Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. 2019 From A Fourth Turning Perspective - James_Quinn
2.Beware the Young Stocks Bear Market! - Zeal_LLC
3.Safe Havens are Surging. What this Means for Stocks 2019 - Troy_Bombardia
4.Most Popular Financial Markets Analysis of 2018 - Trump and BrExit Chaos Dominate - Nadeem_Walayat
5.January 2019 Financial Markets Analysis and Forecasts - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Silver Price Trend Analysis 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Why 90% of Traders Lose - Nadeem_Walayat
8.What to do With Your Money in a Stocks Bear Market - Stephen_McBride
9.Stock Market What to Expect in the First 3~5 Months of 2019 - Chris_Vermeulen
10.China, Global Economy has Tipped over: The Surging Dollar and the Rallying Yen - FXCOT
Last 7 days
Stock Market DOW Seasonal Trend Analysis - 23rd Mar 19
US Dollar Breakdown on Fed Was Much Worse Than It Looks - 23rd Mar 19
Gold Mid-Tier GDXJ Stocks Fundamentals - 23rd Mar 19
Which Currency Pairs Stand to Benefit from Prevailing Risk Aversion? - 23rd Mar 19
If You Get These 3 Things Right, You’ll Never Have to Worry About Money - 22nd Mar 19
March 2019 Cryptocurrency Technical Analysis - 22nd Mar 19
Turkey Tourist Fakes Market Bargains Haggling Top Tips - 22nd Mar 19
Next Recession: Finding A 48% Yield Amid The Ruins - 22nd Mar 19
Your Future Stock Returns Might Unpleasantly Surprise You - 22nd Mar 19
Fed Acknowledges “Recession Risks”. Run for the Hills! - 22nd Mar 19
Will Bridging Loans Grow in Demand and Usage in 2019? - 22nd Mar 19
Does Fed Know Something Gold Investors Do Not Know? - 21st Mar 19
Gold …Some Confirmations to Watch For - 21st Mar 19
UKIP No Longer About BrExit, Becomes BNP 2.0, Muslim Hate Party - 21st Mar 19
A Message to the Gold Bulls: Relying on the CoT Gives You A False Sense of Security - 20th Mar 19
The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal - 20th Mar 19
Vietnam, Part I: Colonialism and National Liberation - 20th Mar 19
Will the Fed Cut its Interest Rate Forecast, Pushing Gold Higher? - 20th Mar 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Topping Pattern - 20th Mar 19
Gold Stocks Outperform Gold but Not Stocks - 20th Mar 19
Here’s What You’re Not Hearing About the US - China Trade War - 20th Mar 19
US Overdosing on Debt - 19th Mar 19
Looking at the Economic Winter Season Ahead - 19th Mar 19
Will the Stock Market Crash Like 1937? - 19th Mar 19
Stock Market VIX Volaility Analysis - 19th Mar 19
FREE Access to Stock and Finanacial Markets Trading Analysis Worth $1229! - 19th Mar 19
US Stock Markets Price Anomaly Setup Continues - 19th Mar 19
Gold Price Confirmation of the Warning - 18th Mar 19
Split Stock Market Warning - 18th Mar 19
Stock Market Trend Analysis 2019 - Video - 18th Mar 19
Best Precious Metals Investment and Trades for 2019 - 18th Mar 19
Hurdles for Gold Stocks - 18th Mar 19
Pento: Coming QE & Low Rates Will Be ‘Rocket Fuel for Gold’ - 18th Mar 19
"This is for Tommy Robinson" Shouts Knife Wielding White Supremacist Terrorist in London - 18th Mar 19
This Is How You Create the Biggest Credit Bubble in History - 17th Mar 19
Crude Oil Bulls - For Whom the Bell Tolls - 17th Mar 19
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 17th Mar 19
Why Buy a Land Rover - Range Rover vs Huge Tree Branch Falling on its Roof - 17th Mar 19
UKIP Urged to Change Name to BNP 2.0 So BrExit Party Can Fight a 2nd EU Referendum - 17th Mar 19
Tommy Robinson Looks Set to Become New UKIP Leader - 16th Mar 19
Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - 16th Mar 19
Towards the End of a Stocks Bull Market, Short term Timing Becomes Difficult - 16th Mar 19
UKIP Brexit Facebook Groups Reveling in the New Zealand Terror Attacks Blaming Muslim Victims - 16th Mar 19
Gold – US Dollar vs US Dollar Index - 16th Mar 19
Islamophobic Hate Preachers Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins have Killed UKIP and Brexit - 16th Mar 19
Countdown to The Precious Metals Gold and Silver Breakout Rally - 15th Mar 19
Shale Oil Splutters: Brent on Track for $70 Target $100 in 2020 - 15th Mar 19
Setting up a Business Just Got Easier - 15th Mar 19
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis Trend Forercast - Video - 15th Mar 19
Gold Warning - Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - Part 1 - 15th Mar 19
UK Weather SHOCK - Trees Dropping Branches onto Cars in Stormy Winds - Sheffield - 15th Mar 19
Best Time to Trade Forex - 15th Mar 19
Why the Green New Deal Will Send Uranium Price Through the Roof - 14th Mar 19
S&P 500's New Medium-Term High, but Will Stock Market Uptrend Continue? - 14th Mar 19
US Conservatism - 14th Mar 19
Gold in the Age of High-speed Electronic Trading - 14th Mar 19
Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - 14th Mar 19
Why Walmart Will Crush Amazon - 14th Mar 19
2019 Economic Predictions - 14th Mar 19
Tax Avoidance Bills Sent to Thousands of Workers - 14th Mar 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Trend Forecast March to September 2019

Will Obama Destroy Any Hope of U.S. Energy Independence?

Politics / Energy Resources Feb 11, 2010 - 03:30 PM GMT

By: Casey_Research

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBy Charles S. Brant, Energy Correspondent, Casey Research. The U.S. consumes nearly three times the amount of oil that it produces domestically on a daily basis. How can this statistic get any worse, you might ask?

Imagine in 2010 the Obama administration persuades Congress to pass a budget that results in a reduction of domestic oil production by 10% - 20%, making the supply/demand imbalance even more lopsided. Foreign oil companies will gain a distinct advantage over American domestic operators as an unintended consequence of these proposals.


Sound farfetched? It’s closer to reality than you may think… If it comes to pass, it will likely be the biggest structural change in the U.S. domestic oil and gas industry in decades and have far-reaching implications for investors and for the entire country.    

          

In early 2009, the Obama administration proposed to eliminate significant tax incentives for the oil and gas industry. These tax benefits were put in place decades ago to incentivize oil and gas producers to develop domestic sources of energy, while recognizing that oil and gas exploration entailed special risks. Two of the proposed repeals with the most potential impact relate to what the industry refers to as “percentage depletion” as well as “intangible drilling costs” (IDC). 

Tax incentives explained

The first proposal involves eliminating the deduction for percentage depletion. Currently, the tax code allows small oil and gas producers to choose between two different tax deductions,  percentage depletion or cost depletion (Big Oil’s ability to use percentage depletion was severely limited years ago).

Percentage depletion allows a tax deduction of 15% of the annual gross revenue of a well, continuing as long as the well produces and even after 100% of the costs have been recovered. On the other hand, cost depletion is calculated as the amount of oil or gas produced annually as a percentage of the total reserves of the reservoir. This deduction ceases when 100% of costs have been recovered (after which the producer may switch to percentage depletion).   

From a practical standpoint, this means many small stakeholders, including investors and lessors who are not directly involved in the operations of the wells, will lose their ability to deduct depletion altogether, putting them at a significant disadvantage to their larger competitors. 

And cost depletion is pretty much out of the question for most small stakeholders, as it’s extremely difficult for them to calculate. Small stakeholders in wells often aren’t entitled to the proprietary reservoir data developed by the operator of the well, which is necessary to calculate cost depletion. While the operators do disclose reservoir data in their annual reports, they rarely contain enough detail for a small stakeholder to locate information relating to a small field or well in which the stakeholder has an interest. Oil and gas stakeholders – such as individual royalty owners, royalty trust investors, and landowners, who all benefit from leasing land to oil and gas explorers – will immediately see the value of their investment decrease while simultaneously paying more in taxes every year.

The other proposal relates to drilling costs. Under current rules, oil and gas producers can elect to deduct certain intangible costs related to the drilling and workover of wells, including labor, drilling fluids, and drilling rig time. By electing to deduct instead of capitalizing and amortizing expenses, explorers recoup their costs faster. If the Obama administration does away with intangible drilling costs, oil and gas producers will no longer be incentivized to reinvest in new drilling projects, and new exploration will decline.  

Small oil and gas producers will also rethink their decisions to pursue riskier prospects if drilling incentives are reduced. The only projects that will be worthwhile to undertake will be the “sure win deals.” And if they do decide to drill, they won’t recoup their costs as quickly, which means they’ll be slower to start new projects. Without the tax incentives, marginal producing wells, which might otherwise be reworked and continue to produce for years, will be more likely to be plugged and abandoned.

So what if marginal wells are no longer subsidized? Taxpayers shouldn’t be supporting bad assets and small oil and gas companies that operate them.

That’s a fair point. But it’s significant to note that 85% of the total oil wells in the U.S. are marginal producers, and these wells account for approximately 10% of total oil production from the lower 48 states. For natural gas, marginal wells produce nearly 9% of the total. And it’s not just small companies operating these wells. These subsidies are deeply embedded in the economics of the U.S. independent oil and gas industry. Cutting the tax incentives will drastically change the industry. The chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America thinks these proposals will cost independent oil and gas producers over $30 billion.             
   
Back in May 2009, when it came time to include the president’s proposals limiting oil and gas tax incentives in the FY2010 budget, cooler heads prevailed in Congress and the proposals were not enacted. However, you can bet that similar policies affecting the industry will be enacted sooner rather than later. 

Profiting from the mayhem

All independent, non-integrated U.S. explorers and producers will be affected if these proposals become a reality. At first, profits of oil and gas producers across the board will decline precipitously, impacting companies’ bottom lines and hammering investor returns. Producers that primarily operate marginal wells will be forced to plug and abandon newly uneconomical wells as a result of the policy changes. Without cash flow to support high fixed costs and precarious balances sheets, these companies will quickly become distressed. 

Next, oil services companies will suffer as their small and medium-sized customer bases shrivel up. Regardless of size, all exploration and production companies with significant exposure to U.S. oil and gas assets will get hurt.   

It’s also almost guaranteed the market will overreact and punish any U.S. company that has anything to do with oil and gas, whether or not it’s fundamentally justified. However, once the initial panic subsides, expect to find some screaming bargains among the surviving companies. 

Oil and gas companies with conservative balance sheets, diversified assets outside of the U.S., spare cash, and opportunistic management will have a heyday picking up quality assets at fire sale prices. The trick is to identify the companies that will survive the turmoil and be able to capitalize on their competitors’ misfortune. Initially these strong companies will suffer stock declines along with every other oil and gas company. But they will recover quickly, and as they acquire new assets at attractive prices, their growth and profitability will be better than before. The window of opportunity to get into these stocks at bargain prices will be brief, as the market will quickly correct and the value will disappear.    

Big Oil identified the United States as a hostile political environment years ago and has moved most of its production overseas, so they’re less likely to be negatively affected by these changes. However, bargain prices will be too tempting for these giants to stay on the sidelines. They’ll wade into the fray in a big way, picking up great assets even though it means they’ll be subjected to the stifling regulatory environment that comes with doing business in America. 

Energy prices across the board will explode upwards and stay high until the production void left by oil and gas can be replaced by renewable energies, nuclear, or coal. The coming energy crisis will present you with plenty of opportunities to profit if your portfolio is correctly positioned.    

Picking the best of the best oil and gas explorers is the forte of Marin Katusa and his team at Casey’s Energy Report. Thanks to due diligence, a secret mathematical formula, and a vast network of industry insiders, every single one of Marin’s most recent 19 stock picks was a winner… and number 20 is in the making. Click here to learn more.

© 2010 Copyright Casey Research - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules