Saturday, February 9, 2019

Now I Know They're Reading The Blog; Too Many Aggressive Polar Bears -- Emergency Declared -- February 9, 2019

Yesterday, February 8, 2019, I posted a long note on polar bears and noted that the polar bear issue had not been brought up in a long, long time. LOL.

Now, this. I just spotted this on the Drudge Report a few minutes ago:

Then this, also at the Drudge Report:

When we get extremely cold weather and lots and lots and lots of snow, it's said to be "unusual."

But when we have a tornado or a hurricane or a really hot summer, we're told that is proof of anthropological global warming. The science is settled. LOL.

By the way, here's the link and the story regarding that Pacific Northwest:
The biggest snowstorm since February 2017 slammed Seattle at the start of the weekend.
Snow totals ranged from 6-10 inches in the area, including 7.9 inches of snowfall recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, as the storm dumped heavy snow along the coast of Washington and Oregon since Friday afternoon.
Around 4 inches covered Portland, Oregon.
The last snowstorm of this magnitude slammed Seattle early in February two years prior, when the airport recorded 7.1 inches.
Since 2017. Another chuckle. That's barely two years ago. Sounds like we're starting to get snowier winters again. Despite all that AGW. 

Our son-in-law and daughter measured the depth of snow outside their Portland, OR, home: they said the depth on east of Portland was 5.1 inches.

Random Update Of An MRO Well -- February 9, 2019

The well:
Recent production:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Other wells in area:
  • 33390, 4,576, MRO, Martha Grube USA 14-20H, Reunion Bay, t11/18; cum 226K 8/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 33391, 5,760, MRO, Nugget USA 14-20TFH, Reunion Bay, t11/18; cum 247K 8/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 32025, 6,140, MRO, Becky USA 21-17TFH, Reunion Bay, t10/18; cum 235K 8/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 32024, 7,956, MRO, Ness USA 31-17H, Reunion Bay, t10/18; cum 326K 8/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 32026, 4,646, MRO, Hans USA 31-17TFH, Reunion Bay, t11/18; cum 262K 8/19;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The graphic:

Random Production Update Of Three EOG Austin Wells -- February 9, 2019

This post will not be updated. These wells are tracked here. Three EOG Austin wells yet to come off confidential list, but they are reporting some great production numbers:

32718, conf, EOG, Austin 465-1113H, 33-061-03955, Parshall, t--; cum -- for newbies -- note the chronological number, 465 --
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

32719, conf, EOG, Austin 46-113H, 33-061-03956, Parshall, t--; cum --

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

32720, conf, EOG, Austin 45-1113H, 33-061-03957, Parshall, t--; cum --

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

The Book Page

I'm about halfway through Gleick's biography of Richard Feynman, reading about five pages a day.

I have just read the two or three pages devoted to the Ram's Head Conference, Shelter Island, NY, June 2 - 4, 1947.  

This was perhaps the most important physics conference since Los Alamos (1943 - 1945). 

Week 6: February 3, 2019 -- February 9, 2019

Top story of the week: President Trump's approval rating jumping to 50% after his state of the union address.

Top international energy story of the week: Saudi Arabia, OPEC, Russia entertaining a closer partnership to guarantee minimum floor on price of oil.

4Q18 earnings: major oil companies smash earnings forecasts

Top US energy story this past week: US to be energy exporter by 2020 -- EIA

Geoff Simon's top North Dakota energy stories:
  • Extraction tax increase dies in ND House
  • Gasoline tax increase dies in NS Senate
  • Red Trail Energy pursues carbon capturing and storage
  • Pipeline activists tampering with Enbridge Pipeline face felony charges in Minnesota
Bakken operations
Twenty new permits; some large mega-pads being proposed
MRO continues to impress; new MRO well producing at 104K bbls/month;
MRO re-fracking program in Bailey oil field
Bruin reports several nice Berg Trust wells
Four counties in western North Dakota will outproduce Venezuela
Update on incredible re-fracked CLR Rattlesnke Point well;
Something going on with CLR's Hawkinson wells?

Bakken 101
Bakken in graphs and tables
Of recent wells drilled in the Bakken, only 44% of of the EUR has been produced 

Bakken economy
Cobra Gas & Oil acquires Enduro's assets in Williston;
Australian company specializing in honeybees, taps UND drone expertise
Starbucks in Williston?

It Never Quits -- An Ethane Update -- February 9, 2019

Sometime in the past week or so, I think it was a result of the president's state of the union address, folks got carried away with fact checking the president on whether the US really was a net exporter of energy. Wow, what an incredibly shallow argument. While pundits are arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (we've had this discussion before -- the answer depends on whether their arms are outstretched or held close to their wings) so much more important stuff is going on.

Until I saw the recent EIA tweet on ethane, I had completely forgotten all about it. During the Bakken boom, "ethane rejection" was a big topic (something I knew nothing about; a reader gently informed me what "ethane rejection" meant).

Since then, it hasn't been something I've thought about much.

I do have a tag, "North Dakota ethane plant."

Since the boom, the US has begun exporting ethane to some extent, and there are now folks worried that the US exporters will deplete our own ethane that is needed for our own feedstock.

This is why they are worried: the Middle East doubled its petrochemical output in the 2000s and now doesn’t have enough ethane for many future projects.


It turns out that the US has plenty of ethane and won't run out anytime soon.

It is all because of hydraulic, horizontal fracking, thank you very much. The chemical industry wasn’t prepared for all the ethane that ultimately came from the shale boom. The US is #1 in crude oil production from HHF, and Argentina is #2. Most other western countries, it seems, bans fracking. In fact, some US states ban fracking. Folks sort of forget that more comes out of fracking than just oil. But I digress.

Back to US ethane.

Data points from a 2018 article that updates US ethane data from 2017:
  • the petrochemical industry’s initial reaction to this bounty was to convert plants from naphtha to ethane feedstock and launch quick, incremental expansions
  • the response ramped up last year (2017) when new crackers from Dow Chemical and Mexichem added a combined 2.0 million metric tons of annual ethylene capacity
    • two monster crackers from ExxonMobil and Chevron Phillips Chemical, which combine for 3 million metric tons, are starting up right now
    • five more projects will add more than 5.0 million metric tons by 2020
    • the new chemical plants will mean an enormous leap in ethane consumption by 2020, going from a market that was consuming 1 million barrels to one that will use 1.8 million bbls
  • Now, on to exports:
    • almost three crackers' worth of ethane is currently being exported from the US
    • because of low prices, producers are rejecting more than 600,000 bpd -- enough to support 10 million metric tons of annual ethylene capacity
    • prices are starting to support new fractionation capacity
  • Nova Chemicals
    • a Canadian company
    • recently bought Williams Cos.' ethylene cracker in Geismar, LA
    • Nova / Borealis and Total have just okayed an ethylene cracker in Texas
    • also using US ethane in Canada
    • since 2014, Nova has been piping ethane from North Dakota to Nova's operations in Joffre, Alberta; the company received enough ethane from North Dakota to build a new polyethylene plant
    • Nova: North Dakota has a big surplus of ethane and not enough outlets to market
    • Nova now wishes they had put in a bigger pipeline from North Dakota to Joffre
  • Appalachia
    • currently at 800,000 bpd
    • should grow to 1.3 million bpd by 2022
    • new pipelines to the east coast for ethane export; new ethylene complexes in Pennsylvnai, and a cracker funded by two Asian firms are planned for Belmont, OH, should help soak up that excess
    • an Appalachian hub could catalyze $36 billion in investment and 100,000 jobs in the region
    • some think the region could support as many as four or five crackers
Much more at the link.

See also this post.

See this superb series on ethane in the Houston Chronicle. I believe I have linked this article before; it was sent to me by a reader some time ago. The Chronicle allows a few free articles each month.

Ethane -- Pop Quiz -- February 9, 2019

Ethane is a "feedstock" for just about "everything."

1. How many countries export ethane internationally? [That's redundant, obviously, but that's how the EIA phrased it.]

2. Name the top five countries that export ethane internationally. [Ditto,]

3. Name the country that is #1 in ethane exports.

4. Name the country that is #2 in ethane exports.

5. The US exports how much ethane?
a. 50,000 bpd
b. 250,000 bpd
c. 500,000 bpd
d. 1 million bopd
6. The country that exports the most ethane, exports how much ethane?
a. 50,000 bpd
b. 250,000 bpd
c. 500,000 bpd
d. 1 million bopd
7. The #2 country in ethane exports, exports how much ethane?
a. 50,000 bpd
b. 250,000 bpd
c. 500,000 bpd
d. 1 million bopd
8. The #3 country in ethane exports, exports how much ethane?
a. 50,000 bpd
b. 250,000 bpd
c. 500,000 bpd
d. 1 million bopd
9. In what year did the #1 country overtake the #2 country (questions 3 and 4 above).

10. The United States exports ethane to how many countries?

11. In 2014, the US exported ethane to only one country. Name that country that was the only country to import ethane from the US.

12. Extra credit: American Ethane, when given federal approval, will supply ethane to a number of petrochemical crackers in China, from a new terminal on the Neches River in Beaumont, TX. "Who" funds American Ethane?

Link here for answers.

See also this post.

Drone Technology -- UND Is Global Leader. Period. Dot. -- February 9, 2019

I haven't talked about drone technology and North Dakota in a long time, but I do have it tagged.

The fifteen best "drone-training" programs are listed at this site: UND comes in at #5. At this site, UND is listed second. Most of these programs are in the midwest. None are in California (at the first link; at the second link, one -- Berkeley). We've talked about that before.

After being sent a story on drone technology being expanded to manage the oil industry in North Dakota, I was curious what else is going on.

Two days ago, from the Fargo paper: Australian company specializing in bees -- that would be honeybees -- taps into UND drop expertise.
North Dakota is the nation’s leader in honey production. The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is a leader in drones and drone research.

That led Bee Innovative, an Australian company, to pair up with UND to enhance the company’s current drone technology that tracks bee movements and pollination patterns, the two companies announced Jan. 30.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” said David Dodds, a UND spokesman.

The relationship, recently recognized in a memorandum of understanding signed on the UND campus, is still in its early stages, and many details still need to be worked out. But there will be a role for North Dakota beekeepers who want to participate in the project, Dodds said.

North Dakota led the nation in honey production in 2017 for the 14th straight year, with producers with five or more colonies totaling 33.7 million pounds of honey, according to federal government statistics. The collaboration with UND will work to upgrade Bee Innovative’s current drone platform, “BeeDar”, which is used to track bee movements and pollination patterns in real time by Australian farmers, according to the statement from UND and Bee Innovative. 
"It's a match made in heaven": nature's drones meet UND's drones.

The honeybee drone is the best analogy for the male human millennial:
A drone is a male bee. Unlike the female worker bee, drones do not have stingers and gather neither nectar nor pollen. A drone's primary role is to mate with an unfertilized queen.
By the way, it is now being reported that honeybees can do basic math.

But this is what is most notable about honeybees and math that is not being reported:
  • the honeybees are home-schooled
  • most of the nation's advanced degree programs are located in hives in North Dakota during the winter 
  • education is free for all
  • worker bees that don't want to work are pushed out of the hives every February

The Bakken In Graphs And Tables -- February 9, 2019


February 12, 2019: continuing the discussion -- I have looked at almost 1,000 scout tickets from file number #28000 to #28700, and then #18000 -- #18037. Some observation, with regard to "Bakken" wells. Again, this is from the scout tickets alone, regarding the "pool" designation:
  • almost 100% of scout tickets designate "Bakken" as the pool; the only ones not designated as "Bakken" are about ten "Bakken/Three Forks" pool wells in Keene oil field
  • the "Bakken" is designated as the pool regardless of whether the formation targeted is the middle Bakken or any of the benches of the Three Forks
  • of the almost 1,000 scout tickets I have looked at so far, one field is unique: every "Bakken" wells in the Keene oil field is designated at "Bakken/Three Forks" on the scout ticket. This is regardless of operator, and extends back to the first "Bakken" well to the most recent "Bakken" well
  • I have found not one scout ticket that designates the pool at "Three Forks"
  • the fields immediately surrounding the Keene oil field, all use the "Bakken" pool designation and not "Bakken/Three Forks"
  • looking at the geologist's reports for Keene oil field, the field has the typical geology seen across the Williston Basin where the Bakken exists: upper Bakken, middle Bakken, lower Bakken, Three Forks (benches may or may not be separated out), Birdbear
  • there are a dozen or so "Sanish" wells but that designation is better understood
February 10, 2019: The original post brought us full circle to an issue that we discussed in the early days of the boom.

A reader responding to the original post has it exactly right.

His interpretation helps explain what I was missing and what I could not figure out and why I was so confused. For now, I will post the reader's interpretation -- which I think is exactly on target -- and perhaps later, make some additional comments. It's a long note, but the bottom line is that the "Bakken" production referenced in the original post includes both the middle Bakken and "most/all" of the Three Forks wells, all benches, drilled during the Bakken boom.
If I correctly understood your comparisons of Bakken and Three Forks production by years, I think there might be something lost in terminology.

The ND Oil and Gas Division has chosen to use the term “Bakken” for all zones from 50 feet above the upper Bakken shale to the top of the Bird Bear formation. This group term includes the middle Bakken and all four benches of the Three Forks. In this case the name Bakken does not mean only Middle Bakken.

When you review the individual well files, the group name “Bakken” includes about 6500 middle Bakken wells and 5500 Three Forks with some over 80% of these being 1st bench, with balance being mostly 2nd bench and only very few 3rd bench. The wells in Divide County and southern Billings County are mainly Three Forks wells but by the ND O&G group definition of “Bakken”, these Three Forks wells are included as Bakken wells. I guess this overlapping naming system makes it easier in writing and enforcing regulations, but is makes it confusing when trying to get detail on which specific zones of the Bakken/Three Forks complex are involved in oil and gas production.

The ND O&G production summery includes zones such as Bakken/Three Forks and Three Forks only. Many of the wells in these categories are old vertical wells which were completed in overlapping zones. Some might be newer horizontal wells which were drilled on the edges of the basin where the lower Bakken shale is not present and the horizontal well made intermittent contact with both the middle Bakken and Three Forks bench one.

The Three Forks wells do make a major contribution to ND oil and gas production but their production is often lost in the group name “Bakken”.
The reader provided his methodology:
FYI, here’s my methodology. I took each township in what appears to be the core area and assigned it an EUR potential. This included the number of pay zones (MB, TF 1, 2, 3) and their quality which resulted in an ultimate potential of each spacing unit in that township. I did the same for each township in non-core areas. Most of these non-core units have only two pay zones and some only one. It was an interesting challenge.
Now technology and the price of crude can take over and do their magic!
The last two years have brought unbelievable changes.
Original Post 
With Some Editing Following The Reader's Comments Above

30-second elevator speech:
  • production from the Bakken, calendar year, 2017: 360 million bbls
  • production from the Three Forks, calendar year, 2017: 2 million bbls
  • USGS 2013 Survey, technically recoverable oil
    • Bakken: 3.7 billion bbls
    • Three Forks: 3.7 billion bbls
The Post

Production in the Williston Basin by formation (link here):

Three Forks

The graph:

Modified graph: it is impossible to see the Three Forks production in the graphic above, so I modified the graph by changing the middle Bakken production -- moving the decimal to the left by two spots. In other words, in the graph below, for it to be accurate, the middle Bakken production is 100x more than shown. The Three Forks data is unchanged.

Note: this was done quickly, not triple-checked and there are likely to be typographical and facutal errors. If this information is important to you, go to the source.

Number of Wells Drilled In North Dakota, 2000 - 2017

Includes all wells, including salt water disposal wells and injection wells.  Link here.

Number of Wells

The graphic:


And imagine: the Bakken is said to be "peanuts" in size compared to the Permian. Can you imagine?

Idle Calculations
Using Back-of-the-Envelope

In round numbers, the Bakken/Three Forks first bench is producing 400 million bbls of oil each year.

Over twenty years that translates to 8 billion bbls of crude oil. Not boe but crude oil.

Some folks think that "they" will drill for 70 more years. Let's say 50 years.

Unfettered, it was assumed by some that the Bakken could produce 2.2 million bopd.

Let's say 1.5 million bopd, not much more than the current production rate.

x 365 days = 550 million bbls/year (which is in the current ballpark of 400 million bbls/year).

x 50 years = 27,750 million bbls or nearly 30 billion bbls.

The 2013 USGS survey:
  • the mean: 7.4 billion bbls of recoverable oil
  • the maximum estimate: 11.4 billion bbls of recoverable oil
Leigh Price's original paper: a reservoir of 500 billion bbls.

Ten percent primary recovery across the entire basin: 50 billion bbls.

The law of big numbers: everything seems to be in the same ball park.

Every one percent of 500 billion bbls = 5 billion bbls = about 275,000 bopd over the 50 years.

Currently producing about 1.3 million bopd, 275,000/1,300,000 = 20% increase in daily production.

Ford: Keeping Chicago Great -- Making America Great Again -- February 9, 2019

The story is everywhere; this is one link, the data points:
  • Ford -- the US automotive company
  • $1 billion
  • Chicago -- southeast side
  • expansion of two assembly and stamping plants
  • expansion comes at Europe's expense where Ford will cut jobs and workforce
  • project will begin next month (March, 2019)
  • project expected to be complete by spring (isn't March spring in the Midwest?)
  • 500 new full-time jobs (500 more jobs than GE will bring to France)
  • two factories: three new SUVs
    • and, that folks, is the big story: three new SUVs
    • one will be a hybrid which I no longer consider an EV
      • the new Ford Explorer ST
      • the Lincoln Aviator
      • the Explorer Hybrid
  • EV sales are tracked here: the Ford Explorer Hybrid did not make the list
  • it looks like all that carbuzz excitement was delayed
Powerline's Week in Pictures

Link here.

Update On Buckeye Partners Laurel Bi-Directional Pipeline -- February 9, 2019

First it was transgender. Then LGBQT. The BLT. Now bi-directional pipelines. Can we say that on a family blog?

For background, these earlier posts:
The tea leaves suggested this couldn't be done. The tea leaves are still swirling.

This is the East Coast and there's that pesky little thing called "FERC approval."

From Platts, earlier this week, data points:
  • Laurel Pipeline bi-directional; should be ready-to-go by middle of the year (2019)
  • will transport refined products
  • Midwest refiners will be able to move more gasoline and diesel from Michigan and Ohio east to Pennsylvania (of course, the PA refiners were against this)
  • currently, the line runs from Philadelphia refineries west to the Pittsburgh area
  • oh -- here's the hiccup: partners still waiting for FERC approval to operate line across state lines
  • the second phase of the Michigan-Ohio pipeline project will bring refined projects from refineries in Detroit and Ohio southeast to the Altoona area of central Pennsylvania

US Sanctions On OPEC? -- February 9, 2019

My hunch is that this bill won't become law, but if it does, wow, sanctions on OPEC, Saudi Arabia, and Russia? Wow. Link here. The bill was introduced by a Republican. From the article:

Michael Cohen, an analyst at Barclays in New York, said that even if H.R. 948 does not become law, it would give the Trump administration substantial leverage if global crude prices start to rise.
A Bit Of Humor

From Powerline today:

Presidential Tweets -- An Anecdote -- Nothing About The Bakken -- February 9, 2019

When I see tweets like these, and note that someone "complains" about the president's tweets, it tells me that that "someone" does not follow the president's tweets but simply parrots what mainstream media is reporting.

Regardless of North Korea's Kim Moon's policies, Trump is dealing with the hand he was dealt, something many journalists do not understand.

Whether he succeeds or not, time will tell, but at least he's trying something different than has been tried since 1945. But it's better than talking about war on the peninsula. Something the mainstream media no longer talks about.

By the way, some say the US has spent upwards of $7 trillion dollars fighting wars in the Mideast. I wonder how many trillions have been spent by the US along the Korean DMZ in the last 45 years?

Here are the two tweets:

Also, for those complaining about the president's schedule or his "executive time," I've posted the time of the tweet.

By the way, the timing of the president's tweets -- not the day, or the month, but the "hour" of the tweet may shed a bit of light on how this president works.

By the way, as long as I'm rambling, it is clear to me that Trump was given really, really bad advice on his first round of selections for his cabinet. The current "crop" look superb and seem to be doing a superb job. I particularly think Pompeo, SecState, is doing a bang-up job, particularly compared to two or three previous secretaries of state I could name. 

Comparing Two Wells, Mano A Mano -- From A Reader -- February 9, 2019

This is really some nice work by a reader. Much more than I have time for. Much, much appreciated.

The reader is comparing two CLR wells in the Rattlesnake Point oil field. One is a Bridger well; the other is a Mountain Gap well.

Note: the data in red is my data based on dividing oil produced by number of days of production. This was done quickly and not double-checked. Errors may have been made. I often make simple arithmetic errors.

Bridger wells are tracked here.

Mountain Gap wells are tracked here.

The Rattlesnake Point oil field is tracked here.

The reader notes:
Both wells drilled by the same company, same vintage, a mile apart. 
The reader comments:
Looking at the initial production rates it seems to me after 7-8 years of production the well with the most production would have the best geology?
My comment: it's hard to believe that the geology differs that much one mile apart. My first hunch if one well is appreciably different from another well and both wells are within a mile of each other, and assuming the operator is not "managing" the two wells differently, that it has more to do with a) percent of time the wellbore was in the "seam/target"; and, b) the quality of the completion.

The reader noted that the results of the re-frack done one year later were much better than the frack a year earlier. Again, experience? Or a better frack?

Another comment: don't get overly excited about the production disparity between the initial production (from the first frack) and that following the re-frack: this probably has more to do with the decline rate than anything else. It's better to compare well vs well. If that makes sense.

The reader brings up another point which I will get to in another post.