Wednesday, November 2, 2016

For OPEC And Saudi Arabia -- The Trend Is Not Its Friend -- November 2, 2016

$45-oil is not much different than $50 oil -- especially with collars, hedges, etc. but for Saudi Arabia it's all about the trend. And the trend is not good for Saudi Arabia.

WTI settled at about $45.50.

Game 7
World Series

However this turns out, it's been an outstanding series and tonight's game, top of the fourth, has lived up to all the hype. Cubs up two runs, 3 -1 .  Anyone watching the Country Music Awards (CMA)? Holy mackerel -- 5 - 1 top of the fifth. An inside-the-park RBI all the way from 1st base. That is truly incredible round-the-base running.

Absolutely incredible game. Indians come back with two runs in the bottom of the 5th scaring the Cubs. Top of the sixth: first batter, oldest man to ever play in a World Series, David Ross, solo home runner, and we are back to 6 - 3.  Cubs. I know nothing about baseball but I think the Cubs manager pulled two pitchers too soon. In both cases, bad results. The first time, the Indians scored two runs on the new pitcher; now, the second time, the Indians score a two-run homer on the new pitcher, tying the game. Phenomenal series, but (knowing nothing about baseball) it sure seems like the Cubs manager pulled two pitchers at the wrong time. Wow..... and there it is 10th inning ... two runs...then the Indians pull within one. Wow, how many pitchers do they have? Cubs win the series... what a game... a 7-minute rain delay ... tenth inning ... really, really, really fun...

A winning pitcher: The winning pitcher is defined as the pitcher who last pitched prior to the half-inning when the winning team took the lead for the last time. a. Exception 1, the starting pitcher must pitch at least 5 innings to be eligible for a win.

Easter: the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. a. Exception 1, there are no exceptions.

For folks paying attention, Fox is using "Amazon Web Services" for replay videos. I've talked a lot about AWS -- the most lucrative division for Amazon -- not its on-lien retail business. Good for Jeff Bezos. 

Apple iPhone 7 Ad

Quarterly Lease Sales -- November, 2016

Quarterly lease sales, NDIC, November, 2016, on-line.
  • Billings County: nothing of note -- $2 to $26/acre
  • Burke County: one 40-acre tract for $750/acre
  • Divide County: one 80-acre tract, $28
  • Golden Valley: lots of activity, but low bonuses
  • McKenzie: three tracts with maximum bonus of $37/acre -- wow! How disappointing.
  • Mercer: several tracts but at $2/acre, you, too, could own mineral acres in the Bakken
Total sales netted all of $120,000 for the state: on-line auction.

The August, 2016, Quarterly Lease Sales, NDIC

Link here
  • Billings County: unremarkable; eleven tracts, $1 to $36/acre
  • Burke County: fairly active, but max at $170/acre
  • Divide: unremarkable; only four tracts
  • Dunn: very active, but you, too, can own mineral acres in Dunn for $3/acre
  • Golden Valley: eleven tracts, $27 - $32/acre
  • McKenzie County: again, lots of activity but a real steal at $450/acre max
  • Mountrail: four tracts at $20,500+/acre; Raisa Energy paid for these tracts
  • Stark County: most active county, but most tracts for $1/acre
  • Ward County: incredibly active for Ward County; but only $1/acre
  • Williams County: five tracts; four of the five tracts for $475/acre; all by Liberty Resources II LLC
Raisa Energy: Raisa Energy LLC is a Denver/Austin based O&G company that targets the aggregation of small non-Operated working interests in the core of best unconventional basins, partnering with a select group of the best operators. Raisa has over 2,000 net acres in the DJ Basin and is currently expanding to the Williston, Anadarko Basin and beyond. 

One New Permit -- November 2, 2016

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3569193181187

One well coming off confidential list Thursday:
  • 30299, SI/NC, Hess, EN-Weyrauch C-154-93-2932H-7, Robinson Lake, no production data,
One new permit:
  • Operator: Liberty Resources Management (see Bakken operators)
  • Field: Beaver Lodge (Williams)
  • Comments: see Bakken operators
Two producing wells completed:
  • 30781, 1,211, EOG, Shell 23-2820H, Parshall, t10/16; cum --
  • 30856, 774, EOG, Shell 29-2820H, Parshall, t10/16; cum --

CLR -- 3Q16 -- November 2, 2016

I will be out and about -- with Sophia, but I will post this now and get back to blogging later:
  • First STACK Density Test Flows at Combined Initial Peak Rate of 21,354 Boe per Day (70% oil) from Eight Meramec Wells; Seven New Wells Flow at Average Well IP of 2,653 Boe per Day
  • Company Initiates Development in STACK Over-Pressured Oil Window
  • Bakken Enhanced Completions Yield Company Record Initial 30-Day Production Rates
  • Company Begins Working Down Uncompleted Bakken Wells
  • Annual Production Guidance Raised and Production Expense Guidance Lowered; Capital Expenditure Guidance Raised on Increased Well Completions
See this earlier post on CLR's record Meramec well.

CLR has a new presentation today.

The 50 Best Burgers
Texas Monthly

From the August, 2016, issue. Eleven randomly selected Texas Monthly staff members ranked, on a scale of 1 to 5, the basic cheeseburgers from five Texas hamburger joints. Only after the scoring was complete, did the eaters find out which burger was which.  With 11 voters, and a max of "5" the highest score possible was (11 * 5) = 55. The results:
  • Whataburger: 46/55 with five first-place votes
  • Smashburger: 42/55 with four first-place votes
  • Shake Shack: 41/55 with two first-place votes
  • In-N-Out Burger: 19/55 with five last-place votes
  • Five Guys: 17/55 with six last-place votes
My wife, a Californian, would disagree. Her favorite remains In-N-Out Burger. I think In-N-Out Burger is so over-rated. I have been to Five Guys only once or twice, out in California. It's one of my brother-in-law's favorite hamburgers; maybe, his favorite. I guess I've been to Five Guys once or twice here in Texas, down in the San Antonio area. Very, very good. Way too many calories for the experience. If I'm going to consume that many calories: Whataburger, made to order.

In Ft Worth, the Texas Monthly editors picked the following among the 50 best burgers in Texas:
  • The Bearded Lady's L.U.S.T Burger: the third-greatest burger in Texas
  • Dutch's Vaquero:
  • Fred's Texas Cafe's Fredburger 
  • Press Cafe's Cafe Burger ($14 with potato chips)
  • Rodeo Goat's Telluride (Rodeo Goat is one block from "legendary Fred's")
The #1 hamburger in Texas as selected by the Texas Monthly editors was from San Antonio: Folc's Brisket Burger with Pork Belly, $18 with potatoes.

Two burgers in San Antonio made the top 50 list (one was #1, Folc's); the other San Antonio burger that made the list from San Antonio was the Blue Ribbon Burger from Cured.

The Diego Burger at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua was the most expensive at $19.95.

The least expensive burgers of the top 50 was the Basic Burger at Rosco's Burger Inn in El Paso at ... get this ... $3.24. Other in the running for least expensive:
  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese at T.J.'s Hamburgers in San Antonio at $3.98. 
  • Single Cheeseburger at Bill's Burgers, Wings & Things in Burnet at $5.49.
  • Do It Murph-Style hamburger at Off-Site Kitchen in Dallas at at $5.99 (this is Dallas).
If from Texas, by default, the best 50 hamburgers are also the best 50 hamburgers in the entire universe.

US Posts Largest Weekly Surge In Crude Oil Stocks In 34 Years -- You Can't Get Those Wells Turned On Overnight -- Tim Rezvan, Crude Oil Analyst, Mizuho Securities -- November 2, 2016


Later, 7:48 p.m. Central Time: from a reader --
I don't know about production, but I just checked imports and it looks like we went from the least imports in 16 months two weeks ago to the most in more than 4 years this week (Oct 28) can check me on that, my eyes are pretty tired and i may have missed something:
Here's what I think happened...all the oil tankers heading to the US in mid-October stayed offshore and out of the Gulf when hurricane Matthew was around, and it looks like they all finally arrived last week. 
The reader is probably correct. John Kemp, Reuters analyst, may weight in on this over on Twitter.

Original Post
Does anyone remember this post?
From the linked article below, the new nominee:  Tim Rezvan.
Tim Rezvan, managing director of Americas research at Mizuho Securities USA Inc., said that while the untapped wells represent a large resource, it will take time to begin pumping them.
“You can’t get those turned on overnight,” Mr. Rezvan said.
I don't know what he means by "overnight," but he's obviously not reading the MillionDollarWay blog. LOL. The production from any DUC completed in the Bakken will show up within 30 days, in the next Director's Cut. In the oil industry, production from a well within 30 days is pretty much "overnight." 
From spud to production in the Bakken, we are talking a couple of weeks if the price is right.
I posted that October 23, 2016 -- about ten days ago. This analyst said it would take "time" for operators to start "pumping DUCs."

So, how did that turn out? Today, over at SeekingAlpha: "Crude oil, energy stocks crushed after history inventory surge."
  • Oil prices and energy equities plunged sharply as the latest inventory data showed U.S. stockpiles posted the largest weekly surge in 34 years, after the consensus outlook had pointed to only a modest rise.
  • WTI crude oil -2.9% to settle at $45.34/bbl, its lowest since September 27, 2016; and, Brent crude -2.7% to $46.86, also its lowest since late September.
  • You could easily make the argument it’s the most bearish report of all time,” says Bob Yawger, director of the futures division of Mizuho Securities USA. “There’s nothing to support the market.”
  • WTI, which already was turning lower in recent days, has now fallen 12% in just two weeks since hitting a one-year high on October 19, 2016, and marks the third retreat from $50/bbl toward $40 within five months.
It looks like this time they interviewed Tim's colleague, Bob Yawger, over at Mizuho. LOL. [Note: in the earlier report Tim Rezvan was the "managing director" of Americas research; Bob Yawger is the "director of the futures division." A lot of directors.]

Drillers -- offshore, onshore, Bakken, Saudi, Iranian, Norwegian -- may not be able to "turn things on overnight" but they sure can do it quickly enough. LOL.

Nothing About The Bakken -- Apple: The New MacBook Pro -- November 2, 2016


November 4, 2016: now that I've had 48 hours to think about it and several lengthy bike rides during which to think about it, my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro:
  • these thoughts pertain only to the new MacBook Pro 13-inch model without the Touch Bar; the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar and the 15-inch model (which comes in just one configuration -- with the Touch Bar) are not yet available to the general public to even see in Apple Stores; they won't ship until the end of November
  • the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar will be a phenomenal flop
  • the 13-inch MacBook Pro will not attract high-end users (less than 5% of the laptop market)
  • the only target audience for the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the new college student
  • Apple released the new Pro five months late; for this year's freshman college student it needed to be released by July, 2016; it was not widely available until well into November
  • the low end laptop user (95% of the laptop market) will get as much power and a much better user "experience" -- as the Apple folks say -- with the MacBook Air for half the cost. Again, that's half the cost
  • the MacBook Air has multiple ports, all of which are tried, true, and tested, and work with all the peripherals the low-end user (95% of the laptop market) already has
  • the MacBook Air has the incredibly wonderful and highly sought-after SD disk for 35-mm cameras; incredibly, despite more than enough room in the MacBook Pro, Apple chose not to include this slot
  • and, that's about all low-end users (95% of the laptop market) look at: price; USB slots; total slots; number of slots; the 3.5 mm headphone jack (which the 13-inch model retained); and, the SD slot
  • the "guts" of the computer are beyond anyone's understanding any more -- and the user experience on an old public library model and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro is negligible -- for what 95% of laptop users use the computer for -- mostly surfing the net
Regular readers know that I am a huge Apple fan; I've never owned a PC; I grew up with Apple computers; I am Apply Fanboy #3 (which I probably share with a thousand others).

By the way, many, many folks are going to be really turned off by the fact that the Touch Bar was hyped to the degree it was, only to find that it is not available on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro that is now being shown in Apple Stores. I was incredulous -- that after that lengthy presentation -- all about the Touch Bar -- that when I went to the Apple Store more than a week later -- after the crowds had died down -- I was incredulous that the computers with the Touch Bar were not yet available, even in the Apple Stores. And the 13-inch model? They had only one grey one and one slate black to test. I'm not even sure they had any for sale. I did not ask. They were so unimpressive.

Later, 2:49 p.m. Central Time: I stopped by the Apple Store on the way home. Observations and comments:
  • Apple released these three new MacBook Pro models before they were ready
  • the Apple Store only had the 13-inch model with NO Touch Bar
  • the Apple Store did not have the 13-inch or the 15-inch with the Touch Bar
  • they only had a grey and a slate black MacBook Pro available for testing (one of each)
  • the track pad is huge, but not an issue (my palm never rested on it), but it seemed more sluggish than my MacBook Air track pad (I'm sure I am wrong on that)
  • the keys are flat keys (I forget the technical name); different from the keys on the MacBook Air; I prefer the MacBook Air keys but that's just from habit/use/familiarity; over time I would get used to the MacBook Pro keys but that doesn't mean I prefer the Pro keys; I don't think I ever would
  • if you are already using a retina display, I doubt you could see any difference from your MacBook Air and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • the MacBook Pro, 13-inch, had three ports; two USB-C ports on the left side; and, a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the right side
  • the MacBook Pro footprint is almost the same size as the MacBook Air; the Pro really is thinner than the Air; hard to believe; both weigh the same, I believe
  • I can't imagine anyone who has a "current" MacBook Air would "upgrade" to the new 13-inch Pro
  • current MacBook Pro owners might want to upgrade to the new Pro, but for the money and the SD slot, I would recommend the MacBook Air over the 13-inch MacBook Pro
So, having said that, the question has to be asked. What is the target audience Apple was trying to reach with the new MacBook Pros? Some comments and observations:
  • Apple has always focused on students; first with college students and then into the kindergarten and elementary students, and then to high school students
  • get the students "hooked" on the Apple ecosystem and you have users for life
  • Apple needs to keep the "experts", the "nerds", the "geeks" happy but at the end of the day, the big market is not nerds and geeks: the big market is college students. Every college student will have a computer; it's just a question which one/which brand; hook students as early as possible with Apple, and they will have an Apple in college
  • when they leave college, they will take their Apple experience with them (which has been an unqualified success; IBM employees have migrated to Apple at the workplace, for example)
  • Apple was under a lot of pressure to introduce a new model for the upcoming school year; it had been a long time since the last upgrade
  • with the exception of the few high school seniors who already have a "new" computer, every high school senior going to college will buy a new laptop
  • in most cases, the computer will be bought by the parents who will still be in shell-shock when they see the first tuition bill
  • those parents will set a $2,500 limit on any new computer. Why? Because the students will want the new MacBook Pro
  • that's why Apple kept the 3.5 mm headphone jack; if the parents, under duress, agreed to a $2,500 computer, they would put their foot down at $300 wireless Beats headphones; the kids can use their current headphones for now
  • college students will come in two flavors but most new college students won't know which flavor they are in until after their first year
  • the two flavors: high-end users; and, low-end users
  • the low-end users (which will represent 95% of new college students) will only need the MacBook Air -- and that's what I would strongly recommend for every new college student; if I'm wrong, the student can upgrade to the MacBook Pro when they discover they are in the second flavored group, the high-end users -- which probably won't be an issue until their second or third year in college anyway
  • the high-end users could probably do just fine with the MacBook Air, but by definition, "high-end" users need to have "Pro" in the name of the computer they use
  • the big question is this: if the target audience is the college student, and 95% of college students will do just fine with the MacBook Air, why did Apple make such a big deal about the need for a MacBook Pro upgrade? Great question. I think it gets back to marketing, pure and simple -- they had not upgraded their MacBook line in a long, long time. MacBook Air can be upgraded marginally, and only marginally; the MacBook Pro offered more opportunities for upgrade
  • Apple had to have a "wow" factor for its new "Pro" computer so Apple would have something for the critics and professionals, but the 13-inch is clearly not enough to impress those Apple users who are content / happy with their current Pro or Air; I don't know about the 13-inch / 15-inch with Touch Bar because I haven't seen it yet, but my hunch the same holds true: the Touch Bar is not enough to get someone to buy the new Pro if he/she is already content/happy with the computer he/she is using 
Original Post
This is really quite interesting for those following the Apple MacBook Pro story.

These things are expensive.

The "experts" are not impressed with the MacBook Pro story. They can point out so many flaws, regardless of the price. MacRumors reports that the professional Mac users' complaints list is growing after the "disappointing" Apple event.

Before the presentation began, Apple said there would be a one-two week wait for folks who order the new MacBook Pro. Before the day was out, the wait went to three to four weeks. Shipping is now estimated to be four to five weeks.

Today, this at Macrumors: Apple has received more online orders for new MacBook Pro than any previous generation. Of course, no one believes that, but if it is true, it's because this is the first update in a gazillion years.

Be that as it may, some observations and comments.

It appears that the biggest complaint from the "experts" is that Apple gives up a lot in its quest to make its products ever thinner. The "experts" and the "geeks" like thick laptops: allows for more "stuff" to be "stuffed" into the box, including more battery.

My comments:
  • the new MacBook Pro has only four slots/ports, and they are all USB-C ports, and for some reason, the 3.5 mm headphone jack (that will go away with the next iteration); in this day and age, there is no reason for wired headphones (though that's what I still use, but I've been looking at the new wireless headphones)
  • the new MacBook Pro is said to "last" ten hours before re-charging is required; ten hours for a laptop seems adequate
  • once one gets used to the lack of ports, one begins to go wireless: today at the library I saw an "expert" with his non-Apple computer: wow, talk about a lot of cords -- power cord; wired headphones; smart phone to computer cord; extension cord; he looked like an electrician; I'm on my old MacBook Air, no cords, no power cords; no nothing
  • I miss the SD slot; the SD slot makes it so easy to download photos from my camera(s), but I will get use to the lack of this slot, also; my wife already has: she transfers all her photos wirelessly
  • the SanDisk (and other camera disks) are not part of the Apple ecosystem
  • Apple has always been against disks; removing the SD slot is simply a continuation of that theme
  • thinness: I  have a MacBook Pro at home; I never use it. It's heavy; it's a brick. The MacBook Air, by comparison, is wafer thin. But now, the new MacBook Pro is even thinner: and I will soon find the MacBook Air feels thick, feels like a brick compared to the Pro
  • after thinness, the biggest complaint seems to be the 16GB RAM; the "experts" and the "geeks" need 32GB RAM; I'm beginning to think "experts" and "geeks" are confusing laptops with desktops. If they need 32GB, they can buy the desktop model and upgrade to 32GB, but it will cost an additional $600
I'm not sure yet what to make of the Touch Bar. After I leave the library in a few minutes, I'm going to stop by the Apple Store about a block from here and see if they have a new MacBook Pro on display.

Maybe more later. I'm off to the Apple Store.

SRE Beats On Bottom Line; Misses On Top Line -- November 2, 2016

Sempra Energy:
  • Q3 EPS of $1.02 beats by $0.06. 
  • Revenue of $2.54B (+2.4% Y/Y) misses by $140M.
Press release here.

The New York Times. Meanwhile, The New York Times: quarterly profit drops almost 100%.  Ads drying up.
The New York Times Co reported a 95.7 fall in quarterly profit, hit by restructuring charges related to headcount reductions.
Net profit attributable to the newspaper publisher fell to $406,000, or break-even per share, in the third quarter, from $9.4 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell to $363.6 million from $367.4 million. 

Markets Worldwide Dropping

That's the headline: equity markets dropping worldwide.

The analysis: "Trump is gaining and world markets don't like it." That's the headline over at Yahoo!Finance.

So, let's think about that.


Traders pulling their money out of the market because Trump might be sworn in as president 75 days from now and whatever he is able to do won't take effect for months after that, with the assumption that what he does in his first 100 days has negative impacts on the economy a year from now. Traders pulling money out of the market this week because of something that might possibly happen a year from now?


Saudi Arabia selling $8 billion worth of securities this month and every month going forward to make payroll. (I mentioned that the other day. See this post.)

If markets are tumbling "due" to the Trump effect, this is simply an "event"/"excuse" to take profits.

If markets are tumbling "due" to Saudi selling securities to meet payroll it gives one an idea how serious the oil crisis is for OPEC.


An analysis suggesting this is due to the "Trump" factor is not a bit surprising. The mainstream media has used "everything" to scare folks about voting for Trump. Scaring investors about a Trump victory is nothing different. So the real question is this: is the analysis ("the market slump is due to Trump) a rational economic analysis or simply propaganda to help Hillary? 

By the way, how is oil doing today? Down almost another dollar, now down below $46, the low end of the sweet spot for the price of oil in the US. [Update, mid-morning trading: WTI is down over 3%; down a $1.55; nearing $45. Could it break below $45? Enquiring minds want to know.]

Can You Hear Me Now?

In "medicine," there are three branches: medical, surgery, and psychiatric.

The three branches attract different personalities.

Those going into surgery will see the results of their efforts measured in seconds, minutes, hours, or days (think: stents to save a heart attack victim).

Those going into medicine may not see the results of their efforts for days, weeks, months, or years (think: prescribing statins to prevent a heart attack).

Those going into psychiatry may not see the results of their efforts for months or years (psychotropic drugs generally take at least one month to begin to take effect).

That would be the same in business and investing. Actions have consequences, but some consequences take longer to be revealed.

I thought of that when I saw the headline today: Iranian minister says Boeing's huge deal with Iran Air to be finalized within days. Story here.
Boeing and Iran are "within days" of finalizing the details of Iran Air's massive order for 80 aircraft after it was approved by the U.S. government last month.
Those who made the decision to end/ease Iranian sanctions are seeing the effects (almost immediately) of that decision.

There may be a lot of ink used in all the stories about sanctions and about the US-Iranian relationship and what-ifs and who's right and who's wrong, but it's amazing how politics can really lead to cognitive dissonance. Something tells me that all the folks upset about Obama ending/easing sanctions are more than thrilled if they are investors in Boeing, or if they are blue collar Boeing employees. One wonders if Obama's biggest problem was his ability to communicate.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

I think I grew up with JPL in the back of my mind -- at least during my coming-of-age years. There is really something "romantic" or intriguing or inviting about southern California, Pasadena, Colorado Boulevard, Big Bob's, Mount Baldy, California Institute of Technology, and so on and so on. Chemistry was my favorite subject in high school and had I grown up somewhere other than Williston, ND, it's hard to say what might have happened.

So, it's quite fascinating to read about the "origin" of the JPL.

I happened to read about it in Nathalia Holt's 2016 book on "Rocket Girls." I take notes on the book over at this post:

These are my abbreviated notes of the first few pages.

Begins in 1939
  • Suicide Squad: began with three young men. Out of Pasadena; tinkering with homemade rockets, while one or two were students at Caltech. Worked in the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory
  • Barby, incredibly bright, fitting in classes at Occidental College
  • 1939: National Academy of Sciences awards a grant to the Suicide Squad, now known as the GALCIT (Guggenhiem Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology)
  • first year: $1,000
  • second year: $10,000
  • US government's first investment in rocket research
  • in deference to Army Air Corps, they changed their name to Air Corps Jet Propulsion Research Project
  • the group approached Richard and Barby Canright about being the mathematicians for the group

Back To EpiPens -- November 2, 2016


July 3, 2018: today, from The WSJ, Novartis will rollout EpiPen competitor.
Novartis’s Sandoz generic-drug unit acquired the U.S. commercial rights for an emergency shot called Symjepi from Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Symjepi contains the same active ingredient, epinephrine, as EpiPen, which is used to treat anaphylaxis caused by insect bites and foods, among other allergic reactions. Symjepi comes in a prefilled syringe, which Adamis says could make it cheaper than EpiPen, which comes in an auto-injector device that conceals the needle.
U.S. regulators approved Symjepi in June 2017 but Adamis, a San Diego startup, never launched the product and instead hired an investment banker to find a commercial partner for it. Sandoz, one of the biggest generic-drug makers, plans to begin selling it in the U.S.
Mylan came under criticism in 2016 for boosting the list price for an EpiPen two-pack to more than $600, up 550% since acquiring the product in 2007. The company has since started selling a generic version for about $300.
Mylan also has experienced supply shortages for EpiPen this year because of problems at a Pfizer Inc. manufacturing plant that makes the product.
Cheaper than $10? See original post below.
Original Post 

Back on August 27, 2016,  I wrote:

The EpiPen Story

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. has a great opinion piece on the $600 hammer EpiPen. He provided the obvious answer. Why pay $600 for an American two-pack of EpiPens, when you can get them for about $100 each in Canada (the internet will work just fine)?  By the way, it would be an interesting science project to see exactly how widely used EpiPens really are. In my 30+ years being in the business of medicine, I have never seen a layperson use an EpiPen. I've worked with school nurses for decades and I've never seen a school nurse (or even heard of a school nurse) using an EpiPen. Anyway, here's a Canadian site offering EpiPens for about $160/pen which is probably the "standard" price in Canada.

By the way, the EpiPen story gets crazier the more one looks at it. The standard EpiPen delivers 0.3 ml of 1:1000 epinephrine. One can buy a 1-ml amp (enough for three doses) of epinephrine for $4.49.

Three doses is one more dose than the standard 2-pack epinephrine provides. Three doses for $4.49 vs two doses for $600.

Syringes and needles are virtually free: every insulin-dependent diabetic has ample supplies of syringes and needles, and most jurisdictions provide the homeless and drug addicts with syringes and needles for free, it seems. Whatever the expense, it has to be nominal. The challenge of administering epinephrine in an emergency is not the "physical" action but the "mental" action. The "mental" action is recognizing an emergency; recognizing that it is an allergic reaction; knowing that epinephrine is needed; and knowing where that epinephrine is. Snapping open an ampule, "drawing up" 0.3 ml in a standard little syringe, and then using one's own fist to push the needle into the thigh (by holding onto the syringe) and using one's own thumb to push in the plunger is the entirety of the "physical" action. This is not rocket science. If one has the time to complete the "mental" action, one has ample time to complete the "physical" action. Emergency room physicians do not use EpiPens; they use syringes, generally handed to them by nurses or technicians.

Good For Those Mormons
NOW GET THIS: according to NPR this morning (November 2, 2016), a hospital in Utah has finally done that. They are getting rid of Mylan EpiPens. They are putting two syringes and two vials of epinephrine in a zip-lock bag -- cost of the kit: $10. Good for those Mormons. 

As I said before: the Mylan EpiPen story is a non-story. If anything, it's a first-world problem.

By the way, the Utah hospital includes two alcohol wipes in their packages. Mylan does not. LOL. So, in the moment, when one is about to die due to anaphylaxis, the emergency responder can take a few seconds to "sterilize" the injection site.

By the way, it has been proven that a) there is no need to sterilize an injection site; and, b) alcohol swabs do NOT sterilize an injection site. The only time, generally speaking, where sterilization is needed is when donating blood and then for those who have donated blood note that the technician uses copious amount of disinfectant (usually povidone iodine) and swabs for several minutes with multiple cotton balls soaked in disinfectant held by forceps/tongs and holding the instrument with gloved hands. 

Correlation Between Gasoline Demand / Jobs; Are The Goal Posts Changing Now That The Obama Presidency Is Coming To An End? -- November 2, 2016


Later, 9:25 a.m. Central Time:

From the EIA today:
The consumption of U.S. finished motor gasoline reached a new high of 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in June 2016, surpassing the previous one-month high of 9.6 million b/d set in July 2007. U.S. gasoline consumption during summer 2016 (June through August) increased by 169,000 b/d, or 1.8%, relative to the same period in 2015.
The increase in gasoline consumption was slightly lower than the increase in driving, suggesting that fuel economy improvements slightly mitigated the increase. --- EIA
We didn't hit 10 million bopd but we came close.

Original Post
USA Today:
Businesses added 147,000 jobs in October, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday, possibly signaling the government this week will report a third straight month of disappointing employment gains.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected ADP to report 165,000 job gains. They forecast the Labor Department on Friday will record 175,000 new jobs in the public and private sectors in the final employment report before the election.
Last night I posted the one metric that tells me most about the US economy: gasoline demand. In light of the jobs story today, you may want to take another look at the post on gasoline demand.

Remember the magic numbers:
First time claims, unemployment benefits: 400,000 (> 400,000: economic stagnation)
New jobs: 200,000 (< 200,000 new jobs: economic stagnation)
But this is very, very interesting. Now that the Obama presidency is coming to an end, the goal posts seem to be moving again.

Forever and ever, and under the George W Bush administration, the "magic" number for new jobs was 200,000/month. That was the number of new jobs that had to be added each month to maintain economic expansion. Under 200,000: indications of economic stagnation.

Then, sometime under the Obama administration, the number was silently changed:
Economists estimate the labor market needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, though estimates vary -- Reuters.
I stuck with the 200,000 number.

By the way, going from 200,000 to 125,000 is not trivial; that's almost cutting the 200,000 number in half.

Now, note the USA Today story today: "Businesses added 147,000 jobs in October." That's what the story says. Reuters, during the Obama administration, said only 125,000 new jobs were needed to keep the unemployment rate steady -- so 147,000 should be fine under the Obama administration.  

But now that the Obama administration is coming to a close, 147,000 jobs is apparently a really bad number.

I wonder what the number will have to be under a Hillary administration? 100,000? A Trump administration? 500,000.


US Exports Of Crude Oil And Petroleum Products -- November 2, 2016

Over at "Big Stories," I have a whole section on the US Energy Revolution. As China falters, the 21st century will be America's century. Had China not faltered, the race would have been between China and the US, but when all is said and done, the 21st century is going to be defined by access to dependable, affordable energy. One almost gets the feeling that the "jobs" that the US once lost to China are now moving back to the western hemisphere -- to Mexico. 

The graph below is staggering. From 1 million bopd in 2008 to almost 6 million bopd now. This is not trivial.

This may take a few moments to load depending on numerous factors, an embedded EIA chart:

Implications Of US Vs State Regulation Of Texas Pipelines -- RBN Energy -- November 2, 2016

First things first: tonight's World Series game will probably set records for number of folks watching

The MDW: Breaking News Before Breaking News

Three minutes ago: yes, three minutes ago -- the Russian Northern Fleet is just south of the far west end of Crete.

This is so cool. This is why I love to blog. Last night I posted:
Russia's Northern Fleet, most recent update: the last ping was 20 hours ago, so not much change from previous report. The fleet's location 20 hours ago was at the east end of the strait separating Malta from Sicily -- so twenty hours ago, just slightly northeast of Malta, southeast of Sicily. This is about 6/11ths or about halfway between the Strait of Gibralter and Syria. The fleet has transited the Strait of Gibralter on October 26; they may have loitered for a day in the western Mediterranean. October 26 - October 31 (twenty hours ago): 5 days. So, about five more days to destination (Syria). Arriving about November 5, two or three days before US election?
Note: that "ping" was 20 hours earlier -- this is how far the Fleet traveled in the last 24 hours or so, from "Breaking News," early this morning:
The two things that I find most interesting: tracking the Russian Northern Fleet and tracking the USC-Los Angeles Times poll -- neither of which amount to much in the big scheme of things, I suppose -- but it gives me something to do. Last night while watching the 6th game of the World Series I said I will be most interested in seeing this morning's poll. Wow, even I was surprised. To be honest, I really didn't think it would change that much, and to be really, really honest, I really thought the poll would have narrowed. Hmmmm:

A reader noted something I missed: although Hillary's polling has been lower in this poll, Trump has never been higher. His 47.8% today ties his previous high on September 19. We should probably go back and look at what was going on between September 12th and September 19th. He won't go over 50% in this poll, but if he does, it will be the headline story of they day.

Back To The Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3469193181187

RBN Energy: implications of US vs state regulation of Texas pipelines. And one might add, the implications of US vs state regulation of Texas pipelines under Hillary vs Trump. This might be a no-brainer. but let's see what RBN Energy has to say.