Friday, February 19, 2021

Idle Rambling Friday Morning -- February 19, 2021

I'm still throttled on my iPhone. Hopefully our cable is back up and running next week, but I am just thankful to have heat and water.  

ERCOT/Texas: two days ago I said "this" would be forgotten in two weeks, and in four weeks we would be back to "Covid-19 normal." Well, here it is three days later and ERCOT says it will come out of the "emergency" as of today. That is absolutely amazing; a huge, huge round of applause to the Texans who made this possible. A 100-year "cold event" and here we are; managed to survive and get through it in four or five days. Despite another hard freeze last night, ERCOT said there was enough generation brought back on line to "return to more normal operating conditions." Interestingly enough, the cold spell appears to be lasting about two days longer than originally forecast. Even in the midst of extraordinary forecasting, it looks like "we" can't forecast weather two days in advance, but we can forecast climate change to within 2°C one hundred years from now. 

$50 billion loss: 50 billion / $2 trillion = 2.5%.

Carpet drying: as I was writing that, I got a knock on the door. The folks are here to dry out the carpet that got a bit of water due to a broken pipe. I had blamed my neighbor for not keeping faucets dripping but it turns out that the pipe broke in the "fire room." Apparently each unit has a "fire room" where "hydrant hook-ups" are located for automatic sprinklers and for the fire department. 

Global Warming

Wow, what a coincidence. Going through my e-mail today there was a short comment waiting for moderation before posting. It did not add anything to the discussion, so I was going to delete it. I generally don't post comments that don't add something positive to the blog. Comments can take issue with my posts, or point out where I was wrong, but if it adds to the discussion in a constructive manner it gets posted. This particular comment added nothing to the conversation but I decided to post it anyway. I'm glad I did. It shows the superficiality in the thinking of many folks.

Coincidentally, at the very same time, there was another note from a reader with an attachment to a paper out of Norway regarding the fallacy of CO2 as a cause of climate change. In addition to the science of the carbon cycle, the paper explains the myths that drive our society’s actions. 

And then from someone over at CNBC who can actually think outside the box, or at least think for himself. He, too, like me, when it comes to "global warming," gets it.

"Green" backlash in Europe. The Economist. To see this editorial in a most liberal business publication speaks volumes.

: there goes EV industry. China controls 90% of cobalt production. China says it may ban cobalt exports on security concerns.

The Market

Happy one-year anniversary to the peak of the longest bull market in history (for the archives and the question to a future Jeopardy answer: who was President Trump?)

SRE: declares force majeure.

  • Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG export plant in Louisiana has declared force majeure on cargo loadings after the cold blast squeezed gas supplies.
  • The force majeure covers cancellation of at least one cargo for prompt loading and delay for another 2-3 loadings. 
  • Sempra Energy's 2017 diversification into Texas Oncor is "turning out well, now guiding to double the size of the acquired rate base as soon as 2022," RB Equity writes in a bullish analysis published recently on Seeking Alpha.

 DE: blowout earnings. Shares up almost 12%. Can you say precision farming?

AMD: beats earnings.

AAPL, TSLA: rebound.


I normally don't post many political cartoons but this one is important on so many levels. When I get access to high-speed internet, I will expand/explain. Without question, President Trump did prove once and for all, that, yes, we could "drill for lower prices." Perhaps his most important legacy was demonstrating that if the government got out of the way, a vaccine could e developed and delivered in less than eight months (?). To the best of my knowledge, this has never happened before. That was simply amazing but because Trump was involved, the scientists who pulled this off will never get the credit they deserve. If there was new science involved (and I don't think there was) then there's always a possibility of a Nobel prize down the road. As far as Rush Limbaugh goes, he was on the scene at exactly the "right" time. Pun intended. Rent-free forever. Forever and ever, amen.

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1556665640

No wells coming off the confidential list until next week.

RBN Energy: sustained Arctic weather exposes . This is exactly what I posted yesterday. It was important that "we" saw the effects of a 100-year polar vortex hit Texas. Smart folks learn from this. Won't happen again. It's a Texas thing.

There’s finally some good news for folks in Texas: it’s gradually getting warmer, and the power outages that left much of the Lone Star State in the cold and dark the past few days should keep winding down. But what are we all to make of what just happened? How could a state blessed with seemingly limitless energy resources of every type — natural gas, coal, wind, and solar among them — end up so short of electricity when it needed power more than ever? It turns out that the electric grid that the vast majority of Texans depend on day in, day out is designed to perform very well almost all the time, but is susceptible to a rapid unraveling when an unfortunate combination of events hit. Today, we continue our review of how this week’s extraordinarily low temperatures have been impacting energy markets — and many of us.

Over time, Texans have pretty much seen it all, weatherwise. Scary thunderstorms. Baseball-size hail. Hurricanes and their attendant flooding. Tornadoes too — plenty of them. Snow and ice storms aren’t out of the question either, nor are sub-freezing temperatures. But no one alive today has seen anything like what many of us have experienced the past few days. Worse yet, the polar vortex of February 2021 wasn’t a short-term thing — it’s lingered way too long, and it’s had profound effects both on energy markets and the people who have lived through it all.


  1. Regarding the the mRNA Covid vaccine, there is new science involved. The RNA nucleotides had to be modified to make the mRNA more stable. There are a lot of articles out there about this. I live in The Woodlands and I don't have time to look for them right now. I came to your site to take a break. I tell everyone I know about your blog. It is the one of the most accurate and insightful site out there.

    1. I appreciate your kind words. I am quite superficial in everything non-Bakken but the headlines point me in the right direction, I hope. I don't take the non-Bakken stuff as seriously as I take the Bakken stuff.

      The stuff on the Bakken is pretty accurate and a bit more in-depth than everything else. I try hard not to get too far afield, but it's often difficult.

      Again, I really appreciate you taking time to comment.

      I will follow up on the mRNA Covid vaccine.

  2. You are not throttled, you just have a cheap data plan. Really, that's all you need though because of the low volume of data traffic your blog requires. The network barely knows you exist.

    1. In fact, I am throttled. I knew that when I bought the plan. The network provider always sends me a message when my data download is throttled back to "2G." Maybe I'll take a screenshot of what a "throttled" message looks like.

      I prefer to call the plan "affordable" and/or "inexpensive. I don't need anything more. This is only the second time in twenty years I've been "throttled. The other time was on a cross-country trip when I forgot that my map apps were working in the background.

      That raises another issue but I might talk about that in stand-alone post someday. It's filed under "wastefulness" in the US.

      And I'm thrilled the network hardly knows I exist. That tells me things are working pretty well. Thank you for taking time to write. It gives me a chance to explain to folks who may not understand some of these things.

      Oh, just so we don't go away thinking I'm a cheapskate, I do pay for phones for two other family members, not including my wife. For the son-in-law he has the newest iPhone and an unlimited data plan. I'm not sure what our younger daughter/his wife. For me, I have the "limited" plan or whatever it's called.

      And I'm blown away how helpful my cellphone provider has been. I've been with Sprint forever, but I think they are now part of T-Mobile.

      So much could be written but I will leave it at that.

      Thank you again for stopping by with you kind words about the blog. Much appreciated.