Sunday, June 5, 2016

Something New? -- June 5, 2016

Is this a new oil and gas industry aggregator, sort of similar to "Breaking News" but broken down by category. This particular Scoopnest appears to be oil and gas, perhaps Oil & Gas Journal, more specifically. I only found it today.

Light Ends / Light Ends Space-- A New Term (At Least For Me) -- June 5, 2016


June 12, 2016: this is pretty cool. As noted below, when I googled this term just a few days ago there were five hits. Today, googling "light-ends oil" there were 131,000 hits. Of the 131,000 hits, my post was #14, near the top of the second page. Whoopee. 

Original Post
There is an incredible amount of information in this paper. I've read the introduction and the conclusion; scanned the information in between. The information "in between" will remain a great reference. 

This link takes you to a "working paper" out of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, titled "Childhood's End: Developing Asian Giants and the Future of Global Oil Demand." It is dated 2016. A quick look at the paper suggests that Prince Salman is thinking along the same lines.

However, there is a new term -- that's probably been around for decades -- but I just stumbled across it and will come back to it later.

The term is "light ends" or "light ends space." A google search "'light ends space' oil 'natural gas'" led to only five hits, and one of them was a "linked in" hit.

By the way, this subject ("light ends space") and the "working paper" linked above seem, at first glance, to dovetail well with the very astute observation made by Don regarding "gasoline production" numbers, which is noted at length in the "update" at this post

Wow, if I miss one day of blogging, I fall behind.

A New Term
The link above takes you to a linked "working document" authored by Al Troner. His thesis/article is featured in this month's issue of the Oil & Gas Journal, which requires a subscription. [Update: it looks like one can get to the entire article by googling "'light ends' oil". Here's the link:]

Putting "2" and "2" together, it appears that Al Troner, Asia Pacific Energy Consulting, Houston, has not necessarily coined a new term but will do much to put it the term in the everyday lexicon of those of us who follow the oil and gas industry.

I'm pretty jazzed, to say the least, to have come across this. It will be interesting to see where this leads.

The article begins:
While many analysts agree that oversupply, rather than weak demand, led to the current slump in the price of crude oil, few have looked closely at the nature of that supply overhang.
In a new study, Asia Pacific Energy Consulting (APEC) has examined in depth the role of NGLs, in particular condensate, in creating the current surplus, as well as the impact of tight oil and its light derivatives. The condensate, other NGLS (LPG and ethane), light products, and tight oil yeilding much of the new light-product supply all occupy the same light segment of the hydrocarbon spectrum.
The shale revolution has spurred a ballooning of NGL output, paralleled by dizzying growth in tight oil production. Almost all of this incremental liquids production has been light and sweet. The growing volume of this material, with incremental supply in the millions of barrels per day, has begun to shift pricing, trade, marketing, and supply-demand balances for crude -- light-heavy vs sweet-sour --- and in our products, with notable supply gains in LPG, gasoline, and naphtha in contrast to middle-barrel and heavy products.
A "light-ends space" is emerging, not only in the US and the Atlantic Bais but also globally, as markets attempt to adjust to this surge in light, low-sulfur hydrocarbon supply.
A New Term: Light-Ends Space
NGLs: Definition

The article focused on the role of condensate as the spearhead creating the light-ends space.

Why? Because condensate is the only NGL that does not need specialized containment and that, when refined, yields a full range of products, from LPG to residual.

Where? Bakken, Eagle Ford, and the Permian.

Facts about condensate:
  • once condensate becomes a liquid, it remains a liquid
  • in a refinery or condensate splitter, it acts much like crude in the slate
  • often confused with light, sweet crude oil but it has distinctive characteristics
  • unlike crude oil, condensate always originates with gas, whether nonassociated or associated
  • whole condensate almost always yields more than 50% naphtha; and is almost always quite clean, low not only in sulfur but also in metals and acid
  • condensates are exceptionally clear, most containing 0.3% sulfur or less
More facts about condensate:
  • most observers try to define condensate by setting an arbitrary API gravity breakpoint
  • in the US commonly 45 degrees API
  • international trade, usually 50 degrees API
But rules are made to be broken
  • there are some crude condensates well above 50 degrees API; e.g., Saudi Arabia's Super Light and Australia's Laminaria
  • there are some crude condensates below 50 degrees API; e.g., Kazakhstan's Karachaganak and Nigerian Oso
  • in definition, what constitutes condensate, API gravity is only a general indicator, not an exact test of what is condensate and what is crude
Bottom line: what makes a condensate a condensate
  • always originates in gas
  • almost always yields 50%+ naphtha
  • is exceptionally sweet
  • contains little if any metals
  • produces little residual oil
  • a crude and condensate can have exactly the same API gravity but the condensate will always yield far more naphtha and far less fuel oil
The US and condensates?
  • the US has emerged as a major NGL power due to the shale revolution
  • despite recent events (2016), overall NGL output will continue to rise despite declining condensate volumes produced with tight oil (EIA)
  • NGLs are caught in a twilight zone: NGLs come from both the crude and gas sides of total production
  • while condensate has been the most prominent NGL derived from gas produced in association with tight oil, plays such as the Eagle Ford shale; Permian basins also have produced sizable volumes of LPG and even commercial volumes of ethane
  • yet NGLs also come from primarily non-associated gas production as well, such as the Marcellus and Utica shales
Notes From a Working Paper

Six chapters:
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Asia Pacific Demand Growth: Demand Growth by Sector
  • Chapter 3: Recent Developments in Middle-Distillate Retail Price Subsidies
  • Chapter 4: Asia Pacific: Comparing Light-Ends and Middle Distillate Growth
  • Chapter 5: Product Quality Premiums
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion
Chapter 1, Thesis
  • Asia Pacific will remain the engine of world oil demand growth
  • but future growth will be at a lower rate of expansion
  • in addition, future demand will shift away from mid-barrel to light-ends products, such as LPG, gasoline, and naphtha
  • bad news: US oil exporters will not get the growth they saw 1990 - 2000, or even 2000 - 2010
  • Asia has begun to exhibit characteristics of more mature economies
  • good news: Asia Pacific will likely continue to lead world oil demand growth for the remainder of this decade and the next (through 2030)
  • the growth will be greatest in the light end of the barrel
  • the working paper focuses on China, India, and Indonesia
Chapter 1.  Introduction

Sections A - H: 
  • historical review
Section I: US exports -- a natural fit
  • the growing Asian demand for light ends has coincided with the shale revolution in the UNITED States and a massive influx of sweet, light crude and NGLs onto the US market. With a crude export ban n place, the US had to focus on exporting light refined products and NGLs. 
  • But, since late December 2015, the paradigm has shifted.
  • Asia Pacific wants to end dependence on Mideast; long term trend: North America will compete with Mideast for demand growth in Asia Pacific
  • US West Coast geographically closer to Asia Pacific
  • but US Gulf Coast has a substantial edge in almost every other export factor
    • relatively easy permitting process for building infrastructure; 
    • a greater number of sophisticated refineries with more capacity
    • proximity to two of the three largest tight oil basins: Eagle Ford and the Permian
  • the Panama Canal serves as an enabler -- it puts the USGC close enough to compete with Mideast sales on the basis of different price formulae
  • the author talks about the Panama Canal, saying the same thing RBN Energy has already talked about: the revamped canal will allow transit of all LNG tankers, except the two largest, the Q-Max and the Q-Flex; in other words, the Panama Canal can handle 90% of the world's LNG fleet
  • the canal's expansion will be finished in 2017; already talking about further expansion
Section J: Export Opportunities  
  • lower growth
  • light-ends focus
  • Panama Canal changes everything
  • powered by the shale revolution -- and an easing of export regulations -- NGL producers responded quickly to marketing in Asia
Section K: Linked Lines of Query
  • overall demand growth; changes in sector use
  • deregulation and retain subsidies; impact of mid-distillate demand growth
  • for Asia Pacific, it's all about naphtha; Asia is structurally depended on naphtha imports
  • price deregulation has accelerated the use of light product over middle distillates; most fully achieved in Indonesia; to a lesser extent in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam; we will know more about India by the end of the year; Asia Pacific is switching from diesel to gasoline; naphtha will dominate the petrochemical feedstock supply but naphtha is also required as the basestock for gasoline manufacturing
  • future comparative growth rates
  • impact of product quality in maturing Asian economies
Chapter 2. Asia Pacific Demand Gowth: Demand Growth by Sector
A. Asia Pacific
1. Basic Parameters of Demand 
2. Demand Trends by Product & Sector: this is a very, very interesting section; the author talks about a breakout point, "when expanding middle class incomes all for the possibility of acquiring private transport." This has recently been discussed on the blog. A reader personally noted this in India. 
B. Developing Asia
1. China: section on gasoline demand is very, very interesting
2. India: 
3. Indonesia:
C. NIC/Near-NIC Asia
1. Taiwan
2. Singapore
3. Hong Kong -- China, Special Administrative Region (SAR)
D. OECD Asia Pacific
1. Japan
2. South Korea
Chapter 3. Recent Developments in Middle-Distillate Retail Price Subsidies
A. China
1. EIA viewpoint
2. Managed float; indirect subsidies?
3. The 2013 reforms
4. Free market fears
5. Lagging prices; refinery investment
6. Guaranteed margins; pass-on
7. Consumption taxes/value added tax (VAT)
8. Last word
B. India
1. Gas oil / diesel vs gasoline subsidies
2. The burden
3. A look at LPG
4. Kerosene corundum (sic)
5. Taxes
C. Indonesia
1. Subsidy reform
2. The reform program
3. Pending reforms
D. Survey of other major gas oil / diesel market countries
1. Malaysia
2. Thailand
Chapter 4. Asia Pacific: Comparing Light-Ends and Middle Distillate Growth

A. Analysis Drivers -- Light-End Products
1. LPG
2. Gasoline
3. Naphtha
B. Analysis Drivers -- Mid-Barrel Products
1. Kerosene
2. Gas oil / ADO
C. Forecast/Outlook - By sector: Demand Giants vs West
1. Sector focus on transport and petrochemicals
2. Comparison of Growth Rates in OECD vs NIC/Near NIC vs Developing Asia Giants
3. What prospects should US exporters watch for?
Chapter 5. Product Quality Premiums

A. The Nature of tightening product specifications: One-directional, progressively cumulative, and irreversible 
B. Product premiums yet to justify high-cost, high-quality investment -- why?
1. Quality and refining
2. Quality and gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants
C. How long will it take for maturing developing Asia quality standards to catch up with OECD and NIC levels?
D. What marketing parameters should US exporters follow in selling products based on quality?
Chapter 6. Conclusions

SemGroup Corp To Buyback Its Rose Rock Midstream -- June 5, 2016

Newsok reports that SemGroup Corp agrees to  merger proposal with Rose Rock Midstream; valued at $390 million.
"It makes sense for SemGroup to to bring its former corporate entity back inside," said Jake Dollarhide, president of Longbow Asset Management Co. in Tulsa. "There's obviously a cost savings. Now they're paying for two auditing firms, two legal departments and two finance departments."
While energy companies spent several years spinning off their midstream assets into master limited partnerships, Dollarhide said he expects more companies now to follow SemGroup's lead and buy back their pipeline and storage properties.

"In this energy environment, the longest bear market we've seen in at least 30 years, I think we will see more of these type transactions aimed at companies investing in themselves," Dollarhide said. "For SemGroup, I think this is a poison pill. It makes it more difficult to be acquired. It makes it more expensive to be taken out."

National pipeline company Kinder Morgan two years ago began buying back its master limited partnerships. Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. announced plans to buy back Williams Partners LP before that effort was sidelined when Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity offered to buy Williams.

Halcon Reports Another Nice Well Monday -- June 5, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016
  • 31077, 1,910, HRC, Fort Berthold 147-94-2B-11-7H, McGregory Buttes, 33 stages, 9.8 million lbs, t12/15; cum 75K 4/16;
Sunday, June 5, 2016
  • None
Saturday, June 4, 2016
  • 31656, SI/NC, Hess, BB-Budahn-150-95-0506H-6, Blue Buttes, no production data,

31077, see above, HRC, Fort Berthold 147-94-2B-11-7H, McGregory Buttes:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Another Look At The Halo Effect: May Or May Not Be So Evident Here; But Strong Evidence Of Communication -- June 5, 2016


June 6, 2016: see first comment. From this link:, a snapshot of a small region of the oil-bearing payzones in the Williston Basin:

Original Post
Before reading the rest of this post, read this post first.

Now that you've read that post, and have seen the halo effect of the two Nelson Three Forks first bench wells on the original Nelson middle Bakken well -- all from the same Nelson pad, now look at this link:

At that link, scroll to the map. The obvious question is: what are the production profiles of #26685 and #26687?

[Note the number of frack stages originally reported in the data points below: the reader who brought this all to my attention states:
  • 26687: this Angus well was later fracked with the last 11 stages (together with fracking 26682, 26683, 26684, and 26686) - you can see that figure from 15/09....(I've corrected it below)
  • 26685 was fracked with 35 stages together with 26687 and the first 24 stages late 2014. 
  • Zavanna did cancel all fracking operations, when they where working the Angus wells.]
The latter is closer, so we will look at that one first:
  • 26687, 1,210, Zavanna, Angus 3-10 7H, Long Creek, middle Bakken, max gas was trip gas of 2,184 units; flares 2 - 6 feet, 19 drilling days, big rig 8 days, 81% within target interval, 24 stages, 2.8 million lbs, 35 stages, 4.2 million lbs; t4/15; cum 47K 6/15:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Note the amount of water produced after 10/15.

Now, the one a bit farther away:
  • 26685, 1,543, Zavanna, Angus 3-10 5H, middle Bakken, gas shows as high as 5,770 units, flares 2 - 6feet; big rig - 12 days, 67% within target interval, 35 stages, 3.9 million lbs, Long Creek, t3/15; cum 74K 6/15:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Halo Effect? Nelson Wells In Long Creek Oil Field, The Bakken -- June 5, 2016


Later, 12:53 p.m. Central Time: wow, this just gets better and better. I will add more but it will be a stand-alone post. This note is already too long; too much to absorb.
Original Note
Notes and Disclaimer: in a long note like this there will be typographical and factual errors. It is hard to separate fact from opinion or comment. If there are mistakes on this page, they are mine; the mistakes are not from the reader who sent me this very interesting information. There are quite a few story lines in this post. This is another great post for newbies to read closely.

A reader sent a note regarding some thoughts on Zavanna.

First, the reader provided this Facebook link:

Then the comments:

One of the pictures at the Facebook link shows: 
  • Inlet Low Pressure Pipeline, Gas Lift Return, Medium Pressure, and Summit Oil line in the ditch adjacent to the plant.
Dry gas returns to the wells and to the Zavanna gas lifts. I think it explains part of the high gas numbers from the wells. The gas-sale spreadsheets from Zavanna are very different from the gas numbers from the well production data.

Long Creek at this link (has not been updated)(T153N-R99W), from the reader:
My guess is that Zavanna is testing 50 stages in the six (6) new wells in section 2 and 11 and 35 stages in section 3 and10.  Also: note the different layout of the middle Bakken wells compared to the layout of the Three Fork wells. One wonders if this is a testing bed for optimizing production of future wells. 
The reader also noted the incredible "halo effect" after neighboring Three Forks wells were stimulated. The "original" middle Bakken well was drilled back in 2012. Its production had declined to less than 4,000 bbls/month (before the Saudi Surge). The well was taken off-line for a full year in 2014/2015 (see monthly production figures below) and then back online for a month before it was taken off-line again while the neighboring Three Forks wells were fracked.
  • 20085, 825, Zavanna, Nelson 3-10 1H, Long Creek, 35 stages; 3.8 million lbs; t8/12; cum 292K 4/16; off-line many months; see much more about this well as this post
  • 26676, 630, Zavanna, Nelson 3-10 3TFH, Long Creek 35 stages, 6 million lbs, t12/15; cum 88K 4/16;
  • 26677, 695, Zavanna, Nelson 3-10 2TFH, Long Creek, total drilling days, 28; "the Three Forks is sourced by the Lower Bakken member"; benches mentioned; "the first bench of the Three Forks is the zone of interest for oil production"; gas shows as high as 6,500 units; difficult to stay in target; majority of the lateral was drilled just above the ideal target zone (2 - 3 feet in TVD); reported dated July 22, 2014; 100% within TF first bench; 35 stages, 6 million lbs; t12/15; cum 92K 4/156;
The reader asks this very interesting question with regard to the Long Creek area: are the wells targeting the first bench of the Three Forks formation better than the middle Bakken wells?
Answer: Lynn Helms said some years ago that mano a mano, Three Forks, first bench wells are likely to be better than middle Bakken wells
Because of the Saudi Surge, it may be difficult to extrapolate from production numbers because operators will "manage" their production closely during periods of low commodity prices.  

The NDIC GIS map server appears to be down at the moment. When it comes back up I will provide a screen shot of the map where these wells are located. A map does exist at the above-linked site.

Halo Effect
A middle Bakken well, before and after neighboring Three Forks 1st bench were fracked: 
  • 20085, 825, Zavanna, Nelson 3-10 1H, Long Creek, 35 stages; 3.8 million lbs; t8/12; cum 292K 4/16:
Monthly Production Data (in bold red: neighboring Three Forks wells had just been fracked; tested 12/15):
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

An Interactive EIA Map Readers May Find Interesting

The link is here.

When you get to the link / the map, the first thing to do is zoom in on North Dakota so you can see how incredibly detailed this map really gets.

When completely "zoomed out" one is overwhelmed, seeing the entire United States.

When completely "zoomed in" one can see individual wells in North Dakota. Pretty impressive.

I have only begun to explore; do not know how useful it will be. 

Over at my "Data Links" page I have the following links for "Maps and Metrics." I have not checked recently to see how many of the links have broken. But it gives newbies an idea of the amount of data available to explore:

Maps and Metrics

Nothing About The Bakken --- June 5, 2016

If you came here looking for the Bakken, scroll down or check out the sidebar at the right.

Tomorrow, the two older granddaughters begin a week of computer coding at the University of Texas Dallas. The drive is about 30 minutes but I assume in rush hour morning traffic and evening traffic it will be close to one full hour each way, which means about four hours on the road if I return home for the day. Part of the trip is on the dreaded I-35E into Dallas. It's a short segment but probably a very congested segment.

I'm thinking of dropping them off (at 9:00 a.m.) and then staying in the area all day, picking them up about 4:00 p.m.

Plano is just to the north and it appears there are many things to occupy a full week.

I think tomorrow I will spend the day at two locations, near each other, and near the UT Dallas campus: the main (?) public library in the area -- the Haggard Public Library, just four miles north -- and the high-end shopping mall, The Shops at Willow Bend.

Later in the week, perhaps on Tuesday, once I get the "lay" of the land I will take my bike and ride the trails at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. I viewed but did not listen to the audio of the video below:

Bike Trail, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano, TX

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs2582194191213

The Humor Page

A few days ago (May 31, 2016), UPI had a headline -- North Dakota rig count increases 10%.

With about 27 active rigs right now, a 10% increase would be about 3 rigs. In fact, the number moves up and down in a range, right now, between 25 and 30.

From the story:
Data from the state government show 28 rigs in service early Tuesday, up 16 percent from last week. The increase follows a slow march toward $50 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of crude oil. WTI is up about 4 percent from last week.
And note the "typical" North Dakota tractor the UPI manages to stick in the photograph that accompanied the story.  I'm not even sure the story was taken in North Dakota: see if you can see the anomaly:
Breakfast of Champions

This is an old story. Don sent it to me when it was "topical" and I delayed posting it. I guess I just got too busy.

So, let's go back a few weeks. Back to the Kentucky Derby, 2016. The winner: up until then, and including the Kentucky Derby, the undefeated thoroughbred, Nyquist

It turns out there is a North Dakota connection. The Dickinson Press is reporting that the breakfast this champion eats is from a feedstore in Dickinson, North Dakota
For undefeated thoroughbred Nyquist, some of his success can also be attributed to a successful performance horse feed created by Dickinson business Woody’s Feed and Grain.
After Nyquist’s win at the pinnacle of horse racing -- the Kentucky Derby on May 6 -- he was decorated with a sash of red roses.
Underneath the flowers that adorned his body and the jockey who pushed Nyquist to his limits were a sack of nutrients that gave the horse the power.
“This particular diet, Summer Heat, was one of our first beet pulp feeds that we came out with,” said Woody’s manager Alan Woodbury. “The trainers of today work with so many horses, like Doug (O’Neill) trains over 100. He wants all of his nutrition in one bag.”
O’Neil and Woodbury have been working closely with each other for more than two decades.
Woodbury said O'Neill was one of the first trainers who used this certain mixture of feed and it proved a good choice for him. He has continued to use the Summer Heat mixture since. 
Was Nyquist the only horse to eat the breakfast of champions? Nope:
Not only did their feed go into the stomach of Nyquist but also of 11 of the 22 horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby this year.
And of those 22, eight of the top 12 horses were also fed with Woody’s feed.
More on Alan Woodbury's background here and his upcoming semi-retirement. From a June, 2015, Dickinson Press story:

Alan Woodbury, owner of Woody’s Feed and Grain Co., is retiring. Well, semi-retiring is the better term.
The horse feed mill on Villard Street, which Woodbury has worked at for 46 years and has owned since 1983, has been sold to Scranton Equity and will officially transfer over on July 1, 2015.
Woodbury said he will stay on for six months to a year on a full-time capacity to smooth out the transitional period, and will work part-time for an unspecified period in the national racehorse market to help maintain the business’s clientele there.
Getting Ready To Work

"Papa gave me a type-written page of instructions on how to draw a face, and a bunch of crayons, but what I really need is a YouTube video with instructions and some Faber-Castell artist pens. Sheesh."