Saturday, October 3, 2020

US Overtakes UAE To Become Biggest LPG Supplier To China -- Platts -- October 3, 2020

Link to S&P Global Platts.

This is huge, absolutely huge. Think back twenty years. Did anyone see this coming? 

And in the big scheme of things, no one knows this.

Exodus And Return -- October 3, 2020

The other day I posted the following:

Migration: pending home sales hit all-time high. I love it when unmarried millennial journalists, who have no children, own no car, and have never been west of the Hudson River, come up with these explanations: "August pending home sales soar to a record high, fueled by rock-bottom mortgage rates." 

Link here.  

Hellloooooo ... mortgage rates have been at rock-bottom rates for two (?) years. What fueled home sales in August -- mortgage rates were helpful but why now? Why not a year ago? Why not six months ago? Why not six months from now?


Moms are moving their families out of places like NYC to where it's save from BLM, defunded police departments, Covid-19 craziness, school teachers on strike, and the list goes on and on and on. 

Remember: Americans, back in March, were under the impression the Covid thing would end before Memorial Day. Now they realize, Dr Faust was talking about Memorial Day, 2022. 


Sometime after Memorial Day, Moms realized Covid was not going to go away any time soon, certainly not before the beginning of this next school year. 

Moms are moving their families out of places like NYC into the suburbs, across the river, upstate, out of state, anywhere -- just to flee BLM, Antifa, Covid-19. 

Families were moving in August to get settled in their new school districts. This is not rocket science.

Another link here:

Tonight, I came across this article. I may have seen it before, I may have even linked it, I can't recall but it seems new to me. And it says exactly what I said but maybe a bit differently:

The pandemic-induced summer of escape from New York continues at a moment violent crime is on the rise, restaurant and public venue closures make the city less appealing, public transit is reeling in debt, and remote working set-ups are giving those with means greater mobility.

More worrisome trends... or rather signs of the times signalling that for many the gentrified Big Apple has as one family recently put it reached its "expiration date". Two separate NY Times reports on Sunday detailed that moving companies are so busy they're in an unprecedented situation of having to turn people away, while simultaneously the suburbs are witnessing an explosion in demand "unlike any in recent memory".And then there's fresh data showing that during the pandemic Americans are fast getting the hell out of the more expensive "real estate meccas" of New York and New Jersey.

First, New York City moving are reporting a rush of customers so high it feels like "move out day on a college campus":

According to FlatRate Moving, the number of moves it has done has increased more than 46 percent between March 15 and August 15, compared with the same period last year. The number of those moving outside of New York City is up 50 percent — including a nearly 232 percent increase to Dutchess County and 116 percent increase to Ulster County in the Hudson Valley.

“The first day we could move, we left,” a dentist was cited as saying of the moment movers were declared an "essential service" by Gov. Cuomo late March. Her family moved to Pennsylvania where they had relatives.

And second, the Times details the unprecedented boom in the suburban real estate as an increasingly online workforce is fed up with closures in the city, losing its appeal and vibrancy.

Much more at the linked article. [The graphic appears to add up to well more than 100%. If true, it would suggest there is some overlap (urban suburb and rural suburb, for example, or small town/resort area.]

And I don't think families will be moving back any time soon. However, something else may happen.

Pied-à-terres. Link here. This article was published a year before the pandemic.

When news broke in January that Ken Griffin bought a $238 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South, the transaction didn’t just set a record for the county’s most expensive residential purchase. It also renewed interest in passing a pied-à-terre tax. 
That's because part-time residents like the billionaire hedge fund founder, who owns other record-breaking houses around the world, don't pay state or city income taxes here, which support the services and institutions that make NYC so desirable to second-home buyers in the first place. 
Elected officials are eyeing a yearly pied-à-terre tax aimed at apartments or houses worth $5 million or more that are not the owner’s primary residence. 
Note that it would be an annual tax—as opposed to to a one-time tax, like the New York State mansion tax, which hits buyers as part of their closing costs. 
Some NYC brokers say creating a new way to tax the rich every year will make luxury second-home buyers look elsewhere, while economists and others disagree.

The writer was more focused on the tax angle. I think there's another angle. I know two couples who live outside of NYC. One couple was a military couple I knew very well while in the service. The other couple lives across the street from Sophia, here in Grapevine, TX. One couple is a well-off white couple; the other couple is a very, very well-off upper class African-American couple. They both have magnificent permanent homes, as noted, one in Baltimore, the other here in north Texas. 

Interestingly enough, they both own apartments in NYC and visit the city regularly. Or at least they used to and will again some day. My hunch is that a lot of wives who moved their husbands out of NYC in the past six months, have husbands who are looking to swoop down on some very, very inexpensive property for their pier-á-terre. 

They and their families will have the best of two worlds. When they want to take in the theater or go Christmas shopping, they can stay in their own home in the city.

The Pied-Á-Terre Tax?

Moving forward in Albany. Link here. Dated August 18, 2020. 

The bills in the Assembly and the Senate now match, and the state is broke. 

A Forbes contributor has doubts, but he's talking about $100-millionairers and billionaires, not about the type of folks I know.

An Old MRO Well With 80X Jump In Production -- October 3, 2020

The well:

  • 17568, 539, MRO, Charles Shobe - USA 44-18H, Reunion Bay, 10' target, middle Bakken, t2/09; cum 538K 8/20; well was extended approximately 940' in 2018; open hole frack, 2009 with 500,000 lbs sand; re-fracked 7/16/2018 - 7/26/2018; 45 stages; 5.5 million lbs proppant; one more stage 1/25/2019; 526,000 lbs; IP with re-frack: 5,645 bbls;

Full production profile at this post.

Production jump in 2019:

  • 38,867 bbls over 18 days extrapolates to 64,778 bbls
  • prior to jump in production: about 800 bbls/month
  • after jump in production: 64,778 bbls / month
  • 64,778 / 800 = 80x
  • and a very, very small re-frack in conjunction with fracking neighboring devopment / infill wells; 

 Initial production back in 2008 after first open-hole frack:


The Enerplus Fox Pad In Madaree Oil Field

 Enerplus Fox Pad Proposed

Three producing wells in this drilling unit:

  • 20978, 634, Enerplus, Red Rocks 149-93-10AH, Mandaree, t12/11; cum 190K 8/20; short lateral;
  • 20499, 708, Enerplus, Fox Ridge 10-21H, Mandaree, t12/11; cum 224K 8/20; short lateral;
  • 20977, 776, Enerplus, Morrison 149-93-10AH, Mandaree, t12/11; cum 306K 8/20; short lateral;
The "Fox" pad:
  • 37819,  loc, Enerplus, Troop 149-93-10B-15H-LL, Mandaree,Three Forks B1, 2560-acre spacing unit; 9/10/15/16-149-93;
  • 37820,  loc, Enerplus, Skulk 149-93-10B-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;
  • 37821,  loc, Enerplus, Canidae 149-93-10B-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;
  • 37822,  loc, Enerplus, Fennec 149-93-10B-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93,Three Forks B1,
  • 37823,  loc, Enerplus, Sly 149-93-10B-15H, Mandaree, 1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;
  • 27824,  loc, Enerplus, Vulpes 149-93-10A-15H, Mandaree, 1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;
  • 27825,  loc, Enerplus, Kit 149-93-10A-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93,Three Forks B1,
  • 27826,  loc, Enerplus, Renard 149-93-10A-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;
  • 27827,  loc, Enerplus, Swift 149-93-10A-15H, Mandaree,1280-acre unit, sections 10/15-149-93; middle Bakken;

XTO Cole Well With Huge Frack -- October 3, 2020

Completion strategies are tracked at the sidebar at the right.

The well:

  • 26803, SI/A, XTO, Cole 44X-32C, 33-053-05407, Siverston, t--; cum 242K 1/21;


  • 26803, fracked 9/4/19 - 9/25/19, 17.93 million gallons of water; water 93.4% by mass; target: 26' feet thick, middle Bakken; drilled in seven days; exposed 10,172' of uncased hole;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The XTO Cole Wells

The wells:

  • 35601, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole 44X-32F, 33-053-08763, Siverston, first production, 5/20, t--; cum 168K 1/21;
  • 26803, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole 44X-32C, 33-053-05407, Siverston, first production, 5/20, t--; cum 242K 1/21;
  • 26802, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole 44X-32G, 33-053-05406, Siverston, first production, 6/20, t--; cum 105K 1/21;
  • 35602, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole Federal  44X-32D, 33-053-08764, Siverston, first production, 6/20, t--; cum 168K 1/21;
  • 26804, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole Federal 44X-32H, 33-053-05408, Siverston, first production, 6/20, t--; cum 153K 1/21;
  • 35603, SI/A-->A, XTO, Cole 44X-32DXA, 33-053-08765, Siverston, first production, 6/20, t--; cum 160K 1/21;

Early production:

  • 35601:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 26803, fracked 9/4/19 - 9/25/19, 17.93 million gallons of water; water 93.4% by mass; target: 26' feet thick, middle Bakken; drilled in seven days; exposed 10,172' of uncased hole;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 26802:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 35602:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 26805:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 35603:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

For The Archives: ToA+18 Hours -- October 3, 2020


Later: 8:28 p.m. CT. President Trump on television for a 4-minute speech to the American people (and the entire world for that matter). 

Looks like he beat coronavirus in less than 24 hours. Not out of the woods yet, but certainly looks good. If he survives, and is back at the WH sometime next week, I look at this moment as the "Dukakis" moment -- mask-wearing Hidin' Biden vs an American leader who attacked problems, even at great risk to himself, head on. Free choice.

By the way, the stadiums are full of fans watching college football today.

And now, the game is interrupted by a TD Ameritrade commercial with folks in an airport -- and no masks.

Original Post

 Time of admission plus eighteen hours, from social media:

Physician's report: around noon. President Trump's physicians provide update; says things are going well. Trump himself tweets he's doing great. Rumors that he said he was ready to be discharged. Received IV plasma and Remdesivir.  Can you say "Gilead"? Apparently Trump was generous enough to let scarce ventilators be reserved for others.

Best thing about twitter: I can "see" news without it being filtered by mainstream media.  

Social media comments are great. 

Generally speaking, once one begins to recover from a malady, the recovery continues. Only rarely does one begin to recover and then relapse during the same admission.

If similar report tomorrow, prepare yourself for a great Monday!

Saudi Arabia -- Update -- October 3, 2020

Re-posting from September 6, 2020:

At the moment, there are 34,167 blog posts on "The Million Dollar Way."

Of those 34,167 posts, I probably have a couple dozen notes of which I am particularly proud.

One post of which I am very, very proud is this one, posted just a few months ago on Saudi Arabia's foreign exchange reserves.

At that post these data points:

Back-of-the envelope:

  • at $448.6 billion = 43 months of imports
  • for four years = $500.8 billion
  • = $125 billion / year
  • Saudi Arabia exports 7 million bopd, link here;
  • 7 *365 = 2,555 million bbls/year
  • = $50/bbl to pay for imports
Saudi Arabia's 2020 budget, as projected in December, 2019, link here:
  • revenue forecast: 833 billion riyals ($222 billion)
  • a budget deficit of 187 billion riyals ($50 billion)
  • 2020 budget: 1,020 billion riyals ($272 billion)
  • $275 billion / 2.555 billion bbls/year exports = $107.63
  • let's imagine 9 million bbls/day crude oil exports = 3.285 billion bbls/year
  • $275 billion (annual budget) / 9 million bopd export = $83.71 

So, until someone comes up with different numbers, it appears that at the end of 2019, Saudi Arabia:

  • needed $84-oil on 9 million bopd export
  • they are currently exporting about 7 million bopd
  • at 7 million bopd, Saudi Arabia needs, in round numbers, $110-oil
  • OPEC basket: slightly under $30 today and it has been much lower this year

So, where are we today?

CEIC is reporting, as of June, 2020:

Saudi Arabia's foreign exchange reserves equaled 38.3 months of import in December, 2019. Its money supply M2 increased 9.9 % year-over-year in June, 2020.

You know, patting myself on the back, in June, 2020, just a few months ago, I suggested Saudi Arabia's foreign exchange reserves would "cover" 43-months-worth-of imports

I had not previously seen the CEIC report in which analysts suggested the Kingdom had reserves enough to "cover" 38.3 months of imports at the end of 2019.

CEIC also noted that mid-year (2020), the Kingdom's cash reserves had increased by 9.9% year-over-year.

38.3 * 1.099 = 42 months. I had come up with 43 months. Wow, not bad for an ex-government employee. LOL.

So, Where Are We Today?
With The Most Recent Data -- August, 2020

From middleeastmonitor a few days ago.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance predicted on Wednesday that its budget deficit for the current year will stand at around 298 billion riyals ($79.5 billion), and that the public debt will rise to 854 billion riyals ($227.7 billion), while it could reach 941 billion riyals ($250.9 billion) in 2021.

Regarding other financial position indicators, the foreign exchange reserves curtailed, losing 105 billion riyals ($28 billion) last August, reaching 1.83 trillion riyals ($488 billion). [This figure is at odds with this source which shows 1.68 trillion rials ($454 billion).]

The sharpness of the collapse was due to the continuing decrease in oil prices and the grave repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

The general reserve of the kingdom dropped by 15 per cent last August, resulting in 422 billion riyals ($112.5 billion), while the general reserve has diminished by 56 per cent since the end of 2015.

The profits of Saudi banks dwindled during the first half of this year, by 40.9 per cent, reaching 13.15 billion riyals ($3.51 billion).

In the original post above, we estimated:

  • 9 million bopd exports
  • 2020 budget: $275 billion
  • = breakeven of $83/bbl (compare with actual of about $45 at best)

So, what is Saudi averaging in exports this year? 6.25 million bpd

  • wow
  • $275 billion / (6.25 million * 365) =  $120-oil

No one is predicting $120 oil -- ever, ever. 


So, what's the average OSP for Saudi oil? Below is the OSP. The range has been between $40 and $46 all year. One wonders if there were discounts along the way to save market share:

Saudi's nightmare: a Biden presidency.

By the way, look at the export numbers.

At the end of 2019:

  • Saudi needed $84-oil in 9 million bopd exports;
  • in fact, they were exporting about 7 million bopd (that was before Covid-19 demand destruction);
  • in 2020, Saudi is average 6.25 million bopd

Saudi Arabia Foreign Exchange Reserves -- August, 2020 -- Data

Link here.

Bake Sale, Anyone?

Hidin' Biden; Tesla; Apple; And, Edith Piaf -- All On One Page -- October 3, 2020

Before we get started, a reader pointed out that Joe Biden is scaling back his campaign appearances. LOL. Hidin' Biden. Scaling back. How can he scale back from isolating in his basement?  I replied to the reader:

Know who is getting 99% of the press now? President Trump. LOL.

Trump is getting more coverage now than ever. And his adversaries are even praying for a speedy recovery. LOL.

There is absolutely no news about Biden. He's going to have to test positive, be admitted to a hospital, and, be linked with Jeffrey Epstein to get any news on the front page.

 Okay, back to more serious stuff.

Breaking News

: Supreme Court says governor overstepped authority. Okay.

Cam Newton: NE Patriots QB tests positive. Apparently the Sunday game will be postponed for a day or two. Not sure why. Cam Newton will be quarantined for fourteen days. Oh, that's why. The NE Patriots need another day or two to work with the back-up QB. The coach says they have good depth at that position. Okay.

Long way to go. Quick! Pop quiz:

  • population of California: ?
  • number of Californians who have tested positive for the Chinese flu: ?
  • most conservative number expected to test positive by end of this pandemic (as a ratio or percent): ?


  • 40 million (population of California)
  • 826,690 (number of Californians who have tested positive so far)
  • one-third or 33.3% (most conservative number based on Spanish flu pandemic of 1918

Doing the math:

  • one-third of 40 million = 13 million
  • Let's say, just 10% test positive, that's still four million. A long way to go. 
    • 826,690/9 months = 100,000 / month
    • 4 million / 100,000 / month = 40 months -- and that's just 10% of the population
    • and 10% comes nowhere near "herd immunity"
    • I believe herd immunity is about 65% (+/- with vaccine) -- let's check -- Mayo Clinic-- wow, not bad for a wag: 70% according to the Mayo Clinic.

Tesla: 3Q20

Link to WSJ.

  • quarterly deliveries hit new record for Tesla
  • forecast by analysts: 137,000 deliveries
  • actual: 139,300 (I love the round number, exactly 139,300)

Fell short of Tesla's earlier, loftier projections, January 3, 2020, had once predicted:

  • 500,000 vehicles in 2018;
  • 1 million vehicles in 2020;

It is what it is.

Apple Promotes Another Old White Man

Link here

Greg Joswiak: to worldwide marketing. 

This is "marketing," not software development, or CFO. Couldn't find a qualified woman?  BLM? Tim Cook speaks a good game; doesn't deliver.

How Covid Broke Times Square

Link to WSJ. An incredibly long article. Poor hook to begin the story. But that's beside the point.

Do a word search: Bill de Blasio; mayor; governor, Cuomo. Not there.

Be sure to read the comments.

A couple examples. First:

I was ordered home from Italy on March 13, landed at JFK, whisked through customs and soon bordered (sic) rush-hour subways. I was shocked that after leaving operating room-like PPE controls in Rome, that so few New Yorkers were wearing masks while social distancing resembled the proverbial sardine can
This was MARCH 13! I learned later Mayor DeBlasio rode subways in late February and other officials urged New Yorkers to descend on Chinatown for Chinese New Year all in defiance of the pandemic threat
To think the leaders of the world's greatest international travel destination, and largest Chinese population outside of China, somehow thought NYC would be immune to the global pandemic shows their arrogance and stupidity, and yet they escape blame for inviting COVID-19 to rage in the United States. And that was before Gov. Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients, when the absolute only thing we knew about this disease was that it was an efficient killer of old people.    


My lord! Did I just read an entire column twice and use the "Find" function on my laptop to find any reference to the mayor and governor of NYC and NY, respectively?   No mention whatsoever of mandated "lockdowns" and closures?

A whole article with only three references to "crime" referencing the '70's, one for 2007/9 recession and only one about a robbery?

What in the world has happened to the WSJ (or is it the "Wsj"?)  How in the world did an editor allow this?   Rhetorical....good lord, indeed.

Je Ne Regreete Rien

Je Ne Ne Regreete Rien, Edith Piaf

Week 40: September 27, 2020 -- October 3, 2020

Top story of the week: President Trump admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center; he and she test positive.

Top story that disappeared completely: the story about the South Dakota attorney general who thought he hit a deer; returns to the scene the next day -- finds dead man in ditch -- nothing since the original report, two to three weeks ago. But we do know this: in South Dakota, hitting a deer must be reported to law enforcement; some exceptions;

Top international non-energy story:

Top international energy story:

Top national non-energy story:

Top national energy story:

Top North Dakota non-energy story:

Top North Dakota energy story:

Geoff Simon's top North Dakota stories:




Bakken economy:

Fast And Furious -- As Oil Trends Below $40, Again -- October 3, 2020

Most (if not all) of these links will be to writers over at oilprice. Going through them quickly, the tea leaves suggest:

  • OPEC+ back to increasing production, albeit slowly
  • production increase for many different reasons: Russia, Libya, Iran


  • Russia: production up slightly, but inconsequential; link to Irina Slav;
  • producing about 10 million bpd
  • Production of oil and condensates over the first nine months of the year averaged 10.35 million bpd, down by 7.8 percent on the respective period of 2019. Earlier this year, Russia’s oil production fell by a double-digit rate for the first time in more than two decades as a result of the OPEC+ agreement. Later, however, as the extended oil cartel relaxed the cuts, it began climbing again.

OPEC: Thursday, the day before President Trump taken to hospital for coronavirus --

  • WTI: fell 6% to $37.70; Brent fell 5% to $40.009
  • catalyst for drop said to be OPEC+'s September seaborne exports, "which jumped to 22.84 million bbls per day from 22.11 in August, 2020" -- link to Julianne Geiger;
  • I don't know about you, but I just can't get excited about a "jump" from 22.11 to 22.84 million; first of all, it appears to be false precision, and one tanker departing September 1st rather than August 31st, changes everything;
  • I think it has everything to do with continued demand destruction;
  • what other news coincided with the drop in oil price? US airlines announcing huge cuts just after Disney did the same; both actions (airlines/Disney) suggest another six months of continued pessimism

OPEC economies in deep doo-doo:

  • Gulf nations led by Saudi Arabia have been putting on a brave face and touting the strength of their economies, claiming they can withstand any scale of shocks during the oil crisis. Unfortunately, a growing body of evidence suggests pretty much the opposite: the Gulf economies are in dire straits thanks to their overreliance on oil. With oil prices stuck at $40/barrel, S&P Global Ratings has estimated that GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) central government deficits will reach about $490 billion cumulatively between 2020 and 2023 while government debt will surge by a record-high $100 billion in the current year -- link to Alex Kimani.
  • breakeven points for selected OPEC countries:
    • Saudi Arabia: $76.10; expected to decrease to $65 next year
    • UAE: $69.10
    • Qatar: $39.90 
    • Kuwait: $61.10
    • Bahrain: $95.60
    • Oman: $86.80
  • how long will this last? GS is most optimistic and they suggest $65 by 3Q21
    • Reuters survey suggests Brent will only get back to $50.45 by 2021 

Bottom line: for me, the announcements by Disney and the airlines, almost on the same day suggest the movers and shakers don't see any let-up in demand destruction for at least more months; with the pandemic, I don't think anyone can forecast farther out than six months.

Hurricane Laura

For the archives. 

Hurricane Laura shut in largest oil production volume since 2008. Link to Charles Kennedy. Any impact o prices for the consumer?  I certainly didn't see anything. 

You have to read to the very end to read this:

Despite leading to the largest shut-in of crude oil production in 12 years, Hurricane Laura resulted in much smaller shut-ins of production compared to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

And the shut-ins occurred when US (and probably the world) had record amounts of oil in storage, and demand-destruction due to the Chinese Flu pandemic had not abated. 

And finally, for the archives:

The EIA estimates that the Gulf of Mexico’s crude oil production fell to 1.4 million bpd in August, the lowest monthly output since early 2015. EIA expects production in the region to recover to nearly 2.0 million bpd by December 2020 and average 1.8 million bpd for 2020.