Wed, Jan. 14, 2:35 PM
- Barclays downgrades the large-cap E&P sector to Negative from Neutral and the small- and mid-cap E&P group to Negative from Positive, arguing that downside risk outweigh potential gains even if oil prices recover.
- Equity investors are pricing in WTI crude assumptions of close to $75/bbl in 2016 compared to current strip prices of ~$57, Barclays says, also noting that an abundance of relatively cheap oil supply from U.S. producers could further delay a price recovery.
- Among specific names, the firm downgrades CHK, SD, REN and HK to Underweight; DVN, CLR, KOS, MRO, RSPP and WLL are cut to equal weight.
- At the same time, Barclays picked a few favorites, upgrading Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) to Overweight from Equal Weight, and maintained Overweight ratings on large-cap E&P companies CNQ, EOG and NBL; among small- and mid-cap E&P names, the firm favors AR, CXO and XEC.
- ETFs: XOP, IEO, PXE
Tue, Jan. 13, 3:23 PM
- J.P. Morgan's Joseph Allman is “mildly bullish” on oil and gas E&P companies in 2015, as short-term nervousness about the oil market’s oversupply is outweighed by the benefits of low oil prices, declining service costs and a more balanced oil market.
- Allman’s favorite picks among big-cap names are EOG, APC and NBL, among mid-caps are XEC and PXD, plus PDCE in the small-cap space; his least favorite stocks are APA, AREX, GDP and JONE.
- Among majors, JPM analysts Phil Gresh and John Royall initiate SunCor (NYSE:SU) at Overweight, citing "top tier sustainable dividend coverage and leverage, with some underlying growth potential"; the pair also downgrade Cenovus (NYSE:CVE) to Neutral, tags ConocoPhillips with an Underweight rating, and are neutral on Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
- Earlier: Valero Energy upgraded, Marathon Petroleum downgraded at J.P. Morgan
- ETFs: XLE, ERX, VDE, OIH, XOP, ERY, DIG, DUG, IYE, IEO, PXE, FENY, PXJ, RYE, FXN, DDG
Mon, Jan. 12, 7:22 PM
- The number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota's oil fields has dropped to 159, the lowest level since November 2010.
- The state lost eight rigs overnight, according to state data, a steep one-day drop not seen for years in the second-ranked U.S. oil producer.
- The drop comes after Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) and other companies announced capital spending cuts for 2015, admitting they planned to use fewer rigs this year.
- Other major North Dakota producers include EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, NOG, EOX and MRO.
Mon, Jan. 12, 3:17 PM
- Goldman Sachs upgrades a few energy stocks even as it cast a pall of gloom over most of the sector today (I, II, III), raising Chesapeake Energy (CHK -3.6%) to Buy from Neutral and Parsley Energy (PE -4.2%) to Neutral from Sell as potential "shale sale" winners.
- Despite PE's relative vulnerability to lower oil prices because of its weak balance sheet and negative projected free cash, Goldman has more confidence that its core Permian Basin position makes it an attractive M&A target.
- Among potential "shale scale" winners - companies that either can build positions in the core and reduce costs of capital - the firm's favorites remain EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) and Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO).
- However, Goldman cuts Bill Barrett (BBG -8.3%) to Sell from Neutral, seeing greater downside risk to its production in a lower oil price environment, and lowers Eclipse Resources (ECR -1.5%) to Neutral from Buy due to a persistently wide funding gap through 2017 coupled with a weak balance sheet.
Mon, Jan. 12, 12:28 PM
- Wolfe Research’s Paul Sankey prefers EOG Resources (EOG -4%) as the best positioned among well exposed U.S. unconventional energy players that have the balance sheet to survive the current volatility.
- ConocoPhillips (COP -2.8%) has terrific unconventional exposure but enforced capital discipline that effectively forces the company to return cash to shareholders and shrink its size in an orderly manner.
- On Devon Energy (DVN -2.1%): "If EOG is the new Saudi Arabia of global oil, then Devon Energy is its Kuwait."
Fri, Jan. 9, 10:56 AM
- North Dakota needs an oil price of $55/bbl and a fleet of at least 140 rigs to sustain production at the current level of 1.2M bbl/day, according to a presentation from the state's chief mineral resources regulator.
- Breakeven rates for new wells range from $29 in Dunn county and $30 in McKenzie to $36 in Williams and $41 in Mountrail; these four counties account for 90% of drilling in the state.
- The number of rigs operating in the state already has fallen to 165, down from 191 in October.
- The projections confirm North Dakota's oil output will start to fall by year's end unless prices rise from current depressed levels.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
Thu, Jan. 8, 3:29 PM
- News reports about crude oil futures prices plunging through $50/bbl have been plentiful but many U.S. physical crude producers are receiving far less and would be thrilled if they could get $50, Reuters' John Kemp writes.
- Case in point: Prices received by oil producers in North Dakota's Williston Basin have averaged less than $34/bbl so far this month, according to Plains Marketing, falling by almost two-thirds since June when Plains posted an average price of nearly $92/bbl for Williston Sweet.
- The recent decline has been almost as rapid and brutal as 2008-09 when Williston prices crashed from $116 to less than $17.
- Kemp says past experience suggests extreme prices tend be relatively short-lived phenomena and followed by at least a partial correction, and thinks some sort of rebound is likely this time around in the next 2-3 months.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Mon, Jan. 5, 12:18 PM
- Energy stocks severely underperform the broader market, with the sector -4.2% vs. the S&P 500's -1.4%, as U.S. oil prices briefly slip below $50/bbl for the first time since April 2009; Nymex crude recently was -4.4% at $50.37, while Brent crude -5.9% at $53.08.
- Among the day's biggest losers: DNR -9%, RIG -7.6%, NBR -4.8%, CHK -5.9%, SDRL -9.1%, SD -12.3%, NOV -5.9%, PSX -6.2%, APA -5.9%, DVN -4.4%, EOG -6%, SU -5.2%, OXY -4.2%, APC -8.7%, PWE -9%, ECA -5.5%, MRO -5.3%.
- Global oil majors, which have been seen as less vulnerable to falling oil prices, are posting big losses: XOM -2.7%, COP -4.5%, CVX -3.8%, BP -5.8%, RDS.A -4.6%, TOT -6.5%.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, XOP, ERY, FCG, DIG, PBW, BNO, GASL, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, QCLN, IEZ, UWTI, PXE, USL, PXI, FENY, DWTI, PXJ, DNO, PSCE, RYE, SZO, PUW, FXN, OLO, DDG, HECO, TWTI, OLEM
Dec. 22, 2014, 10:45 AM
- Natural gas prices fall 9.5% to near two-year lows at $3.133/mmBtu, in the biggest one-day percentage loss since February and the lowest intraday price since January 2013, on mild weather forecasts and inventory that is above year-ago levels.
- Prices are now down more than 15% in three straight losing sessions and are 30% lower than the six-month high closing price of $4.489/mmBtu it hit just a month ago.
- Weather has been unseasonably warm for December, limiting demand for home heating and allowing relatively low stockpiles to catch up to where they were a year ago and encouraging traders to sell based on the belief that supply is relatively healthy.
- Gas producers are among the biggest early decliners: XOM -1.1%, CHK -7.3%, APC -2.6%, SWN -6%, DVN -2.2%, COP -2.3%, BP -1.5%, COG -4%, BHP -1.9%, CVX -1.3%, ECA -5.1%, EQT -4.3%, RDS.A -1.7%, UPL -12%, WPX -6.9%, EOG -1%, OXY -1.1%, RRC -6.1%, APA -2.3%, AR -3.2%, CNX -3%, QEP -4.8%, LINE -4.9%, NBL -1.6%, SM -2.6%, XEC -4.2%, PXD -2.9%, NFX -5.1%.
- ETFs: UNG, DGAZ, UGAZ, BOIL, GAZ, FCG, GASL, KOLD, UNL, NAGS, DCNG
Dec. 20, 2014, 1:29 PM
- The super majors are probably the first place to look when oil prices fall, writes Avi Salzman, as their stocks tend to slide less drastically than smaller players, and maintenance of dividends is a priority for management. Favorites: Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
- While smaller producers appear risky, Occidental (NYSE:OXY) came into the price plunge well-positioned with one of the industry's cleanest balance sheets.
- EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) could be the pick among shale drillers, says Salzman, as it's chosen drilling spots carefully and its break-even price is among the lowest in the industry. "[The] best management team in Houston," says one fund manager.
- Oil service stocks look especially vulnerable with capex budgets being cut, but Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) "should have protection in the downturn," writes Salzman, noting the company repurchased 1% of the float in Q3 and at 1.8% yields more than (soon to-be-merged) Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI).
- See also: Barron's: Five oils to be wary of (Dec. 20, 2014)
Dec. 17, 2014, 2:20 PM
- New York Gov. Cuomo's administration says it will ban fracking statewide, citing health concerns and what it considers as limited economic benefits to drilling.
- NY's acting health commissioner said at a cabinet meeting in Albany today that studies on fracking’s effects on water, air and soil are inconsistent, incomplete and raise too many “red flags” for the state to allow it; the state Department of Environmental Conservation will now issue a legally-binding recommendation prohibiting fracking.
- The state has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for more than six years, so nothing really changes with today's decision.
- Parts of New York sit atop the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, whose top producers include CHK, RRC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TLM, APC, ATLS, COG, CVX, CNX, EQT, EOG, XOM, WPX, XCO, CRZO, SWN, AR.
Dec. 16, 2014, 7:21 PM
- "Low oil prices cure low oil prices,” meaning that low oil prices will take supply off line - primarily shale oil production in North America - and eventually prices will recover; if that maxim becomes reality, then it could be time pick up select energy stocks today at cheap prices, some analysts say.
- U.S. Global Investors' Brian Hicks, who believes oil is oversold, favors Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) for its low-cost Eagle Ford acreage purchased earlier this year, solid cash flow, and significant hedges in place on 2015 production; he also likes oil services companies Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) and Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP).
- Hodges Capital's Michael Breard likes North American oil producers that have the flexibility to shift to natural gas - where prices are more likely to hold up, he says - such as Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR), Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) and Panhandle Oil and Gas (NYSE:PHX).
- Deutsche Bank analysts like companies with the balance sheet strength to survive, but also the budget flexibility, asset quality and performance record to suggest they can return to growth when energy prices go back up, including Anadarko (NYSE:APC), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Cimarex (NYSE:XEC) and Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO).
Dec. 16, 2014, 5:22 PM
Dec. 11, 2014, 10:58 AM
- U.S. energy companies are wasting little time in starting to cut drilling, jobs and spending in the wake of declining oil prices, WSJ reports.
- In recent days, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) said it would spend 20% less next year on drilling wells; EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) said it would shed many of its Canadian oil and gas fields, close its Calgary office and lay off employees; and Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR) said it may temporarily leave the Eagle Ford Shale area in Texas, where drilling recently fell to 190 rigs after hitting 210 rigs in July.
- Analysts say companies with a lot of debt, low rates of return and little chance of drilling their way to better profitability will be hurt if crude remains below $75/bbl; Global Hunter cites Triangle Petroleum (NYSEMKT:TPLM) as an example, although CEO Jon Samuels says the company is profitable at current oil prices.
- "A contraction is unavoidable,” says an economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
Dec. 9, 2014, 6:20 PM
- North Dakota issues strict new oil standards that will require energy companies operating in the state to strip explosive gases from crude oil that shows a high vapor pressure reading, in an effort to make crude-by-rail transport safer.
- Under the new mandate, North Dakota oil can’t be transported unless it has a vapor pressure reading of 13.7 lbs./sq. in. or lower.
- The rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2015, is the first major move by regulators to address the role of gaseous, volatile crude oil in railroad accidents which have been linked to several fiery explosions, including one last year in Quebec that killed 47 people.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Dec. 9, 2014, 11:15 AM
- EOG Resources (EOG +1.2%) says it sold much of its position in Canada to unnamed buyers in separate deals totaling $410M, unloading all assets in Manitoba and some Alberta holdings.
- EOG says it will reinvest some of the proceeds in high return assets in the U.S. while retaining its position in the Horn River Basin and other exploration areas.
- The assets were forecast to produce 7,050 bbl/day of oil, 580 bbl/day of natural gas liquids and 43.5M cf/day of natural gas. The deal included 5,800 producing wells.
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