Rob Black's Energy Stock Report

Includes: GW, NBR, PTEN, UDRL
by: Rob Black

The NY Times reports biodiesel produced from soybeans produces more usable energy and reduces greenhouse gases more than corn-based ethanol, making it more deserving of subsidies, according to a study.

The study points to the environmental benefits of the biodiesel over ethanol made from corn, stating that ethanol provides 25% more energy a gallon than is required for its production, while soybean biodiesel generates 93% more energy. The study found that ethanol, in its production and consumption, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 12%, compared with fossil fuels. Biodiesel reduces such emissions 41%, compared with fossil fuels. The future of replacing oil and gas lies with cellulosic ethanol produced from low-cost materials like switch grass or wheat straw, if it is grown on agriculturally marginal land. Indeed, the study found that neither ethanol nor biodiesel can replace much petroleum without having an impact on food supply. If all American corn and soybean production were dedicated to biofuels, that fuel would replace only 12% of gas demand and 6% of diesel demand.

J.P. Morgan downgraded several oil and gas services companies, saying robust natural gas production growth and a continuing storage overhang means there will be little upside for natural gas prices next year. J.P. Morgan downgraded Grey Wolf (GW) , Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) and Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) to underweight. It also downgraded Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) and Union Drilling (NASDAQ:UDRL) to neutral.