Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21
CISCO 2020 Dot com Bubble Stock vs 2021 Bubble Tech Stocks Warning Analysis - 6th Oct 21
Precious Metals Complex Searching for a Bottom - 6th Oct 21
FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, AAPL and FANG+ '5 Waves' Speaks Volumes - 6th Oct 21
Budgies Flying Ability 10 Weeks After wings Clipped, Flight Feathers Cut Grow Back - 6th Oct 21
Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
Will China's Crackdown Send Bitcoin's Price Tumbling? - 5th Oct 21
Natural Gas News: Europe Lacks Supply, So It Turns to Asia - 5th Oct 21
Stock Market Correction: One More Spark to Light the Fire? - 5th Oct 21
Fractal Design Meshify S2, Best PC Case Review, Build Quality, Airflow etc. - 5th Oct 21
Chasing Value with Five More Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 4th Oct 21
Gold’s Century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 4th Oct 21
NASDAQ Stock Market Head-n-Shoulders Warns Of Market Weakness – Critical Topping Pattern - 4th Oct 21
US Dollar on plan, attended by the Gold/Silver ratio - 4th Oct 21
Aptorum Group - APM - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 3rd Oct 21
US Close to Hitting the Debt Ceiling: Gold Doesn’t Care - 3rd Oct 21
Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
Original Oculus VR HeadSet Rift Dev Kit v1 Before Facebook Bought Oculus - 3rd Oct 21
Microsoft Stock Valuation 2021 vs 2000 Bubble - Buy Sell or Hold Invest Analysis - 1st Oct 21
How to profit off the Acquisition spree in Fintech Stocks - 1st Oct 21
�� Halloween 2021 TESCO Shopping Before the Next Big Panic Buying! �� - 1st Oct 2
The Guide to Building a Design Portfolio Online - 1st Oct 21
BioDelivery Sciences International - BDSI - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 30th Sep 21
America’s Revolving-Door Politics Behind the Fall of US-Sino Ties - 30th Sep 21
Dovish to Hawkish Fed: Sounds Bearish for Gold - 30th Sep 21
Stock Market Gauntlet to the Fed - 30th Sep 21
Should you include ESG investments in your portfolio? - 30th Sep 21
Takeda - TAK - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 29th Sep 21
Stock Market Wishing Away Inflation - 29th Sep 21
Why Workers Are NOT Returning to Work as Lockdown's End - Wage Slaves Rebellion - 29th Sep 21
UK Fuel PANIC! Fighting at the Petrol Pumps! As Lemmings Create a New Crisis - 29th Sep 21
Gold Could See Tapering as Soon as November! - 29th Sep 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Thoughts on The Current Crude Oil Market

Commodities / Crude Oil Mar 24, 2015 - 10:55 AM GMT

By: EconMatters

Commodities

Crude oil has slid into a definitive bear market starting 2H14. Since most of the oil companies (majors as well as E&Ps) based their budget, growth, and strategy trajectory on ~$50 oil price scenario even for the most conservative, the current ~ $45 WTI price environment has created a crisis situation for many oil and gas producers.


WTI 6-Month Chart

Chart Source: nasdaq.com, as of 3/23/2015 am

The immediate oil industry response has been reflected abundantly in rig count. Oil rig count has dropped drastically particularly in the high-cost basins such as Permian in W. Texas / New Mexico and problematic transport regions such as land-locked Bakken in N. Dakota /Montana. For example, according to the latest Baker Hughes data, the number of rigs in the once red-hot Bakken fell to double-digit levels for the first time in at least four years, down 50% from the most-recent high in October, 2014. Likewise, oil rigs drilling the Permian Basin also plunged ~50% from November, 2014.

Read More: The Oil Market QE Premium Is Coming out of Price

We probably already learned the main contributors to the steep drop in oil prices include stagnant demand & global economy, rising production (and oil inventories) from U.S. Shale, and a strong dollar depressing all commodities priced in dollar. I personally believe these macro-economic factors are unlikely to change that much as to lift oil out of the bear market in the next 12 months. Nevertheless, I'm going to discuss my views on some other popular oil-market related topics.

Read More: GULF COAST PADD 3 The New U.S. Oil Bottleneck

Saudi Arabia

A decision and/or announcement from the Kingdom to cut its production would certainly give an immediate boost to oi price. However, my observation is that Saudi is dead serious about protecting its market share, and unlikely to cut its production.

To illustrate, Taiwan's news media reported that in late 2014, Saudi sent a group of delegates courting one of the two refineries/petrochem plants in Taiwan which was the first ever in over 40 years. According to EIA, Taiwan oil consumption is ~ 1 million barrels a day in 2013, which explains why Saudi never sent delegates visiting such a small client before. This only demonstrated how Saudi is hunkering down to secure every bit of its market share.

In addition, Saudi would never want to repeat the history of cutting production, propping up oil prices just to give rise to Canadian Oil sands, Russia and U.S. Shale. Another psychological factor, if Saudi has hung in this long watching oil falling from $100 to $50, a production cut at this stage would only show weakness by the Kingdom to deviate from initial resolve. Remember, Saudi is one oil producing country seen $10 oil before (as opposed to U.S. Shale Industry's total shock by $50 oil).

Wells Drilled but Not Completed

Wells that operators do not want to produce at current low oil prices. Well backlogs have sparked some concern that holding back completions until oil prices rise would simply cause a production surge in the future, leading to another oil price plunge. For example, Platts reported EOG Resources (EOG) sees a backlog of about 350 wells this year and Anadarko (APC) says 125 wells. Continental Resources (CLR) said it had deferred completions in the Bakken by 25% in Q1, while Chesapeake (CHK) will have about 100 wells in its Eagle Ford Shale inventory.

Unlike rig count, well backlog is not a statistic tracked by anyone on a regular basis. Platts cited estimates of 1,400-2,000 'fracklog' wells in the U.S. However, I think this 'fracklog' seems more like a 'spin' by E&Ps (and Wall Street) to frame a better story for capex and/or production cuts of 2015+ rather than something of a material impact.

A lot of small and mid E&Ps typically cannot afford to remain so 'strategic' as they need cash just to stay afloat to fund operations and interest expense (See 'E&P Funding Crisis' section below). Furthermore, the steep decline production curve, a characteristic of oil Shale, suggests the production impact from these wells most likely would not be significant and long enough as to bring about another oil bear market once oil prices recover.

E&P Funding Crisis

The long good days of $100 oil have spoiled many E&Ps into reckless spending and leverage. Oil falling to 6-year low has put some E&Ps in jeopardy. Reuters is reporting that JPMorgan has been shopping the entire Whiting Petroleum (WLL), the biggest oil producer in Bakken, to potential buyers but they're scared off by $5.6 billion in debt. Whiting piled up debt after the acquisition of Kodiak Oil & Gas last year. Quicksilver Resources, a natural-gas-weighted producer, filed Chapter 11 on March 17 following Dune Energy and BPZ Resources.

I think this 'funding crisis' is individual-company based instead of an industry wide tsunami. There are 100+ publicly traded mid to small E&Ps and E&P MLPs in North America. Many risky and high levered companies were able to hide under the high oil price in the past. This time around, the higher break-even point of Shale Oil dictates only the strong will survive. So now is the time for some industry consolidation to weed out 'sour apples'. In the end, bigger, smarter and healthier companies will remain, which is a good thing for investors and the U.S. energy industry as a whole in the long run.

Dividend Cut by ExxonMobil?

A couple of weeks ago, CNBC had a segment talking about earnings per share vs. dividend per share and concluded that some of the bigger oil companies such as Hess (HES), ConocoPhillips (COP), and BP may need to cut dividend as earnings fall short of dividend. ExxonMobil (XOM) name was also verbally discussed in this particular CNBC segment.

Frankly, I think it is plausible Hess, ConocoPhillips and BP cutting dividend due to lower oil prices & revenue; however, XOM has never ever cut dividend since the stock was $5, so I doubt the oil major would break tradition this time. After all, XOM is sitting on $4.7 Bn cash and $53 Bn in Current Assets (as of 12/31/2014) . In fact, I see XOM stock more a dividend play rather than energy, so I don't quite get Buffett's rationale of dumping all of his XOM holdings while still keeping IBM.

Merit of The Integrated Model

Oil price plunge has also brought about the age-old debate over oil majors such as ExxonMobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) keeping the integrated model (Upstream + Downstream) instead of spinning off the refining business like Marathon (MRO) and ConocoPhillips (COP) did.

Sure, when oil prices are high, upstream (exploration & production) makes all the money while downstream (i.e. refining & marketing) drags. But nothing lasts forever, when oil prices gone bust (like now), downstream actually serves as a natural hedge for the Upstream arm of the integrated model. This is one reason integrates like XOM and CVX should fare better in the current oil price environment than E&Ps, and why hedging position/strategy is far more important for the pure E&Ps.

As I indicated before, shifting away from the integrated model is a short-sighted move blinded by Wall Street talk of 'unlocking shareholder value' (banks get hefty fees and shares in a spin-off IPO). Marathon and ConocoPhillips would certainly be a lot better off if they still have the steady cashflow from their old refining business to fall back on.

By EconMatters

http://www.econmatters.com/

The theory of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity (E=mc2) have taught us that matter (yin) and energy (yang) are inter-related and interdependent. This interconnectness of all things is the essense of the concept “yin-yang”, and Einstein’s fundamental equation: matter equals energy. The same theories may be applied to equities and commodity markets.

All things within the markets and macro-economy undergo constant change and transformation, and everything is interconnected. That’s why here at Economic Forecasts & Opinions, we focus on identifying the fundamental theories of cause and effect in the markets to help you achieve a great continuum of portfolio yin-yang equilibrium.

That's why, with a team of analysts, we at EconMatters focus on identifying the fundamental theories of cause and effect in the financial markets that matters to your portfolio.

© 2014 Copyright EconMatters - 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.

EconMatters Archive

© 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