Friday, March 19, 2021

Fourth Consecutive Month Of Increasing Legacy Fund Deposits -- March, 2021, Data

Link here.


Week 11: March 14, 2021 -- March 20, 2021

Top story of the week:

  • Joe Biden is still president; although he does refer to his VP as the "president of the United States"
  • EOG ends new drilling / fracking in the Bakken

Most under-reported story of the week:


Bakken graphic of the day:

Top international non-energy story:

  • Tokyo Invitational: will ban foreign spectators from summer Olympics;

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:








Bakken economy:



Sunday night quickies:

Wuhan Flu Update -- March 19, 2021

Covid-19 vaccine: open to the general public in North Dakota as of March 29, 2021; sooner for those in the state capital-area.

US vaccine rollout; the past two week:







Total Doses Administered

Number of People Receiving At Least One Dose

Fully Vaccinated

Number of People Considered Fully Immunized

Delta: Difference in daily doses from previous day

Percent (B+C)/A

Percent Of Americans With 2 Doses


March 19, 2021








March 18, 2021








March 17, 2021








March 16, 2021








March 15, 2021








March 14, 2021








March 13, 2021








March 12, 2021








March 11, 2021








March 10, 2021








March 9, 2021








March 8, 2021








March 7, 2021








March 6, 2021








March 5, 2021







US LNG Feedgas Demand Sets Another Record; Trending Toward 12 Bcfpd -- Seventh Export Terminal On Tap? -- S&P Global Platts -- March 19, 2021

Link here.  

  • US LNG feedgas demand hit a new record, reported today, March 19, 2021 as total deliveries approach 12 Bcf/d; note: there are some questions whether a new record was actually set -- see link and the replies at the thread;
  • capacity could rise come fall when Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass terminal in Louisiana – the seventh major US liquefaction facility – may be ready to ship its first cargo;
  • the 11.8 Bcf/d in total gas deliveries to existing US LNG export terminals topped the previous record of 11.65 Bcf/d set during the morning cycle March 17. Cheniere Energy's two terminals – Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi Liquefaction in Texas – account for more than half of the total demand.
  • netbacks:
    • while prices were lower day-on-day, netbacks remain high enough to incentivize robust shipments from the US
    • Asia Pacific freight was assessed at $30,000/day on March 18, compared with $45,000/day a month ago, and $165,000/day two months back, according to Platts data.
  • US LNG export terminals tracked here;
  • at that site: November 12, 2020: Calcasieu Pass update. Huge story.

Fossil Fuel Is Dead. Long Live Fossil Fuel! -- Indian Oil Consumption To Double By 2030 -- Double -- March 19, 2021

Link here


Link at ArgusMedia.


  • Nevada
  • pilot plant
  • $15 million
  • Clayton Valley, NV
  • Pure Energy Minerals
  • NeoLith Energy: Schlumberger subsidiary
  • subsurface brine collection (hmmmm......)
  • two million liters of water - one ton of lithium
  • back-of-the-envelope:

RimRock With Three New Permits; EOG, Winding Down Drilling/Fracking Operations In The Bakken, Cancels Three More Permits; MRO And Enerplus Together Renew Nine Permits -- WTI Recovers A Bit -- March 19, 2021

Pop quiz, three multiple choice questions:

1. On an annual base, how many facilities are dedicated worldwide to capturing carbon dioxide? Nearest number rounded:
___ 50
___ 100
___ 1000
___ 5000

2. On an annual basis, how much in carbon dioxide is being captured annually? Again, nearest number rounded:
___ 50 million tons
___ 100 million tons
___ 1000 million (1 billion) tons
___ 5000 million (5 billion) tons

3. On an annual basis, how much carbon is humankind emitting per year? Again, nearest number rounded:
___ 50 million tons
___ 100 million tons
___ 1000 million (1 billion) tons
___ 5000 million (5 billion) tons

Answers at this link if I forget to post the answers later. 

By the way, one billion tons = a gigaton, if you look for the answer over at wiki.

One thousand x one million = one billion.

For the archives:

For the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1652665847

Three new permits, #38214 - #38216, inconclusive:

  • Operator: RimRock
  • Field: Heart Butte (Dunn)
  • Comments:
    • RimRock has permits for three Two Shields Butte wells, in SWSW 21-149-92,
    • the three wells will be sited between 869' and 961' FSL and 465' and 381' FWL
    • it's hard to believe, these are the first Heart Butte permits this calendar year;

EOG, winding down drilling and fracking operations in North Dakota cancels three more permits:

  • EOG: two Austin permits and one Clearwater permit, all in Mountrail County.

Nine permit renewals:

  • MRO (5): one each, a Quam permit, a Basham permit, a Bergelie permit, a Sahaydek permit and an Anseth permits, all in section 22-145-96, Dunn County;
  • Enerplus (4): one each, a Quartzite permit, a Phyllite permit, a Marble permit, and a Gneiss permit, all in section 17-147-93, in Dunn County;

Most Surprising Biden Note For Today -- March 19, 2021

This I absolutely did not expect. I truly thought President Biden would "support" Iran and completely undo everything Trump did with regard to Iran. Truly surprised.  

Overnight: Biden administration to enforce Trump-era sanctions on Iran oil shipments.

This week a senior Biden admin official has admitted in comments to FT that ... banned Iranian oil exports to China have been increasing "for some time now" as Beijing continues to be Tehran's lifeline for circumventing oil sanctions, which has been ongoing for years now. 
China has also played a major part in keeping Venezuela's oil exports afloat.

But now, as FT reports Wednesday, March 17, 2021, "The Biden administration has told Beijing it will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil as shipments from the Islamic regime to China have soared, a senior US official said."

Despite the White House still saying it's "prioritizing" re-entry into the nuclear deal, efforts which have been stalled thus far as Tehran is demanding the easing of sanctions as a first step, the senior official revealed to FT: "We’ve told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions."

"There will be no tacit green light," the official added, but enforcement might take the form of what's dubbed these "secondary sanctions" targeting Chinese companies caught transferring Iranian oil. However, it remains the possibility that these too could ease assuming Washington and Tehran re-enter talks.

"Worriers Are Going To Worry" -- Bank Of America -- March 19, 2021


"Worriers are going to worry" -- Bank of America. Three pillars for this bull market:

  • liquidity (really, really, easy money)
  • earnings growth
  • breadth of market recovery

Graphic at the link:

The data points:

  • March 23, 2020: VOX -- how the Covid-19 recession could become a depression; MSCIAC World Index at 375;
  • April 3, 2020: NYT - half the world is on lockdown; for sports? more like 99%;
  • April 10, 2020: National Geographic -- why a coronavirus vaccine could take way longer than a year; [and, of course, President Trump will never be given any credit until historians re-write the history in twenty years]
  • May 9, 2020: Economist -- a dangerous gap; the markets vs the real economy
  • June 9, 2020: CNBC -- the US is officially in a recession; will is actually become a depression; MSCIAC World Index at 540;
  • July 14, 2020: Merck -- Covid-19 vaccine hype a "grave disservice to the public"
  • August 23, 2020: WSJ -- The median S&P stock has never been more expensive
  • September 22, 2020: WEF -- 600 CEOs surveyed by The Conference Board, only 11% predicted the recovery will follow a V-shaped economy;
  • October 14, 2020: NYT -- Covid-19 trials have been paused for safety; that's a good thing. [coming just before the election; pretty much insures Biden will win]
  • November 24, 2020; WaPo -- foreign observers shocked by chaos over US election; [in retrospect, pretty smooth, wouldn't you say?]
  • December 23, 2020: NYT -- Some said the vaccine rollout would be nightmare; they were right. [Not really.]
  • January 27, 2021: NPR -- why scientists are very worried about the variant from Brazil [whatever happened to the Brazilian variant?]
  • February 5, 2021: Bloomberg -- when will life return to normal? In seven years at today's vaccine rates; [in Texas, things are pretty much back to normal]
  • March 10, 2021: NYT -- Inflation fear lurks; even as officials say not to worry; MSCIAC World Index at 675;
  • March 19, 2021: NASDAQ sell-off; oil plummets 8%; no driver observed;

Schwab Wine-Tasting Event


Notes posted here.

Mystery Solved: US Jet Fuel Consumption Won't Increase As Quickly As Travel Demand -- EIA -- March 19, 2021

  • one mystery solved;
  • US jet fuel consumption won't increase as quickly as air travel demand -- EIA; link here;

Let me explain; it was probably obvious to everyone but me. I completely missed it.  See my note of March 17, 2021.

If that is accurate, this really, really bodes well for the airlines. Increasing load factor but spending less money on jet fuel. Wow!

So, what did I miss, that everyone else must have seen.

Two things, one minor, one major.

Minor: the airlines are coming back with more efficient jets including the "new" Boeing 737 Max.


  • for the past year, airlines were flying "empty" -- okay, not "empty" but not at full load factor;
  • self-imposed limited capacity on each aircraft;
  • at a minimum, the middle seat was left empty; one-third of all seats were purposely not sold;
  • the airlines have quietly started selling those middle seats;

Going forward: the most interesting data point to follow coming out of the weekly EIA petroleum report -- jet fuel delivered.

The second most interested data point to follow: gasoline demand. 

However, the two data points may be quite confusing, difficult to explain. At least for me. My hunch: readers will figure it out before I do. LOL.

WTI Trades Well Below $60; Brent At $62.83; No Wells Coming Off Confidential List -- March 19, 2021

Fast and furious:

  • "Worriers are going to worry" -- Bank of America
    • three pillars for this bull market:
      • liquidity (really, really, easy money)
      • earnings growth
      • breadth of market recovery
  • Economy, the Fed:
    • US jobless rate will fall to 4.5% this year
    • inflation will rise temporarily
    • lower rates for longer
    • That was the headline, here are the details:
    • US economy to grow at its fast pace in four decades;
    • the Fed's rosiest picture of the economy since the pandemic began one year ago;
    • consumer prices will jump, "at least" temporarily;
    • inflation will hit 2.4% compared to the Fed's earlier estimate of 1.8%
    • uncharted territory for the Fed:
    • the economy is getting strong, but not enough for the central bank to roll back emergency measures;
    • Powell: will let the economy run hotter for longer before raising rates,
  • SeekingAlpha contributor
    • the Fed may have just sealed the stock market's fate; link here; and, here;
  • Jobless report, yesterday, March 19, 2021: link here;
    • interactive map at the link;
    • I recall the famous line by President Obama: "those jobs are never coming back."
    • Zoom / Webex economy is going to last a lot longer than some originally thought;
    • the nation is still almost 10 million jobs short of the number of jobs it had in February, 2020
    • as mentioned earlier, no one in Washington "really cares"; exhibit A: the Keystone XL.
  • FANG:
    • offering notes at low rates; link here;
    • reader noted: "30-year notes with ten years left of inventory. Makes sense."
  • FedEx: the e-economy, revenue, earnings beat; link here;
    • revenues: $21.5 billion vs $20.02 billion forecast;
    • EPS: $3.47 vs $3.22 forecast
  • Travel
    • one mystery solved;
    • US jet fuel consumption won't increase as quickly as air travel demand -- EIA; link here;

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1652665847

No wells coming off the confidential list today

RBN Energy: maintenance to curb Alberta's synthetic crude oil production this spring.

Production of synthetic crude oil that is processed from Alberta’s oil sands reached record highs at the end of 2020 after touching on two year lows just four months earlier. However, these highs could be undermined and sink to four-year lows for a short period of time this spring with what appears to be a heavier than usual slate of maintenance work on three of Alberta’s four upgraders, the immense processing units that produce synthetic crude oil from bitumen. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the upgraders, the timing of maintenance, and what this might mean for synthetic crude oil production and exports.

Analysis Of The Fed's Testimony Yesterday -- SeekingAlpha Contributor -- March 19, 2021

SeekingAlpha contributor: the Fed may have just sealed the stock market's fate; link here;

The Fed gave the equity market exactly what it wanted, lower for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the bond market doesn't seem as pleased, which will be horrible news for the stock market. Rising rates are crushing growth and technology stocks, and soon the rest of the market will follow because there are very few if any "cheap" sectors left in the market.

In essence, the Fed will let the economy run hot, and the bond market does not seem the least bit comfortable with that. Rates are rising sharply on March 18, with the 10-Year now trading just under 1.75%. The curve continues to lift because the bond market fears that a hot economy could quickly overheat, causing prices to rise, and inflation becomes an issue.

It leaves the door open for the Fed to start having to taper its bond purchases and to raise rates much sooner than expected and potentially much faster than indicated. This is resulting in bond yields pushing higher. Additionally, there's a tremendous amount of debt coming to the market, with another round of fiscal stimulus passed, and more supply will need a lot more demand.

And then this:

While the news at first seems to be everything the stock market wants to hear, it's not good news. In fact, there was very little the Fed could have on March 17 to please both the stock and bond market. The Fed chose to placate the stock market. But stock prices are derived from interest rates, and as interest rates rise, stock prices need to reprice. They have been repricing and shall continue to reprice at lower levels.

The problem is that now, relative to the 10-year note, the S&P 500 has a valuation on par with the periods in January 2018 and October 2018. At no other time in modern history has the index been this expensive on a relative basis in this low-interest rate world. Everything changed in 2008 when we flipped from a high rate to a low rate world, so the period of 1999 would not be a fair comparison.

One last excerpt: 

From another angle, the S&P 500 dividend yield is currently around 1.44%, and it has only been lower one other period in time, at the turn of the century. And now, the 10-Year once again has a higher yield than the S&P 500. So will the 10-Year yield pull the S&P 500 dividend yield over time? It seems possible. Since 2010 the 10-year has traded with a premium over the S&P 500 dividend yield of 21 bps. It is currently 20 bps, which means that a movement high in the 10-year from this point is likely to result in the premium growing wider, or dragging the S&P 500 yield higher along with the 10-year.

For the archives.