Friday, December 30, 2016

A Reader Provides A Comment On "Pumped Storage" For Wind Energy In Montana -- December 30, 2016

A reader made some great points and introduced some concepts of which I was unaware, so with minimal editing, I posted the entire comment at an earlier post. I did not ask permission from the reader to post it, so if he/she wants it removed, I will remove if so requested. Of course the note is posted anonymously.

I normally don't post such long commentaries or notes sent to me, but this one was too good not to share.

This has to do with "pumped storage" associated with wind energy in Montana, posted a few days ago.

Fighting Seminoles

I'm sitting here watching the Orange Bowl, the FSU Seminoles, the "war chant," and, the "tomahawk chop."

And thinking about the Fighting Sioux.

I'm sure someone can explain it; I can't.

[Update: and someone did -- see first comment.]

Absolutely Nothing Of Interest In Today's Daily Activity Report -- And I Came Home To Blog This? December 30, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3961170187187

No new permits.

No DUCs completed.

No, nothing.

Except, one permit renewal:
  • Murex: a Sophia Drake permit in Mountrail County.

Worker Shortage Looming In The Bakken? -- December 30, 2016


Later, 8:30 p.m. Central Time: see first comment. I corrected the original post to reflect the first comment regarding water used for fracking. Huge "thank you" to the reader for the comment.Wow, I hate it when I make a stupid error like that. I should have known.

Original Post
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2016: worker shortage looming in the Bakken.

Today, from The Jamestown Sun (so it might be somewhat of a repeat of an earlier story but its byline is Williston, ND, and the writer is April Baumgarten, so there might be a few new data points of interest):
  • Job Service North Dakota announced six (6) oil companies are looking for workers to man fracking crews
  • 45  - 65 workers per crew; low end: 300 hires
  • recent job posting are mostly for service or workover rigs
  • almost 500 jobs posted at the Job Service site mentioned oil
  • November's increase from October:
    • Stark County: an increase of 140
    • Williams County: an increase of 50
  • December numbers are expected to come out Wednesday (January 4, 2017?)
For newbies, it doesn't take long to frack a well. In my simple way of thinking there are three elements: a) getting sand and water (see first comment) pre-positioned; b) getting the pumping units pre-positioned; and, c) the actual fracking.

Getting sand and water pre-positioned will take the most time but it can be done in anticipation of actual fracking. Fracking spreads are not sitting around waiting to frack. They will frack wells while sand is being delivered to other pads. What pre-positioning requires is lots and lots of trucks. It takes 2,000 (or 4,000, I forget) truck trips for each frack. Something like that. A lot. (With high intensity fracks, more truck-trips might be needed for all that sand.)

In the old days (before pad drilling) it was a time-intensive to move pumping units from well to well. Now fracking spreads have two, three, four, or more wells on one pad that can all be fracked before moving to the next pad. Just one of the huge advantages of pad drilling.

The actual fracking takes very little time, measured in days. I assume an average of about three to six days, total.

I don't know but if pre-positioning works, they might even be able to do significant fracking during spring thaw when historically road weight restrictions are put in place, but now I'm way beyond my comfort zone.

Back-of-the-envelope: this does not include the fracking spreads already working in the Bakken:
  • six new fracking spreads, two wells/week/spread
    • twelve wells/week for these six fracking spreads
    • March to November, nine months = 36 weeks
    • 36 weeks x 12 wells = 400 wells
  • currently about 45 wells are coming off the confidential list each month
    • March to November, 45 x 9 = 400 new wells
  • current number of DUCs, about 800

More On The Petro Harvester Wells Along The Canadian Border -- December 30, 2016

I have two major "blind spots" when it comes to monthly production data from Williston Basin wells: a) water production; and, b) natural gas production.

I was reminded of the latter (natural gas production) when a reader noted the natural gas production of a Petro Harvester well along the Canadian border.

By the way, another reader provided some interesting data points about these Petro Harvester wells.

Monthly Production Data (note: this is a horizontal MADISON well):

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare


Yesterday I posted a short note regarding aurochs. I completely missed an important point. The local librarian pointed it out to me today when discussing the subject: think about the pronunciation or etymology of the two words, "aurochs" and "iraq."

The Literature Page

Perhaps a good book for those interested in biology, evolution, geologic history of earth, greenhouse epochs of the past, etc.:
A New History Of Life: 
The Radical New Discoveries About The Origins and Evolution of Life On Earth
Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink
c. 2015

I would highly recommend this book for any high school senior who plans to major in one of the life sciences in college.

Having read about a fifth of it, it appears to me that our time would be better spent planning for an earth with increased atmospheric CO2 than trying to prevent it. There have been several times in earth's history -- well before humans were around -- when high CO2, low O2 was the reality. At the very worst, and much worse than what is predicted by even the most pessimistic of warmists today, there was simply a "change" in location of where animals thrived. The alternative suggestion, an escape to Mars sounds fanciful and unrealistic.

Some significant changes / concepts, some of which may be new since I last studied this subject:

The "dinosaur-killing" K-T Cretaceous period-Tertiary Period mass extinction is now termed the K-Pg, or Cretaceous-Paleogene Period but most, even these authors, still use the better known K-T designation.

Low O2 (which correlates with high CO2) is prime determinant of animal diversity (diversity, not necessarily extinction).

Why reptiles have a three-chambered heart and why they generally do not chase their prey, but rather sit passively waiting to spring on unsuspecting prey (think alligators and crocodiles).

The tree of life which has changed in the last decade or so: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya, with shading to designate the organisms that thrive in high heat.

Carl Woese's theory and the discussion of methanogens.

RNA as a catalyst.

And that's just a start.  Something tells me it's going to take a long time to get through this book.