Monday, February 22, 2021

IRS Extends April 15 Deadline For Texas Residents! What A Great Country -- February 22, 2021

Whoo-hoo! IRS postpones April 15 tax deadline for Texas residents, businesses.  LOL. Who wudda thought?  June 15, 2021, new deadline. 

Boom. US factories can't keep up. This is an incredible story over at The WSJ. Some excerpts:

  • U.S. manufacturers aced the shutdown of their factories and warehouses last spring in response to Covid-19. They’re botching the recovery.
  • The boating industry was preparing for a downturn but instead sales jumped;
  • Consumer spending on long-lasting goods in the U.S. rose 6.4% last year but domestic production of those goods fell 8.4%
  • Wanxiang America Corp., the U.S. arm of one of China’s largest auto-component manufacturers, quickly reopened its U.S. plants last spring. But transportation bottlenecks have lengthened the lead times needed to get parts from its sister plants and other suppliers in China to Chicago to 10 weeks from four typically.
  • When demand increased unexpectedly last year, the same companies all placed orders at once into increasingly diffuse networks of far-flung suppliers. The result was a bullwhip crack more dramatic than usual that could eventually cause an oversupply in some industries
  • Dimarmel Inc., the maker of Simplicity Sofas, is looking to expand into more factory space near its plant in High Point, N.C., to cut delivery times that have stretched to eight months during the pandemic. But Simplicity Sofas founder Jeff Frank said that he can’t find enough skilled sewers to staff new production lines, and that some fabrics take months to arrive from suppliers.
  • Retailers slashed orders for Stanley Black & Decker Inc.’s  power tools, wrenches, tape measures and utility knives by 40% a week last April from a year earlier. By May though, CEO James Loree said those retailers were selling about 30% more of the company’s products than  than a year earlier, as homebound consumers tackled renovations and yard work.
  • And it goes on and on.

Half million Covid deaths, on Biden's watch. Actually, a lot of those deaths under the previous administration, but it is what it is. 

Oh, oh:

Flashback Television

I Corps. Link here. Wiki here.

WTI Surges; Hess With Six New Permits; CLR Renews Four Permits; Whiting Renews Two Permits; One DUC Reported As Completed -- February 22, 2021

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1554665643

Six new permits, #38162 - #38167, inclusive;

  • Operator: Hess
  • Field: Blue Buttes (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
    • Hess has permits for six BB-Budahn wells in Lot 4 4-150-95; and, SWNW 4-150-95:
      • 38162, 1230' FNL 660' FWL,
      • 38163, 1263' FNL 660' FWL,
      • 38164, 1296' FNL 660' FWL,
      • 38165, 1329' FNL 660' FWL,
      • 38166, 1362' FNL 660' FWL,
      • 38167, 1395' FNL 660' FWL,

One producing well (a DUC) reported as completed:

  • 36455, drl/A, BR, Glacierfill 1B, Clear Creek, no production data, first production, --; t--; cum --;

WTI Soars, EV-Long Haul Trucking Won't Be Ready For Prime Time For Years -- February 22, 2021


  • GS sees $75 Brent in 3Q21
  • today: WTI soared over 4%; up $2.45; trending toward $62;

Tesla: Tesla's least expensive version of its Model Y is no longer available. Unlike the Model T, these cars are not made for the average man.

  • Standard Range Model Y: $41,990; cut by $2,000 last week; "only," $39,999
  • possibility of new federal tax credits for EVs that would make Tesla eligible for tax credits again; push profit margins lower if Tesla were to sell more of its cheapest model versions;
  • bottom line:
    • prices keep changing:
    • expensive;
    • federal tax credits are critical

Iraq: Iraq pauses massive prepaid oil deal with China as prices soar (very similar to hedging, but apparently Iraq can cancel any time it wants). 

EV trucks: yesterday I watched the Daimler unveiling of their new Freightliner Cascadia. Range: 250 miles. When I was growing up in North Dakota my dad told me truckers could re-fuel in Minnesota and drive clear across North Dakota without refueling. With a 250-mile range, EV truckers would have to re-charge at least once in North Dakota and possibly twice. With a 250-mile range between charging, that's barely a four-hour trip before re-charging.

Legacy Fund Deposits, February, 2021

Link here.  

WTI Trades Above $61; Oil Companies Push Dow Into The Green; Tech-Heavy NASDAQ Falls -- February 22 2021

Whoo-hoo!: WTI soars. Up over 3%; adds $1.80; trading above $61. Oil-related shares:

  • ENB: up 1.70%
  • EPD: up 0.70%
  • KMI: up 1.4%
  • CVX: up 3.62%; went over $99; next stop, $100?
  • COP: up a whopping 6.63%; trading solidly over $51/share
  • XOM: up 3.7%
  • CLR: up almost 9%
  • EOG: up 5.3%
  • HES: up 4.4%;
  • OVV: up an astounding 6.55%;

CLR: doing an incredible job building their inventory; managing assets very, very well. Fascinating to watch. 

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. 

Petrobras: second CEO kicked out by President of Brazil; disagreement over diesel pricing; link here to Irina Slav;

  • shares plunge 23%
  • road to Mexico?

First group:

  • 10-Year Treasury: link here. 1.343%; down very, very slightly;
  • DXY: link here. $90.12, down very, very slightly;
  • Silver: link  here. $27.90; continues to melt up;
  • CBOE volatility index: link here. 22.84; up 3.6%

Second group:

  • 30-Year Treasury: link here; 2.144% up very, very slightly;

Bits And Pieces -- A Very Slow News Day -- February 22, 2021

Apple: Apple surpassed Samsung as world's largest smartphone maker in 4Q20.

  • this feat was last achieved by Apple in 2016
    • 80 million new iPhones
    • largely driven by launch of first 5G-enabled iPhone series
    • improved camera features
    • 10 million more iPhones sold year-over-year (2019)
    • Apple's global smartphone market share increased by almost 15%
  • Samsung: closest rival to Apple
    • market share decreased by almost 12%
    • sold eight million fewer devices than the year before (2019)
  • having said that, still a lot of growth available for Apple
    • global sales of all smartphones, 4Q20: 384,622,300
    • Apple global sales: 79,942,700
    • Apple's percent of the pie (and the size of the pie is growing): 21%
  • Apple's near 15% increase in market share yielded it an "upgrade super-cycle"
    • 1Q21: Apple saw its largest number of iPhone upgrades ever
    • the phone alone generated ore than $65 billion in revenue for 1Q21
  • iPhone 12 mini: sales performed poorly but probably helped Apple overtake Samsung thanks to its small form factor and relatively affordable $699 price tag
  • Apple likely to continue the iPhone 12 mini into 2021
    • might bring in new buyers, who then might "buy up"
  • will introduce the iPhone 13 in 2021

The Literature Page

If I were still adding books to my library, I would probably buy Bettany Hughes' Venus and Aphrodite, 2021. I very much enjoyed her book on Helen of Troy; very well written and great vocabulary-builder. 

Link here to WSJ review. My hunch is that Bettany Hughes covers a lot of the same ground as she did in Helen of Troy but it is likely filled with cocktail trivia. 

When our public library opens again, I may take a look. 

Links to Bettany Hughes over at my literature blog:

N.W.E. Crude Oil Basket -- Rotterdam Light Crude -- WTI And Dated Brent -- February 22, 2021

Huge, huge story for US shale. Huge. 

From AP News:

LONDON, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Global Platts (“Platts”), the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, announced that it will reflect WTI Midland in Dated Brent and its related components, and that the benchmark complex will be amended to a delivered Rotterdam basis. These changes, which include Cash BFOE (Brent/Ninan Blend, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk, Troll and WTI Midland) will become effective from July 2022 cargo deliveries.

Vera Blei, Head of Oil Markets Price Reporting, S&P Global Platts said: “Following extensive feedback and engagement with market participants, we are pleased to announce this important decision as part of our active stewardship of Dated Brent, which is the world’s most important oil benchmark. During the consultation, we heard widespread support on the addition of WTI Midland to the basket of crudes reflected in Dated Brent and for keeping strong connectivity to the forward Cash BFOE contract. We have also acted on strong feedback supporting a simplified fully delivered CIF assessment method that will better reflect the evolution of flows into Northwest Europe. These changes provide significant additional volume and will ensure the continued robustness of the Brent complex for the next decade and beyond.”

North American Crude Oil Surge: India

Link here.

The Biology Page -- February 22, 2021

Link here.

Did you all notice this?

All kidding aside, that's an incredible photograph. Three things jump out at me:

  • the membranes: perhaps the reason we are all here; perhaps the most important evolutionary jump;
  • the mighty mitochondria and all the other intracellular organelles:
  • but more incredible: the sophistication of the cellular membrane gaps

Last Week Was The Last Hurrah! We'll Never See Snow Again -- February 22, 2021

From a reader. While we were freezing in Texas last week, the Saudis weren't having it so easy, either.



Saudi Arabia hit by a rare blizzard as region sees snow fall -- These camels are taking their lumps in Saudi Arabia, which was hit by a blizzard Thursday, according to a report.

Libya sees first snow in 15 years as cold snap hits parts of northern Africa and Middle East -The Green Mountain in northeastern Libya saw its first snowfall in 15 years this week as a cold wave swept through parts of the southern Mediterranean region, northern Africa, and the Middle East, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.

We'll Never See Snow Again

Link here.

Worst Timing Ever -- February 22, 2021

Comedic timing: If Justin Trudeau had the timing of a professional comic, he would shut down Line 5.

Worst timing ever:

Worst excuses ever: when live mics catch the unfiltered comments of politicians, athletes, and celebrities, resulting in the aforementioned saying that's really who they are not. 


Expected progeny differences (EPDs) provide estimates of the genetic value of an animal as a parent. Specifically, differences in EPDs between two individuals of the same breed predict differences in performance between their future offspring when each is mated to animals of the same average genetic merit.

Over at Schwa Nation

Link here.  

Herbster Angus Farms

It seems like I've posted this before, can't remember.

Set to music:

The Auctioneer Song, Leroy Van Dyke

First Monday After The Recent Unfavorable Event -- February 22, 2021

Wasn't kidding: when Punxsutawney Phil said six more weeks of winter, he wasn't kidding. 

Gasoline demand: I forgot to post the graph last week. I'm not going to do it now; it was hardly worth posting then, and it's certainly not worth posting now. The new data will be out in a couple of days. Link here.

Why is every Willie Nelson cover better than the original?

The City of New Orleans
Focus on fracking; weekly edition has been posted. Link here.
  • record jump in oil exports to most since March, 2020;
  • oil supplies at 47-week low;
  • DUC well backlog falls to 12.5 months:
It will never snow again: link here.

EPD: it's not what you think. Coming: a stand-alone post. 

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:
Active Rigs1554665643

No wells coming off the confidential list. Tomorrow, two, and then one more on Wednesday, and that will be it for the week. If it gets any slower, I'm going to have to lay-off Sophia as the fact-checker, spell-checker, and gopher. Even the number of active rigs hasn't changed in ages. Fortunately we have Dr Fauci whose narrative changes daily; often more often depending on how many celebrity talk shows he visits.

RBN Energy: February's cold blast sets new recors for the Canadian natural gas market.
The February 2021 polar vortex will be one for the natural gas record books in the U.S. and Canada — and the month isn’t even over yet! 
Though no stranger to frigid weather, Canada’s natural gas market has felt the impacts of this month’s extreme cold on both sides of the border. Its own prices, demand, and storage withdrawals have reached multi-year or all-time records as gas buyers have jockeyed for molecules from anywhere they can get them. Gas exports to the U.S. have reached highs not seen for more than a decade, adding emphasis to what has been an emerging turnaround story for Canadian gas into the U.S. market. To top things off, the latest gas market records might be a preview of what is to come in the next few years as Canada’s structural demand for natural gas continues to increase, regardless of how cold it is. Today, we describe all the latest Canadian gas market action and what might be in store for next winter.

Pigs In Space, Swedish Chefs, And Green Frogs; USAF Helicopters; And More -- Februray 22, 2021

Tone deaf? I always thought The Muppets were tone deaf when it came to depicting Swedish chefs, swine, and Ranidae. It turns out I was not the only one. Disney has finally gotten the memo. In response, before airing certain episode of The Muppets, Disney+ will flash a warning to the audience that "some of the scenes are inappropriate but because the company makes so much money on the episodes and it cost them a lot of money to acquire the franchise, the episodes will be shown, anyway."

TCM does the same. If not, TCM would probably have to drop 90% of its programming. It is amazing that, for example, organized crime has been so maligned, particularly by Robert Stack. It goes without saying the French cops were maligned in Casablanca.

For Disney, the depiction of the common green frog and swine was bad enough but apparently what took the cake was the depiction of the Swedish chef, who in fact, was Norwegian. The Swedes have apparently only recently gotten in on the joke. IKEA is rumored to add lutefisk to its menu to offset criticism that its meatballs are getting more credit than they deserve.

I would assume it's only a matter of time before similar warnings will have to be placed before airing of Shrek (depiction of ogres is just the tip of the iceberg), Star Wars (depiction of extra-terrestrials as scary), ET (depiction of extra-terrestrials as infantile), and CHiPs (depicting cops as friendly). Shrek 2 was particularly harmful, with the pigs in a blanket reference being singled out as notably offensive. 

For more:

(Memo to self: insert USAF song here)

New helicopters: Minot AFB will transition from the Huey to the Grey Wolf in 2023. Links:

  • the heliopter
  • announcement by the USAF;
    • will be deployed in packs (thus the name, Grey Wolf); 
    • there is some question whether it is insensitive to mention that grey wolves hunt in packs;
  • nuclear sites to each get eleven of the new helicopter include:
    • Minot AFB, ND
    • Malmstrom AFB, MT
    • F.E. Warren AFB, WY
  • additional a/c to
    • JB Andrews, MD
    • Yokota AB, Japan
    • Fairchild AFB, WA
    • Kirtland AFB, NM (training school)
  • the announcement was made at Duke Field, FL, aka Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #3
    • Detachment 7 at Duke Field will work with Air Force Materiel Command’s 413th Flight Test Squadron—the service’s only dedicated rotary test unit to bring the new helicopter into the USAF stable
    • Special Ops


Neanderthals: died out due to climate change, due to flipping of the "magnetic switch"

  • why it matters
    • before: Neanderthals simply morphed into Homo sapiens
    • after: killed off by climate change (got way too cold in the Alps)
  • only 42,000 years ago
  • other notable events on that date
    • Cher recorded Is Their Life After Love?
    • okay, that was the only other notable event on that date

From PowerLine:

And, of course, the musical interlude, absolutely the best song ever:

If There Life After Love? Cher