Thursday Morning – Back To Reality

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Market Sentiment Watch: It's great to be back. Away from the cool breezes of the beach and the 105 F of August in Arkansas. Really great. Muchas Gracias to BOP, Nicky and all for keeping things flowing and me informed even as I was dodging jelly fish in South Carolina.  By the way, if you are in the market for a second home near the beach in Charleston I would guesstimate that 1 out of 4 is for sale. As far as the market environment goes, we have built upon what already felt like somewhat extended  conditions and despite a string of data that c0ntinues to be lackluster. Friday's jobs number should be walked into with trepidation.  On the energy front, the season so far has not been one of "buy the rumor, sell the news" or "sell the earnings no matter" (as was the case last quarter) but instead looks more like a stock picker's market which is the type I most prefer. While I continue to tread lightly and quickly in both of the options portfolios, the ZLT portfolio rests at its all time high, now about 20% above its mid 2008 levels, thanks largely due to an over-weight in Bakken leveraged names and an admittance that more gassy names have not been the way to go for some time now.

Eco-Data Watch:

  • Jobless claims expected to come in at 453K.
  • Tomorrow we get non farm payrolls where expectations have worsened as the week has progressed and are now looking for -60,000.

BP Spill Watch:

  • Static kill holding, so far, so good.
  • Overnight, the U.S. gave BP authority to begin pumping cement into the well. Cement will be pumped today barring further mechanical delays.
  • The stock is bidding well early on this news at $41, a 3 month month high.
  • Meanwhile, the press is trying to spin the story of the disappearing oil into a bad thing. On the one hand, you have a government report (hold snickering for a moment) saying the spill is largely evaporated, collected or otherwise absent from the water and beaches. On the other you have Anderson Cooper, now back in the studio so he can manage higher profile stories, sans the black t-shirt, but remotely interviewing truckstop checkout girls who say the oil is still everywhere and that this report is a government cover up. Give me a break.
  • Conspiracy Theory Watch: (just so you know what some folks are saying) It is becoming more apparent that if this well were any other it would be deemed as controlled form the surface. Where are the follow up interviews with Matt Simmons?  Matt has said 1) the well would never be controlled and would flow for years, 2) there was a second, much bigger, leak than the one shown at the BOP, 3) we have killed the Gulf of Mexico, and 4) that BP would be bankrupt in a matter of months. Funny how the slick disappeared when the single leak was capped. Of course, Matt will tell you all of the video we have seen is from a mile compressed section riser pipe. That's nutty. Matt says there is a growing lake of heavy, toxic oil several miles from the wellhead that is growing by the day, due to a casing leak. Hmmmm, would like to see his data on that. Matt says he's short but had never shorted a stock before and says the cost will run well over a trillion dollars. Being short can change your perspective on reality I've found as can being long. Another thing about conspiracy theorists is how news flow can change but there is always an unprovable out for them. In this case, we had huge amounts of oil on the surface that were supposedly coming largely from far away from the well yet when the well is capped the Gulf appears much more clear within 2 weeks. Now we're told the oil from the far away leaks is secretly pooling on the bottom of the ocean. Oh well, just pointing out that many of the hurdles these guys have said could not be surmounted have been but they will keep coming up with new ones in perpetuity. As usual I expect the press to show a little accountability on its behalf and to hold those it interviews responsible. Not holding breath on that though.    

In today's post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Natural Gas Inventory Preview
  4. Stuff  We Care About Today – BEXP wrap thoughts, CLR earnings, and comments on a long list of interesting but unowned names with conference calls today, SSN update
  5. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch: ZCAT (Zman Catalyst portfolio):

  • $9,000
  • 91% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades: None

ZIM (Zman Inefficient Markets portfolio)

  • $5,600
  • 89% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades: None

Commodity Watch

Crude oil eased $0.08 to close at $82.47 yesterday after the EIA reported a mixed bag set of numbers. I reiterate my dislike for crude at these levels. Not on the ground that it will retard economic growth as the delta from $75 to $85 crude is negligible for the U.S. economy but instead, because it is unwarranted given current demand levels in the world's largest consumer and likely represents the pendulum swinging too far and too soon. I do expect prices to close in on $90 to $100 by year end but with the economy flagging and demand only up on seasonal and not recovery factors I don't think this move is part of the expected march higher into year end. This morning crude is trading off slightly.

Natural gas closed up a dime at $4.74. The heat is breaking records across the south and southeast and is supportive of gas in the next couple of weeks although temps are moderating into the weekend. This morning gas is trading flat.

  • Tropics Watch: Two systems near the Caribbean that have a low probability for development over the next 48 hours.


Natural Gas Preview:

My number: 20 to 30 Bcf with a much smaller number these week. ;  Street 32 Bcf

Weather: The CPC recorded 84 CDDs for last week but the data looks odd to me and they aren't perfect so I'm using some alternate data and winging it a bit with this week's number.

  • Last Week: 28 Bcf Injection
  • Last Year: 67 Bcf Injection
  • 5 Year Average: 45 Bcf Injection
  • 10 year Hi: 87 Bcf Injection
  • 10 year Low: 12 Bcf Withdrawal

EIA Oil Inventory Review

ZComment: Crude stocks fell more than expected as imports retreated. Gasoline demand remained lofty for this time of year but back off last week's season high. Distillate demand remains poor. We'll go back to the long form format of all the charts and graphs next week.

Crude:  Imports plunged leaving stocks to fall more than expected, however, Cushing stocks pushed back towards their all time high. Without higher utilization, which is currently unnecessary, this elevated Cushing stocks level should provide more and more of a headwind to crude prices.



Stuff  We Care About Today

CLR Reported Solid 2Q10 Results

The 2Q Numbers:

  • Production of 41,913 BOEpd (up 12% YoY and 9% sequentially)
  • Revenue of $280 mm vs $239.5 mm expected
  • EPS of $0.60 vs $0.40 expected

Highlights & Other Items of Note

  • 27 rigs now with plans to go to 32 by year end (18 rigs in the Williston Bakken and 1 rig in the Montana Bakken)
  • They have 227K  net acres in the Montana Bakken and up until now have not talked about it much.
  • Bakken production now 43% of total, up 37% YoY
  • A number of decent middle Bakken wells and a string of nice Three Forks wells are delineated in the press release.
  • Niobrara - first well on its 59K net acres to spud in 4Q10.
  • Guidance: Lower operating expense and better natural gas price realizations. No volume guidance given.

Nutshell: Interesting but still one of the more expensive names amongst the Bakkens.

Conference Call: Today, 10 am EST

WRES Thoughts Wrap

  • Numbers were out Wednesday while I was on the road and were better than expected with the bottom line coming in at $0.12 vs a $0.07 estimate as production volumes cranked up.
  • Good to see them beat on volumes ... hasn't always been the case so maybe they are learning how to guide
  • Capex going up here too but it's not much money in terms of actual dollars and they still claim it will stay within cashflow. My back of the envelop math says it will be tight but they'll make it. And what they get for it should prompt more notice in the name .... increased California oil at a time when I would expect flat to drifting higher oil prices. 
  • New horizontal well results were in line with what I was looking awhile back before things stalled and then restarted. 100 Bopd average from the sinusoidal (think porpoising) wells is pretty fair.
  • Rockies gas - adding land ... I'd monetize all of this.
  • Niobrara - can you say buzzword? 80,000 net acres they already own in the eastern Washakie Basin. You know who likes the Niobrara and the Washakie as an oil play? EOG. WRES planning a well here but if I were them I'd get carried by EOG or CHK or just sell this as well and concentrate on California.
  • Balance sheet: OK, not great, not getting worse at the moment. 
  • Nutshell: I came, I saw, I made money in the name and have been letting it cool off for a couple of quarters now. After taking a quick look last night I will be putting it back on the to do list and near term market watch page.

Conference Calls Today of names I'm not currently in (All times EST); Red means call I'll be on

SD - Beat estimates but cut production guidance and raised spending. Hmmm. Not yet for me. Call at 9 am.

PQ - Slight miss, lower production but in line with expectations, higher unit costs due to unexpected maintenance. On the operation front not much to talk about, a couple of average looking wells in the Woodford and a smallish, bread and butter type success offshore. Call at 9:30 am

CLR - comments above, call at 10 am

SFY - Call at 10 am. Looking or Eagle Ford.

GMXR - Beats and raises guidance. 11 am. High short interest name.

GDP - Better than expected volumes but a bottom line miss. Strong well results in E. Texas Hayensville/Bossier and oil from the Buda Lime, call at 11 am. High short interest name.

CRZO - Record production,beats on the bottom line, announces JV in the Marcellus with Reliance (who isn't these days?).  Note that they will be spudding the first of three horizontal Niobrara wells planned for the second half in September (that's a month later than prior indications but still it is next month and could be on the 3Q call) and their first three Eagle Ford wells soon as well.  Their call and presentation are always interesting, call at 11 am.

Other Stuff:

  • EOG reports before the open tomorrow, should be an interesting quarter in terms of Montana Bakken, Niobrara, Eagle Ford Shale (maybe), and China gas news.
  • SSN -says they will advise when funds of $10 mm for the Niobrara deposit have cleared their account on Monday. Still says everything remains on track for the deal to be completed. Also saw good oil and gas shows in their latest Bakken well on its way to TD.
  • ECA is all over the tape as a possible takeover target, still a cheap, often overlooked big cap gassy name.
  • MUR boosting dividend by 10% as it plans to spin off the downstream
  • Other names reporting earnings this week:

    • EOG, GST, SWN, and KOG after the close.
  • I'll have an updated Catalyst List out Monday.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • TBA

165 Responses to “Thursday Morning – Back To Reality”

  1. 1
    bill Says:

    sd file under lol
    reuters was right the first time

  2. 2
    bill Says:

    pxp reported
    looks like they want out of the gom
    egle call starts at 8 am

  3. 3
    bill Says:

    sd getting hammered pre market

  4. 4
    zman Says:

    Bill – thanks, I show EGLE call at 8:30 am EST


    Re SD … they just don't get what the markets wants. In the long run that may be the wise move but at the current time, ouch

    Made it through the BEXP replay last night. Long. Key points should be seen as them hedging for the very long term to protect the next 3 years capital program.

  5. 5
    zman Says:

    Analyst Watch:

    BEXP – removed from focus list at Johnson Rice, stays at Overweight.

    CRK cut to Perform at Oppy

  6. 6
    bill Says:

    dsx and exm also reported and dnr pre market

  7. 7
    zman Says:

    Analyst Watch:

    APC – BMO ups target $10 to $62

    BBG – BMO ups target $5 to $40


    What time is the DNR call?

  8. 8
    zman Says:

    Also from the BEXP transcript, adding to West's comments yesterday on EOG's Carat well in the Montana Bakken.

    Based on publicly
     available data the Carat produced an average of 246 barrels of oil equivalent
     per day during its first 26 days of production.

    That's not too shabby for a well that you know was loaded with science and fracced carefully (read lower pressure) due to the weak results of a FH Petro well to the north which encountered water. EOG has permitted a lot of units so they must be pretty encouraged by their first foray here. I'll take a small bite today for news tomorrow.


  9. 9
    zman Says:

    Russia temporarily banning grain exports. Blame fire and drought.

    Food is about to get more expensive:








  10. 10
    zman Says:

    SD bid down about 8% now.

    Will listen to EGLE call in a minute.

  11. 11
    zman Says:

    Jobless claims at 479K, well above expectations.

  12. 12
    bill Says:

    ga is too high at egle, obscene actually, dsx has about 0 net debt
    market liking pxp exit out of gom

  13. 13
    bill Says:

    my initial reaction was that sd was stealing ard, issuing worthless paper for oil assets…great deal by ward

  14. 14
    zman Says:

    Thanks Bill

    Futures sell down pretty quickly on the jobless numbers, probably casts more doubt going into tomorrow's payroll number.

    I plan to use any opening big dip to add a little EOG call position for tomorrow's CC.

  15. 15
    bill Says:

    dnr is at 11
    numbers are out

  16. 16
    zman Says:

    EGLE call notes:

    Talking about the continued massive growth in Asian coal fired plants. Those guys aren't exactly on board with the whole cap and trade thing.

  17. 17
    bill Says:

    file under thanks for the business dude:
    sd obtained a fairness opinion from tph on the recent sd/ard deal. Sd gave them millions of fees
    today tph downgraded
    I cant argue with their rationale either

  18. 18
    zman Says:

    EGLE – very good rundown of the macro for supramax market on the call. Presentation here:


    is a good one for getting the big picture. Asia showing big, sustained growth for coal and animal feed.

  19. 19
    zman Says:

    I'd bet the fairness opinion only garnered between $100 and $500K but I get your point.

  20. 20
    bill Says:

    AREX Q2 follow-up ($8.95 – H) – Sweetness.  Stock +28% yesterday (3x normal trading volume) on combination of best operational Q since 2008, big mid-year proved reserves update (+27% since YE’09, liquids now 50%), and increased focus on impending (post Q1’11) processing benefit to Ozona.  Operational success finally catching up with technically smart and financially disciplined management team.  $10 3P NAV at $6.50/mcf ($6 3P NAV at $5.50/mcf) biased higher.

    tph final insult, no link to sd call, lol

  21. 21
    zman Says:

    Bill – on EGLE, they're one the bigger Supramax players, who is biggest? I have DSX as a mostly Panamax fleet, is GNK bigger in Supra?

  22. 22
    zman Says:

    Andy – did the post cover your question re WRES?

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    EGLE Q&A

    talking about the biggest drought in 50 years in Russian grains, says that will be a big driver for outperformance in 4Q.

  24. 24
    zman Says:

    Editor off

  25. 25
    crysball Says:

    CAM CC  Takeaways

    No comments  on the  BP situation, except:

    BP came to them for  the  new  Macondo well stack and much of the manifolding, valving  and flow controls.
    Worldwide  they see NO  slowdown  in BP  business
    They refuse to speculate about their exposure or lack thereof [it was as  if

    they took the  ‘High Road’  and  would let  the other parties sort  out the details]…..they seem very confident and self assured [Guilt-Free per Z]

    They refused to speculate  on how  much  business or  when  the impact  of new  regulatory  aspects would ‘kick in’.  They did  say:

    All  Leashholders  WORLDWIDE [particularly deepwater, but also shallow water  and surface  shale ] are suddenly MCUH MORE  PRUDENT    in well design,in view  of the events  in the Gulf  and Marcellus……….and MUCH MORE INVOLVED  in  review  of Well Design  & Well Control  aspects, and this applies  to even  small % leaseholders.
    Until the regulators  definitize  what  they want, no  driller  or E&P knlws what to ask for………..but CAM   already  has  the products available  which can be  configured  to provide  the level  of safety reduncdancy….they just  need to know  what  the  spec’s are going  to be
    They envision  a large  and WORLDWIDE  emphasis  on:

     OEM  certification work  of  on flow control  and well control proucts………no more  send it  to Chinese sweatshops….on existing fielded  products [they have  previously  lost  much of this work on price].
    OEM  modification of   fielded  product  to  meet  new  regulatory (once the regulators  definitize  the regs).
    Only the OEM  understands  ‘design intent’  and only  the OEM  can  certify  something  being restored to OEM  specs.

    They did concur (when pushed by analysts that ‘THE  PIE IS GETTING BIGGER & THEIR  SHARE  OF THE PIE  WILL GET EVEN BIGGER].


    NATCO  integration going  well……..NATCO  was  basically  USA  and they are Globalizing  the products
    Margins  will bottom  in the last 2  Quarters  of  2010, and the turn  up going forward  in all  areas except  subsea…………which already has  excellent margins  and  large backlogs.
    Brazil  is  VERY STRONG  and will get  even STRONGER.
    CAM  is moving  into  the LNG  & FPSO flow  systems  business  and  bidding  complete  TOPSIDE  packages  for new  FPSO’s & LNG’s…….@ $100  million each for  the newest   [recent win TUPE Brazil  FPSO’s]
    CAM does  NOT see  any  shift  in the risk balance  [liability exposure] as  new  regulations are brought into effect.

  26. 26
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Main argument I hear against SD is that there are "no clear catalysts" in the near term.  No one loves them… but SD is getting oilier.  I don't own SD… but thinking about it. 
    TPH's thoughts on the matter
    Downgrading SD to Accumulate ($6.07 – A) – Vs. peers, not enough upside to justify Buy, particularly given newsflow.  Our 3P NAV down $2/share on cost creep and lower Pinon rig count (8 rigs to 5 rigs), while 2010 production guidance flat at 120bcfe despite 8bcfe ARD volumes and capex bump from $750mm to $875mm.  Messy Q2 – 23c printed but gains from early settled hedges are 20c; recurring eps 3c (street 12c, us 4c).  New 3P NAV is -$2/share to $9 at $6.50/mcf gas, $7 at $5.50/mcf gas. 

  27. 27
    zman Says:

    Switching over to SD call, need to do a little more work on EGLE and a couple of dry bulkers before I bite. Definitely sounds like the story for a few of them is on the mend with increased demand in the next several months.

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    Crys – very much appreciate that.

  29. 29
    zman Says:

    CRZO moving early, see brief comments in post.

  30. 30
    ram Says:

    What’s moving BP up on decent volume?

  31. 31
    zman Says:

    Approval to cement

  32. 32
    ram Says:

    Cement through the BOP to permanently kill/seal versus the secondary hole?

  33. 33
    bill Says:

    im out of the bulkers for now with the exception of nm

    bop id stay away from sd , they cooked the books in q2, they actually lost money on an operating bais

    they settled all their oil hedges and took it as operating income, then put on new similar hedges,.. whats the rationale for that??

    they cooked the books, they really had a loss

    tph picked up on that and i was stunned to see them screw around with the result

    they have 120 m gain in oil hedges , half of which is dealing with the oil they hedged after 6/30/10, they sold all the hedges so they realized the gain, then put on similar hedges
    The largest issues i see is low ng prices and they have no ng hedges in 2011

    they also have high operating costs and the debt is out of control

  34. 34
    zman Says:

    JB – can I get a read on CRZO when you have a minute? Thanks. Also, do you have new thoughts on the McL oscillator?

  35. 35
    zman Says:

    SD down 10% now pre market. Listening, not hearing much that makes me want to fish for a short term bounce.

  36. 36
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    bill — thank you very much for your thoughts on SD. Much appreciated. Didn’t dig into the numbers yet, so your insights very helpful.

    I know the CFO at SD very well. It’s not like him to “cook the books.” However, with your back against the wall, people sometimes do things they wouldn’t normally do. Will have to read the footnotes carefully. Thanks again.

  37. 37
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    To reiterate… it’s just not in Dirk Van Doren’s DNA to “cook books.”

  38. 38
    zman Says:

    The hedge decision was driven by a short term call on their part, something they don’t often do.

  39. 39
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    bill — love your comments, tho… so not attacking your POV. I was wrong on my first impression of SD’s quarter. You were right. I appreciate that!

  40. 40
    zman Says:

    Skipping the PQ call, if anyone gets on that let me know if they give something of a plan going forward.

  41. 41
    bill Says:

    If you look at the pl, they had a gain of 119,621 gain on derivatives

    heres the footnote

    included in realized gains for the three and six-month periods ended June 30, 2010 are $62.4 million of gains resulting from settlements of commodity derivatives with contractual maturity dates after June 30, 2010.

    Normally, net income is adjusted for unrealized gains, so to solve that issue sd settled them.. and then… put them and some more back on.

    I looked at open hedge positions in their 10q-q1 and new ones and they are actually slightly better with more volumes

    so operating income includes 62.4 settle gains dealing with the future

    but as you say..back against the wall, people sometimes do things they wouldn’t normally do.

  42. 42
    bill Says:

    >The hedge decision was driven by a short term call on their part, something they don’t often do.

    I heard him say that but

    to monetize 2 billion in oil hedges??

    then put them back shortly thereafter?

    When you have time look at it, i looked at it over 5 hours yesterday and i can only conclude that hedge decision was driven by a short term call on their part TO HELP Q2 NUMBERS

    The whole hedge change (gain) came in as operating profit

    if you run into Dirk ask him about it

    The hedges they are talking about are ng hedges

  43. 43
    zman Says:


    EOG – Added (1) EOG August $95 call for $7.70 with the stock at $101.70. Bidding a small higher strike position as well. Earnings tomorrow. Expecting potentially catalytic news from the Montana Bakken, the Niobrara, the Eagle Ford (still maybe too early) and China onshore.

  44. 44
    Bob Says:

    BOP- CIGX announces launch of Richmond Trial, stock dropping

  45. 45
    andy Says:

    z – WRES – excellent thks

  46. 46
    zman Says:

    BP starting to move higher.

    CRZO working well.

    Not learning much new on the SD call at this point. I’m in wait in watch there. Analysts sound like they are looking for positives.

  47. 47
    zman Says:


    Wildz – High risk but not a lot of $. Added (50) EOG August $115 calls (which is close to this cycle high for the stock).

  48. 48
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Bob — #44 yes. Currently buying my last tranche of shares here. Will comment after done.

  49. 49
    zman Says:

    Switching to the CLR call.

  50. 50
    zman Says:

    Crude trading in lockstep with the S&P, but has been supported in my absence by the weak dollar and not strong data


  51. 51
    zman Says:

    HAL being sued for Florida developer. Yeah, because the Florida real estate market was so strong in the first place. Sheesh.

    CLR call starting.

  52. 52
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    CIGX — product has been launched in the Richmond, VA test area. The press release reads kind of weird (mentioning eggplant and green tomatoes and such doesn’t seem to help). This is the test area the inVentive always planned to roll out to gauge doctor interest and re-order rates. Is anyone dispointed that it’s “only Richmond, VA”? This was planned.

    Also, the website for CigRx product is up and live today. So you should be able to buy it online. Will go check that out myself right now. CigRx.com

    HeadTrader says that “fast money” ALWAYS sells on news…. and given the stock run-up over the last few days, HT thinks a lot of that type of “investor” is hitting the sell button this morning. That is ok by me. Just finished buying out last tranche at a weighted average price of $2.23. It’s lower than that now. But I don’t think it stays there. JMHO, of course.

  53. 53
    Bob Says:

    48- RU surprised that they are not going to offer the product in stores? Only direct response to informationals and the web-site

  54. 54
    zman Says:

    CLR talking about 1 hour rig move in the Bakkens on the pad program.

    Spreads for the ZCAT and ZIM updated on the ZCAT, ZIM, ZLT page except for today’s EOG trades.

  55. 55
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Bob — it will be offered in stores eventually. This is a multi-pronged rollout that will take place over several months (or longer). The marketing is entirely in the hands of inVentive… they formed a completely different division, just to handle the CigRx account. So, only just getting started here.

  56. 56
    bill Says:

    39, i like being challenged and i hope i didnt sound defensive and appreciate your comments too.

    Sd talked about taking off ng hedges but the schedule issued with the q2 release is consistant with the 10 k. and they only had 40 bcf left so if they took that it would pulled roughly 12 m forward..i guess i have to wait for the 10 Q

    No one asked them about why they would settle their whole open position then put the whole thing back on and thats the only way to have a realized gain in hedges on the open position operating results (post 6/30/10 position). Mark to market it doesnt matter

  57. 57
    zman Says:

    CLR Notes

    Added 171 K net acres, could be 200 mm boe reserve potential (counting Bakken and TFS)

  58. 58
    bill Says:

    sd down 16 %

    maybe i shoulda kept my mouth shut

  59. 59
    zman Says:

    30 yr mortgage rate at lowest level on record at 4.49%

  60. 60
    zman Says:

    29 Bcf

    Now down 4.3% from last year
    and up 8.1% to the 5 year average

  61. 61
    zman Says:

    Gas pretty much unched at up 5 cents.

  62. 62
    RMD Says:

    58 bill, you just keep talking, appreciate your thoughts.

  63. 63
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    bill — you didn’t sound defensive… not at all. i love your comments… just wanted to be sure you didn’t take mine the wrong way. you NAILED the SD shortcomings… thank you for your great analysis.

  64. 64
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    I’m a bit distracted (and a little baffled) by the CIGX stock price reaction today. That said, I will be even more surprised if the stock doesn’t close at $2.30 or higher. We shall see. But thems are my thoughts (and 2 cents).

  65. 65
    zman Says:

    CLR – out at the moment but sounding like I need to take another look, humming along, adding acreage and entering Niobrara.

  66. 66
    RMD Says:

    MLP thought: looking at MACDs the group of upstream MLPs is looking overbought; thinking of a trading move here.

  67. 67
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    HF manager/friend just sent me this… worth reading (and keeping in mind)

    Monsters in the Market
    In today’s exchanges, strong programs prey on weak ones, humans are hard to find, and the SEC struggles to keep up.

    By Timothy Lavin
    On the third floor of Citigroup’s Manhattan headquarters, at the far end of a trading floor overlooking the Hudson River, Young Kang, Citi’s global head of algorithmic products, leans over a terminal and monitors the progress of a canny and powerful beast named Dagger. Bred and trained in secret by Citi’s financial engineers, Dagger can stalk through more than 20 markets, public and otherwise—hunting for anomalies, buying and selling, prowling through mountains of historical data—all at the behest of Citi’s clients. Amid the trading-floor din, Dagger fulfills its duties in flickering silence, with a speed and acuity no human can match.

    “It’s self-learning,” Kang says. “The numbers keep updating, the strategy keeps adjusting itself. It gets smarter.”

    And it makes a lot of money. Algorithms like Dagger can exploit the smallest inefficiencies in the market. They can parse trades in millionths of a second. Some species can detect other algos embarking on predictable trading strategies, and ruthlessly adjust their techniques. They’re growing ever more complex, subtle, and sophisticated. And as they become more popular, they’re creating some serious headaches for regulators.

    By some estimates, algorithms now trigger 70 percent of all trades in U.S. equities. The speed and volume of everyday trading have propelled the market into a new and esoteric dimension, and rendered traders in the pits largely obsolete. Average daily share volume on the New York Stock Exchange increased by 181 percent between 2005 and 2009, while the time required to execute a trade on its electronic systems dropped to 650 microseconds.

    Such changes have a lot of people worried, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. It released a wide-ranging paper earlier this year seeking suggestions on how to restructure the entire equity market, and created a Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation in part to help monitor new technologies. A market collapse in early May—in which automated-trading systems exacerbated a sell-off that drove the Dow down more than 900 points in less than an hour, before it quickly recovered—gave two worries new public salience: that the proprietors of these algos may not be in full control of their creations, and that the strategies they pursue are, in some cases, fundamentally warping the financial markets.

    In January, the NYSE fined Credit Suisse $150,000 for “failing to adequately supervise the development, deployment, and operation of a proprietary algorithm.” The fine was a pittance, but more troubling was that the bank didn’t even know that its malfunctioning algo (which sent hundreds of thousands of cancel-and-replace requests for orders that hadn’t been made) had crippled some of the NYSE’s trading stations until regulators called them the next day. This spring, a newsletter from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago warned: “Although algorithmic trading errors have occurred, we likely have not yet seen the full breadth, magnitude, and speed with which they can be generated. Furthermore, many such errors may be hidden from public view.”

    Bernard Donefer, a finance professor at Baruch College and the author of a study in the most recent Journal of Trading called “Algos Gone Wild,” contends that the speed of these equations, and their ability to reach so many markets simultaneously, could turn even a minor coding error into a spiraling disaster. “Another 1987,” he told me, referring to the epic crash caused in part by simpler automated-trading schemes. This view puts Donefer in the minority in the financial community, which tends to have more faith in firms’ internal risk controls. But he thinks that without better regulation, more algo-gone-wild scenarios are inevitable. He notes that while controls at big firms, like Citi, are generally exemplary, second- and third-tier firms present a graver risk.

    The SEC wants to hire a lot more staffers, both for its new risk division and for its trading division, and it is considering new methods of tracking algorithmic trades; Donefer and others have suggested a tagging system for the biggest traders, which the SEC says is on the table. The commission also may soon outlaw a practice called “naked access,” in which some broker-dealers offer their clients direct access to exchanges—allowing them to potentially bypass risk controls—in pursuit of faster trading.

    A more widespread worry, now getting increased attention from regulators and Congress, is a strategy known as high-frequency trading. Employers of this technique apply algorithms and other automated technology, along with real-time market data, to buy and sell so quickly (in microseconds) and in such quantities (millions of trades a day), that they engorge themselves on penny differentials in prices. These traders argue that they supply the market with needed liquidity and tighter spreads. Regulators tend to agree, for the most part; free markets have always rewarded better information, speed, and creativity. But this technology unloads on such a massive scale, and so quickly, that they fear it could feed a dangerous and self-reinforcing volatility.

    At least a few high-frequency traders have learned to make a killing by detecting the more simplistic algo strategies deployed by basic pension funds and mutual funds, buying the next stock the funds plan to buy, and then selling it to them at a higher price. This may not be illegal, but it’s almost certainly unfair to the funds’ investors. “It is increasingly clear that there are quite a number of high-frequency bandits in the high- frequency-trading community who pump up volume statistics, front-run investor orders, increase transaction costs, and hurt real liquidity,” David Weild, an adviser at Grant Thornton and a former vice chairman of Nasdaq, told me. *

    These changes in trading technology raise a more fundamental question: If the majority of trades racing back and forth are simply lines of code swapping with other lines of code, moved by indicators obscure to even the mortal authors of the algorithms themselves, what exactly is the financial market? “The market structure’s totally changed, and it’s distorted what we do,” says Joe Saluzzi, the co-head of equities trading at Themis Trading and a vocal opponent of some high-frequency strategies. “The machine thinks for itself.”

    Correction: The print version of this article incorrectly stated that David Weild was vice president of NASDAQ. He was vice chairman.

    This article available online at:


  68. 68
    crysball Says:

    Considering sending BOP a ‘MAGIC JACK ‘in view of his love for their saturation advertising on Bloomberg….. but wil wait until Friday for ‘Z’crazines to take full efect.

    NOte: Feel BOP desermeve more that coffee cup for his YEOMAN servive in Z’s absence.


  69. 69
    RMD Says:

    Container rates up 50% from yr. end, roughly $2,000 to 3,000/container from E. Asia to CA., roughly back to ’08 rate levels (from KID conf. call).

  70. 70
    zman Says:

    If we see a late day rally I may cash half of that high strike position taken early in EOG.

    Still listening to CLR but about to switch to CRZO call.

  71. 71
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:


    Do NOT using that WORD (“magicjack”).

    Now i have to start singing “It’s a Small World After All” over and over again, just to get that COMMERCIAL outta my brain pan!!


  72. 72
    zman Says:

    ECA – have not heard anything more on the takeout rumor there. If we get a run into the weekend I will punt, if not those calls at $34 will likely scud out.

  73. 73
    zman Says:

    Interesting no one cares re GMXR and GDP results. Not surprised but interesting none the less.

  74. 74
    PackMan Says:

    hearing some sell the news thoughts on RIG here. Any thoughts Z, others ?

  75. 75
    zman Says:

    Pack – I’m thinking of adding on any good sized pullback. Not trusting the broad market though.

  76. 76
    zman Says:

    re 68. I would offer but I can’t even get her to take a T or a mug. She’s like that little kid in The Golden Child, sitting very still and munching on a tea leaf, all wise and monk-like.

  77. 77
    zman Says:

    …of course, in this case the tea leaf is a Cigx tab but I don’t have any of those.

  78. 78
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    … until they run that COMMERCIAL on CNBC.

    Don’t say it!!

  79. 79
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Gonna have to dip into my CiGRX stash now… sheesh.

    Mrkt just weird today. But we get the JOBS number tomorrow… and there are a number of disturbing govt rumors running around (like forgiveness of debt to homeowners with houses underwater… hey! if i have a car loan underwater, can I have some of that tooooooo? sheesh. How many ways can we rob the taxpayer in plain daylight. Lemme count the ways…)

  80. 80
    zman Says:

    West have you seen CRZO permitting in the DJ Basin? BOP – do you know management here? I have played this one a few times, quickly in the past. I always like listening to them but it sort of falls off my radar between quarters. It’s a high density Barnett driller that often outperforms, now getting more interesting.

  81. 81
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    [from HeadTrader]


    if this happens then they better auto refi to low rates the people that pay on time and aren’t under water or there may be a revolt

  82. 82
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z — have met with CRZO mngt in the past… long past. The chairman, Steve Webster, has a walk-on-water reputation. But he’s the chairman. And he is involved in a LOT of stuff.

  83. 83
    zman Says:

    re 79. I have some CHK stock that is underwater, wonder if I can get a piece of that program.

  84. 84
    zman Says:

    BOP – I have started to work them up a number of times but always sort of thought it would be the name I’d want to own in the small caps in the Barnett and Marcellus … if I wanted exposure to either of those which I really already and don’t need more at present. Wondering if they can convert to a more liquidy profile and stay efficient as they chase some of these hot name plays. Lot of people trying and as you pointed out while I was away, drilling them is one thing, fraccing them another. Even BEXP having trouble keeping fracs up with spuds in the Bakken now but they have a plan to solve that and bring them back to a 60 day cycle (spud to frac).

  85. 85
    cargocult Says:

    BOP-are you using the CIGRX tabs to quit smoking or for dementia?

  86. 86
    bill Says:

    85, lol

  87. 87
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    I like the minty-fresh taste… and they have a calming effect. And if there is ANY shred of possibility that it will cut down the possibility of Alzheimers (with no side effects)… then, heck. Minty-fresh brain activity works for me!

    (not a smoker… although tried it a few times in college… part of the whole “i’m so cool” act we play back then. ha!)

  88. 88
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    cargo — you implying it’s “too late for me”???

    You may be right about that… 😉

  89. 89
    zman Says:

    college eh? you do mean tobacco right? not something else? Just trying to explain the singing.

  90. 90
    zman Says:

    NG selling off on the smaller than expected number. Go figure. We are range bound through and through. Two years ago this same weather would have produced a draw in aggregate and not just in the producing region as it did today. Clear evidence that production this summer is flat with recent supply data or even up a bit.

  91. 91
    cargocult Says:

    I can’t remember what it was I am implying.

  92. 92
    zman Says:

    BP has been cementing the well for a few hours now. Looking for another pop in the stock when they say the cement plug has been successful.

  93. 93
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    yes… tobacco.

    the singing is inexplainable.

  94. 94
    Geno Says:

    92 Just wondering if you fill the well with cement from top to bottom how do you pump in with the relief well with out fracing the cement?

  95. 95
    zman Says:

    NG probably cooling as the heat wave is about to moderate. We’re on the way 104 today which is well above normal (98 now and its not yet 11 here), cooling into the mid 90s for highs this weekend before heading back into trip digits again next week.

  96. 96
    cargocult Says:

    Is this move in ATPG partly a short squeeze? 39% short.

  97. 97
    zman Says:

    Geno – not sure, read one account saying they would get next to the casing, put cement in the casing, then drill through the casing and cement inside it. But I also heard BP has been hedging on committing to use the relief well for a bottom kill.

  98. 98
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    cargo — it’s not even Friday yet… but we are definitely going “over the hedge.” Kinda fun, sometimes.

    Speaking of “over the hedge”… Matt Simmons. No one wants to criticize him publicly (as he has been so well-respected in the past), but he seems to have gone all “Brando” on us (think Marlon, in “Apocalyse Now”).

    Wonder if I should send him the link to the CiGRX website….

  99. 99
    zman Says:

    Cargo – I guess, earnings tomorrow.

  100. 100
    zman Says:

    “No one wants to criticize him publicly”

    So my rant this morning on him doesn’t count?

  101. 101
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    of COURSE you count, z!

    Now, repeat after me…

    “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.”

  102. 102
    zman Says:

    CRZO – Expecting Niobrara CWC of $3.2 to $3.4 mm a pop.

  103. 103
    zman Says:

    CRZO –

    Niobrara – having trouble paying above $2,000 / acre (on a risked basis).

    Eagle Ford – they draw the line at $3,000/ac.

  104. 104
    zman Says:

    Re 101. Ahhh, so you just didn’t read the post. Wounded am I.

  105. 105
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    gosh darn it… i READ the post. And it thought it was good. Broaching on GREAT, really (given that you had just gotten back from the beach).

    I just didn’t want all that praise to go to your head.

    And I agreed with your Simmons rant. Just haven’t seen it in a public publication… yet.

  106. 106
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Defensive i am…

    but don’t want you to EVER think I don’t read the post.

    to that, i say, pfffffttt and nyet.

  107. 107
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    (highly irritated that CIGX isn’t scooting toward $3 today… it will happen. just not on the sched today, it seems. irritated.)

  108. 108
    zman Says:

    Speaking of Russians, saw another conspiracy type saying the well was drilled on top of an underwater volcano, that water would soon reach the magma via the busted casing in the well, which would create a steam eruption resulting in an 80 to 120 foot high wall of water traveling at 400 to 500 MPH towards the coast.

    It just becomes easier and easier to find things you could use as junk shot on this and any future runaway wells.

  109. 109
    zman Says:

    CRZO call over, positive although part of the beat was timing issue and they dragged some production forward a quarter, more work to do there, no rush by me on it.

  110. 110
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    if you’re bored… watch a few of these CiGRX testimonials. Heard that inVentive had to re-record some of these, because people were TOO positive on the product… and you are not allowed to make absolute statements about a product that is marketed as a nutraceutical.


  111. 111
    zman Says:

    CRZO pulling back post call, glad not to chase at this point.

    ECA moving counter gas, counter group.

  112. 112
    blackgold39 Says:

    re 32: Ram – looks like they will cement down primary hole, then try to intersect with RW #1, flood with mud, and cement as much as they can there. The RW should be trash at that point, so no sense in not going ahead and cementing, especially if they aren’t sure of the fly dynamic in their string/drillpipe.

  113. 113
    zman Says:

    Re EOg – holding down a dollar going into earnings. To be clear, not looking for a numbers beat here. Just operational catalysts.

  114. 114
    jat Says:

    vtz, any thoughts on the cnq call today? still haven’t listened in.

  115. 115
    zman Says:

    Thanks BG, didn’t see his second question.

  116. 116
    blackgold39 Says:


  117. 117
    VTZ Says:

    RE 114 – In short the results are quite positive in my books although I only read the results and did not listen to the call yet. Also leaving for the week shortly.

  118. 118
    ram Says:

    Thanks BG, I can exhale now.

  119. 119
    apbd Says:

    BOP: Did I see a smiley face flash by my screen? Oh, that’s right, Z is back.

  120. 120
    bill Says:

    re sd

    you can fool some of the people some of the time

    sandRidge Energy Inc. (SD US) dropped 13 percent to $5.28, after sinking as much as 18 percent, the most intraday since December 2008. The oil producer would have had a loss of 2 cents a share in the second quarter had an unexpected accelerated hedge settlement been excluded, UBS AG said. SandRidge reported profit excluding some items of 23 cents a share.

  121. 121
    bill Says:

    useg news


  122. 122
    tomdavis12 Says:

    Z: Swiss Gov’t did not approve RIG’s first installment of their annual dividend. Can’t remember that ever happening before. Of course they are new to that country.

  123. 123
    bill Says:


    sd needs a regime change..seriously!


  124. 124
    Pati Says:

    Is Nicky in today? The CC is approaching Monday but she said she is looking for a high in the market “early next week.”

  125. 125
    zman Says:

    Pati – I have an email in with her.

  126. 126
    tomdavis12 Says:

    Bill: It looks like Tom W is trying to out do Aubrey. I have never heard anything other than the official company line about their divorce (04′ or ’05) . Have you ever come across any juicy details. Does Tom still have all his CHK stock or is that long gone. Remember when they both spent 500K each in accounting fees (CHK paid the fees) because they had a piece of every hole they drilled.

  127. 127
    zman Says:

    Market just holding breath in front of payrolls tomorrow, grabbing lunch.

  128. 128
    bill Says:

    >It looks like Tom W is trying to out do Aubrey

    i was thinking the same thing

    Isn’t it odd that sd never goes to IPAA?

  129. 129
    jat Says:

    Aubrey still has the Founder Well participation thing.

  130. 130
    AAA Says:

    This may be a naive question, but is Aubrey the worst example of insider abuses or is he typical of E&P companies? I thought I was pretty sophisticated when it came to CEO excesses and corporate governance failures, which are rife in american business, but Aubrey’s gall takes my breath away. I mean, I can’t recall any other CEOs who were so stupid they got margin calls on their own company’s stock and trashed the stock in the process, then turned around and had the company buy their cowboy art junk to bail them out.

  131. 131
    DrLink Says:

    BOP Re CIGRX So based on the testimonials it is not being touted as something that can help you kick the habit, but as a product that you use when you can’t smoke?

    Big difference….

    For what it’s worth I sold my third round of “wash and rinse” KOG today. It seems to be following the market and with payrolls out Friday, I’m not willing to hold on through after hours to see earnings after the close.

  132. 132
    RMD Says:

    bill, would you run through the math of your NAVs please? (“$10 3P NAV at $6.50/mcf ($6 3P NAV at $5.50/mcf) biased higher.”)

  133. 133
    RMD Says:

    132 I meant on AREX.

  134. 134
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    DrLink — congrats on trading KOG. That is why the stock exists, to make us $$.

    Your CiGRX comment… that is the point. inVentive had to scrub the testimonials of anything that made it sound like it was a “kick the habit” product. Apparently, that lands you on a whole different level of scrutiny, when it comes to efficacy claims. You can’t sell under the “nutraceutical” rules. And CIGX’s COB/COO is a well-respected lawyer (google him… he is impressive). But as such, he is UBER-risk adverse and secret. As a matter of fact, their website this morning went live with a coupla typos. Paul is so frickin’ obsessed with secrecy, that he didn’t allow a few sets of independent eyeballs to vette the site before hitting the “on” switch.

    Buzz is that there will be more announcements out tomorrow.

    Of course, time will tell, on this one. But I now have a full position in the shares. I finished my buying today, on the news.

  135. 135
    zman Says:

    General greening of the group underway, probably doesn’t mean much unless you are a seller post close as the week is likely going to trade significantly off payrolls tomorrow.

    Re Aubrey, no comment other than to say he’s not dumb. He got a good deal for Aubrey.

  136. 136
    zman Says:

    After the close/before the open we have earnings from:

    EOG, GST, SWN, and KOG after the close.

    EOG – playing as outlined above, so far no move up into the close.

    SWN – long the common, no options play by me this quarter. Same KOG.I think they need to have 13,14,15 complete on the call.

    GST – no play by me, Reef and BOP pointing to a lack of catalysts and perhaps a bad #s quarter by BOP, right?

  137. 137
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    GST — yeah. Don’t think the 2Q will set any land-speed records. But, reef has done some work on their EF acreage… thar’s gold, in them thar acres… BLACK gold.

    ’nuff said.

    Hope GST treats it’s Marcellus acreage like a footfall and kicks it thru the goalpost. Would LOVE to see them toss that stuff. Too scattered — unconcentrated — to operate.

  138. 138
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Aaaargh! “Magicjack” on CNBC again. Can’t take it anymooooooooooooooore.

    Running out for a bit.

    Back later.

  139. 139
    scoop006 Says:

    Z #125?

  140. 140
    zman Says:

    Scoop – Nicky I think is busy.

  141. 141
    bill Says:

    132, i was quoting from tph…not my numbers

    i dont follow that one

  142. 142
    zman Says:

    CRZO up 4%, from up 12% this morning. Chart looks sort of interesting.

  143. 143
    Jerome Blank Says:

    RE: #34 CRZO, broke above strong resistance at $20 to print a new P&F buy signal, first support is here at $21, right on the trendline, CRZO hit resistance at the 200 day SMA at $22.50, if bullish, this is not a bad spot to try a long…I added CRZO charts

  144. 144
    TEXWS6 Says:

    I was working in OKC when Tom W. split from CHK and bought our Reata (sp) to form SD. Tom took a couple of the key CHK personnel, Aubrey quickly ended that by matching 5 years salary of EVERY engineer that stuck around for 5 years.

  145. 145
    zman Says:

    Thanks much JB

    Tex – well, good for engineer types at least. Should be good for shareholders too. I just would prefer he have no conflict of interest on the well deal.

  146. 146
    Jerome Blank Says:

    $NYMO is not grossly overbought,but it’s still high, $NYMO might be a bit lower tonight, but the 10 year at almost 124 is suggesting stocks lower…

  147. 147
    tomdavis12 Says:

    144: Don’t think Aubrey cut Tom in for a piece of his Okla City Thunder NBA team either.

  148. 148
    zman Says:

    EOg starting a little run finally, probably going to be too late to move the $115s. Those are now an all or none play.

  149. 149
    zman Says:

    re 147. Wonder if Aubrey is still the largest holder of commercial real estate in OKC. Not that that matters, just curious. Haven’t noticed whether or not he has started re-accumulating shares.

  150. 150
    zman Says:


  151. 151
    crysball Says:

    Interesting article on China


  152. 152
    zman Says:

    Colin reforming northeast of Cuba.

  153. 153
    bill Says:

    swn is out

    misssed by 1 cent

  154. 154
    zman Says:

    KOG on the tape, wells 13-15 still awaiting completion.

  155. 155
    zman Says:

    and upping their capex from $60 to $75 mm for previously announced acreage adds.

  156. 156
    zman Says:

    BP on the tape saying they have finished cementing Macondo.

  157. 157
    1520sbroad Says:

    SWN capex unch

    Keeping production guidance the same even with sold acreage in east texas

    Dropping a horizontal rig in august in FS due to efficiency/lower drilling days

    No comments in PR on Canada project

    First marcellus well is on production (this may have been previously announced sometime and I missed it)

  158. 158
    zman Says:

    EOG coming across now, reading.

  159. 159
    zman Says:

    Penny light on EPS (don’t care), 8 cents over on CFPS (2.84 vs 2.76est)

    Production in the middle of guidance

    Adding $500 mm to capex, saying they will cover it with increased asset sales.

    Still reading but bump in spending probably won’t go over well at the moment, even if they are selling non core gassy properties to fund it.

    Niobrara – talking about 2 wells but not a lot of detail.

    Eagle Ford – talking about 3 nice oily completions, have drilled 31 wells now.

    Carat well in Montana Bakken not in this release.

  160. 160
    zman Says:

    EOg also announcing discoveries in the Leonard Shale of SE New Mexico. Calling it’s position worth of 65 mm BOE which is a pretty big opening salvo for these guys on a new play reserve estimate. These reserves are for about 1/4 of their acreage in the play.

  161. 161
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    GST reported disappointing 2Q as expected. Company should be valued on an NAV basis, not eps or cf… but still, eps and cf even a tad worse than the analyst community expected.

  162. 162
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    KOG — i was afraid they were still waiting on completion crews… that is why we haven’t heard anything from them in a while… not really much new to report.

  163. 163
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    DrLink — most excellent call on your KOG trading shares. Thank you for sharing.

  164. 164
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    (may get a shot at the “repeat” cycle tomorrow… I would wait to see $3.10 or so, before going for the “wash”)

  165. 165
    DrLink Says:

    Thanks BOP

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