Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Sunday, May 8, 2016

new maps of the Utica/Pt Pleasant "plays", oil inventory and rig count records extended, global rigs for April

as you know, the EIA was out with new maps of the Utica shale formation, and the Point Pleasant formation directly below it, earlier this week...i found that by copying the original EIA post, the map pictures would still appear, and better yet, clicking the links below the map pictures pops up the maps in separate window, complete with a zoom magnifier, so we can, for all practical purposes, get right down to identifying the characteristics of the formations that underlie our county and those adjacent to it...basically, each of the maps below has two notes below it; one for the sources of the information used in producing the map, followed by a note to "Click to enlarge"...it's that "Click to enlarge" that you'll have to click to get the large version of the map in a separate tab or window;…the large versions of the maps have a magnifier which enables you to zoom in or zoom out, giving a relatively clear picture of all the features on each, and when you zoom in, the otherwise faint county borders become visible...

EIA produces new maps of the Utica Shale play

map of major geologic and tectonic features in the region of the Utica play, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has produced new maps that show the structure, thickness, and geologic setting of the Utica Shale play and the location of production wells. Production of oil and natural gas from the Utica play has increased since 2011, with more than 1,700 wells drilled as of January 2016. The Utica play includes both the Utica formation and the deeper Point Pleasant formation, each with its own characteristics.
the first map, above, shows several of the geologic features of the northern Appalachian basin, mostly as they relate to the Utica shale, and the targeted area of it, which is shown with the blue shading..some of the oil & gas related literature includes the Point Pleasant formation, directly below the Utica, as part of the Utica, as apparently they can be accessed together in the same drilling / fracking operation...i'm unfamiliar with many of the other geologic features shown above, though the Rome trough, shown in magenta, is another deep formation including the Rogersville shale, occasionally mentioned as a target of drilling in Kentucky and West Virginia....the Ordovician outcrops are apparently areas where features of the same geologic formation that includes the Utica come to the surface...the Utica is a Ordovician era formation named after Utica, New York, where an outcrop of it was first described...and it's my understanding that the nearly parallel faults shown crosshatching most of Pennsylvania are the result of the counter-clockwise rotation of the North American plate as it moves to the WNW, which cracks as it's twisted, much as you would break up an ice cube tray...
The Utica play spans about 60,000 square miles across Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. The geologic characteristics of the Utica and Point Pleasant formations, which are discussed in EIA's update, are favorable for the accumulation and production of hydrocarbons.
The Utica map is one of several maps of low-permeability hydrocarbon formations that EIA updated with additional geologic detail. EIA has previously published updated maps of major geological and tectonic features for the Marcellus and Eagle Ford plays. EIA has also provided shapefiles for structure and thickness maps for the following: Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Abo-Yeso, Bone Spring, Delaware, Glorieta-Yeso, Spraberry, Bakken, Three Forks, and Niobrara.
map of subsea elevation to the top of the Utica formation, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge.


this next map, above, mostly shows the depth of the Utica shale in feet below sea level..note that the Utica is close to the surface in Canada north of New York, and in the area around Cincy...zoom in to our corner of the state, you'll see the Utica is 4,000 ft below sea level at the lake erie shore, in Lake, northern Ashtabula and Geauga counties, and in western Cuyahoga..it then falls to 4,500 ft below sea level in southern Ashtabula and Geauga counties, and to 5000 ft below sea level in Portage and Trumbull counties...to the south, we see that most of the wells drilled thus far in Ohio target the Utica 6,500 to 7,500 below sea level....if you know your own elevation above sea level, you should be able to figure out the depth from where you're at to the Utica....for instance, the Cuyahoga river south of Burton is about 1100 feet above sea level; that would mean that the Utica shale is about 5600 feet below the river...the elevation of Chardon is 1299 feet, while Lake Erie is 571 feet above sea level, so go figure..
map of subsea elevation to the top of the Point Pleasant formation, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge.
the next map (above) shows the elevation of the top of Point Pleasant formation, which is directly below the Utica, and which you'll note in the EIA notes below is more often targeted by Utica drillers than the Utica itself...unsurprisingly, then, we find top of Point Pleasant is 4,000 ft below sea level at the lake erie shore and in Lake county, and that it's at 4,500 feet below for most of Ashtabula and Geauga counties, and then it drops to 5000 ft below sea level in northwest Portage and Trumbull counties, and to 5500 ft below sea level to the south and east of there..also note both formations are as deep as 12,500 feet below sea level in southwest Pennsylvania, which probably means that it would take an expensive 14,000 foot deep well just to reach it from there...
The Utica is a stacked play that includes both the Utica formation and the underlying Point Pleasant formation. Currently, the deeper Point Pleasant is more often targeted for oil and natural gas drilling because it is more productive. Most of the more productive areas across the Point Pleasant formation footprint are in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Subsea elevation contour maps representing the top surface of each formation were developed with depth measurements from wells and outcrop data from the U.S. Geological Survey. These maps represent subsea depths and only roughly approximate drilling depth to reach the top of each formation.
The Point Pleasant formation is deepest in the southwest region of Pennsylvania, reaching subsea depths of more than 13,000 feet, and it is shallowest at the junction of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The Utica formation reaches subsea depths of up to 12,500 feet in a northeast arc though Pennsylvania and is also shallowest at the junction of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The most productive wells in the Utica formation are found at subsea depths ranging from 5,000 to 11,000 feet.
Structure maps not only provide valuable drilling information, but they also lend insight into the distribution of oil and natural gas throughout the play. Temperature and pressure, which are functions of a formation's depth, are key factors in the amount of oil and natural gas present in the formation.
map of thickness of the Utica formation, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge.



these next two maps show the thickness of each of those stratuses of organic shale, and where each contains rich organic matter, suggesting extractable oil or gas...above we have the thickness of the Utica shale, ranging from just 20 feet thick under the Cincinnati area to 220 feet in extreme northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania...the Utica is over 200 feet thick along the shore of Lake Erie east of Lorain to northern Geauga and Ashtabula, and between 160 and 180 feet in the rest of the region, except for two areas in Ashtabula where it's more than 220 feet... the thickness of the Utica where most Ohio horizontal wells have been drilled & fracked ranges between 100 and 180 feet...the areas with high organic content are enclosed by a green ellipse that includes most of the region....all else being equal, the thickest areas of shale offer the biggest target for fracking...for instance, we know much of the fracking of the Marcellus in Pennsylvania was in areas in the northeast which were 200 to 400 feet thick, and the Ohio thicknesses ranging from 25 to just over 50 feet is the reason there was little drilling of the Marcellus in Ohio...
below, we have the thickness map for the Point Pleasant formation (click the link below the map)..here we have a different layout than for the Utica, in that the thickest areas of the Point Pleasant are in Trumbull and Ashtabula county, generally ranging from 110 feet at the east and west borders to 130 feet in the middle of the county, with one area in Ashtabula near the Geauga border as thick as 150 feet...the thickness drops from there as we move west, with the thickness in the southwest corner of Geauga falling to 70 feet, and further thins to two areas of southern Portage county that come in at just 50 feet thick...most of the Utica wells in southeast Ohio are drilled in areas where the Point Pleasant formation is between 70 and 90 feet thick...the organically rich areas of the Point Pleasant on this map are enclosed by the violet circle, again including almost the entire region...
map of thickness of the Point Pleasant formation, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge
map of thickness of the Utica and Point Pleasant formations, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo, Inc., IHS Inc., the Appalachian Oil and Natural Research Consortium, and U.S. Geological Survey
Note: Click to enlarge.


in this last map, the combined thickness of the Utica and Point Pleasant shales is shown, presumably because any well drilled in this area will be targeting both formations at the same time...and here, the thickest areas are in our part of the state, ranging from a thickness of 245 to 265 feet in southern Geauga and eastern Portage county, to over 305 feet in northeast Geauga and at the lake shore...the combined thicknesses then rise to over 345 feet in parts of southern Ashtabula, and generally fall to 305 feet to the north and south of there...most of the horizontally drilled wells in Ohio that target these formations do so where the thickness is between 185 feet and and 245 feet, so our part of the state appears to offer the frackers a richer target than where they're drilling now...
Thickness maps (isopach) for each formation individually and for the Utica play as a whole were developed using observations from wells. The maps also show areas of high organic content, which is a factor in the amount of hydrocarbons in the rock. Like structure maps, isopach maps provide valuable drilling information because thickness of the reservoir is a key factor in determining whether, and where, to drill a well.
The Utica formation is thickest in western Ohio and the northwest corner of Pennsylvania at 200-300 feet and thins to 50 feet or less in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. The Point Pleasant formation reaches a thickness of more than 200 feet in central Pennsylvania and thins to less than 20 feet in the eastern half of Kentucky. The combined thickness of Utica and Point Pleasant is less than 100 feet in the area where Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky meet. The thickness reaches more than 300 feet in northwest and central Pennsylvania, and in northeast and central Ohio. Most producing wells are located where the formation has a thickness of 150 feet or more.
now, i dont know why our area, where the shale play seems to be the thickest, has not yet been targeted for the extensive drilling that the southeast part of the state has...it's possible that the shale in those areas have a higher hydrocarbon content than the shale in our area...it's also possible that they found a rich vein down there and stuck with it, not knowing that other parts of the Utica/Pt Pleasant might be richer...it's even possible that they stayed in poorer areas of the Appalachian foothills because the people there are less likely to fight drilling and fracking than the quasi suburban counties in this part of the state; area frackers are already on record saying they deliberately keep their wells away from the “big houses” of wealthy and potentially influential people...whatever the case, with these maps, it's now known by everyone who's paying attention that these north eastern Ohio counties offer a richer target than most other areas of the state...as we saw two weeks ago, Utica natural gas production growth is poised to overtake Marcellus gas growth this year...now the EIA has confirmed that the Utica will provide the US with most of its new natural gas in the future...and thus these maps tell us that we'll eventually have a fight on our hands to keep that gas from coming out from under us...
The Latest Oil Stats from the EIA
this week's oil balance sheet data showed the largest one week drop in our crude oil production in 10 months, which was almost matched barrel for barrel by an increase in our oil imports...still, despite a modest increase in the oil refined, we still had nearly 2.8 million more barrels of oil left than we could use, and hence set yet another record for the amount of oil we had stored at the end of the week...Wednesday's reports from the Energy Information Administration showed that production of crude oil from US wells fell for the 14th time in the past 15 weeks, but unlike prior weeks this year when the decreases in production were on the order of 0.1 or 0.2% of the aggregate, this week saw a drop of nearly 1.3%, as our output fell by 113,000 barrels per day, from an average of 8,938,000 barrels per day during the week ending April 22nd to an average of 8,825,000 barrels per day during the week ending April 29th....that's now 5.8% below the 9,369,000 barrels per day we were producing during the same week last year, and 8.2% below the 9,610,000 barrel per day peak of our oil production that was hit during the week ending June 10th of last year...
at the same time, our imports of crude oil rose by 110,000 barrels per day, from an average of 7,550,000 barrels per day during the week ending April 22nd, to an average of 7,660,000 barrels per day during the week ending April 29th...that was 17.1% more than the 6,541,000 barrels of oil per day we imported during the week ending May 1st a year ago, but the EIA's weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) reports that the 4 week moving average of our oil imports was still at the 7.8 million barrel per day level, which was 8.4% more than our oil import rate of the same four-week period last year...  
as we mentioned earlier, refinery processing of crude oil rose this week, after the odd slowdown last week, as US refineries used 15,986,000 barrels of oil per day during the week ending April 29th, 139,000 barrels per day more than the average of 15,847,000 barrels of oil per day barrels they processed during the week ending April 22nd...the US refinery utilization rate rose to 89.7% of operable capacity last week, up from a 88.1% capacity utilization rate during the week ending April 22nd...that's still below the 93.0% capacity utilization rate of the week ending May 1st last year, when US refineries were using 16,347,000 barrels of crude each day...
with more oil being refined, refinery production of gasoline rose to average 9,811,000 barrels per day during week ending April 29th, up by 303,000 barrels per day from our gasoline output average of 9,507,000 barrels per day during week ending April 22nd...moreover, that output of gasoline was up more than 7.2% from the 9,152,000 barrels of gasoline per day that we produced during the same week last year, a week when gasoline output was unusually depressed....at the same time, our refineries' output of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) fell by 33,000 barrels per day to 4,589,000 barrels per day during week ending the 29th, which was 381,000 barrels per day, or 7.7% lower than our distillates production during the same week of 2015...     
with that greater output of gasoline, combined with gasoline imports of 946,000 barrels per day, the highest gasoline imports in 8 months, our gasoline inventories rose again, increasing from 241,259,000 barrels on April 22nd to 241,795,000 barrels as of April 29th...hence, our gasoline inventories were 6.1% higher than the 227,852,000 barrels we had stored on May 1st last year, which was at that time the highest gasoline stores for the last week in April in EIA records going back to 1990...hence, our gasoline stores are still categorized by the EIA as "well above the upper limit of the average range" for this time of year...
at the same time, our distillate fuel inventories fell by 1,261,000 barrels to end the week at 156,970,000 barrels, as farm use of diesel fuel continues to be above last year's pace...however, because distillate inventories were already bloated after a warmer than normal winter reduced heat oil consumption, distillate inventories remained 20.0% higher than the 130,773,000 barrels of distillates we had stored at the same time last year, and thus they're also characterized as "well above the upper limit of the average range" for this time of year...
finally, when all was said and done, we ended up with an additional 2,784,000 barrels of surplus crude oil this week, and hence our stocks of crude oil in storage, not counting what's in the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose once again to a new record of 543,394,000 barrels as of April 29th, up from the record 540,610,000  barrels of oil we had stored as of April 22nd...that was 11.6% higher than the 487,030,000 barrels of oil we had stored as of May 1st, 2015, and 36.7% higher than the 397,576,000 barrels of oil we had stored on May 2nd of 2014....we've now increased our inventories of crude oil by by nearly 61.1 million barrels since the beginning of this year, while setting new records for the amount oil we had in storage in the US in 11 out of the last 12 weeks... 
This Week's Rig Counts


we also again set another all time record low for drilling activity in the US, as the rig count fell further below its previous record low for the 9th week in a row......Baker Hughes reported that their total count of drilling rigs running in the US was down by 5 more rigs to 415 rigs as of May 6th, which was also down from the 894 rigs that were working on May 8th of 2015, and down from the recent high of 1929 rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014... the count of rigs drilling for oil fell by 4 rigs to 328, which was down from 668 a year earlier, and down from the recent high of 1609 working oil rigs that was reported on October 10, 2014, while the count of drilling rigs targeting natural gas formations fell by 1 to a record low of 86, down from the 221 natural gas rigs that were drilling a year ago, and down from the recent natural gas rig high of 1,606 rigs that was set on August 29th, 2008... 
one of the rigs that was shut down this week had been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, meaning the Gulf rig count fell to 23 and the total offshore count dropped to 24, with the other offshore platform working off the Cook Inlet in Alaska...that was down from 33 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and 34 total offshore that were in use on May 8th of 2015...there was also a rig removed that had been drilling through an inland lake in southern Louisiana this week, which left the inland waters rig count at 3, up from the 2 rigs deployed drilling on inland waters last year at this time...
a net of 6 horizontal drilling rigs were pulled out this week, leaving the count of rigs drilling horizontally at 318, which was down from the 692 horizontal rigs that were in use on May 8th of 2015, and down from the recent record of 1372 horizontal rigs that were drilling on November 21st of 2014...at the same time, 2 more directional rigs were also stacked, leaving 44 directional rigs still working, which was down from the 88 directional rigs that were in use at the end of the same week a year earlier...however, a net of 3 vertical rigs were added this week, increasing the vertical rig count to 53, which was still down from the 114 vertical rigs that were in use nationally the same week last year...   
for the details on which states and which shale basins saw changes in drilling activity this past week, we're again going to include a screenshot of that part of the rig count summary from Baker Hughes, which shows those changes...
May 6 2016 rig count summary
the first table above shows weekly and annual rig count changes by state, and the second table shows weekly and annual rig count changes for the major geological oil and gas basins...in both cases, the first column shows this week's active rig count, second column shows the change in the number of working rigs from last week, the third column shows last weeks rig count, the fourth column shows the change in the number of rigs running from the same week a year ago, and the 5th column shows the number of rigs that were drilling at the end of that week a year ago, which in this case was May 8th of 2015...hence, you can thus see that the active rig count in the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas was down by 3 rigs to 37, which was down from the 105 rigs that were working that basin a year ago, while the Permian basin of west Texas saw 5 new rigs added, bringing that total up to 139, which of course was still down from 237 last year at this time..as a result, the top table shows that Texas added 3 rigs, and now have 188 still drilling, which is nonetheless down from the 379 rigs that were working in Texas a year ago... at least this week the Utica saw one of its rigs shut down, leaving just 10 in the basin and hence 10 rigs still working in Ohio, down from 24 last week at this time...the Baker Hughes state count tables do not indicate any change in drilling activity in states not shown above...
Global Drilling Activity During April
Friday also saw the monthly release of the international rig count for April, which unlike the weekly count, is an average of the number of rigs running in each country for the month, rather than the total of those drilling at month end....Baker Hughes reported that an average of 1424 rigs were drilling for oil and natural gas around the globe in April, which was down from 1,551 rigs drilling globally in March and down from the 2,268 rigs that were deployed globally in April of last year...as usual, most of the 127 rigs that were pulled out worldwide during the month had been drilling in North America, where the average number of rigs deployed fell from 566 in March to 478 in April...the US averaged 437 active rigs in April, down from 478 in March, and down from 976 in April of last year, while the Canadian average deployment was 41 rigs, down by more than half from 88 in March, and down from the 90 rigs that were working in Canada a year ago at this time...
the Middle East saw rigs pulled out for the 4th month in a row, after a run of 5 months when their drilling increased, as the region's activity was down by 13 rigs to an April average of 384, which was also down from the 410 rigs deployed in the Middle East a year earlier...however, the region saw an unusual increase of 12 rigs working offshore, bringing the offshore count back up to 54, same as their offshore rig count last April....Iraq accounted for 5 of the net rigs removed from the region, as they were were down to 43 rigs in April from 48 in March, and down from the 53 rigs that were drilling in Iraq a year earlier...the Saudis idled 4 rigs, which left them with 123 still active, which was down from 124 a year earlier...however, the Saudis have been averaging a deployment of 125 rigs throughout 2015 and 2016, an increase from their average of 105 rigs in 2014, when oil prices averaged twice as high, so they’ve been adding rigs as prices fell...other Middle East rig reductions in April were seen in Oman, down 2 rigs to 68, but up from 64 a year ago, and single rig cuts in Kuwait to 40, which was also down from 50 a year earlier, and in Pakistan, where they were down to 23 rigs but up from 22 rigs a year earlier...meanwhile, Qatar added a rig and now has 7, which is still down a rig from the 8 they had deployed last April...
meanwhile, the Latin American countries pulled out another 15 rigs, after pulling out 52 rigs in the first 3 months of the year, as the region averaged 203 rigs in April, including 36 offshore, down from the total of 325 rigs, which included 64 offshore rigs, that were active in Latin America in April of 2015....Brazil saw the largest pullback, as they were down by 9 rigs to 19, which was down from the 43 rigs that were in use in Brazil a year ago...Mexico idled 4 more rigs, after shutting down 12 in March, and they were hence down to just 23 active rigs, from the 67 rigs deployed in Mexico in April last year...in addition, Venezuela, Colombia and Trinidad all cut 2 rigs in April, that left Venezuela with 69 rigs, which was an increase from the 55 they were running a year earlier, left Colombia with just 2 rigs, down from 25 a year earlier, and left Trinidad with 5 rigs working, which was up from the 3 rigs working there a year ago....meanwhile, Argentina, which had cut their active rig count from 101 to 65 in the three months ending February, added 5 rigs in April after adding 3 in March, which brought them back up to 73 rigs, which was still down from the 107 rigs they had deployed last April...also, Venezuela added 2 rigs and now have 71 active, up from 62 in March of 2015...
elsewhere, the Asia-Pacific region had 179 drilling rigs working in April, down from the 183 rigs working the region in March, and down from the 228 rigs working the region a year earlier...both Australia and Indonesia shut down 2 rigs, leaving Australia with 6 rigs, down from 18 rigs a year ago, and leaving Indonesia with 17 rigs, down from 32 rigs in April of 2015...at the same time, the Vietnamese added 2 rigs and hence had 3 working, same as they had a year ago...rigs working on the African continent, meanwhile, fell by 1 from 91 rigs in March to 90 in April , which was down from the 120 rigs working the African continent last year at this time...Nigerian activity dropped by two rigs to 6, which was down from the 9 rigs working in Nigeria a year earlier...both the Ivory Coast and Chad saw their rig count drop from 2 rigs to 1; a year ago, the Ivory Coast had 2 rigs drilling, and Chad had 3...at the same time, single rigs were added in Algeria, Angola, and in Equatorial Guinea, which brought Algeria up to 55 rigs, down from 56 a year earlier, brought Angola up to 9, down from 15 a year earlier, and brought Equatorial Guinea up to 2 rigs, same as they had deployed last April...
lastly, the rig count in Europe fell by 6 rigs to 90 in April, which was down from the 119 rigs working in Europe a year ago at this time...Norwegian drillers idled 2 rigs which left them with 17 running, down from 18 in April a year ago...Romanians also shut down 2 rigs, leaving 4 still working, which was down from 12 in April a year earlier...the Brits idled one rig onshore and 1 offshore; that left them with no drilling on land, same as April a year ago, and 8 offshore, down from 15 platforms a year ago...Germans also cut a rig, leaving 4, which was up from the 3 rigs they were running last April, while the Turks added a rig and now have 29 active, down from 30 rigs last year at this time.....note that Iran, Russia, and China rig counts are not included in Baker Hughes international data, although China's offshore area, with an average of 26 rigs active in April, is included in the Asian rig totals here...   

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