Friday, September 21, 2018

Trump's State Department Echoes Hillary's State Department -- Until Hillary Flipped -- September 21, 2018

Keystone XL will not have material adverse environmental impact.
TransCanada Corp plans to start construction in 2019, spokesman Matthew John said.
The company’s Chief Executive Russ Girling said last month that it could make a final investment decision on the project late this year or in early 2019, pending some regulatory approvals and court challenges.
My most recent "long" post on the Keystone XL was July 31, 2018.

Keystone XL milestones here.

Friday Night At Barnes and Noble

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World, Steve Brusatte, c. 2018.

First note here.

Geologic time: the Permian Period, Paleozoic Era, immediately preceding the Age of Dinosaurs

Mesozoic Era: the Age of Dinosaurs -- Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous

Final 30 million years of the Triassic (252 - 201 million years ago)
  • early dinosaurs struggling; competing with giant salamanders
  • one huge continent: Pangea -- started breaking apart; volcanic eruptions
  • Pangea splits: water rushes in to the void, becomes the Atlantic Ocean
  • the volcanic lava and noxious gases: biggest mass extinction in the history of life
    • a mass die-off that claimed at least 30% of all species
  • paradoxically, the mass extinction favored the small dinosaurs
  • the Palisades, western cliffs of the Hudson River, on the New Jersey side; a sill; formed with Pangea split; formed at the end of the Triassic
    • age of Nixon: Riker Hill Fossil Site, Livingston, NJ; the story of Paul Olsen 
  • Newark Basin; a rift basin
    • smaller rift basins all along the eastern seaboard; the tearing up caused by Pangea splitting; think of pizza being pulled apart
    • the Newark Basin: Morocco; Brazil
    • the footprints of dinosaurs along the eastern seaboard
  • then the volcanic eruptions went into high gear
  • counter-intuitively: the rise of the big dinosaurs: they became more diverse; more abundant, and larger
  • volcanoes run out of lava and the 600,000-year reign of terror ends
  • the world (early Jurassic) is now a very different place than it was in the Late Triassic
  • almost every animal alive had now disappeared; one exception -- the only pseudosuchians that made it through the great Pangean breakup were a few types of primitive crocodiles, a handful of battle-worn stragglers that would eventually evolve into the modern alligators and crocodiles but would never enjoy the same success they had in the Late Triassic; pseudosuchians: false crocodiles)
  • somehow dinosaurs were the victors
  • no good answer why they survived the earthquakes, the noxious gases, the lava
  • the Jurassic Period marks the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs proper
  • but remember, the first true dinosaurs entered 30 million years earlier, during the Late Triassic
  • but with the break-up of Pangea, the dinosaurs pretty much had the world to themselves
  • the evolution of the sauropods
  • Ischigualasto (Argentina)
  • sauropods: everywhere; but failed to achieve full potential because they could not survive the deserts
  • roamed everywhere; now finding giant sauropods in Scotland, Isle of Skye
  • Dugald Ross; Ellishadder; very Tokienesque; Gaelic; the Staffin Museum; Jurassic fossils
  • p. 108; we'll stop there -- begins the story of the giant sauropods 
From wiki:
Pseudosuchia ("false crocodiles") is one of two major divisions of Archosauria and includes living crocodilians and all archosaurs more closely related to crocodilians than to birds (what are often called "crocodilian-line archosaurs"). Since 2011 it has replaced “Crurotarsi” when inconsistencies were found in the definition of the latter name.
The sister clade to the pseudosuchia: the Avemetatarsalia: bird-line archosaurs, including pterosaurs and dinosaurs (the latter including birds).

Archosaurs: ruling reptiles. Living representatives are crocodiles and birds. Archosaurs: diapsid amniotes.

From wiki:
The mammals represent the only living Synapsida, which together with the Sauropsida form the Amniota clade
The early synapsid mammalian ancestors were sphenacodont pelycosaurs, a group that produced the non-mammalian Dimetrodon.
At the end of the Carboniferous period, this group diverged from the sauropsid line that led to today's reptiles and birds.
The line following the stem group Sphenacodontia split-off several diverse groups of non-mammalian synapsids—sometimes referred to as mammal-like reptiles—before giving rise to the proto-mammals (Therapsida) in the early Mesozoic era.
The modern mammalian orders arose in the Paleogene and Neogene periods of the Cenozoic era, after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, and have been among the dominant terrestrial animal groups from 66 million years ago to the present.
Okay, enough of this.

One New Permit; WTI Finishes The Week Near $71 -- September 21, 2018

Active rigs:

Active Rigs66573368196

One new permit:
  • Operator: Hess
  • Field: Truax
  • Comments:
Three permits were renewed:
  • Hess (2): two TI-Beauty Valley permits in Williams County
  • QEP: one Vegas permit in McKenzie County
Five producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 32380, 2,637, XTO, Werre Trust 21X-3A, Bear Creek, t8/18; cum 19K after 20 days;
  • 33472, 1,953, Whiting, Wold Federal 42-1-3H, Sand Creek, t8/18; cum --
  • 33470, n/d, Whiting, Wold Federal 42-1-2H, Sand Creek, t8/18; cum --
  • 33485, 2,522,  Whiting, Wold Federal 43-1-1TFH, Sand Creek, t8/18; cum --
  • 33469, n/d, Whiting, Wold Federal 42-1-TFH, Sand Creek, t8/18; cum --

Final Missouri River Study To Be Released Next Week -- September 21, 2018


Later, 5:31 p.m. CDT: lots of issues here and folks have strong feelings on both sides; I don't have a dog in this fight. I may not have all the facts, but it is what it is. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. To say the least. And the obvious.

Original Post

Top stories: here.

2017: here.

The most egregious story to come out of the Bakken: North Dakota State wants a "stay" on the mineral rights case. This was the case:
The state legislature, in an attempt to resolve disputed mineral rights that are hampering development of minerals in the Lake Sakakawea area, had commissioned a study of the historical, high water mark of the Missouri River prior to building Garrison Dam, which created Lake Sakakawea. Their legislation would also restrict the state’s mineral rights to that historical ordinary high water mark.
Williston Herald, April 29, 2018. New 

Update, The Bismarck Tribune -- September 21, 2018.

At this site, there are several links. The two first two links are the ones you are most likely interested in. The "word document" pdf will take a few minutes to download; it is 223 pages long. There is also a PowerPoint presentation which also loads very slowly. The data is very, very well done -- from my cursory view.

It is funny. Forgetting about the mineral rights for a moment, prospective landowners don't want land that is underwater; whereas prospective sellers will downplay the amount of land they are trying to sell that is likely to flood or is not particularly useful -- unless one plans to raise ducks -- because it is underwater.

Some years ago, this topic introduced me to the "riparian" biome -- and something our oldest granddaughter now knows well. LOL.

Also, this has nothing to do with "water rights" -- the allotment of water partitioned out to surface owners along the body of water.

Last Beam Going Up Out At The New Airport --September 21, 2018

Another chapter begins ...

... meanwhile, this chapter closes:

The American Energy Revolution -- It Simply Never Quits -- September 21, 208

Wow, it never quits. Some days I feel I need to quit blogging. It makes no difference. I can't keep up. There's no purpose. What is the purpose? I started the blog because I wanted to learn about the Bakken. I've talked about that elsewhere. It took on a life of its own. I no longer need to know any more about the Bakken. I get it. But I can't quit. It never ceases to amaze me.

The Bakken is a metonym for the US energy revolution. It simply never quits. President Bush II, the intellectually incurious, didn't see it coming. Jimmy Carter must have been his mentor. President Barack Obama did what he could to stop the US energy revolution -- at first he didn't see it either even when it was staring him in the face ("we can't simply drill our way to less expensive oil") and then when he did, he went global, knowing that if the US wasn't stopped, it would leave the rest of the world in its wake.

I didn't see it either, but I am "proud" to admit that in 2007, when I started the blog, I realized that the Bakken was going to be different. Looking back that is really, really amazing. Certainly, it was fortuitous, just plain lucky. The Bakken could have been a bust, but something suggested to me it was going to be different. Also, retiring from the military in 2007, I had nothing else to do. LOL.

By they way, my hunch is that the Bakken is still much less than what it will ultimately be. There's something about the Bakken that is just off the radar scope. I'm starting to think it's akin to three blindfolded men trying to determine the size of an "elephant," not knowing they are are touching an Argentinosaurus huinculensis. The Bakkenus hallucinomongus.

That's not an exaggeration. The Bakken is producing more natural gas than the largest natural gas play in the Mediterranean. And in the Bakken, natural gas is a by-product, a nuisance, and a dangerous hassle.

I write all that to note this: Williams Energy seeks "green light" to start up the Atlantic Sunrise.
  • seeks final approval from FERC to put its Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline on-line
  • 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (300,00 boepd)
  • construction began in 2016
  • a $3 billion expansion project of its existing Transco natural gas pipeline; is this the world's largest natural gas pipeline; maybe someone can compare it to Russia's Nord Stream at 110 billion cubic meters vs Transco's 15 million dekatherms per day (don't even get me started)
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) is a natural gas pipeline which brings gas from the Gulf coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to deliver gas to the New Jersey and New York City area. It is owned by the Williams Partners. 
  • this is the best part: greenfield construction of the Pennsylvania portion of Atlantic Sunrise, called the “Central Penn Line,” began in September 2017. Central Penn, which will be jointly owned by Transco and a third party, includes approximately 200 miles of large-diameter pipeline, two greenfield compressor stations and compressor station modifications in five states
Tea Time

Factoid -- September 21, 2018

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.

But this is an open-book test.

From twitter today:

The Book Page

I just finished reading an essay in the current issue of The London Review of Books, "Get A Brazilian" in which Maggie Doherty reviewed seven "memoirs" by seven self-absorbed millennials. Five of the seven were written by women, I believe. Six of the seven sound like unsuccessful, privileged (mostly women) who went to Ivy League colleges with no idea what they wanted to do in life. One memoir was written by a "hillbilly" male from Appalachia who went on to become a wealthy lawyer or partner at a venture capital firm, or something of that ilk. The latter, unlike the six others, could not afford college, so he joined the US Marine Corps for a four-year enlistment and then completed Yale Law School on the GI bill. He is living the American dream. The other six are still in a dream-like state, with at least one using amphetamines to maintain the dream. Maggie was able to identify with the six losers; she couldn't identify with the US Marine. Reading between the lines, I think Maggie was vicariously living her dream when she read about the six losers -- young, privileged, unrestrained sex, drugs, booze, and money from a dad they probably never knew.

Unfortunately the article is behind an impenetrable firewall but since I subscribe I can read and re-read the article. Which I have. It took two readings to "understand." What a lot of drivel.

These two paragraphs summed up the three-page essay:
And yet students in the US continue to go to college in record numbers, taking out loans that they will spend years, even decades, paying off. Realising that the debt he would incur would be enough to buy a house in his Ohio hometown, Vance joined the marines instead. After his tour of duty, he went to college on the G.I. Bill. Like the welfare recipients he disdains, he too relied on the largesse of the state
Students like Vance invest an astounding amount of time, labour and money in their education. This is all the more striking when you consider the necessity yet declining value of a degree: since 2008, unemployment and underemployment rates for recent US graduates have nearly doubled. Long hailed as the engine of social mobility, college no longer fulfills this promise: 38 per cent of students from low-income families will stay poor, even if they graduate.  
So, that was Vance, the incredibly impoverished Appalachian hillbilly who joins the US Marines to qualify for the GI Bill to get his Yale law degree.

Meanwhile, one of the seven women with whom Maggie could identify, the only one of the seven who attended a British university:
Alderton might be dismissive of her time at Exeter University – ‘from September 2006 to July 2009 – all I did was drink and shag’ – but young Americans must justify their investment.
For US readers not in the know, "shagging" is simply the British way of saying "sleeping around." I had multiple tours in England. It really was interesting the way British women, ages 17 - 39 engaged in intense short-lived mating exercises. "Mayflies" come to mind. But I digress.

Maggie needs to broaden her reading.

She might start with Ravensbrueck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women, Sarah Helm, c. 2014. Link here for my notes.

Or she could start with Lessons from the Lobster: Eve Marder's Work in Neuroscience (The MIT Press), Charlotte Nassim, c. 2018.

I no longer have any book space on or off my book shelves in our small apartment; I doubt I will be of sound mind much longer to read many more books; and, so I've quit buying books. I resist all I can. I occasionally fail.

Yesterday, I saw a Nassim's book on "lobsters" at Barnes and Noble. Or as Sophia says, "Barnes and Nobles." I just ordered it from Amazon. I have so many "points" with Amazon ... wow, and here I digress ... here's another "scam." If Medicare eligible, find a great clinic that doesn't take Medicare. Pay your bill with an Amazon Prime credit card. The clinic will submit your bill to Medicare and you will be reimbursed -- not all but enough. The rest will be reimbursed by your secondary insurer. And that expensive clinic visit -- much of it paid for by Medicare -- will give you so many points, you can buy anything you need want on Amazon. But I digress.

Nassim's book on Eve Marder is not going to be an easy book. And I can't recommend it to anybody.

But I'm fascinated by lobsters. I have probably read more books on lobsters than anyone reading this blog. I've read two. Two lobster books. Nassim's book will be the third. I think it will be a bit like James Watson's The Double Helix, still in print, current edition, 2001, but originally published in 1968, regarding "their" discovery in 1953.

The six losers with whom Maggie could identify should read Nassim's book but I doubt they have the attention span to get through the introduction. It was all I could do to get through the introduction, and the first chapter ... way too much ... but I couldn't put it down. It was the same reason I can't put down a crossword puzzle once I get started -- no matter how few answers I know, I keep hoping I will find one more.

But, wow, what a great book for a nerdy, high school, girl who wants to go into biological research. This book I would recommend for the young high school woman who is far beyond her peers in reading and science, who loves biology, and wants to become a famous researcher living the good life in San Diego or Boston.

For those who want the short (and readable) version of Eve Marder:

EOG Getting Ready To Frack More Austin Wells In The Parshall -- September 21, 2018


Later, 11:43 a.m. CDT: see first comment. Apparently #34550 and #34552 have both been completed within the last couple of days.

Original Post 

A reader writes:
I saw your post on the Parshall Wells being fracked recently! Austin wells in Sections 11,17, 19 and 29 have been fracked or are very soon! I believe they are all 1920’s.
That covers a lot of ground. Look at all the 1920-acre spacing units in the Parshall -- this is a screenshot of just part of the Parshall. The purple areas are 1920-acre spacing units. "All" of these horizontals in the Parshall are EOG wells; most/many are the incredible Austin wells:

A screenshot of just a few of the almost 150 EOG Austin wells in the Parshall. For newbies: note the chronological number in the legal names.

These are the Austin wells that the reader may have been referring to:

The Market, Energy, Political Page, T+39 -- September 21, 2018

The market: 750 points on the Dow in three days. Something like that. Today, futures are up nearly a hundred points.
  • quadruple witching hour
  • sunrise at 7:13
  • 3/4 moon overnight
  • that rare moment when Wall Street reorganizes the investment sectors; lots of busy work; will result in lots of meaningless volume on Wall Street
  • CNBC focus today: marijuana stocks, bitcoin, Tesla, and GE 
  • mainstream media reports that Trump will tweet today
OPEC: loses relevance (well, duh, -- I remember posting this years ago -- OPEC has always been irrelevant -- Saudi Arabia IS OPEC; some years Iran makes a difference; some years others have a little impact but in the big scheme of things, when it comes to OPEC, all eyes are on Saudi Arabia; but if you want to read about the obvious, here's  the link

Shell: in talks to sell Gulf of Mexico assets to Focus Oil for $1.3 billion

Off-shore: CAPEX will outpace shale next year (2019); why is this not surprising? Think about it.

The Permian: eating Trudeau's lunch; global oil prices have climbed almost 20% this year; western Canadian producers seeing just the opposite; landlocked; must be a slow news day over at Rigzone; having said that, this is an interesting bit of trivia you can use at tonight's cocktail party:
A silver lining is that the low cost for condensate, one of the types of light oil produced in Canada’s shale, is providing some benefit to oil sands producers like Suncor Energy Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc., who use it as a diluent to move heavy oil sands crude out of the region. Condensate can make up about a third of every barrel of bitumen crude that’s shipped out via pipeline or rail.

Morning Note -- September 21, 2018

First a shout-out to a reader who knows more about natural gas than I'll ever know, commenting on my recent post regarding US glut of natural gas -- and the widening gap between US energy and the rest of the world.

The reader suggests that the one-hundred-year supply of US natural gas can be put into perspective by looking at the new hardware and processes reflecting this new reality, specifically:
... the deployment of ultra efficient Combined Cycle Generating Turbine (CCGT) power plants that provide low cost, abundant, reliable electricity wherever they are in operation.
Currently about two dozen are in various stages of development in Ohio and Pennsylvania alone, with rapid growth in many other regions.

The Finnish company, Wartsila, is rapidly introducing a wide array of regassification units, notably its Floating Storage and Regassification Barge - FSRB - to economically deliver LNG to smaller markets. 
A Jones Act compliant articulated tug boat is currently being built in Mississippi using this structure.

A February, 2018, Reuters article describing the smaller, modular oriented LNG facilities portends the future wave of flexible, more economic iterations of these historically expensive plants.

Biggest enchilada looming in the not-so-distant future?

An explosion of new devices - 6,000 a year right now - will usher in a dizzying array of new stuff all across our societies.

Specific to the oil/gas world, having onboard fuel tanks that enable CNG vehicles to range as far as current gasoline models in an efficient manner would be a game changer.

Iranians just claimed success at exactly this.

To enable homeowners to fuel their CNG vehicles directly from residences already supplied with natgas would be paradigm shattering. 
US has 53 million homes supplied with natgas.

Final data point ... 4 million EVs on road globally. 26 million natgas vehicles globally.
NGV Global site has some interesting data.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Years and years ago I read about an obscure type of computer chip in Wired or Scientific American. It sounded intriguing. I knew nothing about it except what I read in a very, very early article. On a whim I bought a few shares in a company that made that particular type of computer chip. I bought the shares for my younger daughter. That one company alone has "made" her portfolio twenty years later. It was such a good company, I ended up buying shares in that same company for my portfolio about two years ago. I am reminded of that story when I see "metal organic frameworks" -- something I had not heard of until yesterday.

Back to the Mundane

Supposedly a big day on Wall Street: lots of "fake" volume
  • quadruple witching hour
  • reconfigure sectors (some tech companies will move to the communication sector; ETFs have to move companies around; managed funds need to change holdings; lots of man-made busy work)
SRE: unloads its non-operating renewable assets; Con Edison must need the tax breaks; the latter will pay $1.54 billion to buy SRE's non-utility operating solar assets, battery storage, etc; amounts to less than 1,000 MW capacity (NV, AZ, CA, NE) -- and get this: assumes $576 million in existing debt
  • $1.54 billion / 981 MW = $157,000 / MW; of course, non-operating, so how does that one compute that  -- to infinity and beyond
  • 0.03% x $576 million =  $17 million 
  • over 15 years, at 3%: 180 payments, $195 million total payback; $12 million annually
Back to the Bakken

Wells coming off the confidential list today -- Friday, September 22, 2018 --
  • 34616, 1,612, Hess, EN-Sorenson A-LE-154-94-0211H-1, Alkali Creek, 4 sections, Three Forks, 60 stages, 8.3 million lbs, t8/18; cum --; 
  • 34560, SI/NC, Abraxas, Ravin 12H, North Fork, no production data,
Active rigs:

Active Rigs66573368196
RBN Energy: NGL production growth vs constrained fractionation capacity -- drilling down into the details.
To fire on all cylinders — especially during a period of strong high crude oil prices and rising production — the U.S. energy sector depends on midstream infrastructure networks that can efficiently handle the transportation and processing of every type of hydrocarbon that emerges from the wellhead. It’s no secret that rapid production growth in the Permian has left the red-hot West Texas play short of crude-oil pipeline capacity, and midstream companies there have also struggled to keep pace with natural gas takeaway needs too. What’s less well known is that fractionation capacity at the all-important NGL hub in Mont Belvieu, TX, is nearly maxed out, and that some Permian producers — and others — are now scrambling to find other places to send their incremental NGL barrels for fractionation into purity products. We put this issue front-and-center earlier this week in Hotel Fractionation.  Today, we discuss highlights from the first of two planned Drill Down Reports on fractionators and other key assets at the nation’s largest NGL hub, and the potentially broader effects of a fractionation-capacity shortfall.
Let’s cut to the chase. The U.S. NGL market has entered uncharted territory, with what may turn out to be significant implications for producers of crude oil (in places like the Permian, SCOOP/STACK and the Niobrara) and “wet” natural gas (in the Utica and wet Marcellus, for example). The mixed NGLs — or y-grade — that are separated out from natural gas at gas processing plants have no direct uses on their own, and only gain value when they are fractionated into NGL purity products like ethane, propane, butanes and natural gasoline for use at Gulf Coast petchem plants or refineries, or for export. The problem is, U.S. NGL production has been climbing for some time now, and the fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu — the world’s largest fractionation and NGL storage hub, and located close to purity product end users and export docks — is now fully utilized (or nearly so). This raises some need-to-be-answered questions. For example, if the pace of fractionation cannot pick up until more fractionation capacity comes online, what happens to those incremental barrels of y-grade being produced? How much more y-grade can be squirreled away in underground storage caverns? And what happens if y-grade storage capacity eventually fills up?