Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the tag “Williston”

Increased interest in “The Overnighters” documentary – part 3 of 3

Flaring of natural gas. A common site in 2012 and 2013, but is rare today. Photo by James Ulvog.

There has been a lot more interest in my posts on “The Overnighters” documentary recently. This is the third and final part of this series of followup on the documentary. Previous discussions include my disclosures, and reporting with agendas.

This post will close with some lessons we can learn from this disaster.

Other articles

As I was looking for some source of the increased interest lately, I also came across some older articles I’ve not noticed before. Keeping in mind my extended discussion in part 2 about writing with agendas, these additional articles have a minimal agenda visible.

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Increased interest in “The Overnighters” documentary – part 2 of 3

Flaring of natural gas. A common site in 2012 and 2013, but is rare today. Photo by James Ulvog.

There has been a lot more interest in my posts on “The Overnighters” documentary recently. This is part 2 of my followup on the documentary. Previous discussion, including my disclosures, is here.

Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee. This will be a long read.

Reading a story when I know more than the reporter

It is fascinating to read coverage of a story when I have in-depth knowledge of the issue.

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Increased interest in “The Overnighters” documentary – part 1 of 3

Flaring of natural gas. A common site in 2012 and 2013, but is rare today. Photo by James Ulvog.

There has been a lot more interest in my posts on “The Overnighters” documentary recently. In particular, my 7/2/15 discussion of Where are they now? Follow up on people you saw in The Overnighters documentary has been getting a lot of page views. It has been running between 100 and 130 views a month for the last six months, with a peak of 217 views in January. Yesterday, 7/16/17, there were 62 views.

While those counts of page views are trivially small for the internet world, that’s a lot of attention to one of my posts, especially one that is two years old.

Did some searches online and cannot find what in particular is driving that growing interest. Did find a few things that I wanted to mention.

“Overnighters” streaming on Netflix in July and

running on lots of PBS stations

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Fire destroys Hedderich’s, a combination museum and antique store in Williston, N.D.

Photo by David Ulvog. Used with permission.

In a tragic loss to the beautiful downtown area of Williston, the approximately 120 year old Hedderich’s building was gutted by fire on July 10.

The building had been used as a department store until 1988 but in recent decades was a combination museum and antique store. The current building was constructed in 1918 (I’m not sure how that gets the age to about 120).

Photo by David Ulvog. Used with permission.

 

Visible condition morning after the fire

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Updates on Bakken

Gotta’ get that well back in production. Crew on workover rig working well after dark. Photo by James Ulvog.

Here are four articles providing a bit of background on what’s going on in Bakken.

You have likely noticed I have long relied on The Million Dollar Way for my education on oil in general and Bakken in particular. Just look at the source for the following four articles. That makes it sorta’ cool when on 3/22 MDW recommended my post Scratching my head at the geopolitical impact of fracking. Thanks for the mention!

2/19/17 – The Million Dollar Way – EURs – Bakken 2.0 – EUR means Estimated Ultimate Recovery, which is the total amount of oil expected to be extracted from one specific well.  Article says the EURs in Bakken were 300K early on. At the point I started paying attention, the EURs were in the 500K range with possibilities of 1,000K.

Article says Mike Filloon has been talking about 1.5M instead of 1.0M.

Now the article lists 14 wells with EURs of 1.5M up to 2.0M EURs.

Read more…

14 wells on one site southwest of Williston, the Atlanta wells – part 2 of 2

14 well pad next to Missouri River with Williston in distance. Photo by James Ulvog.

14 well pad next to Missouri River with Williston in distance, looking northeast. To find the pad, look for the light horizontal patch to the left of the bridge after the road crosses the left side of the river. Photo by James Ulvog.

Previous post described a well pad southwest of Williston that holds 14 working wells. These are referred to as the Atlanta wells.

I got some great pictures of the site from the air and from the ground on my recent trip to Williston.  Million Dollar Way just updated the production information for the 14 wells. So, decided to bring all that info together.

If you want to find this mega-producer, the address is 4750 141st Ave. NW, Williston. If you want to drive there, be advised the road off the 85 shown on Google maps isn’t there anymore. You will need to take a nearby side street. Coordinates are 48.109623, -103.729930 if you want to look them up on Google maps.  The pad is north of the Missouri River and west of the US 85 bridge over the river. 

Statistical data

The Million Dollar Way has been following these wells for several years. Check out this post for background and production data:

Here is some statistical data for the wells.

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14 wells on one site southwest of Williston, the Atlanta wells – part 1 of 2

14 wells on one pad, southwest of Williston. Photo by James Ulvog.

14 wells on one pad, southwest of Williston. Photo by James Ulvog.

There is one site southwest of Williston that holds 14 working wells. They are referred to as the Atlanta wells. Check out the photo above and following.

If you want to find these things, the address is 4750 141st Ave. NW, Williston. Coordinates are 48.109623, -103.729930 if you want to look them up on Google maps. It is immediately to the north of the Missouri River close to the bridge on U.S. 85 crossing the river. 

On my trip to Williston over Thanksgiving 2016 I was able to take some aerial pictures since I flew in on United flight from Denver, meaning we flew in to Williston from the south. I was also able to drive out to the site and take pictures from a public road immediately north of the site.

Six wells on east side of pad. Photo by James Ulvog.

Six wells on east side of pad. Photo by James Ulvog.

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Employment activity picking up in Bakken

'Spose that more of those things are why employment is picking up in North Dakota? Photo by James Ulvog.

‘Spose that more of those things getting to work is why employment is picking up in North Dakota? Photo by James Ulvog.

A few indications appear that employment may be trending up in Williston and the surrounding area. Also, the direction of people moving into and out of the state finally shifted to net out-migration in 2016.

12/18 – The Million Dollar Way – Job Shortage Looming in The Bakken – Pointer to following article describing an uptick in hiring for oil jobs in Williston. Biggest specific increase is for fracking crews, which need around 45 or 65 people for each crew.

Read more…

Random updates from Bakken

A new well is likely to produce about a million barrels of oil, compared to half a million from a well drilled several years ago. Photo by James Ulvog.

A new well is likely to produce about a million barrels of oil, compared to half a million from a well drilled several years ago. Photo by James Ulvog.

A few articles of late:

  • 2 hotels closed in Williston
  • Ground broken for new Williston airport
  • Each Bakken well now expected to produce a million or 1.5 million barrels of oil

9/27 – Williston Herald at Dickinson Press – Two Williston hotels closing their doors – An owner of two hotels with total of 105 rooms will be closing them this week. Both are on the market, for $3.0M and $3.2M. One of them reportedly had drugs sales and prostitution on site during the boom.

Don’t worry too much about capacity. There’s a huge number of hotels open in Williston, especially compared to three or four years ago. Also, those hotels won’t be going anywhere. When the drilling picks up, someone else can pick up those empty hotels for a real bargain. When the space is needed, they will be open.

10/10 – Amy Dalrymple at Oil Patch Dispatch – Williston Breaks Ground on New $240 Million Airport – Construction is underway for the new airport. It will have a 7,500 foot runway and four gates at the terminal. The new airport will be able to handle planes that can hold 165 passengers instead of the 50 passenger jets in use at the current airport.

Currently there are five daily flights into Williston, which is down from 11 at the busiest time of the boom.

12/4 – Million Dollar Way – The Bakken: How Things Stand Near the End of the Year 2016 –  The productivity increase in the last few years is staggering. Here are a few tidbits from the article, which is a survey of recent quarterly releases from the drilling companies.

Estimated Ultimate Recovery, EUR, is the amount of oil to be drawn from the well, I believe with only primary recovery. A few years ago (2011), the typical EURs were 550K barrels from middle Bakken and 450K from Three Forks bench. Read more…

Musing on oil prices and the oil industry; future for shale is looking good

Out of focus picture by James Ulvog.

Out of focus photo by James Ulvog. (Yeah, yeah, I know – don’t give up my day job.)

First article below says that predicting oil prices is a fool’s errand. The payoff of trying to do so, it seems to me, is it requires diving into the dynamics and trying to understand the production and demand aspects underlying the price of oil. Second article below delves into the dynamics.

11/28 – The Million Dollar Way – Musings on Shale as We Anticipate the “OPEC Meeting” – Discussion points me to the next article, which I would have missed otherwise.

Mr. Oksol agrees with the major points: OPEC’s effort (meaning Saudi Arabia) to shut down shale producers has been unsuccessful. They tried this once before back in the 1980s.

On the second point, he agrees shale producers will respond fast to any rise in prices.

Author agrees that the phrase “big bet” is an acceptable way to describe the Saudi strategy to take out shale producers but thinks a more accurate description would be “trillion dollar mistake.” As for me, either description works well.

11/28 – Mark Mills at Forbes – Shale Wars: Whither Oil Prices As Saudi Arabia Lets The Big Bet Play Out? – The author, to whom you need to pay serious attention if you are otherwise reading my blog, asks two questions on his way to sort out where oil prices are going:

  • How much damage has Saudi Arabia caused the shale drillers? In other words will they be able to respond to any change in prices are they out of the game.
  • If the answer is yes, how fast will shale drillers be able to respond?

Read more…

Visit to Williston during Thanksgiving 2016

November 2016 photo by James Ulvog.

November 2016 photo by James Ulvog.

Just got back from a visit to Williston to see family during Thanksgiving week. Had a delightful time. Even got to drive around the oil field a little bit.

Got lots of new photos. A lot!

I reeeeeeally lucked out and glanced out the window at just the right time.  Got a bunch of photos of the wing-toasting facilities at Ivanpah.

For example:

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. November 2016 photo by James Ulvog.

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. November 2016 photo by James Ulvog.

During the rain and overcast that start afternoon on Saturday and ran until around sundown on Sunday, the towers probably weren’t quite so bird-killing white-hot.

Drilling rigs

There is one rig in the city of Williston and two rigs a mile or two north of town.

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Crew camps in Williston back in the news

September 2015 photo of remote man camp by James Ulvog

September 2015 photo of remote man camp by James Ulvog

The city decided to approve a new set of rules to shut down all the crew camps. The operators are fighting back. Lots of news in the last few weeks with the September 1 deadline having arrived. Mayor proves in his public comments that he is engaged in protectionism, favoring two classes of housing providers over one other.

8/23 – Williston Herald – Commission is unanimous: Crew camps end Sept. 1 With the second reading, the law becomes official that crew camps within the reach of the Williston Commission must close by September 1, the buildings removed by May 2018, with the land reclaimed by August 2018.

8/29 – Williston Herald at Dickinson Press – Williston crew camp court fight to continue – Three companies that own crew camps will continue to fight in federal court.

Target Logistics says they have offered several compromise ideas to the city Commissioners, none of which have been revealed in detail.

Read more…

Updates on news out of Williston

2014 photo by James Ulvog.

2014 photo by James Ulvog.

A few updates on Williston:

  • Crew camps must close by 9/1
  • New airport has all the land needed for construction
  • You can actually find a hotel room in western N.D.
  • Former strip club reworking its image

Check out the by-lines. You will see the news out of the North Dakota oil patch I find most interesting typically has one name. How does one person generate so many good articles?

8/9 – Amy Dalrymple at Dickinson Press – Williston crew camps get Sept. 1 deadline to close – City Commissioners voted 5-0 to force all crew camps within their reach to close in three weeks, remove facilities by May 1, 2018 and restore sites by August 1, 2018.

Read more…

More on the topic of you-really-gotta’-follow-your-own-rules-when-making-laws. Williston City Commission edition.

Crew camp on north side of Williston that the city wants to shut down. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crew camp on north side of Williston that the city wants to shut down. Photo by James Ulvog.

Looks like the Williston City Commission is in deeper trouble on the crew camp issue.

Judge Hovland issued a preliminary injunction against the city’s rule to close all the man camps because he found it likely the city violated its own rules in passing the ordinance. Specifically, it is likely the ordinance should have received a super-majority vote of 4-1 under the city’s own rules.

Now, writer Rob Port has received a written opinion from the state Attorney General that the city commissioners violated the state open meeting law in their efforts to find a way to shut down the camps.

Read more…

Twists and turns in North Dakota energy

Photo by James Ulvog.

Photo by James Ulvog.

There is another hint of a whiff in the air that completion work in North Dakota may be picking up.

Federal injunction postpones shutting down all the crew camps within reach of the Williston City Commissioners. Hint of pushback from commissioners since the crew camps are now unlicensed.

Flaring in North Dakota has dropped dramatically in the last two years.

(Have you noticed Amy Dalrymple is the author of a large portion of the interesting reporting in North Dakota?)

6/25 – Amy Dalrymple of Forum News Service at Bismarck Tribune – Fracking jobs show signs of life in Bakken The signs of life are very small, but visible.

Job Service of North Dakota is reporting some new jobs getting listed for work related to well completion: fracking, workover rigs, and trucking.

Read more…

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