Everyone In Dickinson Needs To Start Reading Google News Stories

For the past eight years I have struggled to understand the mechanisms at work which cause things to happen in Dickinson, North Dakota.  It has been difficult for me to read what is reported in the Dickinson Press newspaper, and try to figure out the origin of these events well enough to be able to have an overall understanding of what is happening, and why.  My goal was to know what was going to happen, ahead of time.

I mentioned a month or two ago that I realized that I had relied too much on the Dickinson Press newspaper for my information.  There was so much more being reported elsewhere that the people in Dickinson really needed to know.  They could have been much better prepared for what was to come.

For instance, it was never pointed out to me by the Dickinson Press that one of the largest locally operating oil companies, Whiting Petroleum, had a stock price decline from $370/share in 2014 to $1.37/share recently in 2020.  This was something that we all needed to know in Dickinson.  Whiting Petroleum is one of the biggest employers in Dickinson, and many people in Dickinson receive oil revenue payments from Whiting Petroleum oil wells located on their property.

This morning I read on Google News Stories, that Whiting Petroleum has just declared bankruptcy, and their stock price went down to 37 cents/share:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/whiting-petroleum-files-for-bankruptcy-amid-oil-price-collapse

https://www.barrons.com/articles/whiting-petroleum-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-51585753208

Google, especially on people’s mobile phones, provides the top five or six news stories of the moment, that are most relevant to where you are located.  For me, a dozen times per day, when I look at Google on my mobile phone, they have oil industry news stories from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and many other oil industry journals.

Every day in this past month of March 2020, I have been reading in-depth expert analysis of international events, OPEC, Texas oil associations, Canadian oil industry and transport, U.S. legislation, Canadian legislation, oil company stock market price trends, oil company financial statements and loan debt, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, etcetera.  All of their indicators and predictions have foretold what eventually happened a few days or a few weeks later.

These very large news agencies have the budgets to allow highly intelligent journalists/investigators/analysts to devote all of their time to focusing solely on the energy industry, stock market trends, government legislation, and so forth.

Sometimes this is not easy reading, it is too complicated or incorrectly supposes some expertise on the part of the reader.  Fortunately, there are usually several different news agencies or industry journals that cover the exact same topic on the same day.

For at least two months, oil industry analysts have been pointing out that Whiting Petroleum had a huge loan debt, something like $2.2 billion, that was way out of proportion to both the revenue and the net worth of Whiting.  Much of this debt was becoming due in 2020, this was one of the main reasons why the stock price of Whiting dropped to $1.37 per share in March, that plus the price of oil dropping to $20 per barrel, and the coronavirus shut down of the economy.

The oil industry analysts have been going through the financial statements of all of the large and small oil companies.  It turns out, that nearly all of the oil companies involved in fracking over the last ten years, have spent and borrowed way more money than they have earned.  All of the oil companies involved in fracking had the belief that as long as they kept drilling new wells, eventually they would have a large enough revenue stream to pay off all of their debt, but that never actually happened for any of these companies, they all made this same mistake.

The price of oil dropping to $20 per barrel, the oversupply of oil that exists, the coronavirus shutting down the economy, has made everyone in the oil industry stop and look at what they are doing.  It is now universally realized, that the oil companies can’t continue doing what they have been doing.  Because of this, the stock price of two of the largest oil companies operating in this area, Continental Resources and Marathon Oil, have also dropped greatly.

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T052-S001-7-oil-and-gas-stocks-dangerous-waters/index.html

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/big-shale-borrowers-fast-track-100000698.html

What only a few journalists/investigators/analysts are writing about, is the oil company disaster that is coming if and when the Democrats ever win the Presidency, and a majority in the House or Senate.  The Democrats have said that they want to ban fracking, which is the only way to retrieve North Dakota oil.  Additionally, the Democrats may even initiate gigantic lawsuits seeking damages and reparations for supposed environmental damage caused by the fracking oil companies such as Continental Resources, Marathon Oil, Whiting Petroleum, and many others. How could all of these oil companies not go bankrupt with a ban on fracking and these lawsuits?

The future of Dickinson, North Dakota is being told by these daily Google News Stories.  The people here don’t have to be in the dark about what is going to happen.

2 thoughts on “Everyone In Dickinson Needs To Start Reading Google News Stories

  1. For the past month of March 2020, I’ve been warning mineral owners that I know, they should expect their wells to be shut down and possibly never produce again.

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    1. Rusty,
      I don’t think that most North Dakotans are prepared for what is going to happen. This is going to be much, much worse than the end of the 1978-1983 ND oil boom. The oil wells have to be shut-in because of the oversupply of oil, the pipelines are full, and the storage tanks are full, there is nowhere for the oil to be sent. Plus, the price of oil is way below the break-even cost to pump it, pay the royalties, maintain the well, pay the employees, pay the pipeline owner. Once these ND wells get shut-in, all that pushed out of the way fractured rock settles back in place. It’s too cost prohibitive to pull everything out and re-fracture these ND wells unless the oil price goes back over $100 per barrel.

      Right now Dickinson has many new apartments that are vacant, plus new homes and existing homes that are vacant. People will lose their employment, be unable to pay mortgages, be unwilling to pay mortgages when they owe more than their house is worth, be unable to pay rent, have to leave Dickinson, which means more vacant houses and vacant apartments, no homes selling, apartments unrented, real estate prices plummet.

      Some North Dakotans who made fun of the out-of-state people who came to ND looking for work, with nothing but a ratty vehicle with their belongings stuffed in plastic garbage bags, sleeping in the parking lot of Walmart or the Tiger Truck Stop, these ND Dakotans will know exactly what that is like when they have to travel far away to find any job they can get, with hardly any money left, not being able to afford to pay for a hotel or rent an apartment.

      But there might not be anyplace in the U.S. that is any better off than North Dakota in the coming months and years.

      Like

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