Thursday, December 31, 2020

Annual Permit Summary -- 2020

Permits, #37296 - #38059

  • 14 of them were salt water disposal wells
  • three carbon capture and storage
  • 746 gas and oil permits


  • Dunn: 148
  • McKenzie: 272
  • Mountrail: 150
  • Williams: 134

Field (top ten):

  • Alkali Creek: 14
  • Antelope: 56
  • Bailey: 18
  • Beaver Lodge: 10
  • Big Bend: 29
  • Cedar Coulee: 23
  • Dimmick Lake: 16
  • East Fork: 10
  • East Tioga: 21
  • Elidah: 17
  • Elm Tree: 27
  • Hofflund: 21
  • Little Knife: 17
  • Mandaree: 18
  • Moccasin Creek: 19
  • North Fork: 23
  • Oliver: 16
  • Pershing: 28
  • Reunion Bay: 39
  • Sanish: 39
  • Stony Creek: 15
  • Westberg: 14

Not on the list above:

  • Grail 
  • Haystack Butte
  • Hawkeye
  • Oakdale
  • Parshall
  • Truax
  • Van Hook

Operators: number of permits:

  • CLR: 125
  • BR: 110
  • MRO: 99
  • Hess: 50
  • Whiting: 50
  • XTO: 46
  • Enerplus: 45
  • Petro-Hunt: 38
  • Slawson: 29
  • WPX: 28 
  • Kraken: 24
  • Zavanna: 20
  • Crescent Point: 17
  • Petroshale: 15
  • Oasis: 13
  • Sinclair: 9
  • KODA Resources: 8
  • Lime Rock: 6
  • Equinor: 5
  • Iron Oil: 4 
  • Nine Point Energy: 3
  • Liberty Resources: 3
  • Bruin: 1
  • EOG: 1
  • Red Tail Energy: 1
  • SHD: 1
  • True Oil: 1
  • Rimrock: 1

Note: in a long note like this, there will be content and typographical errors. If this information is important to you, go to the source. 

Number of new permits by year:

2008: 944 permits

  • first permit: 17002
  • last permit: 17945
2009: 625 permits
  • first permit: 17946
  • last permit: 18570
2010: 1,676 permits
  • first permit: 18571
  • last permit: 20246
2011: 1,924 permits;
  • first permit: 20247
  • last permit: 22170
2012: 2,522 permits
  • first permit: 22171
  • last permit: 24692
2013: 2,667 permits
  • first permit: 24693
  • last permit: 27359
2014: 3,010 permits
  • first permit: 27360
  • last permit: 30369
2015: 2,055 permits
  • first permit: 30370
  • last permit: 32424
2016: 818 permits
  • first permit: 32425
  • last permit: 33242
2017: 1,189 permits
  • first permit: 33243
  • last permit: 34431
2018: 1,466 permits
  • first permit: 34432
  • last permit: 35898

2019: 1,397 permits

  • first permit: 35899
  • last permit: 37295

2020751 gas and oil permits

  • permits, #37296 - #38059 (first year in which permit numbers included O&G; CCS; SWD)
  • nine of them were salt water disposal wells
  • three carbon capture and storage
  • 751 gas and oil permits

Two New Permits, Twenty Permits Renewed -- New Year's Eve -- 2020

 Active rigs:

Active Rigs1355674939

Two new permits, #38058 - #38059, inclusive:

  • Operator: Whiting
  • Field: Sanish (Mountrail)
  • Comments:
    • Whiting has permits for two Littlefield Federal wells in NWNW 34-154-91; both 2485 FSL and 390 - 435 FWL; Sanish oil field

Twenty permits renewed:

  • Operator: NP
  • Permits renewed:
    • two McDonald permits, 32-143-102, Billings
    • three Little Mo Federal permits, 12-142-102, Billings
    • one Mosser Federal permit, 22-143-102, Billings
    • three Audrey permits, 35-143-103, Golden Valley
    • five Trotter Federal permits, 26-145-102, McKenzie
    • six Roosevelt Federal permits, 28-143-102, Billings,

The EIA "914" Has Posted -- December 31, 2020

Link here

First things first. This is really cool. When the NDIC Director's Cut came out in mid-December with October, 2020, data, the preliminary numbers suggested that month-over-month there was a slight decline in North Dakota crude oil production, October/September. 

My "blog title" at the time: October production exceeded that of September. I was pretty sure that when the official figures came out later the "newer" / revised numbers would show that increase. And, in fact, they did, according to the EIA 914 for October, 2020.

The preliminary data at that time, from the NDIC Director's Cut:

Crude oil production:

  • October: 1,222,871 bopd (preliminary)
  • September: 1,223,107 bopd
  • delta: 236 bopd
  • delta: 0.00%

Now, the EIA data for October, 2020.

In kbpd.


  • Oct: 4,632
  • Sept: 4,631
  • up 0.1%

North Dakota:

  • Oct: 1,218
  • Sept: 1,212
  • up: 0.5%


Over at the sidebar at the right, I asked, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, which would survive the meltdown best -- the Bakken or the Permian. 

In the big scheme of things, the Permian did better through the slowdown, but at least for the most recent production numbers, North Dakota proved more resilient, up 0.5% m/m vs 01% for Texas.

But I'll give "it" to the Permian. 

Anything else of note in the most recent EIA figures? Month-over-month, change:

  • US: down 4.1%
  • Alaska: up 4.0%
  • Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico: down a whopping 29.8% (even worse, year-over-year, down 44.8%). That should please the Biden enviromentalists.
  • New Mexico: up 5.6% month/month; up 13.3% y/y

For The Archives -- For The Grandchildren -- Nothing About The Bakken -- December 31, 2020


Okay: this blog is closed. Comments will be accepted but no more updates. Enough is enough. Time to move on. 

Later, 1:53 p.m. CT: first it was the buskers about six months ago; now, through Emmylou Harris, it's "the basket houses": a cafe or similar establishment where musical performances are given and the performers are then paid with money placed in a basket by members of the audience. 

Later, 1:46 p.m. CT: and, of all things, this all led me to this Emmylou Harris interview, posted just two weeks ago -- December 17, 2020. I'm always looking for "news" WRT Emmylou Harris.

Later, 1:35 p.m. CT: and that brings us to the Farfisa and Sam the Sham

Later, 1:24 p.m. CT: more on Doug Sahm (and Charlie Pride, and Bob Dylan). Some may recognize Doug's backup vocalist on this song:

Later, 1:12 p.m. CT: flashback: when Sir Doug died in New Mexico. From that link, provided by the reader who started this whole digression from the Bakken:

In the 1970s [Doug Sahm] became an icon of the ``Cosmic Cowboy'' scene in Austin, along with Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker
In 1973 he recorded an album called Doug Sahm & Band, which featured appearances by Bob Dylan, Dr. John and Flaco Jimenez. 
In the late 1980s Sahm teamed up with Freddy Fender, Jimenez and Meyers to form the Tex-Mex super group The Texas Tornados, which had hits with songs such as "Who Were You Thinking Of ?" and "Hey Baby Que Paso?"

Original Post 

We lived in San Antonio, TX, for over ten years before moving to north Texas in 2013 (during those ten years or so we also spent much time visiting and living in Portsmouth, NH; Summerville (Charleston), SC; and Boston, MA). But we have huge emotional ties to San Antonio, TX.

A reader sent me links to two Flaco Jiménez videos -- one of them on this page. My reply to the reader after watching the videos:

So much could be written.

1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective Sherlock Holmes was famous for identifying the geographical origin of an individual based on accent, dialect, whatever. Well, I about fell off my chair listening to Flaco Jiménez -- he sounded exactly like my father-in-law. Flaco was born/raised in San Antonio. My father-in-law was born / raised in Beeville, a small town just south of San Antonio.

2. I had forgotten all about Freddy Fender and the Texas Tornados. I used to listen to them frequently; don't recall if I've ever posted anything by them on the blog.

3. Finally, all that blue. Let's call it indigo. You can read about it on the blog when I get it posted later this morning. 

Okay, so here's the video:

The Texas Tornados
("If you've got the dinero, I've got the Camaro")

Look at all that blue. Let's call it indigo.

From On Color, David Scott Kastan, c. 2018, p. 121:

Natural Gas Fill Rate -- December 31, 2020

Link here

From A Reader -- Why I Love Texas -- December 31, 2020

That about says it all. 

Happy New Year y'all. 

The Movie Page

Last night, I watched two classic Hitchcock movies and a third of the same genre, all back to back. Absolutely outstanding. I had seen all three in bits and pieces over the years but do not recall ever having watched them from start to finish. 

I remember, the first time I saw some early scenes in Cape Fear. I was unable to "handle" the terror -- Robert Mitchum -- wow -- and so I quit watching early in the film. But last night I was ready for it and watched the movie in its entirety.

I had never noticed all the "bird" stuff in Psycho which foreshadowed The Birds

Birds in Psycho? See this review. Roger Ebert's review is here

The Birds: I'm glad I finally watched the entire movie, but have no desire to ever see it again. I could watch Psycho again. Cape Fear? Probably not.

Notes From All Over -- The Restaurant Review Edition -- December 31, 2020

Top 250 restaurants. At the link, one can quickly scroll through the top 250 restaurants in the US. Looks like a nice link / source that I had not seen before. Main site here.

Restaurant closures: A nice overview, albeit superficial, of the number of restaurant sites that are being closed among the top chains.

The pandemic simply expedited the closure of a lot of marginal restaurant locations. Worse than most years but in the big scheme of things, not that big of a deal. 
Twenty-eight restaurant chains listed. Number 28 on the list was Benihana. In 2019 and 2020, it announced only one Benihana that was closing, the one in Sacramento, CA, but then this: "the company this year announced plans to expand in the U.S. and develop franchises in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Los Angeles skid row, no comment: Original link here. Okay, one comment: after watching that, I'm glad I spent my time watching three classic Hitchcock movies on TCMl last night rather than watching this crap stuff.

AAPL / Apple, Inc: several links; some stories (different sources) previously posted:

  • why AAPL could be a growth stock in 2021; no mention of the car; Motley Fool;
  • Apple's big iOS14 update could wound these two tech giants (Facebook and Alphabet); Motley Fool;
  • Apple phones take 9 of top 10 spots in activations on Christmas Day, The Street;

Penultimate: link here

FTSE 100 [The London Exchange] ends 2020 with annual loss of 14%. Worst since 2008. Compare with multiple records among US indices: Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500, Russell 2000.

JCP CEO: broke through the glass ceiling only to fall through the sky light. CEO out after two years of failure. Harsh. 

Amazon gets bigger: swallows up podcast startup Wondery. Link at The Wall Street Journal. Paywall but I'm sure the story is everywhere.

  • purchase price not disclosed, but rumor has it, about $300 million (isn't that what Jeff Bezos makes about every five minutes?)
  • founded in 2016, one of several podcast startups
  • known for its gritty, narrative-driven podcasts that supply cinematic sound design to nonfiction stories;
  • will greatly improve accessibility / broaden it's audience  now that it's part of Amazon
  • Amazon is tracked here; as an Amazon Prime member, I'm thrilled

Minot AFBB-52s flying over Mideast are from Minot AFB, ND. A nice way to spend the winter, in sunny Saudi Arabia or from wherever they are based. Probably not landing / taking off from aircraft carriers, but nothing surprises me any more when it comes to the B-52. LOL.  Just kidding. Can you imagine the size of the a/c carrier to support a B-52 or two? 

Bitcoin: market value surpasses Berkshire Hathaway overnight. 

Energy: from a few days ago -- the largest energy bill in a decade was just passed. You can guess what's in it. Savvy investors will take note. I'm thinking distribution transformers. 

Batteries: QuantumScape releases performance data for its solid-state battery technology. For the archives. I'm really not interested today.

Colleges: finally cutting tuition. And along with severe revenue cuts from athletic programs, one can imagine a number of universities / colleges in financial panic. Again, for the archives; I'm not interested.

Just asking for a friend:

No Wells Coming Off Confidential List To Be Reported Today -- RBN With Top Ten Blogs This Past Year -- December 31, 2020

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1355674939

No wells coming off the confidential list (there was no June 31 six months ago).

RBN Energy: Top RBN blogs of 2020: meltdown, shut-ins, NGLs, and hydrogen

Well, here we are. The last day of 2020. We are tempted to say “unprecedented” to describe the year. But the word is so overused — there’s been an unprecedented use of the word “unprecedented” — let’s just say it will be good riddance to have this one behind us. After all, we’ve seen a collapse in transportation fuel demand, an oil price war between major producers, negative $37/bbl crude prices, massive LNG cargo cancellations — the list goes on — all in the context of a global pandemic and much of the world committed to weaning itself off fossil fuels over the next few decades. How do you make sense of all that? How do you anticipate when it’s going to be “all right” again? Well, one thing we can do is to heed the events and trends that captured the market’s attention during all this chaos. In other words, to put a spotlight on the things that the market considers top priority — crowd-sourced market intelligence, if you will. Well, at RBN we have one way to do that. We scrupulously monitor the website hit rate of the RBN blogs that are fired off to over 30,000 people each day and, at the end of each year, we look back to see which topics generated the most interest from you, our readers. That hit rate reveals a lot about major market trends. So, once again, we look into the rear-view mirror to check out the Top 10 blogs of the year based on the number of website hits.

As you might expect, this year’s Top 10 has absolutely nothing in common with 2019’s. Back in that long-gone era, it was all about supply — too much of it. The market needed more pipelines, more export docks, more petchem plants, more gas-processing plants, more of just about anything infrastructure-related. By April 2020, that world was a distant memory. This year the Top 10 is mostly related to demand — not enough of it. COVID whacked demand for all things hydrocarbon, which crushed prices, prompting well shut-ins and drilling cutbacks, which slashed production, leaving much of the infrastructure developed in the pre-COVID world well short of enough throughput to fill capacity. Given this new reality, let’s see what the top blogs of 2020 can tell us about how the market dealt with the meltdown, why some market segments have recovered faster than others, and what we might expect in the coming year. Just like any year-end Top 10 list, we’ll start with #10 and work our way up to #1.

10: Shut downs.
9: Marcellus / Utica gas producers cut natural gas production.
8: Canada's propane exports.
7: NGLs.
6: Hydrogen.
5: Crude oil prices tumble.
4: New Permian-to-Gulf gas pipelines
3: Futures markets and crude oil
2: Outlook for fossil fuel
1: Crude oil meltdown, futures contracts, and crude storage, 4/20/20

And The North Dakota Farmers All Raised Their Hands --- Can We Get An "Amen"? -- December 31, 2020