Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Futures -- May 24, 2017


May 25, 2017: isn't this interesting? "Oil prices drop after a weaker-than-expected cut in production from OPEC." -- CNBC.  Dow is holding its gains (futures) but WTI dropped back to around $50. OPEC agreed to extend the cuts for nine months (expected) but no change in production cuts. Analysts know that without more production cuts, the glut will remain. US shale.

Later, 10:18 p.m. Central Time: wow, Dow 30 futures up 71 points and WTI getting closer to $52. And a reminder: the Fed will raise rates in June, the third increase in seven months -- at a time when new home sales are falling through the floor. 

Original Post

After setting records today, the market looks like it is ready to continue. Futures, Dow 30, are up 30 points right now, and WTI is up to $51.69.

Hopefully, President Trump won't tweet something ridiculous overnight. But if he does, that's fine. Any market pullback is a buying opportunity.

But, seriously, this is quite amazing.

Men are from Mars; women are from Venus.

Men watch channel 43, CNBC. Women watch channel 42, MSNBC. At least in our house.

It's Still ObamaCare

Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Kansas City will pull out of ObamaCare health insurance exchanges next, a move that leaves a region in northwestern Missouri at risk of having no available marketplace plans. 

BC/BS is losing more than $100 million on ObamaCare plans through 2016.

Graduation Season

Let's see. May. The month of May. Graduation season. John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren making the commencement speeches.

Schadenfreude -- May 24, 2017

From The WSJ: How American shale drillers flipped OPEC’s script. U.S. output has surged since the 2016 production deal, leaving the cartel with little choice but to extend cuts (or even deepen them).

Folks who think the US can't grow at 3% GDP are nuts.

And chronically depressed.

And probably congenitally pessimistic.

And cornflakes. Or is it snowflakes?


From the linked article:
As it turns out for OPEC, competing against American shale oil really means competing against Wall Street and its financial engineering—a prospect that has bedeviled government-run oil companies from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria.
And that's just the start.

American shale producers have prevailed so far because they have continued to innovate and cut costs as they refine hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and other pioneering techniques to unlock a flood of oil from Texas to North Dakota.
Another memo to Jane Nielson.

By the way, what does Saudi need with regard to the price of oil? From the article:
While many Middle Eastern nations can pull a barrel of crude out of the ground for far less money than it takes to pump a well in West Texas, those countries collectively need $95 a barrel to fund their government-run social programs, according to RBC Capital Markets, a global investment bank.
The NBA Page

The Golden State Warriors sweep the San Antonio Spurs. Hmmm.

Golden State unto the NBA Finals.

Will meet Cleveland and LeBron. You can take that to the bank.

Genius Misread "The Speed Of Change" -- Nominee For The 2017 Geico Rock Award -- May 24, 2017

Had it been just one quarter or two quarters, or maybe even just one year, I would have let it go. But reading that this company has had ten quarters of falling sales because the CEO admitted he "mis-read" the "technology" makes this CEO a nominee for the Geico Rock Award of 2017.

Article at The Wall Street Journal:
Millard “Mickey” Drexler, the fashion genius whose ability to spot trends reshaped how Americans dress, has a humbling admission. He missed what might be the biggest trend of all—how quickly technology would change the retail industry.
“I’ve never seen the speed of change as it is today,” the 72-year-old chairman and chief executive of J.Crew Group Inc. said in an interview at his New York office. “If I could go back 10 years, I might have done some things earlier.”
The retail veteran, who redefined Gap Inc. in the 1990s and then transformed J.Crew into a household name, is now scrambling to keep the company he took private in a leveraged buyout from ending up in bankruptcy.

Even Trump, at age 70, understood the power of Facebook and understands the power of Twitter.

Northern Illinois: Next Month's Electricity Price Hike Is Just The Start -- Crain's -- What Intermittent Energy Is Costing You -- May 24, 2017


May 26, 2017: another op-ed on the recent PJM auction. People can vote with their feet.
Something has gone wrong in the northern Illinois electricity market. Electric bills are rising even though demand is slowing, energy prices are low and generating capacity is plentiful. As my colleague Steve Daniels wrote the other day, Commonwealth Edison customers will see the energy portion of their bills increase 13 percent between now and October, and another 5 percent by June 2018. (Energy charges make up about half the bill; the rest is for delivery.)
What gives? Well, a lot of factors unrelated to supply and demand determine the size of our electric bills. For example, we pay the cost of a political deal approved by Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators to prop up inefficient nuclear power plants owned by ComEd's Chicago-based parent, Exelon. We also pay fees to support renewable power sources and charges related to "smart grid" upgrades to ComEd's electrical network.
Then there's the charge we pay to assure adequate electricity supply in a region that produces far more power than it consumes. Every electric bill includes a payment to power companies like Exelon for their promise to serve up juice when it's needed most. Capacity charges are established through bidding processes overseen by PJM, a regional power grid administrator for the District of Columbia and all or part of 13 states, including northern Illinois.
Original Post 

This could be added to the earlier PJM post from today but for various reasons, I'm posting this as a stand-alone post. A huge "thank you" to a reader for spotting it and sending it to me.

From Crain's:
The substantial hike in Northern Illinois' cost of electricity beginning next month is just the beginning of the increases for years to come.

With energy costs remaining at historically low levels, the price all consumers pay qualified power generators simply to promise to produce during the highest-demand days of the year keeps rising.

These "capacity" costs—essentially an additional reservation price embedded in the energy cost ComEd customers see in their electric bills—will approach the cost of the electrons themselves beginning in 2019 and now continuing through the first half of 2021.

The bottom line for customers of Commonwealth Edison is that the 8 percent increase they'll experience in their electricity rates over the next several months is just the first installment.

The reason: The capacity charge is set three years in advance. PJM Interconnection, the regional power-grid operator for Northern Illinois and all or parts of 12 other states to the east plus Washington, D.C., holds an auction each year at this time to establish the capacity price three years from now.
Actually it's not just "intermittent energy," but all nuclear energy.

Five New Permits; 20 Permits Renewed; Five DUCs Completed -- May 24, 2017 -- WPX Reports A Well That Produced Almost 60K Bbls In One Month

Active rigs:

Active Rigs492882191185

Five new permits:
  • Operator: BR
  • Field: Camel Butte (McKenzie)
    Comments: five Anderson Ranch permits, all in section 14-151-96, but on two separate pads
Three producing wells (DUCs) completed (previously reported as canceled -- error):
  • 32677, 2,520, WPX, Caribou 33-34HDL, Mandaree, 61 stages, 9.1 million lbs, t3/17; cum 58K in first month,
  • 32678, 2,123, WPX, Caribou 33-34HZ, Mandaree, Three Forks, 61 stages, 9.2 million lbs, t3/17; cum 40K in first month,
  • 32679, 2,385, WPX, Caribou 33-34HG, Mandaree, middle Bakken, 41 stages, 6.1 million lbs, t3/17; cum 35K in first month, 
  • These three Caribou wells are in the same area as the incredible Helena Ruth Grant wells.
Twenty (20) permits renewed:
  • Slawson (15): ten Torpedo Federal permits; four Serpent Federal permits; and, one Rebel permit, all in Mountrail County
  • EOG (2): two Austin permits in Mountrail County
  • Texakota (2): two H. Borstad permits in Williams County
  • Crescent Point Energy: one Legacy Et Al Hansen Pager permit in Bottineau County
Two producing wells (DUCs) completed:
  • 31762, 758, Hess, HA-State-152-95-1621H-9, Hawkeye, t5/17; cum 8K in 4 days; spud date, January 5, 2017; cease driling January 15, 2017; total depth, 20,636 feet; 10,664 TVD; 
  • 32482, 1,120, Hess, BB-Chapin A-151-95-0403H-2, Blue Buttes, t5/17; cum 13K in 9 days;

The Market And Energy Page, T-114 -- May 24, 2016

US markets closing. Everything hitting new records, or flirting with new records.

Dow 30 up 75 points, but professional traders, according to CNBC, are tracking the S&P 500: if it closes above 2,402, the S&P will close at a new record. Right now, the S&P is at 2,404.70.

CNBC analyst says traders were thrilled with "words" from the Fed, or as some call it the Oracle of Wall Street. The Fed said it will "shrink its balance sheet very, very slowly." The Fed did not change its plan to limit interest rate increases to three times the rest of this year.

And I guess it did. The S&P "is closing at a record 2,404, two points higher than the May high of 2,402."

Port Of North Dakota -- In Default -- Minot Daily News -- May 24, 2017

Link here.
Minot’s intermodal facility is in default, and its lender is asking the court in a foreclosure proceeding for the right to sell property to collect on its debt.

The city owns the property, which is leased to North Dakota Port Services.

The mortgage, held by First Western Bank, was created in March 2013 to secure $10 million in loans.
Although it was much more than this, DAPL certainly comes to mind.

This was posted back in 2012.

See first comment:

Why I Love To Blog -- Reason #43 -- May 24, 2017

Just moments ago I completed a fairly lengthy note on PJM and recent energy requirements auction.

After finishing that, I went to twitter and this was the first link, from Bloomberg:

`Gas Apocalypse' Looms Amid Power Plant Construction Boom 

The lede:
The glut of cheap natural gas from a single, gigantic, shale basin that straddles the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest has sparked a massive construction boom of power plants. Dozens have been built in the past two years alone.

There’s just one problem: There isn’t nearly enough electricity demand to support all the new capacity. And as wholesale electricity prices plunge, industry experts are anticipating a fire sale of scores of plants in the region. Many, in fact, have already been sold along the PJM Interconnection LLC grid, the nation’s largest, encompassing 13 states from Virginia to Illinois.

“Everything in fossil fuels is for sale,” said Ted Brandt, chief executive officer at Marathon Capital LLC, a mergers-and-acquisitions adviser in Chicago. “People are bleeding.”
Drawing from abundant, cheap and nearby natural gas in the country’s most prolific shale field, the new plants are adding a gigantic amount of power generation -- more than 20 gigawatts --- to a region that arguably has more than it needs. The new gas-fired plants are also coming online at a time of market turmoil, buffeted by Obama administration efficiency policies that have helped tamp down demand and by the Trump administration’s determination to keep old coal-fired plants going.
Spot wholesale prices at PJM’s benchmark Western hub slumped to an average of $28.79 per megawatt-hour last year, falling by more than half since 2008 as the shale boom took hold. Many players are exiting the market.
Wow, another memo for Jane Nielson.

The tea leaves suggest that without federal and state mandates/relief/subsidies the following industries are the canaries in the coal mine: nuclear, solar, and wind (perhaps not in that order).

PJM Provides Update On Efficiency Of Intermittent Energy -- May 24, 2017

From an earlier post:

Solar Energy: Nameplate Capacity Vs Achieved Renewable Energy Output 

The European solar energy experience:
  • Germany: 78 GW / 10.4 GW (13.2%)
  • Spain: 27.7 GW / 6.8 GW (24.4%)
  • Italy: 27.1 GW / 4.4 GW (16.2%)
  • UK: 16.7 GW / 4.0 GW (24.4%)
  • France: 14.9 GW / 2.6 GW (17.3%
  • Sweden: 5.5 GW / 1.2 GW (22%)
  • Denmark: 5.4 GW / 1.4 GW (25.6%) 
  • Rest of Europe: 39.5 GW / 7.9 GW (19.8%)
This is not news. It has been reported many times on the blog -- data sent to me be a regular reader -- that "achieved renewable energy output" vs nameplate capacity works out to about 25% at best.

Overall, the effective capacity factor in Europe for solar energy was 18%.

Does anyone know the similar number for natural gas? Answer: 87% 


Note: an update to this PJM post is at this link, posted at 7:51 p.m. Central Time

The reader who sent me the link to the article linked below suggested:
a) the whole issue is a mess
b) the article is way more than any reasonable person with a life would want to know
c) the whole issue is a mess (oh, did I already say that?)
Whatever. Time to look up the definition of obfuscation.

From rtoinsider, some data points on the recent PJM auction to contract for electricity:
  • wind: 13% capacity factor (CF)
  • solar: 38% capacity factor (significantly exceeds results in Europe which suggests some fancy math)
  • this was the first PJM auction that required year-round availability (N.B. wind and solar)
  • prices have come down significantly, as much as 25% in most of the regional transmission organization (RTO) or PJM in this case
  • last year: $100
  • this year: $76.53
  • ComEd (Illinois): $188.12 ($202.77 previously)
  • Duke OH/KY: $130 this year
  • MAAC: $86.04 ($100 last year) -- most of Pennsylvania
  • EMAAC: $187.87 (less than $120 last year) -- EMAAC is New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland
  • this is the first year in which all generation must be Capacity Performance (CP): must be available throughout the delivery year; faces stiff penalties for nonperformance (in other words, smart operators will have excess NG peakers to back-up wind (in summer) and solar (in winter)
  • season demand response (DR) no longer allowed; PJM committed to 558 MW of demand reductions under price-responsive demand (PRD)
  • electricity demand decreasing: PJM forecasts a 2.1% reduction in peak load
  • "we have units that are at financial risk in the area that, if they retire, it could create a reliability issue" -- confidentiality restricted much more comment, but it sounds like they are talking about coal-fired plants
  • PJM: for year 2020/21 has a 23.3% reserve margin; highest ever in the 14-year history of the auctioin (technically the BRA, Base Residual Auction); by regulation, requires a 16.6% reserve
  • cost load: $7 billion in 2020/21 -- about the same as 2019/20
  • new generation: 3,144 MW (UCAP); of that, about 2,824 MW was mostly natural gas combined cycle and combustion turbines (NG-CCCT) (think GE?)
  • wind: 888 MW (6,828.5 MW nameplate capacity; 13% CF)
  • solar: 125 MW (330 MW nameplate capacitiy: 38% CF)
  • amount of intermittent resources offered as CP dropped by 3,400 MW from last year
  • Exelon: third year in a row that TMI left the capacity auction empty handed; Three-Mile Island (TMI) now depends on Pennsylvania; TMI has not been profitable for five years
Disclaimer: I do this quickly; there will be typographical and factual errors. If this is important to you, go to the source. I understand about 2% of the entire article.

Wind: with a CF of 13%, I suppose that means that when you see 100 wind turbines, if everything was working as advertised by the wind farm developer, one would need only 13 turbines.

Resilient US Shale Has Flipped Imports Upside Down -- Oil & Gas 360 -- May 24, 2017

Link here. Archived.

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List At The End Of The Week -- May 24, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017
  • 33168, SI/NC, Enerplus, Whitney 148-95-12D-01H, Eagle Nest, no production;

Weekly Petroleum Data -- Only 38 Weeks Until US Crude Oil Stocks Reach Historical Levels -- May 24, 2017


June 12, 2017: in the last week or so, I've heard a couple of television talking heads mention that US gasoline demand has not been all that great this year. Most recent example: Memorial Day was forecast to be a huge day for gasoline demand; turned out to be mundane. We first mentioned the issue of low gasoline demand some months ago.

Original Post

Disclaimer: I do these notes quickly and there will likely be typographical and factual errors. If this data is important to you, go to the source.

Weekly oil data starting to be posted. From John Kemp, via Twitter:
  • US refinery throughput accelerated -- another seasonal record, and (almost) literally off the chart
  • US refinery crude processing was up 1 million b/d higher than 2016 and up 2.1 million b/d higher than the 10-year seasonal average
  • gasoline stocks at record seasonal highs despite falling 0.8 million bbls to 240 million bbls last week
  • gasoline stocks remain very high (as in, "off the chart")
  • US commercial crude oil stocks are tightening and now just up 10 million bbls (up 2%) higher than 2016, though up an astounding 162 million bbls (up 46%) over the 10-year average (or as we say, "off the chart")
  • US commercial crude stocks have risen 37 million bbls since the start of the year, compared with an increase of 55 million bbls in 2016 and a 10-year average of a 44-million-bbl increase
  • US commercial crude oil stocks fell 4.4 million bbls to 516 million bbls in most recent reporting period -- if this rate of decline were to continue, US supply of crude oil would be back to its "historical average" (350 million bbls) in only 38 weeks
A "draw" of 4.4 million bbls should be an incredibly bullish sign. Let's see what the price of WTI did: dropped 30 cents; now at $51.17. Apparently "the market" was not fooled by the number.

"Weeks to RB (re-balance)" -- this is the number of weeks that it would take for US crude oil supplies to reach 350 million bbls (in storage) at the current rate of draw (the most recent number, not any averaging) (update: methodology was wrong in some parts of this table; it has been updated and corrected at this post):

Weeks to RB
Week 0
Apr 26, 2017

Week 1
May 3, 2017
Week 2
May 10, 2017
Week 3
May 17, 2017
Week 4
May 24, 2017

If one averages the weekly drawdown over the past four weeks (3.275 million bbls/week), then (529 - 350)/3.275 works out to 55 weeks to get back to "historical levels."
Books On Broadway

I assume Mr Chuck Wilder has this book for sale in his bookshop: Black Elk: The Life of An American Visionary, Joe Jackson, c. 2016.

Perhaps more on this later. For anyone interested in the history of the northern Great Plains native American, this is a great book. It would make a great "Father's Day" gift.

The little I've read of it leads me to think (again) that the loss of "the fighting Sioux" as a rallying cry for any university in North Dakota was a great loss. What were they thinking?

Amateurs Sleuthing Oil Data - WSJ -- May 24, 2017

From today's WSJ: "Do Dishes, Then Track Oil Data."
On a recent Sunday evening, Samir Madani had dinner with his family in suburban Stockholm, did the dishes and put his two children to bed.
Then he opened his laptop and started crunching U.S. oil import data late into the night.
Mr. Madani, a technology executive who trades and researches crude as a hobby, is part of a growing group of oil sleuths who have sprung up to sate the market’s voracious appetite for data and intelligence.
“So much of oil data is hidden and we’re trying to make it accessible,” said Mr. Madani, who runs a free oil data website from his house. “Besides, there’s so much drama in oil.”
Dramatic gyrations in the price of oil in the past three years have boosted demand for such services, intensifying competition in a market that for years had been dominated by governments, oil companies and a handful of big data providers.
The Million Dollar Way blog has no agenda to predict oil prices but nonetheless, my wife found the WSJ article interesting. LOL.

This blog is to help me better understand the Bakken and put it into perspective with global events. Again, this is not an investment site.

The Apple Page (Sort Of)

From MacRumors: Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties.

From wiki:
Thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface developed by Apple and Intel that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer. The interface was originally intended to run exclusively on an optical physical layer using components and flexible optical fiber cabling developed by Intel partners and at Intel's Silicon Photonics lab.
It was initially marketed under the name Light Peak, and after 2011 as Silicon Photonics Link. However, it was discovered that conventional copper wiring could furnish the desired 10 Gbit/s per channel at lower cost.

This copper-based version of the Light Peak concept was co-developed by Apple and Intel. Apple registered Thunderbolt as a trademark, but later transferred the mark to Intel, which held overriding intellectual-property rights.

The Literature Page

Travels with Henry James, Henry James, foreword by Hendrik Hertzberg and introduction by Michael Anesko, c. 2016

Henry James: Roderick Hudson, The Portrait of a Lady, Daisy Miller, The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl, and The Turn of the Screw. 1843 - 1916. American, then British citizen.

When thinking Henry James, think also Edith Wharton.

Wrote during the Gilded Age: between the US Civil War and WWI.

A born traveler. Most of his time in the US spent in Boston, Cambridge. Father inherited $8 million (in today's money) and freely gave whatever his children needed.

Leon Edel: the definitive Henry James biographer.

Theodora Bosanquet: his faithful amanuensis.

Known for paragraphs taking up a whole page (or more) and containing only one sentence.

A nice collection of "travelogue" essays, some of New England and then most in Europe, and, of  those most from Italy.

The Jury Is Still Out, But Horizontal Madison Well In Pratt Oil Field Is Really Quite Remarkable -- May 24, 2017

Conventional, vertical Madison wells in the Pratt oil field northeast of Minot produce around 250 bbls/month maximum during the early years and decline gradually. After decades of production, few hit 75K bbls (total) of crude oil production. 

Pratt oil field, vertical Madison wells: file number, test date; max monthly production; total cumulative --
  • 12828, 7/90, 905 bbls, 41K, now AB,
  • 12645, 7/89, 196 bbls, 22K, now AB,
  • 12553, 5/89, 151 bbls, 10K, still A, producing 3 - 4 bbls/month,
  • 12449, 9/88, 870 bbls, 70K, still A, producing 125 bbls/month,
  • 12461, 8/88, 566 bbls, 36K, still A, producing 25 bbls/month,
  • 12448, 7/88, 571 bbls, 67K, now IA,
  • 3696, 10/64, 770 bbls, 89K, still A, producing less than 3 bbls/month,
  • 3315, 2/63, 1321 bbls, 128K, now IA,
  • 3298, 12/62, dry
Now, compare that with recent horizontal well in the same oil field, same formation:
  • 33156, 439, Sedalia Energy, Pratt Madison Unit 3H, Pratt, t1/17; cum 56K 78/17; note: at this post, a graphic showing how Sedalia Energy drilled three laterals from one Madison well;
Madison wells are not fracked; no stimulation. In addition, these have been short laterals, so far. Vertical depth at 4,000 feet is about half that of a Bakken well. Madison wells typically don't have the "dreaded" Bakken decline rate. Shallow, short laterals, no fracking, and steady production over many years; previously Madison wells were simply vertical wells; now horizontal wells.
This is really quite a nice well, Sedalia, #33156 (production profile updated July 27, 2017):

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Pratt oil field:

Vertical vs Horizontal Madison Oil Wells In Pratt Oil Field

First six months of three vertical Pratt oil field wells. NOTE "RUNS" in the vertical wells for the first three months - zero bbls (which I don't understand). Again, file number, date tested, maximum production in any single month, status:

3315, 2/63, 1321 bbls, 128K, now IA:

3696, 10/64, 770 bbls, 89K, still A, producing less than 3 bbls/month:

12449, 9/88, 870 bbls, 70K, still A, producing 125 bbls/month:

Compare with the recently reported horizontal Madison well in the same field (repeated from above):
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Madison Formation

The Madison formation is tracked here. It should be noted that there are many incredible vertical (conventional) Madison wells in North Dakota. Some of these Madison wells are tracked over at "Monster Wells."

Just one example:
  • 7274, 1,100/PA, Whiting, Big Stick (Madison) Unit 2502, Big Stick, t5/80; cum 2.05 million 11/94 
Production from this well for two years back in 1981 - 1982 (fourth column is monthly oil production in bbls/month):

US E&Ps Return To Profitability -- RBN Energy -- May 24, 2017

Active rigs:

Active Rigs512882191185

RBN Energy: US E&Ps return to profitability after posting massive losses in 2015 - 2016.