Monday, May 4, 2020

The Denouement -- May 4, 2020

Two days ago (Saturday), I posted this:
Johnny Appleseed: And we close with this .... social distancing south of Fargo, ND, winter:

Mr Vern Whitten sent that to me. What a great photo. He calls it "social distancing." Vern says he took the photo a couple of years back but it must have stuck in his mind all these years.
And now the denouement.

In that note, Mr Whitten said, after all these years, he remained curious why that single tree was there? Was there a back story?

This is what Mr Whitten found out about that lone tree:
I received a deluge of comments and questions on the tree. Here are a few:
"Is the tree alive? Do they often get hit by lightning? Was it part of a farmstead? There is a tree like that near where I grew up. Maybe his dog is buried there. I wonder how it grew to maturity without getting chopped down or killed by herbicide over-spray?
Beautiful but lonely.

That is AWESOME. You made my day."
I decided it needed further investigation.

On Google Earth, May 2018, it looks very much alive and well, lat 46.738, long -96.811.

A neighbor to the north was able to connect me with the farmer.
Both these gentlemen are in their mid 80s.
The farmer has retired, but he remembers the tree very well.
It was part of an east-west row of elms, and this tree is the lone survivor. The others succumbed to Dutch Elm disease and were removed 15-20 years ago.
And that was the rest of the story. I found it fascinating, imagining these farmers trying hard to save these trees, and in the end, able to save one. What a great story. 

"Social distancing."

For those interested in a huge catalogue of North Dakota prints visit

Canadian Dollar Drops Below 70 Cents -- May 4, 2020

On April 14, 2020, I wrote that the "alarm" for the Canadian dollar will be if it hits 66 US cents. I would consider, for Canada, 68 cents worrisome.


The Canadian dollar went a tad under 69 US cents before it recovered a bit and closed at $0.706.

Link here.

See If You Can Spot The Three "Mistakes" In This Video; Nothing About The Bakken -- May 4, 2020

Video at this link.

Screenshots below.

I "lumped" the mistakes into three categories. See if you can spot them at the video.

The answers are posted below the screenshots.

Screenshots And The Answers

Name at least three things wrong with this video.


1. No one is wearing a mask.

2. Everyone has a nice haircut, even though all barber shops and hair salons are supposed to be closed.

3.  The four folks "on stage" appear to be significantly less than six feet apart.

Extra credit:

4. No television sign language interpreter.

Extra extra credit:

5. No racial diversity?

Extra extra extra credit:

6. The governor appears not to be wearing a US flag pin.

MRO Reports A Huge Well In Reunion Bay -- May 4, 2020

The well:
  • 35424, SI/A, MRO, Frances USA11-15H, Reunion Bay, t--; cum 162K over three months; see below; another update here;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
Three neighboring wells, running parallel to Frances (#35424) but running in opposite direction, running from the south to the north:
  • 19833, 1,458 MRO Shirley Pennington USA 14-22H, Reunion Bay, t8/11; cum 361K 3/20; was off line 11/19 through 2/20; back on line in 3/20 for eighteen days, small jump in production;
  • 16687, 600, MRO, Bottleson 34-22H, Reunion Bay, t11/08; cum 458K 3/20; was off line 8/19 through 2/20; back on line in 3/20 for nineteen days, no evidence of jump in production (yet);
  • 36663, drl, MRO, SURA USA 44-21TFH, Reunion Bay, t--; cum 130K over 3 months:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The new 34xxx and later MRO wells in Reunion Bay are incredible wells. In addition, we should see a fair number of older wells positive impacted when these newer MRO wells are completed. 

New Official Currency Goes Into Effect This Week In Iran -- May 4, 2020

This is a fascinating story sent to me by an alert reader. I would have missed it.

Effective today: the toman is now the official currency of Iran, replacing the rial.

Read the wiki entry for background

Data points:
  • Iran introduces a new currency: the toman
  • the toman will be worth 10,000 rials (the current "dollar" in Iran)
My first thought when I saw this:
  • Does this suggest hyper-inflation coming?
Both currencies will be legal tender, moving side-by-side, in Iran for two years, at which time the rial will disappear.

If a loaf of bread ends up costing one toman (the new currency), the individual who has only rials will have to take a wheelbarrow full of rials (10,000 rials to one toman) to buy a loaf of bread.

Actually that's not quite true: see below. A commonly used banknote in Iran is/was the 10,000 rial banknote, enough to buy one loaf of bread.

However, that naturally led to the next question. What does a loaf of bread cost in Iran?

How very interesting. From last spring, April 30, 2019:
  • bread has always been the cheapest essential food in Iran
  • bread is usually heavily subsidized by the government
  • officially the price of bread in Iran is about 7,500 rials or 50 - 60 US cents
  • last spring Iranian bread was selling for 20,000 rials (about $1.50/loaf)
  • food prices rose dramatically in 2019, as the rial dropped fourfold in value against foreign currencies
  • inflation, one year ago, hovered around 50%
  • food prices may have increased as much as 85% between 2018 and 2019
  • the president vetoed a recommendation to increase the price of bread back in 2017, but since then, loaves have been thinner, lighter in weight (sort of like Apple iPads) and lower in quality (unlike Apple iPads)

So, one can see why Iran needed to introduce the new toman.

The country has effectively "knocked" four zeroes off the rial to make a single toman.

Previously (as of yesterday):
  • banknotes frequently used: denominations of 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and upwards to one million rials
  • coins frequently used: 1,000; 2,000, and 5,000 rials
Now, I suppose:
  • banknotes: denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 tomans
  • coins currently used: worthless
Something tells me this does not bode well for Iran. 

Why The Next Oil Price Cycle Is So Important For Saudi Arabia -- SeekingAlpha -- May 4, 2020

Link here.
Time is running out for oil-dependent nations. The world is transforming quickly and climate change is accelerating oil’s demise even faster. Despite fossil fuel’s so-called imminent fall of grace with buyers, most consumers will require oil and gas in the foreseeable future. Before the Coronavirus devasted the global economy, oil consumption was slated to grow slightly until 2030 and remain stable for the next couple of decades. Although it is unclear how demand will develop after the current crisis, certain energy-dependent nations are using the opportunity to create a modern economy and reduce dependence.

Word (Phrase?) For The Day

Lessepsian migration

Yes, one thing led to another and that led to another and before I knew it, I was reading abotu Lessepsian migration.

Number Of Active Rigs In North Dakota Hits New "Modern" Low -- Down To 27 Active Rigs; MRO Reports A 70K Well -- May 4, 2020

A fair number of typographical errors on recent daily activity reports, something that I have not seen before. Today:
  • Mountrail County spelled "Mountrail";
  • formatting well siting data inconsistent, including punctuation errors;
Active rigs:

Active Rigs2764625028

Four new permit todays, #37549 - #37553, inclusive --
  • Operators: Whiting (3), Oasis
  • Field: Big Bend (Mountrail); Sanish (Mountrail); Enget Lake (Mountrail County)
  • Comments:
    • Whiting: permits for three Lacey wells in NWSW 10-152-92, all 2614' FSL, and about 300' FWL in Big Bend (2 permits) and Sanish (1 permit)
    • Oasis as a permit for a Weisz well in SESE 14-158-93, Enget Lake oil field
CLR with twelve permits/wells that are approved for CONF status:
  • SWSW/SESW 24-155-98: Boston (3); Boise 4)
  • NWNW 16-152-99: Wahpeton (2)
  • NENE 17-152-99: Jamestown Federal (3)
Six producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:
  • 35424, SI/A, MRO, Frances USA11-15H, Reunion Bay, t--; cum 162K over three months; see below;
  • 34786, drl, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-4H, Eightmile, t--; cum 1K over 12 days;
  • 35992, drl, Equinor, Sam 30-31 XE 1H, Bull Butte, t--; cum --;
  • 34787, drl, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-5H, Eightmile, t--; cum 1K over 7 days;
  • 34788, drl, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-6H, Eightmile, t--; cum 48 bbls over 2 days;
  • 35843, SI/NC, Equinor, Stallion 33-28 3H, Ragged Butte, t--; cum 77K over 4.5 months; see below;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The Grocery Store Monopoly Game: Last Tickets Tomorrow (May 5); Coupons Expire May 20, 2020

Dates to remember, starting tomorrow:
  • Teacher's Day: May 5
  • Nurses' Day: May 6
  • Mother's Day: May 10
The Grilling Page

I love to grill but I'm not a big fan of grilling vegetables. A reader suggested I try grilling artichokes.

My wife and I have artichokes regularly. Artichokes are our go-to side when having a "special" meal, but we've always prepared them the old-fashioned way, like ears of corn, stove-top, boiling water.

A reader suggested grilled artichokes. I tried them last night. I will never, never go back to the old-fashioned way. These were out-of-the-world.

Three steps as previously posted:
  • steam, 20 minutes
  • remove the choke
  • grill, 5 minutes over direct heat
Hint: don't underestimate the importance of lemon juice

Key: herb-infused olive oil; homemade in about one minute

Key: aioli -- again, "easy" aioli can be homemade in about one minute

Expanded instructions:

  • Prepare the artichokes for steaming:
    • use vegetable peeler to scrape the stems 
    • cut one-inch off the top of the artichoke
    • spread lemon juice over the cut top of the artichoke
    • cut the artichokes in half, top to bottom
    • remove the choke -- this is the most difficult but one doesn't need to be that precise
  • Steam: 
    • bring water to boil
    • bring heat back to medium
    • steam for 20 minutes
  • Prepare for grill: 
    • remove from steamer carefully to minimize artichoke from falling apart
    • liberally brush cut side of artichokes with herb-infused olive oil
    • sprinkle kosher sale over the cut side of the artichokes
  • Grill:
    • hot, direct heat;
    • if one doesn't like charred artichokes, lower the direct heat
    • perhaps put leafy portion of the artichokes over the direct heat with the stems over to the indirect heat
    • err on side of grilling an extra minute or so, rather under under-grilling by a minute or so 

Prior to grilling, brush liberally with herb-infused olive oil and sprinkle small amount of salt:

On the grill. I am now 100% sold on FOGO hardwood lump charcoal even if I'm not grilling directly on the coal.

Serving. Note that the stems over the direct heat are very charred (but very, very tasty) whereas the stems off the direct heat, not charred, and not as tasty, but perhaps more inviting for some members in your party.

The Real Estate Page, And A Little Apple, Too -- Nothing About The Bakken -- May 4, 2020

I really don't care about the seller or the circumstances all that much, but it's interesting to see the houses, some of the back stories, and their locations.

A huge "thanks" to ZeroHedge for posting.

The Apple Page

Treasury yields jump as Apple Inc jumps in.

Link here.
Apple's offering includes 3Y, 5Y, 10Y and 30Y tranches, and will be used to fund the company's newly announced $50 billion stock buyback expansion; additionally, continuing the record flood of bond issuance, Amgen and Starbucks also have slated issuance for Monday, with IG issuers are expected to raise $70b this week.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, career, travel, job, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

Updates and specifics here.

North American Bird Migration In Full Swing

From Cornell.

Since I have nothing better to do, and I'm enjoying a second cup of coffee on the patio, while watching the cardinals and robins, I might as well pull out The Wall Of Birds: An Artistic Journey, Jane Kim, c. 2018, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The "wall of birds" is a mural painted by Jane Kim on a 2,500-square foot "spandrel" separating the auditorium from the rest of the visitor center. This is really an education book for artists. Jane Kim describes the challenges in painting the various birds and how she faced those challenges.

Some data points from the book:
  • the mural depicted 243 modern families of living birds,five modern families that had gone extinct by human hand with the last thirty thousand years, twenty-one prehistoric ancestors, and a ten-foot caiman to remind people of the ind-bending reality that the crocodile family is more closely related to birds than it is to other reptiles;
  • all told, 270 life-size animals, from the 30-foot-long Yutprannus to the tiny Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird which weighs about as much as a penny
  • first bird painted: New Zealand's North Island Saddleback; a passerine; a member of an order of perching birds that comprises more than half of all avian species;
  • from a visual perspective, there's no other bird on the wall like the Great Spotted Kiwi;
  • the "kiwi": a national "demonym" -- a word that I placed on Arianna's vocabulary list some time ago; New Zealanders refer to themselves as "Kiwis";
  • the Southern Cassowary: a modern-day velociraptor;
  • when one looks at Jane Kim's painting of the Scretarybird, it really does remind one of T. rex;
  • the Peregrine Falcon is famous for hitting two hundred miles an hour in a stoop;
  • Jane Kim feels the Great Hornbill is unrivaled on the Wall of Birds;

  • a nice piece on evolution, pages 131 - 157;
  • the Wood Duck is one of the most visually complex birds in the world; its head is covered in a sheen of iridescence and its body is a quilt work of stripes, solids, polka dots, and vermiculations; an ordinary bird of this size would have taken Jane Kim a day to paint; the Wood Duck took three days to paint;
  • mentioned in passing: Jane Kim was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, p. 201; 
  • Jane Kim: I always find painting with primary colors -- red and yellow especially -- a tricky endeavor; highlights and shadows, crucial for creating depth and volume, pose a risk of stripping the vibrancy from these hypersaturated colors; to address this issue, I used subtle hints of lavender and orange to add dimension to the 'I'iwi's plumage, a fiery red-orange like the lava that formed its home island; 
  • the 'I'iwi is a Hawaii honeycreeper;
  • perhaps the two most famous names in ornithology of yore: Audubon and Gould;
  • as an intern, Jane Kim was given a corner desk in the Lab's large, beautifully lit second-floor staff lounge, a huge "gift"; overlooking the Sapsucker Woods Pond; she was an intern for five months, 2010;
  • she returned to the Lab in 2014 to start the mural;

Atmospheric CO2 -- April, 2020, Data

Link here.

One year ago:

So, now we know. Despite fossil fuel demand plummeting, global economy in free-fall, and gasoline demand in US (and probably worldwide) at record lows, the earth's atmospheric CO2 actually increased year-over-year. The NYT recently posited that global CO2 emissions would fall eight percent this year.

This tells me all I need to know about manmade, fossil-fuel, contribution to atmospheric CO2.

NDIC Map Still Shows Two Rigs On 18-Well CLR Pad -- May 4, 2020

The graphics:

On the other hand, the NDIC map shows no rigs in CLR's LCU in Long Creek.

Curious And Curiouser -- A BR Pad In Charlson Oil Field -- May The Fourth Be With You -- 2020

I spotted several wells on a BR pad that seemed to be sited in an unusual location. These BR wells were "trapped" by Petro-Hunt to the north and Hess to the south. The site was too "central" in the section to suggest additional 640-acre spacing wells that BR already had in that section.

The wells:
  • 36829, conf, BR, Three Washers 2E TFH-ULW, Charlson,
  • 36828, conf, BR, Three Rivers 2D MBH, Charlson,
  • 36827, conf, BR, Three Rivers 2C TFH, Charlson,
  • 36826, conf, BR, Three Rivers 2B TFH, Charlson,
  • 36825, conf, BR, Three Rivers 2A MBH, Charlson,
The graphic:

It appears the wells are 1280-acre (or possibly, buy unlikely, 1600-acre) spacing and will run east into two sections already drilled by BR.

So, that solves one question.

Then, checking the other BR wells already drilled and producing to the east, sited north to south:
  • 25678, off line as of 9/19; returned to production, 2/20;
  • 25679, not taken off line recently;
  • 25680, not taken off line recently;

  • 25656, not taken off line recently;
  • 25655, off line for about two months, 2/20- 3/20;

  • 17309, off line starting in late 2/20; remains off line 3/20;

  • 25665, not taken off line recently;

So, now to check FracFocus regarding the newest wells (on confidential status). No frack data over at FracFocus for any of the five wells, #36825 - #36829, inclusive.

No date has been posted when these wells come off the confidential list.

That's all I know.

Whiting's Tarpon Federal Wells Off Line -- May The Fourth Be With You -- 2020

Most/all (?) of the older Whiting Tarpon Federal wells are off line and have been off line for several months while neighboring wells are on DRL status.

The Tarpon Federal wells are tracked here.

Writer's Block -- Nothing About The Bakken -- May 4, 2020

Last week when I was driving her home from Tutor Time, Sophia talked to me about the story she was writing, and the difficulty she was having coming up with a story line. She was hoping I could help her out.

She explained that the story involved a princess, a prince, a frog, and a dragon. Where have I heard this before? LOL.

She said she had the "first line" but did not know where to go next. As noted, she was hoping I could help her.

So, on the car ride home, we discussed the story and I suggested ways she could write it out. It was a relatively long conversation. A lot of ideas were bounced around. She was not particularly happy with my suggestions. She told me my suggestions had already been done by someone else; she was looking for something new. LOL. Seriously.

Somehow over the busy weekend, that conversation was all forgotten.

Last night, going through her papers that she brought home from Tutor Time, I found the story that she had been working on. See below.

She, indeed, did have the first line, but as noted, it appears she quickly ran into "writer's block."

I will help her with her story later today. Here is how far she has gotten so far:

By the way, look how incredibly good her coloring skills are, especially with the dragon. The horns, eyes, and the "fire" are yet to be completed.

Addendum: aha! I've finally thought of something. We've all seen those photographs or paintings of individuals or families taken on the same date, year after year, for decades, to see the changes as people age.

I will suggest to Sophia that every year, on/around her birthday, she compose a line or two as the beginning of a story involving a princess, a prince, a dragon, and a frog.

Maybe it'll work; maybe it won't. We'll see. 

Nine Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Today -- May The Fourth Be With You -- 2020

OPEC basket: $14.36. Link here. That number is from April 29, 2020. Over the weekend, OPEC Basked spiked to $18.05; most recent price being reported at that site: $16.52. 

Back to the Bakken
Active rigs:

Active Rigs3064625028

Nine wells coming off the confidential list today --

Monday, May 4, 2020: 16 for the month; 66 for the quarter, 292 for the year:
  • 37042, drl, Eagle Operating, Wobbly 19-9, Great Northern, a Madison formation well; a vertical well; with support services from Creedence Energy -- sure would like to see Creedence in the Clearwater oil field -- LOL;
  • 36587, drl, Rimrock Oil, Skunk Creek 8-2-3-4H3U, Heart Butte, t--; cum 15,500 bbls over 31 days;
  • 36505, drl, WPX, Blue Racer 14-11HZ, Squaw Creek, 45K over 29 days extrapolates to 46,563 bbls over 30 days;
  • 36094, drl, XTO, Krieger 42X-17G, Alkali Creek,
  • 33023, SI/NC, BR, Renegade 24-10 MBH, Sand Creek, no production data,
Sunday, May 3, 2020: 11 for the month; 61 for the quarter, 287 for the year:
  • 36506, drl, WPX, Blue Racer 14-11HG, Squaw Creek, t--; cum 35K over 26 days extrapolates to 40,074 bbls over 30 days; 
  • 36093, drl, XTO, Krieger 42X-17C, Alkali Creek,
  • 34166, drl, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Njos 9-26-35-157N-100W TFH, Marmon,
Saturday, May 2, 2020: 8 for the month; 58 for the quarter, 285 for the year:
  • 36092, drl, XTO, Krieger 42X-17H, Alkali Creek, no production data,
RBN Energy: justifications, complications, and ramification of crude well shut-ins. Archived. This is really, really cool. I brought up this issue some weeks ago, suggesting this was one of the the real reasons why Saudi Arabia emptied their on-shore storage.
With a dwindling market for their crude, many U.S. producers are confronting an unavoidable choice: shutting in existing production. Just go out and flip a switch and turn a valve, right? Wrong. Like everything else in the COVID era, shutting in production is complicated. It is the alternative of last resort for producers, whose primary directive is the economic extraction of oil and gas. But with demand for their products crushed, production from some wells no longer makes economic sense. Unfortunately, the process of shutting in wells is charged with contractual, economic and operational issues that the industry is scrambling to deal with. The situation is fraught with uncertainty, and many producers’ futures depend on how decisively they manage the shut-in process. Today, we discuss the urgent need to reduce oil production and the judgments producers will be making as they take wells offline.
Note: one of the really neat things that RBN Energy does is "connect" a song with their daily blog. One of my favorite songs, and its backstory, is the Beach Boys' "Shut Down." See the RBN Energy link above for their take on "Shut Down." Archived.

The One Must-Read Wuhan Flu Article For Today -- May The Fourth Be WIth You -- 2020

Chesapeake Energy: preparing for bankruptcy filing. Not sure if I previously posted this but caught it in this week's edition of "Focus on Fracking" which was posted overnight.

"Focus on Fracking": to repeat -- the weekly update has been posted.

Blog roll: again, the blogs I highly recommend are linked at the sidebar at the right. It is simply amazing how much gets posted by those folks. Really, really good "stuff" and so much posted. I think my favorite was the story of the elephant seal. That story was over at "What's Up With That?"  That was a very long post, so if you link on it, you will have to scroll down a bit to find it This was the snippet:
Elephant Seals: Elephant seal sightings have been increasing on Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands in the Puget Sound, Washington. Immediately, these events were claimed to be evidence of CO2-caused global warming. The unnamed “scientists” involved apparently did not check the history of elephant seal hunting. 
Elephant Seals range from Baja California to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Once abundant along the northern Pacific Coast, elephant seals were hunted for fine-burning lamp oil. In the 1880s Elephant Seals were considered extinct. Later, a small population was found on Mexico’s Guadalupe Island (and killed for scientific research). Later, other populations were found, and in 1922 they were protected by Mexico, and shortly thereafter by the US. Since, they have been slowly expanding their breeding grounds north, up the California coast. Global warming has nothing to do with new sightings. But thanks to hydraulic fracturing and high-tech drilling their oil is no longer needed. See
The Marine Mammal Center: the blog on the elephant seal above links to The Mammal Marine Center white paper on the Northern Elephant Seal.

The northern elephant seal success story: faux environmentalists fail to report the reason why these seals escaped extinction. Quite a story.

Sweden and Wuhan flu: Sweden is getting a lot of positive press about how that country handled the coronavirus. When one actually sees the data, one gets another impression. If one has time to read only one article on Wuhan flu today, this would be the article