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Bob van der Valk  

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  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    My comment, about BP/Arco's retail arm adjusting its decades old "We are the low price leader" pricing posture in the retail market, was timely in view of a massive layoff, which occurred at their retail office in La Palma, CA this month. BP will be retrenching and try to recuperate financially by raising their Dealer Tank Wagon prices, which have been among the lowest prices in the market and at times below wholesale unbranded gasoline rack prices.
    Dec 28, 2010. 07:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    mxvftc - I did not call BP DOA in my article. Please re-read it and note that they will have to fall back on their forte, which is Exploration and Production (E&P). Their Refining and Marketing (R&M) department is not the most profitable end of their business but was considered a necessary evil to move their production of crude oil. They have used up the "cheap" barrels discovered in the Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska in 1977 and reserve barrels there are dwindling. The new barrels will come in at market prices especially with the US MMS (Minerals Management Service) on their projects like a cheap suit.
    Dec 18, 2010. 10:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    Polistocks - Please read my reply in the comment section in which I already answered your question. I am not shorting BP stock and have no investments in stock of any kind. My profile explains my back ground in the petroleum industry and I have now taken pen and paper in hands (or in this case my desk top computer and the Internet) to inform anyone willing to read about the inner workings of the petroleum industry. I am at 50 years plus and still counting in this fabulous industry, which has provided me with a comfortable living.
    Dec 18, 2010. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    WikiLeaks just released another round of U.S. embassy cables among them highlighting similarities between the Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported major gas leak at BP’s operations in Azerbaijan in 2008.
    Dec 16, 2010. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    I used a quote from the International Business Times - U.S. edition article written by Surojit Chatterjee and posted on their web site on September 3, 2010 for my estimate for the oil spill cost at over $100 billion as follows:

    "Market analysts have put BP's total oil spill costs at anything between $30 billion and $100 billion, given the litigation and fines it's facing and also said the company could be a vulnerable target of a hostile takeover from rivals such as US energy giant Exxon Mobil or French oil major Total S.A."

    The estimate on the potential fines under the CSB Under the Clean Water Act alone, BP faces fines of up to $1,100 for each barrel of oil spilled. If BP is found to have committed gross negligence or willful misconduct, the fine could be up to $4,300 per barrel.

    That means that based on the government's estimate of 206 million gallons released by the well, BP could face civil fines of between $5.4 billion and $21.1 billion.

    Notwithstanding the civil and class action lawsuits being filed for the eleven deaths and long term damages to the environment and businesses in this area it's not tough that B.P.'s total bill for the oil spill will easily reach the $100 billion mark.

    I worked for Union Oil Company of California during the 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. They never recovered financially and became an easy target for T. Boone Pickens' green mail attempt in the early 1970's for a hostile take over.
    Dec 15, 2010. 06:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is This the End for BP? [View article]
    I do not own and have never owned any BP or Arco stocks. My intention is not to run BP out of business, although their PR department seems to be doing that job for them.

    The new information in this article is the change in the pricing posture BP has taken in the last few weeks in the retail market. They are they still hurting from the boycott efforts at their BP and Arco branded gas stations while the oil was still spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. They are also no longer the low price leader on gasoline in some of their markets.

    In the end this will come down to whether BP can generate enough profits to continue not only to pay for the claims for losses suffered by businesses around the Gulf. On top of having to dump money down the bottomless pit by having to adhere to "the letter of the law" the many old and new federal drilling regulations being fully enforced against them.
    Dec 15, 2010. 01:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP’s Sinking Role in Setting WTI Crude Oil Prices [View article]
    Cushing currently has almost 50 million barrels in storage space with 80% safely available for workable inventory. That percentage can go up to 90 if required to make room for incoming barrels.
    Nov 8, 2010. 09:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP’s Sinking Role in Setting WTI Crude Oil Prices [View article]
    The world of pricing WTI crude oil is almost totally in control of the big Wall Street bankers i.e Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. They need new players to keep the game going just as happened in the big run up in early 2008.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on June 22, 2008: "Speculative traders’ interest in oil accounts for 70% of all trading in West Texas Intermediate crude on the NYMEX.” That was one month before the crude oil bubble burst.
    Nov 8, 2010. 08:38 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Complicated Tale of AT&T’s Exclusive iPhone Agreement [View article]
    Much to my dismay I found out that AT&T plays hardball when it comes to having coverage for the iPhone having just recently moved from Seattle, Washington to Terry, Montana.

    I was advised within 90 days after moving to Montana that I was in violation of my contract and would be cancelled due to not living in the area in which the iPhone had been purchased. I contacted both Randall Stephenson, the AT&T CEO as well Tim Cook, the Interim Apple CEO, by emails, after receiving responses from the AT&T customer service department to take my business to Verizon with better coverage in my area. They even offered to set me up with an account.

    I pursued my complaint with Apple about the lack of service by AT&T. The contact in their Office of the President feigned ignorance and said that they would respond to me with an answer shortly. Just to back it up I filed a complaint against AT&T with the FCC.

    That last move apparently received the proper attention and AT&T then offered to reimburse me for the two iPhones purchased for $420 in Seattle as well as a guarantee to connect me back up with them as soon as they had direct coverage available in Montana.

    I now have a Verizon Android phone and have been receiving great service from them. However, in my book the iPhone still beats anything else available in a smart phone.
    May 12, 2010. 09:25 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gulf Oil Spill Could Spell Disaster for U.S. Energy Independence [View article]
    The competition in the marketing place will decide whether the consumers pays for the cost of the spill clean up. That eventually spelled doom for the survival in the case of Union Oil Company.
    May 2, 2010. 01:14 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gulf Oil Spill Could Spell Disaster for U.S. Energy Independence [View article]
    Thanks for your kind comments. I am currently using the "Securing America's Future Energy Needs" as the heading on my web site @

    Bob van der Valk
    Terry, Montana
    May 2, 2010. 01:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won't Decrease Oil Dependence, Part II [View article]
    Both of Eamon articles are very timely and will add fuel to the fire (no pun intended) on whether we should proceed with making natural gas our energy source of choice for the future. However, in reading the comments it appears that a certain bias continues to be promolgated on countries of origin with exports of crude oil to the US. A quick glance at the EIA's most recent statistics indicate that Canada continues to be leading single country for exporting crude oil to the US:

    Country MB annual

    Canada 912,263
    Saudi Arabia 559,750
    Mexico 476,366
    Venezuela 435,029
    Nigeria 361,659
    Top Five Countries Total Crude Oil Imports 2,745,067
    Total for All Countries 4,915,957

    U.S. Imports by Country of Origin in 2008 per Energy Information Agency.

    Last time I checked 3 out of 5 of the above countries have not threatened us lately and do not hate us.
    Feb 8, 2010. 09:28 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil: Refineries Slow as Gasoline Inventories Build [View article]
    Youhave hit on the reason why the API inventory report is now being published on Tuesday afternoons before the Wednesday morning DOE statistics come out. This week they both were a day later than normal due to the MLK holiday.

    The wet barrels traders basically ignore the API numbers since the information is being obtained from their members on a voluntary (read self serving) basis. The DOE inventory statistics are mandated by regulation and are therefore given more creadance than API's for that reason.
    Jan 22, 2010. 09:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • International Energy Association: Forced to Eat Their Optimistic Data on Future Oil Supply? [View article]
    Today forecasting crude oil prices is like trying to drive a car while looking out of the back window. The latest number of what it costs to drill for and bring crude oil to the surface in the deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico is around $40 a barrel. Any price above that is pure speculation depending on demand.

    The crude oil bubble is about to burst again just as it did last year. GS is still talking the price up and will be able justify themselves somehow when it goes back down. But they will do just fine since they make their money either way in the up or down markets using commodities like crude oil to hedge against the weak dollar.
    Nov 12, 2009. 10:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Abundance of Gasoline: A Thanksgiving Day Tradition [View article]

    Crude oil prices are being driven by ICE and CME and are controlled by giant investment firms with Goldman Sachs leading the pack and being their cheerleader. Refineries on the other hand have to rely on a steady supply of crude oil related to the price those products will fetch on the open market. The short answer to the question you ask is: "Hell, yes!"

    On Nov 11 10:06 AM Shaggieman wrote:

    > Hey Bob, guess we don't get the big drop in WTI crude price this
    > year? Are you still convinced we're going lower again?
    Nov 12, 2009. 09:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment