Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Good Night, Y'all -- September 8, 2021

 Corky's bedtime snack:

Feature Story -- And, Yes, It's About The Bakken -- September 8, 2021

The feature story: is North Dakota's oil industry finally bouncing back? Link to Felicity Bradstock. The lede:

Since 2010, North Dakota’s oil industry has boomed, putting McKenzie on the map as the fastest-growing county in the U.S. Following a year and a half of pandemic, the state’s oil industry is bouncing back, with the potential to expand its energy output over the next decade. Even before Covid-19 hit, sending the world’s oil industry into a tailspin, oil prices in McKenzie soared to $130 a barrel before crashing to less than $40 a barrel. Crude oil production in the country increased by 1,800 percent between 2010 and 2014, as discoveries from the 1950s could finally be exploited thanks to new fracking technologies, sending workers flocking to the region and doubling the local population over a decade.

After a decade of growth, the government estimates that tens of billions of barrels could still be sitting in the ground waiting to be tapped. A once unknown town, Watford City is now well-known and popular among young families looking to make good money of the state’s booming oil industry. And the infrastructure, such as schools and housing has grown around McKenzie’s energy sector.

North Dakota has experienced significant development in recent years, largely due to the advancement of the oil industry in the west of the state. As well as basic local level infrastructure, the state has also seen the construction of hotels, restaurants, and a new airport, with state revenues of $12 billion coming directly from oil. The state’s oil industry also supports around 35,000 direct workers and over 65,000 indirect jobs.

I will archive the story

********************************
Barrel of Monkeys Two

Why I Love To Blog: Reason #45 -- The Language Continues To Evolve -- Nothing About The Bakken -- September 8, 2021

If you want to maintain your sense of humor and/or your sanity, do not read this post. It has nothing to do with the Bakken except one slight connecting dot. 

So, here goes. 

I'm reading / re-reading David Abulafia's 700+ page opus on the history of the Mediterranean Sea: The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean, c. 2011.

I came across a term I did not recall seeing before, "Sublime Porte." I will let readers google it. One hint: it's a metonym. [And that's the one connecting-dot to the "Bakken," also a metonym.]

I have rarely used the term "metonym" on the blog. After seeing "Sublime Porte" I wanted to link one of the posts in which I used the word, metonym.

I happened across several posts on the blog in which I used "metonym," but this post I do not recall, from September 19, 2018:

From buzzfeednews:

In the essay, Ghomeshi wrote about his name becoming a "metonym for everything from male privilege to the need for due process" and about being shamed and humiliated in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against him.

Does anyone recall Ghomeshi? 

I had completely forgotten all about Ghomeshi.

I misspelled Ghomeshi's name while googling and was immediately confused. There are two "Ghomeshis," Jila and Jian, brother and sister, and both with same / similar interests. 

One was accused of sexual assault some years ago, and when googling the back story, I found myself reading about Jila. I thought it strange a woman was accused of sexually assaulting several women .... and then realized I was reading about the XX individual, the "sister" of the XY individual, the "brother" who was actually accused of sexual assault. 

Googling Jila Ghomeshi, I came across this article, near the top if not the top, suggesting it has widespread "appeal":

BIPOC or IBPOC? LGBTQ or LGBTQ2S+? Who decides which terms we should use?

This article was fascinating, mostly because of this:

It is incumbent on us to use the level of granularity that fits the context and when unsure, ask the people we are introducing or speaking about how they want to be identified. Where group membership is contested (for example, should women include people who do not menstruate? Should people who menstruate be called women?) opting for a superordinate term (adults, humans, people) is one way for non-members to avoid taking a side.

That paragraph fascinated me because not less than thirty-five minutes earlier I read a Fox article, "Person-A Non Grata: AOC mercilessly mocked for using gender-neutral term to describe women."

Link here: https://www.foxnews.com/media/aoc-mocked-term-menstruating-person-describe-women.

In case that link breaks, the lede:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was roundly mocked on Twitter for using the term "menstruating person" instead of women in a recent interview. 
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CNN’s "Anderson Cooper 360" to discuss Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statements on the Texas Heartbeat Act which prohibits abortions after six weeks. 
She claimed that the law was actually not "about supporting life" and instead was about controlling "women’s bodies" as well as "any menstruating person." 
"None of this is about supporting life. What this is about is controlling women’s bodies, & controlling people who are not cisgender men. This is about making sure that someone like me as a woman or any menstruating person in this country cannot make decisions over their own body," she said.

Why is this important?

Jila Ghomeshi's article was dated May 25, 2021, just a few months ago. It's hard to believe AOC did not read that article.

It is risky to "blow-off" AOC as an idiot. I don't know if she is well-read or not, but my hunch is she is well-read, and she is meeting a lot of folks and holding strategic meetings with well-read folks, even if she is not well-read. I've always maintained that folks who get "to the top" are not dumb. They get to the top for a reason.

On another note, good, bad, or indifferent, language continues to evolve. 

Whether you like her or hate her, or somewhere in between, perhaps agnostic, I wouldn't blow off AOC as an idiot. She knows what she is doing and each day she becomes a more formidable politician. Fox can write disparaging articles about her but my hunch is she will be in office (if she wants) longer than I will be alive. 

Think Cher. 

****************************
Metonym

Later: I should have added this to the original post above ....

Originally posted January 19, 2015.
Trope: A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. Kenneth Burke has called metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony the "four master tropes."

I think we all "know" irony and metaphor even if we don't always use the former correctly. The word "metonym" is less well known but used all the time, such as "Wall Street" to refer to the US financial sector, or "Hollywood" to refer to the US film industry.

I see "synecdoche" often but never seem to remember what it means. Very similar to synonym but a bit more imaginative, such as "hired hands" for workers; "bread" for food; "cat" for lion, and so forth.

Early on with the blogging I discussed how "the Bakken" was used in at least three different contexts. I began using "the Bakken" as a literary trope for US unconventional oil some years ago.

*************************************
Barrel of Monkeys One

WMB -- September 8, 2021

The feature story: is North Dakota's oil industry finally bouncing back? Link to Felicity Bradstock.  I will post that as a stand-along post.

It's important to note that I've "lost that lovin' feeling." I no longer have an unconstrained emotional attraction to the Bakken I once had. Now that I understand it and know its potential, I'm much less attracted to it. I am still inappropriately exuberant about the Bakken but I think the two are mutually exclusive. I'm not sure that makes sense; if not, it's because of my inability to articulate it better on the fly.

Thinking strategically: The Keystone XL was a national strategic pipeline. But some folks cannot think strategically.

Never underestimate Resident Biden's ability to screw things up. Kills the Keystone XL first day in office. Now, Russian oil shipments to the US set to surge following Hurricane Ida. Link here. Or direct to Bloomberg

  • Western Canadian Select (WCS) would easily replace the loss of Gulf of Mexico (M) oil.

Meanwhile, the price of MARS crude oil hits a one-year high amid lingering Hurricane Ida supply disruptions. Link here. Or direct to SPGlobal.

  • Mars trades at WTI plus $1.50 / bbl.
  • nearly 77% of Gulf of Mexico crude oil output remains offline
  • onshore infrastructure damage delays platform restarts
  • but refineries are restarting faster than oil from the gulf
  • if Keystone XL was in operation, the loss of Mars oil would not be an issue
  • these are "heavy" oil and WTI does not help
  • that's why Russian oil shipments to the US are about to surge

But, having said all that, talk about a mixed picture. This just tells me  .... well, it tells me a lot ... LOL. From the API today, link to Julianne Geiger.

Wow, the data points, all from the API, numbers rounded:

  • weekly crude oil inventory dropped by 3 million bbls;
  • the 2021 crude draw so far: 65 million bbls
  • for context, the SPR can hold 720 million bbls; currently holds 620 million bbls
  • inventories dropped but US crude oil production rose 100,000 bopd to 11.5 million bopd
  • this is despite most of GoM shut in
  • distillates are most interesting: continuing to plummet; dropped another 4 million bbls this week;
  • that 4 million bbls is double the previous week, slightly less than a decrease of 2 million bbls
  • Cushing inventories rose by almost two million bbls; and the previous week, Cushing inventories also rose by more than two million bbls
  • all those (faux) hand-wringing stories about oil shut in in the GofM after Hurricane Ida and then these numbers
  • yes, I know: the type of oil from the Permian (in Cushing) is light oil vs heavy oil coming from the Gulf but no one would ever know that if only listening to CNBC.

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Natural Gas

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

Williams (WMB): bullish US LNG export activity buoys pipeline operator Williams' growth forecast. Link here. Or direct to Platts.

  • two more Gulf export terminals under construction
  • northeast takeaway capacity a factor for G&P business
  • Williams will keep annual growth project spending steady at $1.2 billion through 2026
  • Williams handles about 30% of US natural gas volumes
  • CEO thinks export business is going to grow dramatically
  • US LNG feedgas demand:
    • currently: 11 Bcf/d (2021)
    • 2026: 15 Bcf/d
  • LNG export terminals:
    • currently: six in operation (in the US, in 2021)
    • 2022: seven
    • 2025: eight (based on current construction)
    • four or more could be sanctioned by the end of 2022
  • much more at the link
  • it's amazing: when I started the blog back in 2007, folks like Pickens said natural gas would be the "bridge" to renewable energy; nothing has changed;
  • WMB:
    • on another "down" day for the market, WMB was up a half-percent during normal trading hours and up another quarter percent after hours; trading at $24.81
    • 52-week high is $28.35
    • the annual dividend, $1.64, which, by the way, goes ex-dividend tomorrow, September 9, looks "safe";
    • the quarterly dividend, 41 cents is payable September 27, 2021
  • tea leaves suggest the dividend will remain unchanged in December, but then could be increased significantly in 2022

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

EIA: boosts late-2021 spot natural gas price estimates, as Ida, slower injections take toll; link here;

  • 4Q21 Henry Hub spot price forecast raised 54 cents to $4/MMBtu
  • agency lowers expected 4Q21 gas marketed production by 420 MMcf/d

Ovintiv With Four New Permits; WTI Flirts With $70; Two Wells Released From Confidential Status -- September 8, 2021

Active rigs, from today's daily activity report:

$69.30
9/8/202109/08/202009/08/201909/08/201809/08/2017
Active Rigs2511616655

Twenty-five active oil and gas rigs:

  • CLR, drops one; down to eight active rigs

Four new permits, #38545 - #38548, inclusive:

  • Operator: Ovintiv
  • Field: Westberg (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
    • Ovintive has permits for four Wisness State wells in NWNE 16-152-96; 
    • the wells will be sited 995 FNL and between 2210 FEL and 2270 FEL

Two wells released from confidential status:

  • 37882, conf, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Burgess 4-14-23-158N-100W-MBH, Winner, NDIC reports no data;
  • 37883, conf, Crescent Point Energy, CPEUSC Sylvan 4-11-2-158N-100W-MBH, Winner, NDIC reports no data;

Five producing wells (DUCs) reported as completed:

  • 36376, 2,544, Whiting, Sorenson 44-34-1H, Grinnell, NDIC scout ticket still shows this as drl/NC, no production data;
  • 37271, 1,344, CLR, Kate 12-19H, Big Gulch, first production, --; t--;l cum --;
  • 37507, 1,137, CLR, Kennedy 13-31H, Dimmick Lake, first production, 6/21; t--; cum 60K 7/21;
  • 37269, 2,538, CLR, Kate 14-19H1, Big Gulch, first production, --; t--; cum --;
  • 37270, 1,783, CLR, Kate 13-19H, Big Gulch, first production, --; t--; cum --;

The Slawson Osprey Federal Wells Have Been Updated -- September 8, 2021

These wells are tracked here.

The wells have been updated. Several have just come off the confidential list.

The Whiting Olson Wells In Dollar Joe -- September 8, 2021

Five new permits, September 7, 2021: #38540 - #38544, inclusive:
  • Operator: Whiting
  • Field: Dollar Joe (WIlliams)
  • Comments:
    • Whiting has permits for five "Olson" wells: the Richard Olson; the Ryder Olson; the Mariah Olson; the Marlys Olson; and, the Scott Olson.
    • the wells will be sited in lot 2 section 1-155-97; 271 FNL and between 1791 FEL and 1911 FEL 

The parent well in that drilling unit:

  • 16387, 376, Whiting, Ron Olson 31-1HCE, Dollar Joe, t5/10; cum 104K 7/21; a lousy well from the beginning, but it held the lease by production; open hold frack: 1.6 million 20/40 sand and 0.7 million 40/70 sand; 18 stages

The graphic:


 

All Those Job Openings -- Commentary -- September 8, 2021

I get a kick out of all that (faux?) hand-wringing over eleven million job openings, an all-time record, up from ten million anticipated. Numbers rounded. 

Instead of an excess of ten million jobs, would one rather have a deficit of ten million jobs? To put this in perspective, from the internets:

In the United States, unemployment rose to 25 percent at its highest level during the Great Depression. Literally, a quarter of the country's workforce was out of work. This number translated to 15 million unemployed Americans.

And not much of a safety social net.
 
My thoughts, not ready-for-prime-time.
 
The way to have prepared for this -- this lack of workers -- more automation. And that's why I have suggested 2020 - 2035 would be squeezed into 2020 - 2025 due to Covid.

Second, the companies with deep pockets will be able to pay more for workers.

So, those companies with deep pockets and those that prepared for this during the plague year (2020) will do quite well.

I don't think "they" could have predicted the magnitude of openings vs workers, but certainly they had to imagine there would be a huge need for workers when the global economy opened up again. And they all knew the economy would eventually open up, again. So, there was no excuse, at least from my armchair in the ivory tower.

I can't wait to see some analysis of this in a year or so.

This is very, very different when there are not enough jobs and too many unemployed during a recession (or a depression).

We have 5.2% unemployment; folks are getting great unemployment benefits; and all these job openings.

The bigger question and this is where the analysis will help: how much are companies really hurting? Mom-and-pop retail, restaurants, etc., are definitely hurting but earnings in publicly traded big companies seem to be doing very, very well.

So, we see a lot of stories about all these job openings, but I'm not reading any great analyses.

I would love to see where all these job openings are. For example: in the weekend edition of the Dallas newspaper -- two full pages of job openings for software engineers -- the folks that write software for video games. Nothing else even came close to two full pages of job openings. So, does it matter that there are a gazillion job openings for software engineers writing code for video games?

Somehow, the US economy seems to move along quite nicely.

In fact, the story that CNBC will start addressing over the next few weeks: the job openings were not due so much to that extra Covid unemployment insurance but rather due to the mismatch in skills. There are simply not enough software engineers to meet the demand.

**************************
Speaking of Hand-Wringing

There's a news report that Covid-19 cases are up 30%.  

For the record, I don't pay much attention to the number of cases any more. I follow the number of cases, but I don't put much stock into those numbers any more. I don't know the definition of "a case" -- if it's simply a positive test -- all the increased testing easily explains much of the jump.

Our local elementary school is now averaging one new case / day and the school has not yet shut down. Yesterday, there were eight new cases reported: four second graders (Sophia's grade); three fourth graders; and, one staff member (probably a teacher). It was the first day after Labor Day weekend, and the number of cases was from around September 2. 

I did not ask Sophia; I was curious if she would bring it up. She said not one word about Covid. Speaks volumes.

The school e-mails the number of positive cases to all parents (and grandparents, in our case).

The metric, for me, that replaces the number of Covid cases? The number of college students in the 100,000-seat-football stadiums on the weekend. Our oldest granddaughter, a college freshman, went to a sold-out college football game on opening day this past weekend. 

Wanna bet the Dallas Cowboys - Tampa Bay Buccs will be sold out tomorrow night? And no masks?

Is Anyone Paying Attention? September 8, 2021

A digression: AMGN pays it's dividend today. The quarterly dividend paid today is more than 10% -- some say 11.6% -- higher than the previous quarterly dividend. 

Now, back to the story

I'm watching TCM  now, but I spent 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. CT surfing business news on the internets and watching CNBC, and I did not once see / hear this story [later, 11:30 a.m.: at twitter -- highest in seven years):

Link here, a dynamic link.

The print may be too small to read for some. To cut to the chase: US natural gas up over 9%. 

Remember when natural gas was selling under $2.00. I think that was during the "mean tweet" administration. Now, almost $5.00. Let's see 5 - 2 = 3. 3/2 = up 150%.


Seems like just the wrong time for Chevron to be selling its gassy assets in the Eagle Ford. But that's what activist investors will get you.

Bobcat And Radar -- An Incredible Synergy -- Notes From All Over -- Part 2 -- September 8, 2021

On my way to looking up something else, I ran across this:

... which led me to this:

And the deal makes sense. Wow. Match made in heaven. Think about it. Who were some of the first (non-military) to really, really make use of GPS?

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Jolted!

JOLTS: 10.934 million job openings vs 10.1 million estimated. I assume this is an all-time record for job openings in the US.

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TCM 

Movie this morning: To Catch A Thief. Wow, wow, wow. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Costume design by Edith Head. And, of course, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. A cat-and-mouse comedy adventure. And, wow, does it come in crystal-clear, sharp resolution on the monitor. 

**********************
Maquis

Scrabble word for the day. Name of the boat early in the film: Maquis Mouse

Rhymes with "decay."

Think "briar patch."

Maquis:

  • the French resistance movement during the German occupation (1940–45). "the Maquis used the cave as a hiding place for their weapons" a member of the Maquis. 
  • dense scrub vegetation consisting of hardy evergreen shrubs and small trees, characteristic of coastal regions in the Mediterranean. "the little road connecting the houses went nowhere, dwindling finally into the maquis"

Enbridge -- Moda -- Crude Oil Export Terminal -- Re-Posting -- Huge Story -- September 8, 2021

RBN Energy: Moda Ingleside deal propels Enbridge to leading role in crude exports. Article archived.

In the three years since Moda Midstream acquired Occidental Petroleum’s marine terminal in Ingleside, TX, the company has developed millions of barrels of additional storage capacity, connected the facility to a slew of Permian-to-Corpus Christi pipelines, and increased the terminal’s ability to quickly and efficiently load crude onto the super-size Suezmaxes and VLCCs that many international shippers favor. 
Moda’s fast-paced efforts have paid off big-time, first by making its Ingleside facility by far the #1 exporter of U.S. crude oil and now with a $3 billion agreement to sell the terminal and related pipeline and storage assets to Enbridge
The transaction, which is scheduled to close by the end of this year, will make Enbridge — already the co-owner of the Seaway Freeport and Seaway Texas City terminals up the coast — the top dog in Gulf Coast crude exports. Today, we discuss the Moda agreement and how it advances Enbridge’s broader Gulf Coast export strategy.

Enbridge seems to be one of the big winners when Resident Obama killed the Keystone XL. And, of course, the railroads.

*****************************
Corky Watching Sophia On The Bus To School

No Wells Coming Off Confidential -- Notes From All Over -- Part 1 -- September 8, 2021

You heard it here first: connecting the dots. EV manufacturers looking for partnerships. We know all about Amazon, Ford, Rivian, others. Apple was talking about a partnership last year. Was it Kia? I forget. But you heard it hear first, today: connecting the dots -- the time line of announcements suggest a Ford - Apple tie-up is very, very possible. Stay tuned. One inconvenient data point: think South Korea and Bobcat. I talked about this one years ago. Cryptic? Yes. On purpose? Yes. I don't need the pushback and have no intention of starting a discussion. But the writing is on the wall. Although it may simply be nonsensical graffiti. If I'm right on this, Katy, bar the doors. Speaking of which, time to watch TCM.

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.

Reminder: third day those "extra" Covid-19 unemployment benefits are not being mailed to those not interested in working. 

Market: FOMO. Link here.

Top energy story: again, the high prices in Europe and the UK. This is the "Texas freeze" write large:

  • day ahead UK electricity prices surge; more than $300 per MWH; very little wind;
  • in context: the average 2020 - 2021 day-ahead UK electricity price was $50/MWh. tomorrow, the UK will see a wholesale electricity price that's 500% -- 500% -- higher than the average; winter heating season has not yet started;
  • two small energy suppliers in the UK collapsed yesterday; a lot more are likely to go bust; facing exactly the same problem caused by the "Texas freeze (2021)";

Covid-19: in-school-testing. On CNBC this a.m., Dr Gottlieb singled out North Dakota and Massachusetts as setting the national example of testing in school. 

Our local school here in north Texas is doing the same thing. So far, it seems to be working. Cost: tests bought in bulk cost $5/test, and US government provides "unlimited" funds for in-school-testing. Money is not the issue for in-school testing.

Covid-19, it's over: Denmark to join Sweden in lifting all remaining restrictions; link here.

Paris: Covid-19? What Covid-19? Monday morning traffic in  Paris was the busiest all year.

Moving? United Van Lines 2020 national movers study. North Dakota in top ten for states where folks are moving out. Link here

Most irrelevant story yesterday: why El Salvador said "yes" to Bitcoin.

Graphic of the day: gun rights watch. Link here.

WTI: price action suggesting it's finally starting to sink in -- oil losses from Hurricane Ida rank among worst in sixteen years

Keystone XL: "miss me yet?" EPA issued an emergency waiver of the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel requirements at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, to help improve supply constraints caused by Hurricane Ida. No storm has hit US energy like Hurricane Ida has. Link here.

EVs: yes, they get hacked. Link to Irina Slav.  

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

Chips: PC shipments will be delayed by months maybe years. Link to The WSJ.  

Venezuela: selling gold to stay afloat.

For investors only:

Fitzsimmons: SCHB is a good choice for diversification

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

Streaming: most interesting free streaming television -- Pluto TV. 

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Back to the Bakken

Active rigs*: daily count updated at COB --

$69.27
9/8/202109/08/202009/08/201909/08/201809/08/2017
Active Rigs26*11616655

No wells coming off confidential list according to NDIC website.

RBN Energy: Moda Ingleside deal propels Enbridge to leading role in crude exports. Article archived.

In the three years since Moda Midstream acquired Occidental Petroleum’s marine terminal in Ingleside, TX, the company has developed millions of barrels of additional storage capacity, connected the facility to a slew of Permian-to-Corpus Christi pipelines, and increased the terminal’s ability to quickly and efficiently load crude onto the super-size Suezmaxes and VLCCs that many international shippers favor. 
Moda’s fast-paced efforts have paid off big-time, first by making its Ingleside facility by far the #1 exporter of U.S. crude oil and now with a $3 billion agreement to sell the terminal and related pipeline and storage assets to Enbridge
The transaction, which is scheduled to close by the end of this year, will make Enbridge — already the co-owner of the Seaway Freeport and Seaway Texas City terminals up the coast — the top dog in Gulf Coast crude exports. Today, we discuss the Moda agreement and how it advances Enbridge’s broader Gulf Coast export strategy.