Monday, May 31, 2021

Gasoline Demand -- May 31, 2021

GasBuddy, link here

According to GasBuddy data, weekly US gasoline demand rose 9.5% last week, or 4.7% higher than the four-week average, setting a new COVID weekly high

This is so cool. On May 20, 2021, I wrote:

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

Over on twitter earlier today, someone asked, "where are all the $70-Brent bulls now?"

My reply: "Quietly buying Chevron stock."

See ten-year history here.

April 12, 2020: Brent was selling for $9.12 / bbl. That was one year ago.

So, when some twit asked "where are all the $70-Brent bulls now," I replied:

"Quietly buying Chevron stock."

Today, only eleven days later, $70-Brent:

And, oh, by the way, did you see that late-breaking story that OPEC boosted production less than forecast in May?

Five- To Ten-Fold Jump In Production -- Oasis Rolfsrud Well -- May 31, 2021

Full production for this well at this post.

The well:

  • 18655, 635, Oasis, Rolfsrud 7-6H, Banks, t7/10; cum 230K 3/21;

Recent production:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

What's Going On Around The Hull? May 31, 2021

This well comes off the confidential list this week:

  • 36994, 2,433, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH, Chimney Butte, t12/20; cum 114K 3/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

What else is going on in the area:

  • 36993, 3,442, MRO, Leiderbach 11-27H, Chimney Butte, t11/20; cum 153K 3/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 17530, 780, CLR, Harman 1-28H, Chimney Butte, t11/09; cum 350K 3/21; 
  • 18032, 581, MRO, Fettig 11-27H, Killdeer, t5/10; cum 203K 10/20; off line 11/20; remains off line through 3/21, but may be coming back on line -- two days production, 3/21;
  • 28237, 949, MRO, Mattie 14-22TFH, Chimney Butte, t9/14; cum 193K 3/21;

Targeted Ads -- May 31, 2021

I apologize for sounding like a broken record but the pandemic accordioned 2020 - 2035 into 2020 - 2025, if that makes sense. 

Slowly but surely we were all headed toward 2035 when the 2020 pandemic hit. 

That pandemic squeezed 2020 - 2035 to 2020 - 2025. 

Prior to 2021, I did most of my pharmacy shopping at Walgreens, in the store. But for the first time today, I ordered a Walgreens product on line. Obviously at some point I would be ordering pharmacy products on line but due to the pandemic, I am now ordering online as a general rule. It's an exception, except for fresh produce, to now order on line. I would have been doing that by 2035 regardless but because of the pandemic, I'm doing that in 2021. 

And, that, folks is becoming the norm across the US. 

On another note, I love "targeted" ads. I have no understanding why folks are upset with being tracked and being sent targeted ads. Why would I want ads for female hygiene products?

Had it not been for targeted ads, I would have missed this one. 

Randomly, I check Walgreens to see when Rogaine goes on sale. I knew that the current Walgreens Rogaine sale ended today, but I had forgotten. Walgreens, bless their heart, sent me an e-mail today reminding me that the sale was ending, but if I acted today, not only would I get the product on sale, but by ending a code, I would get an additional discount. 

A three-month supply of Rogaine is normally priced at $56. On sale, it sold for $44 today. And then, with the code, the price came down to $38. That's the best deal I've ever gotten on Rogaine. And only because Walgreens tracked my buying habits. 

On another note, I have no idea if Rogaine works. I've been using it for two decades and am happy with the results whether related to Rogaine or not. It's "designed" to be applied twice a day but I only use it once a day, extending a three-month supply to about five to six months. Whether it works or not, I will never know,  but at $50/50 days, I don't mind the dollar-a-day. 

I'm approaching my 70th birthday, I still require regular haircuts from Sophia.

Brent: Back To $70 -- Happy Days Are Here Again -- May 31, 2021

This is so cool. On May 20, 2021, I wrote:

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

Over on twitter earlier today, someone asked, "where are all the $70-Brent bulls now?"

My reply: "Quietly buying Chevron stock."

See ten-year history here.

April 12, 2020: Brent was selling for $9.12 / bbl. That was one year ago.

So, when a twit asked "where are all the $70-Brent bulls now," I replied:

"Quietly buying Chevron stock."

Today, only eleven days later, $70-Brent:

Covid-19 Vaccination Freedom -- North Texas -- May 31, 2021

I'm inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken. 

Likewise, there seems to be a certain euphoria in north Texas as "things" get back to normal and folks "de-mask" figuratively and literally. 

We will know in two months whether this was a good idea or not. Some say we were Neanderthals.

Some policies put in place under the Trump administration are now paying dividends.

The big disconnect right now: why the president is not pushing the FDA to fully approve the Covid-19 vaccinations currently being used in the United States. Trump would have pushed for full unqualified approval two months ago.

There are two issues to be considered: safety and efficacy.

I am unaware of any other drug or any other vaccine that has undergone so much political scrutiny and has been administered to so many folks in such a short time. The efficacy appears to have been proven. All one needs to do is look at global rates of immunization and global rates of infection. Exhibit A: Israel.

Safety: that's a bit tougher. 

Short-term, the vaccines have been determined to be very, very safe. 

Long-term safety is yet to sorted out, but if one considers the outcome of natural infection (death, prolonged hospitalization, symptomatic disease without hospitalization, asymptomatic disease, natural immunity for some unknown reason) vs 65% to 95% prevention of moderate-to-serious disease or no disease at all, it seems the "safety" argument becomes less concerning each day as more folks receive the vaccine. 

Anti-vaxxers continue to debate the safety of "routine" childhood vaccinations given for decades which means the "safety" argument for any vaccine will go on forever and ever. For me, that train left the station decades ago.

Now, back to north Texas. Sophia and I went to Target today to get some food items for her tea party. The parking lot was incredibly busy, as busy as I've ever seen it. It was amazing.

A quick scan around the parking lot and entrance doors suggested about half the folks were wearing masks, half not wearing masks. Inside the store, some employees were wearing masks, others were not. It seemed about half the folks inside the store were wearing their masks. Some wore their masks around their necks suggesting they were unaware of Target's new policy. I don't know what Target's policy is here in Texas but it sounds like they are following the CDC's advice: if fully vaccinated, masks not needed.

There was definitely a feeling of excitement. Perhaps I was transferring my own feelings but it certainly felt like a day of "freedom." 

In north Texas, if one is not fully vaccinated it is expected that one wear a mask.

If one is fully vaccinated, one is expected to wear a crown or a tiara with a "VC" medallion.

Fully vaccinated, here I am with full regalia when visiting Target:

-- photo by Sophia

Note the confirmation code and the lone star of Texas.
  • the first digit, "3": one of 23 Covid regions in Texas;
  • "W": white male
  • "89B" unique designator
The little rectangle to the viewer's left is the US flag, black and white.

Sophia, under the age of twelve, is not yet vaccinated and she still wears her mask.

Initial Production For Wells Coming Off Confidential List This Next Week -- May 31, 2021

The wells:

  • 37830, conf, WPX, Dakota 1-36HUL, Heart Butte, no production data,
  • 37677, conf, MRO, Ortman USA 34-31TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data, Three Forks first bench, 20,854 feet; 1280-acre spacing; geologic top, TF1: TVD - 10,803'; 
  • 37378, conf, CLR, Rodney 7-29H, Cedar Coulee, no production data, 
  • 36552, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 12-6 7B, Banks,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37250, conf, MRO, Hoss 41-3TFH, Killdeer,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36551, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 12-6 6T, Banks,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36549, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 11-6 5T, Banks,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37521, conf, WPX, Dakota 1-36HB, Mandaree, no production data, 
  • 37376, conf, CLR, Rodney 5-29H, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 37251, conf, MRO, McGowan 11-2H, Killdeer,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36994, 2,433, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH, Chimney Butte, t12/20; cum 114K 3/21;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- May 31, 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021: 48 for the month, 69 for the quarter, 150 for the year:
37830, conf, WPX, Dakota 1-36HUL,
37677, conf, MRO, Ortman USA 34-31TFH,
37378, conf, CLR, Rodney 7-29H,
36552, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 12-6 7B,

Sunday, June 6, 2021: 44 for the month, 65 for the quarter, 146 for the year:
37250, conf, MRO, Hoss 41-3TFH,

Saturday, June 5, 2021: 43 for the month, 64 for the quarter, 145 for the year:
37377, conf,  CLR, Rodney 6-29H1,
36551, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 12-6 6T,

Friday, June 4, 2021: 41 for the month, 62 for the quarter, 143 for the year:
36549, conf, Oasis, Thelen 5297 11-6 5T,

Thursday, June 3, 2021: 40 for the month, 61 for the quarter, 142 for the year:
37521, conf, WPX, Dakota 1-36HB,
37376, conf, CLR, Rodney 5-29H,

Wednesday, June 2, 2021: 39 for the month, 60 for the quarter, 141 for the year:
37251, conf, MRO, McGowan 11-2H,

Tuesday, June 1, 2021: 38 for the month, 59 for the quarter, 140 for the year:

Monday, May 31, 2021: 38 for the month, 59 for the quarter, 140 for the year:

Sunday, May 30, 2021: 38 for the month, 59 for the quarter, 140 for the year:

Saturday, May 29, 2021: 38 for the month, 59 for the quarter, 140 for the year:
36994, conf, MRO, Hull 41-28TFH,

Notes From All Over -- Mid-Day Edition -- Memorial Day -- May 31, 2021

What a great country. Wow, I'm in a great mood. I love our second-floor apartment with balcony. The door to the balcony is wide open and fresh Texas air is blowing through the house. Due to the rain and low-pressure system it's quite cool outside; a bit humid, but the fresh air is nice. 

The technology is wonderful. I can't say enough about Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple (although the latter is starting to disappoint me -- Apple may be losing some key markets to Amazon). 

Movie: Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Terri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn. What an incredible cast. 

Covid-19: bottom line, as I see it:

  • we needed a wake-up call;
  • some great things came out of the global response;
  • I'll probably be better off five years from now because of Covid-19 and the global response;


  • was there ever a two-child limit?
    • I know the one-child limit that China encouraged as early as 1978, and then strict enforcement began in 1980
    • interestingly enough, according to wiki, there were enough loopholes in the one-child policy that it was really a two-child policy (1979 - 2015)
      • for example, ethnic minorities were "exempt" from the one-child policy
    • so, now we have the three-child policy
  • Greta: "Say what?"

Three-child policy: by the way, the Chinese three-child policy was the top story in many news outlets over the weekend. It must be a big deal. Who knew? 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Covid-19 Update -- May 30, 2021

Link here.

The Sunday report: vaccinations continue to drop precipitously.

  • Today's report: 1,223,790 vaccinations given in past 24 hours;
  • Last Sunday: 1,779,363 vaccinations given in same time period.
  • Previous Sunday, May 16, 2021: 2,712,865 vaccinations given.
  • Prior to that, Sunday, May 9, 2021: 2,369,784 vaccinations given.

1,223,790 / 2,369,784 = 52%. Exactly what the LA Times reported today. 

Why Biden Approved ConocoPhillips' Willow Field In Alaska: It's All About Securing The TAPS -- Fitzsimmons -- SeekingAlpha -- May 30, 2021

Link here

  • Some investors were highly surprised when President Biden's Justice Department supported the continued development of Conoco's massive Willow field in Alaska.
  • I was not. As I wrote earlier on Seeking Alpha, ironically Biden could be great for Conoco Phillips' stock.
  • One thing is clear: Biden is an energy pragmatist. He wants to see the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline flowing because it is an issue of national security.
  • And the Alaskan Pipeline needs new oil to keep it operating.
  • One could also argue that 100,000 bpd from a conventional reservoir like Willow is much more environmentally friendly than the equivalent number of shale wells.


Amazon TV Stick

Every day I move a bit closer to catching up with our daughters and grandchildren when it comes to technology.

Our younger daughter has had the Amazon Fire TV Stick for quite some time and loves it. 

A few months ago I ordered an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Amazon was upgrading their fire stick at the time and I was put on the "wait list."

I forgot all about it. 

This past week while I was out of town the Fire Stick arrived. 

I set it up this afternoon. Wow, was installation easy. I was very careful to follow instructions (there weren't many) and within minutes it was set up and running. The only reason it took "minutes" was because it downloaded a bit of software. 

I was blown away by how easy it was to set up and I'm blown away by how incredible it is to have "cable" television once again. 

Amazon Prime Video is part of the Amazon Prime package. Starting this year I will be able to watch Thursday Night Football. 

In addition, Pluto TV: free. 

And finally, Hulu.

For all of that, I'm paying about a third of what I was paying Spectrum for 20th century television. 

Break, break.

As I begin to learn more about this, it certainly suggests that with the Fire TV Stick is to television streaming as Apple was to iTunes in the early days. If that makes sense. 

But, it's very clear that Amazon / Fire TV Stick is huge. I still maintain that Apple TV+ is not keeping up with Amazon. I'm way ahead of my headlights here, just rambling but it appears that Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, are simply "content" / streaming companies. 

Amazon, with Prime Video, and the Fire TV Stick, is both a software (streaming/content) company as well as a hardware device. 

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone; I'm learning as I go along. We now get PBS.

The "one thing" we could not "get" on Hulu / Amazon Fire TV Stick was PBS. That was my wife's only complaint.

It turns out that one can get PBS via one's local network on the Fire Stick.

It is amazing how three devices interacted to make this all possible:

  • a "dumb" Smart TV (Philips) bought several years ago;
  • an Amazon Fire TV Stick (most recent update);
  • an Apple MacBook Air (an internet connection required to input "activation codes").

Ten years from now will Amazon have an ecosystem that is better than Apple's? I'm beginning to wonder.

Shell To Pemex: You Want It? It's All Yours -- May 30, 2021

Firster things firster: history was made. Hélio Castroneves is a four-time winner. Forty-six years old! Joins A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears. Previous Indy wins for Coastroneves: 2001, 2002, and 2009, over ten years ago. Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, and, now, Hélio Castroneves.

First things first: Indy 500 -- lap 93 of 200,

  • the two favorites, Dixon, Rossi: both are down one lap, both Dixon and Rossi had problems during an emergency fuel pit stop; one if neither team could get its car started after refuelig after running out of fuel;
  • Rossi was favorite to win;
  • "USAF" car leading the field!
  • Danica Patrick providing commentary for NBC; along with Mike Tirico;

Pemex: Deer Park


June 5, 2021: Pemex plans for Deer Park unlikely to work. And from ArgusMedia.

Original Post

Deer Park, Houston, TX, refinery: 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Pemex.

  • Fast forward, to May 24, 2021: Shell accepts unsolicited offer from Pemex for Deer Park. Link at World Oil. Deal:
    • $596 million, cash and debt;
    • Shell will retain its on-site chemical facility

Now, back to racing and the USAF. From indycar:

U.S. Air Force and Conor Daly will remain with Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

Daly will continue to drive ECR's No. 20 Chevrolet for the 13 road and street course events, 10 of which will carry the colors of the U.S. Air Force. For the four oval events, Daly will hand the No. 20 back over to team owner Ed Carpenter. Additionally, Daly will race a U.S. Air Force Chevrolet for ECR in the Indianapolis 500.

The 10 races where the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet will be on track are set to be announced at a later date, as will the primary partner for Daly's three other races.

"It feels incredible to have another year together with the U.S. Air Force and Ed Carpenter Racing," Daly said. "Continuity has always been helpful for me in my career; the fact that we are able to hit the ground running in 2021 already having experience together gives me a lot of confidence. Every day we learn more and develop a stronger relationship.

Daly and ECR continue to work alongside the U.S. Air Force to use the NTT INDYCAR SERIES to inspire young adults, communicate the service’s mission and build awareness about career opportunities.

Somewhat Unremarkable MRO Well Back On Line -- May 30, 2021

The well:

  • 18236, 679, MRO, Paulson 44-9H, Bailey, t11/09; cum 236K 3/21; off line nine months; back on line 7/20 with nice "recovery." 

Recent production:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Production before it went off line:


Armstrong's Gruman Lodgepole Well Has Just Gone Over One Million Bbls Crude Oil Cumulative -- May 30, 2021

Never flared any natural gas. Still flowing without a pump. Drilled back in 2010 right during the height of the Bakken boom. Unitized spacing. Total depth: 9,802 feet. Directional. Located barely a mile outside of Dickinson city limits on the southwest side. As recently as last summer, 7,000 bbls per month.

The well:

  • 18496, 474, Armstrong Operating, Gruman 18-3, Patterson Lake, target: Lodgepole, F, t3/10; cum 1.011116 million bbls crude oil 3/21;

Recent production profile;

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Initial production:


Notes From All Over -- The Delayed Sunday Edition -- May 30, 2021

Indy 500: 135,000 sellout crowd expected. Largest unmasked crowd to date? I think the first major unmasked sports event coming out of the pandemic was the PGA Championship, won by Phil Mickelson. Later: history is made. Four-time winner Castroneves.

Rewards: lotteries and prizes for doing the right thing -- getting the vaccine -- seems to be inappropriate.  From The Los Angeles Times this week:

... the number of vaccines administered each day in Los Angeles has dropped by almost 50% from its high in April.

In Long Beach, they’re trying to counter amorphous (sic) resistance by giving newly vaccinated people free tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific and a chance to win a Nintendo Switch gaming console — a ploy intended to persuade unvaccinated young men to roll up their sleeves. 
In Los Angeles, those getting vaccinated have a chance to win Lakers season tickets. 
In Cleveland, dropping your resistance to the vaccine can make you a millionaire. The state of Ohio is using federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for five weekly lotteries that will each net one newly vaccinated winner a million-dollar prize. 
And California announced on Thursday [May 27, 2021] a grab bag of incentives, including grocery gift cards to those who complete their inoculations, and the chance for 10 vaccinated residents to win $1.5 million apiece.

Andy Serwer: his morning brief over at Yahoo!Finance is one of the better business / finance columns out there. I don't link it or read it every day, but more often than not, the column has impressed me. Most recently: the bull market in news is over. Now what?

G. E. Smith: who knew? At YouTube.

Estate planning: this may be the best thing I read this past week

In case you can't get past the paywall, this is the loophole, and it's a big one:

The owner of each 529 account, usually parents or grandparents, must designate a single beneficiary. But they can easily move money between beneficiaries as long as they are in the same family.

“It is absolutely a loophole,” says Leo Marte, a Huntersville, N.C., financial advisor. “You can move money across generations without taxes as long as you don’t hit gift tax exclusions.”


Creating a lasting education fund for your family. Former fighter pilot Brian O’Neill of Niceville, FL, retired from the Air Force last year as a colonel. 
He and his wife managed to save more than $500,000 in 529 accounts funded by military pilot bonuses, regular annual contributions, and gifts from relatives. 
He has a daughter going to college in 2022, but she probably won’t touch the 529 plan money. 
Her college may be paid by GI Bill benefits, which O’Neill has the right to pass on to his child, or she may tap a Florida scholarship if she goes to a state school. He has a second daughter, but he thinks she’ll end up spending only a small portion of the money.

And it's fairly hard for most Americans to the gift tax exclusions:

You can contribute up to $15,000 (the annual gift tax limit) per beneficiary per year to a 529 plan. However, the law permits each account owner to pay up to five years’ contribution upfront without triggering gift taxes. That means a couple between them can contribute up to $150,000 per beneficiary in one fell swoop. And they can do it for multiple people.

“There’s no limit on the number of 529s you can have,” says Stephanie Trexler, a Grand Rapids, Mich., financial advisor. “If you have 10 grandchildren, you can open a 529 account for each grandchild.”

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Re-Posting: Disrupted By Technology, But Many Investors And Companies Still Don't 'Get It'. -- Fitzsimmons -- SeekingAlpha -- May 29, 2021

I'm re-posting the link to this SeekingAlpha article -- giving folks a second chance to catch it in case they missed it the first time. I do have it archived.

The subject:

Oil & Gas: Disrupted By Technology, But Many Investors And Companies Still Don't 'Get It'. 

The article was submitted by Michael Fitzsimmons, perhaps one of the best contributors over at SeekingAlpha.

The summary:

  • I have been writing on Seeking Alpha about the technological disruption (i.e. fracking and Hz drilling) of the oil & gas industry for a few years now.
  • That technology disruption has led to a new era of energy abundance in which the world has a huge and secure supply of oil and gas.
  • Yet, from the comments to my articles, I can tell that many investors, in addition to many US O&G company CEOs, still don't "get it".
  • As a result, the O&G sector has been one of the worst - if not THE worst - performing sectors of the entire market over the past 3, 5, and 10 years.
  • Investors (and O&G CEOs) need to be careful to make sure that the next decade is not as bad as the last decade.

Near the end:

So, my advice to energy investors who - from many of the comments I see - are very bullish on their energy holdings is to, well, be careful. 
As I have been mentioning in my comments and in this article, the only reason WTI is over $60/bbl is because OPEC+ is holding 6-7 million bpd off the global market. 
If not for that action, WTI would likely be $10/bbl (or less). 
In addition, don't underestimate the resiliency of US shale producers. Yes, they seem to have new-found religion when it comes to disciplined capital expenditures. However, the top shale producers are printing money at >$60/bbl WTI. 
Note that COP, OXY, and EOG all made more than $1 billion of FCF in Q1. PXD delivered $369 million of Q1 FCF and notes that it just raised $750 million in relatively low-cost (as in 0.55%) short-term (2023) debt. Looks to me like PXD is going to be ramping up production. Will the rest of the shale companies stand idly by and watch PXD make hay while the sun is shinning? Will OXY, which badly needs to pay down its massive debt load, be a spectator or jump-in and pump? 
My bet is that shale oil production will surprise the upside later this year. But I think we have a couple 3-4 months of clear sailing yet. Lastly, the oil & gas producers face ESG and EV headwinds that are not going away, just the opposite - they will be growing stronger every day going forward.

Fitzsimmons advice:

Take advantage of the current and substantial rebound in oil prices. The rest of this year looks good for a rally in oil producers given the economic re-opening, travel, and the stimulus plans. 
But as soon as US exports start to threaten OPEC and Russian market share in Asia, watch out below because many of the 6-7 million bpd of production currently sitting on the sidelines are likely to be put on the global oil market. And that will be reflected (as we have seen in the past...) back on US shale oil producers.

Share Buybacks

On a completely different note but one of the reasons why I re-posted the above article again, this paragraph in the linked article above:

Unfortunately for me (and other COP shareholders), while COP's strategy has been brilliant, and their operational and financial performance excellent, the management team has fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line in my opinion. I say that because CEO Lance has made it clear that COP will be over-emphasizing share buybacks over dividends directly to shareholders. 
As I have noted in my recent Seeking Alpha articles on Pioneer Resources - which has implemented a variable dividend policy, and EOG Resources which recently announced a $1/share special dividend, energy investors don't want companies that are focused on share buybacks and/or acquisitions simply to accumulate (yet more...) oil and gas resources, they want dividend income and companies that are going to deliver total returns to shareholders. 
As a result, COP's stock has lagged that of the more dividend friendly management teams at PXD and EOG. That is because investors likely see no reason for management to build such a massive cash balance in light of last year's one penny dividend increase.