I've been doing this a long time.
Joined Oct 7, 2015
100 Blog Posts

The Crude Circus

Today’s Trade Rumor of the Week goes to Tropical Storm Irma, even though nobody knows the storm’s trajectory. Many traders got whipsawed when /CL dropped like a hot turd right before things got messy.

Your Labor Day Rumor will be the little fat man with the funny haircut and the possibility he is offed by Chinese agents before Mad Dog Mattis delivers a MOAB to his front door. Trade accordingly.

And if you somehow find yourself in the Leeward Islands, listen to the Authorities. Better yet, get the fuck out of the Leeward Islands and any spit of land with the word “Lesser” in it, pronto.

What do these rumors have to do with /CL futures, you ask? Nothing. And everything. It has been a rumor-driven and confounding ride for The World’s Most Volatile Commodity™ for many months and I do not see that changing any time soon. Hookah rules the trade and only the nimble will survive the month of September while trading crude oil. Welcome to the Big Top.

I have not updated my unofficial trading contest with the esteemed T. Boone Pickens due to the noise surrounding Hurricane Harvey but I feel Supremely Confident that my High-Risk-Mother-Of-All-Short-Squeezes basket of stocks will beat his Low(er)-Risk-Dividend-Enhanced basket. I will wait for la tormenta Irma to either make an appearance or fizzle out somewhere west of The Doldrums before I update the stats. Subscribers to Exodus can follow along and even pick apart my Methods. But I am right and you are wrong. I am just letting you know ahead of time.

Harvey confounded the speculators last week when it was clear the effect on crude pricing was going to be negative, which sent people scurrying for the exits. I naturally looked for more bargains in this horribly oversold sector and settled on adding yet another 1000 shares of Sanchez Petroleum aka Dirty Sanchez ($SN) when the beaten-down thing dropped another 5% in the chaos…plus I picked up a few hundred shares of $SOI, which had been on my radar, but in light of the massive damage inflicted by Harvey it became a no-brainer and it is moving higher daily. $SOI has proven technology that saves drillers a ton of money out in the field. This is a long-term hold. As for Dirty Sanchez, the company assuaged hapless investors by dropping a feel-good press release on the 28th. They delivered no updates in the days since, so either the management drowned or things are ok in their neck of the Eagle Ford (and all indications are that is the case, which my Texas Moles have assured me).

The nutcase running the Democratic Republic Of Korea just may have overstayed his welcome on the world stage by setting off his first hydrogen bomb. This should spike crude futures near-term and send the VIX back up to the high teens. Blessings to anyone holding $XIV and the like. But who knows, these days it would not surprise to see WTI drop on the news.

The spread between WTI and Brent stands somewhere around $5.50 last I checked, with backwardation being the norm with Brent for quite some time now. Market makers had a field day over the last seven trading days taking out the stop losses of retail dupes.

Said dupes can take solace in the strong late-day finish on both Thursday and Friday. /CL is currently trading up two cents in Asian trading which promises to be rather uneventful through Tuesday premarket. But one well-placed MOAB can change that in a heartbeat.

So pray for those in the (possible) path of Irma. Paradise ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Shitcago Bishop calls for removal of a George Washington statue from a city park.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been petitioned to remove statues of George Washington and Andrew Jackson from city parks.

I am looking forward to Mayor Rahm attempting to ignore this fiasco-in-the-making.

“Representatives for the mayor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

I also hereby call for the abolition of the racist Democratic Party, whose prominent members founded the Ku Klux Klan.

From CBS Shitcago:

“The pastor also said President Andrew Jackson’s name should be removed from nearby Jackson Park, because he also was a slave owner. He said he’s not necessarily asking the city rename the parks altogether. He suggested Washington Park could be named after former Mayor Harold Washington, and Jackson Park could be named after civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson or singer Michael Jackson“.

“I am feeling ambivalent that I would have to walk my child, attend a parade or enjoy a game of softball in a park that commemorates the memory of a slave owner,” he wrote. “Therefore, I call on the immediate removal of President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson names from the parks located on the southeast side of Chicago. They should not have the distinct honor of being held as heroes when they actively participated in the slave trade.”

The sculpture was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 15, 1971.



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T. Boone vs The Maven – Week 3

A strong week for crude futures gives me a resounding win this week and that makes three weeks in a row of my high-risk oil basket beating the more conservative dividend play of T. Boone Pickens. Big numbers for the week, with $RIG and $SN the only outliers for me. Dirty Sanchez market cap now under $500 million. Possible M&A target?

Here is Boone’s results for the week, barely eking out .35% on the plus side:

My basket of crude-related stocks brought strong returns last week with a +3.36% average:

All gains or losses shown are  unrealized. In the case of the Pickens portfolio, I am waiting for his Q2 data to be released so that I can update his basket.

I sold my stake in $REN last week for a gain of 14% in four days. I also bought and sold a couple of thousand shares of Dirty Sanchez ($SN)  for a one-day gain of 5.4%. My remaining shares are deep under water, although I have day traded it extensively over the past year to great success so my numbers are somewhat skewed.

Ceude is doing it’s Monday Dance, down .7 at time of writing. I will be looking to get back in a couple of names if we see any significant drop today. There is still plenty of uncertainty and pessimism surrounding the current price of crude oil even after it hit $50 in the overnight session for the first time in months. The dollar swings in my oil basket are not for the feint of heart. But I am not going to get myself in a lather over it.




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Clinton Releases Title Of New Book. Internet Explodes.

“Now I’m letting my guard down’


Well the latest shill attempt to suck the dollars from her adoring fans is not going well. “What Happened” may not have been the best choice of title. It’s ok, The Internet has fixed things:

It started out well…

Things went downhill from there:

That smug face, those immortal words:

Yes, Shillary…what happened?

The Chappaqua Paparazzi have not been kind, either. Yikes!

What happened?


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The Delaware Basin Oil Play -$BX

I wrote this a year ago but never published it. Blackstone is way up since then. I’ll just leave it here now.

Blackstone Group LP said Thursday that it has agreed to invest $1.5 billion in a pair of drilling deals there. One came about after the New York investment firm early this year lost out to a big oil company bidding on about 12,000 acres south of New Mexico. Blackstone didn’t walk away from the auction empty-handed, though, having convinced the sellers to join it in a new billion-dollar drilling venture in the area.

The firm also committed $500 million more to another group of experienced oilmen who had purchased 16,000 acres about 100 miles to the northeast, in another section of the region’s red-hot Permian Basin.

Cash for the deals came from an $8 billion pool that has otherwise sat largely untapped since Blackstone raised the money to invest in energy early last year.

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Crude Reality Report: OPEC Non-Event weighs; Maven vs T. Boone Week Two Results

New Mexico breaks record with July oil and gas lease sales

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn reported Thursday the State Land Office collected more than $30 million from monthly oil and gas lease sales in July, an all-time high. The earnings from lease sales of 82 tracts of land in July was nearly double the agency’s Fiscal 2018 budget.

I am amazed at how many people I encounter on Twitter who have no idea the Delaware Basin extends into New Mexico. The Enchanted State is raking in the cash and it seems the Natives are not restless as they are in the Dakotas, with Sioux riding around on horseback in full war paint, accompanied by unemployed social-justice “warriors” of the Caucasian Tribe.

Back in the real world, Private Equity and Institutional Investors continue to pour money into the Permian, with the core acreage located in the Delaware.

Crude short-sellers have not given me a good explanation as to why so much capital is flowing into a commodity that allegedly will be “selling at $20/bbl for the foreseeable future”. It is said that Eagle Ford breakeven is ~$46 and Permian ~$45.

EIA once again shows massive draws of crude oil and gasoline. Rig Counts continue to fall in the major producing regions of the USA. Distressed companies are wallowing in fiscal Limbo. Perhaps Purgatory is a better term. Give them a taste of The Fire before lighting the eternal flame.

Last week I started comparing my basket of oil stocks with recent additions to the Q1 portfolio of T.Boone Pickens. Here are the results as of Week Two as I hold a small but unimpressive lead. My Oil Basket was on fire before crude oil was sent to the Shit Farm on Thursday and Friday with investors running for the exits ahead of today’s insignificant OPEC/NOPEC meeting:

I say “insignificant” yet the Hookah rules the price.

NOTE: I sold my small position in $SND for a quick and dirty loss and added the proceeds to my position in $PUMP this afternoon on a 4.5% dip…with their strong presence in Midland, TX, I expect this recent IPO to soar over the next few years.

I am still ahead of Boone, though not enough to offset his advantage in dividend generation. Next update should be at the One Month mark, hopefully with updated Q2 data from Boone’s portfolio.

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T. Boone vs The Maven – Round One

I fracked over 3,000 wells in my life and never had a problem with an aquifer.

-T. Boone Pickens

Pickens with Clarence Thomas of The Supremes.

I’m a Republican. I don’t want to go to heaven and have to face my family up there and tell them I voted for a Democrat.

-T. Boone Pickens

Old T. Boone Pickens is making moves like there is no tomorrow. You may remember CNBC favorite T. Boone as one of the Texas Oil Investing Legends, before he bet the farm on Whiting and Chesapeake and got slapped like a donkey when the market collapsed.

Pickens with Cramer in The Bakken.

But he is back and he is making waves, with a focus on midstream and logistics. He knows that despite the boom in the Permian and elsewhere, we simply do not have capacity to move it all as CAPEX has collapsed after the oil bust.

I have always believed that it’s important to show a new look periodically. Predictability can lead to failure.

– T. Boone Pickens

I used some data from GuruFocus to hone in on the long positions he had either initiated or added to in Q1 and created a Basket of stocks inside Exodus to keep track of performance and get a clear feel for his M.O. I call it Pickens Pickin’s:

As anyone who has read this blog knows, I have also (in a modest way vs my Esteemed Opponent) been very active recently accumulating what I consider value plays in the space, which I cleverly named My Oil Basket:

Obviously mine is much higher risk, as seen by the levels of short positions in each basket. Boone has clear focus, as you can see by the Dividend Yields of his picks.

I’m focused on energy only. And I know what I’m talking about. And I don’t want to be distracted on other things.

-T. Boone Pickens

I cheated by snagging a few of his picks this week, which I chose by their distance from 52-week highs and other factors that I considered extreme. Think baby out with the bathwater. Think Smart Sand, Inc.

I may jettison WLL and take a loss, they have not shown that they can make it sub-$50. My numbers get skewed by SRUNU, which is not an actual oil company yet.

He may win through dividends alone, and he beat me today, but Week One belongs to The Maven.

If somebody I don’t like gets in the crosshairs, I pull the trigger. But I don’t hunt for them.

-T. Boone Pickens

Baker-Hughes rig counts bullish for the third week in a row. Massive draws seen again from API and EIA, imports from Saudis are down. I like my chances.

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End Game – parsing Baker Hughes Rig Count Data

Oil, that is. Black Gold. Texas Tea.

A +12 rise in the total (oil+NatGas) Baker-Hughes AHEM “Baker-Hughes-General Electric” (hereinafter referred to as BHGE) weekly drilling rig count report once again reveals serious weakness in the current frenzy of short-selling. This has not dissuaded hedge funds as they continue to hold a record number of short positions in WTI futures.

For the umpteenth week in a row, oil in storage is down. This week’s numbers are scorching to any bearish thesis on a further drop in the futures price of crude. Storage at the Cushing, OK hub is of particular note. But we are talking about an enormous amount of money staked against crude oil at the moment.

A rational mind looks at the following and says “Buy”. But this is crude oil, and rational thought only bears fruit over a period of months, not days or weeks.

Of particular note is gasoline inventories. These numbers, at the beginning of fucking July, are poison. Refineries are pumping out gasoline in record numbers. They cannot keep up with demand.

“Ahhh, but hedge funds are holding record positions!”, you bleat. Yes, but if one looks at the actual performance of hedge fund managers over the past five years (dismal) perhaps it would give you pause. Perhaps.

Something is going to snap here. It will be brutal and it will be swift.

For the second week in a row, active drilling rigs are down in the Permian Basin. And flat in the Eagle Ford. The bulk of added drilling rigs in the entire 50-state region was in fucking Alaska, which increased it’s total rig count to 8 from 4.  All horizontal. All meaningless.

Everything is meaningless outside the Great State of Texas, and specifically the Permian when it comes to crude oil in 2017. Everything.

The following comes from BHGE and it is not bearish at all:



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Raymond James: Bear Market for Oil Caused by ‘Fake News’

Relentlessly bullish analysts at Raymond James are calling out the entire commodity market. From Bloomberg:

The recent collapse in oil prices was triggered by a breakdown in the technical charts but fueled by the ‘negative feedback loop’ of bearish headlines that usually follow price declines,” the analysts wrote in a July 3 note to investors. “Some oil price headlines have been misleading, or outright wrong, and they have distracted investors from what we believe is fundamentally a bullish overall picture.”

Those concerns have been overblown, the Raymond James analysts argued, saying trends pertaining to U.S. inventories, production and gasoline demand have been misinterpreted. They put out a list of “myths” that explain the downturn and set out to debunk them in arguing that crude can rise about 45 percent from current levels.

Raymond James focuses on U.S. inventory data since early March to capture the impact of OPEC’s production curbs given the time it takes to ship oil from the Middle East to U.S. refineries. They find U.S. crude inventories have averaged “massive” declines of roughly 280,000 barrels per day over this span, compared to a mean build of 180,000 barrels per day during this seasonal period over the past decade.

Moreover, factoring in stockpiles of refined products “would actually be more bullish than looking at the crude only trend,” the analysts contend. Extrapolating this to the global level implies that crude “inventories have been falling by about 1.2 million barrels per day over the past four months,” according to Raymond James.

EIA confirmed this week’s API news of massive drawdowns. Crude futures dropped as a result. Draw your own CONclusions. The end game will be a bloodbath.

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