Table of Contents
Leaps Trader Commentary
We came within a $1.38 of hitting $100 oil but could not get that final spike. $98.62 is the official record high but it is too soon to be counting $100 out. A 10-year storm in the North Sea cut off 540,000 bpd of production but crude had already lost momentum when the news hit the wires. I mentioned last week I was ready to short any touch of $100 and it looks like a lot of other traders stepped in front of that target. I guess the early entry gets the bid. That storm was not expected to last more than 5-days so production should have already been resumed.
This should be another volatile week for crude with options expiring on Tuesday and futures expiring on Friday. The inventory report will be delayed until Thursday due to the Veterans Day holiday on Monday. That means there will be a lot of trading packed into Thursday and a surprise inventory build would be the perfect spoiler to longs wanting to exit on Friday with a giant profit.
It was a busy week with lots of oil news and lots of volatility on the Chinese stocks. We were lucky enough to get a $75 drop in PetroChina and make our entry on Thursday. We were also triggered on the FXI Index position on the decline in their markets. Even more exciting was a windfall entry on Foster Wheeler the day before they spiked +$25. It was a good week overall.
It was a great week for Petrobras (PBR), the national oil company of Brazil. It was a masterful art of press release scheduling as well. On Thursday Petrobras announced the discovery of an 8 billion barrel field off the coast of Brazil. The stock soared from $92.60 to nearly $120 on the news. On Friday profit taking took $9 off the price to close at $108. After the markets closed on Friday Petrobras reported earnings that fell -22% on flat year over year production. The company reported a net profit of 5.528 billion R$ (The Brazilian currency is the "Real") compared to estimates of 7.1 billon R$. Because they have substantial investments around the world denominated in dollars they are suffering from currency problems when they account for their investments. They suffered a 900 million R$ loss for the quarter and for the first nine months of 2007 currency losses against the dollar have risen to 2 billion R$. Because the earnings miss happened after the close the impact to the stock price will not occur until Monday. I would love to see a major crash to give us another entry but with a new 8 billion barrel discovery I doubt it will fall much below $100. This amounts to nearly 50% of their prior total reserves. Unfortunately it is in very deep water and it could be 7-10 years before full production is achieved. Initial production is being quoted for 2013-2014 but these dates on complicated production systems can slide by a factor of years. This pushes Brazil up to number eight in the world in terms of oil reserves and the oil discovered was light crude. This was a serious windfall for Petrobras. Brazil currently imports 360,000 bpd of crude. These reserves could push Petrobras ahead of Shell and Chevron in terms of reserves with only Exxon and BP larger among the independent oil companies.
Petrobras is going to have a tough time producing this oil. It lies at a depth of 23,000 feet. (7,000 water, 10,000 sand/rock and another 6,000 feet of salt) Petrobras is already a world leader in deep water drilling and production. 65% of their current exploration blocks are below 1300 feet and 70% of their current production comes from deep and ultra deep waters.
I sent out a note on Thursday about the Brazilian governments reaction to the new discovery. (see below) This is clearly one more country that has figured out that oil supplies are shrinking and it is in the country's best interest not to sell it. Having oil 5 years from now will be a major plus and could make the difference between a "normal" economic environment for Brazilians and avoid the massive recession that is heading our way after Peak Oil arrives. China gets it, Russia gets it and now Brazil obviously got it. Eventually the rest of the world will wake up and realize that life as they know it is about to change drastically. When that happens those with oil will be kings and able to command any price they want IF they want to sell it.
Reprint - Blog alert sent 11/08
Petrobras Windfall Is A Problem
Brazil's oil company Petrobras (PBR) reported a monster find in deep water off the coast of Brazil. The total recoverable reserves are expected to be between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels. That is about 50% of Brazil's existing reserves.
The problem comes from Brazil's action after the find was announced. Brazil canceled auctions on 41 adjoining blocks in the Santos Basin field. They canceled the auctions to "preserve the country's sovereign assets." This is just another step towards the conditions I have been warning about for the last three years. Countries are becoming increasingly negative about sharing their oil. We have seen several countries voluntarily reduce exploration that would lead to exportation and exportation itself.
This is going to be a major problem in the years ahead. Once we have clear signs peak oil has arrived many more countries are going to halt exports with a plan to keep their own oil for future use. This is going to cause a dramatic shift in world exports and it could come very quickly once peak oil arrives. This means the world could suddenly go from producing 88 mbpd to 75-80 mbpd in less than a year once the dominoes begin to fall into place. It will only get worse from there. Countries are going to decide that having oil in the future is more valuable than the $125-$150 they would receive on the open market once the peak begins.
I first wrote about this over three years ago and was soundly criticized about my views. Nobody believed countries would quit exporting and change to hoarding oil. Now that it is beginning to occur I believe the potential for peak oil is even closer than thought just six months ago. Sometimes perception is more of a risk than reality. If enough countries perceive there is going to be a shortage their hoarding in advance of that shortage will create the actual shortage they are worried about.
Readers need to take my warnings to heart because once this crisis begins it is going to create the kind of stampede you would get by yelling fire in a crowded theater. Do you want to be at the front of the exit line or bringing up the rear?
December Natural Gas Futures Chart - Daily
December Gasoline Futures Chart - RBOB Daily
Changes in Portfolio
Portfolio Listing & Top Picks
Most Recent Plays
FWLT $150.77 +15.77 - Foster Wheeler
We got an outstanding pre-earnings entry on Tuesday at our target of $135. On Wednesday Foster reported earnings that soared +70% due to strong growth in international operations. Analyst estimates were averaging $1.35 compared to the $1.78 the company reported. They have $6.2 billion in back orders and sales were up +54%. The board just approved a 2:1 split subject to shareholder approval around January 8th.
Foster Wheeler Ltd. operates through two business groups, which also constitute its segments: Global Engineering and Construction Group (E&C Group), and Global Power Group. The Global E&C Group designs, engineers and constructs onshore and offshore upstream oil and gas processing facilities, natural gas liquefaction facilities and receiving terminals, gas-to-liquids facilities, oil refining, and chemical and petrochemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare facilities and related infrastructure, including power generation and distribution facilities. Global Power Group designs, manufactures, and erects steam generating and auxiliary equipment for electric power generating stations and industrial facilities worldwide. On April 7, 2006, the Company completed the purchase of the remaining 51% interest in MF Power S.r.L., a joint venture that was 49% owned by the Company's Global E&C Group prior to the acquisition.
Breakdown trigger: $135 hit 11/06
Position: 2009 $150 LEAP Call ZHF-AW @ $29.10
FXI $182 -8.00 iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund
The FXI rolled over on weakness in the Chinese markets and came to rest on the 50-day average. Hopefully this is where it will make a stand. The entry was triggered at $190 but the drop continued. Friday saw a slight rebound intraday but more selling at the close. The FXI has PTR, CEO and SNP as components making it an energy mutual fund with 22 other China stocks for added benefit.
iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (the Index). The Index is designed to represent the performance of the largest companies in the China equity market that are available to international investors. The Index consists of Class H and Red Chip shares of 25 of the largest and most liquid Chinese companies. Securities in the Index are weighted based on the total market value of their shares. Each security in the Index is a constituent of the FTSE All-World Index. All of the securities in the Index trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.
Breakdown trigger: $190 hit 11/05
Position: 2009 $210 LEAP Call VHF-AA @ $32.50
PTR $201.89 +7.57 - PetroChina
After a $75 drop on profit taking we finally got an entry on PTR once again. The entry target was $190 and the stock declined to 190.32. Before I could get an email alert out to readers PTR rebounded to $194. The impact on the LEAP was minimal since it had not really adjusted to the low level from its recent price drop. PTR was called the first trillion-dollar stock last week after going public in Shanghai for $9 billion. Exxon is the second largest at $488 billion in market cap. Petrochina is seen as the figurehead for the Chinese stock market bubble. With earnings only half that of Exxon but twice the market cap it suggests one of those valuations is terribly wrong. Obviously it is PTR but with 1.3 billion wannabe investors in China and the Shanghai share price of only 59 cents it is very easy for buyers to afford it even at the trillion-dollar market cap. Granted there is a lot of fluff in PTR right now but eventually the Chinese markets will rebound.
PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina) is engaged in a range of activities related to petroleum and natural gas through its four business segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Marketing, Chemicals and Marketing, and Natural Gas and Pipeline. The activities include the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas; the refining, transportation, storage and marketing of crude oil and petroleum products; the production and sales of chemical products, and the transmission, marketing and sales of natural gas. PetroChina Company Limited was established as a joint stock company as part of the restructuring of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). CNPC is the controlling shareholder of the Company with 88.21% shares.
Breakdown trigger $194.32 Entered on rebound from $190 on 11/08
Position: 2009 $220 LEAP Call ZJK-AZ @ $32.20
XOM - $86.85 -$1.08 Exxon Mobil
Exxon rebounded early in the week but was caught in the broad based profit taking on Thr/Fri to decline to $86.50. There was no specific news. I am still happy with the position at the 100-day average and our worst-case risk should be to the 200-day average at about $83.
Breakdown trigger: $88 Hit 11/01
Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call ODU-AT @ $7.90
CAM - $95.42 -$3.18 Cameron International
CAM declined slightly on no news but given the market crash I am perfectly happy with the minor dip in CAM. Still resting above the 50-day average and ready to run if the market recovers.
Breakdown target: $95 Hit 10/30
Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call OKA-AT @ $18
SLB $94.76 -4.06 - Schlumberger
No specific news on SLB and resistance at $100 is still firm as is support at the 100-day average at $95. Risk to $85.
Breakdown target: $95.00 hit Oct-22nd
Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call VWY-AT @ $15.60
CVX $87.26 -1.22 - Chevron
No specific news on Chevron and support at $87 held again on last week's market crash. No stop today.
Breakdown trigger: $87 hit Oct-22nd
Position: 2009 $100 LEAP Call VCH-AT @ $6.40
OII $69.00 -3.82 Oceaneering International
OII declined on the weak market after reporting a +40% increase in earnings the prior week. No specific news. Strong support at $70 and no change in the play.
Earnings Nov-1st: +40%
Breakdown trigger: $72 hit on Oct-22nd
Position: APR $80 Call OII-DP @ $5.40
WHQ $55.77 -3.91 W-H Energy Services ** Stopped $53 **
WHQ broke support at $55 and continued to decline ever so slowly but still enough to trigger our stop. Better fish on the line now so no love lost here.
NOV $71.13 -2.86 - National Oilwell Varco
Still moving sideways in an ugly market. Strong support at $70 still holding. No specific news for NOV.
Breakout Trigger: $80, hit 10/11/07
Position: 2008 May $90 Call NON-ER @ $7.20
MDR - $56.13 -4.39 McDermott International
MDR reported earnings that rose +37% but analysts were expecting a little more on the revenue side. Earnings were 63 cents and estimates were for 54 cents. Shares dropped -5% after the announcement. The consolidated order backlog rose to $9.3 billion compared to $8.6 billion in the earlier quarter. No other news.
Earnings schedule: Nov 8th, +37%
Breakout trigger: $53, hit 9/20
Position: 2009 $60 LEAP Call OYZ-AL @ $9.00
UPL $67.10 -1.10 - Ultra Petroleum *** Stop Loss $52 ***
Ultra traded sideways the week after earnings and is respecting support at $67. UPL is just passing time until the winter draws on natural gas begin and the price of gas rises. UPL is a pure gas play and the lowest cost producer. Ultra currently has some production shut in to prevent backing up in the pipelines and lowering the prices. They are still running at a +30% rate y-o-y even with the shut ins. No specific post earnings news.
Breakdown target: $52.50 Hit 8/30
Position: Jan 2009 $60 LEAP Call OZH-AL @ $8.00
CHK $40.22 +0.15 Chesapeake Energy
CHK continues to move higher even though earnings were less than expected. Falling gas prices and rising costs along with voluntary shut ins pressured profits. Still, CHK raised production estimates for both 2007 and 2008 sending the stock price to a new high.
Earnings: Nov 7th -34%, beat by 3 cents.
Position: 2010 $35 LEAP Call WZY-AG @ $6.60
HP $32.16 +.32 Helmerich & Payne *** Stop Loss $27.50 ***
HP continued its rebound on no news and garnered no complaints from us. Any stock that can rise in this market on no news is a winner in my book. We still have the insurance put so we are covered against any further declines for one more week.
Earnings scheduled for Nov-15th
Position: Jan 2009 $35 LEAP Call ZQA-AG @ $4.50
HERO $26.10 -1.75 Hercules Offshore ** Stop Loss $24.00 **
No news but HERO gave back half of the prior week's gains. Still trading in a holding pattern between $25 and $28. Maintain the stop at $24.
Earnings Oct-30th. +63%
Position: 2008 April $30 Call HIQ-DF @ $3.00
BHP - $75.81 -7.92 BHP Billiton ** Stop Loss $60.00 **
That was really painful. BHP is taking a run at RTP for a massive $100 billion price tag. RTP turned down the offer and BHP stock crashed on worries it would go hostile and spend too much money acquiring RTP. The big drop on Thursday was -$8 otherwise it was volatility as usual with a wide range of sideways movement. Strong support here at $75 and walking away from the deal would provide an instant $10 spike.
Breakdown target: $55 hit 8/15/07
Position: 2010 $70 LEAP Call LPH-AN @ $9.00
CCJ - $47.23 -.36 Cameco ** No Stop **
No news and no movement but that is much better than the drops we saw in some energy plays. The longer term trend is still positive. No stop.
Breakdown target: $35 Hit 8/16/07
Position: 2010 $50 LEAP Call LTA-AJ @ $7.20
LVS - $115.91 -0.86 Las Vegas Sands
Nice rebound from the Thursday dip to bring us back to the starting point on this play. All the news is good and they announced on Thursday the planned Dec-20th opening of the Palazzo Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Reportedly this will be the most luxurious hotel in Vegas. No change in play.
Covered LEAP Call
LONG: 100 Shares LVS currently $117
Leaps Trader Watch List
Current Watch List
JEC - Jacobs Engineering Group
Jacobs relative strength is making it very hard to target for an entry.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is a professional services firm that focuses on providing a range of technical, professional and construction services. It provides project services, which include engineering, design, architectural, and similar services; process, scientific, and systems consulting services; operations and maintenance services, and construction services, which include direct-hire construction and construction management services. It concentrates its services on selected industry groups and markets, including oil and gas exploration, production and refining; programs for various federal governments; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; chemicals and polymers; buildings, which includes projects in the fields of healthcare and education, as well as civic, governmental and other buildings; infrastructure and technology and manufacturing. In April 2006, its Canadian subsidiary acquired Techna-West Engineering Limited. In October 2006, it acquired W.H. Linder & Associates, Inc.
Breakdown target: $80.00 **** New Trigger & Strike ****
Buy APR 2008 $90 Call JEC-DR
VLO - Valero Energy
Looking to buy Valero cheap on the fall dip.
Valero Energy Corporation owns and operates 18 refineries located in the United States, Canada and Aruba that produce refined products, such as reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending, gasoline meeting the specifications of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), CARB diesel fuel, low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, and oxygenates (liquid hydrocarbon compounds containing oxygen). It also produces conventional gasolines, distillates, jet fuel, asphalt, petrochemicals and other refined products. It markets branded and unbranded refined products on a wholesale basis in the United States and Canada through a bulk and rack marketing network. It sells refined products through a network of approximately 5,800 retail and wholesale branded outlets in the United States, Canada and Aruba. During the year ended December 31, 2006, it sold all of its ownership interest in Valero GP Holdings, LLC. In July 2007, the Company sold its Lima, Ohio refinery to Husky Energy Inc.
Breakdown target: $67.50
BUY 2009 $75 LEAP Call VHB-AO
COP - Conoco Phillips
I hesitate to add Conoco because of its Russian LUKOIL exposure but the company is doing everything else right. Now that it is out of Venezuela it should be more aggressive with other opportunities. COP announced a new $15 billion buyback at the end of September.
ConocoPhillips (ConocoPhillips) is an international, integrated energy company. The Company's business is organized into six segments. Exploration and Production segment primarily explores for, produces and markets crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids on a worldwide basis. Midstream segment gathers, processes and markets natural gas produced by ConocoPhillips and others, and fractionates and markets natural gas liquids, primarily in the United States and Trinidad. Refining and Marketing segment purchases, refines, markets and transports crude oil and petroleum products, mainly in the United States, Europe and Asia. LUKOIL Investment segment consists of its equity investment in the ordinary shares of OAO LUKOIL (LUKOIL). The Chemicals segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics on a worldwide basis. Emerging Businesses segment includes the development of new technologies and businesses outside the Company's normal scope of operations.
Breakdown target: $80
Buy 2009 $90 LEAP Call OJP-AR
MRO - Marathon Oil
On July 31st Marathon announced its purchase of Western Oil Sands for $5.5 billion. This will be an immediate increase in production for Marathon of 31,000 bpd. The acquisition gives them 20% interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta. The other partners are Shell 60% and Chevron 20%.
Marathon Oil Corporation (Marathon) is engaged in exploration, production and marketing of crude oil and natural gas worldwide. The Company operates in three segments: Exploration and Production (E&P), which explores for, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas on a worldwide basis; Refining, Marketing and Transportation (RM&T), which refines, markets and transports crude oil and petroleum products, primarily in the Midwest, the upper Great Plains and southeastern United States, and Integrated Gas (IG), which markets and transports products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and methanol, on a worldwide basis, and is developing other projects. During the year ended December 31, 2006, Marathon completed leasehold acquisitions totaling approximately 200,000 acres in the Bakken Shale oil play. In July 2006, it completed a natural gas leasehold acquisition in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, in Garfield County in the Greater Grand Valley field complex.
Breakdown target: $57 **** New trigger & Strike ****
Buy 2009 $65 LEAP Call VXM-AM
CNQ - Canadian Natural Resources
Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration, development and production company head-quartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Company's operations are focused in North America, largely in Western Canada, the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea and Offshore West Africa. In November 2006, the Company completed the acquisition of Anadarko Canada Corporation from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The Company's crude oil and natural gas activities are conducted in three geographic segments: North America, North Sea and Offshore West Africa. These activities relate to the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas. The Company's Horizon Project has been classified as a separate segment. Midstream activities include the Company's pipeline operations and an electricity co-generation system.
Breakdown Trigger: $75.00 **** New trigger & strike ****
Buy 2009 $90 LEAP Call OKR-AR
PBR - Petrobras *** I will change trigger after Monday ***
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras (Petrobras) is a wholly owned enterprise of the Brazilian Government, which is responsible for all hydrocarbon activities in Brazil. The Company is engaged in a range of oil and gas activities. Petrobras operates in six segments: exploration and production, supply, distribution, gas and power, international and corporate. In June 2007, Petrobras announced that it completed transfer of all of the shares of Petrobras Bolivia Refinancion S.A. to YPF S.A. In March 2007, the Company, Braskem S.A. and Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. announced the acquisition of Grupo Ipiranga. In September 2006, the Company announced the closing of the acquisition by Petrobras America, Inc. (PAI), its wholly owned subsidiary in the United States Gulf of Mexico, of 50% of Pasadena Refining System Inc. In June of 2006, it completed the acquisition of 66% of Gaseba Uruguay-Grupo Gaz de France S.A.
Breakdown Trigger: $80
Buy 2009 $90 LEAP Call VDW-AR
CLB - Core Labs
We may have missed CLB for good. They reported blowout earnings and raised guidance on 10/24.
Core Laboratories N.V. (Core Lab) is a provider of reservoir description, production enhancement and reservoir management services to the oil and gas industry. These products and services are directed toward enabling the Company's clients to improve reservoir performance and increase oil and gas recovery from their producing fields. It has over 70 offices in more than 50 countries. Core Lab derives its revenues from services and product sales to clients in the oil and gas industry. Its reservoir optimization services and technologies are interrelated and are organized into three complementary segments: Reservoir Description, which encompasses the characterization of petroleum reservoir rock, fluid and gas samples; Production Enhancement, which includes products and services relating to reservoir well completions, perforations, stimulations and production, and Reservoir Management, which combines and integrates information from reservoir description and production enhancement services.
Breakdown Trigger: $130
Buy 2009 $140 LEAP Call ZYM-AH
APA - Apache Corporation
Apache was upgraded to 5 stars by Morningstar in late August.
Apache Corporation is an independent energy company that explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. In North America, the Company's exploration and production interests are focused in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast, East Texas, the Permian Basin, the Anadarko Basin and the Western Sedimentary Basin of Canada. It has interests in onshore Egypt, offshore Western Australia, offshore the United Kingdom in the North Sea (North Sea), and onshore Argentina. Its segments are the United States, Canada, Egypt, Australia, the North Sea and Other International. The Company also holds interests in many of its United States, Canadian and other international properties through operating subsidiaries, such as Apache Canada Ltd., DEK Energy Company (DEKALB), Apache Energy Limited (AEL), Apache International, Inc. and Apache Overseas, Inc. On January 6, 2006, the Company completed the sale of its 55% interest in the deepwater section of Egypt's West Mediterranean.
Breakdown trigger: $90 **** New trigger & strike ****
Buy 2009 $90 LEAP Call OWF-AT
FTI - FMC Technologies
FMC Technologies, Inc. (FMC Technologies) is a global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry and other industrial markets. The Company designs, manufactures and services systems and products, such as subsea production and processing systems, surface wellhead production systems, high-pressure fluid control equipment, measurement solutions, and marine loading systems for the oil and gas industry. It also produces food processing equipment for the food industry and specialized equipment to service the aviation industry. FMC Technologies business segments are Energy Systems (comprising Energy Production Systems and Energy Processing Systems), FoodTech and Airport Systems. In April 2007, the Company increased its stake in CDS Engineering BV to 91%. In June 2007, the Company acquired Technisys, Inc.
Breakdown Trigger: $57
Buy APR $65 Call FTI-DM
RIG - Transocean Inc
Transocean is merging with Global Sante Fe (GSF), The merger is planned to be completed by year end. This will be a much larger and more diverse company and something we should own.
Transocean's pseudo-takeover offers shareholders no premium, but the $15 billion payout is a compelling concession. For each Transocean share, shareholders will get $33.03 per share and 0.70 share of the new company's stock. Meanwhile, for each GlobalSanteFe share, shareholders will get $22.46 in cash and a 0.48 share. In total, the companies will shell out $15 billion in cash, funded by a bridge loan from Goldman, Sachs and Lehman Brothers -- in other words, the pay-day will be funded by debt. The combined company will use the first two years of free cash flow to reduce its borrowings.
Transocean Inc. (Transocean) is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. As of February 2, 2007, the Company owned/had partial ownership interests in, or operated 89 mobile offshore and barge drilling units. Its fleet included 32 high-specification semisubmersibles and drillships (high-specification floaters), 20 other floaters, 25 jackups and four other rigs as of February 2, 2007. As of February 2, 2007, Transocean also had three high-specification floaters under construction. The Company s primary business is to contract these drilling rigs, related equipment and work crews primarily on a dayrate basis to drill oil and gas wells. Transocean also provides additional services, including integrated services.
No trigger until the RIG/GSF merger is done. The stock symbol will stay the same
but the price will be materially different. We will enter after the deal closes.
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