent increase in the number of workers in these "alternative” arrangements. Over the same period, the number of standard full-time jobs actually declined slightly.
Second story line:
Now onto the wage question. The big story of the past few years is that average wage growth has been disappointing, given all the full-time jobs the economy is creating. But it’s possible that wages are growing, just in ways that economists are missing by focusing on the word average.
Imagine a company, Cars Inc., with two groups of workers: Rich old workers who design cars, and cheap young workers who sell cars. In the recession, consumers want fewer cars. So the company lays off its cheap young employees. This creates an interesting scenario: The company is paying a high average wage, but only because it’s fired the cheap workers.
Then the recession ends, and people want cars, again. Cars Inc offers raises to its designers. But also, it hires back more salespeople at low wages. That’s a good thing, right? Everybody at Cars Inc is making more money than they used to! But average wages don’t rise very much, because all these cheap hires offset the raises for richer designers. After a few years, the rich workers retire. What happens when the highest wages are taken off the books? Again, it depresses the growth of average wages at the company.
My hunch: everyone has their own worldview / myth on US jobs and can come up with data to support their myth.

Any jobs article that doesn't mention a) ObamaCare; and, b) the experience of the CEO of Carl's Jr is a mediocre article at best.

FiatChrysler To Scrap 1,300 Jobs

Reuters is reporting:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is laying off about 1,300 workers indefinitely and ending one of the two shifts at its Sterling Heights, Michigan, plant that makes the slow-selling midsize Chrysler 200 sedan.
It is one of the largest layoffs at a U.S. auto plant since the 2008-2009 recession, and there is widespread speculation that it will not be the end of production changes among U.S. automakers trying to adjust to consumer tastes that continue to shift from cars such as sedans and hatchbacks to SUVs and pickup trucks.
For the folks writing The Atlantic story linked above, these Fiat Chrysler jobs would be "high-paying" jobs with nice benefits.

Update On #20336: BR Drilling New Lateral From Existing Site/Well -- April 6, 2016


November 23, 2016: huge update here for #20336.

Original Post
Posted earlier:
  • 30774, see above, Whiting, Flatland Federal 22-4-5TFH, Twin Valley:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

A graphic of the area:

I didn't spend a lot of time looking, but it appears there was no evidence of any halo effect. However, the index well was a Three Forks well, and the existing, neighboring wells were middle Bakken wells.

Note, #20336: BR is drilling another later from this same location; rig on-site. The bottom hole location will be about 200 feet north of the existing bottom hole location. It will be renamed: Sun Notch 43-32H-R.

From an October 28, 2015, posting, with updates:

A Burlington Resources well was permitted for re-entry:
  • 20336, re-entry/1,162, BR, Sun Notch 43-32H-R/Sun Notch 43-32H, Sand Creek, McKenzie County, 20 stages, 2.1 million lbs; target zone, 20-feet; ; t9/11; cum 41K 2/16;
  • I track the Sand Creek oil field here;  
  • of interest, this well, #20336, was the very first permit I posted following the original post, back in 2011
  • note: this well is still listed as having no pump; on "F" status 
  • note: this well's status is now LOC;
  • there is nothing in the file report that suggests there was any specific problem with drilling or fracking and yet this is a very, very poor well
  • it was originally fracked with 20 stages; 2.1 million lbs proppant
  • I assume they are going back into re-frack, possibly target a different zone, but I don't think a permit is needed for simple "re-working" (although I don't know)
  • I will track this well at "things to follow up on" 
  • this is getting way in the weeds, but maybe an interesting poll question to come out of this one 
NDIC File No: 20336    
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 9/18/2011     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: NESE 32-153-96     Footages: 1320 FSL 275 FEL
Latitude: 48.027371     Longitude: -103.044524
Current Well Name: SUN NOTCH 43-32H
Elevation(s): 2378 KB   2352 GR   2352 GL     Total Depth: 20457     Field: SAND CREEK
Spud Date(s):  3/13/2011
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 10889-20457     Comp: 9/18/2011     Status: F     Date: 9/20/2011     Spacing: 2SEC
   Pool: BAKKEN     Status: LOC     Date: 10/28/2015
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 36676     Cum MCF Gas: 50940     Cum Water: 23839
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 9/20/2011     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 1162     IP MCF: 393     IP Water: 451
Monthly production data since 8/15:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Monthly production data for prior year:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

First six months production:


Los Angeles Says "No" To Solar: Too Expensive; Reports From Hell -- It's Freezing Over -- April 6, 2016

Only in America.

PennEnergy is reporting:
BAKER, Calif. (AP) — The federal government has approved plans to build a solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert that could provide enough electricity for 86,000 homes.
The Interior Department says approval was granted last week for the Soda Mountain Solar Project.
The 287-megawatt plant would be built six miles southwest of Baker near Interstate 15, the highway that links Southern California and Las Vegas.
The Center for Biological Diversity said it opposes the approval, arguing the plant would block a travel route for bighorn sheep and impact the neighboring Mojave National Preserve.
The Interior Department says it approved a revised plan that dealt with those issues.
The plant has another hurdle: nobody's agreed to buy its electricity. Los Angeles dropped purchase plans last year, saying there were cheaper sources.

Weekly Energy Tweets Are Starting To Appear -- April 6, 2016

Tweeting now: US crude oil stocks down 4.9 million bbl, EIA gov reports; analysts surveyed by WSJ expected 3.3-million bbl rise. Can hardly wait to see the graph.

Tweeting now: Kuwait: stay calm, people; output freeze on track.

Tweeing now: Russia sees oil price of $45-50 per bbl as "acceptable" as it prepares for freeze deal.

Tweeting now: Jet fuel sees strong growth as aviation demand in China expected to grow.

Tweeting now: Californians thrilled to learn 3.9 million lbs of nuclear waste will be stored at seaside resorts; San Onufre nuclear plants shut down in 2013.

John Kemp: jet fuel stocks rising:
John Kemp: US weekly crude oil imports fell to just 7.3 million b/d last wk down -500k from prior wk and -1.1 mil from two weeks ago

John Kemp: US refineries boosted throughput by +200,000 b/d to 16.4 million b/d, seasonal record, and +500,000 b/d above 2015  

John Kemp: US gasoline stocks adjusted for consumption at 26.1 days worth of demand, up from 25.6 days in 2015 and top of range; (I guess that's why the price of gasoline continues to rise)

John Kemp: US gasoline stocks rose +1.4 million bbl last week and now +14 million bbl (+6.1%) higher than in 2015; (I guess that's why the price of gasoline continues to rise)

John Kemp: US gasoline consumption remained strong averaging 9.36 million b/d over last 4 wks, up +376,000 b/d (+4.1%) on 2015; (I guess that's why the price of gasoline continues to rise)

We're Backsliding, Folks -- April 6, 2016

We're not making progress, folks. Everyone should boycott automobiles every Friday. Atmospheric CO2:

Minnesota is doing its part, but it's not helping.

Backslider's Wine, Jerry Jeff Walker
Fact, Fantasy, and Insanity

Insanity: from Bloomberg, seven hours ago -- Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels.

Fantasy: from CNBC -- Elon warns against shorting Tesla shares.

Fact: from The Los Angeles Times -- California braces for summer blackouts. Not enough fossil fuel energy. I can't make this stuff up.

All the leaves are brown, and the skies are grey --

California Dreamin', Mamas and Papas

Back To Normal -- April 6, 2016; New Word For The Day: Riven


April 6, 2016: in the original post below, I mention Obama's foreign policy doctrine AKA we're sitting this one out. In an update, The Boston Globe says the Obama Doctrine AKA We're Sitting This One Out has made the world a more dangerous place. This is good news for our senior services schools (Air War College, Army War College, Navy War College): this gives them new material to study. The emphasis on the Peloponnesian War was getting a bit long in the tooth.
Original Post

Bloomberg is reporting that President Obama is "returning" to Saudi Arabia ... I can't imagine what for? His Mideast policy is well known --- it was reported back in August, 2015, see fourth bullet below:
This is quite fascinating. Before going to the link, recall these items regarding Saudi Arabia:
  • the country has a huge under-funded desalination (and existential problem for the Saudis) program;
  • recently cancels a $9 billion solar energy program to pay for their desalination program;
  • recently completes two new in-country refineries with total capacity approaching 1 million bopd; 
  • faces a deficit twice what it forecast, Saudi Arabia says it will go to the debt market for the first time in a decade;
  • President Obama explicitly states the US is no longer responsible for Saudi's security;
  • the tea leaves clearly suggest it is US policy to move Iran to singular super-power status in the Mideast;
  • announces this past week that it will issue $27 billion in bonds;
  • has a shooting war in Yemen; terrorists on its borders;
  • a $35 billion, 5-year program to increase crude oil production announced in 2012, has failed; and,
  • it continues to give away its oil at $60/bbl (when it needs $100 oil to balance its budget).
That $100-oil figure is based on data from at least a year ago. After giving away its oil for the past year at $60/bbl, the $100-oil figure is probably understated.
So, now back to the Bloomberg story linked above, with my comments in brackets:
U.S. [bureaucrat-in-chief] Ashton Carter will soon head to [former US ally] Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to increase cooperation in the war against the [bad guys]. But there’s little indication he will be able to restore a vital relationship that's become riven with distrust in the last year, which would require him to reassure the Saudis on the very nature of the U.S. commitment to the kingdom and the region. [Psst: there is no commitment to either the kingdom or the region.]
Carter is slated to meet on April 20 in Riyadh with Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud, the 30-year-old deputy crown prince and defense minister who is widely believed to be in contention to succeed his father, King Salman. Carter’s visit will come one day ahead of President Barack Obama’s stop there for a leaders’ summit between the U.S. and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a follow-on to their meeting at Camp David last May.
For those who missed it, The Atlantic's cover story, in the April, 2016, issue, had the Obama Doctrine: with regard to the Mess in the Mideast (as opposed to the "Thrilla in Manila"): it's fairly simple. It can be summarized in five words.
"We're sitting this one out."
I assume President Obama will tell the Saudis he has done his part to ensure $200 oil in 2018 -- he banned oil exploration off the Atlantic Coast, and he's handing the presidential baton to Hillary Clinton who, in her efforts to ensure lead-free water in Flint, MI, will ban fracking. I can't make this stuff up.

Let The Complaining Begin -- April 6, 2016

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
According to a North Dakota Department of Trust Lands study, North Dakota average cropland values declined about 4 percent in 2015. A report by the North Dakota Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers found the decline to be greater — 9 percent in 2015. Swenson expects land values to drop by another 5 to 10 percent in 2016.
The declines come on the heels of an 11-year streak of value increases averaging 15 percent annually.
An 11-year streak of land values increasing an average of 15 percent annually. Say what?

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11

Illinois Follows Suit

Also, Illinois farm land values drop significantly in 2015.
... annual farmland values report found land rated “excellent” using the University of Illinois’ productivity index sold for an average of $11,737 per acre in 2015, an 8 percent decline from the previous year.
Land rated as “good” averaged $8,756 per acre, also an 8 percent decline, while land with “average” yields sold for $6,215 per acre, a 9 percent decline.
“We’ve had over 18 years of increasing farmland values, and that’s a historically very long run,” Klein said.
Similarly rated land in an 11-county region of the western part of the state that includes Peoria County posted average prices per acre in 2015 of $5,500 for average, $7,800 for good and $12,000 for excellent.
Apparently the Chinese and the Wasabi Arabs have quit buying US farmland; now they are buying water rights. LOL. 

April 6, 2016

John Kemp has also noticed this and has been tracking it at his tweet. From the EIA today:
Since 2013, the share of premium gasoline in total motor gasoline sales has steadily increased to 11.3% in August and September 2015, the highest share in more than a decade.
Although lower gasoline prices may be supporting demand for premium gasoline, the upward trend in sales is more likely driven by changes in fuel requirements for light-duty vehicles (LDV) in response to increasing fuel economy standards, which will have widespread implications for future gasoline markets. --- EIA
Active rigs:

Active Rigs2994192187208

RBN Energy: What’s Ahead in Refined Products Movements to the East Coast.

BNSF cutting thousands of jobs in light of oil collapse. Over at Dallas bizjournal:
BNSF Railway has furloughed roughly 4,600 of its employees nationwide over the past few months as declining oil prices and coal demand have taken a toll on the industry not seen since the Great Recession.
The furloughs total about 10 percent of Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s workforce, roughly matching the layoffs the railroad made in 2007 and 2008.
Kemper's clean coal power -- the price tag went up again. Over at bizjournal:
The price tag for Southern Co.’s Kemper clean coal power plant in Mississippi just went up... again. In a Securities and Exchange filing, the Atlanta-based energy giant reported costs rose $18 million through February and could rise further still.
During March 2016, Mississippi Power has continued to conduct repairs and modifications to the refractory lining inside each of the gasifiers and to inspect and evaluate the need for additional refractory work.
This never-ending story is tracked here.  

Let's see, does the next article mention Kemper in Mississippi?

The clean coal debacle in The New York Times:
OTTAWA — An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal.
In the first large-scale project of its kind, the plant was equipped with a technology that promised to pluck carbon out of the utility’s exhaust and bury it underground, transforming coal into a cleaner power source. In the months after opening, the utility and the provincial government declared the project an unqualified success.
But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream.
Known as SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the project has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen way short of its emissions targets, and faces an unresolved problem with its core technology. The costs, too, have soared, requiring tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and repairs.
“At the outset, its economics were dubious,” said Cathy Sproule, a member of Saskatchewan’s legislature who released confidential internal documents about the project. “Now they’re a disaster.”
The utility that runs the project, SaskPower, and advocates for carbon capture argue that the setbacks are typical teething problems associated with any new and complex technology.
The Boundary Dam Power Station sits near a wealth of resources not far from the North Dakota border.
Hundreds of years of coal reserves are buried under the ground nearby, virtually eliminating transportation costs. And the mining creates employment in an area with limited job prospects.
But the costs are piling up.
One shutdown last spring to clean and replenish the chemical cost 17 million Canadian dollars. Mr. Marsh said that the company was still looking for a way to prevent the contamination.
The repeated shutdowns have caused SaskPower to miss multiple carbon dioxide deliveries to Cenovus Energy, the Canadian oil company that signed a 10-year contract with the utility to buy most of the gas. (Cenovus uses carbon dioxide to force oil from largely depleted wells.)
SaskPower has had to pay 7 million Canadian dollars in penalties, offsetting most of the 9 million Canadian dollars in payments received.
On top of that, the carbon system is a voracious consumer of the electricity generated by Boundary Dam, which has 150 megawatts of capacity. Mr. Marsh testified that about 30 megawatts of capacity were consumed by the system, and an additional 15 to 16 megawatts were needed to compress the carbon dioxide.
Nope, Kemper not mentioned.