Some types of vegetarian diet can raise heart disease risk

Researchers divided diets into 'healthful' and 'unhealthful' categories

“Being vegetarian isn’t always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease,” the Daily Mail reports. A US study found a vegetarian diet based on less healthy food options, such as refined grains, could increase the risk of heart disease.

The researchers behind the latest study made the point that many previous diet and health studies “lumped together” all types of vegetarian diets as plant-based, without considering the actual content of specific diets. And not all plant-based diets are healthy and nutritious.

The researchers looked at data involving 200,000 health workers from the US and tried to analyse any link between diet and coronary heart disease.

Overall a high plant-based diet wasn’t linked with a clear benefit for heart disease risk compared with a low plant-based/high meat-based diet.

When the plant-based diets were broken down and analysed further, the researchers found interesting differences.

Those eating a “healthy” plant-based diet high in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats were less likely to get heart disease than people eating “unhealthy” plant-based diets including foods like potatoes, refined grains and sweets.

While the study can’t rule out the possibility that other health and lifestyle factors such as stress, job type and education could have influenced the links, the association between unhealthy plant-based diets and heart disease is plausible.

The diet advice for vegetarians is the same for everyone else: eat a balanced diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, eat less sugar, salt, and saturated fat, and choose wholegrain carbohydrates where possible.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, AbbVie (a pharmaceutical company), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, all in the US. It was funded by the US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture/Blueberry Highbush Council and the California Walnut Commission, and Metagenic. One author has served on the Scientific Advisory Committees of IKEA, Take C/O, and SPE, and another is also an employee of AbbVie.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The Daily Mail’s reporting was generally accurate, but the statement claiming “refined grains and potatoes lead to a higher risk of cardio-metabolic disease” is not entirely representative. These were just two of a wide variety of foods included in the “unhealthy plant-based diet.” Neither does this statement account for the fact that there may be many other health and lifestyle factors other than diet contributing to coronary heart disease risk.

What kind of research was this?

This was a study pooling data from three large cohort studies of health professionals. It aimed to see whether consuming a plant-based diet or a diet including meat was associated with risk of coronary heart disease.

Coronary heart disease is the general term used to describe when the arteries supplying the heart become clogged by a build-up of fatty substances. Complete blockage of the arteries causes heart attack, a major cause of death both in the UK and worldwide.

A prospective cohort study is a good way of looking at the link between an exposure (such as diet) and an outcome (like heart disease) as you can examine a large number of people over a long period of time.

However, you are unable to control the diets or all other lifestyle factors that could be having an influence, such as smoking and exercise. A randomised controlled trial would be needed for this, but it is not really possible to make sure people stick to a specific diet for a long period of time.

What did the research involve?

The research included:

  • 73,710 women (aged 30 to 55 years) involved in the Nurses’ Health Study (1984 to 2012)
  • 92,329 women (aged 25 to 42 years) involved in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 (1991 to 2013)
  • 43,259 men (aged 40 to 75 years) taking part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2012)

This study only included participants who, at the start of the study, did not have coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Information on diet was collected every two to four years using a food frequency questionnaire. Participants recorded how often on average they consumed a specified portion of any of 130 food items in the past year. This ranged from “never or less than once a month” to “six or more times a day”.

Three versions of a plant-based diet were created from these questionnaires based on intake of 18 main food groups:

  • An overall plant-based diet index (PDI) was created by assigning positive scores to plant foods and reverse scores to animal foods.
  • A “healthful plant-based diet index” (hPDI) was created by giving positive scores to healthy plant foods such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, oils and tea. Both animal foods and less healthy plant foods such as juices, refined grains, fries and sweets received a negative score.
  • An “unhealthful plant-based diet” (uPDI) was created by giving positive scores to less-healthy plant foods, such as sweets, cakes, chips and crisps, and scores to animal and healthy plant-based foods.

The researchers looked at participant reports of coronary heart disease during follow-up assessments, and validated this through checking medical records. Deaths were identified through next of kin and a search of the US National Death Index.

Results were adjusted for the following confounding factors:

  • smoking
  • age
  • physical activity
  • alcohol
  • multivitamin use
  • family history of coronary heart disease
  • margarine intake
  • energy intake
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • body mass index
  • post-menopausal hormone use and oral contraceptive use in women

What were the basic results?

During follow-up 8,631 people developed coronary heart disease.

High adherence to an overall plant-based diet (PDI) showed a trend for reduced risk compared to low adherence to a PDI and a mainly animal-based diet, but this fell just short of statistical significance (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83 to 1.01).

However, when analysing “healthful” versus “unhealthful” plant-based diets separately:

  • Highest adherence to the healthy plant-based diet reduced risk of heart disease by 25% compared with a low adherence to this diet (i.e. consuming an unhealthy plant-based diet, including meat) (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.83).
  • Highest adherence to an unhealthy plant-based diet increased risk of heart disease by 32% compared with lowest adherence to this diet (i.e. consuming a healthy plant-based diet, including meat) (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.46).

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that a “higher intake of a plant-based diet index rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk, whereas a plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk.”

They further add that “dietary guidelines and lifestyle interventions could recommend increasing intake of healthy plant foods, while reducing intake of less healthy plant foods and certain animal foods for improved cardiometabolic health.”

Conclusion

This large pooled cohort study seems to demonstrate an association between a healthy plant-based diet and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and an increased risk of heart disease with an unhealthy plant-based diet.

This adds to the evidence base supporting the possible benefits of healthy plant-based diets in protecting against certain illnesses. However there are some limitations to the research:

  • The cohort included only health professionals from the US so might not be representative of wider populations in the UK or elsewhere.
  • The study can’t provide information on the benefits or otherwise of this diet in people with established coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer as these people were excluded.
  • The questionnaire was self-reported and asked for recall of food habits over the previous year so there might be some inaccuracies in reporting. Also, people might not want to admit to consuming less healthy foods – although if unhealthy foods were under-reported, this could have meant an even bigger difference in results.
  • Heart disease outcomes were mainly self-reported and then verified, so some cases may have been missed.
  • Although analyses adjusted for various health and lifestyle factors, there are likely to be many other confounding variables influencing likelihood of coronary heart disease, such as education, occupation or stress levels.

Nevertheless the study supports general understanding about the benefits of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of fat.

Eating a purely plant-based, but unhealthy, diet may be good for your conscience but not so good for the heart.

Read more about healthy vegetarian diets.

Analysis by Bazian

Edited by NHS Choices

Links to the headlines

Being vegetarian isn’t always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease. Daily Mail, July 18 2017

Vegetarian diets can lead to higher risk of heart disease, finds study. The Independent, July 17 2017

Links to the science

Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, et al. Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

[Source:-.nhs.uk]

This Master Barber Has Some Advice About Hair Loss

And also some pretty solid grooming tips.

Fellas, as we adjust to these warmer months of summer, it’s imperative that we understand how to maintain proper grooming as it relates to our hair and facial hair.

No matter how fly your wardrobe is, if you don’t look presentable or know how to maintain one of the most integral parts of our image, it’s pointless.

I asked a couple of guys to send us questions they wanted answered by AXE Hair master barber Pedro Rosario. I chatted with Pedro to get some grooming tips and advice based on what our readers wanted to know. Here is what he had to say.

BET: When guys shave their face, which method is better, razor shave or clipper shave, and why?

Pedro Rosario: Honestly, it depends on your skin. There are some men that, no matter how well they prep their skin or how good their razor is, they feel irritation. A clipper shave is never going to be as close as a razor, but it is the best way to avoid feeling razor burn or getting bumps. When done the right, a razor shave is amazing; it’s just not going to be appreciated by everyone because of sensitivity.

BET: How can Black men avoid ingrown hairs?

PR: One of the best ways to avoid ingrown hairs is to give the razor a break and buzz your face with clippers or an edger. Also, a good face scrub for a deep clean and to remove dead skin from your face.

BET: What is the best treatment for ingrown hairs?

PR: Unfortunately, one of the best treatments for ingrown hairs is a bit painful. You literally need to remove the hair out of the bump with a pair of tweezers. Once it heals, which takes a while, the skin will be much smoother with proper care.

BET: Is there a proper way to shave?

PR: There is absolutely a proper way to shave. Follow these steps:

  • Wash face thoroughly.
  • Use a hot towel/hot water to open pores.
  • Apply pre-shave oil.
  • Apply lather.
  • Shave with the grain, not against. It’s not as close but it will help prevent bumps.
  • Apply cold towel or cold water to close the pores.
  • Use a quality after shave and/or moisturizer.

BET: What do you recommend for men who suffer from hair loss?

PR: Losing your hair is a humbling experience for anyone. Your options are very limited if you can’t afford surgery. I recommend Axe Daily Thickening Shampoo as a day-to day-option as you fight the valiant fight. Its blended with caffeine and this gives your hair a thicker look and feel for easy styling.

BET: What’s the best product for post-shaving for Black men?

PR: Any good moisturizer or after shave works well. One trick I like using is an ice-cold towel to close the pores after a shave and to soothe the skin.

B: What treatment is there for Black guys who suffer from dry scalp?

PR: There are a few options to choose from. A few drops any tea tree, argan or Moroccan oil rubbed deep into the scalp after washing the hair once or twice weekly should work well.

BET: How can you tell when your barber has taken your hairline back too far? What do you recommend to correct it?

PR: You can usually tell when a barber pushed the hairline back a day or two after it starts to grow out. You’ll notice a slight shadow and a double line, the new one and the natural one. The best way to correct it is buy a hat, find a new barber and get a better shape up in a week.

BET: What is your advice when switching your haircut style and trying to stay ahead of trends without going too far left?

PR: When choosing a new haircut, its always best to consult with your barber and get their input based on your texture and head shape. They can guide you through a style change and keep you neat if you’re going from short too long.

(Photo: Westend61/Getty Images)

B: Without insulting any of your clients, what hairstyle or grooming trend do you think needs to be retired?

PR: The man bun. If you’re not a samurai or a yogi, it’s time to let it go.

B: Hair units for men, do you think this trend will last?

PR: I think that variations of hair replacements, paint jobs and any product that creates the illusion of hair will last until someone finally invents the magic pill that regrows hair. Men are vain even if we pretend not to be and our hair is part of our identity. I tell guys buzz it or shave it all off, join a gym, get a tailored suit and a nice pair of shoes and their confidence will be restored to the maximum.

[“Source-bet”]

The Nexus 4 is getting some CyanogenMod love with 14.1 nightly builds

If you are the type of person, who tends to form attachments to particular tech and don’t really feel like moving on or upgrading regularly, then chances are you have already found your perfect phone years back and are still with it.

If that is the case and taking into account you are currently on a tech-centric site, chances are you are familiar witch CyanogenMod and might even be running the custom OS. Then, you will also be happy to hear that despite the recent calamities over at Cyanogen Inc., the dedicated custom ROM group is still alive and well and constantly expanding its device reach.

The team appears to currently be working mostly on CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on the bleeding-edge Android 7.1 Nougat. Their dedication must really run deep, as nightly builds will soon be available for the four-year-old LG Nexus 4 (mako) as well. In the meantime, there is an experimental build already up and you can also get said software for a few other devices:

  • ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL (P024)
  • LG G3 (T-Mobile) (d851)
  • LG G Pad 8.3 (v500)
  • Nexus 5 CAF (hammerheadcaf)
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 AU (kltekdi)
  • Sony Xperia M (nicki)

If you are not in the know, however, it is worth noting that, like the name suggests, nightly builds come out on a daily basis and contain all the code the CyanogenMod team has been working on up until that point. That makes them inherently unstable and susceptible to bugs. That being said, if you plan on updating your main handset, you might be better off waiting for a stable release down the road. And another quick note to any Nexus 5 users wondering about the CAF notation in the list. It is there to indicate that only units running on a Qulcomm sourced CAF kernel can install the ROM. If that raises more questions than it answers, a quick Google search for “AOSP vs CAF” will likely clear things up.

source”cnbc”

Dropbox urges some users to change their passwords

dropbox logo sign

Dropbox is asking users who signed up before mid-2012 to change their passwords if they haven’t done so since then.

The cloud storage service said it was asking users to change their passwords as a preventive measure, and not because there is any indication that their accounts were improperly accessed.

Dropbox said it was taking the measure because its security teams learned about an old set of Dropbox user credentials, consisting of email addresses and hashed and salted passwords, which it believes were obtained in 2012 and could be linked to an incident the company reported around the time.

In July 2012, Dropbox said its investigation found that usernames and passwordsrecently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of of Dropbox accounts. It said it had contacted the users affected to help them protect their accounts.

The move by Dropbox comes in the wake of several breaches including that of LinkedIn in 2012, which has led to concerns that email addresses and passwords used by people across accounts could be used to compromise other services.

Starting in 2007 with a consumer focus, Dropbox, which allows users to store, access and share  files easily from a variety of devices, launched in 2013 its Dropbox Business service, its entry into the business market. The company claims over 500 million registered users, with over 200,000 businesses and organizations using Dropbox Business.

Users who signed in before 2012 and haven’t changed their password since then will be prompted by Dropbox to change it the next time they sign in. Users will have to set a stronger password with the help of a meter provided by Dropbox that measures its strength.

“If you don’t receive a prompt, you don’t need to do anything. However, for any of you who’ve used your Dropbox password on other sites, we recommend you change it on Dropbox and other services,” wrote Patrick Heim, head of trust and security at Dropbox, in a blog post Thursday.

Dropbox is also recommending that users use two-factor authentication when resetting their passwords.

On Twitter, a number of users pasted copies of emails they received from Dropbox about the password change.

source”gsmarena”

HP leaks some details on Intel’s Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake chips

HP Pavilion x360 hybrid

HP may have tried, but it couldn’t hold the secrets of Intel’s unreleased Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake CPU chips close to its chest.

Some details on the new chips were unintentionally shared by HP in the maintenance documents of an unannounced PC, the Pavilion x360 m1.

PCs with Kaby Lake—called 7th Generation Core chips—are expected to ship this quarter. It is a highly anticipated successor to Intel’s Skylake chips, with performance and multimedia improvements.

Asus announced the Transformer 3 tablet PC with Kaby Lake in June but didn’t share specific chip details. Lenovo and Acer will announce new Kaby Lake PCs at the IFA trade show starting at the end of the month.

The Pavilion x360 m1 convertible PC —which means it can be a laptop or tablet—can be configured with the dual-core Core i3-7100U running at 2.40GHz. The chip draws 15 watts of power and has 3MB of cache.

The Core i3-7100U chip details provide basic insight into the capabilities of other Kaby Lake chips. The chip has an HD Graphics 620 processor, which is capable of DirectX 12 gaming, and has high-definition video decoding built in. Intel has already said Kaby Lake chips will be capable of running 4K video.

The Pavilion x360 m1 can also be configured with an upcoming Pentium or Celeron chip code-named Apollo Lake. Both the Apollo Lake chips are surprisingly power-efficient and draw only six watts of power, which means long battery life.

The Apollo Lake chips are based on the Goldmont architecture, which was originally designed for Atom chips.

The Apollo Lake chip options for the Pavilion x360 m1 include Pentium N4200, which runs at 1.1GHz, but can go up to 2.5GHz, or the Celeron N3350, which can go up to 2.4GHz. The chips have 2MB of L2 cache.

Other specifications point the Pavilion x360 m1 to being a low-cost PC. It will have an 11.6-inch screen that displays images at 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, and will support DDR4 and DDR3 DRAM, depending on the chipset. It will support hard drives or SSDs. Surprisingly, it’ll include only 802.11n Wi-Fi, not the latest 802.11ac. It will have USB 3.0 and 2.0 slots, not a Type-C port.

source”gsmarena”

Facebook clarifies live video policy, will allow graphic video streams in some cases

151027 facebook headquarters 3

Facebook will allow its users to livestream violent or graphic video under certain circumstances, the company announced in a statement released Friday.

In the statement, the social media giant stated that, “if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it.” On the other hand, the company will not allow such videos to be used “to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting.”

“Live video on Facebook is a new and growing format,” the statement continues. “We’ve learned a lot over the past few months, and will continue to make improvements to this experience wherever we can.”

The story behind the story: Facebook’s statement comes in the wake of a series of high-profile incidents this past week in which police officers shot and killed two African American men and a gunman shot 11 police officers, killing five, in Dallas Thursday night. Social media has played a large role in documenting each of these recent events. In the case of of Philando Castile, who a police officer shot during a traffic stop, his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, used Facebook Live to document the shooting’s immediate aftermath.
[“source -cncb”]

Apple can’t hold up with the iPhone SE’s call for on line and at some shops

in case you’ve been attempting to shop for an iPhone SE these days, you may have been out ofsuccess with supply of some color/memory configurations scattered approximately Apple shops and Apple taking upwards of two weeks to ship iPhone SEs out.

The iPhone SE has a much higher call for than Apple definitely expected. It looks as if the go back of 2013 hardware with up to date 2016 internals have become pretty famous extensively way to the four-inch screen that had many customers truely trying to get an iPhone SE with a view to attain each cornerof the display with their thumbs.

the big apple availability for 16GB space gray iPhone SE
as an example, the space gray model with 16GB of storage appears to be pretty a famous model as thehandiest save in manhattan that currently has it in inventory is the flagship fifth avenue store. As well, if you want to skip the Apple shop altogether, ordering an iPhone SE online will take upwards of two weeks for shipping in the US in case you choose the usual transport.

If Apple doesn’t pick out up the tempo, they could be short of supply nicely into the summer. Summertime is vital for Apple as it sells many unlocked devices to worldwide customers who come to go to the us.

believe many people visiting to the us purchase an unlocked iPhone SE outright from the Apple keep. Ifthey could’t get one, they might doubtlessly pass for every other unlocked phone with the identical raterange in all likelihood thru quality buy stores whose choice of unlocked Android telephones is slowlydeveloping along the SIM-unfastened iPhone.

Finish

HTC 10 Lifestyle is the flagship for some unlucky regions

The HTC 10 Lifestyle will stand in place of the proper HTC 10 in some parts of the world, India so far confirmed. Much like the LG G5 in certain regions, the HTC 10 Lifestyle comes with a Snapdragon 652 chipset, where the Snapdragon 820 should have been, and it only gets 3GB of RAM and a single 32GB storage option.

The other downgrade is LTE speed, but it comes as part of the chipset package. As opposed to the HTC 10’s Cat.9 (450Mbps down, 50Mbps up), the 10 Lifestyle only gets Cat.6 (300Mbps/50Mbps).

The rest is thankfully all the same. That includes the 5.2-inch QHD Super LCD 5 display and class-leading camera setup. On the back that means a 12MP UltraPixel 2 shooter with 1.55 micron pixels, f/1.8 aperture, and optical image stabilization. Selfies get the OIS treatment too (that’s a first), resolution is 5MP and aperture is f/1.8 too.

The HTC 10 Lifestyle measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9.0mm and weighs 161g, which, you guessed it, is the same as the proper HTC 10. Battery capacity is 3,000mAh, there’s Quick Charge 3.0 support and a rapid is bundled, so at least HTC didn’t skimp on that.

We’re still waiting on detailed info on price and availability and an exhaustive list of the countries where the HTC 10 Lifestyle will be sold instead of the real deal.

[“source-gsmarena”]

Some Bakken drillers see greener pastures elsewhere

In recent years, North Dakota’s Bakken formation was synonymous with boom times. Crude production grew 10 times over, unemployment fell to a national low, and the state budget more than doubled as North Dakota’s coffers grew fat on severance and sales tax income.

But with crude prices down more than 70 percent at their recent bottom, some of the drillers who fueled the boom are pulling back from the Bakken.

Several exploration and production companies are no longer completing wells in North Dakota and are now turning to more efficient assets in other states. Analysts say the decision comes down to a number of factors, from the geology of the Bakken to incremental costs that producers once overlooked but can no longer ignore.

Continental Resources, the company that put the Bakken on the map, said last month that it had stopped completing wells in the formation, and Whiting Petroleum announced it would stop fracking there by April. Last October, Occidental Petroleum sold all of its Bakken assets to private equity firm Lime Rock Resources.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of breaking up shale rocks by bombarding them with water, minerals and chemicals at high pressure. The process can account for up to two-thirds of the cost of a well.

To be sure, it has long been drillers’ prerogative to look beyond their existing acreage, said David Tameron, analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. “It’s in their DNA. They have to look at greener pastures elsewhere, even if they’re sitting on the best black soil,” he told CNBC.

But he said there is one overriding concern about the Bakken: that the formation’s core areas are being drilled into terminal decline as producers seek to squeeze every last ounce of efficiency from their assets.

Indeed, the drilling and fracking that is continuing in the Bakken is largely concentrated in three counties in the northwest corner of North Dakota, IHS data shows.

This “severe high grading” impacts employment because drillers are preventing production from falling off dramatically despite completing fewer wells, said IHS analyst Raoul LeBlanc.

For crews to return to Bakken oilfields in significant numbers, oil prices need to rebound to the level at which it becomes economic to produce marginal wells, he said. Either that, or drillers need to be forced to plumb noncore acreage as their best wells dry up.

“When people say we’re going to be drilling here for decades, that may be true, but we’re not going to be drilling great stuff for decades,” he said.

Crude must fetch $50 to $60 a barrel in order for drillers to ramp up Bakken production, said North Dakota budget analyst Allen Knudson, citing the state’s consultations with advisors.

Exploration and production companies in the Bakken, like elsewhere in the United States, have built up a large inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells. These DUCs are essentially half-finished wells that can be fracked once prices recover enough to warrant bringing them online.

In the meantime, drillers face hurdles in the Bakken that were once negligible, but now take a bite out of thin margins. For one, the tax regime in North Dakota is more onerous than in Texas, analysts said.

The Bakken is also a relatively remote and young play, so producers face higher costs of bringing oil to market than drillers in Texas, which benefits from its proximity to Gulf refineries and expansive infrastructure. Much Bakken crude is still shipped by rail.

The cost of getting Bakken crude to market varies depending on the destination, but the differential is roughly $8 a barrel.

“It was kind of an afterthought at $90 a barrel. Whether it was 10 or 12 bucks, big deal,” Brian Velie, analyst at Capital One Securities told CNBC. “Those eight dollars are far more important than they were a year ago.”

RBC Capital Markets warned in a note this week that competition from international Brent brought in by boat and a lack of storage space could essentially trap Bakken barrels in the Midwest.

MORE PRODUCTIVE, BUT NOT MOST PRODUCTIVE

Bakken producers have wrung more production from their rigs in recent years, but drillers in Texas’ Permian and Eagle Ford formations have outpaced those gains, CNBC analysis of Energy Information Administration data shows.

In the Permian, drillers typically have five or six different zones where the lateral leg of a horizontal drill can land. Bakken formations usually have just two or three landing zones. That means Permian producers get more bites at the apple, making their assets potentially more efficient.

WPX Energy is one driller that appears to be betting on its assets beyond the Bakken, said Simmons & Co. analyst Pearce Hammond.

WPX entered the Permian Basin last year through its $2.7 billion acquisition of privately held RKI Exploration & Production. Soon after, WPI announced it would increase its rig count in the Permian from four to six. Meanwhile, it plans to operate just one rig in the North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation this year.

“The Permian is going to be taking on increased importance for WPX, but we still very much like the Williston,” said WPX communications manager Kelly Swan, referring to the larger basin that contains the Bakken.

For 2016, WPX plans to spend $175 million to $225 million in the Permian, $100 million to $125 million in the Bakken, and $75 million to $90 million in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin. The spending plan reflects WPX’s preference for a diverse portfolio, Swan said.

Hammond said he also expects Continental Resources to gravitate toward more economic wells in its Anadarko Basin acreage in

[“source-gsmarena”]

Some,Bakken,drillers,see,greener,pastures,elsewhere

In recent years, North Dakota’s Bakken formation was synonymous with boom times. Crude production grew 10 times over, unemployment fell to a national low, and the state budget more than doubled as North Dakota’s coffers grew fat on severance and sales tax income.

But with crude prices down more than 70 percent at their recent bottom, some of the drillers who fueled the boom are pulling back from the Bakken.

Several exploration and production companies are no longer completing wells in North Dakota and are now turning to more efficient assets in other states. Analysts say the decision comes down to a number of factors, from the geology of the Bakken to incremental costs that producers once overlooked but can no longer ignore.

Continental Resources, the company that put the Bakken on the map, said last month that it had stopped completing wells in the formation, and Whiting Petroleum announced it would stop fracking there by April. Last October, Occidental Petroleum sold all of its Bakken assets to private equity firm Lime Rock Resources.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of breaking up shale rocks by bombarding them with water, minerals and chemicals at high pressure. The process can account for up to two-thirds of the cost of a well.

To be sure, it has long been drillers’ prerogative to look beyond their existing acreage, said David Tameron, analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. “It’s in their DNA. They have to look at greener pastures elsewhere, even if they’re sitting on the best black soil,” he told CNBC.

But he said there is one overriding concern about the Bakken: that the formation’s core areas are being drilled into terminal decline as producers seek to squeeze every last ounce of efficiency from their assets.

Indeed, the drilling and fracking that is continuing in the Bakken is largely concentrated in three counties in the northwest corner of North Dakota, IHS data shows.

This “severe high grading” impacts employment because drillers are preventing production from falling off dramatically despite completing fewer wells, said IHS analyst Raoul LeBlanc.

For crews to return to Bakken oilfields in significant numbers, oil prices need to rebound to the level at which it becomes economic to produce marginal wells, he said. Either that, or drillers need to be forced to plumb noncore acreage as their best wells dry up.

“When people say we’re going to be drilling here for decades, that may be true, but we’re not going to be drilling great stuff for decades,” he said.

Crude must fetch $50 to $60 a barrel in order for drillers to ramp up Bakken production, said North Dakota budget analyst Allen Knudson, citing the state’s consultations with advisors.

Exploration and production companies in the Bakken, like elsewhere in the United States, have built up a large inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells. These DUCs are essentially half-finished wells that can be fracked once prices recover enough to warrant bringing them online.

In the meantime, drillers face hurdles in the Bakken that were once negligible, but now take a bite out of thin margins. For one, the tax regime in North Dakota is more onerous than in Texas, analysts said.

The Bakken is also a relatively remote and young play, so producers face higher costs of bringing oil to market than drillers in Texas, which benefits from its proximity to Gulf refineries and expansive infrastructure. Much Bakken crude is still shipped by rail.

The cost of getting Bakken crude to market varies depending on the destination, but the differential is roughly $8 a barrel.

“It was kind of an afterthought at $90 a barrel. Whether it was 10 or 12 bucks, big deal,” Brian Velie, analyst at Capital One Securities told CNBC. “Those eight dollars are far more important than they were a year ago.”

RBC Capital Markets warned in a note this week that competition from international Brent brought in by boat and a lack of storage space could essentially trap Bakken barrels in the Midwest.

MORE PRODUCTIVE, BUT NOT MOST PRODUCTIVE

Bakken producers have wrung more production from their rigs in recent years, but drillers in Texas’ Permian and Eagle Ford formations have outpaced those gains, CNBC analysis of Energy Information Administration data shows.

In the Permian, drillers typically have five or six different zones where the lateral leg of a horizontal drill can land. Bakken formations usually have just two or three landing zones. That means Permian producers get more bites at the apple, making their assets potentially more efficient.

WPX Energy is one driller that appears to be betting on its assets beyond the Bakken, said Simmons & Co. analyst Pearce Hammond.

WPX entered the Permian Basin last year through its $2.7 billion acquisition of privately held RKI Exploration & Production. Soon after, WPI announced it would increase its rig count in the Permian from four to six. Meanwhile, it plans to operate just one rig in the North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation this year.

“The Permian is going to be taking on increased importance for WPX, but we still very much like the Williston,” said WPX communications manager Kelly Swan, referring to the larger basin that contains the Bakken.

For 2016, WPX plans to spend $175 million to $225 million in the Permian, $100 million to $125 million in the Bakken, and $75 million to $90 million in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin. The spending plan reflects WPX’s preference for a diverse portfolio, Swan said.

Hammond said he also expects Continental Resources to gravitate toward more economic wells in its Anadarko Basin acreage in Oklahoma. On a conference call last month, Continental CFO John D. Hart said the company would put “greater capital focus” on those plays while deferring Bakken completions.

Continental became synonymous with the Bakken after founder Harold Hamm made his fortune on a bet that hydraulic fracturing could be used to turn the formation into a world-class play. Multiple calls placed to Continental for comment were not returned.

“Here was a company that was pretty much thought of as a Bakken producer, and more and more, I think it’s going to be thought of as an Anadarko producer,” Hammond said.

GOING BIG IN THE BAKKEN

For others, falling prices are a sign of new opportunities.

Chris Wright, CEO and founder of privately held Liberty Resources, expects his company to roughly double its Bakken acreage throughout the downturn.

He told CNBC the company has already started making purchases, some of which have expanded the footprint of its massive centralized oil production facility in Tioga, North Dakota, called Stomping Horse.

The self-contained facility was designed with efficiency and cost savings in mind. It can process wastewater on site, obviating the need to run trucks to and from the drilling site, and wells were intended to be fracked 10 at a time, to improve the network of fractures.

While the infrastructure build-out is proceeding full speed ahead, Liberty is drilling wells at a reduced pace, said Wright. It will likely drill 13 wells this year and frack about six.

“The prices are terrible, so we’re building all this stuff not because we’re getting rich selling oil at 30-some dollars,” he said. “We’re doing it because we’re going to be producing there for many years to come.”

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