Monday Morning And All Is Calm


Look for another light volume week in the commodities and equities as Wall Street makes one last run at the beaches before getting back to work.  We got one merger out of the way but in service (see below) and not E&P. If you missed the weekend post click here  it contained the entries for the (HK) and (GMXR) takeout contests. A new tropical system may lend commodity prices support by mid week.

Reading List Watch: These are articles from the weekend paper I found worthwhile with lots of fun stats for your next cocktail party.

  • Oil Sands Boom. VTZ has written an excellent piece on the inner workings of the oil sands biz that should hit the presses around here later this week but for now, this AP story will wet your appetite for the gooey stuff.

  • Western Firms Declining Production. Article from the New York Times last week putting numbers to the story we all know, that Big Oil is having trouble growing despite a recent avalanche of cash thrown at growing volumes ($25 billion per year for the next 3 years by XOM alone).

Tropics Watch: Another Week, Another Storm: Low pressure system over the central Caribbean has become better organized and could become a tropical depression later today.

In Today's Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodities Watch
  3. Stocks We Care About Today
  4. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch: The Holdings Wiki tab is updated.

Commodity Watch:

Crude Oil was actually up last week...a whopping 0.6% to close at $114.59 on the October contract but that's a far cry from the large declines of recent weeks. This moring crude is trading slightly higher on a flat dollar in a light volume UK holiday market.

  • OPEC Watch: The Cartel meets September 9 in Vienna. In recent weeks, OPEC has stated that the market is more than well supplied and the so the tug of war between the camps of "they will cut" and "they won't cut" is growing increasingly more influential in the day to day trading of oil prices. I think they may or may not cut production quotas officially but will address quota discipline at the meeting.
  • BTC Pipeline Reopens. Bombed earlier this month in the Turkish section, the 1 mm bopd pipe should be back to full capacity by Tuesday.
  • Mexico Watch: Mexico may be a step closer to allowing private investment in its oil sector as a key opposition party drops its challenge to it.
  • Iran Watch #1: The Iranian National Oil Company plans to open offices in Beijing and Bombay as they intend to increased oil sales to China and India and to reduce oil volumes headed to the West.
  • Iran Watch #2: Iran now says the amount of Iranian heavy oil stored in tankers off the coast is now 3 mm barrels, down from 30 million barrels a few months ago. This represents the allieviation of a modest overhang in the oil market and a major cause for elevated tanker rates. The average VLCC holds 2.275 mm barrels so this means an extra 11 to 12  very large crude carriers are now free to plow the seas. I added FRO puts last week due to what looks like an unimpressive 2H08 period and although the 3Q is normally weak, this year may prove to be even weaker, especially if OPEC does cut volumes.

Natural Gas fell another 3.5% to $7.81 last week as storage injections accelerated on cool weather and the end of week drop in crude overcame attempts for gas to find a near term bottom. Gas is trading off another 1% this morning.

  • Weather Watch: Still unseasonably cool last week. Cooling degree days inched up to 59 last week from the 54 reading a week ago (that yielded last week's 88 Bcf injection). This is still below normal and well below year ago levels and my preliminary injection range is 70 to 75 Bcf.

Stocks We Care About Today:

Precision Drilling Trust To Buy Grey Wolf. (PDS) buys (GW) for $2.0 billion in cash and stock or what amounts to $10.45 per share vs a closing price of $8.59 for (GW) last Friday. This is the same deal that fell through at $10 per share a few weeks ago but now (GW)'s board is on board so to speak. Hard to say this does much by way of establishing valuations for the land drillers as Grey Wolf has a high percentage of workover rigs in their fleet.

Credible Source Watch: A little bird who I have quite a bit of faith in sent me a note saying (HK) has a 20+ MMcfepd well recently completed in the Haynesville.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch: (DRYS) target trimmed from $123 to $117 at Cantor, (XCO) initiated at Outperform with a  $43 target at RBC, (ECA) target slashed from $126 to $93 at CIBC.

147 Responses to “Monday Morning And All Is Calm”

  1. 1
    BossmanG Says:


    Z, could that be the reason why HK was acting up on friday? (well completion)

  2. 2
    zman Says:

    Bossman – morning, could be, and well results like that are more likely than merger rumors coming true as you know. The rate I heard would probably put the well close to 10 Bcfe, vs Agubreys range of 4.5 to 8.5 Bcfe and what seems to be a mid point of 6 Bcfe if you average all the player’s comments to date on the play. So it would be a monster-monster well.

    XCO out with some nice hedges for the rest of the year, left it out of the post because I saw it late and I’m still a little miffed with them but they did score some nice hedges at the last minute.

    Oil starting a run now. Uk on holiday today so light volumes, a rebound from the bashing oil took Friday and the dollar lower.

  3. 3
    Bleemus Says:

    XTO XTO Energy has hedged more than 70% of its remaining 2008 product volumes (48.34 )

    The co announces it has updated its price hedges for future sales of natural gas and oil production from 2008 through 2010. “With our goal of securing financial returns and growth, XTO has hedged more than 70% of its remaining 2008 production volumes at a price of $10.10 on a natural gas equivalent basis. For 2009, we have increased our hedged volumes to over 40% of expected production at an equivalent price of $12.31 per Mcfe. With a total production base rich in oil, XTO is managing its natural gas portfolio to higher realizations,” stated Bob Simpson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Looking ahead, employing our ongoing strategy, we expect to opportunistically secure additional price hedges.”

  4. 4
    zman Says:

    The Farmer’ Almanac 2009 edition, which goes on sale Tuesday, says at least two-thirds of the country can expect colder-than-average temperatures this winter, with only the Far West and Southeast in line for near-normal readings.

    “This is going to be catastrophic for millions of people,” said almanac editor Peter Geiger.


  5. 5
    BossmanG Says:

    Z, with cooling or heating, both have the same effect on natural gas demand?
    i.e. using natural gas in the winter to heat house, and natural gas getting burned by utility companies in summer to provide electricity for a/c’s?

  6. 6
    reefguy Says:

    ioc- Elk-4 testing 86 MMCFPD and 1,540 BCPD. They do not show a choke size or FTP.

  7. 7
    zman Says:

    Bossman – The effect on gas demand is not the same for a cooling degree day as it is for a heating degree day. Traditionally gas was a heating season fuel but over time as nukes were maxed out and coal became increasingly unpopular meaning that gas picked up the incremental demand for cooling load in the summer.

  8. 8
    zman Says:

    Reef – I used to think a test like that would have meant a $40+ stock. It would seem to assure them of enough gas for an LNG facility. Wonder why the stock has not cared about this success… lost in the maelstrom of the downturn?

  9. 9
    reefguy Says:

    z- The Maelsrom and management lack of credibility. This test is out of matrix porosity and does provide enough to go to LNG. I think the stock moves to a long term holding as I believe management will be replaced or merged away.

  10. 10
    zman Says:

    Thanks Reef – maybe a buy and write calls play.

    Oil just gave back a buck as easily as it gained it earlier. Light volume/high volatility day ahead.

  11. 11
    Bleemus Says:

    FT reports China’s state-owned oil companies are likely to stop imports of refined products such as diesel and petrol next month after a nine-month buying spree that has left stockpiles overflowing

  12. 12
    Dman Says:

    Hi Z,

    what do you make of the deal from the PDS standpoint? I.e. is it a decent buy that makes sense for PDS?

  13. 13
    zman Says:

    Spinner just south of Hispaniola:


    click animate in upper right.

    Dman – I’m not wild about GW, never have been. Seems just like a “get bigger” deal to me but they obviously think they need the U.S. exposure and given the cash component it is accretive to them in 2009. Have not heard what the analysts think yet.

  14. 14
    zman Says:

    Matrix USA taking PQ from Hold to Strong Buy. Don’t know them and don’t know why the upgrade.

  15. 15
    Fred Says:

    Big Three auto makers ask Washington for more money. Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Chrysler are set to receive $25B from Washington in government-backed loans. With high gas prices and weakened earnings, the Big Three are now asking for more. The companies themselves have not yet cited specific figures, but various reports put the new total between $40-50B. David Cole, president of the Center of Automotive Research, says, “This is not really a bailout. This is actually more like the government acting like a banker as it begins to look at the major consequences of a major failure in the auto industry.” Ok, so what’s a bailout?


  16. 16
    tomdavis12 Says:

    Z: Spoke with Jeff Mobley this morning re the possibility of LNG plants getting permission to export as well as import. Only comment is that it is way too early to make any comments. Not a short term solution. Too bad.

  17. 17
    tomdavis12 Says:

    CHK Jeff

  18. 18
    Dman Says:

    Fred, I’d say it’s a bailout but I’d also say it is a case of rewarding failure. Why not fund all the small startups that are serious about electric cars, supercapaictors etc?

  19. 19
    zman Says:

    Thanks Fred – we’ve completely tossed the capitalist mantra of survival of the fittest.

    Tom – I would think that is at least a few years out.

  20. 20
    zman Says:

    Dman re 18:

    Number of voters working at electric car startups: 500

    Number of voters working at the big 3: 500,000.

    Ok, not accurate numbers but you get my point.

  21. 21
    zman Says:

    Boss- After seeing the open and the reaction in the options, no way the move in the HK options on Friday was the result of well rumor news. HK now up 2% and the same OOTM options that rose on Friday with a down stock are now off slightly.

  22. 22
    Dman Says:

    HAL looking good here

  23. 23
    Dman Says:

    Something just hit the tape. Anybody got it?

  24. 24
    zman Says:

    Dman – hit the tape on … HAL? If so, I don’t see anything.

  25. 25
    Bleemus Says:


    That is what hit the tape.

  26. 26
    tomdavis12 Says:

    Z: GMXR Is their property near HK? Seems to be one of the better HS performers.

  27. 27
    zman Says:

    Tom – they are west of the primary HK acreage but with all the adds HK may have property in the vicinity.

  28. 28
    Dman Says:

    Z – all the names on my screen started oscillating wildly, like there was news but nobody could figure it good or bad. Maybe #25 fits the bill. Is it good or bad? Market now saying “aaah, who cares”.

  29. 29
    zman Says:

    Hear ya Dman, that was it, just thought you meant on HAL as per your last. From our little slice of the world, I’d say its net slightly positive for oil as the dollar may come off a little more as the possibility of Fed tightening is probably a hair less after seeing those housing numbers. How do you get more restrictive on credit when people are hurting this bad?

  30. 30
    zman Says:

    Getting spanked on my FRO trade so far. Don’t really get that and will add if it does not break out technically.

  31. 31
    Sambone Says:

    9:53 am EST

    Nymex Crude Flat After Last Week’s Volatility

    By Gregory Meyer

    NEW YORK — Crude oil futures on Monday hewed near last week’s close as traders held back after days of violent price moves.

    Light, sweet crude for October delivery was recently down 2 cents, or 0.02%, at $114.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE Futures exchange rose 17 cents $114.09 a barrel.

    Oil has lately posted dramatic daily changes, posting the steepest plunge in 17 years Friday as the dollar strengthened against rivals.

    The volatile pattern has made analysts wary of predicting short-term price direction.

    “Right now we’re in a kind of no man’s land,” said Matt Zeman, head of trading at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago. “There’s no clear way to go from around $115.”

    The market was torn as looming fear about supply met concrete evidence that supply is stabilizing. The Russian parliament’s vote to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions of Georgia, added to tensions in the pipeline-crossed Caucasus after Russia’s offensive in Georgia earlier this month, Zeman said.

    Yet a major pipeline traversing Georgia resumed operations. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan line “is back in service,” an Istanbul-based member pipeline operator BP PLC (BP) told Agence France-Presse. The pipeline was carrying about 850,000 barrels a day, or 1% of the world’s daily oil demand, before fire forced its shutdown earlier this month.

    Oil has fallen more than $30 a barrel since its settlement peak July 3. Its decline has led to speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may reduce output at its next policy meeting Sept. 9.

    The oil minister of Iran, OPEC’s second-largest exporter, hinted at a cut in statements oil ministry’s official Shana Web site.

    “Oil price trends are being monitored, and the issue of excess oil supply in the market and controlling the price will be among the major discussions at the upcoming OPEC meeting,” minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said, when asked whether OPEC would decide to reduce oil output at its upcoming meeting, according to Shana.

    “It seems that OPEC members also have in mind that the trend of falling oil prices should be restrained,” Shana cited Nozari as saying.

    The dollar was modestly weaker against the euro, which was at $1.4799 from $1.4774 late Friday. Traders have cited the greenback’s value against the single currency as a factor in oil’s recent moves, with a stronger dollar adding pressure on oil.

    Front-month September reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, fell 2.09 cents, or 0.7% to $2.8477 a gallon. September heating oil rose 24 points, or 0.1%, to $3.1335 a gallon.

    —By Gregory Meyer, Dow Jones Newswires

  32. 32
    zman Says:

    Oil off 50 cents, little change in the dollar, still down after the housing numbers. Group given up all the opening gains, could do with less Monday and Friday action and more of the mid week action we saw last week. Still, oil not getting drilled like natural gas is.

  33. 33
    Nicky Says:

    Good morning all.

    I am still looking for lower lows in the energy market – whether this turns out to be v down or b of an abc remains to be seen but I still think they make a go at the 200 dma which comes in around 111. More important support comes in at the 109 area and it wouldn’t surprise me if we made a spike down there.

    Nat gas still looks like it wants to test the lows made in early 2008 which were at 7.3 – 7.6. We need to see a close above the 8.5 area for indications of a low being in place. We often see important lows made in the August/September time frame.

  34. 34
    zman Says:

    Morning Nicky – um, thought you were looking for a big bounce in oil last week, even after Thursday….must have missed the reversal.

  35. 35
    Nicky Says:

    The only part of the housing data I think that was important was the inventory number – until we start to see inventory contract there is zero chance of a recovery in the housing market.

    CNBC commented that 40% of the houses on the market are actually in the foreclosure process – to me that is shocking. Also they said this does not account for the inventory that the banks are putting straight out that is not hitting the MLS system.

  36. 36
    zman Says:

    Coal down across the board.

    Solars up today with the exception of FSLR, off 4%, don’t see news, if anyone has the reason there let me know.

  37. 37
    Nicky Says:

    Hey Z – you got a $7 bounce last week – what’s that if its not big???

    All kidding aside – I don’t suggest you re read my posts BUT…yes predicted a bounce, but had felt it would go lower first, which it didnt…got a bounce and at that point it SEEMED like maybe the BIG bounce was underway although I did comment that I was not entirely convinced by it due to a very unclear wave pattern. On Friday when it didn’t continue I did say I thought lower lows would look much better on the chart and at that stage I gave pretty much the same thoughts I have put in #33. So I guess I was faked out half way through last week but the count appears to me back on track now…
    fwiw either we we are still going to see another good bounce….but…I do hope for the sake of clarity we get a lower low first!

  38. 38
    mahout Says:

    Z and Reef:

    Re: IOC Elk-4 discovery well

    Increase of 36.5% to 86 MMCFD and proportionate increase in condensate after acid stimulation is certainly excellent news. There may be even better news coming from Antelope-1. which will drill in the 4th qtr.

    Ant.-1 Tech. presentation quotes:

    “It is structurally high to Elk-4 (” a potential 1640 ft. gas column attic above the Elk-4 well”)”

    “Recent seismic suggests structure broadens to the south with reef potential”

    “Mapped area is a minimum of Approx. 37 Sq. Kilometers”.

    “Seismic character is analogeous to other reef wells in the area”.

    It certainly looks like it’s worth watching. The reservoir estimates have been wild at this early stage. I have seen lows of 3/3.5 Trill. and highs of 18.5 Trill. Not knowing much of what I’m talking about here, I keep asking myself, “What if they really have a 12 to 15 Trill. EUR here? Wouldn’t that be just a whopping bonanza even after deductions for high costs and partnership takes”.

  39. 39
    davidjeso Says:

    Z – “if” your HK source is on point, would you expect a press release in the near term? HK options giving back much of Friday’s gains…

  40. 40
    Nicky Says:

    Broader market – good support at 1275 and 1260.

  41. 41
    Dman Says:

    At the risk of being branded a loon …. UNG calls anyone? Or maybe just the shares or units or whatever the dang things are.

    Do they send you a big plastic bag of methane in the mail?


  42. 42
    Nicky Says:

    Agree Dman – think the risk/reward is starting to look good down here….

  43. 43
    zman Says:

    davisjeso – they do interim quarter updates so it is possible. I would not think they would just PR a single well so they may wait until they have other updates if they need to. They could save it for the quarter but that is a long way off and I imagine they’d like to kickstart the stock…although, more gas now seems to be a bad thing, lol.

  44. 44
    zman Says:

    Dman – I hear ya, don’t need to catch the tip of the knife myself but may play as gas punches back up through $8 or if it touches $7, at which point I think you hear all kinds of squawking about curtailments and capex redux. Besides, I’m playing gas now via SWN and CHK on the long side.

  45. 45
    antrimshale74 Says:

    Pure excitement in QRCP today. CEO fired and major investigation into money transfers underway.

  46. 46
    bill Says:


  47. 47
    isleworth Says:

    Tropical depression Seven now on NHC site – path looks interesting!!!!

  48. 48
    zman Says:

    Bill – First time I’ve heard Pelosi liking natural gas.

    QRCP – zoiks

    Isle – thanks, that was 94L that I was saying could provide a little support later in the week. Talk about interesting tracks:


  49. 49
    davidjeso Says:

    Z – any MMR thougths? The recent action has me thinking it must be Blackbeard related, but I’m thinking of buying puts as I don’t think BB will play out well (no inside info)…

  50. 50
    reefguy Says:

    38-ioc Any of these numbers from 3.5 to 18 TCFG is big. Stock down a buck on news. No one(including Boone) believes the or in management. I think they need to hand off all or a big chunch and operations to a big boy.

  51. 51
    bill Says:

    i thought futures guys looked at weather charts

    do you see where this is headed by friday?


  52. 52
    bill Says:

    soory you were on that with 48

  53. 53
    bill Says:

    z 48

    the dem’s needed to get behind something

    2 Pelosi invested some money with t boones pickens

    3. A week ago Rahm (clinton guy) backed T boone Pickens

    this will be the dems alternative for drilling for oil

  54. 54
    zman Says:

    Bill – they do read weather charts, at least the oil guys that is. The gas guys are still in sell mode as they have misunderstood, in my opinion, the ability to grow production in a $7 gas environment.

    Re MMR – I defer the Blackbeard part of the story to Reef as he is closer to it than I.

    Re 53: The highway here is covered up in fan blades, should be looking at wind plays too.

  55. 55
    zman Says:

    Wachovia cuts QRCP rating…little late fellas.

  56. 56
    reefguy Says:

    Blackbeard- all the insiders seem to believe it has pay. How good, only a flow test knows. The delay is puzzle, but MMR seems to be holding well in the maelstom. We need a scouting report from last thursday.

  57. 57
    zman Says:

    Anyone see anything on FRO? Getting whacked on my puts out of the gate does not make me happy. Bill, did rates pop? I don’t see that they did on the sites I look at at.

  58. 58
    Nicky Says:

    Rhetoric out of USA towards Russia seems to be heating up – hence the pop in oil and drop in the broader market.

  59. 59
    zman Says:

    Nicky – haven’t seen much new there and the BTC reopens today and expected at full cap by tomorrow. Wonder if choice of Biden as VP has an impact as the guy says some hawkish things from time to time.

  60. 60
    zman Says:

    Smart friend of mine talking about the August Blas.


    Click Art Hogan at 12:03 in the news column to listen.

  61. 61
    reefguy Says:

    Blackbeard- They have spent two weeks logging, only have 209′ of new log, poor quality. This is after a month of circulating and conditioning hole. Are planning to set cement in bottom to stabilize hole, then drillout further to planned td. My intepretation is cement is being run to overcome lost circulation. Yiu cannot get excited about this information.

  62. 62
    Nicky Says:

    Z – I just heard CNBC say something about the fall in the market coincided with a statement out of the USA over Russia.

  63. 63
    reefguy Says:

    EOG- does it have a multilateral Bakken well flowing 7000 BOPd- Where is this bad boy?

  64. 64
    zman Says:

    Jefferies cut target and Dahlman Rose cut rating on FRO and its up 4.6% today. Anybody see any Street comment on FRO?

    Hogan from #60 sees more money coming out of Energy and going into Technology. He sees oil falling to double digits before end of year.

    Thanks Nicky.

    Reef – I was wrong about that, not a multilateral but an extended, 10,000 foot lateral. That’s what I hear and I assume its in Parshall, will see if I can track it down.

  65. 65
    reefguy Says:

    EOG- great minds want to know whereabouts…

  66. 66
    zman Says:

    Bill – I never say what you thought of the DRYS quarter, any thoughts?

  67. 67
    Nicky Says:

    Looks like an exaggerated low volume move day in the broader market. No real selling…

  68. 68
    Nicky Says:

    1260 absolutely has to hold on the SPX or we could be looking at 1230 very quickly.

  69. 69
    zman Says:

    Reef – looks like the ND map server is clogged, will let you know when I see it but it looks like all the really long laterals are WLL and Murex where I’ve looked so far.

  70. 70
    Sambone Says:

    For Nicky

  71. 71
    tater Says:


    I added a 60 min chart to the FRO group. Looks to me like stop gunning. Watch the top Bollinger Band as well. If price cruises through that, you may have a problem. “Should” bounce down on meeting it though. FRO is on page 7 (I think)


    I am going to re-organize the whole chart list in a couple of days. Should be a lot easier to follow. Busy weekend, sorry for the mess.

  72. 72
    zman Says:

    Tater – thanks will have a look and no apologies. Know you don’t have time to keep the charts up forever but would like to link to them on the blogroll at upper right if ok with you.

  73. 73
    tater Says:

    Ok by me

  74. 74
    1520sbroad Says:

    Slightly off topic question for the group – does anyone use a data feed separate from their trading platform software? I am looking for a data feed that allows prices to be pulled into an excel spreadsheet. Any feedback welcome.

  75. 75
    zman Says:

    1520 – Thomson does that.

  76. 76
    1520sbroad Says:

    we used reuters at my last job. I guess that is now thomson. any idea on what that costs for a feed?

  77. 77
    Sambone Says:

    Oil Edges Up Past $115; Heating Oil Strong

    Dow Jones Newswires
    Oil futures are edging up past $115 after trading flat for most of the US session. The National Hurricane Center earlier Monday classified a storm system in the Caribbean as the 7th tropical depression of the season, and a private-sector meteorologist predicts it could develop into a hurricane by Wednesday and may threaten the Gulf Coast — and its energy infrastructure — over the Labor Day weekend. That being said, heating oil futures are leading among energy contracts, September +2.88 cents, or 0.9%, at $3.1599 a gallon. Nymex Oct crude 50c, or 0.5%, at $115.09 a barrel. (ANR)

  78. 78
    zman Says:

    $250 a month + exchange fees for the basic Thomson One. I would not wish their customer service on my greatest enemy but the system is fairly trouble free.

  79. 79
    Nicky Says:

    Roubini on CNBC predicting another 10 – 15% of downside in home prices and the lows will not be seen until 2010 – amazing how the CNBC guys looked so shocked. Do they really think this is going to be solved overnight?

  80. 80
    1520sbroad Says:

    z- have you used the excel capabilities?

  81. 81
    isleworth Says:

    1520 – The new Quotestream II is cheapest that supports exporting data I have ever found.

  82. 82
    Dman Says:

    Nicky #79 It’s gotta be 100% happy talk 100% of the time. Which begs the question of why they asked Roubini on. Oh, right, they figure they need the credibility but they forgot to explain the happy-talk rule to him. Or they did explain it but haven’t yet figured out a way to enforce it contractually.

  83. 83
    zman Says:

    1520 – yep. For instance, if you want to pull price data, you just click it for a graph, then hit export to excel and excel pops up pre-populated.

  84. 84
    Fred Says:

    1520 – Think Yahoo does that. Click on Basic Technical Analyis on the left under charting and click on historical prices at on the bottom. Then bottom option to download to spread sheet.

  85. 85
    zman Says:

    Reef – don’t know where it is, looked everywhere and I cannot find. Will ask around. Big oil now down same as market, XNG and OIH playing catch up. Mondays…

  86. 86
    zman Says:

    Fred – you are correct, it does do that

  87. 87
    1520sbroad Says:

    thanks everyone – i will give thomson and quotestream a calll.

  88. 88
    bill Says:


    i dont know how you feel about stock splits but fro wants to split 5 for 1


  89. 89
    bill Says:

    John Fredriksen-led tanker owner hopes to boost trading liquidity with a five-for-one share split.

  90. 90
    zman Says:

    TD 7: NHC saying could be tropical storm by tonight.

    Bill – re stock splits. Generally I think they have no impact on the financials and are good for short term psych for reasons which have always escaped me. Why managements do them is a bit of a mystery especially in a stock of that price range (I understand better when you get into triple digits but really, it still makes no rationale sense there either). Watching it come back away from that top BB now. Thanks for the headsup.

  91. 91
    zman Says:

    Five for one is nutty. Attempting to put your stock into the hands of people who don’t understand that one stock may be cheaper at $50 than another at $10 is nutty.

  92. 92
    Nicky Says:

    Sssssh Z – if we could just put a lower low on the charts first please……

  93. 93
    bill Says:

    drys missed which i expected but overall the number was good

    Id stay away from drys for the moment, ethical issues with ceo

    the bdi is down and we need to see a pickup in rates

    I think its fairly priced at 70 and it could drop to 50.


    2 relatively new names i like in the bulker sector is dwt and free

    z-you have to review the 10q on dwt-its unbelievable

    had an ipo a few month ago at 15,
    stocks around 9- they have 6 new ships coming that are worth 100 each and they are buying for 60 m so the value of that contract equals the current market cap, you get the rest of the company for free

    they used the ipo proceeds to pay off hi cost junk bond debt and took a 1 time q2 charge, they will earn over a buck per qtr and pays a qrty divy of 28 cents

    it trades at 1.2 times ebitda

    oh yeah cramerer liked it at 13– i bot 20,000 today in low 9’s

    free is in turnaround mode

    q1 eps was .01
    q2 was .19
    q3 is expected to be .36 , i think 40 cents

  94. 94
    zman Says:

    Nicky – man, you sound like a shorty, lol.

  95. 95
    zman Says:

    Bill – I was think rates would turn up post Olympics as China is low on coal and no longer cares about the color of the air. Seemed EXM is getting a lot of coal (traditionally a Capesize or Panamax load) booked in their Supramax/Handy class vessels. Those rates have almost caught the Panamax rates. EXM’s CC and quarter went well.

  96. 96
    bill Says:

    here is the link to dwt 10-q filed as a 6-k


  97. 97
    Nicky Says:

    Z – re 94 – would be much easier to get bullish if the pattern cleared up…

  98. 98
    bill Says:

    the traders woke up and now know a storm is coming

    ng is off lows of 7.61 to 7.77

  99. 99
    bill Says:

    obama dween on cnbc says obama wants to move away from dirty energy

    nuclear, coal, oil to clean

    solar, wind, not said (gas)

    said we wouldnt get oil off shore for 10 years so why go there,

    other side why plant a tree, it would take 10 years for the shade

  100. 100
    zman Says:

    Hear ya Bill, NG near record net short position, and I’d call this an active season as we have not hit the peak of it yet and we are on 7 named storms. Odds are good something causes bigger evacs than we have seen so far this season.

  101. 101
    Nicky Says:

    I can’t see they are at all sure where TD7 goes after Cuba – lots of possibilities.

  102. 102
    zman Says:

    Bill – I’ve heard the 10 year thing on Florida drilling a lot lately. Completely bogus time line. But what’s with the short range thinking? It all matters, each molecule. These guys want the quick fix, the honey pot full of oil (except not oil) where everything is magically fixed. Sheesh.

    Nicky – NHC said same re TD 7, lot of ways it could go and the slightly favor more Westerly of the tracks at present.

  103. 103
    zman Says:

    Merrill out today saying they expect Oil Service stocks to pick up at the turn of the month with natural gas prices.

  104. 104
    isleworth Says:

    TS Gustav is born – NHC track looks like GOMEX is a good possibility

  105. 105
    isleworth Says:

    look at NG respond to that news

  106. 106
    zman Says:

    Gustav already has an eye, heading into hot tub temp water.


  107. 107
    zman Says:

    Text on Gustav


    Oil in $0.90 swing since it was upgraded. Man are people bored this week.

  108. 108
    Sambone Says:

    106 – Water temp is 86.4 degrees.


  109. 109
    Dman Says:

    Z – you are currently out of HAL calls, correct?

  110. 110
    zman Says:

    Yes, out of HAL calls

  111. 111
    Alhambra Says:

    WEL, Boots & Coots, going verticle today. Z, can you find any news from your guy? Or if anybody else around here knows anything, please let me know. Had to sell some at these levels, but still love their story going forward as they build out their service side. Thanks.

  112. 112
    Dman Says:

    Further to #4:

    there was a reader comment in RealMoney today citing Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi’s winter forecast & stated that Joe has been advising his clients that winter will come to ” an early, cold and snowy start in the mid-Atlantic and New England…coldest since 2000-01″

  113. 113
    zman Says:

    Al – just sent my WEL guy a message.

    Dman – I’ve bet against Bastardi before and wished I hadn’t. Glad he’s on the good side of the trade this year. Merrill was saying in their piece that the coming of September should get people in the winter seasonal upturn for gas and I know they have their own meteo folks too.

  114. 114
    zman Says:

    Low volume late greening of the screen underway…the Gustav effect.

  115. 115
    Nicky Says:

    National Weather Center obviously don’t agree:

    The almanac is at odds with the National Weather Service, whose trends-based outlook calls for warmer than normal weather this winter over much of the country, including Alaska, said Ed O’Lenic, chief of the operations branch at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. The almanac and the weather service are in sync, however, in pointing to a chance of a drier winter in the Northwest.
    O’Lenic wouldn’t comment specifically on the almanac’s ability to forecast the weather two years from now, but said it’s generally impossible to come up with accurate forecasts more than a week in advance.
    “Of course it’s possible to prepare a forecast with any lead time you like. Whether or nor that forecast has any accuracy or usable skill is another question,” he said.
    Geiger sticks to his guns, saying the almanac was on target in the 2008 edition when it said the Northeast and the Great Lakes would have a long, cold winter with lots of snow.

  116. 116
    Fred Says:

    Nicky – Russia is dismantling nuclear subs, so maybe no war wanted. I know it just takes a few too ruin the whole day.

    From the Dockwise division of FRO:

    Naval shipyard Zvezda, located in Bolshoi Kamen, Russia, will dismantle the two nuclear powered submarines. This project is sponsored by the Canadian Government under the Global Partnership Programme, originally established by the G8 to stop the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction. The submarines, located in Kamchatka, form part of a larger number of nuclear powered submarines to be dismantled by Zvezda. Dockwise will involve nuclear experts in this project in which safety and security have absolute priority. Execution of the contract will take place in 2009.

  117. 117
    tater Says:

    Can’t remember if I am thinking of the correct company. Didn’t CRR have big plans for a facility in Russia? How’d that turn out? Is this tension going to effect tariff’s or something goofy like that? Wondering if this might be a catalyst for a drop? (Chart is up against resistance). Any ideas welcome.

  118. 118
    tater Says:

    Sorry, the word is “affect”. I’ve been chewed out for that before!

  119. 119
    Sambone Says:

    New “Shipping” ETF out (SEA).


  120. 120
    Sambone Says:

    By Gregory Meyer

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–The oil market took a day off from its recent volatility
    with crude futures creeping higher Monday as traders probed for direction.
    The formation of a tropical storm in the Caribbean and speculation about
    future output from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
    supplied some support in low volume.
    Light, sweet crude for October delivery settled 52 cents, or 0.5%, higher at
    $115.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, now a unit of CME Group
    Inc. (CME). Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange closed at $114.18 a barrel,
    up 26 cents. Brent settlement prices weren’t immediately available.
    After springing up more than $5 a barrel Thursday and then plummeting more
    than $6 Friday, oil prices have kept traders guessing. With many away on
    vacation this week and the U.K. having a public holiday Monday, trading was
    “After last week’s polar opposite days Thursday and Friday, I think the
    market’s a bit exhausted,” said Gene McGillian, a broker at Tradition Energy in
    Stamford, Conn.
    Adding uncertainty to supply, the National Hurricane Center said a tropical
    depression had strengthened into a storm. Tropical Storm Gustav was blowing
    with maximum wind speeds of 60 mph near the island of Hispaniola. Traders said
    they’ll watch to see if it aims at the critical energy infrastructure of the
    U.S. Gulf Coast.
    “You’ve got to see it potentially impacting crude supplies,” said Zach Oxman,
    senior trader at Wisdom Financial in Newport Beach, Calif. “At this point, it’s
    probably at the corner of people’s minds.”
    This week is the third anniversary of the date Hurricane Katrina slammed the
    Gulf Coast, helping push crude prices above $70 a barrel for the first time.
    Speculation mounted as OPEC approaches a Sept. 9 policy meeting in Vienna.
    Iranian oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari suggested a cut in the cartel’s
    production may be in order as oil prices have slipped from recent highs above
    $145 a barrel. A recent OPEC report said the group pumped 32.6 million barrels
    a day in July, 235,800 barrels a day more than the prior month.
    “Oil price trends are being monitored and the issue of excess oil supply in
    the market and controlling the price will be among the major discussions at the
    upcoming OPEC meeting,” he said, according to the oil ministry’s Shana Web
    Reuters cited an unnamed OPEC source as saying OPEC is not likely to change
    its output policy at the meeting.
    Separately, a ship in Nigeria was hijacked Sunday, security sources told
    Agence France-Presse. Nigeria, an OPEC member, has seen its oil production
    slide amid civil unrest in its oil-rich southern region.
    Front-month September reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, rose 1.37
    cents, or 0.5%, to $2.8823 a gallon. September heating oil climbed 2.03 cents,
    or 0.7%, to $3.1514 a gallon.

    -By Gregory Meyer, Dow Jones Newswires
    Dow Jones Newswires
    08-25-08 1515ET

  121. 121
    zman Says:

    Tater – they do have a Russian sub, everything going very well there. Wonder when Russia discovers massive gas laden shales on their turf?!

    As to whether tensions lead to tariffs, dunno. Russia has acted rather brashly in the past in the energy arena but I have not heard of a problem there and there was nothing on the 2Q call about the potential for as much.

  122. 122
    zman Says:

    NG up on the day in the after market, oil now up $0.73. Group has effectively broken from the broad market which is now down 260 on the Dow. Won’t mean much if Gustav heads toward Florida instead of the Gulf over night.

  123. 123
    bill Says:


    interesting names

    drys largest bulker out there 1.8 % of the index

    ocnf tiny and thinly traded and has a 4.8 % weight

    They have too much weighting in smaller names and not enough in larger names. Thats scerwed up

    EUROSEAS LTD 5.69 %
    SEASPAN CORP 5.51 %
    DANAOS CORP 4.45 %
    FRONTLINE LTD 3.99 %
    TEEKAY TANK-CL A 3.93 %
    DRYSHIPS INC 1.79 %
    MITSUI O.S.K. LINES LTD 1.70 %

  124. 124
    zman Says:

    Thanks Sam and Bill. Agreed odd weightings, usually the big dogs carry a disproportionate share of the index. Dunno what their thought process here is on the weighting. Still, nice to have an ETF to point to and will add to the wrap table for kicks.

  125. 125
    tater Says:

    Thanks, I just quick skimmed the call, actually said the BP thing could help them get more consulting biz in Russia. Don’t know if that’s still true. I am thinking that there may be a growing perception, even if incorrect, that some of these similarly situated companies may get a bit hurt.
    Any other oil/gas names that have a big Russia connection? SLB comes to mind.

  126. 126
    bill Says:

    id have 10 names

    50 % bulk and 50 % tankers

    my 10 name

    bulker names 5 % each


    tanker names all at 8 % each


    I like my index better

  127. 127
    zman Says:

    COP via LUKOY

    GMXR outperforming again but HK not doing too poorly.

  128. 128
    Nicky Says:

    The spaghetti plot on our local tropical update shows the majority of tracks for TD7 taking a very hard left once over Cuba…if so would miss Florida and the GOM…

  129. 129
    tomdavis12 Says:

    Z: Lehman conference at all important next week?

  130. 130
    zman Says:

    Tom – yes, first conference of the fall season, and there is usually some actual news out of the companies. Lehman has been a big bear on prices for oil and natural gas of late so they are going to be running head long into companies, especially the gas producers, who will tell them they’ve got the supply picture messed up for next year. But mostly, I look for a few of the E&P’s to put out interim quarter updates with specific news that week if not at the conference.

  131. 131
    bill Says:

    Is it possible to ship ng from the us to europe/asia

    there are ships, but do we have export terminals

  132. 132
    zman Says:

    Yes, the U.S. ships a small amount of gas to Japan

  133. 133
    arodeen Says:

    Z – Don’t know if you’ll catch this, but have you heard of the new (upcoming) ETF OOK?


  134. 134
    Wyoming Says:

    COP out of Kenai Alaska shipped about 52BCF/yr to Tokyo Power and Light as I last understood about 4 years ago. Gas comes from their Tyonek Platform, also known as North Cook Inlet on some maps.

    I believe the contract is up in 2009. They have an LNG terminal there.

  135. 135
    zman Says:

    Aro – had not seen it, will have look, thanks.

    Yep, you can see those volumes to Japan here:


  136. 136
    zman Says:

    Aro – could not get that link to work but here is another.


    An Oklahoma HQ’d company index. Hmmm.

  137. 137
    zman Says:

    Re – WEL from earlier. Nothing lately seen by the WEL fan, he said will pass along any comments but nothing for now.

  138. 138
    Wyoming Says:

    My experience with WEL was as an end user. Their sales guy said they made some small acquisitions to gain entry into the snubbing business and expand from the well kill only service line. Snubbing units are a commodity (41 units in the Barnett alone)but the demand for these units is greater in the HS, Bakken and Marculus plays as the service base is limited and many techniques are done daily in the Barnett. The units and companies here are running to these other plays quickly.

  139. 139
    Bleemus Says:


    Take a look at the system that comes off the coast of Africa. Very big development early.

  140. 140
    zman Says:

    Thanks Bleemus, guess the guys in Colorado were right about a busy season

  141. 141
    Fred Says:

    Gustav looks like it’s headed to the gulf:


  142. 142
    zman Says:

    Yep, oil not too excited about that newer track which is a little further south than the last and not running the length of Cuba all on land which is tough on a young storm. The new primary track also shows Gustav as a Cat 1 tomorrow and staying that way instead of weakening over Castro.

    Natural gas up a dime post hours to 7.92 at present.

    The spaghetti charts still show quite a bit of diversity in the storm track but most go that way too.


  143. 143
    zman Says:

    1100 PM EDT MON AUG 25 2008


  144. 144
    bill Says:

    why is oil down


  145. 145
    zman Says:

    Big jump in the dollar index, up 1%; oil started selling off about 2 hours ago.

  146. 146
    bill Says:

    ty- i thought gustav would outweigh that

    ng up nicely–maybe we will see higher prices today on our gassy stocks

  147. 147
    zman Says:

    Bill – I think it is just a matter of time. People are digesting some lousy sentiment numbers out of Germany that scream ECB rate cut this morning and give more credence to the relative weaker Euro to Dollar thesis but as the storm approaches, and if it stays on a central Gomex track, I expect oil to stop caring and to run into the weekend. Either way, the stocks should react to the storm more than oil if that track holds which has a Cat 3 on the lip of the Gulf by Saturday which should induce short covering in oil, gas, and some stocks like GDP and GMXR who have pretty short interest at present.

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