Posted by: zmanbackup | April 24, 2013

Back up post for Wednesday

We are experiencing a site outage on the main site.  We hope to have this resolved soon.

Posted by: zmanbackup | April 23, 2013

Backup Post for 4/23/13

Apologies but we are experiencing site difficulties. 

Here is today’s post for now: 

Market Sentiment Watch: Chinese Flash PMI came in below expectations overnight falling to a 2 month low. In energy land that news helps to send crude lower again but we don’t see the Chinese demand growth faltering this year. Strangely, more eyes appear to be focused on AAPL at this point as this mixed bag of an earnings season marches on.  In energyland the tone remains cautious after the dip in oil and the soft patch for natural gas demand and several weaker than expected domestic economic numbers likely are not helping sentiment either. This will soon pass. Today we have a lull in earnings before they pick up the rest of this week and get really busy next week.  In today’s post please find comments on GST, the ECA 1Q13 results (pretty meh), and some other odds and ends as earnings season heats up. 

Ecodata Watch:

  • Market flash PMI came in at 50.5 vs 51.5 Consensus and last month’s reading of 51.6,
  • We get the FHFA home price index at 9 am EST (no forecast, last read was +6.5% YoY)
  • We get New Home Sales at 10 am EST (F = 421,000, last read was 411,000)

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Stuff We Care About Today – GST, HAL, ECA
  4. Odds & Ends

Click the link directly below this to … break

Holdings Watch:

  • ZMT (Zman Medium Term portfolio):
    • Yesterday’s Trades:  None
  • ZLT (Zman Long Term portfolio)
    • Yesterday’s Trades
      • GST – Added at $2.32 on news as described in comment 18 (sale of East Texas program) under today’s post.   Have been watching the name fall with the group since it rallied on it’s repurchase of shares and a limestone play from CHK. May not hold this as a core but have been doing a little work here so will have more to say in a post soon.

The Blotter is updated.

Commodity Watch

Crude oil recovered $0.92 to close at $89.19 yesterday on the June 2013 contract which takes over front month duty this morning. This morning crude is trading off $0.90.

  • Flaring Watch: North Dakota passes anti-flaring bill with a carrot instead of a stick approach, offering tax exemptions for an additional year (they get one now) to producers who divert natural gas that would have have been flared gas to power generation or other near site uses. 
  • Early Read on Oil Inventories:
    • Crude: UP 1.4  mm barrels
    • Gasoline: FLAT
    • Distillates: UP 0.2 mm barrels

Natural gas fell $0.14 (- 3.2%) to close at $4.27 yesterday on mild (on average) weather. There are still some extreme weather events going on about the Lower 48 and the start of the injection season will as usual be sloppy. We continue to look for bouts of profit taking to last days, not weeks but don’t see much in the way of near term upside for the commodity until warmer weather sets in and until we have another round of monthly supply and demand data out of EIA. This morning gas is trading flat. 

Stuff We Care About Today

ECA Reports In Line Top Line 1Q13 Results; Points to Strong Liquids Growth

  • No table here as they don’t report (at least initially) things like revenue or EPS.
  • The volumes were in line with expectations at 3.14 Bcfepd (92% natural gas)
  • We didn’t have a CFPS estimate on them but they reported $0.79 … hard to back into EBITDA from there as they don’t release an income statement with the quarterly results. 

Highlights:

  • Strong liquids growth, up 48% YoY, with exit to exit growth of roughly double.
  • Natural gas volumes fell 12%
  • The quarterly update is all about the liquids plays of which there are several:
    • Tuscaloosa Marine Shale – 6 wells on, 2 more about to be, no rates given but they say they are “gaining confidence in the potential of the play as it nears commerciality”. They also said the Mississippi lowered its severance tax from 6% to 1.3% for the first 30 months of a horizontal well’s life. Most TMS wells are in LA but we like MS’s move to encourage drilling in their state. The “gaining confidence” comment may have positive effects for names like GDP and may trickle down to the likes of HK.
    • San Juan Basin – deemed a commercial oil play. Look for color on the call
    • Niobrara ramping rapidly for them,
    • And three Canadian plays moving ahead as well. 

Nutshell: We only listen for color on natural gas markets and NGL pricing.  The lack of specifics in their reporting is one of the reasons we don’t bother to own the name. With the upturn in natural gas prices one would think that this gas giant (they produced 2.9 Bcfgpd in 1Q13) would be a no brainer in garnering Street attention but so far no joy on that account. 

HAL 1Q13 Wrap

  • Management sees North American margins as having bottomed in 4Q12 and sees them rising into year end
  • No real change in thinking on activity levels either in NAM or in International
  • They see higher service intensity from pad drilling
  • And note that they see margins rising in the States because they have the right customer mix who gets using more of their technology in an effort to make better wells (it was kind of a vague attempt at answering the question of why they see rising margins)
  • As with other Service names before them they pointed to strong Gulf of Mexico and International deepwater activyt
  • And strong results out of several international areas including Saudi and Brazil. They look for the important Mexico Service market to improve in 2H13,
  • They noted the current international opportunity set is A) the largest they have seen and B) comprised of many medium size opportunities and not out of only a few large ones,
  • On rising natural gas prices they indicated a pick up in activity is a 2014, not a 2013, event.
  • They remain cheap to their peers:

  • We have Call exposure here but have not felt compelled to buy back into the stock … our thinking on this evolving. Next catalyst will likely either come from news regarding the Macondo negotiated settlement talks or from 2Q results when higher NAM margins would likely push the name higher. 

GST Quick Thoughts on Yesterday’s Trading Buy

  • Gassy getting oily, small cap name from the past.
  • Refocused on:
    • the Marcellus in the northern West Virginia, liquids rich part, of the play and
    • the Hunton Lime play in central Oklahoma
  • Trouble area for them was technically difficult, expensive deep play in Texas (Hilltop) which was announced as sold yesterday. Note that we have reduced the outstanding amount on the revolver and the borrowing capacity to reflect the sale. 
  • Proceeds free up room on the revolver to help fund recent de-linkage from CHK (end of CHK’s lawsuit against GST and repurchase of GST shares held at CHK).  Note we have assumed additional financing in the full needed for the deals with CHK and have not assumed proceeds from a JV that they are in discussions with other parties over to help fund the deals and to accelerate in the Hunton. 
  • Leaves the company with assets listed in the table below
  • In the Hunton Lime they should have results on a 3rd operated well in the play in May which should be a pivotal well for name. 
  • Nutshell: Gassy getting oily story that once upon a time learned to pay down their debt and not go back into a sea of debt and yet, they seem to be doing it again. Why did I bother?  It’s become much simpler without CHK around them and without the exploratory play in East Texas to tempt them when gas prices rise. They should be in excess of 20% liquids now and will likely climb towards 30% liquids into next year (we don’t have a model here and we may be quick to leave here as this is nor our first time around this management team … so no excuses if they start missing targets.  Valuation is not what we’d call overly compelling at this point but I’ll give them a quarter to settle into their new look and see how the Hunton Lime results come in as that program could more rapidly change the mix of the company relative to Street expectations. 

GST 042213

Other Stuff

  • This week’s earnings calendar has been added to the Calendar tab at upper left. 
  • We get reports with calls tomorrow from NFX (they’ve got some explaining to do) and OII (expecting top of range performance and if they miss by a penny, which is possible given where the Street is, a dip in the name would be welcome)
  • Look for a quick picture on COG tomorrow
  • MCF – until John pointed this out yesterday, we missed passing of an industry great, Ken Peak, founder of MCF. Over the years, we listened to Peak speak numerous times. He was one of a kind as was the company he ran. No one has ever done as good of a job of explaining that the government is your biggest partner when drilling in the States or that your company shares should be treated like precious objects and not toilet paper and certainly not while quoting from the Big Lebowski. He didn’t need the Street. People who only buy their shares back and don’t do offerings generally don’t. It will be interesting to see how the company evolves in his wake as they pursue exploration projects on the Shelf while taking a look at the Tuscaloosa onshore. 

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • HAL post earnings: (I am not alone watch … at least on the ones I have seen so far)
    • Jefco ups by $2 to $49, rating Buy
    • JPM ups a buck to $53, rating (notably JPM trimmed their targets on BHI, RDC (rigs), and SLB)
    • MLV ups target by $2 to $54, rating Buy
    • BMO ups target by $4 to $56, rating Outperform
    • Bernstein ups target by $2 to $54, rating Outpeform
  • SunTrust cuts targets on the Bakken Players
    • CLR from $80 to $73, Neutral
    • EOX from $9 to $8.50, Buy
    • KOG from $9 to $8, Neutral
    • NOG from $20 to $19, Buy
    • WLL from $56 to $49, Neutral
  • ROSE – Wunderlich trims by $2 to $63, stays Buy
  • MHR – Canaccord cuts from $7 to $5.50, stays Buy
Posted by: zmanbackup | April 17, 2013

IPAA Wednesday – Site Outage

Apologies but we are experiencing a server outage on the main site.  We will advise when services are restored.

Market Sentiment Watch: Yoyo market in progress with better housing data causing the rally which is somewhat more of an excuse than a reason as the preceding down swing of the yoyo came upon glum moods out of the homebuilder’s survey (which basically said our costs are up and our buyers are having trouble getting credit to buy new homes).  Commodities and equities reversed course anyway and the slightly better Industrial Production number from yesterday helped to further buoy markets. I’m continuing to alternate between sitting on my hands on up days and adding opportunistically (on weakness) to stories I like on a measured basis. In today’s post please find comments with highlights from yesterday’s IPAA presentations and some other odds and ends.

Ecodata Watch:

  • We get the Beige Book at 2 pm EST.

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Oil Inventory Preview
  4. Stuff We Care About Today –  IPAA Wraps, IPAA Today,  TPLM,
  5. Odds & Ends

Please click the link right below this to

Holdings Watch:

ZMT (Zman Medium Term portfolio):

  • Yesterday’s Trades: None

ZLT (Zman Long Term portfolio)

  • Yesterday’s Trades:  None
    • The Blotter is updated.

Commodity Watch:

Crude oil closed up a whopping penny at $88.72 yesterday, after falling to a new 2013 low on Monday.  After the close, the API released  another mixed bag of a report (big draw on crude stocks but small builds in products and a big and unwelcome build at Cushing) (see below). This morning crude is trading back to $88, dipping with a sharp drop in equity futures.

  • Crude Supply: U.S. up to be sure and we are still thinking it goes to 7.3 mm bopd for an average this year (slightly over half of North American production) but the rest of the world is growing at a much slower pace. More than manageable (for Saudi and Kuwait) given another year of record global demand.

crude supply 041613

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Natural gas inched back up two cents  to close the day at $4.16 yesterday in another day of fairly light volume trading. Prices are supported at the moment by a) the current level of storage b) ongoing cool weather in the consuming regions and c) higher than average nuclear plant outages. Next price swing will key off the first injection of the season this week (see below). This morning gas is trading up 5 cents.

Early Read On Natural Gas Storage:

Street is at +37 BCF for tomorrow’s report.

  • Last Week: -14 Bcf
  • Last Year: +21 Bcf
  • 5 Year Average: +39 Bcf
  • 10 year Hi: +87 Bcf
  • 10 year Low: -46 Bcf

Oil Inventory Preview

API Watch: 

  • Crude: Down 6.7 mm barrels; Up 1.1 mm barrels at Cushing
  • Gasoline: Up 0.25 mm barrels,
  • Distillates: Up 1.26 mm barrels.

Stuff We Care About Today

IPAA Wraps – we spent day two taking notes on companies we hold and some names from the past that we don’t.  Here are the high points

EXXI

  • “we’re trading at 60% of our NAV”
  • Prices still holding at $20 > WTI
  • Horizontal program performing as expected
  • Don’t expect much in terms of production ramps until 2H13 (calendar)
  • Pendragon a 2H13 event (at least June)
  • Ultra Deep – Lineham Creek to TD next 3 to 4 months, much longer for Lamond and I didn’t hear Davy Jones mentioned but that will be a late summer attempt.

MCEP

  • Sticking with 51.5 to 52.5 cents per quarter distribution by 4Q13, which equates to 9% annualized yield
  • This ability to grow it comes from organic (including acquisitions made at end of last year)
  • We expect them to add accretive deals this year and grow the distribution concurrent with the production adds
  • As a reminder, they are 99% oil, and they are highly hedged (76% in 2013 @ $98 and 70% in 2014 @ $93)

RRC

  • Reiterated the “years and years of 20 to 25% production growth” mantra
  • And the focus on growth per share (shares are precious)
  • And that CFPS will outgrow production growth as unit costs fall on the higher volumes
  • Reiterated they are making 470 mm/d from 6% of their SW PA acreage … which when you do the math gets to some really big multi Bcfgpd numbers
  • As we said the other day, hitting on all cylinders with very high returns and their non Marcellus stuff is interesting as well

ZAZA

  • Saying they have thicker Eaglebine section than the traditional play to the north of them
  • Looking at doing more asset monetizations
  • JV with EOG will start driving production numbers (although no good handle on how high yet)
  • They did hold back acreage in the center of the section to develop at their leisure or haste as prices warrant,
  • On their present budget and with JV proceeds coming in they are fully funded for 2013,
  • They have another block of Eagle Ford acreage to monetize and the balance sheet is now better looking than the stock was at twice the price some I’m going to take a fresh look here soon but management’s ability to execute remains in doubt so we’ll just have to look and see if it’s compelling enough to warrant following it.

GST 

  • Another name from past but highly re-worked
  • Claiming Marcellus program is worth $4 per share

CRZO

  • Not a lot to add to recent comments except that they really dry up drilling in the Marcellus by late this year as they run out of locations but they transition to Utica up there.
  • The name is EFS driven but they think the Utica returns could rival the Eagle Ford ones
  • Noted they think they will come in near the high end of the range for 1Q13 oil volumes
  • Gas prices at current levels don’t sound like they are tempting them to add dry gas acreage or to go and drill some of their legacy gas areas.

OEDV

  • Little new but to reiterate:
    • Columbia currently pays for G&A so that all capital coming out of ground in OK goes back into ground in OK
    • 8 gross wells on production now and production is ramping
    • 12 gross wells in various stages now
    • adding 2 to 3 gross wells per month
    • well practices have improved
    • all Logan County acreage to be HBP by end of 2014
  • Didn’t really touch on the two other projects to the east but we’ll hear about those pretty soon
  • I will see them later this Spring.

KOG

  • Most acreage they seem to care about is essentially HBP’d
  • Balance sheet in good shape and they are funded for this year
  • And they said they’d be in free cash flow mode around year end 2013
  • Said to look for about 20% sequential growth in each of 1Q and 2Q and then stronger growth into year end 2013
  • Reiterated guidance for this year of 29,000 to 31,000 BOEpd (up about 110%) a number of times in the presentation

NOG

  • Fast run through of the story by the new guy
  • Basically we’re cheap on all metrics
  • Told Tom they need to get the story out there better  … I think to get the stock up they need to deliver on production guidance and capex guidance this year.

OAS

  • Story has not changed, all Williston Basin, 90% oil, 335,000 net acres (305 K is core and of that 87% is HBP)
  • Calling locations at 2,000 gross, this is a little higher than in past presentations due to the inclusion of more densely spaced wells and more Three Forks wells
  • Running 10 rigs now (that’s up 1 from last check)
  • Budget is $100 mm less than last year with same well count
    • Average well costs fell 16% last year
    • Were down to $8.8 mm at year end and still on track to be $8 mm average for YE13
  • Use 2013 to further delineate TFS (now think delineated on 1/3 to 1/2 of acreage)
  • Also going to full pad drilling and testing tighter spacing this year
  • “OWS has performed better than any of us expected” … this is their in house frac spread
    • Paid it out in 1 year ($25 mm cost) … all doing in house work
  • As of the beginning of this quarter they were moving 80% of oil production via pipe and from there to rail terminals and they are railing out 90% of their production now. This month they are moving 100% of oil by rail. That just crushes their differentials.
  • Otherwise, song remains the same, no trouble growing it, lots of liquidity, it gets cheap on the metrics with each passing quarter that the stock doesn’t move up.  

Today At IPAA (all times EST) 

  • LPI – 9:10 am
  • EOX – 9:10 am (I’ll be on this one but will circle back for LPI)
  • TAT – 9:35 am (sure, why not listen?)
  • REXX – 10 am
  • SSN – 10:30 am
  • CXPO – 1:35 pm
  • BBEP – 2 pm
  • ATXDY – 2:25 pm (want to hear the pitch on this little Miss Lime minnow as I see the reserves as extremely aggressively booked)
  • Link to webcasts

Other Stuff:

  • Refiner update – we should have a quick update out here tomorrow.
  • TPLM filed an NT 10-K (inability to file their 10 K on time filing). I don’t think it’s a huge deal but if it gets hit on this today I will very likely find room for more as that’s probably pretty silly. Here’s the simple text from the filing:

Triangle Petroleum Corporation (the “Company”) has determined that it will be unable to file its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2013 (the “2013 Form 10-K”) by April 16, 2013, without unreasonable effort or expense because of outstanding comments that the Company received from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These comments were received in connection with SEC’s periodic review of the Company’s reports.  The SEC and the Company are currently in discussions to resolve the SEC’s comments relating to its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2012 concerning the appropriate consolidated accounting treatment of certain income recognized by the Company from pressure pumping services provided by a subsidiary of the Company, RockPile Energy Services, LLC (“RockPile”), to wells in which the Company held an economic interest.  Management believes that resolution of the SEC’s comments will neither affect RockPile’s standalone results for such period nor impact the previously issued fiscal year 2014 financial guidance for Rockpile, which was furnished on a standalone basis.  Because the Company had similar arrangements in place with Rockpile in the fiscal fourth quarter for the period ended January 31, 2013 and will have such arrangements in the foreseeable future, the Company believes that it is in the best interests of investors to resolve the SEC comments prior to filing the 2013 Form 10-K. The Company expects to file the 2013 Form 10-K as promptly as practicable following resolution of the SEC’s comments.

Posted by: zmanbackup | March 26, 2013

Backup Site Post for Tuesday 3/26/13

We seem to be experiencing an outage on the main site. Our apologies for the inconvenience, we are investigating the issue. Please post comments on this site in the  interim.

Posted by: zmanbackup | December 14, 2011

OPEC Wednesday – Backup Post

We had hardware failure overnight and should be back on the main site sometime this morning. I’ll send an email when the server is running reliably again. Thanks for your patience.

Market Sentiment Watch: Market clearly more than ever focused on Europe which can’t seem to agree on how to right the ship or how big a lever is needed to do so. Even the Fed policy statement yesterday referenced the gloomy fog that is Europe which sparked a late day sell off in U.S. equities. In energy land, OPEC apparently has set a 30 mm bopd cap which includes Iraq. Expecting more details soon. In today’s post please see expanded comments on LPI along with the oil and natural gas storage previews. 

Ecodata Watch:

  • Import prices (F = 1.5%)
Housekeeping Watch:
  • If you are new here, first, thanks much for signing up.  Check out the Bios tab at left and if you want to submit a similar, relatively anonymous blurb about yourself please send it in to admin@zmansenergybrain.com.
  • Also please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the site by checking out key areas in the links just to the left of this paragraph including ZEB positions (It’s what I own), the E&P Metrics (a quick why I own, what I own), the Catalyst List, and the Calendar tab (which includes summary data for the quarter just past).
  • Note also that the site is full searchable via the search bar (be as specific as possible and it helps to know rough when you are looking for something), a pull down menu with topics and tickers (I find that easiest to use), and further down the page, a set of links to the calendar going back 5 plus years. Or you can just ask me to find it.
  • “Things break, the world is an imperfect place”. Please bookmark our open access backup site. In the event our site is down for more than a few minutes we will activate this site:
Also, apologies for the formatting today, going to be a little weird as this is not my normal platform.
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Contest Watch: The M&A contest table has been updated and moved here.  If you wish to submit a pick for a chance to win a free year’s subscription to the site (normal terms and conditions apply and you must be a subscriber at the time of the transaction) please pick an E&P name you think will be acquired and that is not already picked and submit it in comments along with the word CONTEST. The current contest runs through the end of 1Q12.

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Oil Inventory Preview
  4. Stuff We Care About Today – LPI  (removed to pay site).
  5. Odds & Ends


Commodity Watch:

Crude oil rallied $2.37 on rumors Iran’s military exercises had temporarily closed the Strait of Hormuz to close at $100.14 yesterday. The rumors were false. After the close, API released a mixed bag of a report with crude inventories unexpected up but gasoline inventories off indicating a partial demand recovery from the last 8 weeks of weakness (see below). This morning crude is trading off $1.50.

  • Strait of Hormuz Watch: 15.5 mm bopd are thought to pass through the Straits each day or about 30% of the worlds seaborne oil traffic. At its narrowest point the Strait is 34 miles wide but the ship channel is six miles wide so it’s possible Iran could attempt a block as really you’d only have to stop one of the dozen or so tankers that make the trip each day to have the effect of a blockade. I don’t think they would do it but tensions are high over the nuclear situation and sanctions and now the downed U.S. drone. After the refusal by Iran to give the drone back, Iran no doubt expects some kind of search and destroy operation as the U.S. no doubt does not wish the drone to fall into the hands of the highest  bidder. And its not surprising that UAE, located on the south side of the Strait, has nearly completed its 2.5 mm bopd Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline project and loading station to allow some of its own crude to circumvent this choke point between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman– entirely.  It makes you wonder why they don’t build facilities on both sides and bring non UAE sourced crude over land … cost, yes but the U.S. 5th Fleet would be their to ensure the UAE Persian Gulf side facilities remain un harassed.
  • Iraq Watch: Three bombs targeted pipeline from southern Iraqi oil fields to storage tanks near Basra. Iraq says to have no impact on volumes, repairs to take a week, and for IOC’s to trim output temporarily from the southern fields. Rumaila oilfield production down by ~ 700,000 bopd following bombing. Sign of things to come as U.S. pulls out?
  • OPEC Watch: 160th meeting produces 30 mm bopd cap, said to include all OPEC members. Details soon. This is essentially a truing up of quotas to current output.
  • House Watch: U.S. House passes payroll tax cut extension with KeystoneXL provision attached. President has vowed to veto it but its not expected to get through the Senate anyway. Sigh.

Natural gas inched up 3 cents to close the day at $3.28 yesterday in listless trading that was probably only on the green side due to shorts taking profits on the recent large decline in prices. Prices in Canada are now at 10 year lows. In the U.S., we seem closer to the low than the high for winter at this point but I would expect gas to be further pressured on release of storage data next week which will result in another increase in the storage surpluses to year ago and five year average levels, keeping storage squarely in “record for this time of year territory”. This morning gas is trading off 6 cents.

This is a chart set from the NG supply piece but I’ve gotten some emails about my current state of gas negativity and there are some new folks around who might have missed it. And when I say negative, I don’t really expect much more in the way of downside unless we have a real weather problem as industrial demand will kick up to take more advantage of the low prices even in shorter time frames. What I do see is a grinding price range between $3 and $3.75 (or so) this winter. In that event, I want low cost operators like SWN and RRC if I want big gas exposure at all (which is who I own, along with REXX in the gassy space but for other reasons – Utica). Here’s that chart:
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Early Read On Natural Gas Storage:

  • Last Week: – 20 Bcf
  • Last Year: – 173 Bcf  … Note that the comparable week one year ago was far cooler than last year.
  • 5 Year Average: – 139 Bcf
  • 10 year Hi: -43 Bcf
  • 10 year Low: – 207 Bcf

Oil Inventory Preview

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API Watch:

  • Crude: Up 0.5 mm barrels
    • Cushing stocks were up 0.1 mm barrels
  • Gasoline: Down 12,000 barrels
  • Distillates: Up 1.2 mm barrels

Stuff We Care About Today

Other stuff:

  • SN (new Eagle Ford name) comes public tomorrow as well,
  • TPLM reports 3Q11 results tomorrow.
  • Aramco, Sinopec, and CNOOC said to be looking at taking stakes in CHK’s Frac Tech IPO of as much as 30% each.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • TBA in comments
Posted by: zmanbackup | December 13, 2011

Tuesday Backup Post – Experiencing Issues On Main Site

Market Sentiment Watch:  European YoYo – German Data Edition. Global equities continue to trade at the slightest twitch of news out of Europe. Today’s item was better than expected German sentiment data. Meanwhile, the U.S. market continue to ignore a string of better than expected eco data out of the U.S. (or at least it seems that way) that suggest the L-shaped recover continues. In energyland things remain fairly quiet although that changes on Thursday with the addition of two E&P IPOs. There’s a quick run through of LPI in the Stuff section today along with thoughts on depressed but rapidly growing XCO.

Ecodata Watch:

  • NFIB small business index came in at 92 vs 90.2 for October.
  • Retail sales (F = +0.3% vs last read of +0.5%; ex autos F = 0.1%),
  • Inventories (F = +0.5%),
  • We get job openings at 10 am EST, last read was 3.4 mm
  • FOMC rate decision (the last of the year) at 2:15 pm EST, all about the wording as usual … expecting a slightly improved tone


In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Stuff We Care About Today – XCO, LPI
  4. Odds & Ends

 

 

Holdings Watch:  No trades in any of the portfolios yesterday.

Commodity Watch

Crude oil eased $1.64 to close at $97.77 yesterday in dollar dominated trading. The front month contract now looks like this. As I’ve often stated over the last few months I continue to prefer a $85 to $95 WTI price range. OPEC meets tomorrow and they could boost production quotes to near 30 mm bopd, approximating current cartel output and while this may spook the futures market temporarily it would have no impact on current production levels. This morning crude is trading up 50 cents.

  • Saudi Watch: Saudi’s oil minister on Monday confirmed the Kingdom produced 10.047 mm bopd in November. I would not look for them to hold above the 10 mm bopd beyond January.
  • Early Read on Oil Inventories:
    • Crude: DOWN 2.2 mm barrels
    • Gasoline: UP 1.4 mm barrels – still waiting on the low pump prices to translate into higher demand. Should happen this week or next at latest.
    • Distillates: UP 0.8 mm barrels

Natural gas slipped another $0.06 to close at $3.25 yesterday, a 26 month low for the front month contract. I would speculate that we are close to the near term low although I don’t see much cause for significant bounce this winter. This morning gas is trading up slightly.

Stuff We Care About Today

XCO Thoughts

Brief History: Gassy company that, like many of its peers, management thought to be extremely undervalued. In November 2010 the CEO launched a go private effort. This effort failed to produce a bid although one proposed $18.50 deal almost occured. In July 2008 the CEO gave up on the deal. Gas prices during the period were not conducive to his cause and the stock has trailed lower since.


Balance Sheet:

  • Leveraged but not overly so. Net debt to cap of 47% but when you look at EBITDA / Interest the margin is more than comfortable, even when you throw in the $30 mm of interest they capitalize each year. So looks high on debt but its slowly coming down and its not a big worry. If the general environment started to point to more liquidity tightness I would expect a senior deal to take out the borrowings on the revolver.

2012 Budget: Somewhat oddly, still overwhelmingly focused on gassy projects. Either they know something I don’t and it’s prudent to be going into development mode in the part of their Haynesville position as gas prices fall or they are growing that area for the sake of ….  growing. Which is never something I want to see. One other thought is that as everyone large in the play gets held by production XCO is reaping the benefits of less tight oil service conditions (and in fact they are seeing falling well costs, in part due to quicker drill times but soon due to lower local Service costs).

Production, Revenues, Margins. Production is gassy but has been growing rapidly and with volume growth has come a decline in per unit costs and swelling EBITDA. Given their 2012 budget of $710 it’s pretty easy to see that with minimal growth in 2012 (and note that they have not given guidance yet which is odd in that in general, people who guide do so when they provide their budgets) they will be largely self funding (probably at least 90%) next year so don’t expect much in the way of leveraging of the balance sheet in the near future.


The Plays For 2012:

East Texas / Northwest Louisiana – Focus on the Haynesville / Bossier Shales

  • Lions share of XCO’s capex ($489mm; 69%) for 2012 with 13 rigs running,
  • 31 net wells planned for the year plus another 7 net completions from 2011 drilling. This well count looks low to me based on the budget and based on the trend of falling well costs in both east Texas and northwest Louisiana.
  • In development mode in NW Louisiana which, given natural gas prices, is counter-intuitive to me
  • Texas side of the play to focus on continued delineation and acreage holding with the expectation that they get HBP’d by YE12

Appalachia – Focused on Marcellus in PA

  • 4 rigs now going to 5 for 2012,
  • 19 net wells planned focused on areas where they have excess available takeaway capacity,
  • Plan to continue to build their leasehold,
  • 6% of current production but expect that to grow in 2012,
  • No mention of Utica or Upper Devonian thinking here yet but I’m confident they will bring it up as those plays become more tested (if not yet delineated) by other operators.

Permian

  • Vertical program,36 net operated wells planned
  • Current production is nearly an afterthought in the corporate picture at 4% of total.
  • Lots of room to run here (83,000 net acres) and maybe the vertical program in 2012 is a prelude to a horizontal program (with more money) in 2013. For 2012, 5% of the budget is not likely to make a noticeable impact on total volumes nor is it going to really shift the profile to a more oily one.

 

Nutshell: I don’t own it. Gassy and looks to be staying that way. I would guess this is another name that gets punished or stays subdued through year end do to a combination of gas prices and window dressing.  It’s not overtly cheap even at current levels though it is no longer what I’d call expensive on a TEV/ EBITDA basis. On a reserves basis it’s definitely inexpensive but that’s to be expected in this gas price environment. If I take a long term perspective here, which is what I do, then its approaching a buyable level for me with the thought that production and cash flow keep rising and that gas prices stabilize in 2012, somewhere north of $3 and trend higher into YE12.

Other Stuff

LPI Quick Scan For Packman - I’ll have a little more detailed brief out on them in tomorrow’s post

  • Laredo Petroleum (LPI) – Permian, Granite Wash player, set to IPO on Thursday
  • Price range $18 to $20, I’ll assume the overallotment is taken and the stock prices at $19 for all numbers below
  • Post deal this will be a $3 B enterprise value company with about $0.6 B of that in the form of Senior notes due ’19 and a tiny bit of drawn revolver.
  • Unlike SN, also coming Thursday, this one has significant production that has been ramping swiftly largely via a vertical well program in the Permian. 1st 9 mos 2011 production average was 22,842 BOEpd.
  • Reserves are 137 MMBOE (34% liquids) and they use Ryder Scott so those are pretty unassailable.
  • Permian – 127,000 net acres – has been a vertical program, going to add horizontals in the Wolf Berry
  • Granite Wash – 37,000 net acres – stack pay play
  • Budget for 2012 is $757
  • Valuation:
    • If you wanted to price them on current production and used a high $100,000 per flowing barrel the firm would on that basis be worth $2.3 B (before acreage value).
    • EBITDA through the first 9 months of this year was $284 mm so for round numbers, and given oil prices in the 4Q and assuming 4Q production was up, call the full year EBITDA figure at $400 mm. EV to 2011 E EBITDA would then be 7.6x. Not exactly cheap
    • I don’t have a handle on how fast they think they will grow next year but the budget is $757 mm so they will be diving back further into the revolver in 2012 … not a bad thing necessarily but it sort of looks like they are fully pricing this deal, especially since the name is 2/3rds gassy. I am planning to do more work on it today to try and see what 2012 could look like.

GMXR – closed on its previously announced VPP and hedge monetizations raising a total $68mm.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • CHK, OAS – Baird starts at Outperform
  • SM, ROSE, GDP, CRK – Baird starts at Neutral
Posted by: zmanbackup | July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Back Up Post

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Posted by: zmanbackup | November 24, 2010

Wednesday Backup Post

Market Sentiment Watch: Going to be a slow trading day today but we may get a small bounce as the Korea’s didn’t escalate things overnight. We got a raft of economic data this morning that on the whole looked fairly positive (better jobs and income numbers, partially offset by worse than expected durable goods) and we get consumer sentiment and new home sales after the open. We also get both the oil and natural gas inventories today. Otherwise, all is quiet in energy land.

Ecodata Watch:

  • Jobless claims came in at 407,000 vs 435,00 expected
  • Personal incomes came in at 0.5% vs 0.3% expected
  • Consumer spending came in at 0.4  vs 0.4% expected
  • Durable goods for October were down 3.3% vs down 0.2% expected
  • We get consumer sentiment at 9:55 am EST, expectations are 69.8
  • We get new home sales for October at 10 am EST, forecast is 310,000

Housekeeping Watch:

We are planning to migrate to the new server on Friday. The weekend wrap post will be here and on the backup server as will the Monday post. Please bookmark the backup site just in case:

http://www.zmanbackup.wordpress.com

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch -
  3. Stuff We Care About Today – RAME, SSN
  4. Odds & Ends

Holdings WatchZCAT (Zman Catalyst portfolio):

  • $5,100
  • 99% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades: None

ZIM (Zman Inefficient Markets portfolio)

  • $8,300
  • 5% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades:
    • MMR – Added (10) more MMR $18 December calls for $0.64, on the mid, with the stock at $16.40. Expecting news on their ultra deep activities within the next week or two.
    • WLL – Added (5) more WLL December $115 calls for $1.45, on the mid, with the stock at $108.40. Expecting news here in the next week to 10 days.

Commodity Watch:

Crude oil eased $0.49 to close at $81.25 yesterday, fending off most of the declines that the equity market suffered due to North Korean belligerence. After the close, the API released a bearish looking report (see below). This morning crude is trading up 50 cents.

  • API Watch:
    • Crude: UP 5.2 mm barrels
    • Gasoline: DOWN 0.499 mm barrels
    • Distillates: DOWN 0.311 mm barrels
  • Street Estimates

ZComment: The bearish looking crude inventory build is likely the result of an offset to two weeks of larger than life withdrawals and an overdue short term bounce in imports. Not much of a concern there. I would expect smallish draws as the estimates above do as well on both products as refinery utilization kicked back up after two months of slumber in the Fall maintenance season and that should result in higher production this week.

 

Natural gas closed essentially flat at $4.26 yesterday. We get the natural gas inventory report today at 12 pm EST. This morning gas is trading off slightly.

Natural Gas Storage: Street is looking for a 2 BCF withdrawal for today’s report.

  • Last Week:  3 Bcf Injection
  • Last Year: 5 Bcf Injection
  • 5 Year Average: 32 Bcf Withdrawal
  • 10 year Hi: 30 Bcf Injection
  • 10 year Low: 148 Bcf Withdrawal

Stuff We Care About Today

RAME Snapshot


Highlights:

  • Asset Sale:
     

    • Selling properties in the northern Barnett Shale for $43.75 mm to pay down debt
    • With the sale goes 26.4 Bcfe of reserves, 13% of total from year end 2009
  • Effect on Debt
    • This takes debt down to $203 mm
    • And cuts the quarterly interest payment by about $1 mm per quarter which is significant when your EBITDA to Interest coverage ratio is barely 2x.
  • Areas:  (following the divestiture)
    • Osage shallow oil exploration (north central Oklahoma)
      • 53,000 net acres
      • Vertical oil play (Mississippi Chat formation), acquiring 3D now
      • First well tested 80 Bopd (these are relatively cheap verticals)
      • Several more wells were being testing as of early November
      • Results here could move the name
    • Appalachia – West Virginia, doesn’t seem to be a focus area.
    • South Texas – Starr County, further south than you want to be to talk Eagle Ford
  • Stock has been moving off the lows due to the aforementioned asset sale and a Rodman upgrade.

Nutshell: Lots of debt but they are working the problem and their latest presentation demonstrates that with a focus on debt reduction and their historic interest expense. I don’t know much yet about the Mississippi Chat formation. The stock trades at a discount to trail cash flow due to the high debt and the fact that production is stagnant.  No clear opinion yet but am working on one.

Other Stuff

SSN Announces Delays

  • SSN announced that it’s two latest Bakken wells will not be completed on schedule (they were already delayed and late again) due to an inability to get a frac crew on site.
  • They are attempting to get half a dedicated crew by December. I have my doubts it will happen that quickly
  • This is a not a non-event in that it delays cash flow but it’s also beyond their control and not something you can really fault a minnow for.
  • Getting more common to see this in the Bakken and will get even more common into early 2011 for the little names as the rig count moves north of 160.


Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • None

 

Posted by: zmanbackup | November 17, 2010

Wednesday Backup Post

Market Sentiment Watch: Another nervous looking day with all eyes on Ireland who continues to claim that they don’t need an EU bailout. At the moment futures are green but not by much. API data was largely bullish but crude is sinking again this morning towards the $80 mark as continued fears of a Chinese slow down hit a number of commodities. We tabled a look at a number of single digit midgets due out today until the Thursday post in favor of working out some kinks with the new server overnight.

Ecodata Watch:

  • CPI came in at 0.2 vs 0.3% expected (Core came in flat vs 0.1% expected)
  • Housing starts were 550,000 vs 600,000 forecast

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Oil Inventory Preview
  4. Stuff We Care About Today – NOG
  5. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch: ZCAT (Zman Catalyst portfolio):

  • $5,000
  • 99% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades: None

ZIM (Zman Inefficient Markets portfolio)

  • $5,800
  • 1% Cash
  • Yesterday’s Trades:
    • HAL – Added (25) December $40 calls for $0.34 with the stock at $35.35, on a little market wide weakness. I’ll be exiting the rest of my November calls between now and week’s end.
    • WLL – Added (5) WLL December $110 calls for $1.84 with the stock at $103.60. Expecting an operations update any day now.
    • HAL – Added back (40) HAL November $36 calls for average cost of $0.25 with the stock near $35.

Commodity Watch:

Crude oil fell 3% to close at $82.34 yesterday, blame the equity market tumble and a stronger dollar. After the close, the API released another mostly bullish looking report (see below). This morning crude is trading off slightly.

Natural gas waffled lower by 3 cents to close the day at $3.82 yesterday. We continue to be range bound or in an extended bottom. I expect spikiness on cold weather snaps and in the event of better than expected withdrawals (or a smaller than expected injection this week) with little sustainability much above $4. This morning gas is trading up nearly a dime.

  • Marcellus Watch: Pittsburgh bans drilling in the city, commenting that it will not become the Fort Worth of the northeast.

Early Read On Natural Gas Storage: Street is at 12 BCF for tomorrow’s report.

  • Last Week: 19 Bcf Injection
  • Last Year: 21 Bcf Injection
  • 5 Year Average: 2 Bcf Injection
  • 10 year Hi: 33 Bcf Injection
  • 10 year Low: 90 Bcf Withdrawal

Oil Inventory Preview

API Watch: Mostly bullish

  • Crude: Down 7.7 mm barrels – last week API said it would be down 7.4 mm barrels and EIA reported a 3.3 mm barrel decline so I’d look for another larger than expected drop today.
    • Cushing – API is looking for a 1.1 mm barrel build. Normally I’d say their weekly data are not synced between regional storage and the total but the decline Cushing seems to have been far more than would be accounted for by midwest refinery demand and should be coming to a flattening if not a modest rebound. For the past 3 months, EIA and API have agreed directionally here which may mute an oil rebound that would otherwise be prompted by such a large headline drawdown number.
  • Gasoline: DOWN 1.7 mm barrels
  • Distillates: Up 0.2 mm barrels – this would be a disappointment but given last week’s giant 5.0 mm barrel decline, not entirely surprising.

Stuff We Care About Today

 

NOG Announces Secondary, Lays Out 2011 Plans, Affirms Prior Guidance

  • The Deal: Offering 8 mm shares, probably at $18.50, with another 1.2 mm in the allotment which I’m sure gets done so we are probably talking net proceeds of just over $160mm while adding 17% to the current share count.
  • Guidance Reaffirmed

    • Sees 4Q up 30 to 35% sequentially
    • And 2011 average of 6,500 BOEpd which equates to 25% sequential growth quarter after quarter as next year progresses.
  • Budget:

    • 2010 will be about $132 mm (25 net wells @  $5.3 mm / well and not including acreage adds)
    • 2011 now seen at $227 mm:
      • For this they see drilling 36 net wells ($6.3 mm per well)
      • I would strongly suspect that this rises as the year goes on given their non operated status and the popularity of their acreage in the Bakken.
  • Balance Sheet:
    • Pre Offering:
      • $39 mm cash
      • No long term debt and nothing advanced on their line of credit.
    • Post Offering:
      • $200 mm cash
      • 0% debt to cap
  • Nutshell: Not at all surprised to see them pop off a secondary although my timing on the trading position could have been a little better but that’s neither here nor there as far my thinking goes on the stock.  The pullback during the call and subsequent days of trading lower are probably due to the thought that they were overdue for a deal and might do one, along with the general sell off in the market. With this offering that weight on the shares is lifted. Note that management’s early guidance on 2011 of 6,500 BOEpd represents growth of 170% and is more of a downside case than one would suspect given the magnitude of the rise. Based on that production growth and my thinking on oil prices I put cash flow north of $115 mm next year, which, combined with the proceeds of this deal, takes care of the company’s capital funding requirements for at least the next 12 months barring significant leasehold acquisitions.

Other Stuff:

  • BEXP Presentation at Stephens; today, 2 pm EST.
  • Look for the mid cap Orange Charts on Friday.
  • BP Spill Panel Report Watch: The Panel released an interim report to Reuters last night and the major points seem to shift blame back to BP. Two major criticisms highlight A) BP’s choice of well design (though the Panel said there was nothing wrong with the design and that it was standard not 2 weeks ago) and B) BP’s decision not to run a bond log on the cement job. That last item is what the SLB crew was on the rig for. BP elected not to run the test, not HAL. As soon as the SLB guys were told no bond log would be run they hit the helicopter for shore.
  • VNR on the tape acquiring ENP from Denbury, says immediately accretive to distributable cash flow.
  • James Bond Watch: Scorpio Tankers prices offering

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • Nothing so far, will add in comments.
Posted by: zmanbackup | November 15, 2010

Monday Morning – Main Site Slow And / or Down

Market Sentiment Watch: Somewhat nervous looking market … with everyone asking if this is the near term top. My sense is that we are due for a pullback but that we will likely end the year higher than 1,250 on the S&P with $90 ish oil  but that’s just a hunch. 3Q earnings season is just about wrapped up save some small stragglers and non-Calendar reporters but the economic calendar for the week is fullish with a number of market moving data to be reported. China reports overnight hint at tightening but Japanese economic data were stronger than expected leading to a bounce in US futures early. This is the last week of the November equity options.

Ecodata Watch:

  • Retail sales of 1.2% vs a forecast of 0.7
  • Sales ex autos of 0.4% vs forecast of 0.4%
  • Empire State Index for November of -11.14 vs 15 forecast and last read of 15.7. Go figure.

Housekeeping Watch: Our new servers have arrived and running in test mode. We should have them live by the end of the week. Our old host has been gracious enough to keep this site active and we are looking to migrate seamlessly but you never know with these things so please bookmark the backup site just in case we suddenly wink out here.

http://www.zmanbackup.wordpress.com

The Week Ahead:

  • Monday 11/15: We get Inventories for September at 10 am EST, F = 0.9%
  • Tuesday 11/16: PPI (F = 0.8%, 0.1% core), Industrial production (F = 0.2%), Homebuilder’s index (F = 16)
  • Wednesday 11/17:  EIA Oil Inventory Report, CPI (F = 0.3%, 0.1% core), Housing starts (F = 600K)
  • Thursday 11/18: EIA Natural Storage Report, Jobless claims (F = 445K), leading indicators (F = 0.6%), Philly Fed (F = 5.0)
  • Friday 11/19: No ecodata release scheduled.
  • Saturday 11/20: November equity option expiry.

In Today’s Post:

  • Holdings Watch
  • Commodity  Watch
  • Stuff We Care About Today – Catalyst List Update, APC, VYOG
  • Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch:

ZCAT (Zman Catalyst portfolio):

  • $5,000
  • 99% Cash

ZIM (Zman Inefficient Markets portfolio)

  • $8,800
  • 34% Cash

ZLT (Zman Long Term portfolio)

Friday’s Trades – added more NOG (3rd piece there now, just about full), and a second trading position in KOG on weakness. I should be settling back into my not so tradey ZLT style this week.

 

NOG – Added another position in NOG common, for an average cost of $19.22. The stock came off following the 3Q results call after it tapped $22. This feels like enough is enough on the downside for them (off another 5% today), but if it falls further I may add a final piece to round out my position here.

KOG – Added a second trading position at $4.23. My sense is this will be a 3 to 6 month hold in addition to the Core position which is likely to be held longer.

 

Commodity  Watch:

Crude oil ended last week of 2% to close at $84.88, with all of the loss coming on Friday’s equity market pause. The 12 month crude strip trading at $86.73.  This morning crude is trading up $0.50.

  • IEA Watch: Demand seen higher. The Paris based energy group bump up their projection for global crude demand for 2010 by 200,000 bopd to arrive at a YoY increase of 400,000 bopd to 87.3 mm bopd. IEA points to further growth of 1.2 mm bopd in 2011 to 88.5 mm bopd.

 

Natural gas was flat on the week, ending at $3.94. We remain range bound. The 12 month strip is now trading at $4.11. This morning gas is trading up slightly on colder weather forecasts.

 

  • Tropics Watch: Something minor brewing southeast of Honduras, 20% probability of development.

Stuff We Care About Today

Catalyst List (yellow is updated)




Other Stuff

  • Tomorrow – The Large Cap E&P Orange Charts
  • APC/Tullow Oil Discovery Off Sierra Leone
    • Mercury well discovers 135 net feet of oil pay in two Cretacious fan systems.
    • APC operates the block with a 65% WI, Repsol and Tullow hold the remaining interests.
    • Light, sweet crude, with no water contact so there is potential to deepen or sidetrack for additional pay
    • This is their second discovery off Sierra Leone, the first being Venus announced in September 2009 and confirmed as having 45 net feet of pay in May 2010, capping a string of successes for an APC and partners off both costs of Africa (Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Sierra Leone) in the last two years.
    • There may be an opportunity for a quick call trade in here today.
  • BEXP speaks at a Stephens conference on Wednesday. I had lunch with Stephens new E&P analyst several weeks back, smart guy, out of XTO management, will be interested to see if he can come with a Buy rating on the name or if it has run too sharply.
  • DSX Reports $0.42 vs $0.40 expected
    • Conference Call: Today, 9 am EST.
  • VYOG – the next Bakken wannabe announces it’s Niobrara non-operated position has yielded 2 apparent discoveries. A 650 bopd IP at one locations, a second located soon to be fracced and third well that was mentioned as having been drilled. They see costs coming in well below estimates which is a bit surprising this early in the program but they are drilling with private Slawson as operator so that makes some sense. This is unlikely to become the next NOG soon but it bears watching.

 

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • NFX – Goldman ups target by $4 to $74
  • KWK – Goldman ups to Neutral
  • AREX – Keybanc reaffirms Buy rating
  • SD – Goldman cuts target a buck to $5
  • DVN – Jefferies raitses target $13 to $18, maintains Buy

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