Thursday, July 2, 2015

So, What's Wrong With This Picture? -- July 2, 2015; Part IV

Natural gas fill rate: 69 (pretty low). Only 29 Bcf above the 5-year average. If it's a normal winter, everything will be fine. The big story is as fast as the industry produces natural gas, it's all consumed. Americans apparently can't get enough of it, as they switch from coal to natural gas. In the East Region, stocks were 98 Bcf below the 5-year average following net injections of 56 Bcf.

Weekly gasoline demand, link here

I don't think folks are aware of these three data points from the past week:
  • crude oil stores soared this past week despite forecast of a decline as producers cut back
  • refineries are working at near capacity 
  • gasoline storage is dropping like a rock
US producers continue to produce more than expected, refineries are working at full capacity, and gasoline stores are falling like a rock. Interesting, huh? But there's another story line. I'll come back to that later. First the graph on gasoline demand: holy mackeral:

The graph below is slightly more interesting. It appears that not only is gasoline demand increasing (as expected in the summer) but the surge is increasing earlier in the driving season this year. It's subtle but the data tends to support that assertion:

At the link, note also that ethanol production is dropping off very, very slightly, as expected. Folks have had it with ethanol. With motor vehicle fuel usage increasing, all things being equal, ethanol volume should also be increasing but it's decreasing. On top of everything else, I think folks forget that ethanol does not provide as good a mileage (MPG) as gasoline, or so I've been told.

I still think we're going to break a record for gasoline usage this August, 2015. 

I Love This Blog

Flashback!  This was posted back in November, 2014. I still love it (the post). I will have to update it for our current California adventure.

99 Things To Do; Bitchin' Is Not One Of Them

I saw that quote over at the Macrumors discussion board the other day. It's a great quote. I use it every time my wife complains about something trivial.

I thought of that when I went to check NASCAR to see the write-up on the finish of today's race, and saw a headline about "thousands turn out to protest Redskins' name at Minnesota game." My hunch is 99% don't even know what "redskin" refers to  (it's not what you think, at least not what I think you think).

So, let the thousands protest the Redskin's name. I've got 99 other things to do, protesting the Redskins' name is not one of them:
  • buy flowers for my wife -- done
  • pick up photos at Walgreens of our granddaughters -- done
  • read some more of my book on dinosaurs and birds -- done
  • watch Only Lovers Left Alive -- doing
  • follow today's NASCAR race on the internets -- done
  • look at UNP's share price over the past five years -- done
  • study investment opportunities -- doing
  • pour another beverage of my choice -- done
  • plan my trip back to the Bakken -- doing
  • thaw an Omaha Steak wrapped in bacon for dinner -- doing done (ready to grill)
  • blog -- doing
  • delete spam -- doing
  • ride my bike to local sports restaurant to check out NASCAR -- done
  • journal about the loves of my life (three of them; all female; two incredibly sexy; one incredibly beautiful; one incredibly young for being 56 years old)
  • sending photos of our granddaughters to my mom who lives on her own in the Rocky Mountains
  • reply to e-mail from readers
  • pour myself another beverage of my choice -- going to do in a few minutes
  • look at the picture of a whitetail that Don sent me
  • start preparing dinner for my wife and me; she should be home any minute; babysitting new granddaughter
  • continue watching Only Lovers Left Alive -- doing
  • plan agenda for daughter who arrives from Portland Tuesday
  • plan agenda for brother-in-law, his wife, who arrive from California Tuesday
  • watch one or two episodes of Big Bang Theory later tonight while eating dinner
  • watch a bit of Sunday Night Football later tonight
  • watch Lost In Translation at midnight
  • check in on the Broncos-Patriots game -- done (43 - 21; what a debacle)
  • write letter to bicycling friends in California, about cycling fun out here
Almost Forgot

I said this above: But there's another story line. I'll come back to that later. Again, here were the three data points:
  • crude oil stores soared this past week despite forecast of a decline as producers cut back
  • refineries are working at near capacity 
  • gasoline storage is dropping like a rock
Look at that first data point. Pundits forecast that crude oil stores would decline this past week; in fact, crude stores increased (in this environment, one might even say crude oil stores soared). So, what the story line? This: everybody thought US oil industry was dead, could not survive in this pricing environment. I am quite sure that producers are not increasing production to sell oil at a loss. Somehow, the operators are ekeing out a profit. Going down the food chain:
  • owners: maintain their pay; may or may not get their bonuses
  • workers: most will keep their jobs; not all; many will see pay cuts but at least will sill be employed
  • investors: currently disappointed, but there are opportunities going forward

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