Tuesday, February 19, 2019

"Most Dangerous Road" In North Dakota To Get Safety Corridor -- February 19, 2019


February 20, 2019: folks over at Facebook are already letting their opinions be heard on this news. I particularly enjoy the folks complaining about The Williston Herald's paywall.

Original Post 

US Highway 85 west of Watford City, ND, may or may not be the "most dangerous road" in North Dakota, but a lot of folks think so. After years of talking and any number of articles in regional and state newspapers about this patch of road, it appears ND DOT is finally going to put in a "safety corridor" on US Highway "through Arnegard" this next summer. Story at The Williston Herald. More to follow.

Just Dropped In, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition

18039 -- A Re-Fracked XTO Well In Lost Bridge -- February 19, 2019

See this post.

The well:
  • 18039, 1,224, XTO, 33-025-00914, Jorgenson 43X-5, Lost Bridge, t7/09; cum 306K 12/18; this well was re-fracked in late summer, 2018;
Recent production profile:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

19566 -- A Re-Fracked XTO Well In Lost Bridge Oil Field -- February 19, 2019

The well, re-fracked with a very small amount of proppant, 2 million lbs of 100 mesh:
  • 19566, 1,971, XTO, Deep Creek 43X-5, Lost Bridge, t10/11; cum 408K 12/18; refracked summer of 2018; FracFocus did not have frack data;
Look how much better the results are after the re-frack than after the original frack. And the re-frack -- only 2 million lbs. Learning more about the Bakken every day.

Recent production data:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Following original frack back in 2011:

Spring Has Sprung? Active Rigs In North Dakota Increase By Two Today -- February 19, 2019

API weekly crude oil storage data: pending. Due to the Monday holiday, it appears this data will be released tomorrow (Wednesday). 

Active rigs:

Active Rigs66564038127

One new permit:
  • Operator: MRO
  • Field: Chimney Butte (Dunn County)
  • Comment: MRO has a permit for a Sarah well in Chimney Butte, section 13-146-95;
Three permits canceled:
  • Cobra (2): two Newburg-Spearfish-Charles unit wells in Bottineau COunty
  • Enduro: an NSCU well in Bottineau Count
Four producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 35070, 3,131, Whiting, Stenehjem Federal 24-7-2H, Pembroke, t2/19; cum --;
  • 33063, 1,425, XTO, Deep Creek Federal 44X-5A, Lost Bridge, t11/18; cum 45K 12/18;
  • 33064, 2,063, XTO, Deep Creek Federal 44X-5E, Lost Bridge, t11/18; cum 56K 12/18;
  • 33071, 1,639, XTO, Deep Creek Federal 44X-5F2, Lost Bridge, t12/18; cum 17K 12/18; see a neighboring well, #19566, at this post; see, also, #18039 at this post;

Almost As Bad As Crying, "The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling" -- February 19, 2019

When I saw the headline in The Williston Herald, I said to myself, "oh, no, here we go again."

Fortunately it's an old story, easily explained, easily managed. From Montana State University almost one year ago at msuextension:
Due to Montana’s arid environment, we tend to have soils with a high pH, usually ranging from 6.5 to 8.5.
The average soil pH for Broadwater County is about 8.0.
If you have a high pH soil, one of the first questions you’ll likely ask is “how do I change it?” Unfortunately, it’s not easy. 
The two most common amendments to lower pH are sulfur and aluminum sulfate.  Aluminum sulfate works more quickly, whereas sulfur can take several months.  Routinely adding organic matter can also improve the pH.  Always be cautious when adding fertilizer and soil amendments.  Too much of a good thing, isn’t always a good thing.  Use your soil test to determine how much fertilizer or organic matter should be used. 
Acidic soils and the need to raise pH is rare in Montana. Cropland in central Montana are starting to have an issue with soil acidification due to high inputs for many years, but this is rare.  Limestone is the common amendment used to raise pH.
Broadwater County, Montana, is pretty much near the center of the state, just east of Helena, and a long, long way from the Bakken. 

Diamonds and Rust, Joan Baez

Random Update Of A CLR Dvirnak Well In Jim Creek Oil Field -- February 19, 2019

This page will not be updated. The CLR Pletan-Dvirnak pad is tracked here.

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

Random Update Of A CLR Miles Well In Dimmick Lake -- February 19, 2019

This page will not be updated.

I noted this well back in December, 2018, or thereabouts (remember, the paperwork lags what is going on in the field by two months):
  • 18541, 161, CLR, Miles 1-6H, t11/10; cum 145K 11/18; still off line, since 1/18; just went back on line, 11/18 -- huge jump: 2,300 bbls over 8 days extrapolates to 8,700 bbls/month;
At that time, it was noted that the jump in production went from around 800 bbls/month to over 2,000 bbls in just eight days. We did not yet have a full month of data.

A huge "thank you" to a reader. We now have a bit more data. We still don't have a full month, but we now have the production for 20 days in December, 2018: 8,019 bbls and 23,619 MCF (3,936 boe) = 11,955 boe over 20 days which extrapolates almost 18,000 bbls / 30-day month.

Looking at just the crude oil production, the 20-day production would extrapolate to a little over 12,000 bbls / 30-day month. At 700 bbls/month, it would take a year-and-a-half to make up that new production. This new production jump is almost as good as the original frack, although the decline may be worse than what followed the original frack.

There is no evidence that this well has been re-fracked.

See full production at this post.

The Kennedy-Miles pad is tracked here and has been updated.

Much more could be written, but I will leave it at that.

Disclaimer: I am inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken.

The Science Page

I am currently in my Los Alamos - Richard Feynman phase, reading several books on the topic.

In the 1950s Richard Feynman became interested in superfluidity and superfluids. By the time I got to that point in the James Gleick biography it seemed Feynman had done so much I was hardly paying attention any more. But the section on Feynman and superfluidity was about six pages so it was obviously a big deal.

The other night while watching "The Big Bang Theory," Leonard mentioned superfluidity and there followed a short discussion among the ensemble. It was a rerun -- one which I had seen many times, but had never really paid attention to the superfluidity sidebar. But now, wow.

Hold that thought.

I started a National Geographic subscription for the granddaughters some years ago. I renew every year (although I dislike it's editorial politics but that's another story).

I used to subscribe to Scientific American but I quit that also due to the editorial politics of the magazine. But the other day, while reading something related to Feynman I needed to find an archival issue of Scientific American. Long story short, I now have a subscription to Scientific American (print edition) along with digital access to archives all the way back to 1845.

I received my first digital issue, the March, 2019, issue today. The cover story was about neutron stars and a big component of the article was about superfluidity. 

So, it all comes around once more, from Feynman to "The Big Bang Theory" to Scientific American.

By the way, the print copy will go to the granddaughters and they will also have access to the archives if necessary.

Stop Me Before I Go On

Senator Elizabeth Warren who self-identifies as "American Indian" (her handwriting, registering for the Texas bar -- a legal entity, not a drinking establishment).

With her maiden name, she might have referred to herself, when she was a kid, as a "red Herring." Or maybe her grandmother told her that.

Targa Resources Sells Stake In North Dakota -- February 19, 2019

A deal too good to pass up.

Link here. Data points:
  • $1.6 billion in cash
  • Targa to see a 45% stake in Targa Badlands
  • buyer: GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Group LP
  • Targa will remain operator and hold majority governance rights in Targa Badlands
  • Targa Badlands: the entity that holds all of Targa's assets in North Dakota
  • holdings:
  • 480 miles of crude oil pipelines
  • 125,000 bbls of operational crude oil storage
  • 260 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines
  • the Little Missouri natural gas processing plant with a current processing capacity of approximately 90 million cubic feet per day
Let's say $300 million for the natural gas processing plant.

$1.3 billion / 740 miles = $1.8 million per mile of pipeline plus infrastructure.

Off The Net For Awhile

You will have to scroll down a bit to find stories on the Bakken. Sorry about that. I usually try to leave Bakken stories at the top but that's how it worked out this a.m.

In the meantime, the Sammy Davis, Jr, story.

Tesla: the "affordable" Tesla may be dead. Link here.  TSLA shares unfazed.

Walmart: the company posts strong holiday sales gains in the US. Retailer's e-commerce sales rise 43% in its latest quarter as it adds more online grocery options. There's an accompanying story out there somewhere suggesting that this portends the death of Amazon. Whatever. One comment at the link:
  • Amazon Reports Third Record Profit in a Row 1.31.19 
  • Amazon Reports ‘Record-Breaking’ Christmas Sales 
  • P&G Raises Outlook After Another Quarter of Strong Sales 1.16.19 
  • Big Railroads Don’t See Slowdown on Horizon for U.S. Economy WSJ, 1.28.19 
  • BP tripled its annual earnings in line with other major oil companies 
  • John Deere & Co. Profits up 53.8% 4th Q, Y/Y  
Walmart, from Reuters via Chesto over at The Boston Globe:
Walmart reported its strongest holiday quarter in at least a decade, boosted by higher grocery and e-commerce sales, and said it saw no signs of weakness in US consumer spending despite recent signs of a slowdown. Walmart and rival Target’s unexpectedly strong growth in holiday sales reflected the health of the US consumer as spending remained robust due to a strong labor market and cheaper gasoline prices.
Amazon didn't do too badly either (see this link for starters) and long term my hunch is that Amazon has a lot more in the oven than groceries and toys.

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

500 Miles, Inside Llewyn Davis

Discord In Canada -- February 19, 2019

I don't follow Canadian politics closely enough, but I do think this is akin to Vice President Pence resigning, saying he's frustrated with POTUS. But north of the border, big news announced this week: Gerald Butts resigns as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's principal secretary.

The first thing I did was to check Canada's foreign exchange reserves.  Canada is in great shape:

Much better than how the US is doing.

Warren Buffett On His Way To Giving Away His Fortune -- February 18, 2019

Bless his heart. Warren Buffett has said he will "gift" or "give away" his "total fortune." I'm not sure if he provided a time frame. Jeff Bezos gets a lot of criticism for not giving his money away. So, let's see how Warren is doing, the man who has said he will give away most of his wealth.

The AP is reporting, but it's not getting much press, that Warren Buffett, bless his heart, "gifted $13.5 million in stock last summer." You can google the story. I can't post the link.

Another source says Warren Buffett's "net worth" is $85 billion.

So, let's put the $13.5 million in context.

1. $13.5 million / $85 billion = 0.0001588 or 0.02%.

2. Two hundredths of a percent. Which, for millennials, is less than a tenth of a percent. Which is less than a percent.

3. Apparently he gave that away "over several months," between August and October.

4. How long, at that rate will it take Buffett to give away $85 billion?

5. $13.5 billion/day x 365 days/year *20 years = $98.6 billion.  At the current rate, Warren Buffett would have to gift/give away the same amount ($13.5 billion) every day for the next 20 years to give away $98.6 billion.

6. But, yes, $98.6 billion is more than his net worth. Let's assume Warren Buffett is a really, really bad investor and only gets a return of 4% on his $85 billion, from MoneyChimp:

7.  Yes, I know that doesn't account for the $13.5 million he is giving away every quarter. Disregarding that, at 4%, compound interest (only once yearly -- and certainly he should get that compounded month -- see below) his $85 billion would grow to $186 billion.

8. Compounding it monthly would take it to $189 billion.

9. If Warren is as good an investor as folks think he is, he should easily get 8% this year on his $85 billion, or another $6.8 billion.

10. $13.5 million (which he donated this year) / $6.8 billion = 0.001985 or 0.2% of what his money will earn, passively. If he invests all that in municipal bonds, he won't even pay any income tax and if he donates it, I assume he gets a tax break.

Disclaimer: I often make simple arithmetic errors, and there are a lot of assumptions in the data above, as well as a lot of things we don't know. I was just playing around with the few numbers I was given.

Speaking of Snow Jobs, Global Warming Continues To Slam The US

I had pretty much wanted to quit posting global warming stories -- it's no longer science, it's religion, and a cult at that. But it's impossible to ignore. In fact, it's so "bad," I will post a stand-alone note on global warming later.

For now:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 -- Making America Great -- US Steel, Natural Gas. Hollywood? Not So Much....

Box Office: winter, 2019, revenue hit an 8-year low in the US. Link here. The entertainment coming out of Washington, DC, swamped (pun intended) whatever was coming out of Hollywood. Where are the Coen Brothers when we need them?

US Steel: making America great. US Steel reopens Texas mill as industry rebounds. Just as predicted.
U.S. Steel is opening a previously shuttered East Texas mill after market conditions that originally forced the manufacturer to close the facility have improved.
The process of reopening the shuttered No. 1 Electric-Weld Pipe Mill at Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas — about two hours east of Dallas — began immediately, the Pittsburgh company announced earlier this month. About 140 people will be hired at the mill.
"We are encouraged by an improvement in market conditions and an increased customer demand for tubular products that are mined, melted and made in America," said David Burritt, president and chief executive of United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X), in a prepared statement.
U.S. Steel permanently idled the facility in 2016 when oil prices were low and activity in the Permian Basin slowed considerably. Also, the domestic steel market was suffering from cheap Turkish and Indian imports that undercut American prices.
Three years later, the landscape looks very different.
The Permian Basin in West Texas is roaring and producing at record amounts. And after President Trump took office, he levied steel import tariffs against several countries in an attempt to kickstart the struggling industry.
Trump may not be the smartest man in the room, but .... he knows American business.

Natural gas: can US production keep up with demand? Data points:
  • Mexico now imports 7 percent of US daily production
  • consumption by electric power sector increased by nearly 50% from 2005 to 2016, reaching 27 Bcf/d
  • industrial demand has also increased by 30 percent as some manufacturing relocated to the US to take advantage of low gas prices
  • demand has also increased from LNG exports: LNG exports have reached almost 4 Bcf/d (December, 2019
Somewhere out there, there's gotta be intelligent life ... but then, again, it's hard enough finding intelligent life on earth. Scientists have just "found," "discovered," counted 300,000 more galaxies in the "known" universe. Link here. And that was just looking at "a segment of the northern sky." Of course, I can't put this into perspective because:
  • they don't say how "big" that segment of the sky was (if the segment represented only 1% of the "sphere," the total number of observable galaxies might increase by a factor of 100
  • they don't say how many galaxies they have counted so far
Where's Paul Sagan when you need him?

Local School District FFA News -- February 19, 2019

Apple: Before we get to that FFA tweet, an Apple note. You can read this article any number of ways, I'm sure, but after their disappointing results in the most recent quarter, I think "it" finally got Tim Cook's attention. Forays into autonomous driving were ludicrous from the very beginning (more on that later, perhaps), and re-design of the stores may not have worked out as well as hoped. It's rare for an Apple executive to leave after only five years. From The WSJ: Apple's executive shake-up readies the company for life after iPhone. And apparently that life does not include cars. One person that commented that putting Deirdre O'Brien in charge of overseeing the entire retail division does NOT bode well. She is currently an HR executive. (I won't say it, but most of us know why companies staff HR the way they do. We saw it on "The Big Bang Theory", too.)
Leadership moves of the past few months include promoting artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea to the executive team; replacing departing retail chief Angela Ahrendts with head of human resources Deirdre O’Brien; and pushing out top Siri voice-assistant executive Bill Stasior.
Apple has also trimmed 200 staffers from its autonomous-vehicle project, and is redirecting much of the engineering resources in its services business, led by Eddy Cue, into efforts around Hollywood programming.
Local School District And The FFA

From twitter this morning, our local school district. Our oldest granddaughter is not a member of FFA but a lot of her friends are and she has great stories about these friends raising their livestock. As for Sophia and me, we put out bread and bird seed every morning. Our adult daughter says that if a rabbit shows up six times to eat what we throw out, we "own" the rabbit. But I digress. Here's the screenshot:

The Permian Needs A Lot Of Electricity -- February 19, 2019

Paying the banks to "watch" your money: over at the Wall Street Journal. Negative yields mount along with Europe’s problems The proliferation of negative-yielding government bonds underscores the uncertainty over the growth prospects in much of the developed world. This is an old story; not sure what's particularly new about it. Perhaps it is because of the widening gap between that of the US and the EU when it comes to banks paying interest. From the article:
Investors around the globe are effectively paying governments to hold more than $11 trillion of their bonds, a fresh sign of ebbing economic confidence in Europe and Japan.
Negative-yielding government bonds outstanding through mid-January have risen 21% since October, reversing a steady decline that took place over the course of 2017 and much of last year, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. While the stock of negative-yielding debt still remains below its 2016 high, the proliferation of these bonds—which guarantee that a purchaser at issuance will receive less in repayment and periodic interest than they paid—underscores the uncertainty over the growth prospects in much of the developed world.
“Europe is an absolute quagmire,” said Matt Freund, co-chief investment officer at Calamos Investments. “There are significant headwinds that we’ve been talking about for a long time—now they’re showing up in the numbers.”

Illinois:  this is another old story but recently more articles on the subject. I won't provide any links. One can google the story if interested, but Illinois is talking about taxing retirement funds. Their argument: the federal government taxes retirement funds and many states do, so why not Illinois. The "courts" in Illinois have ruled that pension plans cannot be cut.

Driftwood LNG liquefaction and export facility, data points:
  • near Lake Charles, LA
  • proposed project
  • 276-mtpa would also include natural gas production, gathering, and processing infrastructure as well as the 96-mile Driftwood Pipeline
  • deadlines approaching; if approved could be operation by early 2023
  • Tellurian, Inc
  • Petronet LNG Limited INDIA may invest in proposed project
  • Petronet: India's largest LNG import
Solar: world's biggest battery could be built in Texas, data points:
  • the Permian needs a lot of electricity
  • to meet this need, solar energy proposed along with world's largest battery
  • 495-watt storage system would be built in tandem with a solar farm
  • Borden County, TX
  • Borden County has a population of less than 700, is located in the heart of the Permian; about 70 miles south of Lubbock
  • IP June, a unit of San Francisco-based Intersect Power LLC; a 400-MW solar complex
  • Texas state's batter storage will surge more than sixfold to 584 megawatts wehnt he projects are completed in 2021
  • recent battery-backed solar projects have, at most, 100 megawatts of panels and 30 megawatts of storage
  • the project underscores Big Oil's huge demand for power in the Permian (readers may remember the same issue in the Bakken during the early days of the boom)
  • currently, the largest battery storage facility in Texas ia 10-megawatt system, recently completed by Vestra Energy Corp
  • by the way, in California, Vestra is planning a battery storage comples at the Moss Landing power plant in California which would store 300 MW for as long as four hours when completed next year
Rock Climbing Over The Weekend

Sophia goes rock climbing every weekend. She has her own gear (harness and shoes) so her only "cost" is the annual fee. She is four years eight months old or thereabouts.

Number Of Active Rigs Increases By One; Six Wells Coming Off Confidential Today -- February 19, 2019

Wells coming off the confidential list today--Tuesday, February 19, 2019: 82 wells for the month; 185 wells for the quarter
32173, conf, Hess, CA-Anderson Smith-155-96-2635H-6, 
32163, conf, Hess, CA-Anderson Smith-155-96-2635H-5, 
30536, conf, Slawson, Wolf 1 SLH, 
30138, conf, CLR, Pletan 7-18H, 
28956, conf, Hess, EN-Jeffrey-15509402215H-9, 
28955, conf, Hess, EN-Jeffrey-155-94-2215H-8,

Active rigs:

Active Rigs65564038127

RBN Energy: can gas-pipe projects through New York be reversed?
The vast majority of the incremental natural gas pipeline capacity out of the Marcellus/Utica production area in recent years is designed to transport gas to either the Midwest, the Gulf Coast or the Southeast. Advancing these projects to construction and operation hasn’t always been easy, but generally speaking, most of the new pipelines and pipeline reversals have come online close to when their developers had planned. In contrast, efforts to build new gas pipelines into nearby New York State — a big market and the gateway to gas-starved New England — have hit one brick wall after another. At least until lately. In the past few weeks, one federal court ruling breathed new life into National Fuel Gas’s long-planned Northern Access Pipeline and another gave proponents of the proposed Constitution Pipeline hope that their project may finally be able to proceed. Today, we consider recent legal developments that may at long last enable new, New York-bound outlets for Marcellus/Utica gas to be built.
The road to New York. See also this op-ed at The WSJ. Gas shortages give New York an early taste of the Green Nude Eel, as Nancy Pelosi calls the plan proposed by Occasional-Cortex. New York is dependent on imports even though it sits atop the abundant Marcellus shale.
The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—sometimes known as the “shale revolution”—has enabled Texas, Pennsylvania and other states to produce record quantities of natural gas, some of which is being frozen, loaded onto giant ships, and transported to customers in places like Chile, China and India. Thanks to the environmental policies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York has missed out on this windfall.

Now, in a preview of what life might be like under the Democrats’ proposed Green New Deal, some New Yorkers are about to face a natural-gas shortage. Consolidated Edison , an energy utility that provides gas and power to the New York City area, announced last month that beginning in mid-March it would “no longer be accepting applications for natural gas connections from new customers in most of our Westchester County service area.” The reason for the shortage is obvious: The Cuomo administration has repeatedly blocked or delayed new pipeline projects. As a Con Ed spokesman put it, there is a “lot of natural gas around the country, but getting it to New York has been the strain.”

New York policy makers have also killed the state’s natural-gas-drilling business. In 2008 New York drillers produced about 150 million cubic feet of natural gas a day—not enough to meet all the state’s needs, but still a substantial amount. That same year legislators in Albany passed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the process used to wring oil and gas out of underground rock formations. In 2015 the Cuomo administration made the moratorium permanent. By 2018 New York’s gas production had declined so much that the Energy Information Administration quit publishing numbers on it.

New York now imports nearly all of its gas even though part of the Marcellus Shale, one of the biggest and most prolific sources of natural gas in the country, extends into the state’s Southern Tier region. To get an idea of how much gas the state might have been able to produce from the Marcellus, New Yorkers can look across the state line to Pennsylvania, which now supplies about two-thirds of the gas consumed in New York. At the end of 2018, Pennsylvania drillers were producing about 18 billion cubic feet of gas a day. That’s more gas than Canada now produces.
Much more at the link.