Today, 2:26 PM
- The House passes legislation that would lift the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, giving the oil industry one of its top congressional priorities.
- But the real test is in the narrowly divided Senate, where stand-alone export legislation is far less likely to advance; in the 261-159 House vote, only 26 Democrats joined 235 Republicans to support the measure, held down by the Obama administration's opposition.
- More than a dozen oil companies - including Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Encana (NYSE:ECA), Hess (NYSE:HES), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Apache (NYSE:APA) - have been pressing the issue with Congress, arguing that allowing oil exports would eliminate market distortions, create jobs and stimulate more U.S. petroleum production; it also would help companies fetch a higher price on the global oil market.
- "An extra dollar or two for the price of our product today is very important because our margins are incredibly squeezed,” says ECA's Doug Suttles.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, XLE, UCO, UWTI, VDE, ERX, OIH, SCO, XOP, BNO, DBO, DWTI, ERY, DIG, DTO, DUG, BGR, USL, XES, IYE, IEO, IEZ, DNO, FENY, PXE, PXJ, FIF, OLO, SZO, NDP, RYE, FXN, OLEM, DDG
Thu, Sep. 24, 7:15 PM
- North Dakota regulators approve an industry-backed proposal to delay further cuts to associated gas flaring by 10 months while also easing more long-range flaring reduction targets.
- Gov. Dalrymple and the two other members of the North Dakota Industrial Commission voted to change the date when companies must capture 85% of natural gas produced from their wells to Nov. 1, 2016.
- The regulators agreed with industry arguments that the delays and revisions were needed because of the lack of new gas capture and pipeline infrastructure, which have been delayed for a variety of reasons, including low oil and gas prices, right-of-way disputes and pad size limitations.
- Top North Dakota producers include CLR, HES, EOG, WLL, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
Tue, Sep. 15, 12:56 PM
- House Republicans plan to vote later this month on a bill to lift the 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude oil exports, a move that would please oil companies lobbying Congress but potentially rattle global oil markets already facing volatility and lower prices.
- More than a dozen oil companies including Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), have pushed Congress to lift the ban, arguing that unrestrained U.S. oil exports would eliminate market distortions, streamline U.S. production and boost the economy.
- Some refiners focused on the domestic market such as Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Valero (NYSE:VLO) and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and consumer interest groups oppose the move, saying it would raise gasoline prices.
- Energy stocks are mostly higher today as crude oil rebounds from recent declines.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
Tue, Sep. 8, 5:25 PM
- Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) says it plans to cut at least 11% from its 2015 capital spending budget to $2.35B-$2.4B vs. its previous forecast to spend $2.7B, due to the drop in crude oil prices.
- CLR says it will reduce its operated rig count in the Bakken from 10 to eight rigs by the end of the month, and plans to defer well completion activity except for where it has contractual considerations or it accomplishes specific strategic objectives.
- CLR says its 2015 production guidance remains unchanged, seeing 19%-23% growth for the year vs. 2014, but it now expects to exit the year with production of 200K-215K boe/day from a previously outlook for 190K-215K.
Mon, Aug. 24, 3:27 PM
- Chevron (CVX -5%) is upgraded to Neutral from Underperform with a $100 price target at BofA Merrill, which expects CVX’s net debt to stabilize with major projects beginning to contribute in 2017 and a drop in spending to maintenance levels.
- The firm says it has been concerned throughout the past year that CVX's cash burn would dilute equity value through peak spending at the same time that oil prices collapsed, but it no longer sees a risk, as CVX is discounting below strip prices but with a dividend.
- CVX requires sustained spending of $15B-$16B to hold production flat for an extended period,” BofA's Doug Leggate explains, adding that at $45-$50 oil, cash flow by 2017 would be closer to $29B so that the dividend is "more than covered" by cash flow in an ex-growth environment.
- ConocoPhillips (COP -6.2%) is the firm's top pick among the big oils after the stock has been hit hard, which the analyst thinks reflected unwarranted concerns regarding COP's dividend; at current strip prices, Leggate believes COP's upside is second only to Buy-rated Exxon Mobil (XOM -5.3%).
- However, the firm downgrades HollyFrontier (HFC -3.5%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC -7.2%) and Valero (VLO -4.7%) to Underperform and cuts Continental Resources (CLR -10.1%), Marathon Oil (MRO -8.4%), Noble Energy (NBL -5.4%) and Whiting Petroleum (WLL -8%) to Neutral.
Fri, Aug. 14, 12:47 PM
- The Obama administration will allow limited sales of crude oil to Mexico for the first time, Reuters reports, citing a senior administration official who says the U.S. Commerce Department is "acting favorably on a number of applications" to export U.S. crude in exchange for imported Mexican oil.
- The shipments, likely to be lighter, high-quality shale oil, would help Mexico's aging refineries produce more premium fuels, while U.S. refiners would continue to get Mexican heavy oil, a better match for them than the light oil coming from Texas and North Dakota.
- Although limited in scope, the move toward freeing up trade will please U.S. oil producers such as Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), which say the restrictions force them to sell oil at below global market rates, and may add momentum to efforts mostly to repeal what advocates see as a relic of the 1970s.
- Among relevant oil stocks: XOM, CVX, BP, RDS.A, RDS.B, OAS, NOG, CLR, WLL, EOX, SM, SFY, PVA, GST, SN, CRK, BBG, CWEI
- Relevant refining stocks: VLO, HFC, MPC, TSO, WNR, ALJ, PSX, PBF, DK, NTI, ALDW
- ETFs: XLE, XOP, XES, IEO, IEZ, PXE, NDP
Wed, Aug. 5, 4:19 PM
Tue, Aug. 4, 5:35 PM
- ABX, ACAS, ACXM, AEGR, AGU, ALB, AMTG, ANDE, AREX, ARNA, ATO, ATSG, AVG, AWK, AXLL, BEE, BGC, BREW, BRKR, BWXT, CBS, CCRN, CF, CJES, CLNE, CLR, CNAT, CODI, CORT, COUP, CPE, CSII, CSLT, CTL, CUTR, CXW, DCO, DNB, DPM, DXCM, ECHO, ECOL, ENS, EQC, ETE, ETP, FANG, FLT, FMC, FNGN, FOXA, FRT, FTD, FUEL, GBDC, GDDY, GMCR, GPOR, HABT, HDP, HI, HIVE, HLF, HR, IAG, ICPT, IL, IRWD, ITRI, JACK, JAZZ, JONE, KND, KW, LGCY, LHCG, LNT, MCHX, MED, MELI, MG, MITT, MNTX, MRIN, MRO, MUSA, NHI, NKTR, NLY, NOG, NP, OME, OPK, OSUR, PACB, PDLI, PFMT, PGTI, PHH, PMT, PNNT, POWR, PRI, PRU, PRXL, PSIX, RAIL, REG, RGLD, RIG, RLD, RP, RST, RYN, SBY, SD, SGI, SGMO, SGY, SHOR, SLF, SQNM, SSNI, STR, SUN, SWM, SXL, TCAP, TLLP, TRNX, TRQ, TS, TSLA, TSO, TTEC, TTMI, TTPH, TUMI, UHAL, UIL, VVC, WGL, WPX, WSR, WTI, WTW, XNPT, XPO, ZU
Fri, Jul. 24, 12:54 PM
- No new well completion reports have been filed in North Dakota since July 10, the longest gap this year, according to the state’s Department of Mineral Resources.
- The slump in reported completions is unusual and coincides with the fall in oil prices which has seen wellhead prices for Bakken crude drop below $50/bbl; Reuters' John Kemp says if the slump continues for much longer, it could be a sign that shale producers are deferring putting more wells into production to save cash and wait for better prices.
- The number of wells reported completed so far in July is running far below the previous level and well below the number the DMR estimates is needed to hold production steady, Kemp writes.
- Top Bakken producers include CLR, HES, EOG, WLL, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
Mon, Jul. 20, 2:29 PM
- Whiting Petroleum (WLL -4.1%) is upgraded to Positive from Neutral with a $33 price target at Susquehanna, saying it now believes the valuations of many E&P stocks are finally starting to look more reasonable.
- Drivers from WLL include the company’s reserve growth potential via its positions in the Bakken and Niobara, and improvement in capital efficiency due to its focus on enhanced completions, Susquehanna says.
- The firm names Newfield Exploration (NFX -1.2%), Continental Resources (CLR -2.6%) and Devon Energy (DVN -2.3%) as its preferred oil names and Gulfport Energy (GPOR -3.7%) as its favorite gas play.
- Last week's news of sales of two WLL non-core conventional properties for $185M piques the interest of Capital One Securities, which says WLL's Belfield and Robinson Lake gas plants could be next on the chopping block and could take 2015 asset sale proceeds to the top end of WLL's guided range of $500M-$1B for the year.
Thu, Jul. 16, 2:57 PM
- Global oil majors have $150B of firepower than can be used for M&A and have the ability to defer another $325B in capex on marginal projects; with so much cash available for potential deals and up to 15M bbl/day of production potentially available for purchase, Goldman Sachs analyst Ruth Brooker sees a pickup in M&A activity in the oil and gas space coming soon.
- The firm thinks shale production has the potential to double by 2025, and Brooker argues majors likely will take the current opportunity to increase their exposure to U.S. shale at historically low prices.
- Goldman sees seven companies as most likely to draw buyout attention from the majors: EOG, PXD, CLR, COG, NBL, APC, RRC.
Thu, Jul. 9, 12:26 PM
- Energy stocks are setting the pace for today's trading, outperforming a positive broader market as crude oil prices bounce back by more than $1 on extended nuclear deal talk deadlines with Iran and China's stock market turnaround.
- Among top gainers so far: CHK +4%, WLL +3%, DNR +3%, NOG +8.1%, CLR +2.9%, SWN +2.5%.
- Oppenheimer's Fadel Gheit is unmoved, believing oil prices "could stay lower and for longer than expected based on the low level of M&A activities as the gap in expectation between potential buyers and sellers remains wide."
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
Mon, Jul. 6, 3:15 PM
- WTI crude oil settled at a three-month low $52.53/bbl, -7.7%, on a confluence of worries about the Greece debt drama, China’s stock markets and a new flood of Iranian oil; Brent crude fell to $56.50, -6.3%, to snap its 100-day MA.
- WTI has dropped 10% over three straight sessions and Brent more than 7% lower in two consecutive days, breaking out of the narrow trading band of the past three months and risking a deeper slide ahead.
- The energy sector (XLE -1.3%) is easily the worst performing equity group today: CLR -7.4%, NOG -7.8%, OAS -8.5%, DNR -6.7%, WLL -6%.
- Oil supermajors also are sharply lower: XOM -1%, COP -2.8%, CVX -1.1%, BP -3.3%, TOT -3%.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, TWTI, OLEM
Wed, Jun. 24, 6:57 PM
- A spike in earthquakes across Oklahoma is forcing the state's energy regulator to urgently consider tougher restrictions on drilling activity, calling it a "game changer."
- During the June 17-24 period, Oklahoma experienced 35 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, with some of the quakes occurring in the Oklahoma City metro area where there are no high-volume wastewater injection wells.
- The spike in quakes comes two months after drillers were ordered by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, to stop disposing wastewater below the state's deepest rock formation.
- Oklahoma's elected officials have been reluctant to shackle an industry that directly generated more than 7% of state revenues last year in the form of production taxes from companies such as Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) and Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR).
- ETFs: XLE, VDE, ERX, OIH, XOP, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, IEO, FENY, PXE, FIF, PXJ, NDP, RYE, FXN, DDG
Fri, Jun. 12, 6:44 PM
- North Dakota oil production fell 1.8%, or nearly 22K bbl/day, in April to ~1.17M bbl/day after recording a surprising jump in March, as weak crude prices led producers to ease production.
- The number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota stands at 76, the lowest since December 2009, according to the latest monthly report from the state's Department of Mineral Resources.
- The agency director has said he expects the state’s oil production to remain at 1.1M-1.2M bbl/day until oil prices recover.
- April natural gas production was up slightly at 1.54B cf/day from 1.51B cf/day in March.
- Unimpressed commentator Gregor McDonald tweets: "Sorry America, but 9,525 wells in the North Dakota Bakken producing on average 116 bbl/day is more cartoon than triumph."
- Top Bakken producers include: CLR, EOG, XOM, HES, COP. MRO, WLL, OAS, NOG, EOX
Wed, Jun. 10, 12:58 PM
- The rapid contraction in the Bakken oil price discount may indicate a faster than expected production decline in the area, dealers say.
- The buying frenzy pushed Bakken delivered at Clearbrook, Minn., to trade just $0.35/bbl below the West Texas benchmark last week, dealers say, the narrowest discount since July 2013; four months ago, it traded at a $7.50 discount.
- Also, midwest refiners ran the most crude ever for the month of May thanks to a light maintenance slate and robust margins, triggering a bidding war for light barrels.
- Regardless, the disappearing discount offers a partial reprieve for large producers such as Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) and Hess (NYSE:HES) after the past year slashed global oil prices by as much as 60%.
- Other top Bakken producers include: EOG, WLL, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
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