Friday, January 29, 2021

Week 4: January 24, 2021 -- January 30, 2021

Top story of the week: Enerplus to acquire Bruin; and, here;

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 ND energy stories:

  • Bill introduced to erase residential property taxes
  • Bill introduced to observe Daylight Saving Time (sic) year-round in North Dakota
  • ND lawmakers looking at property tax relief for senior citizens
  • Year 2020: arguably the very worst year for the American oil and gas sector
  • Year 2021: here, hold my beer





Artificial lift in the Bakken:


Bakken economy:


Sophia, Part 1 -- January 29, 2021

With regard to the news earlier this month about Sophia, I was asked "what is her purpose?"

This is my not-ready-for-prime-time reply:

See this link.

Americans don't understand AI -- artificial intelligence.

This is going to be how AI is introduced to Americans. She will become the US ambassador of AI. She will meet with her counterparts around the world.

The most interesting thing about Sophia is that what comes out of her mouth will not simply be computerized AI. There will be a team of real humans who will be "tied" to her 24/7 and "move" her message in certain directions. Think of it as an earpiece in Joe Biden's right ear. Over time, Sophia will require fewer and fewer tweaks from her handlers. (Some irony here: as the president ages and comes under more stress, the president will require more and more tweaks from his handlers.)

Sophia's software -- her computerized AI -- is not static. The software is dynamic and will change, it will be updated, as Sophia matures. To the extent possible, the software will be updated by ever-evolving software. Human engineers will step in only if there is a technological glitch. Think of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey

She will incorporate the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica the day she is "born." She will have the most sophisticated search engine. She will be able translate any language in real time and reply back in any language.

She will have immediate access to every piece of art. She will have the entire library of music at her disposal. She will have immediate access to every quarterly report of every company in the world. She will have access to all current research in any scientific journal. It's possible that experts in every discipline will be allowed to feed her information even before it's published in peer-reviewed journals.

So, with all that, you can imagine of what she will be capable.
There is one thing, above all else, that will be most important, and it's very simple to articulate. Actually two things, the second naturally follows the first.

I'll talk about that later but this is to give you an idea what this is all about. But to give a hint: think of two human chess players. One has access to Sophia; the other does not. What is the most important thing Sophia can provide her chess partner?  It's not a perfect analogy but it's the best I can do with a not-ready-for-prime-time reply. 
At a more sophisticated level, let's say Sophia is asked to participate in developing a new vaccine. What is the one thing that she can provide that the rest of her human team cannot provide?
Ghost Riders In The Sky, The Highwaymen

DAPL Update -- January 29, 2021

Link here

  • both the lower court and the appeals court agree that the easement was granted illegally in 2017;
  • the appellate court is leaving the interim status of the pipeline's operations up to the Biden-led Army Corps
  • President Biden has not weighed in on the DAPL
  • his vice-president and his interior secretary nominee both support shutting down the pipeline
  • next court hearing scheduled for February 10, 2021

Lynn Helms' theme song: 

Man Of Constant Sorrow, Miley Cyrus, cover

Let The Hand-Wringing Begin -- The Ten-Year Treasury --- January 29, 2021

The 10-year Treasury "spiked" today, according to some over on social media.

From CNBC:

  • the close from yesterday / pre-opening: 1.0995
  • opened at 1.0740
  • a little after noon ET the TYT dropped to an intraday low of 1.0650
  • closed at 1.0740

For the five days this week:

  • a low of 1.0040 (someone may want to fact check me on this)
  • a high of 1.1010

Let the hand-wringing begin.

My hunch: the Reddit traders are shorting the 10-year Treasury. Or maybe just shorting the US in general. LOL.

Petro-Hunt Continuing To Use Large Amounts Of Water In Their Bakken Fracks -- January 29, 2021

In general, operators are fracking the typical long lateral horizontal Bakken well without 7 million gallons of water, 96% water by mass. 

Petro-Hunt in the Phelps Bay and the Charlson oil fields appears to be routine using almost double that amount of water and upwards of 93% water by mass; link here:


Friday -- It's Time To Check In On The Chinese Flu Vaccine Rollout; The Toilet Paper Shortage -- January 29, 2020

In case you missed it, in the most recent data provided by the CDC, the government distributed only 830,000 doses of vaccine; meanwhile, 1.7 million doses of vaccine were administered. Demand was 203% of the supply provided in the most recent 24-hour period for which we have data. If there's any hiccup in distribution of vaccine over the weekend, it's going to be a rough Monday.


Later, 6:03 p.m. CT: Moderna, apparently saw the same thing I saw today (see below). Breaking news now: "Moderna asks FDA to authorize five additional doses per Covid vaccine vial to speed distribution.

  • I believe a typical vial contains ten doses
  • this is how much the FDA micro-manages the pharmaceutical companies; we have a pandemic on our hands, and a vaccine manufacturer wants to speed up delivery, but the bureaucracy must provide the "okay." 
  • the previous president would have gone nuts and tweeted his frustrations; nothing to suggest the current president is even aware of this bureaucratic bottleneck;

Original Post

Note: in a long note like this with a lot of data, there will be content and typographical errors. If this information is important to you, go to the source.

The CDC is providing this data on a daily basis. 

As I noted earlier, the data posted by the CDC on Tuesday and Friday are the best days to use to track the vaccine rollout.

This is Friday. This is the raw CDC data, no manipulation, simply the CDC data:







Doses of vaccine distributed to health facilities

Change from day before

Vaccinations given

Change from day before

Percent of doses given/doses received over previous 24 hours

Percent of distributed vaccine that is actually administered


January 29, 2021







January 28, 2021







January 27, 2021







January 26, 2021







January 25, 2021







January 24, 2021






January 23, 2021







January 22, 2021







January 21, 2021







January 20, 2021




The good news (very good news):

  • the number of vaccinations being given each day is trending toward 1.7 million/day; that's huge;

The bad news (but could be be very temporary): right now the US is not keeping up with vaccine requirements; the number of vaccine doses distributed to the states by the federal government:

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021: 2,975,750
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021: 2,836,875
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021: 1,155,325
  • Friday, January 29, 2021: 830,225

If these numbers are accurate, and these should be the most accurate numbers posted by the CDC, this does not give me a warm fuzzy.

Do you see a trend?

  • early in the week: almost 3 million doses delivered in one day;
  • the next day: down to 2.8 million doses;
  • the next day: down to 1.6 million doses (that's almost half as many from the day before)
  • end of the week when supplies should be flowing faster than ever: down to 0.830 million

Between the beginning of the week and the end of the week, the number of vaccine doses distributed to the states drops [(2,975,750 - 830,225)/2,975,750] = 72%

The government distributed only 28% as many doses of vaccine on Friday as it distributed on Tuesday. 

Oh, oh.

This reminds me of the toilet paper shortage.

We should start hearing from governors next week that they do not have enough vaccine to give folks their second dose. 

Look at these numbers.







Total Doses Administered

Number of People Receiving 1 Or More Doses

Number of People Receiving 2 Doses

Number of People Considered Fully Immunized

Delta: Difference in daily doses from previous day

Percent (B+C)/A

Percent Of Americans With 2 Doses

January 29, 2021







January 28, 2021







January 27, 2021







January 26, 2021







January 25, 2021







Jan 24, 2021







Jan 23, 2021







Jan 22, 2021






Compare columns B and C, the number of folks who have received the first of two doses with the number of folks who have received the two-dose regimen. All those folks in column C are going to be coming back soon for their second dose.

Artificial Lift In The Bakken -- A Most Under-Reported Story In The Shale Revolution; SHD With Five New Permits Inside The Reservation -- January 29, 2021

See this post and look at #17911. From a reader who follows this much more closely than I do: 

Well #17911 is using a consistent 5,000 cubic feet of gas per day [difference between produced /flared and sold]. That data point launched me - again - in trying to get a current perspective on gas lift practices in the Bakken. Tough slogging, but I believe the Artificial Lift 'story' is one of the more under reported developments in this Shale Revolution.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1354645738

Five new permits, #38104 - 38108, inclusive, under the river (?), on the reservation --

  • Operator: SHD
  • Field: Deep Water Creek Bay
  • Comments:
    • SHD has five new Buffalo permits in Deep Water Creek Bay, SENE 7-149-90
      • 38104, 1393 FNL 925 FEL, TF,
      • 38105, 1392 FNL 955 FEL, MB,
      • 38106, 1532 FNL 956 FEL, TF,
      • 38107, 1533 FNL, 926 FEL, MB,
      • 38108, 1533 FNL 869 FEL, TF
      • these wells are confidential so it's hard to say which way the horizontals will run; the names of the wells are not helpful; based on their siting, on a pad north-to-south, it's most likely the horizontals run west-to-east, ending up under the river; it's possible they could also run to the southwest;

Two permits renewed:

  • Slawson: two Armada Federal permits in Mountrail County

Three producing wells reported as completed:

  • 34900, SI/A, Hess, SC-Gene 154-98-0805H-7, 33-105-04787, Truax, first production, 10/19; t--; cum 186K 11/20; fracked 5/2/19 - 6/3/19; 7.7 million gallons of water; 86.5% water by mass;
  • 37247, drl/A,  CLR, Xavier 3-10H, St Demetrius, first production, t--; cum --; fracked 3/19/20 - 3/25/20; 7.1 million gallons of water; 88.8% water by mass;
  • 37463, loc/A, Petro-Hunt, USA 153-95-13C-12-2H, Phelps Bay, first production, t--; cum --; fracked 12/4/20 - 12/18/20; 15.4 million gallons of water; 92.5% water by mass; completion strategies are tracked here;

Busy, Busy Day -- The "914" For January, 2021, Released

From Art Berman, back in 2019:

The 914: huge "thank you" to reader. This is one of the few links I always forget about. Perhaps the most important.

Link here

US field production of crude oil, November, 2020, data.

November production up nicely; reader reminds us that this was post- hurricane. I had forgotten. October / November, 2020, was a long time ago.

Production by PADD

  • North Dakota, November, 2020:
    • 36,152,000 bbls = 1.205 million bopd
  • New Mexico, November, 2020:
    • 33,193,000 bbls = 1.1064 million bopd
  • Texas, November, 2020:
    • drops 3% month-over-over vs increase for North Dakota
  • Federal offshore (TX, LA), November, 2020:
    • huge jump; from 32,734,000 bbls (October) to 51,022,000 bbls (November)
    • October, 2020: 1.0911 million bopd
    • November, 2020: 1.701 million bopd

North Dakota:

Humanoid Robot Sophia To Enter Mass Production By End Of 2021 -- May Be Driver For New Apple - Hyundai Car? January 29, 2021

Siri has a new competitor; Raj may have a new love interest:

Think How Much Worse It Would Be If Amazon Had Built On Long Island? -- Friday, January 29, 2021

 Holy mackerel! AOC's constituents paying upwards of $110 / MWh for their electricity. Link here.

Road To New England -- January 29, 2021

A huge "thank you" to a reader for reminding me about ISO New England. With so much going on, I had forgotten. 

From a reader:

  • cold snap in New England affection wholesale electricity
  • oil is generating more power than wind through much of the day
  • coal-fueled is maxxed out at the ~765 Mw capacity of the 2 remaining coal plants in New Hampshire
  • the fact that over 1,000 Mw is being generated this early AM from oil indicates that the dual-fueled plants (gas/oil) are burning oil as the single dedicated oil plant in Yarmouth, Maine only has ~825 Mw capacity.
  • this evening's 'rush hour' peak should be interesting to observe (if I remember, I will check).

Link here.

The graphics:

  • New Englanders burning a lot of oil and coal to stay warm;
    • oil: 5%
    • coal: 5%
  • spot price of electricity trending toward $200 / MWh;
  • now that the grid has "caught up," only $85 / MWh

Natural gas in only able to meet 50% of demand.

Notes From All Over, Part 4 -- January 29, 2021

Apple / AAPL: from SeekingAlpha. These kinds of analysis no longer matter. Apple may be a great company, but AAPL no longer has any MOJO and investors no long FOMO on AAPL. It's so yesterday.

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

Apple records here. Here's another one. Apple continues to dominate the tablet market with an estimated 19.2 million shipments in holiday quarter, 2020. Interestingly enough, there really is no competitor to the iPad. The Surface would be considered a competitor, I suppose, but by focusing on the keyboard attached, the Surface becomes an "also-ran" laptop. 

Hyundai - Apple: shortest corporate love affair on record? It is very well known that Apple is incredibly difficult to work with. I first saw that in 1983 when the military  couldn't make a deal with Apple to put Apple products in their stores (the USAF BX and the USA PX). 

Are we watching the movie sequel? Something tells me this is not going to end well for Apple. Apple may still end up with Magna Steyr. Links here; here. Everything I read suggests Magna Steyr would be a better fit -- maybe Hyundai needs to re-look at its business model.

Super bowl? What Super bowl? The only talk here in north Texas is the future of Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. LOL. I don't understand it but from The Dallas Morning News:

The Jones family wants to sign Prescott to a long-term contract. They want him to be this team’s quarterback going forward. But the sides have spent 19 months trying to find a middle ground and have been unable to reach an agreement. If the gulf remains and the club applies a second franchise tag in early March, the Cowboys must continue moving on from Prescott. Why? A second franchise tag is a nuclear option. If Dallas uses that tag and then is unable to sign Prescott to a long-term deal in July before training camp starts, the quarterback will play this season and then be gone next year in free agency. The Cowboys can’t let it get to that point. If the sides don’t reach an agreement by the March 9 deadline, or aren’t convinced a deal is imminent, the Cowboys must move on and look at jumping into this uncharacteristically unsettled quarterback market and the draft to find a replacement. Again, it’s not the preferred option, but it can’t be ruled out.

Ezekiel Elliott’s 2021 salary of $9.6 million already is guaranteed and carries a cap number of $13.7 million. If he’s a post-June 1 cut, the Cowboys get no savings. But if he’s a pre-June 1 cut, the Cowboys take a $10.8 million cap hit and have to deal with $24.5 million in dead money. The Cowboys are not cutting Elliott, and there’s a belief his 2020 season won’t happen again considering the injuries encountered at offensive line and at quarterback. Trading Elliott is difficult to do considering his contract. Plus, why would a team trade for a running back coming off a down year?

Housing market: 40% of Californians hope he moves to Texas. LOL.

XOM Maintains Dividend -- Notes From All Over, Part 3 -- January 29, 2021

Super Bowl: pandemic-adjusted, this is going to be the most-watched Super Bowl in history.

Silver: Macrotrends here.

Tea leaves: this is quickly shaping up to be the best ten years ever -- starting in 2017 -- for investors. In 2035, folks are going to be writing about the 2020's. Just saying. 

Investing: rational analysis by experts is so yesterday. It's all about FOMO and MOJO going forward. 

Heard that from a friend

Today's dividend announcements:

  • no change:
    • Baker Hughes
    • Black Hills
    • Entergy
    • Exxon Mobil: whoo-hoo!
Crazy, Gnarls Barkley

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. 


Saudi imports: sets another all-time low. link here

I love rock and roll:

I Love Rock And Roll, Joan Jett

Notes From All Over, Part 2 -- January 29, 2021

EV charging stations: in the top 20 list below, three of the top 20 --
  • BP
  • Shell
  • Total
EV charging stations: here are the top 20 companies that make charging stations:
  • ChargePoint: claims to have world's largest network; in 2017, it took over GE's 10,000 charging stations;
  • ABB: robotic company; not yet a big deal but has just partnered with Porsche;
  • BP: probably more interested in EV than in oil and gas; largest provider of EVCPs in UK through its ChargeMaster subsidiary; recently invested in Chinese EVCP provider called PowerShare;
  • Shell: acquired GreenLots this past year; in 2017, acquired EVCP specialist NewMotion, with more than 30,000 points across Europe;
  • Webasto: among the world's top 100 suppliers to the automotive industry;
  • Hyundai: need I say more? Has partnered with Kia for wireless EVCPs
  • RWE: just partnered with Daimler which shows up next on the list
  • Daimler Mercedes-Benz: need I say more? Will probably emerge as the #1 EV truck manufacturer;
  • Siemens: household name;
  • EVgo: claims the largest network of public EV fast-charging stations in the US; recently partnered with ABB to establish the first "high-power" fast charging station in Fremont, CA; ABB -- which, by the way, is #2 on the list -- and then there's Porsche --
  • EVBox: operates world's largest network of charging points, with approximately 60,00 installed across the globe;
  • G2Mobility: Total acquired this company last year at about the same time Total bought clean energy supplier Direct Energie for $1.7 billion;
  • PG&E: yes, that PG&E
  • Blink
  • Renault
  • Phihong: this is the real sleeper; watch for it to be acquired, probably by XOM; certified for the North American market, Phihong's EV charger is said to be suitable for locations such as residential, parking lot, gas or service stations, as well as commercial fleet operators;
  • Schneider Electric
  • Efacec
  • Eagon
  • Ample: has caught the attention of #3 above (Shell)
Silver: since age 18, I have bought silver dollars. Probably the worst way to "invest" in silver. I wasn't investing. 
I was buying stuff for the great-grandchildren. For my entire life through about age 50 years of age, I was buying silver coins for about $14/coin. And these were nice coins. Then, somewhere between 50 years of age and 65 years of age, the price seemed to be in the $24/coin price range. Now, just in the last year, silver dollars have jumped from $24/coin to $50/coin. Today, I see there is some action in silver similar to what is going on in GME. This should be quite exciting. Macrotrends here.

Silver dollars: worst way to "invest" in silver. LOL.

The great-grandchildren will not care one iota how much I paid for each silver dollar. They're just going to have loads of fun playing pirates in elementary school bringing in their chests of silver coins. LOL

Connecting the dots:

  • Quick! Name the company most interested in EVs. Of course there are a gazillion such companies. But among the top twenty: AAPL. Decades ago, Steve Jobs said the "only" thing holding Apple back from reaching its full potential was battery technology
  • Quick! Name the car company with whom Apple has partnered to start producing EVs as early as 2024
  • Quick! without looking, name the #6 company in the charging station business