Saturday, January 23, 2016

Clearing Out The In-Box -- January 23, 2016; The Entire World Is Under A "Snow Watch": Snowiest Day In NYC HIstory; First Snow In Taiwan In 80 Years; Hong Kong, No Snow (Yet) But Coldest Day In 59 Years


January 24, 2016: tweeting now, at 9:25 p.m. Central Time -- Local media: At least 60 dead in Taiwan due to record-low temperatures - CCTV News

January 24, 2016: earlier this month, SecState John "I served in Vietnam" Kerry announces sanctions lifted on Iran. On Friday, two days ago, largest Iranian mosque with thousands shout "Death To America"; and, today The Financial Times provides an update on the news report that Iran will buy 114 commercial jets from .... nope, not the US, but Europe -- 114 airliners from Europe. The Art of the Deal is probably a book neither Kerry nor Obama has read. 

January 24, 2016: the Kennedy clan may be on its/their way to Taiwan just to show the grandkids THERE IS SNOW! First snow in Taiwan in 80 years. Link at

January 24, 2016: the reports keep coming in from the US east coast -- snowiest day EVER in NYC, apparently. Forty-plus inches in West Virginia. The Kennedys don't believe this; they donated their sleds to charity years ago. Robert Kennedy, Jr, opined back in 2008 most kids in Virginia probably don't even own sleds and may never see snow again, or at least not much. 

January 24, 2016: it's cold in Hong Kong, also. So cold that they will close schools Monday. It's the coldest recorded in Hong Kong in 59 years. 

Later, 8:12 p.m. Central Time: it's official. Way over 20 inches in NYC, BWI airport, Washington, DC. Global warming, my foot. 

Later, 7:32 p.m. Central Time: it's official -- the snowiest day in NY city history. Atmospheric CO2 at 401+ (almost 402, a dynamic link). Who wudda thought? How are the Maldives doing? By the way, if atmospheric CO2 hits 402, that's almost a rise of 2 parts per million (0.0002%) change. It's hard to believe that 0.0002% is measurable, repeatable. statistically significant. Just joking. It isn't.

Original Posts

Alcoa Smelters

Reuters is reporting an update on Alcoa's US smelters.

Alcoa has four US aluminum smelters. It plans to close or curtail output at three of those smelters. If all the cuts go through as planned, Alcoa's only remaining US smelter would be its 130,000 tonne-per-year Massena West smelter, which "received" nearly $70 million in aid from New York state to keep running.

A smelter in Washington state, the 279,000 tonne-per-year Intalco smelter, was also on the chopping block. But ... whoa, hold your horses ...
The Intalco smelter was initially slated to be curtailed by the end of the first quarter, but Alcoa on Tuesday announced a delay until the end of the second quarter due to changes in energy and raw materials costs.
The smelter is run on hydropower from the Bonneville Power Administration.
The decision to be made will be based on the cost of electricity. And the aid package from Olympia, I suppose.  It will be interesting to see what Olympia and Bonneville come up with. I suppose some would call this corporate welfare. Whatever.

Coal Mine In North Dakota To Close
95 Employees To Lose Jobs

The Dickinson Press reports:
The Coyote Station switched suppliers and, in May, will start taking coal from a new North American Coal Corp. operation called the Coyote Creek Mining Co. now poised to dig just to the southwest of Dakota Westmoreland. North American is already the biggest coal operator in North Dakota with the Coteau Freedom mine north of Beulah and the Falkirk Mine near Underwood.
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Do Not Make Any Investment, Financial, or Travel Decisions 
Based On What You Read Here

From Seeking Alpha:
  • A new report from Sterne Agee CRT analyst Tim Rezvan suggests the situation for oil and gas E&P stocks is not as bad as the market fears for many companies
  • After studying liquidity positions of the E&P names under the firm's coverage, Rezvan concludes that only Chesapeake Energy, Gastar Exploration and Ultra Petroleum face potential credit issues prior to 2018
  • Conversely, Rezvan says Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum  maintain strong liquidity despite sharp equity underperformance and can withstand the reduction in credit facilities expected this spring from lending banks feeling stress in their energy loan portfolios.
  • The firm has Buy ratings on OAS and WLL, and Neutral ratings on CHK, GST and UPL
CBC News reports that Canadian Pacific Railway to cut up to 1,000 jobs as rail volume slumps.

Shell / BG merger will result in 10,000 jobs cut, reported by Rigzone.

Richard Zeits on Whiting, over at Seeking Alpha.
Going in 2016, Whiting expects to direct 90% of its capital budget towards drilling and completions.
The number of rigs that the company will end up running in 2016 is uncertain, in my opinion, given that drilling new wells in a sub-$30 price environment makes no economic sense.
As a reminder, Whiting had 24 operated rigs running at the peak in 2014. By mid-2015, the rig count was reduced to 11. Whiting dropped three additional rigs in September and was running 8 rigs as of December. The capex reduction benefit of the September reduction in the rig count will be felt in Q1 2016, once all the wells drilled by the three released rigs are completed.
Whiting has also reduced capital spending on its North Ward Estes EOR project. Lease operating costs were reduced substantially, as the company is now putting in the minimum contractual amount under its CO2 contracts and is essentially in a cash flow harvest mode.
The company has commented that it has the option of canceling two additional rigs at a total early termination fee of ~$10 million. Given the price environment, the cancellation may have already taken place.
Whiting has estimated its drilling and completion budget to decline to approximately $200-250 million per quarter, based on an 8-rig program.
Statoil Will Drill The Arctic

Bloomberg is reporting:
Norway’s Arctic ambitions just got a $7 billion boost from Statoil ASA.
Norway’s largest oil company was able to halve its expected development costs to keep alive its delayed Johan Castberg development in the Barents Sea.
The decision comes as welcome news for an industry that’s struggling with a deep plunge in oil prices and tens of thousands of job cuts. Statoil’s plans will also benefit other companies that have made discoveries in the Barents Sea, such as Lundin Petroleum AB with its Gohta and Alta finds.
Statoil announced that the project will proceed after it managed to lower estimated investments to 50 billion kroner to 60 billion kroner ($7 billion) from an earlier estimate of 100 billion kroner. The owners of the oil deposits, which include state-owned Petoro AS and Eni SpA, agreed on using a floating production, storage and offloading facility, with a final investment decision planned for next year and possible production start in 2022.
Statoil will seek to make the project even cheaper.
The decision breaks a string of delays for the project that has suffered from high costs, a tax increase and, most of all, a plunge in oil prices. It goes against a trend of cancellations of energy projects worldwide, not least in the high-cost Arctic, where Statoil and others have abandoned exploration plans from Alaska to Greenland.
Castberg, which holds as much as 650 million barrels of oil, was considered a breakthrough venture to unlock oil resources in the Arctic after Norway’s crude production has dropped by half since a 2000 peak. It’s also a welcome boost to the country’s supplier industry that’s being squeezed as spending is due to fall for a third year.
Geico Rock Awards

Another Geico Rock Award nomination, though, at best, he might get an honorable mention. We've heard this story so many times it has become a joke. Climate Depot is reporting that "warmist" Eric Holthaus says global warming is making this most recent winter storm worse:
Warmist Meteorologist Eric Holthaus: 'In addition to El Niño, human-caused global warming has helped lift current Gulf Stream water temperatures just off the East Coast to record levels.
Sea levels are rising in the Northeast at a faster rate than almost anywhere else on Earth, and climate change is already adding about a foot to each coastal flooding event, as it will with this one.
The extra boost from the warmer water is adding even more energy into this storm system, increasing the availability and transport of moisture toward land and producing more efficient wind gusts to the surface. In short, climate change is making this blizzard worse.'
Technically, this does not qualify for the Geico Rock Award but rules were meant to be bent. Ask Hillary.

Note that he calls it "global warming." I thought we had moved on from "global warming" to "climate change" to "extreme weather." I guess with the record East Coast snowstorm we are back to "global warming." It must be reassuring to the folks living on/in the Maldives, that sea levels are rising in the Northeast at a faster rate than almost anywhere else on Earth. I can't make this stuff up. Geico Rock nominations are tracked here.

Wasn't Supposed To Happen With All The "Global Warming" Talk

Granted, this is likely to be one of top five blizzards in NYC. [To be declared one of the top five, twenty (20) inches of snow must fall before the blizzard stops.] As I was saying, this is likely to be one of the top five blizzards in NYC, but I think what really has "made this storm bigger" in the minds of folks across the country is that "this was not supposed to happen." With all the talk of global warming and the Kennedys telling us our grandchildren wouldn't see snow, a lot of folks just cannot imagine all this snow. It simply doesn't make sense.

And, of course, coming on the weekend when news is slow anyway, this is perfect for the media.


Malagueña Salerosa, Kill Bill

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