Wednesday, April 11, 2018

If Accurate -- Wow! Sinopec To Slash Crude Imports From Saudi Arabia -- -- April 11, 2018

Link here. Forty days and forty nights.
China’s Sinopec, the largest oil refiner in Asia, will shut down its biggest refinery for a major overhaul starting May 1. This will coincide with a period in which Sinopec will have slashed its Saudi crude oil imports by 40 percent after the Saudis unexpectedly raised the official selling price of their flagship Arab Light crude oil for Asian customers.
Sinopec will close for around 40 days beginning May 1 its 460,000-bpd refinery and the whole ethylene complex of Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, one of China’s largest facilities that process Saudi crude oil, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing an industry source briefed on the issue.
The good news: Brent crude oil is surging -- from $68 to $72 for Brent, literally in less than a week. The bad news: incoming missiles are targeting Saudi Arabia's refineries and oil terminals.

Is The Cushing Hub Relevant Any More?

Of course it is. Perhaps just "less" relevant.

Link here, again,
  • for multiple reasons, operators are "rushing" crude oil to the refineries and terminals along the Gulf Coast as fast as they can
  • crude oil out of the Permian is overwhelming the system; and a nexus search for the Permian yields: bottleneck
  • with the DAPL, Bakken oil is now bypassing Cushing and going directly to midwest refineries and/or to points east and south, but not Cushing
Remember all those posts about a shortage of storage capacity at Cushing?

The good news for Cushing: surging production from STACK and SCOOP.


From the LA Times:
In August, the county Board of Supervisors approved a $550,000 pilot program to build a handful of small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, for homeowners who agree to host a homeless person or family. Then in February, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded L.A. a $100,000 Mayor's Challenge grant to study the feasibility of backyard homeless units within the city limits.
Rents under the county's pilot program would be covered by low-income vouchers, with tenants contributing 30% of their incomes. The county is also sponsoring a design competition, streamlining permits and providing technical aid and financing options.
Because our younger daughter lives in Portland, OR (Multnomah County) I am familiar with this program. Portland/Multnomah County is trying the same thing; I assume that's where Los Angeles came up with the idea.

I don't know how long Portland's program has been in effect, but I think it's been less than two years. From the article:
Multnomah's model probably won't work on a large scale, she said, although the county's pilot program is ongoing and officials are looking at alternatives.
It's a long, long article -- it provides a snapshot of just how incredibly difficult the homelessness problem is.

So many story lines.

1. Population
The homeless population in Los Angeles: 55,000. Including Pasadena, Glendale, and Long Beach, which accomplish their own homeless counts, the total is 58,000
  • Los Angeles, population: 3.98 million
  • Pasadena: 142,000
  • Glendale: 200,000
  • Long Beach: 470,000
  • homeless rate of 0.4% in the latter three cities
  • homeless rate in Los Angeles: 1.4%
2. Taxation: somewhere between $1.2 billion and $4.6 billion --
LA city voters agreed to tax themselves $1.2 billion for homeless housing, but units can cost $350,000 apiece and are largely for disabled people. It will take years to reach the goal of 10,000 new apartments.

However, this article in the LA Times, dated February 1, 2018 said the tax was much higher:
Over the last 16 months, voters have agreed to tax themselves $4.6 billion to build housing — 10,000 units in 10 years — and provide supportive services for homeless people.
3. The math. $4.6 billion / 10,000 units = $460,000 per unit; the units are less than 500 square feet; an example in the article: 150-square-feet. Or $5 billion / 50,000 homeless = $100,000 per homeless person.

4. Getting worse in LA. According to the February 1, 2018, article:
If you took out Los Angeles, national homelessness would have dropped last year for the first time since the recession.  
The problem has only gotten worse since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013 and a liberal Democratic supermajority emerged in 2016 on the county Board of Supervisors.
The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% — to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 — in the last six years.
[Indications are that Mayor Garcetti will be running for US president in 2020. This week Garcetti is in Iowa.]
5. Overwhelmed with interest. From the more recent linked article:
It's very early to gauge the possible scope of the backyard units for homeless people, but residents who have heard about it are intrigued. [My hunch: the writer of this article struggled to find the right word to use before settling on "intrigued."]
"We were overwhelmed with the interest," said Larry Newman, manager in the Economic and Housing Development Division of the county's Community Development Commission.
How intrigued? Remember, the interest was described as overwhelming:
About 100 of the 500 homeowners the county initially contacted responded with interest, and the county is in the process of whittling down 27 qualified applicants who are ready to build to a list of six finalists, according to a county document.
So, from the standpoint that the city was only looking for six "finalists," finding 27 "qualified" applicants from a pool of 100 out of a larger pool of 500, I suppose one could say the response was overwhelming. I can only imagine the time required to "audit" 100 applicants to find 27 that were qualified, and then select the six sites.

$4.6 billion. $350,000/unit. 58,000 homeless people. Six sites to be selected.

6. Red tape:
Providing backyard housing for homeless people won't be easy. Multnomah County, Ore., which includes Portland, ran into tax, liability and regulatory issues with its homeless granny flat pilot program.
7. Spin. From the first linked article:
"We don't put a house on a block unless everyone on the block stays good with it," said [one advocate of the program]. "We know NIMBYism is a force to be reckoned with, and we don't want to allow any negative pushback to build."
"A force to be reckoned with." Euphemism for court fights. All it takes is one homeowner in a neighborhood to tie this up in court.

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