Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Night Ramblings, Part 3 -- April 28, 2019

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

Open book test: Warren says he may buy back $100 billion of his own stock. No time frame. Berkshire repurchased $1.3 billion of its stock last year, after Buffett loosened the company's buyback criteria.

Is the Permian played out? From Rigzone staff so you know this is going to be good. Link here. Two takeaways:
  • the takeaway problem in the Permian is being solved
  • IEA: we have not seen the full impact of the shale revolution yet”
Amazon: "The Real Nightmare On Elm Street" -- Zero Hedge --
In what is being called a "nightmare come true" for freight brokers and carriers, Amazon did what it traditionally does every time it enters a new market, and took its own digital freight brokerage platform live while undercutting prevailing market prices by 26% to 33% in the latest deflationary race to the pricing bottom in order to grab market share, according to FreightWaves.

Late last week, Morgan Stanley equities analyst Brian Nowak had predicted this was going to happen, stating: “We see AMZN’s 1-day Prime shipping raising consumer expectations and increasing the cost to compete in e-commerce. Over the long term, we also see this as a Trojan horse for Amazon to grow its next disruptive business… a third party logistics network.”

Amazon already has an extensive network of trucking carriers as it moves an enormous amount of freight across the country. Having their own third-party logistics network was just an obvious next step for the behemoth of a company that relies so much on shipping. The benefits are plentiful for Amazon: they get to hedge against the volatile price of trucking capacity and they get to expand their infrastructure, while turning part of their costs into revenue. Amazon is already a top 10 international freight forwarder for Asian ocean freight inbound to North America.
Sophia with two friends:

Sunday Night Ramblings, Part 2 -- April 28, 2019

25 cents: that's what some cities in California now charge customers who do not use reusable coffee cups. That's fine. I now make my coffee at home; put it in a reusable Starbucks "thermos" and take it to Starbucks. Saving about $1.90 every morning. Next: bring toast and jam from home and forego the chocolate croissant. LOL. That will save another $2.00 every morning.

Who says America isn't great?

Frozen over: "Northwest Passage" frozen over. Tours canceled.

No mystery: high California gasoline prices should be no mystery -- Motley Fool. This is a good article. Governor Newsome taking a page out of Governor Brown's playbook.

Open book test, from a reader, this link:
I came across this very useful GUI illustration of power plants status worldwide. The data can be viewed by subcategories such as by nation set (e.g., European Economic Union, China, etc.). This helps defeat several notions floating around and touted by environmentalists. It is easy to see which groups of people are preparing for a low cost economic future with cost effective electric energy; versus, which are doing the opposite.
Stock market records: but it's a different kind of boom. Wow, how long have "we" been talking about inflation?
The major difference between now and last September is the outlook for inflation. In the autumn investors thought inflation would be at or above the Fed’s target, with a risk that the tight jobs market would lead to a spiral of rising wages and higher prices.

Investors now think inflation will be lower for longer, but not so low that deflation will again be a threat. The probability of inflation above 3% over the next five years has dropped from one-in-five in September to just one-in-10, according to probabilities derived from options markets by the Minneapolis Fed, after matching its post-2008 low at the start of this year. Meanwhile the implied chance of inflation being below 1%, dangerously close to deflation—briefly feared during the December in panic—has receded back to where it stood in September.
GDP: lots of "back and forth" recently about first reading, 1Q19, US GDP. Here's another story, this one from The WSJ:
For much of past year, it looked plausible that a faster-growing U.S. economy was simply running on a sugar high of temporarily elevated demand.
Now signs are emerging that the supply side of the economy—the workers and the tools and machines they use to produce goods and services—is becoming energized, improving the chances that faster growth can be sustained.
It’s not a sure thing. It could fade. It’s also not clear who or what deserves credit for driving it, but it’s a great development for Americans if it continues, regardless of your political coloring. If sustained, it would mean more income growth in the long-run with less inflation eating away at those income gains.
You can boost economic growth in the short-run by juicing demand, such as with tax cuts or spending increases. But you can only sustain faster growth in the long-run with more workers producing goods and services more efficiently.
Without labor force and productivity growth, demand dissipates on its own absent additional outside stimulus. Or the increased demand strains the economy’s resources, spurring inflation and a central bank response of higher interest rates that in turn slows growth or causes recession.
The "southern surge" will prevent wage inflation.


 Southern surge: once the cities in the southwest become saturated, ICE will start sending new immigrants to Iowa and Minnesota.

The Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin

Sunday Night Ramblings, Part 1 -- April 28, 2019

Wow, I can hardly wait for Monday, only twelve hours away, and I will be back at work, blogging away.

I see WTI is now trading solidly below $63. This should get the price of gasoline down. If not, President Trump will have to have another talk with Prince Salman.

WTI: lots and lots of articles on where WTI is headed. You can probably find whatever you want to find to fit your "worldview."

Cleaning Out The In-Box

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

  • name one product you have within arm's length 24/7 -- yup, your Apple iPhone
  • earnings preview:
    • EPS: $2.37
    • revenue: $57.4 billion, down 6% from a year ago
    • guidance: $2.08 and $51.93 billion for 2Q19
  • sales:
    • iPhone units: 42 million
  • margins:
    • looking for 38%
Pigs: we talked about this a few weeks ago; now The WSJ is reporting that US meat companies are gaining from "hog culling" in China.
Swine fever has decimated China's herds, creating opportunities. Earlier, April 4, 2019: China's production has fallen 10% this year (in line with original post in which production was anticipated to drop to 51 million tonnes from 55 million tonnes).  Let's see what they say now:
China’s agricultural ministry estimated recently that there were 19% fewer hogs in the country in March than a year earlier. Losing that much pork output in the country that is home to half the world’s pigs would cut the global meat supply by some 6% on an annualized basis.
Deep pockets: Big Oil's biggest weapon in the Permian.

Say what? Boeing didn't advise airlines or the FAA that it shut off the warning system. Acident investigators have linked bad data the system is designed to detect to the deadly Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes. Color me perplexed.
Boeing Co.  didn’t tell Southwest Airlines Co.   and other carriers when they began flying its 737 MAX jets that a safety feature found on earlier models that warns pilots about malfunctioning sensors had been deactivated, according to government and industry officials.

Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors and supervisors responsible for monitoring Southwest, the largest 737 MAX customer, also were unaware of the change, the officials said.

The alerts inform pilots whether a sensor known as an “angle-of-attack vane” is transmitting errant data about the pitch of a plane’s nose. Accident investigators have linked such bad data to the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and the Lion Air crash last year; both planes lacked the alert system.
Goldilocks economy: the stock market continues to climb as inflation remains just right. The best thing Jerome Powell could do right now is put more "golf time" on his daily schedule. First, do no harm.
The stock market’s latest leg higher has been fueled by better-than-expected earnings, as well as data suggesting the economy grew faster than initially expected in the first three months of the year. Those reports have offered investors reassurance that the economy is on solid footing after a soft patch had cast some doubt on the expansion’s durability in the final months of 2018.
My favorite company: how Schwab ate Wall Street. The firm was a discount broker for amateurs. Then its CEO turned it into a personal-finance supermarket that's dragging rivals in its wake. I've talked about Schwab and Merrill Lynch in the past few weeks.
When Walt Bettinger’s 3 a.m. alarm sounds, among the first things the Charles Schwab Corp. chief executive does is check how much net new money his company has pulled in over the past 24 hours. Last year, that was an average of $624 million a day—more than its three biggest Wall Street rivals combined.

Schwab was known mostly as a discount broker for amateurs when he took the helm in 2008 from founder Charles R. “Chuck” Schwab. Now it resembles something more like a personal-finance supermarket, offering services for the wealthy and budget-minded alike, at rock-bottom prices, spanning trading, banking and advice, both human and robotic.

Once barely noticed by the denizens of Wall Street, Schwab has amassed a stockpile of client assets that dwarfs those at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley ’s brokerage arm and UBS Group AG’s Americas unit. Its stock is up 76% since the end of 2007, versus 26% for the Dow Jones U.S. Select Investment Services Index.
India: a few weeks ago I linked a story in which India told Trump: "bring it on. We have plenty of alternative sources for oil. " LOL. Trump called India's bluff. Apparently India is now scrambling.
After the Trump administration’s Monday announcement that the United States would not renew its six-month waivers to third party countries for their continued purchase of Iranian oil, India has been put in an extremely tough position, and it’s still not clear which way the nation will go. Will India defy U.S. sanctions and continue to import Iranian oil, or will the nation’s leaders be willing to lose their third biggest crude supplier in favor of maintaining a good relationship with the United States?

India is the third-largest oil consumer in the world, and nearly 80 percent of its oil demand is met with imported oil. India is also the second-biggest purchaser of Iranian oil, after China. All this is to say that the loss of Iranian oil due to sanctions would be a major blow to the fast-developing subcontinent. India was one of eight countries that has been granted a waiver to continue importing Iranian oil (although in smaller quantities) for a six-month grace period. That period ends May 1st, leaving India (not to mention China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece) in the lurch.
The nuclear option: how to stop transmission-line-forest fires -- shut down the grid. And that's what PG&E plans to do going forward.
When dangerously high winds arise this year, PG&E says it will black out fire-prone areas that are home to 5.4 million people. Not to worry: those folks all have wind and solar energy generators in their back yards.
Deer in the headlights: LA officials trying to explain what happened. Sounds like some people didn't do things -- like didn't get measles vaccinations. From AP News, dumb and dumber:

More than 1,000 students and staff members at two Los Angeles universities were quarantined on campus or sent home this week in one of the most sweeping efforts yet by public health authorities to contain the spread of measles in the U.S., where cases have reached a 25-year high .

By Friday afternoon, two days after Los Angeles County ordered the precautions, about 325 of those affected had been cleared to return after proving their immunity to the disease, through either medical records or tests, health officials said.

The action at the University of University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles — which together have more than 65,000 students — reflected the seriousness with which public health officials are taking the nation’s outbreak.
Two days one day too long? Amazon plans to make Prime a one day delivery service. That gasp you heard came from Target. Walmart? Look at their aisles. You think those folks use the internet? LOL. No link, the story is everywhere.

MSG: The Saga Continues -- April 28, 2019

On June 22, 2017, I posted this note on "the literature page":
From Super Sushi Ramen Express: One Family's Journey Through the Belly of Japan, Michael Booth, c. 2009, 2016, chapter 9: "MSG: An Apology"
  • "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome": phrase coined in a 1968 letter to The New England Journal of Medicine
  • world's largest producer of MSG: Ajinomoto, a Japanese company; "ajinomoto" - "essence of taste"
  • company founded by Professor Kikunae Ikeda; discovered MSG in 1908
  • konbu seaweed: natural source of the particularly delicious amino acid called glutamate
  • glutamate - nature - seaweed - MSG - umami
  • MSG played an important role in adding flavor and mouth-feel to processed foods when these were lost during their industrial preservation
  • critics allege: a few years ago Ajinomoto made the hole in the top of the MSG shaker larger so that people would use more
  • from transcript of interview recorded with the company's scientific affairs spokeswoman
    • MSG: no more processed than salt or sugar; comes from konbu, seaweed
    • umami receptor discovered in 2000 (joined the other four taste receptors)
    • made the hole in the shaker larger about 30 years ago; reason? steam from the soup was clogging up the smaller hole
  • now the rest of the story
  • US FDA, UN, and EU: have all given MSG the "all clear"
  • merely a man-made glutamic acid produced by fermenting carbohydrates and sugars
  • umami and MSG are inextricably linked but are by no means the same thing
  • umami: usually referred to as the fifth taste, after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour
  • some neurologists now claim there are fifty or more tastes
  • Ikeda: noted something common in the complicated taste of asparagus, tomatoes, cheese, and meat; this taste is quite peculiar and cannot be classed under any of the other well-defined four taste qualities
  • cheese -- parmesan in particular -- and tomatoes have a powerful umami flavor (quick, name the primary components of pizza; yes, cheese and tomatoes, LOL)
  • other foods with strong umami component: air-dried ham, veal stock and Worcestershire sauce
  • mother's milk is far richer in umami than cow's milk
  • the crust on grilled meat: high in umami flavor
  • savory and meaty: words most often used to describe umami
  • Japanese most often use words delicious and tasty for umami
  • evolutionary explanations
  • sweet: tells you sugar is present; therefore an energy-giver
  • salt: a bodily requirement
  • bitter and sour: useful as warnings of toxins or unripeness (or spoilage)
  • so why umami? lets you know the food contains glutamic acid
  • glutamine indicates that protein is in the food; protein is essential to our survival, and so it makes sense that we identify something as food
  • unlike salt or sugar, there are no obvious go-to foods to get your hit
  • glutamine: supports other flavors; add body; enhances other flavors
  • umami is an indicator of ripeness and therefore tells us when vegetables and fruits are at their most nutritious
  • tomatoes are at their most umami-ish when they are at the peak of ripeness
  • konbu (seaweed) has more glutamate than any other foodstuff on earth
  • #1 food associated with Japanese umami: miso soup
  • katsuobushi, the other main base ingredient of the dashi used to make miso soup (along with water)
  • shiitake mushrooms: also extremely rich in guanylate and are often added to miso soup as well
  • miso soup: a triple whammy -- konbu, katsuobushi, shiitake
  • the Italians were particularly good at generating this synergistic umami effect (think pizza)
  • parmesan: second-highest amount of glutamate of all common foodstuffs
  • French: veal stock
  • British: Marmite, or yeast extract
  • health benefits to umami -- you will have to get the book to learn about that; I need to move on
In this weekend's edition of The Wall Street Journal, River Davis says the same thing, brings us up to day. I will provide the link later. I'm reading the hard copy edition. You know, the one you can hold in your hands and turn pages of paper. LOL. [Later: this is the link to the WSJ article.]

But It's A Dry Snow -- April 28, 2019

From KX CBS News about a half-hour ago.

And they call it global warming.

When it gets hot in the summer they call it global warming. When it snows in April, they call it an unusual snowstorm. LOL:

Laugh, Laugh, Beau Brummels
And they call the wind, Mariah:

They Call The Wind Mariah, Harve Presnell

Oasis Is Back! A 50K+ Well -- April 29, 2019


May 3, 2019: this well is still confidential, but FracFocus reports frack data --  12,185,292 million gallons of water; 89.65% water by mass; 8.7% sand by mass; using calculation process, works out to 8.8 million lbs of sand; this well has produced in excess of 250,000 bbls since it began producing in November, 2018; it should come off confidential list on May 5, 2019 -- this weekend.

May 3, 2019: from a reader back on February 4, 2019 --
Keep an eye on well #34037 (Aagvik 5298 41-35 3BX). Oasis 2560 leaseline Bakken well. Cum’d 90k in first two months with December at 59k.
I haven’t looked at the completions report yet but in our experience Oasis tends to hit the leaseline Bakkens with a bit more proppant than the typical 10 million lbs jobs that they have been utilizing with great success in Wild Basin.
Original Post
Wells coming off the confidential list this week with significant production.

Full list of wells coming off the confidential list is posted here.

The Oasis Aagvik wells in Banks oil field are tracked here
One of several Oasis Aagvik wells coming off the confidential list this week. Congratulation! Huge shout-out to the Oasis roughnecks:
  •  34037, conf, Oasis, Aagvik 5298 41-35 3BX, Banks, fracked: 8/12/18 - 8/31/18 --
    DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Early Production Numbers For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- April 28, 2019

Wells coming off the confidential list this week with significant production.

Full list of wells coming off the confidential list is posted here.

The Oasis Aagvik wells in Banks oil field are tracked here.

29135, conf, Bruin, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-6H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34427, conf, Oasis, Martin 5302 11-4 2B, Rosebud,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34040, conf, Oasis, Aagik 5298 41-35 6T, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34039, conf, Oasis, Aagvik 5298 41-35 5B, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34037, conf, Oasis, Aagvik 5298 41-35 3BX, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29136, conf, Bruin, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-7H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold
34465, conf, CLR, Peterson 7-29H1, East Fork,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34406, conf, Lime Rock, Lamey 3-30-31H-143-96L, Fayette,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34783, conf, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-1H, Eightmile,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34405, conf, Lime Rock Resources III-A, L.P., Lamey 4-30-31H-143-96, Fayette,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 33125, conf, Bruin E&P, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-8H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34552, conf, EOG, Austin 414-2919H, Parshall,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34551, conf, EOG, Austin 112-2919H, Parshall,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34498, conf, EOG, Austin 85-1929H, Parshall,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34499, conf, EOG, Austin 75-1929H, Parshall,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 34496, conf, EOG, Austin 85-1929H, Parshall,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34464, conf, CLR, Peterson 6-29H, East Fork,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34784, conf, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-2H, Eightmile:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- April 28, 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019: 19 wells for the month; 114 wells for the quarter
35200, conf, WPX, North Mabel 2-35HS,
32511, conf, BR, CCU Mainstreeter 6-1-25MBH,
29135, conf, Bruin, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-6H, 

Sunday, May 5, 2019: 16 wells for the month; 111 wells for the quarter
35201, conf, WPX, North Mabel 2-35HB,
35006, conf, Hess, CA-Ferguson Smith-155-95-3031H-5, 
34427, conf, Oasis, Martin 5302 11-4 2B, 
34040, conf, Oasis, Aagik 5298 41-35 6T
34039, conf, Oasis, Aagvik 5298 41-35 5B, 
34037, conf, Oasis, Aagvik 5298 41-35 3BX, 
Saturday, May 4, 2019: 10 wells for the month; 105 wells for the quarter
35203, conf, WPX, North Mabel 2-35HW, 
35007, conf, Hess, CA-Ferguson Smith-155-95-3031H-6, 

Friday, May 3, 2019: 8 wells for the month; 103 wells for the quarter
35008, conf, Hess, CA-Ferguson Smith-155-95-3031H-7, 
Thursday, May 2, 2019: 7 wells for the month; 102 wells for the quarter
35009, conf, Hess, CA-Ferguson Smith-155-95-3031H-8 
29136, conf, Bruin, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-7H, 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019: 5 wells for the month; 100 wells for the quarter
35010, conf, Hess Bakken Investments II, LLC, CA-Ferguson Smith-LE-155-95-3031H-1,
34875, conf, Armstrong Operating, Undlin 17-22,
34465, conf, CLR, Peterson 7-29H1
34406, conf, Lime Rock, Lamey 3-30-31H-143-96L, 
30540, conf, Slawson Exploration Company, Inc., Jeriyote 8-5-32MLH,

Tuesday, April 30, 2019: 95 wells for the month; 95 wells for the quarter
34783, conf, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-1H, 
34405, conf, Lime Rock Resources III-A, L.P., Lamey 4-30-31H-143-96, 
33125, conf, Bruin E&P, Fort Berthold 147-94-1B-12-8H,

Monday, April 29, 2019: 92 wells for the month; 92 wells for the quarter
34552, conf, EOG, Austin 414-2919H, Parshall, a nice well;
34551, conf, EOG, Austin 112-2919H, Parshall, a nice well;
34498, conf, EOG, Austin 85-1929H, Parshall, a nice well;
29799, conf, Zavanna, George 19-30 4H, Stockyard Creek, no production data,

Sunday, April 28, 2019: 88 wells for the month; 88 wells for the quarter
34499, conf, EOG, Austin 75-1929H, Parshall, a nice well;
34496, conf, EOG, Austin 85-1929H, Parshall, a nice well;
34464, conf, CLR, Peterson 6-29H, East Fork, a nice well;
33879, conf, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC David 3-29-32-157N-99W MBH, Lone Tree Lake, no production data,
35205, conf, Slawson, Stallion Federal 5 SLTFH, Big Bend, no production data,
34861, conf, MRO, Atkinson USA 31-17TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,

Saturday, April 27, 2019: 82 wells for the month; 82 wells for the quarter
34784, conf, Nine Point Energy, Missouri 152-103-4-2-2H, Eightmile, a nice well;
35206, conf, Slawson, Stallion Federal 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data,
34862, conf, MRO, Turkey Feet USA 41-17TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,

One More Thing Regarding Hess This Past Week -- April 28, 2019

Wow, I hate to bring this up. There has already been an overwhelming amount of blogging devoted to Hess the past few days, but did anyone catch this?
From an April 25, 2019, post: ONEOK will expand the Bakken NGL Pipeline -- press release, data points:
  • $100 million project
  • 75-mile extension
  • NGL pipeline
  • will provide NGLs to ONEOK's Elk Creek Pipeline
  • will connect the northern portion of the Bakken NGL Pipeline with a third-party NG processing plant in eastern Williams County
  • should be complete by 4Q20 
The pipeline will connect with a third-party NG processing plant in eastern Williams County.

Unless I missed it or misread it, I don't think the press release identified the NG processing plant by name.

Natural gas processing plants in North Dakota are tracked here. The spreadsheet currently goes out to 2021.
ONEOK has NG processing plants in Williams County but they are to the west.

Whiting has an NG processing plant in Ray. eastern Williams County but only 10 million cfpd. Likewise, other eastern Williams County NG processing plants are very small with one exception.

The exception: Hess' Tioga gas plant. Which announced that expansion.

Connection? I don't know. 

Politician And Insects -- Nothing About The Bakken -- April 28, 2019

Wow, wow, wow, -- I didn't want to blog this morning. But Don sent me this story and it blows me away on so many levels.

It was on ABC News this Sunday morning which I didn't watch but it's on the net at this post.

First of all, finally, a pollster is adding Hillary and Michelle Obama to the slate.

I follow polling here.

So, let's look at the ABC News polling story:
  • expanding the slate to include Hillary and Michelle, and asking one simple open-ended question, Biden gets 17% and BS gets 11% 
  • if that's even close to accurate, it is an incredible turn of events: both JB and BS were each getting upwards of 30% of the vote just a week ago
  • the mayor of a little town in Indiana gets 5% -- I still think it speaks volumes that anyone seriously thinks a mayor of a little town in the midwest could be our next president; it would be interesting to see his inaugural ball partner
  • Kamala the chameleon, Beto the Irishman, and Pocahontas each get about 4%
  • all the rest: 1% or not mentioned at all
  • most surprising: Michelle and Hillary -- neither could get to 2%; I am absolutely convinced if given the right question, Michelle would poll 50%+ among Democrats; not sure about Hillary
  • if these numbers are even remotely close, President Obama is very correct: we are seeing a circular firing squad
  • more than ever, I really think that supporters of BS will not budge
  • supporters of the other 19 will go with anyone but BS, but unlikely they would agree to give the vote to Biden in the early rounds of a brokered DNC convention
  • more and more, it's hard to imagine this won't be a brokered convention
  • it really appears that BS has maxed out at 30% and he will never go higher, not even in a head-to-head, mano-a-mano with JB; his supporters won't budge, but he won't get any more
  • Biden? Hubert Humphrey; George McGovern; Michael Dukakis
  • whatever happened to Bloomberg, Howard Schultz, Terry McAuliffe?
  • if anyone actually steps back for a moment and thinks about 80-ish year-old Biden leading the Democrat Party -- it just seems beyond the pale
It would be interesting to hear a "serious" discussion among respected analysts regarding the state of the Democrat slate.

The Book Page

Anyone interested in natural history, run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore or surf over to Amazon and buy Natural Histories Innumerable Insects: The Story of the Most Diverse and Myriad Animals on Earth, Michael S. Engel, c. 2018.

The first thing that jumps out at me: anyone who uses insects as a barometer of global warming has no credibility. From page xv:
Estimates of the total current diversity of insects range from 1.5 to 30 million species. A conservative and likely realistic value is somewhere around 5 million species. At 5 million, it means we are still far short of understanding the variety of insect life surrounding us.
But look at that. Biologists have identified about a million species of insects, and there could be as many as 30 million species. That's mind-boggling.

How does a million species of insects compare with other animals?
  • insects:
    • weevils: 60,000 species
    • bees: 20,000 species
    • butterflies: 18,700 species
  • non-insects:
    • fish: 30,000 species
    • birds: 10,000 species
    • mammals: 5,400 species
  • But look at this:
    • As presently known, weevils alone are 6 times the diversity of birds, and unlike birds, new species of weevils are discovered at such a high rate that some entomologists estimate there may be over 200,000 species of this one insect group alone.
    • Termites: one of the smaller lineages, and there are 3,100 species; they come close to rivaling all mammalian diversity
  • Phylum: arthorpoda
    • Two sub-phyla/clades: chelicerata and mandibulata
      • chelicerata: spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks
      • mandibulata: mandibles
    • Three sub-phya of the mandibulata:
  • crustacea (memo to self: crawfish season; crawfish boil Monday night)
  • myriapoda (millipedes, centipedes)
  • hexapoda (six legs)
    • Two sub-phyla of hexapoda:
  • insecta: winged (true insects)
  • entognatha: wingless (not considered true insects -- so six legs not the defining characteristic of insects)
The four main arthropod fauna:
  • chelicerata: spiders, mites, ticks; includes horseshoe crabs (which are not crabs at all)
    • Chelicerates have fangs, but all the rest have mandibles.
  • crustacea: on the menu
  • myriapoda: millipedes, centipedes
  • hexapoda: winged and wingless
One last note: flies. True flies.
  • 155,000 species identified so far
  • this may be only a quarter or less of their global diversity
  • flies are more ecologically varied than any other group of insects
  • Quick: name the number one pollinator. Yup, bees.
  • Quick: what is the number two pollinator? Flies.
  • Quick: other pollinators? Butterflies, moths, beetles. 
Oh, one last way to classify insects. Sorry, once started I can't quit.

The holometabolous insects.
  • holometabolous: full metamorphsosis
    • account for 85% of all insects
    • four groups of holometabolous insects account for 100,000 species each
    • the other groups include 10,000 species or less  in all
  • the groups (orders) -- it looks like there are seven groups or eleven orders
    • megaloptera, raphidioptera, neuroptera: dobsonflies, snakeflies, lacewings
    • coleoptera: the beetles, order coleoptera
      • the behemothsof insect diversity: 360,000 species
    • strepsiptera: twisted-wings; only 600 species
    • hymenoptera, the order of wasps: ants, bees, and wasps
      • 155,000 species
      • ants and bees are merely modified wasps
    • mecoptera, siphonaptera: scorpionflies; scarcely more than 750 species
    • diptera: true flies as well as midge and mosquitoes
      • flies: 155,000 species
    • trichoptera, lepidoptera: caddisflies, butterlies, and moths
The big takeaway from this page: we may run out of honey, but it looks like we won't run out of pollinators. Of course, the real problem is whether the other pollinator in toto would be able to fill the gap if all honeybees died off. 

Week 17: April 21, 2019 -- April 27, 2019

Top international energy story of the week: Iranian sanctions
Top US energy stories of the week:
Top US non-energy stories of the week:
Geoff Simon's top ND energy stories this week:
  • Boondoggle; puts refinery at risk: governor signs TR Library bill
  • Look at this: "green light" on petrochemical tax incentive
  • Legacy Fund reinvestment bill killed
  • Land Dept gets full-time attorney
  • Update on rightful owners of minerals underlying Lake Sakakawea
  • Funding bill helps western ND schools
  • Update on the Meridian Davis Refinery: will only process Bakken oil
  • Update on Bakken/Three Forks reassessment
Natural gas
Natural gas processing
Bakken economy