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.

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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.

Continue reading “SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, successfully recovers Dragon booster.”

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.

Continue reading “Magic of the price signal to change production levels.”

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.

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

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:

Continue reading “Economic news: Surge in new unemployment claims; unemployment rate starting to rise.”

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:

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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.

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

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:  Continue reading “Oil production in North Dakota shows usual drop in January 2020. Price takes a nose dive.”

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.

Continue reading “Another oil-price war kicks off.”

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:

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North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Workover rig working on well in North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Average daily production in the state was 1,475,685 barrels of oil per day (bopd) (preliminary) after hitting the highest level ever of 1,519,037 bopd (revised) in November. The November production broke the state’s record for the fifth time in six months, and the twelfth time in the last twenty months.

The routine record-level production is being achieved with stable and low level of drilling rigs and without the wild-west craziness in the local economy that existed before 2014.

Graph of the average daily production in the state and in the Bakken pool:

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Two successful space launches in three days by SpaceX and Northrup Grumman

Starlink Mission on 1/29/20) by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  – 2

Two launches in three days. Behind the Black provides a tally that year-to-date launches are 6 for US companies, 3 for China, and 1 each for Arianespace, Russia, and Japan.

SpaceX launch of Dragon lifting 60 communication satellites

Watched the recorded video of SpaceX’s launch of 60 more Starlink satellites from this morning. This is the fifth launch in the Starlink mission. After the fourth launch there were 182 sat, with 2 on first launch and 60 on each followup launch. Sixty  more on this launch brings the total in orbit to 242 by my count. Eventually the Starlink constellation will have 1,584 sats at a 341 mile altitude.

Video of the launch:

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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites.

Starlink Mission by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

SpaceX boosted another 60 satellites into orbit this morning. These will be part of its Starlink system providing high speed internet access to any point on the planet.

Video link to replay of launch is at end of this post.

This is the fourth launch for the Starlink project and increases the sat count to 182. The first launch was a test with only 2 satellites. The other three launches, including the one today, each carried 60.

Continue reading “SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites.”

SpaceX launches 60 more satellites for their Starlink system

Starlink Mission on 11/11/19 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

SpaceX is one of the companies working to get a constellation of sattelites in low-earth orbit which can provide high speed internet access across the planet. Tonight they launched 60 more sats into orbit, bringing their total to about 180.

The video on the launch was incredible. Amazing view from the ground, all the way to main engine cutoff at 50 kilometers altitude.

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The 2010’s: best decade in history.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Matt Ridley explains the best improvement in living standards for us humans over a single decade is the decade that ends today, 12/31/19.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Freedom is Moral.)

He explained his point from multiple directions on 12/21/19 in Spectator: We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously.

A few of his points that caught my interest:

The rate of extreme poverty in the world has dropped from 60% when he was born to under 10% in this decade. If you ache to seek less people in dirt eating poverty that is a wonderful thing.

Continue reading “The 2010’s: best decade in history.”