Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016; UK Oil Industry At The "Edge Of A Chasm"

From the BBC: North Dakota is running on empty --
Daily production was 1.12 million barrels a day in January, says Lynn Helms, director of the state's mineral resources department. That's not far off the all time high of 1.22 million barrels a day in December 2014.  
I'm not sure what the BBC's definition of empty is: 1.12 million bopd with 29 rigs vs 200 rigs in 2014, and another 1,000 wells waiting to be fracked, and another 1,500 wells shut-in vs about 13,000 active wells.

And then this:
While nobody is talking about a return to the days of the gold rush that helped shape America's west, energy companies and workers who remain in North Dakota are betting this slump will end.
The question is, when? And will anyone be left in Williston when it does? 
Well, actually that's not quite true about no one talking about a return to the "gold rush": both Harold Hamm and Lynn Helms are talking about "fast and furious" once again.

But whether we see "fast and furious" again, it's pretty irrelevant to North Dakota. North Dakota will do just fine. A few western counties will struggle, but North Dakota will do just fine. It still bugs me that no one seems to understand that North Dakota has a lot more going for it than the Bakken. North Dakota was thriving before the Bakken and will thrive regardless. North Dakota has 53 counties. About four of them are the core of the Bakken.

Legacy Fund has been updated.

With regard to whether anyone will be in North Dakota if/when a "boom" returns? That question was never asked in 2000, if there would be enough people to manage another boom in North Dakota. I suppose if you work for BBC you really don't understand America or a free market based on an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state (definition of capitalism). In 2000, there was no infrastructure ready to handle the boom; in 2015, the infrastructure is incredible.

Sinclair, hardly active during the entire boom, has just picked up 8 new permits in the past two business days. Eighteen Bakken permits were renewed today. There are 1,500 inactive wells -- they can be put on-line overnight. There are upwards of 1,000 DUCs. Things are so much farther along than they were in 2007 when the boom began, not that many workers needed to get things started again.

But I'm glad to see the BBC folks on top of this. LOL.

Again, the Bakken is four counties in western North Dakota. How's UK's oil and gas industry doing? Ask Oilprice, from a February 24, 2016 article (like two months ago):  UK Oil Industry At The “Edge Of A Chasm”.

Flooding in Texas

Today, while at the bike shop here in Grapevine, the owner was on the phone talking to his wife. She was "trapped" in Houston -- couldn't get out due to the flooding. I knew it was bad but I didn't know it was this bad. It's the top story over at The Drudge Report: flooding at Biblical proportions. Our oldest granddaughter is scheduled to play a water polo tournament in Houston this weekend: the big question is not whether it will be held, but whether it will be held indoors or outdoors.

Paper Roses, Linda Gail Lewis

Forget Doha -- It's All Doo Wah Diddy Diddy To Me -- April 18, 2016

One thing I've learned from the blog: things that may seem coincidental are often not coincidental at all. In hindsight, one can see the connecting dots. These two stories appeared within days of each other. One of the stories seemed to have come out of the blue. The other story could simply be an attempt to keep investors / creditors at bay.

These are the two stories:
I'm sorry, I can't resist.

Doo Wah Diddy Diddy, Manfred Mann

Wow, I could add so many great songs -- just from Manfred Mann -- the granddaughters have so much to experience!

Back to Mr Helms and Mr Hamm. It's just hard for me to believe that Mr Helms would make his "fast and furious" speech without some basis. He has to be looking at the same data I'm looking at and saying, "wow, 29 active rigs, no fracking, wells being shut in, and North Dakota is still producing 1.1 million bopd -- the same amount produced two years ago with 200 rigs, and frack spreads spread so thin they couldn't keep up."

Speaking of which: we haven't heard much about the Red Queen lately, have we?

Bentek opined that the Bakken would be at 2.2 million bopd at some point -- looking back, I think they were too conservative. With the data points in the previous paragraph, it's hard to believe that, unfettered, North Dakota might not be at 3 million bopd.

For newbies: I am inappropriately exuberant.

Random note: we were told this would one of the worse earning seasons ever. We were told about a month ago that a recession was all but guaranteed. GDP Now forecasts no growth for 1Q16. So, how does "the market" respond? Flirting with new all-time highs. Dow goes over 18,000 for the first time since July, 2015.

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, relationship, or travel decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

Sorry For The Interruption In Blogging -- I Had A Flat Tire -- While Biking -- April 18, 2016; Daily Report Summary Did Get Posted

Blogging will be back to normal later today / this evening.


Later: see first comment below. Much appreciated. I honestly did not know there was that much difference among tires. I read your note after buying a new tire, and am now at the pool -- so I will have to check later to see what I got. But next time ...

Speaking of "Specialized": that was the brand bike I was on.

It was an overall great day.

I walked my bike to the bike shop where I buy all my bikes/accessories here in Grapevine. I have bought several bikes from them over the past three years -- for me, for my granddaughters, and for my son-in law.

I put another one on layaway this afternoon: the number of bikes one needs is "x + 1" where x = the current number of bikes one has. I buy low-end (price-wise) and when they are on sale.

I went back later, taking our 2-year-old granddaughter with me. For about nine months, since last summer, I've been waiting for the opportunity to buy her a Strider. These are so incredibly cool.

Long story short, she and I picked out an orange Strider.

And, yes, she picked out a blue helmet, 54 - 58 cm, I believe, adjustable.

Okay, enough of this. Back to the Bakken, but first this from Harold Hamm: forget Doha -- over-supply over by the end of the year.

Today's daily activity report follows. This is interesting: Sinclair, whom we haven't heard from much during the boom, is all of a sudden getting active with permits. Today, Sinclair has two more permits. Also, look at the number of permits renewed by various operators, and look at the few producing wells that are now completed ("post-DUCs" -- not to be confused with "post docs").

Daily Activity Report

Active rigs:

Active Rigs2993188185210

Four (4) producing wells completed
  • 25859, 3,802, Statoil, Skarston 1-12 6TFH, Banks, t3/16; cum --
  • 30639, 0, XTO, Evelyn 31X-3G, Lindahl, t3/16; cum --
  • 30652, 752, Smouse 31X-28C, West Capa, t3/16; cum --
  • 32050, 2,246, MRO, Martinez USA 24-8H, Wolf Bay, t1/16; cum 42K 2/16 over 43 days;
Two (2) new permits --
Operator: Sinclair
Field: Lone Butte (McKenzie)

One operator transfer from Oasis to CLR (I bet there is an interesting back story):
  • 20761, 2,196, Omlid 18-19HTF,  Elidah, t4/13; cum 157K 2/16;
Eighteen (18) permits renewed:
  • QEP (6), six MHA permits in Dunn County
  • HRC (6), six Fort Berthold permits in Dunn County
  • Oasis (4), four State permits in Mountrail County
  • Hess, one BW-Thelma permit in McKenzie County
  • Resource Energy, one Castle State permit in Divide County
Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 29129, SI/NC, Hess, BW-Johnson-149-99-1003H-5, Cherry Creek, no production data,
  • 31568, 600, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Elgaard 4-32-31-165N-100W, Colgan, middle Bakken, t1/16; cum 20K over 46 days:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Seems Like Reporters Need To Tell Us The Rest Of The Story -- April 18, 2016

SDPB radio is reporting:
South Dakota could eventually have another direct resettlement site for refugees.
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.
Currently any refugees who migrate to South Dakota arrive in Sioux Falls or Huron. A number of them choose to secondarily migrate to Aberdeen, and officials are considering making that city a direct resettlement site.
Some suggest that re-settling agencies are paid upwards of $5,000 by the federal government for re-settling refugees. Lutherans and Catholics have figured out how to cash in; I assume the same is true for other religious organizations. I don't know, but it makes sense.

Whenever my granddaughters ask me a question I cannot answer, I suggest a) google it; or, b) follow the money.

The Apple Page

I think I posted this, I can't remember: iPhone SE will be flying off the shelves. If I posted that, it was a few days after I saw it in the store, March 30, 2016.

Today, Macrumors is reporting: iPhone SE Remains in Tight Supply at Apple Stores and Online.
Nearly three weeks after the launch of the iPhone SE in the U.S. and eleven other regions, availability of the new 4-inch smartphone remains limited.

iPhone SE continues to be out of stock at Apple Stores in a number of major U.S. cities, including most or all locations in New York City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Raleigh, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Apple's web-based Personal Pickup tool shows that the smartphone remains in tight supply in many other international cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Toronto. Most models are currently available on a ship-to-store basis only.
Comments at the linked site confirm that the shortage is real. 

If I ever get an iPhone, this would be the model I would choose. For now. 

Tax Day -- April 18, 2016 -- Not Ready For Prime Time


Later, moments after posting the original post, this headline: Dow briefly tops 18,000 for first time since July, 2015.  One can only imagine where the market would be if the likes of COP were doing a bit better. LOL.
Original Post
Bernie: 13.4%

Michelle and Barack: 19%

So, we're going to get a lot of tax stories today, this week -- tax day today.

This one for example. Marketwatch is reporting that only 45% of Americans pay income taxes.  I don't know if that's good or bad.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in 2026, the headline could be: US Economy Expanding, Booming; Only 20% Of Americans Pay Federal Income Tax!

Some random comments, thoughts, knee-jerk reactions.

First of all, the rich are doing pretty well in this country. The market is very close to hitting an all-time high. The really, really rich collect a lot of money off dividends and capital gains and municipal bonds.

Second, to a great extent -- there may be some exceptions in Hong Kong, China, India, Kenya -- the US remains an incredibly good country for entrepreneurs and for "rags to riches" stories.

Third, what a great country! 55% of folks are living the good life of FREEDOM -- if they stop to think about it -- without having to pay any federal income taxes.

No more numbers. I'm running out of fingers.

Just 'cause folks aren't paying taxes, doesn't mean they aren't sending money to Washington, DC. My understanding is that the bulk of federal government spending is for Social Security and Defense. Working folks not paying taxes are paying into social security as are their employers, and that's not trivial. And the tea leaves suggest that social security "taxes" are not going to go down. If anything, they will be increased.

I think the biggest change in "income tax reporting" has to do with ObamaCare. I could be way wrong on this; I've written about this a long, long time ago, but haven't seen any stories in mainstream media to support my thoughts, suggesting I am mistaken. Again, I could be way, way wrong on this. For those who don't pay income taxes, some (many, most?) will be eligible for money from the government due to the earned income tax credit. But, forgetting about those, let's say that 40% of Americans who do not pay taxes have no reason for filing an income tax form, why would they file one. Sure, by law they have to, and the government gets a lot of information on them anyway through other means, the fact that Americans must report to the IRS whether they have a health care plan that meets the ObamaCare mandate means that 100% of Americans must submit data to the US government about their background: their healthcare source; their dependents -- stuff they would not otherwise have to report. I don't know; maybe that doesn't amount to anything. I don't know, but with ObamaCare, everyone has to report to the IRS their healthcare status.

In fact, with regard to ObamaCare -- the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare was a tax. Since everyone is required by law to have ObamaCare, it's hard to believe that 45% of Americans pay no taxes.

The US seems to be doing just fine with only 45% of Americans (whether that number is accurate or not, it's probably close) paying federal income taxes.

The federal government may have a reason to encourage a $15-minimum wage: maybe it will push a few more folks into paying federal income taxes (LOL -- I doubt that) but it will definitely bring more money into social security.

Unlike Europe, the US does not have a consumption tax (yet) or a value-added tax (VAT). A lot of folks in Europe are paying a lot in VAT -- something the 45% of Americans who pay federal taxes don't pay.

I don't know. I'm schizoid on this. In the "emotional arena" I don't like the fact that 45% of Americans don't pay federal income tax, but somehow the system seems to work pretty well.

Think of all that money that is being spent at Walmart, Target, at the city, county, and state level that isn't being sent to Washington, DC. They say 1% of Americans account for about 40% of federal revenue -- even if those 45% of Americans not paying federal income tax did pay some tax, it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. Wouldn't one rather prefer this small amount of money being spent locally and not being sent to Washington? Shoot, wouldn't it be wonderful if the government spent so little and made so much on its assets that 90% of Americans didn't pay federal income tax.

Even if they are not paying federal income tax -- a progressive tax -- all Americans face regressive costs and fees: automobile registration; child care; sales tax; property tax (for the most part; some exceptions); fees and taxes on utility and telecommunications bills. Those fees are increasing, not decreasing.

The most regressive tax paid by all Americans: bad policy decisions. Among the worse: mandated intermittent, unreliable energy. Everyone is paying higher utility costs for naught.

I don't know. I don't know what it means that 45% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes. Is that good or bad? I don't know.

On The Road To Energy Independence: US Produced 91% Of All Energy It Consumed -- Sets Record For Sixth Consecutive Year -- A Three-Peat Doubled

From the EIA today:
Total U.S. energy production increased for the sixth consecutive year.
According to data in EIA's most recent Monthly Energy Review, energy production reached a record 89 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), equivalent to 91% of total U.S. energy consumption.
Liquid fuels production drove the increase, with an 8% increase for crude oil and a 9% increase for natural gas plant liquids. Natural gas production also increased 5%. These gains more than offset a 10% decline in coal production. --- EIA

The Day After Doha -- April 18, 2016

It's my understanding that Kuwait did not support a freeze.

The Kuwaiti government has financial challenges of its own -- due to low price of oil -- and are cutting back on oil workers' pay/benefits. Those workers go on strike, threatening to take a million bopd off the global export market. ABC News is reporting:
Oil workers in Kuwait went on strike Sunday to protest proposed government cutbacks as the OPEC nation grapples with a prolonged slump in crude prices.

Thousands of workers gathered for demonstrations at the start of the local workweek in the town of Ahmadi, where the state-run Kuwait Oil Co. has its headquarters, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Kuwait City.

Protesters held signs reading "Stop meddling with the rights of the oil sector workers!" and "We will not allow you to take away our rights," witnesses said.

Oil worker unions approved the strike last week after failing to reach common ground with Kuwait's Oil Ministry.
Kuwait produces, in round numbers, 3 million bopd crude oil and exports 2 million bopd. In round numbers, about 250,000 bopd of Kuwait crude oil ends up in the US

Bird Calls 


Monday, April 18, 2016 -- The Day After Doha; OPEC In Tatters -- Reuters

Note: with road restrictions in McKenzie County announced last night, the number of active rigs could slump.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3093188185210

RBN Energy: 9th installment in the series on CBR.

The Saudi - OPEC Myth

Over at "Big Stories" I have a link "the Saudi - OPEC myth" -- note the date when that "big story" was first posted -- May 21, 2013 -- about three years ago, and well before the October, 2014, trillion-dollar mistake.

Today, finally, mainstream media is picking up on the story. Better late than never, I guess.

Reuters is reporting:
Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts.
"OPEC's credibility to coordinate output is now very low," said Peter Lee of BMI Research, a unit of rating agency Fitch. "This isn't just about oil for the Saudis. It's as much about regional politics."
Morgan Stanley said that the failed deal "underscores the poor state of OPEC relations," adding that "we now see a growing risk of higher OPEC supply," especially as Saudi Arabia threatened it could hike output following the failed deal.
I'm sure the Saudis woke up this morning with a cacophony:
  • we had another opportunity to take control, and we blew it
  • what? we let a 30-year-old playboy call the shots?
  • what? we did this because we hate Iran?
  • it doesn't matter what we do; we've lost control
  • we never were in control; it was all a myth
  • well, we always have our "after-oil" plan to fall back on
  • maybe we should liquidate our entire equity portfolio
  • is it even worthwhile to hold the regularly scheduled OPEC meeting this June? 
As for me, I'm curious to see how much oil Saudi Arabia can actually produce/export.

 Update On Canada.

From Oilprice -- for the archives

Venezuela - Tick, Tick, Tick
Blame It On Global Warming -- Bloomberg

Bloomberg is reporting: 
The tap in her apartment yields water only every two weeks. It comes out yellow. Her 8-month-old granddaughter is ill. And as Yajaira Espinoza, a 55-year-old hairdresser, made her way down the halls of Caracas university hospital on Friday, Zika cases evident in the rooms around her, a dense ash-filled smog enveloped the city.
"I am so sorry for my daughter, because I know she suffers silently," she said. "This situation is hard."
It has been an exceptionally painful year for Venezuelans, suffering from violent crime, chronic shortages, plummeting oil prices on which they depend, declining health and fractured government. Yet this past week it seemed to reach a new low. A kind of resigned misery spread across a city that had once been the envy of Latin America.
A sudden combination of natural disasters joined man-made failures. The smog, called calima, is a meteorological phenomenon that involves ash and dust clouds fairly common for this time of year. Meanwhile a prolonged drought blamed on El Nino and related forest fires has arrived. Levels at the Guri dam in the south, which produces 40 percent of the country’s electricity, are reaching record lows.
And so it goes. Mother Nature.

Completely Off My Radar Scope

A week or so ago there was a bit of brouhaha over the New York mayor saying he was late to endorse Hillary because he was on "CP" time. I honestly never knew there was an issue and thought this must be some kind of inside joke. Turns out I was completely oblivious to this issue.

Driving the granddaughters to school this morning, I heard on the radio that some of the "things" I grew up with while going to school in Williston all those years were nothing more than "white privilege." Who knew?

Apparently with regard to elementary, middle, and high school, teachers and administrators who obsess about the following are simply promoting "white privilege":
  • speaking English correctly
  • showing up on time (see "CP" time above)
  • showing up at all 
  • striving to get good grades
Google st cloud minnesota professor white privilege.

And so it goes.

Bicycling In The Bakken

Despite all the murders, arson, robberies, burglaries, assaults apparently being committed in Williston, necessitating a "Special Operations and Response Team" with a half-million-dollar armored vehicle, this was the most recent story tweeted by The Williston Herald in the last 24 hours: rules of the road for bicyclists -- don't drive drunk.
Biking home from work one evening last month, Montanna Raynne was being cautious. At the intersection of Second Avenue West and 18th Street West, she waited for several cars to turn left before riding into the crosswalk, despite the fact that she had the walk signal, and the right of way.
But as she started to pedal across, heading north on Second Avenue, she was hit by an SUV making a right turn on red.
Raynne was knocked off her bike, but recovered enough to make it across the street. She says the man behind the wheel looked at her, and drove away.
“It was really scary; thankfully it wasn’t a super-hard hit,” she said.
She dusted herself off and kept on biking. Good for her.  

I don't know what I would have done in the same situation. Hopefully I never have to find out.

Anyway, with that, I'm heading out -- going biking -- no blogging for a bit.