Monday, November 23, 2020

Futures Don't Mean A Thing. Long Live Futures -- November 23, 2020

Futures don't mean a thing.

I was disappointed today that the market did not do better than it did. Up only 327 points for the Dow. I expected much more. I alluded to that yesterday (Sunday) and again this morning before the market opened. 

After all, we now have a cure for the Chinese flu (Regeneron) and too many vaccines to count (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Russian variant, Chinese variant, and the list goes on) ... and it looks like health care providers will get vaccinated as early as December 12, 2020 .... so I expected a much better day for the market ...

... and then during the day, we got even more good news. President Trump is moving toward a smooth transition for Biden .... he has instructed the deep state, the swamp (the GSA, to be specific) to go ahead with plans for the transition ... so, yes, I was disappointed not to see a bigger day for the Dow.

So, what are futures tonight? 

The Dow is up 260 points (10:30 p.m. CT). Futures. [Later: 11:12 p.m. CT: up 286 points, Dow futures.]

But then again, futures don't mean a thing.

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.

Idle Rambling -- Back To The Apple M1 Chip -- With Another Bit Of Trivia I've Not Seen Pointed Out Elsewhere -- November 23, 2020

Yesterday, I had a very, very long post on the new Apple M1 chip which is setting all kinds of records. It is the first chip with 16 billion transistors that is available for the individual user like you and me. 

As part of that post, I linked the wiki site that provides a very, very long table of all chips and the number of transistors on those chips manufactured since 1970.

The list is too long to reproduce but I need to point out something that I missed the first time (actually, I did not miss it; I simply did not want to bring up yet another data point in that very, very long note). 

So, I have posted a "reader's digest" version of the list since 2018 when Apple introduced the Apple A12X used for its iPhones. 


# transistors on the chip



Six transistors

Apple A12X 

10 billion



7 nm

Fujitsu A64FX

9 billion 



7 nm

Tegra Xavier SoC

9 billion 



12 nm

AMD Ryzen

6 billion



7 & 12 nm


HiSilicon Kirin

8 billion



7 nm

Apple A13

8.5 billion



7 nm

AMD Ryzen

10 billon



7 & 12 nm


HiSilicon Kirin

10.3 billion



7 nm

AWS Graviton 2

30 billion



7 nm

AMD Epyc Rome

39.5 billion



7 & 12 nm


Apple M1

16 billion



5 nm

HiSilicon Kiri 9000

15.3 billion



5 nm

There are twelve chips on that very, very short list. Look at the designer. Everyone should recognize Apple and AMD. Most will recognize Huawei. But then, look at #10 on that list, and based on the number of transistors on its chip would be ranked #2 (30 billion transistors) to #1 AMD/TSMC (40 billion transistors). 

AWS. Amazon Web Services. Designer: Amazon. 

That simply blows me away. Who knew? This speaks volumes about Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Again, who knew? Never discussed in the mainstream media. Wow, if it weren't for blogs like this, no one would ever know. LOL.

Steve, Oh, Steve

Still one of my favorite video clips of all time.

That was 2007.

Fast forward to 2020, November 23:

Market value:

  • MSFT: $1.589 trillion
  • AAPL: $1.936 trillion

Wow, I miss Steve Jobs. 

Link here.  Best ten-minute presentation ever. 2007. Which by the way was the same year the Bakken revolution in North Dakota began.

Jobs' bare bones presentations back in 2007 still beat out the slick Tim Cook presentations in 2020. 

Tim Cook must have remembered that presentation -- now, Apple is making its own record-setting chips. And for the most part, price points have not changed appreciably. Imagine all the money that went into R&D for putting 16 billion 5-nm transistors on a chip.

The MOS-Integrated Circuit Technology

From wiki:

The development of MOS integrated circuit technology in the 1960s led to the development of the first microprocessors. 
The 20-bit MP944, developed by Garrett AiResearch for the U.S. Navy's F-14 Tomcat fighter in 1970, is considered by its designer Ray Holt to be the first microprocessor. 
It was a multi-chip microprocessor, fabricated on six MOS chips. However, it was classified by the Navy until 1998. The 4-bit Intel 4004, released in 1971, was the first single-chip microprocessor. It was made possible with an improvement in MOSFET design, MOS silicon-gate technology (SGT), developed in 1968 at Fairchild Semiconductor by Federico Faggin, who went on to use MOS SGT technology to develop the 4004 with Marcian Hoff, Stanley Mazor and Masatoshi Shima at Intel.

CLR WIth Two New Permits -- November 23, 2020

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1457625337

Two new permits, #37988 - #37989, inclusive:

  • Operator: CLR
  • Field: Antelope (McKenzie)
  • Comments: 
    • CLR has permits for a two-well Harms Federal pad;
    • wells will be sited 409' and 422' FSL and 1704' FWL and 1661' FWL, respectively
    • SESW 32-153-93;

One permit renewal:

  • BR: an Abercrombie permit in McKenzie County

The CLR Harms Federal Permits

Wow, talk about "gerrymandering."

The permits are for wells that will be sited in Elm Tree oil field (important note: CLR "owns" Elm Tree) but the wells will run north, run under the river into the Antelope oil field. The Antelope oil field is a very irregular field (not uncommon in the Bakken) but the two sections in the are northeast that run under the river certainly make this a most unusual-looking oil field.  

Be that as it may, here are the two producing wells in that section. Most likely, the new wells will be on the same pad:

  • 22817, 439, CLR, Harms 2-32H, Elm Tree, t8/13; cum 406K 9/20; this well has been an incredibly good, stable producer; this is the kind of well small mom-and-pop mineral owners simply love;
  • 22818, 706, CLR, Harms 1-32H, Elm Tree, t12/13; cum 362K 9/20;

ENB's December, 2020, Distribution

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. 

Note: I often misread things; see things that are not there. If this is important to you, go to the source.

Speaking of dividends: I completely missed this one. Link here.

The quarterly ENB dividend runs about 60 cents/share on a quarterly basis.

Note that the most recent declaration is for $1.233.

That extrapolates to an annual yield of:

  • $1.233*4 = $4.892
  • $4.892 / $30 = 16.3%.

Obviously that's not going to happen -- that this distribution will be maintained throughout 2021, but it is a nice Christmas present, I suppose.

The one-year target for this $30-stock is $41.

Line 3

Speaking of Enbridge, this screenshot from November 23, 2020:

PSA: More And More Data Sites Are Optimized For Google's Browser: Chrome -- November 23, 2020

I'm posting this mostly to clear off my desktop. 

Link here.

My regional bank website is optimized for Google Chrome because its security features are not as robust as Safari. Seriously: tech support at the bank told me that when I was re-establishing my log-in password.

The ND site for quarterly lease sales is optimized for Google Chrome. 

I still prefer Firefox.

I almost never use Safari, but that may change. But, wow, Firefox works.

I never, never, never use Microsoft IE. I believe Microsoft's browser is now called Edge. 

CDC: MMWR Update

For week ending November 14, 2020.


  • influenza-like illness visits were the same as previous week: 1.5%
  • remains below the national baseline of 2.6%
  • Iowa, the lone state last week for increased activity, has now been removed
  • the entire country practically all green (good)


  • 10.7% of deaths were attributed to pneumonia, influenza, or Chinese flu: this is above the threshold of 62%; the majority of PIC deaths are due to Chinese flu.

Lab testing:

  • of 18,482 tests administered in that one week, all of 41 (0.2%) came back positive
    • influenza B: 61%
    • influenza A: 39%

Bottom line: yawn

Closer Look At The Winning Bids For Almost The Entire Section 36-159-102 -- November 23, 2020

From the quarterly land lease sales, November, 2020:

Williams County.

  • four lots (the entire section 36 except for 160 acres in S2-36-102-36):
    • NW4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lone Tree Energy
      • 160 acres
      • $24/acre
    • SE4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lone Tree Energy
      • $25/acre
      • 80 acres
    • NE4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lynx Oil
      • just slightly less than 160 acres
      • $26/acre
    • SW4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lynx Oil
      • 80 acres
      • $26/acre

These four lots probably come close to calling any wells drilled here: wildcats. This is in the far northwest corner of Williams County, Bar Butte oil field. There are absolutely no producing wells in this 18-section oil field. There are three locations on one pad in section 26-159-102: one location is on the confidential list but it's a salt water disposal well; the other two locations still on loc status.

  • 37829, conf, Koda Resources, Porter 26-2 SWD, Bar Butte,
  • 37447, loc, Koda Resources, Porter 2635-1BH, Bar Butte,
  • 37448, loc, Koda Resources, Porter 2635-2TH, Bar Butte,

Say what you want, but I think the tea leaves are telling us something. 

From the well file for #37448:

  • sections 25/36-159-102
  • geologic tops
    • top of middle Bakken: 9,978'
    • top of Three Forks (B1): 10,185
      • middle Bakken: 207' thick;
  • elsewhere:
    • top of middle Bakken: 9,965'
    • top of Three Forks: 10,144
      • middle Bakken: 179' thick;

A Closer Look At The Winning Bid For 160 Acres In Bully OIl Field -- November 23, 2020

From the quarterly land lease sales, November, 2020:

McKenzie County.

  • one lot: 
    • SW4, 148-99-16
      • bidder: SoloCorp
      • 160 acres
      • $311/acre

Bully oil field.

So, is SoloCorp working for Whiting? For Sinclair? Or for themselves?

  • If Solo Corp related to Solo Oil, now Scirocco?
  • I don't know.
  • My hunch: working for Sinclair. But that hunch and 69 cents will get you a cup of McDonald's coffee. 

Two producing wells to the north:

  • 30596, 611, Sinclair Oil, Ersa Federal 3-4H, Bully, t11/19; cum 67K 3/20; F; remains off line 9/20;
  • 30597, 824, Sinclair Oil, Ersa Federal 4-4H, Bully, t11/19; cum 86K 3/20; F; remains off line 9/20;

Four permitted locations in NW-16-148-99:

  • 37278, loc, Whiting, State Federal 21-16H, Bully oil field;
  • 37279, loc, Whiting,
  • 37380, loc, Whiting,
  • 37281, loc, Whiting,

Quarterly Land Lease Sales For November, 2020, Posted

Link here. Sparsest sale I've seen since the boom began.

McKenzie County.

Williams County.

  • four lots (the entire section 36 except for 160 acres in S2-36-102-36) (for more on this, see this post)
    • NW4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lone Tree Energy
      • 160 acres
      • $24/acre
    • SE4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lone Tree Energy
      • $25/acre
      • 80 acres
    • NE4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lynx Oil
      • just slightly less than 160 acres
      • $26/acre
    • SW4, 159-102-36
      • bidder: Lynx Oil
      • 80 acres
      • $26/acre

Legacy Fund Deposits For November, 2020, Posted

Link here.  

Wow, how well do I know that Bakken? LOL.

Yesterday (Sunday, November 22, 2020) I said I expected the Legacy Fund deposits for November, 2020, to be posted today and I repeated that this morning and here they are, right on schedule. An alternate site has not yet been updated. 

November, 2020, deposits: $29,451,191.05, down slightly from last month. Last month: $31,036,802.5. Down 5%. On a percentage basis, more than I expected.

Gender Pay Gap Widens With This Pandemic -- November 23, 2020

Gender pay gap: it will be interesting if Mark Perry picks up on this. There is no question that working mothers -- the majority of them in the same age group as mothers raising children at home -- are the first in a two-person couple to be asked to stay home with remote learners / streamers. 

This graphic at this link captures the sad effect Chinese flu will have for women age 20 - 40 raising a family.

If I'm interpreting the graph correctly:

  • there are two curves: a) a "normal" recession; b) the "current" Chinese-flu recession;
  • the timeline is divided into fiscal quarters;
  • the timeline starts with the first quarter of the recession ("normal"; Chinese flu);
  • the timeline extends from the beginning quarter of the recession to the 80th quarter, for twenty years out;
  • the graph suggests that in a normal recession, the gap between women's pay and men's pay narrows to 83 cents for woman; $1.00 for men (again, if I'm reading this correctly) -- that's for a normal recession -- the gender pay gap actually narrows;
  • but, for this recession, with working family moms now forced to stay at home, the gender pay gap widens -- approaching 75 cents for women vs $1.00 for men (assuming I'm reading the graphic correctly);
  • the return to "normal" takes about the same amount of time in each case: 20 years
  • that, for me, is most interesting; finally, we're seeing how long a recession affects the gender pay gaps -- although to be fair, there's not a whole lot of difference between 80.5 cents (Q0) and 81 cents/79 cents nine quarters out -- but nine quarters is still about two years

By the way, I once spoke to a blue collar worker who was on strike against his employer some years ago; his union regularly went on strike every five years or so. 

He said that the union always "won," getting pay raises and better benefits, but the employee with whom I was talking, said it always took two years to recover from the strike;

  • likewise, every time the military moved me to a new geographic assignment, it took me two years to get back to where I was;

The Literature Page

I could have read the book, Sarah Weinman's The Real Lolita in one evening. It's an easy read.

But it's so well written and so incredibly interesting I am purposely reading it very slowly. I am just now over the halfway mark.

The story of the real Lolita, Sally Horner, is now over (in the book). The rest of the book, I assume will be a) about Nabokov; and, b) the subject of pedophilia, rape, in the US in the 1950s. 

Pedophilia and rape. Interesting timing for me -- so coincidental -- Jeffrey Epstein is dead, but Ghislaine Noelle Marion Maxwell is still locked up and telling "a" story.

Chinese Flu -- Second Wave -- Huge Numbers, Deaths Not Maintaining Pace --November 23, 2020


Later, 7:55 p.m. See first comment. I am wrong. Deaths are maintaining pace, and will likely continue to be a challenge. I was simply eyeballing the graphs and not doing the math. A big thanks to the reader.

Original Post

For the US, North Dakota's ranking for deaths/capita remains unchanged at #8. South Dakota has jumped from #23 to #11 over the past week or so. Link here. Note: ND has now exceeded 10% penetration -- great for herd immunity. One wonders if 33% penetration is adequate for herd immunity for this virus? South Dakota's penetration: 8.3%. Getting there. 

Worldwide, the second wave is so much worse than the first. But deaths lagging. Link here. These graphics are for Sweden but these are pretty much what the rest of the world looks like right now. If we're moving toward herd immunity, Regeneron therapy, and vaccine availability, could we be seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel?

Fifteen Minutes -- Fast And Furious -- November 23, 2020

Second Take

GM, ouch: US government announcement today will cost GM a third of its annual net income. Takata air bags. Wasn't this issue resolved years ago? Nope. At least not for GM. Other manufacturers got on with it; replaced the air bags; did the right thing. GM put their customers at risk for the past four years, petitioning the NHTS four times starting in 2016 to avoid a recall. ESG, anyone?

First Take

First things first: last thing I said about the market yesterday -- all things being equal the market should do well today -- Dow up nearly 250 points at opening; dropped back to about 200 points now.

US manufacturing, services activity: expands RAPIDLY in November. Link here.

GDP. Wasn't there talk of a 1% contraction in 4Q20 or 1Q21 -- I forget which. GDP Now has 4Q20 up about $6.

Legacy Fund deposits: I expect the latest deposits to be posted by COB today. [For some reason that site is not loading for me; alternate site here.] If interested in October newsletter, here's the PDF:

China flu watch: second wave so much worse than first wave. But, deaths not maintaining pace. Tracked here. More later. Link here.  

Covid-19 cuts greenhouse emissions by 100%! Not. LOL. The surge in greenhouse gases sustained despite global lockdowns. Link here

Warren Buffett: previously reported. Now Motley Fool reports that Warren Buffett has fallen in love with his own stock. 

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.

Sports: Dallas Cowboys showing life. Everyone now talking about Dallas going to the Super Bowl. LOL. 

Abu Dhabi: I saw this story; no interest in it, but readers (all three of them) sent me the link so I felt pushed to post it. Abu Dhabi plans to invest $122 billion over five years in oil spending to boost output. Link here. My reply, not ready for prime time:

$122 billion over five years =

$24,400,000,000 / year =
Current cap: 2.6 million bopd (OPEC-imposed cap)
Current capacity: 4.0 million bopd
Goal: increase capacity to 5.0 million bopd

Assuming the $24.4 billion/year is for only "new oil" --


$24.4 billion / 365 million bbls = $66.85 / bbl (if the $122 billion is budgeted only for new oil)

I assume the $122 billion will be used for old oil and new oil.

If $122 billion is used for ALL oil, then

365 x 5 x 5 million bopd = 9,125 million or about 9.125 billion bbls of oil

$122 billion / 9.125 billion = $13/bbl

I'm sure there are several ways to do the math, but if $122 billion allocated for:
  • only new oil: then about $70/bbl required for that new oil;
  • all oil, current and new: then about $13/bbl required.

Somewhere between $13 and $70 is probably the "real" number, about where we are now, at $40 - $50/bbl. 
It appears to be a lot of the Red Queen on the treadmill. 

Corky's Cousin Piggy Has Come To Visit

Corky has not been seen for about three weeks now. Sophia says Corky is still visiting her parents in Chicago.

Over the weekend, one of Corky's cousins, Piggy, arrived at Sophia's house to see Corky. Apparently Piggy was not aware that her cousin was traveling. That's fine. Sophia says Piggy will stay for the holidays. Too dangerous to travel, now, with all those people standing in line to buy honey-baked hams. 

Hess Continues String Of Announcements; Reports Two Wells Today -- November 23, 2020

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1357625437

Two wells coming off the confidential list today --

Monday, November 23, 2020: 25 for the month; 49 for the quarter, 714 for the year

  • 37211, drl/A, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-1, Tioga, t--; cum 86K 9/20;

Sunday, November 22, 2020: 24 for the month; 48 for the quarter, 713 for the year

  • 36460, drl/A, Hess, EN-Ruland-156-94-3328H-2, Manitou, t--; cum 66K 9/20;

RBN Energy: PADD 2 refiners gaining new pipeline access to PADD 1 gasoline, diesel markets

For a few years now, refineries in the eastern part of PADD 2 — feedstock-advantaged and capable of producing far more refined products than their regional market can consume — have been eyeing the wholesale and retail markets to their east in PADD 1. Their thinking has been, if they could just pipe more of their gasoline and diesel into Pennsylvania, upstate New York, and adjoining areas, they could sell the transportation fuels at a premium and take market share. Well, things are looking up for PADD 2 refineries pursuing this strategy. Not only has new pipeline access to the east been opening up, but PADD 1’s refining capacity has been shrinking fast, leaving East Coast refineries less able than ever to meet in-region demand. Today, we discuss recent developments in the battle for refined-product market share in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The refining sectors of both PADD 1 (East Coast) and PADD 2 (Midwest) have been frequent topics in the RBN blogosphere. East Coast refineries — for many years dependent on waterborne imported crude oil — in the mid-2010s benefited briefly from the U.S. Shale Revolution by railing in steeply discounted light sweet crude from the Bakken. But they soon lost that leg-up when pipeline constraints from the Bakken to the Gulf Coast eased and the spread between Bakken and Brent prices narrowed, leaving many East Coast refiners back in the same leaky boat they were sailing pre-shale, relying largely on shipped-in crude oil from overseas and, to a lesser extent, U.S.-sourced oil barged in from Corpus Christi and other Gulf Coast ports. Another important thing to note about PADD 1 and refined products: the combined capacity of East Coast refineries — almost all of them in the Philadelphia area or near New York City — has been shrinking, and is now well under one million bopd, which means that the region needs to pipe in refined products from the Gulf Coast (on the Colonial and Plantation pipelines) or import it to keep pace with regional demand.