Mahmoud Monday

Monday Topics

  1. Oil & Iran
  2. Natural gas - following crude
  3. Odds & Ends - CFTC - natural gas short position on the rise, oil service merger Monday, Shell un-snafus a Nigerian pipeline, analysts start to say enough is enough on some refiners

Oil - Probably Trades $62 to $65 this week depending how hot things get with Iran.

Hothead Watch (Focus Iran):

  • Hostage Redux - 28 Years Later. Ahmed, how 1979 of you. Let the British go. Unless you're trying to prop up oil prices. This will do that until you let them go which you will because the real power in your country will write nasty things about you in his newspapers.
  • Iran & the UN Watch. Iran becomes even less cooperative. If you're splitting the atom for power (electricity) and not POWER (glass parking lots) then I'd think you be happy to show off your shiny new facilities. But having the Russians pull out and additional U.N. sanctions piled on is not the way to go if you just want to make kilowatts.

Natural Gas. Followed oil higher last week after an early season storage build nixed bulls hopes for a sub 1,400 Bcf trough. This morning gas is trading as much as a nickel higher to $7.31 as everyone eyes mounting tensions with Iran (which should have nothing to do with each other but this kind of thing pushes up all commodities).

Odds & Ends

CFTC. Speculators Continue Headlong Into Short Territory. The CFTC reported a sizable build in the shorts of 23,400 contracts last week yielding a net short positon of 40,433 contracts. (Please click on the following graph if it appears too fat for your browser window to see the right hand side). Check out the red line graph below; this is the lowst net position since February 2006.


Merger Monday Watch (almost). (ESV) says it's open to bids. This won't hurt the OIH today and may in facthelp propel it to a new 52 week high (> 149 from it's current 147). (BJS) and (BHI) are interesting down here if you want to a play a service breakout to the long side.

Shell resopens damaged Nigerian pipeline. Closed since March 4, Shell announced it has reopened the 187,000 bopd pipelinetoday and despite this all eyes remina focused on Iran and the 15 Britons.

Analyst Watch. (PPP) falls from strong buy to sell at Matrix (or the kings of the 180 as I like to call them), (TSO) cut to neutral at Bear and to SELL at Deutsche, (SUN) cut to hold at Deustche. Deutsche cited little further upside for the former and what it sees as the beginning of topping margins on the east coast as justification for the downgrade of the latter. Guess I was a little early flagging (TSO) for a fall, eh?

42 Responses to “Mahmoud Monday”

  1. 1
    zman Says:

    RSS – should be altered from teaser to full story.

    I’ll see if I can extend the number of comments today.

    Also, it should be tickerized.

  2. 2
    zman Says:

    Robert re Performance:

    It’s on my to do list along with my taxes.

    Look for a tab to be added with current options and positions and long term holds (stocks) sometime this week this week.

  3. 3
    zman Says:

    Blessed – too kind! Glad you like it!

  4. 4
    zman Says:

    GMR – just paying that special $15 dividend . No problem with the shippers.

  5. 5
    zman Says:

    END – possible breakout. Nothing has changed there that I know of but this one isn’t as tied to oil prices as you’d think (incredible oil and gas hedge positions) so it may be that’s just starting to round the “confidence” corner with fund managers.

  6. 6
    dave Says:


    Another fun day !

  7. 7
    dave Says:

    closed out COP. Still have NE & BP

  8. 8
    zman Says:

    hear ya Dave, that XOI chart is getting into nosebleed territory.

  9. 9
    zman Says:

    adding May 40 WNR puts
    adding APL 60 HOC puts
    added TSO May 95s @ $3.50
    (first TSO lot was May 90s @ $3.55 now at $2 ouch not that long ago)

  10. 10
    zman Says:

    John – let me know how that RSS feed is working for you now

  11. 11
    dave Says:

    stopped out of NE & BP

  12. 12
    Jon Says:

    Iran –

    Very likely these latest actions are intended to distract the Iranian citizens from the soon-to-be-implemented gas rationing. After all, a British invasion is a very good reason to reduce consumption.

  13. 13
    insyte Says:

    zman: any targets for tso swoon?

  14. 14
    Jon Says:


    RSS feed:
    1. The complete post comes through now.
    2. Still caches the last 4 entries.
    3. I’ll let you know later if the automatic update is working again.

  15. 15
    dave Says:

    Can not believe GMR…I still have 7 apr puts left over from a bad trade. I may bull p

  16. 16
    dave Says:


  17. 17
    zman Says:

    Dave – you know that’s the dividend, right? They’ll adjust the strike on the options.

    insyte – near term, and this is a blind as guess, but $95 would be a good number

    Jon – still looking for the switch to up the number of comments shown. How many would you like to see? 10?

    Questio for all. Is the site asking you to register to make a comment this morning?

  18. 18
    dave Says:


    Yes on the dividend payable to holders of record as of march 9th payable around march 23rd.

  19. 19
    dave Says:

    Zman….yes had to register

  20. 20
    Jon Says:


    On the RSS feed, the cache of 4 is okay. I thought it was just worth noting as a difference from the old one.

    More important was the feed of the complete post vs. a summary. That works now, thanks.

    My RSS reader still is not automatically fetching new messages, but that may be an issue on my end. I don’t have any idea why it quit working, but I’ll have to work on it when I have time.

  21. 21
    Popeye Says:

    I as well only see the initial four comments on the RSS feed. Same as last week.

  22. 22
    zman Says:

    ZEB performance test page posted for format response.

    I’m not sure how many of you care about this but I agree with Robert that putting one’s mouth where one’s money is is important.

    I’ll post perf tonight on what I currently have and go forward.

    For those of you using me as a contrarian indicator heer’s your chance to do the oppostive of what I do!

    I’ll probably post this weekly on Friday’s and will post trades in comments during the day. I’d really rater not post it daily as it just gets too cumbersome.

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    On the test page you have to click on it to see the full spreadsheet, it’s too wide to show up in a browser.

  24. 24
    insyte Says:

    zman..thanks..missed you at Phil

  25. 25
    Jon Says:

    ZEB performance spreadsheet looks good. When I widen my browser window it fits in the center column.

  26. 26
    zman Says:

    insyte – I’m still over there just been busy getting this site where I want it.

  27. 27
    zman Says:

    VLCC rates holding up jsut north of $75K per day

    SUEZMAX spot rates jumping up now, over $40kpd

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    still mulling CRZO purchase.

    bidding $1.20 for HES Apl 55 puts

  29. 29
    zman Says:

    took COP 70s at $2.85… done and watching for day.

  30. 30
    nltd Says:


    Phew. Yes, had to log in to comment. Had to look back through emails to find password (told you I’d never remember that!) Hah!

    Comment #29:

    May 70 puts? That was all I found that matched price you gave…


  31. 31
    nltd Says:


    Duh, forgot to tell you when I first refreshed your site this am (guessing just before market opened or thereabouts), I HAD the comment box without logging in.


  32. 32
    zman Says:

    N – sorry, yes May, I working on the spreadsheet now. I thought I’d give myself a little more time to let things with Iran blow over and let nat gas fall with that.

    I’m starting mid month March, basically April strike going forward, except for showing some late week trades at the end of March expiry that went very badly.

    Anyway, not going to back date this as this isn’t really why I do the site. I will keep it going as we move forward however.

  33. 33
    zman Says:

    Check out the END – what’s gotten in to those guys.

  34. 34
    zman Says:

    Got APR $55 HES puts for $1.20

  35. 35
    dave Says:

    looks like traders trying to move the OIH up…..alot of talk

  36. 36
    T-Tupp Says:

    does anyone know how to get rss feeds to my outlook. i have outlook for office 2007 and it allows for rss feeds.

  37. 37
    dave Says:

    Thanks for the posts, I seemed to be almost day trading the oils and the relevent industries. Not every pleasant ! See you all later

  38. 38
    zman Says:

    T-Tupp – sorry, don’t know how to do that.

    Perf posting. Ouch!

  39. 39
    zman Says:

    Not sure how new this is but I was prompted to check by a sharp sell off in USO just afew minutes ago

    Iran softens stance on Brits detainees:

  40. 40
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