Oil Price Volatility and US EIA Data

A number of news media pieces have recently suggested that oil prices may fall due to soaring output in the US.  Output from US light tight oil (LTO) may not rise as quickly as some EIA reports may suggest. One source of confusion is that the EIA creates many reports and some are more reliable than others. The two charts below cover US LTO and US crude plus condensate (C+C) output.

US LTO Output from the EIA Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) and EIA Tight Oil (LTO) estimates in kb/d.

chart/

US EIA monthly C+C output and centered 4 week average output in kb/d.

chart/

The data for the DPR and for tight oil output are found at the links provided at the US EIA website. The data for US monthly C+C output and the 4 week average US C+C output is also from the EIA.  The 4 week average data is a trailing 4 week average, I centered it by moving it back in time by 2 weeks.

The reason the DPR has higher output is that it covers all output from the various LTO regions which includes conventional C+C output from those regions. The EIA Tight oil estimate reports primarily LTO output from these regions, in Nov 2016 the difference was about 575 kb/d and this is similar to the average difference from August 2016 to November 2016. If we assume conventional output remained close to 575 kb/d in the LTO regions from December 2016 to February 2017 and that the EIA estimate may be more accurate than the DPR model, then the DPR data is too high by 50 kb/d in Dec and Jan and about 100 kb/d too high in February 2017.  The EIA expects oil prices to remain at $55/b or less until the end of 2017, if this guess is correct (based on futures contracts), I give my projection of LTO output from March to May 2017 (an increase of 35 kb/d each month). The DPR estimate from Dec 2016 to May 2017 is about 3 times higher and not consistent with oil prices of $55/b or less in my view.

The second chart above is another reason that many analysts seem to think that US oil output will rise very rapidly, especially if one fails to realize that the weekly output data is often wrong by 200 to 300 kb/d for any given four week average. The monthly data is far more accurate and is revised when incorrect (the weekly data is never revised). In my opinion the weekly data is so inaccurate that it would be better not to report it at all as it simply increases oil price volatility by giving false signals to the market.

A sample of some recent stories at the Peak Oil News website.

Oil prices dip on bloated U.S. market, mixed Saudi signals

U.S. Shale Surging, But Oil Holds Steady

Oil prices fall on expected surge in U.S. shale output

Citi Sees $65 Oil By Christmas

The market would be a little less confused if it paid less attention to the Drilling Productivity Report and the Weekly Supply estimates from the US EIA.  The monthly US crude plus condensate estimates and the monthly tight oil estimates are not perfect, but are far better estimates of reality.

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99 Responses to Oil Price Volatility and US EIA Data

  1. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    Richard K sent me a link to this piece on Mike.

    Very interesting, thanks Richard, and Mike for trying to educate us.

    http://oilpro.com/post/30923/mike-shellman-awarded-top-contributor

    I started wrenching rods when I was six years old. By the time I was twelve I was throwing a spinning chain on a drilling rig and working alongside men that were three times older than I was. I moved up to derricks and by 19 became a driller…

    Mike goes on to give the condensed version of his life story.

    • Mike says:

      Thank you, Dennis. I hope I am not the reason your post has not taken off. As you know I don’t like to make guesses about something so volatile as the oil business and as you correctly point out, the EIA often makes a mess of it on a weekly basis.

      • clueless says:

        I am 75, and everytime I think that I know the simplest things, I find out that I do not. So, I have to ask. Your mother “has a 24 in her hand.” What is a 24? I did live in Texas from 1965 thru 1989 [and I worked in the business side of the oil and gas industry from 1971 until 2005], but I do not recal the term.

        • Mike says:

          Thanks for asking, Clueless, though I am now thoroughly embarrassed by this whole matter.

          Pipe wrenches in the oilfield come in 14, 24, 36 and 48 inch handle length, and we simply shorten the terminology up by calling them a 24’s or 36’s, etc. That makes it easier when you are getting yelled at by the toolpusher on a rig, as in “bring me the damn 24, ya worm!” A 24 is not very heavy, a 48 is really heavy and has big jaws that can open up to take a bite on say 5 1/2 inch OD pipe.

  2. Reno Hightower says:

    Great read Mike. Never met you but just as I imagined. Your story was common at one time. Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, the rockies, all over the oil patch, but I am afraid not so much anymore. I don’t think people outside of the business understand what we are losing in the business with all the crazy that is going on in the resource plays. The experience that is retiring and slowly going away. A shame.

    • Mike says:

      And thank you, Reno. I think men like you and I have seen our best days in the oilfield. Gone is creating an idea that we were willing to bet most of what we own on, and be willing to live or die by the sword for. Now its little more than assembly line well manufacturing and the hope of making 3% annual rate of return on an $9M investment. The guys running these shale oil and shale gas companies are not oilmen; they are Wall Street financiers, little else. Their level of “creativity” manifests itself in how much sand that can cram in a perforation window. There is no romance in that and not now, but soon, it will be time to leave the oil business behind.

      Thank you again.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Mike,

        There may come a time when knowledgeable people like you will be needed to consult for the LTO sector (to optimize operations and operate based on cash flow and in general to do it correctly).

        I imagine as the majors get more involved there will be more fiscal discipline (though undoubtedly less than for a small independent oil company.)

        I would also think that oil prices will rise before long and there may be a number of projects that can be done profitably at $80 to $90/b. My guess is that we will see those price levels (or even up to $120/b eventually) from 2018 to 2028 as World C+C output reaches a plateau of 82 to 84 Mb/d from 2018 to 2025 and then begins a slow (1%/year) decline. When GFC 2 hits around 2030, oil prices will take a hit, retire in 2028 (a bit young at 76 🙂 because it sounds like you are in great shape) before it hits the fan.

  3. Guym says:

    Spot on, Dennis. Eia is creating major confusion.

  4. Schinzy says:

    @Mike,

    Noticed you were playing the ITF senior clay court circuit this summer. I don’t play the tournaments, but if you come to South West France and want some hit, I can put you up and give you a game. I spent the best years of my life as an international tennis bum. I work in Toulouse, but I live in the countryside 70 Km East of Bordeaux.

    • Mike says:

      Hey, Schinzy, wouldn’t that be something !! I am in Periqueux in mid August !

      • Schinzy says:

        That’s my territory. Intense memories at that club.

        I can’t promise yet because I’m planning a trip to the States around that time but if I’m still in France I would love to have you and as much of your family as can make it for a few days in the French countryside. Tennis by the Dordogne river. Send me your schedule (email address on my web page) and we’ll try and swing it.

  5. texas tea says:

    interesting to get the back ground on a poster here. put the ideas and views one proffers into better perspective. I am not sure our business is any more “romantic” than farming but I understand why people hold on to the past. The more successful folks I know are open to change, growth and are always looking for new and better ways. The oil and gas business in no different. But that is what make horse races…

    with regard to Dennis’s post. Dennis you may be right but the “traders” like the system and the volatility, applies to all markets not just oil.

    • Ves says:

      TT,
      If you trust your intellect too much you will miss your intelligence. These two words, intellect & intelligence, come out of the same root but their meaning is different. Intellect is a false substitute for intelligence. Intellect is borrowed, intelligence is yours. Intellect is when you post a link from Bloomberg or Forbes or whatever here and write: “Look here, shale is making money, otherwise Exxon would not purchase”.
      That is intellect, that is borrowed knowledge, it is a pseudo coin, a counterfeit.

      So you go and collect information from everywhere so you become very knowledgeable. So all your knowledge collected from internet oil analyst that never drilled a well in their life is like a dust on the mirror. It is very difficult to see things when you have a dust.

      So yes if someone has just intellect they could drill 7 or 8 or 9m well but if someone has intelligence they would never drill 9m well with their own money today.
      The real oil producer is actually Fed via Wall Street at this point. There is no private or public company that can finance this type of production at this price.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi texas tea,

      What is good for the traders is not necessarily good for the oil industry. Price stability is better for the industry which is why the Texas Railroad commission controlled US output and prices from 1935 to 1970 and then OPEC attempted to fill that role from 1986 to the present.

      The EIA could help by dropping the weekly data which only serves to confuse the market and the DPR also needs to be improved or dropped because it has a similar effect (bad predictions which people think are correct).

  6. SRSrocco says:

    Mike,

    You sound a lot like a gentlemen in the oil industry in Texas that I have spoken to several times. He is one of the few that still looks for “Conventional” oil in Texas and Oklahoma. He has been doing so for nearly 40 years. Says, a lot of old physical geological data is no longer available as the Computer Wiz’s focus on 3-D resource models.

    Furthermore, he told me very few of the original “Wild Catters” are going after shale. They say that is more a “Public Company” Ponzi Scheme that really doesn’t provide much financial incentive, either for the independent investor-geologist or for the local and state governments. Basically, the once-great U.S. “Creative” oil industry is now nothing more than the Wal-Mart business model… making fractions of profits on $billions in revenue.

    Regardless…. Dennis, I disagree with you that the price of oil will head back up to $120 over the next several years, into the 2020’s. For some odd reason, we tend to forget about all the massive amount of debt and leverage in the system.

    I would also kindly like to remind you all that the top 18 U.S. oil and gas companies lost a combined $19 billion in operating income last year. Why is this significant? Because these top 18 energy companies had to pay a $6.7 billion interest payment. Which means, they didn’t have the income to at least pay their interest payment… forget about paying down debt.

    Thus, these U.S. oil and gas companies had to use CREATIVE FINANCE to continue business as usual. Whether that was issue more stock, increase their debt, sell and asset or whatever, this is not sustainable.

    If we look at ALL THE DATA OBJECTIVELY, it looks like the U.S. and Global Oil Industry will be in serious trouble within the next 5-10 years. My opinion is… within the next decade, the oil industry will likely have disintegrated to a much lower level than it is currently.

    steve

    • Mike says:

      Steve, thank you. There are still small nuggets of opportunity for conventional oil finders in America, though much of it is now in the form of field step outs, or missed reservoirs in old, existing fields, that sort of thing. 3D seismic data is a great tool but finding conventional oil can still be done by slipping well logs and making sub-surface structure maps, the old fashion way. All of which requires a great deal of imagination, and creativity (and guts), in spite of some stupid comments to the contrary.

      All of my mentors and operating buddies have stayed way clear of shale oil, and shale gas, except to try and find acreage to trade away to bigger companies. The people that make money in the unconventional shale business are mostly mineral owners, whose granddaddies and daddies bought and worked the land, then left their kids with minerals to play with. And as you correctly point out, Wall Street and other lenders; they make lots of money in closing and brokerage fees, and of course interest. By the way, you have done your 10K work well as those loss and interest paid numbers are pretty much the same as mine. Its a debtor industry, the US LTO industry; it cannot stand on it’s own feet without low interest federal stimulus to borrow.

      When the debt bubble busts, so goes hydrocarbon demand. We’ll never see oil prices over $100 dollars again, not sustained; the world cannot afford that anymore. By the time the US LTO industry gets through pissing away all of our remaining resources its going to take more that what we can afford to pay for oil, to get it out of the ground.

      Thanks again.

      • shallow sand says:

        There are very few private companies that drill LTO or shale oil wells.

        I think it is telling that both the Yates and Bass families decided to sell their vast Permian LTO acreages rather than develop said acreages themselves.

        Tremendous amounts of capital are required to develop shale. In terms of $$ it is much more similar to offshore than conventional onshore.

        If some of the acreage in the Permain does have 8 productive zones, easy to see hundreds of millions being sunk into one two section (1280 acre) drilling unit, especially at 330′ spacing. That amount of money requires Wall Street.

        • coffeeguyzz says:

          Encana just drilled 33 wells on a pad, the RAB Davidson, in the Permian, with plans to increase it to 64.
          They had 4 rigs, side by side, drilling the wells simultaneously and then 4 frac spreads came in to do the fracturing at the same time.

          Big, big bucks.

          • shallow sand says:

            Did they give the cost of that?

          • coffeeguyzz says:

            Shallow

            I’d have to track down that info, but I don’t know offhand.
            A lot has been written about this project for several months now, with the emphasis on both the logistics and the enormous amount of material (casing, cement, proppant, etc.) involved.
            What I do recall is they are targeting three different formations and claim the wells cost about $5 million each.

            • shallow sand says:

              Coffee. I see in power point $5 million per well.

              I looked up on IHS and see 24 wells with production in January, 2017. So, assume 9 did not have first production until 2/17 or after.

              In those 24 wells, figure minimum of $120 million. In 1/17, gross production from those 24 wells was 5,463.23 BOPD. All but three of the wells are less than one year old in 1/17. Have to wonder if production hampered by ongoing completions.

              Would be interesting to see payout statement on this project at end of 2017.

              • shallow sand says:

                One thing very interesting to note on the Davidson lease that coffee refers to.

                I find 186 vertical wells on this lease, which is located in Upton County, TX. 63 of those wells have been inactive for over one year. Almost all of the 123 active vertical wells are producing under 15 bopd. These are Spraberry and Clearfork wells, with TD’s of 9,700′ -11,500′.

                Another interesting fact to note. Of the 63 inactive wells (for over one year) 55 have first production from 1995-1998. The remaining 8 are 2010 wells. The 123 active wells are almost all 2010-2014 wells. Most of those have cumulative production under 30,000 BO and are at 15 BOPD or less. A large number produced under 100 BO in 1/17. I suspect 1-3 BOPD 10,000′ wells struggle to be economic at sub $50 WTI.

                Mike, what do you estimate the cost would be to plug a 10,000′ vertical well?

                Do the Hz wells on these legacy leases drain all the oil from the older vertical wells in the same formation? When they pump millions of gallons of water down the new Hz wells, what effects does all that water have on the vertical wells nearby?

                • shallow sand says:

                  I took a look at one of Pioneer Natural Resources most prolific leases, the Donald Hutt Fee in Midland County. 355 total wells, 261 vertical, 71 of the vertical wells have been inactive for over one year. Almost all of the active vertical wells under 15 bopd, many in the 5-10 BOPD range.

                  Someday, the Permian will be well pluggers paradise. Just have to wonder if there will be money left for all that cement?

                  • Mike says:

                    Shallow, the EnCana/Davidson mass manufacturing “project” in Upton County is very cool to see, but a perfect example of buying a car based on chrome and paint, not how it runs. If EnCana says those wells cost $5M each you can bet your steel toed boots they are every bit of $6.5M. The production data I see on shaleprofile.com is about what you observe on IHS. This is Spraberry country, partially depleted from thousands of vertical wells; I absolutely do not get it.

                    What I do “get” is that according to fracfocus.com each one of these EnCana wells will require over 10M gallons of water to frac and at least another 1M gallons to drill. At 80 gallons of water per day per human being, in arid W. Texas of all places, it is an atrocity. If they are not recycling flowback water from other wells(even if they say they are, are they?) they should go to jail for that.

                    To P&A, decommission these massive pads and production facilities to put the land back to its original state: $150K per well.

                    I think the majority of people in America, including, even oily folks, unfortunately, believe that all this money flowing into the Permian would not be happening unless everybody was making money hand over fist. 1 + 1 = 2. At $2.50 per gallon of gasoline they don’t care, or, in the case of people with any amount of cranial capacity, they are too mentally lazy to do the arithmetic. Permian wells are not going to be much better than any other shale play in the US and we must not forget that for every stacked horizon in each Permian basin, to plug back and start working your way out of the hole is going to require kick-offs, re-drilling new laterals, and new frac’s, almost the cost of the original well. That stacked horizon BS about the Permian does not improve economics very much, I assure you.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Mike,

                    Only higher oil prices will improve the economics. Perhaps in the sweet spots they can make some money at $55/b, but the average Permian well will need $65/b point forward and maybe $75/b full cycle.

                    It will be interesting to see the 10Qs as oil prices rise.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hey whats the cumulative output on that project so far?

                • shallow sand says:

                  For the 24 wells showing first production on or prior to 1/1/2017:

                  Cumulative oil: 3,252,707
                  Cumulative gas: 7,309,231
                  Cumulative water: 2,963,908

                  I was also in error on well age, only 8 of 24 had first production within 1 year of 1/17. The rest are older. Here is a summary of the wells by first production month, number of wells, and production for each monthly vintage during the month of 1/17:

                  12/13 1 well 315 BO
                  7/14 1 well 4,467 BO
                  1/15 2 wells 6,274 BO
                  3/15 1 well 4,224 BO
                  5/15 2 wells 7,868 BO
                  7/15 6 wells 33,159 BO
                  8/15 1 well 2,533 BO
                  9/15 2 wells 7,021 BO
                  2/16 3 wells 20,991 BO
                  12/16 5 wells 82,508 BO

                  These wells are almost all 10,000 TVD, 18,000+ TD. $5 million for drilling, completion, surface and downhole equipment, land, seismic, etc., seems like a really low number. Would think the frac for each would be north of $4 million alone.

                  NRI on a project like this makes a big difference. Really do not understand why royalty burden is never mentioned. It is a critical number.

          • I have worked with 32 well pads, and I think that’s the reasonable limit. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to have four rigs operating so close to each other. A better solution is to batch them so that a group can be produced while a single rig is still drilling out the pad. This allows the pad facilities to handle a steadier production rate. The simultaneous operations do require this be given a really tight choreography.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Mike,

        I expect that when supply is tight prices will go up, do you expect there will not be demand for oil at $100/b? I think the debt issue is overblown. Yes the poorly run companies will go bankrupt, as has always been true. The assets will be picked up on the cheap (those that are worth it) by the better run companies and as oil prices rise they will be able to pay down debt and operate on cash flow.

        I think when the peak (or plateau) arrives increased demand will require higher oil prices to match demand with supply. Hard to guess what the price will be, perhaps $99/b or less or perhaps more. We did have a 3 year period with oil prices over $100/b, I see no good reason why that could not occur in the future.

        IMF sees 3.5% real GDP growth in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018.

        What do you guys expect?

        • Jeff says:

          Dennis,
          The 3 year period you keep referring to was a period with historically low interest rates and QE. Would the oil price have been the same if CBs hadn’t stimulated the economy? My guess is no, but I don’t think it’s possible to know how big difference it made.
          It’s a big guess what politicians and CBs will do in the future. I have no clue but I think it will require a lot more debt creation to get the oil price back above $100/brl for any length of time. Perhaps the debt will be created, perhaps not..?
          My gut feeling continues to be that we face demand destruction that will mask the problems with stagnating (or declining) production for a couple of years. However, depletion doesn’t sleep and insufficient findings, investments etc. will bite back. Welcome to the 2020 roller-coaster.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Jeff,

            The key to oil demand is the level of GDP, as I pointed out the IMF expects about 3.5% real GDP growth in 2017 and 2018. If the IMF is correct, oil demand will continue to increase at 1 to 2% per year.

            My guess is that oil supply will struggle to keep up with demand by 2018 or 2019 at the latest. If OPEC and non-OPEC (Russia et al) continue the cut through Dec 2017, US LTO will not make up the difference.

            Note that I am not claiming we will see $100/b (2016$) in the near term, I expect a gradual rise in oil prices from $50/b to $100/b by 2020 and possibly to $120/b by 2023 when oil output peaks.

            • Jeff says:

              Perhaps IMF will be right this time. Their track record is not that good. IMF use trend extrapolation and will _never_ forecast a trend break. From the IMF world economic outlook in 2007 (October): “The global economy is projected to grow by 5.2 percent in 2007 and 4.8 percent in 2008” – we all know what happened.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Jeff,

                Correct the only people who accurately forecast an economic downturn are those who always say an economic downturn is right around the corner.

                At the World level economic growth has been the norm from 1960 to 2015 with only one year with negative growth (2009). The average rate of growth of real GDP (2010$) from 1975 to 2015 was 2.93% with 19 years where growth was lower than average and 22 years with growth higher than average.

                Data for population from

                https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/

                and for real GDP per capita for World from

                https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYGDPPCAPKDWLD

  7. Boomer II says:

    Oil and gas majors press Trump on Paris climate pact | Fuel Fix: “Ahead of a high-level meeting at the White House today on the Paris climate accord, some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are pressing President Donald Trump to stay in the agreement.

    On Monday Cheniere Energy Executive Vice President Anatol Feygin sent a letter to the White House saying, ‘domestic energy companies are better positioned to compete globally if the United States remains a party to the Paris Agreement.’”

    Why Big Oil wants Trump to stay in Paris climate agreement – Apr. 18, 2017: “… these traditional energy companies have a vested financial interest in the Paris deal. That’s because COP21’s crack down on carbon emissions favors natural gas, which emits much less pollution than coal.

    While Exxon, BP and Shell are primarily identified as oil companies, they are actually diversified energy firms that rely heavily on natural gas to make money.”

  8. Boomer II says:

    Oil Drillers' Vanishing Safety Net – Bloomberg Gadfly: “… in an odd twist, banks may be more willing to allow smaller, less-important energy companies to fail now than they were a year ago. That’s because the largest banks have already cut their exposure to the asset class and are less at risk of losses should these borrowers go belly up.”

  9. shallow sand says:

    Some other interesting facts about Spraberry wells.

    Looks like there have been 47,315 vertical Spraberry wells, 28,656 are active, of those 24,990 produced under 465 BO in 1/17.

    Looks like there have been 3,279 Hz Spraberry wells, 3,065 are active, 205 produced under 465 BO in 1/17. 785 produced from 465-1,549 BO in 1/17 and 624 produced from 1,550-3,100 BO in 1/17.

    So, 56% of the Hz Spraberry wells are either inactive for over one year or produced under 100 BOPD in 1/17.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Shallow sand,

      at least 900 horizontal Spraberry wells started producing in 2014 or earlier, most of the 2015 wells are also down to 100 b/d (or certainly the average 2015 well). Using Enno Peter’s data at shaleprofile.com
      through Nov 2016 he only has 2500 Spraberry horizontal wells in that update, about 581 of the 2015 wells had been producing for 17 months in Nov 2016 (started producing before July 2016) and the average output of those 581 wells was about 100 b/d after 17 months (average cumulative was 112 kb).
      I get roughly 59% of the producing horizontal Spraberry wells with an average output less than 100 b/d (for wells that started producing from Jan 2011 to June 2015) based on Enno Peter’s data though Nov 2016.

  10. George Kaplan says:

    Colombia production dropped to 804 kbpd – 7% down m-o-m and 12% down y-o-y.

    “The decrease is mainly due to deferred production in the Caricare, Caño Rondon, Rex, Terecay, Caño Limón, Caño Yarumal, Chipirón and Bayonero fields caused by the closure of operations in the Caño Limón Coveñas pipeline.”

    • Colombia’s real problem is low oil prices, which make it really hard to justify drilling in the Rubiales trend (that’s a huge, weird, heavy oil field with a very thin oil column on top of water).

  11. George Kaplan says:

    China, on the other hand, slightly up and holding a plateau so far this year.

  12. George Kaplan says:

    For those who follow Art Berman – (I think what he writes is mostly aimed at speculators looking for a short term advantage):

    “OPEC Production Cuts and The Long Road To Market Balance”

    http://www.artberman.com/opec-production-cuts-long-road-market-balance/

    “The OPEC cuts are accelerating the reduction of global inventories but continued progress toward the 5-year average will push oil prices higher. Higher prices may collide with weak demand growth in a stagnant economy that simply needs less oil. The long road to market balance may be slower and bumpier than bullish analysts predict.”

    Next week, or even later today, someone might say the exact opposite.

    p.s. he doesn’t include Azerbaijan in ‘NOPEC’ numbers but I think they agreed to participate, based on natural decline, and have probably exceeded what was expected in decline.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi George,

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-21/goldman-says-ignore-the-technical-savor-the-fundamental-on-oil

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says there’s no fundamental evidence in the oil market to justify this week’s selloff in prices.
      The bank finds the pace of declines in U.S. crude inventories encouraging, with an acceleration in draw downs expected through the second quarter as OPEC cuts output and demand grows, according to a report dated April 20.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Because of my background I tend to look at the oil supply and demand balance from the perspective of system dynamics and control theory. From that perspective the world storage levels, and particularly those in the USA as they receive the most attention, act as a hysteresis element – i.e. when they are high and prices are low the storage has to fall significantly before the price starts to fall, and then it goes quickly; conversely when the storage is low and prices high then the storage has to build significantly and then the price suddenly rises fast. ‘Low’ and ‘high’ are subjective terms really, although they can be compared against medium term averages, but it means dealers perspective is important. It doesn’t matter so much if, and by how much, the storage falls, it matters whether all the other dealers thinks it’s significant.

        Add that hysteresis to big time delays from large project developments, inelastic (maybe asymmetric) oil demand, and almost random noise from outside influences on demand and it’s little wonder oil price forecasting is a mugs game (although the forecasters actually can’t be mugs – they repeatedly do worse than random chance and yet still get paid). Also I think it’s called a level 1 chaotic system – i.e. the act of forecasting can influence the outcome, which tends to increase the inherent instability.

        • dclonghorn says:

          George, thanks for the above and other comments you make. While I have generally held a similar view regarding oil balance and price for some time, the way you have framed the issue clarifies this for me.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi George

            I think you mean when storage falls prices rise at least eventually.

            I agree with your analysis.

            My main point is that bad data makes matters worse.
            Get the data right and report it monthly.

          • shallow sand says:

            Great comment George.

            Would you agree that lack of volitility and investor loss of interest in the oil market also sets up the next big price move?

            I am noticing a big decrease in Internet chatter regarding oil. Don’t know if that is relevant to anything.

            • George Kaplan says:

              All I understand about speculating in the oil market is enough to tell myself to stay away. So I’d say I don’t know, which means you and others can probably skip even skimming through the following.

              From a system dynamics point of view, in a chaotic system, loss of volatility very often precedes a tipping point equally, however, if there are several interacting but smooth cyclic systems they can cancel out for a time – there can then also be a sudden big change but it’s somewhat predictable (e.g. imagine a simple Fourier series curve fit to a square wave), or it can just go back to more apparent volatility. Even stochastic systems can have periods of quiet as the noise goes away, in fact a sign of a lack of true randomness is if there are no such periods in a long enough series.

              Another view might be that OPEC is back in control, or dealers think they are back in control, or maybe they only think the chap next to them thinks they are in control. Almost every commentator had a piece saying OPEC was finished in 2015 and 2016, of course if they turned out to be wrong you’d expect them to say o now … no wait, actually you’d expect them to shut up completely. There also seems to be a growing thought, at least here in the UK, that the economy has run out of steam (or will do over the next year or so – one reason given for why the government here has called and election now). Some GDP predictions for USA and Europe (China?) also look to be low and declining, but other places (e.g. BRICs, if that term is still used) are picking up, albeit from a low point. US news dominates the internet, even out of proportion to how it still just about dominates the world economy and politics.

              There’s also a lot of other news every day (if nothing else Trump generates headlines) most of it worrying short term and on a level above an oil price spike (or whatever) next year, so it just gets pushed off the page. (All my metaphors come from the print era I’m afraid – there may be equivalents for the internet age, maybe something to do with trending and likes and probably some neologisms I can never understand.)

              I can kind of follow the supply side and there things for conventional oil just seem to be heading for trouble. Oil and gas discoveries must be the lowest ever over the last two months, new FIDs, even for smaller, short cycle projects, aren’t happening as predicted with the price rise, more countries are starting steeper declines, more of the OPEC/NOPEC cuts seem due to natural decline and won’t come back. If there are coming economic problems that knock down demand none of that will be noticed for some years though.

              • Boomer II says:

                I don’t think cheap energy and economic growth are as tied together now as they once were. Relatively speaking, oil, natural gas, coal, and renewable energy are relatively inexpensive and yet the economies of developed countries and the world as a whole are not booming.

                I don’t think people are going to consume more energy if there is no particular benefit to them and I think that is where we are at with many industries. And policy makers seem more determined to save old industries than to support new ones.

                As I have said before, the only growth industry I can see which might boost economic growth in the near, intermediate, and perhaps long term future is to convert energy production and usage from what we have now to more renewables and EVs. Doing that will require people doing the work, and would likely be a productive use of investment because it would involved significant infrastructure changes.

                Whether renewables and electrification of power will save the world, I can’t say. But I think it will at least provide more of a boost than continuing to maintain a system based on fossil fuels.

                • Boomer II says:

                  I’ll go a bit further. Wealth creation these days has relatively little to do with energy consumption. Wealth is now significantly related to the digital world, either wealth from financial dealings or wealth based on digital stocks.

                  “Stuff” and the energy to make it is less important than it once was. The masses may end up with less food and with fewer goods, but that isn’t really a problem for the very wealthy.

                  If people are waiting for the masses to turn on the wealthy, then it certainly hasn’t happened yet in places like the US.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    I don’t know about ‘stuff’ being unimportant. 30% of UK economy and a bit more for the USA is advertising or PR – a lot of which is people trying to sell each other real ‘stuff’ and real services. I think that is only possible in a world with lots of excess capacity – and that is possible only with cheap energy, though other things contribute as well. The internet in it’s current form and many of the bigger firms that have come from it rely almost exclusively on advertising revenue. There’s also all the high profile / high growth firms that promise to get you cheaper flights, insurance, hotels etc. – trouble is once everybody gets’s the cheapest the supply companies have to put the price of the ‘stuff’ up, otherwise they go out of business, and you’re back where you started. That is what’s happening in the UK with car insurance at the moment.

                  • Hickory says:

                    Boomer II- most of the growth in energy use will be coming from places over the horizon from where you look. Places like Nigeria, Ethiopia and India. Take a look at population projections out to 2050. In these places population growth and economic growth is highly correlated with energy demand. It is not all digital and automated.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    I am assuming that global recession will reduce consumption, and therefore slow energy demand. I see nothing on the horizon other than massive investment in renewables and EVs to increase jobs and income.

                    Where do you guys think money is going to come from so that these developing countries can allow their citizens to buy lots of stuff?

                  • Nick G says:

                    30% of UK economy and a bit more for the USA is advertising or PR

                    That sounds a bit high. Do you have a source for that?

        • Very good. I always had trouble explaining to management why the dynamics model fail unless we take into account the fact that many market players don’t behave rationally, and it’s really hard to model such insanity.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            And yet here we are, wherever ‘here’ is, with many who’ve spent much of their lives in things we call ‘careers’ helping to damage the planet.

            • Mike says:

              Mr. MacIntyre, you must be referring to me because I have spent my entire life in the oil business? Actually it is not me, or men and women like me that spent their working careers in the oil business that have damaged the planet, its hypocrites like yourself and all of your “gentlemen” friends on the non-petroleum thread of this very petroleum blog, that USE oil that have damaged the planet. By the way, my compliments for the way y’all handled Ms. Hahn over there across the tracks, for the language used and the lewd remarks made in her direction. Very gentlemanly, all. Was that because she did not agree with y’all, or believes in God, or was curious why you folks are always so angry at everything and everybody over there? That tirade borders on verbal abuse. And my compliments to the moderator as well, very courageous.

              • Lloyd says:

                Keep in mind: She started it.

                She accused us of not having, or not caring, about our families.

                As for your comments about our manners, how do we know that “Peggy Hahn” is really a woman? To quote the New Yorker cartoon, “On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” Or what sex you really are. This is not Gamergate. The comments were not about her gender: they were about her ignorance, and her tone-deafness to the nature of our discussions. A man making the same comments would have got the same treatment. And if my wife heard you suggest she needed special treatment taking care of herself in this kind of a situation, she’d be insulted, or at the very least, bemused. I suspect yours would be, too.

                Ms. Hahn has been around here for a while. Her purpose seems to be to spread Christian dogma to a group of commentators who are largely atheist. Why is the question. I don’t go on Christian boards and ask why they’re all involved in a ridiculous superstition. (If I really wanted to know, I’d ask my relatives.)

                As for Dennis’s moderation, I have (very) occasionally posted on right-wing sites about oil, usually stating facts I picked up here…and had the posts taken down (and yes, my purpose was to find out if they would be taken down.) I would have been happier to have Javier gone sooner, but Dennis was right in his actions: Javier eventually moved on of his own accord. In my opinion, the level of moderation around here is just fine. The place is what it is: Ms. Hahn doesn’t have to come here, and if she makes provocative statements designed to piss us off, well, you reap what you sow (to use an idiom she may be familiar with.)

                -Lloyd

                • Mike says:

                  Yes, that is a nice little “gang” you guys have over there, very tight, very adverse to outside opinions, very opposed to healthy debate or anybody that does not agree with your radical anti-oil, pro-climate change agenda. Its fun to observe sometimes, all that anger, until you start trying to verbally disembowel everybody, a woman in this case, with F-bombs, belittlement and name calling, simply because she does not agree with you.

                  But, as you say, y’all were “provoked,” all of you fine gentlemen, a threat she was, and she got what she deserved. Liberal idealism is, after all, based on tolerance and acceptance, I seem to recall, so please, carry on. Without me. I need to get back to damaging the planet.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Mike,
                    We’ve sold much of ourselves out, while abusing our Mother Earth– and the women on it in the process– but the men, the in-between sexes, and fellow creatures too.
                    This is not exclusive to the petroleum industry or petrocareer, but they do predominantly feed the abuse.

                    ‘Drill, baby, drill.’

                    So maybe we would do well for some of us to consider taking a little more ownership and responsibility in that and related regards.

                    This is the petroleum thread, the industry sucks some serious shit, my comment was related to the petroleum industry, and I, along with my comment-in-question, have practically nothing to do with ‘Peggy’ or even personal oil use the way you frame it, using ‘Peggy’ as a kind of ‘leverage’.

                    Some men and women might not appreciate your using a supposed woman like that or insinuating inegalitarian treatment per ostensible sex, but maybe Tiffany Neal, President of Oilpro, has different ideas, and would appreciate more your particular brand of dated sexist melodramatics.

                  • Lloyd says:

                    Yes, that is a nice little “gang” you guys have over there, very tight, very adverse to outside opinions,
                    I have said it before, but it bears repeating: this is a club. You get in by having the people here engage with you. It’s not a democracy, and it’s not equal opportunity. And it’s not sexist, which your position most certainly is. To suggest that women cannot protect themselves here, and that we should tone it down, is to deny them agency, and to suggest that they are by nature intellectually inferior.

                    Ms. Hahn’s treatment was exactly what anyone with a position someone here disagrees with gets. I would point you to the comment on the current non-oil thread that starts with Nicholas Schroeder says: 04/20/2017 at 10:15 pm. He gets eight, count’ em, eight- sarcastic put-downs.

                    radical anti-oil, pro-climate change agenda.
                    This is not my position. To clarify: I am a hard-core doomer. I believe we are past the tipping point, and that there is nothing we can do. My position is at odds with techno-utopians like Nick and OFM, and of course with the current denier brigade of Charles Van Vleet, Leo Halstead, Troy Slavski, Nicholas Schroeder, and Jeffrey Bromberg . Even the quant faction whose views I most identify with are not a solid wall: Dennis, Ron, Doug and George, Gone Fishing, and Survivalist all disagree on points (apologies to those I’ve missed.) We are not a monolithic block.

                    I continue to drive, use electricity, and all that other stuff, because it is the organism that I am. I don’t want to die yet, and I cannot effectively exist outside the techno-fossil fuel bubble. We are essentially in agreement here: it is not you specifically who are destroying the planet: I fully accept responsibility for my, oh, one-billionth part in this calamity (as always, someone else can figure out the exact math…I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for a greater share of our problems than, say, an African subsistence farmer.) And I don’t think your part is any greater than mine.

                    As for my being willing to “verbally disembowel everybody”, this is the kettle calling the pot black. You’ve got a pretty sharp tongue (pen? word processor?) yourself. You can slime the word “gentleman” with just enough sarcasm to make it seem like a slight. And I admire it, it’s a clever skill. It doesn’t change the fact that you don’t answer any of my points, and continue to suggest, through your tone, and the repetition of your unsupported position, that I am wrong.

                    But, as you say, y’all were “provoked,” all of you fine gentlemen
                    And you looked for a pretext to discuss this, by building a straw-man argument that Caelan was talking to you specifically when he mentioned “‘careers’ helping to damage the planet.” And you moved it away from the Non-petrol thread where it belongs, because this is your turf. And I admire that, too, in a way, though it is a little dainty.

                    You got a problem with what we write on the other side? Fine.

                    But take it up there, where it belongs.

              • Nick G says:

                it is not me…that spent their working careers in the oil business that have damaged the planet, its hypocrites like yourself…that USE oil that have damaged the planet.

                Actually, it’s neither. You’re just making a living. Oil consumers have pretty much been buying the only thing that was available.

                It’s people like the Koch brothers, who have ensured that alternatives (NG vehicles, high mileage vehicles, trains, hybrids, EVs etc., etc) were not available. The people who shaped public policy in a way that ignored oil wars, ignored pollution, ignored oil recessions (like the major depression that Dennis is predicting in about 10 years, that could be prevented or mitigated by better planning and alternatives), and all the other reasons to have alternatives to oil fueled vehicles.

                They did it. Not you, and not “us”.

                Although, to the extent that people vote for politicians who are advocates for oil…then it’s their fault.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                “And yet here we are, wherever ‘here’ is, with many who’ve spent much of their lives in things we call ‘careers’ helping to damage the planet.” ~ Caelan MacIntyre

                “Mr. MacIntyre, you must be referring to me because I have spent my entire life in the oil business?” ~ Mike (Shellman?)

                I am referring to a lot more than just you, Mike.

        • Boomer II says:

          I’ve been curious about the PR messages about oil. On the one hand you have those who keep saying there is an abundance of oil, no scarcity in sight, which of course, encourages lower oil prices.

          Then you have others warning that without more investment, we’ll have an oil shortage. But they haven’t said just who is supposed to put up that investment money. Should companies, that are already losing money, spend more money? Should countries use public funds to invest in oil exploration and production? Should investors throw money at oil projects, and for whatever reason, favor them over investments in other companies and industries?

          Seems like all of this talk is either to manipulate oil prices or to influence policy makers.

    • Lightsout says:

      Hi George.

      As you mentioned Azerbaijan it is worth noting that a company called Zenith energy has just started an extensive workover program on the Muradkhanli, Jafarli and Zardab fields. The first workover well M195 has got off to a slow start with soviet era metal debris found in the open hole section below the screen. They started sidetrack drilling last week.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Interesting. I think it’s fair to say SOCAR has the worst safety record of any recognised oil company, and probably some of the oldest infrastructure. Azerbaijan might be more reliant on oil to maintain social order than some OPEC countries, and they’ve had bread riots in the recent past.

  13. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Sabotage Against Train Tracks in Olympia
    (Puget Sound Anarchists)

    “Early in the morning of April 20th we poured concrete on the train tracks that lead out of the Port of Olympia to block any trains from using the tracks. We took precautions to notify BNSF (the train company) – we called them and we used wires to send a signal that the tracks were blocked. We did this not to avoid damaging a train, nothing would bring bigger grins to our faces, but to avoid the risk of injuring railway workers.

    This action was done to disrupt the movement of trains carrying proppants used in natural gas fracturing. These train tracks are part of a system of pipelines, fracking wells, mines, clearcuts, control centers, fiberoptics, dams, highways and factories that cover the planet and are physical manifestations of a process that is destroying the ecosystems, cultures, and inhabitants everywhere. Behind this network of infrastructure there are politicians, CEOs and bureaucrats who have private security, cops, prison guards, non-profit directors, PR consultants and the legacy of 500 years of colonization to back them up. We oppose all of these manifestations, infrastructural, personal and ideological. We blocked the train tracks because we want to blockade the entire web of domination that is slowly killing us…

    This action and actions like it are quite easy to do yourself.”

  14. Watcher says:

    It appears to require 1.8 barrels of oil to make an acre of corn. Includes harvest.

    • Lloyd says:

      That indicates about 250 Oil calories to produce 1 Corn calorie (assuming the Corn per acre values I found are for unshucked Corn). Of course, someone with better math skills than me should check this.

      -Lloyd

      • Watcher says:

        Corn apparently comes in stages, but the most important parameter seems to be dry vs wet. The water affects weight and that corrupts lots of calculations. Probably including yours.

        But that’s the way it goes. 1.8 to get an acre of corn. That calculation of months ago indicating more required to produce food than transport it looks legit.

  15. Energy News says:

    2017-04-25 Reuters – OPEC heads for failure as crude shipments overwhelm cut rhetoric: Clyde Russell

    Global oil shipments by tanker are at a record high in April, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity forecasts. As of Tuesday, the data shows that an average 50.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude is being shipped in April, up from the previous record 46.1 million bpd in January. The data excludes crude moved by pipelines, but it’s extremely unlikely that pipeline supplies have been cut by more than seaborne cargoes have increased.
    http://in.reuters.com/article/column-russell-crude-opec-idINL4N1HX1V4

    2017-04-22 Clipper Data
    OPEC crude exports so far this month are down compared to March, led by a drop from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Nonetheless, total global crude loadings continue to tick higher, holding above 50 million barrels per day.
    http://blog.clipperdata.com/global-crude-loadings-tick-higher

    • Jeff says:

      Where do the additional crude shipments originate from?

      Is it mainly: A) US exporting more light oil, OPEC (SA) stock drawdown, floating storage drawdown OR, mainly B) increased production that results in more oil reaching the market?

      “To be sure, barrels stored in less visible places, such as in developing nations and in floating storage, do appear to be drawing down, but there is a question mark over whether this is happening fast enough to provide a basis for higher oil prices in future months.”

      • Energy News says:

        It seems that Iran and UAE have been exporting from floating storage

        Apr 6, 2017 ClipperData
        Iranian barrels drop to 5 million barrels, while barrels offshore of United Arab Emirates have halved in the last week, dropping to just under 10 million barrels.
        (chart on this page) http://blog.clipperdata.com/floating-storage-holding-up-despite-iran-drop

        And I’m guessing that the big increase in Brazil’s crude oil exports is from inventory.
        chart direct link: https://s13.postimg.org/a43f4pyh3/2017-04-25_Brazil_Crude_Oil_Exports_JODI_ANP.png

        Russia’s crude oil exports are holding up while complying with the cut agreement. Seasonal peak is in April

        • Jeff says:

          So, alternative A then. Well, stocks outside OECD is drawing down and boosting international trade volumes in the short term. When this runs out of juice the draw down will have to come from OECD stocks – mainly US.

          IMHO. The market is in deficit and the size of the gap is masked by stock drawdowns outside OECD. The narrative of the article “crude shipments overwhelm cut rhetoric” is just wrong.

        • Energy News says:

          I keep wondering if the 50 mb/day export figure is a mistake, seems very high, big increase from prior record of 46 mb/day. But both Reuters and ClipperData are giving the same number and so who knows. I don’t subscribe to any data providers and so just I’m just guessing.

        • AlexS says:

          Iran’s crude oil and condensate exports in March fell slightly from the previous month as refinery runs picked up but the OPEC producer has managed to clear almost all of its oil in floating storage.

          Barrels held in floating storage again accounted for a proportion of Iran’s exports in March and the country has now reduced the volume held on the water from over 40 million barrels early last year to around 5 million barrels, according to Platts estimates.

          http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/london/analysis-iranian-oil-exports-dip-in-march-floating-26708803
          —————————————-

          OPEC’s war on oil overhang starts to bear fruit

          Tue Apr 11, 2017
          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec-storage-idUSKBN17D1LY

          OPEC appears to be slowly winning the battle against a global overhang of crude and oil products as inventories in onshore and floating storage decline.

          … there is no doubt that stocks are falling around the world, from Saldanha Bay in South Africa, to the Caribbean. A persistent glut of Nigerian oil is easing and even Iran has liquidated the amount of crude held in floating storage.

          “Across the first quarter of the year, crude stocks built by much less than they did in the first quarter of last year even though refinery maintenance globally was much heavier,” Energy Aspects analyst Richard Mallinson said.
          Iran has sold all the oil it had stored for years at sea and Tehran is now struggling to keep exports growing as it grapples with production constraints.
          Trading giant Vitol has sold millions of barrels of Nigerian crude oil from storage in South Africa’s Saldanha Bay, according to oil traders, with cargoes sailing for Taiwan, India, the United States and Europe.
          France’s Total has offered a further 2 million barrels of Nigerian Escravos oil from its own Saldanha Bay storage tanks, while sources said trader Mercuria had also been offering oil from storage.
          At the same time, Nigeria’s new loading programmes are finding buyers at a reasonable pace – in stark contrast to the past two years, when any sales from storage put immense downward pressure on prices for newly loaded cargoes.
          Nordic bank SEB said global oil inventories in weekly data have dropped by 42 million barrels in the last four weeks.
          “Rising U.S. crude oil stocks have created some confusion so far this year, but they are a function of reduced U.S. refining activity on the one hand and U.S. crude oil imports on the other,” SEB said.

          PRODUCT DRAW

          Stocks of oil products are also steadily drawing down.
          According to consultants FGE, total main product stocks levels in the United States, Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp independent storage and Singapore and Japan have declined by 6.5 million barrels, in the week to March 13 (latest full data available) to 631 million barrels.
          The weekly data hit an all-time high of just over 679 million barrels in February 2016, FGE said. If the declines continue, FGE said global product stocks could hit the top of the 10-year range, or 611 million barrels, in just three weeks.
          Still, they cautioned that much of the product strength was seasonal, and related to maintenance shutdowns that also diminished consumption of crude oil.

  16. Energy News says:

    OPEC crude oil stocks. Not much data available for OPEC inventories, just 6 members in JODI Data. I guess this does not include floating storage. The total is 340 million barrels for February, down 55mb from the peak.

  17. Enno Peters says:

    I have a new post on tight gas production in Pennsylvania, available here.

    • clueless says:

      Great Info! For those that are interested in general decline rates, your information indicates that in Jan 2017, on a per well average basis: 2015 wells are flowing at a rate of 48.5% of the 2016 wells; 2014 wells are flowing at a rate of 42.2% of the 2016 wells; 2013 wells are flowing at a rate of 27.8% of the 2016 wells; and 2012 wells are flowing at a rate of 18% of the 2016 wells.

      Now using that info, maybe there is a math genius on this site that, using that decline profile, can compute how many wells need to be drilled in 2017 to maintain level production. I think that they probably have to make an assumption, such as: assume that 1000 wells were drilled, ratably, in each of the years 2012 thru 2016. Obviously, I am interested in discovering the point at which, based upon the decline profile, that you have to start drilling more than 1000 wells, just to maintain level production.

    • Watcher says:

      Sub reqd:

      Here’s the google from fuelfix . . . the key quote:

      “You’ve had some deals struck where the company goes bankrupt and the executives do very well, and that’s wrong,” said Dennis McCuistion, executive director of the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance at the University of Texas at Dallas. “That doesn’t pass the smell test at all.”

  18. Energy News says:

    This free tanker tracking website has Saudi Arabia’s exports so far in April estimated at over 8 mb/day same as the estimate from Reuters.
    In the section = GOV STATS, April Middle East Crude Oil Exports: http://tankertrackers.com
    JODI Data OPEC exports chart on Twitter https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9uvMoqXYAQUQNT.jpg
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9uvJiEXkAAZOVd.jpg

  19. shallow sand says:

    Shale earnings season begins today, with HESS posting a loss of over $300 million in the first 90 days of 2017.

    There will be shale companies that show positive EPS in Q1, 2017. Most will then imply a forward P/E ratio of between 100-200. I’m am told by investors, however, that P/E ratios are irrelevant to shale because they are “growth companies”.

    • AlexS says:

      “P/E ratios are irrelevant to shale because they are “growth companies”.

      The same was said in early 2000s about internet/tech stocks

      • shallow sand says:

        Yep.

        • Watcher says:

          Have a look at Tesla’s P/E.

        • AlexS says:

          shallow sand,

          Like several other E&Ps, Hess reports crude oil and NGL production separately.
          I noticed that NGLs account for more than 26-28% of Hess’ total liquids production in the Bakken.
          Meanwhile, NDIC does not report any NGLs volumes for ND Bakken.
          The questions is if NGLs are included in NDIC’s crude oil numbers.

          • coffeeguyzz says:

            Shallow

            I don’t know if any state lists NGLs distinct from the Gas category.
            The processing takes place downstream and would be cumbersome to be accurate and timely.
            The ‘Gas’ category us the gross volume measured at the pad/wellhead and includes the liquids which are all in gaseous form at that point

            • AlexS says:

              coffeeguyzz,

              So you think NDIC classifies NGLs as “natural gas”?

              • coffeeguyzz says:

                Alex

                Yes. The monthly reporting from the DMR – like the other states’ that I follow – report only oil and gas values.
                The precise amount and components in the gaseous stream – ethane, propane, the butanes and pentane – vary significantly and are processed and tabulated in plants.
                One of the ND DMR presentations has an excellent, concise description of this aspect, I’ll track it down and steer you to it later tonight.

  20. shallow sand says:

    AlexS. I have no idea in response to your question.

    I see shale more like E Trade than Tesla. Viable business, just wildly overvalued.

    Tesla, not sure if viable. If it is, could be a home run.

    Look at a 20 year chart of E Trade. Thinking shale more like that.

    Full disclosure, I do not think comparing commodity producers to financial, tech, biotech, etc is a good idea. But many think there are comparisons that are notable, so if you can’t beat them, join them.

    We were discussing EPM, a CO2 oil producer with no debt, paying a 3.5% dividend witha P/E of 11-12. My suggestion, if management wants to raise the stock price, which has traded from $6-12, is to trade the 2000 BOPD of low decline oil production with total cost of $12 per BO, for 10,000 acres of Undeveloped Permian. Then issue $2 billion of new stock, and drill 300 shale wells in the next three years. A growth story made for Wall Street.

    • Ves says:

      Shallow,
      There are no fundamental difference between Etrade or Tesla or Shale. In debt based financial system the only thing that grows with certainty is debt.

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