Friday, July 28, 2017

Week 30: July 23, 2017 -- July 29, 2017

Wow, what a week.

My favorite post this week had nothing to do with the Bakken: "Meeting of the Waters."

US gasoline demand is starting to hit new records.

Nothing to do with the oil industry but perhaps the news that pleased me the most: "Snopes on the ropes."

Active rigs up to 61, eleven more than many thought likely at this point
Random look at an old Gudmunson well
42 Emerald Oil wells transferred to Petro-Hunt
Random look at a re-frack
Update on BR's Red Rivers wells in Corral Creek
Random look at Statoil's Roscoe well
Jump in production, BR's CCU Boxcar well

CalFrac's earnings conference call
EOG's fracking solutions

Cenex, from Sidney, MT, to Minot, ND

Natural gas
Putting a new natural gas processing plant into perspective -- it will be the largest in ND
Natural gas from the Bakken, hitting all-time records 

Bakken 101
Tyler and Pronghorn

Bakken 2.0
Jump in production, a Koala well
Rising EURs

Bakken economy
Legacy Fund update 

Connecting the Bakken with nation's largest port and export to Asia 

The Meeting Of The Waters -- July 28, 2017

This is going to be a very long note, and it won't have anything to do with the Bakken, but I've been looking for a reason to post the photo that will accompany this long note.

For the Williston-area folks who read this long entry, it will be interesting if they can guess the subject of the photo to be posted at the end of this long note.

In this week's issue of the London Review of Books, July 27, 2017, beginning on page 23, the editors devote six full pages to a very dry article, but one that piqued my interest. I'm glad I went back and re-read it.

The full article can be read at this post.

The writer develops a wonderful essay on "The Meeting of the Waters" by the Irish Romantic poet Thomas Moore, first published in 1808 and by the end of the century it had become one of the known of his Irish Melodies.

The author, John Barrell, recalls his five favorite "meetings of the waters" beginning with the confluence of the Greta and the Tees on the Rokeby estate in Teesdale.

The highlight of the article came near the end. From the linked article:
To these reasons, I want to add one more, perhaps the most important in revealing how early, and how widely, the phrase and the song became embedded in the consciousness of early 19th-century Americans.
At the beginning of the century, the Appalachian mountains seemed to present a barrier to the western expansion of the US. The story of how this barrier was overcome has been frequently told, so I will keep it short. The answer, at once obvious and apparently impossible, was to drive a canal from Albany up the Mohawk Valley and so through the mountains to Lake Erie. This was a distance of over 350 miles, and nowhere in the world had a canal of anywhere near that length been attempted before. ‘It is little short of madness to think of it,’ Jefferson announced. But De Witt Clinton believed it could be done, and in 1817, when he became the governor of the state of New York, he was determined to see the canal built.
In October 1823, when Moore’s song was only 15 years old, Niles’ Weekly Register offered an account of a ceremony which had taken place at the 53rd lock on the Erie Canal, at Albany, celebrating the junction of the canal, which by this time was completed from Albany through to Rochester, with the newly completed Champlain Canal, running northwards to Lake Champlain and so to Canada.
The importance of the occasion was described in the Commercial Advertiser: ‘By means of this great artificial river … the Atlantic states and the rich and widely extended regions of the west will become neighbours, and a close community of interests will induce them to cling together with a degree of tenaciousness and constancy, which even a daily recollection of their consanguinity would not otherwise have produced.’ De Witt Clinton was ‘high priest’ of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and the opening ceremony was a Masonic ritual presided over by the excellent Grand High Chaplain, the most excellent Grand High Priest, and other grandees of the chapter, who together laid the capstone of the lock.
Samuel Mitchell, also a member of the chapter, then ‘mingled with the waters of the canal, two bottles of water’, ‘the one taken from the depths of the Indian ocean, and the other from the Atlantic’, to symbolise the meeting of all the waters of the world with the Great Lakes. The whole occasion was known as ‘The Meeting of the Waters’, and at the dinner that evening Moore’s song was played by the band of the Academy at West Point.
The following year a banquet was held in New York to commemorate the first anniversary of the partial opening of the canal.
On the menu, as well as ‘Gallipagos turtle’, was a ‘richly decorated pie’ from which ‘a pair of white carrier pigeons flew out and over the hall, bearing intelligence from Albany that the meeting of the waters had taken place’.
By the autumn of 1825 the canal was open ‘all the way through’ from Albany on the Hudson to Tonawanda near Buffalo on Lake Erie; Tonawanda, you will not be surprised to learn, was translated as ‘the meeting of the waters’. A ceremony of the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ was held in Geneva, at the north end of Seneca Lake and itself newly connected to the Erie canal system, and ten days later a final opening ceremony was held at Sandy Hook, which divides and protects Lower New York Bay from the Atlantic. Here Clinton performed ‘the ceremony of commingling the waters of the Lakes with the Ocean’, pouring a bottle of water drawn from Lake Erie into the Atlantic.
Wow, I love America.

Much more at the link.

The author says that he started with five "meetings of the waters." Since then, he has turned up 200 or 300 more, and continues to turn up four or five new ones each month (Great Britain, America, Australia).

One wonders if he is aware of one of the most famous "meetings of the waters"?

Growing up in North Dakota, I was so naive that I thought the only "confluence" in the world was southwest of Williston. LOL.

Several years ago, I canoed the Yellowstone River with a brother-in-law starting about five miles south of the confluence. My brother arranged for this most memorable canoe trip.

The photo above was taken by Vern Whitten and was in his most recent batch of photographs. See tag for more Whitten photographs.


The London Review of Books article on the "Meeting Of The Rivers" also had this:
I am thinking of favourite walks, or rather favourite places to sit when out walking, like the confluence of the Nidd and the Ouse at Nun Monkton near York, or of the streamlet behind our local pub and the River Wye, where sometimes at twilight you can see otters playing: places which seem as calm as the lines from Thomson are violent. 
Ironically, when serving with the USAF, I was sent to RAF Menwith Hill Station in northern England. I walked the Nidd on many occasions and I can honestly say it was my favorite walk. River Nidd. Wow, it's been a long time since I've seen that in print.

The London Review of Books, like its sister publication, The New York Review of Books, suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Both have become so deranged, I decided this past week to not renew my subscriptions. After this article, I am reconsidering. LOL.


I can connect each "Meeting Of The Waters" in my own life, each with a most beautiful woman.


One can hardly mention northern England and not provide a photo of my favorite "dinner": a little Scotch, a roll with butter, and herring. And that's all. Okay, maybe two rolls.


Random Look At General Area For Another WPX 5-Well Pad, Proposed -- July 28, 2017

In today's daily activity report.

WTI Just Shy Of $50; Active Rigs Up To 61 -- July 28, 2017

Active rigs:

Active Rigs613573193207

Five (5) new permits:
  • Operator: WPX
  • Fields: Reunion Bay (Dunn); Spotted Horn (Dunn)
  • Comments: all permits for a 5-well pad on Lot 5, 30-150-93
Fourteen permits renewed:
  • CLR (6): three Carus permits and three Bang permits, all in Dunn County
  • EOG (2): two Riverview permits, McKenzie County
  • Newfield (2): two Bernice permits in McKenzie County
  • Enerplus: a Mars permit in Dunn County
  • Texakota: an H. Borstad permit in Williams County
  • North Range Resources: a Placed permit in McKenzie County
  • North Plains Energy: a State permit in Divide County
Hess cancels seven permits:
  • six Hay Draw permits, Little Knife oil field, Dunn County
  • one Weyrauch permit, Eagle Nest oil field, Mountrail County
One producing well (DUC) reported as completed:

The Market And Energy Page, Part II, T+189 -- July 28, 2017

After all that hand-wring yesterday about the market, it's amazing how things developed today -- LOL. The Dow 30 will set a new closing record today (21,830); Nasdaq will close absolutely flat.

And the US Senate, having worked really, really hard these past six months, will now head out for a well-deserved vacation.

Any new highs on the NYSE? Yup: CAT, Exelon, the New York Times, NextEra Energy, Raytheon, Sunoco, Time Warner. New lows? Only 24, including XOM. Wow.

Starbucks: down about 10% today. Let's see, a Starbucks coffee, $3.50; a McDonald's coffee for seniors: 50 cents. And we get a PlayPlace. What's not to like. LOL.

Amazon: everyone agrees that Amazon will never make a profit. And if you don't make a profit, you don't pay taxes.

Netflix: nothing seems to stop it.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

Taking A Break

Between water polo matches at the National Junior Olympics, Huntington Beach, CA.

Why I Love To Blog: The Energy Gap Is Only Going To Get Wider -- July 28, 2017

The other day I listed the reasons why I was inappropriately exuberant about the US economy: #1 - Energy.

Now, today, another throw-away article over at Yahoo!Finance: the real reason why overseas manufacturing is coming to America.
As the world’s largest contract electronics maker, Foxconn operates 12 factories in China. It has faced criticism in the past for paying its workers minimum wage and requiring them to work long hours. In 2010, Foxconn doubled the monthly salary to $290 month after reports emerged that at least 10 workers had committed suicide.
Since then, though, it’s gotten more expensive to manufacture goods in China. In the past five years, wages in China have grown about 10% to 15% every year, while the increase in the US is about 2.5%.
Boston Consulting Group says industrial electricity prices in the US are 30% to 50% lower than in other major export nations [Japan, Germany, South Korea].
Foreign manufacturers that make products in the US also save money on shipping time and cost since many customers are here. Overall, China’s manufacturing cost advantage over the US shrank from 14% in 2004 to only 1% in 2016.
The energy gap is only going to widen. England is pretty much out of the energy picture. France bans fracking. Spain nearly went broken promoting solar energy. Japan is going back to coal. Germany doesn't know what it wants to do (except re-elect Angela Merkel). 

The Political Page, T+189 -- July 28, 2017


Later, 4:36 p.m. Central Time: President Trump fires Priebus; promotes General (ret) John Kelly from Department of Homeland Security (bor-ring --- his mission is accomplished -- moving on).

For all he said during the campaign, something tells me President Trump likes US military generals.

Note: first major announcement from the White House regarding staff that wasn't leaked -- the news, Priebus fired? Hmmm.....connecting the dots.....
Lost in all this, America's top Mideast official was also fired ... by the National Security Advisor, HR McMaster ...

Original Post
Geico Rock Award nominee: and the newest nominee for the 2017 Geico Rock Award: Nathan Crooks over at Bloomberg for writing an article with this headline: is Venezuela becoming a Cuba-style dictatorship? I'm not even going to read the article. Embarrassing. Nominees for the 2017 award are tracked here.

ObamaCare: on so many levels, not passing the "skinny" bill was the right thing to do.
  • everyone needs time to step back and really, really think this through
  • health care insurers will do just fine -- as long as changes don't whipsaw them back and forth
  • ObamaCare apparently holds back national GDP 0.1% 
  • it appears healthcare in the US is not imploding; the US Senate -- made up of the smartest politicians in the universe -- don't seem much worried about healthcare; if they're not worried, why should anyone else worry
ObamaCare: is now off the table for any future elections. McCain is the scapegoat, but if it had not been him, it would have been someone else. "Everyone" knows how to count. Someone would have stepped up. McCain took the bullet; six months from now ... but "everyone knows" ...

Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen

Transgender in the military: a really, really, really bad announcement by the president (I can't separate "decision" from "announcement" on this one)
  • I blame him less than the generals who gave him advice on this issue
  • if he made the decision/announcement without input from his generals, then it was a really, really, really, really bad decision/announcement 
  • this issue was not on the top 10 list of any US poll of issues facing Americans; I'm not sure it was even on any top 20 list
  • not one argument banning transgender Americans from the military holds up
  • he was very, very clear during his campaign: he loved the LGBT voting bloc
  • I'm waiting to see Camille Paglia and Peggy Noonan address this issue
Wisconsin: a gut check: needs to act fast to seal deal
  • needs to approve $3 billion in tax breaks
  • wanna bet it's not a slam dunk
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: I need to re-read this book

What happened? I debated at length (about 20 minutes) whether to post "what happened" the other day?  Wow, talk about superb timing. Today, Ted Van Dyke, active for more than 40 years in Democratic administrations and campaigns, talks at length about "what happened." He must have read the blog. LOL. If blocked by a paywall, google the democrats biggest problem is cultural wsj ted van dyk. That's what I love about this country. The activists in the 60s, one could argue, were much like the colonists in 1776. It just took a little longer and there was no Treaty of Paris (1783).
  • Ted was VP Hubert H Humphrey's assistant
  • Ted was policy and platform director for George McGovern’s campaign

Blame game: no links; I read the story the other day; a reader sent it to me. The New York Times says it will be President Trump's fault for what happens next in Venezuela. I cannot make this up. Google it.

Scaramucci: certainly ruined his "good-boy" charm. About as naive as they come.

Daily WH press briefing: streams. How good it works, I don't know. First time I've tried it.

Just give them the money: from USA Today -- $70 million in government "financial institution" to manage a program with $34 million in assets -- and Congress complains about US banks ... where is Pocahontas?
The Trump Administration said Friday it’s shutting down an Obama-era program aimed at encouraging low- and moderate-income households to save for retirement because the scant participation didn’t justify the cost.
About 30,000 Americans have contributed a total $34 million to the program, called myRA, which launched in late 2014 as an option for households that didn’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k, the Treasury Department said.  About 20,000 accounts have a median balance of $500 and the owners of another 10,000 accounts made no contributions.
Meanwhile, it has cost $70 million to manage the program – including server costs and promotion -- and was expected to cost an additional $10 million annually going forward, Treasury said.
The Literature Page

Trump Derangement Syndrome: continues for The New Yorker, July 31, 2017, issue. But there is some good news: this issue does have a great review of a novel of Clytemnestra and her children. I need to re-read these myths over and over to remember them. Google queen mother a novel of Clytemnestra and her children the new yorker. This issue also devotes twelve pages to the new Muslim mayor of London.

Love In War: also in the current issue of The New Yorker, July 31, 2017, page 73, "Briefly Noted," this:
The Unwomanly Face of War, by Svetlana Alexievich, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. During the Second World War, a million women served in the Soviet Army. This remarkable collection of testimonies, translated into English for the first time, is the earliest, and the most earnest, of the Nobel laureate's chronicles of Soviet and post-Soviet lives.
Sitting at kitchen tables, Alexievich coaxes out of the women stores that describe a reality vastly different from the officially sanctioned version, with its glorifying tidiness.
She asks them, "Was there love during the war?," and what was it like, when death was so near? They speak guardedly but vividly of fleeting encounters, deep relationships, unexpressed feelings. To the women, love was "the only personal event in wartime. All the rest is common -- even death." 
Body by Darwin
How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine
Jeremy Taylor
c. 2015
DDS: 576.8 TAY 

This is a really, really weird book: not the subject, not the content, but rather the way the author writes. There's a good reason why there is no index. Unfortunately Amazon does not provide a "look inside" so that would-be readers can see the style of writing.

Five chapters:
  • Absent Friends: how the hygiene hypothesis explains allergies and autoimmune disorders.
  • A Fine Romance: how evolutionary theory explains infertility and diseases of pregnancy
  • The Downside of Upright: the relationship between bipedalism and orthopedic illnesses
  • DIY Eye: how developmental biology cures blindness and rebuts creationism
  • Hopeful Monsters: why cancer is almost impossible to cure
  • A Problem With Plumbing: why the evolution of coronary arteries makes us prone to heart attacks
  • Three Score Years -- And Then? how evolution is breathing new life into moribund dementia research
I read the first chapter first to get an idea of the writer's thesis and way of writing. I was familiar with most of what he wrote.

I am now reading the chapter on heart disease; it looks promising.

I will read the article on dementia after the coronary artery chapter. 

And then the chapter on cancer.

ATT Bonds, Huge; Oil Sector Is Clawing Its Way Back, The Market And Energy Page, T+189 -- July 28, 2017

This is incredibly amazing, how fast things are moving.

Cup half full: Stabucks shares falling another 7% in early trading. 

Monopolies: most US counties now have only one health care insurance provider. 

0.1%: this is the amount that ObamaCare impacts GDP. All this talk for 0.1% GDP. 

Disclaimer: see welcome/disclaimer

Poll: oil has tended up this past week; now about $49.32. Will we see WTI touch $50 by the end of next week?

Easy money: the other day I posted my thoughts on the economy. One of the factors I mentioned was "cheap money." How prescient. This headline from Bloomberg today: ATT sells year's biggest bond deal and market wanted even more. Data points:
  • $22.5 billion in bonds
  • market would have bought more
  • drew almost 3x as many order as there were securities
  • largest investment-grade deal of the year
  • 3rd-biggest in history behind offerings from Verizon and Anheuser-Busch
  • likely the last funding ATT needs for its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner
  • a seven-part deal
  • longest: a 41-year bond; 2.4% above Treasuries, down from initial talk of 2.55%
  • offers higher yields than what investors see in Europe and Japan
  • T shares today: flat (slightly negative) at $39.37; currently yields 5.4%
Oil Sector

Silk purse from a sow's ear? Exxon Mobil earnings nearly double on higher oil prices. "Oil giant's rebound continues amid recovering commodity prices." -- WSJ. This is what the oil sector has had to experience in last couple of years: crude prices fell from $114 a barrel to $27 a barrel and remain about $50 a barrel. Barely. And only most recently. Look at these numbers, from the linked article:
  • profit, 2Q17: 78 cents/share vs 41 cents/share a year earlier
  • profit, 2Q17: $3.35 billion ($1.70 billion a year earlier)
  • profit, 1Q17: $4.01 billion ($1.81 billion a year earlier)
  • revenues, 2Q17: rose 9% to $62.88 billion; $1 billion ahead of estimates
CVX. Wow. Shares are up 1.6%; pays a bit over 4%.


Pronghorn And Tyler Re-Examined, Updated -- GEO News -- July 28, 2017

The two links below will most likely result in a PDF opening on your desktop. Authors of the two articles, respectively: Timothy O. Nesheim and Julie A LeFever.

The Tyler, from GEO News, July, 2017. Review Of The 1st Unconventional Testing of the Prospective Tyler Formation, Southwestern North Dakota. This link will open a PDF on your desktop:

The Pronghorn, from GEO News, July 20, 2017. Ichnology Applied to the Pronghorn Member, Bakken Formation (Mississippian-Devonian). This link will open a PDF on your desktop:

I'll come back to these later, but there is a "bombshell" with regard to the Tyler ... at least from my perspective. 

Huge First Read On 2Q17 GDP; Trump Rally Continues; Busy, Busy, Busy -- We've Only Just Begun -- July 28, 2017

First read on 2Q17: GDP -- "a big number, holy cow -- 1.4 last time ... this time, 2.6%." Rick Santelli and CNBC had it immediately.  Maria and FBN had the number in a crawler but very, very late in discussing it. I give CNBC the "win" on this one.  Steve Liesman not impressed: still not a 3% economy. But to his credit, Well, duh. "Full employment, not much more growth can be squeezed out of this." Liesman says 2.5% would be a huge win, a victory. [I guess that reflects how bad the growth was in the previous economy.]

Poll. With the first read of the 2Q17 GDP, we can close out the poll, in which we asked if my exuberance on the US economy:
  • right on target: 38%
  • misplaced: 2%
  • somewhere in between; leaning optimistic: 52%
  • somewhere in between; leaning pessimistic: 9%
GDP Now: the final forecast, yesterday, was for 2.8

Earnings, XOM: misses on earnings; beats on revenues; revenues, $62.88 billion vs $61.98 billion forecast; earnings, huge miss, 78 cents vs 84 cents. Shares in pre-market: down almost 2%, now below $80.

Earnings, CVX: 77 cents per share, vs 78 cents forecast, but not adjusted; shares of CVX in pre-market: flat on news (slightly negative).

Earnings, Baker Hughes: loss of $179 million; adjusted, 11 cents/share.

The Atlantic: just bought by Steve Jobs' wife.

Game of Thrones: viewership up 50% y-o-y. HBO.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs603573193207

RBN Energy: what reported oil and gas reserves reveal, and what they don't. This should be very, very interesting. I will read it later.
When prospective investors look at a company’s U.S. or Canadian regulatory filings, many of them may mistakenly believe they are getting a complete and accurate assessment of the crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) that could technically and economically be produced from the acreage the company controls. In fact, the rules governing the tallying of proved reserves are anything but straightforward and often result in a significant underestimation of the hydrocarbon volumes waiting to be produced. That is particularly true when it comes to reserves in shale plays, which many would argue are the most important reserves of all in today’s energy market. Today we begin a blog series that considers the arcane world of corporate reporting of proved hydrocarbon reserves and the importance of understanding the reporting rules.
Stories To Return To

I'm Back! TransAmerica launches open season for Keystone XL pipeline system. Nebraska will make decision, November, 2017.

Boom: total US petroleum deliveries reach 10-year peak in June.

Didn't I just post this suggestion: if Petronas can't build terminal in Canada, perhaps Petroanas could work with the US. I suggest the very same thing just a day or so ago. Original note here.

Worse than reported: drilling consultant believes reported layoff numbers too low. I had seen 300,000 as the number of frackers lost during the downturn. In this linked article, it is suggested that the overall job loss "officially" reported at 440,000 is too low; more likely, 688,000 (publicized global oil and gas layoffs since 2014).

Hiding something? Saudia Aramco advisers favor listing in London; disclosure rules less stringent. I won't be coming back to this one; the headline pretty much says it all. 

It Never Quits