Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Gasoline Demand -- May 5, 2021

Link here.

Calm before the storm.

Darkest before the dawn.

Best is yet to come. 

Largest draw since January, 2021. Link here. Data suggests gasoline prices may hold steady for a week or so.

Tea leaves: electricity and gasoline are going to get very, very expensive in California this summer. In fact, energy expenses in California may be the big story this summer for the state. By the way, my hunch: the California recall will never happen. The Democrat legislative body holds the purse. 

This song is five minutes too short:

Sempra Energy Delays FID On Mega-LNG Export Terminal, Port Arthur, TX -- May 5, 2021

Too much too fast?

Link here.  

Sempra Energy expects to delay a final investment decision on its proposed Port Arthur liquefied natural gas export facility in Texas until next year, as it continues to face commercial challenges a year after the pandemic began, CFO Trevor Mihalik says.

The continued impact of the pandemic on global energy markets as well as improving the project's greenhouse gas emissions profile means it is more likely that the FID for Port Arthur LNG "will move to next year," Mihalik said during today's earnings conference call.

While acknowledging strong market fundamentals, CEO Jeff Martin said the size and scope of the 11M mt/year Port Arthur project is a factor in Sempra's decision-making process.

"I don't see any scenario that we would probably take FID without having it fully contracted," Martin said on the call.

The only firm supply deal tied to Port Arthur LNG announced so far is a 2M mt/year sales and purchase agreement signed in 2018 by Poland's PGNiG. 
Still not finalized is a preliminary agreement signed in 2019 for Saudi Aramco to take a 25% stake in Port Arthur LNG and lift 5M mt/year of supply from the facility.

One New Permit; Number Of Active Rigs At Seventeen; Eight Permits Renewed; and, Three DUCs Reported As Completed -- May 5, 2021

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1725646250

One new permit, #38300:

  • Operator: Ovintiv
  • Field: Westberg (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
    • Ovintiv has a permit for a Rolla well on lot 4 section 1-152-97; 485' FNL and 462' FEL;

Eight permits renewed:

  • BR: eight Abercrombie permits in McKenzie County;

Three producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:

  • 33806, SI/A, BR, CCU Gopher 6-2-15TFH, Corral Creek, first production, 3/21; t--; cum 42K after 28 days;
  • 33810, drl/A, BR, CCU Gopher 8-2-15TFH, Corral Creek, first production, --; t--; cum --;
  • 33811, drl/A, BR, CCU Gopher 8-2-15MBH, Corral Creek, first production, --; t--; cum --;

"Vaccine Hesitancy" -- May 5, 2021

One has to go all the way back ten weeks -- all the way back to February 24, 2021 -- to find a "Wednesday" in which fewer vaccinations were given than reported in today's "Wednesday" report.

CDC data here.

See sixth column. The country has a capacity of 4 million + doses per 24-hour period; most recently, less than 2 million were administered.. 

By the way, look at how the amount of vaccine being delivered is dropping; it came very, very close to dropping below 3 million doses when recently as many as 6 million doses were delivered.

There was a story earlier today that some states are not using their full allocation; the federal government will re-allocate unused vaccine to states that "need" it. Posted earlier.

This past week, the vaccine was opened up to everyone over the age of 16. 

Doses of vaccine distributed to health facilities

Change from day before

Vaccinations given

Change from day before

Percent of distributed vaccine that is actually administered


May 5, 2021







April 28, 2021







April 21, 2021







April 14, 2021







April 7, 2021







March 31, 2021







March 24, 2021







March 17, 2021







March 10, 2021







March 3, 2021







February 24, 2021






MDU Reports Earnings -- 1Q21

Link here, SeekingAlpha:

  • EPS: 26 cents, beats by 6 cents;
  • revenue: $1.23B, up 3.4% y/y

Press release:

  • EPS: 26 cents vs 13 cents on year ago;
  • earnings: $52.1 million vs 25.1 million one year ago

Major CLR Update -- May 5, 2021

Wow, I love this blog. Earlier today I updated the operators and active rigs in North Dakota. And there it is. This morning I noted that CLR now has five active rigs in North Dakota. Now, The Williston Herald corroborates that (see below).

In addition, CLR will start drilling out the Long Creek unit in August. The Long Creek Unit is tracked here.

I may quit blogging for the day; more than enough news to digest. LOL. No, I'm just beginning. 

With oil markets balancing, CLR is shifting back to its oil-heavy assets in the Bakken -- The Williston Herald.

During the pandemic, Continental went with a gas-weighted profile, but now, with supply-demand curves balancing, it’s planning to flip that ratio around.

That will mean ramping up well completions in the more oil-heavy Bakken instead of the Scoop-Stack play in Oklahoma. In the second half of the year, 70 percent of its well completions will be in the Bakken, versus the 50 percent ratio the company had at the beginning of this year.

That’s going to mean at least one more rig in the Bakken to add to the four that are already running, and the completion of about 65 wells. The company will start drilling out Long Creek in August, which has so far shown very strong initial production stats. The company plans about 56 wells there.

Continental is also paying off its debts faster than expected, thanks in part to stronger than anticipated oil prices. WTI was trading around $65 on Wednesday — versus $15 a barrel last year amid a demand-crushing pandemic and a Russia-OPEC price war that oversupplied an already oversupplied market.

By the way, there is something very interesting about CLR's Long Creek Unit which no one has mentioned yet. I won't mention it either because I don't need the push back. I'll wait for CLR to do the announcement for me. 

CDC And Evictions -- May 5, 2021

ICYMI -- May 5, 2021

May 5, 2021: this is really quite humorous. For the archives. 

On the day, New York states shuts down the Indian Point nuclear plant, the Biden administration floats the idea of subsidies for nuclear plants. LOL. 
Nuclear plants don't need subsidies: they need regulatory relief (which they will never get); and, acceptance by the general public (which they will never get, either). 
The Biden administration is talking to the Democrat base: unions, which would build the nuclear plants. 
But it will take ten years for the first spade of dirt to turn for a greenfield project even if there was a "shovel-ready" project on the books today. Anyone who thinks the natural gas industry feels threatened by nuclear energy is an idiot. 
Environmentalists who won't accept transmission lines through Vermont and won't accept buried pipelines to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey certainly aren't going to fall for that nuclear energy talk. LOL. Where would all that radioactive waste be buried? At sea? Which Japan favors.

May 3, 2021: Indian Point to shut downISO NY link here.  

See this post for current thoughts

PXD -- May 5, 2021

It's a long thread but well worth it. 

This may not show up on that particular thread: the CEO says the breakeven for PXD is $15 / bbl. It was noted that PXD managed to lose money in 1Q21 when oil was selling for $57. 

But, then, of course, a lot of merger and acquisition activity to get through. 

Cognitive Dissonance -- April 8, 2021

Talk about "cognitive dissonance" for a kingdom that continues to live in the Middle Ages. Reuters contributor writes:
In order to wean Saudi Arabia off its dependency on crude the kingdom needs higher oil prices.

Sort of like saying,

I fought against the bottle, but I had to do it drunk. LOL. 

North Dakota Energy -- A Trifecta -- Natural Gas, Soybeans, And Corn -- May 4, 2021

Link here.
  • ethanol: corn
  • renewable diesel: mostly soybeans
  • natural gas: an unwanted product making Oneok rich

Getting ready for the Sturgis rally. 

I haven't listened to this song in a long time. I don't know whether it's SFW. View with caution.

Some days Lana Del Rey comes across as the James Dean of her generation.

US Crude Oil Imports -- Another Look -- May 5, 2021


  • the US now imports more oil from Russia than from Saudi Arabia:
  • Saudi oil goes to west coast; Russia oil goes to east coast
  • of the nine primary sources of US imported oil, all showed a decreased except for three:
  • Ecuador
  • Colombia
  • Russia
  • of the nine primary sources of US imported oil, Saudi Arabia is now in 6th place, behind two small South American countries
  • on a percentage basis, it looks like Iraq took the biggest hit except for Brazil which went to "zero"
  • Mexico took a pretty big hit, also

One could argue:

  • Saudi Arabia is now (and always has been) energy dependent;
  • the US is energy independent -- and the gap is widening (in a good way)

 From social media;

Filed Under The AOC School Of Business -- May 5, 2021

We're outta here. US Steel cancels $1.5 billion Pennsylvania project. Link here. This wasn't even a green-field project; plans to upgrade an older facility delayed by regulators. 

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. said Friday that it is canceling a $1.5 billion project to bring a state-of-the-art improvement to its Mon Valley Works operations in western Pennsylvania, saying the world has changed in the two years since it announced its intentions.

Project permits initially stalled by the pandemic never came through, U.S. Steel has added capacity elsewhere, and now it must shift its focus to its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 2050, it said.

The loss of what would have been one of the largest industrial investments in Pennsylvania quickly led to recriminations by Pittsburgh-area politicians, labor unions and business organizations over why the project could never secure permits. Some worried it will diminish the future of steelmaking there.

“We had a window of opportunity and it’s absurd that we as a region have allowed that window to be slammed shut,” said Jeff Nobers, executive director of Pittsburgh Works, a coalition of labor unions, corporations and local business chambers.

Pennsylvanians will be happy to know they are helping save the world from CO2 emissions.  

Memo to self: check in on coal plants in China.

Weekly EIA Petroleum Report; Jet Fuel Delivered Doubles Year-Over-Year -- May 5, 2021

WTI; $66.48. After the EIA data was released, WTI, no change, at $66.43.

API: yesterday -- a 7.7 million bbl draw. Link here.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 7.7 million barrels for the week ended April 30, 2021. 
The data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles down by 5.3 million barrels, while distillate inventories declined by nearly 3.5 million barrels. 
Crude stocks at the Cushing, OK, storage hub, meanwhile, edged up by 548,000 barrels for the week. 
Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released today (May 5,2021). 
On average, the EIA is expected to show crude inventories down by 3.9 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts conducted by S&P Global Platts. It also forecast supply declines of 500,000 barrels for gasoline and 1.6 million barrels for distillates.

Weekly EIA petroleum report: link here.

  • US crude oil in storage: 485.1 million bbls.
  • US crude oil in storage decreased by a phenomenal, whopping, indescribable 8.0 million bbls
  • refiners are operating at 86.5% -- where we've been for quite some time
  • imports averaged 5.5 million bopd, a decrease of 1.2 million bopd from the previous week.
  • imports are averaging about 5.8 million bopd, a significant 7.8% more than the same four-week period last week
  • distillate fuel inventories decreased by almost 3 million bbls; distillates are about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year;
  • total motor gasoline increased a bit but gasoline inventories are still about 2% below the five-year average
  • jet fuel product supplied was up 101% compared with four-week period last year

From social media, link here:

ooooof .... disappointing gasoline product supplied numbers; huge imports at 1.02 mbpd. Spreads, cracks falling apart on this report. By the way, crude exports way up at 4.12 million bpd; had been averaging about 2.5 million bpd.

Crude oil imports. I don't know if it means anything, but as a percentage basis, year-over-year, it appears that the US has been importing a larger amount of crude oil over the past few weeks compared to earlier this year. From week 41 to week 46, the last column, the four-week period, year-over-year, was generally negative, and often double digits. Recently, from week 57 on, the percentage has increased, including a double-digit jump last week.

Crude Oil Imports

Week (week-over-week)

Date of Report

Raw Data, millions of bbls

Change (millions of bbls)

Four-week period comparison

Week 41

December 23, 2020




Week 42

December 30, 2020




Week 43

January 6, 2021




Week 44

January 13, 2021




Week 45

January 22, 2021




Week 46

January 27, 2021




Week 47

February 3, 2021




Week 48

February 10, 2021




Week 49

February 18, 2021



Week 50

February 24, 2021




Week 51

March 3, 2021




Week 52

March 10, 2021



Week 53

March 17, 2021




Week 54

March 24, 2021




Week 55

March 31, 2021




Week 56

April 7, 2021




Week 57

April 14, 2021




Week 58

April 21, 2021




Week 59

April 28, 2021




Week 60

May 5, 2021