Wednesday, June 22, 2016

EIA's Assessment Of Panama Canal Expansion -- June 22, 2016

This is an excellent report from the EIA.

Wednesday Night Meanderings On The Movement Of The Price Of Oil -- June 22, 2016

John Kemp says gasoline supplies, in the US, seasonally adjusted are down to 24 days. That's about what it was before the Saudi Surge. The US driving season has not yet begun.

Everybody tells me and the tea leaves suggest we will continue to see $50 - $60 oil through the end of the year, and pretty much $60 oil through 2017.

But, I just get that "feeling" that maybe we might be surprised.

What little I know suggests Saudi Arabia, OPEC, Russia, are pumping about as much as they can pump. The US production has come down quickly; everyone suggests that if the price starts to move upward, US production can respond quickly. I'm not so sure. It would not surprise me to see oil spike before independent oil companies in the US caught the spike.

In North Dakota, this is the way things will play out.

Think of a pyramid of sorts. At the base are an unknown number of wells, measured in the thousands, that are producing oil but are not being produced at maximum rates.

At the next tier, there are 1,500 inactive wells. These are wells that could be brought back into production very, very quickly. Some have been taken off-line for operational reasons, e.g., neighboring fracking, but most are probably inactive due to low price oil.

Then we have the DUCs. Everyone and his brother or sister has a different opinion on how fast these wells can be fracked. I think it's a non-story. They will be fracked faster than folks think possible if the economics drive it.

Finally, we have the active rig count. The major independents won't change the number of active rigs they have by very much -- they can do with one rig what they used to be able to do with five rigs. It's the smaller independents that will bring on a new rig. And it will only be one rig for most small independent operators.

As "good" as everything is, including an incredibly robust infrastructure, I don't think that much production will be brought on as fast as some folks think ...

... we hit a new record for gasoline demand last week. Don is correct: some of that demand is for export (Venezuela may need gasoline; France may need gasoline). But it's still a record.

So my hunch is that the analysts are correct and interpretation of the tea leaves are correct: that the price of oil will range between the low $50s and get into the $60s next year, but a little bit of me things that things could move more quickly than mainstream pundits suggest.

But then again, I'm always looking through oily-covered glasses. I posted this graphic just a few days ago. Up or down, the price moves are not small. There's a lot more green than red. Throw out the outliers on both sides (outliers both green and red) and one is pretty much left with green.

Earlier, a reader sent me this note, posted elsewhere, with some thoughts on how things might play out:
Currently there are only 25 large rigs capable of drilling drilling to TD in North Dakota.
Three listed rigs are only drilling surface holes to about 2000 feet (Noble 1 & 2, AES 36). Capstar 311 is drilling a saltwater disposal well in southeast McKenzie County.
State/national drilling rig counts are normally inflated when these smaller support rigs are added to the total of large rigs which can drill through the payzone and potentially increase production.
I believe it is very important to note, there were nearly 3600 rigs operating worldwide in late 2014 when oil prices started to fall. According to Baker-Hughes, there are only 1450 rigs operating somewhere in the world today.
It is estimated about 2800 to 3000 rigs are necessary to resupply the normal depletion of the world's producing wells.
If reports of world production and consumption are "in balance" and we are beginning to burn-down the over supply from the past year, the current rig count should be causing flashing red lights in the coming months.
The nearly 1,000 "drilled-uncompleted" wells in ND are significant but with less than 10 fracking teams active it's going to take many months to get these DUCs on line. Any gearing-up is going to be slow with prices under $60 per barrel.  

Some "Fun" Reading For The Evening -- Where The Really, Really Rich Live -- June 22, 2016

From a reader. A big "thank you."

Link here.

Even With The Demand, SRE Able To Inject Some Natural Gas Into Storage -- Truly Amazing -- June 22, 2016; NDIC Did Not Post Today's Daily Activity Report


Later, 7:20 p.m. Central Time: see first comment. I brought it up here to make it google-searchable:
Currently there are only 25 large rigs capable of drilling drilling to TD in North Dakota.
Three listed rigs are only drilling surface holes to about 2000 feet (Noble 1 & 2, AES 36). Capstar 311 is drilling a saltwater disposal well in southeast McKenzie County.
State/national drilling rig counts are normally inflated when these smaller support rigs are added to the total of large rigs which can drill through the payzone and potentially increase production.
I believe it is very important to note, there were nearly 3600 rigs operating worldwide in late 2014 when oil prices started to fall. According to Baker-Hughes, there are only 1450 rigs operating somewhere in the world today.
It is estimated about 2800 to 3000 rigs are necessary to resupply the normal depletion of the world's producing wells.
If reports of world production and consumption are "in balance" and we are beginning to burn-down the over supply from the past year, the current rig count should be causing flashing red lights in the coming months.
The nearly 1,000 "drilled-uncompleted" wells in ND are significant but with less than 10 fracking teams active it's going to take many months to get these DUCs on line. Any gearing-up is going to be slow with prices under $60 per barrel.  
Original Post
From SeekingAlpha:
  • Sempra Energy's SoCalGas has passed its first test of the summer since the closure of its Aliso Canyon storage facility following October's massive gas leak, keeping fuel supplies flowing amid blazing temperatures early this week.
  • SoCalGas says it delivered ~3.3B cf of gas and received 3.2B cf from pipelines on Monday, but with cooler weather on Tuesday, deliveries fell to ~2.9B cf while pipeline receipts reached 3.1B cf, allowing some injections back into storage.
  • The utility's three remaining storage facilities have a combined withdrawal capacity of 1.7B cf/day but cannot make up for all of Aliso Canyon's capability to support demand in the Los Angeles area because they are smaller or located too far away.
  • SoCalGas has said it hopes to return Aliso Canyon to partial service by the end of the summer, but cannot inject gas into the field until it inspects all 114 wells.
Market:  At $196.66 right now, TSLA closed below $200.
How many new 52-week highs today on the NYSE, on a down day? 116, vs 14 new 52-week lows. New highs included: ATT (a big whoop); XOM (a big whoop); Newfield Exploration (wow); ONEOK (wow); and, TransCanada.
Meanwhile, Here in the Bakken 

We're back to 29 active rigs:

Active Rigs2975189189211

Wells coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 25201, SI/NC, BR, Merton 21-15TFH 3NH, North Fork, no production data,
  • 29516, 379, Liberty Resources, ND State 158-95-21-28-3TFH, McGregor, 4 sections, 50 stages, 4.5 million lbs, t1/16; cum 33K 4/16;

29516, see above, Liberty Resources, ND State 158-95-21-28-3TFH, McGregor:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

It appears NDIC did not post today's Daily Activity Report.

Back To 29 Active Rigs In North Dakota -- June 22, 2016

We are back to 29 rigs:

Active Rigs2975189189211

How many new 52-week highs today on the NYSE, on a down day? 116, vs 14 new 52-week lows. New highs included: ATT (a big whoop); XOM (a big whoop); Newfield Exploration (wow); ONEOK (wow); and, TransCanada.

Finally, The AP's "Big Story": Judge Rules Obama's Ban On Fracking Illegal -- June 22, 2016

Earlier today I said there seemed to be so much energy news it was hard to keep up.  I completely missed this story and would not have seen it had it not been for a reader who sent me the link (thank you very much). I posted the story and remarked that it was a big story, wondering why mainstream media had not picked it up. Someone must have seen that. The AP now calls it "the big story": Judge: US agency lacks authority to set rules on fracking.


The story is hard to find in the mainstream media. It's not at Yahoo!Finance. It's not on the first page of Finance Google. Drudge Report? Nope. Huffington Post? Nope. But there it is, finally, over at the AP.
A judge ruled Tuesday that federal regulators lack the authority to set rules for hydraulic fracturing, dealing another setback to the Obama administration's efforts to tighten how fossil fuels are mined.
U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said the Bureau of Land Management can't set the rules because Congress has not authorized it to do so. The judge, who was nominated by Obama in 2011, wrote that the court's role is not to decide whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment, but to interpret whether Congress has given the Department of Interior legal authority to regulate the practice.
So, the big stories the past couple of days:
  • Panama Canal expansion completed; ready for the "big ships" next week
  • the Tesla - SolarCity story
  • Obama's regulation banning fracking overturned
  • Dakota Access Pipeline allowed to proceed "under" tribal burial grounds in Iowa
  • crude oil hitting $50
  • the rise of India

Gasoline Demand -- June 22, 2016 -- The Gap Widens Year-Over-Year

The EIA said domestic gasoline consumption hit a record high of 9.81 million barrels per day last week.

Link here.

The Tesla Story Gets Curiouser And Curiouser -- June 22, 2016; Some Think Tesla Shares Could Rise 30-Fold


August 21, 2017: Tesla's junk bond issue already trading underwater -- MarketWatch But isn't that why they're called junk bonds. Seems like a lot of risk for 5.3% yield.

August 7, 2017: Tesla to issue $1.5 billion in JUNK bonds.

July 10, 2016: Tesla's losses are horrendous

Later, 7:26 p.m. Central Time: a reader sent me this link regarding battery technology. He's very knowledgeable; lots of experience. Something tells me we are all going to learn a lot more about batteries over the next decade. 

Later, 2:58 p.m. Central Time: I think from almost the "very beginning," I always felt Tesla was a battery company disguised as an automobile company. I'm not going to look for the first time I posted that, but here is a quote from June 19, 2015:
For newbies: my world view of Tesla is that it is a battery company disguised as an automobile company surviving on tax breaks, subsidies, and grants. Just days after borrowing another $750 million (from seven banks, no less), Tesla "bagged" another $15 million in tax credits from the state of California.
Building the "gigafactory" was perhaps the piece of evidence labeled #1. Now, with the purchase of SolarCity by Tesla, we have a piece of evidence that can be labeled #2.
Original Post
It must be the "silly season" as Hillary would say. Or two adult men have just gone bonkers.

I wasn't going to bring up President Obama and his recent comments on global warming (even environmentalists moved on from "global warming" years ago and are now talking about "climate change"). But when President Obama said that rising oceans could flood/drown the Statue of Liberty, I knew a) he was going bonkers; b) he was getting desperate; or, c) it was simply the "silly season" that we are in.

But, now, I at least have someone with whom to compare MuskMelon's most recent remarks. Less than 24 hours after entering into perhaps the worse deal for shareholders since the Indians sold Manhattan, MuskMelon tells his investors to expect a trillion-dollar Tesla.

Tesla's market cap today, after the announcement, is $29 billion.

145 million shares outstanding x $200 = $29,000 million or $29 billion. Total debt is $3.4 billion. So, enterprise value is about $32 billion. Yahoo!Finance says the enterprise value for Tesla is slightly over $31 billion.

So, to get to a trillion-dollar enterprise value, leaving debt as it, .... $1,000,000,000,000 - $3,400,000,000 = 996,600,000,000 / 145 million = $6,873/share.

The WSJ says to be a trillion-dollar company, TSLA shares would "require a more than 30-fold increase from today's value."  $200 x 30 = $6,000.

Yup, the numbers work almost perfectly.

I didn't see the MuskMelon speech. But on the surface, the first question one must ask: does it bother the SEC that a CEO is telling his investors they should expect their shares to increase in value from under $200/share to more than $6,000/share?

I don't know. But it seems if Harold Hamm did that.... well, whatever.


I've been following the battery technology for quite some time.

There are four reasons why the battery story intrigues. As Apple Fanboy #3 I remember well the number of times Steve Jobs lamented how much more he could do if he had a battery.

The second reason, of course is Tesla.

The third reason: my son-in-law used to work for a battery technology upstart. At best it is still an upstart; I don't know if it's still around.

The fourth reason: during the four years we were in Boston, we were just down the street from A123 and I followed battery research with interest.

Now this update from Bloomberg. First of all, the Tesla update from the article:
Cheap and reliable energy storage is central to the idea of an off-the-grid, solar-powered household. Such a home needs energy at night, when the sun isn't shining: It has fridges, air conditioners and other appliances running, and a Tesla charging in the garage. So it needs a good battery, and Tesla's Powerwall doesn't necessarily fit the bill -- if only because the cost of the energy it supplies, including amortization, is higher than grid prices.
Because of this, and given the high price of Tesla cars , the lifestyle on offer is an expensive statement. In terms of cost and convenience, it's not competitive with the traditional grid-and-fossil fuel model.
Tesla has killed off the more powerful version of the Powerwall due to low demand, and even Solar City has taken some time to figure out how to make its photovoltaic systems work with the battery.
Tesla is putting out a new version of Powerwall this year, but it can only be incrementally better than the previous one: Musk doesn't appear to believe in any battery technology other than the one that powers Tesla cars  -  the old lithium-ion battery with a liquid electrolyte, in use since the early 1990s.
Tesla's "gigafactory":
That's what Tesla's "Gigafactory" in Nevada will be turning out, too, when it comes online. Tesla is working on improving it, by using more and more silicon, rather than graphite, in the lithium-ion cell's anode to increase the cell's charge capacity. That is a promising path, but battery tech is such a hot field today that hundreds of teams are working on different approaches to making lighter, cheaper, more capacious batteries -- and one or several of these may turn out to be more promising.
  • Nissan: similar to Tesla's approach; new battery technology for the Leaf would double the driving distance to more than 200 miles, in line with Tesla's range
  • Toyota and VW: appear to be working on solid-state technology that would replace the liquid electrolyte with crystal materials.
  • VW: bought a share in battery tech startup QuantumScape, in 2014; has announced a battery factory larger than Tesla's, suggesting VW is confident with what it has
  • Dyson: acquired a battery start-up called Shakti3 last year; promises to deliver solid-state batteries with double the energy density at one-fifth the cost of current technology
Other technology:
  • "aluminum-graphite dual-ion battery": China
  • sodium-ion batteries: UK company Faradion
  • lithium-air batteries being worked on by numerous companies
  • wide range of other exotic technologies
Something could be announced overnight, but it would be a huge surprise to me if there is an announcement of any disruptive technology any time soon. Companies with very, very deep pockets, -- most notably Toyota, Apple, and Sony -- have been working on the battery problem for decades, and there hasn't been a whole of improvement.

So, we'll see. I'm not holding my breath.

US Existing-Home Sales Rise At Fastest Level Since 2007 -- June 22, 2016

Link here.  Data points, for May:
  • sales up almost 2%
  • seasonally adjusted annual rate of over 5.5 million
  • fastest pace in more than 9 years
  • prices climbed to a new high in May; up almost 6% from year earlier
  • 4.5% higher year-over-year
Amazon will soon dethrone Best Buy as top seller of consumer electronics.  I thought Amazon already had.

There is a surge of articles following MuskMelon's announcement to have Tesla buy SolarCity. A related story but a different story has to do with batteries, something I've alluded to often on the blog.  The link and my comments at this post.

June 22, 2016: US Crude Oil Capacity Grows; Utilization Has Surged Since 2014

If market is up today, credit it to FedEx to some extent.

The EIA graphic today is really quite remarkable: US crude oil storage capacity utilization rises even as storage capacity grows.

From September 2015 to March 2016, the United States added 34 million barrels (6%) of working crude oil storage capacity, the largest expansion of commercial crude oil storage capacity since EIA began tracking such data in 2011…Despite the large expansion in crude oil storage capacity, the net effect of capacity growth and increased inventories resulted in high storage utilization rates. Storage utilization at Cushing, Oklahoma, averaged 87% over the past four weeks (for the week ending June 10), compared with 81% for the same period last year. U.S. Gulf Coast region storage utilization rates averaged 72% over the past four weeks (for week ending June 10), after never being more than 70% in the previous four years. --- EIA
The good news: if Hillary is elected president, and she is able to follow through on her pledge to ban fracking, there should be plenty of storage capacity at Cushing.

Fracking Without Water

From Bloomberg:
Then there are the much-debated environmental trade-offs. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires copious water. And while gas-fired power plants produce less CO2 than coal-fired plants, environmentalists are quick to point out that methane itself is a potent greenhouse gas and leaks needlessly from aging infrastructure.
An Australian researcher and two scientists from France, which has banned fracking, now suggest there may be a better way. And it's a twofer, at least.
Their germ of an idea, published today in the journal Nature Communications, would simultaneously reduce or eliminate drilling's water footprint, make wells more productive, and trap carbon dioxide underground. How? Substitute high-pressure CO2 for water.
For newbies: I've always said there is no shortage of water for fracking in the Bakken. The bigger problem is getting rid of all that water. The above linked article has to do with fracking shale for natural gas, not fracking oil from dolomite/limestone/sand.

A completely different issue is "water-flooding" dolomite/limestone/sand -- which has been discussed rarely but will become more interesting with time.

Mike Filloon's Tight Oil Update -- June 22, 2016

  • Permian operators began hedging oil prices at $40/bbl and continue at $50/bbl with additional hedging from Eagle Ford names.
  • Increased volumes of hedging provide a short term ceiling to oil prices, at least until operators have enough revenues guaranteed to satisfy banks.
  • Given the large number of barrels unhedged through 2016 and into 2017, this could continue for a couple of months, but could take longer if oil prices pullback. 
There is a small amount of discussion regarding the Bakken in the Williston Basin. 

June 22, 2016 -- The Saga Continues -- Vaca Muerta -- More "Muerta" Than "Viva"

Active rigs:

Active Rigs2775189189211

RBN Energy: a propane-laden VLGC inaugurates the expanded Panama Canal.
After the $5 billion-plus expansion of the Panama Canal is dedicated this Sunday, June 26, the first “New Panamax” vessel scheduled to pass through the canal’s new, longer, wider locks will be the Lycaste Peace, a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) that is transporting propane from Enterprise Products Partners’ Houston Ship Channel export terminal to Tokyo Bay in Japan.
What remains to be seen, though, is how many other supersized vessels carrying propane, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or other hydrocarbons will follow, and how soon. Today, we mark the formal opening of the newly enlarged Atlantic-Pacific short-cut with a look both at the game-changing potential of the expanded canal and the realities of today’s energy and shipping markets.
For more on how US ports are prepared for the Panama Canal expansion, see this post.

Vaca Muerta? More "muerta" than "viva"? From Rigzone
When benchmarked against North American plays, Shell’s Argentina shale wells rank among the top one to two percent, Laurens Gaarenstroom, Royal Dutch Shell’s general manager, emerging basins, Latin America, told reporters during a media event Monday in Houston.
But costs to develop Argentina’s Vaca Muerta resource are way too high versus North America. The high costs are due to a lack of native oilfield services industry in Argentina – meaning that most equipment has to be imported – and high labor costs.
Shell had to spend a significant amount of money initially on data acquisition to learn about the basin, the company said. But it has managed to reduce its well costs – which were running more than $30 million each – by 50 to 60 percent.
Shell is continuing its journey to further reduce costs as it continues to learn about Argentina’s subsurface, Gaarenstroom said. Gaarenstroom said Shell believes the estimated ultimate recovery for its black oil wells is close to one million barrels. Gaarenstroom credits Shell’s results in Argentina with the power of its shale operations and personnel being together in Houston as one unit, and the ability to learn from other operations.

Neither "Peak Oil" Nor "Peak Oil Demand" -- John Kemp -- Reuters -- June 22, 2016

From Rigzone:
"Peak oil demand" has become a fashionable concept among climate campaigners but the evidence suggests oil consumption is growing at the fastest rate for a decade and shows no sign of letting up.

Global oil consumption increased by nearly 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, the largest annual increase since 2004, apart from the post-crisis bounce recorded in 2010.

Most forecasters predict consumption will grow by another 1.5 million bpd in 2016 and a similar amount in 2017, which would make it the strongest sustained period of growth since 2004-2006.

Oil consumption in the advanced industrial economies that are members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) peaked at 50 million bpd as far back as 2005.

Between 2006 and 2014, OECD consumption declined in seven out of nine years.

By 2014, OECD oil consumption had fallen by around 5 million bpd, or 10 percent ("BP Statistical Review of World Energy," 2016).

In the OECD countries, consumption does indeed seem to have "peaked" thanks to a combination of high and rising oil prices, energy efficiency mandates and prolonged economic weakness.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016: Panama Canal Expansion; Obama Fracking Regulation Overturned; Positive Turn Of Events For Dakota Access Pipeline In Iowa

Maybe it's just me, but it certainly seems that for the dog days of summer -- yes, I know, we've only had one day of summer so far -- there certainly has been a lot of energy news.

Unprepared. Perhaps the biggest story of the day, from The Wall Street Journal: as the expanded Panama Canal prepares to open, New York isn't. Spending too much time worrying about rising sea levels (sea levels, by the way, are falling on the East Coast -- previously reported), they did not get around to raising the Bayonne Bridge. The East Coast's busiest port cannot receive biggest ships. This should have been a huge win for Charleston, South Carolina, but their port is too shallow. The big winners will be the ports on the west coast, and probably along the Gulf Coast.
Jim Newsome, CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, recently predicted the East Coast's share would hit 50% within a couple of years. A Boston Consulting Group analysis issued less than a year ago forecast East Coast ports could reach parity with West Coast terminals by 2020. But that looks unlikely now, said Peter Ulrich, one of the authors of that report.
Preparing. research study looks at nine US ports (East Coast and Houston) -- how they have prepared for the Panama Canal expansion.  Port of Savannah is already receiving these ships. The Port of Baltimore is the second East Coast port to be fully prepared for Panama Canal expansion. Port of Houston, ready, but congested. Port of Miami is accessible but infrastructure (intermodal system, waterside improvements) lacking.

Obama fracking regulation overturned. Had it not been for a reader I would have completely missed the story on a federal judge overturning the Obama regulatory ban on fracking on federal land. I didn't even find it over at The Bismarck Tribune. I found the story in The Washington Times which hardly counts. The same federal judge had put an injunction on the Obama regulatory ban on fracking last September, so probably this was something anti-climactic and a foregone conclusion. The federal judge was an Obama appointee. From a reader:
I looked for the text of the court ruling today that overthrew Obama's bid to regulate fracking on federal land, and I found it here:

There is quite a bit of legalese to wade through, but if you read the last  quarter of the ruling, starting on page 20, it is clear that the judge is  emphatically rebuking the administration for distorting legislation and past  court rulings to claim that its regulators can do just about anything in what it construes to be the public interest. Here's a quote: "With Congress "having explicitly removed the only source of specific federal  agency authority over fracking, it defies common sense for the BLM to argue  that Congress intended to allow it to regulate the same activity under a  general statute that says nothing about hydraulic fracturing."
German government, on the other hand, agrees to ban fracking indefinitely. Reuters/Rigzone link here. Bullish for the Bakken! A big whoop.

Dakota Access Pipeline. Also, barely making headline news, was a decision in Iowa in favor of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is huge.
Work on the Bakken crude oil pipeline in northwestern Iowa tribal lands can proceed — as long as the work takes place underground.
An amendment made Friday to the Dakota Access pipeline’s Sovereign Lands Construction Permit allows work to proceed on that portion of the pipeline in Lyon County’s Big Sioux River Wildlife Management Area.
That amended permit requires pipeline officials to bore through the ground, rather than dig a trench for the pipeline.
Man-camps. Speaking of injunctions, Williston man-camp operators also got a reprieve. A judge dropped a temporary injunction on the city of Williston, allowing man-camps to stay open until the process is "handled appropriately."

Cash strapped. The Tesla-SolarCity story continues to get headlines. The most recent from Bloomberg.

The word of the day: dispatchable. The announcement that PG&E will not apply to extend nuclear certification for its two-unit plant at Diablo Canyon continues to generate headlines also. Dispatchable will be the word du jour, but will have lasting importance as California turns to unreliable, non-dispatchable energy to replace incredibly reliable energy. If PG&E prevails, the natural gas industry and GE are huge winners.

Politics. I thought I heard on the radio that Trump and Hillary are "even" in the polls in the "swing stages" of Ohio and Pennsylvania. I hope those folks remember that Hillary supports efforts to ban fracking. I already know how Hillary will respond to her comments in Detroit, apparently associating fracking with lead contamination in Detroit's public water system: "That was during the silly season, during a campaign."

Fatality. There was another Bakken oil patch fatality -- Monday, near Ross. A 37-y/o worker was struck by a boom/crane. 

Market. After a couple of good days on the market, futures are up again today, and crude oil remains above $50/bbl. Tesla, as expected is slumping: a) down $25/share; b) down almost 12%; and, c) trading below $200/share for the first time in a long time. The market sees this as a bailout for SolarCity: a) shares are up $3/share; b) shares are up 15%; and, c) shares are back trading where they were some months ago.

New record set. India set a new record in space mission by successfully "injecting" 20 satellites into orbit from one rocket/launch.