Thursday, May 31, 2018

For Newbies: A Reminder Of A Pretty Good Website For "Tracking" Williston Basin Bakken, Three Forks Wells -- May 31, 2018

For newbies: a reminder, this is a pretty good map. If you zoom in and click on any given well, an "information" box will pop up, providing additional information about that well.

Venezuela's Crude Oil Exports To US Takes Significant Jump; Saudi Arabia's Exports To US Basically Flat Since July, 2017 -- Data Posted Today -- EIA -- May 31, 2018

Link here.

Does anyone care about Venezuela's exports to the US? If you do, at this link. Surprisingly, Venezuela's crude oil exports to the US had a significant upturn.


In Hell, I'll Be In Good Company, The Dead South

Explaining The Double-Digie WTI Discount -- The Bakken Is Not Mentioned -- May 31, 2018

I don't particularly care for this writer, nor the site. I haven't closely read the entire article, but it's probably as good as any article on this issue. For the archives.

Explaining the double digit WTI discount.

The Bakken is not mentioned but Platts discussed the Bakken at this post

Mission Complete -- Finally

Wow, this voyage never seemed to end. Finally, the Nave Photon is scheduled to reach its destination tomorrow, June 1, 2018, after leaving LOOP, March 28, 2018.

The Nave Photon is tracked here.

Here is the original story: Second fully-laden VLCC has departed LOOP with export cargo.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) announced on Wednesday that this month it has successfully loaded its second VLCC for export and the vessel is heading for a port in Asia, according to Reuters. Navios VLCC Nave Photon was chartered by Houston-based Shell.
I'm not sure if the ship is bound for Singapore or China. Early on, its destination was said to be Singapore, according to "Marine Traffic," although press releases suggested its destination was mainland China. It seems it passed Singapore some time ago and its current position is near mainland China. I originally thought it was headed to mainland China like the first VLCC that departed LOOP earlier in the year.

I could probably sort it out -- but I'm too tired and I really don't care any more. All I know is that it is supposed to arrive at its Asian destination June 1, 2018.

So, will we see a report of a "third VLCC departing LOOP"? Probably not. Does anyone remember the third astronaut to walk on the moon? We hardly remember the second, much less the third.


I haven't posted a video in a long, long time. I've simply been too busy. Need to find something.

This is as good as anything:

The House of the Rising Sun, The Animals

Something Tells Me This Is Not A "Pick And Choose" List -- May 31, 2018

How to Get Rich (without getting lucky) -- link here.
  • Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.
  • Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.
  • Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.
  • You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity - a piece of a business - to gain your financial freedom.
  • You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.
  • Pick an industry where you can play long term games with long term people.
  • The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven't figured this out yet.
  • Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
  • Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity.
  • Don't partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.
  • Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.
  • Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.
  • Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.
  • Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.
  • When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.
  • Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated.
  • Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.
  • The most accountable people have singular, public, and risky brands: Oprah, Trump, Kanye, Elon. “Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the earth.” - Archimedes
  • Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media).
  • Capital means money. To raise money, apply your specific knowledge, with accountability, and show resulting good judgment.
  • Labor means people working for you. It's the oldest and most fought-over form of leverage. Labor leverage will impress your parents, but don’t waste your life chasing it.
  • Capital and labor are permissioned leverage. Everyone is chasing capital, but someone has to give it to you. Everyone is trying to lead, but someone has to follow you.
  • Code and media are permissionless leverage. They're the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.
  • An army of robots is freely available - it's just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it. If you can't code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.
  • Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgement.
  • Judgement requires experience, but can be built faster by learning foundational skills.
  • There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.
  • Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.
  • Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching. [At Harvard medical school, the surgical interns' mantra is: "see one, do one, teach one." Example: see an appendectomy; do an appendectomy; teach an appendectomy. Period. Dot.]
  • You should be too busy to “do coffee," while still keeping an uncluttered calendar. [The English perfected "tea." The Scots created the modern world.]
  • Set and enforce an aspirational personal hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your hourly rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it.
  • Work as hard as you can. Even though who you work with and what you work on are more important than how hard you work.
  • Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.
  • There are no get rich quick schemes. That's just someone else getting rich off you.
  • Apply specific knowledge, with leverage, and eventually you will get what you deserve.
  • When you're finally wealthy, you'll realize that it wasn't what you were seeking in the first place. But that's for another day. 
This Is Not Rocket Science

A reader sent me a New York Times article asking "how close is too close" when 24 wells are in the "backyard" of a school. This was in Colorado. Another first world problem.

I did not read the article.

My reply, to the question, "how close is too close" when there are 24 wells in the "backyard" of the local school?:
Let's see: one high school to build -- $40 million.
One well to drill: $10 million; 24 wells = $240 million.
One well's EUR: 500,000 bbls x $50/bbl = $25 million revenue at $50/bbl oil.
24 wells = $600 million revenue at $50/bbl oil.
How close is too close? This is not a difficult question. Build a new high school. That's what they did in the Bakken. They built a new high school ($40 million?). They built a $70 million recreation center. They moved an entire airport.

The folks at The New York Times are not thinking big enough. That's why they became journalists, I guess.
If this is an elementary school, the answer is even easier.

The June NDIC Hearing Dockets Have Been Updated

The NDIC hearing docket agenda for June, 2018, has been updated. See the post at this site.

Eight New Permits And That Was It -- May 31, 2018

Active rigs:

Active Rigs60482880189

Eight new permits:
  • Operators: Bruin E&P Operating (6); Lime Rock; WPX
  • Fields: Antelope (McKenzie); Dimond (Burke), Mandaree (McKenzie)
  • Comments: Bruin E&P has permits for a six-well Fort Berthold well in SESW 2-159-94
And that was it. 

Well Number 23641 -- A Reader Looking For Thoughts On This Well


June 4, 2018: a reader opines -- "I would THINK several things.  If it is a newly drilled well, then it is being set up for the natural gas removal, maybe it has maintenance work that the drillers need to do where they may have to repeat said maintenance being preformed because the first time did not work out right...These are just a few things, and I am sure there are others."

My hunch: this is an old well; the operator is simply "managing" the company's assets. 

Original Post

A reader over at the discussion group would like thoughts from someone why this well seems to be struggling. It has produced oil for only half the days in each of the last three months:
  • 23641, 1,153, Whiting, Buresh 41-15PH, Dickinson, t2/13; cum 162K 3/18; 
The well is about five miles northwest of Dickinson.

Recent production:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • looking at the NDIC map, there is nothing going on in the area, unless wells are being re-worked or re-fracked (very, very unlikely due to nature of days on / days off)
  • operators manage their assets: Whiting may simply be "managing" production -- just enough production to keep the well flowing but not maximizing production, for overall operational reasons
  • there may be local issues for Whiting to throttle back production

The Market, Energy, And Political Page, T+21 -- May 31, 2018

EU, Mexico, and Canada: anyone paying attention knows that these three are not in great position to take on Trump mana a mano.

Did Ford Make The Correct Strategic Decision?

Gloating, and re-posting:
American auto industry: looks like Chrysler will be history by the end of the week. Parent company likely to "retire" the brand.
It will hardly be missed; Chrysler namesake is now on only two vehicles, the "ancient" 300 (a car my dad had many, many years ago) and the Pacifica. I've had three Chrysler minivans, loved them all, still driving two of them. Or at least my wife is.
Ford will be down to two automobile models (one of them the Ford Mustang, which is clearly a niche offer) and then the rest of the Ford stable: SUVs, cross-over SUVs, and pick-up trucks.
I saw a lot of nice Chevy automobiles on my recent cross-country trip. Something tells me GM may fill this US automotive niche quite nicely. I loved the Chevy Sonic I had rented from Enterprise, but still -- I found it amazing the dash on my 2012 Honda Civic was so much more modern than that of the Sonic. In addition, the switchology on the Honda Civic was so much better. Chevy was handicapped by the fact that it could not integrate its entertainment system with the car's dash data (fuel, range, etc). Tesla, however, does that very, very well.
I posted that note this morning, before the market opened. So, what did GM do today. Remember, the Dow dropped over 251 points again today. GM? Jumps almost $5, up almost 13%, now trading near $43, trending toward 52-week high. Why? Softbank’s Vision Fund is investing $2.25 billion in General Motors’ driverless car unit. GM will also put $1.1 billion into the unit, assuring funding through the planned beginning of commercialization in 2019.

By the way, GM rose almost 13% -- the very day that Trump slaps aluminum / steel tariffs on Canada. Wow. 

Does anyone really believe the Atlanta Fed any more? 2Q18 GDP -- Latest forecast: 4.7 percent — May 31, 2018.
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2018 is 4.7 percent on May 31, up from 4.0 percent on May 25.
The nowcast of second-quarter real consumer spending growth increased from 3.2 percent to 3.4 percent after this morning's personal income and outlays release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
The nowcasts of the contributions of net exports and inventory investment to second-quarter real GDP growth increased from 0.17 percentage points and 0.76 percentage points, respectively, to 0.43 percentage points and 1.00 percentage points, respectively, after yesterday's Advance Economic Indicators release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the BEA's updates of first-quarter GDP and the National Income and Product Accounts tables released yesterday and today.
Mexico: in deep, deep trouble --
  • Trump triggers tariffs on EU, Mexico & Canada 
  • oil sector appears to be ready to implode
  • but most concerning for Mexicans: a far-leftist -- think Bernie Sanders on steroids
  • Mexico's response to Trump's tariffs: will impose tariffs on table lamps, cranberries, cheese, and pork. I can't make this stuff up.
So, that I don't forget:
  • Trump tax cut stimulus: + $800 billion (CNBC analyst, May 31, 2018)
  • EU retaliation on tariffs: - $1 billion (CNBC analyst, May 31, 2018)
  • Canadian retaliation on tariffs: maybe -$5 billion 
  • Mexico retaliation on tariffs: similar to Canada
  • in other words, retaliation tariffs pale in comparison to Trump tax cut stimulus (CNBC analyst, May 31, 2018) 
  • [just between you and me, an estimate of $800 billion rounds to $1 trillion -- just saying -- yeah, as an investor, like I'm really worried about retaliatory tariffs; please don't share this comment with anyone else -- it's just between you and me; and, definitely don't take it out of context]
ObamaCare Re-Surfaces In New Jersey

Link here. Whatever.

I have no idea how things are going with the North Koreans or what is being discussed, but there are days (like today -- May 31, 2018 -- Trump's tariffs) that I think our "enemies" like North Korea are more accommodating than our "allies" like Canada, Mexico, and the EU. Just saying. And I'm probably wrong. I'm just saying that some days I have those feelings. 

The Daily Note

August 14, 2018, T+75: Iran sanctions are starting to take effect. Iran is cutting prices on its crude oil in an attempt to keep its Asian customers.

August 13, 2018, T+74: Monday the 13th for Peter Strzok -- fired by the FBI. Twenty-two year veteran. Snarky. Self-serving. Probably self-loathing. Most likely a sociopath. Nice alliteration, and not even planned. Another alliteration: a triumph for Trump. Omarosa? Already fired.

August 12, 2018, T+73: Turkey cutting off its nose to spite its face. Will implode. Russia will pick up the pieces.
August 11, 2018, T+72: quiet.

August 10, 2018, T+71: President Trump advises Democrats to keep Nancy Pelosi as head of her party in Congress.

August 9, 2018, T+70: some 'splainin' to do. Wow, what a hypocrite (Chinese spy on Feinstein's staff for 20 years. Wow. Philby.)

August 8, 2018, T+69: Drudge says GOP holds Ohio. Too close to call. If Dems lose, they will blame Russians (they already have, apparently).  So the Dems are Antifa and the GOP is communist. Amazing how global politics evolve.

August 7, 2018, T+68: Elon Musk opines about taking the company public.

August 6, 2018, T+67: media fixated on Trump's tweets. Again.

August 5, 2018, T+66: Trump desperate to hold Ohio; Dems looking for historic upset.

August 4, 2018, T+65: polls --

August 3, 2018, T+64: self-loathing at The New York Times --

August 2, 2018, T+63: and it's quiet again. LOL. Trump's approval rating at 50%; five points higher than Obama and Bush II at this point in their presidencies.

August 1, 2018, T+62: Trump getting ready to impose another round of tariffs on China -- 25% on $200 billion worth of imports. They say August is the most boring month for news. This August it could be different. He may go off the reservation. Again. What to watch for: if the White House schedules a prime-time presidential address from the Oval Office. 

July 31, 2018, T+61:
July 30, 2018, T+60: Terry Press called for Weinstein's head. But as for her boss, Moonvres, she says, "enough is enough."

July 29, 2018, T+59: publisher of NY Times pleads -- in face-to-face meeting -- for President Trump to tone down tweets against journalist, news media. Says journalists getting death threats. Doesn't mention the actual threats against GOP leaders and Trump supporters.

July 28, 2018, T+58: I'll believe it when I see it. My wife and I love almonds. The WSJ is reporting that US almond farmers are reeling from Chinese tariffs; prices for California almonds have fallen by more than 10% over past two months. I guess a $7 can now costs $6.30. I will believe it when I see it.

July 27, 2018, T+57: quiet.

July 26, 2018, T+56: quiet.

July 25, 2018, T+55: on trade, Trump just hit one out of the park. EU and US come to agreement to end trade war -- EU wants to work towards Trump's goal: zero tariffs.

July 24, 2018, T+54: if the Senate fails to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh, my hunch is that the gloves come off, starting with revoking security clearances for Comey, Brennan, others, if he hasn't already done it by then.

July 23, 2018, T+53: Trump ready to go all in on trade war if necessary. On another note, it's very clear that Obama's legacy is ruined -- assuming he ever had a legacy -- historians twenty years from now will be able to provide a 30-second elevator speech that summarizes the "Russians" and the "campaign."

July 22, 2018, T+52: Trump doubles down after all that criticism following the first Trump-Putin summit -- telling John Bolton to schedule a "summit" with Putin in Washington, DC, this autumn. Trump specifically mentioned having their two (US/Russia) security teams meet. First thought: working outside the UN "traffic lane." Trump has said he is upset with Xi of China. Does Trump think he can have a better working relationship with Russia? Is the UN irrelevant? LOL. Well, duh.

July 21, 2018, T+51: it's really only July 18, but the "news" is coming so fast and furious -- even Scott Adams says that -- can't keep up --

July 20, 2018, T+50:

July 19, 2018, T+49: cable news outlets go absolutely crazy over Trump-Putin. And yet the same outlets would absolutely gloss over the JFK debacles (Bay of Pigs) and JFK's womanizing. On top of that, the US intel community completely missed the risks that JFK took when he visited Dallas. Fast forward to 2016: President Obama was aware of Russian meddling during the 2016 campaign and took no action, and apparently neither did his intel agencies.

July 18, 2018, T+48: mainstream media is printing stories about Trump even before the "story" has begun. Mainstream media started dissing Trump's supreme court nominee even before Trump named his choice. Now this: the following cartoon was on the front cover of a magazine by Monday, July 16, 2018. The Trump-Putin Helsinki summit was held on Monday, July 16, 2018. The editor had to have had his idea some weeks ago; commissioned a political artist; the artist had to have drawn it; magazine editors reviewed it; fit it for the cover; get the "stuff" to the printer; the published had to run it through the presses; and, then distribute the magazine.

July 17, 2018, T+47: talk about efficient use of time and jet travel. Attending the NATO conference in Brussels was sort of important, but could have been a waste of time from Trump's standpoint. But just hours from Scotland he was able to see the Queen; the Prime Minister; and, his golf course. Then, just a short flight to Helsinki and able to visit with Vladimir Putin. And again, the news cycle for hours on end was dominated by Trump.

July 16, 2018, T+46: correct me if I'm wrong, but except for the presidential election, the state of California has done away with the two-party system. The two opponents in the general election are the two top vote-getters even if they are from the same party. So, in November, 2018, Californians get to vote for one of two Democrats, one perceived to be intelligent and pragmatic, the other perceived to be ...

July 15, 2018, T+45: Nacho 500 Day! This is the 500th day that Hillary is nacho president.The Europeans are wary of Trump and Putin meeting this week, and yet it's the Germans buying all that natural gas from Putin through a brand new $11-billion pipeline. These are the facts:
Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline that would allow Germany to effectively double the amount of gas it imports from Russia. In 2017, Germany used up a record 53 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, comprising about 40 percent of Germany's total gas consumption. Nord Stream 2's delivery system is designed to carry up to 55 billion cubic meters (1.942 trillion cubic feet) of gas per year.
So, to repeat: currently, Russian natural gas accounted fro 40% of Germany's total gas consumption; the Nord Stream 2 would effectively double the amount of gas Germany would import from Russia. Seems fairly significant to me. And yet, CNBC says "Trump is exaggerating Germany's reliance on Russia for energy."  CNBC was disingenuous with its argument (Trump was exactly correct, it turns out) but worse, CNBC defends Russia even as NBC calls out Trump on Russian sanctions. Seems one can't have it both ways. Unless you are CNBC/NBC/MSNBC.

July 14, 2018, T+44: Scotland loves Trump. LOL.

July 13, 2018, T+43: wow, I love this president! Never quits. Tea with the Queen today, and in two days, a summit with "Putin."

July 12, 2018, T+42: Trump doubles down on trade war. T+42 -- Nasdaq closes at a record high; S&P 500 near 2,800. Dow up over 220 points. What trade war?

July 11, 2018, T+41: Trump to Brussels. Will upset the NATO turnip cart there.

July 10, 2018, T+40: with all the heckling Mitch McConnell is getting, there is no way he plans on losing the fight to confirm Trump's pick for new Supreme Court justice.

July 9, 2018, T+39: Trump picks a Catholic, Brett Kavanaugh, for Supreme Court justice. Even before announced, Dems called his choice controversial.

July 8, 2018, T+38: anticipation -- top four potential Supreme Court nominees all very, very conservative. Will drive alt-left nuts.

July 7, 2018, T+37: it looks like I was snookered, as most Americans who thought Trump and Kim Jong Un had an understanding. Apparently, Kim Jong Un is walking away from any further discussion. Something tells me Trump won't be pleased. Let's see if US-South Korean war games begin again.

July 6, 2018, T+36: it is being reported that Hillary is trying to enlist GOP senators to resist Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice (he has not nominated anyone yet). It will be interesting to see if some DEM senators up for re-election can afford to vote against Trump on this: think Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

July 5, 2018, T+35: GS says commodities are a "buy." Says trade war worries are overblown. Canada placed a 10% tariff on US ketchup, for example.

July 4, 2018, T+34: quiet.

July 3, 2018, T+33: unlike Michelle, no fanfare; Melania visits wounded warriors at Bethesda. 

July 2, 2018, T+32: ABC's ace reporter Brian Ross fired after botched report on President Trump Can join Brokaw, Brian, and that other guy in "journalism hell."

July 1, 2018, T+31: Michael Goodwin -- the "Left" needs to face reality; Trump is winning. Worth archiving.

June 30, 2018, T+30: Deranged? Left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer advocates nuclear war if that's what it takes for a "course correction." And the alt-left was worried about Trump! LOL.

June 29, 2018, T+29: Tom Steyer suggests a nuclear war might be needed for a "real course correction" to Trump.

June 28, 2018, T+28: DOA -- Senator Schumer wants Trump to follow the "Biden Rule" when nominating/confirming the new US Supreme Court justice, following the announcement that Justice Kennedy will retire.

June 27, 2018, T+27: US Supreme Court rules against unions; unions cannot force workers to pay dues.

June 26, 2018, T+26: quiet?

June 25, 2018, T+25: Maxine Waters is becoming the face of the new Democratic party. Bernie fades.

June 24, 2018, T+24: Dems want physical assaults on Trump supporters; want Trump's family targeted.

June 23, 2018, T+23: Dems want open borders.

June 22, 2018, T+22: South Korea and North Korea agree to let "war-separated families" meet for one week in August.

June 21, 2018, T+21: Henry Fonda (of the Jane Fonda family) tweets that someone needs to kidnap the president's son Baron and put Baron in a cage with a pedophile. Meanwhile, the First Lady makes a surprise visit to the southern border.

June 20, 2018, T+20: I didn't see it but apparently Trump had a briefing on television today regarding "caged children." Some think it was another brilliant Trump bit of marketing. Best of all: he canceled the barbecue scheduled for Congress tomorrow. I'm not sure what barbecue that is.

June 19, 2018, T+19: it appears that when it comes to separating children from their parents, Americans across the board prefer open borders. In the 13th century, armies took land with the monks leading the invasion. Now, its children leading the invasion of America. 

June 18, 2018, T+18: satisfaction with direction of US hits 12-year high

June 17, 2018, T+17: three years ago Trump announced his intention to run for president. Announcement met with almost universal laughing by mainstream media. 

June 16, 2018, T+16: flashback --

June 15, 2018, T+15: flashback --

June 14, 2018, T+14: best birthday ever. DOJ slaps former FBI director Comey with "insubordination." Pretty much ends all that talk about President Trump, obstruction of justice by firing Comey.

June 13, 2018, T+13: has North Korea promised any previous US administration to completely denuclearize? Those that oppose a peace initiative on the Korean Peninsula suggests they may have interests in keeping the threat of a nuclear North Korea alive.

June 12, 2018, T+12: North Korea agrees to de-nuclearization. The day everything changed; the day nothing changed.

One Night in Bangkok, Murray Head

June 11, 2018, T+11: World talking peace, not war, on Korean Peninsula.

June 10, 2018, T+10: Kim in Singapore.

June 9, 2018, T+9: although it was scheduled, and pre-announced, effectively President Trump walked out of the G7 conference -- leaving early and not agreeing to sign any joint communique. The G7 conference, by all criteria, was a dismal failure. Trump saw that coming and left early.

June 8, 2018, T+8: photo-op, that's all it will be. Goal: joint communique. G7.

June 7, 2018, T+7: quiet.

June 6, 2018, T+6: MSM does not mention D-Day, 1944.

June 5, 2018, T+5: well, that just took all the wind out of the few sails CNN still has. After weeks of wondering where Melania is, she appeared last night at an event honoring Gold Star families. I doubt the average CNN viewer even knows what a Gold Star family is, and I doubt CNN goes out of its way to educate its viewers.

June 4, 2018, T+4: Americans are watching two different movies when it comes to trade. The "mainstream media" calls it a "trade war." Trump apologists would see this as a historic turn on trade negotiations: previously, America, a single county would negotiate trade deals with multiple countries which had formed a "bloc" (like the WTO, the EU, etc). Now, Trump wants bilateral negotiations: one-on-one with Mexico. One-on-one with Canada. One-on-one with the EU. One-on-one with China. In a fight would you prefer to take on a gang of seven by yourself, or would you prefer to take on each individual, one at a time? This is not rocket science.

June 3, 2018, T+3: I think I heard that Melanie "weighed in" on foul language used by "comedian" describing Ivanka.

June 2, 2018, T+2: incredible jobs report; perhaps the best in 20 years, considering all factors. Pelosi says employment numbers don't matter. What a doofus. Trump tweets that he was looking forward to jobs data what would be released in sixty minutes; CNBC had a field day with that. Of course, the story goes nowhere.

June 1, 2018, T+1: first full day after Trump slaps aluminum/steel tariffs on EU, Mexico, and Canada. Why I'm not worried: so far, Trump has not made many mistakes; keeping his campaign promises. All three -- the EU, Mexico, and Canada -- are not in good position to take on this fight. Mexico says it will retaliate. Mexican spokesman says Mexico will raise tariffs on (table) lamps; cranberries; some kinds of cheeses; and, pork. Yes, (table) lamps.


Fight's Back On: Let The Trade Wars Begin
Days 1 -- XX -- this page

Fight's On: Trump Exits "The Iran Deal"
Fight's On: Let The Trade Wars Begin (A Bust)
The 38 Days Following The Schumer Shut-Down (A Bust)
The 2 Days of The Schumer Shut Down (A Bust)
The Last 65 Days of His First Term
Days 331 - 365
Days 301 - 330

The Trump Presidency (201 - 300)
The Third 100 Days
The Second 30 Days 
The First 30 Days

Between Election And Inauguration (1 - 100)
The Third 10 Days

Bakken Crude Differentials Soar On Widening Brent-WTI Spread -- Platts -- May 30, 2018 -- Williston Bbls Rise To Parity With Clearbrook For First Time


Later, 2:52 p.m. CDT: regular readers of the blog know that I have said many, many times, operators in the Permian may be struggling, vs the Bakken operators who should be doing very, very well. Some thoughts, right, wrong, indifferent. If you are not seeing the same thing, we are probably watching different movies --
  • costs going up significantly
  • 460 rigs in the Permian vs 60 rigs in the Bakken; overall production in each basin not all that far apart
  • Permian pipelines maxed out; no short term solutions
  • high CAPEX costs as operators try to recover entry costs
  • interest rates going up
  • in addition to pipeline, other infrastructure in place in the Bakken
  • the Bakken: in the "manufacturing stage"
  • the Permian: boom phase and all the problems associated with the boom 
Original Post
This is a "keeper." The entire article has been archived. A must-read for anyone interested in the Bakken.

Platt's link here.
Bakken crude differentials soar on widening Brent-WTI spread Houston (Platts)--30 May 2018 615 pm EDT/2215 GMT.
Bakken crude differentials for delivery in July rose sharply Wednesday to multi-month highs, flipping to a premium to the NYMEX WTI calendar-month average amid further widening Brent-WTI crude spreads, with Williston barrels rising to parity with Clearbrook for the first time.
Bakken had a very active spot market, with differentials heard going up continually throughout the day. [A reminder: CLR is not hedged.]

"This is pretty wild," a market source said.

Sources cited the further widening Brent-WTI spread, which rose above $9/b during the day, as the primary driver of the rally, giving the incentive to ship Bakken barrels south to the US Gulf Coast. S&P Global Platts assessed the July-delivered crude spread at $9.52/b -- the highest in more than three years.

Close to the oil wells in North Dakota, Williston-origin barrels for rail transport were heard traded as high as NYMEX WTI CMA plus 25 cents/b, a steep rise of $2.20/b from Tuesday's assessment. This was the highest differential since November 11, when it was assessed at NYMEX front-month WTI CMA plus 35 cents/b.

Williston barrels for delivery on the Dakota Access Pipeline were heard traded as high as NYMEX WTI CMA plus 20 cents/b.

Bakken crude in the Clearbrook, Minnesota, hub that supplies the Midwest market, meanwhile, was talked valued at a rare parity with Williston barrels, equivalent to a rise of $1.45/b day on day. This was the first time Williston barrels rose to parity with Clearbrook since S&P Global Platts started assessing the former in April 2014.
Much, much more at the link.

This might be a good time to write a thank you letter to Judge James Boasberg and all those who supported the DAPL.

Meanwhile, the Canadians are still trying to figure out how to get their landlocked bitumen out of Alberta, what with continuing challenges with the Keystone XL; Enbridge Line 3; Energy East pipeline; Trans Mountain. 

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

From the Financial Times:
US oil prices are falling well behind their international rivals, as booming shale production has created pipeline constraints, driving the biggest discount to North Sea Brent in three years. 
On Thursday (today), US benchmark West Texas Intermediate‘s discount to Brent crude moved above $11 a barrel, a level not seen since 2015, in the latest sign inland US crude markets have become swamped by rampant production. 
Brent was near $78 a barrel while WTI traded closer to $66, before recovering. Traders and analysts say WTI’s discount to Brent— known as the Brent-WTI spread in the industry — reflects pipeline constraints in two key areas that have intensified over the past three weeks. The discount was closer to $5 a barrel in early May.
The deep discount first appeared in the heart of the Permian Basin — the most prolific US shale field — around the city of Midland in west Texas. It has since moved to Cushing, Oklahoma, a tank storage hub that can also be a detour for Permian barrels flowing towards refineries and oil export docks on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Traders have essentially maximised capacity on pipelines running out of Cushing to the Gulf Coast as US crude production has risen towards 10.5m barrels a day while demand for exports frequently tops more than 2m b/d.
Bakken? Not mentioned. And folks know. Memo to self: write letter to Judge James Boasberg.

Other sites of interest:

Flasback! Update On Those Five "21st Century Energy Centers" For The Bakken -- May 31, 2018

Quick! How many remember this headline from June 18, 2014? "The Bakken spreads out; Quantum Energy looking to build five '21st century energy centers." LOL.

Well, "they're" back!

A reader with an eagle eye caught this article over at Pipeline News:
On May 17, Pipeline News spoke by phone to the top two people currently involved with Quantum Energy, Inc., whose wholly-owned subsidiary Dominion Energy Processing Group, Inc., proposed a 40,000 bpd refinery at Stoughton in late 2016.
Jeffrey Mallmes (in some instances, referred to as “Jeff Mallmes”) is listed in their Feb. 28, 2018 annual report at chairman, president, treasurer and director, with 14.91 per cent ownership. Andrew J. Kacic is listed as secretary and director, with 18.66 per cent ownership. Kacic had formerly been CEO of Quantum, back when it was proposing five refineries in North Dakota and Montana. He is also the person now listed as the contact at the end of Quantum press releases.
Stoughton, Saskatchewan, by road, is about 140 miles north of Williston, ND. It is 35 miles directly north of Estevan, Saskatchewan. 

So, we'll see. Canada doesn't seem to be the most fossil-fuel-friendly country in the world. Just saying.

But now, back to the "five '21st century energy centers" proposed by Quantum Energy back in 2014? From Pipeline News:
Before Quantum Energy, Inc. came to Saskatchewan with a refinery proposal at Stoughton, they proposed three refineries in North Dakota and two in Montana.
Lynn Helms is the long-time director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. He spoke to Pipeline Newson May 23 at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, N.D., where he was the co-host of the conference.
Asked on May 23 how far Quantum got into the regulatory process for its three proposed refineries in North Dakota, Helms said, “To the best of my knowledge, they never applied for any air or water permits in the state. They acquired land. They did FEED (front end engineering and design) and looked at the potential for the small, Dickinson-sized refineries.
And so it goes.

Notes From The Field -- From A Reader -- Much Appreciated -- May 31, 2018


Later, 7:02 p.m. CDT: wow, isn't this interesting? In the June NDIC hearing dockets, this case --
  • 26741, CLR, Cedar Coulee-Bakken; 18 wells on an existing overlapping 2560-acre unit; sections 21/28/33-147-96 and section 4-146-96; Dunn (remember: this is a "case" -- not a permit number)
Original Post

Notes from the field.

A reader updated information he sent to me the other day. This really, really gets into the weeds but should interest:
  • folks like me
  • folks who are really trying to understand the Bakken
  • folks who have mineral interests in these wells
  • analysts on Wall Street who are trying to get a leg up on the competition (LOL)
Click here for the full post.

In the original post and the updates, several "families" are mentioned. I track the families here (click on the family names) (I'm sure they all need to be updated):
The most recent data the reader sent:
By the way, I am pretty certain that CLR is stimulating the Corral Creek 147-96-36 wells finally, 6 of the 14 CC, or the older SI/NC wells look like WIP (work in progress?).  
I’m curious to see how good these wells are. 
Both BR and XTO are drilling around the area too. They both have good acreage but CLR might have better. 
There are a few new IA wells the past few months on the existing CC section 36 well interests, that’s what tipped me off. 
CLR is now on DRL status on two of three brand new Morris 4-5 section 23 Oakdale wells that popped up fast. 
There’s also two Colter Bear Creek wells and one new Hawkinson - 16 section 22 Oakdale well in a CLR 6 well batch on a 9 well pad. 
One month all were LOC and then two went to DRL. Nine wells on a section 22 pad. 
Right now my count is 18 wells to complete between section 22, 23 & 36, that land there, also, that I follow. These include: State-Weydahl and Brandvik/CC - Morris, Carson Peak/Oakdale). Oakdale needs more wells.
MRO is working both the Bailey and Killdeer leases lately with some 2- to 6-year-old wells  going to IA. At least MRO refracs whenever wells get sluggish. [Great, great observation by the reader -- I've noted the same thing -- noted that long, long ago -- I assume the reader noted that, also, a long time ago.]
I’m nearly convinced the more 24- to 25,000-foot total depth (TD wells we see, the more production will grow. Two of the Enerplus Hope, Courage, Pride, Honor, monster wells are 24,000- ft plus. The deeper multi-lateral wells are we more productive I noticed.
I attached an NDIC screenshot of the wells on the CLR pad spanning 2 oil fields in 3 separate sections:

The wells in section 36-147-96:

Area under discussion:

Nice: US Crude Oil Inventories DECREASE By 4.2 Million Bbls -- EIA -- May 31, 2018

EIA weekly petroleum report: link here.
  • immediately after release of data, WTI recovers maybe a bit, but still down significantly 
  • US crude oil inventories: decreased by 4.2 million bbls from previous week; healthy decrease
  • US crude oil inventories: now at 434.5 million bbls, still in "the lower half of the average range for this time of the year" (for newbies: I consider 350 million bbls, maybe 400 million bbls as the "benchmark")
  • both gasoline and distillate fuel production up a bit more than usual (10 million b/d and 5 million b/d, respectively, are my "benchmarks")
  • refineries operating at 93.9% capacity -- much higher than previous few weeks; my "benchmark" for refining capacity, about 93% 
Meanwhile, continues to write the story before the data is published -- and then fill in the blanks once the data is posted. The headline is written, it appears, based on what the writer/headline writer think will result based on the data. Note the screenshot below. Granted, prior to the data being released, WTI was trading below $67 and after the data was released it recovered a bit and began trading above $67, but not by much. If one did not have the data, and simply had the headline, one might get the wrong impression. My impression: the decrease in US crude inventories prevented a further plunge in the price of WTI. Assuming, of course, movers/shakers/insiders/speculators/Goldman Sachs/George Soros/and the rest of the usual suspects didn't already have the data as of last night (which I think they do). Part of the reason for my belief: the EIA folks would be cross-checking with experts outside their own office buildings to see if what they were going to report was in line with what others were seeing. Just a conspiracy hunch.

WTI is down 1.3% after the weekly EIA data came out. I hardly consider that a rebound (from yesterday's closing price). Perhaps a rebound from this morning's opening price.

Wow, Saudi's Foreign Reserve Assets Surge -- Completely Unexpected -- May 31, 2018

Also, see this note.

See this link for previous post regarding this data. That carries us through March, 2018.

Now Saudi's foreign reserve assets that includes the most recent data, through April, 2018. Link here.

We're still waiting for the most recent export data.

The(ir) Pool Is Open!

First one in for the summer. What a great evening. The oldest granddaughter was in the pool for 2.5 hours. Sophia and I were in the pool for almost two hours. I've never seen Sophia so happy -- and she's always happy -- she was practically laughing under water. She won't be four years old until a few more weeks, and she was already jumping off the low diving board. Last summer she would jump off the board but we were there to catch her and bring her to the edge of the pool. This year, she can jump without us catching her, and then bob to the surface and swim to the edge of the pool.

The Bleeding Is Not Over Yet -- WTI Back Below $67; Someone Must Have Seen EIA Inventory Numbers To Be Released Later Today -- May 31, 2018

No North Dakota wells come off the confidential list today

EIA weekly petroleum report: due out later this morning.

American auto industry: looks like Chrysler will be history by the end of the week. Parent company likely to "retire" the brand.
It will hardly be missed; Chrysler namesake is now on only two vehicles, the "ancient" 300 (a car my dad had many, many years ago) and the Pacifica. I've had three Chrysler minivans, loved them all, still driving two of them. Or at least my wife is.
Ford will be down to two automobile models and then all the rest SUVs, cross-over SUVs, and pick-up trucks.
I saw a lot of nice Chevy automobiles on my recent cross-country trip. Something tells me GM may fill this US automotive niche quite nicely. I loved the Chevy Sonic I had rented from Enterprise, but still -- I found it amazing the dash on my 2012 Honda Civic was so much more modern than that of the Sonic. In addition, the switchology on the Honda Civic was so much better. Chevy was handicapped by the fact that it could not integrate its entertainment system with the car's dash data (fuel, range, etc). Tesla, however, does that very, very well.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs62482880189

RBN Energy: can trucking and CBR mitigate the Permian's oil takeaway crisis? Not enough trucks, and even worse, not enough truck drivers. Will take years to develop necessary CBR terminals.