Crude Observations

Answer in the form of a question…

Ever notice how sometimes there are cultural phenomena or global events that arise and transfix people for weeks at a time such that they become very much a part of the public dialogue and which allow complete strangers to find common cause or shared experience that they otherwise wouldn’t? These things can take any shape or form and run the gamut from “knowing where you were when Kennedy was shot” or 9/11 memories or, conversely, rather than some world changing event, it was a cultural phenomenon that swept the world. Like the Macarena. Or Baby Jessica in a well. Or the summer of Gangnam Style (may we never discuss that again).


And here we are, once again, in the midst of this sweeping global phenomenon, which is dominating conversation and has such remarkable staying power that it has been intersecting with our lives for weeks, snaking in and out of conversation. In the office. In the car. At the store. By text with friends and family. Taking centre stage on satellite sports radio. You know what I’m talking about, right? No, sorry, not Game of Thrones, but don’t worry I will tackle that at some later date – if I ever bother to watch it.


And no, it’s not the energy sector, because as we all know, energy just doesn’t do that great a job of dominating the collective consciousness – it just makes all of this possible.


No, I am referring of course to this absurd Jeopardy run that we are witnessing where this professional sports bettor from Las Vegas is now on week three of his insane run on the show, the second longest winning streak in 55 years of Jeopardy’ing and, at more than $1.6 million, is second only to the great Ken Jennings in winnings. I don’t know if you have watched any of this, but the guy is an absolute machine. And at the rate he is going, he appears unstoppable. And it’s crazy how he wins. He basically obliterates the opposition with his high risk, high point double down strategy, which can only work if he actually knows answers. And that’s the hardest part. I consider myself a trivia, fact spewing machine of sorts. The hard drive is full of ridiculous amounts of nonsense. I was on Reach For the Top (ah, the salad days of the CBC) and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve lost at Trivial Pursuit. So I get where he is coming from, but this dude would eat me for lunch. It’s amazing.


Anyway, I was thinking about this dude and how I would go about stumping him, rig the game in my favour and basically ruin everyone’s day by being “that guy” – the one that beat the champ. The footnote who probably lucked out and gets eliminated the next day on a Final Jeopardy question about American Playwrights named Tennessee. And what I came up with was Energy Jeopardy, which should be fun for all of us, because we might learn something along the way.


The following images take you to the two rounds of the game and allow you to play along. You have to click through each one individually and can play as an individual or teams. And the links are vetted and secure.


Round 1












Round 2













Alright – how much fun was that? What did everyone score?


I of course had a perfect score and am undefeated. I am pretty sure I could have taken that Jeopardy muppet on this quiz, even if I hadn’t written it! Tell you what, send my your scores and I will send the high scorer a Crude Observations mug or a collector’s edition Crude Observations T-shirt and give them top billing in a future blog. How does that sound?


Oh, and that Jeopardy guy would also need to answer the Final Jeopardy clue. Here goes:


If we stopped using oil and gas today as many suggest, this would be the state of the world. Answer is at the bottom.


Let me say that in addition to some fun, this tribute to Jeopardy comes at a bittersweet time as the world digests the news that Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has terminal stage 4 cancer and, combined with the run this guy is on, the advancement of the disease and an upcoming tournament break starting today, there is a good chance that this guy could be the last champion that we see Alex Trebek quizzing and even though I am sure the show will go on – it won’t be the same. The world is constantly changing, but let’s take the time to appreciate this moment that is intruding on our social consciousness and appreciate it for what it is.


Oh yeah, Final Jeopardy Answer:


What is complete global jeopardy?


Prices as at May 3 (April 26), 2019 

  • The price of oil was up early this week then fell on a big supply build.Iran, Venezuela and Libya don’t matter apparently
    • Storage posted an increase
    • Production was up
    • The rig count in the US was up, slightly
  • Injections to storage were above expectations for gas. The market was unmoved
  • WTI Crude: $61.85 ($62.86)
  • Western Canada Select: $49.86 ($50.38)
  • AECO Spot *: $1.68 ($0.38)
  • NYMEX Gas: $2.532 ($2.548)
  • US/Canadian Dollar: $0.7431 ($0.7425)


  • As at April 26, 2019, US crude oil supplies were at 470.6 million barrels, an increase of 9.9 million barrels from the previous week and 34.6 million barrels above last year.
    • The number of days oil supply in storage is 28.9 compared to 26.0 last year at this time.
    • Production was up for the week at 12.300 million barrels per day. Production last year at the same time was 10.619 million barrels per day.
    • Imports rose from 7.149 million barrels to 7.414 million barrels per day compared to 8.549 million barrels per day last year.
    • Exports from the US fell to 2.611 million barrels per day from 2.681 million barrels per day last week compared to 2.148 million barrels per day a year ago
    • Canadian exports to the US were 3.600 million barrels a day, down from 3.669
    • Refinery inputs rose during the during the week to 16.561 million barrels per day
  • As at April 27, 2019, US natural gas in storage was 1.162 billion cubic feet (Bcf), which is about 15% lower than the 5-year average and about 10% higher than last year’s level, following an implied net injection of 123 Bcf during the report week
    • Overall U.S. natural gas consumption was up 6% during the report week
    • Production for the week was flat. Imports from Canada decreased 4% from the week before. Exports to Mexico increased 15% as pipeline maintenance concluded
    • LNG exports totaled 27.6 Bcf
  • As of May 2, 2019, the Canadian rig count was down at 61 (AB – 42; BC – 15; SK – 1; MB – 0; Other – 3). Rig count for the same period last year was 82.
  • US Onshore Oil rig count at May 2, 2019 is at 807, up 2 from the week prior.
    • Peak rig count was October 10, 2014 at 1,609
  • Natural gas rigs drilling in the United States was down 3 at 183.
    • Peak rig count before the downturn was November 11, 2014 at 356 (note the actual peak gas rig count was 1,606 on August 29, 2008)
  • Offshore rig count was down 1 at 20.
    • Offshore peak rig count at January 1, 2015 was 55

US split of Oil vs Gas rigs is 80%/20%, in Canada the split is 68%/32%


Trump Watch: Slow news week as Barr testified at the Senate. Oh – we had a potential Fed nominee quit because he was too looney tunes

Kenney Watch (new!): Kenney swore in a cabinet, introduced a “shut off the taps legislation”, went to Ottawa and awkwardly photo-op’d with the Prime Minister, testified in front of tow senate committees and, presumably, slept a couple of hours.

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