Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday -- October 17, 2014

Statoil CEO abruptly resigns; to head another oil and gas company.

Now it's Ms Yellen who says things are worse under President Obama. First it was Obama's hand-picked VP Joe Biden who said that over the course of the Obama-Biden administration, the average salary has increased by less than 14 cents. WOW. Now Ms Yellen is worried about the income inequality under President Obama:
Yellen's words come as the Fed prepares to exit the third leg of its monthly bond-buying program known as quantitative easing. The central bank had cut the program's level to $15 billion a month, and is expected to shut it down completely when the Federal Open Market Committee meets Oct. 28-29.
However, the Fed likely will keep short-term interest rates anchored near zero, where they have been for nearly six years. Critics say the central bank has been too low for too long, and in fact has helped exacerbate inequality by providing liquidity that has largely helped stock prices zoom nearly 190 percent higher amid an otherwise slow economic recovery.
And, of course, she, too, is afraid to mention the 800-lb gorilla in the living room.


I see President Obama has picked a political hack -- Algore's chief of staff -- to be the Ebola czar -- no medical background, I'm sure. But I could be wrong; he may have his MD and post-graduate training in infectious diseases. I wonder if he will fly to western Africa, go on a hand-shaking/photo-op tour?

This is not an investment site. Do not many any financial, investment, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

Let's see, oil is down to $82 or thereabouts.

The one thing I haven't heard anyone talk about: speculators; speculators trading in oil futures, driving prices lower. LOL.

Housing starts beat expectations.

Initial unemployment claims hit 14-year low.

Americans are getting a huge "tax break" -- just in time for the new Apple computers and tablets -- as price of gasoline solidly below $3.00 now, except in some localities. Still about $4.00 in Malibu for all the folks heading out there this weekend for surfing. Do they even surf off Malibu any more? Huntington Beach: about $3.30.

I didn't read the story; just saw the headline: Fed to keep pumping.

What's not to like?

Yesterday I came across this in my journal from a few years ago, January 28, 2009:
 -- oil is holding at $43well off its appropriate value of $75 and crazy high of $145 – and with news that there is a glut of oil, including oil being held in tankers off shore.
The North Dakota Bakken boom began in 2007. In 2009 the boom was barely started, most of the drilling -- exploratory wells, the most expensive kind. And they were expensive. $4 - $6 million for short lateral, one-stage fracking. WTI was down to $43. And the boom kept going. The Great Recession probably hit bottom about then and it was a long slog to get where we are today. Sort of puts things into perspective.

On January 26, 2009, one could have loaded up on KOG at 34 cents / share. Sort of puts things into perspective.

At the end of the day, three events put my thoughts about investing in oil in perspective:
  • the Exxon Valdez 
  • the Texaco bankruptcy
  • how incredibly deep BP pockets were back in 2010
Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs190185186195153
RBN Energy continues its series on CO2 EOR

That big bad company, Wal-Mart, is going to "bump" all employees above the minimum wage. Of course, they've been doing that in Williston, Boomtown, USA, for quite some time. Starting pay at Wal-Mart - nearly $20/hour now in Williston? Don't give me that "it's expensive to live there." A lot of folks already live there, some of whom are not working (yes, hard to believe, isn't it?).

Speaking of which, there is a baby boom in North Dakota; reported over at CNN. I remember all the talk early in the Bakken boom that only men would end up living in Williston. From the very beginning, based on my experiences in the military, I knew (and opined often on the blog) that wives and girl friends would follow. I didn't talk much about a baby boom -- my mind was focused elsewhere, I guess. All I knew was that wives and girlfriends would follow their men to the Bakken. And many of them have done very, very well, also, on their own. It's really quite impressive. I'm looking forward to one last trip to Williston before the end of the year.

Earlier this week (October 14, 2014), I listed in order the countries, or "entities" hurting due to low oil prices, and put them in order. I put Venezuela at the very top, #1 in the "pain" department. I see Bloomberg says Venezuela has gone from bad to worse due to low oil prices. Is Chavez still sending heating oil to Boston for free? Yes, I know he's dead, but his spirit lives on ... speaking of which, to the best of my knowledge Fidel Castro is still with us ... must be 88 years old or thereabouts ...

But deep-sea drilling contracts are being honored despite slump in oil prices (speaks volumes):
Chevron adds new drillship to deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico; the Pacific Sharav will work for Chevron under a five-year contract : Co announced that the Pacific Sharav, a deepwater drillship built to Chevron's specifications, has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to work under a five-year contract with Pacific Drilling.
Earnings: GE beat expectations (they were "saved" by new focus on oil); Schlumberger is doing very well, having beat expectations; same with Morgan Stanley, beating expectations. 

Range Resources announces new credit facility and ratings upgrade; five-year agreement with a syndicate of twenty-nine financial institutions has a maximum facility size of $4 bln
CareTrust REIT declares special dividend of $5.88 per share
Okay, that's all. 

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