Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed


View EconMatters' Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • Investing in the Pickens Plan, One Year Later [View article]
    Coincidentally, Mr. T. Boone Pickens just announced shelving plans to build the world's biggest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle He also released a video talking about natgas with various other cameo speakers So at least we seem to have some kind of consensus within the energy industry, which is a good thing.
    Jul 8, 2009. 10:46 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing in the Pickens Plan, One Year Later [View article]

    Sorry fo rosting an invalid link previously. Above is the correct link from the U.S. EIA where I cited the 20.7 MMbd cosumption for 2007. Thanks.

    On Jul 06 03:13 PM Dian L. Chu wrote:

    > is the lik from the U.S. EIA site citing the 20.7 MMbd consumption
    > during 2007. Thanks.
    Jul 6, 2009. 03:17 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing in the Pickens Plan, One Year Later [View article] is the lik from the U.S. EIA site citing the 20.7 MMbd consumption during 2007. Thanks.

    On Jul 06 02:37 PM rkolodziej wrote:

    > The author states: “According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy (,
    > the United States consumed 20.7 MMbd of petroleum products during
    > 2007 …If these trucks were converted to natural gas engines over
    > the next few years, as proposed by the Pickens Plan, then domestic
    > oil consumption would theoretically fall by about 12% (2.4 MMbd used
    > in freight divided by the 20.7 MMbd consumption). ” What Mr. Pickens
    > has been focusing on is displacing oil in on-road transportation
    > applications. I have been unable to find the 20.7 MMbpd number the
    > author quotes in EIA’s tables. However, when you look at EIA’s Annual
    > Energy Outlook (April 2009; Table 7), it says that in 2007, we used
    > 14.68 MMbpd in transportation. That’s all transportation, including
    > pipeline fuel, planes, boats, rail, etc. On-road vehicle fuel used
    > was 11.66 MMbpd (trucks, bus, cars) of which diesel (freight trucks
    > and buses) 2.92 MMbpd or 22% of on-road transportation. This seems
    > like a more relevant and impressive number
    > The author states: “the DOE also estimated that transmission of gas
    > to market, compression, and taxes equivalent to those levied on diesel
    > will add at least $7 per million BTUs to the price of gas for trucks
    > and other transport users (Annual Energy Outlook 2009, AEO 2008,
    > Table 13) thereby causing natural gas to lose its price advantage.”
    > There are about 7.5 diesel-gallon-equivalents in one million Btu.
    > That’s $0.93 per gallon. When gas is selling at $4 per million Btu
    > (the author points out the price was only $3.60 on July 5th), the
    > price of the fuel in the field is only $0.53 per diesel-gallon-equivalent.
    > That’s $1.46 per diesel-gallon-equivalent delivered into the vehicle
    > or at least $1.00 per gallon less expensive than diesel fuel. For
    > a transit bus, trash truck or other large truck that uses 15,000
    > gallons per year, that’s a $15,000 savings per truck! This does not
    > factor in any federal and state incentives. It seems that natural
    > gas for vehicles has a significant price advantage.
    > The author states: “But according to a UPS case study, CNG technology
    > has a fuel economy penalty of 10%-15% compared with diesel technology.”
    > That study was done in 2002, and therefore is totally useless for
    > discussing future costs. Since then, the EPA diesel engine emissions
    > standards have been tightened twice – with another tightening coming
    > up in 2010. At each tightening, the cost of buying, operating and
    > maintaining diesel vehicles have increased while, because of performance
    > improvements in heavy-duty natural gas engines, these costs have
    > actually come down.
    > The author states: “Infrastructure poses another challenge, as the
    > CNG sector has been unable to make any inroads with the consumer
    > market. Until consumers can find natural-gas stations on their way
    > to work, the alternative fuel won't attract commuters. NGVAmerica
    > also says the very limited distribution network for natural gas stations
    > would better serve commercial fleets and long-haul trucks.” Since
    > this is a discussion of the Pickens Plan and the Pickens Plan focuses
    > on the truck and bus market, the state of NGVs in the consumer market
    > is irrelevant. The NGV industry can’t be all things to all people
    > all at once. That is why the industry has been targeting return-to-home
    > fleet vehicles where a national network of natural gas fueling stations
    > is not necessary.
    Jul 6, 2009. 03:13 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • British Airways Cuts Capex While Shareholders Hope for Lower Oil [View article]
    Some Asian airlines like Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Air China may actually benefit from the rise of oil prices this year. The decline of oil prices from July '08 to Mar. '09 worked against airlines which locked in fuel-hedging contracts at higher prices. So the recent surge in oil prices will curb losses from their hedges. Most airlines in Asia are expected to recognize profits from fuel hedging this year because last year many recorded high marked- to-market hedging losses.
    Jul 5, 2009. 08:44 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cap and Trade Will Severely Harm the Steel Industry [View article]
    Thanks Todd, Agree with you 120%. Regardless what the final bill will look like after the Senate , its costs still far outweigh the benefits at the worst possible timing. I hope to see you here often.

    On Jun 28 11:19 PM Tgrant wrote:

    > When you factor in that BRIC economies will not participate in carbon
    > caps, and a tariffs will likely be overturned by the WTO. Contracting
    > your economy, especially when unemployment rates are already at multi-decade
    > highs is not wise. I'm not sure I can believe the job growth claims,
    > when you consider you could in theory have large amounts of workers
    > who will be displaced.This could be the straw that breaks the camels
    > back. These companies will have to move and outsource into the BRIC.
    > This just looks like one large value added tax. Which substantially
    > inflates the prices of all good that require energy in their production,
    > storage, distribution and sales.
    Jun 29, 2009. 12:51 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cap and Trade Will Severely Harm the Steel Industry [View article]
    You comment is greatly appreciated.
    Energy is a major input cost for almost all market sectors. So, yes, mini-mills like CMC will get hit as well by the cap and trade system in the form of higher energy costs. However, as pointed out in my article, since mini's have less to worry about on carbon emissions, they will likely be less affected as compared to the integrated mills. Regardless what the finalized version of the bill will be, its timing & impact is more far reaching than some realize or care to admit.

    On Jun 28 01:27 PM La Marque wrote:

    > Commercial Metals ( points out
    > in most of their filings that the price of electricity goes right
    > to the bottom line. Most electricity costs will increase under cap
    > and trade. So CMC is going to get hit indirectly.
    Jun 28, 2009. 03:48 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WPP Well Positioned for Bounce Back in Media Spending [View article]
    Mike, congrats on another great article!
    Jun 28, 2009. 10:34 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Land Driller Sector Outlook: It's All About the Natural Gas [View article]
    Mike, Thank you.

    On Jun 25 09:47 AM Michael Young wrote:

    > Glad to see your fan club is growing. Another nice article.
    Jun 25, 2009. 06:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Land Driller Sector Outlook: It's All About the Natural Gas [View article]
    I updated the rig count chart to show the marketed natgas production data from the EIA on my blog: However, the EIA data are a few month behind, only to Mar. 2009. Feel free to check it out. Thanks.

    On Jun 24 09:59 PM Energy Trader wrote:

    > What would also be informational is to show production on the same
    > graph with the rig count.
    > Basehitz made me wonder is it the WS people that are in the UNG or
    > is the individual? I have been of the opinion that WS has better
    > options than the UNG, like directly buying the forwards, and that
    > the investors are the individual traders. What do others think?
    > Also, the WS reports/commments I see are bashing UNG while cites
    > like this are talking up UNG
    Jun 25, 2009. 06:43 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BCA: Energy Services Stocks Still Have Upside [View article]
    The increase in weekly rig count was only the 2nd time this year. SLB, HAL and BHI combined have laid off 10,000 jobs since the start of this year, which means the Big 3 do not see a V-shaped recovery. Why? too much natural gas. In addition, the current project costs levels are not aligned with the commodity prices. It could take another 6-18 months for the reduced input costs to flow through the supply chain. Big producers are putting projects on hold waiting for costs to come down further. The upside is there for sure, think long term, about 2015 when the U.S. GDP resumes normal growth rate.
    Jun 25, 2009. 05:31 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Land Driller Sector Outlook: It's All About the Natural Gas [View article]
    Thank you, sir, for your readership and encouragement.

    On Jun 24 05:36 PM BigOlDave wrote:

    > It sure is nice to have someone make a firm recommendation for once,
    > rather than just do an analysis! Saying "For now, it is best to remain
    > on the sidelines" sounds like Cramer when he says, "Don't Buy! Don't
    > Buy! Don't Buy!" ...except you back it up with tidy rationale.<br/>
    > I made myself a "Follower". Write More! Write More! Write More!
    > Dave
    Jun 24, 2009. 05:40 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Land Driller Sector Outlook: It's All About the Natural Gas [View article]
    Tom Armistead: BJS is a solid company, but you are correct that it has a high exposure to the North America market (NAM). The company also lacks the breath/depth of SLB and HAL to take on full project managment. In my opinion, NAM is unlikely to resume growth before 2015. Depending on portfolio makeup, BJS probably should not be part of the short or even mid term holdings.
    Jun 24, 2009. 10:27 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TIPS Yields Signal New Inflation Concern [View article]
    Thanks for a nice article and chart.

    On Jun 21 01:21 PM Living4Dividends wrote:

    > IEF and TIP have roughly moved in tandem since the inception of TIP
    > five years ago. In the last year, TIPs have widely diverged from
    > nominal Treasuries. .I did a chart comparing IEF (nominals) with
    > TIP. that demonstrates this. Since I can not post charts in the comments
    > section, if you want to see the chart go here:
    Jun 22, 2009. 02:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stimulus Package Rebuilding Same Myth of Debt Fueled Economic Growth [View article]
    Fed's latest stats tell the story: M1 was up 16.2% Y/Y, whereas M2 was up 9% Y/Y in May. It typically takes 12-18 months for increases in money supply to effect interest rates and commodity prices. We seem to be at a inflection point right now where the dramatic increases in money supply, the Fed balance, and the drop in the dollar are starting to weigh on investor confidence. The risk of owning euquity on a short-term basis, and the threat of rising interest rates also are rising dramatically.
    Jun 21, 2009. 08:39 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TIPS Yields Signal New Inflation Concern [View article]
    Mike, In my view, the wealth and capital transfer from develped to developing countries will be a direct result of the current quantitative easing measures. So, it is purely from an economic point of view instead of a political one (The Recusant)
    Your comment here is such a pleasant surprise. Thank you.

    On Jun 19 04:13 PM Michael Young wrote:

    > Dian - wise words. The Recusant - really interesting point of view
    > and I tend to agree with you. Of course there are serious social
    > problems as well as economic issues that need to be resolved.
    Jun 20, 2009. 01:09 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment