Monday, January 29, 2018

Williston Basin Deals in 2017

This is just some housekeeping. There is nothing new being posted here. Everything being posted here has been posted before.

I track "Williston Basin Deals" at the sidebar at the right.

I am moving all the deals in 2017 to a single page.

Disclaimer: obviously this list is not all inclusive. The purpose is to give me an idea of what is going on in the Bakken, nothing more, nothing less. Not only is the list not all-inclusive, the information is very, very superficial. Do not make any financial, investment, or travel decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. If this information is important to you, go to the source. A more complete disclaimer is found at the tab at the top of the blog.  
Whiting sells Fort Berthold assets to RimRock, January 26, 2018 

Oasis to exit the Bakken; enter the Permian, December 12, 2017
Linn Energy to exit Williston Basin, October 23, 2017
Oasis launches midstream MLP, September 16, 2017
Whiting to sell some assets in Fort Berthold, August 15, 2017
Halcon sells all of its operated Bakken assets; buyer: Bruin E&P Partners, July 11, 2017
Keane buys Rock Pile, May 19, 2017
Oasis to spin off MLP, May 19, 2017
SM to exit the Bakken, same link as below, January 25, 2017
SM Energy transferred 92 wells to White Rock; earlier SM Energy had sold some acreage to Oasis, January 25, 2017

WTI Down On Stronger Dollar; Active Rigs At 57 -- January 29, 2018

Active rigs:

Active Rigs573845146190

Five new permits:
  • Operators: Slawson (3); Bruin (2)
  • Fields: Big Bend (Mountrail County), McGregory Buttes (Dunn County)
  • Comments: Slawson has permits for another 3-well Armada Federal pad in SWSW 14-151-92; we've come across Armada Federal wells before; Bruin has permits for a 2-well Fort Berthold pad
Three permits canceled:
  • MRO (2): a Bollete permit and a Nisbit permit, both in Dunn County
  • Petro-Hunt: a Harry Dunne permit in Stark County
Two permits renewed: both Murex permits, a Patrician Ann permit and a Michael Douglas permit in Williams County; it's been a long time but I think I highlighted these two wells a long, long time ago;

Bummer: St Croix reports a dry hole, #33087, a Northern Border well in Bottineau County; can't recall if I've posted this earlier, but it sounds familiar

Two producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 30557, SI/NC, Bruin E&P, Fort Berthold 148-95-13B-24-11H, Eagle Nest, no production data,
  • 33294, 1,600, Whiting, Scanlan 11-5-2TFH, Truax, t1/18; cum -- 
New permits:
  • 34525, Slawson, Armada Federal, Big Bend
  • 34526, Slawson, Armada Federal, Big Bend
  • 34628, Slawson, Armada Federal, Big Bend
  • 34528, Bruin, Fort Berthold, McGregory Buttes,
  • 34529, Bruin, Fort Berthold, McGregory Buttes,

MAGA: Exxon To Spend $50 Billion In US Over Next Five Years -- Cites Tax Bill -- January 29, 2018

Link here. Headline says it all.

Either I'm Misreading The Article, Or The Headline Has Nothing To Do With The Story -- January 29, 2018


January 30, 2018: burr under my saddle. This headline-article has really bothered me. It's not like Platt's to post a "misleading" headline. I finally figured it out. Platt's was suggesting this: Saudi Arabia needs a higher price for crude oil if its Aramco IPO is going to succeed, and the IPO/oil industry is an existential issue for Saudi Arabia.

This is the nightmare: if the price of crude oil continues to rise, it benefits US shale and puts Saudi Arabia's crude oil share of the market at risk. That was the "nightmare" that Platt's was referencing. The headline confused me but it now makes sense: rising crude oil prices will create another shale oil nightmare for Saudi Arabia.

Original Post
This is Platt's headline: Saudi’s Aramco IPO dream could create shale oil nightmare.

Nowhere in the story is the word "nightmare" used.

The story begins:
Saudi Arabia’s dream of securing a $100bn windfall from the IPO of Aramco may be clouding its judgement.
The kingdom needs higher oil prices to entice international investors to buy a stake in the state-owned company, which supplies almost all its crude.
Using its OPEC clout to restrict global supplies and pump up the cost of its barrels makes the mega offering look more appealing but the move has also revived the kingdom’s biggest enemy in the form of US shale oil.
Oil prices have climbed 33pc to trade around $70 per barrel since the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with the help of Russia, agreed in late 2016 to shave 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) of crude from world supplies.
That deal — brokered primarily by Riyadh — has now been extended for another year. 
Why is that a nightmare for shale oil? The article continues:
Of course, there is more at play than just Aramco. The International Monetary Fund argues that Saudi Arabia needs oil prices at their current levels to function efficiently without having to burn any more of its foreign reserves, which have dropped by about a third from their peak in August 2014 at $737 bn to compensate for the loss of revenues.
The slump also forced Riyadh to slash state benefits and subsidies, many of which have been reinstalled since oil prices recovered.
Selling a stake in Aramco is the centrepiece of his grand vision to modernise the oil-rich kingdom. Politically, its success depends on achieving the prince’s own valuation of around $2 trillion.
However, few bankers or industry experts believe such a lofty figure is attainable, even in the current buoyant environment. 
Again, I still don't see the nightmare.

I am obviously missing something.

Most interesting line in that article: However, few bankers or industry experts believe such a lofty figure ($2 trillion) is attainable, even in the current buoyant environment.

That supports my view that I have huge doubts the IPO will even be launched outside the mideast.

Reminder: Bakken Prices Here

Link here.

Texas Bullet Train

This is pretty cool. I think it's pretty well agreed that a bullet train from "Los Angeles" (wherever that is) to San Francisco makes absolutely no sense and will be incredibly costly for the legal, tax-paying residents of the Golden State.

On the other hand, a bullet train from Dallas (mostly likely DFW) to Houston (most likely George Bush Intercontinental Airport) makes eminent sense.

On top of everything else, the California bullet train's obstacles include:
  • dozens of cities that will stand in the way of the bullet train
  • huge costs associated with drilling through the mountains just north/northwest of Los Angeles
  • earthquake- prone geology
  • huge budgetary problems
On the other hand, for Texas:
  • very few cities stand between DFW and Bush to slow the train down
  • absolutely flat, easily-developed geology; no mountains; no large rivers
  • no earthquakes
  • no budgetary problems (yet)
So, where does Texas stand?

The "Feds" have picked the preferred route for the Dallas-to-Houston train. That was back in December, 2017. On the radio this morning, it was announced that the public-comment meetings are starting to be scheduled; I believe there are something like four public-comment meetings are required. (The linked site says there will be ten public hearings.)

Compared to the California bullet train, the DFW - GBIA should be a slam dunk.

The California bullet train is decades from reality and right now is estimated to cost upwards of $70 billion.

The Texas bullet train could be operational by 2023 and is estimated to cost less than $12 billion. the trip from LA to SF is estimated to take a little less than three (3) hours (my hunch is that this is grossly exaggerated; safety issues will require that the train slow down in many towns and cities along the route).

On the other hand, the time from DFW to GBIA is estimated to take 90 minutes.

On top of all this, compared to driving to LAX it is incredibly easy to drive to DFW and getting easier all the time. Texas is staying ahead of traffic congestion on the north side of DFW. The commute to LAX will easily add another hour to one's commute to SF, whereas the commute to DFW would be measured in minutes from the north side of DFW.

In a litigious state like California, it's hard to believe the California bullet train won't be renamed the California Keystone XL. With Trump's emphasis on infrastructure, the timing of the Texas bullet train seems more fortuitous.

I won't be alive to see the California bullet train (nor will Governor Moonbeam) but it is very likely that I will be taking the Texas bullet train before I am too old to do my own investing.

Idle Chatter On EVs -- January 29, 2018

I am considering buying an EV. We live in an apartment complex where there are no EV charging units, so I am working on "work-arounds", but more on that later. FWIW, I happened to get into a discussion with Don about EVs and a "tipping point." Here was my long, long e-mail note to Don, again, not ready for prime time:
I had a long discussion with my son-in-law. Engineer. Nuclear engineer. Harvard MBA. Incredible experience in all energy sectors. Worked at GE. EV presentation to Immelt which Immelt began circulating to his project managers some years later.

My son-in-law and I were discussing EVs. We both agree there will be a tipping point -- when EVs become mainstream.

We discussed the energy grid, from the charging unit in the garage; the GE transformers one sees in every neighborhood; charging stations; EV corridors; the gasoline service station experience now compared to the EV charging station in the future. We were both optimistic about EVs. Pure EVs, not hybrids.

After the discussion, and I had time to reflect, I realized we missed a huge part of the story. This is why I think I am wrong on a tipping point on EVs.

It gets back to charging stations.

Charging stations in the home garage are no big deal; it will involve a huge change in the energy grid: all those home charging station; new, better, and bigger transformers in upscale neighborhoods (just two EVs in a typical neighborhood will require larger neighborhood transformers); etc., etc., but all easily manageable (and a huge deal for GE -- just saying).

But this is the problem with public charging stations. Public charging stations cannot be compared with current gasoline service stations which everyone does (makes those comparisons).

When I drive cross-country from Portland, OR, to Flathead Lake, MT, I stop midway to refuel -- it's a touristy, mom-and-pop retail service station with about 12 pumps (6 x 2). Cars are moving in and out about every five minutes; many re-park to go inside to buy souveniers, but cars are moving through the gasoline pumps in less than five minutes.

One or two charging units at that service station will meet demand (for now) and for a decade or so, I can't imagine that more than five or six charging units will be needed. After that ...

So, here's the rub.

Twelve pumps -- twelve cars moving through every five minutes.

In a half hour, during peak driving periods, this relatively small mom-and-pop retail service station is seeing as many as 60  (12 * 5) cars. It's hard for me to believe it's sixty but that's what the math works out to. Let's say it's 30 cars.

Now imagine if these were 30 EVs. This small mom-and-pop retail center would need to have an additional footprint of parking space to park 30 EVs for a half-hour at a time. And the parking footprint is not scalable: it can't be decreased or increased based on volume. Even during the slowest period during the winter, the mom and pop would be paying upkeep for their huge parking lot, and space that could be used for retail (like a coffee shop or souvenier shop) would be relegated to parking spaces. Some might think thirty cars charging at one time would be great for the restaurant inside that little touristy mom-and-pop retail store. Not. The little restaurant would be overwhelmed by that many customers, and like the parking lot is not scalable.

EV "service stations"  similar to gasoline service stations would simply not work: the parking lots would have to be huge.

Right now, I'm sitting inside a McDonald's. Lots of parking spaces, with about half of them being used (mid-morning; slow foot traffic). If each of those parking spaces had a charging station, a lot of the charging needs for EVs would be met.

A McDonald's franchise owner is reticent to put in self-ordering kiosks. They are incredibly expensive. But over time, those kiosks pay off for McDonald's. I assume a charging station might cost as much as a self-ordering kiosk. I can't imagine any McDonald's franchiser wanting to install a charging station or two, much less 20 charging stations. And without an excess of charging stations, EVs drivers aren't going to look for / stop at a McDonald's when they need re-charging if it's likely the two EV charging stations are occupied.

iPhone apps will be developed that identify open charging stations, but everyone with an EV will have the app, and just as you turn the corner to the "open" charging station, another EV driver will beat you to the spot (think of those blue "handicapped" parking spots except that in this case everyone will be looking for charging stations).

And, if McDonald's has a charging station but I don't want to eat at McDonald's, I can always charge my Tesla at McDonald's and then walk across the parking lot to eat at Taco Bueno or Wendy's or Whataburger. There's not much in for McDonald's to lead the way in EV charging units.

This is going to be fascinating to watch. EVs will change everything and charging units in the garage will handle the majority of charging issues, but EV charging stations comparable to gasoline/diesel service stations simply won't work: it's the real estate / footprint problem. For charging away from home, every Starbucks, fast food restaurant, service station will have to have multiple charging stations at $2,000 apiece and those charging stations will bring in no revenue to mom and pop who are shelling out to install them.

Another thought: the problem in NYC or Boston is not lack of charging stations in the future; it's lack of parking. But I'm not going to get into that. Except to say that EVs are being sold to commuters (due to range anxiety) but with no parking spots available in NYC or Boston, whether one has a conventional ICE or an EV, it hardly matters, does it?
On another note, here's another story on Panasonic, gigafactories, Ford, EVs, etc., over at SeekingAlpha.

Global Warming Taking Its Toll On New England -- January 29, 2018

New England is so desperate for Russian LNG, President Trump will go soft on Russian sanctions -- at least that's what CNBC will report. And then they will blame Trump for going soft. It would be funny except that this will drive voters to vote against Trump in 2018 (the mid-term elections).

The saga continues. 

See this post.

From Bloomberg today: as first LNG tanker from Siberia awaits landing in Boston, a second ship may be coming.

Yes, you have seen that map not less than three times on the blog. But it's priceless.

Now, Don sends me the link to this story: cold winters are testing the US energy grid. What a hoot.

The problems are only in New England. Texas handled the record demand for electricity just fine. The northern tier, Montana to Michigan, has handled the demand just fine. The only folks having problems are those who are responsible for their problem in the first place. I'm not even going to waste my time reading the linked article.

Let me know if they mention:
  • the de facto moratorium on natural gas pipelines on the east coast and the west coast
  • the moratorium on CBR to the west coast (Washington state and California)
  • that the Marcellus and the Utica are just a few miles west of Boston
  • if New England is shutting down nuclear plants before they have new energy sources in place (no, they do not)
  • that heating oil is really, really expensive; natural gas is really, really inexpensive
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Pocahontas
  • shutdown Schumer
  • Hillary's proposal to ban fracking
  • Hillary's promise to put a lot of coal miners out of work
  • wind energy and solar energy: not dispatchable
But best of all, let me know if they say this shouldn't be happening at all now that we are into our third decade -- yes, it's been that long since Algore and Patrick Kennedy warned us -- of global warming.

So, we're shipping natural gas from Siberia because we still have an LNG import terminal in Massachusetts but not enough American pipeline from the Marcellus/Utica which would be more than enough energy for all of New England; the entire east coast of the United States; and, the entire EU, with or without Britain. LOL.

A Shout-Out To Apple -- January 29, 2018


Later, 11:20 a.m. CT: I have never bought "Apple Care" whenever I've purchased an Apple product. Their products are so good, so dependable, I've never seen a need for Apple Care. Interestingly enough, when solving my most recent (and very rare) problem, I was actually helped by Apple Care. I still don't think I will see much need for Apple Care in the future, but the next time I buy an Apple product, I will buy Apple Care "warranty." If they provided me that much care even when I did not have Apple Care, I can only imagine how much support I would get if I had Apple Care. Pretty amazing.

By the way, my wife still loves her Air Pods. Best $159 I've ever spent in the past several years.

Original Post
A "thank you" note to Tim Cook would be lost among everything else he gets so I will simply give a "shout out" to Apple here.

Last week in the process of upgrading/updating/downloading some Apple-related software, I had a problem (my problem -- it was not an Apple problem). I spent about twenty minutes each day last week trying to solve the problem on my own, and had planned to visit the Apple Store in Southlake (TX) this week if I had no success.

I sent an e-mail to Apple and received a reply at the 48-hour mark, just as they had said they would. Even with that help, I was unable to solve the problem, so I called Apple Saturday afternoon. While on hold, miraculously, I was able to solve one of the two problems I had.

I had to hang up while on hold to fix that first problem. Interestingly, solving that problem on my own (thank you very much) was instrumental in solving the bigger problem -- and ultimately made solving the bigger problem much easier.

I called Apple again, was put on hold, but it was not very long before "Yvonne" picked up. We worked on the problem for about four minutes before "Yvonne" said that she would have to "call in" her supervisor. Immediately I was talking to "Eric."

We solved the problem immediately though it required about a dozen steps. I'm not sure I would be able to re-do the sequence if I ever ran into the same problem again. Having said that, I learned an incredible amount how Apple software "works" across multiple platforms (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone). But even more importantly, I was literally blown away by how "secure" Apple is when it comes to passwords.

Not once did they ask for my password, and not once did I have to show my password on screen while resolving the problem. And, the password was critical to solving the problem. But again, no one at Apple saw my password (although I'm sure they could if they had to -- but something tells me I'm wrong on that, too). In addition, in the process I used data from a second platform in the house (my MacBook Pro) to solve the problem on the MacBook Air.

If someone had stolen my MacBook Air and tried to "spoof" Apple, it never would have worked because it would be unlikely they would have had my MacBook Pro, also.

But it's even better than that. To even get into my MacBook Air or my MacBook Pro, the thief would need that password also, and to my surprise, both platforms had different passwords. I had originally used the same passwords but last week I changed the password on one of the platforms, thinking it would migrate across all platforms. It did not. Those passwords, like all passwords with Apple, worked flawlessly. And because of the way Apple allows users to manage their passwords, I was able to figure out the "new" password on the MacBook Air which is now different than the password on the MacBook Pro. (Until now, they had always been the same.)

[By the way, with Apple's newest operating system, macOS High Sierra, they have made changes with regard to passwords, making the system even more secure, but in a different way, even easier to solve certain problems.]

Although not needed, and not asked for, if Apple needed to verify that I was who I said I was, Apple had access to the security code (that 3-digit code) on the credit card associated with my Apple account. To verify who I was, I offered to give "Yvonne" my credit card number and she almost became unglued, stating that Apple never asks for -- nor wants -- that information over the phone.

On top of this, to work the problem that Eric (and I solved) the security authentication I required came over on the MacBook Pro, on which I had no problems. If I had not had the MacBook Pro, Eric would have directed the authentication code to my old, old, series 2 iPad. If that had not worked, the code could have gone to my wife's MacBook Air. And, then of course, either her iPhone or her Apple Watch.

The bottom line was that even if a hacker had one of my platforms, the MacBook Air, for example, because I elected to have two-step authentification, the hacker would have required another one of my platforms. Had I had no other Apple platform, Apple said it would send the code to my Samsung flip phone which is now about eight years old. (By the way, "Yvonne" laughed when I told her about my Samsung; she had been there; she started out in life with Android.)

And, on top of that, there was one more piece of security, but I'm not going to get into that.

Bottom line: Apple takes security incredibly serious.

Bottom, bottom line: be very, very careful when making changes to your system. I was able to use my computer throughout this minor ordeal, but I had no access to certain websites for a full week.

Bottom, bottom, bottom line: never, never get exasperated with anyone trying to help you at Apple. I never get exasperated. They are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. It would make no sense, no matter how exasperated you might be, to vent your frustration on someone trying to help you.

Had I not been able to solve the problem, life would have gone on as before, but the blog would have been slightly degraded. But readers would never have noticed.

Update On Siberian LNG And The Road To New England -- January 29, 2018


February 14, 2018: even The Boston Globe gets it.  

Original Post
See this post.

From Bloomberg today: as first LNG tanker from Siberia awaits landing in Boston, a second ship may be coming.
A second tanker carrying Russian natural gas may be on the way to the U.S., following in the footsteps of a ship now sitting near Boston Harbor with a similar cargo.
The Gaselys tanker, which has been sitting for two days in the waters outside of Boston, carries liquefied natural gas originally produced in Siberia, according to vessel tracking data. The ship, poised to dock at Engie SA's Everett import terminal, would be the first LNG shipment from anywhere other than Trinidad and Tobago in about three years.
Now Engie is poised to pick up a second Russian cargo from northern France that may land in Massachusetts on Feb. 15, according to Kpler SAS, a cargo-tracking company.
The tankers would arrive at a time when New England is paying a hefty premium for supplies as pipeline capacity limits flows of cheap shale gas from other parts of the country in the peak demand season.
The tanker named Provalys was sailing to France's Dunkirk terminal to pick up LNG on Friday and unload a small amount of it nearby in Belgium before heading across the Atlantic, the cargo tracker said. Engie couldn't be immediately reached for comment about this shipment.
Gaselys loaded its cargo at the Isle of Grain terminal near London, where another tanker had unloaded the Russian LNG. French energy giant Engie bought the cargo on the spot market "due to the high natural gas demand during the recent record cold snap," Carol Churchill, a spokeswoman at Engie's Everett terminal said in an email Wednesday.
Again, unless I missed it, Bloomberg does not mention the de facto natural gas pipeline moratorium in New England.

Monday, January 29, 2018 -- Peak Oil? What Peak Oil? Canadian Shale Oil On The Front Burner

The Geography Page


February 19, 2018: it's being reported that the US, Japan, India, and Australia are teaming up to "take on" China's "belt and road" initiative.
The plan was on the agenda of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's meeting with President Donald Trump later this week.
China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a vast logistics and transport network, using roads, ports, railway tracks, pipelines, airports, transnational electric grids and even fiber optic lines.
Maybe no one would agree with me but I see this as (positive) fallout from Trump's decision to ditch the TPP -- pitting the entire Asia-Pacific against the US. Trump wants bilateral deals, not deals with EU-like entities where things get tied up for decades. Trump also likes competition. And here it looks like China will get some competition from an unlikely group of four: India, Australia, Japan, and the US.

Original Post

Expansion: From Twitter this is a map of China's new "belt and road initiative" investment strategy.

Item: China has announced it is a "near-Arctic" country and will compete with the US, Canada, Russia, Iceland, Denmark, et al for a piece of the Arctic.

China's "belt and road initiative," from The Economist:
Launched in 2013 as “one belt, one road”, it involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe.
The ambition is immense. China is spending roughly $150bn a year in the 68 countries that have signed up to the scheme. The summit meeting (called a forum) has attracted the largest number of foreign dignitaries to Beijing since the Olympic Games in 2008. Yet few European leaders are showing up. For the most part they have ignored the implications of China’s initiative.
Wiki: this is such a big deal, "one belt, one road" has its own wiki page.

Investors Spooked

Purge winds down. Saudi corruption purge winds down but scars will liner -- Reuters.
Saudi Arabia’s stock market celebrated the release of some of the kingdom’s top businessmen from detention on Sunday but the after-effects of a purge of the business elite may last for years, deterring private investment.
Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, head of global investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, was among at least half a dozen tycoons freed at the weekend after over two months of confinement in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Their release signaled a massive anti-corruption drive, in which authorities detained over 200 people and said they aimed to seize $100 billion of illicit assets, was drawing to a close. The Ritz-Carlton is to reopen to the public in mid-February.
Fallout: the purge is one more reason supporting my view (previously posted), the SaudiAramco IPO won't happen; if it does, it will be listed only on the Saudi exchange. From twitter:

Market And Energy Page

Savings are in: ten-year bonds now yielding over 2.7%.

DPS: Dr Pepper Snapple spikes almost 40% this morning. Keurig buys Dr Pepper Snapple -- largest soft-drink deal ever. Personal note: we were given a Keurig for Christmas. I was not a fan of Keurig until our trip out to Lakeside, MT: now I'm a "believer" in Keurig. Love it.

Filloon: over at SeekingAlpha, Hess' well designs in the Bakken.
Hess oil production over the first 16 months of well life has improved by 38 MBO and natural gas has almost doubled.
McKenzie County: the average location after January of 2016 produces 140 MBO and 276 MMcf over the first 16 months of well life.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, relationship, or travel-related decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

Shale is in: from Reuters -- why Canada is the next frontier for shale oil. An update of the Duvernay and Montney.
Canadian producers and global oil majors are increasingly exploring the Duvernay and Montney formations, which they say could rival the most prolific U.S. shale fields.
Canada is the first country outside the United States to see large-scale development of shale resources, which already account for 8 percent of total Canadian oil output. China, Russia and Argentina also have ample shale reserves but have yet to overcome the obstacles to full commercial development.
Together, the Duvernay and Montney formations in Canada hold marketable resources estimated at 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 4.5 billion barrels of oil, according to the National Energy Board, a Canadian regulator.  
[For perspective: the Bakken is estimated to have 50 billion bbls of recoverable oil, more than 10x the estimate for the Duvernay/Montney given above. Both the Duvernay and the Montney are linked at the sidebar at the right.]
Back to the Bakken 

Active rigs:

Active Rigs573845146190

RBN Energy: refined-product delivery and storage infrastructure in Mexico, part 3.

Flashback: The Bakken Is Dead -- Platts -- 2016

Even Platts joined the chorus back in 2016. Platts didn't say it specifically, that the Bakken was dead, but certainly that was how their story on February 19, 2016, could have been interpreted.
For months, analysts have said that reports of the death of the Bakken oil boom have been greatly exaggerated.
Despite the historic collapse in oil prices and North Dakota’s rig count falling to levels not seen since 2009, producers have largely maintained steady supply levels as they employed better technology in the most promising geology.
While production wasn’t nearing 2 million b/d as some statewide officials had dreamed of a year earlier, it was holding stable in a range of about 1.16 million b/d to 1.21 million b/d throughout much of last year and even increased from one month to the next five times throughout the year.
When monthly production did fall off, it was incremental and often blamed on secondary factors, like flaring reduction targets or oil conditioning rules.
But the long-awaited drop in Bakken production may have officially begun, as data released by North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources this week shows.
It continues:
Daily oil production averaged just over 1.15 million b/d in December, down 29,506 b/d, or 2.5%, from the previous month. It marks the lowest daily production level in the state since August 2014 and the first real downturn in statewide oil supply caused by the persistent dip in prices.
Fast forward to a month or so ago. North Dakota crude oil production is back in the "1.16 milliion b/d to 1.21 million b/d" range. Crude oil production surged 7.1% month-over-month in October, 2017.
Oil production
  • October, 2017: 1,185,499 bopd
  • September, 2017: 1,107,345 bopd
  • Delta: +78,154 bopd, +7.1%
  • huge jump in production
Unfettered, North Dakota will produce 2.2 million bopd (previously posted).

Many North Dakota mineral owners are reporting record royalty payments. 

The Hess-Targa deal, recently announced/previously posted is a big, big deal. The Bakken is back.

Where's The Action?

From The Emergent Group:
  • Permian Basin +4.4% to 427 rigs compared to last week's 409 rigs
  • Cana Woodford -4.2% to 68 rigs compared to last week's 71 rigs
  • Eagle Ford -1.5% to 66 rigs compared to last week's 67 rigs
  • Marcellus +7.8% to 55 rigs compared to last week's 51 rigs
  • Haynesville -2.2% to 45 rigs compared to last week's 46 rigs
  • Williston stayed flat at 45 rigs this week
  • DJ-Niobrara stayed flat at 25 rigs this week
  • Utica stayed -4.2% to 23 rigs compared to last week's 24 rigs
  • Granite Wash +9.1% to 12 rigs compared to last week's 11 rigs