Monday, February 5, 2018

How Big Was The Bakken Revolution? Pretty Big -- February 5, 2018

From the EIA via Twitter:

670/977 = about 70% in round numbers.

Another Win For Trump: Making America Great Again -- Massachusetts Orders Utilities To Lower Rates After Tax Cut -- February 5, 2018

Link here to PennEnergy. The headline pretty much says it all, but here's the story:
The Department of Public Utilities on Friday instructed the utilities to account for any revenues associated with the difference between the previous and current federal corporate tax rates.
The agency also ordered the utilities to submit by May 1 their proposals to lower their rates to incorporate the reduction in the federal corporate tax rate.
Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey called the DPU decision "a huge victory for ratepayers" and said the agency had agreed with her office that all utility companies in Massachusetts must use the corporate savings from this federal tax bill to lower rates for customers.
Look for other states to follow. Will California? 

Eight New Permits; WTI Falls 3% -- February 5, 2018

Active rigs:

Active Rigs584042136191

Eight new permits:
  • Operators: CLR (4); EOG (4)
  • Fields: Banks (McKenzie County), Parshall (Mountrail)
    Comments: EOG has permits for a4-well Austin pad in SWSE 10-154-90; CLR has permits for a 4-well Pasadena pad in SWSW 11-152-99; 
Four permits renewed:
  • BR: four CCU Mainstreeter permits in Dunn County
One permit canceled:
  • Whiting: a Bartleson permit in Mounrail County
One producing well (DUC) reported as completed:
33407, 1,633, Whiting, Thomas 43-4-2TFH, Truax, t1/18; cum --

New permits:
34546, CLR, Pasadena, Banks
34547, CLR, Pasadena, Banks
34548, CLR, Pasadena, Banks
34549, CLR, Pasadena, Banks
34550, EOG, Austin, Parshall
34551, EOG, Austin, Parshall
34552, EOG, Austin, Parshall
34553, EOG, Austin, Parshall

MRO's Oil Type Curves Best In North Dakota (Beats Texas, New Mexico) -- Filloon -- February 5, 2018

Link over at SeekingAlpha.
  • Marathon well design improvements have provided a clear improvement in oil production from Bakken locations
  • overall, MRO has not seen the improved production other operators have, but this is probably due to its slower movement to better stimulation
  • over 16 months of well life, MRO has improved oil production by 14 MBO as of 2016
  • MRO's oil type curve is the best in North Dakota. This is followed by New Mexico and Texas. MRO is the most active in Texas with 217 locations. It completed 45 in North Dakota
  • the best oil curve is in McKenzie, followed by Mountrail and Dunn. The three best counties are in North Dakota. 

China's Soaring Natural Gas Output Unable To Meet Demand -- Reuters -- February 5, 2018

Link here. Data points:
  • China’s natural gas production is rising at the fastest pace in four years 
  • production will not meet China's demand for natural gas
  • policy decision some years ago: government program to raise gas usage in order to clean the country's polluted air
  • record production in 2017, up 8.5% from 2016
  • forecast to climb another 6 to 8 percent per year through 2020
  • demand will fuel growing imports of LNG or piped gas
  • China: now the world's largest energy consumer
  • China: was the sixth-largest gas producer in 2016 after rising investments over the past 20 years
  • consumption is climbing even faster -- climbing 15% in 2017
Much, much more at the link.

From the article:
China holds the world’s largest reserves of shale natural gas, according the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, much of that gas is considered recoverable only if cost were not a constraint.
Furthermore, the country is among the top ten holders of proven natural gas reserves, gas that could be produced at current prices, at 5.4 trillion cubic meters, according to the most recent BP Statistical Review.
Together, China’s three biggest gas basins, the Ordos in northern China, the Tarim in the Xinjiang region in the west, and Sichuan in the southwest, make up 90 percent of the country’s output. But each of them are beset with geological or technological difficulties.
State-owned PetroChina boosted production at the Ordos’ Changqing field to 36.9 bcm last year but only after drilling over 2,000 new wells. Output there peaked at 37 bcm in 2013. 
Something not said in the aritcle that should have been said:
  • there is no way wind/solar energy can substitute for fossil fuel or nuclear energy. An inconvenient fact.
Meanwhile, Prince Salman Plans To Go On Tour

If you google Trump state dinners you will get 3 million hits, all with some variation of this headline: President Trump breaks tradition; first president to host no state dinner in his first year of office.

Well, la de dah! Saved a lot of taxpayers' money, perhaps to offset the cost of Melania's air travel before she moved to the White House ($675,000).

Michelle's family vacation to Hawaii in 2015: $4.8 million.

Many of Obama's state dinners costs are "shrouded in mystery" (i.e., kept secret); state dinners under Obama soared in cost; and, link here,
The 300-guest November 2009 dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — best remembered for Michaele and Tariq Salahi’s ability to crash the party — cost $572,187.36. [One state dinner: almost exactly the price of Melania's flights to DC; I wonder if she got to keep the frequent flyer miles?]
It was the president’s first state dinner and also the most expensive of the five state or official dinners Obama has given about which costs are now known. (The cost of the March 2012 dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron remains shrouded in mystery, and the Hollande dinner was arranged after CBS made its request for the information [I guess the writer couldn't update his own article].)
Folks may remember that President Trump's first visit overseas was to visit Saudi Arabia. Will President Trump's first state dinner be to host Prince Salman? Will the CIA ensure there is no coup in Riyadh when the prince is out of town? Do bears poop in the woods?

Perhaps, also on tour, Simon Helberg's brother or doppelganger:


I stumbled across this video, maybe a year ago, but never had an opportunity (or reason) to post it.

The Taliban forbids kite-flying, dancing, and singing. It starts to make sense. I suppose.

Memo to self: new tag, "Folk Music."

As for myself, I'm sticking with Sophia Loren:

The Outlook For US Condensate Looks Brighter -- Richard Zeits -- February 5, 2018

Continuing his discussion of the lights and the ultra-lights, Richard Zeits has a new essay on US condensates over at SeekingAlpha:
  • condensate for delivery in Asia are commanding strong premiums over crude benchmarks
  • U.S. condensate producers are well positioned to grow volumes in 2018, notwithstanding fundamental uncertainties in natural gas
  • U.S. super-rich gas plays have seen activity declines in the last three years but may experience a revival in 2018
  • Bakken oil: approximately 50° API
  • ultra-lights: 55.1°+ API
Condensates are typically low-sulphur crudes and are characterized by a low cost to process. Naphtha yields are obviously high (naphtha is used as gasoline blending components and petrochemical feedstocks). However, it is important to remember that heavier condensates also have significant middle distillate yields.
Naphtha-based ethylene margins in northeast Asia and middle distillate margins have been excellent in the last few months. At the same time, the supply of light sweet crude to Asia tightened a month ago due to the unforeseen interruption on the Forties Pipeline. As a result, demand for condensate has not been fully satisfied.
Another great introduction to condensates. Archived. 

Resilience -- I'd Like To Buy An "E" -- February 5, 2018

Resilience; Perhaps, having seen the challenges with the "grid" in Germany and the "grid" in Australia, it appears the "FERC" in the US is introducing a new concept into the discussion: "resilience." Link here at UtilityDive.
In a January 8 order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission soundly rejected the notion that, to keep the lights on in regions served by bulk power markets, it was necessary to compensate power plants capable of housing 3-month fuel stores. In closing the docket directed by the Department of Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, however, FERC opened a “national conversation” about grid resilience.
Regional Transmission Organizations have 60 days to respond to questions posed by FERC, followed by 30 days of “reply” comments from other stakeholders.
In the new proceeding, FERC proposed that resilience means the “ability to withstand and reduce the magnitude and/or duration of disruptive events, which includes the capability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and/or rapidly recover from such an event.”
Resilience is a term commonly used in climate adaptation discussions to describe the ability of a community, industry, or ecosystem to adapt to changing temperatures, precipitation patterns, extreme weather events and sea level rise.
The concept has deep roots in multiple disciplines. In engineering, resilience is — as FERC proposes — the capacity of a steady-state system to return to equilibrium after a disturbance. Another more dynamic definition — what some scholars call ecological resilience — references how much outside force a system can take before it changes structure and begins to follow a different, stable set of rules.
Drawing on both concepts, economic resilience describes the capacity of an economy to recover or recreate itself after a shock, in ways that mitigate aggregate losses and negative distributional impacts. 
It's an opinion piece, but does provide some insight into where the discussion is headed. You can bet the wind/solar folks will have a place at the table. The question is whether "we"  have learned anything from the lessons that Germany, Spain, Denmark, Australia have all learned when it comes to the cost of renewables.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow: The Political Page, T+15 -- February 5, 2018


February 9, 2018: first snowfall ever in parts of Morocco
Up to 282 cm (110 inches) of snow in the Middle Atlas. That’s more than 9 feet.
Since February 3, 2018, significant snowfall has hit several regions of Morocco, for the first time ever for some.
From February 6 to 7, up to 282 cm of snow was recorded by the National Meteorological Directorate on Jbal Habri (Ifrane) and 272 cm at Michlifen Station.
February 7, 2018: To all the new snowfall records being set this year, add another one -- Erie, Pennsylvania, has broken its all-time snow season record -- call the Kennedys -- call Algore -- they all said our grandchildren would never see snow again.

But now we have Winter Storm Liam and it's going to set more records. Mother Nature never quits. Mother Nature must not have gotten the "global warming" memo. LOL.

From the linked article:
Erie, PA, broke its all-time snowiest season record today; the previous record was set 17 years ago (2000 - 2001). The city still has 30% of its average snowfall yet to happen through spring.

As of 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, the season's snowfall total was 152.1 inches at Erie International Airport, more than 12 feet of snow. This breaks the previous snowiest season of 2000-01 which had 149.1 inches. Snowfall records date back to the 1931-32 winter season, according to the National Weather Service.
Claustrophobic yet? Island fever yet?
February 5, 2018:  no links but the snowfall in Moscow over the weekend was incredible; the most ever recorded in one weekend since weather records have been kept. Mayor of Moscow called it the blizzard/snowstorm/snowfall of the century. It's quite a story; easily found despite no link.
Original Post
Oh, the weather outside is frightful .... Moscow, February 4, 2018:

The headlines keep coming: now, this -- snowfall around the world --
Posted yesterday but re-posting

Speaking of China, I've never been able to wrap my head around the history of the Far East. China has always fascinated me but try as I might, I seem to make no headway.

Some years ago, trying to keep track of cities and regions in China, I put together a pretty nice map that has actually held up over time.

From an earlier post: 
Today's there's a headline article over at Yahoo!Finance about Nanking, China, a "second-tier" city in that country with a population of over 8 million, similar to that of NYC. The best thing I ever did with regard to geography on the blog was "fix" a picture in my mind of what China "looks like." Nanking? Where is it? If it were on the US map, it would be a suburb northwest of Charleston, SC, (Shanghai) up the Yangtze River. Maybe similar to Summerville, SC, where we lived for several years. 

Last week I saw a new book at the local Japanese bookstore and without hesitation, bought it: A New Literary History of Modern China, edited by David Der-Wei Wang, c. 2017. The map above has come in quite handy, interestingly enough.

For example, there are currently four direct-controlled municipalities of China (US cities on the map):
  • Beijing (Philadelphia)
  • Tianjin (NYC)
  • Shanghai (Charleston, SC)
  • Chongqing (east of St Louis, MO; maybe I should label it Memphis/Nashville, TN)
The book is the fourth in a series being published by Harvard University on the modern literary history of various countries. The first book was on France; then came Germany; and, the third in the series was on America. I have not seen any of those but will see if they are available at Half-Price Books.

But I digress. The Literary History of Modern China has 161 essays by 143 authors, with a total of 957 pages. The introduction is 28 pages long.

I'm in the process of "cataloguing" each of the essays -- they cover the literary history of China from the 17th century, though there are references to earlier works.

As noted, there are 161 essays; I have catalogues the first 68 so I still have a ways to go. But already I'm starting to get a feel for Chinese history, as it progressed through the Ming and Qing dynasties, and into the revolution in 1916 - 1917 or thereabouts and the founding of the Chinese Communist Party and now into China of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Monday, February 5, 2018 -- Americans Push Back On Wind

For the archives: the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots. But that's still not enough to turn this market around. Apparently one of the most exciting Super Bowl games in NFL history (I don't know; I did not watch it).

Was it Timberlake singing Prince, or was it Pink singing the National Anthem? Super Bowl LII had lowest ratings in eight (8) years.

Missed it by that much:  The Eagles (with their back up coach; back-up offensive coach; backup quarterback) prevented the defending champion Patriots from claiming a sixth Super Bowl to match the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most wins ever.

Making America great again, from EIA via Twitter:

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs584042136191

RBN Energy: US oil, gas, NGLs now inextricably linked to global energy markets.


Two stories sent to me by readers. First, this one from Fairmont, MN.
Wind Locked, LLC is a non-profit company made up of residents and landowners in Faribault and Martin County who oppose the construction of a wind turbine industrial zone on agricultural land and rural homesteads.
According to the company’s website, “Members feel these projects are unsafe and an inappropriate use of land rights, privacy, and federal tax subsidies.”
With the goal to keep large wind turbines out of the area, the company acquires and holds the wind easement rights of its members’ properties for conservation and environmental purposes.
And then this from The Christian Science Monitor: Oklahoma, America's #2 wind producer, sours on the industry.
With ever more spiky wind turbines cropping up across its open lands, Oklahoma has just become the #2 state in the country for wind energy production.

Now a new project -- Wind Catcher, which is slated to be one of the largest wind farms in American -- is facing stiff resistance and could be scrapped altogether.

The Wind Catcher case comes amid a pushback on wind incentives, galvanized by a state budget crisis and influential oil and gas interests. In the past year, Oklahoma has ended two key incentives that even wind proponents admitted were in some ways "too generous."

But some are pushing not only to remove all subsidies, but to levy a new tax on wind.

Enid stands to benefit from the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project, which includes plans to build a 350-mile transmission line that would pass through the area.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) which is investing $1.3 billion in the project, says Wind Catcher will save Oklahoma electric customers an estimated $2 billion over 25 years. That would be a relief for many in a state where summer electric bills often run $400 r more a month

But there's a problem.

PSO skipped a required competitive bidding process for building the transmission line. That was intentional; it wanted to finish the project before a federal tax credit expires at the end of 2020. Now it needs an exemption from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (CC), which regulates public utilities.

The state's attorney general is not buying into it.
Much more at the link.