Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Winter: New England, "Old" England, And Northwest Europe Will Compete For LNG -- December 6, 2016

New England, US: enough electricity production for the winter; natural gas supplies raise concern. Link here. Data points:
  • ISO New England: operator of the region's power system
  • ISO NE has provided financial incentives to power plants to buy and store fueld
  • there should be adequate electricity generation
  • one glitch: gas-fired plants may not be able to get enough natural gas because too much of the gas brought into NE via pipelines is being used for heating
  • tankers bringing needed LNG to NE could divert elsewhere if price is better elsewhere
  • situation won't improve soon
  • 1,500 megawatts Brayton Point Power Station, coal-sourced, will close; will be replaced by new gas-fired generation, but no additional infrastructure to deliver or store natural gas is currently being developed
Meanwhile, it's very possible New England will be competing with "OLD" England for that LNG
From Bloomberg, data points:
  • UK's biggest natural gas storage site off England's east coast, Centrica, has been of-line for five months -- emergency maintenance
  • when it comes back on-line; it will hold less than half its typical storage
  • in addition, there is a dearth of LNG supplies to northwest Europe
  • bottom line: this winter -- competition among New England, "OLD" England, and northwest Europe for LNG
My assistant ran the numbers and she thinks LNG could increase by 47% if we have a colder-than-normal winter:

Sophia: age 2.5 years old

I Hope This Ends It -- Michigan Court Of Appeals Says "Enough Is Enough, Already' -- December 6, 2016

Don sent me this breakingnews.com item. I hope this ends it; I am truly getting tired of Jill Stein. Her fifteen minutes of fame ended more than fifteen minutes ago.

From "breakingnews.com": 
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected Jill Stein's recount as improper because Stein is not an aggrieved candidate and "she has no chance to overturn the result of the presidential election in her favor.
Hopefully the Pennsylvania judge says the same thing Friday, but if the Michigan ruling holds, it's finally over. Maybe. Another note says the judge's ruling does not stop the recount from continuing. I assume the Secretary of State has to make that decision. And now we have the question: who has the authority to rule on recounts: the secretary of state or the courts.

For me the bottom line is this: if someone doesn't put a stop to this craziness, in the future we can have any single individual cherry-pick the states to request a recount, thus tying up the process well past the Electoral College deadline. Ironically, the GOP would be best able to do this and if folks like Jill Stein are successful, there is no question in my mind that this would become the norm going forward. Even in Nevada, they are facing a recount, of all things.

Perhaps on the day before the Electoral College is scheduled to meet, some "alt-right" fanatic needs to request, no, "demand" a recount in California just to preclude California's electors from voting.

It was bad enough to live through the campaign once; I'm more than irritated to have to live through it a second time.

Speaking of "irritation," if it turns out that Bob Dole arranged the "Taiwan phone call," I'm really, really irritated. I don't have any problem with PEOTUS-Trump talking to anyone he wants to talk to, but I don't need Bob Dole in the mix. 

Globally: ND Ranked #6 For 2017 Petroleum Investment Opportunities -- December 8, 2016

North Dakota: #6 among top 10 plays for global oil investment in 2017. The full survey is here. Data points here:
  • Canadian public policy think-tank, annual survey; top 10 jurisdictions as the most attractive for investment in petroleum exploration and development (the group includes 96 urisdictions: large, medium, and small)
#1: Oklahoma; for the first time, beats out Texas
#2: Texas
#3: Kansas
#4: Saskatchewan
#5: Wyoming
#6: North Dakota (pesky pipeline issues; BLM flaring; high-tax) (was #8 last year)
#7: Norway -- North Sea
#8: Mississippi
#9: Utah
#10: Montana
#29: Qatar
#36: Pennsylvania
#43: Alberta, Canada
#49: Alaska
#61: Colorado
#68: Mexico
#77: Iraq
#87: Russia
#91: California
#96: Venezuela (last place)
Among jurisdictions with medium-sized reserves, ND was ranked #3, behind Oklahoma and Wyoming.

As a global survey, the top ten are certainly interesting -- Mississippi? Montana? Kansas?

Daily Activity Report

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3864188193182

No wells coming off confidential list Wednesday.

No new permits.

One permit canceled:
  • Whiting: a Loomer permit in McKenzie County.
And that was it for today's Daily Activity Report.

The Market

The Dow set another all-time record today. I was told this was the eleventh (11th) record-setting day for the Dow since the election. There have been 19.5 trading days since the election and I think on only two of those days was there a decline, and in both cases, the "retreat" was trivial. Futures don't mean squat but right now, futures are pointing to another good day tomorrow (for those bullish on the market).

The "crawler" at Yahoo!Finance suggests that WTI closed in the green today, at $52.10.

Bakken Oil Field Updates; Trump Gets Another $100 Billion Commitment -- December 6, 2016

Statoil's Pyramid wells on the northwest side of Williston have been updated.

CLR's Burr Federal and Roggenbuck wells have been updated, as well as Whiting's Bartleson wells in the same area. Screenshots of the current status of these wells have all been posted.

BR's Blue Ridge wells in Keene oil field have been updated.

QEP's G. Levang wells have been updated.

Will This Get Mika's Attention? 

When a billionaire got a private meeting with Hillary, millions went into the Clinton Fuondation to pay for speeches by Bill and Hillary.

When a billionaire gets a private meeting with Trump (who is not even president yet), "we" -- the United States -- gets a pledge of $50 billion for US investment and a promise to create 50,000 US jobs.

Story here.

I really don't care for the politics, per se, of this story. What fascinates me is how fast the world is changing. Note:
In an interview, Mr. Son said the money will be coming from a $100 billion investment fund he is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and other potential partners. 
That's pretty special. A $100 billion investment fund -- half from SoftBank (Japanese) and half from the Mideast (Saudi Arabia) -- to be invested in the US.
With the new $100 billion fund—dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund—Mr. Son plans to spend heavily in fields including the so-called Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics. He has said he wants to become the Warren Buffett of the tech industry.
SoftBank plans to invest at least $25 billion over the next five years in the fund, while Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may contribute an additional $45 billion over the same period as the fund’s lead partner.
Two words: Bakken revolution. 

At some point, Trump's detractors may start to take notice. And all of this before he is even president.

And no phony Trump Foundation.

Quiet News Day -- Fairly Cool Here -- But No Rain -- Going Biking -- December 6, 2016

Three books today.

Starting with:
The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life
John Le Carre
c. 2016
I recently read the reviews in The New York Review of Books or some such place. All I remember from the review was that with Le Carre' s background it is difficult to know what is true in his memoir, and in some cases, he may not even know. It will be interesting to see his writing style and his few few chapters.

For a quick read on Byzantium:
Byzantium: The Bridge from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Michael Angold
c. 2001 
For the definitive read on Byzantium:
A Short History of Byzantium
John Julius Norwich
based on the "great" three-volume work
c. 1997
The author: career in the British Foreign Service. Two and a half years in Belgrade and three in Beirut. 

I picked Byzantium up after reading a very short history of Constantine the Great in Cistercian Abbeys, a French coffee-table photograph book with great text. And there it is, Part I: The Early Centuries; Chapter 1. Constantine The Great [to 337].

It appears that the history of Byzantium begins with Constantine.

The three divisions:

Part I: The Early Centuries [ -- to 802]
  • from Constantine the Great through Justinian to the Iconoclasm
Part II: The Apogee [802 - 1081]
  • from images restored to Manzikert
Part III: The Decline and Fall [1081 - 1453]
  • from Alexius Comnenus the the Angevin threat to the fall
Constantine the Great
  • the author argues that only three men have a more serious claim to be called "Great": Jesus Christ, the Buddha, and the prophet Muhammed
  • Constantine made two decisions within the short space of 15 years
  • either decision would have been enough to change the history of the world
    • first, he converted to Christianity and adopted that religion as the official religion of the Roman Empire
    • second, he moved the capital of that Empire from Rome to the new city which he was building on the site of old Byzantium

Chapter 1: Constantine the Great

Geography: triangular promontory
  • south side: sea of Marmara; narrow Bosphoros to the east; the Hellespont (Dardanelles) to the west
  • northeast: a 5-mile inlet, the Golden Horn
Constantine 1: Emperor of Rome (why he was "great" -- see above -- his two decisions)
born ~~ 274 AD
  • his mother, after he accedes to supreme power, at age 70 becomes the most venerated woman in the Empire; in 327 AD, a passionately enthusiastic Christian convert, pilgrimages to the Holy Land, miraculously unearths the True Cross and achieves sainthood!
  • his father, Chlorus
293: Roman Emperor Diocletian -- divides the empire into four
  • East: himself, Diocletian
  • other three regions to
  • his comrade-in-arms, Maximian
  • a rough, brutal professional soldier from Thrace, Galerius
  • Constantius Chlorus, his father
305AD: Diocletian abdicates; Maximian joins him in abdication
  • two senior Emperors (Augusti) in charge; two new Caesars (to succeed) were appointed
  • Constantius Chlorus' son Constantine flees (fears for his life); ends up in York / England with his dad; his dad dies at York; Constantine stays in England for six years; building his reputation; Galerius refuses to recognize him as an Augustus but he is happy to build his career as a Caesar
  • Maximian re-claims Emperor-ship; his son joins him; Constantine marries daughter of Maximian -- families are cemented (p. 5)
Galerius died, 311 AD; now three men hold power:
  • Licinius, an old drinking buddy of the late Emperor: Illyria, Thrace, and Danube provinces
  • Maximin Daia, emperor's nephew, named Caesar in 305; took over the eastern part of the Empire
  • Constantine, himself, the third of the triumvirate
  • a fourth, Galerius' son-in-law, Maxentius (son of old Emperor Maximian, thought he was the rightful heir to the throne
Constantine marches on Rome; sees his famous vision -- the trophy of a cross; routs the army of Maxentius; battle of Milvan Bridge, 312 AD

Constantine: absolute master of all Europe

Constantine: protector of Christians from that point on; starts building basilicas, cathedrals, churches

The story of chi (X) and rho (P) the first two Greek letters in the name of Christ, had long been a familiar symbol in Christian inscriptions

313: Constantine and Licinius agree to Constantine's lands; to protect Christianity - the Edict of Milan

321: proclaimed "Sunday, a day of rest"

323: Constantine defeats/kills Licinius and Constantine alone as Emperor -- Constantine is 49 years old -- wow, very, very old for that time and place

325: Nicaea Council convened by Constantine --
  • three factions needed to be reigned in
    • Donatists in North Africa
    • Meletians in Egypt
    • but, the greatest fear: Alexandria in Arius
  • Nicaea Council: would dictate no more synods of local bishops; instead there would be a universal Council of the Church, to be held at Nicaea
  • the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church
  • proceedings opened by Constantine himself; most delegates from the East; the west had little interest
  • Constantine: little interest in theology; he wanted an end to the disputes
  • Alexandria exiled, but later showed up in Nicomedia and stirred up things again
January, 326: Constantine returns to Rome; Romans upset he held this council in Nicaea; will appease them by repeating it in Rome; his entourage:
  • mother Helena
  • wife Empress Fausta
  • half-sister Constantia
  • Constantia's stepson and his own first-born: Licinianus, the Caesar Crispus
  • relations among the entourage very, very bad
From wiki:
Flavius Julius Crispus (died 326), also known as Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus, was a Caesar of the Roman Empire. He was the first-born son of Constantine I and Minervina.
Crispus' year and place of birth are uncertain. He is considered likely to have been born between 299 and 305, possibly as early as 295, somewhere in the Eastern Roman Empire, probably the early date since he was being tutored already in 309-310 by Lactantius.
His mother Minervina was either a concubine or a first wife to Constantine. Nothing else is known about Minervina.
His father (?) served as a hostage in the court of Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia, thus securing the loyalty of Caesar of the Western Roman Empire Constantius Chlorus, father of Constantine and grandfather of Crispus.
In 307, Constantine allied to the Italian Augusti, and this alliance was sealed with the marriage of Constantine to Fausta, daughter of Maximian and sister of Maxentius.
The marriage of Constantine to Fausta has caused modern historians to question the status of his relation to Minervina and Crispus. If Minervina was his legitimate wife, Constantine would have needed to secure a divorce before marrying Fausta. This would have required an official written order signed by Constantine himself, but no such order is mentioned by contemporary sources.
This silence in the sources has led many historians to conclude that the relationship between Constantine and Minervina was informal and to assume her to have been an unofficial lover. However, Minervina may have already been dead by 307.
A widowed Constantine would need no divorce. Neither the true nature of the relationship between Constantine and Minervina nor the reason Crispus came under the protection of his father will ever probably be known. The offspring of an illegitimate affair could have caused dynastical problems and would likely be dismissed, but Crispus was raised by his father in Gaul. This can be seen as evidence of a loving and public relationship between Constantine and Minervina which gave him a reason to protect her son.
On way back to Rome, Crispus and Licinianus were arrested; Faustia met her fate in the calidarium of the bathhouse in Serdica.

Romans had heard of this slaughter; did not trust this "eastern" potentate.

Constantine proved still more assiduous in his determination to make Roma a Christian city: endowed another great basilica, now known as S. Paolo fuori le Mura -- dedicated this time to St Paul, at the site of the saint's tomb on the road to Ostia, and another, now S Sebastiano -- in honor of the Holy Apostles on the Appian Way. His most important creation, however: the basilica he commanded to be built above the traditional resting-place of St Peter on the Vatican Hill.

Constantine: saw Rome as only second to Jerusalem in Christian importance; personally he never liked it; his heart was in the east; he had business in Byzantium.

p 11

Blizzard Warning For 2/3rds Of North Dakota; Mostly East Of The Bakken; CA Co Looking To Move To Lower-Cost State -- December 6, 2016

DAPL weather: blizzard warning central and eastern North Dakota with brunt of storm to hit central region, Minot south to Standing Rock. Gusts to 55 mph will blow over most teepees set up by white men and women. Dangerous wind chills to 25 degrees below zero are expected. Snowfall won't be all that great -- 1 - 4 inches. 

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3864188193182

RBN Energy: assessing the OPEC/Russia deal and its impact.

John Kemp: after two years, why an OPEC deal now?

US productivity: 3Q16 productivity rose at fastest pace in two years while labor costs slowed after a big jump in the spring. President Obama leaving Trump an incredibly strong economy.

The Market

Wow, this is truly insane. It's been almost a month since the election and the Trump rally continues. After setting another all-time high yesterday, the market holds onto those gains today. Dow 30:
  • new highs: 181, including Citigroup, GS, JPM, MDR, RIG,
  • new lows: 19 
Tesla: burning through its remaining cash. Forbes.
A $9 million hedge fund concluded that Tesla Motors will burn through its cash. The key assumption underlying that conclusion is that if the company charges $35,000 for its Model 3, Tesla will lose so much money that its cash will go up in flames.
Yes, a luxury automobile for the price of a Ford Focus seems to be a recipe for disaster.

By the way, Forbes won't download on older iPads, and clicking on Forbes.com  slows down the MacBook Air to a crawl (in fact this time, the computer froze, a rare phenomenon for the MacBook Air, and I had to re-boot the computer). This suggests that Forbes is loading a lot of advertisements on its web pages, and each of them is collecting a lot of data from your keystrokes.

Oil investors. From Kiplinger, three crude oil stocks "to load up on for 2017: EOG, Anadarko, and WPX. With regard to WPX:
Like previously mentioned with EOG, these are premium spots. And while the smaller WPX doesn’t have the same sort of cost efficiency, it can hit 11 stacked zones from one well pad across its acreage. That’s pretty good for any energy company, let alone a small one. And that doesn’t include WPX’s prime acreage in the Bakken either.
BRK-B: on a fairly flat day for the market, perhaps slightly negative, BRK is green. Warren Buttett needs to tweet a "thank you" to PEOTUS-Trump.

Election recount: speaking of Buffett and Trump, how is the Wisconsin recount going? At days 4 and 5 of the recount, Trump has widened his lead by about two dozen votes over Hillary, and observers suggest that the recount is "nowhere near finished' suggesting it will be a race to the finish to beat the December 13th deadline.

To some extent, the vote was so close in Wisconsin the original results were delayed because the state did a recount before certifying the results. So the current Jill Stein effort is a recount of a recount.

If Wisconsin had a week's head start, it's hard to see how PA and MI will beat the deadline, unless the recount in those states is simply electronic, which is likely the case in PA since 90% of the voting is cone on machines that have no paper trail.

California business climate: American Apparel warns warns 3,500 southern California workers they may lose their jobs.
The maker of colorful basics, which in November filed for bankruptcy for the second time, has notified workers at three American Apparel production facilities that they could be laid off January 6, 2017,, according to the California Employment Development Department.
The message went to 332 workers in Garden Grove, 959 workers in South Gate and 2,166 workers at the company’s sprawling headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.
If all of these workers lost their jobs next year, it would be a huge blow to Southern California apparel manufacturing, which has steadily declined over the years, analysts said. This year, American Apparel laid off at least 500 workers as it cut production.
Production could also move to a lower-cost state such as South Carolina or Georgia
Nuclear Follies

Merkel madness: German government must compensate utilities for 2011 nuclear law that phased out nuclear reactors. E.ON and RWE shares rise sharply after the ruling.
Tuesday’s ruling from the constitutional court didn’t open the door for a damages suit based on “expropriation without compensation,” which would have brought the biggest windfall for the operators.
But the government will have to reimburse the companies for foregone profits from the sale of power at some plants and for investments the companies had made based on the original outlook for nuclear power, which in E. ON’s case alone amounted to “several hundred million euros.”
A Day In The Life

A Day in the Life, The Beatles