Sunday, August 1, 2021

Note To Readers -- Notification Process Might Change -- August 1, 2021

The blogging platform that I use is "blogger app" owned by google. 

Some months ago I was notified that "blogger app" will no longer support some "subscriber notification" tool. I have no idea what this means, but possibly it means that folks who get notified that a  new blog has been posted will no longer be notified. I don't know. 

This will happen sometime in August, 2021, this month.

This is simply to let folks know that this will happen. I don't know what it means. The blog itself won't change, but apparently some e-mail notification application won't work after August. It's not your computer.

Who Saw This Coming? -- August 1, 2021

I've been traveling for a week or so. I haven't kept up with business news, but when I left more than a week ago, and still following the news, all the "experts" over at CNBC were suggesting that "Square" would be acquired by "someone."

Now this, what a shock! "Square" becomes the acquirer.

"Square" to buy Afterpay for $29 billion as "buy now, pay later" booms.

Link here

********************************
It's A Spending Problem; Not A Revenue Problem

Link here to The WSJ:

After several weeks of encouraging premieres, Hollywood’s return to the box office has struggled with middling performances topping the charts.

The latest example: Walt Disney Co.’s “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which premiered to $34.2 million in the U.S. and Canada.

While it is a top performer in the pandemic era, the opening continues an uncomfortable reality for Hollywood as it struggles to emerge from Covid-19: Box-office performances that are good in a pandemic year are still going to have a tough path to profitability. For a movie like “Jungle Cruise,” which cost more than $200 million to make, that is certainly the case.

I see the same problem with EVs.  Cost of production is going to really cut into profits.

*****************************
Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout

Link here.

  • delivered: 400,674,525
  • administered: 346,456,669
  • at least one dose: 191,498,983
  • fully vaccinated: 164,757,423

Pork: Who Will Blink First? -- August 1, 2021

This was perhaps the most interesting non-energy story last week. 

2018: Californians overwhelmingly vote to ban pork if it did not come from "humane" sources, with the law to go into effect in "early" 2022.

Fast forward, 2021: Iowa pork producers are starting the campaign to keep this from happening. 

Link to story here. Two readers sent me the link. 

The headline: bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect.

My not-ready-for-prime-time reply to one of the readers:

This is fascinating.

This is a "who-blinks -irst" story: Iowa producers or California voters.

My hunch: if the Iowa producers hold firm, the Iowa producers will win.

In the big scheme of things I find it a non-story.

Question: why bacon only (see headline -- this tells me this is an Iowa-pork-producer generated story). It will affect all pork products? Why bacon only?

1. If bacon/pork goes away tomorrow, I can live on beef and chicken for the rest of my life. Oh, I forget, and lamb.

2. The Iowa producers knew this was coming from as far back as 2018. It's a "who blinks first" story. Fun to watch but I have no sympathy for either producers or consumers. The latter voted for this; the former were betting that voters would change their minds by 2022.

3. One pig source said they have 300 pigs, but under new rules could only have 250 pigs. If everyone is in the same boat, I think those with 250 pigs will figure it out.

4. For breakfast, instead of three strips of bacon, two strips: healthier lifestyle.

5. Great headline story but somehow I think folks will work this out. Great headline but once I step back, I just can't too excited.

I wrote about this in 2016, two years before the California vote. 

More at Schwa Nation.

Coal Demand Spiking In 2021 -- Source -- August 1, 2021

Link here to ZeroHedge via oilprice.

Amid all the talk of global warming, climate change-induced catastrophes, decarbonization and green finance, the global trade in “dirty” coal is enjoying an ironic renaissance. Bulk ships are busy transporting coal to Asia — and to eco-conscious Europe — boosting freight income for some of the very shipowners who publicly tout their environmental bona fides to investors.

“Turns out the news of the demise of coal has been greatly exaggerated,” said Stifel analyst Ben Nolan in a new client note. “Despite an unseemly carbon footprint, coal demand is actually accelerating this year.”

Coal is transported aboard larger bulkers known as Capesizes (ships with a capacity of around 180,000 deadweight tons, as well as on sub-Cape vessels such as Panamaxes (65,000-90,000 DWT) and Supramaxes (45,000-60,000 DWT). 
According to Clarksons Platou Securities, Capesize spot rates averaged $32,800 per day on Monday, with Panamaxes at $31,800 and Supramaxes at $31,600. It’s rare in dry bulk shipping for all three segments to simultaneously top $30,000, as they have for the past five weeks.

“Strong activity in the coal markets as well as robust minor bulk volumes remain the driving force of elevated rates across the different asset classes,” said Clarksons.

The Financial Times recently pointed out that coal commodity pricing is outpacing both real estate and financial stock returns this year. The price of high-grade Australian thermal coal (used for power generation) had risen to $151 per ton as of Friday, more than triple its price last September, according to Argus. The price of semi-soft Australian coking coal (or metallurgical coal, used for steel production) was $127 per ton, up almost 80% year to date.

“Year-to-date thermal coal exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast, where exports tend to be very price- and demand-sensitive, are up 194%,” said Nolan.

Much more at the link.

Lego T2 Camper Van -- August 1, 2021

Link here.

Initial Production Data For Wells Coming Off Confidential List This Next Week -- August 1, 2021

The wells:

  • 37405, conf, CLR, Gale 12-32H, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 37606, conf, CLR, Carus 3-28H, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 37854, conf, CLR, Carus 14-28H1, Cedar Coulee, no production data,

Wells Coming Off Confidential List This Next Week -- August 1, 2021

Monday, August 9, 2021: 3 for the month, 14 for the quarter, 194 for the year:
37405, conf, CLR, Gale 12-32H,

Sunday, August 8, 2021: 2 for the month, 13 for the quarter, 193 for the year:

Satruday, August 7, 2021: 2 for the month, 13 for the quarter, 193 for the year:

Friday, August 6, 2021: 2 for the month, 13 for the quarter, 193 for the year:

Thursday, August 5, 2021: 2 for the month, 13 for the quarter, 193 for the year:

Wednesday, August 4, 2021: 2 for the month, 13 for the quarter, 193 for the year:
37606, conf, CLR, Carus 3-28H,

Tuesday, August 3, 2021: 1 for the month, 12 for the quarter, 192 for the year:

Monday, August 2, 2021: 1 for the month, 12 for the quarter, 192 for the year:
37854, conf, CLR, Carus 14-28H1,

Sunday, August 1, 2021: 0 for the month, 11 for the quarter, 191 for the year:
None.

Saturday, July 31, 2021: 11 for the month, 11 for the quarter, 191 for the year:
None.

Notes From All Over -- Clearing Off The Energy Editor's Desk -- July 31, 2021

I told the "energy editor" to take the day off. I would clear her desk.

US oil demand, May, 2021, link here:

  • 20.094 million bopd -- huge
  • compared to 2019: down only 1.4%; only 293,000 bopd less
  • compared to last year, 2020, the year of the pandemic: up 25%; up almost four million bopd
  • this is huge

New Mexico: oil output rises; signaling a modest shale recovery. Link here.

  • headline is lame
  • lede: New Mexico's oil production surged to a record in May
  • New Mexico produced about 4% more crude m/m to reach a record 1.22 million bopd
  • tops North Dakota for the third straight month
  • the Permian’s New Mexico is being favored over North Dakota, where higher production costs have historically curbed profits
  • U.S. oil production stood at 11.2 million barrels a day in May, nearly a million barrels a day less than the same month in 2019

Chevron: doubles down on returns

  • $2 - $3 billion share buyback, FWIW
  • raised dividend earlier this year
  • EPS: $1.71 vs estimates of $1.60
  • Tengiz budget of $42.5 billion unchanged
  • demand is almost fully recovered except for jet fuel

Plastics: propelled Exxon to its best quarter in more than two years; earned almost $5 billion

  • Exxon's petro-chemical unit: had its best 3-month period ever; delivered $2.3 billion in profits, nearly half the company's total; previously posted;

ENB: strong 2Q21; advances strategic priorities; link here. Beats estimates, link here.

Gasoline Demand -- July 31, 2021

Link here to see story and comments.

Dell Cannot Ship Some High-Power-Consumption PCs To Western States -- July 31, 2021

Two readers sent me this link today.

This is one of those articles that seems so incredible that a) it needs to be fact-checked; and, b) if accurate, we need to check back in on this one year from now.

If accurate, it suggests that either the grid is tighter/more fragile than we realize or the legislators are simply insane.

And if this is "where we are" today, how in the world can "we manage" EVs? 

I must surely be missing something. 

The headline:

Dell Cannot Ship Alienware PCs to Certain US States Due to Power Regulations.

From the linked article:

Sometimes the fight for energy efficiency and low power consumption takes rather ugly forms. High-performance desktop gaming PCs obviously consume a lot of power and their relative power efficiency is lower when compared to that of small form-factor systems. Which is why Dell can no longer ship some of its Alienware gaming desktops to California, Colorado, and some other states. There are a number of catches though. 

Dell's high-performance Aurora R10 and Aurora R12 (both Intel and AMD-based) desktops "cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states," a notice over the company's website reads. The reason why Dell cannot ship such systems to California is because the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted tighter appliance energy principles that outline a compulsory energy efficiency standard for PCs starting July 1, 2021, The Register reports. 

The new standards are largely based on Energy Star Computer Program and define power consumption of PCs (all kinds of PCs, including thin clients and handheld devices) in non-active states (short-idle, long-idle, sleep, and off) as well as their maximum power consumption per year. All types of power consumption are tied to the PC's expandability score (ES) (its concept was described by Energy Star several years ago) that takes into account things like high-performance graphics cards, system memory bandwidth, high-speed external ports, and other things.