Guest “hopefully not a premature victory lap” by David Middleton
I totally missed this news item last Thursday:
Oil surges 24% for best day on record after Trump tells CNBC Saudis, Russia reach agreement
PUBLISHED THU, APR 2 20207:47 AM EDT UPDATED THU, APR 2 20202:56 PM EDT
Oil prices skyrocketed on Thursday after President Donald Trump told CNBC Saudis and Russia will ease pressure on oil, ending a price war that has contributed to crude’s massive plunge.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures surged 24.67% to settle at $25.32 per barrel, for its largest single-day percentage gain in history. Given WTI’s 59% decline this year a smaller gain, of course, now accounts for a much larger percentage move. International benchmark Brent crude jumped 17.8%, or $4.40, to trade at $29.14 per barrel.
Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen Thursday that he spoke to President Putin yesterday and Saudi Crown Prince Thursday and expects them to announce an oil production cut of 10 million barrels and could be up to 15 million.
“It will be very welcomed by the industry in the short run,” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “As long as the coronavirus continues, there’s just a substantial amount of excess capacity being generated every day … It will be particularly helpful as we come out of this virus and will speed the time hopefully where the supply-demand for oil can get back into balance.”
Oil production is typically discussed in terms of barrels per day, but Trump made no reference to the time frame of the cuts. Additionally, it was not clear how the cuts would be distributed across oil-producing countries.
RBC commodity strategist Helima Croft said the U.S. could have to give up something in return.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday, via its official press agency, called for an “urgent” meeting between OPEC and its allies.
“Today, the Kingdom calls for an urgent meeting for OPEC+ group and other countries, with aim of reaching a fair agreement to restore the desired balance of oil markets,” the Saudi Press Agency said.
Despite oil’s nearly 25% gain, the contract did close off its highest level of the day as traders questioned whether a cut of the magnitude Trump is suggesting was even plausible, especially if the U.S. doesn’t participate. The administration would not, in fact, ask domestic producers to cut production, according to a Reuters report.
OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia proposed last month a production cut of 1.5 million barrels per day as demand waned. However, OPEC ally Russia rejected the cut, sparking a price war between the two powerhouse producers.
At ~$30/bbl, “the administration would not, in fact,” have to “ask domestic producers to cut production”… $30/bbl will cut production until prices recover.
A deal is far from certain and oil prices have fallen back a bit due to the uncertainty…
We’ll have to see what comes out of the “urgent” OPEC meeting. Until then it’s… Frac on dudes!
Day 21 of America Held Hostage by ChiCom-19
After three fracking weeks of this, I’m actually getting accustomed to my new commute… from one side of the house to the other.
Let’s see the local numbers…
Dallas County on Sunday reported 97 new confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.
The county has reported a total of 1,112 cases and 18 deaths. There have been more than 2,200 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in North Texas.
Of the cases that have required hospitalization, 71% have been patients over 60 or people who have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition, according to the county.NBC5 DFW
Something like 90+% of Texas ChiCom-19 victims are in two counties: Dallas and Harris (Houston). As of yesterday…
|% of population with||0.0422%||0.00068%|
|% with, rounded||0.0%||0.00%|
|% without, rounded||100.0%||100.00%|
Dean Wormer, what does 0.0422% round to?
How close is Dallas County to topping the Dean Wormer line?
- 0.01% of 2,637,772 is 2,638
- 1,318 will round to 0.1%
How does ChiCom-19 compare to the regular flu?
Clearly, April will be worse than March, so…
How well-prepared is Texas to handle this?
Gov. Abbott provides update on Texas’ hospital capacity
by Christian Flores Friday, April 3rd 2020
AUSTIN, Texas — As coronavirus cases continue to climb in Texas and around the country, Gov. Greg Abbott assures Texans there are enough hospital beds across the state, and state leaders are continuing to work on plans to expand availability.
Currently, out of the 47,585 hospital beds across the state, 19,696 – or 41 percent – are still available, with 2,107 ICU beds open and 8,741 ventilators free. Last Sunday, Abbott said 98 percent of beds were available.
In Austin, 53 percent of hospital beds are available. That number sits at 46 percent in San Antonio, and 33 percent each for Dallas and Houston.
“We are fully prepared for the hospital needs of Texans as we continue to respond to the coronavirus in the state of Texas. We have the capacity to add even more beds as are needed in regions that may increase in patient needs. Our capacity should prevent us from facing the situation that New York is having to deal with today,” Abbott said.
Right now, the state is operating under a five-level plan for medical surge facilities.
Former state Rep. Dr. John Zerwas, who is part of the temporary supply chain strike force, broke down each level Friday.
Currently, the state is at Level 5 – the lowest level – meaning health and state leaders will continue supporting the hospital system to maintain current capacity.
If current hospital capacity is not enough, Texas would move to Level 4. Here, the state would allow hospitals to open more beds under a double occupancy waiver.
Level 3 would allow hospitals to use non-traditional care areas, like operation rooms, to serve as treatment areas.
Between Levels 4 and 3, the state estimates it could provide more than 10,000 more hospital beds.
Level 2 would be the first to leave the walls of hospitals. Here, facilities like freestanding ERs and certain nursing homes could be used to house and treat patients.
Finally, the state could move to Level 1, which would stand up alternate care sites in remote areas using hospital and government support. This would call for the conversion of buildings like hotels, convention centers, and recently closed hospitals into treatment centers.
Since March 18, Abbott says the state has increased hospital bed availability by more than 140 percent. The governor points to his March 22 executive order postponing elective surgeries as a reason for this expansion.
Despite these efforts, Abbott hammered home how important it is for Texans to stay home as much as possible, to prevent having to test the availability of resources in hospitals.
Texas is staying well-ahead of the curve with Gov. Greg Abbott at the helm, although Rick Perry would have probably handled it even better.
Dallas Temporary Hospital Could Be Removed If Unused, Abbott Says
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he always intended to use the facility being built at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
By Chris Blake and Candace Sweat • Published April 5, 2020
A miscommunication may have led to a letter from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussing the possible removal of a temporary hospital from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, County Judge Clay Jenkins says.
The letter, sent by Abbott’s Chief of Staff Luis Saenz, says the governor was told Jenkins did not plan to use the convention center for medical needs related to COVID-19.
Federal assistance could be lost if Jenkins did not make his intentions for the facility known by Monday, the letter said. Saenz wrote if the resources were not used in Dallas County, the federal government could move them to a location where they were needed.
The letter from Saenz gave Jenkins until 5 p.m. Monday to “accept” the facility at the convention center.
A spokesperson with Abbott’s office said there was no confusion about what they believe Jenkins said, and that a voicemail from a Department of Defense official explains the message relayed to Abbott.
In the voicemail, Maj. Gen. Mike Stone says he spoke to Jenkins and ended the conversation with the understanding that Jenkins did not intend to use the convention center for medical purposes.
Stone then placed a call to Kidd to relay the message.
Finally, the message was sent to the Abbott’s office, at which point the spokesperson said Abbott felt the need to send the letter.
The statement Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson released before Jenkins’ press conference is below.
“I share the Governor’s concerns, and I was stunned and deeply disappointed to hear about Dallas County’s position on the pop-up hospital at the City’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
“This hospital is an important asset that we have worked proactively, collaboratively, and tirelessly with our federal and state partners to obtain for our region. I am alarmed that these medical resources are now at risk as we begin preparing for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. I am committed to continuing to work with our partners to open this facility as quickly as we can to help serve our community’s needs.
“The City of Dallas has acted swiftly and aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. We cannot afford inaction now.”NBC5 DFW
I’d love to chalk this up to politics, but both the highly competent Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and grotesquely incompetent Dallas County Commissioner Clay Jenkins are liberal Democrats, as is County Commissioner John Wiley Price, the only commissioner to vote against extending the hostage crisis through the end of April.
In the 39 years I have lived in Dallas County, this is the first time I have ever agreed with Mr. Price: