Sunday, December 15, 2019

Notes From All Over, Part 1 -- December 15, 2019

Grinnell oil field has been updated: tracked here.

Actions have consequences: Remember those folks protesting crude oil pipelines on the west coast of Canada? Yeah, those folks.
They're driving into the US to buy cheap gasoline. LOL.

Link here. Data points:
  • prices at the pump in British Columbia have hit an all-time high
  • a fifth of BC drivers are now driving into Washington State for "cheap" gasoline
  • at some border crossings, two of five drivers have said they have visited the US solely to buy gasoline
  • British Columbia Utilities Commission did the study; unable to explain the difference in price between US gasoline and BC gasoline -- LOL -- they said with a straight face 
Sam Zell is buying distressed oil assets. Source.

WTI: tonight, 8:10 p.m. CT, Decebmer 15, 2019 -- $59.85.

The wrecking crew:

From the DVD, the Wrecking Crew

Politics:
The NY Times admits: when a GOP president resigns under threat of impeachment (Nixon), the system works. But when impeachment efforts against a GOP president fails -- and fails spectacularly -- the system does not work. By the way, it's interesting which articles The NY Times does not keep behind its pay wall. In other news, Senator Schumer is delusional if he things Mitch McConnell is going to let him (Schumer) run the trial. LOL.
Streaming television. Link here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/hulu-live-tv-prices-rise.
  • Hulu: will raise subscription costs from $44.99 to $54.99; ad-free versions, $60.99; most expensive live TV streaming service option currently on the market; second increase this year!
  • YouTube: $49.99/month
  • Sling TV: $25/month;
  • ATT: $50/month
  • Disney: $6.99/month or $69.99/year
  • Netflix: $12.99/month; premium, $15.99/month
  • Apple TV+: $5/month; $50, annual;
  • other streaming platforms falling by the wayside
  • Sony recently announced that it is ending their PlayStation Vue live TV service as of January 30, 2020;
Embarrassed much? EV manufacturers still not reporting sales.
We'll be reporting 2019 Q4 EV Sales beginning Thursday, January 2 and/or Friday, January 3, and continuing throughout the following week. However, it's important to note that there will still be some missing data since many automakers refuse to report EV sales. Nonetheless, stay tuned in the coming days as we'll be beginning to add automaker reported numbers to the chart for the last few months.
Note that BMW has decided for some time to no longer give model breakdowns or a final EV number, but rather a percentage decrease YoY, which has been huge in the last few months. But now, the automaker isn't even sharing its EV sales numbers/percentage at all. Still, i3 and i8 numbers will be official as reported by BMW.
Mercedes: after disappointing sales by other European luxury brands, Mercedes will delay launching US EVs until 2021; previously planned to launch in 2020; sources.

A Trifecta? A Turkey? A Hat-Trick? -- December 15, 2019

Berkshire Hathaway: Perhaps the best: one short of a golden sombrero. LOL.

I really don't care one way or the other, but only because his $130 billion in cash has everyone talking, I thought I would chime in. It's tough being at the top -- all of us peons taking pot shots at Warren, LOL.

Three strikes:
  • first, he missed out on a $5 billion acquisition of Tech Data; wouldn't get in a bidding war.
  • second, did he miss the biggest whale of them all, the $26 billion Ameritrade deal?
  • and now, third, one of his stars has abruptly (?) left Berkshire Hathaway. From Yahoo!Finance:
Buffett’s real estate brokerage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, lost one of its biggest stars to rival Keller Williams Realty -- in its own backyard.
The new office for the departing CEO of Omaha’s Real Estate Group, Jeff Cohn, and his 35-person team is just a 15-minute drive from Buffett’s five-bedroom home in Omaha, Nebraska.
Sunday night futures mean squat, as they say, but it's always nice to see green. Dow is up about 30 points in tonight's futures (6:03 p.m. CT, December 15, 2019).

Powerline: This Week In Pictures -- December 15, 2019

Link here for this week in pictures.

But, first things first, Dallas Cowboys at 3:00 p.m. CST. Today. Fox.

Until today, I never knew this was "a thing."

The real reason Rex Tillerson resigned. LOL. From BusinessInsider -- are you kidding?

TDS.


By the way, an obvious and appropriate reason for different size shakers.

The rest of the week in pictures, Powerline.

Trucking: 2019 Update -- December 15, 2019

Trucking.

Two stories. Same data.

First, the one from Fox: trucking companies failing at nearly the rate of 2018 -- link: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/trucking-companies-failing-at-nearly-triple-the-rate-of-2018. Poor on overall statistics and background.

Second, the one from The WSJ: trucking market will absorb Celadon shutdown.Whether it's accurate or not, the WSJ article seems to have more supporting data, better analysis.

Texas Chop House -- Very Little About The Bakken Except In Passing -- Grilling -- December 15, 2019

First things first: the Weber Vortex.

Texas steak: To the best of my knowledge I have never visited a "high-end" steak house. Last night, compliments of a reader, thank you very, very much -- I was treated to a 5-star evening at the Mercury Chop House in Arlington, TX, ninth floor overlooking the city and overlooking Dallas. A tremendous evening. I had the ribeye, something I don't recall having had in the past several decades. One needs to remember that I spent most of my life overseas where steak was seldom on the menu.

I had so much fun talking about the Bakken with my host (from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) that I had little time to fully appreciate the meal. With steak this good, I did not want to rush through it. I don't eat much at any one sitting to begin with, so, I had most of my ribeye to take home and enjoy while watching the Redskins - Eagles and sipping Japanese scotch. (My wife could not believe how good it was, and, said, yes, I could take here to the Mercury for our wedding anniversary. LOL.)


Later, Sophia comes over.

Some days it just seems life is too short.

The downside: I am now "hooked" on the Texas chop house. LOL.

My host last night: in another life he was a bartender extraordinaire. Now, a Bakken acolyte. We talked about family, life, and lots of Bakken. We didn't talk enough about our shared alma mater; next time, perhaps. The Bakken did not dominate the conversation. Scandinavian background; family; visits to Williston; and grilling. That's the reason for the "first things first, Weber Vortex" note above. We talked grilling about as much as anything else (except shale oil) but we didn't mention the Vortex. So, enough of that. A great evening.

By the way, speaking of bartending, my host corroborated all I understood about the martini, giving me two tips of which I was not aware. One of the two tips: the onion. The other tip: about the preparation of the martini with regard to vermouth. Very similar to what Churchill might have said. 

Idle Rambling On A Sunday Morning -- Thoughts On The Bakken -- December 15, 2019

First, this article from The WSJ: shale slowdown takes economic toll. I have not read the article yet. I will read it in a few minutes. These will be the story lines I will be looking for:
  • is the article "shale-in-general" or is it focused on the Permian
  • was all shale created equal, or is the Bakken different than the Permian and are the Permian/Bakken different from the other US shale plays
  • will the writer corroborate my thesis that the only US shale plays that matter right now are the Bakken, the Permian, and the Eagle Ford, and the latter is slip-slip-slipping away
  • does the writer understand the inherent nature of boom-and-bust in the oil patch
  • several years ago, it was said that the Bakken would be entering the "manufacturing stage" -- probably about 2016 or thereabouts
  • So, let's take a look at the article:
  • the byline: Midland, TX
  • the lede begins with mentioning the Permian by name
  • operators now focusing on profits over expansion
  • "the boom time is done at this point, unless oil prices go up significantly" -- senior economist at Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • the graphic, revenue change year-over-year, is hard to read
  • shows very well the effect the Saudi surge had on US shale from 2014 - 2017
  • shows very well the boom-bust cycle in the oil patch
  • CAPEX forecast to fall 6% in 2019
  • CAPEX forecast to fall another 14% in 2020, adjusted for inflation
  • jobs are being trimmed; leading to a 5% decline in seasonally adjusted oil-field service employment in the 12 months ended in October, 2019
  • Texas: energy-related employment dropped 2.1%, annualized, through September
  • North Dakota: energy-related employment dropped9 %, annualized, through October, 2019
  • Texas/New Mexico: regional unemployment at 2.4% in October, up from 1.9% in April, 2019
  • Permian workers:
  • hours cut
  • hotel occupancy in Midland has fallen 14% the past ten months compared to the year earlier
  • average cost of a room in Midland was about 55% higher last year (2018) than in 2017
  • silver lining: less employee turnover
  • companies have time to check references, etc
And then this near the end:
The slowdown is unusual because it hasn’t been driven by a sharp decline in crude prices, which have hovered around $57 a barrel this year. Rather, U.S. oil producers are paring growth and spending largely because many have struggled mightily to generate returns for shareholders and are facing tightening access to capital. Including reinvested dividends, a broad index of U.S. oil-and-gas companies’ share prices has fallen about 47% in the past three years as the S&P 500 index soared roughly 49%, according to FactSet.
“Investors are playing a large role here, and that’s the biggest driver of this cycle,” said Chris Wright, chief executive of Denver-based Liberty Oilfield Services Inc., which specializes in hydraulic fracturing. Companies such as Liberty that provide services or parts to shale producers have been among the hardest-hit by the pullback.
Takeaway / comments:
  • simply a snapshot in time
  • almost all of this pertains to the Permian; the Bakken went through the same (boom to manufacturing stage);  
  • looks more like moving into the "manufacturing stage" than bust following a boom;
  • 2020 will be a make or break year for many producers
  • 2021 and farther out: will depend more on the new administration in Washington, DC,  than almost anything else
  • the wild card is what Prince Salman does to prop up his hobby horse

The Enerplus Chili Pepper Pad In McGregory Buttes

The initial ten-well pad:
  • 34773, conf, Hidalgo 148-94-11C-2H-TF, McGregory Butes,
  • 34774, conf, Ancho 148-94-11C-2H,
  • 34775, conf, Santaka 148-94-11C-2H-TF,
  • 34776, conf, Thai 148-94-11C-2H-TF,
  • 34777, conf, Tabiche 148-94-11C-2H,
  • 34778, conf, Serrano 148-94-11D-2H
  • 34779, loc, Hatch .... 2H,
  • 34780, loc, Paprika .... TF,
  • 34781, loc, Chimayo .... 2H,
  • 34782, loc, Paprika .............TF,
Initial production.

#34778:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192378820466
9-20192252520910
8-20193386230170
7-2019414011944
6-2019176430


#34777:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192205418974
9-20192557823744
8-20191927017169
7-2019214311006
6-201997900


#34776:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-201950924381
9-2019995924
8-201951124555
7-201916321766
6-2019980


#34775:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192065517771
9-20192012018677
8-20191303211611
7-2019244261147
6-2019105230


#34774:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192022817403
9-20193280630453
8-20193598332059
7-2019430832023
6-201960200


#34773:
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-201987977568
9-20191795116664
8-20191757115655
7-201917130804
6-201915590

Production Data For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- Decebmer 15, 2019

Comments:
  • Enerplus Greek God wells are starting to come off the confidential list. These wells are tracker here.
**********************************
The Wells
 
36524, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 9-29-32H, Big Bend, no production data,

36173, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14H, Capa, no production data,

35902, conf, Slawson, Tempest Federal 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data, 

36172, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14CXD,  Capa, no production data,

34838, conf, Enerplus, Hera 149-93-33D-28H, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20193089225390
9-20193996835889
8-20192177014056
7-2019326741116
6-201990790

30178, conf, Slawson, Diamondback 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data,

36171, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14BXC, Capa, no production data,

35901, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 722-27 MLH, Big Bend, no production data,

34746, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 8B,  Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20193246879993
9-20192974858529
8-20193147678706
7-20192919867120
6-201935652051

36170, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14AXB, Capa, no production data,

34839, conf, Enerplus, Apollo 149-93-33D-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-201936673014
9-201973506600
8-201946733017
7-201916745572
6-201993370

33886, conf, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-8A-31-3H, Charlson, no production data,

34745, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 7T, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192564665219
9-20191859450696
8-20192693667983
7-20192915863299
6-201953464013

30177, conf, Slawson, Muskrat Federal 5 SLTFH, Big Bend, no production data,

36169, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-EXF,  Capa, no production data,

35900, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 2-222-27H, Big Bend, no production data,

36168, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14AXD, Capa, no production data,

35742, conf, Whiting, Ogden 41-9HU, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20193364433307
9-20192618817759
8-2019221660
7-2019396960
6-201942860

35899, conf, Slawson, Typhoon 149-93-07D-12H-TF,  Big Bend, no production data,

35337, conf, Hess, EN-Dobrovolny A-LE-155-94-1319H-1, Alger, no production data,

34778, conf, Enerplus, Serrano 148-94-11D-2H-TF, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192378820466
9-20192252520910
8-20193386230170
7-2019414011944
6-2019176430

34777, conf, Enerplus, Tabiche 148-94-11C-2H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192205418974
9-20192557823744
8-20191927017169
7-2019214311006
6-201997900

34775, conf, Enerplus, Santaka 148-94-11C-2H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192065517771
9-20192012018677
8-20191303211611
7-2019244261147
6-2019105230

34098, conf, Resource Energy Can-Am, Trooper 0409-1TFH, Blooming Prairie,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20199534455
9-20191130374

35336, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-LE-155-94-1201H-1, Alger, no production data,

35335, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-155-94-1201H-4, Manitou, no production data,

34096, conf,Resource Energy Can-Am, Trooper 0409-3TFH, Blooming Prairie,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-201911048382
9-20192265640

35334, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-155-94-1201H-5, Manitou, no production data,

35118, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 11-30 2BX, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20193042374638
9-201940929882
8-2019899619786
7-20191626936835

34843, conf, Enerplus, Boreas 149-93-33C-28H, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192378019545
9-201977977001
8-20192112213637
7-201922595771
6-201991040

34842, conf, Enerplus, Metis 149-93-33C-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20191877715433
9-20191861216713
8-201993336026
7-201914034479
6-2019105860

34841, conf, Enerplus, Athena 149-93-33C-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20191541312668
9-201943713925
8-201968144399
7-201917149585
6-2019133440

34840, conf, Enerplus, Zeus 149-93-33D-28H, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
10-20192005216481
9-20192225419983
8-20192410415563
7-2019402501374
6-2019200260

Wells Coming Of The Confidential List This Next Week -- December 15, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019: 70 for the month; 275 for the quarter:
36524, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 9-29-32H, 
36173, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14H,
35902, conf, Slawson, Tempest Federal 1 SLH, 

Sunday, December 22, 2019: 67 for the month; 272 for the quarter:
36172, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14CXD, 
34838, conf, Enerplus, Hera 149-93-33D-28H,
30178, conf, Slawson, Diamondback 1 SLH, 

Saturday, December 21, 2019: 64 for the month; 269 for the quarter:
36171, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14BXC, 
35901, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 722-27 MLH, 
34746, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 8B, 

Friday, December 20, 2019: 61 for the month; 266 for the quarter:
36170, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14AXB, 
34839, conf, Enerplus, Apollo 149-93-33D-28H-TF,
33886, conf, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-8A-31-3H,
34745, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 7T
30177, conf, Slawson, Muskrat Federal 5 SLTFH

Thursday, December 19, 2019: 56 for the month; 261 for the quarter:
36169, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-EXF, 
35900, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 2-222-27H, 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019: 54 for the month; 259 for the quarter:
36168, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14AXD, 
35742, conf, Whiting, Ogden 41-9HU, 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019: 52 for the month; 257 for the quarter:
35899, conf, Slawson, Typhoon 149-93-07D-12H-TF
35337, conf, Hess, EN-Dobrovolny A-LE-155-94-1319H-1, 
34778, conf, Enerplus, Serrano 148-94-11D-2H-TF
34777, conf, Enerplus, Tabiche 148-94-11C-2H, 
34775, conf, Enerplus, Santaka 148-94-11C-2H, 
34098, conf, Resource Energy Can-Am, Trooper 0409-1TFH,

Monday, December 16, 2019: 46 for the month; 251 for the quarter:
35336, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-LE-155-94-1201H-1, 


Sunday, December 15, 2019: 45 for the month; 250 for the quarter:
35335, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-155-94-1201H-4, 
34096, conf,Resource Energy Can-Am, Trooper 0409-3TFH

Saturday, December 14, 2019: 43 for the month; 248 for the quarter:
35334, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland A-155-94-1201H-5, 
35118, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 11-30 2BX, 
34843, conf, Enerplus, Boreas 149-93-33C-28H,
34842, conf, Enerplus, Metis 149-93-33C-28H-TF
34841, conf, Enerplus, Athena 149-93-33C-28H-TF
34840, conf, Enerplus, Zeus 149-93-33D-28H,

Color Me Embarrassed -- Two "Big" Stories I Missed This Past Week -- December 15, 2019

First things first: the Weber Vortex.

First story I somehow missed this past week: Harold Hamm steps down as CLR CEO; Washington Post. I somehow missed it. Geoff Simon probably mentioned it but I had not read his note for the week.
Harold Hamm is stepping down as chief executive of Continental Resources Inc. to serve as executive chairman, company officials said.
Beginning Jan. 1, Continental board member William Berry will take over as CEO for the Oklahoma City-headquartered company. Jack Stark, Continental Resources’ president, will also serve as its chief operating officer.
Hamm, the highest-paid CEO in Oklahoma in 2018, will remain active as chairman, founder and majority shareholder with about 77% of the company’s stock.
I’m not going anywhere,” said Hamm, who pioneered the use of fracking that was used to tap a massive domestic oil play in the Bakken formation in North Dakota. “I’m an oil finder and geologist at heart.
Berry has more than four decades of oil and gas experience. As an executive at ConocoPhillips, Berry oversaw its global operations, managing more than 10,000 employees and more than $12 billion in capital outlays.
Second story that I don't recall posting. Maybe I did but don't recall. Company statement:
Enbridge has paid dividends for over 64 years to its shareholders. In December 2018, we announced a 10% increase to our dividend per share, increasing the quarterly dividend to $0.738. This translates into $2.952 dividend per share on an annualized basis for 2019. Payable on March 1, 2019, to shareholders of record on February 14, 2020.
New story: popularity of bourbon booming -- WSJ. I'll come back to this later, perhaps.

New story: how Enbridge plans to grow in era of pipeline opposition -- Financial Times. Three low-risk projects:
  • joint venture with EPD to build a deep-water port near Houston; the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT)
  • joint venture with EPD to expand teh Seaway Pipeline by 200,000 bbls per day
  • will build a new 15-million-bbls crude oil storage terminal near SPOT

Saturday, December 14, 2019

US Wins Eighth Consecutive President's Cup -- Whoo-Hoo! -- December 14, 2019

Notes From All Over, Nothing About The Bakken -- December 14, 2019

First things first: on ESPN right now -- NCAA FCS quarterfinal -- #1 NDSU Bison leading unranked Illinois State, 9 - 0 in the second quarter. The Bison scored again just before the half, but they had to settle for their third field goal. Bison struggling. Clear holding call missed by the officials. Amazing. Link here. Late fourth quarter, Illinois will take the ball with the score, 9 - 3. NDSU is playing horribly. NDSU dominance on the line. Illinois starts on their own 20-yard line. Now 3rd and seven. Pass incomplete, 4th and seven. And there it is: NDSU stops Illinois. NDSU has a 35-game win streak -- longest all-time streak in NCAA FCS history. First time NDSU has not scored a touchdown in Fargodome since 2002.This kind of playing won't win them another championship.
  • NDSU: 13 - 0 / 8 -0
  • Illinois State: 10 - 4 / 5 - 3
  • Fargodome, Fargo, ND

The book I will be ordering for Christmas: The Anarchy, William Dalrymple, just released, September 10, 2019.
It's about the East India Company. There's a strong tie between William Shakespeare and the East India Company which makes it, at least for me, a huge find. So, opened a copy at Barnes and Noble to see if Shakespeare was mentioned. Yes, in the introduction (or first chapter, I forget), very first line, along with Hamlet. I checked the index for Sir Henry Neville. Not mentioned, but that's fine. Reading the first few chapters, first impression, excellent. As I got deeper and deeper in to the book I realized it was going to be a hard slog -- India's history is very, very new to me, and the names are difficult. But it's definitely one I need to read slowly.

I'll probably start reading it in earnest in the next couple of weeks. I'll provide updates.
Two clicks on Amazon. "Free." Cash back from purchases on the card throughout the year.

Cardboard boxes: huge problem, they say. I don't know, but there certainly are a lot of Amazon boxes on front porches. In the old days I would have bought the book off the shelf at the local book store and probably not even bothered with a plastic bag. Now, it arrives in a cardboard box. Minimal dollar cost to Amazon or the economy but huge environmental cost, they say.

Last mile, sources: FedEx and UPS are "being killed" by cost of "last mile" delivery. Jeff Bezos willing to spend whatever it takes. Amazon's "last mile" delivery has transformed itself many times in the past few years; seems to be able to turn on a dime (pun intended). USPS, UPS, FedEx seem slow to adapt. Everything from big old diesel trucks to high shipping costs for the consumer.

Politics: when Bernie Sanders is leading the polls in Iowa, one really has to wonder about Iowa. To me it suggests the Iowa economy is really, really hurting. Other than corn, ethanol, and liberal universities does Iowa have anything else? The poster child for the "fly over" states.

The Hill. I only read a bit of this, but it seems "right on."

WWI, redux: a reader sent me the link to this story -- America's longest "war." This is probably one of the very few stories that I will not read the comments. 

Top Stories Of The Week -- The Narrative -- December 14, 2019

The top stories for week 50 of 2019 have been posted; it still needs a little work but for the most part it is done.

Wow, what a week.

For investors: tectonic changes. I apologize for beating a dead horse, but this was huge: the Schwab-Ameritrade story. The story broke two weeks ago but seismic after-shocks continue. I may do a stand-alone post. It's that big a deal.

Politics: at the other end of the spectrum, politicians have "cheapened" the concept of "impeachment."

Texas: more and more "stuff" moving to Texas. Big names to keep in mind: Apple, Ford, Chevron, Schwab, McKesson, European Wax Centers.

**************************************
International 

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Aramco story is a non-story. A year from now it will be long forgotten. Remember: most investors around the world were not even allowed to participate. Valuations on this new company range from $1.2 trillion to $2.0 trillion. That's a pretty big spread.

Mexico; AMLO setting the stage for "president for life." Mexico will take the "road to Venezuela." US sanctuary cities will be overrun with immigrants. Story won't be reported.

Canada: really, really closed for business. When Chevron announced it was pulling out of Canada that pretty much said all there was to be said.

***************************
Investing

Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway -- sitting on $130 billion. Apparently no FOMO. Buffett likes:
  • highly capitalized industries, like railroads; huge tax benefits; write-offs;
  • banks; examples, BofA and Wells Fargo; stuck with Wells Fargo when morally/ethically should have sold;
  • energy companies, especially natural gas production, gathering, and transmission
He has said he is sitting on a huge cash hoard because everything is so overvalued. Looking at the entrails of the Schwab-Ameritrade story, it really, really looks like he missed  a whale:
  • TD-Ameritrade: everybody forgets about "TD" -- one of the biggest banks in the US; unique; innovative; really, really raises the bar that will now be part of Schwab
  • discount brokers were already cheap (under-valued) and then when Schwab announced commission-free trading, Ameritrade shares plummeted and Buffett failed to pounce; even Schwab/Ameritrade employees caught off guard; tells me that Buffett couldn't pivot fast enough; 
Quick: match column A with column B

Total Assets Under Management (AUM): the figures are not correctly aligned. Hint: Merrill Lynch is not #1.

Column A                           Column B
Merrill Lynch                   $1.3 trillion
Schwab                             $1.4 trillion
Ameritrade                       $3.25 trillion

Number of brokerage accounts (active): the figures are not correctly aligned. Hint: Merrill Lynch is not #1.

Column A                           Column B
Merrill Lynch                   $12.1 million
Schwab                             $12.0 million
Ameritrade                       $1.8 million

Asset growth y/y for Merrill Lynch, 2019 data: a negative 2 percent. That really, really surprised me.


**************************************
Bakken

Completion of another huge natural gas pipeline was a huge story.

It will be interesting to see if ND regulators approve the DAPL expansion.  Nothing surprises me any more.

Week 50: December 8, 2019 -- December 14, 2019

Memo to self: send note to Art Berman; wow, we haven't heard from him in a long, long time.

Narrative (a new feature): here.

Top international non-energy story:
Top international energy story:
Top national non-energy story:
Top national energy story:
Top North Dakota non-energy story:
  • Cold snap;
Top North Dakota energy story (many of the links are duplicated):
Geoff Simon's top North Dakota energy stories:
  • Oil production tops 1.5 million bopd
  • Elk Creek NGL pipeline now operational; will help reduce flaring;
  • CLR founder Harold Hamm steps down as CEO ("but not going anywhere")
  • No major impacts on Lake Superior from Line 3 pipeline -- AP
  • Hess receives approval for Bakken EOR
  • Watford City to provide law enforcement for City of Arnegard 
  • Watford City water rate going up 01%; had been subsidizing rates
  • America blows past the world in projected oil and natural gas production, 2020 - 2024
  • Ban fracking? Not gonna happen;
  • How Enbridge plans to grow in the age of pipeline opposition -- and connect Canadian oil to world markets; Financial Times;
Operations:
Fracking:
Pipelines:
Carbon capture:
Bakken economy:
Miscellaneous:

EV:

Friday, December 13, 2019

OPEC+ Cuts Help Operators Raise Production In North Dakota -- Helms-- December 13, 2019

See Director's Cut, October, 2019, data.

From S&P Global Platts: North Dakota oil output growth to improve moderately on OPEC + cuts -- state regulator. From the linked article:
Without a deeper OPEC+ cut, North Dakota production, which set a record of 1.52 million b/d in October, would likely have "flat lined" throughout 2020, Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources, told reporters Friday.
Helms said that the decision will likely lead to an increase in capital available to producers.
"It was going to be a struggle just to match this 1.5 million b/d," Helms said. The OPEC+ decision "should result in small increments of production growth through the year 2020."
North Dakota's oil output in October was up more than 74,500 b/d from September and more than 37,300 b/d from August, when the previous monthly record was set.
Roughly 72% of oil produced in October was shipped out of the state by pipeline, 16% was shipped out by rail, 6% was trucked or railed to Canada, and 6% was refined in state, the North Dakota Pipeline Authority said Friday.

Oh, So Close -- $59.97 For WTI Earlier Today -- Settles Solidly Above $59; Great News: Whiting Has Five New Permits -- December 13, 2019

Sources: NYMEX oil settles just above $60/bbl. 

Active rigs:

$59.7812/13/201912/13/201812/13/201712/13/201612/13/2015
Active Rigs5367514065

Five new permits, #37261 - #37265, inclusive:
  • Operator: Whiting
  • Field: Bully; Sanish;
  • Comments:
    • Whiting has permits for a four-well Borseth pad in Bully oil field; section 15-148-99;
    • Whiting also has a permit for a Feehan well in Sanish oil field; section 9-153-92;
    • After cancelling so many permits, nice to see Whiting some five new permits -- go Whiting!
Three permits renewed:
  • Hunt (2): two Palermo MCNIC permits in Mountrail County
  • Petro-Hunt: one Hurinenko permit in Dunn County

CNBC -- The Glass Is Half Empty -- December 13, 2019

Glass is half empty. I can't believe the negativity on CNBC. LOL . Maybe I will write about it later, but not worth the time now. Oh, by the way, for the archives: the US House judiciary committee voted along party lines to send articles of impeachment to the entire house. Sort of reminds me of those old westerns, mob rule and lynchings. But that's okay. We always enjoyed those westerns and knew how everything would turn out. To some extent, the action by by the committee reminded me of the Three Stooges, in this case, Jerry Nadler (Moe); Adam Schiff (Larry); and, Nancy Pelosi (Curly). We're all hoping that Clint Eastwood shows up in the US Senate (probably too much to hope for). See first comment.


Consumer spending? I was just downtown doing some Christmas shopping -- yes, Don and Kathy -- I have found you the perfect gifts and they will be in mail tomorrow -- inshallah. LOL. The common theme downtown -- it's going to be a huge retail season.

Here's where we live in our little 900-square-foot hovel (and I say that with thoughts of how lucky we really are):
What do folks want? Today, ATT (T) announces that it will raise its quarterly dividend by 2% and will retire $100 million worth of stock in 1Q20, and shares actually fall. What do investors want? LOL. T is already paying 5.32%. What do investors want?

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

Tethered vehicle subsidy: no link. If interested, I'm sure it's easy to find. If Congress is able to pass another tax bill soon, it is likely that they will give Tesla and GM a nice gift. The 200,000-EV-sales-threshold will be raised to 600,000. Both Tesla and GM have sold more than 200,000 EVs so their federal incentives are phasing out. If a tax bill is passed, look for Congress to triple the number of EVs eligible for the incentive. What a racket.

Schwab: setting the stage to dominate the brokerage world -- Barron's. I said this was a top story for the week. This story is simply huge. Data points from the article:
  • the deal took regular Schwab employees by surprise
  • $26 billion deal
  • rivals say they were caught off guard
    • E*Trade CEO thought Ameritrade would buy E*Trade, so very surprising
  • when brokerages drove commissions to $0, Ameritrade shares fell precipitously, giving Schwab an opportunity to buy Ameritrade, rather than E*Trade; prior to the fall in share price, the deal could have been a $30-billion deal;
    • "nicely done, Schwab, you crushed Ameritrade's stock and then went back in and bought it"
  • assets under management:
    • Schwab: $3.25 trillion
    • Ameritrade: $1.3 trillion
  • branches:
    • Schwab: 365
    • Ameritrade: 360
  • active brokerage accounts:
    • Schwab: 12.1 million
    • Ameritrade: 12.0 million
  • combined:
    • assets under management: $5 trillion
    • brokerage accounts: 24 million
    • custody services for 14,500 RIAs, nearly $2 trillion in assets; 40% of the market (say what, regulators?)
  • 2018: Schwab brought in more new money than Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and UBS combined;
  • Robinhood Financial mentioned
  • Schwab derived just 6% of revenue from trading before commissions went to zero
  • Schwab's earnings began to be negatively impacted when the Fed cut rates earlier this year;
    • Schwab had not expected the Fed to cut rates;
  • Ameritrade's active trader and options platforms are considered top-notch; 
    • Schwab is landing a big pool of advisor accounts
    • Schwab also gets an infusion of up to $10 billion a year in deposits from TD Bank and Ameritrade customers for 10 years
  • first thought: did Buffett miss a whale?
  • more consolidation expected
  • another takeover target: E*Trade
  • if E*Trade weakens further, Schwab could take a stab at it
  • more at the link
By the way, what did BK do this week? Not a great week, but the past year has been nice. LOL. See disclaimer. I don't own any shares in BK but I know someone who is a long-time investor in BK.

Does "monthly retail sales" include money spent on gasoline? I believe so. Gasoline prices were down significantly in November.

Untethered: "Montana Skeptic" returns to social media. This guy must really, really suffer from Musk Derangement Syndrome (MDS).

Wow, wow, wow -- in our backyard -- in Southlake, TX: Ozeki Ramen & Sushi Izakaya is now open in downtown Southlake. Wow, wow, wow. Izakaya? A Japanese pub.

Flaring In The Reservation Getting Worse; October, 2019, Production Data Posted -- Director's Cut

Webinar posted; see comments.

See S&P Platts, link here

North Dakota crude oil and natural gas production for October, 2019: there will be two headline stories this month based on this:
  • first: production bounced back very, very nicely after a horrendous September due to flooding, too much rain;
  • second: flaring in the reservation; not only is it worse than the state in general, but it is much worse, and on top of that, the trend is worsening, not getting better --
natural gas capture:
  • statewide, captured: 82% (81% reported last month)
  • statewide, captured: 
    • October, 2019:  2,524,405 MCF/day (preliminary)
    • September, 2019: 2,429,487 MCF/day
    • previous all time high was May, 2019: 2,287,761 MCF/day
    • FBIR Bakken:
      October, 2019, captured: 70% (was 79% in September) (75% reported two months ago, August, 2019)
A third, albeit a minor story: North Dakota officially produced more than 3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. That milestone appeared to have been broken in September, 2019, based on preliminary information, but it was revised downward, slightly, just less than 3 billion cfpd. This month, finally, a new milestone; 3 billion cubic feet per day, or approximately 500,00 boepd.

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Director's Cut: Data for October, 2019

Again, see disclaimer below.

Link here.

NDIC Director's Cuts are posted here



The Director's Cut
Data For October, 2019 
North Dakota Oil and Natural Gas Production

Disclaimer: usual disclaimer applies. As usual, this is done very, very quickly. It is not proofread. There will be factual and typographical errors on this page. If this is important to you, go to the source.

A huge, huge "thank you" to Lynn Helms and his staff at the NDIC getting this information out in a timely and transparent manner. I am not aware of any other state that does such a good job providing such data. 

Crude oil production:

  • October, 2019, preliminary: 1,517,796 bopd -- all-time high
    • revenue forecast
  • September, 2019, final, 1,443,980 bopd -- very, very wet September that impacted oil fields
  • August, 2019, final, 1,480,475 bopd (previous all-time high)
  • July, 2019, final: 1,445,934 bopd (previous all-time high)
  • June, 2019, final: 1,425,230 bopd (previous all-time high)
  • month-over-month: a whopping increase of 73,816 bopd (October-September)
  • month-over-month: an increase of 5.1% (October-September)
Gas production:
  • October, 2019, preliminary: 3,070,616 MCF/day
    • 82% capture
  • September, 2019, final: 2,946,391 MCF/day (note -- fell below the 3-billion threshold previously reported)
  • August , 2019, final: 3,014,419 MCF/day -- an all-time high
  • July, 2019, final: 2,944,816 MCF/day
  • June, 2019, final: 2,885,293 MCF/day
BOE, September, preliminary:
  • natural gas:  3,070,616 MCF/day = 511,686 boe
  • crude oil: 1,517,796 bopd
  • total boe, preliminary for October, 2019: 2,029,480 boepd
  • total boe for September, 2019: 1,934,963 boepd 
  • month-over-month increase/decrease: 94,517boe
  • month-over-month: an increase of 4.9%
Producing wells:
  • October, 2019, preliminary: 16,157
  • September, 2019, final: 16,115
  • August, 2019, final: (all-time high was 15,954, July 2019)
  • July, 2019, preliminary: 15,954 (another new all-time high)
  • June, 2019, 15,752
Permitting:
  • November, 2019: 79
  • October, 2019: 126
  • September, 2019: 92
  • August, 2019: 127
  • July, 2019: 141
  • June, 2019: 127
Rig count:
  • Today: 53 (all-time high was 218 on 5/29/12)
  • October: 59
  • September: 61
  • August: 62
  • July: 57
  • June: 63
Fort Berthold Reservation data partitioned out.

Completions:
  • October, 2019, preliminary: 91
  • September, 2019, final: 112 (revised up from 94)
  • August, 2019, final: 102
  • July, 2019, final: 137
  • June, 2019, 102 (revised, last month's report); revised again, now, 123
  • May, 2019, 113 (final)
Gas capture:
  • statewide, captured: 82% (81% reported last month)
  • statewide, captured: 
    • October, 2019:  2,524,405 MCF/day (preliminary)
    • September, 2019: 2,429,487 MCF/day
    • previous all time high was May, 2019: 2,287,761 MCF/day
    • FBIR Bakken:
      October, 2019, captured: 70% (was 79% in September)(75% reported two months ago, August, 2019)
Off line, to end of October, 2019: 2,568 -- about "average" for the Bakken --