Thursday, June 11, 2020

BOTAŞ -- June 11, 2020

BOTAŞ -- not Botox -- Turkish pipeline to Armenia: link here. From wiki:
BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) is the state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company in Turkey. The company was established in 1974 as a subsidiary of Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO). [Looks like a name dreamed up by the television writers for Mission Impossible. LOL.]
Since 1995, BOTAS is a wholly state-owned company.

Cherry pie and coffee. I thought a blog on the Bakken was obscure. But there is literally a blog on everything. Exhibit A: Twin Peak Soundtrack Design.  Damn fine coffee and where pies go when they die. LOL. Wow, I love the internet, blogging, and YouTube. Amazing what one can find out there. It took a few dots to connect but I ended up here:

Falling, Julee Cruise

Julee Cruise: worth a read. Born in Creston, Iowa. What a great country.

Balancing city budgets coming out of coronavirus lockdown: one way to to it -- de-fund the city's police department. What could possibly go wrong?

Twin Peaks

I'm posting this late at night, June 12, 2020. I'm hoping it's buried deep enough into the blog that most readers won't find it. It's not worth reading; I don't want folks to take up valuable time reading this.

I'm back in my Twin Peaks phase. As many times as I've watched the series (I have not seen "Season 3" and have no plans to do so), I've never really thought about the music. It is the most incredibly music ever but I simply credited it to Angelo B., thought he was a genius, moved on, and didn't think much more about the music.

There are two recurring musical "themes" throughout the series: one is instrumental, the other is vocal. I think most folks "hear" the instrumental but don't really realize there's a stand-alone vocal theme. I think most folks just assume the vocal was a "mash-up" of the Angelo B. instrumentals.

But that is so wrong. The "vocal" themes are as unique and as important to the series as the Angelo B. instrumentals.

It is really serendipity how it all fell together. A person knew a person who knew another person and there you have it. David Lynch knew Angelo B and Angelo B knew Julee Cruise, and the rest is history, as they say.

From wiki:
Badalamenti scored films such as Gordon's War, and Law and Disorder, but his break came when he was brought in to be Isabella Rossellini's singing coach for the song "Blue Velvet" in David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet.
Inspired by This Mortal Coil's recent cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren," Lynch had wanted Rossellini to sing her own version, but was unable to secure the rights.
In its place, Badalamenti and Lynch collaborated to write "Mysteries of Love" using lyrics Lynch wrote and Badalamenti's music.
Julee Cruise, who went on to work with Lynch and Badalamenti on other projects, performed the vocals for the track. Badalamenti composed the score for the film and served as music supervisor. Lynch's request to the composer was for the score to be "like Shostakovich, be very Russian, but make it the most beautiful thing but make it dark and a little bit scary."
Badalamenti appears in Blue Velvet as the piano player in the club where Rossellini's character performs. This film was the first of what would become a career-long collaborative relationship spanning television and film.
Again, a genius doesn't get stopped by obstacles. David Lynch couldn't secure the rights to the music he wanted, so he "invented" his own. Amazing. And there you have it: from the very beginning: Julee Cruise.  

From social media:
I listened to this song, ear phones in, pushing my two children in a double stroller, down a dirt road in the middle of Florida..I was fleeing from my abusive husband. It may sound crazy but this is my fight song... 
Most "social media" receive no replies, some get one or two or three. That comment has received fifty-seven replies to date, and 394 "likes."

Enerplus' "Lithophile Element" Pad -- No Longer Three Forks -- Now The Middle Bakken -- June 11, 2020

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1263635228

Enerplus re-names four wells on its "Lithophile Element" pad in Dunn County. You may recall this from the daily activity report of May 19, 2020:
Four new permits, #37583 - #37586, inclusive --
  • Operator: Enerplus
  • Field: Moccasin Creek (Dunn)
  • Comments:
    • Enerplus has four permits for its first "Lithophile Element" pad in section 16-147-93, Moccasin Creek oil field; all 9' FNL; all about 700' FEL
    • this is already a very, very busy drilling unit with eight wells currently in production, to the west of where these new horizontals will run; 
    • see graphic at the link above
Well, it turns out, Enerplus has re-named all these wells.  Based on their original names, these wells were all going to target the Three Forks. With their name changes, it appears Enerplus has changed the target to the middle Bakken for these four wells:
  • 37583, loc, Enerplus, Beryllium....-09D-04H, Dunn County,
  • 37584, loc, Enerplus, Niobium....-09D-04H, Dunn County,
  • 37585, loc, Enerplus, Yttrium....-16A-21H, Dunn County,
  • 37586, loc, Enerplus, Cesium 147-93-16A-21H-LL, Dunn County,
Koda completed a SWD:
  • 90476, SWD, Koda Resources, Stoug 29 SWD 1, Divide County 

Well, That Didn't Take Long -- Chicago -- Doomsday Chronicles -- Nothing About The Bakken -- June 11, 2020

Yesterday I wrote:
The Doomsday Chronicles: during the Obama administration, some sectors of the US economy looked so bad, "the Doomsday chronicles" were needed to keep track of everything. We haven't seen many stories along this line, but I think it's just a matter of time. If so, along with the link above, this is where these stories will be tracked:
How New York balanced its budget, April 2, 2020, Politico. Mostly with projections.
As noted, I wrote that yesterday. I never imagined there would be a "Chicago" story one day later but here it is (google for story):
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she couldn't keep raising property taxes "off the table" as the city faces a budget shortfall and Chicago businesses struggle to recover from both looting and the coronavirus shutdown.
"I can't take it off the table, but it is truly the last thing I want to do," Lightfoot said at a press conference this week.
Laying off city employees could be on the table too as the city faces an estimated budget shortfall of $700 million.
"Every city in the country is dealing with a loss of revenue," Chicago Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Samir Mayekar told FOX Business. "Cities, unlike the federal government, we have to balance our books. [Mayor Lightfoot] has two principles in mind … making sure that the most vulnerable populations of the city aren’t impacted. … She's focused on making sure we’re not driving business out of the city."
The first thing city mayors might want to consider if they don't want to drive businesses out of their towns is to ensure that police are given clear support to shut down rioting and looting -- perhaps before it starts -- for whatever reason.

Rockin' Back Inside My Heart, Julee Cruise

Well, That Didn't Take Long -- June 11, 2020


June 12, 2020: Venezuela feeling the heat: Cuba.  

Original Post
From Reuters:
By Marianna Parraga and Jonathan Saul

MEXICO CITY/LONDON (Reuters) - Oil tankers that were sailing toward Venezuela have turned around and others have left the country's waters as the United States considers blacklisting [are we still allowed to use that word?] dozens of ships for transporting Venezuelan oil, according to shipping data and industry sources.

The threat of tighter sanctions is already disrupting the global shipping market. Chinese oil firms are considering whether to decline to charter any tanker that has visited Venezuela in the past year, no matter where the ship is now or for what voyage...
Washington is seeking to oust the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro by choking the oil exports that provide its main source of income. The measures have contributed to a fall in Venezuelan oil exports to a 17-year low and deepened the country's economic crisis, but Maduro has held on - to the frustration of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration [oh, I doubt the administration is all that frustrated. LOL.].

The United States may add dozens more tankers to an existing blacklist [there's that word again].... That would make it more difficult for state firm PDVSA to deliver oil to refineries abroad. Exports dropped to about 452,000 barrels per day in May, the lowest since a national strike paralyzed the economy and hit exports between 2002 and 2003.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Twitter on Tuesday that Washington was attacking Venezuela's economy by blocking foreign revenue that could be used to import humanitarian goods, including food and medicine. [And his point would be?]

Malta-flagged tanker Seadancer, operated by Greek firm Thenamaris Ships Management and chartered by Thai refiner Tipco Asphalt, returned to Gibraltar after waiting in the Atlantic Ocean for a week....
Tipco Asphalt .... had dropped plans to use the vessel, which had previously been on course for waters off the coast of Venezuela at Amuay...
The Seadancer was scheduled to load 1 million barrels of Venezuela's Boscan crude for shipping to Malaysia's Kemaman refinery, operated by Tipco.

Another vessel operated by Thenamaris that had loaded crude in Venezuela in February, the Seahero, was blacklisted [again] by the U.S. Treasury Department last week.

A second Malta-flagged tanker expected in Venezuela, the Novo, made a U-turn this week in the Caribbean. [I would have loved to see that.] The vessel was scheduled to transport 1 million barrels of Hamaca crude in June to Singapore...

A loading window assigned for the Novo was canceled on June 6 after the chartering contract was suspended.... The tanker is operated by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd, which also manages the Chios I, blacklisted [again] last week by the U.S. Treasury.
As word spread on the possibility of more Venezuela-related shipping sanctions to come, at least three more very large crude carriers (VLCCs) - Boston, Commodore and Respect - exited Venezuelan waters over the weekend to anchor in the Eastern Caribbean ...

Oil companies and merchants worldwide - not just in China - are becoming more wary of vessels that have recently transported Venezuelan oil ....

"Anything on the potential sanctions list will just become toxic," a source at a top oil trading company said. "No one will touch it until it's clear what the rules will be."

Broker Clarksons Platou Securities estimated that 77 tankers had called at Venezuela's main oil ports since December, more than 2% of the global fleet, and so were potentially at risk of sanctions.

Sanctions typically have a knock-on effect on the rest of the oil tanker market as energy companies and merchants scramble to swap blacklisted [again] vessels for others.
Much, much more at the link but I think I caught all the "blacklisted" references.

Warren Buffett's Spreadsheet

For background, see this post. Scroll to bottom of that post.

Shr Price: 3/31/2020
Dollars: 3/31/2020
Shr Price: June 11, 2020
Total: June 11, 2020











March 24, 2020



June 11, 2020





Word For The Day: Mantis -- Nothing About The Bakken -- June 11, 2020

Word for the day: mantis.

How did we ever get here?

I'm back in my Greek tragedy phase, re-reading Keld Zeruneith's The Wooden Horse: The Liberation of the Western Mind, From Odysseus to Socrates for the umpteenth time. If I can take only five books with me when I'm sent into the next world, this would be one of the five.

Right now, I'm reading the last chapter, the chapter on Socrates.

From page 509:
Even though the daimonic in Odysseus' case is primarily associated with being possessed by a daimon, the concept contains the same latent meaning as in the description of Socrates.
Daimonic refers to a human being who, touched by the divine, as Odysseus was by Athene, becomes incomprehensible to those around him. And it is very much the case for Socrates that the daimonic aspect applies to his doctrine, works and life. 
We have touched on the fact that daimones (plural of daimon) populate the area of consciousness tat arises between gods and men ... the daimones appear as more or less anonymous forms of explanation for the metaphysical indeterminacy that especially Sophocles captured in his writings....Man's character is his daimon
And then, getting closer:
According to Diotima, the truth about Eros (Cupid) is that he is not, as claimed by Phaedrus, a god but a daimon, a messenger between gods and men.
And there we are: Diotima.

Who was Diotima?

Diotima was a character in one of Plato's "dialogues" or plays, as it were.

The wiki entry for Diotima calls her Diotima of Mantinea so as not to be confused with another Diotima, I suppose:
Diotima of Mantinea was an ancient Greek prophetess and philosopher thought to have lived circa 440 B.C., who plays an important role in Plato's Symposium. In the dialogue, her ideas are the origin of the concept of Platonic love.
So, now Diotima of Mantinea:
The name Diotima means one who honors or is honored by Zeus, and her Mantinean origin is reminiscent of the root "mantis," which would suggest an association with prophecy. The Greek form also includes the sound nike: Diotima Mantinike as a pun in Greek would thus sound like "Diotima from Prophet-victory."

In the Symposium, she is implied to be a priestess or prophetess and is said to be from the Peloponnesian city of Mantinea, which was allied against Athens at the time of the dialogue - though one version of the manuscript preferred in old readings called her a mantic woman, or seeress, rather than a woman from Mantinea.

Since the only contemporaneous source concerning her is Plato, doubts have been raised about whether she was a real historical personage or merely a fictional creation; however, nearly all of the characters named in Plato's dialogues have been found to correspond to real people living in ancient Athens.
We, we got to Mantinea. From that, mantis, etymology:
First use found in the1650s, "type of insect that holds its forelegs in a praying position" (especially the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa), Modern Latin, from Greek mantis, used of some sort of elongated insect with long forelimbs (Theocritus), literally "one who divines, a seer, prophet," from mainesthai "be inspired," related to menos "passion, spirit," from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought (compare mania and -mancy).
The insects, which live in temperate and tropical regions worldwide, are so called for its way of holding the enlarged forelimbs as if in prayer. 
Praying mantis is somewhat redundant, sort of like the Los Angeles Angels, I suppose. Or not.

Back to daimon. One of my top-shelf books is Harold Bloom's The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime.

Harold Bloom is incredibly difficult (for me) to read. But he taught me two important "concepts" with regard to literature: the importance of "irony" and "originality."

For Bloom, literature failed if it was not original and if it did not contain irony. The Bible is the ur-book (not yearbook) for Bloom, although he says he is a non-believer.

Socrates was both: ironic and original.

In The Daemon Knows, Bloom compares and contrasts at great length two writers, with six chapters, resulting in a total of twelve American writers. Bloom, p. 4:
The common element in these twelve writers -- albeit covertly in T.S. Eliot -- is their receptivity to daemonic influx. Henry James, the master of his art, nevertheless congratulates his own daemon for the greatest of his novels and tales. Emerson was the family sage for the James clan, including Henry James, Sr.., as well as the novelist and the psychologist-philosopher William, whose essay "On Vital Reserves" is a hymn to the daemon.
I was introduced to Henry James by a most wonderful woman some years ago, during the height of my reading days, back in England, around 2003, I suppose. She never went to college but because of a great high school literature teacher Colleen was very, very well-read and incredibly fun with whom to share stories. It did not hurt that she was quite attractive, and incredibly poised. Sexist alert! She introduced me to Henry James. Ironically, my wife, a psychiatric social worker, introduced me to William James.

And as Colleen would say, "And, so, there you have it." That's how we got to mantis as our word for the day.

Colleen also introduced me to the hyphenated word, "one-off."

What a digression.

Forty-Five Minutes -- June 11, 2020


June 15, 2020: from the Seattle Times, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins led talks on Sunday involving representatives of protesters, as well as property and small business owners to figure out how to reopen the area for traffic and local business, As predicted, negotiations have begun.

June 12, 2020: see new comments this date. I opined earlier that negotiations will begin by next week between "Seattle" and "CHAZ." CHAZ will start by ordering food and supplies. Wow, that didn't take long. Less than an hour later, this headline:

June 12, 2020:

Later, 11:02 a.m. CT: be sure to read Larne's comment in the comment section below. Things are not as simple as they might seem. I was going to write something along this line about the chaos in Seattle. "Chaos is self-organizing." Before you  know it, the anarchists in downtown Seattle will form a "police department" but they well it something different. But it will still be a "police department." 

Later, 9:00 a.m. CT: the note below was written before the market opened, or thereabouts. It looks like oil traders finally reacted to the record high US crude oil inventory numbers. And gasoline demand. And the "Fed's" remarks. And the jobless numbers even though those were telegraphed yesterday. WTI collapsed; down almost 8%; down almost $4.00; now at $36.44. Well, at least WTI is still above $36.

Original Note

Note: in a long note like this there will be typographical and content errors. 

7:16 a.m. CT: I have forty-five minutes. And then another day of Uber-granddaughter driving begins. Somehow YouTube directed me to CCR. Wow. I look at all the oil analysts over at Twitter. It appears their average age is 27. Twenty-seven years old. Children of the 90s. Wow -- all the great music they did not hear when growing up.

Lookin' Out My Back Door, CCR

And then my mind wanders to San Francisco, and Hunter S. Thompson.

I wonder what he would think of the freaks (his word, not mine) taking over Seattle. Wow, talk about sleepless in Seattle. LOL. No, I won't post that soundtrack. I don't know if I've ever even listened to that soundtrack. 

I've been to Seattle twice. Never impressed me. I've been to San Francisco. Many times. When it was great. Wow, great memories. 

But I digress.

I guess the theme for the day is going to be the US crude oil inventory. At record highs. A reader noted that this milestone generated no headlines, no stories. With all that is going on that may not be surprising.

Bloomberg reported it but Bloomberg reports everything. Headline: record US crude stockpiles reveals cracks in oil market recovery. And oil prices today reflect exactly that. Saudi Arabia in deep doo-doo. 
Swelling U.S. oil stockpiles are signaling that a difficult path lies ahead for OPEC and its allies who are trying to stabilize the market with record output cuts.
Just weeks after American explorers [sounds like lewisandclark] began shutting in wells in the wake of a slump in demand, a recent recovery in crude is prompting some producers to turn the taps back on at a time when a fresh onslaught of the virus challenges pockets across the country.
A month into the state’s reopening, Florida this week reported the most coronavirus cases of any seven-day period. In Texas, hospitalizations on Tuesday jumped to the highest since the pandemic emerged, rising for a third consecutive day. California’s hospitalizations are at their highest since May 13, 2020.
Those gains in cases are leading to concern that oil’s rebound may unwind if governments implement lockdowns again. The OECD is forecasting a sharp contraction in the global economy this year that could get worse if there’s a second wave of virus infections.
An aside: I doubt elementary schools will open on time this fall. Middle schools, high schools, and colleges will all go on-line at the start of the year.

But I think this is the real reason there were no headlines: we've been here before.

This is a huge number. A reader posted this as a comment at this post:
  • That record is also 52.3% above the prior 5 year (2010 - 2014) average of our crude oil stocks for the first week of June; here's the math;
  • 538,065 / ((355,221 + 365,179 + 358,610 +346,897 + 340,906 ) / 5) =1.5227
It is pretty laughable. The buzz word about two years ago, coming out of Saudi Arabia, was the need to "re-balance." As soon as I saw that, I started tracking global efforts to "re-balance." Miserable failure.Back on week 0, November 21, 2018 (date of report): 447 million bbls of crude oil in storage in the US; most recent report, week 79: 538 million bbls of crude oil and rising.

Johnny Cash: "How High Is The Water Mama?" LOL.

Days of crude oil supply in the US: dropped slightly from 41.3 days to 40.9 days. I'm pretty sure that's not statistically statistical.

Gasoline demand, four-week average, is beginning to flatten: that should worry everybody. But, the most recent one-week gasoline demand looks a bit better than the four-week average, so we'll see.

But I digress.

We've been here before. Crude oil storage in US:
  • 538,065 thousand bbls (note the false precision) -- most recent report
  • 533,110 thousand bbls -- March 17, 2017 -- about six months after Saudi ended "the surge" in production at an attempt to destroy US shale;
Sure, we've set another all-time record, but there's not a lot of difference between 538 million bbls and 533 million bbls (1%).

Check the math: 1.01 x 533,110 = 538,441. Close enough.

The Fed says we've been through the worst (no one really believes that) but "Jay" (as all his friends call him) says it will be a rough, long slog. Steve Mnuchin (or Mr Mnuchin, as all his friends call him) says US businesses will need more help. Administration will support another round of stimulus checks. US Senate introduces bill to "pay" each American $120,000 / year, and BET found Robert Johnson calls for $14 trillion (that's with a "t") for slavery reparations.

That kind of talk sort of drowns out talk of record oil in US storage. Not to mention sleepless in Seattle. Again.

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

The market: Today should be an interesting day to watch. It is not unusual for the "market" to respond violently after a "Fed" announcement. The reaction usually happens on a late Wednesday afternoon, extends into Wednesday. Forgotten by Friday. Looks like the Dow could fall a thousand point at the open. This is where traders make their money. I wonder if the exchanges will put in a "stop" to halt the plunge. Once the computers take over, there's no telling how bad things can get.

Ask HAL.

My hunch: things are yet to get worse. Metric to watch: number of folks still wearing masks while driving their cars to empty malls. Alone in their cars.

Oil Drops Back, Not Looking Good For Saudi Arabia -- June 11, 2020

Theme for the day: US crude oil inventory, and why the record amount in US storage was not a headline yesterday. But we will get back to that later.

Oil prices: not looking good for Saudi --
  • Brent falls 3.6%: $40.23
  • OPEC basket, link here, $37.09
Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1263635228

Only one well coming off the confidential list today -- Thursday, June 11, 2020: 32 for the month; 177 for the quarter, 404 for the year:
  • 37192, drl/drl, CLR, Wiley 13-25HSL2, Pershing, t--; cum --;

One Is The Loneliest Number, Three Dog Night

Wiley: we haven't seen "Wiley" in a long time. The CLR Wiley wells are tracked here

RBN Energy: back to diluent. The growing need for diluent in Alberta's oil sands.
Bitumen, the heavy, viscous form of crude oil associated with Alberta’s oil sands, has been the workhorse behind Canada’s ascent to near the top of oil-producing nations. However, it is impossible to get raw, near-solid bitumen to refiners by pipeline without either upgrading it to a flowable crude oil or blending it with lighter hydrocarbon liquids, a.k.a. diluents, to form the more diluted version of the product, referred to as “dilbit.” As for moving bitumen by rail, there are two main options: using heated tank cars or blending it with diluent to form “railbit.” The rapid rise in bitumen production in the past decade — interrupted only by wildfires and the recent price crash — has generated a large parallel market for diluents, whose fortunes are closely tied to the oil sands. U.S.-sourced diluent currently meets a substantial portion of the demand. But with Alberta oil sands development poised for renewed growth and in-province condensate production rising, the Canadian diluent market could be in for some big shifts. Today, we start a blog series considering the unique role that this special form of hydrocarbon plays in the oil sands.
Alberta’s fast-growing production of bitumen in recent years was only made possible by increasing the supply and use of diluents, a variety of light liquids that when blended with bitumen allow it to flow in pipelines or be shipped in rail cars. This has resulted in the development of a sophisticated infrastructure for the delivery of the diluent to where it is needed. Things are in flux, though. For one, bitumen production has been set back the past few months by takeaway constraints, low prices and falling refinery demand, but is expected to rebound later this year. Also, Western Canadian sources of diluent have been growing the past few years and may reduce the need for imported diluent on pipelines from the U.S., opening the door to a possible repurposing of these import pipelines. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at how changes to Canada’s oil industry might affect diluent demand, sourcing and transportation. We’ll begin by considering why diluent is needed, what liquids can be used as diluent and where they come from. Later in the series, we’ll look more closely at infrastructure issues and the future of diluent use.