30-second sound bite: oil remains in a very narrow trading range, just above $101. Bakken operators are significantly outperforming the majors. Sweet. One certainly gets the feeling that a) Wall Street has discovered the Bakken operators; and/or, b) there is something going on behind closed doors with regard to M&A.
OXY USA has officially said it will start looking for strategic alternatives to the Bakken, which suggests to me they are getting ready to unload their acreage in North Dakota if the price is right.
OXY should have about 300,000 net acres in the Bakken. If OXY sells, there are four possibilities: a) CLR; b) Statoil; c) CLR & STO both accumulate more acreage; d) new player in the Bakken (CNOOC, ENI? -- ENI has been mentioned before, but very deep in the blog). I suppose Whiting could get involved, but Whiting has also suggested it is looking for a buyer. I doubt any of the other current players (with exceptions like BR [COP] and XTO [XOM] have pockets deep enough to buy all of OXY's acreage in North Dakota. I think EOG is now more interested in the Eagle Ford than the Bakken; Hess, possibly, might be interested.
Would $4.5 billion for all 300,000 acres be out of line? I assume most, if not all their property is derisked; most held by production; much of it under production. Again, idle chatter, just throwing it out there for folks to think about.
KOG surges almost 5%; trading well above $13, and a new high. The article has been removed, but the headline was "Paulson says KOG may be takeover target." Also, KOG was singled out as one of four "strong" companies in the Bakken over at SeekingAlpha.
HK was up about half a percent. A very, very good analyst mentioned Halcon in an article on Eagle Ford, also over at SeekingAlpha today.
Oasis is trading at a new high, up over 2% today.
WLL was down slightly after a great week. Trading near its 52-week high.
CLR is having an incredible week; up another 3% today, and at a new high.
CVX, COP, XOM: all were slightly "green" today. COP is at a new high. CVX is well off its 52-week high.
EOG was up over 1%; near its 52-week high.
CHK was up over 2%; at a new 52-week high.
SD had a great day; up 3%.
AMZG was down a penny today, but is still 17 cents above a nice entry point.
TPLM was also up about 3%.
UNP is in its trading range well below its 52-week high. Up slightly today.
I don't follow BNSF (BRK) much any more; BRK follows the market in general.
ENB, EEP are both in a trading range, well below their highs.
SRE: so much for all my earlier comments about struggling. SRE hit a new high today, up over 1%.
TransCanada was up slightly; well below its high.