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.
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%).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: