Thursday, June 02, 2011

Drill, Drill, Drill = Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in North Dakota; Both Oil Production and Jobs Reach Record Highs

More than 11 million barrels of oil were produced in North Dakota during the month of March, setting a new monthly production record, and topping the previous monthly record high from last November by almost half-a-million barrels.  Oil production in North Dakota has doubled in just the last two years, and tripled since 2007 (see chart above, data here).  

A recent computer model using geological data from the state of North Dakota estimates that there is 200-300 billion barrels of oil in North Dakota's Bakken Formation, which is equivalent to the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.  Not all of the Bakken oil is recoverable, and estimates of recovery range from 3-50%.  

According to the state of North Dakota

"The Bakken play on the North Dakota side of the basin is still early in the learning curve. Technology and the price of oil will dictate what is potentially recoverable from this formation."

Along with the record production of oil in March, employment for natural resources and mining jobs in North Dakota reached a new record high in March of more than 14,000 jobs.  That's a doubling of the number of oil jobs in just 16 months since December 2009, at a rate of more than 20 new oil jobs being added every business day of the week for the last two years.  For the month of April, the jobless rate in North Dakota was only 3.3%, almost a full percent below the second lowest rate of 4.2% in Nebraska, and far below the national average of 9%.

18 Comments:

At 6/02/2011 10:23 PM, Blogger DL said...

Given a choice between (a) high unemployment and (b) displeasing the environmentalists and labor union activists, it's clear what Obama would pick.

 
At 6/03/2011 1:41 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

This is a good thing for a relatively poor, sparsely populated State. And, let's face it, every little bit counts.

However, we're talking approx. 355,000 bbl/day.

We're Importing about 10,400,000 bbl/day of oil, and oil products. Today's EIA Report


Jes, sayin . . . .

 
At 6/03/2011 1:56 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

We are Consuming 19,112,000 bbl/day of total liquids (these include Crude, NGL, Refinery Gain, Diesel, Gasoline, Jet Fuel, Kerosene, Bunker Fuel, Ethanol, Biodiesel, etc.) Consumption

355,000/19,112,000 = 0.0186 Or 1.86% of our total demand.

Like I said, it's a good thing, but we're going to have to do a lot more.

 
At 6/03/2011 2:11 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

BTW, it just occurred to me earlier today (so I haven't run the exact figures - but I will tomorrow) Iowa, a state that, as far as I know, doesn't have an oil well, gas well, or coal mine, and with a population approx 5 times that of N. Dakota is a Net Energy Exporter.

That's right, between their ethanol, and biodiesel production (mostly, of course, ethanol,) and their Wind Generated Electricity, approx. 10,000 Gigawatt hrs/yr they're producing more energy than they're consuming.

Plus, they're a very large Food Exporter.

And, the climate's not bad.

In the coming years there will probably be worse places to live.

 
At 6/03/2011 4:48 AM, Blogger rjs said...

ND senator wants mediation for oil land disputes
— North Dakota landowner and oil industry groups sparred Thursday about a proposed independent mediation board that would referee disputes between oil producers and landowners.
Those arguments will become more frequent as western North Dakota’s oil industry continues its development, Sen. John Warner, D-Ryder, said during a Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing on the legislation Thursday.

For a property owner to profit from oil production, he or she must own the land’s mineral rights, which can be sold or leased to an energy developer. It is common in western North Dakota for the ownership of surface rights and mineral rights to a parcel of land to be in different hands.

A mineral rights owner also has the right to go onto the land’s surface to drill for oil or dig for coal. North Dakota law already requires that landowners be compensated for farm production losses and damage to their property, but supporters of Warner’s bill say surface owners are still at a disadvantage in negotiations over damage payments, which the senator compared to “negotiating rent with a squatter in your living room.”

http://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/17886/

 
At 6/03/2011 5:33 AM, Blogger QT said...

Have to love democrats. How precisely is a legal transaction where mineral rights have been SOLD like a squatter who illegally occupies your home? The comparison does not add one iota of insight....now if you said that you rented out your daughter and wish to seek compensation when she was impregnated by one of the customers???

rjs,

Thanks for presenting the other side. Thanks also for a joke to start the day.

 
At 6/03/2011 8:26 AM, Blogger Bernie Ecch said...

Meanwhile according to money.msn.com American companies added fewer jobs than expected and the unemployment rate rose for a second month and is now 9.1%. 54,000 jobs were added in May, less than a third of the 169,000 expected.

 
At 6/03/2011 11:56 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Have to love democrats. How precisely is a legal transaction where mineral rights have been SOLD like a squatter who illegally occupies your home? The comparison does not add one iota of insight....now if you said that you rented out your daughter and wish to seek compensation when she was impregnated by one of the customers???"

*like*

 
At 6/03/2011 12:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That's right, between their ethanol, and biodiesel production (mostly, of course, ethanol,) and their Wind Generated Electricity, approx. 10,000 Gigawatt hrs/yr they're producing more energy than they're consuming."

I'm looking forward to seeing those numbers. I'm assuming you will adjust for the coal fired electric plants that use coal imported from other states.

By the way, while you're calculating percentages, maybe you have numbers handy for the percentage of US power produced by ethanol and wind. Those would also be of interest.

 
At 6/03/2011 8:59 PM, Blogger bob wright said...

QT:

Nice to see you again.
It seems like it has been a while.

It's funny how one can miss the comments of complete strangers after reading them for so long.

I trust you are doing well.

 
At 6/04/2011 12:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

For rufus this 18 month old piece from Popular Mechanics:
The Ethanol Fallacy: Op-Ed

 
At 6/04/2011 12:39 PM, Blogger Jay Queue said...

It's exciting that we have large untapped gas reservoirs in North Dakota. And God knows they need the jobs. This is not, however, a reason to abandon research and development in every other possible form of energy production. So I don't understand why your readers disparage ethanol, wind, solar etc. -- limitations and all, they are what they are. As one commenter said, "Every little bit helps." It simply is not an either/or thing. And even if we have gas enough to power everything that needs power, from toothbrushes to space shuttles, for the next hundred years, it still runs out in a hundred years. Regardless of how much is still available in the ground, it is ENERGY YESTERDAY. Or at best, if it's truly "energy tomorrow," it is NOT "energy day after tomorrow." Renewables need to be 100% viable and producing 100% of our power needs on the day oil and gas become no longer tenable. To start on them then would be WAY too late.

 
At 6/04/2011 2:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"This is not, however, a reason to abandon research and development in every other possible form of energy production"...

Oh did you not know that there are ongoing projects where some inane politico or some clueless tree hugger/root kisser isn't involved (for ego's sake) somehow JQ?

"As one commenter said, "Every little bit helps." "...

Which is totally untrue and has been shown time and again on this site and many others that putting corn into gas tanks or setting up expensive bird killers doesn't 'always' help...

"And even if we have gas enough to power everything that needs power, from toothbrushes to space shuttles, for the next hundred years, it still runs out in a hundred years"...

So what? I'm guessing all of us posting on this site today will most probably long dead in a hundred years, what's your point?

"Renewables need to be 100% viable and producing 100% of our power needs on the day oil and gas become no longer tenable. To start on them then would be WAY too late"...

YOU have no way of knowing what will be to late when...

Still if this is going to cost you sleepless nights consider the following project that looks good enough to some folks that they're actually using private money, not 'extorted tax dollars' to finance...

From PhysOrg: Company that transforms garbage into ethanol attracts big investors

For the past several years, Montreal-based company Enerkem has been working on a way to make ethanol from old utility poles and household garbage. Earlier this week, the company announced that they have received $60 million in new financing from the major independent oil refiner Valero and the trash-hauling company Waste Management. Total investment in Enerkem is now $130 million...

BTW JQ maybe ethanol really, truly isn't all that great of an idea: Ethanol production harms environment, researchers claim

 
At 6/04/2011 4:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jay,

"So I don't understand why your readers disparage ethanol, wind, solar etc. -- limitations and all, they are what they are. "

There are a number of problems with the "renewables" you mention, but what all have in common is that none are economically viable, that is, they all require substantial subsidies from taxpayers, and none can be scaled to anywhere near the size needed to replace any significant amount of fossil fuel.

When fossil fuel is no longer a viable solution,, those three won't step up to take up the slack.

I would suggest nuclear, which is one power source that IS a practical replacement for oil & gas, but I see by your profile, that you are opposed for some reason, so there doesn't seem to be any point.

I should point out that wind and ethanol are by no means new ideas, but have been used as fuel and to produce power for hundreds of years. Both had been abandoned as impractical, until the scent of free government money drew out hoards of rent seekers.

Solar may be viable for limited applications in the future, but is not even close now. Again, massive subsidies are required to make it work, and there are currently limits I don't see any way around, like the approximate 350 watt/sq. meter average energy from the sun. Current PC technology can convert about 40% of this to electricity, at best, so there is a need for vast expanses of panels to produce any meaningful amount.

When you start envisioning thousands of square miles of land being used, you start running up against various greens who don't want their favorite plant or animal to be annoyed.

"Renewables need to be 100% viable and producing 100% of our power needs on the day oil and gas become no longer tenable. To start on them then would be WAY too late."

And, there's the rub. The renewables you mention will not become viable, and will not ever produce all of our power needs.

I don't know what that future sources will be, but I do know that government attempts to promote energy sources, no matter how well intentioned, only bring out the rent seekers, and waste valuable resources on impractical ideas.

You may not agree, but I believe that as the need becomes greater, the market will provide a solution as it always has in the past.

 
At 6/04/2011 11:33 PM, Blogger Jay Queue said...

Right on. Utility poles in a landfill while food that could feed people becomes fuel is DAMNED dumb.

 
At 6/04/2011 11:59 PM, Blogger Jay Queue said...

Very good, well-reasoned points, Ron. This blog makes for very intelligent reading.

On the nuke thing, it requires huge subsidies as well, and the economic and health consequences of big mistakes can be disastrous.

 
At 6/05/2011 12:49 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Right on. Utility poles in a landfill while food that could feed people becomes fuel is DAMNED dumb."

I certainly agree that making fuel out of food is a dumb idea, and in my estimation, all taxpayer support for this artificial industry should be halted now, so it could die a natural, dignified death, rather than remain on life support.

I'm not sure what your point is about utility poles going to landfills. There are processes for recycling treated wood into other products, and I understand there's even a process for re-manufacturing them into new utility poles.

I don't know what the economic realities of making ethanol from utility poles is, considering the need to recover the creosote used as a preservative, and I don't know how large the supply would ever be. This use would have to be more profitable than the next best use for them, I guess.

 
At 6/05/2011 1:07 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"On the nuke thing, it requires huge subsidies as well, and the economic and health consequences of big mistakes can be disastrous."

I agree that nuke requires large subsidies at this time, but it is a proven technology, that is pretty much turn-key for our energy needs.

As for health and safety, I have no handy references, but I think that the nuclear industry probably compares well with other forms of energy production in that regard.

There are notable examples of problems, of course,, of such as Chernobyl, a well known design flaw, and of course more recently the Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, but overall the record is remarkably good.

Although usually told as a cautionary tale of the evils of nuclear power, Three Mile Island is actually a testament to the ultimate safety of nuclear power plants. Although several levels of failure occurred, the system ultimately worked as designed, by containing the damaged reactor. There were no injuries, no deaths, and no known subsequent hazards to health. What could be better than that?

 

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