Thursday, April 30, 2020

US Crude Oil Imports -- February, 2020, Data

Saudi: data just released / posted today, April 30, 2020 -- link here. In thousands of bbls per day, Saudi Arabian crude oil imports, US.

All: data just released / posted today, April 30, 2020 -- link here. In thousands of bbls per day, all crude oil imports, US.

Getting Ready For Summer

How to grill a steak by master chef Robert Del Grande:

Lime Rock With One New Permit -- April 30, 2020

OPEC Basket: $14.36 

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3164614929

One new permit, #37546 --
  • Operator: Lime Rock Resources
  • Field: Fayette (Dunn)
  • Comments:
    • Lime Rock Resources has a new permit for a State B well in SESE 24-143-97, Fayette oil field
Two permits canceled:
  • Slawson: two Jore Federal permits, McKenzie County

NDIC Hearing Dockets -- May, 2020

The NDIC hearing dockets are tracked here.

Link here.

The usual disclaimer applies. As usual this is done very quickly and using shorthand for my benefit. There will be factual and typographical errors on this page. Do not quote me on any of this. It's for my personal use to help me better understand the Bakken. Do not read it. If you do happen to read it, do not make any investment, financial, job, relationship, or travel plans based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. If this stuff is important to you, and I doubt that it is, but if it is, go to the source.

Highlights in bold.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Six Pages -- Very Few Cases; 
Mostly Continued Cases
Some Pooling and Commingling Cases 
Cases, not permits:
  • 28472, Oasis, Todd-Bakken, establish an overlapping 2560-acre unit, sections 27/28/33/34-154-101; one well; Williams, McKenzic County
  • 28473, Oasis, Indian Hill-Bakken;revoke a CLR permit, file #37500, Harrisburg 7-34HSL, McKenzie;
  • 28474, Hess, pooling;
  • 28475, Hess, pooling;
  • 28476, Hess, pooling;
  • 28477, Hess, pooling
  • 28478, Hess, commingling
  • 28479, Hess, commingling
  • 28480, Hess, commingling
  • 28481, BR, Charlson-Bakken, seven wells on a 1120-acre unit, section 25 and the W/2 and SE/4 of section 24-153-95; eight wells on a 1280-acre unit, sections 24/25-153-95; McKenzie County;
  • 28482, BR, Charlson-Bakken, fourteen wells on a 1280-acre unit; section 35/36-153-95; McKenzie County
  • 28483, BR, Elidah-Bakken, fourteen wells on a 1280-acre unit; sections 3/10-151-97; Mckenzie County
  • 28484, BR, Elidah-Bakken, fifteen wells on a 1280-acre unit; sections 15/22-151-97; McKenzie County
  • 28485, Oasis, pooling;
Thursday, May 28, 2020 
Seven Pages -- Very, Very Few New Cases
Mostly Continued Cases

Cases, not permits:
  • 28486, Spotted Horn-Bakken, 61 wells on an existing 2560-acre spacing unit; sections 8/17/19/20-150-94, McKenzie County; 2560 acres / 61 = 42-acre spacing. Tracked here;

  • 28487, PetroShale, Antelope-Sanish, to revoke the Enerplus permit, #37513, Oxbow, McKenzie;
  • 28488, Slawson, pooling;
  • 28489, Slawson, pooling;
  • 28490, Slawson, pooling;
  • 28491, CLR, commingling;
  • 28492, Zavanna, SWD,

Idle Rambling -- This Happens When It's A Beautiful Day With Nothing Else To Do -- April 30, 2020

Someone compared those photos of the ULCCs and VLCCs off the coast of California to our "sitting ducks" at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Perhaps it is the exact opposite.

The following is completely random, unlikely, impossible to be true, but it would be fun to bring this up at the deli at Cash Wise Foods in Williston, where I always had lunch with my dad when visiting.

Some random data points, some likely to be accurate, some likely to be inaccurate. Crazy thinking. But it's been a crazy year.

At less than $20/bbl every country in the Mideast is in deep, deep trouble, but perhaps Iran is in the most danger of imploding. Wouldn't it be in Iran's best interest to do whatever it takes to see a surge in oil prices?

What might drive the price of oil up the fastest? A significant disruption in supplies. 

Three "regions" involved in meaningful production: Russia, Mideast, and US.

We're not going to see "warfare" or disruption in supplies/logistics in two of those three "regions."

I don't think anyone has really satisfactorily answered the question why Saudi launched upwards of 45 oil tankers full of oil when they did, as fast as they did.

When Iran struck the oil fields/terminals back in November, 2019, it took months for Saudi Arabia to repair the damage (my understanding is that the damaged infrastructure has not yet been completely repaired).
Reminder: The 17-minute strike on two Aramco installations by 18 drones and three low-flying missiles revealed the vulnerability of the Saudi oil company, despite billions spent by the kingdom on security. Fires erupted at the company's Khurais oil installation and at the Abqaiq oil processing facility, the world's largest.
I still maintain that Saudi Arabia emptied their storage tanks in March/April, 2020, for one of three reasons:
  • economic / market share -- their public statements
  • they saw the coming glut that would max out global storage (see today's RBN Energy blog)
  • destroy US shale
Whatever the reason, they needed to get that oil out of on-shore storage to make room for all that oil that was going to be produced from their fields in a world "drowning" in oil.
Previously posted: shutting in wells in old, old oil fields may damage the wells beyond repair. Anyone following the Saudi Arabian oil story knows that two or three years ago, they were spending a lot of money on new off-shore exploration. There was no need to do that if their fields are in as good a shape as they say they are.
So, assume MbS is discussing this with his "best and brightest." 

What might be Sauid's worst-case scenario? Another attack on its storage facilities? That certainly needs to be near the top of their worries.

Pearl Harbor?

That on-shore storage? Sitting ducks.

There are only so many ULCCs and VLCCs out there. The early bird gets the worm. Shipbuilders don't build oil tankers overnight. Epstein didn't hang himself. Buy up or lease as many tankers as possible (that solves one problem) and get the oil out of Dodge (that solves the other problem). 

Russia and Saudi Arabia were getting more and more irritated with each other. Putin is certainly as unpredictable as any world leader. Putin was certainly getting more cozy with Syria/Iran. 

Twenty million bbls of oil off the west coast of the US may not be that much oil in the big scheme of things, but it did a number of things -- if nothing else, the "optic," as they say, was quite stunning.

Now we hear that Saudi Arabia plans to leave those ships there as floating storage, not planning to off-load that oil. They had to have known that going in -- that the oil would not be delivered.

They say there is as much as 160 million bbls of oil in offshore storage. One would assume most of that is from the Mideast, and most of that would be from Saudi Arabia.

I don't know but when I look at those 20 oil tankers (with more to come) sitting off the coast of California, I can't help but think MbS had Pearl Harbor on his mind when he made the decision. 

Just idle rambling. 

No oil producer can survive on $20 oil, least of all Iran. 

Two hundred million bbls of oil in offshore, floating storage gives Saudi Arabia a bit of breathing room.

News You Won't See Reported By Mainstream Media -- Wuhan Flu -- April 30, 2020

From Fox News:
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed on-record for the first time Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community is investigating whether the coronavirus outbreak, which has wreaked havoc across the globe, started as the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified,” a statement from the office of acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said.

“As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan,” the statement said.

Fox News first reported earlier this month that there is increasing confidence that the outbreak likely escaped from the lab, not as a bioweapon but as part of a Chinese effort to show that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal or greater than those of the U.S.
This would be at odds with claims the outbreak originated at a wet market nearby.
In fact, as I understand, there is no "wet market" near the Wuhan bio lab. The nearest "wet market" to that lab is apparently 800 km (or was it 800 miles?) away.

A headline I thought I would never see:

Now, if Silverman's boyfriend would dare say the same thing, that would be newsworthy. My hunch: most folks don't know the actual details of the "alleged assault."

Notes From All Over, Late Morning Edition -- April 30, 2020

My office today:

Chorizo and eggs for breakfast, the copper pan was a gift from Dad some years ago:

Crawfish, Tuesday night, I keep the mudbugs in the oven ("warm/hold") when serving at home:

Tonic water with quinine to ward off malaria. So far, it's been highly successful.

Global CO2 Emissions To Fall Significantly This Year -- NYT -- April 30, 2020

Holy mackerel. We only have to close down the global economy for a month or so each year, and we save the earth. Amazing. That's a small price to pay.

The NYT is reporting that global CO2 will likely drop 8% this year. Truly amazing. Link not provided. I'm sure it's easy to find.

The drop in atmospheric CO2 is already working: for the first time in recorded history Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) saw a low of minus 20°F (-28.9°C) this late in the season. Link here. Barrow is Alaska's northernmost town. I once spent a summer working in Barrow, Alaska. What great memories; what a great country.

The dumbest thing Alaska ever did was rename Barrow: Utqiagvik.

At best, the "global warming" story is a wash: the "flat earthers" (like me) can point to any number of articles that suggest not only is the earth not getting warmer, but there are indications it is getting cooler. Meanwhile, the Algoreans, like Joe Biden, can find just as many articles suggesting the earth is getting warmer. So it's a wash. However, the former, the "flat earthers" actually use real data; while the latter, the Algoreans, use adjusted data and corona-virus-derived models.

What A Great Country

A reader sent me these photos overnight. I've posted a number of times how much I love lamb. The reader used a marinade of rosemary, thyme, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper; seared the rack of lamb and then grilled it over indirect heat. Internal meat temperature: 125°. The final result looks spectacular.

Whereas I will marinade overnight, the reader says he marinades for about five hours. 

He says his wife and two daughters enjoy lamb. The daughters were introduced to lamb years ago as "Australian steak."

He also does the same thing I do: look for bargains in the "manager's special" in the meat department. 

What impresses me most is how really simple and easy this is. I see a lot of very expensive and very fancy outdoor kitchens on sale, but this, again, was done on an old-fashioned, simple Weber grill.

By the way, my favorite grilling book: Weber's Big Book of Grilling, which can be found for under $2.00, about the spot price of a bbl of Saudi heavy oil.

First Day Of Fishing For Sophia -- April 30, 2020

I believe yesterday, April 29, 2020, was the first day ever for Sophia to go fishing.

We tried the creek near our home, but the fish were not biting.

We then went to a pond in Bob Jones Park north of Southlake, TX, and the fish were really biting.

This was the very first fish Sophia caught. She reeled it in herself. I pulled it up onto the deck. I called it a bullhead / her dad called it a catfish. Whatever. It was huge -- probably about 12 inches, and about three pounds. Had we not taken the photo, I would have estimated about three feet long, and maybe 30 pounds.

After that, more than a dozen more bites in less than 30 minutes but Sophia caught only two perch /  sunfish.

Update: see first comment. Now I'm curious. What is the difference between a catfish and a bullhead? An internet google search reveals:
Bullheads differ from other catfish in that bullheads have straight or rounded tails, whereas other species of catfish have forked tails. ... When these fish reach full size, catfish are longer than bullheads.
This was definitely a bullhead.

Two Wells Coming Off Confidential List Today -- April 30, 2020

OPEC basket: $14.36, which, I assume, Saudi Arabia is "very comfortable" with.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3164614929

Two wells coming off the confidential list today --

Thursday, April 30, 2020: 50 for the month; 50 for the quarter, 286 for the year:

  • 35671, SI/NC, Zavanna, Stranger 28-21 7TFHXE,  Poe, t--; cum 59K 2/20;
  • 35535, 749, Oasis, Merritt 5693 13-24 5T, Alger, t11/19; cum 54K 2/20;
RBN Energy: how long until crude oil and refined products storage maxes out? Archived.
The global economic shut-down caused by COVID continues to wreak havoc on U.S. markets. Last week, the dynamics that resulted in negative prices for NYMEX WTI thrust crude oil, and, more specifically, storage at Cushing, OK, into the national spotlight. The extraordinary imbalance in U.S. crude oil supply and demand has been pushing record volumes of oil into storage at the Cushing crude hub and tankage along the Gulf Coast. The same fundamental factors have also driven a surge in stocks of refined products like gasoline and diesel. Now the questions on everybody’s mind are, how long until storage tanks are completely full and what will that mean? Today, we’ll discuss recent trends and consider what record storage builds mean for the oil patch.

Notes From All Over, Morning Edition -- April 30, 2020

Jobless claims, link here:
  • prior: 4.427K (4.4 million)
  • revised: 4.442K (4.4 million)
    consensus: 3.500K (3.5 million)
  • actual: 3.839K (3.9 million)
  • Comment: I think this puts us well over 30 million in past four weeks or so; well-past definition for "depression" (20 million)
Gasoline demand, link here, in two graphs and much, much worse than previously posted:

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Will Get Back To Blogging Thursday -- April 29, 2020

8:45 p.m. Central Time. Physically beat. Mentally exhausted. Ready to crash. But, before I do ...

What a great country. I'm not going to look at any "oil" stuff or do any blogging about the "current events."

Some YouTube and some social media.

Best social media line so far:
“Look Tina, I’m need you jog in place in a pantsuit with a bass guitar for five minutes and stay on rhythm.” - David Byrne
Life During Wartime, Talking Heads

Recommendation: "Masterclass Official Trailers." There are eighty-three of them. Each lasts about two minutes twenty seconds. I've watched about a dozen of them. Some of them more than once. My favorites, so far: Ron Finley, Gardening; Gabriela Cámara, Mexican cooking; Joyce Carol Oates, the art of the short story; and, I've only begun. Yet to watch: Penn and Teller; Bob Igor.  And 78 more.

What's so great about "Twin Peaks"?

I think I "quit" watching television after seeing "Twin Peaks."

A COVID-19 survivor, but still lots of fun:

And for those who missed this the first eight times I have posted this:

-- from the accordion player, hereself: I first heard this tune on youtube. I loved it but I couldn't find any music for it so I had to learn it by ear. 

I'm not sure but I believe I have connected a couple of dots regarding the accordion player. She was known as "fantinigirl92" on YouTube for quite some time, then disappeared for several years. Now it appears she is back, having graduated from university (Edinburgh) and has a name: Lana Elaine Fraser. I'm not entirely sure but it seems they are one and the same. 

Enough of this. See you tomorrow. Good luck to all. 

Update On The Oil Tankers Off Long Beach Port -- Just A Drop In The Ocean -- Much More Stored Offshore Elsewhere -- April 29, 2020

Link here.

Data points:
  • drone footage released on April 23, 2020, by the US Coast Guard showed a total of 27 large oil tankers floating off the coast of southern California
  • the vessels had reportedly been turned into storage tanks while waiting to dock at port
  • spokesperson says twenty tankers in the area
  • fourteen of them expected to remain there indefinitely or "for along time"
  • six tankers should leave within the next five days
  • five more tankers are expected to arrive this week
  • of those five yet-to-arrive tankers, four of them are set to unload their cargo while one such vessel will anchor for a "long time"
  • Reuters says 160 million bbls of oil are currently being stored in large tankers outside shipping ports due to a lack of onshore storage space
  • since very large crude carriers (VLCCs) were chartered to store oil at sea in February, the number has increased to 60, and is forecast to triple in the upcoming months. The VLCCs are reportedly mostly located near Singapore and in the US Gulf Coast
  • the current oversupply, which has already reached around 9 million barrels per day
I know nothing about the credibility of the linked source, but it certainly can't be any worse than CNN or The New York Times.

VLCCs / ULCCs are leasing for around $50,000 / day.

Fortunately for all involved, no risk of hurricanes.

Hess With Permits For A 4-Well AN-Lone Tree Pad In Antelope Oil Field -- April 29, 2020

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3164614929

Four new permits, #37542 - #37545, inclusive --
  • Operator: Hess
  • Field: Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comments: 
    •  Hess has permits for a 4-well AN-Lone Tree pad sited in Lot 4 section 12-152-95, Antelope, around 1400 FSL, all 344 FWL; see graphic below;
Seven permits renewed (again, lots of typos on the NDIC daily activity report)
  • Rimrock (4): four Skunk Creek permits in Dunn County;
  • Petro-Hunt (2): two USA permits in McKenzie County
  • NP Resources: a Little Mo Federal permit in Billings County
Five producing wells (DUCs) reported completed:
  • 37007, SI/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Chase Douglas 1A-32-29-159N-100W MBH, Blue Ridge, t--: cum 8K over 31 days;
  • 36564, drl/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Emerson Claire 33-28-159N-100W MBH, Blue Ridge, t--: cum 33K over 3 months;
  • 36565, SI/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Charlotte Elizabeth 3-34-27-159N-100W MBH, Blue Ridge, t--: cum 38K over 3 months;
  • 34409, SI/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Dois 6-19-18-158N-95W TFH, Rainbow, t--: cum 13K over 31 days;
  • 34411, SI/A, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Dois 7-19-18-158N-95W TFH, Rainbow, t--: cum 14K over 31 days;
Hess Permits: AN-Lone Tree Pad

Days Of Supply -- US Crude Oil -- Unprecedented -- Never Thought I Would See This -- Over 40 Days Of Supply -- April 29, 2020

Gasoline demand: pending. Link here.

Days of US supply, crude oil: link here: pending. This, I believe, only applies to onshore storage -- does not includes the 20 million bbls of Saudi crude oil off the west coast. 


Gas buddy:
  • Wisconsin: 91 cents
  • Oklahoma City: 99 cents
  • Louisiana 97 cents 
Crawfish fest continues: second week on Sophia's patio. Fourth crawfish dinner in ten days.

Anticipation: Texas governor will not extend "shelter-in-place" once it expires at midnight tonight. First place I will visit tomorrow -- local Lego mini-bricks and figures. No interest in visiting restaurants. I have learned to have coffee at home for breakfast -- along with chorizo and eggs; jalapeno spam for lunch; and crawfish for dinner. LOL. Barbershops will remain closed, I believe. Sophia will give me my weekly haircut (trim) tomorrow.

Fishing: Sophia and I had our first fishing excursion last night. An unforeseen error on my part disrupted our plans. Sophia did not mind. She just enjoyed watching the fast current after the heavy rains overnight. We will try again tonight, although it will be a bit cooler. The creek should be just as high as yesterday after another strong rainstorm last night.

A Little Bit Of Interactive Fun For The Day -- Port Of Long Beach -- ULCCs And VLCCs -- April 29, 2020

Link here.

At the map at the link, zoom in / zoom out. Place cursor on any of the icons to find the name and the type of ship.

Saudi tankers inside the oval in the screenshot below.

Shutting In Old Wells In Aging Oil Fields Carries Big Risks For Saudi Arabia, Russia -- April 29, 2020

I think Russia and Saudi Arabia are in the same boat: aging fields, shutting in wells carry big risks. Link here.

Bakken wells will, in general, come back stronger than ever after being shut in for a few months (or more).

Oasis To Stop Operations In The Bakken -- April 29, 2020

I was anticipating this: Oasis to stop operations in the Bakken. On another note, their recent wells have not been all that impressive lately. At least that's my opinion, based on very, very anecdotal information. Reuters link here.


The other day I posted a note regarding the Bay of Fundy. I had been reading a biography of Wyndham Lewis -- it was my second reading of that particular biography -- where the Bay of Fundy is a big part of his very, very young life. I had fun with Fundy and than moved on.

This morning, at breakfast, while continue to read about evolution in Fortey's book on velvet worms and horseshoe crabs, there is was -- page 210 -- a reference to the Bay of Fundy. Wow, what a coincidence.

But there was even more.

For years, I've been saying that reptiles are a "grab bag" of animals, not well defined, and "getting more press" then they may deserve. Like amphibians they were a crucial transitional group and have had their fifteen minutes of fame. To me, reptiles are defined more by what they are not (or do not have) than what they are (or what they have). I've never read anything along that line before.

Until today. In Fortey's book, page 211, he states much more eloquently than I regarding the reptiles.

Many of the skeletal features of more advanced living reptiles [are] lacking in the very first of their kind. These egg-laying animals prospered, and radiated into a range of ecological niches on land eventually in the air; some became "ruling reptiles," while others returned to the sea. Many did not survive the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago.
Fortey refers to these as "egg-laying animals because:
My more rigorous colleagues would expect me at this point to note that reptiles are not a natural group in modern zoological understanding One group of reptiles gave rise to mammals, and another to birds, which are both natural groups descended from common ancestors. This means that reptiles are a set of branches in the tree of life from which some derived branches have been "lopped off"; so they are not the complete ticket.
Reptiles are united by retaining the general characteristics of laying amniote eggs and having neither fur nor feathers nor hot blood (but that may be no longer true, either). So if we were being persnickety, we might always refer to "reptiles" in quotes; but as Stephen J. Gold pointed out some time ago, nearly everyone has a good idea of what the term means, so let's stick with it!
Portcullis: word of the day. Hint: think of all those old English movies about the "knights of the round table."

EIA Weekly Petroleum Report -- April 29, 2020

Weekly EIA petroleum report: link here --
  • weekly change, US crude oil in storage: up another whopping 9.0 million bbls
  • total US crude oil in storage: 526.7 million bbls, or about 10% above an already "fat" five-year average for this time of the year;
  • refineries operating at 69.6% capability -- about where it has been for the past few weeks;
  • gasoline, over four-week period: down by 43.7% year/year;
  • distillate, over four-week period: down by 15.1% year/year;
WTI; following the release of that data:
  • surged, 28%, up 3.47, to $15.81
  • OPEC basket: at the same link shows price from yesterday, not the current price provided by OPEC, $13.30
  • WTI, back to a premium over OPEC basket
Re-balancing (or should we now start calling it a "glut"?):
Week Ending
Million Bbls Storage
Week 0
November 21, 2018
Week 1
November 28, 2018
Week 2
December 6, 2018
Week 3
December 12, 2018
Week 4
December 19, 2018
Week 5
December 28, 2018
Week 6
January 4, 2019
Week 7
January 9, 2019
Week 8
January 16, 2019
Week 9
January 24, 2019
Week 68
March 18, 2020
Week 69
March 25, 2020
Week 70
April 1, 2020
Week 71
April 8, 2020
Week 72
April 15, 2020
Week 72
April 22, 2020
Week 73
April 29, 2020

Jet fuel delivered:
Jet Fuel Delivered, Change, Four-Week/Four-Week

Week Ending
Week 0
March 11, 2020
Week 1
March 18, 2020
Week 2
March 25, 2020
Week 3
April 1, 2020
Week 4
April 8, 2020
Week 5
April 15, 2020
Week 6
April 22, 2020
Week 7
April 29, 2020

Crude Oil Imports

Week (week-over-week)
Week Ending
Raw Data, millions of bbls
Change (millions of bbls)
Four-week period comparison
Week 0
March 11, 2029

Week 1
March 18, 2020

Week 2
March 25, 2020

Week 3
April 1, 2020

Week 4
April 8, 2020

Week 5
April 15, 2020

Week 6
April 22, 2020

Week 7
April 29, 2020