Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Notes From All Over -- Early Evening Edition -- December 15, 2020


In case you missed it, re-posting from earlier this morning:

AAPL: The report is very likely bogus or planted, but it is what it is.There are reports that Apple is telling its suppliers to ramp up iPhone 12 production by a whopping 30%. Link here

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. 

Following that post, Yahoo!Finance had the interview with Wedbush Managing Director Dan Ives discussing Apple and then ... well, the rest is history. Archived.

AAPL is still well off it's all-time highs.

After hours, AAPL is holding. 


Data points:

  • read first!
  • P/E: 28
  • paying 9.32%
  • current dividend last increased one year ago; history would suggest good possibility that dividend could be increased within the next twelve months;
  • 52-week range: $12 - $78
  • at $41 today; up 3% today; price held after-hours
  • market cap: $18.4 billion
  • Warren Buffet loves high-dividend companies surrounded by a deep moat;
  • there are no moats deeper and wider than pipeline moats -- especially under the new administration with with former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm to be new SecEnergy;
  • Zack likes ONEOK; reminds us that ONEOK acquired ONEOK Partners (three years ago)
  • one year target: $36;
  • Burlington Northern: $44 billion when bought by Warren Buffet
  • why Buffet is betting on oil and gas pipeline companies; link to David Messler; feature story at this post;
  • unlike ET, ENB, I am not aware of any major "political" issues with ONEOK right now;
  • ONEOK presentations can be found here;
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.

Notes From All Over -- Late Afternoon Edition -- December 15, 2020

Does this look like a market that wants to plummet? And we move on.

Whoo-hoo! I finally heard it from a talking head, and I agree: everyone thinks of Amazon as an e-retail company but in fact it's all about AWS. And the kicker: if somewhere down the road, the US government forces Amazon to break up, it will be very easy to find the fracture lines. Right now, I can think of three major Amazon divisions: retail, logistics, and cloud. 

Monday morning yesterday: market opens and at least three discount broker sites were down -- Schwab, Ameritrade, and E*Trade. The first question: where in the cloud does Schwab/Ameritrade/E*Trade reside? If those three were anywhere but in the Amazon cloud, they may want to re-think where they reside.

Speaking of which, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me: to all those "investors" whining about the fact that Schwab was down yesterday morning. It turns out, looking at social media, this is not something new for Schwab. Accurate or not, the social media Schwab meme: Schwab "goes down" often. If you think that, whether it's accurate or not, it might  behoove Schwab investors who "depend" on a trading platform to have more than one brokerage account. Suggestion: a Merrill Lynch account; a Schwab account; and, a Robinhood account. As the AT&T voice-over says, "it's not complicated."

How about AAPL today? Up over 5%; added over $6/share; closed at $127.88, still well below its all-time high. One-year-target: $126. Tim Cook owns 847,969 shares of AAPL, representing 0.02% of all outstanding shares of AAPL. Early in 2020, Warren Buffet's investment company owned 245 million shares.

Time for a musical interlude:

Dvořák 9th Symphony, Fourth Movement

Two New Permits; Fourteen Active Rigs -- December 15, 2020

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1453675340

Hallelujah! That AgEnergy CS rig is finally off the active list. Wow, how many months was that rig on site?

  • MRO: 4
  • CLR: 3
  • BR: 2
  • Petro-Hunt: 1
  • WPX: 1
  • Slawson: 1
  • Hess: 1
  • Oasis: 1

Two new permits:

  • 38024, loc, Koda Resources Operating, Ekin 2635-3BH, Smoky Butte, Bakken, NENW 26-160-100; 350 FNL 1880 FWL;
  • 38025 loc, MRO, Osking USA 14-12H, Lost Bridge, NWNW 13-148-96, 428 FNL 364 FWL;

Six permits renewed:

  • QEP (2): two MHA permits in Dunn County
  • Slawson (2): the Bazooka Federal and the Loon Federal permits, both in Mountrail County;
  • EOG: a Liberty LR permit in Mountrail County;
  • Petro-Hunt: a Hurinenko permit in Dunn County;

Three producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:

  • 36950, drl/A, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-8A-31-2H, Charlson, no production data,
  • 37349, drl/A, WPX, Fast Dog 7-6HB, Eagle Nest, no production data,
  • 37351, drl/A, WPX, Fast Dog 7-6HG, Eagle Nest, no production data,

Saudi Arabia Reports Government Reserves Continue To Fall -- December 15, 2020

December 15, 2020: from Reuters,  Saudi Arabia expects to maintain government reserves at the Saudi Central Bank of 346 billion riyals ($92.23 billion) in 2020 and 280 billion riyals in 2021. $1 = 3.7513 riyals. 1 riyal = 26.66 cents.

From the archives (most figures are estimates, subject to change, public statements, not audited or fact-checked):

Government reserves:

  • 2021: 280 billion riyals ($75 billion)
  • 2020: 346 billion riyals ($92 billion)
  • 2019: 500 billion riyals ($133 billion)


  • 2020: 1.02 trillion riyals ($272 billion)


  • 2020: 833 billion riyals
  • 2019: 917 billion riyals

Budget deficit:

  • 2020: 187 billion riyals

EIA's Monthly Dashboards Posted -- December 15, 2020

EIA dashboards:

In an era of oversupply and ESG, was the Permian over-hyped?

The Bakken is simply spectacular.

Notes From All Over -- Mid-Morning Edition -- December 15, 2020

ET: ex-div today. Record date, 12/16/20; and, payable date, 12/23/20. Pays 5.2%.

Joel Osteen's house: Houston Chronicle reporting that Joel Osteen received $4.4 million through the government's Paycheck Protection Plan. This is reported to be Joel Osteen's house:

Investors are going to love Biden:

AAPL: The report is very likely bogus or planted, but it is what it is.There are reports that Apple is telling its suppliers to ramp up iPhone 12 production by a whopping 30%. Link here

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. 

AAPL: up 3.5% today; up over $4 /share. 

Sweden: so much for the country's "do-nothing" attitude regarding Covid-19. Say what?

Corky's Video: Pick Of The Day

Link here

If the link is broken, google 92000 turtles hatch Amazon 2020.

No Wells Coming Off Confidential List -- December 15, 2020

No wells coming off the confidential list today or tomorrow.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1553675340

RBN Energy: Marcellus / Utica gas producers declare enough-is-enough, learn to switch off wells

Natural gas economic shut-ins! Shutting off a producing well on purpose, because the market won’t take the produced volume at a reasonable price. There was a time, back before gas commodity decontrol, when shut-ins were standard operating procedure, but that practice went the way of the dodo bird 40 years ago. Until earlier this year that is, when amid crushingly low prices, Appalachian producers said: enough is enough — and shut off the spigot themselves. In the months that followed, various producers have continued to see-saw their production in response to weather-related demand and regional market prices. The behavior signals that Appalachia’s shale gas producers are increasingly employing a light-switch approach in dealing with short-term weakness in demand and prices. Today, we take a closer look at the price-driven curtailments in the Northeast and potential implications for the market.

Yup, back before natural gas decontrol some four decades ago, pipelines purchasing gas often had the right to shut-in some level of a producer’s volume due to market conditions. But when producers gained the right to control their production and market their gas, large-scale economic shut-ins came to an end.  Producers wanted the cash from their wells ASAP. Further, they assumed that volumes not produced today wouldn’t be monetized until the end of the well’s producing life, which clinched the decision that shut-ins would rarely make economic sense.

PSA Reminder

Corky on her way to Salvation Army food pantry. 

The Monthly EIA Dashboards For December, 2020, Have Been Posted -- December 15, 2020

EIA dashboards:

I'll post the graphics later today, but look at the Eagle Ford. Absolutely amazing.  

Story to watch this weekend: winter storm, New England. Watch ISO-NE this week. Again, yesterday, expensive hydro from Canada had to kick in at dinner hour.

Speaking of hockey sticks -- not a pretty picture -- gasoline demand: I failed to post the EIA weekly update last week. I heard through the grapevine that gasoline demand plummeted last week (actually, not last week, but the week before last, but you know what I mean, and does it matter anyway, which week we're talking about when we're looking at trends) and it really did plummet. This is quite remarkable. Link here.


Merry Christmas

Notes From All Over -- The Early, Early Morning Edition


Later, 8:01 a.m.: fleeing New Yorkers resulted in an estimated $34 billion in lost income -- Reuters

The rich and the ultra-rich are fleeing; those that can afford to move, are fleeing. The poor and middle class are staying; those who cannot afford to move, are staying. 

Hypocrisy: when one is a multi-billionaire, it is easy to shout "lock down."

Original Post

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. 

Tea leaves: GOP loses Georgia. One data point to follow to make that prediction. This is not rocket science.

Retailer of the decade: without question, my vote goes to Target.

Sports analyst of the year: Ryan Clark.

Slowdown? What slowdown? BofA credit, debt cards show soaring retail sales. Sales are not simply increasing; they are soaring. Link here.  Psychology 101. Human behavior 101. This is not rocket science.

Oil is dead. Long live oil. Did anyone see this coming? 

China November crude oil throughput hits daily record as private refiner starts new unit. Again, in case you missed it: in the middle of a surging, and worsening pandemic, Chinese crude oil throughput hit a new all-time daily record. At least that's what the headline says. Link here

Tea leaves: US investors are gonna love Joe Biden. And before it's all over, they're gonna love the environmentalists. See next story.

Natural gas
: natural gas, propane are early winners in quest for clean ship fuels. Who saw this coming? From The WSJ: roughly a quarter of all shipping capacity on order is being built to burn new fuels as operators seek a future with reduced emissions. I remember all the hand-wringing when the new rules were published. LOL. One big win for investors. Apparently ocean-going tanker aren't switching to wind power (sails) or solar energy (giant magnifying glasses to boil water):

Natural gas and propane are emerging as the leading choices for fuel sources to power vessels for shipping companies moving to slash carbon emissions in their operations.

More than a quarter of the ships on order in terms of tonnage are slated to run on liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas, commonly known as propane, according to an industry trade group, a clear signal of how operators are planning to meet mandates to meet clean-air standards.

The industry is mandated by global regulators to cut overall greenhouse-gas emissions by half in 2050 compared with 2008 levels, a target that has triggered a search by shipbuilders, ocean carriers, fuel providers and equipment makers for new types of engines and fuel sources to power vessels that handle global trade. Options under consideration include hydrogen, biofuels and electric power, along with LNG and LPG.

Portland, Seattle? Over-rated.

Here's where movers and shakers are headed. Florida. I hope this story is not behind a paywall. There is so much in this article; worth reading three or four times. If I had all the money in the world I would be doing the same thing, but in different locations.

Re-locations: at the sidebar at the right, "Themes-2020." From there, Re-locations: tracked here. Now add this story over at CNN: Elon Musk is leaving Silicon Valley for Texas. These millionaires and companies are following him.

  • I forgot that AMD is already in Austin;
  • in addition to HP, TSLA, and Oracle, here are others who have left CA for TX:
  • 8VC;
  • DropBox (DBX);
  • FileTrail:
  • DZS Inc;
  • QuestionPro;
  • as of November, 2020, 39 companies have re-located to Austin so far this year:
  • Austin: 47% of the city's working population has a bachelor degree; almost 50% of the working population; one wonders if Austin might not be the #1 city in the US with that metric?

Re-locations, continued. By the way, people were pouring out of US cities like LA and NYC well before the pandemic. Link here. There's an interesting graphic at the linked story.

  • west coast folks and Chicago folks moving to Texas;
  • east coast folks moving to Florida and Georgia;
  • equivalent daily gain / equivalent daily loss:
    • Los Angeles: minus 260
    • Chicago: minus 164
      • subtotal, LA + Chicago: a minus  424
    • Texas: a plus 415
      • wow! isn't that coincdental! Four-twenty-four moving out of Chicago and the west coast and four-fifteen moving to Texas:
  • now the East Coast
    • moving out of NYC: 376
    • moving to Atlanta, GA, and Florida234
    • the rest of NYC moves: probably to CT, RI, NJ

Bakken interest: there's nothing in either of these two articles that you don't already know, and if one of them is behind a paywall, you're not missing anything.

  • North Dakota sees its one-time oil gushers stalled until 2022 -- Bloomberg. If Sheela Tobben sticks around for a couple of more days she will see the Legacy Fund deposits increase significantly month-over-month. 
  • Who would have predicted this six moths ago? North Dakota oil output holds steady at 1.2 million bpd for October, 2020 -- Reuters. The article says oil production declined by 0.02% but the final figures aren't in. When they are, we will see a month-over-month increase in production.


  • WTI: $46.95
  • Dow: up 241 points! [Later: up 261 points.]
  • S&P 500: up 28 points (ratio: 8.6; I've always used "10" for the Dow/S&P 500 ratio, but lately it's been working out to 8)
  • NASDAQ: up 56 points
  • but look at this: leading the CNN pre-market movers list -- OKE -- up 3.4%; trading at $41.50; see feature story, next item down;
  • AIV: absolutely predicted: down 20% -- wow! can you spell "implosion"? Of course, we all know why: AIV was removed from the S&P 500; replaced by Tesla. Wouldn't it be better when adding a single company to the S&P 500 to simply leave the rest alone; sooner or later, some company would naturally drop out of the S&P 500 and we would be back to "500";

Feature Story

Why Warren Buffet is beting big on oil and gas pipeline companies. Link to David Messler. I could not care less about the story; anyone paying attention knows this. All I want to see: the names of the companies mentioned in the article. So, here goes:

  • ET (Energy Transfer)
  • ENB
  • writer spends a lot of time discussing Warren Buffet's purchase of Dominion's mid-stream assets: one of my posts ever; Warren Buffet's pipelines transport almost 20% of the nation's total natural gas production;

Chinese Flu Watch

Bismarck Tribune. The newspaper still has the most screwed-up color legend I've ever seen. But I digress. Deaths to date:
  • Cass County (Fargo): 150
  • Burleigh (Bismarck): 150
  • Morton (Mandan): 81
  • But look at this, Stutsman (Jamestown) has more deaths-to-death (66) than Grand Forks (55).
    • population:
      • Jamestown: 15,000
      • Grand Forks: 60,000
  • Bakken (Williams, Mountrail, McKenzie, and Dunn counties): 57
  • Stark (Dickinson): 40
  • But look at this: how many hospitalized with Covid-19-related illness -- again, this is across the entire state: 277

Johns Hopkins data: of the top five, ND drops to #5

  • Rhode Island still at #1
  • Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana: #2 - #4


  • penetration (herd immunity):
    • North Dakota: 11.5%
    • South Dakota: 10.3%
    • USA: 5.1%
    • Florida: 5.3%
    • Texas: 5.2%
    • California: 4.1% -- the worst is yet to come, despite the vaccine; penetration rate less than half that of North Dakota; even less than Florida or Texas;

CDC: link here; cold and flu season unremarkable, absolutely unremarkable.

Re-Posting: Warren Buffet And Dominion -- December 15, 2020

Link here.

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. 

Re-posting from July 7, 2020.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy before the Dominion Deal:

PacifiCorp and Northern Natural Gas:

 MidAmerican and NV Energy:

 BHE Transmission and Kern River Transmission:


Dominion natural gas pipeline and storage in these states:

For Berkshire, the deal means that Warren Buffett’s company will soon account for 18 percent of all natural gas moved across state lines, up from 8 percent currently. -- Source.

Previously posted:

Buffett and natural gas. Analysis continues:
"Warren Buffett's bet is a midstream buying signal. Berkshire Hathaway's long-awaited pandemic-era purchase in a seemingly difficult business might seem  like odd time, but there is good logic behind it -- WSJ, July 6, 2020, "Heard On The Street."
This is really pretty cool. Two items.

First: this is really, really quite interesting. Warren Buffett has been looking for an acquisition for quite some time. What better time to look at energy? Energy prices are incredibly low but the tea leaves suggest this will only be temporary. If you look at the map of his Berkshire Energy holdings, Buffett was "well-covered" in the west, southwest, and midwest. His big gap was on the east coast.

Buffett's been following the Atlantic Coast Pipeline story for quite some time and knows that the board rooms over at Dominion and Duke Energy were probably well-divided on whether to continue with that "white elephant," the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Aha! That's it. Maybe Dominion would like to get rid of that "white elephant." But how to do it? Warren comes up with a solution and gives Dominion a phone call. The rest is history. Love it.

Second: I've read any number of articles on this story since it was announced over the weekend, writers with their analysis. Very informative, very entertaining. But there is one word I've not yet seen used by any writer when discussing this story.

Years ago --- LOL, years ago? -- shoot, it was decades ago, I took a Forbes course on investing, one of the best things I ever did, that was probably back in 1983. One of the words I learned from the course: moat.

In this case, "moat" means any business endeavor ... from Investopedia:
What Is an Economic Moat?
The term economic moat, popularized by Warren Buffett, refers to a business' ability to maintain competitive advantages over its competitors in order to protect its long-term profits and market share from competing firms. .July 7, 2019.
LOL. Connecting the dots. Amazing.

Warren Buffett followed his own advice several years ago when he bought the Burlington Northern Railroad, perhaps the classic example of a "moat."

Now, again, with a $10 billion acquisition, Warren Buffett is following his own advice. In the current political environment, I can't think of any sector with a bigger economic moat than the crude oil and natural gas pipeline sector.

Absolutely brilliant. And anyone who thinks there won't be continued growth along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Virginia to DC isn't paying attention.  AOC and New Yorkers may not want growth but folks south of the Mason-Dixon Line certainly do.

Analysis continues: Berkshire Hathaway, Dominion, Duke. Motley Fool here:
  • Dominion (D) becomes a much safer retirement holding per Motley Fool;
  • Dominion (and Duke) will quit dumping good money after bad money on a proposed $8 billion natural gas pipeline; always a good thing to quit losing money;
  • Dominion's balance sheet improves;
  • Dominion sees $3 billion in after-tax proceeds: will be used to re-purchase stock
  • D's market cap: $63 billion
  • D will reduce annual dividend to reflect new reality
  • payout will improve company's payout ration from 85% to 65%, more in line with industry leaders
  • dividend expected to drop from $3.76/share to $2.50 share
  • 2020 operating earnings will likely fall to $3.50 vs $4.50/share
  • D: drops almost 10% on news; now trading at $75
Analysis continues: "Warren Buffett's bet is a midstream buying signal. Berkshire Hathaway's long-awaited pandemic-era purchase in a seemingly difficult business might seem  like odd time, but there is good logic behind it -- WSJ, July 6, 2020, "Heard On The Street."

US pipelines becoming unbuildable -- Bloomberg.
To be an energy superpower, U.S. oil and gas requires a suitably gargantuan pipeline network that stretches for millions of miles. The country’s ability to expand that infrastructure is being tested like never before.
In what’s possibly the biggest victory yet for an environmental movement targeting the conduits carrying fossil fuels, Dominion Energy Inc. and its partner Duke Energy Corp. said Sunday they’ll no longer pursue their $8 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline after years of delays and ballooning costs.
It’s the third such project this year to be sidelined or canceled altogether amid mounting opposition to development of coal, oil and gas. Armed with experienced lawyers and record funding, environmental groups are finding enormous success blocking key pipeline permits in court. The keep-it-in-the-ground movement has increasingly turned its attention to the pipes, rather than the wells themselves, because they require various federal and state permits, which, for the most part, can be more easily litigated.
 RBN Energy: rulings on KXL permit cloud other oil and gas pipeline projects.
The demand destruction caused by COVID-19 hasn’t only hurt producers and refiners; it’s also slowed the development of a number of planned midstream projects. In fact, the only multibillion-dollar crude-related project to reach a final investment decision (FID) during the pandemic is TC Energy’s Keystone XL, which in late March won financial backing from Alberta’s provincial government. But Keystone XL soon hit another snag, this time in the form of U.S. district and appellate court rulings that vacated the project’s Nationwide Permit 12 for construction in and around hundreds of streams and wetlands along the U.S. portion of the pipeline’s route in the U.S. More important, the courts also put on ice — at least for now — the use of the general water-crossing permit for other new oil and natural gas pipelines as well. As we discuss in today’s blog, that could result in delays and legal challenges to dozens of projects that midstreamers and their counterparties have been counting on.
For midstream companies, the process of advancing a pipeline, an export terminal, or another major project is often fraught with challenges. For one, there’s the competition among midstreamers to line up the long-term commitments generally needed to secure financing — a factor that has always been a hurdle for large new midstream projects. Then there’s the matter of locking down the various regulatory approvals and permits that the project will need — again, always a stumbling block that has only increased in significance over the years. Today, environmental, landowner, and stakeholder challenges to pipeline projects, even from the states they traverse, have become very difficult. For example, Williams has failed to convince New York regulators that its Constitution Pipelien project passes environmental muster. And even when midstream developers do get the approvals and permits they need from administrative agencies, there’s always the very real possibility that there will be court challenges that could drag on for years.