Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Operation Thor -- Nothing About The Bakken -- November 15, 2016


November 16, 2016: with a single signature, dozens of Obama's rules could fall.
... thanks to a little-used law that dates back to 1996.
And it comes with a scorched-earth kicker: If the law is used to strike down a rule, the federal agency that issued it is barred from enacting similar regulation again in the future.
The obscure law — called the Congressional Review Act — was passed 20 years ago at the behest of Newt Gingrich, then the House speaker and now a member of Mr. Trump’s transition team. It gives Congress 60 legislative days to review and override major regulations enacted by federal agencies.
In the Senate, the vote would not be subject to filibuster.
The president can veto the rejection, which usually renders the law toothless. But when one party controls both the White House and Congress, it can be a powerful legislative weapon.
Original Post
There is a rumor that Warren Buffett has set up an operation which insiders call Operation THOR: Trump Halts Obama's Rules.

The full name of the operation is supposedly THORREO: Trump Halts Obama's Rules, Regulations, and Executive Orders, but most insiders simply call it "Operation Thor."

According to those that should know, Warren Buffett has set up a special cell of 20 - 30 analysts and directed that they provide him and Charlie Munger with a list of investment opportunities based on the Trump election.

Had Hillary been elected, not a lot would have necessarily changed, but with a Trump election everything changes. And changes to this degree will result in investment opportunities, the likes of which only come once in a lifetime of investing.

The Operation Thor cell has been directed to find all executive orders from the White House and all regulations and rules promulgated by the various regulatory agencies under the Obama presidency that offer investment opportunities.

The cell is to provide a 1,000-word point paper on each executive order, rule, or regulation . The point paper is to be no longer than two pages (500-words/page); 12-point pitch; New York Times font. The white papers will be composed of:
  • the executive order, rule, or regulation; 
  • the intent of the president or the regulating agency that issued the order, rule, or regulation;  
  • an analysis of the "EORorR"effect on corporate America, public or private; 
  • additional analysis if indicated; and,
  • recommendations of how to go forward with investment opportunities.
The 2-page analyses and recommendations are to be accompanied by a 10-slide PowerPoint presentation.

For example: back in August, 2016, the US government mandated, through the DOJ, that the U.S. will end private prisons for federal inmates. At the time, it was estimated that fourteen (14) private prisons across the US (most in Texas) housed 22,000 federal inmates. Time asked where these 22,000 federal inmates would go.

The Washinton Times has said as recently as five days ago:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday said agents are seeing a renewed surge of people attempting to sneak into the U.S. through the southwestern border over the past few months, with more than 46,000 caught in October alone.
Starting January 21, 2017, it is predicted that the federal government will begin a serious effort of vetting all aliens coming across the southern border. Housing facilities will be needed. Those fourteen private facilities are still standing but they will not be nearly enough. Even with GITMO as one suggestion, that would still fall far short.

The one thing that everyone agrees that Trump is able to do and able to do well is construct "apartment complexes."

The wall is "small potatoes" compared to the amount of money that will be needed to house the hundreds of thousands of aliens while their status is being vetted.

Donald Trump will run the $1 trillion infrastructure program like "Shark Tank." Shark Tank writ large.  Trump will make Mark Cuban look like a piper. Operation Thor will be the other side of the coin.

Again, this is simply a rumor. I won't say where I heard the rumor, but rumors need to start somewhere. Perhaps this one started at the MDW.

In Control

The Los Angeles Times continues to spin stories that go beyond the pale. The Los Angeles continues the spin. In today's LA Times, this headline: Donald Trump's transition team loses a key figure as  he struggles to find his footing.

Talk about naïve. Slanted. Untrue. Inaccurate. Spin.
You have to read several paragraphs into the story to discover that the individual removed from Trump's transition team was a Chris Christie operative. Time for him to go. "You're fired." I love it: Trump is cleaning his own house.

Hillary Had Bill
Trump Has Three Incredibly Competent, Young, Aggressive Adult Children


Later, 8:28 a.m. Central Time: the Federal nepotism law (passed in 1967) will not allow Donald Trump's son-in-law to be on Trump's staff in a "recognized position." Security clearances go to the "position", not the "individual." Is all lost? Nope. The law could easily be changed by Congress. And the son-in-law could get an official position on the VP's staff. In fact that might be a better fit. This is not a big deal. Congress would never pass an ironclad "nepotism" law. 

Original Post
JFK had his brother RFK. Hillary had Bill. Trump has three incredibly bright and competent adult children.

The US has never had a multi-billionaire president-elect (as far as I know). It is being said that Trump has 22 "business" operations on five continents, or something to that effect. The specifics hardly matter.

One can only imagine his "command and control" center in Trump Tower in downtown NYC. He isn't one to spin his wheels. When faced with a decision, he will get the players involved in front of him, have them present their case, and then make a decision. As in the previous note (above) he will make his decision. And that will be it.

Twenty-five year-old reporters on the Washington, DC, beat will write stories based on their experience of watching penny-ante politicians (by comparison) manage their transitions. No one can have any idea what a multi-billionaire has at his finger-tips. I certainly can't. Trump has endured two years of being called a joke, a clown, and worse. He won't forget. When he executes his $1 trillion infrastructure program he will make Mark Cuban look like a piker.

We're going to hear a lot of drivel between now and January 20, 2017. Anyone who claims to know what Donald Trump is doing or thinking displays his own naïvety or lack of intelligence.

As one example: the best thing President Obama could do is grant a "mass" pardon to 750,000 illegal aliens as some media outlets are reporting. If he were to do that, President Trump would have overwhelming support to build his wall; build as many "apartment units" as needed to house illegal aliens until their cases were vetted; and, that would simply be a start. And those 750,000 pardons? They would never hold up in any court of law. [Update: apparently the White House has already said "no" to this insane idea -- it's "illegal."]

Whiting With Five New Permits -- November 15, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3964186183186

Two wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 31944, SI/NC, Enerplus, Water 151-04-16DH-TF, Antelope, s5/13/16; TD5/23/16; t11/16; cum --
  • 27432, 3,416, HRC, Fort Berthold 148-95-23C-14-8H, Eagle Nest, 34 stages; 5.1 million lbs, t5/16; cum 4K over four days;
Five new permits:
  • Operator: Whiting
  • Field: East Fork (Williams)
  • Comments: these are all Irgens permits in section 17-156-100 (see graphic below)
Two producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 32557, 98 (no typo), SM Energy, Russell 2B-4HS, Burg, s5/13/16; TD5/23/16; t11/16; cum --
  • 32558, 302, SM Energy, Martin 2-4HN, Burg, s4/28/16; TD5/10/16; t11/16; cum --
Several producers abandoned, but none with recent file numbers.

One permit renewed:
  • Statoil: a Mark permit in Williams County
A screenshot of the area where the new Whiting wells will be drilled:

And There It Is -- Fifth Consecutive Record-Setting Day On The Dow -- No One Saw This Coming -- Except President Obama -- Who Predicted It -- Greek Speech -- November 15, 2016

T+7: Dow 30 up an astounding 53 points, to hit an all-time high. Now at 18,923, less than 100 points from 19,000. But look at that, NASDAQ is up even higher, up 57 points, now over 5,275.

Oil: up 6%. This, too, was predicted by President Obama when he famously said, "We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices. We also need Solyndra."

Fathomless ignorance (not my words).

Remember: nothing has technically changed in the past seven days. We have a new president-elect but he has not been sworn in yet. We have had a new speech from the current president. Maybe that's it.

North Dakota Legislature, New Governor Need To Take A Look -- November 15, 2016

From SeekingAlpha today, data from EIA:
  • West Texas' Permian Basin now holds nearly as many active oil rigs as the rest of the U.S. combined, including those offshore;
  • the rig count has been rising since this summer, but the Permian began seeing rigs increase earlier than the U.S. as a whole, and is adding rigs more quickly; 
  • of the ~450 total U.S. rigs, the Permian now accounts for ~220; and,
  • Permian production has reached 2M bbl/day of oil, while south Texas’ Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken have each fallen to below 1M bbl/day
A thought:
North Dakota is known among the oil and gas companies that it is a high-tax state compared to Texas; and North Dakota is becoming known as the state that can't get a pipeline built. With the enthusiasm for the Permian, and the current crude oil glut, the ND legislature and the new governor should probably address these two issues. 

Democracy Is Coming To The USA -- Leonard Cohen -- November 14, 2016


Later, 7:32 p.m. Central Time: diminished. That's the word that first came to mind when listening to the Obama press conference in Greece. The last time Obama made an international trip he said a) Trump was unfit to be president; and, b) that Trump would not be elected. Now Obama is eating crow: Trump has been elected president, and Obama has not reiterated that Trump is unfit for office. He is now reassuring the EU, NATO, and European allies that "everything will be okay" under Trump. Obama said this the same day a) GOP members in Congress were falling all over themselves to be the first in line to say they want to work with Trump; and, b) the stock market had the fifth consecutive day setting all-time highs. Obama looked "diminished." Talk about the "JV team." In less than seven days, Obama and his administration look like the JV team and the all-stars are about to enter the arena.

Later, 7:29 p.m. Central Time. The Los Angeles continues the spin. This headline: Donald Trump's transition team loses a key figure as  he struggles to find his footing.

Talk about naïve. Slanted. Untrue. Inaccurate. Spin.
You have to read several paragraphs into the story to discover that the individual removed from Trump's transition team was a Chris Christie operative. Time for him to go. "You're fired." I love it: Trump is cleaning his own house.

Original Post
President Trump mentioned his "top 3 issues" on 60 Minutes on which he will focus. The tea leaves suggest:
  • every executive order issued by the Obama administration affecting the oil and gas industry will be reviewed by the new Interior Secretary; within 100 days he will act / not act on each of those executive orders
  • there will be lots of talk about trade wars but that talk will fade over time
  • all that silly talk about banning fracking is now off the table
  • all that silly talk about global warming is now off the table inside the White House
  • enthusiasm for wind and solar energy -- for so many reasons -- will fade away
  • the military will see a huge infusion of money for the active duty
  • no more bowing to foreign leaders; he will look them squarely in the eyes with a firm handshake
  • law-abiding illegal aliens have nothing to fear in the first Trump administration
  • illegal aliens with any outstanding warrant -- including unpaid parking tickets -- will start leaving the US in droves (we won't hear about that) 
  • the US will re-negotiate from a position of a) a level playing field; and, b) from an "American first" doctrine
  • the EPA will have a new head, and new marching orders
  • the attorney general will be pushed to look into illegal voting in several states
  • tax reform will be high on his agenda
  • if GOP in the House does not "play ball" Trump will have plenty of allies on the other side of the aisle; I get the feeling he won't spend a lot of time spinning his wheels
Democracy Is Coming To America

The meme that Hillary won the popular vote will be found to be untrue/inaccurate once the secretaries of the 52 states and the District of Columbia verify the legitimacy of the voters. Three million votes were likely cast by illegal aliens. It won't amount to a hill of beans in the national election, but the 60,000 felons voting in Virginia gave that state's electoral votes to Trump. See also the "popular vote" note posted at this site on November 15, 2016.

Democracy, Leonard Cohen

Best Symphony Ever

Trump Protest Buses
Link here.

Good Morning, America -- November 15, 2016


November 15, 2016: I love the "LoveTrumpsHate" protests. It makes it easier for "real" American students to increase the gap between the "cream of the crop" and the "slackers." While David Muir, ABC News, is focused on protests in Portland, the rest of the world goes on. Trump's doctrine: "America First" is an incredible doctrine. The US has the advantage in almost every sector, and that sector will continue to benefit with an "American First" doctrine. Here's another example. Though it pertains to the US only right now, it's not difficult to see the potential -- recall that GE bought French company Alstom's power division -- some call the best deal of the century. From SeekingAlpha:
  • General Electric signs up Exelon for a five-year contract to use its full software set to analyze and manage U.S. power plants, in GE's largest deployment in the power sector and one of the three largest sales of its Predix industrial operating system so far
  • EXC says it will use GE's Predix software and applications across its 91 power plants, which produce 32.7K MW and supply more than 10M customers, as well as software that analyzes the company's business performance and profitability
  • in initial uses, GE's technology has increased power plant efficiency by 3% and reliability by 5%, while cutting operating and maintenance costs by 25%
  • the companies did not disclose the value of the contract.
Original Post
Good morning, America! It is so much fun listening to folks trying to "walk back" their reporting (which they call "oppositional reporting") with regard to the presidential campaign election.

US retail sales jump more than forecast in broad advance! T+7.

Home Depot's sales beat analysts' estimates.

NASA, ATT to build national drone tracking system. Huge.

The Next Big Thing
Entrepreneurs Who Jump on Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana


November 19, 2016: Outrun Change is following this new issue. Quite fascinating. 

Original Post

The next big thing: entrepreneurs who realize that the insurance industry will police the marijuana laws. More and more "entities" (private companies, public companies, federal government) will start adopting the highly successful and decade-testing drug-testing programs the DOD has in place.

All active duty military -- regardless of job description -- are subject to random drug testing. The DOD mandates that "every" active duty military member must be tested every year. Because the system is entirely random, to ensure that "every" active duty military member is tested, random tests are done on a monthly basis, on a percentage of the force. The percentage adds up to well over 100% by the end of the year to ensure that everyone has been tested at least once. Because of the way the "randomness" is "random," I was often tested three or four times a year. There was nothing I detested more than being drug-tested (urinalysis). I did not mind the actual requirement -- it was just after being test three times in the same year, when my number came up the fourth time, I became a bit irritated.

But then I solved the problem. I took the day off. The "numbers" were called at 0700 (7:00 a.m.) on the random day of the month. Members were notified within 30 minutes had had to be in-place within another 30 minutes. Most folks were processed within two hours and were back at work by 9:00. Nothing -- absolutely nothing took precedence over drug testing. Surgeons canceled surgery. Pilots canceled sorties. Judges canceled trials. Once in the testing facility, one could not leave until one had provided the urine specimen.

And that was the "Catch-22" for me. I simply was "unable" (LOL) to provide a sample until about 5:00 p.m. Seriously. I took the books I wanted to read, and the office work that I wanted to work on, and set up shop. I found a desk, a chair, and starting reading and working. And never once got up to use the rest room. My commander could not reach me. I was on an island: no one could reach me and I had not reason to reach out to anyone (yes, we could use portable laptops -- though we didn't have them so much then, and we could use our cell phones) -- so I essentially took a day off. Reading, writing, and at 5:00 p.m. when the facility was pretty much empty, I found a male monitor (I had no trouble with female monitors, but there was some regulation ....), produced my specimen, and went home to dinner.

One can set the "threshold" for THC in the urine at any level the governing body wants. Alcohol clears the system in 24 hours. THC remains in the system indefinitely. The USAF set the threshold low enough that it could detect the "use" of a single marijuana cigarette up to 90 days after the event. The USAF chose 90 days because that was about the maximum length of time an active duty member might go on leave, though most members are not gone more than two weeks at a time.

Williston, ND, at the heart of the Bakken has several drug testing centers -- all private labs/companies. The trucking companies depend on them. I don't know if frack spreads or roughnecks are subject to drug testing. With the concerns about 18-wheelers across the US and subway operators in the northeast, there will be little push back on drug-testing a large percent of the population in the transportation sector. I assume airlines drug test, but I don't know. Life insurance companies are allowed to test for nicotine when applying premiums for smokers and non-smokers. They are also allowed to test for HIV.

The Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill 
Candice Millard
c. 2016

Wow, the first thing that hit me when reading the prologue was Trump's comment about John McCain being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. Incredible.

It turns out that Winston Churchill, age 25, also the son of a prominent British citizen, Lord Randolph Churchill, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a member of the highest ranks of the British aristocracy, had also become a POW. Churchill had been captured by the Boers, in the Boer War, in late 1899 or early 1900, but unlike McCain, he escaped.

It looks like a fantastic book on "escape and evasion." During my time in the USAF, I was involved in many discussions and training sessions on "escape and evasion." I remember clearly the opportunity I had to drive with a USAF major, an aviator stationed in Germany with me, who had been among the latest POWs in the Vietnam War. He talked about his successful escape, and several weeks evading the enemy, as he tried to get back to South Vietnam. He did not succeed, was re-captured, and released some time later. I don't know the specifics, but I do remember much of what he talked about in terms of "escape and evasion." It will be interesting to hear about Winston Churchill's own capture and escape.

The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America 
Susan Faludi
c. 2007
DDS: 306.2FAL

Interestingly, the reason I got the Faludi book was to read about the Salem witch trials. It turns out that on pages 225 - 226, there is another "escape and evasion" story. This time it is about a "frontier' woman, March 15, 1697, who was captured by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. She escaped and "regaled" the General Court and leading citizens in Massachusetts with her story. I never expected that; I had picked up the book for other reasons.

Way Behind -- November 15, 2016

To say the least, I am overwhelmed. It will take me some time to get caught up. Some thoughts about the blog:
  • it remains a "Bakken" blog but there are fewer stories for me to post on the Bakken for two reasons
    • the Bakken is a bit quieter right now than during the boom
    • the purpose for the Bakken blog was to help me understand the Bakken better; that goal has been achieved to a large extent
  • remember, the "Bakken" is three things to me
    • the geological footprint
    • the public-private partnership developed in North Dakota that was vital for the boom to succeed
    • the metonym: the "Bakken" is a metonym for the US onshore fracking industry, as mostly related to crude oil; I'm not sure if there is a different metonym for the US onshore fracking industry mostly related to natural gas
  • I generally don't post updates on DAPL; for now, it's dead
  • I love to "connect dots"
  • music often keeps me going
  • there will be fewer and fewer items related to the Obama administration; I've already removed the countdown; removed other links from the sidebar; the Obama story is now shifting to the Trump story
  • there will be fewer and fewer items related to global warming / climate change
  • items on the Mideast? I don't know
  • short term: the shift to a Trump presidency
  • little interest in political infighting
  • little interest in healthcare
  • little interest in trade war stories
  • very interested in immigration stories, but won't post much on them
  • still interested in "tectonic changes" in practical (not theoretical) technology 
  • may return to my roots with more stories on North Dakota pride 
  • I'm really excited to see what the "Fargo guy" and the ex-Watford City mayor have in store for North Dakota as governor-elect and lt-gov-elect
  • perhaps more on books I am reading, again to help me put the Trump revolution in perspective
Immediately In Front Of Me

I will take a break from blogging to peruse the following for a few hours.
  • The November 14, 2016 issue of The New Yorker -- the first since the election; the front cover is priceless. I can't wait to read "The Talk Of The Town"
  • The Witches: Salem, 1692, Stacy Schiff, c. 2015, DDS: 974.4SCh
  • The Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill, Candice Millard, c. 2016; DDS: 968MIL
  • The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America, Susan Faludi, c. 2007, DDS: 306.2FAL
I started reading The Witches at the library in September, 2016. Sometime in October it was no longer on the shelves at either of the two libraries where I read. But now that Halloween has passed, I see that Witches is back on the shelves in one of the libraries.

Faludi's book has a section on the Salem witch trials; that's the reason for that book. Along that line I want to read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States but it's not at this library; it will be at the other library.

The Roanoke book I was reading has been checked out I will replace it with the Winston Churchill book until the Roanoke book shows up again.

So, The New Yorker:
  • so-so issue
  • no Trump cartoons
  • Jeffrey Toobin in "Talk of the Town" still does not "get it" and that's why I will now love The New Yorker and may even re-subscribe; I cancelled my subscription earlier this year due to it becoming nothing more than a mouthpiece for Hillary
  • the cartoons were okay, but not up to The New Yorker standard
  • perhaps the best snippet (The New Yorker used to do a lot of these fillers; now they are as rare as hen's teeth):
"Walmart has recalled a donkey meat product from some Chinese stores after tests found it had traces of fox meat, the retailer said Thursday."

MODE Opens In Downtown Williston -- November 15, 2016

Williston MODE:  
Shoppers flocked to a new boutique in Downtown Williston yesterday. The Chamber held a ribbon cutting ceremony for MODE - Williston. The new women's clothing store is located in the new Renaissance on Main building at the corner of Main St. and 2nd St. W. Two Williston entrepreneurs are collaborating on the project; Deanette Piesik and Kim Wenko. The store will celebrate its grand opening Nov. 10 and 11 with giveaways and special offers.
Williston car dealer to move.  
There might be something charming about having a car dealership in the middle of downtown, but it can also be quite limiting. Red Rock Ford, which in June took over the space in Williston previously occupied by Select Ford, understands that very well. That's why the dealership is planning a big move. The company started work on its new location in early November. The site is located in the Sand Creek Town Centre retail development near Menards. 
Photography studio moves.
The owners of Tangled Roots Photography and Kirsten Braaten Photography will celebrate the grand opening of their new location Nov. 12 from 2-6 p.m. The store is located in the  Diamond Plaza next to Sears.
Heidi supports Trump
Border protection officers shared their challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, during her visit to the Portal Port of Entry Nov. 4. Heitkamp met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to discuss ways to improve security along the nation's more than 5,500-mile northern border. "All of our borders need to be secure," said Heitkamp, who noted that activities such as drug or human trafficking shift northward when security is tightened on the southern border. 
New Sportsman's Club seeks land for first-class gun range
The new Richland County Sportsmen's Club is making strides and the goal of a first-class gun range in the area is becoming closer to reality. The club held its organizational meeting at the Elks Lodge recently. The Richland County Sportsmen's Club is now officially a 501 (c)(4) and it can begin searching for property for a gun range. The land should be at least half a section.   

T+7 -- Another Record-Breaking Day On Wall Street? -- November 15, 2016

The deplorable climate science blog at this link.
Over the last eight months, global temperatures over land have cooled a record 1.2 C. November is seeing record cold in Russia and South Australia, so we should see the record cooling trend continue.
Futures: oil "spikes" -- up $1.11, back over $44; Dow 30 futures up slightly; might we see a fifth consecutive day of record setting on Wall Street? T+7.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3864186183186

RBN Energy: Lessons learned from five years of crude oil, natural gas and NGL forecasts.

Earthquakes and Oklahoma: a solution?  Separate the salt water from produced water; return the water to rivers (actually, it would be simpler to simply use if for irrigation), and sell the salt as industrial salt, maybe even table salt.

Enerplus (ERF) reports loss: link here. Enerplus shares have climbed 87 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased 30 percent in the last 12 months.

Kazakhstan's Kashagan: produces 201,000 tons of oil in October.

China October crude oil output down 11.3% on year (October, 2016, compared to October, 2015). At  47.05 million tones = 11.08 million bbls/day, October crude oil runs rose 5.5% on year, the highest level since at least 2011. 

The Political Page

The media's narrative is starting to shift. There is much more positive news regarding Trump. It is quite remarkable. Even MSNBC Morning Joe had positive things to say about the Trump election. The most interesting thing said: a Hillary loss means they won't be grooming Chelsea to run for Congress using the White House as the vehicle. The Trump election has pretty stomped on those plans. Also, this: this morning on MSNBC Morning Joe, the two anchors were very, very complimentary on last Saturday's SNL. They thought the opening was excellent and that the entire SNL was funnier and more uplifting.