Monday, March 19, 2018

Pols Eager To Spend Legacy Fund Money -- Not Just The Interest, But Now The Principal -- March 19, 2018

Link here to Minot Daily News, an op-ed from the ND treasurer.

Pols are eager to tap the Legacy Fund, and not by just a small amount.

One has to laugh. It looks like they are going to vote on spending the money first, and then later, decide what they will spend the money on. Why is this not surprising?

I only posted this so I could post another music video.

That Legacy Fund? Just too much heaven.

Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees

Monday, March 19, 2018 -- Halo Effect For Newbies -- #20874

Active rigs:

Active Rigs584732107195

Four new permits:
  • Operator: Whiting
  • Field: Alger (Mountrail); Robinson Lake (Mountrail)
  • Comments: Whiting has permits for a  4-well Stettner pad in NWNW 24-155-93;
Three producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 31579, 5 (no typo); BR, CCU Boxcar 14-22TFH, Corral Creek, t2/18; cum -- (#17756)
  • 31580, 1,889, BR, CCU Audubon 2-1-27TFH, Corral Creek, t2/18; cum -- (#24980MBH, #24979TFH)
  • 33509, 983, Whiting, Vance 44-9TFH, Truax, t3/18; cum --  (see #20874 below)
Seven permits renewed:
  • Rimrock Oil & Gas (6): four Charging Eagle permits in Dunn County; two Moccasin Creek permits in Dunn County
  • Armstrong: one Pederson permit in Divide County
Operator transfer, from Whiting to Rimrock Oil & Gas, 27 wells
  • all in Dunn County
  • file numbers, oldest: 30694
  • file numbers, most recent: 34324
  • names are familiar: Charging Eagle; Moccasin Creek; Two Shields Butte; MC MHA 
Halo Effect

The well:
  • 20874, 732, Whiting, Oppegaard 9-9H, Truax, t1/12; cum 155K 1/18; runs parallel to #33509. There is no evidence that well #20874 was re-fracked. FracFocus: 33-105-02210.
Recent production, #20874; neighboring well (#33509) fracked 11/14/17 - 11/26/17:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

A Songbird

Morningtown Ride, The Seekers

NOG Has Two Press Releases Today -- March 19, 2018

NOG announces public offering of $105 million of shares of its common stock with option for an additional $15.75 million. Why? To pursue acquisition opportunities, to fund its drilling program and for general corporate purposes (other than the repayment of debt).

NOG announces 1Q18 update and increases 2018 production guidance.
  • expecting first quarter 2018 average daily production to increase by 5% to 6% over fourth quarter 2017, a sequential increase of nearly 1,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  • raising full year 2018 production guidance; now expecting average daily production to increase by 18% to 22% over 2017, compared to prior guidance indicating a 16% to 20% increase
  • Northern added a total of 3.6 net wells to production in January and February; continues to expect to add between 20 and 22 net wells to production during 2018 
Mostly for acquisition and drilling program. If acquisition alone, in North Dakota, back-of-the-envelope: $120 million / $2,000-acre = 60,000 acres. My last update shows NOG with 145,000 net acres (2017); has had as much as 180,000 net acres (2012)

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 what you think you may have read here.

Puerto Rico Grid Still Not Up And Running

WSJ link here.  The Montana linemen would have had this completed by now. The topography of Montana is similar to the topography of Puerto Rico.

Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell

The Apple Page

My wife would agree: audiophile calls AirPods best truly wireless earbuds he's ever heard in year-later review. 
The Verge's Vlad Savov finally got around to testing a pair of AirPods, over a year after they launched, and now understands why so many people are fans of Apple's wireless earphones. Once dismissive of them, he now thinks AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds he's heard.
I say the AirPods aren't technically amazing, but that's only when comparing against existing standards for sound quality. In the category of truly wireless earbuds, the AirPods are the best I've yet heard. Bragi's The Headphone and Dash Pro left me underwhelmed, with the latter being especially bloated and disfigured by an overabundance of bass.
Commentary: AirPods are easily one of Apple's best new products in the past few years. They're easy to set up, easy to use, easy to carry around, and more than likely sound "good enough" for the majority of customers.

The Political Page, The Market And Energy Page -- Yeah, Sometimes They Overlap -- March 19, 2018 -- Groningen To Be Cut -- Huge News For US LNG Exports

Wow, I'm off the net for one hour while biking back from the library and so much news pops up in that one hour.

First, most important: TSLA shares plunge. Hard to say why. The market in general has plunged, but there have been a lot of red flags around Tesla the past two weeks. But then this, just being reported today, at WSJ: Uber suspends driverless-car program after pedestrian killed. The Arizona test program was a big, big deal for all involved. My hunch: the shutdown will be temporary. The implications will last a lot longer. Phantom Touch, Vampire Drain, and now Pedestrian Pain.

Second, and more interesting, at least for me: Groningen natural gas field production cut decision by Mar 31: minister. Reported over at Platts.
Dutch economy minister Eric Wiebes will send a letter to the country's Cabinet containing details of a major cut to extraction levels at the Groningen gas field by March 31 at the latest.
Last Thursday, when Wiebes visited the damage claims desk in Groningen, he told local media he would send a letter about the future of gas extraction at Groningen by the end of March.

The current production quota for the 2017-18 Gas Year ending September 30 is 21.6 Bcm.

Following a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in the northern Dutch province of Groningen on January 8, with reports saying the quake was related to gas extraction, Wiebes said Groningen gas production could be cut by up to 2 Bcm in the current gas year, depending on temperatures.

Dutch gas regulator SodM also recommended a 12 Bcm/year cap on gas output from Groningen be introduced.

However, the final decision is up to Wiebes and he was expected to announce a production cut for the current gas year by March.
Groningen is not linked at the sidebar at the right; maybe it should be. LOL. It's easy to find -- just "google/search" Groningen on the blog.

Third: international Saudi Aramco IPO shelved. Will list IPO on Saudi exchange only, for time being.
  • Saudi Arabia is walking back plans for a massive public share offering for state oil giant Aramco, the world's biggest oil company, on a big international stock exchange.
  • Aramco is now expected to move forward with a listing on the Saudi stock exchange, with plans for an international listing at least temporarily shelved.
  • Aramco said a range of international listing options were still under consideration.

Statoil Or Equinor? Oil And Gas Is Still The Investment Theme -- Michael Fitzsimmons -- March 19, 2018

General: Johan Sverdrup—the North Sea giant. From Equinor:
Johan Sverdrup is one of the five largest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.
With expected resources estimated at 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, it is also one of the most important industrial projects in Norway in the next 50 years.
The development and operation of this enormous field will generate revenue and provide jobs for coming generations. According to the consultancy Agenda Kaupang, the Johan Sverdrup development may generate employment in Norway of more than 150,000 man-years during the construction phase of 2015-2025.
In the first phase of the development, 70% of the contracts were awarded to suppliers in Norway. In phase two, the percentage of contracts going to suppliers in Norway may well exceed 85%. During the period 2016-2018, the main construction phase of the first phase of the project, more than 12,000 people around the world contributed to Johan Sverdrup each and every day.
During operations, Johan Sverdrup may contribute to employment of more than 3,400 people on average each year.
The field is also expected to generate income to the Norwegian state and society exceeding NOK 900 billion over the lifetime of the field.
The field will be operated by electrical power generated onshore, reducing offshore emissions of climate gases by 80%—90% compared to a standard development utilising gas turbines on the NCS. 

July 2, 2021: Brent

June 27, 2020: Norway's giant field pumps "flat out."

January 31, 2020output guidance raised. Peak oil? What peak oil? Guidance raised from 160,000 b/d to over 200,000 boe/d.

January 18, 2020: huge new field sends Norway's oil production to 9-year high. 

The start-up of the massive Johan Sverdrup oilfield sent Norway’s oil production rising to a nine-year high in December 2019, beating the authorities’ forecast by 12.7 percent.
In December 2019, the third month of operation of Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the North Sea, Norway’s oil production averaged 1.759 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest oil production offshore Norway since January 2011.
Norway’s oil production in December rose by 4.3 percent from November and jumped by 17 percent compared to December 2018.
December 6, 2019: Reuters -- Norway ramps up western Europe's largest oilfield as oil's future questioned. Can you say, "Johan Sverdrup"? Obviously I can't. I've been calling it the "John Sverdrup" oil field all this time; even my link at the sidebar at the right is incorrect (it's been fixed).
Sverdrup gets all electricity via an 160-km undersea power cable connecting it Norway's hydropower dams. In that way, the field's carbon emissions are reduced to 0.67 kg per barrel compared with the industry's average of 18 kg.
Nonetheless, Norway, which meets some 2% of global oil demand and is Europe's second-largest gas supplier after Russia, is trying to boost its renewable production.
Equinor aims to use about 15-20% of its capital spending on renewable energy projects by 2030, focusing on offshore wind.
Its current projects include 3,600-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm Dogger Bank in Britain and the 800-MW Empire Wind farm off New York.
October 24, 2019: the world's trendiest blend -- Johan Sverdrup. Compared to Brazil's Lulu or Angola's Saturno, Johan Sverdrup is "already a hit among Asian customers even before the first shipment.... Sverdrup's low sulfur content and medium-density perfectly fit the in-demand crude specifics in Asia right now, according to traders. The new grade is also cheaper than its immediate competitors with which it has been compared, Brazil's Lula and Angola's Saturno. If Asian refiners continue to like Sverdrup, Norway could take some market share from Brazil and Angola on the Asian market, according to Bloomberg.

October 24, 2019: 200,000 bopd in less than three weeks after start-up. Twitter. 

August 30, 2019: Svedrup to start production soon

 July 21, 2019: top ten countries, fossil fuel -- Norway on that list.

Original Post

Link over at SeekingAlpha. Summary --
  • “Equi” implies equal, equality and equilibrium while “Nor” signals a company proud of its home country origin
  • the name change makes sense especially for a European (Scandinavian) energy company looking to become "greener"
  • the company says it expects to invest 15%–20% of total capex in new energy solutions by 2030
  • however, the investment theme for Equinor continues to be its oil and gas operations
By now you all surely already know that Statoil plans to change its name to "Equinor."
The name is apparently owned by a Oslo-registered veterinarian and is a nod to equality and the company's home country of Norway.
StatOil says it wants to be at the forefront of modern day energy systems and expects to invest 15-20% of total capex to "new energy solutions" by 2030. That's up from ~5% in 2017.
However, the primary investment thesis continues to be the company's oil and gas production growth and specifically exploiting the massive Johan Sverdrup discovery.
Renewable portfolio:
StatOil already has significant wind-energy assets and created the world's first floating wind farm. StatOil says these assets deliver "good cash flows and competitive returns."
Last October, STO announced it was entering the solar energy business in Brazil with an agreement to acquire a 40% share of the 162 MW Apodi solar farm from Scatec Solar, an independent Norwegian solar power producer, for $25 million. The purchase price includes a 50% share in the project execution company, enabling Statoil to participate in building and operating solar projects in the future. Apodi will provide an estimated 160,000 homes with electricity.
But the primary thesis: Johan Sverdrup:
But of course the primary investment thesis for StatOil continues to be development and exploitation of the massive Johan Sverdrup discovery with its 3 billion boe potential. STO has a 40% interest in the field and is the operator. Daily production during first phase estimated at 440,000 bpd with peak production estimated to reach 660,000 bpd. Phase I production is expected to start in late 2019.

Phantom Touch and Vampire Drain

Also over at SeekingAlpha today -- a must read.

Archived; likely to end up behind a paywall.

Random Update Of An Old Whiting Liffrig Well -- March 19, 2018

This well has now been updated and added to the list of "wells of interest."

Notes For The Granddaughters

Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution, Jonathan B. Losos, c. 2017.

Author: director of the Losos Laboratory at Harvard University and curator of herpetology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Introduction: Convergent Evolution

From a note, page 3: Dinosaur purists may note that the name Brontosaurus was long ago discarded, replaced for quirky scientific reasons with Apatosaurus. to those killjoy know-it-alls I respond, "Ha-ha! Thanks to new scientific discoveries, the name Brontosaurus was resurrected in 2015."

From a note, page 6: Although, in reality, [the Jurassic Park velociraptor] was based on the closely related dinosar Deinonychus. One major difference between the movie and reality was that Velociraptor probably stood less than three feet tall. However, in an example of life imitating fiction, shortly after JP premiered, paleontologists described a larger cousin of Velociraptor, dubbed Utahraptor, which was about the size of the raptor in the movie.

Many references to Conway Morris.

Wow, wow, wow -- studies, thoughts by Canadian paleontologist Dale Russell
  • close relative of Velociraptor: another small theropod dinosaur named Troodon
  • studies suggest that dinosaurs were developing larger brain sizes at the end of their existence on earth
  • what would have happened if the asteroid had not wiped them out
  • how would Troodon's descendants have evolved if natural selection pushed them toward even larger brains
  • Russell went through a chain of logic ... and voilà -- a creature that looks just like the creature in The Shape of Water --

Had the asteroid missed earth, and had the cooling trend continued, dinosaurs would have been forced to remain near the equator; they would not have been able to survive the cold northern and southern extreme latitudes
  • the extreme northern and southern latitudes would have been "open" for development of mammals which began to appear just prior to the demise of the dinosaurs (except for the birds, or course)
  • North American porcupine and the African crested porcupine, though looking very similar, do not share a common evolutionary heritage; they look similar due to a convergent evolution
Part One: Nature's Doppelgängers

Chapter One: Evolutionary Déjà VU

Wow, a great book.

The baton has been handed from Stephen Jay Gould to Jonathan B. Losos. 

I was wondering if Stephen Jay Gould had handed off the baton before he passed away.

Chapter Two: Replicated Reptiles

Chapter Three: Evolutionary Idiosyncrasy

Part Two: Experiments In The Wild

Chapter Four: The Not-So-Glacial Pace of Evolutionary Change

Chapter Five: Colorful Trinidad

Chapter Six: Lizard Castaways

Chapter Seven: From Manure to Modern Science

Chapter Eight: Evolution in Swimming Pools and Sandboxes

Part Three: Evolution Under the Microscope

Chapter Nine: Replaying the Tape

Chapter Ten: Breakthrough in a Bottle

Chapter Eleven: Jots, Tittles, and Drunken Fruit Flies

Chapter Twelve: The Human Environment

Conclusion: Fate, Chance, and the Inevitability of Humans

RBN Energy Takes A Look At FERC Ruling On MLPs -- March 19, 2018

Existential: they must be reading the blog. I've been referring to the Saudi fight against US shale oil as an existential issue for years. I'm sure others have said the same thing, but I don't recall linking a story with a headline using that phrase. Well, here it is. In the Financial Times,
"Saudi Arabia's existential crisis returns as US shale booms anew. Kingdom seeks higher prices that risks greater North American production."
The good news:
Saudi Arabia is mostly relying on stronger global economic growth, rising oil consumption and natural decline rates at existing fields to drive demand for the kingdom’s crude, according to two people briefed by Saudi officials. Prince Mohammed himself believes prices will be “significantly” higher next year because of these factors alone, one person says.
Unfortunately the tea leaves suggest Russia my flex its muscles. [One hour later: wow, was I wrong -- it's being reported that Russia's energy minister says Russia will stick with the cuts, and even extend them into 2019, if necessary. This suggests to me that "everyone" sees WTI floor at $60 / Brent floor at $65 and OPEC/Russia see huge risk of increasing production.]

US Appeals Court Approves ETP's Bayou Bridge Pipeline Construction

Link here.
The disputed 162-mile (261-km) pipeline is an extension to an existing line, which transports crude from Nederland, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana. The new segment would extend the system to St. James, Louisiana, and have capacity to transport up to 480,000 barrels per day of oil.
The project is 60 percent owned by ETP with the remainder controlled by refiner Phillips 66.
Energy Transfer Partners on Friday said it was pleased with the court ruling and would begin mobilizing for construction activities as soon as possible.
One of the three judges that heard the appeal filed a dissent, agreeing with the District Court's ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had violated the law when issuing permits for the pipeline.
HAL announces a new sand transload facility in El Reno, OK. The property was purchased back in 2015 for $3 million. The terminal now has 10 sand silos with 5 unloading bays. Each silo probably stores 3,000 tons of frack sand. The double-loop track has 16,267 feet of rail; handles 2 - 3 unit trains of frack sand.
Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs584732107195

RBN Energy: FERC's move on MLPs and cost-of-service rates puts Wall Street in a tizzy.
The aftershocks are still being felt from last Thursday’s decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that interstate gas and liquids pipelines’ cost-based tariff rates can’t include anything for income taxes if the pipelines are owned by master limited partnerships (MLPs) — and most are. Many investors did freak out — no other phrase sums it up better — when they heard that news. Share prices for midstream companies plummeted in midday trading, and we imagine that many angry calls were made by investors to their financial advisers. “Why didn’t we know about this?!” In fact, FERC’s action was harsher than expected by most experts. But the impact of the change is likely to be less far-reaching than the Wall Street frenzy would have you believe, at least for most MLPs. And, by the way, the issue at hand — whether and how to factor in taxes in calculating MLPs’ cost-of-service-based rates for interstate pipelines –– has been around for decades. Today, we discuss FERC’s new policy statement on the treatment of income taxes and what it means for natural gas, crude oil, natural gas liquid (NGL) and refined product pipeline rates; and for investors in MLPs that own and operate the systems.
It’s worth noting that Thursday was what the ancient Romans called the ides of March. That was a real bad day for Julius Caesar (“Beware the ides of March … You too, Brutus?”) For some pipelines and their investors, FERC’s abrupt chopping out of a big chunk of pipeline cost of service probably felt pretty similar to Caesar’s surgery. FERC had been working for a year and a half to respond to a July 2016 federal appellate court ruling saying that collecting income taxes in pipeline tariff rates — on top of how the return on equity investment is calculated for an MLP’s pipeline rates — amounts to a double recovery of cost. So FERC took a lot of comments, struggled with it, and ultimately on Thursday said, “Yep, it sure is.”