Saturday, June 24, 2017

CLR Getting Ready To Frack The Rath Federal Wells? -- June 24, 2017


June 25, 2017: see first comment. Looks like CalFrac is on-site.

Original Post 

I noted that the one Rath Federal well that is active and producing is now off-line. There are no rigs in the area according to the NDIC map. It's possible the well was taken off-line for operational reasons, but whenever I seen a pad with several DUCs, and an active well goes off-line, I at least have to consider the possibility the operator is getting ready to frack the pad.


The US glut of crude oil is a glut of light, sweet oil. OPEC does NOT produce light, sweet oil. From a twitter post. Refineries along the US gulf coast are optimized for heavy oil, like that produced in the western Canadian oil sands (Keystone XL pipeline) and Venezuela (imploding).

Speaking Of Alarmists? California, What Drought? -- June 24, 2017


Later, 5:24 p.m. Central Time: over at the LA Times, breaking now:
Surging Sierra Nevada snowmelt caused the Kings River to overflow near the Central Valley town of Kingsburg on Friday night, forcing mandatory evacuations.
Tulare County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters went door to door starting just before midnight to order residents out of about 90 homes near the Kings River Golf and Country Club, said Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Teresa Douglass. Release of water from Pine Flat Dam caused the river to breach Friday afternoon. The flooding caused damage to seven homes and 18 recreational vehicles, Douglass said.
Subject to flooding - too much snow this past winter:

Original Post
Holy mackerel, Batman! After posting the screenshots below, Don sent me the discharge rate of Lake Tahoe, via the Truckee River. Look at this: the current discharge rate is 3X - 4X the mean which has been tracked for 94 years, about 5X longer than Algore first presented his Nobel-winning PowerPoint Presentation.The Truckee is the sole outlet of Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe: near natural rim of the lake. Wow. If one is above the natural rim of "something," would that be a "flood," or "spilling over"?

Lake Tahoe, source:

The Political Page -- June 24, 2017 -- T+154

From Maureen Dowd at The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — YOU know who is really sick and tired of Donald Trump winning, to the point where they beg, “Please, Mr. President, sir, it’s too much”?


The Democrats just got skunked four to nothing in races they excitedly thought they could win because everyone they hang with hates Trump.

If Trump is the Antichrist, as they believe, then Georgia was going to be a cakewalk, and Nancy Pelosi was going to be installed as speaker before the midterms by acclamation. But it turned into another soul-sucking disappointment.

“It’s Trump four and us zero,” says the Democratic congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. “I don’t want to admit that. When it comes out of my mouth, it bothers me. But Trump does robo calls. He tweets. He talks about the races. He motivates his base, and he moves the needle, and that’s a problem for us. Guys, we’re still doing something wrong here because a) he’s president and b) we’re still losing to his candidates.”
Wow, talk about a "fluff" piece. But having said that, it appears Maureen is starting "to get it."

Cupcakes, snowflakes, corn flakes, fruitcakes.

Amazon-Whole Foods (Again)

Now that I've had some time to digest this, my updated thoughts.

Yesterday I put together an imaginary grocery cart, and then pitted Amazon against Walmart.

If one is not biased toward one of the other, it's a draw, whether you order your groceries from Walmart or from Amazon. Amazon has the $99 Prime cost for "free delivery," whereas Walmart has free delivery -- truly "free" delivery -- as long as the order is greater than $35. Advantage: Walmart.

Line items: Walmart does not have 3rd party vendors (they might, but I did not see them) whereas Amazon has a robust 3rd party stable. Advantage: Amazon.

But for grocery staples, it's a wash whether you order from Amazon or Walmart.

If not Amazon or Walmart, what else? Basically, nothing. For all practical purposes, on-line retail belongs to Amazon and Walmart.

This will be interesting. "Everyone" questions whether regulators should approve the Amazon-Whole Foods merger based on monopoly concerns. LOL.

Nix the Amazon-Whole Foods merger and there's one loser, one winner.

The loser: the American consumer.

The winner: Walmart.

If regulators say "no" to Amazon-Whole Foods, there will be only one retailer that will offer it all: Walmart.

Gasoline Demand -- June 24, 2017

From an earlier post: gasoline demand in the US northeast at a six-year low. A reader just sent the link to ZeroHedge with the same story. From the ZeroHedge story this somewhat bizarre explanation:
While the cause of the supply is obvious, whatever has caused demand to fall off is less clear. Barclays has suggested that President Donald Trump's immigrant crackdown has made millions of illegal immigrants living in the US afraid to get behind the wheel for fear of being detained and deported. If this is true, that means Trump is to thank for gasoline prices falling to their lowest levels since February, despite the start of the summer driving season?
Note: it is important to note that that gasoline demand hit a record in 2016, so one needs to be a bit cautious comparing this year's gasoline demand with last year's. Note that for the third week in June and the fifth week in May, 2017, might have been an all-time record.

These were just some of the graphs from the blog regarding gasoline demand over the past six months or so, in reverse order (newest come first).

The source for the spreadsheet above and for the graphs below is at this link:

Previous Posts

June 14, 2017: after a spectacular climb after Trump became president, something happened. It is important to note that gasoline demand hit a record in 2016, so one needs to be a bit cautious comparing this year's gasoline demand with last year's.

March 30, 2017: finally, with the Trump presidency, things started looking up. That's an impressive recovery noted on this date. But then something happened.

February 2, 2017:

January 19, 2017: it looked like gasoline demand was beginning to recover in January, 2017, but then took a dramatic turn.

November 24, 2016: it was back in November, 2016, that I first started noting the decline in gasoline demand, a phenomenon that was not picked up by the mainstream press until June, 2017, or thereabouts.

Flex Alert In Southern California -- June 24, 2017

This is an interesting article. It requires a subscription but one can access it through Google. From The Los Angeles Times:
As record-setting temperatures surged into the triple digits in parts of California this week, the manager of the state’s electrical grid put out an urgent plea: Turn down the AC and conserve power to avoid rotating outages.

The two-day flex alert by the California Independent System Operator drew headlines from dozens of media outlets across the state and country. It also sent electricity prices on the wholesale market soaring four to five times higher than normal — a cost that will be passed on to utility customers.

There was no statewide shortage of electricity — not even close, according to a Times analysis of federal and state energy data.

Even as the mercury climbed, consumers used 44,184 megawatts Tuesday — 3,656 fewer than the forecast. But the system can generate about 71,000 megawatts, which means there was 38% unused capacity. That’s well above the 15% reserve required by the state for emergencies.

Some energy experts said the flex alert was unnecessarily alarmist.
The operative words: "... can generate..." If that includes intermittent energy, we have a problem.

Unnecessarily alarmist?  I don't know.  Then these consecutive paragraphs from the article:
Even the utility companies said that the increased demand caused by rising temperatures had not created an energy shortage.

“We’re looking at normal operations,” Robert Laffoon-Villegas, a spokesman for Southern California Edison Co., said as he gave his company’s report during a media call Tuesday.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was hit the hardest with some 377,000 customers in the San Francisco Bay Area out of power at some point through Thursday.
By Thursday afternoon, power outages had been reduced to typical daily levels, she said.
But the source of the outage wasn’t consumers draining the power supply nor a lack of power plants.

“This is not an energy supply issue at all,” Paulo said. “Transformer failure has been the No. 1 cause for heat-related failure for us.”
Overall, more than enough electricity, but not always available in all areas.

Some inconvenient truths, some mentioned in the article, some not:
  • some plants undergoing maintenance, had to be brought back on line to meet demand
  • solar and wind energy cannot be ramped up when needed
  • difference between nameplate capacity and actual production
  • risk of localized outages cascading to generalized grid failure 
  • necessity for coal/natural gas to back up wind/solar
  • wind/solar: intermittent and unpredictable
  • it's only June; the hottest days of summer are yet to come

Week 25: June 18, 2017 -- June 24, 2017

International story of the week
US surpasses Saudi in crude oil, liquid reserves

National stories of the week
Gasoline demand in the US northeast at a six-year low
WTI drops below $43

ND stories of the week
Active rigs hit one shy of 60
New natural gas plant for Bobcat 

Oasis well with nice jump in production
EOG will with nice jump in production
WPX well with nice jump in production
Active rigs in ND one shy of 60
Crescent Point Energy with eight more permits

XTO with a nice re-frack
High-intensity CLR fracks
Random update of completion strategies in the Bakken

Other formations
Whiting with a permit for a Madison well in East Fork

Bakken economy
Another large natural gas plant for ND
Top 20 retailers likely to succeed in Williston
The Bakken is back; surge in economic activity index