Expiry Friday


I expect pinning action to set in early today due to March Madness. I also plan to add more oil service puts early. 

In Today's Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Natural Gas Storage Review
  4. Stuff We Care About Today
  5. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch: Busy but fun day yesterday. The wiki is updated; the $10KP page will be updated over the weekend.

  • $10KP - Half out of the HK March $20 Calls for $0.70, up 366%, with the stock at $20.50.


  • $10KP Added 50 SD April $10 Calls (SDDB) for a dime. Following the gas inventory number which came at 30 Bcf vs 25 expected by the Street and sparked a 10% rally in gas prices.


  • $10KP: Sold another quarter of my HK March 20 Call position for $1.10, up 633%, into today’s natural gas rally.


  • $10KP Entering 10 NBR April $10 puts (NBRPB) for $0.60. Stock is popping up with oil and the energy groups today to a 1 month high. I expect rig counts and day rates to continue to decline. The oil service group has proved a difficult short this year but given the fundamental picture I expect the E in PE to continue to slide.


  • $10KP Added 5 GMXR April $10 Calls (GUFDB) for $1.10. Going to wade into this one slowly as they approach their bank debt redetermination but also want to be long for well the next set of Haynesville well news coming in April.

Commodity Watch

Crude oil rallied strongly as the dollar tanked in the wake of the Fed's Wednesday comments. Oil ended the day up $3.47 to close at $51.61, a 2009 high. The April contract expires today so expect wild swings in prices. The 12 month strip moved up $2.02 to end yesterday at $56.37. This morning oil is trading off slightly as the dollar gets a bit of a small and I suspect short lived dead cat bounce.

  • Matt Simons Presentation Watch: Worth a look as you watch basketball today.
  • Strike Watch: Petrobras union workers plan five day strike to begin March 23. Last year a similiar strike resulted in 63,000 bopd of reduced production. Probably not worth noting but if it drags on or expands it could be supportive of crude sentiment.
  • Salazar Watch: Interior Secretary speaks to the American Petroleum Institute saying there is "no U.S. war on the oil and gas industry" ... and then goes on to tell them royalty rates are too low and that renewables will be the focus going forward.  Text of the speech here.

Natural gas rose a whopping $0.49 or 14% to close at $4.17. I didn't look it up but I'm guessing that this is one of the biggest top 5 increases for natural gas in the last five years. This morning natural gas slightly lower with oil. A close above $4 is somewhat psychologically important but even then I suspect that calling the lows of earlier this week the lows for this cycle to be something more akin to hope than anything else as we enter the shoulder season.

Natural Gas Storage Review


ZComment: A slightly, and I do mean slightly, larger than expected withdrawal spared a huge rally in natural gas futures. This week's weather has been very warm so I expect a smaller withdrawal next week. With this week's injection comparisons to year ago and five year average storage for this time of the  year became exceedingly bloated (B and C below). Again, high storage levels at this juncture (as in the oil market) are not the end of the world for natural gas prices. I'd expect a modest pullback today after yesterday's jump but I also expect to see another set of bullish rig count numbers. I would last point out that the 2006, 2007, and even the 2008 troughs on the graph A) below did not result in anything close to the low prices we have today and production at each of those points was known to be headed higher. 


Stuff We Care About Today

FSLR Produces 1 GW.

  • First Solar out with a seemingly puff piece press release this morning noting they have produced 1 gigawatt of solar modules in aggregate since their first sale 6 years ago.
  • They will have the capacity to produced 1 GW per year by the end of this year
  • During 4Q they reduced prices below the $1 per watt level which is best in industry and the higher capacity will yield further cost reductions.

Citigroup Echoing Thoughts on Oil Service

  • Jat pointed out Howard Weil next week being  a source of potentially depressing news for the industry as SLB speaks about the state of the oil service industry at what is arguably the most important energy conference of the year.
  • Citi's has a piece out entitled North American Downturn Crushes First Quarter Results. The piece basically says:
    • sharp downward earnings revisions will prove not have been enough
    • profit warnings are likely to come out soon
    • they see SLB, HAL, BHI, SII, and WFT announcing 1Q short falls as early as next week
    • they cite the Howard Weil conference as a catalyst for warnings
    • I will likely take PUTS on HAL and SLB today and perhaps BHI.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch: Argus cuts (FTO) from Buy to Hold, Wachovia cuts (EGLE) and (DSX) to Market Perform.

90 Responses to “Expiry Friday”

  1. 1
    Sambone Says:

    By Kevin M. Nichols

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Crude oil futures fell Friday as the dollar rose against
    the euro and traders took profits from the week’s rally.
    Light, sweet crude for April delivery was recently down 39 cents, or 0.8%, at
    $51.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract will
    expire Friday, and trading has largely shifted to May futures, which are down
    31 cents, or 0.6%, at $51.73 a barrel. May Brent crude on the ICE Futures
    exchange traded down 9 cents oat $50.58 a barrel.
    Oil hit its highest levels in nearly four months Thursday, settling at $51.61.
    It was the first time crude futures had settled above $50 a barrel since
    November. The gains came in response to a Federal Reserve plan to buy Treasurys
    and mortgage-backed securities, which in turn weakened the dollar and sent
    investors into commodities markets to guard against inflation.
    But oil may have difficulty holding onto those gains, as little has changed
    about the state of global oil demand, which remains weak due to the economic
    “Fundamentally nothing this week has warranted $52 a barrel crude,” said Tom
    Bentz a broker and analyst at BNP Paribas.
    The dollar-driven commodities rally showed signs of sputtering out. After
    weakening to a 10-week low against the euro earlier this week, the dollar was
    slightly stronger Friday morning. The euro was recently at $1.3561. Gold,
    silver and copper, which posted large gains as the dollar’s value fell, were
    all down slightly.
    But oil’s five-week, 50% rally has raised the prospect that the market
    bottomed out when front-month crude futures settled below $34 a barrel in
    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) increased its 2009 oil price forecast to $49.38 a
    barrel, up nearly $5 from previous estimates. Analysts with the bank said the
    weak dollar was not incorporated into their forecast model, but “could prove a
    supportive factor over the course of 2009.”
    Front-month April reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, fell 1.21 cents,
    or 0.8%, to $1.4252 a gallon. April heating oil was up 61 points, or 0.5%, at
    $1.3624 a gallon.

    -By Kevin M. Nichols, Dow Jones Newswires
    Dow Jones Newswires
    03-20-09 0911ET

  2. 2
    reefguy Says:

    TXCO- evidence that they are not going to make it. Third Point no longer a shareholder. They owned 10% this time last year at an average of about 11/sh

  3. 3
    reefguy Says:

    KRU next in bk

  4. 4
    zman Says:

    Thanks Reef – any thoughts on same for EXXI?

    Tudor Pickering out today saying 1Q09 oil service earnings be the high point for some time. Saying that the bias on 2010 is getting lower.

  5. 5
    zman Says:

    Reef – don’t know that one, so many that don’t really need to be public went that way and will be “involuntarily privatized” yet again. You ever come across FPP?

  6. 6
    zman Says:

    ZTRADE: Added HAL April $15 Puts (HALPC) for $0.40.

  7. 7
    reefguy Says:

    EXXI- I am still holding 20k, i guess that means i think it makes it

  8. 8
    ram Says:

    ZMAN – Still thinking about APR HK’s?

  9. 9
    zman Says:

    SLB puts got away from me on the open, will revisit if we get a morning rally.

    Thanks Reef. Looks ready to run.

  10. 10
    reefguy Says:

    FPP- high loe stuff on a flat curve in the last 5% of production life. Are they due a redetermination?

  11. 11
    zman Says:

    Damn Citi for pointing out the obvious on service before I had all my puts on.

    Ram – yes, no rush though.

  12. 12
    elduque Says:

    BDI -13 1782

    TED 103.11

  13. 13
    zman Says:

    Reef – re FPP, don’t know been years since I looked at them, but I saw they just canned a deal.

  14. 14
    ram Says:

    What strike, possibly?

  15. 15
    zman Says:

    Ram – 22.50 and 25

  16. 16
    Garyinhou Says:

    Z.. Have a price target for hal in mind?

  17. 17
    zman Says:

    Anyone have the Howard Weil agenda?

  18. 18
    jy Says:

    Interesting rig count article w/multiple scenarios looking forward based on previous rig decline rates in other downturns. Of course we all know, “this time it’s different”.
    http://www.rigzone.com news/article.asp?a_id=74065

  19. 19
    reefguy Says:

    KNEU-pinks,owns 77% of KRU. KNEU assets being foreclosed on today in Dallas, they file bk, KRU files bk…see what a mess we have.

  20. 20
    zman Says:

    Gary – $16 would be a welcome print for that set of puts, later a cycle low of $13 or even $12 at which time I’m probably a buyer of the common, say around mid year.

  21. 21
    Jay Reynolds Says:

    Z & BOP & anyone else,

    Kindly requesting a little help w/ this. Normally I have a pretty easy time with Matt Simmons but these slides were geared towards a different audience I think.

    Slides 20 – 23 re USO ETF vs Glencore’s Credit Default Swaps.


    Also, slides 24 – 28 have a pretty good perspective on the Shale Gas “Miracle”.



  22. 22
    zman Says:

    jy – that is an indepth one on the rig side, print out sitting on my desk. I am mostly through it, did not really see a comparison to gas production and prices.

    JR – still thinking about it, sent BOP and email re 20 to 23

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    I agree with most of 24 to 28. He says at one point supply did not really grow but obviously it did. U.S. gas supply did not grow for years and then hockey sticked higher with the Barnett and then other shales. Demand has been pretty flattish over the last decade as you have declining industrial demand in the face of higher prices coming up against rising gas-fired electrical general (despite higher prices). He makes a good point about the drilled but not completed backlog…this is how some folks plan to grow production in 2009 without drilling any wells … it will slow the declines in aggregate supply. But 2010 is going to be ugly for gas supply if rigs don’t just stop falling but rebound quite strongly by 3Q. And that is what I’m betting on. That gas prices will be rising as the economy recovers and that capital spending will be constrained longer than that to the point of producing a de facto gas cartel in the states.

  24. 24
    zman Says:

    Oil green by the way, test $52.

    NG up another 12 at $.30. Oversold, short covering.

  25. 25
    zman Says:

    Stocks looking bored, pinned, ignored what have you. It’s Friday, it’s March Madness, it’s tired.

    Missed another shot at SLB by being cheap. WFT is an alternative worthy of puts as well, both companies are sacrificing margins like crazy to keep busy. Might be the right thing for keeping the team together but in the end its bad for earnings and only delays the pain for service.

    While the short on oil service makes intuitive sense the OIH generally tracks the XNG and both generally track oil. So these oil service puts are going to fall under the category of nimble trades.

  26. 26
    Sambone Says:

    By Steve Gelsi

    Energy stocks fell back into mixed trading Friday after four consecutive days
    of gains tied to rising oil prices, with natural gas shares rising but oil
    service stocks giving up ground on comment from a Citi analyst on lower
    The Amex Oil Index rose fractionally at 887.
    The Amex Natural Gas Index rose 1.2% to 371.
    The Philadelphia Oil Service Index retreated 2.5% to 132.
    Crude-oil prices fell 41 cents to $51.20 after jumping to their highest levels
    since late last year in the previous session.
    Citi analyst Robin Shoemaker said a steep downturn in oil and gas rig activity
    promises to crush first-quarter results from oil-service companies.
    Shoemaker said it is possible that oil-service giants Halliburton Co. (HAL),
    Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI), Smith International Inc.
    (SII) and Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT) will announce as early as next
    week that their first-quarter and full-year earnings will fall short of
    consensus expectations.
    Shoemaker offered hope that the sector could recover later this year.
    “While companies are aggressively cutting costs, they will not see the
    benefits until later this year,” Shoemaker said in a note to clients. “If oil
    prices hold at or near current levels, as we expect they will, the bottoming
    process and the beginnings of a recovery in demand for oilfield services are
    probably less than a year away.”
    Among stocks in the spotlight, China National Petroleum Corp. said talks with
    Chevron Corp. (CVX) about a 12.5% stake in the Big Foot deep-water oil field in
    the Gulf of Mexico are on hold. An official with the oil giant said in press
    reports Friday that the company wanted a larger stake. The move marks the
    latest in setbacks by China to gain a foothold in the region.
    Fluor Corp. (FLR) said it received notification from the Kuwait National
    Petroleum Co. to stop work on the al-Zour refinery. Fluor has approximately 300
    employees performing engineering work on the project. The remaining contract
    value of approximately $2.1 billion will be removed from its backlog in the
    first quarter, the Irving, Texas, company said. Shares fell 1.8% to $38.11.
    Shares of refiner Frontier Oil Corp. (FTO) fell 3% to $14.57 after Argus
    Research downgraded the company to hold from buy.
    U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met with oil-industry leaders this week
    and raised the strong possibility that the Obama administration will raise
    royalty rates and end tax breaks for the industry “that are no longer needed,”
    according to a report from Oil Daily on Friday.
    -By Steve Gelsi

    Dow Jones Newswires
    03-20-09 1039ET

  27. 27
    zman Says:

    Reef – EXXI – Flatrock analogue Amazzo TD soonish? Reserves could be 1/3 of their current proved.

    Also, hate to ask but … Blackbeard? We’re at TD, any update on what they see in the 4 pays.

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    Movie Quote Friday Watch:

    “I’ve seen you guys can shoot but there’s more to the game than shooting. There’s fundamentals and defense.”

    ~ words to live by.

  29. 29
    1520sbroad Says:

    Z- was their a timeline discussed for GMXR and their redetermination? I know they talked about it on the most recent cc but i can’t remember exactly what was said.

    On the VLO Verasun ethanol buyout – i got an email from verasun’s IR and they did not know of any rail cars that were a part of the deal with VLO. Again – i am really curious to hear VLO’s comments on this transaction.

  30. 30
    zman Says:

    “early April”

  31. 31
    Garyinhou Says:

    who’s your z

  32. 32
    zman Says:

    Gary: #31 = ?

  33. 33
    Garyinhou Says:


  34. 34
    Garyinhou Says:

    heh heh

  35. 35
    zman Says:

    I got it after I typed that. Nice reply. Seemed an appropriate quote for the day.

  36. 36
    Garyinhou Says:

    march madness off to good start…. The SFA Lumberjacks get underway in an hour or so..

  37. 37
    zman Says:

    Bernanke speaks in about 30 minutes.

    Elduque – you saw Wachovia cutting the dry bulks today? Sees no company specific catalysts in the near term to rally them, sees tough near term market for day rates (gotta ask, you mean tougher than they have been). They like DSX and ESEA long term, see better intermediate term entry points however and say money should move to the sideline for now.

  38. 38
    zman Says:

    HK getting pinned to $20. I still hold a quarter of my original position there and will wait to sell until I see the rig count data.

  39. 39
    zman Says:

    My guess is Ben juices the market. I will add SLB puts if he will get it up for me. HAL and NBR working a little quicker than I thought. Tater, when you see this this weekend would you take a look at HAL and the OIH, thanks.

  40. 40
    zman Says:

    Ben’s juice didn’t last long.

  41. 41
    zman Says:

    Rig Counts Out:

    Oil: down 13 to 215 vs 341 year ago
    Natural gas: down 27 to 857 vs 1,433 year ago
    Horizontal: up 4 to 436 vs 487 year ago, that’s a much bigger decline in the YoY number as the U.S. was ramping the horizontal count heavily last Spring.

    Canada: down 61 to 159 vs 328 year ago.

  42. 42
    zman Says:

    Texas bore the brunt of the drop in rigs again fall 26 to 430 vs 879 last year at this time. Texas rigs are now down 55% from the end of August 2008 peak.

    Other big gas producing states down from peak summer/fall 2008 levels:

    Wyoming: down 48%
    Oklahoma: down 47%
    New Mexico: down 60%
    Louisiana Onshore: down 34%
    Louisiana Offshore: down 42%

    Arkansas: down 20%

  43. 43
    Wyoming Says:

    Quick rumor before I get out the door:

    ECA – to up their rig count in the HS starting in June from 5 to 15 by December. My guess is leases.

    EOG – still drilling Barnett wells in 9 days, use Oil Base mud (don’t need it but they must feel they do). Stuck in a PTEN contract @ 26.5/day. 6500′ TVD /9500′ TMD. They have around 87 drilled uncompleted wellbores.

    Good weekend to all. Beer 12:30.

  44. 44
    zman Says:

    Thanks much Wyoming…next week should be interesting in service land for guidance.

  45. 45
    Wyoming Says:

    Yup, a lot of vendors dropping price, laying off staff. Sad necessity.

  46. 46
    zman Says:

    CNBC talking about the virtues of legalizing pot. Tax revenues vs reduced enforcement costs. $10 billion spent hacking down pot plants last year alone. Wow. I’m not advocating anything here but if its obviously legal to smoke it in Washington …

  47. 47
    Garyinhou Says:

    Dude, where’s my jet

  48. 48
    zman Says:

    Dude, get this TARP off me

  49. 49
    Hoss Says:


    Totally Awsome Refer Program

    …and after it’s implemented they will create “Cap and Trade” for second hand smoke and make even more money selling credits.

    sorry slow day

    KRU – Westside WHT

  50. 50
    zman Says:

    Eye, tis slow. All of the focus is on Washington playing fast and lose after the fact with the rules. This is slowing down the lending process. People taking TARP funds and doing what they are supposed to (lending the money) now suddenly subject to new rules and compensation restrictions. Then you have the possibility that you go ahead and make the loan and have the government step in withing 6 months to a year and write the value of that loan down. Very tough to do much of anything except sit on the sidelines.

  51. 51
    john11 Says:

    PQ filed a presentation 8k today.

  52. 52
    zman Says:

    Thanks John, will look, stock playing pretty hard give back today.

  53. 53
    zman Says:

    Went through the new PQ presentation, don’t see anything new in it.

  54. 54
    zman Says:

    Oil went of the boards down 6 cents at $51.55. The forward months are up 11 cents in May and then up as much as 60 cents out through next April.

    NG closed today up 6 cents at 4.24.

  55. 55
    Dman Says:

    JR – I’ve seen those slides about Glencore in all of Matt’s recent presentations. Could never really see what he was on about. But this time he is more explicit & I think I understand. It is just that oil traders need access to huge amounts of margin debt to hang on to positions that go against them. At the very time that oil turned down, credit of all types froze up completely. So those traders never had a hope of getting loans to fund margin calls & had to liquidate en mass. Which became a self sustaining snowball, pushing other traders to liquidate etc.

    That’s my take on it…

  56. 56
    ram Says:


  57. 57
    Sambone Says:

    MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)–Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos said
    Friday it produced 2.68 million barrels a day of crude oil in the first two
    months of the year, down from 2.92 million barrels a day in the same period of
    Pemex said crude exports in the first two months averaged 1.32 million barrels
    a day, with the oil sold at an average price of $37.72 a barrel.
    In the January-February period of 2008, Pemex exported 1.43 million barrels a
    day of crude oil at an average price of $80.78 a barrel.
    The biggest decline in production continued to come from the offshore
    Cantarell fields, which produced 759,000 barrels a day in the first two months,
    Pemex said, 459,000 barrels a day fewer than in the like 2008 period.
    The loss was partly compensated as Pemex raised output at other fields,
    particularly Ku-Maloob-Zaap that produced 790,000 barrels a day in the first
    two months of the year.
    Natural gas production in the two-month period continued to rise from a year
    ago, averaging 7.052 billion cubic feet a day, Pemex said.

    -By Anthony Harrup, Dow Jones Newswires

    Dow Jones Newswires
    03-20-09 1527ET

  58. 58
    zman Says:

    Got no response from IR on a couple of questions including “when do you speak / do you speak at Weil?” I still think there is no rush.

  59. 59
    Sambone Says:

    By Susan Daker and Jessica Resnick-Ault

    HOUSTON (Dow Jones)–Margins on such distillate products as diesel, which kept
    oil refiners in the black last year, have crashed. But refiners are still
    investing in projects that will ramp up diesel production in the long run, as
    they believe their future is linked to that fuel.
    A widely used indicator for refiners’ profits from diesel production suggests
    that refiners are earning just $1.23 per barrel of diesel produced, too little
    to cover typical operating expenses, said Chi Chow, an analyst with Tristone
    Capital Co. in Denver.
    The indicator, known as the “diesel crack spread,” suggests that refiners are
    earning $27 a barrel less than they were a year ago, Chow said.
    These low profit margins, however, won’t deter refiners from continuing to
    invest in infrastructure that will allow them to make more diesel, said Andrew
    Reed, an oil analyst with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Mass.
    “In the Atlantic basin markets, the distillate demand growth will pick up
    again and will outpace gasoline,” Reed said.

    Shifting Focus

    While U.S. refiners’ systems are designed to maximize gasoline production,
    even the most gasoline-focused refiners relied on their distillate output to
    bring in profits last year, as returns on gasoline production lagged.
    Large independent refiners, including Tesoro Corp. (TSO) and Valero Energy
    Corp. (VLO), ramped up their diesel output. Tesoro demonstrated its ability to
    skew its production toward diesel, and used its position on the U.S. West Coast
    to export to markets in South America, where weather conditions boosted diesel
    demand last year.
    Gasoline margins have rebounded in recent months, in response to refiners
    curbing output. The gasoline crack spreads, which were negative late last year,
    have risen to an average of $8.71 a barrel.
    At the same time, demand for diesel began declining late last year, owing to
    global economic turmoil, but some refiners have still pinned their long-term
    futures on it.

    Diesel Demand Rebound

    Diesel demand should begin growing again in 2010, Energy Security Analysis’
    Reed said. Gasoline demand can’t get any worse and will rebound, but it will
    remain weaker than the distillates, he said. Most growth in fuel demand is
    expected in developing nations, which rely on diesel more than gasoline.
    A recent study from Edinburgh-based consultancy Wood MacKenzie projected that
    the bulk of demand growth for petroleum products by 2017 would be in distillate
    The second-largest U.S. oil company, Chevron Corp. (CVX), said the growing
    demand for diesel might prompt it to invest in some capital projects.
    In normal operations, the company can swing some of its gasoline production to
    distillate production by using changes in temperature and the way it blends
    streams of feedstock together, said Mike Wirth, Chevron’s executive vice
    president of Global Downstream.
    With a modest additional investment, the company could make more distillates,
    he said.
    “It’s something that we’re actively evaluating within our suite of capital
    projects,” Wirth said.
    Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) has already undertaken a capital project at its
    Garyville, La., refinery that will increase its diesel capacity. The
    multibillion-dollar expansion will add 180,000 barrels a day of capacity, which
    will have a 50-50 gasoline-diesel output. The project is scheduled for
    completion in the fourth quarter of 2009, Marathon said this week.

    -By Susan Daker, Dow Jones Newswires Dow Jones Newswires
    03-20-09 1516ET

  60. 60
    Sambone Says:

    WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Department on
    Friday offered its first loan guarantee, worth $535 million to solar
    company Solyndra, under a long delayed advanced clean energy program
    created by a 2005 energy law.
    “This investment is part of President Obama’s aggressive
    strategy to put Americans back to work and reduce our dependence on
    foreign oil by developing clean, renewable sources of energy,” Chu
    said in a statement.
    The Obama administration has touted the development of clean
    energy as a way to boost the lagging economy and protect the
    environment, pledging to double renewable energy production in three
    years and to generate 10 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable
    sources by 2012.
    The Fremont, California, company will use the loan guarantee for
    the construction of a commercial scale solar panel manufacturing
    The department said about 3,000 people will be employed during
    construction of the new plant, and more than a thousand jobs will be
    created once the plant is operational.
    Hundreds of jobs will also be created to install these panels,
    the department said.
    Although Chu signed a “conditional commitment” offering the loan
    guarantee Friday, the deal still has to be approved by the
    department’s credit review board before it is final.
    Facing a massive backlog of applications, the department under
    Chu’s leadership has been working streamline its loan guarantee
    In addition to the billions of dollars authorized under the 2005
    law, the department was also allocated $6 billion for clean energy
    and transmission loan guarantees in the recently passed stimulus
    Speaking at a Washington Post Company conference Friday, Chu
    said “we’ll be announcing other loans in the coming weeks” for more
    renewable energy projects.
    (Reporting by Tom Doggett and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Marguerita

    Fri Mar 20 18:52:28 2009

  61. 61
    Sambone Says:

    By Kevin M. Nichols

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–A week-long rally in crude oil futures ground to a halt
    Friday, as investors weighed a stabilizing dollar.
    Light, sweet crude for April delivery expired at $51.06 a barrel, down 55
    cents, or 1.1%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude on the ICE
    Futures exchange settled 55 cents, or 1.1%, higher at $51.22 a barrel.
    The bulk of trading had already moved to the May contract, which settled 3
    cents, or 0.1%, higher at $52.07 a barrel. Outer-month futures contracts defied
    the decline in the expiring front month to trade higher, helping to entrench
    Thursday’s 7% rise.
    Thursday’s gains were a response to the Federal Reserve’s plan to spend over
    $1 trillion to buy Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. The move caused
    the dollar to weaken sharply against other currencies, which increases the
    attraction of oil and other commodities as a hedge against inflation.
    Thursday, the front-month contract settled above $50 a barrel for the first
    time since Nov. 28. Oil prices are still up 10% in the last week.
    “The Fed really caught everyone off guard yesterday.” said Matt Zeman, head of
    trading at LaSalle Futures in Chicago.
    The shock had worn off by Friday, and the dollar was slightly stronger at
    $1.3568 against the euro. The euro had been as low as $1.2457 as recently as
    March 4.
    The stronger dollar caused commodities to retreat from their Thursday rally.
    With U.S. oil inventories back on the rise, according to recent data from the
    Department of Energy, the “euphoria seen in oil markets this week may fade,”
    Zeman said. Crude stockpiles are close to their highest level in 16 years,
    though production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are
    expected to force inventories lower in the coming months.
    Front-month April reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled 1.97
    cents, or 1.4%, higher at $1.4570 a gallon. April heating oil settled 2.71
    cents, or 2%, higher at $1.3834 a gallon.
    -By Kevin M. Nichols, Dow Jones Newswires (Brian Baskin in New York contributed to this article)

    Dow Jones Newswires
    03-20-09 1528ET

  62. 62
    zman Says:

    Thoughts on 60

    There is already plenty of capacity for solar panels on the planet. Gotta wonder what the net add is on jobs as other manufacturers, the higher cost ones with older plants have to fire people.

    By taking the loan guarantee they are likely to be greatly upping their labor costs.

  63. 63
    Sambone Says:

    I’m outta here! Tini time, have a good weekend – Go Heels!

  64. 64
    zman Says:

    Beerthirty. Have a good weekend.

  65. 65
    PackMan Says:

    Wow; slow day Z …

    Oil Service … is OIH the service ETF ? Why not short that instead of specific names ?

  66. 66
    tater Says:



  67. 67
    PackMan Says:

    Ah, #25 … I should read all the posts first, no ?

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