Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Maybe A Reader Knows What Is Going On With MRO Zelda USA, Reunion Bay -- January 5, 2021

Something going on with this well? Maybe a reader knows. The well:

  • 33927, 4,722, MRO, Zelda USA 11-29H, Reunion Bay, t1/19; cum 250K 11/20; interestingly off line 11/20; F;

There are eleven wells on two neighboring pads; all are on pump except one according to the NDIC scout ticket. It's likely this well is also on a pump but the paperwork was not recorded. I don't know. Maybe it's the only well on this pad not yet on a pump. Right now, it appears that this well is also the only well on this pad that was taken off line in November, 2020. There is no sundry form explaining what might be going on. 

These wells are tracked here.

MRO Drilling The Wells On The Saint Pierre Pad -- A-B-C-R-2S -- January 5, 2021

On August 6, 2020, NDIC reported a new MRO permit: the permit --

  • 37776, loc/PNC, Ida USA: 1404' FNL 1795' FEL; SWNE 34-152-94, Antelope-Sanish oil field;

The wells on this pad will be running generally west to east. There are several MRO wells in the area that are running north to south and should not be affect by these new wells. However, I noted tonight that these older MRO wells -- all very good wells -- came off line 11/20. 

A look at the NDIC map revealed that MRO is drilling the wells on the pad where the Ida USA well was permitted (now canceled):

  • 37607, loc/drl, MRO, Saint Pierre USA 12-35TFH, Antelope-Sanish,
  • 37608, loc/drl, MRO, Robin USA 12-35H, Antelope-Sanish,
  • 37609, ros, MRO, Shoberg USA 11-35TFH, Antelope-Sanish,
  • 37610, loc/drl, MRO, Black USA 11-35H, Antelope-Sanish,
  • 37777, loc/PNC, Ida USA ...
  • 37611, loc/drl, MRO, Archer USA 13-35TFH, Antelope-Sanish,
  • 37612, loc/drl, MRO, Cavanaugh USA 11-35TFH, Antelope-Sanish, 

These wells are southwest of the Monson pad identified in the graphic at this post, but these wells are not pointed out that post. 

Notes From All Over -- The Market Is Closed Edition -- January 5, 2021

From my watch list:

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. 

Of the six in that list:

  • I am currenty directly invested in three;
  • I was invested in the three others but sold them quite some time ago;
  • Enbridge is perhaps the holding that I have had the longest; I haven't accumulated shares in ENB ever since the original investment maybe ten years ago;
  • most on that list have been real disappointments and I would have done much better with Tesla or Amazon

Fantastic: American Airlines joins Alaska Airlines -- it will no longer allow emotional support animals starting next week (week of January 11, 2021); link here.

I can guarantee you both American Airlines and Alaska Airlines completed exhaustive surveys before making their decisions;
From the article:  

Concern that passengers were fraudulently passing off their pets as the more loosely defined and fee-free category of emotional support animals is part of what prompted airlines to ask the DOT to review this issue;

The DOT rule was also prompted by an increase in service animal complaints from passengers with disabilities, misbehavior by emotional support animals, a lack of clarity around the definition of "service animal" and disruptions caused by "requests to transport unusual species of animals onboard aircraft," according to the DOT. 
Pigs and peacocks are among the unexpected animals that have previously flown as emotional support animals. 
American says existing bookings for emotional support animals will be honored only through the rest of the month. 
Starting February 1, 2021, American will require passengers traveling with service animals to electronically submit a DOT form in advance of a flight outlining the dog's behavior, training and health. Authorization is valid for one year or until the expiration of the animal's vaccinations.

Look At These Great DUCs Just Reported By MRO -- Jnauary 5, 2021

 The wells, DUCs reported as completed:

  • 36994, conf, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum --;
  • 37079, drl/A, MRO, Canon 21-15H, 33-025-03933, Chimney Butte, first production, 10/20; t--; cum 39K over 22 days; fracked 10/16/20 - 10/23/20; a moderately small frack with 6.6 million gallons of water; 72% fresh water by mass; 14% produced water by mass;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    BAKKEN11-202022388783867947220421932879210797
    BAKKEN10-202031630681137701368
  • 32434, MRO, Stillwell 21-13H, Lost Bridge, first production, 8/20; t--; cum 215K 11/20; previously posted, thanks to a tip from a reader;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    BAKKEN11-20203053105529831664986043817341019
    BAKKEN10-20203064940650212053985430784563024
    BAKKEN9-2020309038989900506361199941131421506
    BAKKEN8-20204635558564005810063581121
  • 37081, drl/A, MRO, Mollie 31-15H, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 37K over 22 days;
  • 37080, drl/A, MRO, Buxton 31-15TFH, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 54K over 28 days;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    BAKKEN11-20202853808533086766951763413116843

The Market -- Last Day Of The Santa Claus Rally; No New Permits; Eight Permits Renewed; Ten DUCs Reported As Completed -- January 5, 2021

Dow:

  • December 22, 2020, near the close: 30,013
  • January 5, 2021, near the close: 30,395
  • change: 1.2%

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. 

Miscellaneous:

  • the swing from yesterday to today: exactly what traders like
  • AAPL: new target -- at least one analyst has raised his target from $145 to $150 base on strong iPhone sales
  • but look at this: TSLA closed at $735; up $18 after the close ($18); and someone on the street has raised target to $815 or thereabouts; at $735, a market cap of $700 billion; at $815, a market cap trending toward $900 billion; Morgan Stanley, $810; bull case at $1,232;
  • T: struggling; could get worse before it gets better; I'm lovin' it -- watching T vs TSLS vs AAPL;
  • auto stocks: surging:

*************************************
Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

$49.93
1/5/202101/05/202001/05/201901/05/201801/05/2017
Active Rigs1355635439

No new permits.

Released from confidential status:

  • 36993, conf, MRO, Leiderbach 11-27H, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 29K first month;
  • 36994, conf, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum --;
  • 37093, conf, MRO, Ruggles 14-33H, Bailey, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 15K first month;
  • 37095, conf, MRO, Wiest 24-33H, Bailey, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 27K first month;
  • 37250, conf, MRO, Hoss 41-3TFH, Killdeer,  no data;
  • 37251, conf, MRO, McGowan 11-2H, Killdeer,  no data;
  • 37395, MRO, Wallentinson USA 44-8H, first production, 9/20; t--; cum 115K 11/20; huge well:
    DateOil RunsMCF Sold
    11-20204444856702
    10-20205085151105
    9-20202583829722

Producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:

  • 36994, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH, see above;
  • 37079, drl/A, MRO, Canon 21-15H, Chimney Butte, first production, 10/20; t--; cum 39K over 22 days;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    BAKKEN11-202022388783867947220421932879210797
    BAKKEN10-202031630681137701368
  • 32434, MRO, Stillwell 21-13H, Lost Bridge, first production, 8/20; t--; cum 215K 11/20; previously posted, thanks to a tip from a reader;
  • 37081, drl/A, MRO, Mollie 31-15H, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 37K over 22 days;
  • 37080, drl/A, MRO, Buxton 31-15TFH, Chimney Butte, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 54K over 28 days;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    BAKKEN11-20202853808533086766951763413116843
  • 35016, SI/A, BR, Lillibridge 3A MBH-R, Blue Buttes, no production data,
  • 33623, drl/A, Slawson, Gunslinger Federal 5-1-12H, Sand Creek, no production data,
  • 33841, drl/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Tami 5-8-5-157N-99W, Lone Tree Lake, no production data,
  • 34678, drl/A, EOG, Clarks Creek 63-0717H, Antelope-Sanish, first production, 11/20; t--; cum 37K over 28 days;
    PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
    SANISH11-20202836860366333145971376704641
  • 33838, drl/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Tami 9-8-5-157N-99W, Lone Tree Lake, no data;

Permit renewals:

  • 30464, CLR, Entzel 3-26H, Cabernet,
  • 30465, CLR, Entzel 2-26H, Cabernet,
  • 35920, CLR, Chloe 7-20H1, East Fork,
  • 35921, CLR, Chloe 6-20H, East Fork,
  • 35922, CLR, Chloe 5-20H1, East Fork,
  • 35923, CLR, Chloe, 4-20H, East Fork,
  • 35924, CLR, Chloe 3-20H1, East Fork,
  • 35925, CLR, Chloe 2-20H, East Fork,

Airlines

Mergers in the offing? Link here. 

  • United and Jet Blue
  • Allegient, Frontier and Spirit could merge; 
    • these three airlines have a 3% market share, maybe a little more now since they are so domestic
    • they could be a really terrific competitor to the Big Four because they are so low cost and their so domestic and leisure focused.

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.

The big four now includes Southwest Airlines. Pretty amazing. The other three, of course: American Airlines, Delta, and United. 

The list of "defunct" airlines in the United States is so long, wiki had to break the article into pieces.  

List of "defunct" oil companies? Wiki lists at least 82 pages.

So, What Now? January 5, 2021

A reader asked via a comment:

For the sake of my question, let's assume fracking is banned, either on Federal land only, or more, whatever. Is there a chance or opportunity to then try and get producing wells to be shut down, plugged, closed. 
In other words, ban fracking first, move on to "banning" producing wells. 
2nd question: if fracking was banned, wouldn't it be [reversed] the next time [a GOP] house/senate/prez any combo comes along? 

I've brought that comment and my reply to the main body of the post to bring readers up to my current feelings about the Bakken. This reply is another not-ready-for-prime-time but it is what it is:

Oh, I have no idea. First, of all, most of my posted thoughts about "banning fracking" are made "tongue in cheek." I'm trolling a bit, hoping folks start thinking about that possibility. There's a lot of "distance" between fracking today and banning fracking completely.

I have a very thin skin, am highly emotional, wear my patriotism on my sleeve, and remain incredibly inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken, and my home state. To minimize the depression that I might experience if worst comes to worst, I have emotionally and rationally "moved on."

The Bakken is no longer the "end-all and be-all" for me.

I remain excited about the geology, science, and technology as it relates to the Bakken, but I no longer "care" where this all leads. I've seen the potential and that's what most interested me from the very beginning: to see if the Bakken could live up to the hype. It did and much more.

Don't take that out of context. Of course I "care," but not to the extent that my life hinges on the outcome any more. The last four years have taught me a lot.

To answer your question, I think the price of gasoline will drive everything. Americans now know that yes, indeed, we can drill our way to lower gasoline prices. If "they" choose not to do so, that's their decision. But I will no longer feel any sympathy for anyone, especially Californians, who complain about the high price of gasoline and the increasing number of blackouts. It's 100% in our control.

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.

My interest has now turned to EVs. It will be fascinating to see if renewable energy and EVs can live up to the hype. My hunch: nope. 

I think one needs to remember the powers-that-be (China, Russia, the US, and the Mideast) cannot survive if the anti-Bakken folks prevail. The powers-that-be have a huge vested interest in the renewable energy story. And not in a good way.  

Then throw in Australia and India.

**************************
The Court Of Public Opinion Is Now In Session

Exhibit A

Notes From All Over -- The Muhammed-Bin-Salman-Appreciation Edition -- January 5, 2021

Covid-19 in North Dakota.

Perhaps the most accurate tweet in quite some time:

Saudi Arabia looks to the Biden administration to stop fracking in the US and drilling off-shore. Saudi will simply wait out the next twelve months and will do just fine once Trump leaves office.

For the archives: Saudi Arabia agrees to cut production; Russia supports; and oil prices surge, with WTI going over $50/bbl for the first time in a very, very long time.

Notes From All Over -- The Weather Page -- January 5, 2021

Definition of "nor'easter" at wiki.  

From 2018:

From today, link here:

Notes From All Over -- The Minimum Wage Edition -- January 5, 2021

Link here. I cannot think of any one issue of which I'm more conflicted. I think "the market" should determine wages / salaries but my heart goes out to those folks barely hanging on. I guess the best way to manage this issue would be to let "the market" determine the wages / salaries but use the IRS (as we do now) to ensure no one in this country goes without basic needs: housing, potable water and sewer, food, electricity, internet access, healthcare, transportation. Did I forget anything?

Time for folks to watch Mr Deeds Goes To Town.  This was the first Capra film to be released separately to exhibitors and not "bundled" with other Columbia features. On paper, it was his biggest hit, easily surpassing It Happened One Night. Capra won an Oscar for this movie, as director.

Marilyn: It Should Happen To You. Judy Holliday, of course, was perfect. But I think Marilyn Monroe, almost Judy Holliday's exact contemporary, and hitting the big time at the same time, would have been just as good, possibly even better. Judy Holliday died at the age of 43, in 1965, two weeks short of her 44th birthday. Monroe died at age 36, in 1962. 

Lucille Ball: holy mackerel! Judy Holliday sounds just like Lucille Ball. Both Holliday and Lucille Ball were born in New York, though the former in NYC and the latter in western NY, just across the state line from Pennsylvania.

*****************************
The Third (Fourth?) Surge

Despite the recent ZeroHedge story suggesting things will be different in 2021, the newest Covid-19 surge is off and running. Link here. The number of cases per capita in the top five states had been falling but are now surging again:

  • Arizona leaps over California, from #2 to #1. And it was a huge jump for Arizona:
  • followed by Rhode Island (#3), Tennessee (#4), and, Oklahoma/New York (tied at #5);
  • moving up quickly is Florida, at #7;

By the way, the Covid-surge was not the biggest story over at The WSJ  today. That honor goes to the story on the FiatChrysler-PSA merger. This is quite a story from a business point of view, but in the big scheme of things, it will be but a footnote in the history of automobile manufacturing when the history books are written in 2050.

The story coming out of Norway is an "old" story. I continue to opine that EV-Norway story is an outlier.

*************************
Corky Is Back Home, Safe And Sound

Amen, Awomen, And Halleluja! Happy Days Are Here Again! -- 12:00 Noon CT -- January 5, 2021

Time to pop open the champagne. 


Notes From All Over -- The "Missing Jack Ma" Edition -- January 5, 2021

Updates

January 8, 2021: China puts unusual and severe censorship directive regarding any stories on Jack Ma. Being reported over at Twitter. We'll see if CNBC reports this. I"m not holding my breath. BABA, which has had a good week, is up again today in pre-market trading.

Original Post

Biggest story of the day: CNBC talking head says "Jack Ma" is not "missing." Just lying low. Okay.

Second biggest story of the day: Amazon buys eleven aircraft to expand air cargo fleet. Half of that headline seems redundant. Either Amazon buys eleven aircraft or Amazon expands air fleet, but not both. But I digress. What great timing. Fire sale. First of all, I'm sure everyone is just thinking about all the aircraft the airlines don't need due to Covid-19-reduced flying. But there's even more. The airlines finally have access to the new Boeing 737 Max and are now "dumping" their aging a/c. Wow, perfect timing for Amazon. This simply blows me away. A huge "thank you" to the reader who alerted me to this. I follow Amazon here

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. 

Note: I do not invest in Amazon directly. I assume I invest in Amazon indirectly through my IRAs, mutual funds, etc. I honestly don't know. I post updates on Amazon simply because I am fascinated by the company. Absolutely fascinated. But not from an investment point of view. I do link it through my "Investors" page at one of the tabs above simply because I needed a way to get to it quickly. 

So, again: 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. It's possible I have done some readers a disservice with my inappropriate exuberance and biased reporting regarding the Bakken. But my inappropriate exuberance and biased reporting on the Bakken is simply because the Bakken fascinates me so much and it gave me an opportunity to better understand the shale revolution. I originally planned to do all this on a "private" word document but then discovered how perfect html would be. I could have kept the blog private but I thought if I posted it publicly readers might provide additional insight, background. I was right; they have. Thank you very much.

The "Investors" tab was the page I visited least over the years, but with the Biden presidency I am going to need something else to keep my mind off this debacle and that's why I'm putting more emphasis on this page. It may be the only page that keeps my spirits up. LOL. 

By the way: why was my reporting on the Bakken generally only "good news" stories? Because there were plenty of other sites that wrote negative stories about the Bakken and the oil companies. And so we move on.

TCM: featuring "Norma Shearer." Wow. Who knew?

Hollywood absolutely fascinates me. It must truly be a weird, weird place in which to grow up. So many stories.

Notes From All Over -- The Ennui Edition -- January 5, 2021

I received several notes from readers this morning regarding the likelihood of unrestrained spending by the new administration and the $600 credit card recently sent out by the US government.

It now appears that "the squad" will recommend "we" get rid of this "credit card" stuff. "Credit cards" are so yesterday.

We need to move on. 

"The squad" will likely recommend:

A "special account" (SPAC): a blank check in the form of a debit card with no limit to be sent to all Americans who do not pay federal income taxes, the "cash" to be paid in bitcoin.

***********************************
The Sports Page

Just a short note. The only television I watch right now is sports talk television, old NASCAR races, TCM, and late-night poker. Seriously.

Ennui.

I just finished watching ESPN. "Stephen A" is a hater and a "........". I can't post the second word without getting in trouble. The word not posted is not a bad word; it is a six-letter word and regularly used by everyone. But I can't post it in this context without getting a barrage of e-mail which would be almost all favorable, in my estimation.

***************************
Ennui

Yes, that's true. Things are so boring right now for me I am back to watching television poker. LOL.

This has been the best vacation ever. It seems to have lasted forever. I was able to spend a long week with our 10-month-old twins in Portland, OR. Then, another long week at home alone. Wow, it was wonderful. But with Sophia not here I had about eight 24-hour stretches with nothing to do but blog, read, watch television. It was wonderful. 

So maybe "boring" is not the correct word. I have never been busier. I'm not watching televised poker, TCM, NASCAR because I'm bored. It's because I need some background noise with a link to humanity while "locked down" in my little hovel. Radio would not be adequate. Alexa occasionally provides some relief. I leave the house only to do some very limited grocery shopping and stopping by the local Bricks and Mini-Figures (Lego) store. I walk to the store, pulling my little rolling carry-on "suitcase" in which I carry my groceries back home, and I ride my bike to the Lego store, so I'm getting a bit of exercise, albeit not much.

TCM: most of the time I can find something good but last night, not so lucky. But then this, wow! Jason Bourne. I'm not sure I had ever seen the first episode in the four-part series. What a great movie. The car chase might have been a bit long, and a bit over the top, but that was my only negative thought while watching the movie. It was such a long scene, that in the future, when I watch this movie, I can use the scene as a bathroom break or as an opportunity to make some more microwave popcorn.

Dinner last night: Cornish hen, home-made mash potatoes, store-bought "stove-top" dressing, and gravy. Awesome. Cornish hens are the easiest, bar none. Okay, that's not true. Salmon is even easier. If I had a Weber here, it would be steak. I live in an apartment complex where charcoal grills are not allowed on the patios, so when I want to grill I need to use my Weber over at my daughter's house about a mile down the road.

Best Joke Of The Day -- January 5, 2021

See this note

I think it turned out to be a better post than I had expected. 

A reader writes me, under the "best joke" category, full note:

Seeing your blog report of the impending merger reminds me of one of my favorite old jokes.  It was initially reported as an off-the-cuff quip made by a Daimler executive.

The Daimler/Chrysler merger was being reported and an analyst asked "How do you pronounce that?"

The exec said "Daimler.  The 'Chrysler' is silent."

I dropped French in college after the first few weeks. I knew I was not going to do well. The problem: too many letters were silent. Seriously.  

********************************
The Literature Page

The reader who sent me the note above, noted that I said I wrote that earlier note out of boredom. 

The reader also noted:

You mentioned boredom.  "Ennui" is one of my favorite words.
Ennui.
 
Wow. Ennui. Do a google search of "ennui sy" and see if Google doesn't auto-fill the rest with "ennui sylvia plath."
 
Years ago I went through my "Sylvia Plath" phase. One of her most famous poems was titled: Ennui.
 
The Villanelle

First, this from an earlier post from a different blog:
The villanelle, from Middlebrook's biography of Anne Sexton, p. 80 - 81.
I first encountered the villanelle when I was in my "Sylvia Plath phase." I had another blog then and wrote extensively about Sylvia Plath. Unfortunately I deleted that entire blog and lost all I had on Sylvia. Maybe I will start again someday; here's a nice link regarding Sylvia Plath and villanelles. I'm sure there are many more.
I thought about that after reading Claudia Roth Pierpont's essay on Elizabeth Bishop in the current issue of The New Yorker. Near the end of that long essay:
By October, Alice had delivered the news, and his name was Peter. Bishop went to Florida in December (Alice drove her to the airport) and in mid-January took an overdose of pills with alcohol. Discovered by neighbors, she survived. Being Elizabeth Bishop, she apologized, aghast at having almost caused the kind of pain she’d always known.
Poetry had failed her this time. She’d fought to master the loss, writing seventeen quickly successive drafts of an exactingly structured villanelle, a form with origins in the French Baroque. The result is her most famous poem, a mixture of a higher Dorothy Parker with (in the commanding aside to herself, as she struggles to write) Gerard Manley Hopkins, the neat summing up of a life, titled “One Art.”
The poem is at the link.

Information on the villanelle can be found everywhere; here is one link.

A snippet from my own journal:
July 25, 2008: While reading Sylvia Plath’s Journals I came across “villanelles.” I think I had heard of that term before but now that I saw the word again I was curious what villanelles were. I went to wiki, found a short definition, and in the process of “cutting and pasting” that definition on my “Storytelling” chapter, I noted that I had not completed a sentence regarding a newly discovered poem by Sylvia Plath. 
 I “googled” a phrase from the incomplete sentence which took me directly to solving the nano-mystery: the lost Plathian poem was Ennui which then took me to Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts where I found the background of Ennui.
Blackbird appears to be a free site maintained by the Department of English at the Virginia Commonwealth University. This site apparently owns the copyright or has access to much of Sylvia Plath’s works. The site includes the text of Ennui as well as scanned copies of the original typewritten page of Plath’s.

Late Start To Blogging But I'm Here! Two Wells Coming Off The Confidential List; Hess Reports Yet Another Nice Well In Beaver Lodge -- January 5, 2021

Late start but I'm here. 

WTI: WOW! WTI up $2.06. Didn't I allude to this recently? Can't remember.  Here it is: Russia supports OPEC+ decision to maintain reduced production. Wow. [Later: now I remember it. Yesterday I suggested WTI might reach $50; it didn't and I was a bit surprised, but I guess I was just a day early in my prognostication. LOL.]

Cleveland Browns: shut facility. Coach tests positive for Covid-19. Surprise, surprise! Not.

******************************
Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

$49.68
1/5/202101/05/202001/05/201901/05/201801/05/2017
Active Rigs1355635439

Two wells coming off the confidential list --

Tuesday, January 5, 2021: 5 for the month, 5 for the quarter, 5 for the year.

  • 36707, drl/A, Hess, Bl-Amelia-156-95-1514H-10, Beaver Lodge, first production, 7/20; t--; cum 64K 11/20;
  • 36241, loc/NC, BR, Stortroen 1C TFH, Dimmick Lake,

RBN Energy: ethylene margins skyrocket: how long will it last?

How about some good news to start the year? Over the past few weeks, ethylene margins have blasted into the stratosphere. These are good times for steam crackers, those petrochemical plants that use mostly NGL feedstocks to produce ethylene and other building-block chemicals. As you might expect, this newfound prosperity has a lot to do with ethylene’s price. In December alone, the price of ethylene was up 50%; versus April it’s up a whopping 4X, coming in yesterday at 37.5 cents per pound (c/lb). There are a whole range of factors responsible, including petchem outages due to the hurricanes, new downstream derivative units coming online, robust exports from the Enterprise Morgan’s Point dock, and, oh yes, strong demand for downstream products — everything from food packaging to construction materials. Is the spike in ethylene prices going to last? And what does it mean for NGLs, which account for more than 95% of the feedstock supply for U.S. ethylene. We’ll explore those questions and more in this blog series we begin today.

Comments From Readers -- Tutorial #1

With regard to comments received at the blog: my number one concern is maintaining anonymity for anyone who contacts me in any manner, unless they specifically say it's okay to provide identifying information.

There are two ways to contact me. 

One: my e-mail address is located at the sidebar at the right. You may have to search for it, but it's there. I do not collect e-mail addresses. If I paraphrase something from an e-mail, I will make sure there is no identifying data and will try to edit the comment to minimize others from figuring out who might have sent the e-mail. If the note is clearly not to be posted or if the reader specifically asks that it not be posted, I won't post it, nor will I paraphrase it, or even mention it obliquely. 

 I generally reply to all e-mail notes that suggest the writer was looking for a reply.

[A digression: several years ago someone wrote a note and mentioned he/she was from a specific town in North Dakota -- I forget which town -- but the town was small enough I assumed that folks in that town might have been able to figure out who wrote the note: for that reason, I removed the name of the town.]

Two: the second way to contact me is via the comment section at the end of each post. All comments are moderated. That means that all comments show up in my e-mail as an anonymous note with a "call sign" determined by the writer. If the comments come in as "anonymous" there will be no "call sign." It will simply show up as anonymous. 

If, in the comment, the writer says the comment is not to be posted, I don't post it. I hit "delete" and it is lost forever. I can never recover it

So, as an example, this evening I received a note from someone with a "call sign." I don't recall the "call sign." The person sending the comment asked that I not post the comment. I read the comment and deleted it. It is gone forever. 

It was a nice comment about the blog in general. Nothing specific. 

If the reader had mentioned something of interest that was not to be published, I might look for information in the pubic domain -- like in the mainstream media -- where it was also discussed. So, for example, if a person mentions that a certain well should be checked out, I will go over to the NDIC website and see what I can find, but it has to be public information. I generally acknowledge that a reader led me to the information, so as to give the reader, even though anonymous, credit for the information.

This doesn't begin to cover all the "ifs, ands, and buts," but I think folks get the general idea. 

If, by the way, I ever inadvertently post something that was not supposed to be posted, and am alerted to it, I will remove it immediately.

One of the main things that keeps me going with the blog is feedback from readers. If I went two months without hearing from anyone, I might wonder whether posting the blog publicly made any sense. The good news is I get at least five notes in various forms regarding the blog every day. It is not unusual to get more than ten comments one way or the other. 

Bottom line: for complete anonymity, send your comment as an "anonymous" comment and note up front not to publish the comments. I will read the comment and delete it.

If you send me an e-mail note, and request anonymity, the same thing. I will read the note but I won't publish it. Again, I don't collect e-mail addresses, and except for a handful of five or six folks who write me frequently, I have no recollection of any specific e-mail that I received even 24 hours earlier. My memory is that short. LOL.

Example: a while back I mentioned that the Washington football team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, had no chance of making the playoffs. I received a note from a reader who appeared not to appreciate that comment which was based on television sports talk. I would have had no idea; I don't follow the NFL that closely. Yesterday I was reminded, I assume by the original reader, that the Washington Football Team made the playoffs. LOL. I do not remember if the comment came in as an anonymous comment or had a call sign, but it was clear that the note should be posted, and it was. If it wasn't to be posted, if the reader contacted me, I would have immediately taken it down.

Hopefully this makes sense. 

The reason for this lengthy note: a reader asked me late this evening if he/she sent me something and did not want it published, would I be sure not to publish it. So, the long note. 

Note: in a long note like this there will be content and typographical errors. 

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A Huge Thank You

By the way, a huge thank you to readers for not sending notes on all my minor typographical errors. If I received notes for every typographical error, I would be overwhelmed. But I really, really, really appreciate notes if I've made an error that is serious enough to affect the information or the purpose of the post. 

The most common error, is quickly typing "now" for "not" or vice versa.

Think about that: "It is now snowing in the Bakken." vs "It is not snowing in the Bakken." You can imagine how serious this typographical error could be. "Someone is now dead" vs "someone is not dead." LOL. Big difference.