Sunday, June 12, 2016

Another Example Of The Halo Effect In The Bakken -- And Just Think -- "We're" Only Getting Started -- June 12, 2016


June 13, 2016: a reader writes:
EOR (enhanced oil recovery) should have a good future in the Bakken. Water flooding should be great (water flooding is sometimes considered "primary recovery").
The least productive well on a pad, or a nearby pad would be used as a salt water reinjection well. It takes some horsepower to do this but the readily available "cheap" gas for the pumps should make it exceptionally profitable.
Original Post
This is going to be a long note. There will be typographical and factual errors. I may be seeing things that don't exist. I may be coming to conclusions that are incorrect. I am doing this to help me understand the Bakken and for no other reason. If this is important to you, go to the source. 

At the following monthly production spreadsheets, pay attention to the third column (the number of days the well was on-line in 11-2015 and 12-2015); the fourth column (bbls oil); and, the sixth column (bbls water):

Well #3 -- note the increase in water production noted in red --
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Well #4 -- note: no increase in oil production, but look at the produced water in red:
Pool DateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Well #1: no increase in either water or oil -- this well will turn out to be the farthest from the other wells; this well was not taken off-line during this period, unlike the other wells in this exercise:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Well #2 -- this is the newest well; it has just been fracked and has just started producing --
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The "Index" well: this is the well that caught my attention. Why did oil production jump in January, 2016? And note the huge increase in water production at the same time. Where did that water come from? Look how much water was produced in just 19 days in December, 2015 -- not due to fracking this well. This well was fracked years ago.
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare


Well #3:
  • it appears the well was taken off line in mid-November, 2015, and placed back on line in mid-December, 2015
  • when it came back on-line, there was no noticeable increase in oil production
  • however, look at the huge increase in water, going from1,500 bbls in October to over 15,000 bbls in January, 2016
Well #4:
  • it appears the well was taken off line in mid-November, 2015, and placed back on line in late-December, 2015
  • when it came back on-line, there was a noticeable increase in oil production
  • also, look at the huge increase in water, going from 2,000 bbls in October to almost 20,000 bbls in December, 2015, even though that well was on-line for less than a full month ("severe vomiting")
Well #1:
  • unlike wells #3 and #4, this well was not taken off-line during this period of time
  • during this period of time, there was no noticeable increase in oil production, month-over-month
  • in addition, there was no evidence in any change in the amount of water produced
Well #2:
  • this well was brought on-line in late December, 2015, after it was fracked earlier
  • following the frack, huge oil production
  • following the frack, huge water production
Index well:
  • it appears the well was taken off line in mid-November, 2015, and placed back on line in mid-December, 2015
  • when it came back on-line, there was a huge increase in oil production
  • in addition, look at the huge increase in water, going from1,000 bbls in October to over 22,000 bbls in January, 2016

The "Index Well" was a middle Bakken well:
I called the "index well," the index well because it had the most noticeable increase in oil production after a neighboring well was fracked.
Wells #1 and #3 were Three Forks wells.

Wells #2 and #4 were middle Bakken wells.

1. Well #2 was a middle Bakken well, fracked in late 2015.
2. Wells #1 and #3 were Three Forks wells and did not show any evidence of the "halo effect" based on increased oil production. In addition, there was no evidence of communication based on produced water between the middle Bakken well (#2) and the Three Forks well #1 -- these two wells are 0.84 mile apart. However, there was evidence of communication based on water production between the middle Bakken well (#2) and the Three Forks well (#3). Wells #2 and #3 are laterally separated by about 265 feet. I assume the vertical separation is less than 100 feet.
3. The middle Bakken "index well" was 0.3 mile from the newly fracked well.
4. The middle Bakken well #4 was less than 800 feet from the newly fracked well. 

The graphic:

I apologize for the confusing graphic. I've labeled the horizontals twice: once with the permit number and formation target; and, a second time with just a numeric label.

I labeled the horizontals, 1 through 4, left to right; perhaps I should have numbered them differently. 

Calling one of the wells an index well may be confusing, but I called it that because it showed a definite halo effect. Once I saw the jump in oil production, I then looked for the likely explanation. The only possibility was the fracking of the neighboring well, which I call #2.

These are the wells:
  • 18758, 714, Whiting, 20711 Paulso 49 1H, Stockyard Creek, t4/11; cum 230K 4/16;
  • 23112, 1,657, Whiting, P Bibler 154-99-1-5-8-16H3, a Thee Forks well, t5/13; cum 180K 4/16;
  • 24196, 2,251, Whiting, P Evans 154-99-2-4-9-15H3, a Three Forks well t8/13; cum 165K 4/16;
  • 24198, 2,282, Whiting, P Evans 154-99-2-4-9-16H, t8/13; cum 199K 4/16;
  • 30850, 2,015, Whiting, Marty 31-4H, Stockyard Creek, t12/15; cum 104K 4/16; API 33-105-04003-00-00; frack start 12/7/15; frack end 12/7/15; 7.6 million gallons of water; white sand frack, 9% by weight of total frack components (Frac Focus; data here at Frac Focus; 40 stages, 6.6 million lbs; the sundry form says the well was stimulated 11/18/2015.

Whiting To Report Three Nice Bakken Wells; Eight More DUCs --- June 12, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016
  • 24090, SI/NC, Statoil, Sax 25-36F 8TFH, Banks, no production data,
  • 30426, 1,206, Hess, HA-Sanford-LW-152-96-1819H-1, Westberg, t8/16; cum 163K 8/17;
  • 31896, SI/NC, XTO, JMB 14X-15A, Capa, no production data,
Sunday, June 12, 2016
  • 30425, 836, Hess, HA-Sanford-152-96-1819H-10, Westberg, t8/16; cum 77K 8/17;
  • 31895, SI/NC, XTO, JMB 14X-15EXH, Capa, no production data,
Saturday, June 11, 2016
  • 24089, SI/NC, Statoil, Sax 25-36F 7H, Banks, no production data,
  • 30424, 926, Hess, HA-Sanford-152-96-1819H-9, Westberg, t8/16; cum 107K 8/17;
  • 31795, 2,218, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-1H, Banks, 35 stages, 7.3 million lbs, t12/15; cum 207K 8/17;
  • 31796, 2,186, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-1TFH, Banks, 35 stages, 7.3 million lbs, t12/15; cum 131K 8/17;
  • 31797, 1,467, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-2H, Banks, 35 stages, 7.3 million lbs, t12/15; cum 225
    K 8/17;
  • 31894, SI/NC, XTO, JMB 14X-15AXD, Capa, no production data,

31795, see above, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-1H, Banks:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

31796, see above, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-1TFH, Banks:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

31797, see above, Whiting, Chameleon State 21-16-2H, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Shale Vs Sand: Pretty Basic Stuff? -- June 12, 2016

Disclaimer: in a long note like this, there will be typographical an factual errors. This post started out because I was trying to sort out the EIA graph on this page, but then that took me to Saudi Arabia, which is far afield of where I started.

Two things have come out of this exercise: I have a better understanding of "tight" and "shale." Lay people like me commonly (and incorrectly) use "tight" and "shale" synonymously. Experts often use "tight" without the entire phrase "tight sands" but it appears that "tight" and "tight sands" are synonymous and both correctly and interchangeably used, whereas no one would ever be caught dead at an oil and gas cocktail party and talk about "tight shale." In the graph below, for example, it's "shale" vs "tight." The word "sands" is not seen. "Tight" = "tight sands." Pretty basic and I should not be covering this again after 9 years of blogging about the Bakken but there is it.

Oh, I almost forgot. The second thing that came out of this exercise: unless Prince Salman can use salt water to frack, he has major challenges when it comes to fracking. It also explains recent article suggesting Saudi Arabia may begin to import natural gas; it may make economic sense.

Okay, done with the disclaimer and the private comments, let's get started.

I don't think I've ever really sorted this out or talked about it much. I know I've used the terms interchangeable and incorrectly.

But the EIA graph below brings the importance of differentiating the terms "tight" and "shale."

I will assume that most of us have a "general understanding" of the difference between "conventional" and "unconventional" when used in the oil and gas industry.

"Tight" and "shale" are both components of "unconventional."

Here's the graph, which has been tweeted several times by EIA (I'm glad the EIA is into tweeting but has anyone asked why the EIA tweets?):

This is what caught my attention: the growth of natural gas production from "tight gas" plays is projected to actually decrease or stay flat. The growth of natural gas production in the US is projected to be incredible and will come almost entirely from "shale gas and tight oil" plays.

Now to sort out "shale" vs "tight." A google search begins.

Here a few sites that seem reasonable.

The oilprice article is perhaps one of the best.
  • 2014; it begins:
The recent news that Saudi Arabia has not found natural gas to be as available as it had thought from its shale deposits, and is shifting to exploring for gas in their tight sand formations has not caught a lot of attention.
But it is worth considering some of the aspects of this – and hence this post.
The Oil and Gas Journal define (sic) tight sands in this way: The term tight gas sands refers to low-permeability sandstone reservoirs that produce primarily dry natural gas. A tight gas reservoir is one that cannot be produced at economic flow rates or recover economic volumes of gas unless the well is stimulated by a large hydraulic fracture treatment and/or produced using horizontal wellbores. . . . . . . . . Tight sands produce about 6 tcf of gas per year in the United States, about 25% of the total gas produced.
The production of natural gas from tight sands is different to that from shale sources, for, as the Canadian Center for Energy notes: initial production rates are low; however, productivity is long lived.
  • And then goes on to explain why. This is an article one may want to archive in case it "disappears."
The agilegeoscience article is pretty basic, but a start; dated 2011; note the comment about number of stages of multi-stage fracking; the reader thought 10 - 20 stages was incredible; the writer makes a comment that the importance of differentiating "shale" from "tight sands" has to do with exploration. To the extent that's accurate, it explains Slawson's early attempts to explore both the upper Bakken and the middle Bakke. Sand is sand-like; shale is clay-like.

This is an incredibly cool site, exploreshale: the Marcellus is shale, as is the Utica.

So, now back to the graph. Unconventional natural gas is going to be produced from shale, not sand, in the US, going forward, as least as forecast by the EIA. It would be wise to remember that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is on record as opposing fracking in the US, though apparently she favors it elsewhere.

One can see why newbies (including me) get confused. In an article posted this year, this statement:
Bakken shale consists of three layers, an upper layer of shale rock, a middle layer of sandstone/dolomite, and a lower layer of shale rock. The middle sandstoen (sic) layer is what is commonly drilled and fracked.
Obviously that's incorrect. What has just been described is not "Bakken shale," but rather, the Bakken formation. The article does get it right at the beginning by referring to the Bakken formation, but when suggesting that the "Bakken shale consists of three layers" ..... well, you get the point.  [By the way, the linked site is a "sourcewatch" site; be advised. It looks like a "wiki" site but is not.]

Somehow I get the feeling there's a whole lot more to this but I don't want to get too far into the weeds.

But that's interesting, isn't it? The EIA projects natural gas is going to be produced from shale, not sand, in the US but the oilprice article began with "the recent news that Saudi Arabia has not found natural gas to be as available as it had thought from its shale deposits, and is shifting to exploring for gas in their tight sand formations has not caught a lot of attention."

I guess this is the importance of differentiating between shale and sand:
  • where one looks when looking for oil and/or natural gas; it may vary across the globe
  • how one extracts oil and/or natural gas from shale or sand; there may be differences, such as type and amount of water; type and amount of proppant; alternatives to water, sand, ceramic
  • whether initial production and decline rates differ between sand and shale
Saudi Aramco And Unconventional Natural Gas

From epmag, 2012:
Saudi Aramco divides its unconventional resources into two categories – shale gas and tight-sand reservoirs. The exploration will focus on three areas within the country.
“The first area is in the northwest part of Saudi Arabia,” Saleh told participants in the 2012 CWC Third World Shale Oil and Gas Conference, Sept. 21, in Houston.
 The second area is South Ghawar. The Ghawar field is the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia. This area is a tight-gas sand opportunity, he noted. The area is close to infrastructure. There is a large amount of geological data available from the development of the oil field, which can be used to define the tight-gas sands.
The third area is in southern Saudi Arabia in the Rub Al-Khali. This would be shale. The source rock is primarily Jurassic and Cretaceous.
Now, where's that article that says SA was disappointed in shale gas results and is turning to tight sands natural gas?

From the Journal of Petroleum Technology:
The company’s unconventional ambitions are focused on three different areas in Saudi Arabia.
The first is located in the northern part of the country. The target formation is called the Qusaibia Hot Shale and is found at a depth between 6,000 ft to 8,000 ft. The shale is considered to be relatively shallow and is the source rock for conventional gas fields in the area. The gas produced from this area will support a major mining project still under construction and a new power plant.
The other two plays are in the eastern province and located along the periphery of the Ghawar oil field, the largest conventional oil field in the world. These two areas will benefit from their proximity to existing infrastructure and the large amount of geological data already collected from the development of Ghawar.
The play located to the south of Ghawar is a deep tight sandstone formation where five appraisal gas wells have been drilled so far.
Sitting just east of Ghawar is the third play where Saudi Aramco is targeting a tight carbonate formation called the Tuwaiq Mountain—the source rock for the giant oil field. The company believes this field is comparable in many respects to the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. “Sometimes, it is better than the Eagle Ford in terms of the permeability and porosity,” Almomen said.
The Tuwaiq Mountain formation is split into two tiers. The upper tier has nearly double the total organic content of the Eagle Ford while the lower tier is about the same. A pilot well drilled in the Tuqaiq Mountain formation had an average 30-day initial production rate of 3 MMscf/D of gas and 1,800 B/D of oil.
In addition to core samples and openhole logs, sonic logging tools and ­diagnostic fracture injection testing are being used to make key determinations about each formation’s permeability, pore pressure, and in-situ stress state. Using this information, completion engineers are placing as many as 16 fracture stages along the laterals. They are placing the stages only in the areas that appear to have the best production characteristics and are avoiding areas with poor reservoir quality. Based on production logs, Almomen said this strategy has resulted in 95% of the perforation clusters contributing to production in some of the best cases.
The company’s plans include using microseismic surveys and chemical tracers to better characterize fracture networks and to determine how cluster stages are contributing to production. The company is also investigating technologies to overcome the challenges involved with hydraulic fracturing in the middle of the Arabian Desert. “We are experimenting with local sand and we’re doing some research on water management, testing, and trying to create a decent frac fluid using sewage water, seawater, and other fluids,” said Almomen.
Nope, that's not it. I'm still looking for that article that says SA was disappointed in shale gas results and is turning to tight sands natural gas.

Ah, this might be it, from 2014. From Shale Gas International: Saudi Arabia concentrates on tight gas as Shell abandons shale exploration .
Saudi Arabia is focusing on developing its tight gas deposits to compete with U.S. shale. It also seeks to satisfy its domestic energy needs with gas to free its crude reserves for export.
As Bloomberg reported on Monday, state-owned oil and gas company Saudi Aramco is now targeting a cost of $2 to $3 per thousand cubic feet of tight gas.
Saudi Aramco is drilling in tight sands reservoirs where permeability and porosity is greater than that of shale formations but below that of conventional oil and gas bearing sands.
At 645 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, Saudi Arabia holds fifth largest shale gas deposits in the world, but water scarcity makes extraction difficult.
Shale gas exploration requires the use of a technique called fracking which requires up to 2.5 and 5 million gallons water per well. Also on Monday, Reuters reported that Royal Dutch Shell decided to end its investments in a gas development project in Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 -- Miss Oil Country Is First Runner-Up In Miss North Dakota 2016 Pageant Held In Williston, ND

For those who may have missed it, the Miss North Dakota 2016 pageant took place in Williston, at the Williston High School. Miss Grand Forks, Macy Christianson, lists her hometown as Minot. It was nice to see that "Miss Oil Country," Cara Mund, was among the five finalists. In fact, she was first runner-up. I assume these are one and the same: back in 2006, ten years ago, Cara Mund was a 7th grader at Horizon Middle School in Bismarck, ND, where she was crowned Miss Junior Teen Oil Country. 

I've never understood how Williston is always able to showcase some of these events. I think it's quite remarkable and quite wonderful for Williston to get the pageants. Williston is also a frequent host for the annual national Babe Ruth World Series League championships

Availability of lodging should not be an issue.

The Politics Page
Obama Legacy

It turns out that a gun shop actually reported Omar to the FBI. See story below: Attorney General Loretta Lynch overruled FBI Director James B. Comey on firearms sales to those on terrorist watch lists. Something tells me Comey isn't so "comfy" any more. In Washington, when things go this bad, heads have to roll. My hunch is that with the largest mass murder on Obama's watch, and the "stuff" that is coming out about how the FBI bungled this case, Comey will soon be asked to resign. Posted 6:56 p.m. Central time, June 16, 2016.

The big question: why hasn't the president signed an executive order banning sales of assault rifles to those on no-fly lists; to those on the terror-watch lists; to white supremacists members. Just a start. The reason: blaming obstruction on GOP results in huge monetary donations from his gullible base.

It looks like the FBI has bigger problems than this. Not only did they close the file on the Orlando shooter, they also haven't even interviewed Hillary yet. In Washington Times, June 16, 2016:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch overruled FBI Director James B. Comey on Thursday, saying the Obama administration does support a ban on firearms sales to those on terrorist watch lists.
Mr. Comey last year had told Congress that the ban could end up alerting suspected terrorists that they are being investigated, and that could “blow” the cases his agents are trying to build.
The left's blind spot. From The Wall Street Journal, op-ed, Bret Stephens, June 13, 2016:
In the spring of 2013 Barack Obama delivered the defining speech of his presidency on the subject of terrorism. Its premise was wrong, as was its thesis, as were its predictions and recommendations. We are now paying the price for this cascade of folly.
“Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants,” the president boasted at the National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. “There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure.” The “future of terrorism,” he explained, consisted of “less capable” al Qaeda affiliates, “localized threats” against Westerners in faraway places such as Algeria, and homegrown killers like the Boston Marathon bombers.
All of this suggested that it was time to call it quits on what Mr. Obama derided as “a boundless ‘global war on terror.’ ” That meant sharply curtailing drone strikes, completing the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and closing Guantanamo prison. It meant renewing efforts “to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians” and seeking “transitions to democracy” in Libya and Egypt. And it meant working with Congress to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al Qaeda.
Comment: this whole thing stinks. One wonders whether the staffers who were on the OJ Simpson prosecuting team were "promoted" to the FBI. How many red flags did the FBI need? How many of your friends:
  • have an Afghan father who runs a "hate" radio station in the US?
  • have been investigated by the FBI, not once, not twice, but three times? (it looks like the IRS investigated "right wing" political groups longer and more aggressively than the FBI investigates folks like Omar)
  • have a well-known history for violence? documented by his wife, his co-workers, the FBI
  • are so "scary," your co-worker warns his employer; then quits when no action is taken?
  • send dozens of harrassing each day to a co-worker?
  • has made two pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, in this case, 2011 and 2012?
It seems the FBI would have a "LinkedIn" application that would keep this terrorist case open, to the extent that the FBI would be sent a note when the individual buys an AR-15 -- which he did the week before the slaughter.

But again, this is the FBI that, after two years, still hasn't interviewed key people involved in the Hillary Clinton e-mail server case, and are clearly have no plan to bring charges before the election. 

People wonder whether ISIS has infiltrated the Department of Homeland Security? The bigger question is whether ISIS has also infiltrated a cabinet-level department? Like the Department of Justice?
Original Post

This is a screenshot from Obama-supporting media outlet


Later, 4:21 p.m. Central Time: Guns, assault rifles, immigration, open borders, the JV team, radical Islam -- it all becomes quite muddled, but the only thing Obama and Hillary will focus on: guns. And Americans are too smart to know this has anything to do with the "gun issue." This is all about the JV team, radical Islam, open borders, 99% of new Arabic immigrants are Muslim and support Sharia law (anti-gay).
Original Post
The banner at the Drudge Report certainly got my attention. Over at The Boston Globe it was just another headline story. Same with The Guardian. In both cases (and I'm sure everywhere else) it was the same: simply another headline story. Over at The Guardian, the story shared the top of the page with a story on "Nebraska's Hemp Battle: Farmers Say Officials Blocking a Gold Rush."

The first thing I thought of when I saw the Drudge banner this morning: the "Dukakis moment."

An FBI spokesman: 'Suggestions’ the suspect ‘may have had leanings’ toward jihadist ideology.

I wonder how long it will be before we have information on the shooter. [It turns out: "not long."]
  • First posted: June 12, 2016, 8:30 a.m. Central Time, or thereabouts.
  • Update, June 12, 2016, 9:28 a.m. Central Time, from The Los Angeles Times: "the shooter may have radical Islamic leanings." 
  • Update, June 12, 2016, 10:28 a.m. Central Time: the suspect: Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a US citizen from Port St Lucie, born to Afghan parents. No doubt a stellar student, with a 4.6 GPA, on his way to Yale, and known as a soft-spoken wonderful young man whose life ended too soon, too tragically. With no criminal history he would have "passed" gun checks without difficulty. I assume the disco had a "no-guns" policy.
  • Update, 12:30 p.m. Central Time: the suspect, held a Florida security officer license and a state firearms license.
  • Update, 12:32 p.m. Central Time: had been previously investigated by the same folks investigating Hillary's e-mail server, the FBI; as Maxwell Smart would say, "we missed him by that much.
  • Update, 12:35 p.m. Central Time, the spin begins: "he wasn't very religious." 
  • Update, 12:36 p.m. Central Time: the spin continues: "he was just among hundreds of known ISIS sympathizers." What? "Among hundreds." And their cases are closed; no longer under scrutiny. Gets a Florida security officer license; has a state firearms license; it appears Florida's application fails to ask whether one is an ISIS sympathizer; one can't ask about religious affiliation but it seems one should be able to ask about terrorist links/sympathies. 
  • Update, 2:12 p.m. Central Time: Drudge banner now calls it an ISIS attack on the US. Wow. That's a pretty bold claim but by the end of the day, it may become a meme -- is it too far to say this is America's 21st century "Pearl Harbor"? 
  • Update, 2:15 p.m. Central Time: man arrested with guns, explosives on way to Gay Pride parade in LA; all the hallmarks of a coordinated US attack.
  • Update, 10:21 p.m. Central Time: it's being reported that suspect was employed by a "major" DHS contractor; concerns raised whether ISIS had infiltrated Homeland Security.
  • Update, June 13, 2016: it turns out that while Hillary was SecState she denied a request to monitor the mosque attended by the shooter. Add these 50+ deaths in Orlanda to the deaths in Benghazi -- after awhile, that "what does it matter" reply is going to get old. Very old.
  • The original report, I believe said 42 killed; that number has now risen to "at least 50" and one spokesman said that more were likely to die. An additional 53 other people are currently in critical condition. With "at least 50 dead" the suspect goes to the top of the list: this makes it the worst mass shooting in US history. It will be interesting to see what guns he used, and whether an armed club employee or armed customer could have saved any lives. It is being reported that he "wielded an assault-type rifle and a handgun" before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers. When seconds count, SWAT officers will be there in minutes. It will be interesting to look at the timeline.
  • One wonders whether SNL will do a parody of Hillary and/or Trump addressing this tragedy? 
  • Guns, immigration, open borders, the JV team, radical Islam, -- it all becomes quite muddled, but the only thing Obama and Hillary will focus on: guns. 
Any bets on how tight security becomes at Disney theme parks in Florida and California?
The Trainwreck

The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Californians are more concerned about cost of health care insurance premiums than whether they have insurance in the first place. Of course, The LA Times interprets the poll one way, I interpret it another way.

Construction Costs For Electric Power Generators -- EIA -- June 12, 2016


File under "I wish I had said this":  
In addition, wind has an online availability factor of about 30% whereas co-gen natural gas is about actually it's roughly 6 times as expensive. Also, co-gen natural gas is....... non-interruptible and you know....but rarely mention....(also worthy of mention is because wind needs 100% backup it is worth less than nothing...also as you know...).
I don't know if this analogy works or not. In some places, when a huge new retail store looks to move into a new community, the developers are required to finance and construct the necessary parking. It might be appropriate that interruptible power plants (wind and solar) be required to provide necessary back-up. In a sense, I suppose that's already being done -- the utility that builds the interruptible energy plant builds/maintains the back-up plant at the consumer's expense. As the reader noted, it's just not factored into the cost of the wind/solar power plant. The whole thing is ludicrous.

Original Post
EIA link here.

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to interpret this graph. There is no legend. This is the key:
  • the "black" diamond: average construction cost; $/kw
  • the "blue" bar: capacity installed in 2013
So, in the graphic below, in megawatts:
  • for natural gas: 7,411 MW installed in 2013 at an average cost of about $1,000/MW
  • for wind: 859 MW installed at an average cost of about $2,000/MW (or double that of natural gas)
  • for solar: 2,634 MW installed at an average cost of almost $4,000/MW (about about 4x that of natural gas)
  • biomass: very, very similar to solar in cost and added capacity
  • hydro- and geothermal: also relatively expensive, considering...

These are the kinds of graphs elementary and middle school students should be taught to analyze as part of the Common Core Curriculum.

At the linked site, the EIA also breaks down the type of natural gas generator: the conventional combustion turbine and the newer combined cycle.

Regardless of the type of solar PV generator installed, there was not much difference in cost. Most interesting would be to know whether the debacle at the Ivanpah Solar Plant was factored in.

What I find most amazing is how "old" this data is: this is from 2013. Certainly the EIA must know how much capacity was installed in 2015, and would even have the estimated costs (if not the final costs).