Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the category “Change around us”

North Dakota oil production drops 362,624 barrels a day in May 2020, down 43% from the November 2019 record high.

With a 45 day lag in reporting to allow data submission and collation, the production data for crude oil during May is now available for North Dakota.

The combined shocks of reduced demand for the pandemic and flooding the market by Saudi Arabia collapsed prices which then collapsed production.  A glut of oil jammed the storage capacity for a while which further drove down the prices available to producers in North Dakota.

The impact on volume and value of production is staggering.

The graphs of production in this post demonstrate how rapidly a massive industry, like oil production across an entire state, can respond to price signals in a capitalist economy. That part is amazing to see.

May production data

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858,395 bopd (preliminary) in May. This is down 362,624 bopd from the revised April level of 1,221,019 bopd. The April production was down 209,353 bopd from March.

Read more…

In spite of some preliminary signs of restoration of the First Amendment, there is resistance to the idea.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

California and Minnesota may be taking tiny baby steps to reinstate the First Amendment to the bill of rights, but there are indications here and there of opposition to any such efforts.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Excessive focus on the First Amendment is a “suicide pact”

5/23/20 – CNN – Federal appeals court upholds California’s ban on in-person Church services – A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ban on in-person worship does not violate the First Amendment.

The ruling can be found here.

Astoundingly the ruling stated:

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New unemployment claims since start of shutdown is equal to about 1 out of 4 people who had a job in February.

If you could take a photograph of the US labor market today, the picture would look something like this. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A useful adjective to describe the devastation we are seeing in the job market escapes me.

New unemployment claims for week ending 5/16/20 were 2.12 million, seasonally adjusted. Nearly as many, 1.19 million who are not otherwise eligible unemployment filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in the week.

That’s somewhere around 3.3 million people who lost their job in week 10 of the shutdown.

My tally of data:

  • 40.73M – seasonally adjusted new claims since the economy was put in an induced coma
  • 6.82M – new claims for unemployment by people who otherwise aren’t eligible for unemployment – self-employed and independent contractors
  • 47.55M – total of seasonally adjusted plus independent contractors and self-employed people out of work since shutdown began

Number of new unemployment claims is a tally equal to about one fourth (24.8%) of the civilian labor force in February. Independent contractors and self-employed people who are out of work is now equal to about 4% of the February civilian labor market.

That means about three out of ten people who were in the civilian labor force in February are now out of a job (28.9%).

If you haven’t passed out from the shock of those numbers, Read more…

Looks like the First Amendment is going to be restored to the U.S. Constitution.

Um, that’s not how this freedom thing works. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It’s about time.

As of this morning, places of worship in California will be allowed to resume full operations in Phase 4, which will be at some distant point in the future, likely the end of the year or sometime in 2021. Vague comments by state authorities hint the opening date may be after a vaccine is in use.

In Illinois, full worship services will not be allowed until after a vaccine is in use, with the governor acknowledging that will be 12 or 18 months from now.

Another state, I lost track of which one, put worship in the last category to reopen, along with concerts and stadium-filled athletic events.

Other states and counties, too numerous to bother gather articles for specific citation, have placed worship services low on the list of places to open.

It now looks like the First Amendment may be put back in the Constitution after having been removed by a wide variety of governors.

Several recent events for you to consider:

  • Catholic and some Lutheran churches in Minnesota will resume worship on May 24.
  • Around 500 California churches (primarily Protestant) are reopening May 31, with or without permission.
  • Roman Catholics in Orange County will resume Mass on June 14.
  • CDC issued guidance for worship services.
  • California governor is thinking about maybe allowing worship again. Will let us know Monday, May 25.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Why fuss over something like gathering to worship?

If you think I’m being too harsh on the long list of governors and bumbling public health officials who won’t allow in-person worship, be advised that too many of my relatives and ancestors fought for our freedom to let American freedoms be trampled upon.

Three of my relatives I personally knew came home from war with life-long physical or emotional injuries. Each suffered until he died.

One of my ancestors died in the effort to crush slavery and rebellion. His blood is in the ground at Champion Hills, east of Vicksburg.

The price paid for our freedom is measured in blood.

 

Reclaiming the First Amendment

5/20/20 – Tyler Bursch, attorney representing four named advocacy groups and over 1,200 pastors in the state of California – A Letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom from Churches / Declaration of Essentiality / Reopening May 31, 2020 – Letter indicates it is been signed by more than 1,200 pastors.

Read more…

What word could be used to describe 44 million people filing for unemployment in just 9 weeks?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I don’t have any word that can describe this disaster:

New unemployment claims for week ending 5/16/20 are just under 2.5 million, seasonally adjusted. An additional 2.2 million people who wouldn’t usually be qualified for unemployment filed during the week for Panemic Unemployment Assistance. The new PUA tally is shocking.

The tally of seasonally adjusted new claims is 38.6 million since the economy was put in an induced coma.

Data:

Weekly press release from the Department of labor: Unemployment insurance weekly claims

3/21/20– Wall Street Journal – Workers file 2.4 Million Unemployment Claims

Summary of new claims and running total

Here is my running tally of the new unemployment claims.

Read more…

Oil production dropping in North Dakota; not yet visible in March data.

Production data in North Dakota is routinely released on about the 15th of each month reflecting data for the second previous month.  So the info just released on May 15, 2020 reports the March 2020 activity.

The radical drop in price due to the demand shock and supply shock will show up in production data for April, expected to be released about 6/15/20.

5/15/20 – Williston Herald – Helms: North Dakota crude has probably fallen below 1 million barrels, but March figures don’t yet reflect it – The head regulator, Lynn Helms, thinks that production in the state is currently below 1 million barrels a day. The May data won’t be released until July.

Read more…

SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, successfully recovers Dragon booster.

Starlink Mission on 3/18/20 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Missed the live broadcast so watched the archived copy. SpaceX put another 60 Starlink sats into their constellation which will provide worldwide internet access. Link to video of the launch is at the end of this post.

Previous missions lifted 362 satellites, so adding these 60 makes 422 by my count.

This is the fourth flight for the booster and the second flight for one of the fairings.

Read more…

Magic of the price signal to change production levels.

Fourteen wells on one pad, located on the southeast side of Williston, N.D. Photo by James Ulvog.

The double black swan of COVID-19 pandemic from the demand side and Saudi Arabia flooding the market from the supply side is creating a sales problem and storage problem for the oil industry.

Regulators in Texas are thinking about about ordering a pro-rate reduction in production. In other words, they are considering giving each producer an order on how much to cut.

North Dakota has no such plans.

North Dakota is planning to rely on capitalism to rapidly adjust production.

Read more…

North Dakota oil production in February 2020, before dropping due to pandemic and OPEC flooding market

Night sky in Williston, N.D. Long exposure photo by Joe U. Look at all the stars.

In February 2020, crude oil production in North Dakota averaged 1,451,029 bopd (preliminary), up 20,518 bopd from 1,430,511 bopd (revised) in January.  This is the 4th highest level of output, behind the high water mark of 1,519,032 bopd in November.

Production is going to drop rapidly. Drop will be at least 20% of current production. I’ll make a not-so-wild guess decline will be a quarter or more (>25%).

Prices have collapsed due to a double black swan. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a demand side shock.

There is also a supply side shock to the market.

Read more…

Economic news: Surge in new unemployment claims; unemployment rate starting to rise.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Another huge jump in new unemployment claims. The rise in count of people without work is barely starting to show in the unemployment rate.

It would be wise to start watching the economic stats more closely than usual.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Attestation Update.)

4/9/20 – CNBC – US weekly jobless claims jump by 6.6 million and we’ve now lost 10% of workforce in three weeks – Another surge in new unemployment claims announced today. Here is a recap:

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Economic damage from pandemic is severe and will continue to be severe.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We are starting to see some guesses about the economic damage from the shutdowns driven by the pandemic.

When you read about the 10 million people who have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks and consider there will be millions more and the unemployment will continue for another month or two, ponder the ripple effects.

That shock of unemployment translates into cars not purchased, summer & Christmas vacations not taken, conferences not attended, college enrollment delayed a year, fancy wedding receptions never planned, and house renovations postponed by a decade.

(Cross posted from my other blog, Attestation Update.)

4/5/20 – Wall Street Journal – State Shutdowns Have Taken at Least a Quarter of U.S. Economy Offline – Study by Moody’s Analytics estimates that 29% of the U.S. economy has shut down. That is the estimated drop in output we have already seen.

Some of the staggeringly dangerous hits to U.S. output and wealth:

Read more…

Didn’t ever expect I’d personally experience Soviet Union and Venezuelan style grocery stores.

Chaika 3 (on redscale film) – Queue by Jaroslav A. Polak is in the public domain (CC0 1.0). Lines like this outside a grocery store were normative in the Soviet Union (except for the cell phone, obviously).

In the Soviet Union and Venezuela, grocery shopping involved/involves listening for rumors of which store got a shipment overnight, standing in line for hours, looking at lots of empty shelves, and going to the store daily to see if what you need might actually be on the shelf today.

If you have been awake the last seven days, you know that is what grocery shopping looks like in the U.S. today.

The difference between the Evil Empire and the worker’s paradise of Venezuela on one hand and the United States on the other hand is that the supply chain in the U.S. is still stocking the shelves and in a week or two or three will have them filled up.

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Oil production in North Dakota shows usual drop in January 2020. Price takes a nose dive.

Workover rig in place. Flaring of gas visible. Lots and lots of room for more wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

Uh oh.

Production in North Dakota dropped in January, which is typical. Look at the production chart and you can pick out each of the winters because production usually falls off.

However, the price has fallen through the floor, courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Russia kicking off a price war and declaring they will flood the market with increased production.

Crude oil prices dropped in February and have continued in free fall during March. Prices on 3/17/20 per the Director’s Cut report are all the way down to $18.50 for North Dakota light sweet and $23.60 for the North Dakota market estimate.

Production in January 2020 dropped to 1,429,515 bopd (preliminary), off 47,262 bopd from January (revised) and down 89,515 bopd from December’s record high.

Price data:

 

Production data since 2008:  Read more…

Another oil-price war kicks off.

Drilling rig in North Dakota, between WIllison and Crosby. Photo by James Ulvog.

Saudi Arabia and Russia had a falling-out over the weekend about controlling production levels and prices. As a result Saudi Arabia is going to cut prices and increase production.

They have announced they will cut prices by somewhere between $6 and $8 a barrel in April, depending on destination.

Read more…

50th successful recovery of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster

Starlink Mission on 1/6/20 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  – A carefully observation will show the payload fairing reveals this not a Dragon capsule, but the photo provides a superb nighttime view.

Overnight SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 booster with fully loaded Dragon capsule on a Commercial Resupply Service mission (CRS-20), lifting supplies to the International Space Station.

This specific capsule already has been to ISS twice. This will make its third trip up and third recovery.

Successful recovery of this specific Falcon 9 booster back at Cape Canaveral marked the 50th time that SpaceX has recovered a booster. Astounding.

This launch was at 10 minutes before midnight, resulting in quite different visuals than a daytime launch. You can watch the launch, recovery of the booster, deployment of the capsule, and deployment of the solar panels here:

Read more…

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