Tuesday – Time For More Earnings


In Today's Post

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Earnings Watch - CLR, VLO, WLT
  4. Stocks We Care About Today - MDU hits a Three Forks Sanish test.
  5. Crack Spread Update
  6. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch

  • HK - Exited the August $30 Calls taken last week for $5, up 43%. I don't like how the stock is acting and wanted to take profits where I could and plan to add these back lower prior to CHK's earnings on Friday.
  • Entered BEXP August $15 calls for $1 with the stock at $14 as a play on CLR’s earnings.
  • VLO - Added the September VLO $35 Calls (VLOIG) for $2.24.

Commodity Watch

Crude Oil rose $1.47 yesterday in MEND inspired trading to close at $124.73. This morning crude is trading off slightly.

Natural Gas inched up 7 cents to close just under $9.20 following crude's lead all day. This morning gas is trading flattish but without news on the weather front will likely mark any significant  move in crude.

  • Imports up 0.1 Bcfgpd from last week at 9.4 Bcfgpd, still off near 3 Bcfgpd from year ago levels.
    • LNG: 0.9 Bcfgpd, down from 1.1 Bcfgpd last week and 3.2 Bcfgpd from the year ago week. This is still slightly above the 0.7 Bcfgpd for most of the Summer to date and may be attributable to facility commissioning volumes. Another few weeks back below 1.0 Bcfgpd will tell if that is the case.
    • Pipeline Imports: increased to 8.5 Bcfgpd, still down a half a B  from  last year.
  • Tropics Watch: Low southwest of Cuba bears watching.


Earnings Watch:

CLR Beats Top and Bottom Line Estimates

  • The 2Q Numbers:
    • EPS of $0.75 vs $0.70 Street Consensus;
    • CFPS of $1.19 vs $1.27 - looks like a miss but without a real cash flow statement I'm hard pressed to see how.
    • Revenues of $303mm vs $280 mm expected
    • Production of 31,623 boepd, up 5% seq, 11% YoY. Second quarter growth was led by increased production in the North Dakota Bakken, their other Rockies production, and their Woodford and other mid-continent production. They are accelerating towards their previously stated '08 exit rate of 43,000 boepd so expect to see a further % ramping of the 3Q and 4Q production levels.
    • Lease Operating Expense: the one other fly (besides that CFPS number) in the ointment, LOE moved up to $9.32 per BOE ($1.55/Mcfe) which is up 12% sequentially. I'd guess its water handling in the Rockies but there is no comment so will have to get from the conference call.
  • President retiring. Think this is a non-event. Harold Hamm, the CEO and founder runs the show and he's not going anywhere.
  • Operations Update:
    • Acreage expansion in shale plays - added 325,000 net acres ytd in the Bakken, Woodford, Atokoa, Rhinestreet (Ohio), Marcellus, Huron, and Haynesville shales.
    • Bakken now at 525,000 acres (up from 487,000 as of last quarter),
      • N.D. Bakken wells 7 day average production up to 513 boepd, up 13% from 1Q wells, (7 day avg production ranged from 331 to 1,260 boepd). Notably, their best completion in the 1Q press release was 609 boepd; this time half the wells listed came in over that level.
        • fraccing in 10 segments now, moving to test 12 segment fracs
        • 9 Three Forks Sanish (TFS) wells drilled now (including the previously announced Bice and Mathistad wells); expect to complete all of these wells by September. The TFS lies below the middle Bakken member and CLR has been testing the theory that it is not in communication with it (separated by the lower Bakken shale). It lies 50 to 100 feet below m. Bakken and potentially could be tapped by the same wellbore (extra reserves for low dough).
      • They plan to drill the first Montana Bakken TFS well later this year (extra reserves over a much larger region than previously thought).
      • 12 rigs running in the play as planned
    • Haley Prospect (S. Dakota) - first two wells "disappointing", with high, unknown source water production. Testing 3rd well, drilling 4th, remain optimistic.
    • East Lustre Prospect (Montana) - also disappointing with two P&A's
    • Woodford Shale - two wells with simultaneous completions produced 7 day avg rate of 6.2 and 7.2 MMcfgpd, this is up from the sub 4 MMcfgpd they were reporting in the last press release.  Another independently fracced well came in at 7.1 MMcfgpd. These rates are approaching some of the rates NFX has seen in the play. They are acquiring more 3D and honing the completion science here.
      •  they now have 46,000 acres and operating 5 rigs with plans to go to 7 by year end.
    • Morrow / Springer Sands. Saw a better completion here during the quarter, 6.5 MMcfepd, keep seeing that and I'd bet they add another rig next year to this one rig, 20,000 acre project.
    • Haynesville Shale: now at 17,000 acres
  • Guidance - no mention or reiteration of 2008 exit rate. I'd bet they are comfortable with previous exit comment.
  • CapEx - planning to add $100 million to the current '08 land budget of $78 mm. Should not be viewed as a big deal.
  • In A Nutshell - good quarter, growth on the way, Bakken results probably a bit better than expected, Woodford definitely better than expected, need to determine cost issue but the wells and the prospects should outshine.
  • Conference Call: Today, 10 EST

VLO Remains Profitable, Beats Greatly Reduced Expectations

  • The 2Q Numbers:
    • EPS of $1.37 vs $1.33 expected (the greatly reduced range had fallen to $1.19 to $1.60)
    • Revenues of $36.64 B vs $34.9 B expected
  • Comments:
    • gasoline margins remain weak
    • distillate margins, especially diesel and jet fuel, expected to remain strong through this year and next
    • they have added significantly to distillate production while keeping gasoline production up
    • they continue to benefit from heavy / sour differentials (that will boost (FTO) too)
    • they expect a recovery in secondary product margins (like asphalt which often lag moves in crude feedstock prices)... this could benefit some of the smaller refining names with more exposure to this market (ALJ, HOC, WNR - will not touch that last one), 
    • have not gotten good enough offers yet for two of the U.S. refineries on the block at present (good luck in this environment)
    • they continue to buy back shares
    • balance sheet is strong and capex has been cut further strengthening it.
    • finally, there's a great quote in their condemning the current environment in Washington as non-constructive.
  • Conference Call: Today 11 EST.

WLT Announces Big Beat

  • The 2Q Numbers:
    • EPS of $0.94 vs $0.57 expected
    • Revenues of $370 vs $305
  • Guidance: reaffirmed 2008 outlook of 6.9 to 7.1 mm tons of met coal. Sees rising quarterly volume deliveries 3Q and 4Q.
  • Conference Call: Today at 10 EST

EOG Reports After the Close Today. I'm long the $115 and $120 calls and looking for more shale related news here.

Stocks We Care About Today

MDU Completes Its First Three Forks Sanish Well. First five days production for the Domaskin 11-29H was 634 bopd. MDU has 65,000 net acres in Mountrail and Burke counties, ND.  This is the north west Sanish area, about 10 miles to the north and west of Parshall area where EOG has scored several 1 to 3,000 bopd middle Bakken wells. They are currently drilling an offset 1 mile to the north. (WLL) has three wells (one of which is on the North Dakota confidential list) just to the east in between this well and the Parshall Field. By comparison (CLR)'s first strike (the Bice 29-H; IP of 1,095 boepd ) in the TFS was well south of here, on the south side of the Missouri river in Dunn county while their second (the Mathistad 1-35H; IP of 708 boepd) was well to the west in McKenzie county on the opposite side of the Neeson anticline. In other words, the Three Forks Sanish is being evidenced across a broad swath of the Williston Basin.

Crack Spread Update - Not much change.

Although the overall cracks remain pretty pathetic, diesel cracks remain strong, especially in the Gulf Coast.


Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch: HSBC starts (PBR) at overweight.

100 Responses to “Tuesday – Time For More Earnings”

  1. 1
    zman Says:

    Shell declares force majeur on Bonny Light exports from Nigeria for July to September following yesterday’s attack on the Nembe Creek pipeline. Flyover confirmed points of damage to the 130,000 bopd line.

  2. 2
    Garyinhou Says:

    Hey Z.. you showing a possible down open for CLR? Kinda crazy but not surprised

  3. 3
    zman Says:

    Gary – yes, showing it down, CFPS was a miss and LOE was high to norm. LOE probably has an explanation but it wasn’t in the PR. At $9.30 it came in hot to last quarter but should trend closer to $8 as production ramps. They should have bulleted the cause in the PR. New to being public mistake in my book.

  4. 4
    Garyinhou Says:

    Cool.. maybe on the call.. Not much at stake there anyway, just common and 10 clrho’s….

  5. 5
    rseidman Says:

    Ned Davis Research downgrades CHK from Buy to Sell

  6. 6
    zman Says:

    RS – little late, do you see an explanation. The shift from buy all the way to sell seems unjustified.

  7. 7
    rseidman Says:

    That’s the only headline I saw

  8. 8
    kyleandy Says:

    ned davis based in my home town will stop by and see if they will give me a copy of report

  9. 9
    zman Says:

    Thanks Kyle.

    CLR getting beaten up early, down 9%

  10. 10
    rseidman Says:

    kyleandy: Thanks! I think we would all like to know the details.

  11. 11
    Sambone Says:

    9:24 am EST

    Nymex Crude Drops On US Demand Concerns

    By Brian Baskin

    NEW YORK — Crude oil futures are trading lower Tuesday morning, as concerns for U.S. demand returned to the forefront despite a significant cut to Nigerian production.

    Light, sweet crude for September delivery traded $1.02, or 0.8%, lower at $123.71 a barrel barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded $1.16 lower at $124.68 a barrel.

    Futures gave back nearly all of the gains made Monday, signaling that attacks on oil pipelines in Nigeria would not be enough to shake the market out of its downward spiral. Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) declared force majeure on its Nigerian oil exports Tuesday, but did not say how much production had been shut in following two pipeline attacks on Monday.

    Unrest in Nigeria has been a constant in the market for years, and traders factor the potential for short-term disruptions into the price of oil.

    “It is hard to see what on the immediate horizon will push prices higher,” said Peter Beutel, president of trading advisors Cameron Hanover. “At this point it seems traders are still thinking about demand destruction, they are still thinking about weakening economic statistics.”

    Oil futures reversed course in mid-July, falling from an all-time settlement high of $145.18 a barrel on July 14 to a six-week settlement low of $123.26 a barrel on July 25. The worsening U.S. economy is believed to be the major driver behind the fall.

    Weekly U.S. oil and product inventory data, due out Wednesday, is expected to offer further confirmation of declining oil demand. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones see oil inventories falling by 900,000 barrels, but a 100,000 barrel increase in gasoline stocks and a 1.7 million barrel jump in distillate inventories. The data, for the week ending July 25, is scheduled for release at 10:35 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

    Traders expect to see “some rebuilding” in tomorrow’s inventory report, as it is now entering a trend of lower petroleum usage, said Jeff Grossman at BRG Brokerage, a floor broker at New York Mercantile Exchange. The market has been bouncing around, waiting for “a little bit more constructive news,” he said.

    Front-month August reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently traded down 1.35 cents, or 0.4%, at $3.0565 a gallon. August heating oil traded 4.25 cents, or 1.2%, lower at $3.5195 a gallon.

    —By Brian Baskin, Dow Jones Newswires

  12. 12
    Nicky Says:

    Morning all. I see CNBC are reporting that GS stand by there call to be long energy and short financials even though they admit they have lost money on it lately. These guys clearly need a bounce to get out of their long positions so yet again are trying to use the media to their own end.

  13. 13
    Nicky Says:

    Counter that with, if I heard it correctly, Opec saying that under the right cirumstances oil could be $70 lower.

  14. 14
    zman Says:

    OPEC acting in concert now to talk prices lower. Get gasoline down enough and the groundswell of “change to alternative energy” drys up and blows away. I would bet that they defend $100 by lowering production and that over the next few weeks we begin to see demand tick back up as gasoline prices drop.

  15. 15
    Nicky Says:

    Technically we are just trading in a sideways consolidation which is as good as a correction and is giving the chance for the market to digest the falls and work off the oversold. The 122 level as said last week is very strong support and holding the market for now but should it break we are likely to see 115 and lower in short order.

  16. 16
    zman Says:

    Thanks Nicky re #15.

  17. 17
    zman Says:

    CHK on the top as not commenting on the China asset purchase rumors for some of its Fayetteville and Marcellus acreage.

    Pretty surprised to see VLO beat, give the report they gave, have oil off another $1.60, and have the stock be flat. Very tough market.

  18. 18
    Nicky Says:

    Broader market – resistance at 1247 spx, support at 1230 – 35 and then 1220 – 23.

  19. 19
    zman Says:

    crude trying to hold $122

  20. 20
    reefguy Says:

    clr down 15%-huh?

  21. 21
    zman Says:

    …and failing

    Reef – listening now, think it is LOE too high and a miss on CFPS. This is an over reaction on a bad day for oil. Will let you know if they stop reading the press release and say something interesting.

  22. 22
    antrimshale74 Says:

    Oil tanking, but RBOB hardly moving.

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    CLR CC:

    21,000 bopd Red River production now seen peaking late 2009, not mid 2009. This means 2009 estimates are likely to come off slightly.

    N.D. Bakken – add 4 more rigs 2h08, means 19 rigs going into 2009

    See reserves in the Bakken at 400,000 barrels oil per well 315,000 previous estimate.

  24. 24
    zman Says:

    CLR CC – 30 day from spud to spud on Woodford wells now. Not too shabby.

    Those Morrow wells in the post are unstimulated. Nice.

    Other shale plays

    Haynesville shale: spud 1st well 4q
    W. Tx Woodford – spud 1st in August
    Continuing to build Appalachia acreage

    Three Forks Sanish – well costs: average cost is about $5.8 mm apiece. More stages, little bit bigger fracs, … this is about the same price for a middle Bakken well as you are only averaging 75 feet deeper to get to the TFS.

    June production averaged 33,000 boepd, as the N.D. Bakken accelerated (2Q avg was 31,600 boepd)

  25. 25
    zman Says:

    Wow X.

  26. 26
    zman Says:

    CLR CC Cont.

    Bice Well (their first TFS). Production holding up well since May.

    Other TFS:
    2 completing
    5 waiting on fracs

    No new data to talk about yet. Should have news out on those first 2 wells in the next couple of weeks.

    Oil down $4+ to $120.5

  27. 27
    zman Says:

    CLR CC Cont

    In the Woodford, costs down to $4.1 mm per well, from 4.2 last quarter. They are pretty much following NFX’s lead on pad drilling and completion procedures.

    In N. Dakota, they don’t expect to see a big move down or up in costs (5.8mm) as these are on 1,280 acre spacing (so no pad drilling) and there is some cost pressure in the basin due to all the activity.

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    Looking at adding a little more EOG call exposure for earnings tonight. Stock is cheap for it and the group and has, in my thinking, been overly beaten up.

  29. 29
    zman Says:

    Pickens dumps Yahoo. Maybe to help pay for his oil losses.


  30. 30
    zman Says:

    CLR – commodity comments:

    Natural Gas – They don’t see a glut of gas in the U.S. next year as plays like Haynesville won’t add that quickly as the high pressure volumes will have trouble getting out of the area into low pressure systems.

    Oil – they don’t see a drop in international demand, just a small drop in the U.S.

  31. 31
    Nicky Says:

    Slightly off topic but relevant:


  32. 32
    Garyinhou Says:

    Z… clr.. 2/3 of acreage has TFS beneath? Over 300K acres of sanish?

  33. 33
    zman Says:

    Gary – yep, that’s what they just said….no one cares yet.

  34. 34
    Nicky Says:

    Z – he must have taken a loss on Yahoo too. I remember him saying on CNBC that he had just got into Yahoo on the advice of his buddy Icahn….and price was way higher then.

  35. 35
    Nicky Says:

    Gold and silver rolling over slowly…they are way too high imo and have not ‘yet’ fallen with the rest of the commodity market. So some serious catch up is needed to the downside.

  36. 36
    zman Says:

    Switching to the VLO call. CLR op costs really not examined on the call but it sounds like it was a water handling issue that is temporary.

    Thanks Nicky

  37. 37
    Sambone Says:

    By Brian Baskin

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Crude oil futures dropped to a 10-week low Tuesday
    morning as falling U.S. gasoline demand added another leg to the market’s
    Light, sweet crude for September delivery traded $3.31, or 2.7%, lower at
    $121.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil earlier fell to
    $121.10 a barrel, the lowest price seen since May 15. Brent crude on the ICE
    futures exchange traded $3.51 lower at $122.33 a barrel.
    Futures have now fallen 18% from the all-time intraday high of $147.27 a
    barrel, hit July 11. The drop was sparked by fears that the U.S. economic
    downturn would be longer and deeper than first thought, and little has changed
    to brighten that picture over the last two weeks.
    Oil prices staged an “anemic” rally Monday on reports that Nigerian militants
    had attacked two pipelines, but they were primed to fall first thing Tuesday
    morning, said Mike Zarembski, senior commodity analyst at brokerage
    optionsXpress Inc. in Chicago. Futures rose by $1.47 on Monday, following
    steeper losses in three of the previous four trading sessions.
    “Rallies are meant to be sold until further notice,” Zarembski said.
    The market is unlikely to see further declines on Tuesday, as many traders
    will be waiting for Wednesday’s release of U.S. oil and product inventory data,
    Zarembski said.
    Analysts anticipate a 900,000-barrel drop in oil inventories but a
    100,000-barrel increase in gasoline stocks and a 1.7-million-barrel increase in
    heating oil inventories for the week ending July 25, according to a Dow Jones
    Further increases in product inventories will confirm that U.S. demand is
    suffering, analysts said.
    “Not only are motorists driving less, but (they are) also switching to more
    fuel-efficient cars,” said Nauman Barakat, senior vice president of global
    energy futures at Macquarie Futures USA in New York.
    Front-month August reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently traded
    6.14 cents, or 2%, lower at $3.0086 a gallon. August heating oil traded 9.40
    cents, or 2.6%, lower at $3.4680 a gallon

    -By Brian Baskin, Dow Jones Newswires

    Dow Jones Newswires
    07-29-08 1035ET

  38. 38
    Nicky Says:

    CNBC interviewing an oil trader – the same idiot who talked it up for no reason for months saying the mentality is now about selling every rally. He says if oil gets back to 127 the market will throw everything at it on the short side.

  39. 39
    zman Says:

    VLO says they are being valued at cash + value of inventory on hand. TSO is in this same boat if not at a discount to their inventory…in other words you just about get the facilities for free.

    Going quickly to Q&A.

  40. 40
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    VLO conf call: stock trading at 20% of asset replacement value. Also, market value about equals the value of cash + oil inventories. Pretty low valuation.

  41. 41
    elijahwc Says:

    From Barron’s Online: FBR reducing Price Deck on Gas:

    Natural-Gas Demand Growth May Slip
    FBR downgraded the sector to Market Weight from Overweight.

    FBR Capital Markets

    DURING THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, natural-gas prices, on average, have been significantly higher than the cost of marginal supply, thereby providing material excess returns to the industry. Higher prices and excess returns have been driven by the perceived “scarcity” of natural gas and were needed to encourage supply/demand responses required to balance the market.

    Current NYMEX futures prices imply significant excess returns for, and hence continued production from, even the most the marginal natural-gas producer. When this outlook is combined with our assessment of significant production growth from the five major shale plays and, under current NYMEX prices, an anemic natural-gas demand growth forecast for 2009-2012, we see an undersupplied U.S. natural-gas market in 2008, a balanced market in 2009, and a severely oversupplied natural-gas market in 2010/2011.

    As such, we believe that a pricing signal is now needed that is low enough to induce a negative supply response from marginal producers in the presence of material low-cost shale-gas growth, as well as a price that is low enough to be a catalyst for an above-average demand response. As a result, we are lowering our 2009 and 2010 natural-gas price forecasts to $7.25 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) and $6.50 per Mcf, respectively, from $8.50 per Mcf and $8 per Mcf, respectively. We are also lowering our long-term gas price forecast to $6 per Mcf from $8 per Mcf.

    Consequently, we are lowering our rating on the U.S. exploration and production (E&P) sector to Market Weight from Overweight. We are doing so despite the 30% drop in the sector from its peak in early July 2008, as we believe that gas-on-gas competition should cause prices to drop even below marginal production, which we believe is currently somewhere closer to $7.50 per Mcf. At the same time, we would selectively own only those names that have either industry-leading and/or material positions compared to their market-cap size in the five major (Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford) shale plays. We would do so because these companies have the potential to offset via net-asset-value growth the impact of declining natural-gas prices.

    As such, we would be sellers of producers with strong positions in marginal plays like conventional Gulf of Mexico shelf ( Stone Energy (ticker: SGY) and ( Mariner Energy (ME)), as well as high-cost conventional Gulf Coast producers and/or marginal shale players like St. Mary Land & Exploration (SM).

    We would selectively own names with high exposure to shale plays that are experiencing near-term increases in production, driving costs lower and, as a result, seeing increasing associated cash flows ( Devon Energy (DVN), Southwestern Energy (SWN), Range Resources (RRC) and Newfield Exploration (NFX)) and net asset values even in a lower-commodity-price environment. We also think that optimal industry capital allocation requires that consolidation in the industry take place.

    In addition, we believe that the larger producers with significant amount of shale exposure (Devon, Range Resources and Petrohawk Energy (HK)) could be takeover candidates.

    To turn secularly bullish on natural-gas prices, we would have to see one of these five shale plays hit a major fundamental stumbling block, which is more than simply a “capacity constraint” of some sort. Or, a not so obvious material source of demand shows up.

    We would also like to note that the E&P equities should outperform the commodity, as the equities will be undergoing net-asset-value growth while the commodity will witness pressure from oversupply.

    [We are downgrading: ATP Oil & Gas (ATPG) to Market Perform from Outperform; Mariner to Underperform from Market Perform; St. Mary Land to Underperform from Market Perform; and Stone Energy to Underperform from Market Perform.]

    — Rehan Rashid

  42. 42
    zman Says:

    VLO Q&A

    $1.6 billion cash
    $10 billion in inventory value in excess of book value.

    Thanks Eli – saw they cut it yesterday, didn’t see the notes behind the headline. Agree with their sell the marginal producer / buy the growthy, gas leveraged resource players.

  43. 43
    zman Says:

    Bird – last I heard, TSO is trading at or below inventory value. Free refineries.

  44. 44
    Sambone Says:

    Weather – Watching two at this time.
    1st is in GOMEX.


    2nd is at 30W, 10N


  45. 45
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z – yeah. who need refineries? we are all taking bicycles to work these days.

  46. 46
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    VLO… did i hear that correctly? they are NOT going to continue to buy back stock? even though valuations are 20% of asset replacement cost? must be in “cash preservation mode.” not a very cheery outlook.

  47. 47
    zman Says:

    Bird – the trick is to get a car, it’ll probably be a honda, to run on rainbows and occasionally ground up unicorns (for that needed boost when passing)

    On the buyback, no I didn’t take it that way and the bottom of the pr doesn’t say that. I think he was saying that a potential increase to the buyback would be tied to the hoped for asset sales.

  48. 48
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    thanks for the clarification. multi-tasking, so hoping i mis-heard.

  49. 49
    zman Says:

    VLO – lot of gasoline around… no there’s an understatement. This is not a cheery thought. Gasoline seasonally gets easier to produce from a reg standpoint so bloated inventories get more bloated, then diesel production ramps and that gets bloated. They are going to be quite a bit of maintenance and retool here.

    Oil trying one of those “rallies that must be sold”

  50. 50
    zman Says:

    ZTRADE: Added EOG August $100 calls for average cost $5.50. Earnings tomorrow.

  51. 51
    rseidman Says:

    Z: No email confirmation for your EOG trade

  52. 52
    rseidman Says:

    Just got it, thanks

  53. 53
    zman Says:

    Nicky – when you get a chance I’d like a lesson on E-wave, just wondering if closing prices are more or less important than intraday moves when you talk about support and resistance. For instance, take today’s oil price…if oil closes back above $122 does that mean anything to you in terms of holding critical support or does breaching it during the day kill that support level for you. Thanks, you’ve been spot on (unfortunately ;-))

  54. 54
    zman Says:

    VLO – call over, nothing to add really other than to say they acknowledge the tough environment, are working to take advance of the better market in distillates and basically threatened that they are not required to make product at a loss, this after talking about their revised planned maintenance schedule. Surpised this isn’t up more but people seem to hate all energy today.

  55. 55
    Nicky Says:

    Z – this link will give you an overview of the basics.


    In answer to your question end of day prices do not matter to me. I am just looking at a wave pattern, throw into the mix the fib retracements and just whether a move up or down is ‘corrective’ keeps everything clear. For eg the move off this mornings low is nothing more than a correction/retracement. Interestingly the 38.2% retracement of today’s move down is 122.48 which was the breakdown area. Quite likely that that area is retested and possibly the higher fib areas. Only a move above todays’s highs would question this move down and signal a larger correction underway.

  56. 56
    zman Says:

    OPEC President’s statement about oil potentially falling to $78. Sounds like they are trying to kill the alt energy, permanent demand destruction crowd in the U.S. Over the last week you’ve had the two loudest mouths of the bunch, Iran and Vz saying oil should fall back to $100 and that current oil prices were too high. This is a 180 degree reversal from just a couple of months ago.


  57. 57
    Nicky Says:

    John Kilduff was challenged earlier about his call for $130 oil yesterday. Back to standing on the fence and saying he needs to see a close below 121 to turn bearish. This guy is so talking his book. He only wants a move to 130 to sell into cos he’s missed it right now!

  58. 58
    zman Says:

    Hear ya Nicky, thanks.

    NG off only two cents again, keeps fighting its way back over that $9 mark. Still think it goes for a bounce over $10 in the next two weeks. A bigger than expected number this Thursday would, on the other hand send it towards a test of $9. Lot of fear that a glut of gas is coming next year.

  59. 59
    zman Says:

    EOG is now below levels it traded at prior to its end of Feb analyst meeting where it announced oil in the Barnett and a large Canadian gas shale play. Natural gas is at those same levels it was at then. Oil is about $25 higher than it was then.

    VLO the only spot worth noting in the energy patch

  60. 60
    zman Says:

    ng up $0.05 at 9.21


  61. 61
    cadillac Says:

    CLR trying to claw back up. Took an early beating…may have been oversold. Based on the earnings it seemed positive with a couple of ?’s.

  62. 62
    zman Says:


    I’m going to let it rest a few days before making a decision on options in CLR. I think you get some estimate trimming for 2009 numbers in the next week and one or two of those guys, if he’s thinking near term oil weakness and wants an excuse my cut his rating.

  63. 63
    Sambone Says:

    For income I started buying more BPT today.

  64. 64
    texana Says:

    EOG, why it is different this time. Before 1st qtr cc eog’s stock was above it’s 10, 20 &50 day sma & ascending. Fast forward to today, it is now below all these averages, plus below it’s p&f support of 100.80 & descending. If u will take a chart of xle & overlay eog they basically trade identically. Therefore I would not expect a longer term move up in either stock until they have based & regained @ least their 10 & 20 dsma. The other problem is that the big money got overweighted energy & has been reducing % this month after end of qtr. Until the big money moves back in energy, moves up will be suspect & will probably continue to be sold by these computer models. I’m a big eog fan & follow their co closely & I expect to hear some great things tomorrow. These may work for a short term bounce so aug calls may be good. Longer term I don’t think that the bottom is in here

  65. 65
    cargocult Says:

    Sambone: re BPT…me too

  66. 66
    zman Says:

    Texana – can’t argue with that. If Mark Papa turns in in line results or has a snoozer of a call the stock will likely get dropped further. But I’ve followed these particular guys since they shot out of Enron and I don’t remember them trading at these multiples which gives me some but not a lot of comfort here.

    VLO drifting higher which is more of a what’s up goes up more on this kind of hiding out day and less of a validation of the things in the pr or said on the cc.

  67. 67
    pwdrhound Says:

    Any thoughts on XOM these days? Earnings out 7/31. With VLO doing better than expectations, shouldn’t XOM also bring better than expected earnings?

  68. 68
    zman Says:

    If I were EOG I’d look to monetize their gas assets in Trinidad and I’d talk specifics on the Barnett Shale oil play.

    Re XOM – not sure much to say there, its due a bounce and if oil does fall they start to do better on the refining side. I prefer COP just about always to XOM. Exxon will generate a huge amount of cash either way and will likely talk about buying back more shares. If they want to get on the good sentiment bandwagon they should take their cash on hand and do a 50/50 cash/equity offer for CHK. It would make a nice, noticeable, almost entirely gassy subsidiary for them. Of course, I doubt they have the interest in growing assets in the U.S. given the current political environment.

    As far as XOM beating earnings, hard to say, lots of moving pieces there, but they are usually close to the number. Lately beats and seemingly good news haven’t paid and the more these guys make, the more they are a target.

  69. 69
    Nicky Says:

    Strong earthquake hits Los Angeles

  70. 70
    ram Says:

    Where in LA?

  71. 71
    Popeye Says:

    I felt it in Newport Beach.

  72. 72
    Popeye Says:

    Chino, 5.6.

  73. 73
    ram Says:


  74. 74
    occam Says:

    The earthquake rocked us pretty well in Santa Monica. Center is Chino Hills, 10 miles or so east of the Los Angeles Civic center, magnitude 5.8

  75. 75
    zman Says:

    reuters says no apparent damage.

  76. 76
    reefguy Says:

    I hope the shaking wasn’t the CL/NG bubble bursting

  77. 77
    zman Says:

    Reef – did you see the VLO comment on energy policy in the U.S. in the pr. Pretty rich.

  78. 78
    zman Says:

    Someone called Matrix USA took BRY from a sell to a buy today. Guess they don’t have a lot of swing.

  79. 79
    rseidman Says:

    Z: Is there any logic to hold the HAL and SLB calls?

  80. 80
    texana Says:

    so here is my theory on eog , they basically never talk between cc & we know that they have good news to tell. so i’m going to play the oct calls so if xle craters between now & tomorrow maybe we have time to make it up. oct 110 @ 6.00

  81. 81
    zman Says:

    RS – The SLB $110s are out there a ways but the $100s I think will recover. The logic is based on improving fundamentals. Whether those matter I can’t say.

  82. 82
    zman Says:

    Natural gas up 5 cents at the close. CHK is 92% gas and 70% hedged and it and all the others continue to trade with oil. Still method to the market’s current madness. I have 3 choices. 1) continue to do what and I do and wait out a more normal environment where fundamentals and stories matter 2) punt my holdings and then wait for that normal environment or 3) gamble that the “bubble” is over for oil and gas and go into put country on these names. I’ll do a combination of the first two starting Friday if we don’t start to see more sideways action and more importantly, more positive reaction to positive news.

  83. 83
    Sambone Says:

    By Carolyn Cui

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Crude oil continued to swing lower Tuesday, closing at
    their lowest level since May 6, as investment funds moved to the sidelines on
    signs of weakening demand.
    Light, sweet crude for September delivery settled $2.54, or 2%, lower at
    $122.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
    Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange settled $3.13 lower, or 2.49%, at
    Futures have now fallen 16% from the all-time settlement high of $145.29 a
    barrel, hit on July 3. The sell-off has been driven by fears that the U.S.
    economic downturn would be longer and deeper than first thought, destroying
    demand for gasoline and other energy products.
    In the latest sign of this trend, U.S. gasoline demand, measured by purchases
    at the pump, fell 4% for the week ended July 25 from a year ago, the 14th
    straight decline, according to a report by MasterCard Advisors LLC, a division
    of MasterCard Inc (MA) released Tuesday.
    This comes on top of data released Monday from the U.S. Energy Information
    Administration, which made a substantial downward revision to U.S. oil demand
    in May, as well as U.S. Transportation Department figures showing that total
    miles driven fell by 9.6 billion miles in May, down 3.7% year on year.
    “The momentum is down now,” said Vincent Morales, a broker at ARB Oil Inc.
    “Funds have no choice but to liquidate some positions.”
    Net long positions held by speculative fund managers in crude oil have
    dwindled to the lowest level since May 2007, according to the latest data
    collected by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
    Funds are unwinding their positions partly due to the rising capital costs in
    the oil markets, as exchanges have raised margin requirements in volatile
    markets, said Brad Zigler, managing editor, Hard Assets Investor, a commodities
    research Web site. Others are simply taking gains off the market, while some
    are waiting for the results from the CFTC’s ongoing investigations in oil
    market speculation.
    The president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries bolstered
    bears further on Tuesday by saying that oil prices could fall further if the
    dollar strengthens and if political tensions ease.
    OPEC President Chakib Khelil said current oil prices are “abnormal.”
    “It’s more of a realization that the supply and demand conditions couldn’t
    justify the trajectory of the prices,” Zigler said.
    Volumes were modest, as many traders awaited Wednesday’s release of U.S. oil
    and product inventory data.
    Analysts anticipate a 900,000-barrel drop in oil inventories, but a
    100,000-barrel increase in gasoline stockpiles and a 1.7 million-barrel
    increase in heating oil inventories for the week ended July 25, according to a
    Dow Jones Newswires survey.
    Further increases in product inventories will confirm that U.S. demand is
    suffering, analysts said.
    Front-month August reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, fell 6.23 cents,
    or 2.03%, to $3.0077 a gallon. August heating oil declined 8.98 cents, or
    2.52%, to $3.4722 a gallon.

    -By Carolyn Cui

    Dow Jones Newswires
    07-29-08 1534ET

  84. 84
    Sambone Says:

    Z – Ya know this downward price movement on crude can’t be right! Isn’t GS long?

  85. 85
    zman Says:

    Sam – So they say.

  86. 86
    Sambone Says:

    Wait a minute! Just wait one d@#* minute. If GS SAIDS to the street they are long, that must mean they are short! Now, that makes sense, doesn’t it?

  87. 87
    texana Says:

    eog drlg several horz wls in powder river basin with discovery in the niobrara. i don’t know if they will talk about it since it will increase comp and price of leases. there r a few wildcatters buying the stock here.

  88. 88
    zman Says:

    Continuing to ponder md’s ? Going to go ponder it with closed eyes. I see story after story talking about demand destruction. I see the numbers are off 4% in the U.S. with nothing in the category of hard data for the rests of world’s demand accounted for. So using round numbers, if a quarter of the world’s demand is off 4% that translates into total world demand down 1%. So other nations say their demand is down. We know China’s is likely to rise as prices creep lower since many shuttered refiners will come back on line (the teapot refineries) as they still have product shortages over there. We also know that Russia is hiking their export tax again to keep more of their oil within their border. We don’t know what India’s demand is doing…has be growing but don’t know about now. We know or strongly believe southeast asia demand is off in some of the less developed nations and we strongly suspect that middle east demand continues to rise unchecked.

  89. 89
    ram Says:

    It seems the only way to force money back in to E&P is a major buyout followed by another major buyout.

  90. 90
    Sambone Says:

    Tini time!

  91. 91
    zman Says:

    Ram – that would help.

  92. 92
    tater Says:

    Not calling any bottoms, or at least tradable ones. Just think that a quick look at 3 charts of XTO may be worth 1 minute.


  93. 93
    apbd Says:

    Right now, I’m starting to think about drinking again! lol

  94. 94
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    BEXP just reported a really nice Bakken well… 1,110 bopd!

  95. 95
    Bleemus Says:

    BEXP Brigham Exploration announces 1,110 BOPD Bakken completion, growing Williston Basin Oil production and apparent third consecutive Southern Louisiana discovery (13.37 -0.47)

    Co announces the high rate completion of its Carkuff 22 #1H Bakken well in its Ross Area at an early flowing rate of 1,110 barrels of oil per day, and that its Williston Basin oil production has grown to an estimated current net rate of approximately 1,500 barrels of oil per day. The co also announced that completion operations are underway on its Kvamme 2 #1H and Payara #1-21H in the Parshall/Austin Area, that it’s preparing to commence its first Three Forks test, and that it has apparently drilled its third consecutive successful well in its Southern Louisiana joint venture.

  96. 96
    zman Says:

    Nothing stands out from the EOG pr, bottom line beats after ex out known items, guidance stays the same, ops update written by someone who had better things to do that five minutes I guess. Here’s looking forward to the call.

    Thanks Bird, will have a look.

  97. 97
    rseidman Says:

    Z: Regarding #82, I couldn’t agree more than to play what’s given us. If that means going short, Why not. We’re getting killed the way things are going now.

  98. 98
    texana Says:

    an interesting article on the possible near bottoming in oil.http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm looking forward to eog cc tomorrow. bexp & your earlier mdu comments speak volumes on how petroleum rich the williston basin is and the bright future ahead. I would expect wll to have good things to say in their cc 7-31-08. In this market I’m not sure good is good enough.May take some long term in the money calls on wll if eog price action looks good tomorrow. Oil report would seem to be crucial to all trades.

  99. 99
    zman Says:

    Hear ya Texana. Oil report key, think gasoline demand this week and next most important number and the knee jerk reaction will come from the size of the build in gasoline inventories first, before they get to demand. Any drop in oil inventories at this point is likely to be overlooked or written off as a slump in imports. Demand from refiners likely to continue to fall so we could see more builds in crude if we have any sort of bounce in those imports. Think I will just copy that in for my ZComment for the morning now that I think about it.

    Re BEXP, nice well and several more size tests on the way fromParshall area with EOG. They bricked the quarter coming in at the low end of production guidance and totally blew the bottom line. They are looking for a ramp by 4Q and the volume expectations may be a bag job but may also be an indication of how bad these guys declines are. Other than the Bakken and a nice couple of wells in S. Louisiana I’m not impressed with their ability to meet targets and monitor where the Street has them. $0.15 EPS estimate and you turn in $0.03, that’s a stoning offense and speaks to rookieism on the financial front. Glad I own a little and not a lot. But hey, at least I didn’t take the last minute calls on the CLR. They bricked CFPS too and the high LOE was glossed over on the call. Just because you are in a hot play does not mean you get to focus on the fun stuff and not stick to your knitting on costs. If CHK lets LOE soar there will be a firesale on the shares. Don’t think they will but there could be an acceleration of costs there that volumes should help mitigate…its when you come off the volume peak, like BEXP did, that you see this kind of problem.

  100. 100
    tater Says:

    Sorry, I promised myself that I would never comment on the intelligent clown, but I just saw that the bald guy on TV wrote a column today at 3:28 (cst) about XTO.
    I got my post (#92) out at 3:22, so I just want people to know I don’t sit around waiting to chart the guy’s picks and claim them as my own, and also that he does influence markets, so people should be extra careful with XTO.

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