Sunday, December 22, 2019

Futures Showing Green -- 5:49 P.M. CT -- December 22, 2019

How 'bout them Cowboys? LOL. A "playoff" game of sorts; a win would have given them a division win, but not to be. Another Cowboys loss. And we move on.

Global warming: I assume as of January 1, 2020, we will have only eleven years left. Speaking of which, the Doomsday Clock says it is two minutes to midnight but as far as I know, we've never had a "global warming" clock. Oh, but I'm wrong, the "Doomsday Clock" now incorporates two existential threats: nuclear weapons and global warming. It never ends. By the way, at the linked site, most links there are back to CNN.
The Doomsday Clock says it’s almost the end of the world as we know it. (And that’s not fine.)
If you have anything left on your bucket list, do it now [I assume this is why the US House rushed the articles of impeachment], because the world is close to annihilation. That’s according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which gave its annual presentation of the Doomsday Clock on Thursday.
A group of scientists and scholars, including 15 Nobel laureates, set the clock at 11:58 p.m. — two minutes before the symbolic apocalyptic midnight.
Best decade in human history. Link here

A New Era? -- December 22, 2019

Link here.
Boeing safely landed its crew capsule in the New Mexico desert Sunday after an aborted flight to the International Space Station that could hold up the company’s effort to launch astronauts for NASA next year.
The Starliner descended into the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in the frigid predawn darkness, ending a two-day demo that should have lasted more than a week. A trio of red, white and blue parachutes popped open and airbags also inflated around the spacecraft to ease the impact.
“We pinpoint landed it,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a post-landing briefing. 
Pretty incredible:
Recovery teams cheered as they watched the capsule drift down through the air and make a bull’s-eye landing. The touchdown was broadcast live on NASA TV; infrared cameras painted the descending capsule in a ghostly white.
As the sun rose, close-up views showed the large white and black capsule upright — with hardly any scorch marks from re-entry — next to a U.S. flag waving from a recovery vehicle. The astronauts assigned to the first Starliner crew — two from NASA and one from Boeing — were part of the welcoming committee.
“A beautiful soft landing,” said NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. “Can’t wait to try it out.”
It was the first American-made capsule designed for astronauts to make a ground landing after returning from orbit. NASA’s early crew capsules — Mercury, Gemini and Apollo — all had splashdowns. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which made its orbital debut last winter with a test dummy, also aims for the ocean at mission’s end.

From "Pride and Prejudice at Harvard," Mark Helprin, fall issue of Claremont Review of Books, pp. 55 - 61.

An alumnus of Harvard University reflects on his experience at Harvard as well as what Harvard currently "stands for."
Harvard has always taken up masses of real estate in Cambridge, Boston, and elsewhere, from forests, agricultural land in California, astronomical observatories around the world, to Bernard Berenson’s former villa in Florence, hospitals, clinics, a cyclotron, giant swimming pools, and secret gardens.
But mainly it straddles Cambridge like (if I can be permitted an insane simile) a fat, happy, beautiful, snobbish octopus.
You can do a lot with $40 billion, no taxes since 1633, and a river of government and private grants, tuition, and giant bequests. Harvard is as big and varied as Xanadu.
For example, only after almost a decade of living in the middle of it did I discover what appeared to be the terrace, of the faculty dining room, of the cafeteria, of the school of forestry.
Harvard contains Whitmanesque multitudes, and one can describe it only as accurately as the blind men describing an elephant.
[Channeling Henry James:] Though within its vastness I could be in only one place at a time—and spent most of that time with my head down, reading and writing—by chance alone I was present at so many disruptions in the late ’60s and early ’70s that by reasonable extrapolation their real number and frequency were a steady guerrilla warfare: the staple student protests about regulations and living conditions, which by then had been beautifully feathered into broader political themes; jackbooted, leather-clad Panthers marching in cadence through the Yard to the old Gund Hall, where they invaded a lecture on medieval city planning they claimed was in furtherance of black genocide, and forced the professor to abandon it; the attack by helmeted, chain-and-pipe-wielding leftist fascisti on what they thought was the Center for International Affairs but was really the Semitic Museum and its aging female docents (it might have been funny except for the injuries and destruction); Cambridge cited in the Institute for Strategic Studies’s (which later prefixed International to itself) Strategic Survey, 1970, for a violent demonstration (among many) in which, inter alia, on April 16 of that year 300 were injured; trying to sleep despite clouds of tear gas wafting from Harvard Square a third of a mile away; my graduate adviser’s car bombed in the garage adjacent to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where he was the director; literally fighting my way past thugs blocking classroom buildings; and so on.
Even in its stronger days, the administration either surrendered, compromised, or did not notice.
I never attended Harvard University but I am one kiss / one handshake away from being an honorary alumnus (in my own mind, LOL) through two other alumnae: a) my first true love, in another life; and, b) a son-in-law, current life.

Good, bad, indifferent, there is no question that Harvard University is an American icon, and I find it incredibly intriguing.

Taxi, Harry Chapin

The Graphic Without Definitions Or Narrative -- December 22, 2019

Everyone is concerned that the current US expansion, the longest in US history, simply cannot last any longer. Expansionary cycles simply don't last this long.

I've talked about this just the other day. 

One wonders if the current expansion actually began in late 2016; if so, this expansion could be just beginning. Maybe the current expansion can be measured from sometime in 2016. It's subtle, but ....

Link here.

Some might argue the boom is just beginning, especially if one sees the graphic below in the graph above:

  • cheap money -- really cheap money
    • Fed cuts rates again -- and telegraphs unequivocally there will be no increase in rates through 2020
    • Fed injects billions of dollars into the banking system to keep things going
  • no government shut down -- $1.4 trillion "budget" to avert government shutdown
    • DOD -- budget increased -- will drive lots of jobs
    • new Space Force -- new growth engine for DOD?
  • current pro-business attitude in Washington 
    • lots of overseas jobs moving back to the US
  • the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is still only two years old; benefits continue to work through the economy; those pro-business tax cuts in 2018 and 2019 will continue into 2020
    • current administration looking for new/more tax cuts
    • in election year, neither party likely to push back on new tax cuts
  • low unemployment: more money circulating through economy
  • FICO credit card score said to be highest in eleven years in some studies; one link here
  • discretionary income could increase in 2020
    • both parties looking to relieve student aid debt
    • Americans could spend smallest amount, as a percentage of their income, on gasoline in modern history in 2020
    • punitive ObamaCare taxes being eliminated
    • huge amount of IRA money could be "freed up" in 2020 
  • avoided
    • global warming taxes and economy-killing policies
  • tectonic trade shifts
    • USMCA passed
    • China-US trade, phase 1 passed 
  • Boeing [Five minutes after posting this, I see that the Boeing Spaceliner nailed it; perfect landing; maybe Boeing can be removed as a headwind.]
Other links:
Note: I am inappropriately exuberant about the US economy.

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

Pipelines, Pipelines, And More Pipelines -- December 22, 2019

Sent by an eagle-eyed reader. Thank you. 

Link here.
  • PUC is considering to permit a pipeline
  • CO2 pipeline
  • 18 miles long; $9.2 million
  • from Exxon Mobil's Shute Creek Gas Plant and COP's Lost Cabin Gas Plant in Wyoming
  • via several pipelines to Fallon County in southeastern Montana
  • from Fallon County through North Dakota through pipeline currently under consideration
  • through Stark and Bowman counties
  • Denbury Resources -- EOR project
  • one other CO2 pipeline exists in the state
  • authorized by the PSC in 1998
  • CO2 from Basin Electric's Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah to oil fields in Saskatchewan, Canada
  • if approved, pipeline would be built in 2020; ready for injection in early 2021
  • Cedar Creek Anticline Area: straddles North Dakota - Montana state line
  • "secondary recovery" -- waterflooding
  • "tertiary recovery" --  CO2
Also in the story:
The state Industrial Commission, which also regulates the oil industry, authorized a project in November that targets Bakken wells in Mountrail County. Hess is leading that effort, which involves injecting natural gas and a proprietary foam underground to build pressure and extract more oil.
One other enhanced oil recovery project secured approval from the Industrial Commission on Tuesday. XTO is proposing to inject natural gas into both the Bakken and Three Forks formations in Dunn County to boost oil production.

Rig Counts Don't Matter -- Someone Is Reading The Blog -- December 22, 2019

Finally (we've been talking about this for years):

For the archives: small Texas town makes football history.
Global Warming Saved The Whales!

Or maybe the Star Trek crew -- by the way, what do "global warming" and "Star Trek" have in common? LOL.

The Narrative: Week 51: December 15, 2019 -- December 21, 2019

The top stories for week 51 of 2019 have been posted; it still needs a little work but for the most part it is done.


When will we ever have a "normal" week again? LOL.

First, the "fake" impeachment. Folks can't even agree if the president has been impeached. And now, we're all waiting for the real fireworks: Rocket Man's Christmas Eve present to the US.

Most interesting article on the way to looking for something else: the college that wants to take over Washington.  Anyone listening to Rush will be interested in this article. The dots are starting to connect.


For investors, the most under-reported story: the change in the tax rules for retirement accounts.
  • this is huge. Really huge. The bill appeared to be off everyone's radar screen until it wasn't.
  • but this is huge. Good, bad, or indifferent for the individual, it's huge for the investment community, and for the US economy. Folks don't think much about a) keeping cash in circulation; b) velocity of circulation (I talked about that years ago); 
  • the fact that this new tax rule on IRAs passed with so little fanfare tells me it was something that was universally agreed that it needed to be done;
  • $30 trillion in retirement accounts in the US? Could there be a trillion dollars moved from IRAs this next year (2020) to new accounts and/or spent? That will be the number I will be watching -- Forbes most likely will be the first to report it.
  • we're going to see a lot of articles written on this story next year. A google search revealed these data points:
    • totaling $9.7 trillion in assets at the end of June 2019, IRA assets represented nearly one-third of the $29.8 trillion US retirement market. Assets held in IRAs have increased on average 10 percent per year over the past 25 years, from $993 billion in 1993. Link here.
    • as of March 31, 2019, 401(k) plans held an estimated $5.7 trillion in assets and represented more than 19 percent of the $29.1 trillion in US retirement assets, which includes employer-sponsored retirement plans (both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans with private- and public-sector employers),  
    • as of September 30, 2019, an estimated 46 percent of IRA assets were held in mutual funds, while the remaining assets were held in brokerage accounts or managed by banks or insurance companies. In 1993, mutual funds’ share of IRA assets stood at 33 percent.

Random Data Points

In the big scheme of things, the week was pretty uneventful -- except, of course, for the fake impeachment. 

Some other random data points before we get to the Bakken:
  • Apple AirPods Pro sold out -- and have been for quite some time
  • Boeing: look up "debacle" in your Merriam-Webster; most recent disaster -- failed to set the timer correctly -- are you kidding me? 
  • most surprising: Congress did not extend subsidies for EVs; I thought that was a sure thing; 
  • Netflix: stock of the decade; I first wrote about Netflix in 2013, I believe; one of my best "calls" ever;
  • iPhone: tech gadget of the decade
  • MOL oil now on my radar scope;
The Bakken

Now the Bakken:
  • manufacturing stage; not much news
  • without question, the Bakken continues to set the bar (see the EIA dashboards if you need proof)
  • Harold Hamm steps down as CEO of CLR, but won't be going anywhere
  • XTO has unitized two big fields, the Hofflund and the Grinnell; really, really good news for those who own minerals in those fields;
  • 2019 will end without a decision being made by North Dakota whether to allow expansion of the DAPL
  • we're starting to see a lot more Three Forks wells being reported; see the wells coming off the confidential list next week;

Initial Production Data For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- December 22, 2019

36370, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-10H, Siverston, no production data,

36134, conf, XTO, Arlys 34X-31H, Siverston, no production data,

35239, conf, Lime Rock Resources, Anderson 13-24-4TFH, Alger,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

22300, conf, Bruin, FB Belford 148-95-22D-15-2T, Eagle Nest, no production data,

36369, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-5H, Siverston, no production data,

22301, conf, Bruin, FB Belford 148-95-22D-15-3B, Eagle Nest, no production data,

36368, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-5H, Siverston, no production data,

36133, conf, XTO, Arlys Federal 34X-31C, Siverston, no production data,

34835, conf, Enerplus, Eos 149-93-33D-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34776, conf, Enerplus, Thai 148-94-11C-2H-TF, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

30891, conf, Oasis, Stenberg 5199 11-97B, Poe, neighboring well, #20733 is off line:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

36367, conf, Newfield, Hoffmann 150-98-17-20-5HLW, Siverston, no production data,

35878, conf, Whiting, Domaskin 21-20HU, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35875, conf, Whiting, Domaskin 34-17TFHU, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35744, conf, Whiting, Ogden 41-9TFHU, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35699, conf, Slawson, Mole 6-20TFH, Big Bend, no production data,

34773, conf, Enerplus, Hidalgo 148-94-11C-2H-TF, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

36366, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 15-98-17-20-6H, Siverston, no production data,

34836, conf, Enerplus, Nyx 149-93-33D-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

30179, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 7-29-32TFH, Big Bend, no production data,

35782, conf, Hess, EN-Farhart-156-93-0409H-4, Baskin,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35698, conf, Slawson, Mole 7-20TFH, Big Bend, no production data,

35903, conf, Slawson, Orca Federal 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data,

35570, conf, Whiting, Anderson 11-7-2TFH, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35569, conf, Whiting, Anderson 11-2H, Sanish,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 35120, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 9T, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34837, conf, Enerplus, Homer 149-93-33D-28H-TF, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

34774, conf, Enerplus, Ancho 148-94-11C-2H, McGregory Buttes,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

36524, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 9-29-32H, Big Bend, no production data,

36173, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14H, Capa, no production data,

35902, conf, Slawson, Tempest Federal 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data,

36172, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14CXD, Capa, no production data,

34838, conf, Enerplus, Hera 149-93-33D-28H, Mandaree,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

30178, conf, Slawson, Diamondback 1 SLH, Big Bend, no production data,

36171, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14BXC,  Capa, no production data,

35901, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 722-27 MLH, Big Bend, no production data,

34746, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 8B, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- December 22, 2019

Monday, December 30, 2019: 98 for the month; 303 for the quarter:
36370, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-10H, 
36134, conf, XTO, Arlys 34X-31H, 
35239, conf, Lime Rock Resources, Anderson 13-24-4TFH
22300, conf, Bruin, FB Belford 148-95-22D-15-2T

Sunday, December 29, 2019: 94 for the month; 299 for the quarter:
36369, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-5H, 
22301, conf, Bruin, FB Belford 148-95-22D-15-3B, 

Saturday, December 28, 2019: 92 for the month; 297 for the quarter:
36368, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 150-98-18-19-5H, 
36133, conf, XTO, Arlys Federal 34X-31C, 
34835, conf, Enerplus, Eos 149-93-33D-28H-TF
34776, conf, Enerplus, Thai 148-94-11C-2H-TF,
30891, conf, Oasis, Stenberg 5199 11-97B, 

Friday, December 27, 2019: 87 for the month; 292 for the quarter:
36367, conf, Newfield, Hoffmann 150-98-17-20-5HLW, 
35878, conf, Whiting, Domaskin 21-20HU, 
35875, conf, Whiting, Domaskin 34-17TFHU
35744, conf, Whiting, Ogden 41-9TFHU,
35699, conf, Slawson, Mole 6-20TFH
34773, conf, Enerplus, Hidalgo 148-94-11C-2H-TF

Thursday, December 26, 2019: 81 for the month; 286 for the quarter:
36366, conf, Newfield, Hoffman 15-98-17-20-6H, 
34836, conf, Enerplus, Nyx 149-93-33D-28H-TF,
30179, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 7-29-32TFH

Wednesday, December 25 2019: 78 for the month; 283 for the quarter:
35782, conf, Hess, EN-Farhart-156-93-0409H-4, 
35698, conf, Slawson, Mole 7-20TFH

Tuesday, December 24, 2019: 76 for the month; 281 for the quarter:
35903, conf, Slawson, Orca Federal 1 SLH,
35570, conf, Whiting, Anderson 11-7-2TFH
35569, conf, Whiting, Anderson 11-2H, 
35120, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 9T
34837, conf, Enerplus, Homer 149-93-33D-28H-TF,
34774, conf, Enerplus, Ancho 148-94-11C-2H,

Monday, December 23, 2019: 70 for the month; 275 for the quarter:
36524, conf, Slawson, Challenger Federal 9-29-32H, 
36173, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14H,
35902, conf, Slawson, Tempest Federal 1 SLH, 

Sunday, December 22, 2019: 67 for the month; 272 for the quarter:
36172, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14CXD, 
34838, conf, Enerplus, Hera 149-93-33D-28H,
30178, conf, Slawson, Diamondback 1 SLH, 

Saturday, December 21, 2019: 64 for the month; 269 for the quarter:
36171, conf, XTO, Lavern 42X-14BXC, 
35901, conf, Slawson, Slasher Federal 722-27 MLH, 
34746, conf, Oasis, Nordeng 5298 13-25 8B,