Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Breaking News -- Tesla Announces Three Job Openings -- Nothing About The Bakken -- March 13, 2018

Analyst predicts TSLA shares will surge tomorrow.

Breaking news: Susan Repo, Tesla's corporate treasurer and vice president of finance has left Tesla -- Bloomberg reporting tonight. Link here.
Susan Repo, who had worked at Tesla for about five years, left to become the chief financial officer of another company, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.
Her departure follows Tesla’s disclosure last week that Chief Accounting Officer Eric Branderiz had left for personal reasons. Lyft Inc. also hired away Jon McNeill, former president of global sales and service, to become chief operating officer of the ride-hailing company in February.
At least she didn't leave to spend more time with her family.

In the past few weeks the following three execs have left Tesla:
  • head of global sales
  • head of accounting
  • corporate treasurer and vice president of finance
Some folks now wonder if Tesla has anybody left to file the 1Q18 financial earnings report.

Rumors: these three left the company when their names were pulled out of a Tesla frunk to be the first three Tesla employees on the Elon Musk rocket to Mars next year.

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

151-92-3, Big Bend, Slawson, Pike Federal -- Note Jump In Production In An Old Well -- March 13, 2018

Look at the jump in production in #18970, a middle Bakken horizontal sandwiched between Three Forks horizontal wells.

The graphic:

The wells:
  • 25874, 1,505, Slawson, Pike Federal 4-3-2TFH, Big Bend, t9/17; cum 262K 3/20; off line as of 3/20; remains off line 6/20;
  • 23910, 820, Slawson, Pike Federal 2-3-2H, Big Bend, t9/17; cum 268K 3/20; off line as of 3/20; remains off line 6/20;
  • 25873, 645, Slawson, Pike Federal 5-3-2TFH, Big Bend, t8/17; cum 253K 8/19; sporadic production in last couple of months, 8/19; t9/17; cum 277K 3/20; off line 4/20; remains off line 6/20;
  • 31438, 747, Slawson, Pike Federal 3-3-2H, Big Bend, t10/17; cum 239K 3/20; intermittent as of 4/20; 19 days in 6/20;

  • 31437, 357, Slawson, Pike Federal 6-4-2TFH, Big Bend, t12/17; cum 264K 2/20; huge well; no evidence of dreaded Bakken decline yet, 8/19; off line 3/20; remains off line 6/20;
  • 18970, 1,106, Slawson, Pike Federal 1-3-2H, Van Hook (scout ticket error?), t9/10; cum 538K 3/20; FracFocus with no evidence of a re-frack; see production data below; wells on either side were fracked just prior to jump in production; but note that neighboring wells were Three Forks wells, and #18970 was a middle Bakken well; off line 4/20; remains off line 6/20;
  • 25885, 332, Slawson, Pike Federal 7-3-2TFH, Big Bend, t12/17; cum 258K 3/20; offline 4/20; remains off line 6/20;
Recent production profile for #18970, FracFocus reveals no re-frack; no sundry form to explain jump in production:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

CLR Puts A Well That Has Been Completed/Reported Back On The Confidential List; Four New Permits; Eleven Permits Renewed -- March 13, 2018

Active rigs:

Active Rigs584632112191

Four new permits:
  • Operators: XTO (3); Luff Exploration
  • Fields: Heart Butte (Dunn); Haley (Bowman)
    Comments: XTO has permits for a 3-well FBIR Yellowwolf pad in NWNE 10-148-92
This is interesting; there are probably other examples; since I never pay attention to this category -- but today I noted -- this well was approved for "tight hole" status and yet, the IP has been reported:
  • 30252, 1,823, CLR, Monroe 9-2H, it reported out last week (March 7, 2018) -- was this a typo or is something going on; checking the scout ticket: yes, the IP data was reported, 53 stages; 16.25 million lbs sand; but the cover sheet shows this well is back on confidential status;
Eleven permits renewed:
  • CLR (3): three MicahLucas permits in Dunn County
  • Oasis (3): three Stenberg permits in McKenzie County 
  • Bruin E&P (3): three Fort Berthold permits in Dunn County
  • Thunderbird: one Lange permit in McKenzie County
  • North Plains: one State permit in Divide County
Two permits canceled:
  • Enerplus: an Anvil permit and a(n) Habanero permit, both in Dunn County

The Political Page, Part 2, T+13 -- March 13, 2018 -- I Never Promised You The Rose Garden

I have not yet decided if this is the theme song for "Passion on the Potomac" but it is certainly in contention, and it certainly fits today's news.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Lynn Anderson

To become the theme song, the lyrics would have to change one small word and two caps. Instead of "I never promised you a rose garden," the theme song needs to be, "I never promised you the Rose Garden."

And, of course, it goes without saying, this will be Mike Pompeo's opening statement at his US Senate confirmation hearings, and yes, it's very, very politically correct in this #MeToo society:

I Will Follow Him, Peggy March

Incidentally, I sang this very song acapella at a going-away party for a fellow USAF commander when stationed in Turkey back in 1993, or thereabouts. And no, no alcohol involved. I practiced that song for about two weeks. My only regret: I didn't grab my squadron commanders as back-up singers. A missed opportunity. There was always competition among commanders to give the best going-away performance. This was so out-of-character for me that had a survey been taken that night, I would have won hands down, to coin a phrase.

Wow! I May Have To Renew My Subscription To Scientific American -- March 13, 2018

I scanned the article so it's very possible I missed the underlying slant, but if the article is saying what I think it's saying ... well, I'm going to have a martini tonight. LOL.

From Scientific American: Come on, Eileen, should we chill out about global warming? Of course "they" didn't ask Eileen but I had Eileen on my mind -- Eileen in Santa Fe, NM. A story for another day, perhaps.

But I digress. Back to the linked Scientific American article. Some excerpts:
  • two “ecomodernists” argue that continued progress in science and other realms will help us overcome environmental problems
  • industrialization “has been good for humanity. It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children. It has allowed people to read at night, live where they want, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts.”
  • the bulk of Pinker’s essay consists of documentation of how we've handled environmental threats. We have reduced our rate of population growth; made agriculture, transportation and other key industries more energy-efficient; and increased the acreage of marine and terrestrial preserves.  
  • how bad will climate change be? Not very. No, this isn’t a denialist screed. Human greenhouse emissions will warm the planet, raise the seas and derange the weather, and the resulting heat, flood and drought will be cataclysmic. Cataclysmic—but not apocalyptic. While the climate upheaval will be large, the consequences for human well-being will be small. Looked at in the broader context of economic development, climate change will barely slow our progress in the effort to raise living standards
  • water shortages forced Israel to tighten its already stringent water conservation and recycling standards. More importantly, they prompted breakthroughs in reverse-osmosis desalination technology, cutting by half the energy needed to extract fresh water from the sea and dramatically lowering the cost to just 58 cents per cubic meter (1,000 liters) of drinkable water… The implications of cheap desalination are profound. By tapping limitless sea-water resources it could drought-proof agriculture and thus eliminate the greatest threat posed by climate change.”
Much more at the linked article.

The only shortcoming: the article did not mention North Dakota where global warming is much anticipated --
  • longer growing seasons
  • more time at the lake
  • more open boat fishing; less ice fishing
  • less money spent on parkas
  • more money spent on iced drinks
  • resurgence of Dairy Queen
  • more convertibles
  • more snow but shorter winters
Come On Eileen

Come On Eileen, Dexys Midnight Singers

Another First For Boom Town -- Drive-Through Hotels -- March 13, 2018


Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley
Bloom's BioCritiques

Virginia Woolf, editor with an introduction by Harold Bloom, c. 2005.

Introduction is spent mostly on Shakespeare.

Some data points from the general introduction by Harold Bloom:
  • literary biography found its masterpiece in James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson
  • modern instances of literary biography, such as Richard Ellmann's lives of WB Yeats, James Joyce, and Oscar Wilde, essentially follow in Boswell's patter
  • William Shakespeare: writer-of-writers; the writer is in the work
  • we know nothing of Shakespeare
  • in Shakespeare, more even than in his peers, Dante and Cervantes, meaning always starts itself again through excess or overflow -- Falstaff, Hamlet, Iago, Lear, Cleopatra
  • unlike Shakespeare, of Goethe's life we know more than everything -- I wonder sometimes if we know as much about Napoleon or Freud or any other human being who ever has lived, as we know about Goethe
  • a contrast between Shakespeare and Goethe demonstrates that in each -- but in very different ways -- we can better find the work in the person, than we can discover that banal entity, the person in the work
  • Goethe to many of his contemporaries seemed to be a mortal god
  • Shakespeare, so far as we know, seemed an affable, rather ordinary fellow, who aged early and became somewhat withdrawn
  • there are writers whose lives were so vivid that they seem sometimes to obscure the literary achievement: Byron, Wilde, Malraux, Hemingway
  • but most major Western writers do not live that exuberantly, and the greatest of all, Shakespeare, sometimes appears to have adopted the personal mask of colorlessness
  • and yet there are heroes of literature who struggled titanically with their own eras -- Tolstory, Milton, Victor Hugo -- who nevertheless matter more for their works than their lives
  • there are three great figures -- Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Willa Cather -- who seem to have had so little of the full intensity of life when compared to the vitality of their work, that we might almost speak of the work in the work, rather than even of the work in a person
  • Emily Bronte might well be the extreme instance of such a visionary, surpassing William Blake in that one regard
Harold Bloom's introduction begins:
Virginia Woolf was one of the most original novelists of the century now passed. Her life was a long, heroic struggle against madness. Her first breakdown was precipitated, at thirteen, by the death of her mother. The death of her father, Leslie Stephen, when was twenty-two, stimulated a second breakdown and an attempted suicide. A third crisis lasted for three years, from thirty to thirty-three. Finally, under the terrible stress of German air bombardment, Woolf drowned herself at the age of fifty-nine.
And then, this, and then I'll quit:
Woolf's major novels, by common consent, are Mrs Dallowy (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). Orlando (1928) remains popular, but is a secondary work. Her later novels are all extraordinary work, and clearly will survive: The Waves (1931), The Years (1937), and a final masterpiece, Between the Acts (1941). Formally speaking, Woolf's finest novel is To The Lighthouse, which is a miraculous concentration of her varied gifts.

The Market And Energy Page, T+13 -- March 13, 2018; North Dakota Crude Oil -- Still Over One Million BOPD -- Director's Cut Is Posted; January, 2018, Data

We start with global warming:

Could WTI Slip Below $60 Today?

At $60.66 right now, it's very possible we could get close to $60 this afternoon after API crude oil inventory data is released.
Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John & Kiki Dee


The Director's Cut
January, 2018, Data

Link here. NDIC site for calendar and links for past and current Director Cuts here.

The usual disclaimer applies. I do "this" quickly and there will be typographical and factual errors. If this is important to you, go to the source.

Natural gas production: in April, 2017, it was reported that North Dakota produced a record amount of natural gas: in that month, natural gas production jumped 6% to more than 1.8 billion cubic feet / day. What was North Dakota's natural gas production two months ago, January, 20178? It dropped slightly from December, 2017, which was the all-time high to date. Most recent data: 2,068,244 MCF/day vs 2,084,925 MCF/day in December, 2017.

Oil production
  • January, 2018: 1,175,638 bopd
  • December, 2017: 1,181,319 bopd
  • Delta:  a decrease of 7,198 bbls / day
  • Delta: a decrease of 0.6% (a revision when data presented next month could show an increase)
Gas production: 2,068,244 MCF/day vs 2,084,925 MCF/day in December, 2017

Producing wells:
  • January, 2018: 14,313 (all-time high was 14,338 in December, 2017)
  • December, 2017: 14,338
  • Delta: a decrease of 25 wells; about a 0.2% decrease (if revised when data comes out next month, then I think we might see another all-time high, as well as an increase in total crude oil production as well as natural gas production)
  • February, 2018: 96
  • January, 2018: 106
  • December, 2017: 86
  • November, 2017: 119
  • October, 2017: 147 
  • September, 2017: 104
  • August, 2017: 101
  • July, 2017: 146 (huge jump)
Oil price (WTI), breakeven price statewide = $21
  • Today: $49.25 (it's hard to believe that the all-time high was $136.29 on 7/3/2008)
  • February, 2018: $50.98
  • January, 2018: $54.75
  • December, 2017: $49.56
  • November: $49.75
  • October: $43.56
  • September: $39.56
  • August: $37.93
  • July: $35.83
Rig count:
  • today: 59
  • February, 2018: 57
  • January, 2018: 56
  • December: 52
  • November: 54
  • October: 56
  • September: 56
  • August: 56
  • July: 58
  • June: 55
Wells not producing, total: about 2,407 (up from 2,346 last month not producing; that exceeds the number of wells completed in any year during the boom)
  • waiting on completion: 853, down 24 from the end of December to the end of January 
  • estimated inactive well count: 1,554, up 85 from the end of December to the end of January
Takeaway capacity:
  • January, 2018: takeaway capacity including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate 
  • November: takeaway capacity including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • October data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • September data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • August data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • July data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • June data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate
  • May data: including CBR to coastal refineries is more than adequate (major change in verbiage)
Natural gas capture, has been getting "worse" and FBIR was a major issue; the trend improved a few months ago but it looks like this is still a challenge
  • statewide: 85% (previous -- 87% [trend pretty much flat, disappointing for some])
  • FBIR: 81% (previous: 80%)
  • goal: 88% through October 31, 2020; then 91%
  • comment: October, 2017, was terrible; it's getting better on FBIR

The Political Page, T+13 -- March 13, 2018


March 14, 2018: someone else, apparently, has the same idea -- "The Apprentice: the Presidential Seasons."

Later, 12:53 p.m. Central Time: well, that didn't take long. A reader suggests: "Passion on the Potomac." That will be the working title. A huge "thank you" to the reader.

Original Post

No matter what side of the political aisle you are on, one has to admit this is the most fascinating administration we've seen in some time. I'm glad I was alive to see it.

One has to really get a kick out of Trump's White House. It was often suggested that Ronald Reagan thought he was playing a character on the big screen.

Trump? The White House is his sequel to "The Apprentice" and we've just seen the conclusion of the first season. Throughout the first season one question of many: would Tillerson remain for the second season? LOL.

The second season begins without Tillerson. Iran? Not happy. Russia? Not happy. My wife? Thrilled. Two out of three ain't bad.

The first season was quite a roller coaster of folks coming and going in the West Wing, and I'm not talking about visitors.

Unsolicited advice for anyone who gets the call to join the Trump administration:
  • say "yes" -- a lot of perks come with the job
  • plan for a sensational grilling by Senate Dems if confirmation is required
  • get a Twitter account if you don't already have one 
  • don't quit your day job
Today, so far, and it's not even noon in some parts of the country:
  • Tillerson is out at SecState; says he learned his fate by following Twitter; his reported "illness" over the weekend must have been simply coincidental
  • CIA director Pompeo takes over at SecState -- think about that  -- government's top spy at State
  • Trump names first woman to be CIA chief; Gina Haspel, one bad dude; joined the CIA in 1985
  • anti-Putin Russian killed with nerve gas last week; Theresa May wanted answers by last night
  • second anti-Putin Russian found dead in Britain; Theresa May wants answers by tonight
  • Mideast peace conference convenes at White House
  • Trump visits "the Wall" in southern California
  • Trump's longtime personal assistant fired over security issues
Television show "Friends" had a great way of naming its episodes: "The One With ..."

I'm still looking for a catchy name to call the Trump White House series ("West Wing" is already taken; "VEEP" doesn't work, even it wasn't already taken). Even without a catchy series name, we can still steal "Friends" episode naming format. If so, the most anticipated episode this season will likely be: "The One Where Kim Jung Un Hosts A Peninsular Party."

If you thought Olympic pageantry is something, you haven't see anything.  My hunch: President Trump will come away with some more ideas for his November military parade.
One Night In Bangkok

Murray Head

They're Reading The Blog Over At Bloomberg -- March 13, 2018

A headline story today over at Rigzone from Bloomberg: oil bust was actually good for a town called "Shale City." Or "Boom Town." Share this with your friends and family:
As the price of oil goes, so goes Williston, North Dakota. Now, though, the community located deep in the state’s Bakken shale play is working to break free from the industry’s boom-and-bust cycles.
When oil sold for $100 a barrel, Williston -- one among many oil towns dotting the nation’s shale basins -- grew faster than its infrastructure and services could handle.
There was a housing shortage, a too-small police force and endless traffic tie-ups.
Then the bust hit, with oil prices falling below $30, and Williston lost around 4,000 residents in just a year as the industry responded with massive layoffs. Bad news? Not according to some. Even as the population fell, school enrollment and birth rates rose, adding incentives to improve infrastructure and services as Williston veered away from a population heavy with transient workers to one with a more settled populace.
The goal: Keep existing businesses happy while prepping for what was seen as an inevitable oil revival, according to Shawn Wenko, executive director of Williston Economic Development. "We shifted from a boom to a business model," he said. “And today, you see that mindset is paying off."
Since 2015, as oil prices floundered, Williston has added new roads, including a truck route around the city, two new fire stations, expanded the landfill, opened a new waste water treatment plant and started work on an airport relocation and expansion project. And school officials are studying whether to quickly add another 15 rooms to the high school as enrollment rates continue to grow. Public school enrollment jumped 49 percent in the past five years.
In essence, the community was able to take a deep breath and get reorganized during the industry slowdown, Wenko said. The timing is key. With oil prices now above $60 a barrel and the Dakota Access Pipeline in service, explorers are rediscovering the value of the Bakken as prices for oil development in Texas and New Mexico have skyrocketed.
Much more at the link.

By the way, some operators say they are making more money at $50 oil than at $100 oil.

That ExxonMobil Story Posted Earlier Is A Huge, Huge Story -- Why Great Companies Stay Great -- Making America Great Again -- March 13, 2018

Re-posting this story. I think this may be the biggest story this month, perhaps this year (yes, I know I've said this about other stories also; and, yes, I'm inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken). Here's the post that was posted less than an hour ago:
XOM to expand Gulf Coast oil-refining expansion: Tillerson may be out, but XOM is not. Reuters confirms that it will expand Gulf Coast oil-refining. That's an understatement: in fact, XOM will double US light crude oil refining capacity along the US Gulf Coast. This is a very, very big story. US Gulf Coast refineries were optimized for heavy oil some years ago at great expense; I never thought Gulf Coast refiners would to back to light oil -- but apparently they've seen the writing on the wall: heavy oil is very, very iffy:
  • huge amounts of light oil coming in from the Permian, Eagle Ford, and the Bakken
  • Canadian heavy oil via Keystone XL is iffy
  • Venezuelan heavy oil is iffy
  • Saudi "heavy oil" is iffy
From the story:
Exxon’s proposed project, which has not received a final investment decision, would be the first major expansion of gasoline and motor fuels production in the nation in six years.
Exxon’s Beaumont, Texas refinery could become the nation’s largest by capacity when the work is complete in the next decade.
Now, why would I re-post it? Yes, it's a huge story, but I re-posted it because after posting it, I came across this from Financial Times. Things are moving so quickly it's hard for anyone to keep up. In this article, the Financial Times said exactly what the blog has been talking about for years: US Gulf Coast refineries are not optimized for light oil. The writer asks whether US shale will give the US industry "indigestion"? The worry: lighter crude may not mix with an industry used to processing heavier oil.
In the oil market, not all barrels are created equal. 
By the end of this year, the US oil industry will be pumping 11m barrels a day of crude, the highest in its history and more than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. These barrels, boosted by the shale revolution and increasingly exported, are seen as critical for keeping the market well supplied as a fast-growing global economy lifts demand for diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals. 
But in the industry debate is growing, some would say concern, over just how well-suited the shale oil coming out of the US is for meeting this rising demand. The issue, critics say, is that US shale is far lighter — having been released through narrow fissures in rocks by hydraulic fracturing — than gloopy tarry crudes most people think of when they picture a barrel of oil. This has potentially huge implications because refiners, who turn crude into usable products, have spent decades investing in plants capable of processing far heavier oils that were once expected to dominate supply. 
The lighter shale barrels, some say, are just not as good for making the products — especially diesel, jet fuel and other so-called middle distillates — that the world increasingly needs. They warn of a potential crunch in years to come caused not by an outright shortage of crude, but by refiners scrambling to compete for more conventional barrels as US shale is found wanting.
Then this quote:
“The dirty secret of US shale oil is not many people want it,” says Bill Barnes of Pisgah Partners, an energy project development consultancy. “It’s wrong to say the US can add 1m-plus barrels a day of production capacity a year and it will immediately find a home in the world’s refining system.”
It sounds like Bill spoke too soon.

And that's why I re-posted the XOM story above.

By the way, the FT article has a nice graphic showing the refined products from the various US shale plays vs "Arab Light" and "Louisiana Light Sweet."

147-96-34 -- Oakdale -- CLR -- Whitman -- March 13, 2018

From a December 29, 2013, post, CLR's plan for the better Bakken: fourteen (14) wells in each 1280-acre drilling unit. If one looks at the graphic at that link for the proposed array, one can argue that there will be a lot more than fourteen (14) wells in 1280-acre drilling units in the better Bakken.

See this section, 147-96-36, Corral Creek, CLR, Weydahl.

A reader alerts me to this section, just two miles to the west, 147-96-34, Oakdale, CLR, Whitman. See this post from July 29, 2014.

It's still a bit early to report on this section but based on what we saw just two miles to the east, it might be time to start tracking this section.

Here is the graphic:

The wells:
  • 20210, IA/803, CLR, Whitman 2-34H, API - 33-025-01259, 34-147-96, Oakdale, 4 sections, t9/11; cum 1.595 million bbls 1/18; this well went off-line 10/17; FracFocus reveals no re-frack;
  • 20212, 482, CLR, Whitman 3-34H, API-33-025-01261, 34-147-96, Oakdale, 4 sections, F, t9/11; cum 135K 11/17; this well was re-fracked 9/23/2017 - 10/5/2017; FracFocus, 9.8 million gallons of water; must-see update here;
  • 17061, 664, CLR/BR, Whitman 11-34H, 34-147-96, API - 33-025-00723, Oakdale, t6/08; cum 436K 1/18; most recent sundry form received February, 2012; hard to believe, but only 870,000 lbs of sand, open frack, original frack back in 2008
Current production profiles follow.

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

20212, refracked, 9/2017:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

20210; currently off-line:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The Numbers Are Simply Staggering: Henry Hub Supply Receipts Show A Five-Fold Increase Since 2016 -- RBN Energy -- March 13, 2018; XOM Will Double Gulf Coast Refining

XOM to expand Gulf Coast oil-refining expansion: Tillerson may be out, but XOM is not. Reuters confirms that it will expand Gulf Coast oil-refining. That's an understatement: in fact, XOM will double US light crude oil refining capacity along the US Gulf Coast. This is a very, very big story. US Gulf Coast refineries were optimized for heavy oil some years ago at great expense; I never thought Gulf Coast refiners would to back to light oil -- but apparently they've seen the writing on the wall: heavy oil is very, very iffy:
  • huge amounts of light oil coming in from the Permian, Eagle Ford, and the Bakken
  • Canadian heavy oil via Keystone XL is iffy
  • Venezuelan heavy oil is iffy
  • Saudi "heavy oil" is iffy
From the story:
Exxon’s proposed project, which has not received a final investment decision, would be the first major expansion of gasoline and motor fuels production in the nation in six years.
Exxon’s Beaumont, Texas refinery could become the nation’s largest by capacity when the work is complete in the next decade.

New ethane cracker: speaking of XOM/Baytown refinery, this is another story of interest. I had not planned to post -- just too much stuff to keep track of, but in light of XOM's plans to expand, I thought this needed to be posted. From one of many links, Chevron Phillips Chemical starts ethane cracker:
Chevron Phillips Chemical on Monday announced the startup of its first new U.S. ethane cracker in decades ....
At full capacity, it will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene a year to turn into pipes, films, containers and other plastic products.
The new supply of ethylene will support the production of polyethylene — the world's most common plastic — at the company's Old Ocean facility near Sweeny. There, it built two new polyethylene units that began operating in September with the combined capacity to produce 4.4 billion pounds of plastic resins a year.
SecState: Rex Tillerson is out. CIA director Mike Pompeo to be successor. Perhaps Mr Tillerson wasn't "all that sick" in Africa as reported the other day.

API crude oil inventory data: will be released this afternoon. Link here.
  • forecast: an increase of 2.023 million bbls
  • actual: an increase of 1.156 million bbls
CPI: came in exactly as forecast. Year-over-year, 1.8%; month-over-over, 0.2% which is slightly lower than 0.3% in the previous month. These are incredibly good numbers in light of other economic data the past few weeks.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs604632112191

RBN Energy: LNG exports driving physical gas flows, constraints at Henry Hub, part 2.
Natural gas flows and market dynamics are shifting at national benchmark Henry Hub.
Supply receipts at Henry this year to date have doubled since the comparable period last year to nearly 450 MMcf/d, on average. That’s also a five-fold increase from the same period in 2016.
In fact, current gas flows through the hub are the highest we’ve seen since 2009. The last time we saw this level of flows through the hub was when Gulf of Mexico offshore gas production volumes — much of which hit the U.S. pipeline system in southern Louisiana — were still topping 6.0 Bcf/d. That was also before the Marcellus/Utica Shale gas supply ballooned, effectively emptying out the pipeline capacity that used to flow gas north from the Gulf Coast.
Now, many of those pipelines have reversed flows and the hub is showing signs of becoming a destination market for that Northeast gas and other supply targeting LNG export demand on the Gulf Coast. Today, we continue our short series looking at the changing physical flows at Henry Hub.